Act of Aggression 2 ideas

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Megiddo
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Re: Act of Aggression 2 ideas

Postby Megiddo » Mon 17 Oct 2016 10:19

McNash wrote:
I think Eugen never managed to understand the fact they were targeting to C&C players, not Act of War's, and of course not the armchair generals and real-life veterans of Wargame, plain simple, and to be more specific the people who bought the Red Alert 2/Generals/C&C3 age of huge armies and fast economy, I re-installed Kane's Wrath the other day and was impressed with the amount of resources and units I can get into the meatgrinder, it was truly great to see a game which didn't try to limit you with a poor economy in the name of "gameplay".


From my point of view, they missed to choose clearly which side they wanted to advantage with this game. In terms of development, gameplay features, design choices and gameplay mechanisms i mean. AoA is clearly not as fast-paced and easy to handle or "arcade-ish" as C&C, notably concerning the inertia and handling of units and group movements, or the economy as you said.

Unfortunately, they also missed to implement, or implement correctly, the features that could have brought a good strategic/tactical value in addition to such a fast and precise gameplay style : armor values (front, side, rear), hit rates/dodge rates, ambush system for infantry, concrete scenery elements and LOS system, a veterancy system...we know the story and already discussed about these chapters in countless topics.

They focused on economy and build orders, which is good, but left the combat gameplay aside, at the difference of Wargame. IMHO that's a bit sad. Seeing a slow base-building economy (not millionaire spamming games) and a deep, rich and "persistent" battlefield (to understand : a lesser number of units thanks to higher prices but more HP, armors and tactics on the field) would have been a blast. Still hoping to see that one day.

If not for an AoA 2, highly hypothetical, maybe for a big extension like High Treason was back in the AoW days.

At least Eugen could indicate if they plan to support this game longer, with patches, balance tweaks and new features, or if they definitely moved on towards other projects.
That's the saddest part of the story. I was getting used to think, after nearly three decades of its existence, that the word "Strategy" was the main cornerstone of the RTS genre and golden age.

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Re: Act of Aggression 2 ideas

Postby Harout » Mon 17 Oct 2016 16:29

McNash wrote:
Harout wrote:
GraphZaal wrote:First of all: why speak of Act of Aggression 2? Act of Aggression is actually Act of War 2...it's pretty ridiculous to think of an Act of Aggression 2 this way. :idea:
Anyways: bring back ships like in AoW:HT!


Wargame community will happily donate our ships to you. Please adopt them and take them away.


They are amusing if you use them against the AI.

By the way, I think Eugen never managed to understand the fact they were targeting to C&C players, not Act of War's, and of course not the armchair generals and real-life veterans of Wargame, plain simple, and to be more specific the people who bought the Red Alert 2/Generals/C&C3 age of huge armies and fast economy, I re-installed Kane's Wrath the other day and was impressed with the amount of resources and units I can get into the meatgrinder, it was truly great to see a game which didn't try to limit you with a poor economy in the name of "gameplay".


I havent played act of agression but I loved redalert 2 even 3 was glorious because of the campaign stories. To be honest I thought all rts players wanted to have ever more realistic and larger scale wargames but technology limits led to high abstraction games like red alert and cqc. Clearly I was wrong and we are in the minority, Starcraft is very popular.
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Re: Act of Aggression 2 ideas

Postby McNash » Wed 19 Oct 2016 10:07

Megiddo wrote:
McNash wrote:
I think Eugen never managed to understand the fact they were targeting to C&C players, not Act of War's, and of course not the armchair generals and real-life veterans of Wargame, plain simple, and to be more specific the people who bought the Red Alert 2/Generals/C&C3 age of huge armies and fast economy, I re-installed Kane's Wrath the other day and was impressed with the amount of resources and units I can get into the meatgrinder, it was truly great to see a game which didn't try to limit you with a poor economy in the name of "gameplay".


From my point of view, they missed to choose clearly which side they wanted to advantage with this game. In terms of development, gameplay features, design choices and gameplay mechanisms i mean. AoA is clearly not as fast-paced and easy to handle or "arcade-ish" as C&C, notably concerning the inertia and handling of units and group movements, or the economy as you said.

Unfortunately, they also missed to implement, or implement correctly, the features that could have brought a good strategic/tactical value in addition to such a fast and precise gameplay style : armor values (front, side, rear), hit rates/dodge rates, ambush system for infantry, concrete scenery elements and LOS system, a veterancy system...we know the story and already discussed about these chapters in countless topics.

They focused on economy and build orders, which is good, but left the combat gameplay aside, at the difference of Wargame. IMHO that's a bit sad. Seeing a slow base-building economy (not millionaire spamming games) and a deep, rich and "persistent" battlefield (to understand : a lesser number of units thanks to higher prices but more HP, armors and tactics on the field) would have been a blast. Still hoping to see that one day.

If not for an AoA 2, highly hypothetical, maybe for a big extension like High Treason was back in the AoW days.

At least Eugen could indicate if they plan to support this game longer, with patches, balance tweaks and new features, or if they definitely moved on towards other projects.


Tactics have been the bane of RTS during the last 10 years, they spawned the MOBA and C&C4.

Why indeed, you are here and you want Act of Aggression to be a Dawn of War 2/Company of Heroes, or even a Wargame, yes, you do, nothing bad with that, at least not in the sense that's what you and many like you want, but I think the developers made a terrible mistake when they listened to you all, again, nothing personal, it's just what I perceive, my evidence may be circumstantial and my deductions flawed, but they may actually explain a lot of things happening these years.

Yes, you and most Wargame players are RTT gamers, and like most RTT gamers you are extremely vocal about how micromanagement is so important, you hate the fact a RTS game may depend not upon your skill with units but at how much hand-skill and economic brute force you can unleash upon the enemy.

I have seen this before, back when Kane's Wrath economy was crippled so e-sport progamers can bring a better show and promote EA games.

Of course it back-fired bad, terribly bad, most people worldwide want to play videogames, not watch them pretending you are in the super bowl or something.

It has been 8 years since Kane's Wrath was released, that glorious and ultimately doomed expansion pack which was the last game in the RTS industry where the macro aspects of the game were the most important one and you could actually mass large forces.

After that it was a long and tedious decline, ironically, sales shrunk more and more, C&C3 Tiberium Wars managed to sell more than 1 million in a couple of months, Red Alert 3 required multiplatforming and Uprising to achieve the million copies.

Shall we comment on C&C4? Shall we inquiry on why EA decided to use "Tiberian Twilight" on the title to save the day?

By that point the damage was done, both EA and the fanbase have made terrible mistakes, yes, the fans too, people is so amusing, they speak bad about a brand to no end and then blame exclusively to the developers and publishers about how that brand died, it's like they can't understand they are removing potential newcomers because in their world what they say shouldn't affect sales.

Except some of them actually know they are doing it, because they won't allow anything other than what they think it's perfect, which of course it's just plain impossible, but well, I myself have indulged in trying to take down some brands (namely Dawn of War 3).

Anyway, back on topic, of course, the game died because it didn't appeal to the right audience, and in the end, who knows? Maybe there are no macro-oriented RTS gamers left, maybe I am just one among a few survivors of a bygone age.

And no, Eugen won't say anything about it, if naval warfare is any example in Red Dragon, they have learned the good lesson of just ignoring that which they no longer have the power to fix.
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Re: Act of Aggression 2 ideas

Postby Megiddo » Wed 19 Oct 2016 14:07

McNash wrote:
Megiddo wrote:
McNash wrote:
I think Eugen never managed to understand the fact they were targeting to C&C players, not Act of War's, and of course not the armchair generals and real-life veterans of Wargame, plain simple, and to be more specific the people who bought the Red Alert 2/Generals/C&C3 age of huge armies and fast economy, I re-installed Kane's Wrath the other day and was impressed with the amount of resources and units I can get into the meatgrinder, it was truly great to see a game which didn't try to limit you with a poor economy in the name of "gameplay".


From my point of view, they missed to choose clearly which side they wanted to advantage with this game. In terms of development, gameplay features, design choices and gameplay mechanisms i mean. AoA is clearly not as fast-paced and easy to handle or "arcade-ish" as C&C, notably concerning the inertia and handling of units and group movements, or the economy as you said.

Unfortunately, they also missed to implement, or implement correctly, the features that could have brought a good strategic/tactical value in addition to such a fast and precise gameplay style : armor values (front, side, rear), hit rates/dodge rates, ambush system for infantry, concrete scenery elements and LOS system, a veterancy system...we know the story and already discussed about these chapters in countless topics.

They focused on economy and build orders, which is good, but left the combat gameplay aside, at the difference of Wargame. IMHO that's a bit sad. Seeing a slow base-building economy (not millionaire spamming games) and a deep, rich and "persistent" battlefield (to understand : a lesser number of units thanks to higher prices but more HP, armors and tactics on the field) would have been a blast. Still hoping to see that one day.

If not for an AoA 2, highly hypothetical, maybe for a big extension like High Treason was back in the AoW days.

At least Eugen could indicate if they plan to support this game longer, with patches, balance tweaks and new features, or if they definitely moved on towards other projects.


Tactics have been the bane of RTS during the last 10 years, they spawned the MOBA and C&C4.

Why indeed, you are here and you want Act of Aggression to be a Dawn of War 2/Company of Heroes, or even a Wargame, yes, you do, nothing bad with that, at least not in the sense that's what you and many like you want, but I think the developers made a terrible mistake when they listened to you all, again, nothing personal, it's just what I perceive, my evidence may be circumstantial and my deductions flawed, but they may actually explain a lot of things happening these years.

Yes, you and most Wargame players are RTT gamers, and like most RTT gamers you are extremely vocal about how micromanagement is so important, you hate the fact a RTS game may depend not upon your skill with units but at how much hand-skill and economic brute force you can unleash upon the enemy.

I have seen this before, back when Kane's Wrath economy was crippled so e-sport progamers can bring a better show and promote EA games.

Of course it back-fired bad, terribly bad, most people worldwide want to play videogames, not watch them pretending you are in the super bowl or something.

It has been 8 years since Kane's Wrath was released, that glorious and ultimately doomed expansion pack which was the last game in the RTS industry where the macro aspects of the game were the most important one and you could actually mass large forces.

After that it was a long and tedious decline, ironically, sales shrunk more and more, C&C3 Tiberium Wars managed to sell more than 1 million in a couple of months, Red Alert 3 required multiplatforming and Uprising to achieve the million copies.

Shall we comment on C&C4? Shall we inquiry on why EA decided to use "Tiberian Twilight" on the title to save the day?

By that point the damage was done, both EA and the fanbase have made terrible mistakes, yes, the fans too, people is so amusing, they speak bad about a brand to no end and then blame exclusively to the developers and publishers about how that brand died, it's like they can't understand they are removing potential newcomers because in their world what they say shouldn't affect sales.

Except some of them actually know they are doing it, because they won't allow anything other than what they think it's perfect, which of course it's just plain impossible, but well, I myself have indulged in trying to take down some brands (namely Dawn of War 3).

Anyway, back on topic, of course, the game died because it didn't appeal to the right audience, and in the end, who knows? Maybe there are no macro-oriented RTS gamers left, maybe I am just one among a few survivors of a bygone age.

And no, Eugen won't say anything about it, if naval warfare is any example in Red Dragon, they have learned the good lesson of just ignoring that which they no longer have the power to fix.


Yeah, i understand your arguments, but make no mistake (and let the superficial MOBA genre out of it please :P) : I'm basically a RTS player, like base building, infinite unit population and as you perfectly said, macro games and an advantage gained with brute force economy.

Although i also think that this aspect, alone, with a battlefield limited to a simple "meat grinder", can't guarantee the success of a game nowadays, except maybe with titles specially dedicated to that, like supreme commander for example (large view of the battlefield, large flux-based economy, vast base building and unit production...though this one has also interesting combat handling and features i think). C&C/AoA blob fights in the open and basic combats lasting 10 seconds are inevitably boring after a time...I'd like to think that we, the players, could obtain the best of both worlds. A good and balanced macro/economic/base building part, along with a rich battlefield (CoH2, Wargame, Call to Arms), where the complexity and usefulness of the map design, the combat mechanisms, the player skills and micro are, here again, the pillars of the gameplay. While staying comprehensive, appealing and accessible to the majority of the players. Are we really doomed to expect and hope for only one of those aspects, but never reach the qualities of both of them? Are those two aspects so different and irreconcilable?

Honestly i think the RTS market is just starting to realize that. To realize that the studios or the publishers were lazy enough to offer only one "finished and polished" aspect, or too self-confident to think that the players would not want more than a RTS OR a RTT. Sales results and player bases are their unforgiving judges.

Just a quick example : you spoke about CoH/DoW and you were quite right. what happened with this franchise? The 1st iteration was the best one imo. Base building, macro, micro on the battlefield, plenty of combat gameplay features, all strategies were possible AND balanced, turtling, rushing, secondary bases...Then the second iteration made the full RTT bet (if this means something, those classifications are so subjective), all for units and micro, no more base building...ok it was, and is always played by a regular player base, but today Relic is deciding to go back to the first pattern for a reason.

Back to AoA, what happened? this topic is, again, a perfect occasion to question Eugen choices and call them to face their "mistakes" out. Objectively. Even if they probably won't answer, as you said, at least we can expect them to listen for their future productions. Of course, we have to keep in mind that they faced technical limitations because of the engine certainly, and that the feedback and expectations of their community (mine included) are the ones of non-professional simple players, with diverse and subjective feelings. Even if those players have been playing RTS games since almost 3 decades or are sometimes very competitive players, it's impossible to satisfy everyone of course. But we can always base our discussion on objective observations or questions, as we did in dozens of feedback threads.

To contain the debate, i'll only consider the general pace of the game for example, and the weird differences between a slow economy, base-building and unit production part in opposition to a combat part that is too quickly resolved and involves uncontrollable blobs : The unhappy macro/micro paradox in AoA.

Lack of polish? Building queues, shortcuts, pathfinding and collision issues in front of a bridge for example (micro is needed whatever you say, or the groups must be tinier), balance of prices and HP levels, placement of units in the tech tree (do you even use the Vextra?), handling of certain unit types like choppers or planes, formations management, roads, the size of the maps compared to the slowness of units like infantry (unless you embark them in vehicles, with the ergonomy problems we know)...what is the result? we spend a considerable time building the economy and the base while the skirmishes, the combat, are resolved in 10 seconds. No armors, no active abilities, an almost unexploitable map design (forests, covers, even the concrete walls don't obstruct the LOS). Given the slow economic and tech aspects (they're not the main problem imo), given the unit response time and the difficult management of formations, given the low speed of units in regard of the average map sizes (counters and snowball effects lack progressivity, so to say the HP levels are too low) are those kind of nervous combat developments really justified? Could the gameplay be better with less units at start (higher prices for all units), better HP levels and a frontline slowly moving with the player actions? or with abilities and combat features, better ranges and hit rates/dodge rates?...there are plenty of factors to explain AoA results, and many seem to point out at the end this "meat grinder" you talked about. If i remember well even M. LE DRESSAY also thought that the combat was really too quick in its developments. He was right.

So much could be said in so many domains that are closely linked in the gameplay...Please don't take that as a simple complaint about AoA, this is not the objective. :)
That's the saddest part of the story. I was getting used to think, after nearly three decades of its existence, that the word "Strategy" was the main cornerstone of the RTS genre and golden age.

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Re: Act of Aggression 2 ideas

Postby McNash » Wed 19 Oct 2016 20:13

A great observation certainly, combat is extremely lethal in AoA, which is a major paradox for a game which such a low starting economy, this is aggravated more by the low amount of available easily accessible resources per map, yes, I know Act of War had that too, however, such was not the case of the C&C games before RA3 (where incidentally things started to go down, although there were many other factors to take in consideration), you could actually make a bet to build up your economy through large amount of harvesters/miners while defending yourself against early harassers, even Generals had considerable amounts of supply depots, oil derricks and alternate ways of quickly generating cash, also, units were cheaper, faster and more easily replaceable, you could literally lose 10 tanks and have another 10 rolling half a minute later, an Apocalypse tank costed 1750 credits, this is almost the same as a US thunderbolt, and apocalypse had self-repair, AA weaponry and was capable to annihilate almost anything in its path while only requiring two loads of a single miner to get built.

In AoA you not only have a cumbersome economy, but most units are extremely fragile and expensive, you can actually destroy a tank in two or three shots, leaving little time to maneuvers and tactics, and the prisoner system was highly dependent on the Random Generated Numbers, which could end in extremely bizarre and unfair situations.

I think the current economy would have worked for a game with the unit stats seen in Dawn of War 2 or Red Alert 3, I think that's what you were trying to say, however, I don't think many people (old C&C fans in particular) would be happy for yet another RTTish RTS which limited your options through low income, of course I would have still give it a try, as I can defend my ground when it comes to RTT.

Personally If I could, I would have added settings which allowed me to customize the prices, starting money, lethality and income rate of the game, but of course that would have mean a lot of work for Eugen Systems, their programmers in particular may not like such a thing, and right now they have found a gold mine selling national packs.
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Re: Act of Aggression 2 ideas

Postby Megiddo » Thu 20 Oct 2016 10:53

McNash wrote:
I think the current economy would have worked for a game with the unit stats seen in Dawn of War 2, I think that's what you were trying to say, however, I don't think many people (old C&C fans in particular) would be happy for yet another RTTish RTS which limited your options through low income, of course I would have still give it a try, as I can defend my ground when it comes to RTT.


Yep, i guess i wanted to say something like that (minus the RA3 comparison).

A slow economy as we have in AoA, requiring continuous attention, a good macro, where build orders and timings are important and requiring some time to grow. For that the placement of resources on the map is important of course, but those spots have to be limited in number to allow at the same time the defensive or offensive strategies, on an equal foot.

Coupled with a deeper battlefield, where the combats are richer and the HP levels higher. Tactics are almost not present in AoA, because the engagements are not lasting long enough. You often can't reverse any situation if the first contact is or is not at your advantage. This is a sign. All units since the first rifleman deserve to be tougher imo. The DoW2/CoH2 example is a good comparison you're right. It also requires the combat features we spoke about earlier (armors, hit and dodge rates, better ranges) AND a usable map design (forests, covers, ambush possibilities, CONCRETE and destructible walls or scenery elements, able to obstruct the LOS and the shots), fitting with the average size of the groups and formations we have in a match. Through AoW and Wargame, Eugen proved that they were completely able to propose that.

But such possibilities are not preventing a game from staying a good, "old school" RTS, are they? what i mean is that we can retrieve the good old "meatgrinder" and brute force economy sensations we talked about. How? From my point of view, and to stick, as you said, with the current economy in AoA reboot, it goes through HP levels and armors mainly. Few units at start, a handful of soldiers and a jeep, just enough to scout and take position around the next resource node. the engagements are starting, but the units don't die immediately. you have the time to maneuver, to use the terrain, to take care of your economy and your production in order to reinforce your frontline with adapted units. That's exactly what is missing, imo, to AoA. A combat part pace and an economic pace that fit together. As we said they seem almost disconnected or "desynched" in AoA. The maps are big, the production is slow, the reinforcements are taking time to arrive. So to say the connection between the battlefield and the counter tech/research, unit production and reinforcement phases seem wrong. Counters and snowball effects lack progressivity somehow.

It doesn't matter if the units are expensive, and i even think that all units could cost more for the sake of keeping some notion of tactics and micro on the battlefield, but in exchange the combats must last longer and grow in intensity progressively all over the map.

What is missing to AoA, given its economic pace and, maybe, its engine limitations, is imo this notion of growing, living and lasting battlefield, where the combat has some form of persistence and the frontline is slowly moving during the match thanks to both the player micro AND economic power.
That's the saddest part of the story. I was getting used to think, after nearly three decades of its existence, that the word "Strategy" was the main cornerstone of the RTS genre and golden age.

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Re: Act of Aggression 2 ideas

Postby McNash » Sun 6 Nov 2016 09:25

Well, personally I would like to go with the fast economy, but I agree with you Act of Aggression combat is somehow lacklusting, the lack of C&C3/RA3 special abilities, directional armour, survivability and many issues with the command keys such as allowing the player to use the roads or reverse move has removed a considerable amount of potential, independently of the economy these are things which are sorely missed.

By the way, checking the stats people still play this game even while it seems like Eugen Systems has decided to stop all update in order to focus on more Wargame content and the probable development of a new iteration of their most successful franchise.

An aspect which I think would be quite welcome would be an unofficial patch made by the community to improve and correct some of the issues with the game, of course I won't have any high hopes in the matters of balance, but I truly believe the game would be great with more interface features.
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