Prestige Soft Cap

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Resolute
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Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Resolute » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:14 pm

Has anyone played under the new rules through the Eastern DLC and what are your thoughts about the prestige soft cap?

When I first read about it on the beta forum a while back I thought it sounded like a really good idea but now haveing played through the DLC I am not so sure about it.
I actually restarted the campaign twice since it became apparent to me that there was no way that I would be able to get through it. On my final pass I made it but with some modifcations to the campaign:

- increased prestige by 25% which put me to 75% (I got used to Rommel difficulty)
- reduced overstrength cost to 150 (down from 200)
- decreased the number of kills it takes to get the first hero bonus (left 2nd and 3rd as it is)
- reduced enemy strength from DLC43 on by 1, DLC44 by 2 and DLC45 by 3

When I went into 43 I had about 56k prestige and 62 core units and had 11k (probably 15k if I had disbanded some units I did no longer need) prestige at Berlin Redux (I think I had about 3 MVs throughout the campaign). The problem I see with the soft cap are:

- the difficulty is not linear since the player won't notice any change before he goes into 43.
- to make it through the campaign a huge prestige pool is needed unless you constantly tweak the prestige settings between scenarios
- there is absolut no indication ingame which tells you how much prestige a player gets rewarded with the current deployed core units. If I remeber correctly the coefficient will never drop below 0.2 but there is no tooltip or any such thing which might help the player during the deployment phase.
- I used Paks and some Stugs and other fairly cheap units for a really long time but once they're starting to lose experince due to losses which are hard to completley avoid since the AI focus on exactly those units and also the constant damage from strafing enemy planes - they become fairly useless from 44 onwards.
- overstrengthing units to some extent is unavoidable to make up for the experience loss during scenarios. I usually overstrengthed my units to 12/13 and it worked fairly well but still eats up your prestige pretty badly.

I really like the increased costs for overstrengthing units and it's easily tweakable as well. The prestige soft cap did not work so well for me, especially since it's just not transparent and makes the planning of that long campaign frustrating at times.

The difficulty can always be changed between sceanrios but since I really like to stick to the one I choose at the start and not wanting to negate a mechanic which got introduced with a purpose, I did not do that.

ThvN
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by ThvN » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:40 pm

I have been playing with the soft cap, but I had to slowly notch down the difficulty starting in '43East. After a long downward spiral in '44East I started to change some soft cap settings. I'm now playing through the West GC, now halfway '44, with a modded soft cap, as the stock values are crippling me in the later years.

I think it's a good idea, but I have the same observations as you, the soft cap takes too long to start becoming noticable, and can be crippling from '43 on, where some really expensive units are necessary to get DVs. I liked the fact that I started looking for cheaper units to fill my core, to try and bring down the average, but especially the airplanes I use can't be made cheaper, so the gains are difficult. One trick I found when trying to 'beat' the soft cap are to buy the cheaper transports (do not take the SdKfz 250), and avoid expensive overstrength. The SE units aren't counted, so make these into the most expensive ones so the normal units can be a bit cheaper.

You can turn it off if you want to try the difference, it's a setting in the gamerules.pzdat file. With some more work you can also to set it differently for each GC. What I did, after getting stuck in '44East already, was make a different cap for every GC, which I'm trying out now.

There are three values: there is a prestige 'floor', which is set at 400 stock. This means that as soon as the average value of your deployed core units exceeds this total, it will start to lower prestige income.

The second setting is the prestige 'ceiling', which is 800 stock, and this is the point where the soft cap maximizes and stays at the 0.2 coefficient you mention, which is the third setting, and this will determine by how much prestige income will be lowered when the soft cap 'ceiling' is reached.

Resolute
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Resolute » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:24 am

I did not know about these settings. Do I need to add them manually since I don't see them in the gamesrules.pzdat file. I also did not know that SE are not affected, thanks for that information. Nevertheless I just wish the game would show the average value of a players core force during deployment.

ThvN
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by ThvN » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:17 am

The settings are in the main gamerules file, they are not in the DLC files, but you can add them there and they will override the main settings.

If I open gamerules.pzdat in Excel, lines 63 through 68 deal with the softcap. The settings in the stock file are:

UseSoftCap 1 (set to 0 to disable the softcap)
NormalPrestige 400 (the 'floor' from where the cap will start to reduce prestige income)
MaxPrestige 800 (the 'ceiling' were it will it the maximum prestige reduction)
MinKoff 20 (in %, so this means a 0.2 multiplier)

I'm planning to make a separate set of values for each DLC, to make the effect more even throughout the years.

Naxor
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Naxor » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:00 am

Im currently playing last scenarios of year 42 on field marshal and only have 10k prestige. Only 34+4 core units but all have 4 experience stars. Probably get destroyed when reach year 43.

Resolute
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Resolute » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:39 am

ThvN wrote:The settings are in the main gamerules file, they are not in the DLC files, but you can add them there and they will override the main settings.

If I open gamerules.pzdat in Excel, lines 63 through 68 deal with the softcap. The settings in the stock file are:

UseSoftCap 1 (set to 0 to disable the softcap)
NormalPrestige 400 (the 'floor' from where the cap will start to reduce prestige income)
MaxPrestige 800 (the 'ceiling' were it will it the maximum prestige reduction)
MinKoff 20 (in %, so this means a 0.2 multiplier)

I'm planning to make a separate set of values for each DLC, to make the effect more even throughout the years.
Ouch, did not even know there is a main file, probably should have taken a bit more time searching through the directory :) - still good to know.

shawkhan
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by shawkhan » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:28 pm

Can't you just adjust the prestige slider in the advanced settings to account for this?

Lut
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Lut » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:06 am

I think it would be very helpful to have an indicator about the softcap value in the deployment phase.

With every unit you would place on the map the indicator should show the actual softcap value - 1.0 for no cap to 0.2 fill cap. That would help a lot not to be suprised by the cap after taking the first victory hex...

jaggy
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by jaggy » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:08 am

I agree with Lut, there should be an indicator on the softcap value as its difficult to figure out how much prestige you are going to earn in the scenario with one's current core force deployed.

BiteNibbleChomp
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by BiteNibbleChomp » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:45 am

I say remove soft cap all together - you earnt all that cash, so you shouldn't be penalized for being able to afford a steamroller made of Tiger IIs.

- BNC
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Naxor
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Naxor » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:47 am

BiteNibbleChomp wrote:I say remove soft cap all together - you earnt all that cash, so you shouldn't be penalized for being able to afford a steamroller made of Tiger IIs.

- BNC
+1 or at least give us an option to turn it off.

antoniocapo
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by antoniocapo » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:27 pm

Naxor wrote:
BiteNibbleChomp wrote:I say remove soft cap all together - you earnt all that cash, so you shouldn't be penalized for being able to afford a steamroller made of Tiger IIs.

- BNC
+1 or at least give us an option to turn it off.
I think you can select the option in settings to play under 1.14 rules, that gets rid of the soft cap.

captainjack
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by captainjack » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:50 am

But playing under 1.14 changes all sorts of things as well as soft cap, and I rather like most of the 1.21 features now, even though I was a bit unsure at first.
Personally I don't like the soft cap, although that could be because I'm not good enough to need the extra challenge. Anyway, I'm grateful to the person (Thvn, I think) who explained how to remove it.

jaggy
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by jaggy » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:48 am

captainjack wrote:But playing under 1.14 changes all sorts of things as well as soft cap, and I rather like most of the 1.21 features now, even though I was a bit unsure at first.
Personally I don't like the soft cap ...
Same here. Personally I think the softcap is very harsh. I think new players will come to a lot of grief after 1942 and begin 1943. They will definitely run out of prestige on their first run-through.

antoniocapo
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by antoniocapo » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:34 am

jaggy wrote:
captainjack wrote:But playing under 1.14 changes all sorts of things as well as soft cap, and I rather like most of the 1.21 features now, even though I was a bit unsure at first.
Personally I don't like the soft cap ...
Same here. Personally I think the softcap is very harsh. I think new players will come to a lot of grief after 1942 and begin 1943. They will definitely run out of prestige on their first run-through.
Agreed on prestige soft cap being harsh for newer players and its best for advanced players. It has however given new life to the game for me, as i had quitted it because it was too easy to have a mass of King Tigers and Me-262's. Turn after turn i yawned at the soviet suicidal charges, while i had a reserve of over 75k prestige in '43-44. Never finished 1945 East out of boredom.

But now i have to really make good choices in how i upgrade and not just get the best stuff as fast as possible. Also the game feels more tense as losses really hurt. Finished the West campaign to '45 practically broke.

captainjack
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by captainjack » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:48 am

It's good to know that prestige soft cap helps some players, but I'm not that good yet.

I can usually cope with 43 East scenarios close to breaking even with prestige on each one, but in 44 East I start losing prestige so fast it's not funny even when I don't make big stupid mistakes.

So my vote is for an option as with dice randomness and reform units, and maybe a slider control to change when it starts to bite.

Aloo
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Aloo » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:33 am

Im in the middle of 43 and really enjoy the soft the new rules. I do know about the soft cap and try to balance my forces accordingly. My fast inf has no transports, my experienced tanks with heroes are not upgraded to tigers and panthers. SE units are the best I can get since they do not count for the soft cap. I use overstrength only for art and strat bombers and think I might make it till the end of 45 as far as prestige goes.

So in my opinion the soft cap does what it should - limit the numbers of super strong units in my forces. The problem is you need to know that there is such a mechanic and when you are starting to loose prestige due to force composition. Otherwise uninformed players might get frustrated in the later years of the grand campaign.

Resolute
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Resolute » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:21 pm

The soft cap does not encourage players to use cheaper units on a wide scale but prevent players from overstrengthing their units to 15. In in the late GC (mid 44 and 45) you really need to rely on the Tiger II as tanks because those heavy 10+ Soviet tanks with their massive experience are too tough to handle with just Panzer IVs e.g. even with heavy support from suppression. With the soft cap the game evoles around accumulating as much prestige as you can prior to 44 and then just live off by that but of course that also depends on the difficulty level the player has chosen.

ThorHa
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by ThorHa » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:01 pm

Only for information on prestige:

On difficulty General I just make my second round through the dlcs prior 43 in order to accumulate prestige in the 40.000 range. As a PG veteran I made some mistakes in the first attempt, especially on the unit formation and on defensive air which was both irrelevant in PG due to the insane strength of PG elites 41 forward and the poor PG handling of air units.

It could have been 50.000 or more despite fielding more or less the best units available (which are not always the most expensive ones) and having an experienced corps of 55 units prior dlc 42 Sevastopol. I still made stupid mistakes and am too reluctant to leave wounded units along the way to final Victory hexes.

Having already played dlc 43 prior Prokhorovka I strongly beleive I will at least finish dlc 43 with said 40.000 and after should be able to survive 44 and 45 on this polster.

Key to PC different to PG is really disciplined battlefield behaviour. No far strafing fighters, no panzer spearheads separated from the support troops, a healthy dose of artillery protected by 88 AA and strong fighters in close support of ground troops, never moving anything else than a Pz III N or a tank with +2 or more defense heroes into close terrain (this includes hills), never move infantry in the open and rarely using the trucks.

Regards,
Thorsten

Naxor
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Re: Prestige Soft Cap

Post by Naxor » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:27 pm

antoniocapo wrote: Agreed on prestige soft cap being harsh for newer players and its best for advanced players. It has however given new life to the game for me, as i had quitted it because it was too easy to have a mass of King Tigers and Me-262's. Turn after turn i yawned at the soviet suicidal charges, while i had a reserve of over 75k prestige in '43-44. Never finished 1945 East out of boredom.

But now i have to really make good choices in how i upgrade and not just get the best stuff as fast as possible. Also the game feels more tense as losses really hurt. Finished the West campaign to '45 practically broke.
It doens't mean if you have unlimited amount of prestige you should buy all best units available. :) I usually try to build balanced core even if I have tons of spare prestige. I try to say we don't need game developers to tell which units to buy. Let players make the choice. Sry my english. :|

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