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Sunday, April 20th, 2014
"My Love-Hate Relationship with the Day-to-Day Walkthrough"
By DTaeKim

I write DTD walkthroughs in my spare time, usually whenever I have no work assigned from college AND I'm in the mood to do so. When I was a member of the GameFAQs Advance Wars 2 forum that perfected the War Room, I frequently relied on DTD due to the fact they were available for nearly all COs. The DTD walkthroughs I write are only for perfect S-ranks. Anyone could have deduced these strategies on their own time; I figure that I was the first to post them online. In addition, anyone can complete a map given enough time, just not with a perfect S-rank. In essence, the DTD is an exploitation of the game's AI. That is why we can write a DTD. In Advance Wars 1, it was improbable that the AI would deviate from its planned strategy, making it far easier to detail the DTD. The exceptions were in larger maps, usually deployment maps, where the AI varies greatly. The Final Front in AW1 was an example of this. AW2 improved the AI, but still made it possible to create a DTD for the smaller maps or maps that could be quickly finished. However, these guides now relied on favorable movement by the AI, sometimes with an incredibly low probability. The guides I write account for that chance, and is the reason why I now include a guidelines section at the end of every DTD, since the AI movement can no longer be predicted reliably beyond a certain point. On that note, I find myself abhorring their use as I continue to play Advance Wars: Dual Strike. I embraced the game for its drastically improved AI, but I also love the game for destroying the DTD walkthrough.

Too many players have grown reliant on the DTD walkthrough. They want their hand held the entire way; they want the answer or solution without thinking for themselves. Take a look at the GameFAQs AW: DS boards. Nearly every other topic asks for help on a certain Campaign mission or War Room. Of course, with the small and quick maps, DTD walkthroughs still exist, such as Spann Island, Pincer Strike, and Final Battle. I donít mind them as much as I do attempts for a DTD walkthrough for the larger maps. Thankfully, they donít exist in considerable amounts yet. The improved AI makes DTD incredibly inaccurate, almost to the point of nigh uselessness. If they are proliferated, we will simply have many players whining about said inaccuracy of the guide, as some players are apt to do for Translucent Airís incredible Fastest S-Rank Walkthrough FAQ. As a FAQ writer, I want to help new players, but I also want these players to develop on their own. Experience is the best teacher, after all. Now, I prefer writing general guidelines, such as setting goals by a certain day. It allows the new players to develop as a strategist and gradually wean off them off the DTDs. It may put me out of a hobby, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
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