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Units too small, hard to distinguish.


Sp00ky
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Hi I am fairly new to the game but wanted to give some feedback in something that makes it a bit hard to get into. I don't know if I'm just getting old and my eyesight is not what it used to be but I find very hard to identify at a glance the units in the battlefield. While having the units be on a pretty correct scale compared to the buildings it makes it pretty hard to distinguish one unit from each other. I can zoom in but then I miss out a lot of peripheral vision. Besides that, units are very hard to tell between each other, they do look realistic but see in the screenshot attached, I have a very hard time distinguishing which ones are spearmen, swordsman skirmishers (and that screenshot is really zoomed in). Maybe emphasizing some aspect of the unit would make them more distinguishable.

Ranged units make are specially frustrating because most of the time arrows are virtually invisible, I can't tell if my unit is being hit by a tower or a castle.

I was wondering if this was something to be considered subject to change in the future. Or if there are any mods that make units/arrows more easily identifiable (even if it is less historically accurate).

 

Also I have noticed almost by accident that the default camera angle makes the game laggy, I usually press "Ctrl + S" for a slightly more overhead view and performance improves dramatically. I wish there was a way to save the camera settings or set the default angle/zoom (maybe even lock zoom out)

 

Besides of that I am enjoying the game a lot, I hope you guys don't take this as criticism, the game is amazing as it is. The soundtrack is outstanding, definitely has nothing to envy to other famous RTSs. I listen to it while I work :)

 

Thanks for such a cool game!

853990113_Capturadepantallade2022-04-2917-54-00.png

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Hey @Sp00ky, welcome to the forums.

You don't happen to be Sp00ky from BfW Sp00ky's forest?

I hereby claim it's natural not being able to make out which unit is what. I either have units in control groups to select them, or I do an area selection and then pick what I want.

Personally I think the resources look hideous (sorry), but StarGUI for example makes the projectiles more visible:

 

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1 hour ago, Gurken Khan said:

Hey @Sp00ky, welcome to the forums.

You don't happen to be Sp00ky from BfW Sp00ky's forest?

I hereby claim it's natural not being able to make out which unit is what. I either have units in control groups to select them, or I do an area selection and then pick what I want.

 

 

I am not that person, sorry.

 

I agree that I should be using control groups more and I will try to get used to that, however as thephilosopher says, the issue is that is also hard to distinguish enemy units and try to counter them.

 

Sadly that mod is a bit too extreme for me, I still like things looking nice and somewhat immersive.

 

Thanks for the replies :)

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2 hours ago, Sp00ky said:

I have a very hard time distinguishing which ones are spearmen, swordsman skirmishers (and that screenshot is really zoomed in). Maybe emphasizing some aspect of the unit would make them more distinguishable.

I will try to incorporate more exaggerated models into my GUI mod, which will just enhance the visuals without changing the gameplay. If you can show me some examples of distingushable models (perhaps from another game), I will try to mimic them. 

Before I finish the technical side, just try to click on one of the units and see the description. Alternatively, you can look at their shields: Large shields are melee, trianglular shields are likely javlin, slingers and archers have very small shield. 

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1 hour ago, Gurken Khan said:

think the resources look hideous (sorry),

 

2 minutes ago, Sp00ky said:

Sadly that mod is a bit too extreme for me

Please, suggest how I can improve it. A model of what you want the resources to look like would be very helpful. 

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3 minutes ago, Sp00ky said:

the issue is that is also hard to distinguish enemy units and try to counter them.

Don't bother too much what exactly they are. Just kill'em all!

Get your meatshields upfront, have your dps behind that - I like to then have a pack of healers - and if you're fancy flank with your cav. And don't neglect your forge upgrades!

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My idea to distinguish units is:

Those who stand still and throw stuff are ranged units.

Those who chase and enemy, charge and walk a lot are melee units. 

At this stage, it's not too important to distinguish archers from slingers or spearman from swordsman in a battlefield. Just remember the ranged units with a significant shield are skirmishers. 

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1 hour ago, Sevda said:

Please, suggest how I can improve it. A model of what you want the resources to look like would be very helpful. 

I didn't even look at the models. Just because of personal preferences I don't want those colors.

If people get a use from it, good for them, and I hope they thank you for that. :)

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A huge part of the problem is how densely packed units in 0 AD tend to be, even clipping through each other more often than not. It is impossible to read silhouettes for important clues like shields and weapons when the eye cannot locate where one unit starts and another begins. 

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@Sp00ky

First of all turn of random differences between units in the graphic settings. That way at least all unit types have only 1 look which you can better learn than the look of all the different variations.

And I can recommend you the BoonGUI mod because it increases graphics of projectiles a lot so you can actually see them. Much better projectile sizes, not realistic, but the main game should adapt them.

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8 hours ago, Sp00ky said:

While having the units be on a pretty correct scale compared to the buildings

They are actually about 4 times too large, IIRC. ;) I would love to see a mod with realistic scaling (and battalions, since it would be undoable in any other way).

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7 hours ago, Freagarach said:

They are actually about 4 times too large, IIRC. ;) I would love to see a mod with realistic scaling (and battalions, since it would be undoable in any other way).

2 and the buildings are scaled to fit, so it's fine.

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17 hours ago, Stan` said:

2 and the buildings are scaled to fit, so it's fine.

Yeah, the building "details" are scaled to fit.

 

On 30/04/2022 at 1:53 AM, Freagarach said:

They are actually about 4 times too large, IIRC. ;) I would love to see a mod with realistic scaling (and battalions, since it would be undoable in any other way).

Yeah, if you're reducing unit sizes by 50-75%, then you'd for sure need battalions. And not just 18-24 units per battalion like my proposal. 64+

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Here, realism / art clashes with practicality. Realistic details and scales will be difficult for players to deal with when playing, but's what's easy to see and play with will be unrealistic. This is why I made the StarGUI mod, for players who value practicality (utilitarianism) over aesthetics. 

I am proposing something more abstract to represent the unit models: geometric shapes / solids. It's too difficult to see whether an unit is carrying a sling or a javlin or a sword if you are zoomed out (you just see a group of units looking approximately the same), so if we use very simple but distinct geometric shapes to represent each unit type (e.g. spheres for slingers, squares for spearmen, ellipsoids for javlin, triangles for archers) then all you need to do is remember which shape is what, then you will never have problem with micromanagement. 

A more moderate solution is to delete the human model and leave just the model of a sling or a sword, or, we can have something like this:

image.thumb.png.787ce5fe3954a046183247ff8fcff797.png

 

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6 hours ago, Sevda said:

image.thumb.png.787ce5fe3954a046183247ff8fcff797.png

This is actually super cool and would love to try a mod like this. The blocks could have flags (like the formation standards in A26), that also have the unit type on them like in R2TW. I grew up watching documentaries on PBS, History Channel, and BBC where they would often use blocks like this to detail battles. Many books do it too.

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3 hours ago, Stan` said:

It always funny to see how far people can go in both directions.

It would be great if we can select which Style of graphic we want in the settings menu

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Posted (edited)
On 29/04/2022 at 9:12 PM, Sevda said:

My idea to distinguish units is:

Those who stand still and throw stuff are ranged units.

Those who chase and enemy, charge and walk a lot are melee units. 

At this stage, it's not too important to distinguish archers from slingers or spearman from swordsman in a battlefield. Just remember the ranged units with a significant shield are skirmishers. 

I am still not familiarized with 0ad counter systems (are there counters?) but isn't this inneficient? there are units that might soak up a lot of damage from units that are not their counter, and distinguishing between units types is important in terms of microing the army efficiently.

 

I am mostly playing aoe3 as of late and I might be biased because of it's hard counter system, but for example attacking skirmishers with your light cavalry will get your troops wrecked. while attacking them with heavy cavalry will destroy them but attacking heavy infantry will destroy your heavy cavalry. Both heavy, and light inf can be ranged. I guess that in the case of 0ad you could make a difference between heavy infantry (roman legions with throwable pilum) and light infantry (velite, archer, peltast).

Perhaps my impression is wrong for 0ad but distinguishing unit types is usually very important in RTS and it often takes precedence before scale and realism.

 

 

Edited by Sp00ky
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