In this area, personal taste is irrelevant. Strat zoom is simply better than what we have now in every single way.
So in other words, your personal taste determines objective reality.
There are no downsides.
There are endless downsides.
First, you lose a lot of tactical awareness of the battle. You can get away with that system in SupCom because there are, in effect, only 4 different ground units of different tiers. There is very little purpose to combined arms because there's no emphasis on tactical evaluation of each side's strategy.
The result is that you do not end up with a lot of strategic depth in terms of unit mixes. One can look through FAF casts and see the same patterns year after year.
Second, you lose player engagement.
THIS: https://youtu.be/tQTk4UG9TxQ is not engaging. And Gyle is one of the best streamers out there. But watching a SupCom game is like watching paint dry. At the end of the day, these are video games.
Third, it trivializes terrain. Heck, SupCom doesn't even bother with firing solutions. Units will just sit there and shoot the side of a hill endlessly. In the long-run, we want Ashes to have several tiers of terrain (as in, low lands, to high lands). That can't easily be represented when looking at.
You want an engine that will last for years? Build PA, but fix its flaws and terrible marketing strategy
I'm going to probably be quoting this over the next few years.
Perhaps next time Stardock tries to make an RTS, they should be more open about the fact that this isn't about large, scalable battles.
Do even play this game? Ashes has massive battles right now.
his is about creating the pet RTS that they've wanted for years.
Uh, yea. We've been pretty up front that we love Total Annihilation and wanted to expand on it with the concept of territorial control and global abilities and bigger battles.
I really enjoyed this part:
Frogboy, I'm not some PA fanboy like Tatsu..
You want an engine that will last for years? Build PA,
In the same post.
Now, all snark aside, different people want different things out of their games.
Stardock has been doing strategic zoom in its strategy games a long time. Before there was a SupCom there was Galactic Civilizations. We also did it in Sins of a Solar Empire. And Fallen Enchantress.
There is a time and place for it depending on what the needs of the game are. We have them in Sins and GalCiv and FE because they were all 4X games. Even though Sins is real-time it plays more like a 4X.
By contrast, Ashes is an RTS. It has massive armies to be sure but the unit composition matters. It's not about having a tank, artillery, and anti-air unit and getting different tiers of them. Instead, it relies heavily on inspecting what each side is doing in battle. And it's facile to think that this would work out if you were zooming out to some abstract view because it's all happening in real time.