Impaler wrote:I am wondering, Among those who have played both which was better Original Moo or Moo2?
I prefer Original Moo in many ways. The design of Moo2 was rather unoriginal, all of its core changes from original Moo are Civ rip offs such as the management of food, buildings, money and workers. Original Moo didn't have a lot of these things admittedly but it was clearly not trying to rip off Civ which Moo2 dose shamelessly in every "new" element of the game.
MoO2 is a sequel game--half sequel to MoO1, half sequel to Civ. The "sequel to MoO1" parts of MoO2 are strong, while the "sequel to Civ" parts drag the game down significantly.
For those who haven't played MoO1, it's significantly different (and better) than anything in the Civ series. Planetary management is accomplished through the use of 5 slider bars: ship building, planetary defenses, industry, ecology, and technology. Ship building is self explanatory, defense spending is used to build planetary missile bases and shields, industrial spending is used to increase the number of factories on a planet (and hence its overall value), ecological spending is used to clean up pollution from factories, to increase the number of people the planet can hold/terraforming, and to clone additional people. Technology spending goes into your empire-wide technology pool.
This system lends itself to macromanagement. For example, suppose you get Planetary Shield V. You're given the chance to increase your defense spending by +0%, + 25%, _50%, or +75%. Clicking on one of those options, such as +25%, causes an across the board change for *all* your planets. You can then go back and micro whichever planets you might feel should be an exception to this general rule. Other examples of this kind of "improve your planets technological advance" include improved robotics tech (industry), terraforming +10 (+20, +40 . . . +120) tech, (ecology), terraforming to improve planetary environment (ecology). In each case, the use of macro-level tools dramatically reduced the burden of micromanagement.
The absence of micromanagement burdens allows the player to focus more of his or her attention to the overall strategy of the game, and the big picture (more on this later). Compared to MoO2, someone playing MoO1 spends a higher percentage of his or her time making actual decisions, as opposed to just going through the motions of some memorized strategy.
Unfortunately, the designers of MoO2 made the ridiculous and inexcusable decision to scrap this slider bar system in favor of Civ-like complexity and micromanagement at the planetary level. Icons were used to represent groups of individual people (!) which, amazingly, were divided into three categories: farmers, workers, and scientists. In the Middle Ages, a single farmer was able to support four people. But in MoO2, space faring nations begin with one farmer only able to support two people, making food a critical early-game resource. I suppose knowledge of farming must have declined since the days of horse-drawn plows and seeds sown by hand.
MoO2 contains Civ-like planetary buildings, which also focuses the player's attention on micromanagement at the expense of macromanagement. Those planetary buildings are charming as you build up your homeworld and perhaps one or two other systems, but quickly become tedious as your empire expands. They subtract more than they add, as is also the case with literally every other feature MoO2 stole from Civ (with the exception of leaders).
In MoO1, you are only allowed to have six types of ship at any one time. If you have 100 of type A ship, then in space combat you will see a "stack" of that ship, with a convenient 100 label on it. That number will decline as ships in the stack are lost. There are two advantages to this combat system. 1) In any given space combat, there can be no more than 13 total stacks present: six of your stacks, six of the enemy's stacks, and one stack of missile bases for the defending player's planet. Each stack gets one turn per combat round, so at maximum there will be 13 stack turns per combat round. In MoO2, each ship or star base is treated as a one unit stack, and each one unit stack gets its own turn each combat round. Late game, this makes space combat very cumbersome, especially playing against the AI. I think you could have close to 100 individual ships present per side of a combat, which makes individual combat rounds take a long time. The second advantage to the MoO1 stacking system is 2) deciding *when* to come up with a new ship design is a strategic decision. Because you're only allowed six designs at once, you will generally need to scrap an older design to free up a slot for your new design. You recover 1/4 of the original cost of those older, scrapped ships, which is something, but not great. If you scrap designs too frequently, you will loose too many older, but still quite serviceable, ships. Your overall navy will be too small. But if you wait too long between upgrades, you will waste resources in building ships that are behind the curve. In MoO2, it makes sense to redesign your ships every time you make any space-related technological advance at all. You should also refit your ships quite frequently. What had been a strategic decision in MoO1 became a reward for excessive microing in MoO2.
Another difference between the two games is that in MoO2 against the AI, you can simply afford to sit in your home system until relatively late in the game. At that point, depending on your race design, you should be considerably more advanced than any other race in the galaxy. And your ship designs should be considerably better. If you've managed to hold out until that point has been reached, you can simply expand throughout the galaxy and wipe out everyone. In MoO1 this strategy almost certainly would not work. Even races good at research, such as the Psilons and Meklar, require a decent-sized empire to keep up in the tech race. And if some other race begins building itself a vast empire, it will likely assert technological supremacy over the long term. The only way to counter that is to settle a lot of planets, and conquer whichever of your neighbors seems weak and vulnerable. The goal is to prevent your empire size from falling too far behind your main enemy's on a percentage basis. The "hide out in your home system until late game" strategy is a non-starter in MoO1, even in a small galaxy. As it should be. There's more early to mid game action in MoO1, with more game play significance, than is the case in MoO2.
Another difference between the two games is the way the technology system works. With MoO1, technological research is divided into six categories. The available items in each category randomly change from one game to the next. Moreover, the only way to determine which particular tech items you'll be offered in any particular game is to do the research. For example, suppose your goal is to obtain a planetary shield. You research shield I (the only thing offered in the shields category). Once you've completed that tech, you're offered the chance to research shield II. You do. At that point, will you be offered the chance to research planetary shield V (which was your goal with all of this)? Or will you be offered shield III? If you're not offered planetary shield V, should you keep putting a lot of effort into shield tech in hopes of quickly advancing to planetary shield X (assuming they decide to give it to you)? Or should you put that effort into construction tech, in hopes of getting better armor (and thus making your ships, missile bases, and soldiers harder to kill)? These are strategic decisions which vary from game to game, depending on which techs you happen to be offered, and on what your enemies are trying to do to you. In MoO2, there tends to be a lot less variation in my overall approach to technology--I put a lot less thought into it.
There are things I like better about MoO2 than MoO1. Race design is at the top of that list, obviously. In MoO1 you can't design your own race--you simply pick from a list of races, each of which generally has one unique advantage. Psilons get a bonus to research. Meklar can control 2 extra factories per person (a huge advantage). Alkari get a bonus to ship defense. Bulrathi get a bonus to ground combat. Etc. Clearly the MoO2 system is a lot better than that!
Another advantage to MoO2 is that there is more detail to space combat than in MoO1. MoO2 lets you have star bases (instead of just stacks of planetary missile bases, as in MoO1). Shields work differently in MoO2: they have hitpoints, and gradually heal from damage. In MoO1, shields simply reduce damage you take. A class II deflector shield subtracts two points of damage from any given attack, for example. In MoO2 you can add modifications to your beam weapons and missiles. Heavy mount! Auto fire! Armor piercing! ECCM! MIRV! This isn't the case with MoO1's beam weapons or missiles.
In MoO1, you're only allowed three ship specials per ship. In MoO2 you're allowed nine. I'm not sure which is better--MoO1's system forces you to choose and to think, which is a good thing. But MoO2's system can also force you to choose and think, at least if you're going against a human player. Against the AI you needn't bother: just use your standard late-game design and you'll be fine.
Overall, MoO1 is a much better designed game than MoO2. But MoO2 largely makes up for this with its increased level of depth and richness. Both games are a lot of fun to play, and I've spent a lot of hours with both. MoO1 represents a *much* better learning opportunity for future game design. Better to take a good game design, such as MoO1's, and to add depth and richness, than to take a deeply flawed game design, such as the MoO2/Civ model, and to try to fix it.