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Steel Beasts Complexity

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I'm wondering how much more complex the Personal Edition of SB Pro should become. Many YouTube and twitch streams especially by players familiar with gaming in general but not seasoned Steel Beasts veterans are exhibiting a general competence level that makes my repressed inner drill instructor want to burst out with rage.

 

This is not the fault of the players, at least, not entirely so. Everybody has only so many hours to devote to computer gaming (and nobody will say on his death bed that he regrets not having played more computer games, let's be honest here). The complexity of Steel Beasts stems from the multitude of fire control systems, all of which have their individual user interface, and I'm not sure if there was much that we could do about it except disabling/automatizing certain components.

(And before you all start protesting vehemently, it's also about (rather fuzzy) legal restrictions as to where to draw the line between a military good for training that falls under export restrictions, and a mere military-themed computer game. We have always had these functional differences between the classroom version and the Personal Edition, it's about drawing the line for future versions (and drawing a line we must).)

 

Now, when we started with Steel Beasts some 20 years ago we had but two different tank models, M1A1 and Leopard 2A4, similar in capabilities but different in their UI concept. It made sense to emphasize the differences so that you, the players, would actually note where the vehicle concepts overlapped and where there was a divergence.

Adding two or three more vehicles didn't change the picture much, but here we are now, two decades later, and we have about 15...20 distinctly different fire control systems modelled, and some players haven't even realized that holding down Shift or Alt when plotting routes in the map screen changes the method of pathfinding. I see with regularity that people don't apply dynamic lead but rather aim with Kentucky windage, that they don't realize that the Milan missile must be launched aiming with the caret rather than the center crosshairs, ..., and it's just going to get worse and worse over time. Who of you can claim with confidence to having mastered more than three different fire control system families? How long did it take you?

Do you know the difference between a Retreat route and a Retreat condition?

Is Steel Beasts a computer game among many for you, or is it a hobby of its own?

 

What are the things that you personally are struggling with?

 

 

Actually, I would like you to observe yourself for a while playing Steel Beasts, trying to identify the "blind spots" you have developed over time towards things that you don't know exactly how to make work, so you "fudge around" them, and to report them here. I would also call for volunteers who know the more exotic equipment (MiniSamson, say...) to help us create tutorials and tutorial videos for them.

The SBWiki is good, but I'd say it's evident that it's not enough.

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Actually, bringing up the MILAN is a good example.  I didn't know about firing from the caret because I've never used the MILAN, don't have access to any manuals, and open-source information  on the system is incredibly vague,  despite its popularity.  Now that I have this nugget I can update the wiki appropriately, but points up the general issue: a lack of institutional knowledge.  There's plenty of pages I want to update or flesh out (CV9035, Leo AS1, and the a fore mentioned Samson-mini) but I just don't know enough about them, and trial and error will only take you so far.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MAJ_Fubar said:

Actually, bringing up the MILAN is a good example.  I didn't know about firing from the caret because I've never used the MILAN, don't have access to any manuals, and open-source information  on the system is incredibly vague,  despite its popularity.  Now that I have this nugget I can update the wiki appropriately, but points up the general issue: a lack of institutional knowledge.  There's plenty of pages I want to update or flesh out (CV9035, Leo AS1, and the a fore mentioned Samson-mini) but I just don't know enough about them, and trial and error will only take you so far.

Well you could play / use the ATGM Tutorial. :)

 

 

 

Just select MILAN as the weapon and it will talk you through it.

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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There are two aspects to this from my perspective: customer expectations and user interface.

 

I think the expectations of some users is that you can jump in and start blowing things up.  I think of it as the "World of Tanks Syndrome".  It takes some work and effort to even begin to understand Steel Beasts.  You can have all the tutorials in the world, but you still have to jump in and figure some of it out.  I also think a factor here is many non-military users don't know enough about how real operations work.  They are looking at the game through myths they have picked up from playing other games, like WoT, Close Combat, Combat Mission, etc.  There are a number of bug reports that get posted that turn out to be just how something works in real life.  Some of its so detailed, not sure how it gets fixed except for customers to have different expectations.

 

The other aspect is the UI.  When I take a step back and look at the UI, it looks like stuff just gets bolted on as they come out.  There are no tool tips, context-sensitive help, etc.  As a player that stepped away for several years, coming back in was a shock of relearning the menu systems.  There are just so many options and little help in deciphering what they all mean.  The scripting dialog box is a perfect example of muscle memory making long-time players not understand how difficult it is to learn the system.  To this day, I still have a hard time figuring out the And/Or Boolean stuff based on what is being shown.

 

With that said, the question is always around how much time should devs take in modernizing the UI and building tutorials vs actually adding features to the product.  For a small company with a specialized product, I would prefer features be added and the basic engine continue its upgrade path.  No matter how much documentation or UI work gets done, SB will still be s difficult game to learn just because of the realness of it.

 

btw, Command or CMNAO by Matrix has similar issues.  A small dev, a very complex topic, realness, scratched together UI, a parallel defense industry product, spartan documentation.  They are trying solve the same problem also.  I think any game that strives for detailed and realistic military operations is going to have the same problem.  Players not being willing to do some of their own research and use the resources already available will always be an issue.

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3 hours ago, Ssnake said:

The complexity of Steel Beasts stems from the multitude of fire control systems, all of which have their individual user interface,

"IMO" one thing that would help if it is at all possible is to make more of the switches/buttons on the interfaces operational instead of having them "keypress only"

Ex- in the m1a1 the first and last last lase switch and the maingun/machinegun switch- round selection switch/doghouse levers- all stuff I use in the first person as I like to operate in the FP fashion

ala "DCS" cockpit style, as opposed to having to memorize key combos.

  I  also agree with the woods statement as well

34 minutes ago, thewood said:

I think the expectations of some users is that you can jump in and start blowing things up.  I think of it as the "World of Tanks Syndrome".  It takes some work and effort to even begin to understand Steel Beasts. 

 

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I want to reinforce one point, based on real world experience of leading large development projects; tooltips are VERY underrated and underestimated by developers, as well as long time players of any game.  Simple 3-6 word labels on a tooltip can lift the fog of complexity quickly.  They can declutter a screen, while conveying important info.

 

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Posted (edited)

In answer to one of the questions in the initial post SB is a hobby not a game for me.  I've had timed licenses on and off over the past 2-3 years.  I'm very interested in the sim aspect - real world tactics, procedures.  In addition to SB I also spend a lot of time in DCS and CMNAO both of which are study sims.  There is a lot of information available in the Wiki and the forums, you do have to dig for it.  I'm willing to put the time in to study because this in it self is part of the fun 😁  The video series recently posted by Mirzayev on Camp Hornfelt along with his other Quick Tip videos are very good IMO.  More content like this would be beneficial.   Unfortunately today most people would rather watch/listen than read so IMO the video format is the way to go.  In my previous runs with SB I was almost exclusively solo so I've decided this time around to make an effort to get involved online as a way to learn.  As someone has already pointed out other devs are struggling with similar issues.  IMO in those cases its the community of experienced users that has filled in the gaps not covered by the dev.  So my "solution" would be more short video quick tips and commented play throughs of instructional type scenarios which could come from both the devs and the community.

Edited by CrackerJack

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I'm new to the point where I still move headlong into obvious ambushes, even when I know they're there. 

 

I play this for the complexity. CrackerJack nails it. If it weren't for the videos from Mirzayev and Matsimus, I'd still play, but learning skills beyond the UI (i.e. tactics) would be very slow. Learning how to do something is easy. Learning why and when are totally different animals.

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1 minute ago, podex said:

I'm new to the point where I still move headlong into obvious ambushes, even when I know they're there. 

 

I play this for the complexity. CrackerJack nails it. If it weren't for the videos from Mirzayev and Matsimus, I'd still play, but learning skills beyond the UI (i.e. tactics) would be very slow. Learning how to do something is easy. Learning why and when are totally different animals.

Don't think that this is the scope of SB pro PE.

It is a tool to learn tactics under the guidance of an instructor. It would be very very had for esim to put that "instructor" into code.

But thats what the community is for.

Get the videos...try some SP scenarios...join MP games. You 'll get all the help you need there.

 

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Just now, Grenny said:

Don't think that this is the scope of SB pro PE.

It is a tool to learn tactics under the guidance of an instructor. It would be very very had for esim to put that "instructor" into code.

But thats what the community is for.

 

 

That's what I'm talking about. I wouldn't expect eSim to do that -- that's what the videos help with (community-made). 

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There are plenty of Steel Beasts YouTube videos online. There is at least one or more added almost every week. Some instructional videos are older but they are there. Lumi has one on the Leopard 2A4 and the CV-90. Ronin has a few too, Damian, mirzayev, Rotar and Bon villain aka zero. You have some people who just want to jump in and go without any learning as explained above. I have read elsewhere that Eagle Dynamics are having the same issues. People just get the module and hop in when really it is a really big learning curve for just that one Plane such as the A-10C. IMO SB is doing wonderful things and moving up. I think that (if they have time) should try to make all the vehicles in their simulation  Crewable to a certain level of course such as just sights which some vehicles have. These vehicles may also help some with the learning curve issues. I mean you  pretty much just hop into the sight press a few buttons like for magnification, then lase and shoot. For me my learning curve for others vehicles have been TGIF and involved with VU’s. You will find many people with experience. Such as DK who has knowledge on the CV-90’s, Major Duck which has tons of knowledge on Arty equipment, myself which I have knowledge on the Abrams, Volcano which has tons of knowledge on the Abrams and many different vehicles, also SB itself. I mean the list can go on and on. The multiplayer groups here are filled with experience players and RL experience people. All you have to do is show up and talk. That’s it 

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Fire control systems are definitely not the most difficult part of Steel Beasts. I'm not even sure how one could even remotely consider them difficult. Take pretty much any dedicated DCS module and only there it can start getting complicated. And I really hope SB Pro PE will take that route as well at some point, bringing more detail even to the drivers stations and fully clickable cockpits to everyone.

 

The biggest difficulty of SBPPE comes from the need to manage a huge amount of assets, often all by one person and at the same time, all the while using the real world tactics and procedures (which of course you need to learn first). So, it's indeed basically a CMANO (or BCT Commander for that matter) with the possibility to occupy one of the units. And the strategic plus the micromanagement part might not be to everyone's liking, especially considering that you need to hand-hold the AI most of the time because of their tendency to do things their own way to the point of you feeling like cloning yourself and occupying every single station in every single vehicle. Which, I guess, is basically what happens in a class. It's not very well optimized for single player use, unless you are playing the most basic scenarios.

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And to add to assasin try each different VU as we all use the SIm in different ways TGIF is PVP , ANZAC is scen against AI or Opfor they are also very much into historical accuracy, Kanium is with 1/or more guys in each vehicle also with either AI / Opfor all off them helps new players and try to lesson the learning curve and most solo players we have had have learned alot from our experienced players, and i know both Anzac and Kanium runs learning scen when needed where 3-4 guys meet up and and help the guy requesting it.

 

But as with so much other you need to ask and there are no stupid questions.

 

and you don't need to be a member to play with kanium just come as you are and first time come early as there a some things that need to be setup first

 

MD

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Well, those are a lot of questions. I try to answer a few from my viewpoint.

 

For me, Steel Beasts is a game among many. But I tend to say that I have a strong favor torwards simulations (DCS-Series, Falcon BMS, Sub Command, Dangerous Waters, ArmA, Command - Modern Air Naval Operations. Airborne Assault Series).

Compared to some of the titles, I do not find SB very complex. It's quite easy to jump in with a friend who as no knowledge at all and just teach him in an hour to to be a gunner.

Try that with DCS-FA18,,, It takes countless hours just to properly fire a weapon there.

 

When it comes to Steel Beasts, from my experience there are two ways to play it;

As a System Simulator or as a Battlefield Simulator. If you use it as the first one, it's easy to play. You just man your tank and somebody else (either the mission or an human commander) does the tactical stuff. You will spent most of your times handling the systems of your tank.

If you play it from the poition of a commander it is a totaly different game in my opinion. You will spend most of your time on the map view, ordering units, observing situation and movement of others and communicating.

 

I usually prefer to play the first mode, because that is how I can play it with my friends, who have a lot less knowledge about the game and tactics in gerneral.

From that point of view, I have a lot of blank spots when it comes to the possibilities of commanding other units on the map view.

 

What I really like about the game, is that it blends those two topics very well. It can be quite easy for a simulation when it comes to system simulation. But if you want a steep learning curve (and there are a lot of guys in the simulation sector that love taking challenges and learning new stuff all of the time) that is available as well. From this viewpoint, it does the "easy to learn hard to master" paradigm very well.

 

But when it comes to learning stuff, there is one way that I prefer in any simulation: Interactive tutorials. So this could really be better in SB.

 

Regards

 

Raskil

 

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Questions from Ssnake (okay, not sure if he wanted this to be answered literally):

 

1. Who of you can claim with confidence to having mastered more than three different fire control system families? How long did it take you?

=> No, I don’t. Playing often in F8 or from the map 

 

2. Do you know the difference between a Retreat route and a Retreat condition?

=> Yes

 

3. Is Steel Beasts a computer game among many for you, or is it a hobby of its own?

=> The latter

 

4. What are the things that you personally are struggling with?

=> I miss a bit well developed SP scenario’s, e.g. with a non-static but dynamic RED AI-opponent. E.g. scenario’s as the ones of PanzerLeader.

I also miss scenario’s using/showcasing the additions to SB since the various last updates.

 

5. I would like you to observe yourself for a while playing Steel Beasts, trying to identify the "blind spots" you have developed over time towards things that you don't know exactly how to make work, so you "fudge around" them, and to report them here.

=> see nr 1: fudging around via F8 & mapview - and yet still enjoying SB a lot by playing it as such.

 

6. All in all: personally I don’t need more complexity in SB (underused anyway), esp. not in the form of many more vehicles.

Gameplay-changers still welcome.

Even better visuals, more varied cities.

Trains & deer & cows & butterflies

Interactive tutorials: good idea !

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On my part, I am one of those who appreciate complexity. I used to create the car physics in Assetto Corsa for small rally teams and private clients. I devored some DCS  and CMNAO for breakfast. In Steel Beasts specifically, my hobby is to be able to try out in the sim what I read in military history books and magazines. Although I was obligated to enlist in my country's military and serve for about a year, all I learned about strategy and tactics came from elsewhere. So when I transitioned from M1TP2 into Steel Beasts what I missed most was a comprehensive set of Tactics tutorials, something beyond camp hornfelt, more detailed, more achievable, something like a study-scenario-introduction to each specific aspect of tactics like Hasty Attack, Hasty Defense, Movement to Contact, Recon, Security....everything that we find in the Field Manuals. So,there was this HUGE tactical understanding gap between M1TP2 and even camp hornfelt series that was never really fulfilled. And that's something that one doesn't learn from the manual or simply FM-17-15. The most direct result of this was the years and years of study, trial and error trying to create something plausible in the mission editor. It was never the complexity of the tools the problem, but the understanding of the content.

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The problem is of course that different countries and different time periods have different doctrines (=standard answers to standard problems), and then of course there are non-standard problems everywhere all of the time. :o

 

 

 

 

God, I have this latest update to the forum software. Nothing works properly anymore, and now there's pop-ups for the super-stupid emojis. As if we were brain-dead teenagers whatsapping each other.

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12 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I'm wondering how much more complex the Personal Edition of SB Pro should become.

This sounds like some thought provoking big picture stuff so I'm interested in reading more about what you specifically envision when you say 'more complex'?  Sans that insight, my short answer would be; anything that builds upon the sim's ability to faithfully function as a believable real-time combined arms battle simulator is good.

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Complexity by itself doesn't excite me.  But if some level of complexity is part of providing a better view of how battles are planned for and unfold, I am OK with having to spend some time studying.  Complexity to just make you feel like its more detailed, yet contributes little to the actual simulated operation...don't need that. 

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1 hour ago, Breakthrough7 said:

This sounds like some thought provoking big picture stuff so I'm interested in reading more about what you specifically envision when you say 'more complex'?

Well, for one, we are limited in the amount of the level of detail that we can invest when creating 3D interiors. I understand that people would prefer everything to be clickable, but given the time and manpower constraints under which we're working, for all practical matters it's a non-starter. So, to that extent we'll always have to rely on hotkeys (and there's only so many of them). This means that to some extent we'll have to repurpose the same hotkey for different purposes, which is definitely of the "bad kind of complexity" where the user simply must memorize things, where there is the danger of UI inconsistency, and it's not intuitive. But we simply aren't in a position to do much about that.

This might not be so bad if it was just a handful of cases. But we're running into sheer scaling issues. Even where it's just "more of the same" type of feature development - just another tank with Type "flip ahead" fire control system, to name one example - more vehicles means more individual details means more to memorize, means yet another thing that just makes things more difficult without really adding tactical depth.

 

Then there's ideas like having limited supplies with logistics vehicles. Which sounds great, until you think about the implications. Now you need a human player to schedule all your deliveries. That's an "S4 minigame" added, a better kind of complexity as it adds depth to the gameplay, but it adds more workload to human players which, if understaffed in a scenario (especially in single player mode), raises the learning slope a few more degrees towards the vertical (which means that, ultimately, you will lose another percentage of players with a one-month trial license because there's just too much micromanagement for them). Add a bit more here, a bit more there - it adds spice and variety for those who already know Steel Beasts, but makes it even more byzantine for new players.

Similar issues would be more detailed close air support and air defense assets (now you need to manage that), a more detailed artillery simulation (do you want to play the fire direction center?), more detailed infantry simulation (how hard can it be to turn SB into a tactical first person shooter?), that's a scaling issue of its own. Now we have earthmovers in SB Pro PE - great, but the more earthwork construction blueprints we add, the more the player needs to learn about engineering. What type of trench profile for which kind of application, how much time does it cost to excavate X cubic meters of soil type Y with equipment Z.

 

Of course the case could be made that all these things are strictly optional and don't have to appear in a scenario, but when they do, the player will probably experience incompetence (most people don't like that), and in the best case begin to study the topic ("Steel Beasts as a hobby"), or in the worst case to give up on it ("I don't have the time for this shit"/"Steel Beasts as a (sub-par) game"); in between is probably a phase where people accept that they can't handle task X, and either leave it to the AI/other players in network games, or ignore assets in a scenario because of it.

I recently watched a video stream where supply trucks and recovery vehicles were left behind because the player apparently did not realize their importance; he performed a fighting reconnaissance with a wheeled APCs taking point, mentioning that "these weren't the droids he was expecting" but sent them right into the meat grinder anyways because he was clearly overwhelmed with the complexity of his mission, and predictably they got chewed up while the tanks were trailing some 500m behind. Some tanks landed in a swamp (I can't blame people for not speaking German though the name "Moordorf" is a bit of a giveaway what kind of terrain to expect), and without recovery vehicle ... well. I'm not here to slag a player for his performance, particularly not from 20/20 hindsight and armchair wisdom. It just got me thinking that the typical player (if he hasn't been playing Steel Beasts for five years or more) is confronted with a very, very challenging task even in scenarios with moderate tactical complexity. Steel Beasts simply is hard if you aren't learning tactics as a part of your professional career. And even the pros will only bother to familiarize themselves with one or two fire control systems (unless they, too, adopt Steel Beasts as a hobby) and mostly leave things to the AI, unless the shooty-bug has bitten them or the AI is unbearably incompetent.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback so far, everybody. Please keep it coming.

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Frankly, this is why when I play as a rank amateur, I play as a wargamer from overhead, map, and observer.  I tend to build an AI plan that is detailed, yet somewhat malleable where I have pre-built options with triggers to get the AI to do different things.  Does the AI react perfectly; absolutely not.  But looking at the mistakes made by me and the AI, its no worse than many games I have observed with human players. 

 

Playing from a map is no more difficult than a Combat Mission game played in real-time, but I have the option to jump into observer or overhead view to watch whats going on.  There are things the dev could do to make it easier to manage larger forces:

 

1) Clickable messages to jump quickly to the unit in the message.

2) A list of friendly units I can jump to quickly and gives me a quick status on ammo, damage, fuel, etc.

3) A more straight-forward boolean system, with optional full scripting with something like Lua.

4) An overhead view that lest you pull back further

5) An optional jump to unit firing or under fire.

 

These are more traditional wargaming tools and less about simulating AFV with bolted on combined arms.  All can be made optional by scenario designer to keep the simulation framework.

 

I don't think these things are critical to how I play the game right now.  But I build my own scenarios in a sandbox and tend to know where everything is.  I can live without them, but it would make life easier.  I also am not sure it would limit complexity, but would make play easier.

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17 hours ago, Ssnake said:

The complexity of Steel Beasts stems from the multitude of fire control systems, all of which have their individual user interface, and I'm not sure if there was much that we could do about it except disabling/automatizing certain components. 

I believe that the detail of electronic interfaces, as well as their technical aspects; will be come more and more sensitive militarily. So perhaps some of your customers would prefer not to have such equipment detailed in the personal edition; you may find that you need a more generic user interface anyway and so can be consistent across vehicles etc.

And it would be easier to learn, especially for those who enjoy changing vehicles etc.

 

17 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Do you know the difference between a Retreat route and a Retreat condition?

Yes

17 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Is Steel Beasts a computer game among many for you, or is it a hobby of its own?

It's more of a hobby for me. I enjoy small puzzles and trying different solutions.

I don't play , didn't get me wrong, I enjoy hooning around and just shooting things up (but also getting into the detail of that).

I like to develop scenarios for my own use, I like testing different vehicles. I go about developing my own scenarios slowly step by step, making them more and more complex and the I run out of time :(

 

17 hours ago, Ssnake said:

What are the things that you personally are struggling with?

 

Nothing really really, going step by step seems to satisfy the vast majority of my small challenges

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Never too complex for me, even when I may not necessarily understand it all.  Simulations of any kind are my thing, and the more realism, the better.  I was one of those relatively small number of folks who bought VBS3 PE when it was made available to non-military customers for a while.  I would hate to see SB move away from that style of gaming but there are, of course, areas where it makes sense to simplify.  Logistics is one area - given the time scale of the actions SB covers, at least the PE version, unlimited supply from vehicles is a reasonable adaptation.  I don't need to manage that, but I do need to manage keeping them in one piece.  As it is now, I think SB does a great job of striking a balance.  Will I ever know all the vehicles inside-out?  No.  But if I know what I'm going to be using, say for TGIF, it's easy enough to study up during the week before.

 

SB is definitely a hobby for me.  I like to play it, I like to work on maps, I like to work on scenarios.  I expect to do a lot more of it once I retire.

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Posted (edited)

So, I'll add my 2 cents in here since that's probably about all it's worth.  I rank somewhere in the hobby category as far as Steel Beasts is concerned.  Think I've been playing on and off for 3 years or so for what it's worth. 

 

  • Fire Controls
    • I have not mastered any if I'm being honest, however I think therein lies an important point.  If I dedicate myself to learning the M1A2 fire control system inside and out down to using the backup systems that's all well and great, but I then join a TGIF game where we're using Leo's and CV90's.  At that point I'm probably as "good" as everyone else since the basic function and key mapping for firing the other weapon systems are fairly similar, but my deeper knowledge of the M1 isn't helpful.  Unless you're playing scenarios with specific equipment all the time, the game itself warrants more of a "jack of all trades, master of none" in this regard.
    • For those of us who didn't serve on these weapons, there is little incentive to get beyond the basic competency (unless you are really into learning it inside and out, which is totally cool if so).  It doesn't seem that very often knowing how to use alternate/backup fire control systems is helpful since if your vehicle is in that bad of shape you've usually got more pressing concerns, if the vehicle is usable at all.  Now, as I play more I am slowly picking some of this knowledge up, but as far as proactive learning it seems to me the time is better spent on tactics/employment/SA.
  • Retreat Route and Retreat Condition
    • To start, I knew the first and had a fuzzy idea of the second but had to look it up to make sure.
    • The bigger conversation here, to me, goes back to where you put your time in.  Once I get done on the tank range and know how to do the essentials like lasing/computing lead, selecting the correct ammo, and firing effectively, the hard part begins.  Frankly, shooting stuff is the easy part.  Getting your tank to a good firing location without someone putting holes into it, and ensuring it can survive a battle or can egress if needed becomes the challenge.  I'm an arty guy who spent half his career running patrols in Hummers and the other half driving around a goose egg in a M109.  I have zero institutional knowledge on how to best employ a single tank, let along my platoon + element that I've just been given in a scenario.  Figuring out how to best move my forces, what locations to occupy, setting up fields of fire, etc. has been my struggle.  To that end I  could probably do better learning the different tactics, routes, and whatnot that are built into SB to help me in that regard.
  • Intuitiveness (I think that's a word)
    • While I'm sure it could always be better, I personally think this is an area that SB does really well in.  By and large, if you can figure out how to use one vehicle you can probably make do in most of the rest.  Space is always fire.  P is always compute/dump lead.  The Function keys all generally work the same with views. Right click context menus are mostly the same.  Yes, there are exceptions, but you learn them quickly.  Some other simulation games don't do this *cough*DCS*cough* and it makes for a much higher learning curve.
    • Now, behind learning tactics and whatnot, the second biggest time investment for me in SB is learning how to get the game to do what I'm thinking in my head.  I don't mean this to sound in any way harsh or negative as all games have this same requirement, but there is an element of fighting with the game/AI itself to get to the desired outcome.  So far as that goes you start learning tricks or building habits that may not be tactically accurate, but get you the end result required. 

 

As a parting shot I'll say this; what keeps me coming back to Steel Beasts is the mix of immersiveness and ease of which I can stay relatively proficient at it without needing a ton of spin up time between long absences.  Crawling along in a tank or IFV knowing that enemy is near can really get my heart racing, and that's before the metaphorical crap hits the fan and it's an all out fight for your life.  The excitement of springing a well planned ambush (or the dread of walking into one) is great.  I think that's a pretty impressive accomplishment for something that was/is designed as a in depth trainer for military crews. 

Edited by Griffon

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I am by no means militarily are tactically literate and sometimes creating scenarios that the SB community mite enjoy leaves me with a great deal of anxiety. As a result I don’t and instead I make up one for my Saturday night lan sessions with a few friends. My feedback from those individuals comes in the form of curses.

 “Poor map selection”, 

“Why are we probing”, 

“Why are we using reconnaissance”, 

“We don’t need to spend so much time examining the terrain during the planning phase”.   

 

Using this simulation really isn’t that complex or complicated from my point of view but understanding how everything works together and why certainly is. New players that are not part of militaries or ex-military aren’t used to the mechanics of what is faithfully reproduced with this sim. As a result these persons may expect to be able to just jump right into a given vehicle of choice and start blowing shit up. Forget about needing to reload the ready rack or replacing ammo belts. Lazing, battle positions, the GAS. Today’s gaming environment is all about graphics, eye candy. Look at video cards and cpu’s, the power being brought to personal computers for gaming is monstrous.

 

Although it may be very hard to create the logarithms necessary to build a quick battle generator, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Maybe a ProPe lite with stripped down or simplified units that can perform some of the planing. This next phrase is tough to consider but one of these days VR will be just a given on all things gaming. 

 

I guess it really depends on what eSim wants from the general public. I love what is provided for me and I’m grateful for what I have from this simulator. I was looking for this very thing in 2007 and found it by accident. You have to want this, you have to want this level of fidelity if you pay for the full package. 

 

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