Supreme Commander

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by Mendel, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. Mendel

    Mendel Mr. Upgrade
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    So anyone else still hooked to this game? I've been playing it a lot (1on1 online ranked games) and I totally love this game. New update recently added few extra units and I've been abusing this tech 2 kamikaze flying missile unit called Mercy ever since then.

    (you can see my stats here)


    There has been a lot of fine tuning, balancing and improved performance in the game due to both software updates and me updating my 'puter. Also of course there is the Supreme Commander Core Maximizer tool that just about doubles the framerate in intensive situations.

    Well how do you like the game now? Haven't seen a whole lot discussion about it here since the game went gold.
     
  2. hoom

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    No, everyone around here prefers to talk about the latest <yawn> FPS or WoW :roll:

    I'm too scaredy-cat (& know I'm crap) to try online but have been having a great time pissing around with the AI (still getting beaten by the Random AI) building nice pretty fortresses & huge forces of Experimentals to rampage with, much as I did in TA for years.

    Also I find the replay vault to be a fascinating source of entertainment.

    I have particularly enjoyed watching the top-end guys evolve their game-play to defend against the Mercy.
    Instead of all the (to me boring) tech1/2 ground skirmishing & roaming Commanders, with fleets of tech1 interceptors sitting around on the ground between interceptions, people are getting much more proactive about base & air defence, with patrolling interceptors & staging bases.
     
  3. Rainbow Man

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    I hate playing strategy games vs other people (coz I'm a sore loser haha) so I only do skirmish instead.

    Unfortunateyl the skirmish AI in SC is dumb as a bunch of rocks so it's not much of a challenge even for a crappy player like me unless you like put 4+ AIs vs you alone or something like that.

    Defensive structures are very strong in SC (especially against air) so if you just porq in your base and build fusion power plants/mass makers and shields the enemy's gonna have a really hard time breaking through. It's doable with massive amounts of strategic missile subs etc (assuming you don't have a ton of zappers to counter it)..

    Then you can just put up giant artillery cannons inside your shielded base and level the enemy AIs' bases.

    Some maps allow you to essentially cut off the AIs from reaching much of the map. Seton's Clutch is one of those. Just build a row of cannons along the middle and if the AIs are all on the north or south sides you can totally hold the other half all for yourse.f

    The AIs won't even build bombers or gunships or such to wipe out your mass pumps you put up. Very strange.

    Peace.
     
  4. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    The AI is the most disappointing thing about the game. After the pathetic AI in TA, I had hoped for something more decent from SupCom. But, that's sure not what I got. The game is a dog, the AI sucks, and there aren't enough units (for some variety). I'm really quite bored with it.

    The upcoming expansion sounds interesting, mainly because of the supposed AI upgrade. But to have to pay for what the game should have come with is not so hot. I also think they should've added to the current sides instead of throwing in a new side.
     
  5. hoom

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    Hmm, the Challenge AI is certainly dumb but the Random AI is much harder for me :oops:

    I tend to load up fairly big maps full of AIs in a big free-for all.
    Most of the time I put in a Random AI or two & they attack me fiercely, knock out most of the Challenge AIs & then waste me with Experimentals :sad:

    I do find it odd that the AIs don't seem to build Air much though, I think part of my problem is that I'm used to at least some Air from playing TA so I invest pretty heavily in AA & interceptors etc.

    Not enough units?
    What do you think this is, Total Annihilation?! :lol:
    OK so there are less than I'd like but currently the mobile units is like 39 per faction, include the 16 or so defensive/fixed weapon units & you get 45 for each of 3 factions. Not too many RTSes can boast that many different units.

    Game is a dog? You mean it is heavy on RAM, CPU & GPU I assume. This is bad how?
     
  6. Mendel

    Mendel Mr. Upgrade
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    btw, has any site actually measured single core vs dual core performance on this game?
     
  7. Npl

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    AI sucks, but there is a custom AI out thats supposely better (Sorian AI AFAIR). Besides, its Multiplayer where the game shines.

    How many units do you want? What units - 10 tanks that are the same but have slighty different stats? Its fine as it is ATM, most units have their own purpose, some things need balancing though.
     
  8. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    There is a new mod out After The War which does a ton of rebalancing to change the way the game plays quite dramatically.
     
  9. SugarCoat

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    i noticed the AI only seems to really wander around in a confused state (wandering units, most not attacking other than the occasional Tier 4 super flying unit or plane) on the larger maps. The smallest ones seem to have far fewer issues. Exterminating them does get quite a bit harder if you dont zerg super weapons like nukes and arty canons too though. Try attacking with only Tier 3 units and you have a much harder time winning quick.
     
  10. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    yeah they build up bases made up of tons of defenses. But they never really pose an offensive threat unless you play dumb and don't get ready for their occasional nuke or experimental. On small maps it can be interesting, but on a large map it's just a mindless fool that can't mount anything resembling an assault other than a trickle of experimentals. Friends and I always play strategy games teamed against AI. We had a blast in TA against the cheating Banzai AI. That sucker was hardcore, if limited. I expected at least that level of challenge from a game developed a decade later.

    Yes, I want hundreds of units like in TA. This game has the same units for each side, with some new paint. Only the experimentals really show notable uniqueness.

    As for me calling it a dog, yes I think it runs way slower than it should. Things have improved with patches tho. But still, I played a 3 human player LAN game with 2 AIs. All 3 comps had dual cores and 2 GB+ RAM. 2 of the comps had 8800s. As you play the game just gets slower and slower, even with these formidable machines. Not with regards to framerate; it's obviously some sort of simulation slowdown. I can't stand when things get all bogged down like that. I'd rather play TA if the game can't perform on that kind of hardware. It's not like SupCom is really a better game than TA or several other older games that will run incredibly well today.

    I also didn't expect a game like this that pushes the same number of units as TA (the way we played it) and has the benefit of hardware accelerated graphics to run so much slower. Maybe the pathfinding is using some absolutely incredible algorithm. I dunno. And the game is not really that pretty. Yet you still need a quad core and a 8800 GTX to run it mostly smooth.

    Tho I suppose that TA ran as well on a Pentium 166 MMX as SupCom runs on a single core Athlon 64. :) Still seems a bit wrong, don't you think?
     
    #10 swaaye, Aug 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2007
  11. nutball

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    I've found the AI in SupCom to be better than the original 1.0 release of TA, though probably not as good as the later TA patches. So in that respect it's a retrograde step.

    I'm not sure I agree about the variety of units. Personally I found the TA expansions and various mods mostly added quantity not quality and just made the whole game less pure in some (ill-defined and arbitrary) sense.

    What bugs me most about SC is that despite it's state-of-the-art 2006 graphics engine I spend most of my time playing zoomed right out to the point that the units become simple icons. I'm spending my dual-core multi-GHz CPU and GF8-series GPU to play a game which most of the time looks like something out of the mid-80s. Something just ain't right there.

    That said though I do enjoy the game -- mostly just to load it up and play for an hour against the AI and make pretty patterns with my nukes. In other words, it's a blast in situations where I'm not in the mood for a challenge and just want annihilate some AI butt.
     
  12. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I haven't played plain TA + Core Contingency for years so I don't really remember how that played. I played with the various unit megapacks, mainly UTASP and TAUCP . I felt those basically reinvented the game and my friends and I never went back to the official builds.

    The massive numbers of units turned it into a tactical sandbox, IMO. Definitely nothing else like it.

    What impresses me still about TA is that it will run any resolution you want; at 1920x1200 it's pretty sweet. And it never slows down these days.
     
    #12 swaaye, Aug 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2007
  13. BRiT

    BRiT Verified (╯°□°)╯
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    Yes. I don't recall which sites do. There's even a tool out there that allows you to maximize the performance of Supreme Commander. It really smooths out performance and boosts the lows. It works by setting affinity on the spawned threads. I first saw mention of this utility on Elite Bastards. Maybe Digi can recall?
     
  14. nutball

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    What annoyed me were the hovercraft units, etc. It's weird when TA came out I felt that despite it being an awesome game the rock-scissors-paper style of the unit balance was too simple. TACC seemed to address that by adding rock-scissor and paper-rock units, but with hindsight I don't think they added anything. So I learned something about game design from TACC: that I don't always know best :smile:

    Yes it's an awesome engine.
     
  15. SugarCoat

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    Yea its the processor getting crushed under the weight of all the units and buildings. Shutting the graphics off helps a bit but if you let the game go on long enough without killing someone off it continues to deteriorate. Not a whole lot you can do about it, but at least its not as bad as C&C Generals which is unplayable due to some terrible coding on a few of the maps. Its far worse for something like a Pentium D though, so i suspect that in a year or so (with penryn and nehalem and a few more patches) the game should be functioning fully enough for super large scale battles.
     
  16. hoom

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    Try playing TA with that many units on your modern PC & see it crawl similarly.
    Ok, you gotta go a bit higher -my e6600 with 2GB starts spluttering around 1500-2000 units in my army + whatever the Banzai AIs put out- but its really all the simulating of very large numbers of units & their weaponry that makes it perform so apparently poorly.

    But its also pumping out decent poly count, bump-mapped, shadowed & shadered surfaces for each of those units (to a certain extent affected by zoom).
    Twice if you have the radar map enabled. (turning the radar map off is the best way to boost FPS by far)
    This makes it require quite a bit of GPU oomph too.
     
  17. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    One of the requirements of SupCom is geometry instancing. Apparently it doesn't help that much tho! I actually tried to play the game on a GF 6800 for a while; that was a lost cause. Even on low quality (which looks worse than TA IMO) it was still a dog.
     
  18. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    At what resolution are you playing? 1600 * 1200 * 16 bit color * 60 fps is 220 MB of graphic data each second.
     
  19. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    What I've found interesting with Sup Com is that even if you zoom into the ground, it doesn't speed up much, if at all. And yeah the minimap noticeably affects game performance for whatever reason. Probably because it's basically a miniature version of the full screen; you can zoom in and out on it as if it were a separate monitor.

    With my 8800GTX, I can actually get decent performance with a 1920x1200 24" and a 1680x1050 20" running at the same time. It's the simulation aspect that bogs down in big matches. The game speed, not frame rate, just goes downhill. Units move like molasses eventually even with the game speed jacked up above 0. I run a 3.1 GHz Allendale, but my friends were on a 2 GHz Merom and a 2.6 GHz Opteron 165 (Toledo/Denmark).

    Do not try to play this game in LAN games if you've only got a little single core. My laptop is a Dothan 2.13 GHz with 7800 Go GTX and the CPU just gets clobbered once you're 30 mins in or so. Visual quality settings have no impact on game speed at this point. It all starts out nice and fast, but wow does it go down hill.

    BTW, there's a cool app made by a fan called SupCom Core Maximizer on the official forum. It actually balances out the game's threads so you get more even usage across cores. Apparently the game will happily gobble up a quad core, but an octo core setup is less useful.
     
    #19 swaaye, Aug 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2007
  20. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    There's been a lot of discussion on the Supacom boards about the poor performance, and the best explanation I've seen is down to the pathfinding. The more units you have in the game, the more it bogs down. This is why you see the game slow down even when zoomed into to nothing. Just watch the pathfinding at work, and you can see it's often pretty damn retarded, and a lot of these units all trying to get past one another makes it even worse.
     
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