Elemental: Spreading life

By on May 13, 2010 8:29:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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I didn't want to make a journal entry on this but would rather talk directly to you guys on what we have in mind.

We don't like that players have to use so much essence to build up cities right now.

Instead, the plan is to require essence to still revive land but the land will spread out more quickly (it'll become more apparent why in the full 3D engine).  So while you will still need to spend essence if you want to spread across large swaths of the map, you won't need to use it to build a city 8 tiles away. Instead, cities will cost 100 materials to build -- a big sacrifice at the start of the game but not a big deal later.

We don't want to gimp essence too much because you'll need that essence to imbue your heroes and start casting some cool spells.

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May 13, 2010 8:54:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds good, might need to bounce around balancing that 100 mat number but that's to be expected.  Additionally, I think it'd be cool if revitalized land spread based on the terrain (eg. faster along rivers, slower in the hills etc).  I don't know if that's the case currently or not.

For overall essence, is there any planned way of acquiring it other than through sovereign levels? It might be interesting if there were special sites which generated essence over time (very slowly, like 0.25 pts / turn) that could serve as focal points of contention for players.

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May 13, 2010 10:09:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I personally feel the investment for making a city should be more significant. I'm not sure how you would go about that but in a post apocalyptic world making a city should be a big deal in my opinion. I think getting a city to LV 4 or 5 should be a major accomplishment that requires some reasonable amount of effort on the players part.

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May 13, 2010 10:09:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ICE's (Iron Crown Enterprise) old 'Treasures of Middle-Earth' book had an interesting item, the 'Gift of Yavana' -- from that book "...white, green, and gold boots that cause 1 plant to spring fully mature from each footstep according to the wearer's desire..." (p49) -- fruit/nut trees, flowers, etc.

Always liked that idea for a magic item. 

Anyhoo, the idea would be that a Sov would spread "life" (revive land) where he/she walked as an innate ability (no boots necessary of course).   Maybe require essence > 0 (to reward not spending it all) and the more the essence the faster/greater the spread (for game balance -- adds another choice with tangible differences).

It'd reduce the essence requirement for revival, give Sovs another reason to get out and about in the early game, make revival spread more active than passive, and allow some control over where revival occurs.

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May 13, 2010 10:28:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Have you considered increasing the proliferation of essence through such methods as suggested here?

http://forums.elementalgame.com/382224

This could be either in addition to (also) gaining essence by leveling or the new alternative to gaining essence through levels.

Other discussion about whether essence should be gained by levels or not can be found here

http://forums.elementalgame.com/382176

although there is a lot of overlap.

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May 13, 2010 11:49:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,
ICE's (Iron Crown Enterprise) old 'Treasures of Middle-Earth' book had an interesting item, the 'Gift of Yavana' -- from that book "...white, green, and gold boots that cause 1 plant to spring fully mature from each footstep according to the wearer's desire..." (p49) -- fruit/nut trees, flowers, etc.

Always liked that idea for a magic item. 

Anyhoo, the idea would be that a Sov would spread "life" (revive land) where he/she walked as an innate ability (no boots necessary of course).   Maybe require essence > 0 (to reward not spending it all) and the more the essence the faster/greater the spread (for game balance -- adds another choice with tangible differences).

It'd reduce the essence requirement for revival, give Sovs another reason to get out and about in the early game, make revival spread more active than passive, and allow some control over where revival occurs.

While this is a cool idea (very cool) it does bring up one tactical drawback.

Assuming Kingdom channelers spread life and empire channelers spread death. You Sovereign would become incrediably easy to track down on the map when invading the opposing faction lol.

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May 14, 2010 1:52:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to spam cities everywhere and pack them as close together as possible?  I always did that in Civ and the only thing that stopped me (and others) from packing the cities right next to each other was because you needed to harvest the land around the city.

 

Late game, what's to stop me from just having my territory absolutely covered in buildings from cities?

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May 14, 2010 2:13:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ATM essence cost to build a city, and later will be material costs, plus X amount of tiles between cities min that is still being worked out. Think it is 5 atm.

Also with resources on a global scale vs a city scale it is alot easier to make a mistake and stop all city growth due to lack of food/housing atm. So unless you are like me and going to build balanced cities (As I absolutely hate specialty cities). You really need to know what you are doing and plan like chess as opposed to checkers.

Though another idea would be to tie number of cities some way to sovereign level. Mabey like 1 city for every two levels?

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May 14, 2010 2:48:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What we need to know is why exactly must be the Sovereign the one who "builds" the cities. Must he create a "bless stone" in the main square? (that cannot be created in advance and that's why the Sovereign is forced to do such mundane task by himself)

Also, if new cities require materials, I'd find odd that the first city doesn't. Essence is, after all, just to bring the land to life and not to build cities... Just me being nitpicky. Except that, I like swapping city "DRM" (CBM?) from Essence to Materials.

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May 14, 2010 2:58:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,

Also, if new cities require materials, I'd find odd that the first city doesn't. Essence is, after all, just to bring the land to life and not to build cities... Just me being nitpicky. Except that, I like swapping city "DRM" (CBM?) from Essence to Materials.

Well this part is easy to fix. Just have all starting Sov's have just enough for the first city. Is it realistic no, is it lore centric no. But does it fix the problem easily and cleanly, yes. Lets face it if you are so nitpicky that that little issue would seriosuly be a problem for your immersion (and no I am not implying that you are WS just saying it for those who might forward that aurgument lol). Then you seriously need to re-evaluate your OCD. 

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May 14, 2010 3:41:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As long as the game is fun, I don't care how they do it. But I like consistency in rules if possible.

Also, why isn't realistic for the Sovereign to be carrying materials? Magic (Global) Pocket ftw! Or Lore centric? Well, we don't even know why must be the Sovereign who founds all the cities of his kingdom so...

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May 14, 2010 4:03:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think under this new system it would be the sovereign building cities after the first.  Sounds like a good job for a few hundred pioneers to me.  That being said, I think a concern with this would be city-spam, and how to prevent it.  I'm fine with a massive city that has 10+ small mining and farming towns supporting it.  But covering the world in settlements is something I thought we were trying to avoid. 

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May 14, 2010 4:14:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I peronaly always requested in AoW to turn off building growth to prevent the exploit of resources by just conquering every lvl 1 city in the map and spending your resources to grow it fast knowing that it would come back ten fold thus allowing building of more and more and more and more which incidentally added to your max population and just made it no fun to play maps that were full of cities that one would just teleport from one to another instead of actually having to travel and think strategy.

If multiple cities are going to be allowed there should be a requirement to have Units in such to protect it and there should be no unit cap increase the more cities one has. The amount of units allowed should be determined some other way I think...

(maybe a global unit cap which needs to be shared by the players and how many you have depends on how many cities you own averaged out against the opponents cities divided by the max global population for that map. Example you own 3 cities and the opponent has 9 and the max population allowed in that map for all players is 100  you get to have 33 total units(max) and the opponent gets 66 units (max) so if you increase the cities you have will not necessarily  increase the amount of units you can have unless you are increasing the ratio to the opponent cities.

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May 14, 2010 5:58:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Papa MoM dealt with city proliferation pretty well by limiting the settlement size according to the geography. The abilty to build level 5 cities anywhere seems a bit crude to me. As for the initial investment, 100 materials sound fairly reasonable and logical to me. Having the cost increase with every additional city (150 for a second and 200 for a third) would balance city-spam and represent the costs for building away from the capital.

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May 14, 2010 6:11:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, from the looks of it food is going to be the limiting factor with city size, which is good.  The question is whether or not city spam is going to be a problem.  I mean, it could be that having lots of resource gathering villages making a few large cities possible is a very good thing.  I think this is something we'll just have to play through to figure out.

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May 14, 2010 9:39:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The consequences of the original post seem to be rather troublesome.  If essence is used to restore a segment of land, you end up with an incentive to pack as much as possible into a tiny blossom of "life land" and save the essence for other endeavors.  It also creates a dispraportionate incentive on hording your essence and using it to conquer other nations that have used their essence to restore land.

Personally, I think essence should be used in a completely different fashion.  Imbuing heroes and such is a great idea, but instead of essence being used to directly improve land, I think it should be used to create unique city improvements that would not otherwise be buildable without essence (with expendable mana being used to restore land).  For instance:

Well of Life: Use 5 essence and commit your sovereign for five turns.  The population growth of your city doubles, houses in this city can accomodate an additional 25 percent population, and your citizens in this city are immune to natural and supernatural diseases.  In addition, the rate of land restoration around the target city doubles. 

Deep in the earth there is a vast river of life energy that has gone untainted and untouched since the days of the Great Rending.  You send forth a part of your being and run it through the soothing water like cupped hands so that the parched and rasping world may have a drink.

Monument of Industry: Use 5 essence and commit your sovereign for five turns.  Your city yields 25 percent more resources, and the productivity of your citizens is increased by 50 percent.

It has been countless decades since the world has known hope; since man could look upon his works and know that it was not destined to crumble in a doomed world.  In the Nether you can sense the ether that inspires the great works of man.  You reach out with a piece of your being and clutch the ley line of human inspiration.  You tether it to a monument so that all whom may touch it may be infused once again with hope for the endeavors of humankind.

Altar of War: Use 5 essence and commit your sovereign for five turns.  All units trained in this city gain 20 experience and 2 qualities/buff/improvements of your choosing. 

The Empires have grown weak in the lull which Kingdoms call the Great Rending.  In the Nether you hear again the drum beat of war.  You carve away a beating mass of your soul and cast it roaring through the great beyond.  When it returns, the lost qualities of courage and conquest will march with it through the darkness of the Nether to serve your ambitions.  The Empires will know war once again.     

Anyhow, just some ideas.

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May 14, 2010 10:03:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Interesting discussion.

Another idea to make city building a little more costly and stop the spam, perhaps you have to migrate some people from a current city (closest one) or use up a pioneer to build as well.

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May 14, 2010 10:21:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like where Demiansky is going, but I think i would double the turns or more.  I too think Cities/settlements should be a special endeavor.  But not too special ( :  Maybe one-of buildings, or certain types of buildings that would demand a very large radious, could help aleviate this.

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May 14, 2010 10:23:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


"Instead, the plan is to require essence to still revive land but the land will spread out more quickly (it'll become more apparent why in the full 3D engine).  So while you will still need to spend essence if you want to spread across large swaths of the map, you won't need to use it to build a city 8 tiles away. Instead, cities will cost 100 materials to build -- a big sacrifice at the start of the game but not a big deal later."

Sounds good, but ->

Quoting FalseMyrmidon,
Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to spam cities everywhere and pack them as close together as possible?  I always did that in Civ and the only thing that stopped me (and others) from packing the cities right next to each other was because you needed to harvest the land around the city.

 

Late game, what's to stop me from just having my territory absolutely covered in buildings from cities?

Yeah. We are speculating about what's going to happen, but I think that it will be way too easy to "spam" cities. We have to wait 'till Beta2, and post constructive feedback if it will be necessary.

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May 14, 2010 11:42:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like Demiansky's Well of Life idea.

Double post happened, somehow, due to editing. So more building ideas (following Well of Life's inspiration) are below as follows.

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May 14, 2010 11:43:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like Demiansky's Well of Life idea.

I think this direction is good for using essence to get more out of one particular city. Plus I like the idea to tie this essence expenditure to a building.

However, one thing I will argue is that it should still require essence to expand living earth (at least once). There should be a definite choice between using essence to spread the wealth (twice) to get  a monopoly of land, or to spend it once to (use the other essence) build a super city.

Following the Well of Life idea, I will add a few more.

Pride of the Nation (statue? building?)-> All materials acquired at this city +50%. Uses 5 essence, can only be built once.

Soul of the Nation (fountain)-> All spell points in this city +50%. Uses 5 essence, can only be built once.

// as a note, not sure whether the rule should be *only built once* or *can only own one* ... in the case of conquests, refugee cities, and repatriation. Just something to think about.

The Great Library (imbued with essence, this library reaches into the minds of the entire population. It controls them, feels them with a desire for knowledge, and lures them into the halls of the grand library. Without being aware of what they are doing, their inner brainpower is tapped into, and the grand Librarian can use all of this raw brainpower to better further his own efforts and studies)

-> costs 5 essence, all buildings (any building) gains +1 knowledge for each space they use. Requires mid-level Magic Tech + Mid-Level Civilization Tech. Can only built once IN THE ENTIRE WORLD -> World Wonder.

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May 14, 2010 12:22:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think 100 materials will at least avoid city spam in the early stages of the game. 100 materials at the start of the game is pretty significant, especially considering all the other uses of materials. I guess the exact number would need to be tweaked a little, but the idea seems sound to me. I do feel that essence should still be a cost in creating a new city, or to put it a bit more accurately as a way to revive the land. Hopefully you will need to balance the creation of cities with all the other cool stuff you can spend your essence on.

I like the idea of using essence for specialized buildings in towns, or maybe as a way to enhance a resource like wheat to produce even more.

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May 14, 2010 12:28:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One use of Essence will allow for 3 cities by turn 150?-ish

All we are saying here, is that an increased essence spread (perhaps by use of mana-spells via Sovereign) should spread to such a point by ... something like turn 60.

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May 14, 2010 12:34:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting lwarmonger,
Well, from the looks of it food is going to be the limiting factor with city size, which is good.  The question is whether or not city spam is going to be a problem.  I mean, it could be that having lots of resource gathering villages making a few large cities possible is a very good thing.  I think this is something we'll just have to play through to figure out.

My first read of Brad's OP gave me a big "Oh no, city spam is in the plan now," but that evaporated quickly because I'm very good at misinterpreting terse scraps from Mr. Wardell. In thought-experiment-land, though, I'd still rather see essence as the fundamental limit on city creation and a very rare resource for spell casting. Like thrice in a 1,000+ turn game rare.

Essence for significant structures like the Well of Life Demiansky sketched, on the other hand, seems like a good thing because it has a sort of permanence to it that I expect to be associated with a resource as precious and powerful as essence. Yes, you can lose towns with special buildings and lose champions you've imbued with essence, but that's not at all the same as seeing essence stacked up along side mere mana and consumed in a single event.

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May 14, 2010 12:38:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nero_zero,
I think 100 materials will at least avoid city spam in the early stages of the game. 100 materials at the start of the game is pretty significant, especially considering all the other uses of materials. I guess the exact number would need to be tweaked a little, but the idea seems sound to me. I do feel that essence should still be a cost in creating a new city

Yeah. Perhaps creating a new city should cost materials and essence as well. [Example: 2 essences + 100 materials] The exact numbers could be tweaked while we are in Beta 2/Beta 3.

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May 14, 2010 1:17:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sareln,
Sounds good, might need to bounce around balancing that 100 mat number but that's to be expected.  Additionally, I think it'd be cool if revitalized land spread based on the terrain (eg. faster along rivers, slower in the hills etc).  I don't know if that's the case currently or not.

For overall essence, is there any planned way of acquiring it other than through sovereign levels? It might be interesting if there were special sites which generated essence over time (very slowly, like 0.25 pts / turn) that could serve as focal points of contention for players.

I would like somthing like that !

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