Elemental Beta 2: Player Input #1

By on June 12, 2010 7:22:10 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Greetings!

We’re glad to see the beta has gone out relatively painlessly. For those of you who have been with us since back in the GalCiv I betas, I think you will agree this one went off a lot smoother.  After a decade or so, you eventually start to get the hang of this.

That isn’t to say we are free of hicups. There’s people with video issues. There’s people who can’t even get the game to run. That will be our big priority next week.

Vorlons: Who are you? Shadows: What do you want?

Our favorite part of the development cycle began with Beta 2. This is where ridiculously rapid changes to the game start to occur.

Given the notoriously massive suckitude of Stardock betas, we now have the collective opportunity to roll up our sleeves and decrease the crappiness of the game from nightmarish to merely painful.

So let’s walk through the areas (in no particular order) in which you can flex your power:

#1 City Improvements

These are trivial for us to add. And we’ve only started touching the capabilities here.

  • We can have improvements that require adjacency. That is, we can have a farm and require a second improvement be adjacent to a farm tile.
  • We can have improvements in which you can build as many as you want per city, only 1 per faction, or one per city level.
  • Improvements can use either 1 tile or 4 tiles.
  • City tiles that meet a criteria can be merged. So if you built N of the same type of improvement in 4 tiles, we can visually merge them together. You won’t get to see it during the beta phase but you can make requests on this still.

Examples

  1. Maybe there should be an improvement that you can put next to a farm (or garden) that magnifies the output of the farm. You should be able to put as many as you want so long as they are adjacent to the farm tile.
  2. Same for Metal resources.
  3. Same for Crystal Resources.
  4. Same for Shard resources.

#2 Research

The research screen is still pretty rough. The tech tree button is disabled and there’s too little information on it.

Feel free to discuss different ideas on what information you’d like to see. How you would like to see it presented.  Bear in mind, we are not going to toss out the general research concept (the one in there came from the 9 month beta 1 cycle and we like it as a game mechanic).

#3 HUD options

Beta 3 will have a Head’s up Display toggle that will allow you to get information about your cities.

#4 NON-HUD Information

That said, we don’t users to have to use a HUD to get basic info at a glance.  Thus, feedback and suggestions of looking at a unit, city, etc. and telling if they are defended, how strong they are, the general output, etc. We have our own thoughts on this but we’d love to hear yours.

We do NOT, however, want to have units running around with flags or other things of the sort.  We want subtle (non-HUD) and hard core (HUD).

#5 Visual Distinctions between Factions.

The Beta 2 series will begin to show how factions are different from one another much better. However, we’d love to hear your thoughts on making different factions more distinct and interesting. Bear in mind, from a RAM point of view, it’s not practical for every faction to have a completely different building design setup (when we’re all 64-bit then we can talk about that).

#6 Other types of World Resources

The Beta 2 series will start to add horses as a global resource that is used to create mounted warriors. But we’d like to hear your thoughts on other resources that one might control – rarer ones.

We have plenty of ideas of things about a given kingdom that might be affected by this or that but we don’t want to bias the direction of suggestions. I will say, however, we want to stay away from the GalCiv “Approval/Happiness” concept.

The XML allows us to create any type of resource, define a graphic, a 3D tile, and what stats it changes and how much. The random generator will make use of it automatically (and this same thing will happen through modding no doubt). So it’s not a big deal to add more resources as long as they’re fun and not simply there for the sake of “complexity”.

Ideally, we can define resources that are all very rare and thus would only occasionally show up in a game (but yet every game would have a couple of these different rare resources).

What’s coming up next…

The Beta 2 series will start to re-enable the other technology trees. Right now, building up your kingdom has limited choices because you’re effectively a mundane. The Magic tech path takes the view that rather than building up your cities with improvements you can also do things to enchant them to do better. It’s just an alternative direction (or you can mix and match).

Next build will be next week.

 

UPDATE!

One thing I've been reading on the forums has to do with weapons and defenses available. Right now, a lot of them aren't in (for instance, you only get daggers on melee weapons) because we still have to update the UI to handle the different types of damage and defense types.

For instance:

Code: c++
  1. //################# Damage and Defense Types #######################//
  2. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_PIERCINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_PierceDamage")
  3. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_CUTTINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_PierceDamage")
  4. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_BLUNTDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_BluntDamage")
  5. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_FIREDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_FireDamage")
  6. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ARCANEDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_ArcaneDamage")
  7. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ICEDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_IceDamage")
  8. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ELECTRICALDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_ElectricalDamage")
  9. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_CRUSHINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_CrushingDamage")

So a club does blunt damage, a dagger does piercing damage, etc.  But we need to display this in a way that easy to understand for the user so that when they go into battle, these modifiers can be understood.

 

UPDATE #2!

Great stuff in the comments area! Keep it up! Now you're getting into the spirit of the beta. We'll look at all of this and see which things make sense to put in, which things make sense to put in after release and which things make sense to put in some future update.

 

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Nights Edge
June 13, 2010 12:56:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So a club does blunt damage, a dagger does piercing damage, etc. But we need to display this in a way that easy to understand for the user so that when they go into battle, these modifiers can be understood.

 

Is there some reason that you couldn't just use small icons? A club for blunt damage, a spear for piercing, a sword for cutting, etc.  You could either use them to replace the sword icon used for attack on the unit cards or incase something can do multiple forms of damage at the same time you could use them like a superscript 6 with a little lightning bolt after it for 6 lightning damage or a 3 with a flame for fire damage, you get the idea. Assuming I'm understanding corrently what you're after .

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June 13, 2010 12:59:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Primonatron,
Would having an option to automactially place buildings be a good idea?
One strategy when placing buildings is 'shaping' the town's borders for purposes of moving towards a resource, or blocking enemy movement (say you've built a town on a narrow strip and want to block foes from passing by expanding the town's borders).  Automatic placement would not help in this case.

Having it as an option for when you don't care what shape your town is seems ok.

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June 13, 2010 1:06:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am really liking the rarity system I've seen/heard about so far.  Having the basics as research options you can rely on while having more and more rare ones that you hope for (if you know about them) is really neat.  I think it is a fantastic compromise of all our ideas we talked about months ago.  Very happy with it.

 

Some ideas for rare resources I'd like to see are:

 

1. Oil.  Oil could be used for things like increasing the visual range of towns by use of oil lamps.  It could be used for defense of a town through the production of pitch and tar to dump on attackers, and even perhaps used to increase the productivity of various already existing production technologies.

 

2. Various naturally occurring precious gems and metals.  Diamonds, gold, etc.  Self explanatory.

 

3. Resin.  This would come from coniferous tree stands.  Resin could be used to strengthen/cheapen boats, it could be used to aid in the storage of food (maybe cause farms to generate more food), and add to a towns production of finer things like jewelery and perfumes.

 

4. Springs.  Springs could be used to increase the max population or the speed of population growth in the town that builds a well to harvest the clean source of water.

 

5. Wild Magic Rift.  This would work much like a normal elemental node, except that you get half the resources you normally would, and the type of magic you get would be random each time it generated magic.

 

6. Ruins.  If you build an archeological dig site on this square your town (empires?) research would increase by a percentage.

 

 

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June 13, 2010 1:08:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Buildings:

Right now, I'm basically focusing on building very specialized cities. One city has all research, another one has all food, another one has all money. That way I maximize the effect of granaries and what-not (I think... not too sure if that's what's actually happen). While this is all good, what would be better is that if we build a slum next to a market, then it lets us do something special, like hire spies or assassins or maybe get certain special quests. That way we're encouraged to build less specialized cities and thus have two different paths of development.

Research:

It would be nice if we could see what research leads to what with a research tree. Since research gets more expensive regardless of what you get, this can lead to high specialization rather than researching everything. For example, researching melee, armor, ranged, training, and logistic branches will get you a well balanced but mediocre army. However, if you instead throw everything into ranged, then you can have a very power ranged force. This can cause battles to be more interesting as each faction's units naturally become 'unique'.

Other Resources:

Rare resources should enable the production of special buildings and weapons/armor/items. Combinations of rare resources should be especially powerful and control of all rare resources should enable something really special.

Overall, I'm enjoying Elemental, but I think a lot of the ideas expressed here can make it a lot better.

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June 13, 2010 1:27:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The suggestion to be able to change the computer players colors during the game is excellent. In fact, that would be a GREAT patch for GalCiv 2. I absolutely hate looking at the comparison graphs because ALWAYS someone has a color that is almost exactly mine. And I really WANT to see that information.

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June 13, 2010 2:08:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I only skimmed most of the previous posts, so if this has been mentioned be fore feel free to ignore/shout me down. 

 

An idea for a building:  What if there was a building that turned horses into a small amount of food.  Not much, but more than a garden.  This might help out on random maps where there is a chance of not having any tasty resources nearby.  This could have draw backs, such as that particular horse node doesn't contribute to cavalry or making it a larger building so it would be counter productive to build if you already have plenty of food coming in from other places.  Call it a Gelatin factory or something.

 

An idea for making cities purdy:  Perhaps the way a city looks could change based on its specialization.  Such as a city with lots of research buildings would become more Ivory Toweresque and a military/industry center would be more pointy.  This could also be linked in to sovereign traits (as opposed to factions).  Give the more magically inclined leaders the shiny ivory cities and the stabby rulers the pointy cities.

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June 13, 2010 2:10:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,

One strategy when placing buildings is 'shaping' the town's borders for purposes of moving towards a resource, or blocking enemy movement (say you've built a town on a narrow strip and want to block foes from passing by expanding the town's borders).  Automatic placement would not help in this case.
Having it as an option for when you don't care what shape your town is seems ok.

I didn't realise cities's shapes are such an important factor in strategy, thanks for taking the time to explain.

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June 13, 2010 2:33:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

UPDATE!

One thing I've been reading on the forums has to do with weapons and defenses available. Right now, a lot of them aren't in (for instance, you only get daggers on melee weapons) because we still have to update the UI to handle the different types of damage and defense types.

For instance:
Code: c++

1. //################# Damage and Defense Types #######################//
2. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_PIERCINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_PierceDamage")
3. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_CUTTINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_PierceDamage")
4. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_BLUNTDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_BluntDamage")
5. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_FIREDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_FireDamage")
6. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ARCANEDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_ArcaneDamage")
7. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ICEDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_IceDamage")
8. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ELECTRICALDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_ElectricalDamage")
9. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_CRUSHINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_CrushingDamage")

So a club does blunt damage, a dagger does piercing damage, etc. But we need to display this in a way that easy to understand for the user so that when they go into battle, these modifiers can be understood.

Found a bug ! It should be

3. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_CUTTINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_CuttingDamage")

 

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June 13, 2010 3:06:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

#1 City Improvements

Adjacency seems to be a good idea. But in the end it would become somethign horrible. With 10 cities to micromanage in the end-game, you would use most of your time on them, because you wouldn't be able to queue a building because the buildins as a prerequisite aren't already built.

The actual simplicity is, in my opinion, a good thing. What I would lke to see is the ability to queue a building next to a building already queued, that would help on the micromanagement thing.

Now, I love sim city. So if you plan to do something more complex I would like to see something really complex, not in-between.

#2 Research

When you make a breakthrough and you are given the choice to continue or change your goal, it would be really helpful to know what techs that paths can lead to. At the momen t I have to click "change goal" to see if i'm interested in that path or if I want to change.

#3 HUD options

I would like to be able to totally change what the hud displays : a bit like that

(+ [daysUntil]j) [longDay] [date] [longMonth] ([time]) : [reminderDesc]

(it's from reminder fox, an excellent mod for firefox)

  • For those who don't want to mess with that you can create a "default" display, but those that only want some information (or want to change the way it's displayed) that would be good. You could have : "Gildars : #GildarsProduced" or "G : #GildarsProduced" or "#GildarIcon : ##GildarsProduced", etc.
  • I'd like to see cities that have an enemy unit near them (3 or 4 tiles away) flashing (or with a glow around the medallion) on the kingdom tree.

#4 NON-HUD Information

For long spells to cast : if some spells requires several turn to cast, I'd like to see the spellcaster waving their hands in the air, so enemies can see that something nasty will soon happen.

#5 Visual Distinctions between Factions.

Are the tiny people we can see working on the buildings taken from the race we create at start ? Or are they just placeholders ?

The only thing that would add to the flavour are how huts are built : flying huts with a magical sovereign, huts with barking dogs for military sovereign, huts with a little garden for civilization sovereign, etc.

#6 Other types of World Resources

I'd like to be able to "duplicate" resources in other places when it make sense. Horses ? Just breed some more in your cities. Breed them with crystals, with fire shard, with whatever could be fun.

And why not some alchemy ? Rare resources could only be created by those who have some prerequisite. The pre-requisites would be random so we can't have a recipe list.

What about resources that are used by spells ? Gold to crystals ? Crystals to gold ? Materials to gold ? Mythril to glass horses (?) ? etc.

 

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June 13, 2010 3:20:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We can have improvements that require adjacency. That is, we can have a farm and require a second improvement be adjacent to a farm tile.

Maybe there should be an improvement that you can put next to a farm (or garden) that magnifies the output of the farm. You should be able to put as many as you want so long as they are adjacent to the farm tile.

This would surely not add to the fun factor. More likely, you would be annoyed because after 100 turns you find out that you built the farm at an unimprovable location and would need to demolish it and rebuild somewhere else.

When it comes to city management I don't think where you place the tiles is the fun part. It would be more fun to just click a "build farm" icon, and the game puts it automatically at the best location.

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June 13, 2010 5:01:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
#1 City Improvements

We can have improvements that require adjacency. That is, we can have a farm and require a second improvement be adjacent to a farm tile.

Maybe there should be an improvement that you can put next to a farm (or garden) that magnifies the output of the farm. You should be able to put as many as you want so long as they are adjacent to the farm tile.
Same for Metal resources.
Same for Crystal Resources.
Same for Shard resources.

I have to agree with people fearing too much micromanagement. Having the improvement in the same city is already enough.

And from a 'realist' point of view, it's also unnecessary: someone and his cows can easily walk 20km a day to go to the slaughterhouse, and these medieval/post-apocalyspe towns won't be 20km large, more like 2 or 3. No need for the slaughterhouse to border the cattle ranch! Same with people moving grain with waggons.

 

A little improvement to do (not related to the OP)

A female champion visiting the shop shouldn't be greeted by "m'lord" but by "m'lady".

 

 

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June 13, 2010 6:22:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The archiving techs don't seem to give you much research for 4 tile stuff.  How about, since these tech are being rediscovered, you have some buildings that increase the likelihood of getting the rarer techs?

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June 13, 2010 6:36:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As for damage, maybe have a symbol or letter for the damage

 

B= Blunt

C= Cutting

P=Pierce

A= Arcane/Magic

F= Fire

W= Water

L=Lightning

E= Earth (some would argue why this isn't blunt- I can see reasons though)

 

Modders can use the other letters.

 

 

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June 13, 2010 7:24:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

#1 City Improvements

These are trivial for us to add. And we’ve only started touching the capabilities here.

We can have improvements that require adjacency. That is, we can have a farm and require a second improvement be adjacent to a farm tile.

We can have improvements in which you can build as many as you want per city, only 1 per faction, or one per city level.

Improvements can use either 1 tile or 4 tiles.

City tiles that meet a criteria can be merged. So if you built N of the same type of improvement in 4 tiles, we can visually merge them together. You won’t get to see it during the beta phase but you can make requests on this still.

Examples

Maybe there should be an improvement that you can put next to a farm (or garden) that magnifies the output of the farm. You should be able to put as many as you want so long as they are adjacent to the farm tile.

Same for Metal resources.

Same for Crystal Resources.

Same for Shard resources.

I like this! Just a note: I was always wondering, that why is it not possible to have improvements which are "occupying" 2 tiles for example? Why is it either 1 or 4? Weird stuff...

 

#3 HUD options

Beta 3 will have a Head’s up Display toggle that will allow you to get information about your cities.

#4 NON-HUD Information

That said, we don’t users to have to use a HUD to get basic info at a glance. Thus, feedback and suggestions of looking at a unit, city, etc. and telling if they are defended, how strong they are, the general output, etc. We have our own thoughts on this but we’d love to hear yours.

We do NOT, however, want to have units running around with flags or other things of the sort. We want subtle (non-HUD) and hard core (HUD).

Perhaps the amount of data displayed on the HUD should be controllable via an in-game option. Why? Because some players might find it annoying if the HUD is full with informations, while some other players -like myself- are preferring to see as much information on the screen, as much possible.

 

#6 Other types of World Resources

- More types of metals, including very rare ones.

- More types of mounts, including some "exotic" beasts.

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June 13, 2010 7:47:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

2. Related to the first part, cities look too... dense, inorganic. There are no roads or spaces between buildings, so cities (especially early on) tend to end up as clumps of the same buildings everywhere.

I am not sure if that is still doable in a manageable amount of time but it would be great if you would split up functional fields into a center visual part and a transition part to each side. That way according to a priority that part could have a separate visual look and you could define special transition looks instead of generic ones where you want.

That would also allow to claim that part for putting some roads or other stuff into cities and make them look less like clumps.

When rivers always have to occupy a certain field, their turns look quite unnatural but if they could claim the transition parts of adjacent tiles according to a priority that would allow for smoother river turns.

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June 13, 2010 8:02:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've had the opportunity to skim through all of the suggestions made and it seems like these are standing out

#1 City improvements
         -
Building 4 gardents/huts ect together and then over time (every 35-50) turns having them merge ino one structure that has higher output.  This would help with clutter etc.  Also, it would give the city a more natural feel (inner part of city with surrounding sprawl)

      - I havent seen much mention of this but have a "Govenor" that will suggest building improvements, this might help those that dont want to micro manage as much.

#2 Research

      - A tech tree is a must.  This will help us figure out which "path" to take.  Since the graphical user interface needs to be changed why not try to combine all of the tech catagories on one page with a scroll through (like civ4) because this keeps it simple instead of having to click the different categories.
     - Someone also made the suggestion of having certain techs available if a certain combination of say "civics" and "warfare" were researched, because this might influence the order in which i research and add more "out of game thinking time" which players seem to enjoy.

#6 world resources

   I really like the idea of "World events", for example.  "Hell rains down and all the trees are now burning temporarily", any one that ventures through forests suffer 1 damage per turn etc. 

   If you need more ideas on World events, quests etc. I think that this game has alot of similarities with Runebound the board game.  If you guys havent done it already i would seriously think about picking up a copy and seeing what they've done.

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June 13, 2010 8:17:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

my current concern is that you have too many buildings, my hope is that buildings will end up as more unique than what they are now because, for example, as far as i can see there is no reason what so ever to build: Conclaves, Emporiums or Town Councils, to say nothing of the buildings which seem to have no function (yet) such as granaries and warehouses. Conclaves are the worst offender, you could literally build another city for the cost of a Conclave, and it does next to nothing, even if you accept 500 gold as a typo and it should be 50, why would you not just build a school, or a library, even a study?


That aside, I like the idea of buildings merging together, it only being a visual change is a bit disappointing, though at the very least you could use the system to help avoid the "my town looks like a series of square buildings stuck near each other" effect, ie if people build 4 houses in a square it transforms in to a street.
If you could change the function of the buildings at the same time i would use the same example as a way of constructing slums, you build a bunch of low level housing cramped together and it transforms in to slums.


 

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June 13, 2010 8:36:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Terraziel,
my current concern is that you have too many buildings, my hope is that buildings will end up as more unique than what they are now because, for example, as far as i can see there is no reason what so ever to build: Conclaves, Emporiums or Town Councils, to say nothing of the buildings which seem to have no function (yet) such as granaries and warehouses.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the granary increase the output of any farms in the city? Other then that I agree with what you are saying, a lot of the buildings feel very samey.

World Resources:

Things like gold would be fun to have, adding a huge gildar boost from mining. Most importantly I would like to see special resources be truly special. Allowing the player to create something unique or give access to something very different instead of just another type of food source or such. At the very least the special resource should be a lot better then the more normal variety. There are a lot of different food resources, but I wish they would be a bit more different, maybe some of them could give additional benefits. 

Of course, different types of mounts are always appreciated. I would love to see something elephant like as mounts, that are very different from horses, think the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the Mumakil.

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June 13, 2010 8:46:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think adjacency bonus for city improvements is important. I would like to have a green-colored tiles when placing buildinds, telling me "Hey, if you place me here, I will give you some extra cookies!".

I have a one slight issue with merging four 1 tiled buildings into one 4 tiled. If I recall correctly, we do not want square cities. So, why build improvements in squares?

It would also be nice to have ultra-mega big 6 / 8-squared improvements that would dominate a city in both size and bonuses. You know, the ones that are only 1 per faction or 1 per the whole game.

 

As for the visual distinctions, I actually think that factions should distinct themselves by materials they have available in this game. Ideally, each faction will end up with different materials for their armor/weapons that will define their looks and bonuses. The player could have a choice between color dyes and perhaps some different design looks of armor/weapons with this particular material. The point is having player something to say about how his stuff looks like.

It may be good to have these "starting" materials that will define gameplay-wise the distinction of a faction to be based upon starting sovereign of the faction (his spellbooks, for instance) rather than to be completely random. 

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June 13, 2010 9:38:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Demiansky,
I'm more and more under the impression that city management will spiral out of control as soon as you start building an empire.  In beta 1 and as I'm seeing in beta 2, it's already becoming a bit tedious.  Of course, having to go back to cities constantly to build things like "houses" is an empty feature that sucks up time and jars the player constantly away from the things he/she would actually prefer doing.  I think city building based on spamming specific kinds of buildings again and again (oh, this should be my research city... library, library, library) will make city building very dull and something most players will contantly be trying to avoid.  Galactic Civs 2 planet management fell into this pit, but began digging itself out by the time Arnor showed up because it had some races with variable build options.  What we need is fewer cities but much more flavor and character for each one.

I think that there should be numerous but fairly simple variables involved with what a city thrives at.  For instance, let's say you want to make that research city we were talking about.  Instead of creating a city building scheme that emphasises spamming cloned "scholar" buildings, have multiple variables reponsible for research that are easy to understand and that aren't always available in every city.  For instance, the city site might have a tile with an ancient, underground library.  The tile allows you to refurbish the library and extract the knowledge, giving the city +X research points and +y percentage research points per turn in that city. 

Next, you might build an academy in the city as well.  An academy might only be buildable if you've reached a certain tech, and only 1 academy can be built in your empire.  However, you can re-research the tech again at a higher cost so that you may build a second academy elsewhere in your empire (this can be repeated). 

Next, you might court a wandering scholar to study in your city, but to do so your city must have a requisite amount of research points before they will join.  The more research points the city generates, the cheaper it is to hire the scholar.  Once he/she joins, you can build a laboratory for them, which can be upgraded continually. 

Also, you might cast a spell call "inspiration" which gives a city the opportunity once every turn for 10 turns to inspire a genius (whom would then provide a base bonus to research.

If you focus on the trade part of the tech tree heavily, you might have a "Merchant's University" which generates research points based on the research level of your trade partners.  This building could only be built in cities that have reached a certain level of foreign commerce.

So in essence, every city would have its own unique flavor, rather than feel like a clone of every other city focusing on research.  As of now, I'm feeling very little attachment to any of my cities. 

 

+1

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June 13, 2010 9:58:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mandelik,



And from a 'realist' point of view, it's also unnecessary: someone and his cows can easily walk 20km a day to go to the slaughterhouse, and these medieval/post-apocalyspe towns won't be 20km large, more like 2 or 3. No need for the slaughterhouse to border the cattle ranch! Same with people moving grain with waggons.

 

 

I remember when we were on a roadtrip and in Austria, there were a few cows walking on the roads - on their own. Definitely a "wtf" moment. Apparently it is not uncommon that the cows go from their homes to pastures every day.

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June 13, 2010 10:12:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is the 3D view supposed to be extremely blurry, like there is a fog over everything?  Is it just that I am in a foggy area, and evrything looks foggy, or do you think there is an issue with my fog of war that makes it so there is no clear places (even my sovereign is fogged out)?

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June 13, 2010 10:29:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd like to see rare resources that allow unique buildings/units empire-wide. Current rare resources give a boost to the food/prestige/research/etc of the city they're built nearby, which - don't get me wrong - is a good idea and makes city placement a little more interesting, but you could do more with resources. Like forest tiles of a rare wood - yew? - that if you build a lumbermill over it, provides a small supply of the yew resource to make a slightly-better-than-normal longbow. i.e. your old archers used x materials to build a bow that does y damage, your new ones can instead use x yew to build a bow that does y+2 damage. Not game changing, but make a dozen resources like that which each provide a small empire-wide bonus in some specific area, and it makes exploring the map and choosing where to place cities much more interesting.

Also agree that adjacency is a bad idea. It's something I love optimizing when playing a city simulator, but it would quickly become micromanagement hell in a game where you will have 3+ cities, not to mention warfare and magic and such to worry about, city building doesn't need to get that detailed. City building is already fairly complicated with limited tiles and a wide selection of buildings to fill them (many of which already depend on each other, i.e. need farms to build a granary), it's just about right already in my opinion.

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June 13, 2010 10:44:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

City Improvements

Right now I don't feel as if my choice of where to place an improvement on each turn is very meaningful.  In some cases, I'm moving to reach a resource, but otherwise I find myself just randomly picking a direction.  Right now the resources seem to be 2x2 tiles, so what if there were some 1x1 resources with minor effects?

  • Small patches of fertile land that couldn't support a full farm, but would improve a garden
  • Patches of land with particularly valuable wood that would give a +1 gold bonus in addition to materials for a workshop
  • Small-scale ruins from the time before the cataclysm that provide a small bonus to your research
  • Salvageable pre-cataclysm buildings that either give you a build-time bonus or a reduction in materials cost for a building built there

 

As long as the benefits are kept relatively small, these mini-resource tiles could be much more common.  The pattern of their placement would add additional strategy to the choice of where to place your city and how to grow it, as you would want to pick a place with good access to the mini-resources and grow your city in a way that you can take advantage of them in an efficient way.  This also means that a location with no access to major resources, but decent mini resources and a good strategic location (choke point?) is more of a viable city choice.

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June 13, 2010 11:05:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Damage types are great, but what about unit types and special abilities? I'd like guys with pole arms to stop mounted charges, but I also want guys with bows & daggers to get crushed by mounted charges. And eh.. It might be cliché, but I'd like dragons to breathe fire, golems to be impervious to magic, swamp monsters to be able to move unseen & ambush stuff in swampy terrain, and so on.

Special resources that give stuff like super-powerful units or great, big piles of mana work best if they're hard to find and easy to contest. I can't really imagine how you'd do that in a game with randomly generated maps that the players are unlikely in the extreme to have explored to any degree before establishing their empires (or kingdoms or whatever).

City improvements aren't visually distinct enough. I'd prefer if the improvements either didn't use tiles at all and simply showed up on a mouse-over info-card (or whatever), or if they were so easily distinguishable that I could both tell them apart and guess their function if I'd never seen the game before.

The GUI needs to scale, or have a "blind old bat" option. My screen is some distance from my face and I play in 1920x1200. Font below size 22 gets annoying.

I'd like verbose character stats with tooltips in the equipment screen.

With a city selected, I'd like to be able to right-click any building to get full details of it. Take me to its Agamemnon entry or something

Hero traits (as in multiple) & heirlooms would be cool. Mr. Handsome The Heroic Administrator would be a much cooler guy if he had a couple of traits like "is handsome (charisma+2)" and "is brave (morale bonus)" and "is a good administrator (production +% when in a city)". Or he could just have a pile of magical heirlooms conferring him similar bonuses. The cool thing about heirlooms would be that they could be stolen, destroyed or even cursed. The cool thing about traits is that they could improve over time if the possessor does relevant stuff (administrator administrating, brave guy rallying troops, etc), and that offspring could inherit them.

Speaking of morale, how do you guys intend it to work?

And speaking of stats, I know you looooove your 0.000000001 modifiers beyond all reason, Frogboy. But seriously... It is BORING! I don't mind that a level-up gives my char +1 too something. But don't make it +1.0 when we're talking about stats ranging between 10 and 15. "Whooooo! I just increased my strength by a 150th! Tremble before me, world!" is something you won't ever hear from a sane person. I can't speak for anyone but myself, obviously, but I very strongly suspect it's the sort of thing most people get anti-excited about. Please let meaningless, fractional increases die with GalCiv2. And with fire too, just to make sure.

I love the NPCs. Mostly, I love their Agamemnon entries and what they might be, eventually. Right now, there's way too many of them in the game. A guy who gives +2 research points/turn is special. 500 guys that do it aren't special, they're a nuisance lemming-horde to be butchered before the AI can get its hands on them.

NPCs are way, way too powerful right now. Building and equipping an NPC blob to the point that it moves 5+/turn, has an attack rating of "hordes of dragons flee screaming" and a defence rating of "hitpoints are irrelevant, nothing will ever hurt us" is quick and easy. Much more so than building an empire (or kingdom or whatever). It's especially nasty since a party of one guy can actually crush a whole pile of cities single-handedly.

It would be cool if adventuring parties competed. I'd love to ambush the Adventurers of Enemystan while they're escorting some useless noble to his abode. Or to race them to a rat-infested cellar. It would also be just a little bit cool if adventuring parties sought patron kingdoms (or empires) for funding, and spread culture in return.

NPCs wandering aimlessly about the wasteland seems a bit.. silly. Why aren't they knocking on doors? If I were them, I would. Why wander about the wasteland when you can seek out competing city-state'ish factions that require your services desperately, and hire yourself to the highest bidder?

Also, why let adventuring parties/hero blobs attack cities? Nevermind for a moment that it is totally game-breaking right now, how much sense does it make for 5 guys to blow into a town of, say, 500, and take it over? Do I hear you shout "none at all!"? Well, I'm glad we agree. Super Combatants are cool, but only if they actually look like it & certainly never when they're just 5 guys (if that).Hero characters leading troops would be cool. But then it should work more like the Independent Character concept found in various wargames.

... I'll stop now, before this moves from lengthy rant to original body of work magnitude. And eh, thanks a bunch Frogboy & froglings. It's starting to get fun. And it is much prettier than it appeared to be (had to be said, since I bitched about that too, earlier).

 

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