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Member Since 04 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Jul 18 2015 11:48 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: [RTS] How to encourage base-building without the game taking too long?

30 March 2015 - 05:32 PM

Some ideas:


Have an early defender’s advantage that diminishes as the game progresses. You could for example make powerful base defenses that are cost effective against early units, but are weak against upgraded or higher tier units like artillery and aircraft. Tech progression is often on a different timeframe compared to regular production, that way players can’t just spend more money to unlock tech faster. While each player is waiting for the offensively useful techs, they’ll want to spend their remaining money on base building and defensive units.


Tie the economy to base building. Normally, you have to expand to more vulnerable locations to increase your income, but you could make it so resources are mainly found near your original base and/or make it so that your initial base can be significantly upgraded (adding on new modules to your refineries or something, maybe even get income from the total “population” of your base) to increase your income. This would encourage building a single large base and make it harder to harass the other player’s economy early on, but you’d still have to have some change in pace later on (like superweapons or the higher tier offensive units above) to make sure both players eventually have an incentive to attack.

In Topic: Room for strategy

27 March 2015 - 07:30 PM

I think the controller is a big part of it, but at this point there’s also a different built in player base for strategy games and consoles. RTS definitely tend to have issues without keyboard and mouse, but you don’t see turn-based strategy as much on consoles as on PCs either, and the controller is less of an obstacle in that case. I think it's mostly controller and economic factors that cause it, but there's a perception that strategy games are something you play on your PC, not in the living room. Economically, I think it ends up being a problem with limited player bases (limited to everyone who bought that console) that make game companies want to avoid the less accessible genres for the fear that they won’t be able to sell enough copies to break even, especially for exclusives. Even with something like the Wii U controller, which is well suited for certain kinds of strategy games, there’d probably be a relatively small percentage of the already limited set of console owners that’d even be interested in them.


As for MOBAs, they could be successful on consoles, but I wouldn’t classify a MOBA as a strategy game any more than I’d classify a team shooter as a strategy game. There’s an element of strategy in most games, but they don’t have much in common with traditional strategy games other than the fact that DotA was originally made in an RTS game’s engine.

MOBAs enjoy mainstream success because the core gameplay is designed to be accessible and encourages constant action, while traditional strategy games are less accessible, which is why they’re more of a niche genre and therefore less suitable for consoles. MOBA isn't my kind of genre, but it has s a very successful design philosophy for a few reasons. The towers, the creeps, and the leveling system in MOBAs are all meant to ensure that the match lasts a decent amount of time (without turning into a complete stalemate) even if the teams are mismatched in terms of skill level. This works at the casual level because it ensures a minimum playtime, so even a fairly bad team has a chance to play and get practice without being rushed out of the game in the first few minutes.

At the same time, the attrition style of MOBAs also works at a professional esports level because it reduces uncertainty and volatility. Not only does this lead to longer games for viewers, but it makes it less likely that a worse team will beat a better one. It’s the same concept as the law of large numbers, if you think you're the better player, you don’t want the game to be decided on one early fight, but by a lot of fights throughout the game. When the game makes it harder for an unscouted rush to end the game early on, that gives more time for the better team to gain an advantage. That’s why SC2 pros also tend to view long macro games as more legitimate than cheese (rushes) because a less experienced player can still win a few early engagements and take a game, but that same player just won’t out-macro a full time pro without putting in a similar amount of practice.

In Topic: Recommend me a "classic RTS" mainly for offline skirmish gaming?

20 March 2015 - 06:37 PM

Tiberian Sun has one of the best singleplayer campaigns even to this day. Graphically I think it holds up very well too, it certainly isn't an ugly game, and skirmish gameplay is good if you like building up your base, you can only produce out of one barracks/factory at a time so it doesn’t play quite as aggressive as newer games. My favorite of the newer ones would be C&C3 Kane’s Wrath, it’s a more modern take on the classic C&C formula (construction yards, tiberium harvesting, etc.) and the pacing and scale feel right, you get large armies but it still tends to be fairly fast paced.


Supreme Commander is good but I was never really into it especially in multiplayer, it has a different feel to a lot of other RTS, unit speeds and the way the economy is set up tends to lead to a bit too much spam.


As for communities, there’s gamereplays.org although that tends to have a multiplayer focus, maybe reddit/r/rts, and it’s worth checking out modDB.com, which isn’t a RTS community but there are a lot of good mods for various RTS games there.

In Topic: Recommend me a "classic RTS" mainly for offline skirmish gaming?

20 March 2015 - 10:20 AM

I’m a big C&C fan so that’d be my first suggestion. You can get the Ultimate Collection, which includes every C&C game for just $20, which is absurdly cheap. (they’re all classic RTS except Renegade and C&C4 – also although official multiplayer support has ended, you can still play online with other services like cnc-online or gameranger)


I’ve also had a lot of fun with singleplayer in Sins of a Solar Empire, which is kind of classic RTS but with a bit of 4x as well, the nice thing about that game is that skirmish games tend to last a long time and with big random maps it doesn’t get very repetitive. There’s a long tech tree and some diplomacy options as well.


Maybe Age of Empires series too? I’d suggest BFME2 as well but it’s pretty hard to get copies of that these days.

In Topic: Is this concerning or just laughable?

18 March 2015 - 12:24 PM

I'm with mikeman on this, this definition talk is especially silly and not useful, even in the context of this thread. Let’s be real, when people say “this game is sexist” they aren’t implying some overly broad definition where even a person being romantically interested in one gender over the other could be considered sexist, the word as most people understand it means a more negative kind of prejudice.