View Revisions: Issue #21636

Summary 0021636: Force field simplification: remove the shrinking
Revision Sep 13, 2019 1:54 am by Asteroid
Description I feel like the bubble forcefield(s) shrinking as it gets shot, while pretty cool from a "realism" point of view and a good visual indicator of how much actual shield is left, detracts from gameplay more than anything else:

- Things at the edge get way less coverage because they lose the shield sooner. It's hard to wrap your head around compared to "everything in this radius will be covered for about X seconds given Y DPS".

- Forces you to cram as many things in the center as possible so they get covered longer, compounding the problem with building forcefields deciding to scram leaving wormholes uncovered: https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=21602

- AI War 2 makes it really, really hard to position things precisely in a location where there is already a pack of units: can't give a move order at a location where there's already a unit, and it's easy to trigger decollision by putting things too close together. But if you want a forcefield frigate to cover, say, your flagship that's about to get crippled, you have to position it very close otherwise the big flagship won't get covered for long because of the shrinking. A fixed radius would be much easier to place.

- TL;DR: a fixed radius is easier to reason about and doesn't require constant placement adjustments.

With this in mind I propose that force fields behave in a more classical way, i.e. fixed radius, and they just "pop" when they've taken enough damage to exhaust the shield. The shield progressively losing power could be represented by having less and less animated hexagons, and becoming more transparent (plus a flicker effect post-1.0). Since AI War shields are a bit peculiar in that they block enemy movement, there should be a sufficient cooldown before the shield comes back, so AI units can actually sneak through your wormholes. The bubble should probably come back whenever the shield has fully recharged.
Revision Sep 13, 2019 1:07 am by Asteroid
Description I feel like the bubble forcefield(s) shrinking as it gets shot, while pretty cool from a "realism" point of view and a good visual indicator of how much actual shield is left, detracts from gameplay more than anything else:

- Things at the edge get way less coverage because they lose the shield sooner. It's hard to wrap your head around compared to "everything in this radius will be covered for about X seconds given Y DPS".

- Forces you to cram as many things in the center as possible so they get covered longer, compounding the problem with building forcefields deciding to scram leaving wormholes uncovered: https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=21602

- AI War 2 makes it really, really hard to position things precisely in a location where there is already a pack of units: can't give a move order at a location where there's already a unit, and it's easy to trigger decollision by putting things too close together. But if you want a forcefield frigate to cover, say, your flagship that's about to get crippled, you have to position it very close otherwise the big flagship won't get covered for long because of the shrinking. A fixed radius would be much easier to place.

- TL;DR: a fixed radius is easier to reason about and doesn't require constant placement adjustments.

With this in mind I propose that force fields behave in a more classical way, i.e. fixed radius, and they just "pop" when they've taken enough damage to exhaust the shield. The shield progressively losing power could be represented by having less and less animated hexagons, and becoming more transparent (plus a flicker effect post-1.0).