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 Forum index » Featured Projects » Dawn of the Tiberium Age
artillery suggestion
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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:38 am    Post subject:   artillery suggestion
Subject description: more functionality out of artillery.
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I was playing DTA and I found myself wondering; what if we could deploy the artillery unit into a stationary mode?

Sure the artillery in game is great if used properly but I could never really get the unit to act as a stationary emplacement or as a defensive unit that I would not have to watch constantly. Normally I only use artillery in mass when attacking base defenses or a swarm of infantry but I really would like to see more versatility with the unit considering its supposed to be played as a support role and not as an assault unit as I have been playing with it as. (From my perspective).

The naval units got me thinking on this as some can deploy as stationary units to act as a siege platform. I think it would be great if the artillery unit could also deploy (same unit as before but just completely stationary without movement options). This would be great when trying to defend a base or a key choke point. When I try using artillery as it is now in those same roles they always wander off or get confused and chase after a unit that is retreating.

Mind you I am not asking for a tib sun recreation of artillery but a simple function to prevent movement so they can't wander off. I tried using waypoints to prevent them from running around or walling them off so they cant scuttle away but that ends up making them rotate around in confusion or destroying the wall.

To be honest I'm not sure how I would go about adding this function to the artillery unit but I could see it increasing the usefulness of the unit as a whole.

But I can fully expect their to be some down sides to a request like this.
I could easily imagine a player or computer going turtle and massing artillery units in a deployed fashion. (Tib sun nod players know what I am talking about). But from what I can tell all the factions have some form of artillery unit(s) that could also benefit from a stationary function. Also a deployed artillery unit could be helpful when attempting to defend from naval assaults when the enemy warships decimate your fleet and naval yard.

If anyone has any clue how to do this already with what is in game let me know as that would be greatly useful knowledge. If this is something that isn't possible I would also completely understand. I simply want to use artillery more often than in the limited roles it has now for me.

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is perfectly fine possible to implement this and i also understand your issue with the units following retreating targets, which i also find super annoying in the TS engine (that's one of the most gameplay ruining bugs in the engine).

However, deployed artilleries, as you mentioned, would encourage turtling in your base and make it almost impossible to break through by the enemy AI.
Human players would surely use artillery to counter those deployed ones, but couldn't defeat them without a lot of losses.

The only chance this could be implemented in a balancing way is, if the deployed artillery has a lower GuardRange than weapon range, so it is not picking up targets on its own on the max possible weapon range. Thus allowing enemy units to get close enough to shoot when a player is not taking care of the deployed artilleries. (same principle as ships, which have a much lower GuardRange than weapon Range, so they are no unbreakable super defense and need player control to be effective)
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ApolloTD
Commander


Joined: 19 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other options are to reduce armor/firepower and slower rof but provide longer range (or faster rof?) for deployed form but how this makes sense vs mobile version would be tough one to explain.
(maybe it loads smaller shells for siege purposes farther away with obvious drawback...)

Balancing such and avoiding turtling is probably the bad point in trying differentiate deploy mode at all.

Granted, using stats and all as is and make crude deploy is sure possible but whether its worth it is another debate if its entirely same as mobile version too.

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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I agree this suggestion will effect how the AI and players could turtle I still see more benefits if implemented in a balanced fashion.

For a deployed artillery unit (all factions) instead of a range decrease I could see a rate of fire decrease being much more effective at balancing. As that could allow enemy units to close the gap in between volleys.

Alternatively the shells or projectile could be swapped for a area of effect damage similar to the cluster explosive the promoted artillery unit uses with weaker damage. (Yes I know all artillery is AOE I'm simply stating the difference between the 2 types for the standard artillery unit).

For the GDI Mobile rocket unit for its deployment I would go with something similar to the way the new soviet sub attacks when deployed but with only maybe 4 missiles with a very slow rate of fire. Or just a slow rate of fire.

The Soviet V2 could for all intents and purposes remain completely the same as its already very slow rate of fire but the only down side is the V2 tends to get its projectiles blocked by walls and other debris which if this system was implemented would have to be worked around.

The reason I would shy away from damage reduction is because I feel it would give players more reason to use them in mass versus the most bang for the buck in a given scenario.

The reduced guard range seems like a reasonable compromise for this topic as I agree players and AI need to be able to out range base defenses to make a viable assault.

As far as armor goes fore a deployed artillery unit I could understand a weaker version of its current self and a minimum range to prevent the artillery from firing on targets to close to the unit similar to how the tib sun artillery refused to fire on targets to close to itself.

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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed something today while playing a 4 v 4.

    My side was all soviet (hard AI team)
    The enemy side was all Allied (hard AI team)


The Hard allied AI is extremely effective with artillery as in they have what seems the omnipresence to force their artillery to remain as stationary emplacements during assaults. Granted I was facing off against hard AI but their artillery and surprisingly rangers were holding off waves of heavy tanks, mammoth tanks, tesla tanks, and v2's for almost an hour until I managed to out flank them. (Notice the lack of super weapon use).

Seeing as the AI already has this awesome ability I'm sure everyone can get my point.

The bright side to this situation is from the outside it seems like the AI are turtling with artillery but really I observed this as a accidental situation as the AI is gearing up to assault my base with me managing to attack before their assault force left their base.

Also allied soviet V2's are not fire friendly as the hard AI seem to accidentally hit my units right after they launch their missiles.(Units clustered near the V2.)

Not sure if this observation helps or hurts my suggestion for artillery but I figure the more data the more we can flesh it out.

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Einhander wrote:
their artillery and surprisingly rangers were holding off waves of heavy tanks, mammoth tanks, tesla tanks, and v2's

AI sends units one by one, thus easy to kill targets regardless how many it sends.
Artillery alone, regardless how many, have no chance when you send a group of tanks and simply mow through their lines.

AI vs AI fights are not really a good way to judge balancing, since AI is not using effective tactics like a human player.

A human player wouldn't send a single mammoth into a useless attack (ok some do, but they don't know how to play)
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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the reason the AI was so effective against my forces was because of the map enemy lines. The AI tend to bunch up their structures and units at the entrance of the ridges. Making non flanking assault costly.

But I agree AI vs AI isn't viable for balance testing.

Also as a side note my skill level is not on par with the more hardcore crowd, as in I could never beat or stay alive for a reasonable time with the hard campaign missions.

During that play through I used mammoth tanks to soak up all the artillery fire while I used v2's and tesla tanks to dig through their defenses.

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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Gensokyo

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The AI's Hunt logic which it uses for attacking makes its units behave quite differently from human players. They will seek enemies in their guard range every frame (or every few frames?) and usually attack the nearest target, so if the target of the enemy artillery moves away, they will usually just switch their target.

If you attack the AI before it has finished building an entire attack team, the AI artillery have the same issue as human players' artillery though. This can often be exploited for luring artillery out of the AI's base, and then they're easily destroyed one-by-one.

Einhander wrote:
Also as a side note my skill level is not on par with the more hardcore crowd, as in I could never beat or stay alive for a reasonable time with the hard campaign missions.

If you can beat a Hard AI 1v1 (on Faster gamespeed), your skill level is definitely quite high. Most players (I'm talking with lots of CnCNet multiplayer experience) can't beat the Hard AI without dropping the game speed, and even players in the "more hardcore crowd" (such as me) get occasionally beat by the Hard AI. Of course, the AI's playing style is kinda repetitive, and so there's significant skill differences even between people who can beat the Hard AI (which show up in PvP), but if you can fairly consistently win against the Hard AI, your skill level is in the upper range of DTA players.
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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You give me far to much credit Rampastein, when I play against a hard AI I always have another hard AI on my team to support me and I always play on fast, anything faster than that is way to much info for me to process.

Plus I like to use the least amount of units required when attacking an enemy base to limit how much I have to watch over during assaults. I honestly don't know how some of you players keep track of some of the things you do.

I think my favorite tactic is to use small squads of 2-3 units to attack multiple positions at the same time. That way when the enemy has to branch off to deal with them all at least some of those attack groups have done substantial damage.

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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Gensokyo

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah. Well, when I see someone talking about playing against Hard AIs and not going all like "WTF!?? This AI is crazy!!!" (yes, I've actually seen several comments like that), I expect them to be skilled #Tongue

Those kind of matches do kind of limit the perspective when you suggest balance changes and unit features though.

As for the stationary artillery suggestion - I don't really have anything against it except I'm unsure how the more hardcore TD/RA1 fans would react (who aren't used to such a function). It shouldn't really create a balance issue, or if it does, we might already have a balance issue since a skilled player can already keep their artillery stationary by advanced micromanagement. Of course, making such micromanagement easier might cause balance issues for players of low skill levels who would then be able to easily keep their artillery stationary, while currently they might be unable to do so - it could result in those players using artillery more efficiently than other units, because the artillery would be easier to micro than other units.
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Einhander
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 17 Apr 2014

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see your point but that is something I would like to see; that is being able to use artillery more effectively no matter the skill level.

While I can vouch for my own intentions and tactics in game, however I cannot for other players that could potentially abuse such a system if it were in place.

But I do feel if it was implemented in such a way that would mitigate the the option to abuse such a function it could very well prove to be an improvement on the current game play.

What if instead of changing the artillery unit; add a defensive structure that the player can only build limited quantities of?
(Don't know if that is possible)
That would act like a stationary artillery emplacement.

From rate of fire reductions, health buffs or de-buffs, increased or decreased damage, and guard range I still think that a viable compromise could be made that would not impact game play in a negative fashion.


~Bittah: this discussion is continued in another topic.

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