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 Post subject: MAN Multiplayer
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:36 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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I'm carrying this over from the main discussion thread, which was getting too big and random.

Here are some things to consider if people want to play with more than 2 players:

1) SA distribution. Randomness of SA distribution in MAN can be pretty evil even in 2 players. If your SAs are too spread out, you're toast, especially now with front-breakers such as copters. When you play more than 2 players, you're going to have less SAs, so you're going to even have more of a chance of having a really poor setup.

2) First turn advantage. If you have to move after 3 other players have already made their first moves, you are very much in danger of being in a terrible and unwinnable situation before you get to fire a shot. Multiple people could have invaded your territory in the first turn.

3) Map size. In order for multiple players to play in MA, you're going to need a huge map. 2 SAs per person just isn't enough to give you a decent chance at survival past the first turn. If that is true, you should have at least 3 SAs per player. Also, you definately need a good amount of neutral territories, otherwise you know that every country belongs to someone.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:21 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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1. Which is why it shouldn't be entirely random and never should have been. Who enjoys starting a game with an SA distribution which can only be carried if your opponent is a monkey?

2. Which is why the player going first advantage should be balanced by benefits for the other players, such as bonus starting cash, or even an additional territory for player four.

3. A map the size of NP could easily handle four players.

People seem too stuck in the MA thinking. If this is just going to be MA again, then don't bother making it since everyone here owns MA in one form or another. Time to add some new ideas and fix the old balance problems. Rather than going "that's hard" it's time to come up with a solution. Its been three years and three games, if you haven't been testing out new ideas then... wtf??

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:46 pm 
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Sea Wolf

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Yes, it would be nice to have the same options that you have in RISK: take turns picking your own territories or "deal out cards" for random....
Also, if each player had their own territories but are teams(two teams of two), like partners with the same goal....it would be fun....damit! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:57 am 
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Sea Wolf
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Picking your territories removes the SA ability though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:52 am 
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Sea Wolf
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Quitch wrote:
1. Which is why it shouldn't be entirely random and never should have been. Who enjoys starting a game with an SA distribution which can only be carried if your opponent is a monkey?

I'm definately a proponent of pseudo-random SA distribution. Making sure that you have at least two of your territories neighboring would definately go a long way to give you a better chance.

Quitch wrote:
2. Which is why the player going first advantage should be balanced by benefits for the other players, such as bonus starting cash, or even an additional territory for player four.


Hmm... how do you balance the cash you give against the random advantage of SA placement? If problem 1 was solved, this might be something thats managable to playtest.

Quitch wrote:
3. A map the size of NP could easily handle four players.


Yeah, NP could do it. 27 territories... 4 large, 7 medium, 16 small. NR Might be able to handle 3 players, but anything smaller than that wouldn't work. But geez, imagine how long those games will take? Lets be optimistic and suggest that each turn takes a person 1-2 days to respond. You get a turn a week approximately. On NP, that game could take 20 turns, so you've got yourself a 5 month commitment. And what if someone drops?

Quitch wrote:
People seem too stuck in the MA thinking. If this is just going to be MA again, then don't bother making it since everyone here owns MA in one form or another.


The problem here is that a good strategy game is a very fine formula to work with. Those of us still here that MA is a gem in the strategy sphere, a game of simplicity of concept yet incredible depth of strategy.

Quitch wrote:
Time to add some new ideas and fix the old balance problems. Rather than going "that's hard" it's time to come up with a solution. Its been three years and three games, if you haven't been testing out new ideas then... wtf??


Experimentation on this concept would be great, but I don't think Wargaming are the ones that are going to do that too much. They have a formula that works brilliantly, they tweak it enough to be better without destroying the aspects, and they do it all with brilliant graphics. The game itself is fairly simple, but the AI that they've included and the advanced graphical engine definately make it very difficult to experiment, especially considering their limited development team.

What is needed to really play with this formula is an engine that focuses on modability and flexibility at the expense of AI and graphics. Unfortunately something like that will not sell. It would have to be an open source spare time project most likely, with the possibility of going live if theres enough interest.

This is such a niche genre... Very few people want pure strategy without adding every frill they can think of. There are a lot more that like a strategy game that complicates things and tends towards realism (fog of war, random damage, etc etc).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:15 am 
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Sea Wolf
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1. I concur, for smaller maps. On larger maps games were decided in MA (in my experience) by who gained control of a continent first.

2. In the same way you balance two different traits like movement and firepower... with extensive testing.

3. Pfft, MA is unusual in that its PBEM (in its own way) games are so short. 5 months is not uncommon in this arena, and if someone is prepared to wait 5 months then I don't see the problem.

And why the assumption it will be PBEM anyway? There's a LAN option.

If someone drops then you either:

a) Destroy their troops and make their territories neutral.

b) hand control of their forces to the AI and have the machine of the player before them, or the central server, process their turns.

Quote:
The problem here is that a good strategy game is a very fine formula to work with. Those of us still here that MA is a gem in the strategy sphere, a game of simplicity of concept yet incredible depth of strategy.


And the problem is that its been the same game for the last three iterations. Eventually that just won't cut it, as Westwood could have testified to.

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 Post subject: Re: MAN Multiplayer
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:50 am 
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Maelstrom wrote:
I'm carrying this over from the main discussion thread, which was getting too big and random.

Here are some things to consider if people want to play with more than 2 players:

1) SA distribution. Randomness of SA distribution in MAN can be pretty evil even in 2 players. If your SAs are too spread out, you're toast, especially now with front-breakers such as copters. When you play more than 2 players, you're going to have less SAs, so you're going to even have more of a chance of having a really poor setup.

2) First turn advantage. If you have to move after 3 other players have already made their first moves, you are very much in danger of being in a terrible and unwinnable situation before you get to fire a shot. Multiple people could have invaded your territory in the first turn.

3) Map size. In order for multiple players to play in MA, you're going to need a huge map. 2 SAs per person just isn't enough to give you a decent chance at survival past the first turn. If that is true, you should have at least 3 SAs per player. Also, you definately need a good amount of neutral territories, otherwise you know that every country belongs to someone.




I hope you figure people figure it out cause it think it would be nice to have team play here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:06 am 
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Sea Wolf
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Does MAN2 feature a LAN option? Domination had it, but I don't recall if it's on the MAN2 menu.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:03 am 
Which reminds me clan mode should let clan members have practice matches like practice mode so it doesn't effect their score unless they want it to.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:09 am 
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Right that was me again..above


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:10 am 
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Quitch wrote:
Limiting such a feature to clans would be unfair.


Which is why i said in other thread to have it for all.
Or people would be forced to join clans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:15 am 
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Sea Wolf
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Sorry, I deleted the comment because I disagreed with myself before you posted, since such a feature also means no one gains points and thus can be seen in a negative light.

Count me as on the fence.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:20 am 
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Quitch wrote:
Sorry, I deleted the comment because I disagreed with myself before you posted, since such a feature also means no one gains points and thus can be seen in a negative light.

Count me as on the fence.


That is why its called a practice match which is why i figured it would suit best for people in the same clan who don't wanna lose points when practicing against a fellow member. An easy turn on and off future. Nothing much to do.

Add the text Practice and a round box to turn it off and on... and that will make sure no one gets point. (ofcourse easier said then done)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:04 am 
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Sea Wolf

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A non-rated play mode or practice mode is nice idea....as well as a possible "handicap" mode....ziegheil!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:17 am 
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Rextrent wrote:
A non-rated play mode or practice mode is nice idea....as well as a possible "handicap" mode....ziegheil!


I agree with you 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:46 am 
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Sea Wolf
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Yeah, could be nice. I would call it an "unrated" game instead of practice mode though to fit with the norm for strategy games.

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NWO website:
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:30 pm 
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Levy

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A good way to deal with the disadvantage of going last is to not make all the territories bordering each other. Put a border of 1-2 neutral hexes around each territory. You could do this on designated "multi-player" maps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:52 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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Problem there is you instantly give away who owns almost every territory.

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