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CarlWAW

A More Realistic Iron Mode?

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Battlefront has stated, that most players play against the AI.
I had liked to play against the AI, but IME it's biggest problem is, that after a few games it simply is not a tactical challenge. That is no criticism, but with the player's god view the AI can't match a human opponent.

What about making playing against the AI a real challenge?
Keep expereienced players playing and not get bored by playing the AI?
Make tiny scenarios even against the AI great and challenging again?

The existing "Iron mode" points into the right direction, but as it is now, I find it just annoying, because the not displayed info when a unit is selected, can be gathered by unselecting the unit.
For this mode to really work, it needs the players commitment for self restraint. Which is not good. The natural way to play is to use all allowed possibilities.

How about a more realistic iron mode, that goes one step further and which fully utilizes the available individual spotting abilities of units and the already present excellent chain of command net?

In that mode the player's ability to move over the battlefield freely would simply be removed!
The camera view would be fixed on his unit (with a certain tolerance, for example around 1-3 action squares; maybe dependable on unit characteristics; same with the ingame zooming option).

Multi story buildings, or hills would become really important - but instead of only benefitting the units in game, it would be the player himself who benefits from occupying tactically important spots.

Current iron mode could have a nice side effect with that restriction:
if a friendly unit gets lost from the chain of command or gets out of LOS, it could be denied to select that unit with the consequence the player would really lose contact to it. The only way to learn what's going on with that unit would be to search it with other unit(s). The information net would become incredibly important. Just like it is in reality.

Imagine the impact a heavy and successful artillery bombardement could have on the ability for the player, to understand, what is going on, if important HQs and their comm was disabled!

I think that mode would make it possible, for the very first time, to understand the amount of confusion, that can happen on the battlefield.

Ok, that is beyond the current engine, but imagine, if that mode would in a later engine iteration, also allow to simulate small arms friendly fire… Do you really want to area fire where there was a friendly unit? Incredible realism. Incredible chaos. :D

I am fully aware that mode would not be suited for beginners but for experienced players wo do not have the time or do not want to play against humans.
Or just players who would prefer to play tiny but challenging (without being unfair), scenarios against the AI.

Summary:

Realism:
Unmatched realism.
Fully utilization of the engine's C2 and spotting abilities.
Convergence of the simulated tactical benefits on the map for the units and the benefits to the player from tactically realistic play.
No perfect knowledge of the terrain before being there.


Improved attraction to players:
Playing the AI becomes true challenge - even for experienced players (but playing h2h not less interesting).
Playing tiny and short scenarios, even against the AI, a challenge. Say hello to customers with not enough time to play currently sized battles!

 

Edited by CarlWAW
Text was insterd as picture!?! WTF!

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10 hours ago, sburke said:

@Peregrine had a set of rules to make single player mode more interesting.

 

 

Yep, this.  I have this bookmarked and use a modified version of it when playing against the AI.  Makes the game much more interesting IMO.  

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I think such self imposed rules are interesting for a tiny minority of the minority of die hard fans and are nothing average customers will do. The average customer probably doesn even read this forum.

19 hours ago, CarlWAW said:

For this mode to really work, it needs the players commitment for self restraint. Which is not good. The natural way to play is to use all allowed possibilities.

 

The average customer probably just tries the modes the game offers and if there is something that he really likes, he may keep using.

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2 minutes ago, CarlWAW said:

 

I think such self imposed rules are interesting for a tiny minority of the minority of die hard fans and are nothing average customers will do. The average customer probably doesn even read this forum.

The average customer probably just tries the modes the game offers and if there is something that he really likes, he may keep using.

I’m confused. Everything about this thread is not for your average customer. What is the point you are making?  I assume your objection is to self imposed rules.  If that is the case I am afraid you won’t get much traction for an actual “super iron” mode.  By your own standard we are talking a minority of a minority for something that likely requires significant programming time. 

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We've considered this long ago, but without an Order of Battle feature it's not really all that workable.  And as has been stated above, this would be a feature that only a tiny percentage of our customers would want to play.  Most want MORE control, not less.  They want MORE information, not less.  So we're not really interested in putting time into something that won't really work very well, cause a few people to complain we aren't doing enough, and have nobody else care.  It's a bad situation for everybody to be in.

That said, I support the CONCEPT.  It's a good one and has been around since CMBO.  In fact, that's where Iron Man came from, but it was a compromise between what people said they wanted and what was practical.  The compromise being that we knew that Iron Man would only be played by a minority of a minority of our customers so we could do something but not everything that was on those customers' wish list.  If someone is unhappy with Iron Man mode, they're likely going to be even less happy with what might go beyond that because the same practical limitations on our resources exists with even less incentive to divert into it. 

Think of what I said as the Iron Man Rules for game development... realistic and unappealing at the same time ;)

Steve

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Funny thing is I use iron mode exclusively because it gives me MORE info. :)  I get a better perspective on my unit’s sense of isolation at a glance. 

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Well, you are "special" :D

Seriously though, it gives you more info of a particular type, it gives you a lot less of other things.  It can also give you MORE immersion, but for others it is MORE frustration.

I'm glad we put Iron Man mode into CM2.  I think it's a good thing to have.  The problem is I don't see the incentive for us to go much beyond that as it will take proportionally more effort with even less interest from our customer base.

I think the sort of "full immersion" concept that some CM1/CM2 customers have been asking for would be better served by a game that is inherently set up to provide it, not shoehorned into a game which is inherently top-down-big-picture as CM1/CM2 are.

Steve

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16 minutes ago, sburke said:

Funny thing is I use iron mode exclusively because it gives me MORE info. :)  I get a better perspective on my unit’s sense of isolation at a glance. 

This exactly for me too.....I now have a handle on C2 that eluded me before.

Looking forward to rebuilding some of my peculiar Cores (Iraqi CTS in particular) with the new engine, hopefully I'll be able to allocate units better and establish proper C2 chains between them.  Is there any chance of getting NATO equipped UnCons on the Blue force.....This would gives us so many options for the future.  B)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

And as has been stated above, this would be a feature that only a tiny percentage of our customers would want to play.  Most want MORE control, not less.  They want MORE information, not less. 

Thanks for the reply, very appreciated.

Following that logic the ability of each unit to spot on its own hurts sales. People prefer no individual spotting.

Also the simulated C2-net just hurts your sales, because it restricts information available to the player.

To increase the appeal of CM, just remove any fog of war.

 

Contrary to that assumptions I believe more realism - without harming the gameplay and fun - the more appealing it becomes to potential customers.

Just like chess will never be interesting to dumb people so will CM never be attractive to people who just want explosions, action and gore.

I think people do not play CM because its easy, but because its realistic. The more a player appreciates realism, the more he will be willing to accept "difficulty".

 

Regaring the Iron mode:

It is frustrating. But for me it is not frustrating because of the fewer info - not at all. That is the great thing with that mode for me!

The frustrating thing with that mode is, that it can be circumvented.

I don't know about you, but I do not like to lose. I like to win. And I also do not like to receive casualties or lose tanks. I HATE IT. I try to minimize losses.

And minimizing losses means Iron mode display must be circumvented, because circumventing it means maximizing information and maximizing information means a better ability for the right decision.

The frustration with that mode for me does not at all come from less information, but only that the greater realism can easily be circumvented. I want to win. And I will always maximize the information I can get. I think that mindset is completely normal among competitive ladder players, too.

Edited by CarlWAW

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2 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Well, you are "special" :D

Seriously though, it gives you more info of a particular type, it gives you a lot less of other things.  It can also give you MORE immersion, but for others it is MORE frustration.

I'm glad we put Iron Man mode into CM2.  I think it's a good thing to have.  The problem is I don't see the incentive for us to go much beyond that as it will take proportionally more effort with even less interest from our customer base.

I think the sort of "full immersion" concept that some CM1/CM2 customers have been asking for would be better served by a game that is inherently set up to provide it, not shoehorned into a game which is inherently top-down-big-picture as CM1/CM2 are.

Steve

Is there any plan about custom difficulties ? Where player can choose having less information but faster arty delay or anything else.

In that way, more difficults settings may be more liked.

About the topic, thank you guys, that's really interesting. IMO, harder settings + "personals rules" are a really good way for "boosting" AI performance.

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Simulating something like Scourge of War's HITS - where the camera is restricted and friendly FOW is quite a thing - is quite possible. I think the threads that @Machor linked discussed a similar concept, where you  could only change orders for subordinates within C2 range. Bil proposed something similar too, coding a little "aide de camp" spreadsheet based app to help with the bookkeeping. 

Now for an entirely personal and subjective take: playing SoW HITS or in CM2 restraining my godly powers is something which I like doing occasionally, but not often or exclusively. As a concept I think it would work great playing in coop multi-player  (as it does in SoW) as reviewing the replays with the rest of the players can be very fun.

I am not sure though that BFC would recoup the invested resources within a reasonable timeline - this feature could be a selling point for games venturing into the operational "middle ground", not so much for a tactical game where so much revolves around implementing fire and maneuver, and positioning heavy weapons and afv's, effectively. 

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 I'm a little lost, I have to admit. Iron mode restricts what you can see when you're selecting a unit in replay mode but in the orders phase doesn't appear to do anything. What real gameplay effect does it have beyond other settings that puts it similar to this (cool) suggestion.

I'm particularly a fan of the C2 restrictions. I play computer games so I don't have to do the bookkeeping like in the classics. While I like the idea and would use it, I don't think I'd go out of my way to use Bil's Aide de Camp...

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On 10/19/2017 at 2:15 PM, CarlWAW said:

Thanks for the reply, very appreciated.

Noted ;)

On 10/19/2017 at 2:15 PM, CarlWAW said:

Following that logic the ability of each unit to spot on its own hurts sales. People prefer no individual spotting.

Also the simulated C2-net just hurts your sales, because it restricts information available to the player.

To increase the appeal of CM, just remove any fog of war.

Sigh... this is the sort of extremist logic that is tearing our world apart.  You decided to question where I've drawn a line by saying "by that logic you could draw it here".  True.  But by your logic we could say "we're done making wargames AT ALL because wargamers are NEVER happy with what they have and ALWAYS insist they should have something different.  We're instead going to try making another Angry Birds clone".  Yup, if you want to go down that road of logic, not making wargames at all is definitely the conclusion I'd come to.  In fact, I'd conclude that my time on this Earth is better spent not making games at all :)

Good designs are about satisfying the target audience.  Our target audience is not the type of person that insists on as literal of a 1st Person experience as possible.  And why is this not our target audience?  Because we'd go out of business if we catered to it.  You can disagree with this all you want, but you'll make zero headway because you have "no skin in the game".  We do and we say you're wrong.

On 10/19/2017 at 2:15 PM, CarlWAW said:

Contrary to that assumptions I believe more realism - without harming the gameplay and fun - the more appealing it becomes to potential customers.

Just like chess will never be interesting to dumb people so will CM never be attractive to people who just want explosions, action and gore.

I think people do not play CM because its easy, but because its realistic. The more a player appreciates realism, the more he will be willing to accept "difficulty".

No.  This is true for you, it's not true for our average customer.  We put in lots of features, for both general and hardcore customers, that do not appeal to people on the opposite end.  But we choose those features carefully and make sure they don't come at an expense to the majority who aren't as passionate about making the game more "gamey" or more "groggy".

On 10/19/2017 at 2:15 PM, CarlWAW said:

 

Regaring the Iron mode:

It is frustrating. But for me it is not frustrating because of the fewer info - not at all. That is the great thing with that mode for me!

The frustrating thing with that mode is, that it can be circumvented.

I don't know about you, but I do not like to lose. I like to win. And I also do not like to receive casualties or lose tanks. I HATE IT. I try to minimize losses.

And minimizing losses means Iron mode display must be circumvented, because circumventing it means maximizing information and maximizing information means a better ability for the right decision.

The frustration with that mode for me does not at all come from less information, but only that the greater realism can easily be circumvented. I want to win. And I will always maximize the information I can get. I think that mindset is completely normal among competitive ladder players, too.

You totally lost me here.  No idea what you're saying, really.

Steve

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11 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

Simulating something like Scourge of War's HITS - where the camera is restricted and friendly FOW is quite a thing - is quite possible. I think the threads that @Machor linked discussed a similar concept, where you  could only change orders for subordinates within C2 range. Bil proposed something similar too, coding a little "aide de camp" spreadsheet based app to help with the bookkeeping. 

Now for an entirely personal and subjective take: playing SoW HITS or in CM2 restraining my godly powers is something which I like doing occasionally, but not often or exclusively. As a concept I think it would work great playing in coop multi-player  (as it does in SoW) as reviewing the replays with the rest of the players can be very fun.

I am not sure though that BFC would recoup the invested resources within a reasonable timeline - this feature could be a selling point for games venturing into the operational "middle ground", not so much for a tactical game where so much revolves around implementing fire and maneuver, and positioning heavy weapons and afv's, effectively. 

Well put.

Gamers (of all types) have a very bad habit of doing three things and often doing them together:

1.  Over estimating the ability of their suggestion to yield the result they say they want

2.  Under estimating the amount of effort it will take to produce something that they won't find flawed to the point of frustration

3.  Don't understand or reject how their suggestion fits into the Big Picture

This is not limited to customers, it also happens with our best testers.  The guys who know the game better than anybody AND know how we design behind-the scenes very often do this too.  In fact, just this week there was a tester thread with a couple guys pushing a particular "solution" onto a particular known limitation in CM.  I kept explaining it wouldn't work as intended, but instead would make things worse or would grind the computer to a halt.  After several very deep technical explanations as to how the feature works and how their suggestion couldn't achieve what they had asked for, they said "OK, now I see" and we moved on.

I say this to remind you guys that I don't sit here and think you're all a bunch of moronic children when you push for something that I've clearly said "no" to.  It is very helpful to have you guys advocate for new features or for us to look at things a different way.  WE NEED THAT to make CM better.  However, when it comes down to only Charles and I are truly armed with the necessary knowledge and experience to understand and evaluate what is being requested.  If our position is rejected, even after a factual explanation for it, then things become unproductive.

I'll say it again... we are not interested in trying to shoehorn 1st Person features into a game that is inherently 3rd Person.  It's vastly more complicated than people think.  If you find yourself thinking "but all you need to do is X" then you've not understood a word I've said :D

Steve

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"I don't sit here and think you're all a bunch of moronic children..."

C'mon, we have to let the evidence speak for itself...   :blink:

Edited by Erwin

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7 minutes ago, Erwin said:

C'mon, we have to let the evidence speak for itself...   :blink:

Well, to do that I'd have to talk to you like you're a moronic child.  Then you would have two different responses to compare and contrast, then you could draw conclusions from that.  So I'll do that...

"No.  You cant' have it, you won't get it.  Question me again and I'll send you to your room without supper and no game privileges for a month.  Now finish your homework, because God as my witness I'm not going to let you live here beyond your 18th birthday so you had better be able to get a job.  No go away and let me watch TV in peace, otherwise I'm going to have to call in your mother.  And she has had it up to HERE with your behavior."

:D

When a customer is wrong he's wrong.  I try to educate the customer as to WHY he is wrong so that he can LEARN from the experience.  Being honest and forthright with a customer is a compliment to my opinion of their intelligence.  If I don't think the customer is capable of learning I'd not bother with the explanation and just say "No".

Steve

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44 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

 

1.  Over estimating the ability of their suggestion to yield the result they say they want

Well, that's probably the first step when one puts ideas forward for discussion. Stuff that sounds wonderful in your head may turn out to be less great when you say it aloud, put it on writing or budget its costs and plan its implementations. So I think it's something that applies to gamers, testers... and developers :P

I don't find your style abrasive @Battlefront.com - people find me "abrasive" too in the real world. But sometimes I wish could take back something I said and use a gentler tone. 

Glad to read you discussing game stuff!

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1 minute ago, BletchleyGeek said:

Well, that's probably the first step when one puts ideas forward for discussion. Stuff that sounds wonderful in your head may turn out to be less great when you say it aloud, put it on writing or budget its costs and plan its implementations. So I think it's something that applies to gamers, testers... and developers :P

Oh HELL YES it applies to developers as well.  Thanks for bringing up a painful subject for me :D

Seriously, the difference between a gamer and a designer is not that one makes ill formed suggestions without thinking through the ramifications and the other never does.  The difference is the designer tends to self-reject most unworkable/unwise ideas before mentioning them to anybody.  Especially a programming partner who is not afraid to say "what, you're serious?!?" :D  The other difference is when an idea is rejected a designer/developer tends to abandon it pretty quickly and try to get at the problem from another angle IF the problem is important enough to warrant the effort.  A gamer, on the other hand, often digs in his heals and says "my poop don't stink, and don't you tell me otherwise".

1 minute ago, BletchleyGeek said:

I don't find your style abrasive @Battlefront.com - people find me "abrasive" too in the real world. But sometimes I wish could take back something I said and use a gentler tone. 

Glad to read you discussing game stuff!

Thanks ;)  If someone gets an explanation from me, at all, it is because I think the person is intelligent enough to understand it.  Ignorance is understandable and can be corrected.  But as the old saying goes, "you can't fix stupid" and so I don't bother with explanations if I think someone is too thick headed to understand them.  Or I'm short on time.  So if I just say "no" to something you say, you are free to interpret that as me being short on time and not that I think you're stupid. ;)

Steve

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11 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

You totally lost me here.  No idea what you're saying, really.

 

Really? I mean that the restriction being displayed in iron mode, if a unit is selected, can easily be circumvented by deselecting the unit.

If it wouldn't be allowed to be circumvented, it wouldn't just create additional clicks.

 

Quote

I'll say it again... we are not interested in trying to shoehorn 1st Person features into a game that is inherently 3rd Person. 

A more realistic iron mode is a 1st person feature? Is the LOCK UNIT feature with ground level view therefore a bad feature?

I do not see a more realistic iron mode as 1st person feature, but as an elegant method to remove the player's god ability.

It offers terrain fog of war (which for itself probably would be a HUGE leap forward in realism) without even the need to code it, that it makes playing the AI a challenge again (more customers) and several other ultra-realistic and customer-friendly benefits (keeping customers) ofcourse doesn't matter, because it can be called a 1st person feature and therefore must be avoided? IMO it's not a valid argument.

Contrary to your point of view I think it should even be possible to sell it to the military, since it would give commanders at least an impression, what losing comm tactically could mean, before ever being in that real life situation.

IMO a win, win, win feature. But because it can be labelled a 1st person feature, it must be avoided...

Edited by CarlWAW

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I would rather see a module for Black Sea that adds the VDV, and adds new vehicles/formations to the US and UKR forces. Or, I would rather see a new expansion to CMSF2 that adds even more content. Or, I would like to see a new game that covers 1950 Korea. Or what I really hope for is a game that covers a 1980s Cold War gone hot scenario. 

My point being, I would rather see the devs working on new/more content than a small features such as an increased difficulty setting. I have a different list of things I want BFC to do than you. Most people here have different ideas of what they want done. If BFC tried to deliver on every wishlist item of everyone on the forums, they would never get anything done. Just because you want something added doesn't mean everyone does. 

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