Derek, are you considering making roads in enemy territory not speed movement in next patch?

By on May 20, 2012 2:59:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

StevenAus

Join Date 06/2010
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This is one that especially needs addressing.  It makes it so easy for AI players and monsters to attack all your cities, and if you're the one doing well, it makes it very easy to capture all the AI cities.

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May 20, 2012 7:23:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it's a very sensible change that wouldn immediately improve the game. Is it realistic? No, but the game is in a late enough stage of development that these kind of lesser-evils need to be chosen.

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May 20, 2012 7:33:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This seems like too simple a change to do much good to me. Your territory is usually 1-3 tiles so it might not help much. Also it would be annoying to be able to move as fast on normal terrain as on roads. Well I agree this is a problem more thought needs to be given to solutions. Maybe you could use outposts to guard roads or implement siege times.

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May 20, 2012 8:59:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Like I said in Sethai's thread, I think that would be an awful idea. Yet another small nod to realism sacrificed in the hope that the AI will have a slightly easier time playing the game. Implement the siege times, it has pretty much the same effect, and the added benefit of being somewhat realistic.

As for the state of development; the entire city building mechanics will be overhauled next beta. Adding actual siege battles would be too much to ask, but I'm pretty sure a script that delays a battle by a few turns is not outside the realm of possibilities.

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May 20, 2012 9:38:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wasn't thinking about the AI so much, I was thinking about the poor humans.   But I guess if the monsters are not taking detours around AI territory to get to human territory, it might not matter so much.  But the AI on harder difficulties would still be able to use *your* roads put there supposedly for *your* convenience and use to conquer you more easily.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.

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May 20, 2012 11:48:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sethai,
I think it's a very sensible change that wouldn immediately improve the game. Is it realistic?   No,    ...   

On the whole, I think the Original Poster makes a very good point -- two points really -- regarding AI Player movement on roads within human-controlled territory, and Human Player movement on roads within AI controlled territory. 

For my part (perhaps because I am a more casual player, who is not looking for a game with suicidal-masochistic ( i.e. "challenging", "hard", or "ridiculous" ) levels of play, I am more concerned about the former.  In other words, I  WANT  the AI Players to not be able to use MY roads as super-highways, to crush me at lightning fast speed. 

However, the principle quibble I am raising in this reply, is that it   IS REALISTIC   to reduce or remove road bonuses, for roads that are not controlled by the side/player that is invading territory that is not their own.  Historically this has always been true.  Moving through enemy controlled territory means (some examples): the roads could be guarded by partisans; the roads could be partially mined (which doesn't effect the owner of the roads, because they know where the mines are); the roads may not be well known (well mapped); the roads could be otherwise compromised (semi-scorched earth policy, on the part of a retreating enemy); and (most basic of all) movement is slowed, because the invader will tend to be cautious simply because they are dealing with an unknown.  This is basic psychology ...

Of course, E:FE is a fantasy game.  But given the  UNIVERSAL  nature of slowed movement (reduced speed of movement) in enemy controlled territory, it is "realistic" to incorporate the same feature in E:FE.  Once outposts are destroyed, and cities are captured, the territory reverts to friendly (or at least, nuetral), and the road bonuses could be restored.  But until then, road bonuses in enemy territory should not exist ...

(AND I take Steven Aus's last point regarding harder levels of play: if you really need to allow AI players to use road bonuses, without limitations, on the "challenging/hard/ridiculous" levels, you can leave that in.  But on lower levels, road bonuses in enemy territory (especially for the AI players, IMO) should not exist.)  That would be more realistic ... 

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May 20, 2012 11:51:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually, this change doesn't help the AI at all, quite the opposite. While I'm in favor of something like this (I'd rather it be 4x speed in your territory, 2x in neutral, 1x in hostile), I don't think you can make this change overnight without putting other systems in place (so probably not any time soon). Let me try to explain:

The current system (4x speeds) is a great boon for the aggressor, they get to pick what they attack with their movement and do so before anything can react. However, when you remove the road bonus, the opposite happens... suddenly the aggressor is slogging along at 2-3 tiles and is at the mercy of the one on the defensive instead. Which might seem like the ideal solution, until you take into account the fact that players have overland spells and the AI has no clue what to do with it. So while my army might take longer to reach the AI cities (not really that much longer, mind you) is it enough for the AI to scramble a defense? Sometimes yes (if it has lots of units nearby), but most likely no (if I scouted ahead). This is assuming that their "defense" can actually stand a chance against my stack of doom, of course. On the other hand, if the AI tries an attack? They'll never even get near my city if I have even a bit of mana stored. If you compare that situation to now, the current system seems a lot more fair to the AI, who actually has a chance when they go on offense.

So before something like this could even happen, what you'd need is for the AI to learn how to use overland spells. Then you also need to implement a system to counter overland spells, whether through special units or enchantments/wards casted on offensive armies to resist/negate those spells.

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May 21, 2012 1:49:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kalin,
Actually, this change doesn't help the AI at all, quite the opposite. While I'm in favor of something like this (I'd rather it be 4x speed in your territory, 2x in neutral, 1x in hostile), I don't think you can make this change overnight without putting other systems in place (so probably not any time soon). Let me try to explain:

The current system (4x speeds) is a great boon for the aggressor, they get to pick what they attack with their movement and do so before anything can react. However, when you remove the road bonus, the opposite happens... suddenly the aggressor is slogging along at 2-3 tiles and is at the mercy of the one on the defensive instead. Which might seem like the ideal solution, until you take into account the fact that players have overland spells and the AI has no clue what to do with it. So while my army might take longer to reach the AI cities (not really that much longer, mind you) is it enough for the AI to scramble a defense? Sometimes yes (if it has lots of units nearby), but most likely no (if I scouted ahead). This is assuming that their "defense" can actually stand a chance against my stack of doom, of course. On the other hand, if the AI tries an attack? They'll never even get near my city if I have even a bit of mana stored. If you compare that situation to now, the current system seems a lot more fair to the AI, who actually has a chance when they go on offense.

So before something like this could even happen, what you'd need is for the AI to learn how to use overland spells. Then you also need to implement a system to counter overland spells, whether through special units or enchantments/wards casted on offensive armies to resist/negate those spells.

 

I find the two bolded lines to be somewhat at odds with one another. Frogboy made a post not too long ago about how Computer AI is inherently very good at Defense because that is how it needs to be programmed to be competetive, as it does not have the ingenuity that living beings do at assessing a spread of options and choosing unique combinations. As Froggy said. Humans are very good with "Sharp sticks".

 

Slowing movement of units through hostile territory (as stated above) is both realistic (have to watch out for ambushes) and a benefit defensively, as the computer and human  players will have more time to assess what the player is doing and figure out something to counter it. That is a challenge benefit for all interms of going on the offensive and a defensive benefit for all because there is no 15 tiles past front lines city combat going on.

 

In terms of magic, yeah, magic is borked from an AI and fundamental system level (in my opinion), but don't you think that the overland unit engagements should make sense whether or not there is magic? I consider that particular argument a red herring in this case, as the system should work and make sense regardless of overland casting.

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May 21, 2012 3:25:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think this suggested mechanic is absolutely essential to keep the game strategic. Armies using their own 'inner lines' always move faster than moving through enemy territory. But TBH I really don't care if there is a historic precedence or not - the game mechanic of zipping through enemy territory using their infrastructure is flawed.

Recently Warlock was released and it has a great way of handling this. If you develop a hex it acts as a road for the controller of the territory (1/2 movement for that hex). If you don't control the territory then you cop the base terrain penalty (between 1 and 3 movement points). Many other games have game mechanics that hinder movement through enemy territory.

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May 21, 2012 3:53:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I completely agree with OrionM42, Malsqueek and Das123.

The enemy should have a penalty in movement speed when in the opposite territory. This being for AI and human players.

Which in a way it is quite logical if you think about it. Especially in this fantasy/medieval warfare were there is not any satellites or technology to check the enemy territory and have information what are you going to meet. The only thing you have is scout (and ok there is magic also).

So imagine you arrive in the territory with your army to conquer, normally you know nothing about the terrain and I sure you will mover slower than your opposite enemy which he is in his territory. While also most of 4x games have also implemented this mechanic.

 

From what I remember in Civ4 when you enter enemy territory you have decrease movement speed, and if it is in late game and there is roads you still have decrease movement speed but a little higher than if there was not roads. So they could be different movements speeds levels during the whole game. Or even a late special ability that gives you full movement speed on all terrains.

I really believe this mechanic of penalty movement speed should be introduce.

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May 21, 2012 4:58:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are good arguments to both sides, but in the end I think making roads not work in enemy territory would just make it a more fun game. I don't want a situation where a tech actually makes your defenses worse to such a degree. The logic should not be "well, i get 10% more gildar BUT I also get shitty roads the enemy can use".

 

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May 21, 2012 5:53:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Malsqueek,

I find the two bolded lines to be somewhat at odds with one another. Frogboy made a post not too long ago about how Computer AI is inherently very good at Defense because that is how it needs to be programmed to be competetive, as it does not have the ingenuity that living beings do at assessing a spread of options and choosing unique combinations. As Froggy said. Humans are very good with "Sharp sticks".

Slowing movement of units through hostile territory (as stated above) is both realistic (have to watch out for ambushes) and a benefit defensively, as the computer and human  players will have more time to assess what the player is doing and figure out something to counter it. That is a challenge benefit for all interms of going on the offensive and a defensive benefit for all because there is no 15 tiles past front lines city combat going on.

In terms of magic, yeah, magic is borked from an AI and fundamental system level (in my opinion), but don't you think that the overland unit engagements should make sense whether or not there is magic? I consider that particular argument a red herring in this case, as the system should work and make sense regardless of overland casting.

 

I believe what Brad was saying was that humans are naturally good at "making" pointy sticks, not that they are particularly good at using them. As in, you can keep your stack of doom alive much better than the AI can, and, as a result, is able to make pointier sticks. Basically, you'd make the absolute best unit possible, then keep them alive until they become virtually invincible. Where as, the AI has to deal with things like cost/benefit ratios and potentially losing such costly units... so it just can't do the same and has to make it in smaller numbers, with filler units, etc... it's strength is being able to analyze those cost/benefit situations. The AI should be able to USE pointy sticks if it is given to them... afterall, it's not particularly hard to run over everything with that stack of doom. It shouldn't take genius level AI to do that. The hard part is to make the stick that you can do that with in the first place.

Once again, let me be clear, I'm not against the idea of slowing down movement in neutral and hostile territory, in fact, quite the opposite. But I feel like there needs to be an order to do things. If you just remove the bonus without addressing the overland magic problem, all of a sudden, you end up with an AI that's completely incapable of playing the game because there's a mechanic that it doesn't seem to understand, nor is there any viable counter even if it does. Your unit engagement might seem a lot better, but it is moot if overland magic just ruins the whole thing... put it this way, how would the AI manage to become any threat, if it can never actually attack anything? At least with the current implementation of roads, the AI has a shot because neither side has a chance to really react with roads giving those crazy movement bonuses. I'm not sure how that's contradictory.

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May 21, 2012 6:15:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd like it better if enemy armies would slow down movement so one can't move more than one tile if adjacent to an enemy army. So you could block your roads with an own army.

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May 21, 2012 6:22:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think this is a terrible idea.  First, what's the logic behind the idea that the road you're army is following suddenly stops working because you crossed from an area inside your glowing blue magic line into their glowing red magic line?  In gameplay sense, what causes it?  What's the immersion reasoning?  

Secondly, it has no real historic precedent.  Roads and crossroads are generally some of the most strategically significant targets in war.  Take WWII for example.  The entire Battle of Carentan was fought to gain access to crossroads linking major roads coming off the beaches of Normandy.  The Allies needed it to link their invasion forces and the Nazis wanted to hold it because it would allow them to counterattack the Allied forces piecemeal, rather then facing them as a unified Army.  There's a reason Hitler and his top men ordered the destruction of bridges, crossroads, and the like during the retreat before the Allied advance in 1945.  

Instead of removing the effect of roads in enemy controlled territory, they should give the player more robust ways of defending their roads.  Add a few strategic spells that effect road movement (double your speed on all your own roads, halves enemy speed on you roads).  Make outposts more useful, and then allow them to exert some influence on roads (my outpost near my roads prevents the enemy from gaining the road's benefits over some area) turning outposts into strategic targets of value besides just to deny resources.  Instead of removing functionality use this supposed problem to add more strategic depth.  

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May 21, 2012 6:36:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Let me ask you this... why does your outpost exert influence on roads, but your cities can't? (What do you think those ZOC are? It's your city's influence). Where's that all mighty logic now? A lot of people already explained why you'd slow down in hostile territory... and yes, there are plenty of precedences. Half of the reason YOU just mentioned explains why you can't just drive around enemy territory like it was your own. Maybe the bridge ahead is out... oops? Where's your awesome movement now? Entire battles were fought over a crossroads... in game? Oh, thanks for building these nice roads, I'll just use it to skip past everything and raze your cities before you even saw me. What immersion are we talking about again?

 

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May 21, 2012 8:08:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am sorry Kantok but this is not WW2 warfair rules. It is Medieval/Fantasy rules. There is not tanks and wheel driving vehicles. Just People on foot. And when you go to a new territory especially at this period of the game is played you don't know what you will find.You don't know the roads, the mountains or forests. In the other hand the people living there knows every little piece of the land

 

It should be more difficult for you to move in enemy territory if you attack.

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May 21, 2012 8:16:49 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting OrionM42,



Quoting Sethai,
reply 1
I think it's a very sensible change that wouldn immediately improve the game. Is it realistic?   No,    ...   



On the whole, I think the Original Poster makes a very good point -- two points really -- regarding AI Player movement on roads within human-controlled territory, and Human Player movement on roads within AI controlled territory. 

For my part (perhaps because I am a more casual player, who is not looking for a game with suicidal-masochistic ( i.e. "challenging", "hard", or "ridiculous" ) levels of play, I am more concerned about the former.  In other words, I  WANT  the AI Players to not be able to use MY roads as super-highways, to crush me at lightning fast speed. 

However, the principle quibble I am raising in this reply, is that it   IS REALISTIC   to reduce or remove road bonuses, for roads that are not controlled by the side/player that is invading territory that is not their own.  Historically this has always been true.  Moving through enemy controlled territory means (some examples): the roads could be guarded by partisans; the roads could be partially mined (which doesn't effect the owner of the roads, because they know where the mines are); the roads may not be well known (well mapped); the roads could be otherwise compromised (semi-scorched earth policy, on the part of a retreating enemy); and (most basic of all) movement is slowed, because the invader will tend to be cautious simply because they are dealing with an unknown.  This is basic psychology ...

Of course, E:FE is a fantasy game.  But given the  UNIVERSAL  nature of slowed movement (reduced speed of movement) in enemy controlled territory, it is "realistic" to incorporate the same feature in E:FE.  Once outposts are destroyed, and cities are captured, the territory reverts to friendly (or at least, nuetral), and the road bonuses could be restored.  But until then, road bonuses in enemy territory should not exist ...

(AND I take Steven Aus's last point regarding harder levels of play: if you really need to allow AI players to use road bonuses, without limitations, on the "challenging/hard/ridiculous" levels, you can leave that in.  But on lower levels, road bonuses in enemy territory (especially for the AI players, IMO) should not exist.)  That would be more realistic ... 

Historically you wanted to capture roads in enemy territory to move your troops faster. Yes there were abushes and roads being destroyed so I think the player should have to do this himself instead of adding a unrealistic penalty to movement on roads in enemy territory.

Just have units be able to destroy roads both in enemy territory and in friendly territory. 

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May 21, 2012 8:17:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What causes an army to slow down when they cross over the magic blue line into the magic red line?  Precisely that, magic.  Don't let a love of logic get in the way of a good game mechanism.  Explain the logic of why knights can only move two up and one over, and we'll talk.

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May 21, 2012 8:31:24 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Kalin,
Let me ask you this... why does your outpost exert influence on roads, but your cities can't? (What do you think those ZOC are? It's your city's influence). Where's that all mighty logic now? A lot of people already explained why you'd slow down in hostile territory... and yes, there are plenty of precedences. Half of the reason YOU just mentioned explains why you can't just drive around enemy territory like it was your own. Maybe the bridge ahead is out... oops? Where's your awesome movement now? Entire battles were fought over a crossroads... in game? Oh, thanks for building these nice roads, I'll just use it to skip past everything and raze your cities before you even saw me. What immersion are we talking about again?

 

Kalin your logic is flawed. He just told you why roads are important to an invading army. It is not logical at all to take away all bonuses for roads for enemy units.  Now if you want to assume without player involment (as lame as it is) some sort of penalty then I can see maybe giving the Allied units 4x and enemy units 2x but the road should still have a bonuse unless it is totally destroyed as I mentioned in my above post. 

Also spells that hinder movement for enemy in your territory would be nice to have and if you leave the bonuses it would give them a very good reason to use them.

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May 21, 2012 8:35:10 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting anikolian,
I am sorry Kantok but this is not WW2 warfair rules. It is Medieval/Fantasy rules. There is not tanks and wheel driving vehicles. Just People on foot. And when you go to a new territory especially at this period of the game is played you don't know what you will find.You don't know the roads, the mountains or forests. In the other hand the people living there knows every little piece of the land

 

It should be more difficult for you to move in enemy territory if you attack.

Roads were important even back in the times before automobiles and such. Well documented in military history. Roads made travel faster and easier both to foot, horse, wagons, truck, Tank traffic.

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May 21, 2012 8:41:05 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Winnihym,
What causes an army to slow down when they cross over the magic blue line into the magic red line?  Precisely that, magic.  Don't let a love of logic get in the way of a good game mechanism.  Explain the logic of why knights can only move two up and one over, and we'll talk.

Then a spell for slowing down the enemy should be cast.  Other wise there is no magic in play when you cross the boarder. And it is not a good game mechanic. It is infact a very stupid and cheesy game mechanic.

Look I am all for global spells to slow enemy movement or otherwise hender the enemy. This is after all a stratagy game lets use some spells instead of some stupid rules for movement that make no sense and are just in because some people are crying about not having the skills to mount a decent defense.

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May 21, 2012 9:02:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting anikolian,
I am sorry Kantok but this is not WW2 warfair rules. It is Medieval/Fantasy rules. There is not tanks and wheel driving vehicles. Just People on foot. And when you go to a new territory especially at this period of the game is played you don't know what you will find.You don't know the roads, the mountains or forests. In the other hand the people living there knows every little piece of the land

It should be more difficult for you to move in enemy territory if you attack.

You do know where most of those things are. You are invading a territory because you know what is in there, and you want it. If not, you are just scouting rather inefficiently.

Look at Hannibal's invasion of Italy. Do you think he stayed of the Roman roads, thinking he might as well travel through the fields? No, he made good use of them, much to the chagrin of the Romans I bet.

Having a good road system cuts both ways if you are being invaded. Sure, someone might destroy a vital bridge or lay in ambush to slow invaders down, but that's what scouts are for.

Quoting Bellack,

Roads were important even back in the times before automobiles and such. Well documented in military history. Roads made travel faster and easier both to foot, horse, wagons, truck, Tank traffic.

Exactly.

Quoting Bellack,

Quoting Winnihym, reply 17What causes an army to slow down when they cross over the magic blue line into the magic red line?  Precisely that, magic.  Don't let a love of logic get in the way of a good game mechanism.  Explain the logic of why knights can only move two up and one over, and we'll talk.


Then a spell for slowing down the enemy should be cast.  Other wise there is no magic in play when you cross the boarder. And it is not a good game mechanic. It is infact a very stupid and cheesy game mechanic.

Look I am all for global spells to slow enemy movement or otherwise hender the enemy. This is after all a stratagy game lets use some spells instead of some stupid rules for movement that make no sense and are just in because some people are crying about not having the skills to mount a decent defense.

Couldn't agree more. This is a game where magic is a real thing. You can't just explain things away by saying it's 'magic', when there is real magic around. So either have the 'magic' follow the same rules as the real magic (as in needing to be cast, have a cost, etc), or don't include it.

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May 21, 2012 9:14:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Realism aside would taking away movement bonuses for roads in enemy territory really slow things down? Territory is really only 1-4 spaces, that's 1 or 2 turns. Would that actually help? Most enemy roads you use aren't actually in enemy ZoC, they are between them. The economics treaty road will certainly be 90% in neutral territory.

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May 21, 2012 9:54:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
There are good arguments to both sides, but in the end I think making roads not work in enemy territory would just make it a more fun game. I don't want a situation where a tech actually makes your defenses worse to such a degree. The logic should not be "well, i get 10% more gildar BUT I also get shitty roads the enemy can use".

 

This is a very strong argument to me: if we are going to make roads automatic, then they shouldn't have potential downsides.

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May 21, 2012 10:17:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, that's more of an argument against automatic road placement than against the potential downsides.

Besides, I thought people around here generally want more meaningful choices? If there is not even one small potential downside, building roads has become another no-brainer, the only choice becoming when to research the tech, rather than if.

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May 21, 2012 11:07:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


While I see it as a problem, I would want it to be not as brutal as just moving as if a road didn't exist.

Perhaps check points that you could build to half movement?  Maybe some add on to an outpost?  Or something you b uild onto a road, or, possible built into the tech tree? 

I don't like the idea of locking down troop movements.  you see, I play on large maps, and that would suuuuuuuuuuuuck.  Seriously...game would never end as more troops are being built in all AI cities while you are sludging it through their...roads?

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