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endurell 02-09-2006 09:54 AM

The petroglyph paradox
Hi everyone, normally I wouldn't post a rant like this but in this case I can't help myself, I would really enjoy some feedback to see if anyone other people (especially alliance players) have been having the same qualms with EaW.

Many of these same topics have been discussed here before, but when you put them all together it spells certain doom for alliance players.

Petroglyph has strived in empire at war to make a game that isn't restricted by the normal hindrances of a RTS; also one that isn't "bogged down" by the "burden" of persistent damage and politics. (Oh my gosh you have to think!!! Heaven forbid. ;) )

Now, this results in a game that is more "game like" than realistic. This in itself is not a problem, however, if you take into consideration the fact that they have gone to anal-retentive lengths to make the Empire as powerful as possible (E.G. Quality ships, more ships, FREE FIGHTERS, three jedi-characters, etc, etc, etc...) you can see the Petroglyph paradox:

On the one hand, they have this concept that the game shouldn't be "too realistic" in the sense that you shouldn't have to deal with damage/politics/resource gathering/etc...and yet they are making sure that is "completely realistic" in regards to the balance of power between the empire and the rebellion. (In other words the empire outnumbers the alliance 100 to 1 in many senses of the word.)

This leaves the rebellion with almost NO advantages over the empire. Let's go through some examples.

1. The empire has taken all the planets needed to build the death star and researched all the needed technologies. So they build it, and send their fleet to the nearest rebel stronghold planet using their massive fleet to clear the orbital forces without major losses. Then they send the death star in, and blow up the planet. The galaxy is outraged at the loss of millions of lives to the empire, dissent begins on some imperial words, and some even join the rebellion becau- oh wait, no politics. Never mind.

2. Ok, ok, let's try this. An imperial probe droid has located a major rebel planet, that is protected by their strongest fleet. The empire begins building a fleet capable of destroying the rebellion fleet. The alliance finds out about this, and sends in a strike force to damage the imperial fleet so that the fledgling alliance fleet will have more time to build up their forces. In a daring raid against the imperials they manage to destroy (or at the very least disable) most of the imperial fleet. The strike force was completely wiped out, giving the alliance the time they needed to build up their for- oh wait, instant repair!! The imperial fleet swooped down and crushed the rebel fleet about 10 minutes after the strike force.

3. One of the greatest advantages of the alliance was their supposed "spy network" which gave them the ability to know what the empire was up to. However, from playing the demo I've found that you can't see the fleets, the ground troops, or (most of the time) the fleet movements of the empire. So I'm guessing in order to get that stuff you have to put a rebel infiltrator in place on each planet....which means *drum roll* it's no better than the empire's probe droid!!! So much for that.

4. Heroes. I don't really need to go into detail about this, but the fact that Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Mara Jade, and Boba Fett are all on the Imperial VIP list...makes Mon Mothma, Luke Skywalker, and Kyle Katarn look like pansies. One other thing on this subject, one of the victory conditions is “kill the enemy leader”. Now, who do you think is harder to kill: Mon Mothma, or the Emperor? I’ll leave that to your capable imaginations.

I'm going to leave it at that, thanks for reading.

Kokosmakroon 02-09-2006 10:41 AM

It's not all doom and gloom , take those so called "infinite" Imperial fighters. I mean they're quite easy to dispatch and there is a limited number of ties that spawn from the capital ships during each battle. And that "greatest advantage" the spynetwork was *if I'm right* a planet specific advantage. I do think that rebel heroes are kinda outclassed by there imperial counterparts though.

Apocalypse|TFL 02-09-2006 10:52 AM

I'm kinda agreeing with Endurell here, There are so many elements taken out of the conquest mode that, by rights, really belong there.


Petroglyph seem genuine with regards to customer feedback and acting on it. If there is a big enough call for any changes to be made, then perhaps they will go that extra mile and make them.

My suggestion? Wait for the game to come out, play it, then make up your minds what suits the game best. Also don't forget the conquest is only one mode of play, there is still the skirmish.

DarthMaulUK 02-09-2006 11:24 AM

Interesting this but I have to disagree. No one said being the Rebels was going to be easy - its the same way in the movies. The Rebels can do small raids for example against Imperial controlled planets - thus not needing to entire into a space combat.

The Death Star is a pain but thats life. If you have a strong hold, put Red Squadron there. If you are worried about Spies, move them around a bit until you know the Death Star is coming.

The rebels can steal credits from the Empire and it wont be a push over trying to stop that. If you play it right, you can win tough battles. The 'hard points' on ships give you that chance. Rebel heroes have their own set of skills not requiring the force and to be honest, lucky to have Han Solo as he really doesnt get involved until much later.

All is not lost but lets see what happens with the full version first


Foshjedi2004 02-09-2006 11:34 AM

Endurell What do you think Mods are for ;)

The Fact is that the Rebels have VERY powerfull fighters. 10 A-wings and 10 y-wings can pretty much decimate an imperial Fleet.

darthfergie 02-09-2006 11:42 AM

Indeed, I think I have to side with DMUK.

I'm not sure we know all that has to do with Bothan spies. I believe it has been mentioned before that rebels have better intel than Imperials by Delphi.

One thing about the non-persistant damage. If you don't like it, then concentrate on tearing apart essential ships they have rather than just damaging them. It's a step harder, but who ever said raids were supposed to be a walk in the park. Besides, I think you'll kiss petro's feet for the damage the first time you get whipped in a space battle and run for your life.

Also with Heroes, I think it will be somewhat more balanced than you are worried about in the full game. Names don't mean much when it comes down to it. Obi-Wan Jedis up, while Chewie steals the enemy AT-AT AND comes paired with Han, Ackbar rocking out in Home One, etc. They've got some heroes with a punch.

It's not like the Rebel units are pushovers either. Toe to toe rebel troopers take down imp troopers, etc. They have plenty of advantages, many of which havn't been exposed via the demo or the mods.

wedge2211 02-09-2006 11:55 AM

Okay, first, resource gathering is actually the single most unrealistic element of most RTS games--I'm really glad Empire at War does it in the sensible, realistic way it does.

Second, people complained about the way the Death Star influenced politics in Rebellion. You blow up a planet, and instead of the rest of the galaxy cowering in fear that they'll be next, too awed to speak out much less join an outright rebellion, every planet in the whole galaxy would sign for the Rebels. While I'm disappointed to see politics disappear entirely from Empire at War, they come across as arbitrary and useless in most other games. I don't mind a game of pure military strategy.

As to the Rebels being weak--tactics. Outsmart the computer, dude.

Rebelknight 02-09-2006 12:05 PM

The only thing that makes me mad is the insta repair on ships. So mad that I am not buying the game at release just to see if its worth buying when I see the reports.

Kokosmakroon 02-09-2006 12:38 PM

Instant repair does kill some strategies but I don't think it's too much of a downside.

lukeiamyourdad 02-09-2006 03:26 PM

I think already complaining about game balance is simply jumping to conclusions.
Which RTS does not have balance problems at first?

I'm sure Petroglyph will do their best to balance things out if necessary. Hey, playtesting isn't always enough to try out every exploit.

All in all, we don't know how it will actually be, so let's take a step back and wait :)

endurell 02-09-2006 04:19 PM

You know, I had all this stuff written out in response to all of your comments, and then I read lukeiamyourdad's post and I think I will just "take a step back and wait." If the balance issues remain after a couple of months, you guys will hear about it again! :D Thanks for all the discussion.

Long live the Republic! :r2d :ben: :x-wing: :nien: :yoda3 :wookiee: :mon:

Teradyn 02-09-2006 05:44 PM

I have played the demo with the empire and rebels unlocked... now bear in mind that the units may have different values and stats vs the release, but also consider that the demo was built early December so they don't have freedom to change too much that close to release. That being said, the Rebels are harder to play against, and easier to win with IMO. My biggest issue is the accuracy of each side. When playing as the Empire against the Rebels on Hard I was irritated at just how different the accuracy was. The Empire weapons would miss 19 times out of 20 and the Rebels would hit 19 out of 20. Thinking that maybe this is a part of the difficulty setting (although I didn't see a reference to accuracy in the difficulty xml file) I decided to try the Rebels vs the Empire on Hard. Accuracy disparagy was still there, in my favor this time. I am very disappointed in this. The opposite should be true if there is a difference at all.

Thrawn 02-09-2006 06:38 PM

Except for the fact that stormtroopers can't hit the broadside of a Star Destroyer;)

endurell 02-09-2006 06:42 PM

Then I guess we have to ask ourselves what the heck obi-wan was smoking in episode IV...

"And these blastpoints, too accurate for sandpeople. Only Imperial stormtroopers are this precise." :ben:

popcorn2008 02-09-2006 08:46 PM

Intereasting, you want realism and yet don't. Hear me out, you say it's going to be hard to play the rebels and this isnt balanced. Well, realisticly the rebels didnt just march on up to Coruscant and retake the whole galaxy in one day. It was a struggle. But honestly, I dont think it is that hard to play as the rebels.

endurell 02-09-2006 11:38 PM


Intereasting, you want realism and yet don't.
No, I want realism. I was just commenting that they have realism in one area (strength of the two factions) and not in the other. (lack of politics, no persistant damage, etc...) I don't mind that the Empire is stronger, that makes's the other stuff that makes it unbalanced IMO. :)

Demiurge13 02-12-2006 02:59 AM


Originally Posted by endurell
Then I guess we have to ask ourselves what the heck obi-wan was smoking in episode IV...

"And these blastpoints, too accurate for sandpeople. Only Imperial stormtroopers are this precise." :ben:

obi-wan intentionally sacrificed himself in episode 4 because he would be able to help luke more as a spirit. Plus it was necessary to make Luke fulfill his destiny. If you watch the movie its clear that he does it intentionally.

wedge2211 02-12-2006 11:05 AM

That's not what endurell was talking about; he was referring to Obi-Wan's description of stormtroopers at the wrecked sandcrawler.

Xsoy 02-12-2006 12:35 PM

*blows a flute*... no seriously... this game is over all gonna rock. sure the empire is all mighty and ever expanding. But! the rebels can never be beatened down, dont believe me? play against me in multi player :D


aggie_john 02-12-2006 02:47 PM

Yeah I have to agree. Some things that Delphi pointed out about the demo was that cost and build time were greatly reduced so that we could play around with all ships. The Empires cheap ships are not that great. I mean Victories and Acclamators dont stike fear into the Rebel hearts or anything. ISD's are really good but are going to be really expensive and so to build which means if the rebels keep raiding planets the empire player will have to spread his forces out thus builing more cheap ships rather than more expensive ISDs. It will balance out fine. Even the Death star will be a real challenge to build and use.

As for the realism aspect, I can see both sides of this. Perhaps they might point it back in as an optional part because its one of those dividing issues some people like to focus on the combat and fleet movements where as others are for the diplomacy.

evenflow80 02-12-2006 04:52 PM

The only major problem with game balance is the Death Star.

How the hell can know which planet the DS will attack and plan ahead to have Red Squadron there? There's like around 40 planets to guess from.

endurell 02-12-2006 06:21 PM

The rebels always know where the death star is I think. At least, when I played the campaign I saw the death star the entire time...

It makes sense. I imagine it's pretty hard to keep something that big hidden. :)

Ra2er 02-12-2006 11:15 PM

There'll be a message, imperial forces aproaching *planet name here*, from the droid advisor. But I think the death star will remain visible once it's built anyway, Red squadron won't be though. I look forward to seeing the edginess of the empire at moving the death star from planet to planet. :)

aggie_john 02-13-2006 12:49 AM

It most likely moves very slowly too. So it would not be hard to see it coming.

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