Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

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ringoblood
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by ringoblood » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:04 pm

Very promising finally i been in hiding for 6 months do to taking care of my dieing grandmother and getting married but im back and im happy to see progress cheers Devs.

Molve
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Molve » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:20 pm

We can discuss realism all day, as long as we always remember what makes the Panzer General and Corps a success:

The fact they allow you to unrealistically build hero units that you can keep throughout a campaign.

Everything else must be subordinate to this.

Detailed supply? Better AI? Tweaked equipment files? Changes in everything from suppression to experience?

If it means you can't keep your favorite units alive in PC2 it's all for nought. No change, however realistic, welcome or interesting must be kept if it ruins this very fundamental fact of the venerable lineage of games.

If you don't agree maybe it's time to reflect on yourself. No offense, but maybe you're better off moving on to a more sophisticated game and leaving PC2 to remain true to its roots. There are lots of games which are both fun and complex. I welcome Slitherine coding such games, just as long as they don't name them "Panzer General/Corps" :)

Best Regards

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:11 am

Molve wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:20 pm
The fact they allow you to unrealistically build hero units that you can keep throughout a campaign.
I agree with your point while I would also welcome a slightly smarter AI... i.e. balancing realism with game play dynamics/experience! :D

And by the way, there were some units in the German Army (i.e. even non-SS units) that were (relatively) better equipped than others, e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer-Gr ... eutschland

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Retributarr » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:31 am

Molve wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:20 pm
We can discuss realism all day, as long as we always remember what makes the Panzer General and Corps a success:

The fact they allow you to unrealistically build hero units that you can keep throughout a campaign.

Everything else must be subordinate to this.

Detailed supply? Better AI? Tweaked equipment files? Changes in everything from suppression to experience?

If it means you can't keep your favorite units alive in PC2 it's all for nought. No change, however realistic, welcome or interesting must be kept if it ruins this very fundamental fact of the venerable lineage of games.

If you don't agree maybe it's time to reflect on yourself. No offense, but maybe you're better off moving on to a more sophisticated game and leaving PC2 to remain true to its roots. There are lots of games which are both fun and complex. I welcome Slitherine coding such games, just as long as they don't name them "Panzer General/Corps" :)

Best Regards
Molve wrote:

"maybe you're better off moving on to a more sophisticated game and leaving PC2 to remain true to its roots."

"We can discuss realism all day, as long as we always remember what makes the Panzer General and Corps a success:"
---------------------------------
Correct!!!, i am in relative agreement!...because i am as yet...not quite as convinced as you are 'Molve'.

Some improvement's in "Sophistication" will enhance PzC2, conversely...other manipulations would likely impede it.

So!, what i propose is that for 'PzC2', ...that we largely do as you suggest!...by following the K.I.S.S. Principal'!. Or!... in other word's..."Keep It Simple Stupid!".

Simplify the suggestions for PzC2..."yet", not keep/make or make it 'too-simple', as the present day audience is somewhat more 'Sophisticated' than it was a couple of decades ago. We should therefore try to keep the Game-Audience engaged in the game with-out too much Additional Complexity or Diversion.

***Instead***

Then...with all of the accumulated input from the 'Posting-Audience', as well as probably even more additional 'Sophisticated-Input' to come there-after, ...that a 'New-Game-Construct', would take-off/from...the PzC2 base-legacy, so...instead of entirely leaving it, it could possibly one day perhap's...come into being?...in order to 'Satisfy' this so-called Can·tan·ker·ous 'Sophisticated-Spirited-Kabal'.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:47 am

Retributarr wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:31 am
Then...with all of the accumulated input from the 'Posting-Audience', as well as probably even more additional 'Sophisticated-Input' to come there-after, ...that a 'New-Game-Construct', would take-off/from...the PzC2 base-legacy, so...instead of entirely leaving it, it could possibly one day perhap's...come into being?...in order to 'Satisfy' this so-called Can·tan·ker·ous 'Sophisticated-Spirited-Kabal'.
Interesting idea, sounds almost like PzC 3 is on the horizon already! :D 8)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Retributarr » Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:08 pm

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:47 am
Retributarr wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:31 am
Then...with all of the accumulated input from the 'Posting-Audience', as well as probably even more additional 'Sophisticated-Input' to come there-after, ...that a 'New-Game-Construct', would take-off/from...the PzC2 base-legacy, so...instead of entirely leaving it, it could possibly one day perhap's...come into being?...in order to 'Satisfy' this so-called Can·tan·ker·ous 'Sophisticated-Spirited-Kabal'.
Interesting idea, sounds almost like PzC 3 is on the horizon already! :D 8)
One day perhap's, a PzC3 may be become a reality!...whether it will resemble what I envision or maybe altogether something else?. However at the moment... of my previous post...I was insinuating that very concept, but all that 'is/was' is just so far wishful thinking.

I like the concept of PzC2, to relive the actual WWII history and to play it through, however...at the same time...I am much more interested in the possible 'what-if's...' that could actually have taken place, but...never came to pass!. There..., then...is where every game would be a new adventure, a new experience...never the same twice!.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by huckc » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:09 am

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:43 pm
ptje63 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:12 am
PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:21 am
On the topic of the AI attacking: well, as an example... I think there is still a small problem when you are in an entrenched position (maybe with artillery in the back or maybe even surrounded by AI troops at Manstein strength) and none of the AI units that are facing you is attacking you because it is not worth it for the individual AI unit (as the losses are too high) and so you can sit and wait and win and the AI loses although the AI had x-times more units on the map... I can link a recent screenshot example if needed/interested... It would be nice if this can be changed in future... :)
I guess this comes down to AI scripting as well and a challenge for present PC2 developers ;-)... Despite being a game with all its drawbacks, we wish to encounter better AI performance, as is requested by numerous PC gamers elsewhere. Im not into multiplayer games for practical reasons so Im only playing against AI which is sometimes predictable, but for me its a battle against AI merely, personally.
Yes, interested in the screenshot.. ;-).
Here is the screenshot from huckc's Grand Campaign West & East 39-45 (Manstein):
Have a look at the three victory objectives in the west... :)
(the size of the picture can be increased by opening it in a separate tab)

Here is also my discussion with him on this subject:
viewtopic.php?f=145&t=82946&start=140#p765315
I'd like to point out that this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the relatively few scenarios that I used this tactic on, they were still hard, intense, and rewarding. It's one of those "hard-to-master" tactics that makes me like this game so much :D

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by proline » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:17 pm

AlbertoC wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:51 pm
Hello All!
Reminder that there's only 4 business days left to release the February dev diary. You wouldn't want this to be the first month without one, would you?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:30 pm

proline wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:17 pm
AlbertoC wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:51 pm
Hello All!
Reminder that there's only 4 business days left to release the February dev diary. You wouldn't want this to be the first month without one, would you?
Well... I think I have also noticed that the number of official statements/responses decreased in the last few weeks... at least that's my impression...

Molve
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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Molve » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:48 pm

Even something "obvious" as making enemy artillery actually start shooting (so the entrenchment levels drop) might have unforeseen - and unwanted - side effects.

Remember you are among the top %1 players who know every trick in the book.

But the game must work for the average player.

An AI tweak that prevents you from setting up these entrenchment "safe hexes" is still worthless if it means the AI now uses artillery like a perfect human. After all, even a relatively small army is enough to suppress-kill one of your units each round if used correctly.

But this would destroy the "level up" experience that is the main draw of these Panzer games.

No AI improvement is worth it if the average player suddenly can't keep his units alive.

M

PS. This does NOT mean I am saying everything is fine as is, or that you don't have a point, or or somesuch. All I am saying is that each AI improvement must be carefully calibrated with the main goal in mind. And that main goal is not to make it impossible for ultra veteran gamers to find wonky behavior. It is to impart the illusion of reasonable AI play, while in actual reality the AI makes the machine go very very soft on the player's units.

Soft enough that the player feels he or she is in actual control over the units' destiny. Which compared to actual warfare is a fantasy. In short Panzer games are "Fantasy WWII" and should stay that way :)

tl;dr: if the exploit can be coded away without changing anything else, sure fix it. But I suspect it isn't generally that easy...

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Kerensky » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 am

Molve wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:48 pm
Even something "obvious" as making enemy artillery actually start shooting (so the entrenchment levels drop) might have unforeseen - and unwanted - side effects.

Remember you are among the top %1 players who know every trick in the book.

But the game must work for the average player.

An AI tweak that prevents you from setting up these entrenchment "safe hexes" is still worthless if it means the AI now uses artillery like a perfect human. After all, even a relatively small army is enough to suppress-kill one of your units each round if used correctly.

But this would destroy the "level up" experience that is the main draw of these Panzer games.

No AI improvement is worth it if the average player suddenly can't keep his units alive.

M

PS. This does NOT mean I am saying everything is fine as is, or that you don't have a point, or or somesuch. All I am saying is that each AI improvement must be carefully calibrated with the main goal in mind. And that main goal is not to make it impossible for ultra veteran gamers to find wonky behavior. It is to impart the illusion of reasonable AI play, while in actual reality the AI makes the machine go very very soft on the player's units.

Soft enough that the player feels he or she is in actual control over the units' destiny. Which compared to actual warfare is a fantasy. In short Panzer games are "Fantasy WWII" and should stay that way :)

tl;dr: if the exploit can be coded away without changing anything else, sure fix it. But I suspect it isn't generally that easy...
In an ideal world, I would say the solution to this is obvious.

The default difficulty level, E.G. Colonel in Panzer Corps, does not play its heart out and use the kind of min max tactics that are going to obliterate the CORES of brand new players. It pulls its punches a little bit, it doesn't always go for the kill.
Higher difficulty, instead of just being a granular increase in AI resources and decrease in player resources, should exhibit tactics more befitting players who are looking for a much more true (harsher) experience where the AI does not make terribly obviously blunders (how many times are you going to drive your arty in transport directly into my tanks Mr. AI? hint this is why I stripped the AI of many truck transports in the Grand Campaign, and people genuinely thought it was a big AI overhaul).

In my opinion, I think the starting difficulty levels of Panzer Corps are criminally underused. Other than the lowest level which feels super dramatically different, I honestly don't feel the difference between Colonel and Field Marshal. And I'll be damned if I can tell the difference the difficulty level between these two brings, I would genuinely have to look it up in the games files to tell you. The expanded difficulty levels though, I feel are much better at fundamentally changing the game and bringing it up to a level that truly challenges veteran players and absolutely would curbstomp brand newbies, but that's why they were originally not even available for your first playthrough, they were locked behind campaign victory for that very reason.

Those are the kind of improvements I hope to see in Panzer Corps 2, but we'll see what we get because we don't live in an ideal world and it's a lot easier for me to say these things rather than the effort that makes them happen. ;)
Last edited by Kerensky on Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Kerensky » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:57 am

If you really want to have a discussion on AI and what's wrong with Panzer Corps, you have to understand how it works.

If you don't understand how the AI works in Panzer Corps, it will punish you absolutely mercilessly. The problem, believe it or not, is that the AI is too smart. And when I say smart, I mean it's book smart, not street smart. It boils down to this statement:
The AI will not voluntarily initiate obviously bad engagements.

What does that mean?

It means it will punish new players who don't know how to screen their valuable and wounded units by throwing strong attack after strong attack directly into the player's exposed weak points. A half strength infantry unit caught in the open, an artillery unit in transport, a tank sitting on a river with reduced combat values. The AI is really good at zeroing in on these units, because attacking these units always shows the AI very good casualty ratios, so the AI very happily attacks these weak points without mercy.

Once you figure this out though, man does the AI become impotent, and you really need to crank up the difficulty to give the AI its fangs back. (me personally that means taking the game to Manstein level) If you screen your valuable units properly and also 'bait' the AI with juicy, juicy targets you intentionally offer it to make it attack (putting cheap infantry and cheap SP ATG units in vulnerable positions to act as a screen for your main CORE), you veteran and elite players will absolutely obliterate the AI and then come to the forums asking for better AI in Panzer Corps 2. ;)

It's that predictability that is the bane of both new players and veterans. The AI will, without fault, predictably stomp on new players who aren't tactical geniuses and make mistakes that every first time player is going to make. At the same time, the AI will, without fault, predictably fail to respond properly to a player who is massively taking advantage of it. If you set a 1000 StuG IIIG bait traps, the AI will fall into 1000 traps.

You want an AI that doesn't play like a massive jerk and constantly punish new players by focusing their attacks purely on the player's weakest and most vulnerable units? Make the default AI stop attacking smartly, make it not always pick on weak units, make it gravitate towards strong player units with bad combat odds.

You want an AI that can sometimes challenge veterans, make it stop always doing the obvious best moves. Sometimes you have to make bad moves to create openings for really good ones. Throwing infantry into a target to reduce it's ammo and entrenchment first, thereby softening it up before pummeling the same unit with extremely powerful tank assaults.

And how do you combine the above two absolutely contradictory ideas? Bake them into different difficulty settings. Lower difficulty, less lethal AI behavior patterns. Higher difficulty, more lethal and less predictable AI patterns.

Now that is extremely oversimplifying the problem, perhaps dangerously so, because I realize I just said we need to make the AI dumber to make it smarter, and its really dangerous to make it dumber because some players will instantly pick up on this dumbess and be facepalming hard if they see the AI do some truly preposterous moves (using arty in half tracks to attack and soften up a Sherman tank).

So we want want better AI all we want, but it's a really complicated issue. I personally think better application of difficulty levels is the best approach, but as always, easier said than done. :wink:

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by Retributarr » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:46 am

Molve wrote:

"maybe you're better off moving on to a more sophisticated game and leaving PC2 to remain true to its roots."

"We can discuss realism all day, as long as we always remember what makes the Panzer General and Corps a success:"
---------------------------------
Retributarr wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:31 am
Some improvement's in "Sophistication" will enhance PzC2, conversely...other manipulations would likely impede it.
We should therefore try to keep the Game-Audience engaged in the game with-out too much Additional Complexity or Diversion.
***Instead***
...I had more time to ponder this situation, I concluded...that'...the alternative to the above determination... would be...to make as many improvements as you are willing to make, then give the player a selection panel with which they can then choose whatever improvement's that they would like to have, if any at all!.


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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:11 am

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:30 pm
proline wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:17 pm
AlbertoC wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:51 pm
Hello All!
Reminder that there's only 4 business days left to release the February dev diary. You wouldn't want this to be the first month without one, would you?
Well... I think I have also noticed that the number of official statements/responses decreased in the last few weeks... at least that's my impression...
Maybe even the activity level as a whole has been decreasing in the PzC 2 subforum, i.e. people are suggesting less and less ideas and it seems they are also not complaining anymore… maybe these are first signs of growing disengagement and/or disillusion?

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by funat » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:32 pm

Given that this game development is mostly rules and AI (graphics uses an off the shelf engine), I doubt this has any proper backing or budget. I hope I am wrong.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by proline » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:21 pm

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:11 am
PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:30 pm
proline wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:17 pm

Reminder that there's only 4 business days left to release the February dev diary. You wouldn't want this to be the first month without one, would you?
Well... I think I have also noticed that the number of official statements/responses decreased in the last few weeks... at least that's my impression...
Maybe even the activity level as a whole has been decreasing in the PzC 2 subforum, i.e. people are suggesting less and less ideas and it seems they are also not complaining anymore… maybe these are first signs of growing disengagement and/or disillusion?
I mostly complained about the emphasis on Unreal and 3D! 3D! 3D! in their initial marketing as well as the focus on 3D in the game development itself. They've vastly improved how they communicate with fans thanks to the dev diaries, although Feb will mark a turning point towards slipping back into their old ways as the first month they haven't release one since they started them. The 3D will always be an issue, but they have at least made some improvements to the camera angle. They've also stopped showing some of the more problematic unit types that can't be told apart from an overhead view, such as infantry, to the public. Obviously that solution won't last forever, but it has helped keep the peace for the last while.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:04 am

No hard feelings, having worked in various service industries, I believe complaints are good as your customers (or employees for this matter) still care (about something) and provide (constructive) feedback so you can improve/adjust… if you don’t receive any complaints anymore it doesn’t necessarily mean you are perfect, it could also mean that no one around you cares anymore…

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by NiMa » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:39 am

I DO hope to see a grand campaign and a grand map similar to the Battlefield Europe MoD in Panzer Corps 2. It goes beyond saying how exciting it will be to be able to make such highly strategic decisions as to where and when to fight and to what extent, across the Europe, North Africa and Middle East. Actually I did my best to install Battlefield Europe on my Mac during the last month and I failed. It weirdly makes people who love Panzer Corps and play it on their Macs feel kinda being discriminated as they cannot play such beloved MoDs easily or at all ;) Now I only am hoping to at least see the concept of that MoD and its huge map and etc as a natural part of a separate campaign in Panzer Corps 2. I will be more than happy if the developers can share some of their ideas on this regard please :)

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:29 pm

NiMa wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:39 am
I DO hope to see a grand campaign and a grand map similar to the Battlefield Europe MoD in Panzer Corps 2. It goes beyond saying how exciting it will be to be able to make such highly strategic decisions as to where and when to fight and to what extent, across the Europe, North Africa and Middle East.
Absolutely agreed! This could even be a separate DLC and I am sure people would buy it if you look at the number of posts/views on McGuba’s current thread.

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Re: Panzer Corps 2 - Dev Diary #8

Post by NiMa » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:41 pm

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:29 pm
NiMa wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:39 am
I DO hope to see a grand campaign and a grand map similar to the Battlefield Europe MoD in Panzer Corps 2. It goes beyond saying how exciting it will be to be able to make such highly strategic decisions as to where and when to fight and to what extent, across the Europe, North Africa and Middle East.
Absolutely agreed! This could even be a separate DLC and I am sure people would buy it if you look at the number of posts/views on McGuba’s current thread.
Yeah EXACTLY! To be honest I wouldn't mind at all to pay whatever for such a separate DLC as well and like you mentioned I've seen and heard many others really want such DLC too! Hopefully the devs will take this issue seriously for PZC2 :)

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