Homeworld Remastered - Beautiful. Majestic. Flawed.

Homeworld Remastered - Beautiful. Majestic. Flawed.

Homeworld Remastered is a gorgeous reworking of the 1999 RTS classic. In revamping the original however, did Gearbox perhaps change too much?

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I never played the originals. Not sure I'll give this one a go. I prefer tactical thinking to something as simple as building a bigger fleet than the other guy.

The lack of those all important formations and tactics is a massive loss. I remember reading about the micro'ing of strike craft by constantly switching between evasive and aggressive, the wolf packs of heavy corvettes in a wall formation supported by support frigates.

Like shown here: http://www.rakrent.com/rtsc/html/hw7.htm

Formations and tactics only mattered in the the first couple of single player missions and multiplayer. Given multiplayer is entirely devoted to the Homeworld 2 style which does things differently from the get go all the discussion about formations and tactics loss is essentially moot. Or maybe more accurately a perfect example of rose colored glasses, although that's a lot harder to do given the classic option is available.

ceyan:
Formations and tactics only mattered in the the first couple of single player missions and multiplayer. Given multiplayer is entirely devoted to the Homeworld 2 style which does things differently from the get go all the discussion about formations and tactics loss is essentially moot. Or maybe more accurately a perfect example of rose colored glasses, although that's a lot harder to do given the classic option is available.

funny enough they were all but abandon in multiplier aswell.
Formations limit the FOF of ships, so it leads to a decrease in DPS. It also made them less mobile so more shots were landed on them
Only evasive/Aggressive stances changed how much damage was applied or mitigated.
They were a cool idea, but there is a reason they were abandoned in HW2.

The problem I find isn't so much that the strike units are useless, but that when Gearbox ported stuff over to the Homeworld 2 engine, they failed to account for the changes Relic originally made to mitigate the differences. In Homeworld 2, Fighters and Corvettes come in squadrons rather than individual units, so they keep formations anyways. But in HW1, they're individual ships, so that's why Fighters and Corvettes turn into mosh pits because they don't have the unit cohesiveness that the second game inherently gave them.

If anything, this remaster is cool to see how far Relic's strategy design had developed over the years. I think they were one of the first to use squad systems in an RTS (recruiting units as multiples rather than individuals), and its cool how I can see staple mechanics of their later Dawn of War and Company of Heroes games in their infancy.

Formations aren't removed or useless, the Homeworld 1 formations are simply bugged. As ships leave them as soon as combat starts, as you said. Let's hope they simply fix the bugs.

Evasive tactics was lost, but to be honest, the Homeworld 2 interface brings a lot more to the table otherwise. It's way easier to launch all ships individual special abilities now for example.

The biggest, HUGE deal for me, is that ships in Homeworld 1 ALL die far, FAR faster than in the original. Not just strikecraft as the review suggested.

In the original, your destroyers and frigates could be firing at one another for several minutes before the really big ships got destroyed. Now, whenever you've got a few destroyers in place, frigates die in mere seconds and even super-capitals that get focused are blasted super-fast.

On the flip side, though fighters die faster as well, they're actually far more useful against capital ships now.

I simply don't get why a company would go through all that effort to upgrade the graphics in a massive and beautiful way, only for you to be unable to enjoy those uber detailed ships firing their guns for long, as they get blown up in seconds.

Apparently they did it to bring HW1 ships into multiplayer together with the HW2 ones. A very bad decision, they have no bussiness being there together.

Fdzzaigl:
Formations aren't removed or useless, the Homeworld 1 formations are simply bugged. As ships leave them as soon as combat starts, as you said. Let's hope they simply fix the bugs.

Evasive tactics was lost, but to be honest, the Homeworld 2 interface brings a lot more to the table otherwise. It's way easier to launch all ships individual special abilities now for example.

The biggest, HUGE deal for me, is that ships in Homeworld 1 ALL die far, FAR faster than in the original. Not just strikecraft as the review suggested.

In the original, your destroyers and frigates could be firing at one another for several minutes before the really big ships got destroyed. Now, whenever you've got a few destroyers in place, frigates die in mere seconds and even super-capitals that get focused are blasted super-fast.

On the flip side, though fighters die faster as well, they're actually far more useful against capital ships now.

I simply don't get why a company would go through all that effort to upgrade the graphics in a massive and beautiful way, only for you to be unable to enjoy those uber detailed ships firing their guns for long, as they get blown up in seconds.

Apparently they did it to bring HW1 ships into multiplayer together with the HW2 ones. A very bad decision, they have no bussiness being there together.

I did actually mention the capital ships being weaker in the review. Same paragraph as the strike fighter discussion I believe.

My post-release has indicated that the formation issues aren't caused by a bug. If you've read something different please post a link so I can amend the review for accuracy.

Ah ok, I missed that, sorry.

There is no official comment on the formations yet as far as I can see. But honestly, I find it very hard to look at it in another way than as a bug when all the HW2 formations are in fact working. Many people, me included, have reported this as a bug.

I got the Remastered version but I suppose I'll have to do a play-through of the HW1 campaign in the classic version of the game now to see the difference.

So true you comment about formations.
Got the best satisfaction of having attack bombers in wall formation and sending them head first against a frigate.
Or have a group of scouts pester the larger ships with evasive tactics, too quick to hit :)

This makes me probably more sad than it should. A huge portion of playing Homeworld was always making the right formations for the right missions. Bridge of Sighs, for example, taking a small fleet focused on destroying the inhibitor, using the right amount of stealth fighters in the right formation, then activating everything at exactly the right time to ensure the fleet can make it through the wall of frigates, hit the inhibitors, then jump away before they suffered too many casualties...

Resource management with fleets being more fragile will present its own issues too... It was, at times, difficult to get enough resources to build the right fleet compositions for each mission as it was. If things die easier now, replacing those units comes at a high cost, and if they haven't compensated the amount of resources you get it will make the game significantly more difficult.

I don't know, I was really looking forward to playing it, and now I'm worried I'll just feel annoyed about the whole thing. We'll see though... I'll probably pick it up either way.

Apollo45:
This makes me probably more sad than it should. A huge portion of playing Homeworld was always making the right formations for the right missions. Bridge of Sighs, for example, taking a small fleet focused on destroying the inhibitor, using the right amount of stealth fighters in the right formation, then activating everything at exactly the right time to ensure the fleet can make it through the wall of frigates, hit the inhibitors, then jump away before they suffered too many casualties...

Resource management with fleets being more fragile will present its own issues too... It was, at times, difficult to get enough resources to build the right fleet compositions for each mission as it was. If things die easier now, replacing those units comes at a high cost, and if they haven't compensated the amount of resources you get it will make the game significantly more difficult.

I don't know, I was really looking forward to playing it, and now I'm worried I'll just feel annoyed about the whole thing. We'll see though... I'll probably pick it up either way.

They do see to have compensated with extra resources. I never had much trouble with running out.

I can totally empathize with your feelings though. While I enjoyed the game any ways, my first feelings when I realized what Gearbox had changed was like an hour of complete and utter disappointment.

"Come back next week for my review of Homeworld 2 Remastered, followed a week later by Homeworld: Cataclysm"

Cataclysm (my favorite game of the series) wasn't remastered due to missing sourcecode. Are you going to play the original or something?

Excludos:
"Come back next week for my review of Homeworld 2 Remastered, followed a week later by Homeworld: Cataclysm"

Cataclysm (my favorite game of the series) wasn't remastered due to missing sourcecode. Are you going to play the original or something?

Yes. I have a disc copy that works on my PC.

I really dislike how they made strike craft so weak they are close to useless for the HW1 campaign. Multi-gun corvettes are the only useful corvettes, against large groups of fighters, when your larger ships would take too long. Only fighters of any use are bombers and even those when your capital ships are otherwise occupied, which isn't a problem until the last stage.

Which brings me to the that last mission. Unfortunately I can't remember how the last stage was originally, but with remastered what you do is you send your Destroyers and Heavy Cruisers at the enemy mothership and leave the rest to defend. All other units are useless in assaulting the enemy since they blow up too quick to have any effect. There is no tactical gameplay there, just punching trough the big enemy ships with your own. It was rather disappointing for the last desperate fight, where you should be using all your skill to survive.

Its unfortunate that the remastered edition altered crucial components of a formula that made the original such an engaging experience. Hopefully with a development kit, many of these issues could be resolved.

I had much the same experience by games end I completely stopped producing any fighter craft because they always ended up completely wiped out at the beginning of each area.

One thing that Gearbox didn't fix was the sudden game crashes, I remember dealing with those 15 years ago.

Gah, I thought "finally, an old-school RTS, one that I loved back in the day too!" but then I discover they had to crowbar in the more modern "everything is fragile and expendable" style. FFS, they had one job - improve the graphics - but no, they just had to start "fixing" what wasn't broken and, by the sounds of things, fucked it up.

No sale. Maybe if someone makes a mod to put the ship "fragility" back to the original standard.

Eh... the whole rebalancing thing kills it for me. I always thought Homeworld 2 was poorly balanced and the combat just didn't measure up to the first game. Sad to see they changed the first game to fit the second one instead the other way around. Also, no Cataclysm. All in all, I think I'll pass and just play the originals with maybe an HD mod or something...

The two biggest complaints I have about it is the mass salvaging doesn't work and your support corvettes and frigates have to actually dry-hump your ships to repair them. It's just wrong!

I'm new to Homeworld but from what I've seen and read the porting to the second games engine was the popular choice and checking the mods available for the originals shows it's the modders choice.
However Gearbox also said many of the tools used to make the first game were missing. Actually making it almost impossible to remaster.
All that weighed against the advantages of the later engine and multiplayer, I'll take it.

The fact is this is a PC exclusive and though I hate all exclusives that means everyone of us can use mods. With or without the promised dev kit, any and all personal annoyances and preferences will be changeable. So consider the good changes a bonus and the bad as a future mod.

Modders can and will make this game better than Gearbox or Relic ever could. The devs make a single game and will never please all of us. Modders can turn that single game into infinite optional games which can satisfy opposite views.
The very best mods can far surpass the original game. Like XCOM's Long War mod.

Mods are why I'm a PC gamer, Graphics take second place. Consoles can't compete with that for me.

Uhuru N'Uru:
I'm new to Homeworld but from what I've seen and read the porting to the second games engine was the popular choice and checking the mods available for the originals shows it's the modders choice.
However Gearbox also said many of the tools used to make the first game were missing. Actually making it almost impossible to remaster.
All that weighed against the advantages of the later engine and multiplayer, I'll take it.

The fact is this is a PC exclusive and though I hate all exclusives that means everyone of us can use mods. With or without the promised dev kit, any and all personal annoyances and preferences will be changeable. So consider the good changes a bonus and the bad as a future mod.

Modders can and will make this game better than Gearbox or Relic ever could. The devs make a single game and will never please all of us. Modders can turn that single game into infinite optional games which can satisfy opposite views.
The very best mods can far surpass the original game. Like XCOM's Long War mod.

Mods are why I'm a PC gamer, Graphics take second place. Consoles can't compete with that for me.

This is true.

My ultimate issue with this sentiment though is that if a modder could do this, Gearbox could have as well. I have no issues with the studio forcing Homeworld 1's ships into Homeworld 2's mechanics for its new multiplayer beta. That said, it's still incredibly disappointing that those same mechanics were pushed into the story campaign where the gameplay was (in some places) very clearly designed for a different set of rules.

StewShearer:

This is true.

My ultimate issue with this sentiment though is that if a modder could do this, Gearbox could have as well. I have no issues with the studio forcing Homeworld 1's ships into Homeworld 2's mechanics for its new multiplayer beta. That said, it's still incredibly disappointing that those same mechanics were pushed into the story campaign where the gameplay was (in some places) very clearly designed for a different set of rules.

The main problem with that, is you assume the devs had any choice at all. Given that the 2nd engines is being used, getting everything working in that engines systems would always be the first job and one also required for the multiplayer functionality.
Understand that ultimately Gearbox doesn't make the final decision on when it's done, the publisher, Warner Brothers will make that call.

It was always going to be with Homeworld 2's game mechanics:
1 It's the most popular choice, so less unhappy gamers.
2 The available source material requires it to be that way.
3 The Multiplayer game requires it to be that way.
4 The Financial bottom line requires it to be that way.
5 The previous 4 points, requires the Publisher to insist it's that way.

Point 5 makes it inevitable, whether you or I like it or not.

The one saving factor is it is a PC game and Modding is possible. As a mod user I consider the released game a foundation on which to build the game I prefer. Whereas, the Gearbox Devs are time limited and will soon move on to their next project.

Look at Skyrim, 3 years after the game released and 2 years since Bethesda stopped supporting it, Skyrim modding hasn't yet peaked.
With total conversion projects like:
Skywind - Morrowind Remade, not just remastered, with AAA quality work most pro devs can't match.
Endoral: Shards of Order - The sequel to the TES IV Mod Nehrim: At Fate's Edge ModDB's Mod of the Year 2010

being two of the Games, not just Mods, I'm most looking forward to playing and both having dedicated large dev teams.
Added to those delicasies, there's over 100,000 smaller mods covering every aspect of the game, going way beyond what the Bethesda devs ever considered possible.

The biggest thing mod makers have on their side is time and numbers, they can dedicate hundreds if not thousands of hours, perfecting one tiny aspect of the game. The huge numbers devoting that time, even just by playing the mods and giving feedback, is way beyond what any professional dev team can do.

If Homeworld gets a fraction of the mods Skyrim has and will have, everyone can have their own preferred Homeworld setup, with no two alike. Professional devs with. deadlines and cost limitations. can never hope to match that. The best they can do is, release the tools they used to make the game and let the modders loose.
No game with modding support is abandoned after a single playthrough. If we had the figures to see I'm sure most PC Sales of Skyrim are due to modding. Many will have played it first on console. I did and bought my gaming PC to mod it afterwards.

Homeworld Remastered is a solid foundation, what modders build on that foundation will become the definitive Homeworld experience for me and anyone else wanting to make this or that aspect better.

Uhuru N'Uru:

StewShearer:

This is true.

My ultimate issue with this sentiment though is that if a modder could do this, Gearbox could have as well. I have no issues with the studio forcing Homeworld 1's ships into Homeworld 2's mechanics for its new multiplayer beta. That said, it's still incredibly disappointing that those same mechanics were pushed into the story campaign where the gameplay was (in some places) very clearly designed for a different set of rules.

The main problem with that, is you assume the devs had any choice at all. Given that the 2nd engines is being used, getting everything working in that engines systems would always be the first job and one also required for the multiplayer functionality.
Understand that ultimately Gearbox doesn't make the final decision on when it's done, the publisher, Warner Brothers will make that call.

It was always going to be with Homeworld 2's game mechanics:
1 It's the most popular choice, so less unhappy gamers.
2 The available source material requires it to be that way.
3 The Multiplayer game requires it to be that way.
4 The Financial bottom line requires it to be that way.
5 The previous 4 points, requires the Publisher to insist it's that way.

Point 5 makes it inevitable, whether you or I like it or not.

The one saving factor is it is a PC game and Modding is possible. As a mod user I consider the released game a foundation on which to build the game I prefer. Whereas, the Gearbox Devs are time limited and will soon move on to their next project.

Look at Skyrim, 3 years after the game released and 2 years since Bethesda stopped supporting it, Skyrim modding hasn't yet peaked.
With total conversion projects like:
Skywind - Morrowind Remade, not just remastered, with AAA quality work most pro devs can't match.
Endoral: Shards of Order - The sequel to the TES IV Mod Nehrim: At Fate's Edge ModDB's Mod of the Year 2010

being two of the Games, not just Mods, I'm most looking forward to playing and both having dedicated large dev teams.
Added to those delicasies, there's over 100,000 smaller mods covering every aspect of the game, going way beyond what the Bethesda devs ever considered possible.

The biggest thing mod makers have on their side is time and numbers, they can dedicate hundreds if not thousands of hours, perfecting one tiny aspect of the game. The huge numbers devoting that time, even just by playing the mods and giving feedback, is way beyond what any professional dev team can do.

If Homeworld gets a fraction of the mods Skyrim has and will have, everyone can have their own preferred Homeworld setup, with no two alike. Professional devs with. deadlines and cost limitations. can never hope to match that. The best they can do is, release the tools they used to make the game and let the modders loose.
No game with modding support is abandoned after a single playthrough. If we had the figures to see I'm sure most PC Sales of Skyrim are due to modding. Many will have played it first on console. I did and bought my gaming PC to mod it afterwards.

Homeworld Remastered is a solid foundation, what modders build on that foundation will become the definitive Homeworld experience for me and anyone else wanting to make this or that aspect better.

That was a big post to be wrong in and undermine the whole thing. Gearbox published and developed.

Jandau:
Also, no Cataclysm.

As much as I want to see a remake of Catalysm(mostly because the only time I tried to play it just played really badly for me), apparently the source code was lost when Barking Dog went under years ago. While I am not a programmer, from my understanding it's incredibly difficult to rebuild a program without the source code.

Apollo45:
This makes me probably more sad than it should. A huge portion of playing Homeworld was always making the right formations for the right missions. Bridge of Sighs, for example, taking a small fleet focused on destroying the inhibitor, using the right amount of stealth fighters in the right formation, then activating everything at exactly the right time to ensure the fleet can make it through the wall of frigates, hit the inhibitors, then jump away before they suffered too many casualties...

You mean the mission with the massive number of Ion Frigates in a massive sphere? I remember using that mission as an opportunity to Grand Theft Ion Frigate a lot with my salvage corvettes.

Dalisclock:

Apollo45:
This makes me probably more sad than it should. A huge portion of playing Homeworld was always making the right formations for the right missions. Bridge of Sighs, for example, taking a small fleet focused on destroying the inhibitor, using the right amount of stealth fighters in the right formation, then activating everything at exactly the right time to ensure the fleet can make it through the wall of frigates, hit the inhibitors, then jump away before they suffered too many casualties...

You mean the mission with the massive number of Ion Frigates in a massive sphere? I remember using that mission as an opportunity to Grand Theft Ion Frigate a lot with my salvage corvettes.

That's definitely one way to do it. Jumping into the last mission with more ion frigates than the Taiidan have fighters is always entertaining. But every once in a while it's fun to play on hard mode and go through it without stealing too many frigates for the game to handle.

Dalisclock:

Jandau:
Also, no Cataclysm.

As much as I want to see a remake of Catalysm(mostly because the only time I tried to play it just played really badly for me), apparently the source code was lost when Barking Dog went under years ago. While I am not a programmer, from my understanding it's incredibly difficult to rebuild a program without the source code.

Oh, I understand that and I'm not saying Cataclysm isn't there due to laziness. However, the point still stands - no Cataclysm.

Robbo:
...
That was a big post to be wrong in and undermine the whole thing. Gearbox published and developed.

That was a small post to be wrong in, but it undermines nothing.

Wrong how? Did I miss a comma? Spell something wrong? Get a fact wrong? Without specifying in what aspect it's "wrong in", you have no argument to debate about.

It's not an isolated post, it's the 3rd in a sequence, conveniently grouped together.
How do you think a argument supporting Gearbox's choices can possibly undermine them at all.

As to post length, this is not Twitter. A reasoned argument supporting any opinion takes more than a few words. Providing facts to justly that opinion, makes the opinion more convincing.
The facts can be right of wrong.
The opinion can't be right or wrong, it is a point of view, one you can disagree with, but that's just another opinion.

Apollo45:

Dalisclock:

Apollo45:
This makes me probably more sad than it should. A huge portion of playing Homeworld was always making the right formations for the right missions. Bridge of Sighs, for example, taking a small fleet focused on destroying the inhibitor, using the right amount of stealth fighters in the right formation, then activating everything at exactly the right time to ensure the fleet can make it through the wall of frigates, hit the inhibitors, then jump away before they suffered too many casualties...

You mean the mission with the massive number of Ion Frigates in a massive sphere? I remember using that mission as an opportunity to Grand Theft Ion Frigate a lot with my salvage corvettes.

That's definitely one way to do it. Jumping into the last mission with more ion frigates than the Taiidan have fighters is always entertaining. But every once in a while it's fun to play on hard mode and go through it without stealing too many frigates for the game to handle.

I ended up capturing about 30 ion frigates before the last mission only to see them all wiped out by 3 Heavy Cruisers. The balance is a real issue in Homeworld.

 

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