Long time player's thoughts on recent updates

  • I could have posted this in German but I decided to go with English so maybe more players could comment on my thoughts and more of a discussion might entrail to garner some actual attention. I'm gonna have to split this up apparently because it's longer than 10.000 characters.


    First off, maybe to add some legitimacy to my opinions: I've been playing, on and (mostly) off for almost exactly eight years now. Back when I joined, the first, original design of the game was just being phased out and the one that is now considered "legacy" became standard. This game means something to me. I've looked far and wide for a game I could play instead those many times Supremacy frustrated me, but none ever came close. I'm not trying to bash any devs or be the kid going "MAKE DA GAME SO ME LIKEY". I've been here for some major changes and I've defended many of them from unjust criticism. I recommend this game to people all the time. I've spent a no longer overseeable sum of money on high command and surely an occasional GM shot every now and then. I do what I can to involve myself by reporting any bugs or issues I find. I really care about this game. Not that this makes my opinion any more important than anyone else's, I just think it may be important to see where I'm coming from with all this.


    /lame preamble



    I'm used to coming back to this game after a few months and finding more or less significant changes have taken place. The changes that have happened in recent times are an entire disappointment for me this time though.



    1. "Measures against Betrayal", the new Coalition rules


    This whole package of changes that I understand dropped in January baffles me a little bit.

    Up until that point, Bytro's stance on betrayal was that it's a part of the game. It is part of the game to choose your allies wisely and take measures not to be betrayed. I'm not gonna lie, sure I've been legit mad about betrayals, but I appreciated that stance. It adds another layer of depth to the game of which the ultimate goal is to win it, not gain friends.

    Of course, it's up to Bytro to change their view on that and now consider it undesirable to a point where they will change the game mechanics to combat it and it's not my place to berate them for that. It would be nice to hear that this change in philosophy has officially taken place though and these changes were not just based on the complaints of players who felt "cheated" because someone took advantage of their weakness in a war game.

    Because honestly, it's not outside of your control not to be betrayed by your allies or coalition members. It just required some smarter playing.


    To get to the points:

    The 72 hour cooldown after leaving a coalition before joining one is outrageous. This may make sense at Day 25 in a game but during the first week or so where things can get chaotic and happen very quickly, this is a disaster. And get this: If you disband a coalition that you were the only member of, the cooldown still applies. For all intents and purposes, that wasn't a coalition at all. If nothing else, at least that needs to be fixed just for reasons of common sense.


    The 24h cooldowns are a more fitting gesture I think for what was supposed to be accomplished, a feeling of safety I presume, but they also mess with things in many situations in ways that are neither fair nor reasonable. Have an inactive member of your coalition attacked by hostile forces, you have to wait at least 24 hours before you can cut your losses and make any strategical moves in their territory. This is awful. Once again, doing the smart thing became harder in favour of making the less involved players feel more secure. I don't think that's a fair way of balancing.


    Then there's not being able to grant shared map or right of way to members of other coalitions. I guess enough people found it "unfair" that this could be used as a way by people who were creative and smart of enough to do so to jeopardize their safety.

    The fact that coalitions are now actively hindered from working together is a real shame as well for the amount of depth it removes from the game. It happened quite frequently that coalitions would have a common enemy and from temporary alliances to defeat them. That's a natural development of war and diplomacy that form the core of this game. I take that it is this exact thing that was for some reason undesired now but I don't understand why. Games have become much more linear and less exciting. Once again it seems the players who are involved and clever enough to form ulilitarian alliances and work towards their goals using more diverse tactics are being stripped of an advantage that they earned.


    This also extends to other situations, where moles could become factors, double-agent nations were a thing. Apparently this is now considered "unfair" in a war game that used to be all about that stuff and again, if that's so then I can only politely ask to reconsider. I don't think whoever approved these changes really knew how much depth they would drain from the game.

    Please bring back all diplomatic status options for players in different coalitions. You have hurt the appeal of your longtime gameplay with this change and it mainly punishes those who make some extra effort. And that is while I still read constant complaints of backstabbers in all the games I play, putting the effectiveness of these "Measures against Betrayal" in at least a little bit of doubt.


    2. Removal of trading options


    Undoubtedly, if one thinks about it they would now just heavily consider steering free from coalitions for all the flexibility and options in diplomacy they now rid you of. There are problems with this though.

    Many players will distrust someone who wants to collaborate with them but not join a coalition with them, because they want the safeguards to be in place, which is understandable when they exist. Trust can be built other ways though and this human factor I can work with.


    The bigger problem is what happened recently though, when trading was simply wrecked for some reason I simply cannot grasp. With trading resources now only possible within coalitions, coalitions are overpowered by a huge margin. By not joining one you would cast aside a really important gameplay aspect completely and put your own self at a disadvantage. You'd wind up being the fool. So you have to go and subject yourself to the immense straightjacket that is joining a coalition now that the above rules are in effect, just because the other choice is strategically punished.


    And this one I can't explain to myself with a philosophy change. The "rumours" I hear are that this was related to multi-account cheaters which, quite frankly, I hope has to be ridiculous. It can't be true that 100% of players were punished for the methods of a few cheaters who were reasonably well under control by existing measures and have many other way of gaining advantages other ways, right?


    This has cemented coalitions as unavoidable, no matter how unwise it may be to join one for all those other reasons. The choices a player can freely make are effectively being limited by this, as deviating from what the majority of players will do will have you facing severe obstacles.

    This really, really has to go back. Please bring trading back into the game!

    It's neither fair nor in any way, shape or form realistic that direct trading is only possible with members of your military coalition. This also once again takes something out of general gameplay and once again hurts those who were commited to establishing relations and in it for a little more than shootey boom-boom. I really feel like the way I used to play is being combated with these changes and I still assume that's mostly not what was intended.



  • The combination of these two points is really deadly. A massive amount of depth has been removed and gameplay has become much more linear and has less longterm appeal. Of course the coalitions are going to clash at some point now, there's nothing else they can do with one another. Of course the guy in my coalition is 100% committed to us, even if he wasn't he couldn't hurt us. All this human element you had to factor in, trust, deterrence, it's what mainly entertains once you know how to win your wars. I can't imagine you really meant to do quite the number on it that you have. If I could, I wouldn't even post this.


    The "balancing" that was accomplished by the recent changes is mostly so that smarter play has less of an advantage now. I honestly don't think that that can be good game design, because these advantages are earned and becoming smart in a game to earn those advantages is a very big motivator. I understand that if it's the short-term enjoyment that is to be padded, helping those that are less involved is a rewarding approach, but with the most popular games taking about two months to finish in Supremacy, I'm not sure if that would be an appropriate approach to take.

    So please, I haven't requested much over the years and I've been a fairly loyal customer, I reiterate that this game is important to me and I'm happy to see it doing well after all these years. I'm not only making these requests for my personal gameplay enjoyment but because I am concerned that the focus might be shifting into a demographic-related direction that might be worth a second thought.


    But then there's also this other thing, I have a German thread on this one in particular already but since that doesn't catch much of an eye...


    3. What in all hell did you do to the aggressive firing mode!?


    I mean, right? What happened? Why? Whyyyyy? Open fire on random neutrals sitting in their own provinces? Why on earth would you ever want that? Those artillery operators are psychotic at this point!

    That firing mode has become unusable in an abstruse number of situations because of this bizarre change. It's essentially broken, it needs fixing. And it's a payed feature so come on, please...



    That's my piece. Feel free to comment this stuff in any way you like. I hope to have laid out the issues clear enough so that my concerns are at least understandable enough that someone in the company might find them interesting. If not then oh well, I tried. b78//+

  • Just a side note to the recent rule change about trading units... it was allegedly implemented primarily to prevent an Over powerd 'exploit' of trading planes which allowed the attacker to constantly bombard enemy without having to return planes to airfield for refueling...this was done in light of the Bytro policy saying all exploits are allowed since JUNE....


    Also, Just my humble opinion, rule changes basically helped the goal of ' quicker maps' and protecting heavy gold users which are the ones financing the profit margerin for Bytro... you know if you play 500's, longer into maps how they seem to lag and how the gold users do not have as big of advantage or control in late game when other players have powerful economies.


    Balance in the name of protecting us from exploits is what 'urks' me, ... more than anything diplomacy is used by low skill players which NEED a pack to fight one strong player, and all these rule changes eliminated any mercenary possibilities for higher skilled players...now you are forced to have a big country to survive deep into maps. Remembering Bytro is a business seeking profit, we will need to find ways for mechanics and rules that allow Bytro to make profit while keeping the games fun...that is the true balance we need to find or Bytro will never change anything.

  • Just a side note to the recent rule change about trading units... it was allegedly implemented primarily to prevent an Over powerd 'exploit' of trading planes which allowed the attacker to constantly bombard enemy without having to return planes to airfield for refueling...this was done in light of the Bytro policy saying all exploits are allowed since JUNE....


    Also, Just my humble opinion, rule changes basically helped the goal of ' quicker maps' and protecting heavy gold users which are the ones financing the profit margerin for Bytro... you know if you play 500's, longer into maps how they seem to lag and how the gold users do not have as big of advantage or control in late game when other players have powerful economies.


    Balance in the name of protecting us from exploits is what 'urks' me, ... more than anything diplomacy is used by low skill players which NEED a pack to fight one strong player, and all these rule changes eliminated any mercenary possibilities for higher skilled players...now you are forced to have a big country to survive deep into maps. Remembering Bytro is a business seeking profit, we will need to find ways for mechanics and rules that allow Bytro to make profit while keeping the games fun...that is the true balance we need to find or Bytro will never change anything.



    Well they did change a bunch of stuff, which is the entire point here. I think these recent changes are shifting the general philosophy about the game into a direction that might not be favourable, being well-aware that we're talking about a for-profit company here.


    I also have to disagree with your thoughts on diplomacy, but what you're describing is exactly what these recent changes are beginning to reduce the diplomacy aspect of the game to: a desperation move. You can do much, much more than that with skilled diplomacy and this is what's being suppressed now, removing gameplay depth.


    And oh man, "all exploits now legal" is frankly quite shocking for a game developer to say. I honestly don't really know what to say there. It's pretty disappointing to forfeit any rule enforcement like that, especially seeing how this game is a partially paid service that people spend money on. And it really throws some shade on the whole "fairness" objective with the new coalition rules.

    I assumed already that unit trading was removed to counter some serious exploits, but resources have nothing to do with that.