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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » My RTS.
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Topic Subject:My RTS.
Mr_Floppy4
Mortal
posted 10 July 2003 11:34 PM EDT (US)         
In one of my other threads someone requested that I come up with some ideas to fix some of the problems mentioned and what would I like to see in my RTS. Instead posting it here, I have posted it on my upstart gaming site (it's only been up for three weeks and I do not care about the layout right now, but some of you are bound to bash anyway). Here is the article. I have only covered a fraction of my ideas for what I would like to see in an RTS, but this is a good foundation. Enjoy.

Mr_Floppy4

AuthorReplies:
Mr_Floppy4
Mortal
posted 10 July 2003 11:37 PM EDT (US)     1 / 19       
Note: my host seems to have gone down for a moment.

EDIT: It's back up.

Mr_Floppy4

[This message has been edited by Mr_Floppy4 (edited 07-10-2003 @ 11:45 PM).]

GOD_OF_WAR
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 00:24 AM EDT (US)     2 / 19       
start a buisness and make that "perfect game". we will see how many people like it. i do agree with you on some points tho...and i do not tyhink that it has
(/quote) gone down the toilet(quote)
I think that many game desingers have gone by the rule "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".it's harder then you think to make a secessful game.

to choose doubt as a philosophy of life is like to choose immobility as a means of transportation.

[This message has been edited by GOD_OF_WAR (edited 07-11-2003 @ 00:24 AM).]

proq
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 02:10 AM EDT (US)     3 / 19       
I appreciate you for changing your attitude and coming forward in a mature matter. Even if the locals flame you just stay calm because you basically gave them a reason . Anywho... you have to understand what genre means. A genre is one type... you can't have different types of one type. Each RTS is bound to be similar, it's not their fault. You will just have to pick which playing style you like best. I, honestly, think you might have just gotten bored of RTSes in general, and you want to rekindle the excitement and fun you had when you first played RTSes. That's just not going to happen unless you take a long break from RTS and come back. When you see a genre come along with very unique playstyles, it's probably a subcategorized as another genre. Action games changed to 3rd-person and 1st-person... 1st-person has tactical shooters such as Ghost Recon or fast-paced shooters such as Halo. The different subcategories of RTS have pretty much been thought of... economic-only like simcity, pure combat like C&C, and the economic-military balanced game like warcraft and AOx.

Why do you think ES wanted to do Mythology? Because they wanted to bring something new to RTS... they have the most successful RTS formula, they shouldn't have to come up with more and more. Now, if you want variety of technologies and units, RoN is your game. Don't judge by the demo because it had a graphics bug that made the high setting look like the low setting. Believe me, it looks better than AOK at its best. I personally don't like that variety, so i don't play it.

You don't like build orders? well, I'm sorry to say it comes with the territory. If you check the dictionary... a strategy is basically a plan of action... it's synonomous with the word, plan. Players will naturally have a plan as to what to do in a specific map for the first few minutes. No game is different. People do it in The Sims, People will do it in RTS. If you want less plans, play unknown because that's... well... unknown. AOK and AOM have it so you are in a pretty good spot.

I hope you don't take any of this offensively because none of it was meant to be. I'm just giving you an answer in defense to RTS in general although I'll always be loyal to ES. Sure, everyone is waiting for AOE3... AOK fans are and AOM fans are. But I don't see why you guys are still stuck on AOK. You are asking for change, and when you have it... you don't like it. One thing, I don't want to hear is... AOM is too much like AOK so you won't play it... AOK is too much like AOK.


Proud member of Tsunami Studios
as a
scripter of some sort
ESO: Zeusthor
ArgoNaut_Ore
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 02:32 AM EDT (US)     4 / 19       
The problem with your dynamic starting conditions, will inevitably lead to the overwhelming frequancy of "map screws". For your idea to truly rid the RTS arena of build orders, the dynamic start, or what have you will have to be to an extent randomized. Or what is the point?

So, what happens if as Greek all you get is a kataskopos a hero and a hoplite, but your opponent get's a full amount of villagers, for instance?

Your automatically at a disadvantage. It may be your idea of fun to lose/win because of such a gross inequality, but it sure isn't mine, and I'd venture to say that most other players would agree with that.

Also, along with your complaint of BO corrupting RTS, all games suffer from this phenomenon. It's called trying to win. In sports games, football in specific, if your opponent is weak against the rush but strong versus the pass, then what do you do? Run the ball down his throat. In first person shooters, if your good at sniping, are you going to run and find a short range melee type of weapon? Or are you going to try and find that sniper rifle and take out your enemies from a distance?

It's the same in RTS, if your good at a certain thing, and it gets you results that you are happy with, then why not do it? It doesn't make any sense to try different tactics that aren't going to get you anything, especially if your goal is to win. I like trying odd ball strategys as much as anyone, but I'm not going to use it when I truly am trying to win, it's just dumb.

Developers instititute certain "equalities" into the game, so that when a game is decided, it is usually decided by the skill of a player. Not his randomized place on the map. For there to be fair play in RTS there must be some sort of standardized play.

Just my two cents and I'm sure these points have been made in your other threads, but there are soo many posts in those things, that I just skipped over it, and came here :P.


I am Become Death; Destroyer of Worlds.
proq
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 04:37 AM EDT (US)     5 / 19       
"For there to be fair play in RTS there must be some sort of standardized play." You got it right on target. It's not about being lazy or not wanting to... some things just can't be done with the available technology. AOM has improved with how random things get compared to AOK, and you can place a bet AOE3 will improve on randomness compared to AOM. AOM is a big step from AOK, AOE3 will be a smaller step, so it's pretty safe to assume the features and detail would be much greater.

Proud member of Tsunami Studios
as a
scripter of some sort
ESO: Zeusthor
Mojo14
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 04:43 AM EDT (US)     6 / 19       
It's really hard to get something that's really dynamic and complex while being balanced.

Things may make sense in words, but when you get right down to it do you want to play a game that's always really different or a game that's balanced (or close to being balanced in AoM's case).

Mojo14
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 04:44 AM EDT (US)     7 / 19       
BTW, what's all this talk of AoE3?
Has something officially been said about such a thing?

[This message has been edited by Mojo14 (edited 07-11-2003 @ 04:45 AM).]

proq
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 05:03 AM EDT (US)     8 / 19       
it's just an assumption I have made since both AOK and AOM fans would equally be excited about it. So, why wouldn't ES do it? AOM was just a break from the series, AOE isn't discontinued.

Proud member of Tsunami Studios
as a
scripter of some sort
ESO: Zeusthor
Mr_Floppy4
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 05:40 AM EDT (US)     9 / 19       
"gone down the toilet"

I said going, not gone.

"A genre is one type... you can't have different types of one type. Each RTS is bound to be similar, it's not their fault."

Imagine where FPS would be today if Valve had that kind of attitude when they decided to make their game!

"...they have the most successful RTS formula..."

Just to nitpick here, Blizzard has the most successful RTS forumla as they make the most money.

"Because they wanted to bring something new to RTS... "

Belive it or not, the only things similar to the original Age games I was expecting was large battles with deathmatch, that's it. But one of the problems was AoM felt like a mod-pack for AoK. It felt like a game with mythological units thrown in and a few god powers for good measure, not a game centered around mythology.

"You don't like build orders? well, I'm sorry to say it comes with the territory."

Play Sacrifice. Or AoK Deathmatch for that matter. I posted a decent DM game in my other thread. Here it is. It's not the best example of a good DM game but it'll do.

"Players will naturally have a plan as to what to do in a specific map for the first few minutes."

I was doing build orders for 10 minutes before I quit.

"If you check the dictionary... a strategy is basically a plan of action"

But the plan never changes based on what the enemy does. It can get very static. The chess player may think 5 moves ahead, but he sure as hell will change his plan to make the best move possible.

"I hope you don't take any of this offensively because none of it was meant to be."

None taken.

"But I don't see why you guys are still stuck on AOK. You are asking for change, and when you have it... you don't like it."

It feels like an inferior mod pack to me, and I just saw that last sentence, lol. What it comes down to, IMO, is they took away what I liked in the original (DM with dynamic battles), and added little new. I'll stick with the superior (IMO) original.

"The problem with your dynamic starting conditions, will inevitably lead to the overwhelming frequancy of "map screws". For your idea to truly rid the RTS arena of build orders, the dynamic start, or what have you will have to be to an extent randomized. Or what is the point?

So, what happens if as Greek all you get is a kataskopos a hero and a hoplite, but your opponent get's a full amount of villagers, for instance?

Your automatically at a disadvantage. It may be your idea of fun to lose/win because of such a gross inequality, but it sure isn't mine, and I'd venture to say that most other players would agree with that."

This is something I cannot give you an answer to right away. It requires much thinking. It is simply what I want to see, despite the fact that I currently have no efficient way to impliment it.

"In sports games, football in specific, if your opponent is weak against the rush but strong versus the pass, then what do you do? Run the ball down his throat."

But what if it rains? What if your QB breaks is leg? There are many dynamic elements to football. You don't plan the next 5 plays and say to your team "we are going run these plays no matter what". You base each play on the what's currently going on. In most RTS games, you do execute those 5 plays no matter what.

"It doesn't make any sense to try different tactics that aren't going to get you anything, especially if your goal is to win."

But I want a game that requires me to think on my feet, not a game that meeasures the effeciency I execute a pre-planned build order.

"It's really hard to get something that's really dynamic and complex while being balanced."

So because it's hard you give up trying? Sounds like a poor philosophy to me.

Mr_Floppy4

[This message has been edited by Mr_Floppy4 (edited 07-11-2003 @ 05:54 AM).]

signalfires
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 06:26 AM EDT (US)     10 / 19       
I haven't read any of the replies in this thread yet, but I just want to say about your article, Mr_Floppy4 ... very nice! You have some good ideas there, I really do agree with a lot of them. And well presented too.

s i g n a l f i r e s
Mr_Floppy4
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 06:28 AM EDT (US)     11 / 19       
Thanks, I appreciate it.

Mr_Floppy4

Frigrating
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 07:38 AM EDT (US)     12 / 19       
Well, the age series was most popular with AOE and interest has slowly faded ever since, and I suspect it has alot to do with what Mr Floppy is trying to say. There IS a reason why AOM has yet to sustain the interest of most people who buy the game. From Archaic age ( unnecessary waste of time unless it's Unknown ) to cavalry being the only viable unit to raid with in the most important age, to sea battles being boring and pointless ( deleting your ships after you win sucks ) , I can see why this game would bore alot of people fast. There isn't enough variety in legitimate tactics. Randomness is a good thing. Without it, the game becomes an arcade like Diablo which depends solely on who clicks the mouse fastest, because everyone knows exactly what to do ahead of time - so intellectual thought isn't needed, just quick reflexes.

With that said, I think ES realizes all this and is trying to figure out ways to make the game more dynamic, but fair. In the meantime, it'd be nice to see more people playing Unknown in the advanced rooms.

futurehermit
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 08:00 AM EDT (US)     13 / 19       
thanks for posting some of your ideas. check my next post here, it's on the same wavelength (looking for ideas).

anyway, i really do think u might like ron. it's got a lot of different units, i didn't really see the need for a build order, u start with some buildings, it seems VERY dynamic (e.g., u can only get certain resources in certain ages, u can build tcs anywhere, lots of techs, etc).

personally, i too would be concerned with balance issues if the game is too dynamic. unknown here can be unfair sometimes and i don't like losing cuz of the map/starting resources/placement/etc.

however, i am NOT happy with the water battles at all in aom (deleting ships is dumb and norse are at an advantage). i still disagree that things r the same in every game.

for eg, i play zeus. here are some zeus strats that i know of:

-fast mythic
-centaur strangle
-spirited charge hippikon raiding
-hoplite rush
-mixed hip-cent raiding
-hop-tox defensive build until pop max

those are the general strats i've seen and try to use. it's a nice variety, imo. different "build order" for each and different goals. they are for use against different opponents.

for me, this is sufficiently dynamic. judging from the amount of aom players right now, maybe u r right and it's not sufficiently dynamic.

please check my next post as es DOES check here often and DOES respond to the community. hopefully they will respond in this next post.

thanks mr_floppy4,

fh

Mr_Floppy4
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 08:43 AM EDT (US)     14 / 19       
Each one of those strategies requires a build order. Though sufficient for you, it is not for me. I need something where I do not look around and say "which one of the strategies I know should I execute", I need a game where I can look around and say "I think I'll do this, this and this because of that, that and that". I think you see my point.

I am still a bit skeptical of picking up Rise of Nations after the demo. One of the reasons I did not like it is there was absolutly no atmosphere. Everything felt so stale, monotone and bland. Is this different in the full game? There are quite a few games that I don't like much that a lot of people do, such as Homeworld and Allied Assault.

Mr_Floppy4

TheBigDonkey
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 09:43 AM EDT (US)     15 / 19       

Quote:

But what if it rains? What if your QB breaks is leg? There are many dynamic elements to football. You don't plan the next 5 plays and say to your team "we are going run these plays no matter what". You base each play on the what's currently going on. In most RTS games, you do execute those 5 plays no matter what.

Umm I don't know how much football you watch, but teams routinely script their first series, up to 15 plays. Obviously if they go 3 and out, they look at what the opponent did against them and adjust accordingly, but if it works well, they know what they have to do the rest of the game. Of course football teams don't script plays for the whole game but then again, AoM players don't set a build order for classical, heroic, and mythic either. And your making it sound like the only method for success is a very strict build order. But if you ask experts (1900+) if they use a build order, most of them will say they either don't use one or they use a very loose one which they alter to suit the situation.


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Alexandergreat3
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 03:43 PM EDT (US)     16 / 19       
I've read your article; it accurately highlighted the main shortcomings and lack of innovations of some of the current RTS titles.

One of your suggestions is to have terrain play a more important role in the game, and I think this is a wonderful idea. This little factor alone can add another dimension to the battle tactics, which at the current state, have only mouse-clicking micromanagement as the deciding factor in winning or losing.

A few simple elements such as these can be fused together to form a more intricate, yet very simple and intuitive for even new RTS players to learn and understand:


A) Terrain height - depending where units are standing on the slope, their attack/moving speed/raged attack can be increased or decreased.


B) Terrain types - depending on the terrain types, units' attributes such as attack/moving speed/path finding can be improved or worsen.

In AoK, there is this terrain called "Shallows" which basically is a typical swamp which allowed the movement of land units and boats, but buildings cannot be constructed on. Utilizing this idea, a terrain such as "Mud" can be designed in a way so that it worsen the movement speed and path finding of Cavalry units, but foot soldiers should have little problem.

Frigrating
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 04:38 PM EDT (US)     17 / 19       
How about weather changes throughout each game. Sometimes it gets very windy, sometimes rain, sometimes very hot. Have all of these changes make a small impact on how each unit performs. For instance, cavalry would be slower if it is snowing, so infantry might be the better choice in that instance. If it is raining, archers have the upper hand as it is very hard to see arrows flying around.
Mr_Floppy4
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 04:41 PM EDT (US)     18 / 19       
That would be great.

Mr_Floppy4

Frigrating
Mortal
posted 11 July 2003 05:14 PM EDT (US)     19 / 19       
In addition, I'd make weather patterns affect small segments of the map, not the entire map. Then, you'd have to make decisions about whether to stick out a war in a specific area, or try to flee to more favorable conditions.
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