Rudankort wrote: ↑
Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:51 am
Always nice to see a PzC beta veteran, even when he does not have a single positive thing to say about the new game. At least, I hope that this time around you won't feel that Kursk map is too small.
Hello! Yes I've been away from the forums for a long time - much less opportunity to chat as a stone mason than when I was bored at work as a graphic designer.
Read my post, I said MORE than 1 positive thing!
Graphics look nice! Variable core slot cost was a positive improvement! Aircraft could potentially be a good change with a slight tweak to how they behave! And yes vanilla kursk is a vast improvement over PzC vanilla Kursk
In some ways, I can see why you would feel like this, but I think that many things remained closer to the original PG, like bigger maps, more units, larger scale of battles etc.
It's not so much the size of the battles - more of prettier graphics making gameplay less easy - For example in PG and PzC it was always easy to tell what type of terrain you were on by looking at it. With PG2 and PzC2 where terrain "bleeds" from one hex to another it's harder to tell if a given hex has enough buildings on it to qualify as a town or enough trees to qualify as a forest. Similarly the hills tend to blend into the background more. The static bonuses of PzC one were (with the exception of +1 move) were not particularly noticeable - but in the two sequels heroes have abilities which substantially alter the way a given unit interacts with the rules.
Just out of curiosity - do you have the same problem with all other games using similar layout, like Civ series?
Good question. I've played alot of Starcraft2 and Civ4 with similar interfaces without noticing either. If I was given the option of a PzC1 style interface for either would I have liked it better? In part I'll acknowledge that part of my problem has to do with an aversion to change.
But I feel that even if successful in other games, as implemented the layout is falling short in PzC2. In part I think it's distracting that the UI continually redesigns itself. For example:
the mini map proportions change depending on the dimensions of the scenario, pushing the right bank of buttons up or down.
The "selected" info panel only appears when you have something selected. The "mouse over" info panel jumps from the left corner of the screen, to the mid point or even father depending on how many panels are open next to it. The vertical size of those panels changes depending on whether or not there's a unit or named terrain feature in the hex. The "picture shield" projects above the line of the data box. If this was pushed to the sides of the screen it wouldn't be an issue but it jumps around with the panels. Also if I have a unit selected and mouse over another unit it only shows me the details of the unit I'm mousing over, not the underlying terrain - I have to deselect the unit to free up both windows so one will show me the other unit and the other can tell me if it's standing on enough buildings to qualify as a town or not.
In PzC opening the deployment list or supplementary stats panel left the rest of the UI in exactly the same place - here it pushes elements over to make room for it.
In Civ yes the buttons were distributed around the screen, but I thought the buttons were better grouped by function. When you're moving units everything you need is bottom center allong with the "end turn" button. In PzC2 you have the undo, minimap, air/ground toggle, next/last, and sleep buttons on one side, and the replacement, transport, and switch buttons on the other, and the end turn button in yet another corner.
TBH I would have preferred a FIXED bottom console with minimap on one side, the bulk of the buttons on the other, and two fixed info panels in the middle. Or given the prevalence of widescreen monitors, everything in a fixed location to one side leaving the bulk of the window unencumbered with UI... like PzC...
The mission overview panel is HUGE for the amount of information it displays and defaults to "on". Yet with all that space it could have listed the weather in text form. Indeed it should have been under the turn counter since it relays related information.
While they need to be visible to achieve their function, IMO the strength plates visually dominate the game. They, especially the ones for Core units attempt to show too much information within the frame, making them too big. At least with PzC the "hasn't moved/hasn't fired" dots were outside the frame. Similarly the contrast with the palette chosen is too jarring. I suspect that part of the visual issues people are having is a result of that contrast - trying to distinguish green/grey units against green/grey background when there's strength plates screaming LOOK AT ME. Compare with PG/PzC for name plates that are functional but harmonious with the rest of the game. Same with objective hexes, combat odds, etc.
Instead of a single unit list showing all units, there are 3 lists - deployed, undeployed, reserve - this seems unnecessarily clunky. Why can't units be on a single list with visual modifiers showing if they're deployed (big green check mark) or in reserve (red X)? During deployment if I pick a unit up from the map it doesn't automatically select that unit for redeployment. If all my units are deployed it automatically moves me to the unit list. But if I pick one up I then have to manually go back into the un-deployed list to find it?
Fortunately, you only need to untick one checkbox and all those nasty heroes will go away.
Where is this mythical checkbox? Regardless aren't the campaigns being balanced around players having the bonuses from these heroes? Much like PzC campaigns were balanced around players having an abundance of high quality armor?
boredatwork wrote: ↑
Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:31 am
Combat - feels like it happens too fast - ie units are too fragile. This means gambling is punished far more than rewarded leading to boring set piece play.
It's interesting that you feel this way, because 50% base accuracy creates a hard limit on damage which did not exist in PzC.
When I say combat happens too fast I'm referring to the way multiple units can ignore everything else to gang up on a single unit and kill it in one turn. In a SC or Civ style game where you using generic units who cares. But in an RPG style game being likely to lose a unit because you were a bit daring (as opposed to reckless) is frustrating to no end and leads to slow methodical gameplay - never advancing until you're ready to do so with overwhelming firepower.
This was a problem of PzC as well and for a good discussion of what could have been done differently this time around see this thread from 2012: viewtopic.php?f=121&t=38306
As I suggested back then (after pestering you to get reform units into the game in the first place) making the death penalty less severe would allow you to take the chains off the AI to make it more challenging and kill 15-25% or more of a players units per game without necessarily compromising their ab ility to complete the campaign as a whole. Deducter summed up my idea nicely:
deducter wrote: ↑
Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:21 am
The more I think about it the more I agree that integrating "reform units" into the game, especially for very long content like the GCs, is the solution to a lot of the problems that players are having. Right now the penalty for a unit ending at 1 str and a unit destroyed is too great. This is an arbitrary distinction and IMO not interesting in a game of this nature, not to mention very frustrating for so many players. I think massively reducing the penalty for losing a unit, but making it so that losses are to be expected for a scenario makes so much more sense.
This is essentially how I've been playing PzC the last 8? years. Cranking up the AI strength to make it challenging - but using reform units and the cheat codes to rebuild the occasional core losses, with a modest penalty to their experience. I would have loved if this concept could have been extended to the game as a whole so 100% and 90% casualties had proportional impact on game play which currently they don't.
I would have gone further and suggested that instead of making experience something specific to units, instead make it a shared resource across the force as a whole - make experience quicker to gain, but get rid of elite replacements and instead maintain finite pools of different star replacement points. Charge prestige for equipment, choose which pool to draw experience from. 0 star points would be infinite but the others would be much more limited - a trickle based on a % of str ength lost in previous games to represent wounded returning to service and/or strength points removed from existing units to be replaced by green units. Thus you could rebuild a unit as a green unit, or rebuild it as an elite unit by having other elite units give up some of their elite strength points and diluting their experience in the process.
I believe that recons are still useful in their primary role, but combat bonus is a nice extra.
For the first play through yes, but on replays their value diminishes - if I know I'm always going to run into this force here then I have less of a need to scout the unknown. Whereas if the enemy forces had been more random in timing and composition then every game they could have been valuable. I'm not sure if the combat bonus in the long run is that valuable either - for the cost (in slots) I could buy an extra artillery or AT.
I would argue that interaction of units and relative positioning of them on the battlefield is more interesting tactically.
Potentially - however the more effective support units are at supporting, the more strong defensive combinations are thus reducing offense to a slogging match of artillery.
Once again, it's interesting that you feel like this when effects from entrenchment are pretty significant, plus you can no longer reduce a unit below base entrenchment. Granted, there are more tools to reduce entrenchment faster in the new game, but if you miss slower entrenchment reduction from the prequel, just take the "trench slog" general trait.
This could be a matter of getting used to the new system - but it seems like units retreat too easily. Whereas before as long as a unit was still entrenched it would hold it's position, now it seems too easy to force units from what, in PzC, would have been a strong defensive line.