Evasion bonus based on movement

Does the amount of movement affect your chance of being hit? Is the chance to hit a target that moved 1 tile the same as a target that moved 5 tiles?

One thing I really like in the new Battletech game is that unit gain multi level evasion bonus based on how far they move and evasion bonus will reduce accuracy of any incoming fire but each instance of incoming fire will reduce your evasion bonus by 1 level even if it miss.

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Sounds like something interesting, the part about depleting your evasion kind of reminds me of hard west’s “luck” stat, that will deplete when you get shot and needs to be fully depleted before one can receive a critical hit.

However, I haven’t played Battletech and don’t know what are the core principles of the game. Dynamic battles where mechs move around and slug it, or trench warfare where they don’t move much and hope for LRMs to find their mark? What works in a dynamic environment may not work as much in a game where cover matters a lot.

Turn based will always be a representation of live action with its inaccuracies, but how do you reconcile an evasion bonus and a target in cover? Does evasion only apply during overwatch/reaction fire (if so, FXcom had an aim penalty for shooting a dashing target)

EDIT : Damn, forgot to sneak in a question about what you think of Battletech? I liked action games from this franchise but didn’t know what to think of the tac version.

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I would think evasion bonus should affect all incoming fire including the following enemy action phase, although the game is turn based but it would be logical to assume that someone dashing will be moving through out the turns time span.

Fair enough, but if he ends up in heavy cover, combining protection from his dash and a heavy cover sounds a bit strong, maybe only apply the strongest of the two.

The Evasion-system is supposed to (and to a certain extent, did) make light(er) mechs viable against heavier ones (heavier mech have usually more armor, harder hitting/more weapons), as (on average) lighter mechs can move further thus gaining more evasion charges (and their jumpjets cost less tonnage, so it’s kind of balanced with that too).

The Cover system is different, as we’re speaking about Mechs and not humans, LoS is a thing though, which makes it somewhat similar to PP. LoS is checked with “raycast”, and you suffer accuracy penalty for “indirect” fire (when you don’t have LoS but somewhat still “know” the target, either ally has LoS or “sensor locked”), but other than that shots can hit “not seen” parts too (if only the head is shown above a hill, you can still hit its legs with a laser… somehow), so it’s not THAT similar.

Cover simply provides 25% damage reduction, which is while not bad, a lot worse than “bracing” (ending your turn without shooting, 50% dmg reduction, can be activated after shooting if not moved yet with an easy to select skill, so trench-warfare is what most “lazy” ppl play).

This means that lighter mechs, who can’t trade hits with heavier, needs something to make them “more viable”, and the answer HBS gave us was Evasion based on movement.

You gain one Evasion charge for X movement and Y Jump distance, and every charge gives you a “passive” +Z% harder to hit to you. Any attack made against you will reduce your Evasion charges by one, but only once per attacking enemy mech, regardless if it was a “full salvo” or just a “lone” attack (the exception being melee attack with support weapons, which removes 2).

Now, as we’re speaking about mechs, the other system which works against Evasion is Stability. Once you become “Unstable” (received enough stability damage, from missiles/cannons/meele), you lose all Evasion charges. If you get enough Stability damage, you can get Knocked Down (though one salvo can’t knock you down, even if the stability-damage would be enough, there needs to be a second “push”), pilot receiving injury, enemy mechs can freely target any parts of your mech, like bodyparts in PP, which makes it important to guard against.

Bracing reduces Stability damage by 50% too, which means that Trench-warfare is possible against Evasion-warfare (which potentially negates everything, as enemy misses).

TL;DR: Evasion system is in Battletech to make lighter, faster mechs viable against hard-hitting, slow “behemots”, and while I find this a fun and tactical system (regardless of the balance-state in BT), I don’t think it’s needed in PP, at least not without thinking hard about how the Cover-system works. The easier it is to negate cover (like blowing it up), the more I see an Evasion-system useful.


I like it, it’s a fun single-player story-based game, but I was a backer, so I’m a bit biased :smiley:
If you are not in a hurry, I would suggest waiting for a few more updates though, there are certain problems (like the “don’t waste my time” XCOM mod is needed), and without difficulty settings, your option for harder fights/campaigns are self-imposed restrictions, which while works, not ideal.

Mods will (and already do) help, but mods are mods, not everyone likes to use them :slight_smile:

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It’s basically Mechwarrior Mercenary except being turn based. You run a mercenary outfit doing contract all over the innersphere. You can customize your mech and your pilots gain skills through experience. The turn base mechanic works well most of the time. There is a story arc but you can ignore it after the first few mandatory missions and you can keep going after you finish the campaign missions.

Regarding movement, turns and time flow in PP: is a bit of a tricky thing, really. As PP seems to take some design decisions out of FXcom, we can currently treat their core approach to turns in a similar manner. And the thing is, while both games are clearly turn-based, they both are pretending that time is not stopped between actions and is actually always flowing.

Think about it: combatants have idle animation, they move around, peek from cover etc. It’s never explicitly stated and in FXCom when we have some kind of game mechanics which tracks “time”, this time is in game turns and is never progress unless a turn is taken. But the overall “presentation” of the battlefield between actions looks more like a bunch of combatants dug into cover and waiting for an opportunity to jump back into action rather than people who are “frozen in time”. Again, it is never addressed explicitly and mechanically is it all turn-based but one thing FXCom never touches is the difference between being in motion and being stationary at the end of the turn.

Here is an example from FXcom: a soldier is ordered to do a 1 action move from cover into an open ground. The turn is then ended. Now, it is quite clear that during his turn, he was moving. But if you want to determine his state during a subsequent enemy turn, will that solder be considered moving or stationary? What if he used both movement actions? What if he ended up in a cover? How about his next turn: if he moves again, is it a new dash or he just continues his run he started his previous turn?

All these ambiguities are unavoidable for a turn-based game as the whole idea of truly turn-based game mechanics is to alter the way time works in the game and turn the flow of time into a set of arbitrary rules which are more consistent and easy to deal with at a cost of straying away from how time works in real life. It’s not a bad thing per se but it has it’s limits and some thing just cannot be expressed as elegantly through turn-based logic. It is much easier to deal with such things with a real-time-with-pause approach due to it’s more natural progression of time and simultaneous action execution(XCom and UFO games are good example here) but as PP is strictly turn-based, we will have to deal with what we have.

So back to the question at hand: do we need any kind of evasion mechanic and if so, how to implement them? I think it is an interesting and realistic concept(moving target is harder to hit). I would like to see it as variable value, which increases with distance traveled in a turn. But in order to make it work with the rest of the game mechanics we need to make some compromises.

Firstly, there should be a hard cap on how much evasion can be gained by a combatant by moving around, to avoid extreme evasion gains via exploitation of various movement aids and movement-related skills. I expect max possible evasion to be close to the defense provided by a low cover. After all, on the move or not, you are still a human running in the open so you are not that hard to hit.

Another important thing is, movement-based evasion should be viewpoint-dependent. What this means is, it should be calculated based on angular distance the target covered relative to shooter’s position. The closer the line between a target origin and it’s destination is to being parallel to the line between shooter’s position and a point in the middle of the target’s avg trajectory, the smaller the evasion bonus is. So after calculating the evasion based on traveled distance, it will be further reduced depending on how parallel the trajectory was to shooter’s LoS(see fig 1 below).

In other words, if you run towards the shooter(trajectory is parallel to shooter’s LoS), you gain no evasion as from shooter’s perspective, your silhouette is not really moving at all. If, however, you run across shooter’s view, (parallel to shooter’s LoS) you will gain a lot of evasion as shooter will have to track your movement across his viewpoint. For reaction shots while a soldier is on the move, currently held evasion value will be used, i.e. if an enemy overwatch is triggered while a soldier is half-way to his destination, the distance between his origin and his current position, not his destination should be used.

Due to simulated ballistics of PP, evasion bonus will have to affect the simulated deviation of shots. While mid-action shooting(due to overwatch and similar abilities) can simply take that into account, manual aiming should have a way to conveying the reduced chance to hit to the player. I think the best way of displaying it is to elongate the aim circle along the movement axis, clearly displaying the lowered chances to hit the target(fig 2).

Evasion bonus must also be reset to 0 when an action is performed a if movement is ended in a cover. So for multiple movements between covers during one turn, or movements separated by actions, only the last uninterrupted movement sequence(i.e. with no actions in between movements) will be used to calculate the end of turn evasion bonus(provided, of course, the movement is the last action in a turn and the soldier ended up being in the open).

This way we prevent cheesy tactics like jogging between two covers to keep evasion bonus while still enjoying the benefit of cover and avoid the complications of dealing with performing actions or shooting on the move vs stopping for actions: all actions which require APs should be considered to be performed while stationary.

No soldier will move in a straight line during combat even if they are moving directly towards the enemy so even LOS parallel will suffer to hit penalty as the target will be moving from side to side.

Much less than you think actually. In fact, I recall at least one drill sergeant who told me “Run as fast as you can to get to cover. Don’t try to act smart and zig-zag, you’ll just get shot.” Point being, trying to weave around in any significant manner will slow you down and give the enemy an easier time to spray your general area with bullets and kill you. Better that you make a profile as small an aerodynamic as you can and just run by the shortest route to the next piece of hard cover you can find, praying you won’t catch a bullet on the way. Better still if you’re not running directly towards an enemy position and thus they must lead their aim a bit is to randomly drop or increase the speed so they lead your moves too far and have to correct. Best by far to not run, but crawl through debris, presenting as little of yourself as possible and using every incline and depression in the terrain to hide yourself while slowly advancing. And hey, if you’re lucky, they might even be distracted by the fight and not see you.

I don’t think evasion is needed in PP. I do think the animations need a massive overhaul towards realistic simulation animations like those featured in Men of War, or CoH or DoW (1 and 2 not 3) rather than the current canned nuXCOM animations that just do not fit a game with ballistic simulation (and if you don’t believe me just gaze at the interaction between the strictly “gamey” animations of XCOM where soldier abandon cover completely to shoot standing up, and return fire, thus making cover irrelevant). Better still if the animation rework also features selecting the stance of your soldier, such as standing, kneeling, prone each with a smaller profile but greater movement costs than the last. Of course that positioning system would get overridden by cover, when reached, because the soldier will naturally drop to whatever stance is best suited to exploiting his current available cover.

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Maybe but I guess the drill sergeant would also tell you not to run straight at the enemy.

Don’t think he would tell you to run at the enemy at all. This also excludes “jog at the enemy”, “moonwalk at the enemy”

I’ll let myself out.

@Wiz33 :

As you could see in the images(pardon my paint madkills), I was using normalised trajectory as a basis for evasion reduction. It was done deliberately to simplify the calculation and, more to the point, logic behind it. As PP will not be having complex real time simulation combat actions, but rather their turn-based approximation, a detailed simulation of evasion is unnecessary, which will make simplifications I introduced rather appealing for the sake of being easier to implement for devs and easier comprehend by players.

@Avenger93 : You have a good point regarding stances, especially the prone stance/crawling and shooting from cover. With simulated ballistics, soldiers cannot just magically keep the cover bonus when stepping out of it to shoot. The workaround of course is to trigger reaction fire after the have soldier returned into cover but I would very much prefer the better animation set. But this will be down to the availability of the time to implement the advanced cover stances as judging from my own experience in software development, some shortcuts will inevitably have to be made when dealing with a large and complex project, such as PP.