Author Topic: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge  (Read 2545 times)

Offline Bluddy

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Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« on: May 30, 2013, 11:00:16 AM »
OK confession -- I haven't reached the age of gods in-game yet. However, I get the impression that it's not so different from the Age of Monsters from reading the forum. So here's an idea that builds off of the 'moody Master' idea, but I think integrates it better into the game's existing concepts, and it also takes care of cheese.

The age of gods could be a huge challenge to survive. The idea I have is that the game tracks what you did during the first 2 ages. Essentially, your people pray to their gods during whatever happens. And your people want their share of enemy blood. So if the Norse didn't do anything during the first 2 ages, their gods now show up in the age of gods and wreak complete havoc on their behalf. If the Greeks were massacred unfairly (ie. suffered a lot more) during the first 2 ages, their gods now show up and do serious damage. And trying to contain the gods when they're angry is TOUGH. They flatten mountains on their way, dry lakes, collapse tiles etc.

The aim of the game becomes 'maintain balance during the first 2 ages, and do your best to survive the gods' wrath during the age of gods'. There's strategy involved in making the towns as fortifiable as possible against the gods' wrath that is to come. This way, during the first 2 ages, you're planning ahead -- you're not just in the moment (which is one of the complaints I've personally had about the game).

So yes, you can cheese your way during the first 2 phases if you want. But good luck to you in the age of gods: you'll have both sides' gods extremely pissed off and your chances of survival are very low. This way, you make cheese a viable if extremely risky tactic.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 11:04:15 AM by Bluddy »

Offline x4000

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 11:04:55 AM »
I think that with a change of that magnitude we risk really alienating a lot of players and making the midcore audience leave.  However, something that is really challenging at the end of the game is something that I would like to do for harder difficulties -- and to a lesser extent on lower difficulties.
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Offline Bluddy

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 01:04:26 PM »
OK but the last age really doesn't have anything different going for it, plus there's a problem of over-abundance of resources at that stage. So gods appearing to help/avenge their factions with their own free will seems like it would be interesting and fit the name of the age, no? Even if it isn't as extreme as I describe it above (though it would be a great way to fix cheesing IMO).

Offline x4000

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 01:09:31 PM »
OK but the last age really doesn't have anything different going for it

Not really true, at least not fully.  The last age sees the addition of the Greater Gods.  Also, there are some Woes that don't show up until the last age.  Also the rate of bandits and some other things kick up several notches in the last age.

plus there's a problem of over-abundance of resources at that stage. So gods appearing to help/avenge their factions with their own free will seems like it would be interesting and fit the name of the age, no? Even if it isn't as extreme as I describe it above (though it would be a great way to fix cheesing IMO).

Some new challenges in the last age would be welcome, yes, despite the above.  I think it needs some careful discussion and thought, though; and right now this particular issue isn't at the top of my list of priorities, although it's something that I'd like to look at within the next month.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 09:33:52 AM »
I can sorta agree with what Bluddy says here;  the Age of Gods does add the Greater Gods, and that's pretty significant, but I think it's moreso that it doesnt really have a different "feel" than the Age of Monsters.   Wheras the first two ages differ quite a bit by the fact that the gods and their mechanics arent there whatsoever.    So it kinda feels like just a simple extension of the second age, when the third one hits.


It does kinda need something (more) unique, but.... I'm not sure just what.   I'd be against a "supreme challenge" sort of thing here though.... as much as I personally love a challenge, this *is* a difficult game overall to begin with.   Having a major difficulty spike at any time..... that isnt just woe-related.... is probably a no-no here.   It'd lead to alot of frustration, likely.   The challenge level definitely seems to ramp up well enough over time as well.


Offline Mick

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2013, 09:41:02 AM »
My general problem with end game seems to be that I can pretty much focus on burning down what I need in monsters, so I get to Age of Gods and I'm already in a "I've won" state. Of course, playing at a higher difficulty can fix that to some extent.

I think things would have a better feel if you felt you needed to play through all the acts with more of a hit the goal.. prepare for next act.. hit the goal.. prepare for next act ebb and flow. Right now, I hit the goal, and I just work toward the next act's goal before I am even there.

I think this can be solved by pretty much doing two things:

1) Make the goals of each act ramp up much faster.
2) Make the score *rewards* in each act ramp up as well.

So hitting the Age of Gods score goal would be very difficult to impossible to do in the early acts. I wouldn't be able to say "let's get all the carnage out of the way while things are easy", I'd pretty much have to spread the carnage out throughout the whole game.

Of course, doing extra carnage in the early acts would still make the later act goals easier to reach, since they are putting your closer to the target, but it would be a lot more difficult to actually *reach* that target too early.

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2013, 09:52:56 AM »
Even though the title of this post includes the words 'mighty challenge', that was more to sell the idea :) What I would love is for gods to wander the continent creating chaos. I believe this was mentioned in another thread. The twist is that they're the factions' gods, and they respond to what happened previously in the game. So if one side suffered much more than the other, a god of vengeance spawns and does some damage before he goes away. If a faction was bored, a god of war spawns and blows stuff up. It's a feedback system done in a natural way. If you cheesed your way through the first 2 ages, now you'll have 6 or so upset gods to deal with, whereas if you caused adequate chaos, you'd only have 2 gods to deal with.

Offline x4000

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 05:00:56 PM »
The problem with "causing chaos" in general is that the game gets unplayable/frustrating fast.  I think that, for some people, we already skirt that line.  But right now "all" they have to manage is one Woe at a time, plus anticipate the next Woe, plus deal with the guys on the board.  Any other abilities or tokens or whatever that they trigger are their own fault, and thus are expected.  Oh, and there are the bandit keeps that pop up, but so long as you have a standing force those are at least quasi-routine (as compared to a catastrophic Woe or a god wandering the world at will, casting all sorts of insane powers).

Asking the player to handle a whole new source of completely-unpredictable chaos is, I think, one step too far.  In other words, while it might make for an interesting option or an interesting super-high-level difficulty option or something, it's not a solution to the general issue you are raising, certainly not on lower difficulties.

I think that Mick brings up a really good point with the score gating rewards, though -- that alone would change a LOT.

Not that I don't also want to have some other unique challenges in the last age, but I don't think that "yet another layer of chaos," in whatever form, is the answer.  It should be some sort of clear, concerted, concentrated challenge that players can see, react to, and deal with throughout the third age or a portion of that age.  IMO.
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Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 05:38:12 PM »
I can sorta agree with what Bluddy says here;  the Age of Gods does add the Greater Gods, and that's pretty significant, but I think it's moreso that it doesnt really have a different "feel" than the Age of Monsters.   Wheras the first two ages differ quite a bit by the fact that the gods and their mechanics arent there whatsoever.    So it kinda feels like just a simple extension of the second age, when the third one hits.


It does kinda need something (more) unique, but.... I'm not sure just what.   I'd be against a "supreme challenge" sort of thing here though.... as much as I personally love a challenge, this *is* a difficult game overall to begin with.   Having a major difficulty spike at any time..... that isnt just woe-related.... is probably a no-no here.   It'd lead to alot of frustration, likely.   The challenge level definitely seems to ramp up well enough over time as well.

I too haven't finished a game yet, so have yet to reach the age of monsters and the age of gods, but a quick thought occurs to me... what if age of man has access only to army units of man, soldiers, archers, siege... and the age of monsters could add the mythologicals. Leaving the god tokens for the age of gods? In this way, the game is spaced and no additional mechanics are needed, but it does differentiate each age, so that each age 'feels' different.  :)

-Teal


Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 05:42:58 PM »
My general problem with end game seems to be that I can pretty much focus on burning down what I need in monsters, so I get to Age of Gods and I'm already in a "I've won" state. Of course, playing at a higher difficulty can fix that to some extent.

I think things would have a better feel if you felt you needed to play through all the acts with more of a hit the goal.. prepare for next act.. hit the goal.. prepare for next act ebb and flow. Right now, I hit the goal, and I just work toward the next act's goal before I am even there.

I think this can be solved by pretty much doing two things:

1) Make the goals of each act ramp up much faster.
2) Make the score *rewards* in each act ramp up as well.

So hitting the Age of Gods score goal would be very difficult to impossible to do in the early acts. I wouldn't be able to say "let's get all the carnage out of the way while things are easy", I'd pretty much have to spread the carnage out throughout the whole game.

Of course, doing extra carnage in the early acts would still make the later act goals easier to reach, since they are putting your closer to the target, but it would be a lot more difficult to actually *reach* that target too early.

Mick, what if each act had its own score needed. So i'm in age of man, i need 10,000 points, i get 12,000. But the extra 2000 do NOT go toward the next act, i'm just over for age of man. Then i go into age of monsters with zero and have to get... say 15,000. Lets say i squeak by with 15,200. And the 200 is over, but not for the next age. So i go into age of gods, starting at zero again, for that age, and need... say 20,000 to pull the game off, but now, i have woes and other things, as well as score to worry about.
Does it sound workable?

-Teal


Offline x4000

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 05:43:21 PM »
In general, I think anything that removes existing functionality from part of the game is going to not be popular, and I'm going to have to shoot that down.  Unless there is really really a good reason for it, I mean.  If you look at the mountains and lakes, or the ability for mythologicals to attack bandit keeps, you can see how people HATE having their stuff taken away.  If the design had started that way, they would never have known to care.  But as it stands, it's there and so can't be taken out.  It can only be mitigated or added to.
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Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 05:48:13 PM »
Gotcha, i think you are right. Thanks for the quick response.

-Teal


Offline FooBarTheLittle

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2013, 04:21:52 AM »
Here on the forums are some really neat ideas like this one, it's a shame that they will never make it into the game. I'd really like to play/test them in a game so my suggestion:

All the gameplay additions/removals could be an option on the new game menu. If somebody likes to have a different game, he can check e.g. "Gods revenge [ x ]". I know this would lead to a more complicated development cycle as everything has to work together (on and off), but could really add much replay-ability value as every game could have other rules. Some preset rules would allow to have some game-types (convenience for beginners) and only with the "custom"-type you could check or uncheck everthing you like. (I rember somthing like this being in Civ.)

Offline solosol

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 07:55:41 AM »
As it is true that in easier difficulties you can get early the score required so that causes to relax more later, I suggest this:

Once a new Age is hit, the game checks if the score requeriment is met -lets say 3000 or whatever-. In that case, it offers the player something like: "Ok you already got the score, want to keep on it, or want to try to get -lets say-another 5000 for the next age?

This way, the player can choose between playing relaxing, or getting a new aim. The player will also get a bonus score if the latter option is chosen . Each decision will change depending on different factors but mainly in the player. Am I doing fine enough? Do I need more challenge, or better dont try adding unnecesary risks?
So it will depend on player experience with the game. More experienced will accept for the score bonus, but if the game is turning mad, you can just play "safe" the next age and don't mess with the score.

This decision over each age will make all (the age and each game) more different, as you are accepting -or not- more challenges. The bonus in the last age could be noticeable enough to make player decisions more sharp...

About the message... I miss something that reveals more each age. Now, changing age means only the name flashing in the screen, and new units in the playback...So this would be nice to make the distinction showing a message"- Good! you have reached the Age of XXX", maybe introduce the gods that will be available in that age "This and That have answered for Red's Calling, ..."and then offer the score challenge.

And this do not require changing anything in the mechanics, but some things in the score system.
What do you think?

Offline nas1m

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Re: Age of Gods as a mighty challenge
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2013, 05:42:46 AM »
As it is true that in easier difficulties you can get early the score required so that causes to relax more later, I suggest this:

Once a new Age is hit, the game checks if the score requeriment is met -lets say 3000 or whatever-. In that case, it offers the player something like: "Ok you already got the score, want to keep on it, or want to try to get -lets say-another 5000 for the next age?

This way, the player can choose between playing relaxing, or getting a new aim. The player will also get a bonus score if the latter option is chosen . Each decision will change depending on different factors but mainly in the player. Am I doing fine enough? Do I need more challenge, or better dont try adding unnecesary risks?
So it will depend on player experience with the game. More experienced will accept for the score bonus, but if the game is turning mad, you can just play "safe" the next age and don't mess with the score.

This decision over each age will make all (the age and each game) more different, as you are accepting -or not- more challenges. The bonus in the last age could be noticeable enough to make player decisions more sharp...

About the message... I miss something that reveals more each age. Now, changing age means only the name flashing in the screen, and new units in the playback...So this would be nice to make the distinction showing a message"- Good! you have reached the Age of XXX", maybe introduce the gods that will be available in that age "This and That have answered for Red's Calling, ..."and then offer the score challenge.

And this do not require changing anything in the mechanics, but some things in the score system.
What do you think?

I like this idea - if it is feasible to implement :).
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