Sign in to follow this  
Girsanov

Different resource system for different factions in RTS/TBS - Innovative or Overkill?

Recommended Posts

RTS have almost always been designed around one resource system. No matter how many factions there are in the game, they all gather and spend the same resources. E.g. In Starcraft, there are 3 unique factions but all of them use the same Minerals and Gas, harvested in the same way. What if the factions harvest resources differently? Or if they use different resources? Does this make for a more interesting game or is it overkill?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, starcraft had 6 different "resources" if you think about it.
Minerals, Vespine, Supply Depots, Pylons, Creep, and Overlords.

Sharing the base 2 is good, it means that you have something to fight over.
If Player 1 only needs "iron" and Player 2 only needs "hydrogen", then there is no conflict over expantion points.
If Player 1 and Player 2 both need Vespine, but there are only a couple places to get it, they are going to be in hard conflict to control that resource.
Breaking away from everyone needs resource X is going to remove a large strategic factor of the game.

I mention all the "supply" as different because they were.
Supply depots were annoyingly large, gave food, and were often used as walls.
Pylons were needed not only for supply, but to provide area power for buildings
Creep was needed to build buildings, and blocked non-zerg from building there
Overlords were scouts, detectors, and supply.
Having all these "supply" resources do something different changes the tactics about how people have to build their bases. It also exposes different weaknesses in the race.
Other games do different things, like having unstable power sources that can explode and destroy the base when damaged, so you place them further from valueable things.

More to your point, Warcraft 3 did some of that too. Gouls were warriors and wood gatherers, while arcolites were needed to run the mines. Undead mined gold at a set rate based on how many arcolites you had. Pesants mined gold and wood, and built, and could become militia. You could max out the mining rate on a mine with pesants, but they had to travel back and forth to the base, making longer routes to base slower to gather from. Whisps were like arcolites, and just mined gold AND wood at a set rate each. Each exposes some interesting tactics in how you use the resource gathering units themselves, but the core resources stayed the same.

Other games like the Civilization series give you special resources like horses that you can use if you control the resource. Again, it makes for interesting conflict since the base resources are shared, but the special resources are rare and need to be controled or traded for. In this case, having a faction that couldn't use a resource, but COULD trade it, would also continue to push the conflict. Having a faction that can't use or trade an item they could technically own, would just make people think that the map was unfair, since it is easy to screw over another faction yet still not gain anything from it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wars don't involve resource gathering, realistically.
All that stuff is done by venture capitalists and outsider corporations.
The military simply accrues debt and salvages to save resupplying.

Ideally, a compelling system would be to maximise troop efficiency while reducing resources used.
Your score would be based off these factors and higher scorers would be given more money and better troops.
Smarter and more skilful troop management would be rewarded as opposed to simple harvest and rush based gameplay.

The way RTS should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KulSeran:

Thanks man, great post. Especially the part about the supply system in Starcraft.


Cpt Mothballs:

Maybe we can see it like this: if my country wants to build 1000 suits of knight armor, I need the metal to do so. If my country do not have enough mines to produce the metal in time, I might go take over some land with the necessary resources. I don't know much about real life warfare though. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i think i will be going to make each of my faction harvest the same resources differently. e.g. like how the 3 races in starcraft generate Supply differently. so each faction fight over the same resource but the way they harvest it gives them unique strengths and weaknesses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this