Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:17 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:10 am
It is a possibility, but I don't want to introduce it for lancers vs lancers or even for warbands vs legionaries, for the reasons stated above.
Yes, what I meant was shock units, or impact foot units, of exactly the same type fighting each other e.g. war bands v war bands, but not including cavalry at all. What about heavy chariots?
As I say, the solution is in fact not to set up tournaments with massed warbands vs massed warbands!
Yes. Lesson learned. :wink:

Last question - are you inclined to look at a tweaking of the current RNG itself?

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by MVP7 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:34 pm

The 60 chip system wouldn't have much effect outside of situations that are already extremely rare. It would be placebo more than anything. Even if such system prevented some unlucky series of events (with no-one paying attention of course), those would still happen occasionally and feel just as unfair. It's much more effective to recognize gambler's fallacy and hindsight bias in your own thinking and start looking at the various probabilities as the independent events that they are.

In addition to reserves, flanking is one good way for mitigating the effect of RNG as the cohesion drop is always certain.

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:52 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:17 am
Last question - are you inclined to look at a tweaking of the current RNG itself?
Not at present. Others have stated the case against.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by MVP7 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm

In case anyone is interested here's some discussion about the (real) rigged RNG of XCOM2: https://www.reddit.com/r/XCOM2/comments ... heres_how/

The RNG is actually rigged in player's favor so that it better match the false and biased expectations of human player in a way that I think is fairly similar to what Pete suggests. While it makes the RNG feel more fair to average human, as a game feature it's about as controversial as rubber-banding in racing games and I personally don't think it has place in multiplayer games.

I don't mind it in XCOM2 as I hate having to gamble but in FoG2 I have always felt that there's usually enough room for error and intervention (or at very least the losses are sustainable) even after unlucky rolls. I don't think I have ever lost a singleplayer battle in FoG2 just or mainly because of RNG, even though I have lost flanks and been denied a easy victory because of it.

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:28 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:34 pm
The 60 chip system wouldn't have much effect outside of situations that are already extremely rare. It would be placebo more than anything. Even if such system prevented some unlucky series of events (with no-one paying attention of course), those would still happen occasionally and feel just as unfair.
Well, the "60 chips" was just used to illustrate the method. It could equally be 30 chips or 90. You would have to know how many die rolls there were in particular types of battle and how many rolls should occur before "the bag" was filled up again. The merit of it would be to suppress the possibility of the RNG favouring one side over the other but, yes, it would not remove the problem entirely because that is an impossibility to achieve. No-one is asking for a game with no RNG effects.

Again, I don't accept that what we might term as "RNG events" are extremely rare in certain types of battle. If you look at my first 10 sets of the sample I did yesterday, you can see that in 8 of these sets there were clusters of "red results" that potentially could be decisive in a match. And yes, I do understand that the RNG is performing exactly as it should be, and that we are using data from a war band match-up that is among the most volatile in the game.

.* indicates a combat where the cohesion test was passed

Set 1 - F . D . . .* . D . F D (6 red results in 11 rolls, RNG neutral)

Set 2 - F . D D D . . D . .* D . F (8 red results in 13 rolls, RNG neutral)

Set 3 - F . . F . D . F (4 red results in 8 rolls, RNG biased)

Set 4 - F . . D . . .* D . . D D . .* F .* (9 red results in 16 rolls, RNG neutral)

Set 6 - F F . . . F (3 red results in 6 rolls, RNG biased)

Set 8 - D .* . D F . . .* (5 red results in 8 rolls, RNG biased)

Set 9 - .* . F . * . D (4 red results in 6 rolls, RNG neutral)

Set 10 - D . D . .* F D . F .* .* . . F D (10 red results in 15 rolls, RNG neutral)

Obviously to get a fuller picture you would need to do similar trials for the other main troop types in the game, particularly other shock troops, because these war band results will be at the top end of the range.
It's much more effective to recognize gambler's fallacy and hindsight bias in your own thinking and start looking at the various probabilities as the independent events that they are.
I don't think that I am particularly afflicted with either of these two modes of thinking. My point has always been that the "various probabilities" can mitigate, or sometimes overwhelm, the skill element in the game. It has always been a question of balance.
In addition to reserves, flanking is one good way for mitigating the effect of RNG as the cohesion drop is always certain.
That might work in single-player. You rarely will get a chance to maintain a reserve and deploy a flanking force in multi-player (unless you have a RNG event in your favour at the start of the battle)
Last edited by stockwellpete on Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:35 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm
The RNG is actually rigged in player's favor so that it better match the false and biased expectations of human player in a way that I think is fairly similar to what Pete suggests. While it makes the RNG feel more fair to average human, as a game feature it's about as controversial as rubber-banding in racing games and I personally don't think it has place in multiplayer games.
How would it be controversial if it was the same for both players?
I don't mind it in XCOM2 as I hate having to gamble but in FoG2 I have always felt that there's usually enough room for error and intervention (or at very least the losses are sustainable) even after unlucky rolls. I don't think I have ever lost a singleplayer battle in FoG2 just or mainly because of RNG, even though I have lost flanks and been denied a easy victory because of it.
Unlucky rolls? Ooops, what a giveaway! :lol:

Please try some multi-player and see if you feel the same way. I did manage to beat the Deity level 47-0 once because it just could not cope with complicated terrain. Multi-player is a completely different experience. :wink:

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by MVP7 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:57 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:35 pm
MVP7 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm
The RNG is actually rigged in player's favor so that it better match the false and biased expectations of human player in a way that I think is fairly similar to what Pete suggests. While it makes the RNG feel more fair to average human, as a game feature it's about as controversial as rubber-banding in racing games and I personally don't think it has place in multiplayer games.
How would it be controversial if it was the same for both players?
Because with such system the probabilities displayed are no longer the real probabilities and the system can be gamed by resolving events of critical importance at times when probabilities are artificially favorable.

I don't know what you mean by unlucky rolls being giveaway. I did mention my experiences are from singleplayer since those are no doubt different from multiplayer and I personally care much more about the quality of singleplayer than multiplayer. Among the reasons why I don't play multiplayer is that a battle between two sides of equal power and leadership will be largely decided by luck even in the real world.

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:50 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:35 pm
I don't mind it in XCOM2 as I hate having to gamble but in FoG2 I have always felt that there's usually enough room for error and intervention (or at very least the losses are sustainable) even after unlucky rolls. I don't think I have ever lost a singleplayer battle in FoG2 just or mainly because of RNG, even though I have lost flanks and been denied a easy victory because of it.
Unlucky rolls? Ooops, what a giveaway! :lol:

I do wish you would stop repeatedly making remarks like this every time someone acknowledges that there is some luck in the game. I thought you wanted a serious discussion. Since nobody at any point has suggested that there is no luck in the game, even if these remarks are intended to be tongue-in-cheek they don't do your case any favours and they are becoming tiresome.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:04 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:50 pm
I do wish you would stop repeatedly making remarks like this every time someone acknowledges that there is some luck in the game. Since nobody at any point has suggested that there is no luck in the game, even if these remarks are intended to be tongue-in-cheek they don't do your case any favours and they are becoming tiresome.
Repeatedly? Where?

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:04 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:04 pm
rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:50 pm
I do wish you would stop repeatedly making remarks like this every time someone acknowledges that there is some luck in the game. Since nobody at any point has suggested that there is no luck in the game, even if these remarks are intended to be tongue-in-cheek they don't do your case any favours and they are becoming tiresome.
Repeatedly? Where?
Read your own posts - not just in this thread, but in the Rally Point discussion on RNG.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by Froz » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:21 pm

I don't have any experience in multiplayer FOG2, so perhaps you will be inclined to ignore what I'm about to write. However, I think it's important to note that (as far as I know) huge, mostly silent majority of players play single-player only (or mostly). And in my opinion RNG in FOG2 is just about in a perfect spot between randomness and deterministic gameplay.

Of course I realize this is very much a matter of personal taste. Some people like more randomness, some less (it's always a big topic in board games, isn't it). For me it is the best if I can plan my actions and count that they will in general work as I expect, however they still allow for the unexpected to happen and I'm forced to prepare for it (or face consequences). It makes single player much more enjoyable and I don't want to lose that.

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:29 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:04 pm
stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:04 pm
rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:50 pm
I do wish you would stop repeatedly making remarks like this every time someone acknowledges that there is some luck in the game. Since nobody at any point has suggested that there is no luck in the game, even if these remarks are intended to be tongue-in-cheek they don't do your case any favours and they are becoming tiresome.
Repeatedly? Where?
Read your own posts - not just in this thread, but in the Rally Point discussion on RNG.
OK Richard, I'll take your word for it. But I can only find some mutual banter with Mike in The Rally Point a few days ago. :? What's clear to me though is that you were quite happy for me to sit here for 4 or 5 hours yesterday compiling statistics for you, but when I make a light-hearted quip back to someone (not you) who earlier today told me to check my own thought processes, then that's not OK. Fair enough, I'll say no more on this subject and I'll just stick to running my tournaments in future.

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:48 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm
In case anyone is interested here's some discussion about the (real) rigged RNG of XCOM2: https://www.reddit.com/r/XCOM2/comments ... heres_how/
Very interesting.

We were aware of such "luck modifying" systems but decided not to tinker with the probabilities in this way in any of Byzantine Games's games - even if it means that (because of unacknowledged observer bias) a few of the people posting on the STEAM board (and in user reviews, unfortunately) have expressed a strong belief that the RNG is ("outrageously") biased in the AI's favour. In reality it isn't biased even slightly in favour of the AI (nor the player).

Ironically, as was highlighted in the thread you linked, even with XCom actively manipulating the RNG in the player's favour, some people still manage to convince themselves that the RNG is biased in the AI's favour!

(Not that this is the issue in the present discussion).
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:54 pm

Froz wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:21 pm
I don't have any experience in multiplayer FOG2, so perhaps you will be inclined to ignore what I'm about to write. However, I think it's important to note that (as far as I know) huge, mostly silent majority of players play single-player only (or mostly). And in my opinion RNG in FOG2 is just about in a perfect spot between randomness and deterministic gameplay.

Of course I realize this is very much a matter of personal taste. Some people like more randomness, some less (it's always a big topic in board games, isn't it). For me it is the best if I can plan my actions and count that they will in general work as I expect, however they still allow for the unexpected to happen and I'm forced to prepare for it (or face consequences). It makes single player much more enjoyable and I don't want to lose that.
Fair enough.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:00 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:29 pm
you were quite happy for me to sit here for 4 or 5 hours yesterday compiling statistics for you
For which I am very grateful, thanks, as it helped to clarify where the problem lay.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by MikeC_81 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:47 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:49 am
I imagine he probably already has one.
I do not. I am what psychologists call a "low conscientious" person meaning that I typically do not do work that doesn't interest me :oops: . PhDs typically require the opposite :lol:
stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:10 am
I can see what you are saying but it was quite strange how the RNG seemed to be favouring Side B decisively at certain points in the test. So out of the 25 sets Side A was moderately disadvantaged 5 times and severely disadvantaged 3 times, while Side B was moderately disadvantaged just once and severely disadvantaged 2 times. This is obviously not a very scientific measure of mine, but I would say that if one of these particularly one-sided sequences happened in a game then the player on the receiving end would be in big trouble. It is quite possible that Side A was getting compensation from smaller advantages elsewhere in the test, but the point is that these would not be game-changing advantages and would be more easily mitigated by player contingency plans. The other thing to say is that these combat sequences where there were decidedly more double and single drops than the overall average might suggest were quite common and were happening roughly once in every second set of 25 combats.

Just to give one sequence in the test (the dots represent combats where no cohesion drop occurred) . . .

D . . F . D F . D D . . F F . . F . F F

So in 20 consecutive combats there were 7 double drops and 4 single drops with Side A suffering 5 and 2 and Side B getting 2 and 2. So that was designated a "severe disadvantage" for Side A just to give a rough indication of how that sequence might have impacted on a game. You have to remember that the double drops almost inevitably lead to routed units in the next turn and adjacent friendly units having to take morale cohesion tests as well. So the impact of this sequence is likely to be massive.
Several posts have sort of danced around this issue but it revolves around the fact that you have separate independent events that that do not influence one another. You can slice that up any way you choose because the results are RNG based. Without a full accounting of exactly how many of each result, both sides obtained, you cannot make a reasoned argument other than that bad luck sometimes clump together.

Furthermore, you are saying that 20% of battles are being influenced by RNG. This presupposes that the optimal tactic for two Warband armies is to simply line up and charge simultaneously at each other. I have no doubt many players do this. And this is exactly what I mean by players subjecting themselves to the vagaries of RNG. You will never find me doing something like that. Some armies are inherently more RNG based than others. Pure Warband armies with little or no cavalry/skirmisher support are the worst offenders here which is why I never play them. They can't maneuver, are prone to chase, and do not have the steadiness of Heavy Foot to compensate. Even in this scenario though with a Warband mirror, you will never see me just lining up my troops and crossing my fingers. Exactly how I would arrange my troops would depend on terrain and the number and type of supporting units I can bring to bear to the battle and what my opponent can potentially bring. You know, stuff that requires skill to judge, not just blindly throwing powerful units on Impact at other powerful units on Impact.

Skillful play mitigates RNG. If players are lining up warbands and throwing them at each other, I have no sympathy for bad outcomes because you didn't even try to find alternatives. You literally chose to surrender your game to the RNG gods.
stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:26 am
My point was that matches in the FOG2DL tend to be between more evenly matched players than, say, the average pick-up game or matches in the earlier rounds of the automated tournament. So, just as I have answered to your point 2, RNG is likely to be more of a factor in FOG2DL matches than these other categories of matches.

So these arguments have not been "debunked" as you suggest. You may have debunked particularly crude approximations of what has been argued by some of us, but our actual arguments have a lot more nuance than you are allowing for.
This is only because you refuse to see that RNG that determines the result of games below the skill/execution cap of the game are meaningless to this overall question. A good example is Chess, players below 1200 elo typically have hard time defending the King's Gambit attack, a line of play that has been thoroughly refuted by modern play. But players below 1200 elo will still get dominated by the attack. Does that mean the King's Gambit is a strong play? No, it just means that the 1200 elo player needs to wake up and learn how to play the game.
stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:42 am
Which problems would this idea introduce?

" . . . imagine two players sitting at a table playing a game of TT FOG. Instead of rolling a die each time for combat or rallying etc, they would reach down into a bag that contained 60 discs (10 of them numbered 6, 10 of them numbered 5 and so on, all the way down to 10 of them numbered 1). When the score on the disc was fed into the game the disc would not be returned to the bag. So, if the player pulled out a 6, then there would only be nine 6's left in the bag and so the chance of getting another one for that player would be reduced a bit, and the other player would now have a slightly better chance than his opponent of getting the next 6. And so on. In this way the relative "luck element" between the two players would be moderated, but not removed altogether. Once a player had used 30 discs, the bag would be filled up again . . ."
It would introduce the *worst problem of them all*: Precognition of the upcoming die rolls.

If you as a player in this scenario pulled out 8 ones, 6 twos, 7 threes in some random order, you now have *knowledge* that your odds of pulling out 4s, 5s, and 6s are now inflated over what true RNG would dictate. You would now be allowed to take risks that you normally would not take, make plays knowing that the future die rolls are now heavily slanted in your favour. In effect your true expected die rolls are now roughly calculable to you and you can plan around that. This is an option available to you now that your opponent who got luck could not have done since he had to plan his opening moves with the expectation of true RNG.

In effect such a system would mean the players would be playing different games and at one point, someone starts playing with a LOADED DIE. It is truly the most awful of ideas in a game governed by RNG, I didn't want to skewer you in the Rally Point thread on this but you continue to insist on pushing this despite my attempts to explain why true RNG is the way it is.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by MikeC_81 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:20 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:28 pm
That might work in single-player. You rarely will get a chance to maintain a reserve and deploy a flanking force in multi-player (unless you have a RNG event in your favour at the start of the battle)
I was at work and couldn't finish a response before posting but this statement really irks me. That is because this is just straight up untrue. With 6 games completed as of right now in Div A saw 5 games where I had reserves and flanked or had the same happen to me. I will not talk about the one game where I conceded because that game never saw contact with the enemy.

Pantherboy and I and counter enveloped each other with plenty of reserves plugging holes in the middle as they came up. I mistimed how long the skirmishers could slow his flanking attack and I was 1 turn short of setting up a properly refused flank. He managed to refuse his in time. I accidentally offered a free unit when I charged without thinking and offered an exposed flank in the middle. Reserve plugged that hole up and his reserves plugged up the holes made when Arab Foot broke through in places against his lighter equipped Brythryonic Foot. I lost because he completed his flanking move and caved my line before I could do the same to his.

Dkalenda lost to me because his weighted flank was delayed sufficiently by terrain and good placement of my skirmishers and bowman. He got lucky when he charged his Legio Comentatis against my Arab Foot and rapidly broke much earlier than RNG would dictate through and I had to use reserves delay a complete rout in the centre. The reserves held out just long enough for my Lancer force to remove his cavalry on the other flank and circle back and crush his centre just as the last reserve units were about to give way.

Breogan lost to me when he held insufficient reserves, strung out his line way too long and had around 4 or 5 Scutarii out of action for way too long on a far flank while I wormed several Arab Foot through gaps made in the middle and crumbled his center with auto-cohesion flank attacks on individual units.

Nijjis lost to me when I split my army and abandoned the centre where his bowman dominated on a 200 height hill with difficult terrain on the slopes. He got caught while trying to recreate a castled position and lost the majority of troops on his right because my flank attack had reserve units from the stripped centre portion of the battlefield to back them up.

Harveyhl arguably saved his game with a single, well placed, Irr Foot reserve unit that managed to ZoC a lancer unit that broke through a gap in his lines and prevented me from charging and auto-cohesion drop his entire Zealot line in centre, in detail. The only reason I had a centre at all vs the insane Zealot push vs lowly Arab Foot was that I had reserves to keep them occupied and refused part of line in the centre making his Zealots travel much longer than if I had just deployed in a straight line.

In every single case here, reserves, or the lack of them featured as decisive factors. In Division A where the majority of players have proven records. If games are played where both armies just collide simultaneously on some axis, someone did something very wrong. It is also important to note that in all the games here, and in games in the past, a big feature was seeing units within charge range of each other, and not fighting for multiple turns. Probably because both players were leery of committing troops to a fight with uncertain outcomes and would rather keep units uncommitted and simply let their strategy play out. Units fighting each other is inherently a risky, and variance ridden proposition in the game. Smashing two lines of troops against each other accomplishes nothing except surrendering your fate to the RNG gods.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by Zardoz02 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:03 am

MikeC_81 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:20 pm
In Division A where the majority of players have proven records. If games are played where both armies just collide simultaneously on some axis, someone did something very wrong.
Grrrrr....

Completely off-topic but I can't resist replying to the person who made such a useful introductory video series!

In divisions other than A, where many players struggle with the subtleties of this game, there is a wish for videos from the better players to ENLIGHTEN us on exactly how you play such that both armies don't just collide simultaneously on some axis.

My problem with refused flanks is generally that the other guy refuses to refuse my refused flank and just charges up with cav or light bows and blasts the cr*p out of it.

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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by MikeC_81 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:07 am

It is certainly not because I am jealously hoarding knowledge, I can tell you that. Those videos you see took a lot of time and effort to make. Especially the AARs. It doesn't help that I am no good at video editing so it probably takes me a lot longer than it should because I am a dummy at it. But you can blame RBS instead for not expediting a replay function. ;)

A replay viewer that allows you to replay the game and is pause-able, re-windable, and can be advanced or re-winded one move at a time would be the ideal. But right now I would take any kind of replay feature. In the mean time, start taking screenshots of your own game and post them in AAR to get feedback.
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Re: Double-Breaks Far too Frequent

Post by melm » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:51 am

MikeC_81 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:07 am
It is certainly not because I am jealously hoarding knowledge, I can tell you that. Those videos you see took a lot of time and effort to make. Especially the AARs. It doesn't help that I am no good at video editing so it probably takes me a lot longer than it should because I am a dummy at it. But you can blame RBS instead for not expediting a replay function. ;)

A replay viewer that allows you to replay the game and is pause-able, re-windable, and can be advanced or re-winded one move at a time would be the ideal. But right now I would take any kind of replay feature. In the mean time, start taking screenshots of your own game and post them in AAR to get feedback.
Lol. RBS is innocent. Battle Academy does not have Reply function all these years. It's the game engine that needs to be updated. :D But I strongly advocate replay function. It's the only way to make this MP-heavy game flourish.

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