The Imperial Realm :: Miranda

Article: Galaxy Online: Not a Strategy Game at All

By Thols on 2009-11-09 20:48:15
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I played Galaxy Online for several months and spent several hundred dollars on this free game. Yes, you heard that right. While the game is technically free to play, if you want to be competitive you have to spend real money on mall points which are used in the game to buy advantages. This is common in many free online games but what sets Galaxy Online apart from most of its peers is that the advantages to be had with mall points are so overwhelming they essentially take all of the strategy out of the game. The bottom line is, whichever faction has the most big spenders is going to win the server, plain and simple.

Over the several months I played the game the problem got progressively worse. When I first started playing the heavy use of mall points offered a significant advantage but it was not decisive but after a series of patches, each making mall point usage more and more powerful, eventually nearly all of the strategy was eliminated and the use of mall points meant everything. Finally I quit the game because it was no longer a challenge. Paying more money to win a free game than the next guy is not my idea of fun, unless of course I happen to own the game company.

This saga with Galaxy Online is a real shame. The game itself quite good and if they would eliminate the mall point problem it would be great. If they put a bit more development time into it the game could be outstanding. But alas, IGG has chosen to try to make the quick buck by milking their players for all theyre worth and as a result most of the hardcore players have quit.

Save your money and steer clear of this free game.

Thols of the Gemeni server.

By Phenoca on 2010-02-22 22:20:05
Homepage: email:phenoca_exodus at hotmail dot com
Thanks for that. I used to be a big fan of the Galaxy Online genre, as the first strategy games which I played had the same elements of gameplay. Unfortunately, I never really got into it. Something about the annoying tutorial-NPC, and the slow-paced movement bugged me. I felt that I would spend too much time micro-managing.
By Getijsem on 2012-03-16 04:33:47
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I think I have to agree that mall points do make a big difference. I played this out of the beta a few years ago. I never was a one of the big players, because I never spent a penny. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the game a lot.

What made this game fun for me were basically two things:

  • The simulated combat
  • The galactic politics

Simulated combat:

In most other mmorts games I played combat was resolved by a calculation and, in terms of game time, was resolved instantly. In Galaxy Online the combat would start by the enemy ships entering the system through one of the wormholes. The ships in the system would start off where the were put in advance. Then the battle would be controlled by the ai. However, before battle you could set your units to specific strategies (like target weakest/strongest etc.). This would make battles much more interesting.

Another intersting aspect of the battles was that they would take up actual time in the game. This meant that if the battle took long enough, it would be possible to sent reinforcements. Usually a small battle won't take up too much time, but I remember one huge battle between the key players of two factions. They both burned up almost their entire (HUGE) fleets. The battle lasted almost the entire day. With a battle of the magnitude, other aspects came into play. For example, one of the factions was attacking and taking surrounding systems in parallel. This would cut off additional reinforcements from being able to enter the battle.

Galactiv politics:

If you decide to play this game, I would strongly advise to participate in the politics of your faction. For me, that was the most interesting part. The game provides a mechanic through which every faction will have one president. Who that president is influences your faction a lot. For example, because every faction is bordering two other factions, it is benificial to stay friends with at least one of your neighbours. I remember at the start of the game (while there were still plenty of unclaimed systems) we still had peace with both our neighbours. But one rouge player went "screw it" and attacked a neighbouring faction's systems. This "incident" caused a whole riot. Eventhough the leaders of both factions had agreed that this was a rouge player, it left a scar on the "people". Next election another president was chosen for our neighbouring faction and they attacked us. He probably came to power by antagonizing us.

All that kind of stuff was so cool. One faction had an aggressive dictator like leader, another faction had decided to create a kind of council of the leaders of the biggest clans (don't remember what clans were called in the game). The game didn't have any mechanic that provides these features. I think the game just provided the right setting (placement of factions, voting for a president). I think a game can be great if its game mechanics can facilitate these kind of developments to grow on their own instead of forcing them. That actually the only down side I can remember: I always wished the game would facilitate mobilizing smaller players more. But this is with almost all mmo's that I've played so far.

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