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Will there be a 5.0 game engine?


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17 hours ago, Erwin said:

"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   In RL recon units would have been withdrawn at the time period when a typical CM2 scenario starts and it's the combat units which go in.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.

"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."

Hi sburke... congrats on achieving your goal without trying.  ;)   I have no understanding of the relevance of your referring to me re the post I made.  It may be helpful to actually READ the posts before going off based on assuming something was said that actually was not.

Re "Not much fun having battles be complete walk-overs." 

A "walkover" is determined by the victory conditions.  Suppose you can only win if you take minimal casualties and end up with at least 50% of your ammo at the end so your force is ready for future actions?  Now that "easy walkover" gets very tough.  There are several xnt scenarios that have tough conditions like that.  Am playing Op Barras, a brand new CMSF historical scenario in which your Brit Crack paras are overrunning a bunch of peasants in a series of African villages.   Could be the definition of a walk-over.  But you can only afford to take 2-3 Brit casualties for a big win!   Suddenly, it's a very tough scenario.  Also recommended are "Into the Green" and "Mullah Fayed" - similar xnt scenarios where you can't afford to take friendly casualties.

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10 minutes ago, Erwin said:

"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."

Hi sburke... congrats on achieving your goal without trying.  ;)   I have no understanding of the relevance of your referring to me re the post I made.  It may be helpful to actually READ the posts before going off based on assuming something was said that actually was not.

Maybe you should read your own posts 

The situation should be difficult.  It shouldn't be difficult cos one is given inadequate resources. 

As to Carl's response.  He is apparently uninterested in a discussion or alternate ideas so f**k it, I have other things I can do than this. 

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17 hours ago, sburke said:

 

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.

 

This.

When GeorgeMC gave you all a legitimate recon mission (straight down to the "don't get effing spotted") in his latest RT campaign a disturbing number of you all came back with game-grumping about how you got poor results because you got spotted; either because they couldn't be bothered to read the briefing or couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that you may not want to be spotted when doing a zone recce ("but the Russias will all be dead!").

The crowd's fickle. Turns out most people like Company-level tactical puzzles because everything else is too frickin' complicted. More's the pity, because that can get old fast. Those same people, of course, are also the first to groan about map size being too small or "artifical"; as they proceed to lead their 100 odd something men to take a single objective ;) and praise the scenario.

Edited by Rinaldi
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"The situation should be difficult.  It shouldn't be difficult cos one is given inadequate resources."

Well yes, exactly...  It seems that many/most scenarios have their "scenario difficulty" created by merely making the human attacker overwhelmingly out-numbered.  The player has (say) a company and he is supposed to attack a battalion or more of equal or superior quality.  Sure, it's fun to play that situation occasionally.  But, this seems to be the most common type of design choice in order to compensate for game AI inadequacies and create challenges.

For example...  Let's say you are the Russians who in RL never got our of bed unless they had massive artillery support.  A poor designer will create a scenario where the Russians have inadequate artillery in order to make the scenario difficult.  My sense is that the majority of scenarios are variations on this type of "create challenge by giving ludicrously inadequate resources" design concept. 

The good news is that there are several excellent scenarios and campaigns where the designer has created challenges thru clever design or victory conditions.  I gave examples of some of my recent favorites where you have the resources you need, but you cannot expend your units like cannon fodder - the challenge is that you have to conserve ammo and units in order to get a higher level victory.  I know this is a personal taste, but I enjoy those kinds of challenges far more than simple bloodbaths where there is "no tomorrow" so you can have your own forces destroyed and end up with only one guy and be a winner.  Those types of battles are extreme outliers in reality. 

 

Edited by Erwin
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Some interesting and valid points raised in this thread, although I must admit that I completely fail to comprehend the OP's problem with the system.....None of the scenario design issues raised here seem insurmountable to me.  The absence of persistent map damage in a campaign is possibly the biggest irritation (on a personal level), but I can't see why a recon mission couldn't be set in advance of a major battle with some creative thinking on the designer's part. 

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15 hours ago, Erwin said:

"The situation should be difficult.  It shouldn't be difficult cos one is given inadequate resources."

Well yes, exactly...  It seems that many/most scenarios have their "scenario difficulty" created by merely making the human attacker overwhelmingly out-numbered.  The player has (say) a company and he is supposed to attack a battalion or more of equal or superior quality.  Sure, it's fun to play that situation occasionally.  But, this seems to be the most common type of design choice in order to compensate for game AI inadequacies and create challenges.

For example...  Let's say you are the Russians who in RL never got our of bed unless they had massive artillery support.  A poor designer will create a scenario where the Russians have inadequate artillery in order to make the scenario difficult.  My sense is that the majority of scenarios are variations on this type of "create challenge by giving ludicrously inadequate resources" design concept. 

The good news is that there are several excellent scenarios and campaigns where the designer has created challenges thru clever design or victory conditions.  I gave examples of some of my recent favorites where you have the resources you need, but you cannot expend your units like cannon fodder - the challenge is that you have to conserve ammo and units in order to get a higher level victory.  I know this is a personal taste, but I enjoy those kinds of challenges far more than simple bloodbaths where there is "no tomorrow" so you can have your own forces destroyed and end up with only one guy and be a winner.  Those types of battles are extreme outliers in reality. 

 

I'm in your camp on this, Erwin. What you say in your first paragraph is the reason I generally steer clear of ready-made scenarios. I just get tired of unrealistically balanced fights where I have to attack at usually much less strength than a sane commander would employ. Yeah, it happened now and then in RL too, but not all the time.

But the challenge for me is in achieving victory with almost negligible losses. For me, a really great game is one where I achieve a Total Victory with no losses at all.

Michael

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One way to surprise players with enemy forces is to add probability of appearance. A scenario/campaign maker could deploy all possible forces on a map and then set chance of appearance on group level, some formations would have 100% chance of appearing while others would maybe have only 20% or even less. That would add a form of randomization making scenarios re playable. You could even do this for reinforcements just to add some additional randomness into the chaos.

You could even add those two Tigers with 2% chance of appearing... ;)

Of course for this to work BF would have to add this to scenario editor as a changeable value on force selection screen.

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You can change the % probability of any reinforcement arriving after a particular turn.  That is probably random enuff. 

In these small CM2 scenarios where you have a company or two, if a reinforcements doesn't arrive at all it may completely unbalance the situation.  In a larger scenario where you have a battalion+ plus a company of armor, maybe a platoon of inf  or a couple of tanks reinforcement wouldn't be critical.  But, then why have the reinforcement at all.

I really like the idea of having access to reserves that lose you points if you request them

IIRC in CM1 there was a system whereby one had Battalion, Regimental and Divisional Reserves that were automatically activated by the AI and arrived if the AI system calculated that you needed them(!)

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SD44 article... no, it's not CMx2, but I agree 100% with the basic point, and I've been saying it for years and years. There IS a market for a good looking/sounding and modern UIX and within a realistic game like CM. I hope this would be BF to deliver because I've always "rooted" for them... but at this point I'd be happy with anyone. Sometimes I've actually seen the computer wargaming scene pride themselves on terrible graphics, awful sounds, miserable UI and in general a kind of arrogant attitude towards a game that isn't' miserable to play, like having fun is a ding against the "seriousness" of a "real wargame." SD44 is fun, and if we had that kind of presentation with the mechanics of CM I'd be set for many years to come and I think there would be plenty who would also join in.

http://www.strategygamer.com/articles/steel-division-re-defining-realism-in-war-games/

Edited by AstroCat
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On 5/24/2017 at 8:15 AM, Bulletpoint said:

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 :)

I bet you're correct. I'd wish it would be BF who could do it, but it might take a new developer to really "get it".

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3 hours ago, sburke said:

Yeah someone else is coming from left field because this is such a lucrative niche....  :wacko:

Interesting. So CM is more or less "finished"? That could explain, why the less than ideal status quo is so vehemently defended by some posters...

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5 hours ago, AstroCat said:

SD44 article... no, it's not CMx2, but I agree 100% with the basic point, and I've been saying it for years and years. There IS a market for a good looking/sounding and modern UIX and within a realistic game like CM. I hope this would be BF to deliver because I've always "rooted" for them... but at this point I'd be happy with anyone. Sometimes I've actually seen the computer wargaming scene pride themselves on terrible graphics, awful sounds, miserable UI and in general a kind of arrogant attitude towards a game that isn't' miserable to play, like having fun is a ding against the "seriousness" of a "real wargame." SD44 is fun, and if we had that kind of presentation with the mechanics of CM I'd be set for many years to come and I think there would be plenty who would also join in.

http://www.strategygamer.com/articles/steel-division-re-defining-realism-in-war-games/

I just want to quickly point out that comparing Steel Division to Combat Mission is not fair to either game. Steel Division is much more a game than it is a simulator. Most of the more "realistic" features are generalizations, specifically with the way infantry combat is handled. Moreover, the TO&E is extremely unrealistic in Steel Division. For example, all German division templates get access to a plethora of aircraft of varying type to provide CAS during matches. This is completely a-historical, but is done for multiplayer balance purposes, and is admissible because the game does not claim to be a true to history simulation. Another example is the German 352nd Infantry division getting king tigers and jagdpanthers, and the 101st Airborne division getting organic M10 tank destroyers, Sherman DD tanks and the M22 light tank to name a few. 

Its also important to note that Steel Division is designed to be much more accessible than Combat Mission is. Anyone who has played common popular strategy games will easily pick up Steel Division and get the hang of it after a short while. Combat Mission understands a basic knowledge of real tactics, and a general idea of each sides equipment and capabilities in order to be successful on the battlefield. In that way it is more of a so-called "study sim."

I own both Steel Division and Combat Mission and enjoy each for what they offer. They both have pros and cons, and both do a good job at what they offer. But comparing the two different games and saying that Steel Division is proof of a game doing what Combat Mission does, but better is simply untrue.  

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5 hours ago, AstroCat said:

SD44 article... no, it's not CMx2, but I agree 100% with the basic point, and I've been saying it for years and years. There IS a market for a good looking/sounding and modern UIX and within a realistic game like CM. I hope this would be BF to deliver because I've always "rooted" for them... but at this point I'd be happy with anyone. Sometimes I've actually seen the computer wargaming scene pride themselves on terrible graphics, awful sounds, miserable UI and in general a kind of arrogant attitude towards a game that isn't' miserable to play, like having fun is a ding against the "seriousness" of a "real wargame." SD44 is fun, and if we had that kind of presentation with the mechanics of CM I'd be set for many years to come and I think there would be plenty who would also join in.

http://www.strategygamer.com/articles/steel-division-re-defining-realism-in-war-games/

Nice graphics? Yes. Realistic combat? Not based on those screenies...

IMHO the best way to rejuvenate and enrich the engine for longtime players and newbs alike, without branching into shooter-like spec ops or obscure theatres, is to improve co-play (multiple players a side), and also allow AI for both sides (human commands a subunit inside a larger computer-run "war movie"). Neither of these seems totally alien to the existing game engine.

Edited by LongLeftFlank
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...and yes of course SD44 and CM are not mechanically comparable, I totally agree. CM is of course much more of a sim, but the concept still stands. Better user experience tied into a sim engine, equals a more fun and wider reaching, and profitable experience for all, including fully supported digital distribution channels like Steam (and Steam Workshop for the mod community), GoG, etc... 

Edited by AstroCat
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2 hours ago, AstroCat said:

...and yes of course SD44 and CM are not mechanically comparable, I totally agree. CM is of course much more of a sim, but the concept still stands.

Oh glad you still want an emphasis on realism.

2 hours ago, AstroCat said:

Better user experience tied into a sim engine, equals a more fun

Agreed. If we had the same results with nicer graphics it would be more fun.

2 hours ago, AstroCat said:

and wider reaching,

Hummmm this I doubt. The issue is not really how it looks, it's the way we think when we play. Those of us enjoying CM are looking for a certain level of fidelity and the ability to control and execute certain tactics. To succeed is hard. That's what we find fun. I highly doubt that making the game prettier will attract people who are not looking for that experience.

This is the fundamental flaw in your logic. 

There is no flaw to say that better graphics and better UX would make the game more fun.

2 hours ago, AstroCat said:

and profitable experience for all,

It reminds me of:

1) steel underpants

2)

3) profit

Now all we have to do is figure out step 2.

:D

2 hours ago, AstroCat said:

including fully supported digital distribution channels like Steam (and Steam Workshop for the mod community), GoG, etc... 

Sigh. Sure that will fix everything :)

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7 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Never said it was lucrative. But I bet the money we pay for a CM game would go a bit further in Eastern Europe too.

Am sure that BF was not formed cos they thought they would get rich as a tiny niche wargame co.  They were wanted to make a game that they wanted to play.  No way they would have stuck with the CM series thru CM1 and then CMSF otherwise.

So, one day another fanatic hobbyist, or a group, will have the same motivation and something else amazing will be born.  These games are labors of love.   A LOT easier to make money doing other things.

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9 hours ago, CarlWAW said:

Interesting. So CM is more or less "finished"? That could explain, why the less than ideal status quo is so vehemently defended by some posters...

Dude we get you are mister negativity about CM, but the rest of us are quite happy with the product.  We all have things we'd like to see added or done different, but put 10 of us in a room and you'd have 10 different priority lists and that will be true no matter what additional things BF adds. You want to be a downer, fine - just don't project your perspective onto us.  If you don't intend to play it and don't like it, why are you here?  There has got to be something better to do on a Saturday than hang out with folks and trash their interest.

4 hours ago, AstroCat said:

I think you underestimate the appeal, especially if properly marketed and distributed.

and you base that on what data?

I am all for making BF rich and getting a better game but here we go again with folks in the cheap seats telling BF their business model is wrong, the hordes of tactical war gamers are just outside the gates if we'd only open them etc etc.  Man it gets old and I am betting this thread is closed before too much longer.  We've already touched on the old steam argument and that is a pretty good sign.

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13 hours ago, LongLeftFlank said:

Nice graphics? Yes. Realistic combat? Not based on those screenies...

13 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Point blank Caliope fire FTW.....Or not.  :rolleyes:

 

SD is substantially more realistic than Panzer General was in its day, and we all considered that a wargame, right?

CMx2 can't really throw too many stones regarding unrealistic behavior though. I still remember when MG teams were basically toothless and couldn't fulfill their real life doctrinal role in CMBN or CMFI, even when placed on a pool-table flat map against rifle-armed infantry walking upright and not firing back.

More importantly, SD gets the important bits of reading the battle, command decision-making and application of combined arms correct. If you go for symmetrical matchups (i.e. tanks on tanks, infantry on infantry, etc.) you wind up taking outsized losses. What the game (and other players pointing out) teaches is the idea that for every tactical problem, there is a counter. ATGs stop tank rushes. Infantry provide defensive "staying power" in close terrain. Machine guns deny movement to dismounts and soft-skinned vehicles. Tanks give fire support as long as they are protected. The application of combined arms isn't about gathering all the constituent elements into a ball of combat power and throwing them wholesale into whatever the enemy puts in front of you but rather looking at the enemy in the same way a mechanic would an engine to be disassembled; carefully picking out each tool, as needed in turn. If the existing problem is insurmountable, the correct solution isn't to try to pull a tactical rabbit out of your combined arms bag, but instead either back off or escalate. It is kinda cool to see that in action, particular when playing on a large 10v10 (player) map.

I think CMx2 offers something a bit different, more detailed and such as far as modeling goes, but less realistic in some aspects, such as tanks being better able to spot infantry (for the WW2 games) than real history suggests is the case, thereby harming the historical balance of combined arms. Overall I would say CMx2 is a better simulation if only the morale model was a bit more brittle and units more inclined to flee than fight after casualties, while missions were re-jiggered to make losses hurt more than taking objectives helped.

Edited by Apocal
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