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Published on June 27, 2016 By Frogboy In Ashes Dev Journals

As anyone playing online must have noticed by now, we’ve basically doubled our user base in June. So that’s good.

Version 1.2 was a pretty big deal for helping make Ashes a more mainstream RTS.  I say more but I won’t say mainstream.  As a practical matter, 40% of the user base doesn’t have the hardware to play Ashes so we’ll always take a bit of a hit in terms of player base and of course user reviews from people who have older systems that won’t be able to play the game well.

I sympathize with players who have outdated systems. I have my sons set up with 2 gaming boxes and when Ashes shipped, neither could play the game. I was certain they had high end boxes but it’s amazing how fast that 5 year old video card becomes…well…5 years old.

Memory Memory Memory

For Ashes, it’s video memory that’s the key. 2GB of video memory is barely enough. 4GB is much better. 8GB is great.  But how many people have that in 2016? Not many. 

As a practical matter, most RTS players are better off picking up SupCom:FA for $14.99.  The only problem there is that obviously, it’ll never be updated.  By contrast, we take every cent we make and put it back into the game.  For us, it’s not just about making Ashes a great game today, it’s about where it’s going to be in 2017 and beyond.

What’s happening

There really are so many moving parts.  For one thing, while our position on “strategic zoom” hasn’t changed, our view on a global view has.  Simply put, you can’t play the game on the upcoming “Huge” maps without being able to zoom out, see the world, and give commands to your forces.  It bugs me a bit that this is necessary but I think it will allow the game to better reach its potential. 

Ashes, at its core, is the natural progression of Total Annihilation.  It hasn’t fulfilled that yet imo.  We need more units, more progression.  I certainly think Ashes is better than TA 1.0 was but people forget that Core Contingency is the version of TA that made it amazing.  That is what we will have to.

There are no game engines, that I’m aware of (and it’s my job to be aware of them) that will be able to remotely touch what Ashes is doing for years to come. It’s not about the art or graphics but rather the scale. 

SupCom is still the best 3rd generation RTS out there by far in terms of capability.  This has nothing to do with whether someone personally thinks it’s fun.  I’m purely talking about potential.  Someone could take Unity and with enough money make StarCraft 2 Deluxe.  But you can’t take Unity and make SupCom even today no matter how much money you throw at it.

So day by day, we are able to take every sale and pour it back into the game.  And thanks to you guys, we’ve made tremendous progress in turning what was already a really good game into a really good game. More to come.


Comments
on Jun 27, 2016

Good to see the user base grow. Hopefully the affordable RX 480 and 470 will get a lot more 4Gb and 8GB (VRAM) GPUs in to people's hands. That could increase the user base and certainly should increase some people's experience with the game. With the 1060 also likely to come with at least 4GB of VRAM (rumour is 6GB) and of course high end 1080s and 1070s having 8GB, hopefully that starts to give you more room to do things in the game as it continues to develop.


There are no game engines, that I’m aware of (and it’s my job to be aware of them) that will be able to remotely touch what Ashes is doing for years to come. It’s not about the art or graphics but rather the scale. 

Dawn of War 3 and Halo 2 certainly won't come close to the scale of Ashes. Rumour is TA 2 is being made. The last interview I saw with Chris Taylor some while back he was saying he thought DX9 (!!) was good enough as he wanted to reach a lot of people. (he was not talking about TA 2 specifically but future games they are working on or planning). I have to say I heard that and was worried about TA2s direction. Might be totally wrong though, or they changed their minds, or the're not even making TA 2 yet. I don't think DX9 would compete well with DX12 for scale though.

on Jun 27, 2016




What’s happening
There really are so many moving parts.  For one thing, while our position on “strategic zoom” hasn’t changed, our view on a global view has.  Simply put, you can’t play the game on the upcoming “Huge” maps without being able to zoom out, see the world, and give commands to your forces.  It bugs me a bit that this is necessary but I think it will allow the game to better reach its potential. 
 More to come.

being able to zoom out!!!
Oh im going be crasy about that,a dream come true.....

Im really happy that more players have join us only in 1 or 2 months, that means a lot to this game.

Tic yes CT its indeed make TA2 on Wargaming, after all ,we all knew when Wargaming grab TA rights,that was going to happend soon or later, but they wont make on DX12 its what i think, and there is already TA2 on Spring, so they have to think very well what they want to do.

Talking about Ashes ,Cant be more happy with this game,and see  all the new updates  that make this game month after month bether.

 

on Jun 28, 2016

Take into account Wargaming has to develop for eastern european and Russian customers, which means having to deal with VERY old systems, often not even dual core.

They just cannot afford to ignore their Russian customers and as seen in WOT they go at great lengths to try to please both east and west, although not always with a satisfying outcome for both...

 

As for Ashes... The future being described is great, however I hope you devs are aware of the risk of making the game "thousands miles wide, inch deep".

We need more units but also more mechanics, a bigger range of strategic options, a lot of work on the interface, better sounds, imho a better difficulty progression in the campaign (and integrate the new units there!), improved unit formation and collisions plus a bit more optimization for lower end systems would be welcome.

on Jun 28, 2016

My biggest problem with TA was the lack of an end game.  Our MP matches would usually devolve into hours of trying to whittle an enemy base down - there just wasn't a really good endgame (not sure if we played with Core Contingency or not).  C&C had nukes and the Ion Cannon which made the endgame go much better, but the best you could do in TA was getting a defensible battery of Berthas out of range of the defenses, which was pretty vulnerable.  Haven't tried Ashes MP yet, but now that I've finished the campaign, I might give it a try...

on Jun 28, 2016

Getting more players is definitely great! However, for the future of competitive play, some of the design choices made make me a bit worried. Could you drop in and give your thoughts on the discussions in the following threads:

- http://forums.ashesofthesingularity.com/478254

- http://forums.ashesofthesingularity.com/478184

- http://forums.ashesofthesingularity.com/478256

Also overall, where do you stand on competitive play in Ashes, and what's your take on the current state of the PHC vs Substrate balance?

on Jun 28, 2016

pyperkub

My biggest problem with TA was the lack of an end game.

Well, there were nukes and the Core had the Krogoth, a very big and cool looking tough unit, kinda like a SupCom experimental. 

on Jun 28, 2016

I just got the Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak RTS and it has the ability to issue commands in the strategic view. That is very cool! Perhaps AOTS can take that idea and work with it?

on Jun 29, 2016

I upgraded from a Gtx 580 to a 970 for £200.  The cost of 4gb cards is plummeting and will continue as the new ranges are released.  

A 950 is 100 delivered and has 2gb ram, and is much better than my 580 Gtx.  After reading this I'm glad I payed the extra and went for the 970 now. 

It does play smoother But not to much change going from low to high to be honest.  Although to be far to the 580 it did a good job. 

Whens the next update due ? 

I would like to see a 2 player King of the hill scenario if that's possible. 

on Jun 29, 2016

Richy_Young

I upgraded from a Gtx 580 to a 970 for £200.  The cost of 4gb cards is plummeting and will continue as the new ranges are released.  

The 970 only accesses 3 of them...

on Jun 30, 2016

3.5 I heard with 512 reserved for smaller faster operations.  but I haven't looked into it Really.  It doubles my ashes bench mark score just from changing the graphics card. 

on Jun 30, 2016

Richy_Young

3.5 I heard with 512 reserved for smaller faster operations.

I've not heard that twist on it the 512mb is much slower RAM and tests show that if a game uses it it does hurt overall performance. Still an excellent card for 1080p, it is what I use too. If I bought a mid range card now I'd probably get the non reference versions of the RX 480, I expect them to get 390x/980 performance with partner cards. The tiny heatsink/cooling and the limits of the single 6 pin connector hurt the reference cards too much. Still, I play on Extreme on the 970 so that is good enough for me...for now

on Jul 03, 2016

@Frogboy as far as i remember you have stated that you would be more than happy if someone could mod AOTS for a remake of TA.

From a technical perspective, is the engine able to handle animated units such as robots ? All the units we have so far are hoover units so i was wondering if that was a current engine limitation and if you have planned in the roadmap to add the ability to handle robots.

Thanks.

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