Over at Play.tm, there's a new interview
with Jason Bender, Lead Designer for C&C 3. Here's a snippet:
Play.tm: C&C introduced us to the tactic of building super-massive bases and stockpiling tanks for about two hours, then steamrolling across maps in about 45 seconds. This tended to be more like armed capitalism than an RTS. What gameplay tweaks have you introduced to encourage more fluid play?
Jason: We really focused on getting the player into combat, and out of the base. The average battle lasts closer to 20 minutes now. When the match starts you have to aggressively expand to nearby resources. There simply aren't enough resources in your starting base to win by turtling up. If you sit back and milk your starting resources you'll quickly find the opponent expanding across the map. This will only end in a large force coming to overwhelm you. This means that lots of small encounters will happen all over the map as players fight over precious resources between their bases. Typically we've seen first encounters begin around the 3 minute mark, with constant conflict after that point. Units build very quickly and get to the battle fast. It is always very dynamic.
You can read the full thing here