Rant: Supreme Commander II killed Total Annihilation.

When Total Annihilation came out, it made me look away from every other RTS games for good. Many reasons for that, not the least of which was killed by Supreme Commander 2.

I thought TA, and later SC, was putting the strategy in RTS, while Starcraft and others focused on quick-clicking micro-management. I call typical RTS games "clickfests". It's not so much about having a good strategy, as it is about clicking on the right unit with the right timing to unleash the right power. You're not the general of a competent army, but the mom of a bunch of 2 year-old who won't do a god damn thing unless you tell them to.

Where TA and SC shined was in production management. Factories had orders: Build this, deploy there. All of that packed in a nice queue, which could become endless in SC with queue looping. Once a factory is set, you can forget it for the rest of the game, and focus on strategy instead. As is it in real life, nothing is prepaid. You must supply as units are built. If supply is insufficient, production pauses and then resumes automatically as resources become available. It's very streamlined, very realistic and very good.

Now Supreme Commander 2 comes along, and all of a sudden I'm staring at a generic RTS which I thankfully bought on sales on Steam and not full-priced. I will most likely not play it again after mission 3. In SC2, everything must be prepaid. So if, for example, I want my air factory to make 5 fighters, then 1 bomber, then loop, I have to pay for all 5 fighters and 1 bomber IN ADVANCE. But it's ok right? Once you can afford 1 iteration of the loop, you can loop it and it's set for the rest of the game right? Nope. If at any time you run out of resources, the factory will shut itself down, never to resume production again unless you get off your general's chair and start wearing your industry leader hat, personally walking into the factory and flip the fucking on-off switch yourself.

TA and SC, contrary to all other RTS, made me focus on strategy and planning instead of constant click-festing and micromanaging a bunch of children. It was about shifting battle lines. Now all of that is gone.

And when the enemy punctures through your eastern front and leaves you scratching your head as to how they could have succeeded, you'll realise with horror all your factories have been shut down for 10 minutes and you're sitting on the biggest pile of money in the universe. All useless. Because you were busy taking care of your western front (the actual strategic warfare portion of the game, the fun part), and because the factory heads are complete retards now, you lose.

I don't know if it's the bad influence of Square Enix, but it appears in trying to bow down to pressures to go mainstream, the franchise has killed what made it special.

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