Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Thewreck
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Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Post by Thewreck » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:06 pm

Hi!

Im brand new to this community, but i did play all of these games back in the day and i love what you are doing here!

I noticed that openra has dynamic shroud instead of only the permanent fog of war the old game had.

I ageee this is an improvement - however, you could argue the old game also had dynamic shroud, but that all units had infinite shroud vision range - so you never noticed it. Seen that way - units have been nerfed vision-wise.

I assume (since i don’t remember the exact ranges) that the vision ranges for shroud vision were selected to be the same as the old fog of war vision ranges. Since those ranges are very short (often resulting in units shooting out of the shroud), i would argue it changes vision from a mechanic causing a one-time exploration penalty (moving into unexplored territory is dangerous) - to a more central mechanic of the game (moving is always dangerous).

I have 3 suggestions, either:

A) give units a longer shroud vision range, but keep the old vision range for first time fog of war clearing. (This would require a third fog state when playing with ”map explored” to keep the mechanic understandable.)

B) give all units slightly longer vision range in general. (This would be a bigger change to gameplay compared to old ra, but it would closer match the ‘average’ vision range units actually had once you had explored the map. )

C) perhaps the most controversial - but also perhaps the most modern approach: give all players a minimap without the need for radar or power, but instead make the radar increase all units vision range. (This would give both the current low vision gameplay and longer “old-style-when-map-is-explored” gameplay while integrating into already existing mechanics. Plus - was not having a minimap really ever a fun mechanic? )

Thanks for reading!
Thoughts?

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Punsho
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Re: Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Post by Punsho » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:06 am

OpenRA is not in an early stage of development where anything can be easily passed in without much thought. Your propositions don't have solid ground and have significant consequences that aren't considered. OpenRA mods, especially RA are balanced around lack of vision and the advantage of having it. I advise first to "git gud" at multiplayer before proposing grandiose overhauls. It is the best way to learn the various exchanges between units and other meticulous details. I may come as negative but I'm just being honest
Last edited by Punsho on Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thewreck
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Re: Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Post by Thewreck » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:16 am

No problem - i am a total noob at this version of the game - only having played 3 matches - so i assume im going to be off base. I might also just remember things wrong.

What I think I saw, which frustrated me, was:
Seing an ally have a light tank battle against other vehicles - seing only half-units in the edge of the fog of war. Why was i not allowed to see the impacts of the shots the units were firing at?

infantry units moving into the fog of war with attack move, while seing seemingly similar enemy infantry units in the edge of the fog of war, my units mostly getting killed before they shoot back.

First felt almost buggy, the second felt like units could not target enemies while moving between cells.

My perspective is that of a new player - and in my experience capturing frustrations of new players is hard cause they either drop the game or learn to play with them. Once learned handling frustrations becomes part of what it is to be good at the game, but the threshold remains for every new batch of players. What made me even think about this is that it is a new feature of openra compared to the old game which made me wonder if this gameplay was ever the intent.

If what i saw is correct, and it is how players of this game want openra to be, then no problem, ill just make it a mod and test my ideas there.

Otherwise i guess i will just have to git gud.

abcdefg30
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Re: Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Post by abcdefg30 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:55 pm

Thewreck wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:16 am
[...] the second felt like units could not target enemies while moving between cells.
That is actually true (for most units at least, turrets are a bit different for example). Infantry need to finish moving before they can start attacking.

Thewreck
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Re: Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Post by Thewreck » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:08 pm

abcdefg30 wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:55 pm
Thewreck wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:16 am
[...] the second felt like units could not target enemies while moving between cells.
That is actually true (for most units at least, turrets are a bit different for example). Infantry need to finish moving before they can start attacking.
Does infantry have longer or same attack range as they do vision range? And are they considered to be in range as they start moving into the cell? Cause that could explain why moving into other infantry units in fog of war has that effect.

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Graion Dilach
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Re: Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Post by Graion Dilach » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:17 pm

Yes, most of the units have bigger weapon ranges than sight ranges. This sounds odd at first, but people got used to it and promotes units used exclusively for sight.

Thewreck
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Re: Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Post by Thewreck » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:39 pm

Not an odd concept at all, (starcraft guardians, siege tanks - company of heroes mortar teams, anti-tank guns, tank hunters). I think applying this for baseline units is what is different here and what surprises me the most.

Old red alert only had this gameplay for pushing the fog of war the first time - so it feels like the relation between longer attack ranges and shorter sight was never such a central part of the game before.

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FiveAces
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Re: Vision range for units (fog of war, shroud)

Post by FiveAces » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:29 pm

Thewreck wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:39 pm
Not an odd concept at all, (starcraft guardians, siege tanks - company of heroes mortar teams, anti-tank guns, tank hunters). I think applying this for baseline units is what is different here and what surprises me the most.

Old red alert only had this gameplay for pushing the fog of war the first time - so it feels like the relation between longer attack ranges and shorter sight was never such a central part of the game before.
OpenRA is balanced around some core units having abysmal line of sight. This mostly pertains to infantry and artillery units, whose attack range exceeds their field of view.

This mechanic has several balance implications:

-Infantry engagements are usually decided by having your riflemen in position before the enemy does; blindly charging into a fortified position ends in disaster, even when outnumbering the enemy, which is pretty consistent with the concept of defender's advantage.

-Forcefiring becomes a vital gameplay mechanic in the earlygame. Send lone scouts to reveal the enemy, then order your squad to shoot them through the fog of war.

-Scout units can have massive impact. Early light vehicles are extremely useful not only for spotting enemy army movements, but also to provide line of sight for your rifle troops. This can allow you to win engagements even when heavily outgunned.

-Artillery units are very potent, but only with proper scouting. Getting devastating V2 hits on enemy infantry concentrations is incredibly rewarding, but requires initial setup. Have a Yak run a recon flight and keep track of the enemy without giving away your units, then move your V2s in for the kill.

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