ZeroAce

The direction WW2OL needs to take

34 posts in this topic

I received an email to a survey wherein you requested feedback from the players on which direction the game should take in it's development course: Building up the current game engine by working on a list of features or rewriting the game from the ground up on a new engine. 

The truth is the answer is neither option was a good one. I say this only out a genuine desire to help you create a better game by providing some necessary perspectives. 

Why was neither option good? Neither addressed the core fundamental game design issues that were holding WW2OL back from providing a consistently good gameplay experience without compromising the game's simulator goals. To go down either of your proposed paths would amount to repainting the Titanic instead of identifying the source of the leak and seeking to repair it. 

After many years of thought on the subjective, I would sum up the overall problem behind both new and old players as:

*Lack of consistently high quality dense combined arms battles.*

Why has battle quality declined with player numbers? Well, the truth is that the game design was always flawed but high player numbers helped to cover over that by having such sheer numbers of players on the battlefield. It's only during low pop timezones or as population declined that we started to see the errors in the system manifest most clearly. 

These problems are:

1. Flawed and incomplete spawning and supply mechanics.

2. Incomplete or nonexistent communication and organizational mechanics. 

This is the core of your game. A game at it's most fundamental level is about the victory conditions and the means by which you achieve that. Nothing else matters if these elements aren't functioning properly. Not the graphics nor the amount of equipment available.

Fix those two issues and you have a solid foundation from which to build upon with better graphics, more gameplay features, more equipment, etc. Fail to fix these issues and you'll never see the game grow no matter how many new vehicles or improved textures you come out with. 

 

For those who may not know me, you may be asking; Why should I put trust in your analysis of the game's core problem and your ability to prescribe a solution? Two reasons. 

1. I've been around a long time. I followed this game when it came out with more eagerness than probably any other game. The only thing preventing me from joining in 2001 was knowing I didn't have a computer that could run it, so I waited until 2003. For many years I continued to play and support the game because I believed in the goal they were working towards achieving. 

2. I've got a track record of being able to successfully diagnose problems with the game and prescribe solutions that worked. I say this not out of boasting, but only to emphasize that what I will outline about the game's problems comes from much effective deep analysis and is not just a flippant conclusion. 

What were past examples of my successfully analyzing the game's needs? After CRS came out with a depot spawning system (as a surprise christmas gift, without consulting the playerbase for feedback beforehand) the system had many fundamental flaws because it bypassed logistics entirely (you could teleport across the front instantly, bypassing the entire battlefield of supply line interdiction). I was the one who put forth a more moderated solution to bridge the gap between the need for fast time to battle while also preserving the need for supply line interdiction. I provided a detailed outline of a truck spawning system which gained CRS's attention and earned community support behind the idea. Although they did not implement the system entirely as I envisioned it, they made it close enough to what I suggested that the truck spawn has continued to serve the community since then as something which has had a lot more upsides than downsides for the direction of the game. The FRU is another example of a bad idea that was given to us as another surprise christmas gift without consulting the playerbase for feedback on how it would actually impact the game for better or worse. I remember thinking afterwards how could they not realize what problems the FRU would unleash? If they had posted about their intentions beforehand I could have warned them exactly how the FRU debacle would have unfolded because I understood from past experience what happens when you give players impossible to shut down offensive spawnpoints without the ability to interdict logistical supply. 

I was also the one who was first most vocally and effectively making the case that infantry gameplay would be improved rather than hurt by the addition of weapons like LMGs, RGs, snipers, and semi-autos (I also kept lobbying for flamethrowers, to no avail yet). Back then it was only seen as acceptable for players to advocate introducing more infantry based anti-tank weapons. It might seem self evident today that these anti-infantry infantry weapons were a good thing to introduce; but you have to understand that back then it was commonly accepted wisdom amongst the community that infantry had a tough life and died too easily to tanks anyway so why make their life harder by introducing more weapons that would kill them faster? I pointed out that part of the reason infantry felt so irrelevant was because they didn't have the tools to do their job effectively without leaning so heavily on tanks. By giving infantry more tools to take and hold territory, and attrit the enemy, you'd actually reduce the sense that the game was dominated by tanks with infantry just being fodder for them. On a related note, I can also effectively argue how introducing heavier mortars and artillery would actually make the game better if implemented with realistic constraints, especially for infantry by reducing their dependence on the tank to take ground or relying on aircraft to take out tanks or guns... which also bucks against the conventional community belief that artillery couldn't do anything other than make life harder for players  - but that's a subject for a different thread. 

 

So, why is the spawn and supply system flawed?

*Static FBs and ABs. A lot of the problems the game suffers from could be fixed with a dynamic system of mobile spawnpoints. A lot of game mechanics have been invented over the years to bandaid over the problems created by static spawn systems but to no avail. You've got to tackle the core problem which is that static FBs and ABs are neither a good simulation of real world battle flow nor are they an effective gameplay mechanic (unless your network of static bases are so densely packed across the battlefield that your system can operate almost as though it had a dynamic system).

Why is it such a problem?

a) It makes dense battles impossible to have unless you achieve a predetermined number of players in the area. The further apart spawnpoints are the less dense the battlefield will become, which leads to players spending more time traveling than fighting. A dynamic system gives you the capability to move the spawnpoints closer together so that smaller numbers of players can still feel like they are participating in a dense action packed battlefield. 

b] It's campable. Getting pre-camped or overrun before a defense can be mounted wouldn't be as much of an issue if you could simply spawn from a point a few hundred meters away from the point in contention. 

c] Attackers don't have the tools they need to effectively prosecute an effective attack. This leads to attackers being forced to rely on overwhelming numbers or gamey tactics as the only way to move the map. The attackers have too far to travel to battle given how small the population size is.  Their FB is easy to blow out from under them. Their trucks are easy to take out so infantry can't close the gap to town. The attacker's end up strewn over a column advancing towards the target often unable to achieve critical mass because more of their players are tied up in traveling to combat than fighting on the frontline. The defenders, in contrast, always have a high percentage of their numbers on the frontline fighting due to short travel times. This leads to unsatisfying battles, lack of consistency, lack of density, and most importantly a sense that most attacks are going nowhere anyway so why try to do anything other than rack up some kills. Truck spawns and depots helped alleviate some of the problems ages ago, but they were never suppose to be the end word on dynamic and mobile spawn systems. They were merely a good start on a concept that desperately needed to be fully fleshed out for the game to function properly. 

d] You can't rely on attrition to win battles due to low population numbers and rotating supply. This is not itself a problem, as we don't have to have attrition be the basis for moving the map, but it becomes a problem when the poor game mechanics don't lend themselves to winning battles without attrition being a major factor. Back before brigade supply and lower player numbers, attrition of an AB use to be the primary means of taking a town and thus moving the map. If dynamic pushing spawn systems were a reality then we'd see a lot more territory able to be taken without the need to completely wipe out the enemy's supply first. By taking away player's abilities to take towns via attrition, without introducing the systems attackers need to effectively take and hold ground, you end up with an unsatisfying state of game that rarely results in quality battles for either side. Either it's a stalemate or it's lopsided, without much room inbetween like it use to be. 

e] Although trucks were a decent system, depots and FRUs were examples of bad attempts at solving the problem until they were both modified. Any dynamic spawning and advancement system has to pay respects to simulating logistical constraints in some way. Trucks, by having to travel and being fragile, did a decent job of retaining a sense of logistical restraint on their depoyment. FRUs were horrendous ideas because they gave you all the benefits of an advancing and persistent spawn system without any of the logical responsibility or risks involved in achieving that. Same with the original depot spawns. There are ways to achieve a more robust offensive spawning system without compromising the logistical integrity of the game, and both sides of the coin are necessary for WW2OL to be a successful design. You can't have logistics systems that keep players so tied up in travel that good battles cannot be easily had. And you can't have lazy systems that try to get players densely together for quick combat in a way that throws logistics out the window. If you do the later then your entire strategic layer of the game becomes meaningless and you may as well make a sandbox shooter. The key is crafting systems that do both in sync. 

f) You can't effectively simulate the dynamics of a defense without giving players the ability to establish dynamic entrenchments, spawnpoints, and other support related points (like battle emplacements that guns or infantry can spawn into). As well as giving defenders multiple lines of spawn points they can utilize as defense in depth to counter blitz attacks along the frontline. 

 

And why is the communication and organizational system flawed?

*There's no effective in-game system that is geared towards dynamically raising up players as leaders and giving them the tools to lead, as well as no systems to dynamically group up players and put them under leadership. 

Specifically:

a) Nobody is on the same channel for the same battle.

b] Missions can't be used as tools for coordination because they only serve as spawnpoints. Players working on the same objective are spread out over multiple missions without any purpose other than the need for having multiple spawnpoints.

c) You forced players to come up with their own in-game communications structures and then force new players to discover this on their own. A large percentage of the playerbase never knew about it, or never cared enough about it to actively go out of their way to use it. 

d)  There exists no in-game structure designed to dynamically plug players together. There are people out there who want to be led, and people who want to lead, but the game gives them no tools to come together in a quick and effective way. This leads to an over-reliance on squads as the basis of the game's organization, which doesn't serve the players who want to be part of coordinated action but cannot because their squad isn't online or active at the time. It also doesn't serve players who like to be part of more varied types of activities considering that most squads tended to specialize in a narrow field of interest. The lower player numbers get, the worse this problem gets, and the more there is a need for a dynamic system of in-game leadership and organization build directly into the fabric of the game's design and interface that transcends the squad structure. 

e) There is no in-game organizational structure for players to plug themselves in to with regards to attack and defense. It all has to be done out of game in squads or HC forums, which fails to harness the bulk of players online at any given time towards any kind of coordinated objective. A game like this demands dynamic leadership and coordination as much as it demands dynamic spawning and supply.

f) Similar to missions, brigades serve no actual organizational or communication purpose but only serve as sources of supply. Brigade OIC is an pointless position that serves no purpose for facilitating teamwork or communication. Especially when multiple brigades are in the same town all working on the same objective and they need a single leader rather than multiple leaders. Brigades are a good example of a half-baked system that doesn't seem to have a clear idea of what it is trying to achieve. You can't just throw random communication/coordination tools out there and expect it to have an impact. This kind of stuff has to be holistically designed from the ground up to weave it's way into ever facet of the game from bottom to top with a singular purpose of getting leaders and followers dynamically connected towards achieving real goals. Kind of like the need for a holistic and comprehensive spawning/supply system, it's not the kind of thing you can expect to get good results from if you throw out half-baked piecemeal incomplete features. You really need the whole package coming together to make it function properly.

 

I have a lot of ideas about how the system could be reworked to achieve these core gameplay goals; but unless we first come to terms with what has to be changed about the game then there's no point in talking about how we can address those problems.  I'd rather keep this thread focused for the sake of brevity on identifying the core problems rather than launching into detailed expositions on the potential ways to fix it, as that would stretch for pages. Such details would be better left for later. 

However, I would like to point out some other games that have also tackled these same problems. What's interesting is that some other games over the years have recognized these core problems and have followed similar paths in many cases to what I've long advocated WW2OL needed to do. 

We see some of these issues being dealt with in Planetside 2; not only with their spawning mechanics, but also with dynamic coordination. Although I think their system leaves some to be desired, it's worth mentioning because there's a reason they deemed it necessary to move in these directions. The same reasons it's necessary in WW2OL because they share the same fundamental game structure of a large advancing map persistent map with hundreds of players using combined arms. Part of what undermine's the need to use planetside's coordination tools is that it's an arcade game rather than a mil-sim. If players don't have a need to use a tool then they generally won't. Planetside was designed to be winnable by random players zerging in the general vicinity to each other, so whenever you design a game that doesn't require dynamic teamwork to win you shouldn't be surprised when your dynamic teamwork tools fail to be fully utilized. This is also another problem we've seen happen in other more arcade-like games where teamwork tools go unused because they really aren't necessary and the players aren't forced to use them (like the dynamic squad system when it was introduced in Battlefield 2). You can't just "build it and they will come". You actually need to structure and design your game in a way that makes people want and need to work together. 

If you want one example of how game design matters in determining whether or not organizational tools are utilized, look at Natural Selection 2. Players won't win if they don't work as a team, so they use the teamwork tools afford to them in order to achieve victory and they make a point to work as a team because their own personal fun depends on them not being a complete lone wolf. Each team has a commander who sets the agenda and gives orders to the players on the ground. Although there's room for individual tactics, it has to be tempered with a healthy respect for following the lead of your team and the direction your commander is trying to give the team. Otherwise you won't accomplish anything. Many players find the enjoy being led by a competent leader and will actively request orders from the commander with the intent of obeying diligently. 

But overall I think the game that is the most exciting to consider on these matters is "Squad". Firstly because it is a mil-sim that aims for similar things as WW2OL did but on a smaller scale with a mostly infantry focus. However, enough is similar that there's a lot to learn. It has identified the same problems and came to some similar answers as I did. The core premise here is that they wanted mil-sim level gameplay like ARMA but they didn't want low density combat and frustrating experiences where players constantly spend more time traveling than fighting. That is a problem in both WW2OL and ARMA for similar reasons. (ARMA is actually a very poorly designed as a game, and is really only useful as a sandbox. This is why few find it's PvP satisfying and most turn to co-op missions against AI for satisfaction). Squad solves the travel time and combat density issues with dynamic base and spawn systems. But I think what is even more important is how they sought to solve the coordination/communication problem.  They have a system of in-game structured leadership that dynamically gets random players plugged in and fighting together with people assigned as leaders who are expected to give goals and coordinate players together. This is powerful and effective because they have holistically designed their game from the ground up to function around this system. It's not just an afterthought. It is what makes the game different from just about any other realistic sandbox shooter where players just mull around doing whatever they want. And these are the kinds of systems I've said for years WW2OL needs in order to function properly. The best thing about Squad is that it's not just a system that sits on a shelf and doesn't get used. Because they have a game that demands this kind of coordination to succeed, and they have set up the system to be normal rather than optional to participate in, the end result is that it's regularly and effectively used in every game. 

 

In closing: I implore you to throw your development focus behind the dual core necessities of spawning/supply mechanics and teamwork/coordination mechanics. This is what will make or break your game. Whether you do that using the existing engine or do it with a new engine is immaterial. The important thing is that you must analyze which path you take based on what will best serve meeting these two core goals. If you can't deliver this kind of experience without a new engine then maybe you have no choice but to go down that path. If you can deliver this under the existing engine to a reasonable degree then I would personally think you're better off delivering a more playable and fun game that existing players want to stay around for and new players have an easier time integrating into and finding fun with. I can't say that the game in it's current state is solid enough to leave floating around unsupported without development while you spend years working on a new engine. If some of these core gameplay issues were addressed then I would think you would be ok to do that because the core fundamental gameplay would be solid enough to coast along; but otherwise I think you risk losing the players you have while doing nothing to retain new ones.  

WW2OL's cause is not lost. Despite all the advances made with other games that make WW2OL look less revolutionary than it once was, the fact remains that WW2OL still has the potential to do things that other games can't and no other game would try to.  Games like Warthunder, Planetside 2, and Squad have all come along to take a bite out of what WW2OL use to be the only one to offer, but none of those games have the potential to offer the whole complete package like WW2OL does. In terms of being a historical mil sim on a persistent dynamic battlefield with player run battleplans. On a scope that allows for weapons that normally never see realistic adaptations in any other game that involve infantry focused gameplay; like aircraft and artillery. 

 

I would only offer one bit of warning about going forward: Don't forsake what makes WW2OL different if you go the route of building a new engine, or you'll never be able to stand out from the competition that has more resources to pour into development. The reason I unsubbed years ago, after many years of unflagging support and faith in CRS, was because of two things they did - both of which dealt with losing sight of their original vision for the game. 

1. It started when they were talking about pouring development resources into a new instant action version of WW2OL set on a small scale static battle map. This was effectively admitting that they didn't know how to deliver quality battles on the main server so they were giving up and trying something new. This would have split the playerbase and destroyed the main server. Yet it would have done very little to draw in new players because it would not have been so different from other games that later came out. This was the first time my confidence in CRS was shaken. They were giving up on the vision I had been supporting for so many years and their new vision seemed to not show an appreciation for what their game really needed to succeed or what they players really wanted. 

2. It seemed like they were aimless without direction and no longer were pursuing the two core goals I have talked about in this thread. Since almost nothing has been done to deal with those two core issues in the time since I left, my analysis of the situation at the time has proven to not be incorrect. Prior to that they had for years been doing a lot to advance the game's strategic and spawning system in positive directions that improved gameplay; but at some point they stopped. And if they weren't committed to continuing working on developing those facets of the game then I had little to look forward to because I didn't consider the spawning and coordination mechanics good enough as they were. In fact, they made finding quality battles downright difficult and frustrating. I got tired of spending more time looking for quality battles than participating in them. The real straw on the camels back with regards to this was the FRU. I lost faith in their ability to understand how their game worked enough to anticipate what the FRU would have done to it, or their ability to understand what direction the game needed to go in with regards to pursuing the two core goals. Although the FRU brought a lot of bad things to the game when it was released in terms of whack-a-mole non-existant logistics, it also brought some of the most fun I'd had in a long time because it allowed me to take a more dynamic squad leadership role and resulted in incredibly dense infantry battles the likes of which I had not seen in a very long time. I maintain that those good things could have been achieved without the bad aspects of the FRU if they had used a different system. However, the FRU highlighted for me the fact that I just wasn't having much fun anymore with the way the game's mechanics were set up. It's pretty bad when even something as imperfect as the FRU was still funner than what we had, because what we had was so incomplete and broken. So realizing that the current system just wasn't as fun as it use to be, and having no hope that CRS was working to improve those systems, leaving was the only option left. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ZeroAce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what's the solution? It can't be overly complicated, we have enough varied assets in game we should be able to make due with what we have.
Personally I dislike the spawn system entirely. The only spawn I enjoy is the FB spawn, the MS disregards front line gameplay and turns battles into sneak around and cap point from random directions of the town. The fight for a MS isn't that good either, 1 sapper or a tank usually does the trick. Not very exciting if you ask me.

The comparison of Squad's FOB to wwiiol's FOB is one to look at. In squad you take a truck, lay supplies and start building, but you don't just lay the spawn and go off and fight, You stay and build up the defenses until you're well protected if you get pushed back. On defense people build fobs BEHIND the town, that way if they get pushed out they can still spawn in without getting camped.
This should definitely be considered. You're right though, the worse changes are the ones no one asks for.

Also from what I can tell 1.36 will be a great update, this is just me now coming back to the game. Very excited to see what's in store.

Edited by knucks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what a reading.

So about spawning and leadership and after been here since 2004 this is what I'd do.

--- New AO

1. When a side places an AO I would make the FBs on that AO invulnerable to damage so the attack ends just either with the attack been successful or the attackers giving up.

2. Just One mission for both the attackers and defenders.

So the Officer in charge has it easier to throw orders via .order and specific icons on map.

It also makes things easier for players to select between missions because there would be fewer missions at the active battles screen 

3. How to spawn? Rats would need to be able to program the possibility of different spawn points at the same mission.

I would create an "officer"  infantry type. There would be several in each brigade/garrison. Only available for high ranks and/or paying customers.

To set an FMS you need: officer + engineer + several soldiers (2 or 3), all of them in an area of let's say 100mts with no ei.

That gets the idea of dominating the place and we would see people travelling together on transports again.

This FMs should be more complex and difficult to destroy, like present FBs, is not about hiding it but about dominating a zone ZOC. 

Here is when PPOs find their place.

Some people would say "oh no, MS deployed by ING again!"

Well, if somebody is able to move a platoon of 5/6 people and then dominate an area, then they deserve the possibility of placing a FRU.

There should be a limited number of  this ZOC frus to be able to be built at the same time.

When on map, you can see them and decide where to spawn. Yeah there can be spies but again, this frus are not the concealing type anyway.

This way, everybody is in the same mission. The officer in charge can give orders that everybody can see. (Like this "natural selection 2" game which I love. Rats, you should try it once as a Marine so you see it yourselfs)

People would have a deeper feeling of team work, specially the newbies.

And that is...

 

PS another option is, if this only one mission with several spawning points  can not be done, put in the bunker a OIC possition, like in Natural Selection 2 and make it that every order he gaves either by chat, .order or placing icons on map, it gets to everybody sharing the same objective in a way that no one can miss.

Present chat is not always easy to follow...

 

 

Edited by piska250
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some very good ideas in this thread, good stuff.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, the tragedy of ww2ol: they simulated the weapons but forgot the battlefield. Thats why I unsubbed over a dozen years ago; I was here for the war, but could see that it was at best a low priority. I guarantee you, if the flow of battle were well simulated, there would be many more playing and paying. Maybe one day, who knows.

Anyway, thats a big damn post.

Edited by blggles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good ideas. Do note Xoom and co are working on integrating voice comms. That to me suggests they get the importance of communication. Voice has its downsides but is infinitely superior to typing with what it offers for tactical play.

 

defending has traditionally been way to easy, on that I can’t agree enough. So much stagnation over the years due to super fragile force projection points. ZOC needs to reign supreme. Bush ninja infantry are a plague.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was a helluva post, Zeroace.  S!

 

Not being a developer, let me ask this:  How much coding would be needed to do the following:

 

Spawning garrison troops would be from Depots, and ABs.

 

Spawning Brigade-level assets would come from a buildable TOC area, placed (presumably) by HC Officers.  Each Brigade, in order to spawn from it, would require that TOC area to have been created/placed.

 

Doing this would for all intents and purposes eliminate FBs.

 

The balancing act that must be performed by CRS between fixing and developing new equipment, etc., i.e. where to spend their development efforts, seems to be the toughest problem they face these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On January 4, 2019 at 7:50 AM, knucks said:

Personally I dislike the spawn system entirely. The only spawn I enjoy is the FB spawn, the MS disregards front line gameplay and turns battles into sneak around and cap point from random directions of the town. The fight for

The lack of any semblance of a front line has always been an issue. Mobile spawning without restrictions is what creates that disconnect between spawning and interdictable logistics that zeroace mentioned.

I like the idea of mobile FBs and more dynamic spawning, but would that be limited to HC? And if yes how do you deal with the issue of no HC being on. And if it is player driven who decides which player places it?

Edited by aismov
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Thread!  Pre-spawn Ready Rooms for missions would help alleviate many of the problems mentioned here. The opportunity to coordinate players into a cohesive unit with common goals is essential for good military simulation. Give the mission leaders better tools to brief and plan missions, Coordinate communications, and assemble the correct ordinance for a successful mission. This really isn't rocket science and producing a better UI would improve the games immersion factor 100%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree all the time with ZeroAce and I expect a tussle or two with him at some point in the future as in the past, but his thorough thinking through what the game experience is vs. should be and the mechanics that help or impede should be required reading by all CRS employees and volunteers.

 

You have to think through the combat biome and the player experience and DESIGN before coding or you are just putting lipstick on the pig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

finally read it all - really good stuff. only thing i'd add on is about your battle flow point. even with a dynamic spawn system, when the field of play itself doesn't enforce 'lanes' you have no flow.

my go to hobby horse here, infantry and bush lines. the fact infantry can just phase through these means there is no predictable path by which the enemy will come from as they'll literally come from anywhere/everywhere. the second factor here is town fights in blown up towns. streets and building when not blown up present 'lanes' with on a few holes here and there (walking through building doors, etc). once the buildings get blown up, its just a free for all.

in these cases, doesn't matter how dynamic your spawn system is as the attackers can't cut off lanes to make micro pushes as the lanes themselves either don't exist (bushes) or they may disappear when a bomber blows up the buildings. this leads to a chaotic battlefield and no predictability that can only be overcome with numbers or moling/surprise.

flip over to defense this leads to the wrong kind of 'losing' where you defend defend defend unless you get swarmed by enough MGs, usually by way of tank camping, and you get to a point where it just isn't worth spawning. while defense and QoL for defense is IMO less important than improving QoL for attackers, defenders should also have some predictability and should have some ability to execute a tactical retreat, regroup, and then cut off attackers and their attacking lanes without trying to Jesse Owens out of a super camped static spawn point with a pixie dust bomb or RPAT in hopes they can take out a tank or two - enough to create a gap in the camping force to maybe get a few more AT infantry out and break the camp.

 

@ZeroAce - how would you go about fixing this? not my point above but in general, how would you implement dynamic spawns preferably with the tools available like trucks, fms, etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own hobby horse to echo your view madrebel is extending the idea of no interdictable attack lanes to no front line period. Just like infantry can come from anywhere and everywhere since there are few obstacles in their way, attacks can come from anywhere and everywhere since you can plant an unending amount of FMS surrounding a town that itself isn't necessarily cut off or surrounded.

This creates a couple problems. Firstly it decreases player battle density making battles less fun overall and less epic. Second it makes communication unnecessary since with low player density since defenders are spread out in a 360 degree arc around town, it becomes easier to ninja in the back door as a lone wolf and cap. Third it eliminates any incentive to create fixed defenses along a front line because you can always have enemy infantry (or even ATGs) popping up to your rear.

EDIT: reposting image from a thread we had in the general squad forum which illustrates the general idea of cohesiveness and requiring teamwork to get in to battle as a group. By shutting down the backside of towns to all but true dedicated special-ops maneuvers you create natural front lines, interdictable attack lanes, natural ZOCs, and have players arrive as groups rather than as individuals.

frontline-idea.jpg

Note: trucks still spawn at the FB, the FMS becomes a type of FOB from which infantry get shuttled in groups (but not as long of a ride as from FB and can attack from multiple, yet still plausible attack vectors)

Edited by aismov
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if when you made your target the enemy town - your FMS could be no further than the distance to the town?

Then, you would not be able to place behind the town (or even directly sideways), but rather in an arc in front of a town.

However, if you had a 2nd link, then you could use that link to place MS on it's side.

To compensate for not being able to place MS behind towns, you would allow MS to be placed up 200m from enemy facility, i.e. closer.

Edited by delems

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, delems said:

What if when you made your target the enemy town - your FMS could be no further than the distance to the town?

Then, you would not be able to place behind the town (or even directly sideways), but rather in an arc in front of a town.

However, if you had a 2nd link, then you could use that link to place MS on it's side.

Coding wise this is one of the more viable ways to do it. That or set a maximum distance from friendly FB instead of minimum distance from enemy town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, delems said:

What if when you made your target the enemy town - your FMS could be no further than the distance to the town?

Then, you would not be able to place behind the town (or even directly sideways), but rather in an arc in front of a town.

However, if you had a 2nd link, then you could use that link to place MS on it's side.

To compensate for not being able to place MS behind towns, you would allow MS to be placed up 200m from enemy facility, i.e. closer.

depends how you define distance would be my guess? does the game determine distance between towns via roads/links or straight line?

@aismov - totally agree.

an often used counter argument to much of this predictability talk is "well, then every battle will just be the same and stale and a meat grinder". this argument fails to account for the fallible human. human error will make sure that each battle wins or loses differently. people's desire to push a thrust too far at the wrong time will result in plenty of back and forth - IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, aismov said:

My own hobby horse to echo your view madrebel is extending the idea of no interdictable attack lanes to no front line period. Just like infantry can come from anywhere and everywhere since there are few obstacles in their way, attacks can come from anywhere and everywhere since you can plant an unending amount of FMS surrounding a town that itself isn't necessarily cut off or surrounded.

This creates a couple problems. Firstly it decreases player battle density making battles less fun overall and less epic. Second it makes communication unnecessary since with low player density since defenders are spread out in a 360 degree arc around town, it becomes easier to ninja in the back door as a lone wolf and cap. Third it eliminates any incentive to create fixed defenses along a front line because you can always have enemy infantry (or even ATGs) popping up to your rear.

EDIT: reposting image from a thread we had in the general squad forum which illustrates the general idea of cohesiveness and requiring teamwork to get in to battle as a group. By shutting down the backside of towns to all but true dedicated special-ops maneuvers you create natural front lines, interdictable attack lanes, natural ZOCs, and have players arrive as groups rather than as individuals.

frontline-idea.jpg

Note: trucks still spawn at the FB, the FMS becomes a type of FOB from which infantry get shuttled in groups (but not as long of a ride as from FB and can attack from multiple, yet still plausible attack vectors)

I suggested basically this years ago, as I recall this was one of the tussles I had with Zero.

 

I obviously agree with the principle, but I would also say that the FB gets similar treatment and the attackers will need some more advantage in timers, distance, or something to compensate for the difficulty in completing a cut/siege.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely agree on the timers to capture a CP would need to be adjusted down.

As for coding it the distance from a friendly FB would create an arc that sweeps away from the town making only one point on the circle closest to the enemy town (and thus obvious to defenders where the attack would most likely come from). I really don't know how facilities are coded in game and what coordinate system is used. It would be as simple as writing an algorithm that checks the FMS distance from the "center of town" (defined by the obelisk in-game) and then subtracts it from the distance from town center to the friendly/attacking FB. Is that number is negative (with some fudge factor) that would signify that the FMS is "behind enemy lines." This way you get an convex arc surrounding the town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, aismov said:

Absolutely agree on the timers to capture a CP would need to be adjusted down.

As for coding it the distance from a friendly FB would create an arc that sweeps away from the town making only one point on the circle closest to the enemy town (and thus obvious to defenders where the attack would most likely come from). I really don't know how facilities are coded in game and what coordinate system is used. It would be as simple as writing an algorithm that checks the FMS distance from the "center of town" (defined by the obelisk in-game) and then subtracts it from the distance from town center to the friendly/attacking FB. Is that number is negative (with some fudge factor) that would signify that the FMS is "behind enemy lines." This way you get an convex arc surrounding the town.

That's the way I proposed it.  Would come up with some odd frontlines at times as those town markers are not consistently located 'center of mass'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonder how many times something similar has been proposed. Here is my take from 2004:

cjFQx3v.png

My idea differed in that defensive spawns would have an area of influence that prevented supply going through. If the defensive position was taken out, then MS' could be supplied other side of the lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, blggles said:

Wonder how many times something similar has been proposed. Here is my take from 2004:

cjFQx3v.png

My idea differed in that defensive spawns would have an area of influence that prevented supply going through. If the defensive position was taken out, then MS' could be supplied other side of the lines.

I like it as this requires the defense to be 'active' deploying dMS' however not having supply, then all the sudden poking a hole and you can warp supply in behind feels strange. combine this with the inability to deploy aMS' 'behind' the center line of a town and you get the best of both worlds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attacks from the front via FB and MS, attacks from the rear via Truck and Paradrop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No attacks from the rear unless flank AI is added to model the continuous-lines-where-mobility-is-possibke nature of WWII, and rear-area-AI is added to represent the 80% of any army that's performing functions behind the lines, including armed guarding against just such attacks.

Truck zoom-around attacks are historically absurd. Even if the attacking truck could get through the defending front line, trucks should only be able to move on roads and farm lanes, and behind the lines those should have a substantial guard post at every crossroads and point of value.

Paradrops are realistic, of course, but the drop should have to be in sufficient force to defeat the ground defenses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.