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Attack-ground: include in A26 or not?


real_tabasco_sauce
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I think this buildingAI target selection sounds promising in terms of getting gameplay out of its rut. Making a core skill mechanic out of required player micro for preventing unit-AI misplay is a really frustrating approach to game design. It seems that was the case here, if even random target selection is boosting combat effectiveness compared to the old prioritization. This approach also has the added benefit of not requiring any new UI design.

Yes this will require some unit roles to be revised for balance purposes (pikemen), but these design conventions were never exactly that interesting and were ahistorical to boot. (To my understanding it is true that pikemen were quite good at maintaining cohesion against missile fire, but they absolutely took casualties from it. And sustained small arms bombardment was one of the best and only ways of dealing with pike blocks in ancient warfare when flanking was not possible.) If the change improves performance too, I heartily hope it will be adopted.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, ChronA said:

I think this buildingAI target selection sounds promising

yeah it actually worked out quite well, despite it looking silly on paper. Im trying to get a TG together, but it might have to wait until the weekend. Feel free to give it a try before then if you like!

@Feldfeld made a discussion about pike and ranged balance, which i think would be a fairly good fit along with this change. Idk what the balancing team would have to say, but they should certainly try the mod first

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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Another positive thing about (mis?)using BuildingAI is that units finally can attack and move at the same time. :)

By the way, the attack-group thing is GUI only. I know we have some fantastic GUI modders on the forum, so maybe one of them (with some free time) can try to implement that?

Regarding the requests to rebase the attack-ground. When I find some time I will try it. But it is not my priority, sorry all. :(

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9 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Need to strip out all of the .DS_Store files. I think there are 2.

These are so annoying. I guess it's something mac does when they are zipped?

9 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Have you tried capturing anything with these new ranged infantry dudes? :)

I hope they don't disobey orders, that would be bad.

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Ok. I renamed it the "saucemod"

 

Ranged units now capture.

However, an issue that makes ranged units OP:

They can shoot while capturing and while walking. This mod is just to see what gameplay is like when ranged units can shoot other ranged units, and build interest in attack-ground or attack-group.

You can see my observations above. I think this does improve a number of other gameplay issues like pikes being OP and healers being often unused.

saucemod.zip

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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I think that is indeed a right conclusion. It seems promising, but it needs work to be good enough to implement in the game.

Also, it makes archers viable in battle. An attack group option would be more dangerous to skirmisher than the building AI. That probably means we need to be careful with attack group.

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we just played a ffa game with that mod. there are still bugs: ranged cav can't hunt, also because of building ai, units fire while moving, but without showing up.

ranged cav is op in that mod, iber fire cav passes trough armies and it's insta-kill, they don't even need to stop to tear down buindings. that part needs to be fixed for sure.

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Well, from the test match we played (3v3) I can definitely say that attack-group results in a much higher damage output (ignoring things like units moving while shooting, chickens not dying etc.). At this point I think a true attack ground would be better for gameplay and would require less rebalancing of units.

attack-ground scoring a smaller percentage of hits would be ok, since there is still the power of choosing where those hits go. I think there would be an actual tradeoff, which would allow for situations where u want to use attack-ground and some where you don't.

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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commands.txtmetadata.json

Here is the replay. I believe you have to have the mod for it to play. The FFA game showed us that battles are unpredictable and chaotic, with some things (like firecav) being even more OP.

If this becomes a feature, it will need to be a mode the ranged units can adopt (call it fire at will perhaps) and it should have the same constraints normal attack has (cannot fire while moving, capturing, building).

In my opinion, the way forward is to keep a25 ranged attack behavior and add attack ground to allow more player control and heighten the skill ceiling.

Attack group would accomplish similar goals, but I think it could be abused by selecting a large area. It also seems a lot more complicated and I think it does too much for the player.

 

would you guys be interested in trying an attack-ground mod? 

 

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7 hours ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

commands.txt 1 MB · 0 downloads metadata.json 123 kB · 0 downloads

Here is the replay. I believe you have to have the mod for it to play. The FFA game showed us that battles are unpredictable and chaotic, with some things (like firecav) being even more OP.

If this becomes a feature, it will need to be a mode the ranged units can adopt (call it fire at will perhaps) and it should have the same constraints normal attack has (cannot fire while moving, capturing, building).

In my opinion, the way forward is to keep a25 ranged attack behavior and add attack ground to allow more player control and heighten the skill ceiling.

Attack group would accomplish similar goals, but I think it could be abused by selecting a large area. It also seems a lot more complicated and I think it does too much for the player.

 

would you guys be interested in trying an attack-ground mod? 

 

You’re statements on attack group aren’t true. If you select a large area, attack group just makes you shoot father projectiles that are less likely to hit. If it also acts as a tower that randomly selects then that means that it will attack random units walking through the area that you probably don’t mean to target and are less likely to be hit because they’re moving. If attack group selects random units that you aim at until dead or at units that are nearest in that area then You will have to regularly re micro as that area will have units disappear and range units will go back to default attacks if nearest unit. Plus if you do attack group then new arriving units will need to be microed to attack group or they will just default to nearest units. This provides the benefit of being able to target ranged units in the back which is why this whole discussion exists so idk why you don’t think it provides player benefit and as I describe above it also requires regular micro and skill. I described these pros/cons in my initial comments on this thread. I believe those possibilities should be re-examined. The only person who spoke in opposition to that said they thought my proposal would be OP (despite no reason given for that) and that they preferred attack ground bc it would hit the footprint, which is obviously true but equally obvious that that would make attack ground only useful in the very limited situation where extreme chock points exist (which also probably creates balance issues that something like attack group with target of nearest unit doesn’t have a problem with)

 

Not trying to say I told you so here, but attack ground has some very obvious deficiencies that makes it use extremely limited. And these deficiencies are severe enough to mean in the vast majority of situations on the vast majority of maps attack-ground won't address anyone's original concerns that led to this discussion, namely that range units overkill meat shields. If you want it, fine. But it is not something that excites me at all. 

Edited by chrstgtr
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Obviously attack group is better than attack ground, i never doubted that. But do you really want to take away such skill/interaction from the game? It seems like you do, but honestly i don't and there are people on both sides. You say attack group requires micro and skill but i honestly doubt that in realtime, it would pretty much be a simple repaint of an area once in a while.

There is pretty much no risk involved with attack group. There is no misusing attack group other than letting your ranged get eaten by swordsmen for example, which would be bad in all occassions, even without attack ground/group. Micro should give you an edge over your opponent, and attack group takes too much from it. You might aswell make it their standard attack behavior unless manually commanded otherwise. People who don't like micro will get balanced by elo tbh.

Besides, units are clustered on the battlefield all the time, not just on choke points.  A one time volley on a resizable circle attack ground would be a pretty useful thing to have imo, with the choice of a continious one with a combination of a hotkey (for all ranged units, just to be clear, not just archers). But with risk of misusing / poor judgement and without it being the new standard way to play.

Attack ground will also give usefulness to formations whereas it wouldn't with attack group.

Also attack group needs a heavier rebalance than attack ground but whether that's a problem or not depends on the balancing team. 

Edited by Grapjas
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12 minutes ago, Grapjas said:

Obviously attack group is better than attack ground, i never doubted that. But do you really want to take away such skill/interaction from the game? It seems like you do, but honestly i don't and there are people on both sides. You say attack group requires micro and skill but i honestly doubt that in realtime, it would pretty much be a simple repaint of an area once in a while.

There is pretty much no risk involved with attack group. There is no misusing attack group other than letting your ranged get eaten by swordsmen for example, which would be bad in all occassions, even without attack ground/group. Micro should give you an edge over your opponent, and attack group takes too much from it. You might aswell make it their standard attack behavior unless manually commanded otherwise. People who don't like micro will get balanced by elo tbh.

Besides, units are clustered on the battlefield all the time, not just on choke points.  A one time volley on a resizable circle attack ground would be a pretty useful thing to have imo, with the choice of a continious one with a combination of a hotkey (for all ranged units, just to be clear, not just archers). But with risk of misusing / poor judgement and without it being the new standard way to play.

Attack ground will also give usefulness to formations whereas it wouldn't with attack group.

Also attack group needs a heavier rebalance than attack ground but whether that's a problem or not depends on the balancing team. 

This is a massive oversimplification. As I process what micro would be in my head, I am honestly worried it will be too complicated. It involves: what units/unit types will I select, where will I put them, what group will I target, how many different focus group will I have l, how many attacking groups will I have, how often will I update each groups attacking orders, how close of attend do I have to pay to the groups being attacked so the attackers don’t default to the nearest unit, how big of groups do I target so my attackers don’t default to the closest unit, how do I position my army so if they do default to the nearest unit are they still in a good fighting position, how much do I lure units so the enemy walks into my melee, how close do I pay attention so I don’t get lured, how do I position my melee to take advantage of luring, how do I position my melee to take advantage of enemy units defaulting, etc. And that is just a list of things I can immediately think of before I  began an idea repeated itself in my head.
 

How can you do so simply categorize all micro strategy with no imagination?

How someone can say it is easy with no risk (esp when compared to something where you literally just select a small area to shoot aimlessly at), I cannot understand. 

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@chrstgtrYou call it a simplification, i call what you do an overcomplication. Pretty much all elements you name are standard elements you need to take into account when playing the game and will come more naturally the better you get at the game. It's only made much easier because now you can attack groups. We don't have to agree though. 

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10 minutes ago, Grapjas said:

@chrstgtrYou call it a simplification, i call what you do an overcomplication. Pretty much all elements you name are standard elements you need to take into account when playing the game and will come more naturally the better you get at the game. It's only made much easier because now you can attack groups. We don't have to agree though. 

I totally disagree.
 

What you call “over complication” is just a use of more micro, which you said won’t exist.

 

What you banally describe as an “over complication” most others would describe as skill and will differentiate good players from those who just understand all the basic features  

 

None of it will be the same anymore because you would be able to fundamentally direct armies in a different way that previously could only be achieve through the the impossible task of selecting hundreds of different units to individually attack hundred of other individual units. That will obviously bring new strategies and techniques that were not possible no matter how good you were. The fact is that right now you cannot truly micro large battles other than moving units away from or towards something because the attack mechanism is too basic. 
 

Will it make basic micro simpler? Maybe. But it certainly won’t be any easier than spamming units to a rally point like most players do now. I can tell you with certainty that what I described would be more micro intensive for me.

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