Combat

By on June 21, 2009 3:23:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Rocky_Tooth

Join Date 04/2009
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Maybe I'm crazy but I have not been able to find anything what so ever pertaining to the combat system in the game.  It certainly would be nice to see a dev journal about it..   Is there something I missed?

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June 25, 2009 10:02:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ok I am still pretty hyped to see this game come out, thanks for clarifying it a bit.

 

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June 25, 2009 10:56:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,
I've heard conflicting info about exactly how combat is supposed to work. I'm not entirely sure ifn the devs know themselves! In any case, my understanding is that CTB is a little like chess: one guy from your side moves, then one guy from the other side moves, then you can move another guy, and so on.

Isn't that just... regular turn-based combat? I mean, that's exactly like the combat in HoMM V and King's Bounty, so if that's what they meant by continuous turn based, I imagine they'd have given those games as examples, rather than games like Baldur's gate. So I don't think that's what they have planned. I think it'll be turn-based under the hood, but with the actions and movements and all actually happening in real-time... or something. And if it is at all real-time then I would yell and scream if they don't give me a pause button that still lets me issue commands and all.

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June 25, 2009 11:35:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pigeonpigeon,
Quoting Scoutdog, reply 25I've heard conflicting info about exactly how combat is supposed to work. I'm not entirely sure ifn the devs know themselves! In any case, my understanding is that CTB is a little like chess: one guy from your side moves, then one guy from the other side moves, then you can move another guy, and so on.

Isn't that just... regular turn-based combat? I mean, that's exactly like the combat in HoMM V and King's Bounty, so if that's what they meant by continuous turn based, I imagine they'd have given those games as examples, rather than games like Baldur's gate. So I don't think that's what they have planned. I think it'll be turn-based under the hood, but with the actions and movements and all actually happening in real-time... or something. And if it is at all real-time then I would yell and scream if they don't give me a pause button that still lets me issue commands and all.

From my understanding the idea is exactly as you describe, the turns keep going and you can pause to issue orders..

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June 26, 2009 8:32:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't really know. But if the turns "keep going", isn't that just real-time? We'll have to wait and see, and there better be a pause button...

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June 26, 2009 6:03:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Turns versus real time factor into the immediacy of actions.  For instance, dodging archer fire by zig zagging your unit.  Something that is possible in real time, and not in turn based.  Even if turns are continuous and flow in real time, it still holds because your units are reacting to your commands inside the turn framework.  You cannot time actions to break the game mechanics, one of the more irritating problems in RTS games.

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June 26, 2009 8:10:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In MTW origional you could have 25000 units/men on the map at once (if you had the system to run it like I do). BUT! and this is the big BUT of it. You really only had 16 UNITS on each side that represented those thousands of men per side on the map at once. Each unit stack did everything together, when a few of them ran they ALL  ran from that unit group. When a few of them charged they ALL charged.

So, I would expect perhaps the same kind of ILLUSION that MTW/RTW/M2TW/ETW and STW presented. The illusion of controlling thousand of lil men or fantasy creatures and really only controlling 16-20 units total. As I recall even in MOM you only controlled what was it NINE actual units while there were several creatures/men in each unit. Thus the illusion of controlling a lot while actually controlling very little.

I'd bet a dime to a dollar you aren't going to be controlling 1000 individual units where you could play with ONE at a time and tell it to go here and the next one to go there and so on and so forth. So, I'm pretty sure the illusion type of combat game is going to be there.

I'm fine with the illusion, but, really all that does is just bog down the games for those with lesser than high end computers that can actually run all that illusional animation.

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June 26, 2009 9:56:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting psychoravin,
I'm fine with the illusion, but, really all that does is just bog down the games for those with lesser than high end computers that can actually run all that illusional animation.

That's not true. Having 'units' consist of many individuals is very different from just having one unit. Sure, they may all flee and move together, but they don't all die together. A single unit is either alive or not, while a 'collective' one has many states in between and losing a constituent member has a very real effect on its performance. Another possible effect of having 'collective' units is like in MTW where only those in range of their targets/attackers are capable of fighting. The rest have to wait around or push their way through. This changes the mechanics of combats significantly. For example, it makes an individual powerful unit more dangerous - not only will such a unit continue to deal full damage until its death, but only a limited number of constituent members of a collective unit are capable of reaching it at any given time.

I suspect you are right about not being able to control thousands of individual units in the battlefield (and I hope you're right, too - that would be overwhelming), but as long as the individual constituents of a squad are capable of dying individually, and hopefully something along the lines of what's seen in MTW regarding only being able to attack when in weapons reach of the enemy, then the 'illusion' of controlling thousands and troops is not just cosmetic. Not to mention the fact that a squad of 300 swordsmen, even if treated as one unit for the sake of control, will still be more powerful than a squad of 50 swordsmen. And the cosmetics are also enticing - it's not nearly as epic and exciting to watch a battle between armies whose sizes you can count using your fingers as it is to watch a battle between armies that look like floods of people and horses and fantastical beings.

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June 27, 2009 7:56:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well I'm talking more about the PLAYER CONTROLLED units not about how the developers gave it the illusion that each individual little man plays a part in the whole. You only CONTROL 16-20 units period. Wherever you tell or what you tell to those 16-20 units is what they ALL do in that stack and that is all you get to do. Same with MOM you had 9 units you controlled not each individual little man or creature unless that is all they represented was one lil man (heroes) and creatures (the big ones). Thus as you said the rest is cosmetic and merely graphics candy that bogs down a lot of players computers.

My point is that you could just as easily make ONE little man/creature with ALL the hit points of the other units like from a MTW/RTW etc. give that ONE little man/creature 100 strikes per round and it would be the same outcome as having 100 little animations on the screen doing one strike individually. Same with the moral value until it runs or retreats. If you've ever played Paradoxs Crusader Kings you'd see just what I am talking about. They have ONE unit on the map that represents thousands fighting one unit on the map that represents thousands as well. When you go into the battle scene it starts to break down that one animation by individual units until one breaks and runs from the province. While the combat scheme is different it still represents what I'm getting at. You don't need thousands of little animations to drive the combat. But, today graphics candy sells, but, hurts more gamers than it helps.

Watching the illusion of 25000 lil animated men going at it is quite entertaining, but, when you really break it down you know each little man is just a mathematical number thrown into the equation divided by 100 or however many men are in the unit stack. The only way it would really be 25000 men is if they were individual and you could break them off 1 little man at a time. Then you could see parts of a stack break off from INDIVIDUAL moral and fear and that would look and be more realistic than ok we're half strength time for ALL of us to run and get chopped down anyway by the enemy cavalry. I always thought that part rather funny that instead of just fighting to the death (cause they are gonna die anyways from the enemy cavalry) they run for the border. I solved that issue with the ai by just turning morale off. Made for a lot better battles and more challenging an entertaining.

Also my take on turn based or real time for Elemental from what I've seen and read is it LOOKS like that it's turn based IF THE PLAYER CHOOSES (from a page I had read from the dev diary) and then also when two units collided there is an UP CLOSE ANIMATION of what happens. Kind of like the zoomin effect of the Total Wars only it's game controlled for each individual combat sceen. I like that idea if that is what it is going to be because in the Total Wars you miss so much of the action because of all the clicking and jerking you have to do to keep your army intact and fighting. The combat map I've seen looks pratically just like MOMs only it's a putrid green (probably just production color) and all the units are bland looking as well. But, it certainly looks turn based.

I'm definitely for turn based option. I think Battlefront used this choice/option method in Combat Mission Shock Force didn't they? (anyone played it?) You could use the new style rts or the old style wego. I'm ok with Wego, but, I'm not a big fan of it because you end up having to play the little movie over and over an over an over again to see what happened everywhere. I'm like this if the game is going to have a pause or a start and stop feature like Wego it might as well have been turn based to begin with. All these alternative versions of turn based are just a waste of programming time.

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June 27, 2009 8:12:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ahhh I found the dev page about tactical battles:

http://forums.impulsedriven.com/342047

This line specifically:

The idea is that you zoom in to a given battle and you see all your units there. From there, you can set the speed you want the action to take place (from “turns” to real time). 

YOU can SET THE SPEED YOU WANT the action to take place (from TURNS to real time.

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June 27, 2009 9:58:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You mean turns/RTS is optional!? All hail the frog! I just hope the turns aren't timed. That would be horrible.

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June 27, 2009 11:32:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,
You mean turns/RTS is optional!? All hail the frog! I just hope the turns aren't timed. That would be horrible.

Brad did use shudder quotes in "from 'turns' to real time." I take that to mean they aren't exactly what primitive/niche-junkie/RTS-phobes like me think when we hear the word "turn."

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June 27, 2009 11:39:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm HOPING yhat he used quotes because turns aren't the exact opposite of real-time. A more appropriate version would be something like

(from “turns” to seconds).
or
(from Turn-Based to real-time)
I'm just hoping that they actually are turns. The alternative is not pretty.

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June 27, 2009 12:03:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like real time combat as long as you JUST have to manage the combat in real time and the unit number is manageable enough AND the possible exploitation availible to someone who micromanages their units is minimal.

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June 27, 2009 12:39:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I personally don't mind as long as there is a pause button that still allows you to issue orders.

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June 27, 2009 4:31:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting psychoravin,
Well I'm talking more about the PLAYER CONTROLLED units not about how the developers gave it the illusion that each individual little man plays a part in the whole. You only CONTROL 16-20 units period. Wherever you tell or what you tell to those 16-20 units is what they ALL do in that stack and that is all you get to do. Same with MOM you had 9 units you controlled not each individual little man or creature unless that is all they represented was one lil man (heroes) and creatures (the big ones). Thus as you said the rest is cosmetic and merely graphics candy that bogs down a lot of players computers.

My point is that you could just as easily make ONE little man/creature with ALL the hit points of the other units like from a MTW/RTW etc. give that ONE little man/creature 100 strikes per round and it would be the same outcome as having 100 little animations on the screen doing one strike individually. Same with the moral value until it runs or retreats. If you've ever played Paradoxs Crusader Kings you'd see just what I am talking about. They have ONE unit on the map that represents thousands fighting one unit on the map that represents thousands as well. When you go into the battle scene it starts to break down that one animation by individual units until one breaks and runs from the province. While the combat scheme is different it still represents what I'm getting at. You don't need thousands of little animations to drive the combat. But, today graphics candy sells, but, hurts more gamers than it helps.

You totally missed the entire point of my thread. One little man with 100 strikes per round is not equivalent to 100 little men with 1 strike per turn. The former is at full strength until he's dead, the latter goes down in number (and thus power) - thus the former is advantageous. In the former, position, size and effective range don't make much of a difference - every abstracted individual represented by the little man with 100 strikes is always in range of everyone that the little man is next to, while in the latter only the individuals that are actually close enough to the enemy can strike (and be struck). These are not merely cosmetic differences - they have major tactical implications.

Quoting psychoravin,
Then you could see parts of a stack break off from INDIVIDUAL moral and fear and that would look and be more realistic than ok we're half strength time for ALL of us to run and get chopped down anyway by the enemy cavalry. I always thought that part rather funny that instead of just fighting to the death (cause they are gonna die anyways from the enemy cavalry) they run for the border. I solved that issue with the ai by just turning morale off. Made for a lot better battles and more challenging an entertaining.

It's funny that you find that funny, because that's one aspect of combat in MTW that is actually very realistic. If someone wants to live, they are more likely to run for their lives (even if they'll likely be caught anyways) than to stand and fight against a superior opponent and guarantee their death. And when people see their comrades fleeing from combat, it makes the rest of them more likely to flee and results in a cascade. That's what a rout is.


Quoting psychoravin,
The combat map I've seen looks pratically just like MOMs only it's a putrid green (probably just production color) and all the units are bland looking as well. But, it certainly looks turn based.

The combat map you've seen was already outdated when it was released (and it was released when Elemental was announced) - Frogboy or BoogieBac said that they didn't mean to release that image because it gives a completely wrong impression of what they want combat to be. So don't base too much off of that.

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June 27, 2009 5:16:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm fine with the illusion, but, really all that does is just bog down the games for those with lesser than high end computers that can actually run all that illusional animation.

 

I can't believe this is even being argued.  How can you have played a Total War game and have such...

 

I'm too tired to finish that sentence, can't think of a word that conveys such idiocy...

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June 27, 2009 7:41:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Am I the only one that remembers this turn based vs "real time" debate? Long story short Brad showed up and said Elemental is a turn based game period. He never really defined what he meant by continuos turns or "real-time" as I recall. 

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June 28, 2009 9:09:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not even sure what this thread is about anymore.

Therefore, I will post a random emoticon. 

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June 28, 2009 9:19:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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June 28, 2009 10:33:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darkodinplus,
Am I the only one that remembers this turn based vs "real time" debate? Long story short Brad showed up and said Elemental is a turn based game period. He never really defined what he meant by continuos turns or "real-time" as I recall. 

I remember it, and the last bit you mention is why I am still vexed when the subject comes up. Also, I suspect at least a few of us feel a helpless need to whinge and beg about what we fear and hope for the functionality because we'll probably have to start accepting a locked-down code milestone sometime soon. We might learn even from the alpha that it's already a done deal and more discussion will be wasted typing.

So, to whinge a bit more: If I have to live with a pause button during tac combat, I at least hope I'll be able to restart without a penalty in case something in the real world makes me miss an important moment to pause at. I know that'll sound like a save-reload cheat without needing the reload, but I don't care about that set of arguments. I have a life where phones, cats, neighbors, falling trees, etc., can instantly and completely take my attention from the computer.

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June 28, 2009 10:53:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am more concerned about the ease of pausing. I like to play while doing homework, watching TV, and eating ice cream: I don't have the time or patience to hunt for a tiny little hotkey-free pause button.

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June 28, 2009 1:04:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Considering this is a TBS game, Stardock would be downright stupid not to have a fully functional pause button in combat. The demographic of people who buy TBS games is heavily biased towards people who don't like the twitch factor in real-time games (whether RTS or FPS or whatever). They (we? I?) like to take their time and think everything through before acting. So in my opinion, if combat is in a form where a pause button makes sense, then there will be a pause button.

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July 9, 2009 3:48:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,
I've heard conflicting info about exactly how combat is supposed to work. I'm not entirely sure ifn the devs know themselves! In any case, my understanding is that CTB is a little like chess: one guy from your side moves, then one guy from the other side moves, then you can move another guy, and so on.

 

I hope it's like GalCiv2, with a pausable combat viewer.

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July 9, 2009 4:07:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am assuming it will be, but you actually get to issue orders. Actually, this screenshot has proven to be rather informative:

  • The "hourglass" button is wierd: my first impression was "reset button", but that is so fraught with probelems that it pretty much HAS to be something else..... maybe the pause.
  • There is also a "scroll" button: I am assuming this is for scripting (yay, scripting is in?), but it also might be something else... one thing I am thinking of is "issue orders", but since it appears to be OPPOSED to the pause button, all sorts of scary RT"S" images have begun to flash through my head........ Brad, if the pause is not functional, you will have hundreds of angry turn people beating on your door........
  • The disics at the bottom appear to exemplify the concept of simultaneous turns: Each represents a unit, and they move across the screen from right to left. When a disc is at the far left, the unit it represents can move to the extent of its MP's. When it has used them up, the disc is returned to the far right. I am not, however, sure how the game decides the ORDER they go in.....
  • The terrein appears to be at leas some degree vaired, which will make a lot of people happy.
  • Does the lightening mean that you can use magic in battle? Or is it an item effect (the sparks are the exact same color as the bottle of blue goo the soldier is holding.)
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July 9, 2009 4:07:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Dang, messed up the post......

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