The PBEM game has this main problem I believe, after 7 years of trial and gaming.
The issues are this. Instead of people using the Skip functions that should occur it is not happening, the system is geared around the lazy players who don’t bother to use the skip functions at all, and consequently waste time getting the files returned, where the GM has to act. Mainly in the Diplomacy and Reinforcement, Naval phases, especially where there is no Navy.
The system should be geared around a proactive and a forward thinking player, which increases immersion in the game. The system should make a player more proactive, by the system simply asking questions at the right time, rather than people having to remember each time, which often means they don’t remember.
I think the system should have it so that players should be asked in the current land phase, do they want to skip the next month’s Diplomacy turn yes or no. If yes (error changed from no) then the system skips that player.
Once a Major Power has his Diplomatic situation set, its less likely that he will want to change it, only in cases of war or surrender etc. or some other Diplomatic shift in the game, which comes around now and again. As the system is now, everyone still waits in order and not many will put there Diplomacy until France does his first , which shouldn't make any difference at all of course.
The same for the reinforcement phase. Mostly a player would only want to do reinforcements is when they have troops coming out of the barracks. Or when to change leaders or adjust corps strengths, with other corps etc. People 80% of the time will not skip this phase. At the moment war or reinforcements has been the only criteria that will change the auto skip settings.
Otherwise the player should asked by the game YES or NO. No one will bother to remember to skip even when there are no reinforcements for sometimes up to 2 months in row. A waste of time.
The naval Phase is another phase where countries are blockaded, and not worth risking combat because of expected high losses, or that player has no navy. If no navy the question by the system shouldn't be asked at all. If a country has a navy then 80% of the time especially if blockaded by a bigger navy won’t move out of the Harbor and most of the time won’t move any navy. The system should ask if the player wishes to move their navy next month if not the Naval phase is skipped. Reset for that next month if DOW on.
turn off that month only the month they were DOW on, until at the next land phase where they can reset the skip function by the system asking the questions as mentioned before.
To sum it up, for the Diplomacy, Reinforcement phase, and naval phases included. The system should ask at the end of their Land Phase, YES or NO, for the next month (February), the system should default to no so they have to actually click on the yes response… If a DOW then all phases for that player have to be reset, and that player will have to go through all phase manually for that month he has been DOW on only. At the end of that same month (Land Phase) the system should then ask for each phase for (March) etc.
The other reason, no one uses the skip function is due to bugs associated with that in the past. In Diplomacy and Reinforcements. When the GM has to use AI has to act due to a slow player, doing an AI move temporarily in the Land phase causes that players VP total go to zero.
A lot of waste if time is spent waiting for a file where nothing has been changed or done by the player concerned in his turn. Only when there is need to change things should there be a delay, not both reasons.
This way the GM only has to supervise the Land phase file be returned mostly, and not all four phases each month.
I don’t know exactly what involved with coding here, but it is the least way I can think of.
Otherwise all 4 phases should be in the one turn this would save even more time. But I realize this would be a major rewrite.
< Message edited by gazfun -- 4/13/2014 5:39:00 AM >