Animal Husbandry (or, How Badly do you want those Bear Riders?)

By on November 27, 2008 5:31:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Rhishisikk

Join Date 07/2006
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Oddly enough from a technology thread.  I thought the idea merited mention as its own:

To what degree should players need to domesticate animals?  Obviously horses and griffons are in the mix, and I've heard mention of Bear Riders.  This gets me thinking: why not halfling boar-riders?  Battle Cattle?  Chickens of Doom?  Ravaging Rattlesnakes?

In other words, to what extent are the animals just threats to be exterminated, and to what extent can they be harnessed to strengthen one's army?  Look at bloodhounds and messenger pidgeons, each of which has changed war in their own way.  So what if the trees get angry and crush people?  If my diplomats can convince them to crush those (my enemy's) guys, why shouldn't I reap the benefits?  Why NOT have forestall orchards, where the young are raised and trained until ready for the front lines?

Oh, are the skeletons, zombies, and ghouls beginning to overflow from the graveyards AGAIN?  Okay, maybe I send in my heroes to remove the problem.  OR maybe I'm willing to sacrifice some of my people to train them for battle.  A mass of peasants with clubs, brass swords, and farm implements?  Oh my.  EAT THEM, MY MINIONS!  Does my morale and loyalty suffer?  Oh yes.  But who needs loyalty when you have troops that keep fighting when their heads are lopped off?

I would propose something SIMILAR TO Colonization.  You have a limited number of resources, which need to be divided between your populace and their animals.  Want sheep for that yearly wool bonus?  Low maintenance.  You want flesh-rending gryphons or bears to mount your elite archers upon?  Well, you may be looking at enough maintenance that you've MADE your army choice.  But having the joy of watching a thousand badgers mangle the 'prehistoric horde' of club-men my enemy sent in the early game to disrupt my economy?  Priceless.

I would recommend a slider system.  Possibly a single slider for the nation, which could be over-riden by the town sliders, with a button for ENFORCE THIS on the kingdom menu to make all city sliders agree.  Or an overall 'animals' slider, with percentages based on the animals I have access to. 

Hrm, possibly put these controls into a tab that only opens with Animal Husbandry research.  And then have higher techs for training different animals as mounts. 

Not complete yet, but I like where the idea is going.  When do we get enough knowledge to start our modding?

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November 27, 2008 6:42:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My, my. It seems my metapolitics are paying off.

Anyway, to get to the essence of the bear rider idea. What I really want is, as mentioned in other threads, a variety of mounts. Of course, halfing boar-riders are out (because.. well.. there's no halflings in Elemental!). Not just the tiresome horse. While Pegasi have been mentioned (and.. unicorns?) (if I'm not mistaken) they are magical - they're supposed to be rare.

What I want is essentially non-magic, non-rare alternatives to the average horse, that is still within the suspension of disbelief in a fantasy context. Suggestions include bears and chicken/chocobos (call a spade a spade). Wolves or boars, unless super-sized, are more or less out of the question. Worgs would suffice, but worgs tend to be magical beasts and thus not encompassed in my idea of a viable 'common' choice of ridables.

Of course, for this to be viable, there must be an option to convert map resources from one type to another, since a nation depending on one obviously don't want the others. I'd have no use for horses, for example, if I want to primarily depend on bears (which obviously hurts my flexibility, but aids my specilization).

And that's as far as my idea goes. If there's going to be an option to domesticate badgers, or wolves, or boars, or whatever - I'll leave that up to the druidicly inclined lot around here, the life/earth magic fetichists.

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November 27, 2008 7:01:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can see a plethora of rider types as long as it is done reasonably and worked into the econ system at a fundamental level.

BTW: No chickens of doom - please.

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November 27, 2008 7:04:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Those things should be rare, and not in every game.

Just because you want Bear Cavalry- you'll need to have a sufficient source of bears, people to ride them, and a way to get the bears under control.

 

Also, at some point all our feature requests will add up to excess feature bloat.

 

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November 27, 2008 7:17:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, its a world of fantasy it can be anything.   Heck, I think an army of riders on top of creepy mutant guys could work.  

Other ideas for Mounts:

Skeleton-beast/horse (a must)

Giant spiders

Flying sharks

elephants (almost a must)

dinosaurs

Giant snakes (really any giant animal)

elemental steeds (like firy horses or strange earthy quadraped) - not nessicarily a horse, but a multi-legged elemental like creature

Giant Eagles

Not quite a 'mount' by definition, but we could have flying jellyfish, octopus, or other meduse-like creatures that have riders hanging from their tenticles like a hot air balloon or hang glider

 

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November 27, 2008 11:44:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

On a side note, it would be nice to see different mounts native to different factions.

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November 28, 2008 3:04:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting arstal,
Those things should be rare, and not in every game.

Just because you want Bear Cavalry- you'll need to have a sufficient source of bears, people to ride them, and a way to get the bears under control.
Actually, it's the opposite. The idea of bear calvary grew out of the desire to have a variety of mounts. I mean, who doesn't want to ride bears?! It's inconcievable!

And the sufficient source of bears, people to ride them, and a way to get the bears under control - all this would apply to any and all kinds of mounts, including just horses.

Quoting arstal,
Also, at some point all our feature requests will add up to excess feature bloat.
We're way past that, already. And I haven't even started my 'Stargates-to-annoy-Cari_Elf'-thread yet.

Just because they have to discard some of our ideas doesn't mean that there isn't a merit in discussing them. I think that no matter what, there's going to be things that the devs want in, and things we want in, that are just not going to make it.

Quoting Spartan,
On a side note, it would be nice to see different mounts native to different factions.
Great, as long as I'm not forced to be the ruskies to have bears.

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November 28, 2008 4:12:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tech tree, use it.

 

All this complication when we already have an entirely rational method of integrating different mount systems.  Just make using the more obscure mounts different tech requirements, in a FFH style tech tree, you'd have your horseback riding, then your beast riding, and then maybe a third for the mythical monsters that eat people riding with perhaps a separate tech that lets you mount flying creatures.

 

Then you just treat them like any other resource.  You have to have copper to build a copper mine, you have to build a copper mine to mine copper.  You'd have to have bears to catch bear cubs(no, domesticating bears doesn't work for propogating their species, they breed very rarely in captivity) and you'd need some sort of foresters guild to manage the aquisitions of those cubs.  Problem solved, no nonsense needed, an exercise in simplicity.  I'd drool at the thought of it, but I did enough of that today what with the turkey dinner.

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November 28, 2008 5:17:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting psychoak,
Tech tree, use it.
All this complication when we already have an entirely rational method of integrating different mount systems.  Just make using the more obscure mounts different tech requirements, in a FFH style tech tree, you'd have your horseback riding, then your beast riding, and then maybe a third for the mythical monsters that eat people riding with perhaps a separate tech that lets you mount flying creatures.

Then you just treat them like any other resource.  You have to have copper to build a copper mine, you have to build a copper mine to mine copper.  You'd have to have bears to catch bear cubs(no, domesticating bears doesn't work for propogating their species, they breed very rarely in captivity) and you'd need some sort of foresters guild to manage the aquisitions of those cubs.  Problem solved, no nonsense needed, an exercise in simplicity.  I'd drool at the thought of it, but I did enough of that today what with the turkey dinner.
The problem is that resources doesn't work like it does in Civ4. Resources are limited, and having horses in one tile doesn't supply your entire empire with resources. Tech-tree requirements are somewhat a given, regardless. But in my mind, there still needs to be a way to convert the horse resource into a bear resources, or a "giant chicken" resource.

Within reason, of course. Otherwise, there's nothing stopping everyone from just getting all the latest rage in Gryphons or Pegasi, or whatnot. For the purpose of this discussion, all I'm arguing for are non-magical, non-rare mounts and their implementation. Pegasi, Unicorns, Worgs, and so on are all magical beasts and shouldn't be run-of-the-mill.

As for bears breeding in captivity, it's about as far off as bear riding. It's a bit in the suspension of disbelief. But as bears and horses and such will be (to my understanding) resources on the map, it doesn't really matter. You'll be "harvesting" real bears, or at the very least, bigger wildlife areas (if penned in).

Quoting Spartan,
[...]
BTW: No chickens of doom - please.
Oh, c'mon. Feel the love.

- "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated".

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November 28, 2008 5:57:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luckmann,

 Oh, c'mon. Feel the love.
- "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated".

The only love I'm feeling is this:

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November 28, 2008 6:16:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Spartan,

Quoting Luckmann, reply 8
 Oh, c'mon. Feel the love.
- "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated".
The only love I'm feeling is this:

http://www.montecook.com/images/Darkelves.jpg
I'd love the drow, if it wasn't for all their bloody spiders, and their childishly insane & psychadelic god, Lolth (formerly Araushnee). Not much of a choice, though.

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November 28, 2008 7:14:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luckmann,
I'd love the drow, if it wasn't for all their bloody spiders, and their childishly insane & psychadelic god, Lolth (formerly Araushnee). Not much of a choice, though.

There are other godesses in the lore. Moreover there is no law that requires one to stick to TSR or popular lore for that matter. That is one reason why I can see "drow" or "shadow elves" in Elemental as part of the Fallen. It would suck bigtime if there will not be a cave or underground layer however. 

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November 28, 2008 7:41:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Spartan,

Quoting Luckmann, reply 10I'd love the drow, if it wasn't for all their bloody spiders, and their childishly insane & psychadelic god, Lolth (formerly Araushnee). Not much of a choice, though.
There are other godesses in the lore. Moreover there is no law that requires one to stick to TSR or popular lore for that matter. That is one reason why I can see "drow" or "shadow elves" in Elemental as part of the Fallen. It would suck bigtime if there will not be a cave or underground layer however. 

Au contraire, my delightfully uncheerish greek friend. I'd prefer there -not- to be an underground layer (or any extra layers at all, in fact). But that's a subject for an entirely different thread (I'm positive that there is one, I just can't be arsed to go find it - and I'm sure you know it anyway).

As for the other gods in the drow pantheon, they are all dead. Of course, where, when and how you set up your campaign is entirely up to the Dungeon Master. For example, I somewhat like the scorpion-centrism of the dark elves in the Eberron setting. But speaking from a canonical linear point of view, the only other drow god is Ghaunadaur - everyone else is dead. Including Eilistraee.

And that's even without considering 4th edition, which I choose to ignore completely. I'll plug my ears full of cotton and sing la-la if it comes up.

And yes, I'd love for there to be a "drow" nation of Fallen.

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November 28, 2008 7:53:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The problem is that resources doesn't work like it does in Civ4. Resources are limited, and having horses in one tile doesn't supply your entire empire with resources. Tech-tree requirements are somewhat a given, regardless. But in my mind, there still needs to be a way to convert the horse resource into a bear resources, or a "giant chicken" resource.

 

Why is it a problem, and why would you want to turn horses into chickens?  I'd think giant chickens would have their own resource.  If the resource system is open to modification, you can make your own resources for your own mounts and add in whatever you want too.

 

The whole point of having a not-stupid resource system is that it balances itself out by requiring work to get the stuff.  You wont have to worry about someone having horses, bears and giant chickens while you only have pot bellied pigs, they don't need to make the actual resources scarce, just the aquisition.  If they do it right, the number of resources you have will be less important than your choices in aquiring them.

 

Being able to convert them on the otherhand, that just defeats the point of having them.  Might as well do it old school where you didn't actually need resources for anything.

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November 28, 2008 8:06:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the 'Chickens of Doom' model a lot. Grow the chicken and what you have is something like the Chocobo of FF, or better yet, the small dinos (Ostrich, Ostards) of Ultima Online. To decide upon mounts, they must first create the world idea, or the magic that lies there. Ultima Online for exemple, is only Horses and the Ostards (and the very rare possibility of tamming a rideable Dragon, but not for the masses). Thats what was avaliable, with no need of explanations, feeling good and specific to that world. Different Horse breeds and different Ostards Breeds adds the veriety. There isn't a lot of races to invent regarding mounts. In the real idea/life, like happened with horses, if an animal is good and superior for use, population will foccus on that type and produce it.

The idea behind the Chicken/Dino is that it moves under 2 legs, and is agile (can float?). The ideology should feel true in the main respects when using it. I don't think more than 2 races of animal mounts should be avaliable at least for each humanoid race. This things shouldn't be about what some players say they want, many don't know what they are asking for, and that can keep a producers from creating uniqueness that gives more power and immersion to the world for everybody.

From the animals of that world, use an agile and resistant has mount (or 2 at max that will depend on disponibilization/price) then maybe another animal race with flying capabilities if the gameplay needs that or that can be added to it. It doesn't need to be Griphons or already created things. Like I said, breeds can add variety, like especial Hardened Horses or something; not something that could exist in real world.

I must say I really like Ultima Online's way for mounts in a shard I played; mounts where of just that two races (Horses and Ostards/Ostrichs like I said, these where the better ones from all animals and functional to ride, the end) but with cool breeds. Ostard of Desert, of Forest, of Ice, each with its own rarity level(I don't know if that is from the official). Maybe they could have an animal type and relate it with the different magic types that rule the world of Elemental.

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November 28, 2008 8:12:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting psychoak,

The problem is that resources doesn't work like it does in Civ4. Resources are limited, and having horses in one tile doesn't supply your entire empire with resources. Tech-tree requirements are somewhat a given, regardless. But in my mind, there still needs to be a way to convert the horse resource into a bear resources, or a "giant chicken" resource.

Why is it a problem, and why would you want to turn horses into chickens?  I'd think giant chickens would have their own resource.  If the resource system is open to modification, you can make your own resources for your own mounts and add in whatever you want too.

The whole point of having a not-stupid resource system is that it balances itself out by requiring work to get the stuff.  You wont have to worry about someone having horses, bears and giant chickens while you only have pot bellied pigs, they don't need to make the actual resources scarce, just the aquisition.  If they do it right, the number of resources you have will be less important than your choices in aquiring them.

Being able to convert them on the otherhand, that just defeats the point of having them.  Might as well do it old school where you didn't actually need resources for anything.

I didn't mean that it was a problem, as such. I meant that it's not as easy as "I research X!". And converting a chicken habitat to a bear habitat is important, since resources are limited - If I want to, I think I should be able to specialize. If I can't convert one habitat to another, it means I'm squandering a limited resource.

In essence, I trade in my versatility for specialization. It'd be much more versatile if I didn't just have bear paladins, but also had chocobo scouts and horse calvary; but for a variety of reasons, I may not -want- 3, 4, or 5 different kinds of 'knights', be it because I prefer slow-but-mauling units, or purely thematic reasons (The Empire of Ul'Regth has no interest in filthy horses).

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November 28, 2008 9:00:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If your limitation is utilization instead of access, that isn't true.  As you said, this doesn't work like Civ4, if they're plentiful, and there's no reason for animals to be scarce and hard to find resources, your problem doesn't exist.

 

Flyguy, horses are the mount of choice because they're cheap and relatively bright.  There is actually a surprisingly wide variety of animals that would work very well for mounts, they're just cost prohibitive, rare, or both.  The main factor is domestication, horses can be and live off grass, bears can't and have a much stickier diet.  Bears would probably make outstanding cavalry if you could afford to capture and raise them in numbers sufficient to use.

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November 28, 2008 9:17:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting psychoak,
If your limitation is utilization instead of access, that isn't true.  As you said, this doesn't work like Civ4, if they're plentiful, and there's no reason for animals to be scarce and hard to find resources, your problem doesn't exist.
Yes, it does. I can only construct as many bears (or horses) as I get a continous supply of. Let's say that, for arguments sake, every resource allows me to construct 1 unit of that type. If I have 5 horse resources, I can construct 5 horses/turn.

But if I have 2 bear, 1 chicken, and 2 skyshark, I can only field 2 bears/turn. To get the most out of my available resources, I'm going to have to subscribe to a versatile approach - which I don't want to, primarily for thematic reasons (I'd -prefer- if my armies doesn't look like a huge zoo, swarming against the enemy). I'm unable to specialize or restrain my nation to conform to a thematic idea.

Quoting psychoak,
Flyguy, horses are the mount of choice because they're cheap and relatively bright.  There is actually a surprisingly wide variety of animals that would work very well for mounts, they're just cost prohibitive, rare, or both.  The main factor is domestication, horses can be and live off grass, bears can't and have a much stickier diet.  Bears would probably make outstanding cavalry if you could afford to capture and raise them in numbers sufficient to use.
Taking this into the real world again, that's just not true. Horses are the mounts of choice because they're quite possibly the dumbest, most innane and will-less animals that humanity has run into yet, that we can actually use as a mount.

I'm hard-pressed to come up with any other truly viable mount. Most other animals cannot be truly domesticated, and even bears that have lived their entire lives with their trainers have proven time and again to be incredibly fickle animals that could quite possibly chew your head off. Ultimately, though, horses are good because we made them good. They've been subject to generations of breeding to make them what they are.

Mooses came to mind, but there's actually been attempts to domesticate elks, and they went south pretty quick.

Quoting FlyGuy7,
I like the 'Chickens of Doom' model a lot. Grow the chicken and what you have is something like the Chocobo of FF, or better yet, the small dinos (Ostrich, Ostards) of Ultima Online.

[...]

Yeah, I know. When I make the example of a chicken, I just don't want to call it a chicken. But I don't want to call it a chocobo either, but in the end, we must call a spade a spade. They're big, ridable, chickens. No matter what we choose to call them, they're going to be chocobos.

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November 28, 2008 10:09:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luckmann,
Au contraire, my delightfully uncheerish greek friend. I'd prefer there -not- to be an underground layer (or any extra layers at all, in fact). But that's a subject for an entirely different thread (I'm positive that there is one, I just can't be arsed to go find it - and I'm sure you know it anyway).
As for the other gods in the drow pantheon, they are all dead. Of course, where, when and how you set up your campaign is entirely up to the Dungeon Master. For example, I somewhat like the scorpion-centrism of the dark elves in the Eberron setting. But speaking from a canonical linear point of view, the only other drow god is Ghaunadaur - everyone else is dead. Including Eilistraee.

And that's even without considering 4th edition, which I choose to ignore completely. I'll plug my ears full of cotton and sing la-la if it comes up.

And yes, I'd love for there to be a "drow" nation of Fallen.

 

[moment of silence]

Eilistraee is my most favored Godess. 

[/moment of silence]

She is never dead as long as the dark ones practice her ways. 

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November 28, 2008 11:48:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting psychoak,
reply 16
Flyguy, horses are the mount of choice because they're cheap and relatively bright. There is actually a surprisingly wide variety of animals that would work very well for mounts, they're just cost prohibitive, rare, or both. The main factor is domestication, horses can be and live off grass, bears can't and have a much stickier diet. Bears would probably make outstanding cavalry if you could afford to capture and raise them in numbers sufficient to use.

Taking this into the real world again, that's just not true. Horses are the mounts of choice because they're quite possibly the dumbest, most innane and will-less animals that humanity has run into yet, that we can actually use as a mount.

I'm hard-pressed to come up with any other truly viable mount. Most other animals cannot be truly domesticated, and even bears that have lived their entire lives with their trainers have proven time and again to be incredibly fickle animals that could quite possibly chew your head off. Ultimately, though, horses are good because we made them good. They've been subject to generations of breeding to make them what they are.

Mooses came to mind, but there's actually been attempts to domesticate elks, and they went south pretty quick.

I only can't agree that horses are more dumbs than general animals. But agreeing... Ill give you viable mounts but fact is, none of them are so good has the horse. Still they are viable and would be used if there wasnt for the equines.

What happens with the use of horses I think, and I agree is also comportamental, is that they are herbivory. Just like the elephants, that can be used veeery weel and is also passible even being big. I'm pretty sure, if someone take a giraffe, and invent a way to direct it, its also mountable when tammed. Thing is, they don't have humans in their diet. That bear idea really wouldn't work. Carnivore animals aren't passive has Herbovory has they need to atack and be agreesive always.

Cattle can be easily rideable. Like I said in my post earlier, just happens that Horses are the perfect thing, not surprising HOW MANY centuries they have been using it. Incredible agile animal too, unlike cattle and any other. There is also Llama and Camels (Camels have even be used for war) but they are just incomparable to a Horse. There isn't much meaning to be trying anything else, if you got something that is cleary better. There are a lot of rideable mounts in our world, but one will be indentified has better and surpass the others for the job, that is the horse. So thats what every population will be producing and creating the enviroment for it since centuries.

About the bear, let me say that, just because you can manage to go up in the back of it, doesn't mean its a mount lol. But yea Horses eat grass, and for being a herbivore, nature resources can naturaly support it in big numbers. A big number of bears wont be sustainable, then its hard to tamme and worse to thrust and not agile or fast. Its just not possible to be a produced mount.

"Mooses came to mind, but there's actually been attempts to domesticate elks, and they went south pretty quick" lol

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November 28, 2008 2:15:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, the 1 reason that horses win out over camels and elephants is because you can put horse shoes on horses.  It allows horses to better deal with rocky and rough terrain, where elephants and especially camels are not able to opperate.  War camels are still nothing to thumb your nose over, and even less war elephants (they well mess you up). 

 

Quoting FlyGuy7,

Quoting psychoak,
reply 16
About the bear, let me say that, just because you can manage to go up in the back of it, doesn't mean its a mount lol. But yea Horses eat grass, and for being a herbivore, nature resources can naturaly support it in big numbers. A big number of bears wont be sustainable, then its hard to tamme and worse to thrust and not agile or fast. Its just not possible to be a produced mount.lol

bears not fast!?  The common american black bear can run over 30 MPS!  I know that bigger bears like grizzlies are much slower, but that stil much faster than any humans.   Taming a bear has nothing to do with it.   Bears are very hard to tame, and tend to kill their handlers.  Yes, thats true, and thats why armies don't already ride on bears.   But that is exactly the point.  This is a fantasy world, and we want to be able to raise an army that is so hardcore and mean that they ride on freakin' bears!    Saying its 'hard to tame' a bear to be a mount isn't a valid reason not to include them as mounts.  (realism isn't a good excuse to remove fun)   

Your only valid argument is sustaining bears for food.  Bears are freakin' huge and demand both meat and plants as part of their diet.  I would happily accept that bear riders would require much more food than even regular cavalry.  The upkeep on an army of bears is expected to be extreme, but thats the cost of having an army riding on bears.   They would have to be one of the best non-fantastic creature units (dragons are fantastic creatures for example).   So we can agree that the upkeep on something as crazy as people riding giant bears should be high.

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November 28, 2008 7:57:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting FlyGuy7,

I only can't agree that horses are more dumbs than general animals. But agreeing... Ill give you viable mounts but fact is, none of them are so good has the horse. Still they are viable and would be used if there wasnt for the equines.
I maintain that despite what actual cognitive abilities they have, horses are generally dumb as doorknobs; wheter the excuse as to why they jump into burning stables is viable or not doesn't apply in this regard. All animals are slaves to their instinct, but horses are the retards of the animal kingdom.

And as for a number of viable mounts, from a realistic point of view, hit me. Because I'm still stumped.

Quoting FlyGuy7,
What happens with the use of horses I think, and I agree is also comportamental, is that they are herbivory. Just like the elephants, that can be used veeery weel and is also passible even being big.
I really don't want to be mean, but I just have no idea what you tried to say there.
Quoting FlyGuy7,
I'm pretty sure, if someone take a giraffe, and invent a way to direct it, its also mountable when tammed. Thing is, they don't have humans in their diet. That bear idea really wouldn't work. Carnivore animals aren't passive has Herbovory has they need to atack and be agreesive always.
First of all, the problem is "invent a way to direct it", and even with that, I think you'd win some kind of nobel price if you managed to domesticate and mount a giraffe. Contrary to popular belief, giraffes aren't just horses with a long neck.

Quoting FlyGuy7,
Cattle can be easily rideable. Like I said in my post earlier, just happens that Horses are the perfect thing, not surprising HOW MANY centuries they have been using it. Incredible agile animal too, unlike cattle and any other. There is also Llama and Camels (Camels have even be used for war) but they are just incomparable to a Horse.
Alright, I'll give you cattle, as in cows. That's cattle, as in cows. Bulls are still pretty much out of the question. You'd still be pretty hard pressed to actually mount and ride it. You wouldn't as much ride it as.. sit there.

On horses being superior to camels, however, you're completely wrong. It's entirely based on the geography. Despite what Hollywood may tell you, horses are near-useless in the loose sand of a desert enviroment, and can't take long travels without considerable support, wheras a camel can easily endure and travel where the horses will falter and fail.

Quoting FlyGuy7,
There isn't much meaning to be trying anything else, if you got something that is cleary better. There are a lot of rideable mounts in our world, but one will be indentified has better and surpass the others for the job, that is the horse. So thats what every population will be producing and creating the enviroment for it since centuries.
You're not going to be riding a cow anywhere, in any organized form. That somewhat leaves the Horses, the Camels; both which are pretty even, since their usage are so wide and distinct from eachother (in a geographical context). Add elephants to that, and you have a list of all (more or less) viable mounts. I wouldn't call that "a lot of ridable mounts in our world", nor would the horse "surpass the others for the job", since their jobs are so different.

You won't be seeing a horse lifting piles of wood any day soon.

Quoting FlyGuy7,
About the bear, let me say that, just because you can manage to go up in the back of it, doesn't mean its a mount lol. But yea Horses eat grass, and for being a herbivore, nature resources can naturaly support it in big numbers. A big number of bears wont be sustainable, then its hard to tamme and worse to thrust and not agile or fast. Its just not possible to be a produced mount.
It's about internal realism and suspension of disbelief in a fantasy context. Bending the nature of the bear in context doesn't mean that there's suddently going to be Spanish leprachauns popping out of space-rifts and painting chess-board patterns across a psychadelic rainbow, smoking an indian peacepipe. Having bear mounts could 'make sense' and be 'realistic' from the viewpoint of internal realism, just like the fact that 'Magic works like this'.

I think that George Lucas described it reasonably well (before his laxative acid trip that is Eps.1-3) when he said that there has to be a certain number of ground rules when you create a fantasy, or in that case sci-fi universe. For example, in Star Wars, there is sound in space. Logically, this doesn't make any sense. But it's about the suspension of disbelief and internal realism. It's something that isn't far off, or way out there. It's a minor discrepancy our minds are willing to accept, just like dragons, the existance of magic.

The "this is fantasy lol there's trolls lol why not ridable bears lol?"-argument doesn't hold up, due to the necessity of internal realism. Fantasy should never be an excuse to not make sense. Ridable bears, for example, is completely logical - if we accept it as such, in this reality.

Quoting FlyGuy7,
"Mooses came to mind, but there's actually been attempts to domesticate elks, and they went south pretty quick" lol
I somewhat messed that up, when I edited it. It's supposed to be mooses all the way. There were attempts to domesticate them for war usage by a Swedish king (can't remember which one). It ended. Badly.

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November 28, 2008 8:03:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I definitely agree that there should be a pretty wide variety of common mount types in the game. Horses will obviously be in, at this point SD will have a gamer strike on their hands if they don't include bears... I think camels should definitely be in, as generally inferior to horses but with significant movement and combat bonuses in the desert (Camels are by far the superior mount in deserts). Add in one or two more, but preferably not more than that. I don't think there should be any common flying mounts, though.

Each mount should have its pros and cons, even the common ones. Horses should be all-around average, bears should be slower but stronger in combat, camels should be less than average in most respects but should really shine in desert terrain.

I really dislike the idea of being able to convert one type of mount resource into another. Why should I be able to raise horses in bear caves, or bears in open pastures? Just because I want bear cavalry doesn't mean I should always be able to get them easily as soon as I want them. If I can't find copper, I'm not going to be able to make copper or bronze products; if I can't find bears then no bear cavalry.

Instead, I think mount resource tiles (and maybe all resource tiles) shouldn't produce a fixed number of resources. Instead it should depend significantly on the infrastructure I have developed to harvest that resource. If I set up a huge husbandry complex on my tile with horses, I should be able to produce a whole lot of horses. And maybe with mount resources, if you have the resource you can spread it to other appropriate tiles. With a system like this you can even set up your own mount resource through trade. If you trade for enough bears, you can choose to use them to breed more bears by building a bear-stable on an appropriate tile and sending the bears there. It should take a lot of time, though, otherwise mount-trading would become worthless fast.

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November 28, 2008 8:26:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pigeonpigeon,

I really dislike the idea of being able to convert one type of mount resource into another. Why should I be able to raise horses in bear caves, or bears in open pastures? Just because I want bear cavalry doesn't mean I should always be able to get them easily as soon as I want them. If I can't find copper, I'm not going to be able to make copper or bronze products; if I can't find bears then no bear cavalry.

I agree. If you want resources other then the natural ones you own then trade for them.

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November 28, 2008 9:33:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If we have multiple world (like MoM) I feel that there should be netraul planes walkers from places players might not be able to reach (like higher or lower planes) that have the other mount resources.  so that way you can trade with them to get it, but of course you'd have to make them very happy (give them lots of money and do them favors)

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November 28, 2008 9:52:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Camels are smarter, tougher and meaner.  If they weren't flatfooted they'd be the mount of choice instead of horses, smelly or not.  That massive advantage in the desert is bloody worthless everywhere else.

 

Yes, it does. I can only construct as many bears (or horses) as I get a continous supply of. Let's say that, for arguments sake, every resource allows me to construct 1 unit of that type. If I have 5 horse resources, I can construct 5 horses/turn. But if I have 2 bear, 1 chicken, and 2 skyshark, I can only field 2 bears/turn. To get the most out of my available resources, I'm going to have to subscribe to a versatile approach - which I don't want to, primarily for thematic reasons (I'd -prefer- if my armies doesn't look like a huge zoo, swarming against the enemy). I'm unable to specialize or restrain my nation to conform to a thematic idea.

 

You're self limited, it doesn't have to be the case.  If you have more resources than you can harvest, your limitation is in utilizing them, not having access to them.  You don't have to be able to use all your animals, they probably shouldn't even function the same way.  If I were designing it, inherently undomesticated animals would be captured in the wild, gathered for their use.  Horses, an easily domesticated animal, would also be captured in the wild, but for the purpose of raising herds, not training for mounts themselves.  You could take your horses produced from that resource, and instead of using them for mounts, found another herd.  They could even have magic pertaining to the domestication of those animals not feasible to domesticate naturally, making the original resource access academic in the long run.

 

When resources have to be worked, they don't need to be so scarce that you're utilizing every resource you have.  An oddball resource conversion isn't necessary.

 

I maintain that despite what actual cognitive abilities they have, horses are generally dumb as doorknobs; wheter the excuse as to why they jump into burning stables is viable or not doesn't apply in this regard. All animals are slaves to their instinct, but horses are the retards of the animal kingdom

 

Key word, relatively.  Compare a horse to a cow and the answer is immediately clear.  Horses will open latches to get out of gates, they socialize in a friendly manner outside of mating, they're loyal to their owners when taken care of.  Cows eat, shit, and sleep.  That's about it.  Horses have outstanding range, you can raise and utilize them almost anywhere, from sub arctic conditions to the Sahara.  Their stupidity traits, like jumping into burning stables, are common among the herd animals similar to them as well.  When something tries to eat them, they run.  Panic in the face of danger is a safety measure for food.  They aren't a predator

 

And as for a number of viable mounts, from a realistic point of view, hit me. Because I'm still stumped.

 

Sticking with men of average size and real animals.  All cattle, some like the water buffalo are badasses, various similarly built animals from gazelles to zebra's, various deer. Remember, the wild horse wasn't the mount it is today from the start.  They started out smaller, stockier, and slower.  The gazelle lacks the bone mass to carry a full size man any useful distance, but they're about the same size as the wild horse were, with careful breeding they could make fantastic mounts with superior speed, acceptable endurance, and stupendous maneuverability.  Cats would work too if you could keep them from rolling when they fought.

 

If you could tame one, a rhino would be sublime for war.  Hide thicker and tougher than an elephant with raw power far in excess of what traditional mounts are capable of.  Eight thousand pounds of 2 inch thick skin moving thirty miles an hour would put the fear of God into anyone, and it's got horns to top it off.  Full plate armor for rider and animal would be a negligible weight addition too.

 

If you toss size out the window and we have three foot tall midgit armies, everything from wolves to pigs get thrown in the mix.  Dwarves riding russian boars would be mean.  Plenty of hunters have been killed by those suckers.

 

As far as riding cows go, they were ridden before horses were.  They drew wagons before horses as well.  They lack sustained speed, so aren't useful as traditional cavalry.  You can however run over people on foot just fine with them, even a few of the domesticated breeds get pissed and try to run you down when you're working them.  They might have made it into military applications if they weren't vastly superior as food.

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