Atlantis

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maybe this picture explains it easier

test.png

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sorry used the wrong word. i meant bad for gameplay

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Problem No.1
Weapons AOE ignores water, if it's in the range of the explosion it gets damaged.
Problem No.2
Subs are in certain depth and they don't change it. And it is very close to the surface. Normally subs would be much deeper and AOE of those weapons would not affect them at all.

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@TheWheelie said in Atlantis:

sorry used the wrong word. i meant bad for gameplay

well i'm gonna give you another situation :
Let's remove aa from the game.
But don't worry you can still kill planes by groundfiring arty.
Good news is that you raise the skill threshold and you induce some big brain gameplay where the guy with bomber will try to dodge arty shots before dropping etc
you can even have it balance : some pre-shot visualisation to predict in a easier fashion where to shoot; maybe increase all the rof of arty.
In the end would that be better gameplay or worse gameplay than what we have ? well you might like that, but i wouldn't enjoy it tbh.

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@speed2 said in Atlantis:

Subs are in certain depth and they don't change it. And it is very close to the surface. Normally subs would be much deeper and AOE of those weapons would not affect them at all.

Brilliant point.

The reason subs are so close to the surface is because the game engine is far from perfect. Not because they're supposed to be close to the surface. If the game engine was more realistic subs would be able to go down to different depths.

One possible fix is for submarines to go down as deep as possible, rather than being at a fixed depth. I have no idea how hard that is to code.

If that is not possible: once you recognize that subs aren't supposed to be close to the surface, and they are only represented in the game as being close to the surface because of engine limitations, there is no reason to allow them to be ground fired by battleships, at least, when they're not in very shallow water. Other possible fixes would be either (1) eliminate/reduce the ability to ground fire subs, or (2) eliminate/reduce the ability to ground fire subs when they are not in shallow water. Either one of those things is preferable to the current situation. Perhaps you could accomplish 1 or 2 by giving subs a different "hit box" when you're looking at AOE splash damage compared to when you're looking at direct fire like torpedoes and depth charges.

It would affect balance to do this (ground-firing subs at this point is an important part of the meta), but we can adjust balance by changing unit stats.

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The main reason why groundfiring is something i want to stay in faf is because it is one of the rare situations where micro is rewarded quite heavily. I know lots of people on faf don't care about that but i do. I do agree that the groundfiring doesn't make any sense from a logical standpoint but i don't give anything about that tbh. Gameplay is all for me.

Harms are a great example of this btw. They can be groundfired by battleships and even uef/sera cruisers i believe, but people still see them as super strong simply because groundfiring them takes a lot of attention and micro. All in all you get a big reward, free kills, if you groundfire them but it comes at the cost of great time investment.

Your example would make sense if you didn't remove aa from the game, but still added the option for arties to be able to hit air by groundfiring. After all even without groundfire you can still counter subs. There is a very important difference between the 2 situations: In 1 it is mandatory and in the other one it is simply one of multiple options. Therefore, if in addition to there being aa you would be able to do dmg to bombers if you did some sick arty groundfire then i would love it to be added to the game

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I havent tested it much but from what I remember you can make the submarines go deeper, but if they get on a shallow water they wont automatically go to the deeper one again and you have to surface/submerge them again.

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That picture doesn't explain shit lol

"why is x broken"
"well because i dont like it, look it's broken"
Great.

They're not broken because the game is balanced around it. You don't like it because it doesn't fit REAL LIFE LORE. Except we've been moving away from REAL LIFE LORE in this game with nukes no longer exploding in mid air when hitting air planes etc. I didn't give a fuck about the REAL LIFE LORE of ground firing submerged units when I learned about it and I bet people aren't going to give up the game or cry into their bowl of cereal because REAL LIFE LORE said their scout swarm should have stopped the nuke.

I also don't see much of a problem in having a unit that you can counter through additional expenditure in apm. The air/arty example would hold true if you made it a possible way to counter air whilst still keeping things like aa except possibly less efficient. Does that now introduce other factors into the game? Yes. Is it good? Who knows.

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A scout swarm shouldn't stop a nuke because the nuke should be big/heavy enough to punch through it. Allowing scouts and other T1-T3 aircraft to stop a nuke is therefore bad. It's not "REAL LIFE LORE" to let people block nukes with paper planes.

I think artillery can hit air units (look at people blocking mavor shots with t2 transports). I think light arty and fatboys don't shoot high enough to hit most air units (although if there are extreme differences in elevation, perhaps they would be able to hit). And I have seen people ground-fire artillery to try to hit a Czar. I think I've seen people ground-fire a scathis to try to hit flying ASFs. (Speaking of ridiculousness, an ASF can absorb a full scathis shot without dying o_O)

If t1 bomber planes were drawn in-game as "low" enough to the ground to run into shots from weapons platforms like t1 light arty and fatboys, we would have to ask: why?

Are they drawn as being low to the ground because attack bombers are low-flying units that have to brave enemy ground fire in order to deliver their payload? In which case, they should collide with those weapons and take damage because that is what is intended. OR, are they drawn as being low to the ground because of engine limitations or some other arbitrary reason that has no connection to what the unit is, in an abstract way, supposed to represent? If it's the latter, then there should be no collisions. Either the bombers should be drawn higher, so they can't collide (and so their visual representation in the game matches what they are, in an ideal/abstract sense, supposed to represent), or at least as a workaround those projectiles should pass harmlessly through them without colliding.

It might be interesting if units could "ground fire" to an arbitrary height (as in: ground fire at this spot, but pretend like there's a really high mountain there, so actually you're shooting into the air) in order to let ground units damage things like Soul Rippers and Czars. Interesting, sure, and it would reward micro, but would it improve the game? I think the answer is "no," just like it would not improve the game to allow flak and SAMS to ground-fire against ground units.

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An explosion underwater is worse than an explosion on the surface. The reason is that water does not compress, unlike air. If the game was realistic, a unit should take more damage from surface fire while submerged.

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@The_Mak realistically any shell shatters the moment it hits the water... you cannot shoot a sub with a cannon, that's why torps exists.

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Stop talking about real-life and talk about game design.

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the "real life lore" is called physics and this game is based on them, what you are saying here is that broken physics are fine because it takes micro to abuse them properly (because even from start the game itself wasnt designed for battleships to be able to shoot at underwater units, this just proves the brokenness of this mechanic further as there isnt even a control to tell your units to do something like this and you have to work around to get it to happen by using groundfire), unlike artillery hitting air units (which even has some sense sometimes unlike this), this takes a lot less skill to do

yes it works balance wise, but thats like fixing a hole in a ship by blowing another hole on opposite side, its not a ship anymore and sinks faster, the solution like I said is to stop fooling yourself into thinking this is balanced and instead fix the broken mechanic first and then nerf underwater units so they are balanced without it, currently they arent OP because of a broken mechanic, without which they would be OP and then you nerf them, and then you get a balanced game without using nonsensical mechanics like this to seesaw the broken units

I guess its once again up to whether the "micro pros" on balance team can stand their skills in fighting the controls be turned obsolete by fixing the controls instead, something which seems to stall this game for a while now

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@ThomasHiatt game design wise, Personally I hate it, it negates the entire point of being submerged in the first place. being submerged is supposed to protect you against surface fire weapons.... exploiting the engine to circumvent that makes certain units (like the atlantis) very pointless

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@ThomasHiatt For this game, the design should, as a general rule (with exceptions of course), reflect real-life physics and in general, the things we see on the screen should intuitively make sense to the viewer. Those are factors, among other factors, that we want to have in our game.

It is not wrong to say "I don't like this particular gameplay mechanic because it is different than what I intuitively feel like I should be seeing."

If video games won't validate our feelings, what in this horrible wasteland of a world will?

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I think the root of the problem is that water is very inconsistent and poorly designed in this game. There are about 10 different types of water in the game and you cannot distinguish between them in any way other than trial and error. Mapmakers have a huge amount of responsibility to design their maps to have clear and consistent mechanics, but 99% of them aren't even aware of this and just try to make pretty maps. You can never create good balance and clear consistent mechanics under these circumstances.

The only consistent mechanic shared by all water is that hover units can go over it and amphibious units through it as long as there isn't a cliff blocking them (which can also be unclear).

Otherwise, water always has these unknowns:

  • Is it deep enough to protect unit X from surface fire?
  • Is it deep enough for torpedos and depth charges to work?
  • Is it deep enough to build a navy factory?
  • Is it deep enough for navy units to travel through?
  • Is it deep enough to hide submerged unit X from AoE with radius Y?
  • Will the seafloor kill my units if I drop them there?
  • Can my amphibious units cross there or is there some underwater terrain issue?

If subs were capable of adjusting their depth like air units it would still never be clear if they are deep enough to be safe from AoE with radius X since the depth of the water can vary significantly. You don't want to make underwater units immune to all AoE just because they went 1 inch under the surface either because that is stupid and still inconsistent. You could make the AoE some sort of ellipsoid shape so it doesn't penetrate as deep into the water, but that doesn't address the issue, if anything it becomes less clear what can hit what. You could make water have a dampening effect (pun intended) so that damage taken from AoE is reduced with depth, still inconsistent and unclear. The way it currently is, where submerged units stay at a consistent depth at all times and take AoE damage if they are within range, is probably the most consistency you can get.

I think placing so much power and responsibility in the hands of the map makers is the biggest design flaw in Supreme Commander. It is the cause of this problem and several related problems which all have no solutions. When I was thinking about what I would want from a new Supreme Commander type of game this is the first thing I had to find a solution for.

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well this isnt the forum for that, but maybe its possible for map editor to show these unknowns in water to the player's ui in some way when they edit maps so that they can more easily know what water's mechanics are like at different locations on map without guessing and thus design maps with better water parts

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@TheWheelie said in Atlantis:

The main reason why groundfiring is something i want to stay in faf is because it is one of the rare situations where micro is rewarded quite heavily. I know lots of people on faf don't care about that but i do. I do agree that the groundfiring doesn't make any sense from a logical standpoint but i don't give anything about that tbh. Gameplay is all for me.

Harms are a great example of this btw. They can be groundfired by battleships and even uef/sera cruisers i believe, but people still see them as super strong simply because groundfiring them takes a lot of attention and micro. All in all you get a big reward, free kills, if you groundfire them but it comes at the cost of great time investment.

Your example would make sense if you didn't remove aa from the game, but still added the option for arties to be able to hit air by groundfiring. After all even without groundfire you can still counter subs. There is a very important difference between the 2 situations: In 1 it is mandatory and in the other one it is simply one of multiple options. Therefore, if in addition to there being aa you would be able to do dmg to bombers if you did some sick arty groundfire then i would love it to be added to the game

yeah i understand your point. I also like to keep the micro that we have in the game.
But i think that BS shooting T3 subs is breaking the balance, when you have bs it's not worth it to suicide the torp on T3 subs, it's so much better to freely kill the T3 subs by ground fire.
Also as i said i like to keep micro (air fights, dodging shots, army movement etc etc etc), but i don't like bs groundfire, because it's pretty counter intuitive etc (see previous points).

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As a casual player I see whole game from prism of emotions (will make this a signature)

Using ground fire to kill subs:
1st emotion is WTF???
2nd emotion is "I broke the game"
3rd - "MUAHAHAHAHA"
4th (after realizing that game balanced around this) - "I really supposed to do this each time?"

It's super effective. It rewards paying attention
It's pain to use. It's counter-intuitive

It's sad that game actually balanced around this use. Will be hard to fix.

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Atlantis, a shallow (pun not intended) attempt at faction diversity. Of could have just been given a t3 carrier like everyone else but instead they got a t4 just to be different. But then it would be too different, so instead they got a t3.5

That roughly sums up the whole problem, the Atlantis doesn't know what it wants to be, a t3 aircraft carrier or a t4 submarine, so it tries and fails to be both at once.
It's not a good carrier because its mass cost per BP is over twice as much as other carriers, in fact it's literally cheaper to build a t3 air HQ from scratch if you want t3 air units.
It's not a good submarine because its massive size, slow speed and relatively low hp make it a pitifully easy target to destroy.

The only thing going for it are its relatively cheep cost for a t4 unit, and its decently powerful weapons.
Essentially it is a glass cannon, a quick to build but short term boost to firepower. A gimped monkey lord.

There are a few options on how to rectify this:
Take a heavier focus on the submarine aspect, make it a little smaller, boost its speed, add some anti torpedoes. Make it threatening to enemies naval units.
Take a heavier focus on its carrier aspect, give it much more build power, more powerful AA, maybe even Airstaging (if adding that to a submersible unit doesn't break everything).
Turn it into a dedicated support unit, a t4 cruiser wannabe, using its AA and torps to discourage incoming attacks to your navy while offering extensive sensor range and fighter support.