Author Topic: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?  (Read 1032 times)

Nuhages

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Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
« Reply #15 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.



I made a dream ... was map making on CW4

The_Mell

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Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
« Reply #16 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
"Fairies Wear Boots" - Black Sabbath

rer24

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Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2018, 10:06:21 am »
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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.
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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.
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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.
We shall end the infinite cycle of madness!

Builder17

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Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
« Reply #18 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?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 02:40:53 pm by Builder17 »

rer24

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Re: Any ideas for making the "slog phase" more interesting?
« Reply #19 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.
We shall end the infinite cycle of madness!