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glassJAw

MMORTS Idea

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I don''t know if any of you have ever played any games from the Space Empires series. Basically, you have to populate planets across the universe, build up an army of spaceships, and crush your opponents. Now the cool part about this game, IMO, is the micromanagement. It''s a turn-based game where you have to actually design your own ships. You research technology to discover better parts, then build stronger, faster, and bigger ships. The ships arent just used for fighting though. They can be used to colonize new planets and later on in the game you can even make ships that build other ships. Also, ships can only travel so far before they need maintenance and refueling. You can put troops and buildings on planets you own to defend against enemy attack, or to make the planet more productive. You can use your intelligence network to spy on other players, sabotage their work, kill their civilians, or protect yourself from enemy intelligence networks. Coupled with the ability to ally with players, this makes for a great politics system. To travel the universe, you use warpholes, which with really expensive technology can be closed and opened at will. You can also post a battle station or ships at your warp hole to defend it against enemies coming from the other end. Anyways, the short of it is, the game is deep and fun. The problem with it is the game is LOOOOOOOOONG. Games can drag on for weeks with a few players playing by e-mail. This is just not fun in this type of game (for me). So I thought about what type of game it would be fun in, and I figured it would work pretty well in a persistent online world. Of course the game would have to be real-time for this, but imagine, a huge game universe with tens of thousands of planets where each player in the game owns a few and must defend them from his neighbours. While the player is not in the game, he could set up ministers (like in SE) to control his planets for him, and defend against attacking enemies. Of couse, this game would probably be a nightmare to actually create and balance, and would need one hell of an AI system (to defend against other players'' attacks, while running for all offline players from the main server(s)), but it was just a cool thought I had. Space Empires 4

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quote:
Original post by glassJAw

Of couse, this game would probably be a nightmare to actually create and balance, and would need one hell of an AI system (to defend against other players' attacks, while running for all offline players from the main server(s)), but it was just a cool thought I had.



Yes, this would be a programmer's nightmare.
Maybe a step between RTS and MMORTS would ge a game system inspired by Verant's Planetside (a MMOFPS where the player chooses his battlefield for a mission, and when he is offline his character sleeps in a safe place).
The tactical aspect of RTS may be achieved by (for example one-hour-long) missions on pre-defined maps, against some other faction's player(s), and the diplomacy, strategy aspect may be "factions-wise"(so there may be always at least one guy on-line for his faction) and a lot more slow-paced, with for example (this system comes in mind, but there may be better ways) a voting system (each vote could be pondered by the player' s success on battlefields).
Well, this idea is still not very clear, but I think it could be a start.



[edited by - bahamas on April 30, 2002 3:17:07 AM]

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I like the concept of creating and customizing your own units, but I think there''s a potential trap there. When players focus too much on this aspect, then I think you lose the flavor of strategy. When you concentrate on what a unit a can do, rather than on how to best implement that unit in a holistic sense, then the game becomes tactical rather than strategical. I think most RTS games are actually RTT games.

Strategy derives from the greek word strategos, which in turn means, "the art of generalship". I think many people come to think of strategy as a plan of action, which in a way it is, but in its true root meaning, strategy is the art of command. It is effectively leading troops and formulating plans of action. I think that games have gotten away from this and are instead games about figuring what kind of unit best beats what other kind of unit. This got so bad in table top miniature games with their points armies, that I stopped playing them altogether. IT was no longer about how to best utilize and command your armies, it was about how cool your units were. I saw it over and over again in games like Battletech, where players just tried to create the uber unit. OR in Car Wars where people spent more time designing their cars than in learning how to drive them, or in any of the Games Workshop games where buying the best units was more important than designing meaningful scenarios other than "I''m pitting my 1000pt army against your 1000pt army".

OTOH, the ability to create your units can in turn greatly affect your planning, so I think this is a good idea to incorporate, I just think it is secondary to good leadership and strategical skills.

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quote:
Original post by selim
I fear your game has been or is just being implemented. Right now the beta test is running. Check out EVE-Online:

http://www.eve-online.com

If you ask me, they are doing a very good job: deep detail and very good and refined ideas.


Looks awesome, not exactly what I had in mind though. Check out the Space Empires 4 demo. Awesome game.

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"I think most RTS games are actually RTT games."

I think most RTS should be called RTM, Real Time Micromanagement. Tactics and Strategy matter less than one''s ability to micromanage in "RTS"



"I believe; therefore, it is." -True Perception
"The Requested Information Is Unknown Or Classified" -Anonymous

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quote:
Original post by Extrarius
I think most RTS should be called RTM, Real Time Micromanagement. Tactics and Strategy matter less than one''s ability to micromanage in "RTS"



Yeah that kind of bothers me. There''s a few RTS games where strategy is pretty important though. Tiberian Sun had a pretty good strategy element. Starcraft wasnt too bad either.

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