Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

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Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby Ci Cao » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:10 pm

I just recently hooked up my PS2 again to confirm a feeling I'd had for a while playing the newer DW games, namely that they have started to feel less like a battle and developed more of a "beeline-from-duel-to-duel-while-ignoring-common-soldiers" dynamic. At first, I thought that this was mostly an illusion that stemmed from more experience with the games and better understanding of the mechanics, but playing DW2 and DW3 again confirmed my original suspicion.

To explain: despite having the obvious rendering capacity issues, it appears that DW2 to DW4 had more troops on the battlefield overall. In addition, troops clearly 'belonged' to an officer. There were no 'Mobile Unit Commander' characters that served practically no purpose other than window-dressing. In addition, reinforcements were clearly regulated by reinforcement gates that could be taken, cutting off that particular respawn point for enemy troops. DW4 even went so far as to optionally separate officer duels and the overall battle altogether as a fairly prominent feature.

As a result, battles felt more like a dynamic tug-of-war, rather than a linear sequence of officers to beat or objectives to rush to. The earlier games made the player feel more like a small element in a greater whole trying to turn the tide of war, while the newer ones make you outright babysit your entire force. Also, troops were just more numerous. There were no empty areas on the battlefield. Every little corner was somehow populated by troops, and when they clashed, the area turned into a proper killing ground. Yes, the engine couldn't always handle that many soldiers at the same time, but at least actually fighting with your allies was an option, rather than the search and destroy that we get in newer games and which is probably somewhat derived from the base-system that the Empires series brought us...

I wonder, though - am I the only one who sees this development? Don't get me wrong, I still love the DW series and am extremely hyped for the release of DW8E, but having remembered the old ones, I now can't shake the feeling that Koei changed something at some point for some reason, and that the game has become more lifeless in the process. What do you think?
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby James » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:37 pm

I was noticing this into Dynasty Warriors 4, and then into 5, and eventually I stopped playing the games. I think Dynasty Warriors 3 and XL were pretty much the high points for the series (I loved all those times I spent carefully moving about in fear that an archer would cut me down) and that, from there, they started to dumb the games down and make them more accessible to a wider audience of players (individual troops, troop formations, and battlefield layout certainly became far less dangerous). I occasionally want to pick the series up again and then someone tells me that this hasn't really changed.
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby Zorkaz » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:55 pm

I'd say DW6 was good too. You always had keep an eye on the enemy around you, while storming a castle using siege weapons, etc... But in DW7 things got too easy. Now it isn't very hard to achieve 1000 KO's, which was quite difficult in DW4...
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:04 am

I hated DW7 for that exact reason. I could not stand watching my army just die off just because I wasn't holding their hands. I even watched FOUR of my officers surround ONE enemy officer. And my men lost. I mean really? What the actual F?

DW5, in my opinion, was the last great game.
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby Zorkaz » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:28 pm

While I think DW6 was the last game I really enjoyed, I understand what you mean. I only like the Empires version from now on. (Which was really good in DW7). But basically in DW7 you could take on like 40 soldiers at one time. In DW4 you were lucky when you could kill three with a stroke.
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:58 pm

Ha! Yes, in DW4, you went into focus mode when you faced an enemy commander's bodyguard. Hated those guys.

I think DW6 was the worst of all, but I do agree that the siege warfare was really cool. That's the only reason I would ever play the game again.
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby Zorkaz » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:45 pm

Fledgling Dragon wrote:I think DW6 was the worst of all, but I do agree that the siege warfare was really cool. That's the only reason I would ever play the game again.


Well, when I think of basic DW6 I love to think of the battle at Hulao gate, that was awesome ;)
In DW4 though the auto-focus is a thing which makes that game really unenjoyable, as much as I like it.
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:26 pm

Auto-focus? I just meant that I got on edge when I had to face a hostile commander's bodyguard. Sorry for the confusion :D
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby mendedties » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:01 am

Ci Cao, you have voiced the exact problem I have with the series.

My favorite has always been DW3, though I stopped after 6 for the reasons you mentioned. I realize the later games greatly improved from 6, but it was the whole "you're basically an assassin running frantically from officer to officer only killing peons when they happen to get in the way of your weapon" mechanic that persisted that made me discontinue.
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Re: Is it just me or did DW2-4 feel more like a battle?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:41 pm

7 was my favourite but I mostly play the game for the characters and the stories so as long as the battles don't bore me to death...

Fledgling Dragon wrote:I hated DW7 for that exact reason. I could not stand watching my army just die off just because I wasn't holding their hands. I even watched FOUR of my officers surround ONE enemy officer. And my men lost. I mean really? What the actual F?


I think that is a tad exaggerated? I tend to find that if morale is lowish then yeah, they are inept. Morale is high then they turn into killing machines

I agree with the premise though. The way I play nowadays is push on towards objective, kill officers along the way and only sometimes bother with the peons. I'm the only one who seems to get more then 50 kills and (though always been the case that your the hero figure in the battle) it does feel like my character is the only really competent fighter on my side until morale is high enough.

In the old days, I don't remember going straight for the officers and I remember other officers picking up high kill counts.
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