Why would it be “the game plays you”? You could, say, use MOO1 style colony abstraction to achieve greater control that the automated process without having to put up with all the fiddling. This is actually MORE “you playing the game” than having an option that literally DOES play that part of the game for you.
I apologize, but what I read in to your previous posts was that you only want an automation tool that leads to the most optimum results (in your march towards game victory). You seem to have indicated that you preferred that NO automation available, over one that offered less than optimum results. Have I misunderstood what you have posted?
Do you believe that there can only be one single best “pick” in any decision in a game that is left to the player, and, ultimately, that there is only one correct way to ultimately achieve a victory in this game?
Presumedly, if NO automation tool is offered for any of the games decision points, and that only those optimum choices are to be made by the player must be used, to achieve game victory, than, for example, you really have fewer overall choices at all. You must research your technologies in “x” order. You must build “x” items in “x” order. You must ally with the distant aliens first (or certain races first), and so on. The only choices that are left for the player that must be made are those that appear random at game start (and must be made with little to no info), like which warp lanes to explore first.
I feel that if you restrict yourself to following a script in your decision tree choices, the game is playing you, at this point. I have seen people doing some puzzle games, like Microsoft’s minesweeper, or mahjong, or chess, with the same mind set. Uncovering the play area with the same “optimized” pattern. (If “A”, then “B”.) They seemed (to me) like automatons clicking the same choices (I assume this is because they believed that they had learned the pattern that provides the best odds of solving the game) over and over again. The “game is playing them”, not the other way around.
I find it to be interesting, and I’ll probably be happy to buy it when it comes out for real, but I’m not getting an early access version. Especially not for $50, and the addition of the earlier games does nothing for me as I’ve got all three on CD (two different versions of MOO2 on CD, and yes, it makes a difference) and MOO3 is terrible. I think I even bought them again on GOG earlier so that I could run them more easily in OS X.
My preference is not to have to micromanage my colonies to get the best possible results, yes; That means that if a game has a massive colony development/management subsystem like MOO2 does, I’m unlikely to enjoy engaging with it, but I don’t want to feel like I’m hampering myself to avoid that irritating.
No, but this is in no way contradictory to the above.
This is a bizarre oversimplification that ignores all the different circumstances that could evolve to alter your decisions. And in fact, has no bearing on whether I need to micromanage something or not. Let me spin it back to you:
If there is always a best way to do things, why do I need an elaborate colony management screen at all? And if there isn’t, why do I need an elaborate colony management screen to make high level decisions?
I feel that you have gone WAY off point at this stage. From my perspective, this has nothing to do with what I want.
Sure, but that’s not what I’m suggesting. What I want is the ability to get a planet to produce what I want, without having to trust the decisions of a dubious AI, and without managing each individual colonist and building.
I’m not really sure why this has turned into a weird philosophical argument; It’s just a question of scope. Think of it like this:
You can have an RTS game like Starcraft, where you control every individual soldier, and HAVE TO, for best effect, because the AI is bad.
Or you can have an RTS game like a Total War game, where you control large groups of soldiers, and cannot order individual ones around.
MOO2 colony management is like the former. I don’t like that. I want higher level decisions.
How the heck did MOO3 get a 64 metascore from critics? I like me some dry, deliberate strategy gaming, but MOO3 was like playing an Excel spreadsheet but with half the cells invisible. The only thing that could break up the tedium was space combat, and that was beyond horrible, only serving to break up the tedium with frustration.
OKeedokee. I must be completely misunderstanding you. Sorry.
Hmmm… now I’m really confused. In a 4x game, one of the “x”'s is exploit. Colonizing other worlds, and tailoring their development to meet your needs has been a bedrock foundation of the MOO series since the get-go. I “hear” you saying that you don’t like micromanaging your colonies, but colony management seems to be an intregal part of the space themed games in the 4x genre.
I personally, in MOO 2 and the remake just micro my ‘Core Worlds’. I.e. the established, high population and/or resource worlds. Let the AI handle all the minor colonies.
Please see MOO1 for an example of how I liked this to work. Please see MOO2 for a system that I found elaborate, tiresome, and no more engaging than MOO1’s system.
I’m liking the game a lot, but I can’t help but see how much this article applies to it:
I think Stellaris is going to be my next obsession - some of the stuff on their dev diary is nothing short of amazing.
I guess I’m un-American, but I never played MOO1. (I got it as a bundle with this early access purchase, though.)
I’m interested to note that they cite Alpha Centauri as a successful evolution of 4X, and at the same time call it a “successful con” - which I think is completely apt, because I’m one of the people who didn’t buy the con, and found that everything in Alpha Centauri felt super bland and uninspiring. The flavor text wasn’t enough to sucker me into thinking that there was something exciting about researching a tech that gave me nothing new, only “improved” versions of things I already had with bigger numbers attached. I HATED Alpha Centauri. I played it through once out of some strange sense of obligation, and then shelved it and never touched it again.
I will stand with you as your assessment matches mine. I found MOO much more fun than M002 (but I did like MOO2, just not as much as the original).
I have it. It’s ok. The tactical combat and ship building part are pretty weak, which is a disappointment…I really loved building out my ships and the tactical combat part of Star Drive II, and wish they incorporated that with the better tech tree and planetary development of something like Gal Civ III, but it was entertaining. Be warned that it’s pretty early development, at least half of the races aren’t in and it’s still a bit rough around the edges, but if you liked MOO or MOO2 this game will be very easy for you to pick up and play from the get go.
Yes, Stellaris is on the top of my “want to come out” list right now.
What are people’s thoughts on Sword of the Stars? It’s actually my favorite in recent history, though it gets a bit fiddly towards the endgame.
I liked it. I thought it had a slightly slower pace than MOO2.
Slower pace in what sense? Overall I felt like the non-combat portion of turns took less time, because colony management was pretty simple, and you were mostly concerning yourself with fleets, but battles definitely took longer most of the time.
I am not a master strategist. Heck, sometimes the AI can whup my butt on “noob” difficulty setting. So bear that in mind, and YMoV.
It seemed for me that colonizing, developing, and expanding my star systems took longer. So for the equivalent time investment, my SotS empire was smaller.
I believe I can finish an entire MOO2 and MOO4 game (set on a “large” map) in 6 to 8 hours. In my SotS games, I usually only have 6 to 8 star systems colonized in that time.
Yeah, that sounds more like inexperience than anything else. Depending on your start criteria (starting money, galaxy size, number of opponents, etc) you should be hitting 6-8 colonies in like an hour.