Author Topic: Developers requesting feedback: near-term changes to mountsains & mythologicals  (Read 6482 times)

Offline x4000

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What do folks think about these ideas for a very near-term patch?  These would change quite a bit, so I'm wary of doing them without discussing them first. ;)

#1:

The best I've thought of is giving some military units (not the myth ones, but the normal ones) the ability to cross mountains.   Or even perhaps certain units can build on / do something to mountain tiles that then enables other units to pass them, albeit slowly?    Not that I know how in the heck ancient armies managed to deal with things like mountains and such (or if they did at all).   But it does seem a little off to me (from a gameplay standpoint) that they are this sort of absolute and total wall against EVERYTHING.

That's probably a good idea for a way to differentiate some of the basic military units more anyhow, which we're always looking to do.  Maybe one barracks unit per side could gain the mountainwalk ability, and perhaps the really slow and direct-attack siege units like battering ram and trojan horse could also get it.  Anyone have any gut reactions to this?

#2:

Aye.  Part of the problem though is that nothing can shoot through the mountain barrier.  Most siege units do not need to directly impact a city, they just need to be in position to aim at it, so alot of anti-city attacks seem to happen that way.  A chokepoint done with just smite often doesnt prevent them from firing at it, but something done with mountains can (and easily).  Even with a single hole in it, it may still prevent the majority of attacks against it.  Not to mention that new land cant then appear on the edges of the city in question (which is one of the things that can provide a threat to them, since stuff can then appear on that land).

Perhaps mountains should no longer affect Line of Sight, then?  Right now just mountains and towers do that.  I think towers should continue to block line of sight -- probably -- but it sounds like mountains perhaps should not.

#3:

I see. Well there are enough uncrossable tiles in the game. Why not just make it such that mountains can only ever be crossed one tile at a time (without the flying/mountain crosser ability)?

Or in general, just applying a super high movement cost to going across mountains, might do it.  Something like a movement cost of 6 or 12 or 20 or something.  I would then need to really work on the pathfinding for units to work better with terrain movement costs (which right now are ignored because of the nature in which units move, but that's solvable).  The mountainwalk ability (or flying) would then just reduce the movement cost to the usual 1.

#4:

Maybe a "cost" of the myth could be a resource that is built up based on how long non-myth on on the board. Basically human military because a resource-gathering type of placement of their own. So in order to really pump out myth units, you HAVE to have a constant stream of non-myth in order to support it. Drying up your human military will severely hamper your ability to pump out the fun stuff.

EDIT: A downside I could think of is that the player might just block off a large human military somewhere like a herd of cows... trapped.. bloodthirsty cows..

What if instead the resource is when humans are killed? This would buff non chokes.

That's a good point.  Now we're back to soul harvesting, though. ;)  Which I'm fine with, really; it encourages destruction, which is great.  And it's something that we could make only work for red and blue, potentially.  ACTUALLY, when a red human dies then 1 soul goes to the red faction.  Red building dies, it's 5 souls to the red faction (let's say).  Ditto on blue.  Then the souls are a per-faction resource, and something that encourages warfare (even letting bandits come get you).


Left to my own devices, if I was just making this for myself, these are all changes I'd hop right on and make today.  But, let's face it, this is about more than just me.  So what do you folks think? :)
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Offline Mick

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There was a post somewhere where someone mentioned making mountains simply act as stronger hills, and lakes acts as stronger marshes. I liked that idea.

Offline Panopticon

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Mountains as a movement penalty/defensive bonus is pretty good. As far as the movement penalty goes I think something like costing all AP and a minimum of 3 (or whatever) AP would be good. This way units with AP boosts won't be able to trivialize the Mountains and pretty much anything would be able to cross them. Anyway this sounds good to me, I can't wait to see what flaws you guys find in my reasoning. ;)

I think mountains should block LoS. It's one of the things that makes them feel like mountains. Although allowing flying units to see past them would be cool and thematic. As far as siege units go, perhaps allow other units to spot for them?

I don't know. I feel the same cheese as everyone else does where mountains are concerned. Still, I don't want their impact on the game to be minimized too much. I think the problem can be dealt with just by tweaking the tiles attributes. Seems like getting into new unit abilities could be potential for a new layer of issues.

Offline sarudak

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Why not just make mythologicals more costly? Isn't that already there as an intended balancing method? Why add another method before trying to adjust the already existing method to fulfill the intended goal?

Offline Magus-k

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I like the mountains taking higher AP to cross but, block line of sight.  I like having lakes block movement entirely as, they don't block ranged attacks.

If you'd rather not play that particular game, you could make land unswappable outside of your "side's" control.  You can place a mountain in a blank for the usual 1 action but, you can't replace existing land that isn't in "your" city range.  Then you can give up city size for some measure of safety or spend extra time to smite land and then rebuild mountains or lakes.

As for mythological units, make them "go rogue" after a few turns.  Let's say that all myth units may go yellow after 10 turns and possibly found a lair.  That will a)ramp up chaos as you can't trust your monsters to stay on their own side and b) provide more pillage areas for human units.  Maybe make  the chance start at 5% and increase the probability per turn by 5%.  After 30 turns, or one age, all myth units will go bad.


Offline nas1m

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#1: Yes, this would spice things up a bit - a good change.
#2: No, this seems a bit counter intuitive.
#3: Yes, that would definitely be a good compromise.
#4: YES, please :D.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 02:47:42 PM by nas1m »
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Offline Echo35

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I saw someone else mention this too, so I know I'm not alone, but how about leaving everything the way it is and making mountains be considered by the game as blocking terrain, in the same way that empty spaces are? Basically, I can't smite all the tiles away to completely seal off a town, so since almost nothing can pass a mountain, how about just making it so that mountains block clear pathing in the same way, and making it so that each town must have a clear path connecting them, as they do now?

Offline Bluddy

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Whatever is decided, I suggest making the changes to mountains in the official patch, and more experimental stuff like deaths serving as resources for myth monsters in the 'beta' patch.

Offline zespri

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#1 - yes this looks like a good idea
#2 - Well mountains  should porbably still affect line of site of archers, etc, but not siege units
#3 -I'm not sure about this one. The concern is that if the movement cost is high enough, it's basically the same as now - the mountain can't be crossed.
#4 - on papaer sounds ok. I'm neutral to this one as I don't have a feeling how this will play out in the end.


Misery's idea  sounds cool: if you wall off an area, the pesky annoying humans would make the holes in your walls and will trickle in anyway. Slowly at first and then flood. I'm visualasing this as a basin of water that is slowly overflows. At first the trickle is in one place, than in a couple and soon the water pouring literly from all sides. This is of course clashes with #1 and #3 as this is a different implementation:
instead of giving an ability for just *certain* units to cross, (which can be exploitable by witholding the resource that is needed for building those units) make it so that all units can make a tunnel / build a bridge over a mointain tile.

Another idea for path finding: how about whem a unit is next to a mountain that is on it's way it damages it a little. When it's damaged enough you can't build anything on top of it any longer (as with ruins) and it's not longer a mountain. This will mean that the pathfinding would find an optimal path *with mountains in place* but any mountains that are "in the way" will gradually wear down until destroyed. This should of course cover the case when there is no direct path to the target, and in this case the mountain will be destroyed faster simply because a unit will be just standing there waiting for the flood gate to open.

Too complex, eh? Never mind, just my 2 cents.


Offline zespri

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Whatever is decided, I suggest making the changes to mountains in the official patch, and more experimental stuff like deaths serving as resources for myth monsters in the 'beta' patch.

I'm not sure that with steam integration as it is today we even HAVE the beta patches for the latest titles. Do we?

Offline zespri

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I saw someone else mention this too, so I know I'm not alone, but how about leaving everything the way it is and making mountains be considered by the game as blocking terrain, in the same way that empty spaces are? Basically, I can't smite all the tiles away to completely seal off a town, so since almost nothing can pass a mountain, how about just making it so that mountains block clear pathing in the same way, and making it so that each town must have a clear path connecting them, as they do now?
The difference would be that an empty spaces eventually is filled up by terrain, and mountain space will not. This makes quite a difference. But yes, if there was a simple solution like that I'd be in favour of it over a more complex one.

Offline chemical_art

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I dont like 2. With this mountains will instead just be water except some can cross. I also dont like 3. In part because it will add a lot of complexity in unit logic...and wont solve chokes since you drop lakes and then a mountain. in essence making a moat then the wall.
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Offline FallingStar

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1-3: Actually I like mountains and lakes feeling different than other terrain and some element of almost tower defense pathing in the game.  I guess I don't seal off towns and abuse it, though.  Some mountainwalk /flying is okay, but having barriers and pathing your units at least a little bit is fun, and gives the player some feeling of control with their units.  And I prefer to place terrain than to just mass smite, and it seems more interesting all around.

I think perhaps more woes that effect terrain on a shorter cooldown could do the trick?  Crumbling mountains, floods, I know those are already in there.  Even things like cold winters that might destroy town structures if more than 2 mountains are nearby, or whatever could help.  At that point you still *could* wall off towns, but it would take so many actions to keep up your mountains, and you'd be risking getting wiped by a woe, that it really wouldn't be an optimal plan or a safe one.

Perhaps a bit off topic, but similar issue.  For me, Midgar tends to create bubbled off towns.  Chaining towns for each faction like two parallel strings of pearls is something I tried out last game which worked well, but Midgar created a fair number of isolated towns.  Perhaps increasing random tile drops with # of towns, and having them a bit more prone to dropping near towns or seeing which ones have single tile bridges and dropping near there might help?


#4 - Sounds like it could be fun to try, though I'd think Norse would need to generate more (resource) than Greek per battle.

A tweak - perhaps a faith meter?  As carnage happens, people turn to faith more.  If a faction is losing lots of units/ buildings, they take shelter in their faith, which increases the meter. Creating mythologicals needs a certain level of faith, which doesn't drop when you summon (so its a bit different than most resources). .but if your mythological unit dies, your faith drops rapidly as the people see their avatar of their faith die. 

I think it would be an interesting and different type of balance, since you'd have to pick between doing a low number of summons, but be absolutely boned if they were overpowered, knowing you couldn't summon again for a long time,  or create a *lot* when your faith is high, but then be creating a huge imbalance at the same time.

I just think anything that goes with a pure stockpile-able resource based summon will end up with the same pattern of stockpile early, then be able to cast a fair amount at will later on.

Offline Pepisolo

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1) No real problems with this.

2) Don't like this. For a mountain to not block line of sight seems a bit odd.

3) The idea that units can eventually create a bridge or trickle through somehow seems interesting as it allows you to still use mountains as a form of defense -- but only to buy time, not as a permanent solution.

4) This might work, but it just sounds really complicated and is a pretty big change and not something I would regard as a short term fix. Mythological units already have resource costs, so the short term solution would be to tweak those costs.

Offline x4000

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Why not just make mythologicals more costly? Isn't that already there as an intended balancing method? Why add another method before trying to adjust the already existing method to fulfill the intended goal?

Well, that certainly could be done, but that:

1) Makes the early game really hard in terms of using mythologicals.
2) Doesn't address an all-mythologicals approach particularly.
3) Nerfs mythologicals super heavily (or else doesn't really change much).

Some tuning, sure.  But in terms of a fundamental different magnitude of cost, which is what would be needed... I don't think that would work.

I saw someone else mention this too, so I know I'm not alone, but how about leaving everything the way it is and making mountains be considered by the game as blocking terrain, in the same way that empty spaces are? Basically, I can't smite all the tiles away to completely seal off a town, so since almost nothing can pass a mountain, how about just making it so that mountains block clear pathing in the same way, and making it so that each town must have a clear path connecting them, as they do now?

I suppose that may as well be the thing we do for now, with mountains and lakes.  It's simple and quick, and would solve the worst offending stuff that everyone notices immediately.  Things like upheaval would still block the paths sometimes, but that's okay -- so do things like Midgard Serpent, by making holes that you can't path around.

Whatever is decided, I suggest making the changes to mountains in the official patch, and more experimental stuff like deaths serving as resources for myth monsters in the 'beta' patch.

I'm not sure that with steam integration as it is today we even HAVE the beta patches for the latest titles. Do we?

We can do beta patches as much as we care to, but we can't run an official patch and a beta patch simultaneously.  In other words, so long as we want to run a beta patch, no official updates can be done until we're done with the beta stuff.  Aka, no bugfixes or balance tweaks.

With AI War being so mature, that's no problem and so that's what we do.  With Skyward being so new... that would be a pretty sizeable problem.  We may as well just have everyone on the official and do no beta versions, because the answer to lots of complaints and bug reports would otherwise be "update to the latest beta" anyway.

I saw someone else mention this too, so I know I'm not alone, but how about leaving everything the way it is and making mountains be considered by the game as blocking terrain, in the same way that empty spaces are? Basically, I can't smite all the tiles away to completely seal off a town, so since almost nothing can pass a mountain, how about just making it so that mountains block clear pathing in the same way, and making it so that each town must have a clear path connecting them, as they do now?
The difference would be that an empty spaces eventually is filled up by terrain, and mountain space will not. This makes quite a difference. But yes, if there was a simple solution like that I'd be in favour of it over a more complex one.

Yeah, that's true.  So scratch that.

4) This might work, but it just sounds really complicated and is a pretty big change and not something I would regard as a short term fix. Mythological units already have resource costs, so the short term solution would be to tweak those costs.

Well, bear in mind, this is all it would be:

1. New raw resource on the sidebar, labeled "souls."  It shows how many you have, and hovering over it allows you to see how souls are generated and what they are used for.
a. The tooltip explaining just says "1 for every human unit of this faction that dies, 5 for every building of this faction that dies."

2. New option in the direct actions, which lets you place souls like you would other raw resources, just in case you need to.

3. New "souls" resource requirement on the mythological creatures, which shows the amount needed and the brief description of where you get them.

And... that's it.  Pretty simple to me, really.  It even has the bonus of still allowing all-monster play, SO LONG AS you have them destroy enough buildings on each side.
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