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Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps

 
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Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 3:21:37 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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Well, I started to play CC when the very first installment was released, and I bought all the sequels as well, except for the last one (CC 4 or 5? heck i can't remember - which was the last "original" one?), and I had a lot of fun playing 'em, since they almost played like a "real" RTS (like Command and Conquer, etc), and even better - this series offered a really realistic approach regarding armor strength/penetration, suppression and morale/fatigue.

I didn't get COI as i thought it would "just" be a collection of mods and tweaks (dunno if that judgement was correct) and I didn't think a full price would be justified.

Anyway, when the first CC was released, I wasn't impressed with CC's cumbersome menu (as it wasn't like doing a single click [activate] and point [direct, go to] thing like in RTS games), but the implemented shortcuts made up for that, halfway.

Also, back then, i wasn't impressed with the movement, like let's say one of my tanks (with a regular rotatable turret) had spotted an enemy tank, it would not rotate the tank accurately (means it was jerky/choppy) in order to turn the (heavily armored) front of the vehicle towards the selected target, to have maximum protection.
To top it all, the gun kept flipping back for a sec, means it started to turn towards the enemy, but when the driver started to turn the vehicle, the gun swung back to the original spot it was pointing at, sometimes 45 degrees or even more. It shouldn't be like that. Let's say the tank makes a 90 degree turn to the left side to face a target, the gun should turn to the left with the same speed, or even faster if the turret is being turned as well.

Ok, back to the present. I bought CC WaR, especially since some of the maps/towns look like the real historical locations (I'm not sure how much time was invested to research them), and, since I live in Germany, close to the Eifel (a 1-hour-ride by car), where the Ardennes offensive had its FUP, I know quite some locations, maps and aerial photos.
So i thought it'd be fun to see how the armored units in the game would handle the rough terrain.

CC WaR still does these things I described above, though. Even worse, tanks don't turn their front towards enemy tanks anymore (correct me if i am wrong, but i think the original series did that at one or another point)

Pathfinding
  • The pathfinding still has some flaws. I'm not totally sure, but i tend to think that it wasn't such a hassle in the original installments to make vehicles cross a bridge:
    Vehicles: If you issue a single "move" or "move fast"-order and if you place that marker/waypoint at a point behind the bridge (without setting a path using several waypoints), the waypoint will be canceled, often, accompanied by a msg like "I can't go there". If you're lucky, after several attempts (since the waypoints keep being deleted), a given vehicle will move to the middle of the bridge, at least, if you put the waypoint right ON the bridge. Then you have to issue another order to get the particular unit off the bridge. If you are using multiple waypoints, you get better results, but only if the segments are put correctly (mostly placed on the middle of the road). Sometimes, it takes up to 20 mins to move a column of 6 tanks across a bridge.

    That's a real hassle. I thought I wouldn't have to dance with these kinda issues after all these years, oh well, to err is human.

Waypoints:
  • The waypoint-system is a cool feature, I can't remember whether it was part of one of the original installments or not. Thing is, let's say you want to drag/move one of your tank's existing waypoints, the whole set of waypoints will be deleted if another friendly vehicle moves/resides right under one of these waypoints. Cumbersome, unnecessary, frustrating... that should be addressed.
    Also, there seems to be a limit regarding the number of waypoints, but i couldn't find anything about that in the manual. Setting more than around 15 (?) waypoints would result in the whole set of points being deleted. There should be at least a system message/warning thingy to tell the player about the limit.


Other than that, the maps are nice, the motor/car pool as well (haven't seen Tigers or KingTigers in the game yet, though. Are there any?). If the game would feature realistic sizes of vehicles (compared to the size of inf/soldiers), the game would be even more fun. There's nothing like a KingTiger tank being drawn in original size blocking and defending some narrow alley in a small town. Also, it would be cool to have some cobble-stone roads in small towns, where a KingTiger, in combat movement (turning, accelerating all the time), would turn these roads into rubble and sink in, due to its weight.

Oh and yes, I'd appreciate a Zoom function on the strategic screen too, as mentioned by others.
Oh 1 more thing...


  • I don't seem to get what the COMMAND button does (next to the NEXT button, on the strategic screen. Let's say i didn't save and I hit this button accidentally, will i loose game progress, as it brings you back to the save game selection screen?


< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 11/1/2008 4:54:57 AM >


_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006
Post #: 1
RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 3:34:58 AM   
Stwa


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Hi,

Interesting observations...

I would not be surprised if WaR originated from CC5. It would make complete sense for the developers to start there and then as they release new games, add additional content and features. If true, this is a good thing IMHO.

The new maps are sized like the CC5 maps, and this is good too. Even though I loved those CC4 maps, some of them were so small, that they played out pretty much the same way every game. With the larger maps replayability is much improved.

In CC4 and CC5 (and now WaR) tanks can and do block roads/tracks creating havoc when they do.

Maybe the developers have done some more work with pathfinding, but even if the game is really based on CC5, this isn't that big of a problem. IMHO, CC series works best when fewer vehicles are on the map at once. When a player or the AI brings a single tank into a game and you as a player don't have any tanks, then this makes the scenario very challenging, and you focus on eliminating that threat.

(in reply to GoodGuy)
Post #: 2
RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 3:53:34 AM   
Andrew Williams


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From the manual "waypoints" section

You can place a total of 20 waypoints.

You will occassionally get "can't go there" but generally it is much improved over earlier releases

see this vid  Bridge croosing is a non event, usually

http://closecombat.matrixgames.com/WaR/Setz/Setz.html

(in reply to Stwa)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 4:23:08 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

  • 1) I don't seem to get what the COMMAND button does (next to the NEXT button, on the strategic screen. Let's say i didn't save and I hit this button accidentally, will i loose game progress, as it brings you back to the save game selection screen?

Can anyone answer this question? Bear with me, I haven played CC for ages.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Andrew Williams

From the manual "waypoints" section

You can place a total of 20 waypoints.

Oh ok, thank you, overlooked that :).

quote:

You will occassionally get "can't go there" but generally it is much improved over earlier releases

see this vid  Bridge croosing is a non event, usually

http://closecombat.matrixgames.com/WaR/Setz/Setz.html


Well, try the same with a bigger tank (Panther) or don't set multiple waypoints ... place a single move order right behind the bridge, let's say right next to the word "Setz" - to the left, and you'll run into lotsa events. Sometimes a tank unit will turn and head to the river bank north or south on the same side (right river bank in this video), turn like a drunk driver and "search" for the bridge, lol. Kinda like that.

Question:
  • Can you speed up the movement of crews with AT guns? I mean, a "tiny" 57mm gun pulled by 4 or 5 troops should be able to move a bit faster. I think it would be more realistic if you'd change the speed of such units while reducing the time they can travel without being winded/fatigued. It feels like it takes an hour to move a distance of 50 meters, which is anything than realistic (imho).


Anyway, I really rediscovered my love for this series.

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 11/1/2008 4:53:59 AM >


_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to Andrew Williams)
Post #: 4
RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 5:10:16 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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Oh one more observation:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but tanks don't seem to reload if they're idle - after destroying the last visible target. Once a new target has been spotted, the loader/gunner starts (or finishes, dunno) to reload. This results in heavy losses sometimes, as incoming enemy tanks seem to fire first, often.

_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to GoodGuy)
Post #: 5
RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 6:17:28 AM   
Tejszd

 

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From what I can see tanks do reload the last type of ammo shot. Which if it was HE against infantry can cause you grief because if you come across a tank it will not be till your 2nd shot that AP is used.

< Message edited by Tejszd -- 11/1/2008 4:33:35 PM >

(in reply to GoodGuy)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 6:58:31 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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yeah i just played another map, a few mins ago, you're right. Dang there should be a switch, so that the player can select the type of ammo before he engages enemy inf or tanks.

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 11/1/2008 6:59:47 AM >

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 1:57:22 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Andrew Williams

From the manual "waypoints" section

You can place a total of 20 waypoints.

You will occassionally get "can't go there" but generally it is much improved over earlier releases

see this vid  Bridge croosing is a non event, usually

http://closecombat.matrixgames.com/WaR/Setz/Setz.html


I didn't think that the vehicle waypoints were gonna be that big a deal, but they DO INDEED resolve a lot of the pathing headaches that drove me up the wall with previous CC titles.

PoE (aka ivanmoe)

_____________________________

Government is the opiate of the masses.

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 9:35:21 PM   
dutch08

 

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You think your pathfinding is bad, wait till you see the AI trying to move 4 Panthers near a bridge in the Grand Campaign in the 4th or 5th battle of Day 1. I feel like I'm fighting a battle against Col. Klink! (or whatever that guys name was)

The warts are still there, but, to be fair to Matrix, this isn't a CC:WAR issue, this go back to CC4 and I seriously doubt it's something Matrix can fix without a lot of time and energy. They might be able to improve it some, but not fix it outright. In the long run, it's no big deal. This is a better version of CC4 by far.


(in reply to Prince of Eckmühl)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/1/2008 11:49:02 PM   
CaptRio

 

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wrong post

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/2/2008 12:08:50 AM   
Peter Fisla


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I'm on 3rd battle first day of campaign and everything is going well so far.. (human player: elite, AI: Novice) didn't loose a single vehicle yet; in all 3 battles I have taken the map. I drive my tanks like they are delivering eggs for the general :D Yeah AI vehicle pathfinding isn't great but it's good enough and certainly better than I have seen before. You really want to handle one vehicle at the time (in an area) otherwise the pathfinding gets confused. It's alright...

(in reply to CaptRio)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/2/2008 1:45:23 AM   
Platoon_Michael


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Ive lost a few vehicles.
1 to a well hidded ATGun and several due to throwing a track and a broken wheel.

The maps look great,I really love the new wooded textures.
I actually lost one of my German half-track to the point where I had to zoom out to find it.

great job guys.

(in reply to Peter Fisla)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/2/2008 2:46:26 PM   
PDiFolco

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

yeah i just played another map, a few mins ago, you're right. Dang there should be a switch, so that the player can select the type of ammo before he engages enemy inf or tanks.


No, they should ALWAYS charge AP when being idle, as mortal threats that could appear are to be dealt with AP, as an AT-team can usually be disposed of with MGs, or be far enough to have time to switch to HE.
Not sure if there was regulations in the armored units but this really make sense !

(in reply to GoodGuy)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/9/2008 10:01:21 PM   
Platoon_Michael


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I notice that on the map South Eifel that it displays tree shadows on the zoomed out view while playing but not all of the maps do.

I also dont like how the strategic screen doesnt remember where I was last viewing from when previewing a map.It's like it jumps back to a default position every time.
Makes it very annoying since the viewing of the strat screen is already too small

< Message edited by Platoon_Michael -- 11/9/2008 10:16:16 PM >

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/13/2008 11:02:57 AM   
Platoon_Michael


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I notice the AI still has problems on maps when the water is codded "Deep"
Some tanks and troops just move in circles forever and dont move to a bridge or another area to cross.
Was Wiltz recoded?
I dont remember ever having LOS like this before.
I still see that some maps have the tree shadows and some dont when zooming out during gameplay.
I geuss it just dependded on who made what map.
It would be much better to have the shadows on all the maps,by having the shadows it makes it much easier to understand LOS on the zoomed out view.




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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/13/2008 11:16:36 AM   
Stwa


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Man, is it just me, or does that laser green clash with the olive green in a major way, or what? I keep expecting to look down and see Obiwan Kanobi or something...

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/13/2008 11:46:41 AM   
v.Manstein


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It might be that the enemy (leader) is situated in a 4 storey building, therefore the 2 storey building isn't a hinderance to LOS. 

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 2:24:10 PM   
Platoon_Michael


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I noticed during this battle that while on the zoomed out view of the map it shows that I have no LOS.
But when going back down to the game I do.




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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 2:24:49 PM   
Platoon_Michael


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And when zoomed down




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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 2:43:06 PM   
Nomada_Firefox

 

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not was flamethower who coded many of the maps? I have seen many bad things of these on them.

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 4:02:07 PM   
KWP

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nomada_Firefox

not was flamethower who coded many of the maps? I have seen many bad things of these on them.


I'm not sure what is up with you and FT but it is getting extremely old. It doesn't matter which forum I visit but I see this same type of vindictiveness from you on all of them. How do you know that he is the one that coded this particular map?

Give it a rest.

(in reply to Nomada_Firefox)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 4:06:07 PM   
Platoon_Michael


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Yea on Heinerscheid the edges on the train track are codded as snowy steep slope,despite the fact that it doesnt look very steep.
This prevents any ATGuns from being placed on the tracks.
If your deployment is in the upper right corner of the map it's a huge disadvantage.

(in reply to Nomada_Firefox)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 5:10:18 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoon_Michael

If your deployment is in the upper right corner of the map it's a huge disadvantage.

Well, that's why you should use the FIRE command with your vital units, to check your LOS in deployment mode, BEFORE you hit "Begin".
The upper right corner isn't that bad, as you can move tanks or MG teams up that hill (middle, upper part of the map, at the victory location south of your vehicle crew).

If the AI deploys Infantry on that acre in the west, south of the 2 US vic locations, there's almost no chance to boot them out of this area without supporting tanks, as you have to cross open terrain if you try a frontal attack. If you try to attack from the south, from the river bed right through the light wood, you get a proper LOS/LOF only if you make it as close as 10 or 20 meters to the enemy's inf troops crouching up there. Without tanks, only a mass attack from these woods - Russian style - brings decent results, well, with "Russian" casualty rates, hehe.

_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to Platoon_Michael)
Post #: 23
RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 5:54:41 PM   
Platoon_Michael


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Well, that's why you should use the FIRE command with your vital units, to check your LOS in deployment mode, BEFORE you hit "Begin".


Ah yea I understand that.
But when you can't place your heaviest firepower with any type of real LOS your pretty much stuck.
An ATGun isnt going to move somewhere else very fast.The troops moving the gun are to slow and the AI Mortors are to accurate.
Having tanks on that part of the map desnt really make it any easier as they are slow going over the tracks and sometimes spin while on them when trying to manouver down into town due to the small amount of actuall flat terrain from the tracks themselves.

(in reply to GoodGuy)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 6:58:15 PM   
Andrew Williams


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quote:

Yea on Heinerscheid the edges on the train track are codded as snowy steep slope,despite the fact that it doesnt look very steep.


It is a raised single railway line with a severe drop either side... it's not supposed to be easy.


The AI mortars are too accurate and your schrecks can't hit any thing... sounds like you're loosing badly against the AI???

(in reply to Platoon_Michael)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/23/2008 7:00:29 PM   
Platoon_Michael


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quote:

The AI mortars are too accurate and your schrecks can't hit any thing... sounds like you're loosing badly against the AI???


Compund that with my poor strat movements,id say it i'll be awhile before I play H2H. :)

< Message edited by Platoon_Michael -- 11/23/2008 7:02:36 PM >

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/24/2008 2:08:07 PM   
Nomada_Firefox

 

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quote:

How do you know that he is the one that coded this particular map?

Because Andrew Williams told about it on CSO.

(in reply to KWP)
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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/24/2008 9:23:10 PM   
Platoon_Michael


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To Firefox:
can we just keep this topic specific here at Matrix?
You got 2/3 other forums to go bash someone...............go use them.

Lets use this forum for improving the game.
And just maybe getting us more support/patches etc etc.


< Message edited by Platoon_Michael -- 11/24/2008 9:24:00 PM >

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/24/2008 11:01:57 PM   
Nomada_Firefox

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoon_Michael

To Firefox:
can we just keep this topic specific here at Matrix?
You got 2/3 other forums to go bash someone...............go use them.

Lets use this forum for improving the game.
And just maybe getting us more support/patches etc etc.


Sorry we are speaking from the same, the bad los on maps. Probably the man who makes the maps can tell us about it. I have told you who you must contact about them.

PD: Speaking as you about the big errors is not a big improve.

< Message edited by Nomada_Firefox -- 11/24/2008 11:02:11 PM >

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RE: Impressions - Pathfinding/Maps - 11/25/2008 10:11:34 AM   
nietsche

 

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back to the topic ...
Here is what I see with pathing for vehicles:
  1. If you micro-manage the vehicle then you can get it to go over a bridge most of the time
  2. If you give a general direction to go across a bridge, the vehicle will prefer to go around the bridge rather than go over it
  3. Sometimes even if you put waypoints at the start, middle and end of the bridge the vehicle (especially large tanks) will prefer to go down a steep gully next to the bridge rather than go across the bridge
  4. Sometimes the vehicle move to a point near the start of a bridge is interpreted as move to the spot under the bridge
  5. You need to line the vehicle up with the bridge to get it to successfully cross. Slight misalignments can cause it to circle and even back across or sometimes go a longer way around.
  6. There often seem to be obstacles near the bridges that the vehicles can see but you cannot.
  7. The AI usually handles bridge crossing better than a human but can also really stuff it up with larger vehicles leaving them stuck, de-tracked and vulnerable.




_____________________________

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