The current system, the feel of it, is the most realistic of any game I've ever played. And to me managing the logistical system is one of the more enjoyable parts of the game. I don't really care if someone tells me the math of it doesn't really add up right. I found in my first full game that I did not have to do the extensive turn by turn micromanagement that some claim, but I did have to look over the whole system every 3 turns or so when doing offensive operations. And it was fun, at least to me. A challenge. It just feels right, especially when engaged in an offensive and having to manage your extended logistical system. I am concerned about what the end result will be. I hope the final version will be good and that there will be difficulty options for those of us who like the complexity and chaos of the current system.
Exactly. I really liked the manual allocation of flow of supply. I'm pleased that in single player at least we'll be able to choose to turn the automation off and if that wasn't the case I'd be pretty pissed off about this change. This will most affect multiplayer games I think.
There seemed to be three main arguments for changing the logistics system.
1. The claim that traffic light management was busywork, and that it required excessive micromanagement.
Changing a few traffic lights from time to time wasn't any effort, and I reject the claim that you had to do that on a turn by turn basis since nobody was ever able to provide any evidence that this was in any way necessary or that anybody was actually doing it. It takes a few seconds to set a traffic light: even if you had to do ten, that's about thirty seconds of your life. Consider how long it takes to move all your units during a large war. Thirty minutes? Maybe more?
I personally had moments where I had to remove and change a whole bunch of traffic lights at once, and I can see why some people might not enjoy having to do that, but that didn't happen more than a couple of times in the 150+ hours that I've been playing this game so I find it hard to believe this was such a big issue that it required a major rework. Usually you're adding one or two here and there, and occasionally altering a couple as assets are built or your forces expand in different directions. I think this is the weakest reason for altering the existing system as it stands.
2. The claim that the game is already very complex and logistics is one of the worst offenders for opacity in the mechanics.
Completely agree here.
The pull system automation certainly reduces the initial complexity for the player by them now not having to think about it at all.
In doing so we're removing a part of the game that some people seemed to enjoy. The trade off is that at least in multiplayer we're now either having to set house rules to not use the pull system, or we're all going to use the pull system because it'll be more efficient. I don't like any change that reduces the features of a game after release and this is looking like one of those situations.
The second trade off is that we not only have a traffic light system (already complex) but a whole new pull system with its own buttons and settings. We've now doubled the complexity of the system for people who actually want to interact with logistics.
Verdict: for reducing over-all complexity this is an epic fail. For people who don't want to interact with logistics beyond building roads and a few structures, then it's certainly more simple, but only after you've actually gone through the trouble of learning the two systems.
3. More casual players will not accept the logistics system as it stands, certainly an issue with the impending Steam release.
There's nothing that can be done about this because Steam has a high proportion of people who will complain about absolutely everything anyway. I actually think this was a reasonable reason for changing the logistics system as it stood, and I think that automating it this way will certainly help new players but are they getting the best experience from it? So this might well help game sales, but I feel the game has been dumbed down in the process.
4. The AI's messy road systems required a lot of traffic light management to fix.
Yes it did. That's no longer a problem because the player can now remove roads.
@Destragon saying this is like making the player do graphics rendering calculations is utter nonsense. By the same argument why bother with manual placement of your troops when you're mainly just clicking buttons until the military does what it's supposed to be doing? You make some good arguments for this pull system but that's not one of them and I know you've over-stated this to make a point but I don't think the point is very well thought through.
The decision making in logistics ensured that if you didn't take care of it, you'd have some issues later down the line. By being more careful about how you built your logistics buildings and roads you were rewarded by being able to push your empire's growth further. Yes, it encouraged micromanagement where other areas of the game discourage it, and I absolutely agree that was a problem in the game design. I recommended some kind of cost to traffic light management, as with the Organisation funding levels, to discourage that, although I accept that wasn't a very elegant solution it's certainly a better one than hot-wiring the whole thing to encourage players to bypass it entirely.
We're now returning to the situation where Vic's presented yet another rather deep and complex system that the player can only partly see and interact with, and is now almost entirely discouraged from interacting with at all, and I raise an eyebrow at that decision because it's a rather clumsy game design choice.
I still think this is one of the best games that I've ever played, and even if the pull system completely replaced the old one (and considering point 3 I think there is a strong argument for that now) I won't change my mind on that, but I can't help but think this is a rather rash reaction to an issue that wasn't really fully investigated in the first place. I'm in full agreement that the system wasn't perfect, and maybe the game will be better with a more automated system, but I liked it as it was because it felt fun to be in control of something you don't normally have any control over, and I know I'm not the only one.