Very upset.

PC : Turn based WW2 goodness in the mold of Panzer General. This promises to be a true classic!

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Bonesoul
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Re: Very upset.

Post by Bonesoul » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:12 pm

An interesting topic and one that raises the age old issue of casual Vs. hard core players, achieving a balance can be very difficult indeed. I can fully understand Muddy's frustration and am about to find out just how hard things get. I'm on my first play through, well second for GC39 as I started it on colonel and decided to restart on a higher difficulty and have just finished GC41, so am about to find out just how hard it gets. What I would say is that its anything but casual, i'm playing via steam and have over 300 hours logged so far and am less than half way on the German route, that includes replaying a few scenarios and having the game running while reading forum posts and watching AAR videos.

I have only played under the 1.2 rules and have only just noticed the soft cap starting to become an issue, but I can see it becoming a big one very quickly with 400 being where it starts to kick in. I'm also guessing that that a few scenarios so far, Arras, Vyazma and Demyansk spring to mind, give a taste of what is to come. To date a combined arms approach and establishing air superiority as fast as possible has worked fine, I hope the game mechanics don't change that too much. One of the joy's of this sort of long term game is watching your units grow and develop, though it may be historically accurate they they all get butchered by a the never ending onslaught of the Russian human wave (and tank and aircraft) post Stalingrad, as a game, its just not the same fielding new green units as one you have carefully nurtured over so many scenarios.

So please make sure that there is a range of difficulties that suit all needs not just hard core players, you need to attract and keep new player's not just old farts like me who have been playing military strategy games since before PC's (anyone else remember the dice and string of pre PC Avalon Hill wargames). Gameplay needs to be attractive and fun for all levels of player and certainly not change too dramatically mid way through as appears to have happened for Muddy.

So now just my two pence on what would be a nice alternative to the way the game currently works, borrowed to some extent from a certain Mech game from a few years ago, I have no illusion they will be incorporated into PC but, but might be worth considering for WH40,000.

1) Separate hero's from units. It's all about making people want to carry on so let them put hero's where they make them want to see the unit develop, a spotting hero on an artillery is usually incredibly frustrating I'm sure most would agree, but if you van pop him on a recon or an forward unit and he actually has some utility and may become a favorite unit.

2) Deployable slots. Limiting the number of units that can be deployed kind of forces someone who has the available resources to go the best possible unit route, hence super cores of Over-strength Tiger II's, but if the deployment is prestige capped rather than number of units capped then suddenly the picture changes, there are options, if you can deploy a Panzer IV an artillery and maybe even an infantry for the same cost is that a viable way to go? Do you go 3 Bf109's or 2 FW190's?

3) Non Combat experience. Some units are. at least to me, very hard to get experience on. The little 35mm Pak you get at the start is a good example. Giving units some experience for deployment in a scenario and maybe when they capture flags would help with this and again give you something to think about, do I capture with unit X or unit Y.

Over all I think PC is a great game so far, I wouldn't have spent so long playing and researching better ways to play if it wasn't, but the trick is to hook players and make them want to work on units, nurture and develop them and be unable to wait to see how they can grow next. Except for the true hard core player, having them annihilated, ground to dust in a historically accurate manner, will never be a selling point.

Thanks for reading (I hope) :)
Bonesoul

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Re: Very upset.

Post by Naxor » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:20 pm

Bonesoul wrote:
1) Separate hero's from units. It's all about making people want to carry on so let them put hero's where they make them want to see the unit develop, a spotting hero on an artillery is usually incredibly frustrating I'm sure most would agree, but if you van pop him on a recon or an forward unit and he actually has some utility and may become a favorite unit.

3) Non Combat experience. Some units are. at least to me, very hard to get experience on. The little 35mm Pak you get at the start is a good example. Giving units some experience for deployment in a scenario and maybe when they capture flags would help with this and again give you something to think about, do I capture with unit X or unit Y.
l
Totally agree.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by ThorHa » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:42 pm

Tarrak wrote:On the other hand there are the difficulty settings you mentioned. In worst case go down one or two step lower and see if you can handle them then. Imho already on colonel they are very playable. If in doubt you still have two levels to go down.
Just to get that straight - I don't have the slightest difficulty winning on General so far and I doubt I would have much more on Field Marshal.

But the game forces a specific play style to further enjoy it, which I absolutely dislike. First it gets progressively more work, second it already induced me to forego decisive victories to preserve my core, third I deliberately went for an all out tanks SE force even disbanding experienced infantry, fourth it encourages to exploit predictable AI behaviour fully, fifth it makes you replay a won scenario simply if damages (repair bill) were high even without unit losses.

All that just to NOT get steamrolled in 44? Seriously?

Regards,
Thorsten

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Re: Very upset.

Post by ThorHa » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:55 pm

Bonesoul wrote: To date a combined arms approach and establishing air superiority as fast as possible has worked fine, I hope the game mechanics don't change that too much.
You're in for bad surprises. From 43 forward your main component of combined arms does not work as you are used to, as the ground defense value of tanks is exceeding hard attack from especially self propelled artillery so much, that depression does not occur. Your main air arm (tactical bombers) will not work in the face of the T90 AA, historically only a prototype without significant firepower (heavy MG twin), but fielded in absurd numbers in the 43 scenarios. And even your best tanks (Tigers) are evenly matched by a historically inferior stop gap emergency measure, the JS 1.

Regards,
Thorsten

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Re: Very upset.

Post by Muddy » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:50 pm

Tarrak wrote: May i ask out of curiosity what the settings are?

The West DLCs are different in style from the east DLCs. They are less of an endless tank steamroller and the core size is smaller. Depending on your play style and preference you may find them easier then the east ones or even harder. I think the opinions here differ. For me personally the difficulty is about the same but i like the west DLC style a lot more.
Yes, I had to drop it by quite a bit, but it was either that or abandon the game. My settings are now....

Basic: Lieutenant
Custom: Player prestige 200%, AI-2, Game rules - 1.14, Dice chess, Number of turns +5.

I tried lots of combinations, but this was the only one that came close to what I have been use to playing 39 - 41.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by boredatwork » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:16 am

Responses broken up into several post to reduce text wall in the (likely vain) hope that some people will actually read what is written instead of kneejerk responding to what they guess I'm saying.


Since they likely won't however I'll do my best to avoid responding further as, until the developers start working on PzC2, balance discussions are largely irrelavent since they've already stated that the huge amount of content that would need rebalancing precludes major changes regardless of how desirable or otherwise they might be.

M

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Re: Very upset.

Post by boredatwork » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:19 am

MartyWard wrote:
Tarrak wrote:I think Boredatwork perfectly described the problem which the soft prestige cap attempted to solve. It is undeniably a problem and saying it's fine because PG had the same flaw is a bit shortsighted imho.
Everything he described as being fixed was possible for the 'good' player to do without the soft cap. Nothing prevented you from never buying a KT, from changing you core size to 100, from limiting how much you spent, from building a perfectly historical core. Not one thing was impossible to do.

It distresses me, not that people disagree with my point of view, but that they skim read my post then disagree based on what they THINK I said instead of doing me the courtesy of reading what I ACTUALLY WROTE.

Please show me where I claimed the Softcap fixed ANYTHING?

Or ANY post in ANY thread where I EVER said the soft cap was a GOOD idea, much less should be a default option?

Or where I said any of the above was 'impossible' to do?

The point isn't to make the game easier or harder - or forcing a player to play with a certain core type - my goal, WITHOUT LIMITING PLAYER FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ANY CORE THEY LIKE, simply alter the metric by which core strength is measured in order to turn the SUM TOTAL of core QUALITY into a constant, thus making it easier for the scenario designer to achieve a CONSISTANT difficulty which then places the burden of scaling that difficulty to different skill levels - be it Casual or Hard Core on the GAME SYSTEM, NOT on the scenario designer OR the player which is where it currently is.

Again I NEVER ONCE claimed the soft cap was a good idea to implement in 1.20. But just because IT failed, does not automatically follow that ANY change must inevitably fail.
I think that a lot of copies of this game were sold. Was there a huge outcry that the game was too easy, that building an army of the best equipment was NOT what people wanted to do?, that the 'snowball' effect was a problem and they had to stop playing the game because of it? I just don't get why it was changed to the default.
My point is obviously not getting across because you keep trying to turn this into a hard core vs. casual debate - like I'm trying to force everyone to play at Deductor level, or that you must construct your core in a certain way when neither is the case. Quite the contrary.

How many rotary phones were sold since Bell invented the telephone? Millions? Billions? Where was the huge outcry that phones didn't come with answering machines? Call Display? Weren't mobile? Didn't have cameras? Couldn't sent emails? Access the internet? Play Music? Serve as an emergency flashlight?

The average user doesn't spend his time thinking about ways to make things better and thus doesn't realise that things COULD be better.

Again I NEVER ONCE claimed the soft cap was a good idea to implement in 1.20. But just because IT failed, does not automatically follow that ANY change must inevitably fail.

Whether you realise it or not, virtually all of my feedback from beta onwards has been with an eye towards improving the game **for the casual player**. Reform units? I suggested it to Alex prior to Beta, repetably during beta, and frequently following Beta until he finally gave in and added it as a cheat code in 1.10. Prior to 1.10 many people said it was a dumb idea, but then it was implemented and suddenly many people, especially CASUAL players wanted it to be made default. (or at least a permanently toggleable option.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by boredatwork » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:22 am

Back to the OP
[For whom was the] 'snowball' effect was a problem and they had to stop playing the game because of it?

Muddy. I think Muddy would qualify as a casual player. He was enjoying the game until he hit a brick wall in DLC 1942. While you and Thorsten have latched onto the 1.20 changes (which include more prestige depleting features than purely the soft cap) you've missed the bigger point - he played DLC39 - DLC41 WITH THE 1.20 CHANGES for better or for worse and was ENJOYING HIMSELF. The 1.20 changes don't start from 1942 onwards.

Again I NEVER ONCE claimed the soft cap was a good idea to implement in 1.20. But just because IT failed, does not automatically follow that ANY change must inevitably fail.
Tarrak wrote:On a related but different topic i think some of the blame the soft prestige cap is receiving here is undeserved as it comes from the fact that simply the difficulty in the GC do a big jump after 1942 anyway with or without the prestige soft cap. I remember even pre patch 1.20 the GC always become a lot harder in 1943 and following years.
See Tarrak gets it - the start of the 1942 camapign is a big spike in difficulty especially if you played the end of 1941 at or below the curve and aren't in good shape at the start of 1942. It's ***ALWAYS*** been like that - in 1.14, in 1.10, pre 1.10 when it was first released. When playing it for the first time. When playing it for the 10th. For any given difficulty level, the difficulty of the DLCs, particularly post 1940 tends to be all over the place - The first two 1941 scenarios are easy, crete is relatively hard, barbarossa to kiev is fairly easy, the leningrad path much less so, Vyazma ranges from moderate to impossible depending entirely on how lucky you are with the weather. Moscow is a grinder, demyansk is relatively easy but generates little prestige. All subsequent DLCs follow similar schizophrenic behavior.

In theory yes the difficulty settings should do that. Sadly all the difficulty settings do, apart from the extreme ones which alter the strength of all units on the map, is slow down your exp and prestige gain but this clearly can't solve a problem when you core suddenly stops taking any losses at all. No matter how much you reduce exp and prestige gain then you can't solve it. If this problem were discovered earlier maybe there would be way to change the settings but it wasn't so there had something to be done afterwards withing the already existing constraints of a released game and the prestige soft cap was the best that was possible. If you got a better idea how to solve the problem then put it forward.
^ Again he gets it - there is, and always has been, a disconnect between the difficulty settings and the actual difficulty in any given scenario. Given that Muddy made it through 30 scenarios under the current rules, is his problem with DLC42 that his tactics are no longer valid? Or is it a lack of prestige because previous poor play has snowballed? Or is it simply the difference in difficulty at the start of 1942 is too much for him to adapt to.

The point isn't to make the game easier or harder - or forcing a player to play with a certain core type - my goal, WITHOUT LIMITING PLAYER FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ANY CORE THEY LIKE, simply alter the metric by which core strength is measured in order to turn the SUM TOTAL of core QUALITY into a constant, thus making it easier for the scenario designer to achieve a CONSISTANT difficulty which then places the burden of scaling that difficulty to different skill levels - be it Casual or Hard Core on the GAME SYSTEM, NOT on the scenario designer OR the player which is where it currently is.

Again I NEVER ONCE claimed the soft cap was a good idea to implement in 1.20. But just because IT failed, does not automatically follow that ANY change must inevitably fail.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by boredatwork » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:30 am

Bonesoul wrote:An interesting topic and one that raises the age old issue of casual Vs. hard core players, achieving a balance can be very difficult indeed.
Don't be misled into believing this is a debate between casual vs. hard core - some people like to present it that way because they don't understand what is being talked about and thus fear it will make the game harder for them. The fact that poorly implemented changes like the Soft Cap HAVE made it harder does not mean *ANY* change will ***innevitably*** do so.
2) Deployable slots. Limiting the number of units that can be deployed kind of forces someone who has the available resources to go the best possible unit route, hence super cores of Over-strength Tiger II's, but if the deployment is prestige capped rather than number of units capped then suddenly the picture changes, there are options, if you can deploy a Panzer IV an artillery and maybe even an infantry for the same cost is that a viable way to go? Do you go 3 Bf109's or 2 FW190's?

THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!


A casual player who "gets it."

Increasing the number of viable options for any given level of difficulty is just a side bonus however.

Extend your line of thinking the last little bit:



You mention WH40K - I don't play but imagine you're trying to arrange a game - how will it be easier to arrive at a balanced, fun game for both of you? - by telling your opponent to bring 10 units worth of troops? Or bring 2000 pts? Obviously the latter is preferable because the former can very considerably. The later places the onus of balance on Games Workshop and their point system, instead of the players and the choices they make. (albeit how successful GW is, is probably up for debate.)

the real benefit is WITHOUT LIMITING PLAYER FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ANY CORE THEY LIKE, turn core strength into a constant, thus making it easier for the scenario designer to achieve a CONSISTANT difficulty which then places the burden of scaling that difficulty to different skill levels on the GAME SYSTEM, NOT the scenario designer OR the players.

Back to the scenario designer - whats easier for him to predict and balance- a player bringing 50 units, the quality of which, plus his reserve, can vary enormously depending on his cumulative success or failure? Or 10,000 pts of units - which will *always* be 10,000 points strong to start the scenario regardless of the degree of success in preceeding content. Which is easier to scale from a difficulty POV? Which is easier for the casual player to play? Having to guestimate how much cumulative strength he needs to save in order to beat the next scenario, potentially not having enough and banging his head on a scenario he doesn't even realise he simply cannot win? Or after achieving a victory in one scenario, having his resources scale to the size the scenario designer planned so that how well or otherwise he does on that scenario is determined by his play on that scenario - not the cumulative effect of his play on the 10 scenarios previously.
Last edited by boredatwork on Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:04 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by boredatwork » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:31 am

Given my prior knowledge of the complete SSI series, given the lead programmers stated stance (read the mod comment), it is you that misses the point.

PC is a direct successor to PG, with minor improvements and tweaks yet vastly improved content. And the ability to blitz through all of the scenarios was one of the features of PG, not one of its problems, and the main reason for its popularity.
The ability to grow and develop a core across multiple scenarios, as well as the accessible chess/rock paper/scissor combat mechanics which managed to squeeze a fair amount of historical flavour and tactics into what still amounted to a beer and pretzel game, and the suberb graphics for it's time were the main reason for it's popularity...

There were plenty of other contemporary wargames where you could tear through the content that never remotely attracted as many players.


According to Slitherine Panzer Corp is “the spiritual successor to the Panzer General series,” not a direct clone.

As far as the lead programmer's "stance", uh... you do not need to rely on mod comments - simply search for his posts.
In terms of gameplay, our approach is to fix things which are broken and leave other things alone. This means that the movement and combat system will remain fundamentally the same (although we'll do a lot of tweaks and improvements here and there). Our primary concern is the overall campaign balance. Here are some characteristic balance problems which we are going to address:
- First scenarios difficult, later ones too easy.
- Unstoppable 5-star/15 strength core units (we'll keep both experience and overstrength concepts in the game because they are fun, but will make them more balanced).
- Almost unlimited prestige in the second half of the campaign
- Core uses only the best unit types available, at all times
This predates Beta. In otherwords Alex fundamentally agreed with me long before he was "deducterised" as you put it. I was in Vanilla Beta since day 1 and our lengthy discussions on the subject are still in the forum. While we largely agreed on what was desirable to improve, we had different view points on the best approach to fix it.

He, being the developer, understandably was keen to try his way first - cores consisting of *culmulative* prestige applied to a scenario pre determined number of core slots with:

- No free elite replacements between scenarios
- Experience loss upon upgrade (since removed)
- Cheaper upgrades for remaining within type - ie upgrading a PzIII to another model of PzIII
- Changes to combat mechanics to increase player's units casualties
- removing prestige for unit kills
- a "reserve" of core units beyond scenario capaicity

In otherwords even in Beta Alex's intent was to add prestige sinks to try and avoid the situation in PG where you had much more prestige that you ever needed to spend. After all if thats the case if you really want to make the game casual friendly why have prestige at all if it served absolutely no purpose.


Professionally and personally you hate "solutions" if there is not a problem?

Professionally and personally I like to make sure my *foundation* is sound before building the rest of the house.


Unfortunately in Beta that was not the case - it started well "This MAY fix the problem, if not we'll try something else" but unfortunately as is common when trying to meet a deadline some aspects were rushed and the campaign was being constructed *and balanced* as we were trying to perfect the mechanisms by which it was being balanced. Legit concerns about the flaws in the later could no longer be addressed by major changes as it would mean rebalancing half a campaign.


As I pointed out then, and repeatably since, including this thread, the system itself is flawed EVEN FROM A CASUAL POV because even with his changes it requires the scenario designer predicting perfectly how much prestige to allocate for a given scenario at a given difficulty level to make it not too hard or not to easy. Given perfection is impossible the result is either the player has a bit more or less prestige than intended making the next scenario easier or harder than the designer intended. (ie snowball)

Alex in a later discussion, once the GC was released admitted that his original solution was not as effective as he hoped. While he considered it to have worked well enough for shorter campaigns - such as vanilla or Africa, he aknowledged that in longer campaigns, such as the 70+ GC his system was ineffective. But given at that point any fundamental change would have meant rebalancing 100+ scenarios, the quick and dirty attempt to moderate the problem was the soft cap - which didn't really fix it, and made balance worse in the bargain.
Last edited by boredatwork on Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:53 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by boredatwork » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:36 am

P.S.

In case anyone draws the wrong conclusion, I love Panzer Corps, it is a huge improvement on PG and finally replaced it as my absolute favorite game. I think Alex did an amazing job.

But I don't think he achieved perfection. And my biggest disappointment is that the game is stagnated as they seem content to release additional content and port it to other platforms instead of taking it farther.


again however I'll do my best to avoid responding further as, until the developers start working on PzC2, balance discussions are largely irrelevant since they've already stated that the huge amount of content that would need rebalancing precludes major changes regardless of how desirable or otherwise they might be.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by Muddy » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:03 am

I have played a lot of games in my time, and most, gradually progress in difficulty as the game goes on (GRADUALLY). Keeping your skills and equipment up to date, usually compensates for this.
The leap in difficulty between 41 and 42 was crazy to say the least.
It all boils down to this. If I have to fluff about adjusting my actual difficulty level when part way through a game, to me, this feels as though I am cheating, and the enjoyment and flow suffer greatly.
If what I hear about further eastern campaigns is true, then this is not the end of it.

I play games for fun and not to prove a point. :wink:

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Re: Very upset.

Post by Tarrak » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:36 am

Btw as a side note. We all often use the term casual player in this thread while actually meaning not really casual but more average skilled. Most casual players may be average skilled but certainly not all. A lot may be not casual and play a lot but still "only" average skilled. I for example are not really casual. I clocked like way to many hours playing this game but skill wise i would call myself maybe just above average. I am nowhere near the play level of Deducter, McGuba or Uhu for example.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by ThorHa » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:42 am

boredatwork wrote:According to Slitherine Panzer Corp is “the spiritual successor to the Panzer General series,” not a direct clone.
May be, but from what I observe the engines defining rules have been left unchanged. That makes it a clone, albeit a good one.
boredatwork wrote:As far as the lead programmer's "stance", uh... you do not need to rely on mod comments - simply search for his posts.
Not necessary, I do not doubt your word.
This predates Beta. In otherwords Alex fundamentally agreed with me long before he was "deducterised" as you put it.
Fine with me, does not change my view in which I simply disagree with yours or Alex problem identification.
Professionally and personally I like to make sure my *foundation* is sound before building the rest of the house.
Yep. According my judgement a fix for a non existing problem was introduced. That you or anybody else disagrees does not make this judgement invalid.
As I pointed out then, and repeatably since, including this thread, the system itself is flawed EVEN FROM A CASUAL POV
I perfectly understood from the beginning what you wanted. That´s the reason I pointed out to Tarrak that you want a fundamentally different game. I do not think it´s acheivable with the PC engine, at least not without manyears of developers work, balance tests and campaign rework, so this case is dead.

Without quoting let me address some of your remarks in your other posts:

I fundamentally disagree with the notion that the full dlc 42 i a major jump in difficulty. I barely noticed the transition from the last 41 scenarios. The real jump is either the last scenario of the Stalingrad escape path (Tatsinskaya) or/and the Kursk scenarios. Both for exactly the same reason - you face unexpectedly and suddenly units individually equal or superior to your core with comparable experience (!) in increasing numbers. For end of 42 there is no easy fix, the 43 easy fix for a player is the combination of Tiger I and Fw 190. This successful combination was a fix for everything thus the players solely relied on it, got unreasonable cores and enforced the soft cap "solution". Which in turn caused a myriad of other problems.

The real fix for the unreasonable player cores - which, from what I have (not systematically) read, set in 1943 mostly, would have been fairly easy - limit certain units and limit overstrength for a given dlc. With both corrections you would exactly achieve the target - you can balance scenarios because you can anticipate an upper limit for the units a player can bring into the scenario. A good and experienced player might still find the scenarios easy, but then the difficulty settings could play their role.

I have to date not met any player that complained about having a healthy prestige reserve, even if he can not do many useful things with it, as long as he perceives to have > enough to DV a given scenario.

Thus I reiterate - the only major deviation from the original are the historically "correct" dlc paths. If you go that route, you ideally can
a) convince players to accept MVs or even losses
b) balance the late scenarios in a way that losses do not effectively prevent further enjoyable game experience

a) is impossible because of the way an average human being plays and b) is impossible due to engine and resource limits. In turn the dlcs 44 and 45 are a design mistake, which in turn led to things like "Soft Cap". Once you accept the limits of the PG and PC engines it is quite easy to derive the campaign limits as well.

For good players PG ended 43 in Europe, so the snowball effect was limited by design! It was the PC decision to go for "historical" scenarios that created the snowball effect as players did not want to and will never want to accept the historical result. I read quite some vomments on the snowball effect prior 1.20 and found exactly one common ground - all quit playing the dlc after 43 out of boredom. Not before. Thus it was and is farily easy to spot the real problem, which is simply a campaign design mistake.

Regards,
Thorsten

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Re: Very upset.

Post by Muddy » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:09 am

ThorHa wrote: I fundamentally disagree with the notion that the full dlc 42 i a major jump in difficulty. I barely noticed the transition from the last 41 scenarios.
Thorsten
Well, I'm sorry, but I would have to disagree with you there. I had done plenty of 'hold the line' missions up until this point. From being able to hold my own, and without touching the difficulty in any way, I got trampled at the start of 42.
Of course you may not have noticed it, many more might not have noticed either, BUT, just as many might have. I think that is the point of this discussion.

I have radically changed my options to allow the game to play as it did trough 39-41, this tells me everything I need to know about the change in one campaign to the next.

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Re: Very upset.

Post by Bonesoul » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:18 am

I do like healthy debates :mrgreen: . I also believe that much of what is said may go towards improvements in future versions of the game not necessarily the current one. Personally I've played a lot of Strategic, Tactical and RPG type games over more years than care to I remember, starting with D&D and Avalon Hill wargames on paper through to now.

In fact people talk about PG as the father of PC, but does anyone remember playing D-Day: the Battle for Normandy? A pre windows DOS based game that came on a key disk, the game disk was actually used as a boot disk, it had probably the best implementations of the effects of interdiction of supply I've seen and I would play it today if I could find a version I could make work. I may be wrong but i'm fairly sure it was SSI's first wargame and hence arguably the grand-daddy of where we are today. Anyway I digress so back to the topic.

I'm actually going to name some other games here to illustrate points so please don't shoot me if its forbidden. At least part of the core of the debate is providing an enjoyable and challenging balance to players of all skill levels and time availability over a long campaign structure, with nigh on 100 individual scenarios. From a game developers point of view you also want to extend appeal to pull in and hold players of other game genre's, for games like PzC, I would especially suggest from the huge RPG/MMORPG market.

So expanding on one of my earlier points many of the changes in 1.2 seem to have been to prevent the snowball/super-core issue in later stages of the campaign. My preferred solution to this issue comes from the game MechCommander. It had a similar scenario/mission based structure and also had a unit pool/core which could be expanded and become more experienced over time. So why do I like how they coped with potential snowballing over time? Well they used drop weight each (each unit from light to assault Mech weighed different amounts amount) and for any given scenario you could only deploy so much weight. In PzC or maybe in PzC II, and using overall prestige cost as the equivalent to weight, it becomes much easier to balance any given scenario a any stage of the campaign because what a player can field as a maximum is pre defined, not which units but the cumulative total. I may be wrong but so long as prestige cost reflects the offensive/defensive capacities of the units, scenario balancing would become easier regardless of what on the quantity Vs. quality slider a player chooses to deploy?

Where you are only given the choice to deploy one unit, unless your trying to make things harder for yourself your going to deploy a Tiger II rather than an infantry, but if you can deploy three infantry and an artillery or a Tiger II you may well try a different approach. This adds tactical flexibility and potentially greater replayability as on each try you can vary what you field without penalising yourself as you would in a unit quantity cap model.

Of course once the basic difficulty for a given scenario can be defined by setting a maximum weight of forces that a player can deploy, difficulty adjustment to suit different players preferences can be more flexible, ranging from increasing/ decreasing the deloyable weight cap to fixing a +/- to all combat roles (where's my old 20 sided dice).

The other thing I'm pretty sure they did was cap the number of units you could buy of a particular type, so for example even though the panther tank may be theoretically available, if you already have three in your core at scenario X you couldn't buy any more. To ad a little RPG dimension you could have messages ranging from "Due to allied bombing, Panther production is currently stalled and no new units available at this time" to "Do you think your the only commander in the army? Don't you think others need Panthers more than you right now!!!".

On a different note, this one especially being more relevant to some future version of the game PzCII or III, comes fro HoI and its evolution to HoI II/Domsday. That is the idea of breaking down units into brigades. In HoI they allowed Brigades to be attached to units to change their character, adding an artillery brigade to infantry would make them much better than basic infantry against other infantry while adding an AT brigade made them much better against tanks, while in both cases making them slightly slower if not in transport mode. This again adds flexibility and potentially makes infantry much more viable in later stages, especially with attached AT Vs. tanks, or maybe with attached AA to help protect against Russian/Allied Air power.

If you wanted to take this to the extreme each unit could actually be made up of say five brigades ranging from pure infantry/tanks to a complete mix with one each of Infantry/Tank/Artillery/AT/AA. With each units capabilities being the sum of its components the variety would be endless.

Sorry if this is getting a little away from Muddy's original post, but I believe some of the above might help prevent the sudden perceived difficulty leap he has experienced, though it may be historically acurate, I think most players would prefer over all their difficulty experience to remain relatively constant so their enjoyment level remains the same.

Cheers
Bonesoul

ThorHa
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 209
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Re: Very upset.

Post by ThorHa » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:28 am

I think most players would prefer over all their difficulty experience to remain relatively constant so their enjoyment level remains the same.
Yes Sir. And exactly there the devs shot themselves. Although this player demand is natural, they decided for a "historical" path with the dlcs 43 to 45. Boom, difficulty really skyrocks mid 43 (which is historically absolutely accurate for the Wehrmacht). But players want to WIN! Thus they chose the equipment to win, naturally. Boom, the snowball effect.

As I said, wrong campaign design. Every attempt to correct the results can only result to new problems of equal magnitude. Soft Cap anyone?

Regards,
Thorsten

BiteNibbleChomp
Lieutenant-General - Do 217E
Lieutenant-General - Do 217E
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Re: Very upset.

Post by BiteNibbleChomp » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:37 pm

Everyone can only take so much of hell scenarios like Mons18! I find it fun to set the difficulty ridiculously low for a bit of a turkey shoot in '44, but somehow it is still quite hard (I usually play Lieutenant - Korsun has forced me below Sergeant :evil: ). Now where do we draw the line between fun and realism? (Yes, I understand that Berlin should be hard on "Corporal", but Korsun! really?!)

- BNC
Creator of American Civil War mod for Strategic Command WWI!
Discuss here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4504986
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MartyWard
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
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Re: Very upset.

Post by MartyWard » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:20 pm

boredatwork wrote:It distresses me, not that people disagree with my point of view, but that they skim read my post then disagree based on what they THINK I said instead of doing me the courtesy of reading what I ACTUALLY WROTE.

Please show me where I claimed the Softcap fixed ANYTHING?

Or ANY post in ANY thread where I EVER said the soft cap was a GOOD idea, much less should be a default option?

Or where I said any of the above was 'impossible' to do?

The point isn't to make the game easier or harder - or forcing a player to play with a certain core type - my goal, WITHOUT LIMITING PLAYER FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ANY CORE THEY LIKE, simply alter the metric by which core strength is measured in order to turn the SUM TOTAL of core QUALITY into a constant, thus making it easier for the scenario designer to achieve a CONSISTANT difficulty which then places the burden of scaling that difficulty to different skill levels - be it Casual or Hard Core on the GAME SYSTEM, NOT on the scenario designer OR the player which is where it currently is.
I read your post. I responded to what Tarrack said not to you so I wasn't trying to say you thought anything was a good idea or impossible to do but that everything that was changed regarding the soft cap and not using a core full of the best units was already possible before any changes were made.

If you have played the game since it came out, which I have, and are use to the way the game works the soft cap or the higher overstrength expense are not good solutions for anything as the default. In fact they ruin the game for the casual player, IMO. You are still facing the large amount of overstrength units that the scenarios were designed with without these rules in place. As an option I have no problem with it. If it had been designed this way from the start,no problem. I don't understand why a designer would change such a popular casual game is such a radical manner AFTER the fact and make it the default.

MartyWard
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:46 pm

Re: Very upset.

Post by MartyWard » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:32 pm

boredatwork wrote: the real benefit is WITHOUT LIMITING PLAYER FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ANY CORE THEY LIKE, turn core strength into a constant, thus making it easier for the scenario designer to achieve a CONSISTANT difficulty which then places the burden of scaling that difficulty to different skill levels on the GAME SYSTEM, NOT the scenario designer OR the players.
So are all the scenarios going to be rebalanced to achieve the constant difficulty? The casual gamer will never finish the DLC's, that much I am certain of. And if the core they like consists of all KT, JP's and jets, how exactly is one going to achieve it now when in the past it was very possible for almost every player to do if they chose to?

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