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RTFM? - 3/24/2018 2:17:15 PM   
apache85

 

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I recently asked a question to a closed group of ‘power users’ and got some interesting answers. I’d really like to open this question up, and I would encourage everyone (brand new, lurker, poster, veteran) to respond.

What kind of learning resources would you like to see in CMANO? Would you prefer written (the manual), hands-on (tutorial scenarios), visual (videos ala Baloogan); or some other format?

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 2:35:42 PM   
c3k

 

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As a newb, I see the need for two solutions. The first would be a MUCH more extensive manual, with a LOT more explanations and examples, including branching decisions points on how to manage your assets. (By "branching", I mean offering two or more actions and then explaining how to do each, with pro's and con's.) The second solution would be a series of short (5 to 10 min) videos like Baloogan's. His were some of the most helpful videos for accessing the depth of this game. I'd keep each video very tight and focussed. Instead of a 45 minute video showing a Desert Storm gorilla package from start to finish, show a few minutes about how to explore the air base assets. Another on how to assign munitions. Another on how to sort how many aircraft to fly, etc. Very small building blocks which can be accessed as needed.

I'm not daunted by steep learning curves and have been involved in actual air ops in my military career. However, this game is...hard to get into. Documentation and video are the key.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 2:48:27 PM   
thewood1

 

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The funny part is the documentation is almost all there. Its just scattered over the manual, FAQs, addendums, and there is a huge amount in the release notes and the wasfaresims posts. I spent a few hours a couple months ago consolidating all into a PDF and it has disappeared off the forum with age.

I think is someone would just take all that info and format, organize it, and pin it, that would be masterful. But it has to be pinned. I'm not doing it again, just to have it fall off the forum after a day.

And at the same time, if people won't even bother referencing the original manual I don't blame the devs for not putting much effort into it.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 3/24/2018 2:50:35 PM >

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 2:54:29 PM   
thewood1

 

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Here is the consolidated doc, including Lua, up to 1.12.

Attachment (1)

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 3:09:39 PM   
Grazyn

 

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As the saying goes, "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
Tutorials are always the way to go

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 3:27:11 PM   
BDukes

 

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I think maybe update FAQ page would help. Perhaps start mirror page on this forum and direct player directly too in titles. Not sure exist now.

Definitely stop people scold others for not reading manual. It not constructive but make people run away like hair on fire and they never come back to hang out and look at stuff to get info. If you have forum full of forum nanny nobody stick around and learn.

Thank

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 3:32:05 PM   
thewood1

 

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"people run away like hair on fire"

you need to work on you colloquialisms. Its starting to veer off into incoherent land.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 3:44:12 PM   
ultradave


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I like a nice written manual - PDF being ideal since it can be searched. I like the Command Ops 2 manual. Almost everything discussed has key commands described, and screen captures of the window or menu used and/or the result on the screen with an example from play. It's pretty thorough, although it too is evolving.

C:MANO I think has more possibilities because of the larger variety of units, but I like the concept.

I think a combination of a manual like that, and good tutorials that walk you through a reasonable size mission to illustrate how to do things is good. At least that works for me.

I tend to read a lot though and I realize that some people don't

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 3:55:14 PM   
thewood1

 

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Its not even to read. Its a searchable reference. My first read through on a manual is just to get an idea where the info is. Its why I like PDF manuals and don't care about printed manuals. Everyone thinks the hue and cry is over reading the manual. Its not. Its about just searching there first. Its just a common courtesy to take a look in all the available resources.

The main frustration with learning Command is two-fold:

1) The available information has increased incredibly since release and its scattered around the forum.
2) It is a very complex game that requires practice and training yourself.

The people who struggle are the ones that start it up and then come in asking a dozen questions without ever searching for anything or looking at a tutorial. We can't even get certain people trained to out a save up.

The real question is what can you do so people who just want to blow things up can get into the game quickly without coming into the forums and sucking up time that could be spent on helping people with legit hard questions.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 4:16:52 PM   
kaburke61

 

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The tutorials are a great idea, but I definitely love the idea of an up to date (well, as close as possible of course. CMANO keeps evolving at a rapid pace!) PDF manual.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 5:04:11 PM   
Puciek

 

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Absolutely tutorials over everything, I very much like the recent submarine and strike tutorials - they are very awesome at guiding the player in the right direction. Problem is that when you get stuck on them, there is very little that you can easily find to understand a subject better, as the manual is very sparse and grossly outdated, and googling is... uncertain to say the least. So more tutorials, and updated manual, or wiki (to help organize it all, though would like need official support to keep it ship shape) would go far in new player engagement.

Also a category of scenarios set for newbies is another thing, when you open cmano you get A LOT of scenarios to start but have no clue what they are.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 5:28:29 PM   
nukkxx5058


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I agree that tutorials with very detailed explanations like the recent submarine tutorials are a great way to learn.
A big fat manual (or rather a strategy guide) with plenty of examples, explanations, tactics wouldn't be bad neither...
But I would definitely rank tutorials as #1 as long as they are of the quality of the last submarine ones.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 5:33:31 PM   
temkc5

 

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Full disclosure of biased

I bought the games after watching a few of baloogan's videos and continued watching his videos to find out where all of the controls
Exist
(Oh how I miss those videos (COW))

But if you do these tutorials like you've done the submarine tutorials people shouldn't need a video.

Keep up the impressive work Apache85



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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 5:49:45 PM   
$trummer

 

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I think the very first task should be to update the manual by incorporating the addenda*. And it should not be necessary to have to hunt for a printer-friendly version of the manual (i.e. one without a dark background). It would also be great if the manual included an illustrated step-by-step playthrough of a sample mission.

* Sorry but I just can't bring myself to ignore five years of Latin in school.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 6:37:00 PM   
guanotwozero

 

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It might be useful to include walkthrough documents to accompany the tutorials, including manual references (links?) for each action.

That way manualphobes can get a gentle introduction to reading it, or at least using it as a reference.

Impatient players can dive straight in without a full RTFM session, but still figure out where to find useful info.

Win-win!

quote:

ORIGINAL: $trummer
* Sorry but I just can't bring myself to ignore five years of Latin in school.

Dulce et decorum est, ubi fieri potest, includere Latine.

< Message edited by guanotwozero -- 3/24/2018 6:40:29 PM >

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 7:09:52 PM   
thewood1

 

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And now we come to my main point.

"Impatient players"

This is the problem. When people come in and ask about the game, they will get an almost universal response that the game isn't for everyone. If you want to jump right in and start playing complicated scenarios, you will be disappointed and frustrated. In the old 1-10 Avalon Hill game complexity rating system, this is a 12. Even the most simple scenario is more complicated than 95% of the PC games out there.

I remember one of the first reviewers panned Command because the screen was so cluttered when he played. He started out with a large scenario and didn't know about the map options. He never read the manual, played a tutorial, or even played around with the options. He just plowed in and then panned the game.

Experienced players will help, but at some point, even the most charitable player will eventually throw their hands up in the air in their own frustration if the new player isn't willing to do some basic work to understand naval warfare and the game. The results of those encounters are scattered over the five year history of this forum. I came to the conclusion a few years ago its better to confront that issue early and upfront. Sometimes its painful and not pretty, but it keeps the forum from degenerating like it has several times in the past.

I don't think its the devs responsibility or duty to spend an inordinate amount of time with "impatient players". I don't want them spending their time that way. I want them adding features and developing DLC. The documentation is actually, in its raw form, very good and complete. It definitely could be organized and consolidated, but its there. There are probably close to 20 tutorials in the game and on the forums. There are dozens of videos. No matter how many you build, the player still has to have the ambition to use them.

I mean, we still have players to this day that bring problems to the forum without a save. There is an entire thread on new players and asking for help. No one gets hammered for asking a question. But asking a question and then not taking advantage of the lesson learned does cause frustration. The people I like helping are people with a question that takes what you say and goes and tries it and does some research on it. This is a game that requires learning, training, patience, and a good understanding of the resources that are at hand to help.

Good tutorials and documentation are always welcome, but still only help to a point. And keeping them up to date and organized is a lot of work. There was a discussion about a year after release about the devs spending time on manuals. The general consensus was that as long as we know where to look, the players would rather time be spent on development. I would like to see the community, with help from the devs, tale all the existing docs and get them into shape for new users. We can solve this is we want to have a little ambition.


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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 7:29:06 PM   
guanotwozero

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

And now we come to my main point.

"Impatient players"

This is the problem...


Well, it takes all sorts to make a world.

Some players are the types that own and have patiently read every copy of Janes' ever printed, some are newly arrived from playing twitchy first-person "shoot death kill" games where patience is not a virtue.

In my mind, it's a good idea to welcome and help anyone who has chosen to try CMANO, no matter what their background and personal nature. What works for one person may not work for another, so having a range of options would make sense to me.

Sure, for some, RTFM is very much the best route, but I wouldn't like to exclude the manualphobes and the impatient - it just means a different approach to immerse them in the game we all love. So that they can come to love it too.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 7:47:20 PM   
thewood1

 

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Again, I am not saying you have to read the manual, but not using it as a resource, or any of the other resources out there, is incredibly inconsiderate of the devs' time and the people willing to step in and help. I always notice that some of the people who are so concerned with offending the few who can't be bothered with learning the game are the same who I never see step in and help.

The world is made up of all kinds of people. But not all people can do everything. There are games I don't play, like HOI games, because I don't have the where with all to figure out the details. The resources, manuals, videos, tutorials, etc. are all there. But every time I start to go through it, I am just not ambitious enough to do it. And I would never consider going to any forum and ask basic games questions over and over again without someone pointing me to the resources to figure stuff out.

My point is that with all the resources available to the player, continuing to ignore people pointing to where you can basic questions answered is a good way to get someone frustrated with you. And also, by all types of people, I am sure you are including people that are just too lazy and impatient. They want answers now. They have no appreciation for the people trying to help them. They don't get the hint. They have to clubbed over the head sometimes.

There have literally been people that have come on to the forum trying to play a 1000 unit scenario without ever looking at the manual, looked at a video, or tried a tutorial. They'll ask a question and when told they should start with a tutorial, will badmouth the advice and the game. It has happened enough times that I typically have a standard answer on the best process to learn the game. Most eventually conceded that to play the game, they need to learn it. But we still get a few knuckleheads that will piss and moan about this being broken or that needs to be fixed to hide their own unwillingness to learn the game first.

When someone comes in and asks what a patrol zone is, my standard answer is to point them to the page in the manual and many times actually quote the manual for them. When they then come back and ask what a reference point is, I, at that point, will tell them they should read the manual, watch the videos, and play the tutorials. It either gets better or worse from there.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 7:54:25 PM   
Puciek

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

Again, I am not saying you have to read the manual, but not using it as a resource, or any of the other resources out there, is incredibly inconsiderate of the devs' time and the people willing to step in and help. I always notice that some of the people who are so concerned with offending the few who can't be bothered with learning the game are the same who I never see step in and help.

The world is made up of all kinds of people. But not all people can do everything. There are games I don't play, like HOI games, because I don't have the where with all to figure out the details. The resources, manuals, videos, tutorials, etc. are all there. But every time I start to go through it, I am just not ambitious enough to do it. And I would never consider going to any forum and ask basic games questions over and over again without someone pointing me to the resources to figure stuff out.

My point is that with all the resources available to the player, continuing to ignore people pointing to where you can basic questions answered is a good way to get someone frustrated with you. And also, by all types of people, I am sure you are including people that are just too lazy and impatient. They want answers now. They have no appreciation for the people trying to help them. They don't get the hint. They have to clubbed over the head sometimes.

There have literally been people that have come on to the forum trying to play a 1000 unit scenario without ever looking at the manual, looked at a video, or tried a tutorial. They'll ask a question and when told they should start with a tutorial, will badmouth the advice and the game. It has happened enough times that I typically have a standard answer on the best process to learn the game. Most eventually conceded that to play the game, they need to learn it. But we still get a few knuckleheads that will piss and moan about this being broken or that needs to be fixed to hide their own unwillingness to learn the game first.

When someone comes in and asks what a patrol zone is, my standard answer is to point them to the page in the manual and many times actually quote the manual for them. When they then come back and ask what a reference point is, I, at that point, will tell them they should read the manual, watch the videos, and play the tutorials. It either gets better or worse from there.
As a new player, what are all those resources you are referring to? Manual doesn't even explain basics of sonar and submerged detection, not even single example of how layer affects things, besides merely few lines that "it's hard". If people don't read the manual it's because it's just not good, and very bare bone, and it really is.
While for you it may seem like plenty of information, for actual new player finding ANYTHING about how cmano works is hard work as the information is scattered all around. And this isn't about lack ability to play the game, but obstacles that must be jumped over for basic knowledge.

You may want to remember that every single day in your life someone patiently helps you with a matter you know absolutely nothing about. And then almost never do it by tossing the manual at you with words "RTFM", especially when you pay them.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 8:10:41 PM   
thewood1

 

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And I am appreciative of when people help, but I also make sure I help myself. If I ask a question and they say the answer is in the manual, what's the first thing I would do...I would look in the manual. The next time I have a question, that is the first place I would look.

btw, almost all the information you need is here...

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3607586

Pay particular attention to the FAQ...its huge and fairly well organized. It probably answers 80% of the new player questions that get asked. Is it perfect? No. But if someone took the time to bother looking at the new player thread, they would see tutorials, videos, manual addendum, FAQ, etc. I still go back to the FAQ a lot because it gets updated. I am alsways learning something from it.

Its not like I jump on someone for asking a basic question. But its a pattern I see enough to know someone is in over their head. Asking a number of very basic and easily found questions. At that point I'll point them to where they can find their answers. If they continue to press on without even doing the basics of learning the game, I'll start pushing them to really focus on what they are trying to do. At that point its up to them. If they keep going down this path, I'll keep pushing.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 8:18:45 PM   
thewood1

 

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Another tool I use a lot and push players to use is forum search...

For example, you mentioned layers

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4308404&mpage=1&key=layer�

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4450307&mpage=1&key=layer�

While layers may be basic sub warfare stuff, they are hard to understand sometimes. These to recent threads are great examples of people asking questions and getting them answered. No angst, confusion, or beat downs. Legitimate questions got asked and answered.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 8:19:09 PM   
guanotwozero

 

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Ah, but it's usually a self-solving problem.

If a newbie asks things that are in the manual, then we, the community, can helpfully explain and even refer to the section/page. The devs don't have to get involved at all, so they can get on with designing the AMP.

I'm sure that most of those who ask things that may be in the manual aren't trying to be disrespectful - they may just come from a background where manuals are superfluous (as they are for many, many games out there!), and are finally encountering one where it's actually useful.

So, the trick is how to nudge/steer them into using the manual [Edit: and other resources] themselves. Hence my idea of walkthroughs, which are common for other games. Add in references, and before long they'll have the confidence and familiarisation to look stuff up for themselves. If a game is/isn't for someone, that's got to be their own decision.

Ultimately if you feel that someone doesn't deserve the effort of your response, then just don't bother. Save your efforts for those that do. Others will make their own judgments - just as askers are all different, so are responders.

< Message edited by guanotwozero -- 3/24/2018 8:23:12 PM >

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 8:40:55 PM   
thewood1

 

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And I do exactly that. Some I don't bother with. Some I help. Take a look at my posts. 90% of my posts are doing exactly what you are saying I should do. So I don't think you read the forum much. But there are a few that come in and cause a stir by asking questions about stuff they should be able to find. My goal, as those guys start sucking up resources, is to push them to actually use the resources they have available and I point them to it. Just like in the ini thread. I first explained what an ini file is. When the OP still didn't get it, I quoted the manual.

But there are people even posting today that you see hanging around, repeatedly asking questions they should be able to answer them selves quite simply. These are usually the same people declaring bugs or something needs to be fixed with no understanding of the game at all. As soon as they declare a bug, the devs get involved. Those are the guys that are a menace and no amount of docs and videos will thwart them. I attempt to push them towards getting some basic understanding of the game before dropping dozens of questions and bug reports on the forum.

There was a guy here last year was asking the most basic questions for months. I/we pushed him to look some of the stuff up and play the tutorials. He ended up being a menace and a time suck for everyone. There were half a dozen of so forum members who held his hand for months and yet he still didn't get the game or how to play it. He seems to have finally given up. Watched him go over to the HOI4 forum and come very close to derailing the entire launch because he never read the manual or played a tutorial. He was reporting non-existent bugs and the game broken before others took him to task. The guy is just a menace. We get less of them now, but they still pop up.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 8:46:46 PM   
thewood1

 

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And...I always say this...If people don't like my style in posting, let's see you jump in and offer help. Its typically the same cadre of people stepping up to help. Its gotten a little better recently, but still, offer up some help. If you're new, tell people what scenarios might help, etc.

When someone tells me they don't like how I offer help, first thing I do is look at how much help they offered. The more other people offer help, the less I feel a need.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 3/24/2018 8:47:39 PM >

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 9:00:25 PM   
ultradave


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Puciek

As a new player, what are all those resources you are referring to? Manual doesn't even explain basics of sonar and submerged detection, not even single example of how layer affects things, besides merely few lines that "it's hard". .....


It does actually. Section 8.7 pp 132-3

"8.7. UNDERSTANDING DEPTH BANDS
AND THE THERMAL LAYER
What follows is a brief summary of how the different depth ranges (re ected on the depth-presets on the unit throttle/altitude window) are modeled in COMMAND, and the tactical implications of each."

It has reasonably detailed descriptions of each depth band and at least an idea of what kind of detection and stealth you could expect at each, followed by some discussion about Convergence Zones".

Are you saying this is inadequate and you want more? (just asking - it's ok if that's how you feel)

The Basic Training submarine and warship tutorials give a good starting basis for submarine and ASW ops, and two of Uncle Mark's Tutorials (the Boston and the Toledo ones) are also good sub missions. And now there are the Submarine tutorials. All of these are good sandbox tutorials that can be modified to try different things over and over.

Apologies if these are things you already know, have used and are still up in the air about. I point them out on the chance you (general you not anyone in particular), didn't realize.

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Post #: 25
RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 9:05:56 PM   
ultradave


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Oh, and one thing to maybe help a lot of new players, because I can tell from the questions they DON'T do this.

1. Save the game.
2. Experiment - pull up the menus, try the attack, create the mission, SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
3. If it works, or you in the process learn how to make it work, drive on.
4. If it's totally FUBAR, then go back to your save, maybe try again, or then ask a question with - I looked it up, I tried this, it wasn't what I expected because of abc. I bet you'll get much friendlier responses.

I can tell with some of the questions I've answered that someone didn't even try pulling down some menus to look for a function or bring up the hotkey list, before asking.

Experiment - it's not a real war. No one will die :-)


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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 10:52:06 PM   
thewood1

 

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Oh my god...stopping being so harsh. Dave...what's come over you?

And this x1000...

"Experiment - it's not a real war. No one will die :-)"

except, no smiley face.

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RE: RTFM? - 3/24/2018 11:30:19 PM   
thewood1

 

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"It does actually. Section 8.7 pp 132-3"

Its funny, I haven't looked at that in probably three or four years. I had forgotten how much it explained about CZs and layers. Its not exhaustive, but is a great starting point to search either the forum or google.

So what we have is people complaining about the dearth of information...who seem to not have taken advantage of what's currently in there. Any manual is not going to teach all the details of modern naval warfare. But it is a starting point to understand some parts of the game. As in the other threads, I would not say you have to read the manual, but at least do a quick search.

The manual is out of date for a lot of the new big features. But it still has the basics of the game. Again, whats the point of updating the the manual with exhaustive detail if people aren't even using the current one?

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RE: RTFM? - 3/25/2018 12:00:37 AM   
Puciek

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ultradave


quote:

ORIGINAL: Puciek

As a new player, what are all those resources you are referring to? Manual doesn't even explain basics of sonar and submerged detection, not even single example of how layer affects things, besides merely few lines that "it's hard". .....


It does actually. Section 8.7 pp 132-3

"8.7. UNDERSTANDING DEPTH BANDS
AND THE THERMAL LAYER
What follows is a brief summary of how the different depth ranges (re ected on the depth-presets on the unit throttle/altitude window) are modeled in COMMAND, and the tactical implications of each."

It has reasonably detailed descriptions of each depth band and at least an idea of what kind of detection and stealth you could expect at each, followed by some discussion about Convergence Zones".

Are you saying this is inadequate and you want more? (just asking - it's ok if that's how you feel)

The Basic Training submarine and warship tutorials give a good starting basis for submarine and ASW ops, and two of Uncle Mark's Tutorials (the Boston and the Toledo ones) are also good sub missions. And now there are the Submarine tutorials. All of these are good sandbox tutorials that can be modified to try different things over and over.

Apologies if these are things you already know, have used and are still up in the air about. I point them out on the chance you (general you not anyone in particular), didn't realize.

It's nowhere near enough for someone who doesn't even know what thermal layer is. That is the difference in perspective between someone who has been deep into cmano and modern warfare and someone new to this. Like I will talk to my friend, who is relatively military savvy and served for two years, and when I try to explain the layer, sonars, it turned into about 5-6 paragraphs of conversation just to cover the big picture. And then it helps to have some sort of feedback on how sonars work, the recent addition of detection history is a start, but still, most of the submerged mechanics are hidden behind mystical mist until there is a depth charge exploding 300ft from you. So unless you know about recorder, and how to use it in edit mode to change sides, you have no feedback on how to even improve, just that you exploded. And often those are unknowns you didn't even know existed, as even finding the meaning of abbreviations used in the encyclopedia can be a quest on its own. I still didn't find a page that explains what FFG is and all the other ship classifications. And yet we have to rely on this, as players, to figure out what ship is it, and what is its role in looking at the database.
This isn't meant to criticize, but doing my best to provide the "newbie" point of view.

I am a big fan of the new tutorials, they really made it clear, and have a nice balance of handholding and freedom to learn and make mistakes. They could use more referencing to external reading about sonars, layers, sound profiles etc, but really a great step in the right direction to make the game more accessible.

On another note it's easy to just throw someone off deep end and then say "well, the game is not for you", but honestly that way it misses on a lot of players that simply needs a bit of help getting in, but then can get hooked up and research once they know the basics.

(in reply to ultradave)
Post #: 29
RE: RTFM? - 3/25/2018 12:37:54 AM   
thewood1

 

Posts: 4002
Joined: 11/27/2005
Status: offline
Its nowhere near enough for someone who can't do a basic search or use google. And, again, that is my point. The manual is only a start. There can't be a tutorial for every point that someone might not know. Again, a little self help goes an awfully long way.

So we have now shown a three page manual section explaining layers and CZs, at least two threads where more detail is given. What else is needed. The game is not here to teach all the basics of naval warfare before you start. Its here to let you experience naval warfare to learn. What I actually did for understanding sub warfare was to read the manual, try a couple tutorials, read a book on Cold War sub warfare, and then google the heck out of sonar performance, layers, and CZs.

I didn't come in and complain about the lack of documentation. I fired up the editor and tried a couple simple scenarios with God's Eye view on to see what happens. That is the learning part.

I am assuming since you went through the New Player section, you saw this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNQmDfRMWEM

Baloogan's tutorial videos have decent explanation of layers. Those videos are recommended in the new player section.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 3/25/2018 12:38:23 AM >

(in reply to Puciek)
Post #: 30
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