Real-Time Strategy all purpose discussion thread

I mean yeah RTT is fine distinction / subgenre, but I was speaking more generally based on expected conventions.

There is stuff like Freedom Force that I could call RTT. I mean if only the game was turn based it would be a proper tactics game similar to XCOM or Jagged Alliance only without a strategy layer. As is, it is real time with pause, the poor mans turn base.

Genre names are descriptive, not prescriptive.

Icewind Dale checks off all the boxes that you claim are necessary to be an RTS, including converting resources to Units (which is probably the convention that is most likely to be ignored).

Agree to disagree. Hard.

I mean you are starting to sound like one of those people who think sports games are RPGs because they have player stats. Give it a rest.

Icewind Dale is a CRPG.
Total Annihilation is a RTS.
Quake is a FPS.
The Legend of Zelda, Action Adventure.
Live and learn. Knowledge is power. Say no to drugs. Go eat your Wheaties.

I watched some footage of Icewind Dale. A lot of it was talking, and then some mob-bashing.

I feel if we say that’s an RTS, then we also have to say the same for Neverwinter Nights, Divinity: Original Sin etc … and maybe even Diablo! (What genre even is Diablo?!)

At this point we’re basically saying all games belong to a few meta-genres, like real-time, turn-based etc and that RTS is one of those. I feel the genre is starting to lose it’s meaning at that point.

Exactly. It opens a huge can of worms.

Icewind Dale is a CRPG. You build a party and the party thrives and gains power using their abilities (not the players). Fundamental RPG here. There’s a lot of dialogue, and dungeons, encounter design, simple puzzles, and did I mention quests! There’s quests! These are all common conventions of the genre that is called…wait for it, RPG. Definitely not to be confused with RTS!

My original description of RTS wasn’t meant to be exhaustive, but another major difference is RTSs usually have dynamic AI over an entire “match” that tries (and usually falls short) of trying to emulate another human player. Not to mention it’s a totally different type of bloody game. I would never recommend someone Icewind Dale if they asked me to recommend an RTS.

Not my tempo.

My experience, playing and beating the game in the original, and playing again in the Enhanced Edition is the talking is fairly minimal and very skippable. Much like a cut scene from Command and Conquer, or the conversations that take place in Warcraft 3. It’s place holder.

Do you argue that the cut scenes from Emperor Battle for Dune or Red Alert make that an RPG as well?

As for your other point, Neverwinter Nights, Divinity: Original Sin and Diablo, there are a few key factors that don’t make it fall into the area of RTS, at least not as hard as Icewind Dale.

Neverwinter Nights - has two factors that make it more of an RPG -

  1. a storyline that you actually interact with, and have an impact on, which Icewind Dale does not (the story is almost entirely linear)
  2. the need to recruit NPCs and the focus on creating only your own character.

Added it together, and yes it has some of the RTS elementals, but not nearly as many as Icewind Dale, and sticks more closely to an RPG, in both control of the story, and the focus on a single player character.

Divinity: Original Sin - Pretty much the same exact argument, except you create 2 characters.

Diablo - although, like Icewind Dale, you have zero control of the storyline, unlike Icewind Dale, you are responsible for only a single character. There is no army/unit management in Diable, unlike Icewind Dale.

But let me ask a different question to @Pod and @roguefrog. Is X-Com a Turn-Based CRPG? It has a deep story, character leveling, tactical combat.
My argument is that if X-Com is a Strategy Game, then so is Icewind Dale, the difference is one is Real-Time and the other is Turn-Based.

Sorry (not sorry), I will no longer entertain your weird obsession with thinking Icewind Dale is a RTS. It’s nothing personal. You can believe whatever you want to believe.

I think it really depends on where the focus is. X-COM isn’t about role-playing a character, nor is the focus of Icewind Dale to move units around a map to kill other units. They both have elements of the other (X-Com has some RPG elements, Icewind Dale has tactical elements) but in the end you gotta look at the game’s primary focus, I feel at least.

In X-Com, while the units can be levelled up and such, they’re still…I mean, I don’t wanna say “expendable,” I hate losing soldiers, but if you lose a soldier, you train another one and move on.

Icewind Dale, you have 6 characters. That’s it. You fine-tune their skills and abilities, but they aren’t “units,” they’re characters. Not like the heroes in Warcraft – they’re leaders in your army. IWD these 6 characters are it, start to finish.

I acknowledge you don’t “affect” the story to the degree you do in Baldur’s Gate, but IWD is still very much a party RPG.

Also, the ability to pause and grant orders really stifles the “real-time” in RTS. The frenetic clickery is a defining feature of an RTS, and IWD lets you totally subvert that if you choose.

I can’t call it an RTS. I just can’t do it.

I guess that is were we differ. I don’t see any focus on Icewind Dale as an RPG but as a strategy game.

You create characters, but you can give all the characters 3 intelligence, and 3 Wisdom, and call them Fighter, Ranger, Wizard, Cleric, Druid and Paladin, and the game doesn’t care. Even their background is generic.

You aren’t immersed in the party, there is no dialogue between the party members. They are a single unit commanded from up high (as I see it).

Why should the game care if you build shitty characters? It’s an RPG. The player makes the choices. (this is maddening) One of the biggest appeals of a game like Icewind Dale is building the party.

I think your definition of what an RPG is might be the limiting factor here. It is too narrow and arbitrary.

But I see your slow shift away from RTS to now Strategy game, which is as specific as Action game. When in doubt, go super broad so any kind of distinction is meaningless.

I think you misunderstood. This isn’t a shitty build. Those stats, in dungeons and dragon, usually only impact the role playing aspect of the game (unless you have a wizard or cleric) in 2nd. In Baldur’s Gate, there are negative consequences to having low Intelligence or Low Wisdom. In Plane Scape Torment, it literally blocks out the ‘best’ ending.

In Icewind Dale, it allows you to min/max the more important stats of Strengths/Dexterity/Constitution and no impact on the game.

Because the game does not care about Role Playing, only Roll Playing.

If you definition of an RPG is any game that allows you to create a character, then you might as well throw out Warlords Battlecry, Warcraft 3, Spellforce, or any number of other RTS games. Heck, you could throw out Company of Heroes, which allows you to upgrade your Commander as the game goes on.

Since Genres are Descriptive, I accept that few games fall purely in one genre, but is muddied. That’s why I can accept that X-Com is a TBS game despite the character leveling system, or why Diablo is an Action RPG instead of an Action Game like God Of War.

Icewind Dale is dressed up in many of the elements of an RPG, but it’s focus in on combat and tactics and fighting, and the only RPG trappings that impact the game is character creation, and only in that impacts combat and tactics.

As @BrianRubin mentioned, the genre of the game more about it’s focus, not it’s feature, and Icewind Dale is squarely focused on the strategy and combat and everything about the game is in service of the RTS elements.

Lots of RPGs don’t always have Role Playing, including many a tabletop Dungeons and Dragon session I’ve had where we only explored a dungeon and fought monsters, or an overly long boss fight. So I guess I was playing an RTS then. Not an RPG, by your logic.

Again, I suspect your definition of RPG is the point of failure here. If I understand you correctly, it has to have only one PC, party banter, choices and consequences, or whatever, otherwise, it’s magically an RTS now! (or is it now generic Strategy Game?)

Do you argue that the cut scenes from Emperor Battle for Dune or Red Alert make that an RPG as well?

Just to reiterate: I never actually played Icewind Dale, so all of my knowledge is in one video, and in that one video the player liked to spend a long time clicking through dialog trees! In almost all games I smash the escape key as soon as any kind of cutscenes start (they’re no why I play games) and so as far as I’m concerned Red Alert doesn’t even have cutscenes :) I guess the question is: How optional are these Icewind Dale dialog trees? I saw in one the player got 1800xp or gp for clicking something. Would they have gotten that no matter what happened?

Is X-Com a Turn-Based CRPG? It has a deep story, character leveling, tactical combat.

As an aside, I think “RPG” is such a terrible genre term in computer games. If we look at traditional TTRPG games and think about what makes them a roleplaying game “having stats that go up” isn’t what I would say the standout feature is, but it appears to be what all CRPGs think is the point :) Nor are even a story, or tactical combat etc. (Arguably it’s what the ur RPG, D&D, thinks is the point, as its roots are in adding stats to a miniature combat game, and it frankly has never outgrown that). I think of RPGs more as a collaborative experience between a live GM and a bunch of players, and personally gravitate towards TTRPGS that aren’t as obsessed

So using my own set of criteria here I would say that X-Com is miles away from a [tt or c]RPG.

I’m not barring Icewind Dale from being considered a “strategy” game, but I am saying that if we start including that in the genre then we start to lose the focusing power of that genre term. (Then again, “strategy” without the RT or the TB prefixed to it, which is a common genre, is so absurdly vast that it’s almost useless as a genre)

I think a big problem is that a game can borrow elements from many other games. And, like @BrianRubin says, it all comes down to what a game wants to choose to focus on. And I think that Icewind Dale wanted to be an RPG game, abeit a more “tactical” one, whereas something like Jagged Alliance 2 wanted to be a tactical game, even though from your own description JA2 and ID are basically the same game.

One problem with expandability as a criteria is it shuts off a lot of games that people would consider RTS/RTT games. Or even some levels in very traditional RTS games, like the Red Alert missions where you’re running around with a spy :)

Again, this criteria would cut off games like Infested Planet, as you can pause and issue orders in that. And it’s often essential!

I think this is like the definition of a rogue-like : There are lots of “core” components you can have, but you don’t need all of them.

Sure, but that’s ONE MISSION. You spend your entire game, 60+ hours, with these 6 characters, and exactly these 6 characters. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but I’ve never played an RTS where you spend literally the entire game/campaign with the same 6 units.

Gosh yes. Any D&D-based RPG I can spend hours in character creation.

ps, I’m happy to defend the idea that most Dungeons and Dragons sessions are not actual RPG experiences as we’ve come to know them, but instead hours-long tedious, miniature combat games that are poorly mis-sold to people as role-playing experiences. I think we already have a thread for pooping on D&D like this? :) Where’s @ArmandoPenblade when you need him?!

Wasn’t the Dawn of War II campaign like this?

Infact that’s a good game to consider. The multiplayer mode was a very classic RTS experience. The campaign mode was very different. Is that an RTS?

Well, time is a factor. We do roleplay our characters, but sometimes we only have enough time for combat encounters set by the DM.

What? Icewind Dale a RTS?

Uh, no. That’s crazy talk.

There are named characters that stick around, but loads of expendable units will be killed off in the process. Dawn of War 2 is entirely one of those maps in RTS games made up where you start with a limited number of units + hero units to clear the map, but you can get reinforcements using resources gained from control points. It’s more of an RTS with some RPG lite elements.