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Custom Battles - Planning its Development


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Posted (edited)
On 4/24/2021 at 6:36 AM, Cptbarney said:

Very nice, it shows we need more hulls for each time period, but especially hulls from 1880-1910 mostly.

Granted the database is a WIP but it does show where things are going astray and where there are some inconsistencies. 

E.g. 

  • Big gap for new CA hulls 1900-1920.
  • No new CA hulls after 1925.
  • CA, Heavy Cruiser II available date after Heavy Cruiser III.   
  • Big gap for new CL hulls 1903-1920.
  • No new CL hulls after 1920.
  • CL, Light Cruiser II  available date before Semi- Armored Cruiser I. 
  • Last 3 BCs hull all available at the same time.
  • BC Large Cruiser hull seems out of place (or needs another name).

And IMO too many hulls are made unavailable before the next available hull, each hull should overlap the next by a couple of years, i.e. there should be a minimum of 2 available hulls for every year, at least for the Custom Battles database.

I don't know if this is the same database that the campaign is using but if so then this needs some work else there'll be confusion.

Edited by Skeksis
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Posted (edited)

Another take from this data, if the campaign is using this database.

WW1, Jutland, British side. If this is the game targeted era then you would think that there would be a large available stock to design from, and development for this stock should be available a few years earlier since it takes awhile to built, say 5 years to build a Jutland sized naval force, 1910+.

BBs
Dreadnought I, 1906. 
Dreadnought II, 1912.
BC:
Battlecruiser I, 1907.
Battlecruiser II, 1912.
CA:
Armored Cruiser V, 1900. 
CL:
Semi- Armored Cruiser III, 1903.
DD:
Destroyer II, 1909.
Destroyer III, 1913.

Well that's it.

That's all the available 'new' hulls to design a fleet to lead into Jutland. CAs/CLs are in a poor state, only 2 BBs and that's include 1906 hull, BCs & DDs seems better with 2 (compared with the rest, that is). Do note that Dreadnought II hull has 4 main and 3 aft towers assigned to it but these are all very similar in shape and would still produce carbon copies of each other, not so many variations but this is an area where variety could occur i.e. more with superstructures etc, ditto for other hulls. 

Edited by Skeksis
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Yep, now remember that it's a game, and Britain isn't the only navy that may happen to build a Jutland-size fleet eventually... and you see why building a ship designer around a set of few big, highly integrated, individually handcrafted predefined parts was a bad idea in it's very core.

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4 hours ago, Cpt.Hissy said:

... you see why building a ship designer around a set of few big, highly integrated, individually handcrafted predefined parts was a bad idea in it's very core.

No, I don't agree that it's a "bad idea", I appreciate designer tool and auto-designer 100%.

x1 dreadnought hull x3 main towers x3 aft towers x3 main gun choices x3 secondaries choices (we won't add up the tech nor include all possible gun variations, we'll just use 3). 81 ship variations from 13 modeled components verse 81 modeled ships, now do you see why "individually handcrafted predefined parts" is a good idea.

All I've highlighted is that the dreadnought era needs a few more superstructures and/or a couple of hulls.

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  Now read carefully, problem is not handcrafted parts themselves, it's that there is small number of big parts, each of which combines many aspects and elements of a ship in one unit.
  This leads to "carbon copies" syndrome that you yourself point at. Also seriously limits flexibility, and it only can be fixed by adding huge amount of variants for each part. Where it becomes almost as work intensive for devs as if they made full ships instead.
  They in fact have to make huge number of full ships now, but also split each of them into separate parts and adapt those for better fit with other ships parts. Even more work than just making ship models.

  Right way to do a slap-together editor is more, less integrated parts. Think of Lego and why it's ton of little bricks and not a set of hulls and cabins.
 You need to find that balance point, a level of, err, granulation, where you have as much of the important elements as possible  in their own parts, ready to be mixed and matched with every other variant of all other elements, but overall number of parts is low enough to not confuse the player. Current system went way too far in appealing to mentally challenged players, and created itself a problem now.

Perfect flexibility and variance will be achieved at literally building rivet by rivet, but quite obviously this won't work in a videogame.

Edited by Cpt.Hissy
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Posted (edited)
On 4/25/2021 at 12:45 AM, Cpt.Hissy said:

  Now read carefully, problem is not handcrafted parts themselves, it's that there is small number of big parts, each of which combines many aspects and elements of a ship in one unit.
  This leads to "carbon copies" syndrome that you yourself point at. Also seriously limits flexibility, and it only can be fixed by adding huge amount of variants for each part. Where it becomes almost as work intensive for devs as if they made full ships instead.
  They in fact have to make huge number of full ships now, but also split each of them into separate parts and adapt those for better fit with other ships parts. Even more work than just making ship models.

  Right way to do a slap-together editor is more, less integrated parts. Think of Lego and why it's ton of little bricks and not a set of hulls and cabins.
 You need to find that balance point, a level of, err, granulation, where you have as much of the important elements as possible  in their own parts, ready to be mixed and matched with every other variant of all other elements, but overall number of parts is low enough to not confuse the player. Current system went way too far in appealing to mentally challenged players, and created itself a problem now.

Perfect flexibility and variance will be achieved at literally building rivet by rivet, but quite obviously this won't work in a videogame.

I would have thought they recreated ship components, using a reference, and then see how many hulls those parts would work on, tweaking accordingly along the way, not one ship at a time and then dismantle.

Other than that and the fact we agree we need more parts, the rest of your spin is unlikely to materialize.

Edited by Skeksis
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Posted (edited)

"Enemy smoke spotted to the ..." doesn't allow for a withdraw condition.

This mechanic has no range limit, it's constantly active. And while it's active the AI uses it to follow you, forever, like a stalemate. While we can just end Custom Battles and call that as the withdraw, it actually isn't going to show a successful retreat result, via a victory based on points that would be shown in a post battle screen.

So to include scenarios that has victories via withdraw we'll probably need:

  • Ability to set "Enemy smoke spotted to the ....." range limit.
  • Withdraw or full retreat menu option that allows for a victory. 

Added to main post.

And with this smoke detection mechanic there's no allowance for tactics of changing course to evade contact. Stealth tactics are seriously affected by this, target signature is pointless as a design feature - for the tactic of stealth avoidance. If a withdraw/retreat mechanic was add it could lead to new Academy Missions. 

RTW2 has a "no contact" after 400 minutes mechanic that allows for the player to be victorious via withdraw, also they don't have this enemy detection mechanic (cheat!). I wonder how the UAD campaign is going to handle this using the current mechanic or will Dev's drop it? 

Edited by Skeksis
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19 hours ago, Skeksis said:

"Enemy smoke spotted to the ..." doesn't allow for a withdraw condition.

This mechanic that has no range limit, it's constantly active. And while it's active the AI uses it to follow you, forever, like a stalemate. While we can just end Custom Battles and call that as the withdraw, it actually isn't going to show a successful retreat result, via a victory based on points that would be shown in a post battle screen.

So to include scenarios that has victories via withdraw we'll probably need:

  • Ability to set "Enemy smoke spotted to the ....." range limit.
  • Withdraw or full retreat menu option that allows for a victory. 

Added to main post.

And with this smoke detection mechanic there's no allowance for tactics of changing course to evade contact. Stealth tactics are seriously affected by this, target signature is pointless as a design feature - for the tactic of stealth avoidance. If a withdraw/retreat mechanic was add it could lead to new Academy Missions. 

RTW2 has a "no contact" after 400 minutes mechanic that allows for the player to be victorious via withdraw, also they don't have this enemy detection mechanic (cheat!). I wonder how the UAD campaign is going to handle this using the current mechanic or will Dev's drop it? 

I would suggest a slight alteration. Withdraw could result in loss or win based on combat/mission objective.

If in a custom battle/campaign, withdraw means a loss as you do not control the "battlefield". This would have to have a supporting mechanic to allow the AI to utilize. Here I think your idea about the "smoke range limit" could help. In addition, the AI would have to be coded to fight up to a point that would be natural to flee (unlike we have today). If the AI/player is able to break contact, then withdraw becomes an option. In custom battle, this would just mean a win for the side that didn't withdraw since we just have "sink all enemy ships" as the objective. 

In campaign, this would result in loss of control of that grid/sector as it was given to the enemy, but the successful withdraw of ships would allow them to fight another day. This would go perfectly with convoy raiding. 

The Naval Academy missions could have more complex objectives were withdraw was actually the objective. 

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, madham82 said:

based on combat/mission objective

I guess that’s going to be the major change from RTW2.

In RTW2 you can sink one ship and then do a runner and win on points or win without completing any objectives (objectives are bonuses). Is UAD going to be all objective base battles? Is this how the campaign is going work from battle to battle.

As objective based, withdrawing/retreating wouldn’t be an thing, only the objectives.

I’m not sure I like where this is heading, since it would diminish open world somewhat, like you would never be able to withdraw to fight another day, come back with a larger/better force etc. you can only fight the objective and nothing else, less tactical options and strategies etc. And I like keeping my ships afloat but with objective gameplay it will probably mean required losses. Everything could be controlled via carefully (descriptive) crafted objectives, this would remove induvial playthroughs, in a sense “linear”, and from a certain point of view, a "linear campaign".

I’m alittle skeptical about this, hopefully I'm just off on a tangent!

Edited by Skeksis
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33 minutes ago, Skeksis said:

I guess that’s going to be the major change from RTW2.

In RTW2 you can sink one ship and then do a runner and win on points or win without completing any objectives (objectives are bonuses). Is UAD going to be all objective base battles? Is this how the campaign is going work from battle to battle.

As objective based, withdrawing/retreating wouldn’t be an thing, only the objectives.

I’m not sure I like where this is heading, since it would diminishes open world somewhat, like you would never be able to withdraw to fight another day, come back with a large/better force etc. you can only fight the objective and nothing else, less tactical options and strategies etc. And I like keeping my ships afloat but with objective gameplay it will probably mean required losses. Everything could be controlled via carefully (descriptive) crafted objectives, this would remove induvial playthroughs, in a sense “linear”, and from a certain point of view, a "linear campaign".

I’m alittle skeptical about this, hopefully I'm just off on a tangent!

Yea the points system I think would be a good addition. It would make outcomes easier to understand. 

As for the objectives, what I was thinking was you could have a mission where your goal is to sink X convoy ships, then successfully withdraw (using your smoke distance limit). Instead of the current, sink X ship and keep your ship alive in X time limit. Would just add more variety IMO. I personally hate time limits on battles. 

I agree. I do not want something that is purely "kill all ships in the time limit" as the only objective for custom and campaign. 

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To be honest, I don't think the campaign needs battle objectives at all.  It seems simple enough to have tooltips, basically, in the campaign as to how to help your nation win a conflict, but the only goal that the campaign should have I think is to get favorable peace terms.  How you do that should be up to you, but of course there are only so many ways a navy can influence a land war. 

    How you could influence the war overall, of course depends on the nations that are fighting.  In the first campaign, for example, Germany could convoy raid out in the atlantic, and try to slowly starve the British war effort that way, but you should also be able to intercept/prevent reinforcements headed for the BEF, and that should be able to end the war much faster (but would require effectively total naval dominance).  

    There should be battle objectives you can select from in custom battles, but I don't think there should be battle objectives in the campaign.

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5 hours ago, Gregervich said:

To be honest, I don't think the campaign needs battle objectives at all.  It seems simple enough to have tooltips, basically, in the campaign as to how to help your nation win a conflict, but the only goal that the campaign should have I think is to get favorable peace terms.  How you do that should be up to you, but of course there are only so many ways a navy can influence a land war. 

    How you could influence the war overall, of course depends on the nations that are fighting.  In the first campaign, for example, Germany could convoy raid out in the atlantic, and try to slowly starve the British war effort that way, but you should also be able to intercept/prevent reinforcements headed for the BEF, and that should be able to end the war much faster (but would require effectively total naval dominance).  

    There should be battle objectives you can select from in custom battles, but I don't think there should be battle objectives in the campaign.

From what has been shared, the campaign will be turn based. So the map will likely be grid based. You could get away with a simple rule that says whoever has the most ships at the end of the battle, maintains control of that grid square (assuming withdraw options aren't given). This wouldn't interfere with convoy raiding in that sense, since the damage done to the convoy is what will impact the campaign, not control of that grid square.  But you definitely need some way to establish who controls that grid square for things like harbor/shipping lane defense. What we don't want is "kill all enemy ships" to be the only way that gets decided. 

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