How about something based around crystals like the Kryptonian ones from Superman -- when used correctly they're able to grow crystaline structures or even land-masses which take on certain properties based on their surrounding environment? I don't really have ideas for similar mobile units, but it could be an interesting idea for structures.
The Tok'ra used crystals for construction in a similar fashion.
I agree with that. It is one of many reasons to have variable strength factions. Another example is a faction like LA Ermor that is specifically designed to be ganged up upon. Its incredibly strong because it causes disparate factions to need to work together to take it down. It changes so much of the game and adds that spicey variant to the game to keep it fresh.
Why do you go in every thread referring to real time shooters? Real time shooter is not a genre. RTS means real time strategy. Shooters are FPS or TPS and they are all real time... This is the third thread you have done this in.
It might not be as polite as some people would like. Its essentially a cultural thing. Discourse where I do most of my discussion/debate/arguing is a little more colorful than something you might see elsewhere, although I've seen much more offensive things said in presidential debates and in criminal trials in courts. Somethings are just too dumb to let pass by.
The amount of color in the language generally coincides with how ridiculous the statement is. In this case its incredibly ridiculous.
You should not put tactics and strategy words in the same sentence, these are very different things.
There are 3 levels of detail:
- tactical (which unit shot at whom and when)
- operational (moving around groups of units)
- strategic (mostly economy, decision what kind of units to build, generally supporting your war machine)
RTS do not have tactics It's operational + a bit of strategy. If you want tactics, it's in hex map turn based wargames (Panzer General), note that these basicly never have any strategy involved. If you want strategy, it's best portrayed by the so called grand strategy games (simulations of whole nations).
Note that a combination like tactical + strategic is extremely rare (it basicly does not work, the only exception I can think of is Civ5). Generally, in one game you can have only levels that are near each other (like tactical+operational or operational+strategic), tactical+strategic is too far away.
Or to put it shorter, you can't at the same time simulate a whole nation's army (10 million soldiers) and order which one of these individual soldiers shoots at whom
I have never in my life heard it this way and I greatly disagree. Tactics definitely involves groups of units.
Furthermore grand strategy games are not strategy, they are grand strategy, hence the name. Strategy is eminently possible with a few thousand units or even many hundred. And strategy is not economics. Economic strategy could be economics, but military strategy is military.
Also what kind of idiot refers to a whole nations army as 10 million soldiers? What the hell kind of nation are you talking about? Most nations don't even have 10 million people total. The United Stats Army, the second largest in the world, after China, has a little over 2 million soldiers, with almost a million only on reserve duty.
Most nations have a few hundred thousand total or less and obviously only some of them in any given war and only some in any given battle in a war.
City builder games somewhat work with economics. Gathering resources exists as a critical mechanic in many game genres. They generally aren't very popular compared to FPS themepark MMO RTs and RPG games.
The only way to reduce the effects of apm is to make micro irrelevant. If the player only has the power to set up hierarchies and send units to locations with generic orders and maybe some settings they only have a limited amount of clicking to do.
Strategy tends to be a matter of scale. Which is problematic when players refuse to spend more than an hour per game. The economies are so simplified, and the military too, that it's really totally impossible to use strategy.
You can say that your strategy is to expand quickly and suck up the resources you can, but if there is 1 natural expansion for each player and only 2 other expansions, that seems kinda pretentious.
Starcraft games tend to have 1 or 2 raids and maybe some probe harassment and then one or two large battles. How do you have long enough to establish a strategy.
A lot of this deals with the environment too. The Russian Strategy was to move back and back and back stretching out German supply lines and exposing them to winter. Starcraft style games don't even have food or supply lines, much less winter.
Strategy takes root in complexity. Dominions 3 has strategies. You can spend the game finding magic sites to farm gems for summons and spells. You can expand endlessly leaving no defenses except in an our ring on your border lands. You can expand using your pretender and/or blessed troops or by purchasing local troops. Do you focus on mages or the much cheaper ordinary units? Some people are really into Super Combatants and some use multiple thugs in place of one SC. Other players use astral duels to assassinate enemy mages and some people use seduction units to steal commanders. There is a stealthy scout system too where scouting is actually more than running a guy into an enemy base for a brief glimpse.
Most real time strategy games don't have the depth for strategy intentionally, not that they couldn't but because the audience has shifted away from the kind of people with the patience and desire to play deep strategy games.
The problem with RPGs is when you set them in super competitive battlegrounds with a cap on the number of people per side. Of course no one wants to have more lower levels in a game with a maximum number of players allowed.
Its the player's fault for wanting to play MMOs as if they were fighting games or MOBAs.
Imagine an MMO battleground with a level cap and not a player cap. You can have 400 levels and not 10 level 40 players. 40 level 10s, 10 level 40s, 20 level 20s. Assuming of course the game was balanced to be that way. And the matchups might be random so you never know what you will get.
Of course everything is easier in non player vs player situations. Single player coop, large size coop, the computer side will never complain that its unfair or spew forth endless excuses about how the player side had 3 mezzers and they only had one and such.
Designing games to be serious competition always cripples fun and creativity.
Micro is the bane of my existence. I can do it, but I don't WANT to. My focus in RTS design has been into automating basic behaviors, allow for the assignment of hierarchies that work together smartly, more focus on economics and more static defenses and other such goals.
I think it might be important to differentiate between exploratory strategy and competitive strategy. Exploratory games want you to master lateral thought and mess around with combinations. Competitive games are the much maligned yet much loved clickfest style.
I vastly prefer exploratory strategy. Rather than dozens of strategies there are thousands and they are all a chaotic myriad of unbalance and mathcrafting. And even when you think you have a totally broken strategy someone else puts together a crazy out there combo of units and smashes you like its nothing.
I am currently working on a game that demo's the freedom of my GAE derived exploratory strategy engine while also serving as a test bed of new ideas. It has a dozen factions currently being finished, mostly just XML to describe their abilities and stats and I am planning to add at least a dozen more. They are small groupings of 1-5 buildings, 1-7 units, 1-10 upgrades, and 1-10 items with some other varied mechanics for customization as well. That way I can play with what is effectively 25 or more factions and see how they interact together.
Do I like to use farseers and ritualists to locate enemy bases and armies and crush them from afar? Do I use farseers and scouts and spam units to send a realistically sized army of spam to fake them out while backdooring with a small elite force? What about spam to take the heat while large numbers of cheap AOE fire damage floods in behind the lines?
How does having varied damage types even work in an RTS anyways? Most games just have attack and armor or maybe physical and magic damage. Can I change that? Should I? Can I mix military and economic functions? What if there is a woody faction that provides some ranged damage with debuffs and sells potions with useful bonuses on the side that you can't get anywhere else? Sure it's weaker than the other ranged faction but can the availability of poison and healing potions offset that?
Could it combine its poisons with a tinkerer faction to create better traps? Should I make cheap single target traps to cripple the enemies scouting or should I make expensive AOE traps like log or stone drops or spiked pits? Can traps "catch" monsters for my animal related faction to give it more variety than its normal spread of creatures can provide? If my enemy has the potion faction should I rush to prevent health potion supremacy or are they buffing their trap makers with damage types that don't scale to the late game but hit hard early?
I know a lot of people like Starcraft where you see emphasis on kind of unit and know exactly what to counter with, but I prefer a little more imperfect information in my fights.