[REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

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Gnougnou
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[REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Gnougnou » Sun 19 Jul 2015 03:45

So I decided to make my review, to talk about everything around the game.

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First of all, I'll say that this game is a good surprise. I trusted Eugen, and wasn't disappointed. I do everything I can so people I know buy this game, to bring some solid player base, and hope you guys are doing the same.

I was really skeptical about the game at first, but it has some really good features. I played like 20 games in multiplayers and 6 with bots and I find this game really interesting.

The game looks very good. I can't use insane settings because of my gud'old'card but even with med this is some good stuff here. Buildings are big enough to make me happy, and some units are fun to use.

I come from C&C, Act of War and Supreme Commander and played all of them except for C&C4. My expectation on this game were high, and mostly because they explicitly said that they wanted to follow the same path.


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Game Time :
I do believe games are too fast. I mostly play 2vs2 and all I see are strikers rush, Terminator or Abrams mass army. This is something I find terribly sad because it just cut off the game potential. Also, defeating someone often to not say everytime leads to the other surrendering. That's means that losing an ally is terribly crippling. In AoW people, as I remember it, continued to fight most of the time.

I really hope there will be much larger 2vs2 maps, so we can really make huge armies before sending them to battle ! I remember some AoW session where they said "no rush 10mn" so people could build descent armies.

Ressources :
Ressources right now are fine. The future "starting ressource" will allow people to either be poor at the beginning, slowing down the game which is to me completly useless, or start with a lot of money to quickly deploy your base for interesting battle.

The fact that ressources are procedural make the game way more hardcore that you may think. Ending up with 4 alu fields when all you hope is quickly finding oil makes it harder. Also, rare eath sometimes spawn really close to your base, which means that the game will probably be more on nukes and artilleries. This is some good stuff here, and I enjoy this.

PoW are also fine to me. There might be to many of them. I feel like they are somehow a bit less useful than in AoW fors ome reasons, but I can't spend a game without taking some of them. INCOMES. I like incomes. I love infinite incomes. Earning 500$ for each prisoner is a very good way to be able to counter an attack. It also, at least for "good players", prevents them from suicide units because it will help the enemy growing bigger.

Trading PoW is also a good feature, coming directly from AoW. I like the fact that the trade is different depending on the faction. That makes sense since Chimera is able to produce infinite alu ans cash, while USA is stuck with cash only. So yeah, making it easier for USA to trade is legit.

Community :
I am really surprised by the community maturity, from what i've seen. People understand teamplay and quickly change team to let you with your friend if you ask for. People use beacons in-game and average player seems to know how to play properly.

What I saw through is that players do not stack armies. They will help if you're under attack, but none of them will follow you into battle. What I think is that we have SO many things to manage at a time that players (and I add myself to the list) do not pay intention to what is happening in their allies bases. When I'm 2vs2, I often watch my friend base, but in 4vs4, I have to admit that I'm sometimes surprised when I see my ally in the middle of the map with a huge army :lol:


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There is a topic about that, but yeah, I have to point it out again. The current camera is just bad. I spend all my games in sat view. You wanted us to see your beautiful models so you glued the camera to the ground : you win ! We spend our games in a wireframe extrem color shaded view ! You are talking to an RTS community which played mostly Wargames. People like me coming from AoW reported the same problem 10 years ago ! AoW camera was awefully too close !

But this is way worst than in AoW. In AoW, you had like 2 refineries, and your trucks were basically just doing 360 between the derrick and the refiniery which was built 5 feet away. Your base was kinda smaller so you had just some key points to protect, and that was it, sooOOoo you could handle it with the glued cam.

In AoA, you just CANT. You have 6 to 8 refineries to protect and your base(s) is/are way bigger. The normal zoom is just now enough.

Here are some C&C camera for comparison :
Tiberian Sun : http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... ot-stw.jpg
Red Alert 2 : http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... rt-2-1.jpg
Tiberium Wars : http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l ... a-good.jpg
Each time : Whole base + surronding terrain.

Now, let's take a look at some really detailed grass : http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 220646.png
I can't even see my whole base. At this camera point, which is more or less the center of my base, I can't see ANY enemie coming from ANY direction.

Now here is the sat view : http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 220658.png
With sat view, I can see my whole base + surronding terrain, just like in ANY FU****NG RTS. If someone come, I can see it, I can react fast. When I'm out of power I feel like I'm blind ! In other C&C, being blind meant not having the minimap, in AoA, it's not being able to Sat View !

Put the two screens next to another. Can't you make something between eating grass and watching things from moon ? Normal camera make me sick, with this motion blur and stuff, I just want to vomit. Do something, seriously.

I would also like to say that making the auto switch between normal and sat view is really cool. This is the best use of this feature you could make. The fact that you have to "force" to switch is also a good way to avoid unwanted camera change. Great job on that.


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Units seems weak compared to AoW. I don't really know why, but a single unit doesn't seem to count on the board. You need to get tons of them to actually feel that you're doing something.

Tanks are good the way they are right now, but I feel like there is not enough of them. I would like to have more light tanks for each factions. For example Chimera could have the AMX 13 which is a very fast light tank and USA could have the M3 Bradley.
http://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprint ... 05mm-1.png
I'm also tired of seing my tanks following road in a straight line, like they just want to be killed one by one. All I want is my massive army coming in formation and invading the enemy base.

Planes efficiency is way too low. In Act Of War, planes were very strong, but I feel they were balanced. They were easy to shot down, and they one-shot tanks. That was working really fine. Apart from B2, I see no one using them, and I only use scout plane AFAIC.
Talking about B2, flares are too efficient, and the B2 is REALLY, REALLY hard to take down. Even with AA on hills and sentries, it manages to avoid most of missiles and get to your base.
I do like the fact that we can control planes, but they feel so weak compared to AoW. I liked the display from AoW where you saw where your planes were shoting.

Infantry are still a bit too slow for me right now, but in a same time, there are so many transport units that it's not a real problem ! Let's face it, Strikers and Puma are doing great job for that ! The fact that infantry is able to climb mountain is a very, very good feature. That allows sneak attack and make them absolutly useful. I really enjoy playing with infantry and transport right now !
I find the Exo to be too much everything. They cost nothing, with null production time, run faster than anything, and are very efficient against everything, even if they are easy to counter. I think they should be something like 1.5x more expensive and slower to produce, that would probably make it.

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Buildings and bases are big enough to me. I really enjoy the fact that this game is not "Power Plant Simulator" like in many C&C. Here, If you want to put turrets, you'll have to extend your base using an Outposts. And this outposts will be the power plant of your next 2 turrets, plus supply storage. So yeah, I like it. Also, many buildings do not requiere power.

So here is something I find very strange with the game. I play Chimera a lot and USA doesn't seem to have this problem. What the hell is going on with buildings constructible field ? Someone deserves a medal for it. It seems that you can only build something near a building of the same kind or that needs the previous one. YOU FOOL. If only it was that simple...

For instance : prison and support bay both can be built near barrack because they need barrack to be built. Barrack also extends field for another barrack. Ok that makes sense, but this is absolutly not clear at first sight...

BUT, helipads don't extends field for ANY other building. Well, let's say this is either a bug or to avoid massive helis production.
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 231807.png

Let's continue. Air control tower, aka "The Wizard". A control tower extends for another control tower, but not for helipads. It doesn't extends for any level 1 buildings but extends for any level 2 buildings BUT with a different range :
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 231854.png
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 231859.png

Also, heavy vehicule bay extends for every level 3 buildings.
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 232311.png

Can I ask why you did this ? Please tell me wtf is wrong with you guys. There are so many solutions. THEY ARE DOZEN OF US, DOZEN !

Solution 1 : A building either extends for every buildings or doesn't extend at all with a range depending of its size/importance/price : for example HQ and heavy vehicule bay have a big radius while barrack has a small one.

Solution 2 : A building extends for its level only, except for HQ and outposts. eg any level 1 building can be built next to any other level 1.

Solution 3 : A building can be built only near HQ/outpost or next to any building requiered. eg current support bay.

Solution 4 : Buildings are grouped by class : any terrest offensive building can be built next to another.
eg light bay, heavy bay and barrack can be built next to another.
Helipad and airfield can also be built next to another.
Reseach lab, defensive center and anti ballistic can be built next to another.

Solution 5 : We just learn this nonsense pattern by heart.

All of these make sense. I would have LOVED to see the brainstorming about that current system. :lol: :lol:


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Musics are good to me. There is not enough of them, but the current are fine.
I really enjoy the main theme. It reminds me of C&C Renegade and love the style ! Can't wait to see them uploaded on Youtube !

We can really recognize the C&C style, and this is great because that fits the game very well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLAd0BC9EjY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K211xq5fVq0#t=0m25
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp7QhBCmvsI#t=0m33
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybh9amN4MGw#t=2m
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIvu-3-EQ1I#t=1m2

One that starts with police and car sounds reminds me of this music : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAyu8Hfj9pg#t=2m40
Listen from 2:40 to 3:10, just add some drums and remove the wind instruments. You can hear the same high pitched sound in AoA soundtracks with the same rhythm and melody ! It also reminds me of Sim City 4 somehow :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHRdkxKSX7I#t=1m42 ( :mrgreen: )

And I will just add this one because I like it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5LyBTKe2xE
Yeah, nothing to do with AoA, just wanted to share this awesome soundtrack. Frank Klepacki is the king in the north.


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So I would like to report some bugs I've seen along my games.

BUG : Playing time fuc*ed up !
Accoding to the game, I VERY enjoy this game and the main menu in particular :lol:
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 011040.png

BUG : Building displayed to be built vertically while finished built horizontal
No ! I wanted it horizontally !
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 213150.png
Wtf are you guys doing !!!
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 213156.png
oh... Fair enough.
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 213159.png

BUG : AoA logo getting nomnom by my screen while in correct resolution.
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 022143.png

BUG : Refinery efficiency !
I was Chimera, and someone took my refinery. I took it back from him, and I ended with 6 extractors ! I didn't screen that, and with all the action didn't take care if this gave me HUGE efficiency, but yeah, that was clearly a bug. I was able to target his drill, but not destroying them.

BUG : hidden ability.
The Chimera HQ doesn't say that it produces 8 electricity points, and doesn't say how much money it generates (30).

BUG : homogeneous movement.
Homogeneous movement doesn't seem to work properly, resulting of repair tank going in front line !

BUG : Valor's rotors.
One of the Valor's blade seems to turn faster than the other.
Also, valor's rockets are coming from nowhere.

BUG : Chimera turret gatling.
Gatling guns from Chimera turrets don't rotate.

BUG : Tigre.
Tigre doesn't have pilot.
Model doesn't change with upgrades.
Firing effect doesn't follow the cannon path : http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 213445.png

BUG : Friendly Fire.
You can't force some unit to shot your own unit on purpose. For example bullets from SAS sniper won't do any damage to your tank/building if you force fire.


IMPROVEMENT : Omagad Bliztred ugly red effect :
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/201 ... 221905.png
Rito plz, do something about those red circles already :lol:

IMPROVEMENT : Main menu animation :
I find the main menu animation to be way too short while this is something I enjoy in games !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUNq7wog_Ro
Also, Apaches are not in formation, and abrams are colliding :D

IMPROVEMENT : Sounds way too loud !
Main menu items hover and above all that sound when you buy a superweapon ammomunition is SO loud ! They are annoying right now IMO.

IMPROVEMENT : timer on units.
I think it would be great to have the unit production time. I don't really know if it is linked to the price, but it doesn't seem to be it. I think that would help us managing our production lines.

IMPROVEMENT : Ambush system.
I feel like the current ambush system is absolutly not clear. A sniper hidden in trees should be able to ambush like in AoW, but here a tank in the middle of a field can ambush for some reasons. If I understand correctly, ambush mean firing on someone without them knowing. But relying on unit sight view is broken to me, and is nonsense. The Act Of War way to handle it was much more logical and easy to use.


FEATURE : Super weapon toggle.
I think it would be really cool to add the possibility to disable super weapon for people like me who prefers units battle better than nuke rush. That will avoid those games entiled "2vs2 NO SUPERWEAPONS", just sayin'... There was the same problem in C&C 3. I liked Supreme commander for that : We had a total control over the match settings.

FEATURE : Toggle the HUD.
It would be nice to toogle the HUD so we can take screenshots with full visibilty. It would be way better for people who wants to make music video, fan-made trailers and stuff like that.

FEATURE : Everyone get the fu*k down !
We should be able to land helicopters. Their animations are so slow I would prefer put in on the ground until I fully charged it and then take off.

FEATURE : Drop off location.
Transport should all have a button to drop units at a desired location.

FEATURE : Music jukebox.
In C&C Tiberian Sun, it was possible to select your music from the playlist by just pressing "Escape" > "Soundtracks". I think this is a good feature.

It will be all for now I guess, maybe I'll add some points later or interesting idea in comments.
Hope you enjoyed that brick wall ! :lol:


TL;DR : This is a good game, not perfect, but a good game.

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Last edited by Gnougnou on Mon 20 Jul 2015 17:44, edited 28 times in total.

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Kvantovy
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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Kvantovy » Sun 19 Jul 2015 09:26

Very thorough analysis. Comparison with other games in camera section was especially interesting. I fully agree with what was said there. Imho, the current normal view max level is so low that without SV the game would be unplayable.

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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Uppy » Sun 19 Jul 2015 10:28

I like the game and really this is one of the games that have a chance to go big.
However the current zoom is pretty restrictive we all playing in a satellite view atm.


Maybe they have technicall limitation thats why they refuse to change it

All in all the game is good and could be awesome

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Kvantovy
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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Kvantovy » Sun 19 Jul 2015 13:13

Maybe they have technicall limitation thats why they refuse to change it


There was a guy during the ViP Beta who modded it, so - no, there are no limitations.

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Gnougnou
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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Gnougnou » Sun 19 Jul 2015 17:14

Kvantovy wrote:
Maybe they have technicall limitation thats why they refuse to change it


There was a guy during the ViP Beta who modded it, so - no, there are no limitations.


I think this has something to do with lags and getting the player into nice looking RTS... But IMO, for example in C&C3, you were "far away" from the ground, but the game still looked very good, and effect were really clean.

TO MODO : Can you somehow merge this thread with the one I created in Beta Feedback ?
viewtopic.php?f=194&t=53662

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Shifu
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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Shifu » Sun 19 Jul 2015 17:25

Gnougnou wrote:TO MODO : Can you somehow merge this thread with the one I created in Beta Feedback ?
viewtopic.php?f=194&t=53662
We can delete the double topic in beta feedback and move this one there, essentially merging them, if that's what you want.

Edit: Done .. if you prefer staying in the other forum, quote me and reply, so I'll get a notification.

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Gnougnou
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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Gnougnou » Sun 19 Jul 2015 18:41

Shifu wrote:
Gnougnou wrote:TO MODO : Can you somehow merge this thread with the one I created in Beta Feedback ?
viewtopic.php?f=194&t=53662
We can delete the double topic in beta feedback and move this one there, essentially merging them, if that's what you want.

Edit: Done .. if you prefer staying in the other forum, quote me and reply, so I'll get a notification.


Ok thank you this is perfect right now :mrgreen:

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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Caterpillar » Sun 19 Jul 2015 19:32

I agree with everything,

I think that if the devs realy like that SAT view thingy then they can at least increase the normal view by 150% so the game can be playable without SAT view (Which is not realy a SAT view but just some realy awful 3d moduls moving around and shinning in annoying bright colors).

I think that the reason for the restricted view is to make you feel the maps are bigger..

Anyway the biggest step this game can do from BETA to Release is to increase camera view (or remove SAT), all the other balancing issuses are secondary (since first the game must be playble and then balanced).
Join other Tactical mode players on: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/tacticalrd

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Gnougnou
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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby Gnougnou » Mon 20 Jul 2015 01:59

I added some points to the main topic.

Yeah, I see again that camera is a huge problem...

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Re: [REVIEW] Act of Aggression, right now, according to me.

Postby torinus » Mon 20 Jul 2015 15:55

Game Time :
I do believe games are too fast. I mostly play 2vs2 and all I see are strikers rush, Terminator or Abrams mass army. This is something I find terribly sad because it just cut off the game potential. Also, defeating someone often to not say everytime leads to the other surrendering. That's means that losing an ally is terribly crippling. In AoW people, as I remember it, continued to fight most of the time.

I really hope there will be much larger 2vs2 maps, so we can really make huge armies before sending them to battle ! I remember some AoW session where they said "no rush 10mn" so people could build descent armies.

Community :
I am really surprised by the community maturity, from what i've seen. People understand teamplay and quickly change team to let you with your friend if you ask for. People use beacons in-game and average player seems to know how to play properly.

What I saw through is that players do not stack armies. They will help if you're under attack, but none of them will follow you into battle. What I think is that we have SO many things to manage at a time that players (and I add myself to the list) do not pay intention to what is happening in their allies bases. When I'm 2vs2, I often watch my friend base, but in 4vs4, I have to admit that I'm sometimes surprised when I see my ally in the middle of the map with a huge army :lol:

These two topics contradict each other. On one hand you don't like that people rush and build mass armies fast but on other hand you like that average players is good?!
Do you know what good players do in history of any RTS? They try to win fast and efficiently. So if you want long games with 10 minutes no attack you need bad players not good ones. And those will not preorder a game to get in MP beta. Those will wait for release, then play the campaign first, then some skirmish and then try MP in team games.

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