vaalen
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More love for PON, more patching?

Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:54 pm

Dare I ask the small, yet brilliant and intrepid Ageod team to work on this game while they are busy with EAW? I must. I cannot help it. I love this game!

Kensai did say that he thought that there would be another patch out for PON, relatively soon, or so I hope.

In the meantime, I will shamelessly implore the Ageod guys to provide a quick fix of two issues.

First, the population screen does not work, and I know Pocus is aware of this.

Second, the code in EAW that ends the stacks of doom is badly needed in PON, and would be a huge improvement.

Sorry to be such a pest, but I blame PhilThib and Pocus for making the best game of all time available, and my desire to play it only increases, especially that the end of the stacks of doom are in sight.

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Pocus
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Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:05 am

I'll check where we stand with the regions list problem, asking the relevant person (that's not me). For the stack of doom problem, it can be added in PON indeed.
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vaalen
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Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:21 pm

Pocus wrote:I'll check where we stand with the regions list problem, asking the relevant person (that's not me). For the stack of doom problem, it can be added in PON indeed.


Thank you, Pocus. That is wonderful news!

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Kensai
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Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:20 pm

I really need to stress that it was my personal hope, given my love for this very game, to have another patch. But please, do not blame the developers if this is not coming (soon at least). I am terribly sorry if I got your hopes up (mine as well), the reality is that PON is now an old game and it is difficult to hamstring the devs to give us a dedicated patch. However, as they say, hopes dies last and I can't wait to start another PBEM game when a patch arrives. This game is of epic proportions and the hours we can still invest in it seriously many.

Crossing fingers! :D
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Templer
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Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:33 pm

I like the heading and it ends with a question mark.
"More love for PON, more patching?"

So here is my answer: YES!
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uglyr
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Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:30 pm

Discovered this game not long ago, but absolutely like it. And without joking I consider long turn processing time as a useful feature, because "at the same time" I play and do some useful things like excercises, ironing clothes, cooking, cleaning and many other...

But it's just lyrics. What I'd like to say is: if you make DLC that optionally allows more freedom (like changing government policies, more options to conquer and all that) i'd certainly buy it.

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loki100
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Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:55 pm

uglyr wrote:Discovered this game not long ago, but absolutely like it. And without joking I consider long turn processing time as a useful feature, because "at the same time" I play and do some useful things like excercises, ironing clothes, cooking, cleaning and many other...



yep, me too ... I painted a large room with 3m high walls last summer while busily beating Perfidious Albion in a PoN war ... the timings were just right for a trip up and down the ladder
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cwegsche
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Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:21 am

As a big fan of this game (maybe even my favourite of the AGEOD games) I would also like to see improvements/patches for:

- having too few leaders for your stacks (already in the beginning but it worsens as the game goes on)
- silly movements of AI stacks (specially tribal nations as they move their stacks to somewhere where they starve - Africa for example - you observe the problem when you declare a colony and can't even find the troops being somewhere in the black in the middle of Africa)
- bug for buildings just disappearing for the reason for having underdeveloped regions (happend to my ecole navale and st.cyr military academy in france the same turn)
- smarter AI building armies and fleets if new technologies arise (ships being the best example)
- completing the text messages for some events (don't know whats happening if "str.objLoss" or "NULL" etc. appears on the message board)
- fixing the popping up of rebellious camel troops and other strange sort of tribal troops in the middle of france
- make the whole crisis system clearer (which nation is the originator, who has the just cause, what's going on behind the curtains of playing the sort of cards in which order etc.)

I know much work has also been done regarding fixing and adding scripting as I can see on the improvements section of the PON board. If these things are tested and working to a certain degree, couldn't they be added to the game via an optional patch (patch would include all fixes/improvements which could be applied if you start a new game - not fixes to ongoing games)? I really don't want to mess around and perhaps compromise the game not knowing which of the whole load of scrips should be added and where to be added etc. As things stand, all this work done is for a small group of users who (deeply) understands the mechanisms and likes to try and error a bit with the various scrips ...
There are many more but these come to my mind as I write, would be happy to commit as a beta tester if something like a gold version would be in the release pipe.

Greets Chris

vaalen
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Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:07 pm

Kensai wrote:I really need to stress that it was my personal hope, given my love for this very game, to have another patch. But please, do not blame the developers if this is not coming (soon at least). I am terribly sorry if I got your hopes up (mine as well), the reality is that PON is now an old game and it is difficult to hamstring the devs to give us a dedicated patch. However, as they say, hopes dies last and I can't wait to start another PBEM game when a patch arrives. This game is of epic proportions and the hours we can still invest in it seriously many.

Crossing fingers! :D


Kensai, I see PON as a totally unique game. The system is not older in a meaningful way than Civil War 2, for example. I cannot consider it an older game, because no other game, not in the entire world, in my opinion, comes close to recreating the feel of the era, or an era, like this one does. The very magnificence of this achievement obliges the developers not to abndon it, at least interms of art. I realize that there is only so much time, but there is only one PON. It is my belief that the developers realize this, at least at some level, and are sympathetic to those of us who love and appreciate their masterpiece.

I share your hope, and I will not let this subject die until the developers tell me there is no hope.

My dream would be to see a PON gold, fixed and improved in the many ways we have suggested, and released in a much better manner than the original, for which I blame Paradox, not Ageod. If the turn times could somehow be shortened and people would realize how much this game has to offer, how rich it is, how unique, it could be a great success.

This game is simply to magnificent to be allowed to just fade away. I apologize for my passion for this game, but I feel it.

Arakash
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Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:13 pm

cwegsche wrote:- silly movements of AI stacks (specially tribal nations as they move their stacks to somewhere where they starve - Africa for example - you observe the problem when you declare a colony and can't even find the troops being somewhere in the black in the middle of Africa)

I just wanted to chime in as a new player who has only played a few games that ive run into this as well and it is a bit of an issue
In my case as Japan Satsuma rebelled ( ~1870s event in SW japan one province small rebellion). The UK (despite having really no relations with me) decided to send an entire corps + a div there of which 90% died of starvation over the next set of turns.
I now have full military control there and they are still hanging around. (in fact afaik, they arrived after i had troops in the province)

Coincidentally, I then ran into the buildings not changing ownership bug again in that same province (mentionedhere)

In summary its an eternally sieged rebel owned province, with starving UK corps present, where i have 100% MC and cant gain ownership of the buildings (through assault or otherwise). Bit of a mess really.

These are the only bugs that have actually bothered/inconvenienced me in the game, so they are isolated frustrations in what has otherwise been an enjoyable experience(and a learning experience)

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Kensai
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Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:58 pm

Guys, Pride of Nations is brilliant indeed. v1.04 should probably come out some time after the devs free themselves to work on it, probably after v1.01 of EAW is delivered. There is indeed a lot of good work that can go to PON to add some missing features and extra stability/balancing stuff for the longer campaigns, but the problem remains. This was a very huge and ambitious title, the best of all AGEOD games I have played.

If ever a PON2 was designed I would hope for the same basic functionality but on a much faster engine if possible. If the turn crunching does not follow below 30-45 seconds in the first turns we cannot enjoy the game. As the game progresses the save files accumulate some "garbage data", eventually, after 20-30 game years the turns take much longer to process.

PON nailed almost everything, but it is cursed by its slow process time. There is life in it, I believe, but it will depend on the Philippes. It would be awesome to have a 1910 starting DLC, but I am not familiar if there are issues with the previous publisher (Paradox).
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Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:29 pm

AI working in the background would not work in the AGE engine BEFORE the player has set his orders because the AI's orders depend much on the player's current orders, especially in higher levels of difficulty. Balance in PON is lost because it's a huge game... I mean 1000+ turns. Insane by any means! :)
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vaalen
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Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:35 pm

Kensai wrote:Guys, Pride of Nations is brilliant indeed. v1.04 should probably come out some time after the devs free themselves to work on it, probably after v1.01 of EAW is delivered. There is indeed a lot of good work that can go to PON to add some missing features and extra stability/balancing stuff for the longer campaigns, but the problem remains. This was a very huge and ambitious title, the best of all AGEOD games I have played.

If ever a PON2 was designed I would hope for the same basic functionality but on a much faster engine if possible. If the turn crunching does not follow below 30-45 seconds in the first turns we cannot enjoy the game. As the game progresses the save files accumulate some "garbage data", eventually, after 20-30 game years the turns take much longer to process.

PON nailed almost everything, but it is cursed by its slow process time. There is life in it, I believe, but it will depend on the Philippes. It would be awesome to have a 1910 starting DLC, but I am not familiar if there are issues with the previous publisher (Paradox).


I have spent more time playing PON than any other game, ever, and I consider it brilliant, an adjective I apply to very few games. At some point, when you have played it enough to be comfortable with the interface, everything seems to come together and make sense, and you really do feel like you are in a dynamic world, where change takes time, where you may know what to do, but the execution requires effort and learning, yet it is so rewarding when you accomplish many of the things that you can do, sometimes after game years of planning and effort. I am happy to hear that there is indeed hope for a more complete patch, and I thank you for sharing this hope, though I realize it is not a guarantee.

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Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:15 pm

There are elements of a brilliant game here, but it's not there yet.

And unless they reduce the turn time to under a minute (at the absolute slowest), it won't make any difference. Almost no one (not even Paradox veterans) will play it once they realize they spend 3-4 minutes waiting to every 1 minute actually playing the game. American football has a higher action to down time ratio.

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Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:19 pm

Emelio Lizardo wrote:Well, it would mean configuring the program to work with simultaneous orders. An initiative system determines whose orders take precedence. The fact that the AI is looking at player orders before making its own is disturbing.


This is extremely disturbing and shows just how hollow this AI can be.

vaalen
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Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:48 am

jscott991 wrote:This is extremely disturbing and shows just how hollow this AI can be.


I do not find the AI to be hollow at all. It is the best I have ever come across, and I find it much more challenging and less predictable than the AI in Paradox games, for example, and the course of the campaigns usually make sense. There are ways of getting it to act badly, but if I play in a historical manner, as if I was facing a real opponent, it always gives me a great game, and I have lost wars to it in PON, and other AGEOD games.

And the mere fact that the AI may be basing its orders in part on the orders I issued does not bother me at all, because the end result works so well.

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Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:52 pm

Game is brilliant and sadly few see this. I am support buying other games by the developer just because I appreciate the game ART they made with PON. (I am buying to end all wars in Christmas as it is a solid game as well.) Turns are not that slow really on modern computers. My turns take 20-30 seconds. I usually alt tab and read something else and back again and its a new turn. AI is solid. Interface is fine but could use some easier scrolling for diplomacy and finding offers to reply to. I also wish the notification window could be reworked so I could before start of turn filter it (not clicking during my turn but having a set filter) and make it also larger since when I stream it from my home computer to my laptop the small text due to video lag gets a bit blurry. But all of these are so minor things when it is a very cool economical simulation and a pretty damn good combat simulation. I have learned about so many technologies of the time by reading all the text of the research screen etc..

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Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:25 am

Kensai wrote:AI working in the background would not work in the AGE engine BEFORE the player has set his orders because the AI's orders depend much on the player's current orders, especially in higher levels of difficulty.


So technically it is just a matter of having an AI that does not rely on (dare I say) "cheating"? :p

I am of course new to AGEod, and have only fiddled with the tutorials and some of the minor scenarios in Pride of Nations, but if you ask me I would actually be willing to sacrifice AI competency for a bit more playability – at least for a game of this size. I fully understand, though, that this may not sit well with the hard-core wargamers that I suspect make up most of the fanbase.

It is just that Pride of Nations, and the AGEod way of doing things, brings so much to the table that I suspect Paradox never will – and it is not all in the AI. I very much like the turn based system, and how you kind of have to "guess" your opponents moves, and when your orders are out and you press the "end turn" button, you can only hope for the best. Whereas in Paradox games, the system is a lot more messy. Army stacks wanders willy nilly all over the place. It feels almost arcade-y at times. You can, for example, abort a move into a province the very day before you arrive, making you able to bait the AI and get you out of all sorts of situations. In AGEod-games you make a move and stick to it.

Point is: what draws me to this game is not the superior AI, but the features I consider superior to Victoria 2. The leaders, the various different army units, the colonial sysem, the way battles work. If I could get this in a game I would gladly sacrifice AI capability for shorter turn times.

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Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:56 am

I forgot to react to the original remark from Kensai. That's not true, the AI is not inspecting the player's orders at any time. There is no cheating here. The AI at higher difficulty level gets advantages like better cohesion recovery, etc. (no advantages in battles though)
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vaalen
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Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:42 am

Pocus wrote:I forgot to react to the original remark from Kensai. That's not true, the AI is not inspecting the player's orders at any time. There is no cheating here. The AI at higher difficulty level gets advantages like better cohesion recovery, etc. (no advantages in battles though)


Thank you for the clarification. I never thought of Athena as a cheater, and it is amazing how formidable she can be.

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Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:26 am

Pocus wrote:I forgot to react to the original remark from Kensai. That's not true, the AI is not inspecting the player's orders at any time. There is no cheating here. The AI at higher difficulty level gets advantages like better cohesion recovery, etc. (no advantages in battles though)


You also forgot to react to the next patch remarks. :neener:

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Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:25 am

I would like to get some modified events from the people who wanted to fix a few things into them and then fix the display problem in the regions list. Things are slow with PON because that's done with off-work hours.
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Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:21 pm

it's presently integrated by Loki - I supplied him with my own events, I still plead guilty with me being late for supplying him with the relevant pictures though (I have the pictures, just have to take tuime to put them on the right format) - apologies

yep, it's made by vounteers on off work hours plus off work hours from AGEOD staff too I guess - a free service

somethiong is coming, we still love the game a lot
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jscott991
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Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:59 am

vaalen wrote:Thank you for the clarification. I never thought of Athena as a cheater, and it is amazing how formidable she can be.


I really want the version of the game you have.

The Athena/AI I know is completely hollow -- to the point that sometimes it seems that it isn't even playing turns. I forced AI Prussia to declare war on Denmark to start some German unification events because it wouldn't do it on its own.

Then I had to force it to make peace because neither AI would come to terms.

Now, the Prussian army is sitting in Holstein and Slesvig with two huge doomstacks because it can't be bothered to redeploy its army.

The Austrians, drawn into the Duchies War, is also in one giant doomstack -- on the Russian border. The Russians aren't even a threat since they were involved in a 15 year war with Japan and their army is nowhere to be seen. I had to use an event to end that farce, which ruined all my Crimea events.

I have checked give AI more time and that doesn't seem to help at all. The AI is just shockingly shallow. It doesn't seem to do full turns, despite getting all that time to work on them.

vaalen
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Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:59 am

I am not talking about the diplomatic events, which I believe do not involve Athena. The chain of events which lead to German unification needs fixing, and is being worked on. Nor I am talking about the process used for the AI to make peace, which, again, does not involve Athena.

I am talking about the AI that actually fights the wars. If you want to confront this AI and see what I am talking about, I suggest you play one of the war scenarios included with the game, such as the Russo Japanese war, or the Sepoy rebellion. I do not suggest the Risorgimento scenario because the Austrians are so outmatched.

Or if you want to experience what Athena can do in the Campaign game, start an 1880 campaign as Britain. You will find yourself in the Second Afghan War, and see how you like fighting Athena in Afghanistan. In a couple of years, you will have an opportunity to fight and try to put down the Mahdist revolt in the Sudan.

Or, you might read about some of the wars in Loki's AAR about Italy.

As Prussia, in the Campaign game, I have fought long, hard wars against both Austria and France, which were challenging and a lot of fun. I was fortunate to take the objectives that would get Austria to make peace, as I had suffered very heavy losses and the war was becoming one of attrition that favored the Austrians. Just like the real Prussians, I conquered France, and it took a couple of years. So I have not had your experience. Then again, I did not make the AI do anything, though I do not know if it is a factor.

That said, the doomstacks are a problem in some situations, but Pocus has a solution, which I believe he will implement in the next patch.

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Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:33 am

In my experience, it's hard to even get the AI to move its units (in another thread I pointed out that Austria let Italian rebels sit in Venetia for years despite having 3 corps in an adjacent province doing nothing -- ultimately I destroyed the rebels by landing French marines).

I could post a bunch of screenshots showing the haphazard way the AI deploys its men. Perhaps the AI turns on an extra gear in wars (tell that to my Russia, though, in its neverending war with Japan), but during peacetime, it's completely passive and incompetent. It almost seems turned off. As I said, it doesn't seem to be submitting real turn orders, despite taking so much time.

cwegsche
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Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:55 am

I'm sorry but I have to agree with jscott991 here ... as I pointed out the AI even lets his unity die because of the lack of supply, drives around like crazy with his ships around the globe in peacetime till cohesion loss kills them, does not build new units when older ones become obsolete etc. etc. etc.

Greets Chris

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Pocus
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Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:06 am

There is a bit of Russian dolls issue here, we would like to put online a new beta patch with all improvements in AI we did for EAW, but before that we would really like to fix this #\@@]§§§##bug on the regions list display, and the person in charge is very overloaded these weeks as he handles much more than the AGE engine. I need to find time myself for the fix probably.
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jscott991
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Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:50 pm

I'm really glad we may get another patch. Thanks for still supporting this game.

I really wish the AI was better. This has the potential to be the best strategy game ever made. It is just missing key elements (very key elements in fact).

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Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:18 pm

having been overcome by feelings of guilt have started the process of coding up the various event suggestions that are knocking around so they can be properly evaluated.
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