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As I am presently unable to review (rank too low) I will instead spin my tale here.
I have been playing Astro Empires for well over a year now. The general concept and primise of the game is sound. It has an addictively simple style of play that makes it easy to pick up and learn, even for the most inexperienced novice. The overall structure of the game is simple and rugged...you won't be observing crashes often if at all. In short, it's a good game.
With all this praise, you may wonder "Why do I say Astro Empires fails to live up to it's promise?" That would be a fair question. The answer is deceptively simple: lack of customer support. Astro Empires is plagued with two principle customer service problems: 1. Insufficient content development; 2. A dev. team with arrogant god complex.
I'll address the content problem first. In the time I have been playing, there has been no significant development in over a year. (And I hear from even longer term players, that they haven't seen significant development since they've been playing.) In the time that I've been playing, the dev team has introduced a revized production page to allow the production of fleet at all your bases from a common unified interface. Additionally, they have revised the rules for fleet detection. They have introduced many new languages that Astro Empires now supports (which is over all a good thing for expanding your user base). Mostly, they have spent their time on 3D models (which the dev team confirmed have no purpose in the game other than artwork) and artwork based on those models. I'll be the first to admit, I like eye candy. However, for a largely text based game, most of these improvements are simply that, improvements, but not worth calling content. This game has some serious hole in it. It gives a nod to a guild system. You can join a guild and be identified by it, you have a guild board where you can converse privately out of the ear shot of enemies, but that's it. There is absolutely no serious guild support. Guilds often negotiate treaties, however, there is no in game support for these treaties other than the honor system. There is no shared intelligence, no ability to organize fleets (other than on the individual level), no ability to coordinate just about anything. They have a forum for players to post suggestions, and most of my suggestion have been posted by others. This leads into the second problem.
The development team is arrogant. They reinterpret the Terms of Service arbitrarily and do much to prevent players from using valid tactics in the game if they just happen to not like them. Their only response is usually draconian. They fine, suspend, or ban your account if you are not playing in a way that they approve of. This happened to a friend of mine, he was not very active, but he logged in regularly to keep his account current. He was not progressing fast enough for the AE Team's preferences, so they accused him of transferring credits to other players (he would get attacked occasionally while building up credits), and banned his account. The reason he was not as active on this account is because he was focusing more of his attention on another account on a different server. The Dev team claim to have an appeal process, but I have never heard of a successful appeal. Even I have run afoul of one of the dev team's rampages. They made a post concerning the use of scripts (which are against the TOS) warning players not to use them. Within a week, I was surprised to find my account to be negative and a warning message accusing me of using a script called ORI. Wanting to know what it was that I was being accused of, I researched ORI and discovered that it is a script used to streamline scouting, and to allow guilds to share information. Armed with this information, I appealed their decision stating that I never had installed this or any other script on my computer. I demanded that they provide evidence that I had violated the TOS. The response I recieved was baffling. I was simply told that they "confirmed" the use of the script, and I was told to make sure that the script was not on my computer. The script I had told them was never installed in the first place. How can you prove a negative? Yet that's exactly the position they put me in. I went around this issue over several more emails, but all I recieved was circular reasoning, and bellierance at every step. They never provided any evidence. I gave up and lived with the loss of credits. Ironically, this incident concerning scripts wound up disproving one of the responses I recieved when I made some suggestions for improvements they could make to Astro Empires. I was told that they would be too difficult to program. As a programmer, I was dubious at the truth of this statement, but I accepted it at the time. Thanks to the ORI script incident, I learned just how false a statement it was. Apparently, someone outside the Astro Empires development team had figured out a way to program a wrapper that actually added one of the suggestions I had made to the developers: the ability for guild members to share information. If someone without access to the game code can do this, surely the dev team could do better.
At any rate, this is what I have learned about the dev team, they ignore customer recommendations, they censor any criticism made against them, they barely support their game in any meaningful way, and there is no room for any opinion other than their own. I encourage you to play the game, but I warn you that it will become old very quickly.