[1.2] Looking at Victory Conditions

By on January 13, 2013 9:06:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

DsRaider

Join Date 11/2008
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Having more differentiated victory conditions would really help with replayability. Right now conquest seems like the only real way to win. The other ways to win all require you to outpower the other opponents anyway. Even if you choose to do them instead of conquest they are usually less challenging because conquest is always somewhat different but the others usually play exactly the same.  My main issue with all the side victory conditions is that none of them are competitive. You don't compete with other players to accomplish them and the AI never threatens you with them. Unless this is fixed they will never be more then tacked on side options. They are also not strategies that require you to plan ahead. After you build up enough tech or military power you just do them, and voila you win.

Conquest Victory

Not much to say here. This is the default way to win, and the only real way the AI wins by. Mass troops and take cities to conquer all comers. You win when every city is yours, or you enemies have surrendered. It can be fun but there should be other ways to win. Massing military power is a no brainer because this is the only real way you can be destroyed.

Alliance Victory

Right now in order to ally with anyone you need a late game tech and if you ally with all the remaining players you win. This has several problems. Firstly the lack of early and midgame alliances prevents a lot of strategies and really limits your interaction with other factions for significant parts of the game. Secondly it causes a lot of weird situations when it comes to alliance victories. For instance if you go on a rampage and kill 5 players but have one tiny ally you overlooked you get an alliance victory, because apparently you are a master diplomat. Secondly, you can't unally people to get conquest victories, you have to wait for the treaty to expire.

I would suggest splitting the alliances tech into 2. A earlier tech that unlocks alliances and the later one that unlocks the victory condition. This would allow players to fully interact with AI's much earlier but still prevent games from ending too soon.

Secondly I would suggest changing the condition for alliance victories slightly. You should be able to get a Diplomatic victory even if not every single player is allied to you. So say if your alliance has more then 60% of the faction power you win.  Forcing players to destroy every non-allied player is pointless and not very diplomatic. Also there should be a wonder called the Sovereign's Council, with a high influence cost, that you have to build before you can get a diplomatic victory. This would prevent you from getting diplomatic victories by accident. With these or similar changes  alliance victory would become more then just a side category of Conquest and would require it's own strategies and game plans. Also AIs forming alliances would be a real threat no matter your military power.

Magic Victory

Magic victory right now is just a generic civilization or wonder win. It really is what you do if your winning but can't be bothered to try and conquer the other players. All you do is get a certain amount of tech and then wait to build a bunch of buildings, and then cast a spell which is just even more waiting. That's really really boring. Magic victory should be spiced up and made much more competitive and riveting.

To do this I would suggest adding a new rule to the Spell of Making. This new rule would be that the caster has to have more Mana then any other player. The spell would be cancelled and uncastable if the player does not have the most mana. Thus players going for a magic victory would have to plan it from the start and compete amongst each other to amass the most shards, magic tech, and unique buildings. This would be much more organic and interesting then the current system. Like military conquest it would be organic, challenging, exciting, and require planning.

You could also make the spell not require the towers except for the forge, move them to different magic techs, and and make them wonders. That way instead of just taking up time and delaying an automatic win the towers would be late game boosts to Mana production players would be rushing to build them before the others to secure the most mana. Thus adding an additional layer of strategy.

You could alternatively use Mana produced per turn, total elemental shards, or a completely new resource instead of Mana as the spell constraint.

Quest Victory

I like the effort that has gone into this and the dedicated assets, however it is somewhat poorly implemented. It can be fun to do once or twice but gets old quickly and the AI can't win this way. To complete this victory condition you have to find the Pit of Lost Voices and complete the resulting quests. Again this can be fun but it feels tacked on and has nothing to do with the rest of the game at all. There is no competitive aspect to it.

I suggest stealing some ideas from HoMM 3. They had a "quest victory", where players raced to collect all the pieces of a map by visiting obelisks to find the treasure. Instead of the current system I think it would greatly increase re-playability if you re-added the dragon statues to the last quest, and seeded the random maps with several statues. Every statue would give the player a quest which when completed would reward them with a key part. In order to face the Dragonlord you would need a certain amount of key parts. Not necessarily all of them because players would be competing to get enough of them first. This way players going for this type of victory would have to go out exploring and race around the map to complete each quest first.

Alternatively you could have it so each statue would not be destroyed upon quest completion, and be able to be completed by every player once. Or have normal quests have a random chance of producing key parts. So actually investing time in questing has a reward and leads to a unique victory distinct from military might. Also the key could reveal and allow teleportation to the Pit.

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January 28, 2013 3:08:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like your ideas about changing Quest Victory.  Rather than having to work down three doors, that whole thing could be scaled down to a huge Temple icon freeing up more available land to players.  What's also interesting is the idea of needing a number of parts to create a tablet or somesuch.  In multi-player it would give some leverage in negotiating for Alliances.  You have 2/5 keys, I have 2/5 keys, let's make an Alliance, kill off the player that has the last key, then make a run for the win.

Magic Victory; I like it as is for Single Player games.  There comes a point when it's super obvious you have lock on the world.  It's a nice out from grinding hours to complete Conquest.

Alliance Victory; It's universally known that the diplomacy side of the game needs work.  I expect this will get better as the AI moves forward in development.  You raise some good points. 

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January 28, 2013 3:32:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Rather than having to work down three doors,...

Hehehe... Three Doors Down ...

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January 28, 2013 1:16:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BernieTime,
I like your ideas about changing Quest Victory. Rather than having to work down three doors, that whole thing could be scaled down to a huge Temple icon freeing up more available land to players. What's also interesting is the idea of needing a number of parts to create a tablet or somesuch. In multi-player it would give some leverage in negotiating for Alliances. You have 2/5 keys, I have 2/5 keys, let's make an Alliance, kill off the player that has the last key, then make a run for the win.

The current system wouldn't work in multiplayer at all. So unless we want multiplayer to be a stripped down version of single player then it needs to change somehow anyway. I also think that having the user collect key parts would lead to a lot of interesting situations.

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January 29, 2013 12:21:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You could also make the spell not require the towers except for the forge, move them to different magic techs, and and make them wonders. That way instead of just taking up time and delaying an automatic win the towers would be late game boosts to Mana production players would be rushing to build them before the others to secure the most mana. Thus adding an additional layer of strategy.

I like the idea of changing the Towers of the Padars/Witch/Sword/Something Else into wonders, since I feel that the Civilization tree has too many of the current wonders, and many of those do not make sense as wonders (what, because I built a treasury first no one else can?), while the special towers make more sense to me as Wonders of the World than as one-per-faction structures. I think the Forge of the Overlord would make sense as a wonder, as well, but then there's the issue of how to deal with multiple players going for a Magic Victory, since if you make the Forge a wonder you essentially force either a Conquest or a King of the Hill victory type (King of the Hill wouldn't be bad, but Conquest would be, and anyone who requires a certain building for a specific victory condition would be likely to put it someplace where you'd be required to fight through most or all of their territory to take it - which is essentially a conquest victory - unless it becomes a capturable resource or part of an initially neutral capturable city to prevent players from moving it).

However, I'm somewhat on the fence about this, because as BernieTime said, it's essentially the escape button for when a Conquest Victory would take more time than you want to put into the game, and if it requires one or more wonders it is possible that none of the wonders will be available by the time you decide you want to cast the Spell of Making, especially if you make the decision relatively late in the game and several other players have decided to attempt a magic victory. Though if you're using it as the escape button for Conquest, you're probably in a position to just take one or more of the wonders, unless the reason why you want to take the Magic Victory is that you've begun to lose.

Quest Victory

As far as the quest victory goes, I think it's alright as it is - but since it can still spawn even if the Quest Victory is disabled, it would be nice if there were some obvious benefit to completing it, aside from completing the disabled quest victory. Otherwise, it's just using up space on the map that could have been a more interesting Wildland, or empty space for expansion. Perhaps all the key pieces you mentioned could be parts to create a Staff of Dragon-control or something like that, or an ability to train dragons at will (though at high cost in time and resources) from a city where you build a special 'dragon breeding grounds' (perhaps on a resource spawned in the Pit of Lost Voices), when you complete the quest? The quest flavor text suggests that you've gained something that allows you to sense (and possibly control) dragons, but you don't gain anything from completing the quest unless quest victory was on.

Alliance Victory

I agree that this needs work, especially when it comes to getting into and out of alliances. It would help if alliances were useful for much more than 'at least I don't need to bother conquering these guys on my way to world domination'.

I'm not so sure of adding a Sovereign's Council building as a requirement for a diplomatic victory, though. Just because I built something that I call a Sovereign's Council doesn't mean that any other sovereign is willing to participate in it, and a unilateral move on my part to make such a Council might tick other leaders off a fair amount. I'd sooner see a diplomatic victory attained by having (whether through alliances or through your own faction's power) enough 'strength' by whatever metric you choose to dominate the world (not necessarily conquer it, though - pre-World War I Germany is a good example of a nation which had the power to dominate, but not conquer, its neighbors and by doing so attain its diplomatic goals, while the Allies of the same time period are a good example of an alliance with the ability to dominate their part of the world). Moreover, permanent councils consisting of most or all nations of the world are relatively new, and don't have the greatest rate of success in assuring peace or united actions (see League of Nations, or any incident in which one member or another of the UN Security Council has made use of their veto power). It's something that I could see as useful as a step on the road to the diplomatic victory, but not as something which is necessary. Moreover, there exists the issue of getting other nations to agree to be part of it.

That in itself could be a decent diplomatic victory condition, though, and something that could allow alliances to become available earlier. Not everyone needs to be in an alliance with you, but to win a diplomatic victory you need to get everyone to agree to be in some sort of Council of Nations or Sovereign's Council or whatever, and perhaps require that some amount of time go by with no wars to finish the diplomatic victory.

Possibly a Sovereign's Council building could be unlocked by a tech, but could only be built after getting most or all the other sovereigns to agree to be in the Council, and perhaps have some method of in-game voting to determine where the council gets to be built (I could do without the 'vote', though, since I'm not really sure what would make sense for that).

In fact, looking at this, it might make sense to have two variants of the Diplomatic Victory:

1. Alliance/Pseudo-Conquest Victory: be part of an alliance with the most power in the world (or be the single most powerful faction), with a total alliance (or faction) power not less than some percentage of the total world power.

2. Diplomatic Victory: convince all surviving sovereigns to join in a Council of Nations or Sovereign's Council, maintain world peace for some amount of time, and perhaps have some sort of headquarters for the Council that could be built after (almost) everyone agrees to be part of it. Maybe also have the headquarters be a one-per-faction building and make everyone have to build one for the victory condition (with part of the treaty for council membership making the AI build it at the highest priority, if they agree to become part of the Council, because otherwise there would be no point to having this requirement since it would take too long).

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January 29, 2013 10:57:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joeball123,
Quest Victory

As far as the quest victory goes, I think it's alright as it is - but since it can still spawn even if the Quest Victory is disabled, it would be nice if there were some obvious benefit to completing it, aside from completing the disabled quest victory. Otherwise, it's just using up space on the map that could have been a more interesting Wildland, or empty space for expansion.

I disagree. A simple change from one huge quest that has multiple complex steps to a small quest that requires you to collect several items before you can start it would be a huge improvement. You could still have the same mini quests but they would be distinct quests that in no way require each other and would be seeded randomly around the world. This would have tons of advantages.

1. It would be AI and multiplayer friendly.

2. It would require more exploration and not just military might.

3. It wouldn't be totally focused around one Wildland. You could start doing the final quest before you found the Pit.

4. It would be a competitive race and not just a win button for bored players.

5. It would take advantage of the entire map and not just one small part of it.

6. Players wouldn't be doing the same quests in the same order and would actually have to look around to find the keys. This would greatly increase replayability.

Also if you disable quest victory I think it should just stop the pit from spawning. It kinda takes up a lot of space, especially on small maps.

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January 29, 2013 11:48:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree that the magic victory is boring, and you can pretty much SimCity your way to victory there.  I think one way it could be spiced up is by adding several altars to the map, and you have to cast the spell at one of those altars.  The number of altars would be equal to the number of players.  Also, the altars would be placed in those monster-faction zones, so you have to fight to get to them, and it would also prevent players from early-game settling them.  Then, once you start casting the spell, everyone is made aware of it, so they've got those 10 turns to stop you.  From a lore perspective, you could say that casting the spell creates a huge column of light at the location it's being cast from, and that's how everyone knows.

 

In my last game I got a diplomatic victory by buying it.  That seemed kinda lame that I could just go Oppressive for a few turns, sell some non-aggression pacts, sell my items, and then buy alliances with everyone for the win.  I don't know how you would fix this victory condition, but it's pretty lame as it is.  You also make a good point about not being able to use alliances strategically to forward the game.

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January 29, 2013 1:46:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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January 29, 2013 2:04:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

 Alliance Victory

Right now in order to ally with anyone you need a late game tech and if you ally with all the remaining players you win. This has several problems. Firstly the lack of early and midgame alliances prevents a lot of strategies and really limits your interaction with other factions for significant parts of the game. 

In my opinion this aspect of the game is majorly flawed. It effects most of the current victory conditions and cause the mid-to-late game to be boring and repetitious. The AI players beat up on each other like the Three Stooges. The end result is by mid-to-late game they are no longer a threat to anyone.

 
I totally agree that all players including the human player should be able to ally with other factions earlier in the game. I found that in almost every game that I have played, if you look at the power graph at the end of the game, that the game has already been decided long before the Alliance Tech is available. This is because the AI views EVERYONE as a threat and most of the time they are all at war with each other.
 
This ruins the game by causing the mid-to-late game to be repetitious and boring regardless of which victory path you choose.
Here is an example graph to support my case:

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January 29, 2013 3:38:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,
Also if you disable quest victory I think it should just stop the pit from spawning. It kinda takes up a lot of space, especially on small maps.

Preventing the Pit of Lost Voices from spawning if the Quest Victory is disabled would be fine with me, since in its current state it only really does anything if the Quest Victory is enabled, unless you count wasting map real-estate. I also wouldn't mind changing the Pit of Lost Voices from its current quasi-Wildland form to quest sites, because as you said it really does take up a lot of space, and doesn't really have anything to justify that.

Quoting DsRaider,
1. It would be AI and multiplayer friendly.

Quests in Fallen Enchantress are not particularly friendly for multiple players, because as far as I know only one player can work on a quest from a given quest site at any given time. It's all well and good to split the Quest Victory out into multiple smaller quests, but they ought to be available for anyone who comes across them rather than just for the first person to trigger the quest (note that I don't mean in any way to suggest that the quest should be available to everyone - I mean that the quest should be available to anyone as long as no one has yet completed it, but I don't think that quests in Fallen Enchantress currently work like that, I think it is more of a situation where you trigger a quest and then you are the only one who can complete that quest, which would need revision if they add in multiplayer).

Quoting DsRaider,
6. Players wouldn't be doing the same quests in the same order and would actually have to look around to find the keys. This would greatly increase replayability.

This I agree with completely. I don't particularly care for the way all the quests in Fallen Enchantress let you know exactly where to go to find the next part, or complete the quest. Breaking the Quest Victory into pieces would at least allow for the possibility of accidentally stumbling upon parts of the main quest, rather than going to some random ogre camp or a forgotten battlefield that you somehow knew had exactly what you needed.

Quoting DsRaider,
4. It would be a competitive race and not just a win button for bored players.

It only becomes a race if several players each know that the others are doing the quest and thus need to hurry along before the others take hold of key pieces. This might also require that the way champion inventories are handled gets changed a little, since if you need to have several key pieces in order to complete the quest, you also need a way to take them from some other player who obtained them before you. I don't think that this is currently possible, though it would be a nice change. The only ways I know of to capture items from the inventory of another player involve the complete destruction of that player's faction, and if this were to remain the case but the quest victory were changed along the lines you propose it would tend to force a conquest style victory. I admit that there could be a way aside from complete faction destruction to gain items out of another player's inventory, I've just never noticed receiving items that I thought a champion carried as loot after a battle that did not complete the destruction of a faction.

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January 30, 2013 9:02:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joeball123,
Quests in Fallen Enchantress are not particularly friendly for multiple players, because as far as I know only one player can work on a quest from a given quest site at any given time. It's all well and good to split the Quest Victory out into multiple smaller quests, but they ought to be available for anyone who comes across them rather than just for the first person to trigger the quest

True but multiple people could still do the Victory quest if it was designed right. If you make the final part only trigger then enough keys are brought to it and then spawn Waerloga and award the victory to whoever kills Waerloga then it could work. Making all the mini quests have upfront battles that prevent players from simply locking them down by only doing the first part would help as well. Although I guess the devs would probably need to make it so that if a quests' initial condition is failed it can still be done by other players, if this is not already the case.

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January 30, 2013 9:48:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,
Although I guess the devs would probably need to make it so that if a quests' initial condition is failed it can still be done by other players, if this is not already the case.

Personally I always though the master quest needed a slight rehaul, since right now its too narrow minded.
I prefer my games to work in a multiplayer environment even though they are singleplayer.
What I mean by this is, each victory condition should be allow to be followed for each player separately, say like having "local" quests. Each player can look for the shrines and take each quest separately, and the one to do it the quickest wins.
(Right now I don't really think the master quest is too much fun though, and would prefer the option to remove that wildland from my maps)

Either that or it should be changed, more or less to something more "multi-player" friendly (remember, multiplayer includes the AI), right now I don't think there is any warning if any of the other players started the master quest, and IMO this needs be done, I HATE when I lose a game out of the blue due to some AI gathering enough "win" points, without having some kind of warning first, and X turns to deal with it. (Like camping the master wildlands)

I think its a shame that, besides the obvius, quest based or hero based factions can't outright pursue the master quest victory any better than troop based factions, or research based factions.
As I see it, it is only research based factions that have earlier access to a unique win condition, besides of course from factions with lots of hit points (Yithril, Gilden) can pursue conquest victory much more easily.
I have always thought the victory conditions needed work, along with AI diplomacy, to make each game more dynamic, instead of another war of conquest game.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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January 30, 2013 1:58:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kongdej,
I think its a shame that, besides the obvious quest based or hero based factions can't outright pursue the master quest victory any better than troop based factions, or research based factions.

Exactly. This is a great example of how the current Master Quest is pretty much divorced from the rest of the game. As a "quest" victory it really should somehow be connected to the rest of the quest system and the effort players have put into it. This is why I suggested that some normal quests could have a small random chance of dropping key parts. We might see some change here in the new expansion because they have talked about integrating champions and quests into the main game better. 

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