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-   -   Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=47642)

spillblood August 1st, 2011 05:40 AM

Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game
Hey, since the last active threads contain mostly complaints and are getting shut down by Shrapnel because of that, I want to start this thread to resume some sort of cooperation between Shrapnel, Malfador and the remaining community. I'm going to start by citing some answers to support tickets and E-Mails that clearly state what Malfador and Shrapnel want from us in order to continue improving the game. See, I'm not interested in getting an excuse from them. It's much too late, and it's simply no use. What we need is willing beta testers, and a community willing to help in fixing the problems of this game.
And because of Shrapnel's reactions to remove any sort of criticism of their methods here, we need to stop criticisizing and complaining and need to resume working together with them. So: Here are the E-Mails in question. They need to be reposted here because the last thread that contained them was removed:

spillblood August 1st, 2011 05:54 AM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game
First, Aaron's words:

The first one was made recently:
[quote]I've already made those posts in the past and no one responded. Even you did
not not respond with the items I requested. It looks like 1.09 will be the

And this clearly states his wishes in order to be able to improve the AI:


Originally Posted by Malfador Machinations
Hi All,

Yes, I have received the manifestos, and yes I have read the forums. 75% of the manifestos are change and addition suggestions. The remaining 25% are general descriptions of why the AI is not strong enough. General descriptions are very difficult to reproduce. I need specifics.

The following information should be in bug reports:
1. Version of the Game
2. Type of game you're playing - Single Player, Multi Player, Hotseat, TCP/IP.
3. Section of the game - Movement, Combat, Install, Purchasing, AI, etc.
4. Detailed Description
5. Why you feel this is incorrect behavior.
6. Steps to reproduce
7. Savegame
8. Screenshots
9. Debug Log

Obviously, you can't provide all of the preceeding information in every case. But savegames and screenshots are very important. AI actions often develop over several turns. I need to be able to see what the player is doing, and how the AI is reacting to it. AI behavior is strongly dictated by the player's actions. A different player will get a different reaction.

The problem was: No user sent in support tickets containing this information, so Shrapnel and Malfador assume there are no problems. And the only way to change their opinion is : SEND IN SUPPORT TICKETS CONTAINING ALL PROBLEMS YOU ENCOUNTERED WITH THE GAME'S AI, WITH FEATURE REQUESTS ETC.
I'm not going to repeat this anymore. Anyone who isn't willing to do this should simply leave. I don't care about you. I've simply changed my mind and want to see some action again.
And I'll be sure to comply with this myself and send in some bug reports. Please make sure you ONLY use the support system in the Gamer Front/the official Shrapnel shop, because Shrapnel and Malfador will disregard any reports made in the forums, even in the official bug report threads you see at the top of the page when you enter these forums. We have made manifestos and bug reports there after patch 1.09 was released, but Malfador simply decided to ignore them. And since we didn't use the support system to send them in, Shrapnel assumed there were no bug reports/ feature request. I think this makes the point what you must do, but I'll add another statement by customer support here:


Hi spillblood (name changed):

Let me assure you that any reports that come through customer support are discussed with Aaron. What is reported in the forums is between you and the other users and fans of the game. Only reports through customer service are considered by Shrapnel. Now having said that I do know that Aaron is aware of the reports in the forums. The problems our developers face is that they have limited resources to work on their projects and to upgrade a preexisting game they must have a substational database of problems to fix to stop other projects for an upgrade. Your insistance that the AI needs improvement is just not supported by customer support requests at this time. Even of you count the forums posts on AI, you are only looking at less than 10 complaints. That is just not enough to drop everything to rush to fix the problem.

Most of our developers release patches on a schedule - 6 months or a year - and are not patching games month after month. We have many more positive customer support tickets, talking about how much the game is enjopyed, than negative tickets complaining of problems. We will continue to follow the AI issue and if we see eenough requests for change, we will make it a top priority.

As to the banning of a forum member it is our policy not to diiscuss these issues with anyone other than the person disciplined. I hope you understand.

Best regards,

Tim Brooks
Customer Support
The Gamers Front
Shrapnel Games, Inc.

I think this details Shrapnel's opinion. You know what you must do, DO IT!
There's not other way to get further patches for this game and revive the community. We must play by Shrapnel's rules!
Please send your support requests here:

spillblood August 1st, 2011 06:07 AM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game
Any readers of the Space Empires IV & V- subforums, please visit this page and join the discussion there. People with SE IV or V modding experience could be of use here!

spillblood August 2nd, 2011 08:13 AM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game
Here's some additional info for modders I've already pointed out in the Space Empires forums:
My most important finding when checking the WS-folders: It doesn't have any of those .scr/ scripting files that were mentioned on the Space Empires discussion thread before. This probably means the AI isn't moddable, because I've not found any AI- entries in the text files that can be edited. It also simply means the AI isn't scripted like in Space Empires, but actually reacts to player actions. I think Aaron pointed that out in some forum posts here before, and I think it's the main cause he has problems improving it.
BUT, EVERYTHING ELSE, all unit pictures, all terrain tiles, all research items, every territory name, all sound effects, and all effects themselves, are in fact easily moddable via simple text files:


I can't attach them here, but they are included in the demo, too.
All image files can be replaced by own files, and in the text files links to these different pictures can be specified, so the look is completely moddable, plus all unit capabilities. I think you could turn it into a fantasy or sci fi game if you wanted. Seems you can also change the placement and amount of starting forces. You see, there hasn't been much modding activity. The only mods that came out were some simple mods that changed unit values, prices or single pictures (for example a different picture for tech level 1, 2 and 3 tanks).
But the possibilities are MUCH higher.

Here's more info for people who have downloaded the demo: It's also moddable. The files you need for changing any settings, graphics etc. are located in
...\World Supremacy Demo\GameTypes\Standard\data
These are the exact same files as in my full version. I think the demo is only restricted in turns you are able to play and in number of players etc.
So, please take a closer look at the demo again, if you don't want to buy the game.

We need to resume creating mods for this game, so all people who have experience with this, please check your full version or the demo.
BUT, I think the AI can only be fixed by Aaron himself.

spillblood August 2nd, 2011 09:55 AM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game
My last action: I've sent a PM (to S.R. Krol), a support ticket and an E-Mail to Aaron Hall (Malfador) requesting an official modding guide for World Supremacy on the product page. I think this would provide further incentive to get people to start modding the game again.:)

JCrowe August 2nd, 2011 01:02 PM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game
Sorry Dude - I think the patient flatlined after v1.09 and we've been pounding on the chest of a dead man for months.

1.) The game started way flawed, and was only improved a little bit after considerable correspondence and wrangling.

If Aaron had played his own game, most of these issues should have been as self-evident to him as they were to us. He either played it and did not care, or did not play and did not care when alerts can flooding in. One of his own beta testers called him out in this forum with a list of issues that nearly mirrored our own submissions, tit for tat.

2.) When we began to squawk about game flaws, he solicited suggestions - but didn't give us directions.

It wasn't until ... six? seven months? after release and tons of correspondence later that he bothered to tell anyone that "oh, by the way, if the problem is not described in this exact format with this exact support, I'm going to crumple it up, toss in the wastebasket, and set it on fire. And I'll use natural functions to extinguish the flames."

But again, it all seems rather disingenuous. Because if 40 customers complain that the AI is not reacting, or just bum-rushes in combat, or dancing in a circle while wearing a set of bananas tied to its ears, then format or no format, it's not too much to assume that the average person might find that reason enough to investigate. That a problem might exist. And even if you don't trust the description and stories you're getting from the front, it takes all of two hours to play the game and find out for yourself, firsthand.

At the very least, you might go ahead and tell the customers that their 'insight' is cute, but it has to be in X format in order for you to act. I mean, if you demand that I dance in a circle with bananas tied to my ears while chanting my problems to the grooves of Brittany Spears, then why not send my email back with a note saying, "here's the dance, get started if you're serious." ? Why wait until HALF A YEAR of total radio silence has passed before even bringing it up in 'casual' conversation?

3.) I will die one day.

Honestly. It will happen. It's the inevitable consquence of life, like taxes, cancer, and abject humiliation. So the info about the development and patch cycles at Malf or etc. are cute, but really - what are we waiting for? World Supremacy 2015? Will this game actually get fixed before they plant me in my grave? Will WS be a joy and a pleasure I bequeath to my great-grandchildren? A moment of solace in a world now ruled by dirty, gun-toting apes and indignant leading men with hot, speechless babes? Will WS be the 'next big thing' amongst the Morlocks, or just another curiosity to the giant crabs living under the great pale sun? Time waits for no man.

That includes certain developers.

If Malf is serious, or if they get serious, I'm sure we'll know. To date, they haven't, and they ain't.

Right now, Malf is the one that needs to step up.

Skirmisher August 2nd, 2011 03:45 PM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game

Originally Posted by JCrowe (Post 781384)

1.) The game started way flawed, and was only improved a little bit after considerable correspondence and wrangling.

Right now, Malf is the one that needs to step up.


This guy is one laxidazical developer.

I think he's waiting for the game to fix itself.

Gandalf Parker August 2nd, 2011 04:46 PM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game
You guys realize that you are shooting SpillBloods efforts here, right?
And apparently, your own.

Skirmisher August 2nd, 2011 05:59 PM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game

Originally Posted by Gandalf Parker (Post 781397)
You guys realize that you are shooting SpillBloods efforts here, right?
And apparently, your own.

Well Gandalf,

I don't expect anything at this point.

But I did PAY for a product that S**ks.

So as I see it,I can SAY anything I want to,within certain limits.

Gandalf Parker August 2nd, 2011 06:20 PM

Re: Request for more cooperation in order to improve the game
Of course you can. Im just wondering why.
Its counter to getting what you want. So you would rather just keep the game the way it is so you can rant?

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