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Best RTS
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well i think starcraft has to little unit selection



oh yah and anouther great rts is swarm assult
tierd of comanding solders robots or aliens than try bugs thats right bugs
+no resorce colection (bugs reproduce fast)
+on base counstruction (thare are only 5 tipes of buildings and you have to capture them yourself)
+no reacherch (bugs know simplisaty is the key)
+very little micromanigment (unit counstruction is aotomated)
+huge armys (thare is no unit limit that i am aware of)
- whith all thouse units you oftin find yourself fighting war on seaval frounts which can be fustrating (ok so i am takig a nutril colany over hear fighting of the ant armys attacing over hear and fighting over this wasp colany whith the spider army over hear)

over all this game gets 8.5 out of 10 but whatever you dount get its sequel swarm rampage it $ l_l l< $


Last edited by icarus on Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Harabek



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Arkansas, yes we have computers.



PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got TA. It seems too focused on building huge numbers. You build your army faster than the other guy then yell "charge!" It's fun, but once you have the advantage you can't lose. And, it's hard to find specific units. If one is hidden behind a tree or something you can't see it at all.

However, I do like the rescource system. After playing SC for so long, it's nice to not have to worry about how much vespine gas is left in your gyeser.
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Doolwind



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 1



PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favourite all time RTS is still C&C (the original).

However one of my favourite RTS's that most people have never played is Warrior Kings (and it's "expansion" Warrior Kings:Battles). It was quite buggy and had no polish, but the battles were epic and it did it all in beautiful 3D.

Doolwind
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jollyreaper



Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Posts: 181



PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OvermindDL1 wrote:
Yea, TA does have too large of a selection, what I do like however is the exceedingly high unit limit for those massive battles, and the resourcing system. Those are the two things I like. Reason I like the massive armies, it is hard to micro-manage, but if you do, you seem to win every time no matter how outnumbered you are.


There's also something to be said about smaller armies with more powerful units. It's the difference between watching a dogfight between a hundred fighters vs. a couple of battleships slugging it out with 2000 lb shells. Smile Both can be fun.
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VonBraun



Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Posts: 42



PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My faverite games (at this point in time) are
TA:Final Frontier
Dark reign rise of the shadow hand
Thandor: the invasion
Tiberian sun + firestorm+ Techwar 1.7
Starcraft brood war
And ones i don't like
C&C generals (too few units and naff ai resourcing)
And ones somewhere in between
Perimeter(great graphics but they didn't put enough effort into ai and units)
Red alert 2 yuri's revenge (haven't played it in ages)
emporer battle for dune( " " " " " " )
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TrueLore



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 9



PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Warhammer 40k: Dawn of war" is my favorite right now, it used to be Wc3. Cool
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jollyreaper



Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Posts: 181



PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How is Dawn of War? Looks real purty but is it any good?
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jollyreaper wrote:
How is Dawn of War? Looks real purty but is it any good?

I think the general consensus, amongst reviewers and also anyone we've spoken to, is that it's really good, although I suspect there's a certain element of being wowed by the graphics there.

Poo Bear and I (being long time Warhammer 40k fans) are about the only people who are as yet unconvinced. We're just waiting for it to be released over here so we can give it a good play. The main problem we had with the beta was that very simple tactics seemed to work all the time. I get the impression everyone else was playing it in multiplayer mode though - whereas we were playing the single player campaigns.
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Dunbar



Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 21



PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
Poo Bear and I (being long time Warhammer 40k fans) are about the only people who are as yet unconvinced. We're just waiting for it to be released over here so we can give it a good play. The main problem we had with the beta was that very simple tactics seemed to work all the time. I get the impression everyone else was playing it in multiplayer mode though - whereas we were playing the single player campaigns.


I haven't played Dawn of War, but IMX in all RTS games very simple tactics always work on the computer.

In general, bunker down and build defences while amassing lots of resources. Upgrade your units, build a massive army, and attack.

With a few minor changes, this works pretty well in just about any single-player scenario in any RTS game I've played. Yes, some of the scenarios have limited units or different objectives, but in general this is how you can beat the computer. The hard part is usually surviving early on as you are just 1 drone + 5 fighting units sent to take on an army Shocked But once you get a base established, just build an army and go to town.

One of the most fun single-player scenarios I played was back in warcraft 2: beyond the dark portal. At the end of the orc campaign, the last mission starts you out with all of your heroes (who can die without ending the mission) and a huge number of units; a veritable army. You have to smash the nearest human outpost to set up a base and start getting gold, while being hammered by the computer. As fun as it is, though, once you have a base established it's back to being the same as any other scenario: beat off the computer's half-hearted attempts to kill you while building an army. It stands out for me, though, because they actually give you an army to start out with, rather than a handful of units to assault the enemy base.

Am I missing out? Is there an RTS game where the computer is a dynamic and challenging opponent?

It is this lack of good AI that means players need to seek out human opponents for a challenge.

What I'm saying is that it is possible that the single-player game is boring because you can use simple tactics to beat the computer; however, this formula is used in, AFAIK, all RTS games. If you enjoy the single-player campaigns of other RTS games, then perhaps your lack of interest in Dawn of War is that the actual game is less fun to play for other reasons.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Computers like tightly constrained problems, think of all the variables in a build RTS a) number and location of resources b) layout of the map c) building choices d) unit choices e) tactical decisions. It is no wonder they all cheat (please don't tell me game X doesn't cheat, trust me it does Wink ) and still fail to engage/entertain you fully.

You aren't really facing an AI, it means "artificial intelligence" which implies reasoning and learning of a sophistication equal to the problem. Nobody has released anything like that and I doubt they will (yes I know some claimed to, just like they claimed they aren't cheating Wink ). What you're really fighting is usually a very basic expert system, although basic by AI standards it is still usually a huge chunk of programming.

The expert system has a few condition-response rules hard coded in i.e. if this 'X' happens then do this 'Y'. More time can be spent adding to these rules and embellishing them with fancy sounding things like fuzzy logic, neural nets and genetic algorithms. These embellishments allow the rules to be applied sensibly in a wider range of conditions and allow for some very basic forms of learning. Still, at the end of the day the problem is so wide that an ES is never going to be that convincing.

Add in a healthy dose of cheating skillfully disguised from the player and the computer can improve a lot. Things like knowing where all your units are, secretly gaining resource and combat advantages.

The end result is often very entertaining on the first pass through the game, especially if it is all presented in a linked story with interesting mission objectives. As soon the player attempts the same map a few times he will soon start to see holes in strategies and silly or predictable behaviour emerging.

There are two obvious solutions:

1. tightly constrain what is happening and simplify the problem for the computer i.e. fewer units, no buildings, strict objectives and roles to play, tightly defined mission goals. If level 1 is a huge open environment, any number of units and buildings are allowed and the objective is just to kill each other then making a convincing opponent is very hard. If level 1 casts you in the roll of defending an exposed outpost, with only some basic troops and artillery to command against a much larger tank force then making a convincing opponent is so much easier.

2. allow open unconstrained levels where you can do what you want but save them for multiplayer. Make the single player game interesting by having cinematic cut scenes, lots of new levels, drip feeding lots of new units, cool unit animations and a big story arc. This should easily blind players to the fact the ES isn't very good (initially anyway).
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Pithlit



Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 24



PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go for overall greatness, i think HW ist THE greatest RTS of all time, if its going down mainly to the strategic aspect, i think the CloseCombat Series beats it all down (WWII Scenario, with realism 100%)
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Harabek



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Arkansas, yes we have computers.



PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1. tightly constrain what is happening and simplify the problem for the computer i.e. fewer units, no buildings, strict objectives and roles to play, tightly defined mission goals. If level 1 is a huge open environment, any number of units and buildings are allowed and the objective is just to kill each other then making a convincing opponent is very hard. If level 1 casts you in the roll of defending an exposed outpost, with only some basic troops and artillery to command against a much larger tank force then making a convincing opponent is so much easier.


What if the AI was of a different nature than the player? i.e. The player must sneak into a base with infantry defended by the computer's uber units. Or the player must avoid patrols and preform recon. And limit the number of straight on engagements and make the player at a disadvantage when they do occur.
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Dunbar



Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 21



PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poo Bear wrote:
The end result is often very entertaining on the first pass through the game, especially if it is all presented in a linked story with interesting mission objectives. As soon the player attempts the same map a few times he will soon start to see holes in strategies and silly or predictable behaviour emerging.


True, the computer's strategy doesn't change. Especially in single player, where if it played competently, you'd have no chance to win. I know if I was the computer and I saw enemy units building a base close to me, I'd send a small army to wipe it out, rather than a trickle of units at a time that the fledgeling base can handle.

A fun example of this is one of the scenarios in Starcraft. You are told to defend your base for 30 minutes against a zerg onslaught until you can be evacuated. By playing well, however (lots and lots of stim packed marines), you can actually defeat all of the zerg forces on the map and even start a new base where the zerg base was by the time Arcturus arrives to "rescue" you. Even as you begin to attack the zerg, the computer makes no change in strategy at all.

Quote:
There are two obvious solutions:

1. tightly constrain what is happening and simplify the problem for the computer i.e. fewer units, no buildings, strict objectives and roles to play, tightly defined mission goals. If level 1 is a huge open environment, any number of units and buildings are allowed and the objective is just to kill each other then making a convincing opponent is very hard. If level 1 casts you in the roll of defending an exposed outpost, with only some basic troops and artillery to command against a much larger tank force then making a convincing opponent is so much easier.


I remember reading an article about chess AI, and how it is far far simpler (though not simple, certainly) to build a good AI for chess but not for Go (a game with far far fewer constraints on possible moves you could take per turn). The best Go AI is easily defeated by even average Go players.

Basically, it seems computers are good at brute-forcing solutions, but are not yet capable of actually thinking, as it were. The fewer options it has available, the easier it is to brute-force a solution (go through all possible choices and make the best choice), and the easier it is to program the computer to do the brute-forcing.

Quote:
2. allow open unconstrained levels where you can do what you want but save them for multiplayer. Make the single player game interesting by having cinematic cut scenes, lots of new levels, drip feeding lots of new units, cool unit animations and a big story arc. This should easily blind players to the fact the ES isn't very good (initially anyway).


Yep, this is pretty much the formula for all RTS games. And it works; I've played and loved many games using this exact formula. From the computer, I expect a single-player campaign that is fun, introduces me to all the units, and has a good storyline. But the main thrust is usually down to a balanced multiplayer game. Look at FPS games...it's the same formula. The single-player game usually is full of a bunch of scripted AI; if you've seen it once, you've seen it all. Multiplayer with the computer is similarly simple; the bots are just programmed to hit more often at higher difficulty. I think it was the newest unreal tournament where the bots on the highest difficulty just never miss...

But even so, the real fun is playing with and against actual people. This is important for Battlescape, that the game make it easy to find opponents to match up against on-line. I don't know how easy/difficult this is to do. It would be cool to have a program like battle-net that people can log into and use to set up games; but such a server may be expensive to run, and depending on the number of units you expect to sell, may be rather empty much of the time (though I'm hoping your fan-base is big enough that this isn't an issue...Starscape is such a fun game it deserves to have sold a million copies!).

On the other hand, I've been playing a bit of Gunbound, which is an online game similar to Worms, where you log in to play, and it keeps track of games and gold won over time, as well as items bought to enhance your character. And it's free (though you can spend cash to buy items or donate to support the game). So maybe it's not that expensive to host? I confess my ignorance to this kind of thing...but there are other online games (Adventure Quest, Tactics Arena) that also allow you to play for free (with an option to pay for enhanced gameplay).

I think many people appreciate RTS type games for their multiplayer capability. Lacking that in Starscape was fine for the kind of game it was (though a multiplayer option in Starscape 2 will be most welcome Very Happy ). But I think for an RTS type game, good multiplayer options are a must. So there needs to be an easy way to find opponents online. Are there plans for a server to be set up where players can easily find opponents?
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time and cost permitting we would have a central matchmaking game server to authenticate the player, show ranking and list ongoing games. It isn't so much the cost of hosting it but the time to develop it. If nothing else I think you can use gamespy to get similar functionality, I must look into how that works.
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Johnh



Joined: 06 Sep 2003
Posts: 160



PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What really inhibits a truly challenging AI, is that computers are 100% "deductive thinkers", or deductive reasoning. Programmers know this much better as: GIGO: "garbage in, garbage out". Computers are only capable of doing what we tell them to. So all of those movies about robots or computers becoming sentient, and capable of conscious thought is quite impossible.

The human brain, on the other hand, is the opposite. I can't remember what it's called, but essentially it is reasoning based upon patterns. For example, if I give you a set of numbers: 1,2,3,4 - you can easily find the next numbers: 5,6,7,...
Computers can't do this. You can get a computer to emulate this, but only from correct human input (programers). But computers can never 'find' patterns that they aren't told about. Humans can.

A few other pattern based reasoning excersizes to help remind you of your superiority over computers (try to guess the next number):
1.)1,2,4,8,16...
2.)1,1,2,3,5,8...
3.)(guess the next line)
1
1 1
1 2 1
1 3 3 1
1 4 6 4 1
...
4.)2,4,16...
5.)1,5,13,29...

In conclusion, computers will never be able to out think humans when it comes to strategy games. The only way you can get computers to be better is through cheating, or altering an aspect of the game that makes it harder for humans (i.e. micro-management - it's hard for a human to keep track of 200 units, while a computer can tell 200 units to attack, taking out the damaged ones, sending the damaged units to be repaired, ordering the 10 different buildings to build a unit from a selection of 10 from each, constantly launching nukes at your commander. All simutaneously. This situation taken from several of my experiences from the custom AIs that people made for TA.

BTW Poobear, I know of a game where the computer doesn't cheat - it's an old game called Stars! by Empire Interactive (I'm pretty sure they are out of business). The computer gained enough 'handicap' from being able to manage the production queue of 600 planets, and manage the orders of over 2000 ships. This simply because humans don't want to spend an hour on every turn, though.
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