Welcome to the first ever Roundtable Discussion here on CNCNZ.com. Listed below are the people participating this month.
- Sonic – Webmaster
- Saracen – Co-Webmaster
- Zee Hypnotist – Creative Content
- Lion – Webmaster of CNC Den
- Banshee – Webmaster of Project Perfect Mod
- Chickendippers – Webmaster of CNC World
- Luk3us – Long time C&C fan
- Nyerguds – Modding expert for the classic C&C games
Question 1) Based on the early details, what are your thoughts about Kane’s Wrath?
Sonic: So far so good, but we really haven’t been give that much info. It looks like they have really put some good thought into the unit designs, but I still get the impression they are simply plugging holes with these new units, as in Nod’s lack of real artillery or GDI’s missing air force. As for the storyline, they could be taking a huge gamble by making Kane’s Wrath span 20 years. I guess my concern is that it will lack the depth like the storyline presented to us in C&C 3.
Saracen: I’ve said this on the CNCNZ.com forums already, but allow me to reiterate. There’s certainly a lot more unit diversity in this game, and it’s good to see that they’re addressing the late game issues by preventing the infantry from becoming dead end. I’ve also noticed that they’re putting in an effort on the music this time as well. Should be interesting to hear more of that…. Now all they need to do is ensure that the story is strong and the acting isn’t wooden, and then I believe they are about 2/3 of the way to getting the game how it should have been. The Only changes I’d suggest are darker and more organic red zones. So perhaps more neutral mutants wandering around the place, and a model change on the trees within the red zone…. make the world look and feel more living… The game just needs more atmosphere.
Zee Hypnotist: To be honest, I think Kane’s Wrath is a little off balance. It’s supposed to consist of the building blocks of how Kane got to where he is in Tiberium Wars, yet at the same time, you’ll likely see units that were developed in the storyline of Tiberium Wars. Now, this is an expected thing, as really the entire C&C series goes back and forth in time, and technology is found and lost, and likely EA will be able to work their way around this. I’m hoping that EA learns from it’s mistakes on the release of Tiberium Wars, and it honestly does seem to me like they aren’t hyping it as much, and hopefully that will give it a better community reaction.
Lion: The storyline for Kane’s Wrath is to expand 20 years. Quite and undertaking IF they can do it right. They made some mistakes in the story with C&C3. This is EA’s chance to redeem themselves. My only wish is that they could get Frank Klepacki to compose the music for the expansion. At least they do have Joe Kucan. Without him, it would be a no show.
Banshee: As far as I’m getting so far, it seems that EA is trying to bring units with the technology seen in Tiberian Sun for the game and a part of its story. I have the feeling that all the Tiberium mutated environments will be simplified again in order to not delay the release time. So, I’m still skeptic about this expansion, although I hope I may be proven wrong.
Chickendippers: Kane’s Wrath is shaping up to be an excellent expansion, the new features and size of it is certainly impressive and a far cry from the bad old days of sparse “mission pack” style Red Alert expansions. I think an expansion was inevitable, but perhaps holding the announcement off a bit would have been advisable; now that the C&C League and details of patch 1.09 have been released, the initial clamour over “we don’t need an expansion, the original is still broken” has died down and the mood is one of general excitement.
Luk3us: I think its great that EA are actually going to attempt to bridge the gap between the events of TW and TS:FS. Whilst there is the possibility they could make things even worse storyline wise, I have faith that they will do the story justice, or at least I hope they will. The new global domination mode looking interesting, but I hope they don’t go to overboard with it… Moving away from the single player aspects, the addition of the new sub factions will hopefully mix things up a little making multiplayer more interesting. Also brining some more faction diversity. Of course with the addition of these new factions, powers and units is of course balance, hopefully EA will have the game fairly balanced on release, I mean they have till March so they have a while to get some decent testing done. So basically KW is looking awesome and I hope it turns out that way.
Nyerguds: Even though I’m certainly looking forward to it, I have to admit I haven’t been following it much. School, life and the recent developments on fixing C&C95 and getting it working in high resolutions have been taking most of my time.
Question 2) The announcement about the C&C Saga pack hasn’t been warmly received. What do you think is EA’s motivation for releasing this pack?
Sonic: The release of the C&C Saga pack doesn’t bother me, its purely a marketing thing. The TFD packs are starting to look old on store shelves these days so getting a fresh looking product on the market without spending money on development time means profit. You have to admit though, its a damn good deal if you haven’t picked up a copy of C&C 3 yet.
Saracen: I haven’t really made any comments on this so far. But to be honest this isn’t anything new for the franchise. EA have done this with the original C&C (Command & Conquer Megabox) and Red Alert with the Worldwide Warfare pack. Since then, they’ve continued to create these packs with The Command and Conquer collection, Generals Deluxe, The First Decade and now this. So it’s come as no surprise. Their motivation is clear though, it’s extra income in their pockets. But this pack really doesn’t do much unless someone is new to the franchise altogether. Perhaps their motivation should be better fixed to a 1.03 patch for The First Decade.
Zee Hypnotist: I don’t know why EA is releasing this pack, and personally, I think it’s just for the money. There are things they’ve done to try to make us happy, but this is just too much, and too soon to be a promotional thing.
Lion: C&C Saga is The First Decade game pack + C&C3. Good deal for someone who doesn’t already have C&C3. What EA should have done was wait till Kane’s Wrath was released and then do a compilation of all the games. But they probably will do that anyhow. It’s all about marketing and money. Milk the franchise for all it’s worth.
Banshee: Money, of course.
Chickendippers: I see no reason for releasing the Saga pack other than making a bit of money. Whilst admittedly it’s a good deal if you haven’t bought C&C3 yet, surely it would have been better to release it after Kane’s Wrath? After-all it will become obsolete some time in Spring 2008. It would be particularly cheeky if it contains all the fixes that are noticeably absent from The First Decade in an attempt by EA to start over rather than fix existing problems. Claiming there aren’t enough resources to dedicate to fixing TFD whilst going off and developing a new compilation does seem rather hypocritical.
Luk3us: Can I say shameless money grab? I suppose the pack is good for those who don’t already have the TFD, or who are new to the series, and only know about TW… But still I don’t see the motivation for them to get the saga pack anyway, as they already have TW. Since I can only assume this will just be a re-label of the TFD, at least we can demand a patch to fix all the problems, even if I didn’t have any.
Nyerguds: …money? I have no idea why on earth they’re releasing this beast now. The C&C3 expansion is pretty much about to be released, and they still haven’t made patch 1.03. So yeah, guess I’m sticking with my first answer. Money.
Question 3) What C&C mods have captured your attention recently?
Sonic: Just Red Alert – A Path Beyond, I’ve given it a good thrashing and I’ve come away very impressed. Congratulations to the APB team for delivering a professionally made mod to the community. Asylum shows signs of something special so that’s one to keep an eye on.
Saracen: I’m not someone who enjoys mods much. Mainly because once I’m done with an RTS, I move onto the next. However if I was to pick one, it would definitely be Asylum. Once the team’s Halogen TC was shut down, I was bitterly disappointed. But almost immediately afterwards Asylum was announced, but then went quiet and I thought it to be dead. Once it was re-announced though, I was glad to see it back in action. Yes, I will be keeping my eyes on it, and it may be worth installing C&C 3 again just for Asylum.
Zee Hypnotist: I’m enjoying watching all the top Renegade mods coming closer and closer to their finish, with betas being released, it edges people closer to their seats, and I can’t wait to see them all come into play. They’re dramatically improving Renegade gameplay, and they’re one of the key factors in keeping multiplay alive.
Lion: There’s not any one mod in particular that I’m interested in. What I AM interested in is actually seeing some of the mods in the community completed that have been in production for literally years. A few that started out modding Zero Hour have switched over to C&C3 now. The C&C community has a very active modding community, but not many that actually release a so called ‘final product’.
Banshee: There are very interesting mods being made by the community. One that particularly catches my attention is Galaxy At War (galaxy-at-war.com) and the one that I think it is also catching everyone’s attention is, of course, Tiberian Sun Rising.
Chickendippers: I’ve been playing Red Alert APB recently, I’m continually impressed by the feats the team have achieved with the engine. Even though it’s only just been announced, Asylum already looks like it’s going to be something special! TAKTICS also looks like being something completely novel and a lot of fun, I haven’t heard a lot from the team recently but I sure hope they keep on going!
Luk3us: Well in regard to TW there are a few TC that look interesting. But as for the rest of the C&C universe, probably APB, which I will download sometime soon.
Nyerguds: I’ve been closely involved in the Tiberian Dawn mod for C&C3, for which I’m doing quality control, ingame C&C95 testing (weapons, build speed, Tiberium value…) and some research on the single player missions (though that’s still far off in the mod). For the rest, I’ve been following APB a bit, but I haven’t downloaded it yet because of bandwidth limitations. I’ll probably download it at school.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by each individual in the Roundtable Discussion are their own, and do not reflect the official view of CNCNZ.com, unless otherwise stated.