Author Topic: WeGo Combat  (Read 896 times)

Offline malorn

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WeGo Combat
« on: April 11, 2014, 07:21:41 PM »
Hey Arcen, first off let me give some background.  I am not an alpha tester, nor did this game even cross my radar until I saw the RPS article linked while I was looking at AI War updates.   I've also played quite a bit of both Valley Without Wind Games, and I very much tried to love Skyward Collapse when I bought it, but sadly failed to do so. 

Obviously not being an alpha player, I haven't played either combat mode.  I have watched every video I can, but still this feedback is not entirely well informed as a result.  As a surface impression, I was 10 minutes into the first video I saw (RPS) when I decided I was buying this game the minute I could.  It fit exactly what I enjoy in games and had a very creative approach, an approach which Arcen is known for.  I know that any change in game development is bound to have people who don't like it.  Most of those people are probably just enjoying complaining about something.  As this is literally my first post, I understand that any feedback I have will be taken with quite a grain of salt.

I am very concerned that the new combat system is going to slow down the gameplay.  Judging by the videos I've seen, it's basically a path designator with some targeting options and an automatic pause system.  I'm basically going to be making all the same decisions I would have been in the 'twitch' style of gameplay.  But instead having direct control, I can't readjust my targeting position, nor adapt to changing conditions after I order a movement.  Overall from what I've seen, we now have less control over the game than we used to.

In other words, in what way does WeGo increase the options I have available to me in combat?  How does it make me more able to use those options? 

Controlling one ship is not a stressful strategic task that overwhelms the player.  Turn-based systems are traditionally very helpful when you need to control large numbers of units and process large amounts of incoming data.  The news that you plan to make an entirely different game based on the prior combat is not much better.  I would have no interest in such a game lacking the overall context for my actions.

I know that this late in the development process, there is almost no chance of a change.  Certainly one post by a new forum-member is not going to change that.  I will probably still buy the game because I really want to love it, a lot like Skyward Collapse.  I'm not making an dramatic predictions, nor any of the other rot idiots in forums often do.  I do feel that there will be something lost from the game based on this change.  I think I'm going to be spending a lot of time in combat railing at the control limitations and wishing I could just control it.  I will probably also spend a lot of time in combat bored as it pauses once again.  I think everything this system offers was already there with an at-will pause system.

I hope I'm wrong, and it's very possible I'm in the minority that enjoys deep strategy with fast reflexes.  But it's sad to hear people say that 'strategy gamers don't know how to think quickly.'  That should not be true, and it shouldn't be said.  Please consider adding the other system back in as an option, perhaps much later in development, perhaps as part of an expansion.  I would literally pay an extra $10 for this feature.  Yes, I'm actually asking for something to be paid DLC, that's how much I care about this feature.

Thank you for your time, I wish I had noticed this game much earlier and was able to be part of the alpha process.

Offline Tridus

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 07:50:54 PM »
Was the first video you saw the one where it was realtime, kind of a space shooter type of game with your ship? They're apparently going to make that gameplay model into another game later.


Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 08:00:09 PM »
The WeGo approach is actually really fast to play.  Basically just move the mouse until the path is what you want and then click twice, and the turn plays out.  Assuming you're ok with it keeping whatever fire mode and weapon you set last time; changing those doesn't take much time at all either.

I'd say a combat actually plays out faster for me now because I don't spend time (intentionally) paused.

If the situation gets really hairy, of course, then there's stop-and-think.  But that's a given in any model, and is not a bad thing in due proportion.


The trouble with the shmup model wasn't that strategy gamers can't think quickly.  Nor even that they can't react quickly (reflex-wise).  But a significant portion of the strategy gamer audience does not want its performance to rely on twich-ability.  Some of them may be good at said twitch skills, but they may still not want to have to use them in the middle of a strategy game.

In other words, it was cruising for the same problem we had in Valley: pitching to the intersection of two very different audiences, rather than the union of them (or, failing that, pitching solidly at one audience).


But thank you for the feedback, it is valuable :)  In this case it seems clear in both theory and practice that the WeGo model is better for this game than the previous shmup-like model.  Whether the overall result is what it needs to be is a separate question (though people do seem to be having a lot of fun), but I don't see how the shmup-model would have been better or even as-good.
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Offline x4000

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 08:12:56 PM »
I'd also add that, in practice, I find that I have a lot more control over battles now than I used to.  And I'm a huge fan of SHMUPs, and am really excited to make that title next.  We're already well on the way with the art for that in particular.

That said, it's freaking TENSE the way combat is shaping up here, and really exciting.  I don't remember exactly what the state of combat was the last time I showed a video of the turn-based model, but it's been consistently refined since then, I do know.  There were some people who were really finding the turn-based model to be a drag when we first switched to it in particular, before we refined it.  Those same people are now remarking on having more fun with it than they used to (there are some posts about that from the last couple of days, but buried in threads).  Whereas prior to that we had a lot of complaints about what a different feel the realtime components had compared to the macro components.  To me, that really was spot-on; it's kind of the problem I personally had with the Total War series, for one.

Anyway, we will have a demo sometime around release or shortly after, so you can definitely try before you buy.  And if this game isn't one that ultimately does it for you if you don't like the turn-based stuff, then maybe the pure-SHMUP that we're working on next will be more up your alley.  That one isn't a large strategy game like this, it's more of a sandbox SHMUP in a purer sense.  But the mechanics that we had been developing in this game are not only present in that game, but will be way more refined (ships with destructible parts, etc).

"A path diverged in the woods," basically, and we decided to take both in a sensible manner rather than walk into the trees in the middle. ;)  That is one mangled metaphor.
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Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2014, 08:32:57 PM »
Something that doesn't come across in the videos was that the previous the previous "real-time with pause" was NOT as fast in practice as the videos make it appear, and the current "turn-based" combat one isn't as slow as the videos make it appear.

The previous "real-time with pause" combat was, in practice, paused a LOT. For some people, the previous combat model was slower than the current one due to pointless twitch pausing. Sure we had certain people who could play it without any pause at all, but they are somewhat far from "normal". A lot of testers had to pause and/or slow-mo their way through a lot of it.

On the other hand, the current "turn-based" combat isn't as slow paced as the videos make it appear. If you just need to repeat the previous firing orders and keep moving, it doesn't even take a second to do so. In a lot of cases it's just a double click away. There's very little "enforced wait time" for setting a turn, and if you have the advantage sometimes your turns are actually longer than the time it takes to "set orders" for them (and the turns are only a couple seconds long).

Offline x4000

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 08:34:21 PM »
The timings were tuned a lot since the last video, too.  I need to do some new videos showing off some of the newer crazy combat stuff.
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Offline malorn

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2014, 08:38:04 PM »
As I said, I will most likely buy the game regardless.  While many strategy gamers don't like to 'twitch' even when they are able, there are quite a few that do.  Real time strategy games require far more 'twitch' then any game where you control a single unit.  RTS is a fairly popular genre, and on the other side the success of games such as Mount & Blade and Space Pirates and Zombies indicate that people like to mix strategy and action styles, at least a bit.

My critique is sight unseen, and perhaps when I play the game all my concerns will be irrelevant as I watch a brilliant execution of a unique control system.  I very much hope that will be the case.  I've had issues with the Total War series as well, but that was largely because the combat segments were far too long for even minor engagements, and the results of a controlled battle and auto-resolve were very different. 

I'm not reacting angrily, and I know that as developers you guys deal with a lot of irrational anger and arguments, especially with an open design philosophy.  Perhaps the issue I have is based on examples.  I've seen several well-executed real-time combat systems for single-unit control.  I can't think of an example of a well-executed turn-based combat system for single-unit control.  Are there any games you feel have a similar style of system as the one you're creating here, that I just haven't heard of?

Perhaps the other issue is the wide range of games I've played.  I cut my teeth on the original Civilization and Master of Orion, now I tend to play Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis.  Equally I love to play FPS games.  I can't really think of a genre I don't enjoy playing.  Perhaps the problem I have is that the blended design was one of the exact reasons I was so excited.  It's a fair point to say that not all gamers enjoy such a range of styles, and that your design needs to accommodate that.  Coming so late to the design process, I had a bit of whiplash from the first videos I saw to the new system.

Offline x4000

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 08:56:22 PM »
All good, really -- I didn't take it the wrong way, although I appreciate your clarifying.  It sounds like you and I have a lot in common in terms of genre tastes.  That's actually one thing I have to be careful of as a developer.  I like almost everything, so most mashups to me are really fun.  But the target audience doesn't always agree.

In terms of single-unit tactical turn-based games... hmm... no, I can't think of any that I like, no.  I can't really think of any that jump to mind as stand-out at all, honestly.  But I can tell you honestly that I really really enjoy this, and find it superior to the way the SHMUP was executed in the context of this specific game.  Which doesn't diminish my excitement for fully developing the SHMUP as a different game, and also doesn't mean you'll like this combat.

Fun fact: I hated every space strategy game I had played prior to making AI War.  Particularly RTS ones.  There were a host of reasons, but anyway, that's part of why I made one of my own. ;)  Here again there wasn't really a particular model of another game I was trying to imitate... rather it was more a matter of "how can we take what I already like quite a lot, and make it better but in a thoughtful fashion."  I'm super jazzed about how the bullets here make "terrain" in space, for all intents and purposes.  It's something that I've been trying to do in various forms since 2009, and I feel like I finally nailed that with this game, as of the last couple of weeks.

Anyway, feel free to sign up for the alpha if you're not on the list, you might have some feedback that would help us make it more palatable to you if you find yourself not liking this or that.  Obviously there's not going to be some major revamp, but perhaps there's some element that could be tweaked, who knows.  Having people with dissenting (for lack of a better term) opinions is particularly useful in testers, I've found.
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Offline malorn

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 10:16:26 PM »
I'd be happy to be a tester, only reason I didn't apply is it seemed too late in the development cycle.  Obviously I'll confine my feedback to more simple questions, hopefully I'll end up loving the combat system too.

Offline x4000

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Re: WeGo Combat
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 10:59:28 PM »
I hope so, too!  I figure that you represent more than just yourself when it comes to your interests, so I'll be hopeful that you like it.  We'll just have to see!
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