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Realistic air and apc

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Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Thu May 29, 2014 5:40 am

AW gets better when there are more options, more choices.  More ways to play well and more ways to go wrong.   Unusual map features and using rich variety of units gives more enjoyable games.  And hopefully helps avoid stalemate situations where neither side dare advance.
However that doesnt just mean invent lots of new gimmicky units.
Already in AW many units seem to be little used, and not just the expensive ones.
Also It is important that AW is as realistic as possible , for many reasons.
Here are a few realistic and easy suggested improvements.

Why do copters and air have the same movement range as tanks and actually LESS than recon for example? This is totally bizarre. Air units obviously should have greater movement... This will then encourage their deployment and be more realistic!! Or reduce land unit movements which amounts to same.
Also air units should be able to fly over enemy ground units at least ...and its easy to program that in.
Greater air movement and flyover would for one thing encourage t-copter purchases which would then encourage mech purchase. We should be able to fly a loaded t-copter across enemy forces and for example drop a mech in the mountains next to his arty or rockets or hq. This would be realistic, fun and great all round for AW.
Also APC seem overpriced. They need far less manufacturing sophistication than tanks yet are near the price of tanks . Absurd. No wonder no one buys them.
It is more realistc to cost around 3000. Also that would greatly encourage mechs.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  theether on Thu May 29, 2014 6:53 pm

I don't think an increased movement range would help air units much:
B-Copters are used frequently, so they don't really need improvement,
and Bombers and Fighters just aren't cost-efficient (at least that's my reason for not using them often)

For example, for the price of 1 bomber I get 2 AAs to counter a potential enemy bomber and there's still money left.
Admittedly, it'll be harder to defend all units in the bomber's increased range, but it should still be doable with 2 AAs per bomber.
Now, without bombers fighters aren't that usefull, either, as B-Copters already counter themselves. Also, the range of fighters is pretty high already.

I agree that T-Copters would profit from an increase in movement, though.
For the airplanes however, I'd say a decrease in price is the way to go. Also, maybe bombers should have stronger attack? They should be able to OHKO units reliably even on plains (94% against an Arty on plains? Come on).

Flying over ground units creates a problem for Fog games: If you fly over an enemy unit and onto a tile that had a hidden unit already standing there, where will the ambushed air unit be stopped?
Or would it also be allowed for an air unit to stay on the same tile as an enemy ground unit?
I'd say consistent and simple gameplay is more important than realism.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:26 am

Hey arent there some more analytic folk out there to help us in our analysis?


Answering theether:
Yes, simplicity and consistency are paramount.
But within those bounds realism and gameplay factors should count.

theether says "I don't think an increased movement range would help air units much:"

First off, doesnt this argument fail to recognise the importance of realism?  It is surely realistic to have air movement more than land units. Almost this is a joke. There is no reason not to do it. Giving air, say copters 50 % more movement than land units is evidently realistic so why not.  There is no loss of simplicity or consistency.

Lets deal only with B and T copters as most competition maps almost never have enough funds for other.

theether says "I agree that T-Copters would profit from an increase in movement, though." AGREED.

Now for B copters.
The argument that increased movement wouldnt help  B copters much is dodgy .  It must partly come from  subjective tactical analysis which could be wrong.  
What is to lose by just giving B -copters more range?
What is meant by not "much" improvement?

It is true that some B copters are seen though not so many.  But their effectiveness at breaking standoff situations could be increased dramatically by  a natural increase of movement range.  
At the moment a single AntiAir can often nullify a B copter on openish terrain basically by facing off. Whichever side the Bcopter goes the AA shadows and defends.  However give the B copter more movement which it should rightly have and then one AA is insufficient defense. The B copter would be able to outrun the AA either to one side or the other.  That would make a big difference to standoff situations. Also B copters having greater range than tanks would simply give them a proper advantage over tanks as an attack unit.

The knock on consequences of improving The B copter could be many fold. The cost of buying B copters will  probably encourage buying cheap mechs and then t copters to transport mechs could be seen more.

Even without these tactical reasonings there is simply nothing to lose by giving B copters and air greater range
and potentially much to gain in realism and gameplay by helping avoid standoffs.

What is there to lose really?


(Here I only deal with increasing air movement range)

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Xmo5 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:47 am

First, don't air units already gain a movement advantage with terrain movement costs? For example: yes, a recon outruns a bcopter on the road, but put them over plains or a forest, and the bcopter can run circles around them. Obviously this is less valid for tanks/AA with treads instead of wheels, but the idea is the same, especially with water and mountains. (vision for copters/planes could stand for a vision increase though... no reason a recon can see further than a chopper) Maybe the way to fix this problem is to give all tanks 5 movement (why does the Md. Tank have 1 less movement anyway?) and/or make plains tiles cost 1.3333 for treads or something to minimally impact their ability to move on plains etc.

My problem is that I think giving Bcopters more than 6 MP might be hard to incorporate with the way the system is set up- airports would have to be more remote and more sparsely placed or you would risk having nothing but copters. I mean, for 2k extra, who wouldn't buy a copter that has 7 MP, can move over enemy units and terrain, and is more or less impervious to damage from all of the threats tanks face? AA are a threat but if you can outrun them, who cares?

I do really like the idea of air units being able to go over enemy ground and naval units. I would say that as a fun rule, they should not be able to pass over AA, cruisers, or carriers for obvious reasons. Nobody flies a chopper right over enemy AA IRL. Or, perhaps, you could have them take 5HP damage as penalty if you do that- very realistic because they are not engaged in combat, but would take heavy damage nonetheless. For tcopters it isn't an issue to do (once) and for bcopters you have to really have a good purpose. Also, as another counterpoint, mechs should be able to attack copters effectively. I mean, why not? They have rocket launchers, don't they? Maybe give them about a 50% type damage range since they aren't as specialized as AA. In that case I'd also give them the same rule that either copters can't pass over or maybe take a little damage (maybe only 2-3HP or something)

I think this proposed system is a pretty decent way to take the concept of air units passing over ground units into account while being both realistic and preserving playability. On the other hand, I'm concerned how altering movement costs of air vs ground units might impact the playability, even if it is more realistic.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  theether on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:23 pm

My wording on the first two lines might have been poorly.
Let me clarify:
I meant to say that BCopters are good units even without increasing their movement radius. So they do not need it.
The rest of my post mainly deals with planes, which in turn Blanci seems to have excluded from your answer.

Now, I do not mean to say that BCopters wouldn't get much stronger from the movement upgrade.
In fact I fear they would become too strong.
I take it you're joking, Blanci, when you want to give them 50% more movement than any land unit. Because that would be 12 movement, double of what they have now.

At more than 7 movement I believe BCopters would replace tanks as the dominant unit. AAs instead of Artillery would defend the fronts. As the game isn't built around that, the fun of the game is lost for me.
You might convince me that 7 movement might balance out, but as I said, BCopters are used regularly already.


If air units can fly over enemy units, would ground and sea units in turn be able to move through air units, as well?
Of course they'd be penalized likewise if they had the disadvantage in a fight.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Xmo5 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:53 pm

I like that thought as well. It hadn't occurred to me (no idea why) that it would work the other way as well. I'd say any ground unit moving under an air unit would take comparable damage equal to about half of what it would if they engaged in direct combat (as the defender) So a Bcopter would do a few damage to a tank, but very little to an AA. Alternatively, if the "damage" approach is less attractive, maybe say that non-AA units (or carriers, cruisers, and mechs as discussed) cannot move under air units that can attack them. So no tanks under bcopters or bombers but subs can move under any air unit they want.

With regards to the fog integration of traps and flying over/driving under enemy units, I would do something like: When the unit hits a trap, back that unit up along its path until it's location is not overlapping an enemy unit. When it hits that point, the enemy unit that it is standing in front of and would have passed beneath engages it in combat (if possible) with the moving unit as a defender with no counter attack. For Sonja, maybe she gets a 50% counterattack because it fits her CO. So if, for example, your AA tries to move under a bcopter and gets trapped on the space behind it, instead the AA would be backed up to the space in front of the bcopter and the copter would attack the AA (for probably 2HP) and the AA would do nothing. Reversed, a copter passing over a tank and then getting trapped would take minor damage but not do any damage to the tank.

A simpler solution would be to not allow any unit passing beneath/over an enemy unit to proceed to an unseen tile so that they cannot be trapped without being able to stop where they are. This doesn't solve stealth/subs but we can always default to a suggestion like my one above in those rare cases. (Such as move past a bcopter to a visible plains tile with a hidden stealth to an unseen forest with an enemy unit.) EDIT to be clear, you would be able to see that stealth/sub until the end of your turn as a result of running into it. Otherwise you would have no idea why you backed up.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that I think APCs would be more realistic if they were weaponized as well. Nothing powerful, but it's certainly not a foreign concept to have an APC with a mounted gun, much like a hummer (recons I guess are pretty closer here). Just something that could damage enemy infantry but little more, similar to what recons do, but maybe a little weaker. Also, maybe make it mandatory that the APC is loaded to use the turret so there is someone to man the station in a sense. This would encourage sending APCs to the front line because they can not only promote faster capture for themselves, but also stall enemy capture. There might be interesting  strategy around bringing a mech instead of an infantry to defend against potential APCs (as well as the recons that you already see). Regardless, I think this would help make the 5k cost more reasonable. Its like a slightly more expensive recon that can carry units and resupply instead of having vision. Reasonable tradeoffs in my mind.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:20 pm

We need to seperate issues for clarity
1. Must Retain simplicity and consistency of AW
2. AW tradition is important and shouldnt be messed without good reason
(edit: by tradition I mean just having the usual set of units and the usual rules or format like well a tank moves 6 squares and is stronger than inf etc)
3. Realism is important
4. Many players say its boring having to spam predominently  3 units: infantry, tank, artillery
5. Many battles can result in boring standoffs with little scope for creative attack
6. AW is a highly complex game, exponentially more complex than chess for example.
We should be very wary about analysis... we really need to see in practice how things go.

Please say if you dont agree with any of these facts.

Do we really want to try to resolve gameplay problems 4 and 5 ?
Do we really wish AW to be realistic as possible retaining simplicity and tradition as much as possible?


Addressing point 4. It would be nice to encourage more variety of units. Not only is this fun but also because of increased gameplay options, this can help reduce boring standoffs, addressing point 5.


Last edited by Blanci on Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Xmo5 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:56 pm

My thought is that we should aim to accommodate point 3 while keeping in mind points 1 and 2 (especially 1 because of point 6) 4 and 5 are sort of a separate driving force for point 3 in my mind. That is, we want things to be more fun, creative, or even just different for a new flavor and adding a greater sense of realism can accomplish that. Its the same reason people look forward to game sequels. They want a very similar experience with some tweaks and updates that (hopefully) improve the game in one way or another.

My ideal situation would be to have a site where people can play either version, similar to how amarriner.com is set up with FEBW and AWBW. If you could set up a site with a single easy switch, such as a tab or button at the top to play either classic or modified, people could play games in the version they prefer, or both if they like both. I don't think it would divide the community too much in one place like that, especially considering a lot of people might do both, like I would. I mean, nobody stopped playing BHR after DS came out, did they? Actually, this would probably be closer to the difference between DS and DoR in that a lot of game mechanics are changed in some way. CO's would obviously be the same though.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Best Sakuya NA on Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:02 pm

Blanci wrote:We need to seperate issues for clarity
1. Must Retain simplicity and consistency of AW
2. AW tradition is important and shouldnt be messed without good reason
3. Realism is important
4. Many players say its boring having to spam predominently  3 units: infantry, tank, artillery
5. Many battles can result in boring standoffs with little scope for creative attack
6. AW is a highly complex game, exponentially more complex than chess for example.
We should be very wary about analysis... we really need to see in practice how things go.

Please say if you dont agree with any of these facts.

Do we really want to try to resolve gameplay problems 4 and 5 ?
Do we really wish AW to be realistic as possible retaining simplicity and tradition as much as possible?


Addressing point 4. It would be nice to encourage more variety of units. Not only is this fun but also because of increased gameplay options, this can help reduce boring standoffs, addressing point 5.

I honestly have never thought that point 3 or 4 are problems.  

Point 3 would be answered better by leaving the game as it is, but also adding a separate "Realism" mode.  One of my favorite competitive games, Company of Heroes: Modern Combat, did just that.  Their normal mode was great for competitive play, and the Realism mode would be more tailored for that kind of play.  This would be the best solution to appease all parties involved, other than the balance team attempting to now balance two separate game modes of course, but it's doable depending on the size and scope of the team involved and the demand for realism.  

I would personally never, ever sacrifice balance for realism in a competitive game.  

---

Point 4 is a strange one to me, and one that is brought up very often.  There are far more than 3 units that are built in AWBW:
Infantry
Mech
Recon
Tank
Artillery
Copter
Anti-Air

All are very strong early game units that help transition into the midgame situational units like MD Tank, Megatank, Bomber/Fighter/Stealth, Battleship, etc.  The game is so well balanced specifically because it relies on such a small core set of units.  Having 5 or 10 more early game units would likely induce more Rock/Paper/Scissors choices not conducive for a good competitive game.  Look at any other strategy game with a strong competitive focus and you'll see a similar paradigm.  Starcraft 2 Terran is Marine/Marauder/Medivac, Siegetank/Viking, and everything else is situational for many games.  Zerg is Zergling/Baneling, Roach, Mutalisk/Infestor, which goes into more situational units.  Second example would be Company of Heroes, where the only early game units for America is the Engineer, the Rifleman, and the Jeep.  Panzer Elite is nothing but the Panzer Grenadier and Kettenkrad for early game units.  

A lack of total units is not a lack of interesting plays and strategies that can be employed with those units, and oftentimes limitations on the types of units that can be deployed early game, through funds/tech trees and other similar gates, strongly correlates with well balanced unit design.  

---

Point 5 is all in the eye of the beholder.  I personally find the walls and the breaking of walls to be a very interesting core aspect of AWBW.  This might be because I played at a high level in the game, and arguably knew more about mapping and strategy in AWBW than most players/mappers in the world.  That is what I specialized 100% in for that game.  I knew nothing about the code or the forums, but I could analyze strategy very well.  

From that limited, specialized perspective, I personally could see the value in a late game based on complex number crunching, flanking, thinking multiple turns in advance with a large number of units, and baiting/outplaying the use of your opponent's COP/SCOP as well as using your own at the proper time, not before or after.  

However, other players might not find those complex yet subtle nuances to the game as exciting.  Remedying that is not a simple answer.  You will have turtling, cautious play, and deathballing in many, many competitive strategy games.  I again bring up Starcraft, one of the most popular competitive games of all time, and Company of Heroes, one of the highest rated strategy games of all time, as examples.  In both, there is significant incentive late game to group together your units and push with them as one cohesive unit, playing carefully around your opponent's sizable group of units, attempting to outflank and outmaneuver them in a manner much slower than the early game's quick harassing and picking out of weaker units.  That is the nature of these types of games.  Changing that would make it, again, a very different game, since you would have to change aspects very core to the game's units, commanders, and maps.  

---

1 and 2 are solid.  I could care less about tradition, but I do care about the competitive nature of a competitive game, and am generally against changes that would make the game less competitive.  New commanders and new units are fine in theory, new content that completely changes the nature of the game significantly (and by extension changes why I am here in the first place) is less okay, from my perspective.

And there's my thoughts on those.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:11 pm

by tradition I mean just having the usual set of units and the usual rules or format like well a tank moves 6 squares and is stronger than inf .

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Best Sakuya NA on Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:48 pm

And for the record, I'm okay with change. New units and COs are interesting and cool. But new content based on "the current game is boring" doesn't resonate as much with me specifically because I personally don't think the current meta is boring. It's the difference between, say, adding new Champions in Items in League of Legends, and conversely, changing the entire mechanics around Fog of War or minion farming in League of Legends, which are very core to why high level players play League in the first place.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:15 pm

For realism copters really should be able to catch tanks and recon or escape an AA even on plains.
Maybe we dont want copter movement too great considering map size however.
Not sure if 7 or 8 would be best.  (If tanks were 5 then id say 7)
I dont think we d get excessive B copter spam, and anyway we could simply increase the price to control that if it happened !
It is hard to predict the knock on effect of improved copter movement. With less cash left over for  land it could encourage more mech and t copters.

APC are way overpriced, compared to tanks. Reducing their cost would enable greater unit diversity. Transports are way underrepresented in typical AW games.  I dont think giving guns to APC is a pressing issue and would really be a big game change .

These few simple changes add to the realism of AW and dont change basic format of AW and are easy to implement.

The other several complex ideas raised by Xmo5 are interesting but would represent  quite a big change with new types of interaction and players would need to learn how it goes.

Simply giving copters 2 movement extra with for B copter 1 or 2 k price hike and reduce APC cost to say 3 k would hardly be noticed in terms of playing mechanics, and the tactical aspects would quickly be absorbed by tactitians.  
Also landers seem a bit pricey for a simple hulk of metal plus an outboard motor. They shouldnt cost more than the sophisticated tanks they carry !  They should be 4 k.

Last issue:
The flyover i still  like if it can be implemented smoothly . Fog may work too as happens already in fog if you stop any unit unintentionally on an occupied square it just goes to a nearby square You probly wouldnt be firing anyway since you didnt have visión in the área. Needs a bit of thought perhaps.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Best Sakuya NA on Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:47 pm

Blanci wrote:Simply giving copters 2 movement extra with for B copter 1 or 2 k price hike and reduce APC cost to say 3 k would hardly be noticed in terms of playing mechanics, and the tactical aspects would quickly be absorbed by tactitians.  

Saying that it would hardly be noticed is not really correct.  Adding any movement to any unit in AWBW in any context is a huge deal, considering that movement is arguably one of the smallest things you could change about a unit while changing what it can do rather dramatically.  If you added 1-2 movement to any commonly used unit for any reason, with a 1-2k price raise, the use of that unit and the units that interact with would change significantly.  

In the case of the B Copter, it would mean that whichever player would hit the new 10-11k threshold for the B Copter would now have complete 7-8 movement control over their opponent, because they don't have any units with that movement and that firepower and that utility for that price at this time.  No existing unit for 10-11k can interact with an 8 movement air unit with the ability to fight and easily damage/destroy early game units.  Anti-Air can no longer track them reliably, and can no longer adequately reach distant fronts in time to defend against them before they do damage.  

That B Copter damage is funds that a player that build an Anti-Air to counter it would not get back.  You can argue that the increased B Copter cost would compensate for this, but that is incorrect.  Barring exact unit/fund calculations, another "resource" integral to AWBW is how many total units you can bring to fronts at any given point in the game.  In 7 turns, you can produce approximately 21 units from 3 bases total, +/- units from airports.  This new B Copter, built by the first player to have the funds to build the new B Copter, would limit the units that his opponent would have at that front by getting there faster with 8 movement speed, and then killing units that cannot fight back, or forcing them to retreat out of its large engagement radius.  An Anti-Air, while a cheaper "counter" to this newly priced B Copter, would not reach the front as fast with its new 6 movement, requiring mappers to further redesign all current League maps to function around this new design.

Building a new B Copter as a counter to a new B Copter, since that is the only functional counter unless you play on a map with supply lines so short that the difference between 6 and 8 movement is negligible (which implies poor map design overall) is no better a situation than trying to counter a recon with a recon, which usually only occurs on badly designed maps.

Maps like Blood on My Hands, currently extremely well designed for AWBW, would have to be completely rebalanced due to the strong airport positions that would encourage both players to built B Copters to counter each other.  Building a pre-emptive AA would simply allow the opponent to build a new B Copter and send it to the other front instead, which of course the AA could not track since it now moves more slowly.

This would essentially generate the same problems that Recons do on badly designed maps, but cause it for many current well designed maps, all so that one unit has slightly different movement speed than many of the other current "6 movement or less" early game units.  That is one of the reasons why the B Copter works so well in the current design of AWBW, and why many units under 9k cost have 6 movement or less: because they are, as a group of synergistic units, designed around each other.  The recon is the exception because it is not as valuable as the game transitions into more expensive units, and is much more situational than the B Copter.

---

I can go on to describe how this new design would significantly change capture phase priorities and walling, but suffice it to say, yes, it would significantly change the game, and saying that it would hardly be noticed is incorrect, especially for higher level play.

I could also make a separate post for APC 3k synergy with the existing Infantry and Mech units and how it would allow Sami to cheese many wins on currently competitive maps, but I'll leave this post at the B Copter analysis for now.

As stated before, a potential solution to this is instead a separate Realism mode with a complete rebalance around realism, instead of a handful of changes that would completely change the way the current game is played.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:47 am

Wow. Sakuri that is a very long analysis. Thats gonna take some time to fully digest, and ive still tons of reading left over from xmo5 and theethers posts.  Curious things happen when AWBW goes down.  I guess much of this is speculative but for now its the nearest thing to online AW.  I dont see how I ll be able to go back to the gameboy or DS or whatever. Ha !

I think I need to make what i mean in that quotation a bit clearer.
Please note that I do mention that extra copter movement would have a tactical effect but the effect would be learned quickly by tactians , meaning any player who pushes on the tactical limit and uses tactics to the full will learn how to deal with this quite quickly.  In fact this increased tactical effect is the point of giving copters extra movement. Tanks should be scared of copters and if they come too close they shouldnt be able to simply run away. Thats realism.  

The small extra movement of B copters wont suddenly ruin the game, just change it slightly and probably in potentially good ways, by reducing possibility of standoff stalemate situations. Also the knock on is gonna be difficult to totally analyse but it must mean more diversity of units.

I think you are perhaps over analysing and overly worrying. AW is a very complex game. It is not gonna be so easy to quickly come to any conclusions. But let me note a few counterarguments.

1. Like xmo5 already mentioned, on maps with  hills and forest scattered evenly around a map, then copters already do have effective movement advantage over land units, and so the extra movement idea just boosts that a little, its not so big a deal. Its a bigger deal on open plains, but it is realistic.
Thinking back I recall i have played on maps with literally tons of forest which do give copters big mapwide movement advantage over tank and AA.  Well those maps actually played out very nicely in fog and otherwise. Those maps were slagged off by some of the map committee, but the map committee was wrong as usual. Map committee refused to consider actual real gaming experiences, prefering their incorrect theorycrafting.

2. Dont forget copters are still defensively weak to b copter and AA . Whereas a tank can take a single hit from a B copter especially on defensive terrain and still be significant and quickly recharge back up too on cities. copters are easily KOed, they are still vulnerable. For example by another B copter and a couple of infantry.

3. Other AW titles like Days of Ruin or whatever introduced radical unit changes but the gameplay wasnt totally ruined. In fact it encouraged more unit variety, there was just new balancing.

4. You seem concerned that the first person to afford the new B copter gets an immediate advantage. Dont forget a big fact of AW is to get lots of cheap units first. Immediately getting B copter is not necessarily gonna be best.  So, for 15 k you get a B copter and a recon and an infantry. OK, so I get an AA on my base nearest your airport to counter your copter in this zone While i buy a tank on the other side.  I am gonna buy AA on my other side too, but I can delay a day before your copter can swing over. I see no problem for me. Whereas you maybe have teched up too early. I win.  Or maybe i just counter buying copter too. Thats war. And when our copters meet you will need to justify your teching up before me as that gives me a small advantage if you cant. If your copter doesnt know what to do when it gets  to front then I gain a bit.
Really it is  gonna be difficult for us to have this debate like this ... It will end up having to be debated on the battlefield !  

Sakura. Another issue arises from your post. You seem to suggest that good map design needs to somehow take account of the units that are available and the various unit characteristics.  Apart from a very few special cases (such as where an early rush can spoil stuff) I really dont see this at all.
Some great maps can be made almost  by random geological processes, it doesnt need the hand of god. A good general should enjoy to fight on any type of terrain or map.  AW needs much more map variety.

For example what exactly do you mean by the problem with recon countering recon being associated with bad maps ?  Can we have an example map for this.

There was quite a lot of dodgy analysis going around AWBW in the early days.  In the strategy forum I recall a prime example of a bad map with FTA or recon rush posted by admin as a teaching tool.  I was just a noob but i smelled a rat, and found the analysis to be in error, and it had to be corrected. None of the experts at that time had bothered to thoroughly examine it. Ha!

Finally using one CO, sami , to say APC at 3k would be too cheap is not valid kind of argument.
Are you then saying that with powers off that 3k APC  would be okay?
And by the same reasoning I could use grit to say that  artillery is too cheap at 6k.
So maybe sami would  join the top tier or the brokens, great.
Really AW should be set up initially and nicely balanced without any regard to the special CO powers.
Powers off should already provide as good a game as possible.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Best Sakuya NA on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:46 am

Welp.  Read over everything.  The gist of it is that you're either trolling, or we are simply two very different people when it comes to how we go about designing things.  I don't particularly care either way because I'm the only person left in the entire AWBW scene that is willing to type this stuff, and it needs to be typed somewhere so it might as well be here.  Once more into the breach.  

I gave my detailed analysis based on my years at AWBW, my time as head of the Map Committee, my time as one of the most prolific mappers at AWBW, one of the top players and AWBW, and what I've learned from the handful of people there who knew as much or more than me about AWBW strategy and were willing to actually talk about it (Which pretty much just amounted to Walker and Hellraider at the time).  I've been doing various acts of game design for a decade.  

And I've pointed out the math on why adding movement to B Copters or making APCs cheaper because "It would be more realistic" is not a good reason to just add stats in a competitive, but not realistic, focused game, but here we are again.  

As I understand it, you would want to add or remove significant stats to core units of AWBW that would, in turn, significantly affect the usage of those core units.  That is your core goal.  Your reason for doing so is not for the sake of keeping a competitive balanced game a competitive balanced game, but rather to turn that competitive balanced game into a more realistic game.  

I am a fan of realistic games.  I have put far over 1000 hours combined into the various Arma and OFP games, which are essentially civilian-grade military simulators.  They strive for realism and care nothing for any form of competitive balance.  That is their purpose.  It would be a strange decision for Arma to suddenly rebalance its core units and redesign the game towards a more competitive FPS design, rather than a realistic military simulation.  That would be counter to the core idea of the game, and why the core consumers of their product buy and play their game.  

Similarly, it seems odd that, after a decade of AWBW being a solid, balanced competitive game, we would suddenly drive the game away from being a balanced competitive strategy game and more towards a realistic strategy game.  It would be odd if, say, Blizzard began to change the the design of Starcraft 2 from a competitive strategy game to a realistic one.  Or Company of Heroes.  Or any similar game with the same design paradigm that exists.  

---

Rebalancing AWBW around new units or redesigned existing units carefully designed around existing units, with the intent for the game to continue to be a competitive strategy game with interesting and meaningful unit choices and compositions, would be cool.  Adding an entirely separate "Realism" mode that wouldn't be designed around competitive balance would also be cool.  Both of those types of changes to AWBW are cool and interesting to me as a designer.  

Adding movement to a unit because "It would be more realistic" with comparatively very little consideration for how it affects a game as complex as AWBW is where I disagree, on the basis that it would change the game from something that it currently is to something that it currently is not.  

Blanci wrote:Those maps were slagged off by some of the map committee, but the map committee was wrong as usual. Map committee refused to consider actual real gaming experiences, prefering their incorrect theorycrafting.

Side note, but this is where, again, it is hard to understand your perspective from my perspective.  When I got to AWBW, WalkerBoh was the head of the Map Committee.  He made intelligent decisions regarding tournaments, Global League, and the Colosseum, and his analysis was spot on for the entire time I was there. He listened to players both old and new, but always made decisions based on preserving the overall competitive health of the game first and foremost. Then I took over the Map Committee after he was done and I had a very similar track record.  I can only guess that you are describing an older Map Committee that I was not around to see, but you were.  Saying that the group on AWBW that is literally the only reason we have a surviving competitive scene at all is "wrong as usual" about anything is a bit off the mark.  

That's basically it really.  I can't type anything else without just repeating myself more with slightly different word choices.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Xmo5 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:07 am

I tend to agree a lot with Mori (Sakuya) on this one. I see where you're coming from in the sense that people can adapt to the new changes and develop new strategies etc, but the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of factors that are impacted by some of these seemingly simple changes. As it is, there exists a certain unit balance, and by making copters more powerful as you suggest this balance is thrown.

My experience says that copters are already used fairly heavily and a change like this might make them overused, possibly even to replace certain units and reducing the variety of units you see on the battlefield. You might end up with mostly copters, AA, and missiles rather than tanks, artillery, and rockets. Mori obviously knows a lot more about theory and strategy than I do, but the point I'm trying to make is that it would be a very substantial change, potentially to the detriment of the gameplay (fun or competitive) just for the sake of being more realistic. Obviously the same could be said for any points we brought up here, but I think some are more fun than others. This is one I feel adds little fun and strives to make the game more realistic in a way that is already accommodated in some way.

To address some specific points:

Blanci wrote:Another issue arises from your post. You seem to suggest that good map design needs to somehow take account of the units that are available and the various unit characteristics.  Apart from a very few special cases (such as where an early rush can spoil stuff) I really dont see this at all.

First, yes, very many good maps are designed by taking into account when and how certain units can reach the fronts. This helps encourage a variety of units by giving places and paths that are advantageous and disadvantageous to different types of units. In the same way that a map with a lot of chokepoints encourages indirects and a map with mountains/rivers/sea in key areas encourages air units to overcome the terrain, maps designs can take advantage of how each unit moves and attacks to decide what types of battles want to be fought on what parts of the map simply by altering the terrain. The great part about this is.....

Blanci wrote:Some great maps can be made almost  by random geological processes, it doesnt need the hand of god. A good general should enjoy to fight on any type of terrain or map.  AW needs much more map variety.

.... that even if you make a seemingly random map, this still happens. No matter how hard you try, a map's terrain and layout automatically "take[s] account of the units that are available and the various unit characteristics." This is simply a game mechanic. The placement of roads and chokepoints will decide where indirect units will (should) be placed and at what stage in the game and terrain barriers like forests, mountains, sea, and rivers will determine what impact mechs and air units have. Think about it this way- when you look at a map and devise a strategy, you take the terrain into account, obviously. You may account for it slightly differently than another player, but in general, nobody is going to build a rocket on a base surrounded by forests if they have another base nearby with roads leading toward the battlefront. Its as simple as that. The map speaks for itself and tells you what ideas are good and what ones are not. Ultimately the "perfect strategy" will be the one that counters your opponent's attempt at a perfect strategy, but among competitive players this is calculated out in a manner similar to (but not quite the same as) a game of chess. Knowing what certain moves will cause the enemy to do, potentially many turns in advance, to get a concept of how the battle will unfold and it all goes back to what the map says you can do based on terrain/layout.

I think a distinction needs to be made that Mori is very heavily focused on competitive play, which can probably be defined as a game between competent (or better) players of similar level on a map that gives neither player an advantage and provides potential for a balanced array of units. Balance in this sense is highly calculated out (by funding, base locations, terrain etc) to the point that mental simulation gives a very good idea of the primary viable strategies and their impacts/resulting counter-strategies. This is especially true early in the game. In this way you can support different units in different ways and give each a chance to do what it does best. Note that strategy predictability and creativity are not mutually exclusive- being able to know the "ideal" move on a map means that (as long as your opponent knows it as well) you can take advantage of this in different ways by surprising your opponent. As always, there are a number of options available at any given time but your goal sometimes is to think of the one that your opponent didn't consider. As Blanci said, this is more complicated than chess so there are a lot of variables to take into account on any given turn so even just deviated from the "expected move" by one unit can throw off the enemy's strategy. This is how competitive play works in my mind and is more-or-less the basis behind any non-FoW game on one level or another.

Blanci, on the other hand, seems to be focused more on enjoyment of the game. Not to say that Blanci is not a competitive player or doesn't enjoy higher-level games, but finds enjoyment differently than Mori. I would guess that, while Mori takes the calculated "Chess" approach, Blanci tends to prefer less "pre-calculated predictability" and more creative thinking and action-reaction type adaptation. Again, not that these concepts are absent from what Mori means by competitive play, but they are certainly used differently. A big example here is FoW because it allows a much greater degree of surprise and unpredictability. The same underlying concepts are used, but in a much different way. To Blanci this is fun while to Mori it's more fun to take the chess approach. I personally tend to favor the Blanci concept of "fun" for the AW game, but I suspect this is primarily because I'm not very good at the Mori approach. Either way I see and value both sides which is why I suggested that there be a separate version if anything like this ever happens (which Mori mentioned too, I believe) so that everyone can choose the one they want to play at any given time.


Wow this is a long post so I'm just going to finish by saying that I completely and totally respect Mori for doing/knowing what he does. I usually end up taking his side simply because I think it's hard for a lot of other people to get it and I think he deserves the support of people other than the dwindling map committee. Again, not necessarily a skill or intelligence thing, I just think most people don't see where he's coming from, though he tends to make very solid, well thought-out points. I typically find myself in the other camp from the perspective of playing/enjoying the game, but I recognize the importance of preserving both sides.

Okay, thats all, I'm done now! Sorry!

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  randomizer on Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:19 pm

Blanci, this is the kind of idea that was shot down time and time again in the old forums. I kinda think you know that. So rather than trying to make claims about how these changes should seem reasonable to everyone (which they do not), start with the one claim that should be enough for anyone and stick to it: You think these changes might be fun.

Mori, I appreciate your efforts to try and explain. But the stakes are different now and they were never really high at the start. There's no danger that people are going to join together and demand that these edits get made to the game, and that's separate from the overarching concern that there just aren't enough people left. It might be worth keeping the conversation going merely to keep some form of discussion alive, but that's only if you enjoy doing so. You don't have to imagine yourself doing this in the place of others because, I assure you, most others would consider this a waste of their time.

Unless the idea is particularly bad, or rather, bad in a particular kind of way, theory is not enough to convince people to give these ideas up. Almost everyone has these little ideas that would make the game more suited to them (8 move copters? yes please, I'll take two please, may I have another) and if they're honest with themselves, they want enough people to agree with them so they can call it an improvement. You can't even disprove it through playtesting if it's subjective enough, like enjoyment or realism. But if this even gets to the playtesting stage, that's a formidable victory to preyed upon by the next guy, who will demand we test his idea the same way.

It might be a really good idea to have some sort of toolbox mode where you can modify mechanics and play games with mutually agreed changes. That too was shot down time and time again, but only for implementation purposes: it's not something we needed to have on the AWBW site, with thousands of different players and millions of combination types in use at any given time.

Back in the old days, you couldn't really know what might appeal to AAA, and Glen lacked the freedom to implement even good ideas if they required him to cross a certain threshold. It was enough to say 'this will never happen' and be done with it. Things are different now, for better and worse. We don't have a site ready and someone to bug about making changes for us, but you never know what might prompt other people who see this topic into action. Probably not 3k APCs or realism, but no need to split hairs over that. There are still plenty of other potentially needed changes to discuss.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Best Sakuya NA on Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:03 pm

Honestly what the game always needed was custom games, where you could customize units and settings at will.  Starcraft: Brood War was a popular game not just because it was competitive, but also because it had both Use Map Setting, which was essentially a way to play a game with friends with all kinds of crazy custom settings and edits, and additionally, the game had a super easy to use chat room interface that was a huge deal for communication at the time.  

But only a small percentage of Starcraft players played the game competitively.  The rest of the players watched them play competitive games and generally only played custom games with completely different stats from the norm, like 8 move copter stuff.  

We're getting off topic now, but if we made another AW or CW game, we desperately need that kind of thing from the get-go.  It would, in theory, fix a lot of issues.  The only risk is splitting an already small playerbase, but I'm surprisingly not worried about that kind of thing.  

So in that setting, people could make any changes they'd want for individual Custom Games with friends, and they wouldn't affect ladder games, which I am 100% behind.  I'm all for fun silly games with 1000 move tanks and stuff, alongside and separate from a balanced strategy game, just like Starcraft: Brood War.  That way, at least in theory, everyone's happy. Worked for them.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:18 am

Mori/Sakura. Really i dont get why you are wondering if I am trolling . Thats unjustified. Look I gave a point by point explanation. Any single one of those points you can try to pull apart. I havent just splurged all my ideas together incoherently.

Also I dont get why you are playing the authority card, all that stuff about being on map committee, being a top player and having conversations with Hellraider.

What about the fact that I am virtually undefeated leader of Fog league going back years including when it was active. And now am second in oficial global league. Dont you think I should therefore know something about strategy and how maps work during play?

It takes some considerable effort to get to the top of any league.
And you probably werent here when psycho was slagging me saying how I had no idea about AW. And people commenting how good psycho was in the fórum. Well I could see his map critique was way off, so in broken tournament I knew I could beat him and captured his HQ quite soon in broad daylight , much to the amazement of many onlookers. No-one noticed it coming even the day before, fog off, and most analysts thought psycho was winning (one disadvantage about fog off is its easy for other bystanders to see things and give warnings, but no one did)

Fdkans well known fine player and good sport showed me some nice tricks beating me in ladder . In fog league I beat him in 11 days thats on record. Who else beat fdk in 11?

What I mean by this is that I am gonna respect other good players analysis. But also I must respect my own analysis too.
Does that help you see my perspective?
.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Best Sakuya NA on Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:21 am

Yeah, I wasn't around for the Psycho thing, that's my bad.  I know Fdk though.  And I definitely respect people getting to the top of any league, yeah.  So sorry about that.  I unfortunately can't help with people being dumb about AWBW meta in the past, all I can do is help now. 

I do however, get genuinely frustrated when people say the Map Committee is "wrong as usual" and try to bring that as somehow relevant to a discussion on whether AWBW should make design choices based on whether units are realistic or not.  From my perspective, it's baseless ad hominem.  It's frustrating to insult people who have spent a great deal of time trying to manage ladders and tournaments and who regularly have to make decisions that are as sure to piss off just as many people as they please in an attempt to keep competitive play rolling smoothly.  

So when people insult the MC, yeah, I will ask specifically what I have done wrong, or what Walker has done wrong, so that way I can explain my actions and choices and improve as a person.  I've always attempted to cater to as many players as I can to the best of my abilities.  I've spent plenty of sleepless nights mulling on reorganizing the Global League maps, or making new ones myself only to trash them because they just weren't up to my standards. When the site's forums went down, I cleaned up one of my older forums and remade it primarily for AWBW, just in case people needed that kind of thing. If I had the ability to do anything more to help the site, and I mean anything, I'd do it.  If I could rehost the site somewhere, purge older unused maps, get a solid tournament matchmaking system started, get animations for units running, get more gametypes and customization for games rolling, I 100% would.  I'd spend years doing it if I had the manpower and the resources.  The game means that much to me. 

---

Back on topic. The problem as I see it is that I don't see how AWBW would be improved by making a change like giving one of the core "6 or less move" units (+ Recons), which are extremely core to how AWBW works and functions, would benefit the game.  I could give tanks 1 less movement or 1 more movement, and make them cost 1k less or more, or 6k less or more.  It wouldn't change the fact that any movement change with those units are going to cause a gigantic difference in how the game is played.  Those units are at least 80% of the unit strategy of the entire game.  

I totally appreciate wanting realistic games, I love em.  But from my perspective, that's not what AWBW is.  So from that angle, changing the game into something it's not would be odd to me.  The solution I'd give for both parties would be to add a Realistic mode for that exact type of experience. In this context, Standard mode would be all about units balanced for literally nothing but competitive play, and Realism mode would be all about units balanced for literally nothing but realism.  

And on that front, I would love to help design that kind of stuff.  I spend about an hour or more per day, or every other day, making content for a military simulator.  That stuff is great.  Realism mode would open up all kinds of options for testing all kinds of units and abilities that would be tricky to balance for Standard mode, but sensible in a realism driven gametype.  That's where stuff like APCS that cost less than Recons and 8 move copters probably belong, in a gametype designed for realism rather than tight unit balance. 

But yeah, I'm glad we're getting actual discussion on AWBW done.  I'm much happier when people challenge my opinions than when there's zero discussion on the game at all. This needs to happen more.  This needs to happen a lot more.
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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:34 am

MoriSakuya
Yeah perhaps I exagerate.  Of course the map committee did tons of good work as well,. In the old fórum and on maps i really praised many good things they did. And i can give examples where i praise the good things if you like.

 
However dont think MC and admin were angels.  Let me give just one example which i posted elsewhere but never got a reply so which i cut and paste to here:

Map Committee Duel Striker deleted a map that 10 people were actually playing on because he decided (based on risky analysis) that it was a bad map. And we were arguing in fórum that it was fun and playable but he didnt agree and cos he was annoyed at us disagreeing with him he just wiped away our game. ((Note: thats  all wáter under the bridge, i guess duel was  just a kid back then. no personal grudges, really , just internet silliness. Just wanna help save AWBW.))

But anyway what do you think of that?
Can you see that MC shouldnt delete maps they know people say they like and particularly delete an active game with many players.  
You see sometimes map committee go astray.
And it did seem they had no limit as to what they are prepared to do, when it came to people they didnt agree with. Really a website needs some proper admin if it is to be a respected and enjoyable and open place .
Having principles and rules are important. This kind of intolerance really sets an antagonistic atmosphere of us and them.

Please tell me what you think of this one example.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:16 pm

At present we need to focus on keeping the community together and maintaining what  we have of AW and AWBW to have a core of players without which theres not much really.  Thus at present I dont actually mean to change anything but I do think debate is still good and very useful in maintaining interest in AW and stuff.  Note that this fórum is specifically entitled "customisation" so really it is to be expected that that is what will be debated here.      Of course any change would need wide almost universal approval so as not to lose players who may be happy with the old.

Testing
Additionally it would be good to test out any proposed changes somewhere somehow with a controlled situation and including some good players for testing outcome of such change.   Lets not forget too there are several online AW type games, see AW news subforum.  Perhaps one of these sites (some are up but not used) may be available for testing of modifications/ customisation.

Bearing in mind I am not demanding any immediate change, I just wish a place here to store the ideas and further ideas for peaceful debate on the realistic air movement idea.


New Idea  for realistic air
Following on from the  idea of copters moving further than tanks and antiair units , (say 7 or 8 tiles), and possibly flyover too.  Also it would seem more realistic for B copters to cost quite a bit more than tanks.  

In addition we might consider to recognise air units dont often stay airborne and don´t stay out on patrol nonstop for days.
Giving copters more realistic fuel supplies could sort this out.  Eg give copters ONLY enough fuel for say only 4 days
or /and increase the daily fuel consumption for being airborne. This way any overpowering of air units would be greatly reduced as they must return to airbase to refuel, or purchase of APC for resupply. The copter over- effectiveness is thus brought further under check .




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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Blanci on Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:15 pm

In reply to randomisers critique. Yeah, we should be conservative about changes.. there may be factors that no one really thought about. So we shouldnt risk any change unless it was thought pretty important.  Further, I do recognise that any change at present on AWBW is totally unlikely as it is not supported much.

Also, it would require widespread acceptance first, so as not to alienate any present players, and also after testing. But this forum thread is specifically for customization and the debate is interesting for many people regardless.  Some other AW type games do use different units.  This discussion is not only about what might happen to AWBW but also about how people may best implement AW on another online site, especially relevent if awbw goes down for good.


randomizer wrote: Blanci, this is the kind of idea that was shot down time and time again in the old forums. I kinda think you know that.


True, in the old forums many things were shot down, BUT many things were not shot down or not conclusively, so there is no point in making blanket generalisations.  Also we need logical reasons not vague recollections. Remember I was there too, and I scoured the forums more than anyone for anything remotely interesting concerning anything theoretical or practical. There was nothing about copter movement.

randomizer wrote:
So rather than trying to make claims about how these changes should seem reasonable to everyone (which they do not), start with the one claim that should be enough for anyone and stick to it: You think these changes might be fun.


I never dictated what everyone should think, but surely most people would think it realistic that copters should outrun a tank. 
And I never wanted change just for fun, I said that it was for realism and it might help break stalemates that are well documented by Walker and others.

To be honest I have been swayed somewhat by Xm05s argument which says copters already get movement advantage on most maps with forest and hills etc. However this argument is new and not in old forum, and very worthy of debate here.

randomizer wrote:
Mori, I appreciate your efforts to try and explain.....You don't have to imagine yourself doing this in the place of others because, I assure you, most others would consider this a waste of their time


well  as a long standing regular player i can assure that many good AW players would not consider this debate a waste of time.  I am not saying people would demand change but they would consider it worthy topic.

randomizer wrote:
...theory is not enough to convince people to give these ideas up.

First, what theory?.. i m sure theres no theory in the old forum on the consequences of extra copter movement. Or do you mean the theory given in this thread bu Sakuya/mori Theory can be persuasive if its clear and robust. Anyway I too am arguing using "theory" which suggests the opposite. Also who are "people"? Do you refer to newbs with no idea how to play well ? or do you include experienced and good players? It is true that sometimes good players can be deluded. But also we must beware of blindly following  authority. So finally it needs debating.

randomizer wrote:
Almost everyone has these little ideas that would make the game more suited to them

why try to belittle genuine debate?
And I certainly  dont need to make AW more suited to myself as I am presently top of the official league and have been top of Fog league for years.

randomizer wrote:
You can't even disprove it through playtesting

OK theres a challenge.  Give me any silly idea you like and i ll find a way to disprove it with playtesting.  Nothing wrong with testing. Can be very illuminating.


The latter parts of randomisers post are interesting and i agree.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Xmo5 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:44 pm

I see both sides of this, but I tend to agree more with Blanci here. I do agree that most of this stuff is probably not good for actual implementation, that most people wouldn't want it anyway, and that it's all a moot point considering we have no way to test/introduce these concepts. However, the fact of the matter is that these are not good enough reasons (in my mind) to shoot down all discussion of the topics.

Why shouldn't we propose, talk about, and argue major changes like this? The more people involved (ideally) the more intelligent discussion and the more potential for coming up with real and reasonable compromises that may accomplish the initial goals of the idea that was first proposed. In this case, there may be a very clean and nice way to implement more realistic air units/APCs that nobody thought of yet, but discussion might reach that point if it keeps going. Then for all we know it could catch on and people like the idea. Maybe a year or two down the road a new AW site becomes available that has the capacity for testing/manipulating ideas like this and we can actually test it out and maybe even implement it if it works.

No, not every discussion will have some great revelation, and sure, maybe the ideas we have might never happen, but who cares? We'll never know what can come from the discussion if we don't have it and we have no reason to think that testing and implementation is unrealistic because we don't know what the future will hold in terms of AWBW and other similar (future) sites.

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Re: Realistic air and apc

Post  Xmo5 on Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:34 am

Posting because relevant:



Laughing

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Re: Realistic air and apc

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