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Colonel Marbot
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WARS OF NAPOLEON: Using our enthusiasm to help and not hurt.

Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:13 pm

[ATTACH]36215[/ATTACH]


I wonder how many prospective game buyers have visited this forum, interested in this wonderful new game, and have been scared off by all the premature pronouncements of "unplayable, " "broken," "un-tested" and a "scam." And the tragedy here is that by reducing sales, we are hurting the chance of getting expansion kits for this incredible game.

I have attached a picture of a current game in progress. The game is fun. The game is playable. I have been able to keep my French forces in tact using what others consider a broken combat system, and I have been able to maneuver through the diplomacy. I wonder what I am doing wrong!

The game takes finesse. You have to shape your armies to greater efficiency, develop the right leaders, and exercise patience in finding the sublime moment to execute your plans. If you go barreling headfirst into frontal attacks, you will get hurt… As you should. Here are some of things I have learned.

"Get the right leaders onto the bus, the Wrong leaders off the bus and the right leaders into the right seats". Examples: I have worked to get Gazan, Suchet, and Lasalle promoted to Corp command by hand-picking their battles. A unit becomes invincible only when all three command levels are brilliant! Sending corps on independent missions with a great corp commander and mediocre divisional generals, may still get you a victory, but you will lose forces you cannot stand to lose when you have multiple campaigns in front of you.

A Napoleonic Maxim is to get every available unit to the battlefield. But it requires balance to know how many forces to dedicate to the battle and how many to use as a surrounding force. Do NOT paint brush your orders. If you do, you will lose your cavalry and guard and spend 2 years rebuilding them. I may give my infantry a double orange setting, but not a cavalry unit which I need to pull out quicker. Before a battle, withdraw divisions which are at low strength. Your primary goal is NOT the taking of objective cities, nor is it the destruction of the enemy forces. It IS the preservation of your own fighting forces. I have been successful in my game because I have maintained my army in its fighting shape and not allowed Divisions to be destroyed and leaders killed.

If your forces are inferior in size or leadership, you must play a "Cat and Mouse" game and wait for the superior enemy to provide an opportunity. 1805 in Italy with Massena is such a case. Consolidate your forces, promote your best divisional leaders and supplement your units with engineers, additional artillery. and leaders with artillery, siege, and engineering skills while waiting for Charles to divide his forces. If you go rashly and prematurely forward, you can find yourself with a destroyed army and reeling back across Italy as Charles takes Mantua, then Milan, and perhaps even Turin. I have had to do this with the French Navy: consolidate forces, develop best leaders, pick my fights carefully, and wait for the proper time to strike. And now by 1813, I have naval superiority in the Channel as I prepare for an 1814 invasion.

And when you are in battle, don't over react to the casualties shown. They represent all stages of battle including the pursuit. When I took Dresden, the escaping enemy along with my cavalry jumped three regions east. In 1806, when you consider the Prussian casualties from both the twin battles, and the pursuit, a 200K army had been all but destroyed. If you have a Corp, for instance that goes into battle with 1000 Pts and comes out of the battle with 350, don't worry. Stop the Corp in place, set to a double green setting and it will fill its strength right back up, … provided you did not go to the battle with a depleted division and got it killed.

Lastly, use the battle planner. And pick your plan wisely. After you have enhanced your army using engagement points (as soon as you can) use things like grand battery, or special tactics such as bounding artillery. They will reduce your casualties. Cavalry and infantry charges will cost you. And if you are conducting a siege, have 3 to 1 force strength without cavalry that you pull back or only use gingerly, and if time permits, wait until you have multiple breaches.

Let me change the subject to events, which are shortcuts to historical objectives, and by watching your event list, you can be guided in the right direction, but they are time and circumstance sensitive and may not even be the best option for you. For instance, I neither dissolved the HRE, nor formed the Confederation of the Rhine. I just took what I wanted and kept a couple of buffer states intact. In Italy, I used the events to annex Tuscany and form the Kingdom of Naples. My recommendation is, if the event is useful, use it, but don't get hung up on it.

The system of annexing enemy territory works, but yes, it may take two wars to get the capital of minor countries, and three wars to get a capital of a major country. I get the feeling that there are posters on this forum that want to own Europe by 1807 so they can go get a beer. Remember that you have 400+ turns in the campaigns and you can afford to take time before you can claim Vienna or Berlin. Example, it took me two wars to be ceded Lisbon. The first war got me the fortresses and the Torres Vedras. The second war got me Lisbon.

The Diplomacy system may not always be conducive to one's strategy, but neither is real life diplomacy. However, it does get the job done. Work with it and it will serve you up more than ample enemies to destroy.

In the beginning of the game, resources are scare, and some players want to micro-manage replacements. Please understand that as time goes on, you will get more resources and you can spend this energy building custom reinforcements from a large variety of unit types. Knock yourself out.

AGEOD has built us a masterpiece of a game that will only get better with time. We have an incredibly dynamic group of game enthusiasts. I mean, just consider, in 9 days, our group has the ability to assess a game of this magnitude, diagnose it terminally ill with a virus, develop a vaccine, and then deliver the vaccine…. All without the input, consultation or help of the developers. Amazing!

I hope that everyone jumps on board and starts promoting this game to family and friends. And I ask that AGEOD have some patience with our group and overlook some of the crazy things said and done. We all have a great story to tell in the 12 days remaining until Christmas and I hope that we are successful in driving sales of this epic game.
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"Here I am sitting at a comfortable table loaded heavily with books, with one eye on my typewriter and the other on Licorice the cat, who has a great fondness for carbon paper, and I am telling you that the Emperor Napoleon was a most contemptible person. But should I happen to look out the window, down upon Seventh Avenue, and should the endless procession of trucks and carts come to a sudden halt, and should I hear the sound of heavy drums and see the little man on his white horse, in his old and much-worn green uniform, then I don't know, but I am afraid that I would leave my books and the kitten and my home and everything else to follow him wherever he cared to lead. My own grandfather did this, and Heaven knows he was not born to be a hero."
- Hendrik Willem van Loon

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veji1
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:21 pm

I agree that this game can be great, and I have said as such numerous times. I am far from regretting buying it, and when I voice frustrations with the game at this stage, my goal is to help find a solution. And dear Colonel, I wonder how you overcame the Pressburg situation ???

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Colonel Marbot
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:30 pm

veji1 wrote: I wonder how you overcame the Pressburg situation ???


Veji1: The event fired for me perfectly, but I thought the offer was inadequate, so I refused to accept it. With time, they will offer more territory.

AnonK2
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:34 pm

+1 Well spoken Colonel Marbot. I waited for this game since NCP. For me its worth every Euro even if the price would be doubled (like War in the West for example) I would buy it.
It would be important to report as much things as possible, that they can be fixed before the steam launch. Go Ageod - you are coding wargame history! :)

veji1
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:45 pm

Colonel Marbot wrote:Veji1: The event fired for me perfectly, but I thought the offer was inadequate, so I refused to accept it. With time, they will offer more territory.


That's fair enough, but what you are telling us is that you had to circumvent a very basic element of the beginning of the game to keep on playing ! I mean if the diplomatic engine worked, maybe you could just use it instead of having to rely on an event, but if you are negotiating peace with Austria all you can get is money, there is no way to get it "manually" to give provinces to Bavaria or the Kingdom of Italy.

I mean I remember the simple diplomatic engine of EU2 with the concept of core provinces (with events giving countries Core provinces here or there).

I mean that diplomatic engine was at the time very simple and that was 15 years ago !

I am sure this game will be great, I played AACW and CWII many hours and plan on playing this game a lot, but right now the teething problems are real and that some experienced players (maybe even beta testes I don't know) like you just kept on playing ignoring glaring issues is a bit baffling to me.

Same with the decomposing british fleet problem ! I mean either the Brits have enough fleets to have a rotating fleet script or you give the AI a cheat, but having the british fleet decomposing at see while the french rest in port untile they sortie and whack the sh** out of the Brits is basic 101 gameplay issue.

I don't mean to be rude, am a long time poster and supporter, and again am sure this game will great, but some BASIC issues have to be addressed.

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Colonel Marbot
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:08 pm

veji1 wrote: I am sure this game will be great, I played AACW and CWII many hours and plan on playing this game a lot, but right now the teething problems are real and that some experienced players (maybe even beta testes I don't know) like you just kept on playing ignoring glaring issues is a bit baffling to me..


Veji1: I am glad you said this, because it allows me to clarify. I am not saying that the game cannot evolve and be enhanced. That is the case with the vast majority of technology milestones. (Ask owners of the first iPhone, iPad, and iWatch). Due to the time I have invested in the game, I am likely to be more aware of opportunities than most. I have made suggestions, and submitted numerous backups which the designers have viewed. For any improvement, I may have suggested, the developers have used my backups to find and enhance multiple other elements, I was unaware of.

Last night when I looked there were 20 registered users on the forum and 170 guests. How many sales may have been lost last night? I am asking that the enthusiastic long-term gamers of this former FORUM channel their efforts in a productive manner, be aware that there are first time gamers making purchase decisions, and communicate with the wonderful designers at AGEOD.

vicberg
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:16 pm

Colonel Marbot wrote:[ATTACH]36215[/ATTACH]

I wonder how many prospective game buyers have visited this forum, interested in this wonderful new game, and have been scared off by all the premature pronouncements of "unplayable, " "broken," "un-tested" and a "scam." And the tragedy here is that by reducing sales, we are hurting the chance of getting expansion kits for this incredible game.


I think this is the key statement.

Is it unplayable? No
Is it broken? No
Is it a scam? Absolutely not

That being said, I've posted temporary fixes exactly for this purpose. I wasn't going to do it, but decided to because I started seeing more and more posts from frustrated players. In one to two weeks, you won't have a market base if it takes too long for an initial patch. Who's fault is that?

The events really are relatively simple fixes. The challenge is the time it takes to test them out. It's a long game with many turns.

gekkoguy82
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:22 pm

Lovely post, Colonel. I am certainly in agreement. Thank you for taking time to write it up :)

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jack54
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:09 pm

Colonel Marbot wrote:
Last night when I looked there were 20 registered users on the forum and 170 guests. How many sales may have been lost last night? I am asking that the enthusiastic long-term gamers of this former FORUM channel their efforts in a productive manner, be aware that there are first time gamers making purchase decisions, and communicate with the wonderful designers at AGEOD.



Excellent point.... I may very well have been 1 of the 170 guests, ( I don't log in every visit). I still haven't bought this game mostly because of my lack of knowledge of the subject but when I see a post that the says the AI is so bad it should be sold only as PBEM it makes me, an AGEOD player of many years, think twice. I play 99% solo.

Ageod has always seemed different to me. I have felt like part of a community and less of a customer. I was happy (as a volunteer) to do graphics for RUS and Espana, post bug reports and add constructive criticism to help make a game better, but I guess everyone is different.
AGE games I own; RUS ,AJE, BOR, H:ToR, AACW, WIA, ROP,NC, CWII, Espana 1936, TYW
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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lukasberger
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:36 pm

jack54 wrote:Excellent point.... I may very well have been 1 of the 170 guests, ( I don't log in every visit). I still haven't bought this game mostly because of my lack of knowledge of the subject but when I see a post that the says the AI is so bad it should be sold only as PBEM it makes me, an AGEOD player of many years, think twice. I play 99% solo.


That's part of why comments like that probably hurt a lot. Whoever made that comment just doesn't know what they're talking about.

The AI is fine, good even. It's just about the same level as any of the other recent AGEOD games I've played, maybe even a bit improved. If you've enjoyed playing AGEOD games solo in the past, as I always have, you'll almost certainly feel the same about WON.

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loki100
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:16 pm

lukasberger wrote:That's part of why comments like that probably hurt a lot. Whoever made that comment just doesn't know what they're talking about.

The AI is fine, good even. It's just about the same level as any of the other recent AGEOD games I've played, maybe even a bit improved. If you've enjoyed playing AGEOD games solo in the past, as I always have, you'll almost certainly feel the same about WON.


have to agree .. back from a weekend scaring myself stupid (ice-climbing) to find some spectacularly over the top posts. Athena basically is a well constructed lass, but she tends to need a bit of guidance about how to behave in new situations. Even at this stage, the AI doesn't cease to function or do completely stupid. More play experience and a patching and she'll give you a challenging game
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

TJD
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:26 pm

The purpose of this forum isn't to pump the game or flatter AGEOD. It's a place for open discussion. I think most of the criticisms of the game have been entirely appropriate and useful. I don't think criticism of the AI has been preponderant. Rather, errors in scripting seem to have been the focus, especially in Vicberg's excellent posts. As for the charge that the game is a scam, all games and game companies see this sort of stupid slander on their forums. That's a cost of doing business and running an open forum. So let's not make more of it than it is and fall into some sort of timid self-censure. Ageod needs more vicbergs, please, not more congratulations.

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fred zeppelin
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:04 am

TJD wrote:The purpose of this forum isn't to pump the game or flatter AGEOD. It's a place for open discussion. I think most of the criticisms of the game have been entirely appropriate and useful. I don't think criticism of the AI has been preponderant. Rather, errors in scripting seem to have been the focus, especially in Vicberg's excellent posts. As for the charge that the game is a scam, all games and game companies see this sort of stupid slander on their forums. That's a cost of doing business and running an open forum. So let's not make more of it than it is and fall into some sort of timid self-censure. Ageod needs more vicbergs, please, not more congratulations.


Agreed 100%. One of the reasons TEAW got off to such a slow start was because the betas spent their time trying to rationalize away problems instead of confronting them.

This game has great potential - the era is a much better fit for the engine - but it can only improve if people (especially the designers) are honest about its weaknesses.

Franz Ferdinand
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:39 am

Curb your enthusiasm. If there is something I hate (and there is plenty of this at Paradox Plaza too) is fanboys who justify downsides of games just simply because they are fanboys.

Is the game good? Yes.
Does it have a lot of potential? Huge potential, this is the best AGEOD game yet.
Is it free of errors and bad design? Most certainly not, and by saying that we should just accept it as it is you are creating an unhealthy environment on the forum. How about you do some bug hunting and suggest improvements instead of playing the fanfare?

I think that this is a great game, and I bought it 2 minutes after it was out because I want to support the devs. This however does not mean that we should not criticize the game and try to improve it. Saying stuff like that is as hurtful to the game as calling it a scam. Also, try playing countries other than France, and maybe your enthusiasm will not be as great. France got a ton of testing, while the same is probably not true for lesser majors.

prince_blucher
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:08 am

Agree with the previous three posts, no place for apologists here or anywhere. Players like me, who loiter in the background, rarely post or complain and have not purchased the game, are waiting deliberately to see what the first patch brings and to gauge forum comments GOOD and BAD such that I can see objectively when to purchase. If you think mature, experience gamers take the "scam" post seriously, then really, you need to look closer to home OP.

veji1
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:19 am

I am a longtime AGEOD fan, I think my join date says so, And I love the potential of this game. Like TJD said, I know what limitations an AI is going to have and while I love to play solo, I know I will have to roleplay its limitations to some extent and that's fully normal because this is how it works in a strategy game : if you optimize you trash the AI.

But there are some big scripting issues in this game so far (Pressburg mess, decomposing british fleet, etc) and instances where the AI seems to go partly idle (the Austrian AI seems to stay operationally alive, but it's EP module seems to be dead in the water so it accumulates EPs without spending them on NMs OR on the Pressburg event for example)

The very good point is that all those are fixable, it requires tweaking some event chains, making some specific traits, etc.

One key issue for me as solo player is that I think the AI needs, as in AACW and CW2 but even more so here, props in the long term to better organise its forces and be able to function deeper into the game. These aren't cheats in the sense of making the AI function with a different set of rules in battle or in operational movement

Regarding CW2 I remember arguing that the Force structure of the AI use to decompose progressively during the game (it was able to build its first divisions/corps well enough based on preexisting clusters of troops but once the game got rolling after a while the force structure was complelety incoherent) and that it needed winter turn "resets" where the engine would clean up the force structure, teleport leaders around the board and some troops back and to big hubs where they would be reformed and optimized.

I think something similar will be needed here : for the AI to be able to function, not to be good, but just to function, during 500 turns, there needs to be regular "clean ups" where it's force structure is completely retool and the operational AI of each country gets sort of reset with scripts (ie repainting areas of interests depending on a list of priorities based on what a country owns or not, and the date).

This to me is going to be a key element of game replayability, because when I wach Colonel Marbot's map I don't think "yuppi!" I think "the AI is probably completely dead in the water by that point".

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PhilThib
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:32 am

A game is a "living creature" in some ways, that has infancy and then slowly grows up to teenage and adult....a time during which we provide as much care as we can.

Now, it is true, we are part of a business....which means if a product does not sell (be it for its own low quality or through irate players bashing as we have known a few times before) then we must either try to find a way to fix that or move to something else when the sum of efforts is not worth the return...

We always strove to provide support and interest for as long as possible, and give help to friendly players and modders. Sometimes, this give great results: look at Miguel's efforts, the AJE or RUS games...
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Lysimaque
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:41 pm

Well, the best way to make good sales it is to release a product without major problems too. I don't understand why the games was rush for the release, couldn't wait one month more or two? Having a beta test during at least one month and look the big problems of gameplay on the release that everyone can see after play one hour it is something that I don't understand.

Don't misunderstanding, I like this game, so much potential and I want it have the best sales for you. I make an AAR in another forum to make more people interesting about it but I really don't get it why you make a beta test and you don't listen the complain of people during this time.

TJD
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:17 pm

Lysimaque wrote:Well, the best way to make good sales it is to release a product without major problems too. I don't understand why the games was rush for the release, couldn't wait one month more or two? Having a beta test during at least one month and look the big problems of gameplay on the release that everyone can see after play one hour it is something that I don't understand.

Don't misunderstanding, I like this game, so much potential and I want it have the best sales for you. I make an AAR in another forum to make more people interesting about it but I really don't get it why you make a beta test and you don't listen the complain of people during this time.


I think part of the problem is that these games are inherently difficult to test because most beta-testers can't parse the scripting language, and as vicberg demonstrated it's there that a lot of problems seem to lie. Most beta-testers can only offer general comments on whether things seem to be WAD. That's useful, but obviously limited.

vicberg
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:39 pm

It requires a trained eye. And even with a trained eye and 200 people involved on a 100 Million Dollar (yes, 100 Million) project at Exelon, major things were missed.

TJD
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:33 pm

One suggestion for future Beta testing is to make use of Bohemond's mod that allows you to see what options and events are supposed to fire in any given scenario. At least folks would then know what to watch out for.

http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?41147-AJE-Ledger-MiniMod

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PhilThib
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:23 pm

The "locked" system we use for most options is already using this feature :)
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vaalen
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:40 pm

I do like the idea of showing our enthusiasm for this game, and presenting our issues with it in a more positive way.

Ageod games are unique.Nobody else makes games of this scope, in a way that is actually easy to play, but very hard to master. And the hard things are dealing with the historical problems that the actual generals had to deal with, knowing how to manage your resources, and dealing with a brilliant AI.No other gaming system has come close to providing the enjoyment and learning I cherish in Ageod games.

I want Ageod to continue making games. I love them. The initial problems that arise will be fixed, and the games polished to perfection, the scope of the imporvements depending on the resources available, and , yes, the help we can provide in politely and helpfully pointing out issues. The better initial sales are, the more willing Slitherine will be to allocate resources towards perfecting the game and doing further expansions.

Some people have claimed that the games should be perfect on release. Well, games of great scope never are perfect on release. This is something I have accepted, because I want games of this scope.

What really matters is whether the game is playable out of the box, even if it has issues, and that the issues get fixed by patches. In my experience, no one has been better at fixing the games than Ageod, and helping them realize their potential.

This game is playable and enjoyable, right on release, and, like all games of great scope and ambition, it has areas that should be fixed, and areas, that could benefit from tweaking. The Phils know this, and they were working on the first patch even as the game was released.

I am grateful to Ageod for this game, which I have enjoyed since buying it, and am grateful to know that the game will be made better, and the problems will be fixed.

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Ace
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:11 pm

I don't know what's the fuss about. It's an industry standard, that v1.0 games are released unpolished. So, when I asses new release, I look at its potential rather then curresnt status. After 1.1. patch which in AGEod case follows very soon, the good games usually shine. If you want plug and play games, it is good idea to wait for patch 1.1. If you like to try the game right after the release, you get the added bonus, you can suggest changes and features that would make the game even better. The more polite the request, more chance it will be fulfilled. If you don't see beta pointing out flaws in the forum, don't think he doesnt do it. Many requests done by new players have been supported by beta, many haven't. If they are easy to fulfill, they are ussually incorporated in subsequent patches. Some like the fact they can influence the game, some want to grab the key and drive, it is personal decision.

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PhilThib
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:25 pm

Ace wrote:I don't know what's the fuss about. It's an industry standard, that v1.0 games are released unpolished. So, when I asses new release, I look at its potential rather then curresnt status. After 1.1. patch which in AGEod case follows very soon, the good games usually shine. If you want plug and play games, it is good idea to wait for patch 1.1. If you like to try the game right after the release, you get the added bonus, you can suggest changes and features that would make the game even better. The more polite the request, more chance it will be fulfilled. If you don't see beta pointing out flaws in the forum, don't think he doesnt do it. Many requests done by new players have been supported by beta, many haven't. If they are easy to fulfill, they are ussually incorporated in subsequent patches. Some like the fact they can influence the game, some want to grab the key and drive, it is personal decision.


Good summary of the situation...it looks almost as if you'd been working in the video game industry ;)
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Haresus
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:30 pm

The release version is unpolished and very rough in a lot of places. Is it unplayable? No. Does it have a lot of potential? Yes, of course. Should games be sold on potential alone? No, not really. I look forward to this game becoming more polished and more enjoyable, but it is sad to see the release weeks wasted like this. After all, sales are generally the greatest in the first few days and then steadily drop over time. It is not right to try to silence mostly justified critique (although there is a lot of hyperbole, especially the whole "scam" idea) in order to trick people into buying something they might find unpolished and unenjoyable in its current state.

Thankfully I am interested in this game for the PBEM potential, which solves a lot of the AI issues and really ignores a lot of the issues for me. But I am a bit sad that just one extra patch would have solved so many problems that are now creating lesser experiences for a lot of people who bought the game, people who trusted the developers even when there are zero reviews on the game to provide information in a professional manner.

Baris
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:54 pm

Serious grand strategy titles tend to need a few patches for overall better PBEM experience -not necessarily it should be balanced as it is historical gaming- and solving some AI issues. As mentioned in previous posts AGEOD games are unique by its rules and can have lots of operational irregular movement comparison to traditional hex games with stacking limits with counters.

For AI modding: RUS vanilla with Fatal Years mod needed nearly a year for playtesting to have sufficient AI. I think in this scale -although necessitate bit more effort- with the new available scripts, similar or better can be achieved by volunteers in AI field. Officially correcting 'events' part should be easier.

MarshalJean
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:47 pm

Haresus wrote:The release version is unpolished and very rough in a lot of places. Is it unplayable? No. Does it have a lot of potential? Yes, of course. Should games be sold on potential alone? No, not really. I look forward to this game becoming more polished and more enjoyable, but it is sad to see the release weeks wasted like this. After all, sales are generally the greatest in the first few days and then steadily drop over time. It is not right to try to silence mostly justified critique (although there is a lot of hyperbole, especially the whole "scam" idea) in order to trick people into buying something they might find unpolished and unenjoyable in its current state.

Thankfully I am interested in this game for the PBEM potential, which solves a lot of the AI issues and really ignores a lot of the issues for me. But I am a bit sad that just one extra patch would have solved so many problems that are now creating lesser experiences for a lot of people who bought the game, people who trusted the developers even when there are zero reviews on the game to provide information in a professional manner.



I'm sorry, but there is too much in this post that just doesn't add up. First of all, the release weeks are not "wasted." A lot of us have had fun, we've found problems with a VERY complicated game that the devs are going to fix, tomorrow, I think I saw in another thread...less than two weeks after release. Second, no one is being silenced. Disagreement is not the same as disenfranchisement. Learn the difference. If the devs wanted to, all those offering critiques could be banned from the forum. That would constitute being silenced. Thirdly, no one is saying that critique isn't justified. No one. Not even the devs! They KNOW their product has problems. They always know it when they release it. They are a very small team making very complicated games. What works on their computers sometimes doesn't on someone else's, and the reasons for a particular problem can be manifold and hard to find, as vicberg well knows. Finally, you can't try to be the "voice of reason" in a debate and call "scam" accusations "hyperbole" and then in the same sentence accuse the devs of "trying to trick people into buying something." What do you think a scam is? Tricking people for financial gain is probably a decent definition. So which is it? A scam, or not? Those involved in trickery and scamming don't stick around to fix products in the few days following a sale. They're gone and covering their tracks. So let's stop with this.

All of this to say, we all agree that the game has problems. Those who have played AGEOD for a while knew when they bought the game that they were buying an extremely complex game developed by a very few people that would need a patch (and would get one!) within a couple of weeks. Their expectations are being met. Those unfamiliar with AGEOD (and maybe a lot of other games in this genre, possibly) were expecting a game with very few problems right out of the box. Their expectations have not been met and they are therefore upset. This is about expectations and knowledge of a product and its development that we each bring to the buying/playing process. I think we can all agree that what we have is unlike any other Napoleonic game and therefore is a great achievement. We can all agree that it has significant problems that need to be addressed quickly. We can all agree that based on past performance, the devs will address these problems quickly (in the next couple days, I believe it has been said). And we can all agree that this great game will only get better. What we can't seem to quite agree on is how much patience adults should have...a virtue we seem to be lacking way too much of.

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Sir Garnet
Posts: 935
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:23 pm

Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:03 pm

TJD wrote:I think part of the problem is that these games are inherently difficult to test because most beta-testers can't parse the scripting language, and as vicberg demonstrated it's there that a lot of problems seem to lie.


Agreed. Even a partly trained eye can spot some problems, though not fix them.

One of the greatest services someone could do for the community would be to update the wiki on the scripting language and add some tutorial information on the mechanics and tricks involved.

Almost all my scripting efforts were in PON, which included an effort to collect a library of examples of proven working scripts for modder and player reference (preferably commented with explanations). The frustrating problem was not having the depth of understanding to readily nail down what was working and what was not when things that looked right did not consistently work right. A library of possibly deficient scripts is arguably much worse than no library at all.

vicberg
AGEod Grognard
Posts: 968
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:18 am

Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:20 pm

Updating Wiki is a good start but wouldn't be a complete solution.

To understand the scripting language requires experience with programming and basic programming concepts, object oriented coding (java or C#), function based coding (php) which this scripting language is also using, working with system architectures (what AGEOD is calling a game engine...I've designed and built architectures), looking at data (been a DBA), looking at logs and figuring out what the code actually did based on the logs. The list goes on.

Someone without that experience could get their arms around it. Definitely. It will take time, motivation, trying things out and seeing what happens. It will be a lot of "oh, I didn't know that would happen" type actions. Updating the Wiki is a good idea.

I picked this quickly because of my work experience. I also love Napoleonic games, so I'm motivated. I get a bit obsessive with bugs.

It's a very good engine. Thoroughly impressed with it. I'd tweak it a bit here and there to reduce the amount of code (full believer in minimal coding), but overall, very very good, very configurable...hats off to the designer.

In the business world, when you have a work order to fix a piece of equipment in a nuclear facility, when that work is complete, you log the hours and set the work order to complete. Measureable results and easy for a tester to determine if it's working or not. In the game world, more challenging because the beta testers are learning the game at the same time they are testing it. What's supposed to happen? (Beta tester shrugs shoulders because he/she has no idea).

A basic test script would help beta testers. For example,
- Combat: casualties look ok? High? Low? MTSG happening? etc.
- Events: Pressburg should come on for France, then for Austria then kicks off Tirol and Venice transfer
- Events: HRE comes avaiable to France and this is the expected result

Possibly one day to create a basic test script given to all beta testers to help them look for the key things. It always comes down to action-result. A developer putting down the various actions results could help beta testers immensely. Then during beta testing, break up the overall testing. Joe you have 1805. John, you have 1806. Mary-Sue-Ellen-Kay Smith III, you have 1807. So forth.

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