Dear Devs a word on automatic roads

By on April 23, 2013 4:16:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nargaff

Join Date 06/2003
+2

I'm sure a lot of people already complained about this but it seems not enough, so I will bring this topic up again. The automatic road building sucks and I really can't understand why you would want such an element of annoyance in your game. There is probably a very good reason why no one had enough time to implement a better road buidling algorithm, but even if I knew the reason and no matter how good the reason was, it would make the situation not a bit less sucking. It just sucks and in every game I play the road building annoys me at some point. I really don't see why it has to stay this way, because there is already everything to solve the problem present in the game. The road buidling skill exists but it is a trait reserved for heros only, which I find even more annoying. Give this trait to pioneers or make a special engineers unit. A champion of roadbuilding is really nothing I want in my army, there are more important and more heroic things to do for my heroes. Really!

I really like the game. It is very good. I've played it for hundreds of hours and I plan to play much more. You really know hot to make an entertaining game, but I have to say, I'm playing this kind of games for over 20 years and a lot of them include road building. After all this time and serveral games you are the first devs that have managed to find a solution for road building that sucks. Nearly every game has the same solution for this, a solution that just works. You could easily do th same and make it something that just works, but the way it is currently it is just broken. Either fix the algorithm or give me engineers. The idea you had is not bad. Manually building roads is really nothing that is very entertaining. Automatic road building can be very conveniant, but the way it currently is, it is not. You implemented it only half, but it doesn't mean you get at least half the goodness of it, you just get a badly implemented feature. A source of annoyance that is totally unnecessary. Please free me of this pain. Thanks in advance.

 

[Update]

Sorry for completely leaving out the detail what it specifically is that is my problem . As other people already said it is the fact that road often go through monster lairs without any necessity. The could most of the time be placed just on one of the surrounding tiles and not on the lair. It would be OK if I had a easy way to correct this, for example with engineers.

Another point that lets me dislike the automatic roads, is just a matter of taste. In terms of 'realisim' I can just can not understand what Uber-Ninja-Road-Workers are able to build roads straight through dargon lairs while the dragon is still present. That seems a bit strange.

Locked Post 52 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 4:23:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

+1

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 4:38:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd like to see this changed, too. Please.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 6:23:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not sure how to respond to this.  I don't understand what you want.  As you stated we have automatic road building to keep players form having to manually build their road networks.

What specifically would you like changed about the algorithym?  And keep in mind that it is an algorithym for random generated maps with player placed cities (so it may not be ideal in all situations, forcing it one way in situation A may make it worse in situation .  But if there is a specific issue (like being placed through wildlands) that you are encountering let me know.

Capitar can build roads with their pioneers if you prefer to manually do it.  So we have that option as well.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 6:54:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Derek Paxton,
I'm not sure how to respond to this.  I don't understand what you want.

Well FWIW that makes 2 of us.

 

That's a lot of typing without actually stating any issues with the current system or stating whats so great about road building in these other games.  OK so LH road building sucks and other games road building doesn't, right got that... but whats wrong with it exactly?  I'm not taking the micky I genuinely don't get it. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 7:18:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It sounds like they want manual road building for all factions, with no auto roads.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 7:20:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, while I can't speak for the original poster, I can relate an experience I had on a recent map.

The terrain was rather mountainous where I built my empire, so my cities were a little ways apart from each other (say 10 or more squares).  The road between my first and second city, which was to the east of the first city went well enough.  Essentially these cities were due east/west of each other, with a mountain range in between so the road had to go to the south around the mountain. 

When the third city was put in (to the south and slightly west of the first city), a road appeared between the second and third city, forking into the first road right next to the second city, which resulted in a 'long way around' from the first to the third city, even though the third city was closer to the first city than it was to the second.  Note that there was relatively clear terrain between cities 1 and 3.

Essentially, I ended up cutting across terrain most of the time between a suitable point from the road between 1 and 2, to the road between 2-3, to shave about 8 squares from my trip between those two cities.

I then tried putting an outpost directly between the first and third city, with the intention of having a road appear between them, but instead the road from the outpost hooked into the road between the second and third city.

 

Soooo, if I were to make a suggestion, I would suggest that the distance between cities be given a stronger 'weighting' when determining paths.  Also, more options to build our roads manually when the algorithm does go wrong would be nice.  Each race should have a road building unit readily available, and I don't think that a 'roadbuilding' perk is the best way to go.

Now, a trait that increases movement on roads through friendly territory (instead of roadbuilding) might be a suitable replacement for this, or a spell/perk that allows a hero to create roads at a distance.  Any such ability would need to be playtested and balanced, of course.

 

I (and others) have suggested just building roads manually several times in other threads, but as we are now 'on a deadline', this would probably take too much time to implement, even assuming you wanted to go this route.  So giving scouts or some other generic unit roadbuilding ability, to offset algorithm weirdness would be the easiest way to go between now and release time.

This ability could also be accomplished with a unit perk (chosen instead of some combat ability) during unit design.  This perk would become available upon earning some tech, such as Trade.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 8:08:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I understood the original poster to mean that he did not think there should be 'automated roads' built between cities and outposts. This should be done manually by engineers (or whatever they might be called).

FWIW, I agree.

I agree because building roads is hard, they are extremely valuable strategically and any such improvement should involve a cost. It also robs me of the opportunity to build the road network that makes the most strategic sense.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 8:16:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I couldn't figure out what the OP was specifically calling out either.  My #1 complaint about roads was that they would route through wildlands.  I see that .85 is supposed to fix this, which is great news.  My #2 was that roads between my towns, or between my towns and outposts, would occasionally go through the AI's towns.  I haven't seen that in a while, but I'm not sure it's fixed.  I've also seen odd or inefficient routes, but I don't seem to be as upset about them as some of the other folks posting here.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 8:35:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just find it incredible that roads can be insta-built no matter the distance between the capital and your new settlement.

And for all the boredom of building roads, they play such a critical element to gameplay and overall outcomes. And if it is such an important element to the game, then why is it built automatically and the design forced upon the player (except for a specific faction)?

I know the game is not a road building simulation and it's really hard to make plopping down roads exciting, but there should be more to the road system at some point. Maybe the next expansion could be called Elemental: Road to Ascension.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 8:39:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting bortlings,

I just find it incredible that roads can be insta-built no matter the distance between the capital and your new settlement.

 

 

This.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 9:10:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Let's turn the discussion around.  Why are you guys resistant to putting the road building ability as a trait that can be built into any given unit, no matter the faction?  That's been asked for several times over the years.  Is it that you want to reserve that ability for only Capitar, as a benefit of that faction?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 9:32:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have to agree both side: First of all I agree with the Devs, that automatic road building is a very good idea. The game doesn't need that much micro-management that you build every road yourself. The focus of the game is somewhere else. There are other games allready where the exact location to build your cities and roads are key decitions. We don't really need that for LH.

On the other hand an algorithym on random maps allways will find some situations where it can't find a satisfying solution. tjashen allready gave a very good example, I had many situation like that with mountains too. Another problem is that the algorithym seem to dislike building bridges of a river in many situations, instead building a long route around it. And a third problem is, when the zone of influence of a KI city expandes it can happen, that the road the algorithym did build for you suddenly is in foreign territory. There is no way any algorithym can handle situations like that. (Or you would have to refresh and rebuild your roards every few turns, which would probably cause enormous CPU or memory usuage.)

I think best would be to keep the algorithym as it is (it's well enough I think) and give the player the opportunity to add a few additional titles of road. Giving all factions the opportunity to create road building units is one possibility, the other possibility is to add a spell that spaws a road on a certain title. Road building heroes aren't a really good idea, I agree on that.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 10:13:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

It just sucks and in every game I play the road building annoys me at some point. 

Am I doing something wrong?  My roads build automatically and I like it.  LH .80

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 23, 2013 11:01:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

How difficult would it be to implement an option to do either-or? Have it a toggle, you turn it on, auto build roads. You turn it off, you have to manually place them. Give every nationality the ability to build their own roads.

This is a win/win for both sides. Personally, I like micromanagement, and a bit ocd, so those funky roads that are autogenerated are annoying. I wish there was a way to get rid of roads as well, that way I can build my own roads, and get rid of the crappy way the game auto generates them.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 7:04:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The simplest solution would be to give other races the road building trait like Mancers have, but for other races it has a 100 labor cost.  Automatic road building's still in, but the manual option is there for other races, but at a cost.

That said, what I hate most about this thread is the title.  The title is meant to let people know why they're coming in here. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 7:31:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting JustATourist,

I think best would be to keep the algorithym as it is (it's well enough I think) and give the player the opportunity to add a few additional titles of road. Giving all factions the opportunity to create road building units is one possibility, the other possibility is to add a spell that spaws a road on a certain title. Road building heroes aren't a really good idea, I agree on that.

This could solve all.

Because now:

1. sometimes you dont get road to outposts at all, or for some reason you get two separate branches of roads which are not conected between.

2. Roads go through neighbour's (AI) towns instead of directly conecting my cities.

3. Roads go directly trough dragons caves or similar or wildlands.

4. Roads being built not in optimal distance.

5. If you are in between 2 AI factions and they sign economic treaty, you might get road which is crossing your lands and towns which i dont want. I think treaties between others should NOT affect MY OWN lands, because they ussualy leading armies on those roads against me later and its not fair i think.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 8:17:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like that roads are established as soon the tech is researched. Road building by having units walk around is very tedious (although useful, which is why it works well as a special ability). I wish the path finding was a little better when drawing roads, though. There needs to be a road from EACH city to each city. When I make a triangle of cities, I only get two roads (one road from each of the second and third cities to my capital). That can make troops movement annoying.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 8:17:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Perhaps some of the road-related issues surround pathfinding? Overall pathfinding has improved greatly from FE, but there are times when the paths it takes are just strange. Some more work on pathfinding may result in better roads.

I really enjoy the automatic road building. It takes away from the micromanagement. That said, it would be really useful to manually create my own roads (which I haven't tried to do yet). Seems like there could be some compromise to allow it in other races.

How about giving the Mancer races a bonus when traveling on roads and then unlocking it for other races?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 9:37:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting JustATourist,
I have to agree both side: First of all I agree with the Devs, that automatic road building is a very good idea. The game doesn't need that much micro-management that you build every road yourself. The focus of the game is somewhere else. There are other games allready where the exact location to build your cities and roads are key decitions. We don't really need that for LH.

On the other hand an algorithym on random maps allways will find some situations where it can't find a satisfying solution. tjashen allready gave a very good example, I had many situation like that with mountains too. Another problem is that the algorithym seem to dislike building bridges of a river in many situations, instead building a long route around it. And a third problem is, when the zone of influence of a KI city expandes it can happen, that the road the algorithym did build for you suddenly is in foreign territory. There is no way any algorithym can handle situations like that. (Or you would have to refresh and rebuild your roards every few turns, which would probably cause enormous CPU or memory usuage.)

I think best would be to keep the algorithym as it is (it's well enough I think) and give the player the opportunity to add a few additional titles of road. Giving all factions the opportunity to create road building units is one possibility, the other possibility is to add a spell that spaws a road on a certain title. Road building heroes aren't a really good idea, I agree on that.

Kinda on the same page here.

Love the fact that auto-roads exist. Takes the micro-managing out of the game. Also realy love how you can't just go out on a whim and build roads on a tile by tile basis. Road spamming should NEVER be allowed....for the player OR the AI.

However, that said, there are stretches of land between cities or towards an outposts that just screams 'I need a road here' ... yet not auto-road exists.

I would really love a system implimented where you can build an auto-road; be able to choose where you want the road to start and where you want the road to finish and let the algorthym do the rest. You may not get the perfect road, but no road is really perfect in reality....

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 9:59:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I agree with this ... the automatic road building is great as far as it goes, but we need the ability to manually place additional roads.

 

One suggestion I didn't see here that might work would be to add the option in a city and outpost to "build road to" ... say you have three cities, ABC, 123, and XYZ.  You also have two outposts - Outpost A and Outpost B.  Let's say the autoroads connected ABC to 123, and 123 to XYZ.  Outpost A connects to ABC, and Outpost B connects to XYZ.  But none of them connect to each other.

 

So, we click on city ABC, and select "build road to" - it then pops up a list of cities: 123, XYZ.  You click XYZ.  It will give you a gildar cost and turn cost, and add it to the build que to be built like any other improvement.

 

For the outposts, you click on Outpost A, and click build road to, and it gives you city options as above, and goes into the city build que of the city it's attached to, just like other Outpost improvements. 

 

It would also be nice to have the option to select a manual location ... so you can build a road from an outpost or city to a specific point somewhere else.

 

And if they implement that ... it would be GREAT to add a road upgrade feature.  Let's say you built a road between ABC and 123.  Now, you can go in and select "Upgrade Road to" ... then up would pop a list of cities with existing roads ... then you can upgrade the road (say pave it) at the cost of additional gildar, materials, and time, to increase the movement speed on that road section.  There could be different levels ... say dirt, cobblestones, magical surface, which would each be more expensive in terms of gildar, materials, and time.  There could even be a special tech that has to be researched for each upgrade.

 

Or, my other suggestion was that whatever critter you have that can build roads can use the "build road to" button, where the start point is their current location and the end point is wherever you click.

 

Or, add a "build road" toggle button, that works like Explore ... where you turn it on, and wherever you move the person you build a road.

 

And an extension of that ... Auto roads ... where you turn it on and the critter wanders around like an explorer, only its goal is to build roads between any two existing points in the kingdom ... it tries to connect all cities to each other, all outposts to each cities, and makes sure that all roads interconnect, instead of having one road from point a to point b and one that goes from point c to point d, but none that connect the two roads.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 11:12:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


why dont we create an engineer that can build roads and outposts. they dont cost any population but also cant build cities. leave that for the pioneers. this would solve a bunch of issues / complaints and imo makes sense

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 11:15:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


we also need to be able to capture pioneers instead of making us kill them all. how about an option to either convert the pioneer or if we kill them them we get a random from 1-30 bonus to population in our closest city.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 11:16:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting lpisko,


why dont we create an engineer that can build roads and outposts. they dont cost any population but also cant build cities. leave that for the pioneers. this would solve a bunch of issues / complaints and imo makes sense
Yeah, ill have to think about that.  It could be cool.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 11:21:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Would the engineers be used up for an outpost?  If not, there would have to production cost and/or build time for the outposts.  Other than that, I really like the idea and hope that it is implemented!

Speaking of build time, how about casting Arcane Monolith produces a Monolith that builds in a few turns, rather than appearing fully-functional instantly?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
April 24, 2013 12:38:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting StevenAus,
Speaking of build time, how about casting Arcane Monolith produces a Monolith that builds in a few turns, rather than appearing fully-functional instantly?

Instead of Arcane Monolith taking several turns to build, I would like to have this:

Quoting phazonfreak,
My suggestion would be to add mana upkeep once they are placed, but they maintain the ability to be placed anywhere outside enemies borders. I think 1 mana per turn should be sufficient to reflect their huge advantage, and additional 50 mana as payment and 1 mana as upkeep for every upgrade. The upgrade is instantly built instead of going through city production. That would make it far more strategic to place them and it would even seem "realistic" in the established world that you have to pay mana to maintain and upgrade this magic construction.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000297   Page Render Time: