For reference, I’ve played the whole HW series and HW1 was in fact the first 3D game I played, way back in the stone age when having an accelerator card made you super special. I do appreciate the effort GBX put into this, but I definitely understand the heavy criticism that ‘this is HW2 with HW1 skins’ being kicked up and the further down the rabbit hole I go, the more I’m finding things that don’t really add up.
Here’s a short summary of things that don’t strike me quite right, from playing some CPU matches mostly as Kushan under both HW1 and HW2 mode:
-Freaky formations. This one’s well documented so I won’t go into detail, beyond saying it’s definitely a problem, messes up a lot of HW1 mechanics, and is probably at least partially responsible for some of the following issues too.
-Post-apocalyptic resource scarcity. HW1 is supposed to have tight resources but even so it there’s something not quite right here–a single destroyer requires harvesting half the rocks in an 4+ player map. I haven’t put my finger on exactly what’s causing this–research costs, maybe, or a problem with the RU multiplier–but it’s definitely not what I’d expect. On the other hand, playing Kushan in HW2 rules where 100k RU ain’t no thang has some rather entertaining ramifications.
-Slaughterhouse combat, especially with smaller ships. It’s admittedly been a very long time since I played HW1 but if memory serves strike craft did a lot of shooting but not a lot of killing or dying, making for effective force-recon and harassment squads without becoming a massive RU sink. But now they’re getting mowed down like random dudes in a Quentin Tarantino movie, which combined with RU superscarcity makes strike-craft warfare untenable. Frigates get pwned hard too, though at least that isn’t entirely new–DPS adjustments may have made everything a glass cannon but cruisers and multibeam frigs were already notorious for BBQing everything in front of them.
-Maps feel a lot smaller and more melee-ish than I remember. Games took forever back then, which led to a lot of maneuvering and strategic deployment but starting out 2-3 scout distances from the other guy(s) all but requires rush tactics.
I think most if not all of these issues are related to each other, and could be mostly fixed by a) fixing the formation/tactics/dodging stuff and b) figuring out why HW1 races can’t field a proper fleet under HW1 rules.