Monday, March 13, 2017

Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity - 2/20 hours

Starting a new game naturally comes with a bit of a learning curve, so I shouldn't be surprised that my early Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity matches have been a series of disasters, but I somehow keep fooling myself into thinking that this time is the time I'm going to skip all that tedious "gaining mastery" stuff.

Blame my own fecklessness. I've started about three or four games so far, but kept getting quickly overwhelmed. There's so much to pay attention to. I've got to move my fleets to the front lines, scout for potential expansion sites, fight off pirates and nosy npcs, coordinate infrastructure and research (which use the same resources as your military, but come from separate build queues) and all of this while the clock is ticking, because it never stops, not even while you're in a menu.

I mean, I get it. It's an RTS. Actions per minute are very important. That doesn't mean I don't feel overwhelmed. It's a longstanding personal weakness. Dividing my attention stresses me out. It's not necessarily a deal-breaker, though. There are real-time games I enjoy (such as Stellaris). A lot depends on the pacing, the complexity, and how forgiving it is of mistakes.

It remains to be seen whether Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity will fall in that category, though. I still have a lot to learn about how it works, and familiarity can mitigate many of my problems with the genre. Once I discover an efficacious build order and learn which technologies give me the biggest bang for my buck, that will significantly reduce my cognitive load. With a little experience, I'll be able to make basic decisions by reflex and thus devote more of my attention to the actual strategy.

For the purposes of this blog, it's a race against time. If this is another one of those games where the first 20 hours are just the training period, then I'll likely never get to the point where I feel comfortable. If, however, the learning curve is generous enough, I may wind up finding a strategy that plays to my strengths and thus enjoy my remaining time immensely.

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