Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

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AlbertoC
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Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by AlbertoC » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:38 am

In the previous dev diaries, we have talked a lot about new features and mechanics we are implementing in Panzer Corps 2. But what about the core game mechanics which have always been a fundamental part of the game? Will they remain the same, or will they change in the sequel? In this issue of the dev diary, we’ll discuss how some of the core mechanics are going to be transformed.

Turn limit

In a real war, late victory is often no victory at all, and the game represents this. The player must not just achieve the victory, but achieve it in a limited number of turns. This requires proper planning and strategy, instead of just rolling slowly over the map and eliminating scattered groups of enemy units with the concentrated power of the core force.

All this remains true in Panzer Corps 2. But we were surprised how many players feel that turn limit is an artificial limitation which detracts from the fun of the game. For such players, we are also adding an option to disable turn limit completely. Adding such a checkbox is the easy part. The tricky part is to make sure the game remains balanced, and fun with this option turned on. We are making sure that it is not possible to “harvest” more useful resources (prestige, experience) by staying in a scenario indefinitely, and that enemy units provide an adequate challenge.


Prestige

Prestige is this game’s currency, and, as its name implies, it is awarded for your successes on the battlefield. In Panzer Corps, there were certain exceptions from this rule, like Minor victory giving more prestige than Major, and this created a lot of confusion. In Panzer Corps 2 we will avoid any such things. Better performance will be rewarded with more prestige.


Unit slots

Unit slots determine how many units the player can have in the core force, which travel from scenario to scenario in a campaign. In Panzer Corps, every unit occupied a single core slot. In Panzer Corps 2 this will change so that a unit can occupy one or several slots. More powerful units will take more slots.

Such an approach is not a novelty, it was used in a lot of similar games before, and many people thought that we had to implement it in Panzer Corps already. But of course, this change is significant and fundamental. The way it worked before, optimal core structure was obvious – you wanted to use all the best units available. Maybe you were not able to afford these units right away, but this was a clear goal to go for in the long run. It is no longer as clear-cut. What is better: 3 Tigers IIs, 5 Panthers, or some combination of them? Maybe add some Panzer IVs, and Tiger Is to the mix as well? With changed unit slots mechanic, we expect to see much more varied core forces in Panzer Corps 2, and they will probably become more realistic too.

Same is true for transports. Better transports cost more slots, so using them for every single unit in the core might not be a good idea.

At the same time, we are not going to introduce specialised slots, for example, ground-only or air-only ones. We want the core composition to remain flexible, and the players are still free to go with ground-heavy or air-heavy cores if they prefer.


Image


Overstrength

Overstrength units (i. e. units with more strength points than their type has typically) have always been very popular with our players, and in some cases, they become outright necessary, especially when your opponent has more powerful units in his roster. We felt that it was imperative to keep this mechanic in the sequel.

At the same time, overstrength was a big problem with game balance, while its connection to experience felt very artificial, and because of this, overstrength became significant only in the later part of a campaign. We wanted to solve these problems. In Panzer Corps 2, any unit can get overstrength directly in the Purchase screen, from the very beginning of the game. But such units cost more prestige and slots than usual, so you can have fewer of these. A balanced core will include both overstrength and regular units, but the player will need to figure out perfect ratio for himself.


Entrenchment

Entrenchment mechanic will remain fundamentally the same. Stationary units will accumulate entrenchment over time (infantry and towed guns faster, other classes slower), and it will give various defensive bonuses in combat. But in Panzer Corps 2 we want to make this mechanic even more critical. There will be more entrenchment levels, and specialised units (heavy artillery, strategic bombers, engineers) intended to destroy them quickly.

Another significant change is that, unlike Panzer Corps, base entrenchment provided by terrain will not be destroyed. Base entrenchment is a defensive bonus created by the terrain itself (forest, hills, mountains), and no bombardment can significantly reduce this bonus.


Support fire

Support fire is another signature mechanic from Panzer Corps. It is a prime example of interaction between units, and it allowed the defender to create “clusters ofdefence”, which were not so easy to “crack” by the attacker. All this remains true in Panzer Corps 2 too. However, we felt that in the prequel artillery was not very useful in support fire role against tanks, while the class of AT guns was underused. So, in the sequel artillery will provide support fire against soft targets, while AT units will provide support fire against hard targets.

This is it for today. Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about how core game mechanics will work in Panzer Corps 2, post them in the comments. See you in the next dev diary!

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by cutydt02 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:18 pm

So we have gameplay pc2 = pc1 + oob ? Cool! But well, the graphic is my trouble, they hurt my eyes.... and about future dlcs ? I prefer longer and more expensive than old one

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Resolute » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 pm

I really do like that certain units take up more core slots even I am going to miss my army of Tiger II tanks. Curious to see if the changes to overstrength are going to work out since that was a real issue in PC (Grand campaign later on). Same goes with the entrenchment changes, that was something which really destroyed Grand Campaign West for me in terms of fun after the patch changes to entrenchment. Just literally took too much time to reduce entrenchment to a feasbile level before attacking, especially since so many AI units were sitting on max entrenchement right from the start.
Are there any plans to provide more information to units and combat statistics in general? I think there is room for improvement, especially in the way to present them.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by JaM2013 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:16 am

i think you could rename unit slots to supply slots or something.. .as you describe it, it represents army overall capacity to sustain units, therefore i think the best solution would be give these units some "sustainability" value and give army a max value that will get increased over time (or player could purchase more with prestige maybe?) this way, player would combine units based on their "sustainability" weight.. it would practically be another strategic item player has to manage, while it could be damaged/reduced by other means like strategy bombing or tactical air (destroying army refit centers)

besides if you use decimal values for this, it would give you better options for unit selections, as unit could use 15 points, therefore for 30 points you can get two, but if you had 3, then you could have just single unit of value 2 (1.5 rounded) and single unit of value 1.. it would give better granularity..

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by RVallant » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:01 pm

Yeah, 'unit slots'/'supply slots' just sounds a bit odd? A better term would be beneficial.

I'm not against it just being a point-value thing either. But I get what the purpose is, and I'll wait and see how it's implemented. :)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by ralph birch » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:53 pm

I have all of the previous Panzer Corps games. I don’t ever play “multiplayer”. Will all of the content of Panzer Corps 2 be available off line?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by ptje63 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:03 am

PC 01.jpg
PC 01.jpg (310.13 KiB) Viewed 1677 times
One of my biggest frustration with recon units - the selected recon obvious choice to destroy 1 strength AA. With good chance to return to safety.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by ptje63 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:04 am

PC 02.jpg
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Obviously not - mincemeat now for attacking AI :-(

(Tried to post 2 attachments in one reply, which gave error)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by janscas » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:51 pm

Love the news! please continue on!

Game to be released on 2019 or 2020?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Retributarr » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:25 pm

janscas wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:51 pm
Love the news! please continue on!

Game to be released on 2019 or 2020?
.

For myself, the finished...End-Product is what matter's most, not a fixed date of game completion.

If a Game is of High Caliber, it will stand the...'Test Of Time'. For example I still play a game that is now 18 years old. Why?, because it was made with great care, it wasn't a rush job. That game which now needs upgrading is called..."Imperium Galactica II" (made by Digital Reality). I would like for PzCrps 2 to have a similar impressionable heritage!.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Rudankort » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:23 am

ptje63 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:03 am
One of my biggest frustration with recon units - the selected recon obvious choice to destroy 1 strength AA. With good chance to return to safety.
I can certainly understand your frustration. But there is also a strong reason why recons are implemented the way they are. Recon movement has built-in penalties for partial moves, because otherwise people would always move them hex by hex. Why take risks when the end result is always the same? As things stand now, there is a trade-off. You can move further but take more risk, or move alower and avoid unwanted surprises. I think, it makes sense from both gameplay and realism perspectives. However, I'll see if we can indicate movement range after the first move more clearly. This would help to avoid frustration in situations like you've shown.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Rudankort » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:28 am

ralph birch wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:53 pm
I have all of the previous Panzer Corps games. I don’t ever play “multiplayer”. Will all of the content of Panzer Corps 2 be available off line?
I'm not sure what exactly you mean, but of course, all single player content in Panzer Corps 2 will be available offline. On the other hand, multiplayer scenarios are specifically designed for a human vs. human play, and the AI cannot handle many of them. So, if you are offline, these scenarios will only be available for a hot seat game.

In other words, our content model in Panzer Corps 2 will work very similar to how Panzer Corps 1 worked.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Rudankort » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:31 am

Resolute wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 pm
I really do like that certain units take up more core slots even I am going to miss my army of Tiger II tanks.
You can still have it, just it will be a bit smaller. :) And given the same number of slots, your opponent will be able to field a bigger army of weaker units.
Resolute wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 pm
Curious to see if the changes to overstrength are going to work out since that was a real issue in PC (Grand campaign later on). Same goes with the entrenchment changes, that was something which really destroyed Grand Campaign West for me in terms of fun after the patch changes to entrenchment. Just literally took too much time to reduce entrenchment to a feasbile level before attacking, especially since so many AI units were sitting on max entrenchement right from the start.
In Panzer Corps 2 you can destroy entrenchment very fast, but you will need to yse the right units for this task.
Resolute wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 pm
Are there any plans to provide more information to units and combat statistics in general? I think there is room for improvement, especially in the way to present them.
Yes, we are making a lot improvements to presentation throughout the game, but to make sure we don't misee anything important, you are more than welcome to share your own "wish list" in this department.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Rudankort » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:37 am

JaM2013 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:16 am
i think you could rename unit slots to supply slots or something.. .as you describe it, it represents army overall capacity to sustain units, therefore i think the best solution would be give these units some "sustainability" value and give army a max value that will get increased over time (or player could purchase more with prestige maybe?) this way, player would combine units based on their "sustainability" weight.. it would practically be another strategic item player has to manage, while it could be damaged/reduced by other means like strategy bombing or tactical air (destroying army refit centers)

besides if you use decimal values for this, it would give you better options for unit selections, as unit could use 15 points, therefore for 30 points you can get two, but if you had 3, then you could have just single unit of value 2 (1.5 rounded) and single unit of value 1.. it would give better granularity..
I agree with your critique of "unit slots" term. In fact, "slot" sounds like a place where you put something, so using several slots for a single unit sounds strange, no matter how you call them (unit slots or command slots). Unit points might be a better term. If you guys have any other great ideas, please by all means share them.

Otherwise, our goal was to keep this system very simple and strongly attached to what Panzer Corps had. As practice has shown, people are opposed to major revolutions in this area, so the idea was to make the smallest change needed to fix the problem of uber-unit cores.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by ptje63 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:09 am

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:23 am
ptje63 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:03 am
One of my biggest frustration with recon units - the selected recon obvious choice to destroy 1 strength AA. With good chance to return to safety.
I can certainly understand your frustration. But there is also a strong reason why recons are implemented the way they are. Recon movement has built-in penalties for partial moves, because otherwise people would always move them hex by hex. Why take risks when the end result is always the same? As things stand now, there is a trade-off. You can move further but take more risk, or move alower and avoid unwanted surprises. I think, it makes sense from both gameplay and realism perspectives. However, I'll see if we can indicate movement range after the first move more clearly. This would help to avoid frustration in situations like you've shown.
I have been playing PC for a couple of years now and I am aware of what you write.
But: I did not make any one-hex moves one by one. You can see I moved 2 hexes and also in clear terrain (no swamp, hills, etc.).
This can easily be solved in the same way one can hover with the mouse on a hex to check what the stats would be if I move a unit to that hex and atteck. The same you can do with rec: hover above hex you think you wish to move to and other hexes then are highlighted that tell you how many move hexes still available after the move. With obvious exception if rec spots new ai unit.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Molve » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:58 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:23 am
I can certainly understand your frustration. But there is also a strong reason why recons are implemented the way they are. Recon movement has built-in penalties for partial moves, because otherwise people would always move them hex by hex. Why take risks when the end result is always the same? As things stand now, there is a trade-off. You can move further but take more risk, or move alower and avoid unwanted surprises. I think, it makes sense from both gameplay and realism perspectives. However, I'll see if we can indicate movement range after the first move more clearly. This would help to avoid frustration in situations like you've shown.
Please understand that (maybe with the exception of expert players) recon units are not good enough for most players. They're fragile and die a lot, which might be realistic, but makes for poor gameplay - you simply can't waste unit slots on units that always die and pop back as greenhorns.

The absolute fastest recon units are just about fast enough to scout ahead an useful distance... and still make it back to safety. But most don't. About the only way to save them is for the rest of your army to catch up... but wasn't the purpose of scouting to avoid having to fall into traps?

Again, using recon as bait for AI traps, sure. But again, constantly having to replace killed units is not fun. And having units slots with permanent greenhorn status is not good enough.

Contrast to the few cases of flying recon. This is like night and day. Suddenly you have true utility, since it is MUCH easier to pull it back (since only enemy fightes will be a concern) and/or assign it a fighter bodyguard.

Tldr: recon must be possibly unrealistically good for us to bother with the class, and not treat recon as throw-away units - the faster they die off, the sooner you can fill the slot with a "real" unit with real survability.

Possible ideas:
- give recon faster movement when retreating in its own tracks (so it can be pulled back) without needlessly giving out super speed for when you need to move across the map
- give recon "evade" like subs, so it actually can escape being shot at by enemy armor
- consider the player just picking a spot and get an "area reveal", like a long-range area-attack only the area wouldn't suffer more than the loss of fog of war. This would then represent the recon moving there and back again. The actual unit could then stay pretty much as-is. This would save immensely on the most micromanagey part of recon, zigging and zagging past enemy units and their ZOCs

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by hs1611 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:12 am

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:23 am
Just wondering.
I had posted some suggestions on support fire on the "other" Dev Diary #4 thread.
Whatever happened to it?
And did you read my suggestions and have any feedback?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Rudankort » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:26 pm

hs1611 wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:12 am
Just wondering.
I had posted some suggestions on support fire on the "other" Dev Diary #4 thread.
Whatever happened to it?
And did you read my suggestions and have any feedback?
There is an ongoing confusion with each dev diary duplicated in two places.

You have posted your suggestions here:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 61#p751661
I have replied to it here:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 70#p751770

Actually I've just realized that there was another post which I have not replied to:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 33#p751933

So, I'll reply to that now. Thanks for suggestions. :)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by hs1611 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:18 pm

Thanks

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Argelas » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:43 pm

Do you already know how much finer than the old slots the new slots or "unit points" will be?

I imagine the finest possible granularity would be prestige cost and the coarsest the old slots.

But are the points even based on prestige cost? Currently the slot could be occupied by a 1000 presetige unit or a 100 prestige unit, but the ability to have 10 times as much units is probably not ideal, so something in between?

If it is rather coarse-grained, how are units like the Panzer IV handled? Its prestige cost nearly doubles, while it is upgraded in small steps. If one small upgrade keeps it at the same unit points value but anoter one puts it in a overproportionally more expensive "unit points" class, the second upgrade will become unattractive. Or does it always stay at the same "medium tank" unit points cost and you do not get an advantage if you use the older variant?

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