Master of Orion

Master of Orion

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Kody Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:07pm
Response to Feedback: Upcoming Changes to Master of Orion
Greetings Explorers,

Be warned: this is a very long post.

Since Early Access began on February 26th, you’ve provided consistent thoughtful feedback about the direction we’re going with Master of Orion. We’ve been reviewing your feedback with NGD Studios to ensure that it is considered with every potential change or addition we will make between now and release.

To that end, we have the first of what we are calling “Feedback Response” articles. The aim of this piece is to give you an idea of some of the changes we’re planning based on your feedback. We can’t commit to specific timelines for anything at the moment, but we want to make sure you have visibility on what we’re looking to do.

Please note that not every single change we plan to make is mentioned here. If you see something missing from the list, there’s a good chance we’re considering it, it’s just that we’re not ready to talk about it.

Balance/AI
This is an important focus for us as it impacts most if not all game systems. Without solid balance and a strong AI, things begin to fall apart. If we were to prioritize the content of this article, you could probably consider most of the topics in this list as the highest priority.
  • Late-game pacing is sluggish, so we are planning to improve that—especially providing interesting things for players not focused on the Conquest victory condition
  • Research comes a little too easy right now, resulting in technologies being unlocked far too quickly; we will make adjustments here to make unlocking a technology feel more like a milestone and to reduce the frequency at which ship designs and ship weapons/systems become obsolete
  • We’re working on making pirates more interesting, giving more options for interacting with and engaging them, as well as the ability for them to expand
  • Some racial perks are not as valuable in multiplayer (i.e. those that affect diplomacy), so we are making changes so that they are more impactful
  • Biomes are not unique enough at the moment, so we are planning to add more variation and also potentially provide new bonuses (i.e. Morale) based on the biome
  • Races are not distinct enough, so we are planning to improve this through more interesting perks/traits
  • Miniaturization will be introduced; all hail making things smaller!
  • Improvements will be made to diplomacy AI to allow more positive interaction between AI races, including basic treaties, alliances and diplomatic council votes
  • BC income will be adjusted so that it remains an option for speeding up expansion (or strengthening a fleet) but does not trivialize it
Tactical Battles
At the moment tactical battles have a strong core implementation, but usability is a big issue. A major focus for this feature is improving the control the player has over the action in the battle, as well as more information on what’s happening.
  • We will be changing it so that each tactical battle starts paused by default, allowing you to get a feel for the surroundings and the battlefield to begin planning your tactics
  • Formation bonuses will be introduced that provide bonus effects to certain ship types for flying in formation
  • Civilian ships will be added to the battlefield, so use caution when moving them around the galaxy along with your combat fleets
  • A retreat option will be introduced at the intro screen as well as during combat (note: some technologies/structures/specials may potentially prevent retreat from being possible for all ships)
  • We are evaluating options for more control over specials and weapon systems, as well as weapon overlays to give more clarity on what’s going on
Ship Design
Customizing your ships and fleets is integral to the tactical battles experience and makes the arsenal of your empire distinctly yours. To that end, we want to make it easier for you to customize your ships, as well as provide more clarity in what you are doing, and finally to reduce the negative impact the auto-update feature has on your designs.
  • We will be updating the ship design interface
  • Ship designs and ships already built will no longer be linked, meaning when you scrap a design you will not have to scrap the ships
  • The character limit for ship names will be increased
  • Default AI behaviors will be added (Range, Aggression, Focus, etc.)
Usability / Interface
The feedback we have gotten is that the user interface is already in a good place. However, we agree that certain areas could use some touch-up.
  • We are taking a pass on the information available and plan to increase the number of tooltips across the entire game, as well as improve their quality
Diplomacy
The AI needs to better use treaties and the diplomacy system as a whole. We will also adjust the effects declining certain proposals has on disposition, as some of them affect relations too negatively.
  • We will provide better feedback on the diplomacy screen, including how racial traits and other bonuses are impacting relations
  • AI will be improved to propose more intelligent exchanges, such as tech for tech
  • Certain actions have too much impact on diplomatic relations and will be adjusted (i.e. share charts currently has far too negative of an effect if rejected)
  • We will improve on “emperor traits” (commonly referred to as biases) and how they act in diplomacy and view other races’ actions within the game
Colony Screen
Our main goal here is to provide additional polish, make more information available, and expand functionality on certain elements.
  • A scrollable structure list will be introduced to complement the visual display of structures on the planet
  • Preset and customizable build “templates” will be introduced to make late-game expansion less cumbersome
  • We will be enabling the production queue by default
  • The ability to drag multiple population at a time will be added (all to the right of the one selected, except those on strike or other races)
Build Screen
The build screen will see improvements based on changes we’re making to other areas of the game (including general keystroke/mouse functionality), but there are some changes specific to this screen as well. They mostly focus on ships and making what you’re doing and getting from them more clear.
  • Command Point and Upkeep costs will update to reflect the number of ships being produced
  • We will allow you to specify the quantity of ships to produce if more than one, rather than only having the single or 5x options
  • Civilian transports will be made much cheaper and it will be clearer that they are “rental” and will disappear once you move the population to a planet
  • Detailed ship combat stats will be added to the build menu
Empire Screen
While it’s primarily intended to be a macro-level management screen, we have seen feedback that certain micro-level options would be nice to have here. We’re also planning to add more clarity and sortable columns for Morale and Pollution.
  • A heading will be added to the Morale column and a Pollution column will be added
  • A per-colony production buyout button will be added
  • We will improve the flagging feature by allowing you to not only name your flags, but also define new flag types
  • It will be possible to redistribute population within a colony from this screen
Research Screen
While research speed has already been touched on, there are other changes we’re planning for the tech tree to make progression more interesting and rewarding. We will also improve information on certain tooltips within the tech tree.
  • We are considering a concept of building upgrade technologies to give early buildings more longevity in the game (i.e. Automated Factory II)
  • Tooltips of weapons will be improved to provide full clarity on their effectiveness
  • We are considering adding weapon mods (Heavy, Envelopment, etc.) to the tech tree as researchable technologies
  • Jump Gates will be moved to an earlier spot in the tech tree to improve early and mid-game movement
  • Shield upgrades will be expanded, and we will introduce additional weapon options for ships
Galaxy Screen
The galaxy view is beautiful, but we want it to be functional for you too. To that end we are making adjustments to better provide information on colonies, ships and other entities at-a-glance.
  • We are planning to increase the quantity of wormholes to make exploration more exciting—“Where is this going to take me?”
  • We are planning to increase the information around the planet to display things like trade goods, pollution cleanup, etc. as icons
  • We are experimenting with a slow / limited navigation option outside of starlanes, unlocked via mid-game technology
  • Radar lines will be introduced to show maximum visibility range of ships, monsters and planets
  • The ability to see the weapons/modules of a ship when hovering over its icon in the fleet window will be added
  • Population display will be changed to show both the current and maximum population of a planet
  • Icons will be added next to fleets that convey what they are doing (i.e. guarding, blockading, constructing something)
  • Civilian ships will be changed to not trigger the threatening fleet notice
  • The star systems near the core of the galaxy will be made easier to see
  • A rally point option will be added for military ships/fleets
Game Settings / Setup
Less confusion and more options are the big themes for our pass on game settings / setup at the moment.
  • The galaxy (or “big bang”) seed will be randomized by default each time you begin a game, rather than starting at 0; you will still have the option of setting this manually or using the random button, but we want to reduce the confusion over galaxy options for newer players
  • We will introduce a “Game Speed” option that determines how fast or slow things progress (e.g. production, research, colony growth)
  • We plan to allow the use of different text and audio localizations (i.e. Russian text, English audio)
  • It will be possible to disable GNN while still getting important updates
  • The ability to disable Unstable Warp Lanes will be added as an advanced setting
  • VO options will be expanded so that you can disable advisor VO while keeping other voices on
Miscellaneous
Below are some of the things we’re working on that would impact multiple areas of the game, or do not fit into a specific category outlined above.
  • Additional functionality (such as right-click) to exit out of screens will be added
  • A subtitles option will be added for screens that include VO to ensure information is not missed for hearing-impaired players
  • Colorblind options will be added to game settings
  • A user-defined chess clock-style turn timer will be added for multiplayer
  • An explanation of the Galactic Council will be added and displayed when it is founded
  • Special resources will be better explained
  • We will be adding the ability to open certain UI elements after you end your turn in multiplayer
It’s important to stay engaged with the community during Early Access, so we intend to communicate changes like this whenever possible. Providing feedback on games can sometimes feel like a one-way street, and we want you to know we’re listening.

Thank you for playing, and please keep the feedback coming. You’re helping us make Master of Orion the best it can be.
Last edited by Kody; Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:08pm
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Showing 1-15 of 627 comments
Anguille Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:17pm 
That's a great list! Thanks for your dedication to this game...and good luck.
Galactic Origins Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:19pm 
wow
Well its about damn time
Panzerfanlol Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:19pm 
Thank you. Good luck!
Andre B Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:19pm 
Looking forward to future changes ;)
Wywernywin Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:20pm 
I wish you would add specific subforums for both Bug Reporting and Feature Suggestions on your forums. I've some ideas, but I've no idea where to post them.
VDmitry Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:21pm 
Any news on tactical battles in MP, or at least possibility to review the battle?

Otherwise, what is most interesting:

- movement w/o starlanes is being worked on
- formations will give bonuses, ships will take default stances/behaviors (probably useful in MP)
- game speed (including research) will be adjusted, including special setting during setup
Last edited by VDmitry; Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:25pm
tiagopaixao Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:22pm 
don't forget about adjusting font size for people with lower resolutions/ smaller screen sizes!
SpiritWebb Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:24pm 
That is huge, I cannot wait to see what these changes will do!!
Filoret Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:24pm 
очень здорова
Katana Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:25pm 
good to see so many good features return!
LordAlatar Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:25pm 
Fingers crossed, keep up the good work!
Rheaper Grim Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:28pm 
Always good to see player feedback playing a role in game development
sounds awesome! i especially like/appreciate the "game speed option", the "de-linking of ships and designs" and the "radar lines"! also thanks a lot for already implementing the non-mandatory 500 turn limit!!
Hans Lemurson Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:33pm 
I like the idea of weapon-mods being researchable. From a pacing perspective, it's a good idea to have options get introduced one at a time so each one is meaningful, rather than frontloading you with confusing choices.
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Date Posted: Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:07pm
Posts: 627