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Plokite_Wolf

New Article: Totally Not Angry Response To Stupid Community Comments

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In another new article, I've decided to publicly vent about quite a few misinformed and outright stupid comments I've encountered in the C&C community over the past few years on almost all sites and chat rooms I've been to. Sadly, most of these things are frequently repeated over and over. The statements I've made there are sincere mirrors of what I think and feel, so easily offended people beware. You can read the full article here.

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Well after since reading the "interesting" article, two things were left out, I still have people asking for a KW Mod SDK when there's WrathEd out there.... only to find out the only download links to it is in PPMSite and not ModDB (because the original link was removed). And one more thing, there was NEVER a Mod SDK for RA3 Uprising and C&C4.

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That's not nearly as frequent or bad as the stuff I covered.

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“Petroglyph should get the rights to the C&C franchise”
I think this is only a smaller part of the larger poorly-considered statement, "EA should sell the rights to the C&C franchise." I have honestly considering writing an entire article just on why this is such a stupid statement for the past few months, but I'm not sure I can write it in a way that isn't boring.

“Red Alert 3 is all cartoony”
If you hear people actually say this, I wouldn't be surprised. However, you may be misrepresenting what is normally said, "Red Alert 3 is too cartoony," which is a completely legitimate complaint, even if you personally disagree with it. Cartoony is also ≠ cheesy.

“All Red Alert 3 does is advertise to teens who love to see boobs on the screen”
This statement is hyperbolic, but your response takes it literally. The complaint is against the extent to which RA3 went with the sexual undertones and costumes, which far surpassed any previous or future title. As with above, it is a completely legitimate complaint, even if you personally disagree with it.

I think the rest of the article is fair.

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2 minutes ago, Nmenth said:

“Red Alert 3 is all cartoony”
If you hear people actually say this, I wouldn't be surprised. However, you may be misrepresenting what is normally said, "Red Alert 3 is too cartoony," which is a completely legitimate complaint, even if you personally disagree with it. Cartoony is also ≠ cheesy.

Yes, I've read comments as I've paraphrased. Agreed on the "too cartoony" part.

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And the first two Red Alert games aren’t? Are their cutscenes the epitome of realism and grit? Are their technologies grounded in reality? Is the overarching premise of Einstein travelling back in time to kill Hitler worthy of a Pulitzer or something?

Uh...

RA2 is certainly cartoony (at least the ingame grafics), but RA1? I would argue the story is darker than TD and the ingame grafics are kinda the same

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2 minutes ago, Stygs said:

but RA1? I would argue the story is darker than TD and the ingame grafics are kinda the same

Quirky quotes, the Soviet ending, the over-the-top technologies like giant Tesla Coils with van de Graaff's generators and oversized double-barrelled tanks, deliberate cheese... Some plot points may be on the dark side, but the overall experience sure isn't.

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Are you sure we are talking about the same game? The one were people died horrible during the cutszenes? The one with nerve gas and stuff?

And all your points fit for TD too: quirky quotes, a weird scifi Nod ending (net runner?), over the top laser turrets (obelisk) and oversized double-barrelled tanks and bad acting.

Edited by Stygs

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13 minutes ago, Stygs said:

quirky quotes

The Commando is the only one who fits the description, and that's because he's made as a tough movie marine guy trope.

13 minutes ago, Stygs said:

a weird scifi Nod ending (net runner?)

I'm not talking just weird, I mean this. Not something an average gritty game of today would feature.

13 minutes ago, Stygs said:

over the top laser turrets (obelisk)

As Saturday-cartoonish as it is, I'd argue it even makes more sense than Tesla Graaffs, for range and firepower if nothing else. The former just zaps flesh and metal constructs where probably a lesser-sized device would suffice.

13 minutes ago, Stygs said:

bad acting.

RA1 had deliberately bad acting. TD was due to them having no budget and getting actuall Westwood staff to do the videos.

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3 minutes ago, Plokite_Wolf said:

I'm not talking just weird, I mean this. Not something an average gritty game of today would feature.

Uh, Stalin dacing before he gets shot? Yeah, total comedy gold :D

 

I fail to see how this is cartoony or comes anywhere close to Romanov in his underware or Yuri getting eaten by a T-Rex.

 

RA1 had deliberately bad acting.

Yes, RA1 was apparently inspired by old B-movies. And while the cinematics might have been corny, they certainly are not cartoony in the way RA2/3 were.

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Imo, maybe the biggest fault is that RA3 gets compared with TD/RA1.

The latter where released in a era that was less adherent to rating organizations and social/political expectations in response to current affairs.

Ra1 or TD didn't censor anything in relation to violence, ethnicity, terrorism, war etc.

Add to it, that the engine and art style available in that era wasn't hd pixelperfect clear. With no zoom at all and the low def graphics (compared to current graphics, for their time it had good graphics ) you had to use some imagination to see a rifle or bazooka in those sprites. I think it was .shp the ued back then?

While if you look at generals/zh , they started to be effected more by censorship, a good example is the german release of it. TW had the same in regards to the fanatic and even super weapons ignoring civi's.

So it would be more accurate to compare RA3 to TW imo. Same era, same political climate give or take a few years, same technology lvl engine wise (more or less!). And in that regard TW was a lot darker, not in its context but in regard to its color pallet and shader use. Ra3's animations were more "cartoonish" then TW, noticeable in how infantry ran or the increased amount of "wiggling" and recoil of vehicles. Something which is more visible and easily critiqued because of the definition quality of current graphics compared to what they had in '96-ish.

So imo, one should compare TD with RA1, TS with RA2 and TW with RA3. As the time, technology and sociopolitical climate match up better.

So imo RA1 was just as gritty as TD, in its use of blood, weapons and their effects use (burning and electrocution, chem death animations). Story wise i found both dark at occasion (burning villages or mass grave pictures, tib mutation etc for TD, sarin gass pictures, firing squad fmv, strangulation or point blank shooting etc for RA).

While for TS and RA2 both used an equal amount of violence and gore, TS was darker story wise and presentation, RA2 began to take a more satirical approach to its story and unit design.

While for TW and RA, ironically RA3 is darker in regards to weapon effect, if only slightly but it gets overlooked due to RA3 choice of art style and unit design. TW strives to be darker in story telling if only slightly more so do to the introduction of the SCRIN who aggressively target civi's.

My two cents atleast.

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“EA killed Westwood”

I agree that this seems to be a common misconception. However many publicly available sources with high impact all repeat that claim. For example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westwood_Studios#Acquisition_by_EA_and_liquidation is full of gaps, very one sided in that regard and contains a lot of unverified claims

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In response to EA's buyout, many long-time Westwood employees quit and left Westwood Studios. [citation needed] 

At the time of its liquidation, Westwood employed a third of the original Westwood Studios personnel [citation needed]

Also these community run social media sites like https://www.facebook.com/westwoodstudios and https://twitter.com/westwoodstudios spread a one sided view making people only remember the positive elements. This nostalgic "what if" dream also reinforces the perception that something fully functional was taken from the community by evil corporate overlords.

Edited by Matthias

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11 minutes ago, Matthias said:

I agree that this seems to be a common misconception. However many publicly available sources with high impact all repeat that claim. For example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westwood_Studios#Acquisition_by_EA_and_liquidation is full of gaps, very one sided in that regard and contains a lot of unverified claims

Indeed, and even that is full of crap after I cleansed the more outstanding claims. The Tiberian Sun article was just horrible.

But I can't tell people to read this en masse, now can I... http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Westwood_Studios

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Tried to fix things up, but the German Wikipedia articles are way better as it has more high quality and recent sources. There is an interview http://www.gamestar.de/artikel/wie-schlimm-ist-electronic-arts-wirklich-im-reich-des-boesen,3059248,seite2.html (sadly only in German) where Louis Castle described how the creative freedom and unlimited budgets EA granted them, actually let to hiring too much inexperienced staff as well as feature creep and waste of developer resources in their games as all ideas, even the mediocre ones, were implemented. I always thought the opposite was the case: reducing workforce and cutting budgets. I am not sure if he ever made such statements in an English language article.

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The English one still says this:

All the subsequent games developed by Westwood were also heavily subjected to increased control by Electronic Arts


Which is kinda bs.

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8 hours ago, Matthias said:

actually let to hiring too much inexperienced staff as well as feature creep and waste of developer resources in their games as all ideas, even the mediocre ones, were implemented.

That allways reminds me of a quote from Renegade and DCoder, two of the guys working on the ARES patch for RA2:

 

Quote

<DCoder> MouseClass extends ScrollClass, which extends TabClass, which extends SidebarClass, which extends PowerClass, which extends RadarClass, which extends DisplayClass, which extends MapClass, which extends GScreenClass
<Renegade> -_^
<Renegade> so basically, the radar is a kind of mouse?
<DCoder> reverse
<Renegade> yeah....I think I may have identified one of westwood's development problems

 

Edited by Stygs
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On 22.9.2017 at 9:24 PM, PurpleGaga27 said:

Well after since reading the "interesting" article, two things were left out, I still have people asking for a KW Mod SDK when there's WrathEd out there.... only to find out the only download links to it is in PPMSite and not ModDB (because the original link was removed). And one more thing, there was NEVER a Mod SDK for RA3 Uprising and C&C4.

Can't really agree with it if you consider the fact that there are many random versions of WED X on random places on the net, and each X version may function slightly different, people will find themselves confused and won't be sure what to use as there's currently no bug free and fully functional release afaik (and if anything... the best version imo don't have any official link by the creators aside some random dead links on random forums, which leave confused user pm'ing me around to get that version D: )

Edited by Egozi44

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I figured this was going to written by Mr. Wolf and hey, some of it I'll agree with. At first AT FIRST, the EA takeover didn't seem so bad. I mean my favorite C&C is RA2/YR and that was under EA's rule. However I think as the years went on, EA (as they usually do) started to dig their claws slowly into the company a bit more and probably started to have a bit more oversight into the franchise and how they were starting to change the story in TW for the worse (how they did Tiberium, Forgot the Forgotten for the most part).

As for RA3, yeah, it went WAYYY overboard with the cartoony stuff. Not to mention the whole idea of having to have a second commander on the field, which mind you, is fine and great if you have an another human player but sucks with the AI. The whole water.amphibious angle didn't quite work out and it was just more like a different kind of landmass. And some of the units were just so dumb and/or unless. I'm thinking RA3 was the turning point of when things were going downhill for C&C.

As for Tiberium Twilight and Generals 2, there's no real blame to pass onto other than EA for sure. You can debate earlier C&C games and EA's influence on those being suspect, but not with these two, not with me.

Petroglyph? Yeah...no. Their time has long pass in being any sort of Westwood Studios successor. They are pretty mediocre at best and not really that great at worst. Grey Goo is probably the closest they will ever reach in making a decent C&C-like successor and even then that game didn't particularly set the RTS world on fire.

And EA will make sure to hold C&C IP hostage because even if they don't want to make a decent RTS out of it, they sure as hell won't sell it to someone else without making them pay through the nose and make them look like chumps in the process.

The only real hope C&C fans have it seems is perhaps one day, some small indie studio, much like old school Westwood, will make some sort of spiritual sequel to the series. Granted, it won't be truly C&C but I feel that someone can re-capture that vibe we all got when we played our first games. Or at least one can dream.

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7 hours ago, neojames82 said:

EA (as they usually do) started to dig their claws slowly into the company a bit more and probably started to have a bit more oversight into the franchise and how they were starting to change the story in TW for the worse (how they did Tiberium, Forgot the Forgotten for the most part)

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you another common sight in the community - the inability to differentiate from the publisher and developer. But I guess it's understandable when 90% of one's posts are anti-EA circlejerking.

All EA cared for were the sales and schedules, while EALA tried to cram as much stuff as they could in laughably short time periods. Greg Black mentioned on Twitter how they had only 11 months to make Tiberium Wars, so the storyline mistakes and omissions are understandable.

7 hours ago, neojames82 said:

As for RA3, yeah, it went WAYYY overboard with the cartoony stuff.

You didn't seem to really play RA2.

 

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Cute. Reverse fanboying. Same bullshit, different package. Huzzah.

The point about a remaster... the early games would benefit. Native widescreen and slightly fancier graphics won't hurt. Not like the SC Remaster didn't prove leaving the old elements in tact while making things a bit better isn't good or anything. Nah, that didn't happen.

In short, this was a lame display of random anger.

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7 minutes ago, Doctor Destiny said:

The point about a remaster... the early games would benefit. Native widescreen and slightly fancier graphics won't hurt. Not like the SC Remaster didn't prove leaving the old elements in tact while making things a bit better isn't good or anything. Nah, that didn't happen.

Except StarCraft Remaster is one of the truly rare remasters which wasn't made with the intention of grabbing a quick buck while annihilating compatibility with the old version. Blizzard deliberately based it off v1.16.1 and made the new graphics just as a DLC. The way, say, Microsoft/Skybox do things, is a wholly different story. Did you know AoE2 will now get a second remaster which will only be on the MS Store, meaning it will be completely separate from the original game and the Steam-based HD Edition for no real reason other than to promote Microsoft's shitty store? Did you know that they didn't fix all issues with the AoE2 HD Edition, and especially the notoriously broken Age of Mythology Extended Edition?

7 minutes ago, Doctor Destiny said:

In short, this was a lame display of random anger.

You mean like your own?

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8 hours ago, Plokite_Wolf said:

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you another common sight in the community - the inability to differentiate from the publisher and developer. But I guess it's understandable when 90% of one's posts are anti-EA circlejerking.

All EA cared for were the sales and schedules, while EALA tried to cram as much stuff as they could in laughably short time periods. Greg Black mentioned on Twitter how they had only 11 months to make Tiberium Wars, so the storyline mistakes and omissions are understandable.

You didn't seem to really play RA2.

 

Anti-EA? I'm proudly anti-EA and you giving them any sort of leeway or butt kissing isn't going to help bring back C&C anytime soon.

Okay, so again,  where am I wrong in my previous statement? When I meant EA, I meant EA and NOT EALA. I know the difference between publishers and developers as well you fucking gimp. And since EA gave them only 11 months, how is it again NOT EA's doing in making the story shitty?

And no, played PLENTY of RA2/YR friend, look at what my favorite game is under my avatar next time. Yes, I agree that RA2/YR was a bit cartoony but it was still kinda trying to take itself serious and still had a semi-serious or perhaps a better way to say it, dark humor tone to it, which I liked. RA3 however turned up the silly to fucking one billion times over and it was just plain stupid.

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3 minutes ago, neojames82 said:

Anti-EA? I'm proudly anti-EA and you giving them any sort of leeway or butt kissing isn't going to help bring back C&C anytime soon.

I'm not pro-EA, but I'm also not pounding them for things they didn't do like a blind Westwood fanboy.

4 minutes ago, neojames82 said:

Okay, so again,  where am I wrong in my previous statement?

You implying that a publisher had anything to do with storyline/universe matters.

5 minutes ago, neojames82 said:

Yes, I agree that RA2/YR was a bit cartoony but it was still kinda trying to take itself serious and still had a semi-serious or perhaps a better way to say it, dark humor tone to it, which I liked.

RA2, taking itself seriously? You must have been playing one of those pirated rips which leave out cutscenes, because half of the cast, chief of which are Romanov and Yuri, are nothing more than Saturday morning cartoon characters.

 

6 minutes ago, neojames82 said:

I know the difference between publishers and developers as well you fucking gimp.

Warned.

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18 minutes ago, Plokite_Wolf said:

I'm not pro-EA, but I'm also not pounding them for things they didn't do like a blind Westwood fanboy.

You implying that a publisher had anything to do with storyline/universe matters.

RA2, taking itself seriously? You must have been playing one of those pirated rips which leave out cutscenes, because half of the cast, chief of which are Romanov and Yuri, are nothing more than Saturday morning cartoon characters.

 

Warned.

Trust me, me bashing EA is more than just about Westwood and C&C and no, not saying Westwood isn't totally blameless either since they foolish let themselves go into so much debt they had no choice but to make a deal with the devil.

Again, you misread what I said. Since EA (the publisher) gave only EALA (the developer) 11 months total to develop the game, they didn't have time to really flush out the story from the previous game since 11 months is laughably a small amount of development time so the team had to make some sort of a hodgepodge of a story. No, they didn't influence the story via their own ideas, they influenced it via shortening their time to make a decent story.

Haha, you are so witty...yeah they are a bit like Saturday morning cartoon villains with the silliness but sometimes even those Saturday morning cartoons (at least when I was a kid) sometimes were a bit serious. Obviously you and I see this differently so no more point in talking about this.

Oh you warned me did you? Like I give a damn...

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