To-do list / Schedule for a WIP mod to rework the game

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Rhayn, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Rhayn

    Rhayn New Member

    I've always hoped this game to gain deeper mechanics and aspects worth of a real RTS game but it seems that this won't happen by the hands of GSC. This is why I've decided to put myself in the first line and do something concrete about it. I've collected plenty of suggestions and hints from direct game experience, in-game chats and also posts on this forum hence you won't be surprised by me making reference to already published mods. The following schedule is a list of features following more or less the chronological order of when they were gathered/noted hence this means that I won't start working on them in the order they are written. Conscious of the massive amount of work needed, I don't plan an end date for the work (yet) and I'll accept any kind of hints and suggestions from everyone; other modders or simple gamers makes no difference.

    #Before starting, I'm sorry if I noted down your ideas without sharing also your name, too much time passed since I first read the hints to when I'm writing this post

    -slowing down movemement speed of units out of formations
    -increase collide area for models, to avoid overlapping of units in a small dot; however formations must still be able to walk one across the other in order for the <Gambit> section to work properly
    -dinamic shores, a ship can get close to the shore only by a distance determined by the presumed size of it's keel
    -dinamic town halls and warehouses, capable of holding a certain amount of resources before filling up and making it necessary for workers to deliver into another warehouse/town hall
    -mines can only produce raw ores which needs to be transported to blacksmiths/other in order to be counted as valid resource in the top HUD
    ->adding mules for all nations, which serves as major transport unit
    -Unit's rout: when a formations reaches about 90% casualties it goes rout and soldiers flee
    ->presence of officers reduce the chance of this to happen
    ->constant artillery fire can cause hit units to rout faster
    ->rout points are by defualt the spawnpoint, or if not reachable, the gathering point of the barrack/ferry
    ->rout can be manually activated with an hotkey
    -could be useful to add a third barrack and subdivide better the roster of units trough the, (like it's being done in ocmod3)
    -slow muskets reload and dinamic shooting accuracy based to distance (tbh not a fan of new headshot rate in ocmod3) and a formation (or even it's own lines of shooters) starts shooting only when the majority of it's units have a target in range
    -new multibarreled, has a loader which makes it able to shoot some volleys rapidly before entering a long reload
    -artillery needs artillery crew to operate
    -ALL academies rework is necessary in order to differentiate nations; some strong in attack and some in defense, some infantry-based and some cavalry-based, some strong in "bunkering" and some letal in sieges (battle of Vienna 11 sep 1683 and Siege of Cuneo 1691)
    -huge nerfs to grenadiers bomb power and grenades able to be thrown to enemies ("skill" with long reload time)
    -Radical rework of algeria and Turkey (this is written only as hint to what has to be done, since they are the only muslim nations they should have a totally different play style)
    -Fortifications rework: must be made stronger and more resistant against hits;
    ->not only doors but also garrisons should be built among them, inhabitable by firearms units
    ->defense towers can be built "inside" walls, or, towers can be built later on a wall section after the wall is already built, and walls can connect to towers
    ->after death, walls and towers leave rubble which cannot be crossed through
    -Cavalry charge: skills toggled trough hotkey that allows heavy cavalry to charge for a limited time/distance
    ->while charging, units don't engage melee with the nearest enemy but ride to their destination inflicting stomp damage to hit enemies
    ->highly effective against firearms and bayonettes, this can be countered by a wall of pikes
    -> WIP about different formations for light and fire cavalry
    -Gambit: this is probably the greatest change to the game and it's meant to improve the clunky micromanagement of the armies, thus reducing the meta of "the fastest to click with the mouse wins"
    ->as beforementioned, more grades of officers should be added and also a new building Military Accademy
    ->leutenants, commanders, generals gather upon themselves multiple formations instead of multiple units
    ->thorugh the new Mil.Acad. new battle strategies can be unlocked and teached to officers which, once activated through hotkeys these strategies works like "skills" allowing units to combat automatically by following the chosen plan
    ->this could mean that muskets with a loaded gun will automatically advance taking the place of those that have already shot their bullet which will be retreating in the backlines to reload; all this while a line of cold steel units will be stopping a charge and cavalry flanks the opposing army
    -Like mules, also paesants can deliver resources and automatic delivery to nearest deposit can be toggled through hotkey
    ->mules could be recruited in the townhall and could benefit of some upgrades after a stable has been built
    -Life in battlefields far from the homeland is harsh and this means that advancing armies needs supplies carried by near mules/similar or taken from a near military camp
    -Military Camps: camps are already in the game as buildings under the factions "Originals" and could be added to every nation (somebody already did something similar by adding blockhouses)
    ->Camps have their own storage space which needs to be refilled with goods transported by mules/paesants/others
    ->the camp can generate the artillery officer, which buffs artillery once bound to them by increasing range/accuracy
    ->can work as rout point
    -Fog of War: self explanatory, should work like in Imperium; reacts dinamicly to hills and mountains
    ->areas closed by walls blocks the line of sight and doesn't allow an opponent to scout what's beyond them, until the observer stands on an elevated point of the map
    ->Baloon rework: should be expensive like anticipated in ocmod3 and should become a controllable entity
    ->Baloon doesn't show entire map, instead it serves as a huge scout by removing FoW in a large area around it and by being able to spy beyond walls
    -18c and ballon's are good if expensive like in ocmod3
    -Dinamic terrain height interfere with infantry/cavalry charging ability by enhancing melee/stomp dmg when descending an hill and vice versa
    -Enhanced footsteps sound, just a personal touch to the game since I love the sound of steel of an army of thousands heavy armored soldiers
    -Dinamic terrain:
    ->Forests actually looks like forests
    ->formations marching trough forests are slowed; unbound units can hide in the forest by becoming invisible in the minimap
    ->adding swamp soil in certain maps or near many water ponds which slows any unit passing by and entraps artillery by reducing almost to 0 it's movespeed
    -Reworked diplomacy center: peace time(unless removed but here we could argue on more details)is virtually everlasting and during this phase it doesn't recruit mercenaries,
    instead it could allow resource transfew between allies or set the fee for a siege removal on another player: more details when siege section will be written).
    the "everlasting pt" can be removed when a player declares war (this could lead to mid-game alliances in ffa mode)
    -Nautical maps: x8 or x16 size
    ->can be played with old terrains like isles/continents but with new shapes of land to resemble more some shores or an archipelago
    ->in this map the emphasis is put on naval battle with some spice in navy mechanics
    ->ships don't have always the same speed but they have an itial acceleration phase when starting a movement after standing in a position
    ->ships can fire while moving
    ->ships can turn accordingly to their size: the bulkyer the ship, the larger the radius needed to turn
    ->ships can travel to a self or allied port to repair
    ->more differentiation is needed through nations
    ->larger hitboxes for ships so we won't see galleys piling up in a small area any more
    ->allowing convoys and "formations" for ships
    ->the navy captain in the Mil.Acad. can unlock various improvements and tactics for ship durability/movemement/firepower
    -Sector's conquest: initially thought as an option for map generation, this further subdivide the map into sectors which hold a strategic point as mines/stones/wood/mountains
    ->sectors' lines appear way dimmer in the map, to not create confusion
    ->some sectors could hold a favorable spot to build the military camp
    ->controlling adjacents sectors fastens the transport of supplies to the frontlines of the army
    -Challenge maps: to take a break once in a while, custom maps with moba-like or funny design.
    -Light cavalry formations lead by a mounted commander could have the shape of an arrow head, with the commander at the edge
    -Queued upgrades and general upgrades: some unit's upgrade still located in the barracks but research about firepower could be shared between all infatry
    -weapon swap: pikeman almost always had a sabre to fight with when the enemy ended a charge and the fight was on head to head
    -Dwellings give an amount of population based on their distance to the nearest town hall
    -Buildings in construction need an actual place where to get resources from; if there's no deposit nearby workers or mules have to manually carry wood/stone/exc. to the building until the requirements are fullfilled
    -Dinamic accuracy for firearms:
    ->muskets: the further the target, the higher the chance to miss the target
    ->cannons: repeatedly aiming at the same target increase shot accuracy
    -Enhancing Ebel's job (New Terrain Mod) at adding civilian's structures in the map: they can be raided for resources or fortified with garrisons
    -Gott mit uns! Swedish battlecry buffs soldiers when fighting by giving them a strong morale
    -more is yet to come...

    #If something doesn't sound clear there are comments under here, use them :D
     
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  2. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    This is a very ambitious and extensive list. I applaud your vision and ideas. There are many, many excellent ideas in this list. Let me start by telling an anecdote about Clive James. Don't worry if you don't know who he is, the anecdote still works. A commentator once said, "Clive James is not an interesting guy... he is a whole bunch of interesting guys." In like manner, I hope you are not a great programmer... I hope you are a whole bunch of great programmers. :)

    Now, let me address the ideas. I will do so ten ideas at a time so it will take me several posts. Please don't point out I can't count if I accidentally comment on 9 or 11 ideas. :D

    1. Slowing down movement speed of units out of formations.

    OCMOD3 implements different formation speeds for lines, columns and squares. We get this from General WVPMs mod, Flexible Formations and Reload Framework. I can take you through how it works. You can choose your own parameters. It is very flexible and also controls all other formation bonuses. Movement speed itself is treated as a formation bonus.

    2. Increase collide area for models, to avoid overlapping of units in a small dot; however formations must still be able to walk one across the other in order for the <Gambit> section to work properly.

    We would all like to see this happen to stop bunching and stacking of formations. No modder has cracked it yet to my knowledge. Just beware of pathing problems and "sticking" problems. Units may get stuck on buildings, trees, plateaus edges etc. if you change parameters here.

    3. Dynamic shores, a ship can get close to the shore only by a distance determined by the presumed size of it's keel.

    I have thought of this but have never even begun to look at it. In C1, the water had current vectors. I don't know if it had depth data. In C3, I don't know what characteristics (physics) the water has. It needs a depth dimension for your idea to work. Also, I would like to see wind vectors and sails which set correctly based on wind. Naval battles and transport become very intersting if you have to worry about depth, draft of ship, currents and winds. Remember the importance of the "weather gauge" in the movie "Master and Commander".

    4. Dynamic town halls and warehouses, capable of holding a certain amount of resources before filling up and making it necessary for workers to deliver into another warehouse/town hall.

    This raises the issue of "civil logistics". Currently the model only models delivery of raw materials to a mythical endless capacity store. This we could call "primary civil logistics". Then you mention what is essentially "secondary civil logistics" which means delivery of raw materials to manufacture sites or construction sites. The blacksmith, a new armaments factory and so on could have the functions you mention. You don't yet mention anything like "tertiary civil logistics" which would be delivery of consumables to civilians but you do mention "military logistics" meaning delivery of materiel, ammunition etc. to the army. This latter point is further down your list so I will mention it. "Tertiary civil logistics" could reasonably be left out of the model so you are correct in omitting it. There is little point in making the game too complex to manage.

    5. Mines can only produce raw ores which needs to be transported to blacksmiths/other in order to be counted as valid resource in the top HUD

    Covered in comment above.

    6. Adding mules for all nations, which serves as major transport unit.

    You refer later on to military logistics. A point here is that early on, when the game starts, people need to have enough tasks to do, so having manual requirements for all actions is fine. Later on, as the game gets bigger in unit numbers, the player needs to be able to automate things, probably via civilian overseer units and quartermaster upgrades. You could re-purpose adviser assistant functions for these upgrades.

    7. Units rout: when a formations reaches about 90% casualties it goes rout and soldiers flee
    ->presence of officers reduce the chance of this to happen
    ->constant artillery fire can cause hit units to rout faster
    ->rout points are by defualt the spawnpoint, or if not reachable, the gathering point of the barrack/ferry
    ->rout can be manually activated with an hotkey

    Routing is related to morale so a morale function needs to be implemented. I note that the AI has "fear" algorithms for troops, and "threat topography" algorithms which create a threat score for zones on the map. The latter tells the AI (I think) how to send retreating units by the safest route to the safest zone (the home town). I assume a good programmer could copy and re-purpose these algorithms for morale and routing behavior of human players units. There is also the mercenary function whereby you lose control of mercenaries if you don't pay them. Presumably, this function could also be copied and re-purposed to make you lose control of routed troops and for their control to be handed over to the "rout and rally" function.

    8. Could be useful to add a third barrack and subdivide better the roster of units between them, (like it's being done in ocmod3).

    Yes, there are many ways to approach this issue and improve unit mix outcomes for armies. We want troops (melee and ranged unit numbers and infantry, cavalry, artillery numbers) to come out in reasonably historically accurate proportions based on in-game production sites and realistic cost parameter relativities.

    9. Slow muskets reload and dynamic shooting accuracy based to distance (tbh not a fan of new headshot rate in ocmod3) and a formation (or even it's own lines of shooters) starts shooting only when the majority of it's units have a target in range.

    I basically agree but we will need to have a to and fro debate about head shot rates.

    10. New multibarreled, has a loader which makes it able to shoot some volleys rapidly before entering a long reload. Artillery needs artillery crew to operate.

    Both are excellent suggestions.


    To finish, I look forward to continuing this discussion. Please tell me you are a 10X programmer: one who works ten times faster than the average programmer! :)

    My son, a software engineer, rates me as a 1/10th X programmer, so you see what my problem is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  3. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    Okay, I will continue with smaller chunks as it is exhausting: just 5 points this time.

    11. ALL academies rework is necessary in order to differentiate nations; some strong in attack and some in defense, some infantry-based and some cavalry-based, some strong in "bunkering" and some letal in sieges (battle of Vienna 11 sep 1683 and Siege of Cuneo 1691)

    This is an interesting suggestion. I've not thought this far ahead about these issues. Wralth does some of this sort of unique nation capability balancing in his mod I believe. However, Wralth's mod is not a realism mod and he makes no apology for that. His mod has an entirely different, yet internally self-consistent, conceptual basis. Some love realism mods and some don't. :)

    12. Huge nerfs to grenadiers bomb power and grenades able to be thrown to enemies ("skill" with long reload time)

    I agree with this. The grenades bomb power is nerfed in OCMOD3 but really it's not enough nerfing yet.

    13. Radical rework of algeria and Turkey (this is written only as hint to what has to be done, since they are the only muslim nations they should have a totally different play style)

    OCMOD3 reworks these nations in production terms. I would guess this is not as extensive as what you envisage. In OCMOD3, these nations get an 18th C and pay the same high cost for it. The cost is high for all nations to ensure extensive 17th C battles can potentially happen first. However, with the 18th C these nations (Algeria, Turkey, Ukraine, Scotland) do not, in the main, get new units. Instead the Build Salary upgrade becomes a Builders' Salary and Soldiers' Salary upgrade. Many of their existing key troops then produce at twice the rate to help them match genuine 18th C nations by swarming faster. OCMOD3 tries to balance all nations but does it dynamically with different advantages (again not as extensive as what you obviously envisage).

    14. -Fortifications rework: must be made stronger and more resistant against hits;
    ->not only doors but also garrisons should be built among them, inhabitable by firearms units
    ->defense towers can be built "inside" walls, or, towers can be built later on a wall section after the wall is already built, and walls can connect to towers
    ->after death, walls and towers leave rubble which cannot be crossed through

    Many good ideas here. Care has to be taken with precise implementation and balancing in detail so as not to give the defense too many advantages. If the defense has too many advantages it can be hard to prosecute a final win against a good defender or "seige fortress". Note that advanced stone walls could have upper parapets for firing from. Not that infantry "Forlorn Hope" brigades could form vanguards to storm breaches. Men can scramble over rubble. It is difficult but not impossible and even rubble can give some firing cover. Don't forget escalade (ladders) over walls. This was a known assault tactic. Also permit mining of walls with gunpowder kegs. It's more realistic than grenades knocking down walls. It's probably not passable to permit tunneling in C3 landscape for mining walls and making trenches. Possibly allow creation of stakes and gabions. "A gabion (from Italian gabbione meaning "big cage"; from Italian gabbia and Latin cavea meaning "cage") is a cage, cylinder or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use in civil engineering, road building, military applications and landscaping." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabion#/media/File:Sixteenth_Century_Cannon2.jpg

    15. Cavalry charge: skills toggled trough hotkey that allows heavy cavalry to charge for a limited time/distance

    ->while charging, units don't engage melee with the nearest enemy but ride to their destination inflicting stomp damage to hit enemies
    ->highly effective against firearms and bayonettes, this can be countered by a wall of pikes
    -> WIP about different formations for light and fire cavalry

    All good ideas. I think General WVPM briefly experimented with charge mechanics at one time. If there was a fatigue bar as well as a morale bar, this could help implementation of charging.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  4. Wralth

    Wralth Active Member

    Well judging by the amount of stuff you mention well see you in half a year or so
     
  5. Rhayn

    Rhayn New Member

    Hehe this is my long term project so I don't plan to finish it soon, nor into a six months time span even if I have a couple of backup programmers with me. Still, some features could be shared as snapshots as the mod carries on.

    That's why I haven't proposed any new stat or precise buff/nerf in any of the points of my list, these are correction that can't be made "on paper", numbers can only be tweaked after a test on the field to evenly balance the game.

    For what regards water depth, I didn't think of it as real depth but instead as an internal limit to existing water surfaces. In C1 there was a function to allow/disallow units walking through a certain area of the map, if it could be possible to add different limits for different ships this would already solve the problem.

    All in all I thank you for the time spent discussing my ideas and I also ask anybody else who has already some modding skills to give me their ideas of what could be easier or harder to achieve
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  6. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    Okay, a bit more. I've given up trying to do 10 main points per post.

    16. Gambit: this is probably the greatest change to the game and it's meant to improve the clunky micromanagement of the armies, thus reducing the meta of "the fastest to click with the mouse wins"
    ->as beforementioned, more grades of officers should be added and also a new building Military Accademy
    ->leutenants, commanders, generals gather upon themselves multiple formations instead of multiple units
    ->thorugh the new Mil.Acad. new battle strategies can be unlocked and teached to officers which, once activated through hotkeys these strategies works like "skills" allowing units to combat automatically by following the chosen plan
    ->this could mean that muskets with a loaded gun will automatically advance taking the place of those that have already shot their bullet which will be retreating in the backlines to reload; all this while a line of cold steel units will be stopping a charge and cavalry flanks the opposing army

    I am not sure why this point is called "Gambit". I think you mean "Military Doctrine" or "Standing Orders" or both. Doctrine provides the military with an authoritative body of statements on how military forces conduct operations and provides a common terminology for use by military planners and leaders. Standing Orders list how a formation is to conduct itself in given situations. It doesn't just mean "stand ground" for example. This is an interesting arena of game programming. What it means in essence is that the game needs very good AI and then under standing orders some of this AI (as local initiative behavior) is given to formations which you are not micro-managing at the time. For example, with a standing orders system, you could set a formation to hold ground except in the case that it loses half or more of the morale loss that would lead to it routing. It then notifies the player by a message that it is conducting an orderly retreat. You could countermand this by telling to hold ground anyway (depending on the strategic situation) or you could allow the orderly retreat to continue, to save the formation from being totally routed.


    17. Like mules, also paesants can deliver resources and automatic delivery to nearest deposit can be toggled through hotkey
    ->mules could be recruited in the townhall and could benefit of some upgrades after a stable has been built

    I think I covered logistics in general higher up. My preference would be to see mules recruited from a new stable type for mules, pack horses and horse and cart.



    18. Life in battlefields far from the homeland is harsh and this means that advancing armies needs supplies carried by near mules/similar or taken from a near military camp
    -Military Camps: camps are already in the game as buildings under the factions "Originals" and could be added to every nation (somebody already did something similar by adding blockhouses)
    ->Camps have their own storage space which needs to be refilled with goods transported by mules/paesants/others
    ->the camp can generate the artillery officer, which buffs artillery once bound to them by increasing range/accuracy
    ->can work as rout point

    Military logistics. Formations might need a food supply bar and an ammunition bar. When food runs out, morale plummets. When ammunition runs out, units have to fight with bayonet, be resupplied in the field or retreat for resupply. How this is all organised will be tricky. You will need quatermasters and supply sergeants upgrades to help automate this for big armies I think.

    19. Fog of War: self explanatory, should work like in Imperium; reacts dinamicly to hills and mountains
    ->areas closed by walls blocks the line of sight and doesn't allow an opponent to scout what's beyond them, until the observer stands on an elevated point of the map
    ->Baloon rework: should be expensive like anticipated in ocmod3 and should become a controllable entity
    ->Baloon doesn't show entire map, instead it serves as a huge scout by removing FoW in a large area around it and by being able to spy beyond walls
    -18c and ballon's are good if expensive like in ocmod3

    Sounds good. I would make balloons somewhat unreliable. Accidents should happen relatively frequently with balloon. For example, crashing back to ground or becoming untethered and drifting away and going off-map. These should be expensive, slow to make and frustrating to use.


    20. Dynamic terrain height interfere with infantry/cavalry charging ability by enhancing melee/stomp dmg when descending an hill and vice versa
    -Enhanced footsteps sound, just a personal touch to the game since I love the sound of steel of an army of thousands heavy armored soldiers

    Sounds good. Don't forget we need units to be unable to fire through hills and stone walls and indeed smart enough not to even try when a enemy is behind a hill or stone wall.
     
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  7. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Active Member

    I liked your ideas Rhayn. I can add more things like heavy cavalry stables, special units barrack(Pioneer,Bombardier,Jaeger,Pontonnier), palace(for guard units), hospital(civil or military). I think the game also needs free towns,villages,cities,roads like Cossacks 2 Napoleonic Wars. Ftoomsh ideas also good. Mules needs stable too. One funny thing from me; military band. Maybe they can encourage the troops:))) And don't forget all artillery needs crew too. Hussars need flag bearer ,commander and maybe trumpeter. All cavalry formation needs this three important units. Without three important units cavalries seem like lacking. The game needs tactical flexibility. If we command this army we can build bridges(attack different direction to the enemy), gabion or other earthwork too. Tax system also need. New civilian and military upgrades(for example;import new weapons) need to. Ports also need to improve. Trade ports for trade, military ports for military. Maybe we can add marine soldiers in the game too. New ship types also need to. Trade ship(for sea trade), fire ship and frigate types(count of guns). For lively nature the game need new fields, animals like Ebel mod or humans like Cossacks 2. Instead of balloon, spy system also need. I agree with Ftoomsh and Rhayn. This is just a dream I know, but humans live with dreams:))
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  8. Rhayn

    Rhayn New Member

    I'm not a fan of bridge builders in-game but we could and try to add a close quarters map setup
     
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  9. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    A ferry design of the right type and correctly converted could function as a pontoon bridge for rivers. If the ferry can be made doubled-ended and long enough to touch two river shores then docked in that manner it essentially becomes a pontoon or floating bridge. It might be best to keep it covered because then there is no issue of the graphics of men and horses tramping across the "bridge". An articulated design would be even better. Pontoon bridges which unfold with the current are nifty. Napoleon's army used one at the Battle of Wagram. Of course, pontoon bridges are a bit of dream for a game. :)
     
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  10. A. Soldier

    A. Soldier Active Member

    This looks like American Conquest on steroids, wish you luck with it.