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Whats the most unbalanced custom race you've ever made (MOO2)?

Discussion in 'Other Civ-Related Games' started by malicious bloke, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Temporary Configuration

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    Quite an old thread, but I've been playing Mo2 again recently, so I'll share one of my all time favourite races: The Borg

    Repulsive
    -50% population growth

    Unification
    Telepathic
    Cybernetic
    +10 Espionage
    Large home World

    Unification + Telepathic is obviously a very strong combo and makes conquered worlds quickly very productive. The espionage bonus is just there to offset the inability to trade techs and also works well wit Telepathic. Cybernetic is mainly for flavor, but it also works well to feed your empire with a minimal number of farmers while foregoing Soil Enrichment in favor of Clone Centers to offset the growth penalty.
     
  2. MrBody

    MrBody Chieftain

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    Here's one thing I've learned about custom race traits in Moo2: there's good traits, and then there's traits worth the point cost.

    Creative? Tolerant? Lithovore? Good traits, but too expensive. Aquatic? Not really that great unless you're doing an organic rich galaxy.

    You pretty much want the traits that boost your early game (this is why Klackons were the 2nd best race in Moo1 even though their bonus wasn't much after early game).

    I don't have the game on my computer at the moment so I can't remember the exact point values, but these were the traits that worked:

    -Unification (less farmers, more production, tons of help early game and beyond)

    -Ground combat -10 (don't need it with telepathic)

    -Cybernetic, hands down the best value trait in the game. It gives you half the benefit of lithovore at less than half the cost PLUS a bunch of other really good benefits.

    - +50% pop growth. Trust me, getting a head start is EVERYTHING in this game.

    From there pick whatever negative traits you're fine with. I was okay with a ship attack penalty, spy penalty, or -0.5 BC money penalty. Forget how many points you have at that point, but bumping pop growth up to 100% was always a good deal. Large homeworld is fantastic for a single point.

    Sure, democracy+creative+whatever might turn into a powerhouse combo late game, but a great early game will trump that every time.
     
  3. neilkaz

    neilkaz Chieftain

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    Yes, the early game is extremely important since after a good start you basically just can expand exponentially. Production races will trump research races in the early game and do very well later, either by conquering them due to superior production or by out researching them due to many research buildings.

    Cybernetic is OK, but I am not a great fan of it since you have to eat some production to replace the food. The ship repair bonuses are OK, but since I play almost exclusively with 2-shot missiles in the early and mid games (until I take Orion usually) my ships don't stick around battle very long so some self repair doesn't benefit them very much. It can help a star base if some sneak attack I cannot cover with ships happens, however, but often it won't matter. If you own a planet in the system your ships repair between turns anyhow, and Advanced Damage Control also does that.

    Aquatic stacks nicely with Uni since now on normal farming planets, your farmers provide a whopping 4.5 food/turn. You also get a larger homeworld as Aquatic and hopefully can find some wet planets nearby.

    The super OP race, UniAquaProd+2 LRHW allows you to generate 63 pp/t at the start and 28 is lost to pollution, resulting in 35 to be used. Just for fun last night I started a game as UniCyberProd+2 LRHW and of course, I am getting the same 35 pp/t after pollution but only 31 is to be used since I am eating 4 pp/t. My homeworld is also smaller as Cyber than as Aqua. But of course, this is also a very OP race and this game is a stomp fest.

    Yeah...Large HW is cheap at a cost of only 1.

    .. neilkaz ..
     
  4. scratchthepitch

    scratchthepitch Chieftain

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    If you have an industry bonus, cybernetic is great, but with no industry bonus, cybernetic can leave you with too low a production ability in the early game before you've gotten some production boosting buildings. That slows the colony ship spam which I like to do in the first part of a game.
     
  5. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    Never saw any real value in cyber. Eating production is never a good thing.
     
  6. MrBody

    MrBody Chieftain

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    Well the idea is that the halved food cost lets you move more colonists from farming over to working to make up for the eaten production. Otherwise Lithovore would be twice as useless and Lithovore aint useless (not worth the points, but not useless). That way any production bonuses you take or research become more effective since you don't have to devote research or buildings to evenly increase both food and industry.

    Actually, forget what I said about ground combat penalty, I forgot a broken combo I stumbled on a while ago. Take the above traits I mentioned (cybernetic, unification) with a ground attack bonus and try to fit in telepathic. Build marine pods on some ships. You're now able to conquer homeworld much earlier than you normally would. Board their station, immediately flip it to your side to mop up the space battle, instantly mind control their homeworld. You can afford to lose a little of the production bonuses because your early game won't have to worry about immediate neighbors, plus you'll be absorbing their resources anyway.
     
  7. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I quite dislike cybernetic in the early game, because I find that pollution becomes a huge hindrance. I'm trying to do more production, but the 'eaten' production counts towards the pollution totals.

    I quite like cybernetic if I took lithovore and Evolutionary Mutation. Cybernetic allows you to get 'back' the 10 pts from lithovore. By then, you've conquered races that need to eat anyway, and your ability to farm and control pollution are strong. Plus, the battles are more likely to be brutal, so the healing is an advantage.
     
  8. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

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    Like it was said above, this is rather old thread. But the game is kinda immortal, so i don't feel necroing at all.

    To the subject. I finally found my own "most unbalanced" custom race, after many games of MOO2, and it's quite unusual, too. Yet, to me, it feels very best. Call it "Psilorriors", if you might:
    -------------------------------
    Pic: Psilons (Psilons AI is one of worst things to happen in a game, plus some of features are the same with "vanilla" Psilons)
    -5 low-G
    -2 ground combat
    -2 ship defense
    -1 poor homeworld
    +6 creative
    +3 charismatic
    +3 omniscient
    +4 warlord
    +4 no picks selected (140% score from the start, 180% score if nothing is changed at evolutionary mutation)
    dictatorship government (0 picks)
    -----------------------

    And this is designed for Hard difficulty for fun, and for Impossible for challenge. Now that does look quite unusual, eh? :) But it's all very rational, and below, i explain how and why it is so.

    1. The goal. This single-player custom race is not designed for blitz, obviously; in fact, it is not designed for victory before 500 turns, even. Because i found that most fun in MOO2 - is really LONG games. Thousands of turns. More on this later on. The race is designed to be interesting to play the longest, to be challenging to play early and mid-game, and to provide the most benefits possible long-term. If this is not your goal in MOO2, then this is not a race for you! :)

    2. The reason behind Dictatorship government. Reason is simple: it's the best government real long-term into the game. Why? Because of two things:
    - its advanced form - Imperium, - offers two very important late-game things: extra bonus to defensive agents (for a total of +20), and extra +50% command points;
    - other governments do not provide any truly important late-game _net_ benefits. Democracy gives +75% (late-game) research and money income, but comes with a painful penalty to spying, total -30 in compare to Imperium. This penalty will stay with you _forever_, while bonus to income and research late-game becomes quite insignificant (you get tons of both anyways). Unification is still lower bonus to spying (only 15), and late-game, its +farming and +production bonuses simply vanish due to the fact that Imperium does get nearly the same effect from morale; this leaves unification with a big-time penalty to science (no morale, remember?), and nothing really good to compensate it. Feudalism's only noticeable good thing - faster ship building, - is insignificant late-game, when you have few planets which do 1k+ production per turn.

    3. A small note about truly LONG games. I found it quite rather interesting to play with a single goal in mind: to protect and support non-aggressive AI races, to ensure their survival and even thriving, despite all the aggressive AI attempts to wipe them out. I do this without making any alliance and rarely via a war, of course, - others means are used, such as giving peaceful AIs helpful technologies to protect themselves better, placing a strong "seemingly neutral" fleet at a key system belonging to the peaceful AI, and using diplomacy to make aggressive AIs busy fighting each other.

    4. Detailed description for every pick chosen (and not chosen). Here are all rational bits which were promised above! :)

    4.1. default population growth - because -50% is quite _too_ harsh, while +50% is not needed for a long game, and there is always "housing" to build, if required;
    4.2. default farming - because -1/2 is _too_ harsh at the start, forcing 3/4 of the homeworld population to farm, while any bonus is not significant even with a few +food-per-farmer technologies applied;
    4.3. default industry - end-game, there is more than enough industry as it is, and keeping it at default makes early and mid-game quite nicely challenging and interesting, imho. Poor home world adds some stress early-game, which makes colonizing feeling more rewarding; ;)
    4.4. default science - the race is creative, which is already huge bonus to science; a penalty here would make early research dangerously slow;
    4.5. default BC - once again, feels quite balanced, and also, tbh, not much important;
    4.6. ship defense -20: best defense is offense, plus the race is Warlord, which boosts defense;
    4.7. ship attack - default: it's enough, i found (with Warlord) for vast majority of late-game situations, and most mid-game ones too;
    4.8. ground combat -10: with Creative, this will be negated rather early in the game, as well as another -10 to this from low-G. Ain't no fun to invade a huge with a pair of transports, feels too cheesy. :p
    4.9. espionage default: with Darlocks not present (either at the start, or taken out), and Imperium, and full 63 defensive agents, and Creative for all extra bonuses, this seems to be enough to prevent AIs from stealing techs up to very late-game, by which time it stops to really matter. :)
    4.10. Special abilities:
    low-G on: mid-game, once grav gens available, this becomes "free 5 picks at no substantial cost". Early-game - extra difficulty, and one always feels nice for beating extra difficulty and improving (at least, i do :) );
    aquatic off: late-game, every planet except toxic ones - ends up being Gaia;
    subterranian off: late-game, not needed; early game, too much help; plus, if so desired, can be taken at Evolutionary Mutation with this race;
    large homeworld off: (too) much help early, totally irrelevant late-game;
    poor homeworld on: a nice extra bit of difficulty very early on, forces one to make (and rely on) better production bases, which is imho good;
    artifact homeworld off: too cheesy early on, irrelevant late-game;
    cybernetic off: big trouble with very-early-game production, no significant benefit late-game;
    lithovore off: too expensive for its effect, and also practically irrelevant late-game (when nearly all player's planets are made into Gaia);
    charismatic on: one of very few (two?) means to get more (and better) leaders, cheaper leaders, and easier times with diplomacy (compensates - _somewhat_ - for higher difficulties' penalty to diplomatic actions). -50% to assimilation time is also nice thing to have. Stays useful for ALL game;
    creative on: because if you'd find out that there is a tech you desperately want, but no AI researched it, some time after 300+ turns, - then you'll have nobody but yourself to blame! :)
    tolerant off: rather expensive, and late-game it becomes insignificant;
    fantastic traders off: totally insignificant late-game, and overpriced for its effect;
    telepathic off: early and mid-game, it's too cheesy; if player likes, this race can take this at Evolutionary mutation time mid-game (instead of subterranean);
    lucky off: master of orion does not need luck. :D
    omniscient on: this is quite very cheesy at the start, i wish it wouldn't be; the true reason to take this is its late-game utility - it reveals ALL stealthied ships and fleets. Those are one of most annoying things which can happen late-game, warp interdictors or not. ;)
    stealthy ships off: becomes obsolete, i guess, upon getting "stealthy ships" tech for 3500 RP;
    transdimensional off: at +5 picks, too overpriced; i'd take it for +2, consider for +3 may be, but +5 is just too much;
    warlord on: for +4, you get more than one or two nice things; late-game, ultra-elite ships (which only Warlord can make possible) are definitely a nice thing to have, - as well as larger fleet, double amount of ground forces on planets and better officers.

    That's pretty much it. My ultimate race. It starts slow, but Charismatic allows to keep everyone except repulsive race(s) not starting any war to me. Once repulsive one(s) are dealt with, it's time to protect and nurture those pacifist AIs (who usually gets destroyed without such help by other AIs). Most troublesome non-repulsive AIs can then be provoked to war (a good number of demands usually does the trick - and also sometimes provide very unusuall positive results upon initial few of them :D ). After all the standard research tree is done, it's time to research all those "future techs" up to 5+, since this helps to minituarize ship weapons, components, etc.

    The "good" end for such a game happens, to me, when i manage to settle whole "galaxy" to peace (stable peace - nobody attacks nobody), at which point i stop to "abstain" at galaxy leader voting and vote for myself, thus allowing AIs to finally rejoice for finally getting a galactic leader (me). For it to work, at least two AIs are to survive (with a single AI surviving, or none, there will be "tyrant" ending). And, of course, i disable "antarans attack" at the beginning of the game, since i do not want any AI to go and beat antarans at some point. Not really sure they would, but just to be safe, to have as much time (turns) as i want to play before the "official ending", i just disable it.

    P.S. By the way, once it's turn 500, score stops to be reduced no matter how many more turns player takes to complete the game, - while every "future technology" adds some points to the score. And this race has a potential to have 180% as its score modifier (if player so choses at Evolutionary mutation), thus a real long game with lots of future techs done has a potential to end up with higher score than any blitz would. And Psilorriors are, imho, the best to make it happen and have most fun in the process. :)
     
  9. Darza

    Darza Chieftain

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    Good direction you had chose. Just dont stop on it, you can also remove remained weak abilities you kept at this race and do the same with race with just "dictatorship no plus no malus" first, then "dictatorship with various maluses" than "destructive maluses (like -food-prod-res dict etc)" and still win with them, it will surely help you develop your game. Early game is what is important, not late one, achieved due to total inability of AI to play, and relyed on anit-AI diplomacy exploits. Just this topic is about "unbalanced in good sence races", not about "race good enough to survive till some crazy late turns with extremally weak AI of MOO2".

    Upd. Sadly not any good analyzis at "rational part" (you can easiliy achieve all your goals around T200 with strong race). And no, Antarans never get busted by AI players, so you can freely turn them on, they are extremally weak in vanilla moo2, so cant take AI races down aswell.
     
  10. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

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    AIs never go to beat Antarans, eh. Gotta try with those, for sure. Thanks. :)

    But you missed p.1 or something; the race i described is intended to play long - up to thousands of turns, - and not because player is unable to achieve victory, but because player does not WANT to end the game (by winning it, thus finalizing the score). Note how i mentioned abstaining at galactic voting? Same thing. Delaying victory on purpose. To have more fun with those silly AIs. Once all planets are contructed and built (with all the late-game good things like Gaia transformation), game gets all about balancing those stupid AIs from destroying each other. Because what fun there is to end up having half a galaxy being my planets, and another half - some stupid Silicoid who took out everyone else? Endless same battles of same fleets. Meh. Boooring! :p Some day, i'll manage to keep every last one (except repulsive, probably) alive as a 1) empire of its own (and not just a bunch of captured colonists on my planets), and 2) unable to get destroyed by other AIs nor destroy any other AI for a very long time (~500+ turns) without any input from me at all. It's a sort of game in a game, for me. Official "victory" is not a goal at all, - merely a possible conclusion to a game i grew bored with (or a one where i managed all remaining AIs to settle in peace with everyone else for a long time), merely an excuse to start another one, you see. :)
     
  11. Darza

    Darza Chieftain

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    Whats the difference with keeping any number of AI alive, but near dead (each on one planet, under your fleet blocade), and pressing Turn button any times you want instead of winning? All i meant is what you took a course to playing a deliberately weak race, and making easy wictory is impossible, so resulting in "long game". So i adviced to develop that way further, and play even weaker races after you're feel ok with this one.
     
  12. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

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    No difference indeed. That's why i don't blockade them. I build myself a nice corner (or side, or cluster in the middle) of stars, preferring systems with 3+ planetary bodies (this includes asteroid belts and gas giants, as those eventually become planets, which give me all the extra command points for a larger fleet and all the souls to have a blocking vote in late-game galactic elections, which, i believe, is 33%+). I protect my systems, using most of my fleet to do so, and if i happen to do a war with some AI, i send a lesser part of the fleet to take the AI out. When i go to war, i take them out for good - as an empire, i mean; some of their assimilated people, i transfer to some of my planets and remove my own race from those, - there is no good reason to it other than to not feel guilty genociding them out completely; most or all of systems the killed AI occupied - i leave (giving away systems to AIs and/or destroying some planets instead of invading them).

    The course i took is not to make easy victory impossible per se; my goal is to create the largest possible gap between "early power" and "late game power" of the race, thus increasing the amount of "growth", the length and scale of getting "more powerful". This can be done by adding weaknesses at the start (like low-G, poor HW), but it also can be done by adding features which are not so good at the start, but get more powerful later in the game (like creative and warlord and - at least in terms of leaders, - charismatic). And then, there are so many actually insignificant-late-game picks, most of them in fact are; isolating and combining ones which remain at least somewhat useful after 1000 turns may look useless for a player who just wants to beat a game (i.e., to get a "result"), but it's all that important for a player who enjoys the process. I am the latter, i guess.

    I guess this involves a bit of roleplaying, too. See, those AIs may be stupid like a rock, but in this game, those represent different intelligent starfaring species, and in my book, the game is not to be played like "i'll take them all out as soon as i can" - that's rather barbaric, you know. Live and let live, sort of. Avoiding war as much as possible, the only excuse being real possibility of a peaceful species being in danger of being taken out by some other aggressive AI species, - then i get to war with aggressor, if no other means helped. And the game gets really interesting in a different way when i do this; no idea if others would find it interesting, i just know i do...
     
  13. Darza

    Darza Chieftain

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    Largest possible gap would be if you deliberately make your own race as much incapable as you can. Thats what i talked about from mere start. Good race can finish all tech in less than 200 turns, weak race need more, say late 300. Taking insignificant race picks is a way leading to playing as anti-race (as bad one as you can do). The only problem is in inbalansed techs -you just need some of them - and AI stop to pose any treat at all, so anything youll do is not differs from just clicking turn button with 1 blocked AI planet remained, same level of danger. Problem here is what you are planning to claim what you still play a game round, what you are actually won already. Surely you can also decide to not using the "too good technologies", but i honestly cant get what you are planning to do for 500 turns, even weakest possible race will finish all the techs faster (in case those races would get extra-lucky start to survive at all). The other possible approach to "increase a gap" would be setting all the initial colonists into farm and click turn button say 100 times, than start to play, but this looks extremally silly tbh. Other possibility is instead, to play effective way. In fact i take the later option after going some sort of your way, playing weaker and weaker races, with useless abilities etc, then without any good abilities, then only with most bad ones. Finally i was unable to won with worst possible in vanilla moo2 race (i guess its possible, but extremally time consuming), and decided to learn other way too, its fast and easy btw.
    And honestly, AI in moo2 is so extremally bad, you need to have extreme fantasy to get something fun from them. They are simply not worth it. Moo1 have much better AI, i guess its much better for "roleplaying". In moo2 AI hardly differs in behaviour from space monsters, just meat.
     
  14. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

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    Well, then i agree to disagree about best ways to increase the gap; i still think that Warlord, for example, gives much _subjective_ feeling of "extra power" once player sees his fleet becoming ultra-elites. More than overcoming some "-1 production" or "-1 science" race feature would ever bring, you know.

    Regarding AIs - i have nothing more to add; honestly, if you don't see a point in what i wrote above, then i admit defeat in trying to explain. ><

    Regarding worst possible race - that's interesting. Also fits the topic, in a way. I wonder what you consider "weakest possible custom race in MOO2 ever". I actually suspect i have a primary candidate for that... Behold! The mighty Meklools! :D

    -1/2 food
    -1 production
    poor HW
    cybernetic

    If i am not mistaken, this race would start at terran planet with 8 population. 4 units of food and 4 units of production will be needed at the start, in order to have a population growth (and prevent starvation). In order to get 4 units of production, 4 workers will be needed (poor HW + -1 production = 1 hammer per citizen :D ). In order to get 4 units of food, 3 farmers will be needed (1,5 units of food grown by each = 4,5 food). This means that only ONE population will be free to do either research or production until population grows to 9. At which point, i guess, FIVE units of food and 5 units of production will be needed to feed those 9 millions souls. Means, FOUR farmers and FIVE workers. Result: ZERO production useful for anything but feeding hungry ones, and ZERO science. Some population growth, though! So in a while, 10th population unit will appear. That one will once again be free to either research or produce something - until 11th guy shows up! :D Thus, this race effectively has HALF of a citizen working, on average, "per turn", for both industry (any useful other than feeding population) AND science.

    Now if that's not a slow start, then what is. :D That's one funny race to try, that's for sure. :D :D
     
  15. Darza

    Darza Chieftain

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    Well, when it comes to "subjective feelings" you never can be sure ofc. All i see in this what weak and overpriced pick (warlord) is surely affect your race less negatively than disruptive and severely underpriced (in negative sence) pics (negative economy), so it open a gap for AI much less effectively, in terms of disrupting your own race i mean. And surely warlord is much more fun pick (ultraelite pwn ofc), if you meant that, thats obviously. Just weak, overpriced and generally not needed.

    Yes, sadly i missed your point of possible fun with AI there, from what i know about them - most interesting way of playing is without diplomacy at all, otherwise its just cheap abusing of dumb AI with immense profit to your side.

    Yes, you right about worst possible - its -food -prod -res -phw -cyber dict and -food -prod -BC -cyber dict. While i won few time with -food -prod feu cyber (strictly better race than ones above), i had no patience enough to win with them. Too much restarts needed. But its a pretty special fun i must say.

    In fact you just need to do some revaluation of racepics you posted (severely undervalue some best of them, and overvalue some useless) and you're pretty good already i guess.
     
  16. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

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    Ah. Well, tell me, why exactly it has to be "abusing of dumb AI"? Who exactly _forces_ you to abuse it? Can't you _decide_ not to abuse it (knowing full well it's possible, but just not doing it)? If you want a challenge, and not a "cheap abusing" - diplomacy still provides lots of methods to it. Don't make those treaties - nobody forces you. Ruin your standing to a quarter of the bar, and keep it there on purpose, nobody is denying this possibility to you. Etc. If there is a "cheap" way, - it doesn't mean you _have to_ take it, you know? :)
     
  17. Darza

    Darza Chieftain

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    Sadly the only one stuff you can actually do without abusing AI in diplomacy - is to declare a war. Everything else beside giving a tech or money to AI player for free - resulting in abuse of it. Well, giving them stuff for no return is, errr, abuse too, as if you can do it without harm to you its pointless, and if you inflicting a harm to yourelf in process - it mean what you reached some boredom status already, to spend it by abusing AI again. Surely it can lead to some challenge in result, but honestly, game offers much better challenge, than, say, give all your BC to AI every turn and still beating it. If i missed something there - ill be glad to read about it.
     
  18. Fins

    Fins Chieftain

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    1. demands (there are several sorts of)
    2. exchange tech (if you want to help them by giving them some tech of their choosing without raising your standing with them)
    3. rejections of their proposals

    Having strong enough fleet to keep them from declaring war, not expanding towards them, "somewhat pissed off" AIs is at least something different to play with - instead of usual "either friendly AI with treaties going on, or hateful AI with war going on". Like in one of best Alan Menken songs - "Pink Fish", some call it, - "try it; you'll like it, dear.". :D
     
  19. Darza

    Darza Chieftain

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    1. Demands is pure abuse - gain for nothing. 2. About "helping them" i wrote above. 3. - its quite obvious by itself, but what exact fun in "rejecting of proposals"?

    Sadly one battleship often is already strong enough fleet to kill all AI, so whats the goal of not expanding towards them? Just clicking turn button to T500 and dreaming what few badly written lines of code "pissed off by your actions"? Game should have some goal and result i think, and frustrating AI in your own head its a quite weird goal. Also again, moo1 AI suit there better.
     
  20. civvver

    civvver Chieftain

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    I like unification, repulsive, +1 production workers, subterranean, couple points left I did I think rich homeworld. You're just swimming in production early which can be used to build housing and quickly max out your planets. You'll have triple AI population in no time.

    Creative is a really fun trait but quite expensive for what you get. There's only a couple things where I really want both techs like pollution processors on same level as merc missiles I believe.

    I'll have to try forgoing unification though and see how late game dictatorship shines. Uni just seems so powerful early.
     

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