1. Obvious Unit Stat Cards - HP is obvious, but some units have a Yellow Bar (energy for future abilities?), and even XP as well.
- Tool Tips for these items would be a nice touch! While HP, Mana, XP are video game staples, it is an issue of polish.
- Buff icons could be slightly larger, they almost look like decorations rather than functional data.
- For units that gain XP, an XP bar would be nice
2. Unit Construction Hotkeys - Idle Building and Engineer Hotkeys are nice, but hotkeys for specific buildings would be nicer!
- Why not F1 bind to the Seed (HQ), and F2 cycles through all unit production buildings, and then use F3 and F4 for idles?
- If more simplicity is desired, F1 could cycle through ALL production buildings (HQ+Factories), and then use F2/F3 for the idles.
3. Units with Weapon Cool-downs - While the Tool Tips do NOT need to be explicit (IE: 30 second CD, VS long/short CD), some representation would be nice!
- Since we already have that nice weapon panel, why not attach an overlay for weapons that have longer cool-downs?
- When the Weapon fires, the Weapon Card turns dark/red, and slowly refills or fades back in.
- This could be incredibly useful for indirect fire units, "super move" units like Dreadnoughts, and Bombers, so they don't loiter around like flies or poopy seagulls (more on this later)
4. Move on Impassable Terrain - When instructing units to move to Impassable Terrain, they completely refuse! Have them move as close as possible instead!
- Have the cursor show an X or something, and then show the movement indicators track to as close as the unit can make it, otherwise, having no response is a bit weird and feels like lag/bug.
- Air Units should not have this issue at all, but they do, right now we can only instruct aircraft to fly past the intended location and hit S to stop above the spot.
5. Ultimate Stretch Suggestion - Moveable UI elements!
- The Army Banner is nice, but if people are used to that type of information elsewhere, why not allow it to be snapped to the bottom panel, or switched from left/right side?
1. Unit "Alert" Zone Increases - MOSTLY for Combat Units, Medics, HOPEFULLY for Engineers!
- Units are large, and the map is big, I get it, but "artificially" increase the distance that units will interact with each other!
- Medics should be similar to aircraft, where they loiter around a bigger area and seek out injured units and structures to repair!
- THIS COULD BE FURTHER ENHANCED WITH UNIT STANCES
- Defensive would have units willing to MOVE to employ their services, but once their intended target moves away or their target is resolved, they would return to their prior location. IE, units receive move command to LocationX, they will respond to anything (move to heal, attack) anything in radius 50 around LocationX, but once their intended target is RESOLVED or LEAVES THE AREA, they RETURN to LocationX.
- Aggressive would have units chase down targets: IE, military unit SPOTS enemy, will chase until enemy is dead; MEDIC will chase allied unit or move to building and HEAL IT, and then STAY THERE (no return AI like in defensive stance).
2. Unionized Engineers (Or just, High School Educated Ones) - Engineers should automatically help nearby construction! Like, COME ON!
- Another issue with Engineers is that even though multiple engineers can help Construct Buildings/Units, they will not...
- THIS IS COMPOUNDED when you select MULTIPLE engineers, and instruct them to BUILD a structure, only ONE will do so, and then ordering ALL to assist the newly plopped down building means they ALL PAUSE, and then ALL get working. The workaround would be to select the nearby IDLE engineers and task them, but that is ADDITIONAL actions that are NOT NEEDED nor desired.
- IF WE MAKE ALL IDLE ENGINEERS AUTOMATICALLY ASSIST, then this is no longer a problem, because they already move together properly, they just laze around when they get there. This way, Developers don't need to program identifying how many engineers are selected and having them all build...
- Naturally, Engineers that are automatically assisting are STILL considered IDLE, unlike Engineers DESIGNATED to assist a Factory.
- BUT ADDITIONAL FABRICATORS MEANS FASTER RESOURCE DRAIN! AUTO-ASSIST IS DANGEROUS WHEN MY FINANCES DANCE ON A RAZOR'S EDGE!
- Peeling Engineers OFF an Assist command is PROBABLY better than having lazy engineers...if UNIT STANCES are added in, only have AGGRESSIVE Engineers auto-assist, howzat?
- BUT OK, FINE THEN!
- How about ADDING IN the "Guard/Assist" command? (Known conflict with Join Army mouse-command) // More on this Below under Gameplay.
- Engineers tasked to ASSIST another Engineer will automatically aid in construction, and will INHERIT the command of the directly controlled Engineer.
3. Smarter Army Control - The Snap Formation Blob is sort of nice, would be nicer if it could be customized, but while the FORMATION is not THAT important...
- UNIT RESPONSE: The Meta Unit does not seem as responsive to its own limbs as it should be, this may be too hard to program in, but while the Meta Unit MOVES as a single unit, its internal handling should be closer to a bunch of actors working together aboard the same SHIP.
- THE BIGGEST complaint, would be Medics, which are locked into formation, and can ONLY HEAL where they can reach.
- The "cop-out" fix (which would be nice in general ANYWAYS), would be to increase its healing range, to maintain the integrity of the Medic without over-buffing it, it might ONLY receive the range benefit while in an Army, or even add a passive ability - heals the entire army, via straight up unit buff, a purchasable upgrade, or even require a medic horde effect.
- The BETTER solution, which is also dev intensive, would to make units in Armies MOVE IN RELATION to its other members.
- Armor Units will get between long range units, medics, scouts...
- Ranged Units will retreat from encroaching attackers by moving to place Armor units between them.
- Medics, UPON DETECTING DAMAGE TO ANY MEMBER OF THE META UNIT will move from its CENTRAL POSITION (NOT THE FRONT! WHY DO ARMY MEDICS MOVE TO THE FRONT?!) to HEAL damaged units, and then return to the CENTER of the formation.
- Scouts, are squishy, should probably stay in the middle with medics.
- Maximize Attackers on Move Command: Armies should at least be able to do this without user input...
- If the majority of attackers are ARMOR units (SHORT RANGE), then the Army will move to allow the ARMOR units to fire upon the enemy, if RANGED units are brought in close, well, maybe no one will notice them behind the ARMOR PHALANX.
- If the majority of attackers are RANGED units (LONG RANGE), then the Army will move to allow the LONG RANGE units to fire upon the enemy, but WILL NOT MOVE IN even if there are short ranged ARMOR units that end up twiddling their thumbs, they are MEATSHIELDS, not skirmishers.
- STRETCH SUGGESTION ON SKIRMISHERS - As seen in the Total War series, when engaged in close combat, LONG RANGE units should attempt to back away while firing, in an ARMY, a long range army could reverse gear away from approaching enemies if given attack-move orders, since attack move should attempt to engage all enemies at sight range anyways. IF UNIT STANCES are added in, that could control how units move in skirmish:
- HOLD POSITION won't move
- AGGRESSIVE will maximize damage output
- DEFENSIVE will back away and keep attacks at maximum range, up to a certain distance.
While it is understood that the SCOPE of the game is large so that distances are further than PERCEIVED and unit movement will feel slow, COMMAND INPUT and FEEDBACK should NOT BE.
1. Overly Sticky Control Zone Movement - Since units start capping territory when they are nearby, we don't need such a sticky "move-to-capture", how about moving to capture ONLY when right clicking directly on top of the Power Generator (Capture Point)?
- Many times I want an Engineer to move near a capture point, and then start building, so they can capture and build simultaneously, but too often, the move command gets sucked into the capture point. This same thing occurs for the HQ, it is hard attempting to MOVE close to other large objects, as the move command gets "stuck" to the large object.
2. Guard/Assist Instead of Quick Army Joining - Joining the Army is a serious and life changing decision, perhaps RIGHT CLICKING on another unit instructs the unit to follow/assist that unit instead of joining it in the Army?
- This allows us to "assign" medics to specific units, like Dreadnoughts, instead of having them join the formation and end up 1) too far from the unit that needed healing/energy, or 2) leading the charge! They may be medics, but they are no Knights Hospitaller!
- Quick Army Joining could be changed to CTRL+Right Mouse Click, since RMC is used for movement and attacking...and once a unit joins an army, the ENTIRE army attempts to shift its formation, and to EXPEL a unit from the Army, the entire army must be disbanded.
3. CAP POINT PROTECTION - Even if I have an entire military installation set up, an enemy force, should it survive, can walk right up to the Power Plant (Capture Point), and JACK IT FROM ME?!
- I actually do not mind that they can steal it while my units and buildings are nearby, but, since Company of Heroes is an inspiration, why not draw inspiration from the MORE RELEVANT Relic RTS, Dawn of (Fricken) War? Dawn of War (DoW) also had capture points for resources, but the myriad races could construct Listening Posts that FOUGHT BACK to PROTECT those points from enemy capture.
- Why not add in a MUCH cheaper (perhaps no Radioactive required) alternative to the Amplifier, which is nothing more than a defensive shell over the Power Generator that must be destroyed before capture?
- Why not add in a relatively cheaper alternative to the Amplifier, which sports a weapon package?
- Why not add in both, with each race using different types of Outposts? IE: More combat-ready outposts, more data-warfare/collection oriented outposts, support based outposts, etc? Heck, make it consume the flippin Engineer even, I don't care, that fella's a lazy git!
4. Reverse Gear - Because watching a Dreadnought turn its entire gun battery AWAY from the large force in front of it in order to flee seems especially cowardly.
- And cowardice is frowned down upon.
- Also, not sure if there are rear armor hits as well, but allowing the tactical choice of slowly crawl backwards while firing all guns would be nice, and these guys are all hovering anyways so...
5. Bombing Run - Inject some vitality and make bombers feel more vigorous! Right now they feel like gunships (future unit suggestion!), and it feels uninspired to have a BOMBER semi-loiter above a target awkwardly, dropping bombs while trying to figure out where to point its nose...
- Change the movement to act more like a gun run:
- It would target units a certain distance away, accelerate towards it, carpet bomb and peel off, clear the target and come around for its next pass.
- Bombers have a a long cool-down and having them park on top of the unit it is bombing and just poop all over them while making awkward little circles is weird looking, especially when they sway back and forth so slowly.
- Instead, have them FLY FAST and maybe even FLY LOW before blowing past their target! It is visually pleasing, and the DPS would not change...
- RIGHT NOW the passes just look too slow, increasing the speed at which they bear down on target, and increasing the distance they travel AFTER bombing the target before turning around (and increasing their linear speed to complete the look) would help greatly.
- AA missiles could move faster to compensate, but this is mostly an aesthetic change, as Time Over Target should be about the same, just look more exciting.
6. Needs more Tiers of Buildings and Counter Buildings like SupCom1 - Sort of like a REAL SupCom3!
- Nah, I'm just messin' with ya.