Well if the beta will only be having as few options as possible than we should stick with the simple, secure, stable traditional trading system... details later.
Yeah, it might make sense for Stardock to implement a much more basic trade system until they're ready for a more sophisticated one (if they decide to try one out) to be tested; heck I wouldn't be all that surprised if trade doesn't even exist in the first betas.
Well I agree adding two-trade systems would be more difficult, but if Stardock only has time for adding one trade system we'd want to choose a trade system which would cause the least amount of programming time for developers, a trade system which won't provide additional punishment for someone who's already in a bad map location, a system which also has the least amount of micro-management for gamers, a system which will generate the least amount of bugs, exploits, cheating,... and thus the most logical solution is the traditional trading system.
I already covered the bit about bad starting locations - nice of you to completely ignore reasonable arguments just because you can't find a flaws in them. And quite frankly, a sophisticated system needn't have more bugs, exploits or cheating involved than a simpler one - it would only have more of such problems if it weren't tested and developed sufficiently.
Any options within the game should eventually be beta tested as well, you don't just drop new options in the final product. Options within beta testing would allow gamers to continue their bug reporting progress if a major bug exists within one specific option.
Obviously any options within the game would have to be tested. You've been involved in beta processes, so you should know that they occur in stages. Stardock might try out a feature, and it might be very controversial, so they could decide to make it an option in the final version. My point was just that in the process of testing, it will be clear that some features should be made optional, and some options should be implemented in order to make some features workable for everyone. As this happens, those options would have to be put into later stages of the beta for testing.
Adds more micro-management as compared with the traditional trading system.
Yes, even a very good implementation of my trade suggestion would require more micro-management than the traditional system, but it would bring with it a lot more depth. In my opinion, the depth to management ratio is more than worthwhile.
Adds more AI programming as the AI will have to do lots of extra thinking just to monitor, choose safest path route, change orders, provide protection, adjustments for cheats, exploits, etc., , etc., etc.,
Can't argue with that. A deeper trade system, like a deeper anything, would definitely require more AI work and programming in general. It's up to Stardock to determine whether it's worthwhile.
Provides someone starting in a bad location even a greater burden due to limited trading.
Only in your own fantasy world, not mine... Or at least, not in the one I'm proposing.
Trading between players would be an unknown risk, but also much slower.
That makes it different, not inherently worse. Personally I think this aspect makes it better.
So while you like your idea... it comes with several pain points and these are just off the top of my head, I'm sure others would appear if such a complex trading system would be introduced.
All new ideas come with new challenges. That's no reason to not even consider trying something. If Stardock decides to implement a more sophisticated trading system, I'd expect them to map it all out before trying an actual implementation. After mapping it out, they'd be able to make an informed decision about whether it would be worth attempting. After attempting it, they'd be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to work out the kinks and keep it. Dismissing something off the bat because of a small handful of nebulous potential issues is juvenile.
I'll give you two games: Port Royale 2 and Patrician 3... both games where trading on the seas has a very complex trading system... which I found annoyingly time-consuming. These are definitely more economic type games due to the deep trading. When buying a fantasy game I'm looking to spend the majority of my time planning strategic battles/movement, effectively using battle&map spells, leveling my champions/heroes, and encountering good/bad mythical creatures/events.... not monitoring, guarding, adjusting orders for 100+ caravans moving between other players and neutral territories. Stardock decides what to place within their games and may choose to provide us many options at any stage of the games development.
You just gave me two games with a primary focus on trading - the majority, or at least a huge part of your time is intended to be spent on trade. I don't want that for Elemental. I want trade to be sophisticated, but largely automated and not particularly time-consuming. More time-consuming than we're used to, but very minimal compared to the time I'll spend doing things like planning, fighting, building, doing magic. I'm used to trade requiring a negligible amount of thought and time - just because I want it to require more planning and effort doesn't want it to become the dominant aspect of the game - unless you choose to make it dominant by concentrating your efforts on it to become a major trading nation.
The options can be included inside the beta or even introduced later from updates, patches, sequels, etc., . It depends on what Stardock developers feel need attention and improvements. Working in the software industry I wouldn't be surprised if battles would be tested separately as skirmishes during the early stages.
That was more or less what I was trying, and maybe failing, to say. Once the beta process matures and the game becomes more and more fleshed out, desired but still untested options should definitely be thrown in. The last beta or two could even have no specific focus, with everything thrown in, and the goal of miscellaneous bug-finding. But the earlier betas, at least, should be limited and focused on what Stardock wants tested the most.
It's not so much I don't like limited resources as I don't like being stuck with limited resources. In the example of Heroes_3... if my ore mine(critical) was being guarded by a rank_1 yet in front was a rank_5 due to the random map generator I knew I could eventually trade with other players or the 3rd party merchants guild to evolve my kingdom.
For one, it wasn't possible for the random map generator to prevent you from getting to one of your initial wood/ore mines with a high level stack - it was scripted to prevent such a debilitating scenario from occurring (I have played hundreds if not thousands of randomly generated maps in HoMM 3, and it has never happened to me). Any good random map generator is designed so that such utterly debilitating scenarios cannot occur. And in HoMM, even with the quick and easy trading mechanism, there is no guarantee at all that you'll be able to find someone willing to trade with you - especially in the beginning (the most important time), where everyone tends to be low on all or most resources including wood and ore. And the AI doesn't trade with other players at all, so you'd have to use the marketplace's exorbitant rates which, quite frankly, tend to be impossibly high unless you just need 1 of something or you have lots of marketplaces.
If for example a caravan trading system was introduced into Elemental:WoM I would first have to tunnel a safe path to a friendly player(which might be VERY difficult and time consuming) and then convince him that we should both risk trading goods across neutral territory and then whether AI or human if he disagrees I have to worry about him coming after me, knowing the lack of resources stunts my growth.... even worse the path to my settlement is slightly safer should he become an enemy. Even if he agrees to trading I would still have the risk of independents and other players stopping the shipment.
Except now you're adding your own horrible bits and pieces to my suggestion. For one I don't envision most neutral territory as being all that hostile, especially to trade. Exceptions would be dangerous forests or deserts or whatnot that are governed/inhabited by some power or another. But in general, there should be very little tunneling through neutral territory just to trade. A combination of good map generation rules, and a balance between the risks and difficulty of trade and the abundance of resources would go a real long way.
Unless of course you give them permission to do so.Well if y ou're in the middle the trading will overall make it worse, because those players will want to protect many of their shipments with troops. Having two or more opponents walking troops across your territory makes your towns less secure and more vunerable to surprise attacks. Within games it's ideal to keep all opponents out of your territory which better protects your towns and structures. The only scenario where it would not be so damaging is if all three players were human and trust each other for a long term alliance.
You're adding your own little tidbits to my suggestion yet again. I suggested that the trade caravans be third party; maybe you'd be able to assign some of your military as a defense force but if so it should be completely constrained to protecting the caravan so it can't be a threat to lands it passes through. If you're in the middle of those nations and other people start sending armies through your territory to keep their trade safe, they'd be declaring war. Unless of course you give them permission to do so. Declaring war on the nation all of your trade is going through is a ter rible way to guarantee your trade safe passage. If such a situation leads to war, your trade wealth should be enough to allow you to be competitive - and any rival or enemy of your aggressor would likely side with you, as they would not want their enemy conquering such lucrative trade routes.
Another point I'm going to try to hammer through is that I envision trade being much safer than you are imagining. I get the impression you think I would trade to be perilous and dangerous at every twist and turn. But I want the consequences of disrupting trade to be severe. With a little extra cost you could even make your caravans defended well enough that raiders might lose more in the raid then they'd loot; add onto that penalties for disrupting trade and it makes it a really serious decision. I do not want trade to be so prohibitively dangerous that it may as well not even exist. Read that sentence again, because you don't seem to get it.
Well the point I was leaning towards is that for fantasy when features need to be placed in order of importance the depth of characters, magic, strategic decisions, lessons of wisdom, battles, mysteries, places/towns, and items all have more depth than trading.
I agree that all those features should be at least as deep as trade. Except maybe lessons of wisdom and mysteries - I don't really know what that means in the context of a game. Wanting one or more features to be deep and sophisticated needn't prevent others from, as well - unless the devs decide they don't have the time for it all.
Let me clarify my position: I'm open for TRYING new ideas... if Stardock likes your idea than it should start as optional since a complex trading system will encounter more exploits, bugs, cheats, etc., . Gamers would then still be able to host tournaments or enjoy SP games while waiting for the complex trading system to be patched which may take months depending on the size of the problem. If Stardock feels the new complex trading system would take too much time away from other features they wish to evolve then it should not be an option.
We've had this argument before in other threads and we've found ourselves on opposite sides of the debate there, too. Frankly I think that's the worst excuse ever. "This feature is sophisticated and deep! It needs to be an option so if there ha
ppens to be an exploit or two, we can disable it so the world doesn't come to an end and I can still play hardcore tournaments with people I don't trust in the few weeks it takes Stardock to fix it! !!!" Seriously, grow up is all I can say
That argument might have a place in games whose lifeblood is hardcore competition and ladder ranking, but Elemental is not going to be that kind of game.
It has become abundantly clear to me that the pages and pages we've written in this thread come down to this one thing: I like this idea, and you don't. You've made all sorts of excuses to make it seem like your opposition is more than that - that there are major, insurmountable issues associated with it - but it all boils down to the fact that you simply don't like it. I'm done arguing this because I've made my point clear - I like this suggestion and think it has potential and its problems solvable. You don't like this suggestion, and you aren't really willing to give new features that you don't like a chance. You make some valid points but you drown them in shallow doomsday, end-of-the-world scenarios and arguments that make your real position clear. Well I guess that's kind of unfair - I don't know if that's what you do in general, but it's what you've done here.