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Here is What I Dont Understand about BF?


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One element that has genuinely changed for the worse is the loss of ChrisND, and his twitch streams. Those were superb content, both in terms of engaging with the player base and highlighting upcoming

Yes and no...according to MikeyD, BF apparently also incurs a lot of brain damage determining OOBs and TO&Es for formations that I doubt anyone ever uses.  I was simply suggesting that they could

I've been playing Combat Mission equally as long, and I think it's an amazing outfit with wonderful support - I never got so much escapism in my life before. CMSF2 was incredible - a huge leap forward

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2 hours ago, Pelican Pal said:

 

Is it true that you have to buy-in to the Engine Upgrades to get the new module? 

 

From the module page: " A licensed version of Combat Mission Fortress Italy Base Game with Game Engine 4 v2.10 is required for Rome to Victory."

I assumed that meant you had to upgrade the base game first but I am open to recant if that is wrong.

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19 minutes ago, weapon2010 said:

 the module is new?correct?

OK, so let's use the module as the baseline for "new".

$95 - the price for the base game (engine 4) + module if you buy both now.

$110 - the total price I will have to pay to have the base game (engine 4) + module.

Why am I paying more for the new?

Before we go full circle, remember that I did not buy the upgrades when they came out so have derived no value from those two historical newnesses.

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Interesting, because someone is not actively playing the game and don't really care about updating the engine. When the later version of the game gets new material, they feel they should get the later version of the game for free. With the purchase of the material.

Where as BF sees it as they offer products for the latest version of their products.

Really, Ok, maybe it is a little harsh to the casual player that does not use the product much. But If $10 is the make or break of them buying the latest material and version of the game, then I doubt they are  serious about buying the game anyway.

And would anyone not serious about buying the game even be on this site. 

So get you $10 extra and get the game and start playing.

(dress up like a beggar and get the money for the whole game in a hour or 2) you will have better luck doing that than getting BF to change how they sell their product.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, slysniper said:

And would anyone not serious about buying the game even be on this site.

I am living testament to that very possibility.

Perhaps I was more serious in the past (I do have three of their titles with modules and way back when even posted up a bug report that resulted in a change to the game). Perhaps I could be more serious again in the future. CM games are not the only games I play though, so I have to choose where and on what I spend my disposable income.

In light of choosing what I spend my money on, the "it's only $15" argument holds no water for me. If it is just $15, then why doesn't BF provide brand new customers with the engine 2 base game and require them to buy the engine upgrades? These new customers actually do "get the later version of the game for free. With the purchase of the material".  Of course the optics would be bad, just as they are bad for me, a not-so-serious but perhaps interested customer returning from a furlough.

So I thought I would leave some feedback from a market segment (am I the only one?) that, as you say, is not very vocal on the forums. It's up to BF if they listen or not, just as it is up to me if I buy or not.

Seriously not salty at all.

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1 hour ago, slysniper said:

Interesting, because someone is not actively playing the game and don't really care about updating the engine. When the later version of the game gets new material, they feel they should get the later version of the game for free. With the purchase of the material.


It just seems weird to have returning users being required to pay anywhere between 30% to 45% more for a game than the sticker price. Not to mention that the requirement is actually posted below the fold on my 1080p monitor under Requirements rather than Product Info. Its a non-standard system, and I'd bet there are people who make the purchase without realizing the requirement.

 

52 minutes ago, slysniper said:

Interesting, because someone is not actively playing the game and don't really care about updating the engine. When the later version of the game gets new material, they feel they should get the later version of the game for free. With the purchase of the material.

In these cases its required to have the newest engine for the new content. IIRC some of the older modules were backwards compatible. This is likely done to make support and patching more streamlined.



 

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1 hour ago, slysniper said:

And would anyone not serious about buying the game even be on this site. 

What a strange question!  Maybe they'd like to you know, find out more about the game before buying it?  Sorry if that is not "serious enough" about the game for you.

But to your point, while it might make some of you feel good to try to convince some of us that it is perfectly normal to pay for an engine upgrade in addition to paying for a module, the fact is that a great many people--most of whom are not on this forum--don't think so--I've seen frequently on other forums.  While I guess that you might be happy that such non-serious players won't consider buying the game, it results in the loss of a $40 module because of a $5 upgrade (or whatever the exact prices are...), which some people apparently won't pay on principle.

Edited by 76mm
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4 hours ago, Offshoot said:

OK, so let's use the module as the baseline for "new".

$95 - the price for the base game (engine 4) + module if you buy both now.

$110 - the total price I will have to pay to have the base game (engine 4) + module.

Why am I paying more for the new?

Before we go full circle, remember that I did not buy the upgrades when they came out so have derived no value from those two historical newnesses.

you have a point, but you'll need to take that up with BF.  Pricing is exclusively their domain and rationale.  

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21 hours ago, Offshoot said:

Why am I paying more for the new?

I have not checked your math and I don't doubt you. I have to admit I am a bit surprised by that too. I would have guessed differently. Clearly if you decide to get the module you are better off just buying new. You could drop a note to support to ask for clarification - it is possible this scenario was not considered when pricing was set.

 

19 hours ago, 76mm said:

which some people apparently won't pay on principle.

LOL the principal that people should not be payed for their work? That principal?

I know you have heard the explanation before and I know some people just ignore it or reject it but most games don't upgrade old engines they put out more content on the old engine. BFC decided to do things differently and now CMBN is just as "new" a CMSF because they did the work to update engine and not just create additional content and let the old games just lag behind. Goofy anomalies like what @Offshoot have encountered aside I am glad they did. Now I don't have to agonize over playing CMFB engine 4 with the spiffy new engine where MGs work as expected over CMBN engine 1 where they don't.

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36 minutes ago, IanL said:

LOL the principal that people should not be payed for their work? That principal?

...most games don't upgrade old engines they put out more content on the old engine. BFC decided to do things differently and now CMBN is just as "new" a CMSF because they did the work to update engine and not just create additional content and let the old games just lag behind...Now I don't have to agonize over playing CMFB engine 4 with the spiffy new engine where MGs work as expected over CMBN engine 1 where they don't.

I guess the crux of the problem is that many people don't agree with you that "most games don't upgrade the old engines."  I don't know about the games you play, but as mentioned previously just about every game I play has provided free upgrades for several years or longer.  The Panzer Campaigns games released twenty years ago have the same engine as those released this year, because they have released various free patches over the years.  For FOG2, every DLC includes some tweaks to the engine, which are released free to everyone, even if the don't buy the DLC.  The Campaign series has released a couple of major updates for their Mid East game, and will release another when they release their next game, which covers Vietnam, bringing it to the same standard.  CMANO released many updates over the last several years, before releasing a second version of the game a few weeks ago.

You raise another point--at what point is something an "engine upgrade" vs a "patch"?  If MGs don't "work as expected" in CMBN is it reasonable to expect customers to pay to fix it?  

For the record, I've never felt especially strongly about this issue, but from what I have seen, many people do.  And while you can disagree with them, I don't agree that they are crazy or being completely unreasonable, as many here seem to suggest.

Edited by 76mm
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I don't think anyone here is saying that paying for Engine Patches is inherently bad. CM: Battle For Normandy is essentially a dead game (no new development) and there is work going into keeping it up to date. 

Fortress Italy though is (well was) alive. It was an unfinished Family that had active development going over a course of 7 years. Now if someone purchased CM:FI in 2012 and wants to get R2V they are going to pay an additional 45%. 

As an aside: The store pages for Battle for Normandy handle the requirements section in a better fashion.

https://www.battlefront.com/battle-for-normandy/cmbn-commonwealth-forces-module/
At the top it says 

Quote

Requires Base Game (Game Engine 3 or 4)


While R2V https://www.battlefront.com/fortress-italy/cmfi-rome-to-victory-module/ says: 

Quote

v2.10 (Game Engine 4)

 

and Gustave Line https://www.battlefront.com/fortress-italy/cmfi-gustav-line-module/

Quote

Currently v2.00 (Game Engine 4)

Even though Gustav will operate with both Engine 3 and 4.

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Discussions about pricing usually get pretty animated, so hopefully we can keep this straight and productive.  So far so good :D

23 hours ago, Offshoot said:

OK, so let's use the module as the baseline for "new".

$95 - the price for the base game (engine 4) + module if you buy both now.

$110 - the total price I will have to pay to have the base game (engine 4) + module.

Why am I paying more for the new?

Before we go full circle, remember that I did not buy the upgrades when they came out so have derived no value from those two historical newnesses.

The question is not really related to Modules but to the concept of Upgrades, Bundles, and discounts in general.  People who raise issues about fairness tend to forget to mention how other products (games or otherwise) handle pricing.  In particular... discounts, especially "sales events".

From a customer fairness standpoint, let's take the example of a $500 TV that has a 5-7 year lifespan.  Why is it fair for Customer A to purchase that TV in October and then see Customer B get it for $350 on Black Friday and all subsequent buyers get it for $450 for the rest of the year and then less so with each passing month.  It's the same TV with the same features, same functionality, and same warranty.  Sure, nobody can really make an argument that a TV purchased 2 years later has less value because it is further behind the technology curve, but 1-2 months between purchases?  That's not a defensible argument.  Yet this is how most retail/online sales are conducted.  The early adopters always pay more than those that follows.  Sometimes crazy amounts more, despite no rational argument for it. 

In my view, the concept of "sales" is disrespectful for loyal customers who adopt early.  Which is why Battlefront does not engage in "sales".  Oddly enough, we feel many our customers don't have a problem with sales events.  However, we do even though we're pretty sure we'd make more money if we did.  So this is a strange situation where Battlefront is probably shorting itself some revenue for a principle.

OK, so what about accounting for decreasing value over time?  If Combat Mission remained static we would decrease the price over time.  We did that with CM1 products, CMSF1, and CM Afghanistan.  We view this as fair provided we wait a considerably long time to reduce the price.  I don't think anybody has a problem with this.

Bundles are another thing which customers seem to understand.  Buying more at the same time SHOULD be rewarded.  Yes, it's tough luck for the person that bought some of portion of the bundle before hand, but again it seems customers are fine with this.

And so we've arrived at the concept of Upgrades.

For the most part game companies do NOT upgrade products more than a few months or years post release.  Not at all, fee or otherwise.  For sure there are some that do, but for every rule there is an exception.  Battlefront is an exception in that it does provide upgrades.  There are other exceptions as well.  Some charge, some don't.  Charging for new features is *standard* for non-game software.  Even software that costs hundreds or thousands to purchase.  We're comfortable with our approach.

It is true that the early adopters of a Game Family, like CMFI, will likely invest more money in it over time than the person who just found out about it today.  Someone who bought the original (Engine 2) version of the game, Gustav Line (no bundle), Rome to Victory (not bundle), and two upgrades will have paid significantly more than someone who bought a Base Game + GL + RtV today.  But the person buying it today will have a hard time catching up with the time the early customer enjoyed CMFI.  And when it all is boiled down, the vaue equation is something like price paid divided by hours played.  Which means someone who paid more over the years might actually have spent less per hour of enjoyment than someone buying today can.

Long winded... I know :)  However, this sort of thing doesn't lend itself to quick soundbites other than "tough, that's the way it is".  Or maybe "We here at Battlefront value your opinion and will consider your request in future pricing decisions" (then of course never think about it again).

Hopefully that adds something to the discussion.

Steve

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4 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

And so we've arrived at the concept of Upgrades.

For the most part game companies do NOT upgrade products more than a few months or years post release.  Not at all, fee or otherwise.  For sure there are some that do, but for every rule there is an exception.  Battlefront is an exception in that it does provide upgrades.  There are other exceptions as well.  Some charge, some don't.  Charging for new features is *standard* for non-game software.  Even software that costs hundreds or thousands to purchase.  We're comfortable with our approach.

The only alternative I can think of is something like what Paradox is doing with their grand strategy games. Linking functionality changes (effectively 'Upgrades') to a DLC release. But the customer needs to buy the DLC to get the most out of the 'free upgrade'.

For what it's worth I've kept a track of game ownership and asking questions on purchasing habits over at the FGM. 79% of respondants state they pick up upgrades and modules either as a 'Day 1 Purchase' or 'Early but keep an old version of the game' on their hard drives as well. (For ongoing battles including PBEM). Most of the other 21% say they'll wait until there is the inevitable post release patch to fix bugs that have cropped up. Granted membership would be more reflective of the non-casual 'dip the toes in the water' CM/wargaming crowd.

For the FGM tournies/campaigns it basically shows we're safe in running a CM event (or updating existing events) to include latest CM content directly after release.

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7 minutes ago, Ithikial_AU said:

The only alternative I can think of is something like what Paradox is doing with their grand strategy games. Linking functionality changes (effectively 'Upgrades') to a DLC release. But the customer needs to buy the DLC to get the most out of the 'free upgrade'.

This is not a bad idea if a product has regular DLC and there's just one line of products.  But CM is a collection of different lines of products (Families) all using the same core engine.  The DLC for each one is sporadic and product specific.

Imagine if we added a bunch of brand new features to the game that Rome to Victory unlocked for free.  What about people, including CMFI customers, who own other CM Families?  How do they get those features if there isn't brand new DLC content available for them as well?  And if it does come with some future DLC, how long must they wait?  Which means the only viable way to ensure people get new features across all titles is to have Upgrades separate from DLC.  Which then gets into an inequality situation where someone gets the features free with DLC and others have to pay for it separately.  There'd be lots of grumbling about that.

Combat Mission as a game breaks a lot of molds.  As a product it also breaks molds.  It's took quite a while to figure out the best fit for CM.  We see no reason to change it at this point.

Steve

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One way to do it and follow this model would be for the next iteration of CM to have less core games perhaps. One for the west front, one for the east front and a modern title. It would make the paradox route more viable. As it is now, yeah it is not really a good option. Too many drawbacks. But yes even then, I am not sure I would like this approach better regarding patches and upgrades.

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Try selling that concept to people who like the Southern Front :)  So even if we combined CMFB with CMBN, CMBS with CMSF2, and CMFI with a theoretical North Africa... that still means 4 distinct Families.  We'd have to get that number down to 1 or 2 for the Paradox DLC concept to work smoothly.

Now, before someone says it... we aren't ever going to have a "sandbox" game where there is one and only one central Game Engine with DLC added too it.  There's certain advantages to such a strategy, but also disadvantages. Some technical, some marketing.  We've thought about this long and hard over the past 20 years and we're still of the mindset that a singular game engine is not the way to go.  What we have done, though, is made the code more centralized so that CM wide Upgrades and Patches are easier to create.  It's a compromise, but then again so isn't everything!

Steve

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4 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Try selling that concept to people who like the Southern Front :)  So even if we combined CMFB with CMBN, CMBS with CMSF2, and CMFI with a theoretical North Africa... that still means 4 distinct Families.  We'd have to get that number down to 1 or 2 for the Paradox DLC concept to work smoothly.

Now, before someone says it... we aren't ever going to have a "sandbox" game where there is one and only one central Game Engine with DLC added too it.  There's certain advantages to such a strategy, but also disadvantages. Some technical, some marketing.  We've thought about this long and hard over the past 20 years and we're still of the mindset that a singular game engine is not the way to go.  What we have done, though, is made the code more centralized so that CM wide Upgrades and Patches are easier to create.  It's a compromise, but then again so isn't everything!

Steve

Drat! Darn these time zone differences! You've told me I can't say it even before I managed to say it ...

As a buyer of CMFI "the hard way" as you described above, including now R2V, I'm fine with the current pricing policy: I value the long-term access and enjoyment, plus paying a little more over time, over a cheaper price for buying the whole bundle now but not having had the game to play.

But ... outside the cost / pricing regime, having CM3 as a single core game engine with "families" (or similar ...) of content to use with it is exactly what I hoped CM3 would be. (FWIW, I seem to recall that you did indicate at some point in the past that you might go down that route?)

It seems to me to have no (?) downsides to the user?

BF would perhaps have fewer revenue-generating opportunities? But also much less work to keep one engine going, even if it did have to cope with a "universal" set of potential circumstances that would not be needed in every "family" of content?

But I wouldn't want to put a crimp on the BF Maui beach-front condo retirement plans ... 😎

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