DifficultChoiceMod b6

I.) Mod Idea
a) I'm a little bit bored that more than 95% choose Unification. Uni is simply too strong in 1.31. Therefore this mod wants to help the dict and demo races (see also the DemoDictMod-DD; sidebar) by better MapBalance (III.), availabe Morale Techs (IV. b) and new Racepick costs (40 positive picks possible!) (VI.).
b) The DD-Mod solved the above mentioned problem and morale races are a viable option there. But one problem persists. 95% of the decisions in the techtree are no-brainers. This mod tries to change this.......ANY techfield should be a DIFFICULT CHOICE. The absolutely must-haves (automated factories, research labs and robominers) are therefore singletons. See also the TechTable (IV.) and the TechChanges (V.) for further details.

What's new in this betaversion?

There were still a few hangovers from old approaches to solve the morale and bombs problems of Moo2. Special thanks to Cabman who played this mod a lot and pointed out a few problems. I cleaned up a bit:

a) Missiles have their old 1.31 values now. Since I upgraded the planetary shields in DCb5 there is no longer a reason to reduce the missile damage generally.
b) Anti-matter Torpedoes have also an increased damage of 13 now.
c) I liked Cybersaber's mod idea but Structural Analyzers were too attractive in the early tech field compared to EMG. A further reason why missiles where unpopular in DCb5. Nevertheless, I think it is possible now to tech SA in its old 1.31 techfield since there is an additional substitute for the cybercomp (mole and improved mole).
d) No longer early Powered Armor. Psionics moved up in b5 and so did Powered Armor now.
e) PPs of Robotic Factory are reduced to 100.
f) There is a new approach with respect to race pick costs. There are still up to 10 negative picks possible. But if you use them all there are up to 40 positive race picks you can spend now (instead of 20 picks in 1.31).

II.) Installation
1. Find the Install.exe on your Moo2 CD and double click it to start the DOS installer. (INSTALL.EXE....NOT setup.exe or the autoinstall. If u dont have install.exe on your Moo2 CD use the win-installation and copy this rkernel.com file in your moo2 directory and proceed.)
b) Apply the v1.31 patch
c) Apply the v1.40 patch
Unzip the DCModb6.zip into your moo folder. NO BACKUP IS NECESSARY! The new files (different file names) can coexist with the 1.40 patch.

Test the Oriondc.exe ---> Singleplayer should work already.

2. Multiplayer via DosBox:
Instead of orion2~1 (last line of step 8 in this guide, btw that is the exe name of the1.4 version) you can simply paste the exe name of the mod:

III. Map Balance
The Orange Mod is quite popular recently and it is even used in the ladder. I have implemented some of its ideas in DC, mainly to help techbased races which cannot afford to build outposts at start:
a) Brown Stars are defacto Red Stars now.
b) I have removed all unguarded UltraRich planets. (They are rich or abundant now.)
c) UltraRich planets have now a basic prod of 7 per worker instead of the previous 8.
d) Tiny and small planets are now slightly larger. Basic Gaia size for tiny and small are 5 and 10 in regular moo. In this mod they are 8 and 12.
e) I have slightly increased the climate modifiers besides Terran and Gaia.
The effects of the modifications d) and e) are summarized in the following table.

DC (& DD) MaxPop Values (click it to enlarge):

See this post for details how the max pop values are calculated.

IV. The TechTable
There are many changes in the TechTable. I recommend a close look at the following jpg (click it to enlarge) for an overview. [Techs in italics are changed in a further way (fe size, damage, maintenance etc.). See point V. The TechChanges for details.]

A small summary of the ideas:

a) The basic econ techs of 1.31 are almost unchanged.
- rlabs, autofacts and supercomps are still in the 1.31 techfields.
- cloners/soil are now 250 RP, but there is a new biology field for 150 RP. (150+250 are the old 400 RPs.)

The important exception are robo miners. They are far better than robotic factories. (Especially for a tolerant race with monster planets.) Robo Miners were too cheap in 1.31 and this was the main reason that the CONSTRUCTION path was uninteresting after the 650 RP-Field.

b) Morale Techs are pretty cheap compared to 1.31. In fact most MP games (1.4 patch) are without any morale techs. This mod makes them available and they are the key to beat some Uni races. I want to see some long run competition between 20-30% morale and the 50% uni food and prod bonus.

c) The absolutely must haves rlabs, autofacts and robominers are singletons. Therefore new war techs are available for non-crea races. --> 2 new early techfields in biology 150 and physics 80 were generated.

d) The main idea of the new TechTable is to ADD further options. Each of the unused techs in 1.31 should have "some" chance to be useful in this mod. (That's obviously difficult to balance and for some crappy techs almost impossible.) Even when adding new options is the priority in this mod.......a few of the old powerful combinations have to be destroyed. So the following popular 1.31 techs are now in the same techfield:

- Subspace comm and Tractor beams: Tractors (and raiding) are the strongest weapon in the long run since there is no countermeasure. But keep in mind that the empty ship exploit (see bottom) is also reduced.

V.) The TechChanges
Furthermore I have modified several technologies to make them useful. Look at the following table:

1.31 Values in brackets, click it to enlarge:

The most important changes are in bold. Some of them were just added in b5:
a) Fighters, Assault Shuttles, Bombers and Heavy Fighters have 100% more structure.
b) Missile bases, Fighter garrison and ground batteries have 100% more structure.
c) Planetary Shields block 50% more damage.

The both last mentioned changes improve planet defense quite a lot. Be aware that fighter garrisons and missile bases are now available for non-creatives and that the very popular substitute (i.e. the warp-interdictor) is no longer an easy choice. The interdictor gives you the option to defend your colonies easily by a mobile fleet. Therefore it should be harmful to use this mighty tech. It is the intention of this mod that some immobile planet defense might be useful. Be also aware that the Planetary Shields are drastically improved. The boring hit and run strategy using missiles or torpedos is no longer sufficient. This was necessary to make bombs, bombers and heavy fighters useful. You shouldn't underestimate these unpopular techs in this mod.

VI. Racestuf
a) Racepicks
There is a fundamental change with respect to race pick costs. There are still up to 10 negative picks possible. But if you use them all there are up to 40 positive race picks you can spend (instead of 20 picks in 1.31). Therefore race picks were doubled when they are de facto unchanged. This change was made because of better balance between positive and negative picks and better classification of positive picks:

DC Racepick screen (click it to enlarge):

DC Racepick overview/comparison - positive picks are divided by 2 (click it to enlarge):
Several unpopular racepicks (denoted by an *) are cheaper now:

b) AI-Races:
Because of the new Racepicks costs I had to change many AI-Races. I improved them slightly:

VII. Miscellaneous
a) Leaders
Cyr (fighterpilot) is almost completely useless in regular moo so I improved him slightly. He adds 5 to beamdefense now.

b) Empty Ship Exploit removed
Empty Ships have a bonus of +10 combat speed in regular Moo2 (details). Empty frigates or destroyers (with augmented engines and battlepods) are therefore extremely fast. These so called runners have also a high beam defense and this means that you are generally unable to shoot them down from distance. This results often in unnessesarily long battles and furthermore it can be exploited to stop an AI with bad tactical combat skills.
Therefore I have reduced this bonus to +4 combat speed. Additionally, the battle pods just add 25 percent more space, i.e. that the effects of the so called battle pods bug (ships are faster by adding bpods) are also reduced.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome. See also the DC thread in the community forum.


Master of Orion II Poll

By using blogsearch I found this Master of Orion II poll here. It was started by green_meklar who has also written this uncyclopedia entry (some wikipedia parody). OK. I think my votes are clear:

Silicoids, Green, Gaia, Capitol (Unification sucks!), Mass drivers, Heavy armor, green DD, 10 and several "yes"-votes (except the last one).