Dev Diary 2 - Objectives

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Ritalingamer
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Dev Diary 2 - Objectives

Unread postby Ritalingamer » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:57 pm

Tomislav's second Diary is out - this time tackling how the next game will set objectives.
https://unityofcommand.net/blog/2015/04/ ... bjectives/

There's a lot of new stuff here - bonus objectives, penalties for excessive losses, a more dynamic campaign - what do you guys think? What sounds good? What worrieconcerns you? What questions do you have?

AJE
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Re: Dev Diary 2 - Objectives

Unread postby AJE » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:41 am

I've been playing Panzer General Forever lately (really good classic game) and I've noticed that games with persistent losses like Panzer General, Panzer Corps, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown have a serious problem in the late game. Once some units survive the first levels, they end up with more experience, and you win more points to upgrade them. This makes those units stronger, and the next stage easier to win with less losses, and so on. It snowballs to the point that as long as you babysit your top units, you'll reach the last levels with a "core" of maximum veterancy, full strength, unstoppable units that will sweep all before them with practically no losses (especially in your air force).

Needless to say, it makes the game get easier as you go on, and the endgame is practically trivial. For example, right now I'm at late 1942 in my Panzer General campaign and I already have a few full veterancy 15 strength Tiger 1s that are practically invincible. The way Panzer General seems to balance this is to make the levels increasingly (and unrealistically) difficult as the campaign progresses. XCOM: Enemy Unknown gets around this by limiting the number of soldiers you can take into any level, but a strategy game with persistent losses and no unit limits will just result in a really easy endgame, because of the veterancy your units will have developed. It might be best to just forget the persistent losses and use fresh units for each level like UoC does now.

Ritalingamer
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Re: Dev Diary 2 - Objectives

Unread postby Ritalingamer » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:20 pm

AJE wrote:I've been playing Panzer General Forever lately (really good classic game) and I've noticed that games with persistent losses like Panzer General, Panzer Corps, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown have a serious problem in the late game. Once some units survive the first levels, they end up with more experience, and you win more points to upgrade them. This makes those units stronger, and the next stage easier to win with less losses, and so on. It snowballs to the point that as long as you babysit your top units, you'll reach the last levels with a "core" of maximum veterancy, full strength, unstoppable units that will sweep all before them with practically no losses (especially in your air force).

Needless to say, it makes the game get easier as you go on, and the endgame is practically trivial. For example, right now I'm at late 1942 in my Panzer General campaign and I already have a few full veterancy 15 strength Tiger 1s that are practically invincible. The way Panzer General seems to balance this is to make the levels increasingly (and unrealistically) difficult as the campaign progresses. XCOM: Enemy Unknown gets around this by limiting the number of soldiers you can take into any level, but a strategy game with persistent losses and no unit limits will just result in a really easy endgame, because of the veterancy your units will have developed. It might be best to just forget the persistent losses and use fresh units for each level like UoC does now.


I can't speak for Tomislav, but I don't see this as a problem. In the games you cite, your units or soldiers have access to awesome upgrades and an effectively unlimited 'level cap' of cumulative experience. In Unity of Command, you can only make an elite Panzer Division so strong - the best you can do is keep it at full strength of seven pips and elite, maybe add a specialist - that's it.

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Tomislav Uzelac
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Re: Dev Diary 2 - Objectives

Unread postby Tomislav Uzelac » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:13 pm

Having the endgame snowball into being entirely trivial is exactly what we're trying to avoid.

There's no guarantee we'll be successful in balancing, that's always tricky. But now we have some good balancing tools to work with: buying own reinforcements eats into prestige and prevents hoarding. Also, bonus objectives don't give much prestige at all, so as you become better and start chasing "what if" outcomes, the game automatically becomes more difficult.

Fingers crossed that it all works out :)

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TIK
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Re: Dev Diary 2 - Objectives

Unread postby TIK » Thu May 14, 2015 12:48 pm

I'm liking the way this game's developing. In my opinion, units continuing throughout the campaign is a great idea, so long as they can't become super-units like the others said. And being able to affect the course of the campaign will make things more dynamic. Bonus objectives are interesting too. Will it be possible to capture all the bonus objectives in every mission? Or will you force the player to make a choice between say two different bonus objectives, but each offering different bonuses or outcomes?

May I request the ability to rename units? This is mainly a selfish reasons - being able to rename units after my YouTube subscribers as we fight through a campaign encourages them to participate/comment on my videos, but also has the added benefit that they become interested in the game.

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Tomislav Uzelac
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Re: Dev Diary 2 - Objectives

Unread postby Tomislav Uzelac » Thu May 21, 2015 1:28 pm

TIK wrote:Will it be possible to capture all the bonus objectives in every mission?


In principle, there's no reason why you couldn't capture all bonus objectives.

However, not only will their bonuses be different, but they may also be mutually exclusive. For example, you cannot shift the axis of attack (in the next scenario) to both left and right flanks.

Since bonus objectives give little prestige, in most situations you'd want to make a choice, rather than go for all the objectives.

TIK wrote:May I request the ability to rename units?


I'm not sure. I still need to work this out in detail - how unit persistence will be realized in the campaign.

If there is highly detailed persistence (I'm looking at different models for this), some renaming of units may be possible, yeah.


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