I find this unhealthy intriguing I would never said that about myself, well, I belive there are people who like it, but that's a very strange concept, hard to gasp, to me Slightly offtopic, but why do you love micromanagement?
Professionnal bias I would assume, I'm a manager. Quite ironically, at work, I like to stand back from micro-management. I also tend to have an engineering mind, so I like to know how things work at the lowest level and optimize if possible.
Thats turns me off only if the actions I'm doing are repetitive and mindless. The part I prefer in a turn is when I need to think things through rather than reroute each individual ship to the coordinates they need to go to or perform mundane repair/refuel tasks for example.
As for me, it boils down to a question "how much time a turn takes if I have X (where X is a typical end game value) planets"? That determines if I play the game or not.
I disagree. I think it is simply overlooked: the part about survival is more important than the warfare aspect. It is possible for the environment to be your opponent/threat when well done. I agree that one of VGA Planet's flaw/shortcoming is that it wouldn't necessarily let you see that coming straight. Having food as a resource (as is the case in VGA Planets 4) would help accentuate that: you see your population dying here and there.
That's a very outdated design concept. It's considered "wrong" nowadyas. It's like these early point and click adventure games where you could stuck because you used the wrong item and can't finish the game anymore, in later adventure games they never used this mechanic.
The important part is, to me, that as a player, logistics defeat isn't random: you see it coming. If you are spending 10 turns in a row without a proper duranium mining mine, then, what the hell are you doing with your ships? You're probably focusing on warfare, which is fine, but everyone knows that if you don't have the reinforcements coming at the end of the day, a victory now would avert a defeat later. It comes down to planning and strategy mostly.
I agree. I would have appreciated a heads up of some kind. When one of your base (where you build ship) is 'dying', you don't really know. For all you know, you might be able to build 10 more ships, but without the proper dosage of fuel, these ships will remain in the drydocks until you plan to bring a freighter loaded with nothing but fuel.
Punishing lack of long term planning is OK, but punishing that in the previous turn you were to tired to notice that planet #653 has not enough fuel and the fuel transporter #8533 will not arrive in time is not fun at all.
That said, at higher tech levels, a ship can manufacture fuel (slowly) from a resource that is infinite (supplies) so it kind of evens out.
I haven't played in a while. What would you say specifically appeals to the empire building strain in MOO2 (seriously, fix that typo frenzy, one might be led to believe you play too many mmos )? I mean, aside from the whole politics aspect.
I really like the fact that MMO2 is more about building that empire
Since this is turning into a comparison, I might add that VGA Planets, to me, shines as a different kind of game because of the emptiness of space. It does not assume all species are sentient and have a will to cooperate. It is a harsh, relatively empty space, and when, occasionally, you meet up with another race, it generally means you're going to duke it out until one or the other survives. Then, if you have enough of an empire left, you can continue to expand. MOO2 always struck me more like one of these many 4X games where space has a consortium of races, with politics playing too much of a role. I loved Star Trek's universe for example, but I hated how everything was politics, and not, say, economics. Somehow, I feel it all falls back to the ship design psychology, but I may be wrong.
Hmm, you see that's where the approach differs. In VGA planets, the core designs come with these rule-breakers. You can outfit them in one way or another, but everyone knows that an Evil Empire's scout will be a warper, so if you see its name anywhere, and you think its trying to escape, you won't try to run after it because it will vanish the next turn.
Well, almost everything I almost always had all 8 utility "slots" filled. The time machine that allows you to take 2 turns instead 1, is obviously a must. Targetting system (x3 hit chance for all beam weapons) is second must have. Of course the standard hull enlargement and structure enforcement (but no armour enforcement, I don't use that one). If it's missile launcher ship then of course the "double launch speed every second turn" is quite obvious, in case of heavily shielded ships probably shield matrix enchancement. Cloaking sometimes for some short range wepaons ships was nice. And many, many more.
Really, there was rarely space for weapons in my designs and it still made these ships superior to AI's I wildly enjoyed that it was not about "select a weapon type" when it comes to ship design, I never had this in any other game.
What I feel your appeal may be is to conjure interesting combinations using these 'utility' slots, as they all bend the rules of the game. I think that calls for good gameplay, but may bring too much attention to ship design, that might be spent on other micro-management, but I see your point and agree that it makes for a viable product.
Also, the thinking behind getting the best tech upgrade for every slot only works so long as there isn't any in-game encouragement to do otherwise.
One of the best encouragements in VGA Planets is that each starbase has its own set of levels (hull, engine, beams & torps). It costs a hefty bit to upgrade every sb to full (that's a lot of ships you won't build if you do that). However, erecting a sb on certain planets gets either the hull, engine, beam or torp to start at full (level 10) which means you can produce the components from these bases and get all items to a single sb to built your final 'top tier' ship. But more often than not, its better to just build what you can afford, choosing somewhere between quality and quantity (you want just enough to survive a fight vs a similar ship and repair, but any additionnal strength is a waste and may end up costing you the numbers advantage).