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I have been planning on purchasing this version (Ultimate) and was wondering if there is anything I need to know about it as far as bugs and problems are concerned, what about the playability of used copies as I have heard about there being problems updating the game if you purchase it used. Naturally I would update it to the latest version immediately and would preferably like to know the status of problems and bugs as of the most recent update (2.03?). Thanks in advance.
There really aren't many bugs with this game and really never has been. I played dread lords / dark avatar when they first came out and I honestly don't even remember any major bugs with them back then. The ultimate edition overall is a very smooth, well executed and mostly bug free game in my experience.
The only real problem I've had (and as I recall this happened in dread lords too) is sometimes if you have a ship on autopilot with its destination set when you saved (which I always do on every ship I plan to move so I can keep track of what im moving around and to where) then when you load the save file up on occasion it will no longer tell you how many turns it will take for that ship to reach the destination you set. This doesn't happen very often though and it is not permanently buged as there are several ways to remedy it. All you have to do is reload the save file and normally its fixed. Also if you upgrade the ship it will register again as well as putting the ship into orbit at one of your planets then taking it back out. However the easiest way is just exit and reload the save game. While this may seem like a pretty minor thing thats hardly game breaking and really just an annoyance at best its actually the worst bug I've ever seen out of hundreds of hours of gameplay just to give you an idea of things overall.
Well the ai is weak, on challenging/tough difficulty(the last difficulty where the ai doesnt cheat) you can easily breeze through them, its easy to outperform them since they dont seem to build the best buildings or research correct techologies(for example the korath clan continues to build slaveling imagination labs instead of research centers despite them having the technology, black markets despide being able to build banks, building 3 entertainment buildings in a planet with 8 billion population, researching extreme colonizations and its future techs too soon to get one useless planet on the other side of the galaxy).
Furthermore playing with technology trading on will break the game since its easy to acquire everything from everyone, especially with good diplomacy skills you can make the AIs look like a fool. Diplomacy tech trees are always the best because other technologies can be gotten from other civs since the ai doesnt emphasize on researching diplomacy. The diplomacy system is full of problems as well, you can never form an alliance unless the other party had the technology, everybody dont trust you when you attack someone who had treaties with you despite him invading your ally, you can never put a coalition against a stronger opponent since the stronger a civilization gets the more friendly everyone is.