I agree with the below. Plus, and maybe most importantly, most people want GalCiv combat to remain as it is. Why change the nature of the game for a vocal minority?
"@Timmaigh: I explained my feelings on this in another thread but people like DARCA seem to be incapable of understanding my points. I'm not saying you have to agree, but I do expect people to at least read what I say and counter it rather then just accusing me of having my head stuck in the sand.
When companies make a strategy game, they without fail, decide to focus on either empire building or combat. On the RTS side, they almost always focus on the combat side. The Dawn of Discovery/Anno series is one of the few that focuses on empire building. Like GalCiv, combat is very simple and generic. GalCiv has clearly decided to focus on the former. Games like Legendary Heroes and Age of Wonders decided to focus on the latter. To keep it simple, lets compare GalCiv and Legendary Heroes (LH). At a high level, they are both turn based strategy games where you try to take over the world. However once you actually play them the differences are clear. GalCiv you have a full tech tree and full control over what your cities do. Combat is there as a means to explore and conquer other planets but you can win by other means. In LH the focus is on the combat, determining how to build your hero, and building a better army. Empire building is there to give you a way to make a bigger army.
So, you want to have your cake and eat it too. There's nothing wrong with that. I love cake. But lets look at this from a practical standpoint. First off, the impact on gameplay. As it stands now, how long does a turn take late game on a medium to large size game (ignoring the fact we haven't even seen the largest map sizes)? You can't base this on only playing on smaller maps. If you're allowing huge maps with 10+ opponents that has to be factored in. Since you haven't played GalCiv, feel free to substitute your feelings from CivV or whatever. How many units/armies are you typically moving and how many combat engagements? I typically end up turning off combat animations on CivV because they just take too long. Compare that to a game like LH or AoW. It's a pretty large numbers difference in numbers in most cases. Tactical Combat turns every single one of those into a separate turn/mini-game. That makes for a VERY long turn. If you only play single player, that may not be an issue for some people. But that quickly pushes multiplayer games into the realm of impossibly long and once you've added in multiplayer functionality there's the expectation that it's usable. As was mentioned in the other thread "you can have the option to auto-resolve". Technically, yes. But I have yet to play a game with tactical combat where the AI can match a human player. At high hero levels in both LH and AoW, I can run most army battles with just a couple of heroes vs the AI's army and wipe the floor with them. Autoresolve however often results in heavy or total losses on my side. Therefore, if you want to compete, you have to manually play out the battles. Which means if one player is manually fighting, everyone has to manually fight. "They can give you the option to disable it". If you mean force all abttles to auto-resolve, that's just going to annoy everybody who normally does manual combat when they lose battles they think they should have won. If you mean revert to combat as it currently stands... That brings me to the second aspect.
Second is the development aspect. Certain people act like this is just a matter of copying and pasting in the "Tactical Combat" module and turning it on. Or even worse giving players the option to turn it on and off at will. This would be a substantial undertaking. First off is adding the tactical combat AI. That in and of itself is no small matter. Right now combat is largely just a numbers game. Your units have X weapon type and do Y damage with them. Do the math, declare a winner. Now you want the AI to to have to use tactics. First off, what are we asking for when we ask for tactical combat? It's quite clear from past discussions that this differs depending on who you ask. First off, most tactical combat involves different damage types each with their own effect. Ok, they've got 3 basic damage types, Mass Drivers, Missiles, and Energy Weapons. We can work with that. How do we want them to differ? Do we want the different levels of weapons in each type to have different effects or just be stronger? Second, you usually want to make use of terrain. Well, these battles are occurring in the vast emptiness of space. Not many options there. Third is weapon facings/flanking. This wouldn't be too bad if we were stuck using just the precreated ships. But since we have the shipyard, this means it's going to have to analyze every single ship and determine where it can and cannot fire. Do you design your ship to have all of it's weapons facing forward or try for 360 degree coverage? Yes, this could be great fun in the right setting, but this isn't the right setting. Plus how far do you want to take this? Do you want it literally based on placement, taking into account the design of the ship? First time in battle you find out the cool wing on your space ship is actually blocking one of your weapons. Sucks to be you. What about positional damage? Your engines got hit, now that ship can't move, etc. This also ties in with the gameplay aspect. This forces people to either just use the pre-created ships or spend a substantial amount of time in-game designing ships. This again rapidly escalates into a time issue for multiplayer. I know I would spend at least a couple of hours in the designer in a single game of GalCiv 2 designing ships or tweaking them based on my current opponent. IE the Drengin are behind in shield tech, so let me switch my designs to be heavy on the energy weapon loadout. If I now have to factor in firing arcs or better yet functional layout using hull piece to armor components.... That's going to double that number. How long would you want to wait in a multiplayer game for your opponent to update ship designs? You could force them to choose an "army" before hand ala Company of Heroes. That only works if you can see what army your opponent is using. You can't really do that when using created from scratch armies. How would you like it if you got 400 turns in and found out your opponent made some beam only superweapon and not have any way of countering it?
Lets say for a minute they can just copy/paste a tactical combat module. They still have to change content they already have done. First they have to re-evaluate all their unit designs and weapon designs from scratch as they were all designed from a purely numbers aspect. Now that the weapons have different effects you're going to have to balance them accordingly. Most games with tactical combat also have damage types tied to the unit's race. For example in fantasy games, elves make good archers. From a weapons tech perspective, everyone in GalCiv (or CivV) is generic. That in and of itself isn't a good start for tactical combat.
That brings me to the final aspect, the business aspect. Stardock may not be like some of their evil competitors but they are still a business and have to make money. They are also a much smaller business which makes this a bigger deal. As discussed above, adding tactical combat would require a not unsubstantial mount of additional programming and design. This means either extending the development cycle (which I don't have a problem with if it's for a good cause) or hiring additional people. Both of those options cost time and money. Plus time is money. What do they gain from this additional investment? Let's say they hire one programmer to do nothing but add tactical combat. I don't know programmer salaries these days, but that's say $80k/yr. The game costs $50. That means they need to sell an additional 1,600 copies of the game to cover that salary alone, not factoring in the additional development time. I don't see tactical combat driving that many additional sales. Plus there's the time factor itself. How long have we been in beta now? They are asking for a substantial change to the game's engine. We might not be starting back over at square one, but it's certainly pushing us way back. A lot of people wouldn't be happy with that. Then there's the change itself. That's a pretty significant gameplay change and one that not everyone may like. Would it draw enough new customers to risk alienating existing ones? Best case, lets say they pull of a MoO and manage to find a nearly perfect blend of tactical combat and get it seamless integrated in rather than looking like a last minute add-in. You've still significantly increased the complexity of the game. As sad as it may be, that's not what the masses want. The above complaints about CivV and CivBE show what I mean. If you look at the complains most are about them dumbing down the game and CivIV being a better game. I don't disagree for the most part (although I still enjoy CivV and CivBE). However, the highest sales numbers I can find for Civ IV are 1.5 million copies. Civ V sales are over 5 million. Therefore this far inferior game (based on these forum responses) has substantially outsold it's older brother. If it was your business, which would you prefer?
I'm not saying it can't technically be done nor am I saying I hate tactical combat. I'm saying, big picture, I don't think it would be a good decision for this particular game. If they want to give me Legendary Heroes/Age of Wonders in space, I'm totally down for it. But that brings me back to the original topic of debate. How much could they change it before it wouldn't really feel like GalCiv? Warlords is the perfect example of this. You have plain "Warlords" which is turn based. Then you have "Warlords: Battlecry" which is the real time versions. They share the common lore but are two different series."