Discussion The Patient Gamer: Command & Conquer 3 - Tiberium Wars

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,217
598
136
Just completed a campaign playthrough of C&C3: Tiberium Wars, one of the last great "base building" era RTS games, before everything went full MOBA or "tactical squad based combat".

The C&C games have always held a special place in my heart because unlike Blizzard's excellent entries into the genre, the games felt more geared toward emergent gameplay than hyper balanced competitive play. The ability to garrison units in neutral structures, steal enemy structures, resource fields that harm infantry units, flying units that actually *fly* instead of being hovering ground units that ignore terrain, the ability to power down or sell structures, superweapons... all things that are difficult to balance for but make for deeply satisfying strategy and tactics when you exploit them in your favor, and reinforce the setting and story of the game.

The campaigns consist of 17 missions for each GDI and Nod, and a "secret" 4 mission campaign for the Scrin. I found GDI's campaign to be fairly straightforward and the least entertaining of the bunch, while Nod's campaign was full of campy goodness and it shows that even the developers had fun with it. The Scrin campaign was just the right length and didn't overstay its welcome. The story telling is interesting as well; rather than progressing linearly in time from one campaign to the next, each campaign occurs concurrently with the others, simply telling the same story from different perspectives (basically, Kane plays everyone).

The production values are all top notch; the game still looks great, sound design and music is excellent, and nowadays the game will run on a potato.

Its a fun throwback to an older time but be warned of the following if you plan on playing through the campaign (which is excellent): in the effort to balance MP, Patch 1.09 broke the balance for the campaign by changing costs and effectiveness of different units. As a result, the campaign doesn't follow a slow ramp up in difficulty but instead varies wildly with some of the most difficult missions in each 17 mission campaign can be in the middle of the campaign with weird difficulty spikes (for example the final Scrin mission, the last mission in the entire game, was so staggeringly easy that I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop but then the game ended). Don't hesitate to pull up a post patch walkthrough if you run into a wall, like some puzzle games the path to the answer becomes obvious after you know what the answer is.

It is still a lot of fun and very rewarding to complete the campaigns. Missions are broken up with full motion video cutscenes featuring the who's who of the early 2000's SCI-Fi channel cast, and the story is relatively engaging.

All in all, very worth $5 if you're looking to scratch that old school RTS itch. I also have Kane's Wrath (which i've read is the height of the series) and C&C4 (which I've read is hot garbage) in my library as well, and I'll get around to them after spending some time in other genres.

What are your thoughts and memories of the once great C&C series, Tiberium Wars and others included?
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
79,555
7,064
126
I bought the ultimate collection when it was on sale. I think Red Alert 2 is my favourite.

Don't care for C&C 4 at all.
 
Last edited:
Feb 4, 2009
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This was a great game and was still a great game on my last play thru maybe 5 years ago. Thanks for the reminder to load it up again.
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,752
201
106
I loved Tiberium Wars until they nerfed all of the top-tier units to satisfy the people whining about multiplayer not being balanced. They may have balanced the multiplayer, but they made the expensive units pointless since you could win by just spamming low-tier units instead. It's been a very long time since I played it last so they may have changed it back, but I also hated the giant neon flashing objective markers that would plague the screen if you took five minutes to build up an army. The hand-holding was outrageous.
 
Feb 4, 2009
25,884
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I loved Tiberium Wars until they nerfed all of the top-tier units to satisfy the people whining about multiplayer not being balanced. They may have balanced the multiplayer, but they made the expensive units pointless since you could win by just spamming low-tier units instead. It's been a very long time since I played it last so they may have changed it back, but I also hated the giant neon flashing objective markers that would plague the screen if you took five minutes to build up an army. The hand-holding was outrageous.
You should pick up Supreme Commander Forged Alliance
**if you haven’t already**
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,217
598
136
I bought the ultimate collection when it was on sale. I think Red Alert 2 is my favourite.

Don't care for C&C 4 at all.
- I played the heck out of RA2, easily one of the best RTS games of all time. Yuri's Revenge was fantastic also.

I loved Tiberium Wars until they nerfed all of the top-tier units to satisfy the people whining about multiplayer not being balanced. They may have balanced the multiplayer, but they made the expensive units pointless since you could win by just spamming low-tier units instead. It's been a very long time since I played it last so they may have changed it back, but I also hated the giant neon flashing objective markers that would plague the screen if you took five minutes to build up an army. The hand-holding was outrageous.
- What I think ended up happening was unit veterancy getting tweaked so the first few levels of veterancy didn't really add a lot of oomph while the last level of veterancy made units godlike. The idea was to encourage keeping super units alive instead of pumping them out and throwing them at the enemy, but instead it had the opposite effect of devaluing any tier 3 units and pushing people into spamming tier 1 meatballs.

A single maxed Mammoth with the railgun upgrades is a beast on the battlefield that will absolutely chew through whole armies of scrub units without breaking a sweat. Getting a Mammoth to max veterancy on the other hand...
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,374
9
81
I'm a long time fan of these games. As you said, the single player campaigns still feel fresh today and have great FMVs. It's interesting how the story of the original C&C is based on what the world was like in the early 1990s, and the later games pick up from that and become kind of an alternate reality.

I played C&C4 for the first time recently and thought it was decent, not as bad as I was expecting. The story is crap but the gameplay is actually pretty good if you think of it as a spinoff tactical game instead of a sequel to C&C3.

I've also been playing some of the mods people have made (Twisted Insurrection, Mental Omega, The Forgotten, etc.). Some of them are like full-length games in themselves and are as polished as the original campaigns, but often much harder.
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,752
201
106
You should pick up Supreme Commander Forged Alliance
**if you haven’t already**
Played it a few years ago. Definitely better than SupCom 2.
- What I think ended up happening was unit veterancy getting tweaked so the first few levels of veterancy didn't really add a lot of oomph while the last level of veterancy made units godlike. The idea was to encourage keeping super units alive instead of pumping them out and throwing them at the enemy, but instead it had the opposite effect of devaluing any tier 3 units and pushing people into spamming tier 1 meatballs.

A single maxed Mammoth with the railgun upgrades is a beast on the battlefield that will absolutely chew through whole armies of scrub units without breaking a sweat. Getting a Mammoth to max veterancy on the other hand...
My RTS play-style has always been turtle/steamroll. Getting veteran units was pretty easy for me but when I was playing, changes were happening constantly and the last one that caused me to stop playing, basically made tier 3 units useless - veteran or not. I hope they changed it back to where they are viable as I might go back and play it one day, but that definitely soured me on the game.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,987
832
126
i would say that i hated it but i barely remember any of it. All i remember was thinking that Generals was the last decent C&C, but the camera zoom was pathetic.

Frankly C&C95 > SupCom > SupCom2 > Generals and everything else is meh.
 
Feb 4, 2009
25,884
6,548
136
Played it a few years ago. Definitely better than SupCom 2.

My RTS play-style has always been turtle/steamroll. Getting veteran units was pretty easy for me but when I was playing, changes were happening constantly and the last one that caused me to stop playing, basically made tier 3 units useless - veteran or not. I hope they changed it back to where they are viable as I might go back and play it one day, but that definitely soured me on the game.
Regarding Sup Com. There is a “mod” that adds multiplayer support again and improved AI which actually is a good improvement. They were working on some mmo/grand campaign thing too but I never checked it out.
I think it’s called Forged Alliance Forever.
Compatible with steam or stand alone.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,987
832
126
i wrote a big big poost about this years ago but in case you missed it, i really liked SupCOm 2 - after the initial inpact. I think the first and biggest problem SupCom 2 has is, it's that it's called Supreme Commander 2. And it's nowhere near as complex as SupCom 1. The scale of building is much smaller, so, for example, building a Colossus is a much smaller feat than in SC1, not to mention things like the terran artillery.
But if you ignore that and take it as it is, i think it has a few "edge" things which are even better than SC1. For example, air units are vastly better, instead of circling like idiots and often never dropping a single bomb, air units in SC2 are actually useful; i know that SC1 had nuke bombers that would *occasionally* devastate a target, but the movement was always buggy and unreliable. Likewise, you won't find units shooting at the ground in SC2; i get that, you know, they are robots, and so you have to micro-manage them, but this kinda defeats the idea of the massive scale of the game, it's kinda pointless being able to survey a whole battlefield, when you have to zoom in to make sure that your entire force of T3 bots isn't all shooting a rock instead of the enemy. And, this was ALWAYS - not just occasionally.
In an ideal world we would have a SupCom 2 which had the same level of scale that SC1 had, but with the improvements that SC2 has, but we didnt get that.
Today i would rate them thus:
1. SC1 with Sorian AI Mod
2. SC2
3. SC1 without Sorian AI Mod

I really did not care for Forged Alliance, because i see it as even more chaotic than SC1, without any real improvement.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,217
598
136
You do.
Pretty cheap now too

Frustrating to learn but once you do it is very rewarding
-Is the game's campaign any good? I'm not big on competitive play nowadays and really enjoy just playing through the game's story for the narrative elements. I'd likely play through the campaign then never play the game again.
 
Feb 4, 2009
25,884
6,548
136
-Is the game's campaign any good? I'm not big on competitive play nowadays and really enjoy just playing through the game's story for the narrative elements. I'd likely play through the campaign then never play the game again.
Sort of forgot but it is the typical start with small map, light units then medium map medium units. I don’t remember it being bad or great.
The random/skirmish battles can be very fun.
If you want to play a co-op match I can give you some tips.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,987
832
126
Looks like I have to check out SupCom...
i would strongly encourage you to add the Sorian AI Mod; it drastically improves the intelligence of the AI players, and you can chose how difficult to make it. It's not just your typical "10x more actions than you", but they actually coordinate attacks and change tactics, and the game experience is much better.
 
Feb 4, 2009
25,884
6,548
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Forged Alliance Forever & Sorian AI mod stuff here:


You really only need Forged Alliance. Supreme Commander is a good game but Forged Alliance is the better version.

In the past if you activated a physical game key on steam you got both Supreme Commander & Forged Alliance. Something about the developer didn’t keep record of what key is what game so you got both loaded into steam.
 

ondma

Golden Member
Mar 18, 2018
1,279
324
106
Just completed a campaign playthrough of C&C3: Tiberium Wars, one of the last great "base building" era RTS games, before everything went full MOBA or "tactical squad based combat".

The C&C games have always held a special place in my heart because unlike Blizzard's excellent entries into the genre, the games felt more geared toward emergent gameplay than hyper balanced competitive play. The ability to garrison units in neutral structures, steal enemy structures, resource fields that harm infantry units, flying units that actually *fly* instead of being hovering ground units that ignore terrain, the ability to power down or sell structures, superweapons... all things that are difficult to balance for but make for deeply satisfying strategy and tactics when you exploit them in your favor, and reinforce the setting and story of the game.

The campaigns consist of 17 missions for each GDI and Nod, and a "secret" 4 mission campaign for the Scrin. I found GDI's campaign to be fairly straightforward and the least entertaining of the bunch, while Nod's campaign was full of campy goodness and it shows that even the developers had fun with it. The Scrin campaign was just the right length and didn't overstay its welcome. The story telling is interesting as well; rather than progressing linearly in time from one campaign to the next, each campaign occurs concurrently with the others, simply telling the same story from different perspectives (basically, Kane plays everyone).

The production values are all top notch; the game still looks great, sound design and music is excellent, and nowadays the game will run on a potato.

Its a fun throwback to an older time but be warned of the following if you plan on playing through the campaign (which is excellent): in the effort to balance MP, Patch 1.09 broke the balance for the campaign by changing costs and effectiveness of different units. As a result, the campaign doesn't follow a slow ramp up in difficulty but instead varies wildly with some of the most difficult missions in each 17 mission campaign can be in the middle of the campaign with weird difficulty spikes (for example the final Scrin mission, the last mission in the entire game, was so staggeringly easy that I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop but then the game ended). Don't hesitate to pull up a post patch walkthrough if you run into a wall, like some puzzle games the path to the answer becomes obvious after you know what the answer is.

It is still a lot of fun and very rewarding to complete the campaigns. Missions are broken up with full motion video cutscenes featuring the who's who of the early 2000's SCI-Fi channel cast, and the story is relatively engaging.

All in all, very worth $5 if you're looking to scratch that old school RTS itch. I also have Kane's Wrath (which i've read is the height of the series) and C&C4 (which I've read is hot garbage) in my library as well, and I'll get around to them after spending some time in other genres.

What are your thoughts and memories of the once great C&C series, Tiberium Wars and others included?
Yea, I liked C and C 3 a lot. Sad that single player RTS games are pretty much a thing of the past. I played most of the later games and expansions. Sort of went downhill at the end. The name escapes me, but the last expansion was one of the worst games I have ever played. (Maybe it was Tiberian Twilight or Tiberian Alliances). Balance was terrible. I remember getting repeatedly killed by units that were totally offscreen. I think my favorite was Generals. Might go back and replay it someday if I can find my CDs and codes.
 

JPB

Diamond Member
Jul 4, 2005
4,001
66
91
My favorite of the bunch is Generals / Zero Hour. Always will be.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,049
90
91
I thought that the base C&C3 game was alright, nothing mind-blowing, nothing too bad either. I preferred the NOD's campaign. However, it was the expansion that I really liked, Kane's Wrath. It was a pretty good campaign. With this said, my all-time favorite C&C game in the franchise will always be and has always been C&C 2, a.k.a Tiberian Sun. I honestly am waiting with decent anticipation for the C&C 1 remaster, but in all honesty it is C&C 2 that I would love to see a proper remaster for (by the same team, very much in the same way they're apparently currently doing so for the first game's remaster).

I'd also like to share this:

 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,987
832
126
i will have to explain this in a very roundabout way; i have been gradually more and more disappointed by every C&C after the original one, and i LOVED the original one. IIRC the first game we played on LAN, along with DOOM2 (same LAN).

So here it goes.

There is a great difference in game design - how you are meant to go about playing the game in a way which leads to you win - between C&C95 and Supreme Commander.

C&C95 doesnt have spam. It has a small-ish map with finite resources, and the harvesters who will bring back X amount of tiberium every run, which is about 650 tiberium every minute or so (ofc the multiple harvesters were fundamental to win a MP game of C&C95). During this time you can build ONE building and ONE unit. You are limited not only by the money resource, but also by the queue resource; time is just as valuable as tiberium.
Also note that the base building rules are stricter.

C&C95 does not have multiple weapon factories = multiple queues.

This focuses the game on timing your attacks. it allows you mental gymnastics of trying to calculate how many credits an enemy has, how long for will he be without reinforcements, how disruptive is an attack on a simple power plant, if it forces them to cancele a queued build. It also begins to matter WHAT you build. Turtling is just not time-effective anymore, and territory control with as little losses as possible becomes more important to your revenue stream.

Supreme Commander is not like that, SUPCOM is ALL about spam. You mostly generate resources in your own territory and never really need to control a path for your harvesting. It's more about managing a huge number of units in the most effective way while mentally trying to keep track of your economy growing. Your own attention span and focus are the two main resources, and as such, it's more closer to a .. i want to say "twitch shooter", than a strategy game.

Now, C&C95 was really solid when it came to MP game design, but the further they went along the franchise, the more these fundamentals got eroded. Tank spam, new values for tiberium dumps, badly balanced power, badly balanced siloses, too fast queues, and either trying to make every unit multirole, or making tons of super-unit which are extremely limited in role. Eventually none of the fine balance that once made the game great was there anymore. Also, and this is really humiliating from Westwood, the pathing was absolutely horrid in ALL C&C games.


I did somewhat like Generals. I wasnt happy about the ridiculously limited zoom (when SUPCOM has complete zoom from micromanaging to tactical scale), and there was a little bit of inbalance, but all in all it was a decent game. Still, it did not have that miraculous fine tuning which C&C95 had.
 

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