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Tommy @ Eurogamer

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# 1Tommy. Sep 30 2012, 21:18 PM
My quick and dirty write up! I will edit this more and make it look pretty in the future, but I know there's a big demand for info from Eurogamer, so there you go.

Let me start by saying this. Quinn and Bobby (Relic and THQ) know what will make a good game. They know what will make a bad game. To put this in perspective, they know that things like observer mode, support for streamers and casters, anti-cheat and strong balance will create a good game. They also know that pay-to-win, frozen-rivers-splitting-the-map-in-half and OF style blobs ignoring cutoffs will make a bad game. Virtually all concerns we had going into Eurogamer were alleviated by the time we left.

(If you're curious about the validity of 'our' views, GR members present included Seph, 12azor, Marcus2389, Pepsi, Hans and myself. Meeting all the guys was an absolute blast as well.)

Now, to the detail. The demos we played were identical to those played by AmiPolizeiFunk at Gamescom, so if you're looking for facts and stats check that out here. However, the look and feel of the game is excellent, and if you're a seasoned Company of Heroes player, you'll be able to sit down to your first game of CoH2 and be in the groove right away- not to say that it isn't apparent that you are indeed playing a new game.

TrueSight and ColdTech are the primary features that will differentiate CoH from CoH2. First, TrueSight. It is ultra, ultra slick- turn a corner and the view of your troops turns smoothly with it, your vision cone being excluded as you pass obstacles and shotblockers. In the 1v1 tutorial/demo, it was very noticeable, but not in a bad way. I played the demo several times, and after a while I began to see where you could put the new LOS system to tactical affect. For example, I was able to engage with my Guard squads from the front, while sending a flamethrower wielding Engineers along a wide flank where they were hidden from view, and was able to close the distance to my opponent's MG almost entirely without being seen, and therefore shot at. TrueSight works a little differently from Men of War in its implementation though- it's not 'ultra realistic' in that each individual man can only see what he is actually -looking- at. The sight of the squad -is- dependent on the individual members (for example, if you have one squad member poking out from behind a fence, you will be able to see behind that fence), but it doesn't matter which direction they are facing- they maintain a 360 degree field of vision (obstacles notwithstanding). Likewise with tanks and buildings, the units have a 360 degree field of vision unless something is in the way.

In the 2v2 Moscow skirmish, TrueSight was less noticeable for a couple of reasons; more units mean a bigger LOS, the map itself was quite open, and it was generally more chaotic. The 1v1 tutorial had flankable MG's whereas the tutorial AI rushed quite quickly to Panzer IV's. Maps will obviously have a very big impact on the way TS looks and feels. However, and I must stress this point, anything I say in regards to maps or balance must be taken with a pinch of salt- Quinn said that these maps are basically just showcases for pretty explosions and tanks falling through the ice for the press. Many of you will have seen Ami's (accurate) drawing of the Moscow map, split roughly down the middle by a huge frozen river- this was basically to demonstrate river effects (which I'll get to in a minute) and ColdTech- Quinn knows that these kinds of maps aren't good for competetive multiplayer.

ColdTech is probably the more controversial feature of the two as far as competitive multiplayer goes. I will assume that you know the basics behind ColdTech here from previous previews. The speed that your troops drop temperature, and therefore health, means that to travel long distances early game, it is quite stilted. We found ourselves having to 'leapfrog' across the map using fires when there was a blizzard, and we could certainly see the attraction of wanting to just sit tight and hunker down for the duration. However to our concerns that this might slow down the pace of gameplay, Quinn said that in his experience and the experience of his team, there was often a marked difference between different people's approaches to blizzards. While many players would choose to build their fires, sit in their halftracks or garrison buildings, others would take advantage of their predictable opponents and lack of movement to move aggressively. There is certainly a risk/reward factor here; if your opponent is all in one spot, you can easily raid his resource points, or even catch him off guard with a full frontal assualt, if well supported with halftracks to keep your men reinforced and warmed. Given the fairly rapid speed that your squads temperature can drop in a blizzard, I'm not entirely convinced that the carrot is quite tasty enough to warrant the stick, but these kinds of stats-based details are the kind of things betas are for. As you're all bound to ask me when said beta is rolling around, I will cut out the middle man and directly quote, “early”. Happy now? No? Well deal with it tongue.gif

Capturing vehicles has been covered quite extensively by other previews already, but I will say this- in the version we played, the process of actually 'capturing' the vehicle was instant- you simply had to reach the vehicle before your opponent. In this player's humble opinion, the process should be longer, so that you need to cover your 'capturing' troops, or clear the area first, before being able to steal the vehicle. It seemed a little silly that I was able to 'Oorah!' (more on this later) my disposable conscripts to an abandoned Panzer IV and instantly start wrecking my AI adversary's AT-less forces.

Random fact time! (various stuff that I don't think have already been covered but I don't need a whole paragraph to explain)
  • T34's have the ability to 'Ram' enemy tanks. This will become available when the tank loses its main gun- it gains the ability to charge an enemy vehicle and upon crashing into it, potentially cause a critical.
  • Criticals on vehicles have been expanded. It wasn't always clear what the affects were, but criticals included: Destroyed Main Gun, Damaged Engine, Destroyed Engine, Damaged Driver, Crew Stunned, Vision Blocked and Buttoned.
  • Grenades are a big part of CoH2. Almost all regular infantry units have access to some form of grenade, ranging from molotovs to potato mashers, to bundle grenades and AT nades.
  • The ability to button tanks is returning with the Soviet Guards. They have a weapons package comprised of 2 light MG42 type units which allows you to button enemy vehicles. In the Moscow level (which is now old) it worked quite similarly to British button- however Quinn assured me it's been changed to be less powerful in the newest version.
  • Units come from off map rather than out of 'factory' style buildings. The Russian buildings are much like trenches in the ground and unless they get totally reskinned, I'm not forseeing units being produces and walking out of actual buildings.
  • However, there are provisions being put in to make sure you can't just plant a tank on a spawn point to block unit spawns.
  • Outline of current (or from our version) Soviet tech tree: T0: Engies, Conscripts; T2: Snipers and a recon vehicle unit we weren't able to build; T3: Mortar, Haltracks and M70 Light Tank. The Light Tank reminded me of the Tetrach. T4: T34 and T(something) heavy tank (was able to take a P4 easily).
  • Outline of current (or from our version) German tech tree (only from what I could see was 'buildable' according to the base building descriptions: T0: Pioneers and 'battle phase' escalation; other units: mortar, grenadiers, panzer grenadiers, Armored Car type unit, Panzer IV's, Sturmpanzers, Bruumbar
  • The 'Oohrah!' ability for Conscripts was only available once the T1 building was constructed. It allowed the squad to sprint (not fire up, sprint) which increases suppression resistance but does not allow them to break suppression. It also increases their accuracy.
  • Snipers are a two man team who cannot actively cloak while moving and do not suffer from the cold. Snipers cannot be used as an A-move kill unit.
  • Units move slower in thick snow. This also applies to retreat paths.
  • There will be no fire up abilities in CoH2.
  • Tanks slide on ice. You can powerslide tanks.
  • Democharges can be placed anywhere.
  • Buildings that you light on fire will stay burning for a period even after you stop attacking it.
  • All weapons are droppable (not things like rifles but all major weapons). This includes flamethrowers, and yes, you can get double flamer engineers. However, the drop rate is lower.
A number of you asked about multiplayer features. I don't know a whole lot about it honestly, but here are the salient facts from what I am allowed to tell you.
  • Steam will allow them to potentially patch faster and more regularly.
  • They want the beta to allow for advanced balance and design tweaking.
  • Anti cheat will be covered.
  • They are aware of the demand for observer mode and rewinding on replays.
  • They are aware of the potential advantages of moddability and custom maps.
  • CoH2 will not be pay to win. However: the business model of micro transactions is necessary for THQ/Relic because it allows them to keep patching and supporting the game. With a business model where you buy the game once and never pay for anything again, each patch takes a chunk out of initial profits; not to mention server hosting, anti cheat and so on. Eventually you cannot afford to continue support for the game.
To put it simply and succinctly in response to our many requests for additional features, Duffy put it like this.

There are this many features he wants to include: I----------------------------------------I
And this much time and resources: I----------------I

Any questions, ask away. I learnt a whole lot about CoH2 in my time at Eurogamer and I certainly haven't extracted all the info yet, but I thought the earliest I could get my thoughts on to paper, the better.

Finally: the version we played was not the most up to date version. Some things have changed since then, and I don't know all of the changes. If you want me to talk more about specific Soviet units feel free, I tried them all.

Also, THANKS QUINN AND BOBBY! You guys are fucking awesome, seriously. The whole event was incredible, and it was an absolute blast meeting up with Sepha, 12azor, Hans, Pepsi and all the other guys from RN and stuff. Would definitely do again tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Tommy.: Sep 30 2012, 21:51 PM

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# 2c0mpl3x1ty Sep 30 2012, 21:29 PM
QUOTE
Let me start by saying this. Quinn and Bobby (Relic and THQ) know what will make a good game. They know what will make a bad game. To put this in perspective, they know that things like observer mode, support for streamers and casters, anti-cheat and strong balance will create a good game. They also know that pay-to-win, frozen-rivers-splitting-the-map-in-half and OF style blobs ignoring cutoffs will make a bad game. Virtually all concerns we had going into Eurogamer were alleviated by the time we left.


Thanks for posting this first. I'm sick of people talking about this like it's armageddon. Great write-up.

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# 3Rogers Sep 30 2012, 21:30 PM
Good write up m8!

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# 4GENERALHELL Sep 30 2012, 21:31 PM
Thanks for writing this up so quickly. Sounds like they're really working on it to do this right. Hope Relic will release gameplaytrailer and Multiplayer news soon smile.gif

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# 5ntd Sep 30 2012, 21:37 PM
Good stuff, I can't wait.

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# 6Relaxx666677676 Sep 30 2012, 22:49 PM
Good analysis.

Edit: I think the tank capturing was made easy just for the demo. It's got to be more complicated and take longer time than just jumping in and turning a key.

This post has been edited by Relaxx666677676: Sep 30 2012, 23:02 PM

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# 7AmiPolizeiFunk Oct 1 2012, 00:14 AM
Very nice Tommy! thumb.gif thanks for that. You got the scoop.

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# 8Marcus2389 Oct 1 2012, 00:22 AM
And especially thanks for hosting me smile.gif

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# 9xIronCrossx Oct 1 2012, 00:35 AM
For now it sounds like this will be more fun to just play vs AI or with friends.

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# 10Spankyy Oct 1 2012, 00:49 AM
"Units come from off map rather than out of 'factory' style buildings. The Russian buildings are much like trenches in the ground and unless they get totally reskinned, I'm not forseeing units being produces and walking out of actual buildings." - This actually makes me meh.. as its a big part of the teching choice. Now it will feel more like dow2, which i dont like at all(how the tiers go and units spwan from one building), i guess i like my oldschool base building opportunity.

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# 11Rogers Oct 1 2012, 01:12 AM
I am so excited for COH2 !!!!!!!

When you say all weapons are droppable, do you mean mp40s, 44s and ppshs?

This post has been edited by Rogers: Oct 1 2012, 01:31 AM

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# 12Inverse Oct 1 2012, 01:23 AM
Good stuff, thanks.

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# 13HelpingHans Oct 1 2012, 01:38 AM
Great write up. Summed it up better than I could and I am really glad I went. Honestly I think this may have been the best weekend of my life so far XD. Thanks for a wicked time guys. We should definitely meet up again for a big LAN party or something =P.

QUOTE(Rogers @ Oct 1 2012, 01:12 AM) *

I am so excited for COH2 !!!!!!!


When you say all weapons are droppable, do you mean mp40s, 44s and ppshs?


Well I don't know about those weapons but I know flamer throwers and now droppable >=D.

This post has been merged by djw2104: Oct 1 2012, 09:48 AM

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# 14Marcus2389 Oct 1 2012, 02:30 AM
Flamers, DP28, PTRS-D, Light MG42, Panzerschreck, those are the weapons I saw the dropping. Since MP40 are a basic weapon of Panzer Grenadiers they do not lose it at all.

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# 15c0mpl3x1ty Oct 1 2012, 02:30 AM
QUOTE(Marcus2389 @ Sep 30 2012, 18:22 PM) *

And especially thanks for hosting me smile.gif

He lives!!! Welcome back Marcus!

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# 16BroVVn Oct 1 2012, 02:52 AM
Great write up! Danke.

If you have any more info about the Germans I would love to hear it. Are Grenadiers similar to vCoH Grens? (eg: 4-man, upgradeable) and what are Panzer Grens? Are they like vCoH Stormtroopers? What kind of German armoured car did you see? Was it like the Puma or the PE AC? Did you say there was a brummbar? How did that function? Was it similar to the vCoH explosive Churchill? I want to know anything and everything haha. Thanks smile.gif



Off topic, I have a very strong suspicion that multiplayer (at least the presented version) takes place during 1942/43. Everything points towards that... StuG IIIs, Brummbars, Panzer IVs, earlier version Tiger tanks (yeah I know my Tiger tanks well enough to recognize which year they were produced XD) T-70M, SU-76M, KV1s, early T-34s. No late model T-34s (yet), no IS-2s, no KTs. But what's really throwing me for a loop is the screen shot of the Panther A tank... not around in 1942 (not until about Aug 1943) and even then, really quite uncommon. Anywho, this is all lovely speculation ofc. Personally, I think it'd be fun to have the multiplayer focused on the mid-war period.

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# 17Renas Oct 1 2012, 05:23 AM
Any info about the doctrines? Will it even have doctrines? Will we have three for each army? Have they been expanded or simplified?

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# 18TimFortres Oct 1 2012, 05:30 AM
I find your abundance of optimism disturbing. Let's hope few of those people who were in charge for DoW 2 are a part of CoH 2 team.

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# 19GuruSkippy Oct 1 2012, 06:35 AM
QUOTE(Spankyy @ Oct 1 2012, 02:49 AM) *

"Units come from off map rather than out of 'factory' style buildings. The Russian buildings are much like trenches in the ground and unless they get totally reskinned, I'm not forseeing units being produces and walking out of actual buildings." - This actually makes me meh.. as its a big part of the teching choice. Now it will feel more like dow2, which i dont like at all(how the tiers go and units spwan from one building), i guess i like my oldschool base building opportunity.

how units coming from offmap is more like dow2 ???
It's a coh feature ! In DOW2, no unit was coming from off map.
Units not coming from a building doesn't mean that buildings are not important ! If you don't have built building X, you won't be able to call unit Y. The ONLY difference is that the unit won't come from the building, but off map. What the fuck is the difference ?

QUOTE(TimFortres @ Oct 1 2012, 07:30 AM) *

I find your abundance of optimism disturbing. Let's hope few of those people who were in charge for DoW 2 are a part of CoH 2 team.

a big part of the dow2 team were fired.

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# 20JellowBelly Oct 1 2012, 07:21 AM



Fantastic news, and thx for all info. Somehow I feel somewhat calmer now. wink.gif

I've heard talk about retreat paths (you for example mention here that its slower to retreat through snow) and I was wondering if there are optional paths on retreat? So that you may possibly avoid snowy areas, or enemys etc. Are there any new functions here, or are they the same as in coh?

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