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DreDay

Situational awarness and reporting from subbordinate units

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I would like to add my perspective as a very casual CM gamer.   I really like the original poster’s idea for help with situational awareness.  I think it would be useful for WEGO or Real-Time players. 

 

I play and really enjoy both CMx1 and CMx2 games.  But due to work, family, and other commitments I do not have time to play nearly as often as I would like.  This keeps me from purchasing much of the content as I just don’t have the time it takes to play.    I love the modern CMBS setting, but again, I’m not sure I would have time to set it up and play it.      

 

At this point in the game’s life, I think spending developer time on the player aids in the interface should be high on the priority list.  (I know many will disagree).   In my opinion, the graphics look great already.  Obviously the realism and accuracy of the games are the best as well.   So, I think developing several things would really help make the game faster to setup and play.   These could all be optional things a player could toggle off if they do not want or need them.  

 

1.      A log window as the original poster suggested.  The window sequentially shows reports from each unit (as pnzrldr and DreDay discussed in this thread).   You can close the window if you do not want to see it or use it.   Color coded by platoon or clickable to jump to a location would be even better, but I’m sure I’m pushing it.

 

2.      A tool to highlight LOS for a unit for the whole map area.  As you drag the unit around the map, it would highlight what the unit can see from that point.  This would prevent having to move the unit, then drag the LOS tool around an arc to see what the unit can see.   This would help me greatly speed up in the setup phase.

 

3.       Some kind of contour map overlay, to make it easier to see hills and contours.   I know the purist like to zoom into the squad level and look around, but again that takes a lot of time versus a simple overlay.

 

Thanks DreDay for your post.  I am a long time lurker here, and your post really captured for me where I struggle to have time to play CM sometimes.       

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I dont see why some sort of basic functionality afforded in every other strategy game ever is such a contreversy here.

Theres a way to get this type of stuff to work, but it wont happen if people give it flak before it even has a chance to get out of the hangar.

How about only recieving reports from hq units? "2nd platoon engaging armor" is better than nothing, and avoids having 4 squads report the same thing to you.

Edited by Justicar

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This topic highlights one of the reasons i can never break away from WEGO, realtime is really hard (for me) to track everything going on and I hate missing the key bits of action (which I can rewind in WEGO).

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Perhaps a 2D step-out would solve all issues. Its been alluded to here I think by a couple posters. Press F whatever key, and there you are staring at a top down map with Nato symbols with numbers beside those symbols containing all the info you need. You will also have situational awareness of how or what the units are facing, moving, engaging for that instant in time across the entire field. Press F key and its back to 3D land.

It may not completely solve why your ready reserve is a smoldering heep and you never noticed what smoked them. Only the replay key in WEGO can solve that.

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Instant accurate universal information is the opposite of 'fog of war'. Units with poor leaders or with poor morale or poor commanders at the top are designed to suffer a FOW penalty during gameplay. If your reserve is a smoldering heap and you don't know what smoked them that's because you don't know what smoked them! Welcome to the fog of war. In the real world forensic teams would go out and recover shell fragment or inspect shell holes to ascertain the nature of the attack. You can do something similar in CM, go to your burning tank and see if there's a big AP round hole or a small HEAT hole. "Aha, looks like a Kornet hit! or looks like a tank round!"

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MikeyD,

 

I'm not sure who your fog of war reply is towards, but I am certainly not asking for any information that is not already available or would give an advantage.    The Fog of War would remain the same, I'm not asking for instant accurate information.  You can get the same info by moving all over the map or replaying each turn and watching each squad.   I am just asking for making that a faster process, so you don't have to spend so much time on replaying turns and jumping around the map into each squad leader's eyes.  

 

Now if you are playing real time without pause and only play from the HQ's perspective, you would get a strong sense of fog of war...   I'm not sure how you would know anything going on.

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MikeyD,

 

I'm not sure who your fog of war reply is towards, but I am certainly not asking for any information that is not already available or would give an advantage.    The Fog of War would remain the same, I'm not asking for instant accurate information.  You can get the same info by moving all over the map or replaying each turn and watching each squad.   I am just asking for making that a faster process, so you don't have to spend so much time on replaying turns and jumping around the map into each squad leader's eyes.  

 

Now if you are playing real time without pause and only play from the HQ's perspective, you would get a strong sense of fog of war...   I'm not sure how you would know anything going on.

 

Agree. Mikey, you really need to play real time with no pause, especially against a human to get what the request is regard to addressing the frustration of missing info that the WEGO player can leisurely rewind to get.

 

Oracledb, You can easily know a lot of what is going on all around with only having the HQ selected, at camera ground level with the "The Roster" :D

 

In regard to this subject, and thread in general this has been brought up before by many including myself. It is the reason I presented my vision of the Roster. Don't think that Battlefront is not already aware of all this. In fact BF's Steve commented he thought the Roster concept was one of the better ideas presented in regard to this issue. The reality is most everything presented here on these issues they have thought of themselves in their own versions. Even though they probably thought of a concept I still think it is good to present similar ideas to see others concepts and ideas to brainstorm with to problem solve. All I can say is development is an on going process, BF is a small company, and many of the good things people present they would like to do, but it just is not as easy and quick to do it all at once as those of us who do not make games would like. Just look at how far the CMx2 engine has come since CMSF in added features. Sooner, or later the problems of player situational awareness for real time play will be addressed. All these things will benefit the WEGO player as well.

Edited by Vinnart

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Isn't the whole freakin' point of you "no-pause Realtime" afficianados that not pausing gives you a better sense of the chaos and confusion of the battlefield than the obsessive detail-seeking of us turn-based tortoises?

The problem, beyond the information level being overkill, is that the AI doesn't have any situational awareness to pass on to the commander. It knows, for example, that it's being shot at, but if asked couldn't tell you whether it was shot at 60s ago (just that it's not rallied from some sort of suppressive effect). So you'd get "new" reports for every few seconds of a firefight. The reason many are dead set against this isn't that it wouldn't be an interesting feature, but that the effort required, as far as we can deduce from what we know about how the game works, would be stupendous, and pretty much require a revamp of the entire AI (to give it a memory) that we know is nowhere near the top of BFC's development list.

On top of that base problem (how to know what information might be worth passing on) you have to layer all the decision-making as to what does get passed on.

Effectively, though, the unit icons and the ability to drill down at any time to the viewpoint of an individual fire team and look at the terrain from any viewpoint is already an abstraction of the information passed up the chain of command. It's vastly more than a WW2 commander would know, but a modern commander might get closer to it if all his comms links are unjammed.

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It strikes me this is WEGO players who try to play RT and want the benefits of WEGO in RT or summfink like that.  :P

 

I play RT (both unpaused and with larger scenarios paused) and I play very differently from how I do in WEGO. It requires better planning and anticipation. If it goes wrong then you get to experience the chaos and frustration I guess a RL commander would. I've played battalion level stuff RT and although it was hard work it was pretty exciting - especially when battle was joined!

 

I'm with Womble on this one for all the reason he said :)

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Oh yes, another technical hurdle: the unscalable interface. How big do you want the streaming text message box to be? On what resolution. Until they change the graphics engine, it's not going to scale with resolution, which means the larger screens will make the messages unreadable. Trying to say "another game does it, so it should be possible in CM" is just being wilfully ignorant of exactly how different CM is to other games in architecture and concept.

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