Dragonshard does not suck

Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are. Any of you guys pick this one up? Because you definitely should.

-Tom

Thanks for the write-up Tom. This title had gone totally under the radar for me, but you piqued my interest.

Gamespot agrees

Damn you, I need to concentrate on DoW:WA! No time (or $$) for another RTS. Oh but look; Target has it on sale for $34.99. :roll:

demo available at http://www.ausgamers.com/files/download/html/17975,
this site doesn’t require registration, unlike Gamespot.

I enjoyed the demo a lot, but I wasn’t sure I was interested enough to buy it.

Still not sure, but I’ll give it a second look.

Troy

“Dragons Hard”? I saw a kung fu porno by that title — a white guy, a black guy, and an Asian guy infiltrate the fortified island of an evil nymphomaniac for her annual sex tournament. Is this the same thing?

Awesome, it sounds great.

I had pretty much dropped this off my radar, but after Tom’s and GameSpot’s reviews, me thinks it’s time to dust off the 'ol PC… Will be the first PC game I’ve bought since last year (WoW/HL2).

FYI: Amazon has it for $43 with free shipping.

I hate you. I am a whore. I will now need to consider buying this.

By the way, I genuinely like your phrase, " limits of your attention." This is an interesting take on how RTSs work. I am not sure I fully agree with it (I think RTSs, more than some other games, depend on inherent speed of thought and dexterity with a mouse, and have always thought of “attention” as something under the relatively full control of the individual), but the “limits of your attention” is an interesting way of thinking about it.

Attention might be the most accurate divisor. Your ability to focus on a particular point while juggling a list of competing tasks. Liked the phrase as well.

I’m glad to hear this is a good game. I was really looking forward to it but was turned off by the negative buzz. I’m a little worried that Atari won’t give it the support it deserves.

I love the RP/S concept that Blizzard invented and then forgot, so if this game actually delivers I’ll have to buy it… let’s check out the demo.

Cool! Aren’t these the guys who did the decent and not-a-blatant-Warcraft-ripoff Battle Realms? Thanks for reminding me that they’re still around! I’m starting to want to get back into RTS games a little bit, so it looks like this is a good place to start.

My limit is rather puny as I am terrible at these games.

Good review, but it doesn’t really go into the multiplayer. You mention how the dungeon and above-ground parts are well-balanced in the single player campaign, and that you don’t usually have to keep rushing back and forth between them too much, but what happens in multi? Are there a lot of situations where your guys in the dungeon are fighting something nasty, and your base is being attacked topside, and there’s no way you can micro well enough to save both? Because that would really annoy me.

Edit: Oops, it’s Gamespot that says it’s well-balanced that way, sorry. But my question stands.

Does the demo have any full-blown skirmishing? Becuase if it’s just one of the scripted single player missions early in the campaign (Now you get archers. Now you get paladins. Now you kill six dudes.), it’s not doing the game justice.

Orpheo, the multiplayer is great for a couple of reasons.

There’s really not a lot of split focus, at least no more so than a typical RTS. You’re not having to manage two fronts any more so than if you divide your guys into two groups in any other RTS. The way I play, I tend to have a single – and pretty small – main group alternating the collection of gold underground and shards overground. At the same time, I might also have a single unit working on the other resource: either an underground rogue cleaning up locked chests underground or an overground resource collector (each side has one unit who can quickly gather resources and who can usually upgrade once to get a spell that lets him see where all the new dragonshard clusters have fallen).

Yes, your guys might be in a dungeon when the other player attacks your town, and there are no town portal scrolls in Dragonshard! Ack! But there are a few important considerations:

  • Towns are easy to defend. Like Battle for Middle Earth and Kohan, they start out ringed with walls. There are two relatively cheap upgrades, the first of which allows your walls to fight back with towers. By the time the other player has a siege force built, it should be pretty trivial to have upgraded your walls at least once.

  • Towns take a long time to destroy and it’s not that hard to bounce back. Also, it’s easy to quickly produce units because the unit upgrading means you have multiples of the same unit-producing building, each of which can simultaneously train a unit. This means you can usually either defend yourself or get your army back in time if you’re attacked, at which point your upgraded walls will have hopefully worn down your attacker.

  • I’ve had very few games end with destroyed cities! Instead, two of the three default victory conditions are more common: one player usually grabs a) enough expansions or b) enough points of power to trigger the victory timer. There’s also an artifact-gathering victory condition, but this tends to be a longer-term stalemate breaker.

    -Tom

Went to an EB today and tried to buy this. They said they wouldn’t have it until the 27th.

P.S. Fry’s doesn’t seem to have it either.

Picked this up today at Best Buy in Ottawa.

MAJOR PROBLEM:

Won’t let me install because by default it sets the drive to C: for the installation (I have a only a Gig on that drive), so I go to change it to one of the other drives, which have gigs and gigs of space, it shows that the drive is selected, yet it still lists the amount free of the C: drive

Of course installation won’t continue: :roll:

Will try to look for a fix later; at least for the short term possibly a “BUYER BEWARE” situation.

UPDATE:

Okay, looks like it is installing now. Browsed the CD and ran setup.msi . Prior to this I was using the install link from Autoplay.exe which results in a full screen fancy animated installation routine which includes a really “neato” <sarcasm> locking mechanism visual that rotates and clinks and clanks around as you enter each quartet of the CD key. This is especially lame considering that it doesn’t even work. Wasted effort and resources.

The setup.msi is completely non-graphical and suprise-suprise works flawlessy.

MORE FUN:

GOOD GRIEF:

Just dowloaded the patch (20 megs), and it does it’s thing for a bit, then asks for CD1 to be placed in the drive. It starts actually reading the CD for about a minute and THEN it asks for CD2, and reads that on for a bit.

Then it goes through a patch verification process (which I assume is installing the changes) which after a few minutes reports that it is “not responding” in the task manager, but eventually finishes. Either this is some new and bizarre anti piracy scheme or it is just another symptom of emergency patching a rushed product after the fact.

Totally bizarre and I already hate this game without even clicking once on the executable.

Once I cool down will try to leave some objective comments on the actual gameplay. :twisted:

Patches directly on release of the game are always bundled with fixes to the copyright protection.

I’ve just been futzing around with the demo. Really nice art design. For a while into my first battles, I kept trying to click on targets repeatedly, a la Diablo, forgetting it was a RTS, and the guys can take care of themselves. It’s a bit annoying that you have to go around cratebusting manually, a la Diablo. At least they seem to gather the gold for themselves once you order them to the first pile.

I’m going to buy this one, despite the fact that I generally hate RTS games, because I’m a sucker for the AD&D creatures, and it has enough RPG elements to make me happy. The campaigns are the things that most interest me, though, and it sounds like they’re a bit thin.

Looks like there would be an awful lot of micro-management in multiplayer games.

Are there any tools for us to make our own campaigns. This could be a lot of fun… creating our own campaigns.