[Derek's Criteria] Evaluating Attack/Defense Reductions in Enemy Territory & Giving Garrison Troops Better Armor With Armor Techs.

By on October 11, 2012 7:19:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

StevenAus

Join Date 06/2010
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1. Does it match the games focus?  The core experience of Fallen Enchantress is building, leveling your units, leveling your cities, designing units, building things.  Features and ideas that follow this progression are ideal to building a complete theme and feeling for the game.  Much like how lighting, music, set design, etc, all work together in a movie to reach a common goal all of the game mechanics should have a common feel that cause the games theme to resonate with the player.  (this is why cities having enchantment slots and city types worked so well for Fallen Enchantress)


2. Does it solve a problem?  The tendency of designers, including myself, is to create too much.  So once I'm beyond the base core of the game mechanics I have to force myself to ask if new ideas and mechanics solve any existing problems.  If not, why add it?

3. Does it solve multiple problems?  It's usually easy to solve a specific problem.  But as I mentioned above, in strategy games every piece affects every other piece.  If all an idea does is fix one problem, then it's probably not worth the effort and I usually hold out waiting for a solution that fixes multiple issues at once.

4. Does it have drool factor? (ie: if I tell a player about it will they be excited to try it).  I'm less eager to spend development time on things that players won't be excited to try (or as a business guy would say, "doesn't sell copies").  Sometimes we need to spend time on the unexciting parts of the game design, cleaning up screens, polishing graphics, improving performance, fixing bugs, or adding fundamental tools which support gameplay but aren't sexy (I don't think anyone checed out FE and thought "A game with a tax slider?!?  I love tax sliders!  I'm buying this!").

5. How difficult is it to implement?  Now the producer part takes over.  Even given all the above the implementation cost could be too high.  I love the random maps in Fallen Enchantress, but I don't know if it was worth the considerable implementation time it took to create them.  The game is definitely better for them, but we could have created 100 hand crafted maps in a fraction of the time and had all that extra time for other features.

6. How will we provide feedback?  A lot of gameplay is feedback.  How will the players interact with this mechanic?  Will they enjoy it?  A lot of mechanics die because there isn't a good way to show the player they are doing it right or wrong.

 

For the -25% reduction in attack and defense, via Derek's own criteria for assessing ideas:

1.  Maybe, maybe not.

2.  Sort of, maybe not.  Creates other problems.

3.  No, creates problems.

4.  Definitely not.

5.  Easy.

6.  No, I don't think gamers will enjoy it.

 

For increasing armor of garrison troops:

1.  Yes.

2.  Yes.

3.  Yes, solves at least two different problems, probably a lot more.

4.  Well, it does make the game more interesting and balanced, because people can feel comfortable knowing that cities of 100s of people won't fall to one Ignys or only a moderate hero.   Maybe not sexy, but definitely valuable gameplay enhancement.

5.  Easy.

6.  Yes, I think they will.


Derek, these are your own criteria, so it would be great if you could re-evaluate the -25% attack/defense idea!  We all want the game to be the best it can be, and I think that this idea does not pass the criteria quoted from your post above, whereas the armor idea solves the problem, doesn't create other problems, and even solves other problems currently with the game. 

Yours sincerely,
Steven. 

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October 11, 2012 7:40:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

-25% seems like a ton to me.  I would prefer to give more defenders to cities and give them some more armor.

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October 11, 2012 7:45:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Defenders have all been increased in number apparently, but they need some armor to survive more than the very early game.

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October 11, 2012 7:52:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ya this seems unnecessary. Give some Defenders leather. There's no reason people in their own territory need a 50% boost.

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October 11, 2012 8:33:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@OP I think it is rather obvious that Derek hasn't reached the same conclusion you have when evaluating the criteria. That said, I really hate this change.

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October 11, 2012 8:42:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
-25% seems like a ton to me.  I would prefer to give more defenders to cities and give them some more armor.

But no ponies? Seriously you're happy with just one lousy pony.

I agree fully here. The 25% bonus doesn't solve anything. In the end I think it even hurts the AI more than it hurts players. More defenders to cities with some armour would be a much better solution. I really hope we get a response from Derek here.

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October 11, 2012 8:42:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Giving garrisons a full suit of armor is a really bad idea.  Maybe just the breastplate?

BTW: I think all of this armor and militia nonsense is a condition of the Warfare tech tree being terribly thought out.

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October 11, 2012 9:38:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


This -25% attack / defense does this also apply to when we complete quests in other people's lands as well? Say I spawn kill the butcherman quest inside an enemy land. Do I get a -25% attack / defense when completeing that quest?

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October 11, 2012 9:40:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,

This -25% attack / defense does this also apply to when we complete quests in other people's lands as well? Say I spawn kill the butcherman quest inside an enemy land. Do I get a -25% attack / defense when completeing that quest?

yep

 

@OP

Definately zero bias there...definately.

Nevertheless, bias not aside, I do agree. I don't think -25% atk/def in enemy lands is the right way of dealing with the problem.

Guess we'll see later on today how it works out. We do have one more beta to change it back.

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October 11, 2012 9:41:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,

This -25% attack / defense does this also apply to when we complete quests in other people's lands as well? Say I spawn kill the butcherman quest inside an enemy land. Do I get a -25% attack / defense when completeing that quest?

I believe so.

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October 11, 2012 9:44:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LordTheRon,

Quoting Lord Xia, reply 1-25% seems like a ton to me.  I would prefer to give more defenders to cities and give them some more armor.


But no ponies? Seriously you're happy with just one lousy pony.

I agree fully here. The 25% bonus doesn't solve anything. In the end I think it even hurts the AI more than it hurts players. More defenders to cities with some armour would be a much better solution. I really hope we get a response from Derek here.

 

One special pony.  That makes it special. 

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October 11, 2012 12:10:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For the -25% reduction in attack and defense, via Derek's own criteria for assessing ideas:

1.  Expanding your influence is now very very important for battles. This mechanic would magnify that concept, making territory immensely important.

2.  Yes. It makes aggressive action very hard to accomplish.

3.  Yes, but also creates some. It puts a ton of pressure on the AI to path perfectly in enemy territory. It requires only ZoC to obtain defense, using no technology, buildings, or leveling to increase its power beyond increasing ZoC. And that is already needed for economic reasons. It also makes Outposts too powerful, since you can get +25% attack and defense, while your enemy has -25% attack and defense. It does make monsters less of a threat in our ZoC, which is helpful. There are alot of toes this mechanic steps on.

4.  No. It is invisible and penalties are generally not liked by players. We had this mechanic before and it was not received well. As I recall, Outposts were supposed to be the integration of this mechanic into the design of the game. People did drool over that.

5.  Easy. We had something like this in beta 2. 

6. Yes. We can easily see it in the tooltip, but there is no warning to the player before we enter the territory. Would need to be handled in the tutorial.

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October 11, 2012 12:16:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Doesn't this make all those Outpost upgrades even more useless? 

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October 11, 2012 12:20:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Such good points.  Thanks all, I'm removing it and going to focus on making the city defenders pick up the slack.  In the end it just feels more epic to face stronger forces in those battles than to have a game mechanic enforcing balance.

 

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October 11, 2012 12:25:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 Thanks for listening Derek! 

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October 11, 2012 12:27:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Derek Paxton,
Such good points.  Thanks all, I'm removing it and going to focus on making the city defenders pick up the slack.  In the end it just feels more epic to face stronger forces in those battles than to have a game mechanic enforcing balance.

 

Somebody get this man a beer!  !

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October 11, 2012 12:41:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll drink one in his honor!

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October 11, 2012 4:57:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Derek - last build I dabbled in modding for the first time for personal use (many thanks to our modding Jedis), and added a full suit of leather and wooden shield to city defenders. Also upped their encumberance to allow the future weapon upgrades. It seemed to be going pretty well.

In retrospect, now that we have rusty armor pieces, how about considering throwing various rusty pieces on defenders. I like the idea of rusty, cuz hey the militia has some rusty crud laying around and it makes sense:

Min defense: rusty chest piece

Mid defense: rusty chest, greaves, and head

Max: go to town and full suit of rusty stuff

If the design choice is to have those units represent militia, then rusty pieces fit the mold. If the design choices is to change from militia to an official garrison, then considering full upgrades of weapons and armor based on tech is the way to go but might make for some tough city nuts to crack.

Admittedly didn't get a chance to fully test the balance but having melee defenders with armor seemed to be a good way to offset early game rushing but by mid to end game, the attacking force should already have high enough weaponry to overcome any static rusty armor.

The way you guys designed it allows flexibility. you could balance this a number of ways with current mechanics. Anyway just my thoughts.

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October 12, 2012 11:01:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I had this same idea, and it does have some sense to it. As the population grows more rusty pieces are found and put together to make full suits of armor.

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October 12, 2012 11:47:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I still feel outposts should have militia , and that upgrading outposts should buff the militia.  It's annoying to have one weak troop or low-level hero flipping outposts in your territory, and you can cheese the AI some with that as well.

 

It's a sign the AI is doing something right though.

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October 12, 2012 2:51:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I know. The AI is freaking amazing at guerrilla warfare. I just had a massive army circumvent a mountain pass and hit my southern outposts. I got wrecked and then another major offensive hit the pass, so I couldn't leave it to go deal with their guerrilla attacks. Lost a ton of potential resources and had to start training subpar units. It was by far the best AI war I have ever faced. I still think I am going to win though, because I held the pass. My new weakling units can probably take back the south flank eventually and then I can go on the offensive. 

[Edited to avoid talking about modded features.]

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October 12, 2012 3:00:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
I know. The AI is freaking amazing at guerrilla warfare. I just had a massive army circumvent a mountain pass and hit my southern outposts. I got wrecked and then another major offensive hit the pass, so I couldn't leave it to go deal with their guerrilla attacks. Lost a ton of potential resources and had to start training subpar units. It was by far the best AI war I have ever faced. I still think I am going to win though, because I held the pass. My new weakling units can probably take back the south flank eventually and then I can go on the offensive. 

[Edited to avoid talking about modded features.]

I like those wilding villages you can grab. I get an entire army of little dudes running around taking free outposts!! No need to fight...it's just a war of attrition towards who controls the outposts for the greatest length of time. Yes...it's broken.

 

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October 12, 2012 3:12:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just make sure the wind doesn't blow too hard on your wildings and kill them all. Such a weak unit.

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October 12, 2012 4:20:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
Just make sure the wind doesn't blow too hard on your wildings and kill them all. Such a weak unit.

It's kinda similar to a 'slave rush'.

Having 24 wildings running around taking empty outposts really pulls resources away from AI factions. Let's you build faster and costs them the difference. You end up winning via attrition.

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