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Feedback again - 5/10/2019 9:52:18 AM   
Bivoj_MatrixForum

 

Posts: 42
Joined: 12/13/2010
Status: offline
Finally the annoying pathfinding gets much better (still not ideal - but it is much better to get the unit to stop with warning than to send it without notice around the globe), so the game is much more playable for me. Unfortunately, I have discovered another issues, lack of information/clarity and quality of life low-lights, which still makes the game not enough enjoyable (I am waiting for another patch with hope, that things will be improved).

Hereby the list I have discovered so far:

1) One unit per tile is still there, so crossing bridges is still pain, combined arms tactics (APC or armour together with infantry) and unloading infantry in combat is still clumsy.

2) When the unit stops due to "cannot find path" (usually because friendly unit blocks bridge or narrow street), it somehow drops off the platoon (not literally, since it is not red-highlighted, but it does not follow orders). That would be fine, but when you order the unit to reattach to its platoon, all the platoon orders suddenly disappear - WHY? After reattaching, it should get the orders from parent unit and continue... Not only the "command delay" malus appears, but if you plan several checkpoints, you get them lost and you have to draw them again... and just because of engine limitations.

3) I still miss the standard Combat Mission order "Wait for XX seconds". It is fine to have "paused" orders (I mean holding ctrl and drawing the orders in red), but it still involves unnecessary manual work and micromanagement.

4) The SOP is still half-finished:

4.1) I have no clue how to get the info what SOP is active for my units. Sometimes the SOP is highlighted (which is fine and it should be standard for all units all the time), but mostly it is not, so I have to guess (i.e. remember what I have ordered to that particular unit some time ago and when I did forget/misclicked, I have bad information anyway)

4.2) The SOP is not persistent - when you assign a new order, the unit instantly forgets what SOP I ordered to them and switch to the dumb default mode, unsuitable for combat (range MAX instead of EFF or NONE if I want to safe ammo AND quick pathfinding instead of cover). SOP ordered by player should not switch to default unless player wants to do so.

4.3) Setting different SOP for different orders os definitely a must. The old Airborne Assault game series had it a years ago. If there is the realistic "command delay" there should be a possibility to plan in advance - advance there in march stance (far from enemy, bridges ahead), advance here in wedge formation and in cover stance (enemy expected). Again, lack of this feature means unnecessary micromanagement and attention, not talking about order delay after you reset the SOP.

4.4) More SOP options would be fine. Airborne Assault can be inspiration for that.

5) When I order mechanised units to UNLOAD, I have no info about the time, when they execute the order (unlike any other order or stance change), no timer above the units appears.

6) I cannot manually order covering fire. If I know (or suspect) enemy is in a building, but I have no visibility to it, I cannot do anything about it (sometimes I receive a clue, that something is shooting, but not seen yet, sometimes I could fire to the last location enemy was seen in). The "blind" fire should realistically provide support and pin the enemy, so another unit can advance. In Armored Brigade, I have to sacrifice a unit in order to "discover" the enemy. Even the old Close Combat had manual fire.

7) I do not understand the Victory conditions and the mission briefing provides no info about that. I tried Who can stop the rain? scenario, attacking a Bismarck victory location. I managed to advance at the point and nothing happened, I waited there for 30 game minutes (increasing the ingame speed to superfast) with all my units around, no enemy tried to do anything about that (they did not bother losing victory location at all) and still nothing happened. When I manually ended the scenario, the result was a draw. What? Shall I hunt hidden units around the map? I would expect from attack/defense scenario, that defender is defending key location for some time and he loses after failing to do so; the attacker should win after securing the objective (and maybe after some time - a chance for counterattack).


< Message edited by Bivoj_MatrixForum -- 5/10/2019 10:48:31 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Feedback again - 5/10/2019 2:00:37 PM   
exsonic01

 

Posts: 757
Joined: 7/26/2016
From: Dusty town, somewhere inside central valley of CA
Status: offline
2 units per tile is one of dev's top priority as far as I know, I also hope to see that feature soon. Nice post, I mostly agree with those comments.

(in reply to Bivoj_MatrixForum)
Post #: 2
RE: Feedback again - 5/10/2019 6:06:26 PM   
Veitikka


Posts: 1057
Joined: 6/25/2007
From: Finland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bivoj_MatrixForum

2) When the unit stops due to "cannot find path" (usually because friendly unit blocks bridge or narrow street), it somehow drops off the platoon (not literally, since it is not red-highlighted, but it does not follow orders). That would be fine, but when you order the unit to reattach to its platoon, all the platoon orders suddenly disappear - WHY? After reattaching, it should get the orders from parent unit and continue... Not only the "command delay" malus appears, but if you plan several checkpoints, you get them lost and you have to draw them again... and just because of engine limitations.


It's true that reattaching cancels all waypoints, to avoid further issues, but if the unit is not 'detached' (the red square) then there's no need to reattach it, because it's already attached. The unit resumes movement with the formation as soon as the next waypoint is reached, without an extra delay.

quote:



3) I still miss the standard Combat Mission order "Wait for XX seconds". It is fine to have "paused" orders (I mean holding ctrl and drawing the orders in red), but it still involves unnecessary manual work and micromanagement.


Haven't really thought of this option. Perhaps it could use useful... Still, it would require the player to predict how formations and units will behave along the way, and that can be challenging. Probably an exceptional solution in a real-time game.

quote:



4.1) I have no clue how to get the info what SOP is active for my units. Sometimes the SOP is highlighted (which is fine and it should be standard for all units all the time), but mostly it is not, so I have to guess (i.e. remember what I have ordered to that particular unit some time ago and when I did forget/misclicked, I have bad information anyway)


If you have a single unit selected then you can see the active and transitioning SOP options in the menu and in the unit stats panel.

quote:



4.2) The SOP is not persistent - when you assign a new order, the unit instantly forgets what SOP I ordered to them and switch to the dumb default mode, unsuitable for combat (range MAX instead of EFF or NONE if I want to safe ammo AND quick pathfinding instead of cover). SOP ordered by player should not switch to default unless player wants to do so.


I don't remember a case where the player units use different range settings than what the player has set. Retreating is an exception.

If a unit moves with its formation then it uses the formation pathfind mode. If it moves without the formation then it uses its own pathfind mode. In some cases the mode is overridden, for example when the unit retreats (it automatically uses the 'covered' mode), but there's no 'dumb default' that the units use on their own, ignoring what the player has set.

quote:



4.3) Setting different SOP for different orders os definitely a must. The old Airborne Assault game series had it a years ago. If there is the realistic "command delay" there should be a possibility to plan in advance - advance there in march stance (far from enemy, bridges ahead), advance here in wedge formation and in cover stance (enemy expected). Again, lack of this feature means unnecessary micromanagement and attention, not talking about order delay after you reset the SOP.


Ideally yes, there should be advanced options for customizing every waypoint.

quote:



5) When I order mechanised units to UNLOAD, I have no info about the time, when they execute the order (unlike any other order or stance change), no timer above the units appears.


From what I remember, so far nobody has commented the unload time. Currently it's 20 seconds.

quote:



6) I cannot manually order covering fire. If I know (or suspect) enemy is in a building, but I have no visibility to it, I cannot do anything about it (sometimes I receive a clue, that something is shooting, but not seen yet, sometimes I could fire to the last location enemy was seen in). The "blind" fire should realistically provide support and pin the enemy, so another unit can advance. In Armored Brigade, I have to sacrifice a unit in order to "discover" the enemy. Even the old Close Combat had manual fire.


I've heard that in the old Close Combat games the AI opponent did not use the feature. There have been some ideas how to improve this in AB, for example by making the units automatically fire at the detected muzzle flash locations. However, this would make them waste their ammunition very fast.

quote:



7) I do not understand the Victory conditions and the mission briefing provides no info about that. I tried Who can stop the rain? scenario, attacking a Bismarck victory location. I managed to advance at the point and nothing happened, I waited there for 30 game minutes (increasing the ingame speed to superfast) with all my units around, no enemy tried to do anything about that (they did not bother losing victory location at all) and still nothing happened. When I manually ended the scenario, the result was a draw. What? Shall I hunt hidden units around the map? I would expect from attack/defense scenario, that defender is defending key location for some time and he loses after failing to do so; the attacker should win after securing the objective (and maybe after some time - a chance for counterattack).


Perhaps the scenario is not properly balanced or designed. Did you play it now or in the past? The recent 'proximity spotting' feature might have changed the scenario balance, because now it is much easier to spot enemies that are firing close to your units. When attacking, if there are not enough victory points then the scenario can end too soon, and can be very difficult. If there are too many points then the scenario can go on for too long.

The AI can counterattack, but doesn't do it every time.


_____________________________

Know thyself!

(in reply to Bivoj_MatrixForum)
Post #: 3
RE: Feedback again - 5/10/2019 10:01:29 PM   
Bivoj_MatrixForum

 

Posts: 42
Joined: 12/13/2010
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka

It's true that reattaching cancels all waypoints, to avoid further issues, but if the unit is not 'detached' (the red square) then there's no need to reattach it, because it's already attached. The unit resumes movement with the formation as soon as the next waypoint is reached, without an extra delay.




Does it mean, that as soon as the "active" platoon units reach the waypoint (leaving the "confused" fellows behind), all the units (including the confused ones) head towards the next waypoint? Or does it mean, that the next waypoint is not "activated" as part of the unit has not reached the current one?
I thought the latter is the case, but I am not sure.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka
quote:


3) I still miss the standard Combat Mission order "Wait for XX seconds". It is fine to have "paused" orders (I mean holding ctrl and drawing the orders in red), but it still involves unnecessary manual work and micromanagement.


Haven't really thought of this option. Perhaps it could use useful... Still, it would require the player to predict how formations and units will behave along the way, and that can be challenging. Probably an exceptional solution in a real-time game.



I used it in Combat Mission to delay some units or to make them wait at some location for certain amount of time. It may be useful.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka
If you have a single unit selected then you can see the active and transitioning SOP options in the menu and in the unit stats panel.


Great - now I know how it works. But still - as I use almost only platoon commands, it would be really handy to see the SOP on command selection as well. It is just confusing, that you select all the SOP options and after a click, all the selection disappears...


quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka
quote:


4.2) The SOP is not persistent - when you assign a new order, the unit instantly forgets what SOP I ordered to them and switch to the dumb default mode, unsuitable for combat (range MAX instead of EFF or NONE if I want to safe ammo AND quick pathfinding instead of cover). SOP ordered by player should not switch to default unless player wants to do so.


I don't remember a case where the player units use different range settings than what the player has set. Retreating is an exception.

If a unit moves with its formation then it uses the formation pathfind mode. If it moves without the formation then it uses its own pathfind mode. In some cases the mode is overridden, for example when the unit retreats (it automatically uses the 'covered' mode), but there's no 'dumb default' that the units use on their own, ignoring what the player has set.


I thought, that I have "lost" the manual SOP after selecting the new orders to a unit. Maybe it is not that bad and for changing orders the SOP persist (I have to test it), but what certainly happened:
the unit was the last in a platoon, it was an infantry unit and it just lost its APC vehicle (so the platoon cease to exist). I did issue new order to advance and the infantry squad in question selected (longer) path along the road - I just clicked at its SOP (I could se it, because single unit was selected now) and "default" "quick MAX MAX" etc. was there. The platoon had been given "cover EFF EFF" much earlier manualy by myself.

So, maybe the reset to default occurs after the unit is detached from its platoon (or it loses the rest of the platoon as last one remaining). This is still not good, but not as big issue as I thought.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka
quote:



4.3) Setting different SOP for different orders os definitely a must. The old Airborne Assault game series had it a years ago. If there is the realistic "command delay" there should be a possibility to plan in advance - advance there in march stance (far from enemy, bridges ahead), advance here in wedge formation and in cover stance (enemy expected). Again, lack of this feature means unnecessary micromanagement and attention, not talking about order delay after you reset the SOP.


Ideally yes, there should be advanced options for customizing every waypoint.


Great hear! It would be great addition.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka
quote:



5) When I order mechanised units to UNLOAD, I have no info about the time, when they execute the order (unlike any other order or stance change), no timer above the units appears.


From what I remember, so far nobody has commented the unload time. Currently it's 20 seconds.


I mean - I miss the timer above the unit as for any other order delay. If you order "unload" as a waypoint (which is clumsy now), you can see the timer, but if you order unload directly, no timer is visible.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka
quote:



6) I cannot manually order covering fire. If I know (or suspect) enemy is in a building, but I have no visibility to it, I cannot do anything about it (sometimes I receive a clue, that something is shooting, but not seen yet, sometimes I could fire to the last location enemy was seen in). The "blind" fire should realistically provide support and pin the enemy, so another unit can advance. In Armored Brigade, I have to sacrifice a unit in order to "discover" the enemy. Even the old Close Combat had manual fire.


I've heard that in the old Close Combat games the AI opponent did not use the feature. There have been some ideas how to improve this in AB, for example by making the units automatically fire at the detected muzzle flash locations. However, this would make them waste their ammunition very fast.


I can live with AI not using covering fire at all, but I want to have the option to order MY units fire at certain area as covering fire.
Ideally (in addition to manual order "fire at area") there should be an option to order "advance with covering fire" to the whole (INF) platoon, so the units alter in move and fire as they advance.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka
quote:



7) I do not understand the Victory conditions and the mission briefing provides no info about that. I tried Who can stop the rain? scenario, attacking a Bismarck victory location. I managed to advance at the point and nothing happened, I waited there for 30 game minutes (increasing the ingame speed to superfast) with all my units around, no enemy tried to do anything about that (they did not bother losing victory location at all) and still nothing happened. When I manually ended the scenario, the result was a draw. What? Shall I hunt hidden units around the map? I would expect from attack/defense scenario, that defender is defending key location for some time and he loses after failing to do so; the attacker should win after securing the objective (and maybe after some time - a chance for counterattack).


Perhaps the scenario is not properly balanced or designed. Did you play it now or in the past? The recent 'proximity spotting' feature might have changed the scenario balance, because now it is much easier to spot enemies that are firing close to your units. When attacking, if there are not enough victory points then the scenario can end too soon, and can be very difficult. If there are too many points then the scenario can go on for too long.

The AI can counterattack, but doesn't do it every time.




I played the scenario yesterday. There was still a big issue with seeing enemy units (even tanks) - I believe as intended, because of bad weather. But as I managed to advance at the victory location and kill every enemy in its proximity, the scenario did not end for very long.
It would be very annoying to try to find and kill scattered enemy units around the map...
Anyway, clear definition of victory conditions in each scenario is a must.
To roleplay a little bit: As a commander I had no clue what my superiors want me to do - I managed to secure the area they have told me, but they were not satisfied with the result without telling me any reasons or adjusting the order.

(in reply to Veitikka)
Post #: 4
RE: Feedback again - 5/10/2019 10:01:57 PM   
Bivoj_MatrixForum

 

Posts: 42
Joined: 12/13/2010
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: exsonic01

2 units per tile is one of dev's top priority as far as I know, I also hope to see that feature soon. Nice post, I mostly agree with those comments.



I hope so!

(in reply to exsonic01)
Post #: 5
RE: Feedback again - 5/11/2019 2:20:24 AM   
exsonic01

 

Posts: 757
Joined: 7/26/2016
From: Dusty town, somewhere inside central valley of CA
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Bivoj_MatrixForum
I can live with AI not using covering fire at all, but I want to have the option to order MY units fire at certain area as covering fire.
Ideally (in addition to manual order "fire at area") there should be an option to order "advance with covering fire" to the whole (INF) platoon, so the units alter in move and fire as they advance.

This has been suggested several times before. I was also one of them who suggested 'forced attack' or 'non-target attack' or 'area fire' from Beta forum, just like CC or CM series do.

The reason why devs don't introduce this is the AI-player balance. Player can do this wisely, control ammo amount and suppress suspicious area by forced attack. However, AI cannot do that. AI don't know where is 'suspicious area' during the game every turn, because situations changes every turn. If you think about this, it is really hard to code to designate wher e might be the 'suspicious area' for AI every moment and every turn.

Current version of AB is only AI-player game available. Dev's thinking is, what player can perform should be possible for AI as well. Devs are worrying that such asymmetric actions like 'area fire', which AI cannot properly perform, might hurt their battle and campaign balance, make game too easy.

One of the idea was fire against the muzzle flash. This still limits the player's option to suppress the area using forced attack. But it is one of the good idea for AI and player to mimic something similar to suppress fire under current circumstance. But limited ammo can be an issue for AI.

That is why I suggested supply truck or forward supply base. (There are supply post in the forum) Several FMs suggested the 'field repair station' can be possible mostly for defensive operation (but never ruled out for offensive), for operations bigger than battalion size battle (For US, company size was also mentioned but not clear) Allow resupply and limited amount of field repair. Wargame franchise of Eugen abstracted this feature using supply vehicles, and SBpro also introduced such 'field repair station' for some scenarios.

I guess supply truck feature might be easier than 'area fire' option. What I suggested was something similar to current helicopter control option. Make a designated area for supply vehicles, let them stay there for limited amount of time (and can be attacked) and fall back after time is up. Player cannot control trucks directly, just like helicopters in AB. Players can set their destination only. Of course, game UI should show available region for supply trucks.

Not sure what devs are thinking, but I wish if they could bring "fire back to muzzle flash" and "field resupply", and eventually introduce "area fire" in the future. Because, without suppress fire, sometimes it is really hard to play in urban environment. AB didn't model chemical weapons, neither nasty things like TOS-1 Buratino. (That is why I'm glad that they begin to introduce flamethrower units) Sometimes I feel lack of fire power, and "area fire" would be very handy.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 5/11/2019 2:49:49 AM >

(in reply to Bivoj_MatrixForum)
Post #: 6
RE: Feedback again - 5/11/2019 5:09:16 PM   
Veitikka


Posts: 1057
Joined: 6/25/2007
From: Finland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bivoj_MatrixForum

Does it mean, that as soon as the "active" platoon units reach the waypoint (leaving the "confused" fellows behind), all the units (including the confused ones) head towards the next waypoint?


Yes, if the confused unit is still attached to the platoon.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka

Great - now I know how it works. But still - as I use almost only platoon commands, it would be really handy to see the SOP on command selection as well. It is just confusing, that you select all the SOP options and after a click, all the selection disappears...


A SOP option can be in different states: Not available at all, disabled, active, or in transition due to the command delay. If you have multiple units selected then there can be multiple states active, and any state can change at any moment. It can be tricky to show and update all this in real time.

quote:



I thought, that I have "lost" the manual SOP after selecting the new orders to a unit. Maybe it is not that bad and for changing orders the SOP persist (I have to test it), but what certainly happened:
the unit was the last in a platoon, it was an infantry unit and it just lost its APC vehicle (so the platoon cease to exist). I did issue new order to advance and the infantry squad in question selected (longer) path along the road - I just clicked at its SOP (I could se it, because single unit was selected now) and "default" "quick MAX MAX" etc. was there. The platoon had been given "cover EFF EFF" much earlier manualy by myself.

So, maybe the reset to default occurs after the unit is detached from its platoon (or it loses the rest of the platoon as last one remaining). This is still not good, but not as big issue as I thought.


I believe that the infantry unit was inside a vehicle when the platoon SOP was changed, and currently mounted units don't change their SOP. It can be debated if the passenger units should copy the transport unit's SOP settings, but in many cases it's not a good idea.

quote:


quote:



Ideally yes, there should be advanced options for customizing every waypoint.


Great hear! It would be great addition.


Even if it's ideal it doesn't mean that in the near future there will be such a huge overhaul of the waypoint system.

quote:



I mean - I miss the timer above the unit as for any other order delay. If you order "unload" as a waypoint (which is clumsy now), you can see the timer, but if you order unload directly, no timer is visible.


There's no timer because the unload order is instant. It just takes some time for the soldiers to get out of the transport.

quote:



I can live with AI not using covering fire at all, but I want to have the option to order MY units fire at certain area as covering fire.


Any micromanagement options for the player make the AI opponent less challenging, and the game less realistic if the player commander can enter a firefight and order to fire at a certain bush.

quote:



Ideally (in addition to manual order "fire at area") there should be an option to order "advance with covering fire" to the whole (INF) platoon, so the units alter in move and fire as they advance.


A bounding overwatch waypoint or SOP option can be a good addition in the future.

quote:



I played the scenario yesterday. There was still a big issue with seeing enemy units (even tanks) - I believe as intended, because of bad weather. But as I managed to advance at the victory location and kill every enemy in its proximity, the scenario did not end for very long.
It would be very annoying to try to find and kill scattered enemy units around the map...
Anyway, clear definition of victory conditions in each scenario is a must.
To roleplay a little bit: As a commander I had no clue what my superiors want me to do - I managed to secure the area they have told me, but they were not satisfied with the result without telling me any reasons or adjusting the order.


It's unfortunately that you happened to pick this particular scenario and run into potential balancing issues, but most of the time the victory point system works quite well, and the player doesn't have to wait for too long. There are some differences depending on if it's a defence, meeting, or advance mission. It's described in detail in the manual chapter 5.6.3. "Victory Points And Objectives".


_____________________________

Know thyself!

(in reply to Bivoj_MatrixForum)
Post #: 7
RE: Feedback again - 5/11/2019 9:04:30 PM   
Bivoj_MatrixForum

 

Posts: 42
Joined: 12/13/2010
Status: offline
Thank you for the answers. Some issues are just lack of clarity (and my fault), which is good. I hope you will address the rest in future. Especially the tile limitation is annoying.

Regarding the manual fire at some area. What about simple rule for AI - 60%+ ammo = fire at any "flesh/sound" of (potential) enemy; 30%+ ammo = fire only at imminent threat for the unit and in close proximity; 29% ammo and less = fire only at visible targets.

If adding "manual" fire-at-area for player is decreasing realism (because AI cannot handle it), it increases realism and immersion on the other hand. Now I know, the enemy is in that damn building, but my dumb units are stubbornly denying to return fire, because they do not "see" the enemy. This is breaking realism and immersion...

Btw. how is it possible, that AI is using mortars or artillery? It is similar... And if you do not have arty at hand, you have to suppress the area you are willing to attack by "regular" units, like with your arty. I am using this tactic in CM and it seems to be realistic (suppress enemy by firepower and advance).

(in reply to Veitikka)
Post #: 8
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