Login

russian armor

Visibility

10 Apr 2013, 20:39 PM
#1
avatar of Inverse
Coder Red Badge

Posts: 944

A transplant from a thread I posted on the Sega forums...

http://forums.sega.com/showthread.php?479003-Visibility

I've been playing a lot of vCoH lately, trying to figure out why exactly it's so much more satisfying to play and control than CoH2. Aside from the obvious interface bugs (can't attack-move in minimap, tactical map all screwed up), the biggest thing I could come up with was visibility. Playing vCoH is amazing, because I can actually see stuff! It's incredible! It's also incredibly stupid that such a fundamental aspect of RTS as this is entirely missing from CoH2.

The Interface

Yes, everyone's been complaining about the interface, and yes, I'm going to be doing it some more. I think it's very telling that the interface is one of the biggest problem areas right now. It's absolutely horrendous, and changes things that didn't need changing in the first place (much like almost all of the fundamental changes Relic has made to the game, but that's a topic for another thread). It's cluttered, and it makes things impossible to find.

In vanilla, all the information you needed was in the bottom left of the screen. Resources, minimap, CPs, it was all there, and all extremely clear. In CoH2, you can barely tell the difference between total manpower and manpower income right now, and you need to look at an area of the screen that you would never look at otherwise.

Furthermore, gameplay cues are terribly unclear. Is your squad suppressed? Who knows? All there is to tell you is a tiny yellow image, and god forbid if you're in a blizzard! In vanilla, the entire squad icon flashed yellow outwardly, leaving no doubt in your mind when a squad was suppressed or pinned.

Experience markers are another example of this. In vanilla, the experience markers were both extremely easy to see, and extremely useful because they would appear over the units you killed instead of the units who did the killing, thus giving you yet another piece of visual feedback to help with your play. In CoH2, the experience markers are grey and semi-opaque, and half the maps are pure white. Where's the logic in that?

Weapons

In vCoH, you always knew where your units were shooting, and you always knew where damage you were taking was coming from. In CoH2, you have no idea. Nothing is clear at all, because nothing is shown to you. A unit attacks, and a tiny projectile flies across the screen, one you can't barely see.

In vanilla, a unit throwing a grenade had to perform a long wind-up animation followed by a throw animation, and the grenade that was thrown was both large enough to be seen visually and had a contour trail behind it to provide even more visual feedback. In CoH2, grenades are extremely tiny, the throw animation is a quarter of the length, and there's no wind up at all. Furthermore, there's no contour trail, so if you happen to miss the animation itself, you're completely screwed. Same goes from AT grenades and rifle grenades.

In vanilla, sniper and AT gun shots would have contour trails as well, to give the player feedback on where the shots are coming from. In CoH2, this does not exist. I can't count the number of times I've taken damage and had no idea where it was coming from. This is terrible, terrible design, and it's a huge step back from a system that is nearly 7 years old. Instead, we have a tiny little projectile, and again, if you don't see it shot, good luck figuring out where it came from. Stuff just dies in CoH2, with no feedback as to the reason. Give players feedback! It's a fundamental aspect of design in any software system.

Mines are another big problem. In vanilla, there was no doubt when a mine went off. Even if you weren't looking when it happened, the sound and the visual feedback of the distinctive crater made mine recognition a breeze. In CoH2, it's nearly impossible to tell when a mine goes off because there is essentially no crater to speak of, and very little audio feedback as well. Tell your players what is going on in the game!

Blizzards

Of course, all of these problems are compounded by the biggest problem in the game right now: blizzards. As they stand, blizzards are by far the worst aspect of Company of Heroes 2. The combination of reduced movespeed, reduced unit visibility, and reduce physical visibility is absolutely awful. For the sake of this thread, I'll focus on the physical visibility.

Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to obstruct the player's view of the battlefield during a blizzard? It's pathetic that you can barely physically see your units on your screen, and it makes for incredibly frustrating gameplay. Want to dodge a grenade? Too bad, because not only is it harder to do in general, but it's impossible to see when one is being thrown because the screen has been artificially whitewashed in the name of "realism".

Playing vCoH over the past few days has been a breath of fresh air. When I play that game, I feel in control, because the interface and game mechanics have been designed to enhance that feeling of control, not diminish it. Everything that has been added to CoH2 right now feels like it's been added to reduce this sense of control. I don't feel like I have control of my units, I don't feel like I have control of the game, all because every effort seems to have been made to make elements essential to that control as difficult to see as humanly possible.

My experience with CoH2 has been one of frustration. I see the potential, but I also see the changes that have been made for the sake of changing things rather than for good, intelligent design reasons. There are ways to make CoH2 a different experience from CoH1 without completely stripping the fundamental design principles in the process.

Edit: A clarification, because I've seen this mentioned a lot. You'll notice I've avoided mentioning anything about balance or strategy. This is intentional. It's far too early to judge if CoH2 will be an engaging game strategically, and that aspect of the game is relatively easy to change. It is much harder, on the other hand, to change core game features, which is what I am commenting on here. I also do my best to explain why aspects of gameplay and the interface were better in vCoH than they are now in CoH2. If you disagree with my reasoning, please say so. But please don't simply state that CoH2 is a different game, as that does not justify bad design and contributes nothing to the conversation.
10 Apr 2013, 20:56 PM
#2
avatar of Qvazar

Posts: 723

I can't believe how you hit the nail on the head so precisely!
10 Apr 2013, 20:57 PM
#3
avatar of Sojourner

Posts: 52

+1

Since i don't have the password, has there been any responses from devs?
10 Apr 2013, 20:58 PM
#4
avatar of m00nch1ld

Posts: 293

Sorry but i must agree on everything you said.
10 Apr 2013, 20:59 PM
#5
avatar of GeneralHell

Posts: 1561

+1 Well said :thumb:

I too, see the potential CoH2 has. The action is more intense and some stuff just needs time to get used too. But the stuff you pointed out, is so true. I have no clue what is happening on the battlefield in CoH2. I feel 'lost' when playing the game. It is impossible to keep your units alive unless you babysit them. Because if you put a T34 somewhere and you go micro a squad on the right, you'll come back to a dead tank. And there is no way of telling what happened.

Relic, if you guys read Inverse' post. Please, please listen to this. This is SO important, can't stress that enough..
10 Apr 2013, 21:01 PM
#6
avatar of TheRover

Posts: 3

Fix what Inverse said and you have a great game, don't fix and sadly it will soon be forgotten.

Great write-up.
10 Apr 2013, 21:02 PM
#7
avatar of Qvazar

Posts: 723

Inverse, you should really camp out at the Relic office and demand that every decision taken goes through you :p
They can make this game so good, but they really need our help doing it!
10 Apr 2013, 21:20 PM
#8
avatar of Thrill

Posts: 290

how this is not breaking NDA?!?
10 Apr 2013, 21:27 PM
#9
avatar of AmiPolizeiFunk
Admin Black Badge

Posts: 10894

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Apr 2013, 21:20 PMThrill
how this is not breaking NDA?!?


The written ban portion of the NDA was lifted today. We are now allowed to discuss the beta.

Great write-up Inverse!
10 Apr 2013, 21:34 PM
#10
avatar of cr4wler
Referee Badge

Posts: 803

10 Apr 2013, 21:37 PM
#11
avatar of TychoCelchuuu
Senior Caster Badge

Posts: 1497

You and cr4wler have both done great jobs explaining a lot of places that CoH 2 is lacking. I hope Relic understands that you two are right and has enough time and resources and expertise to fix the problems you two point out.
10 Apr 2013, 21:38 PM
#12
avatar of ROCCAwarMACHINE

Posts: 92

if they will not fix some things, some of them inverse pointed out the NDA will be last problem, becouse if not be good enough, and playable, ppl will stick with coh1. Its beta and cant be better time to fix big issuse now than anytime later.
10 Apr 2013, 21:40 PM
#13
avatar of Matanza

Posts: 102

+1

perfect!

except blizzards are cool.
10 Apr 2013, 21:58 PM
#14
avatar of RagingJenni

Posts: 482

I agree on everything except blizzards. I love the idea and implementation, and I think the problems you outlined can be fixed by making everything else a bit clearer. (Nades, animations, where fire is coming from etc.)
10 Apr 2013, 22:03 PM
#15
avatar of Thrill

Posts: 290

I hate deep snow. More than a blizzard.
10 Apr 2013, 22:10 PM
#16
avatar of cr4wler
Referee Badge

Posts: 803


I would copy this text on this forum if I were you. Maybe NuclearKangaroo will not follow us here ;)


haha, problem is, i linked pictures, which would not be allowed, and i can't be arsed to remove those pictures and search for one that is not on NDA....
10 Apr 2013, 22:20 PM
#17
avatar of Purlictor

Posts: 252

Very well written, and I completely agree.
10 Apr 2013, 22:25 PM
#18
avatar of GeneralHell

Posts: 1561

I agree on everything except blizzards. I love the idea and implementation, and I think the problems you outlined can be fixed by making everything else a bit clearer. (Nades, animations, where fire is coming from etc.)

Dude, every game comes to a complete halt for 3 minutes during a blizzard. Your troops move slow, you can't see shit. You have to sit in a haltrack, house or around a fire to not have all your troops die. It's well made, I give 'em that. But ffs, keep it out of automatch..
10 Apr 2013, 22:28 PM
#19
avatar of ROCCAwarMACHINE

Posts: 92

jenni is not dude

just sayin ^^
10 Apr 2013, 22:32 PM
#20
avatar of Kolaris

Posts: 293

I'm still, perhaps naively, of the opinion that Blizzards can be worked into a positive gameplay element that opens up more options rather than stalling the game. It just needs lots and lots of tweaking.

What probably won't get tweaked later is the physical visibility portion of Blizzards so I'm glad Inverse brought that up. It needs to be addressed asap.
1 user is browsing this thread: 1 guest

Operations

Rewind Events Summer Cup
Event in Progress

SHOUT IT OUT!

No Profanity Number of Shouts
Refresh Shout Box
Death's Head: ditch ostheer, for now that fact is in a coma/on life support
Today, 00:41 AM
The Shape: are ppsh decent against OKW
Today, 00:30 AM
The Shape: yea mech ass is decent
Today, 00:28 AM
Aerohank: in 1v1 at least, team games is a different story
Today, 00:19 AM
Aerohank: It depends on what doctrine you are using, if you use mechanised assault it's pretty easy
Today, 00:18 AM
NorthWeapon: But I'mma keep trying anyways. Anyone agree Ostheer is one of the harder factions to win with? Is it possibly underpowered? I have no clue
Today, 00:18 AM
NorthWeapon: :'C idk what the problem is. I didn't have this issue before. Used to be top 100 in 2v2s to 4v4s now I'm in huge loss streaks
Today, 00:17 AM
NorthWeapon: I cant win with Ostheer in 1v1s and 2v2s
Today, 00:16 AM
DandyFrontline: Just finished Valiant Hearts - was crying
Yesterday, 22:21 PM
Abdul: just finished a game with a single katy doing 100+ kills
Yesterday, 21:57 PM

Ladders Top 10

  • #
    Steam Alias
    W
    L
    %
    Streak
Data provided by Relic Relic Entertainment

Replay highlight

Board Info

635 posts in the last 24h
4583 posts in the last week
17517 posts in the last month
Registered members: 7426
Welcome our newest member, NiceGuyAut
Most online: 472 users on 22 Jul 2014, 23:02 PM