- Date: 28/02/2000 | Author: Lord-D
Perhaps Firestorm’s most exciting feature so far is Global Domination. For those not in the know, Global Domination is a system whereby Multiplayer games, if a gamer so chooses, are no longer simple skirmishes, but take place on a large map. Gaining control of a map in a battle with an enemy commander will give your side control of the sector, and advance your cause. When one side has completely conquered the map and the game is reset. This is by no means an original concept. Total Annihilations Galactic Wars on-line system was one of the first, if not THE first of such concepts. It’s also superior in terms of strategic game play. In Galactic Wars each side has a ‘Home Planet’ they control. IF the other side successfully dominates it, they are declared the winner regardless. While Global Domination seems to be straying towards a very Command and Conquer-ish ‘blow ’em to pieces’ mentality, Galactic Wars seems to force players to truly consider which planets are worth their resources. Why conquer four planets to reach your enemies HQ when you can do it by conquering one? In Global Domination, it won’t matter. Don’t get me wrong, Global Domination should be cool, but it could be so much more. Here’s how:
1.) Strategic Considerations
This will throw in a completely new element to Command and Conquer. Imagine this situation: Nod forces have broken through your Northern Defences, Minnesota is swarming with Tick Tanks, supplied from their Montana industrial plants. Meanwhile, in the southern perimeter the Brotherhood’s troops have just crossed the banks of the Mississippi. They’ve taken control of the rich river Tiberium fields, which is furthering their offensives on all boards. It seems GDI is doomed, Nod has closed off all the options. However, GDI’s Colorado bases have gone untouched, and are just two battle zones away from Nod’s HQ in New Mexico. A quick offensive drive while Nod is occupied could bring a decisive and glorious victory for your side, this is your chance. However, it’s equally plausible that Nod forces will make a sudden dash from the North and South to meet halfway up the USA, and cut you off from your supply lines, leaving you isolated and alone. Welcome Commander, to TRUE Global Domination. Not just the same old skirmishes with a fancy map of the US or Europe, but war with larger considerations than the battle at hand. Welcome Commander, to the strategic battlefield. Westwood has the chance to create a truly dynamic and shifting battlefield. Here’s the system I envision for what I will call for ‘Real Global Domination’ or RGD. In RGD at the beginning territory will be doled out amongst the two sides, with a few neutral zones for possible turf battles and annexations. Where GDI and Nod lines meet will be the zone of contention. Any territory bordering an enemy one will be immediately added to said zone, as will the enemy territory. Any region in the zone will be under the control of whatever side of the lines it resides on, but will be liable for invasion by enemy forces. This of course also means that GDI can’t attack territory on it’s side of the zone, and neither can Nod. They can only head into enemy territory. Using this system, each side would concentrate on driving towards their enemies HQ, while also trying to cut off the enemy’s advance into theirs at key points.
2.) Resources and Terrain
In order to add to the Strategic Elements I have spoken about above all of the zones up for annexation should be designated specific resource values, in terms of Tiberium, Production Facilities, and Research Facilities. What would be the point of this? Using this you could create a new system of resources. Each side would have a set amount of funds to put toward their war effort, and a set amount of Production Lines and Research Facilities to build the machines of war. The system would be similar to that of numerous Turn Based games. Say a zone has a Tiberium value of 5, and you just captured it along with a Production Zone. For that 5 value the plant is able to produce say, ten Tick Tanks every 6 hours. The next time you go into battle you can take a few Ticks out of the pool into your next combat zone (Obviously there would be a maximum limit of units you can bring in.) And hey, if you’ve got a research centre under your thumb, you can assign it to a factory and build some more advanced stuff, like MSAs and Artillery units. Again, Flame Tanks Sub APCs etc. will not be available to build at these centres. Using this, it would become more important for players to capture and hold onto certain areas. And now that Westwood have announced they’ll be divvying up areas into sectors with multiple zones of combat within each sector, Terrain becomes very important. Say a Zone is unassailable from the West and South. The sector could be successfully and easily defended through the Northern and Easter zones, ensuring any enemy would have to fight hard to get to it. However, if the Northern and Eastern zones are taken, any forces in the first zone have no chance of withdrawal and will be completely crushed, which brings me to my third point.
One of the problems I see with Global Domination is that every skirmish, whether deep in enemy territory, or on neutral terrain will take place as if each side has just arrived there. What if you could allocate a certain amount of your resources to defending and fortifying a territory, making it significantly more difficult for the enemy to take it? Sound good? Here’s how I see it working. Since giving a player a pre-built base would effectively guarantee him a win, I see the fortification as more of a bonus system. Say you put your resources into an area, beefing it up to security level 5. This would give you say, 2 minutes to build and scout uninhibited. After this breather period your enemy would enter the combat zone. You’ve been given a slight advantage to make it harder on him. Other ways the bonus system could work is by giving you a map of the terrain to start with, but putting a shroud over the enemy’s position, letting you know where he is, but not giving you an overly huge advantage. Or maybe a computer controlled troop of units patrolling the map could be used. You can see through their eyes, but not control them. They’ll stick to their routes and harass your enemy when they come across him. This would give your enemy a little less breathing room and give you an ally. All of this will add to the realism element, and take away from the ‘meaningless skirmishes’ feeling. By controlling a territory and developing it, you can reap the benefits, through the resources system described above, and through making it difficult for the enemy to take it away from you!
All of the above would add to the feeling of a united cause against a unified foe. We could factor in other ideas as well. How about Air Strikes? Or Troop Transfers in the heat of battle, this all becomes possible in part two of this article available to-morrow!