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The argument for time limits in single play


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THE GAMERS cardboard games were a terrific group of series. They had a similar philosophy to BF.

Re time limits, I wonder if the players who do well with the time limits are playing RT. As someone noted, WEGO is a lot tougher. Nothing wrong with that. But, how about the game description telling us if it was primarily tested in RT or WEGO so that the player knows what to expect (is better mentally prepared).

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Further, it implies that losing is not an option. Missions should never be lost, ever! I honestly can't get to grips with that attitude. I like it when a mission kicks my butt and I am more than willing to return to it and try something different if necessary. Frankly, if I play something and I win it first time, I'm disappointed. Where's the value for my money? I want to win but I don't want it to be easy, at least all the time.

Interesting! I have a very different philosophy. I like having most missions be winnable (or at least drawable ;)) the first time, without too much luck. I don't really enjoy repeatedly reloading saves, because then it starts to feel more like a puzzle game than a combat sim. Now, I don't like winning everything the first time either. There should be some missions that are harder than others, and it should totally be possible to lose. But I feel that in most missions, I should be given a reasonable chance to win the first time if I play well. I prefer campaigns that are hard enough where I have to retry one or two missions, but not so hard that I have to retry all but one or two. ;)

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THE GAMERS cardboard games were a terrific group of series. They had a similar philosophy to BF.

Re time limits, I wonder if the players who do well with the time limits are playing RT. As someone noted, WEGO is a lot tougher. Nothing wrong with that. But, how about the game description telling us if it was primarily tested in RT or WEGO so that the player knows what to expect (is better mentally prepared).

I am strictly a WeGo player. I spend probably a ridiculous amount of time examining a turn to see just what each of my dang pixeltruppen is up to - they're usually slacking off. RT looks interesting at times, but w/o the replay capability it just won't do for me. For all of the complaints about the AI I find it pretty amazing how often the AI works really really well.

I am not sure I would consider WeGo harder so much as requiring a bit more patience. Because you have a full 60 seconds where you are unable to intervene I think you have to learn to pace yourself much slower. I suspect because in RT you do have the capability to react and intervene, maybe players are tending to play faster.

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I think, if a scenario-designer tries to think out of the box most of the problems resulting from it are a result of diverging player expectations and the designer's intentions, because (sadly) the vast majority of all battles are "winable" and balanced. I have not come across a single briefing, that was completely, wrong, demanded impossibilities and i as player had to be careful during the battle.

Precious time at the beginning of a scenario is wasted in 95% of the time, if units are not rushed forwards. Once you have knocked out three enemy tanks without own losses, you can assume you are on a good path. This all has HUGE implications on the used tactics.

Personally I'm very happy, if scenario designers think outside the box and offer more surprising and less predictable scenarios.

But if they do not communicate to the player in the briefing or - even better - in an attached readme-file, that their battles - like in reality - COULD be surprsingly unbalanced, could even range from impossible to a walk in the park, or that the briefing could contain unprecise or wrong informations, then they should not be surpsied, if players will not understand the scenario. This must be communicated clearly from that kind of designers! Problem solved.

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Interesting! I have a very different philosophy. I like having most missions be winnable (or at least drawable ;)) the first time, without too much luck. I don't really enjoy repeatedly reloading saves, because then it starts to feel more like a puzzle game than a combat sim. Now, I don't like winning everything the first time either. There should be some missions that are harder than others, and it should totally be possible to lose. But I feel that in most missions, I should be given a reasonable chance to win the first time if I play well. I prefer campaigns that are hard enough where I have to retry one or two missions, but not so hard that I have to retry all but one or two. ;)

Problem with this thinking is you are judging the scenario against your skill, no one else.

There is players better than you and worse than you. So a battle you find hard, which would be wrong in your book. Might be just perfect for someone with more skill. Also that perfect battle for you might be really hard for someone else and they are wondering why it is designed so hard.

Face it, people need to learn to accept the fact that the game might beat them and they need not look at the designer for putting the Blame.

If you cannot beat the scenario given to you, face it, it might be designed to do just that or more likely. You just need to improve your skills.

And dont take it personnally Field Marshal Blücher, I am posting this to any comment that goes after the designer.

Yes, there is times when a design might be flawed and it needs correction. But if even 20% can only win the game as designed, then the game is not flawed, it just means only a small portion of people have the neccesary skills.

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Problem with this thinking is you are judging the scenario against your skill, no one else.

There is players better than you and worse than you. So a battle you find hard, which would be wrong in your book. Might be just perfect for someone with more skill. Also that perfect battle for you might be really hard for someone else and they are wondering why it is designed so hard.

Face it, people need to learn to accept the fact that the game might beat them and they need not look at the designer for putting the Blame.

If you cannot beat the scenario given to you, face it, it might be designed to do just that or more likely. You just need to improve your skills.

And dont take it personnally Field Marshal Blücher, I am posting this to any comment that goes after the designer.

Yes, there is times when a design might be flawed and it needs correction. But if even 20% can only win the game as designed, then the game is not flawed, it just means only a small portion of people have the neccesary skills.

Oh, I absolutely agree--I'm speaking as a player and as a designer. Balance is one of the biggest challenges of design IMO. I'm not trying to say it's easy by any means, or that all scens should be balanced towards players with the same amount of skill, or anything like that. I'm not saying that there is one right way to do it, and everything else is wrong. And I'm certainly not saying that I think Paper Tiger's campaign is flawed--far from it. I'm just saying that some people find some types of campaigns funner than others.

I absolutely see the merits to PT's philosophy, and was not trying to trash it by any means. I was just pointing out that I have a different one. ;) I think it's great that he's making campaigns like that. I also think it's great that other people are making campaigns with different philosophies. That's the beauty of our community here--there's plenty of choice. :)

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Personnally, I like the design to have tight time frames, it is the only way to force the offense generally to do things that they do not want to do. given enough time, the offence in the game will generally win. So to give the defence a fair playing field you almost always have to hold time tight.

Once in a great while you will find something where the defence has the terrain and equipment where you could let the offence have as much time as they would like, because it will not change a thing.

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So you appreciate all our hardwork then ?

P

Awww, does someones ego need wanking?

I like how you conveniently edited what I said, which was "with some of these contrived maps and ego designs." Emphasis is on SOME not all. Did you enjoy working on the game and your paycheck? You did get paid yes? I've bought both releases. Not sure if I'll buy a third. Close Combat series has adjustable time limits, Achtung Panzer, particularly Op Star, blows CMBN features away, at half the retail price. Again far more options and features.

Simply stated, I think more options for each gamers playing style is a better feature and will ultimately add to the success of the franchise, which hopefully will put money in your pocket too.

I've been a long time climber and have "put up" new routes myself. Some routes that climbers develop are incredibly esthetic and a joy to climb. Others are contrived, forced, and downright unpleasant. These scenario designs are no different. For those of you who are adamantly opposed to more options (player being able to adjust time limit) just because you think it will make the game easier, then I'd say your being an egotistical blowhard. Its a game...play it any way you like and respect that others have different styles and approaches they enjoy as well. An optional feature is just that, optional, use it if you like. Campaigns in particular for adjustable time OPTION...

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3) Why the hell is there not an adjustable time limit option for each player to choose vs. A.I.?

The best answer to that would be to suggest you create a few of your own scenarios in the editor. It is easy to do AI orders 'badly', its difficult to do them 'agequately' and its downright impossible to do reasonable AI orders if you're not able to estimate what the player's likely movements would be. Put a little hamlet in the middle of a 2.5 sq km map with a 3 hour time limit. How can you construct a defense? Even in the real world a 360 degree defense would be impossible to create.

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Awww, does someones ego need wanking?

I like how you conveniently edited what I said, which was "with some of these contrived maps and ego designs." Emphasis is on SOME not all. Did you enjoy working on the game and your paycheck? You did get paid yes? I've bought both releases. Not sure if I'll buy a third. Close Combat series has adjustable time limits, Achtung Panzer, particularly Op Star, blows CMBN features away, at half the retail price. Again far more options and features.

Simply stated, I think more options for each gamers playing style is a better feature and will ultimately add to the success of the franchise, which hopefully will put money in your pocket too.

I've been a long time climber and have "put up" new routes myself. Some routes that climbers develop are incredibly esthetic and a joy to climb. Others are contrived, forced, and downright unpleasant. These scenario designs are no different. For those of you who are adamantly opposed to more options (player being able to adjust time limit) just because you think it will make the game easier, then I'd say your being an egotistical blowhard. Its a game...play it any way you like and respect that others have different styles and approaches they enjoy as well. An optional feature is just that, optional, use it if you like. Campaigns in particular for adjustable time OPTION...

Boy are you ever gonna eat crow if in fact he isn't paid and is doing this for the love of the game. If he is paid it certainly isn't a lot. I didn't see any emphasis in the quoted line so I doubt he did either. All I saw was a pretty snide put down of someone's hard work. C'mon man there is no need to go that far to make suggestions.

The number of people cranking out campaigns I can probably count on one hand and yet the number of people telling them how they should do it I can't count even if I used all fingers, toes and freckles. Wouldn't it be nice if the reverse were true.

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This is interesting. The player does have enough time to adjust his plan if it's working out. What he doesn't have enough time to do is to regroup and redeploy his forces to attack on the other flank. Further, it implies that losing is not an option. Missions should never be lost, ever! I honestly can't get to grips with that attitude. I like it when a mission kicks my butt and I am more than willing to return to it and try something different if necessary. Frankly, if I play something and I win it first time, I'm disappointed. Where's the value for my money? I want to win but I don't want it to be easy, at least all the time.

EXACTLY! I could not have said it any better myself. :cool:

Many folks here who have been playing this game since the CM:BO demo came out, (and are now scenario designers or beta testers and AI specialists) share this exact same credo. (it better be hard or I didn't get my money's worth!) :eek:

I am reminded of a Episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where Geordie thought it would be "fun" (?) to let the holo deck create a character or a scenario with the "potential" to play out a mystery that Data (acting the role of Sherlock Holmes) would be unable to solve. (It was a great episode.)

So for those new to the game, that's what you are up against, a team of folks who think it would be fun to make the game challenging enough that the AI has a fighting chance to defeat a skilled opponent. Just wait until they/we roll out "triggers" for the AI and watch the wailing begin all over again. ;) (for now the setting of the time could be considered a crutch pending more and better tools (triggers) to let the AI counter attack based on movement and/or the advance path of the attacker.)

[rant]

From the note below, here is the key part: "who was somehow imbued with a measure of consciousness" for those more familiar with the Terminator series of movies (I am a HUGE fan), I could also use the phrase: "became self aware", for tech geeks (especially with in this game) it could be said (at least I hope I can say this) its like the Holy Grail of computer game programming to make game with an AI that sort of "comes alive" and becomes capable of tactics and strategy and plays hard and gives you a good fight like in fishing when you hook a really large Bass and try to land it, sometimes the fish wins (gets off the hook) and sometimes the you win and land the fish. A self aware/conscious AI opponent is my goal for sure! (NOW before my good friend Phil Culliton [First Second Programmer\] :-) jumps all over me, we all know this is REALLY REALLY hard to pull off and currently not possible to do in this game, which we should all be reminded retails for a VERY affordable price for what you get.)

[/rant]

I will reference the Start Trek episode here:

After that Geordi gives Data a smoking pipe and invites Data to take part in a Sherlock Holmes holographic story. Data, who has memorized all of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories of Sherlock Holmes, instantly recognizes the story (Scandal in Bohemia) after only the first few moments, and immediately solves the case. La Forge abruptly freezes the program and storms out of the holodeck.

Talking over the incident in Ten Forward, La Forge and Data are overheard by Dr. Katherine Pulaski, who states that Data is incapable of solving a real mystery. Data takes this as a challenge, and invites Pulaski to join La Forge and him in another Holmes story. This time, the computer is instructed to create a new mystery in the Holmes style. This is less than successful, however, because the computer merely combines elements of the existing Holmes stories in a way that Data is again easily able to solve.

Geordi makes another try, however, and carefully instructs the computer to create a story and a character capable of defeating Data. The new program runs and the three are off on their new adventure. The story takes an unexpected twist when Dr. Pulaski is actually kidnapped by Sherlock Holmes' arch-enemy, Professor James Moriarty, who was somehow imbued with a measure of consciousness and witnessed the use of the holodeck arch. Moriarty desires to learn more, and makes it easy for Data to track him and his hostage. Upon being handed a hand-drawn profile of the USS Enterprise-D by Moriarty, Data immediately leaves the holodeck with La Forge following in confusion. Meanwhile, Moriarty learns a great deal about the Enterprise from the computer, and somehow constructs a crude device that toggles attitude control in the holodeck. He uses this several times, causing the ship to shudder uncontrollably.

Meeting with Captain Picard and the senior officers, La Forge figures out that it was his instructions to create an adversary capable of defeating Data, not Sherlock Holmes, that initiated the holodeck override control and is preventing them from ending the holodeck program. Picard decides that he must personally meet with Moriarty, whom he confronts, but who is adamant that he is sentient and self-aware, and should be allowed to continue to exist. After Moriarty releases Dr. Pulaski and returns control of the ship to Captain Picard, Picard explains that the ship's computer can store Moriarty's character indefinitely, and that the Federation would work on a way to bring Moriarty out of the holodeck. Moriarty's program is stored and ended, and the matter is considered closed. Picard then goes down to engineering where La Forge is overlooking the model of the HMS Victory. Picard then asks if it will sail, to which La Forge replies that it will. The USS Victory arrives.

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Elementary,_Dear_Data_(episode)

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Awww, does someones ego need wanking?

I like how you conveniently edited what I said, which was "with some of these contrived maps and ego designs." Emphasis is on SOME not all. Did you enjoy working on the game and your paycheck? You did get paid yes? I've bought both releases. Not sure if I'll buy a third. Close Combat series has adjustable time limits, Achtung Panzer, particularly Op Star, blows CMBN features away, at half the retail price. Again far more options and features.

Simply stated, I think more options for each gamers playing style is a better feature and will ultimately add to the success of the franchise, which hopefully will put money in your pocket too.

I've been a long time climber and have "put up" new routes myself. Some routes that climbers develop are incredibly esthetic and a joy to climb. Others are contrived, forced, and downright unpleasant. These scenario designs are no different. For those of you who are adamantly opposed to more options (player being able to adjust time limit) just because you think it will make the game easier, then I'd say your being an egotistical blowhard. Its a game...play it any way you like and respect that others have different styles and approaches they enjoy as well. An optional feature is just that, optional, use it if you like. Campaigns in particular for adjustable time OPTION...

Wow.

Can you just please leave the forum and never come back.

Honestly if you don't like the time limits, just freaking chance it yourself. If you educated yourself on the game you would know it is not hard to do.

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Can't the designers just start making senarios last 3 hours, that way.... problem solved. Just add plans to cover the full 3 or 4 hours even if the senario may be ment to only take an hour and 30 mins. I hate being rushed by a ticking clock, it's very unrealistic to have all combat stop because of a ticking clock. Senarios should be resolved in a realistic manner, one side retreats / surrenders/ cease fires or is annihalated. A ticking clock makes it seem like a soccer match.

I would be fine with making the adjustments myself, but campaigns are locked. Designers would have to start offering up the senarios and cam file for use to make adjustments to campaigns. I am in favor of this because I primarily only play campaigns, so I miss out on customizing options you have with single senarios.

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And my time is more valuable than yours.

Good day.

Edit to point out this delicious irony:

Can't the designers just start making senarios last 3 hours ... I hate being rushed by a ticking clock ... A ticking clock makes it seem like a soccer match

but

Not reading all 4 pages of posts, my time is too valuable.

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I firmly fall in the camp that would like to see the timer eliminated. In fact, I loathe the timer. I do not like my games dictating arbitrary deadlines to me, which then adds stress where there shouldn't be any. I work in a profession where I deal with time sensitive deadlines every day of every week. The last thing I want is some game setting another deadline for me. I play games to unwind, relax and be entertained. Gamey gimmicks like timers frustrate the crap out of me. This is a game. Not real life.

That being said, I tolerate the time limits, like a lot of things in CM, because I realize that that is how the editor is set up to accomodate the AI. I understand Paper Tigers points, even though I strongly disagree with a few, because that's how it works in the current editor. This is where I think the crux of this issue lies; in the editor.

As it stands now, the scenario designer has to draw up time based plans and do a lot of guesswork on how the player might approach a scenario. This is archaic, ridiculous and inefficient; a big time sink. Even the really good scenarios have their wtf moments due to BFCs approach to scenario design. What is sorely needed is a ground up overhaul of the scenario editor. An editor that allows for triggers and scripting languages. I believe this would make both camps happy. The players that like the scenarios where you have 30 minutes to capture 3 towns can script, trigger it up and knock themselves out. For those of us who enjoy the more leisurely approach, we can design our scenarios without time limits and include some pretty dynamic play. I think if some of you spent any time outside the CM bubble to check out how other studios approach mission/scenario design, namely BIS and ED, you would see how inane CMs system is. Imagine the possibilities if CM had an editor as powerful as ARMA 2s.

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No time limits (or substanitally longer time limits) is fundamentally unfair to the defender. In the game men, bullets, guns, tanks, and trucks are all resources to be applied and expended in order to achieve objectives. But time is also a resource. The attacker and defender view and use time differently, but for both of them it is a resource, and both must manage it.

It doesn't matter whether you're playing the AI or another person, if the attacker is not resource-limited when it comes to time then he has a massive advantage.

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As it stands now, the scenario designer has to draw up time based plans and do a lot of guesswork on how the player might approach a scenario. This is archaic, ridiculous and inefficient; a big time sink. Even the really good scenarios have their wtf moments due to BFCs approach to scenario design. What is sorely needed is a ground up overhaul of the scenario editor. An editor that allows for triggers and scripting languages. I believe this would make both camps happy.

Well put.

I think (at least I hope) plans for implementing at least some of this suggestion (above) are currently on the drawing board.

But once again, as it has been mentioned over and over, this is not simple and it is especially not easy to make it work as intended.

There should be no doubt that EVERYONE wants triggers...

(ok ok, a caveat, everyone except the programmers who have to actually make it work in the game code ;) )

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