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Mixing MoO 1 and 2 -- How would you do it?

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Moo4 #21 Posted 13 March 2016 - 03:25 PM

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

 

Jeff calls our current UI "eyesores".  As soon as he's done updating the UI to the new style, either AiL (our AI guy) or Jeff or both will start making gameplay videos.  AiL would probably focus on videos about AI in action.  We're aiming to have a polished Alpha by end of month (I keep saying that for past half year!) so hopefully around that time.

 

Also sound like a good work in progress.

 

The (sad) fact is with the recent 'meh' 4x offerings I think there's space for both of the projects mentioned so far.  Will keep watching.  


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Moo4 #22 Posted 14 March 2016 - 12:49 PM

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I'm a big fan of sharing population with new planets.  It is easier in moo1 than moo2 (all done on the galaxy screen, no freighters) and much easier than new MoO as I understand it.   Because the klackons get extra bonus from the population this helps new planets get up to speed (ie building factories) quicker.  Give it a spin sometime.  

 

 

-------------------------

 

I've updated the original post with some thoughts on abstracting out of a queuing system and letting the "Industry/Infrastructure" slider take-over the chore of building structures pre-selected by the player.  MoO1 fans should recognize it as the the way shields/atmos work in the current DEF and ECO sliders.  However, now the player can choose some planets to get shields and not others.  The choice can be made before or after the shield technology has been researched.  


Edited by Moo4, 14 March 2016 - 12:51 PM.

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Zeraan #23 Posted 14 March 2016 - 04:30 PM

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View PostMoo4, on 14 March 2016 - 12:49 PM, said:

I'm a big fan of sharing population with new planets.  It is easier in moo1 than moo2 (all done on the galaxy screen, no freighters) and much easier than new MoO as I understand it.   Because the klackons get extra bonus from the population this helps new planets get up to speed (ie building factories) quicker.  Give it a spin sometime.  

 

 

-------------------------

 

I've updated the original post with some thoughts on abstracting out of a queuing system and letting the "Industry/Infrastructure" slider take-over the chore of building structures pre-selected by the player.  MoO1 fans should recognize it as the the way shields/atmos work in the current DEF and ECO sliders.  However, now the player can choose some planets to get shields and not others.  The choice can be made before or after the shield technology has been researched.  

 

Population production (not factory production) starts at .5 per pop at level 0 planetology tech, and increases up to ~2 at level 99 planetology.  Klackons' bonus is that their population production is doubled (starts at 1 per pop and goes up to 4).  Consider the fact that each factory, if manned, produces 1 production.  Meklars' bonus is 2 extra factories on top of their current robotic controls.  However, those factories cost production to build.

 

If we compare Klackons' 300 pop planet with robotic controls 7 at level 99 planetology, to Meklars', with both maxed out, we can see that they are pretty close:

 

Klackons = 300 * 4 pop prod + 2100 factories = 3300 production

Meklars = 300 * 2 pop prod + 2700 factories = 3300 production

 

However, Klackons has an edge over Meklars due to their natural production bonus that doesn't require investment in factories.  They're up to speed a lot faster than Meklars are.

 

Yes, it's frustrating when you want to build a missile base on a new colony to defend it against incoming hostiles, but it forces you to build planetary shield first.  That's why I split out each significant slider task into their own sliders in Dominus Galaxia.  Missile bases and Shields are now two separate sliders.  Same for Cloning and Terraforming.  Stargate has its own slider as well.  The advantage of this is that when you click on a planet, you can see where it's at by which sliders are visible (completed or unavailable sliders are hidden).

 

As for sharing population with new planets, this is how DG works.  Instead of building a colony ship (which requires a ship design slot devoted to colony ships), you sent transports to new planets to colonize this.  To counteract the rapid expansion issue that we saw in Starlords (MoO 0), each colony is required to build a starport before it can build ships, propagate fuel range, and send out transports.  It has worked pretty well so far!



Moo4 #24 Posted 14 March 2016 - 07:02 PM

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I thought the planetology bonus was 4x at level 50 tech, not 99.

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Zeraan #25 Posted 14 March 2016 - 10:19 PM

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View PostMoo4, on 14 March 2016 - 07:02 PM, said:

I thought the planetology bonus was 4x at level 50 tech, not 99.

 

Ah, I stand corrected.  Looked at formula for production.  It is:

 

(Planetology Tech Level * 3) + 50

------------------------------------------

100

 

So at level 50, it'd be 2 per pop.  At level 99 it'd be almost 3.5 per pop.  So at level 99, Klackons actually have more production than Meklars with ~7 prod per pop



RayFowler #26 Posted 15 March 2016 - 03:51 AM

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View PostZeraan, on 14 March 2016 - 10:30 AM, said:

 

Yes, it's frustrating when you want to build a missile base on a new colony to defend it against incoming hostiles, but it forces you to build planetary shield first.

 

I rationalize it as the colonists' priority. It's far more efficient to guard a new planet with ships than bases. If you do that, then you can build factories instead.


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Moo4 #27 Posted 15 March 2016 - 04:58 AM

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View PostRayFowler, on 15 March 2016 - 06:51 AM, said:

 

I rationalize it as the colonists' priority. It's far more efficient to guard a new planet with ships than bases. If you do that, then you can build factories instead.

 

Also, with the (basically) unlimited number of bases there's not a well defined cutoff to stop bases for awhile while a shield is built.  Shield first isn't end of the world. (or is it?, hehe)

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M002mod #28 Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:57 AM

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View PostZeraan, on 14 March 2016 - 04:30 PM, said:

 

Yes, it's frustrating when you want to build a missile base on a new colony to defend it against incoming hostiles, but it forces you to build planetary shield first.  That's why I split out each significant slider task into their own sliders in Dominus Galaxia.  Missile bases and Shields are now two separate sliders.  Same for Cloning and Terraforming.  Stargate has its own slider as well.  The advantage of this is that when you click on a planet, you can see where it's at by which sliders are visible (completed or unavailable sliders are hidden).

 

 

View PostRayFowler, on 15 March 2016 - 03:51 AM, said:

 

I rationalize it as the colonists' priority. It's far more efficient to guard a new planet with ships than bases. If you do that, then you can build factories instead.

 

Ray, basically you are saying here that it doesn't matter if a mechanic works or not, because another strategy that does not use it is more efficient. 

I think that the forced force field construction :) preventing a player from building more missile bases, is one of the (few) areas where moo1 is lacking control and the interface can be improved.



RayFowler #29 Posted 15 March 2016 - 12:03 PM

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View PostMoo4, on 14 March 2016 - 10:58 PM, said:

 

Also, with the (basically) unlimited number of bases there's not a well defined cutoff to stop bases for awhile while a shield is built.  Shield first isn't end of the world. (or is it?, hehe)

 

Yes, the lack of a missile base limit is fixed pretty easily in ROTP. That could very well be the genesis of the restriction.

 

View PostM002mod, on 15 March 2016 - 03:57 AM, said:

 

 

Ray, basically you are saying here that it doesn't matter if a mechanic works or not, because another strategy that does not use it is more efficient. 

I think that the forced force field construction :) preventing a player from building more missile bases, is one of the (few) areas where moo1 is lacking control and the interface can be improved.

 

I'm not saying it doesn't matter. I agree with Zeraan that it's an annoyance, but what I'm saying is that it's an annoyance with a perfectly reasonable gameplay workaround -- so I am ok with explaining it away with a little rationalization.

 

Not everything is or should be under the player's control, even in MOO1. We already accept a lot of abstractions in the service of streamlined gameplay, and controlling a colony with a fixed number of sliders is currently one of them.

 

I am working under two assumptions when making this first version of ROTP:

 

1) MOO1 was the most elegant 4X ever designed

2) The design was not just happened upon by skill, but also with a lot of luck

 

My conclusion is that I am not going to presume to be better skilled at 4X design than Barcia or Emrich, nor am I going to presume to be more lucky than them and somehow come up with some structural changes that will improve the game. They tried that approach and came up with MOO2. Given all of that, I'm not going to change an annoyance just because I think I can be more skilled or lucky at game design.

 

Look, everyone thinks they know how to design a good game, or what one simple change to a good game will make it better. I think that's a fallacy of conflating subjectivity with objectivity, and is born out by so many followup releases of good games that somehow get worse. (see: MOO1 > MOO2 > MOO3)

 

I do have my own ideas about things to add to the game, but they will not be in the first release nor will they change the behavior of the first release when they are added. That version will be based on the closest thing we have to a work of art in this genre, and I'm trying to stay as faithful to that game as possible.


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M002mod #30 Posted 15 March 2016 - 01:09 PM

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Understand, and I think it is really great that you are trying to stay as faithful to that game as possible.

Concerning the planet shield, to give a player control over shield / missile bases, perhaps it does not require very 'drastic' measures like a completely new slider for such task.

For example, when planet shield research is complete, you are given the option to adjust spending allocation, for building the shield.

Then, on the planet column, the field right from the slider will show the word "shield" (and later will change to #years left to complete).

If you make that field clickable, allowing it to cycle between 'missile base' / 'bases' and 'shield', that would be a subtle way to give a player control on an individual planet's construction priorities.



RayFowler #31 Posted 15 March 2016 - 02:02 PM

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View PostM002mod, on 15 March 2016 - 07:09 AM, said:

Understand, and I think it is really great that you are trying to stay as faithful to that game as possible.

Concerning the planet shield, to give a player control over shield / missile bases, perhaps it does not require very 'drastic' measures like a completely new slider for such task.

For example, when planet shield research is complete, you are given the option to adjust spending allocation, for building the shield.

Then, on the planet column, the field right from the slider will show the word "shield" (and later will change to #years left to complete).

If you make that field clickable, allowing it to cycle between 'missile base' / 'bases' and 'shield', that would be a subtle way to give a player control on an individual planet's construction priorities.

 

You are already given the spending allocation option when learning a new shield technology.

 

With regards to changing spending priorities, your approach is exactly the option I would attempt --- clicking on the output string to cycle between different projects that can be built with the slider. There's a fine line between subtle and opaque. The challenge then becomes how to do that in such a way that it is intuitive without cluttering the UI with extra elements.

 

And let's remember this is a very minor point. The two biggest issues with DEF spending in MOO1 are a shortcoming and a bug. The shortcoming is the inability to specify a colony cap on missile bases -- which leads to colonies with far too many bases if the player doesn't micromanage it. The bug is the inability of the game to readjust defense spending for all affected colonies if too many planets complete shield construction in the same turn -- which leads to excessive DEF spending being funneled to reserve if the player doesn't follow up and manually adjust DEF spending back down.

 

Both of those issues are fixed in ROTP.


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Moo4 #32 Posted 17 March 2016 - 02:15 PM

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View PostRayFowler, on 15 March 2016 - 05:02 PM, said:

 

With regards to changing spending priorities, your approach is exactly the option I would attempt --- clicking on the output string to cycle between different projects that can be built with the slider. There's a fine line between subtle and opaque. The challenge then becomes how to do that in such a way that it is intuitive without cluttering the UI with extra elements.

 

Sounds pretty similar to the 6-ship toggle that you can assign ship building from in MoO1.  A good system.

 

Slightly streamlined may be combining ship and defense into a single slider.  On the galaxy screen hitting the toggle button would pass through a list of 5-10 options only.  In a more detailed screen the player can choose what buildings he wants on the 5-10 'hotbar' toggle button.  The primary guys on this hotbar would be recent ship designs, star bases, missile bases, shields, warpgates etc.


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RayFowler #33 Posted 17 March 2016 - 11:12 PM

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View PostMoo4, on 17 March 2016 - 08:15 AM, said:

 

Sounds pretty similar to the 6-ship toggle that you can assign ship building from in MoO1.  A good system.

 

Slightly streamlined may be combining ship and defense into a single slider.  On the galaxy screen hitting the toggle button would pass through a list of 5-10 options only.  In a more detailed screen the player can choose what buildings he wants on the 5-10 'hotbar' toggle button.  The primary guys on this hotbar would be recent ship designs, star bases, missile bases, shields, warpgates etc.

 

So you are suggesting to embedding a detailed screen behind what is currently a simple cycle through the player's 6 ship designs, and also preventing a player from building ships and defense items at the same time. I am not persuaded!  :P

 

The beauty of open-sourcing the game is that people will be able to customize the game to their heart's content


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Moo4 #34 Posted 18 March 2016 - 08:41 AM

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Funny you should mention the blocking out of simultaneous ships and bases.  I actually had a paragraph on that exact question but took it out at the end of the post.

 

You are right that MoO1's simultaneous approach to planet output is awesome.  Sliders splitting up an ever-growing pie is superior to MoO2+'s approach of sliders changing in relative size as the pie grows (this is the problem that people are having with new colonists popping up in odd jobs).  Simultaneous eco, research, infrastructure and construction is mandatory in a MoO1 follow-up.  However, you noticed I combined ship and defense both under 'construction' which implicity suggests that ships and bases can't be built at the same time.

 

My question is when would you want to do this?  Now, you've mentioned that your new project puts a player-adjusted cap on missile bases per planet.  In THAT example I could see planet management putting a constant 5% of BC towards defense and gradually builds missiles up to the cap.  However, without that cap in place I do not see an advantage to passively building missile bases over time (while researching/ship building/growing).  MoO1, without the missile base cap, leads to very binary defense-spending behavior.  You are either at the amount of shields/missiles you want or you are not.  I don't ever recall  struggling with the question of "I want 10 more missle bases for planet X.  I can build 2 a year for the next 5 years while also building a ship.  Or I can build 10 bases this year and move to ship next."  The answer is 99.9% build the bases you want now and ship later.   Again I want to remphasize this applies specifically to bases and ships.  I appreciate the tension in splitting up jobs across research/eco/infrastructure--it is part of the beauty of MoO1.  I just think SHIP and DEF are a bit too closely related and fit in very different time priorities.

 

I'm such a fan of spreading spending that my previous suggestions for a MoO1 1.5 have moved the basic buildings (research labs, robo miners) to the infrastructure slider.  This allows you to build towards infrastructure buildings alongside a ship or missile base controlled by the construction slider.  I could probably be convinced that missile bases could be governed by the infrastructure slider and thereby allowing simultaneous ship + bases.

 

All in all, do you agree that the Moo1 DEF slider is the least interesting of the 5?


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Moo4 #35 Posted 18 March 2016 - 08:45 AM

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As for assigning ships/defensive buildings to a "hotbar".

 

MoO1 style is limited to 6 ships (+1 for stargates)  This is because you can only have 6 concurrent ship designs.  (On a side note, this is a nice way to encourage people to keep updating their fleet). Only the ship slider had selectable projects.  I believe you are proposing selectable projects under the DEF tab?  Would there be only 2? (shields/bases) 


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Moo4 #36 Posted 18 March 2016 - 10:11 AM

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Killing more time at work...

 

Out of curiosity, how do you plan on implementing Moo2 races in a MoO1 engine?

 

Gnolams = $.  Perhaps you could have them be more efficient with treasury usage?  Normal races lose 50% when collecting taxes.  This could be decreased to 30-40% to encourage hoarding money more efficiently.  On the spending side, when transferring to a planet the bonus per turn is limited to doubling the regular output.  Maybe Gnolams could have this increased to 150%?  The combination of better collection and more efficient spending could be quite strong when setting up new planets, responding to incoming attacks (build more bases!) or random events.

 

I thought about suggesting a mimic of more BC per population but that mimics the Klackon bonus and, although incredibly strong, doesn't change the playstyle too much.  Interacting with planets by investing reserves seems like a novel enough angle.  

 

 

Also the bonuses to efficient reserves and spending could be modified by leaders from other races.  The gnolams would have baseline bonuses on it though.  Also have to keep in mind the feedback problem with ultra rich pumping reserves.


Edited by Moo4, 18 March 2016 - 10:16 AM.

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RayFowler #37 Posted 18 March 2016 - 11:58 AM

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View PostMoo4, on 18 March 2016 - 02:41 AM, said:

My question is when would you want to do this?  Now, you've mentioned that your new project puts a player-adjusted cap on missile bases per planet.  In THAT example I could see planet management putting a constant 5% of BC towards defense and gradually builds missiles up to the cap.  However, without that cap in place I do not see an advantage to passively building missile bases over time (while researching/ship building/growing). 

 

But that is why all of the sliders are in the  game in the first place. If you wanted to micromanage every colony every turn, then you would have a build queue, like MOO2, where you just put all of the SHIP, DEF, IND, ECO and RES projects in the order that you want them turn.

 

99% of the time, you do not need to do that. This is why MOO1 works so well in the endgame and MOO2 does not. If you want to prioritize spending in MOO1, you just adjust the slider to 100% and lock it, and then switch it when the spending is done. But most of the time, you do not.

 

View PostMoo4, on 18 March 2016 - 02:45 AM, said:

As for assigning ships/defensive buildings to a "hotbar".

 

MoO1 style is limited to 6 ships (+1 for stargates)  This is because you can only have 6 concurrent ship designs.  (On a side note, this is a nice way to encourage people to keep updating their fleet). Only the ship slider had selectable projects.  I believe you are proposing selectable projects under the DEF tab?  Would there be only 2? (shields/bases) 

 

I am not proposing that. I am saying that, if I felt like that was a problem that needed to be solved (as opposed to a minor annoyance), that's how I would probably do it. There are currently no plans to change the game in that way.

 

View PostMoo4, on 18 March 2016 - 04:11 AM, said:

Killing more time at work...

 

Out of curiosity, how do you plan on implementing Moo2 races in a MoO1 engine?

 

Gnolams = $.  Perhaps you could have them be more efficient with treasury usage?  Normal races lose 50% when collecting taxes.  This could be decreased to 30-40% to encourage hoarding money more efficiently.  On the spending side, when transferring to a planet the bonus per turn is limited to doubling the regular output.  Maybe Gnolams could have this increased to 150%?  The combination of better collection and more efficient spending could be quite strong when setting up new planets, responding to incoming attacks (build more bases!) or random events.

 

I thought about suggesting a mimic of more BC per population but that mimics the Klackon bonus and, although incredibly strong, doesn't change the playstyle too much.  Interacting with planets by investing reserves seems like a novel enough angle.  

 

 

Also the bonuses to efficient reserves and spending could be modified by leaders from other races.  The gnolams would have baseline bonuses on it though.  Also have to keep in mind the feedback problem with ultra rich pumping reserves.

 

I haven't thought about how the MOO2 races will be integrated into the MOO1 framework yet. That's over a year away before I start on that. I will say that Humans will probably get their trade bonus nerfed (in favor of the Gnolams) and just have a diplomatic bonus. Elerians will have a connection to Darloks TBD and not have telepathy (massively OP), and Trilarians will change as well.


Edited by RayFowler, 18 March 2016 - 12:00 PM.

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Moo4 #38 Posted 18 March 2016 - 12:04 PM

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Telepathy is certainly OP.  I wonder if it is possible for only a proportion of ground troops to fight back while an elerian ship is in orbit?  Maybe 50%?  Ground combat is still required but much easier to take a planet when Elerians are in orbit.  This is different than the bulrathi bonus which applies in all cases.  

 

If Elerians win a ground combat with 50% of the enemy population not fighting, the remaining 50% are immediately killed off before Elerians take the planet over?  Shrugs.  Might work.  Certainly a poor man's version of the MoO2 mind control but it needs a nerf.  


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RayFowler #39 Posted 18 March 2016 - 12:47 PM

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View PostMoo4, on 18 March 2016 - 06:04 AM, said:

Telepathy is certainly OP.  I wonder if it is possible for only a proportion of ground troops to fight back while an elerian ship is in orbit?  Maybe 50%?  Ground combat is still required but much easier to take a planet when Elerians are in orbit.  This is different than the bulrathi bonus which applies in all cases.  

 

If Elerians win a ground combat with 50% of the enemy population not fighting, the remaining 50% are immediately killed off before Elerians take the planet over?  Shrugs.  Might work.  Certainly a poor man's version of the MoO2 mind control but it needs a nerf.  

 

Racial bonuses need to have a qualitative aspect as a primary consideration, and then that is subsequently reflected in the underlying mathematics of the game. Otherwise the race has no real personality. Humans are diplomats, Darloks are spies, Bulrathis are formidable ground attack troops, etc.

 

A race with telepathy would probably excel in diplomacy, which is the human domain so it doesn't belong to the Elerians. Besides, they are elves so it was never a good fit anyway. However, the Elerians' unique racial ability is already decided, it's cool, and everyone will just have to wait to find out. It's mainly the Trilarians I still have to wrestle with since purely aquatic races don't work well in the game.


Edited by RayFowler, 18 March 2016 - 12:48 PM.

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Zeraan #40 Posted 18 March 2016 - 03:27 PM

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View PostRayFowler, on 18 March 2016 - 11:58 AM, said:

I haven't thought about how the MOO2 races will be integrated into the MOO1 framework yet. That's over a year away before I start on that. I will say that Humans will probably get their trade bonus nerfed (in favor of the Gnolams) and just have a diplomatic bonus. Elerians will have a connection to Darloks TBD and not have telepathy (massively OP), and Trilarians will change as well.

 

When I was working on Beyond Beyaan, I raised enough funds to fund 3 extra races from kickstarter.  So I had a discussion about how MoO 2 races would fit in MoO 1's game environment over in realmsbeyond.  Since Dominus Galaxia isn't a direct clone anymore, maybe this can be benefical for your game?  http://realmsbeyond.net/forums/showthread.php?tid=6293


Edited by Zeraan, 18 March 2016 - 03:41 PM.





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