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First Look: Catapults! - Official discussion thread

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I am probably in the minority here, but I hate the idea that siege engines are vehicles.

 

I rather see then as resource sinks

 

1. You spend a bunch of resources to build them

2.  You set them up and point them at a target

3.  So long as they are up and you provide them with ammo and keep the crew alive, once ever 5 minutes or so they do damage to whatever they are pointed at.

 

If you want to, you can(slowly move them)

 

I can, maybe, see some justification for having a ballista on a wheelbarrow or some such

 

Might make sense to have both trebuchets which are very slow to move and assemble but do massive damage as well as mangonels / onagers which are more mobile but do less damage.

 

Providing ammo for these beasts (should) be an interesting logistics problem.


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I am probably in the minority here, but I hate the idea that siege engines are vehicles.

 

I rather see then as resource sinks

 

1. You spend a bunch of resources to build them

2.  You set them up and point them at a target

3.  So long as they are up and you provide them with ammo and keep the crew alive, once ever 5 minutes or so they do damage to whatever they are pointed at.

 

If you want to, you can(slowly move them)

 

I can, maybe, see some justification for having a ballista on a wheelbarrow or some such

 

Might make sense to have both trebuchets which are very slow to move and assemble but do massive damage as well as mangonels / onagers which are more mobile but do less damage.

 

Providing ammo for these beasts (should) be an interesting logistics problem.

I'm actually very on board with siege weapons of any type that shoots anything, to use an ammo system.

I've seen too many crappy siege mechanics in MMOs before that allows you to attack with impunity, that any idiot zerg can abuse the crap out of because it requires no forethought to use.

Edited by yoh

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I am probably in the minority here, but I hate the idea that siege engines are vehicles.

 

I rather see then as resource sinks

 

1. You spend a bunch of resources to build them

2.  You set them up and point them at a target

3.  So long as they are up and you provide them with ammo and keep the crew alive, once ever 5 minutes or so they do damage to whatever they are pointed at.

 

If you want to, you can(slowly move them)

 

I can, maybe, see some justification for having a ballista on a wheelbarrow or some such

 

Might make sense to have both trebuchets which are very slow to move and assemble but do massive damage as well as mangonels / onagers which are more mobile but do less damage.

 

Providing ammo for these beasts (should) be an interesting logistics problem.

 

I agree here.

 

I am hoping the siege tech Blair showcased is just a quick solution for testing Siege Perilous.

 

It's my opinion that ArtCraft can do much better than this, and make siege equipment more congruous to Crowfall's gritty muse Game of Thrones.

 

If battle tanks are to be pivotal siege equipment then I am a little underwhelmed by the idea, it doesn't make sense to me, for Crowfall to compete in mechanized combat with some of the game titles that specialize in the genre.

 

As the game develops I would like to see the tech of that SP Catapult stripped down into parts and re-purposed.

 

  • The catapult itself stationary and pulled into position by War-pigs
  • The wheeled battering ram pushed by players into position and only operates if manned
  • The magic shield on both is fine

If they want combat mounts why not a Mammoth Elephant that holds 3-4 players and can be equipped as a battering ram against walls, or a smaller version Rhinoceros that holds one player and can be outfitted for gate damage. Tune their health, speed, stamina, and respawn timers so they can't be used as a perpetual swarm over long distances.    

 

  • Extra pet items to sell in the store, and/or drops in-game.
  • Useless vanity pet for siege warfare until equipped or outfitted by crafted items. (money/time sinks)
  • Mounts siege enhancements can be looted if killed and follows decay rules. 
  • Fits thematically to the game. If the siege equipment ends up following vessel logic, my crow spirit would prefer possessing a Mammoth over a wooden cart.

Just some random ideas, I am withholding judgement until I see some anti-siege tech, and how that balances in-game.  

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I'm not crazy about the vehicle concept, either.  It seems a little too "mini-game" at face value.  Of course, I haven't played it yet. ;)

 

I imagined the siege engine as something deploy-able, like a building or a mini-POI.  It could be built on-site using local resources, or carted in via caravan (the concept art for the catapult even shows pack pigs in the background) for a more rapid deployment.  I saw it as a Team Fortress 2 Engineer building and controlling a sentry turret with a Wrangler (though much more robust, and of course, without the of auto-fire).  Maybe I'm the victim of my own imagination on this one.  "Spy's sappin' my Catapult!"

 

Naturally, placing, deploying, moving, and operating these siege engines are all things that take time and resources, so it's something that you have to plan for as part of your overall strategy.  The defenders, in the meantime, are able to respond by attacking the enemy positions before the artillery is place and the rocks start falling.

 

They should be big, expensive, cumbersome, and relatively fragile, so guarding and maintaining them should be a very high priority for your faction.  For Siege Perilous, I think the catapults themselves should play the role that the Banewood trees are currently serving, i.e. the invaders lose when they are destroyed.  If your siege engines are wrecked and you cannot replace them, your siege is over.

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So first off very cool video, a bit sad that they did not show how it works on a wall but I guess it could be argued the video was more to show off the skills, looks and abilities of the catapult. In which case I like how the catapult looks, they are big and they look like they could do serious damage to just about anything it throws its boulders at. However the first thing I noticed in the video is the speed the catapult has, for its size. It looks to me like it is going as fast as players normally would. Probably tweaked a bit down so that players can catch up, but I would like to say that it looks too fast for a catapult. if this is going to be the main and standard of a siege attacking weapon then some adjustments need to be made. I have read through the thread and some ideas that speak to me are having other players pushing the catapults into positions or having 2 boars pull it forward. You don't want to make it too easy to control the catapult because it is supposed to be a hard hitting siege weapon with medium range. (Or so I assume) At least balance out the damage with the speed it has. 
 
The catapults right now have a speed boost. Why? Its turning speed is pretty good already and giving it a speed boost would only make it easier to move the catapults from their original attacking spot. And that relieves tactical thinking like for example:''What is the best spot to place the catapults so that it is in a defensible position where I can have oversight of what is incoming and still be able to protect the catapults while they are doing work on walls.'' An example of this is in Guild Wars 2 (A game I have 4000 hours in, mostly in World v World v World) Their catapults and actually all siege weapons are stationary. This means you need to choose a spot that is tactically sufficient for your group to defend and attack from. I enjoy tactics, a lot. And since this will be a mainly PvP focussed game I want to have people thinking more about what tactics they are going to be using when they enter battles that require siege weaponry. I am not saying you should make siege weapons stationary, but I am saying that slower siege weapons will require players to resort to more tactical thinking about what they are going to do.

 
If this does not happen I fear Crowfall will have the same problem Guild Wars 2 has, the continues high speed flipping of keeps, towers, castles. This will basically result in them being worth nothing since they are changing who owns them a lot. I absolutely don't want that, I want that capturing keeps means something significant.

 

I have not seen the damage catapults do on walls but I hope it is not too high. People in videogames will always find the quickest and easiest way to do things.. in GW2 it was (At least in the old map) that you would build a lot of catapults next to the wall of an undefended keep and take it within a matter of minutes. I can't speak for what goes on internally but I hope that you (ArtCraft) want keeps to be hard to take which would result in multiple long taking epic battles. Which is how it should be because owning a keep means the nearby territory is yours, which I can also only assume has a few benefits. 
 
It has a shield, a speed boost, a knockback with decent turning speed and a reticle aimer. Perhaps it has a little too much?  You must not forget that these battles will have a lot of players, if you give the catapults too much that will result in them being too self sustainable in battles. I don't think that is how siege weaponry are supposed to be. I would like to force commanders to choose how to organise his troops and think about questions like:

 

How many players do I need to defend the catapults from roamers? While I go somewhere else with the main group.

How many of my players will attack the wall to make it go down faster? (Thus leaving the siege a little undefended)

Will I attack the enemy head on so the siege weapons can do their job on the wall?

Or will i use the siege weapons in my battle for extra fighting power to tip the scales of the fight in my favor?  
 
These are just my rambling thoughts, do with them as you wish.  :)

Edited by Grimulf

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I'll start by saying that this looks really cool, particularly given that it is the first engine built for testing purposes.  A few thoughts:

 

 

As the game develops I would like to see the tech of that SP Catapult stripped down into parts and re-purposed.

 

  • The catapult itself stationary and pulled into position by War-pigs
  • The wheeled battering ram pushed by players into position and only operates if manned
  • The magic shield on both is fine

If they want combat mounts why not a Mammoth Elephant that holds 3-4 players and can be equipped as a battering ram against walls, or a smaller version Rhinoceros that holds one player and can be outfitted for gate damage. Tune their health, speed, stamina, and respawn timers so they can't be used as a perpetual swarm over long distances.    

 

  • Extra pet items to sell in the store, and/or drops in-game.
  • Useless vanity pet for siege warfare until equipped or outfitted by crafted items. (money/time sinks)
  • Mounts siege enhancements can be looted if killed and follows decay rules. 
  • Fits thematically to the game. If the siege equipment ends up following vessel logic, my crow spirit would prefer possessing a Mammoth over a wooden cart.

 

I really like this approach.  I'm not sure how caravans are to function, but if there is a mechanism in that framework that chains mobile items together then perhaps that same framework could be used to implement those first 2 bullets.  Outfitting pets as siege engines would also provide some more depth to both siege and animal training disciplines, and I agree that all of this fits the CF universe well.

 

I'm not crazy about the speed boost in its current form either, but I don't necessarily think it should go.  I think it would be cool if the speed boost skill wasn't a siege engine skill, but instead tied to the animal team pulling the engine.  Boost speed and duration would be functions on the pet's stats and the players stats and caravan/animal training skills.  Siege engines should not be easily mobile, so I think there should more required to achieve these boosts.

 

Spikes up front are perfect as they are IMO (I interpret them as mechanical and spring-loaded).  The shield looks great, though I am on the fence as to whether there should be a power source for it or not...

 

Very curious to see these in real action!

Edited by starrshipcs

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 This is our first manned siege vehicle which allows us to also work out mount kinks

No worries, I believe siege vehicles will change. For now, we could see it as [player] taking control of [object].

 

@Grimulf : The thing in CF is we build the castles, and we can destroy them to the ground :D Unlike GW2, where you only destroy a wall or a door here and there.

Edited by Nikbis

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You also have to consider the costs that go into making a vehicle, as that is money, resources and time you aren't getting back. Also, it's not like armies just waltzed their vehicles into the fray, those things were valuable assets and needed to be protected from sabotage. The thing with WoW vehicles is no one made them or considered their production value, they were just spawns. If I'm going to build something in Crowfall, I need to make sure I'm going to get my money's worth, and save/hoard them until necessary. Imo, if I'm using that ram at all, I screwed up BAD. I woild like to see trubchets, catapults, and seige vehicles survive campaigns and have long illustrious careers, so when they are wrecked, it HURTS ME...like, sentimentally. Like famous tanks and bombers in museums, they get a reputation and history, so players are reluctant to put such valuable and sentimental items at risk, while enemies lick their chops to capture such an illustrious prize. Maybe I'm over thinking it, but having vehicles have a certain longevity and high production value are things to consider, and will be what separates them from the typical WoW spawns.

 

ALSO, THEY USED THE GOLDEN SPIRAL IN THE SHIELD SPELL, HOW #$@*ING COOL IS THAT?!! ALL THE PROPS!! HOPE THEY INCLUDE MORE MAGI-MATICAL EASTER EGGS IN FUTURE SPELLS!!

Edited by RKNM

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This seems bad imo

 

Moving all over the battlefield as a vehicle is dumb you rolled and are building a particular character so why would I want to play as a catapult instead?

 

In my mind siege weapons make more sense when they are used in a single position  to attack a wall or other siege weapons, either to draw a counter attack or open a gap for a more offensive position.  They should be slow not easily moved they are there to create a rallying point for pvp combat.

 

So they shouldn't be this mobile.

 

 

Also in real life catapults needed to be braced when firing as the kickback is going to move them out of position, which is going to mean they need to be ranged again.

 

How is this catapult moving anyways does it have an engine? is it car with nitro boost?

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This seems bad imo

 

Moving all over the battlefield as a vehicle is dumb you rolled and are building a particular character so why would I want to play as a catapult instead?

 

In my mind siege weapons make more sense when they are used in a single position  to attack a wall or other siege weapons, either to draw a counter attack or open a gap for a more offensive position.  They should be slow not easily moved they are there to create a rallying point for pvp combat.

 

So they shouldn't be this mobile.

 

 

Also in real life catapults needed to be braced when firing as the kickback is going to move them out of position, which is going to mean they need to be ranged again.

 

How is this catapult moving anyways does it have an engine? is it car with nitro boost?

 

So, I have a counter-argument and an idea, I'll start with the counter:

 

Catapults, while good in siege, will not be strong against players who can easily flank you, making them easy targets. As well, it should take some cost, AKA a player, to man a catapult for the sake of the battle. Some players enjoy being able to make a larger difference on the battlefield enough to gladly not engage in PvP with their character, just a matter of preference. These are, also, rather slow with a small boost so it isn't complete fodder. As for how it moves, magic.

 

An idea drawn from your argument, however, is that perhaps catapults should need to be set up for them to use ranged attacks, AKA needing to take time to become rooted before launching fireballs and then time to un-root before moving. This places greater emphasis on positioning one's catapults instead of viewing these units as constantly shifting about the field, which I view as placing an unfair advantage on the attacking side in terms of flexibility.

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So, I have a counter-argument and an idea, I'll start with the counter:

 

Catapults, while good in siege, will not be strong against players who can easily flank you, making them easy targets. As well, it should take some cost, AKA a player, to man a catapult for the sake of the battle. Some players enjoy being able to make a larger difference on the battlefield enough to gladly not engage in PvP with their character, just a matter of preference. These are, also, rather slow with a small boost so it isn't complete fodder. As for how it moves, magic.

 

An idea drawn from your argument, however, is that perhaps catapults should need to be set up for them to use ranged attacks, AKA needing to take time to become rooted before launching fireballs and then time to un-root before moving. This places greater emphasis on positioning one's catapults instead of viewing these units as constantly shifting about the field, which I view as placing an unfair advantage on the attacking side in terms of flexibility.

The way I see it, is that all siege should be about logistics.

Taking time to build, requiring various resources that have to be hauled to it construction site, which in turn requires caravans, which requires flat land to travel over.

And at every step of the way you need protection.

 

And even once you have your siege, getting it into position should require some amount of effort.  Esp if the mobile siege engines are very large and slow, and can't travel over rough terrain.

 

And all of this requires planning and tactics.  No conjuring siege out of thin air, no instant construction, no easily moved weapons of mass destruction.

Siege should be highly specialized, costly yet easily destroyed weapons.  Well, the ones which you need to use to take over castles with.

An arrow cart, not so much.

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Well really though at some point just have to use some suspension of belief and move on. These games are not meant to be real life battle simulators.

CF will be a fantasy game. Suspension of disbelief is necessary to ever enjoy it and no one argues that point.

 

Suspension of thought however, is a huge problem for any project in planning stages.

When you cease to think you cease to contribute meaningfully to the plan. If we all do it, too many potential players will truly move on.

 

So when the devs urinate and call it rain, thanking them for the fresh lemonade does not serve the game.


I think the K-Mart of MMO's already exists!  And it ain't us!   :)

 

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CF will be a fantasy game. Suspension of disbelief is necessary to ever enjoy it and no one argues that point.

 

Suspension of thought however, is a huge problem for any project in planning stages.

When you cease to think you cease to contribute meaningfully to the plan. If we all do it, too many potential players will truly move on.

 

So when the devs urinate and call it rain, thanking them for the fresh lemonade does not serve the game.

Look, my main point was the whole realism vs fantasy that some take way too far to one side. The idea that these catapults need to be pushed by hand and pulled around by beasts of burden is all well and good but probably is a bit more tech than the Devs would want to hassle with. On the other hand having it just be self propelled with not even the player showing isn't a good look either.  So the final iteration of these vehicles is likely to be somewhere in between and yes some are just going to have to deal with it not making 100% sense or being as "real" as they want it.

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Look, my main point was the whole realism vs fantasy that some take way too far to one side. The idea that these catapults need to be pushed by hand and pulled around by beasts of burden is all well and good but probably is a bit more tech than the Devs would want to hassle with. On the other hand having it just be self propelled with not even the player showing isn't a good look either.  So the final iteration of these vehicles is likely to be somewhere in between and yes some are just going to have to deal with it not making 100% sense or being as "real" as they want it.

 

 

I agree with your sentiment here: There is a middle ground that where fun, practicality (tech and game play), and some semblance of realism merge. I'm honestly not sure how big that target is, and it will clearly vary for each person. I'm glad we're seeing catapults that have to be moved from one point to another rather than ones we can fold up and put into our pockets. I don't love the current iteration (as far as I can tell from the video), but I hope it's able to stir up enough feedback and allow the tech to be usefully tested without taking too many steps down a path that doesn't seem to be popular on these forums. (heh heh, what is?)

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So, I have a counter-argument and an idea, I'll start with the counter:

 

Catapults, while good in siege, will not be strong against players who can easily flank you, making them easy targets. As well, it should take some cost, AKA a player, to man a catapult for the sake of the battle. Some players enjoy being able to make a larger difference on the battlefield enough to gladly not engage in PvP with their character, just a matter of preference. These are, also, rather slow with a small boost so it isn't complete fodder. As for how it moves, magic.

 

An idea drawn from your argument, however, is that perhaps catapults should need to be set up for them to use ranged attacks, AKA needing to take time to become rooted before launching fireballs and then time to un-root before moving. This places greater emphasis on positioning one's catapults instead of viewing these units as constantly shifting about the field, which I view as placing an unfair advantage on the attacking side in terms of flexibility.

The main point to me anyways, is that they seem too mobile in the video.

Edited by n3xx

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I, too, feel that the catapults (while cool -- go team ACE! 8D) are currently problematic in their design. The problem isn't "how do they move?" even. If they're magically powered, that's fine. Of course, fuel of SOME kind would probably want to come into play there, but... The point is, how players employ these tools in combat is what's important. The big picture. I know this touches on things others have already said, but just consider it reinforcement of those things:

 

1) If a player can drive the catapult around... Fine. But he shouldn't also be aiming and firing the thing. Nor should he be boosting it or shielding it, really. Maayyybe he "fires" the front ram. Maybe. Someone else should have to aim/fire the catapult. Maybe even have people have to load the thing.

 

2) The person doing the firing should have to crank it back, and the farther back you crank it, the farther it fires. But, it should be a process. Crank it back, load it, aim, fire. Teamwork pays off for a huge damaging shot to walls. Teamwork is good. Nowb if people come fight at your catapult, you've got to have enough people there to defend the siege team, OR pull people off to defend the 'pult at the cost of aiming/firing speed, etc.

 

3) The catapult should have to be anchored in order to fire. It can still be more mobile than a larger piece of siege equipment -- faster to fire and get into place and re-aim, etc. -- But there's no reason to let it be capable of hit-and-run tactics. You fire, you're vulnerable to attack for at least 20 or 30 seconds.

 

4) I love the idea from page 3 or so of these things being kind of modular. Maybe you make one with more "drive" slots (places where players can stand to push/steer the thing) but less armor, or a smaller launching arm? Maybe you make something slowerb but more destructive? Maybe you tailor it to an anti-personnel thing with rams all around or bigger rams? Who knows!

 

5) The catapult should have to be aimed, and should fire quite far. Maybe we cold even have a spotting role with a spyglass to tell people more exactly where the shots land and precisely which adjustments to make. The Ranger (one person with a bow) just gets an aiming reticle, but the thing that can take down a castle wall gets a "here's exactly where your shot will land!" indicator?

 

It's fantastic that a lot of thought will have to go into how best to spend your resources on siege machinery, but that shouldn't be where our brains dust their hands off and call it a day. A lot of thought goes into character bulds and passive skill training, but we still have to actively use those characters to get the job done. That's what it's all about. Having a one-man mecha-golem shaped like a catapult doesn't very much support that idea.

 

Also, I realize this is the very first iteration of any siege equipment in the game, and this is alpha. You guys are doing great work. I'm simply providing the considerations I think are valuable moving forward with this. It is intended to be constructive criticism, not "you should've made a better siege engine already" complaining.


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Look, my main point was the whole realism vs fantasy that some take way too far to one side. The idea that these catapults need to be pushed by hand and pulled around by beasts of burden is all well and good but probably is a bit more tech than the Devs would want to hassle with. On the other hand having it just be self propelled with not even the player showing isn't a good look either.  So the final iteration of these vehicles is likely to be somewhere in between and yes some are just going to have to deal with it not making 100% sense or being as "real" as they want it.

 

This sounds pretty spot on. Too much conjecture on what is most "real like" and not what is "fun" to play. (Two guys pushing a vehicle at walk speeds doesn't sound very fun) (Same with ammo requirements being handled by a bucket brigade)

 

Everyone should want to operate vehicles because they are fun. So fun people are willing to train the required skills (remember that siege warfare skill tree?) to operate the top end vehicles will cost you personal combat skills advancement.

 

I started prototyping the Mark II version of the catapult today, and there will be many more types with various weapon configs and requirements. (such as placing the vehicle into stationary "siege mode" before you can fire)  So don't look at this catapult and think it is the only type of catapult we will build.

 

Speaking of skills there will also be construction lines, so you will want a few people tending the siege building bays when the battle starts (to haul resources from pack animals to the bays and select the build order of the siege equipment) (Right now there is no pre battle building of Siege equipment planned) (Number of bays determined by level of Banewood Tree)

 

Future vehicles will have seats, and some type of power source indicated. In concept art it looks like those orange globes coming from Tree of Life. (Probably be one of the resource requirements for construction of these) This is a very generic catapult,(it is the Mark I afterall) what till you see the future ones.

 

Remember this is just the beginning and what we built to get Siege Perilous underway, there is tons more coming!


Thomas Blair
ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.
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It could be fun and a little more realistic without requiring too much work though. Like reusing some caravan animals and making them tow the siege weapons. I understand that pushing a catapult at walking speed may not be fun, but there are probably some alternatives to that.

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Remember this is just the beginning and what we built to get Siege Perilous underway, there is tons more coming!

 

NO! Absolutely not! Never....I will not be patience and wait for the game to be developed...GIVE ME EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW! or i'll be qq

crying-waterfalls.gif

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