Why do people say MOO was better than its sequel MOO2?

Somehow I never played the original MOO. I think I was too broke as a college student when it came out, but I did play and LOVED MOO2. In the Bargain Thread, once again someone said MOO 1 was better than MOO2. Why?

They do? I think MOO2 was by far the better game.

This thread is worth a read to see why some Moo players prefer the first over the second

MOO2 was the Civ5 to MOO’s Civ4.


MOO was a tighter, better design. The relation of tech to ship construction and the tactical game was just genius.

I just said that man jeez

I humbly doff my chapeau…

MOO probably has one of the best game designs I’ve ever seen. It released with bugs, but the state of the game now is pretty amazing.

  1. The races are distinct and interesting while being a “fixed” part of the game. Race creation can be fun but it’s also nice to see games where you have to make a choice and live with it. Unlike Civ, however, the races are very different and the choice has a major impact on your game.

  2. The tech deck. At the start of the game you’re technology tree is essentially rolled up in advance. This roll is modified by your race’s tech modifiers. A positive modifier gave more rolls, and a negative mod less. The ggreater the mod, the more rolls. There were some fixed rules. For example, while the colonization techs have a distinct ranking from worst to best (with a given tech always able to settle worlds “below” it on that stack), they are divided into 3 tiers. You always got a roll in each tier. Thsi meant you might have to wait until mid game to get a colony tech to back fill worlds in your empire, though.

  3. the gameplay is surprisingly deep without being complex. This makes for shorter games played than you see in a lot of 4x games, but they’re stilll packed with all the thrills. Outside of race creation, everything that’s in Moo2 is also in Moo, either more abstract or possibly just better. E.g. You can’t “trick out” weapons with mods. But then Moo weapons come with those mods built in. E.g. the Auto Blaster is a repeating beam weapon that shoots 3 times. The Graviton beam is “continous”, except in Moo that means it’s damage carries over when you destroy a ship (very important). The Gauss Autocannon is a repeater (4 shots) and halves enemy shields. The regular Phasor just does damage (but the Auto-phasor is more intersting). Of course you don’t know which of these weapons you will get but something interesting always shows up. And the choices are fascinating as you juggle repeaters versus shield piercers versus those true “beam” weapons with damage carryover.

Excepting the bugs, the game was amazing. It could use some interface touchups but all old games could.

Contrast that with Moo2. While it has a lot of interesting ideas, it suffered from a lot of problems that got introduced by the design changes. Excepting race creation, everything differnt in Moo2 tends to come with a huge portion of more busywork. Early to mid game fleet conflicts are interesting while you move around a few ships. But the late game fights are typically a slog even using auto-combat and fancy processors. As a result you spend more time in irrelevant battles than you would in Moo. Moo2 arguable set the genre standard in terms of production queues but this has been an overwhelmingly negative contribution (SMAC does it much better; and somehow the only thing you tend to see different in most modern games is unlimited queue sizes).

Moo’s design is basically at the ideal level of abstraction in every facet of the game. It’s not for everyone; its a very different experience. I always urge genre fans to play both. But If I was going to just play one, it’s the first and there’s no contest.

Reasons I love MOO:

  • The industry race is more OP than the science race
  • Distilling your development choices to sliders that are literally DEFENSE | INFRASTRUCTURE | RESEARCH | etc is brilliant
  • When it’s time to murder, it’s time to murder - no farting around for 20 turns moving things into position
  • So many more…

Perfect. Well said.

I preferred MOO2. I put too many hours into the game to count, back when it didn’t count it for you. Yes, I played MOO. When I think of my fondness for that series, it goes to 2 not 1.

This, pretty much. I played MOO2 first, and really enjoyed it. It and Ascendancy were among the first 4X games I’d played.

So when I finally dove into the original MOO lately, I was surprised as to how much of a better, tighter game it was than it’s own sequel. It’s just astoundingly well designed.

You really should play it yourself, Jeff, if you’re wondering.

It also has the best strategy guide…ever?

I agree with everything that has been said here. The sliders are such an elegant way to handle planet and empire management and the potential lack of technology became its own strategy game that changed each playthrough. In fact, I’m going to load it up right now.

I’m also someone who prefers MOO over MOO2. Mostly it boils down to randomized tech and the planet screen on MOO2 being too much once your empire grew. I loved the abstracted sliders. It was glorious.

The sliders made management of your empire very efficient. One of the curses of many 4x games is the escalating amount of micromanagement and fiddly work to get through turns towards the end of the game. Not so much with MOO.

Yeah, the sliders were very taken from games such as Spaceward Ho! (although I do recall an even earlier space strategy game that used sliders).

The planetary build queues in MOO2 were annoying because, for all essential purposes, you were repeating the same build order over and over again.

I purchased both the original Master of Orion and its sequel Master of Orion II. But I played far more games of MoO2 than I did MoO1.

Planetary sliders > planetary construction queue, at least for me, and for a Space 4X. MoO2, while still a great game, in some sense felt much more like Civ in Space than MoO 1, and it was all due to the feel of “I want more industry in this planet” vs “Should I build building A now or in a few turns?”

The God Emperor of Terra does not micromanage the economy! :D

Middle managers must love MoO2. Even at the start of a MoO2 game it feels like a Civ endgame micromanagement hell. Needless to say I play a crap ton of MoO1 but not 2.

But the art direction in MoO2 is so much better than MoO1.

I’m pretty sure I played more MoO2 than MoO, but the first game was more elegant. It’s too bad that most of the genre seemed to follow the MoO2 (really Civ) pattern for so long. I’d like to see games where the base economy is more abstract like MoO but the discrete buildings that you construct are few and far between (e.g. a few giant shipyards, a mega weapon or two).