A Dialogue?: Larger Map Issues Compiled

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions A Dialogue?: Larger Map Issues Compiled

This topic contains 86 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  Epaminondas 6 years, 12 months ago.

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  • #175770

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    It would seem that you have the wrong settings when you cast the Ultimate spell a lot on LARGE maps. Never get as far as that, and I play L maps mostly (even with UG). 6 AI players. Usually, I end up at war with at least one opponent in the mid-twenty turns, have one surrender in mid-thirty turns and more or less all-out war sometime between turn 50 and 60, game ending fast.
    Seal victory with point max (150) is a nice limiter here, because it puts pressure on everyone.

    #175784

    Motasa
    Member

    It would seem that you have the wrong settings when you cast the Ultimate spell a lot on LARGE maps

    Well, with “every other turn” I mean that your spellcasting focus shifts primarily to the disjunction of city/global enchantments and the recasting of your own city/global enchantments which got ended by disjunction, not literally turn 1 – cast spell, turn 2 – disjunct spell. It’s just that it get’s predictable that after a set amount of turns an AI will disjunct your enchantment, so you can charge that spell up in advance.

    Seal victory with point max (150) is a nice limiter here, because it puts pressure on everyone.

    Exactly. My only trouble with it, is that I would like to adjust the amount of seals there exist in a RMG map. Sometimes I find it too easy to defend certain seals from the AI, since it is close to your empire and far from other empires. But maybe therein lies the balance: everyone has a nearby seal (i.e. a seal closer to them, than others). I find it however more interesting if there was actually some more fighting around the control of those seals; the AI I’ve encountered generally neglects I’m close to winning.

    #175850

    Arlow
    Member

    just woke up, forgive me if a silly thought

    what if you could mod in the effects of time, like walls needing to be repaired and such for using late game resources – a hard winter, pensions to pay…

    need more coffee

    #175887

    The current system, where your leader can cast anywhere from everywhere, removes the tactical layer of spellcasting for me. You can stay out of harms way – hell, even out of the battle – and just spam your spells from a safe distance.

    I don’t mind this. I was referring to a in battle system whereby:

    damage spells get range limitations, and line of sight etc
    buff spells are touch or short range

    I think the current doubling of Leader cp when out of battle is fine.

    @ Epaminondas, reading Ericridge’s post, I do tend to wonder, even though this may be an intellectual cop out, whether it does indeed boil down to your play style.

    As an experiment, if you are willing, try XL map, settler start, research to slowest, minimal resources, maximum independent sites, and report back on your experience.

    I imagine a Theocrat, i.e. you, would do quite well here, with being able to convert and heal alot.

    I agree that this is the crux for longer games: piles of resources you can’t spend quickly enough. The “endgame” loses it’s strategic – you don’t need to worry if you spend your gold, mana and casting points wisely – and tactical layers – battles become a breeze

    One, old, proposal, was to have:

    diminishing returns on your empire size, so the bigger it got, the lower the rate of return
    diminishing returns on resources, e.g. mines “running dry”.

    Neither made it in.

    From a quality of life point of view, vassals work very well to eliminate the need to micromanage large empires, although one digresses here a bit.

    This end game super abundance can, again, be addressed via tweaks.

    Also, there are TWO victory conditions that essentially kill of the late game, one being the Seals, the other being…something new ;).

    The AI goes for both of these if they are enabled.

    @ Bouh

    With more aggressive AIs, you would be forced to war a lot sooner, and in order to survive you would need to kill them.

    I’m finding the AI quite aggressive right now, but there is a marked difference between the 2 broad playstyles. In my current game, Henna the Unborn is a Dwarf Sorceror with destruction specs, and she was hostile from the beginning and declared war on me.

    Therefore, I love the seals victory for larger maps – although I would like to make it more of a “King of the Hill” game, where you can not only alter the amount of charges you need for victory, but also the amount of seals. I hope the new victory condition of the expansion (racial governance) will make playing larger maps (turn 150+) more of an enjoyment for me.

    Ahhh…it is already known lol.

    Depends entirely on how many beacons you set it up for.

    2 Beacons lit means 2 races @ Champion plus level, which is obviously exponentially more challenging than 1 beacon, and less so than 3 etc.

    #175888

    just woke up, forgive me if a silly thought

    what if you could mod in the effects of time, like walls needing to be repaired and such for using late game resources – a hard winter, pensions to pay…

    need more coffee

    Why not an actual weather system as well?

    BTW, cosmic events have huge potential here imho to dynamically alter the game, by which I mean things like:

    collapsing all gold mines, or causing magic sickness, for x turns.

    #175979

    iceboy
    Member

    As far as large maps and resources go I know when we can mod Ill be cutting mana node output in half from 10 to 5. Gold is harder to come by as you use more of it but I may do the same to some gold output structures. I am with Epaminondas on his ideas as I am the same type turtling epic game player using larger maps that take much longer…

    #175982

    @ Iceboy, have you played around with the rmg settings?

    #176063

    iceboy
    Member

    @ Iceboy, have you played around with the rmg settings?

    Oh yes I can’t play without them for the type of game I like. I always use these settings:

    #176098

    And that is still too fast for you?

    I worry that any changes to affect those settings will impact, undesirably, the more default setting.

    I wonder if a possible solution would be to rework things from the ground up for a “empire building” setting, i.e. introduce new mechanics, in essence creating half a new game, as opposed to trying to stretch existing mechanics, which I don’t think is ultimately workable.

    #176145

    Draxynnic
    Member

    For my thoughts:

    A slow rate of per-turn experience gain is something I’d support myself. As people have said, it would have a fairly minor effect on shorter games, but have a significant effect on longer ones. It makes for a pretty good targeted means of changing the long-game experience without upsetting the balance of shorter games.

    Second, one thought that I think I’ve raised before is that the current issue with higher AI levels is that they really do encourage killing them quickly. Even at higher levels, the AI often has issues getting itself established, but once it does, the multiplier to all of its resource rates mean it can often snowball rapidly. Thus, you want to take them out before they can get going to prevent the snowball – a tactic that I can understand is unsatisfying for many.

    One fix I’ve proposed for this is to change it from a multiplier to a flat bonus. This would give the AI a significant advantage in the early game when it really needs it, allowing it to establish itself faster and put itself into a good position to transition into the later game. However, under such a system, once you do get to the situation of having over a dozen cities per empire, than even an emperor AI would not be overly advantaged compared to a player with the same empire (although the earlygame advantage would have helped them to get there in the first place!)

    This would probably go some way to helping with mass CP reserves, since it would be more difficult for the AI to mass Grand Palaces. Beyond that, I could see an argument for having certain spells becoming more expensive if they’re cast multiple times in one battle – both to reduce the ability to spam the ‘mega’ spells, and encourage more variety in use of offensive spells (it now becomes an advantage to having a handful of them you can alternate between, instead of just one that you spam).

    #176146

    @ Drax, makes sense.

    #176164

    Sond
    Member

    I too prefer longer games, but I am a noob really, and I have been working on getting better at playing the game, and you indicated, how it is has been designed for a more blitz style. That said, I find myself at turn 125 on a large map and have not really done much except acquire the independent cities around my throne. So obviously the way I play is not nearly fast enough, so any improvements or balancing decisions made towards my much slower single player only style are welcomed and appreciated.

    #176165

    Epaminondas
    Member

    HOLY COW – I can’t believe so many people actually read this thread. I return after less than a day, and the thread has exploded, when I frankly only expected BBB and a few beta testers to respond (ironically, most of the beta testers I expected to respond did not, except BBB). There is hope in Wonder-land! 😉

    Anyways, I hope I can read and respond to everyone – time and energy permitting.

    Wouldn’t some of these issues be very easily dealt with by some pre-game options that let us adjust things like base rates of gold and mana income, research, production, population growth, etc? On an enormous map, the rates could just be lowered way way down. Or how about some very basic modding support, like just being able to edit some xml files to tinker around with these rates and with unit stats and abilities?

    1. There are widely varied start-up settings. The Random Map Generator this game is absolutely fantastic in its depth and aesthetic sensibilities (that is, the maps actually for the most part look like they’ve been deliberately crafted, rather than spit out by randomly).

    2. Unfortunately, there is no modding support yet, and many expect they would not arrive till the devs are done with the game. This is one of the few areas where the devs have not so far been responsive to overwhelming player demand.

    The game is most balanced around default settings, medium to large maps with 4 and 6 players respectively…

    The central issue is that the game wasn’t ever designed (in this iteration or the previous 3) to be a fantasy Civ (hell, in the first game, you couldn’t even found cities, and their size was fixed) like, i.e. start from scratch and go for a long time.

    I mean, in Civ games, 100 turns is still early game. Here, that is a long game.

    I believe the early critiques of ‘simplistic empire management’ stem from believing this was a game designed to be like Civ, but it isn’t, and you have Fallen Enchantress and Endless Legend for that (your enjoyment may vary).

    That said, recent changes in GR and Eternal Lords are actually really cool, and good changes, in that they force hard choices, but you cannot, fundamentally, make a square peg fit in a circle.

    I’m not accusing anyone here of that, just generalizing some of the critiques (and my understanding of them) in order to understand the debate.

    For clarification on my own part: I think I may have been partly guilty of expecting a “fantasy Civ” or a “fantasy Total War” experience – initially. But at this point, I accept AoW 3 for what it is, and I am no longer – and have not been demanding – making some of my more radical demands to prolong both the overall game in general and tactical combat in particular. I am, if anything, a consummate realist. Instead, my more moderate and modest aim now is to imbue the game with some aspects of those games if – and only if – 1) it is not too resource-intensive; and 2) it does not create problems by disproportionately affecting the “standard”-length AoW game. In fact, if you read through my tentative proposals carefully, you will see that most of my ideas were tailored to have minimum effect on those who want shorter games.

    So I don’t think my more chastened position is so unreasonable.

    Point 1. Player Base – Based on what my friends do, I see a lot of people opting for medium maps. I like big maps, and I would like them to be in a good place. Your mileage may vary, but I don’t think we have a lot of disagreement on that point. However, I personally haven’t seen any anecdotal information that does not support people typically playing on smaller maps, and if Triumph is confident that most people prefer that format, I would assume they probably have data to back that statement up and are not just making up facts.

    First, it helps me to know whether you are speaking about your friends’ SP experience or MP experience. By its nature, longer games are hard to conduct online, unless you are playing against dedicated gamer friends (like my college friends who’ve been playing games – though primarily RTS and MMORPG games – with me for some two decades). So if your friends play medium map MP games, it does not really contradict my claim.

    Second, anecdotal evidence can go many ways. I have three college friends who play AoW 3 – though 2 of them are not so dedicated. One of them has preferences exactly line mine; the other 2 prefer smaller or medium map MP games, but they play larger map games in SP.

    Third, even if your conjecture is correct, and the majority do play medium or smaller map games, it appears indisputable – from this very thread even – that a substantial minority do enjoy larger map games. And, in this context, I am frankly offended that my concerns have previously been characterized as “unique” (this very word used by multiple beta testers to dismiss my concerns), as if I were the sole player on the globe who played these type of games. (I did not want to get testy here, but I see the same charge was yet again revived in a later response, when several posters on this thread have confirmed my findings, so I am not pleased at all.)

    Fourth, and finally, you presume way too much if you think Triumph has reliable data on what people prefer to play in SP. A telling counter-evidence is the fact that one of the devs came out with a mea culpa admission after release that the devs and the beta testers over-estimated the MP orientation of the player-base, did not test the longer SP games sufficiently, and thus were surprised by the outcry against longer, SP-game related problems like T4 spam. (I did not want to dredge up stuff like this and simply move forward, but some of the responses here leave me with no choice.)

    Point 2. If you are going into an empire building style game on an extra large map, knowing you (and your opponents) will have 400+ CP, and you don’t have a plan to utilize that resource, than I would assume you have (or are) selecting something to compensate for that in some way shape or form. Engaging in a straight up spell fight has not worked for me. But I will frequently bring a force to bear on a non-critical target to “absorb the CP I expect to face” before starting a fight over a more important target.

    Yes, I get that. But you cannot plan for every contingency. That is, perhaps one or two annoyingly OP aspects can be countered, you cannot counter them all.

    Point 3. Each city, as built with the individual upgrades around it, will have a unit it produces more efficiently than any other available unit. I often find that a cities most efficient unit is NOT a tier 3 or 4. I have had cities that produce a tier 4 a turn, and then you just make the big shiny thing. Generally speaking, if I can make 3 tier threes in the time it would take to make 1 tier 4, I opt for the tier 3′s. The other point about this is, how fast can I get the city to “most efficient”. If it’s producing tier 1 or 2 units (due to bonus buildings) building things like the master’s guild, or the warhall may not be good uses of your time. I find these “low tier units” useful for taking down poorly defend areas, but also critically, to draw CP fire as needed away from my big stacks of more valuable creatures. Not optimizing city production based on unique building benefits and going for sure tier 4′s may be an ok move as a Warlord, but it’s questionable for all other classes in my opinion.

    This is pretty much the only “unique” play-style-type of criticism that I accept. I do prefer quality over quantity – and I also ignore economics in most strategy games and focus on tactical combat, which means that I often end up bleeding economy and losing the war even when I win most combats – and this sometimes results in wildly inefficient strategies and ultimately game results. But even if this the case, the majority of my problems in late games cannot be attributed solely to the quality-over-quantity preference.

    Point 4. I have not seen “champion units” in abundance for any players but Warlords who have cast their end game spell. And, you need to have a plan to deal with all of the end game spells on an extra large map, because they come up a lot.

    Even if that is the case, that’s still 1/6th of the class, and a lot more depending on what the RMG Gods decree.

    Issue 1.

    Well uh, in the XL games I’ve played, I almost never see endgame spells whatsoever<br>
    even when AI have 300+ CP. In my own experiences, I’ve been hit with hellfire spell exactly once from the AI and that’s it.

    I don’t want to patronize you – especially because I am myself hardly an expert player – but you have said multiple times that you play in lower settings. (And I am being testy with you, because later you – and a few others – trot out that “your play style sucks” charge when several posters have testified that they have the same issues.) So of course the AI will be behind in research and resources.

    Further, metalminigunfox play with similar settings, and he has the same issues I have with end-game spells. So your experience might represent the exception for all I know.

    Let’s repeat it: you can’t make the game something it isn’t…

    I also think, like BBB, that you can’t square a circle. The game is spot-on, as it is, plus the RMG offers a wide array of ways to adjust things, all extreme settings somewhat “warping” the “ideal” game experience…

    As I told BBB, while I may have been partly guilty in the past of trying to over-haul the game beyond what is reasonable, currently I am not trying to “square a circle.” I am merely trying to see if some late game SP problems can be mitigated without affecting the game balance for those who want shorter games.

    That said, I think there is one simple thing that MIGHT do the trick: If you play without settlements (none) and few dwellings, games on an XL map would take very long, but would be boring. You could change that by playing with settling.<br>
    In this case settling speed would be pretty decisive, and that in turn depends on how costly a settler unit is.<br>
    Which means:

    A slider for Settler cost would do the trick.

    That slider would adjust settler cost in increments of 100/10. Doubling settler cost to 4000/400, for example, would make building a settler still possible, but VERY costly, and the high pop costs would mean small building window, if you want to avoid underpopulation penalties. So playing without external settlements and just a few dwellings plus higher settler cost would stretch the game a lot.

    I very doubt this would be a solution to the problems I am describing. Further, even if it is, it would be like throwing out the baby with the proverbial bath water. For instance, not having any settlement means playing with only the player races. In MP some MP games I play, that might effectively mean we play with 1 race (I only play MP with 3 close college friends: I prefer Dwarves and Elves; the other 3 all prefer Elves). Moreover, the independent settlement interaction is something that is enjoyable and adds a different dimension to the game that I do not want to drop.

    From what I see all the problems you are talking about revolve around one problem : Resources overabundance in late game.

    Just think about it. In late game, you have too many cities, producing too much gold, mana, candles and CP (because of palaces).

    You have isolated the core of the problem far more ably than I have.

    The solution is simple then : murder this overabundance of resources one way or another. Usualy a progressive tax is effective (where the more income you have and the less proportion of it you earn).

    This would at least partly alleviate the problem, but there are potential side effects. But I’d need to see a more concrete proposal for implementation.

    I need to ask too : did you try to change the pace slider to extend the length of games without running into these problems ?

    I’ve got over 1400-hours with AoW 3; and I’ve experimented with pretty much every setting available! 😉

    Therein lies my problem with larger maps, but which is inherent to these type of maps (which is why I just occasionally play a game on larger maps), if I start in the upper right corner of the map, it is likely I encounter and go to war with the AI player in the lower left corner when the game is past turn 100.

    Exactly; this describes my situation often. And if the furthest away player has one of these spammable OP spells at the end, it becomes annoying. Further, contrary to what many people have advised in the past, I could not have killed them before they got these spells, simply because the map is too large, and they are too far from me.

    *** Ok done with 1st page responses; I will continue with the next page in a separate response ***

    #176168

    Epaminondas
    Member

    It would seem that you have the wrong settings when you cast the Ultimate spell a lot on LARGE maps. Never get as far as that, and I play L maps mostly (even with UG). 6 AI players. Usually, I end up at war with at least one opponent in the mid-twenty turns, have one surrender in mid-thirty turns and more or less all-out war sometime between turn 50 and 60, game ending fast.<br>

    Some people like longer games, and some people also like to cast Ultimate spells (though I am not one of them; I would prefer an option to keep them out on the start-up).

    Seal victory with point max (150) is a nice limiter here, because it puts pressure on everyone.

    I really dislike playing with Seals, because the implementation has frankly been a mess. Among other critical problems, the AI seldom seems to understand that I am on the verge of a Seals victory and must be dispossessed of them. So this almost seems like a grotesque exploit/easy mode win.

    @ Epaminondas, reading Ericridge’s post, I do tend to wonder, even though this may be an intellectual cop out, whether it does indeed boil down to your play style.

    BBB,

    While I may be over-reacting to you and Ericridge’s responses, I am frankly disappointed that you had to trot this out again when other people have explicitly testified that some of the problems I mention are not “unique” to me.

    More specifically, this post entire thread was inspired in part because a new player (metalmininugunfox) said he was having trouble with the AI spamming Hellfires and Earth Quakes in late-game.

    At any rate, regarding your Ericridge point, I am going to reiterate what I told him:

    1. He plays in lower difficulty settings where the AI does not expand at the same rate nor accumulate CP and other resources as much. So of course he will see fewer AI late-game spam spelling.

    2. Perhaps his experience is more “unique” or at least a minority one? I don’t know how much he’s played but I’ve likely played more (1400-plus). Further, we have at metalminigunfox testifying he is plagued by the same AI late-game spell spamming, and he plays with a similar setting that Ericridge does. Finally, my best friend plays in my settings but plays much faster, with an aggressive Archdruid strategy. And yet he still has same issues.

    As an experiment, if you are willing, try XL map, settler start, research to slowest, minimal resources, maximum independent sites, and report back on your experience.

    I’ve done all this; in fact, this is my usual setting, except that I use “standard” or “normal” resources.

    For my thoughts:

    A slow rate of per-turn experience gain is something I’d support myself. As people have said, it would have a fairly minor effect on shorter games, but have a significant effect on longer ones. It makes for a pretty good targeted means of changing the long-game experience without upsetting the balance of shorter games.

    Second, one thought that I think I’ve raised before is that the current issue with higher AI levels is that they really do encourage killing them quickly. Even at higher levels, the AI often has issues getting itself established, but once it does, the multiplier to all of its resource rates mean it can often snowball rapidly. Thus, you want to take them out before they can get going to prevent the snowball – a tactic that I can understand is unsatisfying for many.

    One fix I’ve proposed for this is to change it from a multiplier to a flat bonus. This would give the AI a significant advantage in the early game when it really needs it, allowing it to establish itself faster and put itself into a good position to transition into the later game. However, under such a system, once you do get to the situation of having over a dozen cities per empire, than even an emperor AI would not be overly advantaged compared to a player with the same empire (although the earlygame advantage would have helped them to get there in the first place!)

    This would probably go some way to helping with mass CP reserves, since it would be more difficult for the AI to mass Grand Palaces. Beyond that, I could see an argument for having certain spells becoming more expensive if they’re cast multiple times in one battle – both to reduce the ability to spam the ‘mega’ spells, and encourage more variety in use of offensive spells (it now becomes an advantage to having a handful of them you can alternate between, instead of just one that you spam).

    I agree with literally everything you say here. Nothing to add.

    #176170

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Goddamn, Drax:

    You really said in four cogent paragraphs what I tried to say in a serial novel.

    I am going to attribute this difference to your native fluency in English and not superior intelligence and literary skill! 😉

    #176173

    As I told BBB, while I may have been partly guilty in the past of trying to over-haul the game beyond what is reasonable, currently I am not trying to “square a circle.” I am merely trying to see if some late game SP problems can be mitigated without affecting the game balance for those who want shorter games.

    And I did specifically say I wasn’t accusing anyone of this, but rather extrapolating the issue of adding changes “to make the game better,” and seeing at what point they shift the game into something it wasn’t meant to be.

    The game systems work pretty well imho.

    I’m currently in a large map, started with 6 players, and I can happily say that it is neither easy or boring.

    I am playing Warlord, but don’t have a big gold surplus (so I wonder how people get “so much gold that it doesn’t matter!”) but quite a bit of surplus mana.

    One issue I have found is that the AI has quite a few casting points, which is somewhere between mildly and slightly irritating.

    Basically, if you (in general, not you specifically) are playing on the slowest possible map settings (slow research, few cities, far distance start, UG, lots of independent roamers) and things are still too fast for you, then I think that this *may* not be the best game for you.

    I’ve played a few of those really slow maps, and they last forever ( as part of the last testing period).

    The real major issue I have found, and your mileage may vary, isn’t that I have too many resources, is that there comes a point (the arrival of which is hugely affected by difficulty level and also rmg settings) where the AI is so large and so well resourced that you essentially have to “cheese” it by fighting everything in tactical combat (I used quotes because it’s debatable whether or not that is “cheese”) and then the mechanical limitation of moving armies and fighting start to become slightly less fun and slightly more work. Your attention also starts to slip.

    An idea was floated to help alleviate this by expanding the adjacent hex rule to include the units next to the current adjacent hex, i.e:

    current system:
    x.c1.c2

    if x attacks c1, then c2 gets dragged in.

    proposed system:

    x1.x.c1.c2.c3

    If x attacks c1, then c2 starts in the fight, but after a short time, c 3 shows up (think reinforcement mechanic from TW) as well as x1.

    This would allow:

    fewer, bigger fights in the endgame
    more use for numbers based strategies (i.e. actually be able to bring forth your Goblin hordes)

    This is the dreaded end game tedium, and it happens in *every* turn based game I know off, but here it is considerably better (imho ofcourse).

    In EL, they use the winter mechanic to try and shake things up, along with being able to win by completing a quest line, both okay ideas but imho not amazingly well done.

    Believe me when I say this with a huge pinch of salt, but have you (Epaminondas) considered Endless Legend? I personally did not like it very much (thought it was a classic case of good first impression, wow with style, lack real substance, be a bit boring really) but it is essentially the exact opposite of Aow3 in terms of focus.

    It’s *all* about managing your cities and empire, and the combat part is…well I dislike it.

    #176176

    My take on the issue (and I do play quite long games: I just only use at most three super stacks to preserve the fun and challenge) is that you have a modern economic system without modern technological change.

    To expand, as the game develops, your resources increase at a rate roughly commensurate with the cost of abilities and troops, so it takes more to do more. However, there is a limited pool of abilities and units to unlock, but resources can grow to a much greater level with the largest maps and biggest cities. Resources become greater than intelligent spending needs, so you can build whatever you want everywhere at once.

    In a modern society, this is expected, so material needs and intellectual goals become much more complex (the smartphone is a more powerful computer than what the us used to reach the moon, and every middle class person has more personal wealth than many medieval kings).

    This doesn’t happen in a fantasy video game, because you can’t really have archers and fighter jets (archers and gunpowder actually works very well until you get good rifles in the mid and late 19th century), and because it would be hard to have a nearly infinite set of units without going into the future, or outclassing basic units even more than our t-3 and t-4’s (I love that Epi defined “T-4” as a term of art for his argument. such a lawyer move).

    The game combat system works best when you have a psuedo medieval set up: lots of irregulars, archers and basic infantry, and about half “professional troops” so cavalry, supports, t-3’s, and a small elite (heroes dragons, etc). Depending on settings, this lasts for anywhere from 70-200 turns on even the largest maps.

    So my solution would be to somehow medeivalize the economic system of the game. One way would be plagues as a cosmic event for big cities: It worked pretty well for the total war games.

    Another would be to more closely model the extractive effect large cities had on medieval countrysides: you could make Metropolies cause smaller cities of the same race in your empire to lose population, so you’d have a limited number of big production points, but weaker, smaller, less happy satellites.

    You could also do something as simple as make city size limited depending on terrain type: so a high elf needs a certain amount of forests in their domain to grow, or say that a city with an even slightly impacted domain can’t become a metropolis.

    The best solution, although it would require redesigning the game, would be to make an income cap for a map through the “carrying capacity” of specific regions. In other words, a metropolis could allow only villages or towns for a certain hex distance around it because there are already too many people there. violating the carrying capacity could cause unhappiness, revolts, plauge, etc.

    If the figures were set right, then even large empires would be unable to rely on only high tier units until they had some very large fraction of the map, which would precipitate ai surrender anyway.

    #176177

    Epaminondas
    Member

    The game systems work pretty well imho.

    I did not say it doesn’t work in general. I think the game is absolutely brilliant, and I’ve not enjoyed any TBS game more (more on this issue later).

    One issue I have found is that the AI has quite a few casting points, which is somewhere between mildly and slightly irritating.

    That – as many have echoed – might be the biggest problem with larger map games.

    Basically, if you (in general, not you specifically) are playing on the slowest possible map settings (slow research, few cities, far distance start, UG, lots of independent roamers) and things are still too fast for you, then I think that this *may* not be the best game for you.

    No, no, no; I absolutely adore this game. Would I be writing such novels and have nearly 2k posts here, and 1400-plus hours accrued in-game if this game is not for me?

    I think the problem is one of communication. Ironically, my very passion for the game gives the impression that I disliked a lot of things about the game, because I cannot be dispassionate about faults I find with the game. But whatever the faults I find, they are overwhelmed by the good aspects.

    Believe me when I say this with a huge pinch of salt, but have you (Epaminondas) considered Endless Legend? I personally did not like it very much (thought it was a classic case of good first impression, wow with style, lack real substance, be a bit boring really) but it is essentially the exact opposite of Aow3 in terms of focus.

    It’s *all* about managing your cities and empire, and the combat part is…well I dislike it.

    One of my friends who plays AoW 3 has EL and likes it equally, but having watched him play a bit on his computer, I cannot imagine I’d like it. Once again, I think I am giving the wrong impression of my preferences. The fact that I prefer the game to be longer does not mean I prefer Civ; Civ is too long (even for me), and more important, it does not have tactical combat. In short, I can wish AoW 3 to import some elements of Civ without preferring Civ to AoW 3.

    #176180

    Epaminondas
    Member

    So my solution would be to somehow medeivalize the economic system of the game. One way would be plagues as a cosmic event for big cities: It worked pretty well for the total war games.

    This is a fine idea; Medieval II is one of my all-time favorite games – one of the few games I’ve enjoyed as much, or nearly as much, as AoW 3.

    Another would be to more closely model the extractive effect large cities had on medieval countrysides: you could make Metropolies cause smaller cities of the same race in your empire to lose population, so you’d have a limited number of big production points, but weaker, smaller, less happy satellites.

    This could work as well – though subsequent suggestions are likely too ambitious and need too much work to make it worthwhile at this stage.

    #176181

    I’ve done all this; in fact, this is my usual setting, except that I use “standard” or “normal” resources.

    Why, then, complain about an overabundance of resources, when there is already an existing solution for that specifically? Also, you know what the Emperor bonuses are, so if those bonuses are affecting your enjoyment, switch to King? After all, this is a game which you mostly play alone, so who’s to judge?

    My point is

    – that *some* of the factors can be altered by choosing different rmg settings
    – playing on XL maps stretches the game systems eventually
    – at some point, one has to question whether new changes about the rmg capabilities are needed or useful, and what effects they may (or may not) have on other modes
    – fundamentally, I think what you are talking about is the ‘late game tedium’ but you talk about specifics which I believe are symptoms.

    The late game tedium for me comes from the AI having too many resources, so it is less about out maneuvering and more about just grinding them down. An aspect of that is having so many CP. That is why I personally don’t favour changing the spell system (not for this anyway. A possible, radical, overhaul to make spells more like ranged abilities, as outlined earlier, could work). The AI seems coded to prioritise CP over other research, but gets such a huge research boost that there is no way a Human can compete.

    Ergo, my solution here would be to either nix the research bonus (but keep the gold bonus and encourage them to build Observatories etc) entirely or program it to not research CP so quickly. That would delay it, but not “solve” it. Bear in mind that you actually want a degree of challenge from a late game Emperor AI, so for me the holy grail is maintaining the challenge and the fun.

    Ultimately though, I think the real “core” of the issue is the AI bonus system.

    Change that, and you change everything.

    Actually, it has already been changed, and I think 1.5 has those changes as well? Have you noticed that the AI won’t send 6 stacks of t4 units your way anymore, or that it won’t settler as much or as quickly?

    Both related to AI bonuses, which makes me think so much more could be done here.

    For a start, front loading the bonuses, to help the AI get established (there is a little bit of this already actually) even if this means something as simple as starting the AI with 2,000 gold and mana, then scaling/tapering the bonuses toreflect empire size.

    Like + 50% (Emperor) gold and mana if Human Empire is equal or larger than AI.

    The idea is that it helps the AI get established, but that the late game is still fun. As your empire expands, they start getting more bonuses, so the end game is challenging. If their empire is bigger than you, they get nothing.

    Idea needs tweaking, but I do believe that most, if not all, of the late game related issues stem from the AI bonus system.

    BBB,

    While I may be over-reacting to you and Ericridge’s responses, I am frankly disappointed that you had to trot this out again when other people have explicitly testified that some of the problems I mention are not “unique” to me.

    So far no one has gotten personal or defensive, so no need to. It’s a good thread (so far).

    #176182

    This could work as well – though subsequent suggestions are likely too ambitious and need too much work to make it worthwhile at this stage.

    I’m just laying the seeds for some technically minded person to make a mod when that becomes possible. I brought the idea up in a “diminishing returns” thread in the closed beta, and the devs said it sounded interesting, but would be too much work. Sort of would be the opposite of the LOTR medieval II mod, come to think of it.

    #176185

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Why, then, complain about an overabundance of resources, when there is already an existing solution for that specifically? Also, you know what the Emperor bonuses are, so if those bonuses are affecting your enjoyment, switch to King? After all, this is a game which you mostly play alone, so who’s to judge?

    It’s possible that with lowest resources, the spamming mega-spells problem may be alleviated to a degree. But I doubt it (though I will try it).

    As for lowering difficulty, that is a worse solution, because then the game becomes too easy.

    Why would not something like what Drax suggested so objectionable as a compromise? It does change the game a bit, but I think it arguably makes the game better, even for those who do not play longer games. Remember, we are trying to look for a solution that works for everyone – folks who play longer games, and folks who play shorter games.

    The late game tedium for me comes from the AI having too many resources, so it is less about out maneuvering and more about just grinding them down. An aspect of that is having so many CP. That is why I personally don’t favour changing the spell system (not for this anyway. A possible, radical, overhaul to make spells more like ranged abilities, as outlined earlier, could work). The AI seems coded to prioritise CP over other research, but gets such a huge research boost that there is no way a Human can compete.

    Ergo, my solution here would be to either nix the research bonus (but keep the gold bonus and encourage them to build Observatories etc) entirely or program it to not research CP so quickly. That would delay it, but not “solve” it. Bear in mind that you actually want a degree of challenge from a late game Emperor AI, so for me the holy grail is maintaining the challenge and the fun.

    Ultimately though, I think the real “core” of the issue is the AI bonus system.

    Change that, and you change everything.

    Actually, it has already been changed, and I think 1.5 has those changes as well? Have you noticed that the AI won’t send 6 stacks of t4 units your way anymore, or that it won’t settler as much or as quickly?

    Both related to AI bonuses, which makes me think so much more could be done here.

    For a start, front loading the bonuses, to help the AI get established (there is a little bit of this already actually) even if this means something as simple as starting the AI with 2,000 gold and mana, then scaling/tapering the bonuses toreflect empire size.

    Like + 50% (Emperor) gold and mana if Human Empire is equal or larger than AI.

    The idea is that it helps the AI get established, but that the late game is still fun. As your empire expands, they start getting more bonuses, so the end game is challenging. If their empire is bigger than you, they get nothing.

    Idea needs tweaking, but I do believe that most, if not all, of the late game related issues stem from the AI bonus system.

    I pretty much agree with your analysis of the AI research bonus problem, and how to attack it.

    AI research bonus is one of my biggest issues with the AI, but I didn’t elaborate my dissatisfaction in this thread, because it is not exclusively related to longer game issues. I believe one of the more prolific Rogue players (forgot his forum ID) suggested that AI research bonus be reduced and that AI could receive compensatory bonuses in other resources; I still like this suggestion. AI coming at you with hordes of same tier armies is more pleasant than hitting you with T4s when you don’t even have class T3s yet.

    #176188

    No, no, no; I absolutely adore this game. Would I be writing such novels and have nearly 2k posts here, and 1400-plus hours accrued in-game if this game is not for me?

    I got that, hence the large pinch of salt!

    I meant it in the sense of looking for the “longer” type of game.

    So my solution would be to somehow medeivalize the economic system of the game. One way would be plagues as a cosmic event for big cities: It worked pretty well for the total war games

    I did propose diminishing returns, *and* more catastrophic cosmic events!

    If I understand your proposal, you want to introduce a squalor mechanic essentially?

    In other threads, I have said that I would welcome a way to make the world feel more “alive” without going off into Civ land, i.e. no worker placement, tile management, but a more medieval aspect to things, such as:

    using population more interactively, perhaps as your pool for recruiting units and working the land, along with food and gold as resources.

    A medieval style levy system, so if you levy your populace, it might cause discontent and, will hurt your income potentially, so longer wars become draining. You could expand this to include things like horses as a resource, so that if you have no horses, you have no Knights…

    There’s a grave danger of complicating things though, a.k.a. making a mess, and also probably more suited for a different, game, more medieval simulator.

    So, back to what could feasibly be added into AoW3 via patch or expansion:

    – different bonus system

    – diminishing (and therefore varied starting) resources in gold mines (e.g. mines running dry, and greater gold mines which give more etc) and mana nodes.

    – cosmic events to shake things up on a map wide scale, e.g. mass flooding…

    – greater minimum distance between cities (or fewer cities on default settings if you like) which would = fewer Grand Palaces.

    – Removing the CP upgrade effect of Grand Palaces, and replacing it with something racially different (in effect a city limited version of a governance buff). This last one is probably the easiest to implement (just turn off a number), and the most focussed in scope, as it targets excess late game CP.

    #176189

    Why would not something like what Drax suggested so objectionable as a compromise?

    Not objectionable, I actually like this idea, along with most of what he brought up in the diminishing returns brainstorm a few weeks ago (now that was an epic discussion…:S).

    Anyway, I believe this thread is about potential solutions, so I have listed some, and eagerly await your thoughts.

    #176192

    Ericridge
    Member

    Epaminodas, is King Difficulty not good enough? Cuz I play on King currently and plan to give Emperor difficulty another try when eternal lords expansion comes out.

    #176193

    Epaminondas
    Member

    So, back to what could feasibly be added into AoW3 via patch or expansion:

    – different bonus system

    – diminishing (and therefore varied starting) resources in gold mines (e.g. mines running dry, and greater gold mines which give more etc) and mana nodes.

    – cosmic events to shake things up on a map wide scale, e.g. mass flooding…

    – greater minimum distance between cities (or fewer cities on default settings if you like) which would = fewer Grand Palaces.

    – Removing the CP upgrade effect of Grand Palaces, and replacing it with something racially different (in effect a city limited version of a governance buff). This last one is probably the easiest to implement (just turn off a number), and the most focussed in scope, as it targets excess late game CP.

    I have already said elsewhere that I support the first 3 items – the 2nd one in particular.

    In the past, I have also been a vocal proponent of item #4, greater minimum distance between cities, and I did praise the devs on reducing the AI spamming in recent patches. I think greater minimum distance between cities is good for more than controlling late-game resource glut; it makes cities more meaningful, and the struggle to possess them a momentous events.

    The last item I am not 100 percent sure; removing Grand Palace CP production will dramatically reduce CPs to the point where CP-dependent classes or strategies might be over-nerfed.

    #176197

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Epaminodas, is King Difficulty not good enough? Cuz I play on King currently and plan to give Emperor difficulty another try when eternal lords expansion comes out.

    The kind of AI spell-spamming you face at King and Emperor is dramatically different (and I alternate between the 2 difficulties, so I know it intimately). Moreover, you’ve said in the past you play mainly Lord, so I was comparing that and Emperor.

    Regardless, another player who plays with the same difficulty as you have also said that late-game spell spamming is a serious issue for him, so I object to the claim that this is a “unique” problem only I experience.

    #176201

    The last item I am not 100 percent sure; removing Grand Palace CP production will dramatically reduce CPs to the point where CP-dependent classes or strategies might be over-nerfed.

    #

    Make it plus 2, 3, 4 or 5?

    Make it work as a % of total empire size?

    Make it an upgradeable option, e.g. a casting chamber upgrade (allows cheaper spells when Leader is absent, i.e. not double cost) choice instead of straight CP? You could even make it class specific, so the extra CP is what Sorcerers get (but less than now) but a Warlord’s grand palace would give + 300 morale to units from that city, a Dradnought’s would do something with wheels and pulleys, The Theocrat one would give more resistance and make all units from that city devout, etc etc.

    Remember that the Ai will typically get these in every city it has, whereas you won’t…and this was presuming the existing bonuses don’t change.

    Going to bed now. I’ll be doing your Grey Guard overview tomorrow.

    #176206

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Make it work as a % of total empire size?

    Make it an upgradeable option, e.g. a casting chamber upgrade (allows cheaper spells when Leader is absent, i.e. not double cost) choice instead of straight CP? You could even make it class specific, so the extra CP is what Sorcerers get (but less than now) but a Warlord’s grand palace would give + 300 morale to units from that city, a Dradnought’s would do something with wheels and pulleys, The Theocrat one would give more resistance and make all units from that city devout, etc etc.

    Remember that the Ai will typically get these in every city it has, whereas you won’t…and this was presuming the existing bonuses don’t change.

    Going to bed now. I’ll be doing your Grey Guard overview tomorrow.

    If you do it that way, in principle I’d be on board; but again, the details would be key. And I don’t have self-interest at stake here, since I play neither Archdruid or Sorcerer; so I am purely worried about over-nerfing them from an object perspective.

    Sure; good night; and I will eagerly await.

    P.S. I don’t think we disagree as much regarding the game as some of our spats would lead one to believe; the problem had as much to do with impressions and miscommunication than substance.

    #176216

    iceboy
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN wrote:</div>
    The game systems work pretty well imho.

    I did not say it doesn’t work in general. I think the game is absolutely brilliant, and I’ve not enjoyed any TBS game more (more on this issue later).

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN wrote:</div>
    One issue I have found is that the AI has quite a few casting points, which is somewhere between mildly and slightly irritating.

    That – as many have echoed – might be the biggest problem with larger map games.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN wrote:</div>
    Basically, if you (in general, not you specifically) are playing on the slowest possible map settings (slow research, few cities, far distance start, UG, lots of independent roamers) and things are still too fast for you, then I think that this *may* not be the best game for you.

    No, no, no; I absolutely adore this game. Would I be writing such novels and have nearly 2k posts here, and 1400-plus hours accrued in-game if this game is not for me?

    I think the problem is one of communication. Ironically, my very passion for the game gives the impression that I disliked a lot of things about the game, because I cannot be dispassionate about faults I find with the game. But whatever the faults I find, they are overwhelmed by the good aspects.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN wrote:</div>
    Believe me when I say this with a huge pinch of salt, but have you (Epaminondas) considered Endless Legend? I personally did not like it very much (thought it was a classic case of good first impression, wow with style, lack real substance, be a bit boring really) but it is essentially the exact opposite of Aow3 in terms of focus.

    It’s *all* about managing your cities and empire, and the combat part is…well I dislike it.

    One of my friends who plays AoW 3 has EL and likes it equally, but having watched him play a bit on his computer, I cannot imagine I’d like it. Once again, I think I am giving the wrong impression of my preferences. The fact that I prefer the game to be longer does not mean I prefer Civ; Civ is too long (even for me), and more important, it does not have tactical combat. In short, I can wish AoW 3 to import some elements of Civ without preferring Civ to AoW 3.

    I have to agree here. I like the same type game as Epaminondas but that does not mean this game is not for me. I absolutely love this game. With the newest patch and the upcoming expansion this may be my favorite game of all time. And I have loved the entire franchise. Just because we like to play slower more epic single player games we still love the game and want to improve it in all ways. Can the turtlers not offer game suggestions as well?

    I have also tried Endless Legend and it just does not do it for me. It is boring. AOW III is just fun. AOW does and has always done it for me.

    “I can wish AoW 3 to import some elements of Civ without preferring Civ to AoW 3.”

    Agreed!

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