Not liking random and gear is OP

By on March 14, 2012 4:24:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lord Xia

Join Date 03/2006
+148

When the ideas were first put up for items in the Tech Tree being Random, I liked the idea.  I was wrong.  Tech trees should not be random, they should either be faction specific, and/or truly be able to specialize within trees.  If I make a persoanl faction ow eak, but magical and research gifted Wraiths, plate armor is of no use to me and masterwork plate is of little use too.  But maybe masterwork Chainmail would be?  

 

I think we should scrap the 3 tree aproach, make one tree, but make different trees for every faction.  But random is not the answer.  Even putting everything on the tree and getting rid of random is better than leaving the randomness in.

 

I feel that we should start off with a lot more of the basic techs, like some basic armor, weapons, and being able to mine or farm, etc.  Starting out with clubs and no armor feels boring.  Very boring game to start.  I would like techs to increase the quality of the items produced, not introduce them.  I can build crude iron plate from early on, it's heavy, slow, but offers fair protection.  Techs then improve the types of armor I can build.  Maybe my Wraiths never learn plate armor of any kind.  But they excel at light armor.  Early light armor made from rough hides, to masterwork fine steel chainmail.  Or maybe my powerful trogs never use light armor, they use thick bear hides and crude iron plate early on, but later develop masterwork steel plate later.  

 

Champions.

Champions upgrades are too random and of too little importance.  What is a trait that gives +2 to strength compared to going from a weapon with a 20 atk to one with 66?  Nothing.  Why does my mage character have only the choices of warrior type characters?  I want champions to be different and become more different from each other with each level.  And what does the +2 or +3 strength traits compare to the one that you get that gives +1 per level?  Or the Champion gear that is easy to obtain that gives +1 to strength per level.  The randomness of level upgrades is boring and there are too few choices.  Less random, more design.

 

Gear.

A level 10 governor champion in Champion gear is far better than a normal level 10 warrior champion without Champion gear.  And we can even build troops with that gear and sell it in our shops.  Great gear should not be available to troops or for sale in the shop.  

 

 

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March 15, 2012 3:58:30 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I guess I'm the only one that adapts to the game insteead of wanting the game to adapt to me.

 

When I start a game I do not have any pre conceptions of what it will be.

 

Will I be a giant conqueror? or a whimpy sheemer... What I anm reading here is that people seems to want to know well before starting the game what it will look like in the end.

 

Sorry but I dinf that really boring. Like reasding a book from the end to the begining.

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March 15, 2012 4:25:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You can actually play the game more than one way?  Bullshit.  War is it.  The only choice is how you conduct war.  Random techs is a cheap way to create replayability.  I have a hard time believing that these random techs actually create replayability.  Really?  you've already said you find them to be pretty meaningless.  Random techs only work if all the nations are pretty much the same and generic.  Which to me is awful.  Who I am and who my nation is should be decided before turn 1.  Otherwise that means all the nations are the same, and we play based on complete random factors.  To me that is very boring. Resources can be gathered, they are rarely a factor.  I have never played a game I could not get a resource of iron or crystal in. 

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March 15, 2012 6:54:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Note that some randomness is fine, but excessive reliance on randomness makes the game feel, well, completely random. 

Combat by definition should have a random factor in it, after all, this isn't chess, Advanced Civilization (the boardgame, not the Sid Meier thing), or Diplomacy.  But results in combat should have some factor of player skill, as opposed to excessively falling back on the luck of the dice rolls.

If you want a truly random combat system, I suggest this system.

Both players get a D100.  Both roll.  High roll wins.  Each time a player wins, he adds 1% to his die rolls, if he loses he loses all accumulated bonuses.  Sure, eventually someone might luck out and get a huge, insurmountable bonus from repeated victories, say +99%.  But I would not consider the replayability factor of said combat model as high...

Or, to put this another way, when the Confederate Army faced the Union at Gettysburg, Lee lost because of a combination of factors, but ultimately because he sent his troops directly into the maw of Union artillery batteries, and they were cut down mercilessly.  That decision cost him the battle, and likely the war.  Luck had little to do with it at this point.

To get back on topic, I expect troops that I just spent 51 turns building to do better than I'm seeing now in the current combat model.  Sure, I like tough champions, but as things stand now, I'm not seeing a good balance in a number of areas.  Of course, we are still in the early stages of the beta, so we have time to adjust the purchase costs and combat values of the various units, monsters, Champions and Sovereigns.  While luck should play a role, the fate of your empire should not live and die by a few dice rolls.  Player skill and decision making should play the strongest role in these decisions, instead of the luck of the draw.

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March 15, 2012 7:54:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I think having a play "random faction" option, with each faction having their own specific tree would work towards that.  I think the only reason that random techs is liked at all is because so little about the factions are different. I would rather get my feeling of playing a different faction by actually playing a different faction, not just get a few random techs here or there.

I prefer this to random techs, though random master armorsmithing tech is nice, its not the only one I have seen.

I have seen a random tech to ->Construct/Train<- Semi heroes, that in said description should level like regular heroes, but without magic choices, now that is one of the randoms techs i WILL miss ... Although if that is the style of the game it doesnt matter much, as long as they keep it to the random stuff in the details, and meaby one random tech per tech tree/play style, so you arent nerfed because the random tech u got was for magicians and ure all about beating stuffs wiith clubs.

But thats all speculating, I know that after I played MoO2 I started playing a race with a "Random Tech Tree", just so I wouldn't abuse  the best comboes, etc. so I would be surprised and have to figure out a way to work with what I have.

That said, I hope there will be an option to turn off random techs.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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March 16, 2012 1:48:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I did enjoy the Gal Civ II: Twilight of the Arnor's much more unique tech trees for each specie, but personally even when I play a map with all AI at 'ridiculous' level, with dense monster spawns and a large map, it's still extremely easy, due to the following:

1) Overwhelmingly powerful champion weapons, as stated above.  At late game, if I let it get there, enemies' armor's high enough to reduce my damage, but otherwise a good find allows a blitzing of nearby factions early on.  This is what I always do: find good gear, then blitz, otherwise it's plan B, which is #2:

2) A squad with charge and initiative (plus horses if you can do it fast enough), wins all the time.  Like the issue with AI struggling with us players with tons of moves for units on Gal Civ II, like my massive ships with tons of fast engines and firepower, the tactical battles end quickly with my guys with clubs just charging into enemy troops.  I can't win against drake armies early on, ofc, but other factions just die to this.  Champions with haste makes it more ludicrously easy.

3) Champion's attributes, outside the magical trees for more spells, feel useless.  Use know how to buff your units, be it tactical or strategic, and you'd win with the charging troops in #2 and/or uber weapons of champions.  Most cities are not defended on my games, and anything invading territory's smacked with 'tremor,' the flames, whither (where available), and/or blizzard. Which brings me to

4) A few elite charging troops with or without champions can win games.  Just continue to conquer towns and pump out units. Never worry about gold because . . .:

5) Equipment sells for decent price.  I bankroll my Mongolian conquest of much of the continent through acquisition and sales of gear and silly useless but valuable trinkets, like the one that summons a dog or sand golem.

 

So yeah, game's buggy but easy as hell atm.  Enemies don't use strategic spells at this time, unfortunately.  No nuking of me with pillars of flame, and such. 

My champions' skills are largely worthless, esp. as OP says, with the randomized choices at level up.  My mages would always take whatever increases dodge or int, or whatever helps the army, when nothing else ups my spell selection.  My favorite Verga, despite being a warlord, was archmage in death magic, despite all my efforts at him being an epic warrior. 

No other faction had any unique way of fighting or resisting.  With the same tech tree, I suppose I can't blame them.  They even use my designed units against me, in droves, but still I gain initiative, charge, and/or nuke them with spells or occasionally a drake. 

I must add that much of the loot were also useless in game, and the rare OP loot always stood out, and a champion that happened to luck out with tons of warrior/defender/assassin skills did shine with that item than one without such skills. 

I don't want such epic weaponry or gear disappearing, since we're working in a post-apocalyptic word, and some awesome stuff ought to be lying around in the world.  But the overall game feels like zerging works best.  No matter what the enemy champ or mine has (and I've faced quite formidable enemy champions), pumping out good charging units with maces won most of the game.  That's right.  Maces ftw. lol

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March 16, 2012 7:47:55 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Solam,
I guess I'm the only one that adapts to the game insteead of wanting the game to adapt to me.

 

When I start a game I do not have any pre conceptions of what it will be.

 

Will I be a giant conqueror? or a whimpy sheemer... What I anm reading here is that people seems to want to know well before starting the game what it will look like in the end.

 

Sorry but I dinf that really boring. Like reasding a book from the end to the begining.

Your not the only one who is like this. I perfer a game to challange me and part of that is not knowing what it will throw at you. Games that provide everything for you with no surprises are just boring. Now saying that I do agree that each race has their own flavor tech as well as some random tech.

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March 16, 2012 12:09:27 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Bellack,



Quoting Solam,
reply 26
I guess I'm the only one that adapts to the game insteead of wanting the game to adapt to me.

 

When I start a game I do not have any pre conceptions of what it will be.

 

Will I be a giant conqueror? or a whimpy sheemer... What I anm reading here is that people seems to want to know well before starting the game what it will look like in the end.

 

Sorry but I dinf that really boring. Like reasding a book from the end to the begining.



Your not the only one who is like this. I perfer a game to challange me and part of that is not knowing what it will throw at you. Games that provide everything for you with no surprises are just boring. Now saying that I do agree that each race has their own flavor tech as well as some random tech.

 

I agree

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March 16, 2012 12:56:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The unknowns should be your opponents and the world at large, not whether you lucked out on which traits you get to select, or what techs you get to choose from.

A random tome that unlocks some rare tech is fine, but just doing it randomly in the background isn't the same thing.  You have to find said tome first, or perhaps negotiate with another kingdom/empire for access to their research.

Again, excessive reliance on random-ness is just lazy game design.  The game should be able to provide plenty of challenge in other ways.  And as quests, combat tactics, empire tech trees and such get fleshed out in the coming months, more challenges to overcome will emerge.

If Elemental wasn't a 4x game, then I would not have as big of an issue with excessive randomness, but where it is, and where quite a few elements are spelled out specifically (tech X requires y number of turns to complete, this militia will take x number of turns to build, you may move only x number of squares, you earn x number of gildar every turn), the rest of the game really should have that same 'chess-like' structure to it. 

Combat is by definition random.  Goody huts, champion placement, and map layout again are by definition random. Starting locations are random.  Those items should be enough to ensure that every game will be different, if the underlying design is strong enough.

 

But in order to provide a fair and balanced experience, especially in online multiplayer play, tech advancement and character advancement needs to be balanced.  Otherwise, players will be cheated out of victories by a few die rolls, and no one should want that.

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March 17, 2012 10:08:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with you tjashen.

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March 17, 2012 10:18:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting tjashen,
A random tome that unlocks some rare tech is fine, but just doing it randomly in the background isn't the same thing. You have to find said tome first, or perhaps negotiate with another kingdom/empire for access to their research.

Agree 100% Random technologies arn't giving you anything, they are taking things away, Randomly.

We already have random technology through quest rewards, this is a fair system that works well, expands lore and is fun. We earn the bonus of unlocking new technology. Having some technologies just appear at start of game is silly and unnecessary. Random technologies right from the start make no sense and add little to the game that wasn't already there and better implemented. Just give us more fun and rewarding quests!

Personally assigning me certain techs right off the start and denying me others, with no rythme or reason is like slapping me on the face at the start of the game. It's like saying 1/8 tiles I just cant walk on or some games my team just cant use shields. WHY? I'm sorry but this game your team of "master smiths" cannot understand the concept of sharp swords, even when late game every other team is stabbing you with them, Have Fun.

 You might make it so some factions do not recieve certain rewards (Wraiths getting master plate. Troggs super wands) but that should be easily done.

Also being able to trade unique techs you unlock would be an awesome political tool.

 

 

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March 17, 2012 2:00:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I feel that we should start off with a lot more of the basic techs, like some basic armor, weapons, and being able to mine or farm, etc.

The fact that we have no choice in armor early or even mid game really annoys me. Whats the point of a deep armor system if you never get to use it?

 

When the ideas were first put up for items in the Tech Tree being Random, I liked the idea. I was wrong.

Same, random techs just don't work well. Soon they will be adding more random spellbooks and I just see those having the same problem as random weapon techs. These things should be unlocked through faction traits or quests not random techs. Random techs hurt strategy for all the reasons listed in this thread. At best random techs are going to cause me to restart the game a few times to get the ones I want, at worst I will ignore them. Mutually exclusive techs could work though.

 

Champions upgrades are too random and of too little importance.

Ya champion weapons need to be more balanced. More special effects less ridiculous stats.

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March 17, 2012 2:40:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with the above : I'd like more choice for unit design from turn 1, no randomness in the tech tree, more consistant champion upgrades so that common does not equal horribly weak, and more items whose benefits would depend on the wielder's stats..

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March 17, 2012 3:40:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My thought is that if Derek continues down the current design goal - including randomness in the core game systems to deter gaming said system - he's going to find that he no-so-randomly designed out the elements of strategy, immersion, and replayability from the game.  It will become an exercise in frustration.

A little randomness based on previous player strategic choice is fine and could be fun, but the wholesale randomness like we're seeing now will not be fun as features continually get added to the game.

"Numbers" gamers will always try to game the system no matter what, and will have fun doing so.  "RPG" gamers will find the game enjoyable because they will use all of the game options to create a strong bond to the characters and story they are creating.  Basing the core systems on too much randomness will simply drive both of these types of gamers away.

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March 17, 2012 5:44:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Recently i have been thinking more and more about a new approach to techs. 

My ideas is this: what if we make a cost of given technology not fixed at the beginning. Let's presume that 1st tech ever discovered cost 100 research points (rp), then the second 150 rp, the third 200 rp and so on. Cost of technology would vary depending on how many techs i already discovered. Thus, if discovered 9 tech in magic, the 10th would cost as much rp as the very first tech in civs. 

I want to address a problem that right now there is no point in specialization, since if i have choice between 10 basic civ techs or 1 late advanced magic tech i go for 10 techs b/c benefit is waaay bigger. 

In my solution, choices matter - do you want to specialize or not? Since you can never change your specialization and research basic techs in other branches fast the choice would matter. It is not very realistic, you could say, that simple techs should be developed fast, but on the other hand if my kingdom is well advanced in magic, i should research faster too on this field.  

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March 17, 2012 5:48:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Apart of this idea, i agree on the rest, especially more choice on turn one. 

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March 17, 2012 6:11:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As far as ascending armor types

 

Leather

early leather/animal hides -> available from the beginning of the game

Hardened Leather-> early game

Studded leather-> a few techs later

Specialty Hide Leather -> Troll Leather/Dragon Leather/ Skath Leather, w/e ... available MidGame + or so

 

Chain

early Chain-> early game

heavy Chain -> mid game

reinforced Chain -> mid game ++

Masterwork Chain -> Late game

 

Plate

basic/heavy plate -> mid game

reinforced plate -> late game

refolded/Masterwork Plate -> late game ++

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March 17, 2012 6:38:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It does feel like a champion, for now, is a peasant that can wield Heart of the Glacier when others can't. I do think that a high-level champion should be godlike even when armed only with chopsticks.

 

less ridiculous stats.
Champions stats aren't ridiculous. Actually, armor and weapon stats are usually fine. It's late game artifacts which are off the charts, and unit hit points which are ridiculously low. I've been trying with 12 base hit points+constitution bonus and more reasonable champion weapons: it gets a lot better (although champions could us some more stat increases at times...)

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March 19, 2012 7:04:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think my first modding project is going to be to add some Patchwork armor as a starting armor option.  That will give early units some basic defense and make them less of "glass cannons".  I'll have to see how much I can do without having to change the Core xml files.  Just adding Patchwork armor may not be enough.  Existing armor type may need re-balancing as well to make it work.

I think part of the goal was to make tactical combat fairly quick.  I have played 4X games where I avoided tactical combat in late game because it was too long and boring.  So I do appreciate the effort to keep tactical combat quick.  But I do think there is some truth to the notion here that tactical combat is a little too quick and for the wrong reason.

Brad/Kael, I understand the reasons for keeping modding more or less closed in terms of gauging balance and stability.  But consider that modders can do a lot to help with balance and game enhancement issues. 

I have also come to the conclusion that Fireball is TOO powerful against trained units.  Far too many of my city attacks are too easy because my sovereign or one of my champions can cast a first-turn Fireball and take out all or nearly all of the defending trained units.

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March 19, 2012 9:34:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another problem is that late game units too are peasants in champion armor : they have the same base thats than the ones you recruit in the beginning, and equip with clubs...

There really needs to be a way to train high quality troops so that fireball is less of an issue. 

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March 19, 2012 9:47:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DarkGaldred,
high quality troops so that fireball is less of an issue.

I'd like more buildings like schools that increase the stats of troops. Makes sense that as you build up a magical civilization your citzens become more healthy.

Also the big problem with fireball is that Int, the spell resistance stat, only resists single target curses. Hopefully some system of Spell Mass Curse/Dmg resistance is implemented.

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March 19, 2012 9:47:47 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Werewindlefr,
It does feel like a champion, for now, is a peasant that can wield Heart of the Glacier when others can't. I do think that a high-level champion should be godlike even when armed only with chopsticks.

 


less ridiculous stats.Champions stats aren't ridiculous. Actually, armor and weapon stats are usually fine. It's late game artifacts which are off the charts, and unit hit points which are ridiculously low. I've been trying with 12 base hit points+constitution bonus and more reasonable champion weapons: it gets a lot better (although champions could us some more stat increases at times...)

No Champs should not be godlike. They should be killed like any other unit. But what makes them special is their abilities, Items they can weild, And bonuses they can give to either Armies they are in or Cities they are in or even over all bonuses to the Empire. They should also if a Mage give the empire mana per turn and this can be based on current levels. 

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March 26, 2012 8:52:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just my 2 cents in this:

 

I don't think that random techs are the way to go either. I don't particularly like them especially stuff like 3rd book of the Magi because I tend to choose elements for my sovereign based on the final spells I want to be able to cast. Since you need 3rd book of the Magi to even cast them, it is really disappointing playing when you know you're not going to be even able to cast the spells you wanted your Sov to cast.

 

I think having a diverse tech tree and prompting the player to make different choices based on events in the world-- generated at world creation or randomly occurring events throughout the game would make things much better-- but that is only after the factions are nice and differentiated.

 

Off topic note, has there been any mention on when the next build might make it our way, or is that something that is far in the future for a Beta 3 at this point? (feel free to PM an answer since it is off topic)

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March 28, 2012 12:38:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sorry if this has been methoned before but I think faction specific Tech trees would be cool. but even then I think a little randomness within each faction would do good things.

Edit: Which gives me an another idea of a tribes within each faction that would differ very slightly from each other.

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March 28, 2012 3:26:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting keli2,
but even then I think a little randomness within each faction would do good things.

yes, but there are much better ways to implement randomness than giving every player 2-3 of like 10 random techs the first turn of the game. If you have a Sov that specializes in fire magic and bowmen are you going to play a game where on the first turn it tells you that you wont get book of fire or master bows?


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March 28, 2012 4:13:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I posted something earlier about making the random techs possible to find through quests. So you have a random collection of the unique techs at start, presumably from your travels and local resources. Then you can seek out the fire techs you want by adventuring. That would seem to be the best design scheme. It satisfies randomness and replayability, while still allowing players to get those spells they feel they are entitled to.

I would make this even better by having a building like Pyre of Anniellum unlock the given fore quests, but that relies on having quests spawned or unlocked by buildings. Something we are not guaranteed. 

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