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What do we want in the new CM game, Part Deux!


MrSpkr
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I'd like to see separately saveable maps in the Scenario Editor. Often I start a battle, generate a map I like, and then wish I had started it as an operation. Seems to me I should be able to use the same map for both purposes and see which works better. of course it would have to be a long map to really work for both, but that's my problem, not BF's! :D

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More seriously, one general thing that frequently drives me up the wall is the way CM combines top-down control with bottom-up, forcing me to think 2 ways at once. That is, while I understand that IRL an officer is always telling green or panicked troops to do the opposite of their natural inclinations, and that tank drivers can do dumb things when they are jumpy---and therefore it follows that units must be modeled to actually have that natural tendency, declining with experience, to do these dumb things---I find it tedious to be BOTH battalion commander AND tank driver. If I tell a tank to sneak around a patch of woods, I do not mean "go get stuck in the woods, turn around and back up in full view of the enemy, and get shot up from the rear." Basic pathfinding and common sense, then, but my desire is not just better quality but less responsibility for management. After all, isn't that what officers are for? And those tanks DO have drivers, don't they? (probably student drivers!)

So

1) more and better AI pathfinding

2) Vehicles that back up under fire behind easily available cover, not just straight back, and other more logical responses to being targeted

Another complaint is more of a bug, but I have seen it in CMBO and CMAK, and it probably has a name already: when "Rotate" orders for vehicles suddenly become "Fast" or when "reverse & fast" becomes "reverse & reverse." When this happens, all your careful micromanagement is wasted because the vehicle inevitably gets its hatch lifted.

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From the new CM engine I want to have mainly a lot of aides that shorten the average game time: tools for visualising terrain elevation, convoy commands, formation commands, ... this kind of stuff. The rest is pretty cool, anyway, but I want the average game to last between one and two hours ... which it normally does not (for me).

Regards,

Thomm

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I do not mean "go get stuck in the woods, turn around and back up in full view of the enemy, and get shot up from the rear."
When I was on my Troop Leader's course, if, at any time, I issued an order that would present any part of my vehicle save the front towards the enemy, or allowed my driver to do same - instant failure of the trace, coupled with a stick at high velocity to the top of my helmet.

Presenting an enemy with a broadside was THE unforgivable sin. Shorly following in terms of sins was was stopping in any position tracks up to the enemy (hull down as a minimum, and turret down as the norm) and not knowing one's current position within 100 metres at all times WITHOUT recourse to GPS.

There's something else for the list - I want a "seek turret down" command that exposes only the unbuttoned TC's touque.

DG

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Originally posted by yunfat:

Lets fix what we know is currently broken, lets max out the graphics and break compatibility with older machines (with the time between engines this is now a necessity), lets concentrate on 3d models and lighting. In other words, we have genre leading gameplay, lets tighten up the looks.

NO!!!

As a cash-strapped college student with a 500-mHz iMac, I say NO!

God bless,

"P. Cornelius Patton"

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I've been kicking around the idea of allowing scenario designers to create AI files for single player games. At the minimum, these files would allow the scenario designer to plot movement etc for units begining with the first turn through whatever turn the ploted movement is completed. Better would be additional conditional movement orders (move until contact is a conditional movement order that already exists). Best would be allowing an agressiveness settings and allowing the AI to follow a basic plan. Users would be allowed to submit new "plans" for a side which could be set to always follow Plan A or Plan B or to randomly select a plan if more than one exists for a given scenario

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Originally posted by Sequoia:

I've been kicking around the idea of allowing scenario designers to create AI files for single player games.

That is a GREAT idea, IMHO. The player could select a "stick to scenario plan" or uses the regular AI engine as it stands now, or "load plan from file" (or simply load a different version of the same battle known to be edited by someone else) .

With the application of several differents plans, AAR, tutorials and CM "masterclasses" for lack of a better word, could become something entirely different. Illustration of historical doctrines could be implemented/taught within the game. Huge historical value there I believe. Grogs would finally have a useful tool to illustrate their ideas...

Of course, a plan is just that, a plan, so it would mainly focus on initial deployement, rough courses of actions and initial moves. But it is an idea worth investigating.

Also, still assuming CMx2 will includes the main phases it already presents now, (deployement, order phases, we go and an editor that kicks a**), a useful little addition to the later would be the possibility to actually deploy/arrange the reinforcements the exact way we want them to apper on the map. As it is, you never really knows how the thing will show up on the map, especially when you want and armored column with supporting towed weapons. I know the workaround involves multiple reinforcments, but still, the idea to prepare for a neat column, a specific order of march and such would be realistic and useful.

[ September 28, 2004, 12:34 PM: Message edited by: Tarkus ]

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Originally posted by Philippe:

Mission statements tend to stifle innovation by encouraging people to think inside the box. I think we should all prefer to have BFC maintain a studied silence on the subject. They're perfectly capable of winnowing the wheat from the chaff on their own, and somebody might accidently trigger a useful train of thought. So let's give them our tangentially relevant ideas, but without interfering in their creative process.

Well how about a Let-you-all-in-on-the-ground-floor statement? Or would that have too much of an impact on the fragile creative process?
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Originally posted by Sequoia:

I've been kicking around the idea of allowing scenario designers to create AI files for single player games. At the minimum, these files would allow the scenario designer to plot movement etc for units begining with the first turn through whatever turn the ploted movement is completed. Better would be additional conditional movement orders (move until contact is a conditional movement order that already exists). Best would be allowing an agressiveness settings and allowing the AI to follow a basic plan. Users would be allowed to submit new "plans" for a side which could be set to always follow Plan A or Plan B or to randomly select a plan if more than one exists for a given scenario

Not say that this is a bad idea, but IMO it takes long enough to design/test a battle already (at least a month for a fine tuned one). Although an auther wouldn't have to, you know it wouldn't be long before someone started demanding it. Its easy to say, oh just make a plan, but what do we need to know to make this plan? Would it be built into the editor or a text file that we would need to know some computer langauge for?
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Originally posted by Pzman:

Would it be built into the editor or a text file that we would need to know some computer langauge for? [/QB]

I envision it as being no more difficult than plotting your moves at the beginning of the game. Click on the unit and plot it's movement/orders etc. Think of it this way. You can already get movement orders in a file by email. I'm thinking, at the minimum, it would be like starting a game playing against a file much like an emailed first turn. Latter turns would be against the a.i. An enhanced version would have the a.i influenced by the "plan".

[ September 28, 2004, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Sequoia ]

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More roadblocks.

Unlink them from the rubble tile (or whatever replaces it) so that modders can unleash their creativity on the things. It was very limiting to only be able to have road blocks composed of collapsed building matterial.

There should be several different kinds available, from impromptu felled logs to little concrete blocks.

And some functional earth-moving equipment would be nice, especially in the Normandy hedge-rows.

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Originally posted by Pzman:

Not say that this is a bad idea, but IMO it takes long enough to design/test a battle already [...]

Good point. It must not be a burden, because people won't be using it, plain and simple.

I agree with Sequoia though, one simple way to implement this would be to enable orders-at-first-turn within the editor. You design your battle, and as soon as you are ready, you fire the order and/or event editor where you issue orders along certains rules and scripts as suggested in part one of this topic. You could even make those orders padlocked or not to leave choices open to the player.

...and, to link that with the reinforcement set-up option I was suggesting above, suppose you can, as the scenario designer, issue orders to reinforcement as well, upon arrival. That would enable a scenario to start with a different rythm, with troops already in motions and assuming battle formations, make reinforcements arrive in the middle of a video sequence, etc.

Finally, suppose one-side-multiplayer is implemented, perhaps the possibility of having friendly troops the player has no or partial control over might be of interest. For example, Player X, commanding a platoon, is given the mission to advance across B company position to press on an attack. The scenario designer could set up stance, movement orders and command restriction to B company so Player X cannot issue orders to B Company yet knows these troops are there, deployed and alert.

Back to Pzman comment, ideas like this leave many doors open, but balance would be a huge issue I guess, requiring extensive testing on the part of the designer. Too many options might be just like too few :confused:

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The effects of long term fatigue.

There are several scenarios that start after one of the units involved has made an all-night march or the equivalent. With the current engine the unit recovers all of that fatigue a bit too quickly, forcing the designer to set astronomically high levels of fatigue to get things to balance out. What is needed is some kind of mechanism for setting a fatigue base line. Perhaps a setting that lists what the minimum level of fatigue for certain (but not necessarily all) units on a side. The effect would be that the units that slogged through the mud all night will never be more rested that winded or tired, while fresh troops might be able to show up to reinforce them who had ridden to the battlefield on trucks.

I've seen this happen in a few scenarios in CMBO, and the situation itself is not all that unusual. The solutions for representing it with the current engine aren't really satisfactory, largely, I suspect, because no one has focused on it. Long-term fatigue is a phenomenon that anyone who has ever stayed up all night can attest to.

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Greetings, I should start by saying this is not really my first post, but I lost my old password temporarily, hence the username.

Originally posted by Tarkus:

- For the borg spotting issue, maybe something like a "commander basic interface" where contacts could be reported (with leds, I like leds ) Then, some sort of "units SITREP" button would enable anything from "jump to that unit" to see what is going on from that unit's P.o.V./LOS and/or a more or less factual, generic report like "sporadic small arms fire", "ennemy armor spotted", "mortar fire" and so on, perhaps with icons (which I'll quickly mod ). These could, like anything else, be modified by F.o.W. Just an idea...

Originally posted by Captain Pies:

1. Contour overlay for maps or even better the ability to overlay a scan of a contempory map or a fake map auto generated from the terrain.

These are along the lines of an idea that I have had for a while on the spotting issue. It does, however get back to the issue of how much of a "command management" game you want.

My idea is that at the start of a game, you have access to a "paper" map, similar to a to a typical map that a commander would have had to work with in the field. This map could be of a varying degree of quality and accuracy. You plan your force composition based on the paper map.

When it comes to deploying your forces, the map is superimposed over the actual game map, but only the part that each commander sees will be revealed. The other parts will be "paper" map. This allows for a few possibilities, first that your map can be wrong. Things you may have relied upon, like buildings, may not really be there. Obstacles that you had relied on not being there like a wall or a line of trees, may actually be there, forcing you to change your plans.

something like this:

Untitled-TrueColor-02.jpg

By this method, a contact may be reported to the commander, and gets marked on the paper map as "probably enemy machine gun" or whatever, but the enemy units are only "seen" when the squad leader is selected, or if the actual unit has line of sight.

Originally posted by Peter Cairns:

So what I would like is a unit editor that let you click on a unit when setting up a scenario, and as well as editing things like command, and amo open up the Bitmap and change colour insignia paintwork or whatever.

.............

So being able to just open the closest building a change some windows and colours would be good. If for instance you wanted to create a historical scenario and you had pictures of the actual field, with units etc, then a simple built in unit painter would let anyone add that touch of detail to make it that bit better.

Peter.

This is a great idea. Customising cosmetically every building, man and vehicle within certain limits would give endless depth. For example, you can place a large building on the map, and then scroll through 20 or 30 large buildings to change it to your own preference. Or choose from fifty different faces for troops, or change camoflage from 10 options or turret numbers etc. etc.

I also think that it is essential to model all the men on the board, graphically as well as gameplay wise. My brother hates combat mission because every squad reacts as one unit. He prefers the method of individual morale as per "close combat" where realistically, some of the men will be cowering in a hole, but other, more experienced guys will still get orders and still be shooting.

Graphically, I think this new game has no excuses not to be up there with the graphic samples for the "maybe someday to be released" war game by codemasters titled "wartime commander". If those other guys do their stuff right, then the new CM will be competing against it anyway. I love realism in gameplay that CM gives, but realism comes from "suspension of dibelief" via beautiful images too.

I do not have a hot computer, but I will be happier to buy the new game a few months or a year after release, by which time I will have saved to buy my computer more muscles.

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Originally posted by Redwolf:

Am I the only one who hopes for a deep breath and a real review of:

- vehicle turn rates

- command delays, especially along a road, for a continuous curve or at scenario start

- foxhole protection

- exhaustion rates (yes, I will take you up on the challenge to run through snow with 30 pounds and combat boot this winter, we meet in Lincoln, MA)

- bogging chances

- artillery model, in particular at least holding fire and then unleashing it

- turret front size model

- documented "curved armor" angles

- non-radio spotters (non-)escape

- gun setup times lower than anything I read in historic accounts

- death of pillboxes by 20mm

- troops moving in trenches are not supressed and inhibited from movement by MG fire some dictance away the same way that troops outside the trench are

No, you are not the only one. smile.gif
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Well, some things I'd like to see...

*More multi-tile buildings. I hate making a "big buidling" of of many buildings, than forced to watch my men "leave" one section of the building and go to the other because the two sections are technically different buildings!

*Put howitzers for all land-based available howitzers! If I can get off-screen artillery up to 240mm, then I should get on-screen howizers up to that caliber as well (ships are, of course, a different story).

*Western Europe theater vehicles and units, just so I can do a hypothetical "US/Brit & co. attack on Berlin" scenario. smile.gif

*Ability to customize the weapons of my infantry units. While this could be abused so that some n00b would make a "Fast" squad full of MG42s, I think it would be a great feature- what if you had a squad with M1s and Brens?

And of course, no "What to do in CMX2" thread would be complete without something like...

OMG teh neXt cOmbat Mishun should look liek this! ;)

God bless,

"P. Cornelius Patton"

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Here's a little thing: A way to set the default "inbox" and "outbox" for PBEM files so they never get confused.

Also, I agree with the "seek turret down." Along with that, how about "pull back to hull down"? How many armored vehicles would THAT save?

Seems to me tanks should *normally* try to keep hull down from any recognized AT weapon. But I can understand if they want to give us the option of behaving like damn fools. That IS part of the game. So then give us the tools to be smart, I say.

Side note: I think BF is focused enough not to implement anything like actual medics or "killer graphics." They know that, beyond an ambulance or 2, they aren't worth the effort to model visually. We should be grateful (I am!) BF is not the kind of company that puts out $40 "expansion packs" like Combat Mission: GI Joe vs Ninja! or Combat Mission: M.A.S.H. We can dream, but they know their product has to meet this forum's standards, and if CMX2 doesn't stand up they will be torn to shreds. :cool:

[ September 30, 2004, 04:52 PM: Message edited by: Dave Stockhoff ]

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In no particular order:

- follow-the-leader commands to avoid the mess shown below. In general, the ability to issue commands including SOP's to leaders and have them auto-organize suborbinate units. The time-savings would be enormous.

- iron-man rules option - limited views

- per-weapon ammo modelling. You should be able to blaze away with the squad MG42 then switch to SMG's when it gets tight.

- campaign capability. Ok, so shoot me, I think that taking a company or battalion through several scenarios (with limited replacements) on a scale larger than 'operations' would make us behave more realistically regarding casualties.

- flying monkeys with flamethrowers. No question.

- realistic LOS regards 'living' vehicles, fortifications, etc.

- single-email-per-turn turnaround. It can be done (one very old suggestion involved processing turns on only one of the computers, that's OK), and it would save tons of time for PBEM. I'm not worried about Andreas or certain others cheating, but I think it could be done "cheat proof" anyway.

- highly-adjustable graphics options. I'd certainly like to play on the laptop while travelling, then get home and see more immersive details.

This is why we need auto-organization as in point 1. Note: every waypoint for every vehicle was hand-done... never again.

need_convoy_command.JPG

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