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what's planned for A26?


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  • 3 weeks later...
On 03/10/2021 at 7:36 AM, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

There is "battalion-ish" support now committed. It's rough, but I have ideas on how to improve it for EA's purposes.

I was thinking that an integration that could work well with Vanilla could be to keep units loose as it is at the moment, but maybe have a button to form a "battalion", once you select them into a group. In that case the whole group would start to act as a "single unit", and assigning actions could become even easier with a single click to select the whole block. And hopefully this would help to streamline the pathfinder when you manage big groups.

This would allow to manage battalions, while at the same time keeping the same costs/properties of single units, so there's no risk to create some weird unbalances in Vanilla and would help a seamless integration of the feature. If I'm not wrong (it's been a long time tho), the series Cossacks worked in this kind of way.

I have no idea if this complicate things even more from a coding standpoint, though. So take this idea for what is worth :unknw:

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  • 3 weeks later...
36 minutes ago, Philip the Swaggerless said:

What is broken about it? Is it a problem with formations in general or his effect on them? 

Because of the mosh pit combat, the soldiers instantly move out of formation and start ranging across the map. And because of the mosh pit combat paradigm, you need to have very fine granular control of your units. Slapping auto-formations on top of everything now means you have to use hotkeys (which currently have no defaults?) to select individual units or to squad out your soldiers to perform micro-targeting (because even though yours and your enemy units are ostensibly attached to "formations" you can't attack just the abstract formation, you still attack individual targets). This adds an additional level of attention you need to just select and target your units, when formations are supposed to reduce this kind of thing. It's why soft battalions just will not work. It's either hard battalions or no battalions.

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13 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

It's why soft battalions just will not work. It's either hard battalions or no battalions.

I would like to understant this distinction. What is the general idea behind a "soft" battalion and a "hard" battalion? Is the current formation system considered a form of soft battalion or no battalion?

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Just now, Micfild said:

I would like to understant this distinction. What is the general idea behind a "soft" battalion and a "hard" battalion? Is the current formation system considered a form of soft battalion or no battalion?

Hard Battalions are something like Battle for Middle Earth 2. Some people use Total War games as an example, but I don't like using that example because it comes with a kind of anti-bias. Battle for Middle Earth 2 is a perfect example, because it's an RTS game where you still have resource collection and base building in real time. Basically, soldiers are trained, live, fight, and die all in a battalion. You don't have to manually form the battalion or create a scheme where battalions are auto-formed somehow. They just are battalions from the beginning. They stay close together and fight in formation. They also fight other battalions because the enemy is using the same system. Your soldiers don't roam around and break formation chasing individual enemy soldiers or units.

 

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Soft Battalions are what I like to call any scheme where you add battalions and formations as a layer on top of the typical RTS combat method. Your soldiers are largely still individual units who are/can be trained individually and then the "battalion" is applied later, either by the game automatically or by the player. And then the battalion can be broken and reformed and broken again, either by the player or the game. This is pretty much how Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War did it and how it currently is in 0 A.D.'s dev repo. If anyone disputes these definitions, please discuss.

 

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Why do I prefer Hard Battalions? I think Soft Battalions add unnecessary steps and additional complexity over a Hard Battalions system, when such systems are supposed to reduce unnecessary management. The current 0 A.D. implementation also tries to split hairs and still allows the battalions to devolve into mosh pit fighting. This is what happened in Rise & Fall too. Your battalions look all nice and neat standing still, but once combat happens everything looks exactly the same as if you never even created a battalion, but with the added frustration of having to hotkey your units out of the battalion to micro-target the enemy (because the enemy too is moshing, not fighting formation-to-formation).

Even if it was made that once your soldiers are placed into a battalion that they start acting like a BfME2 or TW battalion, it's still an unnecessary step. And then you have to decide how to reconcile that your units are fighting in battalions and your enemy has decided to forgo battalions and mosh his units at you; how is targeting done in this instance? Again, unnecessary complications. Just make hard battalions so you have battalion-to-battalion combat. See: My BfME2 video I posted above. :) 

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Ty Wow. Well, in this case i do agree with your previous statement. A decision should be made to either go Hard battalions or no battalions. The current builds seem to favor no battalion, since it would be the easiest to implement, considering the framework already in place. The current formation system seems more useful as a positioning tool rather than a marching or fighting tool. Also eveytime i set a group in formation and send them to collect resources, some of those units just remain idle. This doesn't happen when i take them out of formation (so i tend to set Formation Control to Walk/Patrol only, since this is where it seems more useful).

One of the problems with hard battalions is how they would interact with the fact that militiary units can also build and collect resources. One idea might be to make battalions a champion exclusive feature (like they have propper military training and such). This way we can have both systems and they won't mess with each other.

In any case, ty for the explanation Wow.

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32 minutes ago, Micfild said:

The current builds seem to favor no battalion, since it would be the easiest to implement, considering the framework already in place. The current formation system seems more useful as a positioning tool rather than a marching or fighting tool.

I never play with formations, all my experiences have been terrible. Really caught me off guard when auto formations were added with a25 version. (WHY?) They currently don't help with fighting, they harm marching and gathering.

 

35 minutes ago, Micfild said:

One idea might be to make battalions a champion exclusive feature (like they have propper military training and such).

Historically CS had military training and were fighting in formations. I'd prefer if there was an other way to repair formations than making it champ exclusive.

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24 minutes ago, Gurken Khan said:

They currently don't help with fighting, they harm marching and gathering.

There are some cases where they help, but I generally don't use them. An example is: your skirmishers are being rushed from the side by javelin cavalry, so your melee are no longer magnetically attracting all their fire. In this case you choose "box" to bring the melee to form a ring around your ranged units which temporarily makes them invincible (so long as the melee are alive).

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36 minutes ago, Gurken Khan said:

Yeah, maybe I haven't experimented enough with formations. When I tried some it didn't seem to organize the units in a helpful way, so I just kept to mosh & micro. :)

We have not gotten anything out of it, no bonuses.

We do not incentivize combat mechanics.

Without bonuses it makes no sense to have formations.

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2 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Without bonuses it makes no sense to have formations

I mean, they don't help a lot during battles, but i find them pretty useful before one, to get my melee troops in the front and archers in the back before i attack-move. Otherwise my ranged troops tend to be in the front, since they are faster.

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