I am wondering where some of you people have managed to get rose tinted glasses on bulk order from?
Ditto. I seem to remember rushing tactics all the way back to Warcraft II.
I think my main complaint about the RTS genre as I get older is that most mainstream RTS titles conflate 3 different game types, and attempt to roll them all into the same experience:
- The resource meta-game. Assign peasants to collect resources, build more peasants, build more farms, tech up, rinse and repeat. Timing of build orders is critical, or your opponent will outdo you in both resource gathering and tech level.
- Strategic land grab. Expand your base, build new bases at resource locations, deploy static defenses at chokepoints. Timing of expansions is critical or your opponent will have more resources than you do, timing of static defenses is critical, or you opponent will control map movement.
- Tactics/Micro. Kite individual units across the battlefield to maximise damage dealt vs damage taken. Constant micro is critical, as you derive 2x or greater combat efficiency versus non-micro'd units.
Any of those items individually would be a fun game, but the combination is overwhelming. In my (only vaguely competitive) starcraft days, I was moderately good at items 1 and 2, and not at all at the micro - this made the entire game no fun, since I couldn't compete. Even at my best I was only a solid team player, producing large numbers of units and relying on my teammates to micro them.
I think the major RTS developers have recognised this, at last. Your typical MOBA is the result of taking the micro element by itself, reducing it to a single unit, and producing a full game around it. And MOBAs are nothing if not successful. Maybe it is time that developers took a shot at separating items 1 and 2 into their own genres?