Author Topic: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)  (Read 3333 times)

Offline Histidine

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 09:15:00 AM »
Ooh, interesting stuff. Now I kinda wish I'd signed up for beta round 0  :D

Couple of observations:

1) Tridus already mentioned this, but I'll be more specific: combat strikes me as being rather too fast by virtue of units killing each other too quickly - it seemed to me like the enemy flagship popped your cruisers in one hit during that first round. This is rather like the problem the tactical combat in vanilla Shogun 2: Total War had: there was no point in trying any fancy maneuvers once the fighting started because by the time you got your units into position the battle would be long over one way or the other. (You saw this during the second round, when the AI tried that flanking thing* and just ended up being defeated in detail.)

Just my thoughts on watching the fight; I might try out the game myself and decide it's fine after all.

2) Drag and drop would probably be nice for rearranging ship queue.

3) I think battles would look more interesting if weapon ranges were longer, so it looks more like proper ranged combat instead of a hand-to-hand brawl. Not too much range, though; you want to be able to see everything important without zooming out hugely.

4) Pausing the game should also pause ship animations (and missile trails)   ::)

*Is there a damage bonus for flanking or something? It didn't seem to be otherwise directly useful from what I saw.

Offline x4000

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 09:18:31 AM »
Ohhh. I see.  Yeah, it's just one of those "this is alpha, we put that part together fast" things.  I also noticed that when the game pauses, all the missiles rotate to face north, which not only looks bad, it also is really confusing as to what is going on, heh.
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Offline bytestream

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 10:26:06 AM »
Looks great so far.

Offline madcow

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 12:11:57 PM »
I hate to bring this up as the combat looks fun but is the background art still a WIP? The first one stuck out to me as being busy and not contrasting as well against the ships as much as I would like.

The second one looked great and the combat style looks like it has potential!  I'll probably be avoiding any extra gameplay details now so I can have a freshish view on things once my alpha wave rolls around.

Offline x4000

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 12:14:36 PM »
The background art is considered final, although there will be more of it to come.  If there are ones you don't like, you can simply delete them from the folder and you won't see them.  Hard to please everyone, and we're going for variety, you know?  We might also put in a slider for dimming the backgrounds if some people feel like they are too bright; that reduces contrast as well.
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Offline Hyfrydle

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 12:54:42 PM »
looking very cool guys and it will be interesting to see how the combat mechanic fits into the game as a whole.

Will battles with multiple enemies also be possible?

Offline x4000

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2014, 01:15:04 PM »
There are smuggling runs where there are multiple spy probes that you have to sneak past (you can see their scan radius, don't worry), and each one you alert causes all their squadrons to deploy at once.  Typically in these you are trying to move some of your ships to a drop zone to the planet, and then get your flagship back to a retreat point with whatever surviving ships there are.

Beyond that there are no multi-fleet combats, and likely never would be -- very unfair to you, you would not survive.  THAT said, raiding pirate bases requires three victories in a row with no chance to replace lost ships or repair your centerpiece between them.  So that's kind of the idea of what you're looking at.
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Offline YoukaiCountry

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2014, 02:01:27 PM »
Wow, this looks great. I really like that you can watch the enemy's energy and try to narrow down what it's building. This new combat system is really exciting to me!
The wave beams were a cool touch considering shots can miss and such.

An observation:
Like a few other people mentioned, I noticed that nothing seemed to be able to absorb much damage. Stuff was dying way too fast, I think.

Offline x4000

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2014, 02:10:24 PM »
Was that actually mentioned? The speed of things in general was mentioned, sure. I guess we will see -- it's really satisfying with lots of ships going down fast, and it makes things tense and brutal. But ultimately that might cut into the strategy, so we'll see. It's a trivial enough thing to adjust (just bump up the health) if need be.
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Offline YoukaiCountry

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2014, 02:15:55 PM »

Histidine did also bring up the amount of hits things could absorb at the top of page 2, which was what I assumed everyone else was kind of talking about too.

Anyway,  once it actually lands in our hands it might feel a lot different. The actual speed of the game seemed fine to me though. Plus you mentioned it could be slowed down in the video.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 02:27:08 PM by YoukaiCountry »

Offline x4000

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2014, 02:28:14 PM »
Ah! I completely missed your comment, Histidine, sorry about that. It does make sense on ship health values, I may try upping that today.

Regarding the ship ranges being increased, really that would be problematic because you would spend all your time zoomed out, as in ai war. Versus in this game you are actually innately encouraged to zoom in to see clearly, versus the other way around.
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Offline echo2361

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2014, 03:30:03 PM »
I would also like to see a health buff. There were a couple of times where you or the enemy would launch mid-sized ships like frigates or cruisers only to have them die after a few seconds. Fighters and battleships seemed fine because the former is supposed to have low health and the later should have staying power but watching a squad of cruisers you just launched get annihilated would probably get frustrating after awhile.

From watching how you played the game, there was a fair amount of pausing to put thoughtful consideration into what ships you want to launch next in the queue and what orders you want to give your ships already in space. I'm all for this kind of gameplay, but when the ships you carefully issued orders for explode three-four seconds after you un-pause the game it could become discouraging to invest so much time in issuing carefully thought out orders. Seeing your destroyer take a couple hits but still keep going on its attack run against the enemy flagship would result in a better feeling of accomplishment when you issue orders.

These observations are purely from watching a video though, so take them with a grain of salt. It just appears to me that attempting to use a lot of tactics will give relatively little gain if most ships won't survive long to execute those orders. This could lead to people skipping the pause feature and just rushing out a bunch of units to swarm the enemy with general attack commands and waiting to see who had more luck when it comes to getting in first hits.

Regarding longer ranges, I think things are fine so far. I saw long range ships like the snipers mixed in with the short range stuff so as long as a balance is maintained there things should be fine.

Offline x4000

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2014, 03:34:38 PM »
Yep, makes sense.  I've been experimenting with higher healths, first of all going with a 3x buff to health on all ships.  Wow that destroyed balance, but for another thing it just felt like molasses.  I went down to 2x, and it was still substantially less fun than before, I felt.  But there was a greater sense of strategy.  So I shifted to 1.5x, and actually that feels about right.  Stuff doesn't explode instantly anymore, but the battles are not that much more drawn-out.
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Offline JAlfredGoodwin

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2014, 06:21:05 PM »
This is what I get for being slow - my main complaints about the brightness of the background and how quick ships died have already been addressed!

Offline Histidine

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Re: The Last Federation - First Alpha Footage (Combat!)
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2014, 07:12:10 PM »
I forgot to mention this earlier  :-[, but the speed at which the flagship preps the smaller ships for launch also seemed rather fast in the video. But I'll wait and see how it actually plays.

Graphically, the relative sizes of the flagship and its parasite ships kind of gives it a clown car appearance. If you don't want the ships being permanently rescaled on the tactical map, one trick you could borrow from Starsector is to make the ships start out small as they leave the flagship and "scale" up to full size over a second or two, representing them moving closer to the camera.