Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

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ErissN6
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by ErissN6 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:11 pm

jeffoot77 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:23 am
a strategy i could never have done in PC1 : some paratroopers far behind enemy lines to take an airfield: it takes so many turns to make them travel, land, and make them their way until the airfield that the countdown is already finished...
It sure can be a strategy against a lower tech opponent, but was this a good strategy in WW2??

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by ptje63 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:51 pm

No turn limit should have consequences for follow up scenarios - the longer it takes in theory other scenarios can end up being postponed. I would opt for less prestige awarded if one choses to continue to play beyond a certain pre-chosen amount of turns.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by proline » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:49 pm

ErissN6 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:11 pm
jeffoot77 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:23 am
a strategy i could never have done in PC1 : some paratroopers far behind enemy lines to take an airfield: it takes so many turns to make them travel, land, and make them their way until the airfield that the countdown is already finished...
It sure can be a strategy against a lower tech opponent, but was this a good strategy in WW2??
Rarely. In WW2 paratroopers were only effective in a handful of operations. The Germans produced very few heavy tanks and heavy AT. Most of the deaths were due to artillery, starvation, and disease. Success was mostly about the intelligence and logistics of getting a functional army to the right place at the right time. The "must be as historical as possible" crowd are always running up against the reality that a lot of WW2 doesn't actually make for a fun game.

For me, I say that if a unit is purchaseable in the game it should be viable. That goes for jumpers, bridgers, heavy tanks, tac air, etc.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by goose_2 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:20 pm

AlbertoC wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:37 am



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 of defence”, 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!
This is huge. I like it a lot and will increase the use and effectiveness of AT's, I am hoping there is some advantage with using those towed AT's as they were very difficult to use in Panzer Corps, but this will increase their effectiveness a ton.

I am looking forward to possibly playtesting these new features and making usre they do not break the balance of the game.

Keep working no rush on this as we want something great not just good or God forbid ok, or even perish the thought Bad :evil:
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by proline » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:34 pm

goose_2 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:20 pm
AlbertoC wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:37 am



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 of defence”, 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!
This is huge. I like it a lot and will increase the use and effectiveness of AT's, I am hoping there is some advantage with using those towed AT's as they were very difficult to use in Panzer Corps, but this will increase their effectiveness a ton.

I am looking forward to possibly playtesting these new features and making usre they do not break the balance of the game.

Keep working no rush on this as we want something great not just good or God forbid ok, or even perish the thought Bad :evil:
The proposed change won't make towed AT viable for you to use, it will make it viable against you. The AI tanks will never attack you if you have AT around. They already only really attack on leap days. They're chicken the rest of the time and they certainly don't attack AT of any kind very often. So if the AI won't attack, you're left with the usual problem of going around hunting them down which is something towed AT sucks at. Maybe they will be good on defensive scenarios, but it is usually the AI who is on defense. Hence why I say this mechanic will mostly be used against you.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Kerensky » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:11 pm

proline wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:34 pm
The proposed change won't make towed AT viable for you to use, it will make it viable against you. The AI tanks will never attack you if you have AT around. They already only really attack on leap days. They're chicken the rest of the time and they certainly don't attack AT of any kind very often. So if the AI won't attack, you're left with the usual problem of going around hunting them down which is something towed AT sucks at. Maybe they will be good on defensive scenarios, but it is usually the AI who is on defense. Hence why I say this mechanic will mostly be used against you.
Yea that's why I don't like the design behind ATG weapons. They are simply too powerful, and the AI is too smart to dive head first into them and commit seppuku. That's quite a heady statement, but it rings true. A towed ATG has fantastic init, with an init bonus when being attacked, no hard type vulnerability, and can carry some of the high AT attack values in the game. It's limited by it's mobility, which is the worst of any unit by far, and it's inability to act aggressively. On the other hand, you have an AI smart enough not to impale its Shermans on your 88mm roadblock, but it's also not smart enough to know what to do about it. This often ends up in a weird stalemate where a well positioned ATG unit is face to face with one or more powerful tanks, but no one is shooting at each other they just sit and stare.

This is why making ATG just more powerful with more bonuses just exacerbates the problem, because units are further disinclined from ever actually engaging the unit with their attack action. I think it would be nice if ATG had more of an Overwatch ability. If it's set up and deployed in position, which takes a lot of effort for towed ATG to accomplish, it should be in a position to fire as soon as something gets near it, regardless if the attacked unit wanted to get engaged or not. Tanks that drive too close to ATG get ambushed, and then maybe better scouting behavior will result so your expensive armor stop getting surprised by sneaky hidden ATGs.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by ErissN6 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:33 am

Kerensky wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:11 pm
better scouting behavior will result so your expensive armor stop getting surprised by sneaky hidden ATGs.
Scouting was maybe not enough usefull in PCorps (who want a feeble unit in a scenarized game? just relaunch the scenario), but it should be solved in PC2 using the new slots.
I hope too the scenarios in PC2 will be randomized: enemy can be placed at different areas, so we have to actually scout the map.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by naturesheva » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:19 pm

ErissN6 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:33 am
Kerensky wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:11 pm
better scouting behavior will result so your expensive armor stop getting surprised by sneaky hidden ATGs.
Scouting was maybe not enough usefull in PCorps (who want a feeble unit in a scenarized game? just relaunch the scenario), but it should be solved in PC2 using the new slots.
I hope too the scenarios in PC2 will be randomized: enemy can be placed at different areas, so we have to actually scout the map.
My suggestion is, only recon units can discover enemy units' exact stats in some terrains, for example city, forest, mountain. Normal units can only spot unit class, not equipments.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by proline » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:24 pm

naturesheva wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:19 pm
ErissN6 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:33 am
Kerensky wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:11 pm
better scouting behavior will result so your expensive armor stop getting surprised by sneaky hidden ATGs.
Scouting was maybe not enough usefull in PCorps (who want a feeble unit in a scenarized game? just relaunch the scenario), but it should be solved in PC2 using the new slots.
I hope too the scenarios in PC2 will be randomized: enemy can be placed at different areas, so we have to actually scout the map.
My suggestion is, only recon units can discover enemy units' exact stats in some terrains, for example city, forest, mountain. Normal units can only spot unit class, not equipments.
The game won't work with complicated scouting rules that are above the AI's understanding. It will just make the AI dumber. Think of how easy it is to ambush the AI now and then double that.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by anchopal » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:15 am

@Support fire / "in the sequel artillery will provice support fire against soft targets, while AT units will provide support against hard targets". Introducing support fire of ATs to adjacend units (especially infantry) sounds good. However, I think AT support fire against hard targets shouldn' be substituting artillery support fire. Artillery barrage was historically often in use to stop tank attacks. Therefore, I prefer introducing AT support fire against hard targets in addition to artillery (and air defence) support against all units.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by egrofik » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:33 am

In my opinion PC2 goes in the wrong direction .
I don't like the option to play with no turn limit. It's a historical game with real battles from WWII with a certain timeline, how you want to manage this?
And for me it works brilliant in PC, so why change this?
Also I don't like is the slot discussion, I don't want a second OOB.
Maybe have a look to PG2 (PGIIID), with some improvment this could be a way for PC2. You have only limited access to the best units and have the choice which hero unit gets an upgrade or not.
And btw you solve the problem with to many TigerII in the end game (hopefully also for AI with the IS2 ...).

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by 13obo » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:34 am

Again, people seem to be missing the point that this will be an OPTION. I don't get the complaints about something that can be turned on or off at whim. It's same thing with any other difficulty option like prestige slider for AI or player, random/chess dice rolls, etc, etc.

You can either play with it or not. There's no need to enforce your playstyle upon others and some people already expressed enthusiasm for the option in posts above.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by proline » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:43 pm

13obo wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:34 am
Again, people seem to be missing the point that this will be an OPTION. I don't get the complaints about something that can be turned on or off at whim.
If you go back and read the Dev Diary, you will see that the onus is on scenario designers to design their scenarios around this option. That means effort will be taken away from putting in cool things towards testing it on "no limit" mode. Designers only have so much time in their day. That means a compromise on quality even if you never turn the OPTION on. So it affects everyone.

Similarly, fragmenting the relatively small community into people who are playing essentially two different games is kind of sad. There's a difference between talking with people playing the same game at an easier mode (e.g. colonel mode vs. general) or playing a totally different game (e.g. chess vs. PzC).

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by 13obo » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:49 pm

You seem to be a proponent of removing the chess mode too, so no, I don't agree with you that game should be reduced to the 5 difficulties, because that's too simplistic and limits people's choices.

Also, designers can simply state the game is balanced around using the turn limit option on, same way they currently state a scenario is balanced around colonel difficulty, for example. Voila, the only extra work is writing that one sentence.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by goose_2 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:16 pm

One of my favorite items in Panzer Corps is all the ways to tweak the game to set it to standards that you want to fight it. So people like me have a level that they feel comfortable playing it Blind...Field Marshall for me, but once you feel comfortable fighting it at whatever level...you can than tweak it to any difficulty level you please...right now Double Field Marshall, Double Rommel, Increasing Manstein has been an extremely challenging enjoyable fun...
But that is just it, they have created enough ways to tweak it to give me freedom to create something I want to play, and now they are stating that this will be expanded in the next outing which makes me even happier, not sure why we would want to limit the number of settings that they want to create
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Rifraff » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:20 pm

Not too sure about the AT changes. A lot would depend on the AI, but I can see myself having a front line of Stugs or partisans backed by an AT and so just baiting the AI.

Just worried that tanks might lose effectiveness. Why have a tank in the front lines when you can have a throw away unit worth next to no prestige that can be super unit because it is backed by a AT.

I can see my attack force of a two tanks up front supported by an assault gun being replaced by a assault gun and a volkssturm up front supported by an AT..

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by klimbo12 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:53 pm

What you describe is what is great on paper and with perfect positioning and time for that, but what ends up happening is that terrain type, multiple units from different directions ?




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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by wargovichr » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:49 pm

Nice changes, but all details and tactical embellishments.
The Germans were great tacticians but lousy strategists.
What new optional -- "what if" elements, such as improved logistics, greater mechanization, earlier jump off, 'total war' industrial mobilization, long range bombers, better weapon (production) development (ME-262 fighter only), 1942 start in East and Caucusus after 'Mediterranean strategy' and fall of Britain, keeping German-Jewish atomic scientists, etc., will be available in PC2??
The Germans/Axis lost WWII because of strategy.
Germany/Axis lost because of Hitler's emotional attachment to ideology over best military strategy.
So, is this just another fancier iteration of historical events? I have history books.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Rudankort » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:54 pm

Hello All, thanks for a great discussion. I wondered how this discussion will develop without me interfering all the time, and it was really interesting to read. However, I think that now I need to clarify a few things from a dev's perspective, so let's get to it (where do I begin?..)
13obo wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:16 am
I feel I will but one thing that I am cautious about when adding more complicated game mechanics is... Will the AI handle it properly? More choice is more fun but I am afraid something Civilisation 6-alike may happen here with all the new mechanics. Civ 6 has many new brilliant gameplay mechanics over civ5, but the AI is so bad that even after a year and more of patching, it still fails miserably and is the most cited reason for a negative review in Steam. I myself played a bit but gave up as the AI was downright dumb.
I certainly understand where you are coming from. However, I think that the changines we are making are not THAT bad for the AI. Support fire in particular is not a new concept, it existed for artillery, AA and fighters already, so adding another type will not create a completely new challenge.
Asap wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:38 pm
Btw. why are AT and artillery guns not manned with animated soldiers? :)
There are two main reasons. First, the size of guns in WW2 varied greatly from tiny to huge. If we show soldiers in scale to their guns, they will be vastly different sizes. If we show all soldiers same size, they will be completely out of scale relative to their guns. Both look ridiculous. Second, the whole point of adding these soldiers is to show them firing the gun. If they just stand there and not actually operate the thing, it will look odd indeed. But all these animations (load the gun, aim, fire) would take a lot of play time and slow down game pace. Which is something we want to avoid.
ErissN6 wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:50 pm
Weird, I never felt there was a turn limit. I just attack the better. Problem with the option is this will divide the community, we will play 2 different games.
I feel that this particular option will not fragment the community more than any other existing option (weather, supply, fog of war, undo). The thing is, "no turn limit" does not change game tactics in any way, it does not change which units are better and which are worse, what's the best core composition etc. etc. It's almost like playing chess (real chess) without chess clock - no time pressure, but the game is the same. Most discussions on the forum will be relevant boith to people playing with a turn limit and without. The only exception I can think of are discussions of how to meet a tight deadline in a specific mission. But we will try to avoid tight deadlines in general, because they were never very popular with our players. I believe, Guderian was by far the least popular of bonus difficulties.
proline wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:29 pm
1) Transports already sucked. They don't need a nerf. They are weak, non-transferrable, non-sellable, often double the cost of the unit, take expensive damage even during combat when the unit is dismounted, and provide no benefit during combat.
I expect that in Panzer Corps 2 infantry will become much more important, and transports give it more speed. In the next dev diary I'll explain why speed can actually be important and worth investing into.
proline wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:29 pm
2) No word so far on how you are going to make recon viable. Remove the recon move penalty, make them so ft targets, make them not take up a unit slot, but do something.
Making them not taking up a slot can create very bad recon spamming issues, especially when coupled with the new split mechanic. However, under the new slot system they will of course take less slots than most other units.
proline wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:29 pm
3) Why can't you stop backlighting the battlefield so that the parts of the units that we get to see are always black?
I've already acknowldged this issue, and also promised the option to position the light source any way you like. What else can I do so that you don't worry so much about it? ;)
Kerensky wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:45 pm
I'm surprised by taking the step to potentially disable the turn limit, but I don't actually see it as a problem. The real question is how it will affect individual scenarios. If everyone can potentially last for infinite turns, does everyone need to be configured to potentially last for infinite turns? If it's easy to configure, sure why not. If it's a burdensome chore, you're going to have a problem.
The plan is to handle all issues related to "no turn limit" mode in the engine, without bothering scenario designers too much. However, as a content designer, you are free to "opt out" of this mode in any campaign, so this option is just not available (disabled) when playing this particular campaign.
Kerensky wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:45 pm
Prestige is always tricky, and however odd it's handling may have been, there was a reason. Pulling the rug out could have bad repercussions if the things they were supporting start go unsupported. Testing will be important. Minors giving more than Majors is a form of wound licking. If in your campaign progress, you seem to lack the CORE strength maybe you need to achieve Major victories, perhaps your CORE is understrengthed and needs help being rebuilt. Hence more money. But if you are earning the DVs, you're also earning other rewards beyond just currency, such as access to special units and special scenarios that you cannot just buy even with an infinite amount of money cheated in. The concepts are simple, special rewards you cannot normally purchase with just more money for the DVs, basic money assets to rebuild your CORE foundation if you only get as far as an MV. A multi-currency, if somewhat intangible, system was created from the uni-currency of prestige. Rewarding good performance and punishing poor performance sounds kind of snowbally to me... Strong get stronger and weak get weaker.
I certainly understand why in Panzer Corps minor victories granted more prestige, but alas, this still felt extremely odd and counter-intuitive to many players. And of course, in a situation like this, your best line of action was to take your time and achieve the minor, and also grab more prestige and experience from the mission itself, unless the major resulted in a different campaign path.

You are right that more straightforward prestige assignment, based on player's performance, results in stronger snowballing, but in the new game the slots are going to be a major factor in the size and strength of the core. Good players will not be able to buy a significantly better army, while weaker players can fill their slots with maybe not the best but still a viable force. In general, prestige cost exponent will be steaper in the new game, so you can buy a very decent unit by spending a lot less than top equipment costs (mich like in real life where extra 10% of functionality can easily cost several times more :) ).

Finally, I wonder how important the problem of weak players really is. From my experience, such players simply reload when they lose their favorite unit, so licking the wounds after heavy losses is not their style. Besides, on lower difficulties I plan to use "free elite replacements between missions" option by default, because it is a very casual-friendly option, intended specifically for weaker players.
Kerensky wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:45 pm
Slots, we'll see. But I'll campaign pretty hard against transports taking up slots. It sounds good on paper, but it doesn't work in reality, as evidenced in other titles. You will end up with transports costing too many slots, and thus never being purchased ever, or transports costing so few slots that they are meaningless. Transport necessity is 100% a slave to scenario design, because who needs ground transports on a map where you are involved in an amphibious invasion and given free naval transport. Or who needs them if you are fighting in a dense and small map. You need them on big open maps with a timer rushing you forward but only limited enemy resistance, like PzC USA East Coast. As soon as your transports increase your core slot allotment of infantry by 50, 100, or even 200%, they're going to all be discarded. It's not a question of cheap transport vs expensive transports, it's a balance of having transports vs having an understrength army. I don't ask if my basic infantry deserves cheap horse or expensive half tracks, I just get more basic infantry all with no transports. Because 1 unit moves 3 hexes at fights at strength 10. 2 units can cover twice as many hexes and deliver twice as much combat strength. What does a transport do? Allow you to cover twice as many hexes, but actually degrades combat strength if you get caught 'in transport'. An interesting idea, a failure in practice unless these issues are somehow addressed.
I'm not opposed at all to the idea of making some transports zero-cost, but I'm also pretty sure that the very best transports in existence (and which were very rare in real life) deserve a non-zero cost. It still will be less than the cost of the unit itself though.
Kerensky wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:45 pm
Hell this is in direct conflict with the ability to disable mission timers, because speed is the only asset transports bring, and the NEED FOR SPEED being disabled...
Well good-bye slot hungry transports.
As I said, there will be other incentives for faster offensive, which I discuss in the following dev diary. Since it will go out within the next few days, I won't spoil it now :) so stay tuned.
Kerensky wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:00 pm
Overstrength. Yea that was talked about, but my major concern was this mechanic was a growth system. Something you slowly earned as you played. It's become a staple of gaming, the need to grow as you play. This is why people hate multiplayer systems that don't dish out rewards, they don't see any reason to play something that isn't handing them rewards and upgrades and ranks and promotions and loot boxes. Nevermind playing is supposed to be reward in itself, that concept is long gone and died with this modern idea of playing games for a living. :P
Anyways point is, as long as other growth mechanics step in to replace the loss of overstrength as a growth mechanic, it should be fine.
Well, experience and awards are two mechanics which are closely related to growth. Heroes too, but heroes are now transferrable between units, so they are less fitting in this role. Overstrength, on the other hand, can be a very interesting asset both in early campaigns and in MP.
Kerensky wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:00 pm
I wonder if fire support is for towed ATG only. Because some self propelled AT units are pretty powerfully armed against soft targets, in fact they are designed specifically for that duty. In fact, thinking this through, there is a very tough triangle of units to assault now. 2 Arty and 1 ATG unit. The old method was just throw tanks at this defensive cluster. You absorb harmless arty fire and support and eat their ammo while eating their faces at the same time. And the poor, slow, towed, ATG could only watch in powerless horror. But with the ATG in support, especially something as powerful as a 17 pdr or Pak 88... these things will turn your arty devouring Panzer IV or Sherman into swiss cheese. Again the old answer was to use infantry. Crack that towed AT with infantry assault after supporting artillery swept away, problem solved. But now you need tanks to preclear the arty for the infantry but the tanks cannot act until you preclear the atg, and we're back to step one.

Scary as that sounds in defense, as soon as you self propel the arty and AT units, now you have a rolling fortress that cannot be directly assaulted... I am very curious to see how this actually functions in practice, because it seems to have a major theoretical problem. Just imagine 1 Jagdpanther escorted by 2 Wurfrahmen. The Jagdpanther will turn any Allied tank assault into dust with ease, but no infantry assault will ever survive assaulting the Jagdpanther with 2 supporting units, and even trying to infantry assault a single Wurfrahmen is going to be a costly disaster with the other providing support.
Well, first of all, in such a triangle the AT is not covered at all from armoured attackers. For these units Jagdpanther covered with two arties is not harder than the same Jagdpanther all alone. How do you deal with a lone Jagdpanther in the open in Panzer Corps? Also, you are of course right that infantry will have hard time attacking this fortress, but Panzer Corps had the same problem with any arty cluster. If anything, infantry is going to be more powerful in the new game, so such an attack may not be as crazy as it would be in the prequel.

Otherwise, we are talking about a cluster of very powerful (and expensive) units here, so dealing with them must not necessarily be easy. :) However, running them out of ammo is always a viable tactics, espcially considering that a) ammo will be more limited in the new game and b) we now have split mechanics. Attacking from the air is another approach. Even if there is a strong air cover, strategic bombers can be a good choice, in order to suppress and run out of ammo the group. Arty suppression can also be very useful. Finally, if such groups prove very effective, we can very well expect that your group will soon run into a similar group from your opponent. :) Tactics of two triangles fighting each other might be quite funny, especially with the new "exchange units" action which will allow any triangle to regroup while preserving its integrity.
Sourdust wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:07 am
The fact that art can't provide support fire against tanks is an interesting design choice - somewhat ahistorical, as in the real war artillery was often very effective against armor - not necessarily direct kills, but lots of damage and disruption. (treads, forcing tanks to button up, superficial damage, cratering of landscape and disruption of supporting infantry).
Ultimately, arty support and AT support are traits, so we are assigning them on a unit by unit basis. Some heavy arty might deserve "AT support" trait, but more testing is required to tell. Also, artillery will keep it's suppressing role, both vs. soft and hard targets.
Sourdust wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:07 am
Separately, I'd be very interested to see how devs are addressing the snowballing issue. In PC1 I think this was a real problem, especially since you didn't necessarily know whether you were ahead or behind the "power curve" until a dozen or more scenarios down the track, when you suddenly realised you have nowhere near enough prestige to make it through 1944, much less 1945.
This is not just the problem of snowballing, but also about knowing what lies ahead. With random campaigns, nobody can know for sure what scenarios lie ahead and what kind of core composition is required. To reduce the problem of running into dead ends, we are making core structure much more flexible. In Panzer Corps, the decision to upgrade was a very responsible one, because you spent full price of new equipment, and could not roll back without losing prestige. In Panzer Corps 2 upgrade cost is always the differecne between old and new, so you can always revert unwise decision and recover prestige spent in the process. This, plus the new slot system and steeper cost exponent which I've mentioned above, should make this kind of a problem much less prominent.

In any case, each player is supposed to find the right difficulty which fits his playing experience. On lower difficulties there will be many options in place which help a newby to recover from a bad situation. Free elite replacements between missions, reforming units with very little exp penalty, heroes never die or get wounded etc. On such difficulty level the most important task is to win the mission at hand, and if you manage to do it, you should be in a decent position to continue. On the other hand, on a more hardcore difficulty this safety net no longer exists. However, the game will offer plenty of ways to earn prestige. A good player will know how to utilize these methods in order to get out of a tight situation.
Sourdust wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:07 am
The more I think about this and compare with other games (UoC, for instance), the more I think a separation between "victory" points and "buy more stuff" points makes sense. Decisive victories might give more victory points, but less reinforcement points, than marginal victories. This creates a self-correcting mechanism, where successive decisive victories are harder and harder to achiever, but marginal victories give you more of a chance to catch up on the power curve. A pure prestige system with more rewards for greater victories is a vicious cycle, leading to the snowballing effect.
Yes, a system with two separate resources is easier to balance. But, although unit slots are not "requisition points" per se, I expect that they will limit snowballing issues to a significant degree.
ptje63 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:51 pm
No turn limit should have consequences for follow up scenarios - the longer it takes in theory other scenarios can end up being postponed. I would opt for less prestige awarded if one choses to continue to play beyond a certain pre-chosen amount of turns.
Not necessarily, because we are not saying turn duration is the same in both modes. With turn limit off, turns will not be getting a date assigned to them, so we can still assume the battle ended at about the same time as historically.
proline wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:43 pm
If you go back and read the Dev Diary, you will see that the onus is on scenario designers to design their scenarios around this option. That means effort will be taken away from putting in cool things towards testing it on "no limit" mode. Designers only have so much time in their day. That means a compromise on quality even if you never turn the OPTION on. So it affects everyone.
The problem is, "cool things" for you could mean nothing for other people, and vice versa. Any game tries to cater to different tastes of different people. Otherwise, even multiplayer crowd and people who create and play mods could very easily be dismissed as "minority". Obviously, both MP and mod subsystems are difficult and time-consuming to create, and ultimately this affects everyone. :)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #4

Post by Kerensky » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:10 am

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:54 pm
Well, first of all, in such a triangle the AT is not covered at all from armoured attackers. For these units Jagdpanther covered with two arties is not harder than the same Jagdpanther all alone. How do you deal with a lone Jagdpanther in the open in Panzer Corps? Also, you are of course right that infantry will have hard time attacking this fortress, but Panzer Corps had the same problem with any arty cluster. If anything, infantry is going to be more powerful in the new game, so such an attack may not be as crazy as it would be in the prequel.

Otherwise, we are talking about a cluster of very powerful (and expensive) units here, so dealing with them must not necessarily be easy. :) However, running them out of ammo is always a viable tactics, espcially considering that a) ammo will be more limited in the new game and b) we now have split mechanics. Attacking from the air is another approach. Even if there is a strong air cover, strategic bombers can be a good choice, in order to suppress and run out of ammo the group. Arty suppression can also be very useful. Finally, if such groups prove very effective, we can very well expect that your group will soon run into a similar group from your opponent. :) Tactics of two triangles fighting each other might be quite funny, especially with the new "exchange units" action which will allow any triangle to regroup while preserving its integrity.
Good to get a response to everything said here. I'll focus just on this piece here.

I'm confused by the statement that infantry will be more powerful. Maybe we didn't play the same game, because infantry are the best (economical) units in the entire game. No unit can do as much as they do for the prices they come at. The fact the cheapest unit in the entire game can threaten the most expensive shows how good (properly used) infantry is. Conscript swarms taking down King Tigers works in open and close terrain. In open, they drain all its ammo, and in close, they actually are killing King Tigers not just ammo draining. The reason infantry don't seem good is because the campaign environment hurts them. They are required to absorb huge losses to do their job, and constant elite replenishment to maintain infantry experience are untenable compared to overpowering a Tiger that pays for itself when it blows up 10 strength Allied tanks in a single shot and takes no return damage. In multiplayer, infantry are the kings; tanks are luxury units you only wield in absolutely critical areas and rarely purchase new unless you are absolutely swimming in resources but low on core slots.

Saying lone AT is vulnerable as ever is a problematic statement. Any AT worth it's salt (Pak 75, Pak 88, 17 pdr, 85mm, 100mm, et cetera) doesn't ever need any help, it's absolutely going to dominate any armor foolish enough to engage it head on.

Exhibit A. Elite Panther tries to take on equally elite 100m ATG.

Image

Yea, okay Panther, you go ahead and commit suicide on that gun why don't you.

Exhibit B. Elite infantry takes on the same ATG.

Image

Complete reversal. Infantry obliterates ATG and uses its burned corpse as charcoal for the next BBQ.

But when that ATG is protected by an ARTY unit, the infantry gets punished hard.

Image

So the normal answer to Exhibit C is use a tank to tackle that arty piece first and smash it to bits. Then the infantry can 1 - 7 the AT and eat it for dinner.
But under your new rules, that towed AT would support the ARTY unit... meaning even something as powerful as a Panther is going to get ripped to piece trying to engage that artillery piece. The problem is that there is no direct way to engage these units anymore, because AT supports ARTY but ARTY also supports AT. You may respond to say use artillery fire to soften an arty unit. What if its a heavily armored ARTY support piece like an Su-122 or even as big as ISU-152? Arty softening fire won't do anything to that.

It's pretty clear what's happening here actually. This is why 'combined arms' are so effective and this is a textbook example of combined arms tactics. You have a mix of units that all support each other, any weaknesses of one unit's abilities is covered by the strengths of another unit's abilities.

So really, you have integrated proper combined arms tactics in Panzer Corps II. Congratulations, this should have been its own dev diary because true combined arms mechanics have never really existed in Panzer General games. That said, it's a huge problem because it's only defensive combined arms. Attacking into a combined arms formation is awkward and really doesn't have a good answer anymore. If AT support fire goes live and it creates true combined arms mechanics in gameplay, there must be combined arms offensive tactics to compensate. Otherwise, and you joked about triangles fighting triangles, but you might live to regret making a joke of that when players see how effective this is against the AI.

Is the AI really going to be able to set up these defensive triangles without scenario designer direct input? I doubt it. Even worse, will the AI even have a prayer of being able to attack a player who turtles into these defensive formations? The AI has no clue how to handle a lone ATG gun, it will drive their tanks up to it and then stop. This is the classic AT roadblock problem we tried to solve in Warhammer 40k with the 'berserk' AI setting. Remember how hard I pushed for that, to prevent this problem in that game? Well it worked... shame other aspects of the game didn't though. :P

But without berserk AI configurations, where the AI attacks with zero regard for self preservation and zero regard for how bad the odds are, as soon as players start using combined arm tactics against the AI, it will be absolutely powerless to fight back.

And that's a problem.

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