2 Suggestions for the Tech tree and unit production, Comments?

By on July 24, 2012 12:23:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

rpn377

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Hey guys,

 

Just pre-ordered a few days ago.  I'm sure that this game will be the great successor to galciv2 and i couldn't wait to try it now.

 

I've been frustrated with 2 things that have a huge effect on gameplay:

1) Can't make a building AND a unit at the same time, and you need to build buildings and grow your towns if you want to WIN (forcing you to ignore units)

2) Civilization tech tree is really important if you want to WIN, and it forces you to do less with the War and Magic trees.

 

Essentially, what 1) and 2) does, is it makes all my games into passive games.  You can't be nation building AND putting on aggression at the same time, you have to chose one or the other.  If you want to win, you just need to nation build first and then get aggressive later.  I understand that I can get very aggressive in the beginning and go down the war/magic trees and defeat my neighbors, but it only puts you behind in the long run.

 

Basically my suggestion is this:

1) Scrap the civ tree, or seriously rework it to have very unusual technologies.  You shouldn't have to invest research to grow your towns... this only detracts from investing in the War or Magic trees which are the trees that lead to ACTION and FUN.  Personally, I think all the special buildings should automatically unlock as your town grows.  This will make the games more interesting since players will be putting pressure on each other right off the bat.

2) Allow production of units and buildings at the same time.  If a unit isn't being built, give 50% production bonus to the building.  If a building isn't being built, give 50% production bonus to the unit.  If neither are being built, give growth bonus to the town.

 

What do you guys think?  I'm just thinking of ways to make these games more exciting...

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July 24, 2012 1:19:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No.

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July 24, 2012 2:20:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The single production queue is a core mechanic that Derek has built the design of FE around.  It's not going anywhere.  

Time, in the form of turns available to produce things, is meant to be one of your major limiting resources.  The point is that you should have to choose between improving your society or improving your military.  When you go to war, you are making the choice to forgo improving your society (or at least improving your troop producing cities).  That means war will give other societies a chance to catch you on the civilization/research front while you are busy fueling your wars.  

Balanced well, it will be an awesome mechanic, because it forces the player into a meaningful strategic choice.

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July 24, 2012 2:34:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't like the tech tree's being divided into War, Civil, and Magic.  Because we need all three to actually function.  I would prefer different tech trees that could function independently of each other.  Very different in concept.  Meaning I could actually go down one path and not touch the other two and be able to compete, build interesting and powerful armies, have new magic gear and spells, and build interesting and productive cities.  I would like to see tech trees be philosophy paths.  And researching or advancing along a philosophy path would open up new choices in arms, magic, production, etc.  Dividing it up into Civil, War, and Magic just causes me to jump from tech tree to tech tree to get all the essentials needed to even maintain or grow my nation, in reality taking away any real choice at all.

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July 24, 2012 2:49:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


What I do is build up money making by rushing to Economics and the Vault World achievemnet. Then when money is flowing I"Rush" build units, and use queue just to build next thing. It kind of works. I fall behind sometimes on global power positioning so I try not to explore too much and encounter other factions until I'm making units.

 

It's much easier with Empire and all the Wild animal units.

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July 24, 2012 2:52:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I don't like the tech tree's being divided into War, Civil, and Magic.  Because we need all three to actually function.  I would prefer different tech trees that could function independently of each other.  Very different in concept.  Meaning I could actually go down one path and not touch the other two and be able to compete, build interesting and powerful armies, have new magic gear and spells, and build interesting and productive cities.  I would like to see tech trees be philosophy paths.  And researching or advancing along a philosophy path would open up new choices in arms, magic, production, etc.  Dividing it up into Civil, War, and Magic just causes me to jump from tech tree to tech tree to get all the essentials needed to even maintain or grow my nation, in reality taking away any real choice at all.

Tell me when you design a game so I can play along, I like this!

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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July 24, 2012 3:09:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I don't like the tech tree's being divided into War, Civil, and Magic.  Because we need all three to actually function.  I would prefer different tech trees that could function independently of each other.  Very different in concept.  Meaning I could actually go down one path and not touch the other two and be able to compete, build interesting and powerful armies, have new magic gear and spells, and build interesting and productive cities.  I would like to see tech trees be philosophy paths.  And researching or advancing along a philosophy path would open up new choices in arms, magic, production, etc.  Dividing it up into Civil, War, and Magic just causes me to jump from tech tree to tech tree to get all the essentials needed to even maintain or grow my nation, in reality taking away any real choice at all.

This would be ideal.  In my mind, UI aside, we don't really have three different tech trees.  We have one tech tree with three pre-programmed filtered views. As long as there are dependencies between the war, civilization,and magic trees, they are not three distinct trees.  They are one tree with a confusing layout.  

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July 24, 2012 4:24:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


1) Can't make a building AND a unit at the same time, and you need to build buildings and grow your towns if you want to WIN (forcing you to ignore units)

It's what's called a Guns or Butter decision. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns_versus_butter_model

It's part of the strategic decision you need to make - build your infrastructure, or build a war machine.  If you can do both, then part of the strategic decision is gone.

1) Scrap the civ tree, or seriously rework it to have very unusual technologies.  You shouldn't have to invest research to grow your towns... this only detracts from investing in the War or Magic trees which are the trees that lead to ACTION and FUN.

There are many people who find building to be fun, so please don't universally equate war with fun.  If you prefer expansion through aggression, that's fine, but it's not the only way to play these games.  There are players (referred to as "turtlers") who take the strategy of fortifying themselves in their territory and focusing on development of infrastructure, strategic alliances, trade, etc.  The aggression route leads to an empire whose power is derived from controlling many resources and large populations, while the turtling approach leads to an empire which is small and compact, but whose power derives from its level of development and advancement.  Both should be viable, but mutually exclusive, paths to victory.

Eliminating the Guns or Butter decision eliminates all of this, and forces everyone to play similarly.

 

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July 24, 2012 7:10:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have exactly the same sentiments as the OP, except I don't think scrapping the tech tree would improve things.

Maybe a good way to organize the tech tree is to do it by lifestyle.

So one tech tree could be sort of the elf/hobbit way of life, light armor, live in the wilderness, have weaker melee but stronger ranged weapons, emphasis on mobility and food production.

Another tech tree could be a more dwarven or industrialized way of life, heavy armor, lots of mines and factories, strong melee weapons and relying on siege weapons for ranged attacks.

And then you could have a middle ground but focuses more on magic than the other two, using chainmail, a good mix of melee, ranged weapons, and siege. Basically what you would imagine humans would be in a generic fantasy world.

 

Do you guys think that would be more interesting? I think it could solve many problems by allowing you to advance your military and economy in the same tech tree instead of having to hop back and forth. It could fix the issue where you skip warfare and go straight to magic weapons and champion armor. 

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July 24, 2012 8:13:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I see a few replies to my OP about how "you need to make a strategic choice / guns or butter", and i get it.  But there really isn't anything strategic about this choice... the time for "guns" is obvious, as well as the time for "butter".  Unfortunately, this plays out like how most 4x games do.  You nation build when no one is being aggressive towards you, and you switch to war as soon as someone goes to war against you.  If you are playing any large map with many opponents, that's the strategy...  if you do it any other way, you are just making the game harder for yourself.  This is what happens when you force the player to go building-production+civ-techtree and not allow the player to do more with war/magic/units.  Gameplay is very stale -- you basically just build and ignore danger, until the NPC does something and then you react.  

That is, unless... you have... or you know someone... who has won a large game with many opponents, by going war or magic trees for the whole beginning of the game.  FE will punish you really hard for this and you won't be able to win.

 

Lord Xia, i like your reply a lot (about how tech trees should be more philosophical and less subject-orientated).  It's obviously a BAD STRATEGY to go 1 tech tree right now... once you clear 1 or 2 tiers in a single tech tree... going to the 3rd tier could be like 30-turns to learn something.  You are better off going to the other tech trees and picking up the little stuff you missed for ~3-5 turns a piece which provide you much much more benefit.  The game ends up having little variety since you learn all the techs at the same time.  I also would like to see a tech tree that you could actually commit to and have it be a viable strategy.

 

UmbralAngel - i also like your ideas.  how about instead of "middle ground", the third tree could be more magical. How about something like this:

- Wilderness tree - focus on heroes, ranged, earth, air, growth, mobility

- Industrial - focus on units, weapons, armor, production, mines, defenses, fire, earth

- Mystical? - focus on spells (town enhancing, army enhancing, summoning).

All 3 would overlap in many ways... an industrial tree can still cast a lot of spells, for instance. This would be hard to balance... but something like this would be more interesting that what's in place now.  Also, heroes that you recruit can be specialists of any kind... so they will add variety to your kingdom.

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July 25, 2012 1:56:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"That is, unless... you have... or you know someone... who has won a large game with many opponents, by going war or magic trees for the whole beginning of the game.  FE will punish you really hard for this and you won't be able to win."

 

My Trogs did just that. Fast spearmen, straight for the jugular - hey, thanks for settling all those cities for me Tarth and ...er... Yellow guy. My army rolled a bunch of monsters on the way, had levels under their belts, and after that it was just a snowball effect - good troops with lots of levels win fights, get more levels, enemy could never recover.

 

Just.... try it. It wasn't hard. I play on - erm, is it Hard? The level two up from the starting level. And I've had the game a week, so it's not like I'm a super pro or anything.

 

Cities got: workshop -> lumber mill -> barracks -> never ending supply of angry Trogs.

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July 25, 2012 8:33:38 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I have always been for a two que system (Unit and Buildings) I have yet to hear a good argument against this (and I have heard many)

AS far as the research tree goes well this is pretty standard in 4x games. After all you should only research one tech at a time. Now I would like to see them rework the Tech trees to be independant of each other as is stated by the Dark Lord Xia.

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July 25, 2012 6:16:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the queue system is fine since it incentivizes you to build more than one city. I already play with only one city every game, and if I had 2 queues I wouldn't have any disadvantage for doing so.

 

In beta 4 they play to diversify the cities more and it should make the system work better. You will have a military city that pumps out units, and your magic and economy cities will be focused on infrastructure. 

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