Currently Online

Latest Posts

Topic: Attack button on bottom menu

blind3rdeye
Avatar
Joined: 2020-03-26, 08:47
Posts: 46
Ranking
Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2020-04-04, 05:32

I sometimes try to think of parts of the game that could be made accessible & intuitive for new players. Today in a game I was clearing out an enemy Frisian village, and I found that I was browsing around through a sea of different buildings, looking for one of the few types of buildings that are attackable. ...

To a new player, it might not be obvious why some buildings are attackable or not attackable (especially edge-case rules such as unoccupied military buildings not being attackable); and even once the player knows the rules, it still isn't always easy to see where the buildings are. Sometimes the only attackable outpost are actually out of line of sight... In any case, I think it would be helpful to have a global "attack mode" command, which activates an overlay highlighting the military buildings that are attackable; eg, it could dim all of the play area except for military buildings, and perhaps put a colour filter around the military buildings. If you click a building while in this mode, it would immediately open the attack menu.

So, as an alternative to clicking a building and then selecting attack, you could select attack (from the bottom menu) and then click the building.

It probably doesn't matter much to experienced players, but I think this would be easier to use and understand for new players.


Top Quote
niektory
Avatar
Joined: 2019-06-03, 20:06
Posts: 103
Ranking
Likes to be here
Location: Poland
Posted at: 2020-04-04, 08:44

+1

It doesn't need to be fancy, something simple like an icon above each attackable building would suffice.


Top Quote
kaputtnik
Avatar
Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1857
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Germany
Posted at: 2020-04-04, 10:23

I remember in settlers II each foreign military buildings had a flagpole in front which indicates the number of soldiers are inside:

  • 0 flags: No Soldiers (not attackable)
  • 1 flag: One soldier is inside
  • 2 flags: More than one soldier inside
  • 3 flags: Full of soldiers

Can't remember if more flags were shown if a building can have more than three soldiers.


Top Quote
Nordfriese
Avatar
Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
Posts: 841
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: 0x55555d3a34c0
Posted at: 2020-04-04, 10:44

If you click a building while in this mode, it would immediately open the attack menu

But this already happens when you click an attackable building…

As an overlay, the easiest way to implement this IMHO would be a toggle button in the showhide menu that when activated causes all enemy non-attackable buildings to be grayed out and/or made transparent.

I am somewhat concerned though that we are about to be overwhelmed by in-game options. We already have buildhelp, census, stats, workarea overlaps, soldier levels, and an open bug report for making buildings invisible. Our principle regarding being frugal with global options should also apply here.


Top Quote
simplypeachy
Joined: 2009-04-23, 12:42
Posts: 142
Ranking
At home in WL-forums
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posted at: 2020-04-04, 16:54

Barbarian buildings already have a visual clue - the campfire outside each military building, which is lit when there are soldiers inside. I don't think any new mechanics would benefit this sort of visibility, it just needs consistency across all tribes.


I need less fish :-(
Update: I definitely need less fish :-((
_aD on IRC

Top Quote
niektory
Avatar
Joined: 2019-06-03, 20:06
Posts: 103
Ranking
Likes to be here
Location: Poland
Posted at: 2020-04-04, 18:20

I think all tribes have such details, but you'll only notice them if you look closely at the building in question.


Top Quote
Nordfriese
Avatar
Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
Posts: 841
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: 0x55555d3a34c0
Posted at: 2020-04-04, 18:41

If all tribes had clear visual differences between the idle and unoccupied animations for military buildings this would be fine. But unfortunately only barbarians and frisians have those; atlanteans and empire don't, and we don't have graphic experts for these tribes. It can be really annoying to have to click on every single emp/atl milsite to figure out which ones I can attack and which not.


Top Quote
blind3rdeye
Avatar
Joined: 2020-03-26, 08:47
Posts: 46
Ranking
Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2020-04-05, 00:13

Nordfriese wrote:

I am somewhat concerned though that we are about to be overwhelmed by in-game options. We already have buildhelp, census, stats, workarea overlaps, soldier levels, and an open bug report for making buildings invisible. Our principle regarding being frugal with global options should also apply here.

I agree about the risk of having too many buttons and options; so maybe a new button isn't the right way to do it - but I do think there needs to be something that makes it obvious which buildings can be attacked and which cannot; something so that players aren't just clicking around on random buildings until they find one that is attackable; and so that new player don't just click a couple of enemy buildings, see that nothing happens, and then never click again.

I described my first idea; another that I have in mind is just that attackable buildings could have a subtle glow when you mouse over them. Another option is that there could be a 'military overlay' mode in the eye menu, in which isn't just about attacking the enemy, but instead highlights all military buildings and shows their zone of control, and perhaps highlights soldiers too or whatever other info is relevant. What I'm describing is essentially what you just said in your post, but with more info shown - to perhaps get more value out of adding a new button.

(Incidentally, on a completely unrelated note while I think of it - is when watching a replay is it possible to see things from a the point of view of a particular player?)


Top Quote
kaputtnik
Avatar
Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1857
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Germany
Posted at: 2020-04-05, 10:13

I think the problem arises only if one plays against AI-players, because the AI sometimes build more military buildings than it has soldiers to fill them. When playing multiplayer this problem wouldn't be existent, i guess.

Since AI is currently a 'self learning' process, the problem should vanish over time. BTW it is much stronger today than in the days when this system was implemented face-smile.png

Another thing would be to allow occupying empty military buildings... i remember this was discussed some time ago, but i don't remember the results.


Top Quote
Nordfriese
Avatar
Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
Posts: 841
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: 0x55555d3a34c0
Posted at: 2020-04-05, 11:54

Another option is that there could be a 'military overlay' mode in the eye menu, in which isn't just about attacking the enemy, but instead highlights all military buildings and shows their zone of control, and perhaps highlights soldiers too or whatever other info is relevant

Being able to see the conquer and vision radii of enemy milsites, as well those of own milsites, and thus also seeing which territory parts are well or poorly defended, would be very useful face-smile.png
Unfortunately this idea is to good to be viable – showing many workareas at once is costly and can make the game run very slowly face-sad.png

(Incidentally, on a completely unrelated note while I think of it - is when watching a replay is it possible to see things from a the point of view of a particular player?)

Nope, you always see everything from the all-knowing spectator's perspective

I think the problem arises only if one plays against AI-players, because the AI sometimes build more military buildings than it has soldiers to fill them. When playing multiplayer this problem wouldn't be existent, i guess.

Since AI is currently a 'self learning' process, the problem should vanish over time. BTW it is much stronger today than in the days when this system was implemented face-smile.png

The problem will get lesser but it will never really go away IMHO. Especially after I crippled the AI's main infrastructure, it may be that it still has some basic infra left to create new soldiers now and then and occupy its milsites slowly. The only real solution would be distinguishable unocc/idle animations for all milsites.

Another thing would be to allow occupying empty military buildings... i remember this was discussed some time ago, but i don't remember the results.

I believe there was no real consensus on that. I'm against it, because it feels like cheating to conquer a building without a fight, and it would harm the AI a lot in its current state. If you want to take advantage of the enemy building something they can't occupy, just build a new milsite of your own to claim the territory the enemy site stands on.


Top Quote