[1.7.0] How to fix OoB

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Alright, let us talk about OoB.
As an idea, it's absolutely brilliant. Pre-battle deployment is something I wanted in M&B for ages. It just adds to the immersion of a war leader to not have units march into battle in a blob. And of course, it has many other advantages.
However, in its current state, the system is borderline unusable for the reason of not actually being able to decide which units go where.
The preference system is not good at all, it's very vague, does really work 100% and is missing a fair few categories to make it useful. f.e. If I have units of Aseri Veteran Infantry (who are decked in heavy armour and equipped with spear, shield and javelins) to which preference category do they go? They fit all of them. Why are the preference groups the same for every category? Sure it's for infantry, but for ranged and cavalry, I have different separations in mind. Why is there a preference for some things, but not other things? If there is a preference for heavy armour, why is there not a preference for light armour? How and why do companions decide to which category do they belong?
These and other issues are what bugs me and make the system very clunky to use. So I compiled a list of suggestions/ideas on how to improve the system. I don't know how the system is programmed, so idk which would be easy to do or which would be straight up impossible.

1. Player designated battlegroups
This one is really simple to explain. Just bring back the grouping system that currently exists on the live version, however instead of these groups designating a control group, they will merely be a tag the unit carries. You can rename them from numerals to letters or symbols to make players not confused.
And then on the deployment screen, when selecting what goes into each control group, instead of selecting from infantry, ranged, cav, etc. we would be selecting from groups A, B, C, etc.
You may ask, what if a player creates too many groups or doesn't deploy certain groups? Well, simple solution to both. Just be there only 8 groups as is on live and autofill deployment slots as they do now. Simple as that really.

2. Direct unit assignment
Alright, let's say the main separation into infantry, ranged, cav, etc just has to exist for voice lines to match or something. Then instead of vague sub-category preference, let us assign preference to specific units. To group 1, I want to give preference to Legionaries and Hired blades and as with the current system, once those run-out, just deeply whatever is left. And I know this is possible because this system already exists when invading hideouts; the game doesn't ask which type of unit you want, it lets you pick exactly which units you want. So why not make something similar for battles as well. Obviously not clicking the numbers, but just selecting the unit.

3. Assign units to preference groups
Alright, let's say the main separation has to exist and direct unit preference is too cumbersome. Then let us at least choose to which of the preference groups unit belongs into. Fine Aseri Veteran Infantry will deploy with infantry forever at random, but let us assign them to count as shield units and only as a shield unit because I don't want them to deploy with polearm infantry for some reason.

4. More and better preference groups
Continuing with no direct player input possible. In a word of every crime show ever; Enhance. There are so many preferences missing from the system right now. The most glaring one, for me, is the inability to separate light and heavy cavalry. Because well, there is no 'light armour' preference. But there is so much more. I as a player want to decide which units go where, so with the removal of player input from unit designation, giving as many options as possible is paramount. We can already filter polearms, so why not add other weapons too? I want to give preference to units with blunt weapons when I need prisoners, I want to give preference to axe units when I know they will be facing a lot of shields. Etc. I want to be able to separate ranged units by whether they have a bow or a crossbow.

The next important thing for improving this preference system is to add another box that would allow assigning preference to a Tier of units. I want to bring recruits to fight looters, so they level up faster. And while peasant with a pitchfork is technically a polearm unit, I don't want them to be stopping heavy cav charge. This would allow us to do some more advanced tactical manoeuvres, like making part of a line weaker/stronger for some wrapping moves ... or using looters as cannonfodder

5. Make the categories visible
Regardless of everything, we should be able to see which category/categories a unit belongs into. Just as now we can see whether unit counts as infantry, ranged, etc on the unit card in the party menu, it would be nice if we also were able to see if they count as shielded, polearm, etc. And if a unit belongs into more of these groups, have some indication of which group does it consider primary, secondary, etc. Going back to my favourite Aseri Veteran Infantry. Let's say they are considered both shielded and polearm, then I want to know if they will be deploying with shield units or with polearm units first.

6. Companions
One of the bigger issues with the new system is the inability to decide which group companions belong into. Aside from it removing the ability to create hero group, which was always fun to do, it creates some issues with companions assigning themselves into groups that player doesn't intend for them to be in. When I give my medic with 20|20|20 in combat stats a shield, I don't intend for them to stand in the front line with Legionaries. Let there be an option, either via some selection box or through dialogue, to designate a companion as a specific unit type regardless of their feelings and equipment. Or better yet, let there be an option to designate companion as a non-combat one, either moving them to the end of reinforce poll, or removing them from it altogether.

7. Bits and tiny improvements
These are just some bigger and smaller improvements, that are not as important as making the system properly functional.

Make the deployment zone a tad more visible. It's a bit hard to see on some maps or from some angles.
Make it so units don't deselect / stay selected after changing their formation (shieldwall, square, ...)
Do something about the trees. Either lower their opacity or make them fade on the deployment screen. It's sort of an issue, especially on heavily forested maps where it can take a moment to find a good camera angle to actually see the units. Eventually, give the selected unit group a glow outline highlight (similar to important npcs in towns).
Make the system optional. No matter how it will look and work, some people simply won't like it or won't like to use it in every situation. I think the best solution would be to split the "fight with troops" option in the combat menu into some "Charge" option which would simply auto-deploy units in the default formation as was the case before and a "Deploy" option which would open the new OoB deployment.

Whether it is through one of my suggestions or other means, I hope this system will become much more functional than it is now. It is a nice idea and I love it, but it requires a lot more polishing.


3 — true

I want to sort the groups myself and decide which troops, in what form, at what moment to use. If I knew that they could DELETE this feature, then of course I would not buy the game.

At least I hope this will be corrected by the mod, but when
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