Author Topic: Fixing combat mechanics  (Read 1045 times)

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Offline tnevolin

Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2019, 08:01:42 PM »
Updated.

  • Field: 10% up to 80%. Maybe up to 60% to make it less appealing and force unit to return to bases for stronger healing?
  • Monolith: 20% per tun up to 100%. I guess this won't break AI. If it determines unit is not healed yet it'll spend another turn at monolith.
  • Field with The Nano Factory: 20% up to 100%.
  • Within the base range = same as in field.
  • Within own/pact/treaty/truce/enemy/neutral territory - don't know. Need to check if this is at all implemented.
  • Base: 10% up to 100%.
  • Base with facility: 20% up to 100%.
Tim

Offline dino

Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2019, 08:18:19 PM »
I'd leave it at 80%, unless you'll also code AI to return units to the base for healing.

With multiround combat, 80% is a huge disadvantage, but yet not useless, it's a good balance imo.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2019, 09:30:10 PM »
No healing in the field at all.

You are setting yourself up for games that are logistically extremely tedious.  Get in a fight, have to walk all the way back to a freakin' base to heal up.  I predict this idea is a complete fail.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2019, 09:45:33 PM »
Two equal 1:1 strength units fighting each other in plain field resulting in 1:1 winning odds - that is normal. Now one of them step on a forest getting not that big 50% defense bonus. Now their strength ratio is 2:3 and attacker winning odds suddenly drop into abyss from 1:1 to 1:14 turning forest into an impenetrable fortress with 10 yard high stone walls or something. THAT is not normal.

If terrain is the major problem, an alternative to redesigning how the combat system works, is to change the bonus that terrain gives.  I'm surprised to find out it's not moddable in alphax.txt.  Some other things are moddable like the bonus a Sensor Array gives.  I simply adjusted it upwards until it did what I wanted.  It wasn't a theoretical, formula driven, or complicated exercise, my tweak was strictly empirical.  The game design effect is you're strongly incentivized to destroy Sensor Arrays when attacking, as otherwise you're likely to die on the enemy's walls.  And if you're placing your Sensor Arrays defensively, it's best to think about putting them inland and away from enemy artillery routes, because the AI loves to shell Sensor Arrays.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2019, 10:03:05 PM »
What AI does is just give a unit a goto order to enemy base and thats's it,

That's not it.  The AI does mass with armored infantry, make the "5 unit spread" formation outside a base, and move all units in simultaneously on the next turn, so that you can't pop them all in 1 stack.

Quote
With these changes the ability to outproduce enemy will be more important, than who will catch who in the open, or who can concentarte just enough units to take down a base in a single turn.

I'm not seeing why favoring attrition should even be a goal.  Do you have any idea how tedious it is to babysit a defensive base that's being attacked by the AI over and over and over again?  It gets seriously old.  Any time you say "I want to solve problems in this game by adding lots more units", you get more mouseclicks that the human player has to deal with.  It's not challenge, it's asymmetrical boredom.  The AI doesn't care about doing tedious things over and over and over again, but you the human player sure do.

Offline tnevolin

Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2019, 10:09:28 PM »
Two equal 1:1 strength units fighting each other in plain field resulting in 1:1 winning odds - that is normal. Now one of them step on a forest getting not that big 50% defense bonus. Now their strength ratio is 2:3 and attacker winning odds suddenly drop into abyss from 1:1 to 1:14 turning forest into an impenetrable fortress with 10 yard high stone walls or something. THAT is not normal.

If terrain is the major problem, an alternative to redesigning how the combat system works, is to change the bonus that terrain gives.  I'm surprised to find out it's not moddable in alphax.txt.  Some other things are moddable like the bonus a Sensor Array gives.  I simply adjusted it upwards until it did what I wanted.  It wasn't a theoretical, formula driven, or complicated exercise, my tweak was strictly empirical.  The game design effect is you're strongly incentivized to destroy Sensor Arrays when attacking, as otherwise you're likely to die on the enemy's walls.  And if you're placing your Sensor Arrays defensively, it's best to think about putting them inland and away from enemy artillery routes, because the AI loves to shell Sensor Arrays.

No. Terrain is not a major problem. Forget about terrain. That was just an example how 50% bonus changes things. The major problem is a combat calculation that turns not so big 50% bonus into a problem. You won't be able to fix it though bonuses themselves as 50% advantage is very common in this game. Even 100% advantage is common when you use freshly discovered strength 2 weapon against strength 1 armor. That should NOT be a big problem by player expectations but it IS.
Tim

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #51 on: December 31, 2019, 12:18:27 AM »
An additional +25% is a big advantage.  That's why my Sensor Arrays have +50%, not +25%.  They really make you work for you base kills.  All sorts of stats in the game could be tweaked like that.  It doesn't matter what the absolute number is.  What matters, is if the player can distinguish the bonus or penalty as actually mattering.  In the case of my Sensor Arrays, they definitely can.

With weapons and armor, I find that what the player can distinguish, is largely a matter of gut feel.  Especially in the early game.  I know I feel that Gatling Lasers are "more powerful" than  Particle Impactors by quite a bit.  Which really they should, because 5 vs. 4 is a 25% increase in power.  It's not just in my mind.  Missile Launchers are 6 vs. 4, a 33% increase in power over a lot of the "old inventory".  The trick is deciding how much these power steps should cost.  I think I don't have it right, so I'm reworking it.

What I do have right, is there's a long time gap between getting better weapons and armors.  You don't just fly up the tech tree and get all these snazzy guns the way you do in vanilla.

Offline tnevolin

Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #52 on: January 02, 2020, 06:57:37 PM »
I've implemented the change I've planned and I am quite satisfied. Thank you all for sharing your opinions and ideas. I am going to abandon this discussion since it fulfilled its purpose as a dedicated topic.
You are welcome to continue sharing your thoughts in a main http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=21359.75 topic.
Tim

Offline Nexii

Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #53 on: March 20, 2020, 07:26:21 PM »
With one round combat I think you'd have to significantly increase unit movement to compensate. Otherwise it skews the conquer/build balance too much in favor of build.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2020, 07:38:11 PM »
I have no reason to agree with that theory.

My mod already recommends Huge maps, and my world generator has more land mass in it.  I did speed up sea and air units, but land units move at the same speed as always, so they come into fighting range more slowly.  I gave everyone early defensive advantages over offense, such as a +50% Sensor Array instead of +25%, Synthmetal available at Tier 1 and no prototype required for it, no Infantry assault bonus on bases, and no Particle Impactors until Tier 3.  You're not guaranteed to be able to just blitz someone at the beginning.  Especially, Clean Reactors are available from the beginning of the game, and I trained the AI to stack up bases with Clean Synth Garrisons.  I've taken some Recon Rovers into enemy territory like the old days, thinking I'd wreak havoc, and was surprised to find stacks of 5 to 10 defenders that I wasn't able to do anything about.

I like my game balance just fine.  I like the AI's not being able to summarily run over each other at the beginning.  I prefer them to dig in, survive, and thrive.  Mega violence comes later.  Most of the time, nobody's got any "gimmie" for immediate blitzing.  You have to work up to it.


Offline Nexii

Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #55 on: March 20, 2020, 07:47:04 PM »
I meant more the proposed model where units would not always do fatal damage and fight more like artillery. Maybe I misunderstood it.

I did similar mods to combat to make it more interesting than suicidal X/1 units smashing everything. 50% sensors, 50% base defense (same as rocky/forest), and more reasonably costed armor are all helpful. Though it did make native life a lot less scary so I had to give the aliens a higher planet rating

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Fixing combat mechanics
« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2020, 08:06:25 PM »
I made Hypnotic Trance cost 1, instead of being a free lunch for units.  The main motivator wasn't actually combat balance.  It was all the ridiculous math of trying to minimax "perfect" units where you "get a bargain" for some unit design.  I did away with all of that, in favor of a uniform "it's gonna ding you 25% if you want an ability" idea.  With the more powerful abilities costing 50% or 100% extra.

I think in my mod, mindworms are proportionately too powerful in mid to late game.  Their cost doesn't go up, and they fight as well or better than any of the advanced weaponry.  So why spend on the expensive advanced weaponry?

Anyways, "combat doesn't resolve immediately" is a way of slowing down the violence.  So's increasing the distance between empires, or their defenses.  They're all fungible, and they're all only a question of balance.  You implement, then you test to see if something needs rebalancing.  In my mod they don't.  I've been at this almost 2 years, it's balanced.

 

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