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Feedback A missing spice of life is the game's biggest flaw? Thoughts after arcade mode

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Couch Tomato, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Couch Tomato

    Couch Tomato Aquatic Astronaut

    I finished most of the campaign, which was pretty fun -- still have to unlock the epilogue, so I've been going through a few rounds of arcade mode.

    I noticed Arcade Mode makes you battle on generic battle maps, which is fine. That is actually the core of games like this and Advance Wars. However, after playing the same map on several times, I realized something. I just keep doing the same thing. Get to the buildings before the opponent does. Build the same units, etc. There's very little variation to the way I play, even between different commanders.

    Why does it start to feel repetitive, when it didn't quite feel that way in Advance Wars? I realized that the difference was the commanders. In Advance Wars, the CO substantially changed your army composition and therefore changed your opening strategy from the get-go. If I was Grit, I want to grab the choke points and line them with artillery. If I'm Max, I want to rush tanks. If I'm Drake, rule the seas. Etc.

    In Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, COs attach to units and have a field of influence, which depends on the CO. This isn't as global as the other AW games, but was enough to dictate strategy. Waylon is gonna get on an air unit, and you're going to want to respond to that.

    In WarGroove, while the commanders do have unique grooves, they don't change the way I play the game. In fact, their groove is purely a tactical feature. Keep your high value units away from Sigrid and Unlockable #1 when they have their grooves. Make sure to finish off Mercia's units. That's about it. Unlike AW COs, WarGroove commanders do not influence strategy. And I think that's a big deal in a strategy game.

    As a side note, the CO powers of the AW COs also add a tactical element on top of their buffs, which instead confer a strategical element.

    Suggestion

    I'm not sure about the best way to fix this. But I can present the goal: Make commanders influence strategy in addition to just tactics. Here are different options:

    1) AW-style global CO abilities
    This has been suggested by some people. You can have things that make sense. For example, Sigrid can have bonuses to aerial units. Caesar to dogs and probably infantry in general. Greenfinger can be the wooden unit (i.e. ballistas and trebuchets) specialist. Nuru can have effects to unit cost and compensatory changes to unit strength to offset her OP groove.

    Any sweeping changes such as global CO abilities is possible, but will substantially alter the campaign and puzzle modes. Maybe one way is to allow commander abilities as an option for arcade/multiplayer only. That way you don't have to step on what you've already created. The only downside to that is that a tutorial for abilities would not be naturally presented in the campaign.

    2) Days of Ruin-style CO zones
    Probable a little more technically complex change. You'd have to have a constant visual field around the commander to demonstrate the zone. Also, it would be very difficult to have abilities that promote naval units and aerial units because unlike DoR, WarGroove commanders can't plug into a unit, and so you can't expect commanders to keep with these units. Because of this, I think this option is pretty unrealistic.

    3) Faction-specific abilities
    Many negative reviews have focused on the fact the factions have no differences. I don't understand this, because this wasn't the case in AW either! However, the strategy gamer in me thinks of games like Age of Empires, Civilization, etc where factions were similar but had 1-2 unique abilities. This could be a reasonable alternative for WarGroove. Unlike giving commander-specific abilities, which would give 12+ different strategical styles, this would only give at least 4 (or 5) different strategical styles... but at least that's something.

    For example, the Floran League could have cheaper units, but also weaker units. This would go well with balancing Nuru's groove. Heavonsong Empire units could gain a boost to mechanical units, but weaker magical units; this would lead to a stronger navy, stronger artillery, but weaker air force. Felheim could be the opposite, with strong magical units, but overall weak navy but strong air force. Cherrystone would be the natural "neutral" faction. The fifth faction (spoilers) could have stronger, but more expensive units, the opposite of the Florans.

    Anyways, those are some of my ideas. I still have a very positive impression of this game, but to me, the missed opportunity in strategical variety is the biggest flaw and may be the limiting factor on the lasting appeal of this game down the line.
     
      aiscool likes this.
    • aiscool

      aiscool Space Hobo

      100% agree.

      I want option 1, but I think option 3 would be the best fit for Wargroove. There are so much flavor and enjoyment in the different factions artistically, it only makes sense that that would be complemented by the mechanics. I think it should definitely be a toggle-able option, and I assume it wouldn't have a major effect on the campaign you built. You may want to add a mission introducing each faction (or just test at the start of the first mission in the area).
       

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