Форум - IB-Team.ucoz.ru | Dawn of War II Fan Site (2024)

Many people hope for better balance, many whine about imbalance but one man has decided to take the fate of his Dawn of War gaming experience into his own hands. I am of course talking about Korbah, the founder of Dawn of War: Professional, one the longest running and most recognizable mods for Dawn of War. I sat down(MSN) and talked to him about DoWPro, Winter Assault, the community, Relic, and balance.

Dorkdav: When did you start playing Dawn of War?

Korbah: open beta

Dorkdav: Wow that's quite a while

Korbah: Yup, like august 2004

Dorkdav: You were pretty good if I can remember

Korbah: In 1.2 I was one of the best chaos players --> before I went away for a month about 6 weeks b4 1.3 came out I was prolly the best active csm at that time.....primarily because I was the only one who could reliably beat top10 ork and eldar at that time with chaos. Yay horrortech BO . Since then I haven’t really automatched for competitive play.

Dorkdav: Yes, you were praised for making some innovative BOs

Dorkdav: When did you decide to create the DoWPro mod?

Korbah: Soon after 1.3 was out. I saw the changelog for 1.3 while I was away and just went “omg chaos is now imba...and nothing else got fixed either” and then realized “if you want something done properly.....”

Dorkdav: Was there one thing in particular?

1.3 made chaos crappy to play. They’d made ½ the available chaos strats worthless and the few remaining ones like Defilertech totally imba……before it was hard to pull off à but with 1.3 it just became laughable.

Dorkdav: Has your vision of DoWPro changed over time?

Korbah: The vision has remained the same - to turn DoW into a pro level game that makes WC3/SC shake in their boots. The balance tweaks etc have changed as I learned more about modding, tweaked roles, added WA content etc but the vision is still the same - to make DoW as good as it can be.

Dorkdav: When you say good, do you just mean balance?

Korbah: Balance is a very misunderstood word and yes, I do mean beyond just balance. Balance simply means that in a given MU (match up) there is no unfair advantage. The key thing is gameplay. Gameplay describes how deep, complicated, fun, interesting and challenging the battles are. The goal is to have great gameplay that is balanced. Beyond the balance and gameplay, DoW has systemic flaws. E.g. gamespy networking is crap, pathing sux, unit ai sux, skirmish ai sux (DoWpro uses skirmish mod which greatly improves this). All these extra flaws need to be addressed for DoW to truly shine à all these detract from DoW and I want em fixed.

Dorkdav: A large undertaking

Korbah: Relic hasn’t managed it yet and who knows if they ever will......vague assurances are meaningless. Thus yes I am trying to gather a team who can solve these issues with regards to networking and pathing. AI seems to be under control thanx to the skirmish AI and DoWpro’s excellent support by LarkinVB.

Dorkdav: So how would you gauge success for the Pro mod?

Korbah: I think it’s gathering momentum. I’ve had some really top level players try it...and the general response is “this should be at wcg not WA”. If i can solve the systemic issues we’ve been talking about and finish DoWpro IG balance......it’s going to be a great success.

Dorkdav: Players like Stefen Hanies says he won’t play DoWPro because he’s “old school” and doesn’t play anything unofficial. What do you say to players like that?

Korbah: I say simply they’re missing out. With the current versions of DoWpro playing as good as they are it’s pretty hard to justify playing WA for any other reason that its’ official/easier to find games. If people got behind DoWpro they’d get plenty of games and the games would be better - I can fix bugs in a matter of minutes and release regular updates using simple .exe installers (that autoupdate your dowpro installation – installing DoWpro and updating it is almost without hassle now.).

It’s a matter of people wanting to try something new - I can’t force them.....what I’m doing is trying to make something that’s so clearly superior it makes it hard to justify playing WA.

Dorkdav: What was the best and the worth thing they added with Winter Assault?

Korbah: Best thing: they identified the flaws in vanilla - plus they added some really great new content like the new units and IG.

Worst thing: none of the systemic issues were fixed, plus the implementation of their “fixes” for the issues of vanilla were in my honest opinion flawed and thus I think WA’s gameplay is not representative of what can be achieved with DoW

Dorkdav: What is your overall opinion of Relic? Do you think they can balance the game eventually?

Korbah: I think Relic is constrained by financial/corporate factors. They’ve shown they can make a great game - whether they can allocate enough resources to fixing it is another question....to date they’ve shown an inability to adequately address the critical issues of DoW.

I think Relic could balance WA – that being said I don’t think that WA’s gameplay is particularly great and thus I’m not really excited by the prospect of balanced WA. It’s shallow and not really representative of 40K fluff which I dislike – if you can gain maximum gameplay depth and get balance (aka SC) you create a game that excites and challenges you for years. I don’t think WA has enough depth to do this even if it is balanced by relic.

WA is in my honest opinion something that should be dropped - I think I’ve rather conclusively shown that you can address the issues of vanilla within the framework of vanilla’s style. WA loses much of the charm of vanilla by throwing away and sort of fluff “feel” or theme - eg. eldar don’t really feel like the elder you hear about when read up on 40K fluff. I’m not saying it must be = to TT, far from it. Rather that the races should be representative of the overall “flavour” of the race they’re supposed to represent. WA also is very fast paced teching wise which of course meant that everything had to be streamed etc. to actually get used (if it wasn’t streamed unit techs would be ignored since the “therapeutic window” of the upgrade is narrow due to the rapid teching speed à essentially higher tier units would beat your teched lower tier units and thus you’ve wasted time/req upgrading). Thus WA units are very one dimensional - which limits gameplay potential since there’s little flexibility in the way you can use your units.

Dorkdav: I assume your not a fan of the units becoming obsolete

Korbah: Not at all. I’m all for Terms etc being uber units - but even scouts and cults should have T3 uses

Dorkdav: What do think of their mod tools? Does Relic provide good support for modders?

Korbah: Yes and no. The Attribute Editor works ok - but we had to decode the .rgd’s in order to start modding --> relic made us wait like 1-2 months for WA .luas which was a really poor move and very frustrating. Also models --> the community had to make it’s own scripts to let us properly mod models. Finally I’d love the SDK so we could mod .dll’s.

Dorkdav: So the they didn't give you all the tools you need

Korbah: Exactly. And didn’t give us the updates with patches nearly as fast as the could have. I rewrote the .luas for winter assault before they managed to released em. --> how poor is that?

Dorkdav: Do you think that sends a bad message to modders?

Korbah: Absolutely - releasing .luas is dead easy. Takes about 5mins to zip and upload and yet they made us wait 1-2 months. The fact that I could rewrite the .luas having worked with guys to decode teh .rgd’s faster than they could release the .luas was shameful.

Relic has very poor community relations - the occasional cryptic post in RN is not good community relations. I see signs of improvement with the 1.5 community balance team --> but it’s taken a very long time to get this far and the reality is that the general level of communication is still pretty poor.

Dorkdav: What is your opinion of the DoW community in general?

Korbah: Generally I’ve found people friendly but kind of isolated. There is little effort to try and foster good competition and bring new players into the fold. It’s more about spamming for the wins so people can “train for wcg” despite the fact 95% won’t get there and that it’s 10months away. Many people forget it’s about having good games not winning and thus - new players are ignored and not brought up to speed. There’s no active recruitment to bring players to the game. There’s piss poor support for mods from most decent players. There has been a recent resurgence of community projects eg. Shoutcasts which are imho a great idea à we need more ppl to step up to the plate and get involved imho.

Dorkdav: You seems to be talking about the higher skill players more. What about the average team player?

Korbah: Misinformation and hype abounds because there’s such poor upper level support. Thus lower level players continue to whine about the same stuff --> there’s no good tutorial material to help people play better. Sure there’s reps but many don’t know how to improve just by watching reps. Thus, we see lots of QS since people think it’s fun primarily because they don’t get good enough to appreciate proper games.

Dorkdav: Is people playing QS a bad thing?

Korbah: No. But we do need a deeper playing field in the higher levels if we want to have this community sustain itself for the long haul. Additionally, people won’t progress if they play QS exclusively but at the moment there’s no help to improve and no real incentive either.

Dorkdav: Would you say that playing at a higher level of play is more fun and fulfilling?

Korbah: It’s more rewarding. Yes. Furthermore players are more likely to stick around with dow if they’re playing competitively than playing QS which can get rather old after the novelty runs out.

Dorkdav: Let's talk about two of the main hubs for the DoW community Sanctuary and Relic News. Is there a large divide between them?

Korbah: Yes and no. I think Sanctuary is more intimate, higher level players, totally WA orientated and can be very elitist. RN has a lot of new players, a very good modding community, more impersonal posting and a weaker replay section.

Dorkdav: Does the administration of those sites provide good support for mods?

Korbah: I think so yes. Admins for both are very supportive. It’s the players who often aren’t, especially at sanctuary. However, I would say that some sections are VERY supportive

My own team of DoWpro guys (about 15 now) have done amazing things and we’re getting a growing player base. My only complaint about the modding community is finding people with certain skills that I lack but need/want eg. Fx artwork and modeling. It can be very tough to find ppl and I still would like some graphics guys on my team. Also some more web design guys....hell I’ve got a big long list of wants.

The point is that I’m limited only by not having the right people to help - not by a lack of ideas/planning. E.g. I’ve got a 25 mission SP campaign totally written and planned. I just need mappers and scar coders to help make the individual missions – basically I’ve written the recipe for a whole lot of projects (single player, stats site and more)…….I just need ppl with the appropriate skills to help me make the “cake”.

Dorkdav: Is it easy for new people to get into? Or is RDN (Relic Developer Network) documentation a bit difficult?

Korbah: Relic’s documentation was initially sketchy but the modding community has added to it considerably if people want to get involved help is easy to find.

I have a large team of guys who’ve learnt lots of skills doing DoWpro (as have I) --> if the desire is there to learn and create.....the community can help u out. If anyone wants to learn contact me and I can forward them to the right ppl.

Dorkdav: If you could add one feature to the game what would it be?

Korbah: Fixed pathing and unit AI, it is the single most crippling aspect of the game for me now when I play dowpro.

Networking we’ve largely solved

Dorkdav: Using hamachi?

Korbah: Yes - although there’s a new project being made at the moment that will provide a full alternative to gamespy. Automatch, ladder, autoreplay uploading. Stay tuned.

Like I said the modding community shouldn’t be ignored

But it will solve all those NAT issue many people have with gamespy - myself included so I’m assuming the project will work which leaves only crappy pathing/unit ai/transport unloading to be fixed.

Dorkdav: Your mod has added aspects of other mods too it. Is this common for the mod community?

Korbah: Yes. We share content with proper credit of course.

Dorkdav: Are you excited about the new expansion?

Korbah: Not particularly. I don’t like WA gameplay - thus another 2 races with WA gameplay doesn’t excite me.

What I do like the thought of is getting 2 more races to mod....of course it’s a huge amount of work to redo an entire race. Massive coding requirement and a lot of thematic balancing to turn em into a unique race that plays well in dowpro.

Dorkdav: I guess your work is never done

Korbah: lol indeed

Korbah: I think I have to try and integrate the SL mod before the x=pack is done too.....so IG now then SL then x-pack. Steel legion mod will be rebalanced for DoWpro and be an IG alternative. Be a bit like sm vs csm in terms of differences both are guardsmen but there are a lot of racial differences that make em a unique and interesting race to play. The quality of the mod is superlative which makes it an easy choice to consider integration for DoWpro – if it wasn’t up to scratch (that being of the same quality as Relic’s races) I wouldn’t have bothered considering it.

Dorkdav: Anything else you want to say to the Dawn of War Community?

Korbah: Keep playing - try to get more ppl involved.

Try DoWpro and give me feedback on the forums: http://s14.invisionfree.com/DOWPRO/index.php?act=idx . Most of you either have never played it or have played a version so old you wouldn’t recognise the current edition. Also if anyone has any modding skills, web skills, dll decoding skills - talk to me....the work I want to do will benefit the whole community.

I can help anyone who wants to learn how to mod – I just need you to come forward.

To those doing stuff like tutorials, tourneys and shoutcasts for the community – keep it up it’s great work! I’d recommend everyone gets behind this kind of stuff. Don’t be scared to try and create stuff – you learn and it helps the community come closer.

Remember that WA 1.5 might well be a great game version of WA - but there are certainly viable alternatives you can play while you wait for it and also AT THE SAME TIME AS WA (playing WA and mods isn’t mutually exclusive) and DoWpro is one of them.

I’m about making a pro level game and if you’re serious about playing great games you should give Dowpro a chance. I do this because I love DoW but just couldn’t abide the direction DoW and WA was heading since I felt it was wasting DoW’s potential.

Dorkdav says All right. Thank you very much for you time. Best of luck with DoWPro.

Korbah: thanks m8

A big thanks to Korbah and people that read the article, I hope you enjoyed it. This being a forum one of the great things is that you can ask Korbah to elaborate on a certain topic in the interview. He does read these forums so he may answer.

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