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  #41  
Old April 28th, 2011, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Played another medium sized map. I still haven't lost a single game. The difficulty is a bit higher than before, but the AI is still pretty easy to beat, mainly because it can't organize a proper defense. It should give more priority to protecting factories and cities. You can often take those territories without a fight because it simply fails to concentrate troops on these territories to defend it. When it's occupied with fighting another AI player it almost doesn't react to your attacks (only takes single territories, but focuses its attacks on the AI it was fighting with before). It should be able to recognize strengths of the attackers and focus the defense on the stronger attacker instead of attacking a weaker enemy. Hehe, when I attack an AI enemy, I often see some other player ruthlessly backstabbing him. But most of the time it's easy to destroy this AI after you've beat the one that had to wage a two-front war.
The AI really needs to be able to use its troops more efficiently instead of malpositioning them or wasting them on a weaker enemy.
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  #42  
Old April 28th, 2011, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

The patches did fix the AI's expansion rate, but it still doesn't know how to use its troops efficiently.
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  #43  
Old April 28th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

I also seems that the AI still just moves its troops toward you and fires in tactical combat. If you wait and fire first, you can destroy many enemy units pretty easily.
The AI seems to throw troops at you regardless of unit capabilities so that you're can actually destroy some attacking armies although they have more troops than you (because the AI uses the wrong units for the job).
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  #44  
Old April 28th, 2011, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

It should somehow calculate the strength of player units based on their unit capabilities instead of just attacking with a bigger number of units that are inferior to yours.
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  #45  
Old April 28th, 2011, 03:49 PM

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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Quote:
Originally Posted by spillblood View Post
I was nuked occasionally, but never to such an extent than my own nuclear attacks. My favourite tactic is to build around 20 or 30 nukes and wipe everything in reach clean to take it easily. There really should be some anti-nuke system to prevent such a tactic 'cause the AI simply can't defend against a massive nuclear assault.
... And can you imagine what might happen if two opposing teams BOTH decided to play this same 'Bomb Card', and built a mass arsenal of warheads, and then starting chucking away at one another with raw abandon? It would be a nuclear firestorm of radioactive fury that would devour the heart of the world ... and spit it up as an overdone 'burger. Seriously - how could anyone make progress? Some dude sneezes, a mouse twitches, and BAM! BAM! BAM! Cooked, fried, Nuked. Forget invading. (Although subs, for some reason (?) get a nuclear "pass" in game versions 1.07 & 1.08. But you can't claim turf with those pearl-divers, so you end up in the same place anyway - stalemate.)

In The Great Manifesto, Chapters 3 and 9, subsections 7 and 49, I brought up the need to nerf the nukes in some way. In verses 24-38 of the Great Book, I outlined two possible suggestions for blunting the nuclear impact without actually turning them into watered-down CHEESE SAUCE.

1.) "Star Wars" Option. Or think "Patriot Missile".

Basically, give AAA units the capacity to intercept inbound ballistic missiles. AA emplacements, for example, might have a 10% chance of shooting down any nuke targeting their territory OR AN ADJACENT TERRITORY. The ability would be cumulative, with two emplacements granting a 20% chance, 3 emplacements = 30%, etc. up to some pre-determined cap. Maybe 60 or 70%. That way, there's a decent probability of dodging a couple hits, but never so much that nukes become effectively impotent.

Missile defense could extend to cover against ballistic strikes from subs and mobile launchers, too. Mobile AA units, just like the fixed emplacements, might also possess an intercept capability - although far less in scope. Maybe they can only cover the territory in which they are located (minimal umbrella) and only provide a 5% chance of intercept per unit, up to a lower [pre-determined maximum limit.


2.) "International Opprobium"

Basically, using nukes makes the player a "bad guy", which is to say that it paints a huge bulls-eye on your backside. There are a couple layers to this, but in simple terms ...

DETECTION - If the AI detects the presence of nukes, it automatically arms up with missiles and spreads them out, so that it will not be caught flat-footed by a nuclear attack - nor will it potentially lose its own entire store of nukes in a single strike. MAD don't work when only one side's got The Bomb. Everyone needs a little atomic love to play, so when the nukes start to spring forth on one side, the other teams need to arm up or they're just sitting ducks.

CASTIGATION - If someone actually uses a nuke, that fact is broadcast to all players in the game, and the first-strike user becomes a "marked man". Basically, we know EXACTLY what 'you did last summer', and we expect nothing but the same next time around. So ... we aren't waiting for the encore; we're going to beat you to the punch. If Red Team nuked Blue, then Green Team (who has not yet encountered Red) arms up with nukes, and when Green eventually meets Red, Green gets prejudicial with the plutonium.

This way, using nukes carries real repercussions. You immediately become a target for nuclear attack, and other parties will be much less reticent to open fire than they would have been otherwise. So while bombing a beachhead or wiping the slate clean on an unfriendly continent might be a great first move, the player now has to deal with the fact that everyone and his PLAID CHAIR granny will be tossing A-bombs in his backyard, too. And it ain't nearly so much fun to be on the receiving end as it is to be on the delivering.
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  #46  
Old April 29th, 2011, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Yes, that are both good ways to make nukes less overpowered. But maybe new kinds of units especially for nuke defense could be introduced instead of using the existing anti-aircraft units. The second option would require some kind of diplomacy system, I think (which would be nice).
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  #47  
Old April 30th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

One more thing I've noticed in the last games: When an AI player is defeated and still has fleets left (on some sea territories), they don't move. They just remain in the territory where they were left when the AI lost all its territories. Would be cooler when they'd do some last kamikaze attacks.
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  #48  
Old May 4th, 2011, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Post 1.06 Patch Bug List

Anything new? There've been no news about the game the last days. Have you noticed more bugs or stuff like that?
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  #49  
Old May 4th, 2011, 10:12 PM

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Default Banzai!!

IL Manifesto II – Viva la Deuce!

It’s baack! Another impressively unshortened vision of things that may or never be. This edition covers the workings of World Supremacy version 1.08, and is not comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination, but it does comprehense plenty for the time being.

Be forewarned, some of these suggestions are fairly radical, and are based on what I think might work. Hard to say, because the ‘AI’ has not proven strong enough yet to test some of the issues that birthed the fears to which I’m responding, so I’m making projections on what MIGHT be and how best to ‘fix’.

Summary to start, then detailed explanations to follow (where necessary).


SUGGESTED UPGRADES IN BRIEF:

DESTROYERS
- Nerf the enhanced AA capability
- Able to kill subs in a single shot

SUBS
- Attack Subs able to bombard (range = 1)
- Cannot be ‘seen’ or attacked except by ASW
- ASW = Destroyers, ASW Choppers, other Subs
- Sub launching an attack is visible (though number and type is not)
- Able to kill a destroyer or transport with a single shot
- When in the presence of ASW, sub initiative is lowered
- When not in the presence of ASW, sub initiative is high (normal)
- No ASW around? Enemy sub can occupy the same sea territory as enemy forces
(battle not compelled; by option of sub owner only)

BOMBARD!!
- Attack Subs & Cruisers can surgical-strike; click on target, blow it up (not random)
- Player’s cursor ought to change to a pulsing red gunsight (or something) when ‘bombardment’ option is selected. (Helps prevent confusion w/movement.



ROCKET ARTILLERY – OPEN QUESTION
- Increase range to 8 squares in tactical if (as I think) tank initiative is so high that they can move three times for every one move by Rocket Artillery

TACTICAL MAP
- If a unit passes on a turn, it remains ‘at ready’ and will auto-shoot any enemy force entering range while it ‘rests’
- Units stack by type, regardless of tech; when the group is attacked, the lowest tech units in the stack absorb the damage first and so on

FORTIFICATIONS
- Mitigates the damage done by bombardments
- More forts or higher tech forts = more protection from bombardment
- (bombardment includes nuke strikes)
- Protection against bombardment has a fixed ceiling
- Higher tech installations increase the ceiling, but a limit remains
(No invincibility allowed)
- In tactical combat, forts mitigate damage to GROUND UNITS located in the first three columns of squares on the defender’s side of the map
- Ditch the enhancement forts presently give to defender’s initiative

TRANSPORTS (JET OR SHIP)
- Loss of movement points during load is proportional to the load (ie. load up 50% of your capacity in Turn 1, you only lose 50% of the unit’s movement points in Turn 1)

CARRIERS (all)
- No penalty to ship or aircraft for flight operations; carrier acts the same as ‘land’ to all air units

TECH
- Why stop at Level 3; why not add a fourth to most tech trees?
- More Advanced stuff should cost more; Level 2 should cost more than Level 1
- Stealth aircraft should be more expensive than conventional jets, even when tech level is the same

ie. Bomber 1 = $36M; Stealth Bomber 1 = $40M ….

FIGHTERS AND BOMBERS
- Limit to ONE ATTACK per turn

SPECIALIZATION – Option for GAME SETUP
- If chosen, each player can pick one unit for ‘specialization’. For example, pick “attack helicopter” and you have Level 2 attack helicopters, even though your beginning tech level is “one”. Upgrade to Level 2, and your attack helicopters go to Level 3, while other ‘chopper types only move up to Level 2.

NEW UNITS – AUGMENTED INFANTRY
- Infantry to come in three flavors:
- Standard
- Mechanized
- Air Cav

- Standard infantry unchanged from current
- Mechanized infantry
- costs more
- represented by an APC icon
- moves 2 on strategic map
- moves 3 on tactical map
- attack strength is higher than standard infantry
- attack range is still 2 squares
- has higher initiative than standard infantry
- “Air Cav” infantry
- costs more than mechanized
- represented by a Bell Huey or Mi-17 icon?
- moves 3 on strategic map & can cross water
- moves 3 on tactical map
- attack strength is higher than mechanized infantry
- attack range is 3 squares
- has higher initiative than mechanized infantry

ICONIC OPTIONS
Just a thought, but it would be cool if, at Game Setup, you can choose from different ‘families’ of unit icons. Currently, everyone shows up using good ol’ USA / NATO / Western pact iconography – M1 tanks, Apache helicopters, 688 attack subs … only exception seems to be the boomers; old Soviet Typhoon-class, not the Washingtons. Go fig. (Well, they do look way more cool.) But why not let users chose a different family of icons / pics? Eastern bloc / Soviet Empire, for example. Bored with those Apaches? Why not try a Mi-24 Hind instead? Or a Havoc? And the F-117 was so yesterday. F-22s perhaps?
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  #50  
Old May 4th, 2011, 10:13 PM

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Default That's Me in the Corner, Squawking the Details

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS

DESTROYERS
Why do I want to nerf the ability of destroyers to shoot down jets? For one, because Destroyers in v1.08 make Carriers next to irrelevant. A couple destroyers are enough to protect a fleet against air attack, so who needs carriers? Where’s the value argument for adding them to your fleet? There isn’t one, especially when fighter jet range is usually enough to strike across continental divides. The enhanced range you get from using a carrier as a platform doesn’t do much good in WS – unless you have a really massive ocean in your game.

Secondly, in real life, destroyers ARE used as air defense, but – they suck. Think “Pacific Theater” in WW2. Destroyers are nice, but they mean $#!^ against air power. Any fleet that’s gone to sea since 1942 without the benefit of air cover and has been attacked by air power has lost. (Well, the Sharnhorst, Gneisneau, & Prinz Eugen made it, but that was pure luck.)

Basically, destroyers are meant to act as a cheap shield for the ships that really matter. They can shoot planes, but their primary function is hitting subs or ‘getting in the way’. THAT’s where they ought to be ‘enhanced’ for naval pleasure – in the detecting and sinking of subs.

SUBS
Value argument all over again. What’s the point of the Attack Sub in WS? As it stands: target practice. High initiative is cute, but you need more than cute to win fights or establish a role in the game. Computer loves ‘em. I sink ‘em with jets. From shore. As an afterthought.

The strength of a sub comes from its ability to surprise, to attack without warning. T’ain’t no good if you can see the thing waltzing in from a country mile off. They’ve got to be hidden from prying eyes, or they’re useless.

And so are ASW units. Who needs ‘em if you can ‘see’ the subs with non-ASW forces and kill them with … just about anything else in range. ASW has a real point, a real value, when they’re the only game in town for spotting these underwater bushwhackers and putting them in their place.

Finally, in the real world, attack subs are often used to attack targets on land. And if our cruisers can bombard, why not subs?

And this is how it all comes together:

Sneaky sub steals up to the enemy coastline. He targets a squadron of enemy bombers and prepares to shoot. Team Blue is just one click away from invasion! But wait – Team Blue has ASW choppers based nearby. One runs a patrol and picks up Mr. Unfriendly from the deep blue sea – and says “hello”, with anti-sub torpedoes as he calls in support from a nearby attack sub...

And only after writing this did I realize that, like, this is right out of “Red Storm Rising”.

And this is what creates a real game dynamic. If you don’t have ASW, you risk having attack subs (or boomers) surfing your coasts and picking off your best units on land, or surprising unguarded transports. Put up a ‘net’, and you might catch them first. Or not. Cat & Mouse.

ROCKET ARTILLERY
Statistically, they seem useful / relevant. Operationally, they seem near useless for the $10 mil they cost. It seems like tanks can move three times for every one move the artillery gets. I might be wrong, because it’s hard to tell, but it seems like artillery either dies before it can shoot, or gets to shoot once if other units are dying slower than normal. If a tank unit in one-on-one combat can frag an artillery without even taking a hit, the artillery is way too weak. Boosting range might be the easiest fix.

TACTICAL MAP
Units have to stack by type, even if those units have different tech. Having Level 1 Fighters and Level 2 Fighters as different units on the Tac Map is too much of an advantage, and in a game between humans (or with a good AI), will inevitably lead to an overkill of unit proliferation or ‘sacrificial lambs’.

So, I suggest stacking them, even if the tech level is different. Stacking won’t affect their attack strength, and damage, when received, can be applied to the lower-tech units in the stack first.

I also think that a unit who chooses to pass up its turn (no move, no attack) ought to have that initiative held in ‘reserve’. So if an enemy unit moves into range after the ‘pass’ is made, the passing unit can immediately (automatically) shoot. Adds dimension to the game, and makes it harder for some units to exploit their overwhelming advantages without cost. Basically, instead of moving, the unit has chosen to hold back at the ready to spring the moment the enemy comes into view.

FORTIFICATIONS
Currently, they only confer a very modest benefit to the defender’s initiative. But it seems to make more ‘sense’ if they can offer protection from Bombardments and mitigate damage received in the Tactical Map. That is, so long as they stick to the defender’s side of the board. Seems wrong / odd that a unit that moves out into the attacker’s zone or the middle ground is covered by fortifications built waay back over yonder.

TRANSPORTS
Again, just seems ‘wrong’ that a transport loses all movement points, whether loading just one unit or a dozen. Cargo jet moves four per turn; why not let it fly one, load one unit, and fly one more space? Why penalize it all four points to load one unit when it has the capacity to load two?

CARRIERS
Should ‘Unfriend’ the cargo button entirely. Launch and / or recovery of jets is a triviality. Having to manage jet fuel capacity AND the carrier’s ‘load status’ is a bear and a short step to tragedy. I’d skip the load / launch penalties entirely and make carriers the equivalent of ‘floating land’ for jets. The limited range of fighters is a penalty enough – your carrier can’t move very far out of the area without risking the whole squadron.

TECH
Seems odd that the only penalty you pay for fancier toys is the investment in research. Production stays the same, whether we’re talking about Level 2, 3, or 4. Makes more sense (and adds to the game’s dynamic) if all those fancy, high-tech toys cost more. When the pressure’s on, players might find themselves opting for lower tech as a cheaper option to fill the gaps.

In fact, it would be really clever (a la “Master of Orion”) if obtaining high tech made lower tech LESS expensive. Develop Level 2 jet tech, and level 1 bombers drop from $36 mil to $32. Level 2 bombers cost $36M. Develop Level 3 jet tech, and Level 1 bombers drop to $28 mil; Level 2 bombers drop to $32 mil; Level 3 sits at $36M... etc.

It’s also “totally wrong” that a Level 1 Stealth Bomber or Stealth Jet costs the same as its conventional counterpart.

FIGHTERS & BOMBERS
Yes, maybe they should be limited to one combat mission per turn. Even with the rebalancing, they are a devastatingly powerful tool. You can have a squadron of fighters sitting on the edge of enemy turf, and when the ‘bell’ rings, that one squadron can be an active participant in up to FOUR battles. Which means you can stomp defending forces in four territories – WITH bomber support – and let the ground guys walk in to hold it ... and still have fuel left in the bombers to nail one or two more targets.

The presence of AA units might be enough to mitigate this strength. Hard to say, since the AI is not forceful enough in deploying these units or in leveraging its own fighters. And the presence of AA units tends to stop all but the most powerful air groups cold. But still. Damn. Maybe a one-mission limit is enough and would make battles more ground-unit intensive. About time the ground-pounders fought a few of their own battles already.

AUGMENTED INFANTRY
Again, the value argument. Infantry is better than it used to be, but they still end up becoming targets in a shooting gallery. Not a credible threat, unless packed into groups of 20 or so, which is expensive. I also find the APCs problematic – they don’t contribute much of anything to the infantry in terms of firepower or survivability, and usually end up being a unit that needs to BE protected from attack. So they have no real battlefield purpose beyond moving troops quicker on the strategic map – for a relatively high price. (Cargo jets are faster / much better.)

So I wonder if it might not be better to just “merge” the APCs with the infantry and have three “infantry” units available for play.

Standard infantry would be the guys we’ve got now – move one on the strategic map, 2 in battle, range of 2. Cannon fodder or a distraction – unless protected by those new forts, in which case, dislodging them might be a small process.

But for A Few Dollars More ... you can buy yourself “mechanized” infantry. Guys in APCs represented by an APC icon. More firepower, more speed, and a higher initiative.

And if you really want to get fancy, drop $6 or $8 mil to get “Air Cav”. Ground troops who can move on the strategic map like chopper units and have better initiative, range, and hitting power in battle than even the mechanized infantry.

Just a suggestion, but it seems as if they would plug a ‘void’ in the current setup and add exponentially to the dynamics of the game, without becoming too complicated, burdensome, or overly redundant.
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