Dramatic sweeping changes! (inf speed/weapon ranges/los)


#1

So, in yet another moment of self doubt regarding the design after watching godde stomp through another nub, some ideas were floated to help reduce the “lose one or two infantry battles–>lose the game if your opponent is competent and doesn’t overcommit” problem. The one that stuck with me was reducing infantry move speed. Of course, you can’t adjust their move speed alone, or else things get goofy with smg/rifle relationships (among others), so weapon range needed tweaking too. And with weapon range being tweaked, well, LoS and cloak ranges need changing too.

SO I introduced a few new modoptions, and have been playing with the following values:
50% infantry move speed
50% weapon range (all weapons)
70% LoS/Radar/Seismic range
50% decloak radius

I wanted to post about this so it wasn’t a huge surprise or seem like I was arbitrarily yanking the game into some weird direction and get feedback on how folks view said changes. JAL, ddab, and yuri have all played with the new settings and seemed favorable.

Mostly I’m looking for people to play with these values (0.5 inf speed, 0.5 weapon range, 0.7 LoS mult, 0.5 decloak mult) and say what they think about it.


#2

My basic impression of the changes:
PROs:

  • Dramatically reduced ‘getting shot by something you can’t see’ syndrome.
  • Slippery slope reduced (it seems to me).
  • Game is easier to control (slower pacing at the inf stage).
  • Transporting inf is a huge increase in mobility now (as opposed to a mild increase before).
  • Less time controlling units from icon-distance (as flozi has correctly noted many times, the primary determanants of scroll level are weapon range/unit speed/LoS, not unit size).

CONs:

  • Units feel a lot more like toys now, imo.
  • Some random balance issues (grenades doing zero damage when thrown off cliffs, planes are a lot stronger - but these will be addressed if the changes are pursued).
  • Terrain matters less in infantry combat
  • Inf anim looks too fast for the new speed (yet another reason to rewrite in lua…)
  • Big maps might be very tedious (all the playtesting has been on village crossing).

Somewhere in between:

  • Suppressive weapons are a lot stronger, since infantry end up in smaller clumps more often.
  • Infantry are a lot more vulnerable to vehs- it’s much harder to run away, and they can’t close to gap to nade as quickly as before.

#3

I have long thought about making a ‘compressed ranges’ mod-option (though I thought about a logarithmic scale or such rather than flat 50%), i’m interested to see how this pans out.

IMO the first thing to be done is some larger test games on larger maps?


#4

Things to fix if these settings are kept:

  • grenades need targetborder, and probably remove the damage/dist relationship there
  • PTAB is borked
  • AA has a hard time stopping air in general
  • seismic detection range is too large (los mult doesn’t affect it, I think)
  • supply depot explosions utterly destroying all the inf around them should probably stop or be diminished

attached a demo, rev 3730, nuclear winter


#5

So you have basically made maps twice as large for infantry.

Infantry spot each other earlier so you have more time for accessing the enemy infantry numbers and withdrawal like before the new LoS system were introduced. In morgenrote5 Riflemen basically had as long LoS as they had range meaning almost no time to react before bullets were fired.

Well it should. When infantry take twice aslong to move out on the map you will have more time and resources before they meet and that other production might kick in to support with vehicles, guns or trucks loaded with infantry.

I remember that I infantry were relatively fast(running like 25km/h if I recall correctly) compared to vehicles so I fully support the reduction to infantry speed.

I don’t like that you reduce ranges. You change alot of unit interactions and vehicles and tanks will be able to drive near AT-guns in no time.
Lower infantry speed is what makes early skirmishes less volatile rather than the range reduction I’d say.

I have always advocated longer ranges in Spring 1944 but the concept of a such long ranges, fast bullets, ballistics, simulated 3D terrain and big armies is a concept I haven’t really found in the RTS-genre except in Spring 1944.

I guess people aren’t used to it and the tools for handling it aren’t really developed enough to make it easily controllable even though you have “Fight” together with “Hold Position” which is really useful for controling units in 3D terrain.
As “tools”, I imagine drawing zones and areas on the map rather than giving orders to induvidual units. Setting zones where units are allowed to advance so they don’t pop up their heads and get shoot.
Ambush zones so that units are on hold fire until the enemy goes into that zones.
Commands so that infantry and guns would be ready to fire at one place without exposing themselves to much.
Hull down commands for tanks, etc,etc.


#6

Did you watch the demo? Shorter ranges led to dramatically more interesting tank combat, in my view. Also, halving infantry speed but -not- halving weapon ranges would lead to even less reaction time when it comes to dealing with engagements - your reaction time would in the base case be the same as in morgenrote5, in the worst case it’d be much reduced (as it would take longer for infantry to spread out if they ran into a MG nest while clumped up).

Furthermore, changing inf speed without touching weapon ranges would mess with unit interactions at least as much. US inf, SMGs, AT units - all the inf which basically depend on being able to close distance to enemy targets while not being able to fire - would have received a substantial nerf with a plain movespeed reduction. In this situation, yes, AT defenses become weaker since AT guns cover less of the map, but maybe folks will start using tank traps more seriously now.

Anyways, I’m not arguing that these changes don’t affect various relationships - things will need tweaking, no question. However, I think that on the whole, these settings make for more interesting, more dynamic, and more comprehensible/manageable gameplay. Reducing weapon ranges means the relative strength of maneuver vs sit-and-snipe has increased substantially; as you noted, it effectively makes the map larger (in engagement terms, if not in movement terms for vehs).

As for the last part of your post…it sounds like you want a game that S44 has never been :stuck_out_tongue: Longer ranges lead to much higher/steeper learning curve. Mix that with stupid unit behavior and it’s very easy for that to become really frustrating and unfun. We’ve all tried S44 with the range mod cranked up…and nobody was exactly clamoring to keep playing it that way after the fact. Maybe if those commands were developed, but I’m not exactly itching to write them, personally.


#7

Making units smarter is a good idea though. Like the thing with target weight for AP weapons based on armor/penetration, and some simpler things like make tanks auto-turn towards the current target if they have no movement orders (so they show frontal armor to the enemy), etc. Most of that requires lus.


#8

You increased radar range(relative to weapon range). That’s why you have more reaction time. With 40% more radar, infantry spot Machine gunners even before they come in range. The only reason that would make infantry get less reaction time in morgenrote5 is that infantry would be well within the range of the machine gunner before they are spotted and fired upon therefore taking more time to move out of range.

Unit interactions might be messsed up by AoE of explosions but that doesn’t affect SMGs’ and riflemen so I guess you are right.

I agree that longer ranges is trickier to use but I think it’s another thing that makes S44 unique. I’d argue that tank warfare would be alot about using the terrain, turretdown positions, using periscope to access the enemy advancement and ambushing the enemy using hulldown positions. S44 can be played like that to some extent with longer ranges. With shorter ranges it becomes very hard.
I’d expect turretless vehicles to become severly nerfed by shorter ranges. Less time to turn and face the enemy. Harder time to shoot down hills.

I remember quite some positive feedback from players, you, FLOZi, JAL. The biggest issues I remembered where decloak radius and planes being UP, dying fast to MG fire. Makes sense that planes get stronger with shorter ranges.
Now we got a decloak modoption. :smiley:
Anyone up for some long range games?


#9

What is FLOZis idea about logarithmic ranges? Also an interesting way to bring down tank ranges.


#10

Well, probably not actually logarithmic, but I basically wanted to scale down infantry ranges whilst leaving arty ranges untouched, and scaling everything else neatly in-between.


#11

Further bugs associated with weapon ranges (range mod of 0.5 really exposes all of our lovely weapon-range-dependent hacks):

  • Mines fail to trigger
  • FBs fail to drop bombs
  • V1s fall far short of their targets - this isn’t tied to weapon range, but with MoveCtrl weirdness, I think. Hopefully this will just go away next engine version.
  • interceptors/fighters seem to have a hard time hitting ground targets
  • A general one: exploding trucks needs to damage/kill some/all of the infantry inside. Blitzing trucks towards the enemy and self destructing them to unload all the dudes at once is silly. perhaps suppress/pin them as well.
  • paratroopers are hilariously OP (the mobility is a much larger advantage now; mix that with fast falling and fewer units shooting at them as they fall and you get orbital shock troopers).

bugs unrelated to these settings but still need to be written down somewhere:

  • smallarms damage vs softvehs should go up
  • attack aircraft rockets have gone back to being OP (people don’t move their units, so their inaccuracy vs moving targets does no good)

#12

I’d say that shorter ranges makes rockets on planes be better. The rockets got less time to wobble around I guess.


#13

nah, in this case its because I buffed them to be rather accurate against stationary targets, but their ability to range free with little influence from AA makes that buff much more apparent.