This week I have been playing Sins of Solar Empire (SoSE) and Galactic Civilizations 2 (GC2). SoSE reminds me a lot of Warcraft 3, except set in space, and GC2 is what Masters of Orion 3 should have been. Both are awesomely challenging strategy games with enough content to keep any gamer amused for a month or two. SoSE is a really well built little RTS with an emphasis on game play and user experience rather than graphics. GC2 is probably the best TBS I have ever played (Hero's of Might and Magic 5 was a close 2nd).
At this point your probably wondering why I'm not on the AoC band wagon? Past experience with MMORPG releases has taught me many things:
- Expect many bugs and exploits for the first few months
- Often the hype is about the graphics and not the long term game play
- Time is always required for class/archetype balancing
- Extra features aren't often implemented until long after the game's release
- By reading forum posts of long term player's you can make an educated decision on which class to play and tactics to use.