Hybrid PBEM?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Dementophobic 4 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #167553

    Xaneorath
    Member

    Well, I wanted to get a PBEM-game going to test its functionalities, but it soon died before it even started, because we realized that we likely would have to auto player-battles as well.
    In a game like AoW, where the seperate strategic battles make a big part of the game experience, that would just seem dull (at least to me).
    So it got me thinking.. why don’t you try to implement a hybrid PBEM-Mode?
    Usual PBEM-Behaviour while players are doing stuff on the strategic map, and the choice to meet for a short conventional battle with a player if the major battles occur.
    Of course, that would prove a problem with scoutbattles and other minor battles, not every player would want to meet for, just to play it out..
    So maybe you could prompt a dialogue for both sides “battle it or autobattle it?”.
    If one side wants to manual battle, they gotta find a time to play it out conventionaly, before the PBEM-match can go on. If both are fine with autobattling, it will just be autobattled.
    If a battle has to be played conventional, they can load it in a “mini-multiplayer-lobby”, only for those players who are involved. The result would then automaticaly be processed back into the conventional PBEM-Match.

    #167559

    Arnout
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your feedback. We’ll take it into consideration!

    #167732

    Really nice suggestion, manual battles in PBEM would be a huge plus. Simultaneous turns just destroy the game spirit for me (I hate to consider something as Actions per minute in a turn based strategy, but I understand that simultaneous turns are necessary for a quick multiplayer game). I’d also suggest a similar system, optional as I understand that someone wants to play PBEM connecting to Internet only to download the game:

    If there was a system to know who is actually online and up for playing, we could always have manual battles between players. An example: let us suppose that in a game there are three players, player A, player B and player C. They are playing in PBEM, so classical turns. I am player A, and I see that player B is actually online and in game, while player C is not. In my turn, if I enter in battle with player B I should be able to select “Manual battle”, as player B actually is online, so we could battle immediately. Instead, if I meet a stack of player C, we should have an automatic quick battle. This way, players could organize in order to be present for the important moments of a game, and play manual battles (that are the main focus of this game, IMO).

    This would denaturate a little PBEM spirit, but could also give us manual battles in PBEM. For this, I’d keep this system as optional.

    And… Keep up the good work, guys. I’d like to use my first post here to say “You’re damn awesome”. Waiting for the Linux release to play on my Arch.

    #167807

    Teehon
    Member

    I think it’s too difficult to implement AND difficult for players as well.

    I believe much more logical would be to have tactical battles in PBEM style as well, where the game would then be sent back and forth between the fighting sides. Because it’s a PBEM players don’t need to sit and watch how you think for five minutes which spell you want to cast – you can take as much time as you want. Obviously, it might take a long time this way if it is a FFA or a Team game, but PBEM games are long anyway and this way there are NO missing elements AND a plus side – you don’t need to hurry at all! Plus you can play your battles whenever you want and independentely of other players, which is a huge bonus for me. Also, not very dependent on internet traffic, you download the current game stand and then you are basically playing offline.

    PBEM could be very popular and awesome, if implemented correctly (not saying it’s bad right now, but only auto between players is a huge malus)

    #167843

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Except PBEM’d tactical would easily treble the already pretty prodigious game time, and that trebling is probably a massively conservative estimate.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think either of these suggestions are really workable. It’d mean PBEM games take an eternity to finish – either because a single battle could end up taking weeks, or because you’ve got to wait for the two involved parties in a battle to find time to link up and fight it out, which may not be an easy task.

    #168159

    Stormwind
    Member

    Well, I wanted to get a PBEM-game going to test its functionalities, but it soon died before it even started, because we realized that we likely would have to auto player-battles as well.<br>
    In a game like AoW, where the seperate strategic battles make a big part of the game experience, that would just seem dull (at least to me).<br>
    So it got me thinking.. why don’t you try to implement a hybrid PBEM-Mode?<br>
    Usual PBEM-Behaviour while players are doing stuff on the strategic map, and the choice to meet for a short conventional battle with a player if the major battles occur.<br>
    Of course, that would prove a problem with scoutbattles and other minor battles, not every player would want to meet for, just to play it out..<br>
    So maybe you could prompt a dialogue for both sides “battle it or autobattle it?”.<br>
    If one side wants to manual battle, they gotta find a time to play it out conventionaly, before the PBEM-match can go on. If both are fine with autobattling, it will just be autobattled.<br>
    If a battle has to be played conventional, they can load it in a “mini-multiplayer-lobby”, only for those players who are involved. The result would then automaticaly be processed back into the conventional PBEM-Match.

    I suggested something like this before also, but I think the time limit to start the manual battle should be the same as the time limit for that players turn, and if it cannot be done in that time it just gets auto-resolved.

    This way, it doesnt make the turn last much longer than it would otherwise.

    Ideally it would appear just for that players opponent under the PBEM screen that exists now, and if he gets to it in that time frame, they fight.

    I am already enjoying PBEM (online games always have a rushed component for me because of real life duties), and adding manual battles like this would make it complete.

    Well, except for the fact that the 3 game limit is…limiting.

    #168271

    Some other 4x have used a hybrid mode where the game can go in simultaneous turns for the early game, then once players see each other it switches to classic/PBEM turns. As people mentioned, having it switch back again to manual combat when players fight each other would be amazing. If multiplayer could switch like this you could have the best of every mode available.

    #168647

    Xaneorath
    Member

    @ravenholme :

    I agree about your estimate that PBEM’ing single battle turns would stretch the matches time too much, especialy for those not involved in the occuring battle.

    About my suggestion..
    Well, its less likely to work in public PBEM-games with random internet people, true. But on the other hand it wouldn’t hurt as option for gaming groups or friends wanting to play that way.
    I for example am part of a gaming Group for AoW3 in Steam, which filled my Friendlist with a heap of people playing that game (where I already get the information about their online status, like suggested by Salvo, just done by another client on top of it ).
    Anyways, back to the point: I don’t see big problems to start such an online game with a sufficient amount of people, which I could ask “yo, wanna play the battle of our ongoing PBEM-Match?” whenever I see them online. And I don’t think we would even start playing, if it would be a difficult matter for anyone involved to meet for a “fast” battle of the PBEM-Game we started.
    So, at least from my point of view, the option could work out.
    And maybe people would gather to form actual social groups which use such a gamemode, once it is possible?

    #170101

    Gilafron
    Member

    +1 for this idea. Love it.

    I, too, play with friends and we could arrange a time to meet up to play the big battle. Plus, if it’s an optional choice at setup, then the host can prevent it and it won’t slow down their game.

    #170768

    zephyrcloud
    Member

    I would also like to see some mechanism for switching back to simultaneous mode when the game participants or even just the battle participants are online at the same time. That would be ideal!

    #233606

    I realize this is an old thread but I still think manual battles in PBEM would improve PBEM immensely.

    The easiest change would be to have both players agree to a manual battle and then sending saves of the tactical battle. I imagine it’d work by having the 1st player initiating combat select “Suggest manual mode” (he can then end turn). The 2nd player will start up the game and receive a notification regarding the 1st player’s manual combat suggestion. The 2nd player will then either agree (and manual fight begins) or disagree (and it goes into autocombat). In manual combat, each turn would generate a save file to send to the other player.

    Since both players must agree, I assume everyone would have agreed to some sort of rules for which battles should be fought out manually (leader stack vs leader stack, walled off metropolises/throne siege).

    Games would take longer but it wouldn’t be so bad in 2-3p games. No one plays PBEM because they want to get games over with quickly anyway. Also, now that the PBEM game limit is much larger, people can just play more games if they want more frequent turns. Missing out on manual PvP battles removes a lot from the game.

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