@uberjannie That is, in fact, a Hiver cruiser. Hiver ships are cigar-shaped, typically sport the hexagonal, honeycomb-like design on their armor seen here and have a series of red "eyes" on the front. Liir vessels consist of far more swooping lines, bulges from the tanks that contain the super-oxygenated fluid necessary to keep the crew alive and the feeler-like "tails" indicative of their stutter-warp drives. Liir also tend to favor a white and blue color scheme, mirroring the water and clouds of their home-world, Muur. tl;dr: It's a Hiver hurr durr With that out of the way, if there's any folks who haven't played the first SotS and are thinking of picking this up, I would highly recommend it. I picked up the first SotS the day it came out and I've been playing it on-and-off ever since. I never play a game for more than a few weeks, at most, but I've never gotten sick of SotS. The re-playability is astounding. Six races with randomized tech trees packed with neat stuff from multiple types of bio-weapons, cloaking devices, and propaganda options, along with randomized maps that can scale up to a ridiculous amount of stars and the ability to create and customize vessels to the point of being able to choose to use different types of armor on different sections of the ship make for a game that's never even close to the same twice. If you're on the fence about SotS II, pick up the first one and give it a whirl. I think it's, like, £10 on Steam or something of the like.
Sword of the Stars II's new playable faction is hell-bent on enslaving the universe. Get the first details here.
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter will follow the original game's engaging space strategy with even larger space battles that have deeper tactical considerations, new diplomacy options, and more ways for you to conquer known space. All the original playable races from the first game and its expansions--the humans, the Hiver, the Tarka, the Liir, the Zuul, and the Morrigi--will return in the sequel, each hungrier for power than before. However, these warring clans face a new competitor--the Suul'ka Horde, the ancient masters of the warlike Zuul who offer only a single choice to their enemies: subjugation or oblivion. Lead writer Arinn Dembo reacquaints us with the game's races and factions, as well as introduces the Suul'ka for the first time.
GameSpot: Give us an overview of the playable races in Sword of the Stars II. How have the races been tweaked and improved for the sequel?
AD: There were six original races in the Sword of the Stars universe. Here they are again for your reference.
First, the humans. The species you see in the mirror every morning! The humans of the 26th century are not that much different from you. A little shorter on average…and of course, they have their own faster-than-light (FTL) engine. The node drive was discovered in the 24th century and lets humans detect gravitational stress fractures in the universe that lead from star to star. They travel down those fracture lines at high speed, like shooting the rapids of a river roaring through a canyon. Traveling through node space is much faster than moving through regular space. So humans, although they are confined to those predetermined channels, have one of the fastest transport systems in the game.
Humans are the viewpoint race for most of the game's fiction as well. The name of the series, Sword of the Stars, was also the name of the first human dreadnought equipped with lancers. The way the universe evolves over time in this series also tends to be slightly more centered around humans. The action of the original Sword of the Stars was set in the year 2408, beginning with the day that the human race attempted to launch its first colony mission to another star system. The action of Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter begins in 2508, when the human race is attempting to launch its first Leviathan-class vessel. The loss of the S.F.S. Leviathan is the opening salvo of the era known as the Winter Wars.
Sol Force, the faction of the human race, is very different in 2508 than it was in 2408. Apes have fought two major interstellar wars, survived a rebellion of their artificial intelligences, and learned to hold their own in political intrigues, even versus very ancient and aggressive star-faring races like the Tarka and the Morrigi. The leadership of Sol Force is now both tougher and wiser than the innocents who tried to launch a little ship called the Nova Maria a full century ago.
Second, the Hivers. These mantislike aliens were the first interstellar travelers encountered by humans. Hiver ships appeared in orbit around the planet Earth on the very day that humans tried to launch their first colony mission--and the Hivers weren't friendly! The first interstellar war fought by humankind was against the Hivers, and it was a brutal conflict. Humans fought for decades to punish the race that bombarded their homeworld from orbit. At the time, of course, the humans didn't realize that the rogue Hivers who had attacked them were also considered criminals in Hiver space. Needless to say, war raged on for years while this little misunderstanding was worked out.
Technologically speaking, the most impressive innovation of the Hiver race is its gate system, a series of rings that can teleport entire fleets from one end of the galaxy to the other instantaneously. At the dawn of the Winter Wars, the Hiver Imperium is entering a golden age of peace and prosperity under a strong and popular queen, Radiant Frost. They have developed powerful new gate stations, which will increase their reach and their ability to respond to threats coming from any direction.
Third, the Tarka. The Tarka are a reptilian race, one of the original four playable races from the first release of Sword of the Stars in 2006. The human race accidentally stumbled onto the Tarkas by encountering one of their patrol fleets in deep space while the Tarka fleet was engaged in combat with a few Liir who had strayed into their territory. The Tarka commander finished off his Liir opponents and then spotted the human ships and logically assumed that they were new combatants entering the fray. He treated the human fleet accordingly…and things went downhill from there.
The pride of the Tarka race is in its warp engine, which envelops ships in a warp field and lets them travel FTL from anywhere to anywhere. Although warp drives aren't as fast as node drives or Hiver gates, they are much more versatile. Tarkas don't have to follow the lines, and they can travel in any direction between the stars they wish.
As the Winter Wars begin, the Tarkasian Empire is recovering some of the pride and power it had during its first space age, the Silver Imperium. The Tarka are in the strongest position that they have been for 500 years and ready to flex their diplomatic and military muscles.
Fourth, the Liir. The Liir are a cetacean race. Like humans, Tarka, and Hivers, they were one of the original four races upon first release of the game, and they were the first psionic race in the Sword universe. Liir have very powerful and well-developed psionic abilities, including telepathy and telekinesis. They are also masters of scientific research, with the fastest rate of technological development and the largest number of technological options of any species in the game.
The core technology of the Liir species is its flicker drive, an engine that teleports its ships in millions of microteleports per second. In practice, the flicker drive is similar to the Tarka's warp drive, in that Liir can travel from any place to any other place at will. The difference is that Liir travel more slowly when space time is curved. As they approach large gravity wells, they move significantly slower than when they are traveling through open space. So while their ships rocket through the void between stars, they slow down when they are close to a star.
I've been waiting for this since christmass. First they announced it in may, now aug. God I can't wait for this! I hope they don't follow the current trend of simplifying things -i want a bushy tech tree, and a ton of tweaks to my ships and load-outs. The option-download-pack seems like a good idea, but why not integrate it in the original game? Every time you start a campaign, you select a current picture, skin, sounds, texture and so on? Also in combat, the AI was pretty poor and just went for you head on, often trying to colide with you. Never really tried to out maneuver or stay out of range so he could use missiles (in multiplayer a friend of mine managed to take out my dreadnought with a single cruiser, just because he was faster, had better engines and I had only phasers. Maneuvered behind me and out of range, torpedoed me to death!. Hope to see that in the AI )
That has to be one of the best info we've got from the game developers, it's great to know what the Suul'ka will be. I just love the way Arinn Dembo created this universe, the description sounded like something out of Babylon 5, but with a touch of tragedy and madness... not just the order vs. chaos of the Vorlons and Shadows. Instead of a race of ancients we have immortals lost to their own insanity. It is just great, I really can't wait to play this new chapter of the story, and I am already eager to hear about the next ones... it is like waiting for the future seasons of your favorite sci fi series!
@Siege66 : What you are looking at are a Liir-Zuul ship. If you read the article, maybe you would have noticed?
The Liir use flicker drive technology to travel at faster-than-light speeds (Picture of a hiver ship instead of a liir ship) GAMESPOT FAIL
Also, they should really buff the Emitter weapons. Like with 30-50% damage increase. Then they should do so that they can destroyl all missiles incoming, with just shooting at the missiles, not having to target an enemy vessel. To top it of, it would be nice if it just ignored armor and damages the hull directly, since it's so low damage and all.
I hope they nerf Hivers. You cant win against or lose with Hivers if you play with them/against them on a medium/large map.
Looking forward to seeing what this game has to offer, but I'm not sure if I want this or the new Sins of a Solar Empire...
@Cobra5 That's because it's an interview with the lead writer for the game. SHE is obviously going to be more wrapped up in the "fluff".
Sots may have started slow, but when multi front wars started and you had fleets up 100+ cruisers fighting each other it got insane(by insane i mean fun).
I like hitting end turn too, but the original had me hit it 40 to 50 times before an encounter. It moved pretty slow. Not a game for the mass market at all. I prefered fallout tactics and final fantasy tactics.
I hope that this game will be beter optimalized than 1st part. First SotS was good. Strategic part not too deep but deep enough and tactocal combat was fun even that was clumsy and slow. I hope they do a better job in code though.
I can already tell that people are going to under-estimate this game, the devs have never let the community down. (as far as I know, and SOTS 1 is still one of those games I still play)
Ok, the name may be a bit cheesy, but SOTS is the true successor to Master of Orion. The best 4x game out there, bar none. The races actually feel and play differently, and the differences are not just cosmetic. If SOTS II is close to SOTS I, it will be a great game. This is one of those games that takes time to grow. It has EXCELLENT dev support and is improved with every single patch - and they issue lots of them. Not just bug fixes, but improvements each time. I suggest picking it up. If you dont like it, put it down and come back in a few weeks or months. It will be better, and different.
SOTS is my favorite 4X game I think. I am very excited for SOTS2. And just to be "that guy" the second picture caption says its a Liir ship, but, that is a Hiver cruiser, not a Liir one. Honestly this isn't a very good article, he goes off rambling about the fluff way to much, running off on tagents not related to the questions, and talks very little about the actual game.
These screens definitely look better than what I saw earlier. I storyboarded their upcoming trailers and designed the costumes, and I have to say it looked pretty poor before, this update seems much more promising though.
I feel.... many people underestimated this game title!! SoTS its a DIAMOND in the rock.... or something like that.
I'm just as excited for this as I am for BF3, Skyrim or even Diablo3. I have extremely high hopes for SotS2.
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