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Araganzar
May 24, 2003

Needs more cowbell!

Fun Shoe



CAN YOU SMELL WHAT WHO THE ROCKS ARE COOKING?


Donkringel posted:

Okay, makes sense.

What are the negatives to mass genocide? That the rock people would actually care about?

Master of Orion III: What are the negatives to mass genocide?

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Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Donkringel posted:

Okay, makes sense.

What are the negatives to mass genocide? That the rock people would actually care about?

In addition to what Tempest_56 said, mass genocide causes unrest and makes other space nations mad. For most of the time, the effect is too minor to really notice. Though I fully expect more messages about how evil we are to arrive in future updates. Our Silicoids don't care about the internal unrest, but of course by now we have huge populations of Raas, Imsaies, Psilons and some other randoms in our borders, who react more strongly.

Ironically, the Ithkul are perfect if you want to just kill everyone, as being at war makes them happy, which more than offsets potential unrest caused by atrocities. And everyone already hates you anyway, so you don't have to care about what the Space UN thinks of you!

Edit:

And of course, if you want your diplomatic victory, doing all your conquest with troops is the way to go. Also never use chemical/nuclear weapons, as the effect on diplomacy is ironically far stronger than on your victory chances. Building more units works better and doesn't cost you browny points from your space friends.



Tempest_56 posted:

It takes a lot longer and a lot more resources to build it up into something useful. Also the AI has an annoying habit of sneaking colony ships in while your back is turned to rebuild, meaning you have to keep a fleet overwatching the system until you colonize everything to keep it out of their hands. Because if you don't - they colonize one planet, build a Mobilization Center and they can deploy infinite fleets behind your front line.

Basically, you can move the battle lines forward faster but you end up with a lot of resource-draining planets that won't contribute to your economy/war efforts/etc for a really long time.

Another thing is, when a unrest-causing spy lands on a new planet, the new colony often ends up paralyzed with unrest, and with the occasionally exploding building it even backslides a little. With the masses of enemy spies flooding in at end-game levels, sooner or later many of your new colonies will be hit, causing them to get stuck until the spy haunting them is killed.

Some of my newer colonies haven't made much progress since colonization, for example. The problem also gets worse over time, as population growth isn't affected, but more pops mean more unrest, which the underdeveloped colony can't deal with effectively. It's a death spiral of awfulness.

Libluini fucked around with this message at 09:31 on Aug 15, 2020

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

While I'm working on the next update, I've been thinking how to launch my next LP, since I definitely don't want to work on just this one thread for the next 4 years or whatever.

The next 2-3 updates will still be my typical verbose style, but after that I'm planning on seriously cutting down on screenshots and text to speed things up.

To put this into perspective, a typical session of about 3-4 hours of play time tends to turn into a multi-month odyssey of me slowly working my way through the mountain of screenshots I've created.

In the beginning, when everything was still new, this made sense, but now I'm slowly feeling silly for being this obsessively detailed.

My current plan means that for about 1-2 months, updates will continue normally (slow, dozens of screenshots, enough text to fill a novel, you know the drill), then switch to much shorter updates, hopefully reduced to approx. 50% of length and size, while covering a lot more turns. This should not only push this thread to completion before the heat death of the universe, but also allow me to loving finally start my next thread, without doubling my workload and choking the sanity out of me.

If and when my Operation: Eastside thread goes up, I'll post a link here. (Which is, if I can finally loving keep to my plans, currently planned for September/October.)

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


I wonder what the longest-running, in terms of real time, LP thread is, and whether it's this one.

Donkringel
Apr 22, 2008


I'll be honest, I don't read/speak German and I've never played this game, so those two combined make the screenshots incomprehensible to me.

At this point I'm just along for Libluini's Rocky Ride texts, so trim as many screenshots as you'd like.

PurpleXVI posted:

I wonder what the longest-running, in terms of real time, LP thread is, and whether it's this one.

My first guess would be Grey's Battle in the Pacific series set to real time daily updates. They span almost the entirety of WW2 and he did it 2.02 times (one Allies, one full Axis and one aborted Axis run).

Those were in three separate threads though.

Elentor's FF7 also went for 4 years.

Meanwhile Libluini's has gone on for *checks OP* crap four years!

Okay yea Libluini is in the running.

Actually wait it looks like Spirit Armor's Sakura Wars went on for about 6 years.

Donkringel fucked around with this message at 17:52 on Aug 18, 2020

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Oh poo poo, the language barrier. I'm already feeling guilty because Operation: Eastside doesn't even have English text. Neither naturally (no release outside the Germanosphere) nor are there any English-speaking fans as far as I know (so no fan patch either).

But I can already promise that, wait poo poo I think there's a third game on my masterlist that's only available in German, too. Welp, gently caress. I guess that means more work writing, to make all this poo poo comprehensible.

Heck, it's what I wanted to do, so I guess I shouldn't panic.

(Joking aside, the third game I'm LPing will definitely come with English screen text, since it's another "gem" like Imperium for the Atari ST. I'm reserving the fourth game for the other German one. And I think with my current speed civilization will have collapsed long before we reach that point.)

Libluini fucked around with this message at 20:00 on Aug 18, 2020

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


For a given value of being worked on, Spirit Armor still has the record for longest unfinished LP.

Cutting back on details will be fine. Just point out any truly new or outrageous happenings. Also be sure to include the Antaran Expedition news. Technically it isn't new or outrageous, but I really like reading about those poor fellows.

Tempest_56
Mar 14, 2009



Yeah, absolutely don't feel bad about speeding this up.

Even once XEOL's front line cracks, since the game is set to Conquest victory only? It's going to take several hundred more turns of slowly grinding out the victory, during which about the only challenge is going to be the New Orions themselves. At your current rate the LP will probably last another 2+ years so compacting things further is only sane.

Donkringel
Apr 22, 2008


habituallyred posted:

For a given value of being worked on, Spirit Armor still has the record for longest unfinished LP.

Cutting back on details will be fine. Just point out any truly new or outrageous happenings. Also be sure to include the Antaran Expedition news. Technically it isn't new or outrageous, but I really like reading about those poor fellows.

Wait Spirit still hasn't finished that LP?! Was it just abandoned or what's going on? When I was checking for my post above I looked at the 2007 to 2013 thread.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


Pretty sure it has fallen into archives. But for long stretches there weren't really any updates. The last thing I remember Spirit Armor doing in the thread was going back over the old updates and polishing them up.

wedgekree
Feb 20, 2013


Definitely go for speeding it up. There's not as much going on. 'There were spy attacks, we had a standoff in a system with the robots, there were minor unrest, we had more technologies that were used to upgrade shipsand scrapped older ones'!

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Master of Orion III: ULTIMATE Edition



Chapter 117: Hellwar II

Surprise update! Well, not really. Just in comparison to my normal update schedule.

Also turns out glassing planets is really easy to describe, as long as you can remember enough synonyms for "planet is glassed".




Welp, we’re evil now. Time to get on with it! Nin Hursag I is our next target, and XEOL still hasn’t formed up new ships as a defense.




Some of the Cynoid-ships defending the planet have range enough to make some of our missiles/fighters explode.

Huh. I could have sworn I already destroyed the local system defense. They can’t have possibly rebuild all of this in a single turn, can’t they?




It’s not enough.




Some scouting here and there, and the neverending fight in Yed continues. Nin Hursag sees a real victory, but nothing we blew up is actually anything XEOL would need to care about.

This is about to change, of course.




Our fleet goes in orbit around Nin Hursag I and begins a full saturation bombardment.




Population, infrastructure, defenses, industry: Everything is reduced to ash and dust.




To combat the growing depression caused by us turning evil, the game sends us another funny clown, I mean leader, sorry don’t know what came over me.

Als Gor is an ex-military. Apparently he is also a time traveler, as the “military of the Raas” doesn’t exist anymore. But let’s be nice and assume they meant the current Raas military, which would be the Almandian Fleet.

Anyway, he very nearly didn’t make it because he was too stupid. But plot twist! He only pretended to be stupid. His superiors eventually noticed Alst Gor was basically a more bureaucratically James Bond and moved him to military intelligence.

And now he and his talent for improvisation managed to make him one of our leaders. He gives our spies a whopping +37% luck when success chances are calculated. If this extends to defensive operations, this may be the best leader ever! (If not, eh still good.)





Confusingly, something we did last turn really made the Imsaies happy. They’re sending us sweet congratulations!

Another thing about MO3-diplomacy, in case you can’t remember me mentioning it 4 years ago when I started this thread, if an AI-player really hates another species, they’ll get happy when you do something terrible to them.

So, our allies aren’t really sharing in our anguish. They hate XEOL enough they’re willing to overlook the ongoing Megadeath-concert playing over Cynoid-planets. For now, that is.





A short glimpse at our reserves sees that our industry managed to built 100+ ships since our last visit here. Counting the ships I keep scrapping, it’s probably closer to 200 by now.

And mind you, this is with Silicoids being hampered by their invisible and unchangeable penalty to shipbuilding. If we play Cynoids for ourselves, well you’ve seen how many ships XEOL has, right?




When we manage to meet the Ithkul, I’ll have something to add to our strategy of burning and salting the earth. You won’t like it.




The Cynoids continue to stockpile ships in Yed, but since all their new ships are randomly mixed in with whatever is already there, they’ll basically hurting themselves at this point. If they’d actually decommission and scrap all their older models, we’d be in real trouble.

Still annoying, of course. Also it’s interesting to note how inflexible the AI is. Eventually, they’ll react to our multiple strikes strategy and form up new fleets directly in our faces, but whoever the weighting on their side works, defending systems with already huge fleets of theirs inside apparently weigh a lot more on their decision tree then keeping their planets from blowing up. So, for now they’ll keep sending new task forces into Yed, instead of to their threatened systems.




Speaking of multiple strikes, AFC (Almandin Fleet Command) has decided on their next target: A new fleet consisting of two carrier armadas and two missile armadas sets course for Tilamas.




Just in case, some last-minute changes in the line of battle add a third carrier task force, also an armada. 128 ships are on their way.

In case my new naming scheme so I don’t get mad trying to keep up with the many fleets we need isn’t self-explanatory: “Artillery” task forces are obviously mainly missile ships, with the obligatory 2-3 recons with shittons of electronics and 4-6 escorts with shittons of point defense added in.

“S” means that task force uses the smaller of our main combat ships. In this case, our “small” task forces use our swarmer-type carriers.

By changing names from stuff like Xth Blueberry Fleet to this abstract poo poo, I can hopefully actually remember how old a particular fleet is without having to click on the task force and trying to read the ship class names. And then hoping I did remember those!

In the future, if I see e. g. a 44th Artillery TF and then a 55th Artillery TF, I’ll instantly know that the first one is probably a bit obsolete. Let’s see how this works out 2-3 wars from now!





Now, as some readers already noticed, the AI will immediately pounce on every un-colonized planet and, war zone or no war zone, flood every system with un-claimed planets with the by now huge number of colony ships clogging up their reserves.

To prevent this, I’m of course forced to keep our cleaning-fleets at station, or replace them carefully with a guard fleet capable of catching enemy colonizers after the main fleet moved on.

I really don’t want to get into situations were bad luck or bad decisions on my part means the Cynoids drop 45 colonizers on a planet I didn’t fully colonize because my 2 colonizers didn’t manage to take this Red 2 (translation: very bad) planet up to full control (whichever space nation gets one full pop first gets the planet) and oops, now the planet is back in enemy hands.

For comparison’s sake, right now our old colonizers used the “Large Colony-Crystal” to have double the amount of colonists than normal colony ships with a single colony module. To refresh memories, 1 basic colony module equals 1 full pop on a green planet. The worse a planet is situated for your main race, the less population a single colony module will generate.

On Red 2 planets, the worst hellholes imaginable, a basic colony module generates roughly 0,25 pop units per colonization attempt. Depending on actual planetary conditions, this can either be slightly more thanks to additional colonists arriving during the same turn, or slightly less thanks to even more colonists dying during the same turn as colonization.

So, this means our old models need 2 ships per planet to make really, really sure we get the planet. However, fuckery in the background-simulation or me being dumb and miscounting ships can still prevent us from colonizing an enemy in a contested system. The AI doesn’t need to think or plan at all, they already have probably a hundred colonizers sitting un-scrapped in their reserves and can just spam as many ships as needed.

To combat mindless colony automatons stealing our fun, I present to you the Medium Colony Ship Dawnshard. Battlecruiser-sized, with some defensive capabilities so to not immediately die to everything, but otherwise still rather cheap. Most importantly: I managed to cram 2 Large Crystal Colony-modules into its hull, which means a single Dawnshard-ship can now take Hell itself up to full control in a single turn.

Indeed, this will give us a lot of bonus population to boost our new populations, since currently all planets we toast receive invisible streams of population from XEOL, plus the occasional system-colonizer we overlooked putting their own 0,25 or 0,5 pops in before our 100%-colonizer gets counted.

New colonies will therefore range from 1 to near 2, almost double the normal population.

And if we didn’t do this, occasionally this math magic would mean a new XEOL-colony gets created, with our own colonists ending up a bonus to their new colonies!

If the future shows this bullshit will still happen, my next model will be a colonizer the size of a battleship, but I sincerely hope this battlecruiser-colonizer is already enough overkill.





Anyway, fighting time! Our forces in Yed grind onward for another turn, while our recon force in Tilamas reports 24 defenders. No mobilizing against our shenanigans, so far.

Nin Hursag is also not mounting any sensible defense yet, and we bulldoze the current 41 defenders with ease.




The orbital bombardment of Nin Hursag VI commences.




And oops, 167 pops in one go was too much, there’s a couple survivors left over. But don’t worry, the game still rounds them down to zero, meaning XEOL will lose control of the planet.

If we can colonize this planet before game mechanics give it back to the Cynoids, the 0,64 pops will be added to our colonists. And boy, I can not stop hinting at how infuriating this invisible pop hiding on dead planets bullshit will be in the future. Ithkul!!!




GC 636: In answer to our atrocities, the citizens of Reticuli III take to the streets. Garbled messages about an armed uprising reach the government and panic ensues.




Well, let’s look at the planet in question: Hmm, unrest on Reticuli III is caused by taxes (normal), Silicoids being Silicoids (normal), our dear leaders (annoying but normal) and “planetary event”, which means unrest is generated out of thin air and dumped on the planet in question.

Still, the accumulated unrest got dumped to zero at some unspecified time after the event was generated and before the new turn started, so the problem has already solved itself. The wonders of turn order in a turn-based strategy game!

”Turn order” being the order a turn-based strategy game calculates and executes tasks in when an old turn ends and a new turn is generated. Obviously, Master of Orion III was programmed in a way which causes messages about unrest being sent out long before the game can actually take anti-unrest effects into account. Or, also possible, the events and their messages are generated first, and their effects later in the turn order, so the game can’t possibly know that sometimes, an event will be neutralized before the new turn even starts.

In my opinion it would have been saner to add new unrest at the very end of the turn order, to prevent the unrest calculations from erasing it before you can even read the new message. On the other hand, thanks to spies we’re already drowning in unrest on some of our planets, so I won’t complain about this bit of wonkiness!





Turn 424: The exact same event as last turn hits the exact same planet as last turn. Oh, how fun!

In case you ask, no. The event still had no effect on Reticuli III. Even without extra DEAs to reduce unrest, our imperial-wide effects combined with the huge number of Silicoids living on that planet is more than enough to neutralize whatever effect that event was supposed to have. I’ll still panic and obsessively look up the colony every time I see this event, of course.




Otherwise, nothing much happens this turn except more spy recruiting. Again.




And of course, atrocities.




Lots of missiles and fighters stream towards us.




Not enough! Another planet of the Tilamas-system falls.




The mobile task force the Cynoids threw against us made it out. In other news, Yed grinds onward (20 Cynoid ships lost this turn!) and another effortless victory in Nin Hursag happens.




Tilamas IV gets bombed first.




Some lonely troops are left in the now irradiated wasteland covering the surface of Tilamas IV.




The same fate befalls Nin Hursag VI.

A second time, even! Remember, this planet “survived” our bombardment last time, with below 1 population. But apparently the Cynoids got lucky, and enough additional population migrated to keep them in control!

Their luck just ran out.





Time for some black comedy: The population of Innar IV gets upset because someone is distributing documentaries about our vile atrocities.

The joke being, of course, that the enemy spy responsible is simply genuinely reporting the truth.




Before I end this turn, I clear out some more old and unwanted ships. And note that the first of our new colony ships has already been built.

Hot drat, the AI can be fast if it wants to. Then I remember the AI is building this ship so fast because it’s so cheap and get sad again.




Next combat phase overview: Yed: Nothing changes on the strategical level. Tilamas: Another victory.




In Nin Hursag, the 8th planet is the next victim on my list.

And wow, the system is looking more and more empty each turn. So much death and senseless destruction. Sad face emoticon.




Anyway, the coordinated resistance in Nin Hursag is collapsing. So far, no sudden mobilization to stop us.




Tilamas II is reduced to ashes.




Nin Hursag VIII follows.

Though due to the time scales involved in an FTL-conflict, the bombardment could have happened simultaneously, or even earlier than the bombardment in Tilamas II. Every turn covers a time frame of roughly 1,5 Terran years, remember?




Welp, that’s it for this update. Progress was made.























Allied Dumbass-Decisions Counter

Getting mad at us for beating their worst enemies: 1
Being unnaturally happy that billions of intelligent lifeforms are being atomized: 1

Total: 2


Antaran Expedition Status


Expedition A2: Partial discoveries made (4) + WIPED OUT (TF1)
Expedition B1: 16 ships in position (TF2)
Expedition B2: 7 ships in position (TF3)
Expedition B3: 16 ships in position (TF4)
Expedition B4: 32 ships in position (TF5)
Expedition B5: 24 ships in position (TF6)

-4 of the ships above are destroyed, but I forgot to compare task forces, so this line will have to stay until I remember to do this-





Next: Hellwar III

Libluini fucked around with this message at 16:05 on Aug 23, 2020

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


I wonder whether the AI even keeps any fleets stocked in its reserves for sudden mobilizations, or whether it instantly organizes them all into task forces, which would explain why it may not be able to instantly respond to Nin Hursag and Tilamas.

If there's any sort of console you can access to check these things, it would be interesting.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

There is! But only for cheats and poo poo.

The options are kind of limited, probably because this game is pretty drat old and the devs didn't think of stuff like extensive options for modding.

I can do stuff like switching the enemy AI off (like that's necessary, ha ha) or force all empires to work against me, unified (I guess for cases where the tedium isn't enough for you) or just straight up cheat myself credits and research points.

The credit cheat is kind of cute, though. It gives you 1000 units every time you use it. Right now our income is roughly a million credits, and still rising with our population.

It's the kind of thing that looks helpful, but if you depend on it in the early game, you're super-hosed when you try to support your broken-rear end end game economy with tiny little 1k-steps.

One of the research-cheats comes with the warning that it "may cause problems" with some techs, because of course.

Another thing I could do is replicate a lot of the cheats with a special .ini-file, but none of that would let me look at how the AI decides things.

Edit:

But I remembered one of the people posting in my thread managed to scrounge up AI-logic for colonizing, it's in the OP. So I'll continue searching and maybe looking into the game's accessible text files to see if I can find out what the AI is doing when building and deploying ships.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Master of Orion III: ULTIMATE Edition



Chapter 118: Hellwar III






Turn 426 rolls around. Short strategic overview time: Nin Hursag has been hit the hardest by our new offensive: 4/8 planets haven been obliterated, their Cynoid-colonies erased.




The Tilamas-system was our second target, and had 2/4 planets burned to cinders.




XEOL, the space nation of the Cynoids, continues to send ships into the meat grinder in Yed. There are now 1136 ships, and even though the Cynoids continue to lose ships in endless battles each turn, right now they mobilize new task forces faster than we destroy them.

A stalemate which will only end if we can topple the insane industry the Cynoids have built up to support their fleet. Hence us blowing up planets now.

Imagine we’d have to waste multiple turns to invade and occupy all those planets. And then remember this thread is already 4+ years old and despair.





Less depressing is our tech window. And yes, there are still new techs for us to research!

Here we’re getting Tungrodnium, a new material for our hulls (translation: better armor).

Story Time

Tungrodnium was a typical case of invention-by-byproduct: The scientist Dorrs N’topen was attempting to invent a new light alloy for use in apartment doors. The first prototype he put into his own apartment.

Sadly, he forgot to make a working key for his new fancy door, and managed to lock himself out of his own apartment.

The door stayed closed. Praying, begging, threatening, murmuring “Open, Sesame!”, nothing worked. Hammers, atomic cutting torches, high explosives: All useless.

At the very end of this tragedy, the entire house was reduced to rubble, with only the new door standing as the sole survivor, towering like a monolith over the moon-like landscape.

The story had a happy end, however: Dorrs N’topen sold the formula of the alloy and built themselves a dozen houses. This trade went even better for us, because now we can conquer planets with ships cased in Tungrodnium-hulls, giving us space to build millions of houses!

The End, no Moral

This actually happened roughly 18000 years ago on a planet called Sol III, and Dorrs N’topen was a material researcher for [your nation state]. Legends say they were a member of [your favorite species], stuck on/born on [please strike when inapplicable] Sol III. But this story kept getting repeated and turned into legend, then mythology.

The truth is, making Tungrodnium is very easy, if you know the trick. It just involves a complicated, very expensive process and isn’t cost-effective for most societies. It takes a good, long while for technology to progress to the point where a civilization can make Tungrodnium in large enough amounts to matter without bankrupting itself.

The Hypernet spanning the Orion Sector however, is completely clogged with legends and tall tales about fabled researcher Dorrs N’topen, so only professional historians and xeno-archaeologists know the full story. Most people in the Orion Sector wrongly assume Dorrs N’topen was a figure of recent history, and that their government literally bought the alloy formula from them, instead of what actually happens most of the time: Some bored history student stumbling over the forgotten formula, or the formula already being known by the industrial sector for ages, and simply unused due to the high costs involved.

But try to search for this on GroRgLe, and you get slapped in your face-equivalent by a billion variants of N’topen blowing up their own place of living!







Oh yeah, translating and expanding that bit of “lore” was fun and all, but what does it mean in numbers? Our Neutronium-armor right now gets a ship 800 armor points and incoming damage is reduced by 14. For normal armor. Heavier/lighter gets adjusted, of course.

Tungrodnium is simply a straight upgrade. As I am smart, I forgot to make screenshots, but it’s roughly twice as effective (and expensive) then Neutronium.

Considering what Neutronium is, that’s some strong formula.





OK, back to war. Tilamas III is the next target for our fleets.




XEOL gives up the planet without a fight: All mobile units jump out the moment the battle starts.

The orbitals of course, are properly hosed.




Next target: Nin Hursag VII. Again, six orbitals and a desperate defense awaits.




And they lost so hard I didn’t even bother screenshooting it. (Or is it screenshotting?)




You know the drill: Tilamas III is glassed.




Billions of people on Nin Hursag VII are murdered.




The only remarkable news of turn 427 is our new Universal Translator being completed. From now on, the sound of our high-explosives detonating alien babies and their death screams will be properly translated into their respective languages!*


*only works in atmospheres




More importantly: A new sublight engine is growing in our science garden!

The GravoJet-Drive uses graviton projectors to project artificial gravity fields towards wherever a ship wants to go, and the artificial gravity well then pulls the ship into that direction.

Basically, a ship with GravoJets doesn’t need bulky tanks for ejectable media anymore, since there are no particulates or even energy beams coming out, the old principle of repulsion is dead. They also don’t need the old set-up of ever-growing masses of dense materials and energetic shielding to compress the repulsion stream even further.

The new drive is faster and takes less free space in our ships. The only “drawback” is the gigantic energy consumption of the new gravitic field projectors. This means most of the now suddenly available space is already used up again by the additional power plants those monsters need. Conveniently, this means the new drives reduce the amount of space your sublight engines take up by the exact amount the old vanilla tech they have replaced did.

Still, faster is better and we gladly take this!





Last thing I did in this turn: Marking our newly emptied planets for colonization. Next turn our AI should already start spitting out colony task forces from our reserves.




Tilamas I dies.




Nin Hursag V, a jewel of XEOL, is deleted.





GC 642: Unrests, assassinations, basically Tuesday in the Kingdom of Almandin. At least our war progresses “nicely”.




And it begins. Tilamas is now completely neutral again, and our colony AI has launched two ships for every planet.

That’s incredible overkill, but OK. Also now I remember as I’m typing this up I never controlled where the colonists actually come from. poo poo. (The colonists species is determined by the majority species of the colony their ship is build on. This of course will later come back to haunt us. Right now it’s only slightly annoying, since we’re depending on the AI to not put e. g. Raas on planets totally unsuitable for them. Terraforming is good and all, but takes time.)




Some creative obsoleting keeps our numbers of scouts (142), transports (90) and PD-ships (114) somewhat sane, while some older ships are scrapped.

We already have enough main capital ships to fill up 5-6 new armadas. This is literally a reserve force now, in case something bad happens. Like our fleet in Yed taking severe losses or one of our genocide fleets getting stalled.




So anyway, what are the Imsaies doing while all of this is going on? Theta Gru V is still held by the Annalona Empire, and at max population. I’m guessing this means no orbital bombardments or invasions are going on.




Theta Gru III, a planet held by the Cynoids, is nearly wiped out. (373 translates to 0,373 pop units for control purposes, so XEOL is close to losing this colony.)

What happened here? Too much groundfighting when taking the planet from the Imsaies? An orbital bombardment sneaking through from the Imsaies against the occupation forces? A colonization attempt by the Cynoids going bad?

Who knows, the game has no tools to tell us.





The other planets are still full at max Cynoid-population, by the way.




My pet theory is bombardment by our allies, as the loving 5644 Cynoid-ships apparently aren’t moving, and the Imsaies have 67 ships in-system, enough for a theoretical strike if the Cynoid-AI is fizzing out.




But enough about that stupid mystery. While we’re re-colonizing Tilamas, there are still some enemy colonies left in Nin Hursag. Time to change this!




I take command of our fleet here and get surprised by some unexpected colonizers hanging around.




Welp, the enemy doesn’t even fight and a couple seconds after the last orbital station explodes I get the explanation: Our allies have already started their own colonization campaign!

Yeah, that’s another whole thing. As allies won’t shoot at you and vice versa, their colonizers can and will slip through and colonize ex-enemy planets under your nose. Another reason to keep a reserve of large colony ships ready!

If AI players were anything resembling competent, you could use this to your advantage by sending your colony ships into an ally’s war zone and colonize planets cleansed by them for yourself. As it is, most of your time is already taken up by wrangling your own dumb AI, but if you ever get into a situation where your allies actually do something, just remember you can proactively take revenge for this poo poo right here! Colonize those planets! Your “allies” would do the same to you!





Ahem. Rant over. Planet dead. Next!




We’re up to turn 429 now. Our “new” systems are still awaiting colonizations.

I’d like to see this go faster, but sadly building mobilization centers of our own is slow going if you blow up everything and everyone. So our colony ships all need to take the long way.




And of course. While our own colony ships are already underway, our allies strike first.

At least those suckers fail, and when our own colonizers arrive next, their gigantic number of colonists will just subsume and take over those puny attempts.




End of the update, and end of planet Nin Hursag III. The entire system is now free.

Next up: Colonizing the new free real estate and then moving on towards the next two targets. And if we have enough ships in our reserves by then, I’ll accelerate the offensive by assaulting a third system next time. The gruesomeness continues.

























Allied Dumbass-Decisions Counter

Getting mad at us for beating their worst enemies: 1
Being unnaturally happy that billions of intelligent lifeforms are being atomized: 1
Trying to colonize planets in the middle of a war zone, and failing: 1

Total: 3


Antaran Expedition Status


Expedition A2: Partial discoveries made (4) + WIPED OUT (TF1)
Expedition B1: 16 ships in position (TF2)
Expedition B2: 7 ships in position (TF3)
Expedition B3: 16 ships in position (TF4)
Expedition B4: 32 ships in position (TF5)
Expedition B5: 24 ships in position (TF6)

-4 of the ships above are destroyed, but I forgot to compare task forces, so this line will have to stay until I remember to do this-





Next: Hellwar IV

Libluini fucked around with this message at 12:49 on Aug 29, 2020

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


So, how much does the AI cheat on their economy? Is it possible that by undermining their tax and production base, their ships will start "expiring" from their not being able to pay the support costs?

Also, if you're colonizing the still-glowing remains of Nin Hursag and Tilamas, does that not also mean you need to set down part of your own fleet there to protect it against Cynoid counterattacks? Or is it total tunnel vision on Yed and Theta Gru at the moment?

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

PurpleXVI posted:

So, how much does the AI cheat on their economy? Is it possible that by undermining their tax and production base, their ships will start "expiring" from their not being able to pay the support costs?

Also, if you're colonizing the still-glowing remains of Nin Hursag and Tilamas, does that not also mean you need to set down part of your own fleet there to protect it against Cynoid counterattacks? Or is it total tunnel vision on Yed and Theta Gru at the moment?

That's not how that works. The player empire simply gets a non-standard Game Over if they run out of money. The AI-players instead run into revolts until they're all single planet political entities (if the AI full-on enters a death spiral).

If the AI player has enough time, they can try to reduce costs by demobilizing and then scrapping task forces. That's a form of expiring, I guess.

What works against this is the way the economy depends on single colonies: As long as every surviving planet in an empire has a healthy economy, the empire itself has a healthy economy. We currently make the enemy empire smaller, but as long as the AI doesn't totally gently caress it up, this just means they can continue fighting as long as they can demobilize task forces fast enough.

Though there's a bit of bad news for us: Most of the cost of running an empire in MO3 comes from building poo poo on colonies, maintaining poo poo built on colonies and dealing with governing your population (the "unrest" costs of keeping everyone happy is a good chunk of our budget), not your fleet. These costs however, are reduced by us blowing up their planets. Are the costs falling as fast as the population? Definitely not! But it will move the point of final collapse further into the future.

On colonizing, currently our fleets are right there, so protecting the new colonies isn't a priority right now. And when we assault the next line of targets, we'll use completely new fleets, so they'll stay covered.

After that, we'll simply move our fleets alternately. As long as there is no star lane connecting to an enemy empire, the colonies will be totally safe. Until we bungle it and one of our front line fleets bites it, of course.

To drive this home a bit, there's no difference in conquering or cablamming a place in terms of defense: If you're conquering planets, they'll be utterly helpless against a sizable enemy fleet, so you need to keep them covered until at least a mobilization center is constructed, if you're blasting planets, you have to colonize and cover them, or the enemy will just retake them behind your back.

Think about like this: If we take over a huge colony, build a mobilization center and then leave, an enemy could still drop by and blast that colony apart in a single turn. And then of course the mobilization center is gone and we wouldn't be able to stop the invaders, anyway. So a front/border system always needs a mobile fleet to cover them. There's no secret option where moving on without a covering fleet is a good idea.

wedgekree
Feb 20, 2013


The upside is you're helping the Imsies by allowing them to expand their presence forwards, get new colonies, and new citizens. So you're being a good ally and helping them!

Rock on floating gas friends, rock on.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Master of Orion III: ULTIMATE Edition



Chapter 119: Hellwar IV





GC 645: A huge wave of new colonists arrive on many of the planets “taken” from XEOL.




Thanks to our oversized colonizers, every single landing creates a new colony for the Kingdom of Almandin.




Still, Nin Hursag has eight loving planets, so there are still some planets left to secure before our fleet can even think of moving forward.

And every goddamn time I see this screenshot, I start to panic before I remember, no those are our planets now, XEOL and Almandin just share very similar shades of red.

Ugh, my poor eyes.





Tilamas: Same story, just with lower numbers. Three new colonies, but the first planet of the system still needs a landing. More waiting, yay!




But don’t worry, the game shows mercy: The missing three planets are already queued for colonization. In two turns the next wave arrives, and we can move on, finally.




One of our new colonies: Tilamas II is one of those super-earths you may have heard about in current astronomy news. The planet is of “earth-like” type, which when seeing this monster world must be the astronomer’s earth-like.

Joking about how astronomers call every exoplanet that’s not literally hell an “earth-like planet” aside, MO3 means this literal. Which also means our colonists preference is deep in the red, since they aren’t Humans. (I think the left vertical axis is about pressure, while the horizontal axis is about temperature, but considering this particular set of colonists, the diagram only measures distances from the ideal, instead of the normal up and right is higher, down and left is lower, like you would expect from a normal diagram.

Though a far warning, I’m so incredibly bad at math, any observation of mine about graphical representations of numbers in MO3 beyond stuff like “red is bad”, will be fairly wonky!





Because this planet looked like it would have been ideal to Silicoids, except for the gravity (and not the other way around), I looked up what exactly the colonists are. Then I see this and remember: Ah yeah, a lot of gas giant dwelling Imsaies landed here before we took over.

It’s kind of funny, the gravity penalties we could easily deal with, but terraforming will take a while. So more than half of the colonists on Tilamas II are of the wrong loving biome. Fancy that.




The planets in Nin Hursag are mostly colonized by our Raas-population. Also not really optimal, but at least for the Raas this planet is just barely Red 2, instead so deep into the red the planet should be renamed the Red Dimension (I’m talking about you, Tilamas II)

I’m a bit unfair here. If I wanted to, I could build colony ships only on Silicoid-planets and then immediately switch the colony ship design to obsolete to prevent my AI from building any more from potentially suboptimal species. So by letting the AI build my colonizers, filling up worlds good for Silicoids with Raas who really don’t want to live here, is basically my fault.




Since wrestling the AI on multiple fronts and conducting warcrime wars is mentally exhausting, I spend a couple minutes sending brazen demands to the Cynoids for my own amusement. Even after losing 12 planets, they adamantly refuse to give us even more poo poo for free.




The next combat phase is a lot calmer: The endless battle in Yed drags on, killing a couple dozen more XEOL ships with no end in sight. Nin Hursag is cleared from a far-too-late arriving counter attack by the Cynoids.

Also, our allies arrive with another colony ship, which again will (hopefully) fail to steal one of our planets and next turn our own wave of colonizers will arrive to finally end this bullshit for now.




Turn 431 sees our miniaturized GravoJet-Drives being finished. And now that I’m typing this, apparently we already had the normal tech and this one is an upgrade giving us more free space, not more speed. Welp, the lesson of the day is: Don’t leave your screenshots rotting for months until you forget everything you did!

Yeah, apparently there are now two lengthy lore-paragraphs about how awesome GravoJet-technology is in this thread. Duplication adventures! Oops.

Ah yeah, we also killed a Nommo (Squid) and a Cynoid (Cyborg) spy. Then our AIA managed to kill a third spy, this time from one empire we have no official contact with. (Evon, I think. The fake Humans with dreadlocks.) And after I’m finished being impressed (the Almandian Intelligence Agency also caught at least another spy, making this turn a nice spring cleaning on the intelligence front) with our dear AIA, I start being annoyed again that foreign empires with no contact can send us spies, but we can’t.

This game, sometimes. To remind you: As long as you’re in contact with someone, you can look up detailed information about how they’re doing, including looking up their entire tech tree, but as soon as contact is lost, you can’t even send spies anymore, as that empire basically don’t exist for you anymore.

The AI however, can magically continue to teleport spies into your borders. If there ever is a new game in this series, I seriously suggest balancing this bullshit: Either cut empires without contact off completely, or allow the player to retaliate. This jackassery here makes the player empire look like absolute buffoons, cursed with spies unable to read basic star maps.

OK, rant over.





War update: Our scouts have surveyed the Niphla-system. Main fleets will moving in soon. XEOL has over a hundred ships here, but hopefully ancient ones. Still, it will be a fight.




Theta Gru, the eternal stalemate between Imsaies and Cynoids, has seen some movement. Our allies dropped down from 60+ to 20 ships, while the Cynoids lost several hundred, it seems.

As this game isn’t set up to let your ally inform you what is happening, we’re left to speculate: Was there a massive battle? Did both sides move/demobilize task forces? We don’t know and our “allies” aren’t telling us jack poo poo.

At this point I actually miss the mess that is Space Empires V. If you’re allied to a NPC nation in that game, your allies will positively flood you with detailed messages, including replays of their battles. MO3 tells you nothing about battles you didn’t fight yourself.





And now something funny: There are still exactly 308 of our ships in Yed, even though we occasionally lose a ship. How is this possible? Well, apparently our main fleets never lost a ship, the Cynoids are just blowing up the occasional new system defense ship build on that one planet we hold.

Less funny is the XEOL-ship count still slowly rising. Currently, my plan is to continue the stalemate until a new generation of ships is ready, then I’ll make ten new task forces right here and move the old fleet off, so they won’t get mixed up. That should lead to some serious massacres, until enough of the older Cynoid-ships are cleared out.

Considering that we need to continue to expand or the growing tech costs will slow down our research massively, this could take a while. Welp, if all fails there are still a lot of planets with free population slots to fill, so this “slowing down” will also take a long while. New pops mean more research, after all! Though hopefully this game will end before everything grinds to a halt!





Next turn’s combat phase sees another sizable fleet (around 88 ships) trying to retake Tilamas from us. The Cynoids don’t make it.




The rest of our battles is just more scouting and stalemating.




GC 648 sees our second wave of super-colonizers arrive, and three more colonies join the Kingdom of Almandin.

By the way, I went to the Museum of Natural History in Berlin a couple weeks ago and while there, I couldn’t resist making pictures of minerals, just to get more names for ships to use. If you want some of those mineral-names to show up faster, say the word and I’ll rename some of our planets, too.




In Nin Hursag, there’s still a planet uncolonized. Probably because the Imsaies dropped off enough colonists both sides couldn’t get control But this screenshot was made months ago and I completely forgot to check.




Our new offensive, as vile and awful as it is on ethical grounds, hit the Cynoids hard: Their empire has now dropped down below the Nommo, until recently the official No. 3 of the Orion Sector.

See how flat most of the curves are? There wasn’t much movement up or down the last 50-100 turns in all those empires bordering us. Some of it makes sense: The Imsaies couldn’t do poo poo being surrounded by us and XEOL on all sides, for examples. Other stuff is less understandable. Why did XEOL not crush the Imsaies back when they were fighting them alone? Why did the Nommo from Esanania Empire (light blue) immediately stop fighting their mortal enemies when they met us? Seriously, they were crushing the Meklar badly, but after we showed up, now the Nommo think they must take on the largest, baddest empire there is. And because they can’t, welp no progress for them, too.

Another thing a Master of Orion 4 could do better: Making sure the AI makes more sensible decisions.

The weird thing? From test games trying out the advanced game options we know the AI can fight! One of our test empires was dropped into turn 200+ already nearly destroyed and being invaded on all fronts, so the AI is capable of conducting wars, they just sometimes decide to do nothing instead.

Seeing them inexplicably stop hurts to see.





In case you wonder, we’re up to 191 planets now. Try to imagine dealing with all those planets manually.




Deepest Sigh. Welp, enough weeping. Let’s get on with this. A new combined force of carriers and missile ships targets Nobi. In 4 turns, expect more grievous warcrimes.




Turn 433: Unidentified hackers steal the incredibly important Law Formalism technology!

Son of a bitch! Now one of our enemies knows how to formalize laws! Their bureaucratic costs will be lowered a little! Truly, a devastating loss for us.




The AIA panics and just after Agent Löwe, our newest assassin, exits spy school, half a dozen new candidates begin training. All future espionage hackers.

Thanks to old age mostly, we’re down to currently one (1) spy hacker defending us. Apparently not enough! There are other hackers being trained right now, but in 24 turns, when the first of our newest recruits finishes training, they’ll be halfway to retirement already. This is me doing some future-proofing. As currently the leading space nation in everything, hacker defense becomes ever more important. The next tech our enemies steal could be a good one!




In other news, the last planet in Nin Hursag is colonized by us, and back in JustGniess, the fifth planet is… also colonized?




Apparently so.

This planet was too poo poo and also really tiny, so I never bothered colonizing. And I’m sure it wasn’t a colony target, so the AI wouldn’t bother building and wasting a ship on it, so what happened? Besides, I’m fairly sure the planet was lovely for all of our races.




Mystery solved! The planet was really good for Cynoids, so the auto-background migration slowly shoveled them onto this planet until it reached colony-status on its own.

An important reminder: When foreign citizens arrive in your borders, the auto-migration will try to match them with planets that are actually good for them, so eventually, they’ll filter down to the best matches, even if not colonized. JustGniess V was deep inside our borders, so the background simulation treats it like one of “our” planets anyway, so this happens.

And this planets suffers from regular meteorite strikes, lowering population growth by 10% and makes recreation DEAs utterly worthless (they will operate under a nice, cozy 75% penalty), while giving a small 5% bonus to both research and mining. Another reason I didn’t bother to colonize this tiny lump of rock!





Another bit of comedy: Our newest colony has meteorites and dinosaurs!

I wonder if this means this planetary feature will disappear if I leave the game running for a couple million years?

Having the giant reptile feature in a region reduces pop growth by 10% and leads to extensive infrastructure damage (a 5% penalty to infrastructure, production and mining), but recreation DEAs built here will gain +10% effectiveness. Jurassic Park, everyone?

Nah, sadly when combined with the global penalties and bonuses, a recreation DEA built here in Region 1 would still operate under a 65% penalty.

All in all, this tiny planet is just horrible. The best I can think of is putting down some mining and industry, the obligatory government DEA for better population control, and then forgetting this dumb colony even exists.

A slight correction: I know believe this colony exists only thanks to our war: All this time before we took our first Cynoid-colony didn’t generate enough immigration to colonize this rock, probably thanks to the total war keeping our borders mostly closed. But the few XEOL-planets entering our empire the non-warcrime way apparently boosted Cynoid-migration high enough, it made colonization suddenly possible.





Research-time! Currently, we’re in the middle of major upgrade-waves, so only a few new techs trickle in then and when. This time, our engineers are prototyping a smaller version of our current FTL-drive, the Portal Drive.

Soon the generators ripping portals into hyperspace will be slightly smaller! Ah, I’m kidding, the more weapons we can cram into our hulls, the faster we can no-sell Cynoid attempts at stalemating us.

The other tech is a double-variant of our fighter-based Quantum-Field Cannons. A tech that went obsolete centuries ago! Thanks for the effort, scientists. But I somehow doubt firing an obsolete weapon with twice the speed will make a difference. Especially since this “upgrade” also makes every QF-fighter nearly twice the size. In practice, this will make a centuries old weapon 20% more effective. In other words, as effective as the next better weapon in the tech tree. Which is also obsolete for centuries by now.

I can only explain this research project existing by nepotism. Blatant nepotism.





Next combat phase is another calm one. More scouting here and there, and the stalemate in Yed… continues, I wanted to say. But seeing the Cynoids lost approx. 74 ships against our zero, you can’t really call that a stalemate, really.

We lost -1 ships, but I have no idea why the game thinks we got an additional ship during that battle, boarding operations don’t exist in MO3




It took far too long for my lazy rear end, but this is it: The last screenshot from my last session. Now I can play the game again! And I’ll definitely make less screenshots now, holy poo poo I want this LP to end.

Anyway, about 7 centuries after cobbling together our first FTL-drive, we learn how a financial system works.

This technology claims that only now do we learn how to make a single currency for our entire empire, ejecting a lot of bullshit from our long-suffering economy. OK, first question: We’re calculating everything in Antaran Units, is that not the official currency of the Orion Sector? Apparently not, at least not internally. Second question: The Kingdom of Almandin just allowed all those new colonies to have their own local currencies, loving over the entire empire in the process, for nearly 7 centuries? Are you loving kidding me, game???

I mean, if you think about it, 7 centuries is a long time, so our entire financial system is probably due for some serious reforms, but this tech makes it sound like every planet in our empire made up their own local currency, and no-one thought this was weird, considering everything is calculated in AU everywhere. Imagine how terrible the exchange rates of the JustGniessian V’s Dollar must have been before this reform.

Also this means when we integrated all those Raas-planets, we apparently never bothered to connect them to our imperial financial systems, and just left them with their lovely Raas Reals instead of real money. Man, we are assholes






























Allied Dumbass-Decisions Counter

Getting mad at us for beating their worst enemies: 1
Being unnaturally happy that billions of intelligent lifeforms are being atomized: 1
Trying to colonize planets in the middle of a war zone, and failing: 2

Total: 4


Antaran Expedition Status


Expedition A2: Partial discoveries made (4) + WIPED OUT (TF1)
Expedition B1: 16 ships in position (TF2)
Expedition B2: 7 ships in position (TF3)
Expedition B3: 16 ships in position (TF4)
Expedition B4: 32 ships in position (TF5)
Expedition B5: 24 ships in position (TF6)

-4 of the ships above are destroyed, but I forgot to compare task forces, so this line will have to stay until I remember to do this-

Fake edit: This being the last update from my last session, next time I’ll actually do this!





Next: Hellwar V

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Clearly we need a Purpurite-class ship of some sort.

It's the classiest of minerals.

Deadmeat5150
Nov 21, 2005

OLD MAN YELLS AT CLAN


OMG it just never ends.

Strategic Sage
Jan 22, 2017

And that's the way it is...

We need a parody LP. Libluini plays MOO3; The Early Centuries

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

As long as they don't try playing Imperium (for the Atari ST), I'd be OK with that.

Just don't ever think of using Imperium for your parody LP, because that can only end in a murder-suicide

Even though one of the possible endings is awesome:

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

PurpleXVI posted:

Clearly we need a Purpurite-class ship of some sort.

It's the classiest of minerals.

I thought you were joking, but that's actually a thing, according to Wikipedia. So since I suddenly need some more light ships for reasons, you're in!

Strategic Sage
Jan 22, 2017

And that's the way it is...

Eh, that's old hat. I had that happen to me in MOO1 :P

Munin
Nov 14, 2004




Libluini posted:

As long as they don't try playing Imperium (for the Atari ST), I'd be OK with that.

Just don't ever think of using Imperium for your parody LP, because that can only end in a murder-suicide

Even though one of the possible endings is awesome:



This pic has strong "The Emperor is dead! Long live the Emperor!" vibes. They look nearly identical...

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Munin posted:

This pic has strong "The Emperor is dead! Long live the Emperor!" vibes. They look nearly identical...

That game was made by two (perpetually drunk, I presume) students. One of them was a history student, the other programmed games for the ZX Spectrum. So while they had a lot of good ideas and really did what they loved, making a complicated space 4x for Atari (and MS Dos and Amiga ports of it) ST may have been a bit of a huge order to fulfill for them. Sadly, if the game wasn't crashing so often, it would be a lot more enjoyable, odd quirks and all.

Still, back to MO3! The next update is almost ready, but since I need more time and it already has been nearly a month, I decided to make this short thread update so you know I'm still working on this LP.

Ironically I've managed to compress the entirety of my last play session into one, single post. So, my plan of accelerating the LP works out so far, since I now play Master of Orion III once a month instead of once every four months and then posting 1/4 of that session each month until I'm caught up. Progress!

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Master of Orion III: ULTIMATE Edition



Chapter 120: Hellwar V

Let’s try to speed this thread up, I have many more games to plow through!

Edit: Uuuuuuuuuuuugh, sorry for taking so long. I got a new cat about a week earlier than anticipated, and work on this thread was basically paused while I did all the legwork to slowly integrate her into my life.

And now, after many months of being a useless sadsack because my old cat died, I now have another furry little roommate.




This is Amber. Young, very sweet and very playful. Also poo poo, this is a Let's Play thread, let's get back to work!



GC 651 – GC 672



Times are tough. Besides the war against XEOL, spies are rampaging around (though it’s oddly calm in turn 434), our scientists are still trying to wrap their minds around this newfangled idea of having a unified imperial currency and will take some additional Galactic Cycles to finish this mammoth project.

My head canon is that this time represents the effort of implementing our new currency, instead of “researching” it.

Oh, and one of our Antaran Expeditions loses another ship. (See end of the update for the total tally.)






The front in GC 651: A lot of backsliding going on in Yed.




In GC 652, the Vchiitri (Klackons) declare war again, to remind us they still exist. Oh, and the regular spy wave resumes.




By the way, I feel compelled to show off the Klackons again, since this thread is probably moving so slowly most of you forgot by now.




Some maps from XEOL: This is the territory beyond Theta Gru, the eternal battle between Cynoids and Imsaies.




Beyond Tilamas, there are actually only two more systems, then follows a wormhole to another part of the Orion Sector.




This wormhole goes all the way across the map and ends here, in territory we haven’t explored yet.




Next up: Our extermination war continues. One of our strike forces hits the Nobi-system.




We win. Naturally.




GC 654: A Meklar-spy and an Evon-spy get killed in some hilarious hijinks on the capital and a weird message gets broadcast from the direction of one of our Antaran Expeditions. The message is heavily scrambled and can’t be deciphered. Shortly after, the expedition in that region sends another, very clear message and over the proper channels. Apparently, another ship has been lost.

Half a cycle later, massive confusion throws the world of science in disarray when the first garbled message is partially deciphered and it turns out it was send by the destroyed ship. According to the time stamp, it was send after the destruction of the ship! The expedition is asked for clarification, but confirms the time stamp from the second message. They claim they never received the widely broadcast first message.




While this little drama plays out in the background, the war rolls forward, unceasing. New task forces are send from Nin Hursag into Nobi, to reinforce the fleet there.




Beyond Yed, the fleet in Tilamas uses the extremely short distance to hop over into Niphla for another fast offensive.

According to this message to AFC I have sitting on my desk right now, the admiral of the Tilamas-fleet said: “If something goes wrong, we can just jump back, no problem.” Well, then.




Ironically, our fleet moving from Tilamas doesn’t end immediately in disaster. But us moving fleet units from Nin Hursag to Nobi does! Nearly 300 Cynoid-ships arrive just after our fleet leaves. Oops!

At least the annoying allied colonizers are driven out/exploded. Small gifts.




Both Niphla IV and Nobiv IV are bombed to space dust, so at least our gambit paid off, even if the Cynoids can now do something painful to our new colonies.




Turn 437 already starts out well: And I’m not talking about AIA agent Ludus finishing training. Instead, I’m sarcastically talking about the colony on Nin Hursag III immediately dying.




XEOL paying us back by bombing Nin Hursag III. I assume this is the main reason why we lost the colony.




Some more comedy: While the real counter-offensive happened somewhere else, XEOL dropped some transport task forces into Tilamas. They’re too weak to siege planets alone, but since there are no Almandian mobile units there to stop them either, it also means we have to move back until more units are available to keep the riff-raff out of the system.




Around this point I noticed our AI-controlled planets stubbornly refusing to build our larger ships, and so I tried to counter-act this stupidity by making a new series of smaller ships.

The first one is the Medium Artillery Ship Purpurite. The Purpurite-class has only medium armor (because that’s cheaper) and can shoot three huge missiles of type “death-swarm” three times. Which translates to slightly less than half a battle, but their main use is bombing enemy colonies and fighting third-rate defense forces, not slugging it out against main fleets.

The MAS Purpurite is still a battleship because the best thing about missiles is the huge gently caress-off punch they pack, and late game making smaller ships with smaller missiles isn’t really bringing the punch. They’re more like prune juice. This is the smallest I’m willing to go with missiles.

The second new class is the Medium Carrier Ship Inderit. Every Inderit-class heavy cruiser carries a small squadron of eight battle swarmers armed with plasma bombs. Just large enough to survive a hit occasionally, but far smaller and harder to hit than our normal fighter-bombers. The damage is just a fraction of our normal carriers, but they’re incredibly cheap and when massed, incredibly hard to deal with if the defenders don’t have massed carriers themselves. Also they don’t ever run out of ammunition, so: Bonus!

Last up is a new, smaller Point Defense Cruiser: The PDC Goethit has batteries of hyperfield emitters and crystal ray beams to gently caress up enemy fighters and missiles and some other assorted stuff like ECM and cloaking tech. And thanks to the escalating sizes for all those newfangled electronics, all smaller sizes turned out to be really vulnerable. Hulls smaller than normal crusers can’t even carry all available electronics options anymore! So this is, apart from our tiny throw-away system defense ships, the smallest ship size that still makes sense for the PD-role.




Turn 438: We lose Nin Hursag IV, but also destroy Nobi II. Strategically, still a win. But I have to assume our (now deceased) colonists on Nin Hursag IV would disagree.

Last turn I spontaneously decided to not send my fleet back from Nobi, because I thought with our fleet in Yed preventing a true breakthrough and our new colonies in Nin Hursag being essentially worthless, defending them was less important than glassing Nobi. This turn I will begin to regret this.




Of course our loss of control in Nin Hursag means a flood of troop transports and colonizers is approaching to delete all of our progress, so I change tracks again. Time to go forth, Silicoid BattleMechs! Harmony Gold can’t harm, even though you’re slightly resembling the Unseen Marauder!

Around this point I realized that with me spending 90% of my time writing and approx. 10% on playing, I really have no reason to not use ground troops again. Glassing tons of worlds was fun, but let’s be frank here: If I minimize the amount of screenshots I show you, one of the main reasons of me not using ground troops (having to write entire novels to describe all those ground battles), falls apart.

And worse, after so long without using them, I started to miss my dumb, pink mechs. Time to liberate some planets! I’ll try to not write too much about those ground wars, I promise!





Our combat phase is mostly a dud, with us managing a draw even in Niphla, where we have a 8:1 numerical superiority. (I auto-battled so I couldn’t take a look, but I suspect fighters being the reason.)

We manage to win in Nobi, though!

Which means we’re trading planets again, as the Cynoids destroy one of our new colonies in Nin Hursag the same turn. A gruesome beginning for turn 439.

We also introduce a new, unified currency for our empire! The Kingdom of Almandin now uses the Antaran Unit! There are voices asking why we didn’t do this in the first place back centuries ago when the Kingdom was founded, but those voices aren’t getting media time so no-one who matters knows about them. Moving on!




Our new missile battleships did what they were supposed to do and now we have 144 of them, all build in just a few turns. I’m forced to obsolete them already. Our new PD-cruisers however turn out to be too expensive, so we only have 12 of them right now. Welp, manually building it is, then!

To put into numbers how our military situation is, we have an income of roughly 2,6 million Antaran Units each turn. Our entire military (ships and army combined) costs approx. 79k units. Even with our expensive ongoing building programs eating another 0,5 million AU, that’s not a lot.

The bad news is that our non-military expenses (planetary subsidies for terraforming, construction, maintenance, etc; then research and combating unrest) combine to approx. 2,3 million AU, so technically we’re losing tons of money each turn.

But I’ve been hammering down on this topic for ages and it hasn’t changed: Slowly, but surely we’re getting richer. So obviously we aren’t losing money!

So while my in-game tools are telling me the situation is bad, they’re also telling me it’s good, actually.

In my own personal opinion, we can probably roll on with zero problems. But if you think about how tiny the amount of money is we’re spending on fleet and troop maintenance, you now have the explanation for the incredible size of AI-fleets we’ve been seeing.

They may have fleet sizes ten times our size, but ten times the maintenance is still only a fraction of our income, so getting to the point where the AI can’t support their rear end-huge fleets will take a while. Since they have the same situation as us, plus some unknown “we are dumber then humans and need to cheat”-bonus, as obligatory in every space 4x.

Speaking of fleet size: XEOL has 8,1k ships, we have 1,5k. So while their numerical superiority is still absurd, our own fleet is slowly catching up the longer this dumb war goes on.





Next combat phase: The dumb stalemate of last turn is a one-time thing and the 7 Cynoid units left can’t do poo poo to prevent us from bombing Niphla III into more melty rubble.

The same thing happens to another Nobi-planet, so the Cynoids lose two planets this phase.




Turn 440! And the Cynoids pay us back by destroying yet another new colony in Nin Hursag. The fiends!




But now Nobi is 100% burned clean, and our fleet can rush back to push the Cynoids out of Nin Hursag again! Progress!

Meanwhile, I realize our own AI is getting dumber and tries to clog our reserves with direct-fire capitals instead of the carrier capitals they should be building. I switch our normal superdreadnoughts to obsolete and lay down some more superdreadnought carriers by myself.

I suspect this happened because our direct-fire ships are cheaper than our carriers, and our AI is dumb as dogshit.





Turn 440 also sees two new interesting research projects starting their prototyping-phase:

Multi Fighter Plasma Bomb: Since actual MIRV-style multiple warheads are not exactly something the combat engine in this game can deal with, this new weapon tech instead just multiplies the shot frequency of fighters armed with this tech by 4. And since 4x DPS plus debuffing enemy shields by 20% are an incredible increase in firepower, this will be our new fighter weapon of choice because the hell? Did you not see 4x DPS plus 20% shield penetration???

I’m not even sure there are any future fighter weapons that can beat this upgrade naturally. +300% damage is hard to top, even if they make our fighters take up twice as much space.

The second tech are Repair Drones. They’re an automatic upgrade to all new ship designs, giving “+2% Armor Efficiency” which I guess means 2% more armor hitpoints? To be honest, after the fighter upgrade above the repair drones are kind of a letdown. At least they’re super-cheap and don’t take extra space. Also you can’t opt out anyway, same as with the other auto-updates.




And then the Imsaies call us to congratulate us for massacring billions of Cynoids.

I guess since their military strength is back down to 1, impotently but gleefully watching Cynoids burn under our guns is the only thing left they can do.

Ironically, their population thinks quite differently: I looked this up and it turns out they are wishing for this war to finally end. Too bad Imsaies, your Annalona Empire is a clan-oligarchy. Even if I end the conflict like you want, your betters would just complain until I declare war again.

In case you’re wondering, the Cynoid-monarchy is at HOLY WAR!!!! with us, but their population likes us, which considering all our atrocities on them is kind of hilarious.

Wow, that’s two cases of direly needed revolutions, it seems.





Wasn’t there someone else? Ah yes, the Klackons. Their Vchiitri Empire hates us, and everyone in their swarm considers it their holy duty to obliterate us. Fancy that. The ones we haven’t done anything bad against except preventing them from exterminating the Psilons hate us the most.

The Klackons also have a growing list of “worst enemies”, and they have fallen on the arbitrary list of power down to 9th place, so it seems the reason we haven’t seen more of them has something to do with the way they’re trying to fight everyone at the same time. And losing.




OK, this is funny if you know your Master of Orion lore: The Cynoids are only allied with the Durarior Empire (Ithkul) and the Esanania Empire (Nommo) and at war with everyone else. Now, the Ithkul are warmongering fascists, and the Nommo are warmongering fascists who don’t eat people. No wonder Cynoids like atrocities so much! The more evil we are, the more they’ll like us!

In game mechanic terms, Cynoids are like the full-robotic Meklar (and Silicoids, obviously), excluded from the creepy people eating growth system the Ithkul have, so it makes sense for the AI to be at peace with them. If you, as the player, are in a similar situation you should take two important points into account: a) The Ithkul will gladly immigrate across your border and slowly replace all your non-immune population and b) Ithkul love war so much they’ll get restless if they’re too much at peace.

Of course if your main population isn’t immune, living near Ithkul takes on a whole new dimension of suck.





Next combat phase is wild: We have reserve troops throwing out the Cynoid troop transports in Tilamas, the 13 last defenders of Niphla managing another stalemate against our 164 ships and the never-ending battle of Yed (this turn we smash another enemy task force of 24 ships, which means strategically, nothing changes).

Oh, and XEOL drops nearly two full tank armies on Nin Hursag VI and “retakes” the planet.

Considering we first glassed this world, there’s a good chance the new population of fresh Almandian colonists is too tiny to keep the colony running after this battle. Which means the victorious troops are in serious danger of evaporating into nothingness. But oh well, it’s not our troops.




Turn 441 brings a small surprise: Among the spies (both ours and enemy agents) getting killed in what must be another real life re-enactment of the latest James Pond: The Squid Who Shot Me holo-movie from the famous Nommo-series of spy movies, is a New Orion spy.

Huh. Seems we’re getting powerful enough the bad guys of the game are taking notice. At least Antaran spies aren’t more powerful than everyone else’s, it seems.




XEOL is doing its best to stop us, and its military is more powerful then any spy: We’re under pressure on multiple fronts.

Battles errupt all over: In Niphla and Tilamas we win, in Yed and Nin Hursag, the fighting stalemates. The Cynoid-fleet in Nin Hursag gets reduced from 217 down to 146 ships, but since they’ve already been stacking ships in the system, the stalemate will go on like in Yed.

OK, so it’s not like the Cynoids are winning, but they’re still more annoying then spies!




GC 663 sees the end result of all this fighting, including us landing on Niphla I and effortlessly liberating the colony. Billions of Cynoids are now proud citizens of our constitutional very democratic monarchy.

Oh, and we colonize the sterilized and glassed planet Niphla IV the same turn, but our media pretends that planet was never really colonized before and declares the earlier holovids showing our fleet bombarding the planet as “Cynoid Propaganda”




It’s tech time now: Turn 442 also sees two new potential upgrades to the Dark Energy Beam seeing some promising tests. The armor-penetration mod and the continuous fire mod both are doing exactly what they say they do, no surprises there.

Our crystal beam cannons and the older dark energy weapons are close enough the mods could tip the balance back towards them, but I want to see if our tech tree can poo poo out some upgrades for the crystal beams too, before I re-tool our entire fleet yet again.




I had a screenshot of the combat phase for turn 443, but I deleted it in disgust when I saw 100% stalemates in half a dozen battles.

Other noteworthy poo poo this turn: Another ship lost in our Antaran Expeditions, and comedy ensues when it turns out the Almandian Bureau of Colonization has double-booked Niphla IV. The colonists from the now superfluous colony ship hanging in orbit aren’t laughing.

What, did you think the colonists would just disembark and leave their precious ship behind? Don’t be silly.





Some manual orders re-route the colonizers (plural, because there were two of them getting colony blocked) to the one still uncolonized planet in Niphla.

And this should secure this system. Done and done.




A look at our Antaran Expeditions: So many ships, so many expeditions. Zero progress, apart from the occasional ship explosion.




Next combat phase: Turns out Niphla II was still hostile, curse you very similar shades of red!

Welp, not enough troops ready. Time to bomb.




GC 666: Unknown spies leak our mobilization plans all across the galaxy. Ehm, I mean, they totally make poo poo up to make us look bad, you guys!!!

More dumbasses reach Niphla IV and complain instead of leaving their colony ship. At least similar attempts on Niphla III and Nobi III go off without a hitch.




The next turn continues the established pattern: Lots of stalemates, we clean out some stragglers reaching already secured systems and more planets are colonized.

And our expeditions lose another ship.

The only noteworthy battle happened in Nin Hursag, where our fleet obliterates 186 ships without a single loss, but the battle ends in a stalemate anyway because of fighters dragging out the timer.




You know, making this LP taught me a lot of things. Today I learned that when the “a ship is lost”-event happens, it only fires once, even if multiple Antaran Expeditions take losses.

If you compare screenshots, you’ll see that this turn, both task force 5 and 4 lost a ship, not just one. Without this LP, I’d never have noticed a discrepancy this tiny.




Thanks to switching back from killing to liberating, The Ex-XEOL colony on Niphla I will have finished a mobilization center in 2 turns, allowing us to push forward faster on this front.

The lessons from the many wars of MO3 so far: Killing is better if you can kill a colony in one go, but slows you down after you turned too many systems on your way to ash, while using ground troops is initially far slower, but turns into higher strategical speed if you can pump out new mobilization centers in each liberated system. The More You Know (tm)




Yed is still stalemated, but it seems the devastating defeat last turn slowly allows us to turn XEOL out of Nin Hursag for good.




The southern front: Tilamas is secure and no new splinter fleets have shown up this turn, but XEOL is still trying to push their troop transports past Niphla, with hilarious consequences.

Though I imagine this will turn ludicrously annoying instead when we want to push our offensive forward soon.




Our next combat phase is an exact replica of the last one, only with different ship numbers. Even down to the devastating defeat in Nin Hursag: We clear out the last remnant of the Cynoid fleet and since I don’t have any troops ready, I stomp on this new XEOL-colony so I can replace it with a new new Almandian colony instead.




Turn 446 sees the completion of our new, improved fighter weapon. But I get side-tracked from implementing it by fresh, new diplomatic messages.




Our allies want automatic QF-beam weapons. In exchange, they offer us Academies (+science), Orbital Ecosphere Controls (+pollution clean-up) and the Staggered QFV-Shield. We agree for obvious reasons.

And old, outdated weapon for two useful techs? Yes please. The long-lost class V shield is a dud, however: We had the class VI version in our tech tree, and are already using it for some time now. I guess having the class V too makes our tech tree look neater?




Speaking of technologies, three more techs reach prototype-stage this turn.
Hyper Sleep Chambers (Hyperschlafkammern) make space ports and therefore trading more efficient even though they’re technically speaking not part of the ports themselves, this tech just makes it possible for space ports to install an upgrade for dealing with HSC-equipped civilian ships.

It also extends the range of your trading calculations by 1 extra jump, which is mostly irrelevant for us since our allies are so tiny basically all their planets are in range right now anyway. (But maybe we’ll get a boost to our intra-civilization trade? Let’s see.)

Anyway, that tech is boring enough to put people to sleep, let’s keep going: Tech two is the Media Center, a huge-rear end VR-center for everyone, which upgrades our recreational DEAs to sink more unrest. Kind of neat!

The last one is the Dream Recorder, a machine capable of recording a researcher’s dreams. And apparently, besides really weird horror movies and porn, dreams also include a lot of research potential: Installing a dream recorder makes a research DEA +9 points more efficient. This is a lot.




Surprise attack! 80 Cynoid transport show up in the Nazin-system. Our local fleet moves to intercept. A lot of Cynoid soldiers die horribly before the rest of their ships can jump back out.

Not a single combat ship among them. Kind of sad. Also at the game calling all of those tiny 8-ship squadrons “armada”. This is not an armada, game. The giant lumps of ships opening fire are armadas.




Meanwhile, AFC decides to move most of the fleet in Niphla onwards to Nu Hydrae.

Progress!




Let’s do some diplomacy for a change. Our friends and allies are threatening us for the exact same thing they praised us last time. Goddamn, get a grip your float heads.

Either it’s something caused by spy events, or they really don’t like us using troops to liberate planets instead of glassing them.

Eh, it’s probably spies.





And then the Meklar, who have more ships than our allies but barely more planets, use the pretext of whatever we did to declare war again.

Oh, good! I already missed them doing that, the little techno-buggers.




War with everyone except our dear allies. Our relations are all hovering around 100 (out of 200 maximum possible), but as long as those stupid fake invasion plan events don’t happen too often, I’m not bothered.

Though once upon a time we were close to maximum relations. Being the most powerful polity in the Orion Sector means we’re having to fight against ever more heavier diplomatic penalties, it seems.




GC 672: More of the same in everything. Though we do get the esoteric “Saboteurs are sabotaging our repair yards! Several ships are now damaged and need repairs”-event. I have absolutely no idea what that event is supposed to do, considering the game engine doesn’t model damage between turns. All ships surviving a battle get repaired to full health and supplied with full ammunition between turns. (Or maybe more precisely, the game doesn’t bother to track that poo poo. This is not Space Empires V here, people.)

There’s also no way to see an individual ship’s status, so even if this event actually did something, we wouldn’t be able to see it, as the game UI doesn’t show strange things like “damage” or “supply status” outside of real time battles. As far as I can tell, this event does nothing.




Our reserves at this point have over 1k ships of various classes, thanks to our insane endgame industry. But also thanks to our brain damaged AI, it’s roughly 300 missile ships, 300 PD-ships, 100 recons, 165 non-carrier superdreadnoughts and only 65 carriers. Essentially, our building AI did their very best to not build the one ship type we need the most of.

I sincerely hope the NPC-AI has similar trouble. At least this is good news for all the people who wanted me to use more missiles ships? Too bad they’ll be fighting infinitely respawning fighters with their all-to-finite missile ammunition.



And that's the end for now! This update contained an entire play session, instead of just 1/4th of it like my older posts. I feel like we can now push forward at a brisk pace towards the end. What do you guys think about this?









Allied Dumbass-Decisions Counter

Getting mad at us for beating their worst enemies: 2
Being unnaturally happy that billions of intelligent lifeforms are being atomized: 2
Trying to colonize planets in the middle of a war zone, and failing: 2

Total: 6


Antaran Expedition Status


Expedition A2: Partial discoveries made (4) + WIPED OUT (TF1)
Expedition B1: 13 ships in position (TF2)
Expedition B2: 3 ships in position (TF3)
Expedition B3: 15 ships in position (TF4)
Expedition B4: 30 ships in position (TF5)
Expedition B5: 21 ships in position (TF6)










Next: Hellwar VI

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Libluini posted:

Edit: Uuuuuuuuuuuugh, sorry for taking so long. I got a new cat about a week earlier than anticipated, and work on this thread was basically paused while I did all the legwork to slowly integrate her into my life.

And now, after many months of being a useless sadsack because my old cat died, I now have another furry little roommate.




This is Amber. Young, very sweet and very playful. Also poo poo, this is a Let's Play thread, let's get back to work!


This is now a Let's Pet thread. What an adorable darling.

Libluini posted:

Expedition A2: Partial discoveries made (4) + WIPED OUT (TF1)
Expedition B1: 13 ships in position (TF2)
Expedition B2: 3 ships in position (TF3)
Expedition B3: 15 ships in position (TF4)
Expedition B4: 30 ships in position (TF5)
Expedition B5: 21 ships in position (TF6)


Also... does anyone know what the actual mechanics are for Antaran expeditions, except in the extremely abstract? Because it feels like smaller, less advanced task forces you sent waaaaaay back made relatively quick and plentiful progress and secured a bunch of Antaran X techs, but none of these new ones have done jack poo poo.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

PurpleXVI posted:

Also... does anyone know what the actual mechanics are for Antaran expeditions, except in the extremely abstract? Because it feels like smaller, less advanced task forces you sent waaaaaay back made relatively quick and plentiful progress and secured a bunch of Antaran X techs, but none of these new ones have done jack poo poo.

Well, we got one (1) X-tech from expeditions. The other one we have we got by blowing up an Antaran Guardian the hard way.

I suspect there may be multiple options as to why this new batch of expeditions is dragging so much:

1. Expedition targets are randomly assigned and we happened to hit already cleared Guardian systems. Nothing to be found here, so the expeditions will slowly lose ships until they're destroyed. (Possible, but I'm not one of the programmers, so it's just speculation for now.)

2. Our earlier expeditions happened during early-to-midgame, when turns happened a lot faster. In truth, not much time has passed for our new expeditions. We need more time! (Plausible.)

3. Other empires we aren't in contact with managed to snatch up the missing X-techs, making our expeditions pointless. (Needs a game with better AI, imho)

Considering my slow update rate, I'm thinking it's No. 2 that is the true poo poo show. But if this continues for like 50 more turns, I'll probably change my mind.

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





Amber is perfect and if you don't pet her this very instant why I'll... I'll.... I'll...

Donkringel
Apr 22, 2008


How feasible is it to create a splinter task force and genocide the Klackons? They don't seem that powerful, but if you kill them all it will probably reduce spying.

SIGSEGV
Nov 4, 2010


Petting cats helps with spy rolls, it's a well known fact.

Although the game is mostly reminding me that a 4X game needs to have an exceptional premise to make having a spy system in it a good decision instead of a defect.

DTurtle
Apr 10, 2011


Libluini posted:

And that's the end for now! This update contained an entire play session, instead of just 1/4th of it like my older posts. I feel like we can now push forward at a brisk pace towards the end. What do you guys think about this?
Nice update! Looking forward to the update next month!

Strategic Sage
Jan 22, 2017

And that's the way it is...

DTurtle posted:

Nice update! Looking forward to the update next month!

You mean next quarter, don't you?

The determination shown by this LP is fast approaching legend.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Strategic Sage posted:

You mean next quarter, don't you?

The determination shown by this LP is fast approaching legend.

I should really try to move this forward faster, the list of games I want to LP grows each day.

(Next update is already half-written, but then Stellaris dropped a new patch. Still, I'll try my best to get this down while it's still weekend. )

wedgekree
Feb 20, 2013


Congrats thsi is sitll going on! And yay for more Battlemechs!

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

wedgekree posted:

Congrats thsi is sitll going on! And yay for more Battlemechs!

Thanks! And we will ride this down to the bitter end. Mostly because my abandoned Imperium-LP still hurts, and I'm too stubborn to give up on a game I actually like to play. That said, it's time for...


Master of Orion III: ULTIMATE Edition



Chapter 121: Hellwar VI




GC 672 – GC 687




So, where were we? Ah, yes. GC 672: The Klackons of the Vchiitri Empire end their war again. On account of them having a lot more trouble elsewhere, so recently they can’t even be bothered sending small raiding forces across the border.

Also their space is still swarming with New Orion forces. I’m guessing now they hosed up badly at some point to annoy them so much.




Surprise! If you look at the column Größe/Size, you’ll notice all those weird German abbreviations like “S.Sch.-Sch.” that not even Germans could understand are replaced by brand new ones. Also gone: The entirely wrong labels, like the game calling all our superdreadnoughts “Titans”.

Yes, I finally went into the text files and searched around until I found the file holding the UI-elements. Then I made sure to rename the abbreviated hull sizes to what the rest of the game actually uses. In case you’re not hip on your military fleet knowledge, all sizes that would have been too long to be read in the column have been replaced with actual abbreviations, instead of the dumb nonsense the modders put there.

In case you want to know, the full list of abbreviations the game now shows in the fleet window are:

Lancer – Lancer
Striker – Striker
Korvette – Korvette
Zerstörer – D (Destroyer)
Leichter Kreuzer – L Kreuzer (Light Cruiser)
Kreuzer – Kreuzer (Cruiser)
Schwerer Kreuzer – S Kreuzer (Heavy Cruiser)
Schlachtkreuzer – BC (Battlecruiser)
Schlachtschiff – BS (Battleship)
Dreadnought – DN
Superdreadnought – SDN
Titan – Titan
Leviathan – Leviathan

If I was able, I let the full name stand, if the name of a hull size was far too long, it got shortened massively. (If you’re looking closely, you’ll see that the interface can display up to 9 letters before the rest just disappears off the screen, so that was the same general rule of thumb I employed.)

Only took me 4 years. That’s some serious dedication to lazyness I showed there.





The battlefront: There’s fighting in Niphla, Nu Hydrae, Yed and Nin Hursag, but only the eternal stalemate in Yed and the current Almandian liberation attempt in Nu Hydrae are actual battles, the rest is more of a clean up against random Cynoid strays.




Next turn, there wasn’t really any progress on the front, so let’s skip straight to the AIA: The agent Quasimodo, another espionage hacker, joins the agency. With a dagger of 10 this guy would be perfect if we wanted to go and steel some techs ourselves.

Alas, as the No. 1 of the Orion Sector in everything, we need every hacker on defense. Besides, with our bad luck and a mantle attribute of 6 at end game, Quasimodo would probably not even get across the border before ending like the real Quasimodo.




Then I looked through my messages and found this declaration of war. Sadly, the pun about peace and death the Klackon ambassador uses in the screenshot only makes sense in German. It’s a real garglechomper of a pun.

A reasonable approximation would be something like “We love peace, so rest in peace.”, I think. It loses a lot in translation. In German, it’s a triple pun, for example. “Friede Eurer Asche” means something like “Peace for Your Ash” when literally translated and is an alternative expression for “Rest in Peace”, which also exists in the German “Ruhe in Frieden”. By using the (in German) less common expression, you get a neat little joke about the Klackons wanting to burn us to ashes because they’re so peaceful.

And now that I have explained this joke to death (peace for your ash), let’s move on.





Meanwhile, our Kingdom is trying to unfuck the mess we’ve caused in Nin Hursag when we moved our fleet too early. Enemy colonies are destroyed again, empty planets re-colonized, and Nin Hursag VII gets some additional immigration because that colony wasn’t looking too healthy.

Nin Hursag VII was like 1-2 turns of blockade away from collapsing, so I’m trying to boost the population to at least above 2 (Reminder: 1795 is the equivalent to 1,8 pops in other Master of Orion games)




Niphla is secured, but a sizable fleet has to stay to deal with this bullshit. Our colonies here should be strong enough to prevent any sudden landings, but why risk any shenanigans if I can just show strength and keep XEOL out entirely?




Apart from our border to the Klackons and our huge war against XEOL, there’s also this far away forgotten border to the Meklar and Nommo, the Nazin-system. We have roughly 300 aging ships stationed here, as the Nommo are busy dealing with the Meklar.

But then I looked at the Mirror-system and realized the Nommo have over 4k ships there, the Meklar almost nothing.

I guess as long as the AI doesn’t get into another weird state with no-one moving, like it happened between the Imsaies and Cynoids, eventually we’ll lose contact with the Meklar and then the Nommo will start pushing our poo poo in. It’s still in the future, but eventually we’ll have to deal with this.

Strategically, this means I need to keep a healthy reserve back to deal with this once it happens. And the Klackons are no threat at all, they barely have ships, they’re lagging massively behind in tech, and angry Antarans LARPing as Orions are blowing up their poo poo.

The Klackons keep tumbling down my list of priorities.





GC 675: Dear leader Vriuo’Krazeem dies. Of something. To be honest, I totally forgot what that guy even did.

Also some dead spies. It also also hurts to see the Meklar (RJ-623-PIUM) sending spies to die into the hugest, largest empire of the Orion Sector while being beaten up by the 3rd largest empire. You’d think they’d instead try to get on our good side, but MO3 isn’t exactly Galactic Civilization 2 in terms of AI-smartness.

So expect them to go down trying to hurt us much as they can while the Nommo push their poo poo in.





New techs! The Subraumantenne/Subspaceantenna watches subspace/hyperspace for gravitational ripples caused by moving ships. Specialized computers then calculate approximate mass and vector of fleets moving through hyperspace. Not even being cloaked can protect a fleet, as they still have mass and therefore distort the random fluctuating gravity fields in hyperspace.

Here we have original Orion lore colliding head-on with the Perryverse lore the modders used elsewhere. “Subspace” isn’t a thing in the Perryverse. There’s the Libration Zone, but that’s something different.

Trying to make this tech fit lore-wise is a real headache. The text mentions that the structure of subspace can be influenced and distorted by local gravity fields. Now this can go both ways, as e.g. suns have a shadow in both the LZ and hyperspace itself, so gravity/mass can distort the structure of both, even if only very indirectly in deep hyperspace.

According to the description, even the tiny mass of a starship can very slightly disturb the part of “subspace” it’s moving through, which causes the “ripples” the antenna can detect.

After thinking things through (the antenna works on any ship, regardless of what FTL-tech it carries, the game engine can’t handle anything too exotic, the Libration Zone is a part of hyperspace anyway), I decided to just take “subspace” as another synonym for hyperspace. So, essentially we’re prototyping a new type of detection system which can not only look into hyperspace, but also find tiny gravity waves and calculate mass and vector of the objects causing the ripples. Fancy!

Every military DEA with that thing extends their detection range by 400 FTL-units (which with our current tech of approx. 266, would resolve to 2 turns more advance warning, which is not bad).

There is no anti-cloaking effect, by the way. Cloaking on the strategic map reduces detection range and effectively everything extending your detection range just counters that. It’s just some clever bit to include a mechanical side-effect of detection systems in case a player hasn’t noticed this on their own yet.

The other new weapon makes our obsolete, ancient gauss cannons slightly smaller. OK, boring. Next!





Al Gore, I mean Alst Gor, is still there. Good. The other weirdos are unharmed, too. I guess the fourth guy (I think it was a Klackon?) just died of old age.




Back to the war. Turn 450 shows the return of ground combat in a major way: Since I’ve stopped narrating every ground battle in great detail, fighting them isn’t actually slowing me down that much, so the Age of Xenocide is officially over!




A full army of “Battleoids” backed up by an additional full army of tanks is my go-to for this new age of liberation. Our troops drop on Nu Hydrae VI, surprising the Cynoid defenders and catching them in a grand encirclement shortly after landing.




Welp, that was easy! Also, mining workers on Innar II unionize and go into strike.

Well, if they want to? Not much of a problem. That one single planet now loses a bit mining income, something we wouldn’t even be able to notice without this message.

The Kingom decides this case is for the local government to arbitrate, and just ignores the strike.





We also start turn 451 by mowing down three spies. Two Nommos, and one Cynoid. Ouch.




Then I’m forced to manually send some colony ships back to Nobi, as my AI dutifully ignores the growing pile of colonizers sitting in our reserves.

I also re-learn that the species used in building the colony ship does show up: Not only like here in the strategic map, but also in the reserve screen. Oops! I immediately used my newfound knowledge to make sure to only send Silicoid-colonists. Our main species is not only the best, but also the slowest growing, so they need the boost from artificially manufactured population via colonizers the most.




5,1k ships and no progress. What the hell are the Cynoids doing over there in Theta Gru???

OK, we will definitely use only medium-sized maps for the bonus rounds. Less space to expand into should reduce those insane pileups. Hopefully.




By now I have a nice rhythm going with two new transport task forces arriving each turn. Nu Hydrae V is liberated.




OK, seems the mess in Nin Hursag IV continues, in a weird way: The constant string of bombing/colonizing/bombing/colonizing caused our colony on Nin Hursag IV to dismantle some left-over buildings.

This time I’m fairly sure the dismantling happened because there is not enough population to keep them running, not because of any “maintenance costs”, like the text claims.

In other news, I learned that when I re-colonize a colony that was founded by myself, then bombed by an enemy, re-colonized by the same enemy, and then bombed clean a second time, the game actually remembers the future DEA-layout I gave it the first time around. Nice time-saving measure, MO3!





It’s hard to see because of how close our shades of red are, but we’re holding Nu Hydrae V and VI now, and the Cynoids the inner four planets. Nu Hydrae III and it’s massive, 127/130 population, is the next target for our liberation forces.




Nin Hursag is finally and fully back in our hands. This time for good, as XEOL-resistance has completely collapsed.




Our reserves hold 1,3k ships now. Nearly half of which are missile ships now. That’s not what I wanted! Further measures are taken.

Some older ships have to go. 97 ships of various classes are scrapped, then all ships except our colonizers and carriers are obsoleted, to force the AI to concentrate on carriers.

Luckily the AI isn’t totally demented and when selecting between an expensive warship and a cheap colonizer, it will more often then not choose the warship. Especially when the only free colonies are the planets we bomb during a war.





Another combat phase, another planet liberated: Nu Hydrae IV is occupied by our troops.




Wait, poo poo! What’s this???




The AIA speculates that the defenders of Nu Hydrae IV must have thought another orbital bombardment was incoming, and couldn’t purge their computers fast enough when our battlemechs suddenly rained down on them.

Anyway, it’s turn 453 and we finally got our 3rd X-tech! The Antaran technology “Social Structures” can now be used by the Kingdom of Almandin!

Sweet! And totally unexpected, even! Seems I underestimated the AI: Since the Antaran Guardians were all still there when we came knocking with our fleets, I can only deduce the Cynoids send out their own expeditions and in at least one case, where faster than us!

So it’s confirmed: The AI is smart enough to search for Antaran X-techs on their own.

Also ha ha, I guess this explains why our new batch of expeditions has such a hard time finding anything! With our luck, we’ll probably find the other two missing techs in the hand of another empire we haven’t met yet. Which means our expeditions are most likely all doomed!





The Antarans may be cruel and amoral by RL human standards, but just by existing for a shitload of time, they’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge about how social structures work and how they can be manipulated to keep a society stable for the long-term. We now profit from this knowledge. All unrest empire-wide goes down by 7, our bureaucracy is reduced by 0,75 (though the game doesn’t tell if it means bureaucracy costs are reduced by 75 or by 0,75% ) and the Oppressometer now automatically works 1 level higher than shown.

Oh poo poo, I guess we can expect more dead enemy spies in the near future.




While social sciences in the entire Kingdom of Almandin are still reeling from the sudden revelations found in XEOL’s government computers, the war goes on. Half of Nu Hydrae is now liberated, and the Cynoids can’t really mount an effective resistance.

It’s only 1-2 armadas or even smaller fleet units here and there so far. And since the strategic AI keeps throwing them against us and the tactical AI then immediately retreats out of the system, the Cynoids can’t even slowly amass ships until they are strong enough. Looks like the front will move forward again shortly!




And then the game decides getting the 3rd X-tech was too much luck for us, and throws us a curve ball: Heroically, a single Cynoid marine corps manages to somehow prevent our two full armies from establishing a beachhead. A cock-up of truly epic proportions ensues, the liberation attempt fails.

I was always wondering if those troops are now lost forever, or if they eventually get shoveled back into our reserves like ships from dissolved task forces do? Sadly I can’t test this on this run anymore, as the troop reserves are so filled up on troops it’s impossible to tell what is a waiting veteran unit constructed 20 turns ago by the AI or a returning military unit after a defeat.

Note to myself: Remember to test this on a fresh run, before the troop UI is completely clogged with units.

Narrator: He never remembered.





GC 681: The Kingdom of Almandin is reeling from a recent, unexpected defeat on the ground, but suddenly, another news item punts the military back from the front of media interest: Another alien empire, the Iserequi Nation, has made contact!

It took 454 turns, but it was bound to happen at some point: A new star lane was revealed and has connected our backwoods-system of Vela with the Hera-system and this time, the new system was settled by a new race!




This contact came as a surprise to everyone involved, both Vela and Hera only have their own, incredibly obsolete system defense forces ready. But of course we have to assume the Iserequis have a mobilization center, same as us, so this could change in a single turn.




But maybe a new contact doesn’t have to be hostile? *Homeric laughter from above*

Let’s take a look at our current relation… uh oh.

”Casus Belli” reveals both our populations very slightly distrust each other, but it’s not exactly unending hate already. But -197 political relations at first contact? That’s rough. Our diplomats have a steep uphill battle in front of them.




Well, our diplomats are eternal optimists, so we ask for a trade treaty.

I give our chances a negative 99%.




An overview of our new friends, the Trilarians:

Species: Ichthytosians (The species both Nommo and Trilarians belong to, remember that bit of lore? Squids and fish are both the same species.)

Their empire, the Iserequi Nation, is an oligarchy in which powerful clans control everything. Not exactly as democratic as our constitutional monarchy, aren’t they?

They’re at total war with two other empires we haven’t met yet. Hopefully, this means they are less inclined to immediately start a new one.

On the military front, they have 1k against our 1,6k ships. So, a lot, but not game breakingly lot. Also, they’re the 7th most powerful space nation out of 16 currently in the game. (Though at least one of those 16 has been eliminated, to be fair. But I think that just means they’re forever on place 16, as far as counting on this arbitrary scale of power is concerned.)

Their technology is an average of 60, so while we’re still the best, the Trilarians did apparently a lot of science while we’re weren’t looking, because that’s almost the same average our own empire has, and we are over twice as large with 52 Trilarian planets against our 100+ planets.

Obviously, since the AI loves to keep all research level, and we dirty, min-maxing humans love to concentrate on research areas that actually matter, we still have a rather comfortable lead, it’s just our average that’s close to the Trilarians.




Next combat phase, we get a surprise: Our armies on Nu Hydrae III get allowed a second try, and this time they just land on top of the few defenders left and immediately win!

Never had this happen before, weird. Or it must have happened when I had so many goddamn invasions running at the same time I didn’t notice. Welp, apparently “can’t land” means your troops are teleported to the shadow dimension and can just try again the very next turn? Unexpectedly nice! Though I’m fully prepared for this fluke not repeating next time.




The actual armies assigned to arrive this turn assault Nu Hydrae II instead, and while the defenders have two full armored corps defending, tanks are apparently no replacement for space marines: The Almandian Army steamrolls them.




Turn 455 shows a bit of whiplash with its messages: Our troubled Antaran Expeditions lose another ship and the Trilarians declare war, but on the other hand, our two latest new techs are finished and we just liberated two planets at once!

Oh wow, ha ha. The Trilarians actually did it. Triple-front war for them. I guess now I have to actually deal with our new border in earnest.




The Trilarian ambassador poses and preens, as if they hadn’t just been forced to declare their own nation dead and gone.




Welp, at least there are lots of ships in our reserves. A new fleet of 8x32 task forces is formed up.

Why not the maximum allowed? Because I leave the slots 9 and 10 open for more liberation troops, of course.




This new star lane is long enough even at our tech level it’s still 6 turns until our ships arrive in Hera. That’ll take a while.




Next item on my agenda: Some new techs were unlocked and are entering prototyping. In order, it’s:

Multiple Fighter-Torpedo Launcher

Same thing as that other insane tech. Instead of multiple plasma bombs, it’s multiple fighter torpedoes. They’re even a bit more efficient, as they take only 75 instead of 100% more space, for still 4x the DPS.

Of course they lack the ability to reduce enemy shields by 10%, and (I think, need to do some experiments next time) with damage being roughly the same between both weapons, we’ll probably still go with multiple plasma bombs as the next generation fighter weapon.


Adamantium Weave

Fancy SF-armor for our ground troops. Gets automatically equipped, so we literally don’t have to think about this anymore.

According to the lore text, even at nightshirt-strength, Adamantium armor can take multiple phaser hits. Sadly, “+60 armor points” doesn’t quite have the same oomph and that’s what we get instead.


Gravity Generator

We had a tech to make gravity higher, we had a tech to make gravity lower, now we have a tech which can do both. As with all other techs to reduce the gravity penalty, you can basically ignore the lore text, it’s just gravity penalty -1 each time.

Funny story, back when I played MO3 for the first time, it took me hours to understand that I was actively hurting myself by building the tier 1 gravity depenalizer only on small planets. I thought at first this game makes sense, so I tried to put that thing only on planets that had low gravity so they could make more mass and make gravity stronger. Which the text claimed it would do.

But uh oh, I was playing Meklar who love tiny planets and this meant I had built those things on planets that were already without penalties: What I was supposed to do was building the damned things on all planets with too high gravity and make the gravity even higher, so the gravity penalty for too high gravity would go down. Easy mistake to make, I think.

Ironically, for races like the Silicoids, everything is reversed, as they generally get penalties from having too low gravity on most worlds instead and if you somehow make it far enough to get the tier 2 tech without noticing what is happening here, you’d be in danger to gently caress yourself by only placing the mass lowerers on planets with the highest possible gravity to reduce the penalty there. Which of course, works. Too bad your Silicoids by that point will have settled tons of smaller worlds which would really like a second installation to reduce their gravity penalties even more. Which again, won’t happen if you, the player, don’t look too closely and realize lore and mechanics are at odds here.

In Vanilla, the game is easy enough you are most unlikely to ever suffer from your very unoptimized planets, but in Ultima Orion with the patched AI reinforced with min-maxed ship designs, the difference is sorely felt. Besides, it’s embarrassing to find out most of your planets have been operating under unnecessary penalties for most of the game.

In a twist of double irony, turns out if you're just rich enough to mindlessly built every available building everywhere, you don't even notice this weird possible gently caress-up. Which is what I did until I managed to bankrupt myself after playing Sakkra for a while.

(Though of course you could argue "build everything" is just another way to say "unoptimized planets". )





GC 684: Our spy defense was infiltrated! The worst random even ever hits us, severely reducing our spy defense as long as this is active.

Earlier in this LP, I was always panicking a lot and hiring lots of new spies in the vain hope it actually does something. As we now have to constantly hire new spies anyway, we can just ignore it. It’s not like we have any tools to make it go away. There’s no “reform spy agency” button.

Also how cute, the Trilarians refused our trade treaty request. I like how the AI is always polite enough to send an answer, even if it is not necessary. (We can’t trade with polities we’re at war with, for example.)





This turn, we also surveyed the Nu Lupi system! It’s full of robots! Sapient robots!

Where is Nu Lupi agai?




Ah yeah, the far side of our empire. Turns out the Meklar are getting so badly beaten by the Nommo, the Cynoids are joining in on the fun!

Also it turns out if we really want to, we could open up yet another front. I mean, we could have before, if we wanted to fight squids and robots, but in case we manage to get stuck on our other fronts against XEOL, we now have another angle of attack!

So let’s take a closer look at Uxmai and whatever is going on up there. Our scout moves on.





And then we bulldoze Nu Hydrae I. Now that we stopped bombing everyone indiscriminately, the Cynoid ground troops can’t surrender fast enough.




Turn 457 sees agent Lionheart join up with the AIA. Hopefully, they’ll be able to deal with the ongoing spy drama that’s paralyzing our service!

Yes, the event happened again. I don’t know if this is just coincidence, if this event takes up multiple turns or if it is caused by an enemy agent and until we get that bastard, it’ll just stay this way. Opacity! If you ever program your own video game, gently caress players! They don’t deserve to know anything! Hide everything! This message was scribbled on the backside of my MO3 play CD.




GC 687: Lots of battles, all either victories or stalemates. Looks good so far.

Nothing really of note happened and I was kind of tired, so I ended my play session here. Welp! Next time, I guess we have to beat up some fish now?


























Allied Dumbass-Decisions Counter

Getting mad at us for beating their worst enemies: 2
Being unnaturally happy that billions of intelligent lifeforms are being atomized: 2
Trying to colonize planets in the middle of a war zone, and failing: 2

Total: 6


Antaran Expedition Status


Expedition A2: Partial discoveries made (4) + WIPED OUT (TF1)
Expedition B1: 13 ships in position (TF2)
Expedition B2: 3 ships in position (TF3)
Expedition B3: 15 ships in position (TF4)
Expedition B4: 30 ships in position (TF5)
Expedition B5: 21 ships in position (TF6)

(-1 when I finally remember to update the status)










Next: The Stars at War I

Libluini fucked around with this message at 12:20 on Nov 3, 2020

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

And since it has been a while, here's the old lore post about Ichtythosians:

The Story of the Squid and the Fish.

Edit: Totally forgot about this because my old, now deceased cat got really ill at the time, but we did a poll about the Nommo back in 2019, because the game couldn't really straight-up tell us what the deal is with the Nommo, so I took the result and cleaned up the backstory a bit.

Nommo Rising, the Wet Reich

If you want to read the 1-2 paragraphs I wrote to replace the in-game teasing, follow the links.

Libluini fucked around with this message at 12:31 on Nov 3, 2020

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SIGSEGV
Nov 4, 2010


In terms of numbers, how many star systems out of how many in the galaxy do you control at this point? I don't really have an idea of how big which empires are.

I realize it's probably not told to you by the game of course.

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