Author Topic: Combat  (Read 15560 times)

Offline kasnavada

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Combat
« on: June 08, 2015, 06:41:15 am »
Currently, I think the combat system of the game has some rather huge flaws.

To "not" orient the debate I'll put my thought there in spoiler mode, but what do you think ?

PS: I intentionally limited my games / remarks to early / mid game, as if it's not fun, few will bother going to end-game. Even if end-game is the funniest balanced piece of gaming art in the world. So there may be good ideas at end-game which make the game better, but I don't know them yet. Please share =).

Spoiler for Hiden:
Defending against rogue : not seen one in 200+ turn games at normal difficulty. I think that's wrong.

Defending against saucers : the current system features a huge bonus to the defender as it takes too many turns for the attacker to really spawn. With spare money, I can just NOT bother to build anything ever, wait for them to spawn, and build my defenses as an exact counter to what is spawning.

Attacking rogues : Errrr.

Attacking other "towns" :
Ok, the current best strategies are
- "building in the middle of the enemy camp" or "by placing your "turrets" in range of enemy buildings. The enemy doesn't take offense, then you declare war, destroy all of their military at turn one of the war with no retribution whatsoever. However, if that part is resolved, there is going to be a problem with that part :
- "building missiles". If the enemy is already hostile, you can easily outrange 80% of it's defenses with it, if it has only "lesser range" buildings you'll save money by using helipads. You actually know of all of their defense beforehand, so it's trivial to build an assault base which will destroy them in a few turns. I haven't yet been "jumped at" by saucers when assaulting someone, but given the current spawn time I'll go into my "too easy to defend" case above

There has been a decision made not to bother with units. I will try to respect that.


Basically my problems with this combat system is that it's very static.
I think the issue with rogues can be discussed and solved there:
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,17709.0.html

Issues with defending against saucers is that basically you've got the complete initiative over your opponents But, if you didn't, and they appeared out of nowhere and destroyed stuff as soon as they appeared, you'd be dead in a matter of turns (IE if they all target your energy, you're dead as it's impossible to retaliate).

Issues with attacking is that I get no feel of advancing ever. I'm intentionally forgetting the part where the enemy is not hostile, because there it's rather trivial to set-up military buildings which will crush the opponent in a single turn. However, with the current "fixed" attack buildings, I will run into the issue of never being able to attack unless I largely outbuild my opponent / outrange. If my enemy has a range 12 building, and I don't, that means I must place enough buildings in the 12 range (or closer) in order to be able to shoot at it. I find that mechanic VERY boring. If my enemy has a "maximum" of range 8 building, a range 9+ on my side will destroy him. Oh, he could have counters to that building put in place, but that would just mean I have to build enough to prevent him from closing in.

I "could" imagine finding fun by slowly advancing while trying to advance, preventing the enemy's fire by building counter-measures, and matching attack / defense but I don't really think possible that the AI could be matching players. Also, the "turn based" nature of combat gives WAY too much importance to the first hitter, and you can actually choose, as an attacked, what's going to be countered in the case of "guard" posts and similar buildings.

Basically, I'm having the issues that units in a 4X game are here to prevent: turtling is going to be very powerful in a turn based game with no units. And with no units, the game feels static.



When I read the description of the game, I thought you've have a few turrets to defend yourself, and that you'd build barracks, helipads, missiles and so on - they would make your "standing" armies. You'd play your "city-building" turn, then, on "end-turn" it would be "warphase", simultaneous attacks from both sides, marines / robots / planes rushing to defend your place and kll stuff, killing armies or destroying the closest buildings, then coming back home. You would "decide" where they would attack, then intercept / be intercepted depending on their orders. Of course, "no limitations of range" by turrets in that mode - you can attack stuff next to your territory with whatever you want. I know it sounds like a series of guerrilla attacks, and I think that seems to fit the videos well from what I've seen.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 07:13:09 am by kasnavada »

Offline nas1m

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Re: Combat
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 07:56:55 am »
I love the idea of dedicated phases for building and war. Having the latter one resolve things simultaneously might just be the idea to resolve the ongoing issue of first hitter advantage!

If this is feasible, that is  :-\.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Combat
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 08:08:15 am »
Thanks  ;)

But, in the case it's not, could you share your thoughts about the current system / how to improve ? Then I'll "summarize", and mantis it to let them know.

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Combat
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 11:05:08 am »
over all I agree with everything said here apart from units preventing turtling in my experience(which is tiny compared to yours I will admit)  in civ 5 usually I would put my land units at choke points and murder any of the ai that tried to come at me(granted it should be taken into account that the ai in that game is utter crap) also I think that helipads are a bit over powered I cant really think of a way to rectify that though at the moment aside from taking a few hexes of range from them or making the underground more important to war.
c.r

Offline nas1m

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Re: Combat
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 02:51:19 pm »
Thanks  ;)

But, in the case it's not, could you share your thoughts about the current system / how to improve ? Then I'll "summarize", and mantis it to let them know.
Sorry for the late reply. I was limited to my phone ;).

My main problem with the current combat system is that Chris' design as he described it multiple times, i.e. building up to a flash of violence for a longer time, "stalking" the opponent, matching his moves, waiting for an oppening, mixed arms warfare, rock paper scissors, etc. simply is not yet fullfilled by it - in my book.

Instead of e.g. using multiple types of arms, interceptors buffs etc. all I seem to do is plopping down the highest range building that I can afford, which mostly is sufficient to outrange at least a significant part of the opposition - allowing me to get a major advantage in a trivial way.

One idea I had that could maybe remedy this is to make your neighbors react to buildings under construction e.g. by starting to build counters (interceptors, faster to build, shorter range buildings, ...) to those five missle silos I just plopped down the moment they start construction.
This, combined with suffciently long build times for high range and/or high damage military buildings, could allow the mutual stalking that Chris is presumably after.

The big problem here seems to be that the AI appears to be largly disinterested when the player starts to construct military buildings that would have the ability to strike at it, i.e. a real border conflict only seems to happen once the player starts to strike - which is too late for a meaningful prelude.

Note that I am talking mostly about combat involving regular buildings at the borders between cities here.
Saucers are a different story altogether...
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 04:27:52 pm by nas1m »
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Combat
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2015, 03:09:45 pm »
Reducing the range of all military significantly (like in: cut them in halve) also might go a long way to achieve a more ponderous style of combat that is befitting the idea of "cities doing battle", which is how I always envisioned the stuff described by Chris to play out.

Imagine behemoth cities crawling around the map like living things, doing battle at their fringes and occasionally devouring each other ;).
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 04:28:29 pm by nas1m »
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Combat
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 03:15:08 pm »
I hear you on that one =). Shorter range could help =).

I've no idea where Chris is heading though, so I'm trying to focus on brain-storming about the current idea and ideas about going wildly off-track.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Combat
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 03:19:29 pm »
Quote
The number of turns that AI saucers are holographic is now based on the difficulty level. Previously it was always 5. Now it is:

    Easy: 5
    Normal: 3
    Hard: 2
    Harder: 1
    Nightmare: 0
    Thanks to kasnavada for inspiring this change.

I think this thread triggered this. The guys attempting nightmare are going to hate me =).


Anyway, others having ideas and / or opinions ?

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Combat
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2015, 04:26:44 pm »
Quote
The number of turns that AI saucers are holographic is now based on the difficulty level. Previously it was always 5. Now it is:

    Easy: 5
    Normal: 3
    Hard: 2
    Harder: 1
    Nightmare: 0
    Thanks to kasnavada for inspiring this change.

I think this thread triggered this. The guys attempting nightmare are going to hate me =).


Anyway, others having ideas and / or opinions ?
If they've played any games designed by Chris before, they won't hate you. If you play on Nightmare (or Misery) in an Arcen game, you probably know what you're getting into. :)

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Combat
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2015, 04:36:40 pm »
When I read the description of the game, I thought you've have a few turrets to defend yourself, and that you'd build barracks, helipads, missiles and so on - they would make your "standing" armies. You'd play your "city-building" turn, then, on "end-turn" it would be "warphase", simultaneous attacks from both sides, marines / robots / planes rushing to defend your place and kll stuff, killing armies or destroying the closest buildings, then coming back home. You would "decide" where they would attack, then intercept / be intercepted depending on their orders. Of course, "no limitations of range" by turrets in that mode - you can attack stuff next to your territory with whatever you want. I know it sounds like a series of guerrilla attacks, and I think that seems to fit the videos well from what I've seen.

I threw this in Mantis for you: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=17197 .

Offline Cinth

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Re: Combat
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2015, 04:43:08 pm »
Nice to see you're still around Tigers. 
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Offline tigersfan

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Re: Combat
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2015, 05:02:33 pm »
Nice to see you're still around Tigers.
Thanks, clearly I'm not full time here anymore, I've been contracting for a while, but my focus has been on handling stuff coming in from other places (Steam, stuff like that). For the next few weeks I'm going to be focusing on getting SBR suggestions into Mantis and stuff like that.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Combat
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2015, 05:12:42 pm »
When I read the description of the game, I thought you've have a few turrets to defend yourself, and that you'd build barracks, helipads, missiles and so on - they would make your "standing" armies. You'd play your "city-building" turn, then, on "end-turn" it would be "warphase", simultaneous attacks from both sides, marines / robots / planes rushing to defend your place and kll stuff, killing armies or destroying the closest buildings, then coming back home. You would "decide" where they would attack, then intercept / be intercepted depending on their orders. Of course, "no limitations of range" by turrets in that mode - you can attack stuff next to your territory with whatever you want. I know it sounds like a series of guerrilla attacks, and I think that seems to fit the videos well from what I've seen.

I threw this in Mantis for you: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=17197 .

Thanks for that =).

I thought I'd gather a bit more opinions before mantising it with other ideas that this thread would have gathered, but if someone that worked there thinks it's good enough to place in mantis right now =). It's quite a huge change - and I'm really not sure of the ramifications of that one, or how it fits within Chris' vision.


Offline tigersfan

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Re: Combat
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2015, 05:14:55 pm »
I'm not sure how it fits his vision either, and I'm not saying it's going to be in the game. But, it being in Mantis will ensure Chris sees it. :)

Offline jerith

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Re: Combat
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2015, 05:24:26 pm »
I was just thinking that with the increasing forum and Mantis volume and number of similar issues I've seen recently (although that might just be because I read through about four days worth in one afternoon) it would be good to have someone around to help wrangle them into some sort of order so Chris and Keith don't have to spend so much time on it. I can't think of anyone with better credentials for the job. :-)

 

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