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Smoke

4 Jan 2023, 09:56 AM
#1
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13409 | Subs: 1

In coh 1 smoke provided bonuses to the unit in smoke

In Coh 2 in most cases smoke prevent vision and acts as a "shot blocker", in addition it available to more units.

In my opinion smoke in Coh2 and possibly in Coh3 should be redesigned and be separated into different categories fulfilling specific roles.

Here are few examples of how it could work:

1) cover smoke

Available from small dispensers like grenades/mortars.
Role to help in attacks, either by firing it in "no man's land" or directly on enemy units
It could provide suppression resistance, defensive bonuses and offensive/sight penalties like accuracy/CD/lower sight.

2) defensive smoke

Available from vehicles or special units (commandos on retreat).
Role to help unit survive.
Provides defensive bonuses to unit like lower target size (higher armor?) reduces sight of unit in smoke.

3) Smoke screen

Available from large dispensers like ML-20, off maps
Role to cover the area.
Work as currently smokes work in game

4) Specialized smoke

Available from certain units like Churchill
Role to provide certain bonuses to specific units
Provides cover bonus to infatry and suppression resistance.
4 Jan 2023, 13:32 PM
#2
avatar of Hannibal
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 2982 | Subs: 2

I find this system way too complicated. Smoke is smoke, there is no logical reason why it should be different, the only exception being phosphorus grenades that release burning hot and toxic particles.

Otherwise, all smoke should work the same and the effects should be logical. Logical in my opinion would be obviously sight reduction and arguably an RA/target size buff for infantry and vehicles within it (applied on a per-model basis), since the silhouettes and movement will be harder to see for any attacker.

I don't logically see how smoke launched from a mortar has such a different effect from the smoke grenade of infantry (which again could be different for different squads) and again from smoke launcher of tanks. This will not be logical to the player and hard to communicate. It will lead to confusion and players either not caring which smoke they are using - just like it is at the moment in CoH2 - or always needing to check which type of smoke they have.
The only reason to complicate such a thing would be a big improvement in gameplay. I can see some potential regarding this, but it is not worth the effort and confusion that it will generate. There's other places to innovate and get more return in CoH3.
4 Jan 2023, 14:01 PM
#3
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13409 | Subs: 1


I am pretty sure that in real life a smoke screen from ML-20 is match more effective in concealing movement from smoke screen from a hand held grenade...

Different types of smoke already exist in game like the commando grenade smoke and the USF grenade smoke, so the current system is already complicated. The suggestion would rather simplify the system and make it more complicated.

Main point here is that current implementation in COH2 make smoke a mechanism that a big impact and little counter play. That result in overuse in game.
4 Jan 2023, 16:15 PM
#4
avatar of Hannibal
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Posts: 2982 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post4 Jan 2023, 14:01 PMVipper
I am pretty sure that in real life a smoke screen from ML-20 is match more effective in concealing movement from smoke screen from a hand held grenade...

Which is solvable by increasing the smoke radius per shell and scatter, which is totally fine and not against anything I said. My point is that the game should be intuitive to the players. It is intuitive that a 152mm shell can create more smoke than a handheld grenade. It is not intuitive that (random example) the smoke of a 152mm shell creates some bonus for the soldier/vehicle within it, while the same soldier being concealed by the smoke of a handheld grenade does not/gets a different bonus.

jump backJump back to quoted post4 Jan 2023, 14:01 PMVipper
Different types of smoke already exist in game like the commando grenade smoke and the USF grenade smoke, so the current system is already complicated. The suggestion would rather simplify the system and make it more complicated.

Exactly, and no one uses USF smoke to make an Axis vehicle go slower or the commando smoke to get light cover (for the latter I am not even sure if it works that well since models in smoke cannot be fired at, the only solution is some kind of radius around the smoke that applies, even if the model is not in the smoke anymore. Which does not make sense). Most people probably don't really know about it in the first place. They use these smokes when they want - well - smoke to cover an advance. It could be a normal smoke grenade as well.
Your suggestion would use what is currently rather an oddity of very few units into a more fleshed out concept. But as I said, this will still create confusion for the players since there is no inherent logic reason for smoke to behave differently.

jump backJump back to quoted post4 Jan 2023, 14:01 PMVipper
Main point here is that current implementation in COH2 make smoke a mechanism that a big impact and little counter play. That result in overuse in game.

What do you base it on what is "big impact" and "little counter play"?
Smoke works as expected, and fairly close to reality considering what an arcade RTS is able to portray.
4 Jan 2023, 16:52 PM
#5
avatar of Crecer13

Posts: 2120 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post4 Jan 2023, 14:01 PMVipper

I am pretty sure that in real life a smoke screen from ML-20 is match more effective in concealing movement from smoke screen from a hand held grenade...

Different types of smoke already exist in game like the commando grenade smoke and the USF grenade smoke, so the current system is already complicated. The suggestion would rather simplify the system and make it more complicated.

Main point here is that current implementation in COH2 make smoke a mechanism that a big impact and little counter play. That result in overuse in game.


I'll give you a hint of what else 152mm smoke shells should do, they should cause damage. Such projectiles are called fragmentation-smoke. Unlike hand grenades, which are just a case for a smoke-generating composition. Artillery shells must explode in order to work, and upon contact with air, yellow phosphorus will begin to smoke.
4 Jan 2023, 20:55 PM
#6
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13409 | Subs: 1


...
It is not intuitive that (random example) the smoke of a 152mm shell creates some bonus for the soldier/vehicle within it, while the same soldier being concealed by the smoke of a handheld grenade does not/gets a different bonus.

The current system in arbitrary and not intuitive at all.

In my opinion it is far intuitive that a single smoke grenade will not be able to provide a complete smoke screen while a artillery shell will.

And at least with my suggestion similar unit would use similar munition with similar effects.


What do you base it on what is "big impact" and "little counter play"?

Smoke is large modes is used constantly from early to late and there is little a play can do to avoid its effects.


Smoke works as expected, and fairly close to reality considering what an arcade RTS is able to portray.

Unit not firing and smoke acting a shot blocker is not what I would expect especially I have played Coh1.
4 Jan 2023, 22:36 PM
#7
avatar of donofsandiego

Posts: 1011

Exactly, and no one uses...the commando smoke to get light cover (...I am not even sure if it works that well since models in smoke cannot be fired at, the only solution is some kind of radius around the smoke that applies, even if the model is not in the smoke anymore. Which does not make sense)


I think the idea is that you can pretend you are a ninja and cloak inside the smoke, where normally if the smoke is not on top of any cover, you wouldn't be able to.
5 Jan 2023, 05:30 AM
#8
avatar of KoRneY

Posts: 643

While I prefer smoke that gives bonuses as opposed to these invisible walls that fuck up targeting and pathing, having different smoke profiles seems like a nightmare for players as far as readability and actual gameplay is concerned
5 Jan 2023, 06:45 AM
#9
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13409 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post5 Jan 2023, 05:30 AMKoRneY
While I prefer smoke that gives bonuses as opposed to these invisible walls that fuck up targeting and pathing, having different smoke profiles seems like a nightmare for players as far as readability and actual gameplay is concerned


I see your point and I would also like to see a different implementation of smoke.

In my opinion one could get away of implementing a system with different types of smoke if one was consistent and the system made sense.
9 Jan 2023, 14:02 PM
#10
avatar of Hannibal
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 2982 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post4 Jan 2023, 20:55 PMVipper

The current system in arbitrary and not intuitive at all.

In my opinion it is far intuitive that a single smoke grenade will not be able to provide a complete smoke screen while a artillery shell will.

And at least with my suggestion similar unit would use similar munition with similar effects.

The only arbitrary things in the current system are USF smoke grenades and commando smoke grenades, because those provide additional bonuses. The rest functions the same: They all block sight, and that's it.
It is surely not the most realistic system, and probably neither the best, but it has some very good points going for it:
It is easily understandable for everyone, it is intuitive to the level of "smoke blocks sight" (it is still an arcade game, you cannot expect people to know all differences when even hand held smoke grenades did not function the same) and it is very easy to use. Plus - although this is specific to animations and the game and can be changed at will - in CoH2 there is no visual clue that different smokes behave differently.

I have nothing against differentiating between smaller smoke grenades that are thrown by hand and big artillery shells - although it makes things overall more complicated, it is intuitive that they behave differently (although at this point there is the question of how large the calibre has to be to change from one to the other). But I am against the idea of adding many different types of smoke as you suggested, like specialized smokes for e.g. vehicles, even if it made sense for gameplay. The game would become less readable, less intuitive, and probably also harder to balance if you want to keep smoke and its effects consistent across factions.

jump backJump back to quoted post4 Jan 2023, 20:55 PMVipper
Smoke is large modes is used constantly from early to late and there is little a play can do to avoid its effects.


Unit not firing and smoke acting a shot blocker is not what I would expect especially I have played Coh1.

The reaction to "counter" smoke is very intuitive and logical: Either brace for a closer range fight and/or move vulnerable units further to the back.
It is hard to realistically "simulate" smoke in an arcade game like CoH. CoH2 is illogical in the sense that small arms and especially MGs stop firing. But we're still talking about a game in which e.g. tanks can fire through smoke accurately despite the crew having no knowledge of the target - just because another unit can still see the enemy behind the smoke.
The only realistic way to fix this is to remove ground targeting - which in turn is seen as a feature to learn and improve gameplay. The main take away is: There is no realistic implementation for smoke if you target a large audience. The game should strive for intuitiveness without creating "hey - this does not look right!" moments. There is a healthy suspension of disbelief that we can use ("all smoke blocks sight" / "large smokes block sight, small ones only partially conceal infantry" etc), but it is not clearly logical a 81mm smoke grenade from a mortar will give bonus A while the 75mm mortar shell from the Sherman will give a different bonnus B. At this point, you're trading a very small amount of improvement for the depth of gameplay for a very big problem in readability.
9 Jan 2023, 15:53 PM
#11
avatar of Protos Angelus

Posts: 1509


...


Not to mention that Pak43 doesn't acknowledge the existence of smoke and buildings (and world piercing abilities if I'm not mistaken like in Jagd or 17pdr). I learned that the hard way, always wondering, how can a pak43, encased in smoke, still accurately fire across the map from behind 3 buildings. Oh right, it's got phasing WW2 shells with quantum optics.
Smoke is perfectly fine in COH2. Although, it should completely obscure the LoS. Like you've said. If another unit has vision behind the smoke, the tank in front of the smoke can still fire accuracy shots through the smoke. Which is stupid.
Hence why fussies are constantly picked in teamgames. Smoke? Bi*** please, I have a flare with a camera glued on it, feeding me visual info on my IR screen. Same goes with soviet flare. Stupid mechanic.

Regular smoke thrown from units should behave purely as a sight blocker.
Smoke from arty pieces could do a small amount of infantry damage.
But they should all be realistic in design. You can ground target through smoke, but no unit can fire accuracy shots through it, no matter who is giving vision beyond the smoke.
And flares shouldn't give vision from behind the smoke. Eg. you fire a flare behind the smoke wall, you won't have any vision or info. All flares should behave like that. They should give bonus vision to units that are in some AOE of the flare. Not just straight up reveal parts of the map like it's some sort of satellite imagery.
9 Jan 2023, 16:31 PM
#12
avatar of Katukov

Posts: 782 | Subs: 1




They cant nerf the pak-43 to not shoot through smoke because the code considers both buildings and smoke as LoS blockers, therefore you'd have to completely remove the ability to shoot through stuff
10 Jan 2023, 01:35 AM
#13
avatar of theekvn

Posts: 304

Can we delete 152mm ML-20 smoke ?.
Imaging giving Smoke some sort of Buff/Debbuff effect and complain about how imbalance they are because people abuse them =)) .
To be honest, Just make smoke from different calibers have different size and durrations.
10 Jan 2023, 03:31 AM
#14
avatar of Katukov

Posts: 782 | Subs: 1

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Jan 2023, 01:35 AMtheekvn
Can we delete 152mm ML-20 smoke ?.

why?
10 Jan 2023, 09:22 AM
#15
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13409 | Subs: 1


... vehicles, even if it made sense for gameplay. The game would become less readable, less intuitive, and probably also harder to balance if you want to keep smoke and its effects consistent across factions.
...

I do accept your opinion but I can't really agree with the reasoning behind it.

COH2 started with some level of consistency that made the game more "readable" (can't agree about intuitive), for instance Ostheer vet bonuses where the same across vehicles and "Blitzkrieg Tactics" provided the same bonuses to all vehicles.

That created balance issues since certain bonus where to high for certain vehicles (like the FT) and was less "intuitive" since a Tiger gained the same bonuses as an ostwind.

Over the years Relic realized (that as I had suggested) bonus and abilities should be customized to fit specific units. That makes balancing easier.

Consistency is a good thing but that does not mean that things should be identical, all what needs is categories of abilities/bonus with similar usage.

As for "readability" it is not hard to achieve by using specific names for categories, icon and in game descriptions.

For instance:

a good example is the commando grenade, has a different icon with a shield on it, a different name and a description of the effects. In addition the ability is designed around the unit.

an inferior example is USF smoke grenade that has little indication on the icon, effect is explained on description but the effect seem arbitrary (at least to me).
10 Jan 2023, 10:49 AM
#16
avatar of Hannibal
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 2982 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Jan 2023, 09:22 AMVipper

I do accept your opinion but I can't really agree with the reasoning behind it.

COH2 started with some level of consistency that made the game more "readable" (can't agree about intuitive), for instance Ostheer vet bonuses where the same across vehicles and "Blitzkrieg Tactics" provided the same bonuses to all vehicles.

That created balance issues since certain bonus where to high for certain vehicles (like the FT) and was less "intuitive" since a Tiger gained the same bonuses as an ostwind.

Over the years Relic realized (that as I had suggested) bonus and abilities should be customized to fit specific units. That makes balancing easier.

Consistency is a good thing but that does not mean that things should be identical, all what needs is categories of abilities/bonus with similar usage.

Yes I agree to this. Your comparisons however are not equivalent. The Blitzkrieg does "the same thing" on all units. You'll still get maneuverability and target size buffs. The extend is tailored for balancing, but you'll press the button for the same reason on all units, and it will basically do the same thing for all units. Both variants of this ability do what the player expects and wants them to do, even if they are not aware of the minor differences.

Here, we can also see that minor alterations in abilities don't really confer well to communication: OKW's combat Blitz is pretty different ability. Still, many players don't know that this ability is much more offensive than the one of OST (as seen by e.g. Tightrope's explanation videos), despite having a (slightly) different name and icon. Because visually, they do the same thing: The tank goes faster. Minor differences like acceleration boosts are not recognized by players that easily, and no one will ever be able to tell if that shot that connected/missed was now due to the ability buff or pure luck.

Changing the icon is a good start, but if the names are similar enough and they visually do basically the same thing on the battlefield, there will be confusion. The clearer the differences are, the better and more readable the game will be.

Which directly ties into this point:
jump backJump back to quoted post10 Jan 2023, 09:22 AMVipper
As for "readability" it is not hard to achieve by using specific names for categories, icon and in game descriptions.

For instance:

a good example is the commando grenade, has a different icon with a shield on it, a different name and a description of the effects. In addition the ability is designed around the unit.

an inferior example is USF smoke grenade that has little indication on the icon, effect is explained on description but the effect seem arbitrary (at least to me).

I obviously disagree to that.
We have a similar situation as to above: There's minor alterations to the icon and ability name, but visually they do pretty much the same thing. This is exacerbated by the fact that even the normal smoke grenades have different names and icons, making it even harder to spot differences. I agree that the USF smoke effect is very arbitrary, actually both of these abilities are designed very badly. And this is exactly why I disagree with how I understand your main proposal. We have other examples of that where names are shared orsimilar, icons are shared or similar etc. Some are Hull down (KV1 and OST), Target weak point (OKW Command P5 and SOV), camouflaged AT guns, multiple OST units had a "heat shell" ability before it got partially renamed, different types of automated vehicle repairs that actually have completely different icons and names, yet people complained on this forum multiple times that they are so much different and how one is stronger than the other. On all these and other examples, even if players understand that there is a difference, it is not really obvious what the difference is. Point is: Icons, names, descriptions are not enough. If two abilities are too similar, players will assume that they behave similarly. This might be the fault of the players themselves, but it is still bad game design to not account for that. The most obvious solution is to clearly differentiate them on a visual basis on the battelfield.

Obvious and intuitive differences are fine. 152mm shells producing more smoke than a Nebelgranate is pretty intuitive. 152mm shells doing some minor damage would also be intuitive.
Smoke grenades like the Nebelgranate producing light cover, while 152mm block vision might also be intuitive, although I would guess that Nebelgranate also has a completely obscured area, especially if you overlap multiple of them. Anyway, that would be suspension of disbelief for me, those details would be hard to communicate to the player and the simple solution is fine.
But I don't see a benefit in specialized smoke like e.g. the Churchill's smoke giving additional buffs to infantry in it (although it would make sense gameplay wise as an infantry tank), then the smoke of an Scott giving different buffs, mortars again having different buffs etc. Even if there are reasons - different payload size, different chemicals etc - the game would not be readable or intuitive.
The overall idea begs the question where you set the cut offs. Even handheld grenades had different sizes. Then there is the 75mm Scott, 81mm mortars, 105mm howitzers, 120mm mortars, 152mm howitzers all using different shells, payloads etc etc. How many classes are necessary, where are the cutoffs?

Keep the system simple and understandable:
E.g. All smoke blocking sight OR giving the same set of bonuses would be okay, just the size of the cloud is different. That's an easy system. The best one for deep gameplay? Probably not, but understandable and -for the most part - intuitive. At least as intuitive as almost any other system that you want to represent in an arcade game.


(edited for clarity and added points)
10 Jan 2023, 11:09 AM
#17
avatar of Hannibal
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 2982 | Subs: 2



Not to mention that Pak43 doesn't acknowledge the existence of smoke and buildings (and world piercing abilities if I'm not mistaken like in Jagd or 17pdr). I learned that the hard way, always wondering, how can a pak43, encased in smoke, still accurately fire across the map from behind 3 buildings. Oh right, it's got phasing WW2 shells with quantum optics.
Smoke is perfectly fine in COH2. Although, it should completely obscure the LoS. Like you've said. If another unit has vision behind the smoke, the tank in front of the smoke can still fire accuracy shots through the smoke. Which is stupid.
Hence why fussies are constantly picked in teamgames. Smoke? Bi*** please, I have a flare with a camera glued on it, feeding me visual info on my IR screen. Same goes with soviet flare. Stupid mechanic.

Regular smoke thrown from units should behave purely as a sight blocker.
Smoke from arty pieces could do a small amount of infantry damage.
But they should all be realistic in design. You can ground target through smoke, but no unit can fire accuracy shots through it, no matter who is giving vision beyond the smoke.
And flares shouldn't give vision from behind the smoke. Eg. you fire a flare behind the smoke wall, you won't have any vision or info. All flares should behave like that. They should give bonus vision to units that are in some AOE of the flare. Not just straight up reveal parts of the map like it's some sort of satellite imagery.

The shooting through shot blockers mechanic is bullshit, but that is an issue of the PaK43, not of smoke itself.

The flare change would be very welcome in my opinion, but the overall issue will not be solvable. What do you do with recon flights? Increasing LOS for units does not make intuitive sense. Delaying the information by a few seconds would make sense, but is maybe not obvious for all players.
The main issue of this is actually the possibility to ground attack. That ability adds a lot to the skill ceiling, but in some circumstances does not make sense. A tank/ATG crew that has never spotted the target itself will never be able to fire at it. Even with fixes flares this issue will occur, that's just how an arcade game works. Unless we want to remove ground attack, which definitely lowers the skill ceiling.
10 Jan 2023, 13:39 PM
#18
avatar of TickTack

Posts: 577

Having smoke give numerical modifiers is a ridiculous idea, created by someone with no clue how 3d game engines work.

LoS exists, shot blockers exist, particle density exists.
10 Jan 2023, 14:24 PM
#19
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 13409 | Subs: 1

Having smoke give numerical modifiers is a ridiculous idea, created by someone with no clue how 3d game engines work.

LoS exists, shot blockers exist, particle density exists.

I guess people who created COH 1/COH 2 have "no clue how 3d game engines work" because the did added defensive modifier to smoke like this one:

"Commandos"
Light Smoke Grenade
Throw a small smoke grenade at a target location, units standing in the smoke will be partially obscured giving them light cover

Now pls, find another place to troll preferably under a bridge.
10 Jan 2023, 15:05 PM
#20
avatar of thekessvn

Posts: 109

jump backJump back to quoted post10 Jan 2023, 03:31 AMKatukov

why?

because it non sense and NOBODY use IT !. AND YET call it a buff
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