Archive for the ‘RTS’ Category
Just a quick note on Supreme Commander 2. If you skipped it or aren’t still playing it, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Not only was it pretty damn fun at release, since release of the game they’ve added new maps, better AI, a DLC (a pretty good one) and best of all, they added in queuing of unit orders. That’s right, you heard me. You can now queue units and building again. It’s not the same as the first, but better. You tell your engies or Commander what to do and he…get this part…waits for available funds. That’s right, you can’t sink your economy anymore. You may need to pause your automatic building of units if you want to build something bigger, but overall, the system works great.
I’d say it’s the best of both worlds, SupCom1 and 2 added together. Easier to manage economy and still the ability to set guys up on long queued orders.
And the improved AI? Very cool. Still a bit iffy in parts, but gives a convincing game of awesome whenever you want one. You can also create a custom AI and tell it to go all air or to turtle up, whatever kind of game you’re thinking of.
Happy days are here again.
P.S. – All of these updates are PC only. You should only be playing RTS games on the PC anyway, but I thought I’d mention it.
I’m back. Well, still here. Just been busy. Couldn’t bring myself to talk about the few controversies that have been going through the game world (He’s back, run! and this one is suing their previous employer). Life is good, I just haven’t had the urge to comment on anything really. Until today:
This summer, Dawn of War II is going to receive a major update that adds tremendous value to the multiplayer experience through new features, major balance improvements, and new content.
Yeah, that’s right. Relic is releasing a major patch that not only release eight new maps (yay!), they are rebalancing the entire game. And we know they are really good at that /sarcasm. We didn’t really know what that meant until this video on shacknews. Just watch the first few minutes of this video and you’ll get a good idea of what they are trying to do…completely change the game.
What will all of this mean? Well, we can’t guarantee anything, but I’m going to hazard some guesses.
1) Relic will definitely screw up the balance of the game. They have every single time they’ve made a major release.
2) Relic is releasing a lot of stuff with this one and according to the past record, they are most likely going to miss a major bug or three in the initial release. They may or may not quickly fix them.
3) Potentially, this could make the game even more fun. Maybe
I’ll definitely play it. I’ll definitely be interested. Lets hope it’s not like most of the other Relic patches…sloppy at best.
What Would Matt Do: Pull for Relic to release a good patch/update. Mainly because I’d really like to play more DoWII.
If you’re a strategy gamer (and really, everyone should be a strategy gamer), you know who Big Huge Games is. Not only did they release Rise of Nations, but they also have the ever awesome Brian Reynolds. Thankfully, I already prayed at my alter to Alpha Centurai today, so I won’t have to embarass myself doing so at the moment…
On that note, the reason we’re gathered here today is we’ve just word gotten that BHG is no longer on the chopping block. A company called 38 Studios bought them. And BHG is working on an RPG with no less than Ken Rolston.
Sounds like win win to me. Glad to hear BHG is not shutting down and will continue operations with…38 Studios. I honestly have no idea who that is. I have heard of their other game in development, an MMO called Copernicus (no really, they use italics wherever they use the name) though. Mainly because R.A. Salvatore (A big D&D writer I don’t read) and Todd McFarlane (a big headed comic book guy whose comics I used to read) are working on the story line together. If nothing else, that ought to be highly interesting.
Oh, and I don’t know if this matters at all, but the 38 Studios was started by Curt Schilling. Yeah, the baseball guy. He posted on qt3 a bit back and he sounded like he at least had some idea of what he was doing. Hopefully.
What Would Matt Do: Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music!
I’ve actually been putting this post off for awhile because I’m so torn about it. You see, Demigod is an absolute gem of a game. Except for when it’s not. That doesn’t really help you though so instead I’ll paint you a picture.
Pretty good, right? I’ve been practicising. Now let me paint you another…
I launch Demigod, I log in to multiplayer, I click Skirmish and wait for the system to find players for me. So far, so good. The problems start as soon as I start the search though… Will the system find me three to seven actual players? Will it pretend to find me players only to kick me into a game with the overly dumb AI? Will it find me a game, but some bug will make it so it counts as a loss? Or will it work and just the little things will have to be dealt with (favor might not work, your DG might not listen and your minions almost assuredly won’t work correctly most of the time).
So the picture I’m painting would be half blissful multiplayer fun and half being eaten by a grue.
I can’t decide how much longer I’ll stick around for Demigod, but being that we’re now three weeks past the release and I’m still dealing with the exact same problems that have existed in the game since launch, I’m getting fed up.
The worst part is I really, really like Demigod when it works. It changes the RTS genre in a way I didn’t think was so easily possible. I’ve got twenty ideas for how other games could go from here or five different game types for this system would drastically change it but still be the basic Demigod model. When it works, it’s a dream. I’m controlling a would be god, with fantasical powers and minions to do their bidding. I’m playing multiplayer tower defense in an absolutely beautiful world where all of the Demigods feel un-balanced, but in reality work pretty damn well against each. Not to mention that each god can be a very different build by the time it hits level 20 (the max level in a single game). And the different game types we get now are all fun and change each map more than enough to make it feel different each time.
The other side of that coin is that getting a good game going is still a crapshoot. Sometimes I can do a Pantheon or Skirmish game and I get a 2vs2 (I haven’t played a non 2vs2 game in awhile now) that works great, but most likely I’m going to get one the following. An error when it tries to join games. Sitting there forever at the finding a game screen. A game does start, but it’s all against AI and according the stats that will be published online later, I’ve already lost the game (even if I win). Oh yeah, and when the game starts I may or may not get favor points/items (stats that carry across games and allow you to buy extra items), I may or may not being playing a balanced game (I see 1vs2 probably as often as not), and it’s assured that the god damn AI is dumb, both for bots and for the minions.
Here’s my absolute biggest problem though. What other RTS game has bots as part of the game when you join a random multiplayer game? None. I don’t click multiplayer, log in and wait for the system to find me a multiplayer game to have it load up the game filled with bots. Fuck the shit out of that. I get why they did that, so people that don’t know better think they found a game instead of having it error out. Well laddy fucking da. That doesn’t help me out at all. I don’t want to play agains the dumb AI. I couldn’t give a crap about how good I am against the AI. I want to play against other people. I want a challenge. Heck, I’d love to have a teammate.
It comes down to this… if Stardock and GPG, both comanies of which I have a lot of respect for, can’t get their shit together and get this game working right, not only am I going to quit playing I’m going to…no, that’s pretty much it. No hot rage of a thousand suns, no petitions online, no ranting and raving (well, beyond this). I’m just going to quit playing. Oh, and think less of two companies that until this point I really thought I had a good shot at quality when buying from them.
Which is pretty sad.
What Would Matt Do: Do you remember when you did something wrong as a kid, but instead of getting angry and upset, your Dad/Mom would just tell you they were really disappointed in you and that was much worse? That’s what I’m about to do to Stardock and GPG. Don’t think I’m kidding, I’ll do it.
Assuming that Relic gets the 1.3 Patch out for Dawn of War II in the next little bit, it will have only taken them a few months after selling the game to finish it up. That might be a bit harsh, but lets take a look at what they are planning on including in version 1.3 still not yet released:
We’ve been busy! Dawn of War II is going to get a big patch in early May. This is the first of a series of posts where we will talk some details about what to expect in the update. As a bit of a preview, here are just a few things you can look forward to in the patch.
• We are adding a Two-on-Two game mode, with two new four player maps.
Two-on-Two is a ranked game mode with leaderboard support.
• An improved, more challenging Skirmish AI.
• Push to talk voice chat and Company of Heroes style sub-selection options.
• New squad decorators and significant UI improvements.
• A performance test to help measure Dawn of War II performance.
Man, those things are pretty sweet…I hope they include it in the full game when they release it! Oh…yeah, I see what they did there. They listed a bunch of features as if they are expanded features and not things that should have been included in the game in the first place. Can anyone name the last released RTS that had multiplayer of more than 1vs1, but didn’t include 2vs2? I can’t either. And the AI was a total joke, hopefully this will make it more useful. Heck, maybe it will make it Artificial Intelligence.
Relic made a lot of promises about future content and the plans they have. So far, to date (three months later), they’ve released four new maps… And yeah, that’s it. Everything else they’ve done can be categorized into finishing the game. To boot, two of those maps are the 2vs2 feature that should already be in the game.
As I said before, Dawn of War II, don’t make me hate you. The very things I worried about in that article have been proven out so far. The maps are generic and few, to date, and the other promised stuff hasn’t made itself known yet.
When this patch releases, I’ll give it another try for sure. But so far, I’ve played Dawn of War II less than the original. I got extremely bored of the same combat, the same imbalance, of the borked matching system and I never really liked 3vs3 at all.
What Would Matt Do: Hope Relic not only releases features like they mention above, but look into the matching and balance in the game. On the plus side, at least they aren’t in Demigod’s shoes. The multiplayer is/was so hard to get working that it’s a ghost town online when trying to find games. More on that next weekish.