So I've had plenty of experiences on this forum and on the cncnet servers playing Tiberian Dawn - So I've decided to voice my thoughts on it (which is something I don't do enough)
The client and its features
Anyone who played on WOL or (in my case) cncnet4 knows full well that the features the Cncnet5 client offers are a whole lot better than anything previous.
Things like hires, map transfer (and the ease of creating new ones)* and improved (but not perfect) connectability have massively improved the player's experience, as well as attracted a large quantity of new players, which is great right?
*There are some good maps, but equally there are some very bad maps.
The client is by no means 100% perfect, but any gripes/suggestions about that have mostly been covered in White's "Tib Dawn wishlist topic" http://cnc-comm.com/community/index.php?topic=5079.0
In general - this is good.
The actual game itself
Now as we all know there have been several discussions over the balancing of the game, mostly involving Overpowered and Underpowered units.
I'm now going to attempt to describe what I think about the games balancing and how it can be improved.
So... simply put:
Nod >> GDI
There is no real situation for the majority of the game where GDI have any sort of advantage in any area at all. Except about 20 minutes in when you've somehow amassed 20+ mammoths without getting rekt.
Here is my justification why:
Nod's light units are ridiculously powerful and can quickly overrun anything regardless of what is in their way. Many newer players think that it is all about the bikes, and this is partially true, but really there is a much bigger collection of problems amongst any player foolish enough to pick GDI.
These little nightmares will just ignore anything you fire at them, fire their pew pew pew death gun and erase anything you own in half decent numbers. This is caused almost entirely by the fact that these bastards only cost $300, which means you can amass a million of these things at almost no cost and with no real way of your opponent having anything to deal with it. Many people believe that humvees are your only answer. They *should* have been helpful but frankly you're just digging an even bigger hole for yourself because a humvee is just a buggy that costs 33% more for some 7% increase in armour. REAL USEFUL HUH?. Frankly the buggy damage vs infantry, light vehicles and the majority of structures is so staggeringly high that you can wreck stuff immediately with the cheapest unit in the game. Why?
Verdict: Buggies are ridiculously overpowered. I would give buggies half HP to make Nod players think about how to deal with humvees and infantry more carefully, rather than spamming a million buggies and forgetting about it.
Newer players seem to understand that bikes, for what they are, are rather powerful. In fact bikes on their own are not so bad (should you have any idea how to mitigate them), but their cheapness and high damage is somewhat concering when you realise they have a rate of damage comparable to a medium tank, which costs some $300 more. This combined with their high speed and excellent AA qualities, makes them really really powerful. At least their low-ish HP makes them valuable targets for the enemy.
Verdict: Maybe need a minor nerf, but nothing too much.
Everyone loves a ranged weapon that cannot be touched, hence they gave one to the team that really didn't need one. Nod already has the artillery, which when used appropriately is everything they should need. But the issue is that these guys are pretty much un-touchable. If you use aircraft bikes will trash you, if you use tanks they get rekt by bikes, if you use infantry the flamers/buggies/SSMs will flatten them, and a combination of anything will still lose for the same reason. For $750 you can get a basically indestructible supermissile that will, over time, erase anything the enemy has, without drawbacks. Honestly, I don't know what the westwood devs were thinking when they gave the SSM to Nod.
Verdict: Crazy powerful, simply because they cannot be countered. Make it more expensive, make it require temple, or simply remove it from multiplayer.
The problem with these guys is that actually, they are NOT powerful at all. These guys have low armour for a tank, move fairly slow and have utterly terrible damage output. Hence, nobody uses them. In fact, these guys aren't useless (they are mostly there to take hits and squish infantry so bikes and buggies can do the real damage). They have their uses, but they suck at what westwood designed them for. (i.e. killing vehicles)
Verdict: Needs a damage buff at the least, these things are mostly useless.
Everyone knows the power these guys have. Any group of infantry is at risk whenever these guys are around, if they get close they will ejaculate their 5000 tonnes of "fuck you" all over your infantry in a 1-tile radius, and render them pretty much useless. The simple problem of this is because GDI players NEED infantry to be able to do anything, tanks alone will get owned, but one or two well-placed flamers and you will be stuck with tanks alone... and lose. These guys do a crazy amount of damage, and then just do that little bit more when they die. I have no problem with flame tanks, simply because they are designed as a slow-nightmarish fear weapon, which can be killed before it does too much damage, unlike their little walking counterparts. Hence:
Verdict: A bit Overpowered. Maybe make more expensive and/or nerf their damage/speed.
Turrets and Obelisks
Obelisks are frustrating and annoying, but in the general balance of the game they are not so bad, simply because lategame they are the only real way to counter mammoths, but with their low Armour they are still easy pickings for ion cannons and infantry.
Turrets, on the other hand, are little nightmarish assholes that will not ever die. For $600 you get what is basically a stationary medium tank that is repairable and will slice up GDI vehicles like a knife through butter. Which means, with some small number of turrets you can make your base indestructible for the first 10 minutes of the game because vehicles that cost more and take longer to build will get shredded.
Verdict: Obelisks are fine, turrets need some kind of cost/damage nerf, because they are just ridiculous.
Lets just agree that for a quick $6000 you can make any GDI building, harvester or vehicle (with the exception of mammoths) instantly disappear from the map. If they run into AA they might die, but getting decent AA coverage that apaches won't just go around (or shoot down) is frankly impossible or just outright super expensive. Especially when you get nuked and then you cant save any of your base from apaches anyway.
Verdict: Stupidly high damage, but that's it really.
Now that we have highlighted why Nod are so powerful, lets highlight the problems from a GDI player's point of view.
The weapons factory
Arguably one of the worst thought-out faction balancing mechanics ever created. Your weapons factory is so weak it will die to ANYTHING. A small buggy rush, a few flamers, a couple aircraft, you name it.
This weakness is such a huge nerf on GDI, which is rather unfair given that they were already inferior to Nod anyway. Earlygame you will lose it immediately to buggy/bike rushes, midgame to apaches and lategame to a 1-shot nuke. The amount of money required to protect your weapons factory vastly outstrips the cost to a Nod player that destroys it. Or worse, they just ignore it and target everything else you own. Its a lose-lose situation sadly.
Verdict: Of course it needs more HP. Give it the HP of a conyard at MINIMUM. These things die to a feather and make GDI just unplayable on some maps.
Guard Tower and Advanced Guard Tower
These things are not so bad at what they do, but the Guard Tower lacks any decent health, and the advanced guard tower just doesn't do enough splash damage. Maybe if buggies got nerfed this wouldn't be so much of an issue.
Rocket Launcher and Humvee
Rocket launcher is well known as something that is legitimately useless. It has terrible Armour, low damage and requires the advanced communications centre to build. Nothing else needs to be said. Sadly for GDI this is their only real unit that is any sort of artillery. If only they had something like the SSM...
Humvees are generally regarded as players think they are much more powerful than they actually are. I already pointed out that compared to a buggy they are just hugely inefficient, and frankly using any more than 3 humvees in a vehicle fight and you are just harming yourself. Buggies, Bikes, Light Tanks, Flame tanks (mostly buggies) will totally smash your humvees into the ground like nothing. You use them to scout and maybe beef up vehicle numbers, but other than that, forget using them.
Orcas look snazzy, build quick and have good anti-armour damage (but fairly poor damage to most buildings). Shame that bikes are so strong against them that these guys just are not useful.
I think I've covered everything I wanted to. Anyone can counter-argue all they like but I think I've justified my reasoning enough. Now, onto the next topic.
Generally the cncnet community is filled with nice people (with that one exception, see below), who want to support newer players, make better maps, and make the game more enjoyable with other players. Since cncnet 5 we have acquired a decent-sized group of well-skilled players and we can have some nice games.
There is no ultimate #1 player. Yes I got beat by ehy recently, but you know what? I don't care. They were very close games (Paritcularly the first round, 2nd round I was GDI so I wasn't going to win anyway), but ehy played better and he can say what he likes. This does however, lead me onto my next topic of discussion, and my one community exception.
I am just going to come out and say it, this guy is an asshole, and regardless of how good he might be at the game, I refuse to ever play with him again because:
Ever since he joined the forum (about a year ago now) he has just treated me like I am a piece of shit, and has been just as disrespectful to other players.
Lets just select a few of his "other names" for a tiny portion of the evidence.
*impersonating other players
He's had numerous topics about shitposting other players (Including Me, ehy, Mattattack...) locked.
He's been muted/banned multiple times for being racist.
He is simply that asshole at the party trying to ruin everyone elses fun.
Frankly I was hugely disappointed that he was unbanned recently and up until yesterday I've at least tried to put up with his shit. And I know there are a decent number of players willing to back me up here.
He could be the best player in the world but he is such an asshole I would still have him banned.
So other than the fact chem is allowed on here, I like the Tiberian Dawn community on cncnet. Its a whole lot better than the Tiberian Sun community where everyone hates each other/accuses each other of dcing/cheating/whatever repeatedly for whatever reason. But whatever.
Now get out there and enjoy 2016 and whatever it may bring you.