The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

PC : Turn based WW2 goodness in the mold of Panzer General. This promises to be a true classic!

Moderators: Slitherine Core, Panzer Corps Moderators, Panzer Corps Design

deducter
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Posts: 1126
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:00 pm

The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by deducter » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:51 pm

PzC already has an incredible wealth of content, more than any other game of its genre than I can think of. Just the 10 DLCs alone offer something like 150 maps, produced in only a year. I think this speaks both to the robustness of the game engine and the desire of players for this type of game. However, I think there is also room for improvement of the game engine that can benefit both new players and experienced players.

One of the issues with the game seems is that skillful players can accrue massive advantages over weaker players. Some players struggle with prestige on Lieutenant, and another player informed me in a PM that he saved up 200,000+ prestige towards the end of GC45East playing on FM! (It’s boggling for me to even think of the prestige counter rolling over from 99999 to 0 twice!)

What gives a player such an advantage in prestige? Battlefield tactics play a role, although it is not too significant. The main reason is that strong cores tend to get stronger faster than weaker cores. Strong units that are experienced and maximally overstrength will destroy its enemies faster with few or no losses to its strength points.

Why is the above the case? It is because each additional overstrength point gives one extra dice roll, and that this dice roll benefits fully from experience (initiative, attack, and defense). Results are best when combining overstrength with units with high initiative and attack, such as Tigers, Panthers, Fw 190A, or units that take little damage, such as artillery. Using a 10-strength Panther to attack a 10-strength T-34 will often result in 1-2 losses for the Panther, but using a 14-strength Panther to do the same will almost never result in losses. It doesn’t matter if there is a single 10-strength T-34 or ten of those units; all of them are useless against the 14-strength Panther.

Furthermore, each overstrength point is not equal. Although going from 10 to 11 strength costs the same as going from 14 to 15 strength, the effect of the latter is more pronounced. It is almost optimal to overstrength high attack, high initiative units to the maximum every time, since they can use their initiative advantage to take no return fire. On the other hand, units that are defensively decent but have low initiative, such as the StuG IIIG, are very poor choices to overstrength, since they will still take damage in return fire.

This is also true in the reverse, in which if a player’s core has taken too much damage, and has too many green units, it will be very vulnerable to an AI core full of elite, overstrength units. Even losing 3-4 core units in a scenario can cripple a core, causing a new player to become frustrated and give up. (Ironically, an experienced player may actually be able to cope with losses and a weaker core, but in practical terms he would never run into such a situation anyway.) Thus, after the early scenarios, gameplay becomes either a turkey-shoot of hapless AI units for some players or a Kobiyashi Maru exercise for others.

I can immediately think of two methods to address this gameplay issue, outlined below.

I. Tweaking of the current overstrength combat model. I can immediately think of two very quick methods to address this within the current game engine.

The first is to make it so that each additional strength point above 10 does not contribute to dice rolls. Rather, overstrength serves to provide a unit with a “reserve” that it can call upon to continue fighting at full strength if the unit takes some damage. Such a change will reduce the overpowered effect of experienced, overstrength units. Players who have weaker units or are struggling with prestige are no longer at an overwhelming disadvantage. Players who have a strong core will still enjoy a comfortable advantage, an extra cushion of strength points, for any given battle.

I would imagine this option is not difficult to code, and can even be introduced initially as a line in the gamerules file. This would be something good for players to beta test.

The second is to increase the cost of each point of overstrength as a mathematical function of current unit strength. In essence, going from 11 -> 12 strength costs more than going from 10 -> 11 strength. I think a simple, linear increase formula is probably fine, so something like O = 0.1 * p * (S - 9), where O is the overstrength cost, p is the base price of the unit, and S is the number of strength points above 10. For example, if p is 100, then when S = 10 then O = 10, S = 11 then O = 20, S = 12 then O = 30. In other words, to overstrength from 10 to 11 would cost 10 prestige, but to overstrength from 10 to 13 would cost 60 prestige (as opposed to 30 in the current model), and to overstrength from 10 to 15 would cost 150 prestige (as opposed to 50 in the current model).

Keep in mind this is just my proposal for the mathematical formula; the exact change can be tweaked as needed, for instance, by switching to an exponential model.

Overstrength cost can and should be tied to difficulty level. On the default (Colonel), the existing model of constant costs for overstrength is perfectly fine. On higher levels, a formula that increases overstrength costs. If there is concern about this option, simply write it in as a gamerules file and produce a version for players to beta test.

TLDR: Tweak the overstrength model to reduce the overly powerful effects of the combination of experience and overstrength.

II. Better integration and improvement of the reform units option. A unit that is destroyed in a scenario will be available for the next scenario. The player can either receive this unit at a slightly reduced level of experience or pay more prestige and receive this unit at full or near-full experience.

The balancing of this option can be tied to difficulty level. For instance, on Colonel, a reformed unit is completely free at deployment and comes with 75% experience, or the player can pay 50% of the unit’s cost and get the unit back at full experience. The player is also able to pay prestige and get this unit back into battle in the current scenario in just 2-3 turns. On higher difficult levels, a destroyed unit can no longer be deployed for free, or has to suffer a more significant experience penalty, or cannot be redeployed in the current battle, or any combination of these.

One can brainstorm of all sorts of other ideas to try with reform units. Of critical importance is to elevate reform units to a central game feature and design maps based upon this feature. This is not a simple change, and the exact details of the integration of reform unit should be subject to careful testing, but it can be appropriate to include in an expansion.

TLDR: Incorporate a much improved reform units option into the game.

Schneides42
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Schneides42 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:44 pm

Where is the like button on these forums :lol:

I think both of these ideas have a lot going for them.

Cheers

Schneides

brettz123
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Posts: 561
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by brettz123 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:33 am

You bring up some interesting points. I totally don't believe that anyone could get 200,000 prestige on any level though :). I agree that the snowball effect does happen but I don't think changing the game mechanics for overstrength is way to go. Your second point is a very good one though. Unit reform would be great with some kind of experience penalty.

I also wonder how much effect the tweaking would have towards making the game really harder. I have played through on a modified Manstein giving each unit +2 strength points, never overstrengthed any of my tanks or infantry and still had 45k prestige saved up before upgrading to King Tigers and Me-262s. The problem is that really good players will still find the game relatively easy even if you tweak the overstrength bonuses,

Personally, I would prefer the AI was made better and more aggressive on the higher difficulty levels.

macattack
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:07 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by macattack » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:55 am

I'm not so sure this is a problem. PzC is not so complicated that it is impossible to master quickly. While it is true that green players would get snowballed by more experienced and over strengthed units, simply replaying a scenario once or twice should allow the green player to master the game mechanics and build a strong core.

Solution... Play it again. Worst case you now know the enemy units and their plan of attack.

Anfield
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 341
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee USA

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Anfield » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:23 am

Yes there is a learning curve, I can attest to that myself. First six months playing I did struggle with prestige and keeping units alive. But you learn how to play better. My last play through is at 1943 East and even after upgrades ive got 37,000 prestige. And how, well after the 39 campiagn I never elite replace during a battle, or very rare that I do. Its amazing how fast the Prestige adds up when you play that way, something I would never have done when first playing PC.

Off all your points, I think the AI needs the most improvement. It needs to attack and move better tactically. And was said above, be more aggressive at times. The AI's biggest weakness right now is attacking with combined arms and in the correct order. It almost never attacks with air units first, then artillery, followed by ground forces. To many times, it uses tanks to attack infantry in woods etc, and seems to almost always fire its artillery last.

And as for those claiming 200K in prestige, dont believe everything you read on here. With cheat codes for so much, id take claims like that with a grain of salt. Its alot like those that post a core force, which has twice the number of units as anyone else for that time frame lol Cheat code are wonderful :P

airbornemongo101
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Lieutenant Colonel - Fw 190A
Posts: 1175
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:16 am
Location: Quakertown,PA. THE US OF A

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by airbornemongo101 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:58 am

I actually think that the reform units thing would be the way to go

I will give an some examples:

Allied tanks suffered extremely high losses during the war,but yet production was able to replace those losses (as well as highly effective tank retrieval and maintenance).

Very rarely were "entire" Allied units (Rgt. and above) entirely lost once the Allies went fully on the offensive. Those that suffered high casulties were pulled out of the line..restaffed and were then sent back into combat after a short period of "ramping up".

Having the a functional and variable tier reform units option (paying extra PP's to retain experience) would be a way to show the above 2 examples and further enhance over all gameplay and the players immersion in the game.

Just my opnion
....that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.......and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.


Always remember, Never Forget:

Box 8087

5 - 5 - 5 - 5

Razz1
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 3307
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:49 am
Location: USA

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Razz1 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:17 am

Reducing the amount of prestige for victory in a scenario and liner progression for increased over strength units would help allot.

The other thing is that the AI is better at deployment level at Sargent than any other level. It will only deploy 5 units around a victory hex in place of 7.

For the AI to be competent it has to stop surround all the VH's with units.

The should define one VH as the capital. Incorporate the Star for this purpose. Any city with a Star, the AI will place 7 units. All other cities 5 units for Colonel.

4 for General, 3 for FM and above.

If you want the AI to be more tactical it has to have correct placement of units. Also, a limit of the number of cities that the AI will defend as an option in the editor would be needed.

Try creating a map and giving the AI unlimited prestige.

It will place a unit around every victory hex before it even thinks about attacking.

Rudankort
FlashBack Games
FlashBack Games
Posts: 3134
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:23 pm
Contact:

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Rudankort » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:43 am

This promises to be a useful thread, and just about intime. Thanks. I have been thinking about it myself lately, although I have not arrived at definitive conclusions yet.

Some comments.

First of all, let us exclude the AI from this discussion. It is irrelevant. Snowballing effect happens because of the differences in human playing, not the AI. No matter how well the AI plays, it remains a constant in the equation. If it played as a genius, most people would snowball to zero prestige and premature end of their campaign. As things stand now, more people snowball into excess prestige area. Either way, the effect happens, because it is coded in gameplay mechanics.

Second, fundamental cause of snowballing is that different people take different number of losses. Even if we remove the factor of earning prestige altogether (no bonus for capturing cities, same bonus for all scenario outcomes, all people get exactly the same amount of prestige), they will take different number of losses. Players who take more losses will spend more prestige on replacements and won't invest it into overstrength/upgrades/elite replacements, so their core will be progressively weaker. The weaker the core, the more losses it will take in the next scenario.

For this reason I believe that attacking any separate aspect of the gameplay will not solve the issue, until we find how to counter the effect of different losses people take. Let's make a mind experiment. There is no overstrength mechanic in the game - it just does not exist. Reform units is a standard game feature. Will this eliminate snowballing? I don't think so. Some cores will still be stronger than the others, due to better equipment, more experience, even simply more units (player struggling with prestige may not fill all his slots to full capacity). And there is no escape from the fact that stronger core will take less losses then weaker one, which means more prestige will be saved to make this core even stronger. This is pure mathematics.

We could take this experiment to the extreme: the game has just one unit type (no more Tiger IIs and Me262s) and there is no concept of heroes and experience. ALL units are equal. Now consider two players with exactly the same starting core. One player will lose 50 points of strength in the first scenario, the other one will lose 100. At the end of the scenario both players will replace their losses, and the first player will save 50*cost points of prestige, which he can use to buy more units that the second player has. With each new scenario the gap between the two players will grow. After 100 scenarios in the GC the difference could be huge. That's how some people accumulate 200000 prestige. How to solve this problem? That is the question.

nikivdd
Panzer Corps Map Designer
Panzer Corps Map Designer
Posts: 4152
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by nikivdd » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:25 am

For the mod we are currently working on, we also had our little prestige brainstorm. We came up with the idea to remove all prestige at turn 2 at every scenario. The easiest would be when a new option into the scenario editor would be added, just as the "clear reserve after deployment", to add "clear prestige after deployment" too. In our particular case, after 45 scenarios, to some players prestige is still tight (but manageable) while others bulk in it and wield a core with the latest of the latest. With the proposed "clear prestige", players with tight prestige won't feel any difference while the others will no longer bulk in it either as their surplus prestige will be vaporised after the deployment.
Also thank you Deducter for starting this important thread!

Zhivago
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 465
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Zhivago » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:27 am

Personally, I liked the Panzer General system where damaged units were brought back to 10 at the start of the next scenario. Incorporated into this game, at least everyone could start the scenario would a full-strength compliment of weapons, instead of going into battle with some of their units sitting on the sidelines because they are too costly to repair. The balance on this might be to cut the amount of prestige awarded at the start of each new scenario. Obviously, gaining a decisive victory, or capturing more enemy hexes, should reward a player with more prestige than if they were not captured. Maybe overstrength could be awarded as a hero bonus too. As such, at the start of a scenario, a unit that had an overstrength hero of +1 would start out each scenario at 11 instead of 10. A unit could still get other hero bonuses, but unless the unit won an over-strength hero, it would not be able to overstrength.

These are just off-the-cuff thoughts. By the way, anyone should feel free to post some shots of "snowballing" whenever they like on in this thread! :twisted:

Tarrak
Panzer Corps Moderator
Panzer Corps Moderator
Posts: 1183
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Tarrak » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:38 am

Rudankort is spot on here. The strength of the AI is a constant in the equation and just scales the problem more or less in one of the directions, either shortage or abundance of prestige. This doesn't of course means a better AI would not be nice to have but it doesn't change anything to the snowballing problem.

I think the ideas Deducter had in his initial post are pretty sound. I personally prefer the more radical and easier approach of treating the overstrength points only as reserve because it's simple and one of the strengths of PC and PG before is the simplicity in the rules. I am fine tho with the second idea as well if the formula is tweaked properly. I doubt tho a linear approach would be enough to compensate and it will probably need an exponential model but that's something only testing can prove.

Regarding the reform unit idea all i can do i support Deducter's idea. The reform unit cheat seems to be very popular, people hate losing their carefully nurtured units after all. Making the reform unit option a central game feature is probably a very good idea.

What i would like to add as an idea is something that maybe doesn't affect the snowballing much but could help with preventing the "all Tiger II and Me 210 core"-problem. Instead of every unit taking one core slot make then having different "core slots" costs. This can be done with any granularity wanted. This should add another layer to the decision which units to take into ones core. It will be no longer the optimum to have 10 heavy tanks if the prestige allows but one may consider using 5 heavy and 10 medium tanks for example to allow to cover more ground.

Rudankort
FlashBack Games
FlashBack Games
Posts: 3134
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:23 pm
Contact:

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Rudankort » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:00 am

nikivdd wrote:For the mod we are currently working on, we also had our little prestige brainstorm. We came up with the idea to remove all prestige at turn 2 at every scenario. The easiest would be when a new option into the scenario editor would be added, just as the "clear reserve after deployment", to add "clear prestige after deployment" too. In our particular case, after 45 scenarios, to some players prestige is still tight (but manageable) while others bulk in it and wield a core with the latest of the latest. With the proposed "clear prestige", players with tight prestige won't feel any difference while the others will no longer bulk in it either as their surplus prestige will be vaporised after the deployment.
Just a quick comment on this:
- DLC 42-43 West does just this "prestige reset"
- It does so by giving the player a huge negative prestige bonus, which essentially wipes all prestige out.

nikivdd
Panzer Corps Map Designer
Panzer Corps Map Designer
Posts: 4152
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by nikivdd » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:50 am

Rudankort wrote: Just a quick comment on this:
- DLC 42-43 West does just this "prestige reset"
- It does so by giving the player a huge negative prestige bonus, which essentially wipes all prestige out.
Thanks Rudankort, i'll check it out. I think that was also necessary. When i imported my DLC east core, i could sell off the major part of those units and earn a ton of prestige which i mentioned during the betatesting.

alex0809
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:41 am

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by alex0809 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:17 am

Niki, couldn't a player simply circumvent this by "investing" his prestive into units and at the start of the next scenario sell them again, though?

nikivdd
Panzer Corps Map Designer
Panzer Corps Map Designer
Posts: 4152
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by nikivdd » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:30 am

alex0809 wrote:Niki, couldn't a player simply circumvent this by "investing" his prestive into units and at the start of the next scenario sell them again, though?
There is also an option "clear reserve" in the scenario editor. I think the effect of this, is that all units that were not deployed, are cleared from your reserve pool after the deployment phase.

Rudankort
FlashBack Games
FlashBack Games
Posts: 3134
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:23 pm
Contact:

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Rudankort » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:48 am

Regarding the suggestion to use over strength as a mere reserve: if we do this, what will be people's motivation to pay for overstrength? Even if its cost is reduced from 200% to normal 100%, why pay in advance when replacements can be purchased "on demand"? And especially when "reform units" is promoted to official game mechanics, and so even losing a unit is not such a big deal any more?

Zhivago
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 465
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by Zhivago » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:01 pm

Rudankort wrote:Regarding the suggestion to use over strength as a mere reserve: if we do this, what will be people's motivation to pay for overstrength? Even if its cost is reduced from 200% to normal 100%, why pay in advance when replacements can be purchased "on demand"? And especially when "reform units" is promoted to official game mechanics, and so even losing a unit is not such a big deal any more?
Honestly, when reading the suggestions again, I think there is nothing wrong with the current system. If someone is able to somehow amass 200,000 prestige points, they clearly need to start increasing the difficulty level of their game. In my opinion, the game is about a player's unlimited ability to craft whatever core type of force he decides. Ultimately, the goal is to build a core that fits your playing style best. For me, guiding units along and gaining over-strength experience to attack or defend more decisively is what makes the game addictive and ensures replay-ability. I never have more than a low-four digit surplus of prestige points because I only use elite replacements, overstrengthen my units, and upgrade to new equipment between scenarios. Sometimes if I will benefit from spending my prestige points to upgrade non-core forces during certain scenarios, I will do that as well. Let it be.

robman
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 487
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by robman » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:33 pm

Leaving aside for a second the issues of overstrengthening and unit reformation--both of which are very important--I'd like to highlight another problem in the Grand Campaign: the lack of any real performance-dependent path branching. The snowballing effect would be less pronounced (or would be felt less intensely) if poor performance and good performance led to different subsequent scenarios, perhaps to entirely different campaigns. In the short run, poor performance in a scenario might lead to a following scenario with a relatively easy mission and high prestige bonuses, while outstanding performance would lead to a really difficult mission with low prestige bonuses. In the longer run, different performance levels might lead to entirely different campaigns, à la the old PG (which did this best) or the vanilla game.

I understand that this involves a great deal more scenario design. But I'd pay more for it, happily.

boredatwork
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 307
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:39 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by boredatwork » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:57 pm

*************************************
For those for whom the following is "Too long, not going to read:"

- An effective fix is IMO impossible without a major deviation from the existing prestige system
- A poor man's solution would be give the players even more control over customizing difficulty and allow them to do so during a campaign so they can balance on the fly based upon their actual performance.
- An alternative poor man's solution is to implement a cosmetic scoring system of some sort that would factor in core quality, losses, achievements, frequency of replacement to encourage some measure of self handicapping to improve score without actually "forcing" a player to play any differently then he does now.

- I love the idea of making the game challenging *in a good way* by reducing the death penalty but greatly increasing the average number of core deaths a player would experience over an average campaign.
********************************************

IMO the prestige system as a whole is a flawed *game* concept because it places an excessive burden upon the scenario designer to estimate 5, 10, 20, 50 scenarios down the road the prestige requirements to provide Goldilocks not too much, not too little, but a "just right" amount of prestige to be able to afford enough to win, without having enough to afford everything thus making the system irrelevant.

As Alex alluded to you can change the cost of individual elements to attempt to burn through prestige but ultimately it's still based upon the same underlying mechanic. Further such changes can have unintended side effects: the current combat mechanics were designed in part to increase player casualties and burn down their prestige - I still have a 40k+ cushion and am still able to afford everything - the only difference is now I have to click the replacement button every other turn which slows down the flow of the game.

I've put a lot of thought into campaign balance but I remain pessimistic that there will ever be an effective solution as long as cumulative strength is deployed into fixed scenarios. Any solution that would solve this underlying dilemma would be more involved then the developers are likely prepared to implement for the foreseeable future.

The only thing I could see that would sort of fudge it a bit would be to implement a cosmetic scoring and/or achievement system that would somehow factor in difficulty level, core quality, scenario success, player casualties, unused prestige, etc to produce a measure of a player's achievement. That way although the game itself will remain completely unchanged, there will be a cosmetic incentive to achieve victory as efficiently as possible regardless of how large or otherwise the prestige cushion grows.
Zhivago wrote:Honestly, when reading the suggestions again, I think there is nothing wrong with the current system. If someone is able to somehow amass 200,000 prestige points, they clearly need to start increasing the difficulty level of their game.
The problem is the campaign is not universally easy - just because the player's core snowballed to the point where it trivialised the later content doesn't necessarily mean he didn't find the early scenarios reasonably challenging. Therefore simply playing on a higher difficulty may make the early scenarios impossible to overcome.

Arguably a cheap and cheerful solution (that I've proposed constantly) is to give players the freedom to adjust difficulty mid campaign so as their core grows more powerful and they start to find the later scenarios getting to easy they can bump up the difficulty to keep it challenging. The GC already sort of implements this - allowing you to change difficulty between every campaign so if I started in 39 on Colonel I might by 45 have bumped it up to FM. I would suggest the next logical step and allow difficulty to be altered during every deployment screen.

Zhivago wrote:In my opinion, the game is about a player's unlimited ability to craft whatever core type of force he decides.
If that is the case why have prestige at all? Or core slots for that matter? Why limit a player to only deploying 40 King Tigers in a scenario if he wants to have 100?
Rudankort wrote:Regarding the suggestion to use over strength as a mere reserve: if we do this, what will be people's motivation to pay for overstrength? Even if its cost is reduced from 200% to normal 100%, why pay in advance when replacements can be purchased "on demand"? And especially when "reform units" is promoted to official game mechanics, and so even losing a unit is not such a big deal any more?
Arguably there would be a certain value in time sensitive scenarios in delaying the need for a unit to miss turns by stoping for replacements or depending on how OS extend to artillery, how much of the later is required to completely supress a given unit.
deducter wrote:TLDR: Incorporate a much improved reform units option into the game.
This I would actually be very much in favour of - though whether or not it falls within the degree of deviation the developers are prepared to accept in the immediate future is unknown. I think it would be much more practical to design challenging scenarios if the player had a much greater chance of actually losing units during the scenario and having to play shorthanded than the current no losses/trying to balance the amount of prestige available for repairs model.

This is how I've been playing since reform units was implemented and IMO it makes the game much more enjoyable as I can chose a difficulty based on making achieving scenario objectives difficult as opposed to being forced to play on a much lower difficulty where the scenario is a steamroll but the odds of permanently losing excessively fragile units to ***random chance*** are bearable.
Last edited by boredatwork on Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

macattack
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:07 pm

Re: The Snowball Effect and Possible Solutions

Post by macattack » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:02 pm

robman wrote:Leaving aside for a second the issues of overstrengthening and unit reformation--both of which are very important--I'd like to highlight another problem in the Grand Campaign: the lack of any real performance-dependent path branching. The snowballing effect would be less pronounced (or would be felt less intensely) if poor performance and good performance led to different subsequent scenarios, perhaps to entirely different campaigns. In the short run, poor performance in a scenario might lead to a following scenario with a relatively easy mission and high prestige bonuses, while outstanding performance would lead to a really difficult mission with low prestige bonuses. In the longer run, different performance levels might lead to entirely different campaigns, à la the old PG (which did this best) or the vanilla game.

I understand that this involves a great deal more scenario design. But I'd pay more for it, happily.
Although I agree with you in principle, i.e. help players who need help, I don't think I like the design implications. What you are describing is a game wherein you are rewarded for playing poorly and losing, while penalized for playing well and winning.

I think the difficulty settings already accomplish helping poor players who need to learn the system, and challenge the veteran players.

As was said above, I always looked at the prestige and over-strenghting as the goal. I want my core of mega over-strengthed units. I know I can win, but I want to win in style. 8)

Post Reply

Return to “Panzer Corps”