Road Building…Your thoughts?

By on February 24, 2010 10:55:36 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1099

We really want to avoid having to build “workers” or some other construction unit to build out of city improvements.  But at the same time, we’d like it to be more interesting than simply clicking “build road to city X”.

What do you think?

287 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:02:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why not do like the Roman Empire and let any military unit to build a road?

Of course the building speed will have to depend on the number of troops, but that would completly remove the need for a specialized "worker" unit.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:10:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would just make it a trade research option...4 turns for road from magnifor to bellisamor etc...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:11:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

double post ...soz

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:15:16 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Player plan road, hits apply and 20 people from the nearest town rush out to build it, this road building will drain the city abit while the road is constructed, or perhaps you can put a toggle on a military unit, if on, they rush out and start building

I was trying to think really simple here : )

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:19:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm ok with it either way, however if you go ahead and implement a "builder" I'd like to see it to be able to do alot more then just build a road.  That is one of the more annoying things about some games that after you build a road over your entire map, you have to kill the builder or just have him idle.  Seige ability helps that some, but if there is a stack limit, rarely is the builder used in combat still.  Let him build/improve mines, help on quests with caves possibly (collapse cave, kill bad guy), etc....

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:20:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

eh, double post here as well forum seems a little jacked at moment

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:34:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If improvements will be allowed outside of the city it would make sense to have roads be build-able to them as well, not just from city to city.

To start building a road, click on the city where you'd like to start the road, then you draw in tile by tile where you want the road to be. Each tile has a certain cost in materials and time which could be accumulative the longer you make the road. Workers will rush out from the town to make the road and when finished will go back to the town.

OR...

Seeing as how things like Mines and Farms will be build-able, why not make a unit to build things like that and roads? It's not a bad thing and can also bring another factor to strategy. By killing a factions construction units you limit their growth. *shrugs* Just a thought.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:35:35 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The safest thing to do is just to have an automatic road generator, but obviously Elemental wants to be a bit ambitious in this reguard. Maybe you could have an in city building like a construction shop that will slowly generate roads a certain ways out of a city, which could also be used to research movement bonuses and somewhat limit player expansion. Could even act somewhat like the national borders in Rise of Nations.

 

Also, though it probably shouldn't be used as the main mechanism, magical road laying sounds like a good option to me.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:43:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A player should be allowed to guide where the road will go.  I don't think it needs to be very granular, just a set of 'waypoints' and a start and end location.  I don't have an opinion on builders but road construction should be stopped if an enemy unit is on any part of the built road.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 24, 2010 11:55:09 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I would like to have kind of a pool of road buildliness that can be spent each turn. 5 for a large town that can make a single road tile in one turn or 5 roads in 5 turns that can then over time meet up with other towns building roads toward eachother. These other smaller towns would have smaller pools thus take longer to make a road.

Then if you wanted to throw down another city beyond a small  one and wanted to have that road done asap you could spend money/resources/workers to send your workers from the large town on the already built road on to work its way to the next town as well. So the larger to town the faster you could build a single line of road.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:12:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well I still think you should have more than one point of road. First type of road could simply be a trail, built automatically by trade caravans between cities. It might have a minor speed boost but would primarily be for commerce.

Second type could be a real flagstone road. Requires stone quarry and soldiers with paving tools. Then you spend money and get a real speed improvement road. The roads would build faster and cheaper if they followed trails, but could be built anywhere you want them to for the right price. Roads not on trails would require a small upkeep fee to keep it good condition since normal trade taxes aren't paying for them.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:22:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What about treating a road as a quazi-city?  You could choose whether to upgrade it from a dirt track to cobblestone to yellow-brick (with or without singing and dancing munchkins to make enemies flee in horror ), along with the potential to build various improvements along the route.  They could then also have the chance to deteriorate if the owner didn't properly maintain them, or if the enemy occupied them.

 

You already have wandering adventurers - maybe you could also have wandering merchants that may show up on your roads (depending on whether they go to interesting places).  Maybe some wandering NPCs might decide to setup an inn - or you could choose to build one yourself and thus lose the possibility that that might happen.  Give different bonuses for having your own vs the independent party having one.

 

Or roadside military checkpoints?  Or toll stations - non-friendly units would have to pay a toll to use the road, so they either give you money to use your road and get a "surprise" attack when they reach your city, or attack your toll booth and lose the element of "surprise", or are forced to go cross-country.  That might also be used to give you a heads-up when a wandering adventurer (or someone else you might want to talk to) enters your territory.

 

Maybe you could spend essence on your roads so that they restore health/stamina/bliss to people travelling along them - I guess similar to some of the effects you had on starbases in galciv.  Things like friendlies move faster, or enemies lose a HP for each turn they spend on your road, forcing them to trade health for maneuverability.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:21:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the idea in CIV IV where you have workers who are able to build many things - not just roads: forts, farms, mines, irrigation, other improvements.  Some Mods to CIV IV, in particular Fall From Heaven and some mod mods to FFH did took the concept further - similiar to what is suggested in some of the posts above - for example, giving workers stats and attributes so they could have hit points and also make them promotable so you could choose promotions to add to their stats (+10% work rate) for example.  This avoided the problem of just having workers build roads so that you have to disband or idle them once the map is full of roads.  It also made the worker unit more interesting because you became invested because they were promotable. 

I could see not wanting to necessarily have a seperate worker unit for Elemental War of Magic, but maybe a military unit (along the lines of the Army Corp. of Engineers) or a recruitable caravan who has the ability to construct forts or establish trade routes AND build roads and is also promotable might be interesting.   

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:23:56 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I like the idea of being able to use military to build roads.

A lot games i have played   a majority of my troop's time at the start of the game is spent idle .

 Implementing military units in building up your countries infrastructure makes sense to me and also has the possibility of enabling interesting trade offs. 

for example,  soldiers who spent time building roads and infrastructure  get a bonus to loyalty plus toughness  with a trade off in readiness may take a bit more time to get some place due to them  being a bit more fatigued. 

 where as idle troops may be a bit soft and green . but are eager and ready to go.

 

these bonuses would be slight but may make a diifernce in very close battles.

either way it would add a bit more dimensions to troops .

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:24:50 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Im not certain if the economic system in Elemental is going to be advanced enough (i would love to be wrong) to have developing roads. I would love to see roads grow based on the amount of trade or activity is spent on them and your upkeep/efficiency rises accordingly. So it starts as said above as little trails then grows to better roads as the need arises.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:27:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

*DOH* Double post.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:29:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Perhaps trails should develop naturally as your citizens engage in trade between your settlements and then you can upgrade them through research and magic.  If you need a road that goes someplace unusual a spell that magically carves a dirt path out of the ground sounds good to me (Or makes a rainbow highway, that would be cool too)

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:32:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A few different ideas..

This is sort of a "worker" but I'm thinking a MoM style engineer unit that can build roads, destroy walls, and so on. Maybe build bridges across rivers if their is any sort of Civ style attack-over-water penalty that the bridge could negate. Or even digging to allow engineers to build tunnels under defenses or walls.

***

I actually like the idea posted by Tamides where you have a bunch of people from your nearest town run out and do it. Maybe allow for some kind of slider where you can allocate more or less people to build thus speeding up production of roads at a loss to city production.

***

The 3rd would be a bit less conventional, but I think a lot of roads start because people keep traveling over the same areaa. Maybe if there was a way where the computer would remember the paths your armies cross more, and over time "paths" would develop that could eventually be developed into roads by people not controlled by the player.

Edit: oops, the guy above me already suggested the last idea, or a version of it. Props to them!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:38:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Click and drag?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:39:57 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Regarding the layout .   laying out  the road map  (if you will )  could be implemented ala simcity  you have a set of road tiles  you scroll out bring up the road tiles and layout your grand design .

although you may come across certain land scape problems such as mountains and or swamps  that prevent the roads form being layed down . so you either dedicate the mana to fix the problem or route around it .  after you have your plan designed  commit the troops to it and watch as they toil away .

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:44:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joempire,
I would like to have kind of a pool of road buildliness that can be spent each turn.

I'd rather not have to allocate a thimbleful of roadwork every single turn.  I want to devote my attention to road-building on a per-project basis, e.g., "all right, I need a road linking my mountain mines with my primary city," and then I lay out that road.

The combination of "we want to avoid workers" and "we want more depth than roads just appearing" suggests to me that the problem with the worker system is the micromanagement.  Road-building workers are to Civilization what peons are to RTS games, and people do tend to prefer post-peon resource management (Total Annihilation, Company of Heroes, Dawn of War, etc.).  That and naval transports, and again, autotransportation is popular (units turning into boats in Rise of Nations instead of requiring separate transport boats).

I don't care for the idea -- endorsed by several posters -- of building roads with military units.  It doesn't solve the micromanagement problem, and it creates a conflict between keeping military units in strategically good spots (or campaigning with them) and building roads.  The Total War series had watchtowers built by military units for at least one game, but doing this was a weird little chore, and by ETW they had abandoned it in favor of automatically revealing the map within and aroundyour territory.

So how to automate?  I don't think automated workers like you see in Civ are the right answer, since they still exist at the unit level and periodically demand attention.  Instead, I propose a system where the player designates a road path (possibly with a waypoint system, as Malex1 suggests) and then cities automatically send out work parties along existing roads to build it.  The work parties can get to the end of the existing road and start work in a single turn, but any enemy presence along the road back to the town will cause the work party to disperse (as Malex1 also suggests).  Work parties are tiny figures and obviously not controllable units.  They do not run the risk of being captured and cannot be manipulated directly -- although it IS possible to issue a stop roadwork order to a particular town, or all towns, if there are more pressing demands for the resources involved.  (Presumably, they take a cut of the city's production.)

However, that's the more involved approach.  I'm not sure how much of the game is supposed to be road-building.  I think I'd rather be managing resources, capturing nodes, training and equipping units, building and organizing cities, researching and casting spells, waging war, etc.  KellenDunk's suggestion of roads emerging organically from your trade network is the best in the thread so far.  It's more radical, but it's elegant.  Players wishing to devote resources to a mobility advantage will presumably still have options such as teleport spells, flying creatures, magic gates, and so on.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 12:49:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Make it so roads build instantly, and then in a later beta add in workers or oter elements like the time it takes to build them, or resorce costs. And see if its fun in a way that improves the over all game play.

 

personaly id like to see workers build a road. but i hated games like civ 4 were you had to have a worker build roads and although it was cool. In the late game you ad like 50 workers cause you wanted to build your roads and rails faster and now theres nothing for them to do.

 

it would be cool if you could select build road to another town and workers from each city started builing tourds eachother.

 

what are the benifits of roads?   Inproved imcome? shared techknowlogy? faster travel?

 

could there be negitive efects of roads?  say if you had a very long road you could have thieves that like to lurk around them. or if you creat a bridge there could be monters tht live below them? 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 1:07:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

- no build worker.

- Build road tile by tile and then the worker form nearest city automatically come out to build it.

- What about build road to pass some resource, place , natural building( Shrine,altar,Haunted house) and you can take some effect form them like Sid's Railroad.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 1:08:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it would best implemented as a city construction.  Choose to build a road in your city interface, this takes you to the road designing interface, design your road to wherever from wherever, and the road is added to that city's build queue.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 25, 2010 1:10:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Since we are going to be able to build buildings outside of cities, I have two ideas:

1. You can build inns outside of cities.  Caravans between cities will use the inns as waypoints and create roads automatically.  There should also be local caravans that create roads between mines etc. and the closest city.

2. Make roads an out-of-city building.  This way, it goes into the building queue, so there is little micromanagement, and the construction speed depends on the city's productivity.

 

EDIT: Seems I got ninjaed.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000547   Page Render Time: