Thanks for taking the time to respond! Seems you and I are prone to some good conversations on this forum!
Man...Star Ruler 1...I played that A LOT years ago. I do agree on the single window planet management, Polaris Sector has a pretty decent management screen, so does Stars in Shadow. Depends on what kind of management complexity one seeks and what SS is after on the rest of the X's, or if it will take a 4X-lite run like Sins of a Solar Empire. I'd be fine with that as well. I still prefer Sword of the Stars though, its empire management screen actually works well, is very informative, has tabs for different aspects and you can sort and find things pretty easily IMHO.
I only suggest merging because it seems like most EA 4X's I have tried these days seem to have decent aspects EXCEPT for combat, while SS is the exact opposite. There's a lot of good and talented developers that might have various limitations. If a couple of teams could work through some boundaries and possible violence (not dissimilar from the drama on here last month), a great game could be released. I have no problem waiting for SS to be fleshed out, but I won't lie and say I'm not concerned at this point. I am concerned, very much so.
Steam isn't really that bad, ya it takes a little wading through the shit...but the amount of traffic there is substantial. I think it is absolutely worth a few minutes every few days or once a week to post something, follow up with users, showing some activity. It instills faith from folks, like myself that the devs are being active and pro-active with the community and their title. I'm no developer, but I work a very busy IT job, am a father of two, have a night job and I'm still able to post here. I think it comes down to how one manages one's times and priorities. I'm not expecting huge articles or blogs, but an occasional hey we're looking into this feature, what do you guys think? Or hey we're hoping to release a beta test in the next month, stay tuned! Give me a friggin bone! If not...that's fine, I have plenty of other games to play...but I miss the more regular update schedule we were getting spoiled with last year. I want SS to be more playable, accessible and fleshed out.
I don't think Steam forums or reviews have ruined SS, most folks know better than to take all reviews to heart or are smart enough to read them to be able to easily tell who's bullshitting and who's not. Good and bad reviews need to happen, and those that take the time to write something detailed should be read and weighed upon. I think that's beneficial even if it points out a bad game. If folks are lazy and look at the average reviews, that's nothing that can be helped. I buy more games with mixed reviews because I've taken the time to read the discussions, the actual detailed reviews from owners, etc. And I find many diamonds, and some disappointments that I knew what I was getting into. To each their own but I disagree that Steam ruined SS, it might cause some damage...but nothing the Dev's can't fix with a successful and stable release and a productive EA dev cycle with community interaction.
The demands from the young-uns though, I totally agree with! That seems to get worse and worse daily, I work so hard to teach my boys how to earn their worth and be patient. I hope it pays off for at least those two.
Let me know how GR is, I kinda steered away from FPS after CoD BLOPS. Really after CoD4 and Bad Company 2 I stopped enjoying FPS MP games. I bought into the EA for Dawn of Andromeda, and that is pretty damn fun thus far...the combat sucks compared to SS...but is better than Stellaris! It is very SoaSE-like combat...not very involving...I keep voicing this game as the combat standard for space RTS and space 4X. Nobody listens.
I've also been playing a bunch of Polaris Sector for some more 4X goodness and some Ashes of the Singularity Escalation for my big RTS fix.
Again, thanks for the reply! Cheers!