A question of numbers

By on April 10, 2010 2:27:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Daelyn75

Join Date 03/2006
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I'd like to know what the numbers in the game are supposed to represent.

I start off with 1 citizen with my town, does that mean 1 guy? Or does that mean 100 people? I would think it's supposed to be 100, which would also make sense with the armies you create which require 1 citizen. It's kind of hard to imagine an army walking around that has only 5 people in it, yet it says that it is an army when you click on an enemy force.

How long are the turns supposed to represent? Is it like Galciv2 where each turn is a week? Or do they represent months each? If weeks then it would have to be hundreds of turns before you have offspring that could be married off or take to adventuring I would think.

Anyhow, someone must know the answers to these questions.

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April 10, 2010 2:32:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

People are represented individually. The one person who starts in your town is really 1 person.

The 5 person squad is called an 'army' by the game because it's the only title it can give when multiple units are put together.

Turn length and such isn't concrete yet. They're focusing on making gameplay work well without worrying about 'realistic' timing and such and then they'll making the timing work.

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April 10, 2010 2:56:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

How long are the turns supposed to represent?
We don't know, to be quite honest  

Like Myles said, we're really trying to make the game fun in its own right. The moment we start trying to conform to a metric like "a turn is a day", we'd get some aspects of the game that feel too fast, while other aspects (the dynasty system, in particular) woud drag into the realm of uselessness.

We're hoping our writing team can come up with a great word that stands for 'Turn' but doesnt conform to any preconceived notion of 'time' (Cycle, Phase, Rotation...something list that, only good).

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April 10, 2010 3:06:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We're hoping our writing team can come up with a great word that stands for 'Turn' but doesnt conform to any preconceived notion of 'time' (Cycle, Phase, Rotation...something list that, only good).

If someone does that (made-up words excluded), he or she deserves a sturdy bonus.

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April 10, 2010 3:40:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Myles,
People are represented individually. The one person who starts in your town is really 1 person.

The 5 person squad is called an 'army' by the game because it's the only title it can give when multiple units are put together.

Turn length and such isn't concrete yet. They're focusing on making gameplay work well without worrying about 'realistic' timing and such and then they'll making the timing work.

Really? These pictures make it look like there is much more than one person per unit:

http://www.elementalgame.com/images/Screenshots/Elemental_1251917010.jpg

http://www.elementalgame.com/images/Screenshots/SpiderAttack.jpg

http://www.elementalgame.com/images/wallpaper/Elemental_dragonwall.jpg

So it seems either the armies get very large, or the units of soldiers have to represent more than one person.

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April 10, 2010 4:26:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Armies can get very large. One of the main points Brad(Frogboy) has made about war in Elemental is that in the early game a 'army' might consist of a handful peasants. However, late game armies can consist of thousands of units.

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April 10, 2010 4:46:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Holy wow then. This game will be amazing when completed. I wonder what its like for the programmers/designers of the game, because seeing it bit by bit may as it comes along may not be the same as seeing the entire thing at once.

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April 11, 2010 7:11:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Daelyn75,
Quoting Myles, reply 1People are represented individually. The one person who starts in your town is really 1 person.

The 5 person squad is called an 'army' by the game because it's the only title it can give when multiple units are put together.

Turn length and such isn't concrete yet. They're focusing on making gameplay work well without worrying about 'realistic' timing and such and then they'll making the timing work.


Really? These pictures make it look like there is much more than one person per unit:

http://www.elementalgame.com/images/Screenshots/Elemental_1251917010.jpg

http://www.elementalgame.com/images/Screenshots/SpiderAttack.jpg

http://www.elementalgame.com/images/wallpaper/Elemental_dragonwall.jpg

So it seems either the armies get very large, or the units of soldiers have to represent more than one person.

As you get more warfare tech and your kingdom grows in population you can start making larger unit groups. Once you have a city of thousands of people, those armies are a lot more doable.

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April 11, 2010 9:18:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I actually like that Elemental has a somewhat abstracted view on this. I love having each soldier come out of my population and be a individual. It is hard though to scale things up evenly like that when you do get to the point that you have thousands or tens of thousands of soldiers.

As Boogie shows above with his time-frame examples the scaling of some things aren't going to make sense from a "realism" point of view, but they make for excellent gameplay mechanics and that's what's important ultimately. If you try to think logically about things like a character's age or the fact that half your army will die of old age by the time a child of yours can grow up and lead them it's going to ruin the game for you. If you really want to try to explain it and they don't come up with a story explanation for it just tell your-self "hey, it's a world of magic and monsters and fantastical powers. They age differently then we do" and get on with the enjoyment of this kickass game. If you don't need a story explanation for it, just say "hey, it's a video game".

Honestly right now I'm more worried about the costs of armies and upkeep. It's fine for the beginning of the game when you have small armies of 4 or 5 units. But imagine if you're fielding a army of 10,000 with the current units costs in materials, time, and upkeep. You will need a Massive Economy to even support 1,000 troops at current costs. So either troop costs need to be Drastically reduced, the economy needs a drastic boost, or they need to introduce another mechanic to bring down units costs as your empire progresses. I know there's a few techs in game now that say they do that but I think the effects are too small to be applicable when you have a few thousand troops.

Also though, this beta isn't for the balancing of these aspects. That will come a bit further down the road so it's not worth bringing up really right now, or at least not worth making a big deal over until the time comes.

I guess the point I'm getting at is you need to find a happy medium on your own to place your "suspension of belief" that makes you happy. Look at D&D for example. When I think on the rules of gameplay and the lore for the monsters and races I think that they give a "logical explanation" for why things work the way they do (logical in a fantasy world that is). D&D's been around for a long long time. Elemental hasn't been around at all yet and it introduces it's own lore and new ideas. People are either going to like those ideas or they won't like those ideas, but more importantly is that they Love the gameplay.

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April 11, 2010 10:04:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,

We're hoping our writing team can come up with a great word that stands for 'Turn' but doesnt conform to any preconceived notion of 'time' (Cycle, Phase, Rotation...something list that, only good).

"Page" and be done with it.

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April 11, 2010 1:50:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Do we get to merge units together eventually? As in right now we can produce individual soldiers, then groups of soldiers. Can we merge the individuals together at some point?

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April 11, 2010 5:08:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
Honestly right now I'm more worried about the costs of armies and upkeep. It's fine for the beginning of the game when you have small armies of 4 or 5 units. But imagine if you're fielding a army of 10,000 with the current units costs in materials, time, and upkeep. You will need a Massive Economy to even support 1,000 troops at current costs. So either troop costs need to be Drastically reduced, the economy needs a drastic boost, or they need to introduce another mechanic to bring down units costs as your empire progresses. I know there's a few techs in game now that say they do that but I think the effects are too small to be applicable when you have a few thousand troops.

Actually Frogboy's Beta 1Z Walkthrough implies that he already came to that same conclusion and intends to do what you suggest; adjust the economy/upkeep costs so more soldiers can be supported. His exact words from the very end of it:

First off, soldiers cost too much. Right now, they’re 1 gold per turn per unit. 

Let’s look at my civilization just as Lord Relias and his 3 goons took me out.

  • Population: 305 citizens
  • Income: 8.0g per turn
  • Expenses: 3.0g per turn (3 soldiers)

Lord Relias and Altar’s situation was basically the same except he had more soldiers.

With a population of 305 people, I should be able to support easily 30 soldiers.  So we need to do some balancing there.

Sounds like they're aiming for being able to support 10x the current numbers. Also know how you can train 10 or 100 soldiers at once? A while back I read somewhere that those larger units will (eventually once they implement it) cost less in upkeep than a bunch of individual soldiers - i.e. 70g for a single 100-soldier unit as opposed to 100g for 100 individual soldiers. Not sure if that's still the plan, but it would help the game scale up towards truly massive armies later on if they do it.

[Edit: ok, apparently they took the ability to train soldiers in any quantity other than "individual" out of the current beta, but you used to be able to train them in chunks of 10/100, hopefully that plus associated upkeep reductions will be coming back at some point.]

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April 11, 2010 5:36:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,

How long are the turns supposed to represent?We don't know, to be quite honest  


Like Myles said, we're really trying to make the game fun in its own right. The moment we start trying to conform to a metric like "a turn is a day", we'd get some aspects of the game that feel too fast, while other aspects (the dynasty system, in particular) woud drag into the realm of uselessness.

We're hoping our writing team can come up with a great word that stands for 'Turn' but doesnt conform to any preconceived notion of 'time' (Cycle, Phase, Rotation...something list that, only good).

"Centon"?

I actually like cycle, rotation, or revolution. although revolution would probably be associated to much with revolt.

I think you are going to run into some of the problems you mention above no matter what you CALL a turn. In other words, if you call a turn a day, and some things seem to fast and others drag on to uselessness, then it still seems like there is going to be a sense of "Hey how come it takes me as long to make a sword as it takes to do "x" in regards to the dynasty system?". There's going to be that lack of coherence to the passage of time even if you do come up with a spiffy name for it. I've always thought you guys were facing a challenge in trying to both create a game that was multi-generational (say a century or two for a game, which maybe would make a turn a year) and yet you will also be doing things in a turn (moving a unit maybe a few miles) that maybe a week a turn makes more sense.) It's going to be quite a challenge to bring that together in a way that works.

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April 11, 2010 5:52:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,

We're hoping our writing team can come up with a great word that stands for 'Turn' but doesnt conform to any preconceived notion of 'time' (Cycle, Phase, Rotation...something list that, only good).

Might be an idea to base it on somthing in the world that takes a set amount of time, but we as players dont know how long that is.

Like a Moons orbit a Tidal shift or Arcane pulses from crystals or somthing

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April 11, 2010 5:54:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,

How long are the turns supposed to represent?We don't know, to be quite honest  


Like Myles said, we're really trying to make the game fun in its own right. The moment we start trying to conform to a metric like "a turn is a day", we'd get some aspects of the game that feel too fast, while other aspects (the dynasty system, in particular) woud drag into the realm of uselessness.

We're hoping our writing team can come up with a great word that stands for 'Turn' but doesnt conform to any preconceived notion of 'time' (Cycle, Phase, Rotation...something list that, only good).

How about a "Turning"

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April 11, 2010 10:08:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting austinvn,




First off, soldiers cost too much. Right now, they’re 1 gold per turn per unit. 

Let’s look at my civilization just as Lord Relias and his 3 goons took me out.


Population: 305 citizens
Income: 8.0g per turn
Expenses: 3.0g per turn (3 soldiers)
Lord Relias and Altar’s situation was basically the same except he had more soldiers.

With a population of 305 people, I should be able to support easily 30 soldiers.  So we need to do some balancing there.

 

This will probably give the designers hell for a long time. Reliable scaling is really difficult, with the economy needing to go from 1 to 1000 times more productive.

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April 11, 2010 11:47:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Denryu,

I think you are going to run into some of the problems you mention above no matter what you CALL a turn. In other words, if you call a turn a day, and some things seem to fast and others drag on to uselessness, then it still seems like there is going to be a sense of "Hey how come it takes me as long to make a sword as it takes to do "x" in regards to the dynasty system?". There's going to be that lack of coherence to the passage of time even if you do come up with a spiffy name for it. I've always thought you guys were facing a challenge in trying to both create a game that was multi-generational (say a century or two for a game, which maybe would make a turn a year) and yet you will also be doing things in a turn (moving a unit maybe a few miles) that maybe a week a turn makes more sense.) It's going to be quite a challenge to bring that together in a way that works.

That's exactly what I was thinking too. I think they'll have to go with a "Magical Explanation" for some things or it won't make sense. It's either that or force everyone to go along the lines of "It's a game, it doesn't need to make sense". When it boils down to it the only other thing to do would be to gimp the Dynasty system and I don't want to see that happen. I'd rather have fun game-play then a explanation for that fun game-play.

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April 12, 2010 5:29:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Exactly. Turns only need to be "fun gameplay" not anything else. To me a child should take about 35 turns to reach "Of Age" and become a Champion. Then he should live "forever."

Equally, there should be no Menopause. Having a ticking biological clock for various characters just doesn't add a lot to the game. Its too "sim."

As far as unit-costs go .... individual 0.1 gold, party 0.3 gold, company 0.7 gold, platoon 6 gold, Brigade 12.5 gold, and legion 40 gold.

That is upkeep for within borders. Upkeep for any unit outside of borders is double. Champion upkeep is ALWAYS 1 gold, whether inside borders or outside borders. Researching Logistics reduces total Military Maintenance by 1. Researching Refined Logistics reduces total Military Maintenance by 2 (repeatable) and increases speed on roads by 10% (or by 1).

Each tech that "unlocks" a new Unit-size also decreases total Military Upkeep by 1, except for Legions. Researching legions decreases total Military Upkeep by 5.

negative values of Upkeep are stored, yet always give 0 as a response. Meaning, that if you have -5 military upkeep, you aren't paid money, but your military expenses are 0. If your military upkeep increases by 5, expenses will still be 0. If, however, your at -5 and your expenses increase by 6, then your total military expenses will be 1.

If a Champion becomes the Governor of a City, his/her upkeep is reduced to 0.

Researching "Bribery" in Diplomacy will also unlock recruit-able mercenaries. Mercenaries will be more likely to show up near your city if it has Taverns, Brothels, and Pubs. (maybe even theaters). While a city's prestige + gold income per turn gives a base value for Mercenaries showing up ... Taverns, Brothels, and Pubs each give +100% modifier to the base value.

N x ( Prestige x (1 + 2 ( income/ 100 ) ) ) is the value that Mercenary appearance uses (Merc Value). N starts at 1. For every Pub, Tavern, and Brothel, N is increased by 1. There is a separate value for each city ... although income would be the same throughout the empire, so income is always important for attracting Mercenaries. Some mercenaries require a minimum level of "Merc Value" to even have a chance to show up. Other mercenary groups will show up once X number of cities have appeared, or when X world-wide civilized population is reached. Other mercs will only appear once the first Pub, Tavern, or Brothel is built. All mercs, however, will have a higher chance of initially appearing nearest the city with the highest merc value, and almost all mercs will slowly gravitate towards cities with high merc values. Different Mercs will have different attraction values. The lower the attraction value, the more likely the merc is to simply go for the nearest town. Attraction value is the number of tiles it takes for a distant merc value to be reduced. Lets say that the city with the highest merc value is 100 tiles away, with a merc value of 50.  You take the distance, and divide it by the Attraction value. In this case 100/20 is 5. This is your "distance penalty". In this case, its 5. So you take the Merc Value, and divide it by 5. A Mercenary group with an attraction value of 20, 100 tiles away from a city with a Merc value of 50, will see that city as having a merc value of 10. If there is a city within 20 tiles of that Mercenary group with a higher Merc value than 10, the Mercs will drift in that direction instead. Lets say that the Merc value of a city 15 tiles in the opposite direction is 14. The Mercs will head in that direction.

Different Mercs have different requirements to appear on the map, and also have different Attraction values. In this way, its hard to guarantee that you will get all the mercs simply by having the city with the highest Merc value, but having a higher merc value is always useful for recruiting Mercs. For every 20 Merc value, Mercenaries recruited nearest that city cost 10% less. A Sovereign can attempt to buy mercs that are near a rival's city. However, the percieved difference between the Rival City's Merc value, and the nearest friendly city's merc value (precieved by the Mercenary group, dependant on Attraction value) .... needs to be paid up-front in gold. So if the opponent's percieved merc value is 40, and your nearest city's percieved merc value is 25, then you would need to pay enough gold to make up for a difference of 15 merc points. How much 15 merc points cost depends on the strength of the Mercenary group. Lets say that this is a strong mercenary group. Each merc point would cost 10 gold ... so buying them off would cost an extra 150 gold per turn ... however since your Merc Value is 25 (Above 20) you get a 10% discount over total price. Lets say their base price was 300 ... so total cost is 450, and discount is 10% so actual cost is 405 gold.

If your city had been the one with 40 merc points, and they had drifted to your city ... then you could buy them at 20% discount (300 times 0.8) which would have been 240 gold. Mercenaries always cost double maintenance, however luckily they don't cost extra when you send them to foreign lands.

This Mercenary party could be either 6 parties of regular units (50 gold each), or 5 champions (60 gold each).

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April 13, 2010 10:49:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If I remember from Civ 2, the length of the turn decreaed as you progressed in the game.  

 

When you started, a turn would represent 50 years.  By endgame, a turn only represented 1 day.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong.

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April 13, 2010 10:51:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If I remember from Civ 2, the length of the turn decreaed as you progressed in the game.  

 

When you started, a turn would represent 50 years.  By endgame, a turn only represented 1 day.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong.

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April 13, 2010 7:49:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting drrob,
If I remember from Civ 2, the length of the turn decreaed as you progressed in the game.  

When you started, a turn would represent 50 years.  By endgame, a turn only represented 1 day. ...

I don't remember the exact terms for how the turns shortened, but the stepping down was definitely there in Civ and Civ 2. There were only a few steps, and they were loosely based in the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Industrial Age thing, with an emphasis on the increasing rate of technological change across those ages.

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April 13, 2010 8:59:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting drrob,
If I remember from Civ 2, the length of the turn decreaed as you progressed in the game.  

 

When you started, a turn would represent 50 years.  By endgame, a turn only represented 1 day.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong.

 

 

Same was present for Civ III ... I have completely forgotten if Civ IV used this though. Maybe its been in all Civ games?

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April 14, 2010 2:06:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes it starts out about 20 years and by the end game its down to 1/4 of a year.  This is all depending on the game lengh that you choose when you start each game.

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April 14, 2010 11:13:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well i personally think the turns don't even need much of a name. But we could utilize a system that is 'magical' such as some sort of timescale related to the shards and their energy as suggested above or we could use a 'cycle' or 'turning' or any other numerous thing would work fine...To be honest Turning sounds simple yet effective.

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April 14, 2010 12:18:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not sure how long a typical game of Elemental should last. I think in Galciv2 a typical game on a medium map would last maybe 500-1000 turns. Considering that each turn is a week, then that is only around 10-20 years in total. But I think that turns should be a bit longer than that in Elemental. Perhaps a month each?

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April 14, 2010 1:16:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Events - there can be 3 kinds. Minor, Moderate and Major.

The time between Events in inconsequential and may even allow each player to use their imagination to define those "times".

Some quick example(s) might be: 

- Getting Married would be a Moderate/Major event. (don't ask the Queen what she thinks.  

- Having a Child would be a Major Event.

- Marrying off a Child to a rival Dynasty (to prevent a War) would be a Major event.

- Recruiting a "Hero" would be a Moderate Event.

- A Hero's completion of a Quest, depending on impact, would be a Minor event. (they are Heroic right?)

- The Child's (all childrens) growth to Maturity would be a Major event.

- A Towns first Library/school would be a Minor (as memorable to some that is) event.

- A Cities first Wizards Tower of Power would be a Moderate event.

- The first city conquest preformed by the Army would be a Moderate event.

- The complete Conquest of another Faction would be a Major event.

- The erection of the Monument to commemorate the Conquest would be a Major event.

OK, I'll stop there.

The point being. The time before/between/after any true "Event", would mean little over-all, other than being the "required time" (player imagines for themselves), needed to pass to allow the Events to become a reality.

So the Armies long March to the enemy City they are ordered to Conquered, or the time that could take, doesn't really matter.

It is the end result, the Moderate event, that occurs, that matters. Same with most of the other examples, which is a VERY short list (for brevity sake)


 

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