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OK still never really use CM:SF for MP games. Just curious has there been any change/updates in the real time version of MP games in the numerous and very fine patches. Can one pause at all? IIRC there was no pause originally. If there still isn't wouldn't it be a nice feature?

Would it take much to add re. programming?

I always play my CM2 products head to head TCP/IP. It was a shame that even PBEM assumes only one player can enter orders at a time.......

Oh well hopefully CM:Normandy will have features with real time TCP/IP (pausable) or turn based WEGO computations and WEGO re. Orders.

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We have a bunch of mutliplayer RT improvements on our ToDo list, with different pause features being at the top of the list. This system will eventually have things like "Time Outs", where each player has a certain amount of Pauses and total time he can take for a given period of game time. The other player is locked down unless he also uses his Time Outs. I suspect this won't be in CM: Normandy's initial release, but it shouldn't be too much longer before it gets in. In the mean time a mutually agreed to Pause is definitely on the short list for Normandy.

Unfortunately we do not foresee a time when we'll allow PBEM turns to be done simultaneously. As I understand it the concept is pretty straight forward, even in code, but it is one of those things which will likely take quite a while to program and debug. Compared to other features this request, although definitely a good one, ranks very low in terms of priority.

Steve

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We have a compromise solution for TCP/IP WeGo that I announced a while back. Basically it is WeGo without Replay. That's the best we can do for the time being because we aren't confident we can get Replay working in a reasonable timeframe.

We have so many things to do for Normandy we can not afford to get sidetracked on a feature which isn't core to the game. By "core" I mean something that everybody has to use no matter what their play style is. TCP/IP WeGo with Replay isn't core because if you play solo, PBEM, or RealTime this feature isn't used. Compare this to something like bridges, anti-tank guns, etc. and I think you can see that there is a difference.

Unfortunately just because something is good and even important doesn't make it a top priority. If that were the case we'd have 5 years worth of top priorities, which doesn't work too well for us ;)

Steve

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iam still not really convinced that a SPM mode will fit to CMX2. i was verry puzzled that TOW2 got its share of SPM and people seem to be more confused by it then anything else.

beside that, i think if you go for a certain pause amount, wich is freely available and definable for the players, this WILL end in a constant stop and go battle.

i played the first game ever wich had SPM in multiplayer and i tell you it was a not so great expirience.

i would like to hear what BFC thinks is a good way to get SPM into CMx2 and how it could look like in the game. similar to TOW2 for example?

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SPM? I'm unfamiliar with the acronym. Self Pause Mode or something like that?

I do agree with your point, though, that free ability to pause in RT Multiplayer is just not workable. Which is why we didn't put it into CM:SF. That would have been VERY easy to add. In fact, we had to disable this functionality because it was inherently already there. So it's not in the game now because it wouldn't be well received overall. For two players who really trust each other to not hit the button except for a bathroom or beer break... sure, that would work. But we feel strongly those few people would be overshadowed by legions complaining about how their opponent keeps hitting pause every 3 minutes.

We have various designs, all of which are fairly simplistic. The key element is that each player has to make pause choices very carefully. That's the only way to prevent a RT game from becoming a slideshow.

Steve

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SPM? I'm unfamiliar with the acronym. Self Pause Mode or something like that?

the inventors, Apeiron, call it Smart Pause Mode, SPM, they put it in their first game, E5 Brigade and in their 2nd one 7.62. both are squad based tactical games, like jagged alliance or fallout tactics but not turnbased but SPM, it works wonderfull and combined with the time deceleration(sp!?) it works wonders as you can slow down to 6.1 times slower.

you can coordinate a firefight and micromanage every aspect of it blah blah it works great. but i cant see it working that well in a game wich is around company level.

as said it puzzled me, that something like SPM, or i think they even call it SPM over there in the TOW2 forum, was added to TOW2. since apeiron was working for 1C, wich published their E5 and 7.62 games, i somehow think i can see the connection. but still its verry odd.

The key element is that each player has to make pause choices very carefully

and this is what i fear, when you want to eliminate the stop and go batte, wich will arise to 100% if both partys want to win this battle, you end up limiting pause in some way. players will work each other in a pause frenzy if the pause is not limited.

now at this part "pause" get a element to calculate with, you try to make the enemy use up his pause, and use only as much pause as you need yourself. in my view this takes away from the real battle on the real virtual battlefiled quiet a lot. you try to beat your opponent with a weapon not on this battlefield. even odd tactical joices my occour as someone is close to the end of his pause amount or better one of both partys ran out of pause, so just one player has the "pause weapon".

as said i played this befor in a squad based tactical game, you could set pause to unlimited or define a amount of seconds, wich when the amount is gone, leaves one player without pause. it didnt work out in any way i would call it fun, beside the single player expirience beeing awsome, the multiplayer failed.

now that is the SPM "i know". maybe you guys have some radicaly new ideas to find a solution to this and make it work in CMx2 in a way its simply fun.

EDIT:

to be accurate, SPM is RTwP(realtime with pause) combined with "auto pause" events. like unit fires, unit is hit, killed enemy, and so on...

in the case of CMx2 in think we dont talk about Auto Pause events but only the RTwP wich is the core of the problem.

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players will work each other in a pause frenzy if the pause is not limited.

Which is why I said it would be limited :D

"This system will eventually have things like "Time Outs", where each player has a certain amount of Pauses and total time he can take for a given period of game time."

I also agreed with you that unlimited pausing is absolutely a bad idea.

The bottom line is that some people are more comfortable with RealTime than others. Even those who like it. I feel I can control almost a Battalion in RealTime provided the forces are not wildly dispersed (like half on one side of a mountain and the other on the other side). Others can't even handle a platoon.

This is relevant because a pause feature, no matter how it is crafted, won't change this basic equation. If we give players something weighted towards people like me, then those who find company size to be the maximum will think the pause feature too limited, while those who can't hardly handle a platoon will find it useless.

Our goal is to develop a system which can be adjusted, by the players before the battle, to suit their play style. Much like CMx1 allows multi-players different options for planning times before the game starts.

Steve

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I'm not a fan of the pause feature being built into a game like CMSF, I don't believe that this will solve the issue at all. Instead it would severely sap the realism and intensity of combat away from the game. After all there’s no pausing in real life, so if this game is to be realistic we need to find another solution. The underlying issue here is the AI and lack of complex/over-arching commands. First the AI needs to better adapt and fend for itself if need be while adhering to your overall strategy set forth. But, more importantly we need better control over the battlefield. Right now it’s difficult to control large battles because of a lot of tedious micro-managing that we’re forced do. The game needs to implement a better way of coordinating large-scale attacks. Eliminating the micromanaging needed at every minute while still leaving us within ultimate control of our troops.

Quickly here are some things that would help:

Time coordinated assaults. The ability to order two separate units to assault a specific target and have them engage that target at the same time, automatically coordinated by the AI. Ala Supreme Commander. Communication lines and leadership should also play a part in how effectively this order is executed, giving even more importance to an already good feature.

Expanding on that a bit it’d also be nice if I could give other orders based on time or certain conditions. Once unit A suppresses the target unit B automatically follows his set waypoints. etc

Prioritize targets. Allow me to prioritize targets for each unit, if I wish to, that way I don’t have to always check up on them and ensure they’re focusing fire on who I want them to. Basically taking a page from another BF title, TacOps4, a lot of those prioritizing and engagement commands need to be put in place for CMSF in a more streamlined manner.

More general commands like probe, defend, and possibly scout. Sometimes I may want to gather intel on a certain area, but want to avoid getting bogged down in any large firefight. That’s where a probe or scout order would come in handy. With that I wouldn’t have to keep an eye on that particular unit and manually disengage if he does come under a lot of fire.

Those are just a few examples, I’ll probably post more later. But, if those sort of things could be put in place in a simple and quick interface that would very much clean up a lot of the time consuming micromanagement while actually give us more control, but at the same time freeing us up as well.

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JayA55 - much as I would love your features to be implemented (apart from anything else it would massively improve the AI) I suspect there would be a lot of programming involved so it would go on "The List" never to be seen again as there are arguably more important things to do.

The other issure is the UI - I have never played Supreme commander so I don't know how simple it would be but it is hard enough to figure out all the commands already in CMSF and adding a ton more wouldnt help!

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In Supreme Commander launching coordinated assaults was very simple. Basically all you had to do was select the units, then with one press on the keyboard while clicking their target the AI would then automatically coordinate routes/movement speed that would allow both groups (no matter how far apart they were on the map) to arrive at the target at the same time. So, for the user it's possible for it to be that simple.

As far the difficulty I guess that's a matter of opinion. The way I see it those type of features would make the game easier to play by eliminating a lot of the more tedious and micro-managing task. It'll allow users to focus on the bigger picture IMO. Even with pauses the problem is still present, it's just slower and less realistic now.

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We've had several very long, thoughtful, threads on the concept of making a "command level" game. Search on that term and you'll probably pull it up.

Bottom line... it's an entirely different game. We could easily spend 2 years programming this one feature and it would still probably tick people off :) Supreme Commander is a completely different type of game and the programming, while no doubt involved, is much easier to do. The results are much better too, I'm sure.

Steve

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I believe the game could still be about small unit tactics while still giving the user more overall control and less baby-sitting/micromanaging. But, as you mentioned I guess this subject is already a dead horse.

Unless I am misunderstandin someting the game I am current playing does the to an extend already. Much of what you are asking woud require you to loosening the reigns on the sobordinante units. Still some manangement of the smalleroredrs would need to happen but the general plancould all be started with the HQ,

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