I have to say, I've played the warp out of every Dawn of War title. Even SoulStorm. I have played through the story games multiple times. I have played DC and SS enough I think I have most of the text for the different regions and war gear upgrades memorized, or at least be able to summarize them. DoW2, while a slightly different type of RTS, was also fantastic. The narrative was great. CR was even better. Retribution was not bad. I was a little sad that it was cut short, but didn't see that as Relic's fault as THQ was going down. I even visit the old forums just to read Gorbs posts, and keep up on the discussions. I am not an active poster for any game, or forum. I'm a wall fly in that manner, but I'd still pop in and read up.
That all said: This game is such a huge let down I finally had to come say something. I keep checking for changes in hopes it will get better, and all that really shows up is balance for an MP player base that barely exists.
The campaign was WOEFULLY disappointing.
There was no base building. Yes you had to manage a few buildings, but resources were slow, or fast depending on the map, so it didn't matter how you built your base. Fast maps would quickly produce units allowing you to blob faster, slow maps would drag that out, mostly just frustrating the player, and not posing any form of challenge because you just had to wait longer to build your blob. There was nothing to encourage any strategy but rushing. Choke points didn't matter, base didn't matter, all that mattered was getting from A to B. Often with some dumb "timer" mechanism to encourage rushing even more. . "Cover" was the worst of any of the games... The "bigger" battles were over so fast it didn't feel like the size of your army mattered. Sure you're army was bigger in that you could have more units on the field than in DoW1, DC, SS, but I know I would field WAY more units through out the missions in those games on the rougher maps and because you could only have some many active, you were encouraged to not just thrown them around. The maps on DoW on the hardest settings were fantastic. You had to crawl across the maps, slowly gaining, or loosing ground. Your base mattered, you'd have to sacrifice turrets so you could move your lines. Because of unit limits, you could only push from one point or another, . Forward/micro bases were sometimes key to holding out while you'd regroup for next push. Same with DC and SS. To go with this problem, there was no strategy to the fights like you had to do in DoW2. Yes hero abilities were "key", but if you didn't have a blob to absorb damage for your hero while skills were on CD, they'd get swarmed fast. But did that blob matter? Not really. As long as you had a meat shield for the hero, you were fine. In DoW2, if you didn't pay attention, you'd lose a captain, and the mission would snowball into a loss. Positioning was very key.
The Campaign story? Let's ignore everything we've helped the players to love over the years, and throw in some names they know. Gabriel and Macha have a huge past, in and outside the games. Gorgutz as well. He's been battling the Blood Ravens across two different systems, and he was there on Lorn V before that. Yet there is no real interactions based around these histories besides "Hey, what's up?" Where is Thule? Cyrus? Why isn't Tarkus the leader of the terminator squad elite? Gabriel feels like a retCon entirely. Nothing he says or does feels like the Gabriel from Tartarus, or DoW 2. Nothing felt at stake either. In DoW1, you had the map between missions slowly get redder and redder, the inquisitor growing more and more concerned, the little interactions between Sindri and Isador helping you catch a glimpse into his fall. DoW 2 gave you a good feeling that you were fighting a loosing battle, CR, was just... epic. Tied all sorts of things together. There was NONE of this in DoW 3. Nothing felt at stake. Even in DC and SS, as you moved across the regions and started conquering other factions, you get these cut scenes, just a few words really, that made it feel like you accomplished something. I didn't care in DoW3.
I have played the campaigns for all of the DoW games so many times. I only finished DoW 3 because I felt obligated.
For a game built to be MP, the release was horrible. One mode, two maps. If you're going to build a game to be MP, why release it this way? (And if you're going to build it to be SP, why release it this way?)
This is funny, because what made MP great in the first set of DoW games, was bases and unit limits. You had to manage a front. You had a front line. If the other person got around it, you got back doored and screwed. Bases in Dow3, are shallow, and again, because of the blob factor and laneing, pretty meaning less. There's no "hide troops" or sneak them through, or dropping them off behind lines, etc... One of the best MP games I'd ever played was in DC, and a Eldar player falconed in some dark reapers on my base while I was trying to kill theres. They held me off, and killed my base at the same time. GG. This can't happen in DoW3. I haven't tried "annihilation mode" and I don't know that I can, but with everything as shallow as it is, I just don't see it ever getting that feel from DC.
MP in DoW2 was different. It was just Last Stand. But darnet if it wasn't fun? 1 hero, 4 players. Loads of mobs to kill. So fun. They tried to capture some of that in DoW3, but fell short with all the focus on bases and "larger" armies. If you wanted to make hero's the focus, why do you have bases and larger armies?
Let's face it, it's become imo a lesser Starcraft.
Now let's talk about Aesthetics.
I giggled like a 3 year old getting their armpits tickled the first time I watched "Commander" from DoW2 hammer crush and ork's skull. I mean, it was so brutal and beautiful. Watching him kill an orc warboss was also fun. The Avatar of Korne sliding puny orks down his sword while they struggled. Have you seen the Dreadnaught kill a Wraithlord? It grabs the sword, takes out their knee, and then crushes them. It makes you feel like this is a WAR. Nothing in DoW3 makes it feel like it's really a war. Everything just falls down like toy solders... Even when you use the elites abilities, they just make some flashy lights go off for the most part. Using Solaria's gatling barrage is so disappointing compared to Thule's barrage from DoW2. His felt visceral, parts went flying. Her's, bright lights and red dots.
Ok, so nothing feels like a DoW game. But does it look like one? No. SOOOO many people warned them about the graphics, movement's, etc.. But they are just SOOOO bad. That cape flapping around behind Gabriel just about gave me seizures. And I'm going to say too. Why is he so big? It looks ++heresy redacted++.
I know none of this is new, that's what's so frustrating. So much of this was brought up before the game was released... But having been a fan since Day 1 of these games, and watching it go south between Retribution being cut short, and this? I had to say something... I'll probably go back to lurking now... Knowing the game is out, and that these things will probably not be changed at all. I can only hope there is a DoW4, and that they look at everything wrong with this, and fix it.
I'm sure there are spelling errors and such, but eh...