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Steel Beasts Complexity

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I've not taken the time to answer this question because it is quite a complex question!

In short, no - SBProPE is not too complex.

In fact, the "complexity" level is the no 1 reason that drew me to the "game" in the first place, and also kept me here.

But I'm one of those that always see something to learn, something to test or something to not understand(?!!). Not a generic "gamer" per se, I guess. I do not have any suggestions at the moment except "keep level as is". It is unique and extremely satisfying.

 

 

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I have to admit that I have not been doing much SB Pro PE.

 

I have been busy working on 2 tutorials, or rather “How I got this to work” thingies. I have just published the first, but number 2 needs more work.

 

What I really like about SB is the diverseness in complexity. From the fairly simple as Driver, Gunner over TC, Platoon leader to higher and higher levels of command.

 

My level of Complexity acceptance pretty much ends at the TC level, it exceeds my multitasking skills. Nope, I do not carry a hidden TC around in my belly.

 

I find it great that the possibilities are there for those with the skills and inclination.

 

I think that as long as you keep the possibility for the levels of complexity intact for those so inclined, it would be fine to add more complexity.

 

What I do find offputting and I am pretty sure that I am not the only one, is the difficulty in finding out how to do stuff in SB.

 

Unfortunately the way the wiki and forum is set up, makes it difficult to determine where to look for the answers to the current problem or how to do a certain thing in SB.

 

Sometimes it is mentioned in the manual, the wiki or a review, that something is possible, but not how to do it.

I know how to “RTFM” And I am very happy to say, that fortunately this is not one of those places. People are very generous with their willingness to help here.

 

I also know how to do a search but am sometimes hampered by not being a native speaker and writer. When I would translate a word or phrase into something that makes sense to me and the ones actually used, are different, then it becomes difficult to find anything. Unfortunately I’m an expert at it. The Google Fuu is weak in this one.

 

The structure of the forum is so that it at times, can be very timeconsuming to find the answers.

When the Goldnuggets are hidden on something like reply 6 on page 6 and reply 20 on page 22 of a thread, it takes time to find. Also if it is a long thread, there is the risk of the early answers no longer working.

 

That the manual is for both SB Pro and SB Pro PE, has given some “Hey Cool, we can do that! Oh Bugger! It does not work in the PE version, Blahhh.” moments.

 

This is not only a problem with SB. Unfortunately it is becoming more and more prevalent all over the internet.

It becomes very frustrating spending several weeks in a row, searching for answers for DCS World, MMJoy2, SB and other stuff for 4 hours, for each 1/2 hour work/play/sim/fun. Mesa no liken.

 

What I would like to see is a forum section only for tutorials, guides and “how to,s” threads.

My thought is that the best place would be on the forum frontpage under the Support section.

It could be called something like “Tutorials, Guides and “How to’s”

It should be possible to comment and ask and answer questions in each thread.

 

I am suggesting a forum section as I believe, that is more likely to be a first stop for and a great help to new users and easier to find than a Wiki entry. My personal opinion.

 

I have just posted my first SB “How to” in the support section, as an example of how it could be.

“Using multiple controllers with SB Pro PE” I would be very happy if it could become a part of such a section if we get one.

 

My next one would be headed there as well:

“Multiple views with SB Pro PE on a single PC” It does however need some more work and I need to ask some questions first.

 

Keep up the great work that you do.

 

 

Edited by DanTDBV

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I'm hoping you have:

 

1. Looked at the Wiki

2. Scanned the various PDF how to guides that I wrote which eSim graciously included in the documentation section of the software itself.

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Coming some time next year we'll start a series of tutorial videos for YouTube. About once every week we want to produce a video covering a certain vehicle (which is not covered by tutorial scenarios), or a certain aspect of the Map Editor, Mission Editor, etc.

 

It is unfortunately very time consuming to produce these videos so we can't turn around the situation in a snap, but hopefully it will reduce your search time substantrially in the future, once that a sufficient stock of tutorial videos has been produced. Needless to say, if there is something that you found and which took you too long to figure out browsing the forum, the Wiki, and the f'in manual - well, let us know what it is so we can make it the topic of a future tutorial. Or we improve the user interface in the future to make it easier to find the necessary elements.

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I have very much looked in the Wiki and the documentation. 

 

My major gripe with the Wiki, is that it is to me, not very clear where I can find the specific information I need. I have mostly been delving into multiple monitors and controller stuff.

Another thing is that a lot of subjects are buried in submenus and some of them in further submenus. I very much prefer to have an subject overview including subsubjects with links on the frontpage. Then I can go straight to the subject, the I need at the moment.

I have a major disadvantage in that very often, when I am looking for stuff I have mental blinds that makes me not see anything other than what I am looking for. 

 

I forgot to ad this to my earlier reply:
In some of my specific cases, it have been mentioned that something is possible and light skimming over the major points, but not how it is done in details. One example is using multiple instances for multiple view. I have only a basic knowledge about networking and how to get it to work. Only a reply from Gibsonm I found in a thread on the subject pointed me in the right direction.

 

For the controllers how to i made, I have had to figure it out on my own.

 

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I know about the videos and I very much appreciate and understand the effort that goes into making any kind of video or tutorial.

 

I do tend to skip video tutorials, as some of them are bloated with unnecessary stuff. This could be helped by putting a time stamp section in the description, with a link to each element of the tutorial. Then it is possible to skip to the part, that you want to learn about.

 

The controllers tutorial I posted and the multiple views one I am working on, are the ones I have been fighting with.

I am very much for making it easier to find elements.

Another reason for suggestion a tutorial section, is that I have a suspicion that it could be an enticement for users to submit tutorials, if it easy for other users to find and learn from them. I know it is for me. 😎

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My interest in Steel Beasts has always been learning what it is like to operate the machines themselves, the same way I enjoy DCS. Learning the details of various fire control systems and their use is my favorite part of the simulation. I appreciate the strategic aspects, but find less interest there. Real Time Strategy games simply aren't my cup of tea.

I have to admit that I find managing more than 4-5 units feels more like work than fun. I prefer focusing on the responsibility of one tank, or one platoon at most, to managing a company or battalion of troops. It would be nice if there could be a commander AI for both sides so that a player could enjoy solely managing a smaller element within the larger battle without the need for micro managing all the elements of a battalion size force.

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6 hours ago, RattyHHG said:

I have to admit that I find managing more than 4-5 units feels more like work than fun. I prefer focusing on the responsibility of one tank, or one platoon at most, to managing a company or battalion of troops. It would be nice if there could be a commander AI for both sides so that a player could enjoy solely managing a smaller element within the larger battle without the need for micro managing all the elements of a battalion size force.

 

When used as a training tool (i.e. its real role in life) there are usually other individuals controlling those other platoons.

 

In a Battalion setting you might have 12+ players.

 

Alternatively once you gain an understanding of routes, waypoints, etc. and the fact that units not quite doing exactly what you intended is often a good reflection of real life then you can pretty easily manage larger formations.

 

If you want to spend 80%+ of your time in the Gunner’s sight, then sure maybe pick only the smaller scenarios.

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11 hours ago, Gibsonm said:

 

When used as a training tool (i.e. its real role in life) there are usually other individuals controlling those other platoons.

 

In a Battalion setting you might have 12+ players.

 

Alternatively once you gain an understanding of routes, waypoints, etc. and the fact that units not quite doing exactly what you intended is often a good reflection of real life then you can pretty easily manage larger formations.

 

If you want to spend 80%+ of your time in the Gunner’s sight, then sure maybe pick only the smaller scenarios.

I get you, but I'm in it solely for the detailed vehicle and crew station simulation. I have little interest in micromanaging an element larger than a platoon. I've done it, I simply don't find it fun.

I'd like to be able to enjoy battalion size dynamic scenarios from a single tank or platoon perspective without having to micro manage an entire side of a battle.
 

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4 hours ago, RattyHHG said:

I get you, but I'm in it solely for the detailed vehicle and crew station simulation. I have little interest in micromanaging an element larger than a platoon. I've done it, I simply don't find it fun.

I'd like to be able to enjoy battalion size dynamic scenarios from a single tank or platoon perspective without having to micro manage an entire side of a battle.
 

You can up to a degree create a simplistic AI behavior using the mission editor's logics system.

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4 hours ago, stormrider_sp said:

You can up to a degree create a simplistic AI behavior using the mission editor's logics system.

Which is what I said previously.

 

21 hours ago, Gibsonm said:

Alternatively once you gain an understanding of routes, waypoints, etc. and the fact that units not quite doing exactly what you intended is often a good reflection of real life then you can pretty easily manage larger formations.

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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11 hours ago, RattyHHG said:

I'd like to be able to enjoy battalion size dynamic scenarios from a single tank or platoon perspective without having to micro manage an entire side of a battle.

To a degree, I see your point.  But SB isn't just a turret simulator any more and hasn't been for a while.  Its moved heavily towards being a combined arms simulator.  To me, the choices are build you own scenarios or you are playing the wrong game.

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On 12/19/2019 at 5:19 PM, Ssnake said:

Coming some time next year we'll start a series of tutorial videos for YouTube. About once every week we want to produce a video covering a certain vehicle (which is not covered by tutorial scenarios), or a certain aspect of the Map Editor, Mission Editor, etc.

 

 

Very much looking forward to this.

Tons of AAR videos on YT but almost no tutorials.

 

Dave

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On 1/26/2020 at 12:42 PM, thewood said:

 Its moved heavily towards being a combined arms simulator. 

Has it? Besides artillery, What other arms does SB simulate?

 

Airstrikes aren't effective and rotary wing aircraft have trouble engaging anything.

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Infantry isn't perfect, but is simulated to a degree of realistic capabilities that it puts it in that corner for me.  That's artillery, armor, and infantry.  I don't mind airstrikes being abstracted.  I don't need to see the airplanes flying around.

 

Also, I haven't used helicopters in a while, but they do a pretty good job of killing me under the right circumstances.

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Since someone decided to resurrect the thread...I think engineering is a good one to point out.  The only game that might have the potential to rival SB in combined arms is may ARMA 2/3.  But it would require a lot of mods and configuration to make it even close.

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Posted (edited)

So I'm gonna post here knowing full well I probably don't deserve to. I was linked to this discussion from another forum.

 

A few months ago I bought SBPro again after having been away from it from about 10 years. It's still fun. And prettier. 

 

But I'll never love SB. It will never be my one and only. I'll never play it more than a handful of times a month. I'll never learn the mission editor enough to make an amazing scenario, but I know it enough to do some stuff that'll keep me entertained. 

 

It's not that it's a particularly difficult sim. I'm comfortable with most of the vehicles if I'm randomly dropped into one. I can handle tactics and fire and maneuver of a combined arms team. I enjoy it as a training tool, even though my boots have long been stuffed into the back of a closet. 

 

It will never be my one true game because it is not a game. It's a sim. I know the vast majority of you revel in that, but I'm old now. I have a job that sucks up a lot of time and energy. SB Pro scratches an itch, but it doesn't relieve my itching. Ultimately what I want is a tank game - especially a single player tank game. I've been looking for one since M1 Tank Platoon III was cancelled and I find myself spending more and more time (and to be quite honest, thousands of dollars) on War Thunder, even though I hate it as much as I enjoy it. I hate multiplayer battles. I hate having a match with an M1A2 Abrams and an M22 Locust on the same battlefield (there are reasons why someone might to this, but I digress). For this and a hundred other reasons, War Thunder is a terrible game. But it's also all I've got to play that let's me play nearly any tank that I want to from nearly any era and, with no fuss, kill things with it. And I love it for that. Love it enough to let the hate wash away when I'm able to sink a beautiful M111 sabot flank shot from my $60 premium Shot Kal Dalet into a Leopard 2A4's flank driven by an obnoxious Russian 14-year-old kid who sends me hate messages in Cyrillic for the next five minutes on a map that looks like Arizona in a 15-minute long battle I can squeeze in while dinner is in the oven or before I leave for work. It's fun.

 

Steel Beast's Instant Action let's me kill things too, but it's a shooting gallery. 

 

What I want - and I do not expect from eSim, to be fair - is a game that lets me play a company-sized combined arms fight with minimal fuss and with maximum replayability. It'd be nice if the battles between the campaign screens were under 20 minutes, too. And if there were things like crew/time management, vehicle customization, and a dynamic campaign that provides both context and a level of consistency that lets me pretend for a few precious moments that the game I'm playing is fun because I'm in a tank, in an interesting setting, doing things that have consequences, and with turrets pop off in a most satisfying - almost pornographic - way. 

 

I'll probably never get that game, I realize that now. But SB lets me have some of it. War Thunder has some of it. Together, along with Arma III, there's a frankenstein'd sense of my ideal tank/combined arms game burning away in my old skeleton. I'll take that rather than nothing at all. 

Edited by hellfishsix

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Wouldn't we all love to play such a game. I can perfectly relate to your post. Maybe one day we'll make some progress in that direction. The fact is that our team is small and that our development capacities are limited. The kind of game you want would be simple enough to play, but it's very demanding to develop. The only way to do that, by my estimation, is to take time and to tenaciously solve one problem after another to inch yourself towards that goal. Big teams cost a lot, so they look into shorter development cycles with a fast return on investment, and the features you describe are much harder to accomplish than what War Thunder does, and that one is probably profitable enough to warrant a big development team working on the same title for more than jsut two or three years (in sustained post-release development). But I doubt that they would sink a lot of effort into highly sophisticated single-player modes because that's not how they make their money. In fact, it would cost more to develop and probably reduce their revenue compared to the current business model.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, thewood said:

Infantry isn't perfect, but is simulated to a degree of realistic capabilities that it puts it in that corner for me

Not for me.  Not even close, unless you consider pressing the "T" button like a mental patient while nothing happens. I guess that's simulating something?

 

You use the word "simulated" a LOT.

 

 

Edited by Apocalypse 31

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Posted (edited)

Its all simulated.  Its also all abstracted.  The typical debate is how far to either end of that spectrum someone sees it.  My curiosity is where anyone sees other commercial games/simulations that do it better or differently.

 

My comparisons:

 

Combat Mission - Armor seems ok, but somewhat abstracted and needs heavy micro-management in tactics.   Infantry seems detailed on the surface, but has very serious issues with all the infantry having to be very close together and needing micro-management.  The small arms modeling seems very good with some of the more recent changes.  Artillery is very heavily abstracted.  Air and rotary wing even more so.  CM's big strength is modeling of things like training, experience, morale, etc. in a very believable manner.  A few recent changes has taken a step back, but probably still the best out there.  There is very limited engineering for static objects and a mine sweeping tanks.  For WW2, some of this works.  But its gets real creaky in a modern setting.

 

Armored Brigade - Has potential but is very limited in how AI is built with no ability to configure it.  Also has serious issues with infantry and how support weapons are represented in mechanized units.  Some limited engineering for player only (bridging and mine sweeping)

 

ARMA 2/3 - very good infantry modeling with some limited armor, but still very spotty in abstraction of penetration and damage.  But even with infantry, outside own squad, heavy configuration and modding needed.  Some limited modding for engineering.  I have played ARMA 2/3 as a wargame quite a bit and has a lot going for it.  But the mod installation and configuration is sometimes very tedious.

 

World of Tanks - No infantry and a little artillery representation.  But boy...those tanks.  No engineering.

 

War Thunder - Again, no infantry or engineering

 

IL-2's spin off Tank Crew - Good tank procedural simulation in WW2, but very limited infantry and artillery representation.  No engineering.

 

Close Combat - In its prime, as good as CM in the soft factors.  But everything else is abstracted and has shown its age in the underlying engine.  No engineering

 

DCS 2.5 - Looks great on the surface, but outside the graphics, its somewhat abstracted.  Air and artillery support is modeled fairly well.  But infantry is very basic.  I haven't seen any engineering capabilities

 

Lets take a step back and look at M1 Tank Platoon 2 - I think a lot of people have rose colored glasses on for this.  It was simple to use, considering SB today.  But it was limited in scope and had its own issues with the effectiveness of its infantry.  One thing it had was more of a game atmosphere with campaigns and crew management.  But artillery was somewhat abstracted, along with air support.  I don't remember any real dynamic engineering.  Static objects were present.

 

There are a number of newer FPS and squad games, but I perceive that where they have a heavy infantry focus, they are lacking modeling in detailing other arms.  And they are limited in scope.

 

So using the same perspective on SB - Very good armor and armor tactics modeling.  Can do a lot without micro-managing.  Artillery can be well modeled.   Rotary aircraft is modeled OK compared to above.  Air support abstracted in graphics, but reasonable in execution on the ground.  Infantry is limited but passably modeled.  Fair simple, yet arcane scripting is more powerful than it looks.  Not as powerful as ARMA, but consider most of the games above have almost no scripting.  SB has a very good scope of terrain, available units, and time frame.  A lot of flexibility in equipping and configuring units.  Very good engineering, repair, and resupply.  Outside ARMA 2/3, none of the above have those capabilities in any detail.  Even in ARMA, its not easy.   One of SB's big strengths is being able to combine SOPs, like tactics, formations, spacing, etc.  and change them dynamically if needed.  You don't know how easy that makes building scenarios until you see CM have all its infantry move in a straight column assaulting a MG position.

 

Is SB perfect...no.  But for every failing of infantry in SB, I can point out something neat it can do that none of the others can do or do easily.  The SOPs especially place infantry well above most of the games above.  I also point out that fortifications, trenches, and foxholes are the biggest issues I see in SB.  Its the one that frustrates me the most.

 

 

 

 

Edited by thewood

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I think your use of the word "simulation" is  somewhat liberal, even a bit exaggerated for these games, which simply have combined arms capabilities modelled or just depicted.

 

42 minutes ago, thewood said:

Air support abstracted in graphics, but reasonable in execution on the ground

Have you ever used air strikes in SB? Reasonable execution? Eeeeek. Not sure which Air force it's modelled after.

 

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Again, everything is a simulation, more closely modeled to the "real world" to one level or another.  Its always somewhere between engineering based or outcome-based.

 

So what game/sim out there does what you are looking for? 

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13 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Wouldn't we all love to play such a game. I can perfectly relate to your post. Maybe one day we'll make some progress in that direction. The fact is that our team is small and that our development capacities are limited. The kind of game you want would be simple enough to play, but it's very demanding to develop. The only way to do that, by my estimation, is to take time and to tenaciously solve one problem after another to inch yourself towards that goal. Big teams cost a lot, so they look into shorter development cycles with a fast return on investment, and the features you describe are much harder to accomplish than what War Thunder does, and that one is probably profitable enough to warrant a big development team working on the same title for more than jsut two or three years (in sustained post-release development). But I doubt that they would sink a lot of effort into highly sophisticated single-player modes because that's not how they make their money. In fact, it would cost more to develop and probably reduce their revenue compared to the current business model.

I hope you guys find the time and resources to do it. Maybe the resurrected Microprose will, or the rumors that War Thunder is going to have  a single player tank mode will turn out to be true (they do have single player missions and loosely dynamic campaigns for aircraft, but solely WWII IIRC, and they were brought over from older titles). I hope that all these kids playing WT and World of Tanks will end up looking for something more meaty and the market will be ready in a few years....

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