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Fieldmarshall

CM Web Community in disarray?

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Hey guys,

Well, call it nostalgia, but I've been going back to a lot of my old, favorite CM sites to download some of my favorite old mods for CM:BO to bring the game back up to par on my new computer. After hours of work I gave up and downloaded CMMOS (yes I'm behind the times) anyway, within CMMOS I found everything I was looking for. BUT, what has happened to all of our favorite sites? The sites may still be there, like Last Defense but many of the links are dead. CM outpost doesn't have any mods these days and CMHQ doesn't have much on individual mods, most of the links are dead. It seems like you HAVE to convert to CMMOS. I really miss the old days when the CM community was at its peak.

There were a dozen awesome sites with daily traffic and everyday I'd go to Combat Missions and send in a new scenario. Now, I'm sure youre asking what does this have to do with CMBB?

Well, I remember back in the day, I used to make a bunch of Scenarios for CM:BO and after about a year I got pretty darn good at it. I think it was the vast and thriving community that downloaded those scenarios that encouraged me to make them. Now with CM:BB and only one original big scenario website still standing...I have only made one submitted scenario for CM:BB vs. my dozen CM:BO ones. Granted I have one other CM:BB one ready for submission to the depot, I just haven't gotten around to it.

Anyway, in conclusion, how many here think that the lack of interactive and popular sites (i.e. Combat Missions) has affected the quality and quantity of 3rd party scenarios? Granted, I will probably be making a ton of scenarios involving the Hungarians soon considering they are my favorite belligerent on the eastern front ( I just bought The Royal Hungarian Army 1920-1945) and it has so much information on Hungarian operations that I have a limitless source for future scenarios. But besides that, I still don't feel the same when I make a new scenario anymore. The fun doesn't seem to be there? Does anybody agree with me?

[ August 22, 2003, 05:21 AM: Message edited by: Fieldmarshall ]

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I just find the eastern front too depressing. Dont know why exactly its just doesnt feel as nice as normandy.

Think I must be suffering from some sort of seasonal affective disorder. Looking forward to the desert and the med to top up my tan.

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Designing a decent scenario does require more effort for CMBB than it did for CMBO. It is also more rewarding though, in the same way as a 15 mile hike through the North Downs is more rewarding than a 40 minute walk to work. The former I do every few weeks, the latter I do twice daily.

As for the lack of sites - people move on. The fact that not as much is being discussed on these forums (well, not as much sensible stuff anyway, there is always the General Forum and Master Goodale's thread) has also lead to people to get their CMBB kicks in other, more private ways. These can be online campaigns (CMMC2 and others), offline campaign weekends (such as the one Kip and I organised a few weeks back), or specialised websites such as Grisha's Red Army Studies project, and many other things.

I also think that the translation into different languages has made a difference. This has lead to more dispersal and decentralisation. While once the BFC forums were not just the hub, but actually the only place to go to, to purchase and discuss the game, this has now changed a lot. So a lot of things are no longer visible to us here.

Finally, to some extent it is probably also a problem of lack of feedback. Scenario reviews at the Depot are still far and few between. I just reviewed Petrovashchene Ridge (hope I got that right), and my review was No.11 - the scenario has been downloaded 1,223 times and is one of the top scenarios (rightly so for PBEM play!).

Then you have the problem with two sites being so good that they are in effect 'winner takes all' sites. The Depot, and CMMODS.com. That is a good thing, IMO. Also, there are still a number of sites around - you just have to look for them.

[ August 22, 2003, 06:07 AM: Message edited by: Andreas ]

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Yes, I agree. IMHO the best period was during the beginning of the CMBB "era", last year. CMBO was still very popular and CMBB was just beginning. You saw a lot of scenarios and the first mods for the eastern front... It was a very prolific time.I remember me watching at combatmission.com everyday, downloading new mods for my shermans or Panther G... ...and discovering many new websites devoted to CMBB. Quite cool !

But, you know, there is such an improvement between CMBO and CMBB that the first game looks now a bit "simple", I mean new orders, new raffinements (word ?)that make the eastern version so complex and attractive. You know, I'm not playing at CMBO since almost a year now...

For me, the eastern front is a fantastic period/location for wargaming : tank battles, city fighting, etc, etc.. and the game is covering 4 years of war with all the evolution of tank/weapon technology that influences your tactical decisions and your way of wargaming. You didn't (oops... "don't") have it on CMBO which is covering 11 months :rolleyes: On the contrary, I would prefer some "Normandy" tank battles, since I live near this region of France.

Then, I think many gamers here are frantically waiting for CMAK which will have the same complexity of CMBB but on another theater. IIRC, it would be possible to recreate westfront engagement like there were in CMBO, but at the CMBB standard. It's not the same ! :D

Yes, the CM community seems to have a little sleep nowadays. I presume it is because it's the summer. But, during the year, many modders and designers have made their best to propose a very prolific production of mods, scenatios, campaigns or so...

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Creating and maintaining sites does take a lot of time. Creating scenarios for this site even more.

I'm sure there are a lot of CM fans who are trying to bring a contribution to the CM community.

Eichenbaum

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When CMBB was about to launch, and just after it's launch, I ran with a "mods" site. After about 2-weeks, my web host buddy said "enuff's enough". The traffic was causing a strain on his bandwidth. True, it probably wouldn't be near as extreme now that CMBB has been out for a while, but with CMAK coming, it would pick up again. Congrat's to COG for keeping CMMODS going like he has!

So, wanting to do something to give back to the community, I've since re launched The Proving Grounds as a site for opponent finding and beta scenario uploads and critiquing. Membership has been growing, and like with the Scenario Depot, I'm hoping for more input on the scenarios that have been uploaded there...something to help the scenario designer's fine tune their work.

Anyway, my site caters to both CMBO and CMBB and will offer scenarios/opponent finding for CMAK as well.

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Oh, Don't get me wrong. I Commend the work that our community leaders do on their websites. Its fantastic! I mean, the new websites are great and so are the old ones. I'm just asking the community, if the falling number of "BIG" sites is contributing to the falling amount of scenarios and scenario quality.

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Here the Community is (and was) always very active for CMBO et CMBB, but that's just a matter a language :rolleyes:

However I think there's still lots of work being done by CMHQ and other important websites, such as TCMHQ and Boots&Tracks, etc etc ...

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Hello Paulus !

Sorry I didn't mail you anything redface.gif One week of holidays + Jagdpanyher stuff = "Busy !! ;) "

But I keep your adress under my knee (french expression)...

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Originally posted by Beta1:

I just find the eastern front too depressing. Dont know why exactly its just doesnt feel as nice as normandy.

I'm glad someone else finally said that. I thought I was the only one. Maybe we should form a support group. ;)

I have always found the Eastern Front depressing to contemplate. It is certainly "interesting" in many ways, and it was certainly very important in nearly every way, and therefore deserving the attention of anyone who is at all serious about studying WW II.

But it is also particularly ugly in the way it was conducted. It was Total War to the Nth. degree, with no let-up, no space for humanity. The rest of the war was surely no picnic, but one can find in it moments of relief. The war in the East seems unrelievedly grim. Two ruthless dictatorships were fighting to the death. What good could come of that? One less dictatorship, I suppose. But with one still standing essentially untransformed, that doesn't bring much cheer to the heart.

Michael

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Hi,

I agree with Andreas, in that it is not any lack of interest in CM, far from it, but more likely just that the exact form, the exact CM related project that interests people most, changes.

There was a rush of websites in the early days, now many of those people are doing other CM related projects. The same goes for scenarios. Many of us have hit upon a formula for designing our own scenarios for use amongst a small group of friends. When I have time I like to build a large map in Mapping Mission, based very closely on real topographical maps of the Soviet Union, the cut out sections and play scenarios against chums.

As I say, by now many have developed their own preferred “niche” in how they use CM.

But new sites still come through, when they do, they are often very high quality.

All the best,

Kip.

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The CM community may have been a victim of its own success. I do recall several website operators saying that their service provider was screaming becase their little site was getting more traffic than corporate sites! For a few sites I got the impression they went away when the service provider upped the costs.

A couple other site operators got discouraged when overloaded traffic dropped the download speed to unacceptable levels (reminds me of the old joke "Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore - it's always too crowded!")

As for multiple mod sites, www.cmmods.com has been such a run-away success that it made the others obsolete. Even that site is close to becoming a victim of its own success. There's no doubt a laundry list of top-notch mods in there that have got lost in the crowd.

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I think there are a lot of factors involved.

As Andreas said, doing a good CMBb scenario is much harder, more time-consuming and small oversights can screw it all up, making it no fun to play.

A few years ago people had, on average, more money (better payed web-related jobs, more jobs) and webhosters were having more competition. At the same time, bandwidth demands raises due to increased community size, bigger mods and more robosts. Relativly speaking people have to spend much more of their average income on a webhost for a CM site.

CMBO was a groundbreaking game, it attracted a lot of active, creative, technology-pushing people who were very well capable of running a website. CMBB is more polished, but not groundbreaking, there are less techeads here now, hopefully in exchange for more historically oriented people. But those are less likely to run a website.

In addition we have the big bitpucket websites which host most of the scenarios and most of the mods and are a good home, so there is less need for private hosters.

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I must admit I largely played CMBB over CMBO because of the advances it offered in terms of realism. I never enjoyed the theatre us much as I did BO though. Since CMAK was announced I've largely gone dormant with CMBB and eagerly await CMAK. Roll on Xmas (crosses fingers) ;)

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I must admit I largely played CMBB over CMBO because of the advances it offered in terms of realism. I never enjoyed the theatre us much as I did BO though. Since CMAK was announced I've largely gone dormant with CMBB and eagerly await CMAK. Roll on Xmas (crosses fingers) ;)

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Hi,

I see that some find the Eastern Front depressing. What I think this is testimony to is the detail and accuracy of the environments BFC create for each of their games. Recently I came across another example that illustrates just how good BFC are at creating realistic environments.

For a small Live tournament one weekend, about seven of us got together at a house where we could net work the machines, I produced a 6km by 10km map in Mapping Mission. It was based very closely on a topographical map of the Ukraine. Anyway… when we then copied and pasted from the map in Mapping Mission to the CMBB map editor, the results were outstanding. Outstanding in terms of their realism. The resulting CMBB maps really did look “exactly” like the many photos, 3,000 plus, I have of the war in the east. When you then add the sound and weather effects, I certainly felt I was watching a move clip from the Eastern Front.

Build a realistic map, then have all the various graphics settings at their most realistic, scale, vegetation, player aids off, the lot, and what you see is the Soviet Union in WWII.

All the best,

Kip.

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Maybe we have a tendency to think of West Front in terms of Kelly's Heroes or A Bridge Too Far, while East Front brings Iron Cross or Enemy at Gates to our minds. Imagine that the only movie about West Front was the German film Die Brücke (The Bridge, in which a group of children are given the duty to guard a bridge in the middle of their home town). I've never seen a comedy about East Front, I doubt one has ever been made!

Thus Overlord brings to mind images of a summer holiday to French winegrowing areas, while the closest Soviet equivalent would be a burning vodka distillery amidst a 7-hour rocket barrage in Stalingrad, involving a regiment of 7 crippled, starved men fighting for their lives in defense of the last loaf of bread against a rat swarm.

But the more you know about something, the easier it is to find positive sides from it.

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Originally posted by redwolf:

A few years ago people had, on average, more money (better payed web-related jobs, more jobs) and webhosters were having more competition. At the same time, bandwidth demands raises due to increased community size, bigger mods and more robosts. Relativly speaking people have to spend much more of their average income on a webhost for a CM site.

THAT IS THE CORRECT ANSWER TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION!

The whole reason I started cmmods.com was because so many people were being pushed out of business by their ISPs, especially the mod hosting sites. Once they hit 10MB, 100MB or 500MB in one day, they would be shut down, charged huge amounts of $$$ or had their bandwidth reduced to nothing.

The same is true for the scen hosting sites. The cost of running a hosting site (or any kind) goes up exponentially with every new file. A website that hosts 200 files is 20x-30x more expensive in time and money than a site that hosts 20 files. Maintenance is a killer on the wallet and timeclock.

As for suggesting that the consolidation of CM resources to a few much larger sites from many smaller one, I think that is way off. I used to shy away from mods and scens in CMBO because it was so hard to find a reliable source of the mods/scens. Now, you know you can find just about ANY mod or scen in, at most, 3-4 websites. I personally think it's a good thing that these things have been centralized. (Don't worry, I didn't take offense to what you said.)

I was lucky to find an ISP that didn't shut me down for pushing ~3GB PER DAY thru my connection. Most others have not been so lucky.

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Originally posted by ColumbusOHGamer:

As for suggesting that the consolidation of CM resources to a few much larger sites from many smaller one, I think that is way off. I used to shy away from mods and scens in CMBO because it was so hard to find a reliable source of the mods/scens. Now, you know you can find just about ANY mod or scen in, at most, 3-4 websites. I personally think it's a good thing that these things have been centralized. (Don't worry, I didn't take offense to what you said.)

I am not quite sure who you are talking to, or indeed what you are saying (there seems to be a bit missing in the sentence, or I am very tired). If it is me, since I brought this up, I think, I did not mean it as criticism at all. I am quite pleased with the development. smile.gif

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I don't think that many of us who set up the first few CM websites in addition to CMHQ actually took into account just how popular CMBO would become. I certainly didn't. I certainly didn't budget on paying hundreds of £'s each month to host mods.

Looking back, i should have left Combat Missions happily running along with Scenarios and Articles as it's primary content.

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The same is true for the scen hosting sites. The cost of running a hosting site (or any kind) goes up exponentially with every new file. A website that hosts 200 files is 20x-30x more expensive in time and money than a site that hosts 20 files. Maintenance is a killer on the wallet and timeclock.
Actually, hosting scenarios is pretty easy on bandwith. The traffic we get over at boots and tracks is not inconsiderable, but I go nowhere near my bandwith limits. The biggest drain is not the battles themselves but the screenshots anyhow.

WWB

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Originally posted by ColumbusOHGamer:

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

A few years ago people had, on average, more money (better payed web-related jobs, more jobs) and webhosters were having more competition. At the same time, bandwidth demands raises due to increased community size, bigger mods and more robosts. Relativly speaking people have to spend much more of their average income on a webhost for a CM site.

THAT IS THE CORRECT ANSWER TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION! </font>

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Modest change of topic, but is there a good AAR website? The only one I know of is CMHQ, and those AARs are just a couple Fionn Kelly ancient (but very good) AARs. I have seen a couple of other AARs scattered here and there on the internet, but nothing I would call a good collection. If I had more than a 24k connection :mad: I just might start one myself - unless there is one out there I just havent found.

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