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Searching for RTS with injury effects


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So, after some searching for new ways of balancing. I discovered that reducing damage for injured units is a good possibility. So proves the adjustment of ROF or Cool down to be useful too.

 

But now I wonder, how many games out there have reduction effects on injured units?

 

A good example is Dune2. Where an unit that has 50% health, has a lower ROF or shoots only 1 projectile instead of 2.

 

I noticed that in C&C Dawn, injured units start to move slower. This is done in a lot of games, very obvious in Warzone2100.

However, I have not noticed reduction in the ROF in C&C Dawn.

 

So, are there more examples out there with effects on injured units?

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Thank you for replying. Perhaps the question is too difficult. Or there are really not that many games out there with these effects.

 

Slower moving is realistic. But not really balancing the game.

That's why I wonder if there are other games out there.

 

I know of Call of Duty series, that once you get hit, no matter what you where doing at that point, your own accuracy drops immediately.

Only certain weapons will keep useful. The so called noob weapons that is.

 

Accuracy is one way to adjust damage.

I figured out, that damage has to be altered in one way or another for the damaged units.

Damage itself, Accuracy, and ROF, have influence on the damage effects. I cut Range out since there are also melee units in a lot of games.

 

But why do a lot of games reduce the movement speed? Only for realism? Or is there another balancing trick behind it?

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From what I see, it's mostly for realism. Like how burning buildings in C&C1/RA1 lose health over time, until it either destroys them, or the burning simply stops after a while. It's just a game mechanic you, as player, need to learn to deal with. It improves micromanaging skills to force players to keep these things in mind, just like they have to balance their forces and protect weaker units in them.

Oh, another one like that is the fact that stealth generators in C&C1 and TS start failing on damaged units. And that one is actually consistent degradation: the lower the unit's health, the longer it takes to recloak successfully.

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In other words, injured units simply can't run away or burn down.

The infantry are an example of that too. Once hit, they prone and can't run away.

 

In Warzone 2100, you can set units on fire too. Depending on their thermionic armour they loose health over time after the initial hit.

However, structures don't have this effect from flame units.

 

I guess, Dune 2 is the only game known that reduces damage from damaged units.

 

All Starcrafts have burning buildings for the Terrans.

 

Dune 2000, Emperor Battle for Dune and C&C3 have slower units once again, especially the Ordos in EBfD.

 

That's it, that's all the games I can think of with negative effects.

So, unless others can name another game, I think this thread is already done.

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Right now I can't seem to come up with more examples apart from what has already been mentioned here, but some video game examples might be found here (look for the trope aversion examples).

BTW, in StarCraft the burning state only means that a structure that is damaged into the red will burn down unless repaired. There is no real effect on its performance - by contrast, Westwood games starting with Dune II have a performance decrease that is proportional to the damage of a structure: less power output, slower unit production etc.

The TVTropes page reminded me of a game I played, Deus Ex, where there is a rather complex system of locational damage to the player.

Also, various combat vehicle or flight simulators (e.g. F-19, but also fictional like Star Wars: TIE Fighter)) implement a system of damage that affects various on-board systems or functional parts of the craft.

Those are all non-RTS examples though.

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I have noticed this:

 


Some Command And Conquer games heavily avert this. Most, if not all, damaged units move and fire slower, and are basically useless when nearly dead. This can be frustrating, so Critical Existence Failure is an Acceptable Break from Reality in the C&C series.

 

They fire slower. That's something that keeps somewhat balance in the game. But about which C&C game are they talking? Or would this be a mistake on the editor? I have become very curious about this now.

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The infantry are an example of that too. Once hit, they prone and can't run away.

This is actually wrong. You can force infantry to stand back up at any moment by double-clicking to give them a command. After all, going prone is a defence mechanism that makes them only take 50% of all inflicted damage. While it is indeed caused BY taking damage, it is not an effect OF the taken damage. It doesn't happen at low health, it happens at any time they take damage :)
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Didn't know that they could stand back up by double click. I think almost no-one knows here in my region. For learning that, I guess we needed the chance to get online. O well.

 


 

Meanwhile, I am doing calculations on this matter with damage reduction. If I put it into phases (groups of health, 150/120/90/60/30 as example), the effects are there, but no perfect balance is possible. There is need for a continues process. (150/149/148 etc) Which is only possible in electronic games, or in other words. On the computer. But then it would be perfect balance for the basic units.

 

Further more, it will be off balanced for the support and meat units. After all, there is no support and meat, they all take fire. They need to be recalculated if this technique is applied.  But then again, you only need to apply this technique if there is a way to hurt any unit in the enemies army. Just like in the C&C games.

 

So, even though my board game resembles the damage micro of Westwood/EA games, it has the army set ups from Blizzard. But not if one or both sides have instant kill weapons like snipers or so.

 


 

On the pc, the technique could be applied in a simple way:

Maximum Damage * Current Health / Maximum Health = Current Damage

 

Example:

A tank has a maximum damage of 10, and a health of 100.

It has been damaged to 67 health

10 * 67 / 100 = 6,7

The damage it still can do is 6,7

 

If anyone is willing to try this out?

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I have noticed this:

They fire slower. That's something that keeps somewhat balance in the game. But about which C&C game are they talking? Or would this be a mistake on the editor? I have become very curious about this now.

TVTropes is a Wiki with user-contributed content, so expect a fair share of inaccurate or outright faulty information there. Doesn't reduce the value of the resource though.

Didn't know that they could stand back up by double click. I think almost no-one knows here in my region. For learning that, I guess we needed the chance to get online. O well.

I'm pretty certain I've read about it in some FAQ, but not in the official one as it seems.

Guess it was the strategy guide/FAQ.

I also think that damage-related unit performance degradation in RTS games isn't a very good idea in the first place, hence it isn't widely used, and if it is, the effects aren't overall too noticeable (with some exceptions of course). If this was implemented to its logical conclusion, then the whole playing experience would risk turning into a constant struggle to keep your units fully repaired/healed at all times.

Then again, the damage system in Command & Conquer games for example isn't too realistic either. I think that making a more realistic damage system would be impossible or useless if it were not coupled with a more realistic representation of damage.

All of which gets us into wargame/tactics territory really.

I also tried to remember some turn-based strategy games that would have a similar feature, but couldn't come up with anything. I guess that turn-based wargames (which are computer adaptations of board games at the core) should have something in that direction. But since I'm hardly familiar with any games of that genre, I don't know really :)

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Oh, a more inventive one is the cyborg damage in TS. Once they go below a certain percentage (think it's 50%, though it may be 25%. It's been a while) they lose their legs, making them slower than before. Even if they heal back to full health (in tiberium patches or with a repair vehicle), their legs don't magically come back, meaning they can't recover from the handicap.

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PC versions:

Yes, well, moving slower is realistic. Then a logic way for damage reduction is the ROF that slows down as well. But to keep a fight going, accuracy would be best to meddle with. The chance of a hit = current health / maximum health. With that, 1 bullet still does full damage, if it hits. No need for 0,5 bullets or 1 bullet that takes twice the time. After all, a Gatling cannon keeps going or stops at once, but simply might not be aimed properly any more.

 

Keeping your units at full health is also realistic. In real life, people wont be driving with a tank that has several "big" holes in it already. Or follow orders to attack while they are almost cripple.

 

So, I simply suggest, the accuracy rule. Those with Dune2 games, could add this.

Then there is no need for funky balancing like expensive units making a bit more expensive, etc.

 

Board game:

4 years ago, my board game had 6 health on every unit, and you simply had accuracy for doing 1 damage. Low tier weapons needed more luck against high tier armour. So, if I where to use that system from old times. Accuracy would simply get yet another dice effect on top of the other dice effects.

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Keeping your units at full health is also realistic. In real life, people wont be driving with a tank that has several "big" holes in it already. Or follow orders to attack while they are almost cripple.

In real-life combat, there isn't always an opportunity to repair a vehicle or to fully heal personnel. The stages of damage to a vehicle aren't an abstract percentage of course, but rather how well it performs its functions.

For example, immobilizing a tank by destroying one of its treads (or shooting a tire of a wheeled vehicle) doesn't yet render it completely useless in combat since it can still shoot and provide cover for infantry.

I have no idea if that is easy enough to implement in a game realistically.

As for accuracy: have you ever played The Battle for Wesnoth? That random based accuracy thing is the best way to annoy the player big time IMO.

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Never played that game, the accuracy might be below 50%?

 

Accuracy <50% is indeed annoying.

Accuracy >50%, you find this in KKND and in Warzone2100. But it isn't that annoying, with sheer numbers it disappears. Only when you have a new weapon and only a few of them, you will think, "what a useless weapon".

 


In real-life combat, there isn't always an opportunity to repair a vehicle or to fully heal personnel. The stages of damage to a vehicle aren't an abstract percentage of course, but rather how well it performs its functions.

During a fight it is indeed not an opportunity. Especially games like C&C.

 

And damaging functions, it would be possible to make it tactical:

 

Body parts of the tank:

- Turret

- Tracks (or other propulsion)

- Hull (I don't believe that most tanks these days are weaker in the back, so just 1 Hull)

- People inside?

 

In Warzone2100 you can do more damage with certain weapons against the hull and propulsion.

But then it is an abstract damage.

 

So we could say various weapons will be damaging various parts more then other parts. The result would be that a certain part dies before another part dies. And since the tank isn't completely gone, it still can be repaired.

 

- Mortar good vs Tracks and/or Turret

- Cannon and Rockets good vs Hull

- Flamer good vs the people inside

- Tank traps good vs Tracks

- Chain gun good vs Turret

 

Just some examples. Anyway, you get that with Mortar, all body parts are still intact like 75% while the Tracks are already destroyed to a point that they don't work. Since the Hull is important, you might want to play as if the Hull is destroyed, the entire tank is gone.

So Tank killer rockets will be destroying the Hull before anything else.

 

Effects of a damaged part would be:

- Hull (once 0%, it is dead, during damage, lower tier weapons might become more effective?)

- Tracks and the tank becomes slower until 0 speed is reached

- Turret, depending on the type;

+ Rocket salvo, if an unit normally fires 8, might become 7, 6 etc. Full damage and accuracy for each rocket. And full ROF, you simply fire less rockets.

+ Cannon, the accuracy drops. But once hit, it is a hit.

+ Chain gun, the accuracy drops, but the ROF drops too.

+ Another Rocket, but this ones a big one. The damage simply drops. Better yet, if this one reaches 0, the unit blows up. (SSM-Launcher)

Just some examples.

 

So depending on what you are fighting, and what type of weapon you might survive, a whole new depth of strategy comes in play. You know you die of 8 rockets, but you survive 7 or less. Use something to damage the turret first (chain gun), but also something that can run away again for repairs (wheels since the propulsion wont get damaged that much). The next time, you can shoot twice as long before retreating.

 

So a hit and run tactic solely based on the combination of body parts.

 

I personally think it is to hard for most people to understand.

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Never played that game, the accuracy might be below 50%?

Play it, then. It's free, and actually quite nice, if it were not for the combat system. Some people like it though.

Basically, the idea is that any unit has a fixed number of strikes/shots it can do with its weapon during an attack (usually something between 2 and 6). The game also tells you that there's a 60%, or 70%, or something else (not equal or under 50%) of hitting the target each time.

But the reality is, any unit may miss as many times during the attack phase as it can. I haven't played any recent updates of the game, so no idea if this was fixed somehow, but in the versions that I have played, a unit missing like six times in a row wasn't all that rare.

Also, this game is about keeping your units alive and levelling them up, not about sheer numbers (which isn't quite viable in the first place because most weapons are close range, and with hex-grid-based movement you can only have six units max that can attack a single target).

[Edit] Oh, and by the way: check the Subsystem Damage trope.

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70% hit chance is very high. To miss 6 times is a row, you have 0,000729 as chance (0,0729%). Or once every 1372 occasions.

I watched some video's. Even 50 and 40% are possible. Then you really start to notice :D.

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