Buzz Injection

With Sebastian starting to check in his performance improvements, and with 1.24 out and the OIC/TOE work underway with no obvious weed-whackers coming down the lawn, Gophur ran a production scheduling meeting on Tuesday. It felt darn good being reminded that there is life after TOEs. Don’t get your hopes up, I’m not spilling the beans…

(Update: There is some good comentary going on, I’ve made some rather lengthy responses – you might want to skip thru those comments before posting your own comments)

We’ve had quite a few projects tabled (US defn, i.e. scheduled for later discussion) and the way things are working, these have scuttled their way up the todo-list. Gophur’s taking a new approach for the next two dev cycles, trying to get us enthused about several related topics at once and putting them into “packages”.

For the longest time as a player I used to wonder why other players couldn’t see that a large part of CRS’s “not quite what I would have expected” development scheduling was simply down to the fact that a large team of different skills and specialities can’t all work on the same thing.

The actual todo list that Gophur pulled up was a couple of years worth of work :) So we selected various items that looked like obvious “needs” and “wants” for the next couple of releases, and then started culling/picking items based on their similarity and value to implement at the same time.

For instance, TOEs and OIC are going to introduce a lot of gameplay changes, and some of the items that were otherwise moving their way down the todolist suddenly become more significant. Example: Infield resupply.

This was also the first chance we’d had in a while to really talk about some of the many “hey we can do we this now” items that have been wallowing on the list. Some of them have been talked about in isolation before and been tabled for later or even much later, but as the meeting progressed we started seeing how those ideas gel and provide something meaningful to the short-term (next 6-8 months) development. Example: Two separate, so called, spawn at mission leader systems.

Gophur’s system is primarily about extending the MSP system to be mission-leader centric. The system killer/granik/myself advocate is more of a group cohesion system, which allows you to spawn at the mission leader once you hook up with him and as long as you stay within a range. These two ideas complement each other pretty well. When discussed in more detail they begin to sound reminiscent of the old, fixed, grid system that some players were particularly keen on (luminary?).

Why were we discussing these instead of other things those of you from Hull might be thinking of? Ah, that I can’t reveal :)

There was a lot of discussion I can’t go into here, and if you think “great, they’re talking about stuff I don’t care for”, take heart. The more major undertakings we were discussing have requirements that open the door to various spinoffs, and it makes sense in a meeting like that to discuss those spinoffs at that point so they get a foot in the door, and so that the door fitting doesn’t completely overlook the very next feature you’re likely want to embellish on it.

I think, in the past, CRS found itself having to focus like that. Focus on what’s being done, and don’t get distracted by what it’ll enable you to do. Doh. We forgot to allow for that, and now this new system makes it impossible. However, when they did loosen their focus, they found themselves in such a rapid spin cycle that they were continually future proofing everything over too wide a scope.

Take the multicrew system: If they’d called the shot when implementing it and said “its only going to be 2 players”, the multicrew system we’ve had for 5 years would have been a hell of a lot more robust. Instead, the focus of the development work was thinned out with devs independently future proofing their code for what they thought it might eventually be. None of it matches up and, as a result, all of that future-proofing is wasted. The polycrew support that exists in the code base more or less precludes any possibility of the current code ever doing polycrew.

One thing I was particularly pleased to see tabled for the next cycle is brigade selection via the map. About damn time :) Hopefully this won’t prevent me getting Ramp time to make the Brigade OIC a map tab that can be operated via the UI.

What I’d love to have time to do – as part of OIC – is make the whole HC system a map tab. I did an HTML/javascript mockup of a trivial system for tracking all the HC commands/requests/voting etc going on, but implementing it in PHUI is far from a 45 minute task like my (functional) mockup was. To be fair, implementing it in any UI within the game would be more complex than that.

Not for 1.25, we have the chat system for now, but with non-HC officers (people who haven’t been explicitly trained in how our crocodillian HC ‘tools’ work) it’s going to be neccessary to prevent OIC from becoming the player’s worst nightmare…

Gophur has the hots for us trying to clean up multicrew – whether its removing the position restrictions or starting on polycrew (we actually have a sideline project which might escallate that). It’s on my “look at after TOEs” list, but there are some hardcoded chunks of code and systems that depend on it that really make that unduly difficult :/

Sorry for the rambling, and probably teasing, nature of this post. I’d love to spill more beans, but don’t even ask. I like what Gophur has rustled up, but I neither want to set expectations or force the teams hand by outing any of it. These discussions were still pretty early and we could easily find better things to add or focus on.

One thing I do have to share…

I moved offices on Monday; we had decorators in on the weekend any my old office is essentially in limbo, so I temporarily moved out of my 8×6 cubicle office (located in the acoustic center of all noises Doc) into the corner office. Woot! It’s pretty massive and I’m finally sitting facing out of a window.

Gophur wandered down to check on me today, and having realized he now has to walk a long way to my office, decided to discuss a couple of things that had come up in the discussions that he thought might warrant further talk in our next meeting. That’s where the spawn@ML discussion came up. But I also brought up something that’s been itching at my craw for a little while.

We’re overdue for some navy loving, and there was a section in Gophur’s list for the navy. Our current naval stuff has some cool elements that simultaneously excite and bore the crap out of most players. Their coolness combined with their tedium has, IMHO, been an obstacle to getting popular player support behind various naval tasks.

My particular beef is with the loading of freighters. It’s cool as shit to spawn a freighter, guide it to a docking position, get people spawning equipment in and loading it onto the boat – all that business with the cranes, etc. I spent countless hours doing that.

And then I stopped. Because it wasn’t fun. Oh, I loved it. But when you take 80 people on a boat ride that takes nearly an hour loading and coordinating people, and nearly an hour sitting waiting, its not fun for them. The coolness factor of your tank being winched over into the cargo hold of a freighter is nullified by 40 minutes of starting at cargo hold wall followed by the black screen of sinkage.

It’s cool as heck strafing all that equipment lined up on the deck of an enemy boat, haha, the dweebs can’t do a thing about it. Doh, wait. That’s not fun for them.

So I threw an idea out there for Gophur to use a world-object that provides freighters with a firebase like window onto a spawn list while serving as an MSP; i.e. they can spawn the lesser of either the source spawn list or their “crate” derived capacity.

Now we have players who’ll hate this because they won’t be able to get points for killing the poor buggers sitting on deck until the freighter deploys and people spawn in – I’m guessing very few people will actually take the whole ride, but the option is still there as a coolness factor for people who love it, and for scenarios/events/etc. But hopefully it would encourage more freighter journeys, more naval play generally, and it will make naval play part of the whole “reduced time to battle” movement. We can maybe make the load of the freighter have effects on things like speed and value. But, to my mind atleast, the freighter doesn’t get a free ride; he still has to dock and load up, so when you do sink one there is still some time-invested in the cost-of-loss equation.

Changes to the MSP system are definitely on the discussion table; we want to make MSPs target specific rather than brigade/mission specific. If your mission is to Antwerp, we want your ML to have the ability to choose any friendly MSP deployed near antwerp. That allows a mission on an army brigade to select a naval vehicle as an MSP, without having to do any kind of cross-branch mission hoohah. It will also allow us to put paratroop MSPs back on the design table (paratroops are cool but all that arsing about on the airfield makes it crap after your 3rd enroute strafed death).

Overall, it’s pretty great to see Gophur, Rafter, Killer, etc, with that happy buzz that I remember seeing them with 3-4 years ago when I was first on the team, genuinely excited about the projects that we’re starting to look at! Can’t wait to get OIC/TOEs out the way and be able to get involved in some of it myself.

buzz.jpg

46 Comments

Well, that’s all pretty scha-wing-errific, so good luck on it all coming together. :)

I want all of it yesterday!

:)

Good thing I was up feeding the baby. It’s good to hear future planning is in the works.

MSP freighters, that is a game changer. Just as an added note. If someone does want to hop on and take a ride it shouldn’t reduce the spawn level of the MSP. Just a little extra reward for sitting it out for the 40+ minutes. Those are long rides and Green Tags just do not like them when they see the game for the first time.

:-)

Very interesting read.

ANYTHING for the naval side of the game will help. However one thing you said is confusing.
You talk about the freighter(TT) possibly being a MSP with limited access to the spawn list and then in the next paragragh you talk about it still having to dock & load up?

One thing to think about is a TT will not last long as a MSP. Even with fairmile, Destroyer & air cover a single bomber/ fighter-bomber can & will dive down and sink it in 1 pass. Not sure what you can do about this, or even IF you would want to do anything about it.

Maybe the solution is that as the TT would be a MSP & therefore no-one has to ride it to the battle, you will see the naval players bringing multiple TT’s to the beachhead to ensure that at least soem survive long enough to land a viable attacking force. The ability to deploy MANY MSP’s from one naval mission would help that a lot (not sure if that is possible).

And I don’t know where the ‘time to battle’ issue with the naval game has come from. ALL the naval players in the game that I’ve come across expect to actualy have to sail to their target! Heck shooting the breeze with your fellow players whilst on the way to the target is one of the things that defines the naval game, and has lead to a lot of good friendships.

Guess I may just be from the ‘old school’ of WWIIOL players, but the spawning at the action type of things like MSP’s seam to take away from the game. In the old days you would set up your attack, pick the best approach routes. Now 90% of players see a MSP, spawn there and you follow the Ant trail sraight from the target.

Now this company is making history… :-)

I discussed a lot with Killer in the open forums about the group encouragement, and how to manage “persistant” platoons even with a small TOE attached. Kfsone you can add me to your side with killer/granik/you. This game needs this “Tactical Gameplay” layer… in a wargaming style of simulation, and with the relation of mission leader as MSP being able to bring “reinforcements” only when some rules are fulfilled… is the best implementation that i’ve ever heard.

The idea of being able to spawn again as reinforcement of your “persistant” unit if you keep in a radious of your mission leaders, looks good. And it also opens new areas of experimentation with the rules to fine tune our gameplay. For example: you can deny the option of get reinforcements if there are enemy units too much close… this adds the need of tactical fallback of the mission leader to be able to open the reinforcement pool, and this also is a good way to deny point-blank spawn camping of those “persistant units”.

Our gameplay diversity can also be improved, because in our current system is normal to deplete sappers and LMGs to soon, and finish with a 3 hours long battle between riflemen alone. This new concept can bring TOEs down to the small unit group, making a better throtle of the teamwork weapons, like the LMGs that are usually used with atleast 9 riflemen arround in real life, and in many other games.

Congratulations for this young spirit and ambition. The row of ants’ tactics are a little old fashioned and a reform of the gameplay was needed in our spawn/reinforcement system. If in this way, you also add to the game a better simulation of the true WWII style of battles between “persistant” units (with TOEs and reserves), then, it’ll be much better for our MMOG.

I also prefer the idea of ML MSPs being based on range to ML. However, I’d like the ability to switch missions in-game based on what MLs are within range. This would be one of those realism sacrifices for the sake of gameplay/fun.

If you’re mission leader dies, or changes, or whatever, it can ruin some of the cohesion. Sure there will be planned organization on some missions, but many will be very loose organization.

I’d like to see a new tab somewhere (preferably visible in the UI without bringing up the map) which, when opened, displays all of the mission leaders in range. You’d be able to jump to a new mission through that UI. This would allow you greater control over your gameplay. If you care about a certain level of organization, you can jump to a new mission if your current mission starts to die, or the ML sucks, or you just happen to have similar goals as a different ML who’s 50m north of you.

A drop-down menu below the FPS counter, or an extra tab in the chat window would be great.

It’s ‘ull not Hull, toff :p

GNasche, I see a Mission Leader as the platoon leader. Where everybody looks up to him and does what he says because he is suppose to know what he is talking about and when he dies some of that cohesiveness (sp?) is taken away by his death, so some one new will have to stand up and take charge. Kinda like what actually happens in the military now.

Crook, yes, in relatively organized missions. I expect that will be about 25%. In the other 75%, players won’t be looking to the mission leader as anything but an MSP point when they die. If they want to attack the north depot while the ML of their particular mission wants to snipe the S side of town, they should be able to jump to someone else’s mission without having to hunt for it through the mission list. It’s impossible to know what your mission will be like until you’ve spawned into it, unless you’ve already talked to someone, or the ML has details in the briefing.

You can either disregard the way a large portion of the people play, and design for what you think is the best gameplay, or you can provide for multiple styles of play. Players know what they enjoy, and if it was mostly organized missions with good communication then we’d see more of it ingame than we do. If the game is being modified to increase the ease of organization, why not also increase the ease of going solo? The only objection anyone could have to this is if you believe solo players ruin the game for squads/organized groups (or vice versa).

Discussions of how-AKs (attack transports)-should-work necessarily take place mid-trajectory, because eventually landing craft (LCMs, etc.) will be developed.

One proposed functionality approach at that point, per the various Harbor discussions of this development direction several months ago, would be for AKs to spawn only landing craft, in the form of a replenished stack on deck. The AK player would lower each such landing craft into the water alongside the ship, and the landing craft player would proceed to the shore. At this point, the landing craft would represent a portion of the mission’s spawn list, but no players other than its operator would be spawned into it. Upon reaching a suitable shoreline location, the landing craft would ground, drop its ramp and deploy. It then would become a spawn point for ground players, with whatever spawn list it was carrying. Upon depletion of that spawn list, the AK would serve as an RTB point for the landing craft, and the AK’s landing craft spawn list would be incremented by one.

In such a scenario, there wouldn’t be any other players “on board” during the AK’s movement phase; thus, avoidance of a boring-boring-boring-dead mission timeline.

It’d be possible for AK players to have the loading fun you describe if an AK-loading-capable dock had a warehouse associated with it, and if the initiation of a loading mode for an AK caused an appropriate number of AI weapon-objects to drive from that warehouse one at a time and park at the pickup point. There’d be no reason to maintain the in-game existence of those objects once loaded into the holds, since their unloading into individual landing craft would take too long to support reasonable combat dynamics.

I’d love to see ML proximity strongly related to both tactical resupply capability and tactical information access. There need to be *major* mechanics-based benefits to maintaining a design-desirable degree of mission physical proximity and tactical coherence, in order to improve the game’s immersiveness in this regard.

The AK doesn’t even need to load AI units, necessarily. It can load crates which represent supply, and which cause it to have a non-replenishing window to the base’s supply granted to it. As units spawn from the AK, the window begins to shrink again.

LOL, damn right Woolef, these southerners eh!

It’ not Hull, or even Kingston upon Hull, ask anyone born there and they’ll tell you there’s no H in the ‘ull dielect! :-)

This was one of the most positive posts I read in a LONG TIME from CRS! Thank you for sharing!

You talk about the freighter(TT) possibly being a MSP with limited access to the spawn list and then in the next paragragh you talk about it still having to dock & load up?

Firstly – this was merely a foreward discussion – a mere twinkle in a producers eye, it’s not on the todolist. The jist of these two meetings was, essentially, resource management. If we know what we could be working on in the next 6 months, we can organize the features into a better order of development – why build the ceiling before the house when you could build it insitu by building the house first.

This particular point, though, was a way to provide some feature retention and flexibility. Both Gophur and I felt there should probably be a default baseline amount you get pre-loaded, but that you have the option of loading up more.

For instance – these are totally random numbers – lets say by default an FMSP can spawn 50 inf and 5 fairmiles. Those fmls might actually help with his survival rate. So his next sortie he might wish he could spawn 200 inf and 10 fmls. So he goes picks up 3 “rations” crates, and 1 “floatation” crate. He now has access to an extra 150 inf and 5 fmls. Or he could spend 15 minutes and have access to whatever infantry and fmls are left on the spawnlist.

No, he won’t be able to msp a DD :)

The time to battle reference is not about primarily shortening the naval time to battle, but the general push towards shorter time to battle elsewhere, which will attract more (non-naval) players into naval battles, making naval battles more compelling for naval players – I would hope.

Kfsone you can add me to your side with killer/granik/you.

Well, to be fair, that division of camps was prior to our having discussed the two issues conjointly. Gophur’s flag advancement concept is a very cool way of advancing the front-line to an msp-style, fallback position, while the group cohesion idea is a great way of making it more than just a capture the flag progression. When you put the two ideas together new possibilities start to bubble on the horizon, but the main thing is that the two ideas go very well together both conceptually and in terms of development work. They also involve elements of things which will support a number of other concepts on the todo shortlists.

I guess ultimately, it’s about bang for the buck, and these ideas are starting to come together in very value-for-money senses.

This new concept can bring TOEs down to the small unit group, making a better throtle of the teamwork weapons

Ahh – that’s not exactly what I mean by group cohesion. Right now what we’re talking about is incentives for working as a group based on Range To Leader. It’s basically a way of saying “If you’re working with your ‘group’ you get to respawn at the mission leader himself, otherwise you respawn at the last spawn origin in use by the mission”. So a group that fights and dies together stays together.

It doesn’t at this point have any bearing on equipment.

I also prefer the idea of ML MSPs being based on range to ML. However, I’d like the ability to switch missions in-game based on what MLs are within range. This would be one of those realism sacrifices for the sake of gameplay/fun.

I thought I’d previously posted on the ideas I’ve had for changing the mission system, couldn’t find it with a quick search so maybe I didn’t; but I’d like to split missions into two layers, one which is persistent and one which is scorable minutae. Ideally each mission could have multiple of these minutae active, e.g. capture depot, destroy ai, covering fire nw, so that you have a variety of scorable, system-recognized goals as subsets of your overall goal to ‘capture antwerp’ or ‘capture antwerp-schilde depot’. If I didn’t already post these ideas, I’ll have to do that separately :)

Where everybody looks up to him and does what he says because he is suppose to know what he is talking about and when he dies some of that cohesiveness

Dunno about that, but with the right level of fidelity in the system I’ve been espousing here and that is slowly gaining support, he doesn’t have to “tell” them what to do, he’s busy assigning goals that need doing using the system, and people are busy picking up these tasks (a) to score points, (b) because it adds tangibility to “the plan”, (c) because so far he seems to be keeping them alive and getting things done :)

Discussions … dynamics.

All I’m saying is *grin*. For the love of god don’t read more into that than the first word, and even then understand that as little as that is subject to the latter.

The AK doesn’t even need to load AI units, necessarily. It can load crates which represent supply, and which cause it to have a non-replenishing window to the base’s supply granted to it. As units spawn from the AK, the window begins to shrink again.

Bingo – just put more eloquently than my ramble. Heck, it might not be a bad way to do depots, to allow you to raise the window by delivering something there. Then again, with good MLSP concepts, I hope we can phase out depots and other static spawn locations.

Oops. I didn’t say that.

LOL, damn right Woolef, these southerners eh!

Pfft. I may be a southerner, but at least Grimsby was landed by real vikings. Not those pussies who wound up naming a town “Beverly”.

This was one of the most positive posts I read in a LONG TIME from CRS!

<BITCHSLAP>Its NOT from CRS, its from me; as such you should realize that nothing in it is “official” notice, and all of it is subject to further design/planning/discussion by the company before anything is commited to the actual todo list.</BITCHSLAP>

What a fun post.

I like the idea of spawn at ML. It should be interesting. Like KFS said earlier, there is too little for the ML to do now. As well, he’s not treated as an ‘officer’. When the ML dies, he’ll just come back. It makes no difference if he dies or if anyone else dies.

I like the idea of various ML inf groups facing off with eachother. If you spawn at the ML. I can imagine that two inf ‘units’ facing off against eachother. Trying to get the upper hand.

If one isn’t doing so well. Then armor will come and help. Spawning in at the ML will make armor less important as well, IMO. If you spawn at the ML then you can get your person back into the fight much faster. With proper tatics you can setup various ML’s to corner off the enemy.

The best part of spawning of at ML is that players will naturally be located next to eachother. So will the enemy. I think that if as a player I know the enemy is working together as a unit, I will have a much more greater fear of death. That feeling is always the best.

Ahh – but its not quite that cheap :)

RTL: Range To Leader.

Lets say the range is 100m. When you spawn in, you don’t have the “inRTL” flag. Every so many seconds, a check is done to see if you are. So if you spawn in and die immediately, you’ll respawn at the same place.

Now you need to get into range of the leader. Once you do, we need to have some visual cue to let you know that you’re now “inRTL” like changing the border or color of some part of the hud.

If you drift away from the leader, say 101m, then at the next check you’ll lose your inRTL flag.

You only get to spawn *at* the leader when you are inRTL.

If the leader moves more than 25m while you are spawned or if the leader is too close to certain buildings/facilities when you spawn, then inRTL is ignored.

However – if you do this with *just* MSPs then you’ll only get occasional grouping, it won’t really set in.

If you add Gophur’s “mission leader spawn object” concept – whereby the mission leader spawns at the MSP/FB/depot and then moves forward and drops an object into the world which becomes the forward msp… Now you’re starting to get somewhere.

IMHO the trick here is to make it that you don’t just run up and bam msp, but you actually do like an “area capture” whereby to place your msp marker, you have to move up and remain stationery for a period of time – e.g. 30s – like capping a table. Perhaps you need to have at least one other trooper with you. And you can only place them so far apart.

Now you have a chain of spawners from the ab to you:

AB -> Depot -> FB -> MSP -> MLSP -> ML

and it should provide defenders with spawning options that help vs camping and etc, since these options aren’t limited to obvious locations.

It should help with the duration on those fights that happen at more interesting locations but fizzle out rapidly because it just takes too long to get there.

For instance, a few weeks ago I was in an excellent little fight, driving a Stug; I was edging up on the source of various enemy tanks heading into town, and out of nowhere a small group of infantry joined me. After a bit of roaming we suddenly got some action, which lasted all of about a minute because “our little force” was literally just the 6-7 of us vs the 4-8 of them. With a little bit of help it could have been a cool 5-15 minute little mini-battle in some unusual and fascinating terrain.

That is so cool.

This game only gets better.

Any plans for how supply with TOE’s will be maintained, or stockpiled?

I think AI representations of logistical supply, which can be interdicted to impact a minimal % of overall supply would give people something to shoot at when its low pop, and something to protect, and in effect spreading out the game play a bit to reduce FPS hits from over congestion.

This will allow forces to build up a reserve before a major offensive, and create weak points in the line that could be exploited. It may make Factory bombing more relevant again as well.

I DO like the idea of loading for want of a better term, ‘supply creates’, and teh ammount you load effects what your naval MS can spawn.

Because that supply would be taken from the supplying brigade, you wouldn’t just load up all available supply, you would have to think how much you want to commit to a naval invasion, especialy given if your frieghter got sunk you;d lose what you had loaded up.

Of course this would then premote the idea of using multiple frieghters to spread the risk around, which would be great. And several multicrewed frieghters can put up a LOT of AAA fire!

One question. If the frieghter is the naval MS, how do you get your units on shore? The easiest way is to make the frieghter park on the shore line & objects spawning spawn directly onto the land.

The next step is to allow units to spawn onto teh frieghter and you use teh boats & the winch to off-load them, but this obviously takes a bit more time, but is a bit more realistic and gives the frieghter crew something to do between air attacks.

The final step would to be to have the units spawn onto the frieghter and have to be off-loaded onto landing craft which then sail to the beach.

Any preferences?

And Yes I know now of this is set in stone, but it’s certainly an interesting discussion!

As for Vikings, I work near Stanford Bridge, wonder what happened to them there! :-)

Because that supply would be taken from the supplying brigade, you wouldn’t just load up all available supply

I have to say – in the short term, I would be wary of that, the supply on the dock wouldn’t directly reflect supply; last thing you need is a guy sitting at a dock loading up with the entire AB supply and then getting sunk before he even leaves. It’s the wrong kind of realism, the 1:600 fun:agony factor.

Rather it would represent access to the “supply window” at the supply facility. Say 1 crate = 100 inf; if you load up 6 crates, but the AB only has 100 inf, you wasted 5 crates, unless you stay alive for resupply to occur.

On the flip side, the capacity representable by the crates wouldn’t be limited to that of the AB. There could be 6, 8 or 10 times as much crated-capacity as the stock of the ab. Why? Because you’re just never going to get to use it.

The final step would to be to have the units spawn onto the frieghter and have to be off-loaded onto landing craft which then sail to the beach.

Or landing craft, which we did infact reference in our discussion: “eventually you could have LC crates or even a static LC object on the dock that when you winch to we just attach a fake one to the end of the winch. You could drive your freighter out, MSP it, someone spawns in one of your LC stock and either rolls with a “default” stock or waits for you to lower a crate on if you want to give it a vickers and extra inf, and then he drives to shore, UMSes it and bingo landing force”

Don’t mistake this for feature preparation. This is involved in the discussion for the purpose of feature accomodation. We do plan to do LC, but we haven’t been discussing it for immediate implementation, we simply want to make sure we factor it in to what we’re doing right now.

Plus “doing this allows us to do that” adds extra value to “this” (which is making mobile spawns independent of missions, simply allowing the mission leader to pick available MSPs to spawn from)

Wow… gophur’s idea has also very interesting posibilities. I love the idea of a new paradigm of terrain ownership like this… small units fighting in a progresive push.

The team encouragement described is now very clear… i love how you described the mechanics.

Go for it!, even if it takes more than a year to fine tune the rules. I’m really excited with those features. Finally your experience playing other MMOG with more emphasis in the persistent “team” of players, was proven of a great value for this brainstorming.

Thanks for share your ideas with us!.

Yep i know it’s not feature prep. Just shooting the breeze, discussing ideas, which is great to do when one of those taking part actualy writes the game. Afterall you know what is & isn;t possible and what you guys have already been talking about, which the rest of us don’t.

If you could do naval MS’s without the need for a landing craft at 1st and maybe add the MTB as the next boat then you would probably please 90% of the naval players. The other 10% still want their subs! ;-)

I must be going senile in my old age, but I totaly forgot to add to the discussing the MOST important issue for any naval MS system. Will we be allowed to invade ANYWHERE along the coast or JUST at linked towns like we are now?

If it’s just to linked towns then apart from the rare occasions we get to attempt a Sealion style invasion they wont’t get used.

And I guess the 2nd most important question is with TOE’s what the heck are the navy going to use for equipment to invade? Seeing as the front line is already overstretched and therefore you never get a infantry brigade up in the Zeelands 99% of the time.

Regarding other systems that will mesh with the MLSP concept, if and when:

Having only trucks as supply haulers/distribution points will be too limiting. Trucks are too big to get far enough forward, and therefore will limit combat in terrain where infantry has plenty of cover but trucks don’t. There’s a strong need for a means of facilitating tactical supply distribution–ammo packs–that’s smaller than trucks, more on the infantry scale.

This happens to coordinate neatly with the game’s need for mission physical coherence and ML proximity. Having the ML play a key role in forward supply distribution, supported by supply trucks farther back, would help to solve both problems at once.

In the long run, perhaps the game could re-visit its dislike for the concept of NPC infantry, and the ML could be shadowed by several supply carriers…AI infantrymen who would serve as supply pickup points for mission members, always shadowing the ML and doing their best to stay out of the line of fire.

Combined with heavy weapons that spawn with *no* ammo and a revamping of initial ammo load handling so that light-weapons ammo replenishment via ammo pack exchange is a more common game event, this approach would greatly increase the gameplay-benefits-based motivation for ML proximity.

Now, it’s understood that development of NPC-infantry-ammo-carrier functionality would be a big deal. So in the meantime, why doesn’t the ML stand-in for the ammo carriers?

Spawn at sea is necessary, but the concept of a 125 meter freighter spawning a 30 meter motor launch right in front of enemy units is likely to be regarded as visually anti-immersive and wierd.

Could the related game aspects be made to work acceptably if spawn-at-sea was disabled by visual-range proximity of enemy units?

My take is that it’d be vastly superior if any naval element or action that needed to have spawn capability close by was “shadowed” by an invisible AI MSP, which did its best to maintain a visual-range-limit separation from all enemy units. Then all naval spawning would take place as nearly out of sight as possible. Having unexpected units come into sight at maximum visual range is a very common occurrence in surface-action naval history.

Yep i know it’s not feature prep.

Roger that, I just want to avoid any build up that will make this a “navy tease”. As to the other questions, I wouldn’t dare to try and answer those :) However, you lot are welcome to discuss here so that when it does come up I’ve got some ideas to toss into the fray :) Just make sure you chant the mantra “talk is cheap”, k? :) I would hope, though, that we might get some more northerly terrain, Grimsby for instance :) (I don’t know if we have a latrine modelled to represent it tho)

Having only trucks as supply haulers/distribution points will be too limiting.

Gophurs objective seems to be based around the msp becoming the “forward fire base” (or forward fuelbase as certain scottish tarts might call it). You can rtb to it, you can get ammo for tanks etc. But for infantry resupply would probably have to be based on the respawn-at-ml concept or something. We’re not currently overly worried about delivering supply to them. Maybe you might be able to do a rudimentary resupply at the mission leader placed spawn point.

I am, however, pulling this out of my ass at this point. Best guess, so to speak.

Spawn at sea is necessary, but the concept of a 125 meter freighter spawning a 30 meter motor launch right in front of enemy units is likely to be regarded as visually anti-immersive and wierd.

*Shrug* There’s always going to be a downside to any system that isn’t an all out 100% “hard labour” simulation. Maybe we’d spawn them on the freighter and have them lowered down, but I think everyone would fairly quickly come to the conclusion – when its their turn being the guy spawning a transport/fml/etc – that they could live with a little bit of insta-appearance. Plus what the vehicle has is going to be somewhat limited, so I’m guessing you probably wouldn’t want to waste your TKs by spawning them with an EDD instantly firing on them – the crate system I’ve been talking about isn’t supply, it’s the size of your supply window, so doing that would be costly.

No Rat can do wrong by marching his troops to the sounds of the spawn! Getting the spawn system the way it needs to be is absolutely critical to the quality of gameplay.
If its done right, spawn-near-leader will be fantastic.

It should also make it pretty obvious that we need a new capture system. All this flexibility in where we spawn, but we are still chained to fighting over exact locations chosen by a map dev 5 years ago.

The RTL concept has tonnes of utility – within RTL range you get improved coms and map info; within RTL you can drop a wounded buddy you have carried and he gets an RTB (a variation on the Medic); within RTL you can pick up special assignments and tasks on the fly.

RTL could also be used for scoring of “escort” mission types or to reward/enforce flying with a wingman or flight leader. If the ML takes control of an AT gun, RTL gives him de-facto extra infantry protection.

About the navy- my GOD! How good to see somebody articulate why the original conception of the TTs and how they are used was flawed. Is there any other element of the game that asks SO much of the playerbase with such high risks and such little reward? The irony is that amphib landings should be massive undertakings with combined arms and tones of players – a real “event” within the main game. But so few people will pay to play as cargo.

I dunno what put the “big ideas” back on the table at CRS but buddy you just bought the company another 6 months from me (who am I kidding, I don’t even know how to FIND the subscription cancellation page!)

Trout

Its NOT from CRS, its from me; as such you should realize that nothing in it is “official” notice, and all of it is subject to further design/planning/discussion by the company before anything is commited to the actual todo list.

OMG mate calm down…I didn’t take it as a official announcement or anything, I just wanted to say that in the last months I haven’t heard any of the CRS employees speek that positive about the game….no need to get angry at my *fears*

Yeah I know I suck….too stupid to do a real quote lol…

any love for the strategic airwar? i like everything mentioned, hinted at, as well as the general enthusiasm present in your post. it would be nice if the air guys got a little nugget of hope thrown their way too.

brilliant!!

Airdropped supply crates would be a cool way to add supply from rear areas into forward areas too, maybe they have to be within a certain radius or they’re lost.

Is there a particular reason you’re against the crates being supply and not just a window?

Seems to me that sinking a ship/strafing a convoy/downing a transport plane translating into lost supply would make the stakes WAY more of an immersion factor.

Another thought tying it further to TOEs:

Have the OIC the ability to create small TOEs represented by said crates. The OIC has a set value total the they can assign to these which can be ammended by HC (doesn’t each unit have a ‘price’ related to RDP?). If an OIC wants more resources they have to request them from HC, kinda like sharing resources with an ally in an RTS.

I think an important facet of giving leaders the ability to dole out supply would have to be some rating system for leadership (say, a number based on the ratio between resources lost and objectives completed). An HC or OIC giving supply to a subordinate leader should have some way to see how effective that leader is before deciding how much to allot them. If you are OIC and a ML is asking for tons of resources for their mission you wouldn’t want to grant them much if they have a low objectives-success/resources-lost rating.

This is obviously way further down the line from this discussion which is already way down the line, but a guy can dream.

Maybe as the same time TT can load crates, we can add the same functionatility to Air Transports (Junkers and C47). You spawn a plane, load a crate (or 2 or 3) on the plane, flight to the front, land and unload the crates. Brigade resuplied.

Coincidentally with this blog thread, we’ve been discussing supply systems and convoys in the Harbor forums area. Here’s one pertinent thread:

http://forums.battlegroundeurope.com/showthread.php?p=1987250#post1987250

“Sebastians performance improvements” gets me horny too…

HChris – the “bitchslap” was an attepmt at humor ;)

it would be nice if the air guys got a little nugget of hope thrown their way too.

Nothing I want to disclose as a private individual, no. Maybe you’ll see some of it in more official posts in the near future.

Is there a particular reason you’re against the crates being supply and not just a window?

Seems to me that sinking a ship/strafing a convoy/downing a transport plane translating into lost supply would make the stakes WAY more of an immersion factor.

No, it’d make the air guys get an even bigger buzz from sinking freighters as they turn away from the docks, and everyone else would hate it. “OMG why is there no supply in Dunkerque? Some n00b filled his cargo hold? WTF!”

I think its a terrible path to embark down where killing one player can wipe out 800 pieces of equipment. How would you feel about losing equipment like that?

Maybe as the same time TT can load crates, we can add the same functionatility to Air Transports (Junkers and C47). You spawn a plane, load a crate (or 2 or 3) on the plane, flight to the front, land and unload the crates. Brigade resuplied.

Actually, I was suggesting to Gophur earlier today that we already have crate objects in the game, so how feasible would it be to have aircraft and trucks able to deposit them in-field, with a finite lifetime, perhaps with a spot on them for a nationality flag, and a finite loading capacity; ideal for an STO, the enemy can destroy them, but you can reload from them (including your “resupply can”) by bumping them.

Gophur does eventually want to have visible resupply, which might be best done with supply crates, but the difficulty is that, once again, you introduce the ability for one kill to affect – possibly – hundreds of players.

Coincidentally with this blog thread, we’ve been discussing supply systems and convoys in the Harbor forums area

Semi-relevant point. STOs don’t move. They can animate between positions, but they don’t move. There is no AI behind them. They’re simply server tracked objects.

So implementing convoy’s is not something STOs can do; well, it could do really, really, really crappy convoys. I’d hate that.

We actually need to engineer a server which is actually a partial client, that understands the game world to a degree and that can drive an actual convoy vehicle around the world.

The alternative, really, really crappy convoys, is going to take enough time to develop that its worth doing right. We don’t have to create totally new code for this client, we just have to whittle down the existing client system enough to do the job and run as a server. That will allow us options like multi-crewed convoy vehicles with the “aicli” as the pilot so someone else can join as crew (join in-flight and improved multicrew were in the discussions).

STO’s dont move but can players move them? Like for instance that idea of a MSP transport plane that is flying around. Or were you talking about transport planes that land, stop, deploy and then serve as MSPs?

Lots of interesting ideas in these threads. Also have CRS sponsored events been talked about? I kinda miss those. The realism events have ~120 players playing each time. Honestly, I’d love to see some tools for those events. If fine tuned I think people would pay for the realism events.

MSPs only have to be an STO when the player despawns. If your pilot is despawning, you probably got worse problems on your hands than having an immobile spawnpoint.

Can we still call the AI cargo truck/ship server an “ordinance” server? It’s still as applicable a name (i.e. none applicable)

MSPs only have to be an STO when the player despawns. If your pilot is despawning, you probably got worse problems on your hands than having an immobile spawnpoint.

ood point gnasche .

Ummmm. I don’t think the expression “STO”, or the related concept, has been used in several weeks in the Harbor in regard to convoys. Certainly it’s not used in the linked thread.

I mentioned the thread because I had posted some ideas there about supply crate creation, movement and consumption in regard to Brigades (operational-level supply) and RDP (strategic-level supply), along with initial thoughts on spawning/RTBing and ammo pack distribution (two aspects of tactical-level supply).

I know, but any time I so much as comment on any of these topics someone says “STO”. I personally would have called them something else, but I don’t get to name things :)

In the long run, what CRS needs to implement is ability to move ALL supplies by AI, similar to the RTS games. For instance, in RTS games like Starcraft, Warcraft, Command & Conquer, the user merely sets the waypoints for a vehicle to travel to and the AI will automatically move the vehicle to those waypoints while the user concentrates on other tasks. During this whole time, the user does not have to manually move the vehicle.

If this were done in WWIIOnline, there would be no more manual resupply of tanks, planes, etc, as the HC could point, click, and the AI would manually move the supplies.

Similarly, if such a system were implemented, any HC could set a freighter to load specific vehicles for an assault, and then direct that freighter to a specific location after the load. The HC could return to the game 2 hours later, and the AI would have automatically loaded all the vehicles and moved the freighter to the specified location. From there, players could spawn into the freighter itself and any vehicles on it (note that during the loading and during the movement of the freighter by AI, any human player in a plane could fire upon the freighter and damage it and its contents).

Note that I mentioned the “Long Run.” No doubt such a feature would take hours of coding and is very complex. But if that were done, WWIIOnline would have true “maneuvre” warfare where all supply movement in the game world is “visible” and the tedious task of moving “visible supplies” is handled by the AI.

Honestly, I keep pondering this, and I think we would need to scratch (more or less) from scratch to build a game that incorporates AI on a significant scale.
I’ve talked with other rats about the idea of a system that produces mobile ai, nothing fancy, just NPCs that give the appearance of people in a town, so that there is no such thing as an “empty” town that has a brigade in it. And when people go to spawn in, they would have the opportunity of taking over an AI – Agent Smith style.

But if we were to incorporate AI on a larger, more meaningful scale, it starts to conflict with major elements of our design and implementation, and I start thinking that “from scratch” just seems a hell of a lot healthier.

What ever happened to the supply crates thing KFS?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Point missed « kfsone’s pittanceSeptember 25, 2006 at 2:39 pm

[…] Some few of you (presumably the ones who don’t like reading, so go find some other passtime than not-reading someone’s blog) have come to the conclusion that these last two threads indicate a 180 change or an abandonment of the development track. […]

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