The best deal is always a free one. After offering some very sound curry recipes and exercises to help deal with isolation, Wargaming is doing everyone another solid by offering their decent Master of Orion reboot for free – as long as you complete a single mission in World of Tanks first.
The Master of Orion reboot was one of Wargaming’s first moves to publish games outside of its MMO-esque military remit, and while it didn’t set the world on fire, it was a perfectly competent 4X game. It was a much more casual 4X affair than what Master of Orion fans would have liked, setting itself up as a more accessible alternative to games like Endless Space and Stellaris.
And for the next couple of weeks, you’ll be able to get the game for bugger all, provided you play (and download) another game that also costs bugger all.
“In order to take the fight to outer-space, players need only complete a simple battle mission in World of Tanks Random Battles (including Grand Battles) between April 9 and April 23, using any tier,” Wargaming announced. Random battles using any tier means you basically just have to fire up World of Tanks and complete any of the basic challenges. If you’re making an account for the first time, those missions will legitimately be as simple as damaging two enemy tanks, winning a single battle (regardless of whether you actually help the cause) and more.
Once you complete the mission, Master of Orion will be available for download through the Wargaming.net launcher, which you’ll have downloaded to play World of Tanks in the first place. It’ll be a single-player only version of the game, according to the release, but you will get access to all the bonuses from the Collector’s edition and the Revenge of Antares DLC. I asked Wargaming Australia what the reason was, and they replied that the multiplayer version – so the game you’d get on GOG or Steam – is “a paid product”.
That said, you can still have fun with a ton of great community mods worth checking out, including the 5X Ultimate Balance Mod, Split Tech Tree which redesigns the tech tree into something more like Master of Orion 2‘s design, and Unofficial Code Patch for improving AI and navigation, adding custom build queues and more.