AATA Beta 0.9 - Page 21

AATA Beta 0.9

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FLOZi
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Post by FLOZi » 14 Apr 2006, 21:02

Nemo wrote:
Felix the Cat wrote:What would be really nice is if it were possible to allow the user to set speeds on vehicles lower than the maximum, or even to synchronize an entire group's speed to the slowest unit in the group... infantry and tanks would often advance together, the infantry filling the spaces between the tanks. In this way the two covered each others' weaknesses and were more powerful than if they were used separately
Set the tanks and such to gaurd the infantry, they'll stick near to them as they advance. They'll drive in silly circles, of course, but its better than nothing.

I agree, infantry should be vital throughout the game..and I feel like while they are highly useful right now (I watched ~10 bazooka troops slaughter a large, unsupported 250/9 pack of yours in your recent game against Flozi), they aren't completely needed. I'll probably up the buildtimes of vehicles a bit so they're even less common, and perhaps have grenades do even more damage to buildings, so if you want to kill a base quickly, you need infantry there.

Any suggestions welcome.
Was that the game with my mines? Have you watched the full replay?

anywho, some issues:
  • Reduce the range of the stummel, It's too much IMO
    Decrease the tolerance of the 20mm, the 'firing-at-multiple-angles' bug is part of why they are so effective vs M8s
    Remove the command bunker, it's useless and yet totally unbalancing in the demo
    AP mines are worthless while infantry detonate AT mines... Don't really know how we can fix this, requires an engine change (OnlyTargetCategory tags for kamikaze weapons)
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Felix the Cat
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Post by Felix the Cat » 14 Apr 2006, 22:30

Just for clarification, I was more talking about when we reintroduce tanks, artillery, aircraft etc. - we need to make sure that infantry is still relevant the whole game then.

As far as vehicle buildtimes are concerned, I think they're mostly OK. A few oddities and errata that I noticed:

-SdKfz 251/1 halftrack transports seem to build exceptionally quickly.Since they sport good survivability early-game and a good anti-infantry machine gun, I think they should build slower. If you're concerned about infantry needing transport, perhaps add a truck of some sort to push infantry around that's not armored or armed or anything. Of course, in WW2 most infantry did not have the luxury of armed and armored halftracks or any sort of wheeled transport, so it wouldn't be unrealistic to expect that A&A infantry would have to trudge to the front as well.

-Might want to check the area of effect of the Stuk's cannon; it didn't seem to do very well against Floz's infantry swarms in the game we played with you watching - it would hit an infantry and kill it without harming other nearby ones.

-Relating to that last bit, I think the buildtimes of the Stuk and the other German (250/9?) halftrack are out of proportion to their relative usefulnesses. Because of the Stuk cannon's relatively low AoE, the much faster-firing 250/9 seemed to be marginally more useful in the field in most cases, and it also built faster than the Stuk. The Stuk seems to mostly be useful as light short-ranged artillery to back up infantry, and seemed to work better on the defensive than the offensive, so I could be slightly biased because most of my experience with it has been on the offense...

-Seems that the Kubelwagen has a bit too much resistance to small arms fire. Realistically, if a Kubelwagen drives into the mouth of an enemy machinegun, it should not be able to turn around and drive out and still be alive. It's a car. Cars do not do combat.
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Min3mat
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Post by Min3mat » 14 Apr 2006, 22:52

make it need a certain crushstrength to kill mine???
running infantry through a vehicle minefield and a: losing infantry OR b: sploding vehicle mines without taking damaeg
would be lame. fixy!
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FLOZi
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Post by FLOZi » 15 Apr 2006, 00:06

Ideally the engine would support a SelfDestructOnlyCategory tag.

I can't really think of a way around it. :cry:

Agree with the 251 points, felix. The halftracks are also considerably cheaper than an M8... I suppose it's the armour difference, but in the end it doesnt make a difference at all. Are M8s succeptible to MG fire?
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Nemo
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Post by Nemo » 15 Apr 2006, 00:57

They are not, while the halftracks are. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll get to fixing things.
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Argh
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Post by Argh » 15 Apr 2006, 01:02

Make mines shoot a "self-propelled" weapon with a undefined acceleration rate. After the flighttime ends, the weapon will drop to the ground and blow up. Have the weapon trigger a second weapon with identical properties, except it should have a teeny-tiny radius and do massive damage only to mines.

The first weapon, since it is actually a "gun", can now obey OnlyTargetCategory. The second weapon, which should obey the same OnlyTargetCategory, will destroy the mine, so that it doesn't remain in play.
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FLOZi
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Post by FLOZi » 15 Apr 2006, 01:16

Argh wrote: Have the weapon trigger a second weapon.
Not possible.

edit: but you might have something with that idea, I had toyed with something similar, but I had forgotten that weapons can damage the firing unit in Spring
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Nemo
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Post by Nemo » 15 Apr 2006, 01:19

However, it would be possible to give it a high trajectory weapon with a tiny tiny tiny velocity, yes? If the range/velocity is small enough, the explosion will take out the mine.

Edit: which means, hurrah, infantry will be able to walk through AT minefields =)
Last edited by Nemo on 15 Apr 2006, 01:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Nemo
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Post by Nemo » 15 Apr 2006, 01:23

Felix the Cat wrote:
-SdKfz 251/1 halftrack transports seem to build exceptionally quickly.Since they sport good survivability early-game and a good anti-infantry machine gun, I think they should build slower. If you're concerned about infantry needing transport, perhaps add a truck of some sort to push infantry around that's not armored or armed or anything. Of course, in WW2 most infantry did not have the luxury of armed and armored halftracks or any sort of wheeled transport, so it wouldn't be unrealistic to expect that A&A infantry would have to trudge to the front as well.
Yes, the transports build very quickly because I wanted to make sure transports were cheap/quick enough to be worth using. The main issue is that having a swarm of troops trudge over a large map may be realistic, its also highly, highly boring, and makes large maps a pain to play. I think a truck of some sort could be a good addition.
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FLOZi
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Post by FLOZi » 15 Apr 2006, 01:27

Nemo wrote:However, it would be possible to give it a high trajectory weapon with a tiny tiny tiny velocity, yes? If the range/velocity is small enough, the explosion will take out the mine.

Edit: which means, hurrah, infantry will be able to walk through AT minefields =)
It *may* be possible to get a semi-working hack job... but really it needs engine support.
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Nemo
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Post by Nemo » 15 Apr 2006, 01:29

Well, it seems like it would work to me - just give the unit a badtargetcategory vs infantry. I'll poke at this once I finish my essay for the night and make some of the more mundane fixes.
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Post by Warlord Zsinj » 15 Apr 2006, 04:07

Bah, Spring forum somehow managed to lose my post.

Basically, I suggested making all infantry able to cloak - on the proviser that the cloak only commences once they have remained motionless for a certain amount of time, and it is removed as soon as they move again. The point being that you are now effectively able to launch ambushes with infantry, making them useful throughout the game, and really introducing a new level of strategy in AATA.

I also suggested making the truck which loads infantry being the same as the truck that loads artillery. You can set it in Spring so that it can load either x amount of infantry, or 1 artillery piece. That way you can make that truck a multipurpose one, which is far more intuitive than having two trucks.
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Felix the Cat
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Post by Felix the Cat » 15 Apr 2006, 05:15

Allowing infantry to freely cloak if stationary is sort of "meh".

Reason: huge numbers of infantry in A&A. Relatively open maps. It would be ridiculous for a group of 200 infantry in the middle of a field to cloak... unless, of course, the enemy consists of Frogs :wink:
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Post by Warlord Zsinj » 15 Apr 2006, 11:34

If you can think of a better way to do ambushes, I'd definitely like to hear it.

In my opinion, allowing units to cloak in the middle of a field is more realistic then removing one of the biggest advantage infantry had, which is the fact that can hide themselves easily, and make use of cover.

The time it takes for infantry to cloak is meant to reflect the ability for infantry to dig in and hide themselves. Bare in mind that even a plain field isn't exactly a regularly mowed lawn. Most fields have very long grass; crops, etc. It isn't that difficult to conceal yourself, especially when camoflaged and motionless.

I mean, it's no substitute for having units be able to detect when they are in a covered zone (forest, etc), and it does have weaknesses, like the one you mentioned; but in my opinion, it's better than nothing, and definitely makes infantry a particularly strategic tool, if used properly - well into the late game, too.
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Nemo
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Post by Nemo » 15 Apr 2006, 14:06

I kinda like the idea, but even as it is, cost for cost infantry own anything else. By a lot. 1 bazooka trooper (~70 CP) can drop a Stuk easily (700CP)

Is it possible to have a unit cloak only after sitting still for a certain period of time?
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FLOZi
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Post by FLOZi » 15 Apr 2006, 16:06

No, it isn't.

good point about the trucks though - i stumbled across the transportMass tags earlier and thought of the same thing - would require some nifty scripting though (i.e. put troops *inside* the truck and guns *outside*) and I fear it may relegate APCs.
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Post by Warlord Zsinj » 16 Apr 2006, 04:16

Well, I think it is up to you to make the differentiation between a non-combatant shuttle that get's troops to the front, and an armoured transport that moves troops around under fire.

I think if you wanted to do the cloaking thing, it wouldn't be hard to get those tags put in. But you'd have to decide whether you like the idea or not first.
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Post by Nemo » 16 Apr 2006, 04:53

Well, the mine issue has been solved. We gave the mine a 'detonator' weapon that does zero damage to everything but mines. this weapon has a tiny tiny tiny AoE, and is a ballistic weapon with almost no velocity, and onlytargetcategory tanks (which includes anything with wheels or tracks). so, when a tank enters the range, the detonator weapon fires and promptly hits the ground, triggering the mine's explosion which does the real damage, but does not hurt mines.

Thus, we have minefields that don't go up in huge chains, AT mines that only explode with tanks around (infantry can wander around AT minefields all they want), and control over the detonation timer/range.

As for the cloaking infantry...I'm not really sold on it. More likely, I feel, is that infantry and observation vehicles will be the only units with worthwhile LoS, so unsupported tanks and ungaurded bases can see very little. The issue is that they could stay cloaked while moving. I suppose that could be dealt with by giving them a huge cloak cost while moving, but that's a nasty hack that would break several things.

Edit: Mine update. The problem is now that units actively try to avoid driving over the mines, and will take a different route if ordered through a minefield. Is there a way to make them 'passable' like the center of a factory? My yardmap-fu is weak.
Last edited by Nemo on 16 Apr 2006, 15:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Felix the Cat
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Post by Felix the Cat » 16 Apr 2006, 05:28

If battles in A&A were to have 10-12 infantry per side in a battle, I'd be all for cloakableness.

However, with battles with 100-120 infantry per side, I think it's somewhat unrealistic and is a complete waste just to get one small effect. You can still ambush your enemy - you just have to set up and execute it correctly, with fast units.

My earlier suggestion to have all units have radar up to 2-3x LOS or so and have infantry be stealthy (but not cloakable) would be the best compromise that I can think of. Groups of infantry can be concealed until a much shorter distance than groups of vehicles. Realistically, a tank driver/infantryman/observer would be able to tell that "something" is out in that field before he could tell you that it's 2 SdKfz 251/1s and 1 PzKpfW III.
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Post by Warlord Zsinj » 17 Apr 2006, 11:23

IIRC, radar in AATA was only going to be to detect aircraft. If this is the case, then everything is technically "stealth".

The cloaking idea would only work if units would only cloak while motionless, and uncloak as soon as they moved. Anything else would defeat the purpose, and either overpower, or underpower.

I'm guessing that a player would certainly have 100 infantry; but they certainly wouldn't have 100 infantry in a single place, ambushing. If you have 100 infantry, grouped together (in clear ground for even worse realism ;)) in ambush, and I spot them, I'll click my artillery, and indundate the area with fire in moments. Having that many infantry in an ambush is it's own discouragement. You'd never be able to pull off the ambush effectively anyway.

The only time having masses of infantry cloaked would be helpful would be when they are back at your base, and you want to conceal them from the probing eye of a reconaissance flight (or some artillery observers!), which seems realistic enough to me.
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