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Warshift is one of the few base builder real time strategy (RTS) games that allows you to play in first/third person mode via unit control. This is a big deal because most, if not all, base builder rts games with first/third person mode mechanics fail to properly connect the base building mechanics with the unit control mechanics. Unfortunately, Warshift joins that list of failures. To understand why, you must start with the mechanics.

Base Building Mode

The base building mechanics are pretty simple. You collect a single resource by building extractors on points on the map. You build structures by pre-building them in the HQ and then instantly placing the built structures near a active power node. Power nodes are littered across the map. Units can be made at a affiliated structure. The unit types are infantry, land vehicles and air units. Units have no special abilities. You can make an army and/or automatically send units in waves. Units have no special abilities. Units/abilities are unlocked by leveling up your avatar.


Unit Control Mode

The unit control mechanics have rpg elements. Before a skirmish you choose a avatar. You can customize the avatar with different weapons and gear depending on your level. You level up your avatar in combat. When you level up, you can get better weapons and gear by traveling all the way back to HQ and buying better weapons and gear. The avatar is the only unit you can control in third person. The avatar is the only unit that can activate power nodes. The avatar can be controlled like any other unit in base building mode. The avatar has a stamina mechanic for weapons , gear, and fly/boosting.


The Connection

The two modes are connected by needs. Your avatar can not take out the enemy alone so it needs a base and army to do the heavy lifting. Your buildings are powered by active power nodes so your base needs the avatar to activate the power nodes. Locked units requires higher levels so your base needs the avatar to level up.


The Problem

The problem is that you can't fulfill the needs at the same time and you have to fulfill those needs at the same time to progress. Your avatar is too weak to fight on its own so you build a base and army, but to build a base and army, you need your avatar to activate power nodes. While building your base, you need to level up to get better units/abilities and avatar gear. To level up, you need your avatar in third person combat, but your avatar is too busy activating nodes. When you finally build up your base, you can put your avatar in combat. The problem here is that you still need to keep building your base, so your avatar will not level up frequently. Not leveling up frequently means little progress. These conflicts make it really difficult, if not impossible, to balance the two modes.


Typical High Difficulty Skirmish

You rush build 4 extractors. Build numerous unit building facilities. Have the facilities automatically send units in waves. Put your avatar in some combat to level up a little and then mostly use your avatar to expand your base until your waves of units slowly but surely eliminate the enemy for you.


The Solution

This problem can be solved by getting rid of power nodes and by making the base building require less attention. Doing so will allow the avatar to be in combat more frequently. This game would be significantly better if the only thing that tied the unit control mode and base building mode together was the leveling system.


Other Problems

The unit control mode controls don't handle well. AI is easy. Base building is terribly uninteresting. The strategy is really simple. Only one commander in multiplayer; you build a base as usual, the only difference being your allies can only control their avatars. Allies become overpowered since they don't have a base. Bugs that can be easily exploited. The avatar stamina mechanic often forces you to use run and hit tactics. You can't run because running takes stamina that you used up in combat.


The Real Problem

This game is unfinished. That's right, the developers ding dong ditched this. Some may think that this game just needs some polish, but this game is actually unfinished. When the main mecanic (rts with unit control) does not work it doesn't mean that the game needs polish, it means that the game needs a lot of work. That's not all, the controls are half baked and the game needs numerous bug fixes. On top of all this, the developers left the game like this. That means the developers took our money and gave us an unfinished product, at least in my book. You know this game is unfinished when one way to fix it, is to partially remove its main mechanic.



RTS games with unit control mechanics still suck. Only buy this game if you want to see the potential this game had.


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This was made by one guy and it's cool to see how much he was able to accomplish. It checks off all the boxes a game like this is going for. I wouldn't recommend it unless you were primarily interested in seeing his creation. 

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I accidently read the title as Warshit, but it looks like I was right all along

"Fleet Intelligence Coming Online"

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On 8/5/2019 at 8:21 AM, NulSense said:

RTS games with unit control mechanics still suck

I fondly remember Rise and Fall, and I still think it holds up. The way it works is that each hero has a stamina and a health bar; you can start controlling them directly once the stamina bar is full, and that control ends once either health or stamina are depleted. The hero can be leveled up with Glory, which is a quired by exploring, winning fights, and by building statues that generate it slowly but continuously. It also helps that heroes, besides being extremely deadly, can give order to nearby units, and that units of the same type can be put together in formations like in a total war game; all of which ensures you don't lose control over the wider battle when you personally pilot your hero. Also, the top of walls is traversable and you can build ladders to scale them, meaning that your hero can help in sieges.

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