A list of possible gameplay changes
(I keep in mind that this is a beta version and still being worked on. Which is why I say this now, not after the gold release)
(Also, this is concerning gameplay itself, not system. Take this from a gaming geek who is in his 20th year of military service)
1: There are no wrecks left behind after battle. Now I am aware that this is not Total Annihilation (Cavedog) or Supreme Commander (Gas Powered Games) (both founded by Chris Taylor, btw), but really, if those two 32-bit games, with an upper RAM cap of 4GB, could leave the battle arena strewn with metallic vehicle corpses, I am sure that a 64-bit game that seems to aim to one-up them, can add it also? Those wrecks were seriously useful for tactical play and to force the opposition to change their strategy.
2: Upper unit cap: With the correct patch, TA could be modified to max its units at 1500, while SupCom had a built-in option of up to 1000 units per side… and each unit takes only one unit slot. I am aware that AotS works with Logistics cap (a la StarCraft), not unit cap, but I still see potential for even vaster armies than those two games could support. Indeed, I see potential for a literally unlimited unit cap, if the RAM, CPU and GPU can handle it. Because, let’s face it, by the time you get to your 1,000,000th unit produced, your base will probably already be either destroyed or covering the entire map.
3: Is there an option for patrol routes, as in TA and SupCom? Even a Patrol Area option, as in Planetary Annihilation? It will help greatly with securing base areas, giving advanced warning in areas that the sensor array misses.
4: Line of sight: Is there line of sight in the game, as in any of the four games mentioned above? Because long-range artillery needs some form of scout to view the target area (btw, the first military drones were invented by ARMSCOR in the 1980’s just for that – to scout ahead 38Km, to test the G5 artillery’s range). Also, if there is a mountain or a forest blocking the signal, the sensor arrays will not pick up anything from there, unless there is some satellite or repeater station(-s), in-between.
5: When benchmarking my computer, I took notice of the combat between the capital ships. Two specifically caught my attention: headlong facing each other, without any evasive manoeuvres. Any military strategist will tell you , unless you have a major surprise for the opposition coming soon, staying in one place during combat means, almost assuredly, 100% destruction. A standing target is a dead target. Let them stay within shooting distance, while circling or even butting rock outcroppings between them. That can also help to spring a trap set for the opposition.
6: Combat orders: Again, back to TA and SupCom. An option to withhold fire will be useful for ambushes. Let some units/capital ship lure the opposition into an alley or a dead-end, then give the order for the hidden units to open fire. But that is only available if there is an option to withhold fire.
7: When selecting workshops and factories, let the rally point be shown also. Without the need to hold “shift”. A second wasted might lead to no third.
8: As wonderful as hovercraft may seem, tracked and wheeled vehicles have their place. Especially in mountainous areas. Hovercraft are ideal for flat and watery terrain. The transmission box and tracta joint have their place in hill-area combat. Or walkers. Wheels may be faster, but walkers are more versatile, though less stable.
9: I might have missed it during the games I have played, but is there splash damage from explosions?
10: AGAIN, TA and SupCom rear their pretty heads: It will be easier to select a plane from a specific type, if they get built and go to land in a specific area, rather than go to the RV and circling there. I don’t want to choose vehicles or even bombers, when I need a spy plane to peek over the ridge, and with them circling instead of stationary, I often chose either the wrong plane or all planes and vehicles.
11: Now, I know that this is a sci-fi setting, but all life needs water. And to have a breathable atmosphere, that does not dry out the skin and lungs, there needs to be water in the atmosphere. And to get enough water in the atmosphere to keep the breathing system from drying out, there needs to be large pockets of water, or even oceans, for dissipation into the air. Which brings me to one of my favourite forms of warfare that is not on the game: Naval Warfare. I understand that the capital hovercraft are meant to take that place, but having huge leviathans that can destroy a city yet unable to get past the water’s edge… well, that is one of my favourite ways to keep the opposition in check. Is there a possibility to add this to the game? Pretty please??
12: I am not sure what the bombers in the game use, explosives or lasers or plasma, so, just in case… for high-speed strafing runs, HE stays the best. The trouble with laser, is that it is achieved by concentrating light energy on a single point. Remember those leaves we loved to burn with a magnifying glass as kids? That was our first encounter with laser, though not officially called so. And plasma, well, plasma bolts work with super-heated pockets of air. And while the plasma bolt moves, it loses heat. So after dropping 300ft, you basically will have a ball of compressed air hitting an armoured wall or –car. Not very effective, I’d say. And then, of course, seeing those balls of High Explosive death tumbling down has the power to freak out the opposition, knowing that their AAA (Anti-Air Artillery) was taken out which means that the ground defences were probably taken out in order to get your own forces to the AAA to take it out…
But, with all my complaints, I am glad that i bought this game.