Quoting Krazikarl, reply 56
I agree with the central idea that improved computer resources, especially the jump to 64 bit and more cores, will benefit computer games in a lot of ways. But I just don't see it benefitting "traditional" RTS's that much. At least not by just adding MOAR UNITS. Sure, you have the technical capability to deal with more units. But is that really more fun? I don't know about you, but I generally can't manage that many units and it just turns into a mess - a supposedly strategic game has turned into an action game where I am just fighting to manage my units.
You know what I consider the greatest RTS? Myth 2. For those of you who missed it, it was an early tactical RTS where you didn't even build units - you got a small squad that you had to precisely manage. To me, MOBAs have picked up on this - it is fun to concentrate on managing a small number of units well.
I think that games will continue to evolve in this direction - you will see few "traditional" RTS's in the mold of C&C/TA/SC where you build a base and control hundreds of units, but more quasi RTS's where you control a smaller number of units well.
But, the technology mentioned by Frogboy will surely have great applications elsewhere.
I also don't see the point in MOAR units. But some people might like it. It certainly is something people want if we look at the demand for SINS II and the Total War series.
The old Command & Conquer/StarCraft era of massproducing units I believe is dead and I won't miss it.
I dont think StarCraft was ever about massproducing. It was all about small armies, literally 10-15 units...
CnC at least had no unit cap, so if you wished so, you could actually play it big against AI, but obviously you would never see many units in competitive multiplayer.
So i do think there is a need for MOAR units, but at the same time i dont really think it has to be thousands like in the StarSwarm. As far as i am concerned, the likes of SupCom or Sins got it about right - you do get the feeling of controlling large armies without a feeling of being overwhelmed. Personally i would like to see maybe 2 to 3x higher unit cap in SoaSE 2 - no need for more IMHO, even if the engine allowed it.
@Krazikarl> i certainly hope that games wont evolve in that direction -> not when we finally have technical means to "simulate" things at big scale. I am not saying that concentrating on managing small groups of units at the expense of base building and literally whole macro- part of the game is not a viable alternative. But i am not fan of it.
To illustrate what i mean, one thing about Sins i love is bombing planets from orbit. I was literally "dreaming" about game like this since i saw all those glorious DS9/Babylon 5 episodes like "Die is Cast" or "The Long, Twilight Struggle." Now i guess you can perhaps somehow make things like that into meaningful fun exercise in a game like MOBA, but this still would not be good enough, since it would lack context. I mean, the preparations, building shipyards, constructing capitalships, researching massdrivers, jumping to enemy homeworld - in other words the narrative, the immersion. No MOBA has this, while Sins does - and thats why its in my eyes superior strategy game. Even if the battles are not as tactical.
That said, i absolutely agree with what you said about fighting the managment of too many units. But i personally see this more like a fighting the UI of the game than the numbers. I had rarely issues with Sins or SupCom, mostly thanks to the zoom and great UI. In Sins the units tend to clump way too much on occasion, then it starts to be annoying i guess. Still i had way more issues with the StarCraft 2, even with my mighty armies of 20 - all because the UI of that game was terrible, archaic mess. Not to mention terrible animation, units clumping into one giant clusterfuck, with their polygons literally occupying the same space - add the ligthing speed battles and it was a recipe for disaster to me.