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Total War is the real Daddy of PC RTS games not Starcraft

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July 4, 2008 1:41:23 PM


I’ve just watched the latest Second Take video and once again Rob and Ben are drawling over the upcoming release of Starcraft 2 along with Diablo III.

Firstly can someone please explain what Starcraft offers that makes it into a game of worship for over eager? I’ve played it when it came out sure it was additive but it was hardly a game that shock the RTS genre to its very foundations in terms of originality.

Now comparing the up and coming Empire: Total War and Starcraft 2 may not seem fair but both are at the end of the day RTS games and both have real time battles, except one is 3D where the scenery and terrain plays a vital aspect in battle planning where as the other is little more the Command & Conquer in space (or am I being to hard on SC2?).

If there is once franchise on the PC that has pushed the boundaries of A.I, physics, tactical planning, command ability, graphics and realism it’s Total War. Total War has been around since 2000 and has done more the RTS genre then any other game since Dune or C&C and has yet to bested by any of its rivals and from the previews Total War looks set to raise that bar in even higher then it previous game.
Anonymous
July 4, 2008 1:46:23 PM

I like either heavily micro moving games...

or games like supcom...

total war sucks in my opinion... being limited to a few territories... I hate it... the only cool part are the real time battles... and those are so easy... even on the hardest settings
July 4, 2008 2:08:41 PM

Quote:
I like either heavily micro moving games...

or games like supcom...

total war sucks in my opinion... being limited to a few territories... I hate it... the only cool part are the real time battles... and those are so easy... even on the hardest settings



I seem to remember Medieval 2 had 100's of territories for you to conquer, it's very tough to get conquer all these in the time allowed.
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July 4, 2008 3:37:34 PM

SC2 = Legitimate Hype
E:TW= No Hype

Starcraft was done by Blizzard. This should already answer your question. Blizzard as yet to deceive anyone I know including myself. Starcraft has a huge fan base and many will relate to this game a lot more than E:TW.

As for Total War, it's a decent game and I somewhat agree that it's a good RTS. However, the fan base is different and the game was meant for, perhaps, a different audience.

Not to defend Ben or Rob but you may have misunderstood their main argument. Blizzard is booming with very important titles and they wanted to emphazise on that. I don't see how E:TW should have been mentioned in their video.
July 4, 2008 4:05:33 PM

Aren't the Total War games Turn based/Real time?

It just doesn't have the mass appeal that Starcraft has, the same thing with Diablo, all the clones that came after, alot of excellent titles, just didn't appeal that much to as many people. Blizzard makes games that appeal to alot of people, from 10 year olds to 40 (though 10 year olds probably shouldn't be playing em.. my sisters do, though most of the time I was watching them).

Disciples was probably the last turn based strat i've played and before that it was Warlords II or w/e it's called at university.

Dune/C&C - Total Annihilation - Starcraft - Homeworld, imo probably the biggest influences on RTS gaming. Again I consider TW a league on its own because of the turn based aspect which turns me off.
July 4, 2008 4:24:31 PM

Dude, if you think total war stunk, what are you thinking? I love rome total war. Been a while since I played, but I remember getting either the greeks or selucids with those phalanxes, the graphics were and still are awesome for those, let cavalry charge you, lower the spears and watch them gore the cavalry to death. Gotta love it!
July 4, 2008 5:00:13 PM

I love Starcraft and other RTS games like it, and the Total war games, but I don't really classifly the Total war games as RTS, I have to agree that they are in a class of their own largely because of the turn based part.

Both are good and lots of fun but both also have their strengths and weaknesses. I like Starcraft but I hate the zurgling rush type of strategy that to me does not seem very stratigic, and the thing that bugs me about the Total war games is that after a time it can get a little repetative towards the end.

Still both fun games
July 4, 2008 5:37:36 PM

I was never a huge fan of Total War nor is it really an RTS. Total War's real time battles were about tactics not strategy. The strategy part came during the turn based portions of the game so it's not really a Real Time Strategy game. As for Starcraft two things really stood out for me that made it so great. One was the effective use of a sci-fi setting. There's a reason the majority of RTSs and games like Total War use fantasy or historical settings; it's a lot easier. Futuristic and sci-fi games often either fail to utilize the setting correctly or become too complicated. Starcraft has both a great feel for the space battles but is also very intuitive and easy to pick up. The second thing and the one that really changed the face of the RTS genre was the three distinct races. Up to then the general formula for RTSs was like chess. Each side has essentially the same pieces just with different colors. Starcraft changed that and really added to the strategy element of the game. Depending on what race you were and what race(s) you were up against you had to adjust your strategy. Building up early defenses to protect against a zergling rush that wasn't coming would really set you back in the tech race. A lot of people bitched about unbalances in the game and "unfair" strategies, but that's what made the game so great. You really had to both think and act in order to be successful in the game.
July 4, 2008 6:40:25 PM

Quote:
descent=decent

ment=meant

emphazise=emphasise/emphasize(for the Americans)

i'm a git i know.

corrected, although they are one in the same thing anyway..... (at least for an english person)
July 4, 2008 10:49:10 PM

Neither Total War nor Starcraft is the daddy of the RTS genre. That honor belongs to Dune 2 or Herzog Zwei depending on who you ask.

Starcraft is a game designed for Lan parties and competitive/cooperative play. It excels at that. Blizzard did not innovate terribly much, but then they never do except for one thing that I honestly couldn't stand (the upkeep system in WC3). What Blizzard does is refine and tune. They refined the RTS genre with Starcraft and made one of the best LAN Party RTSs ever crafted. Only a couple of others are even in the same league.

Innovation is not always what makes a game notable or memorable, spectacular gameplay and refined systems are what really set a game apart.
July 5, 2008 3:19:31 PM

Purplerat hit the nail on the head with the description of Starcraft - with all the discussion of the 3 different races having different mechanics and all that. I think it and Total War really are for different audiences...to me it's that Starcraft is FUN to play, and a lot of the other strategy games are boring to me. The average length of a Starcraft game is probably 15-20 mins for a 1v1, which to me is the perfect amount of time to still have a lot of strategy and micro-management and all that, but not so long that yopu're just desperate for the game to end after it's gone on for several hours.

Also I would add, I think the units themselves were given unique characteristics by Blizzard, so to me it's a lot more fun to control them. On top of that, they each have their special abilities and the space setting allows for a lot of room to decide what abilities they can develop and things like that (i.e. teleportation and force fields and what-not). I love how instead of just having two armies clash, it's the different PARTS of your army that you use to exploit the other player's weaknesses...I know there is plenty of strategy in the Total War games, but I feel like Blizzard nailed it perfectly.
July 5, 2008 5:08:13 PM

I'm with ya the only thing that Blizzard has ever made that I played for more than a month was WoW. All of their RTS are a pure exercise in mindless clicking. Sure they have strategy,,, on par with tic-tack-toe.
July 6, 2008 1:00:20 AM

Okay so we managed to have a reasonable, civilized (and informed, I might add) discussion without retarded and ignorant comments for 11 posts. I was hoping for a little bit more longevity from this forum topic before it stooped to that level, but I suppose that was mere wishful thinking.
October 26, 2008 12:36:43 AM

Its not really fair to compare these two I know but I still agree completely with op... To me the main difference is in the layers of interaction that form the real-time gameplay. Its true that TW is a hybrid, but the turn-based aspect has the effect of dynamically defining the playing conditions of each real-time scenario in the same way as one might define starting conditions before a starcraft game, only with many many more variations possible.

RTS is essentially just rock/paper/scissors. With starcraft that dynamic is distilled into a smaller timeframe so is more obvious and seems "simple". Starcraft is like two people playing rock/paper/scissors - quick resolution followed by winner hitting loser on the arm and loser claiming his mouse was faulty.

TW is exactly the same but the same two people now have 6 hands each and several patriotic thumbs all playing at once. Slooow resolution followed by winner noticing his special "third day cologne" and going for a dump and loser thinking up novel ways to reject that fancy new graphics card lodged yesterday up its dusty digital botty.

There's no more strategy in TW than in starcraft any more than there is in 5 games of rock or just 1 game. Water in a bowl has a different form to water in a cup, but water is water.

That being said I cant stand blizzard at all.
Every game they make is just incredibly gay and unoriginal. Yes some of them are fun to play, but they just never get away from that feeling like it was all conceptualised off of some airhead 16-year-old-girls moronic doodles and then overlayed with the ridiculous emo campness of her closet boyfriend's latest outpouring of used-tissue prose.
Come on lads you all know what I'm talking about. Its time for blizzard to gritty things up a bit without dotting the "i" with a heart.

Now go back to your games but remember, your character may be a lvl10 Liberace, but you are not.
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