Master of Orion

Master of Orion

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chilko Jul 21, 2016 @ 2:22pm
Message from the DEVs: EA6 is released!
Hello explorers!

We are very happy to announce the start of Phase 6 of Master of Orion’s Early Access Program.

This new version packs a lot of improvements under the hood so I will try to do my best to explain them as always.

UX

We are finally adding some much needed improvements to the UX. Specially regarding to important feedback (critical notifications, starving citizens, tooltips, etc.). We still have to do a final pass on a lot of toolips in the game, but there’s been significant progress.

We also did some minor adjustments to all the buttons in the game, they are now sharper and clearer (and more readable when appearing over very clear backgrounds). We hope you like their new look.

Balance and pacing

Most of you seem to appreciate the new population growth rhythm as it demands more strategic thinking and planning. Following this model, we are now introducing some further adjustments.

Now, population growth also depends on planet size, making small planets more interesting for early colonization. We also slowed down population growth when the planets are reaching its population cap, to make those cloning centers more important.

Finally, we added game pace configuration to the match setup. We’ve set the default experience to Classic for now. Please also try the Quick option as we are thinking of making that option the default one for Release since we want to reach a broader audience.

AI

During the past month, the AI has learned some important new tricks:
  • It’s much better at building Starbases thus having bigger fleets
  • It’s much better at invading
  • It knows when to build civilian transports to populate new colonies
  • It attacks and defends more efficiently
  • AI is better at deciding when to retreat from tactical combat

On the strategic/diplomatic side, the AI is now capable of selecting victory conditions dynamically depending on racial personalities and the overall situation of the match.
We also fixed several issues with the audience system so the AI is now triggering animations, dialogue lines that where not being triggered before.

Tactical Battles

Tactical balance weapon systems went through a major re-balance. We improved the way that the ships move and how they engage each other resulting in more dynamic and interesting battles. We also improved the abstract representation (when you see the battle from a distance) and the readability of the health bars.

The following is a list of the most important changes in tactical battles

Tactical UX improvements:
  • Improved GUI
  • Improved camera transition (now shows your fleet regardless of starting position).
  • New "Abstract" (Fully Zoomed Out) Representations for ships.
  • Camera no longer resets to abstract view on Pause.
  • Cleaned Hull/Shield Bar Legibility up.
Tactical mechanics & AI:
  • Improved ship movement.
  • Improved engagement behaviors for fast ships.
  • Generally improved Opening Moves.
  • Fixed several issues with the Pulsar.
  • Fixed Issues with Point Defense efficiency.
Ship design Improvements:
  • Each AI Race now has Unique Ship Blueprints for auto design (Player Blueprints remain "neutral").
Tactical Balance:
  • Minimum Damage per Impact is now 1 (Shields can no longer nullify all damage).
  • Reworked Beams (Now much more effective at Long Range).
  • Nerfed the Dauntless Guidance System (Now has limited retargeting attempts and missiles fizzle if the ship firing them dies).
  • Greatly Reduced FTL Jump Tech startup animation (Subspace Teleporter and Displacement Device).
  • Rebalanced Automated Repair Unit (Now Cost, Size and Effect properly scale with Hull).
  • Shield Capacitor effect now scales with Hull Size.
  • Reinforced Hull no longer incorrectly scales with Armor (Always provides Bonus HP equal to 50% Base Hull)
  • Rescaled Armor and Shield Cost (Now are increasingly less HP/Cost Effective as Tech Level Increases).
  • Battle Pods now use 20 Space (Still provide +50% Space, mostly affects Frigates).
  • Ship Deployment now splits squadrons evenly.
  • Reduced Missile Miss Chance inside Nebulas to 50% (Was 100%)
  • Starbases are now tougher but deal less damage. Military Outposts now have Longer Range and deal more damage.
Finally, and by popular demand, we added real time rendered cutscenes to Military, Economic and technological victories (for every race!) Let’s see who gets to see them all!

We believe that EA6 is a good step forward for the game.
For those of you who want the detailed info you can take a look into the patch notes:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/298050/announcements/detail/954019323684809488
As always, we can’t wait to get your feedback!

Best,

- Chilko and the MoO development team
Last edited by chilko; Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:12pm
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Showing 1-15 of 73 comments
Rhyno Jul 21, 2016 @ 2:42pm 
After watching you guys fix and reintroduce bugs repeatedly, now that colonies auto-starve again unless forced to build nothing and focus on food for 50-80 days... I give. Good luck. I'm no longer interested in watching the fire.
ashbery76 Jul 21, 2016 @ 2:46pm 
Are we going to be able to rename planets? I use this in 4X to mark out what the planet's focus is.
Eupolemos Jul 21, 2016 @ 2:50pm 
Seems nice - will you implement multiplayer Tactical Combat soon? It really is a massive deterrent for me and my buddy not to have :(
chilko Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:04pm 
@tom.rhyne There are several strategies that you can use to speed up the growth of your first colonies. You can rush structures, pursue the tech that gives you the +1 food (Colony Base) or manage your population using stock food. More interesting decisions, more meaningful choices opens the way to more strategic depth.
We are continuing to teach the AI how to play a more complex game that's all.
Last edited by chilko; Jul 21, 2016 @ 4:26pm
Meh (VT2000) Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:06pm 
This might be abit much but can we continue a game even after we win? Perticularily the diplomatic victory as I would like to still explore the galaxy. Also in single player mode I like to try and have enough ai player slots to include all races ((terran optional)) this gives a more dynamic universe to play through.
Last edited by Meh (VT2000); Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:07pm
Uncle_Joe Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:06pm 
Originally posted by tom.rhyne:
After watching you guys fix and reintroduce bugs repeatedly, now that colonies auto-starve again unless forced to build nothing and focus on food for 50-80 days... I give. Good luck. I'm no longer interested in watching the fire.

Yeah, this has pretty much been a deal-breaker for me too. It just doesn't make sense to have to jump through hoops to be able to have a colony develop. I'd rather the restriction come somewhere else if people are starting out too quickly with 'colony spam'.

That said, I'm going to give EA6 a try tonight or over the weekend and see if I can get past that initial dull grind. I was not able to force myself through it in EA5 (mostly because I had such garbage starts that it felt more like work than I want out of my games..).
Uncle_Joe Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:08pm 
Originally posted by chilko:
@tom.rhyne There are several strategies that you can use to speed up the growth of your first colonies. You can rush structures, pursue the tech that gives you the +1 food (Colony Base) or micromanage your population using stock food. More interesting decisions, more meaningful choices opens the way to more strategic depth.
We are continuing to teach the AI how to play a more complex game that's all.

What do you mean by 'micromanage your population using stock food'?
Davor Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:26pm 
Originally posted by chilko:
@tom.rhyne There are several strategies that you can use to speed up the growth of your first colonies. You can rush structures, pursue the tech that gives you the +1 food (Colony Base) or micromanage your population using stock food. More interesting decisions, more meaningful choices opens the way to more strategic depth.
We are continuing to teach the AI how to play a more complex game that's all.

That is what I do, but the problem with that is "it becomes monotonous". It's rinse dry repeat. Rinse dry repeat. Problem is, a game is suppose to add fun, and there is no fun in waiting 50+ turns or even 25+ turns from population 1 to population 2. I can understand why people are getting upset over this.

You can say if we have to buy these thing right away, why are not our people building these things into the colony ship so they dont have to buy it when they get there.

Again, I am not sure if this is addressed if you use the options for faster growth rate when you start a new game. Would be nice from a Dev to get the results of these instead of us guessing what we need to choose to play our way.

We still don't even know if the options for faster growth rate even work.
Cpt. Jono Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:32pm 
Improving ever more. I just had a couple of concerns about a few of the updates.
1) Shields not negating all daamage. I could understand a scaled damage reduction as the shields are at full, but full shields shoudl block all hull damage. That's why they are there.
2) Missles fizzing out after a ship is destroyed, I feel is silly. They have been launched, they should be allowed to continue to their target.
3) Beams should reduce in damage over distance. Someoene pounding you from across the map with a beam weapon at 100% damage is foolish. It will make other weapons obsolete.

Questions I have;
Are we goint to have more ship design options than just the current ones?
Are we looking at making the AI less volitle? I've had them go from happy to not and delcaring war in the just a 20 turn span w/o me pushing them in any way.

Thank you!
Kody Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:32pm 
Originally posted by Davor:
Originally posted by chilko:
@tom.rhyne There are several strategies that you can use to speed up the growth of your first colonies. You can rush structures, pursue the tech that gives you the +1 food (Colony Base) or micromanage your population using stock food. More interesting decisions, more meaningful choices opens the way to more strategic depth.
We are continuing to teach the AI how to play a more complex game that's all.

That is what I do, but the problem with that is "it becomes monotonous". It's rinse dry repeat. Rinse dry repeat. Problem is, a game is suppose to add fun, and there is no fun in waiting 50+ turns or even 25+ turns from population 1 to population 2. I can understand why people are getting upset over this.

You can say if we have to buy these thing right away, why are not our people building these things into the colony ship so they dont have to buy it when they get there.

Again, I am not sure if this is addressed if you use the options for faster growth rate when you start a new game. Would be nice from a Dev to get the results of these instead of us guessing what we need to choose to play our way.

We still don't even know if the options for faster growth rate even work.

Very Fast is still going to be slower than pre-EA5 for brand new colonies because of the way the formula works now, but it's fairly close for populated colonies.
Last edited by Kody; Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:33pm
Mark-PC Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:35pm 
Saw the "Finally by popular demand" and was so hyped that maybe tactical was getting implemented into multiplayer.. only to have those hopes dashed.....looks like more waiting before its worth another play.
robert-ii Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:54pm 
I would like to be able to choose what population goes into a civil transport. This is especially important when you have more than 1 race on a planet. I have tried to figure out which population is going to go in the transport once its built, but i have been unable to determine a pattern. If im playing human and i want to transport one or two alien populations to another planet, please give me the option to choose which population i want to put in the transport.
As it is now, i may have to make 3 or 4 transports until it actually takes the one i want.

Im liking the updates, and i can tell that you devs are working hard to make improvements.
Thanks for the effort:steamhappy:

I wish the achievements were implimented, they are just taunting me...i can see them but i cant get them:steamsad:

Edit:
I didnt have a chance to play the new update right away, and i didnt see the changes to Civil transports in the patch notes, or anything about the achievements being implemented. I played a couple games on the new patch and i like the new changes.

The colony growth speed is fine, and with 5 or so different speed setting i really dont see why some people are ♥♥♥♥♥ing about this so much. All races start in the same basic situation...you need to actually do stuff to improve your start. Your strategy (or lack of strategy) will determine if you rise to dominate the galaxy or not. This is a game that will take a few hours to complete. Your 1st 50-100 turns are very important for establishing the foundation of victory.
The 1st thing i build is a frigate (4 turns or so) to protect against the raging pirates. The next thing i build is a colony ship. I colonize a close planet and leave it on food production, while i scout the nearby systems. When automated factories are researched, i'll build an automated factory in front of the colony ship that is about half built by now. ( The extra production generated by the factory makes up for the lost turns on the colony ship). I'll colonize my 3rd planet. By this time i'll have enough credits to buy a hydroponic farm for my 3rd planet. The 2nd planet is ready to grow to 2population now, and i'll put him on production for a factory or hydroponic farm. So now my 2nd and 3rd planet are basically at the same stage of developement. Meanwhile, my starting world has built a few more buildings along with a couple more frigates and a destroyer to fight the pirates. Bombing pirate colonies can be very lucrative...you'll most likely gain 1 population on your closest planet, but sometimes only get credits. This is an awesome boost, make sure it is YOU and not some1 else that is getting this.

I dont bother getting civil transports right away, because i like to get the scanner that scouts all planets in a system ( for greater awareness and control of the nearby systems). I will spend my credits to fastbuy factories or farms for my new colonies. I also build misslebases for frontline colonies very early, so they cant be blockaded /bombed by the ai. I only build enough ships to deter the other races from invading me. I tech up to merc missles w/ upgrades and dauntless guidance system before building an invasion fleet.

In multiplayer, it seems its more of a rush to mass driver and then make a bunch of ships quickly to steamroll your opponent(s) homeworld. You cant develope your planets, you must
build a fleet ASAP or you will get rolled. When your opponent is approaching your homeworld with 30+ frigates and destroyers, a starbase and a couple undeveloped planets with a few ships will do nothing to stop him...your only defence is a superior fleet.

The game is improving with every update, and the ai is playing abit smarter it seems. Still some minor bugs to work out, but getting better everytime :)
Last edited by robert-ii; Jul 26, 2016 @ 6:05am
Uncle_Joe Jul 21, 2016 @ 3:59pm 
Originally posted by Davor:
Originally posted by chilko:
@tom.rhyne There are several strategies that you can use to speed up the growth of your first colonies. You can rush structures, pursue the tech that gives you the +1 food (Colony Base) or micromanage your population using stock food. More interesting decisions, more meaningful choices opens the way to more strategic depth.
We are continuing to teach the AI how to play a more complex game that's all.

That is what I do, but the problem with that is "it becomes monotonous". It's rinse dry repeat. Rinse dry repeat. Problem is, a game is suppose to add fun, and there is no fun in waiting 50+ turns or even 25+ turns from population 1 to population 2. I can understand why people are getting upset over this.

You can say if we have to buy these thing right away, why are not our people building these things into the colony ship so they dont have to buy it when they get there.

Again, I am not sure if this is addressed if you use the options for faster growth rate when you start a new game. Would be nice from a Dev to get the results of these instead of us guessing what we need to choose to play our way.

We still don't even know if the options for faster growth rate even work.

This is correct. It's monotonous and not fun to have to micro-buy improvements into the colony to survive. I'd prefer to pay the extra cost of a Hydroponics Farm (or the equivalent) into each Colony ship and have it immediately deploy.

Less work to accomplish the same thing.

The early colonization is not interesting and does not encourage 'strategy'. It's rote....if on bad world, must do 'x'.

As far as playing on 'Fast' speed or whatever, I don't want EVERYTHING to be faster, just early colonization to not be a dull grind.
Zanteogo Jul 21, 2016 @ 4:06pm 
"Rescaled Armor and Shield Cost (Now are increasingly less HP/Cost Effective as Tech Level Increases)."

I will have to check it out, but if it makes it an actual choice, then good.


However, what about computers?
purdueguy Jul 21, 2016 @ 4:19pm 
Originally posted by Uncle_Joe:
Originally posted by Davor:

That is what I do, but the problem with that is "it becomes monotonous". It's rinse dry repeat. Rinse dry repeat. Problem is, a game is suppose to add fun, and there is no fun in waiting 50+ turns or even 25+ turns from population 1 to population 2. I can understand why people are getting upset over this.

You can say if we have to buy these thing right away, why are not our people building these things into the colony ship so they dont have to buy it when they get there.

Again, I am not sure if this is addressed if you use the options for faster growth rate when you start a new game. Would be nice from a Dev to get the results of these instead of us guessing what we need to choose to play our way.

We still don't even know if the options for faster growth rate even work.

This is correct. It's monotonous and not fun to have to micro-buy improvements into the colony to survive. I'd prefer to pay the extra cost of a Hydroponics Farm (or the equivalent) into each Colony ship and have it immediately deploy.

Less work to accomplish the same thing.

The early colonization is not interesting and does not encourage 'strategy'. It's rote....if on bad world, must do 'x'.

As far as playing on 'Fast' speed or whatever, I don't want EVERYTHING to be faster, just early colonization to not be a dull grind.

Select the new "QUICK" preset when creating a new game. Only pop growth is increased. Thats my fav speed and I hope they make it the default.

At beginning of game max your taxes and save up for hydroponic farm. Colonize your first planet (either 5 turns before or closer to when you have money for hydro). Buy the farm right away when you can afford it. Just sit your guy on farming until next pop. Once you have two the next will come twice as fast and then by 3 you'll really be going. By then I put 1 on production and 2 on farming.

Next target civil transports in your tech tree. The next planet you can use that and once you have 3 pop on planet, with quick setting, you can get to next pop in 5 to 8 turns. Super fast. By the time you get to Gaia in late game, with all buildings, you can use those planets ro crank out 1 pop per turn to make civil transports for other planets.
Last edited by purdueguy; Jul 21, 2016 @ 4:24pm
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Date Posted: Jul 21, 2016 @ 2:22pm
Posts: 73