Suprising how few eyes are on MMORTS and most seem RTS fans. All and good but its telling. Im already butting heads with them on other forums so I wont start here
Im playing Stronghold Kingdoms alpha atm, and whilst not my normal fare ( I prefer uncluttered twitch combat or RTS gameplay) its got suprisingly deep strategic play. It is in alpha and I am sure the graphics will get tarted up much better. Its possibly more like tower defense games than RTS, you make choices and the AI battles it out. The depth of the politics and strategic choices are good though and the only 'magic' is the religious card (which is fair enough - the politics of religion worked miracles all the time with folks just dissappearing all over). Finance wise - id say they probably have the best in-game card system I have seen and this leads me to say that this game isnt like Travian - it will redefine what folk expect from this type of game and similar browser strategy/4x like games.
Another game I am playing in alpha atm is Picaroon, a naval MMORTS by Nice Tech, the indie devs of Time of Defiance. Shaping up nicely(sic) but puzzling to me - the sudden flurry of historical naval games coming. This is a few years after Pirates of the Carribean and its strange that this year they all arrived. I much prefer SciFi tbh lol.
End of Nations looks good also but the alpha hasnt started outside of the studio. Cologne festie will provide the first gameplay experience for the public at the end of August. I would pitch thi sgame as son and heir of Shattered Galaxy - scaled up and sexier. Again, the RTS crowd are a *****ing they arent being pandered too enough but whats new there?
Online play with any level of persistence takes RTS players and strings out what they are used to playing like over a much longer period. Many burn out as small instanced RTS is what they like and have planned for. RTS like Starcraft are RTT really as the resources on the map are known and quantified easily by the player base. Essentially little difference with having it in the bag already. Not knowing IF you will have any resources next month or six months down the line, and making choices considering this, is the level of strategy I get the most from. I know DoF has its instanced gameplay, what will be interesting is the reaction of the community to the long term achievements they gain and aspire too.
bleh - better shut up now lol. I wont 'do' starcraft 2 as its not significantly different from SC:BW, especially give the decade in between. Battlenet WILL be better than its predessesor but who cares - SC2 and WoW....oooo the choices. Diablo 3 will eventually come but i was no fan of action/rpg/rts back then.