Misadventures of a Kushan botslayer

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.

1 Like

Ok so theres a couple of things here that will hopefully point you in the right direction. Chief amongst it is that yes, HW1 Remastered is the HW 1 game ported into an UPDATED HW 2 Engine. The mind boggles how they managed this, I suspect dark magic and contracts with daemons because for the most part everything works.

The modified part is also important because they updated both the HW2 engine and the way/format of the files it uses as well as make the game about 10 times more mod friendly (and integrated steam workshop).

Now take into account the very clearly stated goals of HW:R. This being that it is a REMASTER, not a remake nor an update. Their goals was to try and stay as true to the originals as fiscally and humanly as possible while improving where they could without it changing the way the game works and plays. So if they could not completely replicate say, the way ballistics worked in HW 1 (different engine, RNG, etc.) because it would cost too much or would take an additional year (meaning less chance of homeworld 3 or even cataclysm remake) then they would at least try and keep what ships are strong against what etc.

Think 3 laws of robotics, follow the 2nd rule unless it conflict with the first etc.

This is why you will have issues like these. Luckily they gave us a way to both have our cake and eat it too via mods. This is not an oh we can excuse shoddy work etc. button some people are making it out to be. I honestly believe that they succeed in their very clearly stated goals. For a company that ‘doesn’t do a lot of marketing’ they did some really good marketing.

End of the day I was able to finish the HW1 campaign without any game stopping bugs and is pretty far into HW2 without any bugs either. I do not have the data (no one has except maybe GBX and don’t let anyone tell you differently) on if I’m in the minority of if there is just a vocal minority that clams 90% of the people are getting these show stopping bugs but there you have it, at least one person that has not had any issue at all completely the campaign at least once (busy with 2nd no salvage play through now)

Also the original HW1 is part of the package. If someone is particularly butt hurt about remastered, just remind them that the original is updated to work on modern OS so they can play that to their hearts content (and run into many of the same bugs/features that’s been part of the HW campaign for 16 years.)