Tactical battles, MOM was good, FE not so much... here is why...

By on February 13, 2012 4:49:11 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Solam

Join Date 03/2007
+16

I've been playing more of FE since I got my new pc,

Graphic wise it's beautiful, I can't complain. A few glitches here and there but on the whole I can't wait for the final version.

 

In my opinion tactical battles could be so much better.

 First off the battle area is way to small. There is no possibility of making any strategy at all. It's always rush rush rush. It takes one turn for my hero to engage the enemy. That's boring.

 The way I see it it is imagine playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition on a role mat with hexes everywhere. the DM says ok battle time, he gets up and starts making the mat with washable markers. We are in a forest near a crypt. He draws some walls (cover) there is a small river near by (boundaries some large blocks which makes obstacles and provides cover fire from rage attacks.

IN FE you have no such things . The forest all around is just boundary, it provides no cover and no obstacle. If you are facing another hero or channeler you are engage in the first round. All there is to it is, you bash me I bash you and I hope I have more HP than you. VERY boring.

 

A tactical battle is about tactics but if you have noting to work with  what is the point?

 

Now that was my complaint.

 

Now a possible solution,

 

Either make the battle ground bigger and if you can't then make the squares smaller so you have more of them

Then add some obstacles, I think this should be random. This way all battles are somewhat different.

 

I would think that distance should be revised as well. Being able to attack the enemy normally within 1 turn is not giving much chance to do tactics.

 

Tactical battles are one of the corner stones of the game for me anyway, The way they are right now I'll just auto resolve there is no point.

 

I can't go anywhere on the map I can't run away I can't slow the enemy down not really and I can't hide from missile attacks, So it's rush after rush after rush.

Just sharing my thoughts.

 

Great game in anycase. Keep up the good work.

 

Locked Post 61 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 5:21:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You spoke out what I suspected. I am not a part of the beta and i have never played the predecessor. Though I am very interested in "FE" I got the feeling that the battles are the worst part of the game. I watched some "lets play the beta" videos and was thinking the same you did. Maybe another one from the beta who is also deeper into the battle system can say something how it plays. I was wondering too that there are no obstacles like a tree, a wall, a stone or maybe a river with a small bride etc...

 

In "Age of Wonders" the battlefield has many obstacles and different ground layers.

 

You mentioned "MoM". I bought it yesterday on gog.com but didnt play it yet. Are there obstacles on the battlefield? What did "MoM" better then "FE" does?

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 5:33:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I also think the combat system in 0.77 is too simple to be much fun, but I understand that the engine can support terrain cover bonuses and certainly a wider range of unit abilities, zone of control, and counterstrike.  (Tactical magic is on track to be a blast once it's balanced up, but the mundane units not so much).  Other people seem to like it though, so YMMV.

We'll see what they do with it going forward. Devs have been playing the cards close to the vest this time around.  Otherwise it looks like there are enough features in there that the modders will get it going.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 6:45:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

.77 isn't a great example of the finished Tactical Battle system. It is just a taste really.

The key thing to realize is that tactical battles are meant to be small and fast. There will be tactical elements, but the design goal is to make them more simple than most people might want. Don't expect a D&D level of depth, but do expect really challenging AI and fun times. 

You can also expect the mod community to come up with some more complications to tactical battles. One trait I made is for Path of the Ranger. Blunt Tip: Arrow does damage equal to Dexterity in blunt damage and has a 50% chance to knock enemy down. I plan to pop out new Path mods every few weeks as they are very modular and take little time to make. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 6:54:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ya it's terrible and i'm worried about it's future.

Quoting seanw3,
I plan to pop out new Path mods every few weeks as they are very modular and take little time to make.

Paths like the ones we already have or advanced paths?

Ex

                    Rogue ----<

Assasin ----< Blademaster ----<

                    Ranger ----<

 

or dual paths?

                  +Assasin= Bladedancer

Warrior ----<+Mage= Spellsword

                  +Defender= Weapon Master

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 7:10:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Until the 1.0 release I have to assume that the paths we have are the ones they will stick with. I will be adding Paths that are parallel to the current ones and others that requires a previous path. So you might choose Path of the Fighter at level 2. At level 7 you may choose Path of the Barbarian if you already have Path of the Fighter. A parallel choice would be to choose Path of the Archer at level 2. A connecting Path might be Path of the Ranger at level 7. I wouldn't do anything like Mage+Warrior=Spellsword because it is too rare to get both of those paths. Instead it would be Mage-->Battlemage--> Spellsword. Also expect Paths like Vampire Slayer to pop up in quests I make. 

This kind of Path system will be great because it is totally modular with the rest of the game. I am working out a plan in Google docs and will post a basic Path Tree soon.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 7:12:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
.77 isn't a great example of the finished Tactical Battle system. It is just a taste really.
 

Maybe you're right.  If that's the case I'm surprised to have not seen it referred in the otherwise generally excellent "what's next" post.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 7:21:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They omitted alot in that post. Notice that City Improvements are not covered. They only post about sure things. I am guessing that Tactical Battles and a few other things are still in flux. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 7:31:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I completely agree with Solam. 

The battlefields are way too small and movement boni too numerous, which makes the current (very simple) ZOC system pretty much redundant.

On top of it, there are no stratagic considerations beyond the "What can I afford?"-think process when it comes down to the question of what to train. 

Basically higher attack value is better. End of story.

No counter system in place (but pls don't transport the counter-system from galciv2 into elementals tactical combat, because it wouldn't work well). Almost none weapon properties to differentiete each weapon from each other - the lack of purpose for each item. Additional the lack of a limit on how many accessories a unit can equip makes the choice between each one almost non existent. It's just the more the better kind of thing.   

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 7:48:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As a reminder, this is a MOM tactical battle:

Small maps, no obstacles, no FOW, battles over quickly.  Which is what we're going for as well.

This is the FE one:

 

I'm currently lobbying to have them let me place the units on the map rather than the current system (where the map itself determines where units go).  That way, the AI can intelligently put unit distances in a way that makes things more interesting.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 7:54:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It would be nice if player could set up a formation. (e.g., like HOMM)

 

If no formation is chosen (i.e. quicker start) then your army is set up in same formation as the last encounter.  

 

I hate it when I have an earth elemental stuck at the back of my army and it take three turns before they are anywhere near the enemy.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 7:58:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea, I am looking forard to looking at that code. I have had cases where ranged units are in front.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 8:01:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

From past experiences with WoM ... the general 'feel' of a tactical battle doesn't change. (within a given game)

 

Tactical battles will be MORE BALANCED and LESS BUGGY upon release, but they will use the same philosophies that they have today.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 8:04:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Pre placement of units would be a great improvement.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 8:08:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

I'm currently lobbying to have them let me place the units on the map rather than the current system (where the map itself determines where units go).  That way, the AI can intelligently put unit distances in a way that makes things more interesting.

Yea, MoM's tactical battles had a similar aesthetic format to FE    ... must admit I'm a bit more of a Total War fan myself (well, until they required steam that is, hehe)

 

To my point, it would be a great boon if you could indeed have the units pre-placed intelligently, or even have the human/AI able to place them in the nearest 2 rows of the grid.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 8:10:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tasunke,
From past experiences with WoM ... the general 'feel' of a tactical battle doesn't change. (within a given game)

 Tactical battles will be MORE BALANCED and LESS BUGGY upon release, but they will use the same philosophies that they have today.

Given that WOM was based on turns rather than initiative, I don't see how you can really compare the two.

In FE, tactical battles are meant to be fast, simple, and fun, much like they were in MOM.  

The problems *I* have with FE's tactical battles in 0.77 are:

  • Not enough interesting unit abilities
  • Maps don't give quite enough room to manuever
  • Units move too fast (i.e. why are they allowed to move 2 tiles minimum?)

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 8:37:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The philosophy of WOM was turn based ... and stayed this way for the entire game (regardless of what beta testers said)

 

The philosophy of FE is, among other things, Initiative based. Im not really making a criticism or suggesting something here, I just want to remind lurkers that the game doesn't change drastically within any given installment (over the course of a beta)

 

-> If I was going to make a suggestion from dreamland however, I would ask that Tactical Battles get larger maps as their armies get larger.

-> I would also ask for relatively low tactical movement within an initiative turn (melee 1 move, mounted 2 moves ... normal speed increasers only affect Initiative)

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 8:41:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Gotta agree with those three. But what about tile bonuses for hills and such?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 8:45:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Given Frogboy's comments, I am hopeful that even if the map size does not change (which isn't necessarily the only possible fix), that at least tactical movement is reduced to something more manageable.

If movement was a bit slower (melee 1, mounted 2) with faster units having higher initiative only ... Then we could have something cool even without larger maps

 

-> it wouldn't be identical to Checkers, Chess, Go, or Stratego per se ... but I think it would place a greater emphasis on troop formation and positioning, and the movement required to get there.

(as units slow down, with stats unchanged, ranged effectiveness will go up, but stats are relatively small details ... No? I mean, changing them all has got to take some serious man-hours, but I do not think it would be a serious issue, and perfectly capable within a Beta framework. That is, I think the game could still be balanced between Melee and Ranged, with a new slower movement format, without changing too many of the cogs and gears)

-> Also, if you did go all the way to 1 move non-mounteds only ... you could even give certain (most?) weapons a maximum range

For instance, a Short Bow only being able to shoot 3 tiles out, with Long bow only being able to shoot 5 tiles out ... wouldn't be that large of an issue if Melee can only move 1 tile per initiative turn.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 9:25:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
Gotta agree with those three. But what about tile bonuses for hills and such?

What about bonuses that make good positioning of units matter, in general? Which include both terrain-based bonuses and bonuses for outmaneuvering your enemy (flanking being the most common in games of this type).

 

The problems *I* have with FE's tactical battles in 0.77 are:

  • Not enough interesting unit abilities

Does this mean we can hope for more abilities with new effects?

 

Is there a chance "auras"-type abilities will be implemented into the game? They could be an amazing tool to give more depth to the game and for modders, as you can create a lot of cool abilities with such a tool (by aura I mean "non-activated skills that affect all units within a certain range of the one possessing the aura").

 

Units move too fast (i.e. why are they allowed to move 2 tiles minimum?)

In order to be able to implement a Zone-of-Control -like mechanic that slows down units passing through the ZoC of an enemy units. You can't slow down units that only have 1 move (unless you make them immobile, which isn't very interesting). If everyone starts with 2 move, then slowing down enemies that want to take down your archers becomes relevant.

 

Anyway, my belief is that it is critical to improve the depth of tactical battles in order to make them less repetitive. I understand the design philosophy behind the fast pace, but making them too simple will just create another problem: they'll become tedious and boring after the 50th battle, maybe sooner. In other words, put the tactics (and again, depth) in tactical battles. Age of Wonders' battles aren't super long, and they have a few things that help them more tacticals. No need to make it a Gary Grigsby game.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 9:48:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good points. ZoC would still be important for Mounted Units and certain creatures though. (even if most non-mounteds were capped at 1 tile)

Lower movement, Initiative based motion, and ZoC all seek to implement a simultaneous nature inside of a turn based atmosphere.

There is nothing wrong, imho, for ZoC to have limited usage.

 

I suppose instead we could start out with maps being at least 50% 'longer', and having 2 move melee/ranged and 3-4 move mounted.

Gary Grigsby?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 9:54:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tasunke,

Gary Grigsby?
He makes monster games - hex-based historical wargames with numerous accurate units, detailed maps, and turns that can take hours to play. If you're into that stuff (I sort-of am), he makes impressive games.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 10:08:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
As a reminder, this is a MOM tactical battle:

Reduced 70%Original 848 x 523

Small maps, no obstacles, no FOW, battles over quickly.  Which is what we're going for as well.

This is the FE one:

Reduced 57%Original 1017 x 767

 

I'm currently lobbying to have them let me place the units on the map rather than the current system (where the map itself determines where units go).  That way, the AI can intelligently put unit distances in a way that makes things more interesting.

 

 

 

Not entirely true about the MOM tactical battles. The bumps/hills would slow down non-flying units moving across them. Roads in the tactical battle would also allow for extra movement(cost 1/2 movemement point on roads), plus city walls, that force non-flying units to have to fight their way in to the city, or use spells/specific units to take out the walls. Wall of Darkness could also be used, to prevent ranged units from shooting over the walls.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 10:45:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I always thought Aow:sm was a beefed up enhanced version of tac battles in comparison to MOM's, seemed like the game was made mainly for this purpose & nearly perfected it. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 11:32:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting stevty2889,
Not entirely true about the MOM tactical battles. The bumps/hills would slow down non-flying units moving across them. Roads in the tactical battle would also allow for extra movement(cost 1/2 movemement point on roads), plus city walls, that force non-flying units to have to fight their way in to the city, or use spells/specific units to take out the walls. Wall of Darkness could also be used, to prevent ranged units from shooting over the walls.

He beat me to it.  And said it better.  Even FB's MoM screen shot had an example of the bumps that would slow you down.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 13, 2012 11:37:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The question I keep asking myself is whether or not mods will be supported in Multiplayer. Seems like the obvious answer is no, and MP is a maybe after release. I hate to have to choose between mods that give me larger battles and MP that lets me frustrate and annoy real people until they ragequit in the midgame. 

It's Sophie's Choice all over again. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000266   Page Render Time: