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CRPGs have made a comeback! How about RTSs?


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By the way, it's worth pointing out that Empires in the Undergrowth, an ant themed RTS is having its second go on kickstarter this month.

...oh my god that looks awesome...

"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

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Wasn't that the game where the developer got massively cheated by his "friends" because he didn't contractually oblige them to do any work for their pay, so they just burned the cash from the kickstarter on booze, parties and left?

Fortune favors the bald.

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Wasn't that the game where the developer got massively cheated by his "friends" because he didn't contractually oblige them to do any work for their pay, so they just burned the cash from the kickstarter on booze, parties and left?

That was Ant Simulator

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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  • 7 months later...

I was really into Empire Earth and Age of Empires. Years later when I discovered Baldurs Gate I was like wow BG is like Age of Empires but it's an RPG. The map screens remind me of the infinity engine. Haven't played an rts in a long time. Probably six or seven years ago I played Age of Empires 3 and had a blast. Years ago I played command and conquer on n64 used to love that game. Maybe I'll fire up AoE3 today.

Edited by BrotherFerg

Why does a chair have arms and legs like a man, but can't walk or hold things?

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Still waiting for Warcraft IV...

 

Although I literally have no idea how would they handle the lore perturbations induced by wow storyline.

Vaguely hoping the news that Dustin Browder moved off the Heroes of the Storm team means this is happening, because his other lead design credit is StarCraft 2 and before Blizz he did CnC Red Alert 2, CnC Generals and Battle for Middle Earth. Seemed like a mistake to waste an RTS designer on a Moba.

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  • 1 month later...

Well there is Total War series which is going strong, and is somehow good.

Paradox games are rts enought? They may feel like board games, but they all have active pause and real time. And there is fair number of them (HoI, EU, Stellaris, CK).

There is Wargames series. Dawn of War 3 is announced. There was Homeworld Karak.

 

Fair amount of games. Strategy games are generally niche and not really casual.

 

Also Stracraft game model is not that great, since that all base building is not appealing for those who prefer commanding troops.

 

Also RTS need to compete with turn based strategies which are very close.

Edited by evilcat
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They're dead in the water just like arena shooters. Newer genres have overtaken them and there's just no players left.

 

Look at Planetary Annihilation, Ashes of Singularity, even Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (which was actually pretty good).

 

Luckily there's still cool stuff like grand strategy, Offworld Trading Company, Rimworld, etc.

Edited by Purkake
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Not too optimistic about Warcraft IV, with Rob Pardo and so many of their best designers gone. I'd still play WC3 if they made a proper new patch with an updated battle.net though.

 

If the RTS genre is gonna be popular again,I feel like they gotta incorporate some of the automated things from mobas. For example have the buildings automatically spawn units every minute, or something like that. With the focus being more on controlling the army (and the hero, if it's warcraft we're talking about), and selecting the right army type, rather than basebuilding and unit production.

 

I tried playing SC2, but it just feels like work rather than fun in how effective you have to be with the macro stuff.

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If the RTS genre is gonna be popular again,I feel like they gotta incorporate some of the automated things from mobas. For example have the buildings automatically spawn units every minute, or something like that. With the focus being more on controlling the army (and the hero, if it's warcraft we're talking about), and selecting the right army type, rather than basebuilding and unit production.

 

Incorporate from mobas? RTS were doing that pre-3D graphics.

 

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Dunno whether the Halo War count or not, but there will be a new sudden strike which exactly is a RTS. As for the whole genre, still can't say anymore...

I have struggle to understand a Universe that allows the destruction of an entire planet. Which will win this endless conflict - destruction or creation? The only thing I know for certain is never to place your faith entirely on one side. Play the middle if you want to survive.

 

Everyone else is a fanatic. I am Gauldoth Half-Dead. Your savior.

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Dunno whether the Halo War count or not, but there will be a new sudden strike which exactly is a RTS. As for the whole genre, still can't say anymore...

Dawn of War 3 will probably be well marketed. Also Ultimate General Civil War.

In past years: Paradox Interactive games, Total War games, Homeworld Karak, Ashes of Singularity, Company of Heroes 2 was bestseller, Wargame series have some niche, War of Goo was not pile of poo.

 

Game like Z could be a good idea, it was casual enought and cut off boring stuff. Just need some modern gimmicks like special abilities or hero units.

Offworld Trade Company kinda did that.

Edited by evilcat
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what about 8bit Armies ?

/\

That's a good amount of fun right there. Not the best RTS games ever, but they make for some fun "I want to play an RTS" release, especially if you also own 8-bit Hordes and Invaders

Edited by Fenixp
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I think to a large degree the MOBA genre ate RTS's lunch, due to having a considerably lower skill floor, and having actually a relatively similar space for strategic play.

 

In an RTS or MOBA you know what your opponent is capable of doing but you don't know what they are doing unless you scout them doing it, so in an RTS your own strategic plan tend to fall into a pattern which accounts for what the opponent can do based on their faction and when during a game that faction is powerful (there being a MttH for any given set of units appearing based on how long it takes to tech to them).  That tends to lead to a metagame with fairly set patterns. If as a terran player you know you're against Protoss you use the parts of your kit that are better against Protoss.

 

In a MOBA you have the same knowledge (you know the team composition and where they're likely to be at given stages of the game based on which character they are) but because there are many more team compositions in a 5v5 built of 40 odd characters than there are in a 1v1 built of three, even if each character has a more limited set of tools than a whole race in an RTS they produce a similar range of strategic considerations out of that knowledge.

 

That means anyone looking for that type of gameplay with that set of strategic challenges in it can get it from MOBAs, which have a vastly lower barrier to entry both in terms of management skill (Starcraft is as much a management game as a strategy game, if you can't macro properly you won't win even if you have the best strategic plans in the world) and eAPM, and being free.

 

RTS games will still come out, but I think they're going to stay pretty niche.

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I think to a large degree the MOBA genre ate RTS's lunch, due to having a considerably lower skill floor, and having actually a relatively similar space for strategic play.

I never really bought that line of argumentation. Every competitive team-based game has a strong layer of strategy to it simply due to the nature of it being a competitive team-based game, not just mobas.

 

I think it simply comes down to the fact that a lot of RTS players enjoyed the strong focus on competitive play and ridiculous micromanagement, which is exactly what moba games'll grant them in a much more casual environment.

 

With that said, I still don't think there's that much of an overlap between fans of RTS as a genre and moba games outside of them being competitive. Non-competitive RTS games have always been a niche, and the fact that the genre barely ever evolved in any meaningful fashion didn't really help its longevity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I believe that the end of the "golden era" of RTS provoked communities to think about themselves and if shifts should be made and how they would have to.

 

I mean, it's probably the other way around, there weren't ever such "hard-tied" RTS communities, but instead, these communities included many people who enjoyed those games, for many different reasons. Some played RTS because of well crafted single campaigns, some because of competitive ladder, some because of the "easy to begin" stance, some because of the setting (historical, fantasy, SciFi...), some because of the music...

 

I think many events made the communities "inplode" depending of what people searched for in RTS, and how they "evolved" intrisinqually.

Some people went to full RTT (so without the light Strategy the RTS had), with games like Commandos, Close Combat, Sudden Strike or Blitzkrieg. Now we have Company of Heroes or the very recent Shadow Tactics.

Some other shifted to MOBA with the success of Warcraft III mods.

Some other went to the still hybrid RTT/Strategy but in higher scale, like the Total War series. Or other hybrid like Imperium Gallactica.

Some went to RTS but at higher scale, like the Paradox games.

Some went back to TBT (for "depth" ? because those are still developped ? because they are older now and can't stand such quickness from RTS ? ;)).

Some went to TBS at high scale, etc...

 

And I think that hybrid Strategy or Simulation or Tactictal RPG played a role (... no pun intended but... :D) in that situation : whether there were asian RPG (japanese of course, but also there were interesting korean hybrid RPG in that way), RTS-RPG like Rage of Mages or Spellforce, or obiously the Infinity Engine games, I believe a part of "original" RTS communities from the mid-to-late 90s followed the RPG route later in the 2000s.

 

Original PnP RPG went from wargames, so I think that happened in video games too.

 

 

The golden era of RTS was a very nice era for gaming communities (although there were sometimes "little wars" like the "console wars" between fanbases), it helped to throw the light of a lot of video game genres and "sub genres", but sadly, I don't think the genre will shine as it did decdes ago.

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Dunno whether the Halo War count or not, but there will be a new sudden strike which exactly is a RTS. As for the whole genre, still can't say anymore...

Dawn of War 3 will probably be well marketed. Also Ultimate General Civil War.

In past years: Paradox Interactive games, Total War games, Homeworld Karak, Ashes of Singularity, Company of Heroes 2 was bestseller, Wargame series have some niche, War of Goo was not pile of poo.

 

Game like Z could be a good idea, it was casual enought and cut off boring stuff. Just need some modern gimmicks like special abilities or hero units.

Offworld Trade Company kinda did that.

 

Paradox is the inheritor of the grognard title from the old days of Turn-Based wargames like Panzer General, IMHO. They have a niche they're cultivated well, and they know how to service it. They get a lot of stick from the unfamiliar for their DLC plan. But to my mind, it makes sense: Everyone gets the rules changes that the DLC is implementing for free. You only pay for the actual gameplay that's being added. So the continuing tweaks and balancing (which is necessary in a free-form sandbox RTS disguising a grand alt-history simulation), get passed on to everyone. I can see how it's sticker shock when you come in 2 years on for Crusader Kings 2 and see a dozen DLC. But you don't NEED every one. And there's no harm in skipping any of them that don't interest you. Perfect for the grognards making up their audience. 

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I don't think Paradox is an inheritor of grognards' games in that case, especially Panzer General-like TB wargames.

Matrix, and then Slitherine, fit more, IMHO. Especially with series like Panzer Corps, Order of Battle, or the recent W40K Armageddon which are now the best Panzer General successors (I find Panzer Corps even better than Panzer General nowadays). They have bigger scale wargames, with Gary Grigsby still around with its War in the Pacific or War in the East (grognards would be familiar, remember the days of Pacific War and War in Russia),

 

So I don't really think Paradox and their communities have come from the old grognard fanbase, but instead (although people could have come from it, I don't think it's the majority there), come from the 90s RTS fanbases who searched way deeper games. Paradox games are a bit their own genre, great games indeed, but it's their own niche. Too bad there are series of them which haven't the following (from sales and communities numbers, and consequently from Paradox) they deserve (Victoria, Rome, Sengoku).

Edited by Huinehtar
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Paradox does a lot to make their games more casual. Hearths of Iron 4 is very accesable considering scope of the game. Crusader Kings have a lot of jokes when it comes mating rituals or backstabbing (most of the game). Stellaris and EU are bit more complex, in EU some addons could made game really heavy (so many sliders).

 

Im not sure how MOBA are connected to strategy in any way. You may do shoot-them-all game using starcraft assets. But that will not be strategy. MOBA are more like pvp diablo. (cool idea and everything)

 

Note: Many games are created as shameless clones of some other bestsellers. Also strategy AI is nighmare to develop.

Also we separate TB from RTS. In the same way there is only 1 isometric cRPG. *Rest in action or turn combat, totally different.

 

Maybe there is hope in Very Massive Online Combat, games like planetside or eve. After 256 players there may be enought strategy in addition to action.

Other type is hero strategy. Like dawn of war or starcraft. Small squads where every units matter. Easier to control.

 

Modern RTS aproach:

  • No base building, just capture and secure strateguc points. There is some prep module before each mission.
  • Small number of units, heroic style. Like 4-10 per mission.
  • Each unit have number of special powers
  • You can activate AI (hold mouse) and just order to do something smart in contex order (nearby allies will capture, attack, move forward and so on).

Maybe too much console game or reinventing Total War.

Edited by evilcat
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