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pfmosquito

Daisy chained front lines

9 posts in this topic

This is an idea I proposed years ago. I still think it would solve an awful lot of problems and I have never heard anyone with CRS even comment on it, one way or the other.   My assumption is it hasn't been seen, so here it is again.

Part of the problem with the game can be put thusly:  the whole goal of either side is to rapidly bring an end to hostilities.  Defenders want to guard the spawn or take it back, or better yet, blow the FB and end the attack.  Attackers want to take the AB, thereby in most cases ending the attack.   Ending the action is the strategic and tactical goal, but ending the action is also usually going to end the fun.  This leaves us in a cyclical pattern of 'hurry up and wait' where things are quiet for a long time (sometimes hours) and then BAM you're trying to exploit a captured spawn, etc, with a good chance you'll lose it soon enough--or the FB.  Rinse and repeat.

Well, the fun times are fun, and the down times can be satisfying in their own way, but the down times can also get pretty old.  What we need is a way to ensure that there is non-stop action and that people can find it.  The way to do this is to ensure that the two sides are always somewhat close to each other, say, within 300-400m.  Always?  Yes, always.  But how? 

This doesn't get us to 'always' but it brings us closer:  intersperse between each town a series of capturable facilities where every time you capture one, it gives you a spawn facility that much closer to the enemy town.  My suggestion would be to place those facilities within 200m or so from either side of the road and no further than 600m apart (so, a 300m-ish maximum run for either side before making contact.)  Closer is better, imo.

Now, as each side pushes out from their respective town, eventually they will meet each other and have spawns relatively close to each other.  As it is in both sides' best interests to own the spawnable as close to the enemy town as they can, and as far from their own town as possible, this will pretty much make sure that there is always some level of action at any time.

Other benefits:

1., it creates an actual front line, and as such adds to the realism of the game.

2., it makes better use of this big world. Right now, forward bases allow most players to just jump over most of the terrain in the game.  A few heroes traverse it on their way to capture the FB, but in the main, most of us just stage out of the FB or the town.  By having to push the front line forward or hold it from falling back, we'd have to engage with more of the map.

3., With town supply it means skirmishes could erupt all over the map.

4.  It would change up the cycle significantly by making it much harder to simply end an attack once its finally come about.  I would imagine that it would usually take at least as long, if not longer, to push out from your town so that you have a spawn close to the enemy city, so the amount of time between big battles would probably be the same.  If one side does lose their most adjacent spawnable, that is no longer an insta-magical end of the entire attack.   It just means the 'front' got pushed back a bit.  in this way, the big battles are less likely to dry up in an instant.

5. The time between big battles would probably the same, but the 'down time' is now filled with running skirmishes, ie, action, IE., FUN!

I think most objections to this idea can be answered with two general ideas.  In category one, you have the objections where the 'problems' with this idea are problems are already have.  Eg, a squad might be running the table on some of the daisy-chained spawns while nobody is looking, and all of a sudden a town is in imminent danger.  Well, you can already have that, with a squad quietly taking down FBs and setting up FMSs.  In category two, you have the objections where the 'problems' are actually just descriptions of the way the war really was.  Eg, we may find many times where the two sides come to a stale mate and can't go any further.  Well, yea.  But that's just like real life.  And even here, people are still having fun.

I don't know if this idea would replace FBs or be overlaid upon them.  You could still keep AOs.  I'm not addressing any of that stuff.  I'm sure there would have to be tweaks to get it to mesh with the current system.  And heck, I have no idea what kind of coding this require.

I will say, however, that without some kind of mechanism to ensure constant interaction with the enemy, its going to be hard to keep the game population up.  And a high game population solves a great many of the problems, all on its own.

Objections:

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Sounds like "Heroes and Generals" (or even Rapid Assault), but in one consistent world (where all are spawned in), and where there is a front line.

It is an interesting concept, even if it raises questions, and also shows how difficult it is to make "the perfect mix of action to cater all". Myself do not like the action grinding, I rather like build-ups, where you have to raise the stakes to win something worth anything. Not grind until the other side got a phone call, or something, that shifts balance just for a short time.

1. The mechanic will give a more granular, more visible front line. With only 400m between capture points you just need binos to watch the enemy move at the other side. As a vet though, I would love to have my cup of tea and snipe the [censored] out of the enemy supply, then just walk the 400m slowly

2. More capture points, means more players needed. Love it. But at the moment we do not have that big of a player base. Also:

a ) The current world has 537 towns, and at least 4 links on each (read: FB:s). Even if it is not the amount of capture points that is hogging server resources, at least it creates a hell of a mesh that supply needs to travel through. Yes supply. One of the strongest parts of this game is that we have a logistical grid for supply. And someone needs to manually add them to the world. (compare this idea to playerbase moving around FBs, and you do not have to create some 5000+ new capture points)

b ) How  will the EWS work. Reason we have EWS today is to warn of enemy movement. So my guess is that ALL capturable points need some kind of warning system. Hmm... Imagine having "Enemy has been spotted" wherever a player spawns in? I mean, we are talking about 400m, so if you ask me I would just ask my squaddies to rally up on a mission, then we just count down: "ok, spawn on my mark, 3, 2, 1" -> Boom, capture done in 1min

c ) What if we want to have big battles with at least 256vs256, with combined arms. If these spawn points are so close... EVEN if we keep some FBs for big equipment, those will probably be 400m from an enemy spawn point as well (maybe with inf only)... so can not imagine all possibilities, but with the anti-tank character... tanks would need a lot of help from inf to survive.

3. Skirmishes.. hmm.. again: Depends on which type of warning we get, and whats needed to bother to go out an check on them. Unless we have 4000+ players patrolling to give exact intel, you could end up of getting a rinse and repeat of Creating mission, Check reason for EWS, Find a noob, Despawn, Find next EWS alarm... *repeat*

4. Definitely battles will not change direction quick if multiple capture points always being under capture. Question is, what tactics could you even use? Let me think: Oh oh oh... Been there, done that (in other games). It is called flanking. Poff. You are surrounded. What comes next is something similar to an AB rape. It is just much slower. Still, would love to test this. Today we lack that visible front, meaning I could easy place even the new FMS spawns BEHIND an enemy town.

5. I am different. I love slow times riding in back of a truck, talking about "Shouldn't we try a hot drop on xxx", or just talk about sheep.

 

Being more technical even if making 5000+ more capture points, could cause a lot of problems not currently an issue. Like network traffic could get congested with data saying "capture point X is being capped", and the need to blow up AI-towers correspondent to each spawn... and this in a time where we have threads talking about the precision being to low on tracking projectiles (in short: We need to increase bandwidth for all clients to be able to make projectiles on large distances render correctly...). And much more.

Still love the idea. Just realizing that we are touching the foundation of this game. Maybe what you are suggesting is some kind of "Wwiionline 2", where also terrain is more detailed, etc.... where minimu requirements for playing the game is 16gByte of RAM and a 384kbit network connection. Where entire arena is dynamically loaded while you move around (even increasing bandwidth) etc...

Taking a guess if it is feasible. Hmmm. Not sure the game would survive that many checkpoints, because if it was possible, then Heroes and Generals would already have this. Today they divide the big map in smaller arenas. What I like with this game IS the one big arena.

Although "the feeling" of being close to the enemy is deffo something worth pursuing. I always for instance would love the idea of freezing AO:s. Meaning that the attacking side could just say freeze, and depots will not be capturable. If the defenders want the depots back, they need to AO the town back, meaning you could have like zones where really no side has control. For instance in big towns like Antwerpen, this could really help. And be pretty realistic, lets take rest tomorrow ;)

So basically I would love to see this kind of game, but have a feeling the technology is not being utilized

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Nice, Nily.

Thanks for taking the time to write a reply, wocka.

Some brief responses.

First of all, I am old school, myself.  I remember the 2001 days when we drove in new supply and hot dropped 20 guys after a 20 minute ride.  One of my fondest memories was the beddy trip 40 mins out with a bunch of guys, only to get ready to drop and have the server take a crap.  However, I do appreciate that not everyone likes committing that kind of time (only to die in 20 seconds of combat, usually), and personally if there was NEVER any intense battle, I don't think I'd be sticking around either.  The cycle between build up and battle needs to be shortened, imo.  So...

I don't think this idea would diminish the build up.  I think it would make the build up more entertaining, and more sustained, and harder to put out.  I think it would need a high level of combined arms to be successful, just as is the case now.  I wouldn't bother with ews on the connecting spawn facilities.  Just keep ews right as it is.  You're right, probably, that the battle between depots would be grinding--but that's what I was getting at about one category of objections basically complaining about the game simulating what would have been the reality during the actual war.  It wasn't exactly trench warfare by WW2, but you couldn't drive a truck behind enemy lines and magically produce an army, either.

I don't know that I agree that it would take a great deal more players to manage this.  I think it would just heighten the effect of the current FB ping-pong game that is played, where you'll have small units taking down FBs while other attacks are going on.  Some enterprising squad would be methodically inching their way from Town A to B while Town C was the scene of the real action.  Supply for that attack would dwindle, and AO would go up on Town B, with ownership of the adjacent spawn facilities or maybe 2-3 away.  Or, another small unit (just like now) would be paying attention to that enterprising squad, and meet them half way, and at least slow the advance.  But, this is important:  it would mean that almost always, there would be at least SOME confrontation with the enemy going on.  This would satisfy the itch players and would not prevent players with more patience from setting up grander attacks, etc.

To put it more directly, I believe this change would dramatically increase the size of the player base and lead to greater retention of those players.  A larger player base solves many problems, all on its own.

There is a way to test this without implementing it map-wide.  In an earlier proposal, I believe I listed a handful of cities where the terrain between the towns could be augmented with these new spawn facilities.  Say, between Leuven and Tienen.  That area could be a sandbox for testing it out and checking for unintended consequences, etc.  As the kinks get worked out, add more sandboxes.

 

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First that would be pretty impossible to implement at the current stage and would take years..

Second I don't think you can have the pros of large maps with fixed distance engagements, seeing distance enemies and targets and planning your approach the biggest thing this game has for.

 

I would prefer the concept of build forward bases in stages all player driven and these would define the frontline and it would still be town centric like you couldn't surrond a town with these FBs so a town  wouldnt get a white flag also towns should give more resources to ones side, this could be one time beneficts to brigades involve on the fighting or buffs to the side that control them.

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I don't think it would take years to string out some spawn facilities between some specific towns.  Tienen and Leuven are two good candidates, I think.

I am not sure I understand what you mean about building forward bases in stages, but it sounds like it could be a similar concept, provided that each side could be building out from their own towns.  Right now, the FBs flip.  If instead the FBs progressively move out from their respective towns, and then players are forced to fall back as their more advanced positions are overrun--but they can still spawn in from their earlier constructions--that's basically the same idea that I am proposing.

For that matter, perhaps the same kind of thing can be achieved by allowing a new class of FMS, which is much like a FB, to be built by the players, but only when built 400m from the origin town or another FMS of this new class.  Thus, daisy-chaining.   Provided each side can do this simultaneously, it would again allow forces to advance from out of their towns until finally they meet, and then when the more forward constructions are destroyed, it still allows spawning from the construction that was done immediately before that.  Or maybe the front 2 FMS/FBs are spawnable.

This would provide less coding, to be sure, and would be better than nothing.

I like the spawn facility idea, though, because it would allow for different kinds of capture points, such as small villas, ruins, hilltops, destroyed castles, etc, which would be permanent and interesting in their own right.  Some more variation in the terrain would be welcome, wouldn't it?

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Just love the stories from old times, where FBs were not even invented. And actually gives a perspective of WHY towns are still closer than in real life, but still to far to please a action wanting crowd.

I really thought this thread was about using the idea of "Daisy chained FRU:s", and just expanding that idea by getting rid of towns, and FB:s. :) But getting more on track now. Town stays. The main idea here is to lower the "feel" of distance to the enemy. Not that someone has to drive 5-7minutes to setup a spawn point that gets you 400m from enemy. So anyone getting to the party, this paragraph sums it up. We just need to secure this from not becoming a even more cumbersome way of getting a town.

 

1) To have "player placed FB:s" also could be pretty complex. Not that sure it will be simpler to implement. Reason is if you just make a bigger alternative to the current FMS (in other words player placed FB), you still need to:

  • Tear down FB:s where such exists
  • Consider the effects if both attacking and defending town "pass each others FB:s", and suddenly you have a minimum distance FBs for BOTH sides. So if this is not allowed, you need to create some kind of calculation if you have "passed the front line, or not". And this logic is not in the current game, it needs to be built.

2) With the original idea in this thread, you actually create new spawn points, and a new terrain-supply-grid. Which of course takes time: BUT you can test it "live" on a small part of the map. CRS already talked about re-link towns on current map, think it was between Jodo and Hannut, and if already creating the fb:s there, why not just try this new concept?

 

Still, someone needs to do the calculations on how much more bandwidth this all will use arena-wide, and how the current cells "could" react. I mean: As I understand it the arena is not ONE server, but divided into small cluster nodes, where players get transferred seamlessly when being between towns. So for instance: What happens when you bring more fighting between towns, will the "transfer of players" be affected? Maybe some strange unbalance between clusters "could" happen. This is of course a wild guess from me, but a very professional one, because I have a master in distributed computing, and one server just can not cater all projectiles and player movements. You have to brake the arena up. But this is also where this game shines. Years, and I mean YEARS, before other games started to use this kind of "distributed server tech", we had wwiionline. I mean, lot of other games still go: Huh? Could we have all players in one common arena? Really?

Today CRS think the limit could be reached at 4000 players (why: the constant talk about having a standby cluster that could be started with short notice). But "me Wocka thinking": With smarter nodes that dynamically transfer players in a smarter way, we could cram in MUCH MUCH more players on the same servers. But how, well, that would get way to off topic. And again, this thread is not about tech talk, but more about HOW the battle would evolve (but of course the Wock has a solution, just do not have time to code anymore).

So sorry for being technical (but love the subject): This idea is still a good one, as long we do not brake any bandwidth, or CPU barrier. We also need to think really hard if the idea actually brings more fun to the arena, because touching the terrain-links is currently messy.

Also for last: I have to agree somewhat with pbveteran, that if we hit any of these barriers, we should add this to a wish-list for wwiionline2. 

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This comment from Saronin is precisely what I'm trying to address via this idea:

Seems like the game worked as intended. TOEs were introduced with maneuver warfare in mind with no town supply for back up to stop soft caps. It was designed around avoiding the fight where possible to take ground for the win. Players begged for some form of town supply once TOEs we introduced to supplement brigades so there were at least some fights and were told that wouldn't happen. Both sides have cried about this dynamic at some point when their side was losing. Not too long ago it was suggested there should be some sort of gentleman's agreement about slow rolling campaigns and avoiding cut offs. 

I don't know whose bright idea it was to put a system in place where avoiding the fight in a war game game was the main objective. Who thought gee I bet the players would love to log into a war game for hours and never fire a shot while capturing empty CPs?  Bad design overall that rears its head over and over. 

------------

I was thinking about this a little more and contemplating the amount of time needed to design and place a series of spawn facilities between a town.  The idea of daisy-chaining PPOs might be a faster way to test it.  I don't know how this would fit with the current FB scheme, so I'm leaving FBs out of this analysis, but:

Create 3-5 new PPOs with supply that is at least like the current FMS, but which only work while within the 'chain.'  At least 1, preferably 2, of the PPOs, have a supply list that is identical to the AB/FB list.  IMO, the origin of the chain should be the town itself, and not the FB (one reason I'm leaving FBs out of my analysis).  I wouldn't put many rules on the placing of the PPOs except perhaps that the one(s) with the AB/FB list cannot be closer than 1k from an enemy facility.  The main rule would be that each of this class of PPO must be within 500-600m of another PPO of the class.  I would make the PPOs something neat looking, like a good system of ruins or something.  I would assume that the bigger the PPO, the more time and investment to build it.

Downsides of this idea are that it weakens my goal of trying to always ensure there is action in adjacent areas, because the two sides are no longer working the SAME chain.  I am compensating for that weakness on the assumption that when an enemy chain was identified, your side would begin working on a chain to meet it, and eventually would, "chasing" it back as far as possible.  Another downside is that you're not likely going to see these types of advances without an AO on the town, which pretty much ends the surprise--but then, theoretically, AOs were designed with ensuring there was always action.  So, meh.

But an upside, which is not possible on the OP idea, is that the front would not be confined to the area around the roads.  A squad could run a daisy-chain out into the wide flanks, and there eventually be met.  We could have great, grand battles in areas that presently might never have seen a player.

Personally, I don't think this idea really brings about the constant contact that I'm trying to facilitate, although it does it better.  The main upside is simply that it might actually be doable, quicker.

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I simply mean:

- Deploy current FMS

- You drive truck from town/FB and despawn near the FMS

    - more supply is added to that FMS, with more supply the FMS gets bigger more reinforced and with more supply.

Eventually it would turn into a FB, you would be restricted to not being able to setup over a 500m distance or so to force a continuous movement on the map making flanks more difficult to achieve because you would need to drive a truck multiple times and it could be intercepted which would also make it more difficult to get near a town.

You would probably need a restriction on the min distance from an enemy FB in place as well, destroying the FB would revert to the previous one position, once a FMS reaches FB size no other could, once you capture a town you would need to drive a new truck from that town and restart the process, what would make a spawnable cp is if it had a FRU in range(basically removing current spawnable cp links and making warp an automatic process)

 

Basically the points of what I'm against your idea are:

- Spawning half a dozen of facilities between towns, think that could be tedious and be too much prone to halt the movement due to being too linear.

- That system doesn't particularly promote teamplay and populate the battlefield.

- Engagements ranges would be force by the system rather than being player driven which opens the game for player tactics

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