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SlowMotion

Making scenarios playable in all playing modes

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Here is an idea I've thought about while playing various CM games during the years:

would it be possible to have different units included in different playing modes?

 

Now many scenarios claim they are suitable for H2H and human vs AI modes. Once you play them you may notice that one side may be clearly stronger because units have been selected to really make it playable against human vs one_side_AI.

So I thought: would it be possible to add  a new data item to all units in Scenario Editor: Include Playing mode: By default units would be included in all playing modes, basically this is the situation for H2H playing mode. Normally when playing against the AI, the AI side is given more units than human player. For these playing modes you could select some units "only for Blue AI" or "only for Red AI".These units would not be shown on map when playing against human opponent.  With such simple addition I think ALL scenarios could be made playable with properly equalized units in all 3 playing modes: H2H, human vs red AI, human vs blue AI.

Of course if the scenario designer does not WANT to add support for all modes, like adding AI movements for playing modes including AI opponent, it would not force him.

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I like your thought process. It sure would be nice.

Many designers put down that their scenario is playable in h2h and vs the AI for both sides

 

But anyone who has designed battles for a balance for both sides to have a near equal chance, should know that presently their game is maybe balanced for only one of the three options.

Either for H2h play

red vs AI

or Blue vs  AI

 

Its playable in all 3 modes. But was designed at all for balance in only one of them modes.

So adding your feature would be great.

 

The problem, many designers really do not make a hard effort at scoring balance anyway - and even if they did,  A balance for whom. It might be balanced for a highly skilled player and not a novice or visa versa. So even if it is achieved, it still might not seemed balanced for many players.

 

So really, the only thing I enjoy is when the designer says in the heading what their main designed intent was. Like this scenario is designed for H2H play but is also playable for AI use - something along that lines.

At least you know where the focus was.

 

Edited by slysniper

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But until it's available, and I can't see it being a simple fix, JonS's approach (at least he's the guy I think I first saw elucidate the method) is a good one: if it's balanced vs a human, have the AI plans aim to give a "plausible" fight against a fully-competent opponent, rather than have vain hopes of being able as the designer, to win by remote/proxy. If you can give a player a "scare" or two along the way, or a surprise here and there, you've probably done as much as could reasonably be expected. Those elements will probably disarticulate a less experienced player's plans enough that beginners or even middling-experienced players struggle, and will at least let an experienced player know they've been in a fight.

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But until it's available, and I can't see it being a simple fix,

Only BF people can say how much work it would mean, but at least the basic principle should be very simple and clear. No difficult and timeconsuming calculations.

Just one new field to units where you now have Experience, Fitness etc. 3 values in list: "always", "for blue AI", "for red AI" or something.  Since most units are always included I think scenario designers could quickly add a bit help for the AI. If human player has infantry + 3 tanks in use, AI opponent could get an extra tank.

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I like the notion womble mentions coming from JonS. I will give that a try explicitly with a battle using the new winter mod for CMRT. In days past, designers would issue separate files for the same scenario having OOBs balanced  per the side recommended. Of course this meant three files. I have seen this done for CM but maybe 2 or 3 times. It would be great to be able to release a balanced battle with confidence having only designer testing. Perhaps a separate topic. 

Kevin

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easyest way to me is using editor , make new copy on battle or scenario and add more stuff to  AI side or take some stuff out if playing again human. Editor is not hard to use and can be learned wery fast . 

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easyest way to me is using editor , make new copy on battle or scenario and add more stuff to  AI side or take some stuff out if playing again human. Editor is not hard to use and can be learned wery fast . 

Yes, but currently you see whether some scenario is really good for some playing mode only after playing it for quite some time. This can mean several weeks of PBEM if you're playing something that is advertized as good for H2H, but really isn't. I don't think many people want to cancel their game, add more units and then restart the PBEM. IMO the idea I suggested could be a very quick and simple way of making scenarios more playable in all playing modes. Tweaks needed in the Scenario Editor would be small. I'd guess it wouldn't cause huge changes in other parts of the game engine.

Edited by SlowMotion

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There's also the fact that balance is pretty much an illusion. So if you're playing a HvH battle where one side or the other has a significant material or situational (or both) advantage in order to render that side "competitive" when run by the AI, you're allowed to take the final score screen with a pinch of salt. That one Tiger you took out with a close assault because you had no better AT available is a sweeter victory than all the VP the other guy got for shooting up your defenseless crunchies with armour.

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I guess the assignment of unit points to those Tigers or other mega sexy types is another way to add some fun if not balance. I grew up on the concept of balance. But that is perhaps not the full story. A fun and interesting battle is as important as the outcome even if one side feels at the end of the day they got the short straw.

Kevin

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I guess the assignment of unit points to those Tigers or other mega sexy types is another way to add some fun if not balance. I grew up on the concept of balance. But that is perhaps not the full story. A fun and interesting battle is as important as the outcome even if one side feels at the end of the day they got the short straw.

Kevin

That's exactly the point: I don't mean the battle should be equally hard for both sides, but it should be playable. You know, that you feel it makes sense to still send your next PBEM turn instead of players pressing Cease Fire.

The AI moves units according to AI plans. It doesn't have the skill and experience of human player, so it's good to give it some additional units to compensate.But currently that often makes things really tough for one player if you decide to play a H2H game.

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I guess another approach (rather than having a force alteration) would be to allow the designer to apply a modifier to the VPs for when the game is played HvH. A simple adjustment, upwards for a human playing the "weaker" side vs another human, or a bonus for the AI whichever side it plays. Would probably be easier to program than conditional alterations in force size.

The AI moves units according to AI plans. It doesn't have the skill and experience of human player, so it's good to give it some additional units to compensate.But currently that often makes things really tough for one player if you decide to play a H2H game.

So? What's wrong with "tough"? There are plenty of scenarios out there where you're expected to do something "tough" against notionally superior forces, whether that's hold on for half an hour or take trivial casualties while conducting FISH operations. Theoretically the VP structure should reflect the mission and situation.

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I guess another approach (rather than having a force alteration) would be to allow the designer to apply a modifier to the VPs for when the game is played HvH. A simple adjustment, upwards for a human playing the "weaker" side vs another human, or a bonus for the AI whichever side it plays. Would probably be easier to program than conditional alterations in force size.

So? What's wrong with "tough"? There are plenty of scenarios out there where you're expected to do something "tough" against notionally superior forces, whether that's hold on for half an hour or take trivial casualties while conducting FISH operations. Theoretically the VP structure should reflect the mission and situation.

I mean turkey shooting kind of tough. Like armored vehicles trying to cross open areas when they know the opponent has Javelins in several locations + more and better armor. No chance what so ever. 

I suggested making changes to units and not VPs because I don't play for the AAR score. I don't care how many points each side got. For me the played turns during the battle are the reason to play and if they are not interesting enough players tend to cease fire when there are still lots of units left. For H2H games I try to find battles where both players have proper forces. I've never played against a human who liked having clearly inferior units. Those battles might be realistic and ok against the AI, but I don't like them for turn based H2H where players use many hours of their time.

This was just a suggestion. I know that BF has lots of things to do and no idea what kind of features they intend to implement during the next few years. But IMO now that the game engine is working so well I think this game mode specific playability is one area that could be tweaked one way or another. Merry Christmas...

Edited by SlowMotion

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I suggested making changes to units and not VPs because I don't play for the AAR score. I don't care how many points each side got. For me the played turns during the battle are the reason to play and if they are not interesting enough players tend to cease fire when there are still lots of units left. For H2H games I try to find battles where both players have proper forces. I've never played against a human who liked having clearly inferior units. Those battles might be realistic and ok against the AI, but I don't like them for turn based H2H where players use many hours of their time.

I agree with you that there should be some type of system changes that help provide some way for better match ups in scenarios for h2h play. How BF would  do it is up to them.

 

I am one of the few people in the world that do not mind being given the short end of the straw in a battle and I will play them out and not cease fire. Because I can handle that. Most players cannot. But I also am a person that loves the fact that I have managed to win some of them battles when the odds are so against you. Those are the battles that I remember. Not the battles where I won with a equal force.

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