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RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone

 
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RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/11/2005 7:43:04 PM   
Lava


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Hi!

Indeed, the scenario itself had lots of errors. Do you think that this problem of having to wait long periods of time is more scenario specific or is a part of the game?

I do remember playing an "all of WWII" scenario that was abstracted so as to keep the numbers of different equipement down (all tanks were PzIV's, for example), and it ran quite smoothly.

Now I will say without hesitation that I am not an expert at this game, just love playing it, but it seemed to me that the major source of the problem "appeared" to be the quantity of units in the scenario.

Ray (alias Lava)

(in reply to Mantis)
Post #: 31
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/11/2005 10:26:11 PM   
Wolfie1

 

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Ray (Lava) One question - why do you insist on playing the AI? I play a number of wargames (ACOW, Campaign Series, WitP) and only play the AI enough to understand the mechanics, nothing beats the challenge of a Human opponent, I think things will change in 5-10 years but at the moment if you have internet access I don't see the point of playing an AI. Sorry if I've missed a major point.

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Post #: 32
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/11/2005 10:29:26 PM   
Mantis


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Ray - I think the errors are all design-related. The 'wait time' is something that could have been easily handled with events (capture of objective X = surrender of certain formations, and the beginning of the next part of the scenario). Events are quickly exhausted for scenarios of this nature, and it's likely that the designer didn't have enough of them available to invest them in this type of operation. It *could* be done, however, and have the game flow more smoothy, but likely the author chose to use them for other purposes.

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Post #: 33
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 2:21:02 AM   
Lava


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wolfie1

Ray (Lava) One question - why do you insist on playing the AI?


Well..

For a number of reasons. Primarily, nobody's feelings get hurt. (The AI doesn't have feelings.) This goes for both winning and losing. I remember once stomping a couple dudes at Gamespy playing Sid Meier's Gettysburg. They threw a huge tantrum and accused me of cheating. And come to mention it, another reason is.. cheating, especially with PBEM. (I think that's high on a lot of people's lists to get improved here.) And the last reason is... I just play for fun, to relax. Competitions, clans, la de da..., they are just too up tight for me.

Ray (alias Lava)

(in reply to Wolfie1)
Post #: 34
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 2:44:37 AM   
Lava


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mantis

Ray - I think the errors are all design-related.


Yea, I thought you'd say that.

The events in the scenario (which was the last I remember playing and trying to get to work), was a nightnare. Like I say, I'm not a expert by any means, so it was really difficult for me to figure out what a lot of the things were trying to do. One event, leading to another, which then took you to yet another and so forth; in what appeared to be no logical order. If I remember correctly there were somewhere around 400 events and even they did not complete the scenario.

I did, however, love his map and OOB. Tried to "finish" off the events, but it didn't make any difference.

It's been awhile since I've played the game. Your post almost motivates me to go back and completely redo the events, but I think I'll just wait for the new version of the game.

You all seem to have plenty of experience and are right up to date, so, looking forward to the Matrix edition.

Ray (alias Lava)

(in reply to Mantis)
Post #: 35
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 8:14:11 AM   
Charles_22


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lava

quote:

ORIGINAL: Wolfie1

Ray (Lava) One question - why do you insist on playing the AI?


Well..

For a number of reasons. Primarily, nobody's feelings get hurt. (The AI doesn't have feelings.) This goes for both winning and losing. I remember once stomping a couple dudes at Gamespy playing Sid Meier's Gettysburg. They threw a huge tantrum and accused me of cheating. And come to mention it, another reason is.. cheating, especially with PBEM. (I think that's high on a lot of people's lists to get improved here.) And the last reason is... I just play for fun, to relax. Competitions, clans, la de da..., they are just too up tight for me.

Ray (alias Lava)


Aw, how horrible. you're the antithesis to the ol' mantra Once you start PBEMing you'll never go back. I've never done it, but played enough hotseat to know better. Sounds like that ladder stuff is more of a job, than fun.

(in reply to Lava)
Post #: 36
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 1:27:03 PM   
steveh11Matrix


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I'm with Ray (Lava). I play games as games, to be enjoyed, to relax; not to get tense, angry and over-competitive. I have never had a good experience in PBEM, and only once had a good experience in MP at all (which was playing Naval Gunnery Combat, for those enquiring minds out there). I now play against the AI exclusively, except in such cases (such as Computer WiE) where there isn't one...

I do sometimes enjoy playing Face-to-Face, but that's mainly for the social aspect, which is almost entirely missing from PBEM play.

Games/Scenarios which are designed for PBEM play only hold no interest to me. Those which are heavily biased that way are of little interest. Fortunately TOAW is sufficiently flexible to avoid this in the main; with the only exceptions being those scenarios specifically designed that way. I would contend that these scenarios are only part-finished, I'm sure the scenario designers would disagree!

As for the ratio of MP vs SP gamers, in the hobby as a whole I feel certain I'm in the majority, but I'm prepared to believe that this is different for TOAW, subject to confirmation. The game is now quite old, only the real enthusiasts will be still playing it, and that subset may not be representative of the full variety of players who find it at Matrix.

As for how vocal each group is: I agree that as a group MP players must, virtually by definition, be more talkative than SP players. I'll continue to try to correct the impression that's therefore given that SP play doesn't matter, because, you see, it really, really does.

Steve.

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Post #: 37
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 2:42:35 PM   
Nemo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lava

quote:

ORIGINAL: Wolfie1

Ray (Lava) One question - why do you insist on playing the AI?


Well..

For a number of reasons. Primarily, nobody's feelings get hurt. (The AI doesn't have feelings.) This goes for both winning and losing. I remember once stomping a couple dudes at Gamespy playing Sid Meier's Gettysburg. They threw a huge tantrum and accused me of cheating. And come to mention it, another reason is.. cheating, especially with PBEM. (I think that's high on a lot of people's lists to get improved here.) And the last reason is... I just play for fun, to relax. Competitions, clans, la de da..., they are just too up tight for me.

Ray (alias Lava)




I think you're misrepresenting PBEM and the gamers that use it.

It's not only (and by far) about competition, clans, ladder stuff and so forth. It's mainly about playing with someone. I've been playing PBEM for a couple of years now (after getting tired of the useless P.O.) and I'm nearing the hundred game mark. A fair number of these were not reported on any ladder as my opponents didn't care or because they were playtests. Cheating is definitely not an issue because I trust my fellow gamers and same goes for winning or losing: I've taken the hell out of some, I've been badly mauled in turn - no big deal in the end and I've never seen anyone get mad because of this. Of course, you'll always find the (very) small residual percentage of morons as in everyday life but on the whole you gain a finer understanding of the game and you get to know a fine group of like-minded people.
That said, the programmed opponent obviously needs some improvement (fact is it's barely usable in its present form).


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Post #: 38
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 2:47:49 PM   
Nemo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Charles_22


Aw, how horrible. you're the antithesis to the ol' mantra Once you start PBEMing you'll never go back. I've never done it, but played enough hotseat to know better.
Hotseat is not PBEM - you're way too familiar with your opponent

quote:

Sounds like that ladder stuff is more of a job, than fun.
The other way round.

<edited because of a typo>

< Message edited by Nemo69 -- 10/12/2005 9:54:51 PM >


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Post #: 39
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 3:53:05 PM   
Lava


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo69

I think you're misrepresenting PBEM and the gamers that use it.



No, not at all.

As a matter of fact I'm not representing or misrepresenting anything or anyone, just stating my preferences and my experiences.

You know, when I was a kid, we used to play cowboys and indians. It didn't matter who "won", it was all about having fun. As I became an adult, entering into a "competitive" society, I felt I needed to "prove" something, but I left that to my public life. In my private life, I enjoyed playing with others, but all too frequently ran into those "grogs" and "rule lawyers" that just really turned me off. One had to be really carefull about picking your "friends" such that gaming was a matter of fun, not a competition of who ow3ed who. I am quite sure that one can easily find good, fun opponents to play PBEM and have no doubt there are lots of people who enjoy doing so. Kewl, but I just can't be bothered. When I sit down I want to play.. not pour over a single move of a game which might stretch for weeks, if not months. As a mature adult (also known as an old fart), I find myself leaning more and more towards the "kid" viewpoint. If it's fun, who cares who wins.

As for the AI in TOAW, I think it does a reasonably good job. If the scenario isn't sufficiently challenging and I like it, well, I know how to use the editor enough that I can give it a little help.

Ray (alias Lava)

(in reply to Nemo69)
Post #: 40
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 7:05:54 PM   
TheRockSal

 

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I've been a wargamer for years. I even bought Panthers in the Shadows just for the manual. I purchased two or three board wargames and dreamed about playing those amazingly detailed games but never had any friends who were into that.

I personally have never understood the allure of PBEM. When I play a game, i want to play it right "now" - for as short or as long of a period of time as I want. PBEM, to me, slows down and somewhat ruins the enjoyment. I had a few Crown of Glory PBEM games going and they were somewhat fun but when the turn got back to me after a day or five, the flow of the game was just not there. I played numerous games against the A.I. while waiting for those PBEM turns and those were much more enjoyable. Now, I've played TACOPs on a LAN with a roommate and love to play some direct TCP/IP games but PBEM, even if both/all players are playing and sending turns on a gaming night, is just too slow and, for me, just doesnt cut it.


(in reply to Lava)
Post #: 41
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 8:01:06 PM   
Crimguy


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PBEM is nice for 1) competition, and 2) a decent game with unexpected results. Unless the AI is really smart (which it never is), AI provides a challenge for only a limited amount of time, unless of course it's cheating.

The one game I've played where the AI never ceases to amaze me is in Highway to the Reich. Puts up a good fight every time. This is also due to the play balance put in by the scenario designers.

HPS engine does an ok job too.

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Post #: 42
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 9:02:06 PM   
steveh11Matrix


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PBEM is nice for competition, yes - but that isn't what I'm after. I get plenty of that professionally. A decent game with unexpected results? It depends on the game, how many times I've played the scenario, etc.

I think the allure is to find a level at which you have to play reasonably well, but if you do, you will win. This is NOT a competition thing, it's an enjoyment thing.

For example, in my latest WitP game I rather optimistically sent a pair of carriers against what I thought (hoped, really) was a pair of Japanese carriers. When it turned out to be all 6 of their fleet carriers, I lost both of mine. Fine, I can handle that. The fun thing now is trying to recover and first hold Guadalcanal, then reconquer the rest of the South Pacific. The AI is fine and dandy for giving me a game, you see, I don't have to worry about getting a turn done in a timely manner, I can play at my own pace when I like and still have fun.

I hate generalisations, so I'm going to make one . Those who have enjoyed the PBEM experience will love it, and say so loud and often, unable to believe that others feel differently. This is generally a gregarious and talkative group, (otherwise they wouldn't find the style attractive in the first place) so therefore they will be the ones making most of the posts in the various fora. I have no problem with this, provided the game's evolution is not skewed away from attempting to provide good solo play.

Steve.

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Post #: 43
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 9:27:03 PM   
Mantis


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Not me. If the AI in TOAW could deal with me, I'd virtually never play PBEM. There is a social aspect to it, which I enjoy, but for me it's all about the gaming. I like playing what I want, when I want, and if I feel like stopping, or dropping a game, or switching sides/restarting, it's fine. I prefer solo for that. My problem is that I can set the AI to max, give the computer a +2, and still kick the living hells out of it *every* single time. I have soloed through some scenarios, and found myself freezing the computers turns, and actually going in and moving it's units to the 'proper' locations, sending the reinforcements to the proper front, attacking my weak flanks, (and defending the computer's flanks, which it has NO idea how to do). I realized I'd be better off just playing both sides of the game myself from the get-go, so why not PBEM? I have done a PBEM game of High Command (once!) and the person involved got me to try TOAW. This is the only game I have ever played PBEM. I do it because, quite frankly, I'll never enjoy TOAW again otherwise. I'd prefer to hotseat it (social gaming, like sitting around the old 3R board with my buddies), but unless Norm and Matrix can *really* boost the AI, there simply is no possibility of the PO giving me any sort of a challenge, even when I dummy-down my play.

From roughly 5 years of involvement with TOAW in forums, and several years running the TOAW section at SZO, I can say that this is true for 99% of all PBEM gamers. There are a few scenarios I have come across that are viable vs. PO, but these were strictly designed with that in mind. I wish there were more of them.

< Message edited by Mantis -- 10/12/2005 9:35:40 PM >

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RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 9:50:49 PM   
Pippin


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quote:

I personally have never understood the allure of PBEM. When I play a game, i want to play it right "now" - for as short or as long of a period of time as I want.


I had much trouble trying to persuade friends to get into TOAW due to the slow PBEM system. Hopefully TCP/IP kicks in this time around, and people won't have much excuse anymore to avoid it.



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Post #: 45
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 10:04:13 PM   
Nemo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pippin

quote:

I personally have never understood the allure of PBEM. When I play a game, i want to play it right "now" - for as short or as long of a period of time as I want.


I had much trouble trying to persuade friends to get into TOAW due to the slow PBEM system. Hopefully TCP/IP kicks in this time around, and people won't have much excuse anymore to avoid it.


TCP/IP could do the trick for small to medium scenarios and neighbouring time zones.

You'll have a hard time however playing TCP/IP with players spread all over the time zones, all the more as you just won't do your turns in one sitting with certain scenarios.

Anyway, I feel the whole PBEM/solitaire argument is in fact a moot point: let's improve the PO, by all means, so that it presents a more credible challenge, it certainly won't hurt

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Post #: 46
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/12/2005 10:21:13 PM   
Nemo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lava

quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo69

I think you're misrepresenting PBEM and the gamers that use it.





No, not at all.

As a matter of fact I'm not representing or misrepresenting anything or anyone, just stating my preferences and my experiences.

My bad then.

quote:



You know, when I was a kid, we used to play cowboys and indians. It didn't matter who "won", it was all about having fun. As I became an adult, entering into a "competitive" society, I felt I needed to "prove" something, but I left that to my public life. In my private life, I enjoyed playing with others, but all too frequently ran into those "grogs" and "rule lawyers" that just really turned me off. One had to be really carefull about picking your "friends" such that gaming was a matter of fun, not a competition of who ow3ed who. I am quite sure that one can easily find good, fun opponents to play PBEM and have no doubt there are lots of people who enjoy doing so. Kewl, but I just can't be bothered. When I sit down I want to play.. not pour over a single move of a game which might stretch for weeks, if not months. As a mature adult (also known as an old fart), I find myself leaning more and more towards the "kid" viewpoint.
Obviously, we had quite different experiences when engaging in PBEM. God knows I love friendly competition but work and family put strict limits on my gaming time so I wouldn't be bothered to play if I didn't find it fun in the first place.

Yeah, I played cowboys and indians a lot too

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lava
If it's fun, who cares who wins.
Ditto, be it a ladder game or not.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lava

As for the AI in TOAW, I think it does a reasonably good job.
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one

< Message edited by Nemo69 -- 10/12/2005 10:22:42 PM >


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Post #: 47
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/13/2005 2:37:08 AM   
steveh11Matrix


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Well, it's fair to say I've not played TOAW as a PBEM, but I fail to see the difference in this respect to any other wargame. Each to their own, I guess!

Steve.

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Post #: 48
RE: Nice analysis at Strategy Zone - 10/13/2005 3:10:01 AM   
Lava


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@Nemo69

Actually, though I am not a PBEMer, I'm thankfull you lot have kept up with the game and I am sure your experience and indepth knowledge will greatly assist in making TOAW - The Matrix Edition an even better game.

Ray (alias Lava)

(in reply to steveh11Matrix)
Post #: 49
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