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Last played Moo2 about ten years ago, loved it....


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YANKEE137 #1 Posted 26 May 2017 - 04:24 PM

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Is this version similar or entirely new? I read a lot of criticism saying it's shallow and slow. I hope that's just trolls.



Spud_Dastardly #2 Posted 26 May 2017 - 08:28 PM

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It's a mixed bag, to be honest. I'll try to give you a thorough review that shows the good and the bad. 

 

It's definitely got the feel of a MoO game, and it has gorgeous graphics and top notch voice acting (except for a couple of particularly annoying advisers, which can be disabled), though some have criticized the graphics as cartoony or childish. Coming from MoO2, you can pick up and learn this game easily without playing through the tutorial. It's definitely got that "just one more turn" feel. It can be fun and addicting, but it can also be frustrating at times. 

 

The game was primarily designed to cater to players who have never tried a 4X game. As such it doesn't have quite the level of complexity and strategic depth that hard core 4X players usually prefer, but it is more accessible in a sense. One of the reasons it hasn't done so well is that hardcore players have given bad reviews because it doesn't meet their expectations (these are the people calling it "shallow and slow" ) and players who don't play 4X games are unlikely to try a 4X game if they have no prior interest in the genre and the reviews aren't so good.

 

From the beginning of development, the developers alienated a lot of MoO and MoO2 fans because of two things: the decision to use real time combat instead of turn based combat and the decision to use star lanes instead of free travel. This has been an endless complaint from players that still pops up from time to time in reviews and on the forums.

 

The combat definitely lacks the strategic depth that you see in MoO2. You can't board and capture ships, there are no shield arcs, and you won't see crazy ship specials like gyro destabilizers, quantum detonators, or tractor beams. On the other hand, MoO2 had a problem where very large fleet encounters (like 60 doomstars on each side) tended to be tedious and were often done on auto resolve, which is not so much an issue here. There are some notable bugs in combat, some of which the developers have fixed recently, but for example three out of four missile modifications (heavy armor, eccm, and fast missiles) are bugged and don't work properly. There is an unofficial patch by one of the players to correct several bugs in the game including these. The most common complaint with the combat system, besides it being real time in general, is that you don't have the option of doing tactical combat in multiplayer; you can only auto resolve the battle, which has driven many who play multiplayer away from the game. 

 

With regard to star lanes, I was initially a skeptic of them, but in my opinion they're not so bad. MoO2 had this problem where once you get past iridium fuel cells, there's basically no way to defend your empire because the enemy can strike anywhere. With star lanes you can set up choke points. The disadvantage to this is that it's far to easy to turtle up, which coupled with a not-so-aggressive AI means once you get the hang of the game, it's easy to deter an AI from attacking you just by having a decent defensive position set up. Overall star lanes are not a big deal for me, though the lack of fuel cells means you can explore the galaxy very early on, which takes away some of the fun of exploring the galaxy as the game goes on.

 

The AI is okay, but not great (MoO2 didn't have that great of an AI either to be fair). You'll notice some missing minor features that were nice to have in MoO2, such as the ability to set rally points for newly built ships or the ability to redistribute population from the Colonies screen, which is unfortunate. On the other hand, you do get some extra features that weren't there in MoO2 such as minor civilizations and different galaxy types. There's some serious balance issues in the game, but we've got mods to fix them. There's some minor bugs, but we've got that unofficial patch I mentioned to fix those too. Most other aspects of the game, such as spying and leaders, are pretty well done in my opinion. Micromanagement can be a bit of a problem later on in the game, but it's no worse than MoO2 was in that respect.

 

Overall the consensus is that MoO4 is not as good as MoO2, but it is much better than MoO3 was when it was released. At this point, the development future of the game is uncertain, and we get virtually no communication from the developers these days. If you want to buy the game, you should assume that the developers aren't going to put any more work into it at this point except for maybe some bug fixes. Some mods significantly improve the quality of the game, so that's nice. In my opinion, it's worth buying the game on sale, but maybe it's not worth it for the full price. 


Get 5X - The Ultimate Balance Mod on Steam or on Nexus Mods!

 


Omega_Weapon #3 Posted 27 May 2017 - 01:53 AM

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I am one of the alienated MOO 2 players that Spud mentions. His assessment of the game is fair and accurate. It has the MOO flavor, so the game may appeal to you, as long as you don't expect it to play like an improved MOO 2.

Anguille_1 #4 Posted 29 May 2017 - 07:40 AM

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It's an excellent review by Spud and i agree with 99% of it.


 

For my part: i have played the game since EA and have played more than 160 hours and i still enjoy it. I would recommend it as well. If you have kids, they will love it as well (mine do).


Playing MOO since 1993

 

Playing MOO Conquer the Stars on GOG Galaxy

 

4x space game CV: Master of Orion, Master of Orion II, Master of Orion III, Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain, Reach for the Stars, Imperium Galactica, Imperium Galactica II, Armada 2526, Distant Worlds, Star Ruler I and II, Endless Space, Horizon, Stardrive, Stradrive II, Sword of the Stars, Sword of the Stars II, Galactic Civilization I - III, LotBS, Lost Empires: Immortals, Space Empires IV and V, Starships Unlimited, Star Wars: Empire at War, Star Wars: Rebellio, Birth of the Federation and Stellaris.


YANKEE137 #5 Posted 01 June 2017 - 12:52 PM

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Thanks for the detailed answers! I was disappointed to hear real time combat has replaced turn based. That's a deal breaker for me.     Such a shame that these remakes try to improve on gameplay that was already perfect.. If I buy, I'll wait for a sale. I also want to see if wargaming has abandoned this one.

Seelyon #6 Posted 30 July 2017 - 07:12 AM

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Amazing run down by Spud of which I agree with the major points.
Rate up Master of Orion on the Civilization similar games rankings




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