As an old C&C fan, I do sympathise with Pocketwatch Games's micro frustration. Whatever happened to the days when speed and skill were less important than the ability to build 50 Mammoth tanks? I'm only slightly joking. It does increasingly seem that the economic-based macro game is taking a back seat, in favour of the very different excitement and strategy that is high-level soldier manipulation. As an alternative, the Monaco makers are designing [ARMADA], a game so opposed to APM that it's being designed primarily for the controller.
"Maybe it's just nostalgia speaking, but I want to play an RTS game that feels like a battle of wits, not a battle of clicks," writes Pocketwatch's Andy Schatz, over at their development blog. "I want to compete at a high level, but I also want to be able to introduce the RTS genre to my friends at a party. I want an RTS where the strategy is creative and complex and the micro is accessible and fun."
To address the obvious concern: Schatz realises that, to date, nobody has made a good controller-friendly RTS.
Explaining how the team plan to achieve this seemingly impossible feat, Schatz has laid out some of [ARMADA]'s differences. The most obvious is through unit orders, which will be handled entirely through the player-controlled commander. "In [ARMADA] the player controls a Champion who can build structures," Schatz writes, "lead forces into battle, scout, and fight for herself. Your troops are autonomous but governed by AI that is determined by the unit class. Some troops will be defenders, hanging out near their spawn point. Some troops harvest resources. Some troops are attackers, seeking out the nearest enemy. Most troops will also follow the Champion into battle, allowing you to have a large force of mixed units."
For more head over to the Pocketwatch Games blog . [ARMADA] is still in early development, and its release date is TBA.