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Starting with Galactic Civilizations II, we allowed players to go and watch their ships fight it out in battle in a separate battle viewer screen.  But, what if we could show the battle on the main screen? That is, what if we could just zoom in on a fleet and rather than it being the leader ship with a number by it, it actually changed to show the entire fleet?  So if you wanted to watch a fleet fight it out, you would just watch it right on the map.

Thoughts?

 

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on Oct 11, 2021

The battle viewer is fun sometimes, especially when I create or download a new ship design. After that, I hardly use it for the sake of time. Would I miss it? No. Not a bit.

Seeing battles on the map would work so long as it happens quickly. Time is the biggest reason I mostly skip the battle viewer. If map battles bog the game down, I wouldn't want them, or I would want the option to skip them, preferably as a menu option and not a "every battle" pop up.

My opinion, of course.

on Oct 11, 2021

I agree with your opinion.

on Oct 11, 2021

I don't think it's important. If the battle can be displayed on the strategic map and look flashy enough, while providing some optional detailed feedback, I'm completely okay with the battle viewer going bye bye. 

on Oct 11, 2021

Absolutely fine with killing off the battle viewer.

The central issue with the viewer for me was always "Well, we've given you a ship designer to design your fancy Tiger Shark frigate with it's lasers and missiles and defences and everything, now, don't you want to see how it does in combat? Of course you do!!"

As Devildog_FF says, if you can report on a battle with relevant stats so that the player can see the basic information of how well their Tiger Shark frigate went against that Drengin fleet fill of laser beams and make it look flashy enough to please most people (I'd be happy with just: 1. Notification that my frigate is approaching/being approached by an enemy and stats for each ship involved in the engagement, 2. Request for order - attack or retreat and then 3. Subsequent report on result of order, frankly), why not...

Especially if battles and invasions are going to become a multi-Turn thing. Yes, I want my forces to Invade the Drengin Core World and I'm fine with the fact that it's going to take 5 Turns to achieve that invasion. I just don't want to see a Battle Viewer/Invasion Viewer five times...Notification of how the battle's going suits me fine.

 

on Oct 11, 2021

I'm okay with that, however, I would argue that if you're going to show the battle on a hex grid, you might as well add turn based combat that we control ourselves.

on Oct 11, 2021

I'd be ok with that if we could control combat manually, but otherwise I like the viewer personally

on Oct 11, 2021

I like the battle viewer.  I think an option to toggle it on and off to avoid the smaller less relevant battles would be helpful, but I enjoyed watching two large fleets battle it out.  It also help me understand how ship roles affected the starting placement and ship targeting. It's also enjoyable to watch battles that are rated uncertain as there is some tension watching the fight. 

I design a lot of my own ships and enjoy watching them clash against enemy fleets.  I'd prefer to keep the battle viewer unless what's replacing it is similar with just a different access method.  The battle viewer had a lot of useful tools to move the camera and watch a space battle unfold.  

on Oct 11, 2021

I hardly ever watch the battle viewer.  It feels like a waste of time to watch a battle that has already been resolved, and which the player has not influence over.  If we could give general commands (close range, hold range steady, retreat, etc) then it would be worthwhile to have, otherwise it's simply an engage fleets, check results, continue with turn.

 

on Oct 11, 2021

I like the idea of zooming in on the combat; it would be familiar in concept to any SOASE player and is much more elegant than a separate battleviewer.  That being said, I'm going to throw my hat in with Nels above and say if you are going to do that just give us combat on the hex map in a Civ VI fashion.  

on Oct 11, 2021


Starting with Galactic Civilizations II, we allowed players to go and watch their ships fight it out in battle in a separate battle viewer screen.  But, what if we could show the battle on the main screen? That is, what if we could just zoom in on a fleet and rather than it being the leader ship with a number by it, it actually changed to show the entire fleet?  So if you wanted to watch a fleet fight it out, you would just watch it right on the map.

Thoughts?

 

I love this idea of zooming in to see the actual fleet battle! What I'm envisioning based on your words sounds like it could be very appealing if the AI, visuals, effects, audio, camera controls, etc. are all up to par with the rest of GC4's polish.

I love combat in my games, SotS is one of my all-time favorites and still unmatched in some ways with how it made combat engaging and interesting. I've enjoyed combat in all sorts of other titles in this genre. 

I must admit I did not care for GC3's combat viewer, its controls, the graphics, the effects, etc. The combat experience wasn't fun or engaging and I would avoid it after a handful of views. I really tried to enjoy it but ultimately skipped it for the strategy layer animations.

I hope the idea of GC4's combat viewer eschews that for something new, even-if classic, like a locked isometric RTS view. Would this be 3D movable (with customizable controls)? Side/top? Isometric?

I do agree that battle stats intel is critical to display in a readable & useful fashion. It would be nice to see epic ship designs and researched tech builds be shown off in modern GFX glory. If it can't be given the level of detail and polish to be at least visually fun and engaging, I'd be fine with the existing "zoomed out" strategy layer summarized combat.

But if you pursue combat in GC4, mayyyybe interactive/controllable if/when zoomed in? Yes, I realize it's quite the pipe dream but one can always hope.

on Oct 12, 2021

I actually thought this was how combat in GalCiv4 was going to work all along (take place directly on the main map, ala Stellaris). 

The battle-viewer has always been useless/pointless anyway, so yeah, I'm all for it. 

 

on Oct 12, 2021

I used to watch the battle viewer in GC3 about half the time, but I really wouldn't miss it.

on Oct 12, 2021

Galciv 3 for me never realised the potential of its battles from a visual standpoint. There were flashes of greatness sometimes when it came together and a skirmish *could* look epic. But it was janky, and the stats info and breakdown were pretty unreadable. I think when you go to the effort of designing your own ships and you have a wiz bang super engine for the game, you want to enjoy a bit of spectacle and to live out those epic fantasy battles like in B5, The Expase or Star Wars.

I support the design decision to focus on the big picture over micromanagement when it comes to combat, therefore leaving tactical battles off the table. But I also think one of things that can really elevate this type of game is marrying big, important strategic decisions with great presentation. So it would be great is Galciv 4 was able to find a way to convey the spectacle of fleets clashing in a way that is entertaining, but also not tedious and intrusive. I like the idea of zooming in on fleets and watching lots of pretty lights and action occurring and then zooming out to order new fast food chains being established on Sigma Prime.

on Oct 12, 2021

My problem with the idea of the zoom in function is that battles that don't take place on the players turn could be missed.  

When it comes to GC III's battle viewer their where a couple things that frustrated me.

1. Endless pop ups for battles of no real consequence.  I hated unlocking the tech that gives +3 fighters to each planet.  The A.I. struggled to understand what was going on and every turn would be filled with 5-10 pop-ups of the A.I. destroying those 3 fighters over and over again.  That being said I think the issue could've been fixed by removing that tech.

2. I think the animation was good when you put time in to learn the controls.  I didn't like how the ship starting placement was laid out.  Tiny, small, medium, large, huge.   It was difficult to keep ships the right speed so that the huge weren't completely left behind.  Fleets should stick together to be more effective except for support ships.

3. Fleet composition isn't really a thing in GC III.  Mixing ship sizes rarely helped, but it does add more of an epic feel.  The problem is that the very similar fleets duke it out over and over again.  In my the past games the A.I. build almost exclusively carriers.  The battles play out the same every round so I skip them more often. 

4. There's not enough uncertainty in battles.  There's rarely an upset or unforeseen loss in the battles except for those rated uncertain.  A little more randomness in battles would help liven combat up.  Critical hits that knock out ship systems or do higher amounts of damage is one possible method.

5.  Information could be better condensed.  I don't usually want a play by play breakdown.  A list that tells me how much damage was done by a ship, how much damage that ship took, and how much of that damage was blocked would be a much more concise way to present the battle information and inform my future fleet design choices.

I think all of these could be fixed without removing the battle viewer.  I'm not sure whether the zoom in function is a great idea to be honest.  I'd rather just have the option to toggle the viewer on and off.  If we can adjust criteria for what would cause the battle viewer to pop up, that would be even better.  Criteria could include player minimum logistic points and whether or not a player support craft is under attack.

on Oct 12, 2021

Detailed information is important to me. I want to be able to check if my tactic works and if not why not.

Battle Viewer in GalCiv3 helps a lot to understand how attack, defense, tactical speed, ship roles and tactical repair work - more by text than animated visuals.

Will the change result in more than one battle happening in parallel? If yes, I would like the ability to pause the game during opponents turns. So, a new bunch of problems to solve.

I guess the biggest strength of the Battle Viewer is, that you can put away the whole other UI that has nothing to do with the fight. So more room to show battle related information.

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