So upon hearing of the expansion I of course had to return to the game. I very much appreciate the gesture of giving it for free to Kickstarter vets. Although I'm worried that many who do not get this offer may feel there isn't a lot of content there, it's still fundamentally the same game with a few new units and features, but mostly it's just polish that really seems like it should have been part of the "final release" to begin with. A release that was made abruptly in the middle of the beta, probably to try and get some Steam front page attention during a sale. Initially many of the same problems still persist, pole locked camera is all but useless due to slowness at the poles. Orbital units are still difficult to select due to camera awkwardness. The new interface for switching between planets that remembers your camera position is highly welcomed though. It's fast and easy to use, and helps a lot with maintaining an overview. Together with control groups and camera anchors I think it will be difficult to get lost now. Still, I am missing some kind of feedback about what is on planets from the system view. It also still seems very spammy, you gain far too many resources far too quickly. Not only is the income per extractor the highest in any Annihilation game yet, there's also far more extraction points on a single planet than there were on any traditional 2D map. The build speeds are also the highest, and I believe the cost per unit the lowest. All together it means spam spam spam spam. Even with the Titans that serve as great blob-busters the focus is still on spam so much that it gets tedious. You have so many resources I can only imagine the spam has simply moved up one level, similar to late-late-late game supcom where mass farming meant churning out a dozen fatboys or battleships was no big deal. The Titans don't seem to serve the purpose of super game-ender units so much as just oversized tier 3 units. Speaking of tiers, T2 factories are still able to build T1 units which begs the question why they are even separate buildings to begin with. It's some bastard hybrid of TA and supcom and I think the tech tree needs to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. At least bots and vehicles have finally found their own niches with bots being cheaper and vehicles being more powerful. The distinction was blurry at best before. There's still no appreciable difference between the planet types. They all play fairly similarly with the exception of water and lava planets. Even then only the lava planets offers any actual barriers as most structures are still able to be built on water for whatever reason. In fact land only planets have gained more gameplay value than those with water because of the new multilevel terrain and hand placed CSG. Airless planets still support airplanes which is simply mysterious and again simply makes them the same as every other planet to play on. The gravity feature from TA is also greatly missed, especially in such a game where high gravity and low gravity would make a lot of sense given the great disparity in planet sizes. The space battleship is a welcome addition, but otherwise orbital combat is as bland as ever. There are still no real rockets required like in the original pitch video, units simply fly from planet to planet via some unknown propulsion method. It feels like a placeholder rather than a feature. The Astraeus is as buggy as ever and making it go where you want is simply impossible. Larger transports for invasion don't exist either, forcing you to rely on teleporters. The teleporter Titan does make this much easier. The kludge of having orbital fabbers build teleporters on the ground from space still exists, this was originally a placeholder until unit cannons and other methods of travelling between planets existed, but now it has persisted into the first expansion pack. It's sloppy. There is also the ongoing mystery of why a land based Titan is only able to be built from orbit. And why orbital solar panels are ships without engines instead of stations. Or why the anchor defense station is able to shoot down despite the guns model only pointing sideways. Or why so many orbital units provide ground vision when that is so incredibly valuable. The interaction between orbit and ground just feels inconsistent, undefined, and sloppy. Because of these deficiencies I think interplanetary fighting in the absence of halleys is still going to devolve into flinging nukes. Nukes that still use the orbital rocket for interplanetary shots and still has no EMP shot that I assume the blue "commander" mushroom cloud was originally designed for. What happened to the "halley nuke driveby" idea? Speaking of halleys, they finally added asteroids. I guess they figured having a fully populated asteroid belt was either too imbalanced or just too performance intensive. The camera acts a bit strange on these new bodies. You are for some reason now able to both build halleys on regular planets and also asteroids. And here I thought that halleys on planets was simply a placeholder until proper asteroids could be included. And you are still unable to mine metal from anywhere on metal planets, which seems to make the homage to the metal maps of TA pointless. Despite having a bit more polish, fleshing out the unit roster and adding much needed gameplay to the land based planets the expansion doesn't do much to alleviate the underlying problems with the game. I guess that one word really describes the whole thing pretty well. Sloppy. Sloppy balance, sloppy gamefeel, sloppy mechanics. At least they fixed the planet destruction that would lock up the whole game for a good 10 seconds to calculate something or other. It's much more satisfying when it's immediate.