Navies and That Big Blue Pond

Eh?

By on April 15, 2013 5:29:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brenil

Join Date 09/2008
+3

All right, so I know this has been brought up before, even by myself, but is there ever going to be a point to being near a sea or large body of water?  The original WoM, no.  Fallen Enchantress, no.  Now Legendary Heroes, it doesn't appear so.  My question is: why?

As it stands right now, to the best of my knowledge, the only point of the sea is to occasionally find a boat and steam around the continent doing not a lot of anything.  Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be any advantage to having a city along the coast, which is in stark contrast with the history of humanity where most of the world's largest cities are within miles of a coastline.  If anything, building along the coast could be seen as a disadvantage due to how it can limit your space to build.  This makes no sense, especially when you consider the incredible bonuses you get for settling along a river.

In short, is there any intention to open up the game to seas, oceans, and lakes so that building along them serves a purpose and using them strategically can be a practical solution to many of the choke point issues that almost always arise in games?

P.S.

Love LH, it's a continuing step in the right direction and a fun game even in its beta state.

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April 15, 2013 6:43:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Main issue with water that I can see is that (a), every map is a giant Pangaean continent, and (, city spots can't be planned and are chosen based on what the random map generator offers you. You can't in any way be guaranteed a settleable city spot next to the water, making sea units a sometimes thing at best.

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April 15, 2013 6:48:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But if we actually had them we could have the map generator generate islands and other exiting stuff and that would be a welcome difference to todays "continental mapmaker".

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April 15, 2013 8:12:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You can't in any way be guaranteed a settleable city spot next to the water, making sea units a sometimes thing at best.

The latter part of that isn't even true for the simple fact that all maps I have generated have had numerous choke points between water, whether they be inland seas, lakes, or a bizarre semi-ocean.  This means that you're forced to go thru these almost too common isthmus that is sometimes occupied by an enemy or dangerous creep.  This effectively means you cannot explore and forces you, in some instances, to turtle because there's quite simply no way around this obstacle because we lack the technology to create boats with oars and/or sails beyond the rare mercenary ships found on certain maps.

As to the first part of that quote, rivers are in no way guaranteed for colonization either, but docks and other river upgrades exist that benefit cities founded near a river.  Not true for lakes, seas, and oceans.  Why is that?

Lastly, I'd like to point out that the official maps of the world of Elemental typically have a very wide inner sea that isn't traversable (with the exception of the mercenary boats) and therefore you're forced into the northern connecting isthmus to even explore the other continent.  It's quite a glaring omission to me and given that we're now on the third game of Elemental, I honestly don't see the reasoning behind not having any gameplay connection to the water beyond rivers.

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April 15, 2013 9:17:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why not just set the map generators for the stamps to use the beach terrain instead of cliffs for everything and then set the beach terrain to the same values as a river allowing for food resources near the ocean.

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April 15, 2013 9:45:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Boats of their technology should be able to travel through rivers just fine. If you can produce transports that can hold/move an army and have decent MV and rivers connect to the sea reliably or into a central lake and branch out, then they could be a pretty powerful utility. Not sure if I am a fan of having islands if boats will cause bottle necks in gameplay. Or attacking armies in transport are taken out by naval vessels.

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April 15, 2013 11:33:15 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

The answer to why no boats is simple :the AI cannot handle it. Considering the difficulty the AI has with the land based game, and the sheer annoyance of boats in rats I am happy to skip that particular feature. 

I think the maps could use a warp stone feature which will transport units that entire the tile elsewhere on the map. I doubt the AI would understand that unless stardock included it in the base game, but that would make choke points a little less overwhelming. 

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April 16, 2013 12:01:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wish there was an option when starting a new game to just turn off water. It would be cool to play a big open map (in the middle of the continent if you need a rationalization). With only mountians breaking things up.

 

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April 16, 2013 12:19:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The answer to why no boats is simple :the AI cannot handle it.

I've heard that explanation before as well.  I'm not buying it.  

Here's the simple solution to that problem:  make armies automatically turn into boats once they transport onto water (after losing a turn), just like in Civilization.  No need for the cumbersome method of loading and unloading troops, just turn them into boats once they move onto water.  And just like in Civ, you have warships that can intercept these transports and thus you need your own.  And like in Heroes and Might in Magic, you could have transports 'board' enemy ships and have naval tactical battles where the battleground is two ships boarding one another.

It's been done before and I don't see any technical limitation that cannot be overcome.  It just seems like no one cares enough to add it, as that's the clear  feeling I have after it has been absent for three games now.

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April 16, 2013 12:21:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You can use the Raise Land spell to do some tricky things, like building a bridge.

 

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April 16, 2013 1:27:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Brenil,
I've heard that explanation before as well. I'm not buying it.

Here's the simple solution to that problem: make armies automatically turn into boats once they transport onto water (after losing a turn), just like in Civilization. No need for the cumbersome method of loading and unloading troops, just turn them into boats once they move onto water. And just like in Civ, you have warships that can intercept these transports and thus you need your own. And like in Heroes and Might in Magic, you could have transports 'board' enemy ships and have naval tactical battles where the battleground is two ships boarding one another.

It's been done before and I don't see any technical limitation that cannot be overcome. It just seems like no one cares enough to add it, as that's the clear feeling I have after it has been absent for three games now.

+1

There are tons of ways they could make Naval stuff AI friendly.

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April 16, 2013 1:33:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's not necessarily making it AI friendly, as their isn't a good solution to the how to use the boats problem. Loading troops into boats is tedious, and having the units magically turn into boats seems funny. The boats with the AI is not really the problem, it's more on how to implement the passage with boats, and so far the devs don't like the options that are currently available.

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April 16, 2013 4:00:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,

It's not necessarily making it AI friendly, as their isn't a good solution to the how to use the boats problem. Loading troops into boats is tedious, and having the units magically turn into boats seems funny. The boats with the AI is not really the problem, it's more on how to implement the passage with boats, and so far the devs don't like the options that are currently available.

I agree with what you're saying. In Civilization, with the way that the game is structured, boats and port cities play a crucial role in trade routes, naval warfare, and transportation. This just isn't the case in Elemental, and I don't even know if it should be. Boats aren't critical to transport, as there are always overland alternatives, and adding in boats and port city mechanics (and no doubt special buildings that would have to be associated with them) seems unnecessary unless you can come up with a legitimate reason as to why exactly boats are needed in the first place.

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April 16, 2013 4:54:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We are playing a strategy game and some interaction with the ocean by ships or something similiar is really another depth to the game itself. It should be a nobrainer that when there is water and ocean that there are ways to use and interact with it. The only possible way up to today is by ignoring it and raising land bridges, which is not exactly adding anything to the game except "unpassable" terrain.

In all of the human history oceans played a big part. And especially in a world full of magic, the ocean itself should be something were magic happens. It should be travable (by magic or ship) and there should be monsters and city improvements.

It should add another depth to the game by giving ocean cities another point except "you can only reach this city from one direction".

Other games in this genre have this feature. That alone should be enough to at least see the possibilities.

And you think there are no compelling arguments for including something already existing and I mean massively existing in those generated worldmaps into the game itself!

I am positive you wont change your mind through anything I could even dream of posting.

The variety of mobs and gameplay elements that could be included in the sea and cities near it and even the sovereign's skills would make the game so much more fun to play in ways even you should be able to grasp.

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April 16, 2013 5:17:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

someone mentioned landbridge... so.. what happens to all your improvements, units, etc?

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April 16, 2013 11:41:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would like to see something done to interact with the ocean tiles, but I think that would be better left as an expansion/mega patch of its own. It would be a whole new element of gameplay that, while having awesome potential, will only detract from the experience if implemented poorly or partially.

Once Legendary Heroes is finished being ironed out, I would be super excited to see focus shift on to the potential for sea/water interaction, lost isles, sea beasts, etc.

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April 16, 2013 12:11:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,
It's not necessarily making it AI friendly, as their isn't a good solution to the how to use the boats problem. Loading troops into boats is tedious, and having the units magically turn into boats seems funny. The boats with the AI is not really the problem, it's more on how to implement the passage with boats, and so far the devs don't like the options that are currently available.

True it's not all about the AI, but that hardly means there is no solution or the devs don't like the options. They are probably just busy with other stuff.

-You could have units turn into boats but only when you have a Port built on that particular body of water.

-You could have beach resources called Coves that you build Harbors on and automatically spawn a boat. Or even just allow units to travel over the water.

Quoting animageous,
I agree with what you're saying. In Civilization, with the way that the game is structured, boats and port cities play a crucial role in trade routes, naval warfare, and transportation. This just isn't the case in Elemental, and I don't even know if it should be. Boats aren't critical to transport, as there are always overland alternatives, and adding in boats and port city mechanics (and no doubt special buildings that would have to be associated with them) seems unnecessary unless you can come up with a legitimate reason as to why exactly boats are needed in the first place.

How about just to explore? Surely you have been boxed in by other players before. Having the ability to travel over water would prevent players from getting boxed in. Also it would just add tons of new interesting places for people to go on maps, especially late game. The game I would compare it to would be HoMM3, boats added a lot to that game but you probably could have removed them. Having them just made the world more interesting and deeper.

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April 16, 2013 12:28:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The is the Groundhog's Day of Elemental Forum Post.  We've talked about it and talked about it, and there is nothing new here.

 

This is a response I made from about 18 months ago.

 

Quoting Lord Xia,

Boats have been removed.  They were in the game for a long time, but due to the computer not being able to use them at all, and the maps having very little use for them, they were removed.  The general philosophy since WoM release in regards to improve gameplay has been to remove any feature that would be difficult to fix.  FE might have also followed the same philosophy, as I don't think it will contain a dynasty, minor factions, or boats.  But that may or may not be true.  I think it might be difficult to program boats.  It seems like most games like this have had some difficulties with it, not just WoM.  CiV V just eliminated the problem kind of by making everything a transformer, so a knight hits the water and then has a boat.  Romance of the three Kingdoms did this in a few of there games too.  Fans don't seem to like it much, I know I don't care for it as it makes natural boundaries too easily overcome.  

 

 And another

 

Quoting Lord Xia,


Quoting seanw3, reply 25I think they would make it so that you needed to find a coast to embark. If the random maps are capable of limiting coastal space, it would be a good way to keep terrain advantages nominal. It would also be nice to see some warships. It all depends on balance. 

 

You know, having to use coastal areas would be pretty limiting, and not a bad choice and would create choke points.  I'm cool with that, lets do that.  Better than no water travel at all by miles.

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April 16, 2013 1:35:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I will say this much: If boats are to be fully implemented into FE:LH, I would recommend that two boats SHOULD be able to fight, and that the corresponding tatical map be of the decks of the two boats. That would make for very interesting combat. Also, water shard magic should probably be getting a bonus while on water.

However, that said, I would prefer if naval combat were not added to FE:LH and instead a different approach be taken. I would love it if North-South and East-West world wrap mechanics were added to the game so that no matter where you start on a sandbox random map, you are in the 'middle' of the attention. Afterall, this game is FOR the player....it should be ABOUT the player. Having a start near one far off corner of the map makes for very boring games. Most of the time the AI just fights eachother leaving you to clean up the mess.

Naturally, both mechanics could be added to the game at the same time, but imo, the world wrap would be more successful at connecting landmass.

 

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April 16, 2013 5:24:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So the status quo seems to be, boats and water are hard or I don't personally care so lets not add them.

Is that really the reason against this?  This reminds me of the multiplayer debate where people saying just because they personally don't play multiplayer, the game shouldn't ever have multiplayer.  Right.

Okay, so let's take this one at a time:

The is the Groundhog's Day of Elemental Forum Post.  We've talked about it and talked about it, and there is nothing new here.

There's nothing new because nothing has been done about it.  And the very fact that it is brought up repeatedly is because it is a feature people want.  Passing it off as something marginal that won't add anything to a strategy game is ignoring what a strategy game is meant to be, a game about options.  What are our options currently if we're locked in around water?  Control+N until you're not?  Mad dash to explore and hope you're not boxed in by a player or strong/deadly/epic creep?  It makes no sense to argue against freedom of movement when it fits within the context of gameplay and Civilization does this quite well while still limiting the player by having different depths of water your ships can traverse, not to mention having other natural barriers like mountains.

In Civilization, with the way that the game is structured, boats and port cities play a crucial role in trade routes, naval warfare, and transportation. This just isn't the case in Elemental, and I don't even know if it should be. Boats aren't critical to transport, as there are always overland alternatives, and adding in boats and port city mechanics (and no doubt special buildings that would have to be associated with them) seems unnecessary unless you can come up with a legitimate reason as to why exactly boats are needed in the first place.

Legitimate reasons why boats and usage of water are needed:

-  Freedom of strategic planning.

-  Alternative means of exploration.

-  Alternative means of trade.

-  Alternative means of settlements.

-  Alternative means of warfare.

-  The ability to break out of bad starting locations that lock you around water (a not so uncommon situation).

-  Opening up new map type possibilities.

-  Making use of unused areas in pre-existing maps (such as the official maps of the world of Elemental where roughly 30% or more is sea).

And that's just off the top of my head.  If water tiles aren't needed for anything, why have them?  If you're not going to use water tiles at all for any benefit, why have rivers?

I think those against this idea are overthinking the concept too radically and therefore are against it.  As for the whole mentality of others of 'just wait for another expansion' are ignoring the fact we're on the third Elemental game with no change to this gameplay (or its lack) mechanic that most other games of this type already possess and have made work.

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April 17, 2013 4:21:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

>This bone still has some good pickin's.

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April 17, 2013 10:49:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not disagreeing with any of your points, I'm just saying they have already been made and Stardock is aware of them.  

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