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Metaridley

Yet another attempt and concept for a possible Camo Pillbox Implementation

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Going to bed brings alot of ideas for everything, so i brainstormed in the night (when my brain decides not to sleep) how we bring back the Camo Pillbox in a good way.

So first of all, the CPB is a tactical - optional- defensive structure for the allies obviously.

But first we have to flatten it from his previous versions. The old version from Renalert has good textures but it was way too big.
Mf7TlDM.jpg

The texture is perfectly fitting with the enviroment, thats a big plus, you can't notice it from far away.

The I.Apex Version has a bit better size but is also too high, i would flatten it by half and the turret should be set a bit down into the ground.  Also the Turret should also get a camo texture (maybe)
YwNLKRt.jpg

The Green Version is ofcourse too high in this example.
KYncIjD.jpg


For Balancing this "extra" base defense, i have a few pro's and contra arguments.

Pro's:
- CPB has more range, more health/armor and higher damage/ higher shot rate than the normal PB (not extraordinary much but more like a "advanced" PB)
---- for a range extra, attacked units can't see the shot angle until they come closer to 30 meters (or so, just a example)
- Camo is freely deployable on certain points of the map with a special terminal (found in the CY/PP maybe or whatever building) with the preview-map system from the Chrono Tank
T2VYuf7.jpg

- in combination with the previous argument, the CPB is perfectly adjusted on the terrain textures, so the CPB need 3-4 texture versions (snow, rock, desert, grass?)
---- maybe the CPB also gets a invisible bonus without the gap generator (but i'm not sure if that makes the CPB too strong)

Contra's:
- The CPB isn't available on every map obv.
- The CPB should cost a decent amount of money (1000-2000 credits)
- The CPB amount on the map is restricted to 1-4 (depending on the map)
- Allies can't rebuild the CPB if it's destroyed
- The biggest flaw/weakness = because it's very flat, you can't use the CPB on top or in front of hills, it can't look up/down on units that are not in a horizontal angle
a few examples where the CPB can't shoot
Z8yCAPe.jpgRVNtSYr.jpgqDWXF4r.jpg

so... yeah i hope we can start to re-implementing the CPB again with that ideas, feel free to adjust my idea!

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The purpose of the camo pillbox in Red Alert was to surprise your opponents in multiplayer and catch the less-trained eye off-guard. In APB where building and base defense placements are static, there's no point. However, I can see the camo pillbox making an appearance if there were a randomized base defense script created with several possible spawn locations for base defenses.

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34 minutes ago, Jeod said:

The purpose of the camo pillbox in Red Alert was to surprise your opponents in multiplayer and catch the less-trained eye off-guard. In APB where building and base defense placements are static, there's no point. However, I can see the camo pillbox making an appearance if there were a randomized base defense script created with several possible spawn locations for base defenses.

That sounds like a heck of a thing to balance all those spawn locations.

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thats why i would use player-controlled placement of these boxes. because it's a tactical team shooter, you also should use a bit of tactic with the camo PBs

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In all honesty, I think we may be overthinking the camo pillbox a bit. We're all thinking of it as only being useful if it was 100% unpredictable 100% of the time. Personally, I don't think we need to go that far. It's not like it's instantly useless the second that it's spotted.

I honestly think we could get away with giving it a terrain-matching texture, some minor cover, and place it in ambush locations. Sure, people would learn where it is, but they'd still have to hunt down and destroy it. Simple texture change, armor buff, and clever placement would be enough to make it fun to find and fight, without being too powerful. Stuff like randomized locations would probably be a bit too much in practice.

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While I do like the concept of the camouflage pillbox, I don’t think this specialized defense has a place in APB.

Let me explain: for starters the current build is not designed/balanced for buildable defenses. Most maps have a few defenses making each one insanely valuable, and thus adding/subtracting one would immensely change the map balance (unlike the prior mentioned I.A. which each base has 15-20 if not more semi-easy to kill defenses).

secondly, APB’s current pillbox design is made for combat in all terrain, for as you stated the flat design of a camo-pillbox leaves it two big blind spots: above and below. 

Thirdly it’s been tried before, and in two different conceptions: one was as you described but the gun comes through the roof to fix the blind spot issue. The other design being a pillbox with a cloaking device. The first concept looked rediculus. The second concept became pointless, because all the enemy has to do is wave the targeting reticule over where the invisible target is to see if it is still there.

Despite all the above reasoning I do like the idea, and who knows it might happen down the road. But as for now there is little to no chance it would be implemented.

 

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The reason why in IA the turret isn't super low is because then it would end up aiming into the ground far too often. There are maps in IA where the camo pillboxes are super hard to spot. Blazing sands in particular sticks out. The camo pillbox also has tons of health (although IA doesn't have a normal pillbox)

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On 5/19/2019 at 11:44 AM, Jeod said:

The purpose of the camo pillbox in Red Alert was to surprise your opponents in multiplayer and catch the less-trained eye off-guard.

While the topic is old I'd like to add that the Camo Pill Box was more then just "camouflaged" it had 200 more HP than the regular one bringing it from 400 to 600 so it was pretty much a straight upgrade leaving the Pillbox obsolete other than costing more. I think the Pillbox needs 4 MGs poking out in each corner (2 in front and 2 at back) rather than one in the center which will help it aim up and down better, plus it will increase its usefulness.

Edited by Chad1233

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On 9/12/2019 at 6:49 PM, dblaney1 said:

The reason why in IA the turret isn't super low is because then it would end up aiming into the ground far too often. There are maps in IA where the camo pillboxes are super hard to spot. Blazing sands in particular sticks out. The camo pillbox also has tons of health (although IA doesn't have a normal pillbox)

Blazing sands pillboxes get me every time :doh:

There is also that thing where IA pillboxes are insanely difficult to kill, compared to APB. Their weakspots are on top, so if you're in a flat vehicle or an infantry on flat ground, you have a hard time hitting them.

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So some older prototypes or from older versions of APB has the same Pillbox model but with more health and clocked. The main issue with this was, you know just where the Pillbox is going to be each time, but it's harder to hit if you don't commit each places to mind.

The other options could be, have a new model with a good design to hit it but lower and sleeker so it's still harder to hit, but have random spawn locations around the base for the limited Camo Pillboxes to spawn each map load (if I'm repeating what anyone else has said it's because I did skim over some posts and I apologise).

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We had already been considered random spawn locations for things like trees in AR to make it less obvious when a mirage tank is hiding when people have learnt where the trees on a map are...  Although you don't need flat terrain for a tree since you can embed it in the ground a bit, so less sensitive to placement issues

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Lightbulb: While working on some stuff internally, the idea was tossed around for target boxes to be disabled on a team basis. That conversation was completely unrelated to APB, but part of me wonders; what if that could be applied to the hypothetical camo pillbox? That would certainly make it a touch more difficult to track down and destroy. Sure, you'd know where it is, but it'd change the encounter from "I just have to stay back and scan with my reticle" to "There's a camo pillbox around here, I need to be careful." There's also the fact that people will tend to let things slip their mind, and the fact that this same argument doesn't really apply to the Gap Gen... I think it could work.

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Maybe if there were multiple CPBs on a map and only some were activated via scripts at mapstart. The rest would still leave their debris though which would be a bit of a pain to suddely collide with, and it's also extra work for the mappers and scripts guys.

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35 minutes ago, Jeod said:

Maybe if there were multiple CPBs on a map and only some were activated via scripts at mapstart.

This is just adding more RNG to the game. The success rates of Soviet rushes at the start of the game will become heavily dependent on if the randomly spawning CPB happened to be in the "right" location this time or not. And Allied defense in general will be more RNG based because some CPB spawn positions are just better than others. Every possible place that a CPB can spawn also has to be blocked off from AI movement (both regular bots and ore trucks) because pathfinding zones can't be added or taken away mid-game so every location has to be accounted for, so there is very little room in which they can actually be added without interfering with bots and ore trucks. Debris wouldn't be a concern though, we can script-delete a pillbox without it leaving debris behind.

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54 minutes ago, Killing_You said:

Lightbulb: While working on some stuff internally, the idea was tossed around for target boxes to be disabled on a team basis. That conversation was completely unrelated to APB, but part of me wonders; what if that could be applied to the hypothetical camo pillbox? That would certainly make it a touch more difficult to track down and destroy. Sure, you'd know where it is, but it'd change the encounter from "I just have to stay back and scan with my reticle" to "There's a camo pillbox around here, I need to be careful." There's also the fact that people will tend to let things slip their mind, and the fact that this same argument doesn't really apply to the Gap Gen... I think it could work.

That conversation actually came about in relation to camo pillboxes, and it got applied to submarines. Which are actually difficult enough to see through water that it manages to be a very slight buff to submarines. It really wouldn't do much for camo pillboxes because the way lighting works in general and the way detail works now means that, in most cases, they will be incredibly easy to spot.

The Renalert camo pillbox shown in the OP - the only one of the three CPB images where it's actually hard to see - is placed entirely in shadow (either because the map just has low lighting, or because of terrain nearby that we can't see) to make sure that it doesn't get lit differently from the terrain, and in APB there are only so many places where this approach would be feasible.

And back then, you'd have a pillbox surrounded by a wide open field of snow/grass or a cliff covered in the same snow/grass texture, which makes it easy to camouflage with a simple texture change combined with shadow-fuckery.

Screenshot.308.png

Whereas now, background elements actually exist and texture variations actually exist, which means that wouldn't work. Every single map that could have CPBs would need its own dedicated CPB models appropriately textured to the intended surroundings and with other fluff like piled snow or foliage, and multiple per map at that to account for the different surroundings that each CPB could be located in if a team has more than 1 or we take the RNG approach.

It'll be very hard to hide these things well enough for disabling targeting to actually do something.

Also I hate how much this acronym looks like CBT

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8 hours ago, Pushwall said:

Also I hate how much this acronym looks like CBT

I hate that I have an idea of what you may be referring to.

maxresdefault.jpg

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Just gonna necro this thread casually.

The real purpose of the camo pillbox was that it was tougher to kill, as chad mentioned. So just focus on making it tougher than the standard pillbox that makes it more effective i.e More health or higher damage resistances vs basic infantry.

 

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*helps fegman casually necro this thread* :v 

So this is a thing too...

Screenshot.1.png

You can check them out yourself in the map "Sidewinder" in APB Beta (on the launcher).

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On 1/28/2020 at 6:48 PM, Eggman891 said:

Just gonna necro this thread casually.

The real purpose of the camo pillbox was that it was tougher to kill, as chad mentioned. So just focus on making it tougher than the standard pillbox that makes it more effective i.e More health or higher damage resistances vs basic infantry.

 

It was also shorter in RA, in APB this would make it harder to hit, especially for V2s. The normal Pillbox is so easy to hit with a V2 atm.

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8 hours ago, moonsense715 said:

It was also shorter in RA, in APB this would make it harder to hit, especially for V2s. The normal Pillbox is so easy to hit with a V2 atm.

As the OP said though, this would also inhibit its angles of attack. The higher up a defense's weapon is, the easier it is for it to get line of sight on targets that are attacking from a higher or lower elevation. There were some maps that used to have sunken pillboxes to mimic the RA camo pillbox effect, like Seamist and River Raid, and that made them weaker because you could just attack them from a hill and have much more leeway for not getting targeted than you currently do.

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