Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustement

User avatar
Mr0Buggy
Brigadier
Posts: 3434
Joined: Mon 27 May 2013 15:57
Contact:

Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustement

Postby Mr0Buggy » Thu 30 May 2013 17:45

Hello there, fellow players, forum mods and the developers.

I'm a quite recent member of this here community [I have played and owned W:EE since the release though].

Playing the Solo Campaign, as well as reading through several threads on these boards, I have decided to make a thread of my own. While I do understand that it is a heated discussion, I would kindly ask for conversation to be civil, and ask the devs to listen to all things people say [but take it with a pinch of salt {of some, more than others though}]. [also please take into account that English is not my native language, so apologies for any bad grammar or twisted words]

I'll try to tackle each of the issues I saw/experienced separately for clarity reasons.

1. The "dreaded" time limit, aka 20 minutes of "fun".
The general opinion on it is either "Change it/throw out/allow it to be adjusted in options" and "L2P/the limit is there to simulate large and long time engagements. Take the map slowly, carefully planning your objectives for each battle". Personally I have to agree with both views. I find 20 minutes on the first battle of a given engagement to be nearly perfect. It gives me enough time to deploy my troops, and take a hold of several near Point Zones, all the while fending off small [depends on difficulty though] enemy counters and to down occasional Fighter jock who strays too close to my positions. However, due to other game design choices made by the Devs, the 20 minutes in the following days tend to become more and more annoying, for reasons I shall explain in detail in following points.
On the other hand, why would you bash someone for wanting something different ? If someone wants longer rounds, let him. It is a human/player nature to adjust game options to fully suit his/her preference and game styles. Why should round time be any different ? I do not have any propositions how to adjust the modifiable round times to keep the experience of multi day battles coherent, merely I just want to point out, that people bashing the proposal for the sake of bashing it, to be truly an annoyement of their own.

2. The Blank Slate of Following Battles.
Here comes the top reason number 1 for me, why the 20 minutes limit is incredibly annoying in the current state of things. Any progress you make in Battle on day 1 is gone. And I know the capped zones remain, but you just gotta place a CV to hold them. However, combined with Initiative being reduced, and ergo number of starting points on the following days diminishing with each draw, it is impossible to hold onto all of your territory, unless making sacrifices along the lines of completely ignoring the deployment of effective [or sometimes at all] AA network, or any troops to defend said zones unless you want to give up your spoils for the sake of units. Hey, I'm all in for that, since it sorta motivates you to move your butt, as well as gives you a less of an impact in the beginning stage of the round, not being to immediately make a push in any direction, however with your deployed units from day one in the deck, it makes a tedious game of "Let's wait till I get enough points to send ANYTHING that can shoot bullets to rebuild my defensive line [god forbid fending off new attacks], and then maybe [if time allows], making a mad run and attempt to cap at least one more Zone so the battle ain't completely wasted." in other words, the battles during next days are more "Lather, rinse, repeat" than anything [only other viable option, being rushing and hunting down enemy CV's with disregard for own losses].

The 20 minutes limit would not be a problem to many, many players, if the units were kept at the positions they had at the end of the previous battles [Jets even if barely alive, {to cut them some slack} back in your deck/Airport menu]. The starting points at the start of the battle [dependable on Battle Group initiatives still] would be an additional incentive for both Players to utilize said points to make a significant push/reinforce a defensive line that nearly fell last game, and keep the game dynamic. Since Eugen had the technology to allow to save flawlessly during SP missions in W:EE, I'm certain it is not a problem to make it work in W:ALB, and save the status of the battle at the end of each round that does not equal either side capturing a "province". Said savegame does not need to be made available for the player from the menu layer, just for the game to use it by itself. Also, the player could only deploy units to the immediate reinforcement zones under his control. So no sudden 2 Platoons of Abrams'es in the zone you have almost done clearing up but not capped back yet for instance.

The other choice could be the units outside your controlled zones being retreated to those closest to them at the end of each battle. You could move them around them a given zone, but not redeploy a platoon tank from your left flank to the right. However, that would mean that any zone you haven't cleared [let's say you have a city sector full of enemy inf, that would require a hell lot of effort to clear up, and you just rout/destroy enemy CV last second only for yours to move in a take it] it would mean that you get that zone completely free, while enemy spent time and resources to make it a living hell to fight through. Either way, that is up for more discussion should anyone want. I'll finish this point right here not to make it more pain to read.

3. One Point Zones on Maps
Given current state of things, one point zones are not enough to start anything serious on the following days of battle with Initiative falling and starting points along with it. Should other aspects of the game not be changed, the amounts of points from these zones should. Even make some zones more worthy than others [dependable on the map]. It would allow for the games to be more dynamic. Forcing or enticing players to fight more furiously for some zones [while the Counter attack is heading for completely different zones to cut off lines of supply or etc.] However, with units from previous battles carrying over on the map, 1 point zones seem to be more than enough to slowly acquire more firepower, or react to sudden developments on the field. That still does not exclude a possibility of some zones being made "special" to make things interesting.

4. Saving the game here and there
The only points in this discussion seem to be "hurr durr I have a life and responsibilities" and "hurr durr I don't so f*** you and your opinion" without even an attempt to try to have a civil conversation about this .  

But first my experience on that. The autosave seems to be not working as exactly intended. Sometimes it saves between battles in a given day, sometimes it only saves after the last battle of a given day. The uncertainty is annoying to say the least [not mentioning the game crashes, power outages and other things that can get into the way of things and make you load some autosave from ancient epoch]. Option to remote save after each battle would at least make the player sure that it is saved and he/she need not to worry if the game triggered the AutoSave this time around. Another thing, is that the devs were so busy with making sure the autosave "prohibits" you from cheating with rage quitting lost battles, that they seem to forgot to make the Autosave be triggered after a day where no battles happened [if such miracle occurs that is]. It is somewhat annoying when you made peace with random events that happened last time, only for completely different events pop up after loading such save.

Either way, about the in battle saves. The enemies of this approach throw the basic argument of "It will allow people to cheat and always win, so let's not even try to have a discussion about it. If you want save games in battle, you sir are a cheater !!" What they do basically is DRM discussion all over, throwing everyone into the same bag and make them suffer "cause maybe someone will cheat". If someone wants to cheat, they will find a way one way or another, don't you worry. The simple folk will be caught in the crossfire. If someone has a sudden development in life and needs to flee his Battle-station [ergo his computer], why should he suffer for sins of others ? If someone wants to have half assed experience and cheat that way, let him. But if someone wants to have this option to comfortably return to the battlefield at his own terms, let's let him too. If you don't feel you need this option, why do you bash people who do ? You will just don't use that option.

Personally with "short" 20 minute battles, I could do without in battle save. Manual in between battles saves would do for me just fine.

5. The Point Win Condition aka "How is it a DRAW ?!?! I was short just 20 points you **** ******* *****... "
The discussion could be a long one about it, so I'll keep it short for a change. Such battles, should still be counted as draw overall, But Major/Minor Victory/Defeat [counting by standard MP rules] should affect Morale of the Battle Groups still. Right now: Defeat -2 morale for loser, boost [forgot exact amount] for Winner. Draw right now means +1 morale for each. With Draw, it should remain unchanged after a battle, or the attacking side could be loosing some morale [like -0,5] since they essentially failed to win. With Minor Victory/Defeat it could be +/- 0,5 instead, while Major Victory/Defeat is +/- 1, and the actual Victory/Loss [either side has gained enough points to win] be +/- 2 morale. Just food for thought.

6. Multiple Battle groups Engagements
While it does sound like a good idea, it makes it complicated with the current system of pre defined decks for each Battle group. Also, with removal of tons of models of each unit [4 models of each soviet tank from one card etc.] you could end up deplyement UI taking up half the screen.  What if we deploy two soviet marine groups with the same equipment ? We will need to teach the game [and let us know ourselves] what unit is from which battle group, or we will end up wasting all of the inf. from 1st and all of the tanks from the 2nd for instance, and make it painful for ourselves further down the road. Overall it may require a lot of effort to make it work flawlessly, while there are more pressing issues with both SP and MP atm. Also you could end up with AI stacking up 3 battle groups in one province. Basically you would end up with a deck benefitting from national bonuses, and AI deploying the best units of each composing nation. Good luck clearing that out.

It's good as it is atm. I'd say. If done properly I wouldn't mind seeing this function added in a patch or DLC.

7. Omnipresent and cheating AI

I don't think it needs to be said. AI more or less uses the knowledge of your positions [like your recon unit in the back getting smoke all over while forces in front don't], to pin point Arty strikes at my positions the AI shouldn't be aware of, not forgetting precise Airstrikes at my CV's at other times. This could be a bit adjusted to give bigger illusion that AI ain't using the omnipresence to gain an advantage. Also it's obvious AI is getting more resources to spend than it should sometimes. It's painfully evident in low Initiative battles. Something could be done to adjust this.

I think this is all and a whole lot of text to read. Sorry for such wall of texts, just felt like I should tackle each issues deeply than your average user.
If I'll remember anything I'll add it in the following posts.

User avatar
monochromatic
Chief Warrant Officer
Posts: 563
Joined: Sun 19 May 2013 16:05
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby monochromatic » Thu 30 May 2013 18:08

Agreed with basically everything. I believe Eugen IS listening and will soon update the game with some of our ideas, and then we will have more customization options for time limits, victory conditions, saves, etc.

If this game was released from some other developer I would be more worried, but having seen how active they are with releasing changes, I'm hoping these problems will soon be gone.

hanspeter_schnitzel
Command Sergeant Major
Posts: 301
Joined: Tue 11 Oct 2011 16:08
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby hanspeter_schnitzel » Thu 30 May 2013 18:14

+1, on all points.

Person012345
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 2019
Joined: Sun 19 May 2013 07:05
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby Person012345 » Thu 30 May 2013 18:21

Very good summary

sonofliber
Sergeant First-Class
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun 4 Mar 2012 00:52
Location: Argentina
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby sonofliber » Thu 30 May 2013 18:24

agree, something needs to be done, specially with the campaing, what you kill 1955 points of my units and me only 200? well thats a draw (No it not a ******* draw you ****** ** ******* ***** of a donkey)

12oz Jesus
Corporal
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed 29 May 2013 21:19
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby 12oz Jesus » Thu 30 May 2013 18:27

Good post, well stated.

Also add option to issue orders while paused to campaign. Just too damned frantic to really strategize fully and not at all relaxing to play.

User avatar
Brutoni
Colonel
Posts: 2916
Joined: Wed 27 Mar 2013 19:44
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby Brutoni » Thu 30 May 2013 18:29

Totally agree. The campaign could be very fun except for some really glaring issues that are causing no end of grief. I think a large number of your suggestions would go some considerable way to mitigating this.

Moral doesn't seem to be the huge problem here. Initiative which controls starting points is far more telling than the end points you need to get. Perhaps some sort of strike asset called "Operational Logistics group" or some such that allows you to add +1 to a battle group initiative factor could be added. Make the ability free but only usable 1-2 times a turn. This can represent the strategic commander assigning priority logistics and support to that battle group in order to achieve his command aim. This is not far off real life where a key battalion, regiment, platoon etc can end up receiving extra supplies, ammunition, fuel, intelligence, engineering support to get equipment up to fighting capability IF that regiment, battalion, platoon is in a position to exploit an opportunity or is fulfilling the command aim of HQ.
ImageImage

schaefsky
Sergeant Major
Posts: 270
Joined: Tue 9 Apr 2013 14:54
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby schaefsky » Thu 30 May 2013 18:35

+1

User avatar
Hob_Gadling
Captain
Posts: 1623
Joined: Tue 14 Feb 2012 00:15
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby Hob_Gadling » Thu 30 May 2013 18:38

Mr0Buggy wrote:On the other hand, why would you bash someone for wanting something different ?


The campaign as it currently stands breaks down if you play with time limit other than 20 minutes. Initiative becomes worth a lot less, morale becomes over-emphasized, there's a lot less draws... If the time limit was adjustable, it would have to adjust the formulas for morale and initiative, strikes would have to be rebalanced and so on. It's a lot more work than just giving an adjustable timer.

And I know the capped zones remain, but you just gotta place a CV to hold them.


Typically you need 3-4 CVs in any given fight. One for each 3 point zone and one or two at the 1 point zones you want to use as springboard for your next offensive. If you intend to kick the other guy you immediately, you don't need more than 2 CVs, period. Since CVs are cheap that's not a significant investment unless you start with 500 points. Manage your initiative so you don't end up starting with 500 points.

Don't attempt to hold all 1 point zones. That's bad play. I feel Eugen should have made them 0 point zones to drive the point home, but that creates certain other problems.

it makes a tedious game of "Let's wait till I get enough points to send ANYTHING that can shoot bullets to rebuild my defensive line [god forbid fending off new attacks], and then maybe [if time allows], making a mad run and attempt to cap at least one more Zone so the battle ain't completely wasted."


Don't do that. Skip the "build defensive line" phase completely and move right away into the "mad dash" phase if you're attacking. The longer you spend not attacking, the worse off you are. Repeating draws are beneficial for the defender: you want immediate resolution when you're attacking.

Given current state of things, one point zones are not enough to start anything serious on the following days of battle with Initiative falling and starting points along with it.


Yes. Because this is important I'll say it again. Do not attempt to take all of the 1 point zones. Only take one or two. Stop thinking they are resource generators, because they're not. They're markers that show how far you have pushed on any given map.

Since draws benefit defender, your aim as defender is to turn the battles into an endless string of draws. As attacker you want to kick the defender out immediately. Because this is hard and political points are scarce, don't attack everywhere at once. Pick a spot, prepare it with strikes from strategic map and attack with a battlegroup or two. Especially don't do the Total War thing where you attack everywhere with everything all the time. The game does not work like that.

6. Multiple Battle groups Engagements


Here I have one wish. If I'm attacking with two groups, let me choose which one attacks first. That makes a lot of difference.

As for the AI, I wish it "cheated" more on the hardest level. The purpose of a computer opponent is not to play fairly (because it will lose), it's to make the game interesting. AI currently tends to break down if it doesn't get a constant stream of reinforcements. I'd be happy to give the AI a flat income bonus if that made the game play better.

User avatar
mnkymanfoo
Command Sergeant Major
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed 3 Apr 2013 07:24
Location: Spokane, Inland Empire
Contact:

Re: Campaign - The thoughts, rant and proposals for Adjustem

Postby mnkymanfoo » Thu 30 May 2013 18:40

I mostly agree with all your points but I feel I have to comment on the 20 minute time limit and next day battles. It wouldn't be as big of a problem if we weren't penalized for not winning on the first day, the 'initiative' loss combined with an increased target score can lead you into a never ending spiral of battles. IMO instead of gaining a moral point and losing an initiative point it should be the opposite. I feel this would better show the wear of battle as troops become sloppier in a sense. It is fairly ridiculous to say that after a hard days battle where you have progressed all the way across a map and are at the enemies door step that you would be given less troops for the battle as well as (and here the analogy kinda falls apart) a higher score to reach.

One other complaint I have about the 20 minute limit that hasn't been mentioned is that it is completely unrealistic. I know that the developers were trying to show time passing and what not but in a tactical view where everything is scaled 1:1 for the most part to reality it's ridiculous! I'm not aware of many battles that were just 20 minutes long in real life, if you rush a commander in real life it gets sloppy and casualties get unacceptably high.

Return to “Wargame : AirLand Battle”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests