I can t agree with you. Nowadays its 80% how it looks and at max 20% gameplay thought. Wasn t like that "in the old days" as advanced looks wasn t an option, so companies had to think how to hook a player. as visual weren t an option.
But thats maybe just the games i picked for myself. For example i see in JA:BIA gameplay a regress compared to UFO:Afterlight, which i am playing again, but an obvious progress in art and visual.
Probably because visual sells in the short term, and gameplay is only for long term, but as the company already has your money....
The problem is that it is your memory playing tricks with you. I think I have owned a collection of about 800 or 900 games since the ninities. Of those, there were perhaps, if I am generous, 50 games that I would consider having a gameplay that was worth playing through once, nevermind repeating. Though I agree, those who do, I happily play even today if given the opportunity. So less than 1/10th of games released back then are still worth it, in my eyes. And many of those are the ones not actually gaining all that much from graphics even back then (For example Planescape: Torment, Pirates, Baldurs gate series, and so on).
The only time i reloaded is when i entangled myself with the comands.
For example, stop and go is great, because we can, when well implemented, see the battle unfold live.
So why would we change orders? We change orders when a new fact requires a change in previously taken decisions, so the old orders become obsolete.
Being that a fact, there should be an option in the GUI: "new orders, erase old orders" so we don t have to remember to cancel old obsolete orders, that would be an improvement over other games. This kind of micro management is gamewise useless.
Another option would be "repeat shoot orders". When the MERC hasn t any order after his shooting orders he will repeat the shooting until "Run out of amo"; "Target dead", "Target out of sight", "new order are given". This avoid the click fest just so the merc keep shooting until target is dead, another unnecessary micro management that increase in bothersomeness faster than the number of MERCS that you have to manage.
Those 2 features where already implemented in older games, Afterlight is an example, a 2007 game, i still have too look into XCOM: Apocalipse, my memory might reqally fail me, but i think its there too.
I do not really see what you mean here? There is the option to give new orders and erase the old ones in the interface as it is? I do agree that a "shoot until target drops/disappears"-option should be in there though. However, I find that if you want to, the Plan & Go + Guardmode does that swimmingly. I do believe that both were featured in both XCOM games though, not only your memory playing tricks if they weren't in Apocalypse (which I didn't like much for other reasons.).
And yes i m in my second playtrought, i haven finished the game and i will probably restart again. Because after a level of achievement, unfortunatly it gets boring and unchalenging.
Actually the only motive i have to keep playing is restarting and try to find and kill Deidrana (which i have no idea where she is) in less than 15 days (steam achievement) with only one squad of 4 in the entire playthrough.
Renewall in interest may come with the patch. After the patch i will try modders works, they seem to be doing very good work.
While I do not find it any less challenging than the former Jagged Alliance game (not that I find it any more challenging either). The modders here have seemingly done an awesome job though, I can agree there.
All the above, is why i scoff at "the developers are genius, we gamers sucks and should adapt, mandatory attitude".
This is what makes companies continuously spill bad to mediocre games, "throw it now, they will buy it anyway, once we have the money, we ll devise".
Unfortunatly its how business man works, games are done for money, and games are bought for fun. You don t give me a fun game, you don t get my money, period.
Experiences shows that binning bad companies is the best way to get good products in any kind on customer-provider relationship. The smart learn, the unsmart perish, natural evolution.
So, i won t support bad companies as long as i am able to detect them. Sorry for those who don t like my attitude.
I won t limit myself because the company did a bad job.
I will limit myself because i feel like it.
There a world of diference between those 2 stances.
That is not what people are pointing at though. You might think yourself smart and critical, but the core fact is: If I do not want to enjoy a game, if I do not want to try and enjoy something, I wont.
Simple as that. Games are a help for you to entertain yourself. But you are the ingredient needed to make the cake. Unlike a movie, where you have no give in how the story or action progresses, in a game, you do.
If people did not bring any fun to it, some of the great bestsellers of the gaming industry would never have worked. Why is SimCity a hit? Not exactly because of content nor graphics. It is what you make and bring to the game that makes it enjoyable. Pirates! could have you playing for hours and hours and yet you could do just half a dozen or dozen things throughout. But you were that captain, and what you invested you got back. Sid Meier is a genious with that thought.
Mount and Blade is a horrible game... if you look at it through content, options or graphics (Don't kill me here, fans). But if you invest yourself in the game it offers hundreds of hours of playtime. Doing the same thing, over and over, but still making you enjoy it. Because you yourself bring it to the game. Fallout would be just a run-of-the mill roleplaying game if the world did not entice you to invest time in exploring it. But you had to bring that joy of exploration yourself, because otherwise you'd just trudge around for one single, streamlined quest until you got booted from your vault/came back to see your village gone.
The Elder Scrolls series bring the same thing. The originator of that series hardly even had a basic quest to follow, but it dragged you in because YOU wanted to go there.
I can make hundreds and yet hundreds of examples. In none of these have the developers (except perhaps Fallout) given you any more to work with than a basic premise, and said "Go! Find out what you want to do!".
Are all these games badly designed? If you believe so, I think we have very different criteria for what bad design is.
Unfortunatly AI does not make strategic moves.
The Ai merely take what comes in front of it, weaken itself taking useless outposts, and spots, and when it comes to a real strategic point, its emptied of menpower. You pick them up few by few, sadly very easy.
Outpost aren t strategic points,neither the tixie prison, just examples.
AI would show some strategy if it tried to retake airport and heavily defend it, cutting our supplies (at least armors and grenades which make a huge diference), they could rob our caches when retaking a city, kill/kidnap the weapon merchants, etc.
Try to retake income points like diamonds mines, fortify outpost as we grow with minefields forcing us to defuse under unsavory conditions, forcing us to slow down by forcing us to take wild paths, try to narrow incoming places. In sum, what a normal even mediocre strategist would try to do.
Sun Tzu, Publius Flavius Vegetius, Machiavel, all good reads.
Or at least, play your game and think how you could counter the players.
We all agree AI is bad and hard to implement, AI is the great flaw everywhere, Total War, JA:BIA, ROF, IL2 and so on.
But some games are able to compensate for bad AI. May be with weaker merc, less advancement points, quicker/better death system after incapacitation, slower recovery, (i m always able to get there in time, theres not much death risk to our mercs, and after 2 days they are OK, even if shot a dozen times and on the brink of death. The hospital doesn t have supplies, but we can totally recover our mercs faster than saying "wagalbolinjkaguki" twice in a row without mistake.
AI could have stealhthy squad that don t use road and try to cut your supply lines (kill our mules), wandering not taking any point for a long time (just to piss us off, reduce our income etc)...montly merc fee, revolts from citizens if you aren t able to keep them from Dreidrana squad next time you try to reconquer the place, diferent AI locations on map (only good if FOW is present though), superior weaponry to the AI, hells of possibilities.
AFAIK, history has shown that comunity + Dev are able to go a greater good to a game than company alone in any field, inclusive AI, maybe that could be the quickest solution for JA:BIA.
Now i m curious of what comes with this first patch as FOW won t be there. I hope its not only cosmetic.
What I meant in my comment is that I have had the enemy trying to retake either a roadblock, which does restrict you. Yes, you can go around it, but it forces you to go slower. The other thing they have tried to retake is Cambria/San Mona. Both of which are blocking progress and limiting my options. I never had them going for hideouts or so. They did once however go for the prison (which for some reason also was a priority location in Jagged Alliance 2, though I never understood it).
And the thing is: You and I can read the books you namedropped. While the Art of War is a good read, the Prince is very boring (which I assume is what you meant by Machiavelli. It is his major surviving work). The AI cannot implement those. Not with what we have available at any rate. We can make a tactic that counter our own. The only AI which can do so at the moment is chess computers however. And those have only a certain number of options they use. Even the most advanced ones. In a game like this, options are limitless. And no AI is at the point where it can handle that.
Can it be better than it is? Hell yes. Can it ever manage that? If it could, the developers would no longer work in game development. The wages they would be allowed in robotics would drag them away in a heartbeat.
And yes, the community and developers can, given time, create a much better game than any of them could do alone. The key is given time. This game has been out for less than two months. It is also reating on the foundation that the community actually knows the limitations of what can be done.