Lt Bull Posted November 16, 2011 Share Posted November 16, 2011 If there is one thing about CMBN that severely affects my ability to address the most fundamental and basic requirements of gameplay which is simply to understand WHERE units are actually locate on the map/battlefield, it would be those @##$ing stupid floating unit icons! They are so counter-productive to what they should really be doing and so incomprehensibly poorly implemented that I just can't let their existence in the game go unexplained by BFC or anyone else. The implementation of these floating icons is so ridiculous, yes I would even say retarded, that I can't help but demand some kind of explanation, any! I have pointed out my gripe with these damn floating icons before and it seems that I am in no way getting "used" to the way they are implemented in the game. NOTE: I am not saying CMBN should have no icons! (contrary!) So let me clearly point out again what I believe is one of the most poorly thought out "features" of the game and why it is so damn annoying having to put up with such a portly implemented concept. A game like CMBN with 3D battlefields WITHOUT some kind of "visual aid" to 1) locate/identify and 2) determine the position of known friendly/enemy units while surveying the battlefield map would make it basically unplayable, so their inclusion is a FUNDAMENTAL concept. If units were NOT highlighted "artificially" by some kind of marker/base/icon on the battlefield, it would be just too easy to lose track of where they all are, mainly because the units will just get lost amongst all the foliage/terrain on the map. A game like this NEEDS some "artificial" marker implementation. This should be of no revelation or surprise to anyone. So what's the problem with the CMBN icons? First lets consider a basic/fundamental "check list" of information you would expect any implementation of "artificial markers" should convey to the player. It becomes apparent that they can convey quit a bit of information beyond just location. 1. VISIBILITY: The markers should stand out from the rest of the battlefield. The CMBN markers (icons) for the most part do this (so did the CMx1 base markers). That's not the problem. 2. UNIT INFORMATION: The markers should (though not totally critical to the function) convey "some" information as to the ID/status of the unit it is attached to. The CMBN markers (icons) do this, the CMx1 markers did not. That is not the problem. 3. LOCATION: The marker location on the battlefield should coincide as closely as possible with the actual location (the centre of mass) of the unit on the 3D battlefield landscape so as to provide the player scrolling/panning around the battlefield with easy to interpret accurate positional information relating to exactly WHERE the unit associated to the marker is located. CMx1 however fulfilled this requirement fully and as good as you could expect. The marker was a "base" that actually coincided with the virtual spot on the battlefield surface the unit was located on. So what do we see in CMBN? For some still yet unexplained reason, BFC decided to virtually "float" the markers (or icons) at some seemingly random/arbitrary distance ABOVE the spot on the battlefield the unit they are attached to exist. The name of the CMBN unit markers alone , "floating icons", indicates just how poorly considered their implementation is in the game. Equally as baffling is that for some as yet unexplained reason, all "?" icons representing unknown/unidentified units DO NOT FLOAT and actually DO appear where you would think would be the IDEAL position to place these icons in the first place, as close as possible to the unit base!!!!?!!! :eek: WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY DO THE ICONS HAVE TO FLOAT?????? WHAT IS THE UPSIDE OF FLOATING THE ICONS ABOVE UNITS??? And THIS is the problem I have with the implementation of the CMBN markers, floating icons. They fail so badly at providing the player any quality information related to the LOCATION of units on the battlefield and actually actively work AGAINST the natural intuition of how you would expect these markers to work and behave. Let me graphically point this out in graphical detail, because what we are talking about here is a visual thing: Here is screenshot of typical CMBN battlefield perspective playing as the US with the floating markers activated. You can see 7 US unit icons and 3 German icons. If the icons DID NOT FLOAT, we would all be quite confident in being able to perceive WHERE all those units represented by the icons are actually located (terrain/cover etc) on that 3D battlefield. However, because they float, the positional information they convey is simply garbled. All you know is that it is "somewhere BELOW the icon". For example: That left most US icon that is overlayed on some tress. Can anyone really tell where the unit associated with that icon is? Is it: 1) behind those trees the icon is on? 2) under the trees but on the opposite side of the hedge? 3) Under the trees but on this side of the hedge? 4) somewhere else? All those answers would seem correct. Well it is in the open ground this side of the hedge. And as you can see in the next screenshot the icon is in game floats around 15m above the unit. WHY????????? (see here). Lets now look at the German units. The left most icon that also is overlaying some trees. Where is the unit located? 1) In those trees just below the icon? 2) In the field below the tree/hedgeline? 3) In the field but along the hedge lining that road? 4) On the hedge line road? It's actually on the hedge line road. The location of where the unit related to "?" icon however is clear. Seriously, why must what should be simple to convey/communicate basic spatial information be so ambiguous and difficult to interpret in CMBN??? Why float the freakn icons!!!????????? And for some reason (which I again beg ANYONE to explain why) BFC decided that unlike other icons the "?" unknown/unidentified icons should NOT float. Why???? If floating them in the first place seemed liked such a good idea to someone at BFC, why not apply it to all icons? What could possibly be the logic behind that?????????? Lets now just see what happens if we were to replace the floating icons with icons that DIDN'T float, just like the "?" don't float. The unnecessary ambiguity is gone. It is clear (using the bottom edge of the icon), where on the battlefield the units are located. So why float the freak'n icons in the first place? Just compare the two screenshots. The difference seems trivial, but the implications to what they communicate to the player are huge. And please if ANYONE prefers the first screenshot (the status quo) to the non-floating version, please, let it be known WHY you prefer the icons to float and disagree with what I am saying? How is this better for you? Who could possibly argue that arbitrarily floating icons above a unit has benefits (name even one!) over just letting the icons reside as close as possible to the location on the ground where the unit is actually located?? But the problems don't just end with looking at/interpreting static screens like these. These "floating icons" are even more confusing when you pan/scroll/ the camera to look around the battlefield. What the heck is up with not allowing the icons to overlap????!!! If you pan the camera, the icons will randomly "jostle for position" to prevent themselves from overlapping another icon as if doing so would cause cataclysmic confusion/distress to the player. What is so wrong with just letting the icons overlap themselves should the camera happen to be oriented in a way that would result in one icon partially/fully overlapping one that is in the background? As a matter of fact keeping the icons fixed at one position on the battefield and allowing the icons to overlap would even give the player an better idea for the "depth"/spatial separation of the icons. Here is an example of what would happen if CMBN icons DIDN'T float and DID overlap. How can one NOT say it vastly improves your understanding of what and where things are on the battlefield. Again, if your disagree, please clearly state why. This random jostling of icons you see in CMBN again is an inexplicable implementation of a feature that makes a bad situation (floating icons) even worse by actively adds to the spatial confusion/lack of reference presented to the player. Just like the decision made by someone at BFC to "float" the icons, the decision to have them jostle randomly/erratically to avoid overlapping each other is yet again another example of an extremely poorly thought out implementation of a feature that actually is counter productive to what should be the whole point of it's implementation in the first place. So, for the reasons I have demonstrated and in the absence of ANY reasonable logically explanation for why icons in CMBN were implemented to float in the first place , I just can not see how anyone could argue their persistence in the game/series can be seen as a positive/necessary feature to have in the game, let alone useful! At this stage here my very humble and simple #1 "easiest to fix/huge improvement in playability" request for CMBN is: - Make ALL the icons behave like the "?" icons currently do in the game. I am sure it is just one line of code that needs to be changed. A parameter that defines how many pixels about the action point the icons float. Just set it to zero (or what the "?" are set to). It is such a shame this game is let down by seemingly poorly conceived design decisions that just frustrate the player and really affects the players ability to just play and enjoy the game. 0 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.