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Iceman346: MoO3 is a disgrace to the name. So while it certainly is old it's far from being a "good" old game.
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evmiller: There is a full conversion mod called "Tropical" that drastically improves the game. If Gog could include the mod, it would be worth $5.99

I think I used the "Strawberry" Mod. Are they related? It has been years since I played MoO3. Regardless, I agree that with mods the game is actually pretty good.
However, even with the patch, the feel of the game is very different. A person that liked MoO2 is likely to not like MoO3 (from my experience) because it is more Empire oriented than colony oriented. Once a person has their build plans and research sliders sorted in MoO3, the Empire pretty much runs itself, in terms of research and colonial improvements.
Micromanagement is half (at least) of the fun of MoO and MoO2, whereas MoO3 is more of a macro-management Empire simulator. MoO3 deals more with fleet building, political strategy, and/or military strategy, but MoO/MoO2 deal more with single ship/colony optimization, research choices (from trading and picks), and a simpler sort of diplomacy (there are more racial animosities to exploit in MoO3, primarily).
I am not saying there isn't a lot of overlap, I just mean the focuses are different. From my experience, people are drawn to one or the other, not to both. I like them both, but it took me a good while to come around to MoO3, just because it doesn't play at all like I thought it should.
@ Krypsyn
Yes, the mods are related. Vanilla was the first, Strawberry was the second one, and the final is Tropical.
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Replop: Agreed. but "Distant Worlds"( out 2010-03 ) is a worthy competitor, a bit closer to the original MoO1/2 feel .

Distant Wolrds seemed nice enough, but the real-time aspect is a letdown. That, and the fact that some joker coded the whole thing in .NET with WPF, and it's awfully slow on a Core2Duo 2.62GHz. Which for me is unacceptable for a 2D game.
I ather enjoyed, what was it, Space Empires-series. Rather generic name. Number four was the latest I played, often with Star Trek mod. Quite fun.
There was also... Legions of Iron, I think. Never played, heard it was pretty good.
Distant Worlds? Pleeasee...
If you thought MOO 3 was unfinished/ unpolished,
Imagine worst but only coded in wpf so it takes longer than cold booting your system to load up the game. (Seriously my OS Vista x64 loads up faster on C2d 3.0Ghz with 8GB DDR-2. than DW)
It has some unique and good ideas but I think it would have been a better game if the designer has sold to Stardock instead of trying to do it. Or just hired a random person off the street as a programmer (No previous knowledge needed)
I am big fan of GalCIV and 2 and still do play them but they were not as much fun as MOO2.
Imperium Galactica and Ascendancy are close followers in my book
Badly coded, yes.
For me, it's only issues are technical, not design, unlike MoO3. And it seems they are working on thoses bugs. For instance, some patches took care of some of the most obvious memory management problems and bugs. So, right now, it is playable, even if ultra slow to load and has enormous savegames.
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hunvagy: Distant Wolrds seemed nice enough, but the real-time aspect is a letdown.

Pausable realtime makes giving orders and managing things easy.
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JamesBond007: Where is Master of Orion 3? I know, it's possibly the worst part of the series, but it hasn't been included. Maybe it will be released later, as a separate 5,99$ game.

I will quote myself. Well. it was released now, but for 9,99$.
Post edited May 04, 2010 by JamesBond007
First what we got here? Is this version at patch 1.25 or 1.2.5 whichever it is called? If not, have to do that first. Then the mod installation for higher resolution, improved Galactopedia, and something like Strawberry or Tropical is non trivial. You are going to spend a lot of time reading threads and starting all over again.
Besides which, last time I looked the fan patches worked only with the retail version which came on disk. Need to find out about that.
I've done all that once and it was a pig of a job. Moo3 was much improved though it remained arcane.
Galciv 2 Series including Twilight of the Arnor runs about $40 which is a lot more. But the extra $30 may seem cheap at the price. Galciv 2 is a bit more like a Civ game than a Moo game. A bit bland compared to Moo's spice. Excellent, though, and Galciv does work!
As a huge fan of MOO 1 and 2, 3 is vastly inferior.
Frankkly, for Ten dollars you can pick up Gal Civ 1 which is a MUCH better game.
Yes, the fan made patches improve it, but improved is not the same as good.
BTW did anybody ever make a patch/mod that included the races from MOO 2 that were left out of MOO 3. My wife was FURIOUS that the Elerians, her favorites were left out of the game.....
Can we still create our own race, as in MoO2?, and is this creation system better?
Post edited May 05, 2010 by ERISS