I feel I am continuing a discussion of sorts over several threads regarding the doctrine system, but also introducing my own opinion about the other resource systems in this game, that I think are problematic for the strategic aspect of the game and also gameplay variety, by offering my attempt at a solution.
For me it is important that changes address the problem while making as small changes as possible to the game, expanding options of what can be done with what is available, so please do not derail the thread with your opinion on why the mechanics of DoW III suck because they are not to your taste; if you do, we can have real discussion as players of the game, I know you can do it!
My opinion is that the doctrine system of this game will always hold the game back because it means choices about your army and units are decided before the game even starts, with no way to adapt and change after the game starts. This can also lead to balance problems in the game, because strategies that 'front load' (if you will my turn of phrase) doctrines and elites that affect the match from the earliest possible point of the game will be mechanically superior, as the benefit of these choices does not kick in until a late stage of the match. Almost everything in this game is decided early, because all resources are harvested outside the base and easily harassable, meaning it is possible to deny all resource income from the start of the game (potentially). In 1v1 in particular, the design of the maps seems to give no advantage to the defender around his base resource points. Coupled with the escalation system, this means that probably 80% of games are decided in the first 10 minutes, because of snowballing, so all doctrine strategies should prioritise this period of time. This limits strategic diversity in game, as well as what viable combinations of doctrines and build orders are available.
On top of this, due to the unit refund, which I think in many ways is a good mechanic, early aggression is encouraged without any consequences or counterplay, so a player must always over-invest in the early game. I believe that the game should encourage players to engage their opponent all game, but this is not the same as being always early aggressive. The current system makes decisions in game seem to not matter, the only thing that matters is winning the next fight, by killing your opponent's resources and objective.
So my suggestions are as follows. Some are fairly radical, and should be tested, but still would require no change to the game itself to implement.
- Elite points are generated by killing your opponents units, not just over time. Some kind of points system, as present in Dawn of War 2 or CoH, should be introduced, or instead, killing units now gives a boost to your next timed elite point. In my opinion it simply makes more sense for a strategically important unit/ability to be unlocked because of player action, not because of time passing, or else it should cost req or power. I think this adds a whole new strategic dimension to the game. It now becomes important to preserve your units so your opponent doesn't get his elites faster than you, which makes power core more interesting because there's now a counter for mindless objective and resource attacks utilising disposable spam units, because it enables your opponent to rush a powerful elite. Obviously this should be balanced properly so aggression is still encouraged, and also so that it does not favour one faction over another; in my mind, this benefit is awarded for squad wipes, not model kills.
- Add a doctrine that enables a player to choose their doctrine during the game, at a specified elite point cost. Doctrines can still be chosen before a match, and immediately active for free, but choice is taken away.
- Allow players to pay, at the cost again of their elite, to instantly revive. The cost doubles each time the elite is revived. This is similar to instant hero revives in DoW 2, but I think because elite points are a very precious thing in this game, it would not be unbalanced to have this. It is a good concept that enables strategic options for all players.
- Elite Point generator now increases the elite point acceleration from wiping a squad.
The purpose of this system is to correct some of the intrinsic imbalances of the elite and doctrine system that favour a very limited strategy - in 1v1 it's almost like there's 1 'optimal' build per faction - by implementing a system that players can affect by their actions during a game, I think the game could be made a lot less repetitive and more interesting for all players.
TL:DR, In my opinion, the game would be more interesting if we could accumulate elite points by killing our opponents units, rather than only waiting, if it was balanced properly.