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About TortugaPower

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  1. Episode 375: Rule the Waves

    I was unfamiliar with this podcast until Matthew told me about it, and because of my own interest in Rule the Waves, I had to watch. First of all, to set the mood for the post, I really liked the episode and will be listening to this podcast again. I'm surprised I haven't heard of this earlier. Since this game is a focus of my own channel, I wanted to leave my fan mail about this episode. Rule the Waves is definitely a thrown together piece of software: a one-man operation asides from the GUI that I believe they licensed from someone. I would demand a better GUI of RtW2, as I think that is one of the most obtuse things about the game. Moving a unit from one [sea] zone to another has never been so difficult. The glory of Rule the Waves is ship design inside of a budget management simulator. I'd say that's at least for me, but if you go to the game's forum, the majority of posts (I'd guess 75%) are about ship design. The ship design component of many space 4X games has been a real draw for the whole game, where most people lose themselves in min/max-ing or making their perfect spacecraft. I'd go one step further for Rule the Waves and say that the ship design is its saving grace, and the budget management is just a good way to give you constraints for this. There was talk about the main point of the game in the podcast and ship design was mentioned off-and-on, but I would emphasize this. If you don't want to be a WW1 ship designer and experiment with designs, yes you can technically auto-design and just do the budget management, or just fight the combat (but then you might as well go play Steam and Iron), but I doubt anyone stays interested in those alone. The developer (Fredrik) probably wanted the strategic focus to be secondary to the tactical battles based on the fact that this strategic shell was added to the Steam and Iron game, and I'd guess this was just a way to get more mileage out of an existing game. But I think most people feel the opposite -- they design a ship and go through the combat mostly to see if their design worked. In my opinion, that's why the absence of an auto-resolve function for combat shows that the game doesn't know its own strengths. Long post, but a few more things: - Prestige is the "victory" mechanic in name only. Nobody plays this game trying to top the high score charts with prestige. I don't mean to discourage anyone if that's their preference, but if you need the prestige as a barometer for your own success, not only will you be really disappointed by this scoring mechanic, but I doubt you'll enjoy the game. (Edit: I mention this because I think it's almost a waste of time to talk about the prestige, it doesn't really add anything to the game more than acting as a second, rarely-used currency.) - One of the coolest things about this time period is that there are no plateaus in technology/development. No matter when you build a ship, it's almost guaranteed to be obsolete by the time it finishes. And this is what makes the budget management a perfect pairing with the design element, especially for min/max perfectionists like myself. You simply cannot wait for X technology, you constantly do the best with what you have. That is truly genius. - A bit of a negative, but it should be brought up: the AI will design its ships after your designs. This feels a little lazy, even if it something that happens in real life. No other nation will innovate, and when you come up with a good design, the AI will shift all their designs to match. You can test this by making an insanely bad design and watch the AI copy it as well. But again I want to say that I really enjoyed the episode, even if some depth and interesting content was left out. And I'm looking forward to new content Cheers, Tortuga