This is the New Game Screen.
The various elements should be reasonably self-explanatory, but I'll go into 'em anyway 'cause that's the kind of guy I am.
- Difficulty: Determines how often random events favor you, how much opposing players hate you, and various bonuses or handicaps. In order, the difficulty curve goes Tutor-Novice-Average-Hard-Impossible. For this LP, we'll be playing on Average, as I'm somewhat out of practice.
- Galaxy Size: How many stars there are. We'll be playing in a Huge galaxy so I don't finish the thing overnight.
- Galaxy Age: Determines the star composition of the galaxy, and accordingly the predominant types of planets. Young Galaxies are Organic Poor/Metal Rich, Average Galaxies contain no bias, and Old Galaxies are Organic Rich/Metal Poor. (Organic means "Food," by the way.) We'll be using an Average galaxy.
- Players: Determine how many other races are out there (the number chosen, less one - that's us!). I'll leave this one up to you - pick between 4-8 players. Lower numbers mean, in general, more exploration; higher numbers mean more conflict.
- Tech Level: Includes Pre-Warp, Average, and Advanced. Pre-Warp basically serves only to give races with a research advantage an even bigger leg up. Average is the standard start point - you start with your homeworld, one colony ship, two scouts, laser cannons, nuclear bombs, and star bases, with the ability to build all of the above. Advanced starts you with a couple of colonies and a slightly bigger fleet, along with some random additional technology. We'll be using Average.
There are a couple other elements to the right:
allows us to opt for automatic space combat resolution instead of having to run it all ourselves, which I personally would find very helpful in the late game (not because it's hard, but because it gets tedious and there's usually very little doubt which way the battles will go), but if you do so you can't design your own ships anymore. That's super lame, so we'll be running all the battles ourself.
enables or disables things like earthquakes on your colonies killing a bunch of people, giant space amoebas turning your idyllic agrarian world into a toxic hellhole, randomly discovering advanced technology in an ancient alien space ship, or having giant planet-wide orgies that result in population booms. These are fun, so we'll leave 'em on.
Determines whether or not the Antarans are in the game. I want to leave the possibility of a Win Via Nuking Antares open, so we'll leave this on.
Whew! Now to the part where we get to start having fun:
Race Selection: Building Better People
This is the Race Selection Screen.
There are thirteen different races available, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. They're a bunch of rubes, though, so we're gonna make our own.
The first step is to pick a Portrait.
This determines what our race will look like, and must be based on the existing racial portraits. One important thing to keep in mind is that whichever race we choose will not be duplicated
- that is, if we choose Klackons, the Klackons can't show up somewhere else and push our shit in. For that reason, I generally choose between Klackon, Silicoid, Sakkra, Psilon, and Darlok as my portrait race; the first three can outproduce you if they get any kind of early-game advantage, and the later two out-tech you if not managed quickly (the Psilons through research, the Darloks through espionage.) That said, I'll let you guys pick whichever portrait you want.
The above picture is of the Alkari, for the record. The rest of the portraits are in the spoiler below:
After you pick a portrait, you go to the Racial Picks Screen.
Here, we get to choose the advantages and disadvantages of our race. Keep in mind that some of the disadvantages can be mitigated via technology (or even through other picks.)
My typical choices are either the Unified Industrialists or Feudal Cybernetic Warlords, but I've included a few other racial builds for you to pick. And by all means, if you're already familiar with MoO2 and have a cool build you think I should try out, feel free to let me know.
(I reserve the right to unilaterally pick a different build suggested by someone in the thread.)
- Unified Industrialists: Unified, Telepathic, Subterranean, -50% Population Growth, -10 Spying, -10 Ground Combat. Win through outproducing everyone else. Pop Growth penalty is annoying early on but mitigated by Cloning Facilities pretty quickly.
- Feudal Cybernetic Warlords: Pretty much exactly what it sounds like: Feudal, Cybernetic, Warlord, Rich Homeworld. Focuses on conquering the hell out of everyone; requires a strong espionage element to compensate for low research.
- Pacifist Technologists: Democracy, Creative, Rich Homeworld, -1 Production, -50% Population Growth. Out-techs Psilons. Doesn't matter if you're outnumbered if the ships you have can take out five at a time and the colonies you have are four times as productive.
- Economist: Democracy, -1 Science, Fantastic Traders, Rich Homeworld - Having ridiculous amounts of money is very helpful, as it enormously speeds your production and lets you buy friends.
After you build your race, you get to choose your flag color
; this basically just determines the color of your ships and what color your territory appears in. Available options are Red, Yellow, Green, Silver/White, Blue, Orange, Purple, and Brown.
So, to recap: I need the number of players, the racial portrait, a custom race build, and a flag color.
Have at it! Subsequent updates shouldn't be quite this text-intensive.