Fast pace vs Med pace

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Matty
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Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by Matty »

Today I have talked to KennetRP and other guys in the game lobby. They all claimed they hated fast pace games because it was 0 iq, no strategy and just "speed click".

I think this is not really true.
I think that the reason why all RTS games are all about time managing and not actual strategies meant as an active thinking is not because strategies do not exist, but because once players understand the game the strategies they were making before in a slower way get executed in a faster and auto pilot mode.
So basically when you play your perfomance doesn't reflect your ability to make plans or strategies but it reflects the quality and the execution of the strategies you know already.
Let's do an example: in 5-5 fast pace at the beginning people typically send 5 citizens to stone and 5 citizens to wood (or 4 and 6). The reason is banally because this is one of the fastest way to build city centers, but it's not like we are even thinking at it anymore. Is it a strategy? You might say it is not because it is applied mechanically, but before being played over and over in an auto pilot mode it was! There was that time in which you were actively thinking like: "...I must minimize the time for building the next ccs". At that time it was clearly a strategy. Can strategies stop being strategies? Hard to say...
But wait a moment, the beginner who sends, for example, 3 citizens to stone and 7 to wood and who is used to do that, might as well think that the game has no strategy, but actually the choice he made is wrong. If a game has no strategy you should be the king of it.

Someone might say that building barracks is a brainless act. Well, even if it really was, it all comes down to task priorities. It can be an easy task to do, so easy to be considered boring, but it's not about how easy a task is to do, but how you invest your time. I don't think beginners stop building just because it is boring. They stop building because they think other facts have bigger priorities. Also, deciding the method to build barracks, which can be done using TAB, using citizens by selecting them from trees, cyclically, in a certain pattern which adapts to the state of the game and so on... is an important aspect which is not banal at all. For example prebuilding 2 barracks one after the other with a single citizen is not an efficient idea at the beginning. So, in the end, it comes up that even the apparantly most brainless aspect of fast pace games is a strategy.

So... it is generally normal to not apply an active thinking during a game you want to win. You just apply your old discoveries, which is still cool. It can be fast pace, medium pace, or even other games. This is how it works.

Which is then the difference between fast pace and med pace games? In med pace you generally deal with fewer units, so it is more about micro than macro. That means less time building and more time controlling the army, which is an art as well, but certainly It's not like in medium pace you have the time to think ways to exploit opponent's weaknesses with sci fi strategies.

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Dr.MonaLisa
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Re: Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by Dr.MonaLisa »

Interesting topic.

Two key points:

- During development of the game, the main pace was "medium", which has modifiers equal to 1.0. So it's the pace intended to play by developers.
- Due to unfair maps, not equal resources placement, the fast pace was chosen to be played by more skilled players.

In fast pace units have less health, more attack points, so generally the units range is what matters the most in epochs 5+. However, in medium pace it became the same. In real World too.

I find it to be a huge hypocrisy to call the fast pace as "0 IQ" by players mentioned above. This is because it comes from people who often are unable to make their own decisions nor plan the game. I myself yell a lot while observing med paced games, seeing that certain players won't do anything right without my help. It indeed helped, so those players learnt what to do in certain epochs (like using the Smart Plane in epoch 15), but in general if there's anything new, or enemy plays a different strategy than the one they're used to, they lose pretty quick. The best example is Googol and Tedere, who came from a different game (AOE3). They didn't even need to be good at EE2 (with speeds) to win. Enough that they tried different units / strategies, and most of people didn't know how to deal with it. Out of nothing, horses which were considered as an "useless" unit became used. The sad truth is, horses are still useless, but people stopped using / forgot anti-horse units, because they didn't experience rushes with them for long.

Medium pace has too many cons to be considered as fair settings.
First of all is that people usually play with random civilizations. 90% of r-r games depend on the luck. Some really good players can defeat unbalanced units rush, but this is not always possible in team games, where they can get doubled. It's frustrating.
In medium pace, all players have too much time. Skilled players are wasting their time looking at the resources counters, because the actions they perform are done instantly. EE2 was always considered as a game which depend on precision of clicking. In my opinion:
- Speed of finding units / buildings on the map,
- Precision of clicking (for example to select a single citizen from a forest), or to select a group of exactly 6 citizens while dragging the mouse,
- Quickly finding the right hotkey on your keyboard,
- Controlling the map (being on few fronts at the same time), and continue building.
... are way more valuable. Let's give it as a computer hardware example, so that people may understand. Let's assume that players are computer processors:
1. Player A is a good player who is equal to 4Ghz, 4 cores CPU.
2. Player B is an average player, who is equal to 1.8Ghz, 2 cores CPU.
3. Game pace is:
- Medium: old hard drive (max. speed ~100MB/s, and less while performing operations).
- Fast pace is: NVMe disk (max. speed 3000MB/s, 10 000x higher IOPS so copying or other operations on the same disk won't affect the speeds).
4. In medium pace, both players (A and B) use the old hard drive. They can produce units with the same speed (especially on game start). While Player B is on 100% of his 2 cores usage, Player A is on his 20% usage and is unable to use his remaining power (skills) on anything else. What helps in this case is the number of the cores, because as an experienced player he's able to do more things at the same time (like controlling the army and managing the economy at the same time). So this is the only thing that helps him, but the game runs as it runs.
5. In the fast pace, both players (A and B) use the NVMe disk. Player B still uses 100% of his power, which allows him to "copy files" with speed of ~40MB/s). Player A however, can use the higher % (let's say 80%) of his capabilities, and is performing the copying operation with speed ~1500MB/s).
This is obviously scaled differently, and that example is not perfect, but you get the point. Players who understand game mechanics are just wasting their skills by playing medium pace. Of course there are other factors (like bad player's computer) which limit them to play medium pace, but those things could be discussed on this forum around 10 years ago. We have 2021, so anyone can have an access to a better processor for acceptable money. There are no excuses. Obviously there are always people that may earn thousands from their work, but when it comes to buying the hardware they're like "omg I will not spend so much for a computer". This is a different, psychological subject that would take too long to describe in this topic. I can say that I chatted with certain players who were able to send photos of "their" cars/motorbikes, jewellery, watches, etc. but when it came to buying a computer with acceptable performance (for not so much for their possibilities) they were crying "how expensive, I will never pay that much for a computer". Anyway it's a bit off topic. Greetings to KayOne.

The biggest problem in med pace is, that good players can lose to the factors that wouldn't matter in a fast pace game:
- Unfair resources placement (especially saltpeter, gold and oil). In EE2 it's ugly, however EE2: AOS has a new option for resources placement that I haven't tried. It possibly improves it, but as we know it's not played by the "main" community (I don't know why).
- In certain epochs deff spam is too strong, especially on smaller maps where population limits good player's compatibilities. The *uRs* and such players are the best example of it. Every single game you can see dozens of outposts, wall towers and God knows what else. This is what you guys call a strategy?
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In the fast pace, buildings have much lower health, and units deal more damage, so deff spam like this is not effective / can be destroyed quickly. In medium pace it can decide about winning the game or not, especially when it's connected with the unfair resources placement.

For me, fast pace is the only one that shows the real player skills. This is something that allows you to improve. By always playing medium pace, you'll never become a good player. One of good examples of it is Coo1. He may be good at strategies and what he does on his setts, but a skilled fast pace player is always able to beat him, no matter if often plays the medium pace or not.

Of course there were exceptions, like the pro Bab War players (pedro, NaviSly, etc.). However, I don't think they were fans or r-r with random civs either.

Anyway, to all these medium pace fanatics: Think twice before you call a fast-pace player a "0 IQ". There are YouTube videos where one of those fast-pace players beats you in 1v4 MEDIUM PACE games: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV_EU5vbd6M

Not to mention Epoch 1 vs Epoch 15 games: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoaYHFHH4hI

I'm not angry btw.
Best regards,
Dr.MonaLisa
Ministry of Game Affairs
Department of Control and Complains
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Matty
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Re: Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by Matty »

Thank you for you answer! You have added several and very solid arguments which I agree completely!

Medium pace is indeed much more luck driven. Resources have a greater impact on the game, especially in higher epochs, but also territories! So the map, which is random, becomes very often too much relevant. Moreover some civs are much better than others at certain epochs.

The only thing in which it might be more skillful is the knowledge of all the units in the game: which units are there, how much they cost, which resources they require, which units are good, which units are effective against your opponent. It is much harder this aspect in r-r but it's a bit too knowledgy to my taste, and that's why I am not good at higher epochs. I am always forgetting at which epochs some units start being there, which resources they need and in high-high epochs I have no clue which army is better to produce. Still, understanding how to spend your time, understanding which facts deserve more your attention, will make you a decent player anyways, even with such a gap of knowledge compared to the opponent.

Another great thing you have said is that comparison with processors... good fast pace players, who are generally better at managing their time, get severely limited in medium pace because it doesn't matter how many tasks you can do, there are few tasks you really need to do and that can be done either from a fast player or a slow player. The optional tasks which a fast player might do in addition to main ones can generate a small advantage but, very often, that advantage is greatly nullified by defspam, which in medium pace is much more effective!

There are famous exceptions, as you said, of players who played medium pace settings in a very skillful way, like Pedro, but I think they shined there not just because they were exceptionally good but also because the setting was much more fair. In bab war, which is a famous med pace setting (for those who do not know) is much more balanced compared to r-r, because civs are the same, territories disposition doesn't really matter and you can by the way come up with countering strategies, resources are not generally a problem because the game should end pretty quickly and, mainly, the skill part is your control of the units! There is that micro part of the game which is totally absent in general r-r. And that requires speed! Much speed because you have to manage citizens, building things and, at the same time, attacking your opponent in an effective way, which in bab war consists in dodging the arrows and many another subtle things. This kinda remember the multitasking you are supposed to do in medium pace games with NO RULES, which brings to "spy battles" or "ram battles", which for some coincidence are not being played anymore, thing that makes me think that the problem about fast pace is not about the absence of strategies but the raw fact it becomes harder in such a way that someone can deal with it and someone cannot.

Now that I think about it, the only way to increase the level of r-r games or medium pace games in general, WITH RULES, is rushing... I don't even know why I took so long to figure out. Probably my rustyness... Anyways, I guess I know what to do now :D
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Tedere
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Re: Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by Tedere »

I can see why fast pace can be a more fair setting. However it comes at a cost. As mona mentioned, who win in this setting comes down to clicking and pressing hotkeys, at a large percentage at least. But this happens at the expense of removing other interesting game mechanics that add variety and tactical depth to a game.
Namely unit control and decision making in fast pace matter minimally.

So I wonder if fast pace setting, by removing all those variables in the name of fair contest, makes the game less of a strategy game. But let's talk about the problems of medium pace now. It is true that most games, in team at least, tend to be decided either by resource distribution on the map, or by civilization balance. So here we have, in an effort of having more strategic complexity and realism, the game losing it's balance.

Regarding the tower spam we see that turns most games into deadlocks, I think the "meta" is majorly responsible, players playing more "safe" and passively is the trend nowadays. That, together with the unwritten rules of the game that using defenses aggressively or double teaming an enemy is seen as some short of low blow, turns the games stale and repetitive.

To sum it up, yes, fast pace may be more fair of a setting, but for the wrong good reason. And at the end of the day, we are all playing to have a good time, so everyone can make his choice on which setting should be played, based on what he values more. What is more, I'd like to see more settings and strategies being used, in a game that is so diverse yet for many players unexplored. That's all :D
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Matty
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Re: Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by Matty »

Tedere wrote: 02 Mar 2021, 21:27 I can see why fast pace can be a more fair setting. However it comes at a cost. As mona mentioned, who win in this setting comes down to clicking and pressing hotkeys, at a large percentage at least. But this happens at the expense of removing other interesting game mechanics that add variety and tactical depth to a game.
Namely unit control and decision making in fast pace matter minimally.

So I wonder if fast pace setting, by removing all those variables in the name of fair contest, makes the game less of a strategy game. But let's talk about the problems of medium pace now. It is true that most games, in team at least, tend to be decided either by resource distribution on the map, or by civilization balance. So here we have, in an effort of having more strategic complexity and realism, the game losing it's balance.

Regarding the tower spam we see that turns most games into deadlocks, I think the "meta" is majorly responsible, players playing more "safe" and passively is the trend nowadays. That, together with the unwritten rules of the game that using defenses aggressively or double teaming an enemy is seen as some short of low blow, turns the games stale and repetitive.

To sum it up, yes, fast pace may be more fair of a setting, but for the wrong good reason. And at the end of the day, we are all playing to have a good time, so everyone can make his choice on which setting should be played, based on what he values more. What is more, I'd like to see more settings and strategies being used, in a game that is so diverse yet for many players unexplored. That's all :D
Thank you for your answer Tedere!
I must admit that playing medium pace over and over is making me re-evaluate the whole thing. It's not that I changed my idea completely: I still think it is un unbalanced setting and that the strategies are essentially the same as fast pace games, indeed a good fast-pace player will be at least decent in medium-pace games, however the no cease-fire thing (which is not a medium-pace itself feature but still...) opens a lot of doors: you can rush with archers, horses, tanks, cannons..., you can boom defending with outpots, you can boom without placing any outpots... and in order to correctly choose one of these options it is necessary but not sufficient to see what your opponent is doing. This is an aspect less present in fast-pace games which is quite interesting, even though most of med-pace lovers and fast-pace haters don't really show great strategic plans so that their hate towards fast-pace game is not understandable.
TyTheRuler
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Re: Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by TyTheRuler »

Today I mentioned the "old school" way of playing ee2 when in a lobby with Kennet and others. By "old school" I mean the common, even standard way games were played in the 2000's when this game released. Fast pace has always been the most popular widely accepted setting for multiplayer games. I can even guess that most players don't have many hours playing on medium pace, myself included.

I learned a few things playing with Kennet and others on medium pace after playing fast pace for several years:
Medium pace seems much harder and even more "strategic" from a micromanagement point of view IF you are accustomed to playing fast pace.
Defensive structures (spamming) and units with defenses (Hades) + artillery units (spamming) + healer units are more effective.
Resource management is completely different. Everything takes 2x as long so it's harder to macro manage.
This change of pace will make an average/slightly above average medium-pace player be able to defeat an above average/very good fast pace player.
I believe playing medium pace is more about computer performance/lag and inexperience with multiplayer/being a newbie.

My final thought is a medium pace game strategy is as easy to learn as a fast pace game strategy. Practice at either pace and you'll have a strategy for both that requires the same amount of skill. Now the question is, can a player learn both playstyles.

Both medium and fast pace games require "skill". One playstyle is not more skillful than the other. BUT if a player always plays medium pace, they will never win a fast pace game. AND a player who always plays on fast pace can always win medium pace games.

And 1 more thing - if playing on medium pace, watch out for players who rush with 0-minute cease-fire settings.
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Dr.MonaLisa
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Re: Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by Dr.MonaLisa »

I agree mostly with this part:
BUT if a player always plays medium pace, they will never win a fast pace game. AND a player who always plays on fast pace can always win medium pace games.

Of course medium-pace can have its benefits, but we can't forget about what skills are needed for the fast pace:
- Advanced hotkeys knowledge and precise usage of them (to avoid misclicks, etc).
- Precise mouse control, usually using the higher DPI than others.
- Skills of dealing with stressful situations. In the fast pace the lost battle doesn't make you lose game as it usually happens in medium pace. As long as you keep calm you can perform some actions quickly that can change the game. In medium pace such recovery wouldn't be possible, especially if your economy received a huge damage.
- Skills of making "good" decisions fast. It's needed to adapt yourself to the current game situation much faster than in medium pace.

I disagree a bit regarding "micro" in medium pace. Watching the current community plays there are rarely any moves at start. And even if there are, then they're lagged by the high-ping players (I don't blame), so it loses all the sense. I many times lost units in the medium pace, just because of the command lag.
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Ministry of Game Affairs
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Matty
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Re: Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by Matty »

TyTheRuler wrote: 18 May 2021, 05:52 Today I mentioned the "old school" way of playing ee2 when in a lobby with Kennet and others. By "old school" I mean the common, even standard way games were played in the 2000's when this game released. Fast pace has always been the most popular widely accepted setting for multiplayer games. I can even guess that most players don't have many hours playing on medium pace, myself included.

I learned a few things playing with Kennet and others on medium pace after playing fast pace for several years:
Medium pace seems much harder and even more "strategic" from a micromanagement point of view IF you are accustomed to playing fast pace.
Defensive structures (spamming) and units with defenses (Hades) + artillery units (spamming) + healer units are more effective.
Resource management is completely different. Everything takes 2x as long so it's harder to macro manage.
This change of pace will make an average/slightly above average medium-pace player be able to defeat an above average/very good fast pace player.
I believe playing medium pace is more about computer performance/lag and inexperience with multiplayer/being a newbie.

My final thought is a medium pace game strategy is as easy to learn as a fast pace game strategy. Practice at either pace and you'll have a strategy for both that requires the same amount of skill. Now the question is, can a player learn both playstyles.

Both medium and fast pace games require "skill". One playstyle is not more skillful than the other. BUT if a player always plays medium pace, they will never win a fast pace game. AND a player who always plays on fast pace can always win medium pace games.

And 1 more thing - if playing on medium pace, watch out for players who rush with 0-minute cease-fire settings.
"if a player always plays medium pace, they will never win a fast pace game. AND a player who always plays on fast pace can always win medium pace games" that's so true, indeed.
I think that being good in fast-pace games, and so also playing fast-pace games, helps at being fast in general. This general speed is, from a certain perspective, the best quality of a player because it is the hardest skill to improve and, at the same time, it is the most generic and impactful skill, at any setting.
Of course that skill alone isn't enough to be "top tier" in med-pace, but it is necessary.

In r-r med-pace there is a much higher variance in army composition and that's why it's more important to know what the opponent is producing or what he can potentially produce, and how to deal against certain types of units. This is the base to develop strategies. At the same time, in 5-5 fast pace having pretty much same army composition, the focus is more given to details, on how to maximize eco, on how to build in an efficient way, on how being fast in general. In 5-5 you don't have the excuse that opponent's army composition was better so you work on making your army as big as possible and on improving your army control.

Basically med-pace helps at picking the right strategy for any given epoch, fast-pace helps at executing this strategy at its best.
TyTheRuler
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Re: Fast pace vs Med pace

Post by TyTheRuler »

Matty wrote: 18 May 2021, 09:32 it's more important to know what the opponent is producing or what he can potentially produce
I think this is key. Knowing the best units for your civ and opponents civ in any given range of epochs is important.

For example I lost a game because I chose the wrong units to produce, but during the rematch I copied the units my opponent used and beat him with ease.

In fast pace you know what to expect, especially in 5-5. In med pace you can be rushed effectively by the enemy & collecting the wrong resources or not enough resources can be a mistake that can take too long to recover from.
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