Written Mentoring?

FFOman
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Written Mentoring?

Postby FFOman » Sun 3 Jan 2016 16:10

I've been trying to get down with AoA since it went official but till now just didn't have the time, and although the mentoring program sounds like a great way for a novice RTS player to get started, I've already found how difficult it can be to find common times for getting together and to work at a pace and on the areas most important to the new player.

Has anyone been able to write a good description / outline of how one can begin playing right from the start of an AI or MP game that doesn't get into hardcore faction differences? Just a guide that will help teach the basics of starting out in a 1v1 game or skirmish, because that's the most relevant and important part of gameplay ALL new players must understand and get through before even considering more intense topics! Once these basics are understood, anyone with enough intelligence to play an RTS game in the first place should be well on the way to learning the finer points of play, strategy development, and tactical control!

Unfortunately the game itself makes you feel like an idiot by giving you a field with an HQ and a Scout vehicle after which it just sit's there waiting for you to play! Duh...now what? And every guide or so-called manual I've seen so far seems to be written for those who not only have RTS experience, but are already pretty well versed in getting an AoA game started and on the way, almost daring the rest of us to make a move or selection! I know that most of these amateur writers who have already worked very hard on some of these manuals could easily write starter manuals with their eyes closed and one faction tied behind their backs! All they'd have to do is begin a starter manual by addressing what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and finally how it can or should be done from 3 main points of view: Tactically, Strategically, and Practically. From there they can head straight into the mid-game to address the how's and why's of purposeful action, hoped for accomplishment, and the individual's grand or over-all means of play and how to develop long term strategies to meet their intended goals.

As for me and my big mouth, I'd be more than willing to help anyone who is willing to lay out the facts necessary to learning this game as I've mentioned, by translating them into a well written, easy to grok manual. I've had some favored experience doing such writing while making sure the hard-core knowledge that must be passed on to the reader is not only described and explained properly, but in context and at the proper time! So please feel free to contact me at 'TanDesign@comcast.net' if at all interested in working on something like this. It's sorely needed and would also be much better than any group of simple tutorial segments AoA's authors could possibly include down the line!

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KampfKeksKrieger
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Re: Written Mentoring?

Postby KampfKeksKrieger » Mon 4 Jan 2016 21:46

FFOman wrote:write a good description / outline of how one can begin playing right from the start of an AI or MP game that doesn't get into hardcore faction differences? Just a guide that will help teach the basics of starting out in a 1v1 game or skirmish


I agree with your post.

I AM one of those who are very fimilar / pretty good at this game and I AM on the way to explain things...
working on a longer better version with the resources and the power that I have.

I am so much of willing to help, maybe as you are, but I have only 'some', but not 'very good' guide stones that are not 100% appropriate, and I will begin from the very start, because its so difficult for me to find the right 'niveau' to explain things. Please also excuse me for so much text. I worked at least 4 hours on this post and its still not as well explained as I would wish for.

So here is a short sketch in how you how you can hopefully get warm with the game:

Spoiler : :
1. One of theese, the order does not matter:
a) settle yourself on the map alone and play at least 4 hours with each faction to figure out the tech tree, the units, how the economy works, the interplay between resource gathering and unit costs, refinery efficienceies (and optimization) and the base building basics (what can I build, what is useful for what, how good is it to favor a tank-build versus a helicopter or a infantry build for instance). Prepare different fixed openings for your favourite maps.
b) play the first campaign missions, that are 'easy to claim'. While the other approach is very free and without orientation, you will get some impressions in how the most vital game mechanics work and how certain units are used. It is reasonable to play the missions more than one time, not only because of the secondary aims, but also to do the same in less time, loose less units, grab more resources and so on.

2. Play only with Oil, or only with Alu, or mostly, because sometimes you loose or run low on those, to learn how you can save your game if that happens.

And then:
- ignore the time pressure and start to play free on a skirmish map with the following 'tutorial tasks':
1. figure out the shortest way to secure the first 3 banks with the different factions (You should be ready in 3-5 Minutes, depending on the map and whether with or without factory for transport vehicles; ignore the map 'here lie the heroes' for this task, but dont forget it totally)
2. Figure out a inantry focused strategy, a tank based strategy and a helicopter-focussed strategy to have a few fixed builds ready for each faction if you want to start a real match.
3. Your preferences for Oil or Alu based units lead you to either a bank or rather refinery-focussed game.

If you play economy-focussed matches, you can just build an army neaby and play the military aspect in other games.

If you are okay with a more child-wise approach:
Take a faction, watch their units they have, and find appropriate tactics for each of those units, not only for the main tanks, but find a way to include all of the available units into your playstyle. Dont only watch the static 'what is the best counter for X now', but also your own wishes like 'ah all I ever wanted is to kill a big tanks with marines!' ;) .

Find all the 'units groups', that have a good synergy together. Not (only) the generic 'infantry and transports' and 'tanks and AA vehicles', but also include the mortars and grenadiers and artilley pieces, not as the exception, but as a regular part of your army. And do it in particular for each faction to see how the total unit costs change, so that you work around the surprise-effect if e.g. 'a lot of ALU is missing suddenly'.

And inbetween this playing-arounds above and the competition-targets below is a gap in my difficulty-flow that I cannot explain well.
Ideas are welcome.

And now I offer some 'hard competition targets' that dont apply to you if you are not so fimilar with multiplayer battles:
Imagine with how many units you become capable to defend e.g. 10 stryker MGS in minute 7, 4 tigers in minute 8 (or some guardians), a filled superhind in minute 4, capture the 2 mid-map-banks and defend them against imaginary snipers, a couple of tanks or helicopters ( superhinds are the most annoying because they are early and with napalm bombs), maybe for an attack in minute 5 or 6. And try to roughly master those goals.
I know that theese kinds of targets are not very humane for a beginner, but its easier to understand and faster to explain. Or 50.000 resources oil and ca. 10-20.000 Alu in Minute 7 according to the win-screen at the end of the game (I am not sure if I do not mix up that number). I dont find numbers that are more appropriate for non-experts right now. But at least you have something.


A better guide is still on the way (and I am not very slow).
Right now I have like 550 hours playtime (more and more offline, because I see that I have to take another approach than to start with multiplayer-tactics to guide beginners to a certain level first; a starter guide is missing as you said!) and I still find new puzzle stones that I feel that they would be very handy to pack into the guide somehow.

I think I need at least some more weeks to really publish a 'written mentoring' that is worth to be called a good guide for starters also.

Taking your help into account makes the things even more difficult for me but If you dont mind to do some 'content work', I think that you can help me somehow.

And everything because the imperators in rome [not the Eugen big boss] cannot p(l)ay their gladiators anymore :(

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Re: Written Mentoring?

Postby FFOman » Thu 7 Jan 2016 17:54

Hi KampfKeksKrieger and thanx for responding!

I first want to say that you needn't worry about the length of your posts. For years I've been harassed by juvenile game players who not being well educated, especially as regards reading and writing, who rather than trying to understand a post would rather bitch about "Walls of text"! They show no respect for others or even for themselves by the written display of their own inadequacies, and then in what has become the common means used in their own defense, they quickly make another derogative remark and sneak away from the forum topic with their credibility tucked between their legs I would guess that it is the way they have been brought up that tells them they have a right to their own opinions, while at the same time haven't been taught anything about the responsibility such freedom requires. Such gross contempt for others and/or the rights and privileges they have been lucky enough to inherit is as obvious as bombing an embassy...but much more dangerous! Such attitudes are a fascist's wet dream and is one of the hardest problems faced by anyone who believes in individual freedom!

Getting back to the discussion, I having read your work I must applaud your interest, knowledge, and your ability to make things a little clearer for the rest of us. I wouldn't dare to compete with you and have no interest whatsoever in doing so. However, and with that being said, I believe, as I said earlier, that it is more than important to have a more detailed inclusion of the beginner's needs. And as I myself is one of those misguided beginner's, I am certainly not the one to prepare such a manual or even a single chapter in an all encompassing guide!

The way I can help I believe, is in using my own knowledge and abilities as a producer and/or editor. This means I can guide you in the best means of overall layout, the way, the why, and the where information to be included is handled and correctly subdivided to weed out any redundancies, and the style and correctness of the actual writing to be done. And naturally, I'll be happy to run for pizza and take the garbage out as well.

A couple people besides yourself have made favorable comments on this topic, but I don't believe we need to have more than one guide. And as I've already mentioned, your work so far has impressed me. So unless you have reason for wanting more than one, you already have my vote and I think you should start a poll asking other players with the needed knowledge to help in the verification and testing. And I will then help in those areas I mentioned above. What I don't believe we need is a competitive group all trying to take ownership and/or endeavor to get their names at the top of the author's page. And as I've told others who have contacted me already, to ensure a fair and honest dissemination, the work to be done should be tagged as a project, with all who have participated given acknowledgment under the project name.

I guess the height of this "wall" I've begun is most likely giving headaches to a lot of people, so I will stop here and await your comments

Robert "FFOman" Meek

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KampfKeksKrieger
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Re: Written Mentoring?

Postby KampfKeksKrieger » Sat 9 Jan 2016 22:49

I will not need much help.
Rather because I am not capable than because I am not willing to consider some boost from outside...
Its also that alone, I am much faster, because of the skipping of the tons of communication work you mentioned.
I also just learned the lesson that it is something that also can maneuvre me down, if you are not ready to get helped, but feel that you HAVE to consider some help from outside. Its a valuable lesson.

Away from that, your reflexions help me quite a lot.
Yes it was wordy, but at least it contained all information I need.

What is honorable is your clear solidarity with me (thank you), and that you managed to wipe out the unclearness in your posture towards me. If you had not said that so clearly, something nasty would have begun...
A second valuable lesson, so thank you for those warnings (in a good way; for my future, not against me) and
thank you for your presence of mind.

What I dont want though is to gear for the sole claim, to be the sole teacher on earth for Act of Aggression, even if I am the one to write the guide... Everybody who wants to partake will find his niche on this game.
This is so to say an exclaimer.

And the topic 'long text' is another topic that is not to nail:
You need to mention it sometimes, even though you know that you are correct, because leaving it sometimes exposes yourself against space garbage. This is so to say another exclaimer.

Especially on the internet you sometimes need a clear language to exclude misguided thoughts.
And then those guys using this as a challenge towards their environment as you told...

If this is not mentoring, what else is it?(?)

Yours sincerly, Kampfkekskrieger

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Re: Written Mentoring?

Postby FFOman » Thu 14 Jan 2016 23:58

I'm certainly glad that we agree, because I received more than one response more worried about gaining prestige via being credited And they seemed ore worried about that then what value the topic provides them with!

So as long as you are so far along, and your work on this is already proven worthwhile, I'm going to keep my nose out of it except for telling anyone else looking to work on this that its already in good hands, and if they believe they have something of value to include they should take the matter up with you. And also as I said, if you do decide that you require input and/or help in those areas that I mentioned, such as editing, I will be happy to help!

Note: I would greatly appreciate you're letting me know if and when new versions of your work are available!

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