As you may have seen in the March Dev update, I'm going to be taking over many of the design and operations of Ashes moving forward. This should result in a lot more getting done in shorter times as now we'll have a designer specifically focusing on Ashes full time whereas Draginol has his hands full with many other projects and whatever else being a CEO involves.
I have a pretty solid idea of what I have in mind moving forward, but I'd like to take suggestions for new features or quality life changes moving forward. This is separate to specific game play changes. There's been some fantastic features which I'd love but didn't think about until someone mentioned it. This is also to jot my memory of features I love in RTS games which Ashes would benefit from, or quality of life changes which I haven't been able to articulate.
I also would like to encourage you to take the conversation to the Ashes Discord channel where I'm quite active and will argue with people about design/balance.
To get everyone in the loop (and to avoid everyone listing obvious things) below are the features I'd like to see implemented on top of what's already on the way such as replays, modding/workshop, T4 and naval. This doesn't mean to say they will all be implemented. It'll be a gradual process, some may not even be possible and there is always an opportunity cost for programmer time.
My Feature Wishlist:
Fully rebindable hotkeys
Every unit and action in the game should be have a bindable hotkey. Modifiers such able to mix ctrl + or Shift + should work to give more options.
Click to drag multiple structures
This is specifically a feature from Supreme Commander. Anyone that comes from Supcom will be disappointed it’s not here. When placing a new structure, holding down the click and dragging will queue up multiple of that structure in a line. This is mainly useful for when players want to build lines of defenses or Quantum Relays.
Another fantastic feature from Supreme Commander. This allows players to select a few structures and assign them to a template. The template can then later be recalled to drastically speed up the process of establishing base defenses.
In team games it can be confusing keeping track of all the different players. To make this process easier, especially for colorblind people, many prefer to remove the individual player colors in favour of one color (Green) for yourself, one color(Blue) for all allies and one color(Red) for all enemies.
Acquisition of allied assets when a player drops
Having a player quit or drop shouldn’t result in that team immediately having no chance to win The units and resources belonging to the player who drops should be shifted over to someone else. Perhaps the player with the slowest strength? An alternative is give the players assets to an AI, but that has its own issues such as difficulty levels.
This is a difficult topic because adding another automatch queue type is going to split the small community and result in longer times to find opponents. A better solution would be to allow custom 2v2 to have a ranked mode, which then limits map options and map pools to the ranked mode but then stores results in a 2v2 ladder. Then there’s also the question of should 1v1 have this option too?
- Replays Included in Match History
This is coming, there's already the UI setup for it in the 2.2 opt-in.
Live Streamer List
Have an interface in the main menu which highlights whenever a pre-listed community member is streaming Ashes, allowing more people to find their streams and interact with the community. The same could also be done for YouTube videos such as patch previews, shoutcasts or campaign let's plays.
- Matchmaking Limitations
Ashes, like almost every other RTS game, doesn't have the player base for automatch to only match similar skill level opponents in a short amount of time. However, a line has to be drawn somewhere; the top players in the community shouldn’t be matched up against brand new players, it doesn’t benefit anyone. Getting stomped by someone in a couple of minutes is very off putting and I think everyone would rather wait a bit longer to find an opponent then have such an extreme skill gap. There should be some limitations on matchmaking.
- Better Tutorial/s
The current tutorial isn't very good; it's long, slow and boring and doesn’t even teach players that much. This is a problem for introducing new players to the game. I plan on making new, better tutorial/s which are more fun and engaging, but also teaches players more information for the multiplayer.
[Ashes Forums] Add a new section for posting replays.
This can be used for players asking for advice, pros showing off strategies or to give shoutcasters the most interesting and exciting replays to cast.
Play/resume skirmish while queuing for ranked (Is this even possible?)
Being able to play a skirmish vs AI would mitigate the boredom of waiting for a game which can sometime take a while. (Especially on my Australian timezone)
Multiple Ping types (low priority)
In order to improve communication and coordination in team games, having multiple ping types would help. Such as Green Ping for attack here, red ping for defend here, orange ping for attention here, purple for use orbital here, etc.
Army Formations (low priority, is this even possible?)
Given that armies is supposed to be a core and unique mechanic of Ashes, it provides almost no functionality and is often neglected. Customising formations would add a level of tactics without requiring fast paced micro from the player. The idea being that players could rotate certain unit types in and out of the front of the army to counter their opponent depending on what they are assaulting.
- Default/Mixed formation
Whatever it is now
- Frigates forward
Places Frigates at the front to counter primarily Athena/Mauler armies without exposing your own cruisers
- Cruisers Forward
Places Cruisers forward to counter anti-frigate armies without exposing your frigates
- Artillery Forward
Places Artemis/Destructor forward to snipe base defenses without your army running into turret fire
Multiplayer LAN (low priority)
Almost all RTS games over the past decade haven’t bothered with LAN support, so this allows Ashes to fill a unique niche.
Quality of Life
Fix getting stuck on camera lock without players being unsure how to remove it (follows a unit)
Prevent armies from forming with mouse click (Players should manually hit V)
Make swapping to team chat more intuitive (Shift + Enter for team chat)
Show rally point for factories
Show Quanta income
Button for reset default camera zoom and angle
Allow clicking out of the invite player panel in a lobby to close the invite panel
Enter prompt for lobby name and private/public when creating a lobby. (Default to “[steam name]’s game”)
Prevent artillery units from moving closer to target instead of utilising max range
Fix the left to right ordering of many of the menu options.
Add Load game into the in-game menu instead of having to back out into main menu
Given more features and options being added, there may need to be sub menus in the main menu such as Single player, Multiplayer.
Bug Fixes: (Not all are verified)
Kill Orbital can miss?
Vega has performance problems?
Cap bug, units ignores cap queues (shift click) on some maps such as Pulaski?
Substrate regeneration is broken?
Can’t target radar contacts from an ally's radar?
- Changing starting positions sometimes bugs out
- The AI gets access to escalation units in the original single player campaign, but the player does not.