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Pulstar

Help me have more fun with SBPe

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Well, this is the 3rd time I get an annual license, yet it's the same as before: I find myself reluctant to join MP since it's not an easy affair (time and knowledge wise) and only mess about with the editor but I could never design a satisfying instant action scenario the way M1TP2 used to offer me for many years. No element of surprise, hard to get ambushed etc. Is there a better way to get one's money's worth?

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9 hours ago, Pulstar said:

Well, this is the 3rd time I get an annual license, yet it's the same as before: I find myself reluctant to join MP since it's not an easy affair (time and knowledge wise) and only mess about with the editor but I could never design a satisfying instant action scenario the way M1TP2 used to offer me for many years. No element of surprise, hard to get ambushed etc. Is there a better way to get one's money's worth?

my impression of m1tp2 and steel beasts are the reverse of what you describe- m1tp2 gave the illusion of continuity through cut scenes amd preservation of crews in the campaigns, but that's where that ended- if you played single missions and took those parts out (and the single missions were usually a mirror copy of what the campaign missions were like, arcade action), the gameplay was fairly weak. there are no ambushes in m1tp2 because the terrain was flat, simple, didn't have much information content to obscure vehicles and lines of sight (vehicles could spot and engage each other across the map at 8km, AI could see and fire missiles through trees), and units were as a result in each other's lines of sight and aware of each other all the time; furthermore, the game gave you a loud signature of atgms firing on you at several kilometers away, so you always knew they were coming, not to mention they would seem to lock on to the player's brainwaves or something through the tree 'fences'. still, it was more convenient if you didn't want to set up your own missions, because the computer did that for you in the campaigns. however, if you haven't explored steel beasts' mission editor, the random variables are the key to what you seem to be requesting- you can create random spawns of units so you don't always know what's coming

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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i will add something else because it still blows my mind that there is a nostalgic following for m1tp2- if you do an image search for m1tp2, the same stock photos tend to pop up- opportunistic camera shots at the right time give the impression of complex combined arms behavior and urban combat, but that never really happened at all in m1tp2 for the reasons that infantry couldn't occupy buildings or the impassable forest blocks, or that the computer ai didn't deploy mech infantry and move them around away from their vehicles, they always stayed right next to them exposed in the open, or that in reality there weren't complex urban areas but a few scattered buildings and these areas never really served as an objective to hold or attack. there is no comparison with steel beasts.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Captain_Colossus

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23 hours ago, Pulstar said:

Well, this is the 3rd time I get an annual license, yet it's the same as before: I find myself reluctant to join MP since it's not an easy affair (time and knowledge wise) and only mess about with the editor but I could never design a satisfying instant action scenario the way M1TP2 used to offer me for many years. No element of surprise, hard to get ambushed etc. Is there a better way to get one's money's worth?

I think you can add elements of surprise in Steel Beasts, even if fully scripted by yourself, at least functionally. The two key elements are the Spawn, if... condition for units, and the Jump to end, if... condition for routes.

 

Spawn defines when (if at all) a unit would materialize in a scenario. This can be done completely random (variable XNew), or in a coordinated fashion (by using random variable X1, X2, ..., X63); furthermore, you can set the likelihood of these events by defining the lower and upper boundary (percentile). It is therefore entirely possible to define one one motorized rifle regiment, and then to randomize whether the entire regiment will materialize (e.g. 0 < X1 < 10), just one battalion (0 < X1 < 40), one company (0 < X1 < 85) or even just a bunch of scouting units. That way you won't know what you're dealing with until some time into the scenario.

 

With Jump you control where a unit will appear, if it spawns. It works only on routes that directly originate from a unit, not from a waypoint. So you can set, say, five different starting locations (e.g. with independent variable 0<X2<20,  20<X2<40, 40<X2<60, ...), then copy those five routes from the first unit where you applied these, and paste them to all other units. That way your formation can come from different directions (but still in a coordinated fashion) and follow different courses of action, all within the same scenario. Which means that, for all practical manners, you won't know what you're dealing with even if you created your scenario yourself.

 

This is of course an extreme example. It may not be very useful to use such vast differences in scale for the opposing forces, and maybe more than two or three courses of action are overkill or make it too complicated to pull off (especially for large formations). But they are essential elements to make a scenario somewhat unpredictable - without descending into utter chaos.

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On 12/18/2018 at 9:32 AM, Gibsonm said:

Well I'd suggest attending the proposed Summer Camp sessions as a start:

 

 

 

On 12/18/2018 at 9:32 AM, Gibsonm said:

 

+1 

I Agree.

A few sessions with seasoned players will be a real benefit.

You will find the Guys are helpful and patient with newbies.

I personally learned a lot more when i joined MP sessions in a couple of months.

Then i did playing SP for years.

 

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I should say, I wholeheartedly agree. There is no qualification limit for multiplayer sessions, as long as you're willing to listen and follow advice. As far as the time consumption is concerned, I think Steel Beasts falls into the category of games where you get out of it what you're willing to spend, and you'll learn much more and much faster in a multiplayer game than by isolated tinkering with the mission editor.

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the mental block is likely the fact that no matter how skilled you are with the mission editor, the mission designer has a sense of how it plays out even with random events applied- the mission designer tests it and works out the bugs, and even a simpler scenario designed by someone else will still give a different feel for that very reason, at least until it is played enough times that it becomes committed to rote memory. this is why no one can honestly play chess solitaire and give black and white the same chance of winning, this is also why someone might think that simple missions generated in m1tp2  are more 'surprising' than very elaborately scripted missions that one creates for himself with steel beasts. i've heard music composers explain that by the time they create their music, they've been through the entire process of sampling and mixing that the final product is 'uninteresting' to them and they're ready to move on to something else (likely software developers might have  a similar sense with their own products).

i can subjectively confirm this with myself when i take apart other people's scenarios and alter conditions to have random events or a different mix of events and units, they are still often more fun to play than scenarios i create for myself with random variables. this is not the fault of steel beasts, it's just a natural consequence of anything we create for ourselves and expect the surprises to look the same as if someone else had done it.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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With the Source & Drain regions you can also build quickly some simple (arcadelike) scenarios.

Or even vy big Kursk scenario’s.

Although S.D.R. was initially meant for civ’s.

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