Derek, will there be walls and siege battles in FE?

By on June 28, 2011 9:50:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

StevenAus

Join Date 06/2010
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Will there be?  I think a lot of people would be very interested if in fact you have implemented this.

Best regards,
Steven.

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LightofAbraxas
June 29, 2011 6:50:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are a lot of things that would have been great to see in Elemental - and there are a lot of things in Elemental that shouldn't have been added at all.

It seems to me that the engine was basically designed and built to suit the original 'Wouldn't it be cool if...' phase. So many 'Wouldn't it be cool if...' things were added it became unmanageable - which is why we're still stuck in basically early beta. It is disappointing that so many essentials have been overshadowed because of trying to accommodate the long list of 'features'.

I'm glad Stardock have had the balls to chop out aspects of Elemental because otherwise it will take forever to get anything finished and balanced. I'd even be happy if they just released a series of mini-games if that's what it would take to get things like Tactical Combat sorted.

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June 29, 2011 7:52:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I got the impression that seiges were outside the scope of what was being attempted with FE, as the focus seems to be on Units and Champions as opposed to massed Armies.  I'm more than happy to be wrong, as this is really something I loved from Rome: Total War.

Seiges, to me, would simply add another vital element needed in these types of games that makes the Warfare feel like Warfare, and add depth to the whole proceedings.  I'm the kind of guy who has imaginary stories in his head while he plays.  Seiges work wonders for that.  Though I enjoyed WoM, it was flawed in this regard in several key ways.  I understand FE is aiming to improve upon it in basically every way - I'm getting it for free, so frankly I'm happy to sit back and see what's delivered - however, it's something Civ4 nailed, and MoM managed to do almost effortlessly.  Fingers crossed.

I will say this: if it's not in the release version, the ability for modders to put it in without months of dedicated work had better be.  I don't mind modding my games to get them the way I like them

 

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June 29, 2011 7:53:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I also want more types of battles than the one army against another army with one army(usually the defending) getting a health bonus.

I also want the tac battles to have a MEANINGFUL terrain difference for the defenders eg post walls, low,medium and high stone walls with a gate in it with the defence area being higher but shallower(altitude for height number of squares from edge of defence area to edge)

harpo

 

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June 29, 2011 8:25:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree as well.

Furthermore, I do not see a conflict between implementing a form of traditional walls/siege mechanics AND implementing strategic mechanics mentioned above (Kenata I believe); these ideas are not disjunctive. Siege is fun, and this game could use some.

One caveat, however: Karma should not be given to those who drastically misspell "siege". [/blatant and hopefully amusing irony]

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June 29, 2011 9:19:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I strongly support siege warfare. I realy have fond memories of the sieges in AoW 1 and AoW 2. The addition of walls and siege engines add a lot of dept to a tactical battle. My hope is that sieges are a secret addition to FE. Keal said that there is a lot of focus to combat, so maybe he already implemented it and just wants to suprise us. *crosses fingers & prays (for karma!)* 

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June 29, 2011 10:15:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I support this thread.

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June 29, 2011 11:07:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting TheProgress,
If not, the devs will have to live knowing that they're still being out-played by a 15 year old game (MoM).

And every Heroes of M&M out there including the really old ones

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June 29, 2011 11:10:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sieges would be nice, if they can find a way to do them better than the status quo without diverting too many resources or attention from the basic stuff.

I’d also advocate a “laying siege” mechanic where an army surrounds a settlement without actually going in for the kill. Armies should not be able to move to a city and attack the inhabitants in the same turn unless they have the means to do so (ie catapults). The attacking army should have to wait a number of turns before attacking, based on their amount of siege equipment and the quality of the defences (ie, walls). Right now it is too easy to sneak attack cities in one turn, and the increase in basic movement will only make this worse. Imposing a turn delay would give the controlling faction time to come to the town’s defence. Otherwise you get a situation where no one ever attacks a city unless they know they will win, making the battles non-events.

It’s not the only mechanic that should be stolen from the Total War games. It’s probably not a possibility until a sequel, but I’d advocate that total war style battles are simply the best way to represent engagements in a video game. I know there are people on here opposed to anything real time on principle, and normally I’d agree, but this is different. Those people have clearly never played a total war battle. I’m not talking about warcraft style, base building, drawing boxes around mobs of spearmen, hotkey madness. They’re nothing like a real battle. Total War battles are gently paced, thoughtfull, and look great. More importantly, they could represent everything that elemental is trying to do and produce more accurate, fun and satisfying results.

More than anything there’s a huge and lucrative gap in the market there. Total War is the biggest brand in strategy because people love that kind of game, but no one has ever combined it with fantasy. What’s a regiment of samurai when you could have DRAGONS? It might require a leap in graphics ambition from Elemental, but not necessarily a huge one. Medieval 2 total war still looks great and it came out in 2006.

Why have a system that models battles when you could have a system that GIVES you battles?

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June 29, 2011 11:24:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd love to see siege battles.   I think it brings a sense of magnitude and grandeur to certain battles.

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June 29, 2011 11:26:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sethai,
Sieges would be nice, if they can find a way to do them better than the status quo without diverting too many resources or attention from the basic stuff.

It’s not the only mechanic that should be stolen from the Total War games. It’s probably not a possibility until a sequel, but I’d advocate that total war style battles are simply the best way to represent engagements in a video game. I know there are people on here opposed to anything real time on principle, and normally I’d agree, but this is different. Those people have clearly never played a total war battle. I’m not talking about warcraft style, base building, drawing boxes around mobs of spearmen, hotkey madness. They’re nothing like a real battle. Total War battles are gently paced, thoughtfull, and look great. More importantly, they could represent everything that elemental is trying to do and produce more accurate, fun and satisfying results.

More than anything there’s a huge and lucrative gap in the market there. Total War is the biggest brand in strategy because people love that kind of game, but no one has ever combined it with fantasy. What’s a regiment of samurai when you could have DRAGONS? It might require a leap in graphics ambition from Elemental, but not necessarily a huge one. Medieval 2 total war still looks great and it came out in 2006.

Why have a system that models battles when you could have a system that GIVES you battles?

This would be, simply put, awesome, but WAY out of the scope of elemental in it's current form.

For now I'd settle for tile based tactical battles that introduced meaningful terrain (including walls and sieges) meaningful reasons for maneuvering (such as flanking, damage types and defense types, unit counters like spears vs horsemen, etc), and some sort of line of sight/high ground mechanic. Implement these things along with some cool tactical spells and abilities and throw them on tiled maps that are laid our in interesting ways (my dog throws up things that are more interesting than the tactical maps we have now) and I'd be a happy man.

Sadly, I think we're pretty far away from getting into even that level of tactical combat.

Also support the idea of laying siege to a city. This is possibly the easiest idea to implement that's on this thread. Force (or allow) an attacking army to wait a few turns prior to assaulting. Meanwhile the defenders become weaker, catapults get built, but the defender can marshal reinforcements. A fantasy game isn't a fantasy game if it doesn't allow for a situation like the Charge of the Rohirrim on the Pelennor Fields.

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June 29, 2011 11:50:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd settle for a good siege system.  If you're walled in your town, you should be able to refuse combat until the siegers break though, or the sieging units should have a penalty abstracted for breaking through (HP loss)

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June 29, 2011 1:03:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I want a Trojan Horse (Rabbit... um...If we built a giant Badger?) event to randomly occur if you have a particularly doltish sovereign or hero stationed in the city.  Another reason to boost the intelligence stat...

On a more karmically serious note, I agree with all of the points above... there was no greater satisfaction than defeating a stronger besieging force in AoW:SM with frantic hand to hand battles in the city after they had breached the city walls.  The immediate enhancement of your troops due to leveling up during the actual battle was really fun, too.  Especially a dragon hatchling... heh heh heh...

Helm's Deep FTW!

 

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June 29, 2011 3:35:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

When I first played Age of Wonders

Age of Wonders logo

I didn't think much of the townsieges. I don't know how it was in Master of Magic but in AoW it was very simplistic. Defender moves first and moves his archers to the walls (there's no towers or heightdifferences) and starts shooting. As the attacker you move your archers to the walls as well and got 50% chance for the arrows to go through the wall and have a CHANCE to hit the units defending.

Age of Wonders townbattle with wooden wall

Age of Wonders siege with wooden wall

 

Age of Wonders townbattle with stonewall

 

 

  Age of Wonders II and Age of Wonders II Shadow Magic however 

introduced the best townbattles I've seen this far in a game with individual units. Now the defenders were positioned higher than the attackers and thus archers had better chances to hit.

The height difference also forced attackers who attacked through the gate (which is weaker than the walls) to go 1 by 1 so the defender could use two melee units to almost block the gate with.

This did enable the attackers to attack first (and with charge they could inflict good damage) but that's the price you pay to be able to attack with two units. An attacker COULD walk away though (both to the sides and back but then he would get hit by all your units that are in meleerange.

 

 

Quoting Sethai,

I’d also advocate a “laying siege” mechanic where an army surrounds a settlement without actually going in for the kill. Armies should not be able to move to a city and attack the inhabitants in the same turn unless they have the means to do so (ie catapults). The attacking army should have to wait a number of turns before attacking, based on their amount of siege equipment and the quality of the defences (ie, walls). Right now it is too easy to sneak attack cities in one turn, and the increase in basic movement will only make this worse. Imposing a turn delay would give the controlling faction time to come to the town’s defence. Otherwise you get a situation where no one ever attacks a city unless they know they will win, making the battles non-events.

 

I believe you base that opinion of War of Magic alone. In Age of Wonders, you HAD to have a unit with 'wallcrushing', 'wallclimbing' or 'flying' to be able to assault a walled city but that handicapped the A.I since you could send out striketeams to destroy them and then the A.I had to rebuild and send them at your cities (again).

In Age of Wonders II, any unit could capture a city (which was LOTS better I tell ya!) and that improved the flow and speed of the game. Only two units could hit a section of the gate or wall (though only wallcrushing units could hit the wall and they also did double damage to the gate and wall) and without wallcrushing it took ATLEAST two turns (mostly three) for two tier 3 units to bash down a wooden wall (which had 20hp) and around five turns to bash down a stonewall (and with ranged defenders that's suicide).

So from an Age of Wonders II perspective what you suggest sounds insane. And who knows how much Derek will change the sieges?

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June 29, 2011 3:40:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That last post was painful. *Ow*

 

EDIT: It's all good now. Good post.

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June 29, 2011 3:46:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the link must have been directly translated into text, instead of just showing the link.

Best regards,
Steven.

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June 29, 2011 4:45:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That's a pretty old school way to embed an image there.

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June 29, 2011 4:50:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I used the internet to download images - before there were image formats.

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June 30, 2011 6:08:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Campaigner,

Quoting Sethai, reply 33
I’d also advocate a “laying siege” mechanic where an army surrounds a settlement without actually going in for the kill. Armies should not be able to move to a city and attack the inhabitants in the same turn unless they have the means to do so (ie catapults). The attacking army should have to wait a number of turns before attacking, based on their amount of siege equipment and the quality of the defences (ie, walls). Right now it is too easy to sneak attack cities in one turn, and the increase in basic movement will only make this worse. Imposing a turn delay would give the controlling faction time to come to the town’s defence. Otherwise you get a situation where no one ever attacks a city unless they know they will win, making the battles non-events.


 

I believe you base that opinion of War of Magic alone. In Age of Wonders, you HAD to have a unit with 'wallcrushing', 'wallclimbing' or 'flying' to be able to assault a walled city but that handicapped the A.I since you could send out striketeams to destroy them and then the A.I had to rebuild and send them at your cities (again).

In Age of Wonders II, any unit could capture a city (which was LOTS better I tell ya!) and that improved the flow and speed of the game. Only two units could hit a section of the gate or wall (though only wallcrushing units could hit the wall and they also did double damage to the gate and wall) and without wallcrushing it took ATLEAST two turns (mostly three) for two tier 3 units to bash down a wooden wall (which had 20hp) and around five turns to bash down a stonewall (and with ranged defenders that's suicide).

So from an Age of Wonders II perspective what you suggest sounds insane. And who knows how much Derek will change the sieges?

Or if you wanted to blow some mana you could get past the walls too. A squad of Chaos Lords with Flight cast on them was a rather terrifying sight for a city. Also the walls weren't just higher, they also counted as a partial obstruction and ranged units on the ground were penalized to try to shoot through them. That also worked for the defenders if there was a tree to hide behind (Catapults weren't affected by that, but Ballistae and Cannons were).

The idea of a strategic map level siege would make a good backup idea though, if the reason they can't do tactical map sieges is because the engine doesn't support tactical combat barriers/Line of Sight. Not being able to attack the city at all until you siege it for a few turns on the strategic map and open a hole in the defenses would be a lot better then the WoM system of where it's exactly like any other combat except the defenders get a HP boost.

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June 30, 2011 10:41:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sadly, most crucial ability of fortifications is lacking from pretty much all games.  Castles were used more to hold off the enemy then anything else. An advantage in combat is nice but I would really like castles to have the ability to delay combat until reinforcements arrive. It takes a very long time to siege a well fortified city and instantaneous combat doesn't do the reality justice. Armies should have to sit outside the city walls for multiple turns before combat starts. Perhaps city walls should have a certain amount of health that must be overcome before combat starts. Every turn an army spends sieging a city reduces the health of that city. The larger the army and the more siege weapons it has the faster they can bring it to combat.

Unfortunately I am pretty sure that while we may get some small change to sieges, like dedicated tactical maps, any large change like the ones mentioned here will have to wait till the 2nd expansion because sieges don't seem like they fit with FE's focus on rpg elements.

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June 30, 2011 11:11:07 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Yes seiges/Walls/gats etc are a MUST. For tactical combat. Also Terrain features that give penalties/bonuses should be in TC

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June 30, 2011 12:22:28 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting DsRaider,
Sadly, most crucial ability of fortifications is lacking from pretty much all games.  Castles were used more to hold off the enemy then anything else. An advantage in combat is nice but I would really like castles to have the ability to delay combat until reinforcements arrive. It takes a very long time to siege a well fortified city and instantaneous combat doesn't do the reality justice. Armies should have to sit outside the city walls for multiple turns before combat starts. Perhaps city walls should have a certain amount of health that must be overcome before combat starts. Every turn an army spends sieging a city reduces the health of that city. The larger the army and the more siege weapons it has the faster they can bring it to combat.

However it needs to be possible to get it over with, otherwise the end game will be too painful. If the attacker has the means to break through and are willing to take the losses then let them.

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June 30, 2011 12:52:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

  There won't be siege battles like these in Fallen Enchantress.

  We met on sieges early on and came up with a design we liked, ran it through implementation estimations, compared it to other features and it didn't make the cut for FE.  We looked at partial/smaller scope implementations, but the big thing is blocking tiles (ie: tiles that you cant ranged attack through, or tiles that can only be moved through from one direction).  How much time it takes to implement line of site?  Or more importantly, how much time it takes to teach the AI to use it effectively (although it doesn't seem hard to get the ai to do any specific situation we imagine, its effectively reacting in all the situations we dont imagine that makes it tough)?  When should the AI hide behind a wall, when should they charge forward?  When should they step out and cast a spell, and when should they stay back and buff allies?  How does the AI know that stepping out in one direction is safer than stepping out in another?

  There are a lot of possible implementations.  Don't block line of sight (ie: you cant hide from attacks), just give bonuses from certain positions.  Don't allow tiles to be moved through from only certain directions, just mark surrounding tiles as impassable (which looks weird in tiles as large as ours).  Just bottleneck attackers and apply a counter so that attackers have to win in x amount of time or the attack is bounced.  There are lots of others.

  I know its not a new or unsolvable problem, and I know some games with tactical combat have done it.  As it is FE tactical combat is about bringing the right army to the battle, and about using the right ability at the right time.  It is not about breaking through fortifications, or hiding from fire.  We are intentionally designing tactical combat to be fast.  Though I will say that I would like major sieges to be an exception to that, larger battles didn't make the cut for FE.

  Right now the feature is on the post-implementation list (ie: the list of stuff we would like to do but don't have time scheduled for).  That is not a good place to be.  The good news is that it will go through review again for expansion 2.  So its not that its dead, or will never happen, only that it doesn't look good for FE.

  We do have buildings that provide free defenders in FE.  So cities that have invested in defensive structures could have anything from free archers or catapults to demons or giant statues or that come alive to defend your cities.  That does differentiate attacking cities from other battles, but it isn't siege combat as discussed in this thread.

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June 30, 2011 1:25:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh well... Its definitely a nice to have, but by no means a game breaker when it comes to fun. As long as tactical battles are more interesting than in E:WoM and the AI can actually handle that more interesting combat, I'll be happy. Simple abstracted tactical combat can still be fun so long as there are interesting, balanced trade offs with multiple possible combinations, outcomes, and advantages. Look at two of the most popular strategy games in history; Go and Chess. Can't get much more abstract and simple, but the strategy that arises from that simplicity is interesting and deep and fun. That's really what makes a great game that stands the test of time, not bells and whistles.

However, even without walls on the tactical map any way we can get some sort of siege mechanics as talked about here on the strategic side? e.g. Gradual weakening of defending units, additional turns to break through walls modified by equipment/spells, buildings that improve that defense

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June 30, 2011 1:30:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, if we can't have sieges I'm hoping the terrain will be more interesting than E:wom still in tactical battles. Upcoming dev journal on combat?

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June 30, 2011 1:59:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Upcoming dev journal on combat?

 

Oh...pleeeeaaasssseeee.

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