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Friday, May 25, 2001
New Master of Orion III Details
9:10 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

IGN PC received the chance to sit with 3 of the producers of Master of Orion III at the recent E3 expo. For those unfamiliar with the title, MOO3, currently in development by Quicksilver, is about intergalactic conquest, where a player must explore, manage various resources, wage wars, and cut political deals in order to expand their empire. It is a fairly complex but rewarding gameplay system that has maintained popularity with many players over the years with the past MOO titles.

MOO3 is aiming to raise the bar that MOO2 set even higher. One of the new aspects of MOO3 will be the player's use of intermediaries. No longer will players have to spread their attention thinner and thinner as their empire grows, as players can simply appoint various intermediaries to represent them. Leaders will be populated randomly. Some of them will be of a generic variety, but many will have unique names, skills, and agendas that players will have to be aware of. Though each leader has a pool of action points by which players can give orders, those orders may not always be followed. For example, a leader interested in terraforming or scientific research may be a bad choice for leading a frontier world. It's also smart to put militaristic leaders near threatened borders. To keep leaders in check, a reward/punishment system will be in place for players to use.

The 3D system map is huge, and will contain 256 stars, each capable of supporting up to 8 planets and each planet capable of posessing 8 moons. These stars will be linked by a series of starlines, along which travel will be greatly speeded. As in previous titles, various races will be better suited for various planets. However, a new feature in MOO3 is that any terraforming done must be implemented by the race that is planning to inhabit the planet.

Battles in MOO3 will take place on a 2D plane. As with intermediaries, players will be able to give their captains various orders before combat actually begins, with each captain able to command a unified task force comprised of up to 64 ships. Ships can also be customized, including the ability to determine which systems are closer to the surface of the ship, which will determine which systems get knocked out first when the ship takes damage.

Here's a clip about the technology aspects of MOO3:

The team has divided the technologies into two fields -- theoretical and applied. Researching theoretical science will lead you to more practical applied sciences. No longer will you be able to use new technology as soon as you discover it. Instead you'll have to find ways to make it work in specific contexts. We haven't been given a list of the technologies in the game, but we did get a sample of the fields. In the social field for instance there are categories for education, military, political, psychology, criminal, cultural and philosophical advances.
IGN PC quotes Producer Bill Levay as describing MOO3 as "sex on wheels." The official release date is currently set as "3 months after Civilization III is finished," which means "not for a while," but this title is definitely shaping up to be one worth waiting for. Be sure to check out the full article for all the details.

IGN PC - Master of Orion III E3 Preview
Master of Orion III Official Site
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

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Archives  News  New Master of Orion III Details