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Old 09-17-2008, 11:21 AM
fyro11 fyro11 is offline
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Exclamation A Recipe for Success

This was something that I wanted to suggest for a long time now, but I thought it would only be proper of me to suggest it, if it was of paramount importance. And yes, I do think it is.

There are two games that I think were huge hits and most of you will have heard of them (which adds to the evidence of their success):

- Warcraft 3 and expansion (only the RTS games we're talking about)
- Battle for Middle-Earth series

One operated on a smaller scale; armies were smaller. But the merit in Warcraft was the strong storyline which revolved around a few people that were commandable heroes outside of the cutscenes. What this allows the player to do is feel the emotions and the highs and lows of the hero/anti-hero they are commanding. This is because if a story revolves around armies, then it is difficult to feel the emotions just leading armies to the slaughter. This is something that Battle for Middle-Earth as a game has not been able to achieve. In the books and movies it did, but not in the game, but we'll come back later to Battle for Middle-Earth.

In Warcraft 3, let's take the example of Arthas, whose betrayal and murder of his father, the king (after retrieving the sword Frostmourne) came to me as an huge shock, no less. He even sacrificed his friend Muradin Bronzebeard for Frostmourne, whom I had grown to like over just one or two missions. And then- on top of all that- Arthas defected to the Undead, the Undead!! Of all the evil factions, he stooped that low. Frostmourne had empowered him so much. My willpower to play as Arthas was suddenly zilch. It was such a big shock, I still think back about it now. I remember my cousin stopped playing the game for many weeks when he came to that part. The way it was all built up how Arthas went all the way to Northrend (the equivalent of the Arctic) just to find a way to stop the Undead- and then this. Back then I was 17, older than many here are today and I've had my fair share of violent, gorey and horror movies. But the sequence of events, how Arthas was pitched to be the saviour, the hero of Humans in Lordaeron and how that tinge of arrogance in him which was hidden beneath his desire for the Good and welfare of his people, how that arrogance manifested (expressed) itself.

The second example I'd like to use is that of the evil Arthas (in the Frozen Throne), an evil person whom the player is lead to control. Now this is the other side of the coin where one begins to grow into the outfit they're given, of Evil. In the beginning of that Undead mission, I was squinting because I didn't like the new Arthas, and I did so for the next few missions. But then, after may be 3 or 4, it was like the player wants to unleash destruction, destroying any Good barrier or obstacle and take over and rule the world muhahahahaaa-style!

The other thing is, not every mission should be building bases and armies, some can be like the first one; like the one in your script. Even if most were about building a base/encampment and armies, a few should be more focused on a few characters.

One last thing in this regard, is the totally different feel that one has as soon as they play a different faction. Even the HUD (heads up display) changed with each faction. The first time I played as Night Elves, I hated it. Absolutely hated it. They were just soo different. All purple with blue clothes. But after that first mission I grew to like them just as I did with the other factions. They were unique with their weird voices and they were unique in that they were mysterious and other-worldly.

The second part is, the Battle for Middle-Earth. This is about big armies and epic battles. This was the first RTS game I played with such vast armies, and I loved it. But after the campaign, the 'skirmish' option began to dry up slowly. It's just that a lot of the maps were barren and sometimes colourless (colorless). So different colours imo is key. But the epic feel of it was the factor that made me love it (as well as my liking of LOTR generally).

So the idea is to make battles epic, but the storyline can move in on particular characters and what they choose to do with their epic armies. At times, heroes may have to move alone through forests, underworlds, wildernesses/mountains/whatevers, so this is another factor key to a good, nay the best kind of game.

I'll add anything else if I've forgotten. I know it's a lot, but errr whatever :P
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:54 AM
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One of the big successes of Warcraft III that very few games have captured (and none successfully, IMO) was the customization of heroes, and the impact of hero selection on your overall strategy. Playing the human faction with an archmage was entirely different from playing with a mountain king and paladin, and even then skill selections offered a wide range of variations and strategies. Even to this day I know and use multiple different skill builds for heroes; I'm particularly fond of bolt/bash and bolt/clap mountain kings, and I often hesitate at level 2 to decide which route to go.

I loved a lot of the Warcraft III heroes for their character and customization. The bloodmage was one of my favourites once they patched siphon mana to actually be good. You can either play him as a powerful artillery (best in team) or as a tactical support character (banish is easily the game's most underrated spell; banish/siphon bloodmage has no damage output, but he's scary if used right). I also love the warden as any combination of two of her skills is totally valid and performs well in any matchup and any stage of the game. Shadow Hunter is one of those heroes that makes you cry that you can't max out three skills at once, since they make him so versatile and balanced. The Death Knight, however, easily takes the cake as the best designed hero due to his ridiculous versatility and power. All his skills rank as the game's best overall, not because of their sheer strength (except death pact, that's just insane @_@), but because they're so broad and reaching.
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Last edited by Darvin : 09-17-2008 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Battle for Middle-Earth series
err, yes, successful...

Quote:
So the idea is to make battles epic, but the storyline can move in on particular characters and what they choose to do with their epic armies. At times, heroes may have to move alone through forests, underworlds, wildernesses/mountains/whatevers, so this is another factor key to a good, nay the best kind of game.
Finally, the actual point Well this happens anyway, as far as I can tell. There are screenshots of heroes talking, and each looks important.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:53 PM
fyro11 fyro11 is offline
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Battle for Middle-Earth 1 and 2 were a success whether you like it or not, Puppet. :P

A strong storyline is a must.

Last edited by fyro11 : 09-17-2008 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:07 PM
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Spoilers, Muradin didn't die.
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:54 PM
nickson104 nickson104 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyro11 View Post
Battle for Middle-Earth 1 and 2 were a success whether you like it or not, Puppet. :P

A strong storyline is a must.
They were a success for EA as are all their games... huge budget, crap produce. A big earner for EA and a big letdown for gamers.

I mean yeah the feeling of controlling an army entirely made of wargs or tower guards or even spammed orcs was really amazing feeling due to the sheer force. But it wasnt long before the letdowns became apparent, heros that not only inspire allies but are near invincible, elven archers being near unmatchable and the fact arrows ALWAYS hit their mark, i mean it is so awesome when arrows can miss, but not only that but can friendly fire or hit a wrong target at least.

And yeah definitely storyline must be good, and it does look like there is a storyline to DOF
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharku View Post
Spoilers, Muradin didn't die.
Eh? When did he come back to life? You know a story is going downhill when it spontaneously resurrects a dead character who was thoroughly and thematically slain.

Personally I thought the story was great up until the Night Elf campaign. That campaign was just poorly designed, the characters bland, and the missions overly straightforward. The expansion was excellent overall, but had the sour taste like an anime that had caught up to its manga and was struggling to create extra filler on the fly. The introduction of the Naga race and outland really stunk of a last-ditch attempt to add two campaigns to precede the undead one. They really didn't help the lore or strengthen the story.


As for Battle for Middle Earth, "success" is a dubious term. Financial success is one thing, but it had nothing to do with its quality of gameplay (or rather, the lack thereof). There were several good ideas and innovations, but they were screwed up by bad design choices and lack of polish.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:34 PM
Sharku Sharku is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darvin View Post
Eh? When did he come back to life? You know a story is going downhill when it spontaneously resurrects a dead character who was thoroughly and thematically slain.
He was never killed, just "knocked unconscious" and gets amnesia. Also, all the Dreadlords that were killed in Warcraft 3 never really died either. The same with every other character Blizzard brings back in an attempt to milk WoW next expansion, which is a real disgrace if you ask me.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
He was never killed, just "knocked unconscious" and gets amnesia. Also, all the Dreadlords that were killed in Warcraft 3 never really died either. The same with every other character Blizzard brings back in an attempt to milk WoW next expansion, which is a real disgrace if you ask me.
Ok, I could see the dreadlords coming back to life since they're fricken demons. Muradin? He was impaled by ice, left to die in the Frozen reaches of Northrend, and his surviving men never found him. How does he survive!?. I'd accept "becoming undead" as a plausible argument, but that doesn't make it any less lame. To repeat myself:

Quote:
The expansion was excellent overall, but had the sour taste like an anime that had caught up to its manga and was struggling to create extra filler on the fly.
Except now it's not so much a sour taste as a repugnant one.
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:37 PM
iceblast iceblast is offline
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kid rock is successful.
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