...ThorHa wrote:I am sorry to say - you invented a solution for a non existing problem. As difficulties can be chosen from dlc to dlc, for the "steamroller" players the solution was very obvious - raise difficulty. Either from the start or in between. It might have been necessary to create a combined "Rommle/Manstein" difficulty, but that is all that was necessary.
Professionally and personally I hate "solutions" if there is not a problem. Because the only reliable result is the creation of a real problem.
Just because YOU don't see a problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
First let me state I don't think the softcap was a solution to the underlying problem... merely another *limited* attempt to treat the symptoms and thus negatively impacted a wide range of people.
The problem was commented on as early as vanilla Beta, because it was obvious, even back then that PzC was inheriting the primary flaw of the original PG series upon which it is based: a cumulative core strength into fixed premade maps inevitably becomes progressively harder to balance the farther into the campaign you go. Neither obvious solution (either make the scenarios adaptable OR make the overall strength of a players core, regardless of how he used his freedom of choice to build it, predictable.) was explored given the rush to get the game out.
It should be made clear that this flaw hurts EVERYONE regardless of your skill level because it partly decouples the game difficulty settings from affecting the ACTUAL difficulty of the game - ie instead of finding strategies to beat your chosen level of difficulty, you end up having to find a difficulty that fits your chosen strategy.
There are several manifestations:
If you think that is a "solution" you miss the point -As difficulties can be chosen from dlc to dlc, for the "steamroller" players the solution was very obvious - raise difficulty.
1) that the steamroller strategy exists at all meant that there was ONE strategy that was considerably more viable than the rest: Buy the most expensive thing. Because the PRIMARY limiting factor was CORE SLOTS, the economic downside to units was effectively bypassed. If the strongest equipment is not only strong BUT cheaper than other equipment then it becomes a no brainer.
Again it's not a question of historical or non-historical cores - it's about a strategy game having more than one viable strategy. Yes you can, and I do play with PzIIIs at Kursk and PzIVs in Berlin because I like the challenge but I have room to downshift my difficulty if I need to. What about a casual player who already plays on the lower difficulty levels and is just succeeding with Tigers? He does NOT have the option to play with anything else because anything else is too difficult to be viable for him.If you wanted to use a 'historical' core nothing ever prevented you from doing just that, just don't buy all the best equipment.
And again I know I've been over the same argument with you before but it's not about preventing all Tiger forces if that is a player's wish - it's about balancing such forces in the same fashion that MOST OTHER CASUAL WARGAMES DO IT SUCCESSFULLY: By allowing players to trade off quantity for quality as an additional level of strategy:
Do I take an all Tiger core with 25 Tigers or do I take an all PzIV force with 40 PzIVs. - Both play differently but regardless of choice both have approximately the same power making the scenario designer's balancing job much easier. The current game is like Starcraft except instead of a choice between 33 Ultralisks OR 400 Zerglings or some combination of the two - the choice presented is 200 Utralisks OR 200 Zerglings OR some combination of the two. Duh... which should I pick?
Again StarCraft, despite that type of restriction is a very casual friendly game BECAUSE being balanced that way makes it much easier for designers to scale difficulty.
2) Rediculous AI forces in the pursuit of 2 & 3 - the late war IS2 Spam for example.
Limiting the amount of prestige is really a shocker when you don't realize the long term effect.
I think for the average player it was a 'bad' default choice.
...This is a fun, entry level type game that is the successor to a very sucessful and popular series that should attract new players easily. Most people are not 'grogs' and will play this game casually and want to get through it not shelve it because they can't finish it.
Exactly my point - but probably not in the way you intended!
I agree that given the impact it had on the game the 1.20 should not have been "forced" on people who grown used to the old system.
HOWEVER - your statement does illustrate my point about the underlying flaw and why PzCII should have a proper solution instead of another band aid:
3) Almost inevitable snowball: do even a little well at a chosen difficulty and you find the game becoming progressively easier with each scenario. Conversely do even a little poorly and you soon find yourself digging a hole which you can't get out.
4) Individual scenarios in a campaign vary widely in terms of difficulty because the playtesters cores (and thus their feedback on *perceived difficulty*) can vary by a significant degree make the ability of scenario designers to balance them very hit or miss. Arguably Vitebesk, Kharkov 42, Stalingrad Docks, The last 42 battle over the airfields are considerably more challenging than most of the battles in the middle of DLC42.
"you don't realize the long term effect" Much of the difficulty (or otherwise) of the campaign is the result NOT of the DIFFICULTY SETTING but rather of the CUMULATIVE LONG TERM EFFECT of your play - until you've played the campaign you have no idea how much prestige you will acquire versus how much you can afford to spend and when. "want to get through it not shelve it because they can't finish it." Exactly - it's not exactly casual friendly discovering 10 scenarios in that you picked a too hard difficulty, or too easy difficulty and now you either can't finish because it's too hard OR it's mind-numbingly easy. It's NOT CASUAL FRIENDLY to hold a player up, not because they can't play well enough to beat a given scenario, but because they had no way of knowing they had to do better for the last 5 scenarios to stand a chance.
Again the softcap and other 1.20 changes were bandaids that negatively impacted many players. ***IF*** PzCII ever gets made and a proper solution was implemented the result would be a better game for everyone. Scenarios would scale better to a wide range of difficulties, players would have MORE freedom of choice, Campaign design and testing would be much easier resulting greater amount of available content, achievements would be easier to implement, AI improvements would be easier to implement, etc, etc.