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A thought on RTS gaming

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Eh sure, I'll let this be Monday...

So I finally found some time to play some more Empire at War tonight. Haven't played since last Tues but haven't lost my edge, won both games I played and improved my ranking a few tens of points to place me at #342 - too bad this ladder is so borked it doesn't really mean anything to be placed much of anywhere within the top 500. But when the new expansion pack comes out hopefully they'll reset the ladder and fix some of the problems inherent with the Gamespy system. I also clinched another 5 wins in a row trophy.

But I digress. I just wanted to quickly post an idea I had. It occured to me how in EaW space skirmish (that's all I play) teching up to the second level is usually as far as a game goes. The first player to reach Tech 2 usually has an advantage (so long as the resource infrastructure is there) and once at Tech 2 both players are pounding each other so mercilessly that there's no pause to tech up to level 3 (since you can't build units while upgrading). The only times I've ever reached Tech 5 is when I've dominated or denied my enemy's mines and can upgrade at leisure and then have the pleasure of pommeling my opponent with capital ships. I don't think I've ever had a capital ship battle before.

This is rather depressing, because I like capital ship battles. Now the idea I had was to have the game level you up automatically, thus letting the players advance into more complex battles. however I just realized that's really just a crutch. The flaw is inherent in the gameplay; the developers shouldn't have made level 2 tech so versatile and cut off production during station upgrades. Oh well... still a fun game tho.
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