The Ashes strategy thread

Published on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 By Brad Wardell In Ashes of the Singularity

Like many of you, I've been playing RTS games from the start.  Dune 2, C&C, Warcraft, Dark Reign, Total Annihilation, etc.

I loved Starcraft so much that I made one of the expansions to it (Starcraft: Retribution).  Yep. that was me.

I was "this close" to licensing the Total Annihilation engine from GT Interactive (who gained the engine after Cavedog died).  

I bring this up so that people who are hard core strategy gamers feel free to bring up other games into this discussion.

Now, in the Alpha (And sometimes people forget, this game is still not in beta) you win the game by cranking out a bunch of low level units to capture resources and repeat. Which is fine as far as it goes but not exactly deep strategy.

What we need to do is make sure that there are multiple strategies and counter strategies that are valid depending on the circumstances.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss features we, as a community, would like to see added to the game by 1.0 (ideally) or as future DLC.

0.70: More Factory Types and the first Orbital

For 0.70 (which comes out next week) we are doing two particular things:

1. The Factory is being broken into a Frigate factory and a Cruiser factory. This way, players will have to start making some strategic decisions on which direction they want to go.

2. The first Orbital will go in called the Orbital Fabricator. If you build this, you can two global abilities: Call down engineer (25 quanta base) and Incursion (100 quanta base). I say base because each time you use an ability, it costs a bit more to use it again.

The player will start out with 100 quanta that you can use to increase your logistics right off. But another ineresting thing we've discovered in MP is that you can really punish someone who has spammed out engineers to capture lots of regions quickly. 

If you see your opponent spreading really quickly you know they are spread thin. So you can build the orbital fabricator and call down an incursion. An incursion can go anywhere you have vision. It beams in a Nemesis, a Zeus and some Archers and Brutes to the target location. Not enough to destroy their seed by any means but enough to ruin them if they've spread themselves too thin.

The downside of this is that if you do this, you won't be building up a big conventional army early since you;ll have gone through your metal stores and the loss of quanta means you'll need to build up that quanta from relays.

Strategic Directions
The above is one example of adding new strategic options for players. But there are plenty more we need to do and our tools come from structures (mostly the orbitals and the techs).

In Starcraft, for example, at the start I can try harassment, I can try to fast expand, I can rush, I can try to tech up fast, etc.

In SupCom, when you went for a T2 factory or a T2 metal extractor was a key skill.

In our build (I'm not sure if it's in yours) we have the Power Amplifier which doubles a region's output. Super expensive, not an early game tool. 

Where I think we still have our work cut out for us is in the areas of Teching up (there is no research Stim equivalent in ashes) as well as developing viable unit composition differences.

For instance, in Starcraft, you can have fast (bio) or slow mechanical. Do I go with MMM (marine, marauder, medvac) or do I go for siege tanks, liberators, and thors?

What we want to do, especially for 1.0, is flesh out our units further to make them potentially do different things based on what you've invested in back at your base. 

Possible Feature discussion

Since you guys joined early access, welcome to the sausage factory. We've spent years designing and making this game which means we've spent years playing it in various forms. As a result, we've had many ideas that looked good on paper but once in didn't seem as fun as we thought.

Here are a few things that we're currently considering:

Fixed artillery piece. Built by engineers. Expensive. Good for securing an area.

Tech that allows Frigates (T1s) to ignore the engagement speed penalty.

Tech that allows the Fury to hit ground targets

Orbital that lets me overcharge a power generator to quadruple its output for N seconds.

Orbital that lets me order things constructed and have them appear at that orbital (proxy teleporter)

T3 upgrade that lets units it orders to join it be teleported to its current location

Your turn.