.com.unity Forums
  The Official e-Store of Shrapnel Games

This Month's Specials

BCT Commander- Save $6.00
World Supremacy- Save $8.00

   







Go Back   .com.unity Forums > The Camo Workshop > WinSPMBT > Vietnam Campaign Project
Notices


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old July 5th, 2005, 04:10 PM
Pyros's Avatar

Pyros Pyros is offline
Colonel
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,668
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Pyros is on a distinguished road
Default Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Adjustable difficulty related with the player’s WIN ratio

Concept: The more the player wins marginal victories the harder the game will be.

Mechanism of Balance based on Standard map/scenario:

1. Increase or decrease of hostile units performing active patrol duties
2. Increase or decrease of replacement points
3. Increase or decrease of auxiliary support units (air, artillery)
4. Increase or decrease of fortification points
5. Combination of 2 or more of the above

1. By increasing the presence of the active hostile units (not stationary) we add more opposition to the tactical plan of the player. Patrol routines will be discussed under the appropriate AI “patrol” section.
2. By decreasing the replacement points we counter the possibility that an experienced player will play the battles without loses, leading this way to unbalanced due to not anticipated evolution of his core army (bigger effect on small battles, smaller effect on bigger battles – depends on the ratio between core army & auxiliary army)
3. By increasing the auxiliary support unit we help player to achieve his objectives on assaulting units
4. By increasing the fortification points we help the player to avoid further friendly casualties
5. By making combinations of the above parameters we may adjust difficulty in a desirable effect.

We have to work with case studies of categories of players

The best system to achieve equilibrium for players that load/save (a lot) during the game will be to create "traps".
A "trap" is the cross-link path that is the result of 3 consecutive decisive victories (or even marginals).
If a player scores something different the he leaves the "trap" and procceeds to the normal campaign route.
The check will will go for a 2 or 3 consecutive decisive victories.

The maximum difficulty will have a limit, in general the Adjustable Difficulty will lead to a combination (permutation) of 3^2=9 possibilities (3 levels of hostile presence and 3 levels of replacement points).
The point is that a player may still be able to play the game at the max difficulty level (max enemies & min replacements points) and that this increased difficulty will force the (reload type of) player to lose more often and win harder.


Summary:

The player at the beggining of each Chapter he will gain some replacement points according to the level of adjustable difficulty (d, m, v). Then he will procceed to the Secondary mission (Sd, Sm, Sv) and by the outcome of his victory(?) he will procceed to the corresponding type of primary mission (Pd, Pm, Pv). The result of the primary mission will determine the new difficulty level (of the player) for the next Chapter.
The mechanism of calibration of each primary/secondary mission according to the appropriate difficulty will work by adding a percentage of active enemy patrol forces to the the standard mission. The main task for each Chapter will be to design one primary prototype mission and one secondary prototype mission and then calibrate or modify according these prototypes according to the difficulty level or mission type.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 364319-link_properties2.jpg (114.6 KB, 97 views)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old July 10th, 2005, 08:44 PM

narwan narwan is offline
Captain
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nijmegen
Posts: 948
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
narwan is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Wow, quite a lot to digest here. Looks good though. I particulary like the additional bonus&ambush scenario's for players who are doing either very well or pretty bad.

A couple of questions though to help me get a few things clear (and avoid later mix ups):

1) you mention losses, draws, marginal victories, medium victories and decisive victories. Is there already a mechanism (specific points ratio's after the battle for example) to determine in what category a result is placed or is that one of the things we'll have to work out later? How many categories of results are there for the battles?

2) When a player loses a secondary mission (search & destroy mission according to the 'Cross Link Scenarios: Mission type' thread) the campaign ends for him/her but not when losing a primairy (assault and defend missions mostly according to the 'Cross Link Scenarios: Mission type') or bonus mission (ambush & counterattacks according to the 'Cross Link Scenarios: Mission type' thread)?

Remco

Edit: besides the levels of victory mentioned above you also mention 'minor victories' in the 'Cross Link Scenarios: Mission type' thread.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old July 11th, 2005, 04:13 AM
Pyros's Avatar

Pyros Pyros is offline
Colonel
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,668
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Pyros is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Hi Remco,

I am leaving for work so I will post more details in a few hours

cheers,
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old July 11th, 2005, 06:23 AM
Pyros's Avatar

Pyros Pyros is offline
Colonel
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,668
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Pyros is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Quote:
narwan said:
Wow, quite a lot to digest here. Looks good though. I particulary like the additional bonus&ambush scenario's for players who are doing either very well or pretty bad.

The bonus mission are security valves to prevent abusing or early ending of the game. We are going to test this new system of campaign but I am confident that it will make the camapaign challenging for every skill and will add to the replayability of the campaign.
there are few other tools in the random effect of scenario designing that will add a lot to the campaign replayability.
BUT for sure the mechanism of adjustable difficulty is a NEW CONCEPT and need a lot of testing (but not extra designing work since the difficulty adjustments will be minor )
Quote:
A couple of questions though to help me get a few things clear (and avoid later mix ups):

1) you mention losses, draws, marginal victories, medium victories and decisive victories. Is there already a mechanism (specific points ratio's after the battle for example) to determine in what category a result is placed or is that one of the things we'll have to work out later? How many categories of results are there for the battles?

In order to keep workload to a logical size, I propose we keep 3 levels of adjustable difficulty and we split them among the different margins of battle outcome. If you are aware of the cross link availability of the campaign edit you will notice that depending of the battle outcome we may redirect a max of 5 directions of adjustable difficulty (decisive victory, marginal victory, draw, marginal loss, decisive loss)
Quote:
When a player loses a secondary mission (search & destroy mission according to the 'Cross Link Scenarios: Mission type' thread) the campaign ends for him/her but not when losing a primairy (assault and defend missions mostly according to the 'Cross Link Scenarios: Mission type') or bonus mission (ambush & counterattacks according to the 'Cross Link Scenarios: Mission type' thread)?

Remco

Edit: besides the levels of victory mentioned above you also mention 'minor victories' in the 'Cross Link Scenarios: Mission type' thread.
The player never loses the campaign, simply if the player loses the secondary mission he ends the chapter.
Two comments on this:
1. The secondary mission will be easy, since the player will have to preserve the good status of his troops in order to play the primary mission (the scope of the secondary mission is to give the choice to the player to adjust the condition of battle for the next /primary mission, example normal hostile artillery or less?)
2. After the secondary mission the player will go directly to the cross-linked primary mission without getting replacements, so in the RARE event that a player loses the secondary mission he won't be able (logical) to win the primary mission, thus it is better that he exits the current Chapter and he may go to the next chapter in order to replenish/fix his casualties. But all these have to been tested.
3. The outcome of the secondary mission (in most cases) will vary between draw ot marginal victory and decisive victory. The mechanism of making the difference between the linkek primary mission will be whether the player will score a decisive victory or not. Believe me this is a bit complicated, but it can be done by special allocation of VP flags and modified extra value of certain hostile units.
Don't worry we are going to discuss many special techniquews in this project... LOL

cheers,
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old July 11th, 2005, 07:54 AM

narwan narwan is offline
Captain
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nijmegen
Posts: 948
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
narwan is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Quote:
Pyros said:
In order to keep workload to a logical size, I propose we keep 3 levels of adjustable difficulty and we split them among the different margins of battle outcome. If you are aware of the cross link availability of the campaign edit you will notice that depending of the battle outcome we may redirect a max of 5 directions of adjustable difficulty (decisive victory, marginal victory, draw, marginal loss, decisive loss)
That's what I thought indeed. So since the tree allows for just three different results (loss to draw, draw to medium and medium to decisive victory) I suggest we stick to some fixed terminology to represent these three to avoid mix ups and misunderstandings. I also suggest to change the 'ranged' results in the tree (loss to draw, draw to medium, medium to decisive) to fixed results (something like no-win result, partial victory, total victory). That way it is immediately clear what happens IF a certain result is obtained, WHEN a certain result is obtained (the range) isn't really necessairy to depict in the tree itself. A simple table next to it defining the 'no-win, partial and total results' will probably make things easier to read and understand, and is more functional. Right now it's somewhat confusing since it's not obvious to what path a draw or medium victory leads (both are in two ranges)?

The no-win, partial and total victory terms have the advantage that they aren't used elsewhere (marginal and decisive are as you mentioned above) nor commonly used in normal discourse so if and when we'll use these terms to refer to the tree it'll be clear someone is referring to the tree's outcomes and not something else.

Just trying to simplify some things here under the assumption that if they confuse me, they may confuse others too!

Remco
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old July 11th, 2005, 02:11 PM
Pyros's Avatar

Pyros Pyros is offline
Colonel
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,668
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Pyros is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

You are right Remco,

But this is only a schematic under discussion and to give you understand the new concept.
During the next weeks we will have to get in the heads of the players and after a lot of analysis we could see how these 3 difficulty margins will evolve…
For example, when I play a campaign, I don’t use at all, AUX units (provided by the designer) because I don’t want that my core army lose experience by potential killings.
I also always try to kill enemy units than to complete mission objectives for the same reason… by killing I (my core army) earn experience. In the end I win every battle with a decisive victory… and the campaign becomes not challenging (at all) after a certain point (elite units).
With the new concept… arrogant players like myself will lose half of their army in the BONUS mission and from that point and for a couple of mission (until the adjustable difficulty gets to the lower level) they will have a really hard time. The point is that we have to achieve a dynamic equilibrium and we have to take as a point of reference that the player in a 1:1 battle will try hard to achieve a draw (score/result).
Remco, think… the player will know that the AI will kick his *** (!) and won’t be so aggressive to achieve decisive victories! If you add to this the fact of uncertainty (due to low % hostile reinforcement along the edges of the map – simulation of hostile patrols) the game will become very interesting!

For sure, this is something totally new in the industry and we are going to be the pioneers!

As for the 3 level of difficulty I like the idea to use special terms but we should investigate more for these special margins… For example I assume that no player (no matter how rookie he is) will ever lose a battle in a campaign, so the first group could be from Decisive Loss to Marginal Loss.
Now, instead of going to the second margin, I will go to the third one…
If some one wins all the time and each battle with a decisive victory… then this guy should deserve a level by his own (I mean that a marginal victory is something close to the minor victory or even draw, BUT on the other hand a decisive victory is something that we can’t determine how far it is from the marginal victory… I am afraid that from this point someone may not understand my thoughts…LOL For example, If some drops an atomic bomb he will gain a decisive victory but what is the distance from the player with the atomic bomb and the player who won a marginal. In other words… the decisive is an upper limit, meaning that you can’t define this limit. On the other hand, the marginal victory is defined in relation with the Draw result…So for the third difficulty level I think we could use, just the Decisive victory result and for the second level of difficulty the Draw to Marginal victory result.
So, the paths to the 3 levels of difficulty could be defined as:

1. Decisive & Marginal Loss Path Green
2. Draw & Marginal Victory Path Blue
3. Decisive Victory Path Red

cheers,
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old July 11th, 2005, 08:26 PM

narwan narwan is offline
Captain
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nijmegen
Posts: 948
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
narwan is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Hi Pyros,

that was mostly the editor in me. When I spot something which might be improved upon or simplified, even just a little bit, I can't resist pointing it out....

One thing is important though; we've probably all learned to avoid repetition and use different words which mean more or less the same when writing to make it more pleasing to read. It's likely second nature for most of us. However, that 'more or less' can lead to miscommunications and confusion when precise info needs to be passed on, especially in group efforts like ours where there are people from different countries (with slightly different interpretations in our english) and only text based communication. In those cases, strict use of terms (and it's repetitive nature) becomes an advantage. So it might be a good thing if we start developing our own 'vocabulary' for this project (for the really important bits like the victory levels in the tree or like what you have for the different types of scenarios: primairy, secondary and bonus) to help us make things clear to each other. It can save a lot of explaining back and forth later on.
I don't mean we need to make a dictionary or anything like that, but to be consistent in how we call certain aspects of the project.

Remco
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old July 11th, 2005, 09:07 PM

narwan narwan is offline
Captain
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nijmegen
Posts: 948
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
narwan is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Some ideas for adjusting difficulties:

While thinking about ways to go from pure airmobile to regular missions for diversity of missions, I thought of a couple of ways we can use this for scaling the difficulty in scenario's.

For the company and battallion sized parts of the campaign we can use the availability of helicopter assets themselves as a way to scale difficulty.

Due to losses and damage to choppers within the division (so outside the direct scope of the players missions) the player may begin a scenario with less than the needed amount of air transport. If he has a 3 company battallion for example, he may have just enough helicopters to transport 1 company at a time if he's been doing real good up until now or 2 companies if he has been losing sofar.

Now if the scenario requires air transport (for example because of dense terrain and a limited number of turns so troops can't reach objectives on foot) the player will need to shuttle troops back and forth and work hard to get the troops in place on time. This way the availability of transport becomes a way to scale difficulty.

But you can push this even further. If the availability of air transport is a scaling tool for the scenario, than so is the amount of AAA since that will be a factor in (possibly) reducing the amount of transport available during the course of a mission. By varying the amount of AAA in quantity and quality and by their specific location on the map you can further scale the difficulty.

Then there's the next scaling step, which is to provide the player with anti flak assets. A poor player may get for example some very precise (pre game) CAS strikes on the flak positions, a moderate player may have to do with some less accurate pre-game B52 strikes for example and a very good player will get some pre-game artillery strikes (with variations in calibre and ammo) on the flak positions.

And you can go a step further. You can use the pre-game briefing to further scale the difficulty of the mission. You can neglect to tell a player who has been doing very well anything at all about the presence of flak (in which case any anti flak strikes are just 'soften up the target' without mentioning the target being flak), a moderate player may be warned about the presence of flak and a poor player given precise info (and perhaps the suggestion to use further CAS strikes to take these out).

This also offers some new options for the secondary mission (which will precede this one). That mission may include the capturing of high ranking prisoners (destroying the enemy A0 unit) to get the information needed for the anti flak strikes. It may include finding and destroying an ammo dump which contains flak ammo (reducing the ammo available in the primairy mission and giving warning of the presence of flak in the pre-mission briefing). It may even be intercepting an enemy convoy transporting the flak guns (reducing the flak available in the primairy mission).

What do you think?

Edit: this does mean that either the helicopter assets are AUX and not part of the core force or that the player has at this point a force which is only partially equipped with helo's (for example because he just got promoted from company to battallion and only his original company starts out with core choppers (some AUX choppers may be made available though); the rest of the 'core choppers' he'll have to earn later on maybe?)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old July 12th, 2005, 03:38 AM
Pyros's Avatar

Pyros Pyros is offline
Colonel
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,668
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Pyros is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

Quote:
narwan said:
Some ideas for adjusting difficulties:


What do you think?


Remco,

I am going for work...
I will look it after several hours.

cheers,
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old July 12th, 2005, 09:33 AM

narwan narwan is offline
Captain
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nijmegen
Posts: 948
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
narwan is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Cross Link Scenarios: Adjustable difficulty

I'll develop it further into a concrete mission proposal. I've got some idea's on that already. It will either be a non-historical battle but illustrative of the kind of battles fought or we can try and find a historical battle which resembles the outlines of the concept and use that.

Remco
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1999 - 2020, Shrapnel Games, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.