Before you all throw tomatoes at me; Yes this topic has been discussed over and over again. But reading those 2 comments bothered me
"The more complex you make a game (e.g many armortypes), the more inaccessible it will be for casual players. Most of us who involve us in these discussions are NOT casual players.
For a game to thrive, I'd argue you need a casual playerbase. So maybe that's what we should try and mitigate?
Personally I like many of the aspects of the game as it is now, but a huge turn-off is the fact that there are certain builds which are just better or very hard to counter (from a 2v2/3v3 perspective). This is one of the reasons that it's hard getting new players; they don't know the meta and they never will, as they get steamrolled and drop quickly, at least from my experience..
And I have no idea how you fix this.." by @Thunderhost
"The most casual thing in DoW2\CoH2 of the past is excessive RNG. And the most frustating\fascinating, depending on outcome, as well, so it brings you nothing if the game is decided on anything but "skill". Apparently, people who don't want to develop it want more of estatic, than of a challenge. The more you're devoted to the last one, the more frustating is to lose.
Personally, when I was playing vDoW, I was overwhelmed by it's scenary. The music, voice-over (even though it wasn't half as good as original English was), animations and especially Chaos. I could totally forgot of the game when looking at Defiler grabbing it's victim, tearing their head off and tossing the body away like a finished sigarette. I was underaged by that time and it left some strong effect on me (pretty much like the Nazi propaganda of the eastern front - it was displayed to us at school durring history lessons - being way more empressive than the Soviet one, while I clearly understood it meant nothing good for the people it was producted for)....." by @Ololo111
How did it come to this semi-disaster now?
There are multiple thesis on this topic, roughly divideable into those liking the game and those not liking the game in it´s current state. Stuff like
a) DoW III failed, because it didnt inherit enoughh of it´s predecessors/is cartoony+ unrealistic/ lacks depth/ etc.
b) DoW III failed because of the sh**tstorm by the older playerbases/ beeing stalked by haters/ RTS-genre is dying etc.
So why does DoW III fare so bad in comparisson to it´s predecessors? What comes the closest of the above mentioned?
To state this clear, there is no clear line to set to say " this is exactly the reason why this game failed!", rather can be said "this is to 70% the reason why this game failed, this to 20% etc" .
Also important to look at is the development of an player commiting to an game, which will take some time understand advanced tactics and (ideally) never truly master.
1) beeing stunned by all the voiceatcting, visuals and options presented. This encourages the player to stay and learn more about the game
2) the innitial awe is clinging out and now the winning-aspect springs into the foreground. Mechanics are studied further and advanced tactics are beeing tried.
3) stage 1 is now even problematic in some aspects. The main joy now comes out of the gameplay and achieving victory through tactics as effective and punishing to the opponent as possible executed as perfect as possible adding an feeling of supremacy. The meta is growing now much more important to know about
=> a) player goes E-sport or b) player now has gotten the maximum joy out of the game an plays it with the motivation of stage 1 again with an higher immersion due to beeing more skillful.
The whole purpose of an game would be to slow this process to be as long as possible and the player ideally never leaving in my opinion.
So why does DoW III fare so badly now in comparison to its predecessors vDoW and DoW II ?
In my opinion it is, because the game has real problems to hold players for an long ammount of time.
- Every doctrin is explained as detailed as possible, doing straight forward things (the sense of some of those is another topic)
- Every elite does only that what it shows in on the card with no space to shift their roles or utilize them in an other way.
- Every unit is straight forward and does only that 1 role it is supposed to do
- not much interaction between the map and the players´forces on it.
Does this mean everything should be ripped off its description and do different then it looks? Of course not.
So what did the predecessors do to hold players longer?
RNG, most present in form of accuracy :
Accuracy was an big part of both previous games and had several benefits
a) prolonging engagements through dealing less dmg under suppression or on the move.
b) an further tool to elaborate units more in roles others cannot
c) most importantly, t cannot be truly mastered. An game with no RNG is most punishing to new players as the older ones had already mastered everything . This also means giving the feeling of an combat situation never playing the same and adding an feel of realism to it, as combat skills can only do so much, but surely not preventing the grenade splinter or artillery shell hitting you.
What I also noticed myself is, that having an game altered to your personal tastes (Like TWW II with mods) does make me feel sometimes unhappy with the selection I made instead of going like " well, the developer set this game in this way, so I have to deal with it now". In other words, beeing i controll of everything makes it boring faster.
of course it can also be seen totally negative as unreliable and generate an feeling of "unfair". It is to remember tho, that relic games always aimed at simulating an combat scenario as playerfirendly as possible and an random moment is part of all battles.
Rating: 20% failure responsibility
a) more different armor types. Allowing to elaborate unit roles more while giving it an look of realism. The first one meaning also you had to choose your units wisely because not half of the roster was working against this armor type effectively as it is now.
b) more dmg types : allowing once again to elaborate weapons pupose better an giving it an look of realism/immersion. Here also it was neede to choose wisely the units/upgrades/abilities to have an counter avaible and not with enough mass on the field beeing capable of felling the other unit. This was practically not doable in the previous games, yet in in DoW III it´s efficient enough.
c) passives: the previous games fielded a lot of passives by units or buildings, exspecially in DoW II with inspiration on kill or dmg/knockback resistances, better ability recharge and heal auras. This game does little in this direction, further decrasing the ways to combine units.
d) suppression: represented as morale or courage in vDoW/DoW II it was also part of slowing the battle through CC, lowering dmg output andadding another variable to be though about.
All these things are obstacles to balance, yes. Beeing unbalanced is not as bad as beeing boring for an game, because the whole point of an game is to invest time. Balance fixes are far easier then content fixes.
Rating: 25% failure responsibility.
Relic unique mechanics:
a) Dynamic and/or realistic cover : Generating an feeling of immersion and realism again. The dynamic system does take this an step further by changeing the battlefield as time progresses. This also impacts the gameplay by giving cover in form of crates or destroying cover like buildings. Players at the end of the game were presented by an vastly different map then before.
b) unit- upgrades: on of the biggest parts the previous games was the ability of the player to equip units with new weapons/abilities through resarch altering units in some instances significantly in their role or even improving upon it. This game another layer of realism (adapting units to combat situations) and choice by the player in battle. Each of those upgrades was also not working perfectly in every instance and combined arms were needed to prevail most efficiently. Combining this with the other variables it added an feeling of not having mastered everything for an decent ammount of time.
c) squad-leaders : adding an cherry atop the cream this guys were eye-candy, utility and immersion (having officiers leading your troops). Also an additional ressource sink.
d) retreat buttons: At least in DoW II there was an extra ability to preserve units which helped to ,again, create an feel of immersion (ordering tactical retreats) and allowing players to preserve units better. The potential abuse was part of choosing, when to retreat!
Rating: 45% failure responsibility
Sticking to the setting:
Beeing in an fantasy setting comes with several problems, exspecially if there are multiple versions. This is mostly about image and immersion, but how big of an impact this has could be seen clearly at 2 points
a) the flipping Gabriel Angelos in Terminator armor: depicting Terminator armor as heavy and bulky in the predecessors did make this look extremely unimmersive, despite the fact that this seems to be possible in the universe.
b) the bubble cover: random ray shields on the map instead natural cover did also an huge part in letting the game seem unimmersive.
The first impression sticks ,if not proven otherwise, and this is part of the reason, why this game does so bad.
Rating: 10% failure responsibility.
Comming now to an end DoW III fails mostly in the parts of stage 2 and 1. Failing to gather players through generating an realistic battlefield feel in the 41st millenium and having the content to hold players through giving them stuff to.... well, play with.
Relic didn t improve upon the formula, it was altered to near inrecognition, and therefore generated the sh**tstorm of it´s older fans and turned off new players by simply having an boring game after not a long time of play.
Conclusion: To get out of this mess an relaunch of DoW III with its 1st expansion would do the trick. Adding old features and edging out the new ones will do following :
a) people relising, relic is listening to the community
b) older fanbases gaining interest
c) better long term playability of the game
and therefore reestablish the name of the brand.
Sidenote: I was told, that this game uses the same engine as CoH2, so the changes should be doable.
Thank you for reading an share your opinions pls