A.I.M 2 Clan Wars
Lately, i’ve been playing A.I.M 2 Clan Wars.
It’s a great game, from a russian developer called Sky River Studios i think.
Only problem is, their english forum has about 2 legit questions, and 3843 porn spambots, and it seems no mods give a shit what goes on there, so if anyone happen to have a forum that i, in my intense searching have overlooked, you’re welcome to link it to me, as there are alot of unmentioned features, functions, and other need-to-know stuff not mentioned in the manual, which you REALLY need to know about, before you can play properly (tilde key opens communications with other gliders, when targeted.)
Their website is all in russian aswell, which is okay since there’s that little handy english flag in the top-right corner of the page, but yea.. button doesn’t work, huzzah!
It’s almost as if they don’t want english speakers to play their game, or support it, even though the games translation is near-perfect, so it makes no sense, it’s fantastic, and it’s something new to the scene, rather than the average EA copy/paste kind of game, or “just another FPS/RTS/ETC” which a new skin and model/texture work.
I love when some almost unknown game developer bunch throws something like this out on the market, with some replayability and quality in the game, unfortunately in this situation, they haven’t invested that much as i said before, on the english front, some more publicity, and some more newsbits and website hype could’ve made this game reach the popularity it deserves, it seems it even got released back in februrary ’06 in russia.
Well other than that, i’ll give you a feature list, copy/paste style;
“A.I.M. 2 is the sequel to the epic science fiction first-person action RPG developed by SkyRiver Studios. Its compelling story and unique look lift off exactly where the original ended.
Changes in the control system have led to new opportunities for the inhabitants of the Polygon planet. Mechminds, advanced robots, opened new sectors and have started exploring them. With the course of time Mechminds and their culture have altered greatly with some old clans fading away as new ones evolved.
New clans led by Mechminds of the Fifth Generation are powerful and well-organized formations with far-reaching plans. Powerful groups have different interests that often crossed, war broke out again. However this time it is the struggle not for mere control, this is struggle for survival. The clans want to eliminate the weaker ones standing in their way and will stop at nothing to dominate their enemies. To achieve their goals they use not only military means, but economic ones as well. As of now none of the clans has managed to achieve complete victory.
You are a part of the oldest clan called the Reckoners, a dedicated group looking for the firstborn Mechmind of the Fifth Generation. This could be a chance to restore former might for your clan which has lost its power and even be victorious in the war.”
- Original sci-fi storyline plunging you into the world of intelligent robots
- Opportunity to create a personalized clan consisting of independently operating machines
- Tactical operations as well as clan strategic management
- 36 different gliders are available to fly
- Huge gameworld with completely new locations, including subterranean caverns
- Expanded options to interact with other Mechminds
- New advanced trading system
I’ve been playing this pretty much all day, for four days straight now, for a singleplayer game, it just got that “something” that captivates me, and keeps me there, which is saying alot, since i play alot of games, too many perhaps.
Oh and here’s a few babelfish translated snippets of their russian forum, which i couldn’t help but find amusing;
- “4 no one I want to offend, but fantasy it could be and is more this destroyer the precise copy of the fact that into the Arctic. This nevertheless that where not you be to place the destroyer of people to the mountain, increased ve-ya of times. And is an opinion that this not destroyer and rescue shuttle from the ship in the Arctic”
- “ Only it small. To see the smuggling of:.grin: If it would be only more – bloodhounds from yS would find and moved away”
- “ aha in all e88naи2 permission even you will not examine face”
- “ ekh… well see: appears first mekhanoid of the fifth generation, i.e., you, to you they give little infy, and let out into the severe peace you you become more strongly you fly into the obelisk of super, there to you they give task into the bunker to go you edish’ into the bunker, they there you tell that type after the outline there is a laboratory of people, laby has a shuttle, and you should to leave to the creators and describe to them about everything on the range they then you tell about the observer and you fly to it, he speaks that the type of unichtozh laboratory, and then your rasse will begin to be developed by long efforts you valuably and by t d… you search for way outside, you find, you fly tudy, in the laboratory you there read much infy, and you make decision that to make, if you destroy labu that speak that super- it created new, sixth generation, but this there were already not the bellows (on the picture some grasshopper it was) well and if you fly away, then type you fly and fly in space… and most likely you will not arrive flying… well here very summary with the basic elements of:.chool:”
Ehhh…… what the flying fuck, huh?
Russian grammar rules!, everything is fucking backwards, and even with babelfish expert translation skills, i still managed to catch a chronic headache from trying to re-arrange the words in my head, as i read it all, trying to make sense of things, and to actually find some info that could help me in the game, on the other hand, feel free to visit their english support forum, it needs some more people there, and a moderator.
So, that aside, i’ll give some info from my point of view, being relatively near the end, and explored almost everything.
The intro shows a ‘glider’ which is the vehicle of the Mechminds (the pilot, or A.I/brain), they hover a bit above ground, and have a jumping ability, you tap ‘space’ and you boost a bit above ground, it can later be enhanced so you can jump higher if you hold spacebar down longer, anyways the glider picks you up from the ground, and re-inserts you into base 2 in the desert sector of the Range, i’m not quite sure, but i think The Range is a territory of a planet, i haven’t made it that far in the game yet, but i’m unsure whether or not it’s planet Earth or not, and within this range are about 8 sectors.
After you’ve been recovered and put back into the base you start at, you get some dialogue and options that define how you start out, bit down the road it doesn’t mean shit anyway, either you can get a callsign, or number as many mechminds got, or you can put in your own nickname, then you’re asked to select a ‘class’ or profession, which is Trader, Courier, or Warrior, this doesn’t matter, as it only gives you a newbie glider that fits that profession, trader is slow and bulky, but can carry a shitload, courier is light and fast, and warrior is, well… hard and armored.
After that’s done, you get a message from Arion, or ARIO, can’t remember, and he tells you a bit more about the main storyline and plot in the game, which is pretty ‘original’, i put it like that since i get a strong feeling that i’m being told about the Machines from the Matrix’ story, you kinda get that feeling while playing, and i find it to be rather cool point of view.
Basically he tells you that there’s 5 generations of Mechminds, you as the player being the first mechmind out of 13 total, of the fifth generation.
All the fifth generation mechminds are more advanced than their previous generations, thus making them able to do things, the previous can’t (duh) but mainly they can create, and operate clans, which the other mechminds are too stupid to be able to do.
Now i can’t exactly remember from this point out, but he explains a bit about where you fit into all of this, and that he’ll be the first fifth gen mechmind to join your clan as soon as you gathered and convinced 9 other non-5th gen mechminds to your clan, the dialogue is shit at this point, since the first time you talk to ARIO(n) he says “i will now self-destruct and you can pick me up” – which he doesn’t, but that’s probably the worst case of bad translation i’ve found so far, it’s just a bit confusing.
So the way you get those other normal mechminds is either;
A) Destroy their gliders, then slowly ‘hover’ over their mechminds on the ground, to shovel them into your cargo hold.
B) target them with the tilde key (to the left of your number 1 key) and you’ll be presented with some dialogue options, if you have enough energy, you can simply ‘convince’ him to join you instantly.
Option B is good since they’ll already have their glider, whether it’s a trader or warrior (don’t think i’ve seen the courier) they’ll keep on doing what they do, trader goes about his business.
What i’d suggest is just pick warrior class from the start of the game, go talk to ARIO(n) and go smack up 9-10 gliders, scoop up 10 mechminds, and convince them in your cargo hold, just press (H) and click on them, select convince, you can switch between mechminds and regular cargo-junk with a tab there is, after that, talk to ARIO(n) and he’ll really self-destruct this time, scoop him up, and go find a empty base.
Once there, click on the Cluster button, and take all your mechminds and ‘ADD’ them there, then bang, you got a clan, the Fifth generation mechminds NEVER leave you, the others do because they’re like ungrateful WoW pricks that’s on a constant sugar-high rush,
It’s a bit quirky here again, because on the part with clan-making and such, it CANNOT be over-explained, it’s confusing, and you have no real clue of what’s going on unless you pay attention to the small shit, so let me cut it out for you, not because the potential reader here is stupid, but because the game presents it in a shitty way, or maybe it just didn’t get translated.
You don’t need a fifth gen mechmind in order to start a clan, or take over a building, but it helps since the other lower generation mechminds in the same buildings cluster as the fifth gen, will NEVER leave it.
If you find yourself in a sector without a fifth generation mechmind (only ARIO(n) will come freely) then it’s hard, but doable, either you ‘convince’ every mechmind you meet along the way, while they’re in their glider, or you stack up a building as you would with a Fifth gen mechmind with you, but to save you some time and grief, here’s the tricks;
If you only use regular mechminds to start a clan, use a base, not a Raw Materials plant, Production unit, or Half-stock plant, they have no hangar, and cannot produce gliders, also your clans economy must be healthy in the base, and a empty cluster, go in there, and before you put in the mechminds in the cluster, make sure it has alot of resources to use from, if your clan doesn’t start healthy, it’ll have trouble progressing, click the Purchase tab, under trade and see (the purchase tab is what the building is wants and needs) make sure it has lots of resources, if the background is green, it means you can go find that resource in that sector and you’ll most likely get a good profit selling it at the base, unless it has 500+ of it.
If the base is well-stocked, then unload your mechminds, and it’s always better to have more, exit the base, and re-enter, since the time stops while you’re parked somewhere,
Now that you’re back inside again, go have a look at your new clan tab, or the network -> Clan information section, and click your clan, then find the Economy option in the main window and have a look, it should have some basic info that’s easy to understand, and then; “Glider creation is possible” and “Convincing within mechmind is possible”, or impossible, if the base you started in has a shitty economy, meaning no production going, then it can’t auto-convince enemy mechminds you bring to it, by itself, also your mechminds in the cluster will begin to just fuck off and leave you, unless you have a fifth gen mech with them of course.
Now, with those 2 options both being green, it should be easy to take it from there, everytime you deliver a enemy or neutral mechminds to any building, you get a little finders-fee, now if your cluster in your base has a good economy, and can convince mechminds within the base without you having to spend energy on it, it’s an easy way of making some cash, and gaining new troops to your clan.
An easy way to actually getting new mechminds is finding the hot spots around the sectors, it’s not a feature or a map waypoint, it’s just a thing i noticed, in every ‘fresh’ sector you join, all the mechminds from different clans seem to clash against eachother, usually resulting in a somewhat epic battle of dumbshit bots that blow eachother up, this is good for you, since you just shovel up their mechminds, and their cargo, and make a tidy profit doing absolutely nothing, now if you’ve got a base with 100% economy going, it’s even better
Also, with a base going setup right, good economy and all of that, as soon as you drop a friendly mechmind in your base, (or a convinced one) it’ll regenerate for 30 seconds, then leave your base in a glider, you can’t directly decide whether or not you want warriors, or traders specifically, but there are a simple slider system to direct the development of your clan, in that sector, which goes something like this;
Traders |——-|—| Warriors
Protection |—|——-| Attack
That’s their standard values, 70/30, and 30/70, traders keep your economy going, and the Warriors fly around and shoot shit up, but if the shit hits the fan, and no bases, raw materials plants, or half-stocks (etc) can produce anything due to lack of resources, you can get things in motion fast, either trade your ship for a cargo ship, and hope your ship stays where you sold it when you come back (you only pay the difference of the new ship versus the value of your own), or have a big cargo hold, i haven’t done the above, since my warrior class ship (Attacking) has space enough, and just start trading, if you look at for example a bases needs, like… Field Effecter, there’s a little + sign you can click for additional info, it’ll tell you what type of resource it is, in this case i believe it’s Half-stock, so you go there, and buy some of that for let’s say, 150 a piece, since the half-stock plant produces the shit, and wherever you came from needs it, go back and sell for 250, good deal, and you get the place up and running, producing additional shit for the other plants around the sector.
The other mechminds CAN do this, but they seem to pull a downs-syndrome sometimes, and not do anything useful, unless a place is stocked into the ‘normal’ range (needed resource background turns yellow)
So that’s a hefty explanation, but i hope it clears up some stuff that took me ages to figure out, also on that part, that’s the only amount of control you have over the development of your clan, almost…
You can target a friendly glider, and use the tilde key to make him follow you around, which is funny but pretty useless, they tend to be pretty stupid when under direct orders, maybe that’s just me, you can have him self-destruct with the “Take out” (translation failure) command, and he’ll be able to be scooped up, if you want to insert him in a cluster for example.
You can’t have him follow you through a passage-gate to another sector, or having him in your hold either, that’s explained in the game, they’ll be dumped back into where you came from, before you transport away.
BUT that doesn’t apply to other fifth gen mechminds, another manual fuckup, since a fifth gen mechmind makes starting clans in other sectors so much easier, they should’ve included that, you just take him with you in your cargo hold and he’ll be there when you get to another sector, ready to be inserted into a cluster for some sector take-over.
So that’s some extremely valuable information that got left out, hope it helps.
So the aim of the game, is to win (duh) in 2 or more ways it seems, either you assemble all fifth generation mechminds to Supers bunker in the first sector you start in (Desert sector) and… something will happen, or you take over 5 out of 6 of the ‘main’ sectors (there are a few others)
i’ve currently taken over 7 and haven’t run into any dialogue, or message, or such that indicates i’m where i should be, or i just overlooked it.
As i said earlier, only ARIO(n) the first fifth mechmind you meet will hand himself over freely to you, if you gather up 9 or more mechminds from the start, all others have a bit higher demands for you, there are 2 other 5th gens in the desert sector, INFERION and TARANTOG; INFERION demands that before he wants to join you, you gotta bring his combat rating down to 2, which is the number in the star i believe it is, on the target window, once you do that, he’ll join you, everytime you destroy him, he’ll lose a combat rating, afterwards pick him up and deliver him to a base, if you deliver him to his own base, he should pop back in 30 seconds or so, and i think if you dump him in your own base, it’ll take longer.
So rinse and repeat, and you got a second 5th gen with you.
TARANTOG on the other hand, is a cunt, he demands that you show him a NAMTAR Glider, which i’ve only recently found, and it’s costly, somewhere near 350k, in the Altitude sector i believe, (don’t go for that until you’ve got some guns and armor to last you there, it’s a tough place, so save it for much later).
Your first overall task is to capture the entire Desert sector, which might sound harder than it is, all you have to do is get a clan going, which is easy enough from the start with ARIO(n), and get atleast 55% sector control, then it’ll go to 100% from there, and all you have to do is pretty much nab the rest of the mechminds in the sector, if you want to.
Oh and a thing that annoys me, even though you’ve got a base going, and lots of traders for example that’s in your clan, going around buying shit, and selling it some place else, you don’t get any cash for it (energy) at all, but you have to have them in your clan anyway in order to win the game, just a minor annoyance really, but still… annoying, although you can be creative and order your traders when you see them, to destroy themselves, they’ll drop their mechmidns, and a energy crystal, and cargo if they have some, so you can just go to your nearest clan base and sell it all for easy cash, the drawback of course is, if that mechmind was heading to a place that needed the resources you just stole, the economy in the sector could break down, and it’s not good if you don’t have any 5th gens to keep things together; a sidenote is that only the 5th gen in the current base will keep the cluster in that base together, doesn’t work for the other bases or places around in the sector.
Also, base ‘cappin’ will happen on it’s own, whether you want it or not, if you’re in a sector, you got loads of money and decide to just convince every glider you see, instead of destroying them, eventually when you’re in a base, looking at the network, under clan information, you’ll see a “Next target” or “Next base target” something like that, and your mechminds in your clan is automatically trying to fill up a cluster in a base, this only happens if you’ve got something like 50 mechs in a sector without a base though, but letting them pick and chose as they want themselves if you don’t have a 5th gen with you is good, with one exception, and i explained that earlier, but now in better detail, let them pick a base, if you see they’re autonomously trying to take-over a place, take them out from that place and put them in an empty base, BASE BASE BASE! can’t say it enough, i absolutely fucking hate when they wanna take over a raw materials plant, the place doesn’t not produce anything, and the name is misleading (or i’m just too tired now to remember right), all it does, going with the description you get when you enter it, is store shit that the other plants in the sector produces, for distribution for the entire range, and it cannot produce gliders, so avoid that place, as your economy will be something like 0.2% from the start once you take it over, and then “Glider creation impossible”, in short; don’t fuck yourself over here, avoid it, save it for the very end, or leave it alone entirely.
As i mentioned earlier…. i’m sure one of Sky River Studio’s developers has been playing World of Warcraft, as a guild master, atleast enough to know what those kids behave like when they’re in a guild, and you don’t have a raid scheduled, or a teamspeak server, if you don’t have a promising setup from the start, they’ll go “lolol fuk u i leave and jion betrer giuld that ken do raidz!”, so yea, i’ve played WoW enough myself, so i got the right to bash it, so all in all, before you tell your mechminds to jump out of their gliders, to insert them in a cluster, make sure the base is up and running with plenty of stocked resources, or they’ll spend about 600 seconds (10 minutes?) trying to procure a glider, and in that time, they can be persuaded to leave you aswell.
It’s a slow process letting them do it on themselves, but seems to be best to start out stable, without wasting time trying to glue your non-5th gen mechs to the bases cluster, when they could do something better as trade, but only move them when you see they’re trying to take over a building, to a base.
Now, if all other bases (usually 4 bases in a sector) are already occupied by another clan, you can either;
A) Destroy as many of that clans gliders as possible, converting/convincing them, they’ll slowly lose foothold on atleast one of their bases
B) Buy out all their needed resources, so their productions reach 0%, which will prevent them from creating gliders, and/or auto-capturing mechminds.
Yes, they also pickup mechminds laying about, and if they bring one of your mechminds that just got his ass handed to him, to one of the enemy clans bases, and that cluster in that base can auto-convince, then you’ll lose your mechmind.
Another… thing that gathers shit laying around everywhere are the rescuers, or collectors, explained in the network’s information option, they randomly, casually fly about and pickup stuff, they’re slow as fuck so they won’t steal from you, unless you’re just as slow, or if a mechmind has been laying there for along time, i haven’t figured out their behaviour yet, but i think they randomly deliver salvaged mechminds/cargo to anybase, i’ve yet to see a cargo container ‘decay’, or vanish, so it all gets reproduced in a range
There are some other flying object, they don’t do anything but look pretty, it looks like a donut with a built in sprinkler, but it all adds to the athmosphere, which i find Matrix’ish, from the Machines point of view, which is cool.
The Sectors in The Range are fenced off with so-called Contour Fields, which is like a electromagnetic fence around the entire place, with one place in exception, i think that’s the second sector you’ll visit, since the storyline prompts you to, at this point i’ll remind you to autosave, because if you do like me, in order to discover the map in a new sector the fastest way, you’ll first go to the edge, and then follow it all the way around, to get an idea of how large the sector is, and this second sector (Toxic Swamp) doesn’t have that, it just kills you if you go too far out, but you can see where the boundary is, it looks like flashing particles of a wall, just press F5 a whole lot while you’re there, (F5 = quicksave, F9 = Quickload).
Apparently the Reckoners (which you are aswell) wants you there for some further information, and storyline advancement, there’s only 1 place in that sector, and that’s the Arlings Lab, or something, when you’re there for the first time, head North-East, you’ll see some structure in the distance, unless you’ve got distance set to minimum i think, well it’s that place, not much to do there except killing random mechminds for cargo or delivery cash, convincing them is pointless since you can’t move them out of there, or you can collect mushrooms that you can sell for a fair bit of cash at the lab, or is it research station…. anyway, that’s about it, the place is big and dull, and mostly used for storyline shit, or mushroom collection.
I myself, i’m at the point in the game where i’ve found the last 5th gen mechmind, and i think i broke the game, or it bugged or something, in the Desert Sector you’re instructed to locate an obelisk in the Tundra Sector, so i go, i find it, and Super left me an access key to the underground utilities passages, which is a weird clusterfuck of tunnels to navigate through, also something that i think never got explained, or maybe not in detail enough for you to figure it out, but if you travel down there, you’ll know what i mean, those ‘transports’ going across the big room at high speed enter and exit something that looks very dangerous, now i only bought the protection against electrical anomalies later, but i think you can enter/exit those before you have it, the transports in itself don’t hit you, they’ve got no physical properties applied to them, i found this map that explains where to go, half the time it’s true, if you look at it, A and B, and blue/green, the other half i can’t make any sense of it, if i followed directions, plus i can’t understand russian, so i don’t know what NC means, but i believe it stands for Underground Base, which by my explorations… there are 2 of down there, but Supers message said i had to find him, or information about his dissaperance from the Range (storyline crap) and all i found was the last mechmind laying down there, which wants to be inserted into a cluster, in my clans base, so i did, and i expected a message/update from ARIO(n) about it, but nothing yet, (he messages you everytime you’ve convinced a 5th gen mechmind)
If anyone can understand russian, please let me know what the text on the map says.
So right now i’m not sure… i can either gather all the 5th gens into Supers Bunker in the desert sector (Reckoners want me to talk to them ‘prior’ to the forming of the Supercluster) or take them to Supers Obelisk in the Tundra sector, or yea.. talk to the reckoners in the Arlingers research station in the Toxic Swamp, i’m at this point in the game now, alt-tabbed writing this, and i really do hope i can keep playing once i go and win the game, as it’s fun.
All in all, i find the game fun, entertaining, maybe not the best graphics, but i’ve always preferred gameplay and quality, over graphics, graphics don’t hold up a game that long, with a few exceptions where i’ve found the graphics to be appealing in a strange way, but they hold up, i like the dynamic of the A.I, even though it’s nothing that’ll make you go “woah!” it has a funny ant-farm feeling that you just like to be a part of, the game reminds me of tons of stuff that i used to love, for one the Matrix-Machines feeling, the sectors feel as big and large, which reminds me a whole lot of Starsiege Tribes, or Tribes2, and it’s got some X2/X3/Freelancer thrown in the mix aswell, for a relatively unknown developer, i’d definitely call this quality in my book.
Why can’t MicroShit, or EA-I-Buy-Your-Company Games develop quality like this that holds up more than 2 hours ?
And a few screenshots i stole from their site, i never remember to screenshot shit myself, but in this case it doesn’t matter, graphics aren’t touched up or anything, so it’s all good:
I’ll give it 9/10, only few grudges i got is the sound left/right channel is reversed, probably just me, and i wanted a bit more direct control over my clan-members, and a Rangewide mechmind tracker (forgetting where you left your 5th gen mechs without installing a Bearing in them sucks).
Music is allright, slow-paced techno, but it fits very well, i usually hate the default game music, but this is tolerable atleast, the sounds are good, in some places pretty great (when underground) but a few select weapons sound effects are down right annoying, “PEWPEWPEWPEWPEW LAZUR GUNS!!!!1112″, the weapons might be good, but i can’t stand the sound of them.
Now this has been a quite long, and possibly drawn-out blog post, since my litterary skills are shit, and i could explain things better than what i’ve done, but atleast i’ve gone into detail, i think, not sure if there’s much more to add, from my own experiences, i should/could have a forum, but i doubt this post will get attention, or atleast spark interest for further discussion, so i’ll just leave it at that, for now, unless i get all sorts of mails about this.