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Feature wishlist: for Gold and Rome

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Level 6 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I'm new to Hegemony, and so far I've been really impressed by the amount of innovation from such a small team. I especially appreciate how it runs on my desktop and laptop equally smoothly, and I really hope it will still be the case for Rome.

That said, there are some things that, IMO, really hold it back. I'm sure many of these have been suggested before, but here's my 2 cents anyway:

Interface:
-Hotkey customization: seriously, in this day and age?
-There are altogether only around 3 alert sounds, making it somewhat useless. At the very least, the 3 different basic alerts (spotting enemy, under attack, out of food) should have different alert sounds.
-With a huge map and battles on multiple front, the slow panning/zooming (when you double-tap an alert or a unit hotkey) becomes very tedious. There should be a setting to make the pan/zoom much faster or, better yet, instantaneous.
-Likewise, the camera rotates automatically when it pans/zooms. This may look more dramatic, but serves no practical purpose. There should be an option to turn this off.
-Between the "real world" map and the "paper map", there is an level of zoom where you can see neither the real units or the chess pieces. This is useless and should be gotten rid off.
-It would also be nice if, like Sins of a Solar Empire and Elemental: War of Magic, you could customize the zoom level at which the paper map takes effect.
-The game allows waypoint queuing, which is great, but for some reason it doesn't work for queuing multiple actions. This would be very helpful for a game like this.
-On the paper map, it'd be nice to have some kind of visual distinction between native cities and foreign cities, as well as different sized-cities. On the contrary, I find the visual distinction between walled and unwalled cities over-emphasized.
-It'd also be great to have a key/toggle that would show all unit orders on screen, instead of only the currently selected unit. This would make orchastrating large battles easier and more satisfying.

Gameplay/Units:
-Each faction's units severely limits the available tactics. This is fine for faster-paced games, but in a game where you are stuck with the same unit set for a very long campaign, this gets tedious Fast.
-With such a huge map, a basic degree of automation is sorely needed. I'm talking:
--Setting patrol routes or control zones that can relieve frontier micromanagement
--Ability to attach automated supply train to units or groups would help long range campaigns greatly, and this won't dumb down the strategic complexity at all
--Automated camping/foraging after a period of idle
--Automated retreat back to home or nearby city when unit strength low -- regardless of morale level
-There should be at least a basic level of attitude option, like most RTS. It's stupid that a scout party far into the enemy territory should even attempt to engage any enemy at all.
-Sheeps were an integral part of much of Greece's economy, and in the games some cities are only supplied by sheeps nearby. It makes sense to allow capture of sheep spawning spots and make sheep supply more automated. I understand you may want to make sheeps differ more from farms in gameplay terms, but I find the current sheep mechanics simply arbitrary and tedious.
-IMO the static generals are a major missed opportunity. I know this was a conscious design decision, but it would have been much more interesting to allow them to gain experience and level up as well. I would love to see a full-blown "hero" system, but even a basic level progression would be better than nothing.
-Further, it also seems strange to me that a general can command only 1 unit, while the game encourages formation of multiple units.

Misc.
-Modding! Seriously this will do wonders to the longevity of your game! Just look at all the mod-friendly indy games out there.

Anyway. Let me emphasize that I only make these suggestions because I believe Hegemony is a great game, and that it deserves the level of polish that would allow it to compete with the AAA titles. I congratulate the team on their achievement so far, and I sincerely hope at least some of these ideas would be adapted for both Gold and Rome.

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Thanks for all the ideas. I've tried to address them individually below:

-Hotkey customization: seriously, in this day and age?
We agree and we did implement a very flexible infrastructure to allow input changes, but unfortunately we ran out of time before we could implement an in-game interface for customizing it. However, if you want to make changes there is a controls.xml file in the same folder as the game executable and with a little work you can even map everything to an XBox controller if you want (although I don't really recommend it). Let us know if you've got any questions on the file format and we'll try to help you out.

-There are altogether only around 3 alert sounds, making it somewhat useless. At the very least, the 3 different basic alerts (spotting enemy, under attack, out of food) should have different alert sounds.

Fair enough. We had a great team working on the in-game sound effects but admittedly the GUI sounds didn't get a lot of attention. What other alerts would you be interested in?

-With a huge map and battles on multiple front, the slow panning/zooming (when you double-tap an alert or a unit hotkey) becomes very tedious. There should be a setting to make the pan/zoom much faster or, better yet, instantaneous.
-Likewise, the camera rotates automatically when it pans/zooms. This may look more dramatic, but serves no practical purpose. There should be an option to turn this off.


The primary purpose of the camera arcs was to give the player a better sense of where events were in relation to each other. Because the map is so large we found the majority of players were getting disoriented if the camera jumped directly. Our thought was that having the double-click or double-key press would accommodate those who wanted to jump faster, but I can see how it might be tedious if you're doing it a lot. We can look into making an option to make direct jumps the default for Rome.

I could be wrong, but I believe the automatic camera rotation is only used when jumping to mines and that's because they are usually up against mountains and you can only see them from one direction.

-Between the "real world" map and the "paper map", there is an level of zoom where you can see neither the real units or the chess pieces. This is useless and should be gotten rid off.

You're not the only one who has mentioned this, but technically the fade value (transparency) of the units and miniatures is tied to the altitude and the moment one fades out the other does start fading in. Unfortunately, if you stop the camera at just the right spot there is a small range where the elements are so translucent they appear to be missing and you don't see either. Early in development we did have it so you could not stop the camera during the transition period but it felt awkward and we decided we preferred smoother controls over the chance the player would stop at an awkward looking point in the transition. That said, it's still not an ideal solution and we're keeping it in mind as we polish the graphics in Rome.

-It would also be nice if, like Sins of a Solar Empire and Elemental: War of Magic, you could customize the zoom level at which the paper map takes effect.

Is there a particular direction you're hoping to move it or do you think you'd be adjusting it to different levels as you play? We get some requests to move the transition to high altitudes and we've done that a little in Rome, but I've never heard about moving it lower.


I hope that answers some of your points and I'll try to get to the rest shortly ...

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm

-The game allows waypoint queuing, which is great, but for some reason it doesn't work for queuing multiple actions. This would be very helpful for a game like this.

Yep. It was in the initial design for Hegemony but unfortunately got cut due to time pressure. We do plan to have a more robust waypoint system in Rome.

-On the paper map, it'd be nice to have some kind of visual distinction between native cities and foreign cities, as well as different sized-cities. On the contrary, I find the visual distinction between walled and unwalled cities over-emphasized.

Good point. I had wondered about better ways to indicate native and non-native cities but hadn't found a good solution. I'll keep this in mind for Rome.

-It'd also be great to have a key/toggle that would show all unit orders on screen, instead of only the currently selected unit. This would make orchastrating large battles easier and more satisfying.

I agree that could be useful and I believe we actually had that feature in the game at one point but I don't remember at the moment why it got dropped.

...

Level 6 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2012 at 9:20 am

Thanks for your response -- very nice to know that the team is listening!

controls.xml
Yes I've found this file, it's a great help. I have no problem editing files, but I imagine this could put a lot of people off. At the very least, zoom/pan speed should be changeable in-game.

Also, it'd be nice if one could bind <binding><button> to a key that's already used for an <binding><axis>. For example, I use WASD for panning, but I'd also like to bind Shift-WASD for other functions to minimize hand movement, but currently the <axis> binds seem to override all <button> binds.

What other alerts would you be interested in?
The existing types of alerts are quite sufficient. What I meant was that all alerts sound the same, making the audio feedback not very informative, and ultimately forcing me to monitor the log closely. For example: unit level-up, unit routed, enemy routed, building captured, etc. -- these should all give very different audio queues.

The primary purpose of the camera arcs was to give the player a better sense of where events were in relation to each other. Because the map is so large we found the majority of players were getting disoriented if the camera jumped directly. Our thought was that having the double-click or double-key press would accommodate those who wanted to jump faster
Yes, I understand your motive -- it's a good thought, but problematic in practice. Even in Hegemony's official trailer, you promote the possibility of waging simultaneous war on multiple front -- a quick way to jump between fronts is essential. For me personally, the minimap is quite enough for orientation purpose.

Currently, the double-press does a slow zoom/pan, and you have to double-press again during the zoom/pan to jump. This is only annoying for numbered unit groups, because you can just spam the number key and the camera will jump eventually. But for the X/C/V alerts it's downright confusing. If you press the buttons too quickly you might accidentally cycle to the next alert.

Furthermore, the camera pan/zooms the same way when you single-click on the minimap. The orientation argument does not stand here: if you're clicking on the minimap you should already have a good idea of where you're zooming to.

I could be wrong, but I believe the automatic camera rotation is only used when jumping to mines and that's because they are usually up against mountains and you can only see them from one direction.
No, that's not the case. I'm not sure when exactly the camera auto-rotates, but since I never zoom to mines that mustn't be the cause.

-It would also be nice if, like Sins of a Solar Empire and Elemental: War of Magic, you could customize the zoom level at which the paper map takes effect.
Is there a particular direction you're hoping to move it or do you think you'd be adjusting it to different levels as you play?

This also depends on where I'm playing the game -- on laptop or on desktop. Again this is why it's best to let the user decide for himself.

Level 6 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2012 at 10:21 am

Hope you don't mind, but here are a few more thoughts I've had in the past days:

Unit grouping:
-A key to switch between units within a group would be great (like the Tab key in Warcraft).

-Nice that there's a basic unit grouping system, but it'd be better if there's ways to semi-permanently bind multiple units together. Currently, if you order a single unit to perform an action, this unit breaks out of the group. It'd be nice if you can issue separate commands for units without breaking group definition. This would probably require an explicit group/ungroup command.

Interface:
-Most RTS games with many characters per unit (e.g. Total War series, Kohan), show an icon or a banner on top of the unit. This icon is useful for showing unit identity and status, but more fundamentally it's an obvious unit "handle" that you can click on. In large battles in Hegemony, when the battlefield is filled with overlapping units and routed troops, it becomes devilishly difficult to identify which unit is doing what, as well as selecting a specific unit to target another specific unit.

-On the paper map, the "status icons" are shown on top of the chess piece. There's a bit of a problem with phalangites, whose long pikes make the icons appear too far from the chess piece. It'd be better if all icons are shown a fixed distance from the ground, rather than chess-piece-dependent.

-When managing a large empire's supply lines, it'd be nice to be able to see all the color-coded road networks at once. Either an option to toggle "always show roads in color" or make a supply map view for this.

-The game often spams alerts when the enemy is loitering on the border. This can be fixed somewhat if you add an alert cooldown time for each spotter and spotted unit, say 5 seconds, so that what's essentially the same spotting event won't trigger many alerts.

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

So I don't fall too far behind, I'll try to catch up with your original post first :)

-Each faction's units severely limits the available tactics. This is fine for faster-paced games, but in a game where you are stuck with the same unit set for a very long campaign, this gets tedious Fast.

I appreciate that Hegemony has a smaller unit set then most strategy games and this can make the choice of what units to build/use somewhat less interesting. Obviously some of the reason for this is because the game is set in a specific historical period and so we don't have the major technology changes that lead to new units types in games like civ or total war. Also, while we were trying to encourage the historically successful use of combined arms, we were also trying to avoid too much of the rock, paper, scissors technique that you find in games like Starcraft where each unit has a specific counter-unit. Units in Hegemony are much less disposable and we wanted to put more emphasis on how you use units rather than what class they are.

All of that being said, it's still not a good excuse if it results in tedious gameplay. While I can't promise that there were be a much wider unit set in Rome since Caesar's campaigns took place after the Marian reforms when the Roman army standardize around the single flexible legionary class, we are hoping to balance the new unit upgrade system to encourage more specialization and we are trying to emphasize the specific legions so that Caesar's tenth legion for example will have different stats from the ninth.

-With such a huge map, a basic degree of automation is sorely needed.

Historically, RTS game have had mixed success giving player units too much autonomy so, since Hegemony lets you pause the game at any point, we decided in Philip/Gold that rather than try to guess how the player wants to respond to a situation and possibly getting it wrong, we'd let the player pause the action and deal with it themselves according to their own strategy.

However, we appreciate that there are time when it is quite clear what a unit should do, and in Rome we are working on some configurable options so that you can tell your units how to behave when you're not there. I haven't gotten into a lot of specifics on these features yet as we're still in the process of testing and refining them, but the general idea is that you'll be able to use the new formation system to give each of your units a role like battleline, skirmish, flank, etc as well an autonomy level such as aggressive, defensive, off, etc and the AI will use these settings to give orders to your units when you're not controlling them directly. You should also be able to use the expanded waypoint system to create command loops that will allow you to setup patrols.

These ideas are still in the development stage so I can't confirm they'll appear exactly like this in Rome, but it is definitely something we're working on and I expect you'll see at least some new options in this area.

Ability to attach automated supply train to units or group

We weren't really happy with the level of micromanagement required to bring extra supplies with your army in Hegemony Gold, so we've reworked this stuff quite a bit in Rome. Inspired by Caesar's own tactics, if you want to get more supplies in the field in Rome you can either build a camp in the area you'll be campaigning and connect a supply line back to your base or, using a special marching formation, you can order you units to carry additional supplies for a long march at the expense of combat abilities.

It makes sense to allow capture of sheep spawning spots and make sheep supply more automated.

The sheep are another system we weren't happy with in Gold and they've been replaced in Rome with a livestock farm that connects back to a camp/city with a supply line the same as a traditional farm.

-IMO the static generals are a major missed opportunity. I know this was a conscious design decision, but it would have been much more interesting to allow them to gain experience and level up as well.

We're still not planning on a levelling system for generals in Rome as we do still want to keep their skills and abilities based on the history, but you will have a lot more options for upgrading your units which we expect will had a lot more interesting decisions. Rather than using your xp to upgrade a limited number of skills, in Rome you'll use xp to promote officers with unique attributes that will affect a much wider range of stats.

-Modding! Seriously this will do wonders to the longevity of your game! Just look at all the mod-friendly indy games out there.

We're definitely open to the idea of modding and technically all of the assets for the game are out in the open so you're welcome to mess around with them if you want. I know a lot of players have played with the 'globals.xnt' file in resources/data that contains all of the unit stats in the game.

Unfortunately, more serious modding like map editing and unit creation is much more complicated and the internal tools we had for Gold were nowhere close to being ready for release. However, we've rebuilt all of our tools for Rome and, while it's not in the schedule for the initial release, we are hoping that in the long run we'll be able to polish them enough to release them to modders.


Thanks again for all great comments ...

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm

But for the X/C/V alerts it's downright confusing.

I'm surprised someone hasn't point this out before. I was playing around with it some more after reading your post and I see there are definitely some issues when you try to jump around too fast. At this point I don't know how complicated they will be to fix but it will need to happen for Rome and possibly I can get it into a future Gold update.

Currently, if you order a single unit to perform an action, this unit breaks out of the group. It'd be nice if you can issue separate commands for units without breaking group definition.

We are working on a few tweaks to the grouping system so that it will be more useful to keep them linked together, however all linked units must be following the same command so you still won't be able to issue separate orders without breaking them apart.

However, there will still be the quickselect groups that let you save a selection of units and you can issue separate orders to those units and then still re-select them all. One big difference in Rome is that when you issue orders to multiple units they will no longer group together automatically, but will keep whatever links you previously made.

Most RTS games with many characters per unit (e.g. Total War series, Kohan), show an icon or a banner on top of the unit.

I'll admit we intentionally avoided large in-world banners in Gold because we always thought Total War's pulsing banners looked rather silly but we've had a few comments about the difficulty of selecting units and it is something we're looking into.

There's a bit of a problem with phalangites, whose long pikes make the icons appear too far from the chess piece.

I have to say I'm not going to miss the phalangites ... I can't say how many problems those annoyingly long sarrissas caused in everything from animations to collisions.

The game often spams alerts when the enemy is loitering on the border. This can be fixed somewhat if you add an alert cooldown time for each spotter and spotted unit, say 5 seconds

There are a few distance and time based filters to try and reduce spam alerts but I'll admit they could still be better. We're actually looking at something based on the AI that's controlling them for Rome which should hopefully help prevent excessive warnings about the same event.

Level 6 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm

First of all, let me say that I really appreciate you taking the time to answer in detail -- this bodes very, very well for Rome!

Now to the points:
I appreciate that Hegemony has a smaller unit set then most strategy games and this can make the choice of what units to build/use somewhat less interesting.
Yes, I understand and appreciate your concern for historicity. But after, we know that ancient Greek warfare is mostly quite boring -- having longer lances and staggered battlelines were all considered important innovations. This certainly doesn't translate to engaging gameplay easily. Still, it's a game, and IMO making choices are the game.

But let me stress that I'm not specifically looking for more unit types per se -- many games (e.g. Total Wars) provide a dizzying array of troop types that don't really change the strategic implication. What Hegemony needs is more strategically relevant choices.
Historically, RTS game have had mixed success giving player units too much autonomy
True. I do like Hegemony's pausability, this gives the game a deliberate pace that I enjoy. But there's a difference between pausing to strategize and pausing to baby-sit units. I must say it's very annoying to see a phalanx company getting routed by peltasts because they wouldn't walk 10 feet forward to poke the buggers.
We weren't really happy with the level of micromanagement required to bring extra supplies with your army in Hegemony Gold, so we've reworked this stuff quite a bit in Rome.
Good to know you're rethinking the supply system. Not many RTS deal with supplies, and for good reason -- supply management isn't very exciting. But I think it adds a layer of strategy that is both more realistic and more challenging.

In fact, I'd even say Hegemony doesn't go far enough. For the most part supply is plentiful and not much of a concern. Most units, fully stocked, can survive out of supply for a long time. Realistically steady supply is absolutely crucial -- not that I'd suggest making the game that difficult.

Two (little known) RTS games with supplies system come to mind: Celtic Kings (and sequels Imperium) and Three Kingdoms: Fate of the Dragon. I enjoyed the latter although, admittedly, it wasn't a very good game, partly because the supply system made the game so challenging. You could really do a lot of damage just by cutting supplies, and likewise protecting your own supply, even for armies on the march, is critical. They may be worth your look.
We're still not planning on a levelling system for generals in Rome as we do still want to keep their skills and abilities based on the history
I often feel that this kind of "being true to history" is excessive. I'm not a believer in the Great Man Theory, and I think many historical figures achieved what they achieved, at least partly, because of the chance circumstances they were in. For me, being able to play a hand in developing characters' achievements should be as much a part of historical gameplay as changing national borders... But I don't suppose I could convince you to change your mind?
in Rome you'll use xp to promote officers with unique attributes that will affect a much wider range of stats.
Ooh sounds good!
-Modding! Seriously this will do wonders to the longevity of your game! Just look at all the mod-friendly indy games out there.
Yeah, I've begun tinkering with the .xnt and the campaign files. But... anyone's got an extractor for the .arc?
But for the X/C/V alerts it's downright confusing.
possibly I can get it into a future Gold update.

That would be Awesomeness.
We are working on a few tweaks to the grouping system so that it will be more useful to keep them linked together, however all linked units must be following the same command so you still won't be able to issue separate orders without breaking them apart.
Okay, fair enough. But just to point out why it'd be nice to be able to order separate orders:
-When you have a group with different unit types (especially with artillery and cavalry), it'd be much easier to conduct combined arms tactics.
-For recon parties, you could quickly order them to spread out and perform different tasks, and then regroup for defense/retreat.

I particularly liked how Celtic Kings handled unit groups -- you can order units to act individually, or select the whole group to act together at will.
However, there will still be the quickselect groups that let you save a selection of units and you can issue separate orders to those units and then still re-select them all.
Incidentally, in my Hegemony experience so far, I've found the quickselect buttons to not be very useful. The game is too big, the map too big, the units too many, for mere 10 unit groups to suffice. I didn't mention this earlier because I thought there's not much to do about it, but you *might* do like how some hack&slash RPG these days: have multiple pages of quick buttons.

For example, you could use a key to switch between different pages. This way, you could define multiple 1-10 quickselect groups for different fronts/theatres. So for each theatre, each front, all 10 keys could be relevant.
I'll admit we intentionally avoided large in-world banners in Gold because we always thought Total War's pulsing banners looked rather silly but we've had a few comments about the difficulty of selecting units and it is something we're looking into.
Yeah, I'm not asking for banners -- just a way to easily select/target a unit, as well as see its status at a glance.
The game often spams alerts when the enemy is loitering on the border. This can be fixed somewhat if you add an alert cooldown time for each spotter and spotted unit, say 5 seconds
Not the same problem but rebelling cities also spam alerts sometimes. This occurs when there is sufficient garrison but the food stock is low: rebellion is quelled as soon as supply comes in, but rebel again as soon as supply run out. This can happen very quickly, literally spamming everything else out.

Lastly, I want to make a personal point about historical games in general.

Of course, we play historical games because we like history, and there's great fun to be had in recreating history. But I think most of us enjoy more when we are free to deviate from history. The thing about history is that, for the people at the time, it wasn't history, it was reality. Reality is unpredictable, history is not. In hindsight we know phalanx+cavalry kicks ass, that infantry+gunpowder makes shortwork of knights, that blitzkrieg can decimate static defenses, and that aircraft carriers can steamroll battleships. But at the time these things happened, none of these was certain.

I dream of a historical game where the history is used as the foundation to build on, not the walls to shut in. A game where you can win even if you don't learn any lesson from the history.

On a more practical level, I basically want more freedom. Being able to develop generals, for one. Or more interestingly, being able to create your own units. For example, there was nothing distinct to Macedonian culture that made them inclined to use long lances, and there's (probably) nothing unique about Thebes that allow them to form Sacred Bands. With few exceptions, these things came about because somebody had a weird idea, tried it out, and it just stuck. I want to be able to be that sombody. I want to be able to make unique troop types, unique formations and tactics -- even if they all fail miserably.

But, yeah, I know. I dream.

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

But let me stress that I'm not specifically looking for more unit types per se ... What Hegemony needs is more strategically relevant choices.

I agree completely. Making more interesting choices has been behind most of the changes we've done for Rome, whether it's expanding construction and upgrade options or removing underused features like the shrines or camping systems.

But there's a difference between pausing to strategize and pausing to baby-sit units.

Definitely, and that pretty much sums up what we're hoping to do with new stance system. If all goes as planned player's will still be the ones make the strategic decisions, but your units should have enough autonomy and competence to carry out those orders on their own and, if those orders are no longer valid, then they should be able to survive long enough until you can give them new orders.

For the most part supply is plentiful and not much of a concern. Most units, fully stocked, can survive out of supply for a long time.

Supplies were one of the hardest things to balance in the first Hegemony. We found there was a huge discrepancy between how much food the experienced players had vs how much novice players had even after we added the supply cap in Hegemony Gold (this is also why we added the supply production setting in the options). We were also significantly constrained in how much we could limit the food a unit carried because we wanted to ensure they could last a battle or siege without too much reliance on worker/slave caravans.

The expanded supply radii and new fort system in Rome will remove a lot of those restrictions and we expect players will conduct long term sieges and large field battles within range of their supply networks. Ideally this will put more emphasis on protecting your supply lines and also make cutting your enemy's lines more effective.

I often feel that this kind of "being true to history" is excessive. I'm not a believer in the Great Man Theory, and I think many historical figures achieved what they achieved, at least partly, because of the chance circumstances they were in. For me, being able to play a hand in developing characters' achievements should be as much a part of historical gameplay as changing national borders... But I don't suppose I could convince you to change your mind?

I see where you're coming from and we are trying to strike a better balance in Rome between the historical campaigns that aim to recreate the more specific events of Caesar's career, versus the sandbox mode where you'll be able to conquer Gaul any way you like with whatever faction you like. And, although I was generally backing Caesar in the other thread where we debated the merits of his generalship, I actually think it's because of the importance of the external factors that we haven't put more emphasis on leveling up hero characters. There was some pressure in the original game to make Philip a true hero character where his presence had a much greater influence on the battle, but we found this tended to overwhelm the more interesting decisions like unit deployment and supply management so we adjusted it so that a good general could tip the balance but couldn't win on their own.

But... anyone's got an extractor for the .arc?

We've never actually made an extractor for the archive file as we always just rebuild it from the source whenever we make changes. While I don't necessarily have any problems with releasing the source files, as it currently stands it would be really hard to make significant modifications as there are a lot of cryptic, undocumented interdependencies.

Out of curiosity, what things are you most interested in modding? New units, new factions, new objectives, map changes?

But for the X/C/V alerts it's downright confusing.

I've made a few changes now to the alert shortcuts which, while not addressing all of your points right now, should at least make it work more like I originally intended and hopefully fix some of the confusion. The main change is that the camera will now jump to the target and stay there if you hit the X/C/V a second time or in the middle of the jump rather than skipping the current target and jumping to the next. I've also fixed it so that it remembers the camera height and rotation so that if you interrupt a jump you're not always left up on the strategy map.

These changes will be in 1.5.7 but I don't know yet when that will be available.

...