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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Loading and MoO 2 races

I'm still working on the loading part, it's not as easy as saving out data :)  I haven't had much time lately due to stress from work (got some critical issues to resolve) and holiday weekend.  But it's getting there, I promise!

As for the post's title, let's talk about MoO 2's new races.  Since the kickstarter campaign raised sufficient funds to fund 3 additional races, these will obviously be equivalent of MoO 2's new races when I implement MoO 2's features.  However, the question is, what if I want to play MoO 1's ruleset instead of MoO 2?  How will the 3 new races fit in?

I've posed the question over at's forums and after a brief discussion there with Refsteel there, I think I may have a good idea for the new races:

Triliarians - Their racial perk is that they have +25% max population on planets that they inhabit.  Coupled with good planetology field perk, this gives them two advantages: More troops to defend/attack, and more production, slightly out-edging klackons and meklars in end-game.  However, longer time to build factories and to grow population offsets this advantage.

Gnolams (Pudelhunds is the equivalent race) - This one is a bit more challenging because economics work very differently from MoO 2 than in MoO 1.  So here's my proposition:  Have their racial perk be that they invest 25% less into doubling a planet's production (75 BC for 100 extra PP on a 100 PP planet), and they only suffer 25% corruption when investing into industry/taxing.  So you better ensure that they never colonize a rich/ultra rich planet.  The obvious benefit is easier overdriving of production, but there's also the ability to raise funds to give as tribute to other races to improve relations.

Elerians - Again, a bit of challenge.  Telepathy as it works in MoO 2 would be too overpowered for MoO 1.  Imagine being able to take over a 300-pop Orion just by having ships in orbit?  So we need a different approach that is keeping the theme.  So for Elerians, I'd say their perks are having the whole map visible to them from the start (removing the need for space scanner technologies), and having a +2 fuel range bonus (maybe +1 if 2 prove to be too powerful) due to their knowledge of obstacles and such.  This would be very advantageous in beginning, but towards the end-game, their bonuses are not as powerful.  Or perhaps +1 fuel range bonus, with an increased chance of capturing technologies when invading a planet (mind reading and all that)?  Coupled with "Good" in Propulsion technology field.

As for the MoO 1's "weak" races, here's what I'm proposing to help them balance against other races, especially with new races:

Mrrshans - The worst race: Their main issue is blood feuds with other races, which makes them waste production on fleets and invasions, this is aggravated by the AI's default warlike personality. What if we reduce their relationship penalties, and boost their computer field by one level (for targeting computer technologies that couple with their racial advantage)? Maybe reduce the chance of having the warlike personality for AI?

Darloks - Their computers are Good, why not Excellent? They should be the master spies after all. This should be enough to give them a boost

Bulrathis - Since AI send massive fleets of transports in hopes that some will make it, maybe just adding this one feature will make them more balanced? Add 25% chance of successfully landing troops, and when the troop landing tech is researched, increases to 75%? So less troops are wasted, and they have a chance of taking over planets?

What are your thoughts on those ideas?  Overpowered or underpowered?  Don't forget that we can tweak the races' technology fields' affinity to help balance things out.


  1. Well, I don't think Bulrathis need any additional boost. My experience says they are one of the most powerful races - the invasion bonus is a big advantage.
    On the other hand, I am not sure why you want to change racial advantages/disadvantages when you try to mimic the MoO1 behaviour?

    MoO1 ruleset with the additional races, two simple solutions:
    - those races are not playable in MoO1 ruleset
    - those races are humans except the visual appearance

    Your suggestions:
    - higher max pop: good idea, different from the other advantages and gives a good bonus
    - cheaper industry doubling: its effect seems to be a worse version of the Klackon bonus
    - initial map knowledge: good idea; Ascendancy also had similar bonuses (Kambuchka, Hanshaks and Oculons), maybe you could consider those as well
    - bigger fuel range: sounds like a separate (and pretty big) bonus; maybe give _that_ to Gnolams

    1. While my goal is to mimic MoO 1's ruleset, I'd like to fix bugs/exploits in the process, and balance as needed, to make for a better overall experience.

      I can easily have both "Vanilla" and "Chocolate" versions of MoO 1 with "Vanilla" having the same races, while "Chocolate" have the 3 new races and balancing changes. So I'll do that to appease both crowds. The reason for the 3 new races is that since I have their artwork, why not include them instead of letting them go to waste?

      For gnolams, you're correct, it is similar to Klackon's bonus, but with micro... I'm trying to think of things that work with "money" theme in MoO 1. Reduced maintenance, corruption, and ship costs (they can make very good deal on parts for building ships for example)? Their technology fields would be all average, to offset the big advantage of reduced ship costs.

      For Elerians, Initial map knowledge and +1 fuel range with good affinity in propulsion and average in other fields, and poor in weapons (since they rely on mind control and such)?

    2. Oh, forgot to say, yeah, in retrospect, Bulrathis don't seem that weak, like Mrrshans or Darloks, so they can be left alone.

    3. Elerians: what will be included in the "initial map knowledge"? Only the planet type? Or richness and artifacts as well? In the latter case will they get the tech gift when colonizing?
      What about other races homeworlds/colonies/ships/troops?
      I guess if you include all of these, then it will be a pretty strong bonus itself.

      Gnolams: everything can be bound to money :)
      Even the cheaper fuel :)
      You know - money makes the world go round
      Maybe they could make somewhat more planetary reserve (like +25%) when working on that.
      The problem is that it sounds boring even to me...
      I liked the idea of having bigger fuel range, or in fact faster ships. Couldn't you find out some ideology why they have +1 speed? :)

    4. So gnolams are smugglers, running the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs to get goods to their destination? :) So 25% less corruption, 25% less overall maintenance (ship and military bases), and +1, maybe +2, fuel range? That could work.

      As for Elerians, yes, they'll see everything in galaxy, similar to advanced space scanner but with infinite range, negating their need for space scanners (Considering that, maybe average in weapons, and poor in computers?) However, to actually obtain technology from artifacts, they need to send a ship to that planet before anyone arrives there, like normal. Maybe couple that with having contact everyone even though they're out of range from start of game? Since they're telepathic, they can establish trade and treaties way early compared to other races, and spy on them. Spying is offset by their poor affinity in computer field.

    5. Sounds good to me...
      The maybe's are fine - finetuning should decide which is in and which is out

    6. If the Elerians have contact with everyone then everyone will be able to spy on them as well. So the Meklars and Darloks can then rob the Elerians blind from the other side of the map with no immediate risk of retaliation! They will need a defensive spy bonus to prevent that.

    7. I wondered about the Alkari. In my MOOI games the Bulrathi always did fine (assuming a decent starting position), but the Alkari were one of the Mrrshan-esque that never quite seemed able to compete. But they might have just been unlucky in my games.

    8. Alkari: I had the same experience, so it's probably not just bad luck...
      As I see, Alkari and Mrrshan are the two hardest races. When I want challenge, I choose them.

      Elerians: good point, worth considering. Elerians definitely can spy from the beginning. Brent can tell if it is possible to spy unidirectionally or not.

    9. Yeah, looking back, Alkari was weak as well. I think their issue is the blood feuds with Mrrshans. If we reduce that, they can focus more on economy development than fighting each other for the last position. We can test it then tweak as needed so that races don't feel overpowered/underpowered.

      As for Elerians, yeah, I think diplomatic contacts from beginning is a bad idea now. Unidirectional spying is too powerful. So need something to add to Elerians with their galaxy knowledge... In fact, reading the Elerians' perks in MoO 2 manual, we can almost copy and paste the race into MoO 1: Galaxy knowledge, ship defensive/offensive bonuses. So if they have half of Mrrshans and Alkari's perks (+2 to hit, and +1 defensive), they should be good to go.

  2. Links to the mentionned Ascendancy races:

    1. Oh, I never played Ascendancy, but some of their racial perks are very creative!

    2. Try it once, it's a good lesson.
      It's full of good ideas, its athmosphere is good, and somehow the game is still not good enough.
      The AI is weak, that's clear and there is too much micromanagement there for sure - but I'm not sure that explains everything.
      And please, let me know if you find out what is the problem with it :)

  3. Read your calculations on the's forum, and I think it would be better to give only +20% bonus to Triliarians - they should not have higher production than Klackons or Meklars, additionally to their advantage in invasions.

    1. You bring up a very good point. After re-calculating with 20%, Triliarians have bonuses to production, but not as much as meklars or klackons (720 population production + 2520 factory production = 3240 total production on a 300-pop planet, compared to Meklars/Klackons' 3300 production, and regular races' 2700 production).

      Still a huge advantage, considering their increased population/factory count (harder to bomb/invade). Might need to decrease the bonus to 15%, but we'll need to play-test it and see what "feels right". For now, I'll use 20% for Triliarians.

  4. AFAIK the Darloks were Poor in Computers, not Good.

    They were a good race in the hands of a player; the AI just had trouble since they were Xenophobic, had a relations penalty with all races except humans, and it was bad at strategically using its spies.