Updated March 12, 2001:
Fyunchclick, Volunteer Developer
Outposts: I think I can safely say outposts are planetbound without breaking my Non-disclosure agreement. There's more to them in MoO3 though than just a refuelling station and an I-claim-this-planet declaration, which was what they were in MoO2...
Harel Eilam, Volunteer Developer
Ground combat: In a very short nutshell, here is how ground combat will be:
Both sides have a certain number of units of different types and quality. Each side is controlled by a commander.
Both commanders select a maneuver like: Ruse, Trap, Feint, Flank, and so on. Each one pretty much does what you expect, and then works well against certain types of maneuvers. The better your commander, the more likely you are to succeed in your maneuver.
Then we will see a MOO2-like display of ground combat, units running all over and shooting each other. You will hear a radio report telling you about what is going on in the field "They are shooting at us sir!" "Their tanks are ripping us apart!", and so on.
Basically, it's like MOO2 combat where you saw the combat taking place, but you can select battle plans and target designations to change the course of the battle. A good choice can give you a decisive bonus.
Space monsters: The reason Harel was involved in space monsters but he got a weakness to grave errors in realism, just like Rantz does. I just can't see "space dragons are coming to eat my planets!". I just choke on my last meal.
Alan seems to like them, but heck... that's Alan :-)
Anyho, yes, me and Rantz took a very long look at space monsters. We really wanted to do both things: A. Add realism (hey, it IS me and Rantz after all, what do you expect? :-), B. Make them deadly.
So, what can I tell you: most probably the anarchonism space monsters are going in the way of the anarchonism species (no more space dragons and Eels!), and the space monsters will make you tremble.
Why? Well, beside being powerful they have insidious side effects and surrounding damage. Sufficient to say they will make the game VERY interesting. Finding a planet of yours is a space monster breeding ground will make you tremble :-)
More on the same: Well, the point is, and players will have to remember that: space monsters are living organisms with thoughts and wants. They are not necessarily bad: you might even cultivate them.
The point is, they have certain requirements: they need nourishment of a sort to live. The reason for conflict between two living organisms is where there eco-system clash. The space monsters will "plunder" the universe to survive. Just what they plunder: well, wait and see.
The point is, (and I hope they will remember to design this like this, Rantz, you paying attention? ) if you choose not to disturb them they are NOT supposed to attack you. So if you can put up with their effects, just build your forces until you do.
At least, that's how I picture space monsters and how they interact in the game. Hopefully, this is what we will see.
More: I believe there are six monster types. Yes, you will probably get to see at least one at a game: considering we have 256 stars and tons of specials on planets, systems and random events... yes, they should be here.
Have they been designed? Conceptually, yes. Graphic wise, Rantz told me it's the last item on the ship art list, so I am guessing it won't be done in the next two months.
How big/small? Some very big, some surprisingly small.
Enslave/befriend/talk: under consideration. Alan keeps giving the "maybe" answer.
Ground monsters: That ground monsters, and yes, they are there alright, if I recall the planetary special lists. It's an entirely new thing with space monsters.
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