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The CMx2, PBEM poll


Vadr

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A secondary poll question.

If PBEM was out (couldn't-be-done-no-way), would you pay a subscription for a non-synchronous-play-server that could serve the same purpose (maybe better, I'm imagining really cool non-synchronous-team-play features) if BFC set one up?

Subscription, we could put our money where our mouths are - there's a way to make our obsessions (and our opinions) really count.

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So far I've resisted posting in the CMx2 threads, mainly because I don't want to be banned, but the PBEM issue is too much to let pass.

<font size=30>B</font size>

<font size=5>1. </font size>The best AI in the world is no challenge in the long run. How many years have we been playing BB/AK? Therefoe the enemy must be human.

<font size=5>2. </font size> CM is a thinking man's game. It's about knowledge and experience and solving problems. Therefore there must be time, sometimes a lot of time between turns.

Can these two conditions be satisfied without PBEM? Maybe. I'm not attached to email. I don't care how these two critical conditions are met, but if they are not, don't bother calling the sequel CM. It will just be another wargame with a shelf life of a few months. It may be a spectacularly good wargame with a shelf life of a few months, but the first incarnation of CM raised the standard far above that level.

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B

Until BFC improves the AI enough to carry on conversations about the battles, or discuss things happening out in the real world, or post here on the forums, or even send me a case of wine, I'll stick with human opponents. PBEM is the only system I know of that allows me to play against other people without introducing the time pressure of a "real time" game, which CM is not.

No more speculating on CMx2 for me. It doesn't accomplish anything, so when BFC is ready to unveil their next game I'll be around to see what it is. :D:D

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Guys... one thing that I find really annoying with the "B" crowd is that they keep talking about the possible lack of PBEM as if it kills off the possibility of playing against a Human. That isn't the case at all. If there is no PBEM you can still play against another Human. Nothing is preventing this EXCEPT personal choice. While I understand that some people only want to play against a Human in one way, that is not the same as saying the game won't allow Human vs. Human play if PBEM is not possible. Just keep that in mind, please.

Steve

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Steve,

Like many players, I've spent the past 4+ years playing (and not finishing) masses of PBEM games. TCP/IP is a pain for two reasons - one, trying to hook up with new players (see the challenge threads) and two, trying to commit enough time to make TCP/IP worthwhile.

PBEM is wonderful because it allows a player to have a couple of dozen games running at once, and commit to them maybe an hour a day.

PBEM also allows much bigger games than TCP/IP - players exchanging one turn an hour because they're setting up 10,000 points of equipment get bored quickly.

I know you'll get PBEM in if you can, so don't take this post as an aggravated rant. It isn't. But people like PBEM for what it is - a multiplayer option that's easy to dip into and out of. Those without broadband (and in the UK (for example) that's still 50% of internet users) can't play TCP/IP.

So that's where these people are coming from (some of them).

People are speculating like crazy because they're excited. Sure, there are a handful of whiny whingers who whinge and whine, but most people are just excited, nosy, and can't wait to see what's coming.

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Originally posted by Soddball:

TCP/IP is a pain for two reasons - one, trying to hook up with new players (see the challenge threads) and two, trying to commit enough time to make TCP/IP worthwhile.

The first one might not be a problem - it's just a technical thing which can be improved.

But the second one is the real problem. To play through an operation in PBEM obviously takes a long time - many, many months unless it's a very short one. But you just can't do the same in TCP/IP, unless both of you are unemployed. And I don't think that the unemployed are the core of BFC's customer base. What online play is good for is 20 turn games with a company or less on both sides. A 40 turn game with battalions calls for PBEM.

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Steve

I have played LAN [20+],I have played TCP/IP[40++],and I have played a lot of PBEM [80++] and the most satisfying is PBEM.

LAN is good if you are the audience but playing it is too fast to appreciate the beauty of your tactics or your opponents you are simply too pressured to relax. It is however extremely funny to be the audience wandering from one screen to another.

TCP/IP you do not have the audience even to discuss it with. Your opponent only has his side of the game - and the little he can remember of it as it flashes past.

If you are suggesting hot-seating I can only express astonishment. My wife expects when we have quests that we socialise as a group mot that one of the party is away absent for 10 -30 minutes at a time all evening. And I feel the same.

If you have no significant other and your time is completely your own then you still face the problem of finding an opponent within driving distance who is not some weirdo geek that you have nothing in common with.

I still trust BFC to do their best - and in an economic sense for them. However my position has always been that it is the PBEM that elevates it into a classic that will always be remembered as such - and played. smile.gif

P>S> I almost always use PBEMHelper in Trusted which of course reduces file transfers substantially in number and accelerates game play to two movies and turns per e-mail which does make pBEM very attractive for the time pressed player.

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

Guys... one thing that I find really annoying with the "B" crowd is that they keep talking about the possible lack of PBEM as if it kills off the possibility of playing against a Human. That isn't the case at all.

I, at least, was perfectly clear about this. I don't care how I play against a human so long as I can do so in a fashion that suits the game..with time to think about moves, for a whole day if I want to. People talk about losing PBEM as losing multiplayer because, thus far, PBEM is the only format while allows multiplayer play at the right pace. Hotseat, local network, and TCP/IP play all have severe drawbacks which others have described. I've tried all these methods, and also found them all inadequate.

If there is some revolutionary way to play multiplayer, exchanging bits of the game at whatever pace the players wish, with time to chat and banter, I'll be as pleased as you like. But that sounds so much like emailing turns, I hope you'll forgive me for not seeing another way to do it, or the desirability of doing so. I assume the thing that would make PBEM problematic to implement is some sort of pausable real time system, rather than WEGO turn based. So while I recognize that multiplayer is not "going away" altogether, I am expressing the opinion that the loss of this sort of multiplayer would far outweight any benefit which would make PBEM untenable.

Incidentally, I don't much like the A/B vote either. I would rather see the focus on making a good game, which will in turn sell many copies, than wondering how many people will reluctantly buy a copy without a critical feature. Economically, I'm sure BFC would be better off if CM had powerups and big, glowing energy cubes, if it was totally un-modable--except for God mode, of course--and a sweatshop full of programmers could crank out a new, minor variation every six months and call it a sequel. We'd be up to CM8 by now...only none of us would be here, and neither would any of the folks at BFC. As much as economics get brought up in these threads, the emphasis on making good games outweighs bean counting at BFC. That's why the CM games exist, and why we're still playing them, years and years longer than even the best wargames to go before.

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