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Thread: Better Map Design--the most important thing for BSP

Better Map Design--the most important thing for BSP

  1. #1

    Better Map Design--the most important thing for BSP

    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.

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
    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.

  4. #4
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    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).

  5. #5
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    I can't be bothered to read all that

    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.

  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
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    You guys think way to much

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    Originally Posted by Kreutzberg
    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.

  10. #10
    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.

  11. #11
    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.

  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    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.
    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    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.
    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    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.
    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    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.

    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    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.

  13. #13
    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...
    --> 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? )

  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    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.

    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    --> 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...
    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.

    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    --> 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? )[/QUOTE]

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    Originally Posted by Arrow
    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 )

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

  16. #16
    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

    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. Or alternatively 2BBs against 2 CAs and 4 DD s... and so on

  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    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
    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.
    Originally Posted by It3llig3nc3
    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. 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.

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    Originally Posted by Arrow
    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.

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  20. #20
    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.

  21. #21
    Originally Posted by Arrow
    Lamespy The Movie
    Go See It Now!

  22. #22
    Originally Posted by Starfury
    [...]
    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...

  23. #23
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    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.

  24. #24
    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.

  25. #25
    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)

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