Let's Talk Rules Changes
There will be two updates today, one for rules and one to bring an exciting announcement about stretch goals and cooperative play as we wind the project down.
Many of you have asked about rules changes and why they changed, so I would like to address some of the key changes with all of you and let you know that all these changes have tightened the rule set to not allow for a dominant strategy, keep player vs player interactions positive and allow players to stay in the game without feeling there is very little chance to catch up.
First, as many of you noticed, we eliminated the secret agendas. For some of these, they were simply not balanced as we found out. Others were way too hard to obtain and wound up being an automatic negative that you as a player had very little chance to avoid. Still others relied so heavily on other players that your own secret agenda was in the hands of others, and that did not sit right. Although they all had a great premise, once we put them into practice they were not liked as a whole. What we are doing now is rebalancing them and making them all smaller in scope, i.e. no more than a 4 point bonus for the hardest one (Embrace the Void - 2 black holes in play) and will re-introduce them as downloadable and optional content to allow for adequate testing by all of you fine backers before we print it as a part of the first expansion.
Second, we increased the number of resources in the pool. We noticed a carbon crunch develop in many of the play test games, and acted quickly to alleviate that. Carbon is one of the most used elements in the game, and too many stars were being lost due to the inability to fuse. This was not a sore spot with players until it was their one and only star and the lost it during EON 2 in a five player game.
Third, we implemented the "Focus Token" which allows a player to designate a cosmic body that will always generate essence and victory points. We found that a player could simply trash another player by targeting them for stellar destruction every time a star was created, virtually eliminating them from contention. This did not sit well with us, and although we placed it in the realm of ill-spirited ways to play, it was a strategy that when used, became dominant so we moved to eliminate it.
Fourth, and in conjunction with the focus token, we altered the rules for rogue planets. Unless protected with a focus token, an unsupported planet will not generate essence or victory points. This allows a player who draws all planets in eon 1 to go ahead and spend resources to create a planet without a fear of no essence being generated for continued growth.
Fifth, we streamlined the Cosmic Collision card. Previously, it had one cost to destroy a planet, and another cost to destroy life and the planet. The cost to destroy both was not balanced with the devastation it created for the player that this card was played on, so we changed it to a constant cost and allowed the planet to be bombarded, removing civilization first, then life, then finally the planet. This made life easier to maintain for the players, since a planet without life could be destroyed using this card. We also increased the cosmic collision cards in number from 5 to 15 to account for the extra usage.
Those are the highlights. All these rules tweaks were not major alterations in our opinion, and did not change the scope of the game. We believe that the months of play testing we did taught us more than we imagined and helped shape the game into the final product you are going to get in a few short months. On to $27,500!