Pick 5 THINGS for FE 1.3

By on January 12, 2013 12:44:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1478

With v1.2 just about ready to go out, it's time to think about v1.3.

Before people start making feature requests, I would like to emphasize what I'd like v1.3 to be about: Playability glitches.

A playability glitch is hard to really classify. It's not a crash. It's some feature that doesn't work as you'd expect or as you would assume was intended. And if you play a game for hundreds of hours, they become maddening.

So what I would like to use this post for is to ask the regulars here to post five (and only five so that people have to put some thought into what really bugs them) things you'd like to see us "fix" about Fallen Enchantress.

I'll post my 5 later in the thread but I don't want to bias things with my own pet peeves.

!!! Update !!!

We read through this thread carefully and tried to implement as many of these things as possible.  Here are a few of the things that got special attention for 1.3 which should be going into internal beta soon:

  • Pathfinding.  You should notice that when you have a unit in a city and tell him to go somewhere else that it'll get there.  Same for a lot of other pathfinding that seems wonky. I don't know if it's perfect but it should be better.
  • AI winning. This may turn out to be more controversial (or more to the point, we may have to nerf this as it may be a case of "be careful for what you wish for).  The AI is a lot better now at pursuing *victory* conditions.  The AI, overall, is substantially better and more interesting.
  • Pacing. This is a general issue that I saw people bring up in various forms. 
  • Greater city differentiation. Conclaves vs. Towns vs. Fortresses have had their benefits / penalties magnified.
  • More interesting map generation in terms of resources.
  • Tile selection. This is one that we'll have to see how well the fix works. It's a hit or miss thing (seems to be camera related). Some users have reported that selecting a tile doesn't always select the tile they think they're clicking on.
  • Diplomacy. A lot of people talked about this.  Now, there's only so much we can do in an update but basically the AI's behavior should be a lot less schizophrenic. 

That's not the only change in 1.3. There's the usual assortment of bug fixes and balance changes. But those the above are the things that got the most engineering hours.

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January 13, 2013 8:53:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think modding need some love. It's a shame there's only 2 big mods around, but I understand why.

1. Fix <ShowAsSingleUnit>1</ShowAsSingleUnit> crashes on monsters that doesn't have the animation (Fire Elementals for example).

2. Allow all monsters to be in packs of 7 if we want it to be.

3. Quest xml doesn't work for more complex quest than "kill this mob".

4. Split CoreAbilities.xml into separate ones for player abilities, faction abilities etc. Very confusing for a new modder.

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January 13, 2013 9:54:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. I can't start a random map with the hero I want near the starting point.  The ability to choose one (custom heroes too!) instead of randomising about a dozen times would be useful.  I mean what's the point in modding new heroes if there's basically a one if twenty chance (or lower) that they'll show up?

2. There are some times that you just want a town or a fortress to do nothing.  Maybe you have a tech finishing in two turns and you don't want to start building troops that are going to be obsolete.  Or maybe you didn't pick Guid Warehouse for a town.  Either way, it's very annoyingly micro to be double-checking that every turn.

3. Leading on from 2, there's no production governor system so you can't order 'all fortresses that aren't building or training, train THIS.'  I admit, it's rare that you'll want to do that, but when you've just discovered a tech and designed a new unit to use it and your fortresse are idle because you told them to go idle, some kind of queue filler would save time.  It's something the AI could use too if it's smart.

4. Can't mod core data files without overwriting them in the installation folder or using a mod manager.  If I find a bug and want to try and duplicate it in the non-modded game, it's not as simple as just unchecking 'Use Mods.'

5. I think it would be good for the improved armour techs to give access to better non-metal armours as well.  Nothing too crazy, just something to keep the AI or the player going if they have no access to metal.  Also, it feels silly sometimes having a hero or champion on the assassin path but weighed down by plate, a light armour alternative would be cool.

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January 13, 2013 10:30:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

#1 Improve Auto Combat

 

#2 Drop Auto Resolve and instead compute Auto Combat in the background

 

#3 Fix City Spam. There are great (but code hungry) ideas on the forum, e.g. providing "pioneers" as rewards for several achivements. Kepp them trainable and cheap, but only allow another city creation if hard-earned before.

 

#4 Option for starting positions of the same value

 

#5 Add an official announcement to the intro that there will never be multiplayer of any kind availiable and asking for it would be completely in vain.

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January 13, 2013 10:38:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Playability glitches:

1. Unit pathfinding errors.     They sometimes go in a direction different from the one requested and/or take a very long route around to avoid crossing a river.

2. Automatic road building: routes chosen are often very poor.  Should go as straight from point a to point b as possible.

3. Too much repetition in loot found.   Often get 3 or 4 of the same item in a row.

4. AI factions and monsters can raze a city in one turn but the human player has to wait 5 turns. 

5. Need monster lairs to re-spawn in "cleared" areas after some number of turns have elapsed.   Type and difficulty of new monster lair to be random.  Ideally before game start the player would be able to select this interval.    Lack of this siigniificantly reduces the enjoyment of the middle to late game.

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January 13, 2013 12:02:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Among other things which have oft been mentioned:

1. Complete overhaul of diplomacy, including choices, AI, and UI.

2. Complete overhaul of the taxation system.  In fact I would rather it disappear entirely.

3. Complete overhaul of city levels 2 - 5.  I should want to build tall cities, in balance with more cities.

4. More tactical options : Allow us to somehow decide where units will be placed on the tactical map; tiles types having an effect on attack(attacking from a hill to a non-hill), defense(being on a forest tile), movement(swamp tiles); flanking and backstabbing; sieges and walls, etc.

5. Improve the road building mechanic: I should be able to choose which cities get a road between them, for a cost.  Also, fixing movement and pathfinding in general.

 

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January 13, 2013 1:32:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


1. Diplomacy is boring. I would like to hear about what the AI is doing diplomatic wise. I would like to hear/read about my enemies signing a defense treaty or agreeing to trade technology or establishing trade. I would like to see the opposite fraction (i.e. Empire) join together to wage war on the Kingdoms. I would like to offer cities or outposts to secure a peace, not just gold or influence. Instead of an AI kingdom offering to sign a peace treaty every turn and be rejected, let it close a deal with another power (Defense treaty or give one of its cities to another power) to get me to agree to peace with in the face of its new mutual defense agreement.

2. Roads - their should be a unit; other than a champion with a trait, that can build roads. Make it expensive, give it no defense, make it take 3 turns to build a road tile, but allow players to build a road network that is more efficient than what the game generates automatically. (i.e. still create roads automatically, but add a standard unit that builds a road too).

3. AI City Defense & use of strategic spells - the AI needs to be better about defending its cities. Rush units from another city to aid a threatened one. If I threaten the first city in a chain, no reinforcements are sent from other cities further down the chain. If I move into enemy territory to threaten a city, my army is never the target of a strategic spell that hits it with fire damage, or freezes it in place for 3 turns while reinforcements are rushed in.

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January 13, 2013 2:35:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. Poor world event notification. I see the effects of world events many more times then I see the cinematic. Either the event is triggering for an AI player or the cinematic is cancelled as soon as it starts because I am clicking. Event Cinematics should have a min run time of 3 secs before they can be cancelled, and I should get a notification when AIs get an event.

2. Personally I find that the alternative victory conditions are nothing of the sort. They all boil down to slight variations on conquest or are just I'm to bored to continue playing so I will just build this buildings or do this quest for a instant victory.

3. Upgrading weapons doesn't really work. For instance axes are on the same upgrade path as swords and daggers, single hand cutting. This makes no sense because they have different weights and abilities. There is no reason for one to upgrade into the other. Upgrading a weapon should not change it's effects and weight because that can totally destroy a unit design. For this reason I pretty much never use anything but spears and bows. Weapons need to be put into real dedicated paths instead of the total mix up we currently have. Staffs upgrade into mauls, wtf? You can't even equip upgradeable knives because they auto update into axes, those are not the same!

4. The map and pop-ups could have grid coordinates so I can actually find things, like my destroyed resources or whatever.

5. Can 1.4 be a modding update? So many bugs and impossibilities....

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January 13, 2013 2:54:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

On #1 that is by design.

Brad - as a player this is an unfuriating design decision as it's nonsensical and kills the fun. I had a game once (Sean's mod) where one spider attacked my city and all my militia plus defenders showed. Right after that a full stack of spiders attacked and only my defenders showed. I lost no units in the first battle - it made no sense for the militia to not show in the 2nd battle. I lost the city due to this and it made me rage quit. I didn't rage quit because I lost one battle - I rage quit because any city where I'm attacked multiple times in the same turn would make my defenders worthless. What makes sense is if units are lost then they don't show in subsequent battles in the same turn.

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January 13, 2013 3:02:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting AlLanMandragoran,

Quoting Frogboy, reply 8
On #1 that is by design.

Brad - as a player this is an unfuriating design decision as it's nonsensical and kills the fun. I had a game once (Sean's mod) where one spider attacked my city and all my militia plus defenders showed. Right after that a full stack of spiders attacked and only my defenders showed. I lost no units in the first battle - it made no sense for the militia to not show in the 2nd battle. I lost the city due to this and it made me rage quit. I didn't rage quit because I lost one battle - I rage quit because any city where I'm attacked multiple times in the same turn would make my defenders worthless. What makes sense is if units are lost then they don't show in subsequent battles in the same turn.

Yeah I can't see the reasoning behind this.  It puts the defender at an unfair disadvantage.  Might as well scrap the militia altogether if this is 'working as intended.' 

Now if you were to say militia did not heal/recover during the same strategic turn, I could understand that.

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January 13, 2013 5:24:07 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

1.  Fix the bug where attempting to trade player resources for >100 AI Gildar causes the AI to suddenly value its money as being worth thousands of trade points.  I documented this issue extensively in an earlier thread, and can paste a link here if you need it.  

 

2. Have the AI be more willing to make peace.  I abandoned an otherwise fun game a couple weeks ago after every AI declared war on me a half-dozen turns after I met them.  I understand why the AI all wanted to fight me- I had a very isolated start and hadn't built much military, so my power rating was low.  But there were two major issues with this behavior.  First, the AI is unable to comprehend that low power rating does not equal "weak military"- I crushed stack after stack of AI units using two uber-armies, but the computer kept demanding insane sums of Gildar for peace.  Second, it is desperately unfun for the player to find themselves suddenly locked into Always War mode for the remainder of the game.  Because the sociopathic AI would never make peace until I  ground their empires into dust, I was forced to either play out a conquest victory or fight endless waves of suicidal AI stacks as I inched toward a Magic win.  I quit that particular game in disgust after I relived one of the AI fighting me of half their empire (and all the AI of many soldiers), yet still had to pay thousands of Gildar to get them off my back.  I haven't picked up FE again since, as I know from prior experience that the same situation will occur again unless I rush half the AI off the map (cowing the remainder with my massively inflated power rating).  

 

3. Let the player know how many moves will be consumed getting from point A to B; it's easy to accidentally run out of moves and have vulnerable units ending their turns next to hostiles.  I know you don't want to ape the Civilization series, but Civ IV did this really well.  

 

4. Lower Crystal requirements across the board for unit construction.  Right now, a single unit of five mounted knights with various enchanted amulets costs around 80 Crystal, which takes forever to mine at a maximum of +2 per turn per resource.  It gets even worse if you give your units capes and/or magic weapons.  This would expand player unit production options and help the AI considerably.  

 

5. Make road building more accessible to all factions.  Perhaps unlock it as a potential promotion for certain units after the player researches a mid-game tech.  It is bothersome that my options for rapidly moving units to locations other than from one city to another are limited to A: make a champion into a Governor, one of the least useful and interesting promotions paths; B: spam outposts across the map and pray roads are auto-produced in useful places; or C: play as a weak faction whose +1 accuracy-per-level racial trait is arguably the least interesting in the game,  

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January 13, 2013 7:21:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kongdej,
1: Path-finding:
2: User Interface:
3: Movement Points:
4: Information boxes:
5: Auto Resolve, and Auto Combat:

Kongdej's list is a very good starting point which I agree with entirely. My own list is only slightly different:

1. Pathfinding is unreliable. Exiting cities will often take the wrong exiting square (eg not exiting onto the road), rivers confuse it and there are some areas of maps where pathfinding appears broken for no reason (eg units try to do a 10 square loop across none road square when ordered to move just 2 or 3 squares. Pathfinding through enemy territory is also annoying because units keep trying to avoid going into the territory and wasting their moves as a result.

2. Pathfinding should also have a way to show you what route a unit will take if you tell them to move there. This would allow the player to check the unit won't move adjacent to a monster etc. NOTE: This is not an alternative to fixing the core pathfinding problems in #1, they still need fixing.

3. Ending a units turn (eg by pressing spacebar) shouldn't set movement to 0 it should just remove the unit from the next unit to act list (ie tab key). If I then realise I should have moved the unit I can still go back to it. The way it is now I avoid pressing spacebar until I have moved everyone who needs to move which means continually tabbing past the units I don't currently think need to move.

4. Auto-resolve is broken. All re-usable abilities (ie not items) need to be used appropriately, the combat needs to be simulated properly (and as a result all damage shouldn't go to the last unit in the stack) and there needs to be two auto-resolve options, with or without using mana.

5. Fix AI to follow much closer to the same rules as players regarding monsters, settling, quests, etc. Make the AI generally smarter while you are at it (a tough task I know but critical to the games success).

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January 13, 2013 8:58:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A couple more things:

  • I find it annoying that on a fresh turn, and I have a hero with 5 movement in an army with a movement of 2, that the hero can't exit the army and move 5 tiles that turn.  Even if he was in the army and the army moved 2 tiles, he should still have 3 movement points left to then move somewhere else if he chooses to.
  • I find experience from combat perplexing.  If an enemy factions' army attacks me, and they have numerous units in groups of 7 with say 19 attack each (19*7) and each unit army has about 200 hp, I still get butkus xp from winning that combat.  It doesn't seem to be based off attack levels, group numbers, or hp of the enemy, only the unit type (i.e. archer, militia, etc.).

 

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January 13, 2013 10:50:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1) Loot variety and scaling with monster difficulty, the occasional empty chest is fine but I am tired of finding rusty gear or at least let me convert it to metal or another resource in it's stead.  Even +20 mana or +20 production points would be fun.

2) BobChillingworth's (Post#36) and mqpiffle's (post #31) observations about the diplomacy are spot on.  Let me add that GC2 had a surrender empire to another player option and such an option for this game would be great, too. And someone else mentioned units, cities, heroes, magic items all be tradeable. That would be great.

3)  More unit traits in tech tree, more ways for units to earn bonus traits.  Have a stack defeat a wildland? Poof!  Each now has a special trait that reflects their courage (+1 counterattack for melee units, + 4 init or volley attacks (Kenata's weapon mod from WOM) for ranged units, etc).  The weapon unlocking thing is silly, let a crude base of all weapons be available and upgrade them in quality and special attacks over time.  As dsraider states in post#33, point #3, he is right.  Flying units that don't follow roads... the way the crow flies   

4)  City levels are a great idea.  The essence thing is a great idea.  Let a city gain +1 essence at levels 4 and 5 to encourage verticality. I think it was Parrotmath who suggested more essence in another thread, iirc. All of the little buildings except for wonders are meh.  Bundle the fortress improvements into the city levels and let the fortress train troops.  Make interesting buildings for towns and conclaves.  Thieves guilds that unlock opponents techs, assassin guilds that can target enemy heroes, magical gates that spawn fantastic creatures in conclaves.  A high level conclave building that lets us CREATE MAGIC ITEMS by casting spells on a plain sword or cloak.  

5) Clean up the loose ends already in the game, the units that desert to my city and never show up.  The quests and spells that don't work.  The spells that are in the corespells.xml that aren't turned on.  Tactical regeneration etc.  

 

BIG WISH FOR FUTURE: A creature building screen for the workshop so I can build the fantasy units I want, like the spaceship designer in GC2.  Complete with special moves and attacks/defenses.  Or a monthly contest for a lucky forummer or modder who comes up with a great idea, let them get a special spell, item or creature inserted into the game.

 

Thanks for listening!

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January 13, 2013 11:24:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. Power rating effect on diplomacy. Absolute difference between power ratings is a poor basis for AI decisions, since starting a war with someone at power 200 when you're at power 300 is an entirely different matter than starting a war with someone at power 900 when you're at power 1000, and both are completely different from fighting a war with a power 100 enemy when you're at power 200. Relative power ratios would seem more appropriate, as if I only have a 10% power margin over one AI and there are other potential enemies present, I'm not all that likely to start a major war, but the AI would if the absolute difference in the power ratings is greater than its 'you're much weaker than me' threshold. It would also be nice if there were a way for it to understand when I'm only fighting a limited war (clearing the AI's units out of an area near my territory), as opposed to launching a major assault on its continued existence, but I doubt that that is going to happen.

2. More diplomacy stuff: if there's one AI at 900 and another at 600 and I'm at 400, I should be a tempting target for the 900 power AI, but the 600 power AI should think twice before going to war with me, and should consider me a good candidate for an ally against the 900 power AI, since together the 600 power AI and I are theoretically more powerful than the 900 power AI, especially since a war with me while the 900 power AI is in the neighborhood is likely to weaken us both to the point where the 900 power AI could come in to pick up the pieces. In other words, make the AI consider a 'big picture' for the world (though limiting it to things it should know about is reasonable - if the 600 power AI in my example doesn't know about the 900 power AI, it isn't too bad an idea for it to try to invade me if I'm at 400 power, unless it has other problems).

3. Even more diplomacy stuff: we can see relationship modifiers that the AIs have towards us. Can we either:

See the relationship modifiers that the AI thinks we have towards them so that we can see the modifiers that the AIs think we have towards them;

Or, have the player able to set relationship modifiers towards specific AIs (say, a slider bar ranging from 'Friendly - we should become allies' to 'Neutral - I may not be fond of you, but I don't think I'll go to war with you without great provocation' to 'Wary - don't violate my territory or I may declare war' to 'Hostile - I'd as soon kill you as speak to you' kind of thing) to try to give the AIs a clue as to how I'm likely to treat them (which should be limited in abuse likelihood by some sort of rating the game gives me for my warmongering tendencies or whatever I've been doing that game). It would also be useful for the AI in deciding if it should consider alliances or other treaties with me, and how it should treat me - if I say to Resoln 'I love you guys - we should have a non-aggression pact or alliance' but tell Resoln's ally Yithril 'I hate you guys - I'd declare war on you as soon as look at you' then unless Resoln doesn't like being Yithril's ally it should probably be wary of making deals with me. This, of course, assumes that players would set their diplomatic leanings honestly - but if they don't you could have a 'treacherous' modifier (or set of modifiers, depending on how often diplomatic dishonesty occurs and how serious the treacherous action is - say, declaring unprovoked war from 'neutral' or 'wary' is less of an offense than from 'friendly') that makes AIs much less likely to look kindly upon the player.

If you go with showing the player what modifiers the AI thinks the player has towards them, can we have some hints in the game manual for how to affect the modifiers the AI sees? E.g., if the player has picked up the 'I'm crazy' modifier, have some sort of suggestion (either in a tooltip or in the manual) on how the player got this modifier (by being a nutcase who offered an alliance and a gift, then declared war, and now wants a nonaggression pact but demanded 800 horses with red saddles), how to strengthen it (perhaps continue to be unpredictable in your actions towards AIs, giving them gifts one turn and declaring war the next), and how to get rid of it (by acting more predictably or in a more understandable fashion).

4. Individual unit movement-point tracking and the other movement point revisions suggested earlier in the thread.

5. Tactical combat unit positioning. It's gotten better, but there are times when the autopositioning of units really isn't how I'd want it to be. If the maps were expanded so that there was always a space of one or two turns to arrange troops before melee units close the range regardless of how far up the tech tree the players have climbed, or if there were a manual placement phase, or if autopositioning were simply better, it would be nice. I don't mind ranged units and spellcasters being able to attack on the first round of combat, but having relatively normal melee units able to attack on the first round on most tactical maps gets a little annoying and lessens the value of ranged attacks.

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January 14, 2013 12:15:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Many of these are repeats but I thought I'd post them to add weight to what others have said.

1. Pathfinding. The cursor becomes "unstable" when you're trying to navigate around mountains on the strategic map and it becomes difficult to select the tile you want. If you're a bit casual and click quickly, it can somehow select a path that sends your unit off in a completely different direction. Having a double click system, once to layout the path and once to actually move, would also help. There's a similar instability on the tactical map when units are at the edge of some of the larger maps - it becomes hard to target those units or tiles and it's easy to mis-click.

2. Updating cities. When you build improvements, particularly by rushing, it came take a 1 or 2 turns before things like the ZOC of control update. There can be workarounds but really once the building completes the strategic map should update instantly with the new info. A similar problem occurs when rushing buildings and being able to to continue "snaking" in the direction of the rushed building.

3. Movement points. As others have stated, showing the exact number of movement points is a must, as is each unit retaining its individual movement points. The latter issue would be my number one request - at the moment it's very frustrating to potentially lose movement each time units merge/enter cities/leave cities. It's particualrly noticeable with Tireless March. If a stack hase 2 base movement and 2 bonus from Tireless March, when it comes out of a city it will have its movement listed as 2/2. The following turn it will go to 2/4 (ie only 2 move allowed but 4 possible maximum) and then finally on the  turn after it will be 4/4 - three turns for the movement bonus to kick in properly.

4. Items. I often find that my units are better equipped than my heroes. The cost of armour/mounts/weapons is so high relative to gold production that I am usually reliant on picking upequipment from lairs to deck out my heroes. It's weird to me that I can rush build an entire unit of troops with armour/weapons/mount for a fraction of the cost that it would take to buy the same equipment from the store (I haven't done the math but it must 5x to 10x more expensive to buy in the store vs rushing). From a flavour point of view as well I prefer that my champions are able to fairly affordably outfit themselves with the basics from the store, and then the lairs provide magical and better items (i.e no more rusty vambraces and leather cod pieces). Again I haven't done the anlaysis but a range of say 25 gildar for a full set of leather to say 500 gildar for a full set of the best plate seems about right. I've got a feeling that the item cost is a factor in the exorbitant cost of hiring higher levels heroes - I'm straying a bit now but 1000 gildar for a hero is too much.

5. XP. You gain way more XP from fighting monsters than from fighting trained units of the same threat level. I suspect that this a bit by design to slow level growth from inter-player wars, but the difference is too large. At a guess, I;d say you earn about 10% of the XP for fighting trained units of the same threat level as monsters. I've noticed this particularly as I have been playing the game on Insane level lately and I might pick up 20 to 30XP for knocking off a stack of 7 man units all with over 100hp and attack, but 10 times that from a group of say 4 fire elementals. I'd support some difference, but at the moment the gap is too large and rewards monster hunting way too much over fighting other players.

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January 14, 2013 2:05:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

#1: Unit pathing including preview (actually 1 through 5 should be this alone)

#2: Reasonable Diplomacy. On Expert, shortly after I meet a new 'Allied' AI they will extort 100% of my gildar for a economic agreement and if I decline I lose a decent chunk of relationship. As outlined in more detail elsewhere diplomacy is basically a useless feature right now. They outpower me easily which explains this diplomacy tactic but with a "slight economic benefit" the AI should not be 3x my score fairly early in the game (see 3 below).

#3: AI Balance on increased difficulty. The Expert AI can generate (at least) 4 pioneers, reseach at least trading (roads present), and also field an army with decent troops all while I am still running around with a couple heroes and a few basic units. The difficulty suggests "best algorithms... (cool)", "slight economic improvements..." (yea right...), "and slighly buffed sovereign..." (cool). I think that pretty accurately sums up what I want to play against but the reality is that this is far out of whack. I'd like this statement to just honestly reflect the actual economic improvements. (Hard = slight, Expert = strong, etc.). I am just wasting time (and getting ticked off at the same time) playing an unwinnable game that doesnt reflect what you expect to be playing against. 

#4: Unit selection. Its hard to find which unit has not moved. There has been some excellent suggestions from many forum members (like pots757). 

#5: Unit focus shift when you land on a goodie square. I may not have the exact correct description of the exact mechanics on when this happens but it drives me nuts that when the game shifts focus to another unit stack before I have a chance to figure out the item I choose not to equip. 

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January 14, 2013 2:31:43 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Apologies if I am out of line here, but I wanted to say that one of the things which is frustrating about the absent features which keep coming up in this thread (roads, diplofixes, etc.)  is that other games, particularly the Civilization franchise, have had them as standard for almost a decade now, and so for someone who has played both Civ IV and FE, not being able to see how many moves a trip will consume is a significant step backwards.  I know that FE will never be Fall From Heaven 3 no matter how badly I might wish it,  and that FE is a separate franchise from Civ and Stardock is a different company from Firaxis, but there's no shame in sharing some basic mechanics.  For instance, to compare just my List of Five with FFH- 

 

For point 1, no such bug exists in FFH, and the trade table is fully functional.  

 

Point 2, I'm not sure if FFH works exactly the same way, but in Civ 4 AI willingness to make peace in war depends in large part not on a straight comparison of raw undifferentiated power sums, but rather player vs. AI performance in the war, based on units and cities lost.  This enables a player who consistently wins against a geographically larger AI rival to obtain a fair or favorable peace.  Even when a player is losing, AI demands for peace generally stop at either technology or a reasonable number of cities, enabling a determined player to get back into the game.  By comparison, a FE AI who is "winning" a war vs. a player will ask for more trade points than a player is likely to accrue even during dozens of turns of peacetime.  Given the demands of a serious war on a faction, saving up enough to obtain peace with even a single aggressor becomes economically impossible, forcing the player into a "Conquest or Quit" deathspiral.

 

Points 3 & 5 (4 isn't applicable), as I noted above, having full control over road construction and interface aid in calculating unit moves have been standard features of the 4X genre for many years now.  Their absence from FE is perplexing.  

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January 14, 2013 3:02:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. Diplomacy

2. Some love for Cartographer. Mapmaking is buggy.

3. Pathfinding

4. Tactical combat (sieges)

5. More variety in cities (more buildings, more options)

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January 14, 2013 3:04:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
 

On #1 that is by design.

 

What ?!

Unless you're mistaken and this is a bug, this is bad design.

There is no point in having forts and whatever building that add militia if they all don't show up after first combat.

Taking a city that is undefended is as easy as walking two militias in. First to lure the defending militia, second to take the city. What's the point there?

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January 14, 2013 3:10:43 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

A final post about my point 2- 

 

To give some more context / elaboration for the game I mentioned, I began with a very isolated and barren start on Expert difficulty.  Standard map size, five opponents.  I was unable to settle additional cities after my capital for many turns, until a single tile was revitalized in my borders.  It took a while to meet any AI, but I eventually discovered three in quick succession.  The closest AI to me declared war no more than a dozen turns after we met, despite there being a considerable gulf of empty space between us; the other two dogpiled on shortly afterwards.  My power was much less than any of the AI, as I only needed my Sov / Champs plus a few support units to clear all my local monster lairs.  I had been stockpiling metal and crystals for dozens of turns however, and so was able to quickly rush-produce elite custom units to repel the initial AI assaults and take half the cities of my nearest opponent, killing many units along the way.  Yet despite my victories, none of the AI would continence peace with me for under thousands of trade points.  Because the AI had been producing giant stacks of troops since the game began and had them scattered across the map (many of them curiously standing about idle), I would need to almost eliminate any AI to make peace with them, at which point I was essentially locked into a Conquest victory and no longer had any need for diplomacy.  

 

One could argue that the AI was displaying its desire to win by ganging up on the human player while my power was low, but as I noted in my initial list the AI refused to acknowledge that I was winning my wars anyway, and nothing can excuse how unfun and unfair it is for the player to find the rest of their game hijacked into a fight to the death with implacable, essentially interchangeable AI opponents.  

 

I realize that my situation in that match may have been somewhat exacerbated by my unusual start, but most of the consequences have been present in all my FE games.  The diplomacy AI respects relative power ratios to the exclusion of almost all else.  If your power is high, Kingdoms and Empires alike will fall over themselves to offer you treaties and tribute.  If your power is low, you're playing Always War until you beat the AI to a pulp, at which point you can either cash out with a Diplo win or mop up the remnants for Conquest.  It is a classic example of video game unstable equilibrium, except with even less player control than usual.  Combined with the fact that you can't even trade for AI Gildar in significant quantities due to the trade table being bugged, and the AI is apparently able to break NAP treaties on a whim, and the player has little impetus to consider the AI as anything other than particularly annoying monsters who provide much less exp than normal.  

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January 14, 2013 3:46:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting NaytchSG,
3)  More unit traits in tech tree, more ways for units to earn bonus traits....
4)  City levels are a great idea.  The essence thing is a great idea.  Let a city gain +1 essence at levels 4 and 5 to encourage verticality...
5) Clean up the loose ends already in the game...

Etc

Good post NaytchSG, I like the ideas.

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January 14, 2013 3:48:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

  Quoting Heavenfall: 1) When a city gets attacked twice in one turn, sometimes it will lack all its militia defense the second time around.

On #1 that is by design.

Like others I have to say I don't see how this can possibly be by design unless there is some really subtle rule to it that no one has pointed out.

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January 14, 2013 4:34:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. Diplomacy - more intrigue, more options, more logic.

2. City spam - few high-level cities vs lots of mediocre towns balance. Make going for few high level cities viable strategy.

3. More units faction-based traits and options.

4. Tactical combat - more variety, mainly when fighting high level cities. I know we probably wont see sieges, but what about tactical maps for high end cities containing walls with few breaches, with (1) the units behind the wall get some kind of spell/ranged protection and (2) the breach itself is worth 1 tile, meaning only single unit can step in it, while defender can attack it with multiple units at once? Or unique building giving elite defenders, magic protection, offensive spells etc. for high level cities?

5. More terrain effects, both on strategic and tactical level. I.e. Tarth getting bonuses in woods and in the same time getting spell "Plant forest" to seal their domain would be great:)

 

I know these are not easy changes, but you know...hope dies last!

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January 14, 2013 7:35:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I realize that my situation in that match may have been somewhat exacerbated by my unusual start, but most of the consequences have been present in all my FE games.  The diplomacy AI respects relative power ratios to the exclusion of almost all else.  If your power is high, Kingdoms and Empires alike will fall over themselves to offer you treaties and tribute.  If your power is low, you're playing Always War until you beat the AI to a pulp, at which point you can either cash out with a Diplo win or mop up the remnants for Conquest.  It is a classic example of video game unstable equilibrium, except with even less player control than usual.  Combined with the fact that you can't even trade for AI Gildar in significant quantities due to the trade table being bugged, and the AI is apparently able to break NAP treaties on a whim, and the player has little impetus to consider the AI as anything other than particularly annoying monsters who provide much less exp than normal.

Not wanted to get too sidetracked, but these couple of posts from Bobchillingworth including the paragraph above really some up the current situation with the AI quite well.  Not sure if this counts as a "glitch" or not... but I hope Stardock have a good look at the feedback on Diplomacy.  There's really not so subtlety at all with the current Diplomacy AI.  There's some great ideas, I like the Leader traits like Warmonger, Proud etc... and the transparency of the "Relations with Us" thing etc.  But the AI is very predictable at the moment with regard to when it will declare war etc.

Been a while since I played GalCiv2 but from memory that behaved much better in this regard.  Would really love to see some improvements in this area.  The Diplomacy interaction just *has* to be good or a single player 4x game to be enjoyable on repeat plays.

Cheers.  

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January 14, 2013 8:42:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1-5.  I have seen and used all the loot in the game.  Give me more to find and I will return, lol.

"Another rusty piece of crap...  dang-it!  Cant I at least get a cool t-shirt or something."

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