A question about equipment descriptions

ioncore

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Guys,
I'm not sure how many of you do read equipment descriptions (some of you perhaps are not even aware that there are equipment descriptions available in-game) but for those of you who do read them I have a question.

There are basically two possible approaches to write a description. One way is to have a Wikipedia-like article with a lot of historical details like this:
upload_2020-12-17_8-21-52.png

Another possible way is to have it very short and stay focused on the most essential information (like, what makes this very vehicle specific) only and avoid all the historical stuff:
upload_2020-12-17_8-22-45.png

I have a feeling that the first one is a waste and we should rather concentrate on the second one. But I may be wrong. Let me know in comments if you have any strong arguments for/against it.
 

john connor

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For me, you're wrong. :) I love all the detail, and I do read it. I very often look for descriptions and there's none, which is then disappointing.

I also love the detailed commander info you sometimes get. Only sometimes. I wish there were more, always.
 

ultradave

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I've always enjoyed the detailed ones in game. It means I don't have to go somewhere else when I want to know something about a particular system. But if it's an issue of resources to devote, I'd be fine with brief descriptions in the interest of game development.

Dave
 

Seb3brv78

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Hi, I do read the descriptions, and I enjoy the detailed ones.

+1 on John's proposition above.

You may have also a mixed system, where important/"basic" equipments have a detailed description, and variants/derived material is only shortly described.
 
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Guys,
I'm not sure how many of you do read equipment descriptions (some of you perhaps are not even aware that there are equipment descriptions available in-game) but for those of you who do read them I have a question.

There are basically two possible approaches to write a description. One way is to have a Wikipedia-like article with a lot of historical details like this:
View attachment 8958

Another possible way is to have it very short and stay focused on the most essential information (like, what makes this very vehicle specific) only and avoid all the historical stuff:
View attachment 8959

I have a feeling that the first one is a waste and we should rather concentrate on the second one. But I may be wrong. Let me know in comments if you have any strong arguments for/against it.
I prefer a description that focuses on the onboard technology -- what makes the platform different from others of its class. Perhaps the matter can be addressed by sequencing the information, highlighting the technological differences from other platforms of its class followed by a short paragraph describing it's historical deployment..

Using the above example, it would go:


"This is the command version of the T-26 tank equipped with a 71-TK-1 radio set. T-26 was a Soviet light tank used in conflicts from the 1930s through WWII. It was based on the British Vickers 6-ton tank but was replaced by medium and heavy tanks when light armor vehicles became more vulnerable to improved anti-tank guns. More than 11,000 units were built during the 1930s, a quantity greater than any other Soviet design for the period.".
 

TMO

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I quite like them but I think concise better than verbose. Probably along the lines of what Jim is suggesting. To take Jim's example I'd delete the last sentence. The rest of it is perfect. I think I just need to know what it is and what it does.

Regards

Tim
 

GoodGuy

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For me, you're wrong. :) I love all the detail, and I do read it. I very often look for descriptions and there's none, which is then disappointing.

I also love the detailed commander info you sometimes get. Only sometimes. I wish there were more, always.

Same here. I'd keep the detailed info. For instance, the unit and (if available) the commander info helped ppl who didn't know certain details - like what particular units were involved on each side (especially in the COTA scenarios - on the ANZAC side) or what unit/commander helped to swing a battle, - to get an idea even about less known units, commanders or force compositions (eg. in HTTR, COTA). This enhanced the immersion a lot, already, imho.
When the detailed equipment info (with pictures) was added, even less knowledgable players could then also easily gather what kind of equipment would be able to fight say particular enemy tanks/armored vehicles, for instance, and the infos often provided some details regarding the historical deployment/usage and about advantages or disadvantages of the particular EQ.
Example: Let's say there are users who want to pit some standard Shermans against Panthers, they'll get some hints on the Firefly description tab that - unlike the 75-mm and 76-mm Shermans - the Firefly vehicle actually had more than just a chance against potent opponents like the Panthers at medium range, without having to google such information. The EQ tab increases the immersion even more, as ppl actually get to see/read/know (pictures/written details) what they're pushing around on the map.

"This is the command version of the T-26 tank equipped with a 71-TK-1 radio set. T-26 was a Soviet light tank used in conflicts from the 1930s through WWII. It was based on the British Vickers 6-ton tank but was replaced by medium and heavy tanks when light armor vehicles became more vulnerable to improved anti-tank guns. More than 11,000 units were built during the 1930s, a quantity greater than any other Soviet design for the period.".

The T-26 had been vulnerable from the get-go: The armor of the early version could be penetrated by German carbine SmK / SmKL rounds (AP carbine rounds, the "L" version was the tracer version, very often used with German MGs against unarmored cars/trucks and lightly armored vehicles, light tanks and aircraft) already, more than 88 million rounds were available in early 1939, before the war.
Finnish, German, Polish and British AT rifles, in particular the Finnish 20-mm Lahti L-39, the German 7.92-mm PzB 39, the Polish "Karabin przeciwpancerny wzór 35" (when the Germans had captured large batches of those AT rifles, they icorporated them in destroyer/AT platoons under the designation PzB 35(p) and also gave larger batches to the Finnish Army - its 7.92-mm round could penetrate most German tanks, up to the Pz.III actually) and the Boys AT rifles could easily penetrate the improved version(s) of the T-26.
British, Finnish and German AT guns (37-mm Bofors and PaK 36) could easily destroy those light tanks and had been available before the 2nd WW began, already. So the tank didn't become more vulnerable, the tank was already obsolete on the outset of WW2, as potent AT rifles and guns already existed, they didn't have to be improved.
@ioncore: Just for the record. :)
Despite its obscolesence, the T26 was last deployed in numbers in 1943, with some units remaining to be deployed at the Leningrad Front until 1944. The tank was then deployed in numbers again during the push against Japanese units in August 1945.


The first version of the SmK round mentioned above was developed during WWI already, it could be used with standard carbines (and possibly with German MGs) and it could penetrate 8-mm of armor, at the time, while the first German 13.2-mm "Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr" AT-rifle could even penetrate the improved versions of the British tanks, if the round hit at a perpendicular angle. Improved versions ("SmK" with steel core, "SmE" with iron core) of the carbine rounds could then be fired with carbines and MGs before and during WW2. The "sS" round (= "schweres Spitzgeschoss" = heavy pointed projectile) was an improved round which had a metal jacket that was completely filled with lead and which had a streamlined shape (providing a longer range), it was not an anti-vehicle/armor round.
 
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Tac Error

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My preference would be to keep the historical details brief, but to keep roughly half of the text as "hints" on how to best use the equipment in game. For example, here's the description of a British antisubmarine frigate from the old Computer Harpoon game--three sentences to introduce the ship and its characteristics, and three more to guide the player on tactical usage.

From 1981 on, four vessels of the Batch 2 class and one of the Batch 1B of Leanders were modified to put them firmly in the ASW role. By removing some anti-air weapons, they could carry a passive towed-array sonar. Used in conjunction with its helicopter, the towed-array gives the 2TA an excellent submarine hunting capability. The modification, however, left the ship particularly vulnerable to air and missile attacks. The 2TA should, therefore, be placed relatively close to its formation, and should send out its helicopter to prosecute subs. The ship does have a few SSMs, but it should coordinate missile attacks with other units to be effective.
 

Arkadiy

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I would keep in mind that a determined player can always look up more info on a piece of equipment that the developers can possibly fit into the game. So perhaps something immediately relevant to the game, but without breaking immersion (which I realize isn't easy to come up with)?
 

Holman

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I prefer concise and game-specific descriptions, especially since (1) all the historical information is readily available elsewhere and (2) the text is very small and difficult to read at length.

My one exception, though, is the "Hist[ory]" tab in the Force window. Most of these are blank, but I'd love to see more short descriptions of particular units' roles in a historical scenario.
 

reg129

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I find myself just popping into the equipment descriptions during the game when I need reminding what a Mk7 Chucklewagon actually is....
"Oh that is the infantry support version of the Chucklewagon with the short barrelled slingshot that fires cream pies"

I also find the descriptions are useful for getting a feel for the capabilities of a unit, particularly ones with a range of equipment types.

I think that more that two lines of description are required to put the equipment in its historical context but I would hesitate to expand it out to a two page development and operational history as the in-game menu would not do it justice and there are far better sources out there to be read offline if you are interested.

Much better to make the equipment descriptions a quick reference guide aimed at assisting you to decide whether the unit equipped these items is the appropriate formation to commit to a tactical situation.
 
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