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berserk

turn based or real time

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quote:
I think that what you think is strategy is in truth tactics. The Blizzard and Westwood formula of "RTS" is actually a tactical simulation, not a strategic one. What''s the difference? Strategy is about the plan of action that you come up with to achieve an objective. Tactics are the means by which you use to enact your strategic plans.
This is a fallacy which a lot of people buy into. It sounds good, but if you try to define strategy like this you run into the problem of tactical manoeuvres looking a lot like a "plan of action that you come up with to achieve an objective".

What you really want to say is that games like SC are either too fast, too much involved with small-scale strategy, or that the interface is too crummy. Saying that they are not strategic is surely just name-calling.

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quote:
Original post by Argus
This is a fallacy which a lot of people buy into. It sounds good, but if you try to define strategy like this you run into the problem of tactical manoeuvres looking a lot like a "plan of action that you come up with to achieve an objective".

What you really want to say is that games like SC are either too fast, too much involved with small-scale strategy, or that the interface is too crummy. Saying that they are not strategic is surely just name-calling.



Agreed - I think it is more the other way around - the Blizzard/Westwood RTS has strategy, but not much in the way of tactics. I think the confusing factors are the weird time scales and the rather fine level of unit granularity. AoK starts to ''feel'' like a strategy game when you have nice big formations of units wandering around, but you still don''t quite have enough of them to complete the effect.

My main problem with these games is not the lack of strategy, but the type of strategy involved. As a general rule, the player with the most/best units wins, and this boils down to how well he pumps peons and how good his build order is - economic strategy. Good military strategies and tactics can make a difference, but unless your peon pumping skills are comparable to your opponent''s, all the cunning in the world isn''t going to save you.

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I think the problem we are having with semantics is that I am thinking of things on a military definition of the term, not the colloquial connotation of the term. In military jargon, strategy, tactics, operations and doctrine are all pretty well defined.

I''m not suggesting that the style of Blizzard games is wrong, as I had fun playing Starcraft and WarcraftII, but I think that there is a difference between how they (and Westwood and just about everyone else) design their games. My point is to illustrate that there is a different way to enact strategical thinking which is vastly different than the RTS model that we currently have.

Once I find them, I''ll post the military definitions of the above terms so that hopefully I can better illustrate what I mean.

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Strategy


Perhaps the difference for me between strategy and tactics lies in the very etymology of the word strategy...which in Greek means "Generalship". To me, RTS games give the player god-like control over his units, and in essence denies leadership on the part of the player.

Actually strategy has a more broad term than even this


Here's a good link on the difference between strategy and tactics:



I remember someone once saying: "Strategy is about effectiveness, tactics is about efficiency". I didn't really understand what he meant until I started the game design.

I'm not trying to convince everyone to my way of thinking, or say that the current mold of RTS games is bad or wrong. I'm merely pointing out that there is a different way to think of strategy than currently exists, and just because it is different does not mean that it is stupid, boring, bad or horribly complex.

[edited by - Dauntless on September 19, 2002 11:12:27 AM]

[edited by - Dauntless on September 19, 2002 11:12:54 AM]

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I always knew that there were lots of other "types" of strategy games out there but that didn''t stop me from playing the type of strategy games that I like and developing the type of strategy games that I like.

I really think that you approched this in the wrong way. Instead of informing people about the different types of games, I felt you forced it on people. I think that, if this was your original intention, you should have made a list of the different types of strategy games. That would have made more sense. Or even a poll. or something.




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ps: i hope no one thought that was advertisment. i''m just so excited, know?



¬_¬

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fuzztrek-
actually you were the one that belittled my design and made references to how games that differed from the current mold were somehow stupid and you "rolled your eyes" at the very idea Your prerogative and your choice, and I don''t belittle anyone''s choice about anything. But if you interpreted my posts as forcing a different style of play on everyone, that was not what I had intended.

My intention was not to force my ideas on others but simply to show that alternatives exist. I think lots of people get stuck on a certain paradigm and anything that deviates is somehow wrong. The reason I challenge the current design philosophy is because....no other games are really radically challenging how they can be played. I can think of an even more radical way to play a war strategy game than what I''ve talked about here, but it''s not exactly up my alley.

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I probably didn''t word it correctly, but I don''t really like games that stray too far from what i''m used to. say that i have tunnel vision. say wahtever you want, but they are the only types of games that i will play. HOWEVER I do understand that there are lots of different games out there. As a game player, i will probably never play any of those games unless i really really like it. I guess i have high standards for games.

¬_¬

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quote:
Dauntless wrote :
I think the problem we are having with semantics is that I am thinking of things on a military definition of the term, not the colloquial connotation of the term. In military jargon, strategy, tactics, operations and doctrine are all pretty well defined.
Actually they are only roughly defined in the military, as most texts will tell you (tactics and strategy overlap and their definitions are generalised). Why do you want to separate (for example) Warcraft3 from strategy anyway? It would seem only to imply that such games require less thought. But the only solid definition of strategy is the game-theoretic one which covers tactics.

Look, I don''t really wan''t to turn this into yet another tactics vs strategy thread, but I''m sick of people snidely remarking that RTS games require little thought. My take on turn-based vs real-time :

Both can be done well, but they have different audiences. But the trend seems to be more toward real-time (I think MOO3 has real-time battles). I don''t know why this is - maybe people don''t have as much time as they used to, or perhaps the console generation is having an effect. You can develop for real-time and add pause and slowdown features which shouldn''t cause too many implementation hassles while giving the turn-based inclined a reasonable compromise.

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Argus-
It''s not that RTS games as they stand don''t require a lot of thought, the critique is that they require a different kind of thinking and that there isn''t enough time to do so. Some will argue that you need real time to be entertaining, but I think that a lot of other players will find a turn-based game that requires more forethought (yet isn''t paced like a RT game) just as enjoyable. And yes, I did say more forethought, but this does not mean current RTS games require NO forethought.

As for military definitions of the words they are more rigidly defined than what gamers perceive them to be. Even what I''m suggesting in most of my posts is only about 50/50 in terms of strategy and tactics.

Some people like the fact that you have to rapidly do a lot of things at once, others (like me) abhor it. I find it funny how I can say that I like real time and that I found games like Starcraft and Warcraft entertaining, and yet certain people attack anyone that comes up with something that dares find fault with what they enjoy. I''m just tired of others belittling anything that''s different because it doesn''t fit a certain mold. If you like RTS games as they stand, that''s your choice. You can go ahead and play and design those kinds of games to your hearts content. I personally am tired that no one is evolving the genre. I''m not attacking people who play RTS games, nor am I attacking RTS design, I''m just challenging people to think that there can be something else out there.

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I just thought I''d point out Shogun (and I presume Medieval: Total War which is made by the same team) which is an excellent game that blends both real-time, turn based and is a good mix of strategy and tactics. Other than some hard control issues and still requiring quite a bit of clicking in some battles. I think this games shows an excellent example of how you can blend both styles into one enjoyable game.

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