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BeforE I start, it is important to note that I am writing this based on my experience with the demo version and may be wrong about how I believe the game works. Please feel free to correct me.

The camera is a very important part of an rts and I believe it is done poorly in combat mission. A more suiting camera control method would have two modes, rts and cinema.

Rts mode would point sightly at the ground. The camera height would be for a point that rides over the ground. when rotated it would spin using this point as aneeded axis. When zoomed, using scroll wheel, the camera remain aimed at the point, but will pull in closer horizontaly and vericaly. It should stop at head height. The camera would control the same, (maybe with out strafing on the sides? Please share thoughts), I also enjoyed the keyboard controlls. 

The second mode should be a free flying camera. The movement would be a wasd, with the movement applied localy, means if you look down and press 'w' you go down. Scroll would be zoom and 'q'  & 'e' would be up and down (In the world axises, not the camera's). The rotation would work as a first person shooter's. Both systems the movement would accelerate from a slow pace to top pace, for more control.

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The game has three separate camera modes that you can choose from. I am not 100 percent sure if that is available in the demo but I think it is. Perhaps one of those would be more to your liking.

I totally disagree that the camera should always be pointing down. The beauty in this game is in watching the action as it unfolds from the perspective of the troops on the ground. I guess I do not view this as an rst. This game is not about strategy it is about tactics ;)

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I would add to what Ian said that the key bindings are entirely customizable, so if a particular key is counter intuitive to you, that's not a problem, you can customize it.

I will admit I found it confusing when I bought my first CM game dime years ago, but after a while I got used yo it and appreciated the design choices. 

Of course, everyone may have completely different opinions and experiences. :)

 

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In addition to the three camera modes there are two viewing modes, regular and war movie.  The zoom in key is X, zoom out Z and wide angle C.  In the user interface if you hit Menus and then click Hotkeys you will see the choices including one to lock onto a unit.  There are so many ways to set things up and view the battle you will probably find one to your liking.  Check out the screenshot thread below.   

  http://community.battlefront.com/topic/113260-rt-unofficial-screenshot-thread/   

 

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I would add to what Ian said that the key bindings are entirely customizable, so if a particular key is counter intuitive to you, that's not a problem, you can customize it.

I will admit I found it confusing when I bought my first CM game dime years ago, but after a while I got used yo it and appreciated the design choices. 

Of course, everyone may have completely different opinions and experiences. :)

 

It's isn't so much as the keys being counter intuitive, in fact I like them. Well, most of them; not flip a 180 and FoV. I mean that the default camera system should be mainly be controled by the mouse with the keyboard used by preference, not necessity.

Most of the 'changes' I come up of with, are aimed at bringing new players in. Sadly, at the moment, it a great game hindered by it's interface, I don't think most rts players are willing to sit down and learn it. It does make for a great community. On the same note, fantastic comic you made!

The game has three separate camera modes that you can choose from. I am not 100 percent sure if that is available in the demo but I think it is. Perhaps one of those would be more to your liking.

I totally disagree that the camera should always be pointing down. The beauty in this game is in watching the action as it unfolds from the perspective of the troops on the ground. I guess I do not view this as an rst. This game is not about strategy it is about tactics ;)

I believe I found three modes in the demo, I only really used two in the battles though.

The idea for the rts mode would be put a squad in the center of your screen and zoom and change height or rotate around without them leaving the center of your focus. The camera would level out as you get closer to the ground. (I forgot to add up there). I would love to hear more input you may have.

I completely agree that it is being at the men's perspective is one of the best parts the game. When playing, I would issue orders then postion myself with the forces fighting it out.

In addition to the three camera modes there are two viewing modes, regular and war movie.  The zoom in key is X, zoom out Z and wide angle C.  In the user interface if you hit Menus and then click Hotkeys you will see the choices including one to lock onto a unit.  There are so many ways to set things up and view the battle you will probably find one to your liking.  Check out the screenshot thread below.   

  http://community.battlefront.com/topic/113260-rt-unofficial-screenshot-thread/   

 

I do know about the hotkeys but not the unassigned ones. It really sounds like something for veteran players, but hey choices are good! Things like wide mode I seldom used but being nitpicky about random keyblinds is not preticularly helpfull to anyone.

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The idea for the rts mode would be put a squad in the center of your screen and zoom and change height or rotate around without them leaving the center of your focus. The camera would level out as you get closer to the ground. (I forgot to add up there). I would love to hear more input you may have.

humm I wonder... Try this. Select the squad. Press tab so the camera is locked on them. Now use the keyboard camera up down keys which I think are F and R. It I recall correctly they actually do swing the camera between eye view when low and pointing down when high. I think. I'm saying this from memory and I am not in front of my computer now. 

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It's isn't so much as the keys being counter intuitive, in fact I like them. Well, most of them; not flip a 180 and FoV. I mean that the default camera system should be mainly be controled by the mouse with the keyboard used by preference, not necessity.

I guess this is where I might be missing your point - I can control the camera by mouse nicely - but then my expectations may be  different. However, I do see what you mean about getting new players in. The camera controls were very different than any RTS game I played previously. WASD worked fine, and many RTS games rely on that and use the mouse for other things. In any case, in no way am I shooting down what you are saying. 

Most of the 'changes' I come up of with, are aimed at bringing new players in. Sadly, at the moment, it a great game hindered by it's interface, I don't think most rts players are willing to sit down and learn it. It does make for a great community. On the same note, fantastic comic you made!

Thanks, I'm delighted you liked it. :)

 

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I wanted to add this earlier but forgot: 

I believe that the types of movement and camera control you wish for are probably almost 100% supported by the game. They may take some finagling to find and get to work the way you want, but they are by and large there. The big thing is just how much effort one is willing to put into finding and learning and remapping keys to be happy. 

If, upon trying a demo, people are turned off, because the effort is too big, that's a pity. 

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It's isn't so much as the keys being counter intuitive, in fact I like them. Well, most of them; not flip a 180 and FoV. I mean that the default camera system should be mainly be controled by the mouse with the keyboard used by preference, not necessity.

Most of the 'changes' I come up of with, are aimed at bringing new players in. Sadly, at the moment, it a great game hindered by it's interface, I don't think most rts players are willing to sit down and learn it. It does make for a great community. On the same note, fantastic comic you made!

 

First off, I think its worth pointing out that most strategy games nowadays utilize an FPS style control scheme where the player manipulates the camera using the WASD keys and the mouse. World In Conflict, the Total War series, and the Wargame series to name a few. Personally I prefer this method of camera control. Many others seem to as well, because if they did not the control scheme would not have been used by high profile 'mainstream' RTS games. 

The only thing I would change about the way the controls handle in CM would be to refine 'looking' (pressing and holding right-click and moving the mouse around) to be more smooth and responsive. I'd also like to rebind that to middle mouse button, but I'm not sure if thats possible. (If anyone knows, let us know!) Regardless, this is a very small gripe on my part and in no way affects my play or how I feel while playing. I mostly play WEGO, so I can spend all the time I want pausing and rewinding to find a good angle, and for those that play real time, they can pause as well. So for these reasons its not really an issue, more a preference. 

Lastly, there are a lot of reasons why many people do not want to sit down and play CM and would prefer to stick to their 'mainstream' RTS's. If CM had the greatest controls and interface in the world, I don't think you would see a massive boom in sales or CM propelled to "most played strategy game of all time." Many people are turned off by the "hardcore realism" of the game, and the extent that everything is modeled. I'm personally fascinated by all the stuff I still learn as I play, but most people want to be able to watch a YouTube clip of some gameplay, blow through a 4 minute tutorial and know everything there is to know about the game. Plus, anyone who is too lazy/unable to learn the controls are going to hate CM anyways. I can hear the screams now; "Why do the Germans have so many MG's?!?! Its impossible to beat this mission cause my guys just get pinned down. I quit. Too hard." In another thread somewhere on the forum someone compared it to driving manually vs driving stick. CM is a stick shift. Most people don't like driving stick because its not as mindless as automatic. Thats not a slight against those who drive automatics (hell I'm one of them) but a simple analogy meant to illustrate the inherent difference. 

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Camera 

So for the camera it feels clunky and over compilated. I had press number keys, click and drag with the mouse to get the camera postioned where I wanted it. It took up a good portion of my time playing the game. Which is bad because I was playing real time. I realize I jumped to tell what I think should be done with out the why. The control scheme, first off, should never have you clicking. Clicking with the mouse should be reserved for commanding the men on the ground. I like the 'wasd', q&e and the keys to zoom, not any of the others so lose them. A big problem that had my first few battles was over acceleration. It prohibited fine control.

 There are many different camera modes currently, having two only would make it a hell of a lot easier to develop and refine. It less about generalization but to spealized cameras that are simple and easy to use. The second mode (of my suggestion) you can't actually issue orders due to the mouse mapped look system. So why have it? For those who want fine control when the turn is over, for zooming around the battlefield in a cinematic manner and those want to take screen shots.

Lastly, there are a lot of reasons why many people do not want to sit down and play CM and would prefer to stick to their 'mainstream' RTS's. If CM had the greatest controls and interface in the world, I don't think you would see a massive boom in sales or CM propelled to "most played strategy game of all time." Many people are turned off by the "hardcore realism" of the game, and the extent that everything is modeled. I'm personally fascinated by all the stuff I still learn as I play, but most people want to be able to watch a YouTube clip of some gameplay, blow through a 4 minute tutorial and know everything there is to know about the game. Plus, anyone who is too lazy/unable to learn the controls are going to hate CM anyways. I can hear the screams now; "Why do the Germans have so many MG's?!?! Its impossible to beat this mission cause my guys just get pinned down. I quit. Too hard." In another thread somewhere on the forum someone compared it to driving manually vs driving stick. CM is a stick shift. Most people don't like driving stick because its not as mindless as automatic. Thats not a slight against those who drive automatics (hell I'm one of them) but a simple analogy meant to illustrate the inherent difference. 

I feel that realism in games brings more complexity than it does depth. It also is an ambitious thing to strive for and often spreads the game to thin. A developer could make rudimentary arcade game with polish or a realistic one with little polish. The answer is aways the arcade game because it is better quality for the same time and money working on it. Alot of the realistic games are old or come from series that started a while ago. This is mainly because the higher the graphics the more the bar is raised quality wise for every thing else. That's the development side of why, but there is more. In short I believe there is a bigger market than one would think for realistic games. I would gladly carry on this topic in another thread.

On with the review!

Something that Call of Duty does it gives prompts to the player to do an action such as "press space to jump." However that is not what Combat Mission should have, it is good for some reasons: New players learning; showing friends when past the tutorial; and if you forget what one of the five buttons do in CoD. For combat mission hovering over something in the UI should give a description of it. Mainly for things of the nature of unit control and difficultly level. Seriously though, I have no clue which difficultly the highest. And for unit control it would be nice to have detailed info about it. The description could even fill the back boxes. I still would be answer replies about the camera.

Edited by Jjduston

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humm I wonder... Try this. Select the squad. Press tab so the camera is locked on them. Now use the keyboard camera up down keys which I think are F and R. It I recall correctly they actually do swing the camera between eye view when low and pointing down when high. I think. I'm saying this from memory and I am not in front of my computer now. 

I would have to see there are any more option when a squad is selected. It slipped my mind, thanks!

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...

I feel that realism in games brings more complexity than it does depth. It also is an ambitious thing to strive for and often spreads the game to thin. A developer could make rudimentary arcade game with polish or a realistic one with little polish. The answer is aways the arcade game because it is better quality for the same time and money working on it. Alot ...

Man, you are so in the wrong place :lol:

Just kidding, but I think you'll find most of the customers here would always take the realistic game with less polish.
Now BFC do slowly add more and more polish, but not at the expense of the realism and gameplay option. And that's how we ( most of us ) like it.

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Whenever the topic of game controls comes up I use the analogy of a student driver learning to drive stick and parallel park. No, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the car, its not an impossible task, and no its not some cruel joke your driver's ed instructor is playing on you. You just need a little practice and you'll be parallel parking with the best of 'em.

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Whenever the topic of game controls comes up I use the analogy of a student driver learning to drive stick and parallel park. No, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the car, its not an impossible task, and no its not some cruel joke your driver's ed instructor is playing on you. You just need a little practice and you'll be parallel parking with the best of 'em.

Thanks MikeyD! I know I read you giving this analogy elsewhere on the forums and thought it was perfect, but I couldn't remember where exactly on the forums I saw it. My bad on that one. Regardless whether or not you think the controls are good or not, they work for the majority of people here who play CM and are not a reason not to play the game. If they can learn/use the controls and enjoy the game, why can't you?

Man, you are so in the wrong place :lol:

Just kidding, but I think you'll find most of the customers here would always take the realistic game with less polish.
Now BFC do slowly add more and more polish, but not at the expense of the realism and gameplay option. And that's how we ( most of us ) like it.

+1000

In all seriousness, I completely agree with Baneman here. The whole point of CM is for it to be a tactical level simulation of combat. This meaning that realism is at the core of what makes CM what it is. Arguing against this in any way is useless. If you have ever taken a debate class in school or otherwise, you'll know that you cannot debate the Constitution as part of your argument. Consider realism to be the constitution of CM; its not debatable. If this analogy is lost on you, I apologize. My point is that CM will always be a realistic game at its core and no amount of debating that on the forums is going to change that. 

As far as the rest of this review goes... where is it? At this point all you've said is that the camera controls could be better and you would like tooltips in the game. Two things many others want added/refined, including myself. But you have yet to really review the parts of CM that make it what it is. Its representation of combat, the physics behind it, the spotting mechanics, the damage model mechanics, its presentation and atmosphere, etc. 

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I like the 'wasd', q&e and the keys to zoom, not any of the others so lose them.

Oh I like it - let me try.  Camera panning when the mouse gets close to the edge fo the screen is really annoying and no good at all - loose it. There BFC will get right on that I am sure if it now that I know how to ask for changes :D Sorry that could be construed as mean - it was meant as funny - really it was.

 

If you have ever taken a debate class in school or otherwise, you'll know that you cannot debate the Constitution as part of your argument. Consider realism to be the constitution of CM; its not debatable. If this analogy is lost on you, I apologize.

Huh??!!?? I am totally lost there.  Don't bother trying to explain - I don't think it matters...

 

My point is that CM will always be a realistic game at its core and no amount of debating that on the forums is going to change that.

... but this part I get - and agree with.

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I wonder if what the OP was trying to say was not that there was too much realism in the mechanics of the game, but that too much attention was being devoted to graphic realism instead of making the game easier to play.

:unsure:

Michael

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Personaly I rather like CMRT, and its related games of the same era.
The camera system works smoothly and easily.
In a world dominated by FPS games, and army builder games that depend on mindless zerg rush... CM represents a better quality of game, for a better quality of player.
Concealment and spotting is sometimes tricky, but usualy pretty realistic.
The multiple layers of AI make for a realism you dont find in army builders like C&C, Starcraft, and Cossacks. Your troops respond like human beings, not mindless mooks.

It does require a bit of thought and planning. You cant build more units, or upgrade units. You have to make the best of what you have. This may alienate a lot of idiots who would otherwise clutter this board with "L33T" and other such dribble and drivel. But then... who needs them.
We have a solid community of mature and semi-rational adults, most of whom can communicate in at least one language. And for those who cannot we have PENG.

All in all a pretty good deal.



 

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Regardless whether or not you think the controls are good or not, they work for the majority of people here who play CM and are not a reason not to play the game. If they can learn/use the controls and enjoy the game, why can't you?

+1000

In all seriousness, I completely agree with Baneman here. The whole point of CM is for it to be a tactical level simulation of combat. This meaning that realism is at the core of what makes CM what it is. Arguing against this in any way is useless. If you have ever taken a debate class in school or otherwise, you'll know that you cannot debate the Constitution as part of your argument. Consider realism to be the constitution of CM; its not debatable. If this analogy is lost on you, I apologize. My point is that CM will always be a realistic game at its core and no amount of debating that on the forums is going to change that. 

As far as the rest of this review goes... where is it? At this point all you've said is that the camera controls could be better and you would like tooltips in the game. Two things many others want added/refined, including myself. But you have yet to really review the parts of CM that make it what it is. Its representation of combat, the physics behind it, the spotting mechanics, the damage model mechanics, its presentation and atmosphere, etc. 

I did learn the controls, and I believe I am pretty decent at the game, but  I digress. So here is for the most review thing yet.

I was looking for a new strategy for my brother and I to play. I was looking for realistic. Combat Misson stood out. The game isn't two forces sitting on a hill taking few pop shots and occasionally getting hit. If you mess up you can lose a whole squad in seconds. The every round a tracer is in my opinion the best thing art wise in the game. It highlights the great bullet drop and dynamics. The tanks and infantry react superbly under fire. Something I love is in this game is the lack of 'micro' but still being very much involved with the battle. As much as base the controls, fire and armor arcs are something that I wish were in every game for ambushes and defense. Spotting is great and have the fog of war on your own guys is better. Requesting fire support, seems hard (haven't actually successfuly done it, but it I think that was my fault). To say the least, I like every except the controls and a few things. 

For small things is there no unit collision? I feared way to often that one stray bullet would take four of my coexisting soldiers. I had men run through each other and even tanks.

Sorry guys my my computer rebooted while writing this hence the arupt stop. So I have more to be posted on the weekend.

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I was looking for a new strategy for my brother and I to play. I was looking for realistic. Combat Misson stood out. The game isn't two forces sitting on a hill taking few pop shots and occasionally getting hit. If you mess up you can lose a whole squad in seconds. The every round a tracer is in my opinion the best thing art wise in the game. It highlights the great bullet drop and dynamics. The tanks and infantry react superbly under fire. Something I love is in this game is the lack of 'micro' but still being very much involved with the battle. As much as base the controls, fire and armor arcs are something that I wish were in every game for ambushes and defense. Spotting is great and have the fog of war on your own guys is better.

Agreed.

 

Requesting fire support, seems hard (haven't actually successfuly done it, but it I think that was my fault). To say the least, I like every except the controls and a few things. 

Yes, it can be challenging.  But it is oh so satisfying when you catch the other guy under a barrage.  Mind you with FOW you don't get to see all the mayhem.

 

For small things is there no unit collision? I feared way to often that one stray bullet would take four of my coexisting soldiers. I had men run through each other and even tanks.

Yeah, compromises there.  There is some effort in the code for soldiers to avoid each other and go around vehicles.  For instance if a vehicle is stationary and infantry move past it most of the guys will go around it and you can see them taking detours.  Same with vehicles passing other vehicles and same with soldiers passing soldiers.  But BFC did not go whole hog and try to cover every case and every situation.  I think I recall Steve saying that the effort involved would be quite large and they think they have struck the right balance.  I would agree but it is what it is.  Vehicles can sometimes look odd and appear to temporarily merge too but the key thing is there that a destroyed or immobilized vehicle can totally block a choke point so the appearance might not be perfect but the effect is correct.

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Vehicles can sometimes look odd...

Indeed. Not long ago I espied two German vehicles that looked like they were procreating. I was so amused I almost took a screenshot and posted it, but then I remembered that had already been done. But it did make me reflect on the origins of all those German martial songs about how wonderful comradeship is.

:D

Michael

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The other thing to consider with the clipping compromise is that there's no "pushing", or "crushing", so that immobilised wreck that's blocking the road can't be pushed out the way, so your other vehicles get to "shimmy" round it, eventually, with many pixel collisions. Better than a burning jeep blocking a critical bridge for following armour. Personally, I'd be happy to see pushing implemented, while recognising the inherent risks to the pushing unit, but BFC understandably don't want to have to deal with the fallout of a Sherman bogging while trying to clear a Kubel wreck out the way. Until that day though, the current abstraction is tolerable.

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Personally, I'd be happy to see pushing implemented, while recognising the inherent risks to the pushing unit, but BFC understandably don't want to have to deal with the fallout of a Sherman bogging while trying to clear a Kubel wreck out the way. 

Why would there be any "fallout" over that? What's the realistic risk of bogging a Sherman by pushing a car off the road?

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Why would there be any "fallout" over that? What's the realistic risk of bogging a Sherman by pushing a car off the road?

Good question what is the realistic risk? Non zero that is for sure (we have had experienced tankes say that they wouldn't push over a fence if they didn't absolutely have to). I expect that if they implemented pushing with a chance of immobilation there would be regular threads about how the game is broken. 

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Good question what is the realistic risk? Non zero that is for sure (we have had experienced tankes say that they wouldn't push over a fence if they didn't absolutely have to). I expect that if they implemented pushing with a chance of immobilation there would be regular threads about how the game is broken. 

But there is already a risk of getting a tank immobilized while going through fences and forests, and even a (tiny) risk while driving over clear, open, dry ground. I haven't seen any outcry over any of that. Why assume that players are unreasonable? The vast majority of people here seem very rational to me.

And even if there are one or two players who do throw a tantrum, well, why should that stop the game from improving? It wouldn't be the first time someone disagreed with BattleFront's game design, I don't think they would lose any sleep over it..

Edited by Bulletpoint

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