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GreenAsJade

Scenario Depot Blues

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An update: we've heard how some people still love the ole depot, but I've just finished a few scenarios and am finding two things:

1) In the past I've always reviewed scenarios I've played, but I'm finding I can't be bothered writing reviews on the depot because there doesn't feel like much point ... they're just not so useful anymore.

2) I feel more inclined to move to QBs - something I never would have dreamed of in the past - because its now quicker to set up a QB than sift through the depot...

GaJ.

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While a lot of the discussion has been about the ratings system (and I really hope Adm puts in something to help with the "find a highly recommended scenario easily" goal) there's one other small thing I'd like to ask...

... can we please have more characters in the review boxes! Once someone does decide to do a review, they might as well have room to say what it is they want to say, eh!? I always run out!

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Oh - another thing to separate out from the "combined scenario score" question: the scenarios definitely need to be searchable by "Best played as".

Each of "the lists" needs to be available as "for AI" and "for PBEM" separately. Otherwise it's forever clicking on popular scenarios, only to find they are popular for the wrong type of play!

[ November 20, 2004, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: GreenAsJade ]

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Just wanted to add that I haven't got many actually up at the scenario depot (although I have about eight which are finished and which I haven't got around to sending smile.gif ) but I really value the opportunity for feedback on these scenarios and think that the depot is an enormously valuable site.

What about a file included with the scenario that you download. It saves to your computer, and when you've played the scenario you just fill in the info and it sends itself off to the depot?

Might work with some email systems, might not. I don't know, it's just a thought.

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Originally posted by Soddball:

What about a file included with the scenario that you download. It saves to your computer, and when you've played the scenario you just fill in the info and it sends itself off to the depot?

Might work with some email systems, might not. I don't know, it's just a thought.

I've chatted with Keith about something similar - a way to export scenario playtest discussions/reviews from TPG over to TSD easily. I had thought of a small, encrypted text file that you could attach to a form post when adding your scenario to TSD but security is an issue here. You're really opening yourself up if you allow outside appends to your database like that (obviously) and having Keith manually do all those appends or merges isn't going to work either. There just doesn't seem to be a way to have it automated -safely.

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Originally posted by GJK:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Soddball:

What about a file included with the scenario that you download. It saves to your computer, and when you've played the scenario you just fill in the info and it sends itself off to the depot?

Might work with some email systems, might not. I don't know, it's just a thought.

I've chatted with Keith about something similar - a way to export scenario playtest discussions/reviews from TPG over to TSD easily. I had thought of a small, encrypted text file that you could attach to a form post when adding your scenario to TSD but security is an issue here. You're really opening yourself up if you allow outside appends to your database like that (obviously) and having Keith manually do all those appends or merges isn't going to work either. There just doesn't seem to be a way to have it automated -safely. </font>

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Originally posted by WWB:

This really, really screams XML and/or webservice. Should not be too difficult; hardest part will be doing XML parsing at reasonable speed in PHP.

Drop me an email as I have done some similar message passing stuff and have a few clues about how to accomplish this.

WWB

Yes, XML would probably be the way to go - didn't even think of that! I'll wait until the holidays are over with and see if Keith would be interesting in perhaps working something out together with your help if possible.

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Hey Keth

I think the curse of bad commo between our two IPs has hit us again. I've sent you some emails but you have not replied. So I'll put a note here in case you come by.

Just a small problem with the Operation submit function and later the Author edit for submitted operations. I'm unable to edit the authors name in Operations.

Thanks

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Just wanted to say thanks to Admiral Keth for the great resource TSD is. Can it be improved upon? Sure, what can't be.

But let's realize what we have here. You want a particular battle, PBEM or against the AI, large or small, historical or fictional, in whatever theater it's all there.

GREAT JOB!!

This is my first post here and I feel it's appropriate to thank all those who have had a hand contributing time and effort making TSD what it is. smile.gif

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Beside the suggestion to search for 2player battles or AI battles, i have a major problem with the FORCE BALANCE rating or even the rating system in general.

IMO it depends way too much on what the player expects. But the problem is, the player doesn't know what he can expect and so the ratings do not objectively reflect the intentions of the designer.

An example: a designer makes a scenario for very good players. Newbies or average players will usually rate it very bad, although it is exactly the challenge good players are looking for.

If you search the Depot, and have the old rating system, you will not even take a look at this battle, becasue of it's awful ratings, although it maybe could be exactly what you are looking for.

Or what about historical battles which are completely unbalanced?

Voting FORCE BALANCE would in no way be just for such scenarios and on no way reflect their intentions.

So the votings are even turning into the oposite of their task: they become misleading.

A way out of this dilemma could lie in the oposite of the actual way:

maybe we should think about a voting system, that shows intentions of the author, the expectations of the reviewer, and maybe the experience of the reviewer to get to a more valuable result.

So far only ratings of the players are discussed.

And tastes are very different. Levels of players, too. And even more what the players expect when they download a battle - although they don't even have really a clue, what they are downloading.

This obviously has to lead to misunderstandings and unsatisfied players and authors.

Usually the authors know quite good, what they created.

So how about giving the AUTHOR the possibility to rate certain aspects of the scenario?

I.e. difficulty could be a rating, that can be judged quite well by the author and the testers.

Categories could be

Winnable for newbies (against AI)

up to

Impossible for Cracks (against AI) (if you win this, you're the best of the best). ;)

If you know, you're going to play a very hard scenario, you look with completely other eyes at it, as if you expect a balanced scenario, but it is the heroic last stand of brave men.

And for H2H battles the rating could be:

Winnable for newbies (against average/good/very good player)

up to

Winnable only for Cracks (against newbies)

Important seems to me, that in the rating the level of the oponent, on which the rating is based, is clearly expressed, to get it more objective because of the different levels of the players.

That would bring much more interest on unbalanced scenarios which are really challenging.

And so it finally becomes possible, that players become happy with a draw or even a minor defeat - because it is such a hard rated scenario.

I think such a rating system would greatly broaden the bandwith of liked scenarios.

A bandwith that CM offers, but which isn't used, because every battle leaving the small path of an equal force balance has no chance in the user reviews.

Personally i'd give way more on such a difficulty rating from a respected designer, than on ten reviews of players with completely different levels and preferences.

Map design, atmosphere/fun ofcourse would stay categories to be rated from the reviewers.

Also the reviews could contain the possibility to rate the authors rating about the battle's difficulty (i.e. was way harder for me than author rated; my rating: above average; oponent: newbie) :D

Just my 2 ct.

ps: just had an idea, about a feature that could increase vastly the number of reviews.

When you have reviewed a battle, you can post your result (against a human oponent, you have to rate his level). Then, depending on the authors rating, your result and the strength of the your oponent, you receive a personal rating!

Ofcourse this rating is just a personal information and is nowhere displayed. So there's no need to tell wrong results.

Thid could be even expanded with statistics for each battle.

Example:

Your rating (based on the authors rating and your result): You're an average player.

Your rating (based on the results of other players and your result): You're a good player.

Statistics:

based on 20 results

Played as

Axis:

60% (12 players) lost this battle - 30% (6 players) with a total defeat - 20% (4 players) with a major defeat - 15% (3 players) with a minor defeat

10% reached a draw (2)

30% (6) won this battle - 25% (5) with a minor victory - 5% (1) with a total victory

Now tell me, such statistics as price for a review would not lead to more reviews!

Based on the statistics, there could be even made a ranking of the most difficult battles.

pps:

just had another idea: the Depot is marking REFERENCE BATTLES (only battles against the AI with most reviews and therefore most statistical data)

or

REFERENCE BATTLE of the month - battles which should take attention to get many reviews and results).

[ December 02, 2004, 04:17 AM: Message edited by: Steiner14 ]

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Hmmm....

I just tried to log in on my current user name with password and was rejected...

I'm hoping to upload a battle? :(

Richie

[edited to add; Hey it's cool, I didn't realise you had to re register after a while...]

[ December 05, 2004, 05:11 AM: Message edited by: Richie ]

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