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Thread: Why warfare fails as a game mode

  1. #1

    Why warfare fails as a game mode

    Why warfare fails as a game mode.
    I believe that warfare is one of the more exciting and inovative ideas brought to the table by BIS. In fact the unpresidented scale offered in arma2-3's engine makes this one of the few games capable of delivering this kind of gameplay. This is hardly the first thread on this topic (Why does no one play standard warfare missions- Superpower & When Diplomacy Fails?) but I'd like to call this topic into focus as it relates to Arma3.

    1. A major hurdle of warfare is the assumption that each player will command a squad of AI subordinates.
    This assumption fails because:
    a) The interface and feedback of AI command and control is non-intutive.
    b) AI pathfinding is erratic
    c) AI has weak self preservation. (Spends too much time standing in firefights or refusing to move.)
    d) AI spotting distances are not good enough for PvP battles

    This results in an AI that is hard to use, cannot be depended upon to spot and engage obvious targets, and frustrating as they appear to refuse direct commands. In short few players bother investing the time necessary to learn how to use AI soldiers well.

    2. Economic system is byzantine and lacks transparency.
    The effect an capturing a town or destroying an enemy vehicle is hard to quantify. What does it really mean to loose a town in warfare? Cash over time certainly... but is this is hard to feel any sense of immediacy when the effects are so 'soft' or long term. Warfare games often seem to be lost on technicalities (enemy stumbles over HQ) rather than strategic investment of resources.

    Given the amount of money a long time player is likely to amass; casualties quickly cease to manner in any strategic sense.


    3. Lack of gameplay patches
    Yes. I'm serious. While Arma2 (and OA) hasn't lacked for patches I ask this: How many of them have tweaked or improved unit/weapon statistics as they relate to game balance? None as far as I know of. In comparison. How many Real Time Strategy games of any relevancy have NOT gone through a couple balance patches? I refuse the notion that because Arma2 is a simulator the arbitrary weapon values are fitting.

    Within BIS studios there seems to be an aversion to providing config level fixes. This results in inconsistent weapon, vehicle, and soldier performance.


    What do you think?


    -k
    Last edited by NkEnNy; Sep 20 2011 at 00:31. Reason: Minor edit for clarity
    ARMA 2 Mission packs:LITE Coop mission package + LIMA coop mission package (ACE + ACRE) + More ACE + ACRE missions. + Aliabad coop Mission Package+ Fireforce Takistan NEW
    ARMA 3 Mission packs:Fourplay Coop Mission Pack NEW
    Kill things, break stuff. Repeat as necessary.

  2. #2
    I've always disliked it since it basically takes a team game and turns it into a bunch of guys playing single player together. Also "buying" weapons on the fly doesn't sit well with the "It's a sim, devs!" aspect for me.

    If I wanted to play RTS, I'd play Starcraft or something. If I wanted to play military RTS I'd play Company of Heroes or whatever it is.

  3. #3
    Will I believe it fails because of the complexity and the fact its a time consuming game mode. Also when servers reset when players leave does not help the game mode.

    Arma was NEVER meant to be balanced. So your point about balancing patches is quite stupid to be honest. Besides it would seem stupid if the Ak-47 had the same exact properties of the M16/M4... Arma is about two things. Gameplay and realism. When it comes to balancing its not there. Why? Because that falls under the realism category. And we all know in real life war is not fair.

  4. #4
    very good post. warfare is fun, but it does bring to sharp focus a few of the games biggest flaws that shatter the illusion of a massive intricate battle. most (actually all) games i have played eventually settle into a muddled confusing mess where command and control is impossible and the lines stagnate and crumple.

    from the perspective of some one who plays single player as a commander (or tried too) a combination of AI and high command make playing very difficult.

    in order to be successful you need to micro manage the crap out of your units, but the HC interface makes that a slow arduous process. add to that, there is no freaking documentation on how to use the advanced functions of the mode. i only recently became aware that there was a guide on the wiki, and even its usefulness is questionable.

    many of the issues with warfare are not really issues with the mission its self, but much deeper rooted issues with the game .in my opinion issues with "macro AI' and the HC interface need to be addressed before any work can really begin on making warfare a more viable staple for multiplayer.

    firstly "macro AI" (I have been wanting to start a thread on the HC interface and AI for a while, but never got around too it, so this will do for now)
    AI needs general commands. for example, Attack, Defend, assault, support by fire, escort, break contact etc. these can be done now, but in most cases they require complex scripting and knowledge extensive of the editor, and are usually not very good or are easily breakable (it boggles me how hard it is to get AIs to make an effective defensive position in the editor).

    secondly, add in a new function, "React to contact". this lets your AIs know what you want them to do, so you dont have to tell them exactly when it happens. after all, how many times have you seen an infantry squad run heedlessly into the maws of overwhelming enemies be it, entrenched defenders, or armor? for example, actions on contact, "continue mission (essentially what AI does now), halt to engage, break contact, push through"

    for example in HC mode you have a tank section and infantry squad. you give your infantry and order to "escort" the tanks. the infantry will automatically follow and protect the tanks. you then give your tanks a move order, and in the "actions on contact" tab, "stop to engage" (meaning they just wont keep plowing through the maw of AT gunners and enemy armor).

    AI also need to be tought how to use their equipment more effectively. for infantry they are pretty good, but the problem lies in AI effective use of armor and air assets. to go into more detail is a thread of its own...

    finally AI need to communicate with other formations and the commander. for example all units linked into the same HC module share general data on enemy positions, and status. 2-1, enemy armor north, taking casualties, falling back, small arms fire east, etc.

    i would love to see a full "macro AI" implemented where there is actual dynamic AI control of high command formations, but i dont think thats really a realistic goal

    HC interface

    to make a better interface, simply look to other full RTS's, or the quite fun WOO mod. have click-able buttons on a HUD rather than the whole scrolly clicky wonky thing, and work from there.




    honestly i have been sitting here for about a goddamned hour trying to cobble this together, typing out paragraphs, deleting them, rewriting, remembering other details, adding them in, etc. but now im just too damn tired to make it pretty, so hopefully its readable enough
    if it turns out to be really ugly ill fix it up or elaborate later

    edit: 5leven, i dont think he ment "balance patch" in terms of weapon or vehicle stats, but things like cost changes, build time changes, or any modifications or bug fixes in the missions at all.
    Last edited by That guy; Sep 14 2011 at 06:39.
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  5. #5
    i think it fails because maps are small ,no carriers,no cruise missile,base system is stupid (sorry for this one),AI is unreliable (i rarely use AI) and finally TAB button.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Qazdar View Post
    i think it fails because maps are small
    I set up warfare on Shapur with custom locations, some of the best fun I ever had with Arma, although it becomes predictable with AI.

    Warfare would be awesome if it was more customizable... It does everything I wanted arma to do, spawns units, units use transport, units move to objectives but you can't customize it (unless you code) to how you want to play the game.

  7. #7
    I think the opposite, usually number of players is so small they get lost on the big map. We need smaller maps with just couple of towns
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  8. #8
    Chief Warrant Officer Beagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5LEvEN View Post
    Will I believe it fails because of the complexity and the fact its a time consuming game mode. Also when servers reset when players leave does not help the game mode.

    Arma was NEVER meant to be balanced. So your point about balancing patches is quite stupid to be honest. Besides it would seem stupid if the Ak-47 had the same exact properties of the M16/M4... Arma is about two things. Gameplay and realism. When it comes to balancing its not there. Why? Because that falls under the realism category. And we all know in real life war is not fair.
    ArmA is for sure not about realism, if it was it would not use definately wrong behaviours, handling, ranges and values in all the different weapons.
    Only a few rifles seem to be correct, thats all. The result is the behavuior you see in Warfare missions...two player on foot cantake out a whole tank platoon from outside the tanks range unsing "fantasy" weapons like SMAW, MAAWS, NLAW. But on the other hand...as we now since yesterday...10 men with Rifles and RPGs are enough to stir up a whole city like Kabul for half a day.
    Last edited by Beagle; Sep 14 2011 at 08:05.

  9. #9
    What I find interesting is that the actually gameplay of operation flashpoint resistance with MFCTI is far superior to that of ARMA 2's warfare mode, in my opinion.

    In MFCTI it really did feel like there was a war going on, and it felt like you had a real role to play.

    I am sorry to say, but I feel like the AI has actually gone backwards in some ways since ofp. My opinion: the whole AI system has become too complicated. I think BIS should strip it down to far less features that actually work perfectly.
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  10. #10
    Chief Warrant Officer Beagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lozz08 View Post
    What I find interesting is that the actually gameplay of operation flashpoint resistance with MFCTI is far superior to that of ARMA 2's warfare mode, in my opinion.

    In MFCTI it really did feel like there was a war going on, and it felt like you had a real role to play.

    I am sorry to say, but I feel like the AI has actually gone backwards in some ways since ofp. My opinion: the whole AI system has become too complicated. I think BIS should strip it down to far less features that actually work perfectly.
    Sorry, but when you start comparing ArmA2 warfare to OFP cti mods you have to compare it to custom cti missions like Warfare BE or Gossamer's Warfare.

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