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What I'd like to see in CM3...


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@MOS:96B2P Thank you, Karl and all mates for your comments and reactions.

@Mord  " the stomach clutch and drop " <<< yes, I like that one too - fully agree - very well animated.  One can almost feel the pain of the little pixel man.

The "monkey run" ... LOL! 😄

@Michael Emrys  Yes, I know about the "fence problem" but I've just imagined/assumed that such issues are fixed in CMx3. 😉


 

 
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If the CM3 would have a similar look to what CM2 has, the UI could be changed so that the sides on the bottom are being used in stead of only being black filling which will remove the abstructing text

That has to be the least helpful comment so far. You are essentially saying "make this game like those other games but with one other thing". Go to those other game forums and advocate for a WEGO feat

My number one wish is to have working and realistic pathfinding routines or at least being able to give "follow the road" order to a group of vehicles.  In my current game I've received a company s

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42 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

Is that possible within the present or prospective game code? In theory I have nothing against that, I just don't know if BFC (meaning in this case mostly Charles) could pull it off.

Michael

They do something similar with water now. It is just not permanent. I think in the current engine it would not be able to keep track of permanent one side only effects. But I'm just guessing. 

Is something like that supported in any of the commercial engines? Just curious if it is a feature that is considered important generically.

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1 hour ago, IanL said:

They do something similar with water now. It is just not permanent. I think in the current engine it would not be able to keep track of permanent one side only effects. But I'm just guessing. 

Is something like that supported in any of the commercial engines? Just curious if it is a feature that is considered important generically.

Not on the commercial engines, but Graviteam's engine does.

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1 hour ago, Frenchy56 said:

Yeah, Graviteam pulled it off. You can only see enemy entrenchments when your troops spot them. However fortifications (long trenchlines, pillboxes) that are permanently on the map show up at all times, you just don't know if they're occupied.

I've not played Graviteam but if I'm understanding how you explained Graviteam's spotting it sounds very similar to Combat Mission.  In CM you only see OpFor trenches when your troops initially spot them.  However after that initial spot the trenches (fortifications) are always visible to the player.  The player doesn't always know if the trench is currently occupied unless some friendly troops have eyes on it.  But the CM OpFor trenches are not automatically always visible on the map all the time.  Only after they are discovered by friendly forces.   

CMSF does have the ditch which is a terrain feature and not a fortification so it is visible all the time.  Maybe that is the difference ...        

Edited by MOS:96B2P
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2 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

I've not played Graviteam but if I'm understanding how you explained Graviteam's spotting it sounds very similar to Combat Mission.  In CM you only see OpFor trenches when your troops initially spot them.  However after that initial spot the trenches (fortifications) are always visible to the player.  The player doesn't always know if the trench is currently occupied unless some friendly troops have eyes on it.  But the CM OpFor trenches are not automatically always visible on the map all the time.  Only after they are discovered by friendly forces.   

CMSF does have the ditch which is a terrain feature and not a fortification so it is visible all the time.  Maybe that is the difference ...        

I hate real time games, however Graviteam manage to develop something very special. Take time to learn the UI and you'll love the series. No click fest here. 

 

Nothing so far really comes close to CMx2 series and Graviteam series for tactical warfare.

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21 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

I've not played Graviteam but if I'm understanding how you explained Graviteam's spotting it sounds very similar to Combat Mission.  In CM you only see OpFor trenches when your troops initially spot them.  However after that initial spot the trenches (fortifications) are always visible to the player.  The player doesn't always know if the trench is currently occupied unless some friendly troops have eyes on it.  But the CM OpFor trenches are not automatically always visible on the map all the time.  Only after they are discovered by friendly forces.   

CMSF does have the ditch which is a terrain feature and not a fortification so it is visible all the time.  Maybe that is the difference ...        

Well, now that I think about it, yeah. It functions quite closely to CM, however entrenchments in GT actually go under the ground and can be deformed by explosions.

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Not just trenches for infantry, too. Static weapons and even vehicles get properly dug-in into the terrain. You place their occupants in set-up, and click the shovel, but you don't know where the entrenchments will spawn, exactly. Unlike in CM, where you can place the entrenchments precisely where you want them. I may be wrong, but I don't remember being able to place minefields or barbed wire in GT. I do like that dug-in troops, spawn functional ammo boxes, though.

One of my favourite things about GT is the track physics they got from their tank sims. Deformations aren't only cosmetic, and vehicles will get stuck if you're not careful. Especially troublesome with AI path-finding, but quite realistic.

One feature I've seen suggested for CM has been melee combat. Both GT and ToW have melee combat that's absolutely laughable. When two infantrymen bump into eachother, they get into a dance-off -- raising their hands and kicking in the air, as if they're at a rave. I find it more immersive in CM, where they just fill eachother full of lead -- in a sort of Tarantino stand-off.

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On ‎8‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 3:14 PM, Frenchy56 said:

however entrenchments in GT actually go under the ground and can be deformed by explosions.

The old ditch style CM:SF, CM:A & now also CM:SF2 trenches do that.....However they are not concealed by FOW as they are terrain not units, and thus tend to attract a lot of artillery.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't pop in here that often anymore, but saw this thread and wanted to chime in with my wishlist for Combat Mission. And it is three items long. This post will likely seem far longer than three wishes warrant, but I want everyone to get their money's worth :)

Wish 1: Campaigns

I used to play a lot of Combat Mission, going back to CMBO and on through most of the following WW2 titles. To get it out of the way, I love CM gameplay. For me it's the finest tactical wargame toolbox going. I can still, after nearly 20 years, remember specific moves I made playing the CMBO demo scenario over PBEM with one of my best mates. It takes a great game to have that sort of staying power in my limited memory. I say this to show that what I criticize is done out of a desire to see Combat Mission evolve, not out of contempt.

About 6 months ago I built a new PC. I have not reinstalled any CM title, which means this is the first PC I have used since CMBO that didn't have any CM games installed on it. And for me it comes down to content. Single scenarios don't light my fire. Campaigns are what interests me, and I've played them all. That might sounds like BS, but I mean literally, I've played every campaign that I could find for the titles I have. And honestly, that's not so absurd, as there aren't very many. Some I loved, some I didn't. Some were completed, but not all.

CM campaigns, with their episodic nature, lack replayability.  There are AI plans, sure, but moving the AT gun to a different spot doesn't make the scenario all that different really, and even then the designer needs to implement them in the first place.  Still the same forces, same map, same objectives. So I play it, either like it or don't, and then never play it again. The unknown is no longer. If I know the enemy has three tanks, and I've destroyed three tanks, I can deduce they have no tanks left. The uncertainty that makes each probe or advance so nail-bitingly thrilling is eliminated by prior experience.

Some of the campaigns are really well done, especially given the limitations of the engine, rules and toolset. But once played, I have no desire to try them again. Combine that with the very limited pool of campaigns available and you're left with nothing to play. I took a break of a couple years from CMBN. When I came back engine 4 had just been released. I ponied up the 10 clams and very excitedly went to find new campaigns to play. What a huge disappointment. After two years or so away I could find nothing new. Maybe there were a couple. I was expecting dozens.

For a campaign player Combat Mission has gone stale in my view. Why is this? Are campaigns so time-absorbing and difficult to make that few even attempt it? Are potential designers put off by the fact that what they finally do make didn't or couldn't match their vision? Are they left uninspired or dissatisfied by the process? Whatever the reason, the player base is left with little new, unseen content to tackle.

Well, I could just make my own campaign you might say. I could, but I don't want to, mostly because by designing each scenario myself, all of the uncertainty is once again gone. So that won't do. It's something you do for the good of the community, not for yourself to play I reckon.

For me this needs to change in order for Combat Mission to evolve. And for me there is only one practical way to do it. A dynamic campaign generator. The player needs to be unshackled from the tether that binds him to the mercy of folks generous and talented enough to provide this content for us. We need a way to create this content for ourselves, free of the laborious methods currently required, methods that remove any sense of mystery should we then want to play it ourselves. The current model doesn't work in my opinion.

If Battlefront won't give us this content (and I am not expecting it necessarily) and instead rely on talented players to do it while providing tools that don't make it easy, then it's clear a new way is required. For me, the single most important and needed advance in the Combat Mission series is a way for players to quickly and easily generate the content they are interested in.

I want to fire up Combat Mission, whip up say a company-sized campaign for US paras and have at it for the next two or three weeks. Persistent forces. Persistent map end-states. When I'm done I do it again, with whatever combinations I find interesting or intriguing. For me, this is the way forward. We have this amazing tactical simulator, but little focused content that I'm interested in, and I'd say my tastes are fairly broad. If Combat Mission had started three years ago I'd give it some slack. But after 19 years? it's beyond time to shake up how players get the content they are interested in playing. Put this in each player's hands, and cut that tether.

Wish 2: Artificial Intelligence

I stepped off my campaign soapbox as I'm going on too long, though there is more I'd like to say. But campaigns are reliant on the AI. The way it's done now, designers need to rely on placement and timing, and each scenario is playtested within an inch. Any subsequent changes to the engine tend to throw this off balance. If a scenario is designed with infantry acting a certain way to shellfire, and that reaction is later changed, it fundamentally changes how the scenario plays out. This needs to be disassociated from the design of the scenario. And the only way to do that which I can see is a good AI system, that allows units to decide for themselves how to proceed, not just acting on the whim of the scenario designer's vision. Combat Mission would improve exponentially in my opinion with a good AI, and it would be a fundamental requirement for a dynamic campaign generator. Until or unless the AI is redone, the campaign idea won't fly.

Wish 3: Combined Arms

I play campaigns as I've noted. But now and then I would enjoy a Quick Mission battle. Remember the Combined Arms setting for QMB? Where did it go? What happened to it? It was the only setting that both allowed me to fight a balanced AI opponent and at the same time not know ahead of time his composition (because I picked it).

I'll end with that. I could write pages of all the things I'd like to see in the next step for Combat Mission, but I'll spare you my ramblings. What I want most is a relatively simple way to create the content that interests me, in the format (campaigns) that I like, and do so without relying on anyone making it for me.

 

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Things i´m getting bugged with repeatedly in current engine is:

1. No "repeat Arty mission" capability. If one just had a successfull and well observed mission completed one in fact just got a new TRP on the map. But currently one needs to go through full waiting time, if the same target is to be hammered again, with same spotter and still stationary on. or offboard assets.

2. SOPS for infantry and vehicle formations. Too many losses occur from the current TacAI inability to sort itself out to employ single troopers in a singe AS. Infantry squads always seem to battle themselves for the "best" 1m position within an AS. Of particular nuisance is the messy tie between a squads lMG gunner and its internally associated assistant gunner. Formation SOPS for all kind of units. For human players it´s still heavy micro managing and splitting units to get something like formations working, even on lowest scale. In AIP´s hands it´s a hopeless mess and there´s fairly little what one can do with orders and move zones/waypoints.

3. Buildings which got damage set to roof or upper story, still remaining accessible to infantry. Also like to have more roof access generally or to allow firing/spotting from roofs that have no windows or other preset openings. It´s a matter of minutes to create a peeping or shooting hole in RL.

4. Individual editing of gear in a unit. Like adding/removing certain weaponry, binoculars or radios. Same for ammo depots and on board ammo on vehicles.

5. Recrewable vehicles. Some homeless vehicle crew members should be able to jump on a vehicle that needs just a particular member, or even just a driver that moves a crewless vehicle out of harms way and such. Can be limited to same nation and general vehicle type maybe.

6. Seperate map layer. That for independent scrolling and zooming, as well as making notes on it for different reasons (unit positions, goals, target names, frontlines etc.) Can either be auto generated through game engine (birdseye view screen capture) or from user input.

7. More immersive and better to particular actions tied game audio. Also removing incoming sounds for mortars and associated pre warning for affected target units.

8. Below level ground combat (not entirely underground). In example buildings with 3D cellar (or comparable) can be "prebaked" and tied into the terrain mesh. Same for foxholes and trenches. To avoid FOW issues create a game mode that disallows anything but ground level unit view. This makes spotting of individual "objects" quite unnecessary.

9. Off map player reinforcements that can be brought on map at opportunity or trigger. Maybe also with choice of map entry, as long as it´s on the friendly map edge(s). Same for AIP. Simple "if force strength/morale falls below..." bring preset reinforcement in (on map).

10. Various "If then" selection branches for AIP plans. In example: If AIP formation X falls below certain strength/morale, then cancel all follow up orders. Followed by things like "hold position", or disengage-move to rearward selection point.

11. Better unit frontline awareness to avoid stupid running/retreating toward the enemy frontline. I´ll never understand we have friendly/enemy map edge setting if the game engine doesn´t really make use of it (other than off board artillery incoming pattern).

12. Variable weather during mission time. Rising or vanishing fog, precipitation or cloud cover in a moon lit night.

13. Neutral pillboxes, that are just way stronger types of buildings currently in the game.

14. More realistic treatment of buildings with regard to wall/floor thicknesses and materials. Current system is rather a bad joke IMO. Same for damage models. At least add decals for progressing damages, change textures with blown out windows and such. Curently we either have peace like environments or bad looking flat rubble tiles from few shots of HE. Since certain things can be done in editor, why can´t the game create such things on the fly, like i.e rubble strewn on streets (bump map graphic layer, NOT 3D objects). If it´s due to extra data computation and storing, then get rid of the useless RT mode! RT hinders further development of various things in the game the most IMHO. There´s none of that concerns in WEGO as it´s compensated by somewhat longer turn resolution computing time maybe. Or if RT remains a must have (for whatever reason), make two seperate games with each game beeing optimized for each mode.

15. to 1xxx ... no time for that ATM.

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C2

I'd like to see improvements to the C2 system that includes a basic set of SOP's. So it would be helpful if there was a mode, say, Iron mode, where the god view didn't let you see spotted enemy or enemy icons unless the spotting unit had a green comms link with the highest ranking officer on the field eg. A scout team sees an enemy unit and reports it via voice to their squad, the squad leader informs the platoon CO via voice, the platoon leader then radio's the company CO with the intel: only then, when Coy gets the information does the enemy icon appear in god view to the player, assuming Coy CO is the highest ranking officer. If there's a break in the C2 chain then you wouldn't get to see the enemy icon. 

 

Dual monitor support

I'd love to be able to have my normal 3D view on my main monitor and a 2D map view on my other monitor.

 

AI headless client

An AI headless client on another PC would be very helpful.

 

Replay the whole battle

It'd be great to be able to replay the whole battle at once, instead of having it broken up into minute chunks.

 

On 7/30/2019 at 10:41 AM, Bulletpoint said:

My focus would be on increasing fidelity and realism within the current map sizes. Also I'd look at adding an operational layer for the bigger picture and make it possible for players to do multiplayer campaigns.

Meanwhile, I would try to put in some quality of life improvements, such as a road movement system or solution of some kind.

Some of this stuff would be pretty easy to implement. Such as TRPs automatically showing a circle to mark their area of effect. Making the fire support interface less cumbersome. Adding scroll bars and increasing font size in unit purchase screens. Etc.

 

+1

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On 9/8/2019 at 8:15 AM, RockinHarry said:

7. More immersive and better to particular actions tied game audio.

?? I am not totally clear about the first part. I think you mean "improve the audio" and have said improved audio better coordinated with game actions. Even if that is right can you offer an example for two?

On 9/8/2019 at 8:15 AM, RockinHarry said:

Also removing incoming sounds for mortars and associated pre warning for affected target units.

I don't follow this one? Are you saying that mortar rounds are silent and should not be heard by the targeted unit? And are you further saying that targeted units currently react to the sound? Note I do not believe that the tac AI does react to the sound - I am sure it only reacts to the explosions that typically follow shortly there after.

 

21 hours ago, 2Dog said:

An AI headless client on another PC would be very helpful.

Can you explain what this is and how it works?

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3 hours ago, IanL said:

Can you explain what this is and how it works?

I remember in ARMA you could offload all or part of the AI from a server to a particular client that dedicated to doing all of the AI calculations. I think ARMA's AI was CPU limited, so since the client was able to run faster, the AI acted faster and seemed smarter.

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6 hours ago, IanL said:

?? I am not totally clear about the first part. I think you mean "improve the audio" and have said improved audio better coordinated with game actions. Even if that is right can you offer an example for two?

I don't follow this one? Are you saying that mortar rounds are silent and should not be heard by the targeted unit? And are you further saying that targeted units currently react to the sound? Note I do not believe that the tac AI does react to the sound - I am sure it only reacts to the explosions that typically follow shortly there after.

Wrote that down more in a hurry. Pardon me. General improvement of audio, particularly voice files. Germans are quite terrible and a mixed bag with lots of inappropiate sonic environment and partly worse than hollywood style phrases. High time to replace these CMX1 ones with something made more professionally. I´d also imagine environmental audio where particular ambience at cam position is taken into consideration. Indoor and outdoor ambiences, also varying with room sizes, environmental effects like rain, fog (more muffled) or cold clear nights which all have different ambience audio properties. That I´d call "immersive". Can´t tell too much on non german phrasings, but I think the english language ones are likely among the better. Off course just can judge from the games (CMBN, CMFB) and Demo´s (CMSF2, CMRT) I played.

Got to retest with mortars again. Think there´s a difference between onboard and offboard mortars concerning incoming shell sounds (just tested 82mm and below). Beside pixeltroopers triggering the "incoming!" or german "Artilleriebeschuss!" ect sound files for mortars I´ve yet to check if there´s also a "reaction" in behavior or soft factors for units concerned. I should know more tomorrow. I´m in the middle of testing a mission of mine which in parts is a mutual mortar slugfest.

Edited by RockinHarry
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5 hours ago, Attilaforfun said:

I assure you...mortar rounds (and rockets) are quiet audible to the target unit IRL. :)

I wasn´t too specific with my statements, yes. From WW2 reports and veteran accounts I know it was mentioned oftentimes that mortar rounds weren´t heard incoming initially. Yet they didn´t tell on mortar calibre and type which likely makes bits of a difference. Low V0 and weight rounds are likely in little audible class (up to ~80mm), but larger calibre and more modern ones (100-120mm +) are surely more audible I´d guess.

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16 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

General improvement of audio, particularly voice files. Germans are quite terrible and a mixed bag with lots of inappropiate sonic environment and partly worse than hollywood style phrases. High time to replace these CMX1 ones with something made more professionally. I´d also imagine environmental audio where particular ambience at cam position is taken into consideration. Indoor and outdoor ambiences, also varying with room sizes, environmental effects like rain, fog (more muffled) or cold clear nights which all have different ambience audio properties. That I´d call "immersive".

Roger that.

Clearly some people pay way more attention to the sounds than I do - and that's a good thing. I do not have much of an ear. I have tried a few sound mods and so far have always removed them because I didn't like them better than the stock sounds.

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On 9/9/2019 at 4:16 PM, IanL said:

Can you explain what this is and how it works?

Combat mission is AI intensive and would benefit greatly from having some or all of the AI process run on another core, or cores, of the CPU. If the AI was running on multiple cores it may allow a departure from the grid based action spots.

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37 minutes ago, 2Dog said:

Combat mission is AI intensive and would benefit greatly from having some or all of the AI process run on another core, or cores, of the CPU. If the AI was running on multiple cores it may allow a departure from the grid based action spots.

Agreed that a new engine that was able to take advantage of multiple cores would be useful and desirable. I don't see running additional processes on a different computer over some kind of network connection as being worth the effort though. Supporting multi threading and making good use of other cores does make sense for many things in newly designed game.

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