Camoflauge is not fun.

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kwok
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Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by kwok »

Camoflauge is not fun.

If you haven't read my post on "What is Fun?" viewtopic.php?f=27&t=3947, I'd suggest you take a quick look at that first. I reference a lot of ideas from there on this post.
A couple of ideas frequently come up for consideration and I want to focus on those and why, as a dev, I'm personally extremely reluctant on implementing and will probably argue with other devs to reject the ideas. This post is meant to give my reasons and open up for discussion.

Summary

It often comes up to be improved for some units, added to some units, and in one case be used as a design theme for a doctrine. This ability and all its forms (static camo, in cover camo, crawling camo, garrisoning buildings, etc.) is probably the most fun to use but most anti-fun to face. This ability really needs to be use sparingly throughout the mod. A quick analysis of the ability is as follows:

Fun to Use?

1. Is it rewarding? For a person using the ability, this ability is extremely rewarding. Because of the damage system in BK, any first shot is extremely rewarding because the capability of a unit is greatly diminished when damaged, and I'm not talking about the modifiers. When an infantry squad engages another infantry squad and kills some of the models, the damage output to return fire is proportionately reduced. For example, lets say the average health of infantry squads is 60 * 6 = 360 HP and the average damage is 30 * 6 * accuracy modifiers = 180 damage * accuracy modifiers. Let's assume the average accuracy of infantry squads is 75% so the average damage will be 180 * .75 = 120 damage. If one inf squad, Infantry A, shoots another, Infantry B, it is likely to kills 2 soldiers (this situation is common enough in a real bk game even if the example values are fake), the responding infantry can only fire back with 2/3's of the damage output it normally can which means at most 180 * .75 * .66 = 80 damage to kill one soldier. Subsequent rounds of trading fire will result in a quick win for the first shot infantry squad:

Round 1 Outcome - Infantry A (shot first): deals 120 damage, 5/6 soldiers remain | Infantry B (responded): deals 80 damage, 4/6 remain
Round 2 Outcome - Infantry A (shot first): deals 100 damage, 4/6 soldiers remain | Infantry B (responded): deals 67 damage, 3/6 remain
Round 3 Outcome - Infantry A (shot first): deals 80 damage, 4/6 soldiers remain | Infantry B (responded): deals 30 damage, 1/6 remain
Round 4 Outcome - Infantry A (shot first): deals 80 damage, 4/6 soldiers remain | Infantry B (responded): Dead

The one to get the "first shot" is normally not the attacker but the defender. This scenario isn't even including modifiers that come with almost all camo units.

I think it's safe to say that camo is highly rewarding for the person using.

2. What degree of control does the player have? High degree. The camo'ing player can either use it or not use it. The only scenarios where the player cannot use the ability is if the unit is (in most scenarios) when not already in combat and there is no cover. Both those situations can be determined by the player in deciding where they position the unit.

3. How challenging is it to use? Not very challenging. Like mentioned before, the player is able to decide where they position a unit to set the unit up to use the ability or not. There is no "randomness" to camo except when it's spotted which is on the responsibility of the victim player. This challenge is even further reduced when crawling is introduced.

Fun to Counter?

What is the counter play to this from the victim's perspective? In reverse order:

3. How challenging is it to counter? Very high. Getting a spotting unit to a camoflauged unit implies either a player knows that the unit is camoflauged there or got lucky in running into it with a specific spotting unit without getting shot at first by either the camoflauged unit or any other units covering the camoflauged units.

2. What degree of control does the player have to counter? Medium. There exist spotting options with varying degrees of cost. The best spotting units are cheap but extremely fragile while the most durable spotting units are expensive. There is always a tradeoff in determining the spotting unit.

1. Is the counterplay rewarding? Not really... the reward is literally "not dying" to first shot advantages. You can argue that the reward is being able to kill the camoflauged unit but that's no different than being able to kill any unit whether it's in camoflauge or not.

Fun Comparison Summary

Camoflauge is only fun in one direction which is only further exacerbated when some doctrines have the capabilities more than others (example, assymetry in camoflauge availability between Commandos vs Panzer Support or Luftwaffe vs Royal Engineers). Just recall how annoying it is to counter snipers to get a sense of what I mean. You gotta execute top level tactics with 5000 mouse clicks only to be foiled by the enemy player pressing one button "retreat". Here's a quick visual summary on how "fun" camoflauge is for players:
camo compare.PNG
camo compare.PNG (3.27 KiB) Viewed 274 times
What's the balance suggestions made for the original ideas?

The most common argument/counter suggest received was to introduce more forms of revealing the camoflauged units thus decreasing the degree of control an camoflauge using player has over the ability. The thing about this suggestion is that it also directly increases the level of challenge for the countering player for no increase in reward through micro tax. The net outcome is just the game being harder for everyone for only marginal additional reward for the camoflauge using player. Here's a REALLY generous view on what a "balanced" camo system can look like:
camo compare with balance.PNG
camo compare with balance.PNG (3.36 KiB) Viewed 274 times
Concession

I understand the camoflauge ability adds fun by making the game more immersive, adding uniqueness to themes around certain units to make the game feel more "realistic". But honestly, it's just a crutch and workaround to representing "real" camoflauge. In reality, units don't just magically go invisible. Despite the intention, it's still not an accurate portrayal of camoflauge. One big example that we are trying to figure out how to manage around is camoflauge when garrisoned in buildings. Players who are using the ability will feel cheated of their ambush plans because the house highlights when a unit is trying to camoflauge in the house. Players who are trying to counter the ability will often say "I KNOW THERE IS A UNIT IN THERE WHY CANT I JUST SHOOT THE HOUSE". We try our best to work within the system limitations. My point is, it's a difficult theme to introduce so let's not get too married to the idea of the camoflauge ability itself needing to be an integral part of the mod.

Conclusion

I'm not saying we get rid of camoflauge entirely. I know it's basically hardwired into BK player brains and strategies after all these years. I'm not even saying to change camoflauge (technically I did once but got the biggest shit from half the community... you can see my "trick" on these two threads: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3577, viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3575). But if we're going to propose introducing it even more to the game... we need to be really really careful in considering its impacts beyond "balance".

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Warhawks97
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Warhawks97 »

1. The moddifers can be changed actually. It in EBPS file under "First strike actions".
So, bonuses can be removed or lowered to a minimum

2. Remove all passive ambush and only leave active ambush abilties? Believe me, it makes a huge different whether you have to move precisely, wait for the unit to be there and then check if the ability can be used and finally use it instead of just "go there" and the unit goes invisible "by accident".
I never understood why there is passive and active camo systems.

3. Units get revealed from a bit further.






That would be the first quick solutions at hand.

kwok
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by kwok »

1. Yeah I know. The point is that even without modifiers it's a strong ability.

2. Imo it's either all passive or all active. I think more players prefer "all passive" because there's never a reason to NOT be in camo unless you're trying to bait. But it can be inferred that the reward for camo will almost always be better than being bait when you can use a non-camo unit as bait.

3. Yeah it's a balancing suggestion sure. Point of the post isn't to talk about balancing camo but in general we need to think really hard before actually incorporating MORE camo options. It's more than just "quick adds" and "quick solutions".

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Walderschmidt »

I’d make it all passive or active conditional, like spotters.

At least with spotters you know to look for green cover/yellow cover.

I’d do the same with AT guns. They can either camo in cover of some sort or dig in.

Building camo I’d just get rid of entirely. Just make it so that units in a building get a hold fire if they want and make it so that people’s units don’t auto-target units in buildings.

What do you guys think? I haven’t played in months, so feel free to tell me to fuck off.

Wald
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PanzarFather
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by PanzarFather »

Walderschmidt wrote:
19 Nov 2020, 21:06
I’d make it all passive or active conditional, like spotters.

At least with spotters you know to look for green cover/yellow cover.

I’d do the same with AT guns. They can either camo in cover of some sort or dig in.

Building camo I’d just get rid of entirely. Just make it so that units in a building get a hold fire if they want and make it so that people’s units don’t auto-target units in buildings.

What do you guys think? I haven’t played in months, so feel free to tell me to fuck off.

Wald

Sounds good.
Camo is important, it is part of the game. Paks and certain units that are standing and luring should be invisible, like the Panzerjaegers for example.

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Devilfish
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Devilfish »

@Wald fuck off :D

@Kwok - if you think about it, planes and rocket arty are in a very similar situation. Fun for the user, headache for the receiver. Planes - user can do a 2 clicks, whenever it suits him, can save ammo for something else if it doesn't. The other side needs to be constantly on their toes, invest considerable res into AA, manage the AA (switch from and to AA mode, backup when enemy units get nearby, change position based on the location of units that need to be protected, etc.). Rocket arty - user, just clicks into the general direction of opponents units. The receiver needs to be constantly listening for the whistling sound of rockets and spamming retreat with mega reflexes. Still, it's 50/50 whether his units get eradicated.
"Only by admitting what we are can we get what we want"

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Walderschmidt »

Devilfish wrote:
19 Nov 2020, 22:16
@Wald fuck off :D

@Kwok - if you think about it, planes and rocket arty are in a very similar situation. Fun for the user, headache for the receiver. Planes - user can do a 2 clicks, whenever it suits him, can save ammo for something else if it doesn't. The other side needs to be constantly on their toes, invest considerable res into AA, manage the AA (switch from and to AA mode, backup when enemy units get nearby, change position based on the location of units that need to be protected, etc.). Rocket arty - user, just clicks into the general direction of opponents units. The receiver needs to be constantly listening for the whistling sound of rockets and spamming retreat with mega reflexes. Still, it's 50/50 whether his units get eradicated.
I don't know where that came from, but you make a good point.

Wald
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Devilfish
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Devilfish »

@Wald it came from you, you asked for it :). Just kidding of course, come play the BK sometime
"Only by admitting what we are can we get what we want"

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Walderschmidt »

Devilfish wrote:
19 Nov 2020, 22:21
@Wald it came from you, you asked for it :). Just kidding of course, come play the BK sometime
hahahah

I did, actually. I just reread my own post. I'm not used to people using the 'fuck off' option :D

Wald
Last edited by Walderschmidt on 19 Nov 2020, 23:36, edited 1 time in total.
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CGarr
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by CGarr »

I would be on board with all-active or all-passive for camo, leaning more towards the passive option due to how clunky the manually activated "ambush" abilities feel for inf. Crawling can stay as well, although it might be worthwhile to reconsider which units it should be available to.

I think a big issue with camo is that the units that have access to it are often tanky as hell, so they're hard to fight even without the camo advantage. Stormtroopers and commandos are good examples of this. In these cases, camo is excessive, but I don't think that is a good reason to remove it. Instead, we should focus on rethinking how these units are meant to be used. Rather than taking camo abilities away from all of the more durable squads that don't need the extra advantage, we should instead rework these units to have lowered health when camo becomes available to them. Lets run through some examples:

- Global: Pzshrecks would be usable with the camo abilities to make up for the lowered defensive stats.

- MG squads (including CW 7 man and the MG rangers): unchanged, although they should be included in the all-passive or all-active camo standardization.

- Storms: Rather than immediately being unlocked by the CP unlock, that unlock would instead give these units a free "camo uniform" weapon upgrade that doesn't take any slots and allows them to crawl/camo but at the cost of reducing their defensive stats when it is chosen. This upgrade would allow the player to choose whether they want to use these units as standard heavy infantry or ambush units. The suppression storms would also have this same option. The demo and officer squads would remain unchanged since they are already relatively squishy due to their smaller size.

- Rangers: Standard rangers really don't need the ambush ability, manual activation doesn't work half the time anyways and I've never had a problem using them without it. As such they can stand to just lose the ability entirely. Infiltration rangers should keep their camo options, although again, I would lower their defensive stats to compensate for the advantages they get from camo, and decrease the squad's cost a small bit. The ranger truck can stay at its current cost since you still get 2 units. CQB squads are perfect as-is.

- Luft inf: Falls should have the "camo uniform" upgrade option as well (with the same defensive stat tradeoff), and get the ability to crawl. Being able to crawl would make them extremely strong ambush units since they have a pretty good close range loadout and have a mid-range upgrade option. Their base defensive stats should be improved a bit so that if a player decides to forego using them as an ambush unit, they are still useful as a frontline unit. Was originally going to bring up the loadout change option again, but that change would make gebirgs pretty obsolete so I changed my mind on that. Gebirgs should get camo+crawling by default, but with lowered defensive stats. Their cost should also be dropped significantly, as they are pretty overpriced even now, so they would definitely never be worth using post-nerf. Their cost should match that of the standard ranger squad since they are comparable in offensive strength, with their lower defensive stats being compensated for by the camo ability. Officer squad stays as is.

- Commandos, marines, SAS: Maintain their current camo abilities, lower defensive stats to compensate. Lower their cost and remove the 2 stupid offensive/defensive buff unlocks they have on the CP tree. See my second response to Krieger Blitzer in this thread for my stance of RAF inf changes viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3931 . Generally, I do feel that they should be nerfed and possibly made cheaper.

- US airborne inf: These units should get passive camo and crawling from the CP upgrade unlock. Defensive buffs acquired through vet or that CP unlock should be lowered. They will always be at a disadvantage against proper heavy inf in a head-on fight, and buffing their defensive stats just makes them obnoxious terminator squads. As such, an emphasis on ambush tactics would make a lot more sense.

- Snipers: I'll make a new topic for them, not going to try and include my solution to that mess in this thread since it'd be lengthy.

- AT guns: passive camo when they are not moving, no cover needed. They're already slow as shit, might as well at least let them handle their own camo micro since there is literally no reason to not have them in camo.

- TD's: I'm not even going to try making a suggestion for TD's since that will easily take over the entire thread, lets just focus on inf for now and mess with TD's later. I'm assuming no changes will be made to them though.

- PE 7 man squad and officer: 7 man squad would definitely lose their passive camo and be made cheaper. The officer squad should remain untouched.

kwok
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by kwok »

Just wanna repeat and highlight I didn’t personally say anything needed fixing on this post. I’m more so cautioning future suggestions to add more camo options.

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Warhawks97
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Warhawks97 »

not sure if we should really mess arround the ambush system and overthrow it completely. That will take ages to properly balance it and many many will complain about it.


The only thing i would do is to rethink the passive camo stuff. Either remove it and ambushes must be manually set of at least increase the time they need to amush. Often enough single soldiers go invisible mid fight or during the reload process. Thats nuts.


So increase time to camo and reduce passive camo to a minimum (mainly to air units).
On top of that increase the range from which they get detected. I think that would help more than throwing arround with new upgardes and buffs/debuffs.

MEFISTO
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by MEFISTO »

The only thing I wanna say is I like the camouflage, this can be a solution vs heavy units or vs campers. The doctrnes that don't have this units example PS they have their own strength (heavy inf heavy tanks and artillery ) also all doctrines have the units to spot camouflage enemies unit, I know camouflage is a pain in the ass but it is fun to use, no fun to face but still you can handle it.

Diablo
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Diablo »

CGarr wrote:
20 Nov 2020, 00:44
- AT guns: passive camo when they are not moving, no cover needed. They're already slow as shit, might as well at least let them handle their own camo micro since there is literally no reason to not have them in camo.
Faster packing up/turning if not in camo :shock:

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Walderschmidt »

Diablo wrote:
22 Nov 2020, 19:10
CGarr wrote:
20 Nov 2020, 00:44
- AT guns: passive camo when they are not moving, no cover needed. They're already slow as shit, might as well at least let them handle their own camo micro since there is literally no reason to not have them in camo.
Faster packing up/turning if not in camo :shock:
Keep slow pack up/turning speed in camo, but reduce it slightly for non-camo - genius idea!

Wald
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kwok
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by kwok »

sadly dont think it can be done. i dont see any modifiers for teardown time.

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Walderschmidt
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Re: Camoflauge is not fun.

Post by Walderschmidt »

kwok wrote:
22 Nov 2020, 22:17
sadly dont think it can be done. i dont see any modifiers for teardown time.
How about this, similar solution to T1ger's tank reversing earlier.

What about if you click within a certain limit of degrees right or left, the gun rotates, rather than packs up, rotates, sets up?

That way, somone would have to at least micro the fuck out of an AT gun to try the firing exploit?

Wald
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