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LordZeplin: If you're running this on a 64-bit OS, then I highly recommend running the 4gb patch located below
Ah, is THAT why it literally took 10 minutes to load the battle when I fought the Swarm mothership?

I must say, this game is fantastic, and plenty hard to figure out. Good thing there is lots of good threads on it in the forums to help, as sadly the wiki just copies the game text and offers very little insight, and the tutorial videos are little help.

I'd say it's as awesome as Masters of Orion 2 + the battles of Sins of a Solar Empires. The tutorial set me as Hivers my first time around, and after researching later people say they are one of the worse races to start as, but now I'm stuck on them and do terrible as any other race. :)

So far I'm managing to win my first game on normal difficulty, with a moderate starting bonus. I'm quite fed up with the human's nodes this round, especially as I didn't get the node detection tech. :)
Actually that's a known quirk with SOTS. If you're running it in windowed mode, It will take considerably longer to load up battles. There's a simple work around for it, after starting the game, go into the Options, then Display Options and click the Fullscreen box and click OK. It will put you into fullscreen mode, then unclick the Fullscreen box and click OK. And you're back in windowed mode again and the battles will load at their normal speed now.

Generally if the unpatched game is running out of in-game memory while loading a battle, it will simply not finish loading, or even lockup. The more ships and different ship models that are in the same battle, is what increases the battle loading time. As the game has to pre-load all the textures and data for every ship at that battle.
Post edited March 31, 2016 by LordZeplin
Having a 64-bit Windows/CPU or tweaking 32-bit Windows to allow for more memory won't speed the game up. It should even slow it down, but probably not enough to be noticeable.

Here's some information about this memory limitation issue in games :
(thanks Colonel Sanders Lite)

I think they were going more for MoO1 + Homeworld...

I think the slow loading time in windowed mode is only present since Vista/7?

You can use the Alt+Enter keyboard shortcut to switch between windowed and full screen mode. Works for other games too.

I thought that SotS1 (like most programs) would just instantly crash when running out of memory?
Well, for some reason GOG didn't notify me of these replies...

Thanks for the further tips.

I'd say MoO1 + Homeworld would be a good description of this game. I think it's pretty awesome. After I get the hang of it I want to look into mods, I hope people have done some expansion mods that add more random events and encounters and such.
There's a thread about mods here :

No new random encounters AFAIK (I think these are hardcoded).