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Fire and Rubble Update


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At the risk of being put up against the wall and shot, I just thought I'd say that I've spent most of the last few days playing Final Blitzkrieg (it's great) and so I can wait for Steve's update whenever he's ready, particularly given the above from Elvis.

I'm aware of course that I'm a 7 month veteran, not a 20 year one, so I may view things slightly differently.

Anyway, looking on the positive side of the thread, there are a lot of people who obviously care ūüėČ.

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I get that some people, a small vocal group of people,  are disappointed. I just wish they'd have the humility not to constantly flood the forum with petty bitching

Sure - but we could all take our tinfoil hats off about Steam, military contracts et al.  The latter reminds me of those discussions when Shock Force came out ... remember those ... "It is a click fes

I don't really get your point. But I do find that there's a small gaggle of really vocal weirdos on this site who work hard to create the impression that the customers are dissatisfied. Havi

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As a 21-year veteran I have developed a lot of patience waiting for various games/modules/packs/updates.  When they appear I enjoy them thoroughly - this is a great game system.  Would I like new stuff to pop up more regularly?  Sure.  But I'm OK with the way it is too.  RL keeps me pretty busy too.    

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13 minutes ago, wadepm said:

As a 21-year veteran I have developed a lot of patience waiting for various games/modules/packs/updates.  When they appear I enjoy them thoroughly - this is a great game system.  Would I like new stuff to pop up more regularly?  Sure.  But I'm OK with the way it is too.  RL keeps me pretty busy too.    

Same here - I still have years worth of CM games that I haven¬īt played yet. But I can understand if some are getting impatient.

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3 hours ago, Vacilllator said:

I can wait for Steve's update whenever he's ready, particularly given the above from Elvis.

I'm aware of course that I'm a 7 month veteran, not a 20 year one, so I may view things slightly differently.

I'm a 20-year veteran and I agree with you.

All these months later I'm still vastly enjoying R2V - I've barely touched CMFB & CMBS since I bought them - these products are amazing and full of detail. I have no doubt they're a lot of work to produce.

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26 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

I'm a 20-year veteran and I agree with you.

All these months later I'm still vastly enjoying R2V - I've barely touched CMFB & CMBS since I bought them - these products are amazing and full of detail. I have no doubt they're a lot of work to produce.

Yeah, I've just bought CM Beyond Overlord and I'm thinking of buying CM Barbarossa to Berlin.

For crying out loud...ūüėČ

Edited by Aragorn2002
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4 minutes ago, Aragorn2002 said:

For crying out loud...

It's not that bad is it?  I've been crying out loud trying to keep my panzers on the the road to La Gleize, despite my precise orders being ignored.  An absolutely great experience nevertheless, and one I wouldn't have had without CM. 

It'll be worth the wait I'm sure ūüėČ.¬† And the wall and rifles are still waiting for me...

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22 hours ago, BFCElvis said:

I suppose it depends on how you're defining "bones" ūüôā

Just a couple of days ago I posted a picture of the Panzer III Flame, which hadn't been shown before. A week before that I posted pictures of the newly added BS-3. A couple of days before that the newly added Volksstrum uniforms. The week before that I gave a semi-detailed breakdown of the campaigns. I hope that this thread is both interesting and informative, plus it is giving insight into a campaign that should be in the module:

https://community.battlefront.com/topic/137921-fire-and-rubble-preview-the-anatomy-of-what-goes-into-a-stock-campaign-release/

We do what we can when there's something available to share. 

Yeah thanks I get it. But it has been a year since. And there is obviously something wrong considering the amount of discontent on these forums over the delays. 

What I originally said stands... If Steam sales go well then perhaps consider the risk of adding more to the team. Sf2 although good, still feels like the clunky original sf. and doesnt feel anywhere near as nice as cmbs or cmfb. It didnt really make sense using that game for the first steam game imo. Sure it has content. But check the reviews. 

 

Edit: I hope this module turns out to be a monster!

Edited by Artkin
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24 minutes ago, Vacilllator said:

It's not that bad is it?  I've been crying out loud trying to keep my panzers on the the road to La Gleize, despite my precise orders being ignored.  An absolutely great experience nevertheless, and one I wouldn't have had without CM. 

It'll be worth the wait I'm sure ūüėČ.¬† And the wall and rifles are still waiting for me...

I hear ya, Vacillator.  My panzers & troops have their hands full at St Vith.  Did no one tell these stupid Amis that my panzers are perfect fighting machines that cannot be stop by the vastly inferior weapons & tactics of the allies??  I just lost 2 PZ4s to 'obsolete, useless' 57mm guns. 

I could get mad about F&R delays, or I could instead get mad at my enemies in CM where at least I have some agency in the outcome.

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48 minutes ago, Aragorn2002 said:

For crying out loud...

I don't really get your point.

But I do find that there's a small gaggle of really vocal weirdos on this site who work hard to create the impression that the customers are dissatisfied.

Having played the game since the last Millennium, bought every game and module except Afghanistan, played them incessantly and enjoyed them all, I feel some loyalty to the BF team and would like to play my part in dispelling the impression that the average, normal buyer is unhappy.

They're a small development team. The product is amazing. I don't care how many delivery dates they overshoot, I just hope they keep going.

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Maybe the development time has been longer because they wanted to add more campaigns/battles? From what they've described were getting a plethora of missions. Can't complain about that. As long as there is some sort of communication/screenshots every now and then I'm fine. The only part where I get anxious is how lacking Red Thunder personally feels to me. I just can't get into it as much as the other titles. I'm very excited for the heavy urban battles in the module. Fire and Rubble could very well be the linchpin that makes Red Thunder my favorite of the series. It'll be worth the wait.

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55 minutes ago, Artkin said:

Yeah thanks I get it. But it has been a year since. And there is obviously something wrong considering the amount of discontent on these forums over the delays. 

What I originally said stands... If Steam sales go well then perhaps consider the risk of adding more to the team. Sf2 although good, still feels like the clunky original sf. and doesnt feel anywhere near as nice as cmbs or cmfb. It didnt really make sense using that game for the first steam game imo. Sure it has content.

I appreciate what you're saying. I see that you're relatively new to the game (I know...weird that 4 years is considered new) and may not realize that the games have 1 programmer and 1 game designer. Except for a few years that Phil was here was doing some programming, that has always been the case. And we've thrived and survived while almost everyone else  in this gaming niche have not. That isn't meant to imply that all moves have been spot on or perfect but it is meant to imply that we have been right far more have we been wrong. Increasing personnel in this model does not equal shorter release times. If ya dig what I'm saying. 

 

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But check the reviews. 

Yes, the Steam reviews are fantastic for a game like this. This is not the kind of game that I'd expect 90% (recent reviews) and 85% for all reviews. It has given me more respect for Steam gamers. 

Quote

Edit: I hope this module turns out to be a monster!

Thanks! I think that it will be.

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19 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

I don't really get your point.

But I do find that there's a small gaggle of really vocal weirdos on this site who work hard to create the impression that the customers are dissatisfied..

I think that we can all agree that the vast majority of CM players considders combat mission to be THE BEST game of its type.

No dissatisfaction there...

But I belive that a decent number of the community feels that the current level of progress is less then ideal...

Dissatisfied or not...their intrest in this game series have no doubt decreased somewhat during the last few years...

The activity on these forums ought to be a decent indikator of this...take away the postning of the 10 - 15 most active members...and what will you have ?

A forum that is very close to dead !

Sure...the most dedicated players will stick with the series...no matter what...but will this numnber be high enouh for BFC to keep going ?

 

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We need to continuously keep in mind that BFC hasn't just been making CM for us for quite some time now. 

The income from the military applications they've been contracted to provide will pay dividends for us over the long term, so I don't mind the trade off of time for improving the bottom line.

Anyone who's impatient has the right to their opinion and I'd love RT five minutes ago, but the longer BFC is profitable, the higher quality my gaming will be, so I'll enjoy it when it come out and keep playing all the other CM until it does.

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3 hours ago, Freyberg said:

They're a small development team

I keep seeing people mentioning this and understand its correct.  But BFC knows that when they lay out their plans.  After 20 years, you would think that someone at BFC would know the company's capabilities.   Its not like people complain about just the pace of releases, granted it is agonizingly slow.  The main complaint is that BFC seems unable to predict anything even close to what they can do.  Every year we get a list of what's going to be released and less and less of that list gets realized. 

And maybe even worse is the communications on where things stand.  We don't need to know every intricate detail of BFC's plans, but please be more realistic in forecasting what BFC capabilities are.  And this isn't some anomaly of missing almost everything on a list because its been going on for years.  In 2020, it was partnering with Slitherine, in 2019, it was something else, etc.  I have slowly realized that missing almost everything on a list is not some random event every year, its the inability of someone at BFC not learning from past experience.

Instead of a little self reflection, I know the reaction will be to throw hands up in the air and declare no more plans.  Then we go back to 2018 or so and no one from BFC posts anything for over a year, to the point of beta testers openly complaining.  The solution, to me, is a simple list every month or quarter with updates on a few of the developments.  This removes the main issue of everyone running around trying to glean info from minor comments from BFC and jumping to conclusions or developing bad expectations.

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32 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

...granted it is agonizingly slow....

I think these complaints are coming from people who insist on only playing Eastern Front, because I don't consider a really good release approximately once a year to be agonisingly slow.

I think it's actually pretty good going, considering how much fun I get out of the games. SF2 and R2V have kept me happily occupied all this year - still going strong. I'll get around to playing CMBS sometime....

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24 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

I think these complaints are coming from people who insist on only playing Eastern Front

NO, it does not !

If you are into CMBS you are longing for a module or two for that game...

If you prefer Normandy i'm pretty sure that quite a few guys would like to see some new content (battlepacks) for that game that take advantage of the latest game engine.

Etc...

And its not just playable content that has been lagging behind lately.

Further gameengine updates would be highely approsiated by many i'm sure...

Currently BFC is not even close to live up to the goals they themself set for themself a few years back...that involved far more then a new module ever other year...

 

 

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10 hours ago, Freyberg said:

I don't really get your point.

But I do find that there's a small gaggle of really vocal weirdos on this site who work hard to create the impression that the customers are dissatisfied.

Having played the game since the last Millennium, bought every game and module except Afghanistan, played them incessantly and enjoyed them all, I feel some loyalty to the BF team and would like to play my part in dispelling the impression that the average, normal buyer is unhappy.

They're a small development team. The product is amazing. I don't care how many delivery dates they overshoot, I just hope they keep going.

I have the impression that the real weirdos are those that still defend the endless delay and who think it helps to support BF in their lack of communication and commitment to the module.

I was thinking about making a chronological overview about the whole development of Fire and Rubble, but that job is simply too big for me, since it covers a couple of years and some very long threads.

I post some posts below, which prove my point that the development has been going on for a long time and that promises have been made. I must add that I haven't found promises from Elvis, just a lot of vague and cautious remarks. Still, he didn't handle the PR side very well and left far too much time between updates and bones. With that he caused a lot of unnecessary frustration.

Here just a couple of quotes, they may not prove all of my points, but they do tell a story. Mind you, it's just a quick grab, not nearly all of them.

June 1, 2018

Steve: The one you're all interested in is the first Module for CMRT.  Let me tell you a bit about it. When will it be available to you?  As always we have to be vague about it, however we're very sure it will be before the end of the year. 

Steve: It's been in the works for a significant amount of time already.  Most of the forces have already been plugged in and all of the vehicle models are done.  As you can see from the snapshot of the Berlin map, there's been substantial work done on the scenario side of things already.  What's really helping is that the CMRT Module doesn't require much internal development resources at this stage, which in turn means it's not being held up by CMSF2 or CMFI R2V work (or vice versa).

July 11,2019

MikeyD: The CMRT and CMFI modules have been 'almost complete' for awhile. Much of the CMRT module artwork was finished 2 1/2 years ago.

July 15, 2019

BFCElvis: Can we expect the CMRT module this year? Maybe. 

(Sorry...that is as official and truthful of an answer as is available at this time)

BFCElvis: The plan/hope is by years end. But I'd hate to say that and then you have quote me on January 1st if it doesn't happen.

February 27, 2020

BFCElvis: It's been a coupla/few weeks since an update was made and that's too long. I have good news and I have bad news........

The bad news. As some may have guessed (and if you don't know what I'm referring to I invite you to explore the whole forum and you'll see what I mean....yes...I am being purposely obtuse) our special project has taken away assets that would otherwise be devoted to getting this module to you guys. That will end (for a while) in the next few weeks allowing full focus to be on this module. 

The good news is that it hasn't taken all of the assets and things have not stopped moving forward.  The number of stand alone battles continues to grow. The campaigns are very far along and waiting for final TO&E to be finished. The only major formations that haven't been added are the Partisans.

July 11 2020

MikeyD: The fly in the ointment, so to speak, was the Ministry of Defense's unexpected interest in CM, as has been mentioned elsewhere. That's workproduct that y'all will never see in detail and nobody's going to talk about but it shouldn't be a surprise that a few of us were kept pretty busy for awhile doing stuff that wasn't Fire and Rubble. BFC has the luxury of telling the discussion board "It'll be finished when its finished". For government work the proper response is "Deadline? Yes SIR! We'll do it SIR!"   Fire and Rubble has been very close to being done for a very long time but BFC has been tied up with too much good fortune lately.

BFCElvis; As far as I'm concerned it's on schedule for a summer release. But I thought that with Rome to Victory last year and it came out in November. How's that? Does that answer the question?

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I don't expect Freyberg and company will finally get my point now, since no man is as blind as he who doesn't want to see, but the handling of this module has been and still is a shambles. The main reason for all this delay is that the Eastern front only appeals to a comparatively small group of wargamers, as Steve often mentioned, and so the sales of this module will not be as high as for RtV for example. THAT is the real reason for the lack of priority and commitment and to my opinion it's an insult to those who followed and supported CM all these years. 

Edited by Aragorn2002
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This approach doesn't seem very helpful at all. 

In terms of BF decision making, it seems to make sense. 

Fix the problem behaviour for fleeing under bombardment - affects all titles.

Releast a major module that has been promised and was near completion. 

Prioritise potential major new business opportunity that will mean more security/better long term ability to develop (Develop CM 3 - ditto) . If this means a delay to CMRT, but means more certainty that BF will be around for the foreseeable, that is something I am happy to accept - aren't you? 

 

Also, with a very small team, real life is likely to impact them hard if something goes wrong (Elvis has made a few references to various team members being impacted) . Speaking personally, without being directly affected, Covid has been an utter nightmare for me, affecting my ability to do day-to-day stuff. 

They have tried to give forecasts, but by their own admission they regret this for many reasons (R2V being much more challenging, MoD project, etc). So holding them to past forecasts seems mean to me. 

It is in their interests to get product out of the door. Decision making in BF will be with the objective of making it sustainable/profitable. We can see CMRT is making progress. 

Ultimately I think almost everyone here agrees with/understands BF decisions, and are looking forward to new product as and when it is ready. 

 

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27 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

I get that some people, a small vocal group of people,  are disappointed. 

How do you know that this group is small ?

 Considdering that less then 40 people ever comments on this forum...

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18 minutes ago, Freyberg said:

I get that some people, a small vocal group of people,  are disappointed. 

Considering your earlier statement that you didn't really get my point, that's progress. 

2 hours ago, AlexUK said:

Ultimately I think almost everyone here agrees with/understands BF decisions, and are looking forward to new product as and when it is ready.

Complete nonsense, most people wonder what's going on, but are too afraid, too smart or too disappointed to ask questions. Many can't be bothered anymore, since it's hopeless anyway. Me, I'm just stubborn and stupid. And I care much more about CM than you lot will ever understand.

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No one wonders  "what's going on", Marvin Gaye told us the answer to that one back in 1971.

In the meantime I think that a certain someone is not just "stubborn and stupid" but so arrogant that he feels the constant need to tell us what we think about the way Steve and the other boys in the band run their company.

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14 hours ago, Anonymous_Jonze said:

The only part where I get anxious is how lacking Red Thunder personally feels to me. I just can't get into it as much as the other titles.

You could always use the editor to change existing maps to look the way you want by adding houses, elevation and other things. And if you change a quick battle map, or a few of them, you could change the AI-movements and actions a bit to be more to your liking. You will then have a quick battle map to which you can add the units you want for each side and have fun with that edited quick battle (those edited quick battles).

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To me what is surprising is not the length of time it takes BF to produce product given the tiny development staff, but the fact that BF is still in business after 21+ years and AFAIK the only and last surviving developer making realistic and brilliant tactical wargames for our tiny niche within a niche market.

We should not begrudge these guys from wanting to make some money from MOD even though that surely has delayed all entertainment product development.  My only hope is that BF is making the money they deserve and are not getting exploited.  My experience in the US DoD development game is that the sort of products that BF has been developing for us gamers would cost million of dollars - and many millions more when developing for a government agency.  These products would cost the customer many hundreds of thousands of dollars - very easily many millions.  We are getting them for $60-$70 bucks!  The biggest software bargain of all time.

The choice may be slow development of entertainment COTS vs no product at all.  Yes, we're all impatient.  But, we must consider the commercial realities.

 

Edited by Erwin
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