I fully realize how much AI casuals love this map, its their blood and bones.
But it also can not be denied how small multiplayer map pool is, especially since all the maps are exclusive and there is no map overlap between the modes, which made CoH2 look like it had much more maps on release.
And the first new map coming is sheldt copy no one asked for lol.
Esxile made the fundamental point that there is no excuse for launching COH3 without providing a 'Scheldt' from the get-go. I have never played Scheldt but I do know (and I am reasonably certain that you do also), that SP was the majority of the base for COH1 - people that were never seen in MP and probably never even signed up to gameplays.org or this site.
I disagree. I think good games (8/10 rated by plebs) succeed and find the audience.
What you are describing are minor mechanics and direction changes. People will roll over and adapt as long as your game is an objective upgrade. Whether it is more micro-management focused, or more casual, or more strategical - it would have been fine either way as long as it is fun.
I don't think you have understood the nuances in the various COH audiences, if you dismiss such differences so lightly.
(Upgrade conditions would include: better visuals, optimization, pathfinding, AI, netcode, new QoL features, content, mechanics, major rebalance, better backend for content delivery, playbase moderation tools, new and more beneficial business model) I can accept some V1 launch drawbacks but the overall upgrade package has to be an undeniable progress. Otherwise why are you releasing it, this is SF6 and Diablo 4 are taking over all the gaming buzz this month.
And to prove my point, freaking fighting game has 60k concurrent players this week. You tell me that the primary a console, fighting 1vs1 pvp game, is enjoying this kind of success on PC? It is absolutely the decade of variety: anything goes as long as the quality is good. I bet most of you are playing random crap, from HOI4/WW2 simulators to fantasy MMOs, Cards and Gachas.
People bitched about Diablo III changes (I say this in a positive context where some bickering on social media is absolutely healthy for any game), people now bitching about Diablo 4 mechanics that returned to some Diablo 2 style. Good execution will become a new norm, it is actually healthy for every game to go through these refreshes and wiggles in direction. You can take bad direction, the weather in COH2: admit mistake, learn from it, adapt.
I read the same things about Paradox games streamlining/simplifying themselves. Total Warhammers were panned for magic and other deviations from historical TWs.
More rant. I have never suggested a console player will enjoy COH3. At this stage, I have no idea how it will trend.
The problem with COH3 is, that it isn't just some sharp corners that need brushing. It is the trainwreck that ends up going backwards. Take tank-balance for example: AT superblobs, mines triggered by sound, AT shots clipping on fences, superskillplanes, weird pathing, what are tank destroyers, only heavy destroyer in the game files somewhere never tested. The game is so broken you have multiple direction, technical and design failures all at the same time - sure it functions as a program, but it is a literal mess, don't even know how to start unraveling it.
From your subsequent posts, I deduce that you are primarily interested in team games? Nothing at all wrong with that, but what you describe in team games is not necessarily what is wrong in 1v1. In fact, albeit innocently, you are highlighting the problem with COH1 v COH2. It's the old, old problem do you balance the game from 1v1, or from a team game perspective? FWIW, I think these two POV are irreconcilable and that in fact you should run team games on a different perspective. Here I do agree with you that in 2023, it should be possible to distinguish between 1v1 and team games without too much problem. Team games do not need a wealth of light vehicles with multiple options. e.g. how long will a bike or Weasel last, when players in AT are pumping out fuel and heading for 'heavies' and durable infantry?
Saying that Relic was in some kind of design-checkmate is questionable. COH3 was supposed to be a slam-dunk, it had so many design lessons learned (only by community and ex-Relic), and many low-hanging QoL/Mechanics people asked for years. Couple that with 10 years of modern online gaming trends, visual progress, service monetization - and you have a formula that only needs that 8/10 execution. Nobody even gives a fuck about campaign, it reviewed to some absurd scores (I played COH1 campaigns while in school, rarely do I play SP in RTS).
You have patently ignored what I wrote previously. As a team player, you are entitled to ignore the basics of 1v1 where it changes from COH1 to COh2, but I can assure you those changes were fundamental to the mechanics of 1v1 and explains why so many COH1 1v1 players did not adapt to COHO or COH2. Do you want me to spell these out for you? It involves inter alia
light vehicles, ticker timing, capture points and values for capture points.
There might be some elitists who prefer that old version. People still play COH1, Starcraft 1, HOI3, older Counter Strikes, previous SF - the minority, and even they will rollover once the upgrade is undeniable despite not being to their ideal mechanics/details preference.
Experience of the COH franchise suggests that what you have just written is totally incorrect. COHO and COH2 saw off a lot of top COH1 players. Some of those would have gone due to life changes, but many did not like and did not accept the COH2 1v1 changes. Team games are different and the pertinent point here is why Relic did not see fit to try to provide for 2 different modes in COH3. It must be possible to balance the 1v1 game differently from team games, and the lack of maps for team games simply flies in the face of current trends.
I wish everybody here would have gotten that 8/10 sequel to enjoy COH, including gdot, unified + revitalized community and bright future ahead. Instead of talking how Relic is going bankrupt and DOW3'ing it, we could shitposting what kind of these small mechanics and direction changes were the best, what OP units need to be toned down, what could be the patch/content iteration to score 9-10, and wait for the next COH3 showmatches.
Posters on .org have been through the mill with Relic whether the start of COH2, the lack of patches in COH1 or the Dawn of War fiasco. They can be forgiven for a certain amount of cynicism at the launch of a game in COH3 which appears to ignore the mistakes of COH1 and COH2.
SNIP - Interesting points!
There is a lot you write here with which I agree.
Years ago, in an article for PC Gamer, a Russian Dev from War Thunder stated how much he liked Relic's ability to retain a core audience.
I think Katitof and Esxile are describing a state of mind which Relic maybe had when they launched COH1. When I joined the COH1 community in 2009, there was a lot of bellyaching about the lack of patches and people complaining they had paid a premium price and expected better support. But ofc, there was no DLC to support the cost of patching, unless Relic released another Expansion, which they never did after TOV.
I know for a fact that one of the Relic aims for COH2 was to make the game more user-friendly for new players with a view to expanding the player base. The DLC was introduced to finance the patching costs. Eventually, COH2 became a popular game, but almost inevitably it lost a lot of the better players from COH1, who had rejected COHO and did not like the COH2 new format.
So in a sense, Relic cannot win, because if they satisfy the strategists, they annoy the CPM micro afficionados. As Von Ivan has noted in his Twitch stream, COH3 is effectively COH1 lite with enhanced graphics, but there are a lot of sharp edges which should not be there.
As you observe, Nigo has jumped the gun on the stats for consoles. It will be interesting to revisit those numbers a month from launch.
Lead sound director for coh1 was a female.
Which is the game imo, that had probably the best overall audio
The Lead Sound designers for COH1 were all male, FWIW.
I can't remember the guy's name, unfortunately. But wasn't there somebody else as well, who was heavily involved in the sound department and was responsible for some quite innovative design choices... He died in a car crash I believe? Someone help me out here... I first heard someone mention him on this forum i think.
Completely agree it was the best, everything from weapon effects, the radio static and of course the voiceovers for units as well. Clearly a labour of love.
The late Brian Wood was responsible for the Opposing Fronts campaign and was appointed joint Lead Designer for Tales of Valor. He was sadly killed in a car crash during the lead-up to Co0mpany of Heroes Online for which he was the Lead. Incidentally, COHO was free to play but was pulled after approx 6 months, by which time Relic had opened a shop ingame and some had paid into it.
It's not even the Sistine Chapel, it's more like one of those modern art pieces where one person says they see a brooding meditation on the finite nature of existence and I see a canvas that a Dr. Seuss character sneezed on.
Or even Tracey Emin's Unmade bed
Dobermans have a bad reputation in the United States, as do Rottweilers, pit bulls and a few other breeds. The problem is that assholes are allowed to have dogs and they teach the dogs to be assholes like them.
The UK Armed Forces and its police forces rejected Dobermans and also Rottweilers long ago. Apparently, they are liable to lapses in concentration and therefore unreliable. Alsatians seem to be the order of the day.
My guess is that Janne is also well compensated. He certainly has skills. For reference, one of my relatives is a developer for a financial company and makes double the average game developer salary, another works for and IT consulting company and makes about 1.5x.
I would agree with your guess, but as I last spoke to Janne some years ago when he was studying, I don't know what he is doing now.
Relic mostly just needed a competent project manager for COH3. My view from afar is that they didn't. I've managed projects in a couple of industries for 30+ years and am sure that I would've been fired from any position I've ever had if I would've delivered something like COH3.
As far as the number being indicative of something else, my impression is that Relic has way too many employees for a studio that doesn't have a major release soon. Also, the org chart for COH3 looked way too fat. One trivial example is having an Art Director and a Technical Art Director. When you have multiple people doing similar jobs, the result is usually that it slows progress, and makes what should be simple decisions into nightmarish committee decisions.
If Sega was going to pull the plug, it seems like the cuts would've been much deeper. You don't need to keep a couple hundred employees to transfer the intellectual property to another development studio.
Broadly, we are in consensus. However, SEGA apparently took something of a reputational risk back home when they acquired Relic at a bankruptcy auction for approx $26 million at the start of 2013. Allegedly, Japanese companies should grow their product from the ground up and take-overs of foreign comnpanies are (or were) something of a no-no. So there was a save-face element attached to the launch of COH2 and when the request was made for a 3 month extension before release of COH2, SEGA complied. As we know, the eventual COH2 release was innovative but lamentable in so many aspects. I don't want to exaggerate but the COH2 release saw off a fair few of the COH1 afficionados because it was a different game and poorly executed. It was November 2013 before the first real correction took place and it was a year from release before COH2 was up and running, free of the clown car/sniper combo.
DOW2 took an almighty tumble. While I believe COH3 may be retrievable, I somehow doubt if the Japanese in charge want to relive the COH2 experience again and again. If they can sell on and capture their initial capital, it saves face and gives them a get out. There was speculation that SEGA might sell Relic to Microsoft in advance of the AOE rerelease.
Many game companies seem to be currently shedding staff. Kotaku report
I guess it comes down to how you might want to present a company for sale. If you have some workers apparently working on a new project as well as a core title just launched but ripe for improvement and exploration, maybe it might appeal to e.g. Smoking Gun?
1. Enable full modding again, like CoH1
2. Pickup some Community maps and the balance mod (rebalance tuning pack) in Steam Workshop
3. Hire Janne252 for codding replay, obs mode and other sutff
4. Hire Inverse for gameplay designer and Whiteflash for mapping designer
5. Hire AmiPolizeiFunk and AE for Community managers.
6. Profit again.
The conventional reply to your post would be "What are you on and can I have some of it".
I doubt if Relic could afford either Inverse or Whiteflash who appear to be successful in their own commercial fields.
If Janne had wanted to work at Relic, he would have been there by now.
Following the live stream in 2014 with Yoink and remarks passed in a haze (to the enjoyment of all but Relic), I am afraid Ami became persona non grata for certain chaps at Relic, hence Operation Charlie Fox in 2015 (CF = crowd funding), which was the only way we could set up a big tournament without Relic support. Even with the success of OCF, Relic did not budge.
Apart from that, I agree with your post.