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Getting Started (Dev Plans and Finance)
by Gory

The art of MoO3 empire management – Also known as “Why cant I ever run out of money” and “What the hell are development plans?”. Hopefully the explanations to those questions will be clear once you read this.

Anyways. First of all, I’m going to explain development plans. I had to figure this out from a few other incomplete guides, comments by people and my own experience. There is basically no documentation explaining these.

What can’t be denied is from using these, my empire advances in growth terms, scientific terms and militaristic terms at least 2 times as fast using dev plans instead of letting the AI have his wicked ways with my planets. I also disagree with the way many people weigh their planets. When I take a planet for colonisation, I have a specific plan for it, be it as a military base, research colony, whatever. Most people seem to sit and make a dev plan for EVERY type of planet. No thanks.

What most people don’t do is use their player defined dev plans. Can’t beat them with a big stick. Now, on to number crunching and set up, enough with theory.


Getting Started with Master of Orion 3

You just started a new game. I’m assuming you know what your race can do. If not visit CustomRaces and check the race design and customisation links and explanations.

Now, with that out of the way, lets get started. First of all, you want to set up your development plans, you want to check the neighboring area for planets, yada yada. You know the drill. This isn’t a newbie guide :).

First of all, visit your shipyard. Select your current designs and mark those pesky troop ships as obsolete!. In fact, mark everything except system colony, colony ships and hawk defense as obsolete.

Next, go to your homeworld and commission a few system colony ships, set up your dev plans for it – Usually mining and manufacture, then get cracking. And, I advise placing your colony ship in your home system. It’s a new planet that’s more than likely in the green zone at least, and to do this, go to forces in system view, and select a planet, and press send colony. On only the planet you want, for now. Just so there’s no mix up!

Then, go to your Empire screen. First box, allow the AI to colonise according to your available ships. Otherwise it can become a micromanagement nightmare if you’re building 5+ colony ships per turn. Government wise, I recommend Spending the points for a representative government and going the parliamentary style government. If not, play as a constitutional monarchy or as a Hive mind. But that’s my preference. Visit the Custom Races Emporium link above for more info ;).

Development Plans

Its under “Empire” and the development plans tab. That’s that done with. Now, you see a screen, on the left there are 3 drop down boxes and a button labelled “add plan”. Dominating the screen is what looks like a spreadsheet fans wet dream.

First of all. You need at least 5 plans, your 5 custom ones. Next, I advise having both the filter for revolting planets and planets in unrest on, and the all planets filter. To add a plan at any level, select the plan, select the “level” – Primary, secondary and tertiary, and select the “attribute” – Farm, Mining, Research and so on.

I’m doing a quick spot of plagiarism here, someone else has figured the weights out for each level of a plan and they make sense to me. Primary is 1, secondary is 0.7 and tertiary is 0.3. We will crunch numbers later.

For “All Planets” first of all. This will affect every single planet you control. It’s not rocket science. Probably the best way to work this is Infrastructure, recreation and Government. First, infrastructure will help build up your planets. Secondly, recreation will make your poor overworked miners and farmers happy, and government will reduce unrest in planets. Makes sense so far?

Next, planets in unrest or revolt should be Government, For reducing unrest. Next, military to increase unrest reduction and last but not least, recreation, to make your people happy again.

For custom filters, I like to separate my planets into 5 rough categories, although there is some overlapping, depending on whether I play as an industrial race, a researching race or a general spying and trade race. Mainly though, its Mining, Industry, Farming, Research and Military (My own names for it). This way I can chop and change, and also multitask planets, say mining primary then research secondary. Dev plans are in below table. Then some fearsome number crunching.

Plan Name Primary Secondary Tertiary
All Planets Infrastructure Recreation Government
Unrest Government Military Recreation
Player 1 Mining Mining Research
Player 2 Manufacture Research Government
Player 3 Farming Farming Infrastructure
Player 4 Research Manufacture Military
Player 5 Military Planet Defence Government

Now to explain how the above works.

Say I have this new planet….Call it Moo 3 (cheesy but I’m out of ideas). Now, this planet is Very Rich, size 9 (quite large) and sweet spot. And it’s not really near any warzones.

When I create it, I look at it and think hell, this place is definitely for mining! So I assign it primarily to be a mining colony. Then I see the size and realise my people quite like the place! Its large…could be a big industrial world! So I assign it to Manufacture as a secondary plan. (This is assuming I’m not way ahead on minerals in the game, if it was, It would be Player 2/Player 4).

Well. Now that it’s both players 1 and 2, you then remember there’s an all planets plan. Using the Level weight, you can now see that overall its like this –

Mining – 1.7
Infrastructure – 1
Manufacture – 1
Research – 1
Recreation – 0.7
Government – 0.6

This is how the AI building DEA’s for you will build them – It will now try to concentrate more on mining DEA’s. This means you will now have a world with several mining DEA's and possibly 2 of any others. These can also be changed. Which is pretty useful if you decide you have enough mines, you can switch it to 2/4, and watch the AI pump out more manufacturing DEA’s if needed. Note this will also change how the AI throws about your money, not just buildings and DEA’s. For a manufacturing planet, the AI will put more money into building military and planetary improvements! Pretty neat.

Just to clarify it, I learnt how to REALLY utilise DEA’s after reading this article. Although I disagree with the author’s principle in letting the planets advance how they want to. Bet he plays Trilarian ;)


Empire Finance

Now. You may have seen the scary looking finance screen. Well, To quote George Bush, “Its obviously a budget, It has loads of numbers in it”. He hit the nail on the head, This screen is only semi-important. If you go to war and want to macromanage, not micro, like Quicksilver designed, you can tell the AI through here that you want to spend more or less money on building military ships and installations.

Options range from peace and prosperity – basically enough so that your people don’t suffer unrest due to pirates – to Holy War. Or, in my language, “what do you mean I don’t have any money left?” Although it will leave you with a damned big military!!

You can also balance your accounts here. If you are having an easy time with it, set your accounts to savings so that when war rears its ugly head, you can spend spend spend on a military. Hence the spending option. Usually I just use balanced but sometimes you have no other choice than to use a spending option.



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