A couple of insights from the AoW veteran

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions A couple of insights from the AoW veteran

This topic contains 22 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN 8 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
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  • #75039

    Teehon
    Member

    Have a good day everyone. I’ll start with saying that yes, I count myself as a true AoW veteran. I started playing the Shadow Magic when I was in middle school and continued playing with pauses until pretty much now (And I am 22 at the moment). There is only one game which I played more and it’s Baldurs Gate. And for the last four years I only played AoW in multiplayer, with other members of originally Russian network aow2.clan.su, where by now we have quite a lot of foreigners as well. We made tournaments, we had statistics on played games (our own Hall of Fame), and even tried experemental ideas such as, tactical tournaments where each player had 2000 gold at the start of the game, no magic (the mage was teleported at the start of the game to the void) and you could make your own army on this gold during the first turn with the battle commencing on the second. One of the reasons why the game stayed interesting for me for such a long time is the efforts of our venerable wizard-modder Hellbrick (on this forum he is the moderator of the russian forum). For years, he was perfecting the game in his Evolution Mod (first name Our MP mod), even changing some things others thought impossible (such us: hardcapping settlers, introducting production multiple units in one turn etc.), and I really think, that the devs should take a look at least at the balance he managed to achieve.
    I waited eagerly for the second AoW and while I am not that disappointed, certain things make me sad.

    1. First of all, no mod support. This one even made me consider, after all the time I waited for the game, whether I should buy the game at all. It’s a HUGE deal for me, for, I guess, obvious reasons. (cmon, people who like your game will buy your DLCs anyway, don’t be that greedy!)

    2. 1 turn = 1 unit. While discussing this feature in Evolution thread, we first feared, that erasing this hardcap will destroy the balance of certain things, it actually didn’t happen. Even while goblin spearmen costed only 15 gold, and a capital could build up to 4 in one turn. But they are still slow, they need some food to eat every turn, and can be killed easily by global spells and so forth.

    3. 1 building to build tier 4? That’s redicilous, and actually even on big maps in AoW2 there was never ONLY tier 4 just because it’s impossible to build 9 building in ALL of your towns. 2 towns which produce tier 4? Maybe. More? Unlikely even after 100 turns. Even building tier 3 in a building which costs 150 production is waaaay too easy.

    4. Druids summoning tier 4 snakes for 120 mana?…

    That’s all for now, but I didn’t play that much yet. Surely there is more to come.

    #75056

    Mezmorki
    Member

    I think you raise great points – many of which have been discussed already as well.

    (1) Better mod support is coming according to the Dev’s – so we just need to patient on that.

    (2) 1 unit per turn building, even when you have extra resources, is a big concern for me as well. It further throws the game balance in favor of higher tier units that don’t leave production unused. I REALLY think this needs to be addressed and that building more than 1 thing in a turn at a city should be allowed if you have the resources to do it – and extra resources should carry over to the next item on the cue.

    (3) Agree regarding Tier 4 as well. I’d like to see the construction of Tier 3 / 4 units more limited, restricting them to only being built in cities that reach a certain size (for example).

    #75083

    Teehon
    Member

    restricting them to only being built in cities that reach a certain size (for example).

    Will not help. After all, you can just make houses and use this town as a gold mine until it’s big enough. No need to invest.

    #75104

    Mezmorki
    Member

    More comprehensively, my suggestions elsewhere have been to not only restrict certain unit/building constructions to certain size cities, but couple that with a limitation on how many structures can be built in a city (depending on size) AND also create some more limits to the maximum possible size of cities. For example, you can ONLY reach metropolis if its domain has no encroachments out to 8 hexes or whatever – so you’d have to space cities out far more if you want them to reach their maximum size. With building slots limitations as well, you’d have to focus an entire city around being able to produce Tier 4 units once it researches a metropolis size (for instance) – and doing that at every city might not be strategically good/viable.

    #75116

    Unahim
    Member

    More comprehensively, my suggestions elsewhere have been to not only restrict certain unit/building constructions to certain size cities, but couple that with a limitation on how many structures can be built in a city (depending on size) AND also create some more limits to the maximum possible size of cities. For example, you can ONLY reach metropolis if its domain has no encroachments out to 8 hexes or whatever – so you’d have to space cities out far more if you want them to reach their maximum size. With building slots limitations as well, you’d have to focus an entire city around being able to produce Tier 4 units once it researches a metropolis size (for instance) – and doing that at every city might not be strategically good/viable.

    Ooo, I love that idea! Very cool.

    I hate how people always think devs are being “greedy” when they don’t release mod tools, though. Those are a big investment. If you read around a bit, you’ll notice them saying that they almost had to ship the game with 5 races and 5 classes (and people already complain 6 + 6 is too low!) and only barely got them in. I can understand why they’d choose to develop their game first, and only start working on mods once the stuff they want in is done.

    #75139

    Diair
    Member

    MP Evolution allows for multiple units produced at a time? That’s awesome, didn’t realize that. Kinda offtopic, but what version is MPE at right now? The one I’m using is 2.04.109 – was wondering if there is a newer version somewhere out there.

    #75140

    Timujin.il
    Member

    i will join for point 2.
    The game as it is biased towards higher tier units.
    which leads to repetitive late game, examples:

    why would i build anything but shrine of smiting after getting access to it?
    why would i build any draconian infantry except the flier after unlocking him?

    Been able to get several low tier units will give them more viability.
    It does raise a concern though, AI with his bonuses might spam lots of low tier stacks forcing the human player into “smack a mole” annoying type of a game.

    #75442

    Teehon
    Member

    I hate how people always think devs are being “greedy” when they don’t release mod tools, though. Those are a big investment. If you read around a bit, you’ll notice them saying that they almost had to ship the game with 5 races and 5 classes (and people already complain 6 + 6 is too low!) and only barely got them in. I can understand why they’d choose to develop their game first, and only start working on mods once the stuff they want in is done.

    But that is very often the case. Especially with small DLC policy. Even though I believe in Triumph, I am concerned with their total silence about modding tools.

    MP Evolution allows for multiple units produced at a time? That’s awesome, didn’t realize that. Kinda offtopic, but what version is MPE at right now? The one I’m using is 2.04.109 – was wondering if there is a newer version somewhere out there.

    http://aow2.net/mpe

    i will join for point 2.
    The game as it is biased towards higher tier units.
    which leads to repetitive late game, examples:
    why would i build anything but shrine of smiting after getting access to it?
    why would i build any draconian infantry except the flier after unlocking him?

    Some people argue, that powerful units HAVE to be stronger than common soldiers. But in RL there were never any armies consisting of only the best troops availible (An army of only knights in full armor, or an army of only heavy tanks and fighter jets). Yes, this is a fantasy computer game, but it’s still a wargame. It’s like playing chess with 15 queens on every side.

    #75489

    Thariorn
    Member

    Have a good day everyone. I’ll start with saying that yes, I count myself as a true AoW veteran. I started playing the Shadow Magic

    Shouldn’t a ‘true veteran’ have played the other two installments too 😕

    Well, I can’t recall any Decs claiming there weren’t any mod support.
    In fact they said they will look into mod support after the initial release.
    (Please note that after the release can mean a short and a long time. So people srsly. should stop jumping to conlcusions….)

    I don’t really understand your second point.
    Where did you get the food requirement for untis from?

    Your third and fourth point are valid concerns.
    Although the T4 spam isn’t compared to Shadow magic that easily, as the whole economic is completly different.

    #75501

    Some people argue, that powerful units HAVE to be stronger than common soldiers. But in RL there were never any armies consisting of only the best troops availible (An army of only knights in full armor, or an army of only heavy tanks and fighter jets). Yes, this is a fantasy computer game, but it’s still a wargame. It’s like playing chess with 15 queens on every side.

    Well said. There are war/strategy games out there that have mechanics to ensure that all tiers of units are used in battle throughout the whole game.

    Two examples jumping to mind are HoMM and King’s Bounty. HoMM does it by giving you one slot for each tier available and by generally limiting the availability of units so there isn’t competition across tiers. King’s Bounty lets you freely recruit across tiers, but has a leadership mechanic so relative power stays constant. You can bring 1,000 tier 1 units or a handful of tier 4 units as you please, but they general balance out to the same level of power (while having very different uses!). Both games use stacking mechanics, though, so it’s apples to oranges when I try compare this to AoW.

    Do you guys know any examples that are closer to AoW but also permit all unit tiers to stay actively used?

    #75509

    Just a thought, and this would really mess with game balance so I’m hesitant to even suggest it without mods to test the idea.

    But what if cities had a limited number of building slots based upon the size of a city? Not including walls and housing and such.

    An outpost has 3 slots
    A village has 4 slots
    A town has 5 slots
    A city has 6 slots.
    A metropolis has 7 (or perhaps 8) slots.

    This would force cities to become specialized. If we included a final class building that would unlock the tier 4 units (though I’m hesitant to suggest that, since that would unbalance the game in favor of those who can SUMMON T4 units wouldn’t it?)

    #77195

    Teehon
    Member

    Shouldn’t a ‘true veteran’ have played the other two installments too 😕

    I played them too, but actually after the second one 🙂

    I don’t really understand your second point.
    Where did you get the food requirement for untis from?

    Didn’t get what you’re saying.

    Do you guys know any examples that are closer to AoW but also permit all unit tiers to stay actively used?

    It’s a bit of a problem, yes.
    Fantasy mod for civ4 (a famous one, name just escaped my memory) had hard caps on powerful units, you can have only two for example, and after one dies you can build a new one.
    In Dawn of War (one of my favorite rts online) there is a hard cap on most units as well.

    Just a thought, and this would really mess with game balance so I’m hesitant to even suggest it without mods to test the idea.
    But what if cities had a limited number of building slots based upon the size of a city? Not including walls and housing and such.

    An outpost has 3 slots
    A village has 4 slots
    A town has 5 slots
    A city has 6 slots.
    A metropolis has 7 (or perhaps 8) slots.

    This would force cities to become specialized. If we included a final class building that would unlock the tier 4 units (though I’m hesitant to suggest that, since that would unbalance the game in favor of those who can SUMMON T4 units wouldn’t it?)

    Cool idea =p

    #77234

    Sloul
    Member

    An outpost has 3 slots
    A village has 4 slots
    A town has 5 slots
    A city has 6 slots.
    A metropolis has 7 (or perhaps 8) slots.

    Sounds great, the only downside I see from here is that there are some buildings (mostly research) that you might recycle during endgame.
    Thus making choice would affect early to midgame and when players are done with researching, all research buildings will be rased and replaced with something else.
    Taking into acc. that palace is one building that needs Observatory to be built, and while destroying obs, you might still keep your palace.

    In the end for this suggestion to have much greater impact, I guess the game could use a few more buildings.

    #77262

    Thariorn
    Member

    I don’t really understand your second point.
    Where did you get the food requirement for untis from?

    Didn’t get what you’re saying.

    2. 1 turn = 1 unit. While discussing this feature in Evolution thread, we first feared, that erasing this hardcap will destroy the balance of certain things, it actually didn’t happen. Even while goblin spearmen costed only 15 gold, and a capital could build up to 4 in one turn. But they are still slow, they need some food to eat every turn, and can be killed easily by global spells and so forth.

    #77343

    Teehon
    Member

    I thought it was obvious, that I meant the upkeep. 🙂

    #77356

    Teehon
    Member

    And the second point is that in MPE unspent production point transfer to the next object in a line. So, when you put three goblin darters 25 gold each, and your town has 75 production, on the next turn all three will be built. If you build a unit which costs 50 gold, you will build 3 units in two turns, etc.

    #77387

    Caerdon
    Member

    Forcing city limitations could very easily backfire, making lower tier units even less desirable. It could work, but it’d require some pretty serious testing.

    I find that, as a princinple, forcing hard limits on undesirable behaviour is rarely a very good solution. It’s better to encourage desirable behaviour by adjusting the game mechanics so that it just leads to better results.

    Similary, I wouldn’t support hard limits like “only one T4 in a stack”. But T4s buffing the stats of lower-tiered units with their mere presence and losing effectiveness when stacked with other T4s… that’s another thing entirely.

    #77526

    Cities having inbuilt limits is a very interesting idea!

    It reminds me of Eador:MoTBW. Did you play that OP?

    It worked very well in that game, but it was built around that, and around having a hero stack or 2, not around multiple stacks like AoW3.

    I remember having to choose between spearmen and swordsmen and healers, couldn’t have it ‘all’.

    The idea of limiting cities in some way, so that they don’t “have it all” is, imho, a good idea, but I don’t know if building slots are the way to do it.

    #77537

    Usana
    Member

    I wonder if having a way to fuse together multiple lower tier units of the same kind would help some issues.

    Lets say that when you build the War Hall you get a Training Grounds building which allows you to train two regiments of tier I’s(like say archers) to become 1 group. Mostly this would increase the unit’s HP(and maybe a modest bonus on their stats if needed for balance). Once merged it could be considered tier II for upkeep costs and stat upgrades from medals. To make it more appealing the fused unit could keep the medal of the highest rank involved in fusing(so you could take a tier I elite and turn it into a tier II elite). Might make medals on lower tier units more valuable.

    When you build the racial tier 3 building you could get an advanced training grounds building which lets you train two regiments of tier II’s to effectively become a tier III following the above rules. This means you could fuse 4 archers into two Tier II’s and then fuse the resulting two into a Tier III. This of course could be abused to get high medal Tier III’s more easily. However, the resulting fused Tier III would really be more like a Tier II.5(basically Tier III HP but stats closer to tier II otherwise) and would cost more than a newly made Tier III.

    Tier III’s themselves seem fairly usable and solid so I doubt you would need a building to upgrade tier III’s. But if it was necessary you could maybe make an Elite Training Grounds available after the Grand Palace is built. I would say you don’t want Tier IV’s super easily available, but in the current design it seems they are rather easily available.

    Just a thought that somehow got spurred by this thread.

    #77550

    C4ptainZA
    Member

    I think the problem is that any Metropolis can start pumping out T4 units in as little as 2-3 turns as soon as the class building is built. Meaning any attacking army can easily reinforce their high tier troops with very little actual investment.

    In AoW2 T4 units required a lot of buildings to produce (All the war buildings, like barracks, war hall and then all the temple upgrades or builders hall upgrades), and then still could only build a T4 in 4-5 turns at best. These cities were usually deep in your empire and then it took a further couple of turns to move those T4 units to where they were needed (until the tower teleportation broke this, but again that was a MASSIVE investment to get it). The result being that building super-stacks actually could put you behind against a good opponent and only really worked against the AI. I do miss how a super buffed (enchanted weapon and seeker) T1 gold medal archer could kill a T4.

    I don’t think super stacks of T4 units in AOW3 are unstoppable, they are just annoying as they force you to spam a counter unit. I also think they should force the player to invest something into having them. Assembling your ultimate weapon should feel like something an entire city has to put everything into.

    #77574

    terrahero
    Member

    I dont think we should swing towards pumping out units even faster, but instead higher tier units should simply take longer to produce. Even in a metropolis.

    Tier 3 and 4 units should be a considerable investment of your cities production time. A choice not made lightly.

    #77590

    Gilafron
    Member

    The building limit by size of city is very interesting. By using this approach, it does invite more specialized building structures. Imagine each race with their own T3 “priest”, “warrrior”, “support” that become available on city size/building choice.

    To advance it further, perhaps allow limits on types of buildings, too. For instance, the archer grounds, arena, and so fourth don’t count against the total upgrade or have their own limit counter.

    With all that being said, one beauty for AoW3 is simplicity of city management. But the building limit I think lends itself to that even with more buildings.

    #77595

    Or simply unlock different levels of unit buildings depending on city size, e.g. a barracks/builders hall needs a village, a warhall/siege workshop needs a town, and a city for the tier 3 units (and master’s Guild)

    Metropolis for the t4.

    Bam, job’s done.

    Now throw in cities only being able to reach certain sizes is there are no other cities in the way and voila, disincentive to city ‘spam’.

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