Let me get this one fact out: every time I hear “balancing”, and that word is connected in any way to an RTS game, I cringe. A lot. No, much more than that. I cringe like a gentleman who is about to eat his food, only to realise there’s a dead, bloated fly on his spoon.
Do most of the folks who try “balance” out a strategy game ever got any input whatsoever in how the particular universe of that game works? Let me just pop out some of the more popular franchises in RTS gaming:
Company of Heroes
Dawn of War 2
All these three have been through numerous patches, and thus numerous “balancing”, yet with each and every patch it feels like it’s no longer a game that I thought it would be. To be more specific, every in-game faction/group/whatever no longer follows the original descriptive metadata that it was suppose to follow.
What I’m saying is, a Space Marine Battle Brother is no longer an Angel of Death to the player.
German tanks no longer possess a great range of attack.
The structural integrity of a Human Guard Tower is pretty much just another standing meat shield.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I really, really want strategy games to be more than a cold and calculated thing. I want it to be emotional, I want a strategy game to break me, then rebuild me or better still, suck me in so much that I would role-play as how a commander of a particular faction would.
If I were to play as the Tyranids, the game would motivate me to command my army as if I were cursed with a hunger that drives me bestial. If I were to play as Chaos the game would motivate me to engage in acts of dickery and douchebaggery. If I were to play as the Necrons the game would motivate me to play as if I just woke up at 6 a.m., only for my eyes to be assaulted by sunlight.
It seems to me that developers are focusing more on a statistically fair game rather than making the player enjoy playing a particular faction or unit for what it is. It’s like Formula 1 once again! Bloody hell…
Which brings me to another issue to rant about too! Why is it that the gameplay mechanics from different factions FEELS THE SAME?!
Shouldn’t Chaos require resources through ritual sacrifices (of enemies or civilians) and other mumbo-jumbos? Shouldn’t Tyranids be getting their resources by the (any)things they eat? Shouldn’t Eldar be obnoxiously snobbish that they would only unleash their entire arsenal when they experience how much of a threat the enemy is?
And most of all: SHOULDN’T ORKZ DEFY LOGIC THROUGH SHEER IN-GAME “POSITIVE ATTITUDE” MECHANICS?!!
Ok, ok. Time to cool down.
Right. I would prefer if the devs would “balance” an RTS gameplay within context of the universe’s descriptive metadata. Balance it in such a way that it is still very clear to both new and old players why a certain faction in so special and unique. So game devs, please? n_n