Homeworld Remastered - Beautiful. Majestic. Flawed.

StewShearerOld

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Jan 5, 2013
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Homeworld Remastered - Beautiful. Majestic. Flawed.

Homeworld Remastered is a gorgeous reworking of the 1999 RTS classic. In revamping the original however, did Gearbox perhaps change too much?

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008Zulu_v1legacy

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I never played the originals. Not sure I'll give this one a go. I prefer tactical thinking to something as simple as building a bigger fleet than the other guy.
 

DSK-

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May 13, 2010
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The lack of those all important formations and tactics is a massive loss. I remember reading about the micro'ing of strike craft by constantly switching between evasive and aggressive, the wolf packs of heavy corvettes in a wall formation supported by support frigates.

Like shown here: http://www.rakrent.com/rtsc/html/hw7.htm
 

ceyan

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Oct 13, 2014
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Formations and tactics only mattered in the the first couple of single player missions and multiplayer. Given multiplayer is entirely devoted to the Homeworld 2 style which does things differently from the get go all the discussion about formations and tactics loss is essentially moot. Or maybe more accurately a perfect example of rose colored glasses, although that's a lot harder to do given the classic option is available.
 

direkiller

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ceyan said:
Formations and tactics only mattered in the the first couple of single player missions and multiplayer. Given multiplayer is entirely devoted to the Homeworld 2 style which does things differently from the get go all the discussion about formations and tactics loss is essentially moot. Or maybe more accurately a perfect example of rose colored glasses, although that's a lot harder to do given the classic option is available.
funny enough they were all but abandon in multiplier aswell.
Formations limit the FOF of ships, so it leads to a decrease in DPS. It also made them less mobile so more shots were landed on them
Only evasive/Aggressive stances changed how much damage was applied or mitigated.
They were a cool idea, but there is a reason they were abandoned in HW2.
 

Soviet Heavy

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The problem I find isn't so much that the strike units are useless, but that when Gearbox ported stuff over to the Homeworld 2 engine, they failed to account for the changes Relic originally made to mitigate the differences. In Homeworld 2, Fighters and Corvettes come in squadrons rather than individual units, so they keep formations anyways. But in HW1, they're individual ships, so that's why Fighters and Corvettes turn into mosh pits because they don't have the unit cohesiveness that the second game inherently gave them.

If anything, this remaster is cool to see how far Relic's strategy design had developed over the years. I think they were one of the first to use squad systems in an RTS (recruiting units as multiples rather than individuals), and its cool how I can see staple mechanics of their later Dawn of War and Company of Heroes games in their infancy.
 

Fdzzaigl

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Formations aren't removed or useless, the Homeworld 1 formations are simply bugged. As ships leave them as soon as combat starts, as you said. Let's hope they simply fix the bugs.

Evasive tactics was lost, but to be honest, the Homeworld 2 interface brings a lot more to the table otherwise. It's way easier to launch all ships individual special abilities now for example.

The biggest, HUGE deal for me, is that ships in Homeworld 1 ALL die far, FAR faster than in the original. Not just strikecraft as the review suggested.

In the original, your destroyers and frigates could be firing at one another for several minutes before the really big ships got destroyed. Now, whenever you've got a few destroyers in place, frigates die in mere seconds and even super-capitals that get focused are blasted super-fast.

On the flip side, though fighters die faster as well, they're actually far more useful against capital ships now.

I simply don't get why a company would go through all that effort to upgrade the graphics in a massive and beautiful way, only for you to be unable to enjoy those uber detailed ships firing their guns for long, as they get blown up in seconds.

Apparently they did it to bring HW1 ships into multiplayer together with the HW2 ones. A very bad decision, they have no bussiness being there together.
 

StewShearerOld

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Jan 5, 2013
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Fdzzaigl said:
Formations aren't removed or useless, the Homeworld 1 formations are simply bugged. As ships leave them as soon as combat starts, as you said. Let's hope they simply fix the bugs.

Evasive tactics was lost, but to be honest, the Homeworld 2 interface brings a lot more to the table otherwise. It's way easier to launch all ships individual special abilities now for example.

The biggest, HUGE deal for me, is that ships in Homeworld 1 ALL die far, FAR faster than in the original. Not just strikecraft as the review suggested.

In the original, your destroyers and frigates could be firing at one another for several minutes before the really big ships got destroyed. Now, whenever you've got a few destroyers in place, frigates die in mere seconds and even super-capitals that get focused are blasted super-fast.

On the flip side, though fighters die faster as well, they're actually far more useful against capital ships now.

I simply don't get why a company would go through all that effort to upgrade the graphics in a massive and beautiful way, only for you to be unable to enjoy those uber detailed ships firing their guns for long, as they get blown up in seconds.

Apparently they did it to bring HW1 ships into multiplayer together with the HW2 ones. A very bad decision, they have no bussiness being there together.
I did actually mention the capital ships being weaker in the review. Same paragraph as the strike fighter discussion I believe.

My post-release has indicated that the formation issues aren't caused by a bug. If you've read something different please post a link so I can amend the review for accuracy.
 

Fdzzaigl

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Ah ok, I missed that, sorry.

There is no official comment on the formations yet as far as I can see. But honestly, I find it very hard to look at it in another way than as a bug when all the HW2 formations are in fact working. Many people, me included, have reported this as a bug.
 

ki11joyace

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Nov 16, 2014
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I got the Remastered version but I suppose I'll have to do a play-through of the HW1 campaign in the classic version of the game now to see the difference.
 

the.chad

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Nov 22, 2010
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So true you comment about formations.
Got the best satisfaction of having attack bombers in wall formation and sending them head first against a frigate.
Or have a group of scouts pester the larger ships with evasive tactics, too quick to hit :)
 

Apollo45

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This makes me probably more sad than it should. A huge portion of playing Homeworld was always making the right formations for the right missions. Bridge of Sighs, for example, taking a small fleet focused on destroying the inhibitor, using the right amount of stealth fighters in the right formation, then activating everything at exactly the right time to ensure the fleet can make it through the wall of frigates, hit the inhibitors, then jump away before they suffered too many casualties...

Resource management with fleets being more fragile will present its own issues too... It was, at times, difficult to get enough resources to build the right fleet compositions for each mission as it was. If things die easier now, replacing those units comes at a high cost, and if they haven't compensated the amount of resources you get it will make the game significantly more difficult.

I don't know, I was really looking forward to playing it, and now I'm worried I'll just feel annoyed about the whole thing. We'll see though... I'll probably pick it up either way.
 

StewShearerOld

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Jan 5, 2013
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Apollo45 said:
This makes me probably more sad than it should. A huge portion of playing Homeworld was always making the right formations for the right missions. Bridge of Sighs, for example, taking a small fleet focused on destroying the inhibitor, using the right amount of stealth fighters in the right formation, then activating everything at exactly the right time to ensure the fleet can make it through the wall of frigates, hit the inhibitors, then jump away before they suffered too many casualties...

Resource management with fleets being more fragile will present its own issues too... It was, at times, difficult to get enough resources to build the right fleet compositions for each mission as it was. If things die easier now, replacing those units comes at a high cost, and if they haven't compensated the amount of resources you get it will make the game significantly more difficult.

I don't know, I was really looking forward to playing it, and now I'm worried I'll just feel annoyed about the whole thing. We'll see though... I'll probably pick it up either way.
They do see to have compensated with extra resources. I never had much trouble with running out.

I can totally empathize with your feelings though. While I enjoyed the game any ways, my first feelings when I realized what Gearbox had changed was like an hour of complete and utter disappointment.
 

Excludos

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Sep 14, 2008
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"Come back next week for my review of Homeworld 2 Remastered, followed a week later by Homeworld: Cataclysm"

Cataclysm (my favorite game of the series) wasn't remastered due to missing sourcecode. Are you going to play the original or something?
 

StewShearerOld

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Jan 5, 2013
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Excludos said:
"Come back next week for my review of Homeworld 2 Remastered, followed a week later by Homeworld: Cataclysm"

Cataclysm (my favorite game of the series) wasn't remastered due to missing sourcecode. Are you going to play the original or something?
Yes. I have a disc copy that works on my PC.
 

Novus Ultimus

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Oct 14, 2010
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I really dislike how they made strike craft so weak they are close to useless for the HW1 campaign. Multi-gun corvettes are the only useful corvettes, against large groups of fighters, when your larger ships would take too long. Only fighters of any use are bombers and even those when your capital ships are otherwise occupied, which isn't a problem until the last stage.

Which brings me to the that last mission. Unfortunately I can't remember how the last stage was originally, but with remastered what you do is you send your Destroyers and Heavy Cruisers at the enemy mothership and leave the rest to defend. All other units are useless in assaulting the enemy since they blow up too quick to have any effect. There is no tactical gameplay there, just punching trough the big enemy ships with your own. It was rather disappointing for the last desperate fight, where you should be using all your skill to survive.
 

vast-enemy

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Its unfortunate that the remastered edition altered crucial components of a formula that made the original such an engaging experience. Hopefully with a development kit, many of these issues could be resolved.
 

Briantb

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Feb 6, 2014
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I had much the same experience by games end I completely stopped producing any fighter craft because they always ended up completely wiped out at the beginning of each area.

One thing that Gearbox didn't fix was the sudden game crashes, I remember dealing with those 15 years ago.
 

SquidSponge

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Apr 29, 2013
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Gah, I thought "finally, an old-school RTS, one that I loved back in the day too!" but then I discover they had to crowbar in the more modern "everything is fragile and expendable" style. FFS, they had one job - improve the graphics - but no, they just had to start "fixing" what wasn't broken and, by the sounds of things, fucked it up.

No sale. Maybe if someone makes a mod to put the ship "fragility" back to the original standard.
 

Jandau

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Dec 19, 2008
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Eh... the whole rebalancing thing kills it for me. I always thought Homeworld 2 was poorly balanced and the combat just didn't measure up to the first game. Sad to see they changed the first game to fit the second one instead the other way around. Also, no Cataclysm. All in all, I think I'll pass and just play the originals with maybe an HD mod or something...