This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

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ShadowMan42
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This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by ShadowMan42 » 18 May 2012, 00:23

I've never played an RTS seriously (I've played C&C Red Alert and StarCraft Broodwars ) , or even against non AI opponents. but this game is genuinely appealing to me. Are there any newbie friendly teams/clans or something? Are there guides I need to follow? People I should emulate, strategies I should internalize? I have no idea how any of this works, and would like to learn.

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by aubergine » 18 May 2012, 04:01

Are there any specific problems you are having? ...it will be easier for people to help if we knew a little more :)
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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by ShadowMan42 » 18 May 2012, 04:21

Well I suppose my first problem is controlling units. Ordering them to attack or patrol seems to have no affect, and giving orders to moving units is difficult. I keep just randomly selecting and unselecting them when trying to right click the units for the order menu.

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by Lord Apocalypse » 18 May 2012, 05:07

Most of the campaign walkthroughs should still be valid. Just look up anything published for the retail release of warzone from 99. The command line options and cheats code are probably NOT the same though.

As for clans.. not sure what to say, i've never played anything but campaign and skirmish. Plenty of good players on this site though.

Best advice. Finish the campaign then move on to skirmish. Try all the skirmish options. Bases, no bases, low oil, heavy oil, T1, T3 etc. Once you can beat the game on every difficulty level and both (is there 2 to choose from?) AIs try some of the homegrown AIs in the other forums and try to beat them. Once you have the solo mastered move on to MP games ;)

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by Iluvalar » 18 May 2012, 06:51

Lord Apocalypse wrote: Best advice. Finish the campaign then move on to skirmish. Try all the skirmish options. Bases, no bases, low oil, heavy oil, T1, T3 etc. Once you can beat the game on every difficulty level and both (is there 2 to choose from?) AIs try some of the homegrown AIs in the other forums and try to beat them. Once you have the solo mastered move on to MP games ;)
That's the worst advice possible.

Play skirmish no base, T1. Start with a factory (we also play lab first) and get more trucks to build faster. Learn how to reach the Thermal armor (more for all crucial research it require than for the armor itself). Once you are there, come join us in MP !

We'll show you the weapon modifiers and give you more tips :) .
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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by Lord Apocalypse » 18 May 2012, 07:10

Playing with or w/o bases isn't bad advice. Every option changes the dynamic of the solo game. Forces changes in tactics and play style. AI may not or may never be as good as a live person but the more you change things up the better off you will be when hitting MP. Also doesn't help that everyone may not even be in the same time zone or within 3 timezones (time lag is a real kicker)

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by NoQ » 18 May 2012, 13:56

It is a very bad idea to practice against an AI. The reason is that every AI is sort of unbalanced and has severe misbehaviours humans don't usually have. Playing against an AI will only teach you to exploit these design holes, but not actually play well.

For example, most of the AIs usually has no idea what to do against turtling. That's the reason why many of the newbies are fond of turtling (tower wars) and overestimate mortars and ripples, calling it "defensive style"; that sort of behaviour will be heavily discouraged in any multiplayer game (especially in team games, where your towers won't be able to save your friend), so all the skill of defeating AIs will go to waste.

Another example: the default "Nexus" AI uses only tanks for attacks (till the very late game), so many newbies think that lancer is a cool weapon that wins the game, while machineguns and flamers are useless, which is completely wrong.

Note: when i say "most AIs are poor against turtling", i include nullbot here (even though it has some anti-turtling tweaks, it is still horribly weak; note that nullbot-turtle plays fairly well against all AIs i tried him on, even though its turtling is horribly poor).

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by iap » 20 May 2012, 15:01

NoQ wrote:Another example: the default "Nexus" AI uses only tanks for attacks (till the very late game), so many newbies think that lancer is a cool weapon that wins the game, while machineguns and flamers are useless, which is completely wrong.
No, Wait, WHAT?! :shock:

(Yup, I'm 3 years old noob)

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by NoQ » 20 May 2012, 15:10

No, Wait, WHAT?!
Emm? (:

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by ShadowMan42 » 20 May 2012, 18:47

So I looked up some of the things in the game manual, and I started playing "strategically", in the campaign I('m around 5 or 6 missions in now) , even if it's pretty basic.

Currently my strategy consists of a constant rush of wheeled MG, Flamers, and Mortars to capture the enemy bases(retreating at medium damage, and merely abusing the power sources and defenses) , and re fortify those structures (with defensive structures, repair structure and a factory or two) while sending in the heavier units slowly but surely, then going in an all out assault on the remaining ( and usually most fortified) bases .

How good/bad is this kind of strategy in multiplayer?
Last edited by ShadowMan42 on 20 May 2012, 23:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by Giani » 20 May 2012, 21:09

IMO, if you want to rush, ordering your units to retreat at heavy damage might be better.
ShadowMan42 wrote: ...and re fortify those structures (with defensive structures, repair structure and a factory or two)...
I don't understand, re-fortify what structures?
By what I understood, your strategy is good. :)
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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by ShadowMan42 » 20 May 2012, 22:42

Giani wrote: I don't understand, re-fortify what structures?
Well I meant building a sub base where an enemy installment was, after I level it.

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by NoQ » 21 May 2012, 06:37

How good/bad is this kind of strategy in multiplayer?
1. By "constant rush" you mean something like "harass"? That's a nice thing to do, but you shouldn't make too many units for that. After all, if the enemy prefers to spend all money on heavy units, he will win a direct fight and kill you.
2. Defensive structures are seriously underpowered in multiplayer, but making a few often makes sense.
3. The worst thing here is weapon choice, that's something that campaign doesn't teach at all. In campaign, you have all weapons at once, and it's ok to mix, eg., machineguns and flamers and mortars in a single army. In a multiplayer game, you have a complete research tree, but you can't afford researching everything the lab gives you; you would need to prefer a single weapon against cyborgs (MG or flamer or MRA or maybe mortar and other arty if it's available), a single weapon against tanks (rockets/missiles or cannons/railguns; sometimes it's possible to use flamers as anti-tank), and in very rare cases a special weapon against buildings (artillery, bunker busters, bombs) and focus your research on them, for having a single good weapon is much better than having a bunch of outdated weapons to choose from.

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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by Iluvalar » 21 May 2012, 19:48

Just to complete the specialization tough from NoQ :

Most of the time I have 1-2 crucial line, 1 main line, 1-2 alt line and sometime one hybrid line.

By crucial, I mean the things that we can't stop to research in standard games (power generator, research labs, armors, propulsion, etc.) because of the shape of the tree.

So... my main line will be one weapon that I'd like to play or one of my other teammate "called". I will follow that path, but I'll be aware of the weakness I have, and therefore I will keep an alt weapon ready to deploy at some decent level of research, and I will constantly search in my enemy units to see if they might start to adapt from my main line. As long as they don't seem to counter my main line (like the AI always do), I will keep with my main line.
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Re: This is my first RTS, how do I get good at it?

Post by Giani » 22 May 2012, 00:07

Iluvalar wrote:Just to complete the specialization tough from NoQ :

Most of the time I have 1-2 crucial line, 1 main line, 1-2 alt line and sometime one hybrid line.

By crucial, I mean the things that we can't stop to research in standard games (power generator, research labs, armors, propulsion, etc.) because of the shape of the tree.

So... my main line will be one weapon that I'd like to play or one of my other teammate "called". I will follow that path, but I'll be aware of the weakness I have, and therefore I will keep an alt weapon ready to deploy at some decent level of research, and I will constantly search in my enemy units to see if they might start to adapt from my main line. As long as they don't seem to counter my main line (like the AI always do), I will keep with my main line.
You meant that, for example, when you use rockets you research cannons too? If you did, that isn't a good tactic for low oil.
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