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Article: Beyond protocol ....2 months beta 1 month live. my feelings

By phil on 2008-12-28 14:47:43
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I just got banned from the game. Not for exploiting or anything like that..... I did spam the forum right after i got muted online ....not for flaming either reasonable questions. I set about 6-8 threads asking for a refund because I was unhappy. I know they don't have to give me a refund.... so i was being intentionally and publicly obnoxious, they are justified in the ban,... though not the muting that led to it but that is another matter as I will not miss the game.

THE GAME:

when I was new, the game really excited me. You could really customize the important parts of your ship with tactical results.
-engine
-radar
-weapons
-shield (usually doesn't apply at least not yet)

you have to budget your power and your space and a good design takes thought. Also,... no unit can do everything so a good variety is important for tactical success.

there are many different unit types land and space, mobile and static. You can design and customize all of them.... great so far.

The game gets even deeper: to make your components,..... you first make alloys from the 105 different minerals you can find and mine. It sounds wonderfully complex doesn't it?

Resource collection is a grind in my opinion,.... This game is full of lists,... there is one sort option alphabetical. In all of these lists you must always move items 1 item at a time. to move 1 item takes 3-6 clicks, and number entry. After you have moved or sold or whatever,... every list in the game resets to the top. if you are working with a lot of items (and you will be) simply moving resources from one planet to another becomes very tedious.
I could just as easily fly from mineral node to mineral node in WOW and at least there would be scenery.

The graphics seem to me to be a downgraded rip-off of mankind designs. if you compare the 2 you can not argue about the similarities.

The combat models are simplistic and buggy. They are also subject to sudden changes which may make obsolete your entire fleet (if you don't plan) or a portion of it (if you do)

-there is no collision, ships and ground units drive through each other and buildings
-formations move in a block exactly as designed they do not turn to heading when re-directed. so to strafe with mixed damage units in waves takes a different formation for each direction you wish to strafe in . Devs will say there is a turn function,... but it does not work.
-Hitting and missing with weapons is totally number dependent. The model fails to take motion into account. example a small fighter with a high maneuverability rating will have missiles orbit it even if it is motionless. IMO this is more like turn based dice rolling game play than real time..... animation gives the illusion of real time.
-Combat is 2 dimensional in a 3 dimensional environment. there is no distance factor to the Z axis
-Frequent DC's are common when moving large numbers of ships around (like in combat) and changing environments.
-damaged units have to be selected and repaired 1 at a time by you the ruler of the empire.(you can own thousands and thousands of units)

This is a combat game and a resource game. you need the resources to build the ships to have the fights to win more land to have more resources to build more ships etc. The more space you own the more of a pain the managing of all those resources becomes. So, you get penalized for success.

The Game was fun enough for me to get over all of that. But now, out of beta, the Devs are making major changes to the game play many players from an already underpopulated player base are leaving. I got banned from the game and the forums for being vociferous but not derogatory about the changes. The changes are actually good for long term game play... but they negate a months worth of play and I am sure will not be the last of the major changes.

The devs are actually arrogant and insulting to the players. One of them gets on and taunts people as to how stupid they are for not playing in the way he thinks they should.

worst of all beyond researching and tech improvements there are no real rewards to the game. You can not take loot from beaten enemies. and really you don't want their land. You can hit certain benchmarks that grant you titles.... whoohoo very sporeesque.

There is more ... they really tried to include a lot of depth in the game, but once you are over the learning curve of what does what... it's just plug and play.....pick stuff from long lists and then execute. It's tedious repetitive tasks masquerading as depth of play. There are just so many different ones you don't notice it for a while. One of my in game friends joked that he had this really cool game by microsoft called excell and the WHOLE place LOL'ed, ROFLOL'ed ..

It's buggy (expected i guess)
core values keep changing (no good)
no reason to advance (goal-less)
no rewards (research happens regardless of combat advancement)


I was so excited when I found this game,... That's the reason I am so angry about it now. Regardless I am banned and cant go back. I would have gone back in a few months and looked for improvement but right now i give the concept a 10(9) and execution a 2(0-1). But I am angry maybe they deserve a 4 i don't think so though.

That's my bit on Beyond Protocol... take it for what you will.

-Aviator

By Leadcask on 2009-01-19 08:47:42
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I've been play Beyond Protocol since September, 2 months before the offcial release. After playing 2 months of live I feel that it's time to sum up a review.

First off, this is a game developed by an unknown independent game studio, a game that in my opinion that is revolutionary in two respects.

a) The ability to customize you colonies and ships to a level never seen before in any sim builder, civ builder, rts, or MMO. The choices and combinations are almost limitless, and there is no one uber strategy that fits the formula to pwn all face. Balance of course is key, flying around with a ships with huge guns are considered glass cannons and are exploited as such. I continue to surprise myself with each new design I come up, all better than the one prior to it. However even if it looks good on paper, it may perform differently in combat, that is an interesting part of the game that i get much enjoyment out of, the unknown factor.

b) The alias system....WOW! is the best way to sum it up. Have a friend take control any and/or all of the aspects of your civ while your offline. Production, no prob. Ship combat, no prob. Resource management, no prob. Potentially this will prove quite valuable when true commanders take control of a battlefield aliasing units to meet his/her tactical needs in large scale combat. While the commander macros the individual players micro, Perfect.

There are many other aspects to the game that are exciting and at sometimes daunting, I only wanted to touch on a couple that I found to be orginal and groundbreaking within this genre or for that matter any genre of game.

This game is not for everyone however. While you can walk away at anytime, to really be successful it takes alot of time to really invest into producing a successful civ. This game is primarily targeted for hardcore gamers. Not those who dabble in a little of this and a little of that. You console gamers, don't even bother. You MMO gamers, put down your swords of Aflack! and give this a try. You RTS gamers, try rushing on this baby! Oh oh, and you Civ lovers, get your butt in here, this game was made 4 u!

10/10 - Best game ever made, this is a gamers game.
By Roger on 2009-01-23 16:39:34
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Hello Phil,

I totally agree with you.

Would it at all be possible to get in touch with you?

I just want to talk to you since I think that BP is a rip-off.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing from you.


Regards,
Roger
By Phenoca on 2010-02-22 22:31:57
Homepage: email:phenoca_exodus at hotmail dot com
Excel - lol!
Aliasing sounds cool. But was the playerbase large enough to support large-scale battles requiring so much micromanagement?

I found that Star Alliances took the work out of researching new components. While the complexity was drastically lowered, I found that game much more fun - until the playerbase decreased. This is the kind of game I would play over voice chat, yet after the first few weeks, I don't think too many players were on (peak population less than 20).

But seriously - I love the simplifications that were made to Star Alliances. I might play it again someday.

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