C|Net Red Alert "review" bogus!

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Eric Neuman

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Nov 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/13/96
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I just wanted to voice a particular rant I have with the folks over at
C|Net gamecenter (now at gamecenter.com). Looking through their site the
other day, I was surprised to find that they had already posted a review
of Red Alert. Eh? If I'm not mistaken, the game hasn't even been
released yet!

If it was a decent review, I wouldn't have as much of a reason to complain
(even if it was reviewed a little prematurely). However, after reading
the article, and based on what I know about the game, it is painfully
obvious that the reveiw was based ona earlier, BETA version of the game.
One particular example of this is the mention of no "fog of war" effect,
even though we all know that radar-jamming planes and other, more advanced
forms of fog-of-war do in fact exist in the game.

It was also particularly interesting that the review did not ONCE mention
or review the multiplayer aspects of the game - even though we all know
this is the most important and crucial part of the game. It wasn't even
mentioned that the game could be played over the Internet!

Folks, we have to take a stand against poor journalism such as this.
Reviewing (and RATING, so less) a beta version of a game does not qualify
as proper journalism, and we need to take a stand against this. Please
carefully read the article in question at http://www.gamecenter.com and
then send a polite, but firm, e-mail message to gam...@gamecenter.com
informing him of your dissatisfaction with this article, and the practice
in general of reviewing beta versions. There will be plenty of good
reviews written, but this won't be one of them.
--
_________________________________________________________________________
Eric J. Neuman - WWW Developer ene...@nwnexus.com
Northwest Nexus - Professional Internet Services (206) 455-3505
Bellevue, Washington, USA http://www.nwnexus.com/

Ichabod Kagass

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Nov 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/13/96
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Eric,

If I may address a couple of points you've raised RE: my
coverage of Red Alert for c|net --

Firstly, it was based on a "reviewable beta" (Westwood's term,
not mine) that was pressed on November 6, a few days before the final
went into duplication. I had my reservations about calling this
coverage a "review", but c|net and Westwood seemed to think it was
appropriate. You take issue with this being a legitimate review for
the following reasons:

>One particular example of this is the mention of no "fog of war" effect,
>even though we all know that radar-jamming planes and other, more advanced
>forms of fog-of-war do in fact exist in the game.

Unlike Warcraft 2, which makes a distinction between areas
that have been explored and areas that are currently under
observation, Red Alert only has covered or uncovered terrain. The fact
that late in the game Gap Generators and MRJ's can cover explored
terrain doesn't strike me as a "more advanced form of fog-of-war".
BTW, there are no radar jamming planes, only radar jamming ground
units.



>It was also particularly interesting that the review did not ONCE mention
>or review the multiplayer aspects of the game - even though we all know
>this is the most important and crucial part of the game. It wasn't even
>mentioned that the game could be played over the Internet!

Since no one else had a copy of the game yet, it goes without
saying that I was unable to try the multiplayer capability, and
therefore, unable to comment on it. In fact, being limited to ca. 1200
words, there were a number of things about Red Alert that I was unable
to comment on. (You will note, however, that my disappointment with
the lack of "fog-of-war" is because this is crucial to multiplayer
games).



>Folks, we have to take a stand against poor journalism such as this.
>Reviewing (and RATING, so less) a beta version of a game does not qualify
>as proper journalism, and we need to take a stand against this.

Look, Eric, there's a big difference between a website
reviewing a final beta and a print magazine covering a beta months
before the game goes into duplication. The lag time required for print
reviews is extreme, so they'll take greater chances and they're more
liable to get burned doing this. But what we have here is c|net taking
advantage of how quickly they can get editorial content online. I can
guarantee you that print magazines and web sites write reviews from
"reviewable" betas all the time.

I seriously doubt there are any apparent differences between
the two CD's sitting on my desk now and the two CD's that you will
bring home from the store in a week or so. I agree with you that betas
should not be reviewed in the early stages of their development. But
if a game company releases to the press something they've deemed
*reviewable*, and if a web site can put its coverage online quickly,
then no disservice has been done to the customers and the readers.

Regards,

-Tom Chick

HiFi

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Nov 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/13/96
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I like C|Net a lot! But... I agree that their game reviews are TERRIBLE!
It's the one things I never take without heavy doses of salt. Their
review of Fast Attack and Silent Hunter was especially bad. I sent them
some mail about that and they responded that they had received a lot of
criticism about that review. So... You are right... everyone should let
them know that we gamers are not stupid and to raise their standards for
game reviews. Using real gamers would help.


steve b./cg strategy plus

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Nov 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/13/96
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In article <56be1p$3...@news1.halcyon.com>, ene...@coho.halcyon.com
says...

> It was also particularly interesting that the review did not ONCE mention
> or review the multiplayer aspects of the game - even though we all know
> this is the most important and crucial part of the game. It wasn't even
> mentioned that the game could be played over the Internet!

This is actually the biggest problem that reviews, both online and
magazine, face. If we (being print magazines) waited to review games when
enough people had them in order to try multiplayer, we'd see reviews even
later than we already do. We can *occasionally* try them on our in-house
network, but often we're not given more than one copy of a game, and we
don't normally dupe CDs in-house.

Online publications obviously have an enormous advantage, because they
can still review something boxed, try out all aspects of multiplayer with
others on the net, and only be maybe a week or month later than the
game's release. A magazine would suddenly be three months late.

Companies often send us "gold masters" (ie 1.0 versions that are dupes of
the versions sent off to duplicaters) and photocopied manuals so we can
meet deadlines.

For example, I have, in my grubby little hands, a late beta of SkyNet,
but I've been unable to test multiplayer. However, this game is marketed
as a heavy multiplayer game, so we've held the review for a month to test
that. However, it'll appear in our FEBRUARY issue, where it'll come so
late that it's unlikely to have any impact, positive or negative, on
sales.

--
--------------------------------------------------------------
| Steve Bauman | sp...@together.net |
| Managing Editor | sba...@cdmag.com |
| Computer Games Strategy Plus| 2 millet st. |
| www.cdmag.com | richmond, vt 05477 |
--------------------------------------------------------------

Ichabod Kagass

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Nov 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/13/96
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On 13 Nov 1996 17:14:56 GMT, Hi...@Worldnet.att.net (HiFi) wrote:

>I like C|Net a lot! But... I agree that their game reviews are TERRIBLE!
>It's the one things I never take without heavy doses of salt.

Mr. HiFi,

You should keep in mind that there is really no such
monolithic creature as a "c|net review". As with any publication, they
are a collection of writers, and I think that c|net's writers are
particularly eclectic. As you probably do, I think that certain
writers' reviews are terrible and other writers' reviews are good.

For example, here in Los Angeles, the Times has a handful of
movie reviewers. Over time, I've learned to trust Reviewer A and not
to trust Reviewer B, but I can by no means make a blanket statement
about the Los Angeles Times' movie reviews.

The same is true with game reviews for websites and magazines.
Keep up with them long enough to learn who to trust and who to
dismiss.


-Tom Chick

Drew Fudenberg

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Nov 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/13/96
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steve b./cg strategy plus wrote:
...

>
> Online publications obviously have an enormous advantage, because they
> can still review something boxed, try out all aspects of multiplayer with
> others on the net, and only be maybe a week or month later than the
> game's release. A magazine would suddenly be three months late.
> It seems to me that computer game magazines are an obvious candidate to be early adopters/converts
to electronic publishing: like newsmagazines, your content is highly time-sensitive, unlike them,
your readership is small enough that you don't get the same economies in print publication and distribution.
Also, I'd guess that a higher-than- usual percentage of your readers are on-line.
Have you people started serious discussions about ways to charge readers for electronic content?
I for one would be happy to pay -more- for an electronic journal
with the same content as in a print mag, but a month or two earlier.

Drew Fudenberg
email: fude...@fas.harvard.edu
http://fudenberg.fas.harvard.edu

Robin G. Kim

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Nov 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/13/96
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Ichabod Kagass <kag...@primenet.com> wrote:
>>Reviewing (and RATING, so less) a beta version of a game does not qualify
>>as proper journalism, and we need to take a stand against this.
[...]

>I can
>guarantee you that print magazines and web sites write reviews from
>"reviewable" betas all the time.

As has been beaten to death in other threads, not all print magazines
do this. Computer Gaming World definitely does not, and I'm pretty
sure Computer Games Strategy Plus doesn't either.

> I seriously doubt there are any apparent differences between
>the two CD's sitting on my desk now and the two CD's that you will
>bring home from the store in a week or so. I agree with you that betas
>should not be reviewed in the early stages of their development. But
>if a game company releases to the press something they've deemed
>*reviewable*, and if a web site can put its coverage online quickly,
>then no disservice has been done to the customers and the readers.

As long as it's made clear in the review that it was not the final version,
I agree completely.

Rob
opu...@lucent.com

Cereal

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Nov 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/14/96
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>Have you people started serious discussions about ways to charge readers for electronic content?
>I for one would be happy to pay -more- for an electronic journal
>with the same content as in a print mag, but a month or two earlier.
>
>Drew Fudenberg
>email: fude...@fas.harvard.edu
>http://fudenberg.fas.harvard.edu


I would pay for an on-line magazine, if it came down to waiting for 20
banners to load everytime I click a link or paying. But I would expect
a little more from some of the on-line mags if I had to pay,
expecially since I am paying for internet access. I know some of
Europe pays a lot more than I (I'm in the US) do for access and local
phone charges. And maybe when we get blazing fast modems we can
download those 70 meg+ demos that are on the CD that comes with some
of the off-line magazine. Even if it we did have to pay, It would not
work out. There would be a few people paying and the rest reading what
the mag said here, on the newsgroup (wasn't the HappyPuppy preview of
MOO2 posted here?). I would probably pay, if I trusted the editors and
the mag was more devoted to strategy than some of the mags out there.
But I hope it never comes to the point that we have to pay, this is
the land of Shareware and Freeware.

===========================================
http://www.gulftel.com/~guitar/
-------------------------------------------
my site is being updated! Hopefully by the
end of the week, all new stuff will be
added,Including a new design!
===========================================

Andy Stiff

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Nov 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/14/96
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In article <3289bbdc...@news.primenet.com>, kag...@primenet.com wrote:
>Eric,
>
> If I may address a couple of points you've raised RE: my
>coverage of Red Alert for c|net --
>

Tom, hope you're enjoying the game as much as we hope to (drool). The only
thing I found a little weird in your review is your love of the WC2 interface
over C&C. Only having 9 units selected at a time and not being able to assign
them to a hot-key (as in C&C) made the interface very hard to use IMHO. Also,
no matter what spec. system I've played it on C&C's scrolling and animation
have always out-done WC2.

And why did Blizzard put in the option of using a C&C like point and
move/attack interface? Maybe because it's easier to use and does the same
thing. I know it's 'different strokes' but I've never heard anyone prefer the
WC2 interface over C&C and wonder what's you think's so great about it.

I agree that the fog-o-war is cool and makes things alot more interesting in
multi-player, it does seem strange that WW have left it out. Anyway, lookin'
forward to next week (or whenever :-))

Catchya,
Andy.

JEB

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Nov 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/14/96
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Drew Fudenberg wrote:
>
> Have you people started serious discussions about ways to charge readers for electronic content?
> I for one would be happy to pay -more- for an electronic journal
> with the same content as in a print mag, but a month or two earlier.
>
> Drew Fudenberg
> email: fude...@fas.harvard.edu
> http://fudenberg.fas.harvard.edu

Drew, agree totally. I've stopped purchasing any of the mags on the
stand because they are usually 2 months behind the "news". I'd like to
see a current electronic "mag" that was able to give us the developments
and review as soon as they get the demos/betas/release versions. That
way we would have some of the "expert" opinions prior to making a
purchase and we would not have to depend entirely on our peers notes
here for reviews. It would cause me to consider both, whereas I now have
to rely exclusively on the notes in places like this for buying
decisions.
Once in awhile a "mag" review, seen later, after the release will cause
me to reconsider a "no buy" decision based on the notes and I've been
pleased with what I found. So it would be good if we could get the
electronic news current.
Put me down as a potential subscriber for such a timely service.

JEB

Alan Dunkin

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Nov 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/14/96
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JEB (oz...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
: Drew, agree totally. I've stopped purchasing any of the mags on the

: stand because they are usually 2 months behind the "news". I'd like to
: see a current electronic "mag" that was able to give us the developments
: and review as soon as they get the demos/betas/release versions. That
: way we would have some of the "expert" opinions prior to making a
: purchase and we would not have to depend entirely on our peers notes
: here for reviews. It would cause me to consider both, whereas I now have
: to rely exclusively on the notes in places like this for buying
: decisions.

Well, I would like to point out that we are trying to do so, and hopefully
the results within the next month or so will become even more pronounced
and we'll become *the* place to visit for pretty much anything related to
computer gaming :)

If you have suggestions or advice, please send it along.

--
Alan Dunkin, Executive Editor News/Strategy, Online Gaming Review (www.ogr.com)
Contributing Writer, Dallas Morning News; Warbirds - Black Sheep: Alan (-avd)

Drew Fudenberg

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Nov 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/14/96
to Alan Dunkin

Alan Dunkin wrote:
>
>
> If you have suggestions or advice, please send it along.
>
Alan, do you think you can get enough revenue from advertisers alone to
let you be fully competetive with the print mags?
FWIW, while I like OGR a lot, I don't see it as there yet-
coverage is very sketchy in too many areas.

--

Ichabod Kagass

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Nov 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/14/96
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On Thu, 14 Nov 96 06:58:08 GMT, ast...@cmutual.com.au (Andy Stiff)
wrote:

>The only
>thing I found a little weird in your review is your love of the WC2 interface
>over C&C.

Andy,

It's been a while since I've played Warcraft 2, but the
following points come to mind in my preference for the WC2 interface
over the C&C/RA interface:

* In WC2, you never had to scroll down lists. Everything was
immediately present onscreen: stats, health meters, and action icons.

* To build a structure, click on the building unit. To build a unit,
click on the building structure. It's all very self-containted and
immediate.

* Because WC2 units are larger and the tile positions are clearer,
it's easy to select units, each of which appears as a distinct entity
(as opposed to the swarms in C&C/RA).

* Because "swarms" aren't as common in WC2, the 9 unit limit isn't too
annoying (it would be a major inconvenience in C&C/RA, where masses of
infanty play an important part in attacks).

* The team hot-key assignments are *great* in RA. But didn't WC2 have
an option to keep units into groups, selecting the entire group by
clicking on one unit? Didn't it also have options for assigning units
escort other units? And couldn't you effective work around the 9 unit
limit this way? (I may be wrong here; it's been a while).

* In short, WC2's interface is far more *intuitive* that C&C/RA.

>And why did Blizzard put in the option of using a C&C like point and
>move/attack interface? Maybe because it's easier to use and does the same
>thing.

This is a prime example of why I prefer WC2's interface: they
even offer the player a *choice*, something not available in C&C/RA!

I don't want to start a pointless C&C/RA vs. WC2 thread (I
suspect those things can bloom like flowers in a spring rain), but, as
you read, I feel strongly that RA's interface wasn't as good as WC2's.
RA's interface was oodles better than C&C's, but it was still ungainly
and something of a shortcoming for me. You'll get to decide for
yourself soon enough, I suppose. I look forward to hearing what you
think.

-Tom

Cereal

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Nov 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/14/96
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On 13 Nov 1996 17:14:56 GMT, Hi...@Worldnet.att.net (HiFi) wrote:

>I like C|Net a lot! But... I agree that their game reviews are TERRIBLE!

>It's the one things I never take without heavy doses of salt. Their
>review of Fast Attack and Silent Hunter was especially bad. I sent them
>some mail about that and they responded that they had received a lot of
>criticism about that review. So... You are right... everyone should let
>them know that we gamers are not stupid and to raise their standards for
>game reviews. Using real gamers would help.
>


I have to agree. Their MOO2 preview came out very late and had no new
information. Even though Happy Puppy released theirs late (later than
C|Net's) the writer (what was his name?) put a lot of effort into it
and had a great amount of detail. But C|Net seemed to be regurgitating
some of the that was in the Strategy+ preview (that came out in May or
March I think). Another problem I have is that C|net has a very small
amount of strategy reviews (Other than chess games. which I don't
really consider stategy). By the way, If you have not heard C|Net's
Gamecenter has its own site now (at http://www.gamecenter.com). It is
the same stuff though.

DeepT

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Nov 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/15/96
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In article <56be1p$3...@news1.halcyon.com>, ene...@coho.halcyon.com says...
>
>I just wanted to voice a particular rant I have with the folks over at
>C|Net gamecenter (now at gamecenter.com). Looking through their site the
>other day, I was surprised to find that they had already posted a review
>of Red Alert. Eh? If I'm not mistaken, the game hasn't even been
>released yet!
Much text cut out.


>Folks, we have to take a stand against poor journalism such as this.

>Reviewing (and RATING, so less) a beta version of a game does not qualify

>as proper journalism, and we need to take a stand against this. Please
>carefully read the article in question at http://www.gamecenter.com and
>then send a polite, but firm, e-mail message to gam...@gamecenter.com
>informing him of your dissatisfaction with this article, and the practice
>in general of reviewing beta versions. There will be plenty of good
>reviews written, but this won't be one of them.
>--
>_________________________________________________________________________
>Eric J. Neuman - WWW Developer ene...@nwnexus.com
>Northwest Nexus - Professional Internet Services (206) 455-3505
>Bellevue, Washington, USA http://www.nwnexus.com/

My miff with them is when they reviewd windows 95. The inital review was
actually quite bad. It stated there were lots of bugs, that a lot of nice
features proimsed were not in it, and how much of a cpu and memory hog it was
and all that. Basically it was not a nice review, however at the end, where
they say should you buy it, they gave it a MUST HAVE rating. Whats the deal
here? I know from a standpoint that MS operating systems are about the only
reasonable choices, ( Yea, I know about OS/2 and Linux) because of general
support and so they really are a must have, why not stick with thier review
and say that yea you should get it for compatibility reasons, but microsoft
really laid a rotten egg here. Where is there guts now a days?
Even in game magazines, they totally overate games. I think ratings
are bought, not given.

De...@magicnet.net


Dave Best

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Nov 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/15/96
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kag...@primenet.com (Ichabod Kagass) writes:

>* The team hot-key assignments are *great* in RA. But didn't WC2 have
>an option to keep units into groups, selecting the entire group by
>clicking on one unit? Didn't it also have options for assigning units
>escort other units? And couldn't you effective work around the 9 unit
>limit this way? (I may be wrong here; it's been a while).


The only thing I didn't like about the WarCraft interface was that
you couldn't bind groups to keys. It's annoying trying to find the group you
want and then point for it to go somewhere. In C&C alot of times I used the
miniture map, having keys assigned to groups of men made tactics _ALOT_ easier.

Personally I like both of the interfaces. I have never had a problem
with C&C's and find it alot easier to control my units as compared to Warcraft.

L8r.

Dave
--
| email : dav...@cs.mun.ca TIP#309 | "Thanks to the remote control, I have |
| http://www.cs.mun.ca/~davidb | the attention span of a gerbil." |
| | -Author Unknown |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dean

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Nov 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/15/96
to

In article <56ep90$p...@cdc2.cdc.net>, al...@cdc.net spat out...

>: purchase and we would not have to depend entirely on our peers notes
>: here for reviews. It would cause me to consider both, whereas I now have
>: to rely exclusively on the notes in places like this for buying
>: decisions.
>
>Well, I would like to point out that we are trying to do so, and hopefully
>the results within the next month or so will become even more pronounced
>and we'll become *the* place to visit for pretty much anything related to
>computer gaming :)

It's the first stop I make on my daily 'net rounds...

--
Dean Robb
PC-Easy, (757) 495-EASY
On-site computer services and consulting
pce...@Norfolk.infi.net


Hugh T Ha

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Nov 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/15/96
to

Ichabod Kagass wrote:

> * In WC2, you never had to scroll down lists. Everything was
> immediately present onscreen: stats, health meters, and action icons.

> * To build a structure, click on the building unit. To build a unit,
> click on the building structure. It's all very self-containted and
> immediate.

No..., you have to click build (or type), and then select the type, and then
the building....? right?

> * Because WC2 units are larger and the tile positions are clearer,
> it's easy to select units, each of which appears as a distinct entity
> (as opposed to the swarms in C&C/RA).

That's bull. Let's say you want to select a few units that are inside a
larger group. This is exceedingly difficult in War2 because if your
drawn box enters the "tile position" of a unit, then that unit will be
selected, so you have to be extra careful. In C&C, this doesn't happen.
In order for a unit to be selected, you have to box a large part of the unit.
I think the passing point is the center of the unit. Once that point is
passed, the unit is selected.

>
> * Because "swarms" aren't as common in WC2, the 9 unit limit isn't too
> annoying (it would be a major inconvenience in C&C/RA, where masses of
> infanty play an important part in attacks).

Nope. It depends on your style of play. The expert players don't need to
use that many units. I guess you're an expert WC2 player and a crappy
C&C player.

>
> * The team hot-key assignments are *great* in RA. But didn't WC2 have
> an option to keep units into groups, selecting the entire group by
> clicking on one unit? Didn't it also have options for assigning units
> escort other units? And couldn't you effective work around the 9 unit
> limit this way? (I may be wrong here; it's been a while).

What do you mean by team hot-key? C&C already has number assignments
to teams. You can work around the 9-unit limit, but not effectively.

> * In short, WC2's interface is far more *intuitive* that C&C/RA.

When I played WC2, I saw a lot of the Dune2 interface in it. I disagree.

> >And why did Blizzard put in the option of using a C&C like point and
> >move/attack interface? Maybe because it's easier to use and does the same
> >thing.
>
> This is a prime example of why I prefer WC2's interface: they
> even offer the player a *choice*, something not available in C&C/RA!

I can't say anything about Red Alert, but for C&C ...
SIMPLER = better. the end.

> I don't want to start a pointless C&C/RA vs. WC2 thread (I
> suspect those things can bloom like flowers in a spring rain), but, as
> you read, I feel strongly that RA's interface wasn't as good as WC2's.
> RA's interface was oodles better than C&C's, but it was still ungainly
> and something of a shortcoming for me. You'll get to decide for
> yourself soon enough, I suppose. I look forward to hearing what you
> think.

and War2 is still painfully boring to play. But opinions are just opinions,
nothing to die over.

-Hugh

James Doles

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Nov 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/15/96
to

tow...@atcon.com (Jason Townsend) wrote:


>Yeah!!!
>C&C vs. WC2 rides again!
>Once more unto the breach!

>Ok. C&C is better because:

>1: You can assign groups that are EASY to get back. Take Orcas. There is
>a nuke coming at your orca pads. In a WC2 interface, you'd lose at least
>1 orca, if you have lightning reflexes and a screen memory set at the
>orca pads. In C&C you press [1] and click. 10 units take off.

(psst.!!) lemme tell ya a secret... THERE ARE NO NUKES IN WC2!!!!!

>2. Unit numbers - C&C is just plain cooler because a good size army is 20
>minigunners, 10 bazookamen and 10 grenediers, with supporting tanks. In
>WC2 a good army is 9 archers and 9 knights, and maybe 1 mage. C&C has
>huge hoards that remain managable. The C&C infantry hoard is a lot easier
>to control than the little WC2 rabble.

yes, that is true, partly because of the ability to select all onscreen units, but mostly because C&C's units
(especially inf. grunts) are so much smaller. This allows movement to be simplified (many more units fit in gaps, which
happen to be bigger on C&C's sparse landscape [the gaps, that is] ). Another thing about control is that C&C needs less
micromanagement. You only need to get minigunners near to the enemy to concentrate fire, but in WC2 you have to work to
get concentration of 'firepower', making 2on1 or 3on1 situations. It's also much harder to plug up holes. in the line
(which is one of the reasons I think WC2 units need more hitpoints.

>3. C&C has relevant air units. Dragons are lame, and blimps moreso. An
>archer swarm makes pathetic work of either, and even when they are
>effective, they just seem cheap and un-fun. Orcas, Apaches and Chinooks
>are cool, fast, and signifigant (Ok, the chinook can be limited in intense
>fighting...)

Dragons do suck (except when hasted and bludlusted). and blimps are lame if you play w/ fog off. this is another thing
that westwood did to shoot themselves in the foot (if on a small scale). I heard of War2's Fog of War before I heard of
Command and Conquer. Maybe westwood didn't want to wait to program Fog of War into the engine. that is ok, but now I
hear that Red Alert is only going to have the darkness recede in if you don't visit an area after a while.

>4. Unit parity (Sucks). I really can't believe some people like this.
>It makes WC2's sides utterly pointless. It might as well be called WC:
>Orcs and Nice Orcs. C&C took the risk of imbalance and is really dynamic.
>Fans STILL argue about which side is better.

Yeah, that really sucks. War2 really should have had bigger selection of units, even if it was a bunch of melee units
that are just a little more expensive and a little more powerful.
>Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.
>---------------------Jason Townsend tow...@atcon.com

essintially, C&C's interface wouldn't work in War2, and vica versa. (only consturx yard builds stuff, no peons; and no
units that have magic).

James Doles

unread,
Nov 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/15/96
to

let me jump into this quickie likie

>C&C Buildings:
>Press icon on sidebar, wait until complete, press icon again, place.

>C&C Units:
>Press icon on sidebar, possibly double click building to specify destination.

above is true

>WC2 Buildings:
>You select a peon, click build, click building, click on where you want it.

You select a peon, hit 'b', hit letter of building (f for farm, b for barrax, l for lumber mill, etc.) click where you
want it.

>WC2 Units:
>Click building, select unit to build.

or hit the button (o for ogre, a for archer, etc.)

>The strengths and weaknesses of each is obvious to all. Both works well.
>I prefer WC2 building construction and C&C unit construction.
>(But C&C unit construction in WC2 would have been a mistake.).

question of C&C unit construction, can having 2 barrax increase speed of getting unit?

David Thompson

unread,
Nov 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/16/96
to

Christ, I'd rather he keep it sketchy and free (though I find OGR
to be as comprehensive as anything out there) than start charging for
it. A web site that charges is a site I'll never use, regardless of
content. Information can always be found online, and if I have to dig
some more to find it, so be it.
Sometimes I think everyone in these comp.sys.* channels has money
to burn. Newsflash, people...some of us can barely pay for our ISP
connection.
I hope that Mr. Dunkin (or whoever runs OGR now) isn't planning
on charging for access to the news on his web site. You guys are the
best on the block right now, but once you start asking for credit card
numbers I'll have to find a new source of information.
I can't believe people here are encouraging the conversion of web
sites into paid services....

<apologies if this is repeated, not sure if the server aborted last
time or not>


St Erroneous

unread,
Nov 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/16/96
to

[Warning, relatively rational Warcraft2 V C&C interface/graphics
discussion approaching...]

>kag...@primenet.com (Ichabod Kagass) writes:

>>* The team hot-key assignments are *great* in RA. But didn't WC2 have
>>an option to keep units into groups, selecting the entire group by
>>clicking on one unit? Didn't it also have options for assigning units
>>escort other units? And couldn't you effective work around the 9 unit
>>limit this way? (I may be wrong here; it's been a while).

It did yes, but you had to hold down alt and click on a unit from the
group, rather than simply hitting a number key which, in the heat of
conflict, I found simpler. In C&C it also wasn't required to _scroll_
to find the group you wanted to select to order it to a new position.

The C|Net Red Alert beta review made a number of good points, the main
being that it was relatively easy to loose loose units in the clutter of
a battle - ie the infantry are too small. I rather liked the C&C
tiny infantry, but can see why War2's standard-size units were easier
to click on. On a RA 640x480 map with units occupying a quarter of the
screen space they did in C&C squinting and precision mouse-control will
be probably be needed.

Either that or a good 17" monitor. :)

A minor personal nitpick was that War2's slowest game speed setting was
also a little fast for my taste, and its fastest not fast enough. This
resulted in War2's mass-infantry melee's being pretty much as tricky to
control as C&C's since I couldn't move my mouse fast enough to
micromanage War2 combat properly.

War2's keyboard shortcuts were excellent, and ordering peasants to
build stuff became extremely quick once the hot-keys were learnt. The
peasant v. conyard building style was also pretty nifty game-style
difference.

The variable meaning of War2's right mouse button - it was an
intelligent cursor, until you issued a specific order when it became
a cancel - was mildly confusing initially, and seemed to cause those
of my friends who were only casual War2 players considerable annoyance.

War2 had a distinct graphical advantage in being in SVGA, with the
gorgeous sharpness that the resolution gave, yet I still find myself
preferring C&C's actual unit graphics and animations. Although they
do seem to put considerably more load on the machine C&C's (and hence
presumably Red Alert's) animation were considerably superior to War2s.

For example both games had large slow-to-respond units - compare
the Orc Juggernaut with GDI's Mammoth tank. When you order the
Mammoth to do something it starts rotating-to-face immediately,
while the Juggernaut, which seems to have no "turning to face"
animation, just sits there for a comparable time until it suddenly
faced the correct direction.

It's a minor point, but the C&C units (especially the slower ones)
on the whole seemed more "responsive" to commands. They weren't
doing anything that the War2 units weren't, but the visual feedback
they give is useful.

The C&C animation engine was also more sophisticated - they had
implemented turrets. The machine gun on the top of a humvee tracked
the assigned target independantly, as did weapons on several other
units. War2 did not do this. This added little to the game-play,
of course, since to keep things simple they chose not to implement
multi-weapon units: the Mammoth being the sole and badly-done
exception iirc.

Essentially War2's graphics was a set of very well-designed artwork,
running at a good resolution, with a competent graphics engine, while
C&C had reasonable artwork (I prefer C&C's style, others didn't)
running at a _stupidly_ low and fuzzy resolution with a seemingly
more sophisticated graphics engine.

War2, imo, was the far more polished product (AI, single player modes,
map designer), with C&C lacking several important elements (AI, single
player non-campaign modes, map designer).

Personally I enjoyed C&C more than War2 - C&C's videos and unit
animations made me feel more immersed in the game - but on a more
objective viewpoint I do think that War2 trumped it in all but a
couple of areas.

It may just come down to a personal preferance for C&C's tanks
and rocket-launchers over War2's fantasy theme.

I'm glad, though, that Westwood havn't just slavishly copied
Warcraft2's interface for Red Alert - diversity can only be good for
future games, and provoke manufacturers to invent new ways of
designing the player/game intereface.

Aside: The hints at the end of the Red Alert beta review on C|Net
state that it is possible to build sandbags towards your opponent
and build barracks etc off the sandbags. I thought they'd changed
the rules to make building normal buildings off sandbags impossible,
making the "spider base" strategy more difficult (but still doable).

I'll be really upset if you can still sandbag your way to your
opponents base and drop down guard tower analogues.

Also - the review stated that the map, once exposed, remains exposed
for the full game. I thought that shroud regrowth was a togglable
option, so that over time areas of the map you had not visited for
a long period would once again be covered by the map?

Can anyone who's actually played/seen a RA beta confirm or deny these
two points?

I wonder if the ore you mine "regrows" in some way, or whether the
areas you mine never run out of resources. If there's a finite amount
of ore on the map than that could cause some problems for long games
with large numbers of players.

Imho Westwood should have implemented a second fog-of-war option, so
that in addition to the landscape became progressively conceiled it
was covered by an optional War2-like fog. Perhaps they thought this
was getting too involved.

From the feature-list and various previews, it does seem as if
RA has answered most of the failings pointed out by Warcraft2.
The resolution and AI seem to have been "fixed", and the waypointing
and formation movement-options have hopefully given Blizzard
something to respond to in Starcraft.

Imagine - being able to move a carefully arranged formation of
rocket launchers and tanks forwards, without the faster units
running ahead of the slow ones.

*sigh happily*

Lots of hypotheticals.

I'm prepared to lay bets that the major problem with Red alert will
be that the new larger maps arn't big enough. They've only got
just over twice the available area as C&C had - still
significantly less than Warcraft's largest size. :)

"Only" a week or two left to wait, assuming Westwood don't find
another bug and have to remaster yet again.

Anyone know any details about the game manufacturing process? How
long does it normally take for a game to get into a distributor's
hands once the master copy is at the factory?

Sorry for the long post and the spelling errors,

-michael (mainly)
--
St michael (mainly) Erroneous http://goliath.mersinet.co.uk/~ishamael/
email: isha...@mersinet.co.uk goth.codev2.5a GoPS3??10 TJtIn cDBRs3 PLENi
M3wp1D ZGoiTeiIpp C8o a22= b55 H181 g4T w5 r3E s0k3 Rn SsWy N1092 LukEN

steve b./cg splus

unread,
Nov 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/16/96
to

In article <56h2bt$mbb$1...@comet3.magicnet.net>, De...@magicnet.net
spewed...
: Even in game magazines, they totally overate games. I think ratings
:are bought, not given.

God, I wish that was true. I need a new car.

--
-------------------------------------------------
steve bauman | 2 millet st.
managing editor | richmond, vt 05477
computer games strategy plus | www.cdmag.com

Kevin Scott Mcguire

unread,
Nov 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/17/96
to

St Erroneous (isha...@goliath.mersinet.co.uk) wrote:
: A minor personal nitpick was that War2's slowest game speed setting was

: also a little fast for my taste, and its fastest not fast enough. This
: resulted in War2's mass-infantry melee's being pretty much as tricky to
: control as C&C's since I couldn't move my mouse fast enough to
: micromanage War2 combat properly.

This was my experience also.

: For example both games had large slow-to-respond units - compare


: the Orc Juggernaut with GDI's Mammoth tank. When you order the
: Mammoth to do something it starts rotating-to-face immediately,
: while the Juggernaut, which seems to have no "turning to face"
: animation, just sits there for a comparable time until it suddenly
: faced the correct direction.

Excellent point here.

: War2, imo, was the far more polished product (AI, single player modes,


: map designer), with C&C lacking several important elements (AI, single
: player non-campaign modes, map designer).

Here's where I differ - I thought Warcraft's AI was just plain dumb.
While C&C's AI was not exactly rocket science, as long as you didnt
intentionally exploit its stupidity, it played a reasonable game - I
didn't find War2's AI at all challenging - it seemed that the scenarios
were more dependent on overwhelming odds against you than C&C's were.

Cheers,

Kevin

Jason Townsend

unread,
Nov 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/17/96
to

Yeah!!!
C&C vs. WC2 rides again!
Once more unto the breach!

Ok. C&C is better because:

1: You can assign groups that are EASY to get back. Take Orcas. There is
a nuke coming at your orca pads. In a WC2 interface, you'd lose at least
1 orca, if you have lightning reflexes and a screen memory set at the
orca pads. In C&C you press [1] and click. 10 units take off.

2. Unit numbers - C&C is just plain cooler because a good size army is 20

minigunners, 10 bazookamen and 10 grenediers, with supporting tanks. In
WC2 a good army is 9 archers and 9 knights, and maybe 1 mage. C&C has
huge hoards that remain managable. The C&C infantry hoard is a lot easier
to control than the little WC2 rabble.

3. C&C has relevant air units. Dragons are lame, and blimps moreso. An

archer swarm makes pathetic work of either, and even when they are
effective, they just seem cheap and un-fun. Orcas, Apaches and Chinooks
are cool, fast, and signifigant (Ok, the chinook can be limited in intense
fighting...)

4. Unit parity (Sucks). I really can't believe some people like this.

It makes WC2's sides utterly pointless. It might as well be called WC:
Orcs and Nice Orcs. C&C took the risk of imbalance and is really dynamic.
Fans STILL argue about which side is better.

--

Craig S Dohmen

unread,
Nov 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/17/96
to

In article <56l8p0$k...@server3.mersinet.co.uk>,

St Erroneous <isha...@goliath.mersinet.co.uk> wrote:
>Aside: The hints at the end of the Red Alert beta review on C|Net
>state that it is possible to build sandbags towards your opponent
>and build barracks etc off the sandbags.
[ ... ]

>Also - the review stated that the map, once exposed, remains exposed
>for the full game.
[...]

>Can anyone who's actually played/seen a RA beta confirm or deny these
>two points?

When I played it back in August, you could NOT construct other buildings
off walls. The Westwood reps said that the shroud would regrow. I
never noticed it while I was playing, but maybe I was too busy getting
beat up by the computer. :)

--Craig

Rune Fostervoll

unread,
Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to


>> * To build a structure, click on the building unit. To build a unit,
>> click on the building structure. It's all very self-containted and
>> immediate.
>
>No..., you have to click build (or type), and then select the type, and then
>the building....? right?

C&C Buildings:


Press icon on sidebar, wait until complete, press icon again, place.

C&C Units:
Press icon on sidebar, possibly double click building to specify destination.

WC2 Buildings:


You select a peon, click build, click building, click on where you want it.

WC2 Units:


Click building, select unit to build.

The strengths and weaknesses of each is obvious to all. Both works well.


I prefer WC2 building construction and C&C unit construction.
(But C&C unit construction in WC2 would have been a mistake.).

>> * Because WC2 units are larger and the tile positions are clearer,


>> it's easy to select units, each of which appears as a distinct entity
>> (as opposed to the swarms in C&C/RA).
>
>That's bull. Let's say you want to select a few units that are inside a
>larger group. This is exceedingly difficult in War2 because if your
>drawn box enters the "tile position" of a unit, then that unit will be
>selected, so you have to be extra careful. In C&C, this doesn't happen.
>In order for a unit to be selected, you have to box a large part of the unit.
>I think the passing point is the center of the unit. Once that point is
>passed, the unit is selected.

Whatever. Use shift to build up your group instead, and click them
individually. That's not 'exceedingly difficult'.

>>>And why did Blizzard put in the option of using a C&C like point and
>>>move/attack interface? Maybe because it's easier to use and does the same
>>>thing.
>>
>> This is a prime example of why I prefer WC2's interface: they
>> even offer the player a *choice*, something not available in C&C/RA!
>
>I can't say anything about Red Alert, but for C&C ...
>SIMPLER = better. the end.

In WC2 you have both simplicity and options - far better. (Right clicking
is either move or fight (or mine or chop trees) like in C&C, while you also
have the option of patrols, escort and guard with the LMB/hot keys.

I played C&C a lot, and liked it. After that, I got WC2 and played that a lot,
and liked it. Returning to C&C not that long ago, I found the interface
comparatively awkward - far worse than I remembered it. It still is a very
good game, but Blizzard did a better job on the interface. WC2 is also a lot
newer - and Red Alert is newer than WC2. They should have managed to improve
on the design. But we'll all see, won't we?

--
Rune Fostervoll, run...@ifi.uio.no
----------------------------------
ADVICE, n. The smallest current coin.
-Ambrose Bierce

Don Bennett

unread,
Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to

do...@lee.1stnet.com (James Doles) writes:

>question of C&C unit construction, can having 2 barrax increase speed
>of getting unit?

Yes. You can build units twice as fast with two barracks, thrice as fast
with three barracks, etc.

Don
--
Programs: What software used to be, back when we knew how to write it.--------
-------------------------------Finger d...@tera.engr.mun.ca for PGP Public Key.
Don Bennett (TIP#318) C[ ]~~~ Electrical Engineering -- Class of '99
Email: d...@engr.mun.ca [_] Home page: http://www.engr.mun.ca/~don

Twin Ion Engine

unread,
Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to

In article <56o8gs$5...@charger.cse.psu.edu>, doh...@charger.cse.psu.edu (Craig S Dohmen) wrote:
>When I played it back in August, you could NOT construct other buildings
>off walls. The Westwood reps said that the shroud would regrow. I
>never noticed it while I was playing, but maybe I was too busy getting
>beat up by the computer. :)
>
>--Craig

What shroud? You mean the black thing that covered the map? I would hate it if
that is the case.

Also, do we still need to load units up one by one in an
APC/heli/water-transport?


Tim Chown

unread,
Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to

Robin G. Kim wrote:
>
> As long as it's made clear in the review that it was not the final version,
> I agree completely.

I don't know what C|Net do; at the GDR we try to list the
exact version used for review in the review header. If the
game is clearly not "reviewable" we shove it into the "preview"
class. Then of course there's a disparity between "rumour"
previews based on supposed facts and "firmer" previews based
on gold CD betas.

The "is it reviewable" question is tricky. If you wait until
you have a "shop ready" copy then you have an extra 2-3 week
delay in getting the review online (if you want it on quickly;
sometimes it's better to be slow and give it more time & depth).

To some extent you have to trust the publisher, but as long
as the reader knows exactly what is being reviewed, it's not
really a problem. Maybe the C|Net thing should have said
"final beta 6/11/96" somewehere more clearly, if it didn't.

The vast majority of GDR stuff is "shop ready" review material
sent to us by the publishers. By "shop ready" I mean as buyable
in the stores, with manual and full packaging.

cheers,
--
Tim Chown | http://www.gamesdomain.com/gdreview
stra...@gamesdomain.com | The site written by gamers for gamers

Tim Chown

unread,
Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to

Drew Fudenberg wrote:
>
> Alan, do you think you can get enough revenue from advertisers alone to
> let you be fully competetive with the print mags?
> FWIW, while I like OGR a lot, I don't see it as there yet-
> coverage is very sketchy in too many areas.

Obviously some sites have more financial interests than others.
HappyPuppy is advert-mad; if I'm going to wait on an image I'd
rather it be one related to a game I wanted to find out about
than an advert. The GDR has been able to avoid adverts by
being "under the wing" of the main GD. Of course people want
to use such places for adverts (and the GD has had numerous large
buyout offers). Some sites are run on very large sums from
venture capitalists, some are more "enthusiast" based.

We're very happy to be able to churn out 50 reviews a month
in all areas (including kids software) but if all our staff
were paid rather than volunteers then we'd not be a viable site.

Strategy Editor | The Games Domain Review

Tim Chown

unread,
Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to

steve b./cg strategy plus wrote:
>
> For example, I have, in my grubby little hands, a late beta of SkyNet,
> but I've been unable to test multiplayer. However, this game is marketed
> as a heavy multiplayer game, so we've held the review for a month to test
> that. However, it'll appear in our FEBRUARY issue, where it'll come so
> late that it's unlikely to have any impact, positive or negative, on
> sales.

True, and you're right of course - print isn't as flexible in
deadlines, which is probably why people get all the more suspicious
of printed "reviews" which they see before a game is released..

As for sales; sure the majority are in the first month or so,
and most companies write a game off 3 months into its lifetime..
However, there is a noticeable market and demand for lengthy
reviews of all games beyond the initial rush, and here the online
review site has a big plus in that it can offer a huge arsenal
of online reviews in one place.

The GDR has some 500-600 reviews (I'm told - there are 102 strategy
games alone covered as of today), and for a gamer browsing for
a title to buy, or checking if a new budget rerelease might be
worth having, the online site is very useful.

There is no substitute for demos on magazines - copying from CD is
so much easier than getting 10Mb down a phone line, and that's
where print wins. Reading print is also much easier when on the
train, in bed, etc :-)

Tim Chown

unread,
Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to

Alan Dunkin wrote:
>
> Well, I would like to point out that we are trying to do so, and hopefully
> the results within the next month or so will become even more pronounced
> and we'll become *the* place to visit for pretty much anything related to
> computer gaming :)

I think sites that claim to be *the* site, or the "#1 site" are
kidding themselves. Every site has its strengths and weaknesses,
and most readers will know where to look for what.

I admit quite happily to using OGR's downloads.html page a fair
bit to check for patches (a great page, though it is now getting
a bit toooo big :-)

Reviews are just opinions (which is why we don't give marks or
ratings at GDR) so the more opinions you read the more likely
you are to get the facts you want.

Paul Bannister

unread,
Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to

David Thompson (meph...@netcom.ca) wrote:
:
: Christ, I'd rather he keep it sketchy and free (though I find OGR

: to be as comprehensive as anything out there) than start charging for
: it. A web site that charges is a site I'll never use, regardless of
: content. Information can always be found online, and if I have to dig
: some more to find it, so be it.

Just to point out here, we have no plans to ever charge for access to OGR.
While we do plan to get more advertiser support, I'll be sure to keep one
of the main goals of the site (quick load times) in mind when accepting
any advertising or doing any graphical redesigning.

: Sometimes I think everyone in these comp.sys.* channels has money


: to burn. Newsflash, people...some of us can barely pay for our ISP
: connection.
: I hope that Mr. Dunkin (or whoever runs OGR now) isn't planning
: on charging for access to the news on his web site. You guys are the
: best on the block right now, but once you start asking for credit card
: numbers I'll have to find a new source of information.

Actually I run OGR and always have, although Alan is an integral part of
the team (probably the most integral). I'm just not as vocal in the
newsgroups as Alan:)

: I can't believe people here are encouraging the conversion of web
: sites into paid services....
:

A lot of people unfortunately don't want to see ads on web sites, which I
can somewhat understand, but we have bills to pay as well. But again, we
have no plans to ever charge for the content on OGR>

: On Thu, 14 Nov 1996 08:09:44 -0500, Drew Fudenberg


: <fude...@fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
: >Alan Dunkin wrote:
: >>
: >>
: >> If you have suggestions or advice, please send it along.

: >>
: >Alan, do you think you can get enough revenue from advertisers alone to


: >let you be fully competetive with the print mags?
: >FWIW, while I like OGR a lot, I don't see it as there yet-
: >coverage is very sketchy in too many areas.

: >
: >
: >--

: >Drew Fudenberg
: >email: fude...@fas.harvard.edu
: >http://fudenberg.fas.harvard.edu
:
: <apologies if this is repeated, not sure if the server aborted last
: time or not>

:

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Bannister http://www.ogr.com
Editor-in-Chief pa...@ogr.com
Computer & Net Player's Online Gaming Review The Best News and Reviews


Craig S Dohmen

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Nov 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/18/96
to

In article <32901...@206.152.61.33>,
Twin Ion Engine <tb...@valuserve.com> wrote:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Are you a bomber, an interceptor, a defender, an advanced, or just a
regular fighter. :)

>What shroud? You mean the black thing that covered the map? I would hate it if
>that is the case.

Yeah, the shroud is the unrevealed terrain. Supposedly, it will slowly creep
back from unexplored areas on the map.

>Also, do we still need to load units up one by one in an
>APC/heli/water-transport?

Nope. They still go in one at a time, but you only have to select a group
and click on the vehicle.

--Craig

Dan Zerkle

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
to

Twin Ion Engine (tb...@valuserve.com) wrote:

: What shroud? You mean the black thing that covered the map? I would hate it if
: that is the case.

Heh. You'd hate Warcraft 2. It has the Fog of War so that you
can't see enemy mobile units unless you have one of your own units
in visual range. You also can't see new enemy construction, although
you can see what their buildings looked like the last time you had a
unit near. This makes recon absolutely critical, and there are
buildings and units specifically designed for recon.

This is, of course, probably the best feature of the game,
and the reason that multi-player works better then on C&C.
--
Dan Zerkle zer...@cs.ucdavis.edu
GCS d(---)(!) p- c++ !l u++ e++(+++) m s++/-- !n h+(--) f g+++(-) w+ t+ r(-) y+
Stamp out Internet spam! See http://www.vix.com/spam/ to help.

St Erroneous

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Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
to

Kevin Scott Mcguire <kevi...@mail2.sas.upenn.edu> wrote:
>St Erroneous (isha...@goliath.mersinet.co.uk) wrote:
[Snip points of agreement]

>: War2, imo, was the far more polished product (AI, single player modes,


>: map designer), with C&C lacking several important elements (AI, single
>: player non-campaign modes, map designer).

>Here's where I differ - I thought Warcraft's AI was just plain dumb.

>While C&C's AI was not exactly rocket science, as long as you didnt
>intentionally exploit its stupidity, it played a reasonable game - I
>didn't find War2's AI at all challenging - it seemed that the scenarios
>were more dependent on overwhelming odds against you than C&C's were.

There were some things at which War2's AI was definitely better at.

(Too obvious to mention: base building)

Unit micromanagement:

If a Warcraft2 unit found itself amongst "overwhelming odds" it ran away.
Leading single ogre back to an archer-ambush became relatively difficult
since the bloody ogre normally turned around as soon as it saw all of the
archers and ran.

C&C didn't appear to do this, at least not enough so that I remember it as
a specific feature.

Computer-unit spellcasting was pretty well implemented - groups of
computer-paladins healing each other simultaneously, mutually bloodlusted
ogres, and so on. C&C doesn't have a comparable feature, really.

C&C's routing routine seemed more sophisticated. It was helped by groups
of <5 infantry effectively being transparent to other moving infantry
units (they didn't block the route).

There were several levels (Skull Island I remember specifically) on War2
where one or two of the AI players ground to a halt because it built units
and left them in places which blocked gold/wood/attack routes. Sometimes,
on the Skull island map, a computer peasant would go out to a distant
goldmine, and not be able to find their way back around a sea barrier,
even though there was a clear path available. Very strange.

If my memory serves me correctly, the C&C routing always seemed capable of
finding a path to the target hex, if it was possible and not blocked by a
vast army of other units. Harvester jams at bridges were annoying - they
weren't ambitious enough with their "nudging" routine.

Unit path-routing might not be part of the AI, but it's the mechanics by
which the AI orders units around. Get it wrong and no matter how bright
the AI the units don't get to the places they're meant to be and the
computer-sisde falls apart.

From memory alone I'd have to say that I think Warcraft2 had the edge on
sending out small groups of units to harass you. Ah, actually, I played
with Fog of War on all the time, so that will have made things seem a lot
nastier...

*waves hands*

Who knows...

Having finished C&C first I found pretty much all of the Warcraft2
missions easier than C&C. If I'd played the games in the opposite order
I'd probably have found the reverse to be true.

What will Red Alert be like? Hopefully almost as smart as your average
bear.

Jason Townsend

unread,
Nov 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/19/96
to

In article <56oem8$f...@news1.1stnet.com>, do...@lee.1stnet.com says...

>
>tow...@atcon.com (Jason Townsend) wrote:
>
>
>>Yeah!!!
>>C&C vs. WC2 rides again!
>>Once more unto the breach!
>
>>Ok. C&C is better because:
>
>>1: You can assign groups that are EASY to get back. Take Orcas. There
is
>>a nuke coming at your orca pads. In a WC2 interface, you'd lose at
least
>>1 orca, if you have lightning reflexes and a screen memory set at the
>>orca pads. In C&C you press [1] and click. 10 units take off.
>
>(psst.!!) lemme tell ya a secret... THERE ARE NO NUKES IN WC2!!!!!

Har, har. It was just an example of a tight situation :) Blizzard, if you
like.

>
>yes, that is true, partly because of the ability to select all onscreen
units, but mostly because C&C's units
>(especially inf. grunts) are so much smaller. This allows movement to be
simplified (many more units fit in gaps, which
>happen to be bigger on C&C's sparse landscape [the gaps, that is] ).
Another thing about control is that C&C needs less
>micromanagement. You only need to get minigunners near to the enemy to
concentrate fire, but in WC2 you have to work to
>get concentration of 'firepower', making 2on1 or 3on1 situations. It's
also much harder to plug up holes. in the line
>(which is one of the reasons I think WC2 units need more hitpoints.

Yes, well, it's still a point. I LIKE C&C's hoards of ants and
concentration of fire.

>
>Dragons do suck (except when hasted and bludlusted). and blimps are lame
if you play w/ fog off. this is another thing
>that westwood did to shoot themselves in the foot (if on a small scale).
I heard of War2's Fog of War before I heard of
>Command and Conquer. Maybe westwood didn't want to wait to program Fog
of War into the engine. that is ok, but now I
>hear that Red Alert is only going to have the darkness recede in if you
don't visit an area after a while.

Personally, I don't mind... Fog of War isn't absolutely neccisary.
Receeding recon would be a happy medium.

>Yeah, that really sucks. War2 really should have had bigger selection
of units, even if it was a bunch of melee units
>that are just a little more expensive and a little more powerful.

That's part of it too - slightly stronger grunts aren't as dramatic a
change as minigunner, grenedier, bazooka, engineer, commando, flamer...
An ogre is an upgradably supergrunt, nothing more.

--
Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

---------------------Jason Townsend town...@netcom.ca


David Thompson

unread,
Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
to

On 18 Nov 1996 14:26:06 GMT, pa...@cdc.net (Paul Bannister) wrote:
>David Thompson (meph...@netcom.ca) wrote:

<snip>

>: I hope that Mr. Dunkin (or whoever runs OGR now) isn't planning
>: on charging for access to the news on his web site. You guys are the
>: best on the block right now, but once you start asking for credit card
>: numbers I'll have to find a new source of information.
>
>Actually I run OGR and always have, although Alan is an integral part of
>the team (probably the most integral). I'm just not as vocal in the
>newsgroups as Alan:)

Sorry about that, I mixed up my attributions. Was he the one who
moved the Strategy Page Review over to OGR early this year? That's how
I discovered Online Gaming Review in the first place...I'd stuck with
GD before then.

>
>: I can't believe people here are encouraging the conversion of web
>: sites into paid services....
>:
>
>A lot of people unfortunately don't want to see ads on web sites, which I
>can somewhat understand, but we have bills to pay as well. But again, we
>have no plans to ever charge for the content on OGR>
>

I understand the need for ads. As long as it's not an in-your-face
approach like Happy Puppy, which restricts my ability to view the
actual content of the site, then I have no problem with them.

Jason Townsend

unread,
Nov 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/20/96
to

In article <56r82i$q...@mark.ucdavis.edu>, zer...@krakatoa.cs.ucdavis.edu
says...

Unless of course, you think it sucks.
The reason why C&C is better than warcraft II for multiplayer is, of
course, no boring unit parity, and fun, dynamic units, as opposed to orc,
orc mk II, orc MkIII, orc MkIV, etc. Just add hitpoints/speed/weapon
power and you have a new orc.
And of course, you change the pictures to get the totally different humans
:)

Stuart Park

unread,
Nov 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/21/96
to

Paul Bannister (pa...@cdc.net) wrote:
: Just to point out here, we have no plans to ever charge for access to OGR.

: While we do plan to get more advertiser support, I'll be sure to keep one
: of the main goals of the site (quick load times) in mind when accepting
: any advertising or doing any graphical redesigning.

OGR is always the first web site I look at every time I log onto the
Internet. I like it's direct, informative approach and you don't have
to wade through dozens of pages with pictures all over them to get to
the important bits.

I just wish you'd always keep at least 7 days of news in the main News
section.. (I only log on during weekends, too busy during the week)


--
"It was clear the joke was lethal.. no-one could read it and live"
- Monty Python
Stuart Park
E-Mail: stu...@banana.psd.com.au Melbourne, Australia

Richard Wesson

unread,
Nov 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/22/96
to

In article <56m03d$a...@netnews.upenn.edu>,

Kevin Scott Mcguire <kevi...@mail2.sas.upenn.edu> wrote:
[...]
>
>: War2, imo, was the far more polished product (AI, single player modes,

>: map designer), with C&C lacking several important elements (AI, single
>: player non-campaign modes, map designer).
>
>Here's where I differ - I thought Warcraft's AI was just plain dumb.
>While C&C's AI was not exactly rocket science, as long as you didnt
>intentionally exploit its stupidity, it played a reasonable game - I
>didn't find War2's AI at all challenging - it seemed that the scenarios
>were more dependent on overwhelming odds against you than C&C's were.
>
>Cheers,
>
>Kevin

Not necessarily; the computer can do pretty well against you in custom
scenarios; the AI in 'campaign' scenarios is usually a little
crippled.

WC2: builds up forces to a certain level deemed sufficient before
attacking.

C&C: Always seems to attack with the same sized force, but does supposedly
change force balance depending on what it is facing.

Also, WC2 builds buildings, which C&C won't.

If you haven't already, try playing a relatively open custom scenario
(I dunno, maybe Gold Separates East From West) against 2 computer players.
All players will start from scratch then ... I say 'relatively open' b/c
the computer usually has a problem getting units around concave obstacles.

It's actually pretty hard, and the usual way of triumphing is to just
build lots of well sheltered interlocking towers, which the computer has
a hard time dealing with, and then hanging on until it runs out of gold.
Defeating it in the open field can be pretty nasty; it builds like a
m-f.

-- wesson
(wes...@cse.ogi.edu)

Gang Zhang

unread,
Nov 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/23/96
to


James Doles <do...@lee.1stnet.com> wrote in article
<56of6c$f...@news1.1stnet.com>...


> let me jump into this quickie likie
>

> >C&C Buildings:
> >Press icon on sidebar, wait until complete, press icon again, place.

> >WC2 Buildings:

Me and all my friends hate this. It is both untrue and people use it
a method to get defensive weapons offensive. they can wall in
and build turrets in front of you. In warII if you do this the other
player
can get rid the building before it is complete done.

WarII's graphics is also much better, it is SVGA, and its units are bigger
and clear. I am unhappy that westwood claim CC is in SVGA, and end up
give us VGA product.

WarII also can has more multi players

WarII's allie option is much better then CC. On mplayer, a lot of CC
players
are trying to allie the other and press too many 'A's, and end up at war
due
to slow connection, in WarII you never get into this problem.

> You select a peon, hit 'b', hit letter of building (f for farm, b for
barrax, l for lumber mill, etc.) click where you
> want it.


I truely hope westwood will improve those in RA.

Gang

Daniel Rutter

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Nov 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM11/25/96
to

In article <56thbj$h...@server3.mersinet.co.uk>, isha...@goliath.mersinet.co.uk
says...

>If a Warcraft2 unit found itself amongst "overwhelming odds" it ran away.
>Leading single ogre back to an archer-ambush became relatively difficult
>since the bloody ogre normally turned around as soon as it saw all of the
>archers and ran.
>
>C&C didn't appear to do this, at least not enough so that I remember it as
>a specific feature.

C&C units stay where they are told to be, unless they have to give way to a
harvester or other unit-on-the-move. Anyone who can't figure out why J. Random
Minigunner stands his ground when the flame tanks roll over the rise need only
remind himself that the commanders on each side have those Big Red
Resign Buttons that make everyone explode :-)

>C&C's routing routine seemed more sophisticated. It was helped by groups
>of <5 infantry effectively being transparent to other moving infantry
>units (they didn't block the route).
>
>There were several levels (Skull Island I remember specifically) on War2
>where one or two of the AI players ground to a halt because it built units

Anybody seen the routing routines in War Wind? Bleagh! Build a bridge from one
island to another and your harvester-dudes will DEFINITELY go over it to the
stuff you've told them to get, and will then DEFINITELY not be able to find
their way back.

>If my memory serves me correctly, the C&C routing always seemed capable of
>finding a path to the target hex, if it was possible and not blocked by a

...with absolutely NO checking to see if it was possible, but only if the three
thousand enemy units on the way held their fire. Hands up everyone who learned
the hard way not to attack with huge tank mobs...

Red Alert's waypoint system should stop units taking the Moron Trail on long
trips, but attacking bases with multiple entrances will probably still be best
done with multiple, smaller groups of units rather than one huge clot.

One thing that might be interesting in a C&C or WC2-alike (or might be a
game-unbalancing source of abuse) is an Explore Mode, which causes a unit to
charge around the map checking out everywhere you haven't looked at, but never
going close enough to enemy units to be fired on. A Brave Explore Mode could
cause it to map all the "safe" areas first and then head into the parts guarded
by the bad guys. If this mode could only be engaged for a gunless humvee-type
unit, it'd stop people swarming the map with robotic kill-squads - but would
still make it possible to create huge radar confusion to cover an advance :-).

>vast army of other units. Harvester jams at bridges were annoying - they
>weren't ambitious enough with their "nudging" routine.

Once I was playing an OK-thus-far two player C&C game on a tiberium-rich
third-party map with one-square bottlenecks going into each base area. Noting
that I hadn't heard unloading lately, I looked at the bottleneck. 34
harvesters, locked solid.

I resigned.

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