[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 9, 2010 7:40:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting PyroMancer2k,
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.
I agree that it'd have been better to balance instead of remove things like training halls, archery ranges, etc.  Froggy says the game wasn't rushed, so it wasn't that they took the quick&easy way and just removed these things for expediencies' sake, they thought this the best solution.

Quoting Nack210,
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...
Agreed.   In answering the 'how simple/complicated should feature X be' question it seems they, perhaps too often, erred on the 'too simple' side.

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September 9, 2010 8:02:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

no, it was the right choice to take out the prereq for building units.  the way the game is set up sure if you had a unit with a bow then you would need an archery range.  ok thats alright.  what about then if you had a unit that you had created that used 3 or 4 pieces of equipment from special buildings.  lets say you had 3 cities that had the ability to make these units, other cites had some of the buildings but not all.  AND on top of that you had other units that were made from OTHER different buildings.  you see it would get extremely confusing on what city could build what unit. 

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September 9, 2010 8:10:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,

I agree that it'd have been better to balance instead of remove things like training halls, archery ranges, etc.  Froggy says the game wasn't rushed, so it wasn't that they took the quick&easy way and just removed these things for expediencies' sake, they thought this the best solution.

The command post which you needed just to build any units yea I can see dropping that. But the others I think would of been nice to keep. I mean this game is often compared to MoM and in that all but the basic spearmen required a building to allow you to trian them. And all the buildings had upkeep cost yet I haven't heard anyone say that MoM city building was "too complicated".

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September 9, 2010 8:36:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stmorpheus,
no, it was the right choice to take out the prereq for building units.  the way the game is set up sure if you had a unit with a bow then you would need an archery range.  ok thats alright.  what about then if you had a unit that you had created that used 3 or 4 pieces of equipment from special buildings.  lets say you had 3 cities that had the ability to make these units, other cites had some of the buildings but not all.  AND on top of that you had other units that were made from OTHER different buildings.  you see it would get extremely confusing on what city could build what unit. 

Actually it's not really that complicated. It's where GOOD UI comes in. Anything can be made to seem overly complicated with a terrible UI setup.

First off all units already display if you can build them due to lack of resources they are grayed out. So you wanna see if you city can build a unit simply open up the train menu and wow look it's grayed out, guess you can't build it. Now I know what you gonna, "How do we find out the reason we can't build it?" Well that is simple as well. Just like the resources that are lacking are in red their could be a list of the buildings your lacking. Either the simple Icons or the names of the buildings.

Now when it comes to designing units there should be a spot that says what buildings you need to build that unit. That way a player knows if they are building some rediculous combo that is going to require a huge set of buildings to make. And someone who doesn't want to hassle with it can stick to more lean designs. Basic armor and weapons shouldn't really have a lot of building requirements. Some of the various packs and magical items though probably would though along with stables to train mounted units. Though you would expect that of non-basic equipment.

If it's hidden from the player though and they have to constantly guess which items go to what building then yes it could be frustrating and seem overly complicated. But that's why you make it clear in the UI like I suggested with quick easy feedback so the player can see why stuff is the way it is.

Honestly I don't think it's that hard to keep track of what units can be built in what cities for a player. Take Civ4 for example, while it didn't really have building restrictions there were several wonders that would give units trained in that city a special bonus. Well it wasn't very hard to keep track of it by going "Ok I'll build all my X units in Y city because they get the bonus" and I would turn that city into one of my main military production centers. In Civ games I tend to build most of my military in only a few cities because of things like Barracks and such with give bonuses to units trained there. So yea keeping track of a few cities which are your main source of training is not really that hard.

EDIT: Even RTS games like SC2 have it where you can mouse over grayed out units and it tells you what tech/buildings you are lacking. It's not really that hard or inivative of a UI concept. Also as for player city building it comes down to a simple choice. Do you wanna build high end military units in this city? No... Then don't setup those required buildings. Just like in MoM where all buildings had upkeep you didn't build everything in every city since a lot of times you weren't gonna train the high end stuff there.

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September 9, 2010 8:47:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

True. After all, multi-purpose units that rape everything in their way SHOULD be hard to get. Making you get the buildings for each of the special weapons is a nice way of making them more rare. Like I said before, people are, for some reason, thinking that strategy game mechanics we've seen tons of times over the years are now "too complicated". They are not.

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September 9, 2010 9:10:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

still seems like alot of micro to say:

i can build my spy units in city A and B

i can build my regular military best in city B and D

i can build my strong defense units in city A,B, C

i can build my heavy hitters in city D and F

i can build my units that's resistant to fire and ice in city B,C, F

i can build my cavalry in A

i can build my fast infantry in city C and f.

that would drive me nuts.  i think the best approach would have faster build times, or lower cost improvements in the cities instead.  so you wouldn't want to build that special unit in your level 1 cities because it would take 30 turns to do it(because you wouldn't have any improvements that helped build time). or it might cost you 200 gildar, 100 iron, and 50 crystal.  build it in city B instead and it would only cost75 gildar, 30 iron, and 10 crystal.

(also i know that yes, there are already improvements that lower build time. there just needs to be variable and longer build time on certain equipment. similar to the pioneer pack)

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September 9, 2010 9:10:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nack210,
True. After all, multi-purpose units that rape everything in their way SHOULD be hard to get. Making you get the buildings for each of the special weapons is a nice way of making them more rare. Like I said before, people are, for some reason, thinking that strategy game mechanics we've seen tons of times over the years are now "too complicated". They are not.

I blame it on the move to push gaming into the "casual" market. It seems that games in general are getting more and more dumb down because "things are to complicated". And while this works in some genre it doesn't really fit well in the strategy genre because by it's very nature it is somewhat complicated. The other problem is strategy games have always been a nitch market and dumbing them down isn't going to attract more customers it's only going to drive off those who are looking for the very depth devs choose to cut out to reach a broader audience.

Also just because a game is "casual" friendly doesn't mean it's not complicated. The game I love to cite on this is Sim City. The basic premise of building a city by zoning and providing utilities is by it's very nature complicated. And building large cities is actually fairly difficult yet it is one of the most well known games and been played by tons of "casual" gamers.

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September 9, 2010 9:49:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stmorpheus,
still seems like alot of micro to say:

i can build my spy units in city A and B

i can build my regular military best in city B and D

i can build my strong defense units in city A,B, C

i can build my heavy hitters in city D and F

i can build my units that's resistant to fire and ice in city B,C, F

i can build my cavalry in A

i can build my fast infantry in city C and f...
I agree with Pyro that it's not 'too complicated' or even 'that complicated.

Second, what they ended up with is the epitome of 'simpleness'.  Even if what you describe is the extreme 'complicatedness' what we have is the extreme 'simpleness'.

In the Civ games folks seem to have no problem sorting out 'research cities' from 'production cities' from etc. etc. etc.  I don't see what you're describing as any more challenging.  As Pyro points out it's pretty simple -- go to the city, see what units are recruitable, queue up a bunch, and as they arrive distribute them.  Do that for the few different unit types, and voila!

Elemental after all is a TBS strategy game.  We see what you describe even in RTS games.

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September 9, 2010 10:40:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I still agree with food being global. The rest of the resources being global is ok.

 

current :total: situation however ... kinda too simple.

I mean, I don't mind a completely "global" resource system ... but I guess the way we get those resources, and the way we spend those resources, is kinda too simple.

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September 9, 2010 11:02:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, more localizational resources would be a boon, however I think that some improvements in other aspects should be in order if this is implemented. I don't like the way we build roads right now at all, tied to caravans. Having my good troop building city be on the other side of the war front would be annoyning if roads were so kinky to build (and let's not talk about sovergin teleporting). Perhaps a way of transfering resources between cities?

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September 9, 2010 11:07:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i guess i will agree that maybe it is to simple as is.  i would like more trade offs, i just don't want to add to much micromanagement.

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September 10, 2010 12:10:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the first thing to do would be to stop city spamming.  Spamming throws a lot the game balance out the window. I would imagine balancing while allowing spamming tactics would be very difficult because spamming has very little cost.  In civilization the settlers were one of the most costly units to build, especially early on.  They were expensive, they stopped population growth and were weak.  The economy would be much more interesting if it actually cost money build cities.  You could copy civilization and make it stop population growth and make it take much longer to build settlers.  Another possibility would be to make each city you create exponentially more expensive.  This would make the user much more deliberate in founding cities (one for food, gold, iron etc...) and stop an early game rush.  This would also be nice for users experiencing performance slowdown because the computer spams cities.

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September 10, 2010 12:16:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It shouldn't be any more micromanagement than Civ or MoM, and certainly less than GC2. It wasn't that complicated before in its earlier implementation, certainly simpler than figuring out the intricacies of dynasties in the current game which suffers from not having a good gui or enough management at all.

But I digress to a different area of the game and I agree with pretty much everyone who in one way or another has agreed that the economy simply needs more strategic depth to make this game more enjoyable as an actual strategy game.

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September 10, 2010 12:39:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Obtaining groceries is a monumentally complex process involving millions of people across the world, but it's no more complicated to pick things off a shelf than it would be if everything were made on site.  The reason is you're just the end user, you don't deal with production and distribution through the various layers.

 

Automate a distribution network that sends goods where needed.  Then you'd have an archery range that trains archers, but the bows don't necessarily have to be produced there as well.  They can draw items from every city in your empire, and you'll still just have to click them in.

 

A sufficiently intelligent data driven distribution system would be able to handle modified items, reqs, multiple tier production paths, the works.  All you'd need to do is build the appropriate production somewhere, and pay a little bit of attention to see whether you're producing too much or too little of a given resource.

 

Our current economy is horrific, unbalanced in the extreme based on what happens to be on the map.  I can pump gold bonuses all day long and never even come close to catching up to the horrific rate at which materials get produced one game, then be irretrievably short on them the next.  Of course, I can beat the AI without training a single unit, so it doesn't really matter... but that's another problem entirely

 

The most realistic economic model is also the simplest economic model to manage because real life never entails managing the entire cycle of production to buy a can of tuna.

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September 10, 2010 1:13:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, I, myself prefer global resource for 'Elemental', as adding a lot of buildings to one city will surely cost more memory to the PC. What Elemental needs now is not that additional memory cost buildings, but more about balancing issue, new strategy approach, and to reduce the City SPAM on the world map

 

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September 10, 2010 1:29:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not sure how adding buildings to cities (but at the same time, reducing city spamming) would increase significatly the memory useage. And even then, it could be properly optimized.

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September 10, 2010 10:10:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

currently i think i like the global resources as is. conquering a crappy city on your outskirts and then having to develop it for years so you can reinforce your frontline armies is pants. as is the micro of shipping troops half way across the map (see total war games). forcing every settlement to develop, to me discourages the idea that the game is about having a few resource based outposts surrounding each city, and therefore makes power even more proportional to the number of settlements, instead of civs being significant until their capitals are taken.

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September 10, 2010 1:21:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Pioneers should indeed cost more, but they should cost more in terms of population. Population should also be more important instead of just a "level up" mechanic. What I'm envisioning:

 

Pioneers cost 10 population. When you establish a city, it start out with 10 people. All buildings (except for housing and maybe a few others) cost population to construct. However, they don't consume the population so much as they "reserve" it. If the building isn't fully staffed, then it works at some fraction of it's normal efficiency. So for example, you can't make a level 1 city with 7 resource buildings and all the level 1 buildings, and expect it to produce much of anything if you've been recruiting all of it's population out in huge squads of peasants.

 

To get a little more advanced, you could make it so that while by default it just splits the workers up evenly, you can also assign the population to certain structures, for example putting everyone into the gold mine instead of the arcane laboratory. Perhaps require a certain tech to do this? Or even a specific structure like the town hall. This increases micromanagement a bit, but if you ignore it altogether you won't suffer that much.

 

Edit: Hm, thinking about it, maybe the diplomacy tree should be changed to "Government" instead, which would let you move some of the imperium tech over to it, and also add some more stuff like researching specific governments and the like, which give different bonuses but are mutually exclusive? Then add in some tech that changes the game up to be more micro-intensive, so if you don't like the micro style then you just focus more on other tech.

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September 10, 2010 11:56:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Brainsucker,
Well, I, myself prefer global resource for 'Elemental', as adding a lot of buildings to one city will surely cost more memory to the PC. What Elemental needs now is not that additional memory cost buildings, but more about balancing issue, new strategy approach, and to reduce the City SPAM on the world map
 

I really don't see how the economy being local/trade based or global impacts the design of building quantities.

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September 11, 2010 1:43:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Rishkith,

Quoting Brainsucker, reply 40Well, I, myself prefer global resource for 'Elemental', as adding a lot of buildings to one city will surely cost more memory to the PC. What Elemental needs now is not that additional memory cost buildings, but more about balancing issue, new strategy approach, and to reduce the City SPAM on the world map
 
I really don't see how the economy being local/trade based or global impacts the design of building quantities.

I think he means the number of buildings since requiring curtain buildings in a city to build curtain units would "clutter" up the cities. But frankly they are pretty sparce right now as I rarely have a space issue and easily get all my cities to level 5.

As for the "memory" issue I think he's talking about the memory problems the game is having right now. And frankly more buildings wouldn't really effect it that much. The main problem with memory issues in the game right now is that there are a lot of memory leaks.

For non programmers the concept of a memory leak can be kinda hard to grasp. But basically the sytem sets aside some memory to hold the information for let's say a unit or building. Well when that unit or building is no longer in use the system is suppose to free up that memory so it can be used by other things. But sometimes it doesn't and so this repeats with several items as the game progresses until soon the system is holding a bunch of memory for things that are no longer in use. Thus it's "leaking" memory. That's pretty much the layman's explanation and though it sounds easy enough to "fix" it often times might not be as the code doing it could be in other place then your code, Such as drivers for a video card. That's why different people experience different issues.

 

 

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September 11, 2010 2:30:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Agent_Paper,
Pioneers should indeed cost more, but they should cost more in terms of population. Population should also be more important instead of just a "level up" mechanic. What I'm envisioning:

 

Pioneers cost 10 population. When you establish a city, it start out with 10 people. All buildings (except for housing and maybe a few others) cost population to construct. However, they don't consume the population so much as they "reserve" it. If the building isn't fully staffed, then it works at some fraction of it's normal efficiency. So for example, you can't make a level 1 city with 7 resource buildings and all the level 1 buildings, and expect it to produce much of anything if you've been recruiting all of it's population out in huge squads of peasants.

 

To get a little more advanced, you could make it so that while by default it just splits the workers up evenly, you can also assign the population to certain structures, for example putting everyone into the gold mine instead of the arcane laboratory. Perhaps require a certain tech to do this? Or even a specific structure like the town hall. This increases micromanagement a bit, but if you ignore it altogether you won't suffer that much.

 

Edit: Hm, thinking about it, maybe the diplomacy tree should be changed to "Government" instead, which would let you move some of the imperium tech over to it, and also add some more stuff like researching specific governments and the like, which give different bonuses but are mutually exclusive? Then add in some tech that changes the game up to be more micro-intensive, so if you don't like the micro style then you just focus more on other tech.

 

You my friend are a genius. I also believe that we should add a game mechanic that requires each city to have a ruling hero present to be able to govern the location. Then we can put more use to the wisdom ability by having building/training times modified by wisdom. If the hero leaves the city then the city build/train time is on "pause" until the hero comes back or another hero who is present is appointed. City spamming now is gonna be hard huh?

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September 11, 2010 3:16:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No thank you, commie.

Civilization doesn't even come to a halt when government goes away entirely, it often moves in the opposite direction actually.

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September 11, 2010 3:42:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here is a simple look on Horses ...

 

So ... on global, you build a pasture to acquire horses ...

 

Only cities with a Stables have access to horses. ... gives access to basic "horse", costs 10 gold, 1 horse, 5 materials (+5 HP, +5 run speed)

 

A city with a Stables may build an "Animal Training Compound"

The Animal Training Compound ... gives access to "war horse", costs 20 gold, 1 horse, 5 metal, 5 materials (+10 HP, + 5 run speed, +4 armor)

 

A city with a Stables can build a "Racetrack"

Race Track .. gives access to "racing horse", costs 10 gold, 1 horse, 5 materials (+6 HP, +8 run speed)

 

A city with a Stables and Animal Training Compound may build an "Animal Armorer Shop"

gives access to "heavy war horse", costs 30 gold, 1 horse, 10 metal, 5 materials, (+12 HP, +4 run speed, +8 armor)

 

A city with a Racetrack may build an "Olympic Monument"

gives access to "prized race horse" , costs X,  (+8 HP, +10 run speed)

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September 11, 2010 3:47:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I didn't read every thread in this post, but unit building can be dependant on existing buildings in a city, similar to the Kingdom's access to spider units.  If you are talking about having access this in modding, it should be possible, but specifically, you could have a building generate a unique resource that the unit requires in order to be built.

Also, CoreResources.xml has a <Global></Global> and <Shared></Shared> tag which may or may not have something to do with global resources.  There is also a <TradedByCaravans></TradedByCaravans> tag.

For example, Prestige Points has a <Global> value of 0, which implies that the Prestige Points are only employed by the city it is in.  Tech Knowledge has a <Global> value of 1.

So, if you are talking about "fixing" this in the core game, I don't have an answer.  But mods appear to have all of this functionality.

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September 11, 2010 3:47:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here is a Simple look on Wargs

So ... on global you build a Kennel, Dog Yards ... gives "warg" resource

 

If a city has an Adoption Agency, allows "mutt", costs 5 gold, 1 warg ( +5 HP, +3 run speed)

 

A city with an Adoption Agency may build a "Breeders Guild"

gives access to "prized warg", costs 30 gold, 1 warg, 5 metal (+15 HP, +5 armor, +3 run speed)

 

A city with an Adoption Agency may build a "Dog Park"

gives access to "running Warg", costs 15 gold, 1 warg (+10 HP, +5 run speed)

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