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immpy

A different approach to game difficulty level

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In my latest experiment with making maps (games) more difficult to win, I stumbled onto something I had not tried previously. Instead of just decreasing the revenue modifier for the human player, while increasing it for the AI players, I decided to take both modifiers to their absolute lowest values. That would be -25% for both myself and all of the AI in the game, or map, if you will. This resulted in a MOST difficult game indeed, as you may have figured out. The advantages of resigning from one's company (if that is an option in a particular map) are not now nearly so great, in fact they are quite miniscule. No longer can I count on the AI to run my railroad and make profits that you or I found much harder to attain. All options involving leaving one's company (to assume the chair in another, for example) do NOT carry the weight that they normally do when the AI is given the standard implied higher revenue modifier values that RRT2 wants us to give to them in order to increase difficulty for us human players. Yes, the percentage values for difficulty do indeed rise; I think they top out at around 210%, but I have found the games  become EASIER to beat!!!  At first this made no sense to me, until I thought some more about what I, and many skilled players do to get around that imposed difficulty......we rely more on the entity that is given the advantage, per se, which is the AI, by the simple act of us dialing up their advantage.

 

Next time anyone is looking for a challenging gaming experience, just try dialing BOTH revenue modifiers completely to as low as they will go. I think the difficulty percentage will be displayed as 115% or there about. Try it on a map you love to play, and see if you find it to be more difficult this way.....I am thinking that you will, indeed. Of course, one's individual style of game-play probably will have some bearing on that as well.

 

If you have the chance, and want to share your experiences, I would love to hear all about them in a reply to this post. Thank you for taking the time, and enjoy your gaming.....

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I have used -25% human and +25% AI revenue modifiers in a normal game forever now. I started doing that long before I joined up to this forum.

 

When I say normal play, I use a single company throughout the game with no switching chairmanships, resigning, or leaving my company to start new one/s. Because I never leave my company for the AI to run, the main purpose of using this setting to make the AI companies stronger and more profitable. With skill this can help PNW, so it could still be an advantage play. In my opinion this setting is better than having a majority of small, weak AI companies that (A.) are never going to threaten any competition against me and (B.) will likely be barely profitable and hence much easier to merge with.

 

When doing experimental play, I agree that changing the setting will close the door to that particular exploit.

 

The highest difficulty score I have ever played against is 615% on the NYC to LA map when play against 31 AI players. The AI start companies up all over the map, and it's not long before many companies have no more public shares available. This can happen as little as 5 years into the game. I planned for the long haul so that I used purchasing power well enough to have decent stakes in the AI companies that formed in the paritcular corridor I wanted to run my main coast to coast line in. I then waited for mergers to gain control of those "track rights", meaning I never built routes that competed with any of the AI routes.

 

Of course, I was playing "normally" so stayed chair of my initial company throughout. I further dialed up the difficulty by using only full-cost electric track and high-speed trains, Thayls or Eurostar. I started in the Chicago area so ignored the lucrative connection deals that make this one a breeze if you head from NYC down to Florida. That's an example of the ways I have played certain maps under restriction to give more challenge.

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Enjoyed reading about your gameplay experiences Maglev. Thank you for sharing it. I think I may have another "wish" to add to our open wish list. When beginning a scenario, it would be nice if we had an option to let game difficulty be determined randomly ( if we would so desire it). Revenue modifiers would be set randomly before one's gameplay and the player would not be able to view these settings under this option. This might add a new twist to some games, enhancing re-playability of numerous scenarios. Just a thought.

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