Official Cut List - April 9th,
Creating Task forces
Sectors were removed so you now create task forces
at deployment centers. These are big expensive system buildings,
which act the same way as sector seats did. When you select a system
that has a deployment center one of the options is to create a new
task force which then forms in that location. The main reason for
the change was that from a UI perspective Sectors were confusing
and deployment centers give us the same rally points from reserves
without that confusion. Also it saves you a step in creating task
forces since they appear where you created them and you don't have
to give them an additional 'deploy here' order.
Creating Ground Forces
Works in a similar manner as task forces, created
at the planet.
Technology is being changed back down to one step.
You'll adjust your RP's (sliders) spent in the various schools as
planned but once projects are available they will automatically
become a research project and your scientists will try to make it
a reality. Projects can still hit project overruns like they could
before. The big difference is that the applied part of technology
will now be automatic. On this one we found that while the current
tech system is really cool, it basically created 3 steps where before
there was only 1. What it added was the ability to add in overruns,
delay when technologies are available to be used etc. Most of that
still applies under this new model, it's just much easier to use.
By default the AI will try to keep the reserves
stocked so that you'll have the ships to work with. It will not
however take those ships out of the reserves to create new task
forces or move your task forces without your knowledge. Right now
the AI moves all your taskforces and it gets really annoying trying
to catch your ships or figure out what they're doing. Figuring out
where specific ships get built and worrying about defending a specific
system will still be handled by the AI (ie, you will not have to
micromanage), . Your concentration will be on the larger scope issues
like who am I going to attack next. We're currently evaluating if
any of these AI controls will have an option to turn on and we'll
let you know as soon as we make that decision.
Each Planet will have an option to turn off its
AI. This will be a planet-by-planet option so if you'd like to control
your head planet and let the others run auto you'll have that freedom.
No other changes are planned for the AI at this
time other than improvements etc.
The X's are going to be changing slightly. We're
going to be adding a few items to planetary specials to add more
of a story element. For example, you might discover the ruins of
the Darlok homeworld on a planet you've discovered (probably marked
by some type of guardian). In the ruins you could find one of the
lost X's or you might find information that implies the Darloks
had one of them before they escaped out of our galaxy. This would
give you a roadmap so that the next you send off an antaran expedition
they're not exploring completely blind but have a better chance
of discovering something. One other change we're making here is
that there can be only 5 X's discovered in the game. So if you've
discovered an X other players cannot find that same one. To get
it they would need to trade, steal, or kill you.
The current victory conditions are: Sole Survivor,
Orion President, Discover the 5 X's. We removed Sole Superpower
because at that stage in the game you could easily win by getting
into the senate and just voting yourself president. We also removed
Heir to the Throne because from a gameplay mechanic it works pretty
much the same way as Orion President.
We're turning off 'normal' migration between planets
and making it so that they'll only migrate through population growth
and revolt. In implementation it's very tough to tell as a when
your population leaves, where they've gone and why. The big reason
for this item was so that you weren't forced to micromanage colonization
and so that you didn't have to move your people when planets get
full. By keeping migration to the very visual items (Revolt) and
normal population growth it still means you won't have to micromanage
and you'll see very clearly if there is a problem. Occasionally
you'll also have planets popup under your control when your population
finds a juicy planet.
A couple of minor changes here. In the interest
of keeping things clear to the user there will be 1 stage of exploration
on a system (similar to the previous games), it was simply too tough
to tell how long your ships needed to hang around a system to explore
each planet. Also the starlanes will become viewable and usable
by you once you enter the system, not before. So while you'll see
all the stars, you won't know the routes to them until you've gone
to adjoining stars. Should cause a nice bit of exploring necessary
as the game progresses.
I'm not sure what here has been announced or not
so I'll just go over what it currently does. There are two types
of laws that can come up, here I'll call them normal laws and special
laws. The normal laws are things like letting player X in the senate,
creating an embargo, declaring war etc. Those are proposed by the
player or AI's and then voted on. The special ones coming up randomly
and consist of things like 'Pollution: Galactic pollution is getting
out of control, all members must decrease production by 10%'. The
special laws are still voted on by the senate, it's just that they're
not proposed by senate members.
Diplomacy AI will be turned off for the player.
You'll need to handle your diplomatic messages just as you did in
previous versions. We are currently evaluating the rest of diplomacy
to make sure that all the options do in fact add value to the product.
Most the code for these is done so if items are removed it'll only
be in order to make sure that the product is fun.
We've adjusted it so that you build one type of
spy. That spy can still be sent on a variety of missions that are
the same as what was announced previously. The only spy missions
that have been removed are ones that reported back nothing but information
on the other empire (the information coming back wasn't very useful).
Instead we've bumped up the effective spy missions such as stealing
tech's, killing leaders, sabotaging projects, blowing up buildings,
affecting planets etc. Everything else in spies works the same as
has been discussed previously.
The Forced Labor and Robotic Unit policies are being
adjusted slightly. Originally you had about 6 policies that affected
them and it was enough that it was difficult to tell the results.
Now you'll end up with just a couple of policies that will be much
clearer in their effect.
Before, you had leaders in every position in the
empire and some would have faces etc. Once this went in we found
that it was really difficult to find the ones you cared about and
each individual one wasn't very unique. So, the leaders that you
know of are being moved into the background (they still do their
thing but are of the faceless variety) and a new set is being introduced.
These will be your High Council and will affect your empire as a
whole. They will have modifiers (both good and bad) and will be
introduced based on events etc similar to the way it was handled
in MOOII. The difference is that there will be more of them (compared
to previous games) and they'll each have much more in the way of
story associated with them, which will work into the backstory.
Also these leaders will be killable by enemy spies.
The economic system is currently being evaluated.
The concern we have right now is that you end up building multiple
copies of the same building on any given planet and it gets confusing
in gameplay. We haven't made a decision on what we're going to do
yet but there are a lot of options on the table and many of them
don't change the current system but just affect how it's displayed
to the user. We'll let you know as soon as we make a determination.
Yes, as many have heard IFP's have been removed.
The intent behind MOOIII has always been that the player isn't forced
to deal with all the micromanagement if he doesn't want to. IFP's
did serve to keep the player from micromanaging; they didn't however
solve the problem of making sure the player didn't have to (or feel
he needed to). The only thing that will do that is good AI and our
dedication to that hasn't changed. With the extended date our AI
programmers are staying on that task to make sure the AI works as
planned. Folks have also asked how this affects HFOG. The answer
is it won't. IFP's were one of things that affected the HFOG, but
there are a lot of other factors that will do that as well and those
haven't changed. The other purpose of IFP's was to keep multiplayer
games moving, but as you can well imagine there are a lot of other
ways to do that.
The rest of the changes are UI changes here and
there or have been previously announced.