[Gameplay] Integrate Auto-Resolve and tactical battles into one system.

By on November 8, 2010 10:39:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Gazz_

Join Date 03/2004
+33

marlowwe

a trait or special ability can become completely useless due to factors outside of the player's control.
Although enabling auto-resolve is a player choice, having it enabled will completely invalidate all special abilities that affect tactical battles.
From a game designer's perspective, auto-resolve and tactical battle traits would impinge on each other and render themselves mutually exclusive.
Essentially what I am arguing is that one or the other must go.


So... let's assume that the AI will one day be smart enough to use abilities / spells more or less properly.

Let the computer play both sides on auto-resolve.
How fast could the compuer calculate tactical battles - playing both sides - when no graphics or animations were needed?
0.01 seconds? 0.02?

Is the speed advantage of a truly abstracted system actually worth having two completely separate systems?
It's twice the coding / debugging to implement features into two separate systems and if there should be a computer opponent in tactical battles anyway... then WHY?

A lot of the "interesting" abilities (like from my list above) are situational and depend on units being near each other or near a certain tile.
None of that is easily modeled in an abstracted system.

Auto resolve could even display the battle in hyperspeed so the entire battle is "fought" but displayed in maybe 2-3 seconds.
No animations beyond units zooming around and figures inside the units vanishing when being killed.
Having some idea of what happened would solve a lot of questions about auto-resolve and watching a 3 sec battle is hardly annoying.
Of course, this could just as well have a speed slider and please everyone...

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November 9, 2010 9:54:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wouldn't mind an auto-resolve system where it actually plays out right in front of you on the tactical map.  If something is going haywaire (like the pioneer is leading the charge, for example) you can stop the fight and make and adjustments, but otherwise sit back and eat dinner while the computer handles both sides of the fight.  Or there would be the option not to show the fight.

There are occasional fights where I look at both sides and my units simply don't have enough attack power to overcome the AIs defenses, but I have the bigger army even though it is crap units, so I cheese the AI by hitting auto-resolve and win.

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November 10, 2010 5:38:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Fearzone,
There are occasional fights where I look at both sides and my units simply don't have enough attack power to overcome the AIs defenses, but I have the bigger army even though it is crap units, so I cheese the AI by hitting auto-resolve and win.

That's the main reason for this. A consistent system so that "full" and auto battles play by the same rules, use the exact same function calls for abilities... the whole shebang.

Whether battles can be watched and / or interrupted is secondary. Nice to have but not the key item.
If the only graphical representation you get from such an auto-resolved battle are the cumulative hit points and combat strength of both armies, that would do in a pinch.

Or blatantly steal the auto-resolve display from Jagged Alliance 2.
There, every unit of a side is depicted by it's icon, only showing HP. Units are hit (icon flashes)... brrrap... marked as dead. It conveys the impression of a "real" battle being fought because you still see which units are hit and see their HP bars go down.
That would be a pretty cool system to "show" a battle without having to mess with any 3D graphic interface or animation.
The unit icons already exist. The HP / mana bars and flashing of icons would be the only moving parts.

 

I simply don't understand why there should be two separate system with two different rule sets. Why?

There are games where this makes a lot of sense. X3, for instance, has an abstracted system to resolve faraway / hidden spaceship battles without executing them in full 3D with all ships maneuvering, thousands of bullets flying across the sector, computing collision detection for all objects/bullets in the sector, detonation/blast ranges...
It's practically impossible to do all that in realtime because this universe does not sleep with only computing the sector the player is in. So an abstract system is used. But there it's possible because there are very few variables. Ships shoot lasers, ships shoot missiles. End of feature list.

The "interesting" tactical battles that we hope to some day get in Elemental can not be abstracted like that because auto-resolve it hardly works now - with practically no tactical rules or conditions.

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November 10, 2010 6:02:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with having just the one system.   Especially when special Sovereign/Hero Combat abilities are implemented, which would be useless in auto-resolve combat as it is now.

What do other players and devs think?

Best regards,
Steven. 

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November 10, 2010 6:29:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Weren't autoresolves just battles played normally but your army being controlled by the AI? (with no graphical feedback beyond a list of general actions in the battle report like: "hero_A casts spell_B, does X damage to enemy_Z")

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November 10, 2010 6:31:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think all units are hittable on first turn (including archers), which doesn't always happen in standard combat.

Best regards,
Steven.

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November 10, 2010 11:13:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,
Weren't autoresolves just battles played normally but your army being controlled by the AI? (with no graphical feedback beyond a list of general actions in the battle report like: "hero_A casts spell_B, does X damage to enemy_Z")

That is what I'm suggesting how it should work...

 

Units have no actual position in the current super-abstract auto-resolve so

- ranged units cannot get 1-2 "free rounds" over melee

- abilities and many spells are used... probably not at all. Especially not AOE ones because it's simply not possible to consider the area when units have no position.

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