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2. Frequently asked questions
In defining what it is, some words about what it is not are also in order. It is not an arcade or action type game. All aspects of the game are conducted at your leisure and reflexes are not an issue. Also, although it does include ship to ship combat, this aspect of the game is not the primary focus. In fact, it is possible to push an auto button and the game will automatically play out the ship to ship combat. You will normally (but not always) use that button. If a more detailed tactical ship to ship combat game is desired, something like Rules of Engagement 2 might be a better choice.
MOO has a lot of replayability for a number of reasons. First, you can play any of 10 different races. Each race has its weak and strong points. For example, the Alkari race is a bird like species. They are excellent pilots and they are also good at researching propulsion type technology. The Darloks on the other hand are shape shifters and they are excellent spies good at inciting rebellion, conducting sabotage, and stealing other races technology. Second, each time you start a new game, the map is randomly generated. What fate hands you can make a large difference in your approach. For example, the presence of a nearby artifact world can help in researching technology. Third, you have control over the # of stars in the game and the number of alien races you are playing against. Finally, there is a difficulty setting which affects how rapidly new technology is discovered.
You should be aware that games can take a fair amount of time; as an extreme example, my first game took about 16 hours to complete. From my own experience, the average game takes about 4-6 hours. Because the game is so complex (and thus provides such a rich experience) it can be rather frustrating to learn at first. This guide in part is intended to help you through that learning stage. However, it does not stop there and it is hoped that even experienced players will find something of use here.
It definitely affects the cost of developing new technology. New technology costs:
Tech_level^2 * Difficulty_Factor * Race_Factor.The Difficulty factor is:
20 - Simple 25 - Easy 30 - Average 35 - Hard 40 - Impossible
It also bears mentioning that if you eliminate all races but one, the vote will no longer take place. You will have to play the game out to the bitter or not so bitter end. You then get the "Tyrant" ending.
Contributed by: Dave Chaloux
Contributed by: P. Michael Haffley
I'm currently running MoO on a 286-12. The box says that you need at least a 386, but I took the chance and bought it and it runs fine on my 286. (I am planning on buying a 486 this month, so I figured I could always wait for the 486 if it wouldn't run at all on the 286)
The only problems I've had are mouse response problems. It would get to the point that it would take a second or two to respond to mouse button actions at times. I just downloaded the first patch, and that seems to have fixed it. It still takes a half second or maybe a bit less to respond, but it's not to bad. I think the delay is in the sound area, since the button graphics tend to respond in a timely manner, but there is a slight pause before there is sound or any other result besides the button being depressed.
This isn't exactly a CPU hog like actions games are, so lack of CPU power isn't crippling. You should have no problems at all on a 386-33.
Contributed by: Keith Hearn
This is one of those things that should have been made much clearer in the manual.
Contributed by: F. Rodgers
[Editors note: The percentage is now changed to 10% in large groups under 1.3]
An exception to this is important in the 1.2 patch. If you have just given a fleet orders or if a fleet has just retreated, a new destination can be given even without hyperspace communications.
Step 1) The computer compare's your ships ATTACK to the defenders DEFENSE rating. If you fire beams he defends at beam defense, while, naturally, he uses his missile defense against missiles. All attack bonuses and defense bonuses are added at this point. The resulting comparision is reduced to an ABSOULTE DIFFERENCE. Thus if you attack with a level 6 battle computer and he is defending at level 3 then your attack score is (+3).
Step 2) The computer generates a random number (sic) between 1 and 100 and compares it to your attack value (found on page 58 of the manual by using our attack score, computed in step 1). If the random number is greater or equal to your attack roll then you hit.
Step 3) The computer uses the SAME roll to computer raw damage. A roll of 100 indicates full damage, while your minimum attack roll indicates the weapon strikes for minimum damage. Rolls in between do more damage as they approach 100. For you mathematical types:
DAMAGE CAUSED = (MAX-MIN Damage) * (1-[ (100-ATTACK ROLL)) ]) | --------------------- |+ MIN Damage [ (100-Minimum attack score)]EXAMPLE: I hit with a Hard beam (8-12) damage. I rolled a 70, while I needed a 20 to hit. Thus I strike for:
(12-8)* (1- (100-30)) ------- + 8 100-20or
4 * (1-30/80) + 8 = 10.5 rounds to 10 damage.Step 4) The computer subtracts the defender's shield level from your computer damage. Thus a 4 point laser hit does only 1 point of damage against class III shields. Weapons which halve opponent's shields, naturally, subtract only 1/2 their shield strength (rounded up, I THINK).
The computer iterates these 4 steps for every weapon on every firing ship in your attacking fleet.
So what does this mean?
Contributed by: Pat Casey
This was not wholly accurate, as the computer technology modifier is not 1% per level of your technology, but 1% per level of the difference between your technology level and the person attempting to spy on you.
Version 1.2 and beyond does not show your computer technology level.
3.A.2) The Diplomat Bug: Sometimes the game will lock you out from access to all diplomatic functions. This is normal after a counsel vote electing someone else emperor. However, it occurs in other situations where it should not. The patch also fixes this problem. It can easily be worked around by saving and restoring the game. It is apparently linked to someone accepting tribute.
3.A.3) Sometimes mouse response time become very slow. It stays slow until you turn off all sound. This has reportedly been fixed in version 1.3.
3.A.4) The Gaia bug: One of the high technology discoveries is supposed to allow for incredibly fertile plants. When you get the discovery you are supposed to crank up the ECO bar and the planets are converted. They never convert. This fixed in later versions.
3.A.5) The to many ships bug: If you have over 32768 ships (16 bit signed integer) then your number of ships goes negative. This is fixed in later versions.
3.A.6) The Doc check bug: Has anyone else noticed this - I was playing MOO when the copy protection screen came up. It said that the picture was between pages 27 and 27. No problem, I look up page 27 and see that it appears TWICE on the list of choices! Uh oh, which one...
I chose the first one, and failed.
The second go around was normal and I passed.
Contributed by: James Borynec
[Editor: I have heard no reports since 1.2 of this problem]
3.A.7) The colony ship bug: When you have many different types of ships on a planet, AND a colony ship it will NOT ask you if you want to colonise every turn, and you have to move and come back OR move off all the other ships. This bug is not consistant but it has happened enough to be annoying early on but now that I know the game I only have extra colony ships when I am waiting for greater tech range and want to grab planets fast.
Contributed by: F. Rodgers
[editor: This bug occurs when you turn down the initial request to colonize the planet. This was clear in the original context. I have heard no report of this bug in some time and I think the patch fixes it.]
3.A.8) The Orion terraforming bug: This bug was first brought to my attention by Pat Casey and I have also seen it. In my case I was running the 1008 patch. If you capture Orion and then terraform it you can really start cranking out the Research Points. In my game I was up at 180 max population because of +80 terraforming. I then got the soil enrichment technology. Of course this is way out of order (tech 16 vs tech 38) and the game did not handle it very well on Orion. I spent the credits to supposedly up the population but it did the opposite. I went from 180 population to something like 125. I did not notice this happening on any other world.
In Pat's case this happened with Atmospheric terraforming and the affect was even more drastic dropping the max population to 50!
This was fixed in 1.2, only to run into the Max Population Bug (see 3.B).
3.A.9) The base maintenance bug: Several people have mentioned that if you get a large number of bases, your base maintenance cost can sky rocket. You might go from a maintenance cost of 5% to 80% or 90% in one year. This has only been reported with really large numbers of bases like 150 or so on a planet. Moral of the story is make sure you don't forget about a planet that is cranking out bases. It might completely hose your economy all at once. Also, since there is no way to scrap bases you end up having to go back to a save file. This is fixed in all versions beyond 1.2.
3.A.10) The 1999 limit on Factories bug: It is possible with Maximum Terraforming + Gaia to get planets with populations of 300. With Robotic controls VII it should be possible to get 2100 factories. With Meklars and their + 2 on controls they could get up to 2700 factories. However, the game limits you to a max of 1999 and when you reach it does not adjust industry spending appropriately. This is fixed in 1.2 and beyond.
3.B.2) The Divide By Zero bug: Under some circumstances (which seemed to be a combination of machine configurations and the bug), the program would crash with a Divide By Zero (in enormous letters) during ship combat. This is apparently fixed in 1.3.
3.B.3) The Espionage Report bug: Under 1.2, you would never get any reports of enemy spies being captured at the espionage report screen. This is fixed in 1.3.
3.B.4) The Lockup bug: Under 1.2, depending on the galaxy and the system, the
computer would lockup. This is supposedly fixed in 1.3 [It has been reported to
exist in 1.3]
3.C.2) The Missile Fire Bug: Planetary missiles which should be destroying incoming fleets do no damage (under some circumstances) when fired manually. However, when the Automatic Combat is selected, the missile weapons work as they should.