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How would you change the MOO1 races to be balanced?


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pacifist0rz #1 Posted 15 May 2016 - 02:57 AM

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First note, is that I DO NOT think the races should be balanced.  One of the great aspects of the game is how the difficulty and required strategy change depending on which opponents were in the game.  Also, the jump in difficulty from "hard" to "impossible" was pretty extreme.  The fact that playing Bulrathi or Mrrshans on "hard" was nearly same difficulty as playing Psilons or Klackons on "impossible" reduced the difficulty gap.

 

That being said, just for fun, I came up with some changes that I think would better balance the races.  For all changes, I tried to keep with the “theme” of the race and to design the changes to further strengthen the bonus that the races already have.

 

 

Alkari – +1 to all range

 

Military bonus are just not very strong in the game.  This change gives Alkari a unique advantage in expanding faster to hopefully stay on-par with other races.  Then they can get to a place where they can actually apply their military bonus.

 

 

Bulrathi –Transports have 200% more armor (hit points).  Ships have 50% more armor.

 

Bulrathi are one of the weakest races because they never get into a position to actually take advantage of their ground combat bonus.  The transport change will potentially allow an invasion even with an enemy hostile fleet over the planet.  Also I feel a ship combat bonus (different than the other two combat races) is also needed since they are really just that weak now.

 

 

Darlocks – Improve starting relations with other races to “wary” instead of “unease”.  If a spy rolls 115+, it gets double the effect (like it steals two techs)

 

The Darlocks often just lose because everyone hates them and then goes to war with them, which this change should help with.  Also make their spying bonus even stronger.

 

 

Humans – The 25% trade bonus is also gained by the human's trading partner.

 

Humans are a strong race, so this change is a slight nerf by giving just a little extra BCs to everyone else in the game with the humans.  In fact, this might actually end up being a buff for humans because other races will be even more likely to enter trades with them.

 

 

Klackons – Cap the double production for worker bonus at the planet's max population.  In other words if a planets max population is 100, Klackon workers can never produce more than what 100 normal workers could.

 

Klackons are the strongest human controlled race.  Their benefit is insanely strong early game, and it even continues into the mid and late game.  This change keeps their early game bonus nearly as strong when everyone has half empty planets, but it scale down to zero by late game.

 

 

Meklars – Change their construction tech rating to “Good”.

 

Meklars bonus is strong late game, but it can almost be a no-advantage in the early game and mid game.  You often find yourself at war and need to stop factory production before you can build your bonus factories.  Or even if you finish your bonus factories, you can be spending nearly 50% of your planets production on just cleaning up your factory's mess.  This situation is common because Meklars are “Poor” in Planetology tech, and they frequently don't get offered “Eco Restoration".  This change would open up those “Improved Industrial Tech” and/or “Reduced Industrial Waste” techs.

 

 

Mrrshan – Weapons on ships have no construction cost.  Also there is no ship maintenance costs.

 

The Mrrshan AI is by far the worst in the game because it tends to build and maintain HUGE fleets, which basically grinds their research to a halt.  This change will allow them to build their fleet for slightly cheaper and then not choke on the huge maintenance costs.  This change lets the Mrrshans actually build a fleet and take advantage of their racial bonus without going bankrupt.   

 

 

Psilons – Remove their “Good” tech rating on all techs.  However, increase the selection of techs available to research by 50%.

 

Psilons are by far the most powerful AI controlled race (some would also argue the most powerful human controlled race, although I would argue the Klackons are).  Psilons already have a 50% bonus to all tech, and the “Good” rating gives them another 25% bonus on top of that!  This change takes away the additional 25% bonus.  Instead, it gives them more of a MOO2 type of tech advantage any allowing them more options on which techs to research.

 

 

Sakkra – No changes

 

They are the very definition of the average race.  Their bonus is strongest in the early game, but it can still be relevant all game long (such as when you need to rebuild population after invading).

 

 

Silicoids – Atmospheric terraforming and soil enrichment can be researched.  They still wouldn’t get the growth bonus but their planets get the population max bonuses.

 

Silicoids are easily the strongest early game race by ignoring pollution and colonizing any planet. However, they almost always dwindle by late game after the other races have controlled environment and waste reduction tech .  This change would help them stay competitive into the late game.  The fact that you can’t do this already is almost silly.  I mean you get the benefit from planets that the AI converted before you take them over.



Moo4 #2 Posted 15 May 2016 - 07:02 PM

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Fun post!

 

On research side of things....

 

Create a new tech rating called "creative".  The inherent bonuses of Creative are similar to Excellent (although could be nerfed to Good).  Races that are Creative with an area of tech simultaneously research the project chosen by the player (like a normal approach) AND the lowest available project in that area.  When the chosen project is completed, the player also gains the lowest available one for 'free'.  This may encourage some new approaches to teching by regularly choosing the 2nd lowest project available to get the most benefit.  Creative races can get a decent tech level of their specialty area from how quickly they can backfill the normally skipped tech.  

 

Give Mrshan creative weapons.  (due to the number of available techs, this is actually quite a big buff)

Give Alkari creative propulsion.

 

When darloks fail a spying mission they are able to capture the *plans* for a technology instead of getting the tech outright.  Stealing plans for a tech adds the tech to the darlok's available tech list.  The tech may come with a %multiplier to speedup/slowdown the time it takes for darlok researchers to complete the project based on stolen plans.  (This makes darlok gameplay a little less risky and a little less rewardy).  

 

Bulrathi - Agree on buffing their transports.  

Also consider this type of mechanic: Hostage takers: 50% of defending enemy troops 'killed' by bulrathi in an invasion join the colony as regular population under bulrathi control.  Example:  25 Bulrathi are left standing after killing 100 defending populations.  The colony starts the next turn with 25 + 50 pop.  (This number can have 3-4 turn 'memory' so that defenders killed in an unsuccesful attempt in 1 turn may still be added when the colony eventually falls on the next)  This gets new bulrathi colonies up and running much faster than other races and encourages aggression. 

 

Alkari - Crazy good pilots that can even fly a broken ship.  10% of ships 'killed' in offensive combat show up at the nearest alkari planet the following turn.  The bonus increases to 20% if the ships are defending an alkari planet.  This also goes with their theme of smallerish ships.  

 

Mrrshan - Hitmen.  Mrrshan *Weapon* tech level is used in spy rolls instead of computer tech.  

              - Armed population is a polite population.  Mrrshan *Weapon* tech level is used as a modifier for population production instead of planetology.  

These two promote a theme that mrrshan can get by with heavily investing in just weapons and still having productive colonies and spying options.    

 

 


Edited by Moo4, 16 May 2016 - 01:10 PM.

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RayFowler #3 Posted 16 May 2016 - 01:56 AM

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View Postpacifist0rz, on 14 May 2016 - 08:57 PM, said:

First note, is that I DO NOT think the races should be balanced. 

 

I  agree. If I were inclined to  "balance" the races, I would weaken the overpowered races in this way:

 

Psilon - they are weakling pacifists. Therefore, give them only half bonus for any ground combat tech bonuses they get. In addition, change their Research bonus to "Poor" for weapons.

 

Humans - With their long history of war, they have become masters of diplomacy. Take away their trade bonus and give it to the Gnolams. However, due to their independent nature, human colonies have an increased chance to go into rebellion.

 

Klackons  - they are a hive species. The cost of their colony ships are doubled, but they start new colonies with a population of 4, instead of 2.

 


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Moo4 #4 Posted 16 May 2016 - 07:46 AM

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View PostRayFowler, on 16 May 2016 - 04:56 AM, said:

 

Klackons  - they are a hive species. The cost of their colony ships are doubled, but they start new colonies with a population of 4, instead of 2.

 

I'm ok with a Klackon nerf even though they are my favorite.  Increasing cost of colony base special is a way to go.  However,  I see the 2 -> 4 as pretty pointless.  Colony transports the following turn after founding a colony will push that population to near half the planets halfway point anyways.

 

 

For the psilons I like that they are good across all areas of research. Singling out weapons for poor seems to hurt their research theme more than it helps their pacifist theme.  I do like limiting their ground combat though.   The angle of limiting the bonus of tech keeps their early ground combat on par, but then loses steam in late game.  (Compared to a straight negative modifier to dice rolls).  


Edited by Moo4, 16 May 2016 - 07:47 AM.

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Moo4 #5 Posted 16 May 2016 - 08:44 AM

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I see the mention of gnolams up there.  I didn't know we could get into the new races :)

 

In that case I think the Bulrathi "hostage taking" trait could instead be given to elerians as a weaker version of mind control.  The elerians still need troops on the ground and they still need to 'kill' the ground troops but many of the 'killed' defenders would be fully functional population on the following turn (assuming elerians win).

 

 

Fun with Transports --

First off, I love the MoO1 transport mechanic for its simplicity.  Point and click on the universe screen and population numbers balanced so they can double as ground troops.  It is much superior to the MoO2+ system.  However, one could argue that shuffling population within the empire is a bit too strong.  I think there is room for some nerfs to the shuffling mechanic which will help highlight playstyles of different races.

 

New mechanic:  Acclamation.  Colonists arriving from transports to a friendly planet require (3) turns to become fully functional.  Each turn (33%) of the arriving population becomes active.  Colonists waiting to adapt do not produce production and cannot control factories.  A transport with 60 colonists will add 20 population each turn for 3 turns.

Meklar/Silocoid -  Do not suffer Acclamation penalties.  New population from transports are immediately active.

Psilons/Humans -  Acclamation takes (4) turns.  Each turn (25%) of the arriving population becomes active.

 

Adaptation is an inherent buff to Sakkra as their population growth relies less on transport spam.

 

Alkari -  Transports move at current warp speed when en route to enemy planet.  Transports move at current warp + 1 when en route to alkari planet.

 

Klacklon - All transports move at current warp - 2.  (Goes with poor propulsion theme).

 

 


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Moo4 #6 Posted 16 May 2016 - 02:18 PM

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Can't stop won't stop.

 

On ships...

 

Sakkra - Egg Incubator.  Colony bases do not use one of the 3 special slots and cost 50% of the price/space when added to large ships.  The cost/space reduction is increased to 100% (free) for huge ships.  

 

Alkari - 5% reduction in cost and maintenance of small and medium ships. 

Bulrathi - 5% reduction in cost and maintenance of large and huge ships.  

 

Meklar - High bandwidth: 4 slots for specials instead of 3.  If 3 specials are used, overall cost of specials decreased by 10%.  If 4 specials are used, overall cost of specials decreased by 20%.

 

Sillocoid - Keep it simple, stupid.  Every unused special slot adds 5% space for weapons.


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RayFowler #7 Posted 16 May 2016 - 04:02 PM

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View PostMoo4, on 16 May 2016 - 01:46 AM, said:

 

I'm ok with a Klackon nerf even though they are my favorite.  Increasing cost of colony base special is a way to go.  However,  I see the 2 -> 4 as pretty pointless.  Colony transports the following turn after founding a colony will push that population to near half the planets halfway point anyways.

 

 

For the psilons I like that they are good across all areas of research. Singling out weapons for poor seems to hurt their research theme more than it helps their pacifist theme.  I do like limiting their ground combat though.   The angle of limiting the bonus of tech keeps their early ground combat on par, but then loses steam in late game.  (Compared to a straight negative modifier to dice rolls).  

 

The 2>4 pop bonus is indeed pointless, therefore it doesn't hurt to add it in order to support the "hive" justification for the colony base change.

 

Psilons need a bigger nerf than the ground combat because that is easily avoided by glassing planets. The weapon tech nerf does that while fitting the lore description of the race.


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Moo4 #8 Posted 17 May 2016 - 01:12 PM

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Not necessarily "balancing" anymore, just some fun thought experiments.  The MoO1 mechanics really are quite expandable to differentiate playstyles.

 

Humans/Gnolams - Black Market:  25% of trade revenue continues despite being at war with the trading partner.

 

Gnolams - Speculators: May contribute 150% (instead of 100%) of a planet's capacity through transferring funds from planetary reserves.

 

Sakkra - Self Sufficient.  Any population that is not controlling factories gives 50% more production (from population).   (Lets their population growth be put to good use while factories are catching up, a player is still better off building factories in the long run though).

 

Bulrathi - Tree huggers (although this theme is more from MoO4).  5% of resources allocated to research are added to ecology spending.  (Free cloning in late game to spam their troops).

 

Mrrshan - Military Industrial Complex.  30% of of resources allocated to defense (missile bases and shield construction) are added to planetary reserves.  Missile base maintenance reduced by 10%.

 

Alkari -  Learning by doing.  5% of resources allocated to ship construction are added to research spending.

 

Psilon - Unrest at home.  Cannot allocate more than 80% of a planet's resources to ship construction.

 

Meklar - Single Focus.  When allocating 100% of resources to factory construction an additional 25% is also added to factory construction.  


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Moo4 #9 Posted 18 May 2016 - 10:45 AM

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Alkari - Superior positioning:  Ships gain + 2 movement on the first turn of ship combat.  The bonus is increased to +4 movement on the first turn when defending an Alkari planet.  This movement bonus does not affect defensive bonuses.

Alkari - Reactions:  Ships gain +1 movement if received damage in the previous turn.  This movement bonus does affect defensive bonuses.  

 

Humans - Raise shields:  If a ship (stack)  is not attacked in a combat turn, then the shields of that ship (stack) double their damage reduction bonus on the following turn.  All ships start combat with raised shields. 

 

Mrrshan - Split formation:  Ship (stack) adds +1 attack for each tile away from the nearest allied sip.  Maximum of +4 attack.  

 

Silicoid - Rock solid:  Ship (stack) gains +2 defense for every allied ship (stack) within 2 tiles.  Maximum of +6 defense.

 

Meklar - Debris Reconstruction:  When a ship within a stack is destroyed. 33% of the destroyed ship's hitpoints are added to the ship at the bottom of the stack.  This may result in (up to) doubling the hp of the ships at the bottom of the stack.  HP bonuses do not persist outside of combat.  (Example: 15 ships with 100 hp each.  After the first 10 have been destroyed, the remaining 5 ships have 200 200 200 133 and 100 hp respectively.)

 

Darlok - Hallucination:  Telepathically create images of ships.  Incoming damage to the top ship is shared between the top k ships within a stack.  k = 2 for huge, 4 for large, 8 for medium, 16 for small.

 

Psilon - Patient: Defensive fire gains +5 attack.  Defensive fire is used when a ship has not fired the previous turn and an enemy ship comes into range of beam weapons.

 

Burlathi - Hold the line!:  Ship (stack) gain +1 attack and +1 defense for every ship stack in the same set of vertical tiles.  

 

Sakkra - Upper Atmosphere Acclamation:  Ships gain up to +2 attack when near an enemy planet.  Ships gain up to +2 defense when nearby an allied planet. 

 

 


Edited by Moo4, 18 May 2016 - 12:41 PM.

I want a moddable Master of Orion 1.5 with focus on interface and pacing.  Come discuss MoO 1.5 ideas HERE!


Moo4 #10 Posted 19 May 2016 - 09:25 AM

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Sillicoid - Reclaim:  Recolonizing a recently bombed planet gives 25% cheaper factory construction.  The bonus applies to the number of factories destroyed by previous bombs. 

 

Sillicoid - It doesn't take much:  Teraforming tech are instantly applied to planets.  

 

 

Sakkra - Overcrowding:  Planet population may exceed the planet max by 15%.  The excess population does not provide production and cannot control factories.  However, transports will pull from this overcrowding number first, allowing other population to continue to work.  

 

Human - Pioneers:  If Humans are the first race to found a colony on a planet (ie not invading or re-colonizing a glass planet) the population max of the planet is increased by 10.  (Does not apply to Sol).  

 

Alkari - Freighter Pilots: Gain 15% of value of every trade relationship in the game.  (% may change depending on number of empires).

 

Darloks - Hired Spies:  Any espionage mission that destroys factories or missile bases (between any empires) adds value of the factories/bases to Darlok's planetary reserves.

Darloks - Take a peak:  A 1% chance (additive per factory) to discover new technology when Darlok spies are sent on a factory sabotage mission.  

Darloks - Opportunists:  Darlok ground transports gain +50 combat bonus when fighting a planet in rebellion.  Transports moving to a planet in rebellion move at current warp speed +2.  Darloks do not receive diplomatic penalties for invading an enemy planet in rebellion.  Darloks do not have to be responsible for the rebellion to gain this bonus.

Darloks - Two faced:  Gain diplomatic relations when any two other empires go to war.

 

Meklar - Automation: Production from population is determined by computer tech level (instead of planetology tech level).  


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ignatius72 #11 Posted 08 June 2016 - 09:30 AM

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If you have to balance them, I'd do it by different starting years (a range from 2301 to 2310 should probably suffice) and/or different starting ressources (reserve, pop, factories, maybe ships), as this would require no changes in the game-mechanic, would not influence game-play and could be implemented by manipulating the save-games alone.

 

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