Author Topic: Re: Siliconate War  (Read 5012 times)

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Offline crucis

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« Reply #75 on: September 13, 2007, 06:40:35 PM »
Quote from: "MWadwell"
Quote from: "crucis"
Kurt, while I've never spoken to Marvin, I don't know how anyone could miss the fact that the history and the expository quality of the rules were an intergral part of what made Starfire what it was.    After all, shouldn't it have been blindingly obvious that the combination of the historical modules, such as Stars at War and Crusade, combined with the two Starfire novels in the early 90's (Insurrection and Crusade) must have been huge driving forces in whatever popularity Starfire enjoyed in the 90's?

A question that should be asked when considering the above thoughts...

How many people bought the modules like Stars at War, Crusade, or the 2e Gorm-Khanate War and so forth, and then how many people bought them to actually play the scenarios?  I expect that a pretty high number of people bought the modules with little intent on actually playing them, and did so because they treated them like a type of fiction, a type where you got some exposition, but you got to see how the battles were set up, what forces were involved, and the ships designs, and so forth, as well as any new tech that was added.  I certainly know that I'd fall in that category, and I've read and heard a number of other people say that same thing.

So, if that's the case, it's telling me that there's a large group of Starfire customers that are interested in the Starfire fiction and the history, beyond the dry rules of the tactical or strategic game.  (It'd also tell me that there's probably a market for that type of module as well, but that's a different story.)

Well, I'd have to agree with you.

Up until a few years ago, I was collecting all of the campaign fiction being posted on the mailing list, and putting it on a website - and I noticed that almost ALL of the fiction was R3rd ed - very little was 4th ed.

At first, I thought it was due to the fact that 4th ed was new, and so a majority of the players were still playing R3rd ed. But a year later (when a majority of the fiction was still R3rd ed), I realised that it was probably due to the fact that very few of the 4th ed players were interested in fiction......


(SNIP)

Quote from: "crucis"
I've read thru the List archives pretty heavily over the past couple of months and I find it hard to believe that 3rd ed was so unsalvageable.  I just don't believe it.  

Thinking back to the time of the schism, I think that Marvin still believed that 3rd ed was still viable - witness the fact that when he canned the 3DG, he was planning on re-working the 3DG's work and release it within a few months. (This didn't eventuate as a number of 3DG people refused to allow Marvin to use their work.)

But the fact that Marvin believed that it was possible to release a 3rd ed update in a few months means that (at that point in time) Marvin was still willing to support a version of the game.

It was only after the schism, when it was realised that all of the 3DG's work would have to re-done (and so would take more than a year), did Marvin finally kill 3rd ed.....



(Argh!!!  My browser ate my reply!!!)

Let's try this again...

All this talk of schisms makes the recent history of Starfire sound like the title of an upcoming Dave Weber book...

By Schism Rent Asunder


A pity.  A real pity.  IMHO, there was still plenty of life left in 3e.



I just don't understand WHY Marvin killed 3e, in spite of the schsim, etc.  Why throw away potential sales for such a small business, when most of those products were zero cost PDFs to begin with?

Furthermore, if sales continued to show that there was more interest in 3e products than 4e products, a smart business man would have said to hell with 4e and focused his new production efforts on the products that the customers really wanted.  



*sigh*  

BTW, MW, I see that Marvin has replied on The List regarding your Digigamers question by saying that he thinks that it's dead.  Is "digigamers" the same thing as this CorbyNova thing?


It makes me wonder if all that online Starfire stuff has completely died, if this might change a few things?  Or at least let Marvin open his eyes to new possibilities, a little bit of a back to the future kind of thing...  What was old is new again?  :wink:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by crucis »
 

Offline Kurt

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« Reply #76 on: September 13, 2007, 06:44:22 PM »
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
As an example, the Rigellian universe has seventeen active races, 1937 fully-generated systems, 1200 inhabited worlds and 9420 individual ships. I would guess Kurt's campaign was even larger. That isn't going to be a paper-based campaign so why not make use of the added realism that a computer can provide, especially when the software is free.
Ho-lee freakin' crap!!!  That's a LOT of star systems!!!   And 1200 inhabited systems... that's probably a lot of income, even under the (as I understand it) reduced income rules in SM#2.
The largest race has 245 inhabited systems (and a lot more uninhabited), 8608 inhabited system bodies (including asteroids), a total income of 960,000 Mc and 3200 ships in service. Their total hull spaces is 195,000. We have been playing 3rd edition campaigns that are larger than the universe in the David Weber Starfire books :)

There are plenty of other after action reports for other Starfire campaigns, including the Phoenix campaign at http://pentarch.org/aurora/viewtopic.php?t=415 which is of a similar size to the Rigellian campaign but uses a different way of telling the story.

Steve


As of the last turn, which was...turn 143, the ASR, which was the largest race in the Phoenix Campaign, had the following stats:
HT Level: 11
Inhabited Systems: 312
Inhabited System Bodies: 3394
Production Income: 980,879 MCr's
Total Income: 1,200,000 (approximately)
# of ships: 2,572
Total Hull Spaces: 162,466

The ASR was locked in mortal combat with the Eaters, a hive mind race:
HT Level: 8
Inhabited Systems: 227
Inhabited System Bodies: 354
Production Income: 2,393,756 MCr's
# of ships: 4,698
Total Hull Spaces: 355,208

The fact that I was able to run a campaign that lasted 143 turns, and which had races that were as large as they were, is completely and totally due to Steve's Starfire Assistant.  Without it I wouldn't have even tried.  Of course, even with it each turn was taking longer and longer to complete, and if there was a battle it was much worse.  

Kurt
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Kurt »
 

Offline Kurt

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« Reply #77 on: September 13, 2007, 07:12:28 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
(Argh!!!  My browser ate my reply!!!)

Let's try this again...

All this talk of schisms makes the recent history of Starfire sound like the title of an upcoming Dave Weber book...

By Schism Rent Asunder


A pity.  A real pity.  IMHO, there was still plenty of life left in 3e.

I just don't understand WHY Marvin killed 3e, in spite of the schsim, etc.  Why throw away potential sales for such a small business, when most of those products were zero cost PDFs to begin with?:

Well, there were several things happening here.  First off, it wasn't clear at first that there was going to be such a large faction that continued to actively play 3rd edition.  There are always some that don't move on to the next edition, I think there was at least one guy on the list that still only played second edition <G>.  Marvin truly thought that 4th was better than 3rd, and had no way of knowing what was going to happen until it happened.  

When the 3rd vs. 4th arguments began, they quickly became very personal between Steve and Marvin.  Each had supporters who rabidly believed in "their" leader, and who made things much worse every time a reconcilliation was attempted.  Truces would be formed for a while, but the wars would flare up again every time someone criticised either 3rd or 4th.  Ultimately, rightly or wrongly, both Marvin and Steve came to believe that the other was out to sabotage them.  By that point they were probably right, given all that had happened between them.  Things were exacerbated by the fact that both Marvin and Steve have somewhat volatile personalities.  In Steve this is somewhat excusable, but in Marvin it is unforgivable because he is the businessman here, the one that should be promoting a community conducive to selling products.  

I think that Marvin decided in a fit of anger that 3rd was dead and that he would no longer sell anything 3rd related.  He claimed it was because of legal advice, but as others have noted that doesn't make sense.  I think he decided to kill 3rd at that point and continue with 4th in the hope that everyone would either switch or go away.  Truthfully, at that point, he didn't have much choice because the 3rd well was so poisoned.   Nearly everyone that was motivated, capable, and willing to work on 3rd had been part of the last blowup over the dissolution of the 3DG.  

I guess you could say that he got his wish.  The list is almost completely 4th ed at this point.   As Matt notes, there are very few fiction posts any more, and to me the vitality that used to exist is gone.  So many old hands got sour over the constant fighting or the eventual blow up that the list lost something that had made it special.  

Quote from: "crucis"
Furthermore, if sales continued to show that there was more interest in 3e products than 4e products, a smart business man would have said to hell with 4e and focused his new production efforts on the products that the customers really wanted.  

*sigh*  

Very little of this has anything remotely to do with logic, and I think we can all probably agree that Marvin either isn't a very good business man, or at the very least allows his personality to interfere with what should be purely professional business situations.

Quote from: "crucis"
BTW, MW, I see that Marvin has replied on The List regarding your Digigamers question by saying that he thinks that it's dead.  Is "digigamers" the same thing as this CorbyNova thing?

It makes me wonder if all that online Starfire stuff has completely died, if this might change a few things?  Or at least let Marvin open his eyes to new possibilities, a little bit of a back to the future kind of thing...  What was old is new again?  :wink:


Ouch.  Marvin had a lot hopes for the Digigamer's thing, which he told me once he thought was the future of Starfire.  My personal opinion was that Marvin wasn't as focused as he shoudl have been on the Fiction Project that he started because of the whole Digigamers issue, which apparently would have allowed you to play both strategic and tactical starfire online, seamlessly, with multiple players.  If they pulled it off, which they didn't.  Steve was right.  After all of this years of experience programming SA he said all along that Digigamers had no idea of the complexity of strategic starfire, and that they were in over their heads.  

It isn't the same as Corbynova, which is, from what little I know, a sort of online Starfire Assistant.  Basically it is a Space Master Assistant, and may allow players to play a stragic game via e-mail or online.  Much more basic and less ambitious than Digigamers, which is probably why they have been up and running for quite a while.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Kurt »
 

Offline crucis

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« Reply #78 on: September 13, 2007, 08:59:18 PM »
Quote from: "Kurt"
Quote from: "crucis"
(Argh!!!  My browser ate my reply!!!)

Let's try this again...

All this talk of schisms makes the recent history of Starfire sound like the title of an upcoming Dave Weber book...

By Schism Rent Asunder


A pity.  A real pity.  IMHO, there was still plenty of life left in 3e.

I just don't understand WHY Marvin killed 3e, in spite of the schsim, etc.  Why throw away potential sales for such a small business, when most of those products were zero cost PDFs to begin with?:

Well, there were several things happening here.  First off, it wasn't clear at first that there was going to be such a large faction that continued to actively play 3rd edition.  There are always some that don't move on to the next edition, I think there was at least one guy on the list that still only played second edition <G>.  Marvin truly thought that 4th was better than 3rd, and had no way of knowing what was going to happen until it happened.  

Yeah, I remember seeing that some posts from that 2e person.   Actually, 3e is pretty much what I think Dave wanted 2e to be, except that he was constantly fighting with TFG at the time of 2e and 2e was more a result of compromises with the TFG Starfire editor (who was a complete pain in the butt).


Quote
... In Steve this is somewhat excusable, but in Marvin it is unforgivable because he is the businessman here, the one that should be promoting a community conducive to selling products.

I think that Marvin decided in a fit of anger that 3rd was dead and that he would no longer sell anything 3rd related.  He claimed it was because of legal advice, but as others have noted that doesn't make sense.  I think he decided to kill 3rd at that point and continue with 4th in the hope that everyone would either switch or go away.  Truthfully, at that point, he didn't have much choice because the 3rd well was so poisoned.   Nearly everyone that was motivated, capable, and willing to work on 3rd had been part of the last blowup over the dissolution of the 3DG.  

While 3e may have lost all of the 3dg people that could have helped it move forward, it just seems so dump to have stopped selling a product that could have continued to make Marvin some more money.   :roll:

And hoping that a significant portion of his customer base would go away seems utterly moronic to me.  Marvin should have learned something from the New Coke/Classic Coke debacle.

Maybe the demise of the Digigamers thing will have some sort of impact on Marvin.  But with the mistakes that he's made in the past, it's hard to hold out much hope.


Quote
I guess you could say that he got his wish.  The list is almost completely 4th ed at this point.   As Matt notes, there are very few fiction posts any more, and to me the vitality that used to exist is gone.  So many old hands got sour over the constant fighting or the eventual blow up that the list lost something that had made it special.  


INDEED.  The vitality on the List came from the role-players, not the power-gamers.  Power gamers just check in when they have some problem, or whatever.  Role-players, whether they're producers of fiction or not, are probably checking in to submit or read the stories of others, to read of the exploits of someone else's great empires.  

If The List had been around when I was seriously into Starfire in the 80's and early 90's, I'd have submitted campaign reports and a couple of (not particularly well written) stories.  I had some moderately extensive campaign reports in my Starfire III or 2e campaign that featured the Star Dominion of Crucis (the *original* Crucians), the Mekklon Empire, and The Vegan Empire, as well as a late entry by a mysterious power (mysterious because I can't find much of any documentation on them in my Starfire archive) named the Basharaan of Zapuushar.

I actually wrote up campaign reports every 5 turns back then and snail mailed them to Dave and Steve.  Dave actually made some ship design suggestions for one of the Mekklons (IIRC) at a time that they were in a serious bind.  A cheap HET laser armed CT (at a time before HET Lasers were canon technology) and another CT, but I don't remember the deals on it.  It was great having Dave as a gaming buddy at the time, cuz I had ALL the poop on all of the new systems that he had in his fertile mind's pipeline.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by crucis »
 

Offline MWadwell

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« Reply #79 on: September 13, 2007, 09:55:44 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
BTW, MW, I see that Marvin has replied on The List regarding your Digigamers question by saying that he thinks that it's dead.  Is "digigamers" the same thing as this CorbyNova thing?


As Kurt said, Corbynova is an online SM assistant - based on the 4th ed rules.

I can remember, that when Marvin signed the deal with Digigamers, SA and Corbynova had to have permission from Digigamers to remain available (as digigamers had the sole rights to an electronic version of starfire). The reason I remember this, is that Will Gore (and someone else) was working on an online battle resolver (i.e. you can play the battles over the net), that was killed by Marvin (thanks to the agreement with Digigamers).

Oh well, it just reinforces your comments about it is the roleplaying (i.e. "passionate") players who are the ones that invest their time to create aids, not the power players.....

BTW, here is a link to Corbynova (now known as "Starfire Online"):
http://www.starfireonline.com/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by MWadwell »
Later,
Matt
 

Offline crucis

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« Reply #80 on: September 13, 2007, 10:09:12 PM »
Quote from: "MWadwell"
Quote from: "crucis"
BTW, MW, I see that Marvin has replied on The List regarding your Digigamers question by saying that he thinks that it's dead.  Is "digigamers" the same thing as this CorbyNova thing?

As Kurt said, Corbynova is an online SM assistant - based on the 4th ed rules.

I can remember, that when Marvin signed the deal with Digigamers, SA and Corbynova had to have permission from Digigamers to remain available (as digigamers had the sole rights to an electronic version of starfire). The reason I remember this, is that Will Gore (and someone else) was working on an online battle resolver (i.e. you can play the battles over the net), that was killed by Marvin (thanks to the agreement with Digigamers).

Oh well, it just reinforces your comments about it is the roleplaying (i.e. "passionate") players who are the ones that invest their time to create aids, not the power players.....


That's a great point (i.e. about creating aids, system generators, etc.) that I'd overlooked.

It seems that these contracts with Digigamers were just killing the joy of Starfire's most passionate players.

While he saved Starfire in the 90's when he purchased it, it seems to me that with all that has gone on in the last few years, aside from the UTM, Marvin couldn't have done a better job of killing Starfire if he'd set out from day one to do it.  

There just seems to be no joy in the Starfire game system on the List.  Hell, I think that there's more excitement about Starfire in this one thread than there is on the List, since I joined it in July.




BTW, I've noticed, and I'm sure that you have as well, MW, that the people on the Starfire List are all talking about some online Sci-Fi game called EVE, among them Marvin.  I don't know exactly why, but this is pissing me off a bit.  I'm so tempted to ask why the people on the Starfire List, Marvin in particular, aren't working on making STARFIRE fun to play again, instead of using the Starfire List to wax poetic about some other game.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by crucis »
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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« Reply #81 on: September 14, 2007, 01:49:37 PM »
I've noticed over the last 2 years that posting to the List has had a downward spiral.  From the increasingly sparse fiction to even sporatic battle reports.  

The sad part about the Digigamers part is that Marvin's contract is appearently open ended.  And they (DigiGamers) appear to have indicated to Marvin that they intent to retain the contractural control of the Starfire Web content.  Based on performance he should be able to break the contract for non-performance by them.  I have the feeling that he won't since appearently finding the EVE has the online content he wanted.

Something to keep in mind.  Marvin is not a businessman.  The last I'd heard was that he was an ATC Controller.  Which is an Alpha personality kind of job.  That's not a slam of Marvin.  But it does mean that there can be un-intended bad outcomes if the Alpha type looses control of something.  Sometimes to the point of destroying that something instead of reliquishing control.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Charlie Beeler »
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline Arwyn

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« Reply #82 on: September 14, 2007, 03:46:12 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
While he saved Starfire in the 90's when he purchased it, it seems to me that with all that has gone on in the last few years, aside from the UTM, Marvin couldn't have done a better job of killing Starfire if he'd set out from day one to do it.  

There just seems to be no joy in the Starfire game system on the List.  Hell, I think that there's more excitement about Starfire in this one thread than there is on the List, since I joined it in July.

BTW, I've noticed, and I'm sure that you have as well, MW, that the people on the Starfire List are all talking about some online Sci-Fi game called EVE, among them Marvin.  I don't know exactly why, but this is pissing me off a bit.  I'm so tempted to ask why the people on the Starfire List, Marvin in particular, aren't working on making STARFIRE fun to play again, instead of using the Starfire List to wax poetic about some other game.


I have been a long time Starfire player (since the original zip lock baggie version) and enjoyed the hell out of it. I have been a gamer for 35 years, and what impressed me about the Starfire system, was that it remained PLAYABLE over several generations. I played SFB extensively when it first came out, and as the expansions started rolling out, the game slowly began to die under the weight of its own rules. Saw the same thing happen with Squad Leader. That didnt happen with Starfire.

I have bought everything Starfire related that I could, and while I really liked 3ed, I always thought there were some rough edges that could be smoothed out. I had thought that was Marvin's goal with 4th, and had spoken with him about it a couple of times while ordering stuff.

It became pretty clear there were going to be some pretty serious departures from the previous generation, and while I did purchase 4th, I have never run a game with the rules. I found the 4th stuff to be pretty schizophrenic. The GSF stuff had some good stuff in there, and the systems design and economic rules had some nice material. Then I hit the technology section and the wheels came off the car. 4th ed tech rules and generation just sucked. IMO, the quest for the mythical "play balance" ruined the core of what made Starfire enjoyable.

I think that while the overall idea behind 4th was a good one (organization, simplification, some play balance), the implementation was poor. The previous body of work on Starfire pretty much got pitched right out the window, which was (IMO) kind of like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In ANY large scale dynamic system with a built in random generation system, there WILL NEVER be a fair game. Ever. Period. As in "Not going to happen in this lifetime".

This isnt just anyones opinion, its a statistical fact.

That is what frustrated me so badly with the "play balance" faction at the time. There just isn't a way to create a "balanced" random generator. SM #2 and some of the subsequent rules did make it less likely you would get ganked by a hostile NPR in the first few turns of the game, but that was about it. Trying to cram a "one size fits all" approach to what is supposed to be a randomly generated system kind of defeated the whole purpose of the strategic game. At the same time, there was a whole section of "unique encounters" that WERE play balance altering. :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Arwyn »
 

Offline Arwyn

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« Reply #83 on: September 14, 2007, 03:49:33 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
BTW, I've noticed, and I'm sure that you have as well, MW, that the people on the Starfire List are all talking about some online Sci-Fi game called EVE, among them Marvin.  I don't know exactly why, but this is pissing me off a bit.  I'm so tempted to ask why the people on the Starfire List, Marvin in particular, aren't working on making STARFIRE fun to play again, instead of using the Starfire List to wax poetic about some other game.


Eve is an online PvP sci fi MMO.

Basically, you have groups of players (Corporations in game) grouping with other corporations and this large alliances then seize portions of know space in game, and denying access to the rest of the player base.

Outside of production and PvP, their isnt a lot of other content.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Arwyn »
 

Offline crucis

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« Reply #84 on: September 14, 2007, 04:51:17 PM »
Quote from: "Arwyn"
Quote from: "crucis"
BTW, I've noticed, and I'm sure that you have as well, MW, that the people on the Starfire List are all talking about some online Sci-Fi game called EVE, among them Marvin.  I don't know exactly why, but this is pissing me off a bit.  I'm so tempted to ask why the people on the Starfire List, Marvin in particular, aren't working on making STARFIRE fun to play again, instead of using the Starfire List to wax poetic about some other game.

Eve is an online PvP sci fi MMO.

Basically, you have groups of players (Corporations in game) grouping with other corporations and this large alliances then seize portions of know space in game, and denying access to the rest of the player base.

Outside of production and PvP, their isnt a lot of other content.


Sounds like the perfect game for Marvin and his 4e powergamers.  All competition, no flavor.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by crucis »
 

Offline crucis

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« Reply #85 on: September 14, 2007, 05:27:49 PM »
Arwyn, so much of what you wrote is exactly what I feel.

4e: Yucky technical systems with little to no flavor, confusing r&d rules, upgraded system generation rules,

There are ways to mitigate the "risk" of encountering a hostile NPR early.  For starters, you could rule from on high that you encounter no NPRs for 1 game year.  Might be a little boring for the people looking for battles, but if you're thinking long term, it might give you a chance to do some exploring and get started on some colonizing.  Or you could make it, no NPRs within X transits of your homeworld, if you want to explore and colonize a bit more slowly (in game terms).  That is, with a set time, some players might take the opportunity to explore outwards like crazy.  Indeed, with a set time, you might almost have to explore like crazy, just to keep up with the jones.  So, perhaps a set number of "no NPR" transits from your honesystem might be better.  Actually, Ultra (and perhaps earlier versions) set up a 1 transit buffer zone, but for those who are really worried about early nasty NPRs could just make a deeper buffer zone.



As for the randomness, therefore the inherent imbalance, of system generation, you are exactly correct.  Like I said earlier, if you want perfect balance, get rid of all NPRs and have only a single template for all star systems.  That'd be perfectly balanced.  And it'd be perfectly boring.  Any process that creates the high degree of randomness and variety as does the Starfire system generation process does, particularly when you add things like anomalies and galactic oddites, is by definition going to be random, inconsistent, and unbalancing.  

However, if you're playing a larger game, as Steve and others have described, I think that you could also say that statistically, things will tend to even out in larger Starfire galaxies.  Sure, the NEXT star system thru the NEXT warp point may be horribly rich, may have a terribly nasty NPR (or a very friendly NPR), be a deadly nebula, pulsar, neutron star, or black hole.  And sure, you could have bad luck at a bad time, but them's the breaks.   If you can't deal with it, you're playing the wrong game.  People that want a game that 100% skill should be playing something like chess.



I also agree with your comment that the 4e weapons seem so bland.  Everything's just bland weapon X of generation Y.  There are no "Heterodyne Lasers", no SBM's, no flavor.  If anything, 3e could have used more flavor, not less flavor as has been seen in 4e.    "Ooooooo, I'm soooooo excited.  I just developed the 'e' generation of Lasers.  I'm sooooo excited."  Spare me.   :roll:




I'm not the history major that you are, Arwyn, but as a mere layman I've come to the same general conclusions as you.    R&D is an effort to create imbalance.  There are some evolutionary developments in weaponry, but the way that I see it with my layman's view, that's what happens between the big breakthroughs.  People don't stop trying to make things better, of course, but the real goal is to find the next magic bullet, or golden bee-bee, or whatever you want to call the "next" big breakthru that gives you a major advantage over your enemy, even if that advantage is fleeting... just as long as you can use that advantage mercilessly until your enemy manages to duplicate it.



Ah well.  I think that I'm nearly done on my Ultra-ized system generator, and perhaps within a week or 2, I'll be ready to start my new solo campaign with my 3rd "Fred" rules.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 02:29:36 PM by crucis »
 

Offline jmelzer

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missile costs in SA
« Reply #86 on: September 17, 2007, 09:45:54 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
Quote from: "crucis"

-- snip by Jacob

Quote
However, a simple way to give missile ships a more realistic balancing effect in 3rdR would be to remove their magical ability to reload their magazines whenever they like (thanks to the omnipotent Missile Fund and CFN). In the original 3rd rules, those missiles had to be built and moved to the ships, which gave missile ships a logistical tail that the beam ships didn't need to worry about. I have added this logistical element to missiles in Aurora and you really need to think about manufacture and supply if you want to use a lot of missile ships and/or carriers. The gutting of missile weapons in 4th was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut (a nut that Marvin added in the first place with the CFN and the Missile Fund).

I fully understand what you're saying, Steve.  The problem is that you run into divergent, but legitimate goals of simplicity/reduced paperwork vs game balance/perceived realism.  On one hand, attempting to reduce paperwork and create overall simplicity tends to favor pushing towards not having to buy, move, and track individual missiles and hiding all of that under some layers of abstraction.  OTOH, the desire for game balance and a perception of realism tends to push towards paying attention to all of those individual missiles.

Personally, I've always been enough of an accountant at heart in my campaigns that I never minded paying attention to those details, but I can understand that some might not want to do so.

I suppose that it also comes down to how much of the detail of various things should players have to pay attention to and how much should be subsumed into the game's abstractions.  For example, we don't have to worry about paying for food or specific spare parts or whatever.  All that stuff is assumed to be a part of the maintenance abstraction.  Of course, it's safe to say that those things don't exactly have a direct impact on combat.  

The question for missiles then seems to become what's more important, the simplicity/reduction in paperwork aspect or the balance/realism aspect?  One point that I'd make is that I think that the "balance" question is debateable.  People may feel differently about how out of balance missiles may be.  OTOH, I  would like to think that most people would think that the value of simplicity and paperwork reductions are good things... which in the end, is why I'd probably tend to lean in favor of the simplicity side of the argument, just because its value seems unquestioned, while the balance side of the argument seems much more up in the air.  Of course, as they say, your mileage may vary.  

I suppose if one was playing a low money, low number of ships type of campaign, paying attention to ammo would be far less of a concern.  But at the fleet sizes in ISF, paying attention to ammo at any level of detail could be nasty if you didn't have the soul of an accountant.



-- snip by Jacob


This is a game that makes players (or SA  :lol: ) track the cost of every ship in the fleet, for maintenance purposes. The cost of a magazine loadout could have been added into the ship cost before calculating maintenance. If you "balance" the magazine loadout right, you reach a situation where the cost of the missiles balances out with the cost of beams.

This wasn't worth throwing out a gaming system over.
I was alway amused comparing how Marvin handled Starfire, and how Bruce Harper developed his update of 3rd Reich (The World at War).
Bruce developed the whole game openly, with playtest groups, and a public message forum. The rules were (still are) downloadable on the internet ... and while I didn't agree with every design decision (e.g. I still think he exagerated the combat power of the German battlefleet), I understood the reasoning behind all of them (e.g. the designer was trying to simulate how the allies through about / treated the German warships -e.g. large # of British capital units picketing the Tirpitz late in the war.

Of coure, Bruce wasn't doing it "for the money". He's a lawyer, and probably could have made as much in 2 or 3 weeks on his "day job" as he ever did from the game. But the game was published by a serious games publisher (GMT Games) ... most expensive individual game I ever bought.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by jmelzer »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: missile costs in SA
« Reply #87 on: September 19, 2007, 04:55:46 PM »
Quote from: "jmelzer"
I was alway amused comparing how Marvin handled Starfire, and how Bruce Harper developed his update of 3rd Reich (The World at War). Bruce developed the whole game openly, with playtest groups, and a public message forum. The rules were (still are) downloadable on the internet ... and while I didn't agree with every design decision (e.g. I still think he exagerated the combat power of the German battlefleet), I understood the reasoning behind all of them (e.g. the designer was trying to simulate how the allies through about / treated the German warships -e.g. large # of British capital units picketing the Tirpitz late in the war.

Of coure, Bruce wasn't doing it "for the money". He's a lawyer, and probably could have made as much in 2 or 3 weeks on his "day job" as he ever did from the game. But the game was published by a serious games publisher (GMT Games) ... most expensive individual game I ever bought.

I can sympathise a lot with the Bruce Approach :). Getting the feedback and suggestions from the players on this forum has made a huge difference to Aurora.

Steve
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

 

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