Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future ?

Ideas and suggestions for how to improve the Warzone 2100 base game only. Ideas for mods go in Mapping/Modding instead. Read sticky posts first!
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by vexed » 23 Mar 2012, 05:13

Emdek wrote:
Shadow Wolf TJC wrote:Not everyone here is good enough at micromanagement you know.
Really? :-)
Image
Although these weren't grouped, but I've used exact the same strategy - use commander HP. ;-)
Ugh, fix your drivers! :stare:
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Emdek » 23 Mar 2012, 09:53

vexed, I'm not sure if that was drivers, or not (I've seen such issues both with i915 and Radeon HD 5570, bot on newest drivers from vendor), it's probably related to textures issues that happens when loading initial missions of Beta and Gamma campaigns.

Rman Virgil, but let me to post my refined ideas (these should be now clear and rich like virgin olive oil) before. :-)
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Rman Virgil » 23 Mar 2012, 11:13

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I can see a dilemma unfolding.

Don't want Iluvalar's Commander Mod work in progress to get lost in this thread - which already looks like it's bound to happen.

I also don't want to discourage other discussions.

Possible solution: Iluvalar what do you think about creating a dedicated thread in the Mod BB to test and report ongoing development results? We can come back to this thread later with final results.

That being agreeable, we can proceed with other proposals here - like your clear as virgin olive oil proposal, Emdek. ;)

But let's be clear here: the ultimate goal of all these discussions and proposals is to get to where Iluvalar has taken us very efficiently ~ working commander mods to test & evaluate.

This is the first practical proposal that can be put in-game so let's do right by it and make it the model of how we are gonna proceed going forward with actual experiments and valuable data harvesting.

Thanks. :)

- Cheers, Rman. :hmm:
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Emdek » 23 Mar 2012, 11:18

+1 for dedicated thread for (each) experimental implementation (maybe linked in one of reserved posts?), as this one got really long and full of off topics. :-)
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Rman Virgil » 23 Mar 2012, 18:00

Emdek wrote:+1 for dedicated thread for (each) experimental implementation (maybe linked in one of reserved posts?), as this one got really long and full of off topics. :-)
Sounds good to me. :)

If there are no objections (or reasonable alternatives) presented to consider between now and tomorrow, then I'll go ahead & set it all up first thing Sat.

When I get back home to my WZ boxes next Fri. I'll be able to begin testing stuff myself extensively. I'll also checkin with my LAN club buds & see if they can lend a hand testing, should it be needed. :3

- RV :hmm:

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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Rman Virgil » 25 Mar 2012, 04:34

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Done.. dedicated thread created.

Iluvalar's *Commander Mod WIP* - Need Data


viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9196


This will all be telling, & have substantive value, one way or another I am certain.. ;)

Shall we proceed?

- RV :hmm:
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Rman Virgil » 26 Mar 2012, 16:06

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Follow-up #1 per my previous posting:

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Mirefrost00's Concepts plugged into the 2 Dev Templates to illustrate this structured brainstorming process & some of its value benefits going forward with efficient experimental implementations which inturn require play-testing for data harvesting & any legitimate assessments that go beyond amusing jibber-jabberwokky (& chest-beating puffery).

Here are some of the questions that arise when using the templates.

~ All 3 areas of change are correlated. Changing Combat Mechanics should be considered in conjunction with changes correlated to Experience & Rank Mechanics - & what are those specifically?

~ What changes in Combat Mechanics that would require UI / AI changes as well should be viewed & identified in Long-Range Dev Terms right from the get go. What are those UI / AI specifically, that will support the proposed changes in Combat Mechanics ...?

I think the break-out of the original post below illustrates, at a glance, the value of the templates.


Short-term Commander Improvements to Dev:


* Combat Mechanics:

  • ~


    # - Removing or greatly increasing the unit cap is an excellent idea. It could be based on a much longer scale than the standard experience ranks, so that you could still have a fresh Commander be limited in its command capacity, but after some time in the field, grow to command 50+ units at once, which would find more use in the longer-term, I believe. (Mirefrost00)

    # - In their central role, as I envision it, they must also be more exclusive. No army should be able to field more than three or four of these beasts in a given engagement. The logistical chain would strain to the breaking point, not only repairing them and feeding their cannons, but the staff required at HQ and the CRC to maintain strategic momentum for such massive battalions. Once we reach the long-term phase, the CRC should either be larger, and/or more expensive.

    The Command Bolos :D should be more than worth the added trouble by that time. (Mirefrost00)

    # - If not taking them to the full, stupendous scale of a Mk. XXX Bolo, the Commanders should still be the toughest things on the battlefield........ They should be able to singlehandedly best three or four MBTs, and survive a few strikes from the heaviest artillery and still limp away to a Repair Facility. (Mirefrost00)

    ~

* Experience & Rank Linked Boosts for Commander Grouped Units:

  • ~

    ~

    ~

===========================>


Long-term Commander Improvements to Dev:


* Combat Mechanics:
  • ~

    # - Consider that they will eventually be following generalized battle orders and choosing harrassment or strike targets independent of the player's attention, meaning all at the same time. That, plus the large numbers of land and air units they will be coordinating will make them popular targets. (Mirefrost00)

    ~

* Experience & Rank Linked Boosts for Commander Grouped Units:
  • ~

    ~

    ~

* Command UI changes:
  • ~

    # - Consider that they will eventually be following generalized battle orders and choosing harrassment or strike targets independent of the player's attention, meaning all at the same time. That, plus the large numbers of land and air units they will be coordinating will make them popular targets. (Mirefrost00)


    ~
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Shadow Wolf TJC » 27 Mar 2012, 15:35

Lately, after remembering an old match that I played in which I used cheap light-bodied commanders to effectively lead groups of cheap Cyborgs to victory, I've since changed my older stance on having multiple types of commanders. (I'm also quoting the rest of this post from another, redundant Commanders thread for archiving's sake.)
Shadow Wolf TJC wrote:Ideas that I'm moderately in favor of in the short term:

Increase the initial unit cap for assigning to commanders to somewhere between 10 and 14 for a fresh commander. I agree that commanders' unit limits currently seem too small for the multiplayer environment, though I don't want to give fresh commanders the ability to lead entire batallions of 25 or so tanks either. 10 to 14 seems like a reasonable starting point.

Remove limits on how many commanders a player may have at a time. If 10 to 14 units per commander still seems like it's too steep a number, then perhaps we could increase, or even remove, the limit on how many commanders a player can control. :wink:

Boost HP, though only for more advanced Command Turrets. The HP of T1 Command Turrets is currently fine as it is, though the HP boosts provided by more advanced versions don't seem to do them enough justice, as more powerful weapons, and weapon upgrades, start to hit the field.

Reduce the cost of command turrets, especially the more advanced versions. The price of Command Turrets can reach as high as $1750! I've seen fortresses that are cheaper than that! :stare:

Not require line-of-sight for assigning targets for direct-fire units only. While I'd like for commanders to be able to assign attack targets, even if they don't have line-of-sight to them, I'm worried about how this could be abused with indirect-fire units. I don't exactly like the idea of a commander being able to hide behind terrain while it directs indirect fire units and structures to attack its target. Therefore, I'd like to limit this feature to direct-fire units only.
---

Ideas that I'm in favor of, though I doubt that they could be implemented anytime soon:

Drive assigned units in a specific order. This would indeed help in terms of micromanaging which units should close in and which should keep a distance, though I believe that it would not be all that easy to program in.

Multiple attack vectors for assigned units. As useful as such a system would be, this would require some sort of possibly-sophisticated computational algorithm whatchamacallit in order to determine who should attack what. It would need to account for not only weapon multipliers, but may also need to account for kinetic/thermal armor, or even determine targets based on how deadly their weapons are to the group overall. :hmm:
---

Ideas that I'm neutral or skeptical about:

Increasing the commander's range. Increasing it to the point where most, if not all, direct-fire weapons can't outrange them may be all fine and dandy, but I'm not exactly comfortable with giving them a range as great as mortars. :|

Remove the requirement for a Command Relay Center to be present. They seem to provide far too little functionality to be worth keeping, though I'm not exactly in any rush to see them removed ASAP. 8)

Toggle an auto-assign/unassign mode for commanders. That could reduce micromanagement a bit, but what if you don't want certain units, such as artillery or specialized direct-fire units such as Bunker Buster Hovers, to be assigned to any commanders at all? I fear that it could just as likely frustrate players as much as it could help them. Perhaps giving commanders some sort of area-of-effect aura that provides the experience-boosting effect towards any friendly units within its range would work better? :hmm:

Assigned units follow formations. I don't see how this could provide any benefits for this game. Most maps have bottlenecks that are too narrow to even support formations in general. :roll:
---

Ideas that I'm opposed to:

Giving commanders cloaking abilities. If you want to implement stealth in a game, then you should also implement a means of detecting them. Otherwise, they'd be overpowered. :lecture:

Giving commanders a weapon. Commanders already have high HP, which they need more than any weapon to survive due to how enemies would prioritize attacking commanders over other units. :lecture:

Two types of commanders. I really don't see any reason why this needs to be added. Commanders need as much HP as they can get, so the idea of fragile commanders seems outrageous. Also, for so-called "super commanders", see my replies on reducing commander costs (which I support) and giving commanders weapons (which I oppose).

Indirect-fire commanders. In terms of purpose, this seems similar to the idea of commanders not requiring line-of-sight in order to be able to assign attack targets, and much like that, I'm concerned that this could be abused with indirect-fire units. Moreover, I think that the idea of an arcing designator beam seems ridiculous, as how would such a thing work? :lol2:
Perhaps one of these 2 types of commanders could be an inexpensive version designed to be mounted on a lighter body, for leading groups of likewise cheaper Cyborgs and light-bodied vehicles, while the other type could be a more expensive version, with more HP, that's designed to be mounted on a heavier body, for leading groups of likewise heavier, more expensive tanks in battle. That way, you could create efficient, if somewhat expendable, commanders for leading a zerg rush, or you could create efficient, high HP commanders for leading a smaller, but more powerful, task force. Note to self: consider implementing these kinds of commanders for my mod.
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Rman Virgil » 27 Mar 2012, 18:31

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Follow-up # 2. Couldn't wait till I got back home to my work station next weekend to do something and so I did this rough mock-up on my droid smart phone.

Basically it is proposing the re-tooling of the Mini-Map, Commander UI / AI and merging Command & Control maneuver of Commander led Combat Groups through it. (CG1 = Commander Combat Group 1, ditto 2 & 3.)

This falls into the Long-Term category.

Historical Note: If you look at the way skirmish worked, & it's UI, in the retail release v.1.0 it is COMPLETELY different from what you know as stock WZ. What you know as stock WZ was actually first conceived, proposed & implemented in the weeks between release of patches v.1.04 and v.1.05.

NEXT- over the coming days I'll engage some more of the recent, & carefully detailed, change proposal postings. :hmm:

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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by theArmourer » 28 Mar 2012, 19:21

Well this has been an interesting thread. And I'd like to preface this by saying that all my opinions come from playing Campaign(cam), and a little bit of Single player skirmish(SK).

With that said, I don't see why the commanders(coms) need a massive overhaul. I've never used coms. in SK, always going for air power, and in cam they are quite effective. Mostly they would benefit from bug fixes and enhanced pathing. Since it sounds like coms are underpowered in MP, there are some features that I think would give them tactical value, while not overpowering them in cam.

1. Design a formation creator. This would allow players to create preset formations from the main menu that they could access from any game. Implementing these formations would be done through the CRC and could only be applied to units by a commander. Units could be organized by weapon type(cannon, MG, arty, etc.) possibly with a propulsion or body sub-type.

2. Give the commander customizable targeting priorities. A commander could chose targets based on threat classifications and distance, and the player could create presets through the main menu.

3. Give the commander multi-targeting abilities. This would be based on level, and allow the commander to assign targets based on units weapon types. (MGs would have priority cyborg targeting)

I know these would all be a pain to implement, and I'd help, but college eats up all my time these days. :stare:
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Iluvalar » 28 Mar 2012, 19:29

theArmourer wrote: 3. Give the commander multi-targeting abilities. This would be based on level, and allow the commander to assign targets based on units weapon types. (MGs would have priority cyborg targeting)
I don't believe that's good. Whatever if one part of the units could do more damage to another enemy, it's probably better to reduce one enemy at a time than to spread the energy.
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by theArmourer » 28 Mar 2012, 19:49

Well, with large groups(16+), fire could be split among multiple targets, and still destroy them.

From what I understand, 3.1 has a no-overkill ability, right? Thinking about that, what happens when a com assigns a target, and it doesn't need all the units' firepower to kill it? Since the com's units can only fire at designated targets, there would either be overkill, or X units wouldn't fire. With a multi-target ability, the com could focus on human designated targets, and use priority targeting to designate targets for units with extra firepower in non-optimal weapons(MGs vs. Tanks). So the commander would destroy human assigned targets first, then other targets in threat order(MGs shoot Cannon Cyborgs). Or, autonomously use optimal weapons to destroy the high priority targets. So missles would target dangerous tanks, MGs destroy cyborgs, flamers would attack whatever they're good at,(including defenses) etc. And the com would be working to destroy units as fast as possible.

We were thinking of useful AI scripting, right? :D
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Rman Virgil » 29 Mar 2012, 03:53

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theArmourer wrote:Well this has been an interesting thread. And I'd like to preface this by saying that all my opinions come from playing Campaign(cam), and a little bit of Single player skirmish(SK).

With that said, I don't see why the commanders(coms) need a massive overhaul. I've never used coms. in SK, always going for air power, and in cam they are quite effective. Mostly they would benefit from bug fixes and enhanced pathing. Since it sounds like coms are underpowered in MP, there are some features that I think would give them tactical value, while not overpowering them in cam.
~ This thread is all about making the use of Commanders a viable winning option in MP. CAM is not a consideration because it would require a re-tooling of the Campaign itself. SKI is not a consideration because it would require making an AI that utilized such improved Commanders otherwise it would place it at yet another disadvantage. In short, remaking CAM or a new SKI A.I. is not our goal here.

~ While PF can stand to be improved what you are referring to is actually Path Walking and this is indeed a major handicap in controlling Commander led combat grouped units. Trying to babysit the idiotic bumbling to prevent unintentional unit sacrifice is both nerve racking & discouraging - to say the least. That said, I did come up with a possible working solution back in the retail days based on re-tooling the health scripting mechanic of the command UI using the decay of the weakest HP unit of the group as a ref for incremental retreat but this is not the place to get into all that.

~ We have not characterized the overhaul of Commanders necessary to make them a viable choice in MP winning strats. The first mod WIP we are currently testing & experimenting with (by Iluvalar) takes a very modest incremental approach to change that is acknowledging 2 principles: a here & now working solution to build future change on as well that WZ is a complex system dynamic prone to emergent behaviour that cannot be predicted by a priori theorizing - esp in MP vs skilled humans.
1. Design a formation creator. This would allow players to create preset formations from the main menu that they could access from any game. Implementing these formations would be done through the CRC and could only be applied to units by a commander. Units could be organized by weapon type(cannon, MG, arty, etc.) possibly with a propulsion or body sub-type.
Bungie did this in their first "Myth" 3D fantasy strat game circa 1997 and it worked really well. Don't doubt it would in WZ as well. But right now it falls into the "pie in the sky", Longggg Term proposition catagory...
2. Give the commander customizable targeting priorities. A commander could chose targets based on threat classifications and distance, and the player could create presets through the main menu.
Ditto as per my conclusion for #1.
3. Give the commander multi-targeting abilities. This would be based on level, and allow the commander to assign targets based on units weapon types. (MGs would have priority cyborg targeting)
......
I believe multiple Commander led combat groups as per the re-tooled Mini-Map / Command & Control / UI /AI presented in the above mock-up posting, a more flexible, design elegant, GP richer & viable proposition without any of the downside of force strength dilution pointed out by Iluvalar.

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Last edited by Rman Virgil on 29 Mar 2012, 04:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by theArmourer » 29 Mar 2012, 04:12

I don't have 3.1, and I don't have time to do testing, so I'll ask: Do all units fire on a commander's target? or just enough to kill it?

I don't really understand what you have going on in your picture, so I'll need to ask for an explanation. :|

eta: When I refer to pathing, I'm referring to the whole package; which, at my latest knowledge, was all rather clunky. It is certain that my information is out of date.
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Rman Virgil » 29 Mar 2012, 04:33

theArmourer wrote:I don't have 3.1, and I don't have time to do testing, so I'll ask: Do all units fire on a commander's target? or just enough to kill it?

I don't really understand what you have going on in your picture, so I'll need to ask for an explanation. :|

eta: When I refer to pathing, I'm referring to the whole package; which, at my latest knowledge, was all rather clunky. It is certain that my information is out of date.
I need to go sleep so I'll be brief now & try to do a better job of explaining tomorrow.

Priority targeting presupposes Threat Assessment and the only thing happening with that is in the players brain. Implementing Threat Assessment is non trivial.

As for the pic... you can assign different targets to each commander led combat group as well present the opposition with the dilemma of having to dilute their force concentration by spliting it vs your multiple combat group offensive were in your commanders can each maintain force concentration..... any more expansion will have to wait till tomorrow. I'm literally nodding off as I peck this. Jet lag. O_o

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