After four days of uninterrupted play: Essential Changes

Ideas for expansions and improvements to Defcon

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After four days of uninterrupted play: Essential Changes

Postby barbarossa2 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:35 pm

****************
After playing this for four days uninterrupted (as Gen. Doolittle) and virtually starving myself, after playing strategy games since 1980 I think the following additions should be made and are ESSENTIAL:

:!: 1. Bering Strait should be passable. This is essential for the USSR and US to be able to move their fleets back and forth between arctic and pacific. Even if ice is the reason for it being impassable to surface ships, submarines should be able to get through. The area west of Greenland should be made passable as well (I believe the Northwest Passage). Ideally the area between Greenland and Iceland as well as Straits of Gibraltar should get the same treatment. **Update since first posting: Bering is "passable", but with a ton of work. The AI should know how to get through them. Like it does south of South America.**

:!: 2. There should be a setting in the advanced option which would allow the host to determine the effectiveness of anti missile missiles. This would set the ability to shoot down nukes to high, medium, low, or extremely low effectivness. This would give a much greater variability in the styles of play and would allow the game to better reflect real life in the extremely low effectiveness mode. Negotiation and preparation are totally different with "mutually assured destruction."

:!: 3. Give Host a way to set anti sub effectivness "speed." In my opinion, as it is, subs are extremely vulnerable to being sunk by planes as soon as they surface--even planes stilll sitting on the tarmac somewhere. In the real world subs don't even have to surface! Taking them out could be one or two steps more difficult.

:!: Oh yes... and ADD MIAMI to the US cities. It only has like 6 million people! But perhaps Thunder Bay, Canada is more important to have. Who knows. :wink:

****************
In addition to the essential changes, I would like to see the following additions:

:arrow: 1. Host can choose from 3 world map types...

a. "Standard", with regions as is.

b. "Cold War", with regions better reflecting alliance structures of the Cold War. 1) USA and NATO on same team AND have Israel AND Australia, Japan, South Korea. 2) USSR and CUBA. 3) China. 4) India. 5) Maybe Western Europe is its own team (in this case Israel goes to US), but the alliance with US cannot be broken (already available as a hosting option). Would have "historical" and "free" set ups.

c. 2010. That is 1) USA, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea. 2) EU, French Guyana, and Australia. 3) Russia. 4) China. 5) India. 6) Maybe Brazil...Maybe certain Islamic states as computer player with limited stocks. dunno. Would have "historical" and free set ups.

:arrow: 2. I would LIKE to see ABM (anti ballistic missile sites) as separate units. Or at least allow the host to set them as separate units. There is no real reason to make silos also be anti ballistic missile systems.

If maps get crowded in any of these situations make the "footprints" of units a little smaller so, say India could place its units inside of its borders.

:arrow: 3. Make Defcon 5 and 4 last longer. Would allow a LITTLE more time for negotiation while placing units. If ABM systems were included this would be important. Placement is heavily alliance dependent.

:arrow: 4. Polar Route redo. I like the whole polar routes (curves on the map projection we are using.) But it is only applied to ICBMs in this game. The curved trajectories for the bomber launched nukes make no sense. The smaller the distance from launch to target the less evident the curve would be. Hence, Nukes from bombers should travel almost in a straight line. Not these weird curves in random directions. For some reason bombers don't fly on curved paths when flying from say London to New York either. They should. Same for fighters. In my humble opinion the whole game should be played on a vector 3D, fully rotatable globe anyway. This would allow for all routes to be correct. It also wouldn't force nukes from Asia to fly through the North American missile defense systems just to get to South America. In real life they would fly over the pacific. Way out into space. And then back down in South America. All this could be accurately done on a 3D globe. But that... is another story. And I have a feeling we won't be seeing that anytime soon.
Last edited by barbarossa2 on Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:44 pm, edited 16 times in total.
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Re: After four days of uninterrupted play: Essential Changes

Postby Deamon » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:45 pm

1. Bering Strait should be passable. This is essential for the USSR to be able to move its fleets back and forth between arctic and pacific.


It is passable. I haven't done it myself but I've seen others do it

2. There should be a setting in the advanced option which would allow the host to determine the effectiveness of anti missile missiles. This would set the abilitz to shoot down nukes to high, medium, low, or extremely low effectivness. This would give a much greater variability in the styles of play and Dwould allow the game to better reflect real life in the extremely low effectiveness mode.


Would be weird, I know I sometimes dont check the advanced options all the time when I join a server and others possible dont, so you wouldnt know if your stratagy would be as effective as it usually is...

3. Give Host a way to set anti sub effectivness "speed." In my opinion, as it is, subs are extremely vulnerable to being "shot down" by planes as soon as they surface. In the real world the things don't even have to surface! This could be one or two steps more difficult.


Wouldnt they be almost invincible then?


2. "Cold War", with regions better reflecting alliance structures of the Cold War. USA and NATO on same team AND have Israel AND Australia. USSR on same team and HAVE CUBA. China. India. Maybe Western Europe is its own team (in this case Israel goes to US), but the alliance with US cannot be broken (already available as an option). Would have "historical" and free set ups.


I like this

3. 2010. That is USA and Canada. EU and Australia. Russia. China. India. Maybe Brazil. Would have "historical" and free set ups.


I don't understand this

B. I would LIKE to see ABM (anti ballistic missile sites) as separate units. Or at least allow the host to set them as separate units. There is no real reason to make silos also be anti ballistic missile systems.


So if you dont place ABM's beside your silos, they can be destroyed before they can launch any nukes without any defence?
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Re: After four days of uninterrupted play: Essential Changes

Postby Montyphy » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:47 pm

barbarossa2 wrote:1. Bering Strait should be passable. This is essential for the USSR to be able to move its fleets back and forth between arctic and pacific.


It already is passable.

barbarossa2 wrote:A. Host can choose from 3 world map types...

1. "Standard", with regions as is.

2. "Cold War", with regions better reflecting alliance structures of the Cold War. USA and NATO on same team AND have Israel AND Australia. USSR on same team and HAVE CUBA. China. India. Maybe Western Europe is its own team (in this case Israel goes to US), but the alliance with US cannot be broken (already available as an option). Would have "historical" and free set ups.

3. 2010. That is USA and Canada. EU and Australia. Russia. China. India. Maybe Brazil. Would have "historical" and free set ups.


Could be done with mods provided you only have 6 "regions".
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Postby barbarossa2 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:59 pm

Thanks for the responses.

1. On the Bering Strait. Interesting. I will try it again. But for some reason when I tried to do it with a ship south of the strait, and I click in the arctic sea, the computer starts sending them all the way around South America! Is it possible that 6 ship groups can't get through but smaller fleets can?

2. On Subs... This may not make them "invincible." But more difficult to kill and hence potentially deadlier, yes. Not for all players. Just a host setting. So that real nuclear war could be better simulated. Subs are deadly! Because they are hard to detect! And certainly can't be sunk within seconds of surfacing by fighters still on an airstrip somewhere!

3. On Anti Ballistic Missile sites. Look. I think this is a great GAME the way it is. I like it! But I keep scratching my head why ballistic missile silos, anti aircraft defenses, and anti ballistic missile missile systems were combined into one unit. If you separated these (you'd need to make footprints smaller to allow these units to have space to be placed), the missile silos would be easier to kill. But they shouldn't be EASY to kill. There is a reason they are in hardened silos. You need to hit very close with a large payload to take them out in "real" nuclear war. This requires expending more missiles too.
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Postby Montyphy » Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:11 pm

barbarossa2 wrote:Thanks for the responses.

1. On the Bering Strait. Interesting. I will try it again. But for some reason when I tried to do it with a ship south of the strait, and I click in the arctic sea, the computer starts sending them all the way around South America! Is it possible that 6 ship groups can't get through but smaller fleets can?



It's difficult to do, but it definately is possible, for any sized fleet.

http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... 6367#36367

http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=3228
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=3263
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=3246
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=3227
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=2790
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=2516
http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... php?t=1859
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Postby Xocrates » Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:45 pm

barbarossa2 wrote:3. On Anti Ballistic Missile sites. Look. I think this is a great GAME the way it is. I like it! But I keep scratching my head why ballistic missile silos, anti aircraft defenses, and anti ballistic missile missile systems were combined into one unit. If you separated these (you'd need to make footprints smaller to allow these units to have space to be placed), the missile silos would be easier to kill. But they shouldn't be EASY to kill. There is a reason they are in hardened silos. You need to hit very close with a large payload to take them out in "real" nuclear war. This requires expending more missiles too.


If you're scratching your head, then you never addressed this from the point of view of gameplay.

Imagine for a moment that they weren't. Then as soon as defcon 1 would be reached, silos would be open and everybody dies right there.

As it is, if you do that, you'll have a lot of bombers and subs taking out your silos the moment they fire their first nuke, and then you're defenceless for the rest of the game.

The decision of when to open your silos is a very important from a gameplay point of view, perhaps one of the more important ones. You take that away and the game is rather less tense.

barbarossa2 wrote:2. On Subs... This may not make them "invincible." But more difficult to kill and hence potentially deadlier, yes. Not for all players. Just a host setting. So that real nuclear war could be better simulated. Subs are deadly! Because they are hard to detect! And certainly can't be sunk within seconds of surfacing by fighters still on an airstrip somewhere!


The reasoning is similar to above. If they can't find your subs, then they won't even try. No one will keep their carriers back simply to detect subs. They'll use their carriers and nuke the hell out of the other players while hoping their defence system can take most of the sub's nukes.

However, if your subs are surfaced when they launch, you have to carefully plan when/where you'll launch and the other players will have to decide if they try to take them and with what.
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Postby barbarossa2 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:32 pm

Xocrates,

I agree. As designed, it makes for great game play. But in my opinion it mirrors the real world too poorly. Silos, ABMs, and anti air missile systems are not the same unit. They can be deployed independently. Anywhere. And the cold war wasn't lacking in tension because of it. In my opinion DEFCON would have different aspects which made it interesting if these functions were separated. There was a HUGE fuss when the USSR tried to deploy an anti ballistic missile system around Moscow. The west feared it would allow their leadership to think a nuclear war was winnable.

Chess is also a great game. Because each piece has its strengths and weaknesses. But I don't think chess is a good combat simulator.

DEFCON, as is, is also a great GAME. And I do enjoy it. Even the missile silo thing. I would just like to have a slightly more realistic "setting" for occasional play.

Chris
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Bering Strait

Postby barbarossa2 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:43 pm

Montyphy,

Hey thanks for the Bering Strait tips. Okay. Tried it. Got 6 fleets through. 3 subs each. But it IS a task. I spent a lot of time in failed attempts...sailing back and forth...testing angles, etc. So I guess when I and other people say open the Bering Strait, make it less of a chore. Let the computer find its own way through. It really sucked up my time. Straits of Gibraltar wouldn't be bad either.

-Chris
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Postby shinygerbil » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:30 pm

Agreed. Whenever someone mentions it, we get 50 pedants lining up with sceenshots. We all know that it IS possible to get your fleets through the Bering Strait - I've seen the argument countless times, and done it myself - but it's not really "supported".

It's so hard to achieve that it is practically a glitch (I'll just see how long it takes before someone tells me how easy it is for them and that I should stfu...) but it would be nice to see it being made just as easy as, say, sailing round the southern tip of South America. That is to say, the issue is not with whether or not it's possible, but more to do with how goddamn fiddly it is.

I don't agree with the silo thing, I think that combining the units makes for an excellent game, and I have no wish to see more realism in my computer games. ;P

Also, I think the whole strategy of subs is to avoid placing them in obvious, predictable, oft-patrolled areas, and I like the way they are almost instantly destroyed if you surface them in the wrong place. It just makes you think a little more about placing them; it's frustrating when you lose ALL your subs but I always know that I fully deserve it when I do, because 90% of the time it's because I acted rashly. :)
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Postby Montyphy » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:59 pm

shinygerbil, you n00b. STFU and GTFO. It's so easy my dead gran could do it... with her eyes closed... using only her left foot... while composing 15 piece orchastra music...

joking aside, I like how hard it is to get through the strait, but that's just my personal perference.
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Postby DueAccident » Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:17 pm

stfu shiny. :wink:

But really, I've never even tried getting more than 1 at a time through, as I've seen all the complaints about it being hard with 6 etc.

-----------------

If you want realism, didn't you pick up on the fact planes are the size of London, and have a turning circle the size of Europe? Or that everyone has the same amount of everything? Or that Africa has nukes at all?
It's not meant to be a simulation, the silos are combined with air defense as it makes for a more fun game. Otherwise, as Xocrates said, everyone would fire everything in one go at Defcon 1, and then wait for the timer.


I do think that more maps are a good idea, and people say the whole 'mod it yourself', but the problem is that you aren't really gonna get anyone to actually play it, except maybe friends occasionally, where as if IV implemented maps via a patch, then *everyone* would have the option of playing, without any hassle.

I disagree about the host settings entirely, as it'd make it far too complicated, and probably just not as fun.

Making Defcon 4/5 longer, well, it could be a good idea. Doesn't really affect me, but playing Speed Defcon...things can be a little tight, so why not?

And about the 3d world, I'm sure IV took it into consideration, but I guess it'd be a completely different game to what they envisioned with the flat war screen, and I'm sure it'd be pretty computer intensive.
Though...it would be pretty damn neat.
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Postby shinygerbil » Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:19 pm

Montyphy wrote:shinygerbil, you n00b. STFU and GTFO. It's so easy my dead gran could do it... with her eyes closed... using only her left foot... while composing 15 piece orchastra music...

joking aside, I like how hard it is to get through the strait, but that's just my personal perference.


Ur a fag man, i hate u. and ur gran sux even moar than yo momma.

It would be nice to see it a little easier, but I do have to admit that it is fun when I'm playing someone who I can tell is fairly new, and has no idea you can even get through it. ;P
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Postby PsychicKid » Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:31 pm

barbarossa2 wrote:And the cold war wasn't lacking in tension because of it.


The Cold War wasn't lacking in tension because you had two super powers armed with thousands of nukes just waiting for an excuse to erase millions of people off the planet.
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Postby xander » Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:45 am

To repeat myself, and not to disparage any of the other comments made (as I think there has been some insightful discussion here), Defcon is not a simulation, it is a game. Any design decision that is made entirely on the basis of making Defcon "more realistic," without addressing the gameplay ramifications, is a bad decision. In that regard, I think that dedicated ABM sites and different sub behaviour are a bad idea. Again, look at it from a gameplay point of view, rather than from the standpoint of realism. I will comment more when (a) I have more time (I am off to dinner in a bit) and (b) I am a bit less drunk (I just biked 30 miles with a friend, and we concluded with a bottle of wine).

If anyone takes any offense at this, I am sorry. The little censor that tells me when things are offensive is not working well.

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Postby shinygerbil » Mon Mar 26, 2007 2:28 am

xander wrote:To repeat myself, and not to disparage any of the other comments made (as I think there has been some insightful discussion here), Defcon is not a simulation, it is a game. Any design decision that is made entirely on the basis of making Defcon "more realistic," without addressing the gameplay ramifications, is a bad decision. In that regard, I think that dedicated ABM sites and different sub behaviour are a bad idea. Again, look at it from a gameplay point of view, rather than from the standpoint of realism. I will comment more when (a) I have more time (I am off to dinner in a bit) and (b) I am a bit less drunk (I just biked 30 miles with a friend, and we concluded with a bottle of wine).

If anyone takes any offense at this, I am sorry. The little censor that tells me when things are offensive is not working well.

xander


That seemed like a pretty standard xanderpost. ;P
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