eXplorminate Best 4X Final: MOO2 vs. MOM

MOO2 beat Stellaris 134-76 in the eXplormiate Best 4X tourney Semi Final and reached the dream final

Master of Orion 2 vs Master of Magic!

Lead Dev Steven Barcia completely rules this 4X tourney with his 3 games. One of his games will win and the other both games were only be eliminated by one of his own games.

Barcia vs Other games 7-0!!!

Please vote!



MOO2 vs CIV5 169-109 - next matchup: Stellaris

Wow, the two Barcia Games reached the semi finals:

MOO2 vs Stellaris
Distant Worlds vs Master of Magic


Please support and vote!


MOO2 vs CIV2 209-77 - next matchup: CIV5

MOO2 was able to reach the next round, where it faces CIV5 now.
Please support MOO2 and vote!


PS: Also Barcia's Master of Magic (which heavily influenced MOO2) reached the quarter-final:

MOO2 vs CIV5
Stellaris vs Endless Legend
Distant Worlds: Universe vs Age of Wonders 3
Star Ruler 2 vs Master of Magic


MOO2 1.50.18 and the nebula fix

The latest 1.5 version does now include nebula related bug fixes. Let me try to explain the bug fixes after a short introduction how nebulae work.

In MOO2, the nebula related calculations are always based on the nebula pics which are used in the huge galaxy size. There are 12 different kinds of nebulae in use and they are stored in STARBG.LBX. Between the MOO2 coordinates and the Nebula picture pixel size is a conversion factor of 3 in use, i.e. that a nebula picture with 80px*80px will cover a 240*240 area in the Galaxy map. A star is considered “in nebula” if the respective pixel value of the nebula picture is greater than 5.

a)    In a first step, it is checked if a galaxy coordinate is within the area covered by the nebula picture.
b)    In a 2nd step, the pixel value is checked.

In both steps we observed bugs. In the following example - where Sutul is considered in nebula – actually both bugs occur:

a)    So far, the first check, if a coordinate is within nebula picture was done after a division with the conversion factor 3. Since results of divisions are truncated in MOO2, it could happen that coordinates slightly outside the nebula picture area (on left or upper edge of the nebula picture) were not excluded from step b. This is fixed now in 1.50.18 - the respective check is done without division (and truncation issue).

b)    After the first check the respective pixel value is determined. Here Alexey pointed out that MOO2 assumes a picture header size of 16 bytes whereas Grig de Griz help files pointed out that it is actually 20 bytes. So the “in nebula” area was actually shifted 4 pixels to the right and this shift could also result in new “in nebula” areas on the left edge of the nebula picture as highlighted here in the 3rd pic "2neb09_bug.bmp":

2nebula09.bmp: nebula picture of nebula09 in the STARBG.LBX
2neb09_18.bmp: the correct 'in nebula area' since 1.50.18
2neb09_bug.bmp: the buggy 'in nebula area' in all previous versions
2neb09_diff.bmp illustrate the differences of this bug fix:
Brown red areas were 'in nebula' in previous versions but are no longer 'in nebula' in 1.50.18.
The light purple areas were 'not in nebula' in previous versions but are now since 1.50.18.
This illustrates that the ‘in nebula area’ is now slightly shifted to the left by the before mentioned 4 pixels. Additionally, the artefacts on the left disappear.

Here is an overview of all the other nebulae:
For a detailed view, check it here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/v98gwapPFinDoY1f8

Maybe, the buggy in nebula calculations of the previous versions were one of the reasons why they disappeared from the standard multiplayer settings. Especially, when one of the players was surprised by the in-nebula result directly in the battle screen - it is pretty unfair. Now they work as intended and I would recommend them for mirror maps. (So far, the nebulae are not exactly mirrored - but this can be modded soon.)

Please note, even in the deepest nebula there are sometimes a few dark pixels (see the detailed overview for examples) - so in rare cases a star which appears deep in the nebula is actually not in nebula. But this was intended by the Devs and is not considered a bug.


MOO2 vs MOO1 455-181

This clear victory surprizes me. 2nd round bracket MOO2 vs CIV2

Support MOO2!!!



The best 4X game of all times

eXplorminate initiated this sequence of polls in a knockout system to determine the best 4X game of all times.

Unfortunately, our beloved Moo2 encounters the classic Moo1 already in the first round.
Difficult, if not hopeless since the moo1 community prospers again (thanks to the moo1 remake https://www.reddit.com/r/rotp/ )  

So, if you want help Moo2 not to be crushed, please vote:



XL Mods

New Star Densities for Maps with 71 Stars

Thanks to very nice 1.50 it is now quite easy to create mods via configuration files. In the pretty user-friendly launcher these mods can be selected in a drop down menu. Furthermore, there is now a distinction between core mods which can now be combined with any desired map mod. Kudos to Rocco and Alexey for adding this flexibility!!!

Noticing this new flexibility I had the impression that this feature could be used to reduce the monotony of the multiplayer games where almost solely the large galaxy size is used. The respective map size parameters in the configuration files do still only properly support the known default values for the small, medium, large and huge galaxy sizes but thanks to the new 1.50 patch we can now add postprocessor scripts to the configuration files which allow us to rescale the default maps in a second step. This means the displayed galaxy map is the huge default size but the placement of the stars is recalculated based on a smaller galaxy size. In such a way we can generate galaxy sizes between large and huge, which could be an approach to solve the old trade-off in classic maps:

In online multiplayer games, the large galaxy size is by far the most popular choice. Only when there are more than 4 players, the huge galaxy is discussed beforehand (adding more stars, increasing the distance to the neighbors). Regarding 1v1, I can barely remember the huge galaxy ladder games – but we observed that many huge maps made deuterium mandatory for an appropriate expansion early on - and this slows down a slow game even more. The low star density in huge maps reduces the number of stars in 6parsec-homeworld range and this leads to more unbalanced maps (compared to large). Furthermore, the very low star density in huge maps does sometimes even create maps where only one system with a monster world is in 6 parsec range. The idea of this mod is to generate better start densities to avoid these problems. Let us illustrate the classic galaxy sizes and its densities:

In this table the density is illustrated in the X*Y/Stars column. Please note that height/width value of 30 represents 1 parsec. Therefore, a 6 parsec circle is roughly 100.000 but if a home world is placed in the corner the respective corner arc only covers about 25.000.

The XL mod now does use in all 5 galaxy sizes the maximum number of 71 stars – and the star placement is based on the map generation of the huge galaxy, but in the second step a LUA script does use the following height/width values to compress the huge galaxy:

For example, the XL medium galaxy size has now about the same density as the classic large galaxy.

Just download this zip file and extract the files into the ... \150\mods\maps folder. Afterwards, the launcher should display for all 1.50 OOTB maps the respective XL option:

In summary, you have now 7 flavors for the 1.5 OOTB maps with 71 stars, ordered by density:

So, for example you could start with an XL Medium which has 71 stars and a density of a classic large map. Please note, since LUA scripting does not include an option to update the in_nebula flag of the stars, I recommend to play nonebula for now. Otherwise, the map display might mislead you in battles, if you expect (de)activated shields over some star system – please note, that also the classic cluster has the same bug since 1.4. And finally, many thanks to Admiral Loknar who recreates and rereleases the old mods as 1.5 config files. He recreated the DR mod, and I included DR and DR XL in the above mentioned zip file!

Happy Easter!
Have fun!


MOO2 - 1.50 Patch

The 1.50 patch for Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares has been in development since early 2016. The latest version, 1.50.17, has just been released on January 19, 2020.
The patch, and more info about it, can be found here: http://moo2mod.com/