TotalBiscuit WTF Is... Review


  • ~15 hour campaign without much replay value that likes to hold your hand like a tutorial throughout.
  • Play the campaign on hard/classic to actually enjoy it if you’re an RTS player
  • Story is good.
  • Great soundtrack
  • The units are really well made with neat abilities
  • Intuitive camera controls, however you cannot rebind any keys at all
  • You cannot re-scale the user interface
  • Only 5 Multiplayer maps
  • Really poor skirmish AI with Easy, Normal and Hard options. in a 1v1 Hard AI is still a pushover for any competent player despite its x1.2 economy boost.
  • Game’s life will be very dependent on the multiplayer scene, which is hurt severely by the lack of map variety (as mentioned above)

Homeworld: DoK overall is a good RTS that is hurt heavily by poor AI, lack of map variety and a price tag that may be a little steep for the content it has to offer.


It’s kind of funny because TotalBiscuit pimped out for Grey Goo awhile back. That game was a lot worse. It runs like crap, its AI was brain dead on arrival too (patched to be a bit better though fundamentally flawed) and still only has support for 4 player maps.

I recommend checking out Unit Lost.

This video shows the AI kicking his ass a bit in the artifact mode (something TB didn’t even touch on in his WTF).

It’s pretty bad as a “review not a review” goes mainly because TB ignores the campaign and didn’t show both factions. TB is a very surface deep critic. The only thing he really gets right in his videos is checking the settings menu, and that’s become a trope. Still love him though :slightly_smiling:

Still the skirmish AI did look dead there at the end so I hope they patch that. They have already confirmed they will be patching in observer mode/replay stuff and there is talk of DLC. So there will be support.


looked the review - all the game looks soooo nice - but hope some guys from gearbox / BBI will read this:

what is up with the bad AI ??? like even the hardest AI which is cheating is doing like nothing ? even total annihilation was released 1997 and is tough to beat.

and the second stuff, you develope it with 5 (!!!) MP maps ???!!!

so you will patch it within first week and give us 5 more maps or what? loose the multiplayer community from the beginning ??? like you have nothing learned from homeworld remaster or what?

common, dont frighten the community at the game launch

Total Annihilation’s final patch AI was terrible flure, worse than what I saw in TB’s vid. That was moddable though. Here’s to hoping we get AI mods.

Completely agree that artifact retrieval looks a lot better, and TB should have touched on that. The AI and map limitations though are still a big issue.

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More Skirmish, again showing the AI has teeth. The commentator here says the AI’s performance is random. Sometimes being aggressive, sometimes being meh. It sounds like it definitely needs some improving with patches. Perhaps some sort of “AI personalities” to help define what kind of PVE experience you want.

Since TB doesn’t do reviews I don’t see the issue with not touching on every subject of the game, otherwise it would be a review and would require much more in depth analysis which would probably require a 2 hour video for TB (which I totally would watch ^^). But his WTF videos are about first impressions of a game and I think that is often more useful than a traditional review because people tend to stop playing a game if they are not entertained from the start and the first impression is bad (not saying that this is the case for DoK!) which is kind of what TB gives us here.

And I have to agree with his points, 5 MP maps is hilariously low and as someone who doesn’t like multiplayer, but rather prefers skirmish, an AI that is dumb as bread doesn’t sound appealing to me at all :confused: so I really hope they will add more content and patch the AI, until that time I’ll honestly wait on playing the game to retain my option to get a refund for my preorder from steam, because despite loving the Homeworld franchise I am not made of money and 50$ seems a bit much to ask for the current amount/quality of content (based on what I have seen so far, I will of course read more reviews/watch videos).

[quote=“iscin_zerachiel, post:2, topic:1203019”]
They have already confirmed they will be patching in observer mode/replay stuff and there is talk of DLC. So there will be support.[/quote]

Glad to hear that, on the other hand those are features you would expect to be in a game by release, not patched in afterwards, as is an ever increasing trend in the industry it seems -.-. And if there is one thing no one should ever be happy about, it is the prospect of DLC (as in paid DLC, not free stuff), especially talk about DLC while the game hasn’t even been released and when the base game seems to be a bit low/lacking in content (as it seems to be the case here).

Don’t get me wrong, I am super happy about the release of another Homeworld game and I hope it does well and we will get more HW games, I am just concerned that this might be a repetition of the, in my opinion, far too early HW:RM release where some features from the originals are still being worked on to be reintroduced one year after launch. And while I am super excited by that prospect and the devotion this shows by the devs !, it also goes to show that a longer development phase would have greatly benefited the game and the reaction by some hardcore fans (which I definitely am not, never even played the original HW1 back in the day). So I really hope this will not be the case for Deserts of Kharak.

Long story short: I hope they add more content/improve the AI and this game could be great for skirmish/multiplayer and well worth the price :slight_smile:

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This is asinine and you know it. It is the same tired excuse he has given for the show since people first pointed out some of his sloppiness. Don’t get me wrong, I realise he’s busy going from one game to the next. However, John has a tendency to get hung up on one thing, which in this case was the skirmish AI, and bang on about it for a whole 30 minutes! To say nothing of his love affair with settings menus.

Even for something that is “not a review” but more of a lets play/preview snapshot, he does a piss poor job of covering aspects of the game that people want to know about. It is not that what he says is completely wrong or obscenely biased, except for the times when they are, but that he focuses far too much on one tiny part of the game and in doing so does not really serve the consumer so much as his own ego.

I say this as someone who loves the Co-Optional Podcast and appreciate that OCD on settings screens. I like John Bain. But his “WTF Is…” are very hit and miss and completely depend upon what kind of a mood he is in. Sometimes he will try to do a general overview, and sometimes he gets up on his know-it-all game design veteran soapbox like in this video.

Again, watch other peoples’ videos too like Scott Manly. There are MUCH better videos out there about DoK than TB’s.

MasterOfRoflness has vids on missions 1-7 up.

Gamers with Jobs podcast talks about Homeworlk: DoK

Wow. They got some heavy hitter guests: Rob Zacny of Three Moves Ahead for One.

H:DoK is the 1st thing they discuss

Their forum page about the game:

The AI on hard gets a 20% or x1.2 economy boost according to the devs. Could oyu correct your main post?

Oh and Devs confirmed more maps will be added and will be free.

I bought the game for the campaign, so I don’t care much about multiplayer, but at least 10 maps and a good AI are a must.

Not really worried about the lack of maps tbh, from experience of older games in the series we were able to make much better and more balanced maps than the defaults. I can’t see any reason why we can’t do the same here.

Thankyou for bringing this up, correcting my post

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Thanks! If I hear the % modifier is different I’ll let you know. That said in TBs video he was hit quite hard on his resourcing a couple of times (Why u no use baserunner turrets!) so I can see why it felt like he was so far behind with resourcing. He’s a little rusty so it’s forgivable but there’s probably a very large portion of players on these forums that’d wipe the floor with him :wink:

And despite that fact AND the fact that he was recording and talking he still beat the hardest AI without much effort and he even says himself that he is not a good homeworld player nor has played very good in that recording. I felt like the AI had a pretty decent start where it started to harass him early but then just kept the same pattern and never diverged from it or reacted appropriately to TB’s actions and once the AI’s resources were depleted/dwindling it was completely helpless.

Very happy to hear that ! :slight_smile:

I’ve watched some (ok most) of the other gameplay videos and in artifact retrieval especially the AI behaves a lot differently. This has me thinking there’s triggers that’s not getting hit sometimes and cause the AI to ‘stall’ for a better word. Random behavior where in one game it’s hard and in another its easy is actually very indicative of a flag or trigger not… triggering for a lack of a better word.

Here’s hoping the guys at BBI is on top of it though I do know they are aware of it. They’re taking all criticism pretty seriously and not just brushing it off witch is great.

Bingo. It’s not “braindead” just incosistent with its responses. I don’t expect an AI as good as Supreme Commander or Ashes of the Singularity. But if it is as good as the hard AI in Homeworld 2 it’ll provide plenty of entertainment for comp stomps etc.

A large part of the AI is simply build orders. I expect as the community comes up with good build orders, those will be incorporated into the AI and we’ll see it becoming harder as time goes on.

I want them to add a ‘Blatantly Cheating’ difficulty for the AI. Instead of x1.2 resourcing multiplier it’ll have something ridiculous like x2 :smiley:

Yes, both the Sorian AI for FAForever and Starcraft 2’s bot AI has clearly labeled “cheat” difficulties which do things like give vision and more resources. There are lots of tricks with coding, build orders and mechanical changes that can make AIs super fun to do comp stomps with.

I think some sort of “horde mode” would be good for this as well. You and a friend with one carrier each in the middle of the great desert versus the ever growing numbers of Gaalsiens.

I hope we see more PVE mode stuff like this along with more quality maps.