Three pages and barely a mention of Homeworld? Shameful guys, shameful. I'd kill for a new Homeworld game.
If you want to see an evolution of the interface, here are some examples:
-Homeworld 2 (probably the original too, I just don't remember) had multi-attack that worked perfectly. Select all your units, Ctrl+box around enemy units, and they'd intelligently attack the right unit types first. Interceptors would go after bombers, torpedo frigates against corvettes, ion frigates against capitals, etc. It was beautiful. With the multiple formation options (especially in HW1), you could also keep them in line.
-Supreme Commander had an extremely extensive queue system. While it wasn't perfect, it still allowed you to queue such complex actions as forming up, going to a transport, getting ferried across, dropping off, moving to a staging area and then attacking simultaneously with other attack groups doing different queues with different timings, all while giving you an ETA for the whole queue. With a more robust pathfinding algorithm it could've been quite the thing.
-Company of Heroes has much more intelligent infantry. They'll take cover when attacked and move out of the way of danger whenever possible. They won't do everything, but at least they won't stand still under machine gun fire like SC2 marines facing banelings...
The problem with all of these examples is that there is no cross-pollination. Each developer sticks to its guns and doesn't try to integrate features other games have added. You end up with a lot of nice new features that die with the developer.
The other problem is that a large proportion of gamers seemingly don't even know that something exists beyond Starcraft 2. None of my friends had ever heard about Company of Heroes, Homeworld or Supreme Commander before I showed them the games, and many moved away from the likes of Warcraft 3 and Starcraft once they'd tried them out.
EDIT: I also forgot to mention SupCom's zoom. Best feature ever.
SupCom 2 was fun for a short while but was very limited. The tech tree and research spoilt what SupCom/TA was supposed to be by adding another economy. I wanted bigger tanks too as oppose to tanks with extra guns. It dealt with Super units in an interesting manner by adding the half baked thing but ultimately the entire experience was gimped as it was dialed down to work on stupid toy boxes.
That reminds me, whatever happened to Chris Taylor's Kings and Castles? It was basically SupCom Kingdoms but it seems to have VANISHED off the radar.
As for Homeworld... don't make me lament the fact we will probably never get another.
Something interesting which I don't know how many people are aware of....
Most of the original Homeworld team have since left Relic to form a new studio, Blackbird Intereactive.
They're making a game called HARDWARE, some kind of planetary mining game with a hard scifi bent, but also socialness
I've requested access to the beta via facebook but nothing seems to have happened for ages.
The only info I've ever seen was on Kotaku of all places
Has anybody pressed the RPS team to find out more about this game?
Everyone here seems to love Homeworld.
For those looking to amass huge forces and hurl them at the enemy, without the need for excessive fiddly micro, in the context of a game that is clever and fun and deep as an ocean trench, consider AI War. It's quite complex, takes a little getting the hang of, and it isn't really a looker, but it's one of the all-time great RTSs.
It has lots of clever little ways to control your units that seriously cut down of the micro needed. For example, units will always pick the target to which their weapon type will do the most damage without needing to ever be told, but you can over-ride this by issuing an attack order- this will stick, so they'll prioritize that unit the next time.
But... but... flowfields!
EDIT: Or... do you mean StarCraft 2? Damn acronyms!
Last edited by Giaddon; 10-07-2012 at 06:16 PM.
StarCraft has clearly found a winning formula when it comes to e-sports, and that's fine for them. But it's a total fallacy to suggest that upping the pace of the game and the number of clicks required is the only way to sort out an elite class of professional players. You can also create a better game.
Also, Blizzard is (in)famous for having a myriad of damage types and resistances. Warcraft 3 in particular had light, medium, heavy, unarmored and several damage types.
Let Blizzard RT"S" games be clickfests. I agree there's a degree of skill to that - like playing a guitar, for example. But I want a strategy game. Too many RTS games (especially by Blizzard) are quite simple when it comes to things you should do. The challenge is usually in executing it (typically by clicking fast enough). Give me a RTS game which makes me think what I should do, and how.
Another issue: except for first C&C (where harvesters and refineries are very expensive !) the best strategy is to expand as fast as possible. You should expand as much as you can get away with, because it's the path to exponential growth of your funds and army. This gets old after a while, especially when it's a no-brainer and no decision is involved. For example in RA2 and many other Westwood/EA games you would start by building an extra refinery or two. Can you point me to RTS games which have interesting alternate resource models ? Not about building harvesters as fast as possible or building near gold mines. "No resources" technically counts, but that's not helping.
While I acknowledge C&C: Generals as one of better RTS games, I'm mildly disappointed by it. It was too much of a Blizzard type of game - the interface, producing from multiple factories (rather than production speed boost), individual construction workers and numerous resource gatherers, and it practically has gold mines. For me the high point of C&C style RTS is RA2. It has fairly fast action, good balance with many viable units, many viable strategies, interesting mechanics like garrisoning civilian buildings. And it remains a C&C game.
Someone mentioned no cross-pollination. I understand this as moving the genre forward and taking features from older games. It's true there isn't much of that in RTS games, I'm not sure why. Maybe these features are just not convincing.
One of my favorite RTS games is Sacrifice. It was never very popular, but the game has its charm and a lot of polish. Very interesting campaign, where you can serve almost any of the 5 gods for each mission (mission 1: Charnel, mission 2: Straots, Mission 3: James etc). It mattered because each mission would give you a new spell and new unit, it was great for mix and matching ! For some reason the game reminds me of Magic Carpet a lot.
Last edited by b0rsuk; 10-07-2012 at 06:33 PM.
Diablo3 is not PvE or PvP, it is PvAH. -- Tei
"Can you point me to RTS games which have interesting alternate resource models ? Not about building harvesters as fast as possible or building near gold mines."
Well, there's the territory holding model that Relic uses for CoH and DoW 1 and 2, where resources are based on holding specific points across the map. Any infantry can capture a point. Wargame has sectors which you hold by having a command vehicle stationary in that sector. This way of doing things really changes the flow of the game, because it forces you to get units out into the field and into conflict from very early in the game.
I only read the first page and a half of this thread, but you guys seem delusional. You seem to want a multiplayer RTS game that you can forever play against stupid opponents. A game you can play with one hand. That will never happen if you're playing against real people who want to win.
What you guys described is a single player game with bad AI that just lets you win. RTS games are about APM and efficiency, not about "watching your army" move across a map. Jesus.
If you truly don't want speed of action to be a factor in the game, I don't think a REAL TIME game is what you're looking for. You want a turn based game that you can play at your leisure. Check out Frozen Synapse or something, slowpokes.
Last edited by Bungle; 10-07-2012 at 07:14 PM.
Firstly, the gatherers are worker units who collect all the resource types, staff various buildings and construct the buildings. There is also a cap on how many workers you can produce, and the rate at which they can be produced decreases if you produce them consecutively.
Secondly, the resources on the map are represented as interactive objects - a field of 5 clickable bits of Stone, for example. Each one of these can only be worked on by one gatherer at once, so in our example no more than 5 can be gathering from that field at any one time. Extra workers tasked with mining the stone will sit at either the drop-off point and only move when one of the current gatherers leaves his bit of stone (this guy will then wait at the drop-off point as the previous one did).
So the combination of having to allocate your workers in a balanced manner and the nature of the resources meant that just throwing everyone into mining Stone or chopping Wood wasn't an option.
I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
So I'm posting to lament the lack of automation too.
SC/:FA had some very nice weapons that were completely useless against certain unit types. Part of the game was throwing lots of useless T1 air chaff in with your decent aircraft so the auto targeter would target them too and waste shots.
This excuse for "game design" just encourages the kind of useless mouse clicking which ruined the RTS. Also, microing reverse rather than turning around by clicking lots of short backward movements and things like that have the same effect.
It doesn't need to be taken out of the hands of the player, but it needs to be possible to set this stuff up in advance. Then you can play the game by thinking ahead and not as an RSI endurance marathon.
As to the overall discussion yes, automation good, twitch bad. The third letter in "RTS" doesn't stand for "speed-clicking."
Last edited by vinraith; 10-07-2012 at 07:15 PM.
"RTS games are about APM and efficiency..."
Hmm. I played a decent amount of DoW2 multiplayer, and I would once you get to a certain standard APM becomes increasingly less important. You have a limited number of units. Quite often, not all of them will be engaged in a given battle. You position your ranged units behind cover unless you have to kite melee, you use their abilities skillfully, and commit your melee at the right moment. Positioning, map awareness and good ability usage count more than clicking a lot. Good players have good knowledge of how unit encounters play and the mental bandwidth to use everything optimally. It's complex, but it doesn't take a whole lot of clicking.
That isn't to say there aren't some pretty neat combination tricks you can pull that can take a fair bit of practice, but APM is not what sets players apart. It also means you actually get to watch the fights most of the time. Which is good, because its a lovely looking game.
Surely you can understand why many players are put off from games in which huge, beautiful armies clash in pyrotechnic splendour, but mechanically, appreciating the spectacle is strongly discouraged. "We've created something exciting and pretty with explosions and lightning and everything. Now, don't look at it!"
Got into RoN (at last) today - turns out it is surprisingly good (AOE2 on steroids with a bit of EE thrown in is my impression so far). But good lord, the tutorial voiceovers are horrendous - I spent a good long while wondering what was so important about Brighton before realising the American dude was just pronouncing Britain as BRIGH-TAN.
I can't stand most modern RTSs (DOW2, Men of War, COH) as they don't seem to let you concentrate on two things at once - if you turn your attention away for a minute and try to leave your chaps to battle it out, they will die, even if your force is meant to be superior (usually because your men don't use that antitank weapon they have against that tank). Sins is one I can get on with - throw a nicely balanced fleet at some planet, and as long as you're not horrendously outnumbered/teched/etc you can get on with something else.
Last edited by Danny252; 10-07-2012 at 07:23 PM.
I wouldn't even be able to say what would need to be done to reintroduce "strategy" in "real-time strategy", but I know that many RTS games lack it. Tactics, sure, micro, obviously, but strategy? I'm not quite convinced.
Oh and just as a hint, insulting the people you want to discuss with all while prefacing that you haven't bothered reading the thread you are beginning to participate into is not exactly a good way to have your opinion heard and considered. If you are not interested in putting the effort to make constructive additions to the thread, why should I put effort into replying to you like I just did?
What decent basebuiliding RTS' have been released reasonably recently? Apart from SC2, that is. By basebuilding I mean with resource gathering too, C&C style, all this talk has got me yearning for some.