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Old 02-10-2010, 10:32 PM
Alex Walz's Avatar
Alex Walz Alex Walz is offline
Reverie World Studios - Former Marketing Director & Assistant Producer
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Hi, all. Thanks for your enthusiasm.
I'll do my best to address your concerns.

-Visual clutter makes it really hard to fully comprehend whats going on.
-Seige weapons look pretty over the top, and those defenses won't really do much-or will they?
-So many units, how do I control them ALL while still having control over my army?
a) Yes, it does look a bit cluttered in this video. Like others have said, the battlefield looks significantly simpler from the higher, default pitch that you're be playing with. Also, the battles you see were scripted. In an actual skirmish, these units will run to defend a breech and not just stand around making their alliance ambiguous, as with the scene you pointed out. Your infantry will typically attack in an organized line while your archers will often form an arch behind them. Of course, the organization factor depends on the races, to an extent - elven formations are very neat while many orc formations are seemingly random mobs, and you can choose which formation to use for your troops and each one offers different statistical benefits.

b) Siege weapons fall quickly to enemy fire. You can't bring any siege weapons near the enemy stronghold until you have a thick infantry fodder wave or have taken out the defenses. A lot of these videos and shots show a ram or siege tower at an enemy wall but what they don't show are the multiple treants you send crashing down before the enemy is able to scale your wall.

c) You won't be controlling each unit - you'll be working with battalions, or groups of units. So that makes it easier to attack with big numbers and you can mass-select a large group of assorted units and send them roughly to the point of attack and use a mix of micromanagement and macromanagement from that point on. We actually just discussed this mix of strategy in an interview, which I'll post in the Media Fair momentarily.

We've been told that the game will use a squad-based system, so units will be organized into small groups (between 5-20, the developers haven't confirmed the exact number yet) with heroes and large units (siege and monsters) being on their own.
Correct, although the number in a battalion isn't standardized with every unit. Most human and elven battalions start with 7-10 units and orc battalions with 15. But with every 1-2 levels, you will gain one unit for that battalion.

Unless there is something I don't know then I think this needs to be fixed and the teams need to wear very obviously different colours, as in other RTS games, even at the expense of some realism.
Each unit has a player mask. It's kind of dark lighting, but you can see it. It should be pretty clear in all the showcase shots.

Now, obviously 'weeks' is far too long, but reducing it to meer seconds doesn't provide any feeling of siege, so I don't think many RTS get the time compromise right for siege warfare.
Like I mentioned earlier, breaches take longer than hinted at. You have to have heavy infantry fodder and take out all the defenses, and even then you will have to have a dedicated siege ram attacking the gate for a fair while and most strongholds have multiple layers of walls for you to hammer through.

Also-yeah. We won't be controlling 1000 unit armies right off the bat-keep that in mind. It's likely we'll have at most a couple hundred by the time we finish the first combat quests, but that's still much easier to handle than those shots. I imagine mmorts will gradually step it up in the # of units needed to complete a quest, not all at once.
True. You start with just a couple of units and can win over some more through early quests and train the rest. If you're playing as men, which is the "average" of the Dawn of Fantasy races, it's recommended that you have 400-500 military units before building your second layer of walls and another 50-100 before the first large-scale enemy invasion.

And finally, all the graphics inquiries,
I know most of you guys have been able to get past the fact that our graphics can't compete with multimillion dollar titles, and for that, I thank you. The truth is, we started out as an indie team with essentially no funding and very little resources. So we just did what we were capable of. By the time we had accumulated a decent amount of funding, resources, and experience, it was too late to drastically change the graphics as it would require an engine overhaul. Most RTS titles with battles the scale of ours work off of engines that automatically add fog effects and restrict the level of detail as you zoom out. Unfortunately, we did not do this at the time and so, everything we've done to reduce lag with distance has been outside of the engine. If we simply went in and replaced our models with higher-poly models, our engine just wouldn't be able to handle it with 1,000+ units on the screen. But, now we know, and we'll be able to make this a priority right off the bat if we design a second title.
Alex Walz | Former Assistant Producer & Publicist of Reverie World Studios, INC.
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"The sky grows lighter my friends. The break of day should cheer the heart. But for us, sunrise brings only bloody war. Make thou ready. Defend my people well." - Prince Erian IV, Dawn of Fantasy