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Early Access 1 Recap & Early Access 2 Release Details


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GeneralDirection #1 Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:09 AM

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Greetings Explorers, 

Master of Orion’s Early Access started about a month ago, and we’ve been thrilled with your response. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re staying focused on the two areas that matter: getting the remaining features implemented and making changes based on your feedback. 

First, let’s get the exciting news out of the way: Early Access phase 2 begins tomorrow, March 25th. The update will go live on Steam and GoG at approximately 10am PDT and may download automatically depending on your update settings. 

With that out of the way let’s cover what we’ve done, where we’re at now and where we’re going.
 

The Past

Here’s a timeline covering some of the bigger Early Access moments: 

 

  • Feb. 18th: We revealed the voice cast for Master of Orion and the official start date for Early Access 
  • Feb. 23rd: Streamers began broadcasting their play sessions on Twitch, and YouTubers started releasing “Let’s Play” and impressions videos 
  • Feb. 25th: We soft launched on Steam and immediately saw a spike in activity 
  • Feb. 26th: Early Access officially kicked off, with tens of thousands of you purchasing the Collector’s Edition and launching your campaigns to conquer the stars 
  • Feb. 29th: We sent the first round of feedback you had to the development team, covering more than 100 topics ranging from pacing, combat controls, race balance and the dreaded turn limit 
  • Mar. 4th: The first update for Master of Orion, 40.13, went live and included the option to disable the turn limit by turning off Excellence, or setting the turn limit yourself if you left it on 
  • Mar. 8th: We compiled and sent another round of feedback to the development team, identifying another 30+ topics 
  • Mar. 11th: We published our “response to feedback” post to let you know we’re listening and will be making changes
 
The Present

Here we are: our first major patch of Early Access, what we’re calling “phase 2.” This patch introduces some new features and races that we had already planned, as well as a number of changes you’ve requested. 

Here’s what was already planned and will be going live with the patch: 

 

  • Three new races: Klackon, Meklar and Terran Khanate 
  • New victory condition: Technological 
  • New feature: Custom Races 
  • New operating system: Mac OS X 
  • New language support for text localization: German, French, Polish, Czech, Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese

 

That would be a pretty awesome patch on its own, but it doesn’t address most of the core concerns you’ve had. We’re also making a lot of changes that are entirely driven by your feedback. Here are some of the highlights; we’ll have the full patch notes available tomorrow along with the release: 

Game Setup 

  • Difficulty settings have been expanded from Average to: Easy, Normal, Hard and Very Hard 
  • Galaxy generation has been altered so that biomes, richness and gravity are more consistent with the star systems they are found in (i.e. Red, Orange, Yellow stars, etc.)

 

Balance 

  • Initial pass on race traits to improve diversity; this will be ongoing for the remainder of Early Access 
  • Tech tree progression has been adjusted, particularly for technologies in the mid and late game; on average it should take longer to progress through the tech tree

 

AI 

  • Significant improvements to AI behavior, particularly when it comes to diplomacy, colony management and expansion 
  • AI now does a better job utilizing ship upgrades—not just hulls, but systems and weapons as well

 

Ship Design 

  • Blueprint upgrade logic has been improved and will receive further improvements in future patches 
  • Ships will no longer be scrapped if you decide to scrap a blueprint

 

Colony Management 

  • A structures list has been introduced that includes by-type filters (i.e. Food, Research, Production, etc.); this list can be accessed by clicking the “View” button to the right of Manage Structures 
  • Auto-build logic has been improved

 

Tactical Combat 

  • An option to start battles paused has been added to the Gameplay section of Options 
  • An option to disable AI by default has been added to the Gameplay section of Options 
  • An option to start battles in the Cinematic camera mode has been added to the Gameplay section of Options 
  • We’ve improved the design of the pre-combat UI 
  • We’ve changed the names of the combat buttons in pre-combat to: 
    • Tactical -> Take Command 
    • Simulate -> Auto-Resolve
  • A ship speed slider has been added, allowing you to adjust the speeds (in percentage) for ships 
  • A “match speed” button has been added that when selected will match the speeds of all of your ships 
  • A range-to-target slider has been added that will allow you to specify minimum and maximum ranges for your ships’ weapons; no more in-your-face combat unless you want that 
  • A retreat button has been added; ships must reach the edge of the map and then spend a few seconds warping out before they can retreat successfully 
  • Formation bonuses have been introduced that provide unique bonuses based on the formation(s) your ships are flying in

 

Invasions/Bombardment 

  • We’ve added a visual display for marines in the pre-invasion UI 
  • It is now possible to specify the number of troop transports you want to commit to an invasion
 
The Future

We still have a lot of changes planned; not everything you’ve requested will show up in this phase of Early Access. Many of the changes will be ongoing as we continue development. 

We appreciate the time you’ve spent with Master of Orion so far, and look forward to hearing what you think of this new phase. We’re especially interested in the changes we’ve made based on your feedback; let us know if they’re working well, if you think more could be done, or if we’ve missed the mark entirely.



Surtial #2 Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:18 AM

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Looking forward to diving in!

G4MR #3 Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:31 AM

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I really hope this fixes the diplomacy screen :'( - I really want to play!

sqMax #4 Posted 24 March 2016 - 11:06 AM

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Great news! Will wait impatiently :)

Doctor_Psilon #5 Posted 24 March 2016 - 12:23 PM

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I am excited to play the game with the new changes. Looks super promising. Thanks for listening to the fans.

Vahouth #6 Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:25 PM

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Thanks for the info GD, much appreciated. :)

I have a few questions though if you don't mind.

View PostGeneralDirection, on 24 March 2016 - 12:09 PM, said:

Balance 

  • Initial pass on race traits to improve diversity; this will be ongoing for the remainder of Early Access 

What does this mean exactly? 

Is starting planet also one of the traits? I hope not all of them start on a Terran again. ;)

 

View PostGeneralDirection, on 24 March 2016 - 12:09 PM, said:

Balance 

  • Tech tree progression has been adjusted, particularly for technologies in the mid and late game; on average it should take longer to progress through the tech tree

So this is about research speed only? What about more mutually exclusive techs or rearrangement of them in the tree?

Also is the late game speed through the lanes increased?

 

View PostGeneralDirection, on 24 March 2016 - 12:09 PM, said:

AI 

  • Significant improvements to AI behavior, particularly when it comes to diplomacy, colony management and expansion 
  • AI now does a better job utilizing ship upgrades—not just hulls, but systems and weapons as well

Is the AI also improved in combat?

 

View PostGeneralDirection, on 24 March 2016 - 12:09 PM, said:

Ship Design 

  • Blueprint upgrade logic has been improved and will receive further improvements in future patches 
  • Ships will no longer be scrapped if you decide to scrap a blueprint

Are there any bug fixes in the ship design? I mean about wrong DPS numbers shown , or alternate ship design not being displayed in the ship list or galaxy map etc.

Any changes on the missiles, like ammo introduced or DPS decrease?

 

View PostGeneralDirection, on 24 March 2016 - 12:09 PM, said:

Tactical Combat 

  • An option to start battles paused has been added to the Gameplay section of Options  GOOD
  • An option to disable AI by default has been added to the Gameplay section of Options  GOOD
  • An option to start battles in the Cinematic camera mode has been added to the Gameplay section of Options  GOOD
  • We’ve improved the design of the pre-combat UI GOOD
  • We’ve changed the names of the combat buttons in pre-combat to:  OK, I guess
    • Tactical -> Take Command 
    • Simulate -> Auto-Resolve
  • A ship speed slider has been added, allowing you to adjust the speeds (in percentage) for ships GREAT
  • A “match speed” button has been added that when selected will match the speeds of all of your ships GREAT
  • A retreat button has been added; ships must reach the edge of the map and then spend a few seconds warping out before they can retreat successfully GREAT
  • Formation bonuses have been introduced that provide unique bonuses based on the formation(s) your ships are flying in GREAT

What about boarding actions? We know there is a tech for it, but is it still implemented?

 

View PostGeneralDirection, on 24 March 2016 - 12:09 PM, said:

Tactical Combat 

  • A range-to-target slider has been added that will allow you to specify minimum and maximum ranges for your ships’ weapons; no more in-your-face combat unless you want that  

How does that work exactly? Are there some points in the slider for missiles, beams etc for us to set? Are the ranges of the weapons shown when you move the slider?

 


Edited by Vahouth, 24 March 2016 - 01:28 PM.


voidstalker_woe #7 Posted 24 March 2016 - 02:07 PM

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I too am interested, and some of the listed changes will be most welcome indeed.  For colony management, one thing I would like to have is a way to show "profit/loss" or rather, expenses vs income, on a given world, based upon current (and planned) building maintenance costs compared to income generated.

 

Basically, I would want an option to goto a colony, load up a 'virtual build que' with whatever I want from among everything I could currently build there, and have an overlay that would show me what I could do without going into the red.  Additionally, it might be useful to be able to "SET" a default option other than -1, as sometimes a bit more red is needed, and other times you have to stay 'in the black' on some worlds, in order to offset those that are going to be deep in the red, and for some considerable time.  Also, if we could get something like this, but tie it into the tech tree choices we need to be making, that might also be a good thing.

 

I wouldn't want this to be an 'always on' feature by any means, as once I learned what all was in the game, and ways to work things, this would eventually not matter as much, but to have this in as a crude form, during the beginning of EA, would allow for some refinements to be made and tested, before the RELEASE date.

 

Looking at the above idea, one could also substitute other critical things, like food for growing a population, or production vs pollution.  Consider the case of a 'fringe' world, out on the edge of the empire, it might be nice to see what maximum defenses would cost there once built (before actually building them all) and then being able to compare the debt spending level and length of the combined construction projects, along with the expected pollution accumulation to be expected.  And then being able to quickly see when and where income or pollution control buildings might be most properly inserted to head off the worst effects.

 

Some thoughts on scouts I'll share in another thread.


Further more, I believe that we must start building a better MoO5 now, for only by doing so can we get tomorrow's game, today!

worthlesstangent #8 Posted 24 March 2016 - 02:24 PM

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Looking forward to testing out the auto-queue feature update.  If this is good enough it would massively improve gameplay.

Finally get to play my two favorites, Meklar and Klackons! (And see the custom race interface). I gotta say, I think of all the important things in MOO1/2 the custom races is what makes the replayability truly epic.  

Lots of the changes to combat should be interesting to see.  Doesn't mention anything about missile changes, which is surprising, since they're OP as designed now.

Was hoping to see more of the minor changes, as mentioned in EA1 feedback thread, but that's ok, really stoked to be getting the game for this whole weekend!

Think I'll start on Hard difficulty... Or maybe normal.... Or maybe hard.... Can't decide!

11171971 #9 Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:07 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 24 March 2016 - 01:25 PM, said:

 

Is starting planet also one of the traits? I hope not all of them start on a Terran again. ;)

 

Just curious, but how would you even implement that without crippling/making OP that race? The only race that started on non-terran in MoO2 was Trilarian because their trait treated ocean as gaia - if you started Mrrshan out on Desert it'd completely eviscerate their early game, but if you started them on grassland that plus rich homeworld would give them an insane advantage over everyone else.



rslayerr #10 Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:11 PM

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wow nice job for the update!cant wait to try out!!...no word for tactical combat in multiplayer ? wanna lan with my friend this weekend but no tactical combat will be a bit boring :(

keep your good job!



Vahouth #11 Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:36 PM

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View Post11171971, on 24 March 2016 - 05:07 PM, said:

Just curious, but how would you even implement that without crippling/making OP that race? The only race that started on non-terran in MoO2 was Trilarian because their trait treated ocean as terran - if you started Mrrshan out on Desert it'd completely eviscerate their early game, but if you started them on grassland that plus rich homeworld would give them an insane advantage over everyone else.

 

They could either start with nearly maxed out pop, or have a large homeworld with some kind of bonus. IIRC uber terraforming is already earlier than vanilla terraforming in the tech tree.

They could also treat such a world as terran. 

 



rgnmal #12 Posted 24 March 2016 - 05:17 PM

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The ONLY thing I am miffed by?  I already started a new Let's Play before this was announced!  =)   In all seriousness, looking forward to checking all these new changes out!

Harper73 #13 Posted 24 March 2016 - 05:18 PM

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NICE WORK WG. Can't wait to check it out.

Provinfistoris #14 Posted 24 March 2016 - 05:29 PM

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Block Quote

 

11171971, on 24 March 2016 - 05:07 PM, said:

Just curious, but how would you even implement that without crippling/making OP that race? The only race that started on non-terran in MoO2 was Trilarian because their trait treated ocean as terran - if you started Mrrshan out on Desert it'd completely eviscerate their early game, but if you started them on grassland that plus rich homeworld would give them an insane advantage over everyone else.

 

They could either start with nearly maxed out pop, or have a large homeworld with some kind of bonus. IIRC uber terraforming is already earlier than vanilla terraforming in the tech tree.

They could also treat such a world as terran. 

 

 

This is basically what I want to see. Each race would have a preferred world type, that would be their "terran" planet. Mrrshan Grassland. Sakkra tropical, etc. 

 

+ the ability to gaia transformation from any uber planet.

 



JamieK81 #15 Posted 24 March 2016 - 05:31 PM

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Once again, nearly half the day gone. lol i guess its good to be in america eh? lol

Solidarious #16 Posted 24 March 2016 - 07:15 PM

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View Postworthlesstangent, on 24 March 2016 - 02:24 PM, said:

Looking forward to testing out the auto-queue feature update. If this is good enough it would massively improve gameplay.

Finally get to play my two favorites, Meklar and Klackons! (And see the custom race interface). I gotta say, I think of all the important things in MOO1/2 the custom races is what makes the replayability truly epic.

Lots of the changes to combat should be interesting to see. Doesn't mention anything about missile changes, which is surprising, since they're OP as designed now.

Was hoping to see more of the minor changes, as mentioned in EA1 feedback thread, but that's ok, really stoked to be getting the game for this whole weekend!

Think I'll start on Hard difficulty... Or maybe normal.... Or maybe hard.... Can't decide!

 

We'll see if a better AI brings more anti-missile and PD weapons to fight against missiles, may be surprised. 

 

Can't wait to see how things go, I'd ask questions, but it's not like I'm not going to play through a couple times soon enough anyways!, and get the answers myself. *Hint*



Jodet #17 Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:33 PM

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Thanks for the great news.   

 

So far the new MOO really hits the sweet spot for me for complexity/difficulty/fun.  



Quenlar #18 Posted 24 March 2016 - 11:40 PM

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Time to call in sick to work tomorrow... JK, I get off at 2pm PDT anyway.

HsojVvad #19 Posted 25 March 2016 - 02:42 AM

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View PostG4MR, on 24 March 2016 - 10:31 AM, said:

I really hope this fixes the diplomacy screen :'( - I really want to play!

 

 

 

You can play. You just choose not to play. Don't blame the Devs when the power is in you. Nothing is stopping you from playing.



drewklar #20 Posted 25 March 2016 - 03:28 AM

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GD, are you all going to post a small guide on the tactical combat changes?  I watched Paradogs EA2 stream and he appeared confused by the new tactical combat options, which caused him to lose a tactical battle to a weaker force.




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