Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
(HOMM) Pause. Breathe. Think. Attack.
Turn based strategic gaming in general has been a long held and honored tradition. From the ancient game of Go to more modern cousins like Heroes of Might and Magic, the game itself has largely remained unchanged.
Sure, there’s a lot more bells and whistles in more recent editions, but the basic tenets of gameplay are the same. There is at least one opponent, limited resources, and gameplay takes place on some sort of space which can be broken down into grids. Oh, and an objective; to be more successful at the game than your opponent(s), usually by using the game rules in such a way to gather more of those limited resources while denying your opponent the same opportunity. There’s something very enticing about outthinking an opponent; to be able to say I crushed you using only the power of my mind. Ownage.
That’s why I specifically say turn based games here. Skill for an RTS is still mainly dominated by mental prowess at the upper tier, but at the beginner level, everything’s more about knowing build orders, hotkeys, APM, and ping. It’s always a frantic push to get units out as fast as you can and run through resources like a madman, because that is how you win in current RTSs
Turn based games, on the other hand, have a much higher twitch handicap built in. Regardless of how long the actual “turn” takes or if there is some sort of time limit, it is still nice to be able to take stock out of things outside of the heat of battle. You can develop elaborate gambits, ruses, and assaults the likes of which are rarely seen in anything but the top RTS matches. In a random online SC pickup game, the most I can ever hope to see out of the other side is at most a three pronged assault. That’s the most I can pull off too, because my brain is not running on hydrogen fusion.
How many times have you seen a crucial game lost just because of a single missed or delayed click?
That’s why I think most strategy games should have a pause function. It doesn’t have to be a very long pause or anything. Maybe just 20 seconds on each side and you would have a limited amount of these “time-outs” you can call in a single session.
That way, people who like strategy gaming, but don’t like the twitch fest of titles on offer, (I’m looking at you civ fans) could maybe get a game in edgewise have a more active online gaming experience.
Agree? Disagree? Think I should go break myself off a switch?