Successful feature breakdown

Just lets take a look at top played pvp games Overwatch, DOTA2, Call of Duty, Team Fortress 2.Rocket League. Rainbow Six Siege, Arma 3, Titanfall 2. Are the teams somehow , anyhow asymmetric? No! They have access to exact same gears and heroes. Why is Asymmetric even requested by RTS at all? It makes zero sense. Can really 1-3 games made 20-10 years ago justify to waste millions of dollars on a concept that clearly doesn’t pay off.

Yes, Starcraft is a good game, nobody does deny it, but by year 2020 it should be clear, Starcraft concept won’t bring the genre back and make a financial success.

Enforcing by RTS Asymmetric is basically like sign up for unemployment for the developers.

the thing is, people did stop to play DoW3 before they got access to “army destroyer beams”

You see, have an idea, is not the same as have a concept. Just because you did put an idea into the game, does not mean you did make it better, if there is no plan it might make the game worse.

lets not repeat mistakes from other games, shall we?

Formation bonuses won’t work in AoE2 as, you simply don’t have the size of armies for it and AoE2 does have anti blob units, we have see in game Cossacks, where exactly this is happening. You need merely to use your ranged cavalry to attack from 2 sides, so Formation bonuses turn into nonsense for melee units.

swap between attack type, you realize AoE is large scale RTS of macromanagement?
we had those issues in C&C Red Aler 3 already where faster players simply did get a too unfair advantage. RTS is not about fast smash the keyboard

Charge trample attack-first off battle for middle earth 2 is squad/battalion management RTS, Age of Empires is single unit management. Already there you require clearly different mechanics. If each horse unit, will be able to stomp, people simply would attack from all sides and use horses only.
It would completely break the game, as even the counter unit, won’t work.

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I don’t know about the others, but these two are as asymmetric as possible. I’d only say this: Void vs Pugna.

Age 4 will not be as asymmetric as Starcraft 2, more like Warcraft 3 or even less if they would go with 10 civs. But even then it will be more asymmetric than Age2 which is a good thing from replayability and depth.

I don’t want to buy skins of a single civ and play the same 3 strats.

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But both teams can have same hero and weapon.

But how, AoE has no magic or fantasy creatures like Warcraft3.
It’s a macro management RTS, again management or large armies, where babysit each unit kind of contradicts the series core design. It’s simply technically not possible.

You kind of go with your suggestions to make some kind of small scale phantasy game.

Auto queue is not a good feature IMO in RTS, (auto things in general) Because Real Time Strategy mean human mechanic coming into the game and it does matter, if you want strategy game, yes, but i hope AOE4 not gonna become just strategy where everythings is auto and the difference between player is narrowed of course because you remove potential room for improve this is why SC1 have more viewer on stream overall than SC2 , with Smartcast feature,it have a bit of “autospirit” things so what happen to the top player of theses games? less domination from one or 2 players because its more easy to reach the top it was the same for AOM vs AOM Titan exp the same for AOE2 vs AOE3 .

less you have IA and auto do things for you and more the RTS is popular its a fact in RTS because gamer who manage to master and dominate, gamer have some admiration for them.

First of all, top PVP games according to what? I don’t see that list including “top” anything really. Top grossing revenue should go to fortnite, mario kart, GTA V, Call of Duty.

Second, all those games you provided are completely asymmetrical except for Rocket League, and maybe Arma (I haven’t played any Arma games so I can’t tell).

Orbital beam literally was 1 in 3 SM faction powers, and it was there on day 1 in all 3 Dawn of War base games.

I read up until here, I assume you have no idea what you’re talking about from the previous part, now you say more skilled players have “unfair advantage”. OK.

I never even bothered learning to play as Portuguese because the only difference they have is slightly more glass cannon heavy infantry counter and artillery, I don’t even know what their cards do, or what shenanigans they can pull off.

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Yes, but that’s like playing the same Civ both opponents :slight_smile:

I’ve made a post here about possible civ gameplay concept design: Assuming only 10 civs in aoe4, what should they be? - #281 by VerminousCODMAN

I will expand on that making a comparison to Warcraft3.

Let’s take Humans (most AOE2 / English / Western civ style ) vs Night Elves (let’s assume them as Mongols).

Building gameplay design:
Humans/English: buildings are rooted in place. A villager builds them.
Elves/Mongols: can unroot/unpack buildings and move over. They are morphed from a Wisp. Mongols could build them at the town-center as moving chariots and unpack where needed. Another twist would be to de-elevate a foot-warrior into a peasant for a fixed time (losing the benefit of the warrior which makes you temporarily vulnerable). Like that you build directly with your infantry, close to the enemy without risking core villagers.

Humans/English: cheaper, but weaker houses to support population; can be used to wall-in or immobile scout on the map.
Elves/Mongols: more expensive, but provides additional benefits (heal troops).

HU/English: needs to lay out the buildings to create a maze/fortified position in order to protect their villagers and trap inside any intruders.
NE/Mongols: place the building closer to the interest point to maximize time (closer to resources let’s say) while being able to move them afterwards to a new place; Mongols made their camp in circle to protect a valuable point; maybe move them around depending where you settle the camp; block a choke-point while you farm the area or other benefits that emerge from being able to move the buildings.

HU/English: building role is pretty straight forward for most of players: Barracks, Workshop, Mage Tower, Town, Center.
NE/Mongols: exotic buildings that are not immediately recognizable by new players, but somehow resemble the “classic” role to an extent. Plus they reinforce the fantasy/history. Mongols may “upgrade” a core building to specialize it into something more specific.

Unit design:
Hu/English: basic core infantry is a melee troop.
NE/Mongols: basic core infantry is an archer. Or maybe a troop that may change from melee to range and back. More versatile, but with a weak point: hit points stay low, but melee may move (travel) faster; requires upgrade. Good for surprise rushes or raids or for escaping battle.

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Ok maybe I wasnt clear enough.

1#### yes by overwatch a sniper hero like Widowmaker is different than gorilla Winston, but both teams can have in same time Widowmaker and Winston, that are by both teams exactly the same.
So this means, those games are in PvP symmetric, as people have access to exact same gear.

And we do see it by any top game, that both teams and player have access to comparable if even not to exactly same gear.

Only by RTS somehow, we have a faction with no snipers, by other faction no rocket launchers.
By any shooter, if there is a sniper rifle, both teams have access to it. So why are RTS only forced into that concept?

2####* Did you play Red Alert 3? Red Alert 3 was a very clear example that it is a bad concept in large scale game to give each unit an ability. Instead of using abilities, people kind of do abuse them. Just as example by Japan anti tank unit you had the ability to dig them in, to avoid damage.

Problem is in real play it did mean, some people were not fast enough to activate and were constantly loosing their units, the others were so fast, they did easily overcome their opponents, and that concept did downgrade the game quite a lot.

In C&C Tanks can crush soldiers, so by RA3 you could easy kill from soviet and allied faction the anti tank units, by simply drive over them with tank, but could not kill them by Japan, as they could simply dig in and avoid damage from being crushed by tanks. It was not only very annoying, but was also giving that faction quite an unfair advantage.

In theory a lot can work, but that’s why we do have practical test to check it out.
What if, “as usual by any team”, it turns into something that is breaking the game?

I mean let’s be realistic. Developer was already once forced to introduce some asymmetric mechanics that does break the game. Can they fix it? The release is just some month ahead as people did notice it in the beta. But they simply can’t delay the release, people see on launch day a broken game, people do refund it. Game gets bad rating. Publisher does pull the plug.

Asymmetry simply isn’t a successful feature.

With asymmetric concepts AoE4 simply would fail, like we have seen by any team in last years.

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Not sure if you’re trolling, or you are actually pulling up those conclusions. If it wasn’t a troll attempt you are genuinely wrong.

Either way, I digress, have fun believing your own concept of symmetry and the fact that anti-tank infantry can avoid being rammed by tanks.

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Not to be disrepectful to you, Huge5000RTSFan but your point of view seems really extreme.

Asymetric balance is the standard in most strategy game, successful or not, for many years. While AoE 2 is a good example for symmetric balance, it already falls flat to certain degree if every civilisation can only use their own tech-tree.
Admittedly, AoE2 was a great success and a good example for symmetric balance - and while it is easy to have a large ammount of civs as the tech-tree is designed - It lacks depth.
Don’t get me wrong, AoE2 is and always will be one of my favourite games, but in the end almost every civilisation can use the same tactics, no matter what boni they have and what technological setup.
While already the slightly higher asymetry of AoE3 allow much more depth - you’re surely not going to play russians the samt style as the ottoman empire, and don’t even get me started on the expansion civs.
Is it well balanced? To be honest, I have no clue but it seems at the very least to be working adequately and the matches are certainly more intersting then some of the AoE2 games I’ve had.
They have their own strengths, of course. But I am totally in for asymetric balance.

Again, from last 10 years, how many Asymmetrical successful games exist?
Problem is, there is simply almost nothing out there across all the genres, to back up the claim.

In retro perspective the Symmetrical concept with faction bonuses and handful special units like by AoE2 and old C&C simply seems to be the better way to make a game.

Yes, “Asymmetric Balance” did establish itself as one of way for thinking by RTS. But considering the feedback the genre does receive, and how bad Asymmetrical RTS did perform by sales, it is clearly no longer a good idea to try it.

Just look at last big flop from Relic. After 9 min, this video does have a very good explanation.

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The video literally doesn’t say asymmetric balance killed the game, it says the game’s bad because it was bad, and tried to please 2 different communities but did everything wrong. Broken elites (watch the elite Wraithguard moping the floor with 6 different squads at once), no depth (see force field areas), only 3 races, skull system, doctrine unlocks, power core as exclusive game mode until annihilation was released months later, etc.

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DoW 3 was a unsuccessful try to combine features of the first two games that were inherently incompatible and watered down with moba features and unlockables in competetive mode.

I loved DoW and still liked DoW2, but the third part was an insult to the series.

And all three games had asymetric balance, only the third one was a flop. So DoW3 on it’s own is certainly no argument against asymetric balance.

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Problem is, there kind of don’t exist many games to proof Asymmetric games are Successful.
The handful we know, are very rare and quite old. It has been a while since we saw a good one.

I would not call Dawn of War 1 and 2 as Asymmetric. Asymmetric means if the factions do lack comparable units, like a Zergling has no counterpart by Humans and Protoss, Symmetric is something like Tank in C&C, where each faction has own version of tank, even several.

I mean the video did clearly compare after 9 min DoW3 to Starcraft2, SC2 is asymmetric.

I did once read this good Article, and I think it does have a point.

Pure Asymmetry seems to break the formula. Not only we have seen DoW3 fail, also Red Alert 3, Grey Goo, Year of Rain, Act of Aggression, Universe at War: Earth Assault, War Party , Supreme Commander 2 and many more titles.

If we pick up DoW1/2 factions are much more comparable than by DoW3. For example jump infantry, like Dawn of War 1 Assault Marine Squad has by each faction own counterpart, Chaos has Raptors, Orcs have stormboyz and Eldar Warp Spider. The question of how to handle that unit didn’t even come up by 1/2 as you simply had own counterpart by each faction. By Dawn of War 3 for some reasons only Marines had those as units and it was quite questionable how units were supposed to counter each other, especially as the game did provide there no explanation, as it was also simply bad balanced.

I think there is something very wrong at the core with asymmetric concept for RTS.
-we do experience how it does dumb down the base build and simplifies tech trees
-we do experience how it does give certain factions unfair advantages
-we do experience how it does make games lame to play and breaks balance

Can we expect people to play vs each other lame and unfair games? That’s why I think AoE4 should avoid this “pure Asymmetry”. Sure it’s OK of factions do have bonuses and special units, but only as long it is balanced, won’t break the gameplay and game flow.

Red Alert 3 and Grey Goo are still great games. To not make a boring game you need to have different factions like in Starcraft 1-2

Of course balance is important between factions
And a game like AoE4 will never have an asymetry like Starcraft, Grey Goo (agreed with HolyProtoss here, great game) or whatever examples you otherwise have.

But I actually can think of more Strategy games who are asymetric then symetric, many of them were really good.

[quote=“Huge5000RTSFan, post:24, topic:102977”]
-we do experience how it does dumb down the base build and simplifies tech trees
[/quote] That is not neccesssarily true. Many of the asymetric games I’ve played had varying tech trees which were not oversimplified. And while base building is simplified in some more modern RTS games, it is not something that happens in Asymetric games alone.

[quote=“Huge5000RTSFan, post:24, topic:102977”]
-we do experience how it does give certain factions unfair advantages
[/quote] That is true to a certain degree. But if well enough thought through it is still possible to balance an asymetric game properly. There is more room for error, but in many asymetric games when theres something that gives one faction an edge, there is still something that the other faction can leverage against it.

[quote=“Huge5000RTSFan, post:24, topic:102977”]
-we do experience how it does make games lame to play and breaks balance
[/quote] I already answered to the ‘breaks balance’ part above (since broken balance and unfair advantages are basically the same) but I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that asymetric gameplay makes a game’lame to play’. Rather on the contrary, change between factions can shake up the gameplay.

On the one hand - take Age of Empires 2. It is one of my favourite strategy games - and I think many here would agree. But while the different Factions have some details changed in how they play - in the end you CAN play almost every tactic with almost every nation. And with checking a single box in the game setup screen you really can do it. It’s a fun game but I defend against every enemy basically the same. I build my base exactly the same way. My unit composition is also largely the same.

Now take AoE3 as a light example for asymetric gameplay (which is certainly closer to AoE4 then DoW or SC).
If you play the Russians you have massive ammounts of trash infantry which can protect you artillery. Also you always recruit groups instead of only single units.
If you play Netherlands your whole economy is suddenly gold based, luckily you can build banks.
Play Spanish and suddenly you got Rodeleros who can take on many other Melee units.
Next match you play English and since you levelled high enough you can upgrade your longbow archers to Elite and ruin your enemies days. Also - your houses work differently.
You play German and you love your advanced peasants. And not to mentio Doppelsöldner.
And don’t get me started on the expansion factions.

I am not expert balance wise, AoE3 seemed to do a well enough job for that. But the gameplay in the question how different the factions were and how it felt different playing with and against the different countries was brilliant. (You can think of cards and shipments what you want, these are not point of the discussion here :P)

And again: DoW3 was a Dumpsterfire, we all agree - it is not a good argument in either direction because the game itself is a pile of crap.

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I think they are not going to pure assymetrical design
look at units in trailer


English Pikes
mng-pike
Mongol Pikes


English xbow
20201019_224034
Mongol archer


English Lancer

Mongol Cavalier

eng-axe
English Axemen


Mongol Swordsman

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Well, that makes sense for the most part. IDK about Mongols, but I’m pretty sure every European civilization, and particularly those in the medieval age, all were practitioners of similar combat arts and strategy, in general we could say HEMA.

Now I’d be surprised if the Japanese civ had pikes instead of Naginatas.

What I would like to see to offer some flavor is the Romans had the Testudo formation, vs Greek phalanx formation, each one giving different bonuses, where they historically did. Basically Testudo was good vs archers, the phalanx was good vs other melee units and much more mobile, etc.

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Dota 2 is as assymetric as they come. If one team drafts a hero, that hero is out of the pool. Therefore, the the teams can’t be mirrored. You seem to miss that fact. Heroes can be mirrored only in some fun game modes not in all pick (unranked) or any ranked mode, ie the normal way to play the game.
Also i don’t know why we disregard SC2 which whether we like it or not (and as a huge fan of historical strategy games i prblly don’t) it is a fact that it is the most succesful RTS game for the last decade by a huge margin and obviously the core of this success is how balanced it is while being assymetrically designed.

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-not from the financial side, they are actually flops
it actually seems “different factions” kind of cause the opposite of fun to majority

But AoE is not a squad based game like total war to make size and sense for the formations.

Sure in same team you cant have several times same hero, but other team have same hero as your team, I did see a lot of times.

Nobody is going to be happy with a game that is lacklustre of contradicting concepts amateurishly stitched together. Starcraft is in no way by its Sci-fi setting anyhow related to a historical setting of AoE.

The problem here is, Starcraft 1 is kind of the only of its kind.
Starcraft 2 factions are much more symmetric in comparison.

We have simply to look here into what is possible and how it was performing on games market.
There was simply no other successful team out there, to justify investing into that concept.

I understand, there is for year this narrative to create successful “cartoony simplified Starcraft-like” game, but if its still isn’t out there, why should AoE4 team be the first one in 20 years to achieve it, while every other team failed?

You just denied success of biggest rts game. They doesn’t just seem different factions. They are different. You can’t master all of them easily like in AOE2.

If you don’t want assymetric civs, you are welcomed to continue to play aoe2 DE which is going to be supported for years. I’m 100% sure most people will be happy with the changes in AoE4.

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