When you have such basic (but beautiful) graphics, you expect a lot of ´´extra´´ things that can help the game look much better and more inmersive. I am in the ´´ultra detailed units are not needed´´ team, as long as we get soul made animations and features that adds inmersion and more fun to the game. (come to my mind COH, it still looks great and pleasent to see with those 2006 graphics, due to the physics, animations and inmersion)
Yeah we already mentioned the horrible poof effect or unmanned siege.
Crews on ships would have to be tiny miniature people. I imagine it would not look great next to the regular sized ones on shore. There is already a necessary scaling discrepancy (as pretty much all RTS have), you make that discrepancy much more obvious and jarring by having instances of the same thing (people) that are very different sizes from each other.
So you can abstract building scaling (as you mention) which looks horrible, but you cannot abstract ship crew? You could also not scale them and simply reduce the number of people doing things on deck? Maybe adding (unmanned) siege engines like in AOM could work? Maybe the ships should be bigger in the first place and not copy AOE2’s horrible water gameplay?
There are many possibilities to handle this feature which would not end in the sad and sterile approach we see in the final game.
On one topic the game doesn’t need something because its just a game, on the next topic it doesn’t need it because it would be unrealistic.
Whatever fits the apologist narrative, I guess.
You could make ships much larger to avoid the scaling issue I mentioned. But then you’re talking about changing a lot more, may need larger map sizes for that or need to change ship balance and limit players to have less of them. Maybe the maps would work ok with larger ships, but the point is there are logical reasons not to have crew on ships as many RTS games do not.
I once thought it would be great to have an RTS game where all objects were true sized. It would make for a very boring game though where only the fastest units were capable of being micro’d and everything else would just be a long, drawn-out macrofest.
All features of a game have to give value. For buildings, they produce, they block off parts of the map, they generate strategic concerns. Their size needs to be based on how relevant they are, but not too big that it makes the gameplay boring. Think of how fast units move, how fast things need to be for situations to be engaging. In SC2 for example buildings are pretty small, but they need to be. If they were true to size, units would take so long to get to the other side of the building to defend against attacks that it would be impossible to defend against them unless you already had units over there. It would require balance changes that turn the game into a more macro and long-term siege game to allow for those units to have time to walk over there. It would also make units like a terran marine more ineffective compared to airships. It would completely change the basic units and principles of the game that it would make it into a completely different game that is slower paced.
Yeah there are definitely scaling discrepancies, but at least it’s elephants to buildings (just one example) and not people to people.
Some amount of scaling discrepancies will always have to exist if the game is going to be playable and competitive, not to say they couldn’t maybe do better, but very different sized humans next to each other would be more jarring I think.
Yeah they could make them bigger. I think that’s a much more involved change though like I mention above.
It seems pretty standard in RTS games to not have crew on ships.
Thats all cool. But I didn’t advocate for true sized buildings. That just does not work once we get to the scenario scale of AOE (it works in games like CoH because it displays a much smaller scale, basically closer to RTT with a few squads and vehicles).
I was referring to things like the barracks having 2 (useless) towers up front which look, scaled down as they are, like the playground area infront of a McDonalds. It serves nothing and looks ridiculous (doesn’t help define the shape of the building anymore than the classic U of the rest of the building already does).
The scale also suffered from the constraint of resetting every building a bit to have dead-space around where units can pass. It’s like they never discussed building design vs. scaling vs. dead-space, ending up with the game design decisions kneecapping the graphics design.
But the ships? I mean, wasn’t AOE2 water-meta something they despised so much that they wanted to remove it entirely for a while?
Why not go for less boats and have them be more tacticool with abilities (boarding attacks on other ships, cannon salvos, etc). That would make room to scale them up to AOE3 size and add crew (or siege). No, it had to become AOE2 blob fights on water again…
Yeah the navy posibilities can make it very fun if they added more strategic aspects, so you get plenty of fun playing fully navy like the island maps. But they are bored to play because adds nothing new than simplistic attacks, without any additional tactis.