I am quite pesimistic about this game...

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Musketeer
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:42 am

This trend is called "Dumbing Down" for new players... It is notable in whole game industry.

13obo
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by 13obo » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:49 am

Musketeer, you got your opinion sent to the developers and Slitherine, and I'm sure its appreciated and considered. Time to stop ranting about the same stuff and just hope that what you'll ultimately get is good.

I for one also hope for a game that is not focused on graphics, but excellent AI (playing PC on Rommel only) that reacts to the player rather than just being scripted (though I admit good scripting can work too in small maps). The developers know that the players of such good games look for AI and realism above anything else.

Let's give them a chance before we judge, right?

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:52 am

Definitely! There is still nothing to speak about except short announcement...

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by jeff00t » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:34 pm

"Do you really think and believe that PC2 can attract new players based on GRAPHICS?!"

--> OF COURSE! !!

i have tried so many times with my friends to make them try some wargames like battle of the bulge or heart of iron and ALL of them have rejected the game because games seem too old with poor graphics!

Why nowadays all the wargames are not so popular? because not even one propose decent graphics! the only one is panzer corps with just not real good graphics . Panzer general 3D was very poor too in graphics: the maps were empty!

If panzer corps 2 has very good graphics (for the units) , it will increase immersion and many new players will be interested in the game!



ps: sorry for my bad english, i m french.
my custom single player mini-campaign in order of battle : normandie-niemen: Image
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=374&t=79333&p=676302#p676302

Musketeer
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:38 pm

There is one little problem here with 3D - when you got some little netbook/netbook to play on move/home with integrated Intel graphics,you are darned (most sold netbooks today)!

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by IainMcNeil » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:54 pm

3D is not the major selling point of the game, its just something people are require these days if you dont want you game to be dismissed out of hand by the vast majority of players. Clearly our hardcore fans don't care of they would not be fans but the reality is the gaming audience expects 3D :)

I can refer you to countless posts discounting games because they are 2D.

However the innovations in Panzer Corps II are really all related to gameplay and we'll announce more about that soon. 3D or 2D is just a choice for the look and its not really more work to do one or the other, but if one greatly increases teh games commercial appeal we'd be silly not to do it. There are many strategy games in 3D these days that work well. For example Paradox made the switch with their engine and it does not dumb the game down at all.

I'm not saying just believe us, and it will all be fine, but I'm asking you to reserve judgement until you see what we're doing. Then decide when you have the facts rather than assuming it will all be a disaster because its 3D. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Thanks!

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by 13obo » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:01 pm

I believe and am optimistic!

People are primarily upset because it diverges from the status quo of the old game , but soon after see the benefits of the new style. I'm beta testing Battle Brothers at the moment and can say that a lot of people constantly complain from new features just because they need to adjust their tactics, and not because they are game-breaking themselves.

God speed Flash-back and Slitherine! Never forget that despite a few complaints, the majority of fans are behind you, and know they'll get a better (but different) game!

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:10 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:3D is not the major selling point of the game, its just something people are require these days if you dont want you game to be dismissed out of hand by the vast majority of players. Clearly our hardcore fans don't care of they would not be fans but the reality is the gaming audience expects 3D :)

I can refer you to countless posts discounting games because they are 2D.

However the innovations in Panzer Corps II are really all related to gameplay and we'll announce more about that soon. 3D or 2D is just a choice for the look and its not really more work to do one or the other, but if one greatly increases teh games commercial appeal we'd be silly not to do it. There are many strategy games in 3D these days that work well. For example Paradox made the switch with their engine and it does not dumb the game down at all.

I'm not saying just believe us, and it will all be fine, but I'm asking you to reserve judgement until you see what we're doing. Then decide when you have the facts rather than assuming it will all be a disaster because its 3D. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!
Thanks!
Well, all about 3D is forgotten if there is self-teching AI! :twisted: :idea:

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by McGuba » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:12 pm

13obo wrote:Musketeer, you got your opinion sent to the developers and Slitherine, and I'm sure its appreciated and considered. Time to stop ranting about the same stuff and just hope that what you'll ultimately get is good.
I agree. To put it bluntly, money needs to be made to get back the investment. Money can only be made if new players are attracted, too. Today, new players can only be attracted by nice 3D graphics (unfortunately). That's the full circle and there is no way out. Without investment in 3D and look and shine, there is no chance for a decent follow up to PzC.

For us, we can only hope that there will be enough resources and time left for an improved AI and game rule system. Let's just give them a chance and we will see. I think the message has been made clear and they are aware of the risks.

I for one also hope for a game that is not focused on graphics, but excellent AI (playing PC on Rommel only) that reacts to the player rather than just being scripted (though I admit good scripting can work too in small maps).
Well, you should try my Battlefield: Europe mod (viewtopic.php?f=147&t=47985) - it has a very large map covering most of Europe and North Africa and has some heavy scripting (nearly 400 script lines) to make sure the AI reacts to the player's actions as much as it can. So it is already possible in PzC as it has very good scripting functions. What it really lacks is a smarter and more unpredictable AI at tactical level.

My other big issue with Panzer Corps is the numerous unhistorical and inconsistent things in the equipment file: availability dates, gun ranges, armour, etc. I really hope that in Panzer Corps 2 more attention will be given to these details as an unhistorical e-file can ruin even the most historically accurate campaign.
ImageImage
slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=47985
slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=36969

Musketeer
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:36 pm

McGuba, I already know about your "DA gigantic work of Pure Awesomness" for some time already and is in my "To play surely in PC"... ;)

I am wondering though, how acceptance of3D change MODding abilities... And (un)friendliness of it.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by McGuba » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:34 pm

Musketeer wrote:McGuba, I already know about your "DA gigantic work of Pure Awesomness"
Haha, you said that, not me. :wink: But thanks anyway! :D
Basically I just wanted to reflect to your claim " I admit good scripting can work too in small maps" by adding it can work in large maps as well.
I am wondering though, how acceptance of3D change MODding abilities... And (un)friendliness of it.
It will be certainly harder, if not impossible to add new units to the game by modders as we can see it with OOB. :(
Unless someone has good 3D modelling skills, which is not so common.

As for its (un)friendliness, again we can only trust their promise that they will make it mod friendly. It is a well known fact that easy modding increases the lifetime and the general value of a game so it is their interest as well to make it like that. And PGF/PzC has been rather easy to mod, so let's hope for the best.
ImageImage
slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=47985
slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=36969

Musketeer
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:43 pm

Quite right - mod of SINGLE unit fully will require complex 3D mod of it... MODs with hundreds of units will not be that common seems... Or it could be just one 3D model + with it tens of little subtypes...

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by StefanDK » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:45 pm

I would prefer both 2D and 3D option ... But if build with Unreal engine, I guess 2D is pretty much out of the question - or the toll on the hardware would make it so that it could not be played without dedicated graphics card?

And honestly, I would probably only play the 2D version. But I do understand the need for 3D. Civ VI actually works really well, but PzC 2 should not take a fullblown gaming computer to run.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:47 pm

Meh is afraid little too... HW requirements rise 5-10x and notebooks with integrated APUs will be out of steam.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Erasermarek » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:45 pm

3D is will be perfect for PzC not a disaster. ;)

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by KeldorKatarn » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:40 am

So my thoughts here: I'm not sure Unreal was the best choice. I know the main dev probably is most familiar with C++ and that's Unreal's scripting language so I get it. however Unreal is really not what I would consider the best choice for a small development team. I would have gone with Unity, which is also a lot easier to make modding friendly and which has a large community of people who could have done modding for the game later with in-depth content packages changing behavior and other things. Heck there's even a XAML based UI solution for it now that I would have suggested (which is howveer also available for UNreal now.. if the UI tech is still being developed, I suggest the devs look into NoesisGUI. If you need someone with XAML experience, call me lol). Unity is by now the ideal solution for small dev teams and has a much more rapid development appraoch and is the much better choice for 2D or 2D-like games and has a really good track record with Pillars of Eternity, City Skylines and other really nice games as well as a ton of indie games... If you guys had developed on that engine I'd have offered my help immediately but oh well. Unreal still for seome reason seems to be the selling point and I guess the famous "Based on Unreal engine!!" is still a marketing thing that works, for whatever reason since that says absolutely NOTHING about the game. In my experience it takes a big team with lots of experience to leverage the Unreal engine in any meaningful way. But that's just my 2 cents.

Regarding the 3D however.. I think that was a HUGE mistake. 3D adds a TON of workload to the development team and makes modding a lot more difficult. Modders will now not only have to do sprites but full 3D models. Yes usually sprites are rendered from those but sprites can also be modified, composited, pixel graphics can be used to add little details... 3D based you have to know modeling to be able to add new stuff. Inevitably user created content will therefore be of VAST quality difference and most of it will look like crap. Not only that but you'll also have to add animations, particle effects, stuff that most modders have no idea how to do. Chaning the map graphics will be next to impossible most likely, adding nice small details to single tiles will be difficult to achive. Expecially regarding how modding unfriendly the Unreal engine is to begin with.

it also ads a HUGE development cost to the budget. a 3D asset creation pipeline is a lot more complicated in my experience and a LOT more expertize is needed to make that stuff look any good. if not done properly it also causes a major drop in performance. And frankly, after that total desaster called OOB (I literally haven't had a game with such crap performance in the last 20 years), I'm not very trusting in your ability to pull this off properly. And even if you do, it will cost unnecessary work.

I have NEVER understood why people think 3D is necessary to sell. In fact it's complete nonsense. Pillars of Eternity looks absolutely stunning, and guess what. It's fully 2D except for the player characters since they need animations. The entire landscape, everything is 2D with special tricks to make lighting and other stuff work just like in 3D. And since they are all sprites, they can have a TON more detail since it's not millions of polys but just one 2D sprite that we prerenderd at a very high detail. It looks absolutely amazing and exactly this could have been used with Panzer Corps 2. You could have lighting on the models, weather effects everything you wanted, and it would still be 2D sprites and it would still be possible to make templates to allow people to easily create sprites for the game that work with these effects.

Going fully 3D has so far NEVER worked on ANY wargame I've seen that came from 2D. It's always the same statement. We need 3D or people will dismiss us. Well guess what. All the Jagged Alliance remakes made that statement. All of them failed miserably. A ton of other wargames and 2D startegy games made that statement and they all failed miserably.

The only ones that succeeded were huge budget ones like civilization that could afford all the technological experts and artists to make it look cool (at least to some people) and without exception that always came at a price. The increased costs for the graphics and testing andperformance optimization made sure nobody could focus on AI, proper campaign building and reasonable feature additions.

Hearts of Iron 3and 4 had MASSIVE problems, performance was a nightmare, the maps had tons of mistakes, the AI was a desaster, half the campaign didn't work properly. Civilization games had such bad AI it was all over the press and only after dozens of patches and add-ons and DLCs it was finally half deecnt but not even close to what they promised. And the oh so cool unit animations that everybody loved in E3 presentations? Yeah everybody turned them off after 1 gameplay hour because they're repettitive, cost only time and slow down the gameplay. It's annoying, stupid once you've seen it 5 times and you'll turn it off (please make sure we can turn them off, I don't watch my Stuka make an attack run EVERY SINGLE TIME. It's annoying as fuck) Everybody loved the small 2D animations videos in the original Panzer General and EVERYBODY ended up turtning them off because they took too much time.

I want Panzer Corps 2 to focus on AI, on historical accuracy, on constinstent scenario scale and better campaigns.

Right now we have still a lot of unit types which are less than ideal. We don't really have a cool way to represent supply lines. The victory conditions int eh GC were improvments, in Vanilla they're still crap. We also still have the problem of the AI just spamming new units without any realism near the end of a scenario, something the GC could only address by not giving the AI any prestige after the first turn. That needs to be improved.
I'd also still suggest Anti Tank guns to become a support unit, offering support fire, which was pretty much one of the only good things about OOB in terms of gameplay ideas (aside from the Naval combat improvements, those should be added too).
I want better AI. Not necessarily that it reacts completely autonomous, that would be cool but WAY too much work in my opinion and it wouldn't work half the time. Instead I vot for a scripting system that allows for very complex scenario scripting so a designer can really go deep in designing AI behavior SPECIFICALLY for a scenario. Only that way I feel you can do really historically accurate and cool scenarios. The One AI Fits All approach will fail. It's not possible to write an AI that would react appropriately to every possible scenario we had in WW2. Just won't work. Make it proficient in combat, and make the rest scriptable.

Also make sure that ALL unit traits and special abilities are modifyable and fully scriptable. If I want a scout tank that has close defence behavior and can hide from an attack like a submarine... then it should be a piece of cake to make that happen.

Also do NOT hide ANY unit stats in the UI. If you feel it will overwhelm new players, make a setting hiding advanced stuff in the options. Advanced players can activate that and get all they want, while new players only get the essential stuff.

Keep the unit scale at a consistent level. A unit should represent a company, a bataillon or a division or whatever. Don't make scenarios in which you are commanding an entire Army group and on the next one you command maybe 3 bataillons. That doesn't work well. There are a ton of battles in WW2 that can be represented on a smaller scale. I still feel unit = bataillon level is ideal for Panzer Corps. Most of the Grand Campaign was roughly that scale and it worked really well and makes sure most of the unit types actually make sense (there was never a Hummel division).

Make only MINOR adjustments to the gameplay mechanics for the inital release. (like maybe making AT a support unit and adding supply line mechanics) but make the entire mechanics scriptable. That way people can make suggestions, stuff can be easily changed later in patches, modders can create and test new mechanics and the game can evolve with stuff that came out of the community and was tested by experienced players and then can EASILY be integrated because nothing is really hardcoded. In Panzer Corps you couldn't make a AT gun offer support fire. You couldn't change that AA could defend mutliple times and a fighter only once. You couldn't make a recon unit evade an attack like a submarine. That should be possible in Panzer Corps 2. There shold be a scripting API that modders can use to easily experiment with this kind of stuff. Maybe even make it changable in a nice Editor.

I really have so many ideas for using better graphics, weather effects, lighting on the units, ... all which could have been done easily without going 3D and it would have looked stunning and kicked the ass of any full 3D game. ... sigh.

I TRULY hope you don't go overboard with this 3D thing and focus on the important stuff. And if you go 3D.. make sure it PERFORMS well. REALLY well. You went to a multiplatform engine (still Unity would have been so much better since right now they're focusing on optimizing performance on mobile platforms, which Unity is ideal for. Unreal is optimized for High End systems, which is not what Panzer Corps players have, bad choice), for a reason. Make sure the game actually performs well on tablets and such. There's no point in going 3D and Unreal if the game ends up running like OOB even on a PC. That game was technologically a desaster and showed how NOT to do it. I wanted to feature that game in my histrocial YouTube videos so much but I couldn't because the game would freeze and load and hang and stutter all the time.

Also make sure this time we get a replay feature right from the start (and please a bit more polished, like the butting being asynch and functional even during a combat animation). Youtubers rely on this and you actually have quite a bit of a youtuber community supporting Panzer Corps. I personally know of several people that bought the game because of one of my videos, so make sure you offer features that youtubers can use to make videos like a properly designed replay feature. (Feature wishes there are.. make it possible to skip the deployment phase separately without skipping the first turn as well. Make it possible to not skip an entire turn but only MY part of the turn or only the AI part of the turn. Make it possible to skip only unit movement, so I can go back and watch the last 3 unit moves again instead of having to rerun the entire turn. Make it possible to stop the replay and look at combat predictions. Make it possible in a replay to look at the exact way a combat result was created so people can explain to their viewers how a combat result was possible. Also make sure replays KNOW what game files they were created with, modded or not, so the game warns you that the files to do not match instead of the game crashing.

And please make sure you put enough work into the scenarios in terms of geography. It's so frustating to make these historical videos about thegame, do the research and then notice entire rivers (historically incredibly important rivers) are missing, rail lines are completely wrong, cities are missing or in the wrong place (and I don't mean 2 hexes to the left because it made sense for gameplay, I mean missing on the map or being on the opposite side of the map).
And please put in the work and name stuff correctly. I don't want to see "lake" "sea" "norwegian village" anymore. I want to see "atlantic ocean" "lake ladoga" and the proper location names of that time period.

As for the graphics I would still suggest you guys look at the technology that was used in Pillars of eternity and what other pseudo 3D games use. Keep the terrain fully 2D, give the sprites normal maps and height maps, so lighting effects work despite it being only sprites and ONLY make the units 3D so you can add animations to them. Using 3D terrain is 100% a useless effort and will only make sure your terrain looks like complete ass compared to a properly designed 2D terrain. Just look at the original Panzer General 2 and how beautiful the hand painted maps were for that time. You can totally achieve that with 2D, prerender it or hand paint it or just use high fidelity tile sprites, giving it normal maps and you're good. the terrain is static, there is NO need to make that 3D, it will just suck away performance for absolutely no reason. nobody needs a rotatable map. Forget that. The camera should be 100% static. Zoom is fine but that can also remain a 2 stage zoom. Rotation is pointless, confusing, nobody uses it and it only disorients players No wargamer will ever use that, it's just marketing bullshit to oget those closeup shots that nobody uses during actual gameplay. DON'T do that. Instead make the terrain 2D with very high fidelity and only make the actual units 3D so you can animate them and add particle effects if you really need to go down that route. This will make the end result look absolutely stunning while going 3D terrain with crappy ground textures will look absolutely crap. Remember this is a map, this is not a 3D shooter terrain. We're not walking on the terrain 1m away from it. it's a stylized map that's at the scale of a satelite view. Standard 3D game terrain will look completely crap on that compared to the units and will make no sense. it will look like a silly kids game. Make it 2D high fidelity and add really cool detailed and well textured and lit units so it looks like a proper model of the area with models of Units, like Generals would use during a map exercize wargame. That will look nice.

Those are my comments about it. Still bummed that you went Unreal and 3D since i think both decisions are not ideal for this particular game and I think a ton of unnecessary work and budget will get sunk into creating the graphics assets but here's hoping.

PS: I read in some posts that you defend Panzer Corps 2 when people say how crap OOB's perforcmance was by saying "OOB was unity, Panzer Corps2 is UNreal". I SERIOUSLY hope you don't really belive that using Unity was the reason for the bad performance. Unity is by now not a toy for hobbyists anymore, that may have been true a decade ago. Unity wasn't the reason that game had these problems it was a developer who didn't know how to optimize a game properly. I truly hope you don't believe using Unreal will somehow automatically equal great performance, because it won't. And I actually agree with a couple of people saying that Unreal is total overkill for this kind of game but oh well.
I really wish I'd have known you're working on this in such detail already. I would have offered my help with technology decisions and ideas for how to do the graphics and achieve amazing results. I've had my own ideas for a PzC like game and if my eyes hadn't caused me so much problems still over the past year I would have prototyped something already. I looked a lot into technology and what can be done how and I'd have had a ton of ideas for a Unity based system. but oh well.
A tip I CAN give you is really make sure you look at Noesis for the UI. it will make your life so much easier and it's vector based so scaling it to different platforms and screen sizes will be MUCH less of a pain. I'm currently working on porting a framework for that system and they just released a new version that has a new license model and all that. I really think you guys should look into that. It's also available for Unreal and a C++ API so that's not an issue.
Panzer Corps - Dossier Tool - http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=39151
Epic Chronological Let's Play - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb_qLVfViPTbD7C7gN8cVOxG_mEgDYO91

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Yrfin » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:56 am

Nice post, KeldorKatarn, but too late.
Announcement was made.
Shoot first. Ask questions later.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Hansstory » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:58 am

I prefer resources spent on AI, historical content, every unit available in history being available in the game, units stronger with other units adjacent, weaker alone, maybe some supply enhancements, why stay on a road or rail line?, some armor facing issues, why pin and flank?, more detailed and accurate maps, enhanced air ops, etc. I liked PG 3D a lot, but don't want 3d taking away from other game developments.

Wouldn't it be awesome to start Barbarossa on a massive scale with supply trucks and trains to move up and protect etc. Think of the scenario from Panzer Korps Barb and multiply it by 10! Retire, divorce, move back into parents home, get food stamps and other welfare and play PK2! I might be tempted to turn socialist!! Hahahaha

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by KeldorKatarn » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:49 am

Honestly ARMOR FACING issues are the very LAST thing I want to see. This game has Armor Bataillons, not individual tanks. The game shouldn't go down to the tactical platoon level where we're commanding individual tanks. That's what Combat Mission is for. This should remain a game of high level operational moves where you command anything form a division to a full Panzer Corps (hence the name). I don't see how you can get a side shot at a bataillon.
Panzer Corps - Dossier Tool - http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=39151
Epic Chronological Let's Play - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb_qLVfViPTbD7C7gN8cVOxG_mEgDYO91

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:14 am

(Going fully 3D has so far NEVER worked on ANY wargame I've seen that came from 2D. It's always the same statement. We need 3D or people will dismiss us. Well guess what. All the Jagged Alliance remakes made that statement. All of them failed miserably. A ton of other wargames and 2D startegy games made that statement and they all failed miserably.)

Excellent post KeldorKatarn. Exactly my feelings - the game is on way to become next Hearts of Iron 4 or Age of Empires 3 or Panzer General 3D etc. etc. Developers develop on top notch machines and then they throw it to community and thats it...

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