They Are Billions

Discussion in 'Gaming and PC Discussion' started by Skykes, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Skykes

    Skykes Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    I'm surprised there is not a thread for this already.

    They Are Billions is a single player RTS where the goal is to survive against increasingly larger waves of zombies.

    It is very difficult, mitigated somewhat by the ability to pause the game and evaluate a situation and make queue orders.

    There are no manual save games, one mistake can lead to everything falling apart.

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/644930/They_Are_Billions/

    I survived my first game last night at 22% score factor(the easiest difficulty to unlock the second level).
    I'm looking forward to trying out the second level at a higher difficulty and trying to some new strategies.

    For me this is a 9.5/10 title.

    Controls- There are hotkeys for everything you would need in a RTS, lot's of control groups to manage units quickly.

    Performance-It's not a demanding title, I've had 0 performance issues, even as my colony grows into the thousands.

    Graphics- I like the art style, units and buildings are easy to look through even for large colonies.

    Gameplay- Very addictive, the map is random every time which adds to replay ability, as well as having random governors bonuses and different ways to change the difficulty.

    I would like to see some more features, units enemy types. However the game is still in development, so hopefully those will come in the future.
     
  2. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    I've heard good things about this game. I'm tentatively interested, but traditional RTS has not generally been my jam. I'm hoping for it to go on sale sometime soon and check it out then.
     
  3. Teyrn

    Teyrn Professor

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    Gotta be honest, generally prefer multiplayer games in this genre, this looks interesting though.
     
  4. Tehlaziboi

    Tehlaziboi Ninja Meido

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    I've played this game since when the percentage required to unlock was 100% for all maps. It is very fun but also feels somewhat slow although I'm not sure if this is intentional or just because there are so many units on the map. It makes this game into a huge time sink. If you want to clear a map in a single setting, be prepared to have something like six hours available to yourself. It's also quite one-dimensional in what units are needed for getting through the early stages to what units are all but required for clearing the end game waves.

    My main gripes though include:

    - Controls are perhaps not as tuned as it could be. There have been multiple times where I've pressed a hotkey and the building doesn't show up on the grids.

    - Voice acting is pretty trash for the most part. There are some humorous lines mixed in but after hearing that for the billionth time, it gets annoying really fast.

    - Performance may be an issue for people with older computers like me. Put everything on the lowest setting and it'll be fine and really the difference isn't that noticeable. But come to the final wave and you will experience severe fps drop from the sheer number of those fuckers barreling down on your base.

    - Unit diversity is painfully low as mentioned earlier. From my experience playing on 100% difficulty and above, there is basically only one unit that's feasible in the beginning and even towards the middle of the game they are relatively effective. But from mid game you start getting two specific units and they will carry you all the way to the end. Considering how there are only six different units in the game, that's half the roster made completely useless.

    All in all though, it is a pretty fun game and a breath of fresh air in what felt like a very stagnant genre. Not sure how multiplayer would factor in aside from co-op as the main theme of the game is survival. But as a singleplayer experience right now, it already feels quite satisfying and I'd recommend it to anyone who are even a little interested in the RTS genre. Keep in mind that this is still technically the early release version with only the survival mode out. The actual game with its own story progression content won't be made available until at least spring.
     
  5. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    Resource management tower defence? Sounds up my alley.

    A few hours later (note, my thoughts sound overly negative, but I do like the game):
    I've tried a few games, and I'm up to about 10 now, still fiddling around in the easy modes. I wanted to experiment with fence placements, trialling different sorts of spreads, and so on. Turns out zombies are pretty dumb, and won't path around partial walls.

    It's pretty easy to pick up, and the gameplay is relatively simple. It's very reminiscent of the Creeperworld games, although there's more management going on. And they're great, so that's a big plus. Graphics are stylised, and look quite nice, but there's no variation in any of the pops/buildings, which is a minor let down. It's not a unique aesthetic, but it's a sort of steampunk style, so it's not completely standard.

    Speaking of graphics, the option to rotate wouldn't go amiss. I assume the fixed cam is to emulate older games, but it means you have to double check any wall placements, because otherwise zombies can just wander through, especially the bigger waves.

    As Tehlazboi said, the voice acting is mildly amusing the first couple of times you hear each line, but they get stale very quickly (similar to most games, really). The low unit diversity leads into my next complaint - low building diversity. There's up to three versions of each building, but that's it, and most cap at two.

    There's also issues with the actual upgrades - buildings cost gold and power to run, and upgrades require more of both, but give a better output, and are more efficient.
    But hovering over the upgrade button just gives the cost of the upgrade, it doesn't display the new cost over time. This crippled me once, as I upgraded all my towers (having just fought off a wave), and then went into negative money per second. Completely my own fault, but there was no way of checking this without figuring it all out ahead of time.

    This makes the resource curves weird. You have nothing, and can only gather a little early on, with multiple bottlenecks, and having to stagger planning. Then midgame, you can gather quite a lot of everything, and you only have one or two bottlenecks, and as long as you've got a decent defense, it's all fine. Then endgame comes along, and you're spending resources to gain others, gold starts running out again, and you don't want to upgrade everything - yes, getting double iron/steel is good, but not when it now drains the coffers.
    I might just be doing it wrong, and not building enough villagers, but space starts getting tight, and splitting things up a bit means you don't have a cascading error if you make a single mistake.

    Yes, challenge in a game is fun, but when the challenge is just remembering numbers, it's less so. And I tend to start making spreadsheets for games (Stardew Valley has a sheet, Elite: Dangerous had multiple).

    Another gripe, and not purely at this game, is that making everything random doesn't mean endless fun. Having a random map, with random resources and enemies, and random rewards for progression isn't enough by itself. The game can be completed without any difficulty if you get a nice start, or you can suffer the whole game if you get a bad one, and it just doesn't feel right.

    It feels like a lot of the issues are basically based around this being an Early Access game, although I'm not sure I've seen any get completed (note, old article [2014] says about 25% of Early Access games get full release). Whilst it doesn't feel completely unfinished, it does feel unpolished, and I'm sure they can (and hopefully will) do better.

    All that said though, it's actually a decent & fun game. If you liked creeperworld, then I reckon you'll probably like this.
     
  6. Tehlaziboi

    Tehlaziboi Ninja Meido

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    On the subject of the population and town expansion, I do find that it's very helpful near the late midgame to find a decent spot and build a second town. Generally what you want is to have your market and bank together, then just try to fit as many houses as you can within their shared area of control. Of course if you can't, then it's better I think to have your houses in the bank's area for extra generated income. This is much easier on the 2nd map purely because there are far less chokepoints barring your way. Consequently though, this also means there are much wider areas that the zombies can sneak through and absolutely wreck your shit.

    Multiple warehouses is also very nice to essentially grow your stockpile to a decent amount and also if you're lucky enough to find a quarry area with natural gold deposits.

    But in endgame which is like day 93 - 95, you want to spend all of the gold on your defenses, positive income or no. Because the main objective is to survive all the way to day 100. Splurge it all on executors and any extra should go on the barbed wire defenses in every open tile you can find.
     
  7. Skykes

    Skykes Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    It's important to clear the map before the final wave, a group of snipers usually has no trouble doing it(maybe 15-20 snipers).

    Clearing out villages of doom will net you a lot of free space and resources for expansion.
     
  8. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I've played pretty much every zombie survival game in existence, so I will definitely give this one a try when I get home.
     
  9. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    I love that you don't have to manually clear the map, just spawn a group of units and set them to purge.
     
  10. DarthBill

    DarthBill Dark Lord

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    Holy crap, this game is hard. I had to play on the easiest difficulty and get super lucky with the map generation before I could win.
     
  11. Skykes

    Skykes Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    The pause button is your friend :p
     
  12. Simplicity

    Simplicity First Year

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    On top of this, there's one thing to remember. Every item you make in pause mode can be refunded 100% in case you make a mistake, as long as you still have pause mode on. So it's always worth taking your time to build in pause mode, just to avoid any issues.

    The game really does kind of punish you for not following certain strategies at the start of the game. Try to use anything beside rangers to clear out zombies, and you attract a small horde instantly (For example). That, and some units just feel close to useless.

    Or if you spawn right next to a village of gloom...

    Like people say, victory in this game has less to do with strategy and more to do with how the RNG favours you on map creation.
     
  13. DarthBill

    DarthBill Dark Lord

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    I once lasted only 2 days because I lead a harpy back to my base. I assumed they would either die, or the harpy would stop chasing them before they got back.
     
  14. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Oh how wrong you were.

    I'm on the lowlands right now. Keep getting my ass stomped because I can't wall up fast enough.
     
  15. Paradise

    Paradise Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Just beat lowlands earlier today. Used a slightly weird strat but don't really trust myself to put in words. Anyway any of you guys got the minigun towers yet? Super fun.
     
  16. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Having a lot of fun losing over and over again. Reminds me of my dwarf fortress days, but with a healthy heaping of AoE2/3 on top with zombies for flavor. Not usually a fan of clockwork/steampunk stuff, but this is pretty great. I wish I could zoom in farther though.
     
  17. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I've been playing it, and all I can really say is that it's looooong. Like, I'm at day 80 (out of 150) and my base is built out to the edges of the map, and I'm pretty much just cranking out units for whatever the endgame rush is.
     
  18. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid First Year

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    Game is definitely worth the price of admission. I binge played 200+ hours in like a week and a half, just non stop playing over the holidays. Definitely a hard and challenging game. I've beaten everything including 500 percent but only with pauses. I stopped playing a couple weeks ago and I will revisit the game when new content is added.

    Things I liked:

    1. Challenging - The game is HARD. You lose and die. Repeatedly. I think it took a week of non-stop playing to beat 500 percent for the first time. When I was doing the lower percentages it was still very difficult. Once I'd beaten the hardest mode I went back and tried easier versions and I was surprised by how much easier it felt. Progress.

    2. Concept - the concept of the game is great. Steampunk zombie survival RTS. Sold.

    3. Music - I really enjoyed the music for the game. The very first time I made it to the final wave I thought I knew what I was in for. I was wrong, those zombies owned me. The final wave music is suitably epic and makes you really feel like it's a final stand.

    4. Gameplay and fun - had a major blast playing this game. I'd lose track of time immediately while playing as fuck-ups just made me grind harder.

    5. Sound - having your units attract enemies based on how much noise your making was a great component of the game. I do wish the mechanics of it were explained somewhere. Maybe the campaigns will do something like that.

    6. Price - Game was 30 bucks. For an RTS of this quality that felt pretty cheap, even for early access.

    Things I didn't like:

    1. Units: Only 6 units in the game so far (Thanatos was a December addition). 3 of them kinda suck. Every game you made rangers early, snipers mid, and thanatos/sniper late. The game definitely needs more units still to provide additional variety and balance. You can do other strategies but those are really just additional challenges and not actually what you "should" be doing. The buildings could also use additional variety and tech. Both of these are likely to be implemented later.

    2. Pathing: Sometimes the unit pathing would get a little wonky and since units take the most viable shortest path sometimes units would turn around accidentally and become zombie food.

    3. Voice Acting: Same couple phrases over and over, exacerbated by the poor unit diversity. I've had rangers talking about last night ten thousand times at this point.

    4. Randomness: All maps are unique and random. Some of them really suck and sometimes I'd just restart to find a good one although I usually tried to play them out. Sometimes when you finally win is more determined by having a bitchin map for once.

    Would definitely recommend the game if you like zombie survival or RTS's in general.
     
  19. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    Any dumb/simple mistakes to avoid for first time players?
     
  20. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Don't let experience farming jeopardize you early on by not watching your borders. Using S and H keys, you can interrupt the reload animation and more than double the rate of fire for rangers if you're microing.

    If you drop a single wood wall(scratching post) by outer buildings before you're prepared for walling off your settlement, zombies will prioritize the wall segment first. This will let you get an alert that the zombie is there before it starts the chain reaction of fuck.

    Plan ahead a bit in your head with regards to pathing and building placement. It helps to think of it as a city that needs streets when it comes to your tents/cottages.

    Don't forget to use the patrol command. Zombies love to wander around the edges where you can't see, and all it takes is one.

    Don't go too close to the edges before day 60-70, zombies and specials spawn from there and you probably can't take them yet. If you have less than 30 units, don't try to mess with the doom villages. Don't even get close to them. They are finite though, so if you're able to whittle it down you can farm them for exp.

    Don't be afraid to pause. Do all building while paused, you can refund the entire cost if you do it before a tick occurs. Otherwise you only get half.

    You don't need walls for the first wave, just enough space to kite them by aggroing with one ranger. This will let you prioritize your economy instead of trying to defend.

    Zombies can hear sound. I know that that gets mentioned somewhere in game, but that means firearms draw zombies. If a mayor gives you a unit like a Thanatos early, don't use it at that point. It'll draw ten times more zombies than you can handle by virtue of the sound alone. I thought I'd made out like a bandit with my artillery unit on day fifteen, and instead I got gangraped.


    This should be enough to get you past day 50 once you figure out the units/buildings and build order. Good luck.