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Suggested Tactical Battle Changes [SP]


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tad10 #1 Posted 25 February 2016 - 05:21 AM

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This was discussed by Vahouth and myself already in the other thread but after watching  more streams I know have specifics and wanted to move the discussion to the Feedback forum, since it was, in fact, feedback.   I'm going mainly to cover single player and briefly cover multiplayer at the end.  

 

The good news is you have a great skeleton of a system, and there's nothing that you've done that needs to be thrown out: the AI and the no-AI but computer controlled autofire setups should be retained, but a third control option needs to be added: one with no-AI, and no-autofire.  And here's why:
 

One tactical battle in quill18's stream pretty much summed up all the problems with the current single-player tactical battle setup. Quill had 3 large Psilon cruisers and was facing a fleet of (IIRC) Bulrathi, he had much higher weapon ratings and likely would have won if he'd gone autoresolve, but he made the serious error of going tactical. 

 

The best thing for Quill to do was to have entered the battled field with the three ships spaced pretty widely apart, roughly in a shallow triangle.  Sit at the edge of his weapon range and launch torpedoes at the oncoming Bulrathi in 2 or 3 waves, retargeting the second wave based on damage done by the first wave, finally moving out of the way only at the last minute.  The system wouldn't let him do any of these things.  So he was slaughtered in a combat that he could easily have won.

 

So in no particular order the tactical battle system needs to add the following things:

 

1. Entering formation setup.  Hat tip Vahouth.

 

The first thing you should be asked to do upon entering the battle map is to setup your fleets or to have the computer auto-setup for you.

 

2. Selection of means of control: (a) AI control,  (b) No-AI Control but Ship Autofire (AI controls most weapon firing and targeting except for specials, player controls targeting - the current setup for player control, which I'll call "Autofire"), or (c) No-AI and No Autofire (Player controls weapon firing and targeting, which I'll call "Total Control")

 

After your fleets are setup in step 1 the player should then get the option to determine how each of those ships will be controlled: there should be three options that can be toggled using traditional RTS drag or click to target.  And a mix of control options should be allowed. If you have five ships you should be able to set three to AI control, one to Autofire and one to Total Control.

 

3. At this point what happens depends on #2 - method of control.  If _all_ ships are AI controlled then watch what happens.

 

If either Autofire or Total Control have been selected as the control method for one or more ships then the following should happen upon battle start.

 

4.  Ships appear on map in selected formation and with zero speed.  All ships should start with zero speed at the appropriate edge of the map, except bases in space (excluding starbases near planets) which should start in the center of the map. 

 

5. Again what happens next depends on control selection.  If all remaining non-AI controlled ships are Autofire.  The game proceeds pretty much as it is now with the player just maneuvering ships, targeting ships for autofire and or using specials as-needed.

 

6. Finally if the player has any Total Control ships:

 

-The player maneuvers and launches weapons at will (based on cooldowns of course) granularity of that control limited to weapons slot level (as opposed to the individual weapon level for non-specials).  Some smart targeting should be involved so if the player targets three ships and fires off a weapon slot with only two missiles, either a warning should appear, or the missiles should automagically randomly target two of three. 

 

Getting back to the stream.  If Quill had been able to form up his three cruisers properly at the start, and control firing he would have won the combat, no question.  The first minute of the combat was spent mostly wrangling ships from flying directly to their doom and figuring out firing angles from where he had been forced to send his ships to avoid the oncoming Bulrathi.  Basically fighting the tactical battle system not the Bulrathi.

 

Starting from zero, initial formations and the ability to control your ships at the weapon slot level covers most of the control issues.

 

The other big issue, also brought up Vahouth and others are the need for both shield arcs and the ability to target subsystems, particularly with beam weapons: the trade-off should be ranged damage with most missiles/torps vs. targeted damage with beams.  Obviously something like a heat seeking missile would be an exception to the rule.  More specifically, you should be able to pause the combat and target specific parts of the enemy ship: the engines, the bridge area, sensors and of course the hull/specific shields. 

 

It's a huge risk to get in close with your current system so there should be a counterbalancing reward (ability to close target).  
 

Finally with respect to multiplayer, obviously

1. You need tactical battle with all the new bells and whistles that you'll add to SP

2. You need to make multiplayer TB permit more than 2 combatants (if they're all in the same system).

 

You added an RTS system but didn't take full advantage of it.  A turn based system really can't handle more than two combatants.  But your tactical battle system can be modified so that if three or even four fleets are in the same area they can all engage.  Alliances now mean that you can send fleets to actively aid your ally.

 

Big plus when Chris Keeling gets the question why RTS instead of Turn Based he can add the reply: we can do things in an RTS that you could never do in an TBS, like have four players fighting over Orion with the Guardian in the mix.  

 

Cheers

 
 

 

 



Lucian667 #2 Posted 25 February 2016 - 09:22 AM

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Some very good suggestions here. Not sure I'm optimistic enough to hope that they'll ever see the light of day but good suggestions nonetheless.

rslayerr #3 Posted 25 February 2016 - 01:43 PM

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i like that post..i have seen the battle in question and your totally right tad10.he was literally fighting against the tactical system than the enemy..i was totally dissapointed to see this...i like your suggestion alot..i truly hope they gonna do something about the battle cause like it is now...thats no good at all.and damn.what the problem not having tactical in multiplayer dammit.thats why i wanna play this game...with friends.im still playing moo2 cause of this..i have try all other 4x that came out and i still prefer playing moo2 than the others.combat need alot of work as it is.hopefully they dev team will do something about that..i dont want another moo3..and i must say im a bit meh about the starlanes..is it that complicated to not have those damn starlanes?anyways..i really want a true successor of the moo game...not a generic one like all other 4x out there...damn.i would play a better graphically moo2 over those.my 2 cents.

Sperg1 #4 Posted 25 February 2016 - 03:16 PM

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I just want to see automatic pauses/phases for the tactical battles. There is no need to go full TBS as the original games, but having a regular pause moment for even multiplayer battles is such a big thing for me and the friends I play strategy games with. Some people just do not like being forced into a predetermined game pace (like full RTS does) and like to take their own time thinking about their moves.

Moo4 #5 Posted 25 February 2016 - 04:50 PM

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View Posttad10, on 25 February 2016 - 08:21 AM, said:

The best thing for Quill to do was to have entered the battled field with the three ships spaced pretty widely apart, roughly in a shallow triangle.  Sit at the edge of his weapon range and launch torpedoes at the oncoming Bulrathi in 2 or 3 waves, retargeting the second wave based on damage done by the first wave, finally moving out of the way only at the last minute.  The system wouldn't let him do any of these things.  So he was slaughtered in a combat that he could easily have won.

 

 

Getting back to the stream.  If Quill had been able to form up his three cruisers properly at the start, and control firing he would have won the combat, no question.  The first minute of the combat was spent mostly wrangling ships from flying directly to their doom and figuring out firing angles from where he had been forced to send his ships to avoid the oncoming Bulrathi.  Basically fighting the tactical battle system not the Bulrathi. 

 

The more options you give the player the harder it is for AI to even come close to competitive.  Even in this simple example you are bringing in levels of AI that surpass what WG is currently capable of (from what I've seen of AI combat).   Therefore part of the balance (like it or not) is removing some tactical options from the player.

 

They need to hit a sweet spot where fewer options actually make your decisions more meaningful because you are up against a more intelligent opponent.  By more intelligent I mean an AI that can better explore the more limited state space of options. 


Edited by Moo4, 25 February 2016 - 04:53 PM.

I want a moddable Master of Orion 1.5 with focus on interface and pacing.  Come discuss MoO 1.5 ideas HERE!


Vahouth #6 Posted 25 February 2016 - 05:17 PM

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Most important for me are:

1) Player controlled deployment.

2) Timed Retreat.

3) Fleet grouping, ctrl+1,2,3 etc.

4) Fleet stance: Closing, medium range weapons, long range weapons.

5) Player controlled weapons with ammo or long cooldown times.

6) Subsystem targeting.

7) Fleets start deployment on full stop, not closing to the enemy.

8) Formation facing TW style.


Edited by Vahouth, 25 February 2016 - 05:51 PM.


tad10 #7 Posted 25 February 2016 - 06:35 PM

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View PostMoo4, on 25 February 2016 - 04:50 PM, said:

 

The more options you give the player the harder it is for AI to even come close to competitive.  Even in this simple example you are bringing in levels of AI that surpass what WG is currently capable of (from what I've seen of AI combat).   Therefore part of the balance (like it or not) is removing some tactical options from the player.

 

They need to hit a sweet spot where fewer options actually make your decisions more meaningful because you are up against a more intelligent opponent.  By more intelligent I mean an AI that can better explore the more limited state space of options. 

 

Well, AIs have strategic limitations (thus one reason for Starlanes over Free Movement), but AIs can crush at tactical.  Riot is easily capable of making AIs that would crush in LoL and WG/NDG can do similarly in MOO.  So I'm not worried about that.



tad10 #8 Posted 25 February 2016 - 06:35 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 25 February 2016 - 05:17 PM, said:

Most important for me are:

1) Player controlled deployment.

2) Timed Retreat.

3) Fleet grouping, ctrl+1,2,3 etc.

4) Fleet stance: Closing, medium range weapons, long range weapons.

5) Player controlled weapons with ammo or long cooldown times.

6) Subsystem targeting.

7) Fleets start deployment on full stop, not closing to the enemy.

8) Formation facing TW style.

 

​As always A++ post on tactical. I hope WG listens to your suggestions.



Mikko_M #9 Posted 26 February 2016 - 04:58 AM

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View Posttad10, on 25 February 2016 - 06:35 PM, said:

 

​As always A++ post on tactical. I hope WG listens to your suggestions.

 

Me too. :)

Edited by Mikko_M, 26 February 2016 - 05:29 AM.

Moreover, I advise that the tactical combat must be made more player controllable and informative for this to become a proper MOO game.

 

​The long lost formula for space 4X game success = Good tactical combat + good empire management > than just good tactical combat or good empire management alone.


un4tuner #10 Posted 26 February 2016 - 06:25 AM

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IMHO, TBS is pretty much crucial for MoO.
Why you guys have made RTS of it?

CptJStank #11 Posted 26 February 2016 - 07:30 AM

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I want the ability to retreat from a battle. It was part of MOO2 and I want it back!

Ddraig_Goch #12 Posted 26 February 2016 - 02:12 PM

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So far I haven't had a problem using long range ships to volley an enemy down.  The second I hit combat I slow the timer down to 1/4th time, then I right click around the battlegrid to send my ships where I want (usually away from the enemy).

 

 However, I agree completely that a "stance" or "tactic" option would make this 100% easier to control.   It could be as simple as setting your ships to favor close, medium, or long ranges.



Rustypipe_2016 #13 Posted 26 February 2016 - 02:43 PM

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Personally I would love to see the following changes:

1.)  A 3rd option before entering battle:  1.)  Tactical  2.)  Turn Based   3.) Simulate   This way the people who really want to get deep in the weeds in combat can select turn based and do as they please.  As nice is the Real Time Tactical is, pausing all the time can be frustrating and many times your ships are not doing what you want in real time.  While the people who want real time can get it and those who just want to watch the action unfold can.  Personally in 4X games I've never been a fan of the Real Time combat, but that's just one mans opinion.

 

2.)  I would love to see better indicators of when your weapons reload.  Correct me if I'm wrong but I wasn't really noticing this so it was hard to tactical position.

 

3.)  It would be nice to be able to click on weapons on your ships to disable/enable them temporarily.  This would allow you decide when you want to enable a payload.

 

4.)  Some of the more iconic weapons could use a graphical or sound touch up.  The death ray for me I could barely tell when it was being fired

 

5.)  When doing ship design I was noticing that the DPS wouldn't change for Heavy Mounted or other options that would increase damage?  The space would increase but the DPS wouldn't  is this intended or something that just needs to be polished out?  It would be nice to see a DPS change along with some of these features so its clear as to what your adding.

 

6.)  Not sure if there is a way but it would be nice to be able to check a built ships load out without having to go back to the ship design screen.  With the tech upgrades coming in I sometimes couldn't remember what I upgraded and wanted to know if a ship was upgraded prior to going into battle.

 

I think that's about it around combat

 

Hope this helps! Keep up the great work!

 


Edited by Rustypipe_2016, 26 February 2016 - 03:28 PM.


Vahouth #14 Posted 26 February 2016 - 03:39 PM

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BTW I love that there is a "shift-Rclick" waypoint system in battles. It was unexpected. :)


voidstalker_woe #15 Posted 27 February 2016 - 03:39 PM

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View PostCptJStank, on 26 February 2016 - 02:30 AM, said:

I want the ability to retreat from a battle. It was part of MOO2 and I want it back!

 

Well said.  +1
Further more, I believe that we must start building a better MoO5 now, for only by doing so can we get tomorrow's game, today!

Pacioli #16 Posted 27 February 2016 - 05:41 PM

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Reteat is for sure needed.  I think this is just something not in because of early access.  At least one would hope.

 

Along with tactical formations / role calls.  Be nice to be able to order your battleships to hold a line, your destroyers to focus on intereption, and cruisers to move into and "melee" for just slight examples.  Could even be made simplier (hold, attack, defend)

 

Putting class of ships in premade groupings on hotkeys.  Or the ability to organize fleets into sections that can be hotkeyed.  So you could have your main grouping / fleet then within that fleet have taskforces/strikeforces that you could have hotkeyed in the event of battle.



Vahouth #17 Posted 27 February 2016 - 05:43 PM

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You can hotkey ships btw. ;)


TheUltimaleEvil #18 Posted 27 February 2016 - 06:13 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 27 February 2016 - 05:43 PM, said:

You can hotkey ships btw. ;)

 

I wish there was a Tutorial on Tactical Combat. Developers Video (or Let's Play) of How they use Tactical Combat in a decent battle is also very much welcome.

Edited by TheUltimaleEvil, 27 February 2016 - 07:04 PM.


Rustypipe_2016 #19 Posted 27 February 2016 - 07:26 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 27 February 2016 - 05:43 PM, said:

You can hotkey ships btw. ;)

 

How is this magic done!  What keys sets a hot key to a ship?

Vahouth #20 Posted 27 February 2016 - 07:28 PM

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View PostRustypipe_2016, on 27 February 2016 - 09:26 PM, said:

 

How is this magic done!  What keys sets a hot key to a ship?

 

Select said ships and press ctrl+1 or 2 or 3 etc. Easy! :D

Edited by Vahouth, 27 February 2016 - 07:29 PM.





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