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Brit

Poll: What should be worked on?

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Hey guys. The next update will be available soon (unsure of the exact timeframe). In the meanwhile, I wanted to say that I've received a bunch of suggested fixes and improvements to the game. So many that it's hard to know what you, the players, think is the most pressing issue. I wanted to get your feedback on this, so I created a poll. Here are the options:

* Smarter AI - Better tactical AI (invasions, defense, use of aircraft, etc)

* Smarter AI - Better foreign relations AI (forming alliances and teams, more active with trade, etc)

* Faster AI - the game takes too long calculating the AI's turn

* Faster Turn Processing

* The game uses too much memory

* The multiplayer game has connection problems (the game disconnects from other players or crashes)

* More options for customizations and user-created rulesets

Vote here: http://polldaddy.com/poll/3898013/

You can vote for multiple items (although you'll be watering down your vote a bit if you vote for too many things), and you can suggest something, too. Feel free to post a comment on this thread, as well.

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Well, it's not on the poll but I think bug fixes comes first.

Then Smarter AI - Better tactical (including the aircraft carrier, sorry had to mention)

More options - open up the terrain to allow for new user created terrain and modification of current terrain.

Official maps and scenarios.

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It wasnt on the list but I would still like to see rivers added in somewhere along the line.

As for the options I feel that the AI plays a much better game and is now pretty formidable on the high levels. It still doesnt use some units (paras, carriers, etc) and it does leave its cities sometimes undefended. The AI also doesnt escort its transports that well so whilst the AI will launch waves of (unescorted) invasion craft (which is great to see) it is sometimes easy to destroy them with artillery and ships before they get near. I feel this might be a an issue with the combat model which I mentioned a few months ago. I still believe where you have a stack of battleships, destroyers and transports, the 'fighting' ships should have to be destroyed before you can get at the transports; in real life escorts are there to shield more vulnerable ships. The same with stacks of artillery, tanks and infantry or stacks of bombers and fighters. You have to physically put your tanks between your artillery and the enemy to protect them. The AI isnt good at that and so perhaps the combat model should be tweaked to allow this. Any improvements would be good.

My priority would be to get the AI to offer trades, offer (and accept alliances and break them!), set up teams and even demand or offer cities, resources and units. That would give the game a whole added dimension. I realise some people dont want that as they believe a wily human player could use the system to manipulate the AI and construct an alliance to win the game. However, that would be part of the fun and if you dont want that just have an option to switch off the diplomacy. I also still think that there is a bug on the trade screen where, for example, Russia wants to buy 50 oil at $1.7. If you sell them 50 oil I would expect my oil to go down by 50 but my money to go up by $85 but whilst my oil does go down my money doesnt go up. If it is a 'gift' (like lend lease) it should be called that rather than a trade- however, why then state what price the computer is willing to buy at?

The games continue to improve in leaps and bounds- carry on the good work!

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It's formatted in the rule editor to allow each unit to numerically prioritize their attack preferences, but it's not enabled ... I'd really like to see it enabled to allow more realism and to allow each unit to maximize their strengths when involved in group combat ... an example would be Artillery

1.) Infantry ... artillery's primary function to destroy and disrupt troops

2.) Artillery ... supressing enemy artillery was high on the list also

3.) Light Ships ... early artillery was also effective at shore defense

4.) Tanks ... not a primary function and not nearly as effective, due to the tanks movement

5.) Early Aircraft ... useful against pre-fighters, thereafter not much of a factor :)

Since it's already there I'm guessing enabling it won't involve that much and I think it will allow rule editors to come up with more interesting variations. Again thanks Brit for allowing us to contribute and for you're continuing effort to support EOS. :)

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Thanks for the feedback! The poll is still open for anyone arriving late, but the clear winner in the poll is tactical AI - which is what I spent the day working on.

I thought people's "other" suggestions would also show up in the poll, but they didn't. Here's the current results:

46% Smarter AI - Better tactical AI (invasions, defense, use of aircraft, etc)

18% Smarter AI - Better foreign relations AI (forming alliances and teams, more active with trade, etc)

18% The multiplayer game has connection problems (the game disconnects from other players or crashes)

Suggestions typed into the "other" box:

- Enable the combat priority on the rules editor

- Open terrain (I assume that means allow new types of terrain)

- Hotseat

- Add more unit types, ie helicopters, engineers

- Aircraft attack nearest target if no other [target is available(?)]

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While I'd love to see more options in the editor, I do wonder how many people are actively using the editor and how many players are taking advantage of the stuff they are making.

Somewhere along the line I'd also like to see some selected user content incorporated into an expanded set of "official" content. Maybe even have a competition or something. We've still only got two rulesets. Given that a lot of people still seem to be playing solo vs the AI this would be a good move especially for new players.

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Yeah, I placed my wote on the tac AI as well. :)

...I do wonder how many people are actively using the editor and how many players are taking advantage of the stuff they are making....

When the game was being developed, I thought that the editor would be one of it's greates features, but to be honest I still have way to much fun playing the regular game against the AI and/or friends on the net, to be putting much effort into the other stuff.

Still, the editor will most probably mean that the game will stay fresh and fun in the forseeable future.

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I've spent a lot of time playing in the editor, but lately I've been playing the full official rules in multiplayer too, and its good. The rulesets I was making were not always so stable to play either.

That's why it would be cool to have some more official content for us to play offline, that is verified quality.

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.....

I still believe where you have a stack of battleships, destroyers and transports, the 'fighting' ships should have to be destroyed before you can get at the transports; in real life escorts are there to shield more vulnerable ships. The same with stacks of artillery, tanks and infantry or stacks of bombers and fighters. You have to physically put your tanks between your artillery and the enemy to protect them. The AI isnt good at that and so perhaps the combat model should be tweaked to allow this. Any improvements would be good.

I for one would actually like to vote against making a modification to the combat model like this. Here is why...

I can understand why it would be realistic to have a battle group automatically screen sensitive units from attack. If this was implemented, players could build big combined arms land and sea battle groups and send them off for more or less indiscriminately to conquer enemy territory. They wouldn't need to worry about their BBs getting hit by subs (destroyers in group), air attacking transports (shielded by carriers/cruisers), or small raider groups slipping past the heavies to hit the transports. On land, with this mod you couldn't land paratroopers behind the enemy to take out his launchers and arty. You would also make less use of terrain since the best strategy would be to group everyone together. Of course, there are sometimes nukes to worry about, but you can always group in some AA for that :)

Having to manually screen your units is actually the only real tactical aspect of this game, and I think it would make the game less interesting without it. Of course the AI needs to get better at this, and coding that is significantly harder than just grouping everything. But it would be a better end result.

BTW, in my rulesets I usually increase the range on land arty attacks to allow for more leeway in tactically screening them with inf/armor. Since land units do effectively block each others movement, this works quite well. No real issues on the ocean since the transports should be quite a ways behind your battle group anyway (which means you need to worry about the raider ships and subs!). If you group the transports together with battlegroup, you still do get some effective screening since any weaker attackers will die quickly an d not inflict full damage on them.

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Hey jeep I pretty much agree with you. It wouldn't be difficult to program the ai to use escorts. You could add to each unit in a ruleset which units could provide escorts. For example, battleships could add destroyers or whatever. So if the ai has a destroyer near a battleship (within a certain distance per user input) there would be a chance, maybe 75% or whatever (user input), that they would combine into a group. Once the battleship entered a friendly city there could be a user input chance the group would disband, or if the destroyer needed repairs. Anyway, that's the basic idea.

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Well, I was hoping to get an update out today, but the AI is still doing some bad things I want to fix. Plus, I've seen some crashes that I want to fix before the update.

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I vote smarter AI as well, in a big way. Numero uno.

Some additional minor wish-list items:

edited

1. Have the dotted track showing unit paths to be colored for each turn it take that unit to move, or some other indications of how many turns that portion movement will take.

2. AI "personalities": i.e. AI player emphasis on particular units: plane happy, ship happy, tank happy, etc.

3. A "normal" difficulty setting: no advantage/disadvantage. I.e. for those that are "too proud" to play novice and not ready to be at a disadvantage...

it's fantastic to see feedback/changes actually happening as a game develops...huzzah!

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I vote smarter AI as well, in a big way. Numero uno....

Adding your suggestions in the list.

3. A "normal" difficulty setting: no advantage/disadvantage. I.e. for those that are "too proud" to play novice and not ready to be at a disadvantage..

You can set the AI to "veteran", which is a middle difficulty setting.

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Oh sorry, I thought I read in an earlier post that "Veteran" gets a tiny resource bonus. Back to Veteran for me!

Some unit enhancements for later consideration:

4. Enhancing Carriers for AI (and human)

Carriers are cool. Anyone still play The Grandest Fleet (which I still play every now and again) and those AWESOME super ships? The Super Carrier was amazing but still countered by Super Subs (even though the AI had 100% radar as well).

Artillery needs a naval counter...carriers sounds good to me. However I read in some other posts that the AI doesn't use them (well, or at all, can't recall which). I haven't seen them yet as I haven't played a game long enough to see the deeper middle game where bigger fleets really start showing up.

So...perhaps the problem is that the AI carrier is not synced with planes...so let us give the AI some planes to deal with those sentry artillery us newbie humans are putting into our bases. A built-in squadron or of fighter-bombers (dual role, fairly good at both like the righteous F-18)...that has to be "repaired" if damaged. Two squadrons for light carriers. Four for heavies. Perhaps the AI carrier should always have one built in fighter patrolling (attack planes only) in a circle around the ship...or give the AI carrier really good air defense to simulate a patrol squadron.

The player should have full control of those squadrons. As the carrier techs up, so the on-board fighter-bombers tech up.

I would suggest the carrier to be more expensive than even a battleship due to this capability. The WWII heavy carrier should be the dominant, expensive, floating airbase that makes unprotected arty (and anything else except entrenched infantry in a city) nervous . That will dominate an area if left unchallenged. That needs protection against anything other than, say, a single destroyer attack. Battle of Midway began, and ended, with the number of carriers involved, right? Unfortunately sneaking a sub in on an AI carrier with 100% radar would be...impossible? But at least the sub could chase it away!

A heavy carrier should cost 50% more than the equivalent battleship...or more. I don't want to create a carrier-focus particularly but think they should be the capital ship to fear.

The thing about the grandest fleet that was a good balance was that carrier planes could be damaged...so the carrier would have to repair to "repair" the planes at the nearest airfield. This was a good mechanic to keep the carriers from being too powerful.

5. Capital ship yard

To build those heavy carriers, there needs to be a single huge, expensive shipyard that can turn them out. That takes an extra special facility. When carriers are researched, THEN a player gets access to researching and building the Capital Ship yard. This building costs 10 iron/turn just sitting there. Heavy carriers cannot be built without one. Light carriers can be built anywhere (but cost 50% more without this building). You get two of these per empire max...and they are destroyed if the city is captured.

6. Repair ship

Large slow and vulnerable. Can repair up to the first 30% damage of ships in same square (leaving target ship with 70% health). Costs the repair ship 1 health for every ship repaired (or perhaps one point for every ship point repaired) to keep the thing balanced and simulate a "limited repair supply". Repair ship has 10 hit points or something along those lines and costs plenty of cash and iron to build.

A human player would loiter them likely just outside of plane/combat range....but how would an AI figure out the "safe nearby by useful location". The nearest empire border, perhaps? Not sure if the AI would use them well, however. So not really a highly sought after item feel free to shoot it down.

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add-on to previous list:

7. game options:

a. warning dialog if research not active/selected if the player presses end turn (with a check box to allow player to disable this warning for the rest of this game)

b. disable plane flights if the human chooses a one-way death ride (skull and crossbones)...as a player setup option, perhaps.

c. Perhaps an option to move the left panel to the top or bottom of the window, and the unit info to the left or right side.

8. View ranges against subs for early DD and CA = zero is rather important for newbies.

a. suggest to edit the text description for destroyer1 and cruiser1 to be very clear: this unit is blind to submarines. I assume that with a submarine1 in the same stack they can attack...

b. then in DD2 and CA2 description: edit the text and let the customer know: "can see submarines".

c. for SU1: he's cool: he can see submarines and his text description should indicate this

My destroyer1 was attacked by an "unknown" while sentried on an oil resource..mr. AI parked a sub on top of it before we were ever at war.

This also happened to a group comprised of: cruiser1, destroyer1, destroyer2, destroyer2. The destroyer1 was attacked by "unknown" attacker. I told the destroyer2 officers to leave out the dessert in that night's meal.

9. Tiny little bug:

a. If I select, then relocate units from an idle group, which effectively deletes that idle group...

...then in that same turn, press Z (select idle units)...the interface appears to highlight where that group used to be.

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yup good one Boris...perhaps reset field orders if the player sit's "sentry until repaired button" would do it?

But...maybe then we need dialog to remind us about units with no field orders once that repair is done and before we send it out again?

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yup good one Boris...perhaps reset field orders if the player sit's "sentry until repaired button" would do it?

But...maybe then we need dialog to remind us about units with no field orders once that repair is done and before we send it out again?

The "sentry until repaired" button is to the right of the other sentry buttons, and next to "sentry for five turns".

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add-on to previous list:

7. game options:

a. warning dialog if research not active/selected if the player presses end turn (with a check box to allow player to disable this warning for the rest of this game)

Yeah, I've missed research because of that.

b. disable plane flights if the human chooses a one-way death ride (skull and crossbones)...as a player setup option, perhaps.

Yeah, as you pointed out in your email, it might not be complete clear that your aircraft will run out of fuel before reaching its destination - particularly if the skull appears over/next to other things on the map.

c. Perhaps an option to move the left panel to the top or bottom of the window, and the unit info to the left or right side.

8. View ranges against subs for early DD and CA = zero is rather important for newbies.

a. suggest to edit the text description for destroyer1 and cruiser1 to be very clear: this unit is blind to submarines. I assume that with a submarine1 in the same stack they can attack...

b. then in DD2 and CA2 description: edit the text and let the customer know: "can see submarines".

c. for SU1: he's cool: he can see submarines and his text description should indicate this

Yeah, I'd like to setup something to make it a lot more explicit what players are getting when they upgrade.

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I thought about that bug report (email) that you are referring to and think I have a simpler way to represent the two minor issues: In short: if a friendly city is outside one-way flight range...the skull should show up.

1. Fuel range violation (skull symbol) is NOT displayed, or removed, when a player right-clicks, or ctrl-right-clicks to route to a friendly city, *even* if that route is outside the plane's range. The plane doesn't fly there so no big deal.

This also affects subsequent waypoints: A player can also a) right-click to route a plan to a one-way death (skull symbol) shows up, to some point on the map B) then ctrl-right-click on a friendly city. Voila: the skull goes away from waypoint one. Visually: it appears that the whole flight plan is ok. Nope: that plane will die on waypoint one.

2. (from my email). I created a single scenario in which I can get the skull symbol to show up during a multi-point flight plan between friendly cities. I haven't duplicate this one...but have save game showing it. It appears to require the first waypoint city to be out of one-way flight range.

______

10. Lock down units in city that need repair (they do not come out to fight untill fully repaired)

...ah I think I got the fix for this:

a) set the unit "sentry until repaired, as Brit said

B) *also* clear the field orders.

I really really like that a BB will leave port to attack if something gets into range instead of just sitting there...but NOT when it has 1/8 hitpoints!

Also...I think I'm getting off thread topic with unit suggestions/etc...should we move these sorts of things into another thread or would we rather that this thread continue to expand into (what I think it has become): "(any)thing you think the game needs in the future thread".

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I would really like it if there was a setting that auto repaired units that were set to run a repeating pattern. That way my recon units would stay home if damaged and resume their assigned duties after repairs are completed.

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