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Thread: Semper Fi - Development Diary #6

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    Game Director Paradox Dev Team Doomdark's Avatar

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    Semper Fi - Development Diary #6

    In my first Semper Fi developer diary, I mentioned that getting the game to feel more historical is one of our main goals with the expansion. We want the players to feel like they are enacting World War II, not some abstract and fictional conflict. The main thing here is to stay as true to real events as possible while still allowing for plausible divergence. There are many factors involved; we have the events and decisions that can happen, such as the Spanish Civil War, the Anschluss, and the outbreak of WW2 itself. Of course, the behaviour of the AI also affects the plausibility of the war; especially at the diplomatic level, but also the type of operations the military AI decides to conduct. Then we have resource, manpower and production balancing issues. Lastly, and just as importantly, it is a question of immersion.

    We have addressed all of these factors. The events and decisions have been looked over, with some removals, additions and changes. The diplomatic AI is essentially rewritten, with many custom behaviours for different countries. (Expect Lothos to post an example of this soon.) Likewise, the military AI should be much better at selecting plausible targets for invasion and at surviving where it previously could not (e.g. the USSR in Barbarossa.) We have also tweaked the resource balance in the world, and made sure that AI countries trade for what they need (new Trade AI).

    Something Semper Fi players will notice pretty soon is the addition of hundreds of historical battle events. Obviously, the main battles of World War 2 will never happen in quite the same way during a game, but sometimes a similar event occurs, which will fire one of the new flavour events. These tend to have little effect, but are intended to provide a kind of feedback and comparison to the real war, for added immersion. In a similar vein, we have added something called "Strategic Effects", which are specific goals that the player can strive to achieve in order to gain a substantial benefit. Strategic Effects typically represent control of certain geographical key points, but can also be things like unique weather conditions or total naval or air superiority. (Players of EU3 will find Strategic Effects similar to the so called "Triggered Modifiers", but more integrated and visible.)

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    There is not much more to say about this, you will just have to play the game. However, I can give you another little morsel: Brigade Upgrades. In Semper Fi, players are allowed to upgrade certain types of brigades to other types (usually a more advanced and expensive type.) For example, if you have a very experienced artillery brigade, you might want to upgrade it to a self-propelled artillery brigade. Well, now you can. The downside is that the brigade is taken from the field and moved to the production queue, though when the upgrade is complete it will automatically deploy back to the division it came from.

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    That's it for today. Next week: Victory Conditions!
    Henrik Fåhraeus

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    I.C.E. Devildread's Avatar
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    Will we see United Kingdom starving in ressources because of a successful convoy raiding campaign by Germany ?

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    Lt. General Modo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomdark View Post
    The downside is that the brigade is taken from the field and moved to the production queue, though when the upgrade is complete it will automatically deploy back to the division it came from.
    Great for a clickfest. Is there any form of automation for this? For example, upgrades for all selected [insert brigade type] or for all [insert brigade type] under a selected HQ?
    'I thought we could do it without anyone getting hurt. By using our brains.'
    'Can't. History don't work like that. Blood first, then brains.'
    'Mountains of skulls,' said Truckle.
    'There's got to be a better way than fighting,' said Mr Saveloy.
    'Yep. Lots of 'em. Only none of 'em work.'

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    Second Lieutenant Froptus's Avatar
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    This all sounds good. The battle events sound great. I'm looking forward to a more historical game. Thanks Doomdark.
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    Pan Celticist Demi Moderator RedRalphWiggum's Avatar

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    Excellent stuff. I know this is sort of a turn around from how the game was originally meant to be, so fair play for listening to the fans!

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    Field Marshal bbasgen's Avatar
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    It is wonderful to hear a dedicated focus to immersion and WWII plausibility. You have some interesting game mechanics to get us there, nicely done.

    Is there any chance that WWII will not always start in May, 1939? I preferred the Danzig start as one of the few hard coded events (players don't have to wait for Danzig if they don't want too, but veterans almost always did). Ahistorical possibilities are one thing, constantly ahistorical outcomes are problematic.
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    Ahistorical possibilities are one thing, constantly ahistorical outcomes are problematic.
    I have to disagree, as I personally prefer ahistoric outcomes. I know how WWII turned out irl, and I'm more interested in not repeating it! As long as there are options to go either way, I have no problem with the historical trend.

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    Colonel Phönix's Avatar
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    awsome, great to hear.
    cant wait for the expansion

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    Pan Celticist Demi Moderator RedRalphWiggum's Avatar

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    Anything more on a release date?

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    Major GovernmentIssue's Avatar
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    Is it possible to upgrade all of the brigades of a division at once? Or do you need to leave 1 (or 2) to maintain the division while some brigades upgrade?
    "There will be war." - J.E. Pournelle

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    Field Marshal Ex Mudder's Avatar
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    -15% research efficiency for neutrality? Ouch... but understandable. If you are not in the war, why are you researching war techs?
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    Colonel Phönix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewoid13 View Post
    I have to disagree, as I personally prefer ahistoric outcomes. I know how WWII turned out irl, and I'm more interested in not repeating it! As long as there are options to go either way, I have no problem with the historical trend.
    I second that.
    There is no reason why WW2 should always start with Danzig, it cuold have started before and later too, only one thing was certain, that it would start, but the factions were not jet compleatly done. Given that an other Prime minister not Churchil would have won, it might have turn out diffrently. As an example.
    to have a POW in 36 means that many things can go diffrently.

    If you ask me the 1936 GC should be ahistorcal BUT plausible, while the 38 or 39 campaign should be more realistic. You still have time to build an army in 38, but not so much for diplomacy.

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    Game Director Paradox Dev Team Doomdark's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by GovernmentIssue View Post
    Is it possible to upgrade all of the brigades of a division at once? Or do you need to leave 1 (or 2) to maintain the division while some brigades upgrade?
    We do not allow blanket upgrades since the brigades are taken off the map (which can be dangerous while at war). The feature is mostly intended to allow players to fiddle with their favorite divisions. The AI will not upgrade brigade types.
    Henrik Fåhraeus

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Drewoid13 View Post
    I have to disagree, as I personally prefer ahistoric outcomes. I know how WWII turned out irl, and I'm more interested in not repeating it! As long as there are options to go either way, I have no problem with the historical trend.
    I think he's talking about the May start.. The war always starts in May.. I don't want the war to always end like IRL, but I'd sure like it to start like IRL

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Devildread View Post
    Will we see United Kingdom starving in ressources because of a successful convoy raiding campaign by Germany ?
    i highly doubt that, after all, do you really expect something other than a few cosmetic changes so the fanboys will trash their money again at an unfinished and deeply flawed product?

    but the marketing will make it work

  16. #16
    Thanks for the update

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomdark View Post
    We do not allow blanket upgrades since the brigades are taken off the map (which can be dangerous while at war). The feature is mostly intended to allow players to fiddle with their favorite divisions. The AI will not upgrade brigade types.
    thats nice, but what about adding someting that at least resembles strategic convoy warfare? which was like a major part of ww2...

  18. #18
    Lt. General Modo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomdark View Post
    We do not allow blanket upgrades since the brigades are taken off the map (which can be dangerous while at war). The feature is mostly intended to allow players to fiddle with their favorite divisions. The AI will not upgrade brigade types.
    That's theory. But you can bet on corps or even armies getting upgraded to motorized and mechanized wholesale by IC-rich nations. All you'll get is whining about the tedious micromanagement for doing that one [insert reasonable subunit size] at a time.
    'I thought we could do it without anyone getting hurt. By using our brains.'
    'Can't. History don't work like that. Blood first, then brains.'
    'Mountains of skulls,' said Truckle.
    'There's got to be a better way than fighting,' said Mr Saveloy.
    'Yep. Lots of 'em. Only none of 'em work.'

  19. #19
    Master of the Universe CaptRobau's Avatar
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    I assume Strategic Effects = Achievements?

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    Game Director Paradox Dev Team Doomdark's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRobau View Post
    I assume Strategic Effects = Achievements?
    Yes, "Strategic Effects" is more appropriate if the effect is negative. Also, people associate "achievements" with something else these days.
    Henrik Fåhraeus

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