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USSR winter event

 
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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> Time of Fury >> USSR winter event Page: [1]
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USSR winter event - 4/14/2012 1:02:14 AM   
Chocolino


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In previous versions of the game a USSR winter event fired (usually during winter '41/'42) that temporarily reduced the German unit strength. It never fired in my game with gwgardner. Is this a random effect in the game or is this event removed entirely?
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RE: USSR winter event - 4/14/2012 6:38:40 AM   
doomtrader


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This is random IIRC

(in reply to Chocolino)
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RE: USSR winter event - 4/14/2012 7:21:38 AM   
JLPOWELL


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Is it just me or would other players like a bit of visibility regarding events? (without parsing xml files)

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RE: USSR winter event - 4/14/2012 12:08:20 PM   
aspqrz

 

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Yep. The XML files are, at best, so incomprehensible as to be meaningless, AFAICT.

Phil

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(in reply to JLPOWELL)
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RE: USSR winter event - 4/14/2012 8:08:26 PM   
JLPOWELL


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I can parse them but its too much like 'work'. If they just had some comments for each event it would vastly improve the game.
Doom indicates the 'design' is to 'hide' events from players. This is not a good idea. The game should be driven by players action not random events. Obfuscation of the events benefits the publisher is several ways but harms players degrading the experience. Comments like 'you can't know the future' etc are inadequate justification. Economic projections were pretty accurate at the time and most of the REALLY devastating events are economic. Knowing the triggering conditions and odds allows the player to adapt the designers preconceptions of the 'world' Knowledge of stuff like Vichy surrender triggers and what causes for example Turkey to join the axis (and what the odds are) gives players some 'feel' for what is happening. Random sometimes really implausible events which 'just happen' alienate players. Who wants to play for many hours just to have some designers wacko idea re geopolitics completely tilt the game balance without warning after a hundred turns. Good way to reduce the number of repeat customers IMO. I for one will take a REALLY hard look before I buy another title.

One of the main issues is that 'modifying events' is much easier than tinkering with the underlying game code. This is a significant cost savings (I want these guys to make money so they can make more games) but tends to cause them to try to 'fix' everything with the events system.

Don't get me wrong here because despite all my comments I DO like the game. If I thought the game wasn't worth playing and improving I wouldn't make any posts at all.

quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz

Yep. The XML files are, at best, so incomprehensible as to be meaningless, AFAICT.

Phil


< Message edited by JLPOWELL -- 4/14/2012 8:12:31 PM >


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RE: USSR winter event - 4/14/2012 11:25:29 PM   
Chocolino


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Thank you all for the feedback.

Regarding events: a little randomness is fully ok in my opinion. Future could never be planned for by one faction.

But since knowing events in ToF is possible anyways - just inconvenient, we may as well put events and their probabilities in the open.

(in reply to JLPOWELL)
Post #: 6
RE: USSR winter event - 4/15/2012 4:58:16 AM   
JLPOWELL


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I don't have a problem with randomness regarding events its probably a good thing It's the lack of transparency which I object to. Also the events drive play too much. the best unexpected events should be caused by your opponent (human or AI) not big game changing events.

This is not Chess but chess has many of the best elements of a war game without any randomness at all. Luck is a factor the CRT weather and a few events reflect this. Driving the entire game on luck marginalizes the players actions and this takes the fun out the game win or loose. (It would be aggravating to have victory snatched away by a HUGE event, and takes the satisfaction out of winning knowing that you opponent had his legs cut out from under him by an event.

Here is a real world example from a PBEM game (still underway which I have been playing for four months.)

As Germany I conquered France (Vichy) and got the immediate cash prize. Same turn England gets a crippling economic event bankrupting him for several turns. Sealion succeeds. The entire game was drastically effected by these magic card deck draws out of the control of the player. Designers MUST remember the customer is the PLAYER the player's experience is what matters. When players actions are completely overshadowed by 'events' the game design should be re-thought.

The effect of economic events which completely bankrupt a player (sometimes for several turns) cannot be overstated. Giant instant positive cash infusions (Events grant up to $2000 or about 10 weeks production at a single go) by event are equally disruptive. These are all essentially cheap shortcuts to 'force' historical like results.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Chocolino

Thank you all for the feedback.

Regarding events: a little randomness is fully ok in my opinion. Future could never be planned for by one faction.

But since knowing events in ToF is possible anyways - just inconvenient, we may as well put events and their probabilities in the open.



< Message edited by JLPOWELL -- 4/15/2012 4:59:38 AM >


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RE: USSR winter event - 4/15/2012 9:08:34 AM   
Razz


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Don't read too much into the files and jump to conclusions without having several game experiences.

You never heard the old saying... A little knowledge is dangerous?


quote:

ORIGINAL: JLPOWELL


The effect of economic events which completely bankrupt a player (sometimes for several turns) cannot be overstated. Giant instant positive cash infusions (Events grant up to $2000 or about 10 weeks production at a single go) by event are equally disruptive. These are all essentially cheap shortcuts to 'force' historical like results.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Chocolino

Thank you all for the feedback.

Regarding events: a little randomness is fully ok in my opinion. Future could never be planned for by one faction.

But since knowing events in ToF is possible anyways - just inconvenient, we may as well put events and their probabilities in the open.




(in reply to JLPOWELL)
Post #: 8
RE: USSR winter event - 4/15/2012 5:52:54 PM   
RandomAttack


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JLPOWELL: I have agreed with your position re events ever since Time of Wrath. There are way too many, they are not transparent, and (for me) ruin about half the games I play when something bizarre happens with no explanation. They also potentially mask/excuse many problems. Something weird happened? It's ok, there's an event that you can't see that drove that... However, it is apparent that this simply isn't going to change, no matter how much we complain. So I've given up.

I think it was Uxbridge that made a ToW mod that deleted all non-essential events. This was (IMO) a TREMENDOUS improvement. I've only played a couple of games in ToF since the patch, and I'm hoping someone will do a similar mod. If not, this game is essentially on the shelf for me. At least until I get a WWII itch bad enough to mod it myself. It's a gorgeous "platform", but the insistence on all these events destroys any since of immersion. I found myself playing and just waiting for something bad/strange/highly improbable to happen-- that is simply not fun and there are too many other good games out there. Still, I'm sure I'll mod it at some point (probably after they are done patching it).

And Razz, your point about "a little knowledge is dangerous" is EXACTLY the point. So give us some event knowledge/transparency already!

(in reply to Razz)
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RE: USSR winter event - 4/15/2012 10:02:10 PM   
welk

 

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I think a better solution could have been that : One event = one xml file, and one line in the event txt file list. With a list like the existing csv events list (but a little few detailled concerning the effects of event), each player could have been able to erase the event he does not like (just erasing this event of the list in txt format).

At this time, it is not possible to do that : you must erase a entire event file (without choice in the content), or you have to open the xml file with a xml editor to erase manually the concerned event you don't want to use.

But before that, you have to find it... I was not able to find this URSS winter event in any event file. In wich event file is this event, please ? (if someone know that)

(in reply to RandomAttack)
Post #: 10
RE: USSR winter event - 4/16/2012 5:01:38 AM   
JLPOWELL


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The events are very complex lumped together by country under-documented and interdependent (even between country files). For end users or modders it will be very difficult to tinker with this without breaking something. And if you do break something it might not show until turn 120 so then only if a particular set of conditions is present.

I have reverse engineered this to an extent (really only scratched the surface), but have no interest in serious modding. I am happy perhaps to assist those who do or perhaps I may venture into modding if there is no alternative. Unfortunately opening the events to modify looks like more work than I am willing to do 'for free'.

The 'flags.txt' file could be used (perhaps without even any design change) Tripping some flags will 'switch off' some events.
With a relatively minor change (which unfortunately would need to be written into each event) a 'master event file' or perhaps the existing flags file could contain an 'on off' switch which could be set and when an an event was evaluated and the switch was 'off' that event would never fire. This would almost certainly require changes to the executable code (Perhaps trivial but perhaps significant).

I can see why Wasteland uses events so heavily (here are three good reasons):
1st It clearly saves development effort particularly when game balance needs to be 'tuned'
2nd Permits Modding
3rd Provides a mechanism for adding 'historical flavor'

Unfortunately the events are a bit of acrutch used whenever a 'fix' is needed and should not be 'the' solution for all game balance / accuracy issues. They are almost universally over utilized except perhaps for the special 'AI' events which are needed to give the AI a fighting chance.

Obfuscation or of the events is not deliberate, but nonetheless effective. Interdependent events are in different files and the (rather terse) description text is in the language file. While I understand the need for this as the game supports multiple languages my guess is the xml could be commented in English and those comments could be used to generate at least an English language readme file. (Someone can correct me if I am wrong assuming that English is the most likely language understood by the population of customers)

Documenting the events would 'open' the designers to dispute over decisions made in the design process which players may not agree with. This is healthy, some of the events would wilt under scrutiny, others would hold up well, and the game would be better for it. Leaving them hidden serves no purpose from a playability standpoint. Comments in defense of this are just absurd the exact timing of events can be a surprise and there is a random factor related to that or even if an event triggers but hiding the nature of the events is just hiding. NO one playing a WW2 game is going to be 'surprised' by pearl harbor or by the declaration of Vichy. Most events are just someones best guess and could benefit from a bit of outside checking. They are entered to provide 'historical flavor' game balance etc. but in many cases cause more damage than 'no event' would as they can seriously damage playability.

One driving force here is that there are unfortunately some differences between features which 1. help a game sell, 2. get a good 'review' and 3. make a good game. Functionality described and included (even if poorly executed) sells games. A reviewer who plays a short game and trips a plausible event will have a positive experience. In contrast a player on turn 120 of a PBEM game which has the whole game skewed by a unexpected implausible random event will be pretty disappointed.

Events are OVERPOWERED. HUGE things happen by event. This should be used with caution not abandon. Events which marginalize players actions are almost by definition bad.

Events degrade with age in game turns. Attempts to 'add historical flavor will just look silly 100 turns in when the conditions which trip the event are nothing like the factors which historically caused something 'unique' to happen.



quote:

ORIGINAL: welk

I think a better solution could have been that : One event = one xml file, and one line in the event txt file list. With a list like the existing csv events list (but a little few detailled concerning the effects of event), each player could have been able to erase the event he does not like (just erasing this event of the list in txt format).

At this time, it is not possible to do that : you must erase a entire event file (without choice in the content), or you have to open the xml file with a xml editor to erase manually the concerned event you don't want to use.

But before that, you have to find it... I was not able to find this URSS winter event in any event file. In wich event file is this event, please ? (if someone know that)



< Message edited by JLPOWELL -- 4/16/2012 5:05:22 AM >


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Post #: 11
RE: USSR winter event - 4/16/2012 8:25:52 AM   
welk

 

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I will try to do a little system to have the possibility to turn on/off precise events in txt file list event before to lunch the game.

I will do that for a limited amount of indesirable events (10/15 max). You may give me the list of these events in this thread :

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3083052&mpage=1&key=?



< Message edited by welk -- 4/16/2012 8:27:43 AM >

(in reply to JLPOWELL)
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