TITANS Impressions

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by bmb, September 3, 2015.

  1. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    So upon hearing of the expansion I of course had to return to the game. I very much appreciate the gesture of giving it for free to Kickstarter vets. Although I'm worried that many who do not get this offer may feel there isn't a lot of content there, it's still fundamentally the same game with a few new units and features, but mostly it's just polish that really seems like it should have been part of the "final release" to begin with. A release that was made abruptly in the middle of the beta, probably to try and get some Steam front page attention during a sale.

    Initially many of the same problems still persist, pole locked camera is all but useless due to slowness at the poles. Orbital units are still difficult to select due to camera awkwardness. The new interface for switching between planets that remembers your camera position is highly welcomed though. It's fast and easy to use, and helps a lot with maintaining an overview. Together with control groups and camera anchors I think it will be difficult to get lost now. Still, I am missing some kind of feedback about what is on planets from the system view.

    It also still seems very spammy, you gain far too many resources far too quickly. Not only is the income per extractor the highest in any Annihilation game yet, there's also far more extraction points on a single planet than there were on any traditional 2D map. The build speeds are also the highest, and I believe the cost per unit the lowest. All together it means spam spam spam spam. Even with the Titans that serve as great blob-busters the focus is still on spam so much that it gets tedious. You have so many resources I can only imagine the spam has simply moved up one level, similar to late-late-late game supcom where mass farming meant churning out a dozen fatboys or battleships was no big deal. The Titans don't seem to serve the purpose of super game-ender units so much as just oversized tier 3 units. Speaking of tiers, T2 factories are still able to build T1 units which begs the question why they are even separate buildings to begin with. It's some bastard hybrid of TA and supcom and I think the tech tree needs to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. At least bots and vehicles have finally found their own niches with bots being cheaper and vehicles being more powerful. The distinction was blurry at best before.

    There's still no appreciable difference between the planet types. They all play fairly similarly with the exception of water and lava planets. Even then only the lava planets offers any actual barriers as most structures are still able to be built on water for whatever reason. In fact land only planets have gained more gameplay value than those with water because of the new multilevel terrain and hand placed CSG. Airless planets still support airplanes which is simply mysterious and again simply makes them the same as every other planet to play on. The gravity feature from TA is also greatly missed, especially in such a game where high gravity and low gravity would make a lot of sense given the great disparity in planet sizes.

    The space battleship is a welcome addition, but otherwise orbital combat is as bland as ever. There are still no real rockets required like in the original pitch video, units simply fly from planet to planet via some unknown propulsion method. It feels like a placeholder rather than a feature. The Astraeus is as buggy as ever and making it go where you want is simply impossible. Larger transports for invasion don't exist either, forcing you to rely on teleporters. The teleporter Titan does make this much easier. The kludge of having orbital fabbers build teleporters on the ground from space still exists, this was originally a placeholder until unit cannons and other methods of travelling between planets existed, but now it has persisted into the first expansion pack. It's sloppy. There is also the ongoing mystery of why a land based Titan is only able to be built from orbit. And why orbital solar panels are ships without engines instead of stations. Or why the anchor defense station is able to shoot down despite the guns model only pointing sideways. Or why so many orbital units provide ground vision when that is so incredibly valuable. The interaction between orbit and ground just feels inconsistent, undefined, and sloppy.

    Because of these deficiencies I think interplanetary fighting in the absence of halleys is still going to devolve into flinging nukes. Nukes that still use the orbital rocket for interplanetary shots and still has no EMP shot that I assume the blue "commander" mushroom cloud was originally designed for. What happened to the "halley nuke driveby" idea? Speaking of halleys, they finally added asteroids. I guess they figured having a fully populated asteroid belt was either too imbalanced or just too performance intensive. The camera acts a bit strange on these new bodies. You are for some reason now able to both build halleys on regular planets and also asteroids. And here I thought that halleys on planets was simply a placeholder until proper asteroids could be included.

    And you are still unable to mine metal from anywhere on metal planets, which seems to make the homage to the metal maps of TA pointless.

    Despite having a bit more polish, fleshing out the unit roster and adding much needed gameplay to the land based planets the expansion doesn't do much to alleviate the underlying problems with the game. I guess that one word really describes the whole thing pretty well. Sloppy. Sloppy balance, sloppy gamefeel, sloppy mechanics. At least they fixed the planet destruction that would lock up the whole game for a good 10 seconds to calculate something or other. It's much more satisfying when it's immediate.
    maskedcrash, aevs, elkanfirst and 4 others like this.
  2. ace63

    ace63 Post Master General

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    Some very valid points in there, except for the metal planet part :p

    Oh and the anchor actually has a rotating cannon pointing downward.
  3. xanoxis

    xanoxis Active Member

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    I have never complained about pole lock, maybe only complain I can make is that it should be default option for each player.

    Lets be honest, this game is about big armies, and high metal and low cost is not gonna change. You still need good economy to make big army, so its not a problem in most games. I actually like how it works, and that at any moment you have 100+ units.

    Titans serve very specific role, they are not high damage end game unit like it mostly is in FAF for example. Atlas is for base destruction and destroying blobs of armies that dont attack on range like snipers. You can counter it with one mobile nuke or snipers or air. Not that big of a danger if you know what you do. Zeus is for fast reaction destruction of armies, assasination of commander, or attacking outpost with no defence. You can fairly easy destroy it with air army, even T1. Ares is for long range destruction of defences and slowly destroying enemy base. If enemy has no army or air, you can just leave it there and let it be and attack. But you can counter it with bomb bots, army, air or nuke, also orbital. Helios is orbital teleport, I think the role is pretty obvious. Its not a damage unit, and orbital defence can easly destroy it. Ragnarok is very fun last resort for destroying planet, or good for making enemy attack you, not you him.

    Roles, not only damage, so its not just some higher damage stupid T3 unit.

    Planets were mostly in plans to be like this, and lava and water and terrain can make a difference in battle. They could be better in many ways, but I see differences in all of them. Uber never said that "airless" planets will not have air units. That would be quite stupid for balance. How gravity should make a difference? Those are robots... They mostly shoot rockets and lasers, thats it.

    Orbital fabbers building Titans is a balance thing, nothing more. Same with units seeing ground or them shooting something. Orbital fabbers building teleporter is not sloppy, its balance and it should be like this. Making invasion is easier this way, and I dont know how would you do it otherwise, building Helios everytime you want to move something is stupid, and moving engineer in orbital transport is unreliable and dangerous. Its good as it is. What is here sloppy, is your logic and looking at balance.

    And again, balance about asteroids. Building system should allow you build halleys on planets, and that normal. Asteroids should not be the only way to smash planets. Its a decision system maker should make. Halley nuke never was in game, and I have no idea how would it work anyway. On concept video planet is destroyed anyway. Blue nuke was for commander, Uber never said anything else.

    You really assume much more than Uber say. A LOT. Ask Jables on forums or in chat, and dont say on forums that something that you thought should be changed, was not, and its "sloppy" because of that. Ask on forums, really.

    And what problem with the game? Those that you assumed like you assumed most of those features here?
    emraldis likes this.
  4. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    BmB most of what you have said is based on a bunch of different assumptions that have little basis in fact. This isn't ta. It isn't SupCom. It's a completely different game. Accept it and move on
  5. g0hstreaper

    g0hstreaper Well-Known Member

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    TLDR version please? I know this was a well formed post but god that block is just to dam scary ;-;
  6. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    TL;DR read the last paragraph aka conclusion only.

    It's not by any means a "completely different game". The units and tech tree are lifted almost entirely from TA. The entire gameplay style is lifted from TA. Many of the features and units from supcom have been used as well. It has "Annihilation" in the title for a reason. And just because it's a new game doesn't mean that you can just throw away the lessons from the previous ones and get a good product out of it. It seems you are the one who is making statements with no basis in fact.

    I don't see why that would be. Metal planets are a direct homage to metal maps, they should function as such. If it's because it wouldn't be "competitive" or whatever, you could either:
    1. just don't play on them if you don't like them
    2. add a toggle, there's already toggles for inane things like symmetry and free spawning.
    3. it wouldn't be the first game ruined by competition over fun.

    And no, the anchor shoots downward from the muzzles of the cannons pointing sideways. It's been like this forever. It originally only shot sideways and the mesh was just never updated along with the capabilities. Not that I think a space defense platform should shoot at ground or provide ground vision. That's what something like the laser platform is for.
    elkanfirst likes this.
  7. nixtempestas

    nixtempestas Post Master General

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    Actually if I remember correctly drive by nuking was a thing briefly, when you selected a movable planet, you could chose to annihilate or transfer orbit. It was really finicky though.
  8. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Right, in the files there are both EMP shots, regular shots and a multi-stage "interplanetary shot". Blue is heavily associated with stunning shots in video games, and I can't think of a reason commanders would have a different colour explosion other than to make it easier to pick out. Seems like the blue variant was made for an EMP in the works and then used on the commander instead.

    Originally nukes couldn't go interplanetary and you were supposed to either build on a planet/moon in the gravity well or move a moon into the gravity well of your target with halleys. At any rate I think having a separate, more expensive, interplanetary nuke would be good for balance. And such a multi-stage animation would do more to reinforce the space rocket theme.
  9. ace63

    ace63 Post Master General

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    No it certainly doesn't. Look at the model again. It has a rotating three barrel laser cannon underneath.

    So wait, you're complaining about spam yet want endless resources so you can spam more? That makes no sense. Metal planets already have a unique function and I certainly hope the "extractors everywhere" never gets implemented.
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  10. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    There's a fundamental difference between what I'm complaining about and "infinite" resources. In reality, such resources are not infinite as it takes a long time and a big investment to build up the infrastructure to use those resources, just as it did on metal maps in TA. Metal planets would simply be a different way to play, just as metal maps were in TA. And the regular way to play should still have more limits. Right now metal planets are just another samey planet type, with the most expensive planet killer.
  11. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    You obviously wanted Uber to create a different game than what they did. Sorry, pal - Uber stated their intentions loud and clear in the KICKSTARTER.

    How you've missed the memo for this long, I have no idea.
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  12. xanoxis

    xanoxis Active Member

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    I know about nukes, but where Uber stated that it was effect for EMP nuke? I don't recall ever reading anything about EMP from Uber.
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  13. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Well if you have nothing other than bashing to contribute please go.

    I wanted them to make a good game, something I can't say really exists even in the latest version. And you are wrong, I was 100% on board with their ideas of a more TA-like game from the beginning even though I think supcom is the better game. And I still am. I'm surprised they went against this concept and added Titans at all. I was 100% on board with the planet smashing and orbital gameplay, something that is pretty broken right now. Both of these are things they had in THE KICKSTARTER!!!!!!!!!! (why allcaps?)

    So you are completely wrong, I wanted them to make the game they said they were going to make, they just haven't done a great job of it.

    They didn't state it, but as I said blue is very associated with EMP and stunning shots in video games. And I can't see a good reason for the commander to have a different kind of effect from regular nukes. So my best guess is the effect was made for the EMP but then repurposed to try and make commander clouds easier to pick out.
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  14. V4NT0M

    V4NT0M Well-Known Member

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    I disagree.
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  15. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    ok.
  16. burntcustard

    burntcustard Post Master General

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    Was close to laughing out loud.

    I agree with some of the thoughts in the first post, like how controlling orbital and switching planets is a bit like trying to drive a car after having your hands and feet sawed off, but other things like the complaint about the Anchor (i.e. it does have a big rotating gun on the bottom that fires down ^^), and like the lack of metal-anywhere maps (just... go into editor, make metal planet, put metal to full, there, metal everywhere) don't make much sense.
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  17. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    Just having a lot of metal points isn't quite the same, almost but not quite. It's as much about the theme as anything else. Having those organic ore rocks sticking out of a metal planet is just silly. You could have the gameplay of unlimited resources from just buffing the income really, but that is a kludge. The idea is the planet is made of metal so therefore you can mine it, the planet as a whole, and not an ore patch, and not 1000 ore patches. It would be fairly simple to implement if you could have planet or surface type build requirements.
  18. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Metal planets in PA aren't really the same thing though- they're deactivated space stations that you can *re arm* :p

    To be honest, they probably should remove metal points altogether and add a different type of resource generator for them (e.g. make them have 'geothermal vents' for mega amounts of cheap energy but no metal + the already existing annihilasor points would make them an interest trade).

    I agree, there are things that could be improved. Still I think you're being too harsh- PA is a good game (for me at least).

    It's not TA, it's not SupCom, and that's fine. What it is however is ludicrously over the top, silly and (for me at least) fun :)

    I think you've got to remember, no game will ever live up to 'the' game you played growing up. For me I have two games that fall into that category, Total Annihilation and Wing Commander III.

    PA is a very worthy successor to TA in my opinion, although it's never going to wow me in quite the same way that TA did when I first played it. That said, I haven't enjoyed another recent game as much, I just had to first remember that PA isn't TA (I mean after TA, I never really got into SupCom in the same way, though I did complete all the campaign modes for SupCom 1 and FA- they were both excellent games never the less).

    I'm getting the same thing with Star Citizen as well (also a backer). What Chris Robers is doing with it is beautiful and very detailed and whatever the haters say I'm convinced he'll deliver an excellent product (one that I'll enjoy immensely no doubt). That said, I highly doubt it'll illicit the same reaction from me that WCIII did back in the early 90's. I wonder if part of the harsh critique PA gets stems from older gamers like myself searching for something that they'll never find (the wide eyed wonder at something totally new and amazing)?
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  19. bmb

    bmb Well-Known Member

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    It really is TA. You must be blind not to see it. A lot of them worked on it and carry that legacy forward. They took some ideas from supcom like the titans but ultimately the tech tree and mechanics are almost carbon copies of TA. Almost.
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  20. emraldis

    emraldis Post Master General

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    The point pretty much everyone is trying to make, is that it's not trying to be TA 2. It takes a lot of elements from it, yes, but it's not TA.

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