From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
From my own experience, but also from reading the accounts of other newbies, it's clear to me that I need to play the tutorials repeatedly to the point of near mastery. Otherwise, if out of impatience I sprint through the tutorials and rush ahead to "the good stuff" -- actual game play -- immense frustration awaits.
Despite numerous Tutorial 1 & 2 run-throughs, I am still figuring out the controls, how to direct movement, how to manipulate the camera view, when and which hot keys to push, etc. This is second nature to some of you RTS/FPS veterans; but to this dyed-in-the-wool, 2D hex-based, old-school war gamer (I began playing board war games as far back as the early 1960s; yes, I am that old <groan>), it's quite a challenge.
I have never liked air combat war games and flight sims, because I find them to be too disorienting. I might have guessed that 3D Scourge of War would give me fits.
The game manual says: "Scourge of War uses the conventional keystrokes for moving the camera in a 3D environment." Conventions and keystrokes that, with little to no 3D gaming experience, I am quite unaware of, much less practiced at.
I have had extraordinary difficulty acquiring situational awareness, mentally connecting my camera view of the battlefield to the Command Map, my placement thereon, references to enemy forces attacking from the west, orders to move north up the Taneytown Road, and so on. I have been staring at Gettysburg (and other) 2D battlefield maps and game boards nearly all my life, but never imagined myself in an interactive 3D recreation of the battle. (I did visit the actual Gettysburg battlefield site once, but only for an hour or so.)
How many south-to-north Gettysburg flat maps have you ever seen? West-to-east? Have you ever held a Gettysburg map (or book) in your hands and spun it around and around to analyze the progressing battle action from all angles? As for me: none, none, and never.
I finally decided I would do yet another Tutorial Two run-through, focusing on the camera controls and friendly/enemy force dispositions, with frequent pauses and Command Map references along the way, also repeated use of the T (Toggle Foliage) hot key. Never mind about the combat, following orders, winning or losing. Just look about, try stuff, experiment, think about it, understand.
It is a huge help to reorient my default camera view to look northward, and conduct the battle in a north/up to south/down fashion. For the first time, I am mentally connecting the north-to-south oriented Command Map to my new default north-to-south camera view. It is, at long last, starting to make sense.
A suggestion for future game updates: If at all possible, the Command Map Current Location "eyeball" should not only change position, but also direction. So, if my camera view is looking northward, the on-map eyeball icon rotates to point northward also.
I'm sure this is laughable to many of you younguns, growing up as you have in a world of 3D RTS & FPS (not to mention mind blowing motion picture CGI). But to some of us older guys, it's no joke.
< Message edited by berto -- 1/13/2013 9:21:28 PM >