[.915] Hating the Pioneer spam

By on May 29, 2012 8:28:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Rishkith

Join Date 11/2007
+27

Okay, something needs to be done. The AI isn't being dumb, but the pioneer gameplay spam is very annoying.

Elemental is supposed to be rebuilding in a cataclysm, but all I see is a dense urban world of warring tribes. Doubling the cost of pioneers would be a good start. I want to explore in the game, but the only way to do that and not lose out on every inch of ground is to explore with pioneers so you can immediately plop down on any good empty spot of land. Maybe split pioneers into two sorts. A cheaper one that can become an outpost and a more expensive one that can become a settlement or an outpost.

As a 4x game it needs to have less expansion and more exploration. Currently I have to give the game just 3x and it just isn't near as fun that way.

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May 29, 2012 8:39:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Agree with your post, about the only race which can explore is Tarth, which makes sense with the master scouts attribute.   You cannot afford early game to not build pioneers, so pioneer spam needs to be overhauled.  Hopefully the new city building/management will allow for an overhaul of the pioneer/settlement mechanics.  You end up being forced to build pioneers, which the key to having strength in the game is having a high population, it does not seem possible to just have one city.

 

GoC

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May 29, 2012 8:52:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree.

 

Last game I played I started right next to Gilden, and about the time I found the first area that was capable of being settled there were three (no exaggeration) pioneers in a loose group exploring and settling the instant they could. This couldn't have been more than about 30 turns into the game.

 

AI seems to adopt a vomit out pioneers, settle every damn place, and see what sticks strategy.

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May 29, 2012 9:20:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I, too, agree. I reckon it will be addressed in the next city-based Beta stage tho. Personally I would have thought two outposts per city and a new 'Settler' unit obtainable through the civ tree would help this (Pioneers for outposts, Settlers for Cities).

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May 30, 2012 2:36:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Unless they speed up the progression, production and output of cities then what your talking about isn't as great as you think -> the game will crawl. Seriously 20 turns or something for the most basic tech (civics), ok build a scholar, 23 turns to complete. reserch now takes .... 18 turns oooooh (scratch that - you need civics first ). Pioneer spam might not be pretty but at least if you get a number of cities up your economy affords you more, well recourses, units, money, researhc, mana etc that would take even longer if you had to wait to get settlers from research. The game is already rather slow paced, perhaps you should be discussing a beneficial solution to the pioneer spam than merely 'its got to go' and 'tarth is too good,' and 'settlers should be further down the techtree forcing us to only have our capital and two outposts for ages and ages and ages.' This would also force everyone to go civ right away, and people/the ai will probably still do the same thing anyway - just a bit (lot) later in the game. 

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May 30, 2012 3:14:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Playing with a single huge city is more fun than spamming them at every turn imo. I have to take the enchanters faction perk and basically wall in every a.i. I find to have any chance of actually exploring before it become turf war ffa. Really annoying when the a.i. just puts cities and outposts wherever they want angering all kinds of monsters who then rampage across everything within miles.

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May 30, 2012 3:19:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They have said that the way outposts/cities work will be changed in Beta4. Lets hope they come up with something that makes outposts more difficult to set up, but also more defendable. 

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May 30, 2012 3:33:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have no problem as long as it takes less time to get one really huge city. My concern is simply the pace of the game slipping further. They have said someting about adjusting city building so we'll just have to see. I personalyl want to see some buildings be constructed in a single turn, inns, pubs -- the little buildings... a season is ample time to build a pub even in the middle ages or a post apocolyptic world. What would you say to the idea of settlers/pioneers increasing city growth? This would be a nice alternative to spaming, and both could be somewhat viable - some factions are more or less intended to be landgrabers though, so city levels might need to do a little more than they do currently to boost this idea. 

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May 30, 2012 3:47:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A building in a single turn is not fun, as there is no opportunity cost then. Everything should at least cost a few turns.

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May 30, 2012 4:06:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Um yeah it is fun.... i used pub as an exmaple - (they could just change season to month) (but it would still seem slow) - there a bigger and better and latter tech buildings that all require and increasing number of turns -- this isn't what i propose to change, but basic small buildings, should take one or two, 3 at most turns. IT is seriously quite tedious waiting so long to get something that has such a small benift. I've played turnbased strat games where buildings take one turn, and others where buildings take upto two dozen (M.A.X. (or for fantasy: Age of Wonders 1&2), both can be fun, but its more a case of fun puncuated by long periods of boredom. Not everyone wants to play sim-city if you get my meaning. The quicker tier 1/less useful buildings are built the sooner, cool units and beneficial buildings can be built => faster gameplay => more fun. Unless you really do like spending 15 - 20 turns running round with a maximum or two squads of men and champs. On my current game i spent the first HALF of the game with just the champions i could recruit and whatever units i trained to save my cities from monsters by the skin of the teeth -- literally.  IT was not fun. Breaking the Magnar spirit and getting a massive tribute WAS FUN, but took, a long time, a very very long time, like two days. I estimate this current game on a medium map with three opponents will take another one or two more, but at leas not i have some good units and i'm Halfway through the tech-tree. Build/Research time needs to line up better with unit movement - a guy can cross the continent in less time than a workshop can be built, or the egg-heads figure out it actually is a good idea to educate future generations thus speeding up research finally - this is nuts. 

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May 30, 2012 4:10:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If the cost is low and the building time is low, then there is no decision. Just build these buildings everywhere. At least there need to be a cost that is high enough to make you think. 

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May 30, 2012 12:30:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Personally I find the early game too frantic and fast, I want it slower.   Spit out your first workshop in less then 10 turns (if you pick a good location and have earth magic).  After that you get your lumber mill and it's off to the races.  Research is paced a little better but still almost through the entire game you are getting new stuff every 10ish turns.  Currently there is no reason to not build everything everywhere, the build time is meaningless most of the time.  Less then half way through the game I will have absolutely everything built in all my cities and I have nothing to do except churn out armies or leave the production queues empty.   Actually I'm frequently forced to leave the production queues empty because I just don't have the resources to build useful armies. 

 

The pioneer spam is a bit much.  Last game I played I had to start a war at turn 15 because someone else built a city on the only viable spot within about 15 tiles of my starting location.  Of course the wars go a lot faster that early

 

 

 

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May 30, 2012 12:32:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Don't hate!

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May 30, 2012 1:11:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am also not a fan of the pace of play at the beginning.  It doesn't feel like rebuilding an Empire as much as it is a race.

 

As far as Pioneers, I think they should cost more, and it should cost materials, gold, and 10-15 turns to build an outpost.  Right now you click outpost and poof, it is built and done.  Everything else in the game takes time to build, why not the outpost.  If you add all of this up, I think you would control the pioneer spamming.

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May 30, 2012 1:23:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting KingHobbit,

Right now you click outpost and poof, it is built and done.  Everything else in the game takes time to build, why not the outpost.  If you add all of this up, I think you would control the pioneer spamming.

Good point.

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May 30, 2012 1:46:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agree completely with OP. 

Pioneers are way too important to cost so little.

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May 30, 2012 1:59:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting KingHobbit,
I am also not a fan of the pace of play at the beginning. It doesn't feel like rebuilding an Empire as much as it is a race.

Exactly. Right now the first few turns are a race to pump out pioneers as fast as possible in order to claim land before the AI snatches it all up. Unlike most of players I don't think this would really be stopped by making pioneers more expensive, you would still have to rush them it would simply take longer. Instead i see the problem being monsters.

Monsters don't really limit expansion, it's very easy to build around the few tough ones and even if you do aggro them sometimes they just wander off. Monsters really need to home in on cities and outposts that aggro them, and then return to their lairs. Tarth's ZoC wouldn't aggro monsters. As is stands there is no versus the world stage. You jump straight to fighting the AI. You don't have to clear the land of monsters, they are simply food for champions. Players aren't really complaining about monsters being too tough they are complaining about the behavior of monsters being random, their behavior has to be simple and obvious or players will get aggravated and confused.

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May 30, 2012 2:07:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the Original Poster makes some good points here ... and I can see at least a partial consensus emerging in the replies above mine

I do think that Rishkith's first suggestion (to double the cost of all pioneer units) is a BAD idea, especially as it would impact the human player.  As dalekdan pointed out (Reply # 7), there is a risk that this would slow early game play to an uncomfortable level.  Admittedly, getting the balance just right, in this area, might be tricky ...

On the other hand, I do think that Rishkith's later suggestion (below) is an excellent idea:

Quoting ,

         ...            Maybe split pioneers into two sorts. A cheaper one that can become an outpost and a more expensive one that can become a settlement or an outpost.

Its funny, how such a seemingly small thing, can make such a big difference ... but clearly it does, and the FE Devs need to tweak this, until they get it just right! 

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May 30, 2012 2:08:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I completely agree with the OP, as well.

To my mind, there should be Scouts - cheap units to explore/build outposts that should be consumed when the outpost is build, thus weighing the decision between Exploration and Outpost Building; and Settlers - much more expensive units to found new cities and Expand the empire.

I also wish there were different types of Outposts, or techs to make outposts do more than plant a defenseless flag in the ground. Military, Research, Commerce, Magical....etc. It would make them so much more interesting.

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May 30, 2012 2:27:29 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting dalekdan,
Um yeah it is fun.... i used pub as an exmaple - (they could just change season to month) (but it would still seem slow) - there a bigger and better and latter tech buildings that all require and increasing number of turns -- this isn't what i propose to change, but basic small buildings, should take one or two, 3 at most turns. IT is seriously quite tedious waiting so long to get something that has such a small benift. I've played turnbased strat games where buildings take one turn, and others where buildings take upto two dozen (M.A.X. (or for fantasy: Age of Wonders 1&2), both can be fun, but its more a case of fun puncuated by long periods of boredom. Not everyone wants to play sim-city if you get my meaning. The quicker tier 1/less useful buildings are built the sooner, cool units and beneficial buildings can be built => faster gameplay => more fun. Unless you really do like spending 15 - 20 turns running round with a maximum or two squads of men and champs. On my current game i spent the first HALF of the game with just the champions i could recruit and whatever units i trained to save my cities from monsters by the skin of the teeth -- literally.  IT was not fun. Breaking the Magnar spirit and getting a massive tribute WAS FUN, but took, a long time, a very very long time, like two days. I estimate this current game on a medium map with three opponents will take another one or two more, but at leas not i have some good units and i'm Halfway through the tech-tree. Build/Research time needs to line up better with unit movement - a guy can cross the continent in less time than a workshop can be built, or the egg-heads figure out it actually is a good idea to educate future generations thus speeding up research finally - this is nuts. 

 

They should have two ques. One for buildings and one for units. This would speed things up a bit

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May 30, 2012 2:32:27 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting The Thrill,
I completely agree with the OP, as well.

To my mind, there should be Scouts - cheap units to explore/build outposts that should be consumed when the outpost is build, thus weighing the decision between Exploration and Outpost Building; and Settlers - much more expensive units to found new cities and Expand the empire.

I also wish there were different types of Outposts, or techs to make outposts do more than plant a defenseless flag in the ground. Military, Research, Commerce, Magical....etc. It would make them so much more interesting.

I like this idea. And for those of us who like to create our own units have a Outpost pack and a Settlement pack that we can attach to a custom or upgraded unit.

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May 30, 2012 2:35:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Bellack,

They should have two ques. One for buildings and one for units. This would speed things up a bit

 

They tried that. It sucked. Ferociously. With the fire of a thousand suns.

 

Removed nearly all opportunity cost from producing buildings or units, allowed players to nearly instantly outstrip their economy's ability to support an army, and created a perception of wasted production because of queue downtime.

 

I, for one, am glad the Unit Queue is dead, rotting, face down and stinking, in a pile of all the other bad ideas, Like Aliens:Resurrection and Star Wars:Episode One, and Duke Nukem Forever.

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May 30, 2012 2:38:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,

Exactly. Right now the first few turns are a race to pump out pioneers as fast as possible in order to claim land before the AI snatches it all up. Unlike most of players I don't think this would really be stopped by making pioneers more expensive, you would still have to rush them it would simply take longer. Instead i see the problem being monsters.

Monsters don't really limit expansion, it's very easy to build around the few tough ones and even if you do aggro them sometimes they just wander off. Monsters really need to home in on cities and outposts that aggro them, and then return to their lairs. Tarth's ZoC wouldn't aggro monsters. As is stands there is no versus the world stage. You jump straight to fighting the AI. You don't have to clear the land of monsters, they are simply food for champions. Players aren't really complaining about monsters being too tough they are complaining about the behavior of monsters being random, their behavior has to be simple and obvious or players will get aggravated and confused.

I like the randomness of monsters as it pertains to my stuff, it just seems that monsters ignore the AI settlements and outposts.  But you and I agree that right now the game is a run and gun style versus a building style game.

 

Quoting Bellack,
They should have two ques. One for buildings and one for units. This would speed things up a bit
  I would be okay with a split queue, but it should split your production when you have both of them going.

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May 30, 2012 4:36:15 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I agree completly pioneer spam is probably by far my number one complaint with the game at this time.

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May 30, 2012 5:06:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree.  The game gets into fighting factions way too early.  The game is missing the adventure element that it once had. 

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May 30, 2012 5:40:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ive only been playing a little bit but would selecting bigger maps and fewer opponents help? changing the pacing setting?  I haven't tried these personally, I'm still just trying out each faction with everything normal to get a feel for how the game works.

If more changes are needed, should monsters prioritize attacking settlements and secondary cities more and your main city less so you can't spam as much but don't get taken out right at the beginning?

Perhaps more defensive structures could slow things down by taking up resources and build times, allowing you to hold a smaller number of settlements.  If you try to spam economic settlements, you could leave yourself open to being attacked (allowing players to loot cities could encourage you to defend what you have).

Hopefully beta 4 will help some of this.

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