Formations

Share your ideas and suggestions for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.
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Deca
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Re: Formations

Postby Deca » 16 March 2016, 17:47

Excellent, well illustrated, and thorough suggestion Serenissima.
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Anuri
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Re: Formations

Postby Anuri » 23 March 2016, 11:24

I would prefer them trying to keep formation as deplpyed initially at least..

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Re: Formations

Postby Sir_Papercut » 25 March 2016, 18:51

Ravensburg wrote:Hello,

Nice post, very interesting. Many tests has been made during development in order to include the formation system, some of them was very close to your proposition. Finally we decided to remove formations because it made the game over complicated for not a great tactical enhancement.

We know that this is an important feature of the TTG and I would love to see it in the game. But it must be ergonomic/tactical/balanced/understandable, So maybe later...

Thanks,

Ravensburg



While I appreciate that the feature may have caused bugs, I do not see why they can't be included as an optional feature for those that want them. As it stands every single battle just devolves into a brawl, which only really suits Orks and maybe Chaos, but the Imperium and Eldar I expect would have more finesse to their movement than "Orbit around the enemy" and "Move in a straight line regardless of where my allies are".

If they're too complex, then make it an optional feature for advanced players. Maybe in multiplayer there could be an option to disable them in custom matches if you really don't want them in.

However, I do respect they can be hard to implement, unless you let people set a designated formation of ships during the pre-game ship selection, and then had hotkeys to apply and unapply them to certain groups yadda yadda. But again, I do not see why they should not be implemented at all at the very least as a feature we can either use or not use, or enable and disable.

It'd be neat as well if the AI could use them, as then we'd have to fight some kick ass walls of Imperium navy ships, and figure out the best way to split their formation apart, rather than everyone just acting as a satellite around their target endlessly. Again, allowing the AI to use them could be based on difficulty settings or an option in the game settings.

Formations are a key part of all kinds of naval warfare, including the BFG universe, and it'd be a shame if theyw ere never implemented in any form at all.

At the very, very least, let us set ships to move at the speed of the slowest ship in their group or current selection, so when we tell them all to go somewhere, they don't all speed off and leave the slower ships behind and potentially undefended, without constant fiddling and micromanagement.

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321... Misfire.
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Re: Formations

Postby 321... Misfire. » 26 March 2016, 16:40

I second (third, eightieth?) the need for formations. There is a reason that they were used historically in the type of big-gun naval conflict that inspires BFG:A. And while I realize that the inclusion of formations creates issues, especially, I would imagine, for the A.I., I feel the game would be much more enjoyable tactically, rather than more of a clickfest.

Realistically the same could be achieved by adding a total pause button that would allow an admiral to have time to do the types of micromanagement that keeping formations would require.

Maybe a pause button that would only allow issuing of move orders, so that one could not pause and issue simultaneous orders for attacks, special abilities, etc? Perhaps also exclude ships that are operating under all ahead full and/or come to new heading orders, to avoid fine-tuning ram attempts, etc.

Along with formations, it would be great to be able to issue squadron orders, and be able to give some A.I. control over ships/groups of ships.
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Re: Formations

Postby Shaftoe » 26 March 2016, 16:51

Very good idea! Yes, it is a bit complicated, but I'm sure that most basic of those formations might prove very useful.
I hope Developers won't abandon the idea and the eventually we'll find it sueful in finished game.
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Re: Formations

Postby Serenissima » 26 March 2016, 17:15

Ravensburg wrote:Nice post, very interesting. Many tests has been made during development in order to include the formation system, some of them was very close to your proposition. Finally we decided to remove formations because it made the game over complicated for not a great tactical enhancement.

We know that this is an important feature of the TTG and I would love to see it in the game. But it must be ergonomic/tactical/balanced/understandable, So maybe later...


Thanks for your response. While I understand the complexity of my entire proposed formation system, it's really just a pie-in-the-sky proposal for an ideal world. I do not, however, believe any part of it is overly complicated - if anything, the current lack of group movement orders is making the game more complicated than it would be otherwise, and favouring the use of mass brawling and using skillshot bombs rather than being a matter of tactics and thought. It's not a -terrible- game as-is, but it's currently a very different kind of game to the TTG, and not for the better. The focus seems largely on bombs and special abilities rather than guns and torpedoes. Boarding and teleport attacks were part of the tabletop game, for sure, but they were never the main focus.

As for balance issues, I don't see any myself except with the current system: at the moment, the favoured strategy is picking tons of ships that are very good at brawling and then everything fights in a big messy melee of circling vessels and ramming. This naturally benefits ships and factions that excel at close range brawling, and limits player choice significantly, after all, when it's both easier and more effective to just have a big clump of ships with powerful short range guns and then send them to attack the enemy, launching many bombs and skillshots, why would players try to use tactics? In terms of interface clutter, too - ergonomics - a pop-up/dropdown menu could be used for selecting formations, so that there isn't any additional interface clutter for people who don't wish to use formations, and to preserve screen real estate.

I believe some simple formations and group control mechanics - like being able to assign ships or groups of ships to number keys for selection - are essential for the future life of this game, and would actually make things significantly less complicated and more easy to understand. After all, there's much less to keep track of if your ships are moving together and can be ordered together, rather than effectively having to control all ships individually. Multiple selected ships assigned to a group should also all be given special orders at once - so if you want all three of your escorts to use Lock On, for example, it would only take one button press, rather than selecting each ship individually and ordering them as it is currently. This would allow for formation maneuvering without any major code changes or additions - if I have a control group selected and order a high energy turn, all the ships in the control group will make the turn if they are able.

So, in conclusion, I disagree strongly with the idea that it "was not a great enhancement" - on the contrary, it would be a huge increase in the depth and options of the game, and allow different playstyles to compete with one another and flourish, rather than merely favouring a 'bring lots of guns and special abilities' brawling style.

In order of necessity and importance, I would rate my proposal in the following way, from most to least important:

#1: Control groups assignable to number keys; ships in control group all move at the speed of the slowest ship when control group is selected. Similarly, all ships in a control group would follow the same orders when possible - so they could all brace or lock on with one click, or all go All Ahead Full or high-energy turn at once. Don't think I need to explain why this is hugely important and would be a massive improvement on its own.

#2: Line Astern formation, with ships following one another in a line. Given the broadside focus of many ships in the game, the fact that we can use only Line Abreast and waste most of our firepower is a big problem. Even if absolutely no other formations are ever added to the game, a 'move in line astern' interface toggle for groups is essential and would go a long way to fixing the problem - since with this added, we'd actually be able to do something other than brawling/circling attacks, and have our ships work together. I would basically be happy if just this and control groups were added, letting us choose between our ships moving into line abreast and into line astern.

#3: 'Guard Mode' order. Not quite a formation, but giving a ship an order to guard another ship and automatically attack any enemy ship that attacks it. Most RTS games have this, I don't see why BFG:A should not, especially for larger battles where there may be a lot of escorts to micromanage. And the clue's in the name, they're escorts; this is their job! Would let us focus on our battleships and cruisers while the escorts fight it out themselves, as they should, if we want.

#4: Other formations and formation maneuvers. I'd like my proposal to be implemented in the game, but I'm aware it's ambitious. An easy way to implement it would be a 'lock formation' button, where ships will maintain relative position and speed to one another when ordered in their control group. This way, players could create any formations they desired, though it'd be very hard to rearrange them in the middle of battle - though this in itself could be a 'balancing' element!

Thanks again. I hope it will be considered, because I do believe that it's essential both to recreating the TTG and for the long-term survival and strength of this game. And simply because it's fun.


321... Misfire. wrote:Realistically the same could be achieved by adding a total pause button that would allow an admiral to have time to do the types of micromanagement that keeping formations would require.


Given the hatred among some parties for the Tactical Cogitator, I don't see a pause being implemented - and it's a much less elegant solution than having actual formations and control groups, which would eliminate the need for the Tactical Cogitator in the first place.
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Re: Formations

Postby CALiGeR190 » 26 March 2016, 18:48

I would love to see formations make a return.
It won't make the game too much more complicated in the form I saw it in the Alpha but will make ship management and strategic planning much easier.
What the OP says is also really cool, would love to see something like this at least tested in the Beta.
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321... Misfire.
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Re: Formations

Postby 321... Misfire. » 26 March 2016, 19:36

I don't understand why someone would hate the tactical cogitator for single-player, though I can see how in MP it could be an issue.

I use the tactical cogitator a lot, but then again I play single player, and I enjoy the strategic aspects far more than the RT part; I would be perfectly happy with a turn based or we-go system, to be honest.

But back to the original topic, I feel that if the developers want to make the game more appealing to those who enjoy the strategy side , then the ideas that Serenissima is so cogently proposing are essential. And it's not like adding these options will take away from those who enjoy the RT type style. No admiral would be forced to use formations, although I suspect that MP play would show pretty quickly the superiority of any side using them.

As an aside, I believe that the squadron rules as outlined in TT are not required for this game. Stacking effects for batteries and ordnance can be handled just as easily by allowing targets to be assigned to the group/formation/squadron as a whole, and letting the engine handle hit resolution, etc. Note that I recommend this be applied only for escorts, and that capital ships should have to target individually. And as for the issues oulined in an earlier post regarding stacking voids and abilities, I don't see this being too big an issue if the spacing limitations at setup are kept for formations as well. Basically instead of having a squadron with special rules, you are going to have a grouped bunch of ships that try and match speed and formation. Not that I'm a programmer, mind you...

I think that realistically the biggest issue blocking implementation is getting the AI to use formation tactics, frankly.
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Avlaen
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Re: Formations

Postby Avlaen » 26 March 2016, 22:40

this please. we need formations and the option for the faster ships to match speed with the slower ships. Do i really have to micro my faster ships burn retros to maintain formation?

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Re: Formations

Postby averageintelligence » 01 April 2016, 15:49

Serenissima wrote: **Include OP post here**


+1 and hey man can you PM about the images you made? i would like to learn how to do this for the Newbie tacticool discussion :D

CALiGeR190 wrote:I would love to see formations make a return.
It won't make the game too much more complicated in the form I saw it in the Alpha but will make ship management and strategic planning much easier.
What the OP says is also really cool, would love to see something like this at least tested in the Beta.

WHAT!???
cmon dude they have to bring it back seriously
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