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Off-Topic Discussion => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: Akalabeth Angel on December 16, 2015, 07:38:52 pm

Title: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Akalabeth Angel on December 16, 2015, 07:38:52 pm

Hopefully will be cool.
Comes out in a month. January 20th, 2016
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: StarSlayer on December 16, 2015, 07:48:32 pm
I assume this is the final form of Shipbreakers?

Hmmm mixed feelings, having pre-Homeworld Kith wars will probably be fun if done well but I was kind of keen to see the shipwreck planet story line shake out.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: An4ximandros on December 16, 2015, 07:50:00 pm
The pun was too good, sorry. ;)

Wreckland was literally Kharak with a name change according to the statement made when BI teamed up with Gearbox, so we are literally getting that... minus the mmo nonsense.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: BirdofPrey on December 16, 2015, 07:54:15 pm
Comes out in a month. January 20th, 2016
WUT
That's quite the surprise actually; they haven't said much recently about their game and suddenly, it's done.


Hopefully it's good, I need more RTS in my life, and then they can get to work on Homeworld 3
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Unknown Target on December 16, 2015, 07:59:12 pm
This looks so good I am furious that I do not already have it.

The fact that they really seem to have focused  a lot on 3D space and bringing it to a traditionally 2D battlefield excites me. I don't wanna fanboy out, but it looks to be the most focused interpretation of terrain influencing battlefield conditions this side of the Total War series.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on December 16, 2015, 08:57:02 pm
I am officially hype.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: MatthTheGeek on December 17, 2015, 02:42:15 am
This looks so good I am furious that I do not already have it.

The fact that they really seem to have focused  a lot on 3D space and bringing it to a traditionally 2D battlefield excites me. I don't wanna fanboy out, but it looks to be the most focused interpretation of terrain influencing battlefield conditions this side of the Total War series.
Actually this reminds me more of Ground Control in that sense - which was also a Sierra game of the same era than HW1, incidentally.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: NGTM-1R on December 17, 2015, 02:53:05 am
Actually this reminds me more of Ground Control in that sense - which was also a Sierra game of the same era than HW1, incidentally.

I had similar thoughts from the early demos (wow those were aerodynes) but from this I am unsure.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: MatthTheGeek on December 17, 2015, 03:25:43 am
I was talking not so much about the style than the terrain/battlefield conditions part, which was very much a major gameplay element in GC.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Unknown Target on December 17, 2015, 07:49:47 am
Yea GC did have that, but not to this extreme level. Man those games were fun though. World in Conflict was the tits, too.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Rodo on December 17, 2015, 08:05:59 am
That looks quite awesome!
The way combat is influenced by terrain imperfections is what jumps into focus when I watch the trailer.
And the beauty of it all of course.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Mammothtank on December 21, 2015, 07:45:08 am
This really came out of nowhere for me. I am a huge fan of Homeworld. It seems like something I would genuinely want to pre-order. But I have some doubt's about the new ground style combat.

Probably still going to get this though.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: That Man on December 22, 2015, 12:10:19 am
Definitely got some very mixed feels about this.

One the one hand, Homeworld is alive again. But I'm not sure I like the idea of a prequel, mostly because there's been a lot of prequelitis going around for the past few years among game developers.

I'm also not too sure how the desert combat is going to hold up. I don't doubt that there's going to be a variety of units, but I hope they give us an equal variety of terrain, and I don't mean thirty different shades of the same windblown desert landscape.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Akalabeth Angel on January 08, 2016, 02:59:33 pm
New story trailer:

Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: BirdofPrey on January 09, 2016, 12:13:36 am
Hype Train ACTIVATE
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Akalabeth Angel on January 09, 2016, 04:03:45 am
Yeah I dunno about the gameplay but the trailer has some great voice/music with it. Sets a very nice atmosphere
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: The E on January 14, 2016, 05:01:30 am
Seems like they're starting proper prerelease marketing now.

Here's a small behind the scenes vid:

And ign posted two videos, showing parts of a few missions with developer commentary.


Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Rodo on January 14, 2016, 08:44:25 am
My god it looks awesome.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: 0rph3u5 on January 16, 2016, 12:06:23 pm

"For generations, you have violated the first commandment of our creator [...] Diplomacy has failed."

First glimpse of who the 2nd (and 3rd?) faction on Kharak are ... the fact that what seems to be the "religious fanatics"-faction has hovercraft reminds me a bit of original Ground Control...
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: NGTM-1R on January 16, 2016, 02:09:22 pm
Somtaaw, no!
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 16, 2016, 06:25:36 pm
Somtaaw, no!
...The voice clearly says "Kiith Gaalsien", and you can see the Gaalsien logo.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: NGTM-1R on January 16, 2016, 07:40:30 pm
Somtaaw, no!
...The voice clearly says "Kiith Gaalsien", and you can see the Gaalsien logo.

Yes, but Somtaaw was also a religious Kiith; the Kuun-Lan, Faal-Coruum, and Klee-san were all named for temples along the Shining Path on Kharak according to the fluff from Cataclysm. Since we seem to be going by factions (at this point in time there are more than three Kiith worth consideration, according to HW1's manual...)...well yeah.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Phantom Hoover on January 16, 2016, 07:59:32 pm
someone noticed a somtaaw logo somewhere in the released material, also honestly i can't tell what awful fate for somtaaw you're implying?
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 16, 2016, 09:04:56 pm
Yes, but Somtaaw was also a religious Kiith
...So were Kiith Ferriil; what's your point? That all religious kiithid would naturally be on the same side in a civil war? Where do you get that idea? The Historical and Technical Manual makes clear that not only were Kiith Gaalsien's religious views basically the most extreme on the planet ("strongest message of punishment"), but they've been an outlaw kiith for hundreds of years, and makes no mention of any other kiithid joining them in trying to sabotage the construction of the Mothership.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Rodo on January 17, 2016, 11:02:14 am
Damn. I feel more and more compelled to buy this on day one, but I don't have that kind of money now.
Damn you gearbox, stop teasing me!
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: 0rph3u5 on January 17, 2016, 11:11:46 am
Somtaaw, no!

Also, in the dev diaries (don't know which one) from Desert of Kharak they clearly refer to "the other two Homeworld games", so Black Bird doesn't overrule Relic's decision about canonicity (HW and HW2 only) - not unexpected considering Black Bird's leadership came (mostly) from Relic...
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: NGTM-1R on January 17, 2016, 11:18:07 am
Somtaaw, no!

Also, in the dev diaries (don't know which one) from Desert of Kharak they clearly refer to "the other two Homeworld games", so Black Bird doesn't overrule Relic's decision about canonicity (HW and HW2 only) - not unexpected considering Black Bird's leadership came (mostly) from Relic...

Even worse.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Phantom Hoover on January 17, 2016, 11:39:11 am
I really have no idea what you're trying to say; can you please explain what your opinion on Somtaaw's involvement in this game is?
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: 0rph3u5 on January 17, 2016, 11:40:54 am
Somtaaw, no!

Also, in the dev diaries (don't know which one) from Desert of Kharak they clearly refer to "the other two Homeworld games", so Black Bird doesn't overrule Relic's decision about canonicity (HW and HW2 only) - not unexpected considering Black Bird's leadership came (mostly) from Relic...

Even worse.

Maybe you will have to tune us in into your appriciation for HW:C....

IMO HW:C made some capable inovations as far as gameplay goes and it did diversify the universe to an extend, but also had it's failings (e.g. internal balancing was truely off) and it's script and story telling was one of them (even by the standards of RTS games, which is pretty low)...
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: StarSlayer on January 17, 2016, 11:56:59 am
That hover carrier though...

Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Mammothtank on January 18, 2016, 02:26:54 am
Somtaaw, no!

Also, in the dev diaries (don't know which one) from Desert of Kharak they clearly refer to "the other two Homeworld games", so Black Bird doesn't overrule Relic's decision about canonicity (HW and HW2 only) - not unexpected considering Black Bird's leadership came (mostly) from Relic...

Even worse.

Maybe you will have to tune us in into your appriciation for HW:C....

IMO HW:C made some capable inovations as far as gameplay goes and it did diversify the universe to an extend, but also had it's failings (e.g. internal balancing was truely off) and it's script and story telling was one of them (even by the standards of RTS games, which is pretty low)...

I did like playing as the factions in Catacylsm shame it was so unbalanced, I really liked the idea of The Beast and were my favorite faction in the game. Also it was a real shame that we really didn't learn jack about the Taiidan civil war other than the tidbits from the manual.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: NGTM-1R on January 18, 2016, 08:37:15 pm
and it's script and story telling was one of them

This is objectively wrong.

At the sentence-by-sentence level writing can be objectively analyzed. At that level, Cataclysm Fleet Command and Fleet Intelligence are, bluntly, better than those of HW1 and HW2.

HW2 is full of confused quasi-mysticism, explaining slightly too little to accomplish any of its storytelling objectives. (Witness the Soban storyline for an example.) It tries to sit on both stools of a deeper and more rich story and the minimalist take of the original, and instead falls on its ass between them.

HW1 uses its minimalism to great effect as part of its overarching theme of being the last survivors in an unknown galaxy. You are told little because there is little to say; little is known, and it would take thousands of words to try and convey something like the burning of Kharak anyways. Fleet Command and Fleet Intelligence are just barely holding it all together in several sense, their terse commentary reflecting that. It's not they're bad characters or badly written; they're excellent characters written superbly and crisply. But they're also somewhat distant because of it.

Cataclysm's writing is less starkly minimalist and more emotional than HW1, the characters a little messier, the result a little less clean. And it should be. These are not hand-picked people chosen to lead the central, pivotal effort of several decades of their species' existence as Karan S'Jet and the original Fleet Intelligence were; they're running a mining ship for a relatively minor Kiith. They may rise to the occasion, but they show their roots in doing so. It's not that they're better written, both games are equally well-done in the execution of their choices; it's just that the choices that went into them made for more interesting and more accessible characters, easier for a player to invest in.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Akalabeth Angel on January 19, 2016, 04:11:46 pm
Total Biscuit has a WTF for it up:

Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: General Battuta on January 19, 2016, 05:58:58 pm
and it's script and story telling was one of them

This is objectively wrong.

At the sentence-by-sentence level writing can be objectively analyzed. At that level, Cataclysm Fleet Command and Fleet Intelligence are, bluntly, better than those of HW1 and HW2.

No they're not, and you go on pretty well to describe why
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: NGTM-1R on January 19, 2016, 06:50:51 pm
No they're not, and you go on pretty well to describe why

And it should be.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Scotty on January 19, 2016, 07:36:42 pm
This is arguably a matter of opinion.  Both fit the roles for which they are selected in a game design sense.  The fact that they are different does not make one inherently better than the other.  Their styles complement and support the narrative of their respective games in the most effective ways.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: StarSlayer on January 19, 2016, 08:34:36 pm
DAT

HOVER

CARRIER

THOUGH...

(http://i67.tinypic.com/rubd5l.png)

(http://rs1195.pbsrc.com/albums/aa396/cell-of-my-heart/tumblr_lld5maPYwV1qcj7jk.gif~c200)
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: 0rph3u5 on January 20, 2016, 08:44:20 am
and it's script and story telling was one of them

This is objectively wrong.

At the sentence-by-sentence level writing can be objectively analyzed. At that level, Cataclysm Fleet Command and Fleet Intelligence are, bluntly, better than those of HW1 and HW2.

HW2 is full of confused quasi-mysticism, explaining slightly too little to accomplish any of its storytelling objectives. (Witness the Soban storyline for an example.) It tries to sit on both stools of a deeper and more rich story and the minimalist take of the original, and instead falls on its ass between them.

HW1 uses its minimalism to great effect as part of its overarching theme of being the last survivors in an unknown galaxy. You are told little because there is little to say; little is known, and it would take thousands of words to try and convey something like the burning of Kharak anyways. Fleet Command and Fleet Intelligence are just barely holding it all together in several sense, their terse commentary reflecting that. It's not they're bad characters or badly written; they're excellent characters written superbly and crisply. But they're also somewhat distant because of it.

Cataclysm's writing is less starkly minimalist and more emotional than HW1, the characters a little messier, the result a little less clean. And it should be. These are not hand-picked people chosen to lead the central, pivotal effort of several decades of their species' existence as Karan S'Jet and the original Fleet Intelligence were; they're running a mining ship for a relatively minor Kiith. They may rise to the occasion, but they show their roots in doing so. It's not that they're better written, both games are equally well-done in the execution of their choices; it's just that the choices that went into them made for more interesting and more accessible characters, easier for a player to invest in.

I wish people would stop the nonsense with trying to put a qualifier before "wrong" or "false", it is logical nonsense - "wrong" and "false" are categorical statements, not subject to degree. I know they are commonly used in a different way, but mostly that is for the subtle rhetoric effect to take away an argument before you are trying to make it, so as you have not deconstruct your partner's entire opinion and reaffirm every point that is agreeable. While it is a timesaver in conversation, when you have the time there is clearly no reason to use it.

Before I go on, I would like to ask you to please provide the categories of your objective analysis of the writing, as I will provide those of my analysis below. It is hard to argue with an "objective analysis" if you don't know what is being analyzied and how.



I never said that HW or HW2 had good story telling. I pointed out the HW:C had major flaws which IMO don't make it worthy of high praise. I think you were twisting my argument here.

I was not limiting my opinion about the story telling to the delivery of the lines and the speaking characters; which would be unfair if I did, consideirng I only experienced HW:C in the german localisation whose quality is the lower ranges of "Fair". None of the Homeworld games have great story telling (the series is praiseworthy for other things, esspecially HW), but that is not the fault of their designers alone: The entire RTS genre has a problem with story telling for several reasons... (which is is not an excuse either but we get to that later)

Fistly, there is the problem that RTS single player campaigns are almost exclusively build from mission which have their own "dramaturgy" given by the flow of gameplay - aggressive early game, conservative mid-game and quick end-game. If it sounds a little familiar than it should, since you can match it with the pattern of a 5-act-drama (Exposition, Building Tension, Rising Tension, Climax Tension and Resolution, Epilogue) pretty closely (Clearing an operational base to the furtherst extend possible, building an economy to build forces, conserve forces to increase numbers, push, win)*. This gives individual missions an episodic fell, leaving the downtime in between with the task to connect these pieces into a coherent structure and to justify why you are doing the same loop over and over again with slight progression.
All of the Homeworld Games conform to this pattern IMO.

*This is of course not true for all RTS games 1-for-1, esspecially games that omit base construction and a gradually increasion ressource progression (e.g. the original Ground Control) can work quite differently.

Secondly, there is the injection of stakes into the gameplay. Nothing drives a narrative likes stakes, as they inject the things that are happening with importance - it is also the big pitfall for any narration, as the stakes not only have to matter internally, they also have to translate to the audience, in other words captivating them. Stakes usually come from the fluff of a game but do not have to (e.g. the Command and Conquer: Red Alert-Series wholeharldy embraced it's B-movie heart from installment 2 on, driving the narrative with the simple "I just have to see how far they are willing to take this").
The injection of the stakes is not the only problem with stakes in narrative, the second one is build-up and the thrid is resolution. Both are inseperable because they are closely related - if you want to know why StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm's story sucked, one of the main problems is that is spend much time with building up the conflict with the antagonist Aamon but only resolved the conflict with Mensk (that they got to that in Legacy of the Void is not excuse but another problem on its own).

Thridly, and this were RTS Games are at their weakest, is providing a relatable POV. Most games of the genre don't really bother, and let the view from the "Feldherrnh├╝gel" be just that - far, detached and utterly technical. There are exceptions to the rule, but many of those "cheat" for lack of a better word: e.g. Warcraft III manages quite expertly but it does so by using it's heroic fantasy genre as said "cheat" (if it is a work already of genre that has many of the heroic individual-tropes build in essentially, you can't really be credited for making Heroes your driving force in the first place - but it doesn't take away from the excellence in using them either).
In part this can also be forgive, because unlike e.g. RPGs you don't usually carry a persisent character through a RTS that is not your principal source of exposition (Hero units that are there for one mission and gone the next are a different and more complex thing, esspecially if they have a greater story presence, like say C&C: RA 2's Yuri). This is perhaps for better in the light that even if you have persistent army, disposability is part of the RTS units.



Now in relation to the orignal Homeworld:

1. Homeworld starts out strong when it comes to connecting it's missions together meaningfully: The Launch of the Mothership (beginning of mission 1) and "Kharak is buring" (beginning of mission 3) are strong and emotionally charged moments which do well to both set the stage and introduce a need for urgency (on the qualitiy of these individual scenes later, when I talk about visuals), but after that the story soon becomes disconnected from the story events: after the defeating the fleet that destroyed Kharak, which gives you new-found sense of ability, the story immideatly takes an ex-machina turn with the out-of-mission reveal of imperal power which is then never re-affirmed in game play until much, much later. Worse still as the Story begins to close with the appraoch to Hiigara, the ammount of sudden "we need to put a mission/obstacle" here again peaks, from the sudden mission with the weaponized asteroid to the Eye of Sauron-esque cutscene that translates to the disabling of the Mothership for the first minutes of the final mission.
I can see how this might have looked good on paper, but there are gaps in the execution. I can think of a few elements which would have worked better (for academic purposes, e.g. instead of the following up the destruction of first imperial fleet with ex-machina reveal of imperial battlestations, a more organic reveal of the Empire's power, such another battlefleet jumping in at the end of mission).

2. Again Homeworld's first act is strong when it comes to Stakes: You are the last survivors trying to re-claim what by right should be yours from an oppressive power. Homeworld's story puts very much emphasis on the "re-claiming what is rightfully ours" side of what it starts with - a fine choice for a game whose gameplay revolves around military command. However with quietly dropping the "last survivors" angle for anything but the defeat condition of gameplay, it also wastes the prime opportunity for investing the player into the struggle beyond "mission accomplished".
Taking a little time to futher develop the culture of Kharak in-game would have been a great way to both carry the sorrowful mood of "Kharak is burning" on, also transforming the journey to Hiigara from just another military campaign to a truely righteous crusade. (That such an feat is possible shows the alternate history-RTS World in Conflict, which injects its "what if the Cold War turned into a shooting war?"-story with glimpses at the humanity of the principal characters by having you to listen in oon their calls to their loved ones, which then become more than just the source of your exposition and orders - and in turn giving you a new perspective as to why you should be winning this mission other than just beating the challange)

3. Homeworld has 3 principal characters: Karen S'Jet, the Intelligence Guy Mk I (both combined in the Mothership) and the Emperor (operating mostly by proxy); the Bentusi and the Rebel Captain could be argued for the lists as well but in grand scheme they don't have much agency in terms to the events of the plot. None of which are established as the POV or made relatable at any point. Case in point, Karen S'Jet starts with her martyrdom to become in essence the Mothership and ends with her less-than-metaphorical release from the Mothership; in between she has no arc to speak of - she is just there and expositions. The Intelligence Guy seeming only exists to make sure the presence of Karen S'Jet doesn't become overpowering in the exposition department. As far as the Emperor goes, he isn't even acknowledged as the driving force behind the Empire until more than two thirds into the game, before that the Empire just seemed mechanical with next to no driving force; and even afterwards there isn't much there - not even the acknowledgement that Empire peaked and became saturated with conquest of Hiigara in ages past (which by-the-by could work as a motivator).



Now, Homeworld II:

1. Homeworld II is acutally more structually sound than it's predecessor. There are almost no ex-machina moments, and those that exist at least a reason to belong where they are (the Movers and the Keepers are a suprise but when you consider it, of course there had to be obstacles on the path to Sajuuk otherwise Makaan would have found it already. The Bentusi act to give you a leg up against the head start Makaan has), with one captial letters big exception: the sudden "Makaan is dead, conflict resolved. Here are the Planet Killers"-moment in the finale -- appearntly Relic didn't find it kathartic enough to use Sajuuk to blast a giant Vagyr Fleet to bits for the victory lap (I admit that wouldn't be very compelling gameplay even for the victory lap) or they were thinking the story had enough urgency as is, and so did not to enter the threat of the Planet Killers earlier.

2. When it comes to the Stakes and the Tension driving the plot, this is the point were Homeworld II crumbles into dust. It is not that the "millennia-long game of telephone" turing repair instructions into religion into "the path to conquering the galaxy", is bad in it's own right (no one gives the original Mass Effect crap for doing nearly the same thing but better executed). But we are missing a lot of the key points required for understanding in the game itself: Is the Sajuukian religion universal to the galaxy?* How did Makaan find out that "god" was really a space ship? Why is he the first one to figure it out? Why does he want it to have Sajuuk? (universal power is nice but usually you want it for *something*) Why are the Bentusi so invested in Hiigarans' success?
Seeing it as a whole, I can see that Relic were trying to inject the plot with a lot of urgency - it is in essence a race against Makaan - but without some of these essentials resolved (and because the Karen S'Jet-Makkan-dualism, see below, into works in retrospect), it just doesn't take.

*There could be a point made that (esspecially in the light of the Deserts of Kharak-trailers) that the title of Sajuuk-kar belongs to the intitulatio of the Taiidan Emperor, and that way made it through the turn of history into myth made it a religious icon to the Kushan on Kharak - but that's OT for now

3. Homeworld II has four prinicpal characters: Karen S'Jet, Intelligence Guy Mk III, Bentus and Makaan. Again, none of these characters are establishes as point of view but take turns as expositional devices. Intelligence Guy is once more so utterly featureless that you can't even comment on his intelligence, and supporting character Captain Soban feels more like an extension of him than a character in his own right. Bentus is hampered as a character by being shrouded in deliberate mystery. Karen S'Jet and Makaan appear at one point to have been intended to be directy anagonistic foils of each other but that is only realized in the into (Karen S'Jet "lead her people across the stars", "the Taiidan have risen under the leadership of the Vagyr warrior-lord, Makaan") and in the epilogue (were we are to sit and celebrate the golden "Age of S'Jet" instead of the dark 'age of Makaan' that was implied in the intro).



Let's close with Homeworld: Cataclysm

1. When it comes to structure Homeworld: Cataclysm is frontloaded with a long exposition, not to it's detrement but it takes about a quater of the way through the campaign to get to the main hook.* But once the exposition is through fails to remain consistent about it's stakes (see below) right into the Finale, which appears to be sudden case of "all gameplay mechanics we didn't use yet". The exception to that rule is that they pull off the internal Kushan divide very well and manage to resolve it very well.

*I realize that I am not the best person to critize exposition, considering it is my primary failing when writing my own stories.

2. As I said before the inner-Kushan struggle is executed well, the stakes and tension - although not of primary concern to the campaign besides set-dressing - are well introduced and resolve in a meaningful way, as the other Kiith go from being "meh" to "yay" about the Somtaaw as a fighting force.
The big problem when it comes to the stakes and tension however is the Beast as main antagonist. It is not that I am opposed to the idea of "infectious space zombies with a hive mind" (as long as it is not an excuse to cheap out of AI programming) nor that I can't swallow my disbelive at the primate of gameplay, but the Beast capabilites are ill-definined and lack a consistant logic which make a potentially tense situation confusing: Initially the Beast takes over the lower decks of your command ship rapidly and seems to be able to spread to entire fleets with no problem, but by the end there still a capable defense standing to acknowledge the Somtaaw's profiency. In between the Beast also betrays the capability to intercept and infect a Kushan relief force, but taking your command ship's sister or the Imperial Taiidan research base seems beyond it. Now there is the point that the Beast on the Mothership has only animal level intelligence and/or another objective with repairing the Patient Zero-ship and that it willingly cooperated with the Taiidan (which raises the question if these are all mutually exclusive)... and this were I can't even muster a comment because it is so ... all over the place.
Add to that, that the confronation with the Beast Mothership is anticlimactic to say the least - the Mothership, if you excuse the turn of phrase, is flesh-of-the-flesh of your command ship, so it being an equal challange should be a given - instead you blast its support ship away with the Siege Cannon and mop up from a position of strength - makes you doubt the credibility of the Beast as a threat, even if by the time that confrontation comes around, you are supposed to be fully prepared (a credible threat would have been more able to adapt and anticipate, even if that meant AI cheating in the gameplay).
Last but not least, there is the Finale with the fight against the Patient Zero-ship which is requires you to turn the gameplay progression back on it's head - suddenly corvettes and fighters are viable again, after the powerful frigates and infection-immune capital ship have pushed them away. Considering the gameplay progression arc usually is supposed to be linked to the tension arc (you get the better gear/ships/guns the closer you get the final confrontation which then is going to require only the best of you, resulting in the resolution of the high tension conflict), it was weird - not experimentally weird (which is good) but rather do-for-doing-sake weird.

3. Cataclysm has a varied tableu of characters (did I mention that one of its good points is how it diversified the universe?), however none of them is exactly deep for the want of space. Only the Command Ship and Intelligence Guy Mk II are there for the long run but how they relate to the player in terms of POV is inconsitent - while the other Homeworld games opted for the detachment, Cataclysm in one cutscene puts you right beside them or in their perspective (it is not clear) once but then returns to a detached persepective for the next. Problematic is as well that none of the Characters, save for Intelligence Guy Mk II, have more than one destinctive feature and only serve as single points of exposition. Intelligence Guy Mk II may be the show-stopper as he actually gets to have attitudes towards what is on display but without a consistent relation to him, his opinions do not develop credibility.



That is only the writing side; the visual storytelling portion I want to skip for now, because I am exhausted and have other things to do today as well.

Suffice it to say, that Cataclysm has the better visual story-telling when it comes to the Command Ship: It is framed better in cutscenes in-engine and overall adapts better to being framed (if only that it not vertical in design - vertical objects are always difficult to frame with a horizontal shot esspecially if all other objects around don't have the same verticallity), if only it had a gameplay effect to back that up. Both Homeworld and Homeworld II don't do much with the Mothership which is sad, considering how integral it is the story (well at least in Homeworld).

Homeworld II however clearly has learnt some lessons from where Homeworld went wrong and is capable in the presentation of everything but the Pride of Hiigara.



*snip*

It's certainly a carrier
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: BirdofPrey on January 20, 2016, 12:13:09 pm
(http://i.imgur.com/vwMin.gif)
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 20, 2016, 01:24:41 pm
My impression so far is that it's good; feels very homeworld-y.

Plot seems good so far.

Camera controls are a bit iffy and there are a couple of differences from previous games that are... odd. On the other hand, there are some interesting new gameplay systems.

Don't really want to go into too much detail because I'm only two (and a half; game crashed in the middle of the third mission) missions in and I have no idea how the game will progress.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: BirdofPrey on January 20, 2016, 02:01:40 pm
(game crashed in the middle of the third mission)
Oh, you too huh?  Odd coincidence

It definitely does have that feel.  A bit different that third map (though only second REAL mission, first mission of HW games are always pretty much the same, harvest some stuff build a few units) which is a bit restrictive being a canyon, but so far, I do like the LOS mechanics of using the dunes.  As much as I liked three dimensional movement, the terrain mechanics that are replacing that look like they can provide more tactical depth.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 20, 2016, 02:09:39 pm
(game crashed in the middle of the third mission)
Oh, you too huh?  Odd coincidence
Probably not a coincidence since The E crashed in the same spot. Was it when salvaging the Railguns for you?
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Vidmaster on January 20, 2016, 02:51:56 pm
Looks brilliant. Ground Control and Homeworld, two of my four favorite RTS games (the others being Starcraft and Nexus: The Jupiter Incident) merged and getting a new installment. Hyped.

Still not preordering though. I fear the story DLC announcement :-(
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: BirdofPrey on January 20, 2016, 03:12:33 pm
(game crashed in the middle of the third mission)
Oh, you too huh?  Odd coincidence
Probably not a coincidence since The E crashed in the same spot. Was it when salvaging the Railguns for you?
Was a bit before then actually, but it hasn't happened again
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: mr.WHO on January 20, 2016, 03:35:33 pm
IMo the next game/DLC should be on Higgara during the landfall shortly after HW1. Two factions:

Kushani (supported by Taiidan rebels):
- advance ground forces based around and build by several ground carriers - they have experience in ground warfare from Deserts of Kharak, but most of their forces would be remore controled drones as they are very limitted by manpower (max of 600k Kushani survived the HW1)

Taiidan Loyalist:
- their forces are conventional and rather low tech (you don't need good ground forces if you have biggest navy in the galaxy for millenias) - the would not be produced by Carriers (possibly don't even have the ground carriers), but shipped off-map by dropships (kinda like in Ground Control). They would also have huge manpower reserve and infantry as Higgara was Imperial capital at HW1 time.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AtomicClucker on January 20, 2016, 04:02:29 pm
Solid RTS from the reviews, but not worth the 50 buck price tag.

15-20? Then it wouldn't so badly panned.

Don't get me wrong, while I'm a Homeworld fanboi through and through, this game isn't worth the steep price tag with borked AI, limited map selection, and other major criticisms that have already been laid at it.

I'll pick it up on steep discount... but the high entrance cost and DLC arrangement is not a win-win value proposition, because this made as a multiplayer focused title and I expect more now, rather than less. I expect sone to say "but but but, it's Homeworld...."

And that's why I'm nitpicking, since it carries a prestigious name, it better be ready to live up - which seems to be living it down.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 20, 2016, 04:58:22 pm
Still not preordering though.
You'd be a little late for that, given that it was released already...
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Fury on January 21, 2016, 12:14:47 am
Solid RTS from the reviews, but not worth the 50 buck price tag.

There was significant discount for owners of the Homeworld Remastered edition, 30% off if I remember correctly. The deal was apparently valid up until the game's release.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 21, 2016, 01:24:43 am
Solid RTS from the reviews, but not worth the 50 buck price tag.

There was significant discount for owners of the Homeworld Remastered edition, 30% off if I remember correctly. The deal was apparently valid up until the game's release.
20%, dropping it from $50 to $40. Not actually as big a deal as if you didn't already own the Remastered Collection, because that independently sells for $35, which essentially meant you were getting Deserts of Kharak for $15.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: The E on January 21, 2016, 01:29:44 am
I'm up to mission 7, and right now, my verdict is "worth it". Looks good, feels good to play, and has enough challenge (in normal mode) to get me hooked.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: BirdofPrey on January 21, 2016, 06:14:33 am
If only my LAVs didn't die so fast.

So I was actually a bit surprised by the persistence.  There's a map that is used on two missions.  While the carrier moved between missions, all my other stuff was pretty much where I left it.

I'm used to everything moving back to some standard start location in games that do multiple missions on a map
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Luis Dias on January 21, 2016, 06:57:32 am
Looks awesome, my only beef with this game is its concept itself. "Exactly like Homeworld, but now with one less dimension!" Aahhh... K.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: BirdofPrey on January 21, 2016, 07:17:27 am
To be fair, the extra dimension didn't actually do ALL that much for the game aside from the fact it's thematic.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: The E on January 21, 2016, 07:30:36 am
Looks awesome, my only beef with this game is its concept itself. "Exactly like Homeworld, but now with one less dimension!" Aahhh... K.

I find that DoK forces me to think more three-dimensionally than Homeworld 1 and 2 ever did.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Phantom Hoover on January 21, 2016, 07:39:57 am
homeworld 1 and 2 never really had any missions or maps that took advantage of the 3rd dimension anyway
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Fury on January 21, 2016, 07:42:37 am
I don't know what is your definition of "taking advantage", but sure there was.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Phantom Hoover on January 21, 2016, 07:49:17 am
HW2 definitely didn't. HW1 kind of did, I remember that deathball coming up at you in Tannhauser Gate and the Sphere Of Eternal Salvage in Bridge of Sighs, but there wasn't much verticality in general. Most missions stuck pretty closely to the plane.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: The E on January 21, 2016, 08:11:03 am
I don't know what is your definition of "taking advantage", but sure there was.

Apart from the specific missions PH mentioned, using the vertical axis was never something the player absolutely had to do in order to win. It wasn't even something the player was explicitly encouraged to do, as the mechanical benefits (if there even are any) are mostly invisible.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 21, 2016, 08:35:28 am
Just because Deserts of Kharak doesn't allow you to position units at arbitrary 3D points doesn't mean it's not a 3D strategy game. As The E said, the terrain makes you think about height far more than in previous games, using it both to extend your lines of sight and firing, and for cover. Not to mention that your carrier is unable to navigate too-steep terrain, while other units can navigate it freely.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: crizza on January 21, 2016, 08:37:23 am
In HW2 was the Mission with the Oracle, where you had to move inside of dust clouds or risk getting swarmed.

I like Deserts, but the unit positioning could be better.
I usually use my railgun tanks on a ridge, but I have to position them one by one.
Some sort of dragging like in Total War would be neat. Furthermore I make use of the baserunners sensor ability, placing them between dunes, so the enemy has no clear line of sight... but he always finds them :D
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Fury on January 21, 2016, 09:20:33 am
I am in the minority in that I don't really like DoK. I don't know why, but it just isn't any fun to play. I got up to the fifth mission and I am thinking of uninstalling this.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: crizza on January 21, 2016, 11:26:04 am
Finished it in normal difficulty... well...
All in all, it was a little bit too easy... the last missions had me basically sitting with my carrier parked near RU and CU stacks, keeping my strike force engaging anything coming too close while my bomber and strikecraft whittled the enemy carriers down. With a little help from my carrier...
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: 0rph3u5 on January 21, 2016, 11:55:08 am
Anyone else had a case of Carrier Physics?

(http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/365157185048460679/C9B3F597353431D22393D7E08135B67821BBF8A0/)

She steadied and leveled back to the ground after clearing the dune (which required a bit of hovering)...
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: StarSlayer on January 21, 2016, 01:23:35 pm
It was in that moment, while the carrier teetered perilously on its prow, that the Kushan engineers were inspired with the design for the Mothership.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Unknown Target on January 21, 2016, 04:10:02 pm
I'm a little confused with the attack move thing. Is it basically "move until you can attack something, then stop"? Not saying there's anything wrong with it, I just kinda missed that part of the tutorial.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 21, 2016, 04:13:06 pm
I'm a little confused with the attack move thing. Is it basically "move until you can attack something, then stop"? Not saying there's anything wrong with it, I just kinda missed that part of the tutorial.
It's your basic RTS attack-move order: move towards that location until you see a target, engage that target (this may involve further maneuvers if you're e.g. a LAV), and then when done, resume moving towards your original destination.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: 0rph3u5 on January 23, 2016, 08:17:51 am
I finished on Classic today ... it got furstrating at times (esspecially when enemy carriers "breed" new cruisers while you are attacking) but that is mostly a fault of my playstyle (the Gaalsien are just better at shooting this from range than the Coalition as it appears)

Tip: Don't retire your Baserunners ever...
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: Mammothtank on January 24, 2016, 06:17:23 pm
I have to admit if this game doesnt get an active multiplayer base this games probably not going to interested me ever again, It's just that the campaign is so hand holdy and boring and the skirmish mode's AI is ridiculously easy and cheats (If an AI has to cheat and is still easy, you've done goofed). Honestly multiplayer isn't usually my cup of tea but it's probably going to be the only thing keeping me interested.

I am thinking of uninstalling this.

Me too.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 24, 2016, 08:14:16 pm
skirmish mode's AI is ridiculously easy
Play against Coalition AIs and tell me that again.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: General Battuta on January 26, 2016, 10:44:16 pm
I am a ****ing cancer upon this game. I skimmer rush every single game and win every single game. I hope the people I beat keep trying, I don't want this game's pop to die :(
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: General Battuta on January 26, 2016, 10:44:43 pm
It's beyond me why they didn't make the carrier point defense guns Actually Effective against the early harass units.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: General Battuta on January 26, 2016, 10:48:14 pm
Even if there's a (probably Coalition-specific) counter to this strat, it requires a level of execution and micro that is certainly beyond me and definitely beyond most starting players. I don't think having a simple 5-minute strat that kills new players unfailingly is good for your meta. New players should die after a ten minute game so they have a chance to make new mistakes and learn from them.

Right now an entire faction in this game is a noob trap, as well as most of the units in the Gaalsien lineup. If you're not skimmers-rails-missiles (but lol if the game gets as far as missiles) you're wasting time.

I bet they'll patch this up pretty quick, though.
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: AdmiralRalwood on January 26, 2016, 11:48:43 pm
The first patch (including some MP balance changes) is supposed to be coming "pretty soon":
http://forums.blackbirdinteractive.com/forum/deserts-of-kharak/deserts-of-kharak-general-discussion/2522-upcoming-updates-to-deserts-of-kharak
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: General Battuta on January 27, 2016, 12:00:12 am
Ralwood and I played some test games and Coalition can repel the initial skimmer rush with a few LAVs set on hold position around the carrier, and the carrier on Heal. The problem is you're then stuck on your one resource patch, with no map control, and the Gaalsien is beelining for heavy railguns.

Currently we are trying to brainstorm a next step!
Title: Re: HOMEWORLD: Deserts of Kharak Trailer
Post by: General Battuta on January 30, 2016, 11:42:33 pm
This game is good, this game is really fun in multi. I still win most games on rush but sometimes it goes long and turns really hard-fought, and good Coalition players can absolutely beat the rush.

Here is an exhibition match between the top 2 players that's really good