The new "Ultimate" mode of Difficulty

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VPaulus
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The new "Ultimate" mode of Difficulty

Post by VPaulus » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:01 am

Rudankort wrote: BTW, the game does have one more difficulty level which is named "ultimate" in my code comments. It is a combination of all three bonus difficulty levels, PLUS Field Marshal (which means you gain exp more slowly too). It is not shown in the UI, but it is possible to add it there. To do this:
- Go to game's UI subfolder
- Open gameoptions.htm file in Notepad (don't forget to backup the file)
- Find this line:

Code: Select all

<div.diffbtn type="radio" name="Difficulty" id="Difficulty8" tooltip="IDS_TT_ROMMEL" style="display:none">IDS_DIFF_ROMMEL</div>
- Add one more line after it:

Code: Select all

<div.diffbtn type="radio" name="Difficulty" id="Difficulty9">Ultimate</div>
- Save the file and restart the game.

And that will be it - you should see new level in difficulty selection. So, you guys don't even need to wait for the next patch to have the game harder. I wonder how many people can beat the game on ultimate level.

huertgenwald
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Post by huertgenwald » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:59 pm

Is BBCode out of work ?

Tried to put in the real "patch code", but the board always cuts it out.

Tried quote, code and list tag. No success.

The above quote by VPaulus is incomplete :!:

huertgenwald
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Post by huertgenwald » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:15 pm

Here's the "real thing" :

viewtopic.php?t=30205&start=80

Rudankort
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Post by Rudankort » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:16 pm

Yes, that quote is tricky because it contains HTML. So, to make it look right, you need to set "Disable HTML in this post" checkbox.

Fixed.

huertgenwald
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Post by huertgenwald » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:18 pm

Thumbs up ! :D

VPaulus
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Post by VPaulus » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:39 pm

Sorry. :oops:
Thanks for correcting.

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Post by Waldfels » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:24 pm

This is great news.

I always wanted to try a harder difficulty setting (because on Field Marshal the DLC campains are way to easy).


If I understand this correct, there a 5 levels from Sergeant to Field Marshal and the new one is above Field Marshal?

Regards,
Waldfels

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Post by huertgenwald » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:37 pm

Ultimate = Rommel + Manstein + Guderian (all in one)

Rommel = -50% prestige.
Guderian = -5 turns for scenarios.
Manstein = +5 strength to ALL enemy units.

So its level is FieldMarshal +4

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Post by HeinzG » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:21 pm

To fulfill all further requests: :wink:

How to get to Manstein or change values manually?

viewtopic.php?t=30267 :wink:

Longasc
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Post by Longasc » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:06 am

Extra difficulty level: Don't reload!

I can imagine "Manstein" being hard enough with this optional difficulty level.
Some scenarios might be very difficult in Guderian and for Rommel... hmmm... running low on units and prestige is indeed a challenge but one of the kind that has potential to be a somewhat annoying experience.

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Post by Rudankort » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:10 am

Longasc wrote:Extra difficulty level: Don't reload!

I can imagine "Manstein" being hard enough with this optional difficulty level.
Some scenarios might be very difficult in Guderian and for Rommel... hmmm... running low on units and prestige is indeed a challenge but one of the kind that has potential to be a somewhat annoying experience.
Some people claimed that prestige you get on Rommel is too high, and would prefer 25% instead of 50%. :roll:

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Post by Longasc » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:21 am

Well I think it's possible with a no-elite reinforcements policy. I just can't resist and suggest everyone with excessive prestige should consider donating it to the Red Cross or something like that. If only to avoid those 29K reports when I am proud to have 2900. :P

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Post by deducter » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:43 pm

Some people claimed that prestige you get on Rommel is too high, and would prefer 25% instead of 50%.
Based on my own modification for DLC 39, it seems that -75% prestige does bring the difficulty up to around Manstein, but different. On Manstein you can lose units, and you will, but you can always replace them, and you can always afford the best equipment/overstrength (and you will need it!). With -75% prestige, you can't really fill your core up, much less upgrade, and you'll have to fight enemies with vastly inferior equipment/numbers, although the enemy is much easier to kill. You can barely afford normal reinforcements during battle. I think this is what Rommel was meant to be.

For instance, on Piatek with -75% prestige, I dared not cross the river, just like on Manstein! So that's why I feel this is about right.

That leaves Guderian difficulty to be balanced. I'm thinking it could be a small combination of everything, like +2 AI strength, -5 turns, -25% prestige, or something, to bring it up to par with the others. Just - turns isn't too hard, at least for the DLCs, unless you do something like -8 turns.

As for this Ultimate difficulty, the game will be unplayable without saving/reloading every turn to get the best combat result. Maybe MV might be achievable on some maps, but it's not worth it.

I have yet to see anyone who thinks Manstein is too easy. I suspect a number of players have tried it, but given the rate of loss of their units unless you play very very carefully, it is just not encouraging to play.

Edit:
Extra difficulty level: Don't reload!
Yeah, this is worth like two difficulties...

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Post by Rudankort » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:56 pm

At one point I was thinking about a special challenge/ironman mode where you would not be allowed to save/reload. Essentially, the game would automatically save a fixed file after every action, so you can postpone the game, but cannot take back a move. But then I concluded that it was probably redundant. People with strong will can already play without reloading, and others can still cheat the game by copying the files around (Alt-Tab from the game, make a backup of the saved game, if anything went wrong, overwrite saved game with backup version, reload).

As for the bonus difficulties, thanks for sharing your observations deducter! Very useful. Would be interesting to hear opinion of other people playing on bonus difficulties. Guderian is tricky, yes, -8 would probably destroy the main campaign, even if it works for the DLCs.

PS. I quite agree with your evaluation of ultimate mode. That is the reason why it was not enabled in the base game. Although who knows, maybe eventually someone will find a way to beat it.

deducter
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Post by deducter » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:20 pm

At one point I was thinking about a special challenge/ironman mode where you would not be allowed to save/reload. Essentially, the game would automatically save a fixed file after every action, so you can postpone the game, but cannot take back a move. But then I concluded that it was probably redundant. People with strong will can already play without reloading, and others can still cheat the game by copying the files around (Alt-Tab from the game, make a backup of the saved game, if anything went wrong, overwrite saved game with backup version, reload).
If this isn't too hard to code, it can't hurt to have it as an option. You're right people can still cheat, but I suspect most people won't, and best of all, those who do play like that can get an extra little "achievement." Players love achievement after all... Sometimes enforcing discipline can't hurt. I know I would enjoy the added distinction.

It'd probably only truly be doable in some sort of online-only mode, but that sucks and I would refuse to play that, as I like to play offline especially when traveling.

It's like Diablo 2 Hardcore mode, at least in SP you can still cheat your way to non-death, but so what? That doesn't mean you shouldn't have the mode.

The main question I think is how to balance Guderian. For the DLCs, I almost always achieve DV without having to rush, often many turns in advance, so the difficulty is trivial. I wonder if there's another variable you can play around with to make it more interesting. For the DLCs, if you make it -50% prestige and -5 turns, it would probably be roughly the same as Manstein and Rommel. But is there a better way to achieve that?

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Post by Rudankort » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:31 pm

deducter wrote: If this isn't too hard to code, it can't hurt to have it as an option. You're right people can still cheat, but I suspect most people won't, and best of all, those who do play like that can get an extra little "achievement." Players love achievement after all... Sometimes enforcing discipline can't hurt. I know I would enjoy the added distinction.

It'd probably only truly be doable in some sort of online-only mode, but that sucks and I would refuse to play that, as I like to play offline especially when traveling.

It's like Diablo 2 Hardcore mode, at least in SP you can still cheat your way to non-death, but so what? That doesn't mean you shouldn't have the mode.
OK, point taken. Another way to code this would be to allow saving only between scenarios, but this would hurt in case of a crash or PC fail in the middle of a scen...
deducter wrote: The main question I think is how to balance Guderian. For the DLCs, I almost always achieve DV without having to rush, often many turns in advance, so the difficulty is trivial. I wonder if there's another variable you can play around with to make it more interesting. For the DLCs, if you make it -50% prestige and -5 turns, it would probably be roughly the same as Manstein and Rommel. But is there a better way to achieve that?
My main idea with these levels was that all of them are "pure", i. e. affect just one parameter. And the descriptions of the levels are written to hint at parameter in question. Having all of them similar in difficulty was a less-important goal. This is certainly nice to have, but this depends on campaign design too (as the example with Guderian and DLCs shows), and probably the more additional campaigns we have the more differences between levels will appear.

It might help to convert turn modifier from absolute numbers to percents, in which case short scenarios will no be crippled by huge negative modifier, while longer ones can have much higher turn penalty.

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Post by deducter » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:40 am

OK, point taken. Another way to code this would be to allow saving only between scenarios, but this would hurt in case of a crash or PC fail in the middle of a scen...
That's not a good way to code this, because I (and I suspect many people) do not always finish a scenario in one go. For instance, my Manstein playthrough of Arras took 4 hours, over three sittings.

One interesting way to do Guderian might be to have a real-time clock? You only get 3s (or some number of seconds) to decide what to do with each unit, otherwise the turn ends automatically. This time is independent of the animation. It'd be adding a real-time component to the game, which otherwise does not exist, and I think it might simulate that blitzkrieg feeling quite well. You might argue saving/reloading etc. will be a bigger problem, all the more reason to add that ironman component.

Otherwise -33% turns is probably right for Guderian, so for 15 turns it'd be 10 turns, and for 18 turns it'd be 12, etc. I suspect it should be close to the other two difficulties in that case.

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