Your list for me lacks how the game in general plays out. The points where you touch on that is gameplay and design, both of which are quite short. Another interesting point is immersion. It is an early build, yes, but somehow I had problems believing that this is an actual battlefield. The models in general lack personality.
I personally did not play too much of the MP pre-alpha since I could only play on the last weekend and found it hard to get somewhat even games, so I gave up after a couple of tries. That's why I am interested what others have to say that had the chance to play with a group of players they know with similar skill.
What is your opinion of the pacing of the game? Teching in particular? I know you said you don't want to go into full details here, but we have to assume that the current design will roughly be what we get. I had the feeling that vehicles are stronger now, especially the light ones. Units like the 222 were harder to damage with small arms, snares actually only stun all vehicles now.
Tanks on the other hard were beefier, at least that's my impression. Other specialized ideas like creating Panzergrenadiers from normal Grenadiers that are very likely to stay?
What do you think of the abilities they gave to units in general? Is there enough variety? Do the abilities make sense? Are there enough "new" abilities to freshen up the gameplay over Coh2? How does breach work in MP, which is the one ability they specifically marketed at reveal?
You touched on readability e.g. when mentioning animations. What was your impression on that part in general? To be honest I found the game very hard to read. It might be due to it being a "new", unfamiliar game and due to having lower frame rate than in CoH2, but I had serious issues really "understanding" the battlefield within 1-2 seconds of looking at it. For me it is not directly obvious what my units are doing.
And last thing I want to mention, since it is one of the few things I can actually comment on as well as probably the biggest grudge I have with CoH3 at the moment: The UI design in general. You mention a lot of stuff like text placements, highlights and readability. My interest goes more into the art/design direction. I just found it bland and boring. Everything is just boxes in a very "clean" design. This doesn't convey the feeling of neither being in WW2 nor being some type of platoon commander at all. Minimap is oddly tilted, creating empty space towards the edges of the screen. While CoH2 has this too, it filled it up with some "art", mostly metal plates. The selection menu in particular seems to float above the actual battlefield and don't stand out. For me, it all just feels so exchangeable, incoherent and not thought-through. There are ability buttons from the battlegroup on the right, other abilities on the left. VP count in CoH2 was also packaged into a decorated bar, now I got a lifeless mono-colored bar.
The fact that it barely changed from the first pre-alpha tells me that this is intended, but I hope they won't stick with this design.
Good stuff. Let me edit my response with some more detail pertaining to the inquired topics - thanks!
I like most of the list, although it could be more in-depth at times. Which I understand that it can't go into details in every single point, given that everyone was playing the pre-alpha as a hobby in their free time.
Feel free to let me know what you'd like some more detail on. I probably have the detail (certainly from my own opinion & experiences). I felt a more lightweight version would be better suited for readability & discussion.
Haven't read all of it yet, but this is what I call a quality post!
Thanks for the compliment! I wish I could expand on the gameplay design & balance elements more but with my limited exposure to the MP pre-alpha, it just doesn't make sense for me to comment on such sensitive parts. I plan to update this thread with feedback as we go through more iterations for COH3 so stay tuned! If it makes sense, maybe make another post in the same fashion and archive this one so we have a log of what the progress has been like!
Appreciate your time (that goes for everyone) and please keep the feedback on the game and my post coming. Don't be shy to post if you disagree or have any other comments either.
Then, sure, relic should add an option for you to start zoomed in. Calling this a "huge disadvantage" is massively overstating it though. I change my camera rotation at the start of most games to something more comfortable, but it's not a huge disadvantage, and I don't really care if Relic ever add an automatic rotation option.
Again, what's overstating or understating to you is irrelevant as it's purely subjective hence why I am no longer in discussion about it.
I'm pretty sure I've "Addressed" the issues you've stated.
- Relic need to work on readability from the further perspective. Example: Grenade indicators.
- I suppose there should be an option for you to start "zoomed in", and there should be keys to set certain zoom levels?
"Work on readability" is not saying anything, I pointed this out in the very first point of my thread I think we both understand this area needs a lot of work but that really isn't addressing anything if you're gonna push in favour of this. I know where you're coming from though so there's no need for us both to hash out what the specifics need to be for addressing this (that isn't the point of this entire discussion).
If I am honest, I think a lot of the people who like the change wouldn't have even cared for it had the tactical map been available from the get-go.
The tactical map will be in the final game, it was just not present in the alpha. The argument was that removing the further zoom is akin to removing the tac map because some players don't want to use it.
I'm not designing CoH3, I don't need to give a powerpoint presentation in order to say "I think having more zoom levels is good". Relic need to do something about readability, but it isnt my responsibility to give you an exact breakdown of what they need to do in order to "defend" a feature that's already in the game.
There's no "clear advantage to one side" here. There aren't any "Sides". You aren't being forced to zoom in, or to zoom out. You have access to exactly the same game as everyone else. There isnt anything "unfair" here, you're not being denied anything.
I do believe its a positive change, yes. I'm not sure what difference that makes. Why would I argue in favour of something I think is bad? Why would anyone?
Adjusting zoom levels is not challenging, and is less difficult than what you're currently forced to do to see large amounts of the battlefield in CoH1/2 (which is to pan around). I'm not sure what "load of people" think using your mousewheel is "crazy", you're being a bit hyperbolic now.
Where are you seeing a "50/50" split on the new camera? Why do I need to take into account something you're anecdotally saying is the case? This is almost like an appeal to majority... but you're not even saying a majority agree.
This entire post looks like pedantic nit-picking rather than focussing on what the issue is. I have zero interest in appealing to anyone to agree or disagree with me, this is purely for awareness' sake. I am reading some of these counterarguments and it's clearly just a flat out disagreement between the two of us. The fact that you think adjusting zoom levels on the fly is "not challenging" is quite baffling and I am not going to get into a debate of "x number of people feel so, y number feel otherwise". You're correct it was anecdotal but I felt I interacted with a good variety & number of people to see this was a widely split issue.
Your argument about the tac map and removing it because not everyone wants to use it makes no sense either since you are not forced to use the tac map by default. This is a bit of a different situation where you are FORCED to play the game outside of the tac map in its default state. Sure you can adjust the zoom as you've said but there's no way to globally set a zoom level so you don't have to adjust it every single game (I wish there was). To you, this is elementary, to me, this is a huge disadvantage.
I respect your opinion but you seem to be arguing for your belief that this is a positive change without actually addressing the issues because it is not your "job". All well and fine but then there's no need to try and one-up me in every point because I have a differing opinion to you regarding the zoom.
Outside of that, I don't want to derail the entire thread soley based on ONE of the issues as there's clearly other (equally) pressing matters in the list. Keep the good discussions coming!
A similar argument could be made regarding the Tactical Map, which provides a huge advantage to those who use it (But has little to no fidelity), but I similarly don't see any reason to remove it because those that don't want to use it are disadvantaged. A pretty major part of this is that, as you say, not using the zoomed-out camera is a choice. If you're choosing to put yourself at a disadvantage, is that really something the developers should "fix"? And is is really something that other players who do wish to zoom out further should be unavoidably punished by removing that option?
I never asked for a fix outright, I am just raising awareness that this is a heavily contested topic. The tactical, or lack thereof in this case, really highlights this issue by not giving a well-known tool for players to use. This will come one way or another so defending this option by saying "well, you have choice as a player and you choose to put yourself at a disadvantage" is quite a strawman argument when you have not addressed any of the issues from a readability perspective in the same context.
It actually is Relic's responsibility to encourage fair & accessible features. Whilst they do not need to mandate HOW a player uses that feature, it needs to be consistent in its implementation without any clear advantages to either side which the current implementation heavily conflicts with.
The main argument I'm making here is that removing the new camera perspective unavoidably punishes players who did want to use it, whereas leaving it in means that the only people being "punished" are those that are actively disadvantaging themselves.
The solution is to maintain the current zoom level and improve readability from that vantage point, not to roll back what I'd call quite a positive change.
In any case; the zoom level can be changed on the fly with your mouse wheel, so you can quite easily get the best of both world by zooming out for "strategic" decision-making, while being able to zoom back in for more tactical action (And to admire unit models/animations). This is most likely going to be what I'm doing.
There are definitely some issues that have been caused by the new camera, but I really do think that removing it would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, when there're much better ways to resolve readability issues.
You said it yourself here that you clearly have a preference for this being a positive change, I wholeheartedly disagree. You are encouraging players to adjust zoom levels on the fly which adds to the already large list of actions one has to consider and take during a game (good luck doing that when there's no "zoom in to this specific level" hotkey available so you have to fiddle around with it during a fast paced game). You advocate that the solution is to maintain the current zoom but there's a whole load of people who think you are crazy for suggesting this. If you actively choose to ignore the fact that I have literally seen a 50/50 split on this then you really are playing into the "It's what I prefer, therefore it's better" mentality that you so casually dismissed.
COH has always been a heavily action-orientated RTT so to zoom out further to levels akin to Sudden Strike or the likes takes away from its unique selling people in terms of atmosphere. Like I said, it's perfectly okay that you feel it's okay but that does not mean other people agree with you.
For me personally, I'd compromise and say you slightly increase the zoom compared to COH2 BUT you work heavily on increasing the readability & feedback to the player because the current scale absolutely blows in my eyes (subjective). However, doing so will most likely cause people who want to zoom in to suffer from heavily distorted models so you'd have to somehow dynamically adjust the scale depending on the zoom level which is quite a complicated feature to design & implement so I do not see this as a solution either.
The main thing I'd like to state is that i wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that the zoomed-out camera is inherently a problem. Playability and "gameplay" is much more important than the "immersion" of the game. That said: I do hope they fiddle with things a little more to make units more readable/more grounded from the new perspective, as presently things are a little muddy, and this does actually interfere with gameplay.
The visual side of development isnt finished yet, though, so perhaps when the remaining features are implemented this problem will pretty much just go away? I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
What I definitely do not understand is the idea that you'd want the game camera restricted for all players so that you're not personally at a disadvantage for zooming in further. This is genuinely ludicrous.
How is that remotely comparable?
Understandable, we'll agree to disagree but something that affects every single player needs to be consistent and uniform in its approach. You favour gameplay but the higher zoom level offers a clear advantage to those who choose to utilise it & those that do not are punished at the expense of readability. I have seen a lot of mixed opinions on this from both sides of the camp so you might like it but I implore you not to turn into one of those "I like it, therefore it's better" mentality people. No matter what happens, it needs addressing whether it's a zoom adjustment or a scaling adjustment to not display tiny toy tanks and infantry that look like ants with poor readability. Then again, some people might not see it as an issue but I can see this pissing off a good number of people unless Relic handles this gracefully.
I think what he meant is that the actual animation of the grenade being thrown is almost impossible to catch, in part because of the farther out zoom, and in part because of the animations being very subdued compared to those in coh2 (which were very obvious, with long and animated windups.) In addition, I'm just not a fan of denoting something that used to be immersive (seeing a grenade being thrown and hearing the troops callout) with a simple UI bar. COH to me has always been great because of how alive the battlefield feels; that you don't feel like you are playing with toys on a map, but living soldiers.
I do however, disagree with his point about the audible warnings for grenades. No-one can spend 100% of their time watching engagements, and the grenade callouts make for good gameplay and user feedback.
I did indeed mean the actual animations themselves. Audio cues are a subjective matter so I do not argue for or against . I think what we can all agree on is that this area of COH3 needs a lot of work (and I am sure it will get many passes before it's finalised) but in its current form, it's a pain in the butt to play with and against because you do not have the necessary feedback from units to determine what the hell is happening half of the time.
Looks like a solid write up from a balance & design perspective, I think this article will work well in tandem with my write up that I just posted that is more concerned with the technical & usability aspects of the game.
Good to see some overlap between the two (no surprises there) - cheers to you & JJJ for the extensive testing.
(REPOSTING FROM THE COH3 FORUMS FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT VENTURE OVER THERE)
I have been compiling some notes that I had taken during my limited time playing the Company of Heroes 3, Multiplayer Pre-Alpha and wanted to create a singular and centralised resource for me to interact with others & also provide Relic with constructive feedback. Please note that this is not meant to be an EXHAUSTIVE list and I am sure there's more than one point that encroach into the realm of subjectivity. With that said, please join me in an open & honest discussion about the current state of COH3 based on the latest build provided from the Multiplayer, Pre-Alpha.
To keep things lightweight & organised, I have attempted to split the various feedback into their respective categories which are as follows:
Features & Functionality
User Interface (UI)
I would also like to list some of the positives (not just the negatives) that I encountered and I will denote each point with either a minus (-) or a plus (+) to represent the type of feedback it is. The listed items are not listed in a matter of importance but I have attempted to include a (PRIORITY) tag for items that I feel touch on multiple touch points and affect players to a larger extent. Both of these tags are listed DIRECTLY ABOVE each individual feedback item.
My plan is for this to become a "living" post that I can hopefully build on as discussions are had & new content is released but I will see how feasible that is. In the worst case, I will just split the feedback into different posts based on the latest build that becomes available.
DISCLAIMER: All feedback is based on my own, personal opinion and should not be treated as a single, objective basis for future action but rather used as reference.
FEATURES & FUNCTIONALITY
USER INTERFACE (UI)
Thank you so much to everyone for helping to test & create as good of a sequel as we can all hope for. Collectively, we definitely have a very ambitious and long road ahead of us (especially for Relic) but I urge everyone to put their differences aside and come together to help equip Relic with all the feedback they need to create the next best RTS. Thank you Relic & fellow community, please keep up the outstanding work - you are on a great trajectory with COH3 and I couldn't be more excited for the future of COH3!
EDIT: Giaa & Jibber wrote a good feedback thread regarding the balance & design of various units whereas I was more limited in my testing window and I do not feel there is a desire to dive too deep down the rabbit hole given the latest build so check that out if you want to read a bit more points specifically for different units & tech from the factions. Link to their thread.