I really like Stardock and its games. I've been playing them for years and despite the Elemental disaster, I consider them among my favorite developers of all time. Legendary Heroes is still among my most-played games on Steam and I sunk 500+ hours in to GalCiv 2, not to mention all the others that I've enjoyed.
Mercenaries is a disappointment and an underwhelming "expansion" for Galactic Civilizations 3 and the only reason I'm writing this is because I feel like Stardock isn't really listening any more.
Take a look at your forums. The main feature requests focus on a proper invasion system, a fix to starbase/constructor spam, expanded diplomacy options, the political system returning and a few others. There hasn't been a single request for what amounts to heroes for GalCiv 3.
So I guess I don't understand why this was the first focus of development after the vanilla release.
Here are some of my thoughts on Mercs:
- The mercenaries, while moderately cool in and of themselves, do not add a great deal of excitement to the game and worse yet, the AI hardly uses them well.
- The mercenaries are not upgradeable and some become completely useless half-way through the game.
- The new races are decent, but neither really change my general strategy or fix the shortcomings of the base game, and considering all of the awesome race mods (Guantlet's!) out there, did we really need to pay for this?
- The campaign isn't really a campaign, but I personally don't care that much. Some others may care a lot, though.
If I wasn't already a Founder, I'd have considered this a bust for spending $20 on it. It's even more frustrating when something like political systems or an actual invasion system could have been the focus of this expansion and we would have all been much happier.
I mean no disrespect and I'm not trying to be antagonistic. I'm simply venting my frustration and disappointment in general with the direction of Galactic Civilizations 3. GC2 was one of my favorite games of all time and I hardly care about 3. That should tell you something.
Please reconsider the plan to "wait until a Standalone" for a proper invasion mechanic and other widely-requested features and start focusing on shoring up GalCiv 3's well-documented and often-verbalized weaknesses. Mercenaries should have come after an expansion focused on the oft-requested features and not a "bonus" feature.
Color me all sorts of underwhelmed and disappointed.