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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 3:19 pm 
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Conscript

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For my part I've taken the advice on this board and started working my way through the different scenarios. They do a very nice job of illustrating various tactical problems, e.g. the need to sacrifice an expensive unit to take out a rocket launcher that is holding the enemy's position together. An observation I made earlier about it being easier to just wait for the enemy to charge doesn't hold when they can outspend you by 50%. (FWIW, I actually managed to play the computer to a draw on the "Help" scenario by setting up two guard towers and a rocket launcher.)

Were any of you guys Sokoban fans? Sometimes the game has almost a "puzzle" feel, where there's a specific set of moves that lead to victory, and what seem like minor choices about where to move can have a significant impact. I think I'm reminded of Sokoban because units are unable to "stack" or move over each other, so part of the challenge on some maps is just getting the right unit to the right place at the right time.

At any rate, I'm having fun now, which at the end of the day is all that really matters. :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 3:54 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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fadden wrote:
Sometimes the game has almost a "puzzle" feel, where there's a specific set of moves that lead to victory, and what seem like minor choices about where to move can have a significant impact.


I wrote a scenario that exaggerates that puzzle notion. http://massiveassault.com/forum/viewtop ... =1947#1947

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 Post subject: Excellent!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:17 pm 
I'm shocked, games developers who listen to the buyers?

Good work guys!

Just thought I'd add my 3 cents worth so you can act accordingly moving forwards.

Came across the demo, downloaded it, started playing it.

HALLELUJA!!!! Finally, a games company that understand some of us out here want a turn based strategy game WITH good graphics! You can find one or the other, but finding both in one package was a rare breath of fresh air.. NICE ONE!

Then I got to the final scenario, then I got to it again, and once again, and stopped. My first thought was, well, maybe they just threw in a nasty scenario for the fanatics out there, and anyway, they deserve the purchase even if only for the fact that finally someone brought out the type of game I wanted to play.

So I bought the game, and started playing it.

By the time I hit scenario 3 (I think) of the paradise campaign I'd had it. My thoughts went something like this... 10/10 for the game type, 10/10 for the programming and execution, 2/10 for the "fun" element.

Forgive me a moment while I digress for a paragraph for what appears to be the inevitable flame based on the few threads I have read... <sarcasm> Yes I am sure you are a golden god of the game and all should tremble at even the sight of your shadow, and any who lacks your divine skills should cower at the awesome might of your intellect </sarcasm> and I'm sure you know who you are :)

Anyway back to the main part... disappointment was the least I could say, so much promise, but alas no joy. I may not exalt myself to the stratosphere of napoleonic strategicians, but I know for a fact I am no slouch, but, I work a hard job, and games are meant to be fun... that was just missing for me, and I doubt I would be the only one to think along these lines...

So, CD out of the PC, back in the box, on the shelf, lesson learned... or so I thought...

Today, I happened to see mention of the massive assault patch, which led me to the forums. Hmm, curioser and curioser I thought... so, I downloaded, the patch, campaign, scenarios and map, and thought I'd give it just one more chance.

And I did.

It's still early days (I've only loaded up 3 or 4 medium scenarios so far... and enjoyed every second of them) but the game is on, and I must confess I am smiling.

Anyway, just had to chip in, now that I have re-discovered it (admittedly only a couple of days after having given up on it :-) the future is bright.

Before, word of mouth from me would have been nil, indeed probably negative, now... well, I can pretty much guarantee you more purchasers :-)

Anyway, nice one guys... and remember, for the game to be sucessfull it has to appeal to more than just the hard core, there are plenty of us out here who are serious strategy gamers but don't have either the time or the inclination to head into brain-melt territory (we reserve that for the strategy of ensuring the secure financial solvency that is one of the objectives of this game called life, or as its more commonly know, the day job :-)

Great work!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:45 pm 
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P.L. Marshal
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hmm...maybe that's my bad english to blame but i haven't got slightest idea what the heck this man talking about? does he like MA or not? or is this just another post of sort
" why i can not beat AI without first getting an idea how to play".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:09 pm 
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he started off saying it was too hard, then he found out about the medium/easy scenarios and is happy again.

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 Post subject: Yup
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:48 pm 
Got it in one enforcer, to keep it simple:

(1) I didn't like MA
(2) Now I do like MA
(3) It will only become a mass seller if you make it accessble for the masses

Basically.

The point was to provide a suggestion to the developers as to what (IMO) needs to be done to ensure MA sells as well as it deserves to.


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 Post subject: Clarification
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:52 pm 
I've only really tried the medium ones, the easy ones are, well... too easy :-)

Ahh nothing like irony to add some spice.


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 Post subject: Hmm...
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:04 pm 
If I may be so bold und spicy...to quote Penny Arcade:

Just a few short days ago I lamented the fact that the copy protection on Massive Assault was so effective at reducing piracy that it even halted my attempts to play my own legitimate copy. Clearly, such vigilance is a laudable virtue. Within twelve hours of the most recent patch, however, a fully functional crack was released that let me play the game in peace - and it really is a treat.

Reviewers really seemed to enjoy the game, pausing in their praise mainly to describe the withering, unstoppable assaults visited upon them by the A.I. opponent. I must emphasize that these men do not exaggerate the sadistic tendencies of this implacable foe. This is not the sort of artificial intelligence that goes the long way around when it comes to eradicating humanity, sending a series of robots back in time to engage in car chases and abortive assassination attempts. It deals maximum damage every turn, punching holes in defenses and lacerating exposed flanks. Months after release, the developer completely re-tuned the game, adding a three tier difficulty gradient which (in my experience) amounts to being either kicked, stabbed, or shot in the balls. Personally, I love it. I came to play, brought my A game, etcetera. I'm just saying you might feel as though you've been mugged when you lock horns with this thing. Like Advance Wars, none of the individual elements of the game are needlessly complex. But when campaigns rage across multiple continents, money is tight, and your geographical neighbors are revealed to be enemy sympathizers, a matrix of simple factors can produce scenarios of genuine sophistication. So yeah.

- www.penny-arcade.com

I tend to agree. I get my @#% handed to me even on easy. I learn my lessons, and hand it right back to the AI. I then move onto a different difficulty level.

The developers here seem to genuinely care about their customers...which is such a fresh breath of air it feels like I'm in the Rockies. Er, bad joke. I guess.

I probably will buy this game, since it rocks to such a high degree, and the developers come along and release a groundbreaking patch months after the game was released--they genuinely care about this product.

I must ask, though, are there/will there ever be cheats in singleplayer?


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 Post subject: Re: Hmm...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:42 am 
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KillorLive wrote:
I must ask, though, are there/will there ever be cheats in singleplayer?


We have tried to make Easy level in the latest patch as easy as possible. So we hope, even childs will can pass all scenarios on Easy.

but we will think about cheats too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:46 am 
I have to say that once you beat the campaign cheats add a lot of replayability.

Like, super units that kill enemies with deadly cows of mass destruction...or something like that.

Anyway, I have to say that easy most definately is not. I usually get my @#$ handed to me a couple times before I finally out smart the enemy in any given scenario.

If a child can beat it first try while I have to give it a few shots, that's pretty dang bad. I'm not THAT old, dammit!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 6:01 am 
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i would vote against implementing cheats because singleplayer is easy anyway but if cheats will be made there should be a huge "CHEAT" marker on any replay of a game won with cheat. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 6:10 am 
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KillorLive:

Do you mean that it's still hard AFTER v191 patch? (Feb 16 release)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 6:17 am 
Ah--all I did was download the demo.

It had the 3 tiers of difficulty, and as PA said, I was either "kicked, stabbed, or shot" in the testes.

Yes, I'm completely fine with something saying "CHEATER! FILTHY FILTHY CHEATER!" in any replay, but they would be fun just to screw around.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:42 am 
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Demo was created and uploaded before v191 patch and difficulty levels differ only by AI strength, not ammount of resources given to both sides.

The full version (after the patch) has both "AI difficulty" and "ammount of resources" differences.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 9:43 am 
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Anonymous wrote:
Ah--all I did was download the demo.

It had the 3 tiers of difficulty, and as PA said, I was either "kicked, stabbed, or shot" in the testes.

Yes, I'm completely fine with something saying "CHEATER! FILTHY FILTHY CHEATER!" in any replay, but they would be fun just to screw around.



Dear Ladies and Gentlemen.

Yes, we, the developers did completely agree that the AI level in the release version of MA and even in the first patch (v. 190) was too difficult for many of the newcomers - mainly due to the fact taht MA offers quite new (or at least long ago forgotten) gameplay style, and it takes some time for a new person to get used to it. We are grateful to the press people and our players who explicitly delivered this idea to us. That knowlege will help us to improve the game making more people get involved more seamlessly and with much less frustration.

That's why we've compiled v. 191 patch, which was released Feb 19.
In this v. 191 Patch "Easy" scenario or campaign level means really EASY - in most cases you may beat the A.I. skipping your first turn and moving/shooting your units in quite a "relaxed" manner.

In a couple of days we are planning to update the Demo, so that it also has that really EASY level.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:48 pm 
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Conscript

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What makes the game hard, I think, is that it has a tactical aspect that is easy to pick up (but hard to master) and a strategic aspect that sort of sneaks up on you.

After playing through the independent scenarios you start to understand that in some cases you need to blitz your neighbor (to stop their production) while in others you need to hang back and just destroy units (because there's no way you're going to break through without a huge loss of life). If you elect the wrong strategy, the best tactical manuvering in the world won't save you. Learning how to "read" the board is crucial.

Other strategy and war games have more flex. You can choose to move against resource A or resource B, and adopt your overall strategy accordingly. In the scenarios and campaigns in MA, you don't really have that option. You have some choices as far as whether to buy a missile launcher or a heavy bot, but attacking the wrong front or doing it in the wrong order is fatal. In the broader games you may have more options, but in the scenarios and campaigns there is often just one path to victory.

Case in point: I've run through the Battle Hammer scenario a few times now. Three countries on two, one of your two being too weak to defend its borders for more than a few rounds (four border squares, $2 per round income). I tried invading one enemy country from my $3/round country, attacking on a narrow tree-lined front, but I couldn't break through. Next I tried invading the other direction, across a 5-unit open front, but couldn't get through fast enough -- by the time I was through, large armies were hitting me from two other borders, and the country I invaded didn't have enough money left to let me hold the weaker of my countries. I've tried setting up full lines of defense at the forward edge of my weak country and at the rear edge, but their tanks overwhelmed me either way. My most recent tactic was to throw a lot of weight against the open border and let my weaker country fall, but the invading tanks crossed the country too quickly and knocked my units out of the country. I've tried a guard tower to hold the country longer, bombers to keep their artillery off, and have met with varying degrees of failure.

I'm guessing that what I need to do is control the enemy advance so that I fight on one front at a time: first the open border, then the one crossing my weak country, then the narrow border. I'm always getting hit on the flanks before I have time to shift focus, and without a strong set of forces in the weaker country I can't stop their advance, so I need to carefully manage the timing of the enemy assault. Either that, or I need to spent my guerilla buying tanks in an attempt to block their charge, instead of buying LAVs to slow them down. Haven't gone back to try it yet.

Suggestion for the developers: when the player loses a scenario, have a "give me a hint" button available, maybe even "give me a little hint" and "give me a big hint". Some people play for the thrill of finding just the right strategy, others just want the tactical puzzles. A small nudge, like "start by attacking Rogeria" or "don't try to attack Rogeria right away" can head off frustration.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:16 pm 
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A couple of followup points:

(1) Whatever you do, keep the current "hard" hint-free version in the game. Some people really like the challenge. We all have different breaking points on frustration.

(2) In case it hasn't come through on many of my other posts: I really do like this game, or I wouldn't be spending this much time and effort trying to point out what I see as flaws limiting its success. It's unlike other games out there now, but that's exactly what makes it such a gem. It's rare these days to find a game that isn't an incremental advance or simple clone of something else. Well done!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:17 pm 
Vic...let me just say, all you devs really, you have REALLY surprised me.

WOW!

I'm not even registered here and you guys answer my questions WITHIN THE DAY...that is AMAZING.

Because of that alone, I went and bought the game. With devs like you guys, there's no way you'll let this game just die like some companies do.

Whatever you guys do next...I'm going to keep an eye on it.

Bravo, you guys. Bravo.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:54 pm 
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thanks, you may register on the forums as well ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:43 pm 
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Might as well since I have the game now. :P

Gotta' hand it to you guys though, this is the first time I've ever seen devs so close to the players.

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