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View Full Version : Better Map Design--the most important thing for BSP



Kreutzberg
21st Aug 2008, 22:27
For all the talk of improved graphics, more units, better damage modeling, etc., the biggest deficiency is Midway is map design (I am mostly talking about multiplayer, because that is what really keeps a game going). I am quite satisfied with the core engine in Midway, but a great many battles are possible with that engine that are simply not created in the maps that we get to play.

Before really going into detail-- I play on the 360 version, primarily on multiplayer. I have been a very active player at various times, peaking roughly 1 year ago. I think improved graphics are nice, but never really got the relentless criticism that the current graphics get. I think more units would be better. Specifically, I would like to see a better selection of ship classes. I think that will be done with BSP, although it is not clear that all of the individual classes will be as represented as they should (I would love to see different Pennsylvania, Colorado, and other US Standard classes, as well their Japanese counterparts and vessels like the Nelson class). Better Damage modeling would be good, as would an improved artillery targeting system such that there would actually be some degree of gunnery skill. I would also like to see some sort of improved matchmaking system similar to Halo 2 or 3.

All of the preceding improvements will likely be in BSP to one extent or another, and if they are not, it is probably too late to change. Map design, however, can be done rather quickly, and even polished off after the game comes out with DLC. As I've said, while the things above will be cool, the game will still feel flat without better and more maps (and conversely, even if those other things are not substantially improved over Midway, better map design would still make a great game).

One obvious possibility is to include a map editor. It would not need to be full featured--just the ability to put ships onto an empty map of all water would accomplish most of the goals. The key difficulty with user created content, however, is distribution. In order for the new maps to actually be played. Particularly on XBox Live, wide distribution is difficult. Clearly then the maps will need official support, even if it is only the approval or tweaking of user created scenarios.

With all that procedural set up, I'll now discuss substantively what I'm getting at with respect to improved map design.

Sibuyan Sea is probably the most popular map on BSM, and for good reason. It is one of the few that presents any real asymmetry while still having some semblance of balance (unlike say, Vella Gulf of Surigao Strait). By asymmetry, I mean that the forces actually have different strengths and weaknesses. Balance is an important goal of map design, and while the two mentioned above lack it, it would not take too much to fix them, if Eidos would actually support BSM. For example, on Surigao, a simple replacement of one or both the the Renown BCs with New York or KGV BBs would pretty well fix it.

Maps that have this balanced asymmetry provide vastly more strategic depth than those that are simple contests of roughly equal forces (Steel Monsters, Coral Sea to some extent). What I would like to see is this concept taken beyond what we see in Sibuyan Sea.

Take, for example, a battle based on any number of island captures that occurred in the Pacific. While most of the attackers were American in history, the fictional aspect means that it could easily be reversed. The defenders could have, say, 2 airfields,1 fleet carrier, 1 escort carrier, 1 Pennsylvania Class BB, and a decent flotilla of destroyers with maybe a couple of cruisers. The attackers get a Yamato Class BB, 2 Kongo BBs, 2 escort carriers, and a smaller flotilla of support ships. Obviously, I haven't tested the balance on such a scenario, and it could be tweaked, but if done properly, it would be a really interesting scenario.

I think the BSM map designers tried to get at this type of thing with Surigao and Vella, for example, but didn't balance them well enough. Part of a commitment to exceptional map design is a commitment to continued support. That means both new maps and the tweaking of existing maps to ensure balance. Think about how Halo 3's designers move weapon locations to maintain balance. The same thing would work well in BSP.

All of this is not to say that there should be no symmetrical maps, but instead that there must be both categories, and they must all be balanced. Improved unit design can go a long way towards getting this sort of differentiation, if ship classes and plane types really have different strengths and weaknesses.

I apologize for the long post, but I see so many comments relating to things in BSP that seem almost trivial. By far the most important thing that can still be changed is map design.

Arrow
21st Aug 2008, 23:27
Your post is a good one, and I can agree that map balancing is a huge factor. While I agree that more ships can be good, they 1. Should be balanced properly, and 2. Have enough differences to warrant a whole new class for them.

I'm referring specifically to the light cruiser category. Both of the USN light cruisers are WAY too powerful compared to the Kuma, and as far as my research goes, there's no straight IJN ship in the CL category that can match them.

This ties into my second point, in that there should be enough differences to warrant a whole new class. The Nagara-class, Kuma-class, Sendai-class...hell, almost EVERY Japanese CL look similar (to me, anyway; surely to a true naval fanatic one may make out small differences, but keep in mind that the number of people who can tell the difference is much smaller than those who cannot), so it'd make sense to bunch them all up into one class versus making one separate model for each of them.

I also disagree in that map balancing is the most important thing. It is one of the most important, but to me, long-term support is the most critical thing. After all, with continued support and multiple patches (like the Iowa download) we can get those additional maps regardless.

That said, I do agree that map balancing is a HUGE factor in this game. I've always said that the best maps are the ones that are asymmetrical, yet balanced (although several people here have misinterpreted that as me saying that all maps should be identical).

That said, one or two of the new maps should be unbalanced to allow for skilled, disadvantaged players to take on newer players in an advantageous situation. 90% of the maps though, should IMO be made balanced.

I think we all can feel a little more confident in Eidos claiming that BSP is twice the size of BSM. If it really is, then we get (at the very least) twice as many maps, and therefore a higher chance of getting a better one. Coupled with reasonable input from the community (i.e ignoring the idiots who want to turn BSM into a first-person shooter), I think Eidos would be hard-pressed to screw it up.

Who knows? What would really make my day is if BSP made it into the World Cyber Games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Cyber_Games).

Kreutzberg
23rd Aug 2008, 13:49
I do agree that there is not a huge benefit in having different ship unit designs that would not really be different in game, except for Navy nuts like me who care about such things too much. I was really trying (uncleanly) to throw that out as something that I want but that is less important than good map design.

With regards to a Japanese light cruiser shortage (a topic I have some interest in), the difficulty is that they didn't really build them. One of the naval treaties of the time limited all cruisers to less than 10000 tons, while another bifurcated cruisers into light and heavy based on gun caliber. The US and UK didn't build many heavy cruisers, arguing that a greater number of 6" guns would be more effective and that any ship protected against them would also do well against 8" shells. I'm not sure I agree with that philosophy, but they did.

The Japanese did construct ships with large numbers of 6" guns because of treaty restrictions on "heavy cruisers." The Mogami class, for example, originally mounted 15 6" guns. When the war approached, they replaced the triple 6" turrets with double 8" turrets and what was a CL became a CA. It still had the same armor and machinery and such though. What I'm getting at is that a cruiser was a cruiser, and the heavy/light distinction did not necessarily represent fighting capability even to the extent that it does in BSM.

I'm also hopeful that with twice the maps, some will be quite good. One caveat to that is that I'm not sure that they mean twice the multiplayer maps. BSM actually has quite a few (so actually doubling the number would be a ton), but too many are just not very good. I also hope that if the game is supported, we can get some good DLC maps.

Arrow
23rd Aug 2008, 16:00
As you said yourself, though, balancing is a key ingredient in a video game. How would you balance the Japanese and American CLs then? I mean, sure, a cruiser is a cruiser, but if they were to make a balanced version of Vella Gulf - which is essentially a cruiser-only fight - unless the Clevelands start partly damaged somehow, there's absolutely no way a Kuma (or any of the Japanese light cruisers, given how they're all almost identical) can possibly beat one.

There's no point in arguing that the Japanese need more light cruisers - as you said, this is history and you can't change it. Therefore we should focus on the gameplay.

From my perspective (keep in mind I know little about boats and planes and stuffs; I just play games until my brain melts) you'd need to change one or more of the following:

-The US CL to the JP CL ratio (i.e two or more Kumas for every CL)

-Boosting Japanese firepower on the same map (putting a Cleveland equivalent to that of a Japanese CA; unfortunately, this would mean that the Japanese CL wouldn't be really used on such maps)

-Modifying the weapons themselves so they cause about equal damage (that is, giving Kuma weapons a boost so they cause more damage in fewer strikes than the US CL; in return, the US CL has more guns, and can hit faster with smaller strikes)

-Giving the Japanese torpedoes a large advantage over the American ones (Great idea, suggested by David, and historically accurate maybe, but keep in mind how hard it is to use torpedoes; I don't think this one alone would be enough).

andy3536
23rd Aug 2008, 17:20
I can't be bothered to read all that :rolleyes: ;)

But the genral gist has been mentioned before, the map size is genrally the biggest issue.
When they get a little bigger then you can add more features that'll give it more scope to be different.
Has also been mentioned before that advantages and disadvatages with the units should be more apparent, this would mean better tactics are needed as you would have to play to the strengths of the units more as oppossed to haveing to perfectly even teams.

One team at a disadvantage would mean they would be forced to work better together to win, and encourage team play.

It's just a case of seeing what the game is like now and what they've added to it this time round. I think it'll be good.

David603
23rd Aug 2008, 18:25
I've suggested this before, but one way of balancing out the weak Japanese CLs would be to introduce some of the smaller British CLs. The Kuma class have 7x5.5in guns and weigh in at 5,800 tons. Therefore the Kuma's British contemporaries, the Danae class with 6x6in guns (5,900tons), and the Emerald class with 7x6in guns (9,500tons) would be a very good match for the Japanese 3 and 4 funnel CLs. The Dutch cruiser de Ruyter (7x6in/7,800tons) is also a good match for the Kuma class.

Some of the more modern Britsh CLs would also be a reasonable match for the Kuma, with the Leander (8x6in/9,750tons), Arethusa (6x6in/6,700tons), and Dido (10x5.25in or 8x5.25in or 8x4.5in/7,000tons) classes being more powerful but not totally mismatched against the Kuma. The Oyodo (6x6in+8x3.9in/11,400tons) and the Agano class (6x6in/8,500tons) would be a good match for the moderner British CLs and the Altanta class.

Since there isn't a Japanese CL to match the Cleveland I would suggest using the Cleveland as a heavy cruiser, pairing it up against the Tone class CA and the Japanese Aoba class, with 6x8in guns would be a good match for the York class.

So that works out as,
1st class CA: Takao, Mogami, Baltimore
2cd class CA: Tone, Northampton, County, Cleveland
3rd class CA: Aoba, York
1st class CL: Oyodo, Atlanta, Leander
2cd class CL: Agano, Dido,
3rd class CL: Kuma, Danae, de Ruyter

Obviously not all those ships are needed, but by including at least one ship from each class then the cruiser situation would be balanced. Arguably the 2cd class CLs could be omitted as neither of these ships are present in BSM, but this would be a pity as there are some interesting ships there.

Kreutzberg
24th Aug 2008, 01:04
I think the cruiser balance should come from a variety of the methods we've discussed. Essentially:

1) The Cleveland should be considered more on the order of a heavy cruiser than one of the weak Japanese CLs. Part of what I was getting at with the Mogami conversion was that in terms of combat value, the caliber of the guns doesn't seem to be determinative, even though it does define "class."

2) To use the lighter Japanese CLs (or possibly the British CLs mentioned), they can be used in bulk, almost treated like big destroyers. Another unit that could serve a similar purpose would be the US Somers DD (armed with 8 5" guns).

3) One of my real thoughts behind the whole asymmetrical map thing is that there need not be a precise balance of cruiser vs. cruiser (or any other unit vs. unit). It should be much more focused on force vs. force balance (give one side more numbers or whatever). The light Japanese CLs could be used as destroyer killers or other functions on maps where the other side doesn't' necessarily have a unit for unit match. Under this philosophy, it is more about deciding how to use units than just taking units with rough parity and resolving the conflict based on shooting skill.

andy3536
24th Aug 2008, 13:11
You guys think way to much :)

Arrow
24th Aug 2008, 14:22
3) One of my real thoughts behind the whole asymmetrical map thing is that there need not be a precise balance of cruiser vs. cruiser (or any other unit vs. unit). It should be much more focused on force vs. force balance (give one side more numbers or whatever). The light Japanese CLs could be used as destroyer killers or other functions on maps where the other side doesn't' necessarily have a unit for unit match. Under this philosophy, it is more about deciding how to use units than just taking units with rough parity and resolving the conflict based on shooting skill.

I think that's what Suriago tried to do - give the Japanese superior firepower and the US a @#$%load of PT boats and destroyers. The map still isn't quite balanced enough, but not impossible to win as the US either.

Kreutzberg
24th Aug 2008, 14:25
Yeah, I agree that Surigao is what I'm going for conceptually. A couple of unit changes or additions could fix it from a balance standpoint. To get those changes, I emphasize that Eidos should continue to tweak the maps after release, like Bungie does for the Halo series.

It3llig3nc3
24th Aug 2008, 15:46
Very thoughtful thread :)

My take on the map and the balancing issue is not too different from what has been said here before. The map editor is KEY (however there is no word from EIDOS about it - yet).
I also like the alternative which is to have the maps fixed but at least let the players deploy the units more or less freely at the start. It can even have two "variations" - both of them have been discussed deeply on the BSM forums.
One would be to have the ability to freely place the fixed "given" units onto the map - perhaps with a limitation to place them only some pre-defined "deployment areas" (spawn points)
The more sophisticated way is to give each player some currency to buy units from a list. Obviously each type of unit would cost differently. Combine this with the "spawn" area idea and even if the map is fixed the gameplay virtually will never be the same - both in multiplayer and single player!


One thing on the unit balancing: for me balanced does not mean that each unit should have a counterpart equivalent or have a simple equation, e.g. 2 Jap CL equals 1 US CL.
What I mean is the concept best developed in the famous game: Starcraft. The sides there are totally different and yet each one is capable to destroy and win over the others.

In our BSM / BSP universe we need to acknowledge that the doctrine of the Japanese navy was significantly different than the US. Since it's a computer game it should be enjoyable and playable with a chance to win on both sides, however the maps and units should reflect this difference. This is not an easy task since the passing time (years) can blur the comparison. (e.g. classes and units become available DURING the war period versus the ones pre-existed.

All in all I'm not afraid of playing maps and games with a kind of "unit unbalance" as long as there are strengths and weaknesses playable on both sides.

Arrow
24th Aug 2008, 16:52
Very thoughtful thread :)

My take on the map and the balancing issue is not too different from what has been said here before. The map editor is KEY (however there is no word from EIDOS about it - yet).
True, but given how often we've asked for it, they're bound to release one eventually. Map editors are rarely released with the game anymore from my experience (mainly C&C3) so we may have to wait a while before one comes out. What's the most important, IMO, is for Eidos to not abandon BSP, and like you say later, continue tweaking stuffs. At the very least Eidos Hungary could do that, if Eidos itself really wants to keep going forward with Tomb Raider or whatever.


I also like the alternative which is to have the maps fixed but at least let the players deploy the units more or less freely at the start. It can even have two "variations" - both of them have been discussed deeply on the BSM forums.
I've always said that it would be very iffy about this, 'cause the last thing you want is to have idiots spawn themselves all over the map and you won't get any focused firepower at all. Speaking of focused firepower, it would seriously hamper the concept of specialty maps like Steel Monsters, if everyone started spawning everywhere. It's hard enough to get everyone to go on the same direction on that map - giving people the power to control their spawns may be a little...much.


One would be to have the ability to freely place the fixed "given" units onto the map - perhaps with a limitation to place them only some pre-defined "deployment areas" (spawn points)
If people really wanted to customize their spawns, this is what I'd suggest - giving them the ability to, when the game starts, to spawn in a specific radius around the actual spawn.


The more sophisticated way is to give each player some currency to buy units from a list. Obviously each type of unit would cost differently. Combine this with the "spawn" area idea and even if the map is fixed the gameplay virtually will never be the same - both in multiplayer and single player!
The problem with that is that no one will ever buy anything less than a BB or a CA. DDs and others will get pushed to the bottom. You would also have to somehow make the computer know to change the mission objectives from "Kill the enemy CVs" to "Kill all enemy ships if there are no CVs, but kill all enemy CAs if there are no CVs..." etc.



One thing on the unit balancing: for me balanced does not mean that each unit should have a counterpart equivalent or have a simple equation, e.g. 2 Jap CL equals 1 US CL.
What I mean is the concept best developed in the famous game: Starcraft. The sides there are totally different and yet each one is capable to destroy and win over the others.

I agree that Starcraft is a complete and utter GOD in terms of unit balancing, but remember that Starcraft is a full real-time strategy game, whereas BSM is partly (despite being the opposite of an) FPS. Also keep in mind Starcraft does not adhere to the laws of physics, biology, or history; BSM must operate in such a way, unless you guys want your Renown-class to sprout wings and shout, "Battlecruiser operational".

That's why I personally say that there's almost no way to completely balance the Japanese CLs with the US ones without taking some subtractions from reality for the sake of gameplay. It's been suggested to give the Kuma's torpedoes a boost, but as I've said before - torpedoes would still be MUCH harder to use than cannons, giving gun CLs an advantage over torp CLs no matter how you slice it.

It3llig3nc3
25th Aug 2008, 09:41
Arrow,

Good response - thanks!

Further comments:

1. Spawn points - of course I did not mean that everybody can put units whereever they want on the map :) That's nonsense. Spawn point should have some logic that relates to the battle scene and have a radius as you said in which the units can be placed.

2. Buying units - Your prediction that everybody would buy heavy units is probably correct, however if you read exactly what I said you'll see "buy units from a list". I did not want to iterate further in my post but here are some easy to implement ways of creating good unit combinations:
--> before the map starts the "player slots", out of which the players pick one, could be defined as various "battle groups". So one could be "carrier strike force" another would be "submarine group" or "task force escort group" or "heavy surface attack group", not to forget the “airfield”. For each of them the available units for purchase would be limited somehow on the choice LIST. So it's up to the player to pick 2 cruisers or rather 4 destroyers, alternatively pick two CVs instead of one but with a CL and DD as escort ships. Also for airfields and CVs the combination of planes could be determined by the player… (how many bombers vs. fighters for example)
--> please also consider that if everybody is picking heavy units, ONE clever player with a submarine pack could win easily against them. If you don't have enough DDs next to the heavy units, you won't even be able to SEE the subs attacking. This is just one example of different strategies... The funny thing in this "purchasing the units" method is that you would only see the enemy's choice once you're in the game and they show up on your map... :D
--> finally to your point as the free choice of units would create difficulties for map objectives: I would say that under the free unit choice scenario, the objectives will have to be more creative and general that orients the players with the unit choice. (e.g. defend this or that, prevent breakthrough or even say kill units worth of X (measured in unit price))

3. Unit balance - I hear you on the Jap vs. US unit strength, however I'm still convinced that the "wise" way is not to try to match up the units against their "pair" but to allow different unit combinations that can bring the balance back. (e.g. a strong US CL could be put against a Jap DD + SUB... how about that? :D )

Arrow
25th Aug 2008, 13:12
2. Buying units - Your prediction that everybody would buy heavy units is probably correct, however if you read exactly what I said you'll see "buy units from a list". I did not want to iterate further in my post but here are some easy to implement ways of creating good unit combination:
--> before the map starts the "player slots", out of which the players pick one, could be defined as various "battle groups". So one could be "carrier strike force" another would be "submarine group" or "task force escort group" or "heavy surface attack group", not to forget the “airfield”. For each of them the available units for purchase would be limited somehow on the choice LIST. So it's up to the player to pick 2 cruisers or rather 4 destroyers, alternatively pick two CVs instead of one but with a CL and DD as escort ships. Also for airfields and CVs the combination of planes could be determined by the player… (how many bombers vs. fighters for example)

I predict that everyone will start picking the 2 cruisers and stuffs. It's a brilliant idea if done correctly, but I think the chances of a players screwing it up are just too broad to make it worth the risk of implementing it. Like I said, though, if Eidos somehow hires the Stephen Hawking of map balancing and puts exactly the right units in exactly the right combos for a task force, that would be AWESOME. But practically? I don't know.



--> please also consider that if everybody is picking heavy units, ONE clever player with a submarine pack could win easily against them. If you don't have enough DDs next to the heavy units, you won't even be able to SEE the subs attacking. This is just one example of different strategies... The funny thing in this "purchasing the units" method is that you would only see the enemy's choice once you're in the game and they show up on your map... :D


I think the result there would be a gigantic version of Islands of Solomon. I'm sure you know how rare it is for anyone to go for a destroyer or a submarine.

Additionally, as we saw from the dev previews, cruisers now have what appears to be the sonar capabilities of destroyers. A few cruisers can spot a sub, and all you'd need is a squad or two of DC Judies/Daunts to sink it.



--> finally to your point as the free choice of units would create difficulties for map objectives: I would say that under the free unit choice scenario, the objectives will have to be more creative and general that orients the players with the unit choice. (e.g. defend this or that, prevent breakthrough or even say kill units worth of X (measured in unit price))

That's true. It all really depends on what kind of maps Eidos intends to throw at us. Looking in perspective of BSM, since that's all I really know for certain so far, it'd be tougher to pull off "Kill this specific unit". The objectives you've said before all work, so maybe I'm just blowing off hot air. However, I think the method we have is still more versatile than yours in that it can be applied well to all objective types, while the alternative can be applied to most of them. That, and like I said before, it would be very difficult to balance.

3. Unit balance - I hear you on the Jap vs. US unit strength, however I'm still convinced that the "wise" way is not to try to match up the units against their "pair" but to allow different unit combinations that can bring the balance back. (e.g. a strong US CL could be put against a Jap DD + SUB... how about that? :D )[/QUOTE]

Starfury
25th Aug 2008, 14:15
I think the result there would be a gigantic version of Islands of Solomon. I'm sure you know how rare it is for anyone to go for a destroyer or a submarine.
The main problem with Solomon's setup is that you have only 1 ship per slot. Of course if you get to choose between 1BB, 1CA and 1DD anyone in their right mind will choose a BB (of course "anyone in their right mind" is only a subset of the BSM playerbase :D)

If you could get 2 CAs instead of 1 BB it might actually be worth to consider the options.

It3llig3nc3
25th Aug 2008, 18:02
Arrow - I think we have a bit different viewpoint on this game, however it's not really a problem to disagree on a few elements since the objective is to make this game more enjoyable. We will see the final product hopefully soon and then can conclude - or not :D

Starfury - I like the way you look at this thing. 1BB or 1CA is not really a choice - it's a lack of options. but 1BB or 2CA is something a bit different. Taking this further it could mean 4DDs perhaps in place of one BB? Assuming 2 ship slots this logic results in 8DDs vs 2BBs which is quite a scenario in my mind. :D Or alternatively 2BBs against 2 CAs and 4 DD s... and so on :)

Arrow
25th Aug 2008, 18:11
Arrow - I think we have a bit different viewpoint on this game, however it's not really a problem to disagree on a few elements since the objective is to make this game more enjoyable. We will see the final product hopefully soon and then can conclude - or not :D

I have a hunch they're going to stick to the tried-and-true method, but your idea is worth at least considering...IMO anyway.


Starfury - I like the way you look at this thing. 1BB or 1CA is not really a choice - it's a lack of options. but 1BB or 2CA is something a bit different. Taking this further it could mean 4DDs perhaps in place of one BB? Assuming 2 ship slots this logic results in 8DDs vs 2BBs which is quite a scenario in my mind. :D Or alternatively 2BBs against 2 CAs and 4 DD s... and so on :)

Putting it that way makes things a little more interesting, although I still believe that a straight fight between two CAs and a BB will favour the BB. Of course, depending on what TYPE of CAs you're referring to - the York-class in particular is just dumb in terms of power and there's no way two Yorks can put up a fight against even something like Kongo. Throw in US/Japanese CL mess, and...it gets pretty complex.

Starfury
25th Aug 2008, 20:56
Putting it that way makes things a little more interesting, although I still believe that a straight fight between two CAs and a BB will favour the BB. Of course, depending on what TYPE of CAs you're referring to - the York-class in particular is just dumb in terms of power and there's no way two Yorks can put up a fight against even something like Kongo. Throw in US/Japanese CL mess, and...it gets pretty complex.
That's exactly what I would like about about that system. You have to think and make decisions. You might even have to adapt to the enemy strategy *gasp*

And yes, even two strong CAs have a hard time against 1 BB. But they can be at two places at once. So for example on a map like Solomon (with each Yard only offering 1 slot)
I wouldn't be sure if 2 BB would be a better choice than 1 BB and 2 CA with one CA assisting the BB on defense and the second CA freelancing.

There would probably be an ideal combination with such a system too (after all, there's always one or several optimal choices in any system), but at least there's a much better chance of having several viable strategies instead of the "2 BB + 2 CA or you lose" situation we have now.

Arrow
26th Aug 2008, 01:24
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v255/distant-thunder/untitled.jpg

David603
26th Aug 2008, 05:15
A while back I put forward an idea for a game mode where all the players got to choose their own units. The way it works is the host chooses the map and how many points (for unit purchase) each side gets.

Once all the players are in the main lobby and ready to start, the host launches the game. The two teams then split up into seperate lobbies to select their units. The amount of points the team has is divided equally between the players on the team, so if the host has chosen a limit of 500pts and one team has 4 players each will get 125pts. If the other team only has two players then each will get 250pts.

Players would be able to choose from battleships, carriers, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and PT boats, each individual unit having its own value in points to reflect its worth. For example, a Kuma class cruiser would be considerably cheaper than a Cleveland class cruiser, even though both are CLs. Each side could also have a number of airfields availible, with this number depending on which map the host chose and a player who purchased one of these would be able to choose differently priced aircraft to equip the airfield.

When all the players have selected their units they can place them on the map and the game starts. The map itself is 20x10 miles with a base at each end and the units can be placed in an area around the base. The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy base, while defending your own so a good selection of air and surface units would need to be chosen because if a team has no aircraft its base can be bombed with no resistance. However a team with less aircraft but a stronger surface fleet could use its aircraft to defend the surface force while moving to attack. Hence the right balance needs to be chosen between air and surface power.

Various smaller objectives could be added, such as capturing shipyards, docks or radar stations. A shipyard would provide the player who captured it with a couple of new units, docks would enable unit repairs and radar stations would give an expanded field of view on the map.

Obviously this would need some careful balancing, but in my opinion it could add a lot of replay value to the game since the units would be different each time, and it could lead to very interesting tactical battles with all the different combinations possible.

M0n3y
26th Aug 2008, 07:16
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v255/distant-thunder/untitled.jpg

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It3llig3nc3
26th Aug 2008, 10:58
[...]
There would probably be an ideal combination with such a system too (after all, there's always one or several optimal choices in any system), but at least there's a much better chance of having several viable strategies instead of the "2 BB + 2 CA or you lose" situation we have now.

This is what I'm also talking about but so far met only deaf ears from the DEVs. Freedom of unit choice would allow to battle out different concepts and could create more variations of strategy.

As for the BB vs 2 CAs and take it further if you take 4 DDs instead of 1 BB you not only have 4 units that can be 4 different places but also make them act like a "Wolfpack" and say attack the BB from varios directions increasing a chance that few of them can get close and push out plenty of torps...


My far fetched take as why the developers are not too kean on these kind of ideas is that for some reason the game developers see this game primarily an action game where the "meat" is taking control of units and fighting things out. Look at the available gameplay videos released about BSP and you'll see that all improvements over BSM points toward a more unit focused game. Perhaps it is the "will" of the majority of the fans. Less thinking and strategy and more action. I for myself stand on the other side saying that the tactical part of the game should be reinforced - unit combinations, free deployment, all key in strategy and RTS games not shooters. For me the single unit takeover is technically a big "plus" but not PRIME function. (it allows to fix the key local problems instead of a dumb AI :) ).

Perhaps this conceptual difference is the major cause.

Unfortunatley EIDOS is not the kind of company who is willing to comment on these kind of issues, neither allows it to their dev teams... so we will never know...

Arrow
26th Aug 2008, 15:20
Personally I think they primarily showed units because they were flashier and would attract a lot more attention than a bunch of map screens. I'd like to think that they mentioned that they wanted to hang onto the whole concept of a game with combination strategy and action, but I can't recall any dev interviews or anything that says that.


As for the BB vs 2 CAs and take it further if you take 4 DDs instead of 1 BB you not only have 4 units that can be 4 different places but also make them act like a "Wolfpack" and say attack the BB from varios directions increasing a chance that few of them can get close and push out plenty of torps...

Attacking from various directions is pretty hard in BSM, unless you count using the "sneak-over-the-border" method. It takes a long time for you to set up, firstly, and secondly, it's hard to do given a battleship's range. It would be most effective if four destroyers popped up in firing range all at the same time, but that would require...a lot of set up. It would be far easier to simply get another battleship and blow it up the old-fashioned way.

And that's assuming you get one battleship and four destroyers. When you throw in the whole gamut, the situation gets a lot more complicated than what we're all making it out to be.

David603
27th Aug 2008, 03:16
4 destroyers couldn't take on a battleship anyway, given how weak their torpedoes are. Heck, I doubt 10 destroyers could sink one unless the torpedo damage was boosted to near realistic levels, because you could pound on a battleship for hours with those 5in guns without sinking it.

It3llig3nc3
27th Aug 2008, 10:21
Hmmm. In my mind I do not "under rate" the value of smaller units like the DD in big fights.

Just for the theoretical exercise: imagine a simple 1vs1 game on empty water with the objective of "kill all enemy units". The "BB" believers could get 2 BBs for their side and I would get the choice of BBs or CAs or DDs with the 1BB=2CA=4DD currency. How would I play it out I wonder.

Most probably I would want 1 BB and 4 DDs in my fleet. Since it's 1 on 1 the key for the battle is how can we utilize the AI's capabilities since we can't control all the units directly... Most probably I would loose my one 1BB in a fight against the opponent's 2 going after my heavy unit... But in the meantime I could have the 4 DDs sneaked up on the BBs unharmed and finish them off with torpedoes.

One strategical point many player forgets is that not only the pure firepower matters when killing a ship but the FREQUENCY of the achieved hits. So 3 x 3 torps can only scratch a heavy unit if they hit it in waves giving time in between the hits to let the ship come into "repair mode". Have the 9 torps hit near the same time and the situation is much more dire for the unit...

...anyways... the point is still that unit choice can and will increase the game play options and even without a fully functional map editor can give many different flavors to the game increasing it's potential for enjoyable re-plays.

Also mind that the unit choice could go into the single-player mode so replaying the same missions with different unit configurations can be also interesting. (brutal force vs. sneaky for example)

I'm trying to argument on this as techically it 's a very easy thing to implement compared to other solutions (e.g. map editor) that has the similar aim. (improve replayability)

David603
27th Aug 2008, 11:22
Recently I was playing 1v1 on Sibuyan as the US, and because I needed to go out in half an hour I decided to engage at the start and have a quick match instead of going through the whole retreat to the airfields thing. So I attacked the Yamato with torpedo bombers at the start and worked her down by a third while I got my BBs together, and then I engaged, 2 BBs plus 4 DDs vs 2 BBs, a CA and 6 DDs. I sunk Yamato and had one full health BB and one 10% health BB. While I was engaging the last BB the enemy DDs and the cruiser came in, and the guy had put torpedoes on automatic.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but since I was manually controlling the full health BB in front of the damaged one and using the binoculars I didn't see and avoid the torpedoes. I got nailed by at least 20 and quite probably more torpedoes, at the same time and spread out down the lengh of the hull and this pretty much sunk me.

Between Musashi and the CA I lost both Iowas, but Musashi went down and the CA lost most of its health before the last american battleship sunk. A wave of my divebombers and torpedo bombers arrived in time to finish the cruiser off, but the torpedoes almost lost me the battle

I guess under the right circumstances DDs can be useful, but in an open engagement with 1 BB plus 4 DDs vs 2 BBs I would expect the BBs to win.

Incidentally, we could try out combinations of BBs vs other ships using the shipyard glitch on Solomons, so we could find out how many DDs or CAs are required to take on a BB.

Arrow
27th Aug 2008, 15:04
Torpedoes definitely can cause a lot of hurt to a ship. But given how their effective range is like 0.3 for most circumstances, I definitely think a BB can destroy or at the very least cripple the DDs sufficiently.

Starfury
27th Aug 2008, 17:12
On an different note.
I hope they put some kind of incentive to attack in all maps. Meaning that running away indefinitely isn't a real strategy. Be it something immobile you have to defend/attack like the bases on Solomon and the straits in Suriago, or at least a slow unit like the carriers on Samar/Coral/Philippines (while they with their bigger range can strike at all the chasers)
Even the Airbases on Sibuyan would be an incentive for the navies to attack, if the airpower wouldn't be so unequally distributed

This basically leaves a map like Steel Monsters which has a nice concept (a pure BB slugfest), but just has so many flaws in it's setup which lead to waiting for the enemy to come to you being the superior tactic for both teams.

Arrow
27th Aug 2008, 18:40
I think the solution there would be to simply make the maps smaller. Especially a map like Steel Monsters - with less room to run away, you'll get fewer runners. And those who do TRY to run won't be able to get very far.

andy3536
27th Aug 2008, 19:01
On an different note.
I hope they put some kind of incentive to attack in all maps. Meaning that running away indefinitely isn't a real strategy. Be it something immobile you have to defend/attack like the bases on Solomon and the straits in Suriago, or at least a slow unit like the carriers on Samar/Coral/Philippines (while they with their bigger range can strike at all the chasers)
Even the Airbases on Sibuyan would be an incentive for the navies to attack, if the airpower wouldn't be so unequally distributed

This basically leaves a map like Steel Monsters which has a nice concept (a pure BB slugfest), but just has so many flaws in it's setup which lead to waiting for the enemy to come to you being the superior tactic for both teams.


make it so people can't run away, like thats more realistic:rolleyes:

They need to be bigger so that better tactics can be used, and if someone runs away it's still a tactic, you expect the last DD to attack 2 BBs and CVs?

It's a viable tactic so must stay, you can work you way round it and have a little patience.


I think the solution there would be to simply make the maps smaller. Especially a map like Steel Monsters - with less room to run away, you'll get fewer runners. And those who do TRY to run won't be able to get very far.

Again, why?
Steel monsters as a map is pointless, it's just a shoot em up. No tactics needed.
I do hope the maps are much bigger and more tacticly orientated. Giving you longer and more fulfiling battles. If someone runs as there outnumbered, you'll just have to deal with it and have patience.

Arrow
27th Aug 2008, 19:07
make it so people can't run away, like thats more realistic:rolleyes:
This is a game. Not a straight simulator.


They need to be bigger so that better tactics can be used, and if someone runs away it's still a tactic, you expect the last DD to attack 2 BBs and CVs?

To end the game? I would expect it to.


It's a viable tactic so must stay, you can work you way round it and have a little patience.
The last game I had that happen to, he ran his battleship around for a good 30 minutes, bringing the whole game to over an hour. Half of which was spent chasing.


Again, why?
Steel monsters as a map is pointless, it's just a shoot em up. No tactics needed.
I do hope the maps are much bigger and more tacticly orientated. Giving you longer and more fulfiling battles. If someone runs as there outnumbered, you'll just have to deal with it and have patience.
Best have a variety.

Starfury
28th Aug 2008, 03:28
I think the solution there would be to simply make the maps smaller. Especially a map like Steel Monsters - with less room to run away, you'll get fewer runners. And those who do TRY to run won't be able to get very far.

For a map like Steel Monsters, the smaller map might be a good solution, though I'd still prefer some alternative objective you could achieve if the enemy doesn't want to stand and fight.

But my main gripe with the map is the starting setup, which couldn't be worse if you'd first have to swim to your BB. (Well actually, the US setup on Samar is even more annoying). Just put some more distance between the two fleets. The battle won't begin any later but we can spare ourselves the awkward BB-ballet to turn all our ships into the same direction which costs just as much time as closing an extra mile...

andy3536
28th Aug 2008, 15:48
This is a game. Not a straight simulator.

To end the game? I would expect it to.

The last game I had that happen to, he ran his battleship around for a good 30 minutes, bringing the whole game to over an hour. Half of which was spent chasing.

Best have a variety.

If people don't have the option to run away when the're outnumbered they'll jsut leave and the game will end, that is not the answer and i hope thay don't do it to keep some inpatient people happy.

Starfury
28th Aug 2008, 15:54
If people don't have the option to run away when the're outnumbered they'll jsut leave and the game will end, that is not the answer and i hope thay don't do it to keep some inpatient people happy.
And what's the point in running away in a mission where you have to kill the enemy?

com345
28th Aug 2008, 15:56
if there is absolutley no chance of winning anymore advanced teams will most likeley surrender or just fight to the end

but if winning is still possible turning away and "running" as you call it it a propper tactic

the only thing that disturbes me on steel monsters is the island itself!
if there was no island you could use propper fleet tactics insead if running circles because the enemy is hiding behind it

Starfury
28th Aug 2008, 16:29
They need to be bigger so that better tactics can be used, and if someone runs away it's still a tactic, you expect the last DD to attack 2 BBs and CVs?


but if winning is still possible turning away and "running" as you call it it a propper tactic

If you read the discussion, you would have realized what kind of "running" we were talking about.

And even in your definition for running, the smart thing for the stronger force would be to run in the opposite direction, since a chasing fight without a speed or range advantage is just stupid. The best tactic on Steel Monsters is waiting for the enemy to come to you, and that's a bad setup...

David603
28th Aug 2008, 17:09
One way to reduce the advantage gained from running would be to increase the gun ranges. For example, if all the ranges were doubled so an average battleship had a max range of 3.2 miles, but the speed at which the shells traveled was kept the same.

This way, you would need to lead your target when shooting at ranges greater than the current max of 1.6 miles, so skill would be involved and it would be harder to get hits as the ranges increased. Under these circumstances it would be almost imposible to maintain the current situation where a running battleship at max range can shoot back accurately while the battleship pursuing cannot return fire.

Therefore there would be a kind of grey zone from around 2.5 miles outward, where both ships would be in range but neither would be taking a great deal of damage, unless the players involved were very good.

Currently very little skill is required for shooting in a battleship to battleship engagement, with most of the victories going to the player who turned away more or otherwise held the range at 1.6-1.7 while moving away from their target.

battleshipman
28th Aug 2008, 23:51
The best tactic on Steel Monsters is waiting for the enemy to come to you, and that's a bad setup...

If its the best tactic, how come I've never seen it win?

Starfury
29th Aug 2008, 00:43
If its the best tactic, how come I've never seen it win?
Then you've never played the map. Ever seen a bb hidden behind a part of the island (an exploit of the controls I hope will be gone in BSP), waiting for the enemy to come into range?

And there's a simple reason you rarely see the run and wait team win. A team usually only does it once it's behind in BBs.
The reason it's hardly ever done from the start is that it's already hard enough to get the entire team to go in one direction and keep the front guy from rushing into battle alone.

Let me ask you: Take 2 fleets in formation 2 miles apart. What's the advantage for the team that attacks?

andy3536
29th Aug 2008, 13:03
Then you've never played the map. Ever seen a bb hidden behind a part of the island (an exploit of the controls I hope will be gone in BSP), waiting for the enemy to come into range?

And there's a simple reason you rarely see the run and wait team win. A team usually only does it once it's behind in BBs.
The reason it's hardly ever done from the start is that it's already hard enough to get the entire team to go in one direction and keep the front guy from rushing into battle alone.

Let me ask you: Take 2 fleets in formation 2 miles apart. What's the advantage for the team that attacks?

Eer, no. It's a gun slogging match no more. The best shots win, always!

It3llig3nc3
29th Aug 2008, 15:21
Eer, no. It's a gun slogging match no more. The best shots win, always!


Torpedoes definitely can cause a lot of hurt to a ship. But given how their effective range is like 0.3 for most circumstances, I definitely think a BB can destroy or at the very least cripple the DDs sufficiently.

Let me suggest two considerations in this debate:

1. effectiveness of torpedoes - by now I see the argument put up here about the effective range of torpedoes and their "usefulness" being limited. But. Torpedoes are nasty creatures in this game and although they work differently in the game, than in real time, funnily they can cause the same KEY effect: disturbance. That is IMO what can help to decide between the winner and looser. In the real life Battle off Samar event the battleship Yamato had to put itself out of fight because it had to go in reverse for long minutes, to avoid a few torpedoes – luck was that the ship was able to match the torpedo’s speed so it couldn’t close up the gap and hit. (the result was that the huge BB virtually got withdrawn from the fight and couldn’t destroy the US ships). In BSM, if you play against CSF guys on the Battle of Suriago Strait map, you’ll see that they use the US DDs and PT boats to swarm the Jap fleet with dozen of torpedoes from 1 mile distance. Obviously only a few hits will be achieved if the Jap players are good, but since the disturbance is there, the player have to choose: focus on evading the torps or dealing with the other threats (planes and ships). No good choice is available: A) by keeping course and dealing with non torpedo threats the number of torp hits are going to increase dramatically causing a lot of damage B) evading the torps will cause detour and slowdown, allowing the US team more air strikes and time to defend the key objectives practically also causing a lot of lost effort that will be tough to compensate in the end-game.

Point is: torpedo is not only a primary “hit” weapon, but a “noise” that can make the enemy de-focus (multi focus) so resources are spread instead of concentrated on the main objective. This is –for me- a very useful component of the game. (strategy)

2. Advantage of the attacking team (responding to the 2 fleets at 2miles “waiting for each other” scenario). With the setup “equal” there is a strong advantage for the player who attacks (unless this player(s)) is significantly under skilled to the other team): the INITIATIVE to choose the direction of the attack and the moment of the attack. If you know when and how you want to get to firing range, you have a few seconds (minutes) more to take advantage of your configuration and fight with a FULL BROADSIDE power. I do not want to say that the attacker always wins under any circumstances, but if other parameters are more or less equal, taking the initiative is important. There is a difference between dictating the events than responding to them.

Starfury
29th Aug 2008, 16:40
If you know when and how you want to get to firing range, you have a few seconds (minutes) more to take advantage of your configuration and fight with a FULL BROADSIDE power.
And what did the defenders do in the meantime? Go on a coffee break?
If you wait for the enemy to come to you, you'll probably have your broadside directed at them already.

It's the attacking team which has to find a compromise between either closing rapidly or at an angle close to their broadside.
And if you don't close quick enough, you risk getting into a chasing fight.

David603
29th Aug 2008, 16:55
Let me suggest two considerations in this debate:

1. effectiveness of torpedoes - by now I see the argument put up here about the effective range of torpedoes and their "usefulness" being limited. But. Torpedoes are nasty creatures in this game and although they work differently in the game, than in real time, funnily they can cause the same KEY effect: disturbance. That is IMO what can help to decide between the winner and looser. In the real life Battle off Samar event the battleship Yamato had to put itself out of fight because it had to go in reverse for long minutes, to avoid a few torpedoes – luck was that the ship was able to match the torpedo’s speed so it couldn’t close up the gap and hit. (the result was that the huge BB virtually got withdrawn from the fight and couldn’t destroy the US ships). In BSM, if you play against CSF guys on the Battle of Suriago Strait map, you’ll see that they use the US DDs and PT boats to swarm the Jap fleet with dozen of torpedoes from 1 mile distance. Obviously only a few hits will be achieved if the Jap players are good, but since the disturbance is there, the player have to choose: focus on evading the torps or dealing with the other threats (planes and ships). No good choice is available: A) by keeping course and dealing with non torpedo threats the number of torp hits are going to increase dramatically causing a lot of damage B) evading the torps will cause detour and slowdown, allowing the US team more air strikes and time to defend the key objectives practically also causing a lot of lost effort that will be tough to compensate in the end-game.

Point is: torpedo is not only a primary “hit” weapon, but a “noise” that can make the enemy de-focus (multi focus) so resources are spread instead of concentrated on the main objective. This is –for me- a very useful component of the game. (strategy)
The strategy of launching torpedoes as described above can be countered by turning slightly away so the torpedoes run out of range before they reach their targets or by positioning some of the smaller ships slightly further north to intercept the PT Boats en route. One player with a couple of destroyers is quite capable of dealing with the PT Boats and that leaves three to deal with the largely ineffective aircraft and the weak allied BBs.

2. Advantage of the attacking team (responding to the 2 fleets at 2miles “waiting for each other” scenario). With the setup “equal” there is a strong advantage for the player who attacks (unless this player(s)) is significantly under skilled to the other team): the INITIATIVE to choose the direction of the attack and the moment of the attack. If you know when and how you want to get to firing range, you have a few seconds (minutes) more to take advantage of your configuration and fight with a FULL BROADSIDE power. I do not want to say that the attacker always wins under any circumstances, but if other parameters are more or less equal, taking the initiative is important. There is a difference between dictating the events than responding to them.
In this battle, if I am the team playing defense, then I have several advantages. If I wish to, I can turn away just before the attackers come into range. This gives me several broadsides that the attacker cannot reply to, and I can then choose from two options, the first of which is to turn away and let the attacker follow me, taking damage until he breaks off, or I can turn in and win the battle by merit of my now having more health than my opponent.

Alternatively the attacker can break off or go into reverse as soon as he starts taking damage, though this returns us to the fleets running parrallel scenario but with some damage to the attacker.

Obviously, if you have enough of a skill edge or a sufficiently superior ship then you can attack and win, but you will not win if the enemy follows the first of the options I outlined and also avoids getting trapped in a corner of the map.

It3llig3nc3
29th Aug 2008, 18:51
David603,

You could be an excellent testing partner for my theories. You look like the complete opposite of me :D Which is good. People are different, however I'm still a believer that what makes success is to direct and control the events and not react to them.

You value reaction over initiative and you believe spreading and managing multiple objectives is better than focus. Can be true, can be wrong.

In this very game I think offense pays out much better than defense.

On the first case (multi torp spreading) you yourself made the strategic choice stating that you will deal with the torps (turning slightly away so the torpedoes run out of range before they reach their targets) which is going to cost you precious time before you can either break through on the map (if that's where you're headed) or destroy the PT base. That's gonna cost you when in the end-game you face the US battleships and the air force with severely damaged BBs.

On the second one if you believe defender can bring on the first full broadside you simply assume a frontal attack from the offender. Let me remind you one of the facts of the BSM game code: when ships are stopped or going at slow speed the AI has great difficulties to keep the desired formation of ships during turns. As a defender you can't move fast or it's no longer defense but running away and that requires different consideration. If you stay put the attack can CHOOSE from where to attack - you can still adjust your bearing to keep showing your broadside, but it's quite difficult with more than 1 ship. So if the attacker "circles in" it will give them two things:
1. It won't be a frontal approach so they can show full broadside too
2. You will have to constantly turn and follow them in order to match up the broadside - and in my opinion this is where you loose big time...

sorry... it's just how I think... we can try :D


Practice will tell...

David603
29th Aug 2008, 21:19
David603,

You could be an excellent testing partner for my theories. You look like the complete opposite of me :D Which is good. People are different, however I'm still a believer that what makes success is to direct and control the events and not react to them.

You value reaction over initiative and you believe spreading and managing multiple objectives is better than focus. Can be true, can be wrong.

In this very game I think offense pays out much better than defense.
Perhaps we are more alike than you think. In most games, I try to keep attacking, because keeping the initiative is the way to win. In COD4 this means I'm always moving, always trying to circle round the enemy and shoot them from behind or just playing gun and run. In Command & Conquer 3 this translates into building an army as fast as possible and then attacking, rather than going through the whole build a uber-base and then build a uber-army routine that seems to be most used in online play of C&C3.

But when it comes to BSM, since it lacks the fast pace of a shooter or the building of units and defenses over time of a true RTS, there is very little reason to go on the offensive. This is emphasised by the advantage gained by playing defense. Playing defense on Philippenes or Coral Sea allows you to wear down the attacking enemy surface units with air power, before closing in to finish off the decimated enemy with your largely intact force. But this is nothing compared to the advantages of playing running defense in a battleship duel. By holding the range open and turning away every time an opponent closes you could win a battle without a scratch, so long as your opponent kept attacking.

On the first case (multi torp spreading) you yourself made the strategic choice stating that you will deal with the torps (turning slightly away so the torpedoes run out of range before they reach their targets) which is going to cost you precious time before you can either break through on the map (if that's where you're headed) or destroy the PT base. That's gonna cost you when in the end-game you face the US battleships and the air force with severely damaged BBs.
My usual strategy on Surigao (if I'm playing as the Japanese) is to go for the straight, but aiming slightly to the south of it. The smaller ships are spread out ahead and to the North of the battleships, because that way the attacking planes and PTs can be destroyed short of their targets. If the Renowns come out the smaller ships fall back but continue to defend against aircraft and PTs, while the BBs and CAs sink the Renowns. If the Renowns don't come out, then I destroy the airfield before sending the surviving DDs and CAs north to take out the boatyards, while the BBs play a waiting game with the Renowns. Once the boatyards are gone, it is usually possible to rush the straights using the smaller ships as cover.

Therefore turning away slightly is just a contingency plan to be put into effect if the DD screen fails, and it consumes very little time or effort.

On the second one if you believe defender can bring on the first full broadside you simply assume a frontal attack from the offender. Let me remind you one of the facts of the BSM game code: when ships are stopped or going at slow speed the AI has great difficulties to keep the desired formation of ships during turns. As a defender you can't move fast or it's no longer defense but running away and that requires different consideration. If you stay put the attack can CHOOSE from where to attack - you can still adjust your bearing to keep showing your broadside, but it's quite difficult with more than 1 ship. So if the attacker "circles in" it will give them two things:
1. It won't be a frontal approach so they can show full broadside too
2. You will have to constantly turn and follow them in order to match up the broadside - and in my opinion this is where you loose big time...

sorry... it's just how I think... we can try :D


Practice will tell...
I think your getting this wrong somehow. What I'm talking about isn't simple defense, its running defense. This is the tactic of keeping moving, but letting the enemy come to you, and turning away every time the enemy comes into range so you can fire back at a pursuer without being hit yourself. Its rather cheap as tactics go but very effective.

Incidentally I have used the circling in tactic you described when playing 1v2 on Steel Monsters, against two people who decided to make a defensive huddle out of all the American ships. It really was quite funny, because I had all 4 Japanese battleships in a semicircle at 1.7 from one outlying battleship and I then used the map to tighten all my battleships circles at the same time. Result was a 4v1 battle that I won with slight damage to one ship. Rinse and repeat 4 times and there were no more American battleships, and none of my ships had even taken any serious damage.

Arrow
29th Aug 2008, 23:06
As far as I'm concerned, there isn't much of an advantage to defending and attacking - such distinctions, IMO, originate from map design and the playstyle of a team as a whole. To me, it can't very much be analyzed on a unit-per-unit basis.

This is mainly 'cause I find that, under most circumstances, going to broadside in a 1v1 scenario is quite easy. Knowing the approximate gun ranges of my ships, I can turn to broadside if the attack is head-on, or zig-zag if he comes in from the back.

This isn't to say that I can ALWAYS go to broadside in any situation, of course. The most obvious situation is if you have multiple enemies.

Eagle1Division
8th Sep 2008, 03:23
This post is about map design...
An important thing about improving something is knowing what is best. IMO Sibuyan Sea is a shining example of BS:M. There are enough units spread out so that there can be a large number of strategies, it is asymatrical and recquires a large variety of skills for victory.
It is Shining example because it does what one of the Game's goals was, It nicely blends Strategy and Gunnery(Action). You cannot win with a really good strategy If you can hardly hit the Yamatos(Or Iowas). And you cannot win based off of gunning skill if you make a massive strategic mistake.

Earlier Solomon was heavily discussed, I think there is a lot of potential for that map but its really, really sad in a way because there is such a limit to strategies. 2BB's and 2subs, or 2BB's and 2CA's? If theres a choice inbetween a BB, a CA, or a DD which do you chose? Everyone in their right mind picks BB, and whats really sad about it is its the only good choice, theres is almost no or little variation in strategy. I just really hope that Eidos makes the decision to implement the 1BB, 2CA, 4DD Idea. (mabye more along the lines of 1BB, 3CA, 6DD?)

Now, what if there was say, a number of crew, or supplies, or some sort of rescource that you started out with (in the shipyards, This is different from spawn areas because this effects SHIPYARDS), and the BB would take a massive amount, CA, moderate, DD, a small amount, and a PT boat almost nothing. If done correctly, then there'd be a large amount of strategy and mabye a bit of RPS:
He launches BB's, you launch a swarm of PT's or a few Subs. | He launches PT's, you launch DD's. | He launches Subs, you launch DD's. | He launches DD's, You launch CA's. | He launches CA's, You launch BB's.
And when you mix these forces, then it gets extremely interesting. Also this would allow each ship to play their designed role. PT: Anti-BB. DD: Anti-PT and Anti-SS. CA: Anti-DD. BB: Anti-CA (and DD to some extent).
Also, This could implement Supply ships into the game, they'd be AI controlled(like the PT boats on Solomon) and they'd come in from off the map, dock, and go back out, As they dock, you get supplies. Sink one, and you miss a shipment. This would also add a massive strategic element into the game that IMO, would be awsome. Hmm... Submarine blockade, anyone?

Now in airfields, one of the airplane slots could be Supply plane, It'd take a slot, and like the supply ships, planes would fly in and out, and you'd get supplies.
Not so sure about doing the same thing about making supply shipments take up slots in shipyards though, dont really see that as a good thing...

It3llig3nc3
8th Sep 2008, 08:09
Since the Solomon map came up mentioned I can't help but putting my comments in about it - from the map design perspective.

Personally I really really hate that map - to the extent that even if this is the only available game to join, I'd rather not taking part.

As a MAP Solomon would be great. However the entire concept of two islands should have been implemented differently. Vella Gulf is a bit of an example, how it can be done... it's not the greatest but at least more playable.


My opinion about Solomon is that the primary goal with that map was to SHOWCASE the game and the units - provide a "Sandbox" to let the players try out as many units as possible... Don't forget: this was the DEMO map.
So I believe strategy and real gameplay "enjoyment" took a back seat there...

Kreutzberg
28th Nov 2008, 16:20
Based on some of the recent conversations on here, I still stand by my original thought: people are worrying way too much about features that will not make BSP a success long term. Obviously, there is no indication that Eidos is necessarily neglecting map design, and I hope they are not. Regardless, even at this late time, 3 months after my original post, there is still plenty of time for improvement in any maps.

That gets me to another point, however. Map designers can test them extensively within Eidos, but they will not really know how the scenarios will play out when real people play them. One wonders, for example, if the designers contemplated running the American carriers on Sibuyan Sea. The only way to address that issue is long term support. Eidos: please support this game extensively with both new maps inspired by real play and tweaks to existing maps to improve their balance and diversity.