I played a lot of MoO before and after the DLC and to other 4X games as well (on computer or boardgame as well).
I love it but I think there is some improvement to make because some things are not at their full potential yet.
So here are my feedback and my suggestions :
- They are dumb ... how many time did I see an ennemy sending ships on a monster losing them sending the same number of ships again losing them and so on... that is pure dumbness and that really need to be fixed.
- They almost never hires leaders ... don't know why but I think in 10 games or so I managed to assassinate one and I am not even sure about this.
- When one of their planet is under revolt, they never try to take it back, it gives a bit an up to the espionnage but it is quite silly and when it is one of your if you have not much def it is just too easy to take it back ... no real threat,, I suggest when a planet is on revolt it is lost forever as it is now but it cannot be conquiered by it's owner during 20 turns. On the other hand when it becomes possible again to take it back it would be nice for the AI to try to take it back at some point (if it is strategically useful)
- AI were, before the DLC a bit too agressive it has been fixed, but even a bit too fixed as now in 10 games they I ghave been declared war 6 or 7 times and half the times it was worthless war just to destroy some asteroid research facility or to let a scout pass through my frontiers... I guess it is because of the alterans but I will come back to that later.
- If an ennemy has not enough credits for a commercial deal you usually need to find out a way to give them the credits he needs and then you realise that he don't want to trade with you. I think it would be nice to be abble to make a trade deal even if he has not enough credits and you have to manage to trade enough credits with him for that deal to work ... like that no bad surprise.
- Trading... offering ships. Sometimes you don't want to go to war but you don't want to see a certain player being destroyed but when a player lose whatever you trade with him it is usually the end for him sooner or later. offering / trading ships with a player would allow to swing the balance and save an ally/player for strategical or diplomatic reason.
Tech tree :
In the tech tress there is 3 main path ... the one leading to the death star and above,
The one leading to the stock exchange /thefirst building for Tech victory and above
and the one leading to the major planetary shield.
The first 2 .. I have no issu with ... the last one has some nice techs and is attractive but unfortunately it is pretty useless : not needed for tech victory, not needed for economy victory, not really for diplomatic victory and in general for any victory needing to fight there is good weapons, hoever, the Titan is a must have so the first path isas good but include the Titan, therefore it is a better tech path. I think either moving the titan there, or creating some more interest on that last path would be nice... it can be creating a victory condition tthat would fit perfectly with this. The only real strength now is the ground force equpment, however you don't need to push it very far to have decent ground forces. ... well there is plenty of solution but I would love to see this path more usefull.
The revamp of espionnage looke first so great and it was on many sides but overalll some decisions ruined this great idea.
- Capping the experience is quite shame as it is like for the leader experience gain ia a very exciting part of the game and it makes you care about your best spy, but level 5 is easy to reach so very early in the game you don't care much for your spy anymore. I understand you did that for a balance issue... but flleets are not capped so it is not such a big balance issue to uncap the experience. One of the Ideas I had is to level your spy up to level 5 and after that you can specialize you spy. he will be still lvl 5 in most the missions but in the one or those he is specialized for he can reach much higher level 8just an idea, just uncapping in general would be fine too but I think this offers more to the game)
- Some more interesting missions ! Well map stealing is fine early game and great to lvl up your spy earlyy game but it would not hate a little buff to makes it more interesting to do it again. Hacking ... it's fine I am glad with that, Stealing tech ... fine as well, Killing an leader.. will be fine if the AI starts hiring leaders. but now comes the colonies. Contamination ... sucks ... you want an ennemy to lose population ... make a revolt ... not a huge difference in difficulty ... I think contamination could be tougher ... killing more then one pop and causing a starvation ... it could kill more and cause pollution for instance.... while still being easier then revolt. Sabotage can be sometimes good when you hit an important building but when you destroy a crappy cheap building or useless you feel disapointed and that is 90% of the time... I suggest when you hit a sabotage you can chose which building to destroy, that would be more interesting and would have more sense. And for last Revolt : well I already said what I think in the AI paragraph, but apart of that it is my favourite one.
- I suggest to be abble to have multiple spy in a same colony... either to make different missions or to be ready in case the first one fails. because honnestly waiting 10 more turns to infiltrate the colony plus 15 more to revolt again it is quite really long and kill some of the interest to have a spy orianted strategy.
- everything is about experience and how fast you gain it, however it would be intereesting to have techs that would reduce the time for the missions as well and it can also help the problem I talked about just above.
- when we assign a spy to a colony it would be nice to see on the interface which colony has a spy hiding or in mission or a another spy going to ... it is quite a pain in the neck to see which spy is where when we have 10 spy on a same ennemy and he has 20 colonies ...
- Suggestion : I think seeing a mission that would turn a colony to your side would be really great ... maybe a super hard mission or a mission you can do only on a colony in revolt or something like that ... but It would allow to play an entire game based on espionnage and would make the espionnage really threatening if the AI does those missions and I swear with that I will start worrying more about my security level. Some other ideas : sabotage on ships, stealing credits, or doing more political influence to raise your affinity level. (juste ideas)
- Creating new techs for espionnage that is not just how fast you gain experience would be nice .. and combine with some the ideas I offered it would make espionnage a decent strategy for victory and that might be what you could add in the tech tree that I talked about earlier.
- it is a bit shame that leaders are completely random (really frustrating when you play diplomacy and you have only leaders to improve your ships power, etc ... I suggest to create some kind of university building that would for instance allow you to chose among 1 fleet and one colony leader each turns or something like that. (might be different) and also uncapping the XP level would be nice (maybe it could be done through this university as well... a part of that I like leaders ... it brings a lot to the game.
- honnestly defenses are fine early game with the holly defense trinity ... and quite descent late game with the fortress and the mine field, however mid-game defense sucks and the late game are only available in the offensive tree, therefore it is usefull only when you go for tech victory otherwise it is quite useless. I suggest to put some more defenses for planets / systems on other tech path. the advanced military outpost is quite useless... not strong enough to be a relaiable defense I understand the basic one is more just to protect from pirates an block your borders but the advanced one need a HUGE buff IMO. And I think making the minefield also active in the fight on the border would give some more interest in building a outside defense line.
Victory conditions :
- Diplomatic : would be nice to see how many turn before the next vote
- Economy : Honnestly this one is more about conquest and fighting then really economy ... you could be the richest guy in the galaxy and owning enough money to buy a galaxy for yourself and you will not win if you don't control about a third of the galaxy with only planets with many buildings (even if useless), I think You have something with the galactic stock exchange... buying share would increase your economy level aswell and therfore I would make sense for having a lott of gold for economy victory and if you don't have a lot of gold you can still try to expend enough to reach the 42% cap. There is already 3 pretty military style victory conditions without this one (conquest, alteran, score) allowing this one to be accessible more peacefully for those who like this style would be nce
- Suggestion If not going the espionnage way as I suggested I would suggest to create a condition that would be more oriented to the "planetary shield" path of the victory tree (no idea what but this tree needs it )
- The problem with them is they always attacks the same players and almost always the same planets ... therefore if you are not attacked by them in the beginning there is good chance you will not see them a lot. However if they starts with you there is a good chance you will see them again. On 10 games I saw them for my first 2 games quite some times, however I almost Never been attacked by them since then ... There is maybe a reason why (attacking the first player... or I don't know) but if there ia a good reason I suggest to continue with the big wave as it is but it would be nice to add some smaller waves. One of my last games I was ready to receive them early game and they didn't come so I understood I had nothing to fear for the entire game ... and I didn't build more ship for almost the entire game and it is like that every games... quite a shame to make a mechanic that only the AI can enjoy :P
- I had only 3 ancient relics and I received the portal technology for the alterans ... I don't know if it is a bug but if it is normal we need more info on how it works ...
- If I come back few turns earlier sometimes the game craches.
- When I fight in Tactical view it pauses every 5 seconds... very annoying.
- Not really a bug but ... : The chances of victory are quite unrelistic.. I know that vs monster I need much more then 75% chances of winning and vs AI I honnestly feel like 50/50 is more like a 90%... in other words this estimation is dead wrong (not even close)
- Ground combat in defense is pretty useless ... at most it will buy you some time but if you need it planetary shields are way better. And now there is the Omniscient trait it is ever worse.
- Because of that Mersjans are really week and Elerians are completely broken.
- Triarian ... I don't even see what is their strength as move speed in combat is very insignificant except maybe against torpedoes but with guiding systems your big ships are not fast enough anyway... well... they look cool I like the idea but I think they need a little something either on military side or a bit better on civil side...
- Darlock ... well a bit under the average but with a buff of the espionnage it would be quite fine.
- Extreme mode is too easy... I win all the game I wish to win whatever the condition I choose ... so I guess it needs a little buff to increase the challenge. or creating a legendary deifficulty.
- We know not much about the mechanics (I have the french version and the ship types can be, sniper, tempest or moloss if my translation are accurate) but what does it means ... I get sniper but not the rest... how does the spying chances are calculated? What is the advantages to be underground like klackons .... In extreme mode the AI is clearly cheating ir having an advantage ... normal we are in Extreme mode but what are the advantages ? ... well there is a huge lack of information and the wiki is almost empty... it would be nice to release a bit more info ...
It seems very mean to the game but I like this game and just wish to see it getting better ... it is the feedbacks of 100th of hours of game and there is a lot of suggestion as I know most will not be taken but maybe just maybe some will grab the attention of the development team. Thanks to all of you for that game.