Pre-battle Orders, what they're missing

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lucklylee

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Preface: I am aware there are at least 2 different discussions regarding the topic which I am about to mention(here and here). However, I deemed that a creation of a new thread is appropriate since I have quite a few things to say/add.

The main problem I see is that the new system isn't a proper replacement for the old. The two systems served completely different(although complementary) functions. The current pre-battle order system seems to serve 2 main functions:

-positioning of formations on the battlefield
-creation of formations

The former is a function that was wanted by general consensus. The main issue I have is that the latter is way too lacking. The current system to create formations is far too limiting in that it's too generalized. You can sort by troop type and give priority to weapon variants. But this fuzzy system creates a few issues, namely:

-Little to no control over hero options
-lack of an ability to divide formations more specifically

The former more or less speaks for itself. It was also mentioned in the other forum threads so I won't go into it in detail. But the latter raises the most issues for me. The current system essentially gives the player no control over what units are in each formation outside of extremely generalized categories. Even the "priority" system doesn't have an option to lock a formation to a specific weapon type (I.E only pikes or halberds within a unit). One other problem I have encountered is the lack of an ability to separate by unit quality or unit type (If I wanted units from different factions in different formations, or fodder in a specific formation by themselves).

Personally I think from a gameplay perspective it's an extremely easy fix, but as I am not a programmer I don't know how difficult it would be to implement. All you'd have to do is add the option in the pre-battle screen to select what units you'd want in a formation, and how many. I can see this replacing the priority tags as the generalized melee or ranged or cavalry groups can be useful if you don't want to be more specific and want formations on the fly. The system can be much akin to the discard troops option under the party tab, where you can pick which troops you can discard and how many. This system would also allow for greater hero control for formations as you can add companions to specific formations. I must add the fact that the current system allows for number control is great, and the formation leader system is great. It just can be way better in terms of functionality.

EDIT: After reading this, I must mention that you can have the generalized troop categories lock the formation to a type of troop, but have more selection over the formation afterwards (I.E no shock cavalry in a infantry formation but only have vlandian peasants as opposed to peasants + pikemen). Again, I'm not a game developer so maybe it's absolutely cancer to implement.

EDIT 2: I have never noticed this since I don't play custom battles. But the system in custom battles for unit spawning works perfectly for the problems I've mentioned (at least in my mind). It addresses the fundamental issues of unit types and quantity.
 
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