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Tactical Combat Improvements


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MrConway #1 Posted 22 June 2016 - 03:39 PM

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Please leave your feedback on the following tactical combat improvements here:


  1. Improved Space monsters behaviors and animations
  2. Revamped colonial and orbital defenses to make them more interesting
  3. Revamped UX (improved UI and much requested features such as Hold position)
  4. Improved auto ship designer


Graavarg #2 Posted 13 July 2016 - 10:15 AM


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At first I hated the new real-time tactical battles (like many other old Orionites, according to the feedback...). Now I don't, and I actually think it could be a huge improvement over the old turn-based combat. "Could be" being the operational clause.


What made the old turn-based combat so great was three things:


1) the VERY strong connection between researching, deploying AND actually using weapons, shields & support tech in combat

2) the tactical options of the two-dimensional battlefield (distance, movement, the "wait"-option etc.)

3) and let's face it, the joy of figuring out how to "abuse" the (in the end) quite simple mechanics of tactical battle, finding the (in the end quite few) best combinations of tech & tactics


The live action battle in the revamped MOO is actually more realistic, and potentially much less formulaistic (you simply can't repeat the same turn-based tactic each and every time). Even if tactical battle is, and need to be, two-dimensional due to limits of the human brain. What I would like to see are the following improvements:


1) Drop the basic ****** speed, it's a battle between huge spacecraft, not Donkey Kong sprites. the current 0.5 or even 0.25 should be the basic combat speed. That way you actually can enjoy AND participate in battles.


2) Bring back the connection between fighting (battle animations) and the weapons being used (which have been painstakingly researched and deployed at "huge cost"). This would be quite easy to do, interface-wise, by reserving the left and right parts of the screen for two (both sides respectively) graphic "lists" of shiptypes AND weaponry (like the current graphics when a ship-type is clicked upon in combination with the "quick resolve" screen), and have the weapon icons graphically blink/"explode" (or whatever) when they fire. This could be further improved by having a weapon bar showing the "re-loading" time left. This way you could actually connect what is happening on the screen to what your ships (and your weaponry) is doing. And this is a HUGE thing in MOO. It really is. Spending a lot of time planning, researching and building fighting ships just to see a super-speeded animated space battle just doesn't do it (for me, at least). This would also help with finding/clicking ships in a battle (which currently makes pausing the battle and zooming a must), since you could actually click them on the sidebar instead of tryiong to find & catch them on the map. Utilizing a solution like this could actually function for both tactical battle and the "quick resolve" (which would use the same sidepanels in "superspeed", but with a heavily reduced map content). It would even allow for a mix between "quick resolve" and "tactical", allowing you to place (and even order) ships but then simply quick-resolving the result. 


3) Allow each and every ship to have it's own tactical setting. Forcing a "ship-type" to have the same tactics is counter-intuitive, bordering on the "almost idiotic". Like here we have this space-faring race fighting for galaxy domination, building huge spacecraft filled with crew, but all spacecraft of the same type have to act exactly the same in battle? The same is true in reverse, why can't different ship-types share the same tactics? Tactical settings should be connected to ship "groups", the minimum group being one ship and groups can consist of several types of ships. This does not in any way remove the option of using ship-type as a grouping factor, but it would be up to the player and not (as it is now) enabled by default. Furthermore, the tactics setting should be persistent on a ship-by-ship basis, which mean that the "last-time" should follow every ship around until changed. If the current (and quite brilliant, when you figure it out) distance setting were individualized this way, fleets would actually tactically start functioning as fleets in battle. The only "truly missing" tactical setting would then be a simple "attack priority" option, functioning the same way (persistent per ship). Something like "go for capital ships", "go for smaller ships", "go for most damage", "go for least risk", "go for missile platforms" etc.


4) Bring in a crew experience classification system (even a simpel three-tiered one would do, giving small bonuses to battle), and (maybe) even singular ship captains. And allow players to give ships individual names (naming ships was a huge thing in Elite, another glorious re-make of an old-skool space game). This adds a lot of immersiveness and "feel" to the game.


5) Like many others have already commented, the different bases should be a lot stronger than they currently are. One option is to increase the number of levels, even having ten levels of base size is unproblematic, since they could/should have an "auto"-button (like auto-increase base size immediately when possible). This would allow a player to scale base defense according to the situation (including stopping resources going to bases currently being defunct). Another option is allowing players some way to influence base weaponry. For instance, if you go for missiles (Pulson etc.) instead of energy/beam weapons for your ships, it doesn't make sense that your bases would use weapon space for much inferior energy/beam weaponry over missiles.


There is some weapon-tweaking that doesn't seem very important at the moment (it is a continuous process, after all). I would like to see the shields flashing when hit, even if it doesn't really make sense from a physics viewpoint, but that is decades of space-operas for you. Overall I am over-joyed with the current effort, bringing MOO back to life. Even played through the older ones as a run-up, and the new crisp graphics and interface tweaks are, simply put, just glorious to behold. While still in early access (these comments are mostly EA5-based, btw) I feel I have already gotten my money's worth. Even though a lot of things are unfinished or buggy. For anyone who played the original MOO (and it's sibling MOM), "bug-free" was not a word that came to mind.:)


​Since this the subforum concerning tactical combat, I'll refrain from commenting other parts of the game. I'll reiterate that despite an initial frustration I firmly believe the new "live" tactical battle has huge, game-enhancing potential. For those of you who hate it (like I initially did), try setting the speed to 0.25 (or 0.5) and actually use the "distance"-slider. Even in the beginning (when fighting pirates) you will find a much-improved battle-experience (your basic missiles are superior = staying at a distance and bombarding pirates with missiles is actually rewarding from the start and noticeably affect the battle result).

Kohkelxon #3 Posted 16 July 2016 - 01:37 AM


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I agree with Graavarg and most of his points. Right now the tactical battle is not up to the MOO standard we expect it to be - however I do see it potentially getting there in the future, if the developers are on the ball. My comments about his points (the second ones that is);


1. I am not sure if the default speed should be reduced, however the option should of course be there for those who want it. Actually right now I tend to speed up my fights in the start because the battle area is so darn huge that it takes time for the ships to just fly close enough to each other.


2. YES! In MOO1 & 2 you researched a weapon/ship equipment, then you went and designed a ship that is equipped with it, then you got into a battle and Oh Boy! All the weapons had their very own animations (which were really pretty and distinguishable), own sounds (again very cool distinguishable between weapons) and even the effects when hitting a target (for example very memorable ones were Warp Dissipator and Black Hole Generator). And you got to use them all BY YOURSELF by manually targeting and clicking on the enemy ship/colony. That was a BIG thing in the earlier games and really rewarded the player for his work. Most of this is currently missing from the game.

Right now the weapons the ships use are just little pewpew's, there's really very little reward/feedback for the player for researching and using them, and that needs to be addressed.


3. No comments about this, perhaps later (after more gameplay experience).


4. Yes it would be nice to have different experience levels for ships. IMHO just copypaste the system that MOO2 had. It was good enough.


5. To be honest I think the different levels for base toughnesses would make it too complicated. However I agree with the weaponry idea and perhaps it could be taken a bit further, how about allowing the player to design the bases in the ship designer so he/she could get exactly the kind of weapon & equipment layout on them as he/she sees fit. And when new weapon technology becomes available they could be refitted in a similar fashion as ships - you could upgrade their design with the new items and then that new design would be automatically applied to all bases of that type, but as a concession to gameplay it would be without cost. I think it would get too complicated gameplaywise with costs.



And some of my own suggestions:


1. Do something about the slow starts of the battles. Have the battle area scale based on ship/fleet sizes/numbers, or have the fleets start closer to each other without changing the battle area size.


2. I have not found a way to select ALL of my ships at once in order to give them commands, right now I can only select all ships of certain type at once. This is a very basic thing and I'm surprised it's not implemented yet - add it.


3. Add the option of having to set all of your selected ships target the same single target at once. Right now they just target all of the enemies when I click on one of them. This is also a very basic thing that needs implementing.


4. The equipment usage button is confusing to use (at least for Augmented Engines - not had any other equipments on ships yet to test with). It blinks golden yellow all the time, and when you left-click on it, it blinks a bit more brightly once, but then continues to blink as it did before, and you're left wondering what it's actually doing. Then if you right-click on it it goes grayed out for some time - and you're again left confused whether or not the item has been disabled or if it's actually now activated and the button got grayed out because it's on cooldown. Also there is a blueish circular rotating "bar" that's inside the button that kind of looks like the loading/cooldown timer for it, but because of the confusing behaviour of the button itself it's hard to tell what it actually is.


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