Originally Posted by Joseph Visscher
fear & morale and such doesn't fully fit the story of dof either, Elves fight for their Great Forests and their livelihood, Orcs simply want blood! Rendarg!!! Fight to the end for no defined reason! Humans are noble, have honor and pride.
Players' control over all of their units increases the contrast between new players and hardcore players. When you let the game control more aspects of the game that is just less you can get better at.
A good player will know when it is some to retreat, IT IS YOUR ARMY AND YOU CHOOSE THEIR FATE OR VICTORY.
You seem very set in stone on this one heh, I'd disagree with the more control thing though in this sense, I don't think it applies. Normally I'd say yes, the less automation the less normalization. Thus raising the skill ceiling. however, morale? it's another level of depth. Much like a second health bar, if you let either one run out your army dies, you must balance both. Part of that is ordering a fighting retreat or at the least ordering a retreat to a specific point instead of a panic-ridden retreat in every direction in order to regroup before panic sets in, or using abilities that bolster morale, or simply killing the units that are causing all this fear and panic. Handled well morale is a great mechanic, poorly, yes it's a frustrating one. There are some games where morale seems arbitrary and stupid, just as there are some where it feels solid and right, where a strategic retreat to a safe point and leaving behind a small portion of you army to be lambs to the slaughter and slow them down so your army can recover it's morale and fight again without panic and fear killing them, or again taking control and adapting by making your own morale units to bolster your troops, or knocking out his fear units.
I sort of rambled on there, sorry, I really feel that done right it adds a lot of depth and adds more that a player has to look out for and adapt to.
The one question I have to ask though is, somewhat off topic, you mentioned the difference between new and hardcore players - where do you draw the line for the skill ceiling? How much better are we going to be able to be in the grand scheme of things. I know games where I could easily take on new, relatively competent people without breaking a sweat at 3-4:1 odds, and others where 2v1 is literally impossible short of a severe case of stupid developing in one or both of your opponents. Can't really think of a good way to put it. Typically they don't punish new people, when it's like that, the latter games. A game that does for example, company of heroes, if you screw up and lose a squad early. You've lost the game right there, and it's easy to lose one if you get caught out of cover. Other games are very forgiving to tactical mistakes and played on a more strategic level, it's based moreso on army composition and well timed activated abilities and a little bit of positioning to go with the composition of your army. Where the skill lies in creating the right units based on what your opponent has, using your abilities correctly and to go in line with the first - scouting, lots of scouting. In order to make the right army composition you must know what you are going to be up against.