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Author Topic: Civilization II
El JT de Spang
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I notice a lot of people on this board are completely addicted to Civilization, including his majesty, OSC. What was the game that ole-what's-his-face in the Worthing Saga played until Abner Doon destroyed his civilization?

I thought that was a funny parallel.

[ April 08, 2005, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: El JT de Spang ]

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Sid Meier
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yes... Now just because there is a reference to civ in Worthing I'm going to rumage through my books until I find it. I've never read it yet.
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Noemon
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I've often wished that there were a way in the Civ games to impose religion and language, establish laws, and so forth, like the players in OSC's game are able to do. I've wanted to play that game ever since I first read the story.
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Sid Meier
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sweetage, its like hoi2 + civ3 + modifications...
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King of Men
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HoI2, bah. A mere wargame. Play Victoria, Europa Universalis II, or Crusader Kings. Especially Victoria.

Civ was a fine game in its time, but technology has moved on. Paradox is where it's at.

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Puppy
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I'm a Rome: Total War guy myself.
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SteveRogers
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I am addicted to Age of Empires , the original one. I can't help myself. [Cry] Must....go.....play....Age....of....Empires....and.....kill.....some....random....group.....of.....people......
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Sid Meier
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You play Hoi2 as well? Meet me and Frangy. Frangy just started out, I've played about a gazillion games (never finsihsing any) and we're currently working on a cold war type of scenario.
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Sid Meier
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I have Rome, Medivel, and Shogun Total war. However, medival lost its appeal after the pope excammunicated me. BLAST HIM! I lost my Germanic Empire like that "snaps fingers*

Shogun I played some fun games. And Rome I haven't had time for.

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Verily the Younger
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There's not actually a Civ reference in The Worthing Chronicle. It was written in the early eighties, nearly a decade before Civilization, by which I mean the first computer game of that name, was created. (The computer game was based on a board game, but I don't know when the board game was first released.)

What there is in Worthing is a game that has similarities to the Civ games in that you take control of a nation and attempt to conquer the world, and keep your nation stable, and things like that.

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Orson Scott Card
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It's the "killing random groups of people" that completely turned me off the of Civilization clones. They focused on the war element - but Civ II allowed me to customize the game until the war part was trivial and the growing of a civilization - colonizing and setting up trade and building wonders and all that - was all that mattered.

So the uncustomizable games that force me to spend all my time fighting just bore me. That's why I stayed with Civ II for so long - it allowed GROWTH without slaughter. I realize that's unrealistic, if you look at world history, but I was after a game that interested me, not a game that reflected reality.

Though in truth huge wars of conquest must have, either as the conqueror or the vanquished, a civilization that is producing a huge economic surplus. If not, the empire collapses quickly because the armies can't be supported in the field. I like to work on the Huge Economy and Wise Civilization part ...

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Sid Meier
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ha, in Civ2 I had a massive Russian empire. SPent 2/3 of the game expanding the minute the revolution came [Big Grin] . Then After I finished conquering the spanish and made peace with the Japanese and the Americans my empire broke up. [Cry] I blame the reformists. Must crush them....

Well it pettered out as I transfered my attention to other games which gave me a bigger strategic/tactical element.

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ProverbialSunrise
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I love Rome: Total War. The combination of RTS and Turn based Civilization style play is very fun.
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SteveRogers
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quote:
It's the "killing random groups of people" that completely turned me off the of Civilization clones.
I am really not that fond of Age of Empires. I just am trying to convince myself I am. Its really just a substitute for StarCraft. I'm trying to give it up, but I love StarCraft. Age of Empirers is okay, but its not good enough to keep me from thinking about getting StarCraft back out. I can barely stand it any longer. I need to buy a new copy, the one I have is so beat up it freezes constantly. That will be the next thing I blow my money on.
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Sid Meier
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All your base are belong to us.
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SteveRogers
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Wha.....that doesn't make any sense. Or does it make perfect sense and I'm just too stupid to understand it? [Cry]
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Lord Solar Macharius
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All your base

Mainly the beginning. The video goes weird after that.

[ April 09, 2005, 11:30 PM: Message edited by: Lord Solar Macharius ]

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Bokonon
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OSC, if you want a historical game where the war can be occassional, Europa Universalis II is the way to go. Pick Spain or Portugal, and have all the colonization fun you want!

-Bok

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TomDavidson
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"Wha.....that doesn't make any sense. Or does it make perfect sense and I'm just too stupid to understand it?"

Both, actually, in this case.

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King of Men
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Let me add my vote to comrade Bokonon's. Europa Universalis II is possibly the best strategy game ever made. Up to fourteen can play! (In principle, any number, but it gets a bit unstable above fourteen or so.) Take any nation - right down to the Dakota and Zulu, though it takes an extremely skilled player not to get conquered once the Europeans arrive. Set religious tolerances, colonise, send traders; complex diplomacy, royal marriages - a true classic.
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Sid Meier
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Looks like a very good game but sadly I had only access to its sister game Hearts of Iron 2. I want to play EU2 since I've had games like Imperialism 1-2 but both games were tather limiting.

edit: both imperialism games. One had a time limit and the other had a unit limit per battle, eventually everything was a stalemate.

[ April 10, 2005, 10:47 AM: Message edited by: Sid Meier ]

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King of Men
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Eh, what? Paradox is still selling EUII from their website, as far as I know. You can even downlaod it directly rather than waiting for the mail to do its work. Get thee downloading, go!
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Sid Meier
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I dont havea job yet and I don't want Tom to buy it for me, getting SotG was generous enough, anything else and I'll feel like I'm stealing. And ya, I'll get it eventually once A: I get a job or B: Birthday. whichever comes first.
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Swampjedi
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You have no chance to survive make your time.
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Sid Meier
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??? [Confused]
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King of Men
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*Takes pity on comrade SidMeier*

It's an Intarwebnet meme. Read about it on Wiki.

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signine
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I always thought it would be REALLY cool if there were a teired online game like the one in the Worthing Saga, at this point it wouldn't be too hard to do.

Tier 1: Turn-based Civ-like interface.
Tier 2: Real-time strategy.
Tier 3: FPS ala Halo 2

I'm pretty sure you'd have a huge waiting list to play at either Tier 1 or 2, but you could probably do an in-game promotion structure starting at the FPS games.

Just think how cool it would be to be playing an RTS where you're providing verbal orders to your troops who are actually fighting the enemy troops.

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King of Men
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Done any programming, have you? "Not too hard to do", hah.

Moreover, it would be rather annoying to run a global campaign if you had to give tactical orders for every little skirmish in Outer Farawaystan.

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signine
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Well it's not something I could do in my parent's basement if that's what you mean. Code-wise it wouldn't really be terribly difficult using existing codebases.

And tier-one players would never have to give tactical orders. They just say "take this city, you can use X of my troops to do so" and the RTS commander then takes over.

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King of Men
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Laaaaaag... And even apart from the bandwidth issues, come on, modern servers are powerful but they're not that powerful.

Also, I think you strongly underestimate the difficulties of tying the codebases together.

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signine
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Well think about it like this.

Tier 1, once again, is strategy based. Code wise you see this game as a large civ-esque setup. The only importance to the Tier 2 codebase are the resources available, what attacks are taking place, and whether or not they are successful. IE: Tier 1 player informs his French troops to take Dresden. RTS game starts, units are placed in play and given orders, Tier 3 begins, battle ensues. Battle is a success, Tier 1 is informed Dresden is occupied. The map changes.

Tier 2 is told to attack Dresden. The number of available troops and what types are informed, he moves them into place by ordering the FPS players to do so, he sees a real time map of the progress but is unable to directly affect anything outside of large weapon/ai deployment. (It's fair to assume not ALL of the troops would be FPS players).

Tier 3 is, well, an FPS. Players are given verbal orders for Tier 2.

Server intercommunication is simple. All Tier 1 cares about is Tier 2, and the only communication that needs to take place between the two is whether or not the mission is successful and what units are deployed and/or lost.

Tier 2 is essentially just an overview of what's going on in Tier 3, with resource allocation capability. The only thing we need from Tier 3 are current unit locations, and engagement status.

Tier 3 only needs verbal communication from Tier 2.

It really wouldn't be THAT hard, the hardest part would be finding people who wanted to play it at all tiers.

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urbanX
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Europa Universalis II is one of my favorite games. I never thought I'd like a turn based game until I played the first one. The second one is even better. I'm going to have to load the game up. There goes my week... [Wink]
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Orson Scott Card
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I'm convinced. I'll buy Europa Universalis 2 and give it a try.

Or ... wait ... Father's Day is coming up. I could give hints.

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Hobbes
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Want me to report that post to Kristine for you? [Wink]

Hobbes [Smile]

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King of Men
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Don't forget to patch it to at least 1.07. You don't need the absolutely latest beta; Johan (the lead programmer) is patching it on his own time, and he plays mainly multiplayer, so that's what he balances for. In the absence of a human to keep a strong fleet in the English Channel, for example, England tends to collapse and be partitioned among Scotland, France and Spain. In patch 1.08 and earlier, that doesn't happen. (Not that England is ever going to be a Great Power under the AI, since it doesn't really know how to use a fleet; but at least it doesn't usually get invaded.)

Also, you'll find the manual rather, um, useless - one of the perennial weaknesses of Paradox games. But there's a very strong community on their forums , which will happily help you out.

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Sid Meier
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WHAT!? You take their advice and play EU2 and not Hoi2? I feel betrayed... [Cry]
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Puppy
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quote:
Or ... wait ... Father's Day is coming up. I could give hints.
You mean I might give you a game and have you play it? [Smile]
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Puppy
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sig, I think you're missing a few things ...

The game could not be fun for the guys on the top tier because the outcome of each decision they made would depend entirely on how well the random jackasses playing their troops performed. How much fun would YOU have playing a game in which the outcome of your decisions were essentially random, or heavily dependent on factors you could neither anticipate nor control? Might be realistic, but it isn't much fun.

But if you give the top-tier guy the ability to influence the outcome (by assembling a larger, better-equipped army than the opposition), then the game is no longer fun for the soldiers on the other side, who didn't sign up to play a game with the odds all stacked against them on a level where they have zero influence.

And the game isn't fun on the middle tier, either, because you have to sit around helplessly between battles, waiting for the top-tier guy to make a move before you can fight, AND you have to deal with jackasses not following your orders on the battlefield.

All-round, this sounds like a really frustrating, annoying experience.

[ April 11, 2005, 07:20 PM: Message edited by: Puppy ]

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King of Men
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And what happens when a tier-2 general has to deal with a family crisis in the middle of a crucial battle?
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Sid Meier
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I have to say that a similar system has been semi worked out. Its called "WW2 Online" where you have a rank system where you have the OKW and the Allied High Command staffed by subscribers who issue orders. www.www2online.com i think is the site or some variation of the link.
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HandEyeProtege
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I've long been thinking about a game like this, but on less grand scale. The issues that Puppy brings up can be dealt with to some degree - I think - but there is still a fundamental problem that he did not bring up: that the three tiers operate on such a widely varying timescale. A Civ game takes hours, more likely days. A good RTS game will take at least half an hour, maybe an hour, and the first five minutes are really ramp-up time. A FPS player likes to be able to jump in a game for just 15 minutes, and definitely expects to see action right away. I think FPS/RTS are pretty easy to reconcile, but the guy at the top is going to have a lot of down time.

quote:
The game could not be fun for the guys on the top tier because the outcome of each decision they made would depend entirely on how well the random jackasses playing their troops performed. How much fun would YOU have playing a game in which the outcome of your decisions were essentially random, or heavily dependent on factors you could neither anticipate nor control? Might be realistic, but it isn't much fun.
The solution to this - and I don't promise that it's a commercially viable solution - is to make it a team based game. Something akin to the Starcraft team-style mode, or what Warcraft III does, where you join games as a team. (Can I use the term "jeesh"? [Smile] ) You won't have the "random jackass" problem because you'll know and trust your teammates. In my vision, any player could play at either tier, and ideally there'd be some clever interface that lets you control an entire "toon" in FPS mode.
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Puppy
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This concept functions much better if you build it out in the opposite direction. Instead of thinking of the game on a grand, Civilization-type scale, and then imagining all these little underlings following your orders, you should think about it the way they are with the upcoming Battlefield 2.

The "real" game in BF2 is the on-the-ground FPS-style play. That's why everyone buys it, and that is the main experience people intend to get out of it when they start it up.

However, if you build up your rank and get voted in by the other players, you are given access to a new set of General tools that let you see the battle from above, launch spy drones to reveal enemy positions, call in artillery and air strikes, make supply drops, etc.

However, all of these General tools are designed to be immediately useful and applicable to an on-the-ground player. You see the approaching enemy column from the ground, you look at your satellite view to call in the air strike, and then you switch back to normal view to watch them blow up. It's not a new game or a completely new interface, removed from the FPS experience. It's an added tool that enhances the FPS experience.

We'll see how it really works when the game comes out in June (or hopefully, when I play it at e3), but so far, the previewers seem to really like it ...

[ April 11, 2005, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Puppy ]

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signine
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quote:
sig, I think you're missing a few things ...
I am a frequent victim of logical fallacy, but I am nothing else if not observant [Smile]

quote:
The game could not be fun for the guys on the top tier because the outcome of each decision they made would depend entirely on how well the random jackasses playing their troops performed. How much fun would YOU have playing a game in which the outcome of your decisions were essentially random, or heavily dependent on factors you could neither anticipate nor control? Might be realistic, but it isn't much fun.
That was a problem I mentioned earlier, though indirectly. The biggest problem would be getting players, and an even bigger problem would be ensuring that they're capable of handling the role. In other words, it wouldn't be terribly unlike how the REAL military functions. You'd need to promote people, you'd need them to prove they had skill, and you'd need them to be demoted if they had proven themselves unworthy.

It would be far from a bunch of jackasses either way, each side would have it's generals, it's commanders, and it's footsoldiers. In any war or any battle of any war the outcome is frequently not decided in a 1 on 1 even match, but a brilliant commander can take odds stacked massively against him and make those same odds work for him. In other words, it would be more realistic, though probably still statistically roughly the same. If the "enemy" has a bunch of feeble ground troops and the "hero" has a massive array of artillery, air support, armor, and shock troops, the "enemy" is going to lose unless their commander is brilliant and your commander is an idiot.

Once again, just like the real world.

quote:
But if you give the top-tier guy the ability to influence the outcome (by assembling a larger, better-equipped army than the opposition), then the game is no longer fun for the soldiers on the other side, who didn't sign up to play a game with the odds all stacked against them on a level where they have zero influence.
Not true. Playing an FPS is fun, even in an objective-based mission, even if you're destined to lose. You're going to enjoy the combat, and the better you do the more likely you are to be promoted, unless of course you don't desire promotion. In team-based play if you signed up as Poland in a WW2 simulation, you'd be pretty sure you were going to get romped. If, on the other hand, the AI knew that side B stood a 99% chance of losing against side As forces, it would be sure to give the forces on side B a chance to choose the side likely to win on the next count.

quote:
And the game isn't fun on the middle tier, either, because you have to sit around helplessly between battles, waiting for the top-tier guy to make a move before you can fight, AND you have to deal with jackasses not following your orders on the battlefield.
Au contraire. I think the game would be MOST fun on the middle tier, because you have to keep in mind a couple facts:
A. There will always be battles to fight in a sufficiently large game world.
B. You can always watch other's battles.
C. In the middle tier you should probably have access to long-term plans of tier one so you can plan assaults, view terrain maps, et cetera.

Who knows, turn it into a MMORPG. A commander would have plenty of things to do in the game world when not preparing for another battle.

All-round, this sounds like a really frustrating, annoying experience.

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A Rat Named Dog
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Realism != Good Gameplay

There is a reason why the industry has developed certain unrealistic game conventions. Like taking several bullets without suffering any loss of capacity. Or compressing locations so that all the interesting bits are right next to one another. It may not be realistic, but it is a LOT more fun.

I submit that adding a whole bunch of realism to a game for the sake of realism itself, and not for the sake of improving the experience for the gamer, will make gamers wish they were playing somewhere else.

When you say, "You don't like it? Well, tough luck, that's the way the world works, kiddo," they will very quickly respond, "I already deal with the real world every day. I came to you for entertainment not more reality."

Realism is a useful tool for hooking the player and helping him suspend his disbelief. But it is only one of many useful tools, and can be a barrier to enjoyment if used inappropriately.

quote:
A. There will always be battles to fight in a sufficiently large game world.
If every battle requires a general (top tier) and a commander (middle tier), then there will always be a mismatch. Either not enough battles or not enough commanders. And if we say that one of those roles is expendable, then why have it at all?

quote:
B. You can always watch other's battles.
I thought the idea was to have fun [Smile] If all I'll be doing is watching someone else play, then I'm going to quit and play another game. One that I can actually participate in.

quote:
Playing an FPS is fun, even in an objective-based mission, even if you're destined to lose.
Sometimes, sometimes not. I can enjoy a game like Half-life Deathmatch or Call of Duty Multiplayer without winning, because there isn't much of an objective besides running around and killing people, and "winning" is nothing more than numbers, and doesn't affect your moment-to-moment ability to wage war. But in a game that does involve long-term objectives, knowing that your objective is unachievable can be really frustrating, and a real barrier to gameplay.
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King of Men
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To be fair, there could be a certain amount of enjoyment in trying to make a stand against horrendous odds, knowing you were going to lose, but trying to hold back the tide for as long as you can. But again, it comes down to control : That sort of game is fun when you feel like it. At other times, you just want to watch hundreds of enemies die. If you can't control what sort of game you're going to have today, why play?

Another thing : If you're introducing realism at the strategic and RTS levels, are you also going to have it at the FPS level? I would think that dying as soon as you get hit wouldn't be much fun, which is one reason real wars are to be avoided. But if you don't have realism here, how do you have it at the emergent levels?

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Sid Meier
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I have to disagree with you Rat/Puppy.

Games like Aces High and WWII online have something similar to what sig (i think) is proposing. And both games are extremely fun. The former is a flight sim BUT the game world is divided into 3 "countries" rooks,knights and bishops. And the goal is to take all of the other countries air fields. The game lasts long enough for their to be a reasonably low chance of you "losing".

In WW2 Online you have the WWII FPS in 1940 based in france/low countries. You have the allies (Brits, french) on one side and then you have the Jerries ( [Wink] ) on the other side. You have ranking system which gives you the ability to gradually control the flow of the battle and you do have a overall general who gives orders to which division attacks where. There was one Axis General who won in 2 weeks, brilliant son of a gun. In fact last time I checked Axis KEPT winning and pretyy much always won but people despite this stillplayed as allies despite the bugs. infact www.willyteescomics.com is an extremely funny site that has comics based on various aspects of the games inculding the bugs.

So we have proof that a game with a overal command aspect is very fun, so blah I say, doom to you doubters!

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King of Men
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Now I think about, HoI2 has some kind of cooperative multiplay, where two or more players can command within the same country. Not sure of the details, though, as I don't have the game.

Still, I think I'll leave coding that sort of thing for the people who are enthusiastic about it.

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Sid Meier
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Yes in Hoi2 you can get a few friends to "share" your country. both people can do virtually anything the other person could do. However this option is preferable if you have a very large empire spanning sereral fronts.

A) Japan: Burma/China theatre and Pacific naval actiona

B) Russia invading both India, Middle east and germany at same time

C) etc etc.

Very neat feature though once you play the game often enough its not needed unless you have a really big empire.

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Michiel
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I tried to buy EU2 but couldn't find it on the Paradox website. Are you sure you can buy it there?
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Michiel
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Sorry--too quick.

It's here in case anyone is also looking. Only 15 bucks...

http://shop.paradoxondemand.com/product/?id=5

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