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Ssnake

Steel Beasts Complexity

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Posted (edited)

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

 

How complex it should be and how complex I would like it to be are two different things. IMHO it should be as complex as the military customers require and are willing to fund. I would personally like it to achieve the complexity level Gibsonm described in explaining the procedure required to get to the point where you can start to engage targets on a range.

 

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.

 

I'm not going to name names, but there are people out there making instructional videos when they obviously have not learned how to do the task being explained and, in some cases, don't even understand it on a theoretical level. I have tried to point out a few of the more egrarious errors in the comments section as positively as possible, but it annoys me that the creators never seem to acknowledge the errors, let alone make the necessary changes to the videos.

 

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

 

I "mastered" the M1 up to M1A1, the M1A2, the Leopard 2A4, and the entire CV90 series.  It took a long time and I wouldn't consider myself current in any of them now (in that I'd need to refamiliarise myself with the reversionary/degraded modes, having played very little for about a year up to the 4.1 release).

 

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

 

Yes and it's very well documented, IIRC.

 

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

 

It's a hobby all of it's own for me. I accept that I'm probably highly atypical in that respect though. I'm a bit "autistic" - SB is Heaven for me.

 

What are the things that you personally are struggling with?

 

Summoning up the will power to make the most of scenario editor.

 

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.

 

My main problem is having to take over an unfamiliar vehicle or weapon station - as someone else said they did, I try to let the AI do its own thing where possible in such eventualities.

 

I would also call for volunteers who know the more exotic equipment (MiniSamson, say...) to help us create tutorials and tutorial videos for them.

 

Assign me a piece of kit to learn and I'll do my best to learn it (by the tried and tested, "press random keys until something happens" method) write a manual, with screen captures for it and attempt a tutorial video. I'd be honoured, but that comes with all the usual disclaimers about not being a professional user etc.  I do this kind of stuff (create training material on systems) as a fairly major part of my job in real life.

 

Edited by ChrisWerb

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, thewood said:

WHere did I say it launched SB?  I have to leave SB to view it.  Thus it takes me out of SB to a browser.  Hence my comment.

Ah sorry I must have misread your post (the joys of trying to read while eating breakfast in the small window between the shower and leaving for work).

 

My apologies.

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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On 8/27/2019 at 2:07 AM, Ssnake said:

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?

1. Absolutely a hobby. Enjoy playing multiplayer, but spend most of my time in the Mission Editor creating scenarios and tactical dillemnas, some of which I have encountered in field problems or even deployment. I also have more hours in SB than any game I own, combined. 

 

1a. I think SB has a perfect mix of technicalities. Maybe because tank FSC are made for an average 18 year old off the streets to jump into and easily learn. 

 

I hate DCS because it is too technical. It feels like a keyboard button mashing simulator more than anything. The Gazelle requires almost 15 clicks before you can launch w HOT-3. I might as well go be a real pilot, for the amount of time that it takes me to learn all the systems. 

 

2. Nothing on a technical level, but the game has the chance to be a great combined arms game - better than ArmA, but it stops just beyond the "the turret". I think it would attract a larger audience and have more playability (from a scenario aspect) if it would expand further into things like infantry and helicopters - even if there was an abstract approach (much like the AH64 in the Pro version that has an RWS site but allows players to fire hellfires).

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I personally am ‘struggling’ with drills and standard operating procedures (if they are called that)  that define the tactics, unit cohesion (who does what and when) and the overal strategic considerations a given mission requires.

 

I have no real life military experience and while the manual is superbly written to aid people in operating a vehicle or creating a scenario, it’s not very useful for outlining concrete ‘playbook’ type instructions about the tactical and strategic side of the sim as it would be executed in real life.

 

Of course I fully understand that this would easily consist of multiple large documents going into detail and its probably up to the user to peruse the various publicly available pdf’s from military sources.

 

These are all written for trained (or being trained) military men and women however and so for the more ‘home’ user I don’t think it would be impossible to provide (albeit community driven) documentation which seperates the chaff from the grain in presenting basic applied tactical and strategic guidance.

Perhaps with some mock battles within SB to illustrate.

 

I believe the ‘frustration’ Ssnake was talking about when viewing users go about a mission on YT is because of my above points. :)

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 I've been wargaming since the late 60's, and it was wargaming that brought me to SB.  I first purchased the game about 3 - 3-1/2 years ago  I had looked into SB on occasions previously, but three things kept me away.

 

First, I was not at all interested in anything beyond the scope of WWII.  Not understanding that SB is a training simulation used by modern militaries, I held out hope that the models might some day include WWII era tanks.  Still, it seemed to be just a simulation...  a gaming genre for which I gaveth not the heiney of a small obnoxious rodent.  Lastly, the price was waayyyy more than I was prepared to play for a game which was not in my preferred historical era and not my preferred style of play.  To this day, I still love top-down, hex games.  Realistic?  No.  Fun? Yes, especially for someone growing up when computers filled rooms the size of my home.

 

I came to SB from a Combat Mission background.  I own all of the WWII games, including the original CM 1 series…  CMBB still sits on my hard drive.  When Shock Force came out, I had no interest, but finally purchased it after most of the kinks were worked out.  I played it once or twice.  Later, when CM Black Sea was published, I originally had no plans to purchase it, primarily because modern stuff did nothing for me.  I knew nothing of current systems and didn’t think I’d have much interest in the game.  But, purchase, I did and it completely changed my focus in wargaming…  Over the last four or five years, I’ve played very little with equipment from 1940 – 1960, give or take a couple of years.    I’m still not nearly as knowledgeable of modern systems as I am (was) with WWII, but I have learned a little.

While expanding my search for modern titles, of course I came across SB.  As I stated earlier, I purchased the game, with CodeMeter, 3 years ago.  I played around with it a bit, enough to learn to drive and shoot the M1, but not nearly enough to understand the depth of it beyond a tank “shooter”.

 

I have always, since the advent of computer gaming, been a solo player.  In the mid/late 90’s, I did play CC-ABTF online a bit, but soon tired of the ladders and cheats that went with them.  In Steel Beasts, I was overwhelmed by the learning curve, and not being one to reach out to others for help, I just put it back on the shelf.  I picked it up again near the end of last winter with a determination to try and understand the game a bit more.  It has since consumed nearly all of my gaming time, whether that’s reading through the manual and wiki, watching videos, and playing through the U.S tutorials.  My work schedule pretty much limits me to weekends and honey-do’s take up a portion of that, although my wife is probably more understanding of my hobby time than most.

 

At this point, I feel I have an adequate grasp of the gunnery for the M60, A1 & A2.  I'm getting better as the TC.  I still struggle a little with M2, but am getting more confident.  I’ve played a bit with the Leo’s and have tried the T-72 on the tank range.  I’ve never jumped into a Marder or any of the Russian PC’s, nor have I tried any of the other NATO kit.  I’ve played just enough with the infantry model to get troops loaded/unloaded and from here to there.

 

So, to answer the original questions:

1.      Can I “claim with confidence to having mastered more than three different fire control system families?

        No… 

2.      How long did it take you?

         I’ve been at it less than a year, feel that I have one down pretty well and working on a couple of others.  I’ll get there and with winter coming, I should have more time.

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

         Yes, but only because I’ve read and continue to read the manual.  I’ve been working with the logic because I have to understand this to have any reasonable chance of success as a solo gamer.  I now see that trying            to control anything more than a platoon requires understanding of the game’s logic.

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

         Wargaming has been a hobby for 50 years.  Steel Beasts started as a part of that, but is becoming a hobby of its own.

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

          At this point, there’s a lot that I struggle with.  Working through that is what makes SB fun for me, but it’s not without its frustrations. 

 

         I do watch a lot of videos, but often, many of the videos are put out by people without an understanding of the game.  More than that, some that do understand the game don’t seem very tactically proficient.  This           latter statement is true for many (most?) games I’ve played.  More video, by more knowledgeable players (like Mirzayev) would be a great help… for me at least.

         

         SB is complex, but that’s part of the reason I play.   I believe it’s as close to the real thing as can be attained behind a keyboard and monitor.  It’s a simulation; if I wanted easy, I would play FPS’s or solitaire.  SB is               also first game I’ve played in many years that I’ve even considered playing online.  I haven’t yet for several reasons, time being one.  I’m hesitant to commit to something unless I’m certain I can follow through.                   Secondly, although I’ve read the wiki, downloaded TS and found the SB channel, I haven’t a clue what to do after.  I have not played any game at all online, even PBEM, for over twenty years.     

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On 8/27/2019 at 11:07 AM, Ssnake said:

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.

In all fairness, I think I should also say that watching certain multiplayer battles make me very happy, proud even, in that there are player groups very good in their communication skills and their ability to coordinate the various forces. I value competence, and many of you which I can see in captured multiplayer sessions exhibit exactly that. It's proof that "it can be done", but obviously it requires years of more or less intense practice.

 

I particularly like that in the last five years there seems to have been a trend to disable map updates; a feature that has been there for much longer, but was apparently regarded as too difficult for a good while. Nice to see that it caught on. :)

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6 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I particularly like that in the last five years there seems to have been a trend to disable map updates; a feature that has been there for much longer, but was apparently regarded as too difficult for a good while. Nice to see that it caught on. :)

Its good to have the option, i think there are good cases for and against FMU

 

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4 minutes ago, deerhunter said:

I hate ones that are Steel Beasts does World of Tanks!

???

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I mean videos where there is no command control everyone just does their own thing and are surprised when they lose the battle. 

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Isn't that how it's supposed to be - play separated, lose together?

There's a lesson in that.

But of course not everybody is looking for a learning experience, so they are doomed to repeat their failure.

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