Roads...yeesh.

By on August 21, 2012 9:33:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Winnihym

Join Date 03/2006
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The road generation...leaves a bit to be desired.  Is there some reason (other than folks felt it was micromanagement) why we went away from units that could build roads, or being able to draw your own at a cost per tile?

What I consider to be major thoroughfares between cities is not what the computer considers to be major thoroughfares.

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August 21, 2012 9:42:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I agree that we need to be able to build our own roads.    Of course there should be a cost associated with building them.   This is one of the remaining gaps in the game.

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August 21, 2012 9:55:53 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I feel the same way. The only problem with the previous caravan system was that they were extremely vulnerable to wandering monsters which are everywhere.

I wish the devs would have went another direction with it though, instead of removing the feature all together :/

It seems that with every beta the more things they remove...so here's to hoping that we at least get some of the features back eventually...

I'd personally love to see an improved dynasty system, caravan system, and map builder come back by release..

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August 22, 2012 1:06:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not sure if I'd like a caravan system back

But having a dedicated engineer with the roadbuilding skill, that would be good. could be handled the way settlers are now or though a skill. the latter could allow us to make Legionaries in the roman sense of the word.

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August 22, 2012 1:12:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Foreign caravans blocking up my roads are one of my biggest peeves.  I am reluctant to enter into trade agreements now because I know it means having those stupid caravans forcing me off the road.  I wish that they were passable by default and there were some other way of attacking them, like an action button.

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August 23, 2012 2:28:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

[.95]

Please, please, please give us more control over the placement of roads.  The AI makes horrible decisions about where to place them.  It places them through monster lairs, locked champions, woods, the long way around the map, another factions territory, and simply fails to make logical connections between cities and outposts. The tech that lets players make roads between outposts and theoretically give them more control doesnt come until late in my games, and even then, the AI still makes poor decisions when placing them.

The average top speed for most armies for most of a game is 3 spaces, assuming you're not stuck in a woods or hills, which are freaking everywhere, in which case it's less.  Roads are far too important for the general playability of the game and player sanity to leave in the AI's hands.

 

At the very least I would love to be able to click on a structure, bring up the build menu, select "build road to", then click on the target structure, for X cost in gold.  Then if the AI makes a horrible decisions about how to place it, you could fine tune it by placing additional outposts as "waypoints", to keep the AI from placing it through a dragon or around the other side of a mountain range  or something.

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August 23, 2012 9:31:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

See my "First FE Games" thread for my suggestions on revamping the concept of roads. (It's in green highlight).

 http://forums.elementalgame.com/429562

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August 23, 2012 10:02:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frankly, I like not having to deal with road building.  Roads are boring.  I prefer the current system, even with its egregiously bad road placement.

Though the idea of being able to upgrade roads (per city via the build UI) sounds cool to me.

Quoting Bingjack,
It places them through monster lairs, locked champions, woods, the long way around the map, another factions territory, and simply fails to make logical connections between cities and outposts.

It seems like it would be less work to just fix the road building code to route around lairs and champions, etc. than to implement a whole new UI for road placement.  I doubt they'll bother much with getting this fixed until the polish stage of the beta (which may be months from now).

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August 23, 2012 11:11:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,


It seems like it would be less work to just fix the road building code to route around lairs and champions, etc. than to implement a whole new UI for road placement.  I doubt they'll bother much with getting this fixed until the polish stage of the beta (which may be months from now).

 

I think precisely the opposite.  I think it would be far easier to simply give more control to a human player to place the roads, than trying to teach the AI to do it intelligently.  There are too many variables. Even if it were twice as good as it is now, humans could still make better decisions.

 

I see them as separate , but overlapping issues.  Road placement behavior needs to be smarter regardless, for AI factions at least, and to minimize the amount of fine tuning a player has to do.  But players *also* need more control over placing roads, and the ability to fine-tune, because players can always make better decisions about things.  It's just particularity aggravating right now, because the road placement behavior is particularity painful, and I lumped them both in together.

 

I'm not limiting my thinking here to what is "likely" to happen. If I did that, I'd probably give up on the game. I'm simply giving feedback on what would make a better, more playable game, and letting the devs worry about what is likely to happen or easier to do, since they are better informed on such matters than I am.

 

 

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August 23, 2012 2:00:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Bingjack,
I think it would be far easier to simply give more control to a human player to place the roads, than trying to teach the AI to do it intelligently. There are too many variables. Even if it were twice as good as it is now, humans could still make better decisions.

I don't disagree with you; I just think you're underestimating the effort involved in planning, developing, tuning, and testing a brand new user interface.

But I don't care about "optimal" roads.  I just want "reasonable" roads, and I think the road generation algorithm isn't really that far off in that respect.

And as I said earlier, I am delighted to not have to build my own roads.

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August 23, 2012 2:19:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,

Quoting Bingjack, reply 9I think it would be far easier to simply give more control to a human player to place the roads, than trying to teach the AI to do it intelligently. There are too many variables. Even if it were twice as good as it is now, humans could still make better decisions.

I don't disagree with you; I just think you're underestimating the effort involved in planning, developing, tuning, and testing a brand new user interface.

But I don't care about "optimal" roads.  I just want "reasonable" roads, and I think the road generation algorithm isn't really that far off in that respect.

And as I said earlier, I am delighted to not have to build my own roads.

I hope that they provide more reasonable roads too, the UI or however you are supposed to create roads can become very tiresome in the end.

They might give you an engineer unit so you can raze/build new roads too, that would help it along the way.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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August 23, 2012 3:08:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,


But I don't care about "optimal" roads.  I just want "reasonable" roads, and I think the road generation algorithm isn't really that far off in that respect.

 

I disagree. It's one of the most frustrating aspects of the game to me, dating back to War of Magic. Even if you taught it not to build roads through monster lairs, foreign territory, locked champions, forests, hills, and taught it to fully connect  cities and outposts in a web, rather than a broken tree branch formation so I didn't have to travel through 3 other cities to get to a city much closer, it still wouldn't know that I wanted it to build through that mountain range I just spent mana to lower, and not all the way around the map.

At the end of the day, I simply want to play a city building strategy game that lets me place roads at least in the ballpark of where I want them. Even Civ 5 didn't du...streamline roads to the point they were entirely out of player control.

 


Quoting sweatyboatman,

And as I said earlier, I am delighted to not have to build my own roads.

 

I'm not really talking about old school Civ engineers, building roads tile by tile, or micro-ing caravans across the map 2 squares at a time. I'm talking about "build a road between this city and that city, or this city and that outpost, using the existing road placement mechanics" , which I assume already know how to build a road between point A and point B.  If the distance is too great, and the game makes some wonky decisions, you can then with the existing tech place an outpost in there as a waypoint  to fine tune it by connecting A to B, then B to C, rather than A to C.

 

That *is* me making a concession to using what's already in the game to large extent.  It's one idea. Not the only idea. I can imagine far more ideal solutions that would be totally wishful thinking.

 

I'd even settle for putting back a form of the old caravan system  as special road builder units that had infinite movement, so you could use them to connect two cities of your choice in a single turn, as long as it worked to connect outposts too, with no fussing about trade aspects. Just build it , select it, click on the city or outpost, it zips right there and instant road. Factor the road construction time and cost in the build cost of the unit.

 

 

I'm not informed enough to speak on whether these things are or are not feasible from a technical standpoint between now and whenever retail is. What I am qualified to speak on is the fact that I don't like what's going on now, and I suspect some reviewers might make an issue of it as well.  It's a minor but significant weakness in the game, and it does nobody any good to give it a pass in our feedback because it would take effort to address.

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August 24, 2012 12:28:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I love the current road system. I enjoy spending more time on quests and armies and big picture stuff instead of little boring details like building roads.

 

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August 24, 2012 12:49:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The road system doesn't work currently.  It refuses to connect certain cities.

 

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August 24, 2012 6:56:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting mdonais,
I enjoy spending more time on quests and armies and big picture stuff instead of little boring details like building roads.

 

 

Ironically, for a system put in place ostensibly to save the player from worrying about roads, I find myself more  preoccupied with the roads in FE than any game with the most micromanagey of road building.

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August 24, 2012 8:04:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting mdonais,
I love the current road system. I enjoy spending more time on quests and armies and big picture stuff instead of little boring details like building roads.

 

The current road system would be fine, if it built decent roads.  

See below for a textbook example of dumb road placement.  The city to the top left is my capital.  The city to the right, that all my traffic has to go through to stay on the road, is at the edge of a barren peninsula.  I'll never send units that way.  The city on the bottom is a fortress city that has successfully blocked the southern pass into my lands.  The only other way into my area is ~25 tiles to the north, meaning that the southern city, Tanaejaatar, is of huge strategic importance and may need to be reinforced quickly.    

Maybe, just maybe, I'd want my roads to go directly from my capital to my second most important city rather than through the research city at the edge of nowhere?

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August 24, 2012 10:22:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Kantok, these are the exact problems I have with the current road systems, (I dont care too much for roads going through monsters or silly heroes).

I wish I could mend it sometimes, when the road system decides all roads leads to... stupid city I never visit.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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August 24, 2012 10:28:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not looking for a return to tile by tile engineers either.  I want the tech points now (build roads to cities, build roads to outposts) to instead be three levels: path, road, and enchanted road. +1, +2, +4 to movement on them, available when the proper civ tech is researched.

When available, I can think of two ways to do the actual building.

1) let me select "build roads" as a button in the strategic UI, and let me plop down roads for 1g, 2g, or 4g and 1crystal per tile.  Click click click, my roads in place, where I want it.

2) "Build road" as a choice in the build queue of all cities.  You click it, you draw what you want on the map, and it enters the build queue of the anchoring city, with a gold and mat (and crystal) cost to the building city.

What I do NOT want is a computer to decide for me what's strategically important enough to have fast access to.  If I want a road to a shard, it's my strategy and business, not the AIs.  If I forgot to do that, and lose the shard, that should also be my option.

"Keep yer government AI hands off my strategic choice!"

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August 24, 2012 10:56:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


In the older version of the game, (0.87 ish), if you edited the pioneer unit and saved it as something else (ingame), it would lose the ability to settle or build outposts, but will be able to build roads. (As in, had a Build Road button)

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August 24, 2012 11:24:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Winnihym,
I'm not looking for a return to tile by tile engineers either.  I want the tech points now (build roads to cities, build roads to outposts) to instead be three levels: path, road, and enchanted road. +1, +2, +4 to movement on them, available when the proper civ tech is researched.

When available, I can think of two ways to do the actual building.

1) let me select "build roads" as a button in the strategic UI, and let me plop down roads for 1g, 2g, or 4g and 1crystal per tile.  Click click click, my roads in place, where I want it.

2) "Build road" as a choice in the build queue of all cities.  You click it, you draw what you want on the map, and it enters the build queue of the anchoring city, with a gold and mat (and crystal) cost to the building city.

What I do NOT want is a computer to decide for me what's strategically important enough to have fast access to.  If I want a road to a shard, it's my strategy and business, not the AIs.  If I forgot to do that, and lose the shard, that should also be my option.

"Keep yer government AI hands off my strategic choice!"

I'm liking your line of thinking. May I fine-tune?:

To avoid micromanagement of the road system, I perfer a 'source'/'sink' approach:

Have three available levels of road: Path, Road, Highway

  1. Be able to build a PATH through a city queue. When the build is complete, the UI asks you were your 'end' (or 'sink') destination to be. The start ('source') location must be the city where the PATH is being built. The end location must be another city or outpost that you control. The build produces a PATH along the most efficient route, granting +1 movement to units traveling along it.
  2. You may select the PATH, as you would an outpost, and there will be an upgrade button on it. Upgrading puts the PATH back into the queue of the source city, which then upgrades the PATH into a ROAD once complete, granting +2 movement bonus while traveling along its trajectory. This upgrade could be made available with the 'construction' tech.
  3. You may again select the ROAD and upgrade, this time turning into a HIGHWAY, granting +3 movement while traveling along its trajectory. This upgrade can be made available through tech in the military tree....perhaps something like 'mobilization' (if it's a little harder to get than 'construction') 

In addition, there can be two more city enchantment spells available that focus on further upgrading all the roads connected to the source city where the enchantment is placed. Naturally this enchantment requires the essence to cast.

  • Ride like the Wind: Air Spell (perhaps lvl2), granting an additional +1 movement for travel along all roads SOURCED from the enchanted city.
  • The Golden Road: Earth Spell (perhaps lvl4), granting x2 movement for travel along all roads SOURCED from the enchanted city.

(Yes, this means that if you had a city with highways sourced that has 'ride like the wind' AND 'the golden road', units travelling along those roads would gain an additional +8 movment. It just takes a lot longer to get the this point!!!)

About the only thing this approach does not cover is connecting two outposts together with a road. However, outposts generally should be connected to a city anyways, and I don't think there will be many cases where such a road would be beneficial.

In addition, since 2 additional city enchantments are made available, I recommend re-jigging how much essence is naturally available in the world. This is a game of magic. Of the games I've played, it feels dismal that only 1 or 2 of my cities ever get essence. Now, I'm not saying that every city built should have access to essence naturally...but I do think every city should at least be able to gain access to a minimum of +1 essence somehow through artificial means. (and I'm not talking about making every city a conclave...that should be extra).

One approach I thought of in another thread was to extend the 'scrying pool' to all factions. HOWEVER, Procipinee gets special bonus to her 'scrying pools'. First, she gets them available to her for building right away (whereas all the other nations would have to research a tech first) and second her 'scrying pools' would output +1 essence at first, but when the tech is obtained, they would upgrade to +2.

This would allow for all factions to be able to eventually artifically create at least +1 essence in all their cities. If they go the route of conclave, they can get +2. If they are on a natural +2 essence tile, then they're up to +4 now. If they're playing Procipinee, and have the 'scrying pool tech',  then they'll be at a glorious +6!! Trully a power haven for one of the most powerful magic users in all the world.

Now, is there much difference between +4 and +6 such that Procipinee has an advantage in this area? Possibly....not such at the moment...but I think it's definately worth considering. However, I think this would dynamically change the game for the better as a great deal more mana and magic will be made available for the sovereigns to utilize....and that's what, imo, this game is all about. 

Thoughts? 

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August 24, 2012 11:56:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Winnihym,
2) "Build road" as a choice in the build queue of all cities. You click it, you draw what you want on the map, and it enters the build queue of the anchoring city, with a gold and mat (and crystal) cost to the building city.

I like this idea. Adding a build road option to the queue would be nice. The only problem is it might be a little pointless because you always pretty much want to build roads to cities. At the very least roads to outposts should be removed from the Economics tech because it is too late game and be turned into an outpost upgrade. Then wherever we want a road we just plop an outpost. Units move really slowly in this game so we need to be able to produce roads quickly and easily to compensate. It is too easy to get bogged down in rough terrain right now. Also their should be a refresh road button on cities and outposts that respawns the road because sometime terrain changes.

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August 24, 2012 2:30:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,

Quoting Winnihym, reply 182) "Build road" as a choice in the build queue of all cities. You click it, you draw what you want on the map, and it enters the build queue of the anchoring city, with a gold and mat (and crystal) cost to the building city.

I like this idea. Adding a build road option to the queue would be nice. The only problem is it might be a little pointless because you always pretty much want to build roads to cities. At the very least roads to outposts should be removed from the Economics tech because it is too late game and be turned into an outpost upgrade. Then wherever we want a road we just plop an outpost. Units move really slowly in this game so we need to be able to produce roads quickly and easily to compensate. It is too easy to get bogged down in rough terrain right now. Also their should be a refresh road button on cities and outposts that respawns the road because sometime terrain changes.

 

I agree, though not sure how quickly roads can be built, or upgraded, but we really need some more control on how the roads are placed. so it has to be something like this or bring back the engineers.

 

You know, the latter could be interesting if the did something else too. say you station them in cities and give the construction, not recruit, queues a bonus, and while attacking a fortress give the attackers a slight advantage bonus as well (since we lack sieges, they are there tearing at the walls or something... same thing could be implemented for the catapult)

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August 24, 2012 6:02:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ANother vote for redoing the auto-road placement, or giving us control of road design again.

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August 24, 2012 6:30:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can't stand roads, quickly leads tha enemy right too me, I could use a road system I manually built/placed but have only the desire to raze the current ones since they rarely help me out

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August 25, 2012 3:31:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kantok,

Quoting mdonais, reply 13I love the current road system. I enjoy spending more time on quests and armies and big picture stuff instead of little boring details like building roads.

 

The current road system would be fine, if it built decent roads.  

See below for a textbook example of dumb road placement.  The city to the top left is my capital.  The city to the right, that all my traffic has to go through to stay on the road, is at the edge of a barren peninsula.  I'll never send units that way.  The city on the bottom is a fortress city that has successfully blocked the southern pass into my lands.  The only other way into my area is ~25 tiles to the north, meaning that the southern city, Tanaejaatar, is of huge strategic importance and may need to be reinforced quickly.    

Maybe, just maybe, I'd want my roads to go directly from my capital to my second most important city rather than through the research city at the edge of nowhere?

Reduced 38%Original 1464 x 952

Good call, man.  I've been wondering the same thing, but figured it was a minor problem contrasted with all of the issue issues.  Now that most of the other issues are ironed-out, it would be cool if this could be addressed and adjusted.

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August 25, 2012 5:12:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


If you have no shortage of mana you can build your own roads and have the tech to make roads to outposts. Basically you create an outpost then disband it. It leaves the road behind.

 

It should not be that hard to create a spell that does the same thing without creating/disbanding the outpost.

 

Kantoks post above wiht screen shot would still have the problem of a crappy road, maybe. It chose a bad pathing because the road placement is using movement point sor soemthing because it is avoiding going through so many river tiles, so it went around instead. The create outpost with roads might solve that issue if an outpost is allowed to be placed on the hill.

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