New Command & Conquer gameplay details from the C&C summit

#1
Apparently EA recently hosted a C&C summit for the new C&C where they invited community sites to play the game and provide feedback, and then allowed them to write previews based on their experiences.

Game Replays put up a notably lengthy, but measured sounding article, so I thought it might be worth sharing a recap.

The full article (there's a lot here): http://www.gamereplays.org/generals2/portals.php?show=news&tid=910692

Details:
-EA flew 12 community site heads (and presumably paid their full way) out to Los Angeles to play the new C&C game for two days and give feedback to the team about their impressions.
-EA usually holds a summit like this for every C&C game, but the difference this time was that instead of presenting a game that was near gold master (and thus relatively unchangeable), making the summit more of a preview event than a real feedback event, this one was much earlier in development so that feedback could actually be addressed.
-Almost all the senior staff from the old team is gone, replaced with the team JVC built when after he launched the studio.
-The game will be treated as a service in the same sense games like Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, League of Legends, and other high profile f2p titles are, as in it will be expanded with a large number of additions, balancing patches, new modes, etc post launch. The base version will launch with Generals content.
-C&C will be a traditional RTS with base building, resource collection, and three unique factions. It also presumably features a very prominent annihilation mode. Basically, think more like StarCraft 2 and less like DoW/CoH.
-[Nirolak's Note: "Think more like StarCraft 2" could also probably be a bit of a motto for this game as several of the following points will show.]
-The game features a fragile, harassable builder unit, and killing that unit will cause a building to stop constructing. Game Replays feels this will help stop "base crawling Whack-A-Mole". I haven't played enough C&C to experience this, but I assume this was because players could just pop up a building without the enemy having a notably effective to stop it, thus inching their base into the enemy.
-Resource nodes now have a maximum optimal number of harvesters, meaning that the rate at which you can collect resources from any given location is gated, which in turn helps promote creating expansion bases. Of course, taking an expansion can be risky as you have to invest in making and defending an output.
-There is also new resource that serves the same purpose as vespene gas (as in it's used for higher tech tree units and structures). The vespene gas resource (oil) however is autocollected by building an oil derrick on it as opposed to requiring more workers.
-Supply Drops and Black Markets have been removed so that it is actually possible to run out of resources on a map, meaning that you can no longer have indefinite late game income.
-The way each faction techs up is unique, and the tech tree variety was compared to Red Alert 3. The authors said it was notably more robust than the first Generals game, but that the specifics of the tech trees are currently NDA'ed and thus they can't share more information on them at the moment.
-While the infantry units have the appearance of squads, this is simply an aesthetic, as the squad functions as a single unit (like, when they get killed, all the units will die, and they don't have different weapons or things in the squad like in Dawn of War or Company of Heroes).
-Building placement is currently grid based and uses 90 degree rotations, but this is still an in progress.
-Game Replays really liked the fundamentals of the game, but noted that inherently only playing for two days is not nearly enough time to analyze all the amount of depth and nuance present in the game and see how it would hold up in the long run. They did note that they like the initial result of the core mechanics changes in that the game now promotes manageably sized armies where the importance of unit control/positioning is much greater than before, as opposed to the more raw numbers focused game of yore.
-Their game balance philosophy is that they want to balance the title from both a numeric (damage/unit cost) and usage (strategy) perspective, so they built tools to collect a gigantic amount of data that will help them analyze both on a large scale. A large part of the reason they felt they needed this is that they want the factions to be rather divergent, since they feel having mirror-match-esque factions is rather boring, but that inherently makes balancing much more difficult.
-Victory has claimed that they've actually not yet decided how to monetize the game outside of the fact that it will be F2P. They did note though that they believed basically no one would actually want to play the game if it had anything the RTS community would consider pay 2 win or imbalancing, thus causing them to have essentially flushed all the money they spent down the drain. [Nirolak Note: To check on this claim, I went to their job site and noticed they are trying to hire a monetization designer, so it is possible they are being truthful.] Game Replays did note however that even with good intentions, there are definitely ways you could still mess up monetizing a title like this.
-While Skirmish is present (and presumably what they played), the game will also feature additional PvP and PvE modes. [Nirolak's Note: A long time ago JVC hinted that the game would have a lot more variety than RTS games generally do in terms of modes. I imagine some of those will be coming post launch however.]
-Game Replays ends on a note that the development team seems to understand the fundamentals of what makes a good game, but of course, having only seen a build that was legitimately early for a relatively short period of time, all they can assert is that the game has potential, not if it will actually end up living up to it.

There is also an official EA video from the summit, but as a warning, it's kind of stomach churningly informercial-esque. It does feature a bit of new footage however.
 

Danthrax

Batteries the CRISIS!
#3
I wonder if they're taking any notes from how their browser-based game, Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, has gone. That game is definitely pay 2 win once you're about a month into a new server.
 
#4
I wonder if they're taking any notes from how their browser-based game, Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, has gone. That game is definitely pay 2 win once you're about a month into a new server.
Probably not, since that's basically a Facebook game that's not hosted on Facebook, and thus pay 2 win is very intention there.
 

Danthrax

Batteries the CRISIS!
#5
Probably not, since that's basically a Facebook game that's not hosted on Facebook, and thus pay 2 win is very intention there.
It's the very intention, yes, but it's also technically Command & Conquer's first foray into alternate monetization methods. They might use it to some extent as a guide for what works and what doesn't. They certainly want people to pay money with this new C&C game.
 
#7
It's good that it's like Blizzard RTS, that was the point of original Generals (the lead designer is now lead designer of SC2 btw)

I haven't watched the new video yet, I didn't like their artstyle from the previous trailer, it felt very soulless and brown granted it's early but Generals was a very colorful game and it's aged very well imo, doesn't look bad even now, and I think having a visual style where units and everything are instantly recognizable matters a lot in a competitive RTS, that footage wasn't that.


Their business model will make or break the game in the end. but with likely no community mods it's not a real C&C. maybe they can support user created content ala SC2 too.

edit: you can see the UI in the video for the first time. Still looks brown, yeah.
 

Dance Inferno

Unconfirmed Member
#8
Didn't Generals have a worker unit? I recall the GLA having a worker unit, and I specifically recall you could upgrade him with shoes so he can move faster (lol). And no more black markets makes me sad. I used to stock up on black markets and then have an unstoppable flow of income in the late game.

I'll keep an eye on this since it's C&C and I love me some C&C (Red Alert 3 was awesome), but I kind of doubt this game is going to be very good...
 
#9
Didn't Generals have a worker unit? I recall the GLA having a worker unit, and I specifically recall you could upgrade him with shoes so he can move faster (lol). And no more black markets makes me sad. I used to stock up on black markets and then have an unstoppable flow of income in the late game.

I'll keep an eye on this since it's C&C and I love me some C&C (Red Alert 3 was awesome), but I kind of doubt this game is going to be very good...
Yeah I am not optimistic about this games chances what so ever. Never understand why EA would buy the team and IP just to fuck it all up. Red Alert universe is the one area they had a decent grasp on.
 
#12
The UI is pretty much from generals. I prefer the CNC3 sidebar rather than that.

I really do not know how they can monetize this game. Outside of unit skins, anything else will imbalance the game. They can't start offering units for sale and expect to play against someone who has more money.

I think no one has ever done a F2P RTS since it's impossible to do properly.
 
#13
It's amazing how good CNC3 was and how bad CNC4 was. By the same team also.
C&C4 was basically developed at the height of EA's current gen implosion.

The UI is pretty much from generals. I prefer the CNC3 sidebar rather than that.

I really do not know how they can monetize this game. Outside of unit skins, anything else will imbalance the game. They can't start offering units for sale and expect to play against someone who has more money.

I think no one has ever done a F2P RTS since it's impossible to do properly.
I feel the additional modes may have a lot to do with their monetization strategy, and the core game might be a way to just funnel people into it.
 
#22
-Victory has claimed that they've actually not yet decided how to monetize the game outside of the fact that it will be F2P. They did note though that they believed basically no one would actually want to play the game if it had anything the RTS community would consider pay 2 win or imbalancing, thus causing them to have essentially flushed all the money they spent down the drain. [Nirolak Note: To check on this claim, I went to their job site and noticed they are trying to hire a monetization designer, so it is possible they are being truthful.] Game Replays did note however that even with good intentions, there are definitely ways you could still mess up monetizing a title like this.
I don't believe this for one second. The game was intentionally moved to a free-to-play model this fall, and they already have an existing browser-based F2P CnC game. EA already learned their lesson with developing a game as a non-f2p product then trying to rush a switch to f2p with Star Wars: The Old Republic, so either BioWare Victory isn't telling the truth here or EA said "Let's switch this during development into a Free-to-Play model and make absolutely no effort to determine how or why this model would be more successful than selling it as a retail product."

I want this game to be good, but the fact that they're pretending (or honestly don't know) how they're going to make money off the product and what it means for balance/content is concerning.
 

subversus

I've done nothing with my life except eat and fap
#23
everything sounds good to me but they should've started building the game with monetization in mind. Now they can only hurt it.

I don't believe this for one second. The game was intentionally moved to a free-to-play model this fall, and they already have an existing browser-based F2P CnC game. EA already learned their lesson with developing a game as a non-f2p product then trying to rush a switch to f2p with Star Wars: The Old Republic, so either BioWare Victory isn't telling the truth here or EA said "Let's switch this during development into a Free-to-Play model and make absolutely no effort to determine how or why this model would be more successful than selling it as a retail product."
EA learned it just this summer, the game was announced last year.
 

Stop It

Perfectly able to grasp the inherent value of the fishing game.
#36
Well, I've been recently informed that I'll be in the closed beta for this when it goes live, so I'm looking forward to trying it.

Hopefully EA can get F2P right, but we'll see. As long as it isn't too much of a money sink to at least get a decent game out of t, I'll be happy.
 
#39
In what universe was CnC3 good? Mothership rushes? Now Generals, damn that game was good. 'Paladin tank in the field'

I don't expect to see any more of those memorable awesome unit banter the game had :(


even StarCraft II failed at that. no where as good as SC1 or WC3 even. or maybe I'm just too old now and it's only nostalgia.


yeah, C&C3 had pretty decent campaign, skirmish was broken for a long time, patches fixed it somewhat but then they dropped the support completely.
 
#42
Nothing comes close to Generals multiplayer. RA3 kind of almost did for a bit.
Look, you want to talk multiplayer, fine, I don't care. Generals takes it easily. But anyone who gives two shakes of a shit stick about that series knows Generals isn't even a bloody "C&C" game and people who say stuff like that really make me angry.
 
#44
Nothing comes close to Generals multiplayer. RA3 kind of almost did for a bit.
RA2, CnC3 and RA3 all had pretty good MP even if they could have used a patch or two more (though the same can be said for generals). Generals definetly was the best multi of them all and why i like to play the game to this day.

I really hope they manage to make this into something like DotA 2 or TF2 where the base game is awesome and it's supported by a monetization model that doesn't ruin the gameplay.
 
#45
Look, you want to talk multiplayer, fine, I don't care. Generals takes it easily. But anyone who gives two shakes of a shit stick about that series knows Generals isn't even a bloody "C&C" game and people who say stuff like that really make me angry.
Do you mean the game mechanics or the single player/thematic stuff? Because the story and characters in Generals are pretty over-the-top classic C&C.

RA2, CnC3 and RA3 all had pretty good MP even if they could have used a patch or two more (though the same can be said for generals). Generals definetly was the best multi of them all and why i like to play the game to this day.

I really hope they manage to make this into something like DotA 2 or TF2 where the base game is awesome and it's supported by a monetization model that doesn't ruin the gameplay.
All I remember of RA2 was tank spam. That was middle school for me though. CNC3 had squads... urgh. Also not a fan of the Scrin.
 
#46
Do you mean the game mechanics or the single player/thematic stuff? Because the story and characters in Generals are pretty over-the-top classic C&C.


All I remember of RA2 was tank spam. That was middle school for me though. CNC3 had squads... urgh. Also not a fan of the Scrin.
i agree on squads, outside of world in conflict i've never liked the mechanics they bring. The scrins were a ton of fun to play though.
 
#47
Screw your multiplayer shit. Multiplayer is killing rts games. Just look at the jank we get from blizz. So scared to try anything new it feels like you are playing a game from the 90s >_<

Fuck that shitttttttttt!

esports have killed rts games.
 
#48
Do you mean the game mechanics or the single player/thematic stuff? Because the story and characters in Generals are pretty over-the-top classic C&C.
The... wha..? Who? Are you sure you've played any other game in the series? I remember the name of every major character in C&C and C&C:RA. I can tell you there was a USA army in Generals. That's about it. Don't even try to con me with that.
 
#49
Ea is terrible anyway. Red Alert 3 was such shit that it almost used a chronosphere to go back in time to ruin Red Alert 1 for me >_< ao I used iron curtain on it to protect it.
 
#50
Screw your multiplayer shit. Multiplayer is killing rts games. Just look at the jank we get from blizz. So scared to try anything new it feels like you are playing a game from the 90s >_<

Fuck that shitttttttttt!

esports have killed rts games.
I'm glad that blizz didn't try anything new with SC2, it's gameplay is still above all the other rts games