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Topic: One of the better MMORTS?

By GirlWithGun on 2005-10-30 05:18:08
Homepage: www.sg-city.com email:
I'm a little biased with Shattered Galaxy.
I've been playing it for over five years so naturally its my favorite game.

Its something I've never really got bored with. My interest has waxed and waned somewhat over the years but I've just not had the courage to walk away and try something else. I guess many players get comfortable with not just the game but with the players.
Thats one thing you get from both MMORPG and MMORTS games. The community.

It probably helped that I started an SG fan site since thats been the center of what I've done over the last few years.

Anyway, What makes a good MMORTS?
Does it have to consist of a splash of Role Playing?
Probably. Without the RPG what are you in the game? Just a person on a computer playing a game I guess.
A good RTS needs to be challenging. The difficulty level in the game should increase as you travel through the game universe.
The makers of SG went down that path. At one point during the Beta period you could collect resources in the field during battle. You could equip a canister on your Units and pick up Iron Ore or Uranium and then after the battle those minerals could be spent on purchasing equipment. It was a great concept in my humble opinion, but was dropped later in favor of a less complicated money only system.
Dumbing down of games during development is a well known phenomenon. The average player cant cope with too many challenges at once and by simplifying things you get less complaints from the paying public.

MMORTS need to be balanced.
Players come, Players go. The on-line population of any MMORTS or indeed MMORPG will vary with time. Since players are spread all over the World how do you make sure every player has an even chance against any other players?
Shattered Galaxy has three player factions on both the newbie planet Relic and on Morgana Prime, the veteran planet.
Over time, as players arrive and depart, the population of the three Factions changes. You could log in on a friday evening and there'd be 200 players on your side then by 1am Saturday morning there'd be only 90 players.
SG uses Regiments to balance out the playing population simply by grouping people together into social groups. Some of those groups even meet up outside the game and go out together. Regiments tend to be ethnicly similar and play at similar times so players in Singapore are more likely to belong to a predominantly Singaporean Regiment and in many cases know each other socially in real life.

MMORTS need to look nice?
I think SG has shown that graphics quality makes little difference to gameplay or indeed playability. The Tile and Sprite graphics may be very 1999-ish but the real gold in the game is the solid core of the game engine that Nexon programmers crafted. Its one of few games that plays nicely on even a Pentium3 with a dialup connection. Of course that was the standard five years ago and for many PC users thats all they have.
Even I started playing it on a Pentium2.
So in many ways, by sacrificing graphics quality for game speed and network speed is probably a good thing. Too many games target the "eye candy" market and end up limiting the available users to only those with fast PCs and high end video cards.

So thats my rant about SG. More to actually have a post in this forum about SG than anything else.

If you've never tried it - dedicate a weekend to downloading and playing it.

Cheers.

GWG
By Anonymous on 2005-10-31 09:24:54
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Well although I say RPG is important in an RTS, I have to say that it is not needed. Because in Futurelands for instance you get armies that have 1000's of units. That is what makes you different than everybody else your power.
Do MMORTS Need to look nice? No. Although it does help.
Do MMORTS Need to be balanced.. Not really. For instance in Futurelands everything is dynamic, there is no system to follow. Your power is based on if you find the right resources and right technologys and have huge armies not based on the time your account existed. If someone is too powerfull.. then wah wah, that is how it would be in real life too if aliens exist. You find allies (think starttrek) and that is how you fight to survice. Even the strongest empires can fall to new powerfull races and technology.
By Anonymous on 2005-11-01 05:17:02
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I dont think you can have a real MMORTS game without having role playing in it.
In some sense you are the person in charge of your army whether it be 48 Units in SG (which has a storyline - therefore you play a role) or 1000s of units in your FutureLands army.
I wonder what would we call EVE-Online?
Its certainly a great looking game but is it a Role playing game?
Since you take on a persona in the game I'd say yes.
There is political strategy but not really battle strategy so its more a MMORPG.

MMORTS that have only PvP battle and level progression will very quickly become unbalanced unless you form groups so the weak can hide among the strong.
Thats probably a theme among MMORTS. Certainly in Shattered Galaxy where players have the option of joining Regiments and fighting in cooperation. In the end though its always your level one Unit against a level 60 Unit.
By Admin on 2005-11-13 19:24:24
Homepage: www.mmorts.com email:

Anonymous

MMORTS that have only PvP battle and level progression will very quickly become unbalanced unless you form groups so the weak can hide among the strong.


Also, one of the most significant ways that MMO developers can encourage players to keep paying is through the building of friendships, leagues, gangs and other social groups.
By stoneface on 2005-11-14 10:39:35
Homepage: www.boundlessplanet.com/ email:

Admin

Also, one of the most significant ways that MMO developers can encourage players to keep paying is through the building of friendships, leagues, gangs and other social groups.


And in this area Time of Defiance falls down flat - id be willing to go into more in private but the year of pleasure i had playing that game wont overcome my fury at the developers recent attitude. Any flaming by Nice WILL result in me spilling the beans though :)

I will say that the community is the most important aspect of MMO games - any developer ignoring this deserves to lose everything. Its a game and I know that seems harsh but its BUSINESS. Many other industries have far harsher outcomes for those who think they know better
By Admin on 2005-12-03 22:22:33
Homepage: www.mmorts.com email:
I don't think TOD is exactly designed for cooperative play. The fixed game length and pure PVP action says it pretty clear. I recently finished a book on MMO game design, and that game is not designed for the mass market, it's designed for the hard core gamer.
By stoneface on 2005-12-04 05:50:43
Homepage: www.boundlessplanet.com/ email:
Agreed @ designed for it - but Tod is just a GUI game for the server technology and as such isnt that limited. There was massive support for more cooperative play withing the small community that tried to stay together but Nicetech are more intrested in the server now than the game that tested and refined it. ToD is going more for the asian market now and essentially told us that if we make too much trouble they would drop the game as its of little intrest to the money men.

We wanted allied addons for map sharing and resource management, deathmatch,last man standing and clan games (which we started ). There was lots of talk about 3rd party development but little interest from devs- unlike FPS gaming etc . Everyone that seemed to start doing an app would drop it through lack of interest. Tod's biggest problem was not retaining enough of the wash of players/payers that pass through. This led to apathy by devs and a clique of the hard core gamers dominating the 'community'. Seemed it could be so much more but others have other ideas.

Press releases atm indicate that the AliceServer technology will have huge medical and military applications - so i dont expect this to change soon. I have left Tod due to the very final recent statements over the games future.
By Admin on 2005-12-05 11:07:28
Homepage: www.mmorts.com email:
essentially told us that if we make too much trouble they would drop the game as its of little intrest to the money men.

Nice. The game is probably breaking even or maybe even running at a loss at this point. The economics of MMO's are pretty brutal. $10/user/month sounds like enough money but half of that goes to bandwidth, add overhead, support staff etc the margins are pretty thin. The way they make their ROI is by spreading it over years.

This led to apathy by devs and a clique of the hard core gamers dominating the 'community'.

That's pretty typical of games that are getting on in years. Have you tried Ballerium? I gave it a quick go one evening, but the AI server was broken and I haven't gotten back to it. Have to go through the docs to see what to do with the units it gives you to start.

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