My affection for WITP is immense. While my presence on the forum has only just now begun in earnest, I feel I am drawn more and more to this community as the lack of substantive and quality strategy games truly exist. In an age where quick, fast pace action and the combination of DLC readiness is paramount in producing products these days, we must strive to create a path of solvency for our beloved genre.
One of my favorite publishers of tactical games (HPS Simulations) has slowed their production rate, and their system, while updated periodically hasn't seen any revolutionary leaps forward in some time.
Paradox Interactive, one of my favorites, holding titles such as EU series, CK series and the HOI series. I own them all. But I am losing patience with them as they have morphed into a stream lined DLC junkie provider. HOI4 is coming out next year and I have great fears for it. Streamlining (reducing, the micromanagement aspect of the game) and creating a new monster that is automated after setting up a few things initially. Perhaps there is a larger player base that wants these more beer & pretzelised (yes I made that word up) games, but they are a dime a dozen. Even Matrix games spits these out with frequency. Perhaps as I age, my tolerance and tastes has changed. I'm accustomed to buying every war game on the market, especially if its ww2, ww1, napoleon or ACW related. And usually being disappointed with it. Now, i'm more picky. I actually read reviews, watch teasers, something I never did until recently. Perhaps its part of the reason I am more active on these forums. Now, to get back to HOI4, its evolving to survive, at the cost of micromanaging, which I love. It may still be a fun game, don't get me wrong. And perhaps the idea of WITP needs to evolve as well.
Only Matrix Games, for now, seems to be the last true champion of the strategic war game genre. Where depth as well as statistics matter. I think it was a prime reason that AGEOD found itself back where it belongs. But as with time, the business changes and the great appeal of a new title is using its code for DLC add-ons. It's like going to the movies and ordering a medium coke for $4.25. They price the coke that way as if it were a large coke, so when the cashier asks if you want to upgrade to a large for for 25 cents more, they just throw that in their pocket.
Even with a $80 price point, a WITP2 title is not as appealing because it leaves little room for DLC. As we see with WITE and WITW, they are "trying" to work DLC into their more strategic war titles. Now, I'm not a fan of smaller "scenarios" within a grander strategy game. So I felt no desire to purchase the two DLCs for WITE and even the slightly increased timeline campaign DLC for WITW wasn't enough to draw me to it. I own WITW, but despite loving the new features it incorporates, it is lacking in appeal for me.
So, all this brings me to thoughts on creating the next evolution of true strategic wargaming with the japan side of WITP as my guide.
I call it the Fanhattan Project. You know because i'm a fan.
The broad theme here is that each game would be one nation. Each game (nation) would come with the game mechanics, world map and all the data for a player to play that nation. I'm not here to try and hash out the guts of the game (how things will work) although the discussions about them can follow this for sure. If you enjoy that sort of thing. Oh, hypothetical thinking is fun isn't it.
The goal of buying one nation at a time, is having the ability to create each nation in detail, with scripts, data etc. Basically taking how you would play Japan in WITP and expanding upon. Think of it as if you were to take all the extra data that went into the allies and converting that for use in adding more detail to Japan. You wouldn't need to create each nation right away. Additional nations would act like DLC later on.
Multiplayer would be made possible if someone else owns an appropriate nation. So people could purchase only the nations they want to play. I think adapting to what was started with the server based MP games in WITE, would work well for multiplayer here. So if I own Germany, and my opponent owns Russia we could play each other in an MP game.
One goal would be to create two different experiences.
Playing vs AI would start the game at the time that country entered the war. So Germany would be 1939. Scripted events over time would keep things apace. The Allies against Germany would have fixed units/production according to historical research. Germany would be somewhat ahistorical allowing for some adaptations in industry, R&D, unit management etc.etc.
Playing multiplayer would start the game at the major moments. (Usually when one force the other to enter the war) and give each player full control over their nation as if they were against the AI, just now they are against another player.
Ideas for packaging
Price point for one nation could be $60, or package two nations for $100. I don't know. To be discussed.
The main nations would be of course $60
Packaging two for $100
Germany vs Russia
Japan vs USA
Additional nations as DLC - $40
Italy (could argue Italy be $60)
Axis Minors - Hungary/Romania
Allied Minors - Yugoslavia/Greece
Spain - (it's civilwar - play as Nationalist or Republic)
Plausible Multiplayer Matchups (Campaigns)
Germany vs UK/France - Start February 1940 to June 1943 (with additional option to postpone Barbarossa) Main focus, Norway, France, Sealion and possibly North Africa.
German vs UK/France/USA - Start 1944 to 1945 (Normandy to Berlin)
Germany vs Russia - Start 1941 to 1945
Italy vs UK/USA - Start 1940 to 1944
China vs Japan - Start 1937 to 1944
Japan vs UK/USA - Start 1941 to 1945
Italy vs Allied Minors - Start 1940 to 1941
The map - to use Trump's words - it would be "HUGE" and "Beautiful"- but once made, it could be used for every nation, although every nation wouldn't necessarily use the entire map. Do it right the first time. Any updates to the code/map would update all nations/copies of the game.
Perhaps more to come, or this thread will simply fade with the passage of time, feel free to add to my fantasy with your own thoughts/ideas.