[Gameplay] I'm not liking the global resources.

By on September 6, 2010 1:46:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

cephalo

Join Date 01/2009
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After playing a few games, I have to say that global resources have some negative consequences. It certainly eliminates some micromanagement, but it completely trivializes the value of real estate and infrastructure. I can build whatever I want, my most advanced military units, even on a brand new outpost without any concern for logistics. It matters not that I had to escort my pioneer to this place with half my army because of the deadly expanse of forest filled with terrible monsters, and it really should matter. It's alot funner if it matters.

Another thing that devalues real-estate is that you can spawn resources by researching techs. You build a city any old place with enough room, and eventually it will justify itself after the fact. It seems a little goofy.

These two things really take alot of the fun out of exploration. You don't want to lose one of the X's. You only have 4 and 4 is better than 3 in that regard. It also means that it doesn't really matter which of an enemies city you conquer, because they're all kinda the same with resources spawning in after the fact.

Each city shoud have it's own pool. Caravans could be used to spread some of the resources around (maybe creating a percentage of the source cities income in the destination city).

 

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September 6, 2010 3:48:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You should be concerned.  I have had similar thoughts.

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September 6, 2010 3:59:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The global resouces would be fine if unit production had more building dependence.  Even something as simple as requiring a blacksmith before allowing the training of units with armor and weapons would solve the many of the problems.  I'm not sure adding complex, caravan related math (I would enjoy it, but there are many who wouldn't) is the answer.

Personally I would like to see more of the "unlockable resources."  For example, requiring a mining tech before gold and iron can be seen (or have "rich gold" sites unlock with a 2x bonus).  It helps prevent resource-squatting, and forces players to change their play style as new realities arise.  Of course, the only way this works is if city-spamming is impossible, which I think can be done by creating more aggresive, region specific AI mobs that have to be cleared from an area before expansion can take place.  When it takes resources and real effort to create and maintain a city, there is less incentive to randomly build cities.  Just my 2 cents of course.

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September 6, 2010 4:00:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I haven't played enough games to get a feel for it, but seems like it's best to create a bunch of cities before going up in the tech that spawns new resources.  Pick your location and the resources will come.  Am I right in my thinking that the resources only spawn around your cities?  I do wish it was more Civ like (I'm sure they're tired of hearing that by now).

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September 6, 2010 4:10:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In the betas you had to build a structure ("training grounds" or something) before you could train units. They removed it because it made the early game quite boring. I think that was the right thing to do. 

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September 6, 2010 7:42:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm more of the opinion that CERTAIN resources should be global, and others not so much.

For instance, I think good cases can be made for Gildar and Food to be global w/o diminishing the fun factor.

Making any resources non-global would no doubt increase the micro-management, but these two especially would hinder empire/kingdom development in a frustrating way me thinks.

I do disagree that this is a major issue at the moment however. I think any number of other systems should be fixed before looking at this one.

Just my $0.02.

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September 7, 2010 2:05:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One idea that I had on this matter was if a city's resources start off as non-global, until you connect up that city to your kingdom-wide trade network with a caravan. So long as the caravan continued to trade back and forth between the city and the rest of your kingdom, the resources would be globally available. But if the caravan gets destroyed by a monster, the city gets cut off again. This forces you to expand more wisely than the current game does, since you have to either found your cities closely to each other so that caravans are never threatened, or spend a lot of resources on armies to guard your long caravan routes, or else settle for having distant outpost cities that must try to be self-sufficient. Caravans could automatically respawn at the source city if they are destroyed, and city would not count as connected again until the caravan had successfully made a trip there and back again. In this way, there would hopefully be no micro, but would also add a certain strategic element to expansion and resource management. Making caravans useful in this way would also mean that you can get rid of the silly and unbalanced stacking +food bonus.

Of course, the downside to this idea is that foreign caravans would have to have another use, and although it would not be difficult to think up an interesting use for them, having two separate uses for caravans might be unnecessarily complicated and confusing.

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September 7, 2010 2:15:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Gravedancer,
I haven't played enough games to get a feel for it, but seems like it's best to create a bunch of cities before going up in the tech that spawns new resources.  Pick your location and the resources will come.  Am I right in my thinking that the resources only spawn around your cities?  I do wish it was more Civ like (I'm sure they're tired of hearing that by now).

The amount of resources spawned by the techs is constant. For example the first one always uncovers a single gold mine near one of your cities. So you won't lose anything if you research these early.

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September 7, 2010 2:29:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Magog_AoW,
In the betas you had to build a structure ("training grounds" or something) before you could train units. They removed it because it made the early game quite boring. I think that was the right thing to do. 
They could make higher - quality stuff require better and better buildings, but have wooden sticks and beast hides not require anything.

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September 7, 2010 2:36:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If they could implement a system similar to Colonization then I might consider localized resources. I kinda enjoyed micro-managing Colonization's resources and the logistics of it all. Perhaps this could be a game option?

Otherwise, I really don't mind the global resources.

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September 7, 2010 11:22:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd rather not go to localized resources.  I can't imagine any way to do this without adding more micromanagement than I want to deal with.  I would rather see buildings which enable higher level units to be built, but this would have to be done carefully, as it's hard enough to build buildings while still leaving room for enough houses to allow the town to level up.

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September 8, 2010 4:33:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, this is where beta really started (and then continued) to just go wrong for me. The old economic system was rather popular and made the game a lot more tactical, strategic, and fun.

There were a couple long official discussion threads over what type of economy people wanted and they clearly wanted some complexity and not global resources. Then after an off-topic user created discussion thread about housing with little involvement (Until the March 26th announcement of the economic system change) Frogboy decided to revert the system to his original idea of having global resources.

The attitude of Frogboy became:

Quoting Frogboy,
We did listen. As you know. Users discussed it heavily here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/378334

And this is the system that, at length, have developed. We like it.  We like it a lot.

The global resource pool with localized tracking adds a great deal of strategic depth, provides greater player control while adhering to the objective of having the game mechanics being intuitive and logical.  

You are beating a dead horse. It's time to move on.

The attitude which kind of continued on in the rest of the game towards tactical battles, game crashes, and releasing the game before it was ready. I really hope that in hindsight that the economic model along with the other things at the end of beta didn't work out the way they had pictured it. The economy just isn't fun and you won't see even the most favorable reviews of Elemental giving it any good remarks.

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September 8, 2010 5:06:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Localized resources, being "globalized" with roads and caravans I'd like to see.  The easist way would be to have resources from another city globalized or instantly accessible if they are connected by roads with an active caravan.  With more complexity, there would be a gradual drift of resources along caravan routes, balancing through the different cities and diffusing toward the ones that consume the resources the fastest.  But I'd like to see a return to local resources at the core (except for gildars, and when implemented, essence or mana).

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September 8, 2010 5:09:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Magog_AoW,
In the betas you had to build a structure ("training grounds" or something) before you could train units. They removed it because it made the early game quite boring. I think that was the right thing to do. 
I can see requiring no 'training grounds' to recruit peasants, but for 'real' troops there should be one.

My take behind the reason training grounds were removed is because it was taking 'too long' to start getting troops in the field and removing training grounds and allowing recruiting without any building was a quick and easy bandaid fix.

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September 8, 2010 5:15:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Fearzone,
Localized resources, being "globalized" with roads and caravans I'd like to see...
This makes sense, and allows strategy (creating, guarding, and cutting supply lines).

Rishkith quotes froggy saying: The global resource pool with localized tracking adds a great deal of strategic depth
What the heck is 'localized tracking' -- is that a fancy way of saying they sum up all similar resources produced by city (and then just lump them all together globally, ignoring the 'localized' bit for gameplay)?  Does that 'sum up all similar resources produced by city' actually do anything except be a number on a city screen in our current setup?

Seems to me what we now have regarding the global pools reduces strategic depth as it's a quick and easy no-brainer system which decreases decision-making.

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September 8, 2010 5:25:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Rishkith,
Yeah, this is where beta really started (and then continued) to just go wrong for me. The old economic system was rather popular and made the game a lot more tactical, strategic, and fun.

There were a couple long official discussion threads over what type of economy people wanted and they clearly wanted some complexity and not global resources. Then after an off-topic user created discussion thread about housing with little involvement (Until the March 26th announcement of the economic system change) Frogboy decided to revert the system to his original idea of having global resources.

The attitude of Frogboy became:


Quoting Frogboy, reply 8We did listen. As you know. Users discussed it heavily here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/378334

And this is the system that, at length, have developed. We like it.  We like it a lot.

The global resource pool with localized tracking adds a great deal of strategic depth, provides greater player control while adhering to the objective of having the game mechanics being intuitive and logical.  

You are beating a dead horse. It's time to move on.

The attitude which kind of continued on in the rest of the game towards tactical battles, game crashes, and releasing the game before it was ready. I really hope that in hindsight that the economic model along with the other things at the end of beta didn't work out the way they had pictured it. The economy just isn't fun and you won't see even the most favorable reviews of Elemental giving it any good remarks.

 

That was the flaw in beta - yea things we agree on paper seem great - but we really never got a chance to beta test all the components at once - we are beta testing it now. We never really got a chance to give adequate feedback one many things. For example seeing how global resources really play out along side the rest of the game mechanics and um... ofcourse tactical battles.

Now that we are at release one must wonder how drastically some mechanics can truly ever change

 

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September 8, 2010 5:36:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,

Quoting Fearzone, reply 12Localized resources, being "globalized" with roads and caravans I'd like to see...This makes sense, and allows strategy (creating, guarding, and cutting supply lines).


Rishkith quotes froggy saying: The global resource pool with localized tracking adds a great deal of strategic depthWhat the heck is 'localized tracking' -- is that a fancy way of saying they sum up all similar resources produced by city (and then just lump them all together globally, ignoring the 'localized' bit for gameplay)?  Does that 'sum up all similar resources produced by city' actually do anything except be a number on a city screen in our current setup?

Seems to me what we now have regarding the global pools reduces strategic depth as it's a quick and easy no-brainer system which decreases decision-making.

It does seem to water down strategy. Right now I am playing Age of Wonders SM and I think some basic economy tactics can be gleaned from that game. Simple yet strategic.

What if global resources gained from cities were diluted the further away they were from your capital? The cities far off had to set up independent economic structures or diplomatic connections? Not sure if it would change anything. Might help city spam atleast

Or what if you didn't start out with global resources but was something you researched, or gained through diplomacy or something. But it would be if you decided to go a more diplomatic/economic victory. Start of locally but could through research begin to attach 1 or two cities into the global pool eventually including all your cities. But perhaps they atleast need to be connected by a caravan first before even begining tot have global resources

 

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September 8, 2010 5:38:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Global resources can be modded to work locally. The problems I ran into is there is no screen that shows what has been collected locally and I cannot figure out how to make caravans transfer resources to other cities. Last problem is I cannot build onto resource tiles (farms, mines) because I have no global resources. If all this can be figured out we can mod our own local economy. I don't see why we cannot have the best of both worlds.

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September 8, 2010 6:03:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"Localized tracking" means that each city keeps track of what it produces.

Please bear in mind, what we had in 1G was not at all like local resources in Civilization (which also has global resources of Iron, Coal, Gold, etc), but we were able to setup trade routes between cities. This trade was effectively a "bonus" in production, it didn't cut out what you had in the first city. Also, the closer you were to a city or fewer connections the more of a bonus you got on the trade route. It was I thought, a pretty good implementation of what the majority of players had asked for in "internal debates made external" official stardock thread. It needed fine-tuning and tweaking, but I was honestly enjoying setting up trade empires at that point of the game (tactical battles and spells were not in yet). Also, because resources were local the placement of your cities was critical and it was fun to explore not an empty world but one that had various interesting resources to find.

Stardock was so determined that we were going to like it, that they never bothered testing or asking if any of us actually did.

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September 8, 2010 6:37:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Global economy needs to be modified. Something simple like a "priority" system on cities where you tell the population what to focus on (therefore, making the city giving more of resource A but less of resource B and C) would already give cities more meaning. Or even something like a global budget system that decides wether you want to focus on a resource or another.

Right now, all you do is build. Make 10000 cities and build, build, and build even more. There is no strategy, just mindless building, because there is barely any strategy.

And why would they allow a city to have a study, an arcane study and a market at level 1? By doing that I can just spam lvl 1 cities and gain a crapload of resources. Also, having to build barracks to train units should be brought back. Global technologies is one thing, but not so much when it applies inmediatly to all cities... I mean, why the hell can I build WHITE SPARKLEY PALADINS OF MIGHT on my lvl 1 village? Come on, Stardock, you know better than this, remember all those great strategy mechanics you used in Galactic Civilizations...


Now, what I'm saying is, building cities should be something COSTLY and RARE, and therefore, CITIES themselves should be MUCH MORE IMPORTANT that way. Pioneers should be expensive and take long time to build. Hell, at least, unit building speed should be determined by the city size AND it's military buildings.

Okay, let's say I CAN build WHITE SPARKEY PALADINS OF MIGHT on my lvl 1 crap town, because I have the knowledge, but at the least, make it so it takes a lot of turns to do so, compared to the time it'd take to train them on my advanced capital.

 

I know you are taking a different approach for this game, with the RPG elements and all, but remember how GOOD you are at making strategy games, and use that to give this game some shape. I know you can do it, you're a great company, and I wouldn't want all the potential this game has, which is ENORMOUS, to be wasted.

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September 8, 2010 6:43:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Rishkith,
"Localized tracking" means that each city keeps track of what it produces. <snip>
So, in the current release, the effect of localized resources is seen in 'modifier buildings' (that modify, say food production) modifying that cities' produced food (and not modifying the global food total)?

If so, I was wrong in my above post, and the localized tracking number is not just "...a number on a city screen in our current setup..." as I said.

Thanks for the explanation/correction   

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September 8, 2010 7:02:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i think what we have now is fine, it just needs alot of balancing.  the only thing that i am not fond of is the tech that spawns resources.  i really don't know where that came from to be honest.  it wasn't in the beta and then poof, the final hit and there it was.  this makes city placement irrelevant and also explodes your economy.

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September 8, 2010 10:12:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,

Quoting Rishkith, reply 18"Localized tracking" means that each city keeps track of what it produces. <snip>So, in the current release, the effect of localized resources is seen in 'modifier buildings' (that modify, say food production) modifying that cities' produced food (and not modifying the global food total)?

Hmm, I guess you could say so in that it tracks what is in the city yes. Previously what a city produced there stayed there and there wasn't a "global pool".

There wasn't any pool in the old economy system. Each city produced a certain amount of resources and they were used or they were lost (amounts were higher so this wasn't a problem). Without the "global pool" of materials you didn't need them to produce a unit. You could produce "Uber knights of doom" in every city if you had the gold and population required, and the materials you had determined the speed at which they were built like in civilization. In addition the trade routes meant that if you built one spectacular "industrial town" properly position in your kingdom/empire the bonus effect from trade routes could make all the other cities produce decently as well.

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September 8, 2010 10:54:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Death to the global pool!

 

If it were at least tied to the caravan system so that only connected cities got access to the pool, that would be one thing.  The current system is just homo.  You need to be way into the game for there to be much difference between producing your units at the brand new outpost and producing them way back in the works.  Eventually, enough modifiers get stacked on training centers and such that it at least becomes relevant as long as you're not training them for last minute defense of your far flung outpost with no realistic way to be training them...

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September 9, 2010 12:45:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Magog_AoW,
In the betas you had to build a structure ("training grounds" or something) before you could train units. They removed it because it made the early game quite boring. I think that was the right thing to do. 

Yea it made the early game boring becuase it cost 100 gildar! Things are gonna be slow when your only way to produce units is one of the most expensive buildings in the game and your expected to buy it starting out. Also units use to cost a LOT more as well, if I remember correctly. I will admit the money did also flow a bit better back in those days as well, but not that much better that you could easily drop a few hundred just to let all your starting cities train units. If they had lowered the price of getting that training building then yea it would of been good.

Also what happen to buildings like the Siege factory and Archery range that were suppose to "allow" you to build units of that type? That would of been a great way to restrict people from simply building whatever at brand new cities. It's funny they took both of those buildings out before they added siege units and archers to the game.

I feel like they caved into a lot of pressure before everything was in so people could see how it all fit together. And some things were fine they just needed better balance like cheaper training grounds. There are a few other buildings that it's like WTH happen to them as well.

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September 9, 2010 10:37:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To me, it seems like they are afraid of making this game too complicated, so they are oversimplifying basic concepts that are common in strategy games like, you know, HAVING TO BUILD STRUCTURES THAT ALLOW CERTAIN UNITS. Like I said in a previous post, why the HELL  can I build AWESOME SPARKLEY KNIGHTS OF MIGHT in my lvl 1 village (not even a city yet)?

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