What are You guys planning for the combat system?

For updates and discussion of Terra Invicta, a grand-strategy alien invasion simulator
bigrowdy
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What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby bigrowdy » Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:03 am

Will it be strictly 2D with sprites? or will there be a 3d element? Maybe even squads like total war? Will it be turn based?
And most importantly can I intern with Y'all this summer? ;)

Andor
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby Andor » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:10 pm

I say go for a real-time VR FPS than actually tasers you if if your avatar gets shot. It's the only way to make people take cover seriously. :lol:

johnnylump
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby johnnylump » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:06 am

At this point it's unlikely XCOM-style tactical combat will be part of TI -- we're including large-scale interstate warfare as well as smaller operations in the design, but those will be abstracted to keep the main focus on the strategy layer. We are planning a more detailed space warfare piece, and we've got a few designs that vary in level of player control.

Seems to me that if we did a squad-based tactical game, we'd want to make the tactical battles the primary layer where you spend most of your time, a la XCOM.

Andor
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby Andor » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:42 pm

Well see that completely changes the assumptions in the Alien motivation thread. If you don't have to justify small scale combats characteristic of X-com it alters the baseline assumptions significantly. :geek:

Amineri
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby Amineri » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:50 pm

We haven't ruled out tactical completely, but we want to add more depth to the high-level strategy. In terms of gameplay and flow (as well as trying to keep a campaign a bit more manageable than the 150+ hours people were reporting for LW), it's really hard for the player to keep track of a long-term strategic plan if it's being constantly interrupted by 20-30 minute tactical battles.

We're also thinking of a much longer conflict time span -- something that justifies calling it "grand strategy". My current "strawman" is that a campaign would be somewhere around 50 years long. So something more on the order of the 30 Years War or the 80 years of the Dutch Independence war, and less like World War 2. If we trigger political stuff on Earth once a month (kinda sorta like a council report), that's roughly 600 "turns". In comparison, a standard campaign in something like Civ 5 is 500 turns if you drag it out to the end.

One reason to make the time span longer is that it just takes time to flit around the solar system. Even with something like a torchship (which basically has power output equal the entire Earth's current real-world power generation), it still takes weeks/months to get from Earth to outer solar system. With lower-tech stuff, it's going to be months/years. For example, the New Horizons mission took 9.5 years to get from Earth to Pluto with early 21st century tech (and without enough fuel/remass to stop and orbit). Not to mention New Horizons is hardly a vessel of war. :D

From http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/r ... hships.php
Add a week of coasting in the middle and you're at Jupiter. Saturn is about three weeks' travel, and you can reach distant Eris in 6 months.
Drive power output of our upgraded torchship is now 4.5 TW, about a third the current power output of the human race. Which in itself is no argument against it. Controlling the reaction and getting rid of the waste heat are more immediate concerns.

I mean, even light takes 8 minutes to get from Sun to Earth (1 AU), so getting out to the 50 AU range of the Kuiper Belt has a lower bound of ~7 hours at the speed of light. And accelerating to the relativistic speeds even at a killing 10 g's is on the order of weeks/months. So unless we go totally fantasy and add inertial-less drives, warp drives, or some sort of unlimited wormholes, it's just going to take time.

Anyhow, with 600-ish turns, there's no way the player could even do one 20 minute tactical battle per turn/month -- that would add up to 200 hours just for tactical (let alone the strategy-level gameplay!) which would be only for the most hardcore :| . So, we either have to streamline any such tactical-type stuff (i.e. stuff in space), or have fewer such events, so that many turns/months go by without any such happenings.

And of course a lot of this stuff is in flux still. We might trim the timeline down to 30 or 40 years (so 360 or 480 turns), or even make political stuff happen every 2 months instead of 1.

VaeVictis
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby VaeVictis » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:12 pm

Andor wrote:Well see that completely changes the assumptions in the Alien motivation thread. If you don't have to justify small scale combats characteristic of X-com it alters the baseline assumptions significantly. :geek:


Not substantially, actually, I think most of the baseline assumptions that we have over there have quite a bit of leeway built into them. So extending any phase any number of years by fiddling about with technologies, numbers, and attack plans actually does change it a bit. The real question comes down the lethality of weaponry on both sides. If it's too big on one side or the other, a very real question of how the population sustains such losses does come into play (or at least Earth's population).
Hi!
I'm long post. I am long.

Andor
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby Andor » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:40 pm

Amineri wrote:We haven't ruled out tactical completely, but we want to add more depth to the high-level strategy. In terms of gameplay and flow (as well as trying to keep a campaign a bit more manageable than the 150+ hours people were reporting for LW), it's really hard for the player to keep track of a long-term strategic plan if it's being constantly interrupted by 20-30 minute tactical battles.

We're also thinking of a much longer conflict time span -- something that justifies calling it "grand strategy". My current "strawman" is that a campaign would be somewhere around 50 years long. So something more on the order of the 30 Years War or the 80 years of the Dutch Independence war, and less like World War 2. If we trigger political stuff on Earth once a month (kinda sorta like a council report), that's roughly 600 "turns". In comparison, a standard campaign in something like Civ 5 is 500 turns if you drag it out to the end.


The trouble with that kind of long span of events is two fold.

1) Modern weaponry favors offense over defense, decisively. It's very hard to drag out a conflict for that long, if the enemy has identifiable concentrations and there are not serious political or technical restraints on the use of full force. That's difficult to justify in a fight for species survival. Not impossible, but it must be justified why we don't simply nuke Ganymede (or wherever the Aliens main base is) into nonexistence ala the Lensmen.

2) Accelerating rate of change. 50 years from now the world will be basically incomprehensible to us. Not to mention I'd lay good money that something like 1/3rd of the nations on Earth will be different. Collapsed (Somalia, Libya), Abandoned due to climate change/Alien attacks (Kiribati), Conquered/Absorbed by or Rejoined with another Nation (Tibet, East Germany), or having undergone significant regime change (Egypt, Iraq, Ukraine.) Some will have shifted to new modes of government which are only now becoming possible like cyber-democracy or which are not yet possible like AI governance. If that's the kind of stuff you guys want to tackle, then awesome, but boy it is going to be a lot of work.

Amineri wrote:One reason to make the time span longer is that it just takes time to flit around the solar system. Even with something like a torchship (which basically has power output equal the entire Earth's current real-world power generation), it still takes weeks/months to get from Earth to outer solar system. With lower-tech stuff, it's going to be months/years. For example, the New Horizons mission took 9.5 years to get from Earth to Pluto with early 21st century tech (and without enough fuel/remass to stop and orbit). Not to mention New Horizons is hardly a vessel of war. :D


Ah but consider. If you're positing an alien base in the Kuipier belt, with 10 year travel times, that's a maximum of 3 full return trips in the course of a 60 year game. Aside from a lot of "next turn" clicking, what was gained by the long travel times and vast distances? Not to mention the thought of actually trying to find something in that vast a sphere of space...

I mean, even light takes 8 minutes to get from Sun to Earth (1 AU), so getting out to the 50 AU range of the Kuiper Belt has a lower bound of ~7 hours at the speed of light. And accelerating to the relativistic speeds even at a killing 10 g's is on the order of weeks/months. So unless we go totally fantasy and add inertial-less drives, warp drives, or some sort of unlimited wormholes, it's just going to take time.


You don't need to get even close to relativistic speeds however. I'm too tired to math right now, but if you can do a continuous burn , even at a piddly .1g the solar system gets pretty small. 10gs is only for take off/landing or combat. If you could burn at 1g continuously I don't think there is anything in the solar system that takes a month to get to. No wait, I found the chart on your torchship site. At 1g Terra to Pluto is 35 days by Brachistochrone orbit, 111 days for .1g.

Now that's still a stupendously powerful ship, but it's not FTL. It's not even close to relativistic. Still an amazing weapon of mass destruction however, which underlines point 1.

Anyhow, with 600-ish turns, there's no way the player could even do one 20 minute tactical battle per turn/month -- that would add up to 200 hours just for tactical (let alone the strategy-level gameplay!) which would be only for the most hardcore :| . So, we either have to streamline any such tactical-type stuff (i.e. stuff in space), or have fewer such events, so that many turns/months go by without any such happenings.

And of course a lot of this stuff is in flux still. We might trim the timeline down to 30 or 40 years (so 360 or 480 turns), or even make political stuff happen every 2 months instead of 1.


It sounds like logically it would be a multi-phased war/story. Starting on Earth, with a war for dominance/survival then moving off into the solar system and then finally pushing the aliens out, or achieving a political end to the conflict. (Which would make more sense, since you don't want the Aliens to just destroy the earth out of spite as they go down.) Any starship that doesn't suck makes a dandy planet killer after all.

I would start with the story you want to tell, then use that to establish the technological/political abilities and constraints of both the aliens and humans, and then fill in from there.

Andor
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby Andor » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:50 am

Given the somewhat abstract nature of the conflicts you're planning to portray, as well as the very multi-modal nature of the conflict. (Small unit tactical, mass unit strategic, air combat, space combat, alien world combat)

Perhaps the model to go with would be a unit + hero style where one of your main tasks will be managing a pool of named "hero" units who serve as commanders, researchers, politicians, commandos, what-have-you. Each would have their own strengths and weaknesses, and would age and change throughout the course of the game, even developing their own friendships and rivalries. They can tie into both the proposed human faction system and if there are multiple alien factions. (Kirk is a fine diplomat when dealing with Vulcans but not so much with the Klingons, since they killed his son.)

Sample games with this style include King of Dragon Pass, Crusader Kings and to a lesser extent the Heroes of Might and Magic series.

NinjaJediSmurf
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby NinjaJediSmurf » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:54 am

I think a turn based tactical game could work. The key would be to make the tactical engagements short to keep the emphasis on the strategic layer. This would be possible on small maps, with units with a small number of hp. When the enemy is engaged on the strategic map, the game assesses your strength vs enemy strength and translates the large battle into a single small skirmish on a tactical map. Eg if the enemy forces outnumber us 5 to 1, then we may get control of 2 units on the tactical map while the enemy has control of 10. Your success in the skirmish is mirrored in the overall battle, so if you win the skirmish but lose 1 out of 2 units then you suffer 50% losses and the enemy suffers 100% losses for that battle.

Alternatively, when your strength is compared to enemy strength, both sides get a number of points to spend on units and technologies that have been researched. This could allow for more variety. Eg. My 50 points might get me a hummer with a 50 cal machine gun, and two guys with revolvers on horseback. The enemy gets to spend 250 points on 3 flaming hovercraft with superduper guns, and a dozen lava spitting lizard-rodents.

Individual units do not level up or carry over to new skirmishes. To keep things simple new units are chosen in each new engagement according to the techs unlocked. Players can choose a small number (1 or 2) of good units, or a larger number (5 or 6) of cheaper weaker units. All units should be weak enough that tactical skirmishes should take no longer than 5 minutes to resolve.

I think tactical skirmishes are important in helping the player identify with their aims. War is gritty, and seeing individual soldiers die helps the player invest emotionally in the outcome. Those that don't like it can auto-resolve, and those that want to do more than point at arrows on a map, can do so to.

My two cents

FollyofFolly
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby FollyofFolly » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:29 am

I get the very distinct impression you want this to be different from XCOM and I think I understand why, and how. XCOM is all nice in that a large conflict is somehow won by a series of victories in small skirmishes. I immediately envision the conflict having multiple major hotspots across a galactic sector that can shift throughout the game. Control of these Hotspots can shift, and securing them provides significant strategic benefits, as well as providing static defenses and a forward operating base for future assaults.

Within each, Combat is conducted through multiple theatres of war, lets say,

1. "Deep space", with standard ship armada fighting,

2."the Orbital Beachfront", whereby the invasion fleet has deployed itself within range of the target planet(s) and has to deal with "relatively" close quarters ship fighting and static anti-ship defenses that have been deployed on the surface and on satellites in orbit,

3."Boots on the Ground" whereby combined arms detachments attempt to complete formal objectives like "destroy all primary enemy military installations" and informal objectives, where the player can decide how the effects of different successful actions can play into a strategy of his (or her) own design : what sort resources the player wants to prioritize stealing, what sort of infrastructure the player wants to disable first, and given any enemy resource, whether to prioritize disabling, (a relatively easy objective : hit & run attacks damaging enough to incapacitate a target, preventing significant functioning for the immediate future), destroying (a moderate difficulty objective, and leaves little to no salvage) or capturing (a difficult objective, because the most efficient means tend to be the most destructive), etc.

Each locale has different (constant between games, will generally occur in the same locales) "environmental" and (semi-random, will not necessarily show up in any particular game) "situational" characteristics that significant influence how combat can be conducted in the area. For example, say I send an armada to siege a planet somewhere. Maybe this particular system was generated to have some sort of particularly unstable star, which complicates operations within the space theatre of war, by disrupting certain ship systems, debuffing the ships in an affected area and causing occasional major solar flares which heavily damage ships without proper shields tech. This would be an environmental factor.

A situational factor will generally affect a smaller facet of game play, and could be like the target planet has an bizarre atmosphere that prevents most forms of scanning, so gathering intel before the strike would be significantly more difficult if none of your ships has been equipped with the required level of scanning technology (it has to be researched and then manufactured for each ship you want it for), and an unprepared player could invest years of travel time for his invasion fleet to reach its target, just to deploy the ground forces into a deviously guarded slaughter house.

Lastly, if i could make a request, I would like Intelligence gathering to play a very big part in this game, where you could attempt to infer the state of your enemies strategic assets, state of his army, and other important information, by deriving it from other information, such as the types of supply ships spotted at a certain location and how long they were refueling - like how far are they going to travel but not necessarily knowing where they are going. Anyway, I feel like it would have been cool if in XCOM, I had the option to spend resources to gain the benefit of knowing what the next mission had in store for me, when it would occur, and the additional option of deploying my troops opportunistically in different locations based on the knowledge.
Last edited by FollyofFolly on Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KuRT932
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby KuRT932 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:35 pm

Hello all! Guys, I want ask something about tactical game... So, it will be like in XCOM: Enemy Within, or you will try to make such micro control like in XCOM: Ufo Defense (those old game)? I mean, how we can notice, they make unlimited ammo for guns in XCOM:EW, so I must not pack my soldiers by myself, placing there ammunition, grenades... How we can remember, in XCOM:UD was system of depending movement from weight. I mean, if you pack a lot of rockets for rocket launcher, your soldier will move slowly. On the XCOM:EW base, I think, it is imposible to do so depending system, but we can do something like this:
Soldier can carry 40kg. So, you can pack in his equipment only 40kg maximum. Then, you will have two points of action, as it was in game, but you must keep 40kg only. And you choose by yourself, what take more: ammo for rifle, grenades, or maybe, pistol with couple of magazines, because pistol is more useful when you are injured...

So... What it will be? In outline


(sorry for my bad english)

CouncilMember#326
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby CouncilMember#326 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:19 pm

Would you say its like the graphical design of Defcon, mixed in with the Scale and complexity of the Supreme Ruler Series. For example. Or do you have something else in mind?

Mordobb
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby Mordobb » Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:39 pm

Its seems your design ain t that clear to you. And to say the truth it got very confusing to me.
It seems you re straining toward a 4X with grand strategy but with kind af a too limited scope for grand strategy due to the few assets given (our solar sistem).
Also someone above made some very good points.

Well it makes me look at this game from affar since i m not interested in any of the 2 genre, there s an awfull lot of them in the market.

Im still looking for a satisfying tactical squad game, preferencially alien vs human, that would:
1) Have any hint of "believability", none of the ones recently played are believable in the slightest.
2) Have actually a good and complete tactical squad game.

1) XCOM1 from fireaxis was a terribly awfull turn based tactical squad game, but it has an excuse of being an experiment, it become a game with your mod, which by the way is a feat!!
2) Xcom2 is a terrible awfull tactical turn based game slapped with heavy lipstick, blonde tint and a barbie dress game, which by the way forgot to beard shave.

i was in hope someone knowing how to pull the string would get in town for a tactical turn based game but i see it ain t the case.

Hjarr
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby Hjarr » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:36 pm

From the sounds of it you're going for a classic 4X game. The problem is that there are already a huge number of such games currently that you are competing with. And good quality games too. Distant Worlds, Galactic Civilizations etc.

I was really hoping for an XCom like game, even with just abstracted or quick tactical battles. You know, levelling up your dudes and pilots and making decisions to either thwart an attack in one location or another. With abstracted tactical battles but a really in depth game otherwise this would become one of my favourites really quickly.

Also to be honest, an FTL like game would be playing just to the hands of the Long War devs. Strong emphasis on a good in depth battle system with a lot of different weapons and options, and a solid 5 hour randomized campaign with painful difficulty but huge replayability. Something everyone has been waiting for.

I hope you just have a solid plan on what you're going for before commencing development full speed.

nth degree
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby nth degree » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:10 pm

While the focus may be on the strategic instead of tactical layer, I do hope the roster management aspect translates to that strategic layer.

One thing I find that I deeply dislike about too many 4x or strategic games is that they tend to treat units as qunatities that exist in a generally binary state where they are either expended or not expended in combat. At best they get a bag of hit points that might need to refill over time. Combat seems to be about each side clubbing each other with a collection of nameless stat sticks until one side's bat breaks.

That just doesn't feel like history. Naval history doesn't feel like accounts of grinding X unnamed units against the other side's Y unnamed units until the various bags of hit points popped. It is about naval engagements where forces came into contact to different degrees, specific hits and their effects are recounted against named ships with histories (anything from armor piercing shells passing right through a ligher part of a ship and not detonating, to a magazine explosion), some ships were sunk or scuttled, some ships were damanged to varying degrees, and the sides often withdraw from the engagement. Factors like the different speeds of ships, how battle damage affected that, or worries about chasing ships because they might be dropping mines behind a smoke screen (or in space, maybe potentially fleeing towards pre-placed space debris fields or previously charted small asteroids that are quiet and hard to detect. Especially if the humans had decades worth of charts of every rock in the system and not so much for the aliens) were things taken into account. Do you risk turning a victory into a disaster by charging into the smoke screen of fleeing ships only to get the tables turned on you.

I'd really hope the engagements feel like a micro story that then plays into the bigger story, and not a recounting of what each player rolled on their dice during a battle in a game of risk. With a storied and granular type of engagement, you'd have a more memoriable combat (you'd pucker at each incoming volley, and you pray with each outgoing one, or sit there yelling "get them, get them, get them" while your point defences try and beat off a flight of dive bombers going for one of your ships, instead of just registering that you are going to get hit for X damage) and you'd have a roster management situation where you had to make decisions about just how much repair to do (or what level of repair you can even get in various yards), decreased functionality until repairs are managed (be it shipboard repair or at a yard), and ultimately managing a roster of ships to cobble together various groups to carry out missions with balanced against the needs of repairing and refitting.

It would also be good for the aliens, as initially a victory might really be dependant on scoring a major hit that crippled something important, but more realistically you are aiming to score draws or losses where you simply manage to inflict enough significant hits on the alien ships to force the aliens to scale back their agenda due to the pressure on their roster that you've managed to create. Which was sometimes frustrating in the Long War air war, where you didn't feel like you were doing anything unless you fully shot down a UFO. Eventually, if you slow down their agenda enough to keep yourself in the game, you will get enough engagements to finally score that lucky break that lets you take a prize (especially if the individual UFOs are assigned code names, so you have a history with it before you finally defeat it, especially if it has systems not fully repaired from previous engagements) and bootstrap up from there into less lopsided engagements. Or your campaign takes an important turn when you manage to put a shot right through a capacitor or magazine on the alien dreadnaught that complete wrecks its fire control for the forward batteries and you don't see it doing any aggressive missions for a significant period (or even decide to pivot towards mounting some daring and costly attacks to try and cripple their yards since you are now hitting two birds with one stone: hitting the yards in general and keeping the ship crippled for longer, to try and keep them locked in a fatigue spiral).

I don't think things would need to go to crazy town with all sorts of functional ship models like more vaporware-ish games like Star Citizen or Battlecruiser tried to do, but a lot of table top games are about rolling dice and looking up results on charts, charts, and more charts, and the major problem with that sort of gameplay is that it just takes forever to do all the rolling and looking things up. Good thing a computer can roll on charts like a savant, and could resolve the outcome of a volley in fractions of a second, and get the whole battle sorted out in a minute or two (or skip right to the summary screen).


TL;DR, while I don't think tactical combat needs to be a thing, I do hope the underlying general mechanic where tactical combat informed the strategic gameplay of roster management and fatigue spirals in a storied way will be maintained and have its granularity expanded and expanded in such a way to further the RPG-ish/historical simulation feel. I don't think Long War would have been Long War without roster management driving the core of the experinece, as it was both interesting gameplay, created a connection between the player and the soldiers on the roster, and felt like a storied experience.

Amineri
Pavonis Interactive
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby Amineri » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:16 am

nth degree wrote:While the focus may be on the strategic instead of tactical layer, I do hope the roster management aspect translates to that strategic layer.
....


I am still breaking off time here and there to do work on Terra Invicta, although still the bigger share of my time is making sure LW2 is ready for release.

These are definitely the types of things we are considering. And there are definitely various elements of roster management that we have planned, although it won't have quite the same feel as in Long War.

MechPilot524
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby MechPilot524 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:36 am

Just to dump my thoughts on the matter here...

The thing that disappoints me the most about many grand strategy games is that you don't really get to have much control over your units when you go from macro to micro. In Wargame: Red Dragon's campaign modes, you can auto-resolve but you can also go directly into the battle. Of course, I think it's unrealistic to expect for Terra Invicta to have that level of unit control, that's even more complex to me than that of XCOM. But at the same time, I still want to see some sort of direct influence on a battle's outcomes instead of clicking the "fight" button and praying you made the right decisions earlier.

That said, it's certainly not wrong to make battles short, maybe five minutes tops. And they won't necessarily have to be turn-based, they could be real-time to help mitigate time issues.
To see combat take place on a large scale, forces could be organized into units. That could be a squad, a brigade, a regiment, a division, maybe even a corps depending on the scope of the conflict. And in space, the organization could be based on your capital ships. Say we have a dreadnought-style ship. It has four frigates to combat fighters, a pair of destroyers which are almost glass cannons that use torpedo-style armaments to attack enemy ships, and then the lumbering dreadnought itself with some form of heavy battery and significant armor. Or a cruiser squadron - a trio of cruisers with a potentially dangerous battery that can move quickly and be used to execute flanking attacks. Then you have your carrier, perhaps only bring one or two to a fight to keep things simple. The carrier has a certain number of squadrons which can do various tasks, but they're very simple. You can tell a fighter squadron to escort another unit, such as a capital ship or an attack squadron, or to go out and intercept an incoming wave of fighters. Bombers are quite simple, designate a target perhaps with the ability to add a waypoint or two.
Alternatively, Xenonauts' system isn't a bad one. Their air game is just so much better than in XCOM:EU, the air fights were short but intense and critical, and while you could auto-resolve you could still wage a fight yourself and turn the tables were you competent enough. Not quite sure how that system would work out for large-scale fighting other than maybe incorporating organized units.

On the level of grand strategy, it might be a good idea to simulate exhaustion (similar to Long War) and veterancy. Veterancy should be mostly morale-based and slightly less proficiency-based compared to most games - I think Red Dragon's approach is a good one here.

Now two takeaways: things need to stay fast so that it doesn't drag the main campaign, and the auto-resolve button should be a valid option.

To keep the games fast, the amount of relative damage a ship can do to another ship would have to be pretty significant, and an offensive vessel would need significant range or speed. On the ground, vehicles could be used to expedite fighting, or fighting with a lot of infantry can simply wait to erupt until closer quarters are reached. Vehicles could just establish positions in an initial assault and the combat is auto-resolved over the grand-strategy layer's next turn, depending on the position you established and the losses you may or may not have taken in the initial attack.
To keep the auto-resolve button a valid option... I got nothing, other than just use the right factors to calculate chance of winning.

123nick
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby 123nick » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:42 pm

Amineri wrote: snip


wow, your basing it off of realistic things? will there be like, orbital mechanics and etc too worry about? i know that children of a dead earth has a very realistic representation of space combat, being like a simulator, but thats going a bit off topic.

valiance
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby valiance » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:04 am

Amineri wrote:One reason to make the time span longer is that it just takes time to flit around the solar system. Even with something like a torchship (which basically has power output equal the entire Earth's current real-world power generation), it still takes weeks/months to get from Earth to outer solar system. With lower-tech stuff, it's going to be months/years. For example, the New Horizons mission took 9.5 years to get from Earth to Pluto with early 21st century tech (and without enough fuel/remass to stop and orbit). Not to mention New Horizons is hardly a vessel of war. :D

From http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/r ... hships.php
Add a week of coasting in the middle and you're at Jupiter. Saturn is about three weeks' travel, and you can reach distant Eris in 6 months.
Drive power output of our upgraded torchship is now 4.5 TW, about a third the current power output of the human race. Which in itself is no argument against it. Controlling the reaction and getting rid of the waste heat are more immediate concerns.

I mean, even light takes 8 minutes to get from Sun to Earth (1 AU), so getting out to the 50 AU range of the Kuiper Belt has a lower bound of ~7 hours at the speed of light. And accelerating to the relativistic speeds even at a killing 10 g's is on the order of weeks/months. So unless we go totally fantasy and add inertial-less drives, warp drives, or some sort of unlimited wormholes, it's just going to take time.


Very heartening for me to see a link to Atomic Rockets, you have great taste! One of my favorite sites and if you're doing near-term realistic-ish space warfare you could have no better reference.

Children of a Dead Earth seems to do an amazing job of being a realistic-ish hard SF near-future space warfare simulator/game. The blog is worth a read even if--like me--you haven't played yet.

It sounds like you haven't fully decided the technology level for drives yet, but that will obviously determine a lot:
If we're using anything short of torchships we'll need to deal with arrival and departure windows, which I think would be awesome in a grand-strategy; there's a lot of planning involved for sure. That said your starting level of drive technology has implications for travel time, overall tech level, how large the space-borne population is, how long humans have been in space, how far out from earth initial settlements are and so on, level of control over individual spaceship owners (Jon's Law).

Other things to consider:

Balance between missiles/lasers/kinetics. May be too granular for the scale you talk about but this also works as a strategic scale rock/paper/scissors concept.
Space fighters? Are they viable?
No stealth in space
How advanced is AI in-universe?
How advanced is genetic engineering in universe?
Why are the aliens trying to kill us in the first place?
What constitutes resources in space? Do we deal with cash? minerals? vespene gas? Lunar aluminum-oxide electrolyzed for rocket fuel? Asteroid water deposits? He3 for Minovsky fusion reactors?
Last edited by valiance on Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Guiding Light
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:27 am

Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby The Guiding Light » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:02 am

Andor wrote:Given the somewhat abstract nature of the conflicts you're planning to portray, as well as the very multi-modal nature of the conflict. (Small unit tactical, mass unit strategic, air combat, space combat, alien world combat)

Perhaps the model to go with would be a unit + hero style where one of your main tasks will be managing a pool of named "hero" units who serve as commanders, researchers, politicians, commandos, what-have-you. Each would have their own strengths and weaknesses, and would age and change throughout the course of the game, even developing their own friendships and rivalries. They can tie into both the proposed human faction system and if there are multiple alien factions. (Kirk is a fine diplomat when dealing with Vulcans but not so much with the Klingons, since they killed his son.)

Sample games with this style include King of Dragon Pass, Crusader Kings and to a lesser extent the Heroes of Might and Magic series.


+1

Totally agreed. I lvoe the idea of supplementing and augmenting your military forces with heroes/officers. I'm not really that big into tactical micro gameplay so it would be a nice break to play something more macro. Star Wars Rebellion also comes to mind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQwzf1e3jh

The Guiding Light
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:27 am

Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby The Guiding Light » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:03 am

MechPilot524 wrote:Just to dump my thoughts on the matter here...

The thing that disappoints me the most about many grand strategy games is that you don't really get to have much control over your units when you go from macro to micro. In Wargame: Red Dragon's campaign modes, you can auto-resolve but you can also go directly into the battle. Of course, I think it's unrealistic to expect for Terra Invicta to have that level of unit control, that's even more complex to me than that of XCOM. But at the same time, I still want to see some sort of direct influence on a battle's outcomes instead of clicking the "fight" button and praying you made the right decisions earlier.

...


Personally, I'm not that big of a fan of Grand Strategy Games that require microing of units. Like Hearts of Iron 4 which I like-okay and think it could be great feels like it's struggling between wanting to be Macro and Micro focused. You have macro/abstracted concepts like air combat, naval combat and more but the land combat requires constant microing because the AI keeps making dumb decisions like sending a freaking tank division into a swamp instead of the plains or when the AI detaches 3-5 divisions to surround a pocket of enemies but just stand there when most of those units could be continuing the main offensive. So you're busy just babysitting the Land Units and yeah, it's not really fun. In fact, I kinda wish they went back to States being capturable like in HOI2 as opposed to every single little province since HOI3.

The funny thing too for me is that the Grand Strategy aspect of games like Total War and Empire at War was far more engaging than the epic large scale battles and space combat. I dunno, I just find it more fun to move fleets, armies, and heroes/characters across planets or regions and see the effect my decisions from a bigger picture perspective made. I find that more realistic than playing GOD literally when you control every single unit on the battlefield. I mean, Roman Legionnnaires had officers, y'know and an hierarchy. They didn't have a god hovering above them telling them where exactly to go or attack. That's where my imagination comes in and fills the lack of micro'd combat. I'll imagine the battles and missions in my own mind. Plus, imagining/visualizing requires less effort than playing the actual battle
:lol:

As for Empire At War, the ground combat was god awful and I don't think anyone sane never used the Auto Resolve for ground combat. The space combat was largely fun but I think the larger battles become far too much to handle (it lacks certain things like UI that lists your units like in Company of Heroes 2).

Oh, and I agree auto resolve in many Strategy Games aren't well fleshed out and you have little control over that. But what if Terra Invicta offered battle plans like in Endless Space 2?

Image

That game is allowing you the choice to choose between which type of attack your fleet should perform in space combat like maybe you want to rush forward and get in quick or attack from both sides or whatever. As for ground combat you could choose your combat tactics too.

Image

Heroes will augment your forces too I think.

So while I would be okay with an Auto Resolve if it's done well, I would prefer if you could choose their battle plans and let see how it unfolds as opposed to mashing the right click button to tell a crusier where exactly to go
:P

saroscycler
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:45 pm

Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby saroscycler » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:31 am

Encircling cities and cutting off supply lines - yes. Clearing a city block building by building - please no.

greep
Posts: 1
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Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby greep » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:20 am

Long time x-com/long war fan here. You guys are free to make the game as you like, but I hope you'd reconsider and make a tactical focused game, if not human squad focused, then spaceship focused or something. I personally am not as interested in a 4X game as described (though I have played many in the past) and will probably pass on it, but there's a few other reasons to consider.

A) The biggest reason you might want to stay in the xcom style combat system is just that this is the genre of XCOM and you have a massive existing market that you already have a big foothold in. And good 4X games are everywhere, but good tactical squadbased games, especially of the space type, are few and far between. The main appeal is the neverending learning curve and unique scenarios that you just cannot get with a 4X game. Honestly, I'd say this alone may be the difference between commercial success and failure, it's sad but game quality is less of an impact than you'd hope.

B) While I thoroughly enjoyed all of the tactical changes brought to LW1 which is why I liked it so much, I honestly don't think any of the strategy layer decisions made were good.

There was no variation in research paths, there were correct and incorrect ones that you either looked up online or played and lost through experience, losing dozens of hours of your life on very very minute decisions, leading to boredom of playing over areas of the game you'd mastered. Examples: If you chose anything other than xenobiology->alien materials->beeline advanced lasers, you were boned and pretty much had to restart, and there wasn't any way of knowing this in advance. Same with character builds, if you didn't have a way of dealing with cyberdisks with your builds, you were done, do not pass go, start over. Then there's the air war. You could lose an entire campaign in seconds by losing a few ufo fights in a row and there was nothing you could do about it. Spent a 50 hours on your campaign? Well guess what, those 3 raiders you missed shot down 3 sattelites, and you lose. And don't get me started on the bizarre mech balancing where they ended up glass cannons (?!) that were also nerfed to oblivion (although admittedly that last one might not have been your fault, as the only way to balance mechs I think would be to redesign the A.I. so they take hp/armor into account as well as defense which may have been outside the bounds of modding xcom1)

If you're going commercial and want to do this for a living, the whole "this game isn't designed for everyone" I've seen you guys re-iterate many times with long war over some questionable decisions... that's not going to pan out well. And if you want to succeed on steam, it's a very boom or bust place if you're an indie developer with little marketing money. You either get "very positive" ratings and wildly succeed or you get "mostly positive" ratings and fail miserably.

Even if grand strategy is something you'd like to focus on, I think you guys are considerably better at the tactical layer design. And if you're going for a commercial game, I think you should focus on your strengths.

Anyways, that probably came off more critical than I intended. I doubt I'll end up swaying your decision here, but I'd like to re-iterate that I would definitely support the game and help fund it if it were tactical but not this grand strategy style, even if I do plays those games on occasion, and I think more people fit into this boat than you'd think.

llll BlackFlag
Posts: 37
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Location: Virginia

Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby llll BlackFlag » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:16 am

Valid opinion greep, but I disagree. There's no basis to say Pavonis "is better" at a tactical strategy design when they have never made a 4x game. Given their history of consistently and quickly responding to community feedback I'd say Pavonis is going above and beyond many game developers, which is why they have such a dedicated fan base. I don't think they will run into an issue with saying "this game isn't for everyone" upon release since there is already a large population of 4x gamers waiting for a new title (read: Civ 6 was a big buggy flop). I don't disagree that it would be fantastic if Pavonis continued to make tactical based games like Long War, but I'm also looking forward to Terra. As long as Pavonis doesn't completely abandon Long War when Terra releases I don't think they are shooting themselves in the foot by any means.

With that being said, I'm sure that building a game from the ground up is much more intensive and difficult than creating an awesome mod, but as long as they continue to consider player feedback in their patches I doubt they will fail. Johnnylump, many other Long War fans and I are ready to throw money at a crowdfunding campaign whenever you guys get to that point. Keep up the good work.

theobelisk
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:04 pm

Re: What are You guys planning for the combat system?

Postby theobelisk » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:22 pm

When I heard about an Xcom grand strategy game, I was hoping it would be a Paradox style grand strategy game where you play as an xcom type organization, doing somewhat similar things as in Xcom, but done in a grand strategy style, building on concepts Xcom had in the background but couldn't develop, due to the game's scope. For example, more mechanical depth when it comes to getting the nations to keep funding you, and seeing the long term effects of selling things on the gray market/trading things with nations. Maybe the game could continue after the aliens are defeated, showing the consequences of selling laser rifles to half the world, or you could play as a normal nation, deciding how much you want to support xcom and how much you want to focus on yourself. Maybe it could continue after an alien victory, like xcom2, or maybe you could play as the aliens trying to invade the earth.


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