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If there was anything you could change about MOO2 what would it be? and why
One of the few things I would change in this game would perhaps be in the Technology Research.

I would allow you go back after you have learned 1 thing in a previous category and allow you to research the others if you wanted, for perhaps a slightly increased or decreased cost. For Example

Mass Drivers, ECM Jammers and Class 1 Shields. You can usually only get 1 of these for 250 rp.

How about after you get the first one, while you could go on and learn Inertial Stabalizers etc, also having the option of going back for the Jammer but not it would cost you either say 375 or 175 (+/- 25%). Or even just leave it at 250 which would still be fair.

This could perhaps change the way that Creative & Uncreative work. Creative would lower each extra one by the 25% like above. Uncreative would INCREASE it and if you simply had neither they would be the same price.

After all as it stands now on Hard/Impossible Uncreative is suicide and is just to fickle to ever deliberately use without cheating by looking ahead and restarting if you don't like the picks it will give you.

I think this would allow for a few more possibilities while playing and allow some not so used racial picks to be more useful.
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EvilLoynis: After all as it stands now on Hard/Impossible Uncreative is suicide and is just to fickle to ever deliberately use without cheating by looking ahead and restarting if you don't like the picks it will give you.
Playing Uncreative on Impossible is not a suicide at all. Oppositely - its a very good way to learn a game. By adding Uncreative to a good race (competitive sort ones, Unitol, Demolith) - one still shouldnt never lose to all 8 AI's on Impossible in any case (without need of cheating or restarting). Actually one never should even lose with basic Klackons under those circumstances, and moreother, they are one of strongest preconstructed races in moo2. There is no one game tech that you're unable to win a game without it, providing the some robustness in production due to race picks (ed. - assuming the "post-PreWarp techs", you need at least the basic Armor to win a game of course, but they are not affected by Uncreative anyway).

In mods, by increasing the Uncreatve cost (its drastically undercosted in vanilla for sure), and fixing the tech tree - its even become a fully viable option to actually competitively play with.

Idea of making the tree almost linear (as thats your proposition in a nutshell more or less) would just limiting options. From player is requiring both an ability to find the optimal research way and an ability to be able to operate in case of suboptimal circumstances, not "gimme all my beloved techs" routine.
Post edited March 20, 2015 by DarzaR
I agree with Darza that Klackons are one of the best standard races due to their production which can overcome the effects of some missing key techs.

By playing a few games as Uncre, I learned to play better since I was forced to use some things that I'd almost never used b4.
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RhombusStudios: If there was anything you could change about MOO2 what would it be? and why
Adding native Windowed mode and higher resolution assets (without changing what it looks like). Not that I can't play it as it is, it would just be more scalable without resorting to DOSBox shenanigans.
I would try and simplify end-game micromanagement of planets. Maybe have a way for the player to choose to classify his planets as mining, research, farm, shipyard or terraform colony (simple checkbox maybe). Then the AI would automatically add all relevant improvements to the build list. The player could always manually override the build list if he wants to, but the point would be the AI would take care of 90% of the micromanagement for you, making managing 50 planets much less of a chore.

Less of an issue, but it would be nice if you could go directly between the Colony List and the Colony Leader windows without exiting back to the galaxy map. I've always found it strange that the player's tech is listed under the "info" window, while the enemy's tech is accessed under the "races" window. And that Racial perks are listed under "info" rather than "races". I guess what I am saying is that while the UI is pretty streamlined, it still could use a few tweeks to make it even simpler.
Post edited March 19, 2015 by Dreamteam67
I'd settle for Battle Pods and Troop Pods simply showing up in my game right now. I haven't played this in 2 years, but I know this was not an issue with my gog.com copy when I last played. I've started several games over, including one as the Psilons, but those technologies are simply missing.
What about the argument for less races- more ships, tech, traits, or features like the ones you guys have listed? Would you guys rather have more premade races that have one or two special traits and more customization? Or do you guys like the prebuilt races?

Basically where would you want to see more/less content?

What about alternate build lists? For example, having two build lists that could be toggled between the two, so rather than going through, deleting, then relisting, you could just select your alternate build list?
Alternate build lists, or Dreamteam67's suggestion to reduce micromanagement, are along the lines of what I would suggest for every civ-like game ever.

Very simply: I'd like to assign a default build order for every colony improvement (one huge list), and the "governor" would autobuild in that order (skipping those not yet researched). I use essentially the same order for every world in every game, and it's embarrassing how automatic it has become for me to fill build lists.

Being able to switch between autobuild priorities (switch between lists) would be nice, but really, one persistent list that lasts from game to game would be spectacular.

So many games I regularly play would see their micromanagement pain reduced by simply having the default build list loaded from a text file... MOO2, MOM, SMAC, Civ (all of 'em). Just toss in the standard builds, and I can insert ship/unit builds wherever I think appropriate.

I"ve nearly seen this once, I think, perhaps it was in Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain (though that list didn't persist from game to game).
Total War: Rome also kind of implemented an "auto-governor" where the player could specify a town for "growth", "military" or "finances" and the player could set the tax rate, but the AI would do the rest and the player didn't have much input as to what the AI would actually build. I too mostly use the same build list order in Moo2 for all my planets, but I think some strategies would prioritize getting research improvements vs production vs terra-forming vs pop growth. I've never played MoO3, but I've read there was something like that and it really turned people off, where they talk about setting up your governors and then sitting back and watching the game play itself. So I would be careful with how much automated governing was added. Still I think end-game micromanagement in MoO2 is a tedious chore that distracts from the enjoyment of the real end-game action. It means I generally go for an Antarean victory once I have about 12 battleships just to end the painful endgame micromanagement, even though I might have rather prefered to do play the game to a full Diplomatic or Conquest victory.




@ Rhombus: I assume that you have played the game enough so that if you start tinkering with the racial traits or the tech tree you know what that could mean to game balance. Those two features (along with multiplayer) are probably the two most fan-revered features of MoO2.

The standard races of MoO2 are pretty well balanced for SP games imo: they all have inherent strengths and weaknesses depending on the game setup. if you started adding in more "OP" races into the mix, I would expect to see the standard races being dominated by the OP ones in every game, which I think would be unfortunate. The current customization systems ensures that the only OP race is the player's.

I think some minor adjustments could be made to the cost of some traits in the existing point-buy system. Unification and Tolerant are considered by most to be the OP racial picks, while others like Feudalistic or Research -1 are considered suicidal in a MP game. So maybe that indicates the costs for those traits need to be rebalanced (there are others, thats just an example).

I'm not sure what completely new techs you are thinking of adding (drives, shields, beams, missiles, bombs, exotic), but I am sure you are aware that the 6 "bonus" non-researchable techs you get when you conquer Orion are all in their own way game-breaking. An Orion-kill basically = a win in SP and is generally not allowed in MP for that reason. So adding new cool "super techs" is pretty dicey, although if you stick them way up at the end of the tech tree, then I don't suppose it will hurt the game much.

I would say the answer to your question would be to make the game easily mod-able, so players can make their own mods and rebalance techs and traits as they see fit. If the game became popular, I am sure some mods would become "canon" in multiplayer. If you have ever played the "Dominions" series of games by Illwinter Studios, this is their strength: the devs have made the game super-moddable and really taken the feed-back to heart from the most popular mods to improve balancing issues and even core game concepts. Dominions IV is the product of YEARS of fan-based playtesting and input. MoO2 is the same actually, only the original studio is gone that would have listened and incorporated the changes.

As a suggestion, I would studiously check out the Difficult Choices and Icemod (based from the DC mod) and understand why both those mods made the changes they do. If you haven't played MoO2 about 100 times already, you probably won't see why those mods are so fine-tuned.

I think that is why WingedKagouti's response to MoO remakes is the standard one: Don't change anything, just add higher resolution and make it native in newer OS. Hope this helps.

EDIT:
Further Suggestions (implement with caution)
Maybe add in a feature that allows the player to define how many racial picks points are allowed per game (say between 15-30 maybe, if you included the 10 negative picks). Maybe add a feature that also allows the AI to play a user-specified custom race, but realize either of these suggestions will break the balance of the original standard races.

My only complaint with existing weapons available in MoO2 is that fighters are quickly eclipsed by missiles and beams, and by mid-game they are not really viable. This probably has to do with their tendency to get destroyed in the ensuing explosion of the ship they just attacked. Bombs are mostly totally useless, probably because beams and missiles are sufficiently deadly during planetary bombardment to make them unnecessary. But other than giving fighters more hp or reducing % damage done to planets by missiles and beams I wouldn't begin to know how to suggest a way to rebalance this.

You could probably add in a fourth "Semi-Uncreative" racial pick that would eliminate 1 tech from each level of the tech tree rather than 2. That would probably fold into the original game balance pretty well. I like the tech tree concept used in the "Sword of the Stars" series, where about 20% of all techs are randomly eliminated from the tech trees of each race in every game. SO no two games play alike, and you never know "exactly" what techs are available to your race. Stealing/capturing missing tech from the enemy becomes paramount. THat works in SP but probably would not go down well in MP. Still, it could be a viable optional choice at game start.

There is the more extreme tech-tree option used in an old mac System 7.0 game called Starbound II: the tech tree for each race is completely different (ie. no mutually exclusive techs, rather completely different location of techs on the tech tree). This was a cool idea, but obviously had massive balance issues. Unfortunately the game dev stopped publishing the game before it could really catch on and iron all the kinks out.

Make the armament of the Orion Guardian partly random, or make the number of guardians present in the Orion System random, so players never are sure what they will be facing until they actually explore Orion. Make it much harder to kill the GUardian so 12 destroyers outfitted with Fast-Rack Mirved-Merculite EGM missiles can't do it alone (ie. in pure vanilla, killing the Guardian is possible after investing a total of only about 12000 research points into the right techs, which is WAY too low).
Post edited March 20, 2015 by Dreamteam67
These are really great pointers thank you everyone. The weekend is finally here. what games are you all looking forward to picking up?
The two games I've recently seen here on GoG that look intriguing are Legend of Grimrock 2 and Apotheon. I'm generally not into side scrollers or FPS, but Legend seems more a 3D Rogue-like and Apotheon just looks aesthetically awesome.

Over at Steam I've recently tried the first title in the X series and thought the whole idea of a sandbox game set in space was pretty fun. I think I'd like to pick up X3: Terran Conflict next time it goes on sale, since it seems that title adds in NPCs and random missions to the mix, which sounds pretty cool.
Post edited March 21, 2015 by Dreamteam67
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Dreamteam67: The two games I've recently seen here on GoG that look intriguing are Legend of Grimrock 2 and Apotheon. I'm generally not into side scrollers or FPS, but Legend seems more a 3D Rogue-like and Apotheon just looks aesthetically awesome.

Over at Steam I've recently tried the first title in the X series and thought the whole idea of a sandbox game set in space was pretty fun. I think I'd like to pick up X3: Terran Conflict next time it goes on sale, since it seems that title adds in NPCs and random missions to the mix, which sounds pretty cool.
Apotheon looks amazing, I really like how it keeps that pottery art of ancient rome. how is the game it self. Does it have a good story to it.
Calling Master of Orion Fans,
We wanted to post here to drum up interest in a new game currently in the design phase. The game will be called Lord of Rigel and it will be based on Master of Orion 2. Many games over the years have tried to enhance or emulate Master of Orion 2 and ultimately fall short of their goal. The purpose of Lords of Rigel is to provide players with a chance to play Master of Orion 2 enhanced for 2014. There will be new features added the game, but the core fundamentals of Master of Orion 2 will be left intact.

One of our big focuses is providing players with a variety of win conditions and play styles. Many 4X games are simply a matter of rapid expansion, rapid tech into weapons and industry, and then constructing large fleets to expand your empire to victory. We are designing this game to not only have the standard military victories, but also diplomatic victories, producing genuine benefits to players who chose to focus on building culture and research to influence their galactic neighbors gain influence.

The game will use the Unity engine be fully modable to that other players can add content as they see fit including making a vanilla Master of Orion 2 for the 21st Century. We look forward to hearing from you and the community as we move forward with this project.

Lord of Rigel Team
Post edited March 28, 2015 by RhombusStudios
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RhombusStudios: Calling Master of Orion Fans,
We wanted to post here to drum up interest in a new game currently in the design phase. The game will be called Lord of Rigel and it will be based on Master of Orion 2.

We look forward to hearing from you and the community as we move forward with this project.

Lord of Rigel Team
One page that provides lots of inspiration for designing is below one about master of orion 1 by Niklas Jansson.
I especially liked the approach to the GNN robots, who are their own race, flying around in superfast cloaked ships.
And you can buy news subscriptions!

http://androidarts.com/spaceconquest/gamedesign.htm
Post edited April 05, 2015 by Rocco.40