MOO3 Planet Classification

I’m really sorry to post this here, but no one at Infogrames is returning my calls (or even passing them on the Quicksilver for all I know), and since I know a few of you are playing it right now…

I’m having a major problem with the Development Plans / Planet Classification feature in MOO3. I have no problem creating development plans for the AI to use, but when it comes to classifying a planet, I can’t appear to do it. For example, my home planet is classified as Core and Sweetspot. If I click on the drop down boxes to chance the classification manually, my only other selections are “playerdefined” 1-4) In the manual is suggests you can classify the planets anyway you want. There are even a list of keywords in the Development Plans panel (research, production, biodiverse, etc)

To reiterate, I can create plans using these keywords, but I can’t classify any of my planets, rendering the whole feature useless.

Any ideas? Anyone got any Tylenol?

You don’t get to classify your planets, Greg. The AI does it for you.

What you get to do is either let the AI also take complete control of building your DEAs, or you can go through the development plans and make a macros for each of the twenty or so classifications, or you can lay out all your DEAs as soon as the planet is colonized.

The reason you have to order them all as soon as the planet is colonized is because once the AI has filled all the regions with DEAs, you’re effectively shut out. In the one-turn lag between ordering a DEA to be deleted and starting construction on a new one, the AI will jump in ahead of you and start construction on its own choice of DEA, overriding you out before you can even choose a DEA.

But surely this has come up in several reviews of the game…?

 -Tom

Jesus. Just go get space empires IV gold. :D

What you get to do is either let the AI also take complete control of building your DEAs, or you can go through the development plans and make a macros for each of the twenty or so classifications, or you can lay out all your DEAs as soon as the planet is colonized.

Peachy.

I’d like to believe that is a flaw and would be fixed in a patch but I never could get classifications changed. Kinda pointless.

Also, everything tom mentions above is dead on. When I started my very first game of Moo3 I thought I’d micromanage my home world for a bit, just for general experimentation effect. Damn near drove me nuts trying fight every turn with the AI to place what DEAs where and in what regions. Fought with the SOB AI for 100 turns before I gave up, started over and just let the AI handle it.

Maybe I’m not quite getting this. DEAs are a level of detail that you can see, but you can’t control it, and the AI does a bad job? Sort of like it has a big “abstract me out” sign on it’s head?

Hence the whole point of Tom’s review.

This was actually my first inkling that things were going to go truly wrong. When I first sat down to play, I wanted to understand the economic system by experimenting with it, shuffling things around, seeing what would happen if I did this or that, maybe build a farm world, a research world, an industry world. I wanted a chance to learn it myself before the AI took over, which was something that I was all for, in theory.

But when I discovered that you really can’t build your own DEAs, and there’s no way you can build add-ons to your DEAs like hydroponic farms (the game simply doesn’t allow it; only the AI can do those things), I realized I had been effectively shut out and the information being presented was a mere formality that served no useful purpose.

Which, again, is fine in theory. If you just want to tell me my planet is going to spit out 2000 kilos of food per turn, fine. But don’t tease me with this crap about regions with various mineral ratings, biodiversity levels, and climates, and some with special resources, and some more suited than others to certain types of buildings, when it has no relevance to my interaction with the game.

The same with ship components. What do I care if my laser bolt spits out 80 gigawatts of 800 gigawatts when not only do I have no control over combat, but I can’t even tell what the fuck is going on?

It’s the same with diplomacy. What do I care if some fish-looking guy wants to expand our trade agreement if I have no idea what effect it’s going to have.

It’s the same with technology. What do I care if I learned Blah Blah Level 4 and Blah Blah Leve 5 last turn when the game can’t be bothered to tell me what they do, much less let me pick whether I even wanted to research them.

But what do I know? As long as it’s ‘fun’, none of that matters.

 -Tom

Ummm… what’s a DEA?

The reason I encrypt my email and keep the shades down at night.

Planets are divided into regions. Each region can have two DEAs. Various kinds of DEAs spit out various kinds of resources. Bioharvesting makes food, mines make minerals, industry converts minerals into production points, recration counteracts unrest, and so forth.

I think DEA stands for Dominant Economic Area, but I don’t remember. You’d think I’d be able to open the manual and check, but no. Basically, it’s a pointless acronym that Quicksilver thought made more sense than the words ‘building’ or ‘structure’. I dunno, maybe those are trademarked or something.

 -Tom

Actually, I agree with that. It’s just that is does have to be backed up. A game is fun for a reason. I agreed with everything you said in your Deus Ex review, but I enjoyed the game anyway. Figuring out a way to get Paul Denton out of the tenement alive past a large number of simplistic bots was an interesting challenge, at least on impossible difficulty. It was me versus the game designers. I love that. I even figured out a way to escape the subway forced loss. Of course, there is no trigger to get you off the level, but I just had to check. It was a moral imperative.

On the other hand, if you think of the enemies as badly modeled people then it gets really annoying. <shrug> But you’re definitely correct that “It’s just fun” is ususally an end to intelligent conversation. And I suspect you have no desire to reopen the DX worm can. It’s just that things can be fun despite flaws, for specific reasons. My hopes for that on MOO3 (Wow! He’s back on topic!) are getting slimmer by the post. Soldier on, I guess.

Yay! But what do you do about the electric bills for the hydroponics? Solar power?

I’m not done writing my review, so I’m trying to refrain from posting and reading about the game but yes, there appears to be no way to micromanage, not even if you just want to experiment with it a bit.

It’s actually pretty sad when you get a message saying the vermin on one of your planets has reduced farm output and you just shrug and move on because there’s nothing you can really do about it anyway.

Not only is there nothing you can do about it but you don’t know how much farming was reduced because A) it’s unlikely you knew how much said planet was producing and B) the event doesn’t tell you how much farming was reduced by.

The idea of different regions existing on a planet is so cool. The idea that different types are better for different activities is so cool. The idea that some will sometimes have special resources is sooooo cool. DEAs sound so uncool.

Why not just allow one or two structures per region, and leave it at that? Treat each region as a “space” and each building as a “playing piece.” Like in a “game.” Why oh why did they make a galaxy simulator instead of a game?

Because somebody at Infogrames demanded it? :?

I haven’t played, seen, or even looked at MOO3 or any of the reviews (ok, I skimmed Tom’s), and I’ve been following this conversation with one eye open. But I really like this line. It applies to more than just MOO3 I think. For some reason there’s a move away from board game convention that I’m beginning to think is really detrimental to these sorts of complicated games. Games, not simulations. It also connects with the part in Tom’s review where he points out how elegant the bushel/arrow/SHEILD commodity system in Civ2 was.

Anyway, really nice observation Lutes.

Bushel/BEAKER/SHIELD

To be fair, Mr. Gallant, there were arrows for trade. It just seems Bub puts a premium on scientific advancement, while your priorities are with commercial success.

 -Tom