Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Get all the latest news on Slitherine.

Moderator: Slitherine Core

Kerensky
Content Designer
Content Designer
Posts: 4895
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:12 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by Kerensky » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:06 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:11 pm
Intenso82 wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:59 pm
- I would like to see the MP campaign in PZC2.
We have been thinking about this for a long time, but player demand never looked big enough in the past. We'll see if the situation changed.
TLDR AT BOTTOM OF LONG POST.


BattleTech is deep in this controversy right now. It's very interesting to see how it's playing out. Hint, it's all bad news for fans of multiplayer. Without enough player demand (almost all BattleTech multiplayer achievements rest at 0.01% completion rate, which is astoundingly low, there are more people playing Panzer Corps 2011 release multiplayer then there are people playing BattleTech 2018 multiplayer) Paradox (not HBS calling the shots anymore, remember) cannot, will not, and is not shifting resources to help out the beleaguered multiplayer scene. However dedicated that community is, they are busy crushed by their status as being massively outnumbered. Multiplayer doesn't get patched despite some extremely glaring issues, the big pilot overhaul took no considerations for the state of MP, and the big expansion pack coming is all singleplayer focused.

But I don't say that in a deriding way towards BTech and Paradox, they're clearly making the right decision on what to focus on for the overwhelming majority of their players.

The real problem with multiplayer is not one of technical ability to create things such as a multiplayer campaign, but the division of time and resources that is required and may simply not be available at the cost it would take to make. In fact there is a very interesting attitude about BattleTech that has been going around. A lot of people are actually really disappointed with the tacked on MP systems entirely. Not because they are tacked on, but the players who bought BattleTech for the singleplayer campaign experience actually see MP as draining dev time and resources away from the mode they play (SP) all for something they don't ever want to touch (MP). And with a game with a total population somewhere in the several hundred thousand (source Steam Spy, and total population meaning not active players, but players who have activated the game on their steam account through purchase or key activation) your dedicated multiplayer BattleTech community probably peaked at several hundred people, and after just a few short months of attrition has now easily fallen below 100 total individual people worldwide. The 'big' tournament going on is having a problem where players literally cannot practice lances, mechs, and strategies because there's no one left to play with. Lobbies just sit empty and unfilled for an hour. Takes longer to find a match than to play it.



But that's BattleTech. Panzer Corps is a very similar (turn base strategy), yet different beast. As clearly evidenced by any measurable metric, players generally come to Panzer Corps for the singleplayer. Not just singleplayer, but the campaign over solo scenarios. But lately there has been a pretty sizeable surge in Panzer Corps multiplayer, I think a lot to do with goose2's big tournaments. So though we can learn a lot from seeing BattleTech, they aren't rules and lessons that can be applied to Panzer Corps 2 on a 1:1 ratio.

A long time ago when I was still just modding, I dabbled in multiplayer campaign design. Not the technical aspects of setting up network infrastructure mind you, but the content facets. And multiplayer campaigns (I was going for coop personally) have to also get special treatment. In the same way trying to shoe horn a singleplayer scenario into a multiplayer one isn't good enough (I'm pretty sure the PzC tournaments rely on special purpose built scenarios ;) ) you equally cannot just shove a singleplayer campaign into a coop or a versus setting. It too would need purpose built content. Coop needs to have everyone feel like they are contributing, if you just split the CORE allotment in a scenario between 2 or more players, and they each take their allotment and go off in different directions to get different objectives... how is that a coop experience?

I hope Panzer Corps 2 MP is at least equal to Panzer Corps, and hopefully will get a little bit more too. If there is expanded multiplayer elements, they would have to start small and test the waters. Is the MP community big enough? Is the work do-able with the time and resources available, or does focus on MP distract team members away from their other work and delay SP updates and improvements and content? Personally, I would go for a versus campaign first. Good Coop too tricky, requires too many overhauls to existing mechanics and ways of doing things. A versus campaign would take advantage of existing systems better. Both players start a scenario, they play it out to victory. Then they take their surviving forces into a MP version of the deployment screen, refit their army, and deploy to next scenario.

Phew just sounding that out is fright with controversy and potential problems. I'm still not talking about networking and connection and UI infrastructure, still just gameplay. If Scenario A is a massive blow out and one person gets obliterated and the other is barely hurt... how badly will the rest of the campaign play out? Will it be lopsidded forever against the person who lost because their force was decimated? If it's not lopsided, and scenario B is unaffected by the events of scenario A except for player 1 'won' scenario A... is it actually a campaign at all? Because at that point it's just one separate scenario played after another with no real meaningful campaign connection between any of them, for fear of outrageous snowball problems completely ruining the rest of the campaign after a first disaster of a battle.

Perhaps both sides can only pick 5 of their best units to continue the campaign with. So basically you have a CORE of 5, and a huge army of AUX. Winner of map 1 might have a slight advantage if they won and their 5 best units to carry over are in good shape, but 5 units isn't that unbalancing as your entire force carrying over would be. Or perhaps winner of map 1 won because they were more aggressive and cared less about preserving their 5 best units, while the other player is playing the 'long' game. Really babying those 5 units to reap the rewards of having 5 super elite units as the MP campaign continues. But then you have a problem of pre-knowledge meaning so much. If you don't know how long the MP campaign is, you might preserve your 5 best units but never use them because the campaign just ended.

Anyways this post got huge because I just went on and on... so I'll wrap up and TLDR: Multiplayer campaigns would be immensely complex undertakings. Not just for network and game infrastructure, but their content has many aspects that must be carefully considered and built properly, or you will just get a hot mess no one wants to touch. I highly suspect MP campaign design will be a highly iterative process too. Many possible ways will have to be explored, ranging from MP campaigns will full, limited, or no carry over. Then the community will end up deciding what is the best surely by virtue of playing that certain design more than the others.

I'd be up for taking a crack at it if and when the time comes, but there's no work for any of us campaign designers if the foundation of the game isn't there to start with.
Last edited by Kerensky on Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kerensky
Content Designer
Content Designer
Posts: 4895
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:12 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by Kerensky » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:23 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:24 pm
AI scription options are of course available, because they play an important role in human-designed content. I could not remove such an important part of functionality. What I'm saying is, the new AI must also be competent enough on its own, without any scripting configured, because in random maps it won't have any. This creates higher requirements for AI implementation.
Panzer Corps was notoriously bad at this on launch. I remember how everyone thought the AI was so much smarter in the Grand Campaign compared to the base game. In base game, everyone was like 'WTF why AI drive their trucked arty directly into my tanks!?!' And people were amazed when it stopped happening in Grand Campaign content and the only 'fix' was I stripped the AI of all of its truck transport. lol Well also much tighter scripting and less general let the AI do whatever it wants. NO, bad AI, NO purchasing power for you. NO spamming units out of the last VH. Bad dog!

So we'll see how those lofty sounding ideals turn out. But as soon as the AI lacks specific instruction, has to go on an offensive across a larger size map, and drives it's trucked artillery directly into the player, people will deride it for being moronic. Especially so if it is something the AI does consistently. Players make bad moves, but they generally learn pretty quick never to repeat them. We don't need a supercomputer learning AI in Panzer Corps 2 to learn from it's mistakes, but if it consistently does things players perceive as moronic in uninstructed random content, it's going to be a problem. Or maybe it's not a problem. If the game could make it's own content all of us campaign designers would be out of a job. ;)
But as always with computers, they are impressive for the ability to take orders and follow instructions. Not so much for their ability to creatively give them. Paraphrasing something Riker once said there. ;)

I hope the new tools are good, but the more powerful a tool, generally the harder it is to wield. Not to mention wield properly. Starcraft 2 Editor was the ultimate tool, but man was that insanely over-complicated and so hard to use.

If the new systems are good, I would attempt to blend them. Rather than be so extreme on the spectrum of a super tight all scripted campaign (Grand Campaign) and then flip all the way to the other extreme of a fully non-scripted totally random map, I'd rather design in the middle. Take the best elements of a heavily scripted piece, because these make the best singleplayer experience because it's specifically set to function a very interesting and unique way, but also throw in some unstable random elements to spice it up. Grand Campaign was amazing to play, but suffered from incredible diminishing returns on replay. That's the nature of the scripted beast though.

As before, we are all awaited with bated breath for for Panzer Corps 2 has to offer. :)
Last edited by Kerensky on Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

13obo
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:01 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by 13obo » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:42 pm

Btw, isn't it amazing how much activity these Dev diaries are drawing? It's like all the old players are coming back to follow the development of this game! Initially, I was a bit sceptical about them and was advocating for the developer to focus on ... developing, but it seems they do bring the community together well before launch to create a very hyped up atmosphere.

CarbonatedPork
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:52 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by CarbonatedPork » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:35 pm

13obo wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:42 pm
Btw, isn't it amazing how much activity these Dev diaries are drawing? It's like all the old players are coming back to follow the development of this game! Initially, I was a bit sceptical about them and was advocating for the developer to focus on ... developing, but it seems they do bring the community together well before launch to create a very hyped up atmosphere.
Same. Am SUPER hyped for this game. Rudankort, the hex looks awesome. :)

rajatgupta124
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 9:37 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by rajatgupta124 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:35 am

What about infantry ? And will the seasons have effect on unit's look too ?

dobrodukh
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 7:48 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by dobrodukh » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:42 am

Many thanks to the developers for the full editor of maps and scenarios.

bebro
The Artistocrats
The Artistocrats
Posts: 2491
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:50 pm

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by bebro » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:14 am

Info on UI/AI and esp. mod support sound great :)

asuser
Sergeant First Class - Elite Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Elite Panzer IIIL
Posts: 404
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 8:48 pm

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by asuser » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:37 am

Is it possible to display units with combat damage? If so, are these units represented with reduced range or ammo or is this represented by replenishment?

The planes in the video seems to me like dive up and down movement. Will this technique be further developed? Is there something similar for ships with a bow or stern wave, maybe chimney steam?

Do I understand it right, for self created scenarios I can control the AI in the editor like a more aggressive or defensive strategy?

Intenso82
Most Successful Mod 2017
Most Successful Mod 2017
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 8:48 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by Intenso82 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:01 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:11 pm
In Panzer Corps 2 series mechanic is kinda obsolete, because all upgrades cost the difference between old and new unit. But what you describe should be easily doable with traits.
Oh, there will be no more Series this is sad.
But I do not mean that in the Series_Upgrade the cost will be the difference between the two units.
I mean that the upgrade option will be limited to a narrower group of units.
Of course, it is not necessary to use this in the original game.
This is more about expanding the possibilities of modding.

And how is it planned to make a cross-class upgrade?
Rudankort wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:11 pm
Intenso82 wrote: ↑
29 Aug 2018 18:59
- I would like to see the MP campaign in PZC2.

We have been thinking about this for a long time, but player demand never looked big enough in the past. We'll see if the situation changed.
I mean, do not do the MP campaign,
but add the ability in multiplayer to run in addition to the scenarios and also the MP campaign mode.
Which can create the players themselves through the editor.
Maybe not with the first release, but later.
[MOD] RUSSIA AT WAR:1941 - http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=75743

caca
Captain - Bf 110D
Captain - Bf 110D
Posts: 884
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by caca » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:46 pm

Intenso82 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:01 pm

I mean, do not do the MP campaign,
but add the ability in multiplayer to run in addition to the scenarios and also the MP campaign mode.
Intenso82, now we must be maximalists.. :D
As Kerensky wrote above, this will require a better AI. AI will not be rewritten after the release. This, probably, will break the content of the release. And you, with your statement, deprive us of this opportunity to get a clever AI.
Трам-парарам, красная шапочка. :evil:
:?

Intenso82
Most Successful Mod 2017
Most Successful Mod 2017
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 8:48 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by Intenso82 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:36 pm

caca wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:46 pm
As Kerensky wrote above, this will require a better AI. AI will not be rewritten after the release. This, probably, will break the content of the release. And you, with your statement, deprive us of this opportunity to get a clever AI.
:D
And what is the connection between the AI and MP campaign?

In the MP scenario or MP campaign plays for Axis - a human, for Allied - human and zero AI. :)
It's not about co-op its about vs.

This can give great opportunities.
[MOD] RUSSIA AT WAR:1941 - http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=75743

Rudankort
FlashBack Games
FlashBack Games
Posts: 2588
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by Rudankort » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:13 pm

13obo wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:40 pm
EDIT: Since it's a bit too boring perhaps for the regular reader in a future Dev Diary, perhaps Rudankort could give us some details as to how scripting and AI was improved in comparison to PzC? Anything on the commands you can give the AI or the execution of those commands would be interesting!
I think, in terms of pure playing strength the AI should speak for itself. I can give a lot of fascinating technical details, but none of it will guarantee real improvements in performance. Let us wait till you guys can actually try the game. As for scripting, in short: more commands and more parameters to configure in these commands, sequences of commands, direct configuration of commands on the map (no need to create zones elsewhere and reference them from AI scripting). I think, I'll need to make a dev diary on the editor somewhere closer to the release (it is ugly as hell right now :) ), and in that diary AI scripting will be a chapter.
13obo wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:42 pm
Btw, isn't it amazing how much activity these Dev diaries are drawing? It's like all the old players are coming back to follow the development of this game! Initially, I was a bit sceptical about them and was advocating for the developer to focus on ... developing, but it seems they do bring the community together well before launch to create a very hyped up atmosphere.
Yes, this is great and very encouraging (and makes me feel the responsibility). The only comment I have is, it would be great to move some discussions from these topics to the main Panzer Corps 2 forum, because these topics will eventually go down in the list and will be hard to find. Like MP campaigns below. Maybe I'll move them if I can figure out forum controls. And yes, I'll try to concentrate more on development and less of the hype going forwards. :oops: It's just that there was a certain lack of information about the game, which we had to fill at least to some extent, so we felt it was necessary to kick off this diary thing.
CarbonatedPork wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:35 pm
Same. Am SUPER hyped for this game. Rudankort, the hex looks awesome. :)
Hex, what hex? :)
rajatgupta124 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:35 am
What about infantry ? And will the seasons have effect on unit's look too ?
Due to various logistics problems, we still don't have final infantry models in the game, so we are not showing them yet, but they'll be definitely coming. Seasons already affect units to some degree, because lighting and postprocessing is the same for the whole scene, but we plan to add more effects like wet units in the rain.
asuser wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:37 am
Is it possible to display units with combat damage? If so, are these units represented with reduced range or ammo or is this represented by replenishment?
I'm not sure I understand this question. Damaged units have reduced strength. Their range or ammo are not affected.
asuser wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:37 am
The planes in the video seems to me like dive up and down movement. Will this technique be further developed? Is there something similar for ships with a bow or stern wave, maybe chimney steam?
Yes, ships have a similar effect. Effects and animations are an ongoing task, we'll add as much as time allows before the release.
asuser wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:37 am
Do I understand it right, for self created scenarios I can control the AI in the editor like a more aggressive or defensive strategy?
Yes.
Intenso82 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:01 pm
Oh, there will be no more Series this is sad.
Well there are two things. First, as I said, the effect of series which existed in Panzer Corps is no longer actual in Panzer Corps 2. WE would need to replace it with something else. Do you have any suggestions what to replace it with? Second, this feature was designed in the base game with Germany in mind. Germany has several very distinctive series, like Panzer III and IV and Bf109. It is much less clear cut with many other nations, and so ultimately this feature looked somewhat one-sided. Why do you think it is important to keep? How exactly does it benefit the gameplay?
Intenso82 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:01 pm
But I do not mean that in the Series_Upgrade the cost will be the difference between the two units.
I mean that the upgrade option will be limited to a narrower group of units.
Yes, I understood what you said, and this could be done with a parametrized trait, where parameter is some string shared by all units in the same "sub-class".
Intenso82 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:01 pm
And how is it planned to make a cross-class upgrade?
For each class we'll designate "related" classes which will be available in Upgrade screen. Cross-class upgrade will involve some penalty, most likely experience hit, but we'll see what works best.

guille1434
Brigadier-General - Elite Grenadier
Brigadier-General - Elite Grenadier
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by guille1434 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:30 pm

Thanks for the information update! I like the idea of "cross-class" upgrades. :-)

Rudankort
FlashBack Games
FlashBack Games
Posts: 2588
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by Rudankort » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:45 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:06 pm
TLDR AT BOTTOM OF LONG POST.
Wow, that was an in-depth post, thx for writing it! Interesting observations regarding BTech. I would never expect such low MP stats for a game this big (I'm not sure SteamSpy can be trusted as much as in the past, but still the long-awaited BattleTech game is supposed to be huge). Empty lobbies, difficult to find opponent... this is amazing.

So yeah, it's a good point. Release the game and see how large the MP community is. Why make any rushed decisions? With all the same functionality PzC had, and random maps on top, this seems enough to kick off MP experience, as long as technical aspects are done right and there are not glaring issues.

As for the question of content design for MP campaigns, I agree that it's a very complicated topic, and purpose-designed content is always best, but if I were to kick it off, I would start from something simple. Basically, I think that we can take any SP campaign and play it in MP coop mode. And we can take any vanilla-like SP campaign (i.e. without heavy scripting) and play it in competitive mode. Here is how I see it:

Coop mode
Yes, just split core and resources between the two, and give players an option to reassign their units to each other, so they can figure out the split themselves. Maybe they will split battle groups, or maybe one will control ground force and the other will control air force, but it is up to them. And even if you two act in different areas of the map, success of the mission depends on the success of each, and you can probably support each other (e. g. with air force), plus you can discuss tactics and strategy and share advice, so there is a lot of room for "socializing" here.

Competitive mode
There are many possible approaches here, but one thing we can do:
- Campaign is saved at the end of any battle, so you can return back to any stage you want.
- Each new battle is published as a new challenge, and you can get a new opponent willing to kick your a*s and break your campaign progression every time. Or you can make it private and password-protected if there is a single guy willing to punish you again and again. If you lose, you can just replay the battle again, or return back to one of the previous scenarios.
Recent tournament has shown that even in unbalanced historical scenarios both sides could win, it is a question of skill. Handicap settings also help. Plus, in a campaign game you usually can get a stronger force than preset one (even if you don't manage it from the first attempt). So I can imagine that good players frustrated with "stupid AI" will choose to play their campaign this way, while weaker players can fight against them and learn a few things in the process. Or they can just join such a game for the sake of variety (not the same preset configuration, but a different core to fight against).

Of course, both these models are not for everyone, but they might have their place, and they are relatively easy to implement. And of course, this could result in some epic AARs. I doubt we can manage it for 1.0 anyway, but for the remote-but-bright future this could be something to consider.

goose_2
Tournament Organizer of the Year 2017
Tournament Organizer of the Year 2017
Posts: 2197
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:22 am
Location: Winterset, Iowa

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by goose_2 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:03 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:45 pm
Kerensky wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:06 pm
TLDR AT BOTTOM OF LONG POST.
Wow, that was an in-depth post, thx for writing it! Interesting observations regarding BTech. I would never expect such low MP stats for a game this big (I'm not sure SteamSpy can be trusted as much as in the past, but still the long-awaited BattleTech game is supposed to be huge). Empty lobbies, difficult to find opponent... this is amazing.

So yeah, it's a good point. Release the game and see how large the MP community is. Why make any rushed decisions? With all the same functionality PzC had, and random maps on top, this seems enough to kick off MP experience, as long as technical aspects are done right and there are not glaring issues.

As for the question of content design for MP campaigns, I agree that it's a very complicated topic, and purpose-designed content is always best, but if I were to kick it off, I would start from something simple. Basically, I think that we can take any SP campaign and play it in MP coop mode. And we can take any vanilla-like SP campaign (i.e. without heavy scripting) and play it in competitive mode. Here is how I see it:

Coop mode
Yes, just split core and resources between the two, and give players an option to reassign their units to each other, so they can figure out the split themselves. Maybe they will split battle groups, or maybe one will control ground force and the other will control air force, but it is up to them. And even if you two act in different areas of the map, success of the mission depends on the success of each, and you can probably support each other (e. g. with air force), plus you can discuss tactics and strategy and share advice, so there is a lot of room for "socializing" here.

Competitive mode
There are many possible approaches here, but one thing we can do:
- Campaign is saved at the end of any battle, so you can return back to any stage you want.
- Each new battle is published as a new challenge, and you can get a new opponent willing to kick your a*s and break your campaign progression every time. Or you can make it private and password-protected if there is a single guy willing to punish you again and again. If you lose, you can just replay the battle again, or return back to one of the previous scenarios.
Recent tournament has shown that even in unbalanced historical scenarios both sides could win, it is a question of skill. Handicap settings also help. Plus, in a campaign game you usually can get a stronger force than preset one (even if you don't manage it from the first attempt). So I can imagine that good players frustrated with "stupid AI" will choose to play their campaign this way, while weaker players can fight against them and learn a few things in the process. Or they can just join such a game for the sake of variety (not the same preset configuration, but a different core to fight against).

Of course, both these models are not for everyone, but they might have their place, and they are relatively easy to implement. And of course, this could result in some epic AARs. I doubt we can manage it for 1.0 anyway, but for the remote-but-bright future this could be something to consider.

I love hearing this stuff and I appreciate you laying this out, Rudankort.

Kerensky gives me too much credit for the current upsurge in MP gaming for Panzer Corps...
I think I may have helped bring it to peoples attention, but it is the game itself and the great community that keeps mp going.

Bottom line it is fun, and the reason I believe it so much fun is because the people who made Panzer Corps original vanilla Campaign was an obvios labor of love. There are so many excellent maps, in fact ingenious maps on the vanilla Campaign, not just the balanced ones, but the historical ones. They were made with obvious care in balance and thought for the layout of the map, to the make up of the start up units. almost every map can be played with finesse and care to actually garner an unexpected win on a map that was supposed to be dominated by the axis.

Starting with Poland, I remember the first time I played that map as axis my first time on the game. I thought I would win the scenario, but quickly realized I was outclassed by a much better opponent. This opponent, Hollowlolo, went on to show me the ends and outs of the game and helped me become a much better player.

That is what this community does, and that is something that makes mp a really awesome aspect of this game, it is what I look forward to most in the sequel.

The thing that amazes me, is that we can have newbies come on and approach the game in a way that I had nbot considered and do well on maps I thought I completely played out all sides. Despite my numerous years of experience I am still learning ways to play this game better, now that is a great game.
goose_2
Lutheran Multiplayer Tournament Organizer. :-)

GiveWarAchance
Sergeant Major - SdKfz 234/2 8Rad
Sergeant Major - SdKfz 234/2 8Rad
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by GiveWarAchance » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:05 am

.
Last edited by GiveWarAchance on Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

13obo
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:01 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by 13obo » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:21 pm

Speaking about infantry, I realised why the previously presented models look boring and dull- because they aren't doing anything! The PzC 1 infantry models are mid-fire, looking as if the action will start any second, ready to have a go at the enemy. The PzC 2 guys looked like they are hanging around, waiting at the shooting range, wondering when their first shooting lesson will start.

The new models should be a bit more dynamic - more Baroque and less Renaissance so to say. Perhaps it would be more difficult to produce an animated model of a person that is ready to go to action without actually going into action. But certainly the static animation can be improved a lot more from the current version. Some static animations could be:

-check their rifles
-count their grenades
-clean the bazooka/panzerschreck
-do some military signals
-look at a map

sn0wball
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 479
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:22 am
Location: Germany

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by sn0wball » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:04 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:45 pm
Coop mode
Competitive mode
What about competitive co-op ? I guess this might be pretty complicated, but I just thought about players on the same side fighting against the AI, but still competing for best performace, like Brits and Americans both trying to defeat the Axis, but still competing for reaching the targets themselves before the other Ally reaches them.

Gwaylare
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:17 am

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by Gwaylare » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:07 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:06 pm
BattleTech is deep in this controversy right now. It's very interesting to see how it's playing out. Hint, it's all bad news for fans of multiplayer. Without enough player demand (almost all BattleTech multiplayer achievements rest at 0.01% completion rate, which is astoundingly low, there are more people playing Panzer Corps 2011 release multiplayer then there are people playing BattleTech 2018 multiplayer) Paradox (not HBS calling the shots anymore, remember) cannot, will not, and is not shifting resources to help out the beleaguered multiplayer scene. However dedicated that community is, they are busy crushed by their status as being massively outnumbered. Multiplayer doesn't get patched despite some extremely glaring issues, the big pilot overhaul took no considerations for the state of MP, and the big expansion pack coming is all singleplayer focused.

But I don't say that in a deriding way towards BTech and Paradox, they're clearly making the right decision on what to focus on for the overwhelming majority of their players.

The real problem with multiplayer is not one of technical ability to create things such as a multiplayer campaign, but the division of time and resources that is required and may simply not be available at the cost it would take to make. In fact there is a very interesting attitude about BattleTech that has been going around. A lot of people are actually really disappointed with the tacked on MP systems entirely. Not because they are tacked on, but the players who bought BattleTech for the singleplayer campaign experience actually see MP as draining dev time and resources away from the mode they play (SP) all for something they don't ever want to touch (MP). And with a game with a total population somewhere in the several hundred thousand (source Steam Spy, and total population meaning not active players, but players who have activated the game on their steam account through purchase or key activation) your dedicated multiplayer BattleTech community probably peaked at several hundred people, and after just a few short months of attrition has now easily fallen below 100 total individual people worldwide. The 'big' tournament going on is having a problem where players literally cannot practice lances, mechs, and strategies because there's no one left to play with. Lobbies just sit empty and unfilled for an hour. Takes longer to find a match than to play it.
Kerensky I see your point and agree with you. I am a great BattleTech fan since the 1980s and I was waiting for a turn based BattleTech game for years. On a first view the game was awesome, fulfilling most of my dreams. The game really got me back to the times I read the novels of Michael A. Stackpole. But overall it was short fascination. They messed up the AI without any way to increase the difficulty. Same for multiplayer. I tried some games and it did not get me at all. So what went wrong with multiplayer?

First they ignored PBEM and chose an online game mode for multiplayer, may be because of the initiative used in battletech. So beeing online for at least an hour without a break and playing a move within 60 - 90s countdown is a totaly different type of a turn based game. Especially this type of game does not fit to the typical BattleTech veteran like me.
In addition the balancing of weapons and battlemechs was not good. Many games were just won because of choosing overpowered weapons.
The game was limited to just 4 mechs to play in a scenario. May be they have the abilities to extend the number of mechs within single player campaigns, but for MP this will extend the game to several hours playing online.
In the end I did remove BattleTech from my computer and reinstalled Panzer Corps to join Gooses tournament ;-)

Panzer Corps multiplayer mode is still very good, but I think there are also ways to improve it:

1) Do not take the online only approach BattleTech did, this will not address the community usually playing turn based games. PBEM and turn based games works fine together.
2) To address problems with cheating do not send a whole turn to the server but every single move or action.

If I got dev diaries right those points already may be addressed.

3) Within the Current game section give some more information. Slitherines PBEM server is very limited here. I want to see which side I am playing and the current turn of game.
4) Please improve the replays of opponents turns. It would be perfect to scroll the replays forward and backwards and have a look at them during your whole turn. Now you have to save and reload a turn to watch a replay a second time and once you did a move you do not have any ability to watch a replay again.
5) Give the possiblity to put notes within the game to remind you later.
6) The balance of units could be improved a lot. In the later campaigns there are lots of units, but you will never use them. Why should I buy a PIVF when I could get a PIVG? So most of the time just the top units are relevant, just for infantry and sometimes artillery there are real choices. So notice which units are bought within MP games on the server and balance them. A simple way could be to make frequently used units more expensive und less used units cheaper.
6a) Just if balance is improved: Within balanced or autogenerated maps please give the opportunity to start without any units and buy them all and deploy them within a deployment zone. Just learn from Field of Glory II.
7) Give us more information about combats. You have all the stats and dice rolls available of your turn, but no information about opponents turn. So just log the combat results to the server and make them accessible.

Best regards
Gwaylare

Rudankort
FlashBack Games
FlashBack Games
Posts: 2588
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #3

Post by Rudankort » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:02 pm

sn0wball wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:04 pm
What about competitive co-op ? I guess this might be pretty complicated, but I just thought about players on the same side fighting against the AI, but still competing for best performace, like Brits and Americans both trying to defeat the Axis, but still competing for reaching the targets themselves before the other Ally reaches them.
Well, I was talking about using existing SP campaigns in MP, where such approach, if feasible at all, will probably work in a small subset of scenarios. But as a separate scenario, I don't see any technical difficulties with implementing such an idea. A script can analyze various factors (like the number of VHs each player owns, prestige etc.) and assign the winner based on that. Actually I can see how such mode could be very appealing for some players.
13obo wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:21 pm
The new models should be a bit more dynamic
Absolutely. At this point I don't know what idle animations we'll end up with, but there will be some for sure. As for the default pose of the guys, it will be more inline with PzC1.
Rudankort wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:45 pm
The thing that amazes me, is that we can have newbies come on and approach the game in a way that I had nbot considered and do well on maps I thought I completely played out all sides. Despite my numerous years of experience I am still learning ways to play this game better, now that is a great game.
"Easy to play - hard to master formula" lives on! :)

Post Reply

Return to “News & Announcements”