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Siege and Hostile Waters Check-Up

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6 hours ago, TeamWolf said:

Has the land route idea for HW been completely scrapped?

It was not feasible despite several designs having been considered for it.

The long land route was simply too darn long, it would take vehicles several minutes to reach the other base, and infantry? Just nope.

I had a rail cart system further into development and this would essentially break up a long underground gem-filled cavern into several cart-linked "platforms" where fighting could occur,  while significantly cutting down the travel time from base to base due to those carts, the problem is W3D does not appreciate horizontal elevator movement over network play (it barely likes regular elevator movement). I had to can it over serious playability concerns - and yes, I was using all the collision mesh trickery in the world to make it function to begin with.

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So I just made this mockup of what a new HW might look like vs the current one.

hw.png

After drawing it I realise having the dome that far forward might be a bit problematic. Not entirely certain on the missile silo as a replacement for the conyard either especially since the base is smaller.

Due to the reduced map size it might be possible that the bergs are close enough to the base that snipers can hit rockets that are sitting on them. So even if the only way onto the icebergs is to use chinook taxis, snipers could stay relevant and we may not need the cold damage I talked about before!

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By making the naval buildings not directly face each other you create two attack possibilities; The "short and predictable route" and the "holy shit this is longer than the old HW route".

Why not save a ton of time, use the existing islands but move them significantly closer to each other while essentially cutting the icebergs out completely minus the small drifting ones with no access on top unless you fly on to them (and then murder infantry with a cold winds DoT zone).

This means no capturable objectives of any sort and infantry get delegated purely to LST/Chinook drop offs.

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26 minutes ago, Pushwall said:

So I just made this mockup of what a new HW might look like vs the current one.

hw.png

In order to make infantry more relevant, why not have an ice berg that floats near the enemy base or more likely leads to it so you're able to mount infantry attacks from a stable platform. This would grant infantry a viable option attacking the rest of the base. As of now there is no point using them due to defenses abound the base. Of course this would detract a bit from the whole entire naval warfare aspect but I am not seeing any way of solving this map unless the size is drastically reduced, there are more ways of attacking the base or more land is added with the possibility of vehicles (Which it seems most of these are out of the question).

Edited by Threve

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1 hour ago, Raap said:

By making the naval buildings not directly face each other you create two attack possibilities; The "short and predictable route" and the "holy shit this is longer than the old HW route".

"Longer than the old HW route" is still significantly shorter than the old HW route to any of the important rear buildings - and hey, it works out for Pacific Threat. In HW, in a scenario where Tanya doesn't exist, you practically have to starve a team of all their money and/or barracks in order to be able to take the naval building down. Trouble there is the original layout heavily disincentivizes attacking other buildings by making them take twice as long to reach, having auto-repairs from CY, massively limiting what buildings dests, missile subs, and LSTs are able to hit back there, and providing a big enticing pointwhoring pinata in the middle that people will happily focus on even if they have no hope of taking it down because it's free points that are much, much easier to reach than anything else is.

1 hour ago, Raap said:

Why not save a ton of time, use the existing islands but move them significantly closer to each other

Considering how complicated the meshes and the endgame scripts are I certainly don't see this saving a "ton" of time - and it doesn't do much for the problem of the feasibility of hitting non-naval buildings especially if the naval buildings continue to jut out of the front providing easy reinforcement and encouraging people to take the easy pointwhoring target instead of options that make it easier to actually end the game.

I should be able to transplant the unconnected bergs to Greybox Waters easily enough though.

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Ok, I'll let you experiment as you see fit, and I will withdraw from further input on this topic, as I'm simply not the right person for it, considering that my opinion is biased. :)

Frankly, my design approach has had its foundation shaken in the light of recent conclusions so I need to reflect on that and deliver something the current playerbase actually enjoys before feeling confident in sharing my opinion again.

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And a quick Max mockup of a potential island layout. Terrain colour-coded by height by doing some quick sliceplanes for the sake of the demonstration; blue is just inching out over sea level and red is 9 metres above ground - those AA guns poking over the ridge will be difficult targets for boats while still providing effective coverage against chinooks even if they try to hug the water surface, as the AA guns' barrels sit 1.5m higher than the peak of the terrain.

I'm iffy on the idea of no barracks. Plus side is it'd be ~unique~, would solve the easy repair problem by taking engies out of the equation entirely, and if LSTs ever get to carry vehicles, we could add MT/HT terminals to the Dome and successfully landing one of those on enemy shores would take a while to bring down without any rockets so it may actually be worth bringing in addition to the infantry in the LST. Downside is, you'd basically have no response to aircraft if the AA/SAMs opposite your naval building went down, unarmoured techies have basically no hope of repairing the AA/SAMs if they're under dest/missub fire, and spies don't exist so if we ever get a better implementation for the Sonar Pulse then that's a whole naval map that it's missing from.

And the big question of "Soviet airfield?" This is thinking far ahead but MiGs are a counter to cruisers. Full blown naval with planes would be epic. But it wouldn't work right now because Yaks are not meant to be anti-boat units, but anti-infantry and anti-building - infantry just don't exist on enough of the map to facilitate that role, and the bases are designed in such a way that an attacking team needs to put in a lot of work to make them accessible to aircraft so they suffer in that role too. But in the event of MiGs - does it replace the missile silo or radar dome, or replace the Helipad because there's a lot of overlap between the Hind/Yak (but this also means no Soviet chinooks unless we specially let nooks be bought from the airfield here), or just make it an extra? Soviet island would need to quite a bit bigger to faciliate it too - the airfield spans the length between the dome and SD in this image, and the width between the helipad and silos, not to mention it needs free space at either end of the runway to allow for clean takeoffs.

Image2.png

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So the Soviet island has also been quickly mapped out. I went with airfield and letting nooks be bought from it, that way if nooks still turn out to be a bad idea in general then it's easy to drop the map back to "vanilla" behaviour where chinooks aren't available to Allies because they're Allies and aren't available to Soviets because no helipad. :v There's also the as-of-yet unseen snow airfield. Maybe we should get a snow missile silo too.

Why Tesla coils? Because Gunboats can't handle them. Attack subs can't handle pillboxes because they can't hit land targets at all, so I guess it's only fair that the Soviet base defenses should be something Gunboats can't handle even in small groups (though 6 gunboats could probably down a coil). Destroyers still outrange them as usual.

It shouldn't take much time to get this to testable levels and take a slight variation on what Raap suggested - deleting the original islands from the map, plopping these down on it (except not in the same positions because there's meant to be a shorter distance) so that the original underwater space can be retained, and axing the bigger bergs.

(And if Raap sees this, yes, I know I forgot to tick valpha on some things, and the AA gun platforms are temporary and will become rocks later to continue the original island themes you laid out :v)

Screenshot.183.png

Screenshot.182.png

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Siege has a blind spot near the Allied APP where Silverlight can go "lolteamwork" and get 5 Soviets inside within the first 3 minutes of a game. Please construst additional AA guns for protection against this cheese.

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Can't do anything about it without a more precise description of where the blind spot is than "near the Allied PP". I'm sure that half of the places "near the Allied PP" that I could place AA guns would make absolutely no impact on this.

Also, why are we discussing making the defenses stronger when one of the reasons why the maps is bad is that attacking the bases is nigh impossible?

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On ‎8‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 1:14 PM, Pushwall said:

And a quick Max mockup of a potential island layout. Terrain colour-coded by height by doing some quick sliceplanes for the sake of the demonstration; blue is just inching out over sea level and red is 9 metres above ground - those AA guns poking over the ridge will be difficult targets for boats while still providing effective coverage against chinooks even if they try to hug the water surface, as the AA guns' barrels sit 1.5m higher than the peak of the terrain.

I'm iffy on the idea of no barracks. Plus side is it'd be ~unique~, would solve the easy repair problem by taking engies out of the equation entirely, and if LSTs ever get to carry vehicles, we could add MT/HT terminals to the Dome and successfully landing one of those on enemy shores would take a while to bring down without any rockets so it may actually be worth bringing in addition to the infantry in the LST. Downside is, you'd basically have no response to aircraft if the AA/SAMs opposite your naval building went down, unarmoured techies have basically no hope of repairing the AA/SAMs if they're under dest/missub fire, and spies don't exist so if we ever get a better implementation for the Sonar Pulse then that's a whole naval map that it's missing from.

And the big question of "Soviet airfield?" This is thinking far ahead but MiGs are a counter to cruisers. Full blown naval with planes would be epic. But it wouldn't work right now because Yaks are not meant to be anti-boat units, but anti-infantry and anti-building - infantry just don't exist on enough of the map to facilitate that role, and the bases are designed in such a way that an attacking team needs to put in a lot of work to make them accessible to aircraft so they suffer in that role too. But in the event of MiGs - does it replace the missile silo or radar dome, or replace the Helipad because there's a lot of overlap between the Hind/Yak (but this also means no Soviet chinooks unless we specially let nooks be bought from the airfield here), or just make it an extra? Soviet island would need to quite a bit bigger to faciliate it too - the airfield spans the length between the dome and SD in this image, and the width between the helipad and silos, not to mention it needs free space at either end of the runway to allow for clean takeoffs.

Image2.png

on the cruisers topic if migs and or yaks would counter cruisers would the cruisers have some sort of anti air defense capability's like sams but they would be put on each side just one on each side or aa guns because I don't see how cruiser's can defend against a mig or a yak if migs would be a good counter against a cruiser with its main guns unless it is bigger than the destroyer because it would have more room to fit more weapon's but other than that I think cruisers need a sort of anti air defense against migs or yaks, and the only thing to counter migs and yaks is to use destroyers but for that to happen you  to have a fleet and if you have people who don't have enough money to buy a destroyer or none have one then your cruiser is basicly screwed but with this new lock on feature it takes away and brings the need to have anti air to cruisers but I think migs should have guns and missiles so they don't have to just use it on ground use as it takes away the ammunition use of missiles. Speaking of missiles I noticed a missile silo and also why is there no conyard is there a reason for this. Abd about the new hostile waters it seems smaller map wise

Edited by thedisclaimitory

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3 hours ago, Pushwall said:

Can't do anything about it without a more precise description of where the blind spot is than "near the Allied PP". I'm sure that half of the places "near the Allied PP" that I could place AA guns would make absolutely no impact on this.

Also, why are we discussing making the defenses stronger when one of the reasons why the maps is bad is that attacking the bases is nigh impossible?

Protect against cheese > Bases defended too well

Alternative to anothr AA gun, placing a pillbox at the back entrance to the APP would work well.

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On 8/8/2018 at 4:13 PM, thedisclaimitory said:

on the cruisers topic if migs and or yaks would counter cruisers would the cruisers have some sort of anti air defense capability's like sams but they would be put on each side just one on each side or aa guns because I don't see how cruiser's can defend against a mig or a yak if migs would be a good counter against a cruiser with its main guns unless it is bigger than the destroyer because it would have more room to fit more weapon's but other than that I think cruisers need a sort of anti air defense against migs or yaks, and the only thing to counter migs and yaks is to use destroyers but for that to happen you  to have a fleet and if you have people who don't have enough money to buy a destroyer or none have one then your cruiser is basicly screwed but with this new lock on feature it takes away and brings the need to have anti air to cruisers

While true, we must also bear in mind that the cruiser is a unit that can annhilate bases single handedly if left unchecked from EXTREME distances. I think the RA wiki states it’s about 9 Screens or so worth of distance. Further more, while armored it has or is supposed to have zero protection from subs. A trade off could be that it auto repairs maybe but seeing as how much of a annhilator it’s supposed to be, it’s bound to have some weaknesses. I’m interested to see how it will work seeing as it’s supposed to be an artillery with basically the range of a sniper rifle if not further... 

Edited by Threve

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I can have a look at a bot plugin for rotating maps randomly and based on rules if you like - I've got some good ideas for how it could work 🙂

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5 hours ago, danpaul88 said:

I can have a look at a bot plugin for rotating maps randomly and based on rules if you like - I've got some good ideas for how it could work 🙂

We already have one that randomizes them and restricts them based on player count but if you can do it better than Silverlight... :v

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2 minutes ago, Pushwall said:

We already have one that randomizes them and restricts them based on player count but if you can do it better than Silverlight... :v

Just noted earlier that you said it didn't work well in some cases, wasn't sure if it was being actively developed to fix those issues or not?

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Hold on - you think you could create level sequences based on victory conditions of a previous level? Say the Soviets win in level 1, therefore the server jumps to level 3, where as if the Allies win the server would have jumped to level 2.

This way you could start thinking of series of thematically connected levels as a campaign sequence rather than individual levels.

I'm not saying APB would make use of that, but it would certainly open up some interesting concepts.

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7 hours ago, Raap said:

Hold on - you think you could create level sequences based on victory conditions of a previous level? Say the Soviets win in level 1, therefore the server jumps to level 3, where as if the Allies win the server would have jumped to level 2.

This way you could start thinking of series of thematically connected levels as a campaign sequence rather than individual levels.

I'm not saying APB would make use of that, but it would certainly open up some interesting concepts.

Off the bat I think the fds-engine relationship has a limitation, pretty sure it can't change a map after the score screen appears. Could be wrong though.

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32 minutes ago, Jeod said:

Off the bat I think the fds-engine relationship has a limitation, pretty sure it can't change a map after the score screen appears. Could be wrong though.

Could probably handle it prior to a score screen by rigging your game to end on custom logic rather than stock building destruction logic.

So you'd end up having your players do whatever would otherwise finish the game but send this info to a 'transitional controller', linger for a few seconds, then end the game as expected. Question is can information be sent to the server for this purpose?

Edited by Raap

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5 hours ago, Raap said:

Could probably handle it prior to a score screen by rigging your game to end on custom logic rather than stock building destruction logic.

So you'd end up having your players do whatever would otherwise finish the game but send this info to a 'transitional controller', linger for a few seconds, then end the game as expected. Question is can information be sent to the server for this purpose?

What happens if the game ends by timeout? Or forced gameover, surrender, and other non-standard game enders? What becomes of the !nextmap command? How well would this work in combination with the "randomize and restrict based on playercount" system? What you ask is most likely doable, but effort. :v

Back to the topic I can say with absolute certainty that Simplified Waters will be in the next patch, all I have to do is figure out how to make the SAMs lining the walls reachable for manual repairs if needed (but then again I guess RaapHW got away with not needing this for its flame towers...) The islands will be lacking aesthetically (they're just pasted onto the HW ocean bed) but with a map as polarizing as Hostile Waters, I really don't want to put all the visual work in until I'm sure it plays well.

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Maybe do an evening where you run simple waters and disliked waters side by side for a feedback session.

As for the map rotation thing, I was merely interested in its potential, I never said it should be an APB thing. ;)

Edited by Raap

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You know, part of me wonders, of the people that always leave the game when these maps come up, do they even check the forums and know that the maps are being worked on/different?

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Most people do not care to share their opinion, or to get informed of changes. Usually this stems from two common reasons; They do not comprehend the English language sufficiently, or they come from a gaming background where changes rarely occur and they simply maintain that ideology. 

If you gave a player from Renegade (2001) a copy of APB his first instinct would be to take it as it is and expect nothing to change about it as this would be the correct assumption in his prior experience.

But while the language issue cannot be addressed by anyone here, what CAN be done is create more awareness of development. One very simple thing that could be done (on paper), is to implement a weekly login welcome message IN-GAME that utilizes the unit help menu logic. Every week (or every time a new update is pushed) users, upon first-login, could get a "Recent Changes" pop-up that in quick summary lists important changes - similar to Pushwall's patch note bold changes in terms of what they highlight, and with less words.

The closing line should, like the opening line, always be the same and read: For more information visit w3dhub.com.

In-game pop ups are in your face, you cannot un-see them, you cannot miss them. Pretty much all modern games use them to tell players, "HEY YOU! THIS IS HAPPENING!".

And because it'd be a weekly or update based thing, no one will get spammed with it.

The only thing that would make this more lovely is if the help pop-up allowed a little bit of basic text formatting, even something as simple as dividing the pop-up into 3 separate string inputs positioned just slightly further apart (vertically), while allowing a single custom GUI graphic to act as a background image (so you can create some horizontal rows or basic/generic, non-specific artwork to make pop-up windows look more appealing).

But yeah, sort of maybe off topic again? I don't know, i think it might be quite relevant for these two maps. Awareness of changes has always been a problem.

Edited by Raap

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I just feel like maybe we've been spitting into the wind maybe.  A popup would help, and tbh I'd thought of that but I don't know if it's possible. Just a quick "Hey this map is updated!" would be something.

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1 hour ago, OrangeP47 said:

I just feel like maybe we've been spitting into the wind maybe.  A popup would help, and tbh I'd thought of that but I don't know if it's possible. Just a quick "Hey this map is updated!" would be something.

The pop-up thing is possible because we've had it happen recently. On first log-in the game would inform you of the help key binding.

Taking this logic and making it a regular thing each update wouldn't be a far stretch.

What might not be possible right now without code changes however is adding the basic formatting stuff I mentioned. But, I don't think it is that far out of a concept, as it is literally just several strings in a GUI box (two of which never need to be updated) instead of one string, and a new GUI graphic for the window background.

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That'll just clog up the list of maps on map stats even more. There's also the issue of more frequently needing to mess with server/bot plugins that rely on specific map names. Normally we only have to do it every time we add or remove a map from the game or server rotation. Not looking forward to doing that for every patch that contains a changed map. Oh, and having the launcher install a whole "new" map file instead of just applying a small patch to an existing one.

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I've never seen games with level specific version numbers (publicly visible). It also doesn't say anything. What can you know that is different in 1.0 versus 2.0? There could be zero changes for all you would know.

The pop-up route to highlight key changes in an update is a certain way to highlight them to people who do not read forums. The highlights could use more approachable language to form them, so instead of the usual, borderline political tidy patch notes with precise information, the highlight lines would say "We fixed this map you didn't like!".

Edited by Raap

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Just a simple "Your game has been updated, would you like to read the changelog?" on the launcher would probably suffice.

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