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BFC seems to be pursuing a 'broad front' strategy these days. There are lots of different projects 'in the works', a couple are very far along indeed. Priorities keep shifting, some weeks one project pulls ahead of the pack, some weeks another project does. Official public BFC plans state first something for CMFI, next something for CMRT. They also keep dangling a monster CMSF2 game engine upgrade before us. Which project will arrive before which is a horse-race but the smart money's on CMFI.

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About vehicle packs and scenarios. Longtime players tend to live-and-die by the quickbattle generator, not replaying scenarios. You don't see vehicle pack stuff much in user-made scenarios because you simply don't see that many user-made scenarios. While playing CMBN you hit a button and get an option in QB for flamethrowers or Churchill Croc, or SPW251/16 half-track or infantry kangaroos. Has anyone played with the French R-35 tank in German service or Flakpanzer 38T? Vehicle pack vehicles blend in with the other vehicles while making selections for QBs.

Edited by MikeyD

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On 9/17/2017 at 6:56 AM, MikeyD said:

Longtime players tend to live-and-die by the quickbattle generator, not replaying scenarios.

Is there any evidence of this? I'd think the opposite is true, and that longtime players avoid QBs.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't understand how randomly generated quick battles can offer any challenge to experienced players?

But scenarios certainly can. Especially the ones built for replayablility with varied AI setup plans. I'm currently replaying Scottish Corridor, and I'm delighted (and frustrated) every time the enemy is not where I thought they would be...

Edited by Bulletpoint

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25 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Is there any evidence of this? I'd think the opposite is true, and that longtime players avoid QBs.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't understand how randomly generated quick battles can offer any challenge to experienced players?

But scenarios certainly can. Especially the ones built for replayablility with varied AI setup plans. I'm currently replaying Scottish Corridor, and I'm delighted (and frustrated) every time the enemy is not where I thought they would be...

If that was the case, you'd expect to see more user-made single-player scenarios and activity around scenario hosting sites, particularly for the newer releases. But as it stands, CMFB has very relatively few user made scenarios, considering how long it has been released and the popularity of its subject matter.

Edited by Apocal

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1 hour ago, Apocal said:

If that was the case, you'd expect to see more user-made single-player scenarios and activity around scenario hosting sites, particularly for the newer releases. But as it stands, CMFB has very relatively few user made scenarios, considering how long it has been released and the popularity of its subject matter.

I agree that there have been very few user made scenarios recently, but as Ian's site shows (http://www.combatmission.lesliesoftware.com/ ) there are some 360 scenarios and 26 campaigns for CMBN, which seems quite a lot to me:)

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1 minute ago, Petrus58 said:

I agree that there have been very few user made scenarios recently, but as Ian's site shows (http://www.combatmission.lesliesoftware.com/ ) there are some 360 scenarios and 26 campaigns for CMBN, which seems quite a lot to me:)

CMBN has been out for over half a decade. I don't know how you got a full count of CMBN, but running a ctrl+f search for "btt" on the CMFB scenario page shows a total count of 38. And even that is inflated by a pair of dealership scenarios and some that came stock with CMFB itself. The same for CMRT reveals 118. I think it is fair to say that the rate of user made scenario production is pretty well outstripped by the active playerbase's ability to run through them all. I'm not knocking anyone for it, just saying: if veterans were playing scenarios rather than QBs, I'm pretty sure we'd see more activity on scenario-making sites. Not just uploads/downloads either, but also comments, suggestions, etc.

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Campaigns are the heart of the CM2 system.  That is where the CM system shines.

Have you ever tried to make a scenario (let alone a campaign)?  Someone made a tutorial that demonstrated how complex it is to create a mere scenario.  Scenario-making is decreasing due to the vast amount of time commitment and knowhow required.  CM1 was out about 8-9 years before CMSF and scenarios were being created to the end.  But creating content for CM1 was relatively easy.  If you look at the content available for CM2 titles, there is a sharp drop of quantity from CMSF to the most recent release.  That's a major reason that it's worth paying BF for professionally done content - especially campaigns (which can easily take months to create).

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4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:
On 9/17/2017 at 0:56 AM, MikeyD said:

Longtime players tend to live-and-die by the quickbattle generator, not replaying scenarios.

Is there any evidence of this? I'd think the opposite is true, and that longtime players avoid QBs.

I just did a quick, rough, analysis of games played at theBlitz. I looked at data for the CM2x games from Normandy onward. Since this is a war game club, this is only H2H play and therefore excludes single player play.

The total games played is 3208 of which 1406 are Quick battles so that is 44%

I noticed a pattern that since we have been running our scenario of the month it has pushed the percentage of games that are QB in a downward direction. That makes sense because we have between 6 and 12 games per month that are guaranteed to be based on scenarios

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44 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Campaigns are the heart of the CM2 system - in my opinion.  That is where the CM system shines - for me.

LOL. I love it. I fixed that for ya - my bold. I totally get that campaigns are the most important thing for you. I personally have *never* finished a campaign, not one. Head to head play is where CM2 shines - in my opinion. Given that campaigns don't really support that type of play then campaigns might as well not exist - from my point of view.

This whole conversation seems to be viewed in radically different ways based on the way several people think the game is played.

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We have limited facts about how this game is played. Here are a few things we know:

  1. From Steve we know that a majority of people play exclusively all on their own against the AI only. He knows how many games he has sold and he can see how much activity is happening here and at places like theBlitz so I see zero reason to doubt him.
  2. At one multi player site, theBlitz, I did a quick game count and came up with of the games played 44% are Quick battles, 56% are scenarios and 0% are campaigns. Someone could have a look at data from another multi player site but I would be surprised if it was more then 10% different. Again zero campaigns.

I think that's about it. Feel free to add anything I missed - but back it up please - your opinion, as important as it is to you, matters little compared to the whole community. Yeah I know that is hard to hear. Steve keeps tell me me the same thing about my opinion :D .

We don't have any information on how those solo vs the AI payers play QBs, scenarios or campaigns. We also do not have information on how scenario and campaigns games might be constrained by the number of scenarios and campaigns are available. In other words if there were twice as many scenarios and campaigns would there by less quick battles played? Would there just be more games played? We really do not know.

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Interesting discussion. I, as a single player, are certainly only representative of myself.

But here are some statistics from my CMx2 career since 2011, when CMBN came out:

With 414 battles completed, I would consider myself to be a veteran player.
Of those 414 battles, 69 (16,6%) have been Quick Battles. Of those versus the AI - 0 (in a word: zero).
126 (30,4%) battles were played as part of a campaign, therefore against the AI.
The remaining 219 (~53%) were scenarios, of which only 8 were played against the AI.

So, when I play the AI, it tends to be mostly the campaigns. Btw, I still haven't played / finished all the stock campaigns that came with the 4 CMx2 WW2 titles and modules / packs.
H2H, I predominantly play scenarios, but the odd QB sneaks its way into my schedule. But it is fair to say that I mostly find them to be less interesting, arena-style fights. Not my favourite cup of tea. ;)

Anyway, just an impression from one (not representative) player.
Thanks to @Ithikial for his great Combat Mission Career Record System. :)

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1 hour ago, IanL said:

The total games played is 3208 of which 1406 are Quick battles so that is 44%

Those 44% are H2H Quick Battles? I was talking about quick battles as a means of rapidly setting up a fight VS the computer - a game mode  I personally find completely useless. QBs against a human opponent are more interesting of course, but still I find them to be too much of a "cage fight".

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3 hours ago, IanL said:

LOL. I love it. I fixed that for ya - my bold. I totally get that campaigns are the most important thing for you. I personally have *never* finished a campaign, not one. Head to head play is where CM2 shines - in my opinion. Given that campaigns don't really support that type of play then campaigns might as well not exist - from my point of view.

This whole conversation seems to be viewed in radically different ways based on the way several people think the game is played.

I am truly astounded that you could not be bothered playing a campaign to conclusion.   In addition, time and time again we have been told that the vast majority of players play vs the AI not H2H.  It brings into doubt the depth of your understanding of the CM2 game system.

The reason campaigns have been important since CM1 days is that a large % of features and therefore programming resources have been devoted to enabling campaigns with all the additional challenges of ammo and force conservation, reinforcements and replacements.  Campaigns also add a very important layer of realism.  In a "well made" campaign you have to consider what your forces have to accomplish in the next mission(s).  None of that "fight to the last man" nonsense that one very often encounters in standalone scenarios. 

However, if you are correct and the vast majority of people are not playing campaigns then yes BF may as well make their lives easier and abandon all the programming work and stop wasting all the resources needed to make campaigns work.

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11 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

...I don't understand how randomly generated quick battles can offer any challenge to experienced players?

I would guess that about 80% of my gaming is against QBs, none of which are randomly generated. I have never played a campaign all the way through, although I have played some few scenarios from campaigns. By selecting the map, weather conditions, and the makeup of the enemy force, I can make it as challenging as I like. This is especially the case now that QB maps often come with multiple AI plans.

Michael

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7 hours ago, Erwin said:

Scenario-making is decreasing due to the vast amount of time commitment and knowhow required. 

+1. I think this is a very perceptive observation. Unless scenario making is for you a real pleasure in and of itself, it's not the kind of thing one is likely to take up.

Michael

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15 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I don't understand how randomly generated quick battles can offer any challenge to experienced players?

A great tip I learned from playing Sengoku Jidai at its hardest setting against the AI is to give the AI a 150% point advantage. Thus, when I'm defending in a QB, I increase the AI's points by 70%, and when I'm attacking, I reduce my own points by 40% - which result in 170% and 167% point advantages for the AI. You won't believe the satisfaction I get when I score a total victory. [I have experimented with even greater advantages for the AI, with mixed results. At the highest point advantages possible, I have been able to attain a few total victories only when playing as US against RUS in CMBS.]

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Another component of the apparent lack of scenarios is there are now five titles in the CM2 family.  In CM1, at the end, people were either building scenarios for CMBB or CMAK.  Granted the barriers to entry for were a lot lower then.  But now the community's development resources are diluted across five titles.

So there are multiple reasons:

1) Dilution of the community

2) I truly believe the community is now a lot smaller.  There is some fatigue for CM in the general wargaming market, based on just the buzz about it.

3) Increased skill set needed just to produce a bad scenario.  In CM1 my dog could make a scenario.  A bad one, but it still went up to a repository.

Combine all of that and you get titles that just don't seem to get much attention from the scenario builders.  I also think CMFB is in a very poor spot.  On the surface it seems more like a super-module for CMBN.  CMBN is fairly fleshed out with content and is probably a little more satisfying to build scenarios for.

Edited by Thewood1

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As a scenario maker, I must say it is too bad that The Proving Grounds is more or less dead. It is of great importance to get quality playtesting and if you don't you hesitate to release anything. I would also be keen for more "team-up" projects so to share the load. For example, I love making maps and the basic research, but making AI plans, force composition etc is tiresome and often stall a project. Problem with teaming up with someone is that you have to share an idea for a scenario. Something I find very interesting might seem "meh" to others. Maybe we could create an "idea pool" in this forum, at TPG or elsewhere and that way find common interest in a project. A while back there was community interest in doing a "Task Force Butler" campaign for CMFI, but I still want to know if that might be covered in the final module.

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23 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Those 44% are H2H Quick Battles? I was talking about quick battles as a means of rapidly setting up a fight VS the computer - a game mode  I personally find completely useless. QBs against a human opponent are more interesting of course, but still I find them to be too much of a "cage fight".

Yes, theBlitz is by definition H2H battles. As for Cage fight - yeah after a few meeting engagements you start to get a bit board. I have been playing probes more lately against human opponents - it is much more satisfying.

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21 hours ago, Erwin said:

I am truly astounded that you could not be bothered playing a campaign to conclusion. 

Really, why is that surprising? I got board playing against the AI. Like I always do. Perhaps if I stopped all my PBEM games I would be more board doing nothing than playing vs the AI. Naw that's not going to happen. I have had at least two (usually more like six) PBEM games going since CMBN was released.

21 hours ago, Erwin said:

In addition, time and time again we have been told that the vast majority of players play vs the AI not H2H.  It brings into doubt the depth of your understanding of the CM2 game system.

OK, sure.

21 hours ago, Erwin said:

The reason campaigns have been important since CM1 days is that a large % of features and therefore programming resources have been devoted to enabling campaigns with all the additional challenges of ammo and force conservation, reinforcements and replacements.  Campaigns also add a very important layer of realism.  In a "well made" campaign you have to consider what your forces have to accomplish in the next mission(s).  None of that "fight to the last man" nonsense that one very often encounters in standalone scenarios. 

I know. Which is why I am involved in several multi player campaigns using CM but managed by an  outside umpire.

21 hours ago, Erwin said:

However, if you are correct and the vast majority of people are not playing campaigns then yes BF may as well make their lives easier and abandon all the programming work and stop wasting all the resources needed to make campaigns work.

My personal preference is that they make campaigns playable H2H. If that happened I would likely switch to campaign play for the vast majority of my games. I still hold onto hope.

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8 minutes ago, IanL said:

My personal preference is that they make campaigns playable H2H. If that happened I would likely switch to campaign play for the vast majority of my games. I still hold onto hope.

It's a great idea and would require very little programming by Battlefront - but it would require whole new campaigns, as the current ones are all balanced VS the very incapable AI.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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On 9/18/2017 at 2:23 PM, Mad Mike said:

Interesting discussion. I, as a single player, are certainly only representative of myself.

But here are some statistics from my CMx2 career since 2011, when CMBN came out:

Oh good idea. I have not been recording as long as you (I started recording in February of 2014)

Of 98 non testing battles 25 were Quick Battles (~24%) none of them were against the AI.

On 9/18/2017 at 2:23 PM, Mad Mike said:

Thanks to @Ithikial for his great Combat Mission Career Record System. :)

+1 to that.

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6 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

It's a great idea and would require very little programming by Battlefront -

Well don't hold your breath there because I am not so sure the work level is small. The bigger issue is the segment of players who want this is pretty small. Just those who play head to head is small to start with and those willing to spend months playing a large scenario is a small sub set of that. Playing campaigns is quickly going to be measured in many months if not years and will be an even smaller number of people.

6 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

but it would require whole new campaigns, as the current ones are all balanced VS the very incapable AI.

That is for sure.

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