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Rise of Legends Heaven » Forums » General Discussion » Unwatchable replays - a serious question for BHG
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Topic Subject:Unwatchable replays - a serious question for BHG
Mard
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 00:01 AM EDT (US)         
How is it that with all of this innovation in the genre, BHG has yet to fix something so obvious that it smacks you in the face every time you try to watch a replay more than two weeks old: patches break replays.

This isn't an unfixable issue. If it's a matter of rules, why not have the old rules in a database file, updated every patch, so that they may be referenced when dealing with an older replay? If it's a matter of format, include a small parser which will edit old replays into the new format. The game is 99.9% unchanged with each patch, so why must this make such a radical difference that 99.9% of replays become unviewable after a single patch? I'm obviously not up on what causes all of these replays to become obsolete with nearly every patch, but I do see that there are a lot of valuable replays which are now obsolete because of this nearly game breaking feature.

For strategy fans, this should be an obvious and concerning issue for the longevity of any game. Think of Go, which is by any definition a classic strategy game. If we were unable to replay games which took place thousands of years ago because there was no reliable system in place to replay them from, think of all the knowledge and ingenuity which would be lost with each generation of players. A similar (though granted much smaller) loss takes place with each patch, and ignoring it, when fixing it could bring a whole new aspect to the genre, is strange and concerning.

When Brian Reynolds himself has said that balance patches will occur often, and in fact a system was developed to make balance patches quick and easy, why has a system not also been developed to preserve the recorded games which will become obsolete with these numerous balance patches? Is BHG not concerned by the loss of their own games' history?

Does anyone else find this problem concerning?

AuthorReplies:
Timeless_OmO
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 00:30 AM EDT (US)     1 / 11       
NO offense, but wtf are you talking about? Most RTS games do NOT allow you to watch games from previous versions. SC, WC3, RoN, you name it. Get over it - it's the norm.
Mard
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 00:41 AM EDT (US)     2 / 11       
Your arguement is precisely what I'm trying to say. Just because the other games do it this way doesn't mean BHG has to do it as well; they've shown that they're willing to ignore the standards of the RTS genre in favor of a better game, and they've found that opportunity lies behind the door of innovation and change. I'm simply proposing that this is one of those things that could be changed, and am well aware that "it's the norm."
CrownofThorns978
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 00:43 AM EDT (US)     3 / 11       
Whether or not it's the norm that other games don't allow for the replay of older version .recs isn't the point. That's like saying because previous games don't have Killer Feature X, neither should this new game.

Not for nothing it means that I can get all nostalgic over the five games that I've won so far and maybe learn from my mistakes in my losses. Frequent patches while great across the board would elminate the "adapt/overcome" instinct most developing players should be trying to cultivate by taking away the most powerful tool at their disposal.


I seek the means to fight injustice...
Neowulf
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 01:09 AM EDT (US)     4 / 11       

I suppose your also stuck with the fact that as soon as a balance change occurs in the game, all the previous replays become next to useless.

Seeing a replay 6 months old that shows an overpowered strat which has since been fixed is not really going to help people.

You give the example of the game "Go", but imgine if "Go" had several rule changes over the years to the point that many of the strats which previously worked no longer applied.

Same deal here.

CrownofThorns978
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 01:39 AM EDT (US)     5 / 11       
yeah, you are right come to think of it. Anything worth reviewing in a replay that is directly strat related could be learned in a replay of the current version (i.e you should've raided here, or bought a hero here). Strat-specific replays will be obsolete as future patches correct balance issues.

I seek the means to fight injustice...
Mr_Strange
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 01:49 AM EDT (US)     6 / 11       
I'll explain why it is proper for patches to disallow older replays.

The way that the gamestate is recorded is through a list of events. Your mouse clicks, keystrokes, and so forth.

The game engine then "replays" those events, and trusts that the deterministic nature of the game will lead to the same precise results.

If anything changes in those rules, then there is a very stronge chance that the replay will not behave at all like the original game. The tiniest change will produce a ripple effect that can bring things down.

Worst of all, it is possible that the improperly-executed replay will result in some usually impossible situation (attack a specific unit which no longer exists, for example) which could then crash the game.

For this reason, it is a widely accepted practice that new versions of the game break old replays.

--Mr. Strange

GreyPawn
Hero
posted 06-20-06 01:52 AM EDT (US)     7 / 11       

Quote:

Most RTS games do NOT allow you to watch games from previous versions.

This is very true! However, because replays are a great resource for learning new strategies and are quite important to many of our fans, we're looking into ways to make Rise of Legends replays function from version to version. We'll hopefully be adding reverse compatibility for stored replays in a future patch.

Mard
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 02:21 AM EDT (US)     8 / 11       
Thanks for the response, GreyPawn. I'm glad I'm not the only kook who thinks old replays still have some value.
Timeless_OmO
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 02:51 AM EDT (US)     9 / 11       
Then, my hat's off. Wait, I don't wear a hat!
LordAvenger
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 04:50 AM EDT (US)     10 / 11       

Quote:

SC


Are you sure?

[This message has been edited by LordAvenger (edited 06-20-2006 @ 04:51 AM).]

Jumbalaya
Zekeling
posted 06-20-06 10:23 AM EDT (US)     11 / 11       
Just uninstall and reinstall. Takes 5 minutes.

lol im jumby
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