On RTS Games

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wasn't the PC game savage an rts/fps?

I should've known you didn't play RTS' after your ExPunc about Kinect/Move.

But an RTS where you get to actually join the action? Already been done at least twice:

Batallion Wars and BWii for the Gamecube and Wii

Battlezone 2 for the PC

I know he hates RTS, but if he played it, he would not rip it apart - because the single player storyline is fantastic, and he will get caught up in it. On lower difficulties it's very newbie-friendly, the branching missions let you skip things you find too hard or annoying, and the super RPG-style upgrades between missions can let you breeze through the annoying bits.

Anyone can absolultely have a blast and would admit it was a fun game if they played it - I'm astonished to admit it, but the single player campaign is just amazing.

Zombie Master is a pretty fun hl2 mod that's a fps/rts hybrid.
One player chosen at random is the Zombie Master; he conjures and controls legions of the undead to slay the humans.
Meanwhile the humans have to work together in FPS mode to fight against the undead hordes.

It actually works really really well and I certainly suggest trying it if you haven't.
Think L4D if a 5th player controlled the AI director.

Yahtzee, sign me up for that game!

And while you're at it, throw in a pair of those nuclear pogo sticks.

I do enjoy WarCraft as a strategy game, I only have WarCraft three. You get the fun of a pseudo-rpg and can send in your commander in to help if the minions can't handle it.

It really drew me in to Azeroth as well.

I suppose on a difficulty curve level that system could work quite well. Early on Generals would only have a small amount of resources to pay with, but the tasks required would be simple enough to only warrant such small rewards. As the Generals build and develop, so too do the mercenaries and their arsenals, and they have to pay more and more for larger tasks. What could be interesting is special, commando units that the general could hire that would be tougher than their basic infantry, and geared toward the specific goal of fending off the PC mercs. They would come in similarly sized squads, but would work as a team thanks to the AI control. This would force the mercs to work together similarly, which would worm out petty griefers. Again, this all depends upon play testing, but it could work for both types of players, as specific attack orders from the generals would appear as mission objectives for the mercs. The only problem would be how to incorporate a graphical system that was pleasing enough for the Mercs but didn't wreak too much havoc on the General's CPUs.

I like how WWII Online did it. I'm not exactly sure how it worked, that's because I haven't played the game enough, but I believe there were these HQ guys looking over the whole campaign (campaigns are basically the war in Europe, that restart whenever one faction takes over, which can take weeks/months). HQ suggest what towns to attack, who needs support, etc. Then you have 3 different groups on each faction. Army, Airforce, Navy. After choosing one of those you choose an "attack group." (forget what they're actually called) These attack groups have orders/goals to take over a town, defend one, or attempt to take out an attacking camp of the other faction.

In the army, you can be an Airborne trooper, a normal infantry, or a vehicle driver. Trucks are used to set up spawn points by the battlefield, so infantry can spawn closer than the attack camp. There's a limit to how close you can get, though. You can also drive armored vehicles, and use AA guns. I remember a time in a huge city battle, 5 tanks in a row came in once we cleared an area, and told us to hop on so we could get to another part of the battle. Quickly after getting off, the tank I was sitting on blew up, so it felt like a movie. :P Airforce spawn at an airbase and have orders to either support the infantry in a battle, whether it be through destroying attacking planes, or attempting to destroy the vehicles and infantry on the ground. Some airforce attack groups also might have bombing orders, to destroy attacking/defending ships, or to bomb the hell out of the infantry. :P Navy have boats, of course. I haven't played as them, but it's basically the same thing as the other groups. Support and attack, except in water.

It may not have a complete RTS element, and racing fans aren't going to get some Lamborghini to run over infantry with, but I think it combines many genres extremely well, and it being an MMO, some people messing around isn't a problem. Note, I haven't played the game in a while, so some of this information might not be completely true.

newdarkcloud:
Yahtzee's idea reminded me of MAG for the PS3. Doesn't it's combat kind-of work like that? With some players being commanders and others being troops. I never played it so I couldn't be sure.

Sort of. There are 8 players in a squad, 4 squads in a platoon, and 4 platoons in a company, with each side on the largest maps having 4 companies. Each subset has it's leaders, going from squad leaders all the way up to a Commander who dishes out orders to each company, who's commander dishes it out to platoons etc.

Each commander has certain bonuses and abilities, with Squad leaders simply directing a team and handling support requests, and higher-ups getting stuff like airstrike and artillery fire.

Unfortunately, MAG plays out like a heap of shit unless the conditions are exactly right. The gameplay works OK but unless every team leader is giving up-to-the-second orders and each squad member is following them, getting anywhere can be hard. For example, A squad leader who just lets his squad attack an objective without co-ordinating them is letting his team down, whereas a good one will have to constantly keep on top of things "you two throw grenades up onto there, you 4 guys run around the back way and finish them, etc". And even then, getting players out of the BC2/MW2 mindset is quite hard.

Long story short, any game that requires that sort of structure will only work if everyone understands what they have to do to win and are all willing to communicate and take orders from another player. Orders would have to be rigidly enforced and the gameplay style has to make the sort of tactics you'd need to employ come naturally to the player, but the commander can't have too much power over other players. Otherwise, you'd get some hyperactive 12 year old screaming instructions down the line at a load of experience players who know better but are getting punished for not obeying.

Actually, that's a bit unfair. I once had a squad leader in MAG who must have been about 12, and he was one of the best leaders I've ever worked with. What a guy...

SC2 does the RTS basics right. Dawn of War 1 kept these basics and then added a slightly different type of combat. Company of Heroes took that and made RTS combat a much more interesting experience.

SC2 is not innovative like DOW and COH, but it is a solid RTS. It is easy to get into and has a interesting campaign. I was worried Blizzard would do a DOW 2 or it would be a standard RTS, but somehow they just made it do the basics so well that it is a great game you can play again and again.

Why you wouldn't review a game with a good story line, easy on noobs, and different from your FPSs that you whine about never changing, is beyond me. It's not that you don't understand the genre, it's that you don't like it.

Me and probably most people suck at RTSs when they first start playing them. That was, I found, the appeal: to become good at something I'm bad at. I mean I suck at brawlers too but there was no appeal to become good since the gameplay is just too... basic. RTSs are deep and rich and overcoming the growing pains of multitasking and resource management rewards the effort with enjoyment in spades. Being God looking down upon an army and sending sacrificial lambs to their death is a sadistic bliss no first-person perspective can provide. Moment to moment decisions between spamming troops and teching up is the slot machine equivalent of multiplayer with all the same addictive fun. It is a taste that is worth acquiring.

SAMAS:
I should've known you didn't play RTS' after your ExPunc about Kinect/Move.

But an RTS where you get to actually join the action? Already been done at least twice:

Batallion Wars and BWii for the Gamecube and Wii

Battlezone 2 for the PC

Battlezone 1 I loved, and it was similar but sadly underappreciated.

Also Brutal Legend, and we saw how well that went over in Zero Punctuation. I thought it was great though, probably my favorite game of 2009.

Also battlegrounds in World of Warcraft play like RTSs, to the degree that other players are willing to listen to me instruct them how to play. Many times it is just a bunch of idiots running around like retards. But often a group will appreciate one of the experienced players taking on an organizational role.

Well, since Natural Selection came up in every page of comments, I'll add my voice to the chorus. It was awesome, it was hard as fuck, and you could play it as a RTS, as a FPS with guns, or as a FPS with alien abilities. It was everything an AVP game should be, and more.
This is not to say that it would work if you had 200 people on each side, but you can do 10x10 easily, and if the commander is good he even makes up for people who can't shoot for shit.

I see a lot of people have mentioned Savage, but has anyone talked about Planetside? I have very very fond memories of that game, it was basically Battlefield inside an MMORPG. Never found anything quite like it since.

Tbh i cant believe he wont review it... ARGUABLY THE BIGGEST PC GAME TO BE RELEASED, i was so looking forward to his negative rant about it but alas no...
oh well i guess when you cant step out of the box you make for yourself your always going to be trapped in the dark.
STARCRAFT 2 IS THE BEST GAME EVER MADE
STARCRAFT 2 IS THE BEST GAME EVER MADE
STARCRAFT 2 IS THE BEST GAME EVER MADE

Savage: Battle for Newearth is already 7 years ahead of you Yahtzee.
That and like, 4 other games.

It's a good concept nonetheless, but the truth is that gamers do not want to take orders from anyone; it's an ego trip. The sole reason it works in the MMORPG scenario is because without competent cooperation, they aren't getting their shinies. The same idea is what drove the level-grind races in Diablo 2; and why that game is now a whole different load of boring "Why fucking bother?".

If I haven't made this perfectly clear yet; the GRIND is the motivation, nothing else (ok, maybe social obligations and friendships matter too, but that just means you have friends).

People might assume that WINNING would be a good reason to follow orders, but everyone has their own idea of how to win (and most of them are dead wrong or plain awful at tactics/strategy). This was the chief problem with Savage, and every other game of this type; while mob strategies can beat any individual, it can't beat true cooperation.

I've had games of Savage where my 4 LAN buddies listened to my orders and accomplished far more than the other 16-17 players on my team, and I won't claim to be anything beyond competent.

IIRC there was this free space sim/RTS that was something like that called Allegiance.

EDIT: Also, in Battlefield 2 and 2142 with the commander it's basically this.

Yeah, I have not interest in star craft 2 either.

Good game idea though...

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: On RTS Games

No, Yahtzee will not be reviewing StarCraft 2.

Read Full Article

RTS already works with FPS, its called ArmA II and its expansion Operation Arrowhead. I recommend you give them a try Yatzee, they openess will suprise even you.

EDIT: btw the mission you can do that in is Warfare and another is CTI. Suggest you try bennys warfare tho.

I really wanted yahtzee to point out the flaws to SC2 cause im a fanboy and cant see them but you dont force a vegetarian to eat meat so oh well. On another note, why not give Battalion Wars for the Gamecube or Wii a go? It wasn't good but I thought the 3rd person RTS thing was neat.

A game with a mix between FPS and RTS is currently in development:

Nuclear Dawn

http://www.nucleardawnthegame.com/

Personally, as a fan of both the original Starcraft and it's sequel, I don't care that Yahtzee isn't reviewing Starcraft 2. He's said he's an unbiased critic and for the most part, that's true, he's even admitted to liking Final Fantasy 6, despite hating the series now, and I can admit that as much as enjoy the Final Fantasy series I do think that after the 6th game it's been going downhill.

But overall he's made it clear that he doesn't like RTS and that's fine, despite the fact that eh has yet to review a "true" RTS (IMO, halo wars doesn't count as it is a console RTS and the controls on a console are completely incompatible with RTS gameplay, and Brutal legend was a sandbox, adventure, hack and slash, RTS hybrid with too little focus on any one element to be any one kind of game) and honestly he doesn't have to review a genre he has no interest in.

Besides you have to know that he probably doesn't want to put up with the same people who whine at him to review Starcraft 2 immediately turning around and bitching at him for the scathing review he'll no doubt give, remember Borderlands and Brawl? Personally I love the Starcraft games (though the lack of Starcraft ghost did make me think the series began to suffer from the same development hell problem that 3d realms had until it was closed down). I like Yahtzee's reviews, they're funny and they've given me points on and made me want to try out games I would otherwise have not considered playing (saints row 2 and just cause 2 and possibly dark void) but I can understand if he does not want to play this genre.

I'd rather stick to my own opinions of starcraft 2 and enjoy it the way I do. If you want a review for the game, look elsewhere or make it yourself. Yahtzee himself has said that if you really enjoy a game then you shouldn't care what a reviewer says about it.

The EXACT mechanic described (for mercenaries) already exists in a myriad of games.

Eric the Orange:
Figgin, Diskworld reference, was funny. If you don't get it read diskworld. Or read them anyway cause the're AWESOME.

You could also try reading enough of them to learn how to spell Discworld.

NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I really wanted to see starcraft 2 get the yahtzee treatment.

What happens if I say that there are custom maps that are 3rd person shooters? (well i think there are some anyway)

THANK GOD, I thought I was the only person who didn't care about Starcraft 2 but you, Yahtzee and the other people who've commented have shown that I am not alone.

Personally, I just don't have the patience for RTS games.

Very good, solid and easily applicable idea Yahtzee. You really did it this time.

Tell you what, since we are going for simple things this week, why not make this whole uber game a cross - platform online multiplayer, so a PC user can play with a 360 and a DS user. That would make things even simpler.

I think he nailed the idea on the chess example. It is a game of chess. If you think about it, RTS games are a glorified version of chess, just like football or basketball are the same, or maybe I should say football or basketball video games are the same. You don't take the role of the coach or general. You just control different people, or groups of people at any given time. If you give the pawns any form of "free will", then it's a different game.

The idea of an uber game appeals to me on a theoretical level, but as is in these cases usually, it's more of an alternate reality than a game. It's a sandbox game. And then you need to be cautious not to make it TOO real and make sure it still is a GAME, instead of coming close to reality. Simulation of the "real" has a nasty habit of being either too boring or too complicated, just like a commercial flight sim...

P.S. Then again... look at how succesful M.A.G. has been with this kind of thinking... NOT.

That's probably my favorite game proposal you've made, Yatzee. It probably wouldn't work do to the massive amount of variables and time it would take to play a match, but it's an interesting thought. Hell, I'd still like to see it attempted.

Now Yahtzee you sly bastard you almost had it. That idea was almost perfect BUT what about a D.O.T.A format 2 commanders controlling separate teams each team has 3 or 5 player controlled mechas or space marines or what ever the fuck the game is themed about and its basically the commander has to coordinate there RTS forces and use there player controlled fps shooters to assault the enemies HQ the mechas would per say have an upgrade system persistant statistic levels between matches and of course items and guns to buy in map. Also there would be a large graphical problem of the RTS side having to see the same textures as the fps guys so the RTS player would have most computers shitting bricks.

Arcthelad:
I'm surprised that someone like you who bashes his viewers/readers because they stick it 'safe' 'with games is not even willing to give rts's a try.

I was thinking the exact same thing. One of the biggest releases of the decade comes out and he won't review it cause it's not his cup of tea. I'm disappointed only cause (will all due respect) it just doesn't seem very professional. :P

do you not see what you just said as hypocritical yahtzee? after all, you keep complaining at folks to try different games yet you won't do this yourself by playing SC2 instead of another shooter or something like that, just saying.

though your idea for mixing the FPS and RTS genre is kinda cool, if raven squad taught us anything, it's just not gonna work, simply because FPS gamers lack the patience of an RTS gamer and thus won't wait around for him to tell them to do something and because meshing RTSs formula (you know, build a base, collect resources, etc.) really wouldn't work IMO, in addition the servers that would be needed to host these types of games simply do not exist yet

now if we're talking RTTs (real time taticals) that's another story

I'd play that game.

Isn't that what EvE/Project Dust (or whatever the name, dust 411?) trying to do?

Yahtzee Croshaw:
The WarCraft series had quite an in-depth one before World of WarCraft came along and froze it into a single moment of time.

You know, Yahtzee, comments like this don't do anything for you. There are only two ways to interpret something so factually incorrect: Either you don't know what you're talking about (challenging your credibility as a reviewer), or you know it's an incorrect smeary statement and you don't care (which might seem par for your course of tearing down video games, but our respect for you is built on that which you are able to identify as an actual problem with a game, rather than just making stuff up).

I have a lot of respect for you as a deconstructive journalist, and for a long time you were the only reason I came to the Escapist. Keeping that respect in mind, stuff like this is beneath you. If you're going to hate on WoW, at least hate on the stuff that actually sucks - there's plenty.

Why not just make Majesty with real people substituting for the adventurers? The characters in Majesty don't listen to direct orders anyway.

Oh right, nobody played Majesty because they suck (the people, not the games).

In WoW guilds you have a guild leader that dictates what dungeon the guild runs, who fills which role, and who gets what loot, and people go along with it. Gamers are notoriously bad at getting organized just for the sake of some abstract victory, but they're notoriously greedy when it comes to abstract in-game currency. As for the griefing, you say griefing, I say sabotage. You can't just give up on a good game design because you're too weak to deal with the sort of people it would attract. You build the game to fight back. As long as a merc sticks to his contracts, does them well, and behaves, he gets rewarded with prestige as well as money, which makes his service more enticing to potential buyers. If a Merc goes rogue and starts attacking things that he is not authorized to be attacking, the victim can choose to charge or pardon him (in case there was a good reason for the attack). If the victim charges, the Merc's prestige drops and they get marked as on probation. If the Merc makes a regular habit of this, his Merc license goes poof and he is now full-fledged Rogue. A Rogue loses all Merc privileges, they don't appear on the registry, they can only offer their services under the table (which means no automated contract system that guarantees payment on mission completion), and they can't travel freely. They are now just a wandering gun doing whatever gets their rocks off, but any commander can set his policy to kill rogues on sight, if that's what he wants. If a Rogue gets REALLY bad, they would start acquiring a bounty. Now the commanders are the ones getting paid, and the FPS-player is the target. It isn't just revenge-killing any more, the whole server would want their head. A griefer could get away with tricking one or two commanders and backstabbing them, but then they would be marked unless they go to GREAT lengths to clear their name. The kind of lengths that would take a month or more to complete, like grinding rep to exalted in classic WoW. They could buy another account, but that would mean starting over and paying for the game again. If that's the price they're willing to pay...

Pro tip: most griefers aren't. They'll cry about getting banned on the forums, get banned from the forums, go rage about how much the game "sucks" and then move on to something else.

Also, props to Yahtzee for articulating an idea I've had for years.

Honestly i was waiting for his review of Starcraft 2, im not surprised hes not reviewing it cuz i could never get into those bloody things. But good read, gotta love Yahtzee

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