From: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Here's what we know.
The game as released let units (only played Axis with this version) gain morale through combat quickly and fairly unrestricted. Infantry, if used correctly, could relatively quickly go above 86 and there was no exception for Axis minors. Indeed someone posted a pic with a Rumanian division at 99 morale at some point. That was all that was needed to nerf the morale system for the Germans. Even Panzer divs could not regain morale at a decent way and degraded fast, even through hasty's with few losses. I'm very, _very_ happy to see in my new game with 1.05.45 that Panzer divs are now again able to gain morale quickly (still early 1941). Low morale infantry seems to pick up quickly too but it becomes more difficult from (subjectively) 80+. From past comments, I'm assuming it is still so that as war progresses, even Panzer Divs will find it difficult to go above 85+ and infantry will likewise be pushed down with a hard cap (or it will become extreemly unlikely it will improve further through combat).
Anyway, morale is the overall balancing design feature of WitE. I think most of us know this by now, which is a notable difference from the 4 months I've been away. Apart from whether or not is is necessary for this game to have such a balancing mechanism pushing the Germans down no matter how good they are doing, the real annoyance (although less than before with the new patch), for me personally, is does it have to be in this way?
A fact often overlooked is that people play the Germans to have great quality troops. You have less, but you have good to excellent quality. That's the fun of playing the Germans. By hacking into the morale, with all it's important consequences, you take away the very reason why most of us enjoy playing the Germans. So if morale is in fact proficiency, why is proficiency tied to a year regardless of how well the Germans/Russians are doing? Is there no better, more intelligent way to handle this? If the premise of stickiong to a year is what actually happened at that time historically (i.e. an erroding of German combat capability through losses or any other reason for this), wouldn't it be a GREAT feature, selling point, BIG PLUS, for a game like this to actually devise some way to simulate this?
For example, if losses are the undelying reason for lowering proficieny, why not establish loss levels and tie overall morale to this? Let's say (and there are tons of historcial data to make this possible) 1 or 2 or ... million losses had an effect on German profiency. So once a certain level is reached, lower maximum morale. Obviously this needs to be thought out, but a good system like this would certainly stimulate play, on both sides.
An additional feature would to allow for the use of morale, which is now called proficiency, to allow for it in part to be actual morale, the belief in the cause and willingness to die for it. Being succesful in campaigns, attaining the objective had a STRONG influence on the combat performance of the historical soldiers. So capturing Leningrad, Moscow, and so on, SHOULD really COUNT for something other than what it stands for now.
Interestingly, I've read the same people who now ask questions about the German blizzard run-away, defend that same Russian strategy with vigor. I'm not saying I disagree with either, it just strikes me as odd, and more importantly, if some might mistake this for bias towards the Russian side I understand their concerns. It is a matter of perception, not necessarily the truth.
Give this game back to the players to decide who wins, please don't script it. In the end, any mechanism which forces the game down a certain path is the aknowledgement of the desinger thazt he has created something that he doesn't believe will be balanced without artificial intervention. In a way it is admission of defeat... 2by3 games has made great games in the past, I see no reason why WitE should not become one in the future. It's already a very good one, it just needs to get ride of a few things that just don't feel right, play right, or cause a lot of frustration. It's probably going to mean the designers will need to make a leap of faith and DARE to change with the risk of perhaps making a mistake that will create other problems along the way. I'm sure I speak for many that we'll gladly forgive you those potential mistakes, we've already had quite a few patches to come this far, we can have a few more.
Ps: I play both sides equally.
This post hits the nail on the head