First and foremost I want to say that I have been playing Homeworld Remastered a ton since its anticipated release! I already have over 70 hours logged. I am a longstanding Homeworld fan since getting the first one back in 2000. I got Homeworld 2 shortly after its release and while it was a decent step away from Homeworld I played it even more because of its multiplayer and mods. Back then I was stuck with MP vs AI because of our internet situation (satellite, too much lag) I played it constantly none the less. And that brings me to now with Homeworld Remastered and it bringing back a revitalized multiplayer community. While I jumped into the campaign for its story in stunning HD I have since logged a majority of my hours in multiplayer while only reaching mission 10 in the Homeworld campaign. So let’s break this large review of my experience thus far into 4 parts; bugs, polish, balance, and the future.
Many of these have already been pointed out and discussed in depth so instead I’ll just list what I’ve run into to keep this short.
- Vaygr kamakize.
- Hosting games over 3 players freezes on my end.
- Jumping units near the center of the map can cause them to jump past the intended destination.
- Randomly getting kicked from lobbies and players getting kicked from mine.
- “Region locking” by steam download location.
- Ship sound effects cut out until restart.
This mainly comes down to UI tweaks for existing features. In the server browser have a symbol that indicates if a lobby has a password, such as a lock at the end of the games name. Perhaps we could get a column for ping times against the host? Once we are not locked by region we will need a way to see what we are joining instead of getting in and being kicked for having 0.600 ping. It would also be nice to get an easy to access filter that hides all password protected games from the menu, such as a checkbox next to the filters button that saves state between gaming sessions. Incompatible lobbies should just be hidden. That would make it so that when we launch mods and open up multiplayer it will only show us those mods and so when we launch vanilla the list isn’t cluttered with mod lobbies.
For the in game UI the bottom left hand panel that displays unit group info needs to be a tad larger relative to the build/research/launch menu. Right now UI scale 1 is the only thing that remotely makes sense to use so selecting 2 or 3 is not an option. I think scaling that up a bit and the B/R/L menu down a bit would fit together very nicely. Worst case scenario is just scaling up that panel so we can see unit health bars and unitX# without leaning in and squinting.
Both in game and in lobby text fields are extremely limited (also game title names!). We need a larger limit on all of these. In the lobby trying to chat results in peoples sentences being broken up into 3-4 messages. The same goes for in game when trying to communicate during team play.
I don’t want to go too in depth here for Homeworld 1 vs Homeworld 2 race balance. Yes it is needed, but there are threads dedicated to this! I want to talk about a few more broad balance issues that may easily apply to all the races in game.
Right now bombers are well balanced against frigates, but that is where it ends. Due to the exponential health increase on higher class units I think bombers need a bonus of some sort against destroyers and battlecruisers.
For a ship that is supposed to the be the backbone and mainstay of any fleet frigates are too squishy. It would be nice to see an armor buff across the board for them. One of the biggest problem within the frigate area is that their capital ship counters don’t seem very powerful in an RU vs RU cost on trades. Right now 5 ion frigates or 5 heavy missile frigates can’t win a fight against a destroyer (3500RU vs 2000RU). Both these ships should probably do a little more damage, but not much. And finally we have battlecruisers that 4000RU monster that can eat through an entire fleet without much support! These things need a nerf, but nothing too drastic, they should be powerful! I just think a slight dps and armor nerf are needed for only costing 2 destroyers and getting ~2.5x health with ~5x DPS. They are the counter to destroyers, but they shouldn’t wipe one out in a single blast!
Balance will be worked on over time and through lots of small changes, but we need to start somewhere and I think a few small changes could help get us started. My thoughts in here can be tied up in a few small changes.
Small Frigate Armor Buff (<10%)
Small Heavy Missile/Ion Cannon Damage Buff (<10%)
Medium Bomber Buff Vs Destroyers/Battlecruisers (<30%)
Medium Battlecruiser Health Nerf (20-33%)
Medium Battlecruiser DPS Nerf (20-33%)
With that I think we might see more frigate play, less destroyer rushes, and less lone battlecruisers eating away your 10k RU fleets while all will retain a tactical use on the battlefield.
For Vaygr vs Hiigaran the collection rates of harvesters are heavily skewed in the Hiigaran’s favor. Something needs to be done to help balance out the far more efficient drop off points for them to make 1v1s between these races more viable.
And one thing I have noticed about Vaygr vs Vaygr is that the lance fighters are not that effective against missile corvettes while being the corvette counter, but they eat through both gunships and pulsars with ease.
For the Hiigarans I’ve noticed interceptors swarms are very effective against gunships/missile corvettes so much so that it is usually best to go double fighter facilities, get 10 on the field for economy harassment and jump straight to frigates. You opponent will never be able to ball together enough corvettes and by the time they do you will have put them so far behind economically that it is a lost cause. I’ve only lost doing that if the enemy also went double fighters and bested me in fighter micro.
And as a minor note I think flak frigates do too much damage to none fighter class units, but I don’t think it is that large of an issue.
There are a few things I think will really help move Homeworld Remastered forward into the future. The first thing we need to realize as a community is that for multiplayer this game has a chance to be its own thing. It doesn’t have to be Homeworld Multiplayer and it doesn’t have to be purely Homeworld 2 Multiplayer, but understand that it is Homeworld 2’s engine. It is Homeworld Remastered’s Multiplayer so lets keep that in mind and remain positive about this games future!
I would like to see a lobby separate from the server browser where all the players can chat. I’ve seen this mentioned in a few post so I’ll leave the discussion on what the finer details of it should be to those threads.
Next I would love for a 1v1 and 2v2 (even better if we could get 3v3 and 4v4) ladder. You would have your standard leaderboards where you can go look at peoples positions in the ladder along with a nice stat panel covering yourself, but I believe stats should be restricted to the ladder! When joining regular lobbies that anyone has made there would be nothing tying you to them other than your name.
And on the furthest end of probably won’t happen, but would be nice is voice chat. For team games I would love having a voice chat option to communicate in those random lobby games. Chat would be limited to people on the same team only along with a mute option in the diplomacy menu just in case