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TheProgramer
10-25-2012, 11:28 AM
I have seen this idea be held by not only unimportant forum go-ers, but by pros. A podcast called StarCast interviewed a pro (don't ask I forgot who, and which episode) and he spent nearly an hour talking about how he thinks it would fix the game. People have made videos showing off the concept: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgkCx-1VUtU

If your not familiar with the idea, it's that the engine should be tweaked so that units do not clump up, and stay in a formation (similar to WC3) so that they never touch each other, giving each other alot of space.

Alot of people like this idea claiming it would fix a major problem with the current SC2 build. I respecfuly disagree.

I think that alot of these people that are making this suggestion are also the peopel who belive brood war was better. They belive that SC2 has made alot of good changes, but believe some of the root ideas that BW had and the way it rewarded skill and micro, isn't as prevelant in the game.

I think that making this change would set SC2 even further back from that root idea of Brood War. I think the way units clump help reward those with good micro.

Just my humble opinion. Discuss.

TheProgramer
10-25-2012, 11:30 AM
Here is some of Rock's opinions on this subject:


We tested this internally a week or two ago when we first saw this video (thanks to the author of the video).

It didn't actually change anything. We tried some really extreme values as well to really push it. Since you tend to cluster your units at rally points they tend to move as blobs. Units in this code cluster when the reach their destination the blobbing still occured. Because as a player you rarely make an attack-move action across the entire map, you usually make lots of small atack-moves from place to place the units all blobbed up immediately as you moved around.

We spent several days just trying different versions of this and we never could get something that made a real difference in a live game.

I am of the opinion that pro players can and should spread out their units more by hand. The benefits are enormous. Fortunately we are starting to see this in some games and I expect this trend to continue.

Source: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6573699544?page=4#63



You have been asking for us to test, and I have tested before and I am quite curious why a value of 6 was chosen. I mean why not 8 like for air or a higher number? Can you please answer it Rock?

I guess if there was a reason behind the setting maybe we could understand why you guys are refusing to let us test it.

Anyway, just want to repeat my question as I think you did not see it in my last post:

@Rock:I know the Default value is 6 in the editor. The video demonstrates a value of 50 for the "Mixed" variable. For air the value is 8.

Yes, a value of 50 probably would make splitting too easy and pros should be splitting their units by hand. But, other than balance, there is the game watch-ability aspect.

Clumped up units just does not look good. I think the clumping is not really the source of deathball syndrome, but it kind of becomes the scapegoat because it looks bad.

Can you explain why you settled for the default value if 6? I think a value of around 12 would lower the "ceiling" for splitting about 1% but raise the game watch-ability 100%. As you said, it did not change anything much --so why not just treat is as a cosmetic change for now?

Also, this is a Beta, why only internal testing? Why don't you let us, the customers try it and see if we like it or see what we do with it? I know you can come up with a value that wont be game breaking because 6 just seems too low.

We have already decided it's not useful, that's why we didn't put it in a patch. I'm not going to waste time, energy and resources testing something that doesn't do anything positive for the game. A change like this will require extensive testing and take a lot of effort to make sure it didn't break anything in campaign or anywhere else in the game. If you don't agree, that is totally cool. Go test it now. You have an editor. I'm not stopping you. =)

Source: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6573699544?page=5#96

I love how he just gives it to the community there at the end: "If you don't agree, that is totally cool. Go test it now. You have an editor. I'm not stopping you. =)"

flak4321
10-25-2012, 01:12 PM
I agree with you and Browder quite a bit. The unit clumping is in there as a natural result of rally points and most army movement. If we take that out, any and all splash damage units and AoE abilities become useless. I finally got promoted to silver this week, and I have to admit that I have learned the value of manually declumping my units, mostly due to fungal/storm spamming vs my deathball.

Triceron
10-25-2012, 01:24 PM
Implementing a feature like this would require changes to all AoE abilties and attacks to spread out farther, and I still don't know if that would work. Air will always magic box, marines will always stay split at the front vs banelings. You could get into a crescent formation gain a maximum surround on your opponent with burrowed units. It would definitely need some retooling.

Pr0nogo
10-25-2012, 02:46 PM
I'm not going to waste time, energy and resources testing something that doesn't do anything positive for the game.

http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Mitt-Romney-Laughing.gif

DemolitionSquid
10-25-2012, 02:58 PM
This whole thing makes me sad. Whats the point of having all this splash/AoE damage in the game if we don't want units to clump? I say force them to clump more!

RODTHEGOD
10-25-2012, 07:40 PM
I actually agree with this proposal. Starcraft 2 is not warcaft in space.
Armies clumping up makes battles 1 death ball vs another death ball
It's hardly different then having heroes in the game.
I hate the way it looks. It makes armies act like a fluid. I want my army to move in a line, not like water.

I mean look at this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcS8yeFpPmQ
and this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgNVgXE1rZk&feature=related
and this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpS6nbjpfiQ&feature=related
and this is perhaps the best example
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD11iPX8YcY&feature=related
The baneling blob litterally acts as a single unit.
It moves as if I'm watching an amoeba or something.
And it's able to fit into much smaller spaces then it should (like at the 2 minute mark)
I mean how is the above video different from this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8hp26eiUEU

Honestly, out of all the things in starcraft 2 that disappointed me, it's this fluid movement that I hate the 2nd most (topped only by the terrible dialog in the campaign)
and I think I would actually play/watch starcraft 2 alot more if it wasn't for movement thing.

It's just so god dam ugly....

Once more, it makes armies look small, because they litterally occupy the smallest amount of space possible.

Look at this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh0dEexJqTc&feature=endscreen&NR=1
That's more then the max supply a terran can have... and it can fit on 1 screen because they litterally occupy the smallest amount of space possible.

I don't like it and I never will.


EDIT: Here is a non-pro match with the adjustment from the original video in this thread
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XsEffLOnpbI#!

It's not a professional game, but for me atleast, army movement looks far more satisfying.
I don't even think it changes anything balance wise.

sandwich_bird
10-25-2012, 10:45 PM
Not pointing any fingers (this mostly relates to things I read on tl.net) but I think it's a bit ironic that it seems as though better players would prefer to see units keep their formation. I mean, having units clump up definitely makes this game more apm demanding and less forgiving to newer player. Those people are usually the same that are against auto-mine, larger control group and etc...

Anyways, I agree with RODTHEGOD though; it's pretty ugly. Not only is it ugly but it's archaic. Even freaking Age of Empires 2 let you change the formation of your units.

RamiZ
10-26-2012, 02:53 AM
EDIT: Here is a non-pro match with the adjustment from the original video in this thread
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XsEffLOnpbI#!

It's not a professional game, but for me atleast, army movement looks far more satisfying.
I don't even think it changes anything balance wise.

It doesn't change anything balance wise because it doesn't change anything... I was watching that video, and was expecting a real modified movement, and then I come to conclusion just like many people that commented on that map, and that is that it feels the same. Yes, units don't clump when they are walking, but they instantly clump up when the fight starts and that is the only thing when it matters.

It absolutely doesn't change anything at all.

Pr0nogo
10-26-2012, 09:01 AM
It does. That map just wasn't a good indicator of the differences.

Triceron
10-26-2012, 01:56 PM
Formations would change everything about Starcraft. Even if Browder says it will change little, that might simply be an observation on the pro level when everyone is doing it manually anyways; but getting into position and splitting forces to avoid splash is a huge part of Starcraft 2.

Not only is magic-boxing going to be the norm for most units vs splash, it will also mean you can get into position and get a good surround using an optimal formation instead of manually splitting groups of units. This makes 1a even more emphasized for 'death crescents'.

MulletBen
10-27-2012, 01:46 AM
I tried that map. The first time I played it, I got caught up in the game and didn't even notice that there was something different. Halfway through killing the computer I remembered and took my roach army out for some test runs. If your army is clumped, it will stay clumped as it moves around the map, unless it splits to path around objects. If your army is split, it is true it will remain split. However, should you tell your units to attack somewhere, the CENTER of the unit group will move to wherever you target. This means that if your army is really spread out, some of your units can move FAR farther than where you tell them. I feel this makes them unnecessarily difficult to control. I still think it looks better, in the few instances where it is actually different from normal, but for the most part it just makes your units behave more stupidly than they should.

flak4321
10-27-2012, 12:07 PM
If you focus fire on a particular target, clumping is again mandatory due to your units vying for firing positions. If you want your units to stay in formation in battle, you would have to give up the ability to focus fire any building or ground unit because you couldn't position your formation to do so either because of terrain or your enemy's position. You would have to take advantage of the terrain and enemy positions as best you could with modified formations. From a programming standpoint, getting all these variations done right would be a herculean undertaking.

The only reason Age of Empires and similar games allow formations is because historically formations were used until the American Revolution brought out guerilla tactics and rendered them void as a valid battle mechanic, and those games require a realism that our does not. Also, these formations always break in these games when attacks are made. Only air and sea forces still use formations because those types of warfare disallow most guerilla tactics. Even then, formations need to be broken to actually win a fight in either theater.