October 26, 2010

MOO -- three opponents

The big problem I've been having with MOO is that the games I enjoy most are those where I can spend quite a while developing my empire and doing research before I make contact with any enemy. To that end I've usually played against a single enemy on a Huge board, and I've taken to hacking the save game file to turn on the visibility bit for their home world. Then I search the board until I find it, and if it's too close I toss that game and start over.

Which is really painful and dull. This last game I tried something new. I found some documentation online about the save file format and it showed me where the coordinates are stored for each planet, and I tried moving the home world of my enemy to the opposite corner of the board. I wondered whether it would work, and it worked fine.

So this last game I played against three opponents, and set things up so that each of us four started in a different corner. I played the Klackons, and my opponents were the Sakkra, the Psilons, and the Mrrshan.

And it really was an interesting game. I had put the Psilons in the opposite corner so that they were furthest away. I took out the Sakkra first, at least enough so they weren't a challenge anymore. But by the time I started fighting the Psilons, their tech was as high as mine. They had ships which were nearly as good as mine were, and their damned planets (at least the oldest, most developed ones) had 24 points of shields on their missile bases. Here I was, sailing around with a fleet of 20 huge ships full of Stellar Converters and Pulse Phasors and Antimatter bombs and I could barely scratch his planets. Bombing would kill maybe 8 million people a turn.

It turned out that the only way for me to neutralize his planets rapidly was to invade, for quite a while. Eventually I researched the Mauler Weapon, and then I was able to build a ship which could destroy his planets in a single bombing round. (20 Maulers per ship, 15 ships, each also carrying a Black Hole Generator.)

By the time I had genocided the Psilons and Sakkra and turned my attention to the Mrrshan, they had actually developed quite a ways. Usually the Mrrshan are no threat, and they ended up not being this time either because the ships I had eventually developed for the Psilons cut through the Mrrshan defenses like a hot knife through soft butter.

But it was quite a struggle for most of the game, not least of which was because for a long time my fastest drive was warp 3. I eventually had to steal warp 5 from the Psilons to remain competitive.

I think the Psilons and the Klackons are the two races I most fear playing against.

Anyway, hacking the save game file at the beginning is making it possible for me to have more fun with the game.

UPDATE: It might be interesting to put each of the four opponents in the middle of a different side of the board.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 02:21 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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The big problem I've been having with MOO is that the games I enjoy most are those where I can spend quite a while developing my empire and doing research before I make contact with any enemy.
That's my favorite for turn-based wargames as well.  I've often wondered why there's no option in the games I've tried to set the enemy starting distances to Far, Close, or Random.

Posted by: Siergen at October 26, 2010 03:12 PM (Xh3Fu)


Another thing that can make the game uninteresting is when the opponent isn't any good. Another interesting possibility would be to toss in three or four opponents with their home worlds all right next to each other, and let evolution sort them out. Presumably whichever survives would be strong and powerful. (Or maybe not.)

MOO does enforce a minimum distance between starting planets, but it's pretty small and it isn't tunable.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 26, 2010 03:42 PM (+rSRq)

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