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91
AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by RocketAssistedPuffin on December 03, 2018, 03:46:58 PM »
Humm, seems pretty good so far, I think.

If it...also could leave some units unstacked, even only 50-100, that'd be much better as well. Have stacks drop out units to replenish it like Carriers do, and I guess I'd be pretty happy myself.
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by BadgerBadger on December 03, 2018, 03:31:15 PM »
So stacking proposal. First, expose some stacking tunables as settings for people with powerful/weaker computers. So Puffin would be able to say "Don't try to stack things until there are a lot more units around", for example

Second, allow multi-kills of stacked units up to an XML defined limit for really powerful shots.

Third, stacked units now die from the bottom, not the top; the top (aka visible) unit will stay alive (its health will reset, but it will keep status effects/shot cooldown) and squads will die from.

How well do people think that will alleviate the current dislike for stacks?
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by BadgerBadger on December 03, 2018, 03:11:15 PM »
Also, it seems like the game wants to start stacking pretty early. It wants to cap each planet at no more than 50 units of a type before it starts stacking. I could expose that number as a Setting/Tunable for people with powerful machines.
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by RocketAssistedPuffin on December 03, 2018, 03:02:57 PM »
So AIWC had a similar problem, and it combined ships into those big Carrier units. What differentiated those from unit stacking? They had many of the same issues, but I never had a problem with Carriers or their like.

I think because Classic would always have a LOT of ships outside of Carriers. So while yes, Carriers have some similar issues (albeit none as bizarre as the cloaking or instant refiring), there are still plenty of targets for status effects and the like. I have a picture attached as an indication - 1,000 AI ships, and not a carrier in sight. If you had that many in 2, they'd stack way up and start having those issues in the original post all over the place.

They would also keep emptying ships out as the ones outside died, to keep replenishing them. Stacks...don't really do that. They stay stacked up for essentially the entire fight. I have a picture of that too, taken from the "Ride The Lightning" AAR. Well, an example of there still being hundreds of targets outside of carriers.

Hell, sometimes Carriers were just there for movement convenience. Soon as you came into the planet with enough of a force, it'd vomit everything out and self destruct.

Carriers were also a fairly theme fitting solution in a way, much more so than units vanishing into stacks. They also explained just about everything on them about how they worked.

Or maybe I am just horribly wrong - but I've not had an issue with Carriers, while I hate stacking.

EDIT, as a reply came in while typing that.

What if shooting a stacked unit killed them from the bottom, not the top?

So if you do lethal damage for one squad to a squad with 10 stacks, it kills a squad in the stack that you can't see (so the visible ship keeps its reload time/status effects). And if we added the ability to do a bit of overklill (say you can kill up to 5 ships in the stack at once with a sufficiently powerful weapon), how close would that get to making people happy?

First thought is...that'd help a fair bit. It'd maybe help if it wasn't so aggressive about stacking (as in, like carriers there would always be a fair chunk of units unstacked, and stacks empty to replenish this). The two of those might combine to more or less fix it for me personally...
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by BadgerBadger on December 03, 2018, 03:01:20 PM »
What if shooting a stacked unit killed them from the bottom, not the top?

So if you do lethal damage for one squad to a squad with 10 stacks, it kills a squad in the stack that you can't see (so the visible ship keeps its reload time/status effects). And if we added the ability to do a bit of overklill (say you can kill up to 5 ships in the stack at once with a sufficiently powerful weapon), how close would that get to making people happy?
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by Lord Of Nothing on December 03, 2018, 02:12:25 PM »
So AIWC had a similar problem, and it combined ships into those big Carrier units. What differentiated those from unit stacking? They had many of the same issues, but I never had a problem with Carriers or their like.
As far as I can see, the stacks are better in that they have the correct resistances, they have appropriate special abilities, they have the right speeds, ranges, etc, they don't have a load of immunities that the original ships didn't... not sure about damage.
But the main difference to carriers that makes them worse is that stacks die and re spawn with one ship less as though they were a new ship, loosing ships "from the top", so to speak, while carriers persisted, with their contents being quietly removed as the damage was poured on. As far as I can see, in every other way stacks are more realistic, but the current way they are mechanically handled is  introducing a lot of odd behaviour.
But I'm hesitant to say changing it round would fix things totally, since as others have mentioned, that would probably then exacerbate balance issues in the other direction.
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by BadgerBadger on December 03, 2018, 01:44:34 PM »
So AIWC had a similar problem, and it combined ships into those big Carrier units. What differentiated those from unit stacking? They had many of the same issues, but I never had a problem with Carriers or their like.
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by RocketAssistedPuffin on December 03, 2018, 01:05:22 PM »
Ayup, Mark levels aren't linear increases. Can't take two Mark 1 Raiders and combine them into a Mark 2.
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by zeusalmighty on December 03, 2018, 12:11:14 PM »
One obvious way to reduce stacking is to make the AI get higher marked units instead of massive quantity of lower marked units. That will probably have it's own problems associated with it
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AI War II / Re: Gameplay Problems with Unit Stacking
« Last post by RocketAssistedPuffin on December 01, 2018, 12:53:38 PM »
Stacks can fire immediately after losing a unit, seemingly. I had some Stingrays stacked up, and I put their reload time to 17s instead of 4s. I waited until one fired, then had it killed. The stack immediately fires again, despite having 15s of reload left to go. It was confirmed to be doing damage to the target.

This effectively means slower firing units are vastly more powerful when stacked. Example below.

Let's say you have two groups of 50 Pulsar Tanks. One group of 50 is unstacked, the other is in 5 stacks of 10. Let's also say the players force is vastly more powerful - it has no problem killing these tanks.

The unstacked group fire, doing 50 shots worth of damage. The stacked group fires, doing 5 shots worth of damage, multiplied by 5 because of their stack being high enough to do so, resulting in 25 shots worth of damage.

The players fleet would be able to kill the unstacked group before it can fire again, thus it only did 50 shots of damage. The stacked group however, would lose the top units, then immediately fire again, thus doing another 25 shots worth of damage, going down to 5 stacks of 9. It can then repeat this, doing another 25 shots worth, down to 5 stacks of 8, and so on, so being stacked makes them able to do FAR more damage than they should.

This is the instant refire thing, above.

As for altering the rules...that sadly sounds like exactly what I was concerned about - getting really bizarre differences between normal and stacked units. Stacking is something that doesn't feel like it should be a thing in terms of gameplay, really. It's just unintuitive and bizarre.

Engine damage is a status effect, yes.
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