I subscribed to this forum though I'm not really a GC2 player. I've been shown it by a friend and had a chance to try some of its features. I must admit that seing that combat resumed in watching a type of video where you do not have any control made me stop the game immediately.
As a MoO fan ( both 1st and 2nd episode ), I'd like to summarize what comes to mind immediately by reading this post :
1. Players who play alone do not request tactical combat. Since playing alone resumes to playing against an AI, tactical combat is never really exhilarating because AI's are crappy at playing. They can be cheated ( like they are in most games when you increase difficulty ), but remain dumb and thus tactical combat remain motly uninteresting ( there are exceptions as when you play Impossible in a Huge galaxy, you have to sweat to regain what has been granted freely to the AIs ).
2. Players who play in multiplayer need the tactical aspect of the game maybe more than they need the economical aspect. In fact, I believe than a well advanced game of MoO2 becomes boring at the economic level before than at the tactical level where large armies where used in combat, because of the multitude of planets to check every turn ( at the end, you build quasi everything in one turn, and have 20-30 planets ). In opposition, large tactical battles dont happen every turn but rather once each 20-30 turns and most of the time, defeating such a large opponent resumes to him withdrawing from the game because he cannot defend himself anymore ( and certainly not attack ). Knowing this fact ( which can be countered with a Logistics approach as read in this post ), I'd have to say that amongst the maybe 100 MoO2 games I played over the Internet, maybe 5 of them have lead to this status, because players preferred to play the economic part of the game rather than the tactical combat part. For the other 95 games, I've seen people attack me when I had from 2 to 6 colonies and with armies ranging from 7 frigates containing each 4 missiles to 1 battleship containing a single technological breakthrough that you cannot counter with your actual tech level ( neutron canons agains lvl 3 shields is lame ). So in fact, the large battle problems quite never occured...
To me, what makes a game really impressive and heartpounding is :
1. You cannot save and reload while in multiplayer. So each of your decision has a consequence, in short, medium or long term. This is not applicable in single player : reload enough and you'll find a solution. If not, take a savegame which brings you further back and you'll know what your opponent will play ( Where's the challenge here ? ).
2. Tactical combat : having the best weapons is not always the best choice if the game is effectively designed and gives you enough meanings of defeating an adversary with even a slight tech level advantage, provided you play better than him, or maybe uses his ships weaknesses. In MoO2, I've seen Titan Ships totalizing 9000 HP shot down in 1 turn by 2 frigates ( 30hp each ! ) : first one wears off the shields with an adapted weapon ( plasma cannons ) then the second making it explode with a single missile made EMG which had 20% chances to hit right in the core of the ship, thus making the thermonuclear motor explode, you loosing the ship and others not far to be damaged. This is only an example, and MoO2 had many of these technologies that could save you from an opponent which bet everything on HP and size. In fact, you had to permanently adapt to your opponent's fleets designs in order to beat him, and you could have mind blowing battles engaging no more than a few units ( the way this game was meant to be player in multiplayer i think ).
3. Diplomacy offered an interesting way of balancing the game amongst human players. While the game lacked options it gave an interesting approach of what can be done to save a desperate situation. Thus in a game where a player was coming to crush me ( he had 3 times more planets than me ), another player summoned me and gave me exactly the right technos to counter the attack, not to win the battle but rather to have the ennemy win at too large a cost, or maybe retreat with less power than before, making him vulnerable again to his fiercer opponents.
I must admit that I still have not found the game that could replace my love for MoO2. I've tried many but no recent game has made me change my mind. What I see now are very well made games, all very graphic and professionnal, but none do fill the voidness of my research.
What I'm looking for is a 4x space strategy game that I could play in full when I connect in the evening from 8pm to 2-3pm max. I dont want neverending games where you have 200 turns to wait before anything happens. I'd like to be able to connect from the game to a server that would inform me of the games about to start, enter the game and play.
Once in the game, I'm as interested in the economic part which is really a part you play alone, alongside with other players, as in the tactical part where you see if you made the right decisions in your economic and tech research against real opponents and not AIs.
To my knowledge, the only game responding to these criterias is MoO2. I regret it
I see I'm not the only one thinking that and the game has kept his afficionados. It has become hard to play for a lack of support, merely no modding available ( though I've managed to find how some of the mechanics of the tech trees and weapons can be modified ) and furthermore because its multiplayer coding uses IPX and needs Kali I to run.
Despite all this, I believe people are still considering playing it alone if no opponent can be found so I wonder if people like me should gather and play our favourite game until some game studio decides to grant my ( our ) criterias.
If some of you were to be interested by such a gathering, I'd be willing to create and maintain a Website which could help people find each other, set-up internet games ( which is still possible
) and play the greatest space game of all times.
Simply post a response to this topic saying you're interested and I'll come by regularly to see if enough people are interested ( say 5-6 at minimum would be nice ).
MoO2 rules ( in my humble opinion ).