Patch 1.05 Producer Interview

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Here is a pretty in-depth interview over the changes made in the new 1.05 patch. This interview will most likely answer a lot of lingering questions you had about what happened and why they changed some things. So stop reading what I say and read the Interview!!!!! [quote][b]What are the biggest enhancements technically and for balance that patch 1.05 does to Command & Conquer 3?[/b] First off, I just wanted to thank all the C&C3 players out there who've been waiting patiently for this update. Although patch 1.05 adds a variety of new content, I want to stress that its most important purpose is to address certain bugs and multiplayer exploits that have cropped up. As far as the new stuff goes, I think players will quickly find some favorites among the four new maps we've added. Tournament Rift, one of the new one-vs.-one maps, might be the best of our ranked multiplayer maps now. Coastline Chaos is based on the very first map ever created for C&C3, so it'll be a neat throwback to those of you who've been following the game since it was announced (and it's a good map at any rate). Tournament Coastline is a one-vs.-one version of the same map, while Schlachtfeld Stuttgart has to be one of our coolest-looking multiplayer maps so far. We've brought back some classic C&C features, such as a left-click-orders mouse interface and the ability to share ground control in team-based matches, allowing players to build in each others' bases and drastically change the dynamic of team matches. We've made some improvements to the online lobbies as well, and dedicated players will spot some significant enhancements to the in-game user interface on top of that. My personal favorite UI addition is that you can now click on any of the production tabs in the sidebar to cycle through multiple production queues of that type. Some additional cool changes include the ability to now press and hold the hotkey for the ever-useful Reverse Move order, rather than have to press the hotkey each time you click. Another nice change is that, on the loading screens that briefly show up prior to multiplayer matches, you'll now see the players' stats as well as a snapshot of the map you'll be playing on. This is great for Automatch battles, where previously there was no way to know what map you'd be playing on until the match started. Then there are all the extras. You'll see new types of craters and scorch marks in the wake of big battles now. Some units, like the Scrin Gun Walkers and Annihilator Tripods, have new ambient sound effects. And, my personal favorite: flame-throwing units like the Black Hand and the Flame Tank now have some excellent, new garrison-clearing effects for when they blow everyone out of a building. You'll be seeing a lot more of these units now. The balance changes are at least as big of a deal as all of this. We've fine-tuned virtually every unit in the game, and in general we tried to make some of the weaker units feel more powerful rather than knocking down the units that players already really like to use. For example, we generally didn't do much to the most popular units in the game, such as the Scorpion Tank and the Predator Tank. On the other hand, you can expect guys like the Flame Tank and the Pitbull to be even more effective now. And let's just say you don't want to be anywhere near a Scrin Mothership's catalyst cannon blast... There are tons of faction-specific changes but some really important general changes, too. Infantry are quite a bit faster and more resistant to cannon damage now. Our goal here was to help make sure infantry remained useful throughout a battle, not just at the beginning. Harvesters have been retuned on all three sides, and the GDI and Nod transport aircraft have been buffed up so that they'll have better chances of dropping units in the middle of a battle. [b]How dramatically will players need to re-think their strategies in Command & Conquer 3 with each faction after the patch? [/b] I wouldn't want to frighten anyone into thinking that all the time they've spent learning the game so far will have been wasted as a result of these changes. If you've been practicing, then your skills will definitely carry over into this update, and you'll be that much more attuned to some of the subtler changes. While the balance changes in this update are extensive, they won't really break any existing strategies so much as introduce a lot of new ones. Players who continue to lean very heavily on brute-force tactics (i.e., tank spam) will find that these tactics aren't as effective as before. Meanwhile, players should feel more rewarded for bringing mixed groups of forces to bear. They'll have more viable options to choose from now, and new strategies will emerge from that. [b]Before patch 1.05, the game had a strong focus on rushing and tank-spamming, how do you think patch 1.05 will change this? [/b] Command & Conquer invented the concept of the tank rush, and it's a popular tactic partly because it's a fairly obvious and viscerally exciting. So we're not morally opposed to tank rushes, though we don't want them to dominate the game, either. After patch 1.05, massed tanks will still be plenty powerful--they'll just be a little easier to counter, and they won't be quite as effective or versatile as a mixed force. As mentioned before, we really didn't do much to the game's mainline tanks. However, we did a lot of balancing around these guys, making many of the lesser-used units more effective in their intended roles. The biggest changes of all are probably to the Missile Squads and Rocket Militants. These little guys are now much more viable counters against large numbers of enemy tanks, what with their much longer range...especially if you can protect them from getting crushed with some tanks of your own. Don't worry if you're a Scrin player, though. We've improved the Scrin Buzzers so that they're more effective at cutting through massed infantry. The other addition I was really happy with was to Nod's Avatars. These were powerful units in the first place, but they just weren't as cost-effective as Scorpion Tanks in most cases. Well, now they're cheaper, and astute players will also notice that their collision boxes are bigger, which means that they're better at crushing enemy units underfoot. The Avatar has some of the best unit responses of any unit in the game, so it felt practically criminal that these guys weren't getting used much in competitive play. Now, Nod players will feel like they have some serious late-game firepower to put up against GDI's powerful Mammoth Tanks and the Scrin's Annihilators and deadly airforce. [b]What was the motivation for creating a patch of this magnitude? What is EA's plan going forward with patch support for Command & Conquer 3? [/b] The motivation was simply to make Command & Conquer 3 a better game to the furthest extent that we could in a patch. Beyond that, we wanted to give thanks to everyone who bought it and has been playing it. After the game shipped, we monitored players' feedback carefully and also polled the development team for all the little things they would have liked to see improved in hindsight. And we went in and hit a lot of that stuff. As for the balance changes, once we'd settled on a direction, we brought in some of our top players from the community to hunker down with some of our best players on the team, and several days of nonstop tank murder later, we were satisfied with what we'd come up with. These guys gave us some great feedback, helped us polish up some of the interface improvements, and tune the new maps. Meanwhile, I also made sure to play through the entire single-player campaign again in order to confirm that the balance changes would improve it overall. Along the way, we went in and tweaked some of the missions, which should be more challenging now without necessarily being more difficult. For example, the GDI Croatia mission, while still tough, is tuned differently and feels better overall. And in later missions, don't expect Mammoth Tanks to be the perfect solution to all your problems. The Nod missions more interesting, too. Units like the Black Hand, Flame Tanks, and Avatars are all really cool but just weren't very effective in the campaign before. They sure are now, though. As for what the future holds with our patch support for C&C3, updates should come regulary to continue to fine-tune the balance, address any remaining bugs, and grow the game in other ways such as by releasing the Mod SDK and the BattleCast Viewer. [b]How important was it to add in "classic" alternate mouse setup for the community?[/b] It was the first additional feature we knew we were going to include in this update. We owed it to diehard fans of the series. While the standard control scheme should still be best for most players, longtime fans of the series should get a little dose of nostalgia from the left-click control scheme . In fact, in some types of combat situations, it's better to use than the standard control scheme. [b]We've heard patch 1.05 adds in some very cool support for owners of the Logitech G15 keyboard. Can you detail some of the unique enhancements? [/b] Indeed, one of the little bonus extras in this patch is the addition of custom support for the Logitech G15, which is a keyboard intended specifically for game players. It's got a back-lit LCD screen built into it, and we've added some custom graphics and stats to go in there. During single-player battles, players will get at-a-glance counts of their number of Harvesters, number of active units in total, credits earned, and credits spent. During multiplayer matches, to keep things fair and square, players will only get a real-time match a shot of their faction's logo and some words of encouragement from EVA. If you've got a G15 or have access to one [b]What are the next big patch plans for Command & Conquer 3? What can we look forward to after 1.05! [/b] The good news is players won't have to wait too long for the next set of updates, since we've been working on a bunch of other stuff on the side in addition to this patch. I can't speak to what all those things are, but I can safely assure everyone that there's going to look forward to. As far as I'm concerned, we've got a legacy to live up to with Command & Conquer 3, and to the extent we can continue to successfully support the game and keep players happy, we will. I've been lucky to get to work on a project like this, and though it's just a patch, hope players will gain some additional enjoyment out of it. To all you C&C fans, thank you for holding us to the highest standards for this series. [/quote] Sorry for the late post, but better late then never as I say!!!
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