Sunday, September 9, 2012

Capitol and Command Ships, do they have a spot in the game?

First I want to say that this was not the original topic for the day but after watching an exhausting game last night between GDI and NOD (and exiting before the game ended because 3 hours of stalemate with the kills just rising and rising were more than enough for me) I think that this topic needs to be talked about.

Lets go down the line here of known capitol ships / cruisers that each side has in the game so far.  The Scrin have the most direct and interactive ships with their Iconic/Harvinger/Eye-of-the-Storm capitol ships being key to their force late game.  Earth Federation has the White Base / Grey Phantom / Albion / Argama / Ra Calium which is quite a list but you can't do anything with them really in the game, they are just really big drop ships at the end of the day.  AW has the Tenzan class ships that are used to provide quite a bit of firepower, even if they are land ships and not space craft like the rest.  And then there is GDI and NOD.  GDI has the Kodiak and NOD has the Salamander.

Now why am I bringing this up?  Its simple really.  We're about to start doing the rebalancing of Scrin and their Capitol Ships are going to play a major roll in this once we figure out just how we want things to play.  And after watching the game last night I have changed my stance on the Kodiak and the Salamander, I see a reason for these units in the game.  Yes, you heard me.  Something that I have stood heavily against for a long time I am now changing my position on.  Why is that?  Because they are needed.  GDI and NOD need a unit that they can look at as a game ender.  This unit needs to be something that is pulled out when "This has gone on for too long and it needs to end one way or another."  And to me the Kodiak and the Salamander are perfect fits.  It also doesn't hurt that I already have the models and the code for them...... hey just because sometimes I don't plan on using things in the game doesn't mean I haven't already actually at one point PUT them in the game!  Lol.

But there are 2 problems here.  First of all I do NOT want these units to be "mass produced units".  These are units that in most games a player shouldn't see.  These are "We're in the real shit now" units that if you do deploy them they will have an adverse effect on the game.  What this is I'm not sure, but the point is if it works your a hero and if it doesn't then you just made the biggest mistake you could have done.  Maybe the unit costs 50,000 to deploy, or requires a building to be built that requires over 1000 points of power to run.  I don't know yet, but the idea is simple.  It's going to take a lot to get these units and your really going to have to want one to get it.  The flip side is these things are so tough that they are for all intents and purposes game enders.

Now for the other problem.  Size.  The CNC3 engine is a very versatile engine this we know.  The down side to this though is  the game is NOT designed to zoom out very far so that really big units take up a ton of screen space.  If I gave players the ability to control the Ra Calium for example think about how that would effect the game.  That thing is HUGE.  It takes up the entire screen!  (It is a beautiful model though, thanks to the person who donated it!).  If you had the ability to control that thing you would just end up blocking the sight of everything and no one could do anything.  I mean if I can't see my units then thats not cool.   Even the Argama or White Base would be tipping the scale on "Too Big" in my book.  Sure I could make them smaller but then you have people complaining that "things arn't sized right" (news flash, every mobile suit in the game should be 2X bigger or every infantry unit should be 50% smaller).  Yea, we get those kinds of emails.  You know, at one point we even considered just removing infantry from the game all together..... but thats a story for a different day.

Back to size, the Scrin get away with it due to the shear amount of open space that is involved with their capitol ships.  They may be large but a lot of it is open air.  So if we added the Kodiak and Salamander in and we changed the way Earth Federation UC used their capitol ships (yes, I'm looking at the way gundams are deployed now) then what do we really have left?  How would we have the Earth Federation Ships work?  Would some of them be regulated to "attack runs"?  Or maybe have them deploy at the base once per game (that means you get one and only one and then your out of luck).  And how do you make it fair?  For SEED and the Archangel I'm thinking of having the ship fly in and use it's main weapons much like GP03 does when it enters the battlefield but then have the Archangel fly off.  Maybe the Earth Federations ships should work that way too?  Heck, maybe the Kodiak and the Salamander should work that way, they fly in, do a massive amount of damage in a "I'm the Juggernaut, you cant touch me" type of way, then fly off?

Sufficient to say I'm not sure what we are going to do here.  There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before we can move forward with this issue.  But whatever we decide to do know it's because we think it's needed and not "because it would be cool and I want it".  We have a strict "No crap" policy in our mod.  :)


UltraKiroXei said...

This one is a good statement about the model scale size. I'm trying to make my hypothesis to get this thing right. Possible: If all of the models size will need to be reduced to 1/10 scale (10% smaller). Then there will more open space for structures.

According to this, I've took a look on the C&C 3 models via the C&C 3 World Builder, then start comparing the models. Then I've pointed out the difference that the more large map size for large models, would be a problem. Also, the street textures looks smaller than the in-game models. It is an inaccurate realistic model size.

So I'll keep going to do research on the model scale size on small maps.

Alan said...

Oh no my poor Archangel :(
Personally White base and Archangel don't seem too large and I would love to have some control over them as units. I would agree that most others are far too big to be units though.

azuza001 said...

A lot of the problem with model sizes not looking right comes down to infantry. Infantry are just too big. However as I've said before this could have been fixed with a higher "zoom out" level which is a statistic editable in world builder. However if you zoom out too far then you actually cut off part of the map which defeats the purpose.

As far as the Archangel go's it's just an idea I'm tossing around. The Archangel isn't really too big, it's about as big as models should go I think. The White Base, while technically the same size, is a big model that takes up a lot of screen real estate. If you make it too high it's just too big, if you make it too low it clips the ground a lot of the time. I wish there was a more straight forward answer, but really I may just have to "play" with the size.

Alan said...

well whatever you choose it will probably be great so have fun with your size playing

azuza001 said...

Lol, yea, fun playing with sizes. :p

It's looking like what we will do is have the Gundams still deployed like they are now but have them hit the ground in drop pods. Then some of the ships will be made build-able or deployable as "Heroic" units to base your force around. Not every unit will be used the same way.

For example we won't have the Ra Calium be a buildable or controlable unit, it's just too big. But maybe it will be a unit that flys in, unleash's hell on the enemy, then takes back off?