My goal as a game designer has always been to push genre boundaries, not in radical ways, but in medium sized steps. I like to bring important features of specific genres into the real time strategy medium also. I don't particularly care for mainstream acceptance either, for instance many people say they do or would hate real time strategy games with extensive base building, but I want that, and its only the permutations of that which I like to debate, and not that it should exist in general, I take that as a given.
My goal here is to discuss various small and large gameplay changes to real time strategy games, possibly one or two new ones per week.
I am aware that because real time strategy games often focus on fast 30 minute multiplayer that most of these mechanics would not be viable in the commercial sphere due to being more appropriate for games the length more of a TBS game.
My first question is sort of a two parter:
How do you feel about making buildings significantly harder to destroy than units? Suppose an average unit with 400 health with 50-100 being inexperienced if you have leveling or spam if you don't and 1000-2000 being a very strong unit. Then suppose that buildings start at 5000 for really low tier and rise as high as 50000 health. Really strong units, or specialized siege units might deal 500-1000 to a building but above average down to gnat strength units generally deal only 10-100 damage to them.
In most games buildings are only marginally stronger than units and can even be killed by swords on stone or bullets on metal.
How do you feel about units that spawn loaded in a building in a game like the one described above? Most real time strategy games spawn units one by one outside of the structure and even with a weak building like those normally seen you may be able to train 1-10 units only to watch them perish one by one. I think it would be a nice mechanic, although less important that the first more hardy building mechanic, if you could keep units inside their creating structure and save up. If you could take some heat on the building and then spawn 5-10 units at once you might be able to weaken an enemy army enough that over time the trade of building health to save up forces allows you to take the win. Or maybe you save up enough guys and then focus down the siege units so that the enemy is effectively forced to give up because he can't take down the building before you spawn a new army.