Author Topic: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG  (Read 2504 times)

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Offline Kobrar44

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Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
So Homeworld: Cataclysm has released on GOG as Homeworld: Emergence, along with Deserts of Kharak. A number of people hoped for it, so I'm letting you guys know.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 01:09:30 pm by Kobrar44 »
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Offline Novachen

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is it? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Yeah, Cataclysm. IMO by far the best Homeworld game.

And maybe the creepiest story i have ever played in a RTS, too.
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Offline Ace

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Did they change the name to avoid paying royalties to Kerberos?
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Offline The E

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Blizzard, actually. (Blizzard has a trademark on Cataclysm)
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
I have no idea how a trademark can retroactively apply to a decade-plus earlier game from a completely-different genre, but chalk it up to the absurd vagaries of copyright/trademark law I guess.

 

Offline MikeRoz

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
So happy this was released. This was, by happenstance more than anything else, the only Homeworld game I have pleasant multiplayer memories from. Instabuy for me.
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
I have no idea how a trademark can retroactively apply to a decade-plus earlier game from a completely-different genre, but chalk it up to the absurd vagaries of copyright/trademark law I guess.

There is nothing retroactive about it; Gearbox would probably been fine under sensible copyright legislation. However US copyright requires the rights holder to actively defend their claim, unless they want to loose it.
The name change avoids that issue and the paying the fees for the legal process.
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Offline Aesaar

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is it? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Yeah, Cataclysm. IMO by far the best Homeworld game.
Except that it's barely a Homeworld game.  It's like the opposite of a spiritual successor.  Completely different feel compared to the other two.  And now with HW2 remastered being a thing, it's also the one with the worst gameplay.

It's a Homeworld game the same way C&C Generals is a C&C game.

And all the original ship designs in it look like garbage.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 07:52:27 am by Aesaar »

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Except that it's barely a Homeworld game.  It's like the opposite of a spiritual successor.  Completely different feel compared to the other two.

Are you sure you are not describing Homeworld 2? (That's not to say that Homeworld 2 didn't make a host of improvements; but take the names Homeworld off it and the words Hiigaaran and Bentusi out of it and you couldn't tell it was a sequel to Homeworld)

Granted Cataclysm/Emergence had a tonal shift, but that is not uncommon for sequels. The gameplay was not sigificantly altered (unbalanced faction abilites not withstanding) but some nice convience features (like that you now could see distinguish between explored and unexplored parts of the area).

And much like the original Homeworld, it had a focused, consistent narrative with little Deux Ex Machina - those are three things I cannot say about Homeworld 2.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 09:35:19 am by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Novachen

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
The only Homeworld game i know about that is not a Homeworld game is the last one, called Deserts of Kharak.

For me Cataclysm was always a full Homeworld game, only with a different, but IMO better story.

Also it introduced some gameplay mechanics that were taken over to Homeworld 2... but Homeworld 2 story was... boring at least.
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Also responsible for the Nova Upgrade Project, which upgrades and fix older campaigns to make them play- and solveable again with current builds and MediaVPs.

Release List:
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Offline Hades

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Deserts of Kharak is good, they really nailed the atmosphere. Cataclysm has the best and most fun mission design out of the 3 space Homeworld games, IMO, as well as good voice acting and an interesting story, even if it's not very Homeworld 1-ish.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
The only Homeworld game i know about that is not a Homeworld game is the last one, called Deserts of Kharak.

I am curious, what makes you say that beyond the shift to planetary maps (incl. reducing the dimensions to 2.5)?
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Aesaar

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
Except that it's barely a Homeworld game.  It's like the opposite of a spiritual successor.  Completely different feel compared to the other two.

Are you sure you are not describing Homeworld 2? (That's not to say that Homeworld 2 didn't make a host of improvements; but take the names Homeworld off it and the words Hiigaaran and Bentusi out of it and you couldn't tell it was a sequel to Homeworld)

Granted Cataclysm/Emergence had a tonal shift, but that is not uncommon for sequels. The gameplay was not sigificantly altered (unbalanced faction abilites not withstanding) but some nice convience features (like that you now could see distinguish between explored and unexplored parts of the area).

And much like the original Homeworld, it had a focused, consistent narrative with little Deux Ex Machina - those are three things I cannot say about Homeworld 2.
And if you changed the names in Cataclysm, it would have zero non-gameplay relation to HW1.  HW1 and HW2 have a very consistent art style that Cataclysm does not share.  HW2's story may have been a wreck, but there's still interesting **** in there, whereas Cataclysm feels like they ran out of interesting ideas once they finished writing the manual.

It's an uninspired game executed well, and HW2 is a poorly executed story littered with missed opportunities.  It was rushed and it feels like it.  Subjective, but I like HW2 a lot more because it built on my favorite bits of HW1's visual storytelling, like the Karos Graveyard.  Space zombies (in the form of ships with strawberry jam spilled on them), on the other hand, is not something I find interesting.

Hades: I wouldn't call Cataclysm's voice acting good.  Fleet Command's VA is good, sure, but in a lot of cases, I actively avoided using units because their VA was so bad (hi multibeam frigates!).  In most cases, it was just super hammy.

And I'm just going to restate how godawful 95% of Cataclysm's original ship designs were.  Also the laziest corvette designs ever.

The only Homeworld game i know about that is not a Homeworld game is the last one, called Deserts of Kharak.
Deserts of Kharak is 150% a Homeworld game and it's ****ing awesome.  They absolutely nailed the art and narrative style.  I'll be very disappointed if Blackbird don't have a hand in making HW3.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 12:54:25 am by Aesaar »

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
HW1 and HW2 have a very consistent art style that Cataclysm does not share.

Please elaborate.

HW1's visual storytelling, like the Karos Graveyard. 

Please elaborate.

Also the laziest corvette designs ever.

While I agree with notion that the design were un-inspired, I would not say their were lazy (and the superlative if out place, too) - they would have been lazy if the combination had no tangible impact, which in case of both Somtaaw corvettes it had (the Acolyte-Corvette exchanged the limited munition ability of the fighters for a reusable EMP ability, the holo-corvette could immitate a larger ship or an asteroid).
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline The E

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
HW1's visual storytelling, like the Karos Graveyard. 

Please elaborate.

Both HW1 and HW2 are taking place in a space populated by Tsutomu Nihei-esque hyperstructures; Infinitely vast relics of a bygone civilization. The Karos Graveyard, the Tanis relic, places like these show us that this story is taking place in a universe that has been lived in for eons. They are clear reminders that, no matter how momentous the things we're doing in the game are to us and the characters we're following, much bigger and grander things have happened here in the past. Homeworld 1 and 2, taken together, are the story of a civilization clawing back its way towards apotheosis, climbing up the giant's back until we are standing on their shoulders once more.

Cataclysm, from what I've seen (and I should point out that I've never personally played it) drops this thematic stuff for a much more down-to-earth story. No matter how well told it is, it's still a thematic departure.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
HW1's visual storytelling, like the Karos Graveyard. 

Please elaborate.

Both HW1 and HW2 are taking place in a space populated by Tsutomu Nihei-esque hyperstructures; Infinitely vast relics of a bygone civilization. The Karos Graveyard, the Tanis relic, places like these show us that this story is taking place in a universe that has been lived in for eons. They are clear reminders that, no matter how momentous the things we're doing in the game are to us and the characters we're following, much bigger and grander things have happened here in the past. Homeworld 1 and 2, taken together, are the story of a civilization clawing back its way towards apotheosis, climbing up the giant's back until we are standing on their shoulders once more.

Cataclysm, from what I've seen (and I should point out that I've never personally played it) drops this thematic stuff for a much more down-to-earth story. No matter how well told it is, it's still a thematic departure.

Okay, I get that. When I think of the Karos Graveyard I always default to the "early in development" Kushan-models that make up a significant portion of the junk.

Cataclysm does have that element but not quite to that scale (e.g. the junkyard you find the Siege Cannon in), and yes thematically it is more about the current generation and their struggles rather than an "Old World" (although the Naggarok, the final boss ship in the story, is both ancient and extragalactic).

But again, a thematic departure isn't necessarily bad - especially when it comes to material like Homeworld.


EDIT:

However I would like to dispute the HW 1 and 2 form a whole like you described, especially when you look at whose agency drives either plot.

In Homeworld 1 the Hiigarans-to-be achieve almost everything they do and drive almost all development by through their own actions and achievements. Barring the discovery of the Hyperspace Core and the exposition dumbs from the Kadeshi and the Bentusi, everything that happens is connected to the journey the Mothership & Co undertake.

Homeworld 2 however the Hiigaran go from McGuffin to McGuffin which then starts the next segment of the plot, making them less the agents in the story but giving that role to Maakan whose steps they don't even retrace but skip to at will. That Maakan is actually the agent of the plot is not a problem, it would actually work if we knew more about him than "he thinks of himself as a god"; I continue to refer to Homeworld 2 as a chase (compared to the journey that is Homeworld 1), however it is chase in which you know too little about the quarry in the end for the chase to have mattered at all. (And that's not talking about the mismatch between the first two missions and anything but the last one regarding stakes and urgency)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 05:12:39 am by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 
Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
HW2's plot is almost entirely dumb but thematically it's an earnest attempt to build on HW1, whereas Cataclysm just meanders off and competently executes a sci-fi zombie plot using objects from the HW1 manual. DoK manages to have both a good and thematically coherent plot; it's a very encouraging rehabilitation of the series.
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Offline The E

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
However I would like to dispute the HW 1 and 2 form a whole like you described, especially when you look at whose agency drives either plot.

In Homeworld 1 the Hiigarans-to-be achieve almost everything they do and drive almost all development by through their own actions and achievements. Barring the discovery of the Hyperspace Core and the exposition dumbs from the Kadeshi and the Bentusi, everything that happens is connected to the journey the Mothership & Co undertake.

Homeworld 2 however the Hiigaran go from McGuffin to McGuffin which then starts the next segment of the plot, making them less the agents in the story but giving that role to Maakan whose steps they don't even retrace but skip to at will. That Maakan is actually the agent of the plot is not a problem, it would actually work if we knew more about him than "he thinks of himself as a god"; I continue to refer to Homeworld 2 as a chase (compared to the journey that is Homeworld 1), however it is chase in which you know too little about the quarry in the end for the chase to have mattered at all. (And that's not talking about the mismatch between the first two missions and anything but the last one regarding stakes and urgency)

That's.... not what I was getting at? IMHO, there is a clear thematic throughline that connects DoK, HW1 and HW2. In Deserts, we the protagonists are unwitting prisoners freeing ourselves from the equally unwitting prison guards. In HW1, the actual prison guards show up and enact their retribution; however, since a small portion of our prisoners do manage to escape, they fail and are brought down. Along the way, we learn that the galaxy we're living in is older and more developed than we ever dreamed it would be: The path back home is littered with the remnants of civilizations vastly more powerful than even the people we are fighting against in this very moment.
In HW2, we are forced to enter into a race against an usurper who aspires to the godhood we were unaware was within our grasp. We snatch godhood from him, and in doing so, free our people and the galaxy at large from a downward spiral it wasn't even really aware it was in, we become a truly intergalactic civilization once more, in full command of the relics our progenitors left behind.

All your criticisms regarding HW2's storytelling are true. That that game told its story poorly doesn't change the fact that these are stories that do build upon each other and that share clear themes, however.
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Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Homeworld: Emergence? What is that? Also Deserts of Kharak on GOG
we are forced to enter into a race against an usurper who aspires to the godhood we were unaware was within our grasp.
[...]
 we become a truly intergalactic civilization once more, in full command of the relics our progenitors left behind.
emphasis mine

This is where our interpretation fundamentally differ. You interped the events of Homeworld 2 - esspecially the chase after Maakan - as a test and frame the acquisition of Sajuuk and the Core Trinity as something that was meant to be.

I disagree with that reading. And here is why:

For reference:

Exhibit A: The Hyperspace Cores

1. "In the first time, the Great Hyperspace Core was found..."

2. "... the Second Core was discovered on a desert planet..."

3. "This is the story of the End Times. We know this because Third Core has been found."

The Hyperspace Cores were found. They were not gifts or heirlooms handed down from the Progenitors to worthy successors, younger species happened upon them and used them.

There is only a single indication that some kind of line of tradition for the Hyperspace Cores was ever intended and that during the mission after you have acquired the Oracle and it leads you to the first Progenitor wreckage. This then however immideatly contradicted in the post mission cutscene...


... which describes the behavior of the Oracle akin to failsafe.


Exhibit B: The Progenitors are unrelated to the current species


(I assume it speaks for itself) Okay it doesn't.
This is the definite feature of the Progenitor other than that their technology survived them. There is no mention of any futher connection the galaxy other that they arrived and stayed until their civilisation came to an end. There is no mention of them contacting any species now in existence directly.

While the Prophecy exists (see below), there is no mention that it was inspired by the acutal Progentiors. It might as well have been created through contact with what was left behind by them (which would also explain why the Oracle -implied to be part of the Progentior ship's bridge system- is so far away from it).


Exhibit C: Sajuuk and the Prophecy

All knowledge about Sajuuk before finding the actual ship, is presented in the from of prophecy and open to interpretation. The following bit is esspecially interesting:


Now the dictionary definition of "to unleash" is "to suddenly let a strong force, emotion, etc be felt or have effect", considering what is revealed in the Epilogue is the purpose of Sajuuk (to open the intergalactic hypersacpe gates) that is clearly a powerful, positive force taking effect.

However, you also leash out of control animals and considering we have no information on how the Progentior civilisation ended (the Progentior ship is said to have broken apart but there is no cause given), it might be that closing down the intergalactic gates and hiding away the key to it, may have been preventive measure.

As this is information handed down through ages and languages, it is notoriously unreliable and doesn't give credibility to either reading.


Exhibit D: The Chosen One

There is of course the matter of "the Chosen One":

But it is never quite clear, if this means something positive or negative. Actually the Epilogue goes so far, in my reading, to suggest that what the Chosen One might not have a set purpose but instead who the Chosen One would be would determine their effect. This is cooberated by the emphasis on Maakan's "shadow" in the intro":

Due to unclear line of tradition of the prophecy it is also not beyond imagining that this part was added or distorted.



Exhibits A and B combined make clear that by definition Maakan cannot be an usurper as there is no rightful claim to any of the three Cores. They, Sajuuk and the hyperspace gates are not an inheritance passed down but remains (i.e. objects that survived the span of time but originally not meant to - as opposed to tradition) that both Maakan and the Hiigaran freely use.

While said use eventually has a positive impact, there is no indication whetever or not it was intented; acutally the Intro and the Epilogue contradict that reading by highlighting that it is the person that fills the role of Chosen One determines the kind of impact the Trinity has.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 07:25:53 am by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."