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Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02?

 
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Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/16/2010 2:13:53 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Hi all
I spent some time reviewing the Mantis list of bugs (not enhancements), and I think Marshall may have conquered it. The outstanding items are either occur under such unusual cicumstances that they can not be repeated, or work properly and are not bugs. Yes, there are some very good, relatively simple enhancements suggested that will improve the game consderably, but in terms of bugs I think Marshall has taken it as far as he can go for now.
Maybe only Mantis 631: Losses from naval battles not appearing in logs, 640: Enemy depot blocks city occupation and 636: Not awarding PP to defender when defender wins a siege battle through a tie might need looking at. But these are no exactly major, and can likely wait until 1.08.03 or the full 1.08.02 non-BETA release.
Am I missing anything, or are we there?

< Message edited by Dancing Bear -- 5/16/2010 2:15:21 PM >
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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/19/2010 12:40:16 PM   
pzgndr

 

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Agreed, Marshall has tackled most of the lingering issues.  Lots of bugs have been fixed, pbem games should be faster with sim dip/eco phases, etc.  Hopefully the release of the v1.08.02 beta sometime soon will generate enough positive feedback to attract players who have drifted away and other potential players who have been sitting on the fence.

Are we there there yet?  I think for multiplayer pbem games the veterans should be happier with things, although the classic map and OOB campaign still needs to be developed.  For newbies and others looking for decent game with some or all computer opponents, we still need some AI improvements and enhancements in future patches.  The naval game still needs some attention and the game editor needs a few more features added.  Maybe a lot could be done to close these gaps with v1.09 and beyond, but for now v1.08 should be ready for prime time. 

(in reply to Dancing Bear)
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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/19/2010 4:30:02 PM   
NeverMan

 

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Yes, the game has less bugs, that's for certain, especially compared to when it was "officially" released by MatrixGames for profit.

PBEM needs to get faster. I was thinking about how my life was now compared to when I started playing some of my PBEM games.... so different, that's how long these PBEM games take. For example, I use to be able to respond with my turns in no time flat... now? My group is lucky if they get them at all. Point is that PBEM games are ruined by the slowness of the system.

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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/19/2010 10:49:52 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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I'm in full agreement with Neverman. The PBEM is slow because players must submit their turns in sequence which is built in the game system. Throw in the fact that the game momentum is so easily broken by one slack player/lost email and it is a tough game to play.

The sim phases will help a lot because they don't rely on the one player in front of you completing his turn. All 7 players should be able to complete a sim phase in an evening, not a week, and a player will notice if the other players are doing their dip phase, then he should also be up.

It should also be easy to speed up many battles by letting players opt to have the AI decide on casualties for rounds 2 and 3 of combats (and a trivial battle rule). A land phase skipping option should not be that hard. Some way to track lost game files, which is maybe IP play (missed emails account half of all the delays).

But the real big time waster is the reinforcement phase. Do any of those purists who insisted on having this as a sequence turn still feel that way? Its too bad there was such an uproar against making this a sim phase.

A game with a sim dip, sim rein, partly skipped naval phase, and a partly skipped land phase could do a game month or two a week, and a game in less than two years, not much slower than most board games.

I am not saying this is going to happen. The best advice is be prepared to be very patient.

Alternatively, you throw out the whole system and have three sim land/land phases per month, with all reinforcement happening in the first phase of the month. Three sim phases (i.e. every corps would move one area per "week") would be done in three days (much less if skipping is applied), so you could do a game in several months. It depends on what you think is great about the game. Was it moving in sequence, or was it the economics and game balance?

< Message edited by Dancing Bear -- 5/19/2010 10:51:41 PM >

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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/20/2010 12:43:00 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

Do any of those purists who insisted on having this as a sequence turn still feel that way? Its too bad there was such an uproar against making this a sim phase.


Pardon me while I chuckle. Geez, the old flame wars about how everything in the computer adaptation HAD to be exactly the same as the boardgame version or else the oh-so-delicate play balance would be catastrophically ruined. Uh-huh. In reality, this is impossible and impractical to achieve, as players are coming to realize. Yes, open this up for more debate and see what folks are now willing to compromise on for a more "playable" computer game.

quote:

The PBEM is slow because players must submit their turns in sequence which is built in the game system. Throw in the fact that the game momentum is so easily broken by one slack player/lost email and it is a tough game to play.


Marshall has stated that he is looking at some way to automate the turn loading, which should cut down the annoyance with that. The other stuff, the normal pbem gaming issues? That's true for any game and any gaming group, so it's not an EiANW issue to "fix." I'm still curious about that VASSAL benchmark for pbem game speed, and how seven different players can zip through all the boardgame phases any faster than they can in EiANW...

< Message edited by pzgndr -- 5/20/2010 12:45:01 PM >

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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/20/2010 1:52:13 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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Frankly guys, I think the only things left that I can do to streamline PBEM a little more are the integrated email transport and zipping which is coded BUT not released to the testers yet. This will slightly increase the game size and require .NET framework to be installed to implement BUT they are only options and not necessary so if you are against or cannot install the .NET framework then these won't be options for you.

_____________________________

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Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/21/2010 3:24:11 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis

Frankly guys, I think the only things left that I can do to streamline PBEM a little more are the integrated email transport and zipping which is coded BUT not released to the testers yet. This will slightly increase the game size and require .NET framework to be installed to implement BUT they are only options and not necessary so if you are against or cannot install the .NET framework then these won't be options for you.


Hi Marshall
actually I think there are three things that can be done that are 100 times better than the above:
1) add to battles an option "done and let AI complete battle" in addition to the simple "done" button, so that the AI can run those battles that are foregone conclusions and the file exchange is just a formality. This code already exists for AI vs player or AI vs AI battles, and this is just a matter of adding a button to use what already exists, and would speed up wars significantly.
2) Add to the skip menu, an option to "let the AI complete my next land phase" (don't make this a continuous option). I notice that the AI very rarely does anything during a land phase when at not war, so this is a safe option for many nations (As and Ps under enforced peace, Spain, Russia and Turkey in most phases after late 1805). Again this code already exists, and this is just a matter of adding a button to allow players to use it what is already there. This would cut out a small, but signficant number of land phases, and must be easy to do.
3) Allow players to add reinforcements during the sim diplomacy phase (if they want to), instead of (or in addition to) the reinforcement phase. This would allow 90% of reinforcement phases to be skipped with no loss in game utility. This is just a matter of adding a second set of "add reinforcements" buttons to the diplomacy phase in addition to those in the reinforcement phase (see other post on this for details). Again the code for these buttons exists, and it is just a matter of putting a second button set in the dip phase (obviously once the reinforcement pool is emptied in the dip phase, there will be no troops to add during rienforcement, so the game can skip this phase).

Take a look at each of the three suggestions. The 99% of the code to do any of them already exists. These are not big or hard changes, and would make a big difference to the PBEM speed (maybe double what we will have when we get sim dip/eco, which is already a big improvement). These are not a trivial improvements.

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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/24/2010 2:07:24 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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DB:

I think 1 & 2 might be possible but 3 would be a little tougher simply because placing forces is illegal in Dip so even if I put the place forces button in the dip phase panel it will still create errors because it is reallt the dip phase and not reinf. BUT I like where you are trying to go.




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Thank you

Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



(in reply to Dancing Bear)
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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/25/2010 3:59:45 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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I was hoping that all three suggestions would be relatively easy, as most of the code exists for all of them, and they are three areas game speed could be improved.

For #3, I would not get caught up in whether it is legal or not. A rule can be changed, as long as balance is preserved. Adding reinforcements in diplomacy does not give that player any advantage in the game (adding them later would, but not earlier). And the way the "add reinforcements to a unit" button currently works, you can only add factors to an existing corps, or a controlled city. Since only one player can control a corps or a city, there is no way to overstack an area or a city which might happen if multiple players could add factors to a city. Only Britain for instance can add factors to London, even if an allied Russian corps was present in the area. Different buttons are used to transfer factors or move corps in or out of a city, but these other buttons should not be copied into the dip phase to avoid too many players moving too many units into or out of a city.

Remember, this is just adding a second set of the "add factors to a unit" button to the dip phase, so this function can be done in either the dip and the reinforcement phase. No other buttons or functions should be copied. The final goal is to maximse the use of the newly available sim phase, and to allow more skipping of reinforcement.

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/25/2010 1:53:49 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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I hear what you're saying but the rule set coding is above the button functions and universal so placing forces in in the diplomacy phase is illegal no matter what button you put where. I would need to change code to allow certain reinf functions to be allowed in the dip phase. I'm saying this is possible just not easy or fast.



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Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/26/2010 2:55:45 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis

I hear what you're saying but the rule set coding is above the button functions and universal so placing forces in in the diplomacy phase is illegal no matter what button you put where. I would need to change code to allow certain reinf functions to be allowed in the dip phase. I'm saying this is possible just not easy or fast.




Well perhaps you can give it some thought for now. The other two suggestions, about allowing players an option to allow the AI complete battles or running a land phase would also help, and hopefully they are relatively straight forward. Sim dip will be an enormous leap forward, but I think Neverman is right and the PBEM game will still be too slow without a few other improvements.

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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/26/2010 12:34:31 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

the rule set coding is above the button functions and universal so placing forces in in the diplomacy phase is illegal no matter what button you put where. I would need to change code to allow certain reinf functions to be allowed in the dip phase


Two alternative suggestions? 1) This may not be any easier or desired, but perhaps allow reinforcements during the land and naval phases. This would change game dynamics though, but could be an interesting option to experiment with. 2) Allow reinforcements to be delayed and placed later (perhaps restricted to next eco phase turn), as has been suggested in the past. This would at least allow players to skip some of the reinforcement phases.

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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/26/2010 12:59:38 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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#2 sounds more real than #1 which I believe would certainly change the dynamics! I'm not sure you should do that simply because the reinf phase ordering allows France to see certain build ups in certain areas BEFORE they place their forces. If they prefer to move n 1st place during land then that advantage is gone and in fact much of the advantage of the double-move would be gone. I don't know pzgndr, #1 scares me quite a bit??? :-0



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Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/26/2010 2:16:16 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

#1 scares me quite a bit???


Roger that, I acknowledged the concern about surprise reinforcements. But it could be an interesting option! Players would have to carefully consider the compromise of allowing this in order to speed up pbem, and perhaps house rules could help limit placements. Might also compel players to better prepare for surprises.

(in reply to Dancing Bear)
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RE: Mantis bug list victory in 1.08.02? - 5/27/2010 2:38:43 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Pzngdr, you're brilliant. I think #1 would work very simply. Read along and let me know what you agree.

First, you have to accept the premise that reinforcement order only matters during war. There is virtually no advantage to following the reinforcement phase order during peace (as there is always the following month's reinforcement phase for reacting to any placement before your opponent can attack). If you can accept this, then the rest is easy (and if you have come this far in this thread, then you have more or less accepted this).

Here's how it will work:

Part 1) Change the code so that you can not skip a reinforcement phase if both a) you have reinforcements coming and b) either you or one of your minors is at war (b is the new part).

Part 2) However, if you have selected to skip reinforcement and you are not at war, your reinforcement phase can be skipped. Instead yoru reinforcements are added during the land phase.

The above lets us keep the reinforcement phase when there is war and it is important (part 1), but otherwise lets us skip it (part 2). It gives us PBEM speed when we want it, and game balance when we need it.

Maybe a few lines of code for both part 1 and part 2 is all that is needed. How hard can it be to add a "add reinforcements button" to the land phase? Certainly this must be a thousand times easier than making reinforcement a sim phase or dealing with the deeper set of "rules coding".

I would make it so naval forces are added in the land phase, otherwise no one would be able to skip their naval phase, which now is commonly done. The amount this would effect GB would be trivial, as any naval reinforcements would be added during a land phase, which is after the naval movement phase, giving GB the entire next month to react to the placement, either by adding Nelson during the next reinforcement phase, or moving ships in the next naval phase. If naval reinforcements were added during the naval phase, the placing owner could then move them in the same phase they were added, and GB would not be able to react, so this is not desirable.

< Message edited by Dancing Bear -- 5/27/2010 2:46:12 AM >

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