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Why was the interface not developed further?


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Now there is a sig line if there ever was one.

LOL Just accept it Capt.

1.) Anything that doesn't work as I expect or desire is broken.

2.) If it doesn't work the same as some previous version of CM or like some other game I prefer, then it isn't complete and needs to be fixed in the next patch.

3.) If it doesn't include my favorite WW2 vehicle, no matter how rare, the game isn't done

4.) my experience playing the game since it was released is equal in value to yours having played possibly years

5.) I test nothing to validate something I saw. Once is enough, suck it up and fix it.

6.) if I have to read the manual it isn't explicit enough

7.) Anything that happens that is "buggy" no matter how rarely is enough to ruin the game enough that I won't play anymore...ever

8.) If I have to read the forum to get hints or even see if my issue hasn't already been talked to death....it isn't explicit enough

9.) Though I don't run my own business and actually have no experience doing so, I won't hesitate for a second in telling BFC how to run theirs

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Peer review is a fun thing to watch, isn't it? :D From my position I am sometimes, actually frequently, surprised at the direction a discussion takes. Especially with a new release. There's a ton of things I expected players, especially CMx1 players, to complain about. And many of them have never been mentioned even once.

Steve

Could you perhaps point those out? I'm feeling the need to complain to break up the monotony of enjoying the game.

Oh wait, I know what I want - a sensor that picks up from my brain when it goes OMFG! and records the moment in the game I am watching. I really need an automated process to catch those. Hell my wife doesn't play war games and is getting a little tired of me going "Hey honey, check this out, you believe they can actually include that?" She is still impressed. She did however get a chuckle at the legs projecting underneath the jeep. Actually started singing "flintstones, meet the flintstones!" I was thoroughly embarassed. fix it.

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1.) Anything that doesn't work as I expect or desire is broken.

2.) If it doesn't work the same as some previous version of CM or like some other game I prefer, then it isn't complete and needs to be fixed in the next patch.

3.) If it doesn't include my favorite WW2 vehicle, no matter how rare, the game isn't done

4.) my experience playing the game since it was released is equal in value to yours having played possibly years

5.) I test nothing to validate something I saw. Once is enough, suck it up and fix it.

6.) If I have to read the manual it isn't explicit enough

7.) Anything that happens that is "buggy" no matter how rarely is enough to ruin the game enough that I won't play anymore...ever

8.) If I have to read the forum to get hints or even see if my issue hasn't already been talked to death....it isn't explicit enough

9.) Though I don't run my own business and actually have no experience doing so, I won't hesitate for a second in telling BFC how to run theirs

I would put this in my sig line and just post that evertime we have a grounded/ungrounded complaint about some CMBN mechanic. To be used as a checklist and to be filled in for all for new/old issues.

However, I was admonished, many years ago by that whip, the Baldy One, that my previous wine sigline was way too long. We all had to shorten ours, except for dear Michael, 'cause he's always right. But he's on a Mac. And Mac people are forgiven for having long-winded siglines and large 50 inch monitors.

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Now there is a sig line if there ever was one.

Seriously, re-read as: We in the BFC Beta Community pride ourselves on a rigourous process when it come to identifying and suggesting changes to CM game features. This process not only undergoes thorough review by BFC corporate offices but is peer reviewed in a fank and open manner that ensures the communicative shortcomings of the medium of the internet do not interfere or introduce errors.

I hope I can assure you, the faithful customer, that many of the in-game feature discussions have also been reviewed exhaustively internally to the Beta-tester group.

Thank you for your continued interest in making Combat Mission a superior wargaming product.

Love CM Beta Crew.

You guys did a pretty good job of it too. Got me back into WW2, when really modern usually gets me more immersed. Thank you for your efforts. Love from, what I guess must be another fanboy :)

Funcionally the UI works for me (we go), but wouldn't complain about any evolution coming along in time for SFx2 or East Front.

More access information would be good, again certainly no game breaker now.

Finding command range is more tricky than CM1, but I'm not sure I would complain. Falling out of communication more often because it's not so mathematical seems like a realism advance to me, But if you put some tools in I'll use them ;)

Overall, the 1:1 representation gives me a lot more so that watching is enough most times. Leaving a casulaty representation in the Squad window would help.

Finally, the biggest evolution for me would be more squad chat feedback. If the sqauds spoke more often and contextually then that would help give info, increase immersion, and not clutter the UI.

Simple stupid suggestion off the top of my head: Veteran squad makes comment about leader-user targetting a panther front on with a Zook from 150m.

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... or we have an abnormally large portion of yessayers or ppl theirs self-confidence needs to stay beta-testers. Or a combination of that. :D

Well I am a beta tester and I have been using this interface for years and am pretty comfortable with getting the best out of it, but Steve and I have still been having a good-naturedly... robust... conversation here.

I can assure you things are no different in beta land. The difference is that when Steve says "no we absolutely don't have time to do that", beta testers will generally let it go :).

What saddens me is that there are a few things that will (and do) put off new players where some game UI conventions have been ignored. And there are some of these that are ojectively better even withing CM's more complex orders system. Unfortunately this is the sort of stuff that was probably set in stone 6 years ago or more and only now is there a hope of getting changes.

Ironically if you change the UI, everyone who has gotten totally used to it over 5 years or more will probably make a FAR bigger noise than the smaller group who couldn't even give it a chance, probably myself included :D.

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I do have one complaint about the interface. It might actually be bug. Some commands that are common to units cannot be executed in multiselect mode. For instance I can't select multiple units and order them to dismount or deploy their weapons. I haven't noticed if this is consistent behavior or only happens occasionally.

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Well I am a beta tester and I have been using this interface for years and am pretty comfortable with getting the best out of it, but Steve and I have still been having a good-naturedly... robust... conversation here.

And you're a pussycat compared to a couple others I can think of :D It would be fun to let the average customer see what sorts of debates and the testing standards we have behind closed doors, but there's a very good reason that stuff is done behind closed doors. We need a place to express ourselves that's not on a public stage. Or being posted by WikiLeaks ;)

I can assure you things are no different in beta land. The difference is that when Steve says "no we absolutely don't have time to do that", beta testers will generally let it go :).

And sometimes I keep poking Charles offline, and then I let it go :)

What saddens me is that there are a few things that will (and do) put off new players where some game UI conventions have been ignored. And there are some of these that are ojectively better even withing CM's more complex orders system. Unfortunately this is the sort of stuff that was probably set in stone 6 years ago or more and only now is there a hope of getting changes.

Everything can be changed, but some changes comes with higher pricetags than other changes. And there is that whole damned prioritization of limited resources to tackle a never ending list of things people want to see happen. That kinda gets in the way of happy thoughts!

Ironically if you change the UI, everyone who has gotten totally used to it over 5 years or more will probably make a FAR bigger noise than the smaller group who couldn't even give it a chance, probably myself included :D.

Yeah, which is why I really wanted to have some major UI changes for CM:BN. When we do go to change some stuff... yeah, we're probably going to take a lot of flak for it for a while. However, we're still going to do it when it makes sense and take the short term hit. CMx2 is a long term project.

Steve

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I do have one complaint about the interface. It might actually be bug. Some commands that are common to units cannot be executed in multiselect mode. For instance I can't select multiple units and order them to dismount or deploy their weapons. I haven't noticed if this is consistent behavior or only happens occasionally.

It's consistent, but it's true there's no really good way to do this. But I would like to find a way to accommodate this without it adding to player confusion.

Of course, the real solution is a moddable interface (yes it's quite possible.)

It must be remembered that often times an idea looks like this:

Possible ≠ Practical

For us, we need things to be:

Possible & Practical

The creative frustration we experience because of this is maddening. The original CMx2 design document I made would probably have taken a half dozen programmers 5 years to make. And we had only 1. Hey, dream big, right? :)

Steve

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When we do go to change some stuff... yeah, we're probably going to take a lot of flak for it for a while. However, we're still going to do it when it makes sense and take the short term hit. CMx2 is a long term project.

Now if we could just get you to have that same attitude towards QB unit prices... :D

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It must be remembered that often times an idea looks like this:

Possible ≠ Practical

For us, we need things to be:

Possible & Practical

The creative frustration we experience because of this is maddening. The original CMx2 design document I made would probably have taken a half dozen programmers 5 years to make. And we had only 1. Hey, dream big, right? :)

Steve

Well, now you have TWO programmers, so the obvious solution is to work them each 120 hours a week! That's 3 x 2 = 6 problem solved! They even get to sleep 6.8 hours per day. Or you and the other guys there could learn to code instead of wasting your time on this forum... :-) Damn, I should have been in management...
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I am not sure that a massive overhaul is what is needed right now.

IMHO, getting the camera controls under control is the most urgent matter, as this probably throws off most people when trying the demo. The speeds are all Wrong(*), the mechanism to be more dynamic (start slow, then go faster) is applied only to some camera options, the viewpoint preservation is utterly broken etc etc.

I understand people are not comfortable visiting a dirty website like GS but maybe we should have a separate thread exclusively about camera controls (as opposed to other UI issues such as information provided)?

(*)wrong obviously means for people with muscle memory from other games, but the CMBN camera policies are pretty useless in their own right, too.

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I tried to get used to it but i'm noticing, that there are so many clicks necessary, that wouldn't be necessary, if the interface would have been developed further.

Clicking on movement paths does not select the unit. :mad:

No info in the unit panel, if a unit is hidden, or if a tank is buttoned or unbottened. I'm already getting really frustrated, to zoom in to check that out, instead that the interface shows that info.

Another huge step backbward is, that there are no target lines. So you can easily overlook important action. Three steps back from CMx1.

But that's not only a bad interface decision, IMO it also reduces the thrill: In CMx1, it was part of the thrill, to be noticed about the dangerous fight, that is going to play out, but there was no need, to watch the unit all the time. Now, in the best case, you hear a tank shooting. Or you hear the impact. You are not noticed, when the unit gathers a new contact. Big parts of the rising tension due to the notification of the player, that a unit has engaged another unit are missing (i think that's one psychological key aspect, why CMx1 firefights between tanks were more thrilling and why they lack that tension in CMx2).

Another pain in the ass for me are the missing C2-lines: it forces the player either to click like crazy on every unit to check, if the units are in C2-range or to bunch them up unnecessarily, or not to click like crazy and accept that they could be out of range. Shouldn't graphics be there, to support the gamer?

That there is no window for unit data and no kill stats is ten steps back.

Way to much info about foreign units.

Camera movement is blocked way too early on the map edges. Often i would like to move more freely over the map edges (i.e. viewing level of 8 or 9 above units at the edges of the map) but since the movement is blocked, additional movements with the mouse have to be made.

Or that waypoints still cannot be moved, is also not really a step further from CMx1. How long has CMSF been out now?!

And, btw, the path endpoints with their circles without any 3D-look, look really amateurish and do not fit into the 3D-map.

When CMx2 was announced, it was claimed, that dynamic lighning will allow to judge terrain undulations. That was not true. But what is much worse, that in all the years nothing was done, to give the player a tool to judge terrain undulations. Like in CMx1 days, you have to choose a grid-mod for that and you can't switch that off...

After having played many hours now, the interface to me feels like being incomplete and in some aspects the amount of clicking and mouse movements, that could easily be avoided with certain interface improvements, therefore make it partially a really bad interface.

I don't think,with that interface, CMBN will reach the praise CMx1 received and i think a fair amount of possible gamers, tactically really interested in WW2, will not buy the game, after they tried the demo, because of the interface shortcomings.

Although i like the action and the tactical modeling, the interface frustrates me so much, that my wish to play more and more is kept at a quite low level.

I agree on target lines and unit data plus kill stats. Loved the CMx1 data & kills.

I'm also having trouble with terrain for my vehicles/men but haven't played but maybe 5 hrs over last days. I was able to quickly use line of sight in CMx1 but here I don't see that, maybe I'm missing something.

Camera on map edge only a minor issue for me I think.

Seems I have to click after I assign a movement path or on moving to another vehicle I'm giving movements to the first vehicle. I'm learning I think to click again after assigning a movement. That seems to work. Am I correct on that?

Even in CMx1 I usually played my own scenarios of small co or co+ finding that small battles are better (for me). Afterall a Bn cdr needs to let his co cdrs operate independently within a general mission statement. Probably true here as well. It worked for me in Kursk as well.

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I agree on target lines and unit data plus kill stats. Loved the CMx1 data & kills.

The kill data is there after the battle. As to target lines, that one is kind of problematic. In Cmx1 the whole squad fired at one target. In Cmx2 each individual fires independently, but you can't select individuals. As an example in a recent engagement I set a sniper team to fire on some infantry on the move. After the first shot the infantry went to cover and the team now just fired on targets of opportunity. The marksman fired at one target, his asst at another and they would switch targets during the course of the turn. In the course of 60 seconds they probably picked on about 5 different targets independently. Not sure how you are going to get good target line information off that. And incidentally watching from the perspective of the team is cool as hell. :D CMx1 didn't give any of that feel.

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It was sorta addressed, but here are the three primary areas that will be improved:

3. More low level unit information. While we're not going to go back to spreadsheet like charts as we had in CMx1, we will present more detailed information to players about what a particular unit is capable of.

Steve

Please, Please, Please

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1.) Anything that doesn't work as I expect or desire is broken.

2.) If it doesn't work the same as some previous version of CM or like some other game I prefer, then it isn't complete and needs to be fixed in the next patch.

3.) If it doesn't include my favorite WW2 vehicle, no matter how rare, the game isn't done

4.) my experience playing the game since it was released is equal in value to yours having played possibly years

5.) I test nothing to validate something I saw. Once is enough, suck it up and fix it.

6.) if I have to read the manual it isn't explicit enough

7.) Anything that happens that is "buggy" no matter how rarely is enough to ruin the game enough that I won't play anymore...ever

8.) If I have to read the forum to get hints or even see if my issue hasn't already been talked to death....it isn't explicit enough

9.) Though I don't run my own business and actually have no experience doing so, I won't hesitate for a second in telling BFC how to run theirs

Classic!

Personally I don't have many issues with the UI, it could be tweaked and smoothed over, but it's very nice as it is. Other RTS (well, RTT)s don't come even close to the level of control CM gives you.

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Personally I don't have many issues with the UI, it could be tweaked and smoothed over, but it's very nice as it is.

I was surprised I couldn't, for example, use the Delete key in the QB purchasing screen. In lots of little things like that the interface design shows it's age.

I think the longer this thread gets the more likely it is they'll punish us by having *everything* in the new UI run off a single animated radial "control disc" that you operate with the RMB and the mouse-wheel.

This post is my contribution.

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I was surprised I couldn't, for example, use the Delete key in the QB purchasing screen...

Strange. It has worked every time for me. Of course it won't ley you delete something that would leave your chosen forces breaking the rules of the game, but that is just sensible interface design.

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