Author Topic: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?  (Read 2427 times)

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Offline Chelubey

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Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« on: September 28, 2013, 03:07:28 PM »
Dominion4 is already available (as beta at the moment) and I guess a lot of people ran in this direction (probably majority).
I can easily admit Dom4 is going to be a better game than Dom3. There are several features I disliked (mainly lack of reverse communions, also - inability to alter tax level), yet there are many appealing and promising features as well. Yes, dom4 will be better than dom3. Ultimately.
The point is that it is a game platform recently released, however playing dominions, we use not just platform itself, but a lot of additional tools as well.

CBM provides hundreds (I could write "thousand" and unlikely be mistaken) of changes - and all these changes were scrupulously examined and analyzed and tested by dozens of overexperienced MP players. CBM greatly advanced variety and balance of vanilla dom3. I don't want to undermine Illwinter's efforts and all their numerous patches, but CBM provided a huge addition to original game. It shoved off from hundreds of MP games and based itself upon shared multiplayer experience too huge to be guessed a priori no matter how perfect in balancing game developers are.
We'll miss this heavy bulk of of game-supplement (or alternative forms of it if you are not attached to CBM) in dom4 (if that project will be resumed - it will take years to relaunch it and polish dom4).

"Numerous patches" for Dom4 are yet to come as well, and it will take a while.

It will take a while for wonderful tools like llamaserver or mod inspector to appear for dom4 as well.

What I'm trying to say is that despite Dom4 is potentially better thing than Dom3, year(s) will pass before it will be able to compete to the properties nowdays Dom3 provides - at least balance-wise.
Also not less important is that however cool and nice and promising Dominions4 is, its shipment doesn't make Dominions3 any worse. All the challenge Dominions3 provided yesterday remains today, and will remain tomorrow. At least for me even within the basic Dom3 (CBMed one) there are plenty of nations looking very appealing and challenging for me I'd like to try in MP, much more than I have a chance to test, and no outside matters (Dom4 including) make this challenge less.

Don't take me wrong - personally I was very happy to learn that Dominions project is not ceased with Dominions3.
I rushed to pre-order it as soon as it was possible, and I played it in SP when it became available. I wholeheartedly agree that future belongs to Dom4 and ultimatelly it will replace Dom3.
Ultimatelly, but gradually.

However right now it is Dom3 what provides better balanced and more competitive MP entertainment - unless novelty overweights that for you. For me - it doesn't. Dominions4 is quite raw at the moment. (And it is incredibly raw in comparison with Dom3+CBM+ etc).
It is too early to speak about balance in Dom4 at all.
Are blood-based nation are any competitive at all?
Do we have EDM-lack inequality of various magic types when certain magic types provide significally stronger end-games than the other ones (tartarian rush etc)?

So I think I'll try to stick to Dom3 MP for a long while more. Maybe half of year, maybe a year, maybe more - depending on amount of dom3' playerbase (expectedly migrating to Dom4 with time).
I wish Dominions4 and its growning community all the luck, and I'll certainly join it one day and follow mainstream.
Yet I'd prefer incredibly fine-tuned tool to the disbalanced one (yet). Not to mention that "the best is the enemy of the good" (sounds quite conservative - it does).

What do you think about dominions3 MP prospects?
Will you consider joining another dom3 MP game?


Offline elitesix

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 10:13:30 PM »
Balance is hard to get right straight out of release. In 20 years of gaming, I've never seen a balanced product at release when the game had asymmetrical sides. Nothing can replace thousands of hours of gameplay balance play testing which dominions 4, beta or not, simply hasn't had.

There definitely will be dominions 3 interest for at least I'd predict 6 months as imbalanced holes in dominions 4 metagame are found and then patched away. In the meantime, I bet people will go back to cbm'ed dom3 for the tried and true method of balanced gameplay.

Now, as to whether groghead will have dominions 3 interest, that's another story. But I think if you check out forums, such as desura, there are still new games forming throughout the past month.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 10:15:57 PM by elitesix »

Offline Yskonyn

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2013, 03:23:45 AM »
I think there will be Dom 3 games around for quite a while to come.
I guess it all depends on how people gauge Dom 4 vs Dom 3. If, despite some altered mechanics, most people agree that Dom 4 will be the better game overall, then I am sure the modders will gradually migrate towards modding 4 and activity for 3 will die out slowly, just like it did with 2.
If most people want to cling onto Dom 3 CBM then it'll be around for a good long while.

Personally, I find Dom 4 to be a better experience than 3 already and changes are big that all the games I will be hosting here will be 4 instead of 3.
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Offline Chelubey

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 05:17:08 AM »
Nothing can replace thousands of hours of gameplay balance play testing which dominions 4, beta or not, simply hasn't had.

Exactly.
That's what I'm speaking about.

You also mention 6 months - it looks like extremely optimistic estimate for me.
Month or maybe a pair before the game will leave its "beta" status.
Then many simultaneous dom4 MP games will start. So half a year later there will be only first results of first decent MP games.
With all my respect to testing team, they've made only a few games (according to what I read on forums), what is negligible in comparison with such a complex and multifaced system like Dominions.

So far even in the zero-order approximation game is very blurred balance-wise.
How balanced blood-based nations are nowadays after tax/unrest changes?
How balanced are thug nations which relied on reverse communions (e.g. Hinnom)?
What is general balance between various types of magic concerning late-game when we no longer have EDM integrated in CBM?
Some of such issues will be resolved earlier, others may require years to be closed.

Offline Wingedflamez

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2013, 12:11:42 PM »
I agree with most of what you are saying, by my thoughts on the dom3 to dom4 adjustments are this.

Balance is always an issue when a game first releases.
The balance adjustments will take longer the fewer people who play.
Dom3 has a lot of bugs/balance issues that even mods can't fix, that will hopefully be fixed by dom4.
There are probably fewer dom4 MP games going right now because everyone is finishing up their dom3 games.

Also wasn't the group that did cbm a big part of the initial alpha/beta testing?

I guess what I am saying is that I don't agree with, but can understand, the thought process of "I'm going to not try the New game until they make it as fixed as the old one" just that if everyone always thought that then either a)games would never get fixed because people would keep playing the old stuff. Or b) companies would take forever putting games out because they have to be perfect for people to play them.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 12:13:54 PM by Wingedflamez »

Offline Chelubey

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2013, 04:26:13 PM »
Also wasn't the group that did cbm a big part of the initial alpha/beta testing?

Indeed.
According to  impression I received from reading Dom3mods and Desura testing team was very strong. Several hardcore veterans took part in process.
And not only modders, but also some high commitment MP ones - for instance Calahan.
Even more reasons for Dom4 to become really perfect game.

The balance adjustments will take longer the fewer people who play.
...I guess what I am saying is that I don't agree with, but can understand, the thought process of "I'm going to not try the New game until they make it as fixed as the old one" just that if everyone always thought that then either a)games would never get fixed because people would keep playing the old stuff. Or b) companies would take forever putting games out because they have to be perfect for people to play them.

I don't think there is such a problem at all.
The point is that the speed of balance adjustments is far not directly proportional to amount of feedback.
Here is a sample from adjacent area. If you have a worker who is going to be late to finish his work to deadline and you send two more workers to assist him - will they finish the work three times earlier? For some works they will (e.g. digging a ditch). For other works (programming included) anything can happen depending on details, up to that two more workers can even slow the outcome. More people - more necessity to cooperate/coordinate, extra time and resources needed to acquiant with an affair.

Shifting closer to our issue.
There is totally no shortage of feedback for Dominions4 now.
Dom4's appearance resulted in explosive growth of comments, discussions, ideas and feedback of various kinds. Whereas coding/patching is limited with two Illwinter fellows (for whom Dominions is not even their usual work). Date of release was already shifted (twice?). I bet their Todo-lists are bursting already. My guess is that they have dom4-related tasks to work for the next year already.
And I'm pretty certain that several more voices with more opinions/ideas even generally good ones won't help Dom4 at all. I could add my voice to choir - but I doubt it will do much good on this stage.
Quantity doesn't always shift to quality.

Also it is not like there is some epic binary choice nowdays between whole community moving to Dom4 or whole community screw themselves up and keep playing Dom3, awaiting for Dom4 to become perfect by itself.
It is pretty predetermined that majority of current dom3 playerbase will shift to dom4 soon if not did it yet. (So again - I doubt there is a place for apprehensions you mentioned).
One can consider it as a matter of fact (just compare amount of dom3-related and dom4-related new threads on desura or Dom3mods).

One can provide theoretical explanation. Why so?
Because Dominions 3 is very old game - 7 years already. It is also very, very good game, what kept a lot of old-comers there. Dominions has tremendous potential - it is why many people were stuck to it for many years. At the same time even for such a complex game as dominions many years is enough to explore it from top to bottom.
Basically most potential challenges are no longer challenges for veterans and old-time players. No wonder most of them is doomed to rush into Dominions4 (and rightly so).
At the same time high polishidness and decent balance of MP Dom3 (+CBM) is not something most newbies AND casual players will value (and rightly so). It is quite natural that they'll go to Dominions4 as well.
Thus Dominions3 is going to remain as a niche ground. For instance for "high commitment" MP players who started Dom3 not long ago, for whom it still carries tons of challenges, and who value its balance and maturity very high. But majority will go to Dominions4.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 04:29:15 PM by Chelubey »

Offline Yskonyn

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 06:16:59 AM »
Your sentiments are all based on the fact that Dom 3 seems to be the superior game.
We do not know this yet. You seem to be basing your arguments of stuff that has been changed in Dom 4 which you do not like.
Sure, it might turn out to be most of the community doesn't like those changes, but as was already established; some heavy duty Dom 3 players were involved in beta testing. And all changes I have seen so far, have had pretty solid arguments in favour of them.

Still the result remains to be seen. But I think you're cutting corners by just claiming Dom 3 is in a better shape because of the extensive modding it has had over the 7 years it's been around.
For all we know the entire development and beta testing phase of 4 has been much more efficient and community-involved?
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Offline Chelubey

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 02:51:44 PM »
Your sentiments are all based on the fact that Dom 3 seems to be the superior game.

My statements are all based on it? Is it so?
Like this? "I can easily admit Dom4 is going to be a better game than Dom3. There are several features I disliked (mainly lack of reverse communions, also - inability to alter tax level), yet there are many appealing and promising features as well. Yes, dom4 will be better than dom3. Ultimately." (Second sentence in whole thread)

My point was that dom4 is quite bad balance-wise so far, and that's all. I wonder where did you find anything about Dom3 being superior at all.
Isn't it clear that balance is far not the single aspect of strategy games? And if I'm writing about this particular aspect and compare two dominions version mainly in relation to this aspect it has no where near with statements like "Dom3 is superior". I wrote about dom4 being "raw", but that's an obvious fact taking into account that it is still in beta for instance.
There are reasons why this particular aspect is significant and important for myself, yet I wrote why this is not going to be important and that significant for majority.

Removal of reverse communions is significant matter for me since it was probably the most advanced piece of game mechanics dom3 had, but dom4 has gained plenty of new game mechanics properties instead. And I pretty well understand, that such a complex (and quite niche) property had its drawbacks as well, so with all my longing for it I admit it was probably removed for good (that is the game itself gained more than lost).

We do not know this yet. You seem to be basing your arguments of stuff that has been changed in Dom 4 which you do not like.
Sure, it might turn out to be most of the community doesn't like those changes, but as was already established; some heavy duty Dom 3 players were involved in beta testing. And all changes I have seen so far, have had pretty solid arguments in favour of them.

My opinions was that most of the community will like it and most will migrate into Dominions4 now or in the nearest future (while ultimately there will be no reasons not to go there for everyone, yet it may take some time)..
There are special reasons why I tend to be minority here, who is going to stay with dominions for a while, and I'd prefer to be aware of similar-minded people in order to have more chances to meet each other MP.
That's all.

Still the result remains to be seen. But I think you're cutting corners by just claiming Dom 3 is in a better shape because of the extensive modding it has had over the 7 years it's been around.
For all we know the entire development and beta testing phase of 4 has been much more efficient and community-involved?

I doubt there is much to discuss here.
7 years are somewhat more than several months to take care about balance.
And hundreds of heavy duty players are somewhat more than dozen(s) of those.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 03:13:44 PM by Chelubey »

Offline parone

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 04:20:34 PM »
hmmm. 

I don't see that ysk has to be wrong chelubby.

probably room for both ideas.

some people(most probably) will throw themselves into dom4.  it is likely much of the progress of cbm has been incorporated into dom4.

others-like you and I, will likely stick with 3 for our own reasons(I, for example, cannot get dom4 to run on my machine, while 3 runs really well).

why does he have to be wrong for you to be right?

Offline Nefaro

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 07:03:19 PM »
I don't plan on firing up Dom3 ever again unless something disastrous happens to Dom4.  I seriously doubt that to be the case once it's finished up. 

Even now, I'd rather become more familiar with Dom4 in beta than start something with Dom3.  Just my preference.

Offline Yskonyn

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 01:46:06 AM »
I get the feeling, Cheluby, that you're taking my post a bit too personal. Please don't, its not intended as such at all.
Just my points of view and some healthy discussion about it.
I don't know if 'I am right' and it doesn't matter. My point is that it might just be too early to come to any conclusions.
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Offline Chelubey

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2013, 09:43:14 AM »
I get the feeling, Cheluby, that you're taking my post a bit too personal. Please don't, its not intended as such at all
...

Well, I've got impression that you've took my position in a way different than it actually was.
http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=7745.msg190166#msg190166 - message starts from the notion that I put dom3 above dom4, and continues with reasoning about it.
But the point is that my position is very different. The last what I intended was to launch the thread which could sound as "dom4 is not that good as it appears/it doesn't worth moving there/it won't shoot". So I provided very detailed answer clarifying my position and disagreeing where I disagreed.

I didn't intend to compare both games in a whole in this thread at all.
I've underlined two particular aspects (maturity in general and multiplayer balance in particular) which are of importance for me, and compared mainly along these features.
I also pointed out that despite both veterans and new players are mainly going to shift Dom4 (as I expect), there are those who'll more likely to share my idea about dom3's future in MP.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 09:56:22 AM by Chelubey »

Offline Chelubey

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2013, 09:54:27 AM »
Actually my motivation when I started this thread was to realize what is amount of devoted Dom3 MP players left, how many players are seeking (or will seek) for new Dom3 MP "high commitment" games.
For instance on three forums - Desura, Dom3Mods and Grogheads there is only one new Dom3 game in recruitment stage now ( http://www.desura.com/games/dominions-3-the-awakening/forum/thread/aarklash-legacy-la-intermediates-vets-recruiting ). And it doesn't look there are many people wishing to join it for some reason.
What could it be (reason)?
Are there any Dom3 players around in search of games, and what are their preferences?
Will opening of another dom3 MP game will intersect with that one and thus hamper both (by default it will, but it depends)?

There are many possible options: some like casual games, while others prefer "high commitment" ones.
Some like diplomacy and talking, while others seek for anonymous games.
Some like to play particular nation and only it, while others enjoy games with random selection of nations.
Not to mention that players have various skills and for some of games (of "high commitment" part of spectrum) it is very important to ensure that skills of participants are similar. It was quite hard task even before Dom4 appeared. (I launched two high-commitment no-diplomacy games at Dom3Mods this spring, one for "intermidate" players, another one for "newbie-intermediate" ones. And despite all my efforts I wouldn't say skill levels of participants were as even as I intended).

In order to perform something special, decent understanding of situation is needed. But with Dom4 being released everything became as if under thick fog of war.
Honestly I've got extremely approximate understanding what is going on with Dominions3 playerbase last months.
I doubt one can realize it without comprehension on how people's preferences towards Dom4 and Dom3 are related
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 02:40:26 PM by Chelubey »

Offline parone

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2013, 02:19:55 PM »
I think you are spot on on the dearth of dom3 games-I think it is the impending release of dom4

Offline Chelubey

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Re: Is there a future for dominions3 multiplayer?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2013, 01:58:03 PM »
There is only one dom3 MP game I know - that's "Aarklash Legacy" at Desura forum: http://www.desura.com/games/dominions-3-the-awakening/forum/thread/aarklash-legacy-la-intermediates-vets-recruiting