Sins of a Solar Empire Dev Claims RTS Is Dying

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Falterfire:

Crono1973:
All of that and the fact that nobody asked for nor wanted AOE4 to be an MMO.

Calling it an 'MMO' is misleading though. Aside from being online-only (Which I agree is an issue) it's not really an MMO any more than Starcraft is. Yes, there is loot, but there's a game mode (Called Champion Mode) used by just about all competitive matches that disables loot and level-based benefits.

The single player involves loot and leveling, but that's totally separate from being an MMO type thing and is more related to RPG type elements.

And the massive amounts of DLC I keep seeing on Steam don't help the matter. I love RTS but the problem lies with things like the fact that Starcraft is still the benchmark. If your benchmark is 15 years old, its time things need some fresh blood.

Personally, its not that RTS aren't popular - my friends and I love RTS. Its that GOOD RTS are hard to find. Were more good RTS released, this problem wouldn't exist. Finding good RTS is becoming more and more difficult as time goes on, however, and as such RTS popularity is in decline.

Sins of a Dark Age looks dreadful sorry, I dont like MOBA games so I will give it a pass.

RTS isnt dieing though, just devs getting stagnant, there are some great RTS games out there, but like Age of Empires, no one wanted it that way, so of course its going to die.

Varying experiments in the genre tanked and led to its collapse too, see Civilizations Rise and Fall the rts/first person hack and slasher hybrid (free to download leagaly btw) and Warfront Turning Point with its rts/first person pillbox and turret gameplay.

Ill tell you what the genere needs. Watchable battles. Non of this zerg rush nonsense where giant blobs of units smush into battle with other blobs in a disorientating visual white noise. Where are the grand scale clashes of armies having at each other? Being able to command, watch the battle unfold before you and react to trouble areas in the field.

Were someone to make a new Rise of Nations or a less base building more combat oriented game like Preatorians (seriously guys look this one up) then we will have what the genere lacks and something soase does as well as total war does beautifully, show us battles. Shooters let you be a part of the battle, but rts's are about managing that battle and watching your little men perform the task. Seeing armies clash, empires rise and fall before your eyes, civilizations start from humble hamlets to meteoric metropolises is what makes the rts genere (well economizing/reaserching as well but that falls in the whole civilization bit). You can cut out the base building all togother like in World in Conflict but im still on the idea that battles are the rts's life blood.

What is it that compels us to play rts. The campaign? The multiplayer? The senarios? Or the skirmish mode? Depends on the player but im gonna go out on a limb and speak for the majority when i say its the skirmish mode. Once you figure how the ai plays and you can more or less beat it with your eyes closed, you can start to experiment with your units, see how a spearman goes up against a swordsman. How long will this cavalry man run while under a single archerer's fire, how about a more realistic senario and have a squad of horse on a platoon of archerers? How many units will this tower take before it falls to the enemy? Is investing in towers for defense worth the cost when i can just build a larger army with the money i would have otherwise spent on static defense? Once figureing the ai is done it becomes a sort of sandbox where you can manipulate your enemy into doing what you want it to, or just have a leizurely game of testing your units and buildings beyond meare checking attack and defense values.

A genre where you are the scientist and it is the experiment with which you are free to tinker with? I dont think it will ever completely fizzle into nothingness.

I don't think rts is dyeing it is just that it was never mainstream to begin with, and it never will be.

This has all the signs of industry people thinking everything needs to be dumbed down. And there isn't much room to dumb down an RTS. Well at least we now know what we are paying blizzard all that WoW money for, keeping the noble race of RTS alive.

No, you just don't make games good enough to keep the genre going.

SINS was an above average multiplayer game with no singleplayer whatsoever (no, skirmishing against bots does not count). It does not work as a Civilization game, so it cannot stand on multiplayer alone.

Part of the reason SC2 did so well was because it had an excellent SP campaign attached to it.

Devs need to fucking wake up and realise that a lot of people don't play these games for multiplayer.

I cannot fucking stand devs who proclaim the death of a genre based on their own inability to create decent titles.

Unit72:

Were someone to make a new Rise of Nations or a less base building more combat oriented game like Preatorians (seriously guys look this one up) then we will have what the genere lacks and something soase does as well as total war does beautifully, show us battles.

Ah, Rise of Nations, one of the first RTS games I've ever played after Cossacks: European Wars. Shame that the developer who made that was bought up by 38 Studios, and god knows if anyone's going to pick that IP up again.

Unit72:
Ill tell you what the genere needs. Watchable battles. Non of this zerg rush nonsense where giant blobs of units smush into battle with other blobs in a disorientating visual white noise. Where are the grand scale clashes of armies having at each other? Being able to command, watch the battle unfold before you and react to trouble areas in the field.

This approach probably won't work too well sadly. Its kinda counter intuitive to the gameplay a lot of the time. Large scale conflicts are definitely a plus, but having them be visually appealing to watch would ramp the learning curve way up. A lot of the problem comes from the fact that a visually appealing battle does not consist of all the units staying in one place and attacking its enemies, ala SC2 or WC3. Look to the Total War games and that's more how fights would end up - all of your units in a clusterfuck scattered amongst the enemy army. This has the disadvantage of making key units hard to find, and often you end up not in control of where a unit is when positioning plays a major part in most RTS battles. Control groups could be used for some units, but it also becomes harder to tell how the battle is going when you can't clearly see your army and the enemies army.

Were someone to make a new Rise of Nations or a less base building more combat oriented game like Preatorians (seriously guys look this one up) then we will have what the genere lacks and something soase does as well as total war does beautifully, show us battles. Shooters let you be a part of the battle, but rts's are about managing that battle and watching your little men perform the task. Seeing armies clash, empires rise and fall before your eyes, civilizations start from humble hamlets to meteoric metropolises is what makes the rts genere (well economizing/reaserching as well but that falls in the whole civilization bit). You can cut out the base building all togother like in World in Conflict but im still on the idea that battles are the rts's life blood.

Well, I'd debate SoaSE actually showing you good battles. It has a bunch of nice special effects and large scale, but the battles are like watching SC2 battles; two sets of units sit opposite each other lobbing attacks at one another until the other dies. There were a few corvette movement mods out in the past, not sure if they exist any more though, and even then you really need a different movement AI for each type of ship or else it looks out of place.
You'll generally find that there are two camps of people in the RTS world, and one camp seems to be larger based off how each game type sells.
The first is the low base building mostly army fighting variant, where the majority of the game is focused on a fight, and you generally are able to view it and go "Oooh, pretty".
The second is the base building, economy management ones that focus more on the actual running of your empire than each individual fight, though attention needs to be paid to the fight else you're likely to lose even with a superior force.

Judging by the number of players, the latter camp wins. Check SC2 vs Dawn of War, and tell me which one is more popular. Granted SC2 also has custom maps that play a big part in it, but Korea has been having Starcraft Tournaments for years. People prefer the whole package rather than just one part of it. Having to focus on the entire empire rather than watching your units is appealing to people. Replays are for watching cool battles, the game is for building your empire and winning.

What is it that compels us to play rts. The campaign? The multiplayer? The senarios? Or the skirmish mode? Depends on the player but im gonna go out on a limb and speak for the majority when i say its the skirmish mode. Once you figure how the ai plays and you can more or less beat it with your eyes closed, you can start to experiment with your units, see how a spearman goes up against a swordsman. How long will this cavalry man run while under a single archerer's fire, how about a more realistic senario and have a squad of horse on a platoon of archerers? How many units will this tower take before it falls to the enemy? Is investing in towers for defense worth the cost when i can just build a larger army with the money i would have otherwise spent on static defense? Once figureing the ai is done it becomes a sort of sandbox where you can manipulate your enemy into doing what you want it to, or just have a leizurely game of testing your units and buildings beyond meare checking attack and defense values.

I'm with one other guy who said the Campaign, 'cause I enjoy the idea of actually building an empire rather than simply having a battle on one small map. Most people would probably play for the multiplayer though. Its what keeps RTS alive - like Starcraft, Starcraft 2, and is one of the reasons SoaSE has never done all that well - there's always a bunch of people who play it at the start, but then they find out the multiplayer is terrible and quit.
Checking how units go is something most people do, but its generally in the interest of figuring out how to use them against other players in multiplayer. Its the reason my friend and I fight each other in SC2 with unorthodox methods, and test things constantly; so we can see how they work and try them against other players.

Yosharian:
No, you just don't make games good enough to keep the genre going.

SINS was an above average multiplayer game with no singleplayer whatsoever (no, skirmishing against bots does not count). It does not work as a Civilization game, so it cannot stand on multiplayer alone.

Part of the reason SC2 did so well was because it had an excellent SP campaign attached to it.

Devs need to fucking wake up and realise that a lot of people don't play these games for multiplayer.

I cannot fucking stand devs who proclaim the death of a genre based on their own inability to create decent titles.

I hope you don't mean Sins of a Solar Empire when you say Sins had above average multiplayer. Sins had goddamn terrible multiplayer. Far as I know the Vasari Rebels are STILL banned from multiplayer matches, even this long after release. Add to that the fact that there's generally 1 strategy to win; Pre Rebellion it was spam LRMs until you can get bombers, then spam bombers. Post Rebellion its rush Titan, level Titan ASAP, and spam LRM and Flak until you get your Titan. Additionally Sins games take waaay too long to play most of the time. A quick match lasts half an hour. A long match lasts over 8. People don't have that sort of time to waste in multiplayer games, and so they quit midway through, replacing themselves with a bot that loses the game for their team. Sins had potential to be a great multiplayer game, but really it fell flat, as shown by the fact that a good 300 people from the first few weeks of it being released dropped down to about 10-20 by now, probably closer to 10 by the fact that a lot of the old guard just gave up.
Sins was an alright single player game 'cause it was slow paced and easy as all hell to exploit, so you could just sit around and watch the battles rather than playing the game, but its multiplayer was terrible. A campaign would have given it a temporary sales boost, but it wouldn't have sustained it. You can play a campaign only a few times before it gets old, at least for most people. Multiplayer is what a lot of people look for in games because it provides a constant stream of enjoyment after purchase, justifying their purchase. My friend didn't get Rebellion as he didn't see himself spending 40 hours with it to justify the price tag. Had it had an active multiplayer scene he would have bought it as he would have spent enough time there to build up the 40 hours. Playing a campaign once and doing a couple of skirmishes doesn't cut it for him though.

Meh, the guy's right. Standard classic base-building needs to die. It adds absolutely nothing to the experience, and only serves to drag out every multiplayer match or singleplayer mission by another 10-15 minutes. Base-building is what ultimately killed the "strategy" part in the genre. It's hard for me to admit, but RTS is really dead. Especially because Blizzard is too scared to experiment with Starcraft. Their games will sell well no matter how fresh and innovative they are, and in this case, the game in question is basically a twelve year-old game with some fancy graphics - enough to make the fanboys happy, but I've always said that Starcraft 2's lack of originality and innovation was the last nail in the RTS genre's coffin. Total War is so popular because there's actual strategy involved in its' battles. They require you to think, and the events unfold at a pace perfect for strategic decision making. Nothing like the insane mindless clickfests that the "classic" RTS games are.

DracoSuave:
RTSs need to find a balance between accessibility and depth so they can bring in new players AND develop a standing community. It's an inherent problem in the genre that the depth usually comes at the cost of accessibility.

C&C filled this niche, but then EA killed it with C&C4.

Joccaren:

Yosharian:
No, you just don't make games good enough to keep the genre going.

SINS was an above average multiplayer game with no singleplayer whatsoever (no, skirmishing against bots does not count). It does not work as a Civilization game, so it cannot stand on multiplayer alone.

Part of the reason SC2 did so well was because it had an excellent SP campaign attached to it.

Devs need to fucking wake up and realise that a lot of people don't play these games for multiplayer.

I cannot fucking stand devs who proclaim the death of a genre based on their own inability to create decent titles.

I hope you don't mean Sins of a Solar Empire when you say Sins had above average multiplayer. Sins had goddamn terrible multiplayer. Far as I know the Vasari Rebels are STILL banned from multiplayer matches, even this long after release. Add to that the fact that there's generally 1 strategy to win; Pre Rebellion it was spam LRMs until you can get bombers, then spam bombers. Post Rebellion its rush Titan, level Titan ASAP, and spam LRM and Flak until you get your Titan. Additionally Sins games take waaay too long to play most of the time. A quick match lasts half an hour. A long match lasts over 8. People don't have that sort of time to waste in multiplayer games, and so they quit midway through, replacing themselves with a bot that loses the game for their team. Sins had potential to be a great multiplayer game, but really it fell flat, as shown by the fact that a good 300 people from the first few weeks of it being released dropped down to about 10-20 by now, probably closer to 10 by the fact that a lot of the old guard just gave up.
Sins was an alright single player game 'cause it was slow paced and easy as all hell to exploit, so you could just sit around and watch the battles rather than playing the game, but its multiplayer was terrible. A campaign would have given it a temporary sales boost, but it wouldn't have sustained it. You can play a campaign only a few times before it gets old, at least for most people. Multiplayer is what a lot of people look for in games because it provides a constant stream of enjoyment after purchase, justifying their purchase. My friend didn't get Rebellion as he didn't see himself spending 40 hours with it to justify the price tag. Had it had an active multiplayer scene he would have bought it as he would have spent enough time there to build up the 40 hours. Playing a campaign once and doing a couple of skirmishes doesn't cut it for him though.

Well, I was being generous to the game. I never actually played it competitively, it was far to complex for that. Same for Civ, I just don't see the point of playing this game competitively, I play these type of games for fun. Actually that's what I play all RTS games for, including Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander, SC2, etc. I never enjoyed playing these games competitively, the only thing I play MP regularly is Dota 2.

The thing is I don't see Sins as even having a singleplayer game. Skirmish against bots, like I said earlier, doesn't count. Maybe you guys see these types of games as being multiplayer ones, but I was brought up on games like Homeworld where the campaign WAS the game. The game has to be pretty fucking fantastic to be interesting to play against bots (i.e. Civilization).

Yellowfish:
Meh, the guy's right. Standard classic base-building needs to die. It adds absolutely nothing to the experience, and only serves to drag out every multiplayer match or singleplayer mission by another 10-15 minutes. Base-building is what ultimately killed the "strategy" part in the genre. It's hard for me to admit, but RTS is really dead. Especially because Blizzard is too scared to experiment with Starcraft. Their games will sell well no matter how fresh and innovative they are, and in this case, the game in question is basically a twelve year-old game with some fancy graphics - enough to make the fanboys happy, but I've always said that Starcraft 2's lack of originality and innovation was the last nail in the RTS genre's coffin. Total War is so popular because there's actual strategy involved in its' battles. They require you to think, and the events unfold at a pace perfect for strategic decision making. Nothing like the insane mindless clickfests that the "classic" RTS games are.

If you think there is no strategic decision making in games like SC2, then you are mistaken. There is plenty of capacity for strategy in this game.

Yosharian:
Well, I was being generous to the game. I never actually played it competitively, it was far to complex for that. Same for Civ, I just don't see the point of playing this game competitively, I play these type of games for fun. Actually that's what I play all RTS games for, including Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander, SC2, etc. I never enjoyed playing these games competitively, the only thing I play MP regularly is Dota 2.

The thing is I don't see Sins as even having a singleplayer game. Skirmish against bots, like I said earlier, doesn't count. Maybe you guys see these types of games as being multiplayer ones, but I was brought up on games like Homeworld where the campaign WAS the game. The game has to be pretty fucking fantastic to be interesting to play against bots (i.e. Civilization).

Eh, don't worry. I'm in the same boat as you as far as multiplayer is concerned. Playing against other people is usually stupid because they have 2 skill levels; Total Noob that is just a pushover and aren't any fun to vs as they pose no challenge, and the Pro who will kick your ass as if you are the Total Noob who aren't any fun to play 'cause no matter what there's nothing you can do.

Skirmish against bots is actually the majority of any games single player game IMO, and I'm disappointed when its not included. The campaign's great and all, but once you've played it once there's nothing more to do. Skirmishes against bots, however, last a fair bit longer.
Unless the bots are terrible like they were in Sins, in which case you play it as more of an RPG where you set the bots to easy and just roleplay out a massive war on a custom map, or just ROFLSTOMP them and watch the fireworks. If a game can manage good bots, its fun to play against. Sadly few people can make actually intelligent bots =/

RTS aren't dead its just that most people already have Sins, so hes definately seeing a decline.

Draconalis:

Or will they release a flight simulator after 10 years, and it will be fresh and new since no one has made one in so long, springing forth more of its kind?

Hilariously enough, THEY HAVE!

http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/star-citizen/

And it's been seen as so fresh and new that gamers have given the developers $7.5 milllion before the game has even been created.

Although it helps when you create a trailer that looks like this:

Apparently it's the publisher model that is dead for niche genres, the important thing is if the developer can make a profit. The moment of truth comes in Q3 this year when the titles, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns & Planetary Annihiltaion come out and make a profit. Elite Dangerous, Project Eternity & Star Citizen come out the following year.

And yes those are the games that I am watching. If you want those titles to come out with sequels buy the collectors editions or back the projects.

Thank you for your time.

Dawn of War II.

As long as things like that get made, RTS is alive and well.

AoEO wasn't an RTS, it was a Nickle and Dimer. And an offense to Ensemble and any Age of Empires fan.

StarCraft 2?. StarCraft 1 plus a face lift. The first Company of Heroes was WAY better, took 5 times less time and who know how much money less. Oh, and it came out in 2006.

Can't care about Heart of the Swarm. Give me Company of Heroes 2 or Planetary Annihilation and I'll be more than happy.

Genres do not die. They simply don't have good games for some time. Just look at adventures (The Cave, To the Moon, so many others). Or Stealth (Mark of the Ninja, Dishonored). Hell, even turn-based is making a comeback.

Well what does he expect? developers are pandering to the biggest gaming markets out there (consoles, as well as a growing mobile market).

The vast majority of attempts to create a console RTS haven't been popular or particularly successful and the mobile crowd probably wouldn't be interested in complex RTS games of yore when they have Angry Birds and such to play.

I started off as an RTS player and I have a cornucopic collection of oldschool RTS's which I love dearly. Ever since the 'golden age' of RTS's it's all gone a bit down hill.

Yes, it is declining currently, not necessarely dieing, but its definatelly nto as big as it used to be. and the problem is - consoles. by developing RTS for consoles you LIMIT yourself a lot and thus cant be innovative anymore. And people dotn want to see same RTS made 100th time with a different name anymore.

Crono1973:
Company of Heroes was the other type of RTS, the type where you can't base build (unless my memory fails me).

Yes it does Company of Heroes has base build the only Relic game that doesn't is DoW 2.

Whenever people complain about Starcraft 2 being Brood War with new paint, I can't help but laugh.

So many people would be much happier if that was the case...

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