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PBEM Integration


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Just a quick question on this one before I push the button - does purchasing from BF mean that I'll miss out on the PBEM integration that Matrix/Slitherine are doing for the June realise, or not?

 

Cheers

 

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I was under the impression that the system would be in place now and that BFC/Matrix/Slitherine want people who have bought the game to stress test the system so that it works as best as possible when the Steam crowd get their hands on the game. Haven't seen anything yet. Maybe @BFCElvis has some news on this?

@Flibby: if you buy the game now you will still get a Steam key for free, so nothing to lose buying it now.

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1 hour ago, rocketman said:

I was under the impression that the system would be in place now and that BFC/Matrix/Slitherine want people who have bought the game to stress test the system so that it works as best as possible when the Steam crowd get their hands on the game. Haven't seen anything yet. Maybe @BFCElvis has some news on this?

The initial release was intended to be a "regular" Battlefront release. And the first patch will be as well. The PBEM++ will then get bolted on to the Battlefront version after that. That is when everyone who wants to experiment with the new system will be able to participate. We wanted to have a fully functional "normal" version available for anyone who doesn't want to participate. The plan is to have it done for a June Steam release.

That said, once it is completed it will become the version of Cold War. Any patches/support going forward will contain PBEM++.....forever. Thanks to the guidance of @Ultradave and @benpark I have dipped my toes into PBEM++ with other Steam games. I think anyone not familiar with the system will be pleased.

One other point, at this time I have no idea what affect it will have on existing Cold War PBEM games. Once it's on I can't promise that you'll be able to continue a battle started in the current system. 

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1 hour ago, BFCElvis said:

The initial release was intended to be a "regular" Battlefront release. And the first patch will be as well. The PBEM++ will then get bolted on to the Battlefront version after that. That is when everyone who wants to experiment with the new system will be able to participate. We wanted to have a fully functional "normal" version available for anyone who doesn't want to participate. The plan is to have it done for a June Steam release.

That said, once it is completed it will become the version of Cold War. Any patches/support going forward will contain PBEM++.....forever. Thanks to the guidance of @Ultradave and @benpark I have dipped my toes into PBEM++ with other Steam games. I think anyone not familiar with the system will be pleased.

One other point, at this time I have no idea what affect it will have on existing Cold War PBEM games. Once it's on I can't promise that you'll be able to continue a battle started in the current system. 

Thanks Elvis. Take my money now 🙂

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12 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

Thanks for the link. Pbem++ seems to be the same as the pbem we use for the CM-games. Or maybe I missed some important difference when I read that Slitherine forum page.

The system takes care of uploading / downloading / putting the files in the correct folder / uploading to the correct person the savefile in a play by email multiplayer game.

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20 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

Thanks for the link. Pbem++ seems to be the same as the pbem we use for the CM-games. Or maybe I missed some important difference when I read that Slitherine forum page.

The files are hosted centrally, and there's a lobby system to find games. Experienced players may indeed gain nothing from it, but the end result is likely to be a pretty huge positive.

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Well in the interest of testing the system I am currently engaged in several pbem battles using FOG2 and it is working well, apart from their email server to let you know you have a turn waiting seems to be down according to Richard Bodley Scott the author of FOG. This seems a bit poor as when a service stops running the support team should know about it pretty quickly. UK bank holiday seems to be delaying a reboot since Saturday. They should have Elvis on their team...

Anyway apart from not knowing a turn is waiting for me it is working well. Dead easy to post a challenge. My challenges were picked up by opponents really quickly. 

You get a basic chat feature but no real information on your opponents. You can of course do a closed challenge and only the person knowing the password will be able to accept it. 

Now to turn pc back on to see if I have a turn waiting....

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6 minutes ago, Holien said:

Well in the interest of testing the system I am currently engaged in several pbem battles using FOG2 and it is working well, apart from their email server to let you know you have a turn waiting seems to be down according to Richard Bodley Scott the author of FOG. This seems a bit poor as when a service stops running the support team should know about it pretty quickly. UK bank holiday seems to be delaying a reboot since Saturday. They should have Elvis on their team...

Anyway apart from not knowing a turn is waiting for me it is working well. Dead easy to post a challenge. My challenges were picked up by opponents really quickly. 

You get a basic chat feature but no real information on your opponents. You can of course do a closed challenge and only the person knowing the password will be able to accept it. 

Now to turn pc back on to see if I have a turn waiting....

Matrix' webmaster has been a weak link for a long time...

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On 5/3/2021 at 5:04 PM, Redwolf said:

Matrix' webmaster has been a weak link for a long time...

Well I think that statement is being shown to be true.

I sent an email to their support address on Saturday still no response and according to RBS they are not UK based. RBS sent them an email and has had no response, the email notifications are still not being sent. This is not imo acceptable in this day and age. I have not even had an automated message saying we are looking into it. An automated response is simple to implement to help improve customer satisfaction. 

I finished my first paired game yesterday and I would note some possible areas we would need to test for CM titles.

1. No ability to replay a turn after watching it. In truth that might be an issue with FOG2 game design, but one to check when this is implemented for CM. I am now investigating how I can record video of each turn...

2. If you don't play for I think 3 weeks the server will delete your game and you lose it as you have no access to save the files locally to restore at later date.

3. You don't get access to files so that might cause issues? 

4. Not easy to find and contact who you are playing. I had not realised the games were ending as I had met the vp conditions so had not used the chat feature to thank my oppo, I spent quite a bit of time trying to find my oppo on their forum to send an apology and it was not simple. I did it but not smooth. 

Just some observations that might prove useful for those talking to Slitherine about PBEM implementation. 

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Well today I started to get email notifications about waiting turns. Nearly a week to fix the issue for everyone as server was down. No one was getting notified that turns were waiting. 

The designer "RBS" of the game was / is on the ball and chased the issue and responded on the forum, so much kudos to him. But I don't think Steve or Charles would or should be doing the same for basic support stuff that Slitherine tech support should have a team on it. Imo.

I had no email response to my request for help, not even an automated yes we got your request. Poor customer service imo

I do hope support issues are discussed when pbem++ integration go live is planned.

😏

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26 minutes ago, Holien said:

Well today I started to get email notifications about waiting turns. Nearly a week to fix the issue for everyone as server was down. No one was getting notified that turns were waiting. 

The designer "RBS" of the game was / is on the ball and chased the issue and responded on the forum, so much kudos to him. But I don't think Steve or Charles would or should be doing the same for basic support stuff that Slitherine tech support should have a team on it. Imo.

I had no email response to my request for help, not even an automated yes we got your request. Poor customer service imo

I do hope support issues are discussed when pbem++ integration go live is planned.

😏

I don't think they have a team. There's one dude that irked me before.

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Just found another quirk which might be worthy of mention for anyone testing. I just loaded up a multiplayer setup to look at but not complete setting up my forces. I just wanted to see map to ponder my set up later today.

I tried to exit but the program locks that out so only way to exit was to crash the whole program. Ctl alt dlt...

Doing some research it would seem this is an anti cheating feature to stop save and reload scumming. 

With such large setup for some CM scenarios you are going to have to allocate time to complete it fully else it doesn't get saved. Just something to be aware of in the CM implementation of PBEM++

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So another tidbit on the support process for PBEM++

Today 1st reported at7:30am server down, so no ability to play PBEM at all. - Numerous players have posted - Just the designer RBS responded on behalf of whole of Slitherine saying it is being looked into.

Finally able to get back on at 3:30pm - No update from the Tech team saying it is fixed (as of yet...) I just happened to try it again to see if it was working...

I am not sure how often this happens, but another thing to be aware of when playing via the system...

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  • 1 month later...

Another observation is that the server saves the final turn of a game so you can review, but it seems that after a period of time this is deleted, so you lose your history of who you played and the final turn is deleted to save server space I guess.

The automated league / tournament system works well and shows folks progress as turns are uploaded. 

https://www.slitherine.com/tournaments/scores/604

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