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the Red Alert3 page posted a interview with Producer Greg Kasavin about the build mechanics of the Empire compared to the Allied and Soviets.
While it somehow opens more questions than it answers it still explains some things and the thoughts behind why each faction builds their own way... Always leave them wanting more i geuss :D .
The Following is taken directly from http://www.ea.com/redalert/news-detail.jsp?id=developer_interview?sourceid=ea2029, so if you'd rather read it from the RA3 site just click the link, but there is no more info there than here.
Q: When creating Red Alert 3, was it decided early on that each faction should have a different build mechanic?
A: Yes, we were interested in the possibility of each faction having a unique build mechanic relatively early on. However, what was more important to us was to wind up with three factions each with a different and distinct feel to them. The need to come up with different build mechanics that played into each of the factions' identities naturally emerged from that goal. In the case of the Empire of the Rising Sun, we wanted to come up with a fast and flexible build mechanic that supported the faction's ruthless nature and predisposition toward hard-hitting, unpredictable assaults.
Q: What opportunities does this build mechanic give players?
A: The Empire of the Rising Sun has the most unrestricted base-building mechanic, so it presents a lot of interesting opportunities for aggressive, sneaky, or creative players. Rather than have to build structures next to their Construction Yard, the Empire builds these hovering robotic vehicles called Nanocores, which can go just about anywhere before "unfurling" into a specific structure. So you can spread your whole base out across the map, park your structures on the enemy's doorstep, and much more. It's also relatively easy to expand to additional resource points as the Empire, since all they need to do is drive a Refinery Core over to an unclaimed Ore Mine. Even better, their Ore Collectors can defend themselves using concealed autocannons.
3Q: What risks does this build mechanic have?
A: From a gameplay point of view, the Empire's build system is risky because it tempts the player to spread his base thin or get really close to the enemy. These types of tactics can be detected by scout units and then countered, as Nanocores are defenseless and vulnerable. The Empire's build system also requires a bit more finesse than the other build systems, since it involves physically moving units to where you want your structures to go, while the other two sides can make structures build up straight out of the ground. From a design point of view, the Empire's build system is risky because it's so open-ended. As their build system provides a lot of natural advantages, it was a fun challenge to find ways to counterbalance that in a way that doesn't feel overpowering and yet still is very satisfying to play with. We hope players will find that we struck a good balance here.
Q: Do the Allies and Soviets have any way of getting the upper hand with the way they build?
A: The Allies and Soviets each have unique advantages to their build systems, as well. The Allies benefit from the traditional C&C-style build system, so they can do things like queue up base defenses and place them down in a pinch. They also have some of the best recon units and abilities in the game, so they can find out what the Empire is up to early on through scouting. As for the Soviets, they have access to a handy structure called the Crusher Crane, which lets them build multiple structures at once as well as repair vehicles or even scrap them for a refund. The Soviets also gain a bit of build radius from any structures they place, so they can spread out across the map faster than any other faction.
Q: What are some examples of ways you can expand around the map as the Empire?
A: The Empire can try and rush to as many Ore Mines as possible early on in a battle, in order to gain an economic advantage quickly. They can send their base defenses out to choke points or even to the enemy base. They can try sneaking a production structure like their Instant Dojo or the Imperial Docks to areas right next to the enemy or his most-likely expansions, in order to mount an aggressive ambush. Or they can spread their structures all across the map, to make it harder for their foes to pin them down.
Q: Does this build mechanic compliment the way the Empire plays as a whole?
A: The Empire of the Rising Sun is intended to have a deep learning curve, and the flexibility of their build system should play right into that. As well, the faction heavily favors unit micromanagement over base micromanagement, so it helps that Imperial bases are built up from units rather than in the conventional C&C way. The Empire is a hard-hitting faction that's meant to reward skillful, dexterous play, so we hope that their open-ended build mechanic will support that. When playing as the Empire, we hope you'll feel like you've always got a lot of options at your disposal, and that you can effectively keep fighting down to the last unit.
Q: What are some interesting situations that come up during the game with the Empire's nanocores being able to go anywhere on the map?
A: When I'm feeling gutsy as the Empire of the Rising Sun, I like trying to expand straight to Ore Mines closer to the enemy's base, or even use my Ore Collectors to attack their limited forces in the early-game. Walling in an overly defensive opponent using turrets is a classic tactic that works well for the Empire, or better yet, sneaking an Imperial Docks into the corner of the map and teching straight to Shogun Battleships can be an even better way of catching an unassuming player completely by surprise. Of course, when I'm playing against someone who I think is better than I am, I tend to get a lot more conservative when playing as the Empire, at least when it comes to laying out my base. Even still, I like trying to sneak an Instant Dojo somewhere my opponent isn't likely to look, and get that thing upgraded as quickly as possible so that I can get my gal Yuriko Omega and a Shinobi or two into the enemy base. You'd be surprised how much devastation a few well-placed Imperial infantry units can cause.
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