Knuckle Cracker

Creeper World 4 => Pre-release chatter => Topic started by: A human on April 14, 2018, 08:19:47 pm

Title: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: A human on April 14, 2018, 08:19:47 pm
I'd say the average level has three phases.

Phase one: set up your base, make a defense against the creeper, and prepare to take some terrain/defend against mid-game threats

Phase two: the main part of the level. Clear most of the area of creeper while fending off spores and things

Phase three: the slog phase. most danger is removed, and you've built enough to defend against the little that remains. A win is practically guaranteed, but it still takes awhile.

Any ideas on making the last phase more interesting? (I had an idea about a stationary entity that becomes activated after being "charged up" with creeper then exposed to dry land, then spawns creeper/entities and destroys itself, but let's ignore that since it's in another post)
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Sorrontis on April 14, 2018, 11:46:22 pm
That's a good point.
What could be done, much like in PF, is  the map maker can set victory settings. Maybe one is:
- Cap all or x/n emitters
- Cap all or x/n emitters and destroy X% creeper
- Liberate all resources
- etc / etc
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: A human on April 15, 2018, 04:13:41 pm
I already read on discord that Virgilw was planning for variable win conditions.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Sorrontis on April 15, 2018, 05:56:31 pm
Problem solved  ;)
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: A human on April 18, 2018, 09:47:58 pm
That doesn't fix the problem, it just reduces it. It'd still be a problem in many of the levels.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Karsten75 on April 19, 2018, 12:38:29 pm
It is a complicated issue. some players like the cleanup phase. Others don't. Mapmakers get to design their maps. With inhibitors, if you get the inhibitor, you win, no slog.

If the win condition is to reach a resource, etc. or activate all totems, then there is not necessary a slog, unless the map maker has designed the map to be a slog.

So unless you have specific ideas on how to reduce what you perceive as the "slog", you may want to address map makers and ask them to design maps differently. :)

All of this, of course rests on the assumption that we even agree on the definition of a slog. :)
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: The_Mell on April 20, 2018, 08:23:21 am
Maybe it is even the wrong question.
Instead of making slog more interesting, it should be more towards minimizing slog phase. ;)

Keeping up the tension is a problem which touches both game and map design.
Limiting number of units is a possibility seen on some CW maps or with ships in PF, but it can feel quite artificial.
Continuing escalation is another one, but it can create difficulty levels undesirable.
Quid pro quo is an alternative escalation form which only increases with advancement of player, but again this can be very artificial.

As i play other games like They Are Billions with its increasing zombie waves or Infested Planet with alien mutation in exchange for destroyed nests and build points, i must say i'm not sure if i even would like to see an always 'agressive' CW game.
It's not only that i like slog phase to a certain degree because i earned this superioty, but it allows to calm down after the stress of mission start and extended mid game threats.


PF approach of having a max count on particles could be used for it.
Placing weak slow emitters at front with nasty ones out of reach at first can create a proper pace through a mission.
But why should particles or creeper have a maximum..?

An other idea would be emitter output, or better said combined emitter output.
Once you kill an emitter, its output is added to the remaining ones.
Lore wise it could be creeper is pushing from other dimension through holes and by closing one hole you don't stop it, but just reroute its flow while 'pressure' stays the same.
Could create some real nasty last emitter.  :o
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Karsten75 on April 20, 2018, 08:40:13 am

Could create some real nasty last emitter.  :o

And isn't that the problem? it puts the burden right back on the map maker to ensure that the cumulative output of all emitters on the map is not such that the last emitter can't be beaten. In addition, let's make a simple math calculation.

You have a map with 4 emitters of 20 each. so now you have to go over the map, beat a 20 emitter, beat a 40 emitter, beat a 60 emitter and finally beat the 80 emitter. Now you have beaten down a cumulative 200 strength of emitters - a far cry from the original 80. 

You'd still have to have traversed and secured an entire map surface, and I don't see how that's different from just beating the 4 separate emitters.

Let me reiterate to be clear. You can't have escalating complexity/difficulty  indefinitely, since ultimately that would imply the player has to lose. At some point the player will be stronger than the creeper - that is the definition of a victory.   In my opinion here the issue is solely with map makers that design maps that are over-large and does not present any alternatives than a simple progression over terrain until a victory is achieved. That's not on virgil or on game design - only on map makers.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: GoodMorning on April 20, 2018, 09:43:03 am
K75 has more or less summed it up.

One more note: The "beat this-then-that" tends to require that the "that" isn't a threat from the start. Which leads to something like the PF maps where the player starts by destroying the "hard" section before it activates.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: The_Mell on April 20, 2018, 04:17:06 pm
You have a map with 4 emitters of 20 each. so now you have to go over the map, beat a 20 emitter, beat a 40 emitter, beat a 60 emitter and finally beat the 80 emitter. Now you have beaten down a cumulative 200 strength of emitters - a far cry from the original 80.
Strange kind of math to me.
I was more along the lines of 20-27-40-80 and a constant pressure of 80.

Of course, last word in creating an interesting game experience is on map makers - and i made some mediocre PF maps, so i know what i'm talking about.  ;D
That doesn't mean that virgil cannot influence this with game design decision. Like car design and crash safety without blaming just drivers.
If he would implement an (optional) redistribution of emitting power, he could also include a (hardcoded) maximum to make sure emitters are beatable and add options like a percentage slider from 0-100 to tweak its effect.
I guess such things could be coded by map makers, but i see (or would like to see) this more on (and in) hand of the developer.


Another thing, that is strange or odd to me, is your awareness of the potential problem of uncontrollable difficulty increase with emitter power redistribution but not the downfall of difficulty with beaten emitters.

When i think of strength of player and enemy, i imagine a chart.
Player's main values would be power production, maybe AC and number of weapons while enemy's would be number of emitters, emitting power and creeper amount on map or so.
Player starts with both at zero like creeper amount on map, therefore player has time to build up something while being save. -> Phase 1
Depending on situation player might gain superiority and/or starts to strike back - and that's a hard turn. While player's values rise&rise enemy's take only hits - it's inversely proportional.

And here could maybe emitter power redistribution make a change in pace (or actually prevent it compared to CW3) because it prolongs Phase 2 the fight, where players struggle (at least a bit) to get things defended&done, and delay&shorten Phase 3 the slog, where it is only cleanup duty because player superiority is just overwhelming.

I mean if victory is just being stronger than the creeper, why engage emitters at all and not just call it a win once you are safe..?
Makes me remember this 'win situation': https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=546875260



I don't say this is the holy grail, but something to maybe take into consideration for creating a new chapter of CW games and interesting game balance for CW4 without that harsh drop of difficulty during a map.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Karsten75 on April 20, 2018, 08:06:38 pm
You're right that my math was way off... For the rest, let me cogitate and ruminate before I respond.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: fanstar1 on April 21, 2018, 08:59:58 pm
I mean if victory is just being stronger than the creeper, why engage emitters at all and not just call it a win once you are safe..?
Makes me remember this 'win situation': https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=546875260
well he can win from that position, but yeah there is still a lot to do to push back the creeper.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: ShadowDragon7015 on April 21, 2018, 09:55:15 pm
those difficult fights where you struggle to get that footing are the most fun in my opinion. you really get the sense of overwhelming creeper and fighting through.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: The_Mell on April 22, 2018, 05:05:23 am
You're right that my math was way off... For the rest, let me cogitate and ruminate before I respond.
No prob. For me this is somewhat brainstorming and not a 'hard' discussion - even though i'm not sure this is/was recognized over internet and by my maybe 'German way' of saying things.
And you made me just learn 2 new words.  ;D

Another thing i came up is the idea of redistributing not (only) emitting power in sense of amount of creeper but (also) creeper height.
Imagine a level 4 map with four emitters in holes emitting just at height 3 - no threat.
One down, rest at 4 and starting to flood dryland.
Terp lover builds a wall of 5, kills another one and it raises to 6.
Terp lover builds a max wall of 10, but then last emitter is strenghtened to 12.

These things could make players to go for a new tactic:
Paralell strike.
Don't want to fight hard emitters? Destroy all those weak ones at once.  :D
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Grabz on April 24, 2018, 11:02:09 am
Maybe it is even the wrong question.
Instead of making slog more interesting, it should be more towards minimizing slog phase. ;)

There is a big problem with that.

You see, a map is a struggle if you're running low on energy. CW1 is the perfect example of this, due to its much slower pace compared to CW3. The beginning of each map is a careful balance of building Collectors and just enough weapons to hold off. CW3 has drastically reduced the time it takes as well as packet cost of everything, meaning that the balance has shifted 180 degrees towards instead spamming as many Collectors as you can first, then building weapons with your surplus energy.

Why am I talking about this? Well... once you have energy, you've won.

You can't minimize the slog phase without taking away energy. You can't take away energy and expect players to beat the beginning phase where creeper covers most of the land. See where I'm going with this?

It's impossible to create a gameplay flow where both of these apply:
1. The beginning is a tough struggle to survive against the Creeper
2. After surviving the beginning struggle, do something to minimize the cleanup phase.

You could create an energy model that's really unforgiving and expects you to grab half the map first, but that's unfun for two reasons: you can't have holdout strategies, and it's more fun to see everything covered in creeper slowly taken back by the player.

Now, you can throw wrenches in the cogs... increase emitter strength over time, and the like. Unfortunately, a lot of these ideas are not very plausible:
- Increasing emitter strength over time means that you're racing against time and I feel like that's not what the CW games are all about.
- Making other emitters stronger if you nullify an emitter means you don't have to ever nullify an emitter
- Having emitters further back in the level be stronger than the ones closer... doesn't actually change anything, because the total emission power level on the map doesn't change. Creeper in CW4 flows much quicker so this actually matters more than in CW3, because everything will be coming at you.

Lastly, think about this - you have a perfectly defensible position. What can you do to make the rest of the level more hectic? Well, not much really - after all, the player has fortified. You would have to use tactics that breach the player's defenses - which is frustrating, because you don't have any real restrictions as to how many blasters etc. you can build at any given time, so when you're breached, it's not because you've been outsmarted, it's because you should have built more blasters. Next time you'll build more blasters. Eventually, you're just going to be placing safety blasters on every inch of the map for defense, because you can, since they are infinite - and no problem is solved.

This is something I'm fearing with CW4's "throw stuff at your base" model, because nothing stops me from putting blasters everywhere. But at the same I'm not that worried because nobody says that's not going to be fun - having your base tested against attacks is cool - I just hope letting things land and taking out the aftermath with blasters won't be the most cost effective way, so that other weapons are useful too (not that this was ever a problem with CW3 spores, but CW3 Beams are really powerful and CW4 Snipers barely manage to take out all the Air Sac bubbles).
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Nuhages on April 28, 2018, 11:36:26 pm
I agree Grabz.

I'll add it's all about the mapmaker.

Slog is my style (;D ;D) and even if the games tends to minimize this phase, some mappers (like me) will find a way to build Sloggy maps.
I didn't map CW1 but CW3 gave all the tools to make a mission a pain by limiting units and/or tech.
Delayed and/or double emitters helped increasing difficulty (to a certain point I know).
Painful digitalis paths, overloaded runners....
All we need are the tools. Then it's all about the mappers style, or idea.



Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: The_Mell on April 29, 2018, 10:10:31 am
You can't minimize the slog phase without taking away energy. You can't take away energy and expect players to beat the beginning phase where creeper covers most of the land. See where I'm going with this?

It's impossible to create a gameplay flow where both of these apply:
1. The beginning is a tough struggle to survive against the Creeper
2. After surviving the beginning struggle, do something to minimize the cleanup phase.
Yeah, i see where you are going:
a dead end called impossible and unable to think about an u-turn. :P

Okay, you cannot think about an energy system fulfilling our requirements, but that doesn't mean there is none.

Dark Reign back from the 90s had water wells as primary resource. They produced water at a certain rate and could store an amount.
A tanker would approach a well, fill up and return to base where water was sold. Time for filling up at a well was therefore influenced how dried out it was or if it had enough time to regenerate.
This resulted in a peak of income when you claimed a well, but then with time income would decline to a bottom line.

CW3 has maps without ore but AC emitters. A sprayer can collect it and make it to be used controlled by player.
This means you can approach a lake of AC to be harvested at a high rate at first, but then after lake is dried out production would fall down to emitter rate.

What would happen if we describe energy as a fluid, too?
Emitted at a certain speed at every point of map and sucked up by collectors? No need for height levels, just a simple plain, and technology is already coded more or less. ;)
At mission start land would be already flooded in energy and you could easily collect big amounts - like little siphons everywhere.
Then there would be an energy wave towards your base after some time. This could also mean frontline collectors are more useful&important than safe&secure ones in the back of your base.
And then even this wave would become smaller&smaller, so that you must grab land to get its energy in time.



Lastly, think about this - you have a perfectly defensible position.
Maybe perfection is part of the problem.
Air sacks are a nice threat but snipers destroying their bomb load kinda denies their intend somewhat, doesn't it?
All you need is a 'perfect' defense line of missiles&snipers.

I can remember how weird Act of War and its anti-super-weapon-weapons were.
At first glimps a nice idea and i liked to be able to perfectly turtle up my base, but with time i realized how static this could make gameplay.
C&C Generals, its superweapons and additional Generals Abilities were just more engaging.
Eugen Systems realized it, too, and the addon High Treason for AoW added long range artillery - wow, what a game changer.

Strafers in CW3 are such an oddity, too. Invincible strike everywhere units.
Build some, set a target and forget about them...
Yes, there are air exclusion towers, but that's like paper not beating stone but only stopping it from winning.

And maybe rock,paper,scissors is just the best way - no dead end, but a roundabout.
Have some unit swim in creeper spitting it like artillery at your defenses with no way to defend but to attack them and actually risking some units with this move outside your safe haven called base. For example strafers could be blown away by a new anti air variant of air sack. ;D
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: rer24 on July 20, 2018, 10:06:21 am
Quote
And then even this wave would become smaller&smaller, so that you must grab land to get its energy in time
An interesting idea, similar to how most RTS have bases that are mined out, forcing you to take expansions. However, this has the same issue as emitters that grow in strength - it puts you in a race against time, which can poorly backfire and in general make map making difficult, as they would have to be tuned to this curve to make the most of it.
Quote
For example strafers could be blown away by a new anti air variant of air sack
With this I definitely agree. This is one reason I loved the Sleeper: it had CBeams, which could shoot Strafers out of the sky unless you manually targeted them. I even suggested this in Virgil's latest blog post. It was annoying because you had to manually rebuild the strafer base, but that could be easily fixed during game development.
Quote
spitting it like artillery at your defenses with no way to defend
I agree with your earlier statement that:
Quote
i must say i'm not sure if i even would like to see an always 'agressive' CW game
I believe the reason for this is that Creeper World is not like any other RTS. On one hand, units are clumsy: they take time to take-off and land and need space to be placed on, meaning it is difficult to react to threats. On the other hand, the Creeper presents an ever-present threat from all directions, so you build static defenses on all sides. If some other threat that you can't deflect were to start wearing your defenses down, it would require Creeper World to become an RTS, with high APM demands. Sure, there's the pause function, but it can only help asses the situation and initiate plans. However, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and constant pausing of the game would severely break up it's flow. In short, I don't believe that forcing the player to constantly be on the attack to either supply or protect his defenses would not work in a game like Creeper World.
   Finally, I have a counter proposal, also drawing inspiration from RTS games. In these games, campaign missions tend to be "hard to win, but hard to lose," in that the enemy has vast defensive emplacements, but only sends small waves against your main base. I believe that to make Creeper World have less of a slog phase, the enemy should be able to defend itself. These defenses should be clearly visible rather than appearing from nowhere, and they should pose NO offensive threat. This way, the player can assault them, fail, fall back to safety, and try again. In fact, this might fix the difficulty curve by raising it significantly, but only once the player has the upper hand/initiative. This may be another reason Particle Fleet was so successful: it had many such defensive features, including patrolling enemy ships, Ticon defense cannons, land mires, and even the Emitter's "Particulate Recall" ability once your ships approached it, which meant you needed more firepower to attack than to defend. Of course, the more powerful of these measures should be as optional as they were in Particle Fleet.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Builder17 on July 20, 2018, 01:13:43 pm
I agree with your earlier statement that:
Quote
i must say i'm not sure if i even would like to see an always 'agressive' CW game
I believe the reason for this is that Creeper World is not like any other RTS. On one hand, units are clumsy: they take time to take-off and land and need space to be placed on, meaning it is difficult to react to threats. On the other hand, the Creeper presents an ever-present threat from all directions, so you build static defenses on all sides. If some other threat that you can't deflect were to start wearing your defenses down, it would require Creeper World to become an RTS, with high APM demands. Sure, there's the pause function, but it can only help asses the situation and initiate plans. However, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and constant pausing of the game would severely break up it's flow. In short, I don't believe that forcing the player to constantly be on the attack to either supply or protect his defenses would not work in a game like Creeper World.
   Finally, I have a counter proposal, also drawing inspiration from RTS games. In these games, campaign missions tend to be "hard to win, but hard to lose," in that the enemy has vast defensive emplacements, but only sends small waves against your main base. I believe that to make Creeper World have less of a slog phase, the enemy should be able to defend itself. These defenses should be clearly visible rather than appearing from nowhere, and they should pose NO offensive threat. This way, the player can assault them, fail, fall back to safety, and try again. In fact, this might fix the difficulty curve by raising it significantly, but only once the player has the upper hand/initiative. This may be another reason Particle Fleet was so successful: it had many such defensive features, including patrolling enemy ships, Ticon defense cannons, land mires, and even the Emitter's "Particulate Recall" ability once your ships approached it, which meant you needed more firepower to attack than to defend. Of course, the more powerful of these measures should be as optional as they were in Particle Fleet.

Could one kind of "defence" be something that rarely sends something into your base but in progress removes creeper from map to make it easier strike back?

Edit: "Offense is best defence", right? Also, weakening both sides might make good speedrun strategy maybe?
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: rer24 on July 20, 2018, 02:18:54 pm
Could one kind of "defence" be something that rarely sends something into your base but in progress removes creeper from map to make it easier strike back?
That doesn't sound like something that would fulfill the role of a defence, if it weakens the enemy and attacks you.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: El doctor de creatividad on October 31, 2018, 10:57:45 pm
Given that you've been talking about energy so much in terms of difficulty, I have an idea:  A generator of some sort (perhaps one-time built like CW3's forge) builds energy based on area that you don't control, either via land not held in collector area or in terms of creeper coverage.  It wouldn't be as efficient as maxing out the entire map, but it would provide a solid amount of energy to start out with and prevent one from simply spamming weapons constantly with energy being no concern (because it becomes a constant one).  I haven't seen it in any arguments on this thread, so I thought I'd bring it up.

(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Kalahatze on January 18, 2019, 04:10:14 pm
   Finally, I have a counter proposal, also drawing inspiration from RTS games. In these games, campaign missions tend to be "hard to win, but hard to lose," in that the enemy has vast defensive emplacements, but only sends small waves against your main base. I believe that to make Creeper World have less of a slog phase, the enemy should be able to defend itself. These defenses should be clearly visible rather than appearing from nowhere, and they should pose NO offensive threat. This way, the player can assault them, fail, fall back to safety, and try again. In fact, this might fix the difficulty curve by raising it significantly, but only once the player has the upper hand/initiative. This may be another reason Particle Fleet was so successful: it had many such defensive features, including patrolling enemy ships, Ticon defense cannons, land mires, and even the Emitter's "Particulate Recall" ability once your ships approached it, which meant you needed more firepower to attack than to defend. Of course, the more powerful of these measures should be as optional as they were in Particle Fleet.

I might be late to the party, and I hope I am not necroposting too much, but I might have an idea. I like your idea of "hard to win, but hard to lose" but I think it could be done in a better way. If an area is too defensive, especially in a game like Creeper World, it can just be annoying to take rather than difficult. My proposal would be something like what Builder17 suggested, except less threatening. There could be a way that the Creeper could fight back against you, but only temporarily. For example, you get a base setup and you are well-defended, but then you need to expand to win. But, as you try and take land, the Creeper actively tried to take it back from you in some way, until a cut-off point. Either you hold the territory for a long enough period of time and the attacks stop, or there are set "zones" and when you conquer an entire zone the attacks stop for that zone or something to that effect. I am not sure if other people would like this as it is still a bit more fast-paced and aggressive than some people would like, however, I am very much in the disliking stressful timed things zone, and this seems fine even to me. Obviously, it could be optional as well.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Jaycephus on April 30, 2019, 06:04:38 pm
This is my biggest problem with CW, is the point you get to where the win is inevitable, but it's another thirty minutes to get to it. To me, PF was even worse in this respect, because the official maps had this problem, not just custom maps. Granted, it's newbie to mid-level players that are going to suffer this the most, because advanced players might make an air assault across void and cut 2 hours off of their newbie time. But custom maps often have the slog built in because the goal is to kill every emitter.  >:(

The main problem is how passive the threat is. Granted it, ramps up, but that is a necessary game mechanic because the player is also having to build up, so the enemy can't just start throwing a huge wave of creeper and dozens of spores at them from the beginning. Once you have successfully built up to be ready for that initial ramp-up, it often enters the 'slog' phase where everything is just a long wind-down

My favorite custom maps are the Sleeper maps with units that come at you and fight back. Those could be improved with the Sleeper trying different tactics at the end-game if you seem to have the map wrapped up.

With CW4, it looks like the airsac could serve this role, especially if it tries different pathing into your territory each time. But I really look forward to an RTS type enemy like the Sleeper, too, as people make custom maps and units.

Another way to make a better late-game is to have a constraining feature at the mid-point, for example, a choke-point that provides difficulty in assaulting across it. The slow, steady, no-brainer advancement is what needs to be avoided.

If killing an emitter or other unit can trigger a phase, then you might have a fresh, increased-difficulty-wave based not on time, but on advancement across the map, basically. If you rush to kill that mid-point emitter and unleash the response without proper prep, you get pushed back or overwhelmed. This type of map can create a 1st crises point followed by a chance to wind-down, rest and recover for the next push. That push can trigger the next crises-point where things get hot again.

I think CW4 is going to be better than PF for this problem, on the official maps, and it looks like the player-customization is going to reach new heights. Really looking forward to this.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Grabz on May 01, 2019, 11:19:26 am
If killing an emitter or other unit can trigger a phase, then you might have a fresh, increased-difficulty-wave based not on time, but on advancement across the map, basically. If you rush to kill that mid-point emitter and unleash the response without proper prep, you get pushed back or overwhelmed. This type of map can create a 1st crises point followed by a chance to wind-down, rest and recover for the next push. That push can trigger the next crises-point where things get hot again.
This has been tried, and killing an emitter doesn't work for a simple reason - you don't have to kill the emitter, you can just cap it with blasters and bypass the triggers.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Builder17 on May 01, 2019, 01:33:00 pm
This has been tried, and killing an emitter doesn't work for a simple reason - you don't have to kill the emitter, you can just cap it with blasters and bypass the triggers.

Before emitting creeper, check if there is any creeper/very low under emitter? If true, self-destruct emitter.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Jaycephus on May 02, 2019, 12:25:36 pm

This has been tried, and killing an emitter doesn't work for a simple reason - you don't have to kill the emitter, you can just cap it with blasters and bypass the triggers.

That's a very technical opposition to a general concept. Point is that placing any unit within capping/nullifying range could be the trigger. Boom, fresh hell is generated, hope you were ready for it. Hope you weren't rushing. #SlogNoMore. (conditions could be 1) nullification, or 2) three units within capping-range, for example, or just a unit that has been placed in an advanced zone, indicating you are containing (not-capping) and trying to bypass the 'trigger' emitter.)

I'm probably more sensitive to slog because the vast majority of my recent Knucklecracker game playing has been PF (notorious slog), or player maps in CW3, so the mid-to-late-game slog is real, and something that bothered me before I came here and saw this thread. The custom maps that redefined the game for me were the Sleeper maps, where just defending the initial surge of creeper itself does not result in an automatic win.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Grabz on May 02, 2019, 02:51:43 pm
That's a very technical opposition to a general concept. Point is that placing any unit within capping/nullifying range could be the trigger. Boom, fresh hell is generated, hope you were ready for it. Hope you weren't rushing. #SlogNoMore. (conditions could be 1) nullification, or 2) three units within capping-range, for example, or just a unit that has been placed in an advanced zone, indicating you are containing (not-capping) and trying to bypass the 'trigger' emitter.)
There's no real definition of a capping range. You can cap an emitter from any range with enough blasters/mortars. Usually capping an emitter means placing blasters right next to it, but if to avoid triggering the next deadly phase you have to form a wide ring of 30 blasters, that becomes the strategy. And if you try stretching the capping range further, you risk units that are next to an emitter but not capping it triggering another phase.

It might seem like an easy problem when you look at it from the perspective of just trying to make it work, but if you look at it from a perspective of how to make it work in a way that's not easily exploitable to avoid the intended route, it becomes a lot more difficult. Exploits make some maps fun, but I think in this case I think it would just ruin the game.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Jaycephus on May 03, 2019, 05:03:30 pm
There's no real definition of a capping range. You can cap an emitter from any range with enough blasters/mortars.

It might seem like an easy problem.

Yes, it is an easy problem to address. Furthermore, we are talking about CW4, and the possibility of creating new hooks for this, not limitations of past versions. This is about options for CW4, and it is a mental cage to think that no new modes of event-triggers can be considered.

Obviously, the range of cannon and mortars are the capping range I was speaking of. Why would you think I am talking about some short range as the capping range? Why would you think that tht matters? You have to be within firing range, but this was so obvious that I didn't think to specify "firing range." Yes, if something, or more than some number of things, is withing that range, then that could be a trigger. Or some user unit is placed in a defined zone, that can be a trigger. That is a very easy way to define progress across the map.

CW4 could provide a way detect specific units within a zone around a creeper-unit, or a zone defined by coordinates in 4RPL, if this isn't in CRPL already.
An invisible unit could be used to detect progress across the map, or detect creeper levels at its position.

Don't be stuck in the past. Let yourself grow and consider new things that might be possible out of the bounds of a mental cage.
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Karsten75 on May 03, 2019, 08:19:10 pm
We should be careful to differentiate between enthusiasm and something a little more aggressive towards people responding in good faith.  Discussions are based on a open, frank and fair exchange of viewpoints.  Many of us have been here for years and have heard many of the suggestions put forward multiple times.

Sometimes we interpret responses and ideas slightly differently and a true meeting of minds do not occur. Some ideas have been put forward many times - some were even implemented either experimentally during game development or as part of custom maps using built-in scripting (CRPL, PRPL etc.)

Let's keep things civil. :)
Title: Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
Post by: Grabz on May 03, 2019, 11:53:37 pm
I apologize if I came across wrong, I don't intend to pick a fight.

Jaycephus, I've been over this before, and I've seen, played and exploited maps attempting to do this. I don't agree with you and you don't agree with me, but in this situation all we can do is discuss what we believe - neither of us have anything to show. If you would like to take me up for the challenge, I strongly urge you to join the KC Discord and I will gladly help you make the exact sort of map that would feature the mechanics that you have in your mind, using the CW3's scripting language. If you do not wish to learn scripting, that's perfectly okay - I'll be happy to take the time to write all the scripts for you, provided you design all the mechanics.

If you truly believe you're onto something, then we will all benefit. I don't mean to shut you down. The best way to tell is to show, and if you think you can make this work in a way that's worthy of being a base game mechanic, showcasing a well done map is perhaps the best way to get KC to consider the idea.

I help people with scripts on the KC Discord regularly, so it would not be new for me to practically make a map for someone.

https://discordapp.com/invite/knucklecracker