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Joe Redhawk

General Critique of Battlecruiser Millennium

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NO spelling errors in thread subjects please!

I was trying to post this in the General Issue Tech Support forum, but it wouldn't let me.

First I must say the Manual is useless, no technical data on weapons or explanation of what the missles do or their uses. For a graphic menu driven video game I get an all text manual. PDF file with graphics would of been more humane then that joke of a manual. Which was a problem with the original (this wasn't a good sign in my opinion), the hint of a massive patch coming up caused me to Gag.

The training missions... don't. Things have changed dramatically since Battle Cruiser and the lack of explanation make getting into the game near impossible (the original with that cool intro, which for me was the only highlight of the game for me) and I never could get into the bug filled original.

Interface, maybe it's good, but for some strange reason I have to play the game career and being a newbie I just get lost. I can't seem to keep up with the ship I am suppose to be escorting (which leaves me so far behind) and there is so much of the ship to run, that I have no clue what I'm actually suppose to be doing since hostiles seem to be attack various friendlies while I'm on an escort mission. (Not to mention the text messages from GALCOM HQ are wrapped in a weird way). If I do engage another battlecruiser, by the time I reconfigure my ship to engage I'm toast.

A commanding officer knows his/her ship, I haven't got a clue. I have a feeling I'm gonna have to buy the usual hint book that in fact explains what everything does (in a sense a manual).

Back on the tutorial missions, if that mission is suppose to get me familar with my ship's functions... It fails miserably.

To be perfectly honest I bought this game to play as a ship captain, not a gropo. Battlecruiser title gives me the impression that it is first and foremost a capital ship game. Instead it's trying to be too many things at once. I would rather watch my marines engage in combat, then try to be a marine. COs are command officers they are not field officers, they get to watch victory and crushing defeat. Not to mention I'd love to watch Marines searching my ship for intruders and prisoners including the fighting. However, I'd give it up just to have a ship that works.

Now on to some of my problems with the Interface:

Speaking of marines, the fact that I have to go down a list one at a time (in real time) to activate them is tedious.

Oh and the power settings need a condition memory (Like A,B,C,D,E) that give a situation you can adjust your power settings automatically and then fine tune them, let's face it, this game is happening in real time, some quick menus unless you want to add speech recognition (I can hear programing staff screaming now).

Why does my fighter and cruiser huds look the same? They should be radically different, the bridge of the USS Roosevelt looks nothing like an F-18 Hornet for good reason. The fighter needs a horizon, turn and slip indicator, altimeter warning, Above Sea and above ground, quicker menus access.

Cruisers with their sophisicated sensors should be overloading me with information about the hostiles. What they are, database information on ship's performance standard load out, possibly even a sensor scan of what she's truely packing.

Oh yeah, how many fighters can my ship hold and if HQ has given command of a ship why is everyone else better equipped? A billion credit starship is still a billion credit starship.

The navigational computer should not be a scanned JPG, but something similar to a GPS device. Tells me where I am and how many jumps to go where ever I am.. Also GalComm should send out NOTAMS (FCC talk for Notifcation of current rules and regulations for flights, etc) so I know where hostile sectors are, pirate activity, friendlies and not so friendlies.

What good is a communications officer if I can't hail anyone? Maybe we could take Com. Office and replace them with a more useful XO, who can run the other half of everything. Hell I'd love it if my crew would give me some informational feedback like when we have too many hostiles.

Oh and why isn't there an accelerate time mode in this game, it's not like I can get from point a to b in less then a real twenty minutes of doing nothing (I read my latest Multihull mag)

Now I must add that I am having trouble with the interface and the lack of explanation of how my ship works adds to the negative opinion of the game.

If there are better tutorials tell me where they are and I will go there and print them out until my little heart is content..

Sincerely,

Joe

[ 12-20-2001: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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Joe, many of these issues were already discussed in the forum. I think that older members, if not SC himself, will post their answers.

But, just a quick suggestion, you should search in all the threads before starting such a topic.

See you in space.

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Wrong place mate but:

Joe there is nothing difficult about this game. Check the tutorials on the documents part in your BCM folder (i never did though ). Personally I find that this game was "instinctial" and had no problems with it whatsoever. Fool about with the controls and you'll figure it out soon enough. It's mostly common sense.

edit- by the way, this will not end well.....

[ 12-20-2001: Message edited by: Fendi ]

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Guest $iLk

If everything that can be done in the game was fit into the manual, the manual would not fit in the box. The manual is simply a basics guide to everything. Read the appendix and tutorial for in-depth information on ships and weapons - something which wouldn't be feasible to put into the manual anyhow.

And what's wrong with a patch post release? about 90% of the games I buy have post release patches of issues discovered AFTER the gold cd has been reduplicated and it would cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to remake the cd's with the updated info - hence a patch.

Aliens vs Predator 2 for instance, the game was already shipped before the MP issues were fixed and it became playable through a patch released the same day it hit stores.

I'd simply read through the forum for any extra tidbits of information that is left out of the exhaustive resources already spoon-fed to you if you simply read the tutorial and appendix.

The manual is for basics.

The Control sheet tells you your commands, it takes some learning but not all that much.

The appendix gives all the extra info that wouldn't have been feasible to put in the manual.

and the tutorial explains how to do most of the stuff in the game.

Very little is left out, and the PDF doc you are referring to is from the old bc3k.

If you need any help, we are here to help, but 99% of what people ask has already been answered somewhere in the documents I listed or in the forums.

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quote:

Originally posted by Joe Redhawk:

I was trying to post this in the General Issue Tech Support forum, but it wouldn't let me.

Simple and to the point: You don't get any techinical support in the forums (you'll have to use the support email address) unless you register properly.

Also, to avoid losing your ability to post you need to register properly. As such, follow the directions given in this thread.

If you need any help, feel free to contact me.

[email protected]

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Guest

Joe,

If you are having a hard time with the game etc. ASK for HELP!!! But first, look through the forums, spend some time reading, there is SO MUCH info here that it is unreal.

If all the features you wanted were put into the game, it would become unplayable, your computer would NOT be able to handle it.

THe SC has tried to balance gameplay and playability, and I think it works perfectly, this is not an F-18, this is not a shooter, this is a space based full simulation.

Now, if you really want to LEARN the game, here is what I suggest, download the manula and appendix for bc3000 Here and read it, this will give you everything, history, races, who they are, what thier relationship is etc. Then go into the appendix, which is on your hardrive right now, go to your BCM folder, it should be in this directory tree, C:/program files/3000AD/battlecruiser Millenium/docs/appendix/appendix.html This will give you ALL the info you need on the ships, thier capabilities etc.

Do not start a thread like this unless you have read everything on the forum. The info is here, use it!! And the search function is fantastic.

Good luck!!

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Thread re-located.

I'm going to let you guys deal with this one because I can't be bothered.

He's asking for missile specs (I dunno what he thinks the online appendix is for) when in fact it doesn't seem as if he knows which way the ship is pointing.

Oh well.

Regardless, keep it clean guys. Remember, you do NOT have to respond if you don't want to. You're better off NOT responding, than you are degenerating the thread.

This one has troll written all over it. As such, mods/admins, at first sight of disruption, please close the thread and delete his profile (admins).

[ 12-20-2001: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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The game takes time bud to learn. Everyone has already given you pointers on what to read so I wont repeat. I will give you this hint though. Before trying the Campain do Free Mode. This is where you learn the most, and not bothered with missions.

+ Free mode is just cool.

The only thing I agree with you is that the real time is kinda hard to grasp. I for one cant sit in front of a computer screen for two hours watching my ship get repaired . So now I just try not to get it damaged.

When you get into mining and stuff. My suggestion to you since it takes 400 Realtime mins to fill a drone, leave it on when you go to bed. Park you ship on a nice empty Moon, shut stuff off and go to bed. thats what I do.

All I can say though is once you learn the game, you will find it the most coolest space game ever.

Pretend your going through training and getting the rough edges smoothed out of you by some Big Mean Drill instructor. Thinking of the SC might help

Happy Spacing.

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Joe,

As others more worthy than I have mentioned most of the information you want can be found on the appendix installed on your HD just try and look for it.

As for most of your questions, if you have time try using the wonderful search function included on this board, you will find Q & A's on the topics you have mentioned.

Finally, the tutorial doc installed on your HD does tell teach you the basics of the game so please try it.

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What the hell is wrong with me? I know responding to a sort of trollish post like this is going to get me into trouble, but I just can't help myself. I think it's a design flaw...

quote:

Originally posted by Joe Redhawk:

I was trying to post this in the General Issue Tech Support forum, but it wouldn't let me.


I know this thread has already been moved, so it's cool, but what make you think a critique of the game would belong in the "support" forum?

quote:

Originally posted by Joe Redhawk:

First I must say the Manual is useless, no technical data on weapons or explanation of what the missles do or their uses. For a graphic menu driven video game I get an all text manual. PDF file with graphics would of been more humane then that joke of a manual. Which was a problem with the original (this wasn't a good sign in my opinion), the hint of a massive patch coming up caused me to Gag.


Er, maybe this is just an opinion of mine - but the manual does what it's supposed to. You can learn to play the game by reading through (yes, actually sitting down and reading) the manual. Any clarifications can be had through this board or, more than likely, with a bit of practice. The online appendix contains loads of statistical data, and that's where it belongs. Have you seen the sheer amount of info in the appendix? Do you really think all of that belongs in a manual? Do you really want to pay for the extra costs of making said manual?

Oh, and patches are good signs. There haven't really been any "major" patches. They all just fix minor bugs or add things that make the game more fun or playable. However, the game is perfectly playable and enjoyable out of the box.

quote:

The training missions... don't. Things have changed dramatically since Battle Cruiser and the lack of explanation make getting into the game near impossible (the original with that cool intro, which for me was the only highlight of the game for me) and I never could get into the bug filled original.


Maybe calling them training missions was a bit of a mistake. I tend to associate the word "training" in a game with some sort of tutorial. But as a stress free way of trying out gameplay techniques they serve their purpose. Think of them as empty scenarios for you to play around with. Read the tutorial included with the game and play through the IA scenarios.

quote:

Interface, maybe it's good, but for some strange reason I have to play the game career and being a newbie I just get lost. I can't seem to keep up with the ship I am suppose to be escorting (which leaves me so far behind) and there is so much of the ship to run, that I have no clue what I'm actually suppose to be doing since hostiles seem to be attack various friendlies while I'm on an escort mission. (Not to mention the text messages from GALCOM HQ are wrapped in a weird way). If I do engage another battlecruiser, by the time I reconfigure my ship to engage I'm toast.


Interface is definetly a matter of taste, but I like it. It seems pretty intuitive and I actually didn't have any problems picking up the gist of how to use it the first time I played. But, like I said, that's a matter of taste so there's no reason to go into it. I'm not sure what you mean by the wierd wrapping, seems fine to me. Also, you do know that the game pauses when you go into any of the screens where you might be "configuring" (not sure what you mean here - maybe preping marines for combat duty? diverting power?), right?

quote:

A commanding officer knows his/her ship, I haven't got a clue. I have a feeling I'm gonna have to buy the usual hint book that in fact explains what everything does (in a sense a manual).


Were this real life you would have spent years in training and years more working your way up the ranks in which time you'd get to "know" your ship. Play for a week and you'll have a pretty good feel for how everything works, what systems do what, what takes priority when you need to repair, and so on.

quote:

To be perfectly honest I bought this game to play as a ship captain, not a gropo. Battlecruiser title gives me the impression that it is first and foremost a capital ship game. Instead it's trying to be too many things at once. I would rather watch my marines engage in combat, then try to be a marine. COs are command officers they are not field officers, they get to watch victory and crushing defeat. Not to mention I'd love to watch Marines searching my ship for intruders and prisoners including the fighting. However, I'd give it up just to have a ship that works.


You're missing the point. If you don't want to play as a marine, don't. You're perfectly capable of commanding your marines in combat. You're just as capable of joining in and mixing it up yourself. I really don't see the validity of this argument - it seems to me that BCM already does everything you want it do (with the exception of watching your marines fight onboard, but in all honesty I can't see how that'd be practical).

quote:

Now on to some of my problems with the Interface:


Alright, I'm tired of copy-pasting. Time to just respond to all of your arguments at once...

First of all, I'll admit that I'd like to see the ability to give one order to a whole bunch of marines. It's probably a hard thing to add into the interface, though, so I wouldn't push it. Second of all, you're not doing it in "real time". When the game is in tactical computer it's paused. Of course, this is assuming you mean "real time" in games terms. If not, then you're in trouble - because everything you do in life is going to be in real time.

Again, logistix computer is not in real time. I guess having power profiles would be neat, but hardly necessary.

I think this has been discussed before. IIRC the general idea that SC gave was that it'd cost too much to implement seperate cockpit/bridge images for each type of vehicle in the game because there sure are a lot of them. As for the interface itself changing that from vehicle to vehicle would just be plain annoying. The game is complex enough without having to learn 50 different interfaces. I doubt that was ever a consideration.

As for what you want with sensors - where do you intend to put all of this stuff on the screen? You have an appendix in your BCM folder with all the info you need. Copy it down somewhere. Personally, I don't need all that data cluttering up my screen.

Not sure I understand your next complaint. Each ship has a different compliment of fighters. Every ship in the game is playable (uh, right?) so if you're out-classed it's because your fighting ships above your class. Stick to ships in your class, find better tactics to deal with more powerful ships, or pick a more powerful ship yourself.

And your next thing is just plain trollish. There's pretty much no reason that you should want, need, or expect BCM to have that kind of functionality. The fact that you have completely dynamic traffic should be enough. Sheesh.

This has been covered before. If I wasn't so lazy I'd find the post for you. Do a search. And they do give you feedback, though not necessarily your bridge crew. Your fighters will let you know when they're outgunned, though. And your crew will give you an indication of when a cloaked ship is nearby.

Also covered before. Do a search (But I'll save you the trouble: SC says he'll never add a time acceleration function). I've never noticed twenty minutes of in-flight downtime. What ship are you flying? Hyperspace travel takes exactly the same amount of time regardless of distance. It's usually around 2 minutes in most ships, IIRC, give or take a minute. Really not that bad. Non hyperspace travel takes a bit longer, but not where it becomes tedious. I generally travel between a star station and a system gate thingy in a grand total of about 3 or 4 minutes in my Battlecruiser Mk3. Never taken more than ten minutes to get where I'm going.

quote:

Now I must add that I am having trouble with the interface and the lack of explanation of how my ship works adds to the negative opinion of the game.


That's too bad, because BCM is definetly one of the most involved and deepest games you'll find out today. I have to say that most of your complaints seem either superficial or ungrounded. I'm going to just go ahead and say what everyone else has - do a little more research and spend a bit more time with the game before making a post like this (and tempting poor fools like me to respond).

[ 12-21-2001: Message edited by: Simparadox ]

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Ok, Joe. I have never done this, but just to see if you are serious. If you register the game and post the system profile information link in your signature, I will personally take time and clearly explain things to you that you are having problems with. What I will tell you will clear up 95% of things you have posted that you dislike. So if you want to take me up on that offer, register the game, place system info link in your sig, and send me a private message.

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I believe in "baptism of fire". Nothing will make a guy learn faster than the instinct to survive. If that won't work try the other peoples advice.

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Joe,

I won't respond specifically to your observations, this has all ready been done in a better manner than I could manage by my gaming colleagues above. However, it seems to me you're a little peeved at not being able to play this game as an elite performer as soon as you've finished loading it to your computer. This is not and never was that sort of a game. If you want a game where you can blast away with impunity and zero regard for any attempt at an intelligent strategy in 14 bland, scripted, identical scenarios then I would suggest you might want to get another game.

The scope and depth of BCM requires an element of learning and pretty much all real enthusiasts for this game genre will tell you that this, a challenge to develop skills to improve in-game performance and complete open endedness is how it really should be. Finally, in BCM, we have these elements amd much, much more. All the resources and support you need to get all you can out of BCM are available in the manual and here at the website in abundance.

Make an effort (we all did) you may even find it rewarding.

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Thanks to everyone who told me where to look, I missed it. It happens and now I'm not stuck trying to figure out things while getting shot to pieces. This game still needs a time accelerator badly.

Sobak: I did register... I went to 3000ad/register and entered it all in. However, after finding the appendix my frustration with the game has subsided. BC3K left a bad taste in my mouth, except for the intro which just rocked (I copied the music from the game and have it on CD). Thank you for your offer, I will accept it.

Stephanos: I was far beyond frustrated. I wrote it as a sort of first impression, because sooner or later I was going to figure things out. Not to mention I didn't even notices the appendix in the BCM directory. I'll bet dollar to donuts that Mr. Smart used experienced BC3K users for beta testers. I also want to see if other green captains were having trouble at the same points.

Fendi: Thank you, thank you. I didn't notice the files there. However, judging from your rank you've been playing since BC3K (a guess) for sometime. Still the IA missions are no longer the Alamo and I can now last a full ten minutes and my ship only suffers the loss of several unimportant systems such as life support and main computer. =)

S$lk: Patch, I don't have a game loaded in my computer that isn't patched up the whazoo. BC3K 1.0 which then had some super patch that gave me even more fits then 1.0, hence it was relegated to the dust bin. BCM was given a second chance, only to see that while it doesn't crash and the menu's don't go south but game play is still as grating as the original 1.0 release. My remark about the PDF was if the good manual was going to be too expensive to print then make it a PDF.

Tyrn: I registered properly. I went from registering in the forum to registering the game. Wasn't asking for tech support.

Jaguar: My F-18 comment was for the fighters, information helps. I did ask for help and I got help and the BC3K manuals are being downloaded now. I don't know the story of the game, don't know the races and what the heck is going on. My frustration with the game was showing.

Malkuth: Thanks for the encouragement.

Jeffery Eu: I found it, thanks.

Simparadox: Actually they're not defaults, their storage for player power settings so you can get back to the game. The Tactical/Logistics/etc menus seemed like real time to me. Navitron computer has a problem, play an IA mission and try to go someplace if you want to see what it is (I know it's a different system, but think in terms of mods.. I'm being vague, but hey if you can figure out BC interface you can figure out what I'm talking about, just think in terms of exploration).

Mr. Derek Smart,

I didn't even notices the appendix and what good is that information if you don't have access to it. Thank you for being disrespectful and curt. I gave your game a second try, I owned BC3K V1.0 when it first came out. I wrote that critique since I was new and my comments were directed to where I was having problems. I should of left out the suggestions, since I was still learning the game. Yet I felt short changed by this game and at that time my patience had pretty much run out (an accomplishment in itself, then again it is the holidays). All the potential in the world doesn't amount to a hill of plutonium if you can't tap into it. BTW, this game still needs a time accelerator badly.

Till later, Toodles,

Joe

"I'm the root of all that's evil but you can call me cookie."

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I am so happy you were helped out. If need some more help I am available too, but there are many other members here much more experienced than me as you could see.

Anyway, if you are in trouble, just post your problem or write us. We are a great community, growing everyday and enjoying exchanging ideas and opinions on BCM and many other issues in this forum.

Welcome in the universe of Battlecruiser Millenium!

See you in space!

(Oh, by the way, if you want to enroll in one fleet, Prime could be your choice! Delta Wing is searching for skilled commander! )

[Edit: Almost forgot! You should insert a link to your System Info Profile so that, if you need tech help, we could understand what kind of PC you are using, and tell you what could be the fix]

[ 12-21-2001: Message edited by: Stephanos ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Joe Redhawk:

Fendi: Thank you, thank you. I didn't notice the files there. However, judging from your rank you've been playing since BC3K (a guess) for sometime. Still the IA missions are no longer the Alamo and I can now last a full ten minutes and my ship only suffers the loss of several unimportant systems such as life support and main computer. =)


Hehe I only found out about this game early this year. Anyhow the rank that I've acquired has more to do with spamming um I mean posting meaningful posts.

Here's a tip though, to play this game you must imagine yourself as a captain and that all your crew are just fresh out of college and thus don't know much. Resnig though is the guy who got the job through a relative that you owe a favour to. Before any serious combat, upgrade your ship. After that "baptism of fire" applies. Have fun...

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quote:


Originally posted by Joe Redhawk:

Mr. Derek Smart,

I didn't even notices the appendix and what good is that information if you don't have access to it. Thank you for being disrespectful and curt. I gave your game a second try, I owned BC3K V1.0 when it first came out. I wrote that critique since I was new and my comments were directed to where I was having problems. I should of left out the suggestions, since I was still learning the game. Yet I felt short changed by this game and at that time my patience had pretty much run out (an accomplishment in itself, then again it is the holidays). All the potential in the world doesn't amount to a hill of plutonium if you can't tap into it. BTW, this game still needs a time accelerator badly.

Till later, Toodles,

Joe

"I'm the root of all that's evil but you can call me cookie."


1. I really do NOT know HOW anyone could possibly miss that shortcut to the appendix, especially since it is RIGHT THERE next to the VERY SAME shortcut you use to run the game.

2. To tap into potential you have to commit to it. If you can't commit, you're wasting your time. This applies to real-life, entertainment as well as games. You get what you put in. Put in zero and you get zero back.

3. No. The game does not need a time accelerator and will NEVER have one. You need patience. You haven't even learned HOW to play the game yet, and you want a time accelerator. Go figure.

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Guest Grayfox

ummm i dont think SC was being disrespectful or curt...all the info was either in the forums, or in the appendix... i just got the game last sunday, looked at the manual, then found the link to the appendix (which is in your start menu/ programs/3000ad battle cruiser millennium/docs) i mean its right in the start menu... all you have to show is a little initiative to look... and i can believe that mr smart is a busy man and honestly cannot take the time to answer each and every support thread (although im sure hed love to lol) thats why he leaves it to his subordinates to explain. ill stop griping now and go back to my ship.

cheers

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quote:

Originally posted by Joe Redhawk:

Simparadox: Actually they're not defaults, their storage for player power settings so you can get back to the game. The Tactical/Logistics/etc menus seemed like real time to me. Navitron computer has a problem, play an IA mission and try to go someplace if you want to see what it is (I know it's a different system, but think in terms of mods.. I'm being vague, but hey if you can figure out BC interface you can figure out what I'm talking about, just think in terms of exploration).

I knew what you meant about power settings, I just fail to see the need. The LOGISTIX computer pauses the game, so..

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I had not played any of the demos or previous versions of Battle Cruiser and the only other space sim i played was the second wing commander game. I picked up the game in a week and a half. I only had a few problems picking things up. Those problems were quickly fixed in the newbie forum.

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Derek Smart was right I didn't know which way my ship was pointing, nor did I know my PTA didn't come on when I turned my weapons on (hence only lasting three minutes while fighters and other hostile craft cut me up).

My critique was when I was having trouble in the first five minutes. With helpful people pointing me in the right direction and IA missions helped. So now I roam and soon will gladly engage multiplayer combat (I'm betting I'll last a good five minutes, before my ship is burned stem to stern by several cruisers).

Nor was I expecting Mr. Smart to reply, figure someone would tell me where to look (as for the appendix, I kept looking in the back of the manual... I mean why in gods name would anyone thing the appendix should be in the back of the manual not on-line documentation).

So the moment you've all been waiting for.. I apologize for my harsh criticism originally and now that I last for more then three minutes and slowly catching up with the curve the game is fun to play but a real witch to learn.

Speaking of ship pointing, if you set to jump to hyperspace and turn off the autopilot you can steer while in hyperspace and pull a 180.

And that is the end of this thread for me atleast.

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