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Ask not what Marshall can do for you,

 
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Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/5/2008 8:59:28 PM   
Murat


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ask what can you do for Marshall! OK the original was way better but still...here are some things that I, as a casual observer and a complete simpleton in the the programming world (I can make this ship here -<== - - - Land on this moon here ( using BASIC oooooo ), think may help Marshall in making some changes:

1) A COMPLETE NEWBIE TO EIA as in you have never seen a map or touched a counter or even had someone try to teach it to you using napkins, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard packets, salt, pepper and Happy Meal toys at the local McD's NEEDS TO look at the manual and make a list of questions on the confusing parts. Original EIA rules are more complicated than several laws and when I first started playing I spent several nights reading them over to get to know them better and even then it still did not prevent going back to them during the game so look over the EIANW rules and say what needs more explaining. ALSO try to do a Quick Start Guide, what do YOU feel are the minimum things you need to know to dive right in. That way people who want to learn by making mistakes can do so and the people who want to know every little detail first can do so too.

2) MARSHALL (hehehe, sorry just the thought of me telling Marshall what he has to work on again I am sure made him cringe after my years of 'hurry up hurry up hurry up' ), WHEN HE IS READY FOR IT, should set up an AI recommendation thread for each nation, maybe with a sticky, so that everyone can clutter it with a ton of suggestions that he will then have to sort through and decide what can be programmed in and what makes the most sense and balance those and make changes that will be universally commented on as 'adequate, but not what I would have done being the uber lord of EiA that I am')

3) EVERYONE GRIPING ABOUT THE AI should back off. We have like 20 something threads about how bad the AI is and have been told on numerous occassions that it will be looked at so calm down. Be part of the solution not the problem. Keep playing the AI and running it over. Try to learn all its errors. Make notes of what it does wrong. Get ready to provide some constructive input when Marshall is ready for it. Make this a better game. People are die hard fans of it for a reason and there is no reason that the community cannot be a great aid (greater aid? I think we have helped some already) in making improvements.

4) EVERYONE IN THE TCP/IP DEBATE needs to change their discussions towards, 'how can the game be played faster?'. I am in 5 PBEM games and a crippled sloth could travel the world faster than the moves do in some of them. If you can program go to 5, if you cannot, then just a quick message saying 'has anyone thought about doing X' will suffice and believe me, plenty of people here have thought about TCP/IP which also has 20 something threads.

5) PROGRAMMERS (not Marshall), nothing personal but it is not your game, you did not program it and you are wasting your time saying 'I would have done it better', even if you only say it to yourself. Unlike many here you have the specific knowledge that will help Marshall. Look at what people want and again, be part of the solution. Do not just say, programming that would be cake, form up a plan for how that could be done and maybe just shoot Marshall a PM saying 'Hey I have a few ideas on how to get TCP/IP in really easy if you want them. If he doesn't, don't take it personally and flame him or keep sending him PMs every day saying 'why haven't you begged me for my infinite wisdom' because he is busy getting that from my brilliant and insightful posts

6) VETERANS need to keep playing. We are the fans, we are the ones that love this game, we are it's zealots and evangelists so we need to help bring out in others the obsession that the board game brought out in us. This is not done by flaming noobs or calling their ideas or comments on game features moronic or retarded despite the fact that manual clearly spells out the answer on page 462 under section 18.17.2.1.5.2.4.4.1. If anyone is going to find a bug it is us. We know what is supposed to happen and how it is supposed to happen. We are used to reading the Code of Napoleon, EIA version and we are the ones that can look at the manual and spot deviations. Even I, as virtually flawless as I am have made an error by making assumptions about something in the manual and posted it as a bug . Just keep playing and noting the bugs BUT take the time to make sure someone else is not already discussing the same bug in another thread, noobs to the forums can get away with this some, we should not.

7) FOCUS ON THE CORE of the game. For now I would write down everything you think can be an improvement but only post on things that affect playability. Things like launching the game, manual confusion, crash errors. While several of us here may be concerned about Napoleon's picture having him in the wrong hat (that's just unacceptable ) many others pull this number the minute we start talking . So try to make the game PLAYABLE first. Once it can be played, move on to how it can be played better (TCP/IP, AI). Then start the nitpicking cosmetic stuff (fix Napoleon's hat!). If you are ambitious, feel free to post a MOD for the cosmetic stuff. A good example of something a programmer type could do (maybe, not sure how hard this is) is to create the 1792 scenario in their spare time. An example of something anyone could do is try to address the manual concerns of the newbies. Marshall can focus on core changes, everyone gets a new scenario on a new game engine without having 1792 taking up Marshall's better used time making the core work.

*) This is the most disgusting smiley on the board, kudos to whomever made it:

just my $2 ("I want my $2" - name the movie ) because $.02 doesn't buy anything any more. Also Napoleon's hat is fine.

< Message edited by Murat -- 1/5/2008 9:02:06 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/5/2008 9:35:32 PM   
Grapeshot Bob


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From: Canada
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I'll take a whack at looking over the manual and send in anything that seems unclear.

I definitely qualify as someone who is unqualified. I'm a super noob at EiA.



GSB

(in reply to Murat)
Post #: 2
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/5/2008 9:40:15 PM   
exp101

 

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Thanks, Murat. This is the best post on the whole board.

(in reply to Murat)
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RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/6/2008 2:03:07 AM   
Alex777


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When it comes to AI improvements, adding features and creating scenarios & variants, I agree with Murat completely. 

[Warning: rant ahead]
But the Manual???  According to the Credits, Michael Eckenfels, who appears to be a Matrix employee, was/is responsible for "Manual Editing & Content."  Presumably, he "edited" the content and satisfied himself it was ready for release to the public.  Presumably, he was paid for this.  I started to make a list of the Manual's deficiencies (& the map & UI spelling errors) but abandoned the task, as I had the eery feeling I was simply doing someone else's job for him.  Sorry if this sounds harsh, but Matrix is a commercial enterprise and I paid $59.99 for the game.  I think Matrix should bear down and fix the Manual itself.  Other businesses do not expect their customers to do Quality Control and Product Development.  Mine doesn't.
[rant over]

(in reply to exp101)
Post #: 4
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/6/2008 3:30:13 AM   
Murat


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If this were EA Games then none of us would be offering help, we would just be asking for the world but Matrix is not EA and I want a better product and more opponents. Some designers here even had people write parts of other manuals for a mention in the credits. This is a bit more of a commune than a corporate enterprise (although I admit we do not share in the profits).

(in reply to Alex777)
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RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/6/2008 3:55:37 AM   
Mus

 

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What are gamers like me supposed to do? People who think the games looks totally awesome but dont have the patience for PBEM?

I dont know what to do but beg for TCP/IP Play to be vigorously pursued.

< Message edited by Mus -- 1/6/2008 3:59:19 AM >

(in reply to Murat)
Post #: 6
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/6/2008 4:05:29 AM   
exp101

 

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From: Colorado Springs
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This game is much more a marathon than a sprint. Anyone signing up for a PBEM encounter should be ready to play steadily over at least a couple of years. If you need constant action, maybe assembling a ftf group at home or getting involved in a half dozen PBEM games (so there's always SOME move to work on) will work.

Personally, I like the PBEM format because it allows plenty of time for analysis (or maybe even some over-analysis ). A good move is like fine wine or art: to be savored & relished, or crafted into a thing of beauty. This doesn't happen much when sitting down at a table cranking out phases.

(in reply to Mus)
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RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/6/2008 4:46:02 AM   
Jimmer

 

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I agree completely, Murat.

I have a "workability" suggestion:

Many people don't have the patience to write physical notes and then later type them in. How about creating three forums (top-level, like "Tech Support" is now). The names would be something like:

1)  AI Improvement suggestions (this one could be subdivided, as you hinted)
2)  TCP/IP coding suggestions
3)  Interface and manual problems

Then, don't allow replies by non-admins. Gamer posts his thoughts, and then he is done. (But, allow the OP to to "Edit" his post, for clarity.)

The purpose of these would be STRICTLY to log issues of the various kinds (feel free to have more or fewer forums -- I only chose those because they were the biggies in what you wrote). There's no discussion allowed, and no replying (including in a second thread -- but this would be "on your honor"). If people want to discuss it, then they can come to the regular forum and do so.

Then, Matrix would make a commitment that, at the appropriate time, they'll pore through all of the suggestions for that iteration of changes/fixes, and take what is useful and can the rest.

_____________________________

At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?

(in reply to exp101)
Post #: 8
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/6/2008 5:11:25 AM   
BoerWar


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From: Arlington, VA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: exp101

This game is much more a marathon than a sprint. Anyone signing up for a PBEM encounter should be ready to play steadily over at least a couple of years. If you need constant action, maybe assembling a ftf group at home or getting involved in a half dozen PBEM games (so there's always SOME move to work on) will work.

Personally, I like the PBEM format because it allows plenty of time for analysis (or maybe even some over-analysis ). A good move is like fine wine or art: to be savored & relished, or crafted into a thing of beauty. This doesn't happen much when sitting down at a table cranking out phases.


I hate PBEM because everyone is out to get me. Wait, who said that? Are you talking to me?

I love PBEM because I'm out to get everyone else. Does that make me abnormal?

I agree with everything you wrote. Are you getting ready to stab me in the back?

No game I've ever played delivers the ups and downs that this one does. PBEM is slow, but deliciously so.

(in reply to exp101)
Post #: 9
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/6/2008 7:55:45 PM   
JavaJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BoerWar


quote:

ORIGINAL: exp101

This game is much more a marathon than a sprint. Anyone signing up for a PBEM encounter should be ready to play steadily over at least a couple of years. If you need constant action, maybe assembling a ftf group at home or getting involved in a half dozen PBEM games (so there's always SOME move to work on) will work.

Personally, I like the PBEM format because it allows plenty of time for analysis (or maybe even some over-analysis ). A good move is like fine wine or art: to be savored & relished, or crafted into a thing of beauty. This doesn't happen much when sitting down at a table cranking out phases.


I hate PBEM because everyone is out to get me. Wait, who said that? Are you talking to me?

I love PBEM because I'm out to get everyone else. Does that make me abnormal?

I agree with everything you wrote. Are you getting ready to stab me in the back?

No game I've ever played delivers the ups and downs that this one does. PBEM is slow, but deliciously so.

quote:

No game I've ever played delivers the ups and downs that this one does. PBEM is slow, but deliciously so.


Love that last line.

_____________________________

Vice President Jersey Association Of Gamers
JerseyGamers.com

(in reply to BoerWar)
Post #: 10
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/7/2008 5:22:03 AM   
Obsolete


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Hmm.  Well as to the comments for editing, etc.  Even Firaxis seems to drop the ball on their flag-ship titles.  Civ IV for example, after a few bug fixes, and the fixes add even more problems.  The manual is not perfect, has its issues.  And the AI is still TERRIBLE.

Logicaly, expecting the AI in EiH to compete on a human level would be rather silly.  The AI has always been pretty bad in just about every war-game I've played.  But that's where some of the fun comes in.  No one wants to lose to an AI who always will kick your ass.  If you did, then play chess on a modern computer.  At least you can play this out with friends, which is where the real fun comes.  Sadly, no TCP/IP is a problem here.  But at least EiH is out on the PC now.  I've been a member of the EiH dicussion groups for a long time, and we've been waiting for this moment for a VERY long time.


(in reply to JavaJoe)
Post #: 11
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/7/2008 7:02:07 PM   
Soapy Frog

 

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To be frank, you arent going to get people to stop complaining with lovely long posts like this ;)

When there is a problem, people like to complain. The volume of complaints usually roughly correlates to the scale of the problem.

If there are a lot of demands for TCP/IP its becuase people want that feature. If people complain endlessly about how bad the UI is and how hard it is to figure out, then there may some serious substance to their complaints.

As for speed in PBEM, forget it. If you were to streamline the game for PBEM properly it would not be EiA anymore. (hint: a game needs to be designed a certain way to play fast in PBEM; i.e. minimum player interaction, preferably simultaneous turns) This is not that game. EiA would have been far better served by a TCP/IP client/server setup. Honestly at this point its faster just to set it up and play using cyberboard or ADC.

If people complain about the AI it is because it's HORRIBLE and worthless. A lot of people do not have the patience for PBEM so they bought a game that is essentially a lemon for them.

To sum up: People are going to complain. They have good reason to. They paid their money and now they can (AND SHOULD) bitch and bitch loudly.

We wouldn't be grognards if we didn't do that.

(in reply to Obsolete)
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RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/8/2008 12:24:22 AM   
Murat


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Soapy Frog

To sum up: People are going to complain. They have good reason to. They paid their money and now they can (AND SHOULD) bitch and bitch loudly.


For getting what they were told they were getting? Seriously, either you played EiA before and knew how it worked, bought it on day 1 found some bugs that diminished the game play experience and have reason to bitch, or you didn't. If you are new to EiA and did not do any research into this game then you must have $ to waste and should not be bitching. If you bought after all the bugs were put here on Day 1, you knew what you were getting and should not be bitching. Unless of course you failed to read the forums in which case, again, you must have $ to waste because you didn't research and again, should not be bitching. Several people (wisely) are holding off on purchasing a game that they know little about and have researched. I have faith in Marshall, even though I have frequently accused him of the 'slows'. He has taken input from the community and done his best to give us what we want. He continues to do so. I merely tried to get people here to assist him in that task instead of having them cry just to soothe their sore egos (I had a much different word here).

(in reply to Soapy Frog)
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RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/8/2008 12:43:06 AM   
dodod

 

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Murat:  why are you so hostile to criticism?  Buying a game should not require reading forums.  If this game was for multiplayer only, then it should be CLEAR. On the cover.  I have bought plenty of games without reading a forum...and they had great AI.

I am not stating that Marshall isn't working hard or receptive..I think he is.  But people have the right to state their opinions of the game.  The griping may actually dissuade someone from buying the game, if they chose to do exactly what YOU said they should do...read the forum.

most people don't have money to waste.  I thought 60 bucks was too expensive, but I did intend on playing the AI...It just so happens that the AI is not good, if not pathetic.  It can be improved and I expect it will be.  Even for multiplayer games without 7 people, we would want a good AI.

So stop criticizing people for expressing their opinion.  Rather, state why you think this is a great game if that is your opinion, and that would be an attempt to balance the discussion. 

(in reply to Murat)
Post #: 14
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/8/2008 12:55:19 AM   
baboune

 

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I have to agree with Soapy Frog ... after two days of trying to play this game I come up with the following conclusions:
+ UI is horrible.
+ AI: is there one? I just see things moving around with no purpose. After playing for 12 months of game I have not seen one smart move from the AI. For some reasons Prusssia really hates GB and France loves to attack with a single corps, etc... Just plain stupid.
+ Reading the forums is not a requirement to buy a game and should never be.
+ No one without deep knowledge of the the EiA rule book can play this game.
+ The bad UI will discourage anyone foolish enough to buy this game from playing it long term.

I am actually very frustrated from the overall experience and feel I was cheated of my money. My last hope is to get into a MP game and hope people do not drop out too fast.

Conclusion: This game is in a beta state and IMHO should not be sold as is for that price. It might be worth 10 euros not 50.

Suggestions:
+ One way to salvage it might be to make it open source and let the community improve/fix it. I am not complaining about the design team or anything like that. But without money coming from the sales no one will improve or maintain this game. Open source means lots of changes and few designers to pay.
+ Advise that this game is a "beta" try to sell it (like galactic civilizations: Twilight of the Arnor) to finance the required improvements.

Reviews.. I doubt you will find any...



< Message edited by baboune -- 1/8/2008 3:41:41 PM >

(in reply to Murat)
Post #: 15
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/8/2008 1:10:05 AM   
zaquex


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Matrix did release EiA before Marshall was ready with it, but they did it couse the community badly wanted it out now. I dont complain, I have a playable even if far from perfect product wich makes me alot happier than if I still was waiting. The development of the game is undoubtfully speeded up by the release as the combined effort of the community to report bugs and suggest improvements, a small beta team can just do that much.

And we must keep in mind that not even software giants like Microsoft release perfect products, dispite there comparably huge resources. We have to be patient and report bugs and suggest improvements and let Marshall continue to develop this great game. I have no doubt that with the communitys support, once mature this will be one of the best grand strategy games on the market.


< Message edited by zaquex -- 1/8/2008 1:11:54 AM >

(in reply to Murat)
Post #: 16
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/8/2008 1:17:51 AM   
Mynok


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Researching a game before buying it is pure common sense. When the best source of information is the game's forum, why on earth would any sane individual not read the forums before buying the game?!?!?

(in reply to zaquex)
Post #: 17
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/8/2008 2:52:54 AM   
alex_van_d


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I totally agree with the OP. I love this game and look forward to it maturing! The rest of you naysayers can just wait or go fly a kite. What game is perfect out of the box these days? Even in its imperfect state I've already had hundreds of hours of fun with this thing.

When the AI is a little better and I'm ready for PBEM (or TCP/IP if it comes) I will enjoy it even more!

(in reply to Mynok)
Post #: 18
RE: Ask not what Marshall can do for you, - 1/8/2008 7:16:18 AM   
Soapy Frog

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Murat
I merely tried to get people here to assist him in that task instead of having them cry just to soothe their sore egos (I had a much different word here).

No doubt. Caveat Emptor and all that, but tbh, I knew what I was getting and I am still shocked. Also customers have a right to complain, regardless of your opinion of it, it is honestly the only way that an open minded designer will know what in his game needs the most attention.

Constructive criticism is always good too! And actually there is plenty of that on the forums as well. Marshall has plenty of grist for the mill.

(in reply to Murat)
Post #: 19
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