Option for turn based battles.

By on November 8, 2008 12:55:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums External Link

Alex01234

Join Date 04/2008
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Frogboy has posted, in the journals:

One thing I should mention about the tactical battles that isn't clear in the screenshots is that they're continuous turns. They're not like HOMM. The player tells where they want their units and uses the space bar to pause the action to give new directions. That way, we can get much more interesting battles.

 Now, if I am getting this right, what this means is that tactical battles are real time with pause, like in Baldur's Gate. Now, I am sure we could go on a discussion about which is better, real turn based combat or real time or whatever. Instead of doing this, I want to argue that it would be ok for this game to either have turn based combat as a setting or as a modding option.

From my (very limited) experience, turn based games are interesting when there is a lot at stake in each action, and each player wants to be sure how each unit attack, how each unit flees, etc. While not every choice is life threatening, turn based games allow the player to make less mistakes (at least, immediate ones). So, in order to be fun, these options need to matter more. In a real time with pause game, tat least part of the focus that was in making each action go correctly is shifted to making the units run together. While the fact that the units need to be coordinated in real time adds a new dimension to the game, part of the focus is taken away from making sure each step goes correctly.

These differences have usually asserted that games that tried to do both turn based and real time with pause combat failed one or both. Battles that are well balanced to one are either too easy or too hard for the other. And that is not even analyzing that the abilities the player can use in combat can have very different behaviors in combat. For example, a unit capable of throwing a fireball at an enemy could always hit the units it want in turn based, but in real time, the enemy could move away from the radius before it goes off.

So, why I think that having the options in the hands of players would be a good idea for this game? Because, as this game is being shown to be so moddable, the problem with balancing can be worked around. If it is possible (or rather if it will be possible) to change so many parameters in the games, balancing won' t really be an issue.

I really hope you consider this suggestion, and thank you all Elemental developers, because this game is really looking good. Well, that is it. Good night everyone!

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November 8, 2008 3:31:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it will be a bit like games with "simultaneous turns". You give orders then you look at the results. It's really better than the usual I go-You go which leads to stupid things like units getting behind ennmy and the ennemy doesn't react (because it's not its turn). The game combat mission is even more realistic and it's really really good : you give orders (such as advance in that direction, advance with caution, run, run and return fire etc...) and the next 60 seconds are calculated in a real manner (each bullet path is calculated, the angle of penetration will ease or not the fact that a bullet will go through, etc..) and then the game pause and you give your next orders.

That would be a real blast to have such way of battling.

I remember an old old old game on atari ST : Universal Military Simulator. Each player gives it's order then the comp calculates what happens, then you (and ennmy) give orders for a new turn etc... You really had to plan ahead.

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November 8, 2008 6:59:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It sounds an awful lot like Dominions' combat system, and most of us on here only know about that game because Frogboy made a post about it once. In that, you give your units a script, and they attempt to act according to it in battle. We''ll see.

I prefer slow, pausable real-time for battles, but I guess no-one is interested in making Fantasy: Total War. It seems they'd rather make some Tom Clancy boringness.

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November 8, 2008 7:14:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nop, I have Dominions 3 and the system I describe is really different. In dominions 3 you never have any kind of influence during combat. Everything is automated. But the Combat Mission system is really an excellent one.

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November 8, 2008 12:50:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it would be weird if there wasn't an option to have auto-pause after each 'turn' or 'round' whatever it is being called.

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November 8, 2008 1:54:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The difference between continuous-turn and standard turn-based... hmm, perhaps have it automatically activate the "pause" at set intervals?

 

Aside from that, having two significantly different combat engines would be a bit problematic from a development standpoint, so it's more a matter of finding the minimal necessary modification to the continuous turn system that will fit your desires.

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November 8, 2008 2:27:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It sounds like it may be too late to ask for this, but I really prefer strictly turn based tactical battles.  As someone mentioned above, I don't want to be spending my time thinking about whether or not I need to hit the pause button.  The system that MOM had worked very well for me. I would really appreciate it if it was an option, at least, to make the battles strictly turn based.

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November 8, 2008 3:26:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think we have enough info on how the 'continuous turns' in combat work.

Personally I think the best option would be to have them work a lot like HoMM V except where in HoMM V you have to give each unit it's order when it is up you give each unit a goal at the start of combat and can change goals by pausing and giving new orders.  (By goals I am thinking about assigning a target and a prefered attack method)

 

Sammual

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November 8, 2008 6:57:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

True, we probably don't have enough info to guess how it works, but this kind of thing is usually best discussed early. So, I decided to post it. Like I said, I don't think that a discussion about which is better is really productive. What I want to discuss is wether or not it would be a good idea to have real turn based mechanics as an option, or possibly as something moddable (the second alternative would probably be too expensive, though).

Also, just to clear up things, there are quite a few ways to go about the combat system. In real time with pause system, things are exactly what they sound like. The units move continuously at the same time, but there is an interface element that allows the player to pause the action and give orders. Phase based is a lot like this, but there is still the notion of rounds. This means that the game may only be paused between rounds, and that actions must take one or more rounds to conclude. In other words, the time is not continuous, but discrete. Finally, in real turn based gaming, each unit must act separately from the others. When one unit is acting, no other unit should be acting (though some games have broken this a bit by allowing units to react outside their turns).

Anyway, my whole point is that I think this game, because its extreme moddability, would be able to support more than one tactical combat ruleset, and I think that a turn based one (according to the nomenclature I used) would be a nice addition to the game. By the way, Dominions 3 is awesome, and if the combat system was moddable enough that we could recreate it, this game would be even more awesome than what I thought possible!

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November 11, 2008 11:56:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I always prefered turn base battles for these kinds of game. The reasons why I love 4x strategy game it's because ther is no stress and no need to rush. I am worried I will feel rushed with continious turns. I remember the game LORDS OF MAGIC where after a week I put the game away because battles were to complicated with so many troops all needing directions and all mving together all the time. There was no real possibility for me to create any strategy for battle. I prefer hexes and turns to let me for battles plans. Maybe with the new system it's possible I just don't want to end up with a LORDS OF MAGIC tactical battles. I would really be disappointed if it came to that.

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November 11, 2008 12:42:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Alex,

Personally, I would prefer straight-up turn based battles like MoM.  But I can deal with continuous turns.  What I don't want, or rather what I'm certain isn't feasible without hurting the project, is to have two distinct full-blown tactical combat engines. 

Such a change doesn't fall within the modability scope because it involves a very significant difference in the coding of the game; you would need one set of functions to process turn-based combat and another set of functions to process continous-turn combat.

Also, while there's nothing physically preventing the devs from coding an alternate combat engine and having an option switch between them, it would be a tremendous duplication of effort to test, balance, tune, test, balance, tune both engines.  Invariably some units and strategies would be more effective in one engine than the other (not the end of the world, but that would annoy a lot of people).  Invariably the AI would fare differently from one engine to the other, etc.  And every new spell, unit ability, etc would have to be tested twice as much for combat.

As it is, they have the normal tactical combat engine (continuous-turn) and a no-human-interaction "auto-battle" where the results are determined automatically.  Further, the auto-battle can show a graphical display of what happened or not.  Maybe they'll give us a Dom3-ish version of the auto-battle, which would be great particularly for PBEM.  Even that would be pushing it, but we'll see.

 

Anyway, thank you for posting this, it is worth discussing.  The problem is that this is one thing that would be a total bear to make an option.

 

Keith

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November 11, 2008 4:07:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting lamperti,
It sounds like it may be too late to ask for this, but I really prefer strictly turn based tactical battles.  As someone mentioned above, I don't want to be spending my time thinking about whether or not I need to hit the pause button.  The system that MOM had worked very well for me. I would really appreciate it if it was an option, at least, to make the battles strictly turn based.

Ditto!

 

Quoting Solam,
I always prefered turn base battles for these kinds of game. The reasons why I love 4x strategy game it's because ther is no stress and no need to rush. I am worried I will feel rushed with continious turns. I remember the game LORDS OF MAGIC where after a week I put the game away because battles were to complicated with so many troops all needing directions and all mving together all the time. There was no real possibility for me to create any strategy for battle. I prefer hexes and turns to let me for battles plans. Maybe with the new system it's possible I just don't want to end up with a LORDS OF MAGIC tactical battles. I would really be disappointed if it came to that.

 

And ditto indeed!

 I think the pause thing sounded lame....... I don't need an action game during the battles, then I will most certainly auto resolve them all.......

So I have to say; having real (classical) turn based battle as an option (or standard) would be very, very nice indeed!

 

 

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November 11, 2008 4:17:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hm, before I can comment, I'd like to see a screenshot or two of the battle system in motion. Perhaps what Stardock has developed thus far lends itself much better to real-time battles (when two armies on the TB world map meet) a la Shogun TW?

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November 11, 2008 4:40:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting McCracken76,
Hm, before I can comment, I'd like to see a screenshot or two of the battle system in motion. Perhaps what Stardock has developed thus far lends itself much better to real-time battles (when two armies on the TB world map meet) a la Shogun TW?

While a screenshot in motion is somehow impossible to do, there's one of the battle view (but isn't linked in the screenshot section, had to hunt it down by google):

 

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November 11, 2008 4:55:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I must admit that I'm with keithLamothe on this one. I think, that we have to take for granted that it's out of the question to have a turn-based engine 'as-an-option'. Every optional feature costs lots of effort, and will take away from the time that can be put into making a core game feature really rock-solid. (As Asharak very rightly pointed out in this thread, asking for features as options, is really a copout on the part of us players.)

I'd much rather see one really good battle-engine, than two or three optional ones.

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November 11, 2008 5:23:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Vandenburg,

While a screenshot in motion is somehow impossible to do, there's one of the battle view (but isn't linked in the screenshot section, had to hunt it down by google):

Thanks! I hadn't seen that screenshot yet and by 'in motion' I meant the shot was taken during a battle is all . And looking at it, I think it's an interesting choice to take (at least, what it looks like...) the HOMM battle system and make it real time. I'd be interested in giving it a whirl and see how it all comes together, but like Don and keith have said, taking dev time to creatre several battle options removes time from creating other features. For now, I'd say have faith guys.

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November 11, 2008 5:54:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It looks pretty turn based to me.  I suspect that real-time might apply to something else, like how it relates to the world around it.  I know in games such as HoMM, battles are a pain because they are seperate from regular turns and slow down large player games.  Maybe its more "real time" in that it relates to real time rather than turns.  I'm not sure really at what I'm grasping here, but I imagine a real-time turn based structure where turns go by in real-time to ensure that battles have a certain length

 

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November 11, 2008 11:38:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting NorsemanViking,

Quoting lamperti, reply 6It sounds like it may be too late to ask for this, but I really prefer strictly turn based tactical battles.  As someone mentioned above, I don't want to be spending my time thinking about whether or not I need to hit the pause button.  The system that MOM had worked very well for me. I would really appreciate it if it was an option, at least, to make the battles strictly turn based.

Ditto!

 


Quoting Solam, reply 9I always prefered turn base battles for these kinds of game. The reasons why I love 4x strategy game it's because ther is no stress and no need to rush. I am worried I will feel rushed with continious turns. I remember the game LORDS OF MAGIC where after a week I put the game away because battles were to complicated with so many troops all needing directions and all mving together all the time. There was no real possibility for me to create any strategy for battle. I prefer hexes and turns to let me for battles plans. Maybe with the new system it's possible I just don't want to end up with a LORDS OF MAGIC tactical battles. I would really be disappointed if it came to that.

 

And ditto indeed!

 I think the pause thing sounded lame....... I don't need an action game during the battles, then I will most certainly auto resolve them all.......

So I have to say; having real (classical) turn based battle as an option (or standard) would be very, very nice indeed!

 

 

 

Double ditto for me as well.

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November 11, 2008 11:54:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it'd probably be a lot easier to play and enjoy your units' abilities in full turn based. I've gotta be honest, though, I want a bigger scale more than any turn system differences, it looks awesome, but I want MOAR! That aside, I think it should actually be an easy option of a checkbox that lets you pause between turns (like in KOTOR, interestingly enough, but this game would appreciate it). It shouldn't be that hard to implement, but I won't say it's easy because I haven't tried implementing it and don't want Brad to chew me out for stupid assumptions.

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November 12, 2008 1:06:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Continuous turns aren't difficult to control, and are far less clunky than full on turn based.  We aren't talking RTS here, more like an EU style of system.  I have never had difficulty with Paradox's continuous time concept, nor have I seen many (or really anyone I can recall) complaining about it on the forums over there.  All you have to do is pause, issue orders, let things play out until you see something you want to do, pause again to make changes, and keep going.  It really isn't difficult, and there is no reason for you to feel rushed.

 

Turn based tactical combat would take a lot of time, especially on the scale Stardock has been talking about.  Either that or it would force combat to be dumbed down too far to be enjoyable (to speed turns along).  A continuous time system is an excellent choice if executed properly.

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November 12, 2008 2:11:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The important difference between continuous turn based battles and real time battles is the turn part.

Or in other words, the lowest time unit in a real time battle is usually a tick (some fraction of a second depending on the game engine, 1/30s in the newer C&C games for example). The lowest time unit in a continuous turn based game is up to some seconds (a fraction of a second or up to 5 seconds depending on the speed settings in Paradox' games).

This means that you can greatly speed up unimportant battles or boring parts of battles (I would wager that the devs would add a speed control to the battles) by just having the turns go very fast, while if you need time you can slow it down quite a lot and with the use of pause play it like an almost turn only based battle.

A continuous turn based battle is also by definition a simultanious turn battle and thus removes some of the exploits and problems (and possibilities if you want) of seperated move turn battles or initiative based turn battles.

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November 12, 2008 12:48:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting NorsemanViking,



Quoting lamperti,
reply 6
It sounds like it may be too late to ask for this, but I really prefer strictly turn based tactical battles.  As someone mentioned above, I don't want to be spending my time thinking about whether or not I need to hit the pause button.  The system that MOM had worked very well for me. I would really appreciate it if it was an option, at least, to make the battles strictly turn based.



Ditto!

 




Quoting Solam,
reply 9
I always prefered turn base battles for these kinds of game. The reasons why I love 4x strategy game it's because ther is no stress and no need to rush. I am worried I will feel rushed with continious turns. I remember the game LORDS OF MAGIC where after a week I put the game away because battles were to complicated with so many troops all needing directions and all mving together all the time. There was no real possibility for me to create any strategy for battle. I prefer hexes and turns to let me for battles plans. Maybe with the new system it's possible I just don't want to end up with a LORDS OF MAGIC tactical battles. I would really be disappointed if it came to that.


And ditto indeed!

 I think the pause thing sounded lame....... I don't need an action game during the battles, then I will most certainly auto resolve them all.......

So I have to say; having real (classical) turn based battle as an option (or standard) would be very, very nice indeed!

What would you think about a MoM turn based battle system where you gave your units thier orders at the start of combat and they remembered them from turn to turn.  The battle system would auto pause any time a unit was up who did not have a valid order and could be paused at any time by pressing the space bar.  If you wanted the combat system to act like MoM just give each unit it's order then it's turn came up.  If you wanted a faster combat give each unit an order before the round started and then adjust as needed.

Sammual

 

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November 12, 2008 2:22:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That kind of system works well for me and is in fact the system I guessed SD implemented already based on the scale they are talking about.

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November 12, 2008 2:34:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Vandenburg brought up a point which moves me very much in the continuous turn direction: "removes some of the exploits and problems (and possibilities if you want) of seperated move turn battles or initiative based turn battles."

 

"Going First" was just such a huge advantage in so many games, by the time the other guy got to move your missile troops had annihilated most or all of his army.  Now he could at least get his missiles in the air before dying, or be able to cast a shield over his army, etc.

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November 12, 2008 3:05:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the units get to move based on initiative considering that queue on the bottom, it looks like it shows when each unit's going to get its turn, a system I like considering my experiences with that type of system.

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November 12, 2008 3:23:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is the game going to be multiplayer?   If so, the pause whenever you want to change something idea won't really work.  It'll have to be paused at a set time or full on real time with no pausing... Just a thought

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