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RTW Multiplayer?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Road to War' started by VeteranLurker, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. VeteranLurker

    VeteranLurker Chieftain

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    Please help me think this one through. I'm not asking for interested players yet, but am wondering how to make this work. In previous incarnations of RTW, we attempted to start a PBEM multiplayer game with the RTW scenario. For various reasons, these attempts failed. Now, with the new AOP appearing to be stable and soon-to-be-final, I am wondering if it will be viable to run this as a PBEM, and, if not, if there are other options/suggestions?

    My wish-list would be: Global Scenario, Hitler/Hirohito version, Open Mode, with 10 players -- USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, USSR, Nat'list China, Japan, Australia, Brazil. The latter two, Australia and Brazil, could be left as AI but it would be more interesting with someone playing them. The obvious problem for PBEM is: 1936-1951, 15 years x 12 months x 2 turns/month = 360 turns. Whether it is 8 or 10 players, or even as few as 5-6 players, that is well over a year of turns when one considers that not everyone will be able to do their turn every day (work, vacation, different timezones/schedules, etc).

    Has anyone tried this yet with the latest 3.17 beta? Are there download issues, such as "either everyone has movies or no one has movies", or the sendfile is enormous? Does the person who sets up the game have to play as Germany? In other words, are there any RTW-specific issues? Or am I merely confronting the usual PBEM issue of how to get players all on the same page (same version of everything) and to commit to such a long-term venture?

    Is there another way to do this? I've not tried LAN or Pit Boss. Some of the turns take a great deal of time to complete (at least for me they do; e.g., the very-first turn where one must deal with every unit and set production/etc for each city, and later on when war on multiple fronts necessitates complex maneuvers), so would these even be an option?
     
  2. VeteranLurker

    VeteranLurker Chieftain

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    Really? No one has tried this? No one has thought about this? Hmm...
     
  3. danrh

    danrh Chieftain

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    Yep, I've certainly thought of this. Given how pathetic the AI can be this would be the way to get the best of Dale's work. HOWEVER.... given that it can take me a week to play a scenario from start to finish I don't like the chances of this ever actually being feasible. I'd be up to give it a go though if enough people were keen.

    Dan
     
  4. Chamboozer

    Chamboozer Chieftain

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    It could be pretty fun, but you would run into the situation where one person has to leave so everyone needs to wait several days in order to have everyone ready at the same time again. Heh.
     
  5. ExMachina

    ExMachina Chieftain

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    Would probably be easier with fewer players, like a 6-player Europe game with U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Russia. Anything more than that would be difficult to put together.
     
  6. MajorWinters

    MajorWinters Chieftain

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    This might be a little late but, whatever, yeah a friend of mine (Angry Historian) and i have done several multiplayer games, and two of our friends are going to to get civ4 and play also. Yeah the only problem is that it takes a long time to finish because everyone can't always be there to play. If the AI could be fixed, we wouldn't have to be worrying about getting a bunch of people together to try and play, but i don't know much about programming AI so i don't know how hard it would be, just an idea.
     
  7. VeteranLurker

    VeteranLurker Chieftain

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    Well, I am assuming that the AI won't be fixed anytime soon so multiplayer is the only way to get a higher level of competition. Yes, either the Europe or Pacific scenario would better lend itself better to having fewer players, and I would be willing to try those. But my 'wish list' was to try the Global Scenario, and from having played several Global Scenario games as various nations, my feeling is that we wouldn't do the scenario much justice by having fewer than 8-10 players. E.g., leave out Brazil... the USA has a free hand in the Americas while everyone else fights it out elsewhere. Leave out Australia and Japan or UK has an easier time adding territory in S.E. Asia. Leave China as AI, and Japan gets first-grab at those big cities, etc.

    Unless maybe we leave the strongest countries as AI, such as USSR and UK, maybe Japan and Germany, giving the players a tougher situation to deal with? So, if there are six people, choosing among USA, Brazil, France, Italy, China, Australia... could be interesting, but wouldn't satisfy anyone's desire to see how they would do running one of the major powers. Still, there is room for imbalance if someone fashions an alliance with one of the strong AI nations.

    But first things first -- back to my initial questions. Has anyone actually tried multiplayer with the latest version of RTW and got it to work? Any special tricks or things-you-need-to-know? Also, PBEM (my preference) or LAN (???) or Pit Boss (???). To me a scenario like this seems ideal for PBEM because of the lengthy, strategy-heavy turns. But, as mentioned above, how likely is it that enough people will actually be able to commit to doing this over the course of the next 1-2 years? It is a low-level commitment (1 turn/day? or maybe every other day?), but it IS still a commitment and that seems to be in short supply at times.
     
  8. danrh

    danrh Chieftain

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    Personally I'd hate to see any of the major players or the bigger minor players left in AI control. I gather from what you are saying you envisage an Open Play fomat.

    Dan
     
  9. VeteranLurker

    VeteranLurker Chieftain

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    Yes, for Global I personally would want to try Open Mode, it just seems more fun/challenging that way (probably from my playing too much 'Risk' as a kid). If Historical/Random, that changes things considerably -- Brazil e.g. could safely be left as AI since it had no role historically. Even Australia could probably be left as AI in Global-Historical. Unfortunately, that still leaves 8 human-run nations.

    Also, in Global/Open, the action can start right away, as opposed to waiting around until 1939 or 1942 (which could be boring and lead to people dropping out). It is one thing to set up your cities and just hit return repeatedly in a solo game until something needs your attention or until one of the historical triggers occurs, it is quite another to have to play/send a turn in PBEM where nothing much is happening (and having to do this for most every turn 1936-1939). That's why I thought Open Mode might work well since no one should be claiming boredom since they are free to invade from turn-one.
     
  10. Joe Harker

    Joe Harker 1st in the Premiership!

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    I would be interested in playing. I haven't tried it using email, but it worked ok with hotseat mode between me and a friend.
     
  11. sk8er AG

    sk8er AG Chieftain

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    yea id be in too, though i dont know how setting up a game works- PBEM LAN. I imagine its more complicated than xbox. But id give it a try, prob would want to wait till september though for travel reasons.
     
  12. Chamboozer

    Chamboozer Chieftain

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    Actually, Brazil did have a role historically, but not in the game.
     
  13. VeteranLurker

    VeteranLurker Chieftain

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    What do people think now, hopefully after playing Global Scenario in the Ultimate Edition v1.1? Brazil is now much less powerful, and I would certainly suggest dropping them as a playable nation. Australia is a tougher call, but dropping them still leaves us with eight playable nations (USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, USSR, Nat.China, Japan) which might be do-able but then again might not be. Maybe we could go with 5-6 players max, and allow folks to choose from among the eight major powers listed (leaving some major powers as AI-run)?

    Another consideration is timezone. If I recall correctly, RTW PBEM has a set order of play, as opposed to regular PBEM which can have order of play optimized for time zone considerations of when players are most likely to be able to do their turn. I wonder if this could lead to more of a time delay than just the usual issue of players having some delays playing their turn within 24 hours of receiving it. (meaning, do we slide down to like one turn per week rather than the optimum of like 1 turn/day.)

    Still, unless anyone is aware of major problems with the current RTW/PBEM, or also with the most-recent v1.1 of RTW, I think I will suggest we try setting up a game soon. I'll probably post it in the PBEM thread, but anyone who replied/replys here should get included.
     
  14. sk8er AG

    sk8er AG Chieftain

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    i think if a multiplayer would have to be once a week it would not be worth playing, i would think that it would be possible to have a turn or two a day, once in the morning and once at night. just wondering this PBEM is something you have to buy or what, im almost clueless as to how multiplayer works but id give it a try.
     
  15. Joe Harker

    Joe Harker 1st in the Premiership!

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    PBEM is email, so you get an email which will have the save on it, you play your turn then email it on to the next person.
     
  16. VeteranLurker

    VeteranLurker Chieftain

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    Yes, PBEM is Play By Email, and the main advantage is that you can do your turn at your leisure whenever it fits your schedule, then send it on to the next player. I've not tried them, but my understanding is that LAN and Pit Boss require all players to be online at the same time (and playing the same game, and not doing other stuff), which is why very-long, strategy-heavy games don't work so well in that mode.
     
  17. sk8er AG

    sk8er AG Chieftain

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    thanks for the info. PBEM does sound like the best way do to timezones. another question, is there an exact order to sending your turn for instance UK to france to germany ect. if so it prob be good to incoperate the order of emailing with timezone location.
     
  18. VeteranLurker

    VeteranLurker Chieftain

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    Once any PBEM game starts, the order of play is set -- player A always sends to player B (never to player C, unless player B drops out and becomes an AI controlled civ). I believe the order of play among the civs is hard-coded in RTW (e.g. Germany is always first). I agree it would be ideal if the order of play and timezones/schedules of players were in sync. But there would be a tradeoff if someone was 'forced' into playing a country they didn't want to play simply because of their timezone/availability/schedule. Hopefully it works out schedule-wise, but personally I think it is important for players to have a civ that they *want* to play in order to keep their interest high (remember, PBEM is a game that could go on for well over a year).
     
  19. sk8er AG

    sk8er AG Chieftain

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    O ok, yea i agree id rather play certian nations more than others
     

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