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  1. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tres View Post
    I must disagree with you there. There's a distinction between a mechanical problem requiring tons of clicks to get done (ie. making your SCVs build things exactly when you have minerals for it and you can't plan it ahead by telling them "when 150, build barracks") and a problem on strategy level requiring player's decision with time pressure.
    Sure. I'm just saying that one's not less artificial than the other. The former serves a purpose as well (non-zero attention cost for macro, which I think is a pretty neat mechanic itself).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tres View Post
    In short, I believe that RTS should be about fast decision making, not fast clicking/hotkeying.
    Decisions would still be expressed through clicks, so assuming the game's speed is kept the same, APM requirements wouldn't be lessened by that, you'd just be more harshly punished for mistakes.

  2. #282
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    I think he means the kinds of decisions. Some interactions with the UI have little to do with interaction speed. They require few clicks and not in any time limited frame.

  3. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkt-zer0 View Post
    Decisions would still be expressed through clicks, so assuming the game's speed is kept the same, APM requirements wouldn't be lessened by that, you'd just be more harshly punished for mistakes.
    Only if that decision would have a meaningful difference if performed a second earlier.

    Although there are degrees. Something like Total War, whilst it's possible to improve via micromanagement of troops, the positioning etc. before hand tends to be more important.

  4. #284
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    In Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings there was a custom map mode (I don't remember what it was called) that somebody modded in, which, instead of giving you a base, gave you a bunch of little dudes -- one of each kind of unit -- and a little square of flags which was basically a cloning vat. Whichever unit you put between the flags would be replicated about once every second or two, forming a stream of units which would then run out into the center of the map (it was laid out like a wheel with spokes, each player having his clone-machine at the end of a spoke and fighting happening in the hub).

    It was kind of silly because you almost always just wanted to make cavalry clones since unit cost wasn't a factor, but since there was a population cap it was sometimes a good idea to go for combined arms as well.

    That was a weird RTS mode...weird especially because I played it for hours and hours. (Which I probably wouldn't have done if the AoK unit-spawning noise wasn't so good).

    This is not related to this current discussion, but where else am I going to slip in stories about zany RTS maps?
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  5. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzee View Post
    In Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings there was a custom map mode (I don't remember what it was called) that somebody modded in, which, instead of giving you a base, gave you a bunch of little dudes -- one of each kind of unit -- and a little square of flags which was basically a cloning vat. Whichever unit you put between the flags would be replicated about once every second or two, forming a stream of units which would then run out into the center of the map (it was laid out like a wheel with spokes, each player having his clone-machine at the end of a spoke and fighting happening in the hub).

    It was kind of silly because you almost always just wanted to make cavalry clones since unit cost wasn't a factor, but since there was a population cap it was sometimes a good idea to go for combined arms as well.

    That was a weird RTS mode...weird especially because I played it for hours and hours. (Which I probably wouldn't have done if the AoK unit-spawning noise wasn't so good).

    This is not related to this current discussion, but where else am I going to slip in stories about zany RTS maps?
    Sounds like the Tug of War maps that are in the top 10 play Arcade maps in Starcraft 2. Starcraft and Warcraft 3 had these also and always been fun.

  6. #286
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    @pkt-zer0: The metric of importance is "thinking per click". A marine split takes zero thinking, dozens of clicks. It's straightforward, anyone could describe it, but few people could pull it off.

    Strategic decisions, like flanking or coordinated attacks, can only require a handful of clicks, but they require a large amount of preparation and a good eye for the ideal moment to strike. The thinking behind each click is vastly more important.

  7. #287
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    it's not really viable to have any form of unit micromanagement without requiring lots of clicks

    you might think that the action you are performing is one decision, but the positioning you view in your mind cannot be simplified to a simple UI interaction. even if the in-game unit AI was amazing, it's not a mind-reader.

    that's why "RTS" with any form of manual combat will never really be real-time strategy, but rather real-time micromanagement

  8. #288
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biz View Post
    that's why "RTS" with any form of manual combat will never really be real-time strategy, but rather real-time micromanagement
    I keep hearing (on hold Three Moves Ahead podcasts I'm catching up on) about how Sins of a Solar Empire is an RTS with such a slow pacing that it does allow for more of a strategic focus. I've never played it because there are not enough wizards or swashbucklers in it, but does anyone have thoughts about this?
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  9. #289
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzee View Post
    I keep hearing (on hold Three Moves Ahead podcasts I'm catching up on) about how Sins of a Solar Empire is an RTS with such a slow pacing that it does allow for more of a strategic focus. I've never played it because there are not enough wizards or swashbucklers in it, but does anyone have thoughts about this?
    It's largely a macro game since you can't really control the combat much at all. Slow paced it surely is. It suffers from not being a 4x and not being an enjoyable rts either since it's mostly about deathblobs trying to catch up on one another. I own them all but admit I'm not much of an expert on them since disappointment drove me off :(
    Read more here (On hold) or on Twitter! Occasional impressions on random sim games.

  10. #290
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Sins is micro heavy, AA guns will automatically shoot AA targets but making sure that your fighters kite the AA, target the fighters as priority targets and the bombers you are guarding neither overly clump on a target (wasting firepowet) or spread their fire too thinly (failing to kill) meanwhile managing a defence against the pirate fleet due any second and a sortie over a distant asteroid your and the opponents hero are evenly matched contestants for.

    Yeah, sins can be quiet, but the rushes exist.

    Ultimately it was the busy work that turned me off, queued up jobs is a path to failure. You have loads of hard counters and a cumbersome tech tree.

    It's trapped mimicking older rts and payong lip service to 4X, it's given up trying to solve the problems of the genre.
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  11. #291
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    Quote Originally Posted by biz View Post
    it's not really viable to have any form of unit micromanagement without requiring lots of clicks

    you might think that the action you are performing is one decision, but the positioning you view in your mind cannot be simplified to a simple UI interaction. even if the in-game unit AI was amazing, it's not a mind-reader.

    that's why "RTS" with any form of manual combat will never really be real-time strategy, but rather real-time micromanagement
    So dump manual combat. What's the confusion. I see no problem with a game where I set up a group of units from a squad to a host depending on my needs, and say guard that, or attack that. Maybe I add some customization like what my healers priorities are and whether my archers are focus firing and what not. Units can make their own decision on the best target based on some sort of threat assessment logic and choose which of their attacks to use. Then my decisions are mostly up to deciding formations and unit comp and deciding where and when to commit my forces.

    I have a whole big thread about this somewhere on here but the summary is good enough to get the point across.

  12. #292
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzee View Post
    I keep hearing (on hold Three Moves Ahead podcasts I'm catching up on) about how Sins of a Solar Empire is an RTS with such a slow pacing that it does allow for more of a strategic focus. I've never played it because there are not enough wizards or swashbucklers in it, but does anyone have thoughts about this?
    Sins is unfortunately limited by various circumstances. Since its really the first game of its kind it has some missteps in design. Its 4x attributes aren't extensive enough imo. I do enjoy exploring my planets but there are only one or two explores per and its mostly res production bonuses. The tech tree is mostly % bonuses and bonuses to the size of fleet you can control. Some factions are a little unbalanced.

  13. #293
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    Hello, It's my first post on Rockpapershotgun. I really like what Im reading here :)

    Im oldschool fanboy Starcraft Broodwar player. I played this game almost 10 years on competetive level. I was following progamers tried to learn from them as much as I could.

    Some points You need to know.

    - The majority of RTS genre is multiplayer In my humble opinion.

    - The most important thing in RTS multiplayer game are mechanics. Theres no strategy if u cannot handle manual control of the game :( If player floats lot of money without a purpose and cant multitask on proper level then even if hes good tactic, smart player he will eventually lose the game.

    - Lot of people can be suprised of my thought but... RTS games multiplayer with different races/sides like Protoss/zerg/terran or wehrmaht/British are very hard to balance. Starcraft 1 is miracle. Its really good and solid balanced game. Unfortunately Starcraft 2/Warcraft 3/ Company Of Heroes have issues with balance. Game developer actually have to hire a group of very smart people to work with a balance issues. Still they cant reach proper balance in game like Starcraft 2.

    To be honest I actually have enought playing rts games. Im getting older and I see that my multitasking, micromanaging, reflex suffer from it. In Broodwar I was really good on it, playing tournaments etc. Now in Starcraft 2 lot of people are so much better than me and my speed isnt high enough. SO Im getting frustrated because... if u are slow then theres no strategy in RTS. Next thing is if u want to be fast then RTS game is really demanding and hard to like in some way because u need to do lot of fast actions on keyboard/mouse and u are getting tired ;P

    Turn based strategy > RTS IMHO :)

  14. #294
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzoriuS View Post
    - The most important thing in RTS multiplayer game are mechanics. Theres no strategy if u cannot handle manual control of the game :( If player floats lot of money without a purpose and cant multitask on proper level then even if hes good tactic, smart player he will eventually lose the game.
    And I call that a flaw. I'm interested in strategy games for which real-time is just a presentation and a way to avoid time artifacts. Blizzard's school of RTS doesn't appeal me because it's about who can "hurry" the best. There's practically no limit to how much you can micro. You can withdraw units ganged upon from combat, you can move roaches while their attack is recharging, you can do all kinds of things with forcefields and psi storms. In Blizzard's RTS games, attention is a resource probably more important than minerals and gas.

    The fact that you should never have a reserve of resources is a flaw in my opinion, too. It means that ability to react by spending a ton of money where it counts is not that important. Even in medieval battles commanders, kings commonly kept some best banners and cavalry in reserve to respond to a difficult situation when it arised. Not so in Starcraft. You should throw all your units and money at the opponent. You should probably keep a token force at your base to respond to drops, but that's it. Another flaw is that dividing your force is rarely a good idea, because a big army almost invariably vaporises a smaller army, and then you can do whatever you want with your leftovers if you win the battle. SC2 players say there are fewer comebacks.


    Take a look at various forum discussions about SC2. It seems 90% of winning the battle is unit compositions (and micro, of course). When talking about engaging the opponent, only unit types involved and proportions are discussed. Almost no one asks what the battlefield was, maybe it was uphill or some other form of terrain advantage for one side. SC2 has very little in the way of terrain advantage, pretty much only ramps and other simple bottlenecks. Battles are rarely fought over a cliff, for example. Cliffs are for drops, and that's it. That's another shortcoming of SC (Blizzard) RTS model.
    Last edited by b0rsuk; 21-03-2013 at 08:19 AM.
    pass

  15. #295
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    I don't really miss these games, but maybe that's because I'm terrible at them. I used to love RTS games when I was a kid (mostly the old westwood games), but once online multiplayer came around I realized I sucked horribly. The single player campaigns just don't hold my attention anymore. The only somewhat recent RTS that I loved was Company of Heroes and that's probably more about me being a WW2 nerd than anything else.

  16. #296
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    I don't really miss these games, but maybe that's because I'm terrible at them. I used to love RTS games when I was a kid (mostly the old westwood games), but once online multiplayer came around I realized I sucked horribly. The single player campaigns just don't hold my attention anymore. The only somewhat recent RTS that I loved was Company of Heroes and that's probably more about me being a WW2 nerd than anything else.
    There have barely been any good ones since then.

  17. #297
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Swayze View Post
    There have barely been any good ones since then.
    Ummm.... Ruse, Dawn of War 2, Supreme Commander, SupCom 2, Sins of a Solar Empire, Warhammer 40K expansions, Majesty 2 (not sure if that counts), World in Conflict, SC2 (although I guess you aren't counting it) and Planetary Annhiliation is coming.

  18. #298
    Lesser Hivemind Node apricotsoup's Avatar
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    When I was a kid RTS games made up a huge percentage of the games that I played with TA being the favourite though warzone 2100 gets a very honourable mention.

    Nowadays I find that my tastes have diversified into genres I wouldn't previously have spent much time playing and all types of games thrive (apart from sports but that's another issue) buut my RTS playing has almost entirely been replaced with turn based strategy games.

    I often find the decision making in these more meaningful (whether it is or not is irrelevant, this is simply the feeling of wise or indeed stupid choices I get from playing the games) and the pace of the games is far more favourable.

    I was never huge into the multiplayer side of things though so seeing so much focus on that nowadays is perhaps why my interest has dwindled.

  19. #299
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    There's practically no limit to how much you can micro.
    Of course there is, it's just a soft limit. Micro opportunities with best payoffs are exhausted first, and spending more time and focus is met with very quickly diminishing returns.
    The fact that you should never have a reserve of resources is a flaw in my opinion, too. It means that ability to react by spending a ton of money where it counts is not that important. Even in medieval battles commanders, kings commonly kept some best banners and cavalry in reserve to respond to a difficult situation when it arised. Not so in Starcraft. You should throw all your units and money at the opponent. You should probably keep a token force at your base to respond to drops, but that's it.
    Nope. You don't "throw units and money at the opponent". You sacrifice units when you think it will pay off, otherwise you maneuver to preserve them.
    Take a look at various forum discussions about SC2. It seems 90% of winning the battle is unit compositions (and micro, of course).
    "Various forum discussions" are a very convincing source. That really must be what the game is about, then. ;_;
    When talking about engaging the opponent, only unit types involved and proportions are discussed. Almost no one asks what the battlefield was, maybe it was uphill or some other form of terrain advantage for one side. SC2 has very little in the way of terrain advantage, pretty much only ramps and other simple bottlenecks.
    How you can say "very little in the way of terrain advantage" when those ramps and bottlenecks usually convey massive advantage to either player? Other terrain features are hugely important as well. Base placement, layout, drop access, main paths, watch towers, etc. And then there are the terrain advantages players themselves create, like walloffs and simcities, creep, forcefields, etc.

  20. #300
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    I think the problem with SC's mechanics is that, for the uninitiated at least (of which I am one), the things that are important in the decisions you are making seem very far away from what's important in an actual 'war'. In other words, players are not playing 'strategy' in the layman's sense of the word anymore, but are playing the game's mechanics. Of course, there is fun in that, especially when the mechanics are fun and balanced as (I'm assuming) SC's are. But I think on this point, COH in single player has a greater emphasis on making the mechanics (cover, relationship between resource and territory, etc.) feel on some level more like a representation of tactical decision making. I imagine in multiplayer COH, the community has long since figured out how to play the mechanics of the game as well.

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