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ZEBBEEE

Some balance options for battle setup and progression

Audit of battle dynamics  

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ZEBBEEE

The topic about proxy AO's reminded me how much we all have different expectations regarding the dynamic of a battle setup and its progression.

So I came up with more fundamental questions.

Again, you're long-time players and I believe it's good to sit around these topics and all express our own expectations. I am also trying to link your different poll answers in the forums (I cannot do that online, polls are anonymous), so I can better model the logical links between hypothetical design preferences, and ultimately better identify how to balance preferences from different customer groups.

 

If you answered "It depends on the game population or balance", please specify bellow.

Thanks again for your participation!

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Dre21

Well the defenders are usually on the backfoot from the beginning. 

Let's say Axis defending ( and Allies have the same argument when the Tigger gets in game)

When one only has 1 or 2 weapons vs a certain type of equipment and then the attack comes pretty much from all sides ( if no river is there ) it can get pretty demoralizing in a hurry.

One solution could be that if you get a certain tow machine out that one can set up one heavy ATG once in position , in other words you towed yourself but without the gun but the Truck then turns into the heavy ATG , no you can't build a FMS or Ammo box 1st that's where the team play comes into play again.

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sideout

 

is it possible to add options to UP side?
or.......All infantry class if underpopulated gets a HE satchel in addition to normal kit? 
or, damage timer is lengthened for UP (takes more effort to kill UP players)

or load out is increased by 25%?

or?

 

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jwrona

Leave timer the way it is. 
 

Let’s say you extend CP timer to 20mins instead of 10... “oh we got 20mins to go to that DO before it’s hot, I’ll just wait” 

Say you make it shorter? Just spam boots like mad and anyone who’s not responding to EWS (95% of the muppets online) won’t get there before it’s called to [censored]. 
 

double edged sword. And impractical with today’s PB

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tater

The question/title is oddly worded.

Battle dynamics? To me that is more overall than timers.

To me the battle I want is that attacks require attacking, and the timers play little role. The "attackers" occupying a section of town for X minutes doesn't change play. The attackers placing the AO, then waiting to rush the CP doesn't change play. Sure, the defenders COULD spawn in ahead, but the reality is that they very likely don't until stuff starts falling because there is every chance that the "attack" might not materialize, and people don't want their time wasted.

Place AO, let it lie fallow. First responders show... They sit around. Nothing materializes and they leave, normal attack follows (no defenders, then defenders appear again, reactively).

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ZEBBEEE
17 hours ago, tater said:

The question/title is oddly worded.

Battle dynamics? To me that is more overall than timers.

To me the battle I want is that attacks require attacking, and the timers play little role. The "attackers" occupying a section of town for X minutes doesn't change play. The attackers placing the AO, then waiting to rush the CP doesn't change play. Sure, the defenders COULD spawn in ahead, but the reality is that they very likely don't until stuff starts falling because there is every chance that the "attack" might not materialize, and people don't want their time wasted.

Place AO, let it lie fallow. First responders show... They sit around. Nothing materializes and they leave, normal attack follows (no defenders, then defenders appear again, reactively).

Exactly. And why do attackers abandon? 

Because their ZOC is too far away? Or too close and thus camped before the spawnable was captured? Because they cannot keep their spawnable long enough? Or the contest long enough to capture the bunker?

Ease the capture conditions and attackers will regroup to roll defenders. Make it hard and they will wait until no one remains in town. I know what you are looking for: defenders are setup and attackers must attack them at all cost.

In this case it's not about a single timer but more about the balance between two complementary ones.

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bmw
1 hour ago, ZEBBEEE said:

Exactly. And why do attackers abandon? 

Have not played much recently but when I do I dont have hours on end to play.  I want access to the battle quick. I dont want to run 5-10 min into a town only to get killed the moment I step foot in it.....and then repeat the process.  I try twice then I just bail and try and find another spawn point closer or a DO to defend.  I dont mind going up against a good defense but spending time getting there from a spawn point 1k out is a no go for me.  If there is not enough action to time ratio I will just log out.

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jwilly

After so many years of ineffective attempts, I don't think there's any prospect of the existing mechanics being fixed to work more marketably. Only radical changes will fix things.

Quote

I know what you are looking for: defenders are setup and attackers must attack them (...)

With a 2:1 local ground attacker:defender pop ratio if there's one in-supply Brigade attacking a Garrison; 3:1 with two in-supply Brigades attacking; 1:1 if the attacking Brigade is un-supplied; 1:1 if a supplied Brigade attacks a Garrison and a Brigade; and so forth.

All forces spawn and must move at all times in proximal tactical units. No Rambos. Survivors of a unit that takes too many casualties auto-despawn ("withdraw") and respawn as part of a new unit.

Eliminate capture buildings. Control of a zone is by exclusion of the enemy from that zone, with a road supply line of your own to that zone. Control is three-state, i.e. I control or you control or no one controls. An uncontrolled or other-side-controlled zone blocks my supply line.

Spawning is at dynamic locations, not visible to any enemy ground unit. 

Casualties contribute to the other side's victory points. 

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jwilly
9 hours ago, bmw said:

Have not played much recently but when I do I dont have hours on end to play.  I want access to the battle quick. I dont want to run 5-10 min into a town only to get killed the moment I step foot in it.....and then repeat the process.  I try twice then I just bail and try and find another spawn point closer or a DO to defend.  I dont mind going up against a good defense but spending time getting there from a spawn point 1k out is a no go for me.  If there is not enough action to time ratio I will just log out.

This perspective has been expressed since very early on. Travel time is a non-viable design feature. Customers are here to fight, not to travel. Spawn them at dynamic locations, to prevent camping and minimize travel time. Eliminate the need for camping as an attrition mechanism by changing how tactical victory is determined and how capture occurs.

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fidd
On 11/18/2020 at 8:34 PM, ZEBBEEE said:

Exactly. And why do attackers abandon? 

Because their ZOC is too far away? Or too close and thus camped before the spawnable was captured? Because they cannot keep their spawnable long enough? Or the contest long enough to capture the bunker?

Ease the capture conditions and attackers will regroup to roll defenders. Make it hard and they will wait until no one remains in town. I know what you are looking for: defenders are setup and attackers must attack them at all cost.

In this case it's not about a single timer but more about the balance between two complementary ones.

Attackers abandon because the current system allows for them to attack when defending players are physically elsewhere, and thus any AO where defenders are able to prevent an pre-camp is less efficient from the attackers p.o.v. than starting a new AO in the hope that this new one will achieve what the first didn't.

If the expectation of achieving a pre-camp became almost nil, different tactics would be used, and there'd be not point in chopping and changing AO's ad nauseam.

So, the ease and speed of AO changes is one problem.

The absence of defending players in town before attackers arrive, the other.

Both of these need to be solved in order to bring about the end of attackers seeking to precamp a town before defending players spawn in, and for the AO to "play out" rather than be chopped at the first sign of trouble.

The current "roll trucks and armour" attack "plan" is a function of very poor tools for players to self-organise. It is impossible to organise players when those spawned on a mission cover every unit type. Consequently ML's just don't bother to define orders. A good reform, would be to enable players to change missions whilst spawned, and for ML's to be able to limit and specify the units they want spawned on their mission. This would make the mission more manageable, and in keeping with what the ML wants to achieve. So, an ML might command an ATG battery, or light armour recce, or troops for a defined purpose. If a player finds the unit they've spawned is no longer required by their ML, the server would simply offer them missions where the unit they've spawned is not embargoed, and automatically change them if no selection is made, unless the ML de-embargoes the unit type concerned. This is important so that the intial "crash out" defensive missions when a town is threatened can subsequently "sort themselves out" without having to despawn.

Edited by fidd

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fidd
9 hours ago, jwilly said:

This perspective has been expressed since very early on. Travel time is a non-viable design feature. Customers are here to fight, not to travel. Spawn them at dynamic locations, to prevent camping and minimize travel time. Eliminate the need for camping as an attrition mechanism by changing how tactical victory is determined and how capture occurs.

I think the pendulum has swung entirely too far the other way. In particular I dislike the unspoken implication in this that all unit types should be available and relevant, all the time. Meaning that an infantry battle should always be going on, along with all other unit types. Back in the day, you could hold attackers infantry at bay by dominating the approaches. The 1.26 terrain, coupled with all the FMS developments has meant that an attacker no longer needs to defeat the enemy ATG's and Armour, in order to get infantry into the town, because all towns, and the areas around them, are completely porous to infiltrating infantry. So instead of a sequence of battle, where infantry use tended to follow success with other arms, we've moved to a "bunfight" with no little or scope for tactical use of the ground.

This has also "dumbed down" the game significantly, with armour engagement ranges so short, and marking/flanking so easy, that there's essentially no opportunity to employ the defensive armour thickness of heavier tanks. (Incidentally why I foresee an utter train-wreck for the axis if the Panther is modelled without cheap axis Marder types also being devved.)

In short, there are costs to gameplay of reducing travel time, not immediately apparant if one simply relies on a bloody poll "do you want shorter time to battle?" Of course, anyone will answer yes to that, but it doesn't mean it's a good idea if it indirectly damages gameplay as a consequence. Secondly, I personally find battles these days too frenetic. There's little or no "down time" to form friendships, do "silly stuff" or get to know other players. The stuff that builds online communities and is the glue which holds a game-population together. I think Devs ignore that at their extreme peril.

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bmw
10 hours ago, jwilly said:

This perspective has been expressed since very early on. Travel time is a non-viable design feature. Customers are here to fight, not to travel. Spawn them at dynamic locations, to prevent camping and minimize travel time. Eliminate the need for camping as an attrition mechanism by changing how tactical victory is determined and how capture occurs.

I like the dynamic spawn idea.  Attacks could still be stopped via blowing the FB.  It would certainly makr getting into the action more quickly

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foe2

I'm not sure players are always that bother by travel time, after all you  get plenty of volunteers to jump out of airplanes and para drops can involve lots of sitting around and flying before you even get to the target. 

 

I suppose part of the issue is that most attacks don't success with a ready defence and we don't currently have many of the tools available in the real world that would be useful in game such as indirect artillery.  nor frankly does our terrain help. little to no cover and a small amount of concealment, it make attacking as inf very difficult  unless the MSP is super cloes. 

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delems

*** little to no cover and a small amount of concealment, it make attacking as inf very difficult 

Also, every CP has a 3 story (SP) sniper tower next to it.

I really believe making that single story would help attackers immensely.

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tater
21 hours ago, ZEBBEEE said:

In this case it's not about a single timer but more about the balance between two complementary ones.

It's about neither.

It's about the lack of persistent defenses.

Last night I was a first responder (looked like 2 of us popped in at different spawns nearly the same time), I was killed by a 232 in town (it drove down the main road after killing all the AI, I guess) pushing an ATG. While I was waiting to despawn I heard an ei SMG in town.

Timers make no difference, the defenders should always be where they want to be before the attackers, don't see how that can happen.

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fidd
3 hours ago, delems said:

*** little to no cover and a small amount of concealment, it make attacking as inf very difficult 

Also, every CP has a 3 story (SP) sniper tower next to it.

I really believe making that single story would help attackers immensely.

That's based on the unarticulated assumption that attacking infantry should be able to advance in the attack throughout the attack, rather than as used to occur, pre 1.26, not until after the defender's armour had been beaten back towards the AB, allowing attacking infantry to get into the town. The pre - 1.26 system also allowed for mixed infantry and ATG screens to form a strong defence, as rifleman in defence could keep ei smg's and lmg's away from the friendly ATG's. The gameplay was more difficult for the infantry, sure, but the demanding nature of "timing your infantry push" was much more satisfying than the current dumbed-down battles.

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ZEBBEEE
45 minutes ago, fidd said:

That's based on the unarticulated assumption that attacking infantry should be able to advance in the attack throughout the attack, rather than as used to occur, pre 1.26, not until after the defender's armour had been beaten back towards the AB, allowing attacking infantry to get into the town. The pre - 1.26 system also allowed for mixed infantry and ATG screens to form a strong defence, as rifleman in defence could keep ei smg's and lmg's away from the friendly ATG's. The gameplay was more difficult for the infantry, sure, but the demanding nature of "timing your infantry push" was much more satisfying than the current dumbed-down battles

I think @TR6AL is going to make some tests regarding vegetation density. Once an area will be done we should go play there and share our observations!

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saffroli

Remove FB's for a campaign and see what happens

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tater

Battle dynamics in the real world often had a phase of artillery (or close air support), followed by moving up the infantry.

This is not really a thing in ww2ol because, one, there is nothing to reduce until after people spawn, even if artillery was a thing, and two, we don't have artillery. Even if we did, a town with 500 troops crammed in it actually only has maybe 5 at a given moment, and any in a destroyed building are immune from attack, so arty will never do much in game.

Forget the timer nonsense.

Try:

1. Fixed spawn lists at non-ABs.

2. Ideally on-sides MSPs, and even better, at least some persistent ones (can be placed way ahead of time, no one needs to stay spawned in, and an EWS like warning if they get blown by enemy patrols). MSPs should have fixed spawn lists as well. If you want a 2:1 supply attack on a depot, maybe you need 2 FMS near that depot.

3. Bombardment/artillery reduces spawn lists. For grossly OP/UP times, the OP side might have to expend far more ordnance to reduce the spawn lists, the UP side might get a huge multiplier if it is uneven enough. This redcution phase might be done in a "gamey" way in that the time in which this must happen is BEFORE EWS goes off in the AO, but after the AO is set.

4. Towns have extra powerful, overlapping arc AI guns. No more drive a AC around easily killing 100% of AI. AI is indestructible until tables are hot... but bombardment will take it out. So after the bombardment, if the associated spawn list is down 50%+, then the AI falls (or AI power/range/arc is a function of linked facility spawn list max as a result of bombardment?). In that last concept, the AI would stay insane, UNLESS you hit it with bombs/arty.

Arty/bombardment was not done on your own troops if they could help it. So the attack paradigm would often be, set AO, move forces forward, but stay out of EWS. Bombard target town (maybe add BDE level arty strikes as a thing to call in). Facilities hit by bombardment (depots/ABs) have their spawn lists reduced as a function of that bombardment. Timing for optimal effect might be a pop balance issue/slider as well. The goal is to make such pre-bombardment very desirable, but attacks are still possible without it. Bombardment of FMS would also impact their spawn lists. Let's make mortars cooler. Hit the EFMS with mortars, reduce the spawn list (and kill a few guys if you are super lucky).

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ZEBBEEE

I updated the wording of the questions and answers, I hope I didn’t change your previous understanding as I would like such a question to include more constraints (ews, deployment distances, timers etc) and situations (environment, motivation/persistence, supply status, etc)

that is the purpose of the topic, fine tuning :)

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fidd
On 11/19/2020 at 9:46 PM, ZEBBEEE said:

I think @TR6AL is going to make some tests regarding vegetation density. Once an area will be done we should go play there and share our observations!

That's good to know. Vegetation density is only part of the problem however. Just as a important to review is the lack of colliders within "tunnel" hedge-rows, which permit infantry to arrive inside town without being visible, and which wrecked the armour game by permitting easy and rapid flanking, and the ATG game by making the area too porous for  infantry, leading to them becoming 1 shot weapons, more or less. Hence the lack of success of the 88 and similar.

I'm firmly of the view that if the terrain is improved by making a link between an objects size, and it's functional effect on movement, then we'll have gone a long way towards improving battles, as unrealistic tactics which currently work, will cease to, and realistic ones which do not currently work - eg a mixed infantry and ATG linear defence - will start to. Once that happens, the "roll trucks and armour" approach to attacks will cease to work, and more realistic methods will be used again.

This neatly brings me back to an absolutely essential change: Giving ML's the ability to select the unit types they want on their mission, with the additional ability of players being able to transfer between missions whilst remaining spawned in. This would allow ML's to command logical groups of players, such as an ATG battery, or AAA, or infantry in the tank-cooperation role, or light recce tanks - or "everything" if they so wish. Players could then simply select a unit at the active-battles screen, see the missions not excluding their desired unit type, with the most limited being presented first. Once missions are made more specific like this, the ML's will have a chance of creating halfway sensible orders for them. The players, in turn, will tend to try and conform to those orders, because they will make more sense and be relevant to what has been spawned.

Edited by fidd

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