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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » Now that the game is out....formation/stance argument changed?
Topic Subject:Now that the game is out....formation/stance argument changed?
posted 10-28-05 03:00 PM EDT (US)         
When the "loss of formations" was initially revealed, a panic ensued. I was just wondering what you all think of it now that many of you have had time to play.

Here are some things I have noted:

1) The situation is not as bad as some thought it would be. There are some tactical stances still in the game. I love the trample, cover, spread, and musketeer bayonet options. They actually provide a functional bonus when fighting under certain, well-defined situations. Exactly as it should be.

2) The defensive stance is a bit awkward. For some reason, it is bound to both the line and box formations depending on some series of stopping and moving that I can't quite figure out. Furthermore, when in the line formation, it is supposed to replace "stand ground", but doesn't seem to do that very well. I think ES will probably fix this soon.

I guess the only other thing I could wish for would be to give a resistance bonus while in defensive stance. It works for cover stance, why not defensive? If the opponent comes around behind you, all you have to do is toggle off defensive. A little bit of inconvenience is a good price to pay for a defensive boost when you want to hold a position. It also ensures that it's situational and doesn't get overused.

Anyway, what I'm really interested in is what the rest of you have to say. Please...this is not a "ES promised us this and that" thread. What are your feelings now that you've actually had a chance to use the stances/formations?

posted 10-28-05 03:04 PM EDT (US)     1 / 10       
I am basically over formations, since we knew they wouldn't be in the game for quite a while. The only thing I am currently disappointed about is the defensive stance. If I tell my units to saty put, I expect them to stay put. If I can only tell them to chase enemies a distance and then come back, then that is what I want them to do. So far I have observed two things happening with units in the def stance. Either they get hit once and chase the enemy to Hell and back, running Rambo-style into the enemy base in their pursuit, or staying firmly rooted to their comfortable line and not moving, simply getting killed by long-range enmy units.

"If one is to understand the great mystery, one must look at all its aspects, not just the dogmatic, narrow view of the Jedi."

Official Head Hauncho of the AoE3H Dating Thread, as decreed by Custergrant

posted 10-28-05 11:45 PM EDT (US)     2 / 10       
yea i want the units to stand ground at Defensive stance like it says. They run off and i have to kepp microing them back. I hope ES fixes it with their next patch.
posted 10-29-05 02:34 AM EDT (US)     3 / 10       
My compplaint still stands. There needs to be more tactic stances and uses for the combat. Especially stand ground and guard mode. Why can't my pikes stay with the cnnons and stay put. STUUUUPID!
posted 10-29-05 07:53 AM EDT (US)     4 / 10       
When you have cannons, with another bunch of units with them, isn't the defense stance meant to form a box around the artillary to protect them? because ive seen it in many screeshots? but it doesnt happen in the game?
posted 10-29-05 08:05 AM EDT (US)     5 / 10       
The complaint still stands. Auto formation has not been removed in the full version it seems and this annoys the hell out of me in the demo. If ES isn't going to allow us to set the formation independently of the stances then at least give us the option of turning it off. There has not been a single time when i have thought "thank God for auto-formation, it really saved my ass there" but I can name about a million times where I have yelled "damn this ****ing auto formation to the depths of hell!!!!"

Please give an option to disable auto formation ES, then fix the formations later on (or don't if its too much work, I just want autoformation off). I think most people will agree that auto formation gets units killed, because when running away they move at the speed of the slowest unit and also they have the annoying random habit for changing to a line formation at random so instead of running away in this formation


they run away in this formation:


meaning the hapless red unit gets killed because he gets blocked by the 4 in front. This happens a LOT with cavalry (in fact only with cav I think) and is at least the reason for 10 of the "damn auto-formation to hell screams" per game.

And DONT even get me started on the trample mode autoformation. That is a complete joke and enough to make you wonder if anyone actually tested trample mode to see how ineffective it is made due to stupid auto formation. I gave up on trample mode because of it.

[This message has been edited by Ceres629 (edited 10-29-2005 @ 08:09 AM).]

General Lecter
posted 10-29-05 10:50 AM EDT (US)     6 / 10       
Yeah, I'm quite dissapointed by the defensive formation, too... Sometimes units stay in lines, sometimes in a box...
- I think the actual Defense mode should be replaced by a 'stand ground' option available to use with any of the other formations (via On/Off mode), the other 2 stances (Aggresive & Defensive) aren't so useful IMO, but I sometimes miss them, too...
- An improved guard mode should be brought back [IMO] and replaced by that sucky box formation... 'Just select a few units, click guard, then a cannon, and those units will form a box around it... If you select the canon then and move it, the units forming a box will move automatically with the cannon, without breaking the box...' Wouldn't that be awesome???

[This message has been edited by General Lecter (edited 10-29-2005 @ 10:58 AM).]

posted 10-29-05 12:59 PM EDT (US)     7 / 10       
I never use formations and do ok :/
posted 10-29-05 01:38 PM EDT (US)     8 / 10       
I'm personally disappointed with "advanced" formations/stances (moreover combat in general). My Frustrations:

1) actions the low level AI takes (or doesn't take) in most cases (creating a lack of control)
2) taking away options of the player (lumping together stances/formations together into one button)
3) missing the no attack stance
4) no AI options of Defending a unit, patrol, follow

As one review noted - the battles aren't really 'battles' that would typify a 16th-17th century battle. Instead battles are a heaving mass of soldiers running about that resembles a rugby scrum.

I played and beat the single player campaign in 2 days, the only thing left for me to do is play multiplayer on LAN with my mates. Collectivly we haven't been to impressed with the multiplayer game. Mainly because of the frustrations with combat mentioned above. The replayability of Age3 is lacking IMHO. It will soon go on my shelf to collect dust as soon as I get my hands on BfMEII's beta hopefully less than a month.

AoE3's only redemption in my eyes would be a patch to restore the formation code they had put in place 6 months ago (as seen in the GDC presentation)- but they have their hands full currently with ESO fixes I'm afraid.

king of ages
posted 10-29-05 02:38 PM EDT (US)     9 / 10       
I only wish ther was a defensive stance, where they run out so far and then return too their spots. That helps when they're under attack but you don't want to them to get ambushed by other troops.

posted 10-29-05 03:11 PM EDT (US)     10 / 10       
I'm pretty happy with the current formations/stances. It already takes a fair amount of micro in combat to get Trample/Melee/Cover stuff timed perfectly, and it does add a nice level of tactics to the game. But I wouldn't really want any more WC3-individual-unit-level microing.

There SHOULD be Stand Ground though.

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