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Console gaming for the next generation

The rise of the console RTS and why developers can't seem to grow balls and throw in the keyboard and mouse that we all know they need.

Author: Draenor

Dawn of War 2

Posted by Draenor Thursday April 8 2010 at 8:56PM
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Okay, so the first Dawn of War stressed giant battles with huge numbers of troops that you would endlessly click to reinforce in the field during the course of a skirmish...it took away from the cinematic feel to the game, but at least the battles were epic in scale.  Sure, base building isn't a part of the actual 40k tabletop game, but this isn't the 40k tabletop game, it's an RTS.  if I wanted a 100% accurate recreation of the tabletop game, I'm sure I could find one online.

So with Dawn of War 2 the developers decided to do away with the base building, their thought was that the tabletop game has nothing to do with building a base, and has everything to do with managing smaller numbers of squads on the table.  

For reference...the smallest game of 40k tabletop that you will ever see played is one HQ unit, and two troop units.  With the largest allotment in a normal game being 6 troop choices, 2 HQ's, 3 fast attack, 3 elite, and three heavy support.  Both games do away with categorizing of troops by having a flat unit cap, the Original DoW may have had separate categories for troops and vehicles, but it wasn't anywhere near the level of slice and dice that the TT game does.

So here we have DoW2, a game that wanted to become more like the original by doing away with base building, and making it more about managing smaller numbers of troops.  It's true that an original DoW army would be the size of an Apocalypse army, but hey, epic is good right?  I am all for the smaller troop sizes of DoW 2 if they were to do one thing that the tabletop stresses like no other: unit customization.  DoW 2 wants to be more like the tabletop, yet it takes away one of the things that the original DoW got right - the customization of wargear.  The only units with anywhere near a suitable customization level are the HQ units, these comprise ONE part of a significant force.  (and only pack the amount of customizations that a squad should have, not even close to what an HQ should have)

Units like Tactical squads, scouts, even the Ork lootas get snubbed by squads with 4 guys, MAX with one special weapon per squad.  The original Dawn of War did this right - Your squads started small (four to five men) and could be upgraded until they were maxed out to the sizes seen in the tabletop game (a marine squad in the tabletop starts with a base of 5 men and can go all the way up to 10...conversely, a marine squad in DoW 2 starts at 3, and can go up to...4 with the inclusion of a Sergeant)  It's not just the size of the squads though, it's the wargear that they can equip.  A squad is limited to one piece of special equipment (generally speaking, there are a few exceptions such as terminators, which have the ability to upgrade the entire squad with a special weapon, though these are special units and don't come into play often)

So you can have a squad with 4 marines, one flamethrower, and nothing else...contrast this with the tabletop where a marine squad can have 10 men and several special weapons if it so chooses.  This is how the original DoW did things, and for a game that touts itself as being more true to the tabletop, it's baffling that DoW 2 went with the "one upgrade per squad" approach to things.

I like Dawn of War 2, don't get me wrong...it just seems odd that I can't choose to give every sniper in my squad a sniper rifle like I can in the tabletop, like I could in the original Dawn of War game.

swtoasty writes:

Dawn of War 2 is a regression in terms of gameplay from Dawn of War. This is a fact. Don't try to argue it.

Fri Apr 09 2010 1:23PM Report
Draenor writes:

In terms of micro management and all of that junk?  I would disagree...at least from the standpoint of what would make a video game true to the tabletop.  Warhammer 40k really isn't about sending a huge wave of guys and hoping that it consists of more dudes than the other guy has...it's about managing a dozen or so squads efficiently, making sure that they each do their job to the maximum of their potential...I think that the balance would be found somewhere between the two games.

 

As far as things like the environments and the cover system go, the original Dawn of War can't hold a candle to Dawn of War 2...but this is to be expected.  What I would really like to see is the scale of Dawn of War brought into the environments and technologies that were implimented for Dawn of War 2...then you would have something really great.

Sun Apr 11 2010 12:00PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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