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I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback

 
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I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 7:29:23 AM   
Deca


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I am looking to get another wargame, and have considered WitP for quite some time. On the other hand, I am reluctant to purchase it out of concern for the following areas (which may or may not be accurate --- which is why I am posting for additional input from the community).


-- An unituitive interface that leads to tortuous micro management in certain areas of the game, not due to the complexity of the game, but due to failings of the UI.


-- Numerous facets of the game which are bewildering, not due to the complexity of the game, but rather due to incomplete knowledge of specific, yet, elusive game mechanics even though released back in mid 2004.



I am not concerned about graphics, as graphics don't make a game. There are many graphics packs made by the modding community (and that's great), but I view things of that nature as icing on the cake. However, if the cake is crap, no amount of icing will help it.



I want an extremely detailed, complex, and yet historically accurate WWII game. WitP seems to fit the bill in many ways.


However...........


However, I do not want the majority of that perceived complexity to be nothing more than an illusion wrapped around ambiguous rules and/or not fully documented/understood game mechanics. Furthermore, I do not consider extremely tedious micro management caused by inadequate user interfaces to be "detail". I want to micro manage all aspects of the war, but I want to fight the enemy, not the UI. Micro management just for the sake of micro management induced by poor UIs is not detail, but rather deplorable design.



Having said all the above, what are the battles like?
How detailed is the combat?
Can a player alter/influence combat once it starts or is everything done & planned beforehand?


What is the single best aspect about WitP?
What is the single worst aspect about WitP?

Are there any bugs/issues pertaining to WitP that are show stoppers?

If you had to give a list of 10 pros & 10 cons for WitP what are they?


Thanks,
Deca

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RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 7:39:42 AM   
JeffK


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Not going to answer all of your questions.

I'd rate WITP vanilla as 6/10 and with either nikmod or CHS as 8/10. Sid has developed RHS but I havent payed it.

Is it perfect, no bloody way, but its streets ahead of any similar effort.

Buy it, you'll be happy that you did.

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Post #: 2
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 7:51:06 AM   
Gen.Hoepner


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IMHO the major problems have all been solved with last patches. There have never been, however, show-stopping bugs, IMHO.
WITP is a great game. I'd rate 9/10 considering CHS and RHS (the two major mods around).
It is detailed, a lot, but it doesn't force you to interact with every single aspect of the battle. It's strategical, but also tactical.
You can influence both the war and the battles, but there's always a dark corner which won't let you always do what you want your troops-ships-planes to do and that is, far from being a flaw, a way to rapresent the "alea" that always comes with battles.

Plus,...the community is simply awesome.

Buy it

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RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 8:43:58 AM   
Grotius


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First off, welcome to the forums, Deca. I'll do my best to give my own answers to your questions. But first a couple of general comments. WITP is unlike any other computer game I've ever played. If you want detail, this has got detail in spades. Its scope is massive beyond belief. It models every ship in the Pacific War, all the way from mighty CVs down to individual tankers, submarine tenders, repair ships, oilers, and even barges and PT boats. The game represents every airplane in the theater, from B-17s to flying boats. It tracks the careers of every individual pilot in the theater, though the pilot database is (for lack of complete historical sources) not as rigorous as the ship one. The game can be played in multi-day turns, but many of us revel in its one-day turn option, which mean that PBEM games take as long to finish as the war itself did. And PBEM games are high drama! Do yourself a favor and read a couple of the AARs I've mentioned further on in this post.

The game is not perfect historically, but if you play the AI in a "historical" fashion (on Very Hard), it will give you a good game for a long while. In PBEM, if you set reasonable house rules, your game will play out in a historically plausible way too.

Anyway, to get to your questions: is all this detail playable? I.e., how's the UI? Well, it's a mixed bag. If you ever played Grigsby's precursor to WITP, "Pacific War," you might be familiar with his UI-design style. WITP is an improvement over the PacWar UI, and in the four years since publication of the game, the programmers have added more improvements. It still takes too many clicks to do some things, in my opinion, but it's gotten better. On turn 1, there's no escaping it: you pretty much have to click on every unit in the game to check on it, or give it orders, or tell it to prep for invasion somewhere, or whatnot. Turn 1 is a daunting task -- hours for the Americans, even more hours for the Japanese. But once I'm past turn 1, I find the UI recedes, and gameplay comes to the fore.

Also, I should add that there are some very helpful interface mods. I've recently been playing with "Witpdecoder," about which there is a thread on the first couple pages of this forum. It presents WITP's info in much more digestible form than the game does. You might want to look at the beginning of that thread to give yourself an idea of how one modder has addressed what he sees as annoying UI issues.

quote:

-- Numerous facets of the game which are bewildering, not due to the complexity of the game, but rather due to incomplete knowledge of specific, yet, elusive game mechanics even though released back in mid 2004.

This is much less of an issue than it used to be. There are still many small mysteries to a massive game like WITP, but for the most part the game mechanics are now pretty well understood. It's true that the manual, which hasn't been updated, is now inaccurate on some things, such as some details of Japanese Production; but fansites have published corrections and clarifications. It's also true that some "tactical" aspects of the engine can frustrate even the most seasoned veteran: you don't have complete control over whether your planes fly a bombing run, or over which targets your carrier task force chooses. If you get the game, be sure to run the "Coral Sea" scenario to get a feel for carrier ops, which are obviously important to the game; once you get familiar with things, they make more sense. Also, the land combat model kinda stinks, and it has a couple very odd quirks, but you can learn them quickly, and mostly it's relevant to China, which you can relegate to a sideshow against the AI or against an agreeable opponent. Anyway, for me, the mechanics and rules are pretty clear, and I don't consider them much of an issue now. The UI is more of an issue for me, but only a minor irritation.

quote:

Having said all the above, what are the battles like? How detailed is the combat? Can a player alter/influence combat once it starts or is everything done & planned beforehand?


WiTP is a strategic and operational game with some tactical elements. It's also a "we-go" system -- both players plot their orders, and then the game executes them simultaneously. The operational focus, and the we-go structure, both dictate that you won't have detailed tactical control over the outcome of battles. In that sense the game plays like AGEOD's "American Civil War" or "Birth of America," if you know those games. You watch combat animations for about 15-20 minutes per turn; you have the option to turn off the animations, but my guess is that most people watch them. It's often pretty intense. You hold your breath as enemy bombers approach your ships, or as your fighters square off against theirs, or as your land units charge.

In WITP, you are generally cast in the role of a theater commander, and the game deliberately puts some limits on your ability to control tactical decisions. You can set the altitude for your combat air patrol and bombers, and you can tell them which airfield or port to attack; on the other hand, you give your CVs only the general order for "naval attack" (though you still can specify particular airfields and ports to strike), and the game determines for you which target they'll attack. You don't micromanage carrier battles the way you would in "Carriers at War" -- at least not as of now. (2by3 has been working on a more "tactical" carrier model for the predecessor game to WITP, "Uncommon Valor," and my guess is that we'll see it introduced into WITP sooner or later. In fact, there's a mysterious announcement about WITP scheduled for around Pearl Harbor day.) To be sure, you make crucial decisions about the missions of your CV airwings, the course of your CVs, the composition of CV task forces, the role of escorts, but the actual combat is resolved after both players have submitted their turns.

quote:

What is the single best aspect about WitP?

The rigorous attention to historical detail. After WITP, every other treatment of the Pacific War seems too abstract to me. People who play "Hearts of Iron II" love to boast about the historical accuracy of that game; to me, it's a toy compared to WITP.

quote:

What is the single worst aspect about WitP?

The massive time commitment required for PBEM. The AI will give you a good game if you play against it predictably, but sooner or later you hunger for a more cunning opponent. But PBEM takes years. I don't know if UI updates could fix this -- it's inherent in the beast. Even with a streamlined UI, if I play PBEM, you better believe I'll be checking and re-checking the orders I give my most important units. Right now, it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to play a typical PBEM turn. Even with a better UI, I'd still take at least half an hour per turn. That might not sound like much, but when you factor in the delay in the other player's response (especially if not in the same time zone), it can be hard to do more than one or two turns a day. Though some people here seem to do a dozen a day.

quote:

Are there any bugs/issues pertaining to WitP that are show stoppers?

Most major bugs have been stomped. A few linger. The most annoying issues I've dealt with are the disappearing-unit bug, which has mostly (entirely?) been fixed; the "leader" bug, which causes mixups with commanding officers, a bug that still lingers but isn't a show-stopper; and the "out of sync PBEM game" bug, which causes the two players to see different combat replays -- there are workarounds for this.

quote:

If you had to give a list of 10 pros & 10 cons for WitP what are they?

Pros:
1. Incredible detail.
2. Massive, mouth-watering game map.
3. Daily control over ship movements -- nothing is abstracted.
4. Gut-wrenching combat animations that have me on the edge of my seat.
5. Painfully difficult decisions for both sides. Where to deploy the IJN strike force? Where should the USA strike back first? How to defend as the UK -- up front, or fall back?
6. A mind-boggling production system (though only for Japan; the USA system is more abstracted). The area of the game that most benefits from UI mods, by the way.
7. Seeing a plan come together after months of real-life and in-game planning. Nothing is sweeter.
8. The educational aspect of this game: I now know more about the Pacific war than most people on the planet -- though still far less than most people here in this forum.
9. A fabulous community here -- my favorite forums on the web. Great bunch of folks. Some of them have a scary depth of knowledge about the war.
10. Some first-rate after-action reports (AARs) in the AAR section. You really should check them out. "Small Ship, Big War" is the tale of WW2 told from the deck of the IJN destroyer Hibiki. "From here it only SEEMS like eternity" is sort of like WITP meets M*A*S*H meets Catch-22. There are some real geniuses in this forum.

Cons:
1. Length of PBEM games. This isn't exactly a "con"; I'm not sure I'd have it any other way.
2. The AI. It could use some work. But it still entertains me after four years.
3. The UI is functional but not sleek. Too many mouse-clicks sometimes. Information often could be presented in a more comprehensive format -- but mods deal with this to a fair extent.
4. The land combat model kinda stinks. I don't love fighting in China. If your concerned about uncertain game mechanics, this is the area in which such uncertainties are most likely to arise. Remember, though, this is primarily a game about naval/air action. One thing I like about the AI is that it and I tacitly agree to a stalemate in China, and we go about our business fighting with ships and planes and troop-transports instead.
5. I think the game could use stacking limits or penalties for atolls, not to mention aircraft in some cases. House rules can handle this.
6. Personally, I'd like more direct control over tactical carrier ops. Personally, my guess is that this is coming, sooner or later.
7. Seeing a plan fall apart after months of real-life and in-game planning. Nothing is more painful. :)
8. The price is a bit steep, I suppose. Worth it to me.
9. Many other players here are better at using their naval and air assets than I am.
10. I wish there were a greater variety of music, though what there is is quite well done. I turned it off long ago. I probably would turn it off even if there were ten times as many tunes.

Hope this helps. I say go read an AAR or two. Then buy it. :)

< Message edited by Grotius -- 11/22/2007 8:52:42 AM >

(in reply to Gen.Hoepner)
Post #: 4
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 9:01:43 AM   
AU Tiger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gen.Hoepner


Plus,...the community is simply awesome.

Buy it


2 cents: Yes there are flaws, but the community makes up for them. I bought this game around two years ago, and still play it every day. And if I don't get a turn from an opponent when I expect one, I get violently ill - cold sweats, delirium tremors, I shoot up heroin for relief, and look for puppies to kick. You will get used to hitting 'refresh' several times a day looking for an emailed turn. I used to have a girlfriend who was understanding about the addiction, for a while anyway. She eventually left me for a guy who was addicted to merely internet porn. You gotta hate it when a unit fails her morale die roll.


DAMN! NOTHING IN THE INBOX!



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Post #: 5
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 10:54:14 AM   
fabertong


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Go on....buy it.......you know it's right......

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RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 11:09:11 AM   
AU Tiger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fabertong

Go on....buy it.......you know it's right......


Hmmmm...
Why did I think of track 8 all of a sudden?

http://www.google.com/musicl?lid=rO6dJYSqVQM&aid=iO2Q26sNtFN



< Message edited by AU Tiger -- 11/22/2007 11:28:21 AM >


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RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 1:36:03 PM   
wdolson

 

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Just answering some questions...

The game does require a lot of micromanaging.  Most of it is due to just the massive nature of the game.  Some of it is due to limits in the game engine, which many of us gripe about.

The game is also very long.  Playing against the AI can take months if you play for several hours every day.  Playing against a real opponent by PBEM can take years.

Once combat begins, you have no control.  The procedure for a turn is that you give orders to your units and then launch the turn and the game engine processes it.  If you have it set to one day turns, you are setting your orders essentially at dusk on a given day and then the game processes the next day in three phases: night, morning, and afternoon.  Missions are flown, combat happens, things happen.  The turn can also be set for 2 day, 3 day, or continuous.  I think most people play with 1 day turns.

You can watch the combat unfold during the turn's processing, or you can opt to just see the results in text form during the next orders phase.

The game has quirks and some are agravating.  However, I think this is one of the best war games ever produced.  It is a history lovers game though.  The level of detail possible in a game of this scale is beyond anything ever done in a wargame.  The various mods have fixed lots of problems with the original OOB and reproduced something close to the real OOB for the entire Pacific War. 

If you like real time, first person shooter type games, it's not for you.  This is more of a strategic and operational level game, but with details equivalent to a tactical game in some ways.

Bill


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RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 3:02:05 PM   
Charles_22


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One slight correction. You can somewhat control combat by some of the choices you make. Naturally you can move land forces and have them attack or not. You can also tell ships and planes what mission to do so that they react in somewhat different ways to given situations. It's not direct control as far as air and sea forces, but it's not like there's no control over the battles at all. You give them general orders and they react. You don't, unfortunately, tell them to attack this fleet as this hex. If there are more than one fleet, should you have naval attack orders for instance, they will choose which of them or both of them to engage on their own.

Also in the case of air forces attacking land objects, there is quite a bit of direct control with the orders (attack port and so on).

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 9
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 3:21:10 PM   
Joe D.


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Judging by the complexity and sophistication of your lengthy post, it looks like you'd be right at home w/WitP.

However, as WitP is very detailed and covers a large area, the AI doesn't hold it's own for very long, and most play PBEM.

WitP is an update of Grigsby's earlier PacWar, which can be downloaded from the Matrix forums. You may want to try it to get something of a taste of what you're in for; PacWar is more playable than WitP, which is actually a cross between PacWar and UV. UV is simpler in scope than WitP and operates in a smaller theater. However, it doesn' t have all of WitP's options, i.e., production, and many consider UV WitP's kid sister.

You may want to check more threads in this forum for a posting about WitP vs. UV; the poster decided to go w/UV and hasn't regretted it (to date). I recall WitP is considerably more expensive than UV, but PacWar is free.

< Message edited by Joe D. -- 11/22/2007 3:33:38 PM >


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Post #: 10
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 5:19:37 PM   
Grotius


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Hey Joe D., are you sure that most people play PBEM rather than the AI? I thought someone did a poll and found the opposite. If not, maybe we should start one; I'd be curious.

Me, I've played both, but currently I'm playing the AI.

(in reply to Joe D.)
Post #: 11
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 5:49:08 PM   
Bahnsteig

 

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Buy it, you won't regret it.


(in reply to Grotius)
Post #: 12
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 6:58:44 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grotius

Hey Joe D., are you sure that most people play PBEM rather than the AI? I thought someone did a poll and found the opposite ...


No, I don't have these stats, but it's been well-established that the the WitP AI craps-out after 6 months to 1 year of (game) time, so why even bother.

Although it's the same engine, UV AI seems to play better since its scenarios are shorter and not as massive. In fact, I recently had a great game s vs. the AI in "Green Hell"; the AI IJN even sortied the Yamato and her sister BB twice vs. the 'Canal.


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RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 10:53:22 PM   
Rainer

 

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quote:

it's been well-established that the the WitP AI craps-out after 6 months to 1 year of (game) time


Not true for me. I am playing Scen 15, Allies vs. AI, am March 45 now, and I have a very challenging game, not to mention fun and excitement.
It's a well-established myth that WitP AI is crap, maintained by a group pf people here in the forums who hate WitP AI. Most probably never tested it over a prolonged time period.

Having said that I have to add that the AI components are not VERY clever. It's a script after all. But still, trying to win the war (make the AI give up) at level Very Hard, and trying to achieve this before Aug 15, 1945, and without using the A-bomb is a real challenge indeed.

Just don't expect extensive carrier battles against AI every week of the game

PS: Nearly forgot: Deca, buy it. It is a very good investment, even with the somewhat steep price (calculated in game turns per Dollars its a steal!).

< Message edited by Rainer -- 11/22/2007 10:56:02 PM >

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Post #: 14
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 10:58:36 PM   
JeffK


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Joe.D,

Play against the AI on very hard, limit yourself to a reasonably historical stategy.

AI still makes some stupid moves (and humans dont?) but is still competitive to mid 43.

(IMHO, the AI is better air/sea but poor at land)


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RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/22/2007 11:31:07 PM   
wdolson

 

Posts: 8152
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From: Near Portland, OR
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Charles_22

One slight correction. You can somewhat control combat by some of the choices you make. Naturally you can move land forces and have them attack or not. You can also tell ships and planes what mission to do so that they react in somewhat different ways to given situations. It's not direct control as far as air and sea forces, but it's not like there's no control over the battles at all. You give them general orders and they react. You don't, unfortunately, tell them to attack this fleet as this hex. If there are more than one fleet, should you have naval attack orders for instance, they will choose which of them or both of them to engage on their own.

Also in the case of air forces attacking land objects, there is quite a bit of direct control with the orders (attack port and so on).


The question was whether you can control combat once it starts. You give all your orders ahead of time. There is nothing real time about combat in the game.

Bill

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(in reply to Charles_22)
Post #: 16
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 12:25:58 AM   
Dili

 

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All of what you say are real problems: subpar UI, undocumented issues etc. But there is not a game compared to this.

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 17
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 12:29:57 AM   
Nikademus


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you might want to wait a little bit before buying. There's an update on the horizon.

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Post #: 18
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 12:44:11 AM   
wdolson

 

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There is something on the horizon.  Matrix isn't saying what it is.  It could be a new mod of the game like Warplan Orange was.

Whatever it is, we will know in a few weeks.

Bill


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Post #: 19
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 1:57:38 AM   
Knavey

 

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Ummmm...what he said. Grotius does a very good job summing up the game. Run, do not walk to the nearest computer and download it now.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Grotius

First off, welcome to the forums, Deca. I'll do my best to give my own answers to your questions. But first a couple of general comments. WITP is unlike any other computer game I've ever played. If you want detail, this has got detail in spades. Its scope is massive beyond belief. It models every ship in the Pacific War, all the way from mighty CVs down to individual tankers, submarine tenders, repair ships, oilers, and even barges and PT boats. The game represents every airplane in the theater, from B-17s to flying boats. It tracks the careers of every individual pilot in the theater, though the pilot database is (for lack of complete historical sources) not as rigorous as the ship one. The game can be played in multi-day turns, but many of us revel in its one-day turn option, which mean that PBEM games take as long to finish as the war itself did. And PBEM games are high drama! Do yourself a favor and read a couple of the AARs I've mentioned further on in this post.

The game is not perfect historically, but if you play the AI in a "historical" fashion (on Very Hard), it will give you a good game for a long while. In PBEM, if you set reasonable house rules, your game will play out in a historically plausible way too.

Anyway, to get to your questions: is all this detail playable? I.e., how's the UI? Well, it's a mixed bag. If you ever played Grigsby's precursor to WITP, "Pacific War," you might be familiar with his UI-design style. WITP is an improvement over the PacWar UI, and in the four years since publication of the game, the programmers have added more improvements. It still takes too many clicks to do some things, in my opinion, but it's gotten better. On turn 1, there's no escaping it: you pretty much have to click on every unit in the game to check on it, or give it orders, or tell it to prep for invasion somewhere, or whatnot. Turn 1 is a daunting task -- hours for the Americans, even more hours for the Japanese. But once I'm past turn 1, I find the UI recedes, and gameplay comes to the fore.

Also, I should add that there are some very helpful interface mods. I've recently been playing with "Witpdecoder," about which there is a thread on the first couple pages of this forum. It presents WITP's info in much more digestible form than the game does. You might want to look at the beginning of that thread to give yourself an idea of how one modder has addressed what he sees as annoying UI issues.

quote:

-- Numerous facets of the game which are bewildering, not due to the complexity of the game, but rather due to incomplete knowledge of specific, yet, elusive game mechanics even though released back in mid 2004.

This is much less of an issue than it used to be. There are still many small mysteries to a massive game like WITP, but for the most part the game mechanics are now pretty well understood. It's true that the manual, which hasn't been updated, is now inaccurate on some things, such as some details of Japanese Production; but fansites have published corrections and clarifications. It's also true that some "tactical" aspects of the engine can frustrate even the most seasoned veteran: you don't have complete control over whether your planes fly a bombing run, or over which targets your carrier task force chooses. If you get the game, be sure to run the "Coral Sea" scenario to get a feel for carrier ops, which are obviously important to the game; once you get familiar with things, they make more sense. Also, the land combat model kinda stinks, and it has a couple very odd quirks, but you can learn them quickly, and mostly it's relevant to China, which you can relegate to a sideshow against the AI or against an agreeable opponent. Anyway, for me, the mechanics and rules are pretty clear, and I don't consider them much of an issue now. The UI is more of an issue for me, but only a minor irritation.

quote:

Having said all the above, what are the battles like? How detailed is the combat? Can a player alter/influence combat once it starts or is everything done & planned beforehand?


WiTP is a strategic and operational game with some tactical elements. It's also a "we-go" system -- both players plot their orders, and then the game executes them simultaneously. The operational focus, and the we-go structure, both dictate that you won't have detailed tactical control over the outcome of battles. In that sense the game plays like AGEOD's "American Civil War" or "Birth of America," if you know those games. You watch combat animations for about 15-20 minutes per turn; you have the option to turn off the animations, but my guess is that most people watch them. It's often pretty intense. You hold your breath as enemy bombers approach your ships, or as your fighters square off against theirs, or as your land units charge.

In WITP, you are generally cast in the role of a theater commander, and the game deliberately puts some limits on your ability to control tactical decisions. You can set the altitude for your combat air patrol and bombers, and you can tell them which airfield or port to attack; on the other hand, you give your CVs only the general order for "naval attack" (though you still can specify particular airfields and ports to strike), and the game determines for you which target they'll attack. You don't micromanage carrier battles the way you would in "Carriers at War" -- at least not as of now. (2by3 has been working on a more "tactical" carrier model for the predecessor game to WITP, "Uncommon Valor," and my guess is that we'll see it introduced into WITP sooner or later. In fact, there's a mysterious announcement about WITP scheduled for around Pearl Harbor day.) To be sure, you make crucial decisions about the missions of your CV airwings, the course of your CVs, the composition of CV task forces, the role of escorts, but the actual combat is resolved after both players have submitted their turns.

quote:

What is the single best aspect about WitP?

The rigorous attention to historical detail. After WITP, every other treatment of the Pacific War seems too abstract to me. People who play "Hearts of Iron II" love to boast about the historical accuracy of that game; to me, it's a toy compared to WITP.

quote:

What is the single worst aspect about WitP?

The massive time commitment required for PBEM. The AI will give you a good game if you play against it predictably, but sooner or later you hunger for a more cunning opponent. But PBEM takes years. I don't know if UI updates could fix this -- it's inherent in the beast. Even with a streamlined UI, if I play PBEM, you better believe I'll be checking and re-checking the orders I give my most important units. Right now, it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to play a typical PBEM turn. Even with a better UI, I'd still take at least half an hour per turn. That might not sound like much, but when you factor in the delay in the other player's response (especially if not in the same time zone), it can be hard to do more than one or two turns a day. Though some people here seem to do a dozen a day.

quote:

Are there any bugs/issues pertaining to WitP that are show stoppers?

Most major bugs have been stomped. A few linger. The most annoying issues I've dealt with are the disappearing-unit bug, which has mostly (entirely?) been fixed; the "leader" bug, which causes mixups with commanding officers, a bug that still lingers but isn't a show-stopper; and the "out of sync PBEM game" bug, which causes the two players to see different combat replays -- there are workarounds for this.

quote:

If you had to give a list of 10 pros & 10 cons for WitP what are they?

Pros:
1. Incredible detail.
2. Massive, mouth-watering game map.
3. Daily control over ship movements -- nothing is abstracted.
4. Gut-wrenching combat animations that have me on the edge of my seat.
5. Painfully difficult decisions for both sides. Where to deploy the IJN strike force? Where should the USA strike back first? How to defend as the UK -- up front, or fall back?
6. A mind-boggling production system (though only for Japan; the USA system is more abstracted). The area of the game that most benefits from UI mods, by the way.
7. Seeing a plan come together after months of real-life and in-game planning. Nothing is sweeter.
8. The educational aspect of this game: I now know more about the Pacific war than most people on the planet -- though still far less than most people here in this forum.
9. A fabulous community here -- my favorite forums on the web. Great bunch of folks. Some of them have a scary depth of knowledge about the war.
10. Some first-rate after-action reports (AARs) in the AAR section. You really should check them out. "Small Ship, Big War" is the tale of WW2 told from the deck of the IJN destroyer Hibiki. "From here it only SEEMS like eternity" is sort of like WITP meets M*A*S*H meets Catch-22. There are some real geniuses in this forum.

Cons:
1. Length of PBEM games. This isn't exactly a "con"; I'm not sure I'd have it any other way.
2. The AI. It could use some work. But it still entertains me after four years.
3. The UI is functional but not sleek. Too many mouse-clicks sometimes. Information often could be presented in a more comprehensive format -- but mods deal with this to a fair extent.
4. The land combat model kinda stinks. I don't love fighting in China. If your concerned about uncertain game mechanics, this is the area in which such uncertainties are most likely to arise. Remember, though, this is primarily a game about naval/air action. One thing I like about the AI is that it and I tacitly agree to a stalemate in China, and we go about our business fighting with ships and planes and troop-transports instead.
5. I think the game could use stacking limits or penalties for atolls, not to mention aircraft in some cases. House rules can handle this.
6. Personally, I'd like more direct control over tactical carrier ops. Personally, my guess is that this is coming, sooner or later.
7. Seeing a plan fall apart after months of real-life and in-game planning. Nothing is more painful. :)
8. The price is a bit steep, I suppose. Worth it to me.
9. Many other players here are better at using their naval and air assets than I am.
10. I wish there were a greater variety of music, though what there is is quite well done. I turned it off long ago. I probably would turn it off even if there were ten times as many tunes.

Hope this helps. I say go read an AAR or two. Then buy it. :)



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Post #: 20
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 5:07:21 AM   
ctangus


Posts: 2151
Joined: 10/13/2005
From: Boston, Mass.
Status: offline
Get it!

To answer a few of your specific questions. First on the negative side:

- The UI could certainly be better, though it is functional. For the most part it won't distract from the enjoyment of the game, but I suspect you'll curse it at times. If you want a perfect UI - you won't get it. If you can tolerate a few annoyances - the fun far outweighs the moments that annoy you.

- It also could be much better documented. This forum is great, however. There's dozens of posters here who help answer questions. And at least one of them will know the answer to your question, no matter how obscure.

On the plus side:

- IMO there are currently no bugs that are show stoppers. The last patch or two squashed any that could potentially be so.

- Quoting Churchill, I think the game does an extremely good job at portraying the "triphibious" nature of the Pacific War. One can look individually & closely at each of the naval/air/land models and find faults. But despite the faults they blend together quite well IMO. I frequently find myself facing decisions similar to the ones Nimitz or Yamamoto faced IRL.

It isn't perfect, but it's by far the best wargame I've ever owned. And despite the initial cost, it's been extremely cheap in terms of hours played per dollar. So I'd again advise - get it!

(in reply to Deca)
Post #: 21
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 5:45:11 AM   
Grotius


Posts: 5149
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From: The Imperial Palace.
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I hope we didn't scare him away!

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Post #: 22
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 2:19:25 PM   
m10bob


Posts: 7161
Joined: 11/3/2002
From: Dismal Seepage Indiana
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

Joe.D,

Play against the AI on very hard, limit yourself to a reasonably historical stategy.

AI still makes some stupid moves (and humans dont?) but is still competitive to mid 43.

(IMHO, the AI is better air/sea but poor at land)




I agree, but for me, played against the AI till mid 1944 and the AI still had a few cards up its' sleeve.
(You can only cruise your flat-tops off the coast of Japan so many times before their stored up angst gets you!).
For playing AI, always put on "extra hard" and use a mod, fer sure.
I played CHS till mid '44 and have been playing RHS for the last 14(?) months.

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Post #: 23
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 3:18:26 PM   
Joe D.


Posts: 3642
Joined: 8/31/2005
From: Stratford, Connecticut
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

Joe.D,

Play against the AI on very hard, limit yourself to a reasonably historical stategy ...


.. For playing AI, always put on "extra hard" and use a mod, fer sure ...


I thought the "hard" settings just made the AI units tougher to defeat, not that the game played any smarter.

WitP/UV isn't "smart" along the lines of BoA or GoA, but they are very different games and difficult to compare; the BoA AI plays like a chess computer.

The fact that you have to use extra hard settings and mods doesn't speak well of WitP's AI; I think Deca should download PacWar for free to see if he likes it before he lays out around $70 US for WitP. Besides, if wdolson is correct and something new is coming down the pipe, Deca would be wise to wait for a while.

By the way, what ever happened to Deca? I think he was overwhelmed by all our posts.


_____________________________

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The best fighter-bomber of World War II

(in reply to m10bob)
Post #: 24
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 4:25:55 PM   
OldGuard1970

 

Posts: 565
Joined: 7/19/2006
From: Hiawassee, GA
Status: offline
Deca raises an interesting question.  Does this game provide "value for money"?   In my case, it sure did.  Divide the cost of the game by the number of hours I have spent playing, and you get a very low cost per hour.  I have other games that I bought because they looked good, but they never clicked for me.  Even though they had a lower price tag, they did not provide much value.

So, will WITP "capture" Deca they way it has captured so many of us?  I bet it will.  Deca says:  "I want an extremely detailed, complex, and yet historically accurate WWII game. WitP seems to fit the bill in many ways. ...However, I do not want the majority of that perceived complexity to be nothing more than an illusion wrapped around ambiguous rules and/or not fully documented/understood game mechanics." 

Deca, I assure you the complexity of the game is based on the strategic and operational puzzles the player faces. It is true that it takes time to learn to play the game.  It is true that there are frustrations associated with imperfections in the game.  But... Wow!  I have never known a game to provide such tension and such a large set of options to try to cope with the ever changing circumstances.

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Post #: 25
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 4:33:22 PM   
Nikademus


Posts: 25309
Joined: 5/27/2000
From: Alien spacecraft
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.


I thought the "hard" settings just made the AI units tougher to defeat, not that the game played any smarter.



The hard setting allows the AI to "peek" at your dispositions which at times, may make it preform better moves......hence "play smarter", but of course smarter is a relative term when considering any AI. Additionally, the hard setting removes logistical penalties for the AI so "dumb" moves that the AI makes will be less crippling which in turn may give the impression that its playing "better."




< Message edited by Nikademus -- 11/23/2007 5:37:09 PM >

(in reply to Joe D.)
Post #: 26
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 4:45:28 PM   
Deca


Posts: 89
Joined: 11/20/2007
Status: offline
Excellent!

From the plethora of replies, it does indeed paint an exceedingly positive picture of a wargame that I should definitely purchase despite the UI limitations or other issues.

I have followed WitP for a while, but wasn't willing to purchase it in the earlier days due to many of the problems that seemed to have been finally rectified within the latest few series of patches.....plus there are some incredible mods offered by the community, too.




Knowing that I will now purchase the game, it leads me to my next 2 questions:

1) Rumors of something for WitP just around the corner. From the chatter, most think "it" (whatever it is), will happen before Xmas, correct? Do we have any additional information or a timeline, or what it is? 

2) I plan on using CHS as well as WitPDecoder. I've already download some files from the CHS downloads page, but I saw one of the alternative maps that I liked better.
Specifically, the Alternative map Style 1 with Hex Style Light, Weather Zones, Control Zones, Hexsides, & Text from Andrew's website.

Do I download & install the Alternate Style 1 Standard & Alternate Style 1 Extended maps and install them instead of the default Andrew Brown's standard & default Andrew Brown's extended maps.

After I download the The CHS BASE package, do I need to install any of those specific CHS Scenarios, or are all of those scenarios listed on that CHS download page just variations of the main campaign?



My main interests are to play the longest campaign from both (eventually) sides.





Once again, I appreciate the abundance of replies which were highly informative.
Regards,
Deca

< Message edited by Deca -- 11/23/2007 4:50:58 PM >


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Post #: 27
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 4:55:26 PM   
Grotius


Posts: 5149
Joined: 10/18/2002
From: The Imperial Palace.
Status: offline
I'll let a CHS-whiz answer your questons about CHS. As for the mystery announcement, most of us are speculating that it will occur on Friday, December 7, which is exactly two weeks away. Jim Burns has just started yet another thread with speculation on what it might entail, so you might want to read that or some similar thread. I'm betting on an enhancement pack that improves the UI and AI and maybe even gives us more control over carrier battles, but Jim is betting on a full-fledged WITP2.

(in reply to Deca)
Post #: 28
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 6:28:10 PM   
Joe D.


Posts: 3642
Joined: 8/31/2005
From: Stratford, Connecticut
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Nikademus
quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.
I thought the "hard" settings just made the AI units tougher to defeat, not that the game played any smarter.


The hard setting allows the AI to "peek" at your dispositions which at times, may make it preform better moves......hence "play smarter", but of course smarter is a relative term when considering any AI. Additionally, the hard setting removes logistical penalties for the AI so "dumb" moves that the AI makes will be less crippling which in turn may give the impression that its playing "better."


W/all the recon, you would think the AI didn't have to "cheat" to see what's what. Also, since the game depends so much on getting supplies across vast distances, removing log penalties seems counter-productive to war in the PTO.

But thanks; I may just give "hard" another try.


_____________________________

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Post #: 29
RE: I Want to buy WitP, but need feedback - 11/23/2007 8:25:41 PM   
pad152

 

Posts: 2829
Joined: 4/23/2000
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What is the single best aspect about WitP?
- There is just nothing else like this game, you need to plan (set goals) and then it can take days, weeks, months (in real time) to pull off the operation. There is just enough randomness in the game where even your best layed plans can go straight to hell! This is the one game I aways go back to, the mods and editor continue to keep this one alive. In one game a single Jap sub destroyed my invasion plans, and set back my war efforts by six months, at night it put a torpedo in the carrier Enterprise (caused a major explosion!), the next morning it it put two torpedos in the Hornet, and in the afternoon it put one in the lady Lex! One lucky sub put three carriers in the repair yards for almost a year and canceled a major invasion!

What is the single worst aspect about WitP?
- In single player the AI is scripted for Japan for the first six months (historical)and does the same thing, invade the same places in each and every game! The AI as allies just seems to throw aways it's forces peice meal.

Beware - The first turn alone will scare away most normal people!

(in reply to Joe D.)
Post #: 30
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