Distant Worlds – Legends: Beginning to See the Big Picture…

1 - The 3rd Fleet Continues its Journey
The 3rd Fleet Continues its Journey

When last we left our heroes in the 3rd Fleet, they were wiping out the scourge of piracy in the galaxy to keep the trade lanes safe from the ruffians that would cause our people or our industry harm. The fleet had just wiped out one of the few known pirate bases and was heading back to home territory for some R,R,R&R (Refuel, Repair, Rest and Relaxation). Read on to see how this latest game session turned out.

2 - Tenacious Executioner Joins Fleet
The Tenacious Executioner is Downright Sexy...

While in dock, I put in a request to transfer to one of the newly found cruisers, the Tenacious Executioner, and was happy to find that request granted in short order. Seems as if my bold anti-pirate initiatives were winning me friends higher up the ranks. Regardless, once the Executioner joined the fleet, and I transferred my flag, we were off to patrol more of our own bases, since we currently had no solid leads on further pirate bases.

4 - Patrolling Mining Stations
A Slow and Boring Patrol...

It seems as if our efforts bore fruit, for there was a long time without any further pirate attacks. Additionally, we came to find out that the former Venomous Corsairs — crushed as they were under our heel — decided to join our forces and aid in our efforts to keep our space lanes safe! This was a lovely added benefit that hadn’t even occurred to me once we began our pirate cleansing campaign.

5 - Pirates Join Our Empire After a Crushing Defeat
That'll Learn 'Em...

Eventually, we got word that one of our ships was being attacked by a Giant Kaltor. Not taking any chances, we rushed to their aide as quickly as we could. Sadly, we lost one of our frigates in the attack, but it was an eventually success, and we were thrilled to have one less enemy harassing our shipping.

6 - Attacking a Giant Kaltor
Take That Giant Space Crab Thing!

After we dispatched the Kaltor, I got an encoded, priority one message from fleet command. Fleet Admiral Jibata was retiring, and I was on the short list of those officers nominated to take his place! While this was a great honor, and I was thrilled to be nominated, I was hoping they wouldn’t choose me. I felt much better on the bridge of a ship than behind a desk. However, word came in a few days later that I had been chosen for the position, and I was to transfer my command to the Captain — now promoted to Commodore — of the Explorer. My crews gave me a fond farewell, but it was bittersweet as I left them behind on route for Fleet Headquarters.

9 - Turning Off Bits of Automation to Play Fleet Admiral
Turning Off Bits of Automation to Play Fleet Admiral

Once I got to Fleet HQ, I immediately got to work on making our fleets more efficient and making sure they were put where they needed to be. I noticed that our existing fleets didn’t have a supply ship with them, which would greatly help with their fuel and repair needs, so I took to designing one on my own. One was already on the boards, but I wanted to make my mark.

11 - Creating the Aneleron Armed Resupply Ship
Behold the Aneleron Armed Resupply Ship!!

The Aneleron Armed Resupply Ship was not only well armed, it had just as much fuel and cargo capacity as its existing sister ship, but was also much cheaper to produce. I told our shipyards to construct a few of them and then assigned one or more to each fleet. I let the fleets conduct their usual patrols while I ordered a small explorer ship called the Arcane Star to explore some specific areas on the map. These were coordinates given to us by pirates and other races, so I thought we should check them out. Eventually, the Star found a new pirate base!

18 - Discovered Some Pirates!
I Found the Scurvy Scum! Arrrr!

Once this base was discovered, I ordered the 3rd Fleet to attack! While they were on their way, I gave orders to the Arcane Star to scour more points of interest on the map, which eventually resulted in discovering and acquiring a whole new star base!

25 - Discovered a New Star Base
A New Home Away from Home...

During this time, somehow the pirates moved their recently discovered base, because it disappeared off the map, leaving the 3rd Fleet to slow down to a stop and request further instructions. I ordered them back to base to refuel and prepare for the next encounter. Also, it happens that a new leader was elected by our people…

20 - New Leader Elected!
Long Live the...Leader...!

Newly elected leader Lapuri quickly got to work on naming his cabinet, and I received word that I was on the list to be a part of it. This was kind of a whirlwind, as I’d only been Fleet Admiral for a year or two, and now was being considered for a cabinet position in the new government? Either I was doing really well or my father was still pulling strings. It was time to find out which was true, while still embracing my destiny.

Now, I’m going to go out of character here for a bit, if y’all don’t mind. The first few sessions I played of Distant Worlds – Legends were a ton of fun. They were focused, adventurous and exciting. When I “took the Fleet Admiral” position and began to look at the bigger picture…something changed. While I still felt very connected to the game, for some reason — for the first time too — I decided to slow down and look at the big picture, and how the universe moved around me.

What I saw was nothing short of mesmerizing. I was used to games wherein I controlled one or more ships directly. I was familiar with games that gave me control over a burgeoning stellar empire. What I saw for the first time in this game was something wholly other, something amazing and beautiful (best way I can describe it).

Here’s a universe that’s living on its own with very little, if any, direction given by me. I saw how small a cog I was in this universe, and saw how beautifully it flowed, and how well it all meshed together. Cargo ships went on their way delivering cargo, passenger liners showed off the wonders of the universe, pirates did what pirates do.

The more I played, the more I found myself slowing down…just to watch. I still had stuff to do here and there, but I turned all the automation back on just so I can watch this beautifully living universe flow in front of me. I didn’t feel any less involved or connected to the game either, I just felt like I was allowing myself to soak it all in…and it was amazing.

I know I’m rambling, but I’ve never had a 4X game give me such a feeling, in all honesty. There’s something special going on here with Distant Worlds – Legends, and in my next installment, I plan to explore what that is all the more, both in and out of character.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this somewhat rambly review entry, and invite you to view all the screenshots I took for this entry below. Thanks for reading!

Author: Brian Rubin

8 thoughts on “Distant Worlds – Legends: Beginning to See the Big Picture…

  1. I call it the "ant farm" feeling. It's what has made DW my favorite 4X of all time. The ability to automate the menial and watch the results of more grand decisions is what makes DW a stand-out title in the genre.

    Great article, btw!

    1. Thanks, glad you liked it! And yeah, it might be becoming my favorite 4X as well, as it right now feels close to unseating Imperium Galactica II. It's just so…epic, not just to watch, but to play as well.

  2. Hmmm,

    I played Distant Worlds as well and really liked it. Now my problem is: With all this great games out there at the moment (just got Sins Rebellion and digged out my Space Rangers 2 again) which one do I play first :-)


  3. This is a somewhat silly question as I think I know the answer, you aren't really getting promoted by the game right? You're just deciding when to change ships and turning off various parts of the automation?

    I'm usually not a big fan of space games, but this one has looked intriguing. I tend to be a control freak. How much can you control in the game before it becomes unmanageable?

    In any case, thanks for your write up!

    1. Hi Rob, welcome to the blog! To answer your question, no, the game isn't promoting me, I'm just deciding when to turn on and off certain bits of automation to go along with the story. It's been working quite well.

      You might love this game because you can control as little or as much as you want. Certain things you can't control, like civilian and merchant ships, for example, but so far I've just got a little bit of the automation off and there's plenty to do. :) I think with all the automation turned off it might be overwhelming, as the galaxies are HUGE, but you can customize it to your liking, which is nice.

      I wish, WISH they had a demo, but regardless, you can see here:

      That there are several automation options. I'm just now getting into the big picture stuff, but please don't hesitate to ask more questions if you have them. Thanks again!

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