Thursday, June 25, 2015

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada gameplay analysis

Super excited to play this game!

Check this out guys, here's the latest gameplay on Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.  I must have watched the video a hundred times, but I only did it because I'm really interested in seeing how this company is going to translate this vaulted table-top into a computer game.  Oh, one more minor video here, but you have to squint really hard to see anything.  Just listen in for the most part.

Here's a brief analysis from what I can see from a gameplay perspective:

  • It looks like some special orders translates seemingly into RTS.  For example, it looks like All Ahead Full! is just a boost to speed at the expense of firing weapons maybe.  Or maybe it's just a minor decrease to weapons such as +25% speed for -25% rate of fire.  Likewise, Brace for Impact! might be a +25% damage reduction for -25% damage.
  • The stats of the ship look pretty straight forward when translated onto an RTS platform.  Shields just look like a raw value that acts like an overheal, so its essentially extra health until shields go down.  Once shields go down, the damage is then applied to the ship's hull, which acts as health points.  When this value reaches 0, the ship explodes.  We're unsure if there's going to be different factors in play here when the ship explodes.  Does it have a chance to Warp Drive Implosion when the ship goes down?   We don't know.
  • To expand on this a little further, it looks like there is going to be battle damage when damage is being applied to the ship.  The designers themselves said that there are going to be ways to damage weapon components and that immediately reminds me of Homeworld.  If players are able to disable a ship's engines to make them slower or completely crippled, then that can add huge dimensions to gameplay because of all the things you can do to an enemy ship.  You can clearly see chunks of the ship flying off as it takes heavy damage, but I'm unsure if these pieces continue to do damage to other ships that bump into them.
  • Speaking of bumping into stuff, I don't think I see any Blast marker mechanics from the gameplay videoes so far.  Blast might have a side-effect to show that a ship is taking damage in general and that it moves slower once in combat, but that's all just guess work right now.
  • From what I've seen from the combat system, it seems like most of the attacks are hitting the enemy ship when they're being fired with the exception of a few things like Torpedoes.  I think this means that they're making the torps fire like skillshots from a MOBA, and having them go on cooldown after being fired, which makes a fair amount of sense.  The big thing here to note is that if most of the attacks are hitting, but not all of them, then that means there's a hit modifier right?  If that's the case, then that makes Eldar Holo-fields really easy to do.  Attacks will simply miss more against ships utilizing Holo-fields, which is both consistent with the fluff and translates easily into the engine.  Whether or not this is actually good for gameplay is another issue.  If something like hit chance is in the game, what about criticals?  What if the RNG gods are cruel and you lose a Void Stalker based on bad RNG?  Surely that's bound to happen to everyone once in a while, but as long as its done tastefully and not consistently frustrating then it's OK.
  • Right now, we are unsure how the damage formula for the ships are.  I'm assuming that ship weapons systems are doing set damage values every X amount of seconds (multiplied by hit chance) vs. Y amount of health using Z% of damage reduction due to armor.  This means that the damage system is a very easy to understand DPS vs. damage reduction formula being used with Torpedoes every 60 seconds or until the Reload Order is being used or something.
  • Speaking of Orders, I'm not sure if there's going to be all the Orders in BFG, but there will be some well-known ones.  I think I saw All Ahead Full and Brace for Impact, but I don't know if any others exist.  From what I can see from the UI, it looks like every ship, or at least the important capital ships will have special abilities that maybe the captain will do.  For example, you might be able to select certain abilties on your captain as he levels up, and he will be able to apply that to any ship that he rides in.
  • Going off of that, it seems that you will be able to upgrade various parts of the ship as you progress in the game.  The designers specifically mentioned that you will be able upgrade nearly everything, from the weapons to the officers, to the engines, you know it.  I'm curious to see if this is only going to be a single-player mechanic, or is it going to be in multiplayer as well where you can purchase more worthwhile upgrades, but it will add a cost to your ship.
  • Before we go any further on this, I just wanted to say that no information has been released about how fighters/bombers are going to work.  Right now, we can only assume that there will be turret/defense interactions and fighters/bombers will be treated as mini units that can be launched from their carriers from a special action.  Once they unload, or fight, or what have you, they might need to reload back at their carriers before a Reload action is called so they can be sent out again.  This is all guesswork, but that's what I would do in an RTS game so why not?
  • This leads me to my last part of this brief analysis, and that's the cost association with the ships.  Since I only really care about multiplayer, it looks like you'll be able to set a game up with a certain amount of points kind of like Total War, and then buy ships as long as you have enough points.  After that, you start the game, deploy in a line, setup whatever formation you want and go to town.  Makes sense, and looks really straight forward.

Needless to say, I'm really excited about the game.  Just by looking at this brief gameplay video, it looks like the developers over there know what they're doing.  I feel a little better now.

3 comments:

Darian Vorlick said...

One thing that doesn't translate from the board game to the video game are distances. It looks like the game takes place in very close proximity to each other where the board game specifically states the distances between ships etc are large distances. I was hoping more for a 'void combat' type of game where you are dealing with astronomical distances and you have to triangulate where you want to go, where you are going to shoot, etc. based on understanding the movement capability of each ship, sort of like World of Warships and less like Homeworld.

Brandon said...

Just tossing this out there. I know in your previous post you said WHFB has died down in your area, what are your feelings on the new Age of Sigmar and rumors of the format change? Plan to try it out? Interested to hear what you think.

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