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About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 8:36:54 AM   
nukkxx5058


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Hi, I was wondering whether I'm the only one to be struggling to win scenarios (My guess is that I'm not ). In fact, I never managed to win one single scenario the first time I played it, which makes me question the realism. After all, in real life, you have just one try.

I recon that I'm definitely not a great player so this might explain. But I was wondering whether CMO top guns can (and do) win totally new scenarios the first time they play them (no respawn, no reloads) ?

For example, Kashmir fire scens seem particularly hard to win to me. I really love the DLC and the story it tells (and the Indo-Pakistani conflict is of great interest to me) but I haven't managed to win a single scen the first time I played them and get my @$$ badly kicked all the time

What about you guys ? Would appreciate your thoughts (about KF but also other DLCs scenarios).

Thx
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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 11:29:27 AM   
ultradave


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For me it just depends on the scenario. Win some, lose some. Sometimes it's a learning experience ("well, THAT didn't work!").

Some of the scenario designers are exceptionally devious and wily. And I need practice in the art of modern strike packages - ECM, neutralize AA, bomb, egress.

As a result of all that I don't sweat it when I lose the first time. My real world experience was as a field artillery paratrooper officer, far removed from this game. The sub as my avatar is because I just retired from almost 40 years designing and testing them (NOT, mind you, operating them).

Dave

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 11:46:03 AM   
DWReese

 

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I do believe that your evaluation has some merit. It is difficult to win most of the scenarios the first time through.

Why do people lose so much? Probably because they don't read the scenario description and the briefing. Having an understanding of your objective, your equipment, and that your opponent is essential to winning.

Additionally, as you indicated, scenarios are often over-built. The scenario designers often use the best equipment available, and they often load the scenario with lots of it. Are they realistic? Probably not. But, scenarios that are actually realistic can be boring. An example can be, "find this task force/sub and sink it." Well, you search all over the place and it's nowhere to be found. I can think of a few scenarios like that. If there weren't other "things" to do in the scenario, it could get really boring.

Sometimes the scenario designer will throw you off by giving you spurious information. Sometimes they will take you by the hand and lead you directly to the task. The tutorials are like that.

Some scenarios even throw in some "side missions" to occupy some "dead space" such as "rescue this hostage" or "pick up a downed pilot." These are filler items, and they are designed to keep you busy while other things are being set up.

I've found that most scenario designers are really good, and that they will give you plenty to do. As I said earlier, I also believe that if you spend more time reading about the scenario, and the briefing, and the objective, then you will have a lot more success. But, sadly, most just want to jump in and play, and they don't fully understand the objective, or know their adversary, let alone their own equipment.

I look at each new scenario as being a Christmas present. It's a surprise. You can only unwrap it once. After the paper is off, the surprise has been revealed. So, enjoy what is being placed in front of you. Take in all that the scenario has to offer. Enjoy the moment, and don't worry about "winning" because, as you said, it's not likely going to happen.

I particularly love the scenarios that are randomized. By that I mean, they can be different each time. The objective may be the same, but the number of units and where there are, or even if they are present, is always in question. This makes the scenario timeless, and it's fun each time that you play it. (I do that for each scenario that I create. I create them for myself, therefore I need them to change so that I don't ever get bored because I "know" what is going to happen.)

Many scenario designers make the scenario challenging, because if they didn't, it wouldn't be much fun.

If you want to "win", then I suggest that you READ everything BEFORE you begin play. Every word written in the scenario description and the briefing is there for a reason. The scenario designers do a marvelous job, and I applaud their efforts. As I said, each scenario, to many anyway, is like a Christmas present. You can definitely better your score if you READ the briefing and follow the storyline. Without fully understanding the scenario and its objective, and just beginning to play without reading it, you are just shooting into the dark and hoping for the best.

Good luck.

Doug


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Post #: 3
RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 11:49:33 AM   
TitaniumTrout


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I rarely "win" a scenario on the first try. But I think in the real world we're assuming success and failure is binary, when I doubt everything is a knock out or a loss, but something in the middle. For most scenarios or campaigns there is no tomorrow, no reason to preserve the force. At least unless the point loss accounts for it. To me the joy is in discovering the interaction of all the weapons systems, terrain, pathing, and whatever unique hook the designer has presented me.



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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 12:06:57 PM   
BDukes

 

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I was never a big supporter of the difficulty and complexity ratings because they're so subjective. This has become more apparent as I've gotten older and less crunchy

In terms of winning the first time you play. You could just suck? Have you considered that possibility? It's something I've had to face, getting older..

It is true the GAME OVER screen no longer exists in mass-market gaming but CMO is niche and scenario authors are like any other creative. They design to what they like and hope you like it too (but not always!). It's not always about the win, but about telling a story. Sometimes its just showing a logistics model

In terms of what you like. Who am I to tell you what you like or what you should? It's up to you. If you don't like an author or publisher's work take a pass next time and pick something you will win at. It's not any different than discovering you don't like an author or DC movies (ahem!). Course the trend now is to go on social media and destroy them!

Mike


< Message edited by BDukes -- 10/16/2021 12:54:41 PM >


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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 12:59:08 PM   
thewood1

 

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One thing I see is new(ish) players try to jump right into complex scenarios without becoming versed in various aspects of the game. It can be a very complex game if a scenario designer brings all possible aspects like cargo/logistics, tankers, carriers, integrated air defence, amphib attacks, etc. There are a lot of smaller and less complex scenarios in the standalone and community folders. Battel of Latakia and its upgrade The Hunters, Khark Island, Dawn Strike (a good one for learning carrier ops in combat), Irish-Spanish Fish war, and the best for ASuW is all four First Contact scenarios.

Those are all relatively simple scenarios to understand and will give you on the job training beyond the tutorials. Also keep in mind that larger and more complex scenarios require a lot of planning up front before hitting start. In most, you'll spend more time planning than running. I typically do a lot of planning for recon and such up front. Run for a bit, then get into the real planning. I think a lot of newer players jump into those larger scenarios without doing enough planning.

btw, I only "win" half the first time play through. But the definition of a win is also fluid.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 10/16/2021 2:09:25 PM >


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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 1:52:12 PM   
vettim89


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As some one whose designed a few scenarios, I would say that IMO the goal of a scenario designer is to present a challenge to the players. So maybe to a certain extent, scenarios are "not fair" to the player. Considering you are playing against an AI that while being quite vigorous can only act in ways that the scenario designer prescribes for it. So it may be necessary to "stack the deck" against the player a bit. Also, some scenarios are designed for the player to lose (Northern Fury: H-Hour as an example). As weird as it may seem the goal of those scenarios is not to win but to lose "less badly"



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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 2:58:19 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

After all, in real life, you have just one try.


That's not totally true, in many cases real life military officers and commands have rehearsed certain scenarios numerous and sometimes hundreds of times. The average Egyptian soldier had practiced crossing the Suez Canal numerous times before actually doing it. Actually, when Egypt got away from the set piece battle and had to improvise (and to your point) is when things went bad and you see that over and over again. So I looks at multiple plays as the exercises. That's why I'm a fan of teleporting and random events.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 5:45:35 PM   
OldSarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: nukkxx5058

After all, in real life, you have just one try.


A large part of the value in a sim like CMO is to allow the player the opportunity to try out different techniques and tactics. If a plan fails, then, why did it fail? What went wrong? What other courses of action could be taken that might work?

Before the U.S Army invaded Iraq, Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, V Corps commander called for a wargame that would pit the 'blue' (V Corps) plan against the likely course of action that the Iraqis were expected to take.

The introduction to the book On Wargaming, this is a really good book to read, explains how V Corps used lessons from their wargaming exercise and altered their course of action and avoided the heavy casualties everyone was expecting.

Scenarios can be poorly designed, but many of the scenarios available for CMO are reasonably balanced and many have been play-tested. Sure they can be tough, but if you employ reasonable tactics you're likely to do well.

Losing a scenario just means that your plans need some adjustment or even a completely different approach.

HTH


< Message edited by OldSarge -- 10/16/2021 6:14:33 PM >


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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 6:43:31 PM   
ultradave


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All good advice. I would note also, that some scenarios are really not winnable (maybe in points but not in actually winning the battle). Northern Fury 1 (H-Hour), is a good example. Are the Russians going to demolish you? Yes, they are. There's not much you can do about that. It's just a question of how bloody a nose you can give them in the process. It's not expected that you could defeat or turn back the Russian attacks, and it's part of the storyline of Northern Fury. There are probably others like that but that one particularly comes to mind.

Dave

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 7:42:44 PM   
Randomizer


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CMO scenarios are by default, assigned a "Difficulty" by the scenario author but these are of limited use to actually gauge how hard it might be to "win" any particular scenario. I know from first hand experience that situations thought by the scenario writer to be difficult to complete have been simple for the community. Ideally, the Players themselves are in the best place to determine how difficult a scenario is but many submitted for testing fail to get enough constructive criticism for the author to tell how difficult the scenario actually is.

There is some great advice above particularly, read EVERYTHING provided by the author, including designer notes if present. Authors seldom provide spoilers and discovering the "whys", which usually form part of the notes, can be invaluable in unwrapping the "how".

You should also understand that in the real world, no effective commander ever sends their forces into a "fair" or "balanced" fight if they can possibly avoid it, however this makes for boring simulations/gaming. That said there are some scenarios that you need to work at it to fail but these too can be instructive. Use your defeats, such as they may be, as learning experiences. Also research the weapons systems of the scenario or at least its era. I spend most of my CMO in the Cold War and am effectively useless in modern situations where technology tends to rule. Playing the DLC, The Korean Missile Crisis as Russia took four tries to accomplish something resembling a win but that's all part of the challenge.

Play with the editor, cook up situations and even conduct rehearsals, effort expended to learn how things interact in CMO is always time well spent and is invaluable for learning how to play effectively. Good Luck.

-C

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 9:42:43 PM   
thewood1

 

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"Play with the editor"

This is stellar advice for anyone struggling with how to play. Not enough players do it. If you have a hard time with a scenario, jump into the editor and let it run while monitoring the AI's reaction. This is a good way to learn all the various capabilities of units and missions.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 10:31:24 PM   
kevinkins


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Back in the day, Combat Mission Scenarios would be posted in 3 parts in one zip file: One file to be played from side a, the next from from side b vs the AI. The third would be balanced for head to head play via email. A lot of work, but it did leverage a good map and the historical research behind the scenario to the max. A game like CMO is hard to get balanced in just a single scenario file. Some designers are really skilled - and hats off to them when they pull it off.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/16/2021 10:36:53 PM   
thewood1

 

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Through lua, you can adjust side missions, postures, units, etc. depending on player side. Still hard to balance, but it can be done and I think its a tool some designers use.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 12:28:42 AM   
kevinkins


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While I agree learning the editor and lua is, in the long run, the best approach to CMO, we can also understand that many players with families do not have the time to do so. More often than not, a player gets home from a busy day and just wants to grab a cold beer and have fun killing bad guys. Scenarios and DLC have not supported those casual players. They are large and difficult. No player wants to spend months in tutorials every night nor ever winning. I wonder how many copies of Command have dried up on hard drives because players can't get into it? 90 percent?

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 3:01:32 AM   
thewood1

 

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I'm not saying new players need to learn lua. I'm saying designers can adjust scenarios based on the side chosen.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 3:29:15 AM   
Randomizer


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quote:

I wonder how many copies of Command have dried up on hard drives because players can't get into it? 90 percent?

It would be nice to get some attestation for this value, otherwise it's just garbage, like virtually all unsupported Internet statistics and of zero help to the CMO community. Presumably you would not wish to see CMO dumbed down to World of Warships realism just to cater to the casual, after-work crowd if such a subset of the Community even exists.

You have made some significant contributions here that have benefited the Members of this forum so it's a bit disappointing to see such useless hyperbole over your signature.

-C


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Post #: 17
RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 8:24:20 AM   
goldfinger35


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I have played many scenarios and I have won all of them first time I played them, except some Gunner98's which often too complex for my playstyle.
And my playstyle / winning strategy is: I prepare for every scenario, take notes etc. For larger scenarios my preparation before I press play button takes hours/days!
Also, I micro-manage a lot of things (air to air combat, some ASW aspect, submarine engagements etc)

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 8:51:37 AM   
nukkxx5058


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I think that PBEM is a game changer. You are now facing another human. Some will be (much) better than you, other will be worse. And all, at one point in time, WILL make tragic mistakes.

PBEM is the future for CMO. And solo is a great way to train for PBEM.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 10:11:08 AM   
kevinkins


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The 90 percent question was used to keep the discussion going. I bet players have purchased Command not completely understanding the commitment they were undertaking. I do think there is a subset that would like smaller easier scenarios prepared by the professional designers. Ones you can do well at in a manageable amount of time and not have to play over and over. Say finish during a weekend. Casual player was the wrong phrase; Busy is better. We generally point players to community scenarios once they get through the tutorials. That does help bridge them over to larger DLC types if they want to play large battles at some point. If I purchased Command in 2013, I would never would have had the time to learn it until I retired. Yes, it would have sat on my hard drive until then. The game requires a lot of time to learn from scratch. Potential players should look into the reviews of Command to better understand how complex the sim is and if it will fit into their schedules.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 10:55:02 AM   
maverick3320

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

quote:

I wonder how many copies of Command have dried up on hard drives because players can't get into it? 90 percent?

It would be nice to get some attestation for this value, otherwise it's just garbage, like virtually all unsupported Internet statistics and of zero help to the CMO community. Presumably you would not wish to see CMO dumbed down to World of Warships realism just to cater to the casual, after-work crowd if such a subset of the Community even exists.

You have made some significant contributions here that have benefited the Members of this forum so it's a bit disappointing to see such useless hyperbole over your signature.

-C




Here's a data point for you: I'm a military dude by profession. I enjoy military sims on pc. I love the genre and played hundreds of hours of the various Harpoon versions. When I first saw this game on Steam, as I always do, I perused reviews and watched several videos of gameplay prior to purchase. The potential complexity of the game was an initial deterrent in that I knew I would have to spend 10-20 hours just learning the basic mechanics of the game. As a full-time+ job holder and a father, husband, and someone who also likes to read and stay in shape, I wasn't in a rush to purchase this commitment.

The only gamechanger for me was Covid. If that had not happened and I wasn't working remotely, I likely wouldn't have purchased the game at all, so I struggle to understand the level of badge protecting around here. "I figured it out, so should they!" is a common mantra, but just understand that not everyone out there is retired/has no family to consider/spends the bulk of their waking lives in their basement.

Clearly in a game this deep the mechanics will take time to learn but there is nothing wrong with various levels of difficulty in the same game nor is there any use in ostracizing those that seek it. Also keep in mind that there are folks out there reading these forums that may have not created a profile or purchased the game yet, so when newcomers seem to attract the hairy "READ THE MANUAL" posts coming from under the CMO bridge, it may be a turn off to those that haven't even given the game a try.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 12:23:57 PM   
BDukes

 

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Wow and I thought I was grumpy Microaggression city. Least we can all pound sand well together!

The discords seem to be the place to go these days for better interactions with this game or even during streams where people are talking to each other instead of whatever this is.

Just a suggestion

Mike


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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 2:08:18 PM   
Sardaukar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kevinkins

The 90 percent question was used to keep the discussion going. I bet players have purchased Command not completely understanding the commitment they were undertaking. I do think there is a subset that would like smaller easier scenarios prepared by the professional designers. Ones you can do well at in a manageable amount of time and not have to play over and over. Say finish during a weekend. Casual player was the wrong phrase; Busy is better. We generally point players to community scenarios once they get through the tutorials. That does help bridge them over to larger DLC types if they want to play large battles at some point. If I purchased Command in 2013, I would never would have had the time to learn it until I retired. Yes, it would have sat on my hard drive until then. The game requires a lot of time to learn from scratch. Potential players should look into the reviews of Command to better understand how complex the sim is and if it will fit into their schedules.


You should buy WitP-AE... I have played it and it's predecessor something like 20 yrs and still learn new things.

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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 7:00:53 PM   
boogabooga

 

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Do you know what issues you are having specifically? Is it not knowing what to do in a big-picture sense or not understanding technical details?

P.Gatcomb has a great YouTube channel with tutorials that go more through the nuts and bolts of how the simulation works regarding technical considerations. Also, he occasionally uses simple vignettes to explores tactics regarding what to do against various technologies (ex. How to defeat "modern" SAMs, etc.). Highly recommended.

I would also concur that the setup to prepare to play a large scenario should take some time and is REALLY important. Don't expect to wing-it in a serious scenario and succeed. You should have a plan for every platform (even if you plan not to use it), and ideally have everything assigned to a mission (even if the mission is currently inactive or only uses a portion of what is assigned to it at a time). Also, you should have some contingency missions set up for "stuff" that you might need or to give your units a plan B and C, or to get them to switch roles when they finish a primary mission.

In my case, I started playing Falcon 3.0 and 4.0 back in the 1990s, so I kind of "got" air operations simulation to some extent, enough that the CMO learning curve was lowered a lot there. So, flight simulation might be another path to understanding CMO better.

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Post #: 24
RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 10:07:05 PM   
kevinkins


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Not sure who you are addressing, but if me, let's clarify. There is an unmet market opportunity for the powers that be to develop small to medium size geopolitically relevant scenarios by the real pros apart from the community pack. I will call the DLC "Weekend Warriors". Many new players get through the excellent tutorials and need a way to get to larger scenarios. If they want to. The overall wargaming community that pays the bills is not into planning out on paper over days a battle at the kitchen table and then lose that battle over the course of more wasted days and nights. Explain that to the wife and kids.

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Post #: 25
RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 10:55:25 PM   
Randomizer


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quote:

There is an unmet market opportunity for the powers that be to develop small to medium size geopolitically relevant scenarios by the real pros apart from the community pack.

You're going to have to show your work otherwise it's just asserted without evidence and may be rejected without evidence. What we have seen is a couple of anecdotes, the plural of which has never been data.

The Internet is chock full of Statistics Pulled Out Of Rectum (SPOORs) and claims such as that above and in Post #21 above should be backed up with data if you expect anybody to take them seriously.

-C

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Post #: 26
RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/17/2021 11:37:29 PM   
kevinkins


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What on Earth are you talking about?

I do like the cat picture BTW. Our Maine Coon just hit 7 months and is jet black too.

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Post #: 27
RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/19/2021 10:53:24 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

It would be nice to get some attestation for this value, otherwise it's just garbage, like virtually all unsupported Internet statistics and of zero help to the CMO community. Presumably you would not wish to see CMO dumbed down to World of Warships realism just to cater to the casual, after-work crowd if such a subset of the Community even exists.


There is good advice in the original post. I for one have been producing many monster scenarios and am trying to create smaller, more tailored scenarios that use more Lua. I do agree I look at many scenarios authored by others and think, "I'd like to play this one." but never have the time to get into it. So I do think there is a need for more smaller, less ambitious scenarios. There are a few designers that do this very well, but maybe not enough.

< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 10/19/2021 10:54:10 PM >


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RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/20/2021 12:51:22 AM   
boogabooga

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: kevinkins

Not sure who you are addressing


It was the OP, or whoever is struggling with CMO, I guess.

(in reply to kevinkins)
Post #: 29
RE: About scenarios difficulty - 10/21/2021 4:47:29 PM   
SeaQueen


Posts: 1403
Joined: 4/14/2007
From: Washington D.C.
Status: offline
I'm terrible at most publicly available scenarios. I find them to be completely unplayable or infuriating to the point I have to stop. It's not because I can't strike targets. I'm great at killing stuff. I just think that I execute the planning process I've been taught, and many scenarios are a sort of assembled "splat" of stuff that should really be a different scenario or even a different game.


< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 10/21/2021 4:51:43 PM >

(in reply to nukkxx5058)
Post #: 30
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