View Full Version : Lack of "Modes" with Units

02-02-2006, 10:57 PM
I find that the units in game are entirely "dumby" driven. Meaning that unless I tell them to do something they will just sit there. Of course they will defend themselves, but that's about it.

Take fighters for example. Bombers should be able to be given the command to "target capital ships" and they will do so and the actual fighters should be able to "target fighters" and do so.

Corvettes are the same way. After they kill a designated group of fighters, they will go and target a damn space station or other capital ship rather than target more fighters. There should be a button where when active that they will only target fighters.

Large scale space battles can be hairy and confusing. You should be able to just give your ships a list of priorities when it comes to fighting. Like "target laser batteries first" instead of telling each individual ship to target each individual hard point. Same goes with bombers, priorities listings should be available to the player.

Also, captial ships should automatically position themselves to where they can get the best shot/s off on their target. Too many times I saw where my ISD would let another ship that it was targetting get on its left or right flank and not position itself to where it can hit the ship with its full compliment of lasers/ion cannons. Is there a way you can rotate ships in place? Kinda like a "ctrl" key was in Rome: Total War, where you can rotate your armies and still keep them relatively where they stand.

Last but not least. There should be a que somewhere on your HUD where it will show units that don't have orders. Like make it in the upper right hand corner of the HUD, when a unit is done with it's given orders a little radio message will sound off "Current orders completed, standing by." And up in the corner the unit with pop up and flash.

So many possabilites are available. Why weren't they implemented? Is Petroglyph afraid that the game would become a 'sit back and watch the battle unfold'? Or do they want a game where your constantly mashing buttons and always racing through your units making sure they are doing something and not twidling their thumbs in the heat of a battle?

02-03-2006, 01:36 PM
Your idea of a HUD queue for idle units is a neat one, though I think that would probably only be useful if your "modes" or "objectives" were implemented--I wouldn't want a unit to pop up an indicator that it had completed all its orders if I was giving it a series of small movement commands to get it into position!

I would love to see a way to set up units with a general strategy and then watch it play out, as you suggest. The cinematic mode would be much more fun if I can be sure that my units won't need attention every few seconds to keep bombers from dogfighting, fighters from attacking capital ships, and corvettes sitting in Star Destroyers' fire zones with their legendary engines idling. For one thing, I'd like my units to attack those enemy units they are strong against first. Second, it would be great to be able to specify fire control options on units or groups. For instance, in Total Annihilation, players could specify that a unit hold fire at all times, only return fire when fired upon, and open fire on any enemy units sighted. You could also specify that units always hold position unless given a move order, maneuver to dodge enemy fire or get a clear shot but stay in roughly the same place, or be allowed to wander all over the map in pursuit of enemies. Neither of these is quite the "attack capital ships" or "provide fighter cover" modes you suggest, but taken in concert, they'd amount to roughly the same thing.

Admiral Raven
02-03-2006, 05:46 PM
I think especialy in ground combat they need at least a hold ground stance as my units go chasing after enemys I didn't even ask them to attack and then wander into range of a turbo laser tower or an AT AT and get ripped to shreds. This was probably one of the only things I really found annoying in the demo.

02-03-2006, 06:04 PM
I've already said this before, I wish that you could tell cap ships to attack cap ships, fighters to attack fighters, It's all been said. Now we just sit and wait for the full version, and hope they have it in.

02-08-2006, 01:17 PM
Yeah.. my fighters keep wondering off and lurking... TIE's are better with the hunt enemy feature as it stops them simply sitting there.. just wish that instead of sitting idle they'd go and perform their primary task... a target priority list would be nice.

02-08-2006, 11:35 PM
Yeah, the lack of "stances" is really a pain sometimes. It only makes for more microing.
It can get annoying really fast.

02-09-2006, 03:32 PM
On the other hand if you kill the microing and introduce the priority system the AI will be a much bigger factor in Multiplayer spacebattles , I think it'd be great in single player but not too great in Multiplayer ::

02-09-2006, 03:41 PM
And how is that supposed to make things bad in multiplayer? Lowering the micro will help you direct your forces a lot better.

02-09-2006, 03:43 PM
It will be the AI directing your forces a lot better ::

02-09-2006, 03:46 PM
When I'm fighting a desperate battle with outnumbered forces I don't want to constantly be thinking "I wonder where that group of X-wings has gone off to" and have to choose a new target. I want them to finish their current target, then target bombers or fighters. Let the pilots use some initiative..

02-09-2006, 03:48 PM
If you're ounumbered and desperate I doubt you'd let the Ai pick the targets, you'd nuke one of their capital ships or get outta there Fast!

02-09-2006, 03:55 PM
You seem to assume that stances makes the player just sit there and do nothing. That is utterly wrong.

Stances are made to reduce micro-management so that when you're busy in one corner of the map, the rest of your forces at the other end are not totally helpless.

02-09-2006, 03:58 PM
Well putting it like that I gues you're right :p All hail moderator Wisdom!!! :D

02-09-2006, 04:18 PM
Yes, and my main problem is the fact that fighters will quite frequently go and lurk in an asteroid belt. When your the Empire with a large number of fighters under your command,this makes life very difficult when you have to keep worrying about them wondering off.

02-09-2006, 05:06 PM
well, in a SP game, it is technically the AI controlling your units and stuff like that, you just tell it where to move the ships and units.

02-09-2006, 09:25 PM
Also, it would be nice if fighter squadrons would return to their "home" after their current orders are done. For instance, I see a squadron of y-wings coming for my ISD, so I tell the 2 Tie-Fighter squadrons to engage and destroy. After they destroy the y-wing squad they should return to the ISD not sit in the middle of an asteroid belt playing hiding go seek.

There's been SEVERAL occasions where i'm in a heated battle and forget about individual fighter squadrons and sometimes even corvettes. I'll look on the mini map and see them off somewhere in east jabip and be like "wtf are they doing over there?!" then tell them to come back to the fight. Even a system where a "orders completed, standing by" message would pop up and they would flash somewhere in your HUD would be a great help.

02-11-2006, 10:22 AM
This is an excellent thread.

To add on a bit...I usually have to Ctrl-A to see all the units I have--especially in space where the actual number of units varies based on when my TIE squadrons scramble from the capitol ships. Several issues arise here where the HUD fails. I cannot get the camera to center on any unit I select. Say I want Boba Fett to attack an A-wing squadron and drop one of his grenades. To find him, I use Ctrl-A, double click on him, and then assign him the task. The problem is that I cannot where on the map he is; single and double clicking on him only results in me selecting him, but not centering on him in the battle. The problem here is that if there's a closer unit he could attack, I wouldn't know it. This can result in me sending him helter skelter all over the map; not very efficient.

Another problem is that I don't know which units each of my units are attacking. Let's say I have 10 TIE squadrons out and about. If I want half of them to attack some Y-wings, and the other half to protect my capitol ships, I cannot tell by using Ctrl-A which of my units is in the process of attacking and which are idle, etc. It would be VERY helpful to have some kind of icon on each unit's HUD display that tells me what it's doing and what it's attacking. This is very frustrating because it results in me having to pan-and-scan the battlefield to find the specific units I need and then manually select each one out of the melee to assign it a task. As RTS's in general are where you act as the battlefield general, it seems I'm a bit out of touch with my units.

02-11-2006, 09:58 PM
"What we have here is a failure to communicate." That's basically my gripe with the units and the way they operate in battle. Communication is key in any war/battle and it's just not happening in EaW.

Sure, they'll tell you "enemy spotted" but you have no idea what unit spotted an enemy and where unless your pretty vigilant on your map. That's like someone calling in on the radio and saying "Infantry at my position." Ok, where is MY position at?! A simple solution is a map "blip" w/ a sound que of where the enemy was spotted. Or of my individual unit HUD was implemented you can just have a little speaker show up next to the unit indicating they are relaying info about enemy movement, orders etc.. Then you can click on the corresponding unit and it will bring you right to them on the map.

02-12-2006, 11:10 AM
Or just a simple system like in StarCraft: press space and the map centers on the last unit to transmit a message. Units on the minimap do blink red (I think, haven't touched the demo in a little while) when they're engaged with enemies, which is a step in the right direction.