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Formations proposal - A26 follow up


alre
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Would you like formations to not switch automatically to column shape?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like formations to not switch automatically to column shape?

    • Yes, I'd like formations to not change shape by itself
      6
    • No, I like how formations currently change shape by itself
      4


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I played the new alpha and had the occasion to observe the game with my formation mod integrated, and I must say I'm glad it was merged (credit to @maroder), formations do seem to move more naturally. But I regret that one of the changes in my mod wasn't merged: I had turned off the automatic switch that makes formations change shape when you give them a target far enough. Column formation is particularly akward and it shouldn't switch on by itself, most often the reshape is unexpected and surprising in a annoying way. I would post a video example, but I can't seem to capture one in this alpha.

What do you think?

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yes, I would say the column for long distance travel is unnecessary. From the user's perspective i could imagine it might be annoying why the units do not stay in requested formation. 

Instead, one could just have "marching column" as another formation perhaps.

I guess the main point against would be the realism of not marching a long distance in testudo for instance. However, I would consider this a weak point.

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The main problem that makes column (aka "Forced March") formation awkward is that it doesn't "snake" correctly along its path like it should. It awkwardly wheels around and resets every time it hits a way point along its journey. Also, the idea is that the Forced March formation should have a speed benefit to it as well, which is not yet committed (but is in DE).

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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25 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

The main problem that makes column (aka "Forced March") formation awkward is that it doesn't "snake" correctly along its path like it should. It awkwardly wheels around and resets every time it hits a way point along its journey. Also, the idea is that the Forced March formation should have a speed benefit to it as well, which is not yet committed (but is in DE).

In the end you guys will discard the charge(run)  mechanic of units when they are attacking?

 

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3 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

In the end you guys will discard the charge(run)  mechanic of units when they are attacking?

Depends on who wants to work on what and if the community would want it. Personally, I think a charging feature needs to be automatic if the game doesn't have hard battalions. Otherwise it's just too much to handle. With hard battalions though, you have fewer entities to worry about, making a manual charge feature more manageable. 

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28 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Depends on who wants to work on what and if the community would want it. Personally, I think a charging feature needs to be automatic if the game doesn't have hard battalions. Otherwise it's just too much to handle. With hard battalions though, you have fewer entities to worry about, making a manual charge feature more manageable. 

I also think it should be automatic.

 

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13 hours ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

Instead, one could just have "marching column" as another formation perhaps.

there is. I'm not proposing to take off anything from the game, just to deactivate the automatic switch. (by the way, the comments above are completely ofd topic)

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15 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Also, the idea is that the Forced March formation should have a speed benefit to it as well, which is not yet committed (but is in DE).

I always think "there were ways to make soldiers march faster"; I believe the Romans were famous for that.

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6 hours ago, Gurken Khan said:

I always think "there were ways to make soldiers march faster"; I believe the Romans were famous for that.

that would be roads and tight schedules for building camp and resting, which no other army had at the time. roman army was highly organized and legions movements would be facilitated by scouts and officers in charge of choosing the stops, signing the positions of each camp quarter for soldiers to make, everyone knew what to do and when, and men could be demanded to walk many hours a day for many days in a row.

none of this has to do with the shape of the walking lot. of course, when traveling on road you can't keep a fully fledged line formation, but on flat uniform terrain, that wouldn't have been slower. I believe "column formation" in rts games is more of a modern mistification than a real thing.

this said, if one still wants to use the clunky in-game column formation (or any of the other ones) can select it at any time. I'd just rather not have it switch on by itself when I tell my men to leave a losing battlefield, or when giving them any order that doesn't require at all a formation rearrangement.

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22 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Also, the idea is that the Forced March formation should have a speed benefit to it as well, which is not yet committed (but is in DE).

perhaps formation benefits could be something to test out in the community mod?

I would prefer these be very slight benefits, rather than something like increased armor for the whole formation.

I think more powerful formation bonuses should in theory come with some tradeoffs

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18 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

I also think it should be automatic.

yes, I think this should be an entirely separate discussion from formations. I remember a bug that allowed something similar to a charge, and that it played surprisingly well according to some.

unit charging has many balance and gameplay questions involved: Should only melee units charge? Cavalry? What about slow units like pikemen? lastly, how far should the charge distance be? How would we prevent stacking charge attacks? Should the user be able to "call off" the charge?

One potential mechanic would be decreasing line of sight during the charge to be equal to the allowed charge range.

honestly, we should open a new topic for this alone, since I think it could be a great feature.

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1 hour ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

yes, I think this should be an entirely separate discussion from formations. I remember a bug that allowed something similar to a charge, and that it played surprisingly well according to some.

what if I am concerned about the relationship between changing behavior were lot of units are moving.

Because apparently who mentioned the speed.

And I wanted to know if these had number one performance, number 2 would this change affect any possible development of any mechanics in the future.

Should I decide yes, then my stance with this mechanic would change and I would completely oppose it.

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4 hours ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

perhaps formation benefits could be something to test out in the community mod?

I would prefer these be very slight benefits, rather than something like increased armor for the whole formation.

I think more powerful formation bonuses should in theory come with some tradeoffs

Historically, the main benefit of formation was about morale.

So as long as morale is not implemented in 0ad (and I may agree that morale is better left unimplemented than implemented badly) it's difficult to have formation bonuses that are coherent.

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On 29/9/2022 at 7:12 PM, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Personally, I opted for option #2, but the caveat is that formation movement needs more work. If no formation work done for A27, then take the auto-forced march out.

Related, one of the biggest problems with moving with formations is that the units move at the speed of the slowest unit in the formation. Maybe it would make sense to change that to the speed of the fastest unit in formation.  

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6 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

Related, one of the biggest problems with moving with formations is that the units move at the speed of the slowest unit in the formation. Maybe it would make sense to change that to the speed of the fastest unit in formation.  

Hmm. You wouldn't see that as an exploit? It would surely incentivize using formations. 

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3 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Hmm. You wouldn't see that as an exploit? It would surely incentivize using formations. 

I’m not sure how I would feel.
 

My main concern would be siege, which could always be carved out.

 

I don’t think it would hugely change the game because I doubt people wait for reinforcement units to bunch up and be put into formation

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