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Terrain Features

jamreal18jamreal18 Senior MemberPosts: 8,209Registered Users
edited January 2018 in General Discussion
In the game:

Will charging from higher ground offers advantage?

Will shooting arrows from higher ground offers longer range?

Will long grass provide stealth for units?

Will muddy terrain make soldiers move slowly?
Post edited by jamreal18 on

Comments

  • zspianozspiano Junior Member Posts: 368Registered Users
    You expect too much bro I’m afraid.
  • HrafnHrafn Posts: 305Registered Users
    edited January 2018
    If we have battle speed like Warhammer it won't matter. Mash scissors against paper and paper against rock faster than your opponent, and you can charge them up a cliff in a blizzard and it won't matter.

    Something I have noticed with the Total War series, is that as the raw stat numbers on the units increased, terrain advantage decreased.

    In Shogun 1 and Medieval 1, unit stats were generally represented in the single digits. Factors such as being on higher ground than your opponent could net you a +1 to attack. When you were attacking a unit with a defense of just 2, this was a big advantage. This was the case with every terrain-specific bonus or penalty, like cavalry in the forest for example. As you can imagine, proper use of terrain was massively important in these two games.

    With the coming of Rome 1, we got a new engine, and with it units whose stats began to range in the double digits, up to the high teens. Here, terrain remained important, though it never felt quite as potentially decisive as it did in the first titles. Your high end units could ignore it in most cases, so long as you attacked the "right" targets. Medieval 2 went about the same. Many considered these games to be just about right; though I preferred the earlier games.

    Soon we were given the current engine, which was created for the musket combat that came with empire, which is why it has never done melee nearly as well as the previous engine. This engine gave us Shogun 2, with stat ranges in the general area of what we had in Rome 1 and Medieval 2. Terrain bonuses retained their importance, but with the much more "hard coded" rock/paper/scissors nature of Shogun 2's units, combined with battle speed, decisions rested much more on securing favorable unit matchups than on terrain, in comparison to previous titles.

    Then came Rome 2 and Attila, which run similarly with Warhammer, though Warhammer has much faster battle speed. In contrast to previous titles, units in these games had stats that often reached over 50, often with upgrades into the 80's or even 100's. This also when terrain became largely irrelevant. Unit matchups dominate the tactical game in these two titles, with terrain taking on little if any importance the majority of the time.

    It was almost is if while using the same engine, they used the same terrain modifiers to affect the stats of the Rome 2 and Attila units, as they had for Shogun 2's units; never bothering to change them. With the buggy and rushed release of Rome 2, I can easily see this having slipped through the cracks.



    As for archers on higher ground having greater range, as far as I know archers never received an actual bonus to firing range; even in the earliest titles. They had a fixed lateral range, but because of the elevation difference, they could travel further in their arc before hitting the ground.

    As far as I know this hasn't changed from the earlier titles; but don't quote me on that. In earlier titles, projectiles had to actually hit their targets (and trees actually blocked them). It was not unusual to have too steep a slope advantage, that allowed the enemy to avoid the bulk of your volleys by staying low on the slope. When They changed to the warscape engine, this changed (along with melee, in which soldiers no longer fought individually, but as a "mass"), and while shots still need to hit, as far as I know it became more of a mathematical formula as to whether it did anything. There may have been a change in how projectile flight distance worked as well.

    Something that makes a significant difference in the value you get from height advantage while shooting is battle speed. In the early titles, because lateral range remained the same, but the enemy had more ground to cover because of the slope; your archers could get in a few extra volleys before enemy units could close. When battle speed skyrocketed, units became able to cover that ground much faster, and archers can't get as many additional shots.

    Hope that helps.
  • FredrinFredrin Senior Member LondonPosts: 3,012Registered Users
    Nice post @Hrafn - a very accurate summary of the dwindling importance of terrain in the series over time. A real bane to quality combat gameplay imo.

    If CA have been listening to player feedback over the last few releases, they should be moving away from the over-simplified rock,paper,scissors style and incorporating factors like terrain and environment much more.

    The only reason why I can imagine they wouldn't do that is a cynical calculation that they could bag more of the moba/fast-action RTS crowd by continuing down the current route. I hope they don't give in to that line of reasoning.
  • CommisarCommisar Senior Member Posts: 1,165Registered Users
    Yeah but before you also could fight FOR the terrain. So you could capture and use it yourself. Now of course it's just a full smash everything and end the battle in 5 minutes.
  • KrunchKrunch Junior Member Posts: 3,595Registered Users
    zspiano said:

    You expect too much bro I’m afraid.

    In older TW games, going atleast back to Med 2, maybe a bit further in Shogun? Not sure, but in Med 2 atleast, ranged units that fired from higher elevation got a range and if they had an optimal angle damage boost. Long grass has provided hidden movement previously in TW games. Charging from higher elevation, or just being at a higher elevation when fighting has ALWAYS been a stat buff in your favour, even in Warhammer. And while it isn't quite muddy terrain, shallow water is a thing in Warhammer.

    True cool terrain features would be stuff like being able to burn tall grass and dense forests IMO, to provide both damage and morale buffs.
  • HrafnHrafn Posts: 305Registered Users
    I loved torching forests in Attila.
  • CarlHamiltonCarlHamilton Junior Member Posts: 41Registered Users
    Don't forget, that Rome 2 and Warhammer maps, have insane height differences, sometimes you fight on 45 degree slopes, and most campaign maps look like they were taken from a noise-height map with too high contrast settings.
  • ma7moud_al_sharifma7moud_al_sharif Posts: 209Registered Users
    edited January 2018
    when it comes to design paradigm, the quality and success of the warhammer titles tell me that CA rly is at home territory at the action-focussed end of the spectrum (quick thinking/response, activity/micro focus, understanding of match-ups over principles) and less at the simulator range (observation, planning, caution, (fore-)thought, prediction, understanding of principles over match-ups). op's proposals obviously r of the latter. as far as to my understanding though, high ground already offer charge bonus. also units that move through rough terrain receive a movement penalty but perhaps the effects r not pronounced enough and as hamilton pointed out level/map design obviously plays a big part in this too. i personally have my gripe with the granularity of the noise rather than intensity of contrast. since rome ii, i felt like most maps have few big features, much unlike the maps in shogun 2; that generally diminish the tactical role of terrain. as hrafnir ponted out, it appears as throughout the series the focus of skirmish battles gradually steered towards r/p/s solely. generally i think, terrain need to provide more tactical opportunies; features b smaller and more numerous; and environmental effects need to b more pronounced and better communicated to the player.


    ---Furthermore i am of the opinion, that the current Unit Count(20,21) must be lifted!!

    appeal to CA:

    skirmish related (applicable for historical titles):
    new innovations in the ToB campaign look very promising! skirmish need that kind of revamp too!
    pls, dont overemphasize unit r/p/s counter-matching as the hierarchical confluence of all decision making
    - ! make unit formations (and perhaps abilities) great again! (charlemagne)
    - ! same with LoS system! (tw:arena/UG:CivilWars)
    - ! same with terrain (ridges) (tw:arena/shogun2/UG:CivilWars)
    you've already made the tools!
    just make use of them!


    menu related (mp skirmish lobby):
    * add "large army" option to quickmatch pls!
    * have "large army" settings be tagged visually in lobby selector (so that all players have easier time in lobby select)
    * pls introduce scheduled rank resets to quickmatch as means to repress unsportsmanlike conduct related to stat fetishism
    * enable shared team funds (sum == opposition funds irrespective of player count) that all members can (optionally) submit to that facilitate the setup of uneven teams

    campaign related:
    + kudos for adding a basic supply system to the ToB campaign
    * for a much more elegant way of addressing autoresolve of not so decisive battles and how armies reinforce each other mount and blade's marshal system could b a fitting reference. mbe there is a way to integrate the marshal concept in one way or the other
    -or-
    * instead of imposing a hard cap of 20 units per army introduce a more organic approach of having lower ranking officers command ~ 10/15 units at max and higher ones up to ~ 40 (with supply, replenishment and all considered)
    * * reinforcing armies in this case would trickle in so a count of 40 intact units is kept rather than exceed 40+ units
    * dynamic quest/notification-event system (may b interesting for 3 kings)

    + thx for addressing spaghetti lines
    + kudos for adding a basic supply system to the ToB campaign


    • Tier1: Shogun 2 / Wh 2 / Warhammer
    • Tier2: Age of Charlemagne / Napoleon
    • Tier3: Attila / Medieval 2 / Rome
    • ....
    • Accident: Rome II

    • pending: ToB is yet to b acquired
    • pending: Three Kings not been released yet
    image

    Team Shadowgave
    Team Cao Wei
    wu xing graph

    casual survey on tw skirmish battles
    casual survey provisional analysis
    let's learn about the diplomacy game first before comlaining about vassals!
  • RodentofDoomRodentofDoom Posts: 498Registered Users
    Terrain went the same way as weather and visibility effects.


  • BreadboxBreadbox Posts: 635Registered Users
    Terrain,weather and changes to morale.
    3 factors that are essential to consider in all eras of warfare.
    I don’t understand what’s so goddamn difficult at making them actually matter.

    Its already kinda there,but they refuse,absolutely REFUSE to make their effect more substantial than safely ignorable.
    Its almost as like they are suggesting that we should ignore it if it starts bothering us.

    However,I would say that the terrain LOS concealment system added in Rome 2 is good.
    Alot better than the entire map visiable all the time in older games.
  • EfixEfix Posts: 257Registered Users
    Krunch said:

    zspiano said:

    You expect too much bro I’m afraid.

    In older TW games, going atleast back to Med 2, maybe a bit further in Shogun? Not sure, but in Med 2 atleast, ranged units that fired from higher elevation got a range and if they had an optimal angle damage boost. Long grass has provided hidden movement previously in TW games. Charging from higher elevation, or just being at a higher elevation when fighting has ALWAYS been a stat buff in your favour, even in Warhammer. And while it isn't quite muddy terrain, shallow water is a thing in Warhammer.

    True cool terrain features would be stuff like being able to burn tall grass and dense forests IMO, to provide both damage and morale buffs.
    I second that
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