Author Topic: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games  (Read 3214 times)

Offline eRe4s3r

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Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« on: May 05, 2017, 04:41:46 AM »
Yo guys and girls ;)

So.. first and foremost, I guess Indy developers with more than 300k sales can now feel pretty damn proud of themselves, because Dawn of War 3, the AAA title that wanted to be neither DoW1 nor DoW2 and instead opted for e-sport and lore-unfriendly focus, costing more than $30m to develop (rumor), apparently is struggling to reach 200k owners on steam , a sign the RTS genre is dead? Or a sign that if you please neither of your hardcore fan groups you end up pissing them off both, I guess that's how there can be over 1500 negative reviews.... (when you read this, probably even more)

Have to say I played the OPEN BETA and was not bemused, granted that was only the MP and I only played 7 rounds before uninstalling, but what I saw then made me not hopeful, the game mode threw me back to HOTS feelings. Another thing that was a red-flag to me, is that the same unit and building balance from MP exists in SP (There is a reason SC2 does NOT do this, and the campaign of that is vastly superior because of it). Gone are the loot and progression elements both DoW 1 and DoW 2 had. Gone are likeable characters or even a coherent story. Gone is Retribution style campaign, or RISK style campaign from Dark Crusade and Soulstorm. But also, NO CHAOS FACTION PLAYABLE.... like.. WHAT???? In Warhammer 40k, you go make a RTS game without CHAOS ? The primary threat that exists in the entire universe? That's like making a WW1 game without France and Russia *cough* BF1 *cough*

Next up we have Dawn of Andromeda (Reminding me instantly of the above and Mass Effect Andromeda.. 2 not great associations). I played only the 2 hours before refund (Since apparently this is supposed to be used as a demo function according to the PREY developers)  but that was enough (basically you can do a small campaign in that time easily). Another game that has some interesting ideas (NPC's roaming and some interesting colony events), but ultimately fails to advance the genre and especially fails the same way that Stellaris + Utopia fails after 100-150 turns (when everything is bordered up, the game is essentially decided already, if you have 2 fallen empires bordering you, for example, or a hive with 5x as many planets as you, which can happen). Anyway, this new 4X is pretty competent, but only average imo. I wouldn't want to play it anymore than I did.

Finally, we have Galactic Civilizations 3 - Crusade ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4SCASKRFks )
Haven't played a complete round of that yet, but at least it SOUNDS interesting... like a Stellaris mix... we'll see ;)

Anyone played either of these 3 games? Opinions?

Ps.:

Feels only right to mention Stellaris + Utopia here too.

Basically, I think this game is still utterly and totally flawed. It's absolutely amazing to play until.. yes, until the borders are fixed, everyone got all planets and the "war grind" starts. And war is a hardcore grind in Stellaris. Maybe worse, there is nothing to actually *do* even in Utopia, factions are a joke, if you focus on certain behavior you gonna have a majority faction supporting you (maybe not if you go for chattel slavery

I played 3 rounds (complete) in Utopia, one as Hive (super easy boring victory) 1 as synth race (super easy boring victory) and 1 as normal humans, (was OK, till 200 years in everything become a huge grind)

Gotta say, they need to rethink the way combat and politics, governments and governors, sectors and planets work in Stellaris, the "Doomstack" problem is alive and so well that it's literally the "I want to win, now - Button" but it goes deeper than that. Because capturing planets is vastly superior than building the stuff yourself (as in, by several factors) playing warlike annexation/integration/assimilation (if synth ** needs mod) is from a meta-game perspective always the superior option... and the problem remains that no race in Stellaris is actually UNIQUE.

Finally, since I watched some videos hereIsaac Arthur Youtube on Future Tech I start to think that 4x games get "interstellar empires" totally wrong from the get-go...
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 04:51:58 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 05:03:42 AM »
Quote
I played 3 rounds (complete) in Utopia, one as Hive (super easy boring victory) 1 as synth race (super easy boring victory) and 1 as normal humans, (was OK, till 200 years in everything become a huge grind)
Have you considered that you *might* need to play on a higher difficulty?

That said I'm having a lot of fun with Stellaris these days. Yes, it's still a mess in places, but at least it's heading in the right direction and I'm really looking forward to the combat/army overhaul. The latest dev corner video they posted talks a lot about how they're not happy with the state the game is in. They're considering completely reworking how borders, conquest and holding space works. Removing all the FTL variants except Hyperlanes from the early game and reworking planetary invasions.

Is it fun right now? I'll say yes. Will it be better later? No doubt.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 06:49:11 AM »
If all these things come to pass Stellaris might really become the Nr1 4x.
Hyperlanes however are hugely restrictive ftl method that can dead-end your expansion (and game) very quickly.... oh well ;/

But yeah, they gonna have to change how borders work, currently it is not just a problem of expansion blockage, but also that you get huge diplo penalties when borders touch (which isn't very realistic in space....)

And if I play a 4x game more than once to completion you can be sure I like it, I have 157 hours in Stellaris (90% of that with mods adding stuff)
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2017, 03:59:32 PM »
I'm closing in on 300 now. No mods, aside from UI stuff.
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Offline Toranth

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2017, 04:54:08 PM »
I like the idea of Stellaris, but I just can't like playing the game very much, even after almost 250 hours of it.
Part of it is that everything feels the same, part of it is that the combat system is fairly shallow, part of it is the almost worthless diplomacy, part of it is the horrible grind of warfare...  Every time they announce new features or fixes, I get my hopes up, but they never pan out.  Also, half their fixes introduce bugs or balance problems from swinging too far, which gets frustrating.

I think they just made a basic design error by being too unfocused.  It's too fiddly with the combat and planet building to be a Grand Strategy game.  At the same time, it doesn't have enough detail at that level to be a Civilization or MOO-style 4x game.  The combat is even light-RTS, for some reason.  CK2 has simple core, but it just works (even though half the fun is meme-play).  Stellaris, though, just can't hold my interest.  I'll probably come back in a few years, after there's been a lot more fixing, and try again... but I probably won't touch it again until then.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2017, 08:37:08 PM »
Yeah I think it was a huge mistake not to make stuff in Stellaris actually interact with some "open" complexity behind it, I mean it's nice and all to see pops sitting on my buildings on a planet (why the heck is my super developed planet population limited anyway, only thing limiting population for a technologically advanced race is heat and how you dissipate it (since you can produce everything (including food) from molecular matter re-assembling). it's why you can't build infinitely layered mega cities, at some point all those trillions of people are gonna produce 200w each per hour and you have a cooling problem that basic physics make a real limiting factor on populations..... this is also why space stations at a certain population numbers have no longer a heating problem but rather a cooling problem, and cooling ability is the real limiting factor for a hab space-station for example) but those pops are so removed from anything that it is laughable, they have political affiliations which makes even less sense, is that only 1 person or is it an entire city worth of people, and if the latter, how could they ALL have same political disposition ? Why am I building single-focus buildings instead of massive mega-cities with 200bn people that can do everything efficiently?

But also that the combat is basically just point and click.... it makes you wonder what they thought? Why am I as supreme leader of an EMPIRE commanding each and every of my OTHER little ships? I think the real reason they did it this way is that they clearly lack the skills to code competent AI behaviors though. Sectors are little more than weighting based if-loops that are not even aware whether you are in a war or not. And the way they chose not to abstract all the things is typical behavior for developers. INstead of CHANGING gameplay so that abstraction to higher scope and abstraction is possible they tried to cram basically 3 phases into one, and while that works fine for the first phase (exploration and expansion) it fails for the 2nd phase (war) and the 3rd phase (winning)

Somehow I had hoped they would go for a more.. CK2 or EU4 like experience in a space 4x... with combat element that wasn't the main focus of the entire gameplay loop but rather a more political/influence/interaction focus (think about it, all systems in the game are to limit your COMBAT potential only, the whole maintenance thing when you exceed ship cap exists so doomstacks are harder to get, but once you get them you have won, it just takes 50 hours to telegraph that to the remaining empires. This is why I am missing a deeper gameplay element, that maybe only even matters in late-game. Conquest to 150 systems ina  150 system game is imo a pretty boring gameplay goal. And why do the victory conditions not lead to phase II ? Yeah, you are now ascended, good luck communicating that way with anyone else though.

I actually still hope to somehow experience "that" 4x to be honest, one where expansion and combat is not the main focus
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 08:39:02 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 02:46:13 AM »
Because abstraction. If you make things too detailed or "realistic" it becomes bogged down in micromanagement and annoyance. Granted, it's probably too far abstracted now, especially combat. Combat is dull, a bore and almost entirely without strategy. Either you a) have a bigger doomstack than your opponent, or b) you have built your ships to counter theirs. That's where strategy ends.

Ground combat is even more simplified. There it's just "have more armies than the other guy".

That said, they're looking to remake the entire combat system, ground combat included, so I'll withhold my criticisms for now. There's no point kicking a dead horse that they're already aware of is dead.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 08:36:39 AM »
Because abstraction. If you make things too detailed or "realistic" it becomes bogged down in micromanagement and annoyance. Granted, it's probably too far abstracted now, especially combat. Combat is dull, a bore and almost entirely without strategy. Either you a) have a bigger doomstack than your opponent, or b) you have built your ships to counter theirs. That's where strategy ends.

That's about what I thought of Endless Space's combat. They threw in some orders on top of it, but those orders couldn't covercome the countering aspect or the numbers aspect.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 08:47:14 AM »
I can understand that they were reluctant to make combat too complex. Look at Master of Orion 2, or Space Empires. Both games have turn based tactical combat with formations, ships designations, wings, wing tactcs, defensive and offensive tactics, distance orders etc etc.

It gets complex and SLOW really fast. Especially if played manually. But I would like more options in Stellaris. Like putting ships (or AT LEAST ship-outfits) in wings with separate orders and tactics. Instead of relying on the (quite frankly broken) targeter, I'd like a wing of primarily Disruptor ships have

Targeting Priority: Shields
Range: Melee

and my Cruisers, set up for long range Plasma Bombardment set to

Targeting Priority: Shields Down, High Armor
Range: Max

etc

Just those settings would allow for much more strategy and planning. The combat itself could still play out as it does, but as it is right now, you have barely any control over the battle at all.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2017, 09:05:17 AM »
I grew up on Space Empires, so there are some aspects of ship design that I really like. But yeah, the turn based combat got old, fast. At least the auto-resolve AI wasn't completely dumb.

It would be able to figure out is own optional firing range and not approach closer than that (although it wouldn't retreat unless critically injured).

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2017, 09:23:02 AM »
I grew up on Space Empires, so there are some aspects of ship design that I really like. But yeah, the turn based combat got old, fast. At least the auto-resolve AI wasn't completely dumb.

It would be able to figure out is own optional firing range and not approach closer than that (although it wouldn't retreat unless critically injured).

Well, if you gave it proper Tactics set up in the fleet it wasn't utterly stupid. But if you didn't, it would more often than not just outright kill itself, as the default Tactics rarely fit any kind of setup at all.
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2017, 12:25:21 PM »
Removing all the FTL variants except Hyperlanes from the early game
This is a terrible, boring idea.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2017, 01:02:59 PM »
Well, if you gave it proper Tactics set up in the fleet it wasn't utterly stupid. But if you didn't, it would more often than not just outright kill itself, as the default Tactics rarely fit any kind of setup at all.

Admittedly it's been a decade or more since I last messed with SE:III

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2017, 03:44:25 PM »
Removing all the FTL variants except Hyperlanes from the early game
This is a terrible, boring idea.

Not if taken together with all the *other* changes they're planning on the same patch. They're trying to make the galaxy far more dynamic and have hidden riches and much more "life" than it does now. Allowing the galaxy to "open up" through events, science, defeating guardians and what not will give more sense of exploration. Everyone will start with Hyperlanes, but the idea is that you can research other forms of FTL later, so the game won't stay Hyperlanes forever, but just for the early to early midgame so the exploration part of the game can be more enjoyable and rewarding. As it stands it's pretty much just "Set auto explore"-> "Fall asleep".
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2017, 05:22:33 PM »
Hyperlanes exploration is literally just 'Auto-explore until you're inevitably blocked in and forced to go to war early' though, which is worse.