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COH3 Retreat Paths, Solved

22 Sep 2021, 15:14 PM
#21
avatar of gunther09
Donator 22

Posts: 506

If you support this, please say so in the comments.


Whenever I read something and think "why has this not beed done before?", it usually is strong indicator of "I like it a lot."
Your #1 is exactly this.
Easy UI, easy to use.
It probably is not used often in the heat of a skirmish, but sometimes it will, and it is a good way to learn the map in the initial capping phase. Press the "predictive retreat button" a couple of times and learn the map.

IF (all caps intended) this becomes a priority, I support your #1 very much
22 Sep 2021, 15:18 PM
#22
avatar of gunther09
Donator 22

Posts: 506

Another idea (worse than your #1): give a directional retreat order.
Like the way you set up an MG. You can give that retreat a direction.
That way you would give a directional retreat order, and the squad would retreat the first 5-20 range into that direction and then start its normal retreat.
You would not want to allow that in any direction opposed to your base.
This idea is not perfect, like your #2, but may be it is food for thought.
22 Sep 2021, 23:31 PM
#23
avatar of Rosbone
Senior Mapmaker Badge

Posts: 1743 | Subs: 2

Another idea (worse than your #1): give a directional retreat order.
Like the way you set up an MG. You can give that retreat a direction.
That way you would give a directional retreat order, and the squad would retreat the first 5-20 range into that direction and then start its normal retreat.
You would not want to allow that in any direction opposed to your base.
This idea is not perfect, like your #2, but may be it is food for thought.

I have suggested this in the past also.

There should be two retreat options.
1) Normal instant retreat to base.
2) A retreat button similar to A-MOVE. The unit moves to the Amove spot then back to base.

I suggest #2 because retreats usually are decided in a split second. You dont have time to map things out.

The problem with normal retreats is when you are on the opposite side of a long flat movement blocker. You have no idea which way the unit will go.

For #2 I would suggest retreating only backwards not forwards as Gunther suggested.
23 Sep 2021, 01:59 AM
#24
avatar of Spanky
Senior Strategist Badge

Posts: 1798 | Subs: 2

Let's not make a core function more complicated. I feel a minor tweak to values should be considered when pathfinding for more consistency. Perhaps add a red line on the minimap if visual cue is needed.
23 Sep 2021, 05:37 AM
#25
avatar of mrgame2

Posts: 1738

jump backJump back to quoted post23 Sep 2021, 01:59 AMSpanky
Let's not make a core function more complicated. I feel a minor tweak to values should be considered when pathfinding for more consistency. Perhaps add a red line on the minimap if visual cue is needed.


i am with this. at least for now, we can do soft retreat or finding a safer time to retreat.

use the more powerful cpu today and improve the AI pathfinding, not just retreat, but everything else. units gotta be smarter to move about more realistic
23 Sep 2021, 10:41 AM
#26
avatar of Stormless
Senior Caster Badge

Posts: 762 | Subs: 4



Retreat paths are a foundational part of COH and its critical that they work as intended. Its possible Item 2 doesnt go anywhere because of its complexities, but Item 1 is a no brainer for COH3.



Hey WhiteFlash,

I'm grateful to see the effort you are putting into opening up this topic. I know a lot of people have complaints about the retreat pathing both players and map creators.

I'll just break down my opinions based on your points in simple form:


1.

My personal opinion is that retreat is already in a good place conceptually and in design. Mainly because it allows you to bring units back to base quickly for reinforcement or healing, which importantly helps with the time pacing of the match. I feel that is the sole purpose of retreat and supports the games squad member and unit health feature in COH2.

I have never been fond of the idea that retreating as a feature should allow you to save units that you have played badly or taken risks with. Flanking in enemy territory etc has risks which are already helped out by faster running time on retreat and damage reduction and I feel that's a fair compromise already. So I don't feel that allowing players to predict retreat will add anything to gameplay. It could possibly lead to more frustration that someone could just run in with masses of infantry and know they can easily retreat to safety. The outskirts of the map have always been higher risk areas because of this and provide necessary opportunities for players to punish opponents.


2.

Despite my thoughts on point 1, I do think that adding waypoints for retreat on some maps (I am thinking more of bigger maps such as 3v3 & 4v4 maps) may be a positive addition. I think this because the maps can be made large enough that flanks etc can still be made.

Let's be completely clear, some factions (UKF, USF, OKW) already have units or buildings which can toggle abilities to alter retreat pathing. If you were a god tier player, you could already use something like the major to alter retreat paths in the game, so the idea of way point markers is no different as long as they don't prevent you from punishing your opponents for risky flanks that don't work i.e waypoints that hug the edges of the map.

I would hope that there would still be a use for abilities which provide retreat path changes such as the Major does as I think the more opportunities you put in the game for a player to change things up, the more potential an RTS has to be diverse and interesting.


____

Suggestion

As a suggestion for retreat paths I had previously thought of a mechanic where retreat is a 'mode' where you press the button and the squad is immediately put into retreat mode with the same current speed and damage reduction values. It can't fight, but breaks suppression factors etc. Then, you must manually run that squad back to base where retreat mode only deactivates in base territory. That would then allow players to retreat in any direction as they see fit and completely remove any pathing issues.

Please note though, whilst I suggest this, I really don't think it's necessary.
23 Sep 2021, 13:25 PM
#27
avatar of Kasarov
Senior Modmaker Badge

Posts: 421 | Subs: 2

I like #1. I know it's technically already in the game, but the suggestion makes it a lot more intuitive/quickly tell what's the retreat path without fiddling around with the minimap.

I think #2 might cause edge case scenarios where the player is left wondering why they didn't just retreat straight to base.

I'd also like to comment that since CoH3 has the autovault function, by far the simplest and easiest to implement improvement is to simply have infantry autovault while retreating; no more running around that low stone fence to get to the other side.
23 Sep 2021, 14:24 PM
#28
avatar of RepoRogue

Posts: 19

I like your first suggestion a great deal. The exact UI/UX implementation would need some work but that doesn't at first glance seem like a huge issue to me.

I'm a lot more skeptical of your second suggestion. I can easily see this being frustrating for players for whom this system would consistently increase their retreat time and therefore decrease the up time of their squads.

I can see your reasoning, but I don't agree that the benefits outweigh the costs. That being said, I wouldn't be opposed to seeing something like that being tested. I just don't see it as an unambiguously positive change like your first suggestion.
23 Sep 2021, 14:57 PM
#29
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13189 | Subs: 1

My suggestion is simpler.

Allow player to set a retreat point inside of base sector.

If that is too advantage change it into an area around HQ.

This will also reduce the effectiveness of firing arty into enemy base.

If I am not mistaken can be applied to COH2 also with little trouble (commissar retreat).
23 Sep 2021, 15:00 PM
#30
avatar of Sumi

Posts: 132

I think this is complicating the gameplay way too much. Currently, retreating is the shortest path to the base and players run without stopping until they reach the HQ or FRP. My points are random bullets not in answer to your respective points.

1. As per current system, you have to cover your flanks and guess the retreat timing i.e the perfect moment so that you have dealt enough damage and your unit can manage to stay alive with the retreat. This is the skill required by the player retreating the unit.
For your opponent if he tries to place lethal squads on your retreat than I would say this is the skill and tactics used by your opponent in getting crucial wipes. He has decide to not directly attack your frontline but instead flank or sneak into the retreat path of your weakened units. All of this requires good understanding of the game and also skills to achieve this.

2. Directed retreat paths are just another way of taking the unpredictability out of the game and not rewarding the player who managed to sneak behind your lines. This directed retreat paths would require more inputs from the owner and would be less rewarding to the opponent who tried to get in the flanks. Planes crashing, Vehicle abandoning I guess were two important characteristics of this game that provided uniqueness to COH2 which were later nerfed on public demand and just like that the excitement for these died regardless of which end you were of i.e receiving or attacking. I believe that the directed retreat paths would do the same to the game.
24 Sep 2021, 11:00 AM
#31
avatar of |GB| The Lnt.599

Posts: 320 | Subs: 1

I think feature one could be a nice addition to the game. But maybe just implement it as a line on the mini map that shows the route, while holding retreat or something like that.Rather then a route through the battle field. With this feature a player could check if he can retreat safely or would run actually straight into a blob because of bush formations for example.

I think feature two would be taking away to many of the random elements in the game. I feel players should be rewarded for intercepting an enemy unit on a bad part of the route.
24 Sep 2021, 11:33 AM
#32
avatar of Rosbone
Senior Mapmaker Badge

Posts: 1743 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post23 Sep 2021, 15:00 PMSumi
Currently, retreating is the shortest path to the base

If only this were true. Sadly, it is not.

Was watching SIBERIAN stream one night and saw his units do this on BAKU:

Retreat path is straight to base from the enemy fuel to your HQ.


But the actual path used by Relic is:


Maybe there is a good reason for this. By the time I saw this I had nearly deleted the game and didnt care enough to figure it out. But this happens all the time.

When we did the Arnhem Checkpoint update I spent a couple days trying to get units to retreat south and NOT go thru the city from the east side. It could not be done. They always go thru the city no matter what.

Spent a lot of time on Lienne forest city side trying to get decent retreats also (Sander93 requested it) but it could not be done.

26 Sep 2021, 05:55 AM
#33
avatar of Tom_BR

Posts: 70

could not implement a way to display the direction that the squadron will run in the retreat? I think that would be more useful. The player could decide whether or not to retreat based on the direction the squad will flee according to the visual indicator.
27 Sep 2021, 14:58 PM
#34
avatar of Sumi

Posts: 132

jump backJump back to quoted post24 Sep 2021, 11:33 AMRosbone

If only this were true. Sadly, it is not.

Was watching SIBERIAN stream one night and saw his units do this on BAKU:

Retreat path is straight to base from the enemy fuel to your HQ.


But the actual path used by Relic is:


Maybe there is a good reason for this. By the time I saw this I had nearly deleted the game and didnt care enough to figure it out. But this happens all the time.

When we did the Arnhem Checkpoint update I spent a couple days trying to get units to retreat south and NOT go thru the city from the east side. It could not be done. They always go thru the city no matter what.

Spent a lot of time on Lienne forest city side trying to get decent retreats also (Sander93 requested it) but it could not be done.



Then their is no logical reason as to why the retreat paths should not be fixed lol. The examples that you have used are the widely played automatch maps and the retreat paths is quite long than the straight path to the base. I was of the opinion that the retreat paths are the shortest paths to the base but this literally throws me off as why it is not the case and changes based upon surroundings.


If you decide to do a test again I would like to drop a request for Ettelbruck stations and Angermunde maps I believe the retreat path must be problematic for those maps too.
1 Dec 2021, 18:30 PM
#35
avatar of sluzbenik

Posts: 875

Option 1 is best and really would solve the one major aggravation with retreat paths even for people who know the maps and possible paths well - if your unit is in front of an obstacle and has to go east or west to retreat south and you are near the middle of it, it's very hard to guess which way it's going to go. One way = squad wipe, the other, you save the unit. Most of the time people won't even need to use it I think.

Option 2 is just prima facie unfeasible. The murder stuff on retreat meta is already aggravating as hell and this would just raise it to silly new levels with camping of retreat waypoints.

Alternately, I am not a fan of this mechanic anyway - I totally disagree with Stormless that players should lose units for taking risks. COH already punishes aggression and risk-taking enough in numerous other ways and overly rewards caution. So you could just buff received accuracy on retreat to make retreats less painful, though I realize this lowers the skill cap. But keep in mind that making retreats less deadly would just lengthen games, the better player is still going to win, but it lets people make a few mistakes and indulge in some risky moves. To me, that would make for a more exciting and fun game.

A concrete example is the very common initial con/con/eng vs gren/mg/pio engagement. In the current game, unless the Axis player really screws up, this engagement gets lost every time these days by the Sov player because while the MG might get scared off, one con is almost certain to die on retreat because the damage output from the defending pio is so high. This engagement on paper ought to be a toss-up every time if players have equal micro but never is in practice because of the retreat damage.


1 Dec 2021, 20:13 PM
#36
avatar of WhiteFlash
Senior Mapmaker Badge
Benefactor 119

Posts: 1278 | Subs: 1

Option 1 is best and really would solve the one major aggravation with retreat paths even for people who know the maps and possible paths well - if your unit is in front of an obstacle and has to go east or west to retreat south and you are near the middle of it, it's very hard to guess which way it's going to go. One way = squad wipe, the other, you save the unit. Most of the time people won't even need to use it I think.

Option 2 is just prima facie unfeasible. The murder stuff on retreat meta is already aggravating as hell and this would just raise it to silly new levels with camping of retreat waypoints.


Option 2: after a lot of thought that idea is likely not tenable. Agreed w all players on this one, trying to think abstractly about how to make it possible to make wider maps.

Option 1: is a no brainer to add to the game for new players and veterans alike

New players: The retreat mechanism is unique to the COH franchise and compared to other RTS games it is down right foreign. Showing the retreat path gives the players rationalization for the direction units go on retreat. When highlighting more than 1 unit they can retreat in different directions depending on their location and the relative location of the base, its important to see this before actually committing to a retreat. This also allows players to learn the inherent retreat paths on a given map.

Veteran players: Lets say a veteran player understands everything that I outlined above and they know everything about the inherint retreat paths on every map perfectly. This feature would still be useful because as the map changes and objects get destroyed or added the retreat path changes.

In conclusion: Relic, if your reading this you will want to seriously consider adding this feature to the game. It would be relatively simple to implement because the calculation for the retreat path is already done (but not shown to the player on the in game screen), the dotted line or graphic to show the path can be implemented in a variety of ways (think tactical pause dotted lines but perhaps a bit thinner?) and most importantly it would benefit the entire community without diminishing skill caps. I see it as a very helpful tool to improve the game.

Cheers
1 Dec 2021, 22:39 PM
#37
avatar of Spanky
Senior Strategist Badge

Posts: 1798 | Subs: 2

Seeing a retreat path on the minimap is a good idea.
2 Dec 2021, 02:04 AM
#38
avatar of WhiteFlash
Senior Mapmaker Badge
Benefactor 119

Posts: 1278 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post1 Dec 2021, 22:39 PMSpanky
Seeing a retreat path on the minimap is a good idea.


Yea seeing it on the minimap would be good, my concept here is that it is shown on the battle map, like where all the action is. Imagine the tactical pause, where you can see everything happening in front of you without having to glance at the tac map, thats how the predictive retreat should work
2 Dec 2021, 08:15 AM
#39
avatar of Spanky
Senior Strategist Badge

Posts: 1798 | Subs: 2



Yea seeing it on the minimap would be good, my concept here is that it is shown on the battle map, like where all the action is. Imagine the tactical pause, where you can see everything happening in front of you without having to glance at the tac map, thats how the predictive retreat should work


I was actually imagining this as well but aesthetically would it fit? I'm mixed about this.
3 Dec 2021, 00:36 AM
#40
avatar of WhiteFlash
Senior Mapmaker Badge
Benefactor 119

Posts: 1278 | Subs: 1

My beleif is it would be a case of it fits well for the vast majority of players, and if it doesnt fit for that player, simply dont use the hotkey to have the predictive retreat appear, job done :thumb:
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