My love for this game is great.
I have never been able to get into any of the other space strategy games, like GalCiv, Sins, or Endless Space. because somehow they all fail to be as good as this 18 year old game. With MOO2 as a benchmark, the standards are quite high.
I think the only way to improve on MOO2 is to make a bigger, badder MOO2. Remove some of the artificial constraints, like only 4 commanders and governors, better graphics, longer tech trees, more races in play, add some interactive RPG elements and things to do with leaders...
Maybe the one thing that could really be all-round improved is the ground combat. But even so with the little interaction that it has in MMO2, it is fun to watch.
Loved this game.
only complaints sometimes it was a little slow when switching menues but other than that one of my all time favorites.
Yup... to this day there still has yet to be a contender.
Especially after moO3 failed so horribly. GalCiv has been trying but has not quite caught up to this one.
I think it boils down to... pretty graphics.. over depth of game play. The graphics of Moo2 may not have been great or 3d but they served their function and worked to serve the game play.
This was the first game I ever bought from GoG and I owned (and still have the CD for this) MOO2 long before. I used to install it on my work computer and play a few rounds during my breaks.
I knew from the get-go that I wanted to play like a conqueror...I picked the humans.
MOO2 was one of those games where it really did matter what race you picked for the way you were gonna play. Humans have a good long term bonus on research and production and their strength lies in getting favorable deals via diplomacy(think: asking more for less). Playing them, you want to focus on building a strong, defensible empire, while befriending the races you can't fight. Long term goal is diplomatic victory.
Oh boy, did me and my friends spend ungodly amount of time on this game, as kids. I remember that we always found it funny how our race would be receiving these intergalactic news report about races on the other side of the galaxy, early in the game, when everyone's still stuck in their home system but that's just a funny observation, rather than an actual nitpick.
One of the greatest things about this game, for me, is that you can play it hotseat style and have a few of you playing on the same PC.
I remember one time I somehow managed to capture an Antaran frigate around the early mid-game. My main fleet was all but destroyed in the attempt and I was suddenly at the mercy of my galactic neighbours.
That is, until I got the ship to a friendly starbase (an adventure in itself) and managed to take it apart and learn how to use the Antaran's Particle Beam weaponry for myself. Suddenly, my tiny interceptors (I like carriers) were slicing through enemy Battleships!
...and then the Darloks (A shapeshifting race of ultimate spies) stole the technology. The game then became a desperate race against time to destroy the Darlok before they could sell the tech to everyone else.
Such a great game. Damn shame about MoO3.
I never concentrated my efforts on military, having the best troops or ships was inconsequential. I focused all my efforts on being the sneakiest s.o.b ever. I would forge diplomatic alliances with my neighbors and then steal all their technology and shifted the blame to the race(s) that refused my diplomatic advances, or my "friends" that that were at levels that could pose a threat to me. I had the entire galaxy fighting each other, while they were protecting me.
Unfortunately there is a completely broken race in MOO2, the Psilons. That creative trait is insanely OP. Basically you can afford to just hang back, pick only the best planets and the best systems, which will turn into massive power houses once you have researched a little over half of the techs in the game.
Then you can churn out tons of heavy hitting ships, take on Antarans, no problem. If you make a custom race with Creative trait you can make an even more OP race.
Still, I do love the game.
Moo2 really is a god amongst space games. The options are so rich, and the game so well designed. The fact you can only get 1/3 of the techs is actually a boon - it makes having allies so much more important, as you can trade. (Or steal. Or crush beneath your booted apendage of choice).
It was, and remains, an amazing masterpiece of its type.
Also, to those talking about MOO3...wash your mouths out! That game doesn't exist. DOESN'T EXIST.
Normally I dislike agreeing with everyone else in a thread, but MOO2 is simply the best of it's genre.
If the TS hadn't gone for a warlike approach with the humans, but went for a diplomatic victory instead, I don't think he would have found the game to be so hard though. Diplomacy just became too easy in MOO2. It's a flaw in a great game.
Most of the reviews for Master of Orion II are "It's okay. It's just not really improved over MOO." I keep saying "lolwut?" so I appreciate such a positive review of this game. :)
Multiple planets in a system. An excellent Tech tree. Laura Barrat's amazing musical compositions. I can't say much because I haven't played anything newer as far as TBS space sims go, but this game still occupies a spot in "my all-time favorite games."
Have you ever tried the 'Gaia Challenge'?
You start a game.
Edit map so EVERY planet is a massive Gaia-Level planet.
Then restart your game.
Makes everyone more or less equal at the start, and adds some difficulty.
This game strikes the perfect balance between grand scope and micromanagement for me. I've been playing it on and off since 96 because I still haven't found a new XXXX-game that surpasses it.
I like to play Sins with MOO2's OST playing in the background.
It doesn't make Sins MOO2, but it improves sins, considerably.
Probably the biggest game of my childhood, along with Civilisation 2 and Syndicate.
Many, many fond memories.
Incidentally, I find it interesting that you had such difficulty with the Mrrshans, when I played they were always (ALWAYS) the first race to be wiped out. Always thought that was odd.
I found the most fun in the game was in a custom race that had both "uncreative" and "repulsive" as deficiencies.
Uncreative because if you have choices in what tech to build the answer is almost always obvious. Repulsive because the enemy diplomacy AI was fairly dumb and if you were allowed diplomatic options they were too easy to take advantage of.
Also turning on autocombat is generally the right thing to do as its easy to come up with degenerate strategies for shipbuilding and tactics.
Ahh, MOO2. It's one of my all time favorites. The look, feel and play are all very tight; especially for its time.
I still prefer it to Galactic Civ 1&2, if only for the potential for quick, but interesting tactical battles.