Commercial success of different Eugen games

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Pr.shadocko
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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby Pr.shadocko » Fri 23 Feb 2018 11:53

i play SD only versus the AI because the RNG involved in the core mecanism is way to high for my taste.

Seeing a M3 halftrack tanking three Pupschen's hits (AP 20) is nerve breaking in a PVP setup.

Also, the Wargame community have the scar of the old arty spam meta and cordially hate overreliance on arty. Though luck, it is the only way to compound said RNG in SD.

Mind you, SD only have a level tactic and setup that you can find only in W:EE thanks to a slower game pace. But contrary to W:EE, all your preparation can be negated by the RNG as SD have a RNG on hit chance and damage (while Wargame series don't have RNG on damage)
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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby Markenzwieback » Fri 23 Feb 2018 12:26

Pr.shadocko wrote:Also, the Wargame community have the scar of the old arty spam meta and cordially hate overreliance on arty. Though luck, it is the only way to compound said RNG in SD.

Same feeling here. Having plenty of indirect fire support is the only way certain decks can be sustained in SD... :?

Pr.shadocko wrote:But contrary to W:EE, all your preparation can be negated by the RNG as SD have a RNG on hit chance and damage (while Wargame series don't have RNG on damage)

Again, agreed. The RNG roll on damage is pissing me off more than anything in SD. I proceed to pull my hair out every time a Pak40 scores a penetrating hit on a Sherman and said tank is still able to return fire and kill it.
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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby Razzmann » Fri 23 Feb 2018 12:35

Hey hey hey, this RNG obviously a good thing! War was not balanced either! "Muh realism" and all that jazz...

Everyone knows more realism = better, without any question!

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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby captaincarnage » Fri 23 Feb 2018 17:01

I'm not sure the RNG aspect for steel division is entirely bad, its in my view a reflection of the imbalances between the AXIS and Allies and an attempt to level the playing field somewhat, king tigers would be pretty cancerous if it had say 10 hp (which could be repaired as in wargame) and would require 10 hits from a 17pdr at suicidal ranges to delete the fucker.

Of course this works both ways which makes it frustrating. I honestly don't think the late WW2 era is particularly interesting and it has been done to death, something more interesting would have been some of the more obscure early war battles where super weapons were off the menu and the balance of power irl was much much closer.
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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby varis » Fri 23 Feb 2018 17:03

I guess we're slowly edging towards the subject of Eugen's overall profitability - which is still all speculation if you haven't actually seen their financial statements. We simply lack key information like what are the details of the contractual environment, how much of past profits have been paid out to shareholders vs invested in future projects/company balance sheet, etc. But it's possible that the company is in a better shape financially than many people think, for one reason because there can be external funding - I take in the gaming industry it's common for companies to hang by a thread from one release to the next and game development projects are basically paid by the publisher (they have better information on the target market than other investors etc and have an upper hand in negotiations) - and why else would a game studio be motivated to give out its valuable IPR?

Also I think the company's strategy since EE has been to get by with a very low budget in relation to what it has been doing. This is in order to prevent the RUSE fiasco from happening again and to guarantee the survival of the company - and having survived long to the next decade is a testament to the management's competence. Basically Eugen has always delivered what is called the Minimum Viable Product in startup circles - eg. not much in the way of look&feel and other user experience things which usually would be expected of games in this decade, however there has been a focus on the core elements of gameplay and historical authenticy in which departments we've seen most of the bells and whistles of the games, all targeted to cater to the Wargame niche market and to keep the hardcore players happy.

captaincarnage wrote:For me at any rate the game was virtually unplayable at release due to ctd's, i'm sure that drove a lot of people away. The balance was pretty bad which in my view can be attributed to only having a few divisions during the beta period and gameplay wasn't particularly fun being either air or arty spam and the drop rate for patches particularly balance patches was glacial.

Perhaps its rose tinted specs but i remember with Red Dragon when a balance patch fucked something up it was hotfixed in a few days not a few months, the same cannot be said of Steel division.


Maybe it was slightly worse for SD but I think the above more or less applies to every Wargame release. I recall CTDs or similar problems reported in early releases - also in EE there was a rather nasty desync issue which survived late into the release (over 6 months I think?) and for example some tournament matches had to be replayed because of it. This is not to say that Eugen's software quality is horrible, rather they perhaps don't rise above the common standard for the industry and any release just takes its time to stabilize. Also balance issues are so complex that it's always a long and hard road. The old HTM (Heavy Tank Meta) in EE was active from think april to aug 2012 - basically just 2-4 units in the whole armory dominating gameplay - before it got fixed and reversed into a very different meta with issues of its own. Also in RD what initially put me much off about the game was the lackluster role of tanks in the meta - this also took several months to fix properly. And later on there were measures against artillery spam and air spam which also improved gameplay. It can be surprising how much effort game balance takes. Way back I've done large enough modding projects to understand that up to some 20-30% of total game development effort could be spent on just getting the balance right - the figure could be lower for Eugen but I wouldn't be really surprised if it's even a tad higher. (I'm not counting marketing etc. into the total effort.)

Sure there are some studios which roll differently - I recall being in the Quake Wars: Enemy Territory beta from Id and that experience was very close to the mature release version: rock solid, good balance, pretty similar gameplay etc. Eugen games in contrast take well into the release to mature and for the full potential to become evident. Again Eugen is not really a special kid here - games much more complex than QW:ET take time to balance out well, for example Eve Online over its history is famous for the Flavour of the Month phenomenon where the meta changed with every major patch affecting balance and gameplay.

There's even a song about it :)


My experience with SD is actually minimal :oops: but while my impression is that Eugen has somewhat been aiming at a large and more casual market, there have also been improvements on the look & feel aspects while keeping many things similar - or improving over them - compared to the Wargame series. Let me quote one poster from the SD side in full:

Saavedra wrote:The deck system is more focused, the phase system gives a more natural and fair feel to battles, air battles are not RNG, the speed of units is appropriate and with no fuel system allows one to maneuver pretty well... oh, and the LOS system is far, far, far superior to Wargame, with hedges, buildings and orchards making ambushing an exciting tactic that brings a smile to one´s lips when pulled off successfully.

The ONE thing I would complain about is how fast tanks turn, making flanking shots practically impossible, but at least the mechanics of armour piercing and distance still make it possible to fight back against German heavy tanks.

I don´t have a reason to go back to Wargame, really. Steel Division is so much better.


It would be quite interesting to see what Eugen would have in store if they managed to create a worthy successor to Wargame.
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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby Markenzwieback » Fri 23 Feb 2018 17:10

captaincarnage wrote:I'm not sure the RNG aspect for steel division is entirely bad, its in my view a reflection of the imbalances between the AXIS and Allies and an attempt to level the playing field somewhat, king tigers would be pretty cancerous if it had say 10 hp (which could be repaired as in wargame) and would require 10 hits from a 17pdr at suicidal ranges to delete the fucker.

Of course this works both ways which makes it frustrating.

I can count the times I was able to deploy a King Tiger during my entire time in the game on one hand. And every other heavy tanks (Panther, Tiger) can easily be countered without the RNG damage effects the game applies. Right now the mechanic heavily fucks over infantry divisions, and particularly Axis ones, because Germany rarely gets a tank with proper armored in phase A. Even trying to take out Stuart Recce with a Pak38 is a pain in the ass right now...

captaincarnage wrote:I honestly don't think the late WW2 era is particularly interesting and it has been done to death, something more interesting would have been some of the more obscure early war battles where super weapons were off the menu and the balance of power irl was much much closer.

Early war would be an interesting scenario indeed. But than again, you would also have trouble to implement the aspects that made the German army excel in 1939-40.
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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby Darkmil » Fri 23 Feb 2018 17:52

I would like to add something about RNG.
The problem doesn't lie in RNG per se, the problem is that there are not enough "roll of the dice" for it to average out on a engagement or even a game. I think that's because of the fact that there is more RNG involved (in damage and CTH) whereas before it was only on CTH and you usually needed to succeed more than one roll to win since there were HP. This meant that engagement most of the time turned out how they should, there was less deviation from the expected result (Standard deviation of the distribution of result of the fight was narrower) this mean that it was less frustrating as you could more easily predict the result if you achieved to take all the parameters into account. If you add that to a somewhat smaller pool of engagement (reduced scale of the game) you further broaden the standard deviation of the result over the course of the match. In that respect it renders some engagement, and sometime entire matches, immensely frustrating.

But this was well thought out by Eugen's game designer. You are not supposed to make 1v1 engagement you are supposed to stun (or so I presume) with fire support so you are shooting at clay pigeons and not an actual opponent. The problem is that being on the receiving end of this process is also immensely frustrating.

So to me facing the AI remains the way to not being too frustrated. as getting shafted by RNG when playing against AI doesn't feel as bad as getting shafted by the RNG playing against a player.
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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby Mike » Sat 24 Feb 2018 00:30

My number one problem with SD when it came out is that I couldn't play it.. because it ran like shit.
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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby Saavedra » Sat 24 Feb 2018 13:41

Darkmil wrote:But this was well thought out by Eugen's game designer. You are not supposed to make 1v1 engagement you are supposed to stun (or so I presume) with fire support so you are shooting at clay pigeons and not an actual opponent. The problem is that being on the receiving end of this process is also immensely frustrating.


From Wargame I learned that to succeed, you must stack all the odds in your favour. The design differences in Steel Division make this point even more important. One veterancy point difference between two units engaging each other can be the deciding factor. Smoke screens blocking the view from other units so you can engage the enemy´s army piece by piece rather than get shut down by numerical superiourity is smart. And stunning enemies is obviously even better, with the firepower of your artillery deciding just how fast this happens (mortars do not suppress as quickly as heavy artillery).

All of this makes sense in a realistic tactical game. The problem with Wargame was that the scouting mechanics were too bad to give proper offensive planning the payoff it should have. Hedges blocking line of sight and orchards reducing sight range make ambushing possible, and exploiting using sight blockers to get close and personal with medium armour lets these tanks engage heavier opponents on equal terms (oh, how I love unleashing Sherman swarms on German players that think Panthers and Tigers are more important than the infantry you need to hold advantageous terrain...).

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Re: Commercial success of different Eugen games

Postby Fade2Gray » Sat 24 Feb 2018 17:41

Mike wrote:My number one problem with SD when it came out is that I couldn't play it.. because it ran like shit.

I've heard a lot of people complain about something similar. They could smoke WGRD on max settings, but with SDN at release? Runs horribly. Combine that with how a lot more people apparently had bad CTD problems and I'm guessing that helped big time to drive people away from the game, and thus the huge plunge in peak players compared to WGRD.
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