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Everything posted by jwilly

  1. Then the "decal" development process would be substantiall equivalent to part of the current modeling process, because the "decals" would have to be foldable to all the elements of the object 3D geometry, plus all the moving parts that are to be "decal"-covered...at all of the LODs, so the object didn't flash back and forth between two appearances at the LOD-boundary distance...in all of the lighting and/or weather conditions that affect what model is displayed. And, the "decal" covered model would have to accept another layer of "decal", for hit marks, campaign marks, identifiers and so forth. Seems like a lot of work to get a potentially nice, but unproven, revenue stream. I'd think that that amount of model rebuilding work would be substantially equivalent to just building a bunch of entirely new models...the customer-attracting, revenue-boosting power of which is proven.
  2. Ouch. It's a game...check...but "all rates of fire the same" is too red = blue simplfied. Ditto for "not one single unit in game" and "things that inhibit firing rate". (As a minor input, the PzKpfW II gun should fire at the same rate as the FlaK 30 2.0 cm AA gun--two modes, semiautomatic or full auto--because...except for using a 10 round magazine instead of 20 because of limited space...it's the same gun.)
  3. +10 We're going to use a manufacturing cost basis? OK. But...given that the game is not a close simulation of real war and isn't supposed to be...what is the justification for giving each side economically inefficient numbers of the various modeled weapons? Too few of relatively inexpensive items with high spawn-demand, too many of very expensive items with lesser spawn demand. Mismatches between weapons and necessary support elements. The list goes on. Odd, but this feels like a complex side-to-side balance mechanism.
  4. It should be noted that CRS 1.0 may have buffed out the S35's commander workload issues in return for the Germans getting a greater ratio of PzKpfW III, IV and 38(t) relative to PzKpfW II (also standing in for I), compared to actual history. There are various ways to achieve balance. Design buffs vs. numbers is one that works, and over time has been popular with both sides.
  5. No quantitative reload timing info here. Pachy or one of the other early-days France-forces researchers might have something. We however do know that S35s out-fought the mixed German tanks arrayed against them at Hannut, in a relatively set-piece battle where the Germans maneuvered to get flank shots and the French mostly were stationary. Per that battle result and other 1940 history, I don't agree with the proposed remedy. I would like to see various tank realism fixes, affecting both sides, but only as a set all at once...not one or a few individually. Reloading in the S and B tanks consisted of the commander/gunner, while keeping his sight picture to maintain SA of the last-shot target, opening the breech which ejected the fired shell onto the tank floor, then holding downward his open hand and calling out the desired 47mm shell type. The radioman/shell handler was ready for this, and slapped the next shell into the commander's hand in the correct orientation. A 47mm shell can be grasped with one hand and brought to the breech. Just as I can go back and forth between the keyboard, the mouse and my beverage while keeping my eyes on the screen, the commander then would load the shell and lock the breech without having to watch it, by practiced knowledge of the necessary geometry. The shortcomings of this sequence were not reload speed or loss of sight image. They were the inability of the commander/gunner, while reloading, to be looking through his scopes to maintain SA outside of the gunsight field of view, and his inability to either turn the turret or change the gun elevation, to follow the current target if it moved or to acquire the next target. (The commander also was likely unable to reload while the tank was jouncing due to offroad movement. That however wasn't particular to one man turrets. No one, including separate loaders in three man turrets, could safely load a WWII tank moving cross-country. You really didn't want to drop a live shell in a tank, or bang the fuze against the gun or some other hardware in the turret.) Reloading in an H tank was similar, but the shell handler was the driver, who couldn't simultaneously drive. The commander/gunner had the same limitations as above. Note that the PzKpfW II also had a one man turret, with the radio operator acting in this case as the magazine handler. Because removing the empty magazine, exchanging it with the radio operator for a full (10 round, ~15 pound) one and loading that full magazine within the tight volume of the turret was more difficult, the PzKpfW II commander/gunner could not simultaneously maintain the sight view, nor could he aim the gun or maintain his external SA. Two-man-turret tanks had reloading issues too--whoever was handling the ordnance couldn't be simultaneously doing something else requiring vision or full attention. That included the PzKpfW 38(t) and the Vickers Mark VI. I believe both the B and C models' heavy MGs used magazine feeds, not belts. In any case, their reload process only applied when their full-auto guns emptied their ammo supply, but the subsequent reload process was more time-consuming.
  6. With all due respect, it's quite negatively revealing of yourself that you would call a development volunteer a "fanboy". I'm fairly sure that it undercuts any effectiveness you might have had at convincing CRS that your input is valuable.
  7. There are multiple ways to grief. One of course is to shoot or grenade friendlies. Another is to run into the bullet stream or grenade blast of a same-side player. So, I want to grief you. Using a FTP account of no importance, I track you down, wait until you're focused on firing on the enemy, and arrange for you to kill me. You then are auto-killed by the game engine. That's easy for me, and a total surprise for you...and it's hard for a GM to assuredly determine that you, rather than me, was the griefer.
  8. WWII territorial control was definitely more about river crossings than small towns. That's what was so odd about the original map omitting the Dyle River...which was after all the namesake of the entire Belgian defensive intent, the Dyle Plan.
  9. The game's engine is fundamentally built around the OpenFlight modeling specification. My understanding is, in OpenFlight the "skin" of a model is an integral compiled element and is not changeable except by creating a new model; and all models are "called" from the program code loaded into the client. That wouldn't rule out a skins-for-sale monetization approach. It however would mean that each such sale would require a substantial Presagis Creator model modification and re-compilation, and each model would have to be distributed as part of a patch so as to be available to any client that might interact with the player using that model.
  10. Let's consider another example. The British will get their #68 HEAT RG in T0. My assumption is that the French will get the Brandt 50mm HEAT RG in T1, i.e. the second half of 1940, based on available historical information that some were used then from the 150,000 just received into Army warehouses and awaiting development of the training process for them. The British and French HEAT RGs were effective against tanks of their period, reliable, and available in ample numbers. The Heer, though, didn't get a HEAT RG until early 1942, and that one was very weak. They didn't get an improved, reasonably effective one until late 1942...T5. The Fallshirmjagers got a weak and unreliable HEAT RG in early 1941, just in time for Crete. They muddled along with that weapon until the first Heer HEAT RG was available, at which point the Fallshirmjagers scrapped all of their own version. How should that be handled in-game? Should the Germans have to struggle along with equal numbers of an entirely inferior weapon, available much later? Or should they get something else that's available early and more effective for the same game-role? Neither the British nor the French ever had a "HEAT sapper charge" weapon. Those weapons of theirs in-game are imaginary. The Germans, though, did have an early version of such a weapon, probably in T0 or T1...the HHL 1. It had about as much penetration as the British and French HEAT RGs. Then later the Germans developed the HHL 3 series, which was the conceptual basis for the game's current HEAT sapper charges even though it looked completely different. It seems obvious to me that there's no point in modeling weapons that are so poor performing that players will think of them as useless. That's why the criterion should be balanced effectiveness, not just balanced numbers.
  11. If eventually the infantry physics code takes weapon momentum into account for weapon movements (accelerations and decelerations), including rotation, light carbines will have the same advantages as SMGs over rifles, auto rifles and LMGs...less time to aim. Not sure when that will occur, though. But more generally, not every weapon chosen for modeling has to be unambiguously better than what's already modeled. To a significant extent, the marketing appeal of more weapons is just their variety. A game with every common WWII infantry weapon modeled will be more fun to many customers than one with only the best weapons modeled. And, in that regard, it makes sense to model the common weapons first, before getting into the very-limited-use ones.
  12. Does balance mean equal side-to-side effects to you, or just equal numbers for each individual weapon? It's really easy to say "equal numbers" if your side's individual weapons are faster-firing or better armored. The other side isn't going to see that as balanced, though. Maybe the game should just go with red = blue? Then there'd be no questions about balance, and no concerns about historical accuracy...right? What about when one side has a weapon type that the other one historically didn't have at all, or that CRS hasn't modeled yet...how do you think the game should be brought to balance? The point of what I proposed was balanced effects, not historical accuracy. That, I think, is what marketing requires. Balanced numbers on this particular issue would screw the Allies. In many instances during WWII, Germany had more lethal individual weapons, and Allied countries had greater numbers. Not always, though. When Allied weapons were more effective, do you want the Germans to just get an equal number of their ineffective equivalent weapon? Obvious examples are early tier HEAT RGs, and early tier armored cars. Or, should the Germans get a different weapon with effectiveness equivalent to what the Allies have? IMO balanced effects is the only way to make a marketable game. If that can be achieved with some degree of historical validity...just enough for flavor, not a re-creation...that adds some additional marketability. That's the way to go.
  13. Nope. Total number of riflemen should be equal. Divide between semi-auto and bolt action should be historical. Total number of LMGs should be equal. Germans have a higher-ROF LMG, semi-auto rifles have a higher ROF. That tends toward balance. If a nation (i.e. US) doesn't have an LMG yet, give it an additional number of semi auto rifles with the same ability to put bullets downrange per unit time as their LMG will have. Take those additional rifles away as soon as their LMG is added.
  14. "Why" of course is a marketing question. The usual answer relates to customers regarding the existing game as stale after they've played it up to 150+ times. A reasonable follow-up marketing question is whether Bulge would be the best alternate battle to model, or something else would be better. A necessary criterion for that is how much terrain modeling, weapon/vehicle modeling and/or game mechanics development would be required to make the new game meet CRS's marketing standard. "How" is more straightforward, though the answer isn't favorable to the Bulge idea. The existing map includes all of the area usually thought of in relation to the Battle of the Bulge, plus all of the surrounding areas that were relevant to supply, reinforcements and German victory-goals. But, as a part of the 2:1 horizontal compression and simplification of the existing terrain, all of the small towns are missing along with all of the small but mobility-critical rivers and particularly all of the mobility-critical secondary roads and farm lanes. The existing terrain also is far too flat...the critical eastern and northern parts of the real Bulge area have a lot of steep valleys with a winding, fast-moving, near-freezing river and a narrow winding road at the bottom, and heavily forested hillsides. There are few open areas with long sightlines anywhere in the Bulge area until you get quite far west. The existing game system has no mechanics to realistically limit tracked vehicle movement offroad, and essentially prevent wheeled vehicle movement offroad. It also doesn't have realistic systems for snow, fog, night, bridging, mines, or artillery. All of those would be critical. The existing game system skips right past realistic mobility limitations, i.e. the road length of a division, the tonnage/day limit of different road types before they become mud pits or bottomless-potholed, and how trucks get back to supply depots when you have only one dirt/gravel road, it's 1 to 1.5 military vehicles wide with no usable shoulders, and it already contains a division that's stalled due to lack of supplies up front. That problem--more so than the fight put up by the American forces--determined the outcome of the battle. And of course the existing game's model set is missing a bunch of relevant 1944 weapons on both sides, the absence of which would hurt the market appeal of the battle-game.
  15. So if a spawn point can be "built" at an arbitrary location, why doesn't the strat map have only points of production, resource and transportation value on it, with all movement and spawning from a player-created mesh of spawn points?
  16. Yep, sorry, didn't mean to suggest that CRS doesn't care about its customers that are positive participants in the process, which of course is almost all of us. There's tons of evidence that CRS and its positive-participant community are highly integrated. The discussion here though has been partly about folks who haven't been a good fit, and want to tell everyone about their views. My experience has been that kind of thing has much less negative impact than has sometimes been thought in the past, or that complainers themselves sometimes argue.
  17. As yet another marketer...everyone's an expert these days, eh?...my view has long been that CRS's fortunes are not dependent on their customer service, but rather on the gameplay. Gaming customers will tolerate an idiosyncratic gaming company for an opporunity to play a game they like...especially if that game is unique and/or superior in some way that makes them feel positive about having chosen to play it. No product is right for everyone, of course. That's just reality. I think most gaming customers understand that complaints and negative comments often come from folks that just aren't a good fit with a game, and somehow feel that the game should be changed to fit what they want. It's really a fool's errand to try to interact with those kinds of ex-customers, because the communication just feeds their ego-involvement in "suggesting"/demanding that the game be changed. Better to devote the company's resources to development. Unique / superior gameplay is where the battle will be won or lost. The farther CRS moves in the unique / superior-gameplay direction, the more customers will come.
  18. Oh, I assure you I've read them all at least twice. In my experience of the science world, "arbitrary, subjective and situational" is just another way of saying "we haven't figured out metrics and an analytical framework for this, so even though a cross section of practitioners tell us it's important, we're assuming it doesn't matter." But good luck. I've put a few thousand hours into this enterprise, partly from the semi-inside as you're doing now, so I do hope it doesn't fail.
  19. Heh. Two part response: 1. You folks are on the wrong end of a classic logical failing in science and engineering: "we don't have metrics and an analytical framework for parts of this problem, so we'll assume that they don't matter and that we have a solution based only on the parts we can quantify." My wife does cancer research, and gets NIH R01 grants. That's the most important level. If she proposed a study for NIH funding on that basis, the peer reviewers of her grant application would have a fit. 2. How many PzKpfW IIs are equal to one Churchill, or Vickers to one Tiger? How many riflemen are equal to one Sherman? How many Opels are equal to one B29-delivered Hiroshima bomb? The problem as a whole as presently handled includes comparisons of non-comparables. You're presently skirting around that by assuming that historical production-and-TOE ratios should apply in-game...but they were developed for the real world where there are types of conflict that this game doesn't have mechanics for. A proper solution has to compare only comparables, and has to consider ratios and relevancies only in regard to the existing game mechanics. Otherwise it appears to me, regrettably, that the customer dismay and rejection of the design as obviously invalid will continue.
  20. I'm envisioning that a future TOEs criticism...community involvement via this thread notwithstanding...will be that having the heaviest tanks included in every town's spawnlist will make the lightest tanks mostly cannon fodder, which will negatively affect fun delivery for those that have bought access to those lighter tanks.
  21. I'd like every town to be an outpost of the omnipresent infantry formations in every army, with chronologically correct infantry-armor support etc., but with historical TOE adaptations to compensate for WWIIOL gameplay differing from actual fighting in ways that affect weapon requirements. And I'd like armor beyond that...amounting to all the various armored/panzer/DCR-DCM formations...to be moveable units, not town based. I recognize that that would defeat the purpose of going back to town based TOEs, and that having moveable units with no one to move them is dysfunctional. If there was a way to make that work, that IMO would make the best game.
  22. Yummmm, bacon. I had BLTs for lunch today. Most excellent.
  23. But those simulate combat-surround...close investment of the defender by attacking forces on all sides. During 1940 fighting, and as the T0 German forces' armor is suited for, defending forces were isolated by having supply/reinforcement roads cut well to their rear...often without being engaged in combat at all. The game mechanics need to provide a mechanism by which attackers can penetrate the enemy's line, then spread out behind that line, defeat the light rear area security forces and prevent forward movement of supplies and reinforcements...whether the enemy's forward forces are partly attrited and in need of reinforcements/replacements/supplies, or even unattacked.
  24. Not sure who should see this: @OHM @XOOM @SCKING
  25. That tactical gameplay issue...that cutting a supply road has no tactical meaning...is fundamentally the same problem as in the TOEs-per-budget-and-historical-mix discussion. Under the recently added TOEs-budget system, each side gets an equal budget for weapons, and an historical analysis determines their mix of particular weapon types...with reasonable adjustments as needed to compensate for weapons not yet modeled and so forth. The historical British and French T0 armor forces were equipped for battle. The historical German T0 armor forces were equipped for bypassing and disruption of supply movement, resulting in enemy force defeat via isolation. The game's mechanics do provide gameplay functionality for battle. They don't provide gameplay functionality for bypassing and disruption of supply movement, resulting in enemy force defeat via isolation. If the gameplay offered both battle functionality and bypass/tactical-isolation functionalities, each side could fight the T0 war as they were equipped to fight. Of course, the task of developing the original game was made easier by not having to simulate WWII's effectively-continuous lines and rear area security, because with no supply lines to disrupt, why bother? But, now it's a problem. One of those above-mentioned woes, I guess.