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Ssnake

Steel Beasts Complexity

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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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I feel the bigger issue is not so much Steel Beasts itself in this case, but the fact that most of this latest generation do not seem know how, or do not care, to do something many of the rest of us do. Research.

Steel Beasts, if I recall, is a tool and simulation. I for one appreciate the challenge of learning and the research that goes into this hobby.

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On 8/27/2019 at 5:07 AM, Ssnake said:

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.

 

Simulations are also kinda of my thing. I wont complain if complexity persists or increases, because thats what simulations are about. Funny there was once this same discussion and realization among many in the DCS flight sim community with regards to the bolded bit.

 

How many people say they have  truly mastered operating all the combat aircraft. ( and jet figters can be argued to be more complex than tanks as particularly in  single seat aircraft, the pilot is the sole operator. There is no 3 or 4 man crew), when to day in DCS there are dozens?

 

I myself am only truly mastered in the F/A18 Hornet, and "  intermediate level " for most of the others ( owning nearly all modules. In order to retain that "mastery" of a given vehicle, you need to practice, to be fluid in operation. as that is the only jet That being said having already "learn't" many aircraft. when stepping into a new one its always easier to learn, as opposed to the very first time you ever did it.

 

As others have pointed out learning  and even mastering an armored vehicle is not the hardest part of the sim, its when you are in single play and have to micromanage AI, hopping in between various tanks and various crew position in a large scenario with the appropriate tactics. that ends up making you feel overwhelmed.  Relative to Flight simulation i only worry about  having to fly my own aircraft, and not hopping between different aircraft cockpits to change the outcome of an air campaign.

Edited by Kev2go

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Something I always find is that, regardless of the size of scenario I create, I am always personally responsible for a high proportion (always >30% and sometimes up to 70%) of the kills my side inflicts.  I think that just reflects that a human is better than AI, but I'm assuming there is an element of deliberate manipulation of AI intelligence to ensure that human users get the most training value out of SB. And of course, it could just be my own crappy scenario design...

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

Complex is more than fine !

But having the option of adjusting the realism even better

 

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.

 

Well ... you can lead them to the trough ...

 

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

Define mastered?

But yes

 

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

 

Not really - but I am functional in my incompetemce

 

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

 

Hobby - and then some

 

What are the things that you personally are struggling with?

 

Making better MP scenarios

 

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.

 

WILCO

 

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

 

I am your Huckleberry...

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I took a bit of a break from SB. Several factors, personal, job, wing men availability, but in the end I always return. The reason is it addresses that nagging desire for me to employ tactics in perhaps realistic military scenarios (author dependent). I've long become bored with first person shooters and RTS games but SB constantly is something I come back to. I've learned that one of my passions is developing realistic scenarios, watching a group plan, and then execute. Specifically watching the commander absorb real time intelligence from the battlefield and make decisions. I was fortunate enough to be an instructor at the Maneuver Captains Career Course and employ SB with US Army combat officers looking to take command of infantry, armor or SF commands. Moving from paper to actually having students fight their plans was invaluable. Especially since they didn't have to keep bouncing around from simulation to simulation like the TRADOC command and Army leadership wanted, destroying immersion.

 

From that, the biggest thing I struggle with are not interiors of vehicles or accuracy of weapon sights (though cool don't get me wrong) but:

1. AI driving into the water. Its not low ground to defend from but a tankers worse nightmare. The saying "Don't go where the cattails grow" is the first thing they teach you at AOBC. 

2. Scripting takes way too long. Though this impacts my dedication to make a great scenario.

3. Scoring... honestly I still don't get it. Probably head space and timing on my part. 

4. AI wanderlust: seems to have gotten a little worse in this latest version, but the AI linkage of platoons breaks very quickly and the trail vehicle decides to go smell the daisies off to the 3 o'clock. The ability of one person to command a platoon of vehicles with AI help was the biggest reason I was drawn to the game. Well aside from Dr. Sterrett.

5. Updating. I'm not a software designer, just some old tanker and Army Maneuver tactics instructor that loves the sim. But software updating has always been a significant emotional event.

 

In the end its the satisfaction of watching commander's go through their OODA loops. But every once and awhile I love jumping into the gunner's seat and firing off SABOTS at a fast moving T-80. I can almost smell the cordite again and the sound of the aft cap hitting the floor...

MCCC_Simulations.pdf

Edited by Rhyfel

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On 8/27/2019 at 3:07 AM, Ssnake said:

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.

So, some comments from a "new" "old" guy, I've been playing on and off since SB1... I think complexity should be thought about at different levels for different parts of the sim. I think its very different talking about complexity for the Commanders map, versus say a gunners position. 

 

Quote

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).)

Totally agree here, but I also play flight sims like DCS and Falcon BMS, which are vastly more complicated overall than any "position" or system in SB. Even gunnery in SB (one of the more complicated "tasks") is nearly "arcade" in complexity when compared to flight sims. So really, I would say keep the complexity on the individual systems level, I think alot of folks want it to be as "real" as it can get at that level (at least I do, I don't think I'm alone). 

 

Quote

 

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?

I'm not going to claim to be master gunner, but I don't find "gunning" all that hard, I can run the M1 series and related (M60) fairly well. And the LEO2/1 systems as well. The T-series are fine too. But really, I'm not going to get into a vehicle I don't know how to run in a scenario. Then again I've been doing the gunning part for a long time on-off. I think the real key is to focus on one vehicle and master it, and then branch out into other vehicles of interest. On that note, I'd love to see a cold war era T-64/T80 with the more modern gunnery complex as a wishlist item as well as a crewable T-55AM (volna).  Neither system from what I know them strikes me as particularly terrible to implement. That and an older M60A1/M48 would be cool too.  

 

Quote

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

Yes, But, I would say that for me, learning the map and how to do "all the things" was much harder to learn overall than any individual "Station" in a tank. Perhaps more tutorials/instructional videos on how to use the map and do things could be a good thing.

 

Quote

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

Its both really. 

Quote

What are the things that you personally are struggling with?

Re-learning after not doing it for over a year or two. Particularly the map-command stuff. That and building maps/scenarios. 

 

Quote

 

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.

Actually I really like the wiki, with explanations on how to do stuff for the individual tanks. 

Perhaps a map - command tutorial would be a great section to add. 

 

My .02

Edited by Harlikwin

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a question i asked in the support forum entails another: why is it necessary to change key assignments to use the machine gun sights after reload, that is, why does the key assignment change to "O" to use the sights again only after reload, and not before? what procedure is this modelling, or what is the lesson being taught to the student to change keys like that (it's almost like panzer elite's way of going about things insofar as complex key assignments are concerned)?

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The "o" key is supposed to give you a wider field of view and the ability to walk tracer fire into a target, rather than using the sight.

The sight, on the other hand, offers more precision. "r" was taken to toggle between regular and AA sight.

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unless i'm mistaken, from what i have seen, after the reload, it's reversed- the O key is necessary to return to the sights, in other words, the key assignment changes from the normal F2 to O- but after reload, pressing F2 after reload gives you the wider view. The solution of pressing O to return to the sights after reload is what i wasn't aware of, because the normal key which did that up until recently no longer responds that way

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Wow, long time no post. I even missed the latest version release (insert shock and horror emoji)

 

I'll be honest and say that despite wargaming and simming being nominally my hobby on PC's, I'm simply terrible at it nowdays due to the *incredible* complexity on offer. I grew up watching the earliest attempts at flight sims on the ZX Spectrum (with all of 48kb of RAM, look on youtube for 'Figher Pilot' for the ZX Spectrum!) and it has now become the case that commercially available sims provide professional level simulation complexity, BUT without the benefit of years of training. I happen to be a pilot in real life, so for example in DCS World I could get into the F/A-18 and sling it off the Cat on the 1st attempt without reading the manual (something I always try and do with a new DCS module!), but even with DCS the level of detail now requires many, many hours worth of 'book' work in terms of study (ie. just basic studying, not necessarily with a book, but simply learning to 'make the thing go bang' for example). The latest patch to the Hornet module for example adds the Walleye glide bomb - do I even know how to get one off the rail? Probably not...

 

I started SB with a demo of version 1 - then I found a cracked copy of the full product (v1) at a local game shop (said cracked copy subsequently forwarded to Ssnake for his 'collection' of dubious copies of SB!) Nowdays, whilst the M1A1 and Leo might still feel homely, and I can throw together a basic plan with the map (and maybe even use a shortcut key or two), I basically have no idea of 80% of the remainder of the software. Apart from life in general (career, children etc), the sheer complexity of modern battle simulations is absolutely mind-blowing. I just got Command: Modern Operations last night. It will probably collect just as much dust as it's not-very-distant predecessor, CMANO. I just don't have the time that these things require, not only because I have less time on my hands, but because they're just so detailed that it would take months to comprehensively understand and use everything in it.

 

Which of course brings me to what I *do* do with them (DCS, CMO, SB etc) - I just fire them up for very quick, limited scope engagements. A quick 1 v 1 on DCS vs AI, a small ambush on SB etc. I fully realise that I'll just use about 10% of the capability, but the detail is still the fun part. World of Tanks is just stupid, it's a game, but it's still just stupid, AND you still need to spend a lot of time learning how to play anyway. If I'm going to learn something, it must have a solid grounding in reality, and real physics/systems. SB's scenario's are almost always MUCH too big for me to have any proper idea of what I'm doing - ideally I'd work with one or two vehicles, that's my limit.

 

So yes - SB's detail, and the others like it, is both the attraction, and the problem. But if you're smart about how you go about it, take small bites, and don't expect to master it all, it's still the way to go.

 

/rambling wall-o-text.

 

So yes, I can do M1A1, Leo 2A4 and Bradley FCS's with some degree of competence (some). Retreat route/condition? Hmmm....I *used* to know (sadly a very prevalent answer). SB is now a game among many, sadly.

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When I saw this topic from Ssnake I went to all of my buddies who play or I have at least got them to try Steelbeast. Some of these people are true rookies, and out of our little community.  Try as I might, I didn't get any of them to log in here to reply to this post.  Even when some of them have account here.

 

They all think that there is enough "gamy" stuff already and none of them was or is interested of steelbeast because or for gaming,  but as a simulator.  Promise of Vast number of different fire-control systems and immersion is what got them into steel-beast in first place.  

None of them want's less complex version of Steelbeast. Quite opposite, all of them would love to see even more things modeled. Me included.

 

Has Steelbeast got too complex for them? What were their experiences.  Most of them said that no, they are confortable with the sim. 

 

Here is an example.  I loaned licence to my friend who I got to play BMP-2 with me, because I was very interested and tempted to play that vehicle at the time.   He had no experience of Steelbeast prior to this.  He had not known that this sim even exist nor did he had any special love towards AFVs in genenal.  After a month, he told me that he is confident with BMP-2 and truly so, all it took was for him to find his way to Wiki after me urgin him to go there.  When he did, he discovered things at his own space and fell in love to that little AFV.  I don't claim him to be especially good with that vehicle when it comes to tactics and how to use it tactically, but he knows his way around the vehicle pretty well :D    

 

Another example. My dear friend Harry. Whom I actually bought Steelbeast USB stick many years ago. Has had his interest up and down with the sim.   But recently as I got him to play with me on test scenario where he had entire party of units to control alone against my forces.  He was cautious because of former bad experiences with infantry, and AI.  However, after a while on 4.1  he was delighted of the difference compared to past and he got to actually enjoy discovering routes and tactics and I told him some tips here and there how to make best o those.  And as result he pretty much annihilated me in matter of less than an hour  with his rather superior understanding of tactics (He is really into that high command stuff)   And now we have started to play more and more Steelbeast together and he pretty much loves it now when you don't have to fight against the sim, but you can focus on the enemy.    That wasn't the case few years ago.  Though, back then missions in question were probably partly to be blamed. 

 

There are many other who I have played and tried to introduce and bring into community. Problem is...  not the complexity.  But rather lack of tutorials as they say it.  

 

We do have the non secred Wiki  that new guys know nothing at all.  And that for them seems rather difficult to browse, because they seem to get overwhelmed with things they're not interested rather than finding that specific page dedicated to vehicle of their interest.   My belief is that it would be much easier for new guys if there would be link to Wiki in in-game tutorial.  

 

Steelbeast comes with lot of added recources  that are cleverly hidden into folder that can be found from start up menu. - And this is something that I think most of new guys just don't find or know to look for.   And I think... it is as well something that they complain with need to be more "accessible"   I believe that this means that they'd like or find it more easily if there would be link in menu to take you to these folders.  

 

As for the tutorials...  All the guys want more tutorials.  Hah, that is even true for me.  It's just that there is not enough of those, and what we have are very similar on each vehicle and basically mostly just around that vehicle specific FCS instead of tactics and how to use vehicles in the steelbeast.   (Though I do admid there are some tutorials that are pretty immersive and nice. Especially cv90 tutorials.)  

 

Finally..  here are replies from 3 other guys who wrote their answers to discord as reply to Ssnakes first post on this topic.   Others have replied to me by over voice during or after missions.

 

 

AJ

Steelbeasts is not a game. It just isn’t. It can be played as a game and enjoyed as a game. If it was a game I wouldn’t own it. Its attraction is its complexity and simulation. If they want to campaign it more, or make more tutorials by all means, but they should never dumb it down. Those youtuber’s that don’t know what they are doing, too bad for them. It isn’t their game

 

Lusik

I'm always in favor of maximum realism so I would  love to have more vehicles with detailed interiors and systems  to the level CV9030 or Pizzaro are. There is no point in dumping the simulation down  because it is not and should not be targeted at people who do not enjoy reading manuals.  Study sims is such a narrow genre that it should not be limited to just to satisfy a broader audience. It is understandable from the financial point of view of course.

If struggle with something then I try to read manuals and practice rather than expecting the devs to make the game easier.

To answer your last question Lumi - tactics, although Ive  finished the God of War mission recently which I repeatedly failed before.  It's not a easy one :slight_smile:

 

Harry

I was going to say, the devs shouldn't worry about dumping down the simulation just because some users don't bother to learn how to use it. Lots of people try and play DCS without reading any manuals and make fools of themselves on Facebook and elsewhere complaining it’s too hard, but they don't make it any less complex in order to cater to them. I think the important thing is having clear and informative tutorial material available in game. I don't think it should necessarily be left to the community to teach new players how to play

Lumi - Umm... Perhaps instead a voice acted tutorial scenarios.. bit like on DCS?

Harry - Possibly, or more consise and well worded briefings for tutorials and a central place to find explanations of all vehicle systems created and curated by the devs themselves
The wiki can be of mixed use or not up to date, as not everyone is super interested in reading the actual vehicle manuals or the intricacies of exactly how the FCS functions, just how to use those functions in game and what keys to press when
That will at least help get new players into missions and hitting targets faster, without getting annoyed or intimidated by complexity. I think it should be a principle that games are easy to learn but hard to master; you should be able to get decent competence with minimal user experience but have enough depth and complexity that they have to put time in to get the best out of the situation

 

-------------------------------

 

(All below are additions just now from Harry though all this is basically what all the others have said too. Just not as clearly and as many words.)


 

Spoiler

 

Instead of dumping down the game to make it more appealing, they need to make what they have more attractive, through better tutorials, interface and overall user experience

At the moment you can tell it was designed for military instructors to set up, who have read some big user manual for te sim I've never seemed to come across myself

 

I mean, there must (or really should) be a big PDF manual somewhere that explains all the functions of the sim, map editor, mission editor etc, but I've never seen it


I guess maybe that's what they use the wiki as, but as you've said, they don't make it very obvious that it's there

If you compare this to DCS, pretty much every plane, certainly every complete one, has a full set of scripted and often voice acted training missions for each aspect of the aircraft, and they also have big PDF manuals included, often as well as the real aircraft flight manual

Then the sim itself has a manual that explains in depth the functions of the mission and campaign editor etc

It is useful to reference something like that, and many people love to learn directly from manuals like that

I think the main thing that would benefit the 'feel' of the game and its attractiveness to new people, would be making the UI look like it was made more recently than 1994


Also THEIR WEBSITE

especially the way you download the game, and buy it, should be massively updated. Trying to get friend to download it was troublesome, because neither of us have ever across a game that you have to download in 6 seperate parts, plus a hotfix, plus 8 more parts for the maps. There should be one unified installer like war thunder, or to be honest any other game made this decade

 

I haven't replied directly on the forum... Because I just get somewhat put off by forums, I've never had a good experience of discussing things directly on online forums of any sort

 

Me - Hey one thing...  would you please take look at the user manual and try to get anything at all out of it.  and feel free to rant here then if you dont get anything at all.

 


The manual seems good, I just didn't really know it existed before, although I do remember referencing it to help install the game a long time ago. One other thing I'd like them to work on is controller/joystick support and better control mapping. Particularly for configuring curves/deadzones for joysticks


Me - How comes you did find DCS manuals  but not SB ones?

might be because I'm more active in the DCS community online, also when i started playing I installed it through steam, and there is a direct link to the manuals from the steam page for the game

 

 

It seems, again, to come down to the conflict of: is this a training software for the military, or is it a commercial simulation

Me - Ssnake does point out in his reply that when it comes to SB personal edition..  border is hard to see.
from Ssnake  "(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).)"

 

It seems they need to decide their priority between the personal edition and the military edition, at the moment the personal edition is just an expensive version of the training software with some features missing, and as such they shouldn't be surprised it's not very suitible to civilian customers

even this manual is just the classroom manual by the look of it. Definately written for an instructor, rather than a user

 

As I understand it...  it wasn't meant to.  It was meant for military personels additional training off the army as kind way for training when not serving.  Or that was original intent.  But then people started to buy it because of interest to tank sim.

Yeah I agree.  That manual..  is soo different compared to SB gold manual.

 

well you can't really complain about that if that is their intention for it, because it serves that purpose. The question is, do they want it to remain as that?


try this one now.. https://www.steelbeasts.com/files/file/818-sb1-manual/


The fact they are asking about dumping it down for new users suggests they are looking to open it up to the civilian market properly


I think... SB1 manual much more civilian friendly.


yeah, much more like a game manual

the pictures are important actually

it's ok, and good in fact, to have all the detail of the current manual, but it could be better written for a sim user rather than a training instructor, and the illustrations are very helpful for understanding, rather than having to keep tabbing back and forth from game to manual

as it is, the manual sounds like it is written for someone who isn't actually going to be playing the game in the end, just setting it up for a cadet


Hah.. Creepy thing is.. Most of the stuff (on brief glance) is still valid today.  I cannot seem to find any major errors from SB1 manual.

 

I'm sure it all is, because it's basically the same game, just with more stuff bolted on

 

(discussing how controls are set in DCS)

 

back to steelbeasts, I think the main thing they should work on is in-game tutorials to get a brand new player 'competent enough' to have fun, like you were saying with your friend in the BMP-2


they don't need to teach complex tactics, or the details of Armour structure or ammunition, but how to use the vehicle systems in a clear way, that is made specifically for that vehicle


then once a new user feels they can use a vehicle, they will hopefully start to get interested in learning the deeper stuff, through the wiki, or manual or whatever

 


It would also greatly help if there would be...  much, much more small newpie friendly missions.  Those seem still so very rare to me...  Zipuli has made some good ones, and Lusik has found some few from SB,website...  but besides that..  all seems quite bit too large and imtimitading for rookies. (including me)

 


yes, that should really be part of the tutorial process... at the final stage


introduce vehicle systems, then static targets, then moving, commander position etc, then try a basic mission against a few targets, perhaps in known locations


then more complex stuff, with a wingman, or platoon


DCS also has all those sorts of things as instant action missions

I remember when I was starting in the game, going into the single missions to find things to do to practice, but everything was company or batallion level and I was intimidated by that, so I just stayed on the gunnery range



Hey Steelbeast does that, you haven't done tutorials, have you?


I have, it does it pretty well for the older vehicles, until commander level as I remember


but I don't remember there being much for actual combat, or platoon management


also my main complaint was a lot of the tutorial briefings seemed completely copied between most vehicles, with little explaination of the specific differences in FCS etc


That is quite true.  There are some rare missions that have bit of that stuff in there..  but its Implemented and not pointed out.


like... I did the leopard tutorials, but still didn't know about the overriding system for the commander until you explained it


Eh, I am pretty fucking sure it is in the tutorials...  ill check it right now..


I dunno, I may have missed it, but that kinda comes from all the actual teaching part being in the wall of text in the briefing, which isn't very inviting or user-friendly


True...


you basically have to read all of it then just jump into a field with some targets and the game says 'have fun'


It would be possible to add voice files to tutorials. Do you think that would help?

I think, Screenshots or pictures would be awesome too...


if it could also demonstrate what it is talking about

you've done some of the harrier tutorials right? You know the way DCS can highlight buttons or parts of the screen to show you what you need to look at

 

Yeah.

 

I think that would be better written by having the hotkeys put after where they are mentioned, rather than in a list at the end

or having a description of an average engagement, such as:
Commander: 'Gunner, Sabot, Tank!' (PRESS UP KEY)
Gunner: 'Identified!' (PRESS P KEY)
etc...

 

 

 


 

 

 

Edited by Lumituisku

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Thanks for taking the time to interview your friends, it's much appreciated. :)

 

For what it's worth, we've hired additional staff to produce a series of YouTube tutorial videos. That will still take a while to get to the point where we can release them (we want to develop some sort of a production routine where similar topics have a similar structure, and also a small stockpile from which to publish when there will be delays in production).

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