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proposals for formations


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2 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The spear/polearm being specifically designed to combat cavalry is a bit of an RTS convention; simply by virtue of much better reach spears were used by and large by all infantry regardless of whether they were facing cavalry or not.  Whether a spearman would outperform a horseman one-on-one is a triviality in which matters of other equipment, training, etc,... complicate the matter.  

Even if the game does not embrace a battalion system, it would be nice for players to benefit from engaging in orderly formations.  Even making it possible if only suboptimal would be a nice change of pace.  I personally like to see my troops in proper battle lines, but the stand ground stance is annoyingly restrictive while the defensive stance goes too much in the other extreme.  

This is what would make the overlapping bonuses method I described so incredible. The positional integrity of the formation would determine the degree of bonus. Ideally you'd use battalions but it could work even for individual units. You could add some small pathing improvements but the key is that setting units to maintain cohesion would trade off with flexibility. Indeed this was historically a key element of the phalanx. It would allow allow maintaining the "line" and provide interesting flanking functions. Perfect alignment would maximize your defensive buffs while minimizing the offensive buffs of the enemy. Faster turn speeds or move speeds would obviously break formation cohesion so you'd have to make tactical choices. You could even allow veterancy status to improve cohesion in difficult situations which would provide and interesting reason to keep troops alive. Just having units in "formation" get a raw +x to some stat is way less interesting. You'd make the sides of the formation weaker since they'd be adjancent or "near enough", depending on the overlap method choice, to fewer units. You'd also make ranged attacks more interesting for debuff as well as damage purposes. I think a system based on positioning would also slow down combat somewhat because it would be harder to organize an offense much higher than a defense so you'd have some reduction in APM issues. Similar to how people argue in TW over "arcade" vs "realistic" combat.

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I think the best idea so far is making hack resistance lower for hits coming from the back. mods like this have already been proposed, but were never seriously taken into consideration.

I feel like there are two sides among the balancing testers, where one would like a game with more "AoE" variation, as with more varied units with different fancy stats, but same old mechanics, and the other one would like more realistic depth in the fights, and more varied tactical situations - not talking about the conservatives of course. the first group will frown upon proposals like these.

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I think a volley formation could be really beneficial to gameplay. It would increase the skill cap in ranged fights and also address the annoyance of overkill and archers attacking the closest unit:  https://wildfiregames.com/forum/topic/55848-why-should-ranged-units-be-forced-to-attack-closest-units/

Volley formations should be available to groups of 20+ archers or crossbowmen. The volley would be equal to the area of the formation and would be centered around the unit that the formation is commanded to attack. Damage could be dealt with the pre-existing splash damage mechanic, where splash damage is equivalent to the average pierce attack of the units in formation. To avoid the scenario where a few archers can deal splash damage to many more compact units, the formation should be quite compact.

^there may be better ways to implement this, but it seems the simplest would be to use splash damage.

After the volley is fired, the units will fire at will (ie. default archer behavior) until the player clicks attack on another unit.

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3 hours ago, Stan` said:

Yes, as long as the attack isn't for one unit, but rather an area with enemies. It's not so much like in aoe2 where onagers have to shoot where their targets are going. Instead, this would be to minimize overkill and to have more control over where your archers can do damage in a ranged fight (where archers will prioritize closer units).

I just think it would add more skill to ranged fights and make archers more interesting in game.

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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7 hours ago, alre said:

but were never seriously taken into consideration.

 

4 hours ago, Gurken Khan said:

Is it normal that I get an exception when going to that page?

"Normal" yeah. That is due to binaries which are only visible/downloadable when logged in, IIRC we're not sure why it happens, but it usually can't hurt.

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@Freagarach

This looks really good and could be a great tool to satisfy multiple parties in the "ranged units forced to shoot closest unit debate". People are concerned about melee units losing some of their "meat shield" role, and others are concerned about the "meat shield" role being too important and forced by the game mechanics.

If attack-ground were to do a bit less overall damage, then this would make sense because it is "beyond visual range", and this could provide an important tradeoff between dealing full damage (shooting closest targets) and shooting particular units (attack-ground) at reduced damage output.

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59 minutes ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

This looks really good

I think it looks terribly inefficient and ineffective. Maybe it would look different if firing at a (more static) group. But if the damage is lower than a regular attack, I don't know if I will be interested in that feature.

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20 minutes ago, Gurken Khan said:

I think it looks terribly inefficient and ineffective. Maybe it would look different if firing at a (more static) group. But if the damage is lower than a regular attack, I don't know if I will be interested in that feature.

I guess this isn't an either or debate. As I understand you could still use normal attacking mechanics, only that you will have another option to "attack-ground" if you want to use it.

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30 minutes ago, Gurken Khan said:

I think it looks terribly inefficient and ineffective. Maybe it would look different if firing at a (more static) group. But if the damage is lower than a regular attack, I don't know if I will be interested in that feature.

Luckily once it is implemented people can mod the damage values and stuff and figure out where the ideal balance is no? Is that a normal cav or a champ? Also it probably has limited damage against a single fast moving unit.

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49 minutes ago, maroder said:

I guess this isn't an either or debate. As I understand you could still use normal attacking mechanics, only that you will have another option to "attack-ground" if you want to use it.

Yes, I'm aware. ;)

And I know it's only a tech demo, but 50 units taking >1 min to kill 1 unit... That's just not enough blood per second to quench my thirst. :balrog:

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@BreakfastBurrito_007 I don't understand why the damage decrease is necessary?

I guess this feature could be balanced as needed if it is considered OP

@FreagarachThanks for sharing the demo! perhaps it would be better for attack ground to be a one-time attack executed by the player with a hotkey. That way one could damage a group of units and continue to deal damage (with individual volleys) to a large group of skirms, instead of all the archers sniping one skirm at a time.

It does seem weird for this to be used as a trap that enemies die to by walking past.

Maybe lag would make this feature difficult to use, but I think using skill and microing your units should be stronger than simply letting the archers use their default behavior.

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12 hours ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

It does seem weird for this to be used as a trap that enemies die to by walking past.

Really?  Isn't that how all artillery is used ?

3 minutes ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

This way, a player only needs to locate the center of enemy units, and then drag the radius to the approximate size of the group (direction of radius of course does not matter :D).

If we enabled friendly fire it could be even more fun.

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Fun would be it if units including citizen could pour hot water or (burning) oil from walls and wall turrets, too. :D But that is not about "formations", sorry.

Are there civs known to have their soldiers burying themselves in the ground, waiting for the enemy to pass by and then come out? If you considered this a "special" form of formation, it could be fun, too. ;)

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