Awareness/Perception wishlist for supcom 4

Strange topic, but I couldn't think of a better place to post this.

Things I'd want out of a hypothetical ideal successor to FA if it were built from the ground up. I might do more than one of these, but the first topic I'd like to cover is awareness/perception.

  1. Terrain aware radar. Radar should be obscured by terrain. You shouldn't be able to put down one radar and have visibility everywhere. Mountains or canyons should block visibility.

  2. New Unit: AWACs. An AWACs is a plane that contains radar and flies high enough to see over terrain. Like a really slow vulnerable and expensive scout plane with a massive radar range (for an aircraft).

  3. Radar Cross Section calculations for all units. Each unit should have a radar cross section, and each unit should interreact with each type of radar dependent upon its radar cross section.

This makes RCS a relevant tweakable feature like health or damage. Any "stealth" themed factions can have some degree of stealth for all units. Other factions can forgo stealth entirely to have easily detectable units in exchange for heath and armor.

It also means you can identify the composition of formations by what comes into range of the radar at what time.

I'd be interested in seeing a rework of how attacking/defending could play out. Perhaps game balance would be tweaked to reduce defenders advantage and favour attackers more, but there would also be a sort of 'supply lines' mechanic, where the aggressor would have to support his units as they press further. Ideally this would balance offense vs defence and give losing players more of a chance to come back through raiding/hindering supply lines, while still keeping FA's mechanics.

The stuff you mentioned about radar/intel sounds cool as well. Perhaps certain units would be able to evade detection for a certain period of time, or be untargetable after leaving radar (imagine not being able to lock a transport from the other side of the map).


I thought about doing a series of these, but I probably won't, so I'll just list some of the other things I'd like to see, which overlaps with what you're talking about.

Air... air units should have a much shorter range than in FA, and require a lot of infrastructure to operate far away. I think this was probably part of the original vision for Supcom since we got the refueling station thing, but it was never used. Air should be more powerful than it is now, more expensive, but also require a lot more infrastructure with close by fueling depots. The exception to this should be bombers.

That would give units like aircraft carriers and land based air carriers a real purpose.

Transports should carry many more units and be much harder to kill. In exchange for this, they should have a massive radar signature and higher cost. Alternatively there should be T3 and T4 air transports for each faction.

One of the things I hate the most about FA is the air balance mechanic. It should be some kind of paper-rock-scissors style mechanic, instead you just build T3 interceptors until the end of time. The entire category of air units is dominated by that one unit, which cannot be countered by other air. That leads to mass hording of T3 interceptors in games and battles of attrition which is just boring. Interceptors should have a counter, and air should be re-worked to require multiple types of air units for both attacking and defense.

A simple way to do this would be giving transports EMP that disables interceptors but not gunships.

Transports > Intys > Gunships > Transports.

Obviously if this were dropped into the game as is it wouldn't work, but if you started with this kind of system and built things out from the ground up you'd get a better system for air combat.

Yeah, generally supply lines would be super useful, supply lines and support vehicles.

The quantum gateways were probably originally designed to be logistics units. You were probably supposed to build two and link them, and then you could teleport units around the map. I think that would make a lot of sense, and enable play on really large maps.

On the naval side, I imagine they originally intended for Naval to be closer to real life scale in Supcom, but backed off on it. Naval should have been something reserved for only the largest maps, and it probably should have revolved around amphibious assaults. You build naval to ferry land units and not for its own sake. It would have made some of the larger maps viable. Generally Supcom lacks sufficient transport mechanisms to make the larger maps enjoyable. Spinning up on those maps takes too long, and reacting to new information also takes a really long time. Higher capacity air transports, massive capacity naval transport, and late game teleporting gateways would solve those problems and make games on much larger maps more enjoyable.

Moses - I just want to throw my two cents in on this, since your last post speaks specifically to me and The LOUD Project.

Almost every issue you mention there is implemented in The LOUD Project, and without getting into details, gives much of the results you seem to be aiming for. This is, in particular, true of the air balance. Greatly reduced flight times does indeed bring the usefulness of airpads and carriers to the forefront - while putting a reasonable leash on the dominance that air can have on the total game. LOUD also impairs the movement speed of significantly damaged air units making having nearby refuel and repair even more valuable.

Having T3 level transports, with practical self-defense, and enough robustness to be usable, is likewise, an important factor.

Lastly, the cost/production relationship for air units, in general, is overly favorable, which compounds it's impact on the game.

On the subject of fixed teleportation, while LOUD does have this, it's something seldom used, the necessity being mostly supplanted by air transport on all but the largest maps. There's also some mechanical and UI issues that could use some love. However, logistically speaking, it makes total sense.

The naval subject is one that suffers mostly from a poor choice of nomenclature. As soon as you use the word 'battleship' - you conjure up a certain image of capability - and there's no question that Supcom doesn't have BB level ships - relatively speaking. They are considerably much less capable by comparison. Even the entry level frigate is not much more than a sloop, and this is more in keeping with it's ability in the game.

As to your earlier post about radar and it's general capability, that indeed would change the way the game plays, and add a richer level of complexity to the intel/counter-intel game. Of course, there's always hope for the future.

I know that this opinion won't be popular amongst the folk who still play a lot, but the thing I would like to see in a sequel is to make the ACU be a tiny little bit more fragile to ground troops. Especially t2 and t3 armies. IT would make this more RTS than RTT, which is what it seems to be.

nemir said:

but the thing I would like to see in a sequel is to make the ACU be a tiny little bit more fragile to ground troops. Especially t2 and t3 armies. IT would make this more RTS than RTT, which is what it seems to be.

How the fuck is Sup Com more RTT than RTS and how the fuck would making the ACU easier to kill make it more about strategy than tactics?

@nemir Just disable ACU upgrades and energy storage in the build restrictions. TADA! ACU now loses to every frontline T3 unit or like 5 T2s.

I agree with everything Moses said as Sup Comm 3 was awful.

I truly hope the 4th installment, shows the genius of Chris Taylor working alongside icedreamer, Moses, rocketrooster, and brs_destructor.

All will be answered and the only map will be gap of rohai.

@Morax said in Awareness/Perception wishlist for supcom 4:

I agree with everything Moses said as Sup Comm 3 was awful.

I truly hope the 4th installment, shows the genius of Chris Taylor working alongside icedreamer, Moses, rocketrooster, and brs_destructor.

All will be answered and the only map will be gap of rohai.

Yeah yeah yeah, no third installment. Laugh it up.

I'd want it to be a persistent MMORTS but not shit. No continuous persistent world, it's all matches like now, PVP and PVE. You get rank points or teleport in to various PVE matches or get points somehow from the ladder, idk, and you use those points/challenge maps to unlock units which you then use to build your own army composition (which would be like factions now) with which you warp into battle with. Like tabletop wargames various matches have different army composition point limits, and like now different maps/zones have unit restrictions. The units would have synergy bonuses that could build off each other, and facilitate a certain style of play, so everyone can find what is fun for them.

Oh and to unlock any unit to use in your army you would beat a challenge level that is built in a way to require you to use that unit effectively, so if you see someone with a unit you can be reasonably sure they know what it can do and how to use it.

Also I'd like for labs to be useful through all stages of the game. Idk, give them an ability that auto captures a building with a suicide. I need infantry to be FEARED!

You must deceive the enemy, sometimes your allies, but you must always deceive yourself!

@FemtoZetta At the moment, the victory condition is find and kill the ACU. If the ACU is so tough that it really needs to be at the vangaurd of your army, then finding it is not really a problem is it?

It just becomes a game of ACU at the front taking out many units and sucking mucho damage before retreating and repairing and repeating.

This singlular tactic is overridingly dominant. So... More RTT than RTS.

I think that you need to have an ACU that is tough enough that it can brush away an early rush, because getting out-rushed in a game like this isn't any fun. And so in order to do that, we have an ACU that's so tough it leads the line until t3.

I once came up with an idea I was going to call Totem Mod, which would introduce a Totem unit. It would be the slowest unit in the game, and it's main function would be to enhance any friendly ACU within it's radius. That way, ACUs are still really tough at home, but no so great at raiding.

(I did say I didn't think my idea would be popular though, didn't I?)