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Why did Master of Orion 3 suck?

Old 04-14-04, 05:59 PM
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Why did Master of Orion 3 suck?

Master of Orion and its sequel were classic games in the empire-building strategy genre, but Master of Orion 3 sucked really bad, despite early acclaim from reviewers and beta testers. So why did it go down in flames like the Hindenburg?

I would say that it lost the charm of its predecessors. It was too dark and it aimed to be too realistic. Also, the space battles were unbearable -- basically dots shooting at each other in a sea of black in realtime. Realistic, maybe, but large fleets facing off against each other in 3D are almost impossible to wield effectively.

I think MOO3 can be summed up like this: in the first two you were managing an empire. In the third one you were managing the bureaucracy of an empire.

Did anyone actually play it?
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Old 04-15-04, 09:19 AM
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I tried to! I really wanted this one to kick ass. MOO kicked ass. MOO2 kicked even more ass, MOO3 sucked ass.

I think you hit the nail on the head with 'managing the bureaucracy' of an empire. It felt way more like a sim than a strategy game. I still have MOO2 installed on my PC, and have been playing that on and off. To me, MOO3 should've been MOO2 with better graphics, new music, more things to build, more races, and bigger maps. If I want a government sim I'll go sit in the courthouse with the school children and bums.
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Old 06-01-06, 11:01 AM
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Apparently many people have made huge modifications for this game, to the point where it is actually now pretty playable.

I am still stuck though in my first system!
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Old 06-02-06, 02:20 AM
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All the oldschool 4x games get drug down by micromanagement. Civ2, MOO2, Master of Magic, etc. I think the MOO3 folks were trying to get some of that annoying micromanagement gone. Still, I think Civ4 did a much better job in reducing micromanagement without undermining the gameplay.
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Old 06-02-06, 02:19 PM
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I always enjoyed Master of Magic as well as another turn based magic game that i forget the name of. It had units you could create like a frost witch that turned lands into frozen tundra in a 1 hex radius and some lich that killed all plants in a one hex radius. Hrm, perhaps when i get home i can look at my old CDs and see what game the second one was.
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Old 06-03-06, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by xmiyux
I always enjoyed Master of Magic as well as another turn based magic game that i forget the name of. It had units you could create like a frost witch that turned lands into frozen tundra in a 1 hex radius and some lich that killed all plants in a one hex radius. Hrm, perhaps when i get home i can look at my old CDs and see what game the second one was.
Age of wonders maybe?
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Old 06-03-06, 01:59 PM
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Yep, Age of Wonder. I remember they did a sequel that wasn't as good (it had your radius of influence laid out on the map and somesuch.
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Old 06-05-06, 02:52 PM
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for me the problem was just balance. right after release I put a lot of time into this game, and my favorite part by far was designing ships. It didnt take long to realize that one of the anti-missile defenses (point defense?) didnt really work. Combined with the fact that missiles gave you enormous bang for the buck, if you just made fleets of relatively inexpensive ships loaded with a single alpha strike of as many missiles as you could pack in the hull, few things could stop you. Even those big bad guardian ships could go down in flames long before a fleet of beam weapon ships would have a chance.
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Old 06-06-06, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Hospitaller
for me the problem was just balance. right after release I put a lot of time into this game, and my favorite part by far was designing ships. It didnt take long to realize that one of the anti-missile defenses (point defense?) didnt really work. Combined with the fact that missiles gave you enormous bang for the buck, if you just made fleets of relatively inexpensive ships loaded with a single alpha strike of as many missiles as you could pack in the hull, few things could stop you. Even those big bad guardian ships could go down in flames long before a fleet of beam weapon ships would have a chance.
That was true of the first two games, though, too. Missile boats depend on quick victory. At least in the first two, that strategy breaks down when missile boats are confronted by superior numbers and/or superior technology. Especially in the first game, when some computer opponents built Stacks of Doom.

Missile ships also suck against ships and monsters with lightning shields. I can't remember if that's in the first game, too.

In the second game, a ship with shield-piercing autofire phasors with high energy focus (increases damage by 50%) and a structural analyzer (doubles all damage that pierces shields) and some other specials could easily outperform any missile.

I'm such a nerd

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Old 06-06-06, 02:05 AM
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I ran mostly all static Missile base defenses while building econ/technology in MOO2. Generally came out and stomped all over everyone with Plasma cannons Gotta love plasma cannons. I think the patch nerfed them, though, but back when I was playing the game, there wasn't a lot of internet to download the patches.

Nothing like Doom Stars packed full of plasma cannons Phasors were decent too.
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Old 06-06-06, 01:29 PM
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The new Mod called strawberry corrects alot of the bugs..and makes it flow better.
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Old 06-12-06, 01:10 AM
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I was always a fan of neutron beams plus boarding parties.
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Old 06-12-06, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
All the oldschool 4x games get drug down by micromanagement. Civ2, MOO2, Master of Magic, etc. I think the MOO3 folks were trying to get some of that annoying micromanagement gone. Still, I think Civ4 did a much better job in reducing micromanagement without undermining the gameplay.
What annoys me the most about most 4x games is buildings. The best feature that any game with buildings can have is something that allows you to bypass having to build a crapload of buildings every turn. What does that say about the game mechanic? The orginal MOO was blessedly free of this scourge and had far less micromanagement than most 4x games as a result, even in spite of it's relatively primitive interface. You still had to do a bit of cycling through your planets if you wanted everything to be optimal, but it was still nowhere near as bad as MOO2. With MOO you could actually spend your time concentrating on strategy, whereas with most 4X games it's moments of strategy punctuated by long sessions of building more frigging buildings. (Sure, you could leave building selections to automatic queues or the A.I., but it'll never be optimal so you just have to do it yourself...)

Personally, I think a good 4x game needs to concentrate on strategy more than management. It should be like chess, not balancing a check-book. Mechanics like buildings that suck up vast quantities of play-time without significantly impacting overall game strategy shouldn't be included. The buildings in Civ4 weren't as bad as in some games, but still, they suck up too much time. Had I designed the game I'd probably have left in switches that allow you to tell a city to focus on environment, culture, research, industry, etc. and wonders, but buildings like research parks and power plants would be cut. At the very least I'd have made buildings rarer with longer construction times as the game progresses so you aren't building exponentially more of them in the later stages of the game as your empire expands.
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Old 06-16-06, 03:38 AM
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Try Rome: Total war then nutter.
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