Fallen Enchantress: Beta 4

By on June 29, 2012 10:46:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Derek Paxton

Join Date 03/2003
+173

Beta 4 

Beta 4 focuses on cities.  But that really means it focuses on the games pace.  Production, economy and research come from your cities.  When we change them we change the game.  First let's talk about a few of the design issues we have been wrestling with:

1.            Lack of city specialization.  Materials and Food are okay, but in general you want to build the same things in every city, or at least the player's preference outweighs the strategic benefit (so it feels like you just want to do the same thing everywhere).

2.            We need more improvements.  We want to double the amount a given city may have.  We want more choices, we want there to be a bigger difference between a city that focuses on infrastructure and one that produces troops.  I want a player focusing on infrastructure to never be able to run out of things to build.  And I want to do it without:

a.            Making improvements take forever to build.

b.            Making cities even larger than they already are (in fact I want to shrink cities).

3.            Basing the economy, research and production directly on population is painful/impossible when cities can grow from 1 from 600 population.  Whatever bonus we give for those resources on a 10 population city become 60 times as high on a 600 population city.  Lesson 1: To control game pace, control your ranges.

4.            City enchantments are a tightrope walk.  To good and you have to place them on every city, it becomes busywork.  Not good enough and you never use them.

 

I wish fixing it was a simple thing, but we needed a few pieces to make it all work.

 

Step 1: Starbases?

Outposts can be upgraded to give bonuses to anything in their Zone of Control.  They can boost allied units attack, reduce the attack of enemies, modify movement costs, scare away monsters, provide bonuses to the attached city, etc.  They are not destroyed when an enemy moves onto them, instead they are flipped to that enemies control and represent your control over the land itself (monsters still destroy outposts, I highly recommend you upgrade them with Wardens to keep the monsters at bay).

Outposts have a limited distance they can be built (or summoned) from each other, so you can't pepper the field with them.  But their ZoC's can intersect (with the right upgrades) and their bonuses are cumulative, allowing you to build strong defenses if you desire.

 

Step 2: Much like a bad Star Trek episode, it's all about the Queue

The production queue is a precious resource.  Everything in Beta4 builds faster, but there is a lot more to build.  As with Beta3 City Improvements and Units train in the queue, but Wild Improvements and Outpost upgrades go into the queue as well.  You can drag items around in your queue if you want to reorder them (and it remembers how much production you had on items you may move back in line).

The biggest change in Beta4 is that even though production is much faster, there are always things you want to build.  You can play as Pariden and drop outposts early on, but you will be making a hard choice to start claiming those resources vs making units or improvements in your cities.

Multiple cities are always good.  If you can defend them and you have the land to claim it's always a good option just because it gives you more queues.  The minimum distance between cities has been reduced in Beta4 to support more cities, closer together.

 

Step 3: Improvement Upgrades

In Beta4 improvements can upgrade.  Your Cleric upgrades to a Shrine which upgrades to a Sacrificial Altar (for Empire players).  Since the old improvement is replaced by the new one, we get a few benefits:

1.            City size stays relatively contained.  We added 40 new improvements and cities are about half the side they are in Beta 3.

2.            Cities look more advanced as they upgrade to higher tier buildings.  A cleric is a modest building, the Shrine is more pronounced, the artists can go all out on what the Sacrificial Altar looks like.  Upgraded buildings don't get lost in the jumble of the same buildings the rest of your cities have, they look more unique and specific to their purpose.

3.            You can't get to the higher tier buildings of particular types unless you have built the earlier versions.  You can't build the Treasury Vault unless you have gone through the economy boosting improvements on the way.  So you have to decide, do you want to build a Study, then School, then College and University?  If you do you won't be getting access to the best economy improvements without spending the time to go through the base one and their upgrades.  You are rewarded for specializing your cities and your cities build lists become very unique from each other.  Build lists also don’t become huge since you only see the highest tier you have access to (you only see the Pier, not the Dock and Harbor it upgrades to).

4.            Faction achievements and World Achievements are at the end of upgrade chains.  You can't build the Ironworks just because you unlocked the tech for it, and you can't build it in every city.  It will only show in a city that has specialized in what it does.

5.            Resource improvements upgrade too.  The first shard shrine only produces 1 mana per turn.  With the correct techs you can upgrade to ones that produce more mana.  The same goes for Crystal and Iron mines.  If you have enough iron mines to train your units maybe you don’t need to tech up the side of the tree to unlock these improvements.  But if you do want to have your iron come in faster, the research options are there for it.  This fixes a big issue for us by allowing us to control the pace of mana and resources as the game goes on, we can trickle it in in the beginning, then ramp it up as the player gets access to more expensive units and more costly spells.

 

Step 4: City Specialization

All cities start as villages.  When the city gets to city level 2 you pick a specialization for that city.  It can be either be a Fort, a Conclave or a Town.

 

Fort- Units trained in forts start at a level higher.  Forts are the only cities that can build walls as well as having access to improvements that improve defenders and improve trained units.

Conclave- Conclaves generate more research than other city types and have access to special magic and research improvements.  They gain additional bonuses from Essence (more about that later).

Town- Towns are the heart of your empire and are the source of your food, growth and money.  They also have a larger ZoC than other city types.  Towns have access to a series of improvements that improve the food production for all cities in your empire and they are cumulative with each other.  So Forts and Conclaves will never be able to reach the highest city levels on their own, they will need towns to support them.

 

The improvements for each city type are generally in that tech tree (Fort=Military, Town=Civilization, Conclave=Magic).  So players that are doing alot of teching in one area will find that they can get more advanced improvements for that sort of city.  If you have researched 90% of your magic tree and 0% of your Military tree you will have more high tier conclave improvements available than you have Fort improvements (in fact you will only have 1st tier Fort improvements available).

Choosing what sort of city you have opens up lots of new improvements to that city as well as determining what sorts of improvements the city can unlock at city level 3, 4 and 5.  The real magic comes in the intersection of the upgradeable improvement chains (which keep players from building everything everywhere) and the city types (which modify the effect of other improvements).  Maybe you want a food boosting town or a fort that creates super soldiers.  Or maybe you want studies in every city because you like studies (even if they are more productive in Conclave cities).

Note that studies are available everywhere.  Our point isn't to lock these city types down.  You can get research and money from non-town cities.  You can train units in Conclave cities.  The point is to open up new ways each type can specialize.

 

Step 5: The Economy

I love the idea of all the economics inputs coming from the population.  At one point I had a design where there were citizen types, unrest controlled how many were rebels, craftsmen produced special things.  It was a beautiful, intricate, stupid design.  Lesson number 2: If it's fun to design, it probably isn't fun to play.

Instead of getting money, research and production from the population, they now come from the city level.  A village (city level 1) produces 1 research a turn, a level 5 city produces 16 research per turn.  Of course these are modified by improvements, enchantments, etc.  But that is the extent of our range.

Because of that change tech costs drop to more normalized values.  A player with a large population isn't researching at 20x the rate of a player with a normal population.  He may be going twice as quickly.

Improvement costs can normalize since we know the ranges for a large production based city.  And they are close enough that they stay reasonable for a production focused city without being laughable for a moderate city.

Gold (*cough*, I mean Gildar) values were normalized since we control the ranges, meaning item costs in shops can come down.  Sell prices stay the same but now that money means more.  A gildar per turn means something to small and large empires alike because to don’t through a growth curve from starving for money to drowning in it.

 

Step 6: Essence

The final step is the addition of a new tile yield, Essence.  Essence appears much like Grain and Materials and is more prevelant around mana shards.  Only about half of the city locations have any essence nearby, and only about half of those have spots with 2 Essence.  3 Essence tiles are extremely rare.

There are chains of improvements that require essence before they become available.  The Cleric/Shrine/Sacrificial Altar chain I mentioned above is only available in cities with Essence.  Conclaves have access to Alchemy Labs and other improvements that give bonuses based on the amount of Essence in that city.  The Guardian Idol improvement requires Essence and is 1 per faction (it starts as a monument, upgraded to a Guardian Statue and then to a Guardian Idol), it is a powerful city defender that can cast any spell your sovereign can cast.

There are two improvements that can increase the amount of Essence in a city.  One is a level up option in Conclave cities.  The other is only available to Pariden.

The biggest advantage of Essence is that a cities Essence determines how many enchantments it can have.  City enchantments no longer have a maintenance cost and there are more of them and they are more powerful than before.  If you found a city on a place with essence the first thing you should do is get some enchantments on it.  Inspiration and Enchanted Hammers are good early ones that exist in Beta 3 (though in Beta4 the amount of their bonus depends on the amount of essence in the city).  Additional City Enchantments like Set in Stone (+100% production but no research), Blood Sigil (Withers all attackers, Berserks all Defenders) and Sovereign's Call (+1 Growth per Essence) allow you an additional decision on how to specialize your cities.  Trust in Glyph of Life to protect your Conclave from attackers, use Pit of Madness to speed the research in your Town.

Essence effectively becomes the most flexible tile yield, doing nothing on its own, but allowing you to reach in and play with the cities configuration.  Maybe you want it focused on gold and growth but dispel those enchantments and switch it into battle mode when enemies come near (enchantment maintenance is gone, but these spells still cost mana to cast so "respecting" your city isn't something you should do lightly).

 

Step 7: Balance

I find myself carefully considering the build options in my cities.  That doesn't mean it will be perfect.  I'm very curious to hear from all of you on what enchantments you use most and which you don't use at all.  Do you focus just on one sort of city type or play with a mix?  Do you chase down improvement chains to the end, or do you pick a variety of improvements in your cities?

In a few weeks you will have a chance to play and I'm excited to get your thoughts.  Until then we have work to do, mostly in making sure all the information is being displayed in an easy to understand way, and generally polishing the entire game to smooth the edges.

 

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July 5, 2012 5:38:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
worth ethic.

Never heard of "worth ethic", but I'm interested.  Where do I sign up?

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July 5, 2012 5:45:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oops. 

 

When I was writing that I must have been thinking about a worthwhile work ethic.

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July 5, 2012 6:59:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I dont want it to be tedious just for the sake of it.  What I was referring to was giving the tediousness a meaning in the near-to-end game.  I want to make you/me/us micromanage a lot more.  I love to micromanage.  Its what I do for a living anyway.  If you want to play a small map you dont have to worry about it as much, but on a large map I want to care about what I'm building and why, a lot more.

If you could throw in those random events, setting up your towns would mean something more for your end games "what may happen", and it would not let you forget it, less you take a right hand from the back side while standing on the left side of your lover.

An example is shogun 2.  You might be whooping everyone, but those freaking pirates could come in and cost you a lot of momentum only because you forgot they were even there.  You learn your lesson and have to get your act back together.

Another would be sim city.  I know thats not the game were making here, but the whole time, the game can throw random events in and you have FUN trying to deal with them.  You dont get mad that they happened, you just want to find a way to fix it.

Just my 4¢

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July 6, 2012 10:33:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Will the new clothmap be added to Beta 4, as shown in Brads 'Quest editor' post?

http://www.draginol.com/images2010/d7dc6ed5acdc_10357/image.png

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July 6, 2012 5:33:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


The game is really coming along - apart from one massive game-breaker - the enemy's champions keep coming back, making it impossible to defeat any enemy.  Please lose this crazy mechanism, by which all champions are immortal.  I don't mind losing mine, as long as the enemy loses theirs.  I had to quit the game I was playing, because they just kept coming at me - it's ludicrous.

 

 

 

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July 6, 2012 9:24:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So... I gather from this post that 1-tile cities are out?

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July 7, 2012 6:48:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Seems that way, but like the dev's said before cities will be way smaller than they are currently. 2 tiles, or 1 per level, something along those lines I think..

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July 7, 2012 7:45:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it's kind of evil to put this update up several weeks before we ger our hands on Beta 4.What are we supposed to do now?  Stare at the monitor and hit F5 for a couple of weeks? Pure evil I tell you.

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July 7, 2012 10:25:36 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Yeah, getting boring in here Civ 5 exp. is super entertaining though. But FE beta 4 is going to wipe the floor with every known 4x in existence.

 

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July 7, 2012 10:54:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Have been away for a while. Great work, its nice to see new ideas for improvements.

However, I would like to see the option to raze enemies outposts to not be taken out.

Reasons been,

1) AI players have always been a bit off when choosing places to build cities and outpost. They always seems to choose a lousy tile to build on when a better one can be found a short distance away. (1 or 2 tiles away)

2) AI players are by-passing monsters to get to tiles.

3) Razing of city destroy all the fertility of the tiles the city is built on.

As I have been away for a while, I not too sure if these are still present.

Also the reduction of distance between cities make city spaming easier to achieve. Maybe a slider for players to decide the distance minimum distance between cities could help?

 

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July 7, 2012 11:00:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting natessiow,
Have been away for a while. Great work, its nice to see new ideas for improvements.

However, I would like to see the option to raze enemies outposts to not be taken out.

Reasons been,

1) AI players have always been a bit off when choosing places to build cities and outpost. They always seems to choose a lousy tile to build on when a better one can be found a short distance away. (1 or 2 tiles away)

2) AI players are by-passing monsters to get to tiles.

3) Razing of city destroy all the fertility of the tiles the city is built on.

As I have been away for a while, I not too sure if these are still present.

Also the reduction of distance between cities make city spaming easier to achieve. Maybe a slider for players to decide the distance minimum distance between cities could help?

 

I imagine once it's yours, you can simply hit the 'x' button to raze it as we can with our own now.

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July 9, 2012 8:55:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mortenart,

The game is really coming along - apart from one massive game-breaker - the enemy's champions keep coming back, making it impossible to defeat any enemy.  Please lose this crazy mechanism, by which all champions are immortal.  I don't mind losing mine, as long as the enemy loses theirs.  I had to quit the game I was playing, because they just kept coming at me - it's ludicrous.
 

 

This used to bother me, but after some reflection I think the immobilization mechanic limits champions well enough - consider that wars are won by holding ground, not killing military forces, the latter is just an unfortunate necessity to accomplish the former. Your objective isn't killing champions, which is impossible, but disabling them and then taking a few cities while they recover. Defeat a high level champion and they get immobilized for dozens of turns, that's enough time to finish the entire war without worrying about them again (if you happen upon the city where they're stuck, they're likely low on health and die easily).

I actually encounter a lot more frustration dealing with the ridiculously large hordes of regular units the AIs churn out on higher difficulty (hopefully the upcoming economy scaling changes tone that down a touch). If I defeat a champion, at least I won't see him again anytime soon - it may be only a temporary advantage, but it's an advantage nonetheless, one that can potentially swing the war in my favor. On the other hand if I defeat a full army of redshirts (easy enough), I can count on the AI sending two identical armies right on their heels, and at least three more the turn after that. It can get to a point where my sovereign just can't slaughter them fast enough, not enough moves in the turn, which forces me to the defensive and a slow inevitable loss.

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July 9, 2012 9:44:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Austinvn,
I actually encounter a lot more frustration dealing with the ridiculously large hordes of regular units the AIs churn out on higher difficulty (hopefully the upcoming economy scaling changes tone that down a touch). If I defeat a champion, at least I won't see him again anytime soon - it may be only a temporary advantage, but it's an advantage nonetheless, one that can potentially swing the war in my favor. On the other hand if I defeat a full army of redshirts (easy enough), I can count on the AI sending two identical armies right on their heels, and at least three more the turn after that. It can get to a point where my sovereign just can't slaughter them fast enough, not enough moves in the turn, which forces me to the defensive and a slow inevitable loss.

I never really understood why immobilized heroes present in defense of the city at all?  As a game mechanic, it does draw out the campaign length (as you have to face the same spell casters -- and kill them -- over and over again).  But it's a crappy mechanic, as you point out, usually the champs are very low on HP and are easy enough to one-hit kill.

It seems to me that an immobilized champ should be whisked away to safety before the battle starts.

If I was running the show, I would set up a dialog before the battle begins that provides you the opportunity to decide whether you want your champion to fight or to flee to the next nearest city.

And I'd make the punishment for dying while immobilized permadeath (or at least a 50% chance).

So leaving your immobilized champs to defend a city would be a last-ditch desperate effort to turn the tide and not an everyday affair.

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July 9, 2012 10:05:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah if there's one weakness to the immobilization system, it's seeing that same champion you just beat defending the next city you run across. Most of the time he's an easy kill (and this is unfortunate - having the champion defend serves no purpose except to get an extra unavoidable wound), and sometimes he can still cause you trouble, particularly if he's a caster. The problem with offering players a high-stakes choice (i.e. defend city but risk permadeath) is that the AI will frequently choose wrong - I'd rather have the champion automatically whisked away with no chance to defend, unless it's the last city in which case it's a fight to the death either way.

A simpler solution might be to always send defeated champions to your capital (hold on, does this game even recognize capitals? Well, your oldest city at any rate) rather than the nearest city. That way you won't always have to immediately re-defeat immobilized champions in the next city you see, and when you do have to fight them, they'll be defending a city that's worth the effort - and they'll all be concentrated in that one city, so they might even put up a fight. Plus there's no high-risk decision to trip up the AI.

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July 9, 2012 10:55:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LightofAbraxas,
So... I gather from this post that 1-tile cities are out?

 

*arm-pump*  YES!

 

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July 9, 2012 1:51:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wonder if the beta is already at the Q&A team...

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July 9, 2012 10:22:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Darn, I just got back from vacation, I should have scheduled it around Beta 4, because all of that looks like it will be a great addition.

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July 10, 2012 10:48:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


A few thoughts:

Step 1: Starbases?

But their ZoC's can intersect (with the right upgrades) and their bonuses are cumulative, allowing you to build strong defenses if you desire.

> Beware! If ZoC's can overlap, one can find himself in the odd situation where being right beside an outpost gives you less protection than being quite distant from 2 of them, but close enough to get both bonuses. This would also create quite a lot of stripes with different bonuses, some of them possibly just a few tiles large, quite hard to account for. In essence, this would be odd in my opinion. How about this: provided that you are within the ZoC of one outpost, and provided that its ZoC overlaps with another's, then you benefit from both bonuses (you do not need to be in BOTH ZoC's, just in one as long as it overlaps with another of your ZoC's). Then say you cannot benefit from more than 2 outpots, the closest ones in case 3 or more could affect you. This seems to fix the issue, and it's probably harder to explain by writing than it is to actually understand once it's observed in-game. But maybe I am the only one that finds this an oddity

Step 3: Improvement Upgrades

5.            Resource improvements upgrade too.  The first shard shrine only produces 1 mana per turn.  With the correct techs you can upgrade to ones that produce more mana.  The same goes for Crystal and Iron mines.  If you have enough iron mines to train your units maybe you don’t need to tech up the side of the tree to unlock these improvements.  But if you do want to have your iron come in faster, the research options are there for it.  This fixes a big issue for us by allowing us to control the pace of mana and resources as the game goes on, we can trickle it in in the beginning, then ramp it up as the player gets access to more expensive units and more costly spells.

> this is probably the more innovative out of the 5 points listed. Adding flavor by allowing top tier upgrade of crystals to have effects based on the respctive element would be very nice (fire: berserk to friendly units, life: healing, and so on).

 Step 4: City Specialization

I ADORE this change. Three city specializations (Military-Magic-Trade), each one with specific upgradeable buildings, unlockable via technologies... this is also so much in line with what I was supporting and begging for a few months back (here). There are no unique units but it doesn't matter as long as the units are already pretty specialized via faction differences. Thank you Derek!

Just make sure that there is no always optimal strategy for cities. I mean, for what I have read my ex-ante feeling is that you may want pretty much always have at least one fort to be efficient at producing units, one conclave to boost research, and 1+ towns to provide enough food and money so that you can grow the fort and conclave to their highest level, and also support a decent army. if this is true, this may be good because it encourages diversification in city specialization, but it may be not too good if it's always better to have a production city, a research city and a small host of towns. As Derek has pointed out several times, a good game needs interesting trade-offs. Therefore the question: is there one reason why one may want to build mostly conclaves, or mostly forts? Here is one idea. You could add 1-2 buildings, specific to each type of city, whose bonus depends on the # of the same buildings controlled by that player. Say that in a Conclave you can build the mana well that provides that city with a research bonus of 5% plus 2% for every other mana well you own. This way, having 5 conclaves and only 1 town could be an interesting and effective alternative to building 2 forts, 1 conclave and 3 towns, for example.

Put simply, the basic question I ask is: suppose you have 6 cities. How many different combinations of city specialization one can consider as viable, robust strategies for a game? A quick check to do 2 months from now could be a Poll where one asks: "suppose you have six cities. No more, no less. How would you split them among Forts, Conclaves and Towns? If you ask to at least 30 players and

1. no split gets more than 30% votes

2. the first 5 splits make no more than 80% of votes

then you've done an excellent job at making an interesting trade off about city specialization. I undestand that the optimal split could be (or should be) faction-dependent, so you may want to ask for a specific faction, maybe one that is not heavily specialized on either War or Magic.

Step 5: The Economy

Using city level is the most practical choice, and I am very fine with it. 

Step 6: Essence

A very nice addition. City enchantments should play a non insignificant role in the game, and this one seems a very original way of achieving it, with some important side benefits: more trade-offs when choosing the starting point for a city, just to name one. One minor addtion could be to add the (quite rare) possibility for essence resource to pop-up on a tile as the game goes on, that is, as magic is extracted from crystals and the world is pervaded with magic again. Pretty much as in Civ IV you have sometimes iron copper or gold spawning in some tile. Just a minor addition anyway.

Also, how about a high level world spell that increases the essence value of every tile in the world by 1, non-cumulative ? Go big or go home!!  

Step 7: Balance

The most important thing of all. But this will come with time.

Overall, a very promising post!!

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July 10, 2012 2:14:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@marionesi

Step 1: Starbases: I would sooner like to see a "you get the bonus or you don't" approach. None of this 'stacking' stuff. Stacking stuff can be abused.

Step 3: Fantastic idea. Obtaining a special bonus for maximizing a shard is a really cool idea. 

Step 4: I too love this element. City specialization is going to be AWESOME! Another excellant point. No one city type should be overly better than the others. Each should have there own paper-rock-scissors pros and cons.

 

 

I'm really looking forward to beta 4

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July 10, 2012 2:35:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fine Reply, Marionesi !  (your Reply #144)  ... with some excellent observations and suggestions: 

Quoting marionesi,
                                                                                o   o   o
Step 4: City Specialization

I ADORE this change. Three city specializations (Military-Magic-Trade), each one with specific upgradeable buildings, unlockable via technologies...

                                                                                     o  o  o

Put simply, the basic question I ask is: suppose you have 6 cities. How many different combinations of city specialization one can consider as viable, robust strategies for a game? A quick check to do 2 months from now could be a Poll where one asks: "suppose you have six cities. No more, no less. How would you split them among Forts, Conclaves and Towns? If you ask to at least 30 players and

1. no split gets more than 30% votes

2. the first 5 splits make no more than 80% of votes

then you've done an excellent job at making an interesting trade off about city specialization. I undestand that the optimal split could be (or should be) faction-dependent, so you may want to ask for a specific faction, maybe one that is not heavily specialized on either War or Magic.

I would just piggyback on one thing you have said.  Surveys and Polls of the Beta-testers are always  good (assuming the correct questions are being asked).  

On the one hand, Derek and the Development team have used a number of surveys in the last few months.  I presume we will see more of them, after the Beta 4 is released.  On the other hand, I sometimes think that the Developers have not used this resource as effectively as they could have.  There is a tremendous amount of talent, interest, and even brilliance among the couple hundred Beta-testers that have been most involved on this site, since E:FE was launched back in January.  These folks constitute a genuinely valuable resource -- some of the most experienced and devoted 4X, and TBS gameplayers in the universe.    Properly mined for input, debugging, and suggestions, these folks can make the difference between a good (and successful) game, and a classic (and hugely successful) game.

Fortunately, even if the Developers don't always ask the most interesting questions, we in the community can do so too -- and then answer them as well.   [ Plug:   http://forums.elementalgame.com/427194 ]  At the very least, this is one more way that we can provide our input, and do our part, to help create a great game.  (I think your specific Poll suggestion here is an excellent way to proceed.) 

Data, data, data ... Surveys and Polls are always good ...        

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July 11, 2012 5:08:10 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

@GFireflyE   Actually you may be right, if things go messy with overlapping ZoC's of each single outpost, it may be better just avoid stacking ZoC's.

As for the city types, I am happy that you agree with me, although rock-paper-scisssors may not be the best example for what I had in mind. In rps everything is random and there is no skill required to play. What I meant is that there should be reasons to go with different "city assortments", depending on map, faction, resources around, but probably even more depending on personal taste. I remember someone in this forum complaining months back that always having a research city, a military city, a commerce city and so on was almost as boring as having no city specialization. I think he had a point. People want to try different things, and different things that matter. Is a 5-forts 1-town a viable strategy to achieve military power early on? Is a 5-conclaves 1-town a viable strategy to out-tech your opponents soon enough to exploit this advantage to win? Is an all-towns player able to gain an edge over others on some dimension (e.g. being able to grow much faster?). There is so much here to be developed. Think of a special building you can build only when you have 5 conclaves, to increase production of spell-casting units, for example. Think of city enchantments that are specific for each city spec, or of strategic spells that affect only certain city spec. I mean, the Devs can create all sort of incentives to give good reasons to go different ways with city spec. I know there is the risk to make things overly complicated, so finding the right balance will be, as often is, a key issue. 

@OrionM42   I think I'll start that poll 3-4 weeks after beta release to check around how people feel about city spec!

And thanks for the karma guys

M

 

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July 11, 2012 8:36:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting marionesi,
@GFireflyE   Actually you may be right, if things go messy with overlapping ZoC's of each single outpost, it may be better just avoid stacking ZoC's.

As for the city types, I am happy that you agree with me, although rock-paper-scisssors may not be the best example for what I had in mind. In rps everything is random and there is no skill required to play. What I meant is that there should be reasons to go with different "city assortments", depending on map, faction, resources around, but probably even more depending on personal taste. I remember someone in this forum complaining months back that always having a research city, a military city, a commerce city and so on was almost as boring as having no city specialization. I think he had a point. People want to try different things, and different things that matter. Is a 5-forts 1-town a viable strategy to achieve military power early on? Is a 5-conclaves 1-town a viable strategy to out-tech your opponents soon enough to exploit this advantage to win? Is an all-towns player able to gain an edge over others on some dimension (e.g. being able to grow much faster?). There is so much here to be developed. Think of a special building you can build only when you have 5 conclaves, to increase production of spell-casting units, for example. Think of city enchantments that are specific for each city spec, or of strategic spells that affect only certain city spec. I mean, the Devs can create all sort of incentives to give good reasons to go different ways with city spec. I know there is the risk to make things overly complicated, so finding the right balance will be, as often is, a key issue. 

@OrionM42   I think I'll start that poll 3-4 weeks after beta release to check around how people feel about city spec!

And thanks for the karma guys

M
 

Only reason I mentioned the rock-paper-scissors scenario is as an idea in how to balance the uniqueness of each city specializations. In further detail:

Forts would gain bonus to military, regular to economics, and penalty to magic.
Towns would gain bonus to economics, regular to magic, and penalty to military
Conclaves would gain bonus to magic, regular to military and penalty to economics.

This way, you would never enter into a scenario where you could get away with building only 1 specialization type. You would at least 2 types to have a sucessful civilization...and all three types to thrive and possibly win.

You make several good points, and I agree that you should be building to the circumstances found in any given map; however any given map should have enough circumstances to warrent having all three types of city.

Well, I suppose we'll see what it comes out as.

I'm looking forward to it.

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July 12, 2012 1:28:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mortenart,

The game is really coming along - apart from one massive game-breaker - the enemy's champions keep coming back, making it impossible to defeat any enemy.  Please lose this crazy mechanism, by which all champions are immortal.  I don't mind losing mine, as long as the enemy loses theirs.  I had to quit the game I was playing, because they just kept coming at me - it's ludicrous.

 

 

I agree.  It's bad enough, if understandable, that our Sovs are automatically immortal (I still think that should require an uber-spell), but I don't get making our champions immortal.  Sort of takes the drama out of battles where our champions are at risk.  Yes, the wound mechanic is nice, but I still think death should be a % possibility.

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July 12, 2012 3:05:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Champion immortality is fine. Heroes don't die in stories, why should they die here? The issue is that the AI sends them at you without regard. After a few injuries, the AI needs to place them in cities until a potion or spell can heal them. They need to stick to large armies instead of trying to solo nine companies at once. I like the idea that constant failure makes a hero worse than dead, but the AI fails to often.

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July 12, 2012 5:04:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I don't much like champions surviving defeats, but if that is going to persist, they need to:

  1. Not be able to defend cities while convalescing (immobile), regardless how few hit points they have
  2. There should also be a loot penalty - if I defeat a champion in combat I want at least some of their gear. That would add a lot more risk/reward to champion encounters. If a champion dies against wild creatures, the loot should be available at their lair or on the spot of battle.
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