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Will there be a 5.0 game engine?


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There was just a new version released, so the next one is probably years away at best. And the new versions add quite few substantial changes anyway, so it's still going to be pretty much the same if you feel burnt out now.

I doubt we will ever see a Cm3x, because by the time they cover the whole war, the guys doing this will be in retirement.

But try leaving the game for some time and then coming back to it. Or try playing against a human opponent if you haven't already. It really changes the game.

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My concern would be: what could they change that would make you happy to play? I find it hard to fathom what would take the current game and elevate it to a point so much better that someone who dislikes this game would then like the new one. There are certainly things that can be improved but I just cannot picture what jump you would be looking for. So, yeah like @Bulletpoint says take a break. Or, perhaps consider your expectations and reset them. No disrespect intended I just think we all need to examine our expectations when we are disappointed with something. Sometimes the most effective thing to do is reflect on ourselves.

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Yeah, I feel the same way... I try and come back to CMx2 but it is just so visual/aurally/performance/UIX wise clunky... It's just is so jarring. I've stated this before, nothing new and I know, I know nothing will ever be done to improve the visuals/sounds/uix or performance...it is what it is. Kind of an end of line of major development. I'd love to be wrong but it doesn't seem that way.

Sure we might get a few more "modules" but a "modernization" of the engine from everything I've read and been told just is not gonna happen. The best "we" can hope for is a game with the "guts" of CM but the outside/performance of a modern game. The only way I see that happening is with a new engine... probably from some other developer, maybe some day. Niche games are more popular than ever these days...and with Steam (which I know BF has no interest in), who knows, maybe we'll get lucky. CM has been fun (sound and texture limited modding too) while it lasted all those years for me, especially when the experience didn't feel so far behind.

Edited by AstroCat
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21 minutes ago, CarlWAW said:

The graphics is good enough for me. I am first and foremost interested in improved realism and have only two problems with CM's simulation aspect.

Interesting. Now I am intrigued. Dare I ask what is wrong with the realism - in your opinion. I figured you had the usual graphics and UI complaints like @AstroCat.

I hope I don't regret asking that question :D

My own opinion is that realism could be improved if spotting was taken down an order of magnitude - I mean you see way way less enemy soldiers - and if soldiers pulled back much sooner when loosing a fire fight. But that would make the game not very interesting.

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39 minutes ago, AstroCat said:

I've stated this before, nothing new and I know, I know nothing will ever be done to improve the visuals/sounds/uix or performance...it is what it is. Kind of an end of line of major development. I'd love to be wrong but it doesn't seem that way.

Well that's a lot of pessimism man. You are harshing my mellow :D . Considering BFC's long and excellent track record of producing good games and making things better and better with every release I think those levels of pessimism are unwarranted. But it could be just me.

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What i would like to see is more advanced / realistic communication:

A new difficulty mode would feature that you only can use the soldiers within comms range. Out of comm range you can not give them orders and you do not see what they see. A two man recon team  would need an extra waypoint to get back to the commander to tell what they could see.

Squads or tanks without radio would have massive disadvantages. 

Flares and cable comms could be implemented to compensate for some of it.

 

I know we discussed it before, it is still the feature I would like to see most.

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3 hours ago, IanL said:

Interesting. Now I am intrigued. Dare I ask what is wrong with the realism - in your opinion.

 

Sure.

I have got a motivation problem, because I have the feeling scenarios more or less are always the same. The kind and the chronology how every battle develops is always the same. Even before I start, it's already 100% guaranteed, that an enemy will be there. And that a battle will follow. And the own forces will be adequate. Never a wrong briefing. Never wrong intel. Scenarios show more or less always only the culmination of a battle, after all recon has been done.

I identified as source of that problem:

1. No real possibility to use recon vehicles for recon because there is no possibility to make them evade, if they face a threat. Which would be crucial to recon big maps and find an enemy, for example.

2. The Campaign system: only one "battle" on one map. No uncertainty. No recon phases before a battle, no mop up phases. Map destruction not preserved: no difficult attacks, which need recon, cancel of attack, additional recon, try from another direction,... - for example against heavily fortified positions.

 

IMO each one is already a severe restriction - but both combined are emphasizing the problem to the point, where tactical variety becomes heavily reduced.

Edited by CarlWAW
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"1. No real possibility to use recon vehicles for recon because there is no possibility to make them evade, if they face a threat. Which would be crucial to recon big maps and find an enemy, for example.

2. The Campaign system: only one "battle" on one map. No uncertainty. No recon phases before a battle, no mop up phases. Map destruction not preserved: no difficult attacks, which need recon, cancel of attack, additional recon, try from another direction,... - for example against heavily fortified positions."

I completely agree with "1".  While inf recon/scouting is critical, there is very little function for recon vehicles in CM2 scenarios.   In RL recon units would have been withdrawn at the time period when a typical CM2 scenario starts and it's the combat units which go in.  IMO that is a function of the relatively small maps we (usually) see in CM2.  By contrast, CM1 often featured 8Kx4K maps and mobility, recon, keeping reserves etc. were required much more.  However, there are recon scenarios.

Puzzled by "2" since a campaign can feature a recon scenario followed by a battle scenario which handles the situation better. Recon can take hours or days in RL, so not very practical to have a "recon phase" followed by a typical 1-2 hour CM2 battle.

Edited by Erwin
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3 hours ago, CarlWAW said:

Sure.

I have got a motivation problem, because I have the feeling scenarios more or less are always the same. The kind and the chronology how every battle develops is always the same. Even before I start, it's already 100% guaranteed, that an enemy will be there. And that a battle will follow. And the own forces will be adequate. Never a wrong briefing. Never wrong intel. Scenarios show more or less always only the culmination of a battle, after all recon has been done.

 

I could make a scenario that had no one there, but I am pretty sure there would be a s**tstorm from the user community about how they wasted 60 minutes of their day doing recon on a map only to find nothing there.  Let's review some responses from folks on this forum

The Normandy campaign with it's notorious battle that raised a fuss cause player couldn't figure out one that it might not be winnable and found it unacceptable to just ceasefire and accept a draw.  Erwin (sorry Erwin, not trying to be a d**k, but I just found it striking that he is complaining about the very thing that you were asking for) commenting on the CMSF forum about a scenario that was being created and asking for assurance he'd have the resources to complete the mission.  The constant complaints when folks feel a scenario is too hard or they run out of resources or time in a scenario/campaign.

No offense @CarlWAW, but the things you are pointing out as ruining the game for you are the very things time and again players have made clear they want.  I realize you did not apportion blame in your post, but in reality, it is your fellow players who have helped drive the nature of scenario construction.  Stuff that gets created that doesn't meet those criteria likely never makes it to being posted as the creator doesn't want to deal with the complaints.

What you are looking for can be done, but it takes something different - a managed op layer campaign.  Even then you will still have some predictability.  No one is gonna go through the trouble of creating a map with no battle.

I can relate to your feelings.  I personally have no issue with a battle having bad intel and the battle that I expected not looking anything at all like the battle I end up fighting.  Most players though aren't into that and I have seen more than one complaint by folks feeling that the scenario briefing failed as it did not prepare them for the battle they fought.

 

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6 hours ago, sburke said:

@CarlWAWI could make a scenario that had no one there, but I am pretty sure there would be a s**tstorm from the user community about how they wasted 60 minutes of their day doing recon on a map only to find nothing there.

 

Rightly so! :lol:

That's exactly my point. The current system does not allow that.

If a campaign could reuse the same map and it's destruction for it's scenarios (some kind of stationary campaign), it would be no problem.

Start the campaign with almost no or obsolete intel. It's up to the player to find out, what's really out there.

In reality very important questions suddenly the player also has to answer:

Was the recon good enough for a later attack? According to the own intel will the available forces be adequate? For which task will they be adequate?

 

Edited by CarlWAW
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12 hours ago, CAS said:

A new difficulty mode would feature that you only can use the soldiers within comms range. Out of comm range you can not give them orders and you do not see what they see. A two man recon team  would need an extra waypoint to get back to the commander to tell what they could see.

There are problems with this and I don't think it would necessarily result in a more realistic game. The reason being that units out of comms don't necessarily just sit inertly. That is one option. But they may do things on their own initiative, maybe stupid things, maybe smart things. So, until code can be written to give units that kind of complex behavior (and I would definitely not see this as a trivial exercise), I think most players would be very dissatisfied with your idea. So I would see this as not so much rejected outright as put on the back burner for now.

Michael

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40 minutes ago, CarlWAW said:

Was the recon good enough for a later attack? According to the own intel will the available forces be adequate? For which task will they be adequate?

Pretty much since BN came out I've been wondering if the Probe mission can be recoded so that the primary objective is the identification of enemy units and their distribution. This is usually what probes were meant to accomplish in RL. At present, probes are just another kind of attack with the same kinds of objectives as all the other attack missions, namely destruction of enemy units and occupation of terrain. It might also be desired to have at least some of the reconnoitering units break contact and exit the map back to base in order to brief higher command elements of their findings. The other option is to maintain contact and observation, but without engaging in combat.

Michael

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Just a minor point: With a little work-around, scenario designers are able to give specific information on enemy locations in individual scenarios (i.e. not emergent as a part of a campaign). They can use "landmarks" (text-labels that can be placed on the map) and set initial recon to "none". True, it doesn't work exactly like suspected contact markers, but it's an interesting idea and it might even be slightly more realistic when it comes to a representation of long-term-recon (as it is primarily used for planning rather than to increase reaction-time of individual units).

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15 hours ago, CarlWAW said:

100% guaranteed, that an enemy will be there. And that a battle will follow. And the own forces will be adequate.

Also the reverse is true. No matter how big tanks you are given, you can be sure the enemy will have guns big enough to take it out. Got a PzIV? The enemy will have Shermans. Got tigers? You'll be met with swarms of Fireflies. So basically it never really matters what tanks you have. But of course I understand the reasons why scenario designers make that choice. Not much fun having battles be complete walk-overs.

19 hours ago, AstroCat said:

The best "we" can hope for is a game with the "guts" of CM but the outside/performance of a modern game. The only way I see that happening is with a new engine... probably from some other developer, maybe some day.

I have the feeling that the next generation CM-like game will come out of the left field from some small, currently unknown game company, probably in Eastern Europe. It won't be perfect though. Things will never be perfect. But at least we will get to complain about new things :)

Edited by Bulletpoint
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4 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Pretty much since BN came out I've been wondering if the Probe mission can be recoded so that the primary objective is the identification of enemy units and their distribution.

No need to wonder for so many years, simply take a look at the manual, page 119:

http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_flippingbook&book_id=19

:)

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I did do a scenario where the objective was to find a unit that had strayed into Venafro and to ID survivors. My only issue was I couldn't move those locations so replay value was tough.  One of the reasons I am looking forward to an upgraded CMSF is to use supply units as hidden enemy weapons caches. 

There is I believe at least one scenario I have played in a campaign where your objective is to spot enemy units. The victory points you get for that determine your standing in the next battle of the campaign. If I am remembering correctly at least one example of that was in a German campaign for CMBN 

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I took a look at several RT, FI and BN scenarios/maps now - with the imagination of realistic recon in mind (recon vehicles plus the campain-system being able to use the same map). To me the maps begin to look quite different from a tactical point of view - without the scenario desginer's god like hand guiding everything!

 

Try yourself: load up an impressive medium sized map and while looking at it, imagine the game would offer these two improvements and the following situation:

Division has lost contact to the sparse security units in the area. The enemy could already be somewhere. Unknown. Find out what is going on. Gather as much intel as possible. Depending on your (recon) results, the division will decide what to do next.

 

The first "battle" in such a campaign could be a kind of recon scenario - but with extremely limited knowledge about the enemy. The possibility of quickly throwing back furthest spearheads to the possibility of facing a huge force - the player could face everything and therefore he must act very different from now.

Depending on the result (e.g. points for spotting units), the campaign could transparently/silently have branches for the next "battle"/phase without telling the player how he performed:

Poor intel -> leads to wrong estimation of enemy's force -> player receives few own units, depending on his intel - but most importantly: contrary to single scenarios now, it would be a direct result of the player's performance - I guess not an insiginficant difference in realism and motivation for certain customers.

Good intel -> player receives a stronger force (another hugely important difference: player receives his forces somewhere on the map: the force deployment gives no indication of what will happen later! (I could cry every time, when reinforcements arrive in CM, and you know, if they arrive east, and there is no enemy yet, there will happen something... :rolleyes: Hell, even the direction of the reinforcements tell you, where to move them :D). ALT-Q rescue me! Here how the player can achieve his goal, really depends on his own decisions (and his prior intel and performance).

Edited by CarlWAW
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38 minutes ago, sburke said:

I did do a scenario where the objective was to find a unit that had strayed into Venafro and to ID survivors. My only issue was I couldn't move those locations so replay value was tough.

Sounds to me more like a special op, not like a tactical recon task for a following up battle.

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No, that is recon...in its true form.  I build recon battles for my self all the time.  Sometimes its a recon unit having to penetrate a screen to ID what is behind it (using spot unit as the game objective).  Sometimes I have the screening duties to stop a recon penetration.  At the scale of CM, recon would be the whole battle.  Then the bigger battle shows up in the next scenario as heavier forces get engaged.

Recon battles are the most fun for me.  You can even build them out from an initial engagement of light units that escalates as help is called to get through a screen.  Just like in real battles.  The first 10 turns are light units and then you lose points for calling in support elements.  At some point you have to decide on a point balance of leaning on support, finding whats behind the screen, and minimizing casualties.

Unfortunately, in modern CM battles, you don't get the recon capabilities you get in RL, like mast-mounted sensors, sigint, etc.  But it still can be engrossing.

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Here is a thought. Create a bare bones scenario/campaign of what you think you would like to see, doesn't even have to be playable, but just to get a feel for options.  Then start the discussion. The first thing to understand is what can you create in CM before critiquing what is created.  For example you are looking to create something extremely variable in terms of force size and somehow have victory conditions out of it to determine what happens next.  The victory conditions however may not be flexible enough to allow for the amount of variance you hope to see. 

Where I am going with this is CM has a couple options for points that then determine victory levels to be able to create a win/loss result for branching options.  You can't have a potential small versus large force on a map and tie victory conditions very well for branching to the next scenario in the battle. It might be doable, but it would likely have to be very creative as to what are the victory conditions that would work regardless of the enemy force size.  I believe you could alter the enemy reaction by just having a portion of the force have no orders in some AI plans and in others the whole force be moving. However again what are the victory conditions in that battle that determine a successful recon phase and are the achievable given drastically different AI plans and force levels?

honestly regardless of the answer I don't think you will see much of this.  It would take a pretty extensive amount of work from what is really a small pool of contributors and that is assuming it can be done in a way that fits the suggested criteria you have listed. 

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7 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Pretty much since BN came out I've been wondering if the Probe mission can be recoded so that the primary objective is the identification of enemy units and their distribution. This is usually what probes were meant to accomplish in RL. At present, probes are just another kind of attack with the same kinds of objectives as all the other attack missions, namely destruction of enemy units and occupation of terrain. It might also be desired to have at least some of the reconnoitering units break contact and exit the map back to base in order to brief higher command elements of their findings. The other option is to maintain contact and observation, but without engaging in combat.

Michael

Touch objectives is suitable for probe missions. Objective to verify enemy presence or observe important road networks works well. 

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It is a fact that scenario battles do not contain pre battle recon and I think I have clearly explained with an example, why CM scenarios are not capable to do so and offered my point of view, what would be needed to solve that. I don't know, why my arguments are ignored, and it is claimed otherwise, despite the fact, that complete battles with all their phases do not exist, but I want to clarify something:

I know, what scenarios are out there. And no, I will not make my own scenarios. I know the engine can't do that and the engine can't handle recon vehicles in their most basic way.

I also dispise touch objectives, because it's not me, but the scenario designer determining what is important to me. Ridiculous and childish! Therefore I also do not like most other "capture the flag" scenarios. In most cases they are tactically wrong and first and foremost I always went for the enemy force. After eliminating the enemy capturing the flag is the result.

So all your fantasizing that all was there what I am missing, will not turn me into a paying customer again. And I have no problem with that.

Edited by CarlWAW
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