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View Full Version : Some propositions that should improve battle mechanics and make it more "authentic"



Taipen
03-09-2013, 11:41 AM
I hope devs check this boards. I would also appreciate other players' opinions on this matter.
1) The battle engine really lacks the concept of "zone of control". That simply not right that someone can easly disengage your fighter or slip just between 2 your raiders, without at least probability of getting hit by them. This could be implemented as some probability of being hit when you are travercing any square adjacent to your opponent, or trying to disengage from your current foe. Or even simpler, without a probability checking, the damage (to armor, if its too high, or to health if it possible, with 1/2 or 1/4 of current "intercepter's" strenght) is alway here, so you just can't freely dance arround the enemy ranks. Also, each additional adjacent foe limits your warrior's ability to intercept (he is tied up in difficult fight). So, if two your raiders located adjacent to one enemy's raider, one of them can disengage almost without consequencies (for giants you will need at least 3 human sized warriors, or one another giant-sized)
2) The way the battles flow currently is quite unbalanced and outdated (this was already quite irritating to see in heroes of m&m series 10 years ago, where some oversized stack of 1 or 2 lv critters could inflict severe casualties to other such stack on opposite side, and get away with that, receiveing only a weak backstrike of remainant critters (like, others just died without attempting to struggle); with the difference that in Banner Saga they even don't try to strike back AT ALL). Some probability of parrying should be introduced to battle system, or attacker should receive some damage too, equal to a half or quater of its victim's strength (or armor breaking ability, if attacker still has some armor on him) So not only shieldmasters/bangers could somehow defend themselves when being attacked, but, of course, they should return back much more armor dmg in that case.

Taipen
03-09-2013, 12:23 PM
Also, in addition to mentioned in (1), movement penalty should be added in all these cases, even when your are trying to disengage while having advantage in numbers over the foe you are sliping from.
And one more: I have to confess that I really care for this to be implemented in upcoming single campaign (I don't really think that such game's mechanics, even with these improvements, is suited for MP; but even in MP this will make it more unpredictable, challenging and more like real hand to hand medieval battle, of sort, what game's entourage is implying in the first place)

Anodai
03-09-2013, 01:29 PM
What you are proposing is changes to the mechanics that are so great it might as well be a different game. While things like zone of control/attack of opportunity may be more realistic I don't think mechanical realism is something that TBS has ever had the pretence of striving for. Authenticity in game design is more about truth to the reality of the game itself than truth to the reality of the outside world. It has been stated by the developers that TBS strives for low reliance on randomization, and as such it could be said that your suggestions would actually make the game less authentic.

Tirean
03-09-2013, 01:40 PM
Why has this post gotten 5 stars?

Your ideas are for a completely different game and shouldn't be touched in TBS, all it does it take away from the deep tactics which are part of TBS and make it into a completely different game...

Also this game is ALL about the zone control.. if you don't zone control you lose the game. Even moving forward and attacking you need to do some sort of zone control to make sure you can do certain things and the enemy can't.

Slimsy Platypus
03-09-2013, 01:47 PM
Taipen - I think your suggestion is quite interesting and would certainly generate some interesting decisions during combat. However to echo Anodai here, the changes are so dramatic and would shake up all the existing mechanics o the point where it probably wouldnt even feel like the same game. Is it worth it? We know the game is really fun now (at least I think it is!) so why fix it if it's not broken?

And honestly, for me personally, the argument for authenticity in a game where people battling each other are taking turns simply doesn't hold any merit for me. Many people claim that their immersion is broken from this aspect or that, but I just don't get that. I mean first of all if we were truly vikings fighting we wouldn't be taking turns smacking each other, we wouldn't be fighting 6 on 6, there wouldn't be Giants with horns, we wouldn't have limits on how many Giants we can bring to battle, and I wouldn't have to wait for my opponnent to go get his hot pocket out of the microwave before he one-shots my archer. I truly mean no offense by my comment. I'm not sure tweaking the game's mechanics for the sake of 100% authenticity will ever please us, as likley no matter what gets brought to the table something else could be done to "make it more real".

Flickerdart
03-09-2013, 01:58 PM
Both of the things you've said are also not true of chess, but that doesn't make it a bad game.

Taipen
03-09-2013, 02:37 PM
Both of the things you've said are also not true of chess, but that doesn't make it a bad game.

The reason I (and not only me, I'm shure) play this game, is because this is SO not chess with its boring rules imposing esoteric, "not realistic" movement restriction, simple damage dealing system :); because of strong "tactical" feeling from its battle mechanics, and, of course, because its starring grim, longbearded, wild and definetly authentic northmen with huge axes and swords :) Or, shortly, because its visualazing a midieval style combat encounter. Those who would love to play just chesses with, probably, better visuals, have many others opportunities.





Your ideas are for a completely different game and shouldn't be touched in TBS, all it does it take away from the deep tactics which are part of TBS and make it into a completely different game...


I can't see how it would be so much different, just from forcing your to follow more strictly the reality of battle in formation. You still can try to flank or slip between opposing wariors, but you'll be penalized for that, and the more risky this move will be, the more severe would be this penalty - thats all. And you are wrong this is smtng not suited for TBS - this elements can be seen in many highly regarded TBS games, Age of Wonders, Civilization and Blood Bowl, for example. And this worked perfectly for them, enriching game experience.



Also this game is ALL about the zone control.. if you don't zone control you lose the game. Even moving forward and attacking you need to do some sort of zone control to make sure you can do certain things and the enemy can't.

In current state nothing will stop your opponent to just go around your huge guy with great axe and strike weak archer behind him. Like there weren't any guys with great axe.


While things like zone of control/attack of opportunity may be more realistic I don't think mechanical realism is something that TBS has ever had the pretence of striving for.

Not realistic, just authentic, something that slightly reminding the real battle. Because in current state, the way the battle looks just isn't going along well with this magnificent, authentic background and setting. That a real pain for me to see.

And I don't agree with statements that this changes are so huge - it's really just slight modifications, don't think they even need a substantial programming efforts. All they do is just impose more restriction on positioning and flanking maneuvers, and there are many ways to implement it WITHOUT so hated probability based approach, make them fully determenistic.

RobertTheScott
03-09-2013, 04:30 PM
I can't see how it would be so much different, just from forcing your to follow more strictly the reality of battle in formation.

The first way it would make the game drastically different is that archers would be MUCH more powerful. There were many issues with this in Beta, and major game-changing decisions were made to allow for a healthy balance between mele and ranged units. (Or even minor decisions--like making archers have 3 movement rather than 4, which dramatically reshaped combat.) Why would archers be more powerful? Because units would have to pay a price to get to them that they don't now, leading to healthier archers in the endgame (when puncture is very, very powerful.)

That's just one thing. Another would be that shield-wall would be less common, since having units leave a hole in their formation would be preferable (in order to invite attacks of opportunity.) This in itself would be HIGHLY unrealistic, as vikings historically did fight crammed together, and blocked people from advancing by using interlocked shields rather than spread-out heroes.

Moreover, the whole concept of attacks of opportunity, as much as it makes for great D&D gameplay, may not be entirely accurate. If squares are 5 feet wide, then you could be in the next square over and potentially be 10 feet away from your foe--who is probably not even looking at you, since he has his own fight.

But most of all--this isn't Viking: Total War (which, I admit, would make a great game.) It isn't a simuation. Instead of having guys grow tired when they exert themselves, they use an abstraction called "willpower." Instead of getting wounded on specific places of their body, they lose "strength." Heck, everyone seems to have an "armor" of some sort, even when we can't see it! From top to bottom, the goal is to strike a balance between the sort of abstraction that makes for clear-cut, fun combat, and the sort of realism that lets players apply their real-world thought. But the first priority has consistently been to have a fun, tactical game--NOT a realistic one. This was evident, most of all, from the turn order, where killing an opponent actually speeds up all the rest of your opponents!

RobertTheScott
03-09-2013, 04:34 PM
Finally:


In current state nothing will stop your opponent to just go around your huge guy with great axe and strike weak archer behind him. Like there weren't any guys with great axe.

Actually, one thing will--obsessively looking at where that opponent can move, planning to place units to block his movement, and placing squishies outside of his range. The best players do this obsessively--check out some of the vids of battles, and you'll see a LOT of clicking on enemy units to check out move range. Part of the joy, for advanced players, is knowing how fluid the combat can be, but planning for the immense range of an opponent and keeping archers, warhawks, &c. just one square out of the range of imminent death.

netnazgul
03-09-2013, 04:39 PM
The only response/question I can come up with is - why do you think we need those changes when we have a good and pretty complete mechanic? The additions you propose will not make this game any better, but will just make it different.


In current state nothing will stop your opponent to just go around your huge guy with great axe and strike weak archer behind him. Like there weren't any guys with great axe.
Huge guy with great axe is clumsy and has slow reflexes to react on that quirky little raider. And if seriously, you definitely can fully block enemy from reaching your archer, you just need to think it more. This game is all about positioning right and predicting your opponent's moves.

As for the programming - if you don't clearly know that this or that is surely easy to program then you should not make such statements, cause things that seem to be very easy are the toughest to implement most of the times.

RobertTheScott
03-09-2013, 04:43 PM
Okay, one addendum. If you really want to see a game that is both turn-based strategy AND very realistic, check out Frozen Synapse. It's modern rather than Viking, uses an entirely different art style (much less beautiful, but appropriate for the premise), and has guns rather than swords--but it simulates combat about as accurately as I have ever seen.

Personally, as much as I like Frozen Synapse, I prefer Factions. (Others disagree, and I wish them well. Heck, I can see their reasons, I just have different taste.) My preference is because the abstraction actually makes the game much more fun (for me). I feel like I know what is going on in Factions in a way that can never be true of Frozen Synapse--even though it has a built-in mechanism for predicting the future! In the end, games have to chose how realistic they want to be--and randomly adding more realism doesn't automatically make a game more fun (for all players.)

tnankie
03-10-2013, 08:45 PM
Interesting post.
Displays some ignorance.
Game design not equal 'authenticity'.
Game design must first consider mechanics for game here.
ZoC, parry, retaliate game concepts from other game systems.
2x damage from behind game concept.
archer need LoS to attack game concept.

This different game.
Must be judged as its own game.
Not try to turn into copy of other game.

Also sad that love of art not also love of game.
love of setting but not love of game, brings sadness.
this one in similar situation. :(