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  Community Summit Secret Info
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JohnWE's Tale of C&C3

Here is the second installment of the Community Summit Info. We all know more than any magazine out there because we got to test it and talk with the developers for a few days! Instead of putting this on the other document and making it unbearably long to read, I split up the sections by dashes indicating where it fits in. Either way, this can be a standalone document too. But why are you reading this paragraph? Get on with the good stuff!

As we entered into the presentation room, on the screen was a large map of Australia detailing where the Tiberium had hit. Mike Verdu gave the first presentation we got, and it was an overview of C&C3. His key points about C&C3 were as follows:

-It feels like C&C games. (like C&C games previous to Generals that is)
-There is an in-depth story behind C&C3, with professional Full Motion Videos and CG.
-Over 1 hour of live-action FMVs in 720p (HD widescreen)
-38 missions total from 10-45 minutes long for a good player. 15 Nod and GDI, and 8 for the Aliens. The Alien campaign is unlocked after you complete both GDI and Nod's.
-There is one story, but we get to see the story from each of the factions' viewpoints.
-GDI is not pure good, Nod is not pure evil.
-GDI General Jack Granger (your commanding officer) is a strict military type, who hates to be under the control of a civilian. He thinks in black and white, while Director Redmond Boyle comes into conflict with Granger; to him the ends justify the means. Then you must make a decision of whom to follow.
-Nod 2nd in command Kilian Qatar increasingly becomes doubtful of Kane's intentions with the brotherhood, especially when he begins to sacrifice his forces when the aliens arrive. There will be a betrayal!

-Spectator mode for virtually unlimited people to watch a game.
-There is reputation, so you can see how good your opponent is, both in skill and sportsmanship.
-The AI will use different strategies such as rushing or turtling.

At this time, two lucky members of the audience got to test out C&C3 in front of everyone! Even though they had never played it before! Assassin and Zee Hypnotist were the lucky few, and it was quite fun to watch two people play against each other even though they had never played the game before. Assassin was defeated rather badly; Hypnotist didn't rush, but he managed to build up enough of his GDI forces including Mk3s and Juggernauts that wiping out the barely defended Nod base was easy. Seeing it on a 12-15 foot screen was very impressive.

Alien Faction:
-They have been in Earth's solar system for thousands of years, out past Neptune, in stasis, monitoring earth.
-It is possible that we could have spotted them with our telescopes, but nobody of enough importance thought to look in that direction.
-Their ships are not faster than light, so they had to leave their planet a very long time ago.
-2047, the Scrin wake up!
-When they arrive at earth, they just want to collect the Tiberium and return it to their home planet.
-They are surprised that there are two factions still alive after over 50 years of the Tiberium being on earth.
-GDI hates them, Nod does too, but Kane has other plans, and calls them 'the Visitors'.
-Aliens kill both GDI and Nod.

Then we got to see a live demonstration of a Single Player mission. Playing as GDI in one of their first missions against the Scrin. The objective system in game was greatly improved, along with communicating to the player what to do next. We got to see what Zone Troopers can do against the little Alien troops, and that's annihilate them!

After this display, we got to bombard the developers with questions.

-Hero units are the Commandos on GDI and Nod (with distinct special abilities) and the Mastermind on the Alien side.
-There is a new pipeline that improves loading time of maps to around 10 seconds; faster than RA2!
-The engine is still the same, but there is new network code and some extra unmentioned features to prevent cheating.
-Files are now XML based, making it easier to mod. The AI is completely detached from the engine, making it very powerful to change.
-Alien campaign comes after the Nod and GDI ones, so it is going to be difficult; assuming you already know how to win the other sides.
-There is a draw-selection feature, not only can you band box, but you can draw a "shape" around units you want to select.
-4 levels of units, like in Generals
-Engineers can capture dead walkers and turn them back on the enemy!
-Vehicles don't auto-fire on structures (but do on base defenses)
-The Radar screen is visible, and you can move around on it before you have the radar building, but structures and units don't show up on it until after you have radar.


Multiplay Test 1!

Yes, all of us got to test out multiplayer C&C3! The developers allowed us to use 2 different maps, the first being Tournament Desert layout except a few extra buildings in the center, and the second map was a 4 player map of which I can't draw a parallel. It had a city in the center with the start spots on the center of each edge. All matches were played 1v1, humans only. I asked my partner, someone from CNCHQ.de if he would care to learn what all forces we had to use before attacking, but a developer right next to me said, "No, go defeat him!" So, for the entire time of this multiplayer test I concentrated on winning instead of figuring out everything.

In the first match, I was GDI, and in the other 3 or 4 I was Nod. Spurred on by the developers comments, I chose to win the quickest way known to C&C gamers; the engineer rush! I built a Refinery, then a Barracks, two rifle squads and an engineer. The rifle squads I sent straight west to the Nod base, and the engineer took a slightly southerly route. While my opponent was concerned with the rifle squads up front, the engineer moseyed into the Construction yard! A few base defenses later and it was over. Kinda cheap the first time playing a game to bring that sort of tactic, but I had to be sure that one of my favorite strategies worked in C&C3.

The main thing that I remember from the third match is how I used Nod's Shadow Squads. Check out my unit list for more info on them. I was on the south of the 2 player map and my opponent spread his base around on the north part. A good strategy, but I decided to check out what these 'glider guys' do. It turns out they have a decent attack against infantry and can either fly or land. When landed, they have a bomb which takes out power plants in one use. Two takes out a War Factory. I had just 1 squad of them, but they managed to take out the entire back of this guy's base while I was building up Avatar Mechs to hit the front. Some sneaky tactics like this finished that game rather quickly. I was wondering why he didn't come in with something and kill those infantry, but it turns out that when they are heroic, they become cloaked!

The fourth match, I decided instead of building up to avatars, I'd do a quick rush. I was in the north of Tournament Desert and I built 4 flame tanks and sent them down the right side. With base defenses and rocket squads defending my base from his tanks, the flame tanks extraordinarily quickly took out his base. He even had two predator tanks attacking the flamers, but my tanks prevailed with none of them destroyed. It was very close in some cases, but I could always run the low health one away to get healed. They ended up all elite, and GDI ended up with a barracks. I checked out the special ability to make a decoy army on the flame tanks, and it turns out that they damaged the building. They did 1 damage according to the developers smile

I did win all matches this time, either 4 or 5, I don't remember. The game never crashed for us, but to some people around us, it did a few times. Most people only finished 2 or 3 games, but I raced through them big grin

So what do I think about C&C3? Game of the Year. In the evening before at dinner a bunch of us were talking about possible ways that the squads wouldn't work, but EVERYONE was surprised that they worked very well, and it felt like C&C. There was a minor bit of negative feedback (unlike the BFME2 summit), but the game blew everyone away!


RTS As A Sport

We got to listen to a presentation by Chris Corry on EA's new idea of promoting C&C3. RTS As A Sport is a system that will take multiplayer to higher levels, make it competitive on higher level, and most importantly it will allow matches to be watched while they are in progress by virtually unlimited amounts of spectators. Now what better a way to see if you want to play a game than to see it being played? Anyone will be able to download a FREE spectator client which will allow the user to watch replays and live match broadcasts. Having such a firsthand experience will doubtless encourage people to get C&C3. When playing a multiplayer game, you have the option of it being broadcast. If so, this is what happens!

The backbone of this system will be CommandAndConquer.com. It will have sections for Past, Present and Future. Past will list replays of games which have been played. The replays will be able to be viewed by anyone, and will be rated by the viewers. More popular and higher scoring replays will be kept longer on the servers, while worse ones will be deleted sooner. Present will list current games being broadcast, with links that will launch your client or C&C3 game to check out the game. The game will start playing from the beginning if you join after it's been playing a while. Future will list important matches in the future. Yes, you can schedule matches in the future at a certain time (+/- 1 hour to start) and they'll show up at C&C.com. Matches between more prominent players may be highlighted on the main pages. Think of it as a programming guide on the future matches.

What does more prominent player mean? You will have an option to rate each person you play (called 'reputation') at the end of each game. You can rate skill and sportsmanship. There are concerns about players who lose and are bitter simply rate down the other people, so EA will see how this system works out. The reputation is displayed on your profile at C&C.com. An EA Master Account is needed overall, then you have a profile that is linked to C&C3. So both ingame and on C&C.com you will be able to check out your win/loss records and other stats.

While you are watching a broadcast match or replay, there is an option for someone to be the commentator. The commentator is a spectator who is able to have his talking sent to all other spectators; who has a camera which has a special feature. The commentator is supposed to try to center in on the action and highlight all important parts of the battle. It will be a good learning tool as well when watching replays of top players. Commentary will be able to be added to replays after the match is over. You can rate the commentator on how well he did, and then more or fewer people will see matches he is commentating. You can mute the commentator if you don't like to hear him. The commentator has a special tool which I forget what it's called, but he can 'draw' on the screen. He can circle important things to see, draw arrows to other things the players are missing, and so on.

Version and map compatibility will be greatly improved through this system. When a patch comes out, you will still be able to view the old replays; the game will revert to the previous values for the unit stats and such. With custom maps, they will be transferred to C&C.com and will be downloaded automatically whenever you want to view a replay on that map! Maps will generally be left on the servers until their replays are deleted.

Other info:
-you will not be able to see chat from the players in spectator mode, or in replays.
-you can delay match viewing by 1-90 minutes or until match is over keep your opponent from watching your match and seeing what you have.
-Clan support will be included, but little was said about this feature.
-EA has implemented more anti-cheat protocols including signed executables and other features I'm not going to mention.
-3 cameras for replays: free-roam (no fog of war), through the eyes of any player, commentator camera
-replay size will be a few megabytes if there is commentator audio, but not over 10MB.
-the Spectator client will be 770 MB for English and 1.5 GB for all languages
-A match of the month will be highlighted on C&C.com
-no word on if mods will be able to use this system.


Playing against AI

The AI in C&C3 is split up into different behaviors.
-Offensive is a rusher who concentrates on building forces up quickly and attacking right away.
-Defensive is a more of a turtler who builds up to superweapons and only attacks when it has an advantage.
-Overlord builds up large forces of whatever. Tanks, Infantry, Aircraft; and when it has enough, it throws them all at you in a huge wave.
-Guerilla uses more sneaky tactics including attacking from different directions, using a variety of units to destroy you.
-Optimal combines the four AI types into one, and is supposedly the hardest to beat.

There are 4 difficulty levels in C&C3:
-Easy -- for most of you people out there stick out tongue
-Medium -- I guess it might be a slight challenge
-Hard -- As hard as the developers can program the AI
-Brutal -- Hard + Money and Build Cheats

4 games, and lost 3 of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bad at C&C3, but I went straight away for the hardest possible challenge I could imagine. Brutal Offensive GDI against Nod me. The first time, I was overwhelmed with Predator tanks and I could not build enough vehicles to hold them off. I had garrisoned the buildings, and had put up quite a few Obelisks of Light, but once they were overrun, the game was over. The next game, I was losing in a similar way, and would have lost, except I built a commando, walked her around the outside and blew up all the AI's base before it could have a chance to take the commando out. So there was my win!

The next two games I played something that I thought would be just as hard, Brutal Guerilla Nod against GDI me but I was wrong. They completely obliterated me both times I played! This time, I couldn't even hold them off with defenses; they kept on attacking with flame tanks, flame infantry, Venom aircraft, throw in some more tanks and infantry and a few stealth tanks to cap it off. It was ridiculously hard! And here's where the squads stopped being so cool. The had so many infantry I built a sniper to take care of them. But since there are so many in the squad, and the sniper can only take out one at a time, he was killed, and I was done for. It was very impressive how the AI attacked from everywhere. You can't have base defenses everywhere around your base in that 4 player map so it was unbeatable.

In the debriefing session I heard most people played against Easy or Medium enemies, to which I was quite disappointed. I should have probably played against Hard enemies, but hey, I wanted to see how hard it can get. And with this many settings of AI, I think it will be an engaging enough experience to keep everyone's attention for a long while!


XBox 360 and C&C3, the next presentation by Mike Glosecki covered just that! They use a different interface for the game, and make it easier for the handheld controllers to select and move units. A sort of cursor 'magnetism' is used. We did see one mission in play involving Nod blowing up some GDI bases. I must say after playing on the awesome computer with 1600x1200 resolution, the graphics disappointed me. A few other changes include that there will be some extra game modes, including one that I think many people on CnC-Files would enjoy; the no rush until time limit. Barriers will be erected and will cease at a certain time, and then you can attack.


Alien Multiplay Test

Now the really fun part was commencing! I played 4 games against Jason of StrategyInformer and only one time was there a question about who was going to win. Yep, 4-0 again. The Alien side was the side with the most bugs that I found, so I don't think I can fully appreciate their side until I get to play the fixed version. For example, the Mastermind (the alien hero unit) was quite good against infantry. It also had a cool special ability I had to check out. Teleport supposedly took your units from somewhere on the map and put them somewhere else. It can grab around 5-8 units depending on their size, and the Mastermind uses up its charge of Tiberium to use the ability. But you could only teleport the units just about 5 cursor lengths away from where they were at the start place. So you COULD teleport them all the way to the enemy base, but it wasn't very practical.

The Aliens have a similar build tree as the other two sides, but their units and special abilities is where they really differ. Some people tried 42 Annihilator Tripods against 42 Avatar Mechs, and the Avatars only lost 3 of their kind. I think that the guy controlling the Tripods just made a few bad moves, but I think they'll be changing the balance a little bit. The Aliens have shields which are unique from most games with shields. They regenerate, yes, but once destroyed, the shields never come back. And the shields look very very cool. I tried using the Mothership special ability 2 times before the time where it finally worked. The mothership moves very very slowly, and it was described by the developers as Kirov times 10. In the first two experiments, it was taken out by a paltry few anti-air units, so I am hoping for $5000 they can increase the health on it.

On the other hand, what if you engineer an enemy building, build a Landing Pad right next to it, and click on the Mothership icon to build it? Then you'd have instantly the Mothership right in their base! The time that it did reach the enemy, it made very short work of the base, destroying multiple buildings in every blast.

Maybe it was because the alien side was so different from the others, but I never got a good feel for what was good to be used. Their engineers who become cloaked when not moving gives a unique advantage. They have enough infantry and light vehicles to make a begin-game rush successful, and enough overpowering endgame units as well. It seems like you could take any couple of units and use them effectively together and destroy the enemy with them, so perhaps it is just a balanced side.

One thing that was mentioned is that the Aliens is an opportunity to have an unconventional build order. Like GLA was to USA and China, we hoped that the Aliens could be for GDI and Nod.


On a closing note, I can say that C&C3 rocks! I have written quite a bit here, and have not covered everything that I experienced, so feel free to ask me any sort of questions about C&C3. And yes, I really think that C&C3 is going to be the game of the year for 2007. March 28th, here we come!!!

[Community Summit Part 1 | Community Summit Part 2 | GDI Info | Nod Info | Alien Info | Extra Info]

Average User Rating: 9.8
Number of Votes: 8

User Comments  
The following comments are owned by the user that posted them. Command & Conquer Files is not responsible for their content.

Total comments: 2 | Last comment: 02-11-2007 at 09:37

 #1 - HELL YEEE - 01-12-2007 at 17:41
From: (vestfold)
Joined: April 18th, 2006
Posts: 97


 #2 - 02-11-2007 at 09:37
Joined: February 10th, 2007
Posts: 1
Scrin should be the end game powerhouse. If a scrin player manages to hold of for the late game than he should have the distinct advantage of winning. Otherwise the scrin concept of being a very intelligent race will dwindle. Anyway the Avatars will not let nod go down this time!

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