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Wargaming Takes Master of Orion, Stardock Gets Star Control

By on July 23rd, 2013 10:03 am

Master of Orion | Star Control

In the process of Atari’s bankruptcy filing, some of its assets have been auctioned. Among those assets were the Master of Orion, Star Control and Total Annihilation franchises.

Wargaming.net, a strategy game developer based on Belarus operating since 1998 – best known for its turn-based strategy series Massive Assault and recently for its World of Tanks multiplayer online game – was the highest bidder for the Master of Orion and Total Annihilation franchises. Uber Entertainment, behind Planetary Annihilation also bid for Total Annihilation but lost to Wargaming.

Stardock, the development company behind the Galactic Civilizations series and Sins of a Solar Empire, got the Star Control franchise and was assigned as Back-Up bidder for Master of Orion, which suggests that Stardock did go after Master of Orion but came out second to Wargaming.net. They did get Star Control though.

Note however that although the highest bidders and respective backup bidders for the auctioned franchises have been found, the bids have yet to be approved in a “Sale Hearing” to take place on July 24, 2013.

Personally, I had high hopes that Stardock would get the Master of Orion IP someday. So, I’m a bit disappointed to see that while they did go after it they were beaten by Wargaming.net on the finish line. It’s nice to see that they got Star Control though. However, Wargaming.net seems to be quite competent with turn-based strategy gaming, so, I’m hopeful that they may do something special with Master of Orion someday.

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69 Comments


  1. Kyle Rees says:

    I am interested in why Wargaming wanted to acquire the MOO franchise. Their expertise seems to be worlds apart from a 4x game.

    • Scott says:

      They want to make a Cow simulator?

      In all seriousness, it’s likely a way for them to expand their market. My only fear is they are going to try to make a “MOO Online” kind of deal.

  2. t1it says:

    Yeeeeah…Can’t say I’m happy with Wargaming.net acquiring MoO. I except some stupid and arcadish console game coming out soon…

    • LeoCeballos says:

      Well to be fair, they apparently did a ton of turn based strategy titles before moving to real time, and then World of Tanks.

      Also, remember that Wargaming recently bought (or is buying) Gas-Powered Games. I’m not sure I’d call the Supreme Commander games “arcadeish”, and whatever else you may think about the guy, Chris Taylor is the guy behind Total Annihilation. They now have Chris Taylor and TA; I think its a fairly sure bet that he’ll be heading up development of a proper sequel, at long last.

      As to the possibility of Stardock making a sequel to Star Control…well they really need to hire me. Like right now. Please?

      • lammaer says:

        Tons of?

        You mean the 4 installment of “Massive Assault” game, with medicore success in the western hemisphere of the world?

        • Chris says:

          I hear that. Those “Massive Assault” games weren’t very good, either. I bought one before thinking it looked like it could be fun, but looking back on it, I have to say it was probably one of the worst games I have ever played.

  3. Mark says:

    Glad to see Atari finally go under and lose control of the MOO IP which they have been hanging onto like grim death for years.

    MOO III was possibly the most horrific train-wreck of a game that I have ever seen. Hopefully Wargaming.net will do a much better job with the IP, they couldn’t possibly do worse……. I hope.

  4. ashbery76 says:

    I have a bad feeling about MOO going to wargaming.

    Online 4x,meh.

  5. Xyggy says:

    I’m very happy that Stardock got the Star Control IP. I think they’ll do a great job with it.

    As for Wargamming and MOO? I’m happy that Atari no longer has it’s unqualified mitts on it, but it remains to be seen what Wargamming can do with such an iconic IP. Hopefully they stay true to the framework and craftsmanship that is MOO 1 & 2. And for the love of God, don’t make it real-time!

  6. harry says:

    The worst thing would be an always online game free to play with ingame purchase… The doom shop cost a 5.99

    • Mark says:

      lol, don’t give them ideas!

      • Harry says:

        That is not my idea..

        From user review of World of Tanks from Wargaming.net

        “I hate to use the term, “Pay to Win” but in this case, it applies.”

        and.
        “Call your game what it is, a Demo, and don’t insult the intelligence of your player base. This game is monotonous and boring if you’re not buying “Experience Boosts” or “Elite Tanks.”"

        I think we have to say goodbye to the good old MoO feeling..

  7. Fimbul says:

    I just hope they don’t make “free to play” crap out of it. then would MOO finally die.

  8. Jeff P says:

    The Star Control franchise seems a bad fit for Stardock, a company that made it’s reputation in turn-based strategy games. Even worse, I was hoping for a Galactic Civilizations III. This acquisition may preclude that.

    • jackswift says:

      If you go by hints dropped on Stardock forums and in their public board/investment reports, GalCiv 3 may have already been in development for the past couple of years.

      • Adam Solo says:

        Yes, but there’s something that puzzles me in all this. If what you speculate is true, and GalCiv3 is indeed in the works for a couple of years now, why did Stardock go after the Master of Orion IP now? They came out in second, but could have won (and in theory still can as they are the auction’s backup for MoO).

        Would that mean that whatever space 4X game Stardock is developing right now, assuming they are developing one, it could have been labeled Master of Orion “something”, if they had won the MoO IP? Something like: if “MoO IP acquired” then game_name=”Master of Orion [something]” else game_name=”GalCiv3″?

        Or, perhaps the plan was to develop both franchises in parallel. GalCiv never offered tactical combat, maybe the MoO project would be the more tactical 4X counterpart. Gosh, I guess I’m still holding to the thought of Stardock developing a Master of Orion reboot someday. Guess that won’t happen now, at least not by them. The hope is now with Wargaming.net.

        But, if nothing happens in the MoO front, there’s always hope for GalCiv3, which to be a reality would be awesome news as well.

        • zigzag says:

          I think it was a matter of availability more than anything else. Brad mentioned on the forums that Stardock only “wanted” the Master of Orion franchise but “really really wanted” Star Control. I think their attitude was similar to their attitude towards Master of Magic.

  9. Buxaroo says:

    I have no issues with Wargaming getting the IPs, I am a long time player of World of Tanks and they are very competent. I also love Stardock. As long as someone like EA or Activision didn’t get them, I am fine as wine with this.

  10. zigzag says:

    Aside from Master of Orion and Star Control, I’d like to get excited about Rebellion’s acquiring Battlezone, but my experience with their games has been very poor.

  11. Cristo says:

    When the deal is finally done do you try to get in contact with wargaming.net for some infos about their ideas concerning the moo title, Adam?

    • Adam Solo says:

      That’s a great idea Cristo. I think I’ll do just that. Let’s see what happens with the final hearing and then I’ll try to get in contact with them, probably for an interview.

  12. Dr.Gonzo says:

    I´m realy happy stardock didn´t got the Master of Orion IP.
    I was following what they did with Elemental:War of Magic.
    They said before they would do something like master of magic.
    Following the project in the forums i witnessed them wiping away concerns of the fans of mom. I personally like to play 4x games with friends and was eager to play a new mom with them. Stardock promised they would implement multiplayer every time someone was asking. After a while they stated “these type of games better should be played solo” and it would be too much work to implement the multiplayer part after the release. They answered the constant call for multiplayer with “there will not be a playable multiplayer….live with it” (in short)
    If there will be a new Master of Orion (my favorite game of all times). I simply need multiplayer. Coop or vs, most games are so much better when you can play them with friends.
    (Apologies for my bad english)

    • Ivan says:

      Was it “it’s to difficult to implement at all” or “it’s to challenging to make it right”? Implementing some kind of multiplayer is not a big deal but making it right (good match making, player turn duration handling, disconnection handling, etc.) is. Perhaps they estimated they couldn’t make it right so they didn’t want to do it at all.

      • Dr.Gonzo says:

        First they said doing it right would consume too much manpower. They promised to do it in the future, than they said most of the gamers don´t need multiplayer and finally after dropping the plan of implementing (a decent) multiplayer they argued multiplayer and it´s competitive nature would not fit their vision of the game and they stopped promising it for future patches or addons.

      • Magnus says:

        The problem is that Brad Wardell *hates* multiplayer in turn-based 4X games. I’ve been there in the aftermath of GalCiv2′s launch and the multiple pleas for multiplayer (hotseat and other) were constantly rebuffed. He promised multiplayer for the next GalCiv, but since he didn’t manage it for Elemental, I am not hopeful at all that it will be there.

        So, yeah, for the sake of multiplayer, it is good that the MoO license didn’t go to Stardock.

    • zigzag says:

      @Dr.Gonzo Stardock consciously decided to make Elemental not like Master of Magic. They’ve said that if they had acquired the trademark that they would have made a faithful sequel. “Buggy” and “not very fun” are all fair criticisms of EWoM, but I don’t think “not like MoM” is.

      • Dr.Gonzo says:

        @zigzag
        You have a point threr. I have to confess, that beeing not like mom wouldn`t have kept me from buying the game. It was the lacking multiplayer and the reaction to the complains.

  13. Ivan says:

    Stardock doesn’t look like someone who would make something good out of Master of Orion.

    Sins of Solar Empire is plain RTS, mechanics are identical to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. If SoSE is 4X then Starcraft and Warcraft are too. Galactic Civilizations I & II are 4X grand strategies but they lack in ship design department. Yes you can make them visually different but not so much functionally. Functional features are either non-combat stuff (colonization, trade, ground combat), plain combat stats (+attack, +defense, +HP) or extra movement speed. Combined with non-interactive combat it’s weak experience. On top of that economy model is unwieldy and tech tree was subject of negative critics. All in all I don’t see them being good at designing game rules for something as big as grand strategies and MoO I & II are heavily dependent on solid game mechanics.

    What Stardock is good at is making pretty graphics and story telling. I think Star Control will suite them well, better then MoO ever will.

    • csebal says:

      “If SoSE is 4X then Starcraft and Warcraft are too.”
      That’s it, you are officially my new hero..

      (for the next 30 minutes at least:P)

      As for stardock designing 4X – Elemental:Fallen Enchantress would be a more recent example of that. While that game is decent at its core, I would hardly call it a “good” game. Its okay, but not good. Then again, I got to give it to stardock, that while their design philosophy and track record might not be the best one out there, their customer relations and humble approach to their players is most certainly a quality that makes me like them.

      @Harry:
      “From user review of World of Tanks from Wargaming.net…”
      The only thing you can claim pay to win on in World of Tanks is the fact that you used to have gold ammo in the game. I say “used to”, as in a recent patch they changed their pricing model so that you can buy everything but the premium tanks for regular silver coins too, so you can buy premium ammo for silver, not just gold..

      It is worth noting though, that not even the “golden bullet” can guarantee you victory in that game. It can help in a 50-50 situation, by giving you the decisive edge, but at the end of the day, you still need to be a good player to win.

      Also.. despite what some of the so called “fans” of the 4X genre are saying, a properly done 4X MMO would actually be more than awesome. It is sort of the holy grail of 4X strategy (at least in my eyes), as it has some game design challenges none have managed to tackle so far.

    • Adam Solo says:

      “If SoSE is 4X then Starcraft and Warcraft are too.”
      The key difference here, in my view, is diplomacy, eXpansion and the way the games are structured.

      There is no diplomacy in Starcraft and Warcraft. That’s usually a good rule of thumb when you have doubts if a game is purely an RTS or just real-time strategy (as game mechanic). Sins offers diplomacy options, more after the Diplomacy expansion for sure but there were already some diplo options there since the beginning (e.g. forge/break alliance, trade resources, establish trade routes).

      Expansion in Sins is about colonizing and securing more planets and resources, which combined form an empire. Even if you can build multiple bases in Warcraft and Starcraft, or expand the main base, that’s still not the point of a 4X eXpansion phase in my opinion. There’s no empire-building in Starcraft (e.g. new cities/colonies established), just a collection of missions/scenarios where you may have or not multiple bases.

      Regarding structure, Warcraft and Starcraft are designed around a central campaign (or campaigns) comprising different levels played in a sequence of missions (like Command & Conquer, Red Alert or any other RTS game). It’s a more linear experience. Sins offers both fixed and random scenarios where you play your game in one shot, in a much more nonlinear fashion, like any other 4X game.

      So, while Sins is definitely not as complex as some other 4X games out there, and much more combat-centric than usual, it still is a 4X game by common definition. You can call it light 4X due to limitations on scope if you want (e.g. abstract colony management, no ship design and a focus on battles) but it still is 4X. It’s right there on the border though, so it’s no surprise that many may not consider it 4X while others do. In my opinion, Sins is inside the 4X border. Starcraft and Warcraft are clearly outside.

      • Towerbooks3192 says:

        Personally I would consider Sins to be having one foot on the RTS side and one foot on the 4x side. Only thing that is making it more of a 4x than an RTS is the fact that it isn’t a clickfest, the tech tree/diplomacy/and the scale of the game. Its not Distant Worlds kind of rewarding exploration but the scale is still huge.

      • Ivan says:

        I agree it’s on the fuzzy border between 4X strategies and “one session to beat” RTSes. But I don’t agree with it being more 4X then not. First, I must admit I haven’t played expansions, I felt that experiencing both single player and multiplayer of vanilla game was representative enough of what the game is and can be. Also there was a “little” issue of marketing as MoO 2 successor.

        What I find missing in SoSE are significant technological improvements. Let’s call it vertical eXpansion. Depth of tech tree in SoSE is similar to a single age in Civilization III or IV, it’s like starting with warrior and having swordsman at the very end of tech tree. No tank, no airplanes, no railroads. You know that first Antaran attack in MoO 2, they attack with just a single tiny ship and yet it’s impervious to almost all early game weapons. In the late game player can build ships that eat Antarans for breakfast in 1 on 1 battles. I haven’t experienced such technological progression in SoSE. On the other hand unlocking units by building certain buildings and upgrading existing and future units by 10/20/30% percent are mechanics typical for traditional RTSes such as Command and Conquer, Warcraft and Starcraft.

        For me that put is it well in traditional RTS side of the border. It may have all four Xs but it doesn’t feel as grand as Civilization or Master of Orion .

        • Adam Solo says:

          It’s not because it has all the 4X’s. A 4X game must have all the 4X’s alright but having all the 4X’s does’t make a game a 4X game. It’s about the 4X’s sure but also about diplomacy, nonlinear gameplay, research, different paths to victory and the empire-building aspect. I tend to agree with this definition.

        • Ivan says:

          Erm, it feels like you are only replying to the last paragraph of my comment…

          I’m too exhausted to research what is common consensus about 4X. In my experience it plays out like traditional strategy (except it takes 5 hours instead of 45 minutes to build army of doom and attack + move over opposition). I can’t point out what makes it feel so different from Civilization and Master of Orion. For instance Anno 2070 seams closer to those two archetypes of 4X genre (or is it grand strategy) than SoSE.

        • Adam Solo says:

          I did focus on the last part of your comment because that’s where I think the heart of the matter was.

          Ivan, my only point here is helping clarify why I think Sins is a 4X game, and why I think it’s not a “plain RTS” like you suggested. Even if some parts may play very similar to an RTS, which I think was your point, it still is a 4X game as a whole in my opinion. I did my best to explain why.

          In conclusion, as a whole, I consider that the Sins experience is inside the 4X border of games. Due to the things I already talked about above. But, as I also said above, I can understand why some people may think otherwise. And while I get that I personally disagree.

    • zigzag says:

      @Ivan The comparison between Sins of a Solar Empire and Starcraft is specious. Yes, they are both real-time, but so was Imperium Galactica. SoaSE’s scale, pacing, and many of its mechanics are very different from the titles mentioned. (SoaSE was developed by Ironclad and not Stardock, so it may not be representative of the company anyway.)

      It’s also bizarre to claim that Stardock are good at making pretty graphics and story telling – those have been weaknesses of their titles.

      @csebal The “fans” dig was unnecessary. I’m a “fan” of the genre, but while there may be amazing game design challenges involved in MMOs, I don’t enjoy them.

      • Ivan says:

        No no no, I’m not comparing them solely on “real time” basis the game mechanics are very very similar. Also note that I compare SoSE to Warcraft III on the first place, not Starcraft.

        Unit assortment is very similar: light front liner, long ranged, heavy front liner, siege, supports (healers, summoners, buffers, debuffers) heroes. Heroes and capital ships are identical, can level up to level 10, have 4 skills, 3 lesser ones that can be upgraded to level 3 (at 1st, 3rd and 5th hero/ship level) and ultimate one available at level 6. Supply mechanic (quantity of units reduces resource income by percentage) is similar although not identical. Most technologies in SoSE are like upgrades in Warcraft and Starcraft, up to 3 levels of upgrade each basically giving either fixed +x or +x% bonus to some stat. Unlocking stuff by building certain number of certain buildings is also common in traditional RTS and almost absent in grand strategies.

        That’s it, it’s last time this week I’m explaining why SoSE is Warcraft III with gravity wells instead of grasslands.

        • jackswift says:

          I’ll just say that if you haven’t played SoaSE with any expansions, you’re missing out on a good chunk of what makes it a 4x. They added much more diplomatic options, planet types, exploration stuff, tech trees, etc.

          Sins certainly started out closer to an RTS than a 4x, but it’s now halfway between the two, IMHO.

        • zigzag says:

          Fair enough. We all carve categories in different ways. For me, the choice of Warcraft 3 as a comparison seems bizarre since I feel it plays as much like a MOBA as Starcraft. I disagree because I don’t see unit roles, heroes, and supply as disqualifiers. I also think the technology system is more varied than you describe.

  14. Evrett says:

    I’m not sure I’d want to be applying my vision to what many deem sacred artifacts of gaming..Both these titles have the potential to be poison pills for anyone who touches them. They are bound to piss off one section or another of rabid fans unless they are creating direct copies and even then..

    Stardock is definitely better off with story based game like Star Control. Just remember to wait a bit till after release before buying and never get involved in their preorder/pretesting schemes.

    • jackswift says:

      That’s a great point about our space gaming “sacred cows”. Any attempt to remake MoO2 or Star Control will automatically receive criticism from a section of crotchety gamers who can’t (or won’t) take off their nostalgia glasses.

      Even if they do nothing but remake them perfectly with updated graphics, people will still complain. They did that with HoMM V and got nothing but reviews of “stale gameplay” and rants about really minor things like camera angles, despite it being a great addition to the HoMM family.

  15. Mark says:

    I’m totally uninterested in multiplayer. I hope they don’t waste time and resources on that when they could be working on adding depth and refining gameplay.

    • csebal says:

      You know how many hours of development time are needed to build a proper AI? Its a lot easier to build a deep and well refined multiplayer only game, than it is to build the same in a single player setting.

      So while you are totally uninterested in multiplayer, not having it will only make development harder, not easier..

      • Mark says:

        Sorry but that makes absolutely no sense at all. Many game companies have shied away from multiplayer and delivered single player only games, claiming that the time spent to implement and balance MP is quite significant and beyond their reach.

        You are the only person I have ever heard make this quite outrageous claim which is almost self evidently false.

        “not having it will only make development harder, not easier..”

        Seriously? Adding a game feature will make development easier? If only all added features did that.

        While I do agree that good AI would be more difficult to implement than MP, I would not wish to see them spending significant (or any) time and resources developing MP at the expense of AI, depth, choice and all the other things we have come to expect of a good 4x.

      • zigzag says:

        @Mark I think I understand what he’s saying. He’s saying that making a great multiplayer game with limited singleplayer is easier than making a great singleplayer game with limited multiplayer. That’s plausible for certain games (e.g., chess). The problem is that it doesn’t matter if it’s a great game if you don’t like what it delivers.

        • Mark says:

          @Zigzag.

          Ok If that’s what he’s saying, it makes sense (which is good because his claim that I quoted above had me worried), but also implicit in the clarifying statement you made is….

          making a great single player game with *NO* multiplayer is easier than making a great singleplayer game with limited multiplayer.

          I would consider a great MP game with limited single player to be a complete failure, no matter how much easier it is to make.

    • Chris says:

      Personally multiplayer is one of the key requirements of any game purchase to me. Games are alright in single player, sure, but they only become good with multiplayer. Balancing a game for multiplayer is relatively easy if you have already balanced for single player, and I’d say for a game to get a big community multiplayer is essential.

      To me, multiplayer is a corner stone of my gaming experience. I’d say without a doubt, ninety percent of the games I have played have multiplayer in some form or another. Hell, even BARIS has multiplayer. I can look at my desktop and see games with multiplayer all round; X-Com, Empire at War, SOTS, Homeworld 2 and so forth.

      • Mark says:

        While I’d agree that adding multiplayer is relatively easy, its only relative to the extremely hard task of creating good AI and gameplay in the first place. 4x games are notorious for being difficult to get right.

        MP is still a significant investment of time and resources that I believe would be better spent on refining and perfecting the aspects of 4x that really matter.

        If I bought a 4x with multiplayer I would never even use it, it would just be an extra button that never gets clicked. I realize that there are others like yourself who think differently, and I respect that, but I feel that the devs need to know that there are also people who feel that MP is just totally unnecessary in a 4x.

        • AstralWanderer says:

          @Mark: “While I’d agree that adding multiplayer is relatively easy, its only relative to the extremely hard task of creating good AI and gameplay in the first place…”

          If you’re saying that good AI is harder than multiplayer, then I’m in agreement. Multiplayer though does need to be “designed in” to a game from the start, and adding it retrospectively can require fundamental architecture changes (ability to handle asynchronous input, deal with differing network response times and transfer rates, cheat detection/prevention, handling dropped player positions etc) so it shouldn’t ever be considered “easy”.

          @Mark: “MP is still a significant investment of time and resources that I believe would be better spent on refining and perfecting the aspects of 4x that really matter.”

          Another downside to MP is the limitations it imposes on singleplayer. Turn lengths have to be constrained (either by hard limits like a timer or soft limits by removing features requiring excessive player time such as in-depth tactical combat) so people don’t spend most of their time waiting for others to complete their moves. Micro-management has to be curtailed for the same reason (OK, not everyone wants it in single player, but it would be nice to have a choice for key situations). Game duration needs to be capped also, to make MP games “winnable” in a reasonable length of time, which can mean features like resource limits, unit limits and fixed victory conditions, while an “ideal” SP game might be more indefinite/infinite in nature.

          So even if you never use MP functionality, if present it can still impose restrictions on an SP game.

        • Mark says:

          @AstralWanderer

          “So even if you never use MP functionality, if present it can still impose restrictions on an SP game.”

          Good point. In today’s climate of dumbing down games to allow consoles and I-phones to play, the last thing we need is even more detail lost due to MP considerations.

          4x games used to be deep and complex. Lets leave them that way.

  16. Towerbooks3192 says:

    When I googled wargaming and saw world of tanks, I was like “wuht?” . I would have felt a little better if MoO went to stardock. At least I know they seem to be passionate about their work especially with how they handle the war of magic incident.

    Wargaming would be legendary if they could make something much worst than MoO 3 (never played it but the consensus seems to be everyone is avoiding it like the plague).

    • Evrett says:

      Quicksilver (moo3′s developer) made the same mistake Stardock did with War of Magic – They were both smart, driven developers who tried to do too much at once and in the end many of the systems stuffed in the game werent adding to the fun or simply didnt work.
      Some lead developers arnt willgni to just make a good game – they want to innovate and make their mark..well for every popular innovation there are 100 other new systems that dont catch on. Innovate with your own work and leave the sacred cows alone. That goes for mom, civ, moo2, alpha cent etc. update the graphics and I’ll pay 100 buck a copy. Fiddle with things and make your artists mark and your gunna get burned.

    • csebal says:

      Quite ironic actually, as MOO3 was not a horrible game in its own right.
      The game itself had a few good ideas in it, but for every good idea, there were three that the devs had to cut out. This, coupled with the bugs made the game feel like a failure.

      So in the end it mostly just failed to live up to its own hype. Its the tale of icarus really: the developers aimed way too high, flew too close to the sun and fell to their doom in the end.

      • jackswift says:

        I actually quite liked MoO3. It’s still a pretty passable game with the fan-made patches. It was never able to overcome the initial wave of disappointment though. It’s like if Kerberos made a patch tomorrow completely fixing SotS II, no one would know or care… the damage has been done.

        • Mark says:

          Kerberos *have* patched SOTS II to the point that its completely playable. The remaining problems (of which there are many) are there by design and will never be fixed.

          And you’re 100% right, nobody knows or cares :)

  17. Serge says:

    I know some people from wargaming by online communicatuions, they are great history buffs with a lot of military history knowledge, but I’ve never seen any indication that they understand what the fun gameplay is. World of Tank is not an indication of competence in single player game devlopment. On the other hand after playing FE:LH I reinforced in opinion that Stardock can make good games but not great games. So it don’t really mater who got MOO – neither competitor could restore it to it’s full glory. IMHO.

  18. Dr. Gonzo says:

    I´m wondering why nowadays every time some new tbs game is in the making i see people divide into 2 groups. One likes multiplayer the other insists to skip multiplayer for the sake of the solo part.
    I don’t understand why there has to be such a difference.
    When I think of great strategy games nearly every title I imagine has both.
    I understood this tendency with stardock. They are a small company and seem to have to concentrate on one part of a game. But I think this is not the way to create a game that satisfies all the fans of the original moo.
    A good ai for example is critical even for multiplayer lovers like me. Coop or vs most of the time you want ai players filling the slots you couldn´t fill with friends.
    Even the story modus or campaign (which I almost never play) should be handled with care. Because I would like to see people with no friends (playing tbs games) be satisfied too.
    If wargaming wants to succeed with this project I think they should at least try to satisfy most of the moo fans (multiplayer and solo-gamers). And please NO REALTIME WHATSOEVER.

    • jackswift says:

      It is a curious phenomenon that within the last couple of years, people have started to differentiate and complain to developers either to skip multiplayer or make multiplayer the focus… when before games would usually have both and make both “camps” happy. It’s like today’s political climate of “you’re either with us or against us” is seeping into our everyday lives. Ugh.

      I play 95% of the games I have for the single player, but I don’t begrudge people who want multiplayer in a game. Some of my best childhood memories are playing hotseat HoMM 2 and MoO2 with friends and family.

      I think Fallen Enchantress:LH could be a great multiplayer experience. I’m not bothered by the fact they chose to not do multiplayer in the meantime (apparently Stardock is hiring network code developers though…!), as we probably wouldn’t have had as much content as it does currently (and that’s something again that we have no idea how many coding hours it would take to make a properly functioning multiplayer, maybe there’s an industry expert that can guesstimate). It also means FE:LH wouldn’t have what is currently happening to Endless Space: some game mechanics and design features are being implemented to satisfy the multiplayer crowd and it’s ruining the single game experience.

      • Anonymous says:

        > how many coding hours it would take to make a properly functioning multiplayer

        That depends on a lot of factors. If you design the game with multiplayer in mind (even if it’s not implemented), then in the basic case it’s almost free.

        The difficulty and the extreme man-hours come into play when you have designed the game for solo only, and you want to create a multiplayer experience with cheating protection. The amount of time required for this is astronomical since you have to rearchitect some parts of the game.

        So, multiplayer can be had for free, if the people who are designing/architecting the game have multiplayer experience. If they don’t it’s almost impossible.

        Disclaimer: I’m not an “industry expert”, but I have written small TBS games some years ago.

  19. Peter says:

    Im predicting MOO4 will be even more horrible then MOO3 and it will be a total rape on the MOO series. Were can I put my bet becourse I know I will get rich with this bet.

    • Mark says:

      They would have to be pretty pathetic and incompetent designers to make it worse than MOO3, which would seem to be pretty difficult, but yeah nothing would surprise me.

      Lets just hope it turns out ok or else MOO4 will certainly be the final nail in the coffin for the series.

      • Peter says:

        They will probably make it a RTS, strip the research, full 3D with camera angles that will gives headaches and will make it a MMO.
        But…. they will make very nice grafix

  20. Vadim says:

    Head of Wargaming Victor Kisly reported that the company plans to revive the Total Annihilation and Master of Orion series the rights on which it got at recent auction on sale of property of bankrupt Atari. “Total Annihilation and Master of Orion — is classics on which we grew. And now excellent opportunity to inhale new life in games of our childhood” was presented to us — Victor told during celebration of the 15 anniversary of Wargaming.

    (rumour) Slava Makarov (Wargamings General Producer) said: “Victor Kisly (Head of Wargaming) promised to shoot immediately who vote to make MMO from Master of orion or Total Anihilation”

  21. Robert Whitehill says:

    If they continue the Master Of Orion series, I hope the Ithkul remain as a playable race despite being MoO3-exclusive.

    MoO3 may have been a flop, but I fell head over heels in love with its lore. I loved how in-depth they went with each race’s culture, and I’d hate for all that work to be thrown out. The Ithkul, a race introduced in the 3rd game, are also highly awesome, and I’d love to see more of them.

    • Mark says:

      *If* they continue the MOO series? The only reason there’s an “if” to begin with is because of that dismal travesty of a game called MOO3, which single handedly demolished the MOO franchise beyond almost any hope of recovery.

      I hope that every single lame, horrible idea behind it is buried, lost and forgotten as it so richly deserves and that even if the devs ever recover from their shame – which is doubtful – they never make another computer game again.

      I wouldn’t wish a repeat of that experience on anyone.

    • Ivan says:

      Oh yes, the Ithkul were cool. Unfortunately there was no direct way to manage population, once a race settled a region it was there to stay. Races with different environment preferences were terraformnig hell and once Ithkul settled on a planet it’s previous population will soon turn to snack.

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