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On 1/1/2020 at 3:28 PM, Bil Hardenberger said:

All I know is I will NOT be playing any scenarios on that city map.  <shudder>  ;) 

Bil

me neither.  I also hate to admit it, but its taken way too long to come out.  I know its insane to even say after reading 5 pages of aragorn bashing over saying it but its friggin true.  Im sorry guys but I think the game needs a new engine or to gracefully retire.  not be dragged around as a mummified corpse like Norman Bates dead mom.

I mean after these modules what then?  Berlin city fighting in this engine? ugh.   Stalingrad in this engine would be vomit inducing.  Theres a lot of other things too.  I love this game series and its given me more pleasure longer than any other series but Im burned out, have been burned out, and the engines over 9 years old...

Think about it.  CMBO released in 2000.  I remember it well.  9 years later I was playing a fixed SF and waiting eagerly for CMBN.   Not eagerly awaiting a 10th CMx1 release.  Im sure others will totally disagree and thats great  - Im truly happy you either found this game or can continue to get joy and delight from it, instead of playing it so long it has no allure or mystery.  Its all old tricks to get around broken or fudged in game mechanics, unrealistic stuff, and knowing that its really invisible die rolls and not bullets coming down that street that decide if those men get hit.

cheers to all that remember who I am.. miss some of ya

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Well.. all I know is my reply which you quoted was tongue in cheek.. can't say the same for yours.  I for one feel extremely lucky that the CMx2 series exists in as many forms as it does. B

So the British Ministry of Defense is subsidizing me playing w my toy soliders & tanks?  And all I have to do for this is wait a little longer for the new release?  I am considering this a win for

The only thing worse than 1940s Nazis is a present day Nazi. One might argue the populace 80 years ago were naïf about just what sort of monsters they were supporting. You can't make that argument now

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4 hours ago, Sublime said:

me neither.  I also hate to admit it, but its taken way too long to come out.  I know its insane to even say after reading 5 pages of aragorn bashing over saying it but its friggin true.  Im sorry guys but I think the game needs a new engine or to gracefully retire.  not be dragged around as a mummified corpse like Norman Bates dead mom.

I mean after these modules what then?  Berlin city fighting in this engine? ugh.   Stalingrad in this engine would be vomit inducing.  Theres a lot of other things too.  I love this game series and its given me more pleasure longer than any other series but Im burned out, have been burned out, and the engines over 9 years old...

Think about it.  CMBO released in 2000.  I remember it well.  9 years later I was playing a fixed SF and waiting eagerly for CMBN.   Not eagerly awaiting a 10th CMx1 release.  Im sure others will totally disagree and thats great  - Im truly happy you either found this game or can continue to get joy and delight from it, instead of playing it so long it has no allure or mystery.  Its all old tricks to get around broken or fudged in game mechanics, unrealistic stuff, and knowing that its really invisible die rolls and not bullets coming down that street that decide if those men get hit.

cheers to all that remember who I am.. miss some of ya

My hope is that they are already working on a new engine in the background. I suspect that's also a reason for the slow progress. No problem for me with realism, still the best game around. But you have some valid points, sublime.

Edited by Aragorn2002
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3 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Well.. all I know is my reply which you quoted was tongue in cheek.. can't say the same for yours. 

I for one feel extremely lucky that the CMx2 series exists in as many forms as it does.

Bil  

mine was definitely not

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send my apologies for not finishing the games. IRL stuff.. and I just got so utterly burned out on CM.

Oh ya and I didnt think the joke about someone Ive spoken to online for years being dead very amusing...

but I owe you guys much. I  had no idea wtf 'edging' 'chads' and other strange masturbatory and incel community terms were until you guys used them and I had to urban dictionary it. smh LOL

and yeah youre one of the ones that was cool

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6 minutes ago, BFCElvis said:

Good to see you! I hope all is well. 

likewise to you and yours friend

@Bil Hardenberger oh I have years of fond memories which I specifically stated. I got my moneys worth and then some, people helped me out a lot too!  (RIP Nidan , and others I hope youre well!)

But the urban fighting for Stalingrad or Berlin... in CMx2 as it is?  I AM grateful CM exists. I point people to it all the time. If I want that type of game itd be my goto. but I feel very strongly at this point that modules for the x2 engine are taking too long and the engines just getting to old.  At this pace itll get really hard to attract new gamers by the time we.re talking about finishing just the *modules* listed.. Then if we're realistic it could well be 2022 11 years since CMBN. 

I sincerely hope theyre working on a CMx3.. though if I was them Id retire and live happily off the sales of the excellent games I made. I selfishly hope they dont do so and make sure they 'will' their company to the right brainw- people with their head screwed  on right. ;)

Edited by Sublime
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On 3/2/2020 at 3:49 AM, Malaspina said:

Yes! He did not just write it as a side remark. He made an official announcement!

The wait is on. And I will throw an epic tantrum (complete with foot-stomping, head-banging, fist-waiving, ugly mug-displaying) if CMPTO is not out by March 1, 2027. 😉

Oh man I can't wait for that!!!😀 I mean 2027 not a tantrum 😁

Edited by jtsjc1
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If you abandon CM where do you go instead? There seem to be some attractive, realistic macro-level strategy games on the market, but nothing I'm aware of compares to CM on the scale it operates in. It's like complaining that you're fed up with life. Sure, it's useful to vent sometimes, but in the end you have to enjoy what you've got! I'd like some bugs ironed out, additional functions like evolving careers across multiple battles, and more immersive graphics. But there's still plenty to enjoy in CM, now and into the future - and nowhere else to go unless you want to play a different sort of game altogether!

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14 minutes ago, Anson Pelmet said:

If you abandon CM where do you go instead? There seem to be some attractive, realistic macro-level strategy games on the market, but nothing I'm aware of compares to CM on the scale it operates in. It's like complaining that you're fed up with life. Sure, it's useful to vent sometimes, but in the end you have to enjoy what you've got! I'd like some bugs ironed out, additional functions like evolving careers across multiple battles, and more immersive graphics. But there's still plenty to enjoy in CM, now and into the future - and nowhere else to go unless you want to play a different sort of game altogether!

Well real life for one - if you... I got a lot going on.  CM requires a lot of thought because I prefer PBEM by a lot and I hate being a total pushover.  real life has been.. not good lately.

Further... where did I go... well I play early access UBoat by DWS... I know para who used to come here and maybe still does is on there.

I play DCS the F14 module... other wise not much  DCS

I was playing Hell Let Loose. My goddamned headset mike stopped working and I havent played HLL in  a little bit.  solid game though...

I do play a lot of IL2 BOS.  I played Il2 back in the day.  And  I got sucked right in because I hadnt played the BoS series.  So I entered when its reached maturity and there was a lot of content. some friendly faces as it were.  You have to understand Anson.. Ive been playing combat mission and following CM since Sept 99.  then all the CM 1 series except CMAK. I was gone for awhile.  Then around 2010 I was back for the last decade after a 5 or 6 year hiatus.  But Im just burnt out man on CM. Idk what to say except click on my profile and see my join date.  I frankly definitely got my moneys worth considering I have been playing since age 15 and Ill be 35 very soon...  There isnt anywhere to go really because nothing else really fills the same niche hole or they suck IMO. I refuse to play say company of heroes.

And no its not just venting about life man.  I  literally have been coming here 21 years. theres a lot of people Id like to see that I m still around and Im glad theyre still around.  I feel perfectly legit in voicing my opinion about the direction of the series - everyone is entitled to their opinion and theres few active accounts that can say theyve been around as long as I have.  And its not simple venting - for the series to go forward and be more 'interesting' to besides the hard core the graphics *will* have to improve.  basements, corners, built up houses and many many other features are really needed to make city fighting believeable.  Things *will* need to be upgraded.    currently its the weakest spot in the series. CMx2 originally - about 10 years ago had a roadmap.  We're totallly of the rails on that roadmap.  We originally were going to work our way backwards after finishing end of war RT.  RT came out six years ago..  At this rate we will have Barbarossa in about 20 years.  Do you seriously think the series is viable like that?? Its easy when youre new because the series is amazing and I value it quite a bit, but Im speaking as someone with not hours but years playing this game and over time you began to see how it works and it for what it is, 'warts n all'.  Im happy your still in your honeymoon period, but that very much is the place youre speaking to me from now. It may seem Im frustrated at life - when you have been playing these games 21 years come back and you can tell me to shutup and stop whining.  Until then I feel Im very very much qualified to speak on the series - Ive played every title in it, owned all except the latest patches and rome to victory and CMAK, and have played CMBO since open beta.

Edited by Sublime
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I was largely away from first person games for years, but picked up Post Scriptum during the winter sale. Coming from CM, the tank armor and penetration values, along with special ammo loadouts seem rather "stretched" for balance. However,  that can be fixed when the sdk comes out and, allowing for the kind of realism compromises that must be made to make first person work, it's the best game of its kind I've seen for a WWII setting (if Darkest Hour had current graphics, it would be #1). I was really excited about HLL pre-release, but have lost interest due to the more mainstream direction the devs have taken it. PS is really, really good -- if, like with CM, you do the work required to play it properly.

I'm not a beta tester and so haven't played on the Berlin map. However, I've been spending most of my CM time for the last few years working on and off on a dense city map for RT. With it, I've tried to push the current engine in terms of complex urban layouts and large, connected multi-section building structures. So, I should have a pretty good handle on what combat on the Berlin map will be like.

The good news is that, overall, it works well enough and can be damn good -- if you are willing to put in the work to issue the detailed orders required. I've been pretty impressed with how well the engine handles the complex density of a realistic urban environment  (I'm generally recreating what I see in GE down to door and window placement) and the kind of close-range firefights and FOW it produces. In fact, with so much cover around, I feel that it often works better than non-urban to keep the casualties down.

The bad news is that there are still issues. As of the current build, the TacAI does suicide rout on occasion, no matter how much cover is around. Many of the buildings on my map offer "skulking" cover where a unit has multiple out-of-LOS adjacent action spots that it can fall back to, while engaging from one with LOS to the enemy. However, the TacAI will fairly often avoid these in favor of the most dangerous route. Another big problem is that generally the TacAI's first reaction to taking heavy fire when in a tall building is to drop to the lowest level directly under it. That has the double-whammy of leaving the unit in a potentially vulnerable, "known" position (when playing H2H) and adding a big workload to the player to get his units back into position as they scatter further than they need to. As I said above, on my map, units often only have to move one AS horizontally to disengage from LOS, but the TacAI very often doesn't use the feature.

My hope is that the current playtesting on Berlin will yield something good in the way of game updates. However, even if it BF leaves things as is, the combat is still overall good enough. You just have to write off a certain portion of your troops to immersion-blowing howlers, but frankly, not really any more than any combat environment in current CMx2.

In terms of CM's development, my position is that the "front end" of CMx2 is largely at diminishing returns. Mostly, it just needs some rough edges smoothed. However, the "back end" of CMx2 has HUGE room for improvement. By back end, I mean the Editor. It is here that I am at a point of increasing disappointment, as time goes by. There is so much that could be added to speed up and enhance content creation and add realism.  For example, think how long we've had AI Area fire. But how useful is it really? As a first pass placeholder, it was great. But it's been years and we still can't increase or decrease the fire rate or choose a building level to target. We still can't use the feature with any kind of artillery, other than on-map mortars. Basically, it is only useful for very specific situations with specific units. For example, the only tank that can be relied upon to put fire on a target with reasonable intensity is the T-34/76 because of its high ammo count. I spent about 10-20 hours trying to get a platoon of AI Tigers to offer reasonable fire support on my map and have just about given up. They simply can't be relied upon to put fire on target and the testing time is crazy-long. Now, add the ability for the designer to choose building level and fire intensity -- done, and you've just reduced testing to a fraction.

Another big area is AI artillery. So much to be improved there. It's incredibly time-consuming to just try to get AI pre-planned arty to use the right guns in the right place. There seems to be built-in variation, so that you can't actually be sure which asset will be used on which target every time. Couple that with the fact that you've got basically 8-9 minutes to do everything you need to do with opening AI artillery (including smoke) and it's very frustrating and time consuming. Again, for the first few years -- no problem. But by now designers should have the ability to reliably choose which assets goes where, exactly how long they fire and with any desired delays. And, all off-map assets should be available for AI Area fire and the same varying rates a human player can choose. Anyway, I could go on and on (did I mention expanding the number of Groups? Ahem).

So, to wrap this up...

Stalingrad-like action in current CMx2 is overall enjoyably doable. It's largely a question of map design. There are rough edges and howlers will happen, but actually about the same number as general CM. CMx2 IMO, is largely done at the front end development-wise. At the back end, however, there is a VAST amount of gold to mine that is currently untapped. And, at this late date, it's looking like a head-scratcher as to why exactly.  My guess is that BF is in a difficult position from a marketing standpoint. Players want to easily see what they are paying for. Front end features are easy to see and back end features aren't. That makes a paid upgrade offering primarily Editor feature enhancements a tough sell, unless it is coupled with adequate new content showcasing the features.

Anyway, in a response to a post from me, Steve very recently said that there is no current timetable for new paid upgrades. That means the back end is staying where it is for the foreseeable future. So...

Will combat in Berlin be good? Answer: I think quite, but YMMV according to your subjective taste. What are my feelings on CM? Right now, CMx2 has a few front-end areas that really need smoothing, but is largely "done." However, the Editor has massive room for improvement. If that happens, CMx2 will have new legs. If not, then I'll probably just go into waiting mode for CMx3.

However, CMx3 really needs to have an Editor that allows designers to make the SP experience better in less time. Otherwise, I may not spend much time there.

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1 hour ago, Macisle said:

However, CMx3 really needs to have an Editor that allows designers to make the SP experience better in less time. Otherwise, I may not spend much time there.

Im concerned and frankly skeptical a x3 will happen

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Great post @Macisle - these passages resonated powerfully with me

3 hours ago, Macisle said:

My hope is that the current playtesting on Berlin will yield something good in the way of game updates. However, even if it BF leaves things as is, the combat is still overall good enough. You just have to write off a certain portion of your troops to immersion-blowing howlers, but frankly, not really any more than any combat environment in current CMx2.

In terms of CM's development, my position is that the "front end" of CMx2 is largely at diminishing returns. Mostly, it just needs some rough edges smoothed. However, the "back end" of CMx2 has HUGE room for improvement. By back end, I mean the Editor. It is here that I am at a point of increasing disappointment, as time goes by. There is so much that could be added to speed up and enhance content creation and add realism. 

If memory serves well, Market Garden, with its intense urban fighting, did force a number of major improvements. From the top of my head, the ability of using infantry AT weapons from inside buildings was introduced at that time, as well as other subtle changes in the AI behaviour. I would expect that whatever is the heuristic that governs the selection of the behaviour of units breaking contact with the enemy is reviewed. Even if the TacAI just randomly selected between the current "wandering" behaviour and the more conservative "closest AS between us and direction of incoming fire" would be a better strategy (in statistical terms at least).

I think it is fair to say that there lots of little features in CMx2 that were introduced, but never were revisited to respond to feedback. Definitely, due to lack of programming manpower. For the better I think, the strategy to develop this games was to go all Eisenhower, broad and shallow.

AI orders for Area Fire is one example, the Iron mode for FOW is another one that has been in the series since 2011 and nobody can't still to this day say what are exactly the gameplay effects other than introducing a vague sense of awareness of the limited perception your units have of the battlefield. The other feature that comes to mind are the underlays for map making: still only accepting BMP format with finicky settings, that needs to have a very specific name and in an obscure folder.

We're lucky that CMx2 exists... there's no doubt of that. I will just share the following, and I am not stirring the pot, just sharing some perspective.

On another game that I am part of the beta testing, the scenario developers (all volunteers) decided that they had had enough coping with the spartan facilities offered by the scenario editor when it came to data export and import, map edition, consistency checking. What they started doing was basically the equivalent of a strike: no QOL improvements, no content. Guess what happened - the editor has been massively improved and in a consistent and constant pace since.

On yet another game whose development I was part of, for many many years no improvements were done on basic QoL elements. As a result, apart from one very particularly staunch scenario designer, countless projects had been started and they died off as the requests for improvements on the front-end and back-end of the game went mostly unheeded for years. Some elementary work was done, and that was enough to reactivate the interest of those volunteers that would have provided most of the content for those games.

I think too that CMx2 is very lucky to have around it a community of volunteers that are so dedicated as to cope with primitive scenario design tools and engine limitations that make painful or difficult to realize their vision. Without those volunteers, these games would be as dead and done as Norman Bates' mum :) (what an image @Sublime, now I can't get it off my head!).

Edited by BletchleyGeek
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2 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

I think too that CMx2 is very lucky to have around it a community of volunteers that are so dedicated as to cope with primitive scenario design tools and engine limitations that make painful or difficult to realize their vision. Without those volunteers, these games would be as dead and done as Norman Bates' mum :)

Ain't that the truth. And volunteers making the mods that should have been included in the first place, like Goumiers in RtV, without being given the tools. For me it seems BF's heart is not in it anymore and they are focussing on other things than CMx2. The slow rate of releases and the endless DELAY demotivates many people, among them very talented volunteers. Combine this with a small band of nasty characters who viciously attack everyone who dares to question the present situation (in my case after the opening of the Hunting Season by Elvis and Steve in person) and you have a community which isn't a shadow of what it used to be anymore.

Edited by Aragorn2002
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Interesting that we are all at the funeral of our still living friend.  It's his 50th birthday, he aint dead.  Yeah, he definitely could be better in 1000 ways, and all BF needs is a lot more money and people, which they don't have, to make that happen as fast as we want it to happen.

And why does this always have to degenerate into personal criticisms or conspiracy theories?  They are a small team and simply can't do it all.  Are there actually people here that never worked on teams that had limited resources and had to prioritize?  Had to choose what to do and what to delay? 

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8 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

 

I wouldn‘t agree,  their heart is not on CM2 anymore...
They released SF II, CMFB, CMRV...such a huge amount of work (especially Rome to Victory) one doesn‘t invest for a „dead patient“...

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