... selling unended products ... up to a certain extent some of the TW series games, can be financially successful but ethically very reprehensible, promising an AI and then giving pure shi-t, that would be repaired after one year of continuous patches is simply despicable.
While selling unfinished products is not really a good thing to do, pretty much across the board, the computer game publishing world has been doing this for at least a decade now.
Basically gone are the days when major producers hold games until they are absolutely 100% perfect before launch. Why? Three main reasons:
1 - It's way too expensive,
2 - Competition - if you don't get yours out quick enough, somebody else will make a cheap look-alike game and mess up your niche and marketing,
3 - Technology - get it done and out there before technology changes too much and leaves your game in the dust.
I have participated in numerous betas now, and continue to do so. Companies can no longer afford to have every type of machine, graphics card, etc. in house for testing, so they push it out in beta form for a lot of this kind of testing: stress, load, graphics, glitches, exploits, holes, etc.
Developing a good ai for a game is a huge undertaking. Small games have it easier, but how many times do you read reviews dissing the ai even in small games that are pretty close to getting it right.
The bigger the game, the grander the scale, the harder it is to write ai scripts that can react to all the possible 'human' events without it becoming too predictable hence boring. At the same time, you have to be careful not to give so much leeway that the ai starts to look silly or stupid.
It amazes me when I sometimes read comments players make about the ai in games. It often sounds like a sibling chiding another, much younger sibling "for playing like a doof". Yet, as soon as a game comes out with a really good, tough ai, how many of those same players do you see dissing it "because the ai is way too strong" or "the ai must be cheating because...". I truly believe there are some players out there that may not realize that what they want may not be possible, simply because what they want would beat them very often, and they are not going to accept that.
Now you took a stab at the TW series. It is not without its flaws, for sure. But to call the series "despicable", is a little over the top imho. The TW series has found a niche and a large following in the gaming community. The series is basically improving with each and every iteration. The ai is getting better and better with each new title.
Their latest announcement, Shogun 2 TW, has the ambitious schedule to program the ai using "Sun Tzu’s principles in the Art of War, the Artificial Intelligence constantly analyses its situation and reacts to your every move with greater precision and variety."
The people at CA, who make the TW series, admit themselves that the ai is the single, most difficult nut to crack in each and every one of their games. They aim high, they strive to get it as right as possible, and they admit they aren't always able to get it perfect.
So, just like almost all game publishers today, they test, then they patch. While it used to take a very long time for the pacth to come out, they now come out in almost record time, especially for small things that are easy to fix.
You know, it kind of makes me wonder how some may have forgotten board gaming BEFORE computers. Guys, you would not believe how many board games did NOT come out perfect the first time. We all lived by the famous word, ERRATA. Almost every board game came with a list of ERRATA that included:
1 - counter misprints, or missing counters,
2 - rule misprints,
3 - deployment misprints,
4 - rules omissions and deletions,
5 - and the dreaded "map misprints, omissions, and deletions" that required you to take out the pens and markers to fix it.
Gaming is a hobby. Hobbies involve crafting. Game publishers like CA for the TW series strive to get it as right as possible. It's not always perfect, but the types of games they make are the hardest to program for an ai opponent. We, as members of this hobby, can try to help to make these games better and help to give insight as to how we think ai can be improved.
Calling the TW series "despicable" does not hold water imo. If they were truly "despicable", they would not sell as well as they do or have the kind of following they have. Do they need input and feedback to get it better the next time? Of course they do.
I think every thing you say here Major Dude is well said except for the last statement, I dont know if I would go as far as to say despicable, maybe Jose could come up with a better description I will leave that up to him, Major dude you mentioned "sell as well as they do" come on please ever hear of PONG, sold millions ugh, the gaming world is so desperate for a good game they would almost buy anything, and have. Because a movie grosses this and that, does that mean its a good movie or did a bunch of go lucky flaky teenagers [remember when] make it so. How about some rap music do you think its good, do you think rappers are that great, or do people that buy that crap make them good [if you people here like that stuff then my deepest apoligies just showing my age] about the AI I have said it before and say it again nobody IMHO has ever made an AI [unless it cheats god forbid] that can even come close to beating a good tacticle player for only one reason its predictable, maybe the WW2 engima machine could be brought into play and solve the AI problems maybe just maybe there is nothing like playing a human through PBEM, I did so only once that was for two weeks and did not like the waiting for a reply, I am not knocking it and maybe will enjoy playing one or two of you board gamers in the future, but personally I like playing a game when I want to and not when someone is available to fit it into their schedule. I will by the game without an AI but reluctantly.