Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Order of Battle is a series of operational WW2 games starting with the Pacific War and then on to Europe!

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steevodeevo
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Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by steevodeevo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:42 am

One upon a time, and not that long ago OoB was my first Strategic go-too game. I have pretty much every tactical and strategic wargame, some much more complex and micro managed than OoB (I say that as complexity doesn't always equate to depth), and much like Strategic Command, OoB's design is elegant and the depth comes from design not the number of buttons and options to manage. I own every expansion and have completed most of them at least once as well as the player made scenarios and campaigns. And yet I have put it back on the virtual shelf, I fear for some time, maybe forever. Why?

For me the base OoB game has subtly changed in balance over the numerous expansions, but not for the better. I have beta tested a number of the expansions and I know first hand that many of the testers are superb players. Exceptional players. With each iteration of expansions the base game to me has become more challenging. Resources are more constrained, the AI more ruthless, replacements more sparse, veteran experience less affordable,the tactical puzzles more challenging. Whilst I broadly applaud this, I feel as a result of this refinement, the difficulty level system is now out of whack and is in my view inadequate and too 'one dimensional'. Difficulty (simply the strength of opposing AI Divisions) I feel, needs to be expanded to include resource points to compensate and offset the huge steps up between levels and currently it also seems that the challenges from each scenario in a campaign vary wildly using the current system. Some levels fairly straight forward, some close to impossible (for me). I'm sure that a subtle use of resource points in addition to varying enemy division strength could enhance gameplay for intermediate and novice players, perhaps everyone.

I played a lot when I started at the second difficulty level (enemy strength 8 ) and found it quite playable. I upgraded to level 3 (10 v 10) which felt fairer and a better challenge. I have always struggled at level 3 but following Blitzkrieg, then Panzerkrieg and then the North African campaigns, level 3 has become virtually unplayable for me in some scenarios.

The reason I say it is partly my fault I have put OoB away is pride. I once could cope at level 3 now I can't and I won't go backwards to level 2 again.. I like the idea of 10 v 10 in Divisions, I am a decent military strategy game player in general, and being an avid forum follower I know that many find level 3 a peace of cake and play at 4 or even 5 as standard. However I also know that at level 4 and 5 some players have 'beaten' the game AI and know how to win by defeating the programming and scenario design, not necessarily through strategy.

So I'm in a bit of a corner. Can't go back, can't go forward. I will keep an eye on OoB and in the meantime I will concentrate on the SC series, Gary Grigsby and HoI.

kondi754
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by kondi754 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:18 pm

I've always said that devs should introduce more difficulty levels eg. 6th (+ 30% available funds for AI), 7 (+ 65%), 8 (+ 100%) etc. and don't hinder the existing levels
Sorry to hear that, if it comforts you, I also put OoB on the shelf but for the opposite reason - for me this game is definitely too easy now
(at this point, I'm preparing to start work on my mod, among other things, I'm completing professional literature :wink: )

PS. I know how to cheat AI but I never did, instead I always tried to make it difficult to play for myself

13obo
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by 13obo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:08 pm

Sorry to see you go!

Indeed, the problem of difficulty would probably be solved as kondi rightly pointed out (while at the same time reminding us for the 5000th time that he plays on highest difficulty) by adding options to lower RP income/experience were added ala PzC style.

Devs, would you be able to share if adding extra difficulties has been discussed? My guess is that this has been extensively discussed internally but requires in-depth tinkering of the core game engine that is not possible due to resource constraint.

kondi754
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by kondi754 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:27 pm

I don't know why this malice @13obo, I didn't write about it in my post, otherwise I don't think it's special reason to be proud, maybe 2 years ago, but now there are so many others who play at this level
If I write about it, it's only because of too easy playing or lack of historical accuracy, which could make this game more difficult
BTW I've been thinking about limiting my activity on this forum for a long time, because I'm getting bored with it all, so I will not bother you anymore :wink:
Last edited by kondi754 on Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bebro
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by bebro » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:36 pm

Re OP:

I would say there's nothing wrong in playing a lower difficulty - they are there to be used.

Scn/cam-wise I do think difficulty can and even should vary within a campaign - an scn in Poland 1939 should not play like Sov in 1941 for example, not to mention late war stuff.

For the whole debate about difficulty: IIRC earlier the highest difficulty had even stronger AI units than now. Maybe this could be (re)introduced as an extra level.

Long term I think what would be nice to have indeed would be some sort of customization, esp. setting income/experience/maybe even more or less CP etc.

But I'm not the guy who can comment on the tech/implementation side, so I can't make any promises about this.

WarHomer
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by WarHomer » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:36 pm

I wouldn´t advise tinkering too much with the current levels, but adding a few couldn´t hurt.

I would prefer a different approach to secondary objectives. Make more, make the hardest more rewarding and the more easy ones less rewarding. That would make the game more challenging in my opinion and there´s options for both the beginners, intermediate and experts and also more diversity to the missions.

In every historic major battle description there´s almost always some interesting little tidbit that could be turned into one or two interesting secondary objectives. This was done quite well in Panzerkrieg I think, with the Stalingrad factory and barges, the Night Witches and so forth and could easily be expanded.

Not to steal the thread, but diversity I found somewhat lacking in Endsieg. A lot of the missions seemed very much alike to me.

Mercutio
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by Mercutio » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:45 pm

I kind of sympathize with Steevo. That said, Kondi please hang around. The boards are empty enough and I for one like hearing your input.

I can play 4th level fine, but usually there is something that messes up my run. It seems there is zero intel on the initial conditions most of the time. I don't mind the USSR outnumbering me, even heavily. However I have no idea how to setup for an offensive especially. Heck, I would be willing to spend RPs for initial intel!

Also it seems like it is designed for "gotcha" moments. Went after that arty that has been a nuisance aggressively and nothing seems around it? That triggers a counterattack from units 4 hexes on the other side. Do too broad a front, more counterattacks.

I was thinking of restarting with the idea of everything in one area and doing a "hook" around. Don't try two pincers, just one massive hammer with a flank covered for the anvil. This should reduce losses of RP, especially early on.

Like I said, I can "win" but many times I need to restart if my RPs aren't enough for the next scenario. I think I have a decent understanding of the system now that I can see where I made mistakes like upgrading units around full strength when I had a lot of RPs. Using certain units better. I should be stashing situational units early like AT and AA until I know where the threat is. Of course, I could be wrong about all this and probably am. That is what learning is about!

As to WarHomer, I tend to agree somewhat. It seems most secondary objectives are either almost mandatory (take this to get more CP and RP) or are on your way anyway. So by default you should get them. To me secondary objectives should be a stretch goal that COULD compromise your main goal. There are a few scenarios that do that, but most I find trivial to accomplish.

Personally, I would like the campaign to be more dynamic. Not a set number of scenarios that must be completed with some minor forks perhaps. I would like to see something like if you didn't win you fall back to a previous scenario and need to get the initiative back to advance. I have to think more on how it would work, but I like the idea of a push and pull campaign. In MP it would be awesome, even if linear IMO. Sort of like a tug of war.

PoorOldSpike
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by PoorOldSpike » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:23 am

steevodeevo wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:42 am
..I have always struggled at level 3 but following Blitzkrieg, then Panzerkrieg and then the North African campaigns, level 3 has become virtually unplayable for me in some scenarios..
I play level 3 all the time because it's a level playing field (10 vs 10) and I wouldn't have it any other way..:)
I can honestly claim to win well over half the standalone scenarios most of the time (I own all the DLC's), and I think any reasonably experienced player can do just as well.
Tell us which particular scens you think are "unplayable" so we can have a crack at them
(Or are you talking about campaign play which involves juggling core forces and stuff? That's a whole new ball game)

terminator
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by terminator » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:30 am

I encounter the same problem with several games. I usually start a game at the middle level and after a learning period I find this middle level too easy and I would like to move on to the more difficult level and that’s where the problem is, the level above the average level is too difficult.

For OoB WWII Endsieg, I had asked during the beta those who found this campaign too easy to start again this campaign but without imported core, in short start from scratch at the most difficult level but I unfortunately never got any answers :(
With all the remaining bugs, I didn’t have time to play Endsieg with another player’s core, I play always Endsieg from scratch with difficulty III :?

bebro
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by bebro » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:08 am

It's certainly playable with the preset core. All the early play (before the actual beta release) was done without any core import as this was not even implemented at this point.

WarHomer
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by WarHomer » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:42 am

I commented on the preset core before, and for me it ruins the continuation aspect of the game, which I love and which I think are what most players are here for. At least it was like that in the PC Grand Campaign.

richfed
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by richfed » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:27 pm

I love this game ... it was all I played for a while. At the outskirts of Moscow in Panzerkreig [I think it was?] I stopped and haven't played since, though I still purchase the new DLCs and will continue to do so (I have every intention of returning to play). What happened? It was about that time that I discovered Hearts of Iron IV. I cannot beat the Soviets as Germany and vowed to achieve that before I take a break from it. (I play with the Total War mod). That game is so addictive and I feel rather inept - reading the forum posts [at HOV4] and so many say it is easy to beat the Soviets. HA! Not for me.

Anyway, it's all good for me. Two entirely different approaches to the same subject matter. I love them both.
Last edited by richfed on Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

george35
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by george35 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:37 am

I continue to play the entire set of DLCs myself over and over again. I try different tactics and strategies each scenario (where possible) to see if there is a different way I can win. I also try different units or restrict myself to not purchasing certain units such as artillery or even aircraft just to change things up. It is surprising how some scenarios can be played differently rather than just charging at, and destroying, the first units you come across or even avoiding some towns/cities. The naval scenarios provide a wider range of latitude to change your approach.

I have stuck to level 3 all along as I do not see any reason why my units should be at 10 and the enemy on a larger number. Makes no sense to me. I would like to see difficulty settings that change resources and or experience if I had to suggest something.

Overall I still throughly enjoy the OOB but have yet to purchase the latest DLC as I am still working my way through the old ones!

PoorOldSpike
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Re: Given up - for now (partly my own fault), but with reasons & discussion.

Post by PoorOldSpike » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:31 pm

george35 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:37 am
...I try different tactics and strategies each scenario (where possible) to see if there is a different way I can win. I also try different units or restrict myself to not purchasing certain units such as artillery or even aircraft just to change things up...
Yeah it makes every game fresh and different, my approach is to roll a dice at the purchasing screen to determine which units I can buy in each category....:)
For example if I want a Tiger in 1943 I roll 50/50 for it, and if the dice says "No", I have to roll for my second choice, say a Panther, and if the dice says No to that too, I have to roll for my third choice and so on, and might end up having to buy a Pz IVF2..
Same for planes, infantry, ships etc, it's FUN rolling for each unit as it simulates the uncertainty of real war where commanders often don't get the units they'd like to have, and instead have to make do with what High Command (the dice) gives them which tests our wargaming skills to the limit.
And of course, we have to modify our tactics each time we play a certain scen, based on what force mix the dice has given us, great fun..:)

Below: 23rd Pz Div plunges into the Russian hinterland in 1942 with Pz III L/60's, I'm sure they'd have preferred to have been given IVF2's..
Image
http://www.mission4today.com/index.php? ... orum&f=134


..because it's a big bad world out there...
Image
http://www.mission4today.com/index.php? ... orum&f=134

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