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 Post subject: Various Observations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:33 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:37 am
Posts: 4
New Player Blunders
These are some mistakes that I've noticed a fair number of new players have been making:
Shooting ground units from air
Players try to shoot tanks or landed enemy mechs while still flying. This may be because of the way airmechs change flying height based on terrain, they can sometimes shoot streams of bullets that look like they hit the target.

I would suggest colouring air-to-air weapons a specific consistent colour (the pink beams that the neo uses would work) and have a separate colour for ground-to-ground attacks (the current striker weapons are fine for this).

Building crap/advanced units
Let's face it, you'd be lucky if a new player grasps the concept of using infantry to capture an outpost. Understanding how to use bikes to attack a base such that they die and runners come out to capture the outpost? Not happening. Bikes have no business being on the default loadout.

Also, moneymakers are waaay too important for players not to have access to. Players are spending their initial kudos on other silly things.

I think the number of units available should scale with level. That means that at level 1 you only have access to 4 units (soldier, longhorn, t99, moneymaker). Having a full grid of 8 units is pretty overwhelming for a new player and is more likely to confuse them than anything else.

HAATs/Seekers shoot ground?
I think we're all aware of the disconnect between "anti-air" weapons shooting at a grounded unit. I think this can be solved by just renaming stuff in such a way that it makes more sense. For example we could call anti-airmech missiles heat-seeking missiles that only lock on to the power source of airmechs. And we could just call the HAAT an anti-airmech weapon rather than an anti-air weapon. I would like such anti-airmech weapons to draw a targeting laser from the unit to the airmech, that way its clear that they are shooting at you and not other units.

Missing Feedback
Drop Indicator
It would be nice if I could see where my cargo will drop before I unload it. Having a small indicator circle would be an excellent way to increase precision when dropping units. Missing the pad is embarrassing and I blame it on lag, but it shouldn't be happening at all!

Target Indicator
Airmechs autoaim. It's pretty obvious. So show us a nice obvious reticle over the target.

No shadow for airmechs
On low graphics settings, there is no shadow for the airmech, making it hard to tell where you're flying over. Please give us a nice circular drop shadow.


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 Post subject: Re: Various Observations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:35 pm
Posts: 16
+1, great suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Various Observations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:49 pm
Posts: 276
th15 wrote:
Let's face it, you'd be lucky if a new player grasps the concept of using infantry to capture an outpost. Understanding how to use bikes to attack a base such that they die and runners come out to capture the outpost? Not happening. Bikes have no business being on the default loadout.


This was not the intended purpose of bikes when they were first created. It's a secondary purpose, so it's by no means the only reason you should use bikes. They were originally created to be a quick unit used to run past or distract defenses, and keep the enemy on their toes because they would continually peck an undefended fortress, requiring the opponents to run back and see what's going on.

It's only been a recent addition into the game that they drop Runners, and their value has gone way up once they could be used to capture bases effectively, but that's really only for Tangos. Zippers are not as effective, and that is the only bike available by default.

The default loadout has a wide variety of units, allowing you to experiment with each one before deciding what you like, what you don't like, and what you want to buy next. The tutorial explains how to capture bases using infantry, so any new player should have the concept grasped already.

I am making a proposition to the developers to raise the money cost of bikes now that they have a new function (capturing bases by dropping runners), making Tango captures more of a risk.

th15 wrote:
Shooting ground units from air
Players try to shoot tanks or landed enemy mechs while still flying. This may be because of the way airmechs change flying height based on terrain, they can sometimes shoot streams of bullets that look like they hit the target.

I would suggest colouring air-to-air weapons a specific consistent colour (the pink beams that the neo uses would work) and have a separate colour for ground-to-ground attacks (the current striker weapons are fine for this).


This is something that can be covered and explained in the tutorial. Have the player shoot at a tank from air and make the tutorial say "See, this doesn't work. Now turn into ground form". That's all that's needed. Solutions not based on color should ALWAYS be the first solution. Changing the colors too much can provide extremely game breaking side effects for colorblind players. Take it from somebody who's been working with game developers for a long time, and is also colorblind. Tiny changes that seem okay can make the game almost impossible to play if you're colorblind.

th15 wrote:
HAATs/Seekers shoot ground?
I think we're all aware of the disconnect between "anti-air" weapons shooting at a grounded unit. I think this can be solved by just renaming stuff in such a way that it makes more sense. For example we could call anti-airmech missiles heat-seeking missiles that only lock on to the power source of airmechs. And we could just call the HAAT an anti-airmech weapon rather than an anti-air weapon. I would like such anti-airmech weapons to draw a targeting laser from the unit to the airmech, that way its clear that they are shooting at you and not other units.


HAATs do half damage to ground mechs, but I do agree the terminology could be updated. The developers eventually want to introduce air units, and the HAAT and Seekers would be able to fire upon them, but the air units aren't going to be here any time soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Various Observations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:37 am
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Sykes wrote:
The tutorial explains how to capture bases using infantry, so any new player should have the concept grasped already.


These aren't guesses, this isn't conjecture: I have observed new players obviously clueless about what to do with a base. It's painfully obvious they don't get that when they're hovering over a neutral outpost waiting for something to happen or they remain on top of an outpost I've just captured from under them.

You should know better than this, the tutorial is no guarantee that players understand the concepts taught in the tutorial. You have to do somewhat better than that and deal with the cases where players just don't get the message the first time round.


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 Post subject: Re: Various Observations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:38 am
Posts: 940
Yeah, I agree that the tutorial, when finished, should include some common, practical situations that will happen in a real match such as an outpost being captured from right under you. Not so sure about the whole "trying to use your Mech to capture an outpost" thing though.

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 Post subject: Re: Various Observations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:49 pm
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th15 wrote:
Sykes wrote:
The tutorial explains how to capture bases using infantry, so any new player should have the concept grasped already.


These aren't guesses, this isn't conjecture: I have observed new players obviously clueless about what to do with a base. It's painfully obvious they don't get that when they're hovering over a neutral outpost waiting for something to happen or they remain on top of an outpost I've just captured from under them.

You should know better than this, the tutorial is no guarantee that players understand the concepts taught in the tutorial. You have to do somewhat better than that and deal with the cases where players just don't get the message the first time round.


I strongly resent the way you're speaking to me.

The tutorial explains it, so new players don't actually have an excuse to not know how it works. Granted, it's easy to skip and the tutorial can use some polishing to make it much easier to learn the techniques it teaches, but ultimately something as simple as that should come from the tutorial, or playing 1 or two games. I HIGHLY doubt a player can play three games and still not know how to capture bases.

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 Post subject: Re: Various Observations
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:20 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:34 pm
Posts: 12
Oh hey, its th15! How's the battleships forever doing eh? The sequel is still in the "Make sometime in the distant future" status, i guess?


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 Post subject: Re: Various Observations
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:14 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:37 am
Posts: 4
No, it's in the "learn how to program in C++ then make it more awesome" category :) I'm studying at DigiPen now, I'll graduate next year.


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