[0.95] Game Pacing: What is the purpose of the wildlands?

By on August 18, 2012 9:16:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

tesb

Join Date 03/2008
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 1) Current status:

In my opinion the wildlands are too difficult to clear to play any role in game pacing. 

My typical games can by summarized as follows:

 

A) spam pioneers and spam as much cities as possible , while the sov. clears monsters (usual up to ogres)

B ) build up cities, mostly civilian research while the sov. gets really powerful

C) crush the ai, which is usually far behind by now (playing on challenging)

 

Now nowhere here do the wildlands play any significant role, usually they are ignored (ai never clears them because it does not build powerful sov. or champs let alone troops) or i clear them because the ai is too weak.

 

 2) Opinion on 1:

 A) is really problematic, because if you know how the monsters behave you can basically take all city spots without fear of loosing them. Getting new cities is neither dangerous nor does you have to clear some land to place them. It is also very boring to just pioneer spam (which the ai does, but the player can always do better, due to predictable monster behavior)

 B + C) is just the aftermath of an early game snowball effect.

 

 3) Suggestion: 

I would prefer if the you would have to clear some weak monsters for your fist few cities and for major expansion you have have to clear wildlands, and only after that the game goes to the end-phase where you wage war with other players. Therefore i suggest:

  •  let weak (bandits, wolves, trolls ogres, not hard monsters like forest drakes) monsters roam the vicinity of the first few cities and even attack unguarded cities. The most difficult monsters outside the wildlands should be ogres (in terms of their strength/difficulty, i.e. no forest drakes, obsidian golems etc.)
  • cover the map in 40 - 70% with various kinds of wildlands (make them easier to conquer too, i.e. nerf their bosses), so when i want a bigger kingdom/empire i have to clear them. Let them be between players. The monsters inside the wildlands should also be more aggressive towards invaders of their realm.
  • only after the wildlands are cleared, it is possible to wage major war with the other players.

 

Imho this would make the wildlands a major part of the pacing of the game and would give them an important role to fill. it would also solve the ridiculous city spam that is currently required, because only if a wildland is cleared its 'culture' (in civ terms) will be cleared and can be settled. 

 

 

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August 18, 2012 10:18:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good ideas here!

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August 18, 2012 11:17:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would at the very least like this to be a "game type" available to us. Not sure I would want to have to do it all the time, but in terms of what FE is story wise, it would actually be more appropriate to actually have to conquer all of your surrounding lands than the way it is currently structured.

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August 18, 2012 11:40:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good suggestions.  This had kind of bothered me as well, especially considering that one of the premises of the game is that it takes place some years after a cataclysmic event destroyed much of the old civilizations.  With that background, I kind of expected much larger areas of very dangerous territory, i.e. the wildlands.

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August 18, 2012 11:47:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agree entirely that the Wildlands are irrelevant - they're usually out of the way and if you're strong enough to take them then you're probably strong enough to wipe out the other players. 

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August 18, 2012 11:57:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The wildlands function is a great idea, but it is not a balanced idea. The late game has yet to see any balance and wildlands is just one part of it. For me at least, reaching the point when wildlands are a feasible thing to conquer, I no longer need to. The bosses are so strong, if you can defeat them, you can generally defeat anything. So why not just go after your enemies? 

I am much more in favor of making wildlands easier to beat for the most part. To do that, we should limit the current possible wildlands to one per map. Then have the masterquest one as well. Instead of 20 or so expansion areas littered randomly about the map, use weaker wildlands. Tribes of Ogres, or Trolls, or Butchers. Things that are currently in lairs, but lack any sort of continuity or story. I would much rather have each expansion area tell me a story. Then I want a small war with the monsters. Each lair should be popping out units like a city. After I conquer the lairs, let me build an expansion base. Give me a relic or trophy for each one. 

This would fix so many problems with the game. If monsters only came out after you entered their lands, no random roaming. The pioneer/city spam is suddenly gone without months spent fine tuning the AI and game mechanics. All the code for this is already present. You can even add minor factions that start on a wildlands and then become neutral civilizations. This is a great mechanic. Use it.

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August 19, 2012 3:40:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
The wildlands function is a great idea, but it is not a balanced idea. The late game has yet to see any balance and wildlands is just one part of it. For me at least, reaching the point when wildlands are a feasible thing to conquer, I no longer need to. The bosses are so strong, if you can defeat them, you can generally defeat anything. So why not just go after your enemies?

 

thats the point

the wildlands per se is a great idea but it seems to hardly find a good spot in this meta

 

if wildlands would be weaker it would be just a race for who farm more which is unfun and ofc would be much random and favor who is closer etc

 



I am much more in favor of making wildlands easier to beat for the most part.

 

no this cant work

apart from the reason above which is more than enough to not nerf wildlands the point is then we are again weak of end game monster if we remove wildlands as end game

 

the "solution" imo is just keep improving AI and make maybe defense stronger

 

wildlands cant find its spot cause like you said if you can defeat it you can win the game

 

but if AI is much stronger that statement is false

so then you CANT win the game but at some point you can defeat the wildlands

 

and thats how it should be, wildlands should be some end game "quest" to get the ultimate power to win the game

 

power you would need cause you couldnt defeat your strongest ai opponent without

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August 19, 2012 6:26:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the idea of introducing MINOR wildlands into the game. They can be one or two ogre controlled lairs that have a ZOC, a few bandit camps or some such.

Kind of like hostile city states, but I don't feel they need any special behavior or creating additonal units. They can be the exact same lairs and wandering monsters as we have now, just with a ZOC and area of operation.

This would make killing monsters much more fun and rewarding as you get more of a feeling of conquering the territory.

The further you go from starting locations, the stronger these generic wildlands get. Then of course you would have a few of the special, big wildlands as well.

I feel this would make the world feel much more alive as well.

Heroes of Might & Magic basically uses the same system and I don't think anyone disagrees that it works great there.

I'm completely with seanw3 in this; this would be a HUGE improvement to the monster-part of the game. Almost warrants a separate thread.

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August 19, 2012 6:33:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm also disappointed with the current role the wildlands seem to play in my games, because they mostly don't play any. I'd like them to be the "expansion blocks" they are allegedly supposed to be, but to achieve that they would need to be placed around the map in a way that would prevent players from easily bypassing their area. As it is now they just turn into islands of nothing amidst extreme city spam.

 

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August 19, 2012 6:39:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ddd888,

the "solution" imo is just keep improving AI and make maybe defense stronger

Agreed. It needs to remain an option on the game's horizon as the final "raid content" for top tier gear, but the relevance is related to the amount of times it's needed to win the game. The relevance is the problem (ie. needed for defeating a tougher AI, or a more defensible AI), not the content itself.

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August 19, 2012 8:15:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Even if they gave you a title like 'Conquerer of the Plaguelands' and a shed load of Influence and perhaps coin from grateful inhabitants that would be something.

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August 19, 2012 10:38:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LNQ,
I like the idea of introducing MINOR wildlands into the game. They can be one or two ogre controlled lairs that have a ZOC, a few bandit camps or some such.

Kind of like hostile city states, but I don't feel they need any special behavior or creating additonal units. They can be the exact same lairs and wandering monsters as we have now, just with a ZOC and area of operation.

This would make killing monsters much more fun and rewarding as you get more of a feeling of conquering the territory.

The further you go from starting locations, the stronger these generic wildlands get. Then of course you would have a few of the special, big wildlands as well.

I feel this would make the world feel much more alive as well.

Heroes of Might & Magic basically uses the same system and I don't think anyone disagrees that it works great there.

I'm completely with seanw3 in this; this would be a HUGE improvement to the monster-part of the game. Almost warrants a separate thread.

sounds good.  leave the current wildlands but introduce more weaker ones guarding expansion points.

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August 19, 2012 1:58:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This wildlands idea is a far better idea then the one I posted earlier in regards to slowing down pioneer and city spam. It would also move all the more difficult monsters into the wildlands making city placement outside of the wildlands far better.

Make it so that starting locations have enough room for one or two cities but after that the rest of the world is covered in weak, moderate, and strong wildlands that must be conquered in order to further expand. It would completely change the game play in a good way. No more mindless pioneer, outpost, city spamming at the beginning of games. And the act of taking territory seems like a lot of fun.

Make it so that monster lairs in wildlands produce a unit every x turns. Once the number of monsters in a wildland reaches y than z number of monsters will leave the wildlands in search of a fight. At the beginning of the game only weaker monsters will be sent out but in mid to late game more and more powerful monsters will form war parties and go a raiding. Thus the faster you conquer the wildlands the better.

The game should also insure that at least one weak wildland borders starting locations so that you, and AIs, have a direction to expand in. However the difficulty of all other wildlands in the game should be a decision made at world creation by the player with the following options:

-Weak Wildlands

-Weak/Moderate wildlands

-Weak/Moderate/Strong wildlands

-Moderate/Strong wildlands

-Weak/Strong wildlands

-Strong wildlands

The stronger the wildland conquered the better the fertile land/city build location(s), the better resources it will have and/or the better loot the monster lairs will have.

If you were to inter into a wildland it would be considered an act of war by the monsters of that wildland and they will actively try to destroy you. They will send monsters to attack your people and cities so don't inter into strong wildlands unless you are truly ready for that challenge. AIs should be programmed to not go waltzing into strong wildlands unless their armies/champions are strong enough. It would be sad to see the AI players taken out of the game because the monsters wiping them out do to the AIs stupidity in arousing the ire of the strongest monsters in the game.

This would also allow nations to increase their armies and champions level allowing each nation to have some strong units. The AI would need to actively insure that their units heal between battles by avoid combat until healed so that they can build up some high level armies. But if monsters inter into their territory they will use whatever forces they have available to take said monsters out even using damaged units. After all protecting their territory should be of higher priority then building up high level units.

By the time nations are bordering each other they will have each conquered a few wildlands, have multiple cities, and have experienced armies/champions. Thus when the game inters the final nation against nation phase it will be far more interesting. Overall this would make the game far more exiting and fun to play.

-----------------------------------

Just thought of something. If this was adopted then putting a unit into auto explore would be a bad idea unless auto explore avoided strong and moderate wildlands.

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August 19, 2012 2:45:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

you guys are really starting to complicate things too much

 

also this is still a random world, its not final fantasy where you have to get your own boss to farm and loot

 

you have to adapt to your surrounding, if you dont find wildlands for hundreds of turns its likely someone else had already... maybe going there is not wise and you have to play accordingly, maybe rush an army and attack etc etc

 

 

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August 19, 2012 2:54:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm enjoying wildlands the way they are, actually. I wouldn't mind seeing the difficulty ramped up a little bit and the rewards made a little more unique and a little more powerful too. I've only been playing large desert map games with 8 AI nations, but I like the way the game is headed in terms of difficulty, reward, and city placement (mostly - my only beef is with a player being unable to re-locate their capital leading often to the pita dicision of settling subpar locations early or roaming ten or twenty years desperately searching for 2-3 essence territory).

The few times in games when I've reached the wildlands, they're usually cleared between turns 150-300. It doesn't take much more than a strong sovereign for Imperium, and the arctic wildlands can be done by a warlock firemage or anyone with some berserked bowmen and a line of fodder troops pretty reliably. You just have to pick and choose your units, spells and gear well.

The two biggest challenges I have had so far in 0.95 (on normal difficulty) are finding decent settlement locations early so I don't get boxed in and forced to develop in a resource poor location while the AI nations outpace me and eventually decide to gang up on me because I've fallen behind in the rankings, or with running into a powerhungry Kraxis early on in the game and having to face the hoarde of shieldbearing spearmen he sends my way while recruiting/killing all champions he sees with his stockpile of wealth (even if you survive against him, odds are good your rating has fallen so low that all the other nations will swoop down on you as they find you!).

Wildlands though? Not an issue for me. I'm happy to see them and I am in love with the idea of powerful monsterlands that you can't just steamroll early with a lucky spell or critical, and it's always fun to snag a shiny piece of loot (a spell, a city, a 3x powernode) for your trouble when you actually can clear them.

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August 19, 2012 3:05:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ddd888,
you guys are really starting to complicate things too much

 

also this is still a random world, its not final fantasy where you have to get your own boss to farm and loot

 

you have to adapt to your surrounding, if you dont find wildlands for hundreds of turns its likely someone else had already... maybe going there is not wise and you have to play accordingly, maybe rush an army and attack etc etc

 

 

I understand where you are coming from but I still like the idea of building armies, conquering wildlands, opening up that territory, and expanding your empire into that newly conquered territory. There just isn't anything quite like utterly destroying a bunch of monsters, taking their stuff, stealing their land, and expanding your empire.

And as I said before by the time nations start bordering each other they will be actual nations with cities, resources, experienced armies/champions, and a hunger for even more territory. It would really make nation against nation game play a lot more interesting.

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August 19, 2012 3:10:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting j_wl_b,
And as I said before by the time nations start bordering each other they will be actual nations with cities, resources, experienced armies/champions, and a hunger for even more territory. It would really make nation again nation game play a lot more interesting.

 

Yep, my thoughts exactly.  Especially when it means opening up a bit of wildness territory that gives you an extra 3 water shards worth of power on Top of having a large crossroads like region to place a city which your opponents have to go around, but you can march straight through quickly. Or when it means getting a spell that will let you boost your Sov's health well into the hundreds! If anything, I wouldn't mind seeing the wilderlands being made a little more powerful, but don't weaken them!

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August 19, 2012 3:27:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not a fan of having a too complicated system. I would just like to have lairs having a ZOC and function as minor wildlands that you have to clear to settle in that ground, and maybe group a few lairs together.

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August 19, 2012 3:55:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ClimbingEast,

Quoting j_wl_b, reply 16And as I said before by the time nations start bordering each other they will be actual nations with cities, resources, experienced armies/champions, and a hunger for even more territory. It would really make nation again nation game play a lot more interesting.

 

Yep, my thoughts exactly.  Especially when it means opening up a bit of wildness territory that gives you an extra 3 water shards worth of power on Top of having a large crossroads like region to place a city which your opponents have to go around, but you can march straight through quickly. Or when it means getting a spell that will let you boost your Sov's health well into the hundreds! If anything, I wouldn't mind seeing the wilderlands being made a little more powerful, but don't weaken them!

Weak wildlands offer small rewards, moderate wildlands offer moderate rewards, and strong wildlands offer large rewards for those who conquer them.

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August 19, 2012 4:04:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting j_wl_b,


I understand where you are coming from but I still like the idea of building armies, conquering wildlands, opening up that territory, and expanding your empire into that newly conquered territory. There just isn't anything quite like utterly destroying a bunch of monsters, taking their stuff, stealing their land, and expanding your empire.

 

but i like that too!

its very cool as its cool the idea of wildlands

 

what is not cool is having a personal "wildland" for every sovereign

that wouldnt even be wild just a personal garden where to collect your fruits

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August 19, 2012 4:38:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LNQ,
I'm not a fan of having a too complicated system. I would just like to have lairs having a ZOC and function as minor wildlands that you have to clear to settle in that ground, and maybe group a few lairs together.

Pretty much. Although you could make it informal so that you simply can't place ZoC over monster lairs or even on tiles beside a monster lair. So if you want the resources you have to beat the lair. The whole system where super late game monsters randomly wander the map when placed under ZoC is really really broken.

Tougher monsters like Dragons could function as mini Wildlands though, they deserve their own painting, ZoC, and territory. I always thought they were underwhelming as currently implemented.

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August 19, 2012 4:55:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would like to have them exude a ZOC and not make it informal.

I kind of like the idea that when players start the vast majority of the map belongs to different minor wildlands, and if you would look at the game progressing in cloth map you see the wildlands being pushed back little by little.

Finally towards the end game most of the minor wildlands are gone and only the strongest, special wildlands remain untouched.

It would also make the gameplay clearer to the player if they knew that if they step into a certain ZOC, monsters inside that ZOC will attack them.

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August 19, 2012 5:38:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

And we could have one of those pictures pop up and give a little lore to the player when he enters each minor wildlands. Ever wonder who made the shrills and why they are hanging around that temple? Go inside their territory to learn more!

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