Micromanagement, Mobility, Unit Cohesion of Support and Combat Roles

One of my biggest gripes right now in Castle Story is the micromanagement between combat roles and support roles. For the purpose of brevity support roles is that of builders and resource collection. Anyhow, the juggling between these it's so tedious at the moment, so I'm going to propose some solutions for that, many of which I've seen the community suggest as well. However additionally I'm going to make a suggestion that deals with the community's other issues in regards to micromanagement and troop movement, using yet again community ideas as well as my own. This will be a multipost OP so as to keep people engaged in either the topic of support and combat roles, or the broader topic of general movement and unit cohesion. Please criticize as harshly as you want.

First things first...

Simplifying the juggling between combat and support roles.

Calling to Arms Shouldn't Be a Punishable Action

So first of all when you call your Bricktrons to arms they make a big mess around the weapon's stores. One simple fix to this would be making the resources they have in their hand drop as bags. Bricks can stay as they are, planks can be dropped neatly tied by a piece of string. Additionally you could have the bags be slightly open so you can see what their contents are. Another solution can be that you can set a dumping ground for them to dump their resources at hand, and if none is present they by default dump the resources into the stockpiles.

Calling to arms shouldn't be a punished by having your resources lost or scattered in your base. Additionally it severely hinders the design patterns one can have around weapon's stores, or if you brave through it, it forces you to have a dedicated cleaner Bricktron.

Defensive Positions Shouldn't Have to Be Manually Adjusted Between Each Wave

Now then, the suggestion above alone won't SUBSTANTIALLY decrease the amount of micromanagement however it will help quite a bit. So I will use yet another idea I derived from the community's suggestions. Have positions you can assign to bricktrons when the call to arms alarm is raised! It's so ANNOYING having to manually place my archers on my walls and towers one by one, as well as my knights.

Now granted this can be easily fixed on my part as well as other players by splitting up my work force, with one half being support classes, while the others are manning combat positions. But early on in PVE and probably PVP, such a thing is not a luxury, because the waves of enemies you encounter get progressively stronger, aggressive and bigger. This means whether you want to or not, you will be juggling your units back and forth between combat and support roles.

In my honest opinion I don't think I'm asking for much in these two suggestions, but I'm not a programmer so I'm probably talking out of my ass here.

The next part of my OP will be how to improve troop movement in general as well as unit cohesion. While the whole ranged and melee unit tabs in the bottom corner are welcomed, they're very limited.

Comments

  • CastleBuilderCastleBuilder Member
    edited March 26
    Unit Cohesion

    Custom Control Units Should Be a Feature

    Currently the way unit cohesion works severely limits the player due to the fact that the current Control Unit setup is an all or nothing sort of deal. You don't have the choice of just picking some of your melee units, and some of your archers and create a custom Control Unit. You either have to pick all of your melee units, or all of your ranged units.

    Not only does this severely limit the player on what tactics he can use, but it restricts player freedoms on how many forts he can build, unless he wants to micromanage multiple armies across the map. Don't know if this was a deliberate action on the dev team or not, but it feels very restricting, to what for me has been a sand box Castle Building RTS. Additionally I want to say one more underlying reason why the current way control units are handled is severely limited...

    Control Units At the Moment Does Not Allow Mixed Unit Formations At the Tip of Your Hand

    With custom control units you could make an "engineering" unit that can build support structures or attack pylons for your troops to fall back on if you fail to raid an enemy's crystal, castle, castle wall or fort. With custom control units you could have a unit composed of archers and a few Knights protecting them from enemy melee attacks. The way control units are now though, you're just limited to all melee, all ranged. Sure you can select the individual units you want to control, but you have to select them one by one and keep them selected.

    Moreover after combat is finished you now have to deselect your units to go back to micromanaging support units. Meaning each time an attack occurs, you have to summon your units yet again, and partition them one by one into your preferred mixed combat units, or mixed combat support units. It's in general very tedious and just entices a player to build huge walls lined with absurd amounts of wards instead of having to deal with meticulous troop positioning.

    If we are to see new and interesting metas arise in the community I firmly believe control units can give players more flexibility when it comes to deciding tactics.
  • Unit Mobility

    Players Should be Able to Dictate to Units What their Final Unit Formation Should Be after a Movement is Done

    Many RTS games as old as Age Of Empires, Empire Earth and the like has allowed player to tell their units what sort of position they will take up after moving to another point in the map. Right now in Castle Story when you select a bulk of units you don't get to dictate their placement when they're done moving. Sure you can dictate that they attack and move, or you can dictate them to take up a defensive position as soon as they reach their destination, but that's it. This needlessly adds to the tedium of having to micromanage troop formations and troop movement.

    This bogging down of speed can be felt both in combat, and when setting up defensive positions. For a modern RTS I find it disappointing that we're allowed to build whatever custom mega structures we want, but for some reason we can't get our troops to form a neat and organized line, or defensive pattern without babysitting them one, by one, by one. Nor can we get our troops to move and attack in a specific pattern without breaking the lines of defense without us babysitting each unit individually.

    Players Should be Able to Dictate to Units How Tightly or Loosely in Formation they Can Move

    As stated above, it's frustrating to have 10 of my guys attack the enemy, but not being able to have the charging line stay lined up because some run faster than the others, or some other absurd reason. Whenever this happens I always end up having the little curroptrons enter through cracks in the line that shouldn't be present in cliff sides that are at most 7 bricktrons thick. Obviously I don't want knights to receive a speed boost by being paired up with one halberdier and other easily exploitable set ups.

    Instead let us have 4 formations for movement; One is a free form line in which all units are as fast as they can be and don't travel in groups. Another is a staggered line, where the units travel at the speed of a knight, but they're spread out in order to avoid high casualties from artillery fire and in general explosive attacks. Finally the last ones are a tightly knit but thin column while the other is a very chunky and thick column. In both the unit speed is again as slow as a knight and in all of these movements the unit priority is that of knights first, Halberdiers second Archers Grenadiers and Healer plus Support units last.

    Something similar to Cossacks 2 is what I'm thinking off, just nowhere near as complex.



  • CastleBuilderCastleBuilder Member
    edited March 26
    Custom Waypoints

    AI Pathfinding Will Not be Infallible Anytime Soon

    Now don't get me wrong, we've come long strides and miles from where pathfinding used to be. Long gone are Bricktrons who dance to their deaths into the void, and with the recent update, long gone are Bricktrons who just stare at each other romantically for hours on end, or play a game of hotpotato with some random resource. However it's still a far cry from perfect, and as long as the human element is at play, and as long as quantum computing is not commercially viable it will never be perfect.

    This is where custom waypoints comes into play. Let us queue up movement waypoints for our combat units and support units. That way we don't have to manually click each point we want them to travel to while directly babysitting them as well. It's absolutely frustrating when I see Support units somehow magically land in a dangerous situation and me having to baby sit them out of it while my main combat force is dying due to my lack of direction. Granted the micromanagement isn't as bad as before when my archers used to be knocked off of their perches and towers by rogue Curroptron rocks, but it's still pretty annoying.

    Custom Waypoints Are not Just Useful for Supporting Roles

    Not only will this help us keep our support units out of harm's way, but it can also let us implement advanced strategies such as bottleknecking an enemy force into a cliff only to have them be attacked from the rear by a portion of our force we ordered to go around us via custom waypoints set to attack and move. Or for example you can prepare an ambush while a small diversionary force you sent baits your enemies into the trap. The amount of tactical possibilities this opens up is endless, specially with the absolutely awesome shield mechanics Knights have.

    Honestly I absolutely LOVE the fact that Knights can't shield themselves from attacks on their rear, only their front! Please don't change that anytime soon!


    One more post to go here, sorry for the rambling.
  • CastleBuilderCastleBuilder Member
    edited April 14
    Patrols

    Patroling the Castle Makes me Wish For a Nuclear Winter

    Memery aside the patrol radius circle has been removed entirely since the 1.0 update IIRC. Now I'm not going to lie, the circle did have its limitations due to how small it was and just the shape in general. But certainly was still useful for base configurations with more than one entrance not fortified with like 3-4 wooden doors. Now patroling seems to have been replaced with the wards system. Now while I don't hate the wards system, I do feel that it limits the base set up variety possible. Since now if the player wants to have his units patrol a section of one of his bases not his wards, he has to MANUALLY DO IT by babysitting his troops!

    Which is just down right absurd! Again, the old patrol system wasn't perfect, but it was better than nothing.

    Custom Patrol Routes

    Custom patrol routes can just be the same as an attack move waypoints, but on a loop from start, to finish. This is how Empire Earth 1,2, Rise of Nations and Age of Empires did it, I can't fathom why Castle Story can't. But again I'm not a programmer so I may be speaking BS.

    Firing Modes

    Let Players Setup for Bricktron Groups What Curroptron Units they want to Either Fight, or Run Away From

    Honestly, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I'm tired of seeing every once in a while support bricktrons try to wack certain Curroptrons in the head. Or even worse watch them stare at them idly in silence while they're having their guts ganked and spilled out in front of them by one of the small and scrawny Curroptron units. Let us set a firing mode which allows to tell them which Curroptrons they run away from, which they attack, and have the default be that Support Units run away from all Curroptrons.

    Let Players Setup for Bricktrons Which Curroptrons Get Priority Attacked

    Again, I'm sure I'm not the only one here, but I'm tired of seeing combat units ignore giant ass Biftrons slaughtering their comrades in a couple of swipes and instead they decide to focus on the small curroptrons that can barely tickle a Knight's shield, let alone health bar. Let players set up a behaviour for Bricktrons on which curroptron units get priority attention.

    Well that's it, these are some of my biggest issues with the game when it comes to its micromanagement in general. Please criticize as you please.

    Addendum

    Custom Waypoints that Allow the Player to Give Sequential Orders

    Just another stolen idea here that is popular in many RTS games. Many RTS, specifically 4X RTS such as Age of Empires, Rise of Nations, Empire Earth 2, Cossacks 2 and so forth allow the player to not just give custom waypoints, but also a waypoint with a task each. This would be really helpful, one could do something like give a Bricktron an order to dig up 20 of a resource, dump them, go to a weapon's rack, and take up a defensive position in as little as 4 mouseclicks. Of course this would have to be implemented after the team figures out how to implement custom waypoints in the first place, or maybe it's easy enough to do it in one go IDK.
  • MomiroMomiro Member
    These all sound like welcome fixes to Bricktron behavior. You really do have to babysit their every move, and it's just a little incredibly frustrating
  • For the Call To Arms part,I'd also recommend two separate Call To Arms:One where bricktrons calmly put their stuff in a stockpile and the one we all know and love where they immediately dash to the weapon racks and drop their stuff on the ground.
  • CastleBuilderCastleBuilder Member
    edited March 30
    @HappyBodi
    As I said I wouldn't mind the current call to arms if the resources dropped neatly into bags, and planks tied with a piece of string at least. As it stands though, the game punishes you for calling to arms. However having two forms of it certainly would be welcomed, one where they put their stuff away in an organized manner, and another where they just rush haphazardly. Anything but the current system that forces me to stop at the 1:30 minute mark, or if I was mining resources far away up to 3:00 minute mark.
  • @CastleBuilder
    True,I think that a combination of the two ideas where the "Run to the Weapon Racks" Call To Arms would have bricktrons dropping their stuff neatly in bags and bundles around the racks would be very convenient.
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