Play Control and Game Format
Move your bootay
Play control remains as the standard Westwood format. Left click to move and target while right click is to unselect. You build units using a tool bar on the right (except know you can queue up to 5 units of various types). Different units obviously have different speed, which made me curious as to how the interacted when different units were moved simultaneously as a group. As it turns out, the faster units still pull ahead unless slower units from the front are blocking them. This can create a rather user unfriendly environment compared to say Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings where the game automatically moves your guys according to the slowest unit and keeps them in formation if you tell them to.
Another potential problem with Westwood's setup is that left click is to move and select. Say you wanted a unit to move to a specific unit, you have to click next to him rather than on to him contrast to a Blizzard game where you can right click on the unit. What happens when you miss the target you want and click on a unit then? Well, you lose your group and have to reselect it. If it wasn't control grouped before then you just spent a lot of time on something that would have been prevented if the keys were different. It might be too late to change the format since Westwood has already been using this format hard core. People don't really like change nor do they like learning a new system.
Save some power!
The most welcome part from veteran players is probably the ability to shut off buildings. It felt somewhat helpless when you were low in power in the previous games. However, this time around if you're low on power, buildings build much slower. Another new building feature is that you can build above cliffs if your buildings below the cliffs are close enough. Of course, like the previous Westwood games, your units build faster if you have more of the respective building type. You also select your primary building by double clicking it in which units will pop out at that location.
The powerplant gives power to your buildings
If your units kill other units and manage to stay alive, they will go up in rank. This increases their AI as they will dodge automatically and aim better. This gives much more of an incentive to keep around your older units. I presume dodging will only affect firing from tanks and projectile weapons.
Nobody likes the rush
Westwood assured me that the game won't be dominated by tank rushing or any one form of attack. 6,000-10,000 hours of (inside) beta testing will be committed to balance the game and make sure that nothing is too good. Westwood says that there should be a good number of viable strategies to win. Along with the graphics and pseudo 3D effects, they say that the game is far superior to Starcraft in those aspects.
Multiplayer yet to come
The multiplayer aspect (which is what I was highly interested in) was not ready. I was told that a maximum of 4 players can be in 1 game on the internet while 6 players can play together on LAN. Westwood will be very harsh on cheaters and will reset players that have too many disconnects as well as alert people playing via Westwood Chat as too how often a player disconnects.