Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Terracos
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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby Terracos » Wed 31 May 2017 14:48

Sorry but I cant agree. The King Tiger is only good when you are already ahaed. If you are behind it is a totally pointless unit. (I never play destruction, so i cant tell there).

First the KT is only in Divisions that are pretty weak in the early game, especially Panzer-Lehr. They have almost no infantry in phase A. If you just push them with inf at 4 different points + 4 at guns + 4 support vehicles, they really struggle in phase A. From then you snowball into phase C and they will never field one King Tiger. You win before.

I havent lost one game gainst a Division with the King Tiger in 1v1 or 2v2. Once they brought one out. I locked this side of the map down with constant smoke and air strikes, so it was either panicked and on retreat or smoked in and couldnt fire. Then attack on the other side and you win.

KTs are gimick units.

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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby Bluebreaker » Wed 31 May 2017 19:34

Markenzwieback wrote:Generally I fully subscribe to your points.

But some other aspects I want to add:

1) Off-map artillery.
In my opinion, this simply should not have been introduced. The possibility to call in artillery at any given time without resupply, line-of-sight, corrected fire, etc. being an issue simply kills a lot of the on-map artillery mechanic. Further, the killing power of the more expensive pieces is simply beyond insane. While the cheaper variants are all but useless for their random, big dispersion fire, the heavy artillery assets of some airborne division simply eradicate entire forests from infantry and support units. This goes to the point where you take down entire cities after you lost the opener or easily make up for the points spent by killing several squads (or at least draining them down to two or three soldiers..

Orbital strikes are really stupid and annoying.
At the very least they should be more obvious, like sound of heavy guns in the distance and offmap arty trails.

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Hidden Gunman
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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby Hidden Gunman » Wed 31 May 2017 22:38

Got to agree on that.

The 10v10 story highlights this...everyone pushes forward, the front line has peaks and troughs, the King Tigers come on and the less experienced or not so good allied players cave in, and the allied line simple gets fragmented and the loss happens.

The problem with the tank costs is that it's fine up until those high end german tanks come on...once that happens all allied tanks pretty much have the same level of worthlessness, even though they have varying costs.

One thing I will say on the rocket arty though...there's a reason it moved IRL...those rocket trails were a big neon sign leading right to the gun line...hence, they should become visible and stay visible for some time after they fire, to enable players the opportunity to obliterate them...it would be a self-balancing mechanic. Something like KT's randomly running out of fuel.
A Firefly killed Wittman...

It's a 17lbr, not a 76.2mm.

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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby kvnrthr » Wed 31 May 2017 23:53

Stuff I like:

1. Off Map Artillery Barrage Attacks

While off-map artillery itself is not so great gameplay wise, what I do like is the option to use various types of barrages and look forward to see if they can expand it while adding unique capabilities to certain artillery pieces (e.g. time on target or rolling barrages). Would be nice if we could group a few on map guns and have them arrange their fire in an advantageous way like this.

2. Morale System

I agree with posters above that it's a good addition and a vital counter to heavier armor.

Stuff I dislike:

1. Still no multiplayer scenarios? Really Eugen? Meeting engagement free for alls are fun but they get stale after a while and lack the flavor of a well-constructed scenario.

2. Air combat is still very gamey. Still don't like aircraft teleporting in from map edges to appear at the perfect opportunity all the time. Fighters in particular don't particularly do anything interesting maneuver wise that warrants them being modelled in this kind of detail.

If it were me I'd just remove fighters entirely, increase AA suppression and have the availability of only 1 or 2 attack aircraft per division but I doubt it'll happen.

3. AP Scaling is still a bit weird. 37 mm should really not be a frontal threat to literally any medium tank. 8 AP is too generous. Hope Eugen can introduce some AP caps for low caliber AP guns like they did for the KPVT in Wargame.

4. Tanks still turn sideways a bit too fast.

5. No change in the "hivemind" sighting system, where if one unit can see something everyone can see it.

6. Elite infantry/tanks are still ridiculously overpowered, considering they don't cost any more and income will not permit you to take all units available in a card anyway.

Don't get me wrong I do like the game but there's a lot of these sticking points.
Hoping for a better next-gen Wargame and new engine in a few years...
One can dream ;_;

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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby mvp7 » Thu 1 Jun 2017 02:56

Here's my feedback on Steel Division.

Great:

-- The decision to use divisions instead of nations/coalitions as unit pools is great. Together with excellent battle phase system it makes a lot wider range of different armies viable and balanceable. Light, weak and/or old vehicles/weapons can be very effective but at the same time not numerous or cheap enough to be spammed excessively. Divisions and phases are something I would like to see in Wargame series as well.

-- The game in general feels great. The gameplay is fun, the divisions are really varied and have very different playstyles. The balance seems to be pretty good for release version. The look and feel of WW2 has been achieved very nicely.

Edit -- Almost forgot. The skirmish AI is great! It has seen a massive improvement from Wargames and plays well yet feels more fair and human than the AI in RD for example.


Good:

-- I like how the Anti-Air works. Its pretty much as I would have liked the gun-AA to work in Wargames as well (being mainly a suppressive weapon). My only issue with it is that partial suppression seems to have little to no effect on the accuracy and effectiveness of the aircraft, making most single barrel AA-guns in the early game completely pointless as AA weapons.

-- The air combat feels a lot more varied and eventful than the head to head encounters and fast climbs of Wargame.


Not so good/mixed:

-- I'm not a big fan of the vehicle HP being dropped. The scale of the game and the number of units having been reduced from Wargame series together with the removal the HP makes the encounters between vehicles really unpredictable. Luck can play a lot larger role in this regard than I'd prefer. It also makes self propelled artillery annoyingly resilient against artillery fire and all combat between lightly armored vehicles armed with HE weapons is really random.

-- Some technical options seem to have been removed from the game design. For example, ammunition is either AP or HE and suppression apparently depends directly on those values as well. This just seems like something that unnecessarily closes doors in terms of future balancing and modding (presuming the old options aren't still hiding somewhere in the game code).

-- Modeling and scaling of armor penetration is pretty odd. I'm really torn about the way armor penetration is based on one 100 meter values having been extended to 1 000 meters and AP linearly increasing by one on every 100 meters. On one had, it does make some really weak yet common AT weapons a bit more usable but on the other hand it gives unreasonably good performance for most small caliber weapons. For example, Tetrarch Littlejohn's 40 mm gun has AP that ranges from Panther/Tiger FA penetrating 14 AP at 800 meters to 22 at point blank, which could punch through the front armor of Tiger II (H) with lucky RNG. Personally I think using something like 300-500 meter penetrations as starting point might have resulted in a bit more intuitive and believable AP performances without making smaller weapons useless.

-- I don't mind the unarmed trucks and jeeps disappearing when dismounting infantry but it's pretty annoying with various artillery pieces and really hurts the early mobility of divisions that rely on them.


Suggestions/Things to improve:

-- The line of sight tool is really useful and I'd love to see something similar in Wargames as well. However, it's currently completely broken if there's any kind of hills and height differences on the map. It's luckily not much of an issue on most of the maps but if some future expansion/sequel takes the game to other fronts, it will have to be improved somehow for it to remain usable. It would also be nice if range numbers were visible on four sides of the circle instead of being just on the top.

-- Attack move is a great tool and makes managing a lot of forces a lot easier. However, due to the way the infantry firepower is divided at different ranges, only Germans can usually use the attack move without losing 50-75% of their firepower since the unit will stop as soon as the enemy is in the range of its longest range weapon. It would be great if main/priority weapon could be selected from the unit's weapon list and attack move/order would then make the unit approach until enemy is in range of the selected weapon system.

-- Experience and leadership systems are great but their effect scale is currently a bit extreme. Even a difference one veterancy level will create a huge gap in performance of units and is currently pretty much making at least one star the practical minimum especially for planes, tanks and tank-destroyers. In my opinion the veterancy effect scale should be reduced so that the 3 star performance would correspond to the current 2 star bonuses.
Some examples: Instead of giving units 15% ROF, Suppression and damage resistance bonuses etc at every level for maximum of 45%, give them +15%, +10% and +5% for total of 30% at max. For accuracies, +1 bonus at one star and another +1 at three stars. This kind of diminishing returns would still give veteran and elite units a good edge in combat against badly trained and leaderless units but it would also make commanded regular units a bit more competitive.

-- Machine gun ranges are a bit of a mess at the moment. Tripod mounted Vickers and M1919 are stuck with 500 meter range while the very same weapons (and even Brens) can shoot at 600 meters when they are mounted on any vehicle, even if it's just some crude AA mount on a jeep. For some reason the M1917 (which is feature-wise very close to Vickers) has 600 meter range.
Tripod mounted MG34 and MG42 have 800 meter range. I'm aware this has been justified with mounted optics but I have to disagree with the decision. HMG tripods are built for shooting area fire at long ranges, gun optics have little effect on the ability of machine gun to fire at the long range. If anything, it might have an effect on accuracy of the weapon and even that would most likely be very minor. In any case, the machine gun teams have spotters to spot and direct the gunner so the idea of gun mounted optics having an effect on maximum range is just implausible.
The German machine guns would have superior performance to their allied counterparts even without the range bonus and I see no balance reasons for the extended range. If anything, the British with their weak squad level firepower really need proper machine gun performance. Currently the Vickers is the worst tripod mounted machine gun in the game, having inferior HE value even compared to the non-water-cooled M1919.
I really think the machine gun performances should be standardized a bit. Give all rifle caliber machine guns the same 600 meter range and maybe even reduce the range or accuracy of vehicle mounted machine guns in comparison to tripods. If the German MGs really aren't good enough as-is with 600 meter range then maybe increase their accuracy by one for their optics/saturation/wehraboo-bonus.

-- The AI pathfinding needs a bit of work (both vehicle and AI). It loves moving around without orders under fire (I have seen Marders running away from M10s instead of fighting back at less than a 20% suppression etc). It sometimes retreats towards the enemy and really likes pointing its weak sides at enemies when given even the smallest excuse to do so (like pointing at an enemy unit spotted behind a forest while the unit has specifically been placed and aligned to guard some other direction). Especially auto-retreating can result in some really insane moves by the AI.


Some small things:

-- Some towed unit sizes seem to be off. Tri-Polsten and German 4.2 cm PaK 41 especially look really tiny.

-- Please make infantry auto-retreat like tanks when taking fire while pinned down. It would be realistic and consistent with vehicles auto-retreating and also a lot more useful and less suicidal than what it is for the vehicles.

-- Compared to Wargames, the maximum availability or artillery seems to be really high in comparison to the overall reduced unit numbers in the deck and on the field. I haven't played enough online to know how this might affect balance but it seems like something that might result in artillery spamming in 10v10 especially. I just can't imagine scenarios where a healthy deck needs six Sk-18s, twelve 105mm Howizers or ten 120mm mortars for example.

-- Some of the HE support tanks/vehicles could really use some HEAT ammo where historically justified. Also some of the smaller AT weapons could use HE ammo even if it's just 1 HE-power. I guess the decision to limit the ammo types on these vehicles might be to make their roles more prominent but it's kinda silly and inconsistent when 37 mm AT gun doesn't pack HE while every tank and TD with the same gun/caliber has some.

-- A lot of information has been hidden or abstracted once again. Things like how accuracy/spotting works and how exactly veterancy affects units are pretty vital information and it would be nice to have them visible in-game


That's all feedback I can think of for now. Really enjoying the game overall! In many ways it really is the World War II Wargame I had been hoping for and in some ways it has even exceeded my expectations. Looking forward to future patches and content!

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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby Pleb Squasher » Thu 1 Jun 2017 07:18

Saavedra wrote:King Tigers are high reward, low risk units because they are pretty much impossible to kill from the front, and tanks turn around way too fast and accuracy is way too low to flank them and hit them from range. They don´t need to "pay for themselves" by killing enemy units if you can just hold the frontline with them and slowly roll it up, obliterating anything on their path (note that 380 points is a low cost for something that can face off against a whole tank platoon and kill it single-handedly). If you pair them up with nebels and just some infantry, you can easily sweep aside all resistance in forests and towns, the only terrain features that let you hold the Tiger at bay. All the points you get while the other player gathers enough points to call it in will get wrecked. AT guns and infantry to hold terrain features will get bombarded into oblivion, and no amount of airpower can kill the Tiger (I am not factoring in the 88mm AA that will be around).

The only way to win against King Tigers is playing Conquest (not that anybody should be playing Destruction in the first place) and attacking aggressively at game start to hold so much terrain that a King Tiger cannot possibly roll you back enough that you lose the conquered territory advantage.

At this point, the King Tiger is not so much a unit as a strategic asset. The equivalent of bringing one of those frigates from Wargame to a battle on land.

This is why either King Tigers and similar vehicles should go up in price, or mediums and anti-tank vehicles go down. 150 points for a standard Sherman is laughably expensive given everything else on the map. This is not Wargame, where tanks can practically flank and ignore infantry-borne AT weapons and missile launchers. They are not fast enough to do that, so medium AT guns costing 55 to 100p while medium tanks cost anything from 110 to 170p is just ridiculous.


Look Tiger's really aren't all you make them out to be. They have so many setbacks that were just highlighted, yet you ignored them as if they don't matter.
Seriously man, if you're having trouble with Tiger's, buy a Typhoon sporting rockets, right click, and watch as the Tiger spends two minutes running away, exposing side and rear armour, while being totally helpless. Seriously, HTs aren't a big deal, they already cost a fortune, stop complaining.

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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby Pleb Squasher » Sat 3 Jun 2017 06:51

mvp7 wrote:-- Please make infantry auto-retreat like tanks when taking fire while pinned down. It would be realistic and consistent with vehicles auto-retreating and also a lot more useful and less suicidal than what it is for the vehicles.

-- A lot of information has been hidden or abstracted once again. Things like how accuracy/spotting works and how exactly veterancy affects units are pretty vital information and it would be nice to have them visible in-game


Nope the infantry pinned mechanic is important both offensively and defensively, if they got up and ran it would really hurt the game.

Eg.
On the offensive, the pinned mechanic provides your infantry with additional survivability (due to cover bonus and reduced LOS to the inf) which are crucial if they come under fire. Not to mention if infantry just ran when pinned assaulting defended positions would be impossible.
On the defensive the pinned mechanic is important as you can choose to either hunker down to prolong the engagement and bring support, or fall back. Falling back is very important for unit preservation as otherwise the enemy will advance within 100 metres of your pinned units and your unit will surrender. So you have to choose what you want to do, but often staying put and waiting for help is a good choice.

Yeah unit cards are so shit now, why..........

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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby Nerdfish » Sat 3 Jun 2017 19:14

Why would the KT be unbeatable in dest ? Just run away from it until the timer runs out :D in dest the front line is expendable.

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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby Saavedra » Sun 4 Jun 2017 00:46

Pleb Squasher wrote:Look Tiger's really aren't all you make them out to be. They have so many setbacks that were just highlighted, yet you ignored them as if they don't matter.


Only two setbacks have been pointed out: they are expensive, and they are on divisions with theoretically weak early games. Both points are easily counter-arguable.

The expense is worth it since literally nothing can kill the King Tiger from the front except bazookas at close quarters and 17pdrs at 700m or less, positions in which a King Tiger is never going to find itself except in the hands of the most inept players. And if it actually finds itself in one of these two situations, it still has an 88mm gun with Acc 7, HE 5 and one veterancy star. And you get four of these things in a deck when you will probably never need more than two.

The weak early game is... just not there. The Panzer Lehr admitedly gets way less infantry than other divisions, but those infantry all come in armed halftracks, and you are not lacking in any of the other tabs. You can bring in vehicles to make up for the lack of firepower, and you should because some of these vehicles are pretty good.



Honestly, I don´t see how the King Tiger is supposed to be this big dumb unit for big dumb players because it is SO easy to counter, as you guys seem to be presenting it. I mean, we´ve had German players throwing a fit over the Sherman Jumbo being OP because it had more armour than the Panther despite having the same old 75mm as a regular Sherman. Of course, that stopped being a thing since the German super-heavies like the King Tiger and the Jagdpanther came in and we returned to the only status quo Wehraboos seem to accept, which is that nothing can possibly compete with superior German engineering and Allies should not be allowed to have the tools to counter brute force with numerical force.

Reminds me of the same problem Wargame had, where anything that was not a heavy tank died in droves against them. And more specifically, the Allies in SD seem to be the equivalent of North Korea in Red Dragon: you theoretically should have the numerical superiourity to engage and overwhelm German heavy tanks with numbers, but your tanks are too expensive to do that. And that´s devoid of context and other units that could intervene in the engagement...

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Re: Feedback: What Steel Division gets right and what it gets wrong

Postby johnyoga » Sun 4 Jun 2017 02:52

Hello,

1. Please don't mess with the AA against Aircraft. It is perfect.

I have played all Wargame series games, and the AA of any type in this game (incl. machine guns) hit the planes just right.

And, the plane to plane combat is perfect. Please don't mess with that either.

2. I've said this in Red Dragon, too: Make the Arty more effective. Sure, if you want to increase the cool down, fine.

3. Smoke doesn't seem to work very well. For instance, yesterday, I had a plane bomb smoke between my INF squads and the enemy, and my troops were pinned down the entire time the smoke lasted. That doesn't make sense. Have the smoke, in fact, work as it should - obscure the view, and that also means breaking the pinning down of troops.

4. The Surrender mechanism seems kinda wonky at times. My tank surrendering to an INF squad in a building? Say what?!?

5. Enable the speed control to also be a choice in MP Skirmish (Humans vs AI or a mix) mode. Yes, you can do it, Paradox has this for EU4, HOI VI, in both SP and MP. This will allow slower folks to, say, co-op against the AI.

6. I love the Three Phase system - I always thought that the non-base building Wargame had a "problem" of allowing players to plunk down super powerful units early game...which can, at times, ruin the pacing of the game. Three Phase System = Great way to overcome ticket-only unit builds.

7. SP Campaign a bit light. Just add some more missions and this can be fixed.

8. And, please, for the love of God, do NOT turn into Paradox's pay for a "DLC every other day" model. When I first heard that Eugene Systems hooked up with Paradox, I thought "Here we go, someone at Paradox, worked with Eugene Systems to show them how much money they were not making by giving players all that added content over time for free!". I dare you to go to the EU IV Steam Product page, and you will see page after page of DLCs. This gets really damn irritating.

John

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