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A Poor Design Decision - No Saves?

 
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A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 3:10:10 AM   
Adam Parker


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I'm in the middle of a German campaign and up to the Stalingrad scenario.

I decide to see what the German AI is like, so start a Soviet campaign too. It tells me that the prior campaign will be deleted. Thinking I have no prior Soviet campaign in progress I proceed.

And as you guessed it, it wiped my German campaign away .

The inability to save concurrent times within a campaign is bad enough - but the inability to have 2 "different" campaigns in progress is just bad. What if you want to play the Germans for an hour then switch to some Russian play for a while... Why can't you do this?

So UoC gets put away now - because "Unity" is the key word here - only one game at a time. The three days' entertainment for $30 I've received is accepted as enjoyment for value - but I just do not have the time to waste in reliving life because a designer can't find another way.

IMO AI play is on par with SSG's Decisive Battles Series, in that both are predicated on keeping strong front lines in place. Yet, though SSG's graphics and UI are now very much old, its game-play offers more value for buck - augmented by its ability to save and save often. Want to jump back a few turns? Find your save and load.

Btw: The reason why I wanted to see how the German AI played was to get a taste of playing the Russians on the defense. As it turns out of course, the Russian campaign is about attacking in Operation Uranus.

My guess is that as with SSG's DB series, though the AI is great on the defense, it will just not be able to attack and sustain an offense. This is to be expected I suppose, as no one had yet been able to solve this conundrum.
Post #: 1
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 4:02:57 AM   
rosseau

 

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Hey Adam. The save game should be in Application Data/Unity of Command (on XP). I assume you can copy and archive it, which isn't too much of a hassle.

I've read posts where the AI is super-aggressive about cutting supply lines. So I hope you are wrong about it just being able to hold a defensive line.

Best,

Mike

(in reply to Adam Parker)
Post #: 2
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 4:48:23 AM   
Adam Parker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rosseau

Hey Adam. The save game should be in Application Data/Unity of Command (on XP). I assume you can copy and archive it, which isn't too much of a hassle.

I've read posts where the AI is super-aggressive about cutting supply lines. So I hope you are wrong about it just being able to hold a defensive line.

Best,

Mike



Hi Mike. I've been scouring the folders for days now and couldn't find the file people have been speaking of. I've got no "Application Data" folder but I do have a "Data" one. In it are the game's graphics and sounds, music and icons, etc., but no saves. Interestingly, they have Desert backgrounds in there - are they going North Africa after this?

As for the AI, it is very much like Decisive Battles. Leave a hole initally and the AI will pour through it. I mean like a tap! Leave a weakness and the AI will break it open - this AI definitely does want to cut the player's supply aggressively. As there's a tight time frame to each scen, its goal is to slow you down by getting in between your forces. It swarms objective hexes and digs in - but at the same time it sends units out to create secondary and tertiary lines of defense. Kudos there.

Unlike DB front lines will begin to thin out however - as you can't break divisions into regiments - and the enemy then will choose where to hit, whilst pulling back elsewhere. The AI seems to be aware that it too can be cut off. It seems to sacrifice units in this way without a care - it's as if it knows the clock is ticking and if it ties the player up with diversions long enough, so much the better for its chances. Very Stalin!

In this it is aided by a very claustrophic map/unit scale and attacker/defender ratio. Every battle seems to start at 1:1 odds in terms of total force pool. Is this realsitic though?

Basically, this game is about making a breakthrough and exploiting it by attacking with strong units and moving weaker units out of the way. Supply really hits home as lines of communication grow, so it is also a game of rotating units in and out of the attack to refit and re-commit.

There just seem to be so many weak units to command, that avoiding breakthoughs by the AI, is frustratingly impossible. For this reason, I feel that the game's victory conditions are somewhat harsh. Hat's off to anyone who gains consistent Decisive Victories and above, every time they play.

Just a shame you can't save mutliple times within a campaign - or more than one at a time.

(in reply to rosseau)
Post #: 3
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 5:06:35 AM   
rosseau

 

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Path to the save file is below (on XP). You have to have "hidden" files active in your Windows Folder Options/View

documents and settings/User name/application data/unity of command/save

Also, by editing the unit_types xml file in the Data folder of UoC, you can do whatever you want - create super-size Romanian infantry, etc. As unrealistic as that would be...

(in reply to Adam Parker)
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RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 9:26:46 AM   
2xTom


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Hi Adam,

quote:

shame you can't save mutliple times within a campaign - or more than one at a time.


Both design choices were taken intentionally, so I should at least explain: we wanted the campaign game to stand out in terms of identification with the commanders (one campaign at a time) and also in terms of raising the stakes (no save during scenario).

There are still individual scenarios where you can save to your hearts content (so you can experiment there), and also you can reload the campaign, so the penalty for failure and/or error is not that harsh IMO.

Sorry about losing your campaign. If you have a suggestion how to better warn the player that we're about to do it, let me know.

quote:

I've got no "Application Data" folder


I think you're not seeing the folder because it's hidden as explained by rosseau. Anyway, I found a good way of opening this directory that seems to work in Vista/7:

1. Open a Windows Explorer window, e.g. by going to Start -> Computer
2. Click on the address bar and type: %APPDATA%

This should take you to the correct folder. Hope this helps!

_____________________________

Tomislav Uzelac
Unity of Command Lead Developer

(in reply to rosseau)
Post #: 5
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 2:32:14 PM   
vonRocko

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 2xTom


Hi Adam,

quote:

shame you can't save mutliple times within a campaign - or more than one at a time.


Both design choices were taken intentionally, so I should at least explain: we wanted the campaign game to stand out in terms of identification with the commanders (one campaign at a time) and also in terms of raising the stakes (no save during scenario).

There are still individual scenarios where you can save to your hearts content (so you can experiment there), and also you can reload the campaign, so the penalty for failure and/or error is not that harsh IMO.

Sorry about losing your campaign. If you have a suggestion how to better warn the player that we're about to do it, let me know.

quote:

I've got no "Application Data" folder


I think you're not seeing the folder because it's hidden as explained by rosseau. Anyway, I found a good way of opening this directory that seems to work in Vista/7:

1. Open a Windows Explorer window, e.g. by going to Start -> Computer
2. Click on the address bar and type: %APPDATA%

This should take you to the correct folder. Hope this helps!


Hi Tom, can, or will, this be changed? I mean, why not leave it up to the players to decide if they want to redo a turn or not? This is the only real complaint I have about the game, and it really shouldn't be a problem at all. Admit the error and add the save function please.

(in reply to 2xTom)
Post #: 6
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 4:47:58 PM   
Treale


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You throw away a very unique and fresh game because you can't save it when you want to? Strange

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Tony

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Post #: 7
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 4:54:46 PM   
ComradeP

 

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What is the challenge of winning a scenario by just reloading battles or turns over and over instead of requiring good planning? Although it takes some getting used to, I wouldn't call it an "error" or "poor design decision" that you can't save at any time during the campaign. You make a big mistake, you pay for it.

< Message edited by ComradeP -- 11/27/2011 4:55:38 PM >


_____________________________

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(in reply to Treale)
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RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 4:54:56 PM   
vonRocko

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Treale

You throw away a very unique and fresh game because you can't save it when you want to? Strange

If this is in reply to me, you are wrong. I like the game, I never said I would quit playing over it. I just don't see the problem with giving the player the choice.

(in reply to Treale)
Post #: 9
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 6:48:22 PM   
willgamer


Posts: 535
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From: Nashville, Tennessee
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

What is the challenge of winning a scenario by just reloading battles or turns over and over instead of requiring good planning? Although it takes some getting used to, I wouldn't call it an "error" or "poor design decision" that you can't save at any time during the campaign. You make a big mistake, you pay for it.


However the OPs original complaint about erasing the German campaign when the Russian campaign was started is certainly valid.

I see at least 3 issues here:

1. Campaigns should have their own saves.

2. UNDO is desperately needed.

3. Anytime saves.... not so much, perhaps an option.

YMMV.....

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Rex Lex or Lex Rex?

(in reply to ComradeP)
Post #: 10
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 7:47:50 PM   
Treale


Posts: 1266
Joined: 8/10/2003
From: Central Florida
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: vonRocko


quote:

ORIGINAL: Treale

You throw away a very unique and fresh game because you can't save it when you want to? Strange

If this is in reply to me, you are wrong. I like the game, I never said I would quit playing over it. I just don't see the problem with giving the player the choice.


No, not you. The OP.

Sorry

_____________________________

Tony

(in reply to vonRocko)
Post #: 11
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/27/2011 8:33:52 PM   
rjh1971


Posts: 3834
Joined: 12/13/2005
From: Madrid, Spain
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quote:

ORIGINAL: willgamer


quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

What is the challenge of winning a scenario by just reloading battles or turns over and over instead of requiring good planning? Although it takes some getting used to, I wouldn't call it an "error" or "poor design decision" that you can't save at any time during the campaign. You make a big mistake, you pay for it.


However the OPs original complaint about erasing the German campaign when the Russian campaign was started is certainly valid.

I see at least 3 issues here:

1. Campaigns should have their own saves.

2. UNDO is desperately needed.

3. Anytime saves.... not so much, perhaps an option.

YMMV.....


I agree with the save campaign option, at least be able to run a soviet and a german campaign at the same time.
As to the undo button, I think it would make things easier but then it would take away the hard thinking, there is no fow in the game, you move a unit you don't like the combat odds and you undo the movement, not to my like definitely too easy imo.

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(in reply to willgamer)
Post #: 12
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/28/2011 1:29:33 AM   
willgamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rjh1971

As to the undo button, I think it would make things easier but then it would take away the hard thinking, there is no fow in the game, you move a unit you don't like the combat odds and you undo the movement, not to my like definitely too easy imo.



I agree it's probably good for experienced gamers.

OTOH, it makes learning the game much more difficult since a tyro cannot test his ideas without penality.

Another issue for some people, may be the difficulty of identifing non German troops and moving them when they intended to move a German one... big difference.

Finally, some gamers are prone, for whatever reason (say "hi" to g'pa), to finger slips and could be unduely punished.


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Rex Lex or Lex Rex?

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Post #: 13
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 11/28/2011 3:40:11 AM   
J P Falcon

 

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Other games have an option called "Iron Man Mode" which restricts the ability to save which is the way UoC currently is employed...while I personally no longer have a problem with the setup, I do understand where players would like to have the ability to choose, as it is their game to play as they like....


(in reply to willgamer)
Post #: 14
RE: A Poor Design Decision - No Saves? - 12/5/2011 11:03:17 AM   
demjansk

 

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I am reading this post and it really need an auto save feature and the ability for people to save games whenever they want.  I understand the developers but computers crash at times and power fails.  I like the way Panzer Corps is saved

(in reply to J P Falcon)
Post #: 15
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