[Suggestion] Let's talk roads...

By on March 30, 2013 6:08:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nick-Danger

Join Date 09/2009
+28

Let's talk roads...

Frankly, their implementation is unsatisfying, and is 'illogical'.  They 'magically' appear when a tech is researched, and their route is often random and unhelpful.

Fix: first, when the road tech is researched roads don't magically appear.  Instead, the 'engineer' skill is made available (alternative -- engineer unit is available).  The road building mechanic is/was already in game, so this doesn't need to be made from scratch. 

Option1: Only use the first road building tech (roads between cities), drop the second one (economics? -- the one that creates roads to outposts).  This is the simplest option, and allows roads built to anywhere.

Option2: The first road building tech allows roads only between cities.  This would require 'pre-routing' a road -- perhaps by holding SHFT and selecting tiles starting from a city and ending at a second city (and requires a starting/ending city tile check).  The route would then be set and the road constructed 'by hand' on said route.  The second road building tech would then remove the 'pre-routing' requirement, and allow building roads to/from anywhere 'by hand'.  Option2 requires more work, and while it's more in keeping with the current design the extra effort required is not likely worth it.

Benefits of either option:

-We can select routes, so no more routing through an occupied dragon lair, or enemy sov territory, or a new city connecting to a distant random city instead of a more centrally located city, or a city only connecting to one city, etc.

-no more magically appearing roads

-we can build roads towards other sovs  or towards to-be-settled territory

Problems:

-this allows roads to anywhere, and better route selection, so would greatly increase movement.  Partial fix is to reduce road movement bonus to 2x instead of current 4x.

-players are better able to take advantage of roading to anywhere, putting AI at even greater disadvantage.  Fixing this (by improving AI which is th e Holy Grail) would be hard, perhaps not possible given time/resources.  Partial fix is to give AI sovs magically appearing roads as currently implemented (though I'd allow roads between a city and its 2 closest cities, not just 1 city as currently implemented).  Yes this is 'cheating' but we'd be gaining a whole lot (better road placement though slower to appear, while not giving up much to AI sovs).

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April 2, 2013 6:32:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,
I would say that it is more of a design desicion. Look at the only race that gets to build a road (mancers) which their lore say they were the merchant kings.
Going by LH, mancer race gets +1 accuracy per level and +1 movement.  No mention of any bonus to merchant stuff.  Also, no default sov has mancer race.  Also, no ingame mention of the road-building skill anywhere I can find (did I miss it?) -- in Heir... or race description or the like.  So we'll have to agree to disagree on this 

...the actual manual placement of roads gets rather tedious for my taste.
Understandable.  Some would like it, some not.  Would there were a toggle...

ampoliros5:   ...Of course I meant the roads you spent time researching to connect your cities and outposts.  The trade treaty roads are a bonus and can go wherever they want...
Good point!  This is another point against the 'merchants build the roads' -- the 'researched' roads show up when our sov researches the appropriate techs.  The trade treaty roads are a horse of a different color...  Random route away for those.

  ...But YOUR roads should connect YOUR cities/outposts through YOUR territory.
Aye!  What got me started on this is a game where I placed a city and the resultant road went thru an enemy sov city, instead of taking an equally short route bypassing said enemy city, or the new city could have been connected to another almost-as-near city of mine again not routing thru said enemy city.

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April 2, 2013 7:46:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,
Going by LH, mancer race gets +1 accuracy per level and +1 movement. No mention of any bonus to merchant stuff. Also, no default sov has mancer race. Also, no ingame mention of the road-building skill anywhere I can find (did I miss it?) -- in Heir... or race description or the like. So we'll have to agree to disagree on this

I never said that the mancer (capitar) race got any bonus to being a merchant, just that they were decendant from merchants as you can see here. (and in the Heirgemonon)

This is a unit design skill that every mancer can get, the pioneers automatically get this skill though. (Not advertised anywhere I can see, but it was in FE)

 Also, there is an ability to mod this into the game and I will be glad to do so with a special unit if Stardock chooses not to do this. I can put the mod in FE if you would like and I personally would like to see different mechanics besides the usual 1 tile at a time (which I can put into the game), and get the ability to select the cities I want a direct road to and in the process of doing this choice as you are comissioning the road the requirement that it stays within your territory is a must.

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April 2, 2013 10:03:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,
I never said that the mancer (capitar) race got any bonus to being a merchant...
And I never said you did.

GFireflyE said "...and as parrotmath mentioned, it's like the merchants get to build the roads....you just get to use them." 

I replied "That's not a design decision..."

And you then replied "I would say that it is more of a design desicion." because "...lore say they were the merchant kings."

I pointed out that in game terms there's no tangible mancer-merchant ties, and thus my conclusion that it's not a design decision.

Had I wished to say you said something I'd have said that.

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April 2, 2013 11:37:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Snaking networks of roads don't appear overnight. And especially not through the wilderness. One way to do it would be to let Caravans generate roads when they successfully travel between cities.

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April 3, 2013 1:33:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great dicussion!

Though, I still think having road segments as buildings attached to a particular city is the best way to go, especially since 'leveled up' buildings already exist in the game where a new UI replaces the old. The same can be done for a 'Path' 'Road' 'Hiway' building tree.

 

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April 3, 2013 4:40:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GFireflyE,

Great dicussion!
Aye!  I've kinda gotten less enthused about changing how roads are done, based on some of the arguments presented here.  Still, would like to see 'smarter' routing (for 'sov roads' not 'trade treaty roads', and which would not route thru enemy territory or dragon lairs, and would give the option of which existing friendly city to connect the new city to).

Though, I still think having road segments as buildings attached to a particular city is the best way to go, especially since 'leveled up' buildings already exist in the game where a new UI replaces the old. The same can be done for a 'Path' 'Road' 'Hiway' building tree.
Do you mean something like, for example, 'path' would not give a movement bonus but would negate terrain penalty (so hill would be 1x move instead of 0.5), 'road' would give 2x move, and 'hiway' 4x?  That sort of thing would be very nice.

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April 3, 2013 5:30:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,

Quoting GFireflyE, reply 30
 

Though, I still think having road segments as buildings attached to a particular city is the best way to go, especially since 'leveled up' buildings already exist in the game where a new UI replaces the old.

 

The same can be done for a 'Path' 'Road' 'Hiway' building tree. Do you mean something like, for example, 'path' would not give a movement bonus but would negate terrain penalty (so hill would be 1x move instead of 0.5), 'road' would give 2x move, and 'hiway' 4x?  That sort of thing would be very nice.

 

Yuppers, that is what I mean. Not necessarily those values and/or effects, but within appropriate balance of the game.

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April 3, 2013 5:40:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are lots of good suggestions and looking through the xml files they did have levels of roads still sitting there, although I can't say anything about their functionality.

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April 3, 2013 11:12:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,

There are lots of good suggestions and looking through the xml files they did have levels of roads still sitting there, although I can't say anything about their functionality.

Probably too hard to mod this, eh parrotmath?

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April 3, 2013 11:27:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not sure how I would go about modding it in the first place. I would have to do quite a bit experimenting with the leveling of the roads. Not to mention I would probably have to draw up some new graphics to see if the game actually can detect new roads. Heavenfall might know more about this stuff, but I don't think he played with roads either.

I'm pretty sure that I cannot do your suggestion to say build roads between city A and B, that would be a feature request. I think it might be possible to change the type of roads to outposts... but I'm not sure about this either. I must experiment and decide exactly what I can accomplish with it.

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April 3, 2013 11:58:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is actually one thing I really miss from E:WoM was the ability to create a trade route between your own cities which in turn made a road.  Once so many round trips from the caravan were achieved the road upgraded.  Simply put, just bring this back along with the road building ability for those that don't like the path the merchants choose, think about it they know of this really awesome inn kinda off the beaten path, that's why the road goes like it does.

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April 4, 2013 10:50:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Schweiz,
Well I would prefer if roads built 1 tile per turn (or 2 per turn depending on how it works) from cities. Two cities both build the roads towards each other on a per turn basis until the roads meet and the road is complete. With outposts, however, it would only build roads from the connected city or closest outpost/road . Meaning it would technically take twice as long to complete the road to an outpost than a city.

Quoting GFireflyE,

My opinion of road building is to have entire segments of road, where a segment is defined to be between two cities or between a city and outpost, able to be built through the city build queue of the source city that the road is built from. This constuction does not require the need of an engineer unit. The farther a road segment is to build, the longer queue time the build will take (perhaps 1 turn for every two tiles). The route of the road build is still automatically defined by the computer. No duplicates of road between the same two points can exist. Essencially, roads become a 'building' of the city that extends out of the city to a 'sink' location.

While not having the ability to detail precisely where roads are to be built on a tile by tile basis, this approach would give enough control over road building that their placement no longer is an issue.

An additional bonus to this approach would be that road segments could be upgraded or enchanted now. Perhaps you start with building a 'path' ... which than can be upgraded into a 'road' ... which can further be upgraded into a 'highway'. The UI graphic of each could be different to show what to expect as movement. Here too, the different road types would be connected with different techs and would grant different improving amounts of travel upon the tiles they are connected with. As for enchantments, if the road passes on a tile that grants essence, the road could have an essence slot. A few spells could exist that would assist your troops travel or hinder opponents.  

This is a relatively old idea of mine....I'll look for the thread I originally suggested the idea in and attach it to this post.

edit: Here is the thread I mentioned: http://forums.elementalgame.com/429562

Thoughts, comments, questions....

I think both your ideas, which are complimentary, would greatly add to the game while keeping things relatively simple.

Elaborating a bit more on what you said: Cities could automatically build roads at some pace between them and other cities and between them and their outposts, and this speed could be enhanced by using the city building queue. The building list would include "Road to x", "Road to Y", "Road to Outpost", etc. Then by selecting this "building project" the road building efforts would go towards the selected road, combining "natural" road growth with "production" road growth.

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April 4, 2013 12:05:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,

Not sure how I would go about modding it in the first place. I would have to do quite a bit experimenting with the leveling of the roads. Not to mention I would probably have to draw up some new graphics to see if the game actually can detect new roads. Heavenfall might know more about this stuff, but I don't think he played with roads either.

I'm pretty sure that I cannot do your suggestion to say build roads between city A and B, that would be a feature request. I think it might be possible to change the type of roads to outposts... but I'm not sure about this either. I must experiment and decide exactly what I can accomplish with it.

My request was mostly tongue and cheek. I know that redesigned the road system in FE would be quite the feat to accomplish and most certainly would not expect someone to persue it out of obligation.

 

Graphics is a minor issue as the UI could be updated with new images after the mechanic was in place.

Designing a 'building' however that has zero Zone of Conrol connected with it may be easy, but this 'building' would also have to be serpated from the city so that you cannot just jump from city to city to city in one move.

The minimum distance between city buildings would also have to be considered, as this 'building' touches from city to city

There would also need to be a way to connect the different tiles in a way that generates the segment, for cost and build time, as well as upgrades and movement across those tiles.

The build time of this 'building' would be dynamic depending of length....not sure how that would work as you would need to select your 'sink' with the build.

 

Over all, I agree with you....quite the mod...mostlike this does indeed fall within the realm of 'feature request', but I hope it's a request that does make roads for the better and SD acts on it...

 

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April 5, 2013 11:08:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i like playing mancers because they can build roads.  i have a scout with road building run in front of my main fighting group placing roads.  this gives them much more movement.

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