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SeaMonkey

The first layer of SC3

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I'm concluding, hopefully accurately, that the foundation of a new SC will start with the map grid. In keeping with the present format, we'll stick with the concept of tiles, two types, land and water. My vision for the inherent editable values for those tiles should be VPs (victory points) and MPP values so that any tile used to create a map could have an incentive for a player to possess.

Now what about movement, the map is the basis for location and SC units will have to move through it, so I'm proposing that there should also be a "friction" value. What I mean is there is a cost for movement through each and every tile, again editable. Your naval and land units move and expend fuel, their weapon systems will be subject to deteriation, their human occupants get tired, become less efficient from the grind, its the physics of warfare. The resistance to force is "friction" and is in additon to combat damage, so every "tile" will have a friction value coded into it. The friction value will erode a unit's efficiency, morale, strength, and supply status as it moves from one location to another and in absence of a high supply proximity, to a lesser extent, deteriate as it remains stationary.

What else for the first layer? We have VP, MPP, and Friction for the campaign creators' tools, before we move to the terrain layer or weather layer, what are the additional features to be coded into the SC3 foundation?

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I think that the highest level improvement should be a way to "plug-in" expansions in the game itself. There are currently 5 SC2 games and each time a new one comes out you can basically toss the previous one out of the window, because the newer one has a lot of improvements to the game engine that you no longer want to play without. Take a look at the forums of the older SC versions, they are practically dead, no one plays them anymore, because GC has replaced the game.

So what I am proposing a system similar to the one used in Company of Heroes and Dawn of War. In these games you could buy and install each game in the series seperately without owning any of the others. Your options in the game then dependent on what you had installed. So you could unlock new races to play with, new campaigns and new units by buying additional expansions. Players that owned one expansion could even play online against players that owned another, but they both had different races and units to choose from. Similar systems have been implemented in RPGs like Guild Wars.

I assume that the new engine would be used to construct a lot of games again. So what I would really like to see is a way to add all these games together into a single game with more options, rather than have the previous game replaced every time.

There are a bunch of different ways of doing this. If SC3 would follow the same path as SC2 however, that is, that expansions basically give some new maps and some improvements to the engine, it might not be economically feasible to give these improvements to the engine for free and only ask money for the new maps. So instead, buying a new expansion could offer a new "ruleset" as well, which is a fancy name for the improvements to the engine. Whenever you set up a new game you can choose the ruleset you'd like to play with. This way you'd have to buy the newer games to get both, the engine improvements and the new maps.

That offers 3 advantages over doing it in the current way:

1) You'd give players the option to play the older maps with the new rules. This might create some balance issues, or it might not. Either way, I think that a lot of players would be interested in playing the older maps with the new rules regardless. It would even be possible to play newer maps with an older ruleset, although that might be unpopular.

2) It makes it a bit easier to play against people that own older SC games. You just have a single game in which you can click on an older ruleset when you start the game, rather then to have to start an older expansion. So you'd have everything in one place.

3) It works as a motivation for players to buy the other expansions. It would make a lot more sense to buy PDE now if you can play it with the GC engine. Similarly it also works as an advertisement to buy the newer expansions, because you can see many options greyed out that you'd want to have. The game menu would be updated with a patch each time a new expansion is brought out to keep it up to date.

It may also open some additional options for the development of new expansions. In general, such an integrated system seems like something you might want to build up during the development of the first game of a new engine. Since it is so likely the engine will be used for many games, spending some time on planning ahead for this by making it easy to add all these games together sounds like a good idea.

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I don't want to start a fight, or get flamed, but if Mr. Cater is listening:

HEXES. Tiles are the weakest part of the game.

I have seen the arguments for tiles and respect your opinions, so no need to rehash this now. I just think that if Mr. Cater is soliciting ideas, that as an SC player going back to SC1, Hexes is the one I would put forth for consideration.

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I see being able to click on an army group icon, and have a pop-up screen that shows me what it consists of.

Then being able to transfer the units within this group as i see fit, to other AGs, or seperate altogeather.

This way the enemy would only see the icon, but would have no idea of its true strength.

This would be stacking with options i guess.

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Ahhh, now we're talking Zinfandel, can't really say I like those type of grapes;), but you're on to something, "design a unit". I'll submit to you that a battalion should be the basic building block and as you add the different types to the combat group it takes on the characteristics of the collective CTVs.

For instance, you wish to create an assault unit, you add some battalions of assault guns, combat engineers, perhaps some special forces, some heavy artillery, depending on the target, some heavy weapon battalions and you now have a proper mix of elements to perform the task. You highlight the unit with support from an elligible HQ and additional assets are available for the battle, all in one battle group designed by the player for the specific mission at hand and then give it your customized label/name.

Can you imagine that now those single tiles/hexes deployments won't be a problem, depending on the type of terrain and support mechanism available remembering there will be limitations.

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I am not sure what friction means vs. terrain

I like the idea of VPs - that is important and allowing VP to be another way to calculate who wins is also important. Perhaps even having the VPs count every turn as another option vs. who holds it at the end of the game.

I would much prefer hexes

zoom in and out is important

A more complex combat system may be nice - not sure of the details

Research where you can build the % and have the randomness allow for "faster progress"

A better naval system would be great. For example, something like what is done in World in Flames, where you patrol zones and the like, though that is getting a bit far afield of what SC does now. Or something that was like that may be more interesting, like sending them on patrols, having chance to find, stuff like that.

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I think that For SC3 They should do something like Empire total war has done. A turn based strategy but for the battles its real time strategy. You could have two types of play then. And then the game might get a little bit more exciting.

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Good point Nup and I intended to connect friction through the various other levels, terrain and weather for example. Think about the wear and tear on a unit moving through mountaneous terrain in a snow storm(not on a road), what do you think :confused:....add a couple degrees of friction? Now combine that with an enemy unit who's TO&E exerts an active Zone of Control(ZoC), various firefights occur as your unit moves, of course unless your intel is good enough to disclose their deployment (or your unit's footprint is small or has a special TO&E or perhaps greater experience than the enemy unit, etc., etc.) allowing you to avoid contact. Now compare that to them sitting the turn out in an urban area of increased amenities. Get it......?? ..."friction".:cool:

This new SC3 in going to be highyl interactive with the layers combining to cause different variable effects.:)

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Guys keep it simple. The charm of SC is it does a lot with simple mechanics. You are freed from too much tactical play to concentrate on the strategy. GC is quite streamlined but still takes a while to play.

So:

1) Units (air, sea, land) have 2 or 3 upgrade slots - you choose which with a few combinations being forbidden. If you choose armour and mobility you get a tank icon. You add long range air to a land unit and its paratroopers (obviously incompatible with quite a few other choices). Units can be capped in strength at different levels - 3 for garrisons or partisans, 8 corps and 12 armies. Elite reinforcements above this level. Similarly air units must choose between ground attack, long range, strategic bombing and air to air.

2) Please more intelligent scripts with contingencies - Rommel only gets sent to North Africa if it makes sense, otherwise he gets deployed to Russia. Decision events can be expanded here but maybe stick to major events.

3) Diplomacy chits have other uses - e.g. buying one off benefits or reducing partisans or increasing chance of surrender (can be played against hostile nations).

4) Altered operational move so it has a range limit.

5) A few more nation slots so Italy and France are independent again.

6) Deep sea hexes or tiles with different properties to coastal tiles (and it makes map look prettier).

7) I can handle tiles but hexes are better.

8) Program a move over several turns - especially useful for long range sea transport which gets a bit tedious after a while. If something unexpected happens script is aborted.

9) Some minor random element in spotting.

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Well have you ever played Empire total war. It worked well there.

It's an honor that somebody aims to compare SC2 to Empire Total War, but i think one should stay on "firm ground". EA Games has probably a Budget for this Total War series game that is similar to the National Gross Product of Honduras :P, so i would say, nice dream, but one must live with the realties...

I allways think in this caser Simple is best: Isn't chess a Game designed in the dark ages about 800 years ago? And still is fantastically complex!

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Napoleon 1813 modelled the friction SeaMonkey is talking about, because if you force marched units their numbers and effectiveness decreased quite sharply, whereas it was less so if you just marched at normal speed. Keeping troops in place had the least effect as far as I recall, but unfortunately that game lacked multiplayer, which for me is essential.

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I've been giving some thought to a new characteristic for our base SC3 tiles which will interact with the playing pieces. If you think about it I'm sure you'll agree that the tiles represented in SC can be construed as containers for units, therefor limits must be set in the initial layer to define the boundaries of those deployments.

So, with that in mind, the tiles used to create the map will have another parameter to be set by the campaign designer, "Density of Deployment", (DoD). What happens is the designer will designate the generic land or sea tiles with a starting DoD representing the maximum number of playing pieces that can be contained. Then as you add terrain the DoD is reduced or the unit is inhibited from using certain aspects of the deployment, ie. motorized components can't enter mountainous/jungle situations or no basing of aircraft(engineers allow a limiting base,after improving the land).

For example, the designer sets the DoD for land tiles at 10 units, sea tile at 20, coastal sea tiles at 5, etc. Now one of those land(clear tiles) receives some light forest terrain and the DoD becomes 8, unless of course a major road runs through it. You add mountainous characteristics to the tile and it becomes 5 if that is the value the designer chooses. So now a campaign creator can use the DoD to give the player some orientation about the actual useful area encompassed by a geographical position and different tiles, although appearing to be the same size, will not have the ability to accomodate the same size deployments of combat units. More on this in the "Units Layer".

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couple of thoughts

eliminate transfer arrows - use a wrap around map

I like the idea of friction (great way to simulate attrion) - this would allow HC to dramtically increase the maximum operational movement, but at a cost of;

loss of strength

effectiveness

and moral

as the unit moved farther and farther (force march)

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Now that we have established the concept, what are the limitations? If a designer sets the DoD in the editor as a max of 10, should that be rigid?

What I mean is if a tile contains 10 SC units should that be combat units, or can supply units be a part of it, what about an HQ, does it count for the "stacking" limits? What about an overstacked condition? What are the consequences of violating the DoD, perhaps loss of command and control to a certain degree. How about greater combat losses as the density of men and material is exagerated over and above what the terrain can effectively accomodate? Can engineers assist the situation by building fortifications and housing more combat troops?

To add to the above, how about rigid and passive zones of control. If the deployment is half the DoD does that disallow a loss of AP when an enemy unit moves into the area of influence. At what level does a DoD negate an enemy's exertion of a ZoC, for supply/communication situations.

DoDs need specific definitions for the players to ascertain the effects.

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As far as what the HQ stands for, as long as the HQ has no combat ability, it should not count towards stacking. If the HQ is given some combat ability in any way for SC3, then it should count towards stacking.

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real time sucks. I hate it. HoI would have been a great game if it was turn based. But I dont want to micro manage 100 air units every 1h game time.

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