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RE: Niche game or undermarketed?

 
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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/26/2013 3:53:04 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz

quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
Brings the Popcorn.

So cynical!

Alas, I fear there will be little entertainment value for your popcorn.

In that case I'm off to the Mass Effect 3 website then ... as there is almost always good Popcorn material around there!

Fun aside, that was quite an interesting comparison Kayoz, thanks. While I agree with your comments regarding Steam, it's good to get this thread back to a more constructive line of thought.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/26/2013 7:05:22 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
Fun aside, that was quite an interesting comparison Kayoz, thanks. While I agree with your comments regarding Steam, it's good to get this thread back to a more constructive line of thought.


One of the main differences in their marketing approaches is that UL's posts are created to be thought provoking and to elicit a response. Contests for artwork. Contests for "post-apocalypse" themed contests (cooking, weapons of choice, etc). Sometimes the contests have a prize (free copy of the game - cheap for them) or nothing more than your name in 16 point font as the "winner". Or explanations on how things work and requests for feedback. They're all written to involve the reader and make them want to reply and share the post (on Facebook) or take part in the discussion/debate/flame-war on the forums.

Matrix, on the other hand, primarily posts announcements. Rarely anything that calls for user response, feedback or stimulates their interest. They're about as likely to elicit a response as spam mail.

UL is interactive, Matrix is not.

I remember the run-up to the release of SMAC. They released the background story of the game little by little, an "episode" or so a week - setting up the back-story of the game so that one had the full story just before the game release date. Pity they didn't try something similar to this for DW.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/26/2013 9:50:29 AM   
paShadoWn

 

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The Distant Worlds is hugely overpriced and does not appeal to hardcore space 4x fans by being easy, casual and most importantly having no multiplayer.
I got my arse handed to me in GalCiv before i learned it and SotS does it to me sometimes even now when i dont play hivers. In DW i was defeated only in early versions by a bug debt spiral.

Steam factor is considerable too but steam eats souls so i wont question decision on that.

As for ad coverage Shadows is pretty high on google and present on most major gaming sites and blogs.

< Message edited by paShadoWn -- 7/26/2013 9:53:59 AM >

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/26/2013 12:37:10 PM   
Icemania


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Shadows coverage is not high paShadoWn please consider the comparisons previously posted. Stardrive has blown Shadows out of the water with it's coverage. Google doesn't help if you don't know about the game and don't frequent sites like Space Sector. Like many I found this game by pure chance. I didn't find this game on a Polygon or IGN etc. I haven't purchased anything else from Matrix. There have to be a great many customers out there that have been missed ... this is an area that Matrix should revisit.

On Steam, everything has been said, the Matrix position is clear so further discussion has no point, let's move on already.

Yes I'd like to see the AI massively improved. I still find Emperor a challenge most of the time on Civ V etc. But it's hardly a showstopper in the reviews I looked at before purchase, and I've still played a lot of hours anyway.

Our strategies and ship designs could go toe-to-toe with MP and I must admit that has some appeal even if it was just a skirmish mode. It's hardly the most important issue though ... like many I'll always play a great SP strategy game whether it has MP or not.



< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/26/2013 12:38:13 PM >

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/26/2013 2:07:08 PM   
turtlefang

 

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Kayoz -

That is the difference between a professional "marketer" and a company that isn't really marketing but just making announcements.

The examples cited are all examples of "teaser campaigns", contest, direct response and other types of campaigns.

All of these are created to do two things: create buzz within the publishing community by giving them something for them say the company is doing, and interest within the purchasing target market.

It gets back to putting someone(s) to focus on driving the content and interest of the publishers.


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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/27/2013 12:28:44 AM   
Plant


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I'll say the main thing holding back the sales of Distant Worlds compared with and other games was that when Distant Worlds was released it was barely playable, and even now the user interface is unfriendly if evidenced by the occassional threads of people asking how to execute basic functions. Also, an open beta and demo helps a lot. Can't really see a reason why a beta hardcoded with say 6x6 sectors and 250 stars with 5 empires and a time limit couldn't be produced.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/27/2013 1:09:53 AM   
turtlefang

 

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You could be right regarding the initial release. I didn't play the game then and only started with the last two expansions.

The old adage is the fastest way to kill a bad product is to advertise it. And it is very difficult to overcome a bad first impression with reviewers and industry influencers if you have a poor product. So the implicit assumption for any marketing effort has to be a good product.

As far as an open beta, I don't buy it. A true open beta to drum up interest would require either well known designers, developers or a title that had a great deal of exposure around it.

Otherwise, your right back to where you are now - a lack of awareness within the wider gaming community. An open beta won't change that. You might get a few more trial users, but not many.

The issue isn't getting to people interested enough to check forums or beta. The issue is to break out into a more mainstream offering. And that requires creating a buzz within the industry rags, not within the hard core that already can find the game on the forum.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/27/2013 6:23:05 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang
As far as an open beta, I don't buy it. A true open beta to drum up interest would require either well known designers, developers or a title that had a great deal of exposure around it.

I think he meant as part of the other measures. On its own, it probably wouldn't generate that much marketing buzz.

However, an open beta - or one that was more open than Shadows' was - would have spotted many of the issues before release. If you look at the number of forum threads for defects in the first week of release, it should be clear that the beta testing was not exposing bugs.. or Elliot wasn't listening. Either way, the beta of Shadows was poorly run. How poorly and why are questions that Matrix needs to sort out.

A playable product on release day certainly wouldn't hurt marketing efforts. 1.9.0 (release) was, I contend, unplayable.

quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang
The issue isn't getting to people interested enough to check forums or beta. The issue is to break out into a more mainstream offering. And that requires creating a buzz within the industry rags, not within the hard core that already can find the game on the forum.


Yes, it would be nice to break into the "mainstream" game media. Home page reviews on IGN or Gamespot would be nice.

But I'm not sure that's a realistic goal. Strategy games aren't the sort of "mainstream" games that those sites usually cover (with a few notable exceptions from Sid Meyers and co). But the likelihood of accomplishing that without throwing some serious cash at them is rather low.

Though that said - judging from the actions of Gamespot in the past - a few good escorts visiting the offices of the managers wearing naught but a demo disk, would probably garner positive coverage.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/27/2013 2:20:50 PM   
turtlefang

 

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If you are planning to use an open beta to help develop the game, I'm all for it. I actually think that is the smart way to go as developers get too close to the game. It is just the nature of the beast.

They are a couple of things that I can cite regarding Distant Worlds:

1) I simply wouldn't but the earlier editions. The reviews I read were bad, especially regarding the interface. I have plenty of money to spend on games so the price didn't scare me, but I have damn little time. So I want something I will enjoy and not fight.

2) I didn't change my mind until several positive reviews came out. But by that time, the damage to the general public and publishing community had already been done. The first release didn't get good reviews, so no one wanted to know about the later releases.

3) It is not multiplayer or doesn't have a multiplayer component. That simply is a drawback and beginning to be a much bigger drawback each year. No way around that. In general, people prefer playing against people not the AI. Even if they just had a section where people could fight space battles against each other with starships, that would create a draw.

4) I would much rather be selling Oranges while everyone else sells Apples. So a strategy game - if done well - will break out and stand out if it has appeal. And having dealt with publishers & reviewers (in a different industry), virtually all of them prefers to cover something different. Why? At the heart of it, another first person shooter is just another first person shooter and they get bored.

The key is to have a good product out of the gate. Then work the publishers. If the product isn't good, or playable, then even in later editions, it won't get covered. It isn't new news then. If it is good, then it will get covered.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/27/2013 9:01:28 PM   
Plant


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Yes, I just think that Distant Worlds gotten off to poor start. I actually read about Distant Worlds, saw how messy and unrefined it was, and assigned it to the back of my head as promising, but not worth it, as like so many other similar games in its genre. It took the release of Shakturi for me to take a look at it again.

As for the beta, it's not fair to blame the programmer, since it'appears that none of the beta testers bothered to test out the pirate factions in the first place!

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/27/2013 9:29:50 PM   
Darkspire


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Plant

Yes, I just think that Distant Worlds gotten off to poor start. I actually read about Distant Worlds, saw how messy and unrefined it was, and assigned it to the back of my head as promising, but not worth it, as like so many other similar games in its genre. It took the release of Shakturi for me to take a look at it again.

As for the beta, it's not fair to blame the programmer, since it'appears that none of the beta testers bothered to test out the pirate factions in the first place!


Those Sir are words of war the pirate factions were extensively tested, you should see the list of problems with 08 that no one here has picked up on, no matter how stable the game is there are always things that crop up that don't break the game, just make it wonky. When 00 was released it was stable, there may have been problems that were not spotted but those Elliot has done his best to address in the updates since its release. Testing DW was very hard, the things that crop up in a few hours of a game start are easy to pick up on but the depth of DW demands that the games take longer to play and see the long game issues and those take a fair amount of game time to be inputted to spot, if I had been paid per hour for the testing I would be typing this into a laptop on a beach in the Bahamas somewhere, and I am still testing and putting serious hours into doing so. I would really like to know a lot more about the inner workings of the game but Elliot is a one man band and gives very little feedback, in all the years that I have been here there are still many things about DW that are shrouded in mystery and hearsay.

Darkspire

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/28/2013 5:26:07 AM   
Icemania


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Darkspire, as someone who has enjoyed playing this game, thank you for your efforts. I find it strange that more of the inner workings of the game have not been published. I don't mind doing some homework on games, but here I can't seem to even get the Guide to Guide thread stickied to help newbies. All of this material should be either be in the Galactopedia, or even better a series of Galactopedia videos that explain the core concepts of the game to players. This wouldn't require all that much effort from Matrix/Codeforce to develop. If I had invested so much effort in developing a game I would personally consider this a no-brainer to implement.

Plant, I've only played the game since Legends, but I can see the original UI was problematic at best. In my view the minimum purchasable level for the game should be Return of the Shakturi, if not Legends, so that anybody seeing the game for the first time is more likely to have a positive first impression.

Kayoz, personally I thought the Shadows initial release was quite playable and since I was confident patches would be on the way quickly, the issues didn't really bother me. I don't think this is a core issue is making the game more popular. I contend that breaking into mainstream media is very realistic ... as Stardrive showed, but it requires far more effort from the publisher than what we have seen so far.

turtlefang, interesting commentary about needing a good product out of the gate. In which case, sounds like it's time that Matrix/CodeForce just focused on DW2 rather than a mod focused expansion. My concern here is that the status quo won't lead to the "step up" (i.e. a specialist development team working with Elliott) that I'd like to see to make DW2 a classic. Perhaps Matrix should consider some sort of JV etc?


< Message edited by Icemania -- 11/3/2013 8:01:16 AM >

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/29/2013 6:17:04 AM   
2ndACR


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I hate Steam, I think Matrix would be doing the wrong thing even dealing with Steam. But as always, this thread is marked for death soon.

I have been around a long time, I don't think I have bought a game from anyone but Matrix since I found this place. I love the simple but effective DRM used, a serial number, no dial home, no online activation and such. Matrix is a niche company. They make the games I enjoy. Most have moved to console style simplistic games. Matrix makes games that actually take a while to learn, much less master. I think the last game I bought outside Matrix was Ghost Recon when it was released, I paid 50 bucks for it, I beat it in 4 days. I have not loaded it up or played it since. Yet, I paid 70 or so for WITP original and it still resides on my hard drive after all these years, matter of fact, the only games on my hard drive are Matrix titles.

I bought DW on release, and bought the 2nd one, I have not had the time to buy the newest version. DW still resides on my hard drive though I don't play it as much, but that is because Scourge has my attention now. By mass marketing, in this day and age, you are going to have to dumb the game down for the masses. I don't want that. Matrix can stay niche, I like it that way.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/29/2013 3:00:42 PM   
Plant


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You mean to tell me that you played a beta game with a pirate faction, Darkspire? My first game of Pirates were full of some very obvious flaws. Your own raiders raiding your pirate base, the almost sheer impossibility of keeping a hidden pirate base built and alive, the circumstances where 100% control cannot be reached, or that a base can be built even with sufficient money and control, permanent 0% tax rate once you built the criminal network, and the bizarre AI behaviour where there would be a steady conveyer belt of ships raiding the same few and nearby planets and returning to base repeatedly. Those all break the core gameplay and are discovered within a few hours, and lead me to beleive that none of the beta testers played a pirate faction. Best you can say is that the game didn't crash immediately when you play as pirates.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/29/2013 4:10:02 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Darkspire


quote:

ORIGINAL: Plant

Yes, I just think that Distant Worlds gotten off to poor start. I actually read about Distant Worlds, saw how messy and unrefined it was, and assigned it to the back of my head as promising, but not worth it, as like so many other similar games in its genre. It took the release of Shakturi for me to take a look at it again.

As for the beta, it's not fair to blame the programmer, since it'appears that none of the beta testers bothered to test out the pirate factions in the first place!


Those Sir are words of war the pirate factions were extensively tested, you should see the list of problems with 08 that no one here has picked up on, no matter how stable the game is there are always things that crop up that don't break the game, just make it wonky. When 00 was released it was stable, there may have been problems that were not spotted but those Elliot has done his best to address in the updates since its release. Testing DW was very hard, the things that crop up in a few hours of a game start are easy to pick up on but the depth of DW demands that the games take longer to play and see the long game issues and those take a fair amount of game time to be inputted to spot, if I had been paid per hour for the testing I would be typing this into a laptop on a beach in the Bahamas somewhere, and I am still testing and putting serious hours into doing so. I would really like to know a lot more about the inner workings of the game but Elliot is a one man band and gives very little feedback, in all the years that I have been here there are still many things about DW that are shrouded in mystery and hearsay.

Darkspire


Agreed. With a sandbox game that lasts for a couple of weeks, you do find things that a simple 2-3 hour play through is not going to find.

And lets face it, have you ever seen a game that 100% of the bugs are found and fixed?

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/29/2013 4:14:09 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Plant

You mean to tell me that you played a beta game with a pirate faction, Darkspire? My first game of Pirates were full of some very obvious flaws. Your own raiders raiding your pirate base, the almost sheer impossibility of keeping a hidden pirate base built and alive, the circumstances where 100% control cannot be reached, or that a base can be built even with sufficient money and control, permanent 0% tax rate once you built the criminal network, and the bizarre AI behaviour where there would be a steady conveyer belt of ships raiding the same few and nearby planets and returning to base repeatedly. Those all break the core gameplay and are discovered within a few hours, and lead me to beleive that none of the beta testers played a pirate faction. Best you can say is that the game didn't crash immediately when you play as pirates.


I went through as both pirate and regular empire, classic age and shadows age, and you still won't find everything. Sometimes the beta testers own play-styles will affect whether they find issues or not.

Also keep in mind that our society as a whole is rather impatient.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/29/2013 11:15:43 PM   
turtlefang

 

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We can all throw stones at how well - or not well - the game was developed.

Like it or not, I can cite a number of examples of "poor" game testing on strategies that just didn't work for many games that were very successful when first released. Civ II, Alpha Centari, Age of Empires, and Total War - all had flaws that the beta testers "should have" caught.

Testers - for games or computer codes in general - fall into certain patterns after they are exposed to a product after a while. They don't intend to and aren't suppose to - they are really suppose to push the system to the limit. But it is just the nature of the beast, and of people.

And as soon as the product hits the real world market, most of the times flaws are immediately discovered that - yes - should have been discovered in testing. (For those who remember the first iteration of PeopleSoft, they know exactly what I'm talking about). When a large number of people are exposure to a system, they end up trying things in ways that the testers just wouldn't consider. And this isn't a knock on the testers. Most testers do a very good job. And they catch a lot of things. But it is reality.

The questioned isn't is the game released perfectly - I have yet to see one that has been. The question is - does the framework allow a quick response to fix any identified problems very quickly? And is the majority of the game playable and enjoyable at the release?

Age of Empires was - actually still is a favorite of my group - has the Shane - initially, everyone considered them one of the weakest races in the game. Until two to three weeks after the game was released and a few people showed how "this weak race" dominated and had to be banned from multi-player. Did it mean the testers should have caught it? Sure, but they didn't and the rest of the game was excellent and went on do extremely well.

For DW, I stayed away from early editions because the write ups I saw indicated the interface was terrible initially and you have to really want to fight your way through it to play. I don't want to fight my way through an interface to play a game. I can live with some faults in the game when it comes out - pirates not working exactly right while the rest of plays well, for example.

But the one thing I can guarantee - release any complex computer code, and there will be unexpected things that happen. And these will have to get addressed.

And no amount of testing will uncover all of them before you release it.

I think the question isn't - can beta testing be done better? But rather, how can it be done better and be kept cost effective and time effective at the same time? So this is one of the reasons I like Plant's open beta testing idea presented earlier - a small universe where it gets a lot more exposure earlier would highlight some of these problems faster and earlier. And it might help id some issues before the game is released.


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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/29/2013 11:49:30 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang

We can all throw stones at how well - or not well - the game was developed.

Like it or not, I can cite a number of examples of "poor" game testing on strategies that just didn't work for many games that were very successful when first released. Civ II, Alpha Centari, Age of Empires, and Total War - all had flaws that the beta testers "should have" caught.

There is a difference between quirks and bugs which crop up after release which the testers didn't see, and bugs which make the game unplayable.

Take for example the tax income from planets. Pirate factions could not get taxes from planets which they controlled - by invasion or construction of the final (?) facility. That's a game breaker.

Or take the lack of prioritization for freighters, which were happily whizzing across the galaxy to pick up some steel, but ignored the planet with a smuggling contract they were next to. That's a game-breaker for a smuggler pirate and painful to any pirate type.

Or take defence contract missions - a "bread and butter" mission for a marauder pirate. A single speed 50 escort whizzing in and dropping a single raider on the planet was enough to blow the whole contract... and it happened easily and often enough that one had to babysit the ships protecting the planet for the entire duration of the "protection" - making completion exceedingly difficult and time-consuming (read: micromanage and not fun for the player).

Or the raiding, where you'd end up destroying any of your own facilities on a planet if you raided it. Game-breaker again.

I don't remember SMAC or any of the other games you listed having bugs that severe which made the game unplayable (above as a pirate faction) on release. Nothing so sever, and nothing that would have been blatantly visible to any beta tester trying the different pirate types.

I absolutely stand by my statement that Shadows v1.9.0 release was unplayable. Far too many game-breaking bugs which should have been caught in beta, if not alpha. Does that mean that the beta testers are to blame? Not really. If the defects were as numerous as Darkspire suggested, then they needed far more testers in the beta - which I contend they did not have nearly enough of. The simplest and cheapest solution would be to expand the beta tester roll, but for some reason Matrix decided not to.

quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang
And as soon as the product hits the real world market, most of the times flaws are immediately discovered that - yes - should have been discovered in testing.

Are you seriously taking the position that none of the testers could have been reasonably expected to take over a planet as a pirate faction and check their tax income? Seriously? And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

I don't expect a "perfect" release. I just expect a "reasonable" release. Shadows fell below "reasonable".

quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang
Until two to three weeks after the game was released and a few people showed how "this weak race" dominated and had to be banned from multi-player. Did it mean the testers should have caught it? Sure, but they didn't and the rest of the game was excellent and went on do extremely well.

Game balance and removing exploits is always a tricky business. I did not expect Shadows to be free of exploits or have all races perfectly balanced. I did however, expect the game to be possible to complete as any faction (difficulty of doing so aside).

quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang
And no amount of testing will uncover all of them before you release it.

Again, I don't think anyone here is suggesting that DW should have been defect-free on release. What the complaint is - or mine at least - is that it should be possible to complete the game as any faction/race type. I believe the few defects noted above show clearly enough that such ability to complete the game was not possible.


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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/30/2013 2:11:48 AM   
turtlefang

 

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I guess it depends on what you define as major problems.

Civ II the first copies pre-purchased wouldn't start. You simply couldn't get them to work or load. It required a patched EXE file. To me, that is a total failure. Or the initial artillery bombardment exploit.

SMAC - The first patch had to fix the creation of the local monster (can't remember the name). It kept popping up and eating or destroying the first settlement in the first five to 8 turns. Required a patch within 24 hrs of release. Until then, your game literally lasted 10 turns.

Medieval Total War - In Medieval Total War, initially you should not built anything but peasants with spears or bows. They literally dominated EVERYTHING. Had heavily armored elite knights - sent that newly raised peasant spear unit over there and watch the knights died.

Rome Total War, if you had phalanx units, even militia phalanxes defending, it was virtually impossible to take a town. And I won't even discuss the initial "endless trade money" exploit.

So its a matter of perspective.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/30/2013 2:30:59 PM   
Plant


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There is a difference. Most of those were made before cheap, widely distributed internet.

The Medieval Total War and Rome Total War case is only true to Total Noobs. Neither of those "major problems" were patched over, just because you don't know how to flank.

Also, most of the bugs I found playing as the Pirates, which is half the gameplay in Shadows, is found within a few hours, and are game breaking.

Doesn't stop me from enjoying the game after some of those were patched over though, it was rather fustrating.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/30/2013 7:23:39 PM   
turtlefang

 

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Regarding Medieval Total War.
No, this wasn't for total Noobs or due to flanking. I've played the Total War Series since the beginning. Peasants had a MAJOR problem with the release AND the military units were very unbalanced. It took two patches to get the Peasant issue fixed. The first one fixed the basic peasants. The second one fixed the urban militia peasants with polearms. So yes, it was a major problem. And yes, it was patched. Multiple times. Including adding multiple moral checks into the game that didn't exist before release.

Regarding Rome Total War.
The phalanx issue was patched multiple times. And it was never fixed to the point where you could take a city defended by phalanxes or pikes if you had half the men that the attackers had. It simply wasn't possible if the defender was competent. And they fiddled with the phalanxes and pikes in virtually every patch they did. And you couldn't flank a phalanx in a city square NOR would moral break. And it remaines a major criticism of the game right up to today.


(in reply to Plant)
Post #: 111
RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/30/2013 9:50:18 PM   
Kayoz


Posts: 1412
Joined: 12/20/2010
From: Timbuktu
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang
Regarding Medieval Total War.
No, this wasn't for total Noobs or due to flanking. I've played the Total War Series since the beginning. Peasants had a MAJOR problem with the release AND the military units were very unbalanced. It took two patches to get the Peasant issue fixed. The first one fixed the basic peasants. The second one fixed the urban militia peasants with polearms. So yes, it was a major problem. And yes, it was patched. Multiple times. Including adding multiple moral checks into the game that didn't exist before release.

I've played TW series from the beginning and I can't honestly remember any "overpowered peasants" issues in MTW or MTW2. If anything, their use was incredibly situational. They could do some damage in city battles where you couldn't flank or charge properly - but in the open field, they got mauled by anyone.

Perhaps you could provide a link to substantiate your claim? It sounds more like a "noob" issue than a game-breaker.

quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang
Regarding Rome Total War.
The phalanx issue was patched multiple times. And it was never fixed to the point where you could take a city defended by phalanxes or pikes if you had half the men that the attackers had. It simply wasn't possible if the defender was competent. And they fiddled with the phalanxes and pikes in virtually every patch they did. And you couldn't flank a phalanx in a city square NOR would moral break. And it remaines a major criticism of the game right up to today.

I'm calling BS here. You just needed a bit of imagination to take out phalanx units in the town square. Archers emptying their quivers at the closely packed formations does wonders. As does using one of the other (multiple in all but a few maps) routes to the town square and hitting them from all sides. They don't break due to morale, but they die quite quickly to swordsmen. And if fighting a mass of phalanx units in the city square is REALLY too hard for you - just starve the bleeders out. Or hit auto-resolve and let your superior numbers and unit quality win the day with a single click.

Again, I'll have to ask for you to cite your source. It, as with the previous complaint, sounds like you had difficulty understanding the importance of flanking and exhaustion (you didn't RUN your units all through the battle, did you? Exhausted units are easy meat for anyone.). Seriously, it was a rare battle indeed, where peasants of any sort presented a threat.

But your complaints are "game balance" and "complex mechanics too hard to grasp" issues - not "game-breaker issues that there's no work-around for". No complex strategy game is perfectly balanced on release. None. It always takes tweaking. Always.

On the other hand, pirates not being able to get tax income from planets is a definite game-breaker. And anyone who's bothered to play a pirate cannot help but to notice it - which is why I point my finger at the beta testers for not calling it out before release. How was Shadows released without wails of anger from the beta testers?

As to your complaint about Civ2's release executable defect - that wasn't due to beta testers not paying attention. That was someone rushing a change just before shipping and not testing it. That's QA's problem. Quite different from beta testing.

_____________________________

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(in reply to turtlefang)
Post #: 112
RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/30/2013 11:02:29 PM   
Darkspire


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Post #: 113
RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/31/2013 1:46:59 AM   
Shark7


Posts: 7139
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Darkspire






I think that sums it up well.

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RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/31/2013 2:03:24 AM   
Icemania


Posts: 1528
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
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Well said Darkspire

quote:

ORIGINAL: Darkspire




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Post #: 115
RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/31/2013 4:07:37 AM   
Icemania


Posts: 1528
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: 2ndACR
I bought DW on release, and bought the 2nd one, I have not had the time to buy the newest version. DW still resides on my hard drive though I don't play it as much, but that is because Scourge has my attention now. By mass marketing, in this day and age, you are going to have to dumb the game down for the masses. I don't want that. Matrix can stay niche, I like it that way.

Like many until recently I was not aware DW or Matrix existed. I'm sure there are many players out there that would enjoy this game that also have no idea it exists. It's possible to keep the game focused on the genre, without dumbing it down, but market it better so that a much greater proportion of the potential audience is aware of it. This would then lead to a stronger business case for a much bigger and better DW2 (again not dumbed down).

(in reply to 2ndACR)
Post #: 116
RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/31/2013 2:01:28 PM   
Plant


Posts: 418
Joined: 4/23/2013
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang

Regarding Medieval Total War.
No, this wasn't for total Noobs or due to flanking. I've played the Total War Series since the beginning. Peasants had a MAJOR problem with the release AND the military units were very unbalanced. It took two patches to get the Peasant issue fixed. The first one fixed the basic peasants. The second one fixed the urban militia peasants with polearms. So yes, it was a major problem. And yes, it was patched. Multiple times. Including adding multiple moral checks into the game that didn't exist before release.

Regarding Rome Total War.
The phalanx issue was patched multiple times. And it was never fixed to the point where you could take a city defended by phalanxes or pikes if you had half the men that the attackers had. It simply wasn't possible if the defender was competent. And they fiddled with the phalanxes and pikes in virtually every patch they did. And you couldn't flank a phalanx in a city square NOR would moral break. And it remaines a major criticism of the game right up to today.



Funny that, I also played the Total War series from the beginning. Never installed a patch for Medieval to my recollection. You probably just didn't read the manual. Most peasants are armed with polearms, which have bonuses against armour, cavalry and in receiving cavalry charges. Funnily enough, your knights probably suffer from all three bonuses against them, because you probably charge frontally into them. In MTW peasants had a role, not like the later series, where they were just cannon fodder. Also moral checks existed from the beginning of the Total War series.

I burst out laughing about your phalanx issue. I never had any trouble against phalanxes. You are just a bad player. They didn't fiddle with phalanxes in any of their 2 patches; in fact they even reduced the secondary non-phalanx attack for stronger phalanx units. You can easily flank phalanxes in a city square as the city square is a massive area, several tmes the size of one normal unit, with at least 2 roads leading into it and one long street along the side. Btw, read the manual, no unit can break inside the city square, it's a gameplay decision. Don't make up "major criticisms" that don't exist. What have you said that was true about MTW and RTW? Nothing.

< Message edited by Plant -- 7/31/2013 2:03:34 PM >

(in reply to turtlefang)
Post #: 117
RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/31/2013 7:16:07 PM   
garfield666

 

Posts: 30
Joined: 4/18/2013
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to be perfectly honest i do remember vaguely some problems with overpowered peasants, i even googled something http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?74065-Overpowered-peasants-and-the-Spear-attribute

but phalanx issue... yes it is/was a known 'tactic' especially in multiplayer, but its more popular name within the community was 'noob square' or 'noob box'. sorry. http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?hl=en&tab=ww#hl=en&gs_rn=20&gs_ri=psy-ab&cp=11&gs_id=6&xhr=t&q=noob+square&es_nrs=true&pf=p&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&oq=noob+square&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.49967636,d.d2k&fp=e78d4e78533c8900&biw=1680&bih=987

(in reply to Plant)
Post #: 118
RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/31/2013 8:41:08 PM   
Plant


Posts: 418
Joined: 4/23/2013
Status: offline
Well done for your 2 links. The first one being your googling of "overpowered peasants" and the second of "noob square".

Rather blindly, you haven't bothered to read either of your own links.

The first one links to a game made 4 years later, MTW2 as opposed to MTW1.

The second, if you click on the first result that turns up, has pages of people talking about how easy it is to defeat a noob box. A noob box is called a noob box, because it is easy to use, and easy to defeat, and consequently only noobs use them.

It has no relation whatsoever to turtlefang's lack of tacical thinking and his blatant lies and his lack of reading the game manual that tells him that all units are unbreakable inside a town square, phalanx or not.

So please next time don't bother pasting links to your googling that you haven't bothered to read.

(in reply to garfield666)
Post #: 119
RE: Niche game or undermarketed? - 7/31/2013 9:10:04 PM   
garfield666

 

Posts: 30
Joined: 4/18/2013
Status: offline
wow your troll fu is quite strong.

yes, i googled exactly those things you said I did. in first instance, to confirm something i remember, funnily enough, duh, about overpowered peasants, and the second one you misunderstood or maybe i wasn't very clear as english is not my first language, i meant exactly that turtlefang is not a very good player. that 'sorry' was meant for him that he misunderstood noob tactic for a bug. btw noob square used by a good player can be a really formiddable thing and should not be underestimated. its just bad form to use it if you're proficient.

i should probably end my post with a sarky remark of sorts, but i think i'll just start up another shadows game wondering why it's not on steam yet.

(in reply to Plant)
Post #: 120
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