Formations

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CALiGeR190
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Re: Formations

Postby CALiGeR190 » 02 April 2016, 00:35

averageintelligence wrote:
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

Never said I was against formations, in fact I'm arguing for them, at least in the way they where in the Alpha.
I think it was a mistake to ever have removed them.
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Baron Black
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Re: Formations

Postby Baron Black » 02 April 2016, 04:36

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


Formation only for escorts then? That should be easier. That makes the escorts into "squadrons" which by the way make them much more dangerous.

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Bosie
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Re: Formations

Postby Bosie » 02 April 2016, 17:56

Please!

We need to be able to set guard mode and ships speeds to match.

Additionally, being able to set ships to move in the initial formation, or a line astern button would be very nice and save a lot of clicking through ships and setting movement points.
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Re: Formations

Postby Serenissima » 02 April 2016, 22:29

Baron Black wrote:Formation only for escorts then? That should be easier. That makes the escorts into "squadrons" which by the way make them much more dangerous.


There would still at minimum need to be Line Astern available for all vessels' movement.
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Re: Formations

Postby renoraider » 03 April 2016, 09:13

Devs shouldn't even have to bother with making their own. Players could always just devise their own positions and all that need be done is for a formation editor and save mechanic to be implemented. That, and the ability to name your formations. I already have my 'Super Blazing Phoenix Cathedral' formation sketched up!

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Re: Formations

Postby Skanvak » 03 April 2016, 14:50

Ah yes, we need formation movement. Captain in most navy (may be not the orks though) are trin to move in formation which include having different speed to keep the formation during turning. I really think that should be implemented for the Imperial navy and Eldar ship (don't know for Chaos, and well, I guess no for the orks).

A formation editor to reflect each player tactical thinking would be nice.
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Re: Formations

Postby Orkan » 03 April 2016, 19:41

Serenissima wrote:
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.



The OP is nothing short of an excellent, well researched and thought out proposition. I have to add my voice and agree that a tactical naval warfare focused game without the ingame tools such as grouping and effective mobile formations to facilitate this is much poorer because of it.

To know that these tools existed and were simply abandoned because of teething problems is a short sighted and bad move on behalf of the developers. I understand there may have been bugs regarding pathfinding particularly for the ai but if the system was there and allowed some form of formations for groups of ships then at least return the aspects that were working.

Line astern is a vital formation that allows use of broadsides. If the process was abandoned in development I imagine there must have been numerous bugs and problems with pathfinding in particular that made it frustrating to develop especially with looming deadlines. Perhaps a way to implement Line astern could be to have the player control the Lead ship in the group and simply have a 'follow' feature where the other ships simply follow in the wake of the first.

Line abreast is currently implemented and features no speed matching. Hopefully it would be possible to reimplement Line Asternat least and have it behave in a similar fashion except use a vertical ship marker grouping instead of a horizontal one as we have now.

I imagine speed variation is also at the root of in game problems experienced by the developers while they were testing the previous formation system formation but if that is the case then the players will have to learn to make groups of only certain ships if collision of friendly ships is an unsolvable issue. Even just a workable line astern would improve the game immensely and again I have to agree with Serenissima and disagree with Ravensburg that it would be LESS complicated and a a GREATER tactical enhancement.

To wrap up I agree with the above quoted post.

Give us Line Astern at least and give us control groups. It will make for a better game. Anything else as suggested above would be also appreciated.

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Re: Formations

Postby renoraider » 04 April 2016, 10:56

I can see where they're coming from. At some point, you're gonna have to break formation in favor of moment-by-moment micromanagement of each ship. Escort formation is feasible like the one in battlestations pacific where it was a simple matter of putting placeholders for where certain ships need to stay. In the midst of a full-blown battle, though, the ships really aren't agile enough (as agile as kilometers-long ships get) to adjust formations. If you say formations, the most basic line, column and arrow would be manageable enough with the aformentioned mechanic in BSP, though it's something to think about for when the devs actually have enough time to commit it. At the end of the day, though, I honestly prefer the thrill of a closely-managed, coordinated and easily variable maneuvering of ships without having to concern myself with the fact that my battleship needs to look important by standing in the center. Want formations? Ashes of the Singularity just came out, and that game is big enough that formations actually matter a lot more than in BFG. That's just my opinion, though. I'm more tactically controlled showdowns than formation-based fleet vs fleet engagements. I prefer having a spare battlegroup ready to put pressure on the foes that deserve it most.

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Re: Formations

Postby Azmodius » 04 April 2016, 21:48

+1 on formations!

Also need a way to match speed or travel at slowest speed so that the formations can stay together. I think the real benefit here is the ability to minimize micro management a bit so you have more time to focus on the strategy and on the abilities.

Thanks!

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Re: Formations

Postby Baron Black » 07 April 2016, 20:06

BTW, I believe the issue of Escort "squadrons" and formation are linked. For what is a squadron but a formation of escorts that can move as one? I was reading through the TT game material and it said escorts are _always_ deployed in squadrons between 2 - 6 units. Also strange in that they suggest squadrons of escorts were put in front of the main line to screen things like torpedoes. That is interesting. I guess if you gave your escorts (especially with the the Extra Turrets Upgrade) and were able to keep them close together (I.e. in formation) so they were in 3,000 "units" of each other and therefore could overlap their turret spread, and you put them in front of your line cruiser formation, you could reduce the torpedo spam. Especially the long distance torpedo.

Of course none of this works unless you can build a formation for your ships (Escorts slightly in front) and keep them there.

Anyway, just making the suggestion that the TT Escorts are "always" in Squadrons and Squadrons are related to the same issue of the lack of formations.


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