Now that I’ve been able to digest the experience more it seems I’ve gone through several phases with War Worlds.
New Player phase
Wow! I can build and conquer other stars ! Build via the build queues, and use money to move ships.
Expanding and learning phase
Wow ! Grab more stars ! Build tons of ships !
Extensive income phase
Now, I have more income than I can manage to spend. This induces changes in the way I play.
OMG It is taking me all day to get through the sitrep. And I can’t even finish it – the messages scroll off the bottom. Well, I have tons of income. Cease building via the build queues all buildings and just accelerate them. This removes buildings from the sitrep and makes it more manageable. Despite all efforts, this acceleration does not exhaust income.
Extreme Bigness Phase
This is getting boring. Limit playtime because it’s just a matter of gobbling stars constantly.
The Neighbor phase
This is where I am now. Ever since I started getting close to my neighbor, I cannot stop playing the game. I want to establish that common border; expand everything up to and next to him; defend my border planets reasonably well; and continue to expand and test the limits of empty space, which will clearly take flaming forever.
Why am I experiencing these phases ?
I think I see the answer. I have played a large number of PvP games where the other players just want to wipe you out. They’re less interested in empire building, than in quick fixes. And I always find myself getting beaten into submission, and it’s boring.
So I start this game with the intention of becoming difficult to conquer. Hopefully, I am. I am actually in full ability-to-bully-and-destroy mode, most likely, but there are no players nearby. This is fun.
But it doesn’t stay fun forever. Where are the other players ? Boredom commences.
And I find another player, and it all becomes very interesting once again. What’s he doing ? It seems I’m convincing him to expand too. And I am trying to move up against the limits we have defined as well, and keep ahead of him for safety’s sake.
I think, strange as it is, the key to a good PvP game experience for me, within territorial games like this, is to have an incredibly limited PvP opportunity. I probably could squash my neighbor flat and not break a sweat. But why ? And yet we are in competition with one another and that makes it more fun.
I will remember this little lesson. But in the meantime,
Now I have over 1.1 million souls in my empire and over 300 stars. I have seen my empire “pass up” some of the active chatters in the top 100 list. Pretty cool.
He’s grabbing several stars to his southeast, while I’m filling out both northwest and northeast. Northeast is particularly difficult because the stars are low quality. But that’s OK – all stars generate tax income which is always useful.