[Suggestion/Discssion] Outposts 20% Cooler

By on January 24, 2012 9:20:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

G30ffnet

Join Date 12/2005
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I checked to see if there was a similar thrad but I couldn't find one.  If I missed it please let me know.  Some of this discussion will kind of mirror what others have said about city bulding.

 

There has been a lot of talk about how cities are kind of boring and eed to be imrpoved, I feel the same way about outposts.  They just kind of sit there and don't do anything besides expand your border.  I think they could be a lot more interesting. 

Firstly, there should be several different kinds of outposts.  For example, we could have a watch tower outpost with an increased sight range or a redoubt style outpost that adds defensive bonuses to a unit stationed there.  There could also be civilian outposts like a hamlet that generates a small amount of gold or a trade outpost that could generate some gold through caravans.  By adding in different types it would add a strategic desicion to what type of outpost goes where.  Building a redoubt on the only path through the mountains would be a great way to block an enemy.  At least until they flatten the mountains with some magic.

Secondly, Outposts should be captureable.  Currently they are just annoyances to be rounded up in a war.  If they were capturable that would add some strategic desicions.  Do you head straight for the cities or take some of the enemies watch towers so you can move through an area unnoticed? This could add another layer to the resource war, instead of just destroying resources around a city, you could take a small forward base to build up for raids/an assault.

To balance this out outposts should have a cost imposed on them.  Whether this is an upfront cost or upkeep or maybe both would need to be tested.  There would also have to be a way to make sure that players aren't just spamming outposts, especially if they have the abilitiy to supply resources.  Maybe make it so that only certain types of outposts can be built near their respective resources. 

Any thoughts?

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January 24, 2012 9:23:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Those are good ideas.  

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January 24, 2012 9:24:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agreed, could use some love.

Outposts also have weird balance issues right now due to other factors - being able to grab terrain all over the place for an extremely low cost and no upkeep doesn't feel well designed.

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January 24, 2012 9:25:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the OP's ideas.

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January 24, 2012 9:31:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the concept of making an outpost more than just a ZoC (Zone of Control). Maybe adding the ability to further specialize it like you suggested would add some additional interest/strategy. It would be cool if outposts could also act defensively and/or create walls.

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January 24, 2012 9:37:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Capturable "GalCiv II starbases" would be nice.

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January 24, 2012 10:12:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you made it so that units could heal in an outpost, they might serve a purpose as a forward base or defensive point.

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January 24, 2012 10:55:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good ideas. I like the idea of giving outposts more purpose. The main thing would be to keep them from becoming mini-cities. If we add too many features they will become too complicated for what they are. I say a vision boost, zone of control / influence, and a small boost to defense and trade. At most, an upgrade choice between military and economy. If we ever get sieges, they could act as small walled forts.

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January 24, 2012 11:13:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like a lot of the suggestions here but honestly I'd just be happy if I could garrison troops in an outpost for 50% or 25% of their normal upkeep.

To balance you could give them full strength while defending the outpost but half strength for 20 turns or so if they mobilize.

 

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January 24, 2012 11:18:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To prevent outposts from becoming like cities perhaps they should be considered more like fortifications that you can upgrade with gildar or the like.

 

Could be like

 

Outpost 1 radius- snags those resources you place it by

Fort 2 radius - gives defensive bonus to stationed units, adds garrison

Castle 3 radius- larger defensive bonus, better garrison, can train military using nearest town for production bonus like resources (sometimes) do

Citadel 4 radius - largest defensive bonus, best garrison, some cool ability maybe trade related?

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January 24, 2012 11:28:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah being able to build military buildings in outposts such as walls and watchtowers just makes sense. Not so much economy buildings though, that's what cities are for.

 

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January 24, 2012 11:45:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Everyone in this thread is right, even people who have contradictory ideas.

 

Because outposts are a good idea, and should take a page from galciv's book. Make them upgradable, make them themed (military vs economic, at least), and maybe offer incentive to garrison troops there beyond just "defending this is smart because if it explodes you don't have it anymore" by giving them garrison slots tied to level that offer reduced maintenance fees for stationed troops.

 

A cap on total outposts should exist (if it doesn't already, I haven't been using them much) tied to the nation's population.

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January 24, 2012 11:47:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like that.

I'd also want a seperate category on the right for outposts (I may also mention this in another suggestion) as I want to keep track of my outposts and for most: the units I stationed there are ruining my units overview.

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January 24, 2012 12:25:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,
Capturable "GalCiv II starbases" would be nice.

Exactly! Being able to send Pioneers or other units to upgrade their defensive capabilities or add bonuses would sure make them better than just a ZoC mechanism as it is currently.

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January 24, 2012 12:36:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am adding my vote for "GalCiv II starbases" model 

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January 24, 2012 12:36:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great idea. I think I'd prefer to keep it fairly simple. Click the build outpost button, and you are presented with a choice of outpost type. Select from list, and no upgrades from there. Keep it as un-city like as possible. Just my opinion of course, I could probably be persuaded differently though!

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January 24, 2012 12:59:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd like to see something like the OP, but as an alternate option:

Play it like the split between castles and cities in Medieval 2, where the outposts are no good at anything economic but are good for producting/garrisoning military troops.  Basically using one to wall off an approach, like a border fort.  As it is right now I just prefer to build cities and pretty much ignore outposts all together, haven't had any situation where there was a place I wanted to expand to that didn't have nearby food or was so far from ZOC that it needed an outpost to get the resource (as opposed to just leveling up a city instead).

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January 24, 2012 1:26:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can I be the first to disagree?  I don't think outposts should be anymore than what they are today.  If you want to do all that other stuff, build cities.  The only improvement I would suggest is that when I put an army there to guard one, take them out of the army list on the left so I don't have to cycle through them every turn.  They should disappear from that list like armies do when they're in cities.

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January 24, 2012 1:35:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I certainly wouldn't want outposts to replace cities.  But they should do more than just expand my border.  They should be a real projection of your power into the wilderness.  I like alot of the upgrade suggestions.  Whether it is a one click and the whole thing is upgrade or a more modular "starbase" style. 

When comparing them to Total War we could even do like in Empire Total War; where forts were able to order troops but they were ctually trained at a near by city and then had to march to the fort. 

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January 24, 2012 1:43:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Outposts strike me as the "guardian spirits" of FE. It might be nice to be able to research a few possible upgrades that you can then pay for to make them more defensible (sight range, perhaps a hedge wall for defenders), but they should remain very simple structures as they are now.

I don't want to see them take on city-like characteristics. I don't like the idea of making them capturable; I think you should have to build your own.

 

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January 24, 2012 2:09:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Valca,
I am adding my vote for "GalCiv II starbases" model 

why not have outposts be able to be improved by sending additional pioneers. Possible improvements could be to increase influence/zone of control, rate of travel on roads nearby, initiative for stationed units in nearest city, line of sight, etc.

 

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January 24, 2012 2:24:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cyril gunderlacken,
why not have outposts be able to be improved by sending additional pioneers. Possible improvements could be to increase influence/zone of control, rate of travel on roads nearby, initiative for stationed units in nearest city, line of sight, etc.

That's the Galciv II model in a nutshell. You'd create ships that would create the starbase, and then send other ones to upgrade them in the future. As long as the upgrades are limited in scope and the benefits rather simple, it would establish outposts as more than just a way to get a resource without needing to expand your city over that area.

A good argument for not building another city is the extra time and resources required for the new city to expand. Plus it limits your city's ZoC growth rate, whereas the ZoC for an outpost is fixed.

This does seem like logical transition into another suggestion- allow pioneers to show the ZoC they would create with an outpost before building it. I just filed that bug- http://forums.elementalgame.com/416088 .

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January 24, 2012 2:32:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The big things I'd want to see for outposts is militia, ZOC, and no razing in the ZOC.

 

Maybe outposts should be able to "build" upgrades slowly, or rush at a cost of gold/metal/mana.

 

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January 24, 2012 2:55:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


A cap isn't really necessary, just give them and their upgrades a upkeep.

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January 24, 2012 3:09:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd like them to have 'militia/guards' as well, and I agree that there be a lot of good ideas here

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January 24, 2012 4:41:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Alstein,
The big things I'd want to see for outposts is militia, ZOC, and no razing in the ZOC.

 

Maybe outposts should be able to "build" upgrades slowly, or rush at a cost of gold/metal/mana.

 

I like "no razing in the ZOC". 

If you have a militia associated with the outpost, the player could receive notification with the strength of the enemy force and his own militia.  Then the player could decide to Sally Forth and meet the threat or wait for reinforcements while the resources are trashed.

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