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Supreme Cmdr

Battlecruiser Multiplayer Discussion

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quote:


Originally posted by Mano Faber:

The FAQ says: USE OF THREAT ASSETS NO that's why i ask.


AI processing - as you know - is very, very expensive and in some cases highly effective. Both are bad - with the latter tilting gameplay balancing in mp.

Since I can't control what they [NPCs] do, I am trying to limit the use of NPC units as much as possible in the interest of (a) game balancing (B) processing requirements.

What I plan for BCM is to allow very few NPC units (SAM, SAL, STO) at each base; unlike the heavy concentration you find in single player. In fact, I have reduced the number of sam/sal units in mzones in the upcoming 1.0.08 final patch, by removing some from the .3DG files.

At the very least, the mp mzones in BCM won't have more than 4-6 NPC controlled EAD units. These can protect the base until destroyed (they will rebuild as normal - or can be repaired by ECMs in BCG).

In BCG, there probably won't be any NPC controlled EAD units since they can be controlled by players (of any class).

Since the ground vehicles will be player controlled, they won't be NPC controlled.

Stations and ODS systems will still use turrets for defense, but stations will not launch NPC controlled fighters. Because you can be docked at stations in BCG and use their turrets, anytime you see a ship launch from one, you know its player controlled.

quote:


6. I think it should be an "armoured train". They will score a lot of points if they destroy the shuttle. Maybe using smaller shuttle (4-8 players/OCs) with a higher rotation will stop them from attacking the "shuttle-train".

I'm not going to write special code for shuttle capacity handling. If the capacity of a shuttle is 16 and 16 idiots decide they're going to hop in, they deserve to be killed in one fell swoop. The armor of those shuttles will be slightly beefed up, but not to the extent that it can't be destroyed. This way, players have a reason to fly CAP or ESCORT. After, wtf are you doing an aircraft if you can't make yourself useful?

And its not going to be just one shuttle either. I'm going to have at least two, going back and forth. If both get destroyed, they just have to wait for it to be re-spawned (rebuilt in BC speak).

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With regard to camping DJPs:

SC has already mentioned placing DJP's outside base perimeter by a minute or so. Securing a DJP for your side would help enhance team-play, IMHO. Say there are campers. It's up to your side to send some fighters (perhaps making an anti-personel bomber run along with CAP) and maybe a shuttle or two over to the DJP to secure it. Once secured, the DJP could be used to transport over more troops/vehicles faster than by round-tripping shuttles.

Possible hole: if a shuttle can carry the full capacity of the MP server -- why would you leave troops behind? Hm, maybe this'd be suited for shuttles that didn't have full server capacity in a scenario where you could have enough players on server to fill out the roles of fighter escort/securing group, shuttle pilot and ground forces.

[ 10-07-2002, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: Joel Schultz ]

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quote:


Originally posted by Joel Schultz:

It's up to your side to send some fighters (perhaps making an anti-personel bomber run along with CAP) and maybe a shuttle or two over to the DJP to secure it. Once secured, the DJP could be used to transport over more troops/vehicles faster than by round-tripping shuttles.


Exactly. I don't see DJP camping being that big a deal - unless the folks on the server are incompetent cowboys. Its easy to have someone cover a DJP from land or air. Thats why you have radar, binoculars (DIE), comms etc. It won't be hard to use someone as a decoy for the DJP camper and have someone feed him a grenade or a DUPE once he fires. Even if its a sniper, you'll still see his shot tracer.

quote:


Possible hole: if a shuttle can carry the full capacity of the MP server -- why would you leave troops behind?

Because the shuttle isn't running on player's schedule. It has its own internal schedule. For this reason, how many people do you think are going to be timing its schedule? So, when its ready to takeoff, if there are only five people in it, its going to takeoff. Its not going to wait for anyone.

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Having an automated transport system is a good idea. However, distance to/from areas of engagement (AOE), and the ingress/egress from the AOE is part of the battle experience.

Yes I've played other games where it takes 15-50 minutes to get to the mission objective (AOE) and then back to home base. This is how RL OPS go, shear boredom interupted by moments chaos and mayhem.

Team 1 is defense, sets up several LPs and OPs. One LP/OP spots one of Team 2's SC coming inbound, calls for the CAS crew. The Team 1 CAS crew scambles after the spotted SC. A DeD ensues. To bad all this activity was a rue.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the base, Team 2's main AIR and Ground forces engages the Team 1 defenders. The battle is short, Team 2 is victorious and DeD's the Team 1 defenders. Team 2 departs the AOE to return to their base. But are unfortunate enough to run into the Team 1 CAS crews as they return from the decoy operation.

Team 2 is toast, not enough ammo left after their engagement with the Team 1 defenders to fend off the returning Team 1 CAS crews, the Team 1 CAS crews DeD's Team 2.

Moral of the story, Team 2 won the battle but lost the war to the returning Team 1 CAS crews.

Mayhaps an option that the server op enables/disables fast transport during the MP session/game setup.

TTFN

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quote:


Originally posted by Gallion:

Mayhaps an option that the server op enables/disables fast transport during the MP session/game setup.

TTFN


Since it will be a scripted NPC unit with scripted waypoints and evac delay (just like in sp), it can simply be disabled in the script. This means that I'd have to provide two sets of scripts: one set with these transports and another set without.

There's no other way to disable it.

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Guest Grayfox

quote:

Originally posted by Gallion:

Having an automated transport system is a good idea. However, distance to/from areas of engagement (AOE), and the ingress/egress from the AOE is part of the battle experience.


exactly.

but you will have those impatient kids wanting to hurry up and die.

automated trans system is the way to go... but perhaps if you did go and make the shuttles pilotable by PC's there would be a way to report if he went and took off in a shuttle by himself, thus leaving his teammates behind... possibly reportable to his fleet/marine CO for administrative punishment??? just a thought.

as for the DJP's... i know there will be people camping them... there is spam out there, hopefully not much, but there will still be some... either removal of DJP's, or like joel said, make them a "control point" type item EG if the defenders control the DJP's they can have reinforcements transported out of the base to the foward positions via the DJP's in base to the DJP's on the perimeter.

if the foward DJP positions get overrun by the attacking team, the attacking team can send in troops into the enemy perimeter via the captured DJP. you can implement a usage time limit or a mix of personnel and time limit (IE no more than 2 at a time or 2 every 3 minutes). the only way to secure a DJP would be by ground. air units can be used as CAP, or to wipe out the DJP defense (in which case the FO's would have SAM's)

the key is to be able to get to the DJP's to secure them if youre the attacking team. which leads us back to shuttle transport, which i heavily favor... maybe for the nostalgic value (i miss riding slicks).

which leads me to ask, will there be air assault? ie if your a EFM and your in a platoon of EFM's will it be possible to do a jump from a SC while its at altitude and AA into the enemy base? hopefully that wasnt too off topic???

just some fuel for processing

[ 10-07-2002, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: Grayfox ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Grayfox:

...which leads me to ask, will there be air assault? ie if your a EFM and your in a platoon of EFM's will it be possible to do a jump from a SC while its at altitude and AA into the enemy base? hopefully that wasnt too off topic???

just some fuel for processing

Jetpacks will assist those that want to do the Bullwinkle Badge routine

TTFN

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quote:


Originally posted by Grayfox:

automated trans system is the way to go... but perhaps if you did go and make the shuttles pilotable by PC's there would be a way to report if he went and took off in a shuttle by himself, thus leaving his teammates behind... possibly reportable to his fleet/marine CO for administrative punishment??? just a thought.

The automated transit system has nothing to do with player controlled crafts. In addition to the transit system, there will be pilotable shuttles if available.

As for reporting someone, there's really no need for that except he takes off from a hot LZ leaving people behind or even if takes of when there were people trying to get on. At the end of the day, on a fleet server, there could be consequences. But on regular servers, I don't see how much good reporting the person would do.

This is exactly why I am strictly enforcing class based rules. If everyone had the ability to fly crafts, this problem would be rampant. Of course, the same would occur with drivable vehicles, but at least you stand a chance of running and getting on board, due to the new method of controls I've introduced in BCG and which I am planning on incorporating into BCM/G. i.e. it works exactly like the vehicles in BF1942, in that it uses WSAD for movement, the speed ramps up based on how long the W button is pressed for etc. I liked that control scheme, so I decided to adopt it because it was easy to use. No more using the 0-9 keys in a vehicle to set the speed etc. And with the revised physics in BCG, careening over in a UAV is going to be the norm.

quote:


as for the DJP's... i know there will be people camping them... there is spam out there, hopefully not much, but there will still be some... either removal of DJP's, or like joel said, make them a "control point" type item EG if the defenders control the DJP's they can have reinforcements transported out of the base to the foward positions via the DJP's in base to the DJP's on the perimeter.

I don't plan on removing DJPs and I don't plan on doing anything special with them, outside of what I've already said I was going to do.

quote:


which leads me to ask, will there be air assault? ie if your a EFM and your in a platoon of EFM's will it be possible to do a jump from a SC while its at altitude and AA into the enemy base? hopefully that wasnt too off topic???

Read my posts again and you'll have your answer

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Guest Remo Williams

Quick question, will the fleet servers have a spectator mode to allow FC's to watch the action without actually entering the fray?

[ 10-08-2002, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: Remo Williams ]

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quote:


Originally posted by Remo Williams:

Quick question, will the fleet servers have a spectator mode to allow FC's to watch the action without actually entering the fray?


I have no plans to implement spectator mode at this time. Maybe sometime in the future, it will appear in a BCG patch or something.

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Guest Grayfox

quote:

Read my posts again and you'll have your answer

groovy, just making sure i read right

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I was disappointed that this thread ended so quickly!!! seems a good opportunity to get some impact on how multiplayer will function.

Anyway here is my input and hopefully it will generate some more discussion.

I apologise if any of this is not within the scope of the game but here we go: To overcome the problems that fixed DJPs would create, how about having mobile DJPs (one per city). Let me explain, each city could have a fixed DJP at its centre connected to a mobile DJP that can be picked up by a marine and placed at a location of choice (presumably at a point of attack, that DJP would then remain there until it is either moved by another marine or destroyed by the enemy (at which point it is regenerated back at it's original city). Additionally you could have it so that if the marine that places the device is killed then the DJP automatically self-destructs a limited time after. DJPs could be limited to ground forces only, leaving air units to make there own way to the combat zone.

The idea of having automated vehicles travelling to and thro is great and would give the player more options/possibilities.

Im rambling but anyway hopefully you get the gist of what i'm saying. What do you all think??

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quote:

Yes I've played other games where it takes 15-50 minutes to get to the mission objective (AOE) and then back to home base. This is how RL OPS go, shear boredom interupted by moments chaos and mayhem

It's actually closer to 3-4 hrs in RL depending on conditions...but I digress. I spent 4 yrs in the army infantry. I really don't want to play a game that gives me flashbacks to the hours I spent on patrols and OPs. Who wants to play a game where you have to sleep in shifts waiting for the attack?

Will there be a planning stage for these scenarios? i.e. You get your group. Form a plan. Issue an op-order if you like. Basically set your attack/defense and give everyone an idea of their part (like we do in RL).

And I may be the only person in the world that wants this, but would it be possible to make a mp scenario that is basically a roam deal with full compliment of NPC's? My bro and I are always looking for a good Co-op game but our net connection sucks so we can't play those net games. If you could make a free-form scenario that allows mp over lan it would be much appreciated. (unless it's too much trouble, of course )

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quote:

It's actually closer to 3-4 hrs in RL depending on conditions...but I digress. I spent 4 yrs in the army infantry. I really don't want to play a game that gives me flashbacks to the hours I spent on patrols and OPs. Who wants to play a game where you have to sleep in shifts waiting for the attack?

WWIIOnline comes to mind, though you didn't have to spend 3 to 4 hours getting to an objective... only if you wanted to get there quietly without drawing the attention of the hordes of tanks. Of course since WWIIOnline is a MMOG, and you get into action pretty fast if you wanted, it worked well. I certainly wouldn't suggest those kinds of wait times for BCM or BCG MP.

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The wait time in WW2OL was the best time there. I drove the truck and i got to listen and talk in this great conversation about tactics and other stuff. Only i talked too much and one time

"accidentally" drove the truck off a cliff into the canyon filled with sharp jagged rocks below. Everyone died and they blamed it on me. After that I switched from allies to axis because all of the allies team killed me.

[ 10-26-2002, 12:54 AM: Message edited by: TheBunny ]

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One more thing. Sorry if its been asked already. I've been posting on forums for the last 15 hours and its 1 in the morning and I havent had my coffee.

ANYWAY

The one thing that bugged me the most about WW2OL was that you could not leave the vehicle. Could you exit the vehicle in BCM MP?

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quote:

The wait time in WW2OL was the best time there. I drove the truck and i got to listen and talk in this great conversation about tactics and other stuff. Only i talked too much and one time

"accidentally" drove the truck off a cliff into the canyon filled with sharp jagged rocks below. Everyone died and they blamed it on me. After that I switched from allies to axis because all of the allies team killed me.

Truck driving was one of my favorite occupations over there. I think I'll spend much of my time in MP flying shuttles for that reason. It's always a blast when you get everybody to the target area safely and undetected. Of course, there was the minor problem in WWIIOnline in that everybody thinks you're a spy or a greifer if a random bullet happens to take them out, or any other circumstances that causes them to respawn.

quote:

The one thing that bugged me the most about WW2OL was that you could not leave the vehicle. Could you exit the vehicle in BCM MP?


It bugged me, too. Rest assured, you can get in and out vehicles in BCM MP. I'm not entirely positve how it will work, but my impression is that you will spawn in FP mode and then have to get into a vehicle if one is available. What vehicles you have access to is based on your career choice.

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quote:


Originally posted by TheBunny:

The one thing that bugged me the most about WW2OL was that you could not leave the vehicle. Could you exit the vehicle in BCM MP?


It obviously didn't bug you enough or you would've gleamed this info from the FAQ I posted.

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I've played more than enough Operation Flashpoint to see the whole "steal the transport" played and replayed. I feel your pain. On with the show....

AI Transports:

The concept of the regularly running transports is a great idea, at first. It gives those players stranded a way to get from base to base. However, one problem is the difficulty in shooting them down. Set too high and they make defense almost impossible, too weak and offense get's the disadvantage. The strength should be carefully tested to see the equilibrium point for unit strength.

Would the AI transports just mindlessly continue along their waypoint path even if they are attacked? That's the real deciding factor. If they simply move like trains, I as a player wouldn't bother with the system. It's too predictable. If you know where the transport is going to be at a certain time, it invites disaster. The North Vietnamese knew that American planes were ALWAYS spaced at certain time intervals. They'd just look at their watches, fill the sky with AA, and watch the clock again. They didn't even have to aim. These are going to be the most heavily attacked objects in the game. Although players can jump off the transport at any time and sustain minor injuries, this leaves them in the middle of nowhere under enemy air assets. It becomes a game of "protect the transport" with "destroying the enemy base" as a secondary objective. Unless the transports are totally ignored and then they serve no purpose but to eat up more CPU cycles.

Detection and Travel Times:

Although they seem like seperate subjects, they are more interlinked than first realized. If you know that the attack is coming, you can prepare. If you know where the enemy is (or in the case of AI transports, where he is going to be), then you can ambush him. If the bases are 5 minutes away, but you detect an attack when it's 3 minutes away, the attackers are simply traveling to their doom. Decrease the detection time down to one minute or less, and the attackers stand much better chances. Without a way to decrease already specified detection zones, no matter the traveling times, it is a matter of speed.

WWIIOL suffered for a long time from "Truck Rushes." Only infantry can capture facilities, so everyone just filled a truck, ran into a town, caped everything and moved on. It wasn't until an extensive automated AI system was put into place that this stopped. BCM/G obviously doesn't have to deal with massive amounts of bases across a wide area, with as many players. The deciding factor here is how effective small numbers of PCs can be manning the defenses of their base. How much skill will be involved in having the weapon systems work properly? What are the capabilities of these systems? How easily are they defeated? And the most important question, what are the ranges on these weapons? Again, the problem of detection rears it's ugly head.

Although nearly every airborne craft carries an EMD, it doesn't really do anything about the sensor it's jamming. You still detect the enemy craft, although you can't get a firing solution. As long as you know where the enemy is, wether or not you can shoot is a moot point. I realize this is a two way street, but the losing side is the attacker, as he has lost the element of surprise, the defenders can prepare. There are ways to make it more balanced and spice things up. First, decoys. Being able to drop a mine of sorts that follows waypoints and looks like the craft that dropped it and self-destructs after a time could cause enough disruption to the enemy sensors that it allows the real craft to slip through. Secondly, some sort of jamming device that renders all sensors within it's range nearly useless (like what your screen looks like when you activate your EMD, plus the intermittent signals.) Although the enemy could clearly detect the jamming, not knowing from which direction the attack will come gives the attackers some advantage.

Just a few things to mull over.

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Well, I'm back (of sorts)... I just graduated from college (MIS degree) on 23/November, so I'll be around more often...

This has been on my mind since the earlier days of beta...

Of course, it depends on the ability of orbital units to select precise LZs, and drop qucickly onto them from orbit (which, last I checked, was possible)...

My thoughts:

Some sort of 'deployable forward base' that could be loaded on a shuttle as a vehicle, combined with the ability to transport units of any size between friendly bases might solve this.

Scenario this creates:

Shuttle with marines & forward-area-base-vehicle blasts off from planetary base, enters orbit, and drops down into desired spot. Once there, the forward base is deployed (should take a while to come online, or something similar), and the marines defend it. Once it's up, space-incapable units can beam in from other planetary bases.

Another Idea:

Allow space-incapable vehicles of any kind to be transported in shuttles. This mirrors the present-day ability of the military to carry helicopter gunships, tanks, etc... in transport aircraft.

Scenario:

Shuttle carrying gunship, aircrew, spare ammo, and marines for parimeter defense blasts off into orbit, lands near enemy base, and deploys the gunship as if it were a tank.

In this case, the shuttle itself becomes a 'forward area rearming point' of sorts.

As for the sensor comments, IIRC the SC implemented the passive vs active sensors option to enable 'low-signature' operations. The logical end to that would be to create power-level related signature conditions (i.e. no weapons, shields, sensors, or high-power engine operations) where you are invisible to sensors at medium-to-long range (i.e. 'grey mode' or 'run silent' operations). Of course, if found in this state before you can power up, you're one dead duck (thus balancing it)...

Basically, the sort of combat that MP in this game will foster is more like modern airborne and marine operations than army combat. Drop in, kick butt, then blast off & go home... It also strikes me that this sort of gameplay will eliminate mindless-rushing and 'all-offense' games, since if your enemy is just an orbital jump away (and can approach from any angle at any time, just drop in below the SAM envelope, deploy vehicles, and attack), you can't just grab your guns and charge out the front gate (ala CS).

You asked for suggestions, SC...

[ 12-04-2002, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: Locutus ]

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quote:


Originally posted by Locutus:

You asked for suggestions, SC...


Pretty cool suggestions. I'll bear them in mind!

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Wow, college degrees actually *do* make you smarter...can't wait to get mine!

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