Defcon Deterrence is a modified version of DEFCON, a stunning online multiplayer game of global thermonuclear war published by Introversion Software...
Defcon Deterrence ( Defcondeterrence.com ) is a modified version of DEFCON, a stunning online multiplayer game of global thermonuclear war published by Introversion Software. In this mod, based on the DEFCON source made availabe to users of the Humble Introversion Bundle, Defcon Deterrence emphasizes on the more realistic simulation of global thermonuclear warfare, including attempting to emulate the psychology, mood, and dynamics of first-strike decapitation, mutually assured destruction, no first use policy, credible second-strike capability, etc. For the first time ever, included in this mod are BSN (ballistic nuclear submarines) with long range SLBM (submarine launched ballastic missiles) MIRVs (Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle) that can be variably split at any arbitrary point in time. Other enchancements include Airbases equipped with Kinetic-Kill Anti-Carieer and Anti-Ship weapons, the newfound ability to launch Reconnaissance Satellites (with optional EMP) and a doomsday device, in-game cheats, and many more! Later on, a fully functionally "dead hand" / "perimeter" system will be implemented in the game, so a retaliatory strike can be guaranteed even when you are away from the computer!
Deterrence is one aspect of thermonuclear warfare that has really been brought to the forefront in Defcon Deterrence. If you have ever wondered what it would truly feel like to experience the structural tension of nuclear geopolitics within the confines of an abstract PC pseudo-simulation or if you have gotten bored of the traditionally tedious gameplay of legacy DEFCON and prefer “stimulation” to board game “strategy” then you owe it to yourself to give this mod a try!
To play the Defcon Deterrence mod all you need is a full version of DEFCON for PC (which you can download and purchase from Introversion Software) and simply follow the README.txt instructions in the mod to patch your DEFCON game into the Defcon Deterrence simulation variant!
Inspiration for Defcon Deterrence was brought about by the fact that there simply isn't any realistic or even semi-realistic thermonuclear warfare games for PC Desktop in existence today. DEFCON, which was loosely based on the movie WarGames (1983), is an one-of-a-kind indie game and the only well-known game that places nuclear warfare as its central theme. Even so, it is riddled with muscle-memory, piece-wise combination sets of repetitive "going through the motion" tactics micromanaged to absurdity, and severely lacking when it comes to any element of true nuclear warfare - such as nuclear deterrence, credible second-strike capability, mutually assured destruction, asymmetric warfare, etc - and thereby take the "nuclear" component out of a nuclear themed game..... where it reverts and reduces to just another "Age of Empires".
I would suggest something along these lines... only allow anti-carrier kinetic-kill weapons after Defcon 1 + 10 minutes, long range submarine MIRV mode only after Defcon 1 + 20, and deadhand/doomsday weapons after Defcon 1 + 30, etc. The gradual escalation of nuclear deterrence capabilities offers the sort of counterbalance to the scenarios and problems you have delineated. For example, making the doomsday option available only after Defcon 1 + 30 minutes ensures no player can 'ragebomb' and ruin the game for everyone at an early stage. Yet it also offers a more level playing field and gives one the option to employ a practical and effective "defensive" position in the game. Instead of player A directly taking on more powerful or more skilled player B's naval forces with regular subs, player A can elect to apply a more asymmetric approach: retreat, run and hide and wait until his subs develop long range mirv capabilities. At which point, both players will both have credible deterrence against each other. The 'stronger' player will have the same increased nuclear deterrence as the weaker player. It is not like the game would be "unfair". The stronger player will also have to decide whether or not he wants to actively pursue and engage the weaker player early on in the game (because there are pros and cons to each path he chooses) and to what extent he can afford to take the offensive. This will inject a new cost-benefit analysis into the equation and make the game more intellectual. No matter how strong the player is against his weaker opponent(s), he will inevitably and invariably reach a point of diminishing returns as later on the defensive /weaker side that has not expended as much nukes will have increased capabilities leveraged and multiplied both in quantity and in capabilities to compensate for anything lost during the initial raids and then some. There would be more options, more viable styles of play and as a result it would make the gaming dynamic more diverse and accommodating. In effect, what my suggestion does, is gives more powerful players a limited time window to "win", and makes it more challenging for them, thereby equalizing and capping the sometimes widely disparate range and level of skills among the different players, and it flattens and levels the playing field - making it more openly accessible to a broader audience, de-emphasizes on the irrelevant aspects of gaming mechanics that have nothing to do with nuclear warfare, and instead focuses on the more realistic simulation and emulation of the dynamics, psychology, moods, tones and flavors of true nuclear warfare and deterrence. Likewise, the scoring mode can also be modified to adapt and reflect this new paradigm and new reality. Points earned or lost during each stage of the game will be retained and locked-in for that period, and at the end of the game the composite score is a weighted average. So, to give you one example, even if a noob denotes his doomsday weapon at the end of the game and wipes out everyone's population and units, a more experienced player who played better and accomplished more "real fighting" during the prime periods of the game would still end up with the higher score. Stronger players concede the more visceral satisfactions to the newer players and in return they gain by the fact that there will be less ragequitting, with beginner players given the peace-of-mind knowing that "visual revenge" can always be had at or towards the end. (ironically, this sort of assured-deterrence and assured retaliation capability will actually deter new players from "going all out against a stronger player blindly" and give them the confidence to focus on skilled gameplay and better sportsmanship rather than "fire and quit" emotional defensive tactics) At the same time, scoring remains equitable, the stronger player will retain his numerical triumph, and also the satisfaction of the experience of beating his weaker opponent during the donut-hole period of the game-play, so this kind of arrangement lets all players have their cake and eat it too and is mutually beneficial wouldn't you agree? It would engage players of all different levels and styles to play together and have fun and reward them each - in albeit different ways - for seeing it through and not quitting early. This re-imagined, no-compromise, best-of-all-worlds approach affords everyone an equal chance at having fun, (whatever their own definition of that is) whilst retaining the traditional aspects of legacy gameplay yet at the same time enhancing and invigorating its core nuclear experience as well.
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