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

Post by Rman Virgil » 18 Mar 2012, 10:30

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On point. Well done. :)

There are many legit possibilities & many paths to doing - everyone of 'em fraught with the pitfalls of undoing. While risk will always be part of the process (we are all prone to selective exposure & hard-wired heuristic biases, to name but 2 of the biggies) there are risk management strategies that can minimize wasted efforts and such demotivators to action brought to compleation.

I'm going through the historical materials on Commander improvement proposals going back to 1999 as you all are proceeding with your proposals presently. I'll filter out what is already being addressed and articulated in the here and now.

Solid guys. :D

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

Post by Emdek » 18 Mar 2012, 10:58

Shadow Wolf TJC wrote:1. Retain commander experience after death: This would likely cause serious balance issues for commanders. Even if a certain building, such as the Command Relay Center, needed to be present in order for experience to be retained after death, I fear that it would encourage players to send their commanders (possibly only building a single commander), and their accompanying forces, into battle at all times, since all units assigned to the commander would be treated as if their experience level was the same as the commander's. :annoyed: (I believe that a similar debate was brought up concerning retaining experience upon death.)
Solution, retain, but decreased by at least 25%.
And pass it only to new commander units (well, personally I'm using that current "bug / feature" to rotate experience between heavy units and commanders - like "sacrifice" experienced unit to have more units assignable from start).

Probably I'll later post own filled "template" too, I'll wait a bit for other ideas and try to find compromise / combine them, as I'm very flexible and good arguments affects my opinions. ;-)
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Rman Virgil » 18 Mar 2012, 18:07

Mirefrost00 wrote:......

To get the ball rolling on the Commander issue, it may help to start right now changing how the community looks at the Commander unit. Bringing them to the forefront of theater roles, doing what we can to make them more useful to all, in campaign and multiplayer alike, is what I view as the best way to do so.
Agree. There is a parallel dynamic that played out over recent years. The resistance to the tank transport's introduction into MP gaming - so I understand your point, up close & personal, in this community context.
Forgive me if my ideas are a bit too radical, but I'm not used to considering the desires and opinions of an entire community. What modding I've done in the past has been frankensteining pieces of other ideas together to make fun toys for myself in such games as Cortex Command and Dwarf Fortress. I will leave it to those of you more experienced in such consideration to determine at what rate we might accelerate along any paths chosen.
Fair enough.

There's a formal name for what we're doing here. It's called Cognitive Surplus and there are certain considerations that come with its effective roll-out & sustanance over the long-haul.

I also understand working solo on radical projects. My map-mods "War School", "Aqua Coop" & "ManGodAi 4x", most recently, fall into that catagory.

When I was informed in Q2 of 2004 by WZ Creator Alex McLean (a half year prior to its public announcement on Slash.dot) that the WZ source would finally be liberated I began to conceive, & pub, my most radical WZ design - the A.R.T.S. G.C.I. & S.M.A.R.T. Commander Turrets. (SEE: download/file.php?id=4100&mode=view )

A few months after source liberation, it became painfully obvious in reviewing the source, that this was not gonna be possible any time soon, if ever. So I back-burnered the GCI & reverted back to the mind-set of the immediately possible. The mind-set that created the N.E.W.S.T. Team in the summer of '99 to create new, possible, WZ toys & tools without the source, while working on the impossible, or at least considered very unlikely by 99.9% of the WZ community for years - source liberation.

So I really do understand these various points-of-view & action dispositions from first-hand experience. :)


# - 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.

# - 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. 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. 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. This will be balanced as follows.

# - 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.

tl;dr - For the short term:

- Increase the unit cap, and ramp up the gains per level.

- Make the Command Turret tougher, and take the idea someone mentioned regarding twin turret hulls for these guys, or beef up the weapon.

- Limit each team to a small handful of Commanders, to balance their tremendous capabilities, and entice players to use them to coordinate large battlegroups in theater.

Hope this is what you were asking for. I look forward to responses to this, as I need to gauge what you are all looking for.

P.S. - The CRC could be where Commander experience is stored, if that becomes an accepted idea. It really should be tied into every aspect of these guys' survival.
This is all valuable and can readily be plugged into one or the other of the 2 dev templates. Other members have given robust feedback already which I have nothing more to add at this time.

- RV :hmm:
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Last edited by Rman Virgil on 18 Mar 2012, 19:50, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by Rman Virgil » 18 Mar 2012, 18:10

Emdek wrote:.....

Probably I'll later post own filled "template" too, I'll wait a bit for other ideas and try to find compromise / combine them, as I'm very flexible and good arguments affects my opinions. ;-)
Sounds like a good plan. :)

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

Post by Lord Apocalypse » 20 Mar 2012, 08:31

May take a bit to fully read, but was there anything from the private newst forum that i can dig up (or try to) for you RJ?

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

Post by Rman Virgil » 20 Mar 2012, 11:31

Lord Apocalypse wrote:May take a bit to fully read, but was there anything from the private newst forum that i can dig up (or try to) for you RJ?
Can't think of anything right now. Thank's for offering LA. You know you can still pull up our front end with Google's wayback time machine. I still think the design was sweet. :)

What would be cool is if they were up alongside Pumpkin-2 BBs on Cowboy's Bit Armory server.

- Rman. :hmm:

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

Post by effigy » 20 Mar 2012, 17:25

Shadow Wolf TJC wrote:...
2. Having the commander's projectile be treated as an indirect fire unit: Um, hello? Commanders are meant to be leaders of front-line task forces? Even though commanders can have artillery units assigned to them, we already have Sensor Turrets that are better-suited for leading groups of artillery. :P
I could be sold on this if Commanders were no longer allowed to have artillery attached to them, and sensors were not allowed to have direct fire units attached to them. But then, what would we do with the "Fire Support" action?
Shadow Wolf TJC wrote:...
4. Removing limits to how many units commanders can have assigned to them: Iluvalar provided a nice reason for not implementing this kind of change in the post directly after this one.
Iluvalar wrote:...
DO NOT uncap the unit limit !! The reason is simple : the commander gives a bonus to each commanded unit. So it get stronger the more we assign him units... If he can have 100 units, we'll need to consider it in the balance and make sure it is not over-efficient when he possess >80 units, this mean that every commander will suck unless they control ~60 units. It will not be an option to have a huge amount of unit, it will be FORCED.
I think I see your point... but, this is a specialized situation. There's a big difference in whether or not it's 100, 80 or 60 units attached. Also, keep in mind the odds of a battle being purely 100 vs. 60. All units will not be shooting with out micro on NTW (or similar) with much micro (which isn't really possible with 1 commander anyway).

That said, if we're allowed to build 5 commanders, should we force the player into wanting 5 by taking the total unit cap of 150, divide by 5, and only allow 30 units per commander? I'm sugguesting that a commanders experience would not be a factor in the number of units it can control. Simply always allow 30.
Iluvalar wrote:...
*Make ctrl+A leave commander alone.
...
I'd rather have a shortcut that selected any units not attached to a Commander or in a group. ctrl+a should not unassign units from a commander.
This is why some features aren't implemented: http://forums.wz2100.net/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=7490&view=unread#p87241

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

Post by Emdek » 20 Mar 2012, 17:30

effigy wrote: But then, what would we do with the "Fire Support" action?
Maybe call closest sensor with artillery group?
Or let to "connect" sensor to commander group (not directly, mark it as support but manage that group manually, like no automatic following of commander group)?
Then we could create two turret unit maybe, commander plus sensor to let both in one group (like currently). :-D

I'll wait a bit more with creating "full reply". ;-)
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Iluvalar » 20 Mar 2012, 19:20

effigy wrote: That said, if we're allowed to build 5 commanders, should we force the player into wanting 5 by taking the total unit cap of 150, divide by 5, and only allow 30 units per commander? I'm sugguesting that a commanders experience would not be a factor in the number of units it can control. Simply always allow 30.
but commanders gives a serious boost (25% at level 0) to all his unit. If you give him 6 unit, he will boost for a total of 1.5 units. If you give him 30 units, he will worth 7.5 units in total. That's a serious linear change. If we fix the commander efficiency so it is not totally OP with 30 units, they will be inefficient when they have less than 20 units in control.. IT will therefore be impossible to have a commander with less than 20 units...

They also badly need to stay alive to have more cost / efficiency than most of their units. Otherwise they would be targeted first as a target of opportunity. So a level 3 commander that give 75% bonus would have 20 python track units in his commandment, he would have the same efficiency as 15 python track and so would need to cost more than 15 python !

I dont believe you really want that to happen.
effigy wrote:
Iluvalar wrote:...
*Make ctrl+A leave commander alone.
...
I'd rather have a shortcut that selected any units not attached to a Commander or in a group. ctrl+a should not unassign units from a commander.
If i use commander, i'll probably want to take advantage of their own shortcuts (alt+#). So when I will press ctrl+A (that i use the most). My main idea will probably be "all remaining units".
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by effigy » 20 Mar 2012, 21:59

Iluvalar wrote:...
but commanders gives a serious boost (25% at level 0) to all his unit.
...
I had to stop reading after that... is the guide wrong? http://guide.wz2100.net/experience It says 0% bonus at level 0, with 5% increases each rank.

Iluvalar wrote:...
If i use commander, i'll probably want to take advantage of their own shortcuts (alt+#). So when I will press ctrl+A (that i use the most). My main idea will probably be "all remaining units".
I think we want the same thing, just in different ways.
This is why some features aren't implemented: http://forums.wz2100.net/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=7490&view=unread#p87241

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

Post by Iluvalar » 20 Mar 2012, 22:07

effigy wrote: I had to stop reading after that... is the guide wrong? http://guide.wz2100.net/experience It says 0% bonus at level 0, with 5% increases each rank.
The units do all that at the same time. All those 5% are multiplicative :

speed : 5% = 105%
accuracy: 5% = 105%
Enemy accuracy : -5% = 100/95= ~105%
Damage taken = -6% = 100/94 = ~105%

Multiplicative logic : 1.05*1.05*1.05*1.06= 123% = ~ 23% bonus
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Cyp » 20 Mar 2012, 22:30

Iluvalar wrote:
effigy wrote: ...
The units do all that at the same time. All those 5% are multiplicative :

speed : 5% = 105%
accuracy: 5% = 105%
Enemy accuracy : -5% = 100/95= ~105%
Damage taken = -6% = 100/94 = ~105%

Multiplicative logic : 1.05*1.05*1.05*1.06= 123% = ~ 23% bonus
Uh... A 5% bonus to one feature of a tank does correspond to making that tank worth 1.05 normal tanks. A more reasonable calculation is:

Speed: 5% = unquantifiable without knowing the situation
Accuracy: 5% = 102.5% (assuming all missed shots don't hit anything, plus a few extra assumptions which are not always valid)
Enemy accuracy: -5% = √(100/95) ≈ 102.5% (with a lot of similar assumptions)
Damage taken = -6% = √(100/94) ≈ 103.1% (with some assumptions, which are not always valid)

Multiplicative logic: NaN*1.025*1.025*1.031 ≈ NaN% bonus.

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

Post by Iluvalar » 21 Mar 2012, 05:35

Cyp wrote:
Iluvalar wrote:
effigy wrote: ...
The units do all that at the same time. All those 5% are multiplicative :

speed : 5% = 105%
accuracy: 5% = 105%
Enemy accuracy : -5% = 100/95= ~105%
Damage taken = -6% = 100/94 = ~105%

Multiplicative logic : 1.05*1.05*1.05*1.06= 123% = ~ 23% bonus
Uh... A 5% bonus to one feature of a tank does correspond to making that tank worth 1.05 normal tanks. A more reasonable calculation is:

Speed: 5% = unquantifiable without knowing the situation
Accuracy: 5% = 102.5% (assuming all missed shots don't hit anything, plus a few extra assumptions which are not always valid)
Enemy accuracy: -5% = √(100/95) ≈ 102.5% (with a lot of similar assumptions)
Damage taken = -6% = √(100/94) ≈ 103.1% (with some assumptions, which are not always valid)

Multiplicative logic: NaN*1.025*1.025*1.031 ≈ NaN% bonus.
Speed 5% = We know it's not bad : >100%
Accuracy 5% = actually it's added to the accuracy of the weapon ~50% . So when we cut by half, it IS still 105%. By the way, having a projectile randomly hitting a full of hp unit is not really efficient in the mass like that, i'm not sure about your method to divide by 2.
Enemy accuracy = Same.
Damage taken = Once we conceive that the shot is an hit, the only thing that affect the damage is the armor and it's always positive and on bigger dimension than the damage scaling. So you square root can only be innapproriate, let's stick with >106%.

So even by using your hyper critical method we have : >1*1.05*1.05*>1.06= >116%.

That bonus is more than 16%
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Re: Commanders: Original Vision, Crippled Default, Future De

Post by Cyp » 21 Mar 2012, 07:41

Iluvalar wrote:
Cyp wrote:...
Speed 5% = We know it's not bad : >100%
Accuracy 5% = actually it's added to the accuracy of the weapon ~50% . So when we cut by half, it IS still 105%. By the way, having a projectile randomly hitting a full of hp unit is not really efficient in the mass like that, i'm not sure about your method to divide by 2.
Enemy accuracy = Same.
Damage taken = Once we conceive that the shot is an hit, the only thing that affect the damage is the armor and it's always positive and on bigger dimension than the damage scaling. So you square root can only be innapproriate, let's stick with >106%.

So even by using your hyper critical method we have : >1*1.05*1.05*>1.06= >116%.

That bonus is more than 16%
Please specify exactly what you mean by bonus.

Earlier, in this thread you said that a 1.25 (+25%) bonus made 6 tanks be worth 7.5 tanks. This implies that the effective number of tanks is proportional to the bonus. This seems like a sensible definition of bonus, even though in previous discussions, you usually have used the other. I will call this bonus a lionus (linear).

But you're saying all the square roots are inappropriate. (And even calling one of the square roots dividing by two, because I forgot to write ≈ instead of =...) So now you're implying that the effective number of tanks is proportional to the square root of the bonus. I will call this bonus a squonus (square root).

If you switch between definitions, say so, instead of assuming that the reply to your post will retroactively be using whatever new definition you come up with in order to make the post wrong.

If a tank does 100 DPS, and has 100 HP:
10 tanks have 1000 DPS, 1000 HP total.
Giving tanks a +300% squonus to the DPS, resulting in 400 DPS per tank, results:
10 supertanks having 4000 DPS, 1000 HP total.
Therefore, 10 supertanks are evenly matched (given lots of assumptions, of course) with 20 regular tanks. This is a +100% lionus. So a +300% squonus corresponds to a +100% lionus.

When you say "bonus", do you mean the above squonus or lionus? In which posts do you mean one by "bonus", and in which posts do you mean the other by "bonus".

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

Post by Iluvalar » 21 Mar 2012, 19:14

What you are talking about is not a square. It's what i call the figure count bonus : f^2+f/2 . Note that oddly enough that formula make 20v10 (390%) a little more efficient than 10v5 (380%). I didn't took that into account until now in this topic.

I guess, i should not say 6 + 1 commander = 7.5 tanks, but more 7 tanks having each a mean of 107% of efficiency. Which is slightly different.. But unless your plan is to balance the commanders exactly with me right now, I don't think it will change anything to my main argument.
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