HIJACKED INTO AN INTERESTING TELEPORT DISCUSSION: I Missed the Latest About 1.1 - Any News? When Are We Gonna Be Delighted?

By on October 21, 2010 12:19:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Black-Knight

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Any news?

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October 22, 2010 4:19:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm going to mention the Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist. It's from the 80s and there are a number of different teleportation types, including rifts, the hall of worlds, teleportation by pattern, teleportation by distance & direction, teleportation by line-of-sight, and teleportation via riding a dragon that can fly through the void.

This doesn't necessarily make teleportation in the game a good idea, but you can't argue against teleportation in a fantasy game on the basis of lore.

I do think that there should be something in the way of teleportation in the game, but with restrictive conditions that cause it to be a part of the strategy rather than a strategy breaker.

[WARNING] This thread has been hi-jacked. Contact thread-traffic control immediately!

Some suggestions are:

  • Teleportation sickness. Render teleported units unusable for N turns, or disable all unit abilities for N turns.
  • Rifts/gates/portals/doors. Make it so that a rift must be created by a magic user at both teleport sites. Meaning, you have to physically send a caster to both of the places you want to teleport between, and have them cast the rift spell there.
  • Line-of-sight teleport. Units can only teleport as far as their line of sight if there are no obstructions such as cities, hills, mountains, and forests.
  • Costs & Upkeep. Make it so that a real choice needs to be made between walking/riding and teleporting.
  • Chaos factor. Due to the chaotic nature of rifts and teleportation, there is a percentage chance that units may be taken to a different and random destination, or perhaps those units will be lost.
  • Dangers of the Void. Whilst teleporting, units may come across powerful enemies in the void that they must defeat or be forced to turn back.
  • Technical complexity. Rift making or teleportation is a highly technical and extremely difficult art to master. To make a rift or teleport, a complex puzzle must be solved.
  • Time/turn limit and cooldown. A rift only lasts N turns, and there is an N turn cooldown before another can be made. Teleportation has an N turn cooldown before it can be cast again. Only N number of rift connections or teleports can be done per turn.
  • Maximum distance. Teleportation or rift travelling has a set distance that it can't exceed.

 

Some of these suggestions can be used in combination. This would allow us to keep teleportation in our fantasy game, and have it add to the strategy rather than be a game killer (I hope).

 

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October 22, 2010 4:31:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Teleportation sickness, where it loweres stats would fix it well, if you suffered 50% def, att and hp, that would really hinder or make impossiple using it as a strategy to defend all places with one stack. 

I don't like the line of sight, that limitation would make it somewhat useless.

 

I like the chaos factor, except I don't like the chance of the unit being lost, it's a cheap death and will just casue a reset. 

I really, really like the idea of the danger of the void, if I lose a unit due to teleporting, I at least want to lose it in a fight, and this might weaken the unit after the teleport, making that strategy a more dangerous one.

 

Puzzles to open portal?  Hmmm....not sure on that one.

 

I like the turn and cool down limit.  Maybe if we open a portal, it and the opposite end will stay open and anyone can use it, if it is canceled, then we can't open another one for a set amount of time, so it might be able to be used once to defend quickly, but not repeatedly ina short time and it can be used agaisnt us.

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October 22, 2010 5:16:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If teleportation is in the lore, then it should be in somehow... BUT

It's alot easier to write a book or a movie about things like teleportation (or time travel) than to include it into a game. In the former case, you simply don't need to explain alot of stuff. People enjoy the story and move on. In a game however, you can easily end up having to actually deal with the real consequences of this alternative reality!

I have a funny example of this actually...

Many years ago I was big fan of Ultima Online in it's early days. I had a little blacksmith shop and spent my time mining the hills and putting my wares up for sale. I had alot of fun conversing with passing customers and did alot of virtual business, though I sold things too cheap to greatly benefit my character. I had fun though.

In those days, UO was raw, unrestricted PvP. The roads were crawling with player bandits trying to profit from killing others and taking all their stuff. If you had to visit another town, standard practice was to bank all your stuff, strip naked and run as fast as you could to the next town. That way when you were killed, you didn't lose anything. It was really an unpleasant situation, kinda fun, but in such a rediculous way that solutions needed to be found.

The solution they came up with to allow people to see the world outside of town and interact with it without simply ending up as victims, was a teleportation system. The idea was to allow people to escape if they came under ambush at a time where they might actually be holding some gear they didn't want to lose. You could buy a 'rune', cast a spell on it to mark your current location, and then cast another spell to teleport to that location. You could hold and store as many runes as you wanted.

So people starting marking these runes at points of interest on the map. Soon, the entire world that the creators worked so hard to create went entirely unused. All of a sudden I didn't see a single player pass my shop for days! The ease of travel suddenly changed the entire game and economy. When once the world was full of little shops, it now had 2 or 3 'mega-malls'. These were player owned castles where you had to pay rent to set up a vendor there! Every transaction in the game happened at these one or two places! They were well known and everyone had runes marked for these locations.

So in order to allow people to escape danger, they put in teleportation which for a fantasy game makes perfectly fine fictional sense; many fanstasy universes feature teleportation. But what doesn't make sense in a fantasy setting are 'mega-malls' which are a natural result of cheap and easy travel! Ha!

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October 22, 2010 5:29:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cephalo,
If teleportation is in the lore, then it should be in somehow... BUT
--Snip--

So in order to allow people to escape danger, they put in teleportation which for a fantasy game makes perfectly fine fictional sense; many fanstasy universes feature teleportation. But what doesn't make sense in a fantasy setting are 'mega-malls' which are a natural result of cheap and easy travel! Ha!

I liked that story.

I wouldn't want teleport to break the game. If it can't be done right, I'd rather not have it. But if the devs can figure a good way, it could make the game more exciting.

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October 22, 2010 6:03:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
Teleportation sickness, where it loweres stats would fix it well, if you suffered 50% def, att and hp, that would really hinder or make impossiple using it as a strategy to defend all places with one stack.

Yes, that's a much better way of doing it. Why didn't you PM me so that I could edit my post and look like the smart one? Selfish bastard.

Quoting Lord Xia,
Maybe if we open a portal, it and the opposite end will stay open and anyone can use it, if it is canceled, then we can't open another one for a set amount of time, so it might be able to be used once to defend quickly, but not repeatedly ina short time and it can be used agaisnt us.

It would definately add a risk factor if a portal you used to attack a city can be turned against you. I'm starting to think that teleportation is doable, much to the dismay of the Black Knight. Maybe we can compensate him by recommending a 'Black-Knight' unit with the 'Destroy Rift' ability.

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October 22, 2010 7:02:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Istari, you forgot to mention "the fly" effect.  Thats when you teleport to a location where some other animal happens to be and your people turn into some half human mutation.

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October 22, 2010 7:07:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ausland,
Istari, you forgot to mention "the fly" effect.  Thats when you teleport to a location where some other animal happens to be and your people turn into some half human mutation.

Yes, but that's sci-fi, and more importantly, disgusting.

As if Jeff Goldblum wasn't hard enough to look at in his original form.

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October 22, 2010 7:12:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You guys are a bunch of frenzied teleporting - thread hijacking trolls!

Oh why not having frenzied teleporting trolls EVERYWHERE in the map by the way?...

 

It would definately add a risk factor if a portal you used to attack a city can be turned against you. I'm starting to think that teleportation is doable, much to the dismay of the Black Knight. Maybe we can compensate him by recommending a 'Black-Knight' unit with the 'Destroy Rift' ability.

YEAH! An army of portal destroying black knights!

(KEEP THOSE AND GET RID OF THE HIDIOUS SCI-FI DEVICE!!!)

By the way there was ANOTHER teleporting spell in the first AOW, which I didn't mention (the OP will forgive me if I go off topic) It was kind of fun, I forgot its name, it allowed to randomly teleport... good for escaping troubles... and getting you in much worse ones sometimes. It would teleport you  well, guess... RANDOMLY about 20 hexes away in a random direction... sometimes you would appear on an island and live there forever, (but that's what you deserve when you call up Scotty asking for the beam in a fantasy game). Anyway that was obviously something used only for defense, it was 'kind of' harmless... Meaning I wouldn't kill my mom to get rid of it... just my brother, maybe.

I can't really comment about all those ideas because of forum "politesse" policy (no curses: it is written just next the paragraph about hijacking threads)

Teleportation sickness, where it loweres stats would fix it well, if you suffered 50% def, att and hp, that would really hinder or make impossiple using it as a strategy to defend all places with one stack.

I don't like the line of sight, that limitation would make it somewhat useless.

Uh? And how many turns would that sickness last? Because I remind you that in this game units walk just 2 tiles each turns, by the time the attacking army gets to a town after they have been spotted the sickness of the goddamn teleporting klingons would probably be gone!

It just won't work. I can only see teleport as a spell for one unit, just the sovreign to escape troubles, not even the champions or one would make an army of champions and we would be having the same problem all over again.

In Heroes of M&M eleport had a range (I have seen them all yeah!). It was a limitation alright, but that is mostly a single player game, can you imagine in multiplayer when the enemy gets that and starts jumping around and slaying all your armies? You have build cities in strategig points, placed guards to protect sensible areas, researched and built a navy... and there comes Mario Bros jumping around killing the fun.

By the way you guys seem to forget that in age of Wonders AT LEAST you have to prepare spells before you can cast them, so that you cannot just teleport on a whim: it takes a few turns... and STILL they decided it was a game breaker... In this game if the enemy gets that spell before you... good luck Donald duck! So better research that and only that in every game!

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October 22, 2010 8:02:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've got it!

Teleportation as a resource!

You suck the life energy out of your population like Goku does for his Genki Dama (Spirit Bomb), to gather the hummensegous amount of power needed to make a rift. The rift lasts 1 turn for free, but every turn after that, your population starts burning away as you rip their souls out for your petty wars. There is a 10 turn cooldown period between making rifts.

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October 22, 2010 9:24:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

With all due respect to Black Knight's sensitivities, there could be many types of teleport, and truly powerful ones not accessible until higher spell lever: blinking (in tactical and overland maps) for a single unit, a short range portal for multiple units; single use spells and long-term portals kept open by mana maintenance; a high-level research into this branch of magic could lead to portals into other dimensions/planes of existence where new creatures, items, settlements might be had (Myrror?).

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October 23, 2010 12:33:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

AoW:SM had good solution for teleportation - you had to build lvl3 tower in maxed out city to build portal gate. And then it allowed you to insta-travel to any other wiz tower you had. So it makes managing and defending your empire easier in late game, but does not break the game.

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October 23, 2010 7:00:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DKL,
AoW:SM had good solution for teleportation - you had to build lvl3 tower in maxed out city to build portal gate. And then it allowed you to insta-travel to any other wiz tower you had. So it makes managing and defending your empire easier in late game, but does not break the game.

We kidnapped the developer's children and we got that as an option, that's how much I can agree with you on that one.

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October 23, 2010 7:11:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ok Black-Knight, how's this for a teleport option:

Make it expensive to cast and maintain.

Make it useable by enemies.

Make it give teleportation sickness that reduces unit stats by 50% for 3 turns.

Make it have a percentage chance to teleport units to a random location.

Make it so that rifts have to be set up physically first at both ends by magic users.

Make it so that rifts have a maximum distance they can be apart.

Make it so that rifts last no more than 10 turns.

Make it so that there is a 10 turn cooldown period between casting rifts.

 

So, if all of the above conditions applied together to teleportation, would you agree to it?

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October 23, 2010 8:27:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Istari,
Ok Black-Knight, how's this for a teleport option:

Make it expensive to cast and maintain.

Make it useable by enemies.

Make it give teleportation sickness that reduces unit stats by 50% for 3 turns.

Make it have a percentage chance to teleport units to a random location.

Make it so that rifts have to be set up physically first at both ends by magic users.

Make it so that rifts have a maximum distance they can be apart.

Make it so that rifts last no more than 10 turns.

Make it so that there is a 10 turn cooldown period between casting rifts.

 

So, if all of the above conditions applied together to teleportation, would you agree to it?

 

I can address each one of the above points for multiplayer, regarding sinle player just remember: The more complex it is the more the AI will be exploited. (especially the random location thing which would be fun... except than the AI cannot save and reload when doesn't like the outcome.)

Regarding multiplayer:

It better be expensive because it is insanely game breaking

Why would the enemy use it? Why teleport somewhere when they don't even know where?

Sickness: not crazy about that one and 3 turns are not enough for the attacker to reach the city he was trying to attack, before the teleported unit is healed.

Random: the AI cannot save and reload but for multiplayer could be funny ok (if you don't mind losing after 300 turns because the other guy just got lucky)

Rift having to be set so that the attacker can run away would at least prevent some abuse, but attacking enemy territory would still become very hard and the strategy would still be all about teleport.

Rift distance should be 0

make the rift last 0 turns and I am fine

cooldown make it 1000 turns

 

With teleport in, the game will become ALL ABOUT THAT - I just cannot agree on any form of teleport ever, sorry, except for the sovraign to be able to cast a portal to run away from troubles ALONE. That's the only concession I feel I can make based on my experience with these games. Sorry if I sound too radical.

 

 

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October 23, 2010 8:39:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I tell you what, I think in one of those tip windows that you get while the game is loading they say that some rare spell cost ESSENCE (not mana!). Make teleport cost ESSENCE and let's try to reason on that.

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October 23, 2010 5:56:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Black-Knight.

To be honest, if teleportation was implemented with the restrictions that I've listed above, I don't think it would ever be used, even by people who normally enjoy exploiting such things. I have to say though that I didn't expect you to agree to it anyway. 

 

I don't agree with what you've said about teleport being Sci-Fi only, but you do have a point at the core of this though, regarding it breaking gameplay and not being properly useable by the AI. I just don't think we should give up so easily on trying to make it work, as it is potentially a very fun spell that is used in a lot of fantasy fiction.

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October 23, 2010 6:22:55 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I agree that the concept of teleportation has no place in Elemental...

Now, folding space, that's an entirely different matter.

 

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October 23, 2010 10:58:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting mriguy,
I agree that the concept of teleportation has no place in Elemental...

Now, folding space, that's an entirely different matter.

 

 

What they should've done is tied the teleport to certain spellbooks, or attenuated the effects based on teleport. Say for example there was a basic teleport that moved only one guy and an advanced teleport that moves a guy + army. Have something like this

Basic ............................... Advanced 

fire 3/20 (any) ................. 18/40

air 2/50 (any) .................. 12/100

earth 3/45 (land only) ...... 18/90

water  (2)3/(45)15 ........... 12(18)/(90)30

astral 2/70 (any)...............12/140

where we have mana cost/max teleport distance. any=any terrain type, land=lan only, water has water cost and land cost. Differentiating teleport a bit by effect & spellbook, thus making some books a bit more valuable by spell type would be a good idea in my opnion. Or perhaps making the basic teleport only available in the air & astral books. 

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October 24, 2010 2:05:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

While I see that several people disagree with me I would like to thank everyone for hijacking this thread, which proves that all of you finally realize that it is indeed an issue to be taken seriously.

Lots of interesting options have been brought forwarde so far and while I'll be glad to give it a try if teleport was seriously nerfed, I still mantain that it should be optional, because the same strategy game with and without teleport usually becomes two quite different games.

If indeed it becomes optional let me suggest once again that the teleport version of the game should still consider teleport a uber spell, and therefore should cripple the caster permanently by affecting his essence like the "Imbue Champion" spell. (Haven't read the novel, but since someone mentioned that the horrendous game-spoiling device is in it, maybe Brad is hesitant to remove it for such reason. the essence crippling idea should address that in the most practical and effective... Still I mantain that it should be optional)

(For kingdom, I would also change the name of the spell into something more poetic like the imperial version of the same spell)

BUT IT SHOULD BE OPTIONAL

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October 24, 2010 3:15:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So what if Teleport were in Lord of the Rings?  Frodo teleports to Mount Doom, and tosses the ring into the lava.  There was a LotR parody on YouTube which was similar except they rode on giant eagles to Mount Doom and had the whole business taken care of in an afternoon.

Something that made traveling a little easier without making the game feel broken was Sidhe pathways in King Arthur: TRPWG, the ones on the strategic map.  You could research the use of stone circles on the map and Teleport from stone circle to stone circle.  Gateways could benefit the aesthetics of the game, rather than compromising them.

Lastly, I posted an idea about flying dragons elsewhere, but if mounting and flying on dragons were part of the game, giving the option of a "slow" teleport for advanced sovereigns, I wouldn't complain.

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October 24, 2010 3:36:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Black-Knight,
While I see that several people disagree with me I would like to thank everyone for hijacking this thread, which proves that all of you finally realize that it is indeed an issue to be taken seriously.

Lots of interesting options have been brought forwarde so far and while I'll be glad to give it a try if teleport was seriously nerfed, I still mantain that it should be optional, because the same strategy game with and without teleport usually becomes two quite different games.

If indeed it becomes optional let me suggest once again that the teleport version of the game should still consider teleport a uber spell, and therefore should cripple the caster permanently by affecting his essence like the "Imbue Champion" spell. (Haven't read the novel, but since someone mentioned that the horrendous game-spoiling device is in it, maybe Brad is hesitant to remove it for such reason. the essence crippling idea should address that in the most practical and effective... Still I mantain that it should be optional)

(For kingdom, I would also change the name of the spell into something more poetic like the imperial version of the same spell)

BUT IT SHOULD BE OPTIONAL

As far as I understand it, essence will work differently in 1.1, so I'm not too sure how that will play out.

Perhaps if teleport was limited to only work between friendly cities. I think someone has suggested this before, but it would sort of cancel the idea of taking your uber stack everywhere you wanted, and you'd be limited to certain strategic options.

It might also work if teleport was a multi-turn big mana cast with high upkeep. Something like what Suppress Magic costs to maintain in MoM.

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October 24, 2010 4:08:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Istari,

Perhaps if teleport was limited to only work between friendly cities. I think someone has suggested this before, but it would sort of cancel the idea of taking your uber stack everywhere you wanted, and you'd be limited to certain strategic options.

It might also work if teleport was a multi-turn big mana cast with high upkeep. Something like what Suppress Magic costs to maintain in MoM.

In Age of Wonders Shadow Magic you have teleport based in towers (optional). In order to get it you need to build a city then a tower, then two upgrades of the tower, then the tower gate. It takes a while. Still if you manage to approach an enemy area it is worth  bringing a pioneer, because it starts that whole process so that you can eventually overwhelm the enemy by instantly teleport hundreds of soldiers right in the middle of his country.

It takes a long time to build but still it has been agreed in that forum by many players that it is spoils the strategy. So you see that also in AOW teleport is theoretically defensive (from tower to tower) but it ends up being used offensively. And hoinestly if you don't do it it's the other guy who is going to, so that becomes the only strategy, instead than using the fleet and the roads you have been working hard to build.

I just can't see how in Elemental we could get a form of teleport which takes even more time to build or cast than that, and still they agreed that it was a game breaker. Crippling the caster for me is the only option that would make sense, but I repeat that it should be OPTIONAL.

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October 24, 2010 5:04:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll throw my 2 cents in here, too.

 

In my opinion the possibility to teleport is a necessity for a mage. Teleporting is not only present in fantasy, it's a key element.

I also agree, that it is powerful and needs to be a spell that is not common and not acessable directly from the start (The lower/raise land spell should not be a starting spell either).

But if it's made expensive and not too easy to get, teleportation should be possible, and not only by rift making between two spellcasters.

 

If you say, that this will be exploited - there are always strategies that can and will be exploited. A player who plays for fun will not care.

Only if you've got an overdose of ambition, you will have a problem with that.

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October 24, 2010 5:17:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I generally find these debates about teleport to be mildly amusing. Like most debates about the "flaws" of elemental, this debate has simply asked the wrong question. "OMG, teleport is OP, how do we make it less awesome so we don't feel like we have to make all our champions taxis?" How does nerfing one element of a game make the others more awesome? In general, it can't. If we step back from this line of questioning and really consider the underlying mechanics of the game, it becomes clear why it is so awesome to imbue champions which are nothing more than glorified taxis. Currently, it is incredibly easy to procure champions and even easier to get them to the point where they can start being taxi units. In fact for most champions, there is really no downside as there is so little reason to put points into anything but essence for the vast majority of champions. Since the units can't gain new traits/skills and most of them will never see combat, if they weren't taxis, they would just be sitting around doing nothing.

So how do you fix teleport? Firstly, do something that D&D has done for years, force spellcasters to only get access to x amount of spells per level, based upon those spells which you have already researched. If you want teleport, then you will have to sacrifice the ability to cast another spell for it. Secondly, expand the previous idea to make it that a champion/sov not only can select x amount of spells but could uses that x to select traits/skills. Now, if you want that level 3-4 champion to have teleport, you have to sacrifice some other skill or bonus. Thirdly, increase the base speed of troops. 2 move points are just too few for any meaningful speed of travel, when a fair amount of terrain takes 2 to cross a single square. Fourthly, create items/skill which give a small move increase to an entire party. The idea here is the creation of something akin to pack horses or supply caravans. Fifth, Create a worker unit which can simply build roads. While I like the idea of caravans improving roads over time, it sucks to have no control over the path a road will be created on between two cities. Sixth, Rework how roads are upgrade to make them simply count how many times a caravan has entered the square. At current, 6 caravans can regularly use a single tile for their route, but each will have it own upgrade schedule as long as none of them are moving between the same cities.

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October 24, 2010 7:57:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Since the units can't gain new traits/skills and most of them will never see combat, if they weren't taxis, they would just be sitting around doing nothing.

Actually I like the concept of champions doing quests and get gold and treasures like that, while the armies do the fighting. In combat the hero should always be the last one to die (or maybe just have an incredibly small chance to die and a small chance to be captured). If they had military skills that improve movement and attack or defense stats of all units it would make more sense to risk them in battle (there could be heros that improve cavalry skills others for infantry etc...)...

"Taxis", thanks for the image I will certainly use that comparison from now on. Well do we want taxis in a fantasy game? ahahaha!

Thirdly, increase the base speed of troops. 2 move points are just too few for any meaningful speed of travel, when a fair amount of terrain takes 2 to cross a single square.

I definitely agree units are too slow, I immediately felt they decided for that speed because slowness somehow may have sounded like an idea that makes you feel that maps are bigger... then they realized it was too much and added teleport. Problem is the beginning of the game is still too freaking slow, units should be faster! Not a lot faster 3 or 4 MP instead than 2 for infantry would bealready acceptable. The problem is that there isn't enough movement to do stuff and have satisfying turns at the beginning of games, in  multiplayer that will definitely become an issue. If teleport was added to address that problem, doesn't even work because the beginning of games is way too slow and you don't have teleport yet.

I also agree that being able to design roads more precisely would be nice.

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