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Is MP the ultimate in improving play?

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  • Is MP the ultimate in improving play?

    As a player new to MP I have to say that it already is having a marked impact on how much I pay attention to game decisions. In SP you can sit down and whip off a hundred turns. The decisions don't seem as critical when you can fix things next turn (30 seconds later). Safe in the knowledge that only the AI is out there, you are confident you will win each and every game so it is easy to get a little sloppy.

    Starting MP, the first thing is you only play a turn or so a day so the importance of each decision seems magnified. Also you know that there are human-controlled factions out there who are wise to the tried and true tricks that fool the AI and probably have tricks I have never considered. Population growth, the balance of FOPs, adequate military and probe defense all get more attention than I could ever spend in a SP game.

    So my point is that I think the mere fact that it is a MP game would make us better players from the mere fact that we take more care. My only problem is that I think other improvements to my game will probably come from being on the receiving end of some particular tactic or strategy LOL.

  • #2
    As another newbie MP'er, I find that I'm playing much more carefully than I do in SP. (Don't worry, cbn, I'm no warmonger, ever.) In a PBEM, one has much more time to think. A friend and I are going to try a LAN game, wich sould go much faster...wich leads to my question: Can you save a LAN or ICP game?
    [This message has been edited by The Commodore (edited March 15, 2001).]
    It hurts to be on the cutting edge!


    • #3

      Thanks but no more games right now for me. Four is enough to keep track of and commit to play (I wouldn't want to hold any up). - Perhaps I might take you up on it later.

      I looked at the signup thread and you only signed up on March 11, if I read the thread correctly. There are also a couple of others looking for games now, so give Tau Ceti a chance. Tau does this stuff as a volunteer and I understand that Tau takes extra care to try to ensure reasonably fair start conditions so it is a bit of work to set one up. Be patient and I'm sure a game will come your way shortly. You will receive an email outlining the game conditions, a link to the rules and also your password.

      Your other option is to start an "I want a PBEM" thread in the multiplayer forum but I do not know if that will get you a game any quicker than waiting for Tau to set one up. IIRC the longest anyone had to wait was somewhat less than 2 weeks.


      • #4
        Yes Commodore, IP games can be saved and returned to at a later date.


        • #5
          Yes, you can save a LAN game, but it's kind of tricky loading it later. I can't remember what you have to click on, my husband does the loading on his [faster] computer. But I definitely remember how much it frustrated me to not be able to load, and I eventually got the answer from a webpage I found a link to here at Apolyton. If someone wiser than me can post details about how to reload, it could save The Commodore hours of frustration and searching.


          • #6
            In order to save the game just save it normally.

            Instead of choosing "random map" you just choose "load saved game". It's fairly obvious. Then all the players choose there original faction and you start. Same can be done with the autosave should it crash or a player drop.

            If a player does drop, load the autosave. If the remaining player saves then starts a game from that save then the dropped faction has been re-arranged by the AI (SE changed, workers moved, production changed etc). Very frustrating. Use the autosave.



            • #7
              Short answer on MP vs. SP - if you want to improve your early game play then play a lot of SP games. You can rip through fifty turns or so making minor adjustments each time to try to maximize efficiency, or making radical changes when trying out new early strategies. If you REALLY want to get good at the early game set up a hotseat game and play a bunch of factions all at once to figure out what works for who. Then take the knowledge you get and play very carefully in MP.

              If you want to improve your midgame play then play MP. The AI just cannot possibly keep pace with the deviousness of real players and isn't programmed to take advantage of some of the better tricks (like probe foils to infiltrate datalinks early) humans use. The AI is very competent opposition early but its tendency to overbuild inferior units is its downfall. Plus it's still an idiot about mounting offensives, though it's a lot better than it was in Civ II.

              The one big early game AI problem is that it will often wander for 10+ turns before it settles if it starts in a marginal area, or worse base with its initial pods 10+ spaces apart, leading to crippling efficiency problems.


              • #8

                Originally posted by cbn on 03-15-2001 01:40 PM

                Thanks but no more games right now for me. Four is enough to keep track of and commit to play (I wouldn't want to hold any up). - Perhaps I might take you up on it later.



                Tau is doing it volunteer? wow


                • #9
                  I don't know if MP is really the ultimate to improve your play but it is the one and only possibility to really have great fun with this great game, at least for me it is.
                  The AI is simply no opponent anymore after you get a certain experience and there's no point in beating AI factions in a battle when they simply have no decent war strategy at all, let alone tactics. The overall AI building strategy is so weak as well, it's frustrating to watch. But playing an intelligent opponent with clever decisions at this game with its manifold possibilities (what a pun) is fun, simply put.
                  All in all I never play SP anymore, perhaps once a month to try something out, a new strategy, a new trick or something, but I never end up playing whole games. Too boring without human players. So for me the question misses the point: Surely, MP is the ultimate in improving MP play, isn't it
                  Ah, and for the thing with the LAN game: what I found extremely convenient is that you can save a LAN game and continue it as PBEM or vice versa, that is, start your game as PBEM, then meet for an evening and accelerate by playing LAN, later save and continue as PBEM again. Extremely convenient. Works with TCP/IP as well, may get buggy though. All in all, I've made good experience with it.

                  May the fungus be with you...
                  May the fungus be with you...


                  • #10
                    I have to second the thought on the convenience of alternately playing any individual game via tcp/ip and then pbem. TCP/IP is a great resource for getting a pbem game off the ground or hustling along a game when the non-AI factions are builders.

                    I have run into strange bugs, but I'm not convinced they wouldn't arise if I were playing straight tcp/ip. I haven't seen anything to indicated they arise from switching from one form to the other. I /have/ noticed that once you switch /to/ enabling simultaneous movement, it often occurs that the game won't run without that option enabled in subsequent sessions.



                    • #11
                      i'd like to play multiplayer. i signed up in the pbem tournament but i haven't got a reply in a while.

                      cbn, wanna add another game to your 4 mp games?

                      Don't ask me,
                      Because I don't know why,
                      But it's like that.
                      It's just the way it is.
                      And that's the way it is.


                      • #12

                        since I am playing you I probaly shouldn't disclose to much to you, but I can tell that I am beaten. 17 turns, it took 17 turns. Ah well better luck next times

                        Joke aside, MP is greater challenge, but SP still is the most important part of the game, if I quit SP I quit the game.


                        if you still looking for a PBEM player, I am interested. Find me.
                        It's close to midnight and something evil's is lurking in the dark.


                        • #13
                          Interesting, since I started playing MP I haven't played SP any more. There is just no point. I can't get myself interested in beating the computer anymore.
                          Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi Wan's apprentice.