Author Topic: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?  (Read 2163 times)

Offline Lord Of Nothing

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2018, 05:42:23 PM »
Well, my initial thought was, No Way, I like forcefields!
But my second, more rational though was, well, what did forcefields do, in Classic?
And you do seem to have addressed most of those concerns.
But my third, final thought was, what do I miss most when I play Ashes of the Singularity compared to supreme commander?
Shield generators.

Just my $0.02.

Offline Valsacar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2018, 06:06:03 PM »
Personally, I liked using shields but their place really depends on the overall design of the game.  I actually enjoyed the micro-managing aspects of the game.

I do want to point out that Star Trek DOES have shields that protect other units.  In countless episodes they say "extend the shields around..."

Offline Wingflier

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,751
  • To add me on Steam, click the little Steam icon ^
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2018, 10:49:21 PM »
Well, my initial thought was, No Way, I like forcefields!
But my second, more rational though was, well, what did forcefields do, in Classic?
And you do seem to have addressed most of those concerns.
But my third, final thought was, what do I miss most when I play Ashes of the Singularity compared to supreme commander?
Shield generators.

Just my $0.02.
I do like Forged Alliance Forever significantly more than Ashes of the Singularity, but for me FAF is just the better game even without considering the shield generators.
"Inner peace is the void of expectation. It is the absence of our shared desperation to feel a certain way."

Offline yllamana

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2018, 10:02:06 AM »
Apparently I wrote a post complaining about the shield mechanics back in November 2016. :) I don't think they're great because, among other things, they make battles very binary - either the shield pops and everything dies, or the shield doesn't pop and nothing dies.

Death to shields!

Offline Atepa

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2018, 11:50:34 AM »
*thumbs up*
While I did like the balls of shields protecting my own stuff, far more often they were a nuisances from the enemy when they'd do it to me. It is a big shift from a defense stand point IMO, but that's already shifting a fair bit this time around, so now is the time to cut it if we're going to.

Offline planeswalker

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2018, 03:24:26 PM »
I was expecting a poll first off.  I use force fields in AI war 1 to shield the fragile capturables and command stations.  I'd like to keep them in, but if there is a solution to make those type of structures more durable, they wouldn't need forcefields.

Offline chemical_art

  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,951
  • Fabulous
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2018, 04:04:07 PM »
Shields are general band aid for several things. Command stations, IV factories, etc, need extra hp. Shields allowed players to have a pool of HP that they could distribute to aid in this. Or to allow the player to delay AI movement. So, in theory, if the reasons why such structures needed extra HP could be addressed then the shields could go with little problems and for the movement control. Examples:

"Unique" structures such as IV factories, etc, could leave ruins that a player could reclaim if the planet is reclaimed.
Command structures could get upgrades to further increase HP in some way.
High HP structures that deny enemy units from escape a local wormhole could be made to simulate that shield use.
 "Decoy" structures protect other <only certain close range defensive> structures but allow movement.

Etc.

Regarding naval tactics, jamming and other forms of ECM are very common and shields are just a more physical form of that. They allowed to simulate that fact without resorting to % chance hits which are never fun in any game.

If useful alternatives to these shield uses are found then shields can go. But they fill a vital and broad role. That is their value. They do a lot of things at once and that makes it easier for a player to understand rather than manage a half dozen things try to compensate for it. This also doesn't cover ship based shields, which are vital if you are trying to build a fleet that wins using long range tactics.

So I vote no until a simpler group of tools are already in place. AIW2 doesn't need to be more complex then AIW1. AIW1 is already on the complex side of games which is part of its niche, going more complex is not the way to go.  Removing shields leaves gaps that will not be simple to fill. If they can be filled simply, fill them first. Their virtue will win out compared to shields by default if they truly are simpler.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 07:17:29 PM by chemical_art »
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline Qoojo

  • Newbie Mark III
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2018, 10:11:13 AM »
I am against it because of sci-fi lore. Each ship should have its own shield. I don't care so much about visual representation of the shield. If there are balance reasons then I would say instead of removing them, limit them to large ships.

To me, it just sounds like, "We can't figure out how to do it efficiently...", and the rest of the reasons are there to talk yourself into it. I think you are creating an inferior game with their omission. With that said, I doubt you will ever lose one sale or read one review about their exclusion.

To directly answer the question, I would not be upset over it. It's your game and vision.

Edit to add: Reading other comments, it sounds like you never balanced shields properly. So perhaps it's best you if remove them.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 10:14:40 AM by Qoojo »

Offline vordrax

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2018, 01:25:06 PM »
Add me to the "I'm completely fine with removing force fields" bucket.

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,162
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2018, 03:59:26 PM »
Cheers, folks.  I don't have time to respond to everything here, but I've read them all.  A couple of key things:

1. Definitely I get the whole "denigrating anything about Classic riles me up" feeling.  Regardless of the fact that I initially created it, it's no longer mine.

2. As far as balance of shields in the first game goes, that is one of the reason I really dislike them in a general sense: we spent the better part of 5 years trying to balance them, and never could.

3. In the end, I am coming around to the idea of basically keeping a small number of them -- one per planet on the player side, in my opinion, but make them big and exciting -- and have them as something that is basically a "lifestyle choice" per planet, same as I am hoping fortresses will turn out to be.  The default way of playing, and accomplishing what forcefields used to do, are the new and improved tractors on defense, and the new and improved cloaking on offense.  Those are really so far superior.  But having these alternative methods for the super-defensive turtles and super-aggressive turtles is something that strikes me as interesting and also makes me think that some of the people here might be a lot happier because it fits their playstyle better.

4. Oh yeah, on the Star Wars shields thing.  I totally forgot about that, mainly because I have seen Ep I maybe twice, Ep II and III once each, and I've tried to block them out. ;)  Compared to dozens of times for the original trilogy, and even twice on the new ones in theaters for all of them except Rogue One.  (Which I enjoyed despite its flaws.)  Now various camps of SW fans are going to come out and bludgeon me. ;)

5. I'm a little worried that the crowd is going with me because of the way that I phrased the question, and in general a bit too much trust in me.  I don't want to accidentally create a Jar Jar in the sense that Lucas did; I need people telling me "no," which is why Cyborg and chemical_art are so invaluable on an ongoing basis, and why Matruchus' comments bother me so much.  If it's a new feature that you guys have never seen, I'm merciless with it; but when we're talking about a legacy 10 years old at this point, I have to tread lightly and be keenly aware of a wide variety of opinions since the game means different things to different people.  You get those folks that only play 10/10 and bludgeon themselves against it, etc.

Keith and I are still having some discussion on this subject, but this is where my head, personally, is at at the moment.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline etheric42

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 91
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2018, 05:25:14 PM »
4. Oh yeah, on the Star Wars shields thing.  I totally forgot about that, mainly because I have seen Ep I maybe twice, Ep II and III once each, and I've tried to block them out.   Compared to dozens of times for the original trilogy, and even twice on the new ones in theaters for all of them except Rogue One.  (Which I enjoyed despite its flaws.)  Now various camps of SW fans are going to come out and bludgeon me.

The poor souls to died defending the shield generator on Hoth are rolling in their icy graves.

Actually, that's interesting, all of the shield generators barring Death Star II are there to prevent long range bombardment, but you could just walk into them (Episode 1) or under them (Episode 5).  In some ways you could even walk into the Death Star II one, or else they would probably have preferred to just shell it from orbit.

Offline eRe4s3r

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,820
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2018, 05:32:04 PM »
In an obscure japanese fleet rts game, fleets were "single units" that were in range when the front ship was in range (rather they only started firing then) with long range ships firing their long range weapons etc. The tactics came from positional things and admirals, front lines and skirmish squadrons that were heavily armored and had hard-hitting close rang weapons that couldn't be intercepted by AA etc. Shields existed in this game and long range fire would have a 1% hit chance (but very high damage IF it hits) at best on max range, so it was only to hold a front line light show basically.

You've got my curiosity.  What's the name of that game?

What kind of controls would you like to see in a fleet game?  They may-or-may-not be in scope (or fitting to the vision of) AI War, but I like that kind of stuff and really want to hear about them.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes (Ginga Eiy? Densetsu)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf57myMJKyg
Link to WIKI

As for fleet control, I think battles should be tactical challenges with generals, fleets, functions tied to parts of fleets, etc. so I am not convinced on this whole concept of fighting in an entire planetary or solar gravity well....

But then this game already exists, just nobody ever played it or knows about it.

If I had to describe it, it was like playing a tug of war game with abilities and important admirals allowing you (and the enemy) to direct a push on parts of the front line, since you commanded around 12 to 15 fleet "elements" you could also micro them and position them as you wanted before the game. Your fleet elements had a <> shape or a box shape or whatever and that was a physical shape, other fleets could NOT pass through it assuming you didn't leave a fleet sized gap (they could merge with it though, which was usually really bad if your artillery flotilla got caught this way by skirmish fleets)

Long exchanges brought capital ships to bear the brunt of fire too, since they are the biggest target, carriers on 1 side and artillery throwing nukes and lasers at the enemy etc. Essentially, a fleet combat was a high stakes tug of war and if your fleets moral brakes you may live to fight another day too, it was very rarely (only when you managed a total pincer) that enemy fleets were completely wiped out quickly. Also abilities were not targeted, your fleet weapons have fixed ranges and fired in a fixed (position related) zone in front of them (or ability commands HARD TURN and then fires), that means you had to predict enemy movement in this game, and you could totally waste your precious nuke salvos if the enemy wasn't otherwise occupied and dodged it, you could also specify which elements of the enemy fleet to target meaning near the end you could have weakened fleets peppered by swarms of bombers type ships. (Drones) and yes, locking the enemy fleets with a skirmisher fleet element and THEN nuking everything WAS a valid tactic, if you pulled the skirmishers out (they had captains who could push through fleet chevrons behind the lines) in the last minute ;p

X4000 said he wants to move from the fleet ball, that's good. In LOGH a fleet spanned an entire screen and your abilites only used parts of your squadrons (so you had to decide before battle already where to put your artillery, where your AA and where your skirmishers or special fleet elements) and the abilities would be more or less useful depending on your position to the enemy, a staggered in-depth formation with 3 rows would also bombard "3 rows" of space far out in front of them, so if enemy was only a thing line that would really hurt that part of the line, but the line on the wings could easily pincer you.

Just worth to mention, the game had directional damage, shields were only frontal deflectors. If you turned part of your fleet to face the enemy, a surprise pincer move could push skirmishers into your lines with nothing shooting at them, which is USUALLY a really bad thing as being shot at at "optimal" range is where 90% of the kills happened in this game ;) I can't stress enough how important position was in that LOGH game, if your abilities activated and your line of 15 ships all fired their nukes, and your enemy formation was 7 rows deep, then you only hit 1 line at the front while wasting 14 fleets worth of ammo. And these nukes did true damage, no shield deflection. Hence why they were so important in this combat system, missiles in general were an extremely powerful but also limited use tool in battle. Each admiral also had their own formation preferences where some fleet classes worked better in a specific position than in others etc.

Anyway, regarding shields, shields should be fun in the game right now. Do they add a tactical FUN element to battles? Then they should stay. If they don't do this then they should not be in the game in their current form, or at all. Isn't the fleet ball a thing in this game because nothing gives fleet combat any structure (in shape and form) currently? Wouldn't removing the shield bubbles mean that shields are nothing but extra HP you now.. don't have anymore?

So you see I am not sold on the "it was in classic so it has to be here" argument. Classic was a 2D game in sectors, 2.0 is a game around gravity wells (which has it's own problems and is not how I would do space combat after playing nearly every space game ever made).

Also obviously I completely agree with Chemical Art (When did I ever not? :D) because shields are a clutch in classic and not a fun aspect, I hate that I have to bring bombers MK1 to MK3 into the fight with my fleet ball just to have them survive 10 seconds to kill a single core shield. This is like literally the worst aspect of the game to me.

Sorry I went kinda ranty with this reply, it's not easy to formulate such thoughts. When I mean fleet combat I mean, in AI War 1, the most optimal way to fight was build everything to the max and point it at a target (maybe with the exception of super fortresses) and then sort out what survived and died later. Progress was made with losses anyhow, the amount never mattered. In the other direction shields were super important in defense because HP'S were never properly balanced, and structure armor was neither. Only hard-balanced building in the entire game without shields taken into account is the super fortress. Which is why that structure is so utterly broken when it's beneath a core shield btw....

Ps.: Just to be make it clear, I am for removing shields if it makes the game objectively better. I have absolutely ZERO issues with that, Shields were not properly balanced since AI war 1.0 (literally) and all expansions made it worse because they might add new ships good against other ships armor, but shields always were there, and they always had to be taken out first. So bombers were never "optional" ;) And why couldn't my engineers mount plasma bombs on a star destroyer that survives more than 1 hit?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 05:46:30 PM by eRe4s3r »
Proud member of the Initiative for Bigger Weapons EV. - Bringer of Additive Blended Doom - Vote for Lore, get free cookie

Offline Lord Of Nothing

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2018, 05:45:52 PM »
I guess if you do end up keeping shields, one way to stop them destroying the counter relationships of the game is to make them inherit the vulnerability of whatever is being shot at. So everything within a shield is targeted as if the shield were not there, but the shield takes the damage, (or perhaps a percentage of the damage, with the rest bleeding through). Not sure what that's going to be like from the perspective of making things run well, though.

I would also be inclined to say that the movement-preventing properties of shields should go- that's something I've thought for a long time- and tractor beams balanced with that in mind.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 05:48:58 PM by Lord Of Nothing »

Offline etheric42

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 91
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2018, 05:56:22 PM »
Wow, that sounds (and looks) a lot like Total War in space.  What a cool idea.  Thanks for sharing.

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,162
Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2018, 07:38:21 PM »
I always forget about the shield generators on Hoth just because they were invisible.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!