Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

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adiekmann
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Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by adiekmann » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:19 pm

With all of the discussion regarding current and future DLC/campaign design, I was curious what most of you think about one aspect. Do you like it when there is a branch in the campaign? If yes, always, or only in certain circumstances?

I for one, have generally not liked it. The reason is because I prefer to play as many scenarios as possible for my core. If I have to choose, I view it as a missed opportunity. I don't want to start over to play the other branch. I would rather have ALL of those scenarios included in a linear campaign that give me MORE battles/maps EACH playthrough in the campaign/DLC that further build my core's experience.

I expect that I may be in the minority here, but please chime to help me understand why this seems so popular.

Retributarr
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Retributarr » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:32 pm

adiekmann wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:19 pm
Do you like it when there is a branch in the campaign? If yes, always, or only in certain circumstances?

If I have to choose, I view it as a missed opportunity. I don't want to start over to play the other branch. I would rather have ALL of those scenarios included in a linear campaign that give me MORE battles/maps EACH playthrough in the campaign/DLC that further build my core's experience.
What about having a 'Special-Campaign-Save-Slot' made-up for this specific purpose... that would indicate a comprehensive information package to save 'Campaign Branching Spits'. It would need to be.specially designed to indicate which 'Major-Scenario/Campaign was just completed... as well as to then indicate the next preceding 'Campaign-Option-Choices' that are presently available for selection at that moment in time.

This 'Special-Campaign-Save-Slot' in its main title-listing would indicate the Scenario/Campaign Title/Designated-Name... just completed... then also visually indicate with branching arrow links the next choices that are available. Once you choose one of those branching links... perhaps then the Name/'Title of that selected choice could take on an altered "Italic/Slanted" appearance to indicate/or visually-confirm for your future reference... just which path that you previously took.

This way... no-matter what 'Campaign-Path' that you previously selected... you now can always go back to this specialized save slot... and then continue on from that point... from a previous finishing/ending of your Game to now select a different path and press-ahead or continue with another adventure.

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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Rhaeg » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:53 pm

Well, the branches are usually pretty short and I guess it adds some replayability value but on average I'd rather see the effort put into a longer single scenario chain. Exceptions are the well known choice moments like in the invasion of France and the Low Countries (go through the Ardennes or northern Belgium and the Netherlands). Very long separate branches for the USSR invasion would be cool too (Army group South, Center or even North if you'd do some fantasy scenarios like taking Murmansk or an early capture of Leningrad) but that would mean a huge amount of total scenarios and we're not going to see that happen. In AO 1939 the split in Poland wasn't worth it IMO and I'd rather have seen one chain of length 6 than the 1-2/2-1 setup we had now and I wouldn't have missed the SCW split either.

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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Kerensky » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:56 pm

Branches can be a good thing, for replay value especially, but they come with many design problems.

If the branches are unequal, players instantly pick up on this. A longer branch, the branch with better rewards, the branch with an easier path... As soon as you make each branch really unique, the more likely it will run into the problem. So branches tend to get watered down, to keep the playing field level.

This is especially problem if your branch shows up very early, because most new players aren't going to really get into the game and replay the content, they are looking for the best experience right out of the gate. And if they pick the 'worse' branch, well that's not a good first impression. And if you water down both branches so there isn't a better or worse one, that's also not a terribly interesting impression to leave.

This is why I've steered the new Grand Campaign into a different territory. There are very few branches, but there are lots of optional battles. An optional battle is basically a branch, but you can choose to play it or choose to stick to the mainline campaign. So optional battles can be really unusual changes of flavor, things like Catalonia or Forbach.

So meaningless little branches, I'm not a fan. I always tell people to take the northern branch in the Spanish Civil War... because it has the stronger character narrative moments. Bilbao is one of my favorite briefings of all time. But I couldn't just copy paste it into Malaga, Malaga needed it's own briefing. And now Malaga is the 'worse' branch, for character narrative. :cry:

IceSerpent
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by IceSerpent » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:59 pm

adiekmann wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:19 pm
With all of the discussion regarding current and future DLC/campaign design, I was curious what most of you think about one aspect. Do you like it when there is a branch in the campaign? If yes, always, or only in certain circumstances?
I don't like it, but I know how to change campaign script to get rid of it...so, no big deal for me :mrgreen:

Come to think of it, it may be a good idea to turn larger branches into separate campaigns. I.e. a choice between Russia and North Africa in 1941.
Last edited by IceSerpent on Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jeffoot77
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by jeffoot77 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:01 pm

(to Retributarr) : yes but it is weird to come back "in past" to play a new path with old core units...

I m like the topic author, i don't like all theses paths, that oblige the player to make plenty of saves and the player is finishing by losing immersion because he has fianlly never the same core units.

I understand that they want to increase the lifetime of the game by creating several paths but i think that the best solution is to make achievement career in the main menu like : " you succeded to win spanish war in normal difficulty" and make empty box in the carrer menu like " spanish war in field marshal difficulty" .

For example, to make myself new challenges on panzer corps 1 , i have made this google sheet :

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

you can use it and edit it if you want, it is a copy



ps: sorry for my bad english school.. :(
Last edited by jeffoot77 on Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
my custom single player mini-campaign in order of battle : normandie-niemen:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=374&t=79333&p=676302#p676302

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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Kerensky » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:02 pm

I do, however, really like a meaningful branch. But a really meaningful branch is such a crazy big fork in the road, it can never really fit into a campaign. A branch that really changes things significantly, it needs to be its own campaign that doesn't link back up at the end of the 'branch'.

From the feedback of people and what they putting on their wishlists for Axis Operations 1940 and 1941... I can tell already that there are going to be some unhappy campers if the Axis Operations treats Afrika Korps and Barbarossa as two branches within one campaign. And that approach is also in danger of having already been done, in the base game campaign.

It's probably going to need a full on campaign split like Grand Campaign East and West to be properly done justice.

Retributarr
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Retributarr » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:12 pm

IceSerpent wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:59 pm
adiekmann wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:19 pm
With all of the discussion regarding current and future DLC/campaign design, I was curious what most of you think about one aspect. Do you like it when there is a branch in the campaign? If yes, always, or only in certain circumstances?
I don't like it, but I know how to change campaign script to get rid of it...so, no big deal for me :mrgreen:

Come to think of it, it may be a good idea to turn larger branches into separate campaigns. I.e. a choice between Russia and North Africa in 1941.
Ret: My thought 'EXACTLY'... these branching-splits should only ever take place at major-junction-points in the overall-campaign. They can then proceed as a regular full-campaign!.

Retributarr
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Retributarr » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:29 pm

jeffoot77 wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:01 pm
(to Retributarr) : yes but it is weird to come back "in past" to play a new path with old core units...
[Ret: What is wrong with re-visiting your original-troop to then try a new/different direction... to see how it would have played out?... what is the problem?.] [Ret: This means 'Re-loading' the original specific 'Branching-Split-Save-Point'... and instead of Choosing Barbarossa like you did before... now instead from the point where you left-off before … you decide to choose "Afrika"... how can this be 'Complicated"???. ]

I m like the topic author, i don't like all theses paths, that oblige the player to make plenty of saves and the player is finishing by losing immersion because he has fianlly never the same core units. [Ret: The whole idea of revisiting a 'Split'... is to try out everything available from a particular finishing point in your original-campaign so that you now can give a try to the other optional choices that you would otherwise have been forced to by-pass or forego!.]
ps: sorry for my bad english school.. :( [Ret: Your "ENGLISH" is better spoken here than what I hear from many 'Americans who seem to have 'Mubble/Trouble With Their Troought/Mouth... and mispronounce the vowels... and words...etc... etc...'You are doing Terrifically-Well!'.]
Last edited by Retributarr on Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Retributarr
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Retributarr » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:39 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:02 pm
I do, however, really like a meaningful branch. But a really meaningful branch is such a crazy big fork in the road, it can never really fit into a campaign. A branch that really changes things significantly, it needs to be its own campaign that doesn't link back up at the end of the 'branch'. [Ret: I had no-idea that it would be that complicated or difficult!.]

From the feedback of people and what they putting on their wishlists for Axis Operations 1940 and 1941... I can tell already that there are going to be some unhappy campers if the Axis Operations treats Afrika Korps and Barbarossa as two branches within one campaign. And that approach is also in danger of having already been done, in the base game campaign.

It's probably going to need a full on campaign split like Grand Campaign East and West to be properly done justice. [Ret: Your the presiding 'Over-Seer'... with the know-how and 'Technology' to do what is and what is not feasilble or possible to do... so all that we can do is suggest ideas and concepts... then to leave it in your capable-hands!.]

Kiane
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Kiane » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:17 am

I dislike branches generally. I don't replay campaigns (unless I lose them), so I want the most scenarios possible. I liked those old PG2 campaigns with 50 scenarios in them :) . The one exception is I like it where there is a bonus scenario for doing well in a campaign, after which it returns to the main branch, like Norway in the old PG.

Retributarr
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Retributarr » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:38 am

Kiane wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:17 am
I dislike branches generally. I don't replay campaigns (unless I lose them), so I want the most scenarios possible. I liked those old PG2 campaigns with 50 scenarios in them :) . The one exception is I like it where there is a bonus scenario for doing well in a campaign, after which it returns to the main branch, like Norway in the old PG.
A different 'Branch'... means a choice of directions to go 'Game-Wise' during the WWII-Conflict!... it does not mean just a single or few 'Scenarios'... but could in-fact actually be an entire full-featured 'Campaign'. Most here think that a "Branch" is a short quick conclusion to the 'Game???'... who put that thought!... that idea!... into your heads???.

KesaAnna
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by KesaAnna » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:41 am

So far I have never had any particular problem with branching campaign trees , because the fork in the road I wind up taking nearly always proves to be a faithful reflection of my tastes and biases anyway.

For example ; Russia versus North Afrika. -- I'm going to pick North Afrika anyway. I would be very disappointed if I had to go to Russia. I guess it's pretty weird or nutty , but I have read a lot of books on the war in Russia , and the whole thing is so dismal and depressing , it makes " Apocalypse Now " look like a sunny , uplifting , childrens story to me .
Russia depresses me. Russia gives me bad vibes. As if I had been there myself , even though I wasn't.

I'm happy in North Afrika , I'm not happy in Russia. Go figure.

Russia versus North Afrika is though , I think , a special case. So more about that in a moment .

Norway north versus Norway south. -- I picked Norway south back in the day because I was new to the game and so didn't play very well . Norway North is mountain warfare with a capital ' M ' , and brute , direct , force doesn't work very well in mountain warfare.

Today , though , I would invariably pick Norway North because I prefer mountain warfare. And wouldn't regret or begrudge the choice. Why begrudge or regret my own preference ?

Poland North versus Poland South -- as much as I like mountain warfare --- and siege warfare / urban fighting is similar in some respects to mountain warfare --- occasionally I like wide open spaces , plenty of room for my cavalry , recons , and tanks to stretch their legs .

So I invariably pick Poland South anyway.

Dunkirk / Belgium versus Sedan -- once again personal feelings and eccentricities are key.

Sedan is a source of bad memories , and I'll take any opportunity to take another swipe at the British and the Americans behind them.

So guess which branch I'm going to choose every time ?

Bilbao versus Malaga -- I have never gotten around to playing the Malaga branch , so I have no idea how the two branches may differ , or may not differ.

But my guess is I would go with Bilbao anyway. I like the Basque country and Catalonia for one thing. I don't much care for the south . And I am of the opinion that once the attempted coup blows up in to a full scale civil war , nailing down the north is key to winning the whole country anyway.

So I would have went to Bilboa anyway. End of story .

IF you had had the choice of going to the Saar , or going strait to Poland , in hindsight I would have wound up going to / preferring the Saar detour.

Why ?

Because I like French tanks. :mrgreen:

---

Now back to Russia versus North Afrika.

For simplicities sake I'm going to go ahead and make an unqualified , blanket , dogmatic statement ;

I would like to see Russia and North Afrika as two separate DLC , or , better yet , as two separate SERIES of DLC.

For example , it seems to me that North Afrika and the Levant , and then Iraq , Persia , and the Caucuses , could easily constitute two separate phases of an Afrika Korps campaign. Throw in , perhaps , an alternate history assault on Gibraltar and / or Malta ,

and right there you have a single , big , Afrika Korps DLC , or two smaller Afrika Korps DLC's.

Russia seems , at least out of the starting gate , even more obvious and direct .

I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that Russia north , Russia center , and Russia south , is a dear and precious choice.

Ugh , these three initial choices alone , it seems to me , could constitute stand alone DLC's by themselves. :shock:

And the Russian campaign as a whole is so sweeping and monumental that I think it merits more than one DLC in any case. :shock:

The trouble with all of this , of course , is that ultimately it amounts to at least a hundred dollars worth of DLC , and an Axis campaign that will be years in the making , and in delivery.

In another thread someone mentioned Paradox Interactive's Crusader Kings 2 .

Well , yes , that is pretty much what I'm outlining here.

This isn't Paradox Interactive , and it isn't Crusader Kings 2 ...

I would point out , though , that 12 years ( ? ) after Crusader Kings 2 debuted , it STILL has an active and devoted fan base , and I'm guessing they have sold a lot of DLC , the grumbling not withstanding. If any of that counts for , or means , anything.... ?

In any case , I think this is perhaps a good time for a thread like this.

It seems to me that Spanish Civil War - thru - Poland was pretty strait - forward and simple , but things are about to get unavoidably pretty complicated ;

Norway ? The Low Countries and France ? The Balkans ? Russia ? The Afrika Korps ? Sea Lion ?

I don't know , maybe SCW and AO 1939 were too much of a good thing , too successful ?

Maybe I'm imagining things , but it seems like SCW alone equaled the entire original campaign ? It certainly seems so when paired with AO 1939.

After playing Seville thru to the Battle of Warsaw I thought to myself , " Now I feel like a WW I veteran or something ! " --- And I like the feeling.

I didn't get the same feeling with the original campaign.

But maybe that's a bad thing ?

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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by RandomAttack » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:50 am

I don't mind the branches, except when they have unequal rewards. For example, take the Karl arty-- it's arguably way overpowered and you ONLY get it if you play AGC. So if you play AGN or AGS you miss out on the Karl (a real asset late game) and get much more conventional "prototypes". Sooo, why should I ever play the other two branches if it is going to put me at a significant disadvantage? Admittedly only one or two scenarios missed out on so it's not that big a deal, but the premise still holds. If one branch gives you a "superweapon" and the other ones don't why would you ever play them?

Kiane
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by Kiane » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:06 am

Kerensky wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:02 pm
I do, however, really like a meaningful branch. But a really meaningful branch is such a crazy big fork in the road, it can never really fit into a campaign. A branch that really changes things significantly, it needs to be its own campaign that doesn't link back up at the end of the 'branch'.

From the feedback of people and what they putting on their wishlists for Axis Operations 1940 and 1941... I can tell already that there are going to be some unhappy campers if the Axis Operations treats Afrika Korps and Barbarossa as two branches within one campaign. And that approach is also in danger of having already been done, in the base game campaign.

It's probably going to need a full on campaign split like Grand Campaign East and West to be properly done justice.
You also have to consider the two camps of people who want to win the war, and those who faithfully wish to lose it. 2^2 = 4 main campaign trees. Get cracking :lol:

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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by IceSerpent » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:15 am

Kerensky wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:02 pm
It's probably going to need a full on campaign split like Grand Campaign East and West to be properly done justice.
Can you make them into completely separate campaigns? In other words, 1941 West is one campaign, 1941 East is another, 1942 West is the third, 1942 East is the fourth, etc. This way people can play them in whatever order they like or even skip some that they don't want to play. I am assuming that the game allows us to load whichever core we want - haven't tested it myself.

adiekmann
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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by adiekmann » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:49 am

I wasn't very clear in my original post, but I DO like it when there is a branch that takes you into another campaign, like Africa or Barbarossa, or West or East in PC's GC. I do hope that happens. However, I think it makes the most sense (just like the original GC) to do all Eastern front first. It would be awesome if you could branch out into other DLCs mid campaign, but I see that as very complicated and a ton of work to make. It could only work after the end of a DLC like at the end of GC East '41 you could start the West 42/43 campaign.

I was originally referring to the branches in SCW, AO39, and the like. It is nice to see some choice, but I can never escape the feeling of being cheated out of a couple of maps that were made but not playable in a linear fashion. Regardless of which path you take, in say SCW, you end up missing out on two scenarios ether way.

I hope this thread helps guide the developers in making the best choices for upcoming DLCs and campaigns.

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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by KesaAnna » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:05 am

adiekmann wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:49 am


I was originally referring to the branches in SCW, AO39, and the like.
I , for one , understood that.

However ---- granted , some people do use forums the same way you use Twitter ; One or two sentence statements.

But I suspect that forums tend to attract people who like writing essays , or otherwise engaging in excess verbiage. :mrgreen:

In any case , if the replies consisted of ;

" I agree , you are absolutely right. "

or ,

" I disagree . I don't feel cheated in any way , on the contrary , I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. "

It would probably be a pretty short and moribund thread ? :)

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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by gadflyjs » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:42 am

For me, if the game is really good, then I will re-play it, on different difficulties. Since the branches here is not very long or change what happen in the future very much, I just play one branch in the first go, then anther branch when I re-play the whole thing. That actually add more spice to the "replayability" :lol:

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Re: Campaign Path Branches: Like or dislike?

Post by jeffoot77 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:08 am

to Gadflysx : and when there are +50 missions? you re-play 30 times to play the 30 paths?

To Retributtar:
"how can this be 'Complicated"???"
--> It is complicated in your savegames. For example, i m playing LOV mod and i have already in mission 04, three paths; so i made 3 savegames and play one path . If it continues like that, at the mission 20, i will have 20 savegames with 20 differents paths. How i know which paths i have done in the end?

edit: thxs for telling me that i haven't a school english. sometimes, i can't explain very well.
Last edited by jeffoot77 on Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:16 am, edited 5 times in total.
my custom single player mini-campaign in order of battle : normandie-niemen:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=374&t=79333&p=676302#p676302

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