Discussion: The Future of 4X

We’ve moved over to the paradox forums. Please come visit us there to discuss:
You can still read the collective wisdom - and lolz - of the community here, but posting is no longer possible.

Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Discussion: The Future of 4X

This topic contains 100 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  spockimpossible 2 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 61 through 90 (of 101 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #242491

    Hmm, I would simply say in AoW 3, if you are in the mop-up phase and it’s boring you picked the wrong settings for your map, and the settings array is so vast in the game, that it’s absolutely possible to pick settings which will basically crash the boundaries in which the game excels.

    Oh this is very true! Infact I recall saying the same concerning “t4 spam.” The counter to that is that game design should hold up accross all settings, merely the emphasis should change. In other words, the game shouldn’t “break” because of XL maps.

    This is why I favour emergent storytelling/gameplay, which I understand (and which I use) to mean (potentially complex) situations arising from (usually simple, understandable) mechanics. For example, using the idea espoused earlier, certain heroes will join you because of your actions (which already is more fun imho than simply hiring one) which means continued similar actions will please them (perhaps unlocking extra abilities?) but annoying them might make them desert you. Extrapolated, heroes could also function not just as combat heroes, like now, but also as Governor type heroes. Now, the emergent part of thsi is that you need your heroes to go up in power, to make them more useful, but what if doing so came at a price, either directly in the form of higher maintenance (i.e. fees, salaries) or the hero itself has agency and requires, for example, certain quest lines to be completed.

    This is nothing really new, this is the basis of companions in every single rpg I can think off.

    Slightly more general, what if building siege shops etc led to a happiness decrease. So, you build them because production is arguably the most important aspect of a city, but in doing so, you might piss the population off, or reduce their health, etc, with them potentially rebelling. An imperfect real world analogy is the resistance to frakking and nuclear tech.

    I believe this is what the original linked article was talking about when they referred to Victoria 2.

    Currently, there’s no reason not to upgrade, other than perhaps not being to afford it right now, or wanting something else.

    Less emergent gameplay related, more a gameplay design thought, is that in AoW3, I think cities (or, if this were a space 4x, planets) do too much. You need cities for income, production, growth etc. Forts can subsidise income, but what if, in a future version, or in 4x games in general, these functions were separated out? Assuming land availability remained the same, you now have divergent and interesting choices. Cities for pop growth (but costing upkeep, food etc) and forts for protection, outposts (not outposts as mini cities, outposts as tradeposts etc) for resources.

    Alternatively, make those cities more individual and having personality, and by extension, agency. Controlling an empire should be fairly challenging in and of itself, and would add an extra dimension to gameplay. It would also add in a counter to the tedium of late game, in that being in such a dominant position as to make the end game tedious would also mean you are at a greater risk of your empire imploding – thus greater strategy in not overextending (history bears this out!)

    #242493

    Draxynnic
    Member

    That’s why I always include Seal Victory with maps that are at least Large and have 4+ opponents (apart from teh fact I like the loot to be gained).
    They allow victory via map dominance and without destroying everything.

    Yeah, that’s an option, although my experience with seal victories is that if you have dominance it’s a lot of clicking next turn and waiting for the counter to come down. I’m also not so fond of the idea of the alternative to mopup being a race between two empires of who can reach the target number first.

    (That can present its own strategic interest, of course, but that’s the thing – the possibility of a seal victory does change your tactics and priorities. This is a good thing if you want it, not such a good thing if you’re looking for a more ‘traditional’ game.)

    Which is why I proposed a Battle of Antares-style condition involving holding all of the relevant sites at once, which opens a portal that allows you to send a force into a boss fight. Faster than a seal victory once you have dominance, but it does require a certain amount of map control rather than getting one point early and holding it.

    angentially, I think alot more could be done with population mechanics in a future version of aow3, by which I do not mean civ type pop mechanics, where you move a pop unit into farming etc, but rather working on the concept of manpower and ageing etc. Assuming Humans remain the basemark, having x % of your population be militarily available, but having to orry about them ageing etc could provide interesting tradeoffs. Massive Chalice kind of touched upon this with ageing heroes, with experience being valuable but that experience coming at the cost of ageing.

    The issue here is that strictly speaking, AoW maps are scaled to weeks or years, not decades or centuries. I think there are references in the campaign that indicate that a turn is still considered to be a day, although outside of the campaign it’s more ambiguous.

    Either way, ageing also has the sting in the tail that it means that theoretically that means your leader will die of old age eventually (unless they’re an elf or otherwise immune to death by ageing, of course). In a hypothetical future game with mechanics to handle that, that may be entirely reasonable, but it would be a very different game to AoW3 as we know it. 😛

    Slightly more general, what if building siege shops etc led to a happiness decrease. So, you build them because production is arguably the most important aspect of a city, but in doing so, you might piss the population off, or reduce their health, etc, with them potentially rebelling. An imperfect real world analogy is the resistance to frakking and nuclear tech.

    As I recall, Master of Orion 2 had a pollution mechanic, including having technologies and buildings that you could use to reduce the pollution. In the AoW3 context this would really only work for dreadnoughts in its direct form, but you could come up with analogue ideas. Maybe, for instance, some of those buildings involve increased logging for lumber, and elves and halflings don’t like that. Sorcerer buildings might act as a focus to draw more magical energy for the sorcerer to use, but living in an environment of higher magic could make some races uncomfortable.

    This could, in fact, be an alternative to the racial city bonuses we have in AoW3. Instead of having a flat bonus to mana, for instance, draconians might be happier in a high magic environment, and thus you can better afford to build lots of non-religious mana-generating structures in draconian cities than, say, magic-distrusting orcs. Conversely, races like dwarves, goblins, and orcs might be hardier and more tolerant of environmental disruption, so their cities are more suited to become industrial powerhouses (especially if dreadnought-esque technologies are involved).

    (We should probably keep in mind, though, that AoW has always focused on the combat rather than empire management. Not to say that more of the latter would be a bad thing, but going too far might be.)

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  Draxynnic.
    #242501

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I don’t think we (Drax, BBB and myself) are too far aprt here, if apart at all – the only reason I keep the discussion open is the fact that I do think you cannot have everything in one game on one hand and that AoW is combat- and unit-heavy by purpose and design.

    Civ is the classic happiness game – but that game tries something else completely. It’s a game that will allow you to go through without any war (in a conventional sense) at all, just defending your borders as necessary and still win. Happiness is a goal in itself here, mind you, the aim of a society being to make more people more happy.

    AoW is a different game here. In my opinion it’s a turn-based tactical fantasy combat game with a sizable amount of strategy elements and some rp elements, but it’s not a grand strategy game; it’s just that the strategic elements offer a layer making the game interesting even with autocombat in MP.

    At this point (this is specifically for BBB) map size comes into play (the dimensions and environment); the game offers 4 sizes with or without UG (which may or may not be modded) – but this represents a choice. I think I remember a long thread in which people demanded a map size beyond XL because the new RMG settings would place too much water or something like that.
    Which means that the game limits are in a way as arbitrary as the initial values of units (HPs versus damage); and as with the latter the initial measure may be off (HPs of T1 units got boosted if I remember right) with map size as well, except there isn’t a good reason to change it, although, IF THAT WAS UP FOR BALANCE, I’d say that the XL/UG size IS too big for most of the map settings, while there could be a somewhat smaller than S/UG map size for 2-player games.

    So in the end the question is whether it makes sense to introduce something into the game that (at this point) is needed only, if at all, only for special set-ups.

    It’s also noteworthy that the size of a map also depends on units speeds and terrain abilities. While there ARE a few logistics techs and the Death March spell, you could simply add secret techs to research when everything is done that would increase unit speeds in some way. Or “Beacons”. This would shorten things as well, obviously.

    Of course, the underlying question is, if the next AoW iteration was to be more “strategic” – how would you do it? But that’s too far away for me to start contemplating.

    #242512

    I don’t think we (Drax, BBB and myself) are too far aprt here, if apart at all – the only reason I keep the discussion open is the fact that I do think you cannot have everything in one game on one hand and that AoW is combat- and unit-heavy by purpose and design.

    Oh I wasn’t being combative, although given that this is the internet I can see why you’d perhaps think that. :).

    At this point (this is specifically for BBB) map size comes into play

    yes, I know, and I have said the same thing in the past. When the tier 4 spam brouhaha was at it’s height, I did mention that map size, amongst other settings, has a huge impact, because it allows the ai emperor bonuses to exponentially escalate, but people didn’t want to listen and instead started screaming for nerfs etc.

    Of course, the underlying question is, if the next AoW iteration was to be more “strategic” – how would you do it? But that’s too far away for me to start contemplating.

    There are a whole series of surveys that touched upon this, as I know yoiu know.

    If I had to give a short answer:

    Assymetric playstyles (by which I mean having various factions have differing victory conditions, and also differing ways, or mechanics, to interact with the world. That includes various resources being of differing importance for races and classes, varying growth rates, varying types and amounts of units available, varying unlock requirements for units etc etc. There’s a great deal that can be done with modding tools btw.

    For example, a hypothetical shadowmancer class could require using shadow gates/seals to summon their ultra units, whereas everyone summons normally, or builds theirs, which would be weaker. Similar to the idea I said earlier of Air Galleys requiring Grand Palaces and Harbours. I’m making this example up as I write, please don’t rip it apart lorewise etc.)

    Emergent playstyles or, a reactive/dynamic world. So doing x here might result in y elsewhere, and consequences further down the line. I’d also add in here that having unevenly distributed, and used, resources would give an ingame organic reason to go to war/trade/ally.

    If I am Haflings, and thus require pipeweed (judge the idea, not the example!) for my best units, and you have pipeweed that you don’t need, we could trade for it, especially if you are Elves, and there is a great Necromancer threat. If you are said Necro, now I have a need that allows for war.

    it’s just that the strategic elements offer a layer making the game interesting even with autocombat in MP.

    I understand what you are saying, and agree with you to an extent, but there seems to be a trend to add more strategy, or at least strategic management, to the series. AoW1 had fixed cities and most units were obsoleted quite quickly by higher tier units, or heroes.

    AoW2 and SM introduced being able to move and shoot for ranged units, and cities that grew (or rather, whose domain expanded as the city only occupied one hex).

    AoW3 + expansions introduced map areas that made a notable difference to your cities (MCUs), flanking and mp draining in combat, thus making t1 units far more useful than they’d ever been before.

    #242516

    The Mentat
    Member

    […] my experience with seal victories is that if you have dominance it’s a lot of clicking next turn and waiting for the counter to come down. I’m also not so fond of the idea of the alternative to mopup being a race between two empires of who can reach the target number first.

    The problem with the seals is imho that it sometimes feels like a time limit. But the basic concept is really good: To win the game you have to do something that actually damages your supremacy – you have to concentrate troops on certain points that could otherwise be used to defend or invade new cities. These troops decrease instead of increase your global domination!

    I think this should be the basic idea for every victory condition that tries to prevent that the player doesn’t feel challenged any more.

    Applied to the proposed diplomatic victory condition that could work in the following way: If a player gets too dominant he doesn’t win the game. In fact it’s possible that he actually losese the game – for example because the AIs allie and elect instantly the strongest of them as their leader.
    Instead you win by finding a good balance between supremacy (to have enough ressources to gain the support of other players) and not awakening their mistrust on the other hand. So you always have to find the right moment when you want to give up some of your domination to go for the victory instead – but if you give up too much there’s of course the danger of losing the game…

    Slightly more general, what if building siege shops etc led to a happiness decrease. So, you build them because production is arguably the most important aspect of a city, but in doing so, you might piss the population off, or reduce their health, etc, with them potentially rebelling.

    I agree that it gets more interesting if you can’t have a perfect city that is great in every type of production. However I think your proposal is one of the more complicated solutions. You can for example limit the number of buildings for every particular town level: Maybe a village can just have five different buildings – building the Siege Shop means there is eventually no room for a Store House; thus the population grows hardly and it lasts even longer until you reach the next town level to have more room for buildings like the Masters Hall.

    A further alternative: Building a Siege Shop makes anyway just sense in cities that should produce a lot. With a good balancing of the game its necessary to focus other cities on the production of gold (IE merchandise), mana or knowledge. It would just be a waste of money to construct Siege Shops there.

    Less emergent gameplay related, more a gameplay design thought, is that in AoW3, I think cities (or, if this were a space 4x, planets) do too much. You need cities for income, production, growth etc.

    I agree with this too. But imho there should just be more different types of cities…

    #242560

    I agree with this too. But imho there should just be more different types of cities…

    Can you expand on this?

    I’m playing more and more boardgames these days, and some of the ideas there are really quite clever and I think worth considering.

    #242563

    Draxynnic
    Member

    I think The Mentat means player-built structures that the player may want to build instead of a city.

    AoW3 has forts, of course, but the fort is basically a cheap city that you build in lieu of a real city (and there’s no reason not to send a real settler over when you can to make it a real city apart from the cost of the settler, and the possibility of losing a more valuable site to an opponent). There’s nothing that can make you look at a location and think “Actually, I’d rather have X there than a city”.

    That said, I’m not sure what you might replace it with when it comes to economic sites. Generally, if a nation is exploiting the resources of a location, there’s a settlement nearby for doing the exploiting. Different settlements that perform different roles are more along the lines of choosing different building lines for a city rather than not having a city at all. (Master of Magic arguably solved this by having the cities of various races being very different in behaviour, but this sort of asymmetry probably doesn’t combine well with the migration mechanic.)

    The problem with the seals is imho that it sometimes feels like a time limit. But the basic concept is really good: To win the game you have to do something that actually damages your supremacy – you have to concentrate troops on certain points that could otherwise be used to defend or invade new cities. These troops decrease instead of increase your global domination!

    I think pretty much every alternate victory condition does this from a broad perspective, with the exception (ironically enough) of the MoO vote: having a large population and keeping too many opponents from uniting against you is also useful towards building military dominance. For instance, the beacon victory involves spending a lot of resources that could have gone into building an army instead.

    Applied to the proposed diplomatic victory condition that could work in the following way: If a player gets too dominant he doesn’t win the game. In fact it’s possible that he actually losese the game – for example because the AIs allie and elect instantly the strongest of them as their leader.

    I wouldn’t be inclined to have this happen unless those voting for the leader are collectively strong enough to win. The Free Peoples voting for Aragorn as their leader wouldn’t have stopped Sauron, after all. I think it’s better if this circumstance results in the AIs ally in order to make a concerted effort against you – that way, the endgame difficulty ramps up because you’re facing a coalition aligned against you rather than being able to pick the other leaders off one by one. This could be followed by a mass surrender if you win a few decisive battles and the computer decides that the coalition just can’t win.

    The ‘vote for a leader’ mechanic really needs to represent a situation where there’s a credible argument that you can’t just fight your way to victory against the leader anyway. Master of Orion required a 2/3 majority for the vote, for instance – it’s reasonable to presume that a coalition of 2/3 or more of the population of the galaxy uniting under one banner is not something that the rest can resist. If you have a position where, say, the player has 60% of the resources and the groups forming the coalition have the other 40%… the coalition electing a leader isn’t an instant win for the coalition. It’s a last-ditch effort to present a united front.

    #242588

    I’d argue that as with most game genres, game play mechanics are by far the most important thing when it comes to replayability/keeping a game fun to play. Feelings of progress come from the flavouring of how these mechanics are implemented; however without good mechanics, flavouring is pointless.

    Plus, I feel like AoW3 does a good enough job when it comes to feelings of progress. AoW3 is a combat focused game and as a player acquires new spells and units, not only do they have better stats, but they usually also have unique/different effects and mechanics associated with them.

    #242595

    The Mentat
    Member

    I agree with this too. But imho there should just be more different types of cities…

    Can you expand on this?

    Actually I was rather thinking of this:

    Different settlements that perform different roles are more along the lines of choosing different building lines for a city

    The idea here is that all towns start with a regular settler but get more and more different when they’re growing. On some positions you want to have eventually something like a bulwark: Powerful fortifications und supply for armies in the domain (e.g. higher movement or healing rate). It could also increase the power of units unlocked by MCUs in the domain.

    On the other hand cities could also be economic centers: These provide for example additional buildings that increase the income from structures in the domain; or something like a trade warehouse that influences adjacent cities.

    A further option are academical cities that are focused on improving the quality of the troops (higher research, increased buffs from MCUs for regular units, …).

    The basic idea is to offer the player the choice which kind of city he wants in a particular position. Of course this can be done in different ways: Mutually exclusive buildings, a limit for the number of buildings for every town level or any other mechanic that makes it ineffective to use structures from different building lines combined in one city.

    I think it’s better if this circumstance results in the AIs ally in order to make a concerted effort against you – that way, the endgame difficulty ramps up because you’re facing a coalition aligned against you rather than being able to pick the other leaders off one by one. This could be followed by a mass surrender if you win a few decisive battles and the computer decides that the coalition just can’t win.

    This is a good solution to prevent the mopup phase if the objective is the standard domination victory. But some alternative victory conditions can not only prevent the mopup phase but achieve something additional: It’s actually more typical in boardgames but often there’s a point where you “put your cards on the table” – that gives you the chance to win but makes you also vulnerable.

    What does this mean regarding the “vote for a leader” mechanic? The AIs should not only vote in accordance with their sympathie and relations but definitely also punish too much dominance. If the required majority is 2/3 and the player gets near this value, the AIs have to react. (I didn’t play MoO, so maybe this is anyway the case there). Thus for a diplomatic victory the player really has to invest in diplomacy (and this needs – with a good game design – many ressources at a point where he is far away from supremacy).

    Btw, inspired by Starflecks link I watched yesterday some Extra Credits. And he actually mentions something quite similar here (“the short term goal to survive conflicts with the long term goal to win”).

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  The Mentat.
    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  The Mentat.
    #242610

    I think the core question we should be thinking of is:

    What makes 4 x fun and, conversely, what makes it unfun?

    For me:

    what makes a game fun:

    -simple to understand mechanics, meaning a game that is simple to get into, but one that is complex to master.

    variety (content)

    replayability variation in content, assymetric mechanics, range of map sizes etc.

    scaleability (from small maps to large maps, few players to many players, the game should maintain it’s fun integrity)

    emergent, organic gameplay

    theme/chrome/flavour

    progressive feedback loop (player feels they are progressing)

    unfun:

    unneccessary micro. This is very subjective, as some people may enjoy managing every nuance of every town.

    unnecessary clicking. Again, subjective. I’ll illustrate with an example. In Civ 5 and Warlock, you have one unit per turn, which means fights take many turns as you click, click, click. In AoW3, inventory management has similar issues. This could come under a broader category of UI.

    lack of flavour, blandness (unit descriptions imho go a long way to helping add flavour)

    not much to do in your turn (I’m looking at you especially Endless Legend). AoW3 is brilliant in this regard.

    endgame tedium. Arguably every game has this because a core part of gameplay is progression, which is fun, but at which point have you progressed so much as to ensure a victory, but not having yet got the victory? You could label this powercreep/challenge as well. XCom 2 suffers from this quite a bit. If you have 2 Colonels, you can win any mission, unless you misclick or really mess up (Veteran difficulty).

    4x games going forward imho need to focus on what makes games fun, and if need be, hyperfocus on 1 or 2 mechanics, or Xs, and make those rewarding. Thea has no expanding, little extermination, good exploitation and exploration, a somewhat clunky interface and a fairly turgid quest system, but it is a great deal of fun.

    Endless Legend imho had some great ideas (province, trade, assymetric factions) but the core gameplay was dull as dishwater imho (rubbish combat and only 3 units per race didn’t help things) and the immersion was lacking (aside from faction intro videos, there was nothing to draw me in really. Quests were a good idea, not well executed imho, and the graphics annoyed me. Game just felt bland all round:().

    #242682

    The Mentat
    Member

    what makes a game fun:

    -simple to understand mechanics, meaning a game that is simple to get into, but one that is complex to master.

    Imho the best way to achieve this is the right mix of variation and real choices. Choices mean you can develop strategies und there’s room to improve your game. If combined with too much variation the player won’t gain enough experiences where he can base his decisions on. The game gets just complex without meaning. It’s like choosing between five options but you can’t get a feeling for the consequences; in the end it leads to arbitrary choices.

    On the other hand, if there’s not enough variation, the player has always the same choices. And this means he will soon find out a kind of optimal strategy and choose always in the same way. Therefore not enough variation implies the game’s lacking depth. In the end there are just no real choices any more.

    A example for the second case are the soldier skills in XCOM2: They are quite balanced but after more than 100 hours of play I’m finding myself always choosing the same abilities. (Of course I’m using gunslingers and sharpshooters but both have their fixed skills.) This is true as long as there is no variation. The only exeption is when you get one of the random additional skills. They sometimes synergies with different abilities and then the choice gets interesting again.

    In AoW I think there a two large fields of choices: Development and positioning choices.
    Development choices primarily cover

    • Cities (buildings)
    • Unit production
    • Hero skills and
    • Research

    Positioning choices are about

    • Army movement and
    • Settlement founding

    Besides there are decisions about diplomacy and combat (and probably further) that unfourtunately don’t fit in this system.

    I’ll take just one example: Unit production
    Obviously AoW offers a huge amount of choices regarding units. What about variation?

    1) Variation based on the map
    This exists through MCUs: Depending on the buffs they grant, different units get more valuable. A good expansion on this concept is BBBs idea from the balance thread:

    […] what *can* be modded is the requirement for an MCU, which imho would make strategic map city placement much more interesting. In singleplayer, […] I *think* that, requiring flowrock quarries before building Juggernauts, would make lower tier units more obviously useful, and make higher tier units much more special!

    If this happens in a systematic way for every class, I’m all for it!

    2) Variation based on settings (race and class)
    Especially Tigrans and Frostlings are good examples: Through abilities like Bleeding Wounds, Inflict Chilling, Pledge of Protection or Dome of Frost it’s almost necessary to mix these creatures instead of spaming just the T3 unit. Thus they feel really different.
    I think the other races are a bit too similar: Barracks always unlocks archers and infantry, the War Hall provides pikemen and cavalry. Here is still room for more variety.

    #242686

    I think the other races are a bit too similar: Barracks always unlocks archers and infantry, the War Hall provides pikemen and cavalry. Here is still room for more variety.

    At grave risk ofi getting off-topic, I do broadly agree with this, with the caveat that this relative mirroring makes balancing a bit easier.

    I do think, and I imagine most do, that Tigrans and Frostlings are the hottest and coolest races there are (haaha puns!)

    I’m (slowly) working on a mod to adjust the other races to make them more varied.

    #242701

    Draxynnic
    Member

    The basic idea is to offer the player the choice which kind of city he wants in a particular position. Of course this can be done in different ways: Mutually exclusive buildings, a limit for the number of buildings for every town level or any other mechanic that makes it ineffective to use structures from different building lines combined in one city.

    I’m used to it now, but to be honest, to begin with I was quite surprised when people complained about being able to build everything in a city in AoW3. In my experience, while you can do it, it’s often better not to. After all, every building you construct costs not only the initial purchase price, but also the value of the merchandise that the city could be building instead. Now, I don’t play the 500+ turn megagames that some people do – I tend to consider 100+ turns to be a long game – but in my experience having the luxury to spend gold constructing buildings just because I can is a rare event. It’s much more efficient to give cities a role (often determined in part by the sites around it) and only construct the buildings it needs to optimally fulfil that role. A military city will be geared towards producing one or more particular unit types… and once it gets there, it keeps producing them unless I no longer have need for them or can’t afford it (and in the latter case, it’s also unlikely that I have spare cash to go into extra buildings). A city with a lot of external gold-producing structures like mines but nothing else interesting might be given defences and some basic infrastructure to ensure good growth and happiness and then be left producing merchandise to churn out the gold. A city which, for whatever reason, isn’t suitable for military production might be built towards a grand palace if I have spare money and/or I want the casting points, but the odds of the same city having both military production buildings and being on the grand palace track is low (it’s basically only likely to happen if the units the city was building become obsolete). Specialisation develops naturally from the buildings I make the choice (or, perhaps, calculation) not to build.

    (Things like different choices of economic racial governance will influence this – for instance, if I have the Tigran governance that makes observatories generate gold, then I’ll be more likely to make observatories even if they’re otherwise fairly redundant. However, the general principle still stands. Specialisation grows out of opportunity cost.)

    That said, some of the proposals you make could work. Limited building slots has worked in other games in the past… although I’m inclined to think it just sets a hard constraint in place of the soft one of limited resources. Mutually exclusive buildings… I think is something that needs to be done right. The original Majesty achieves this: it makes sense that elves don’t get along with dwarves (particularly in the setting) or that necromantic priestesses of Krypta and justice-seeking paladins of Dauros are rarely going to coexist peacefully in the same settlement, and the game’s design was such that the choice you made there felt equivalent to making a choice between factions in other strategy games. HoMMIV, on the other hand, felt as if needing to make a mutually exclusive choice on every unit tier above the first was rather arbitrary, and while I never got into it seriously enough to make the calculation, I’m willing to bet that those who have did have pretty good ideas of which option at each tier was better…

    This is a good solution to prevent the mopup phase if the objective is the standard domination victory. But some alternative victory conditions can not only prevent the mopup phase but achieve something additional: It’s actually more typical in boardgames but often there’s a point where you “put your cards on the table” – that gives you the chance to win but makes you also vulnerable.

    True enough – however, if we continue to have the choice of which victory conditions apart from straight military conquest are available (and I think we should), I think it’s useful to have a victory condition that pretty much means “domination” without necessarily needing to go through the mopup phase of wiping everything off the map.

    Alternate victory conditions should be something the player should be able to choose whether they want to deal with or not. For instance, I definitely consider seal and unifier victories to be a ‘sometimes food’ – they’re a good alternative to have, but I wouldn’t want to have them in every game.

    What does this mean regarding the “vote for a leader” mechanic? The AIs should not only vote in accordance with their sympathies and relations but definitely also punish too much dominance. If the required majority is 2/3 and the player gets near this value, the AIs have to react. (I didn’t play MoO, so maybe this is anyway the case there). Thus for a diplomatic victory the player really has to invest in diplomacy (and this needs – with a good game design – many resources at a point where he is far away from supremacy).

    Yeah, I’ve been saying all along that the AI players should recognise when the player is approaching dominance and react.

    On the other hand, realistically speaking, if an AI likes the player enough, that reaction may well be to help the player win rather than to oppose. To give a real-world example, most “Western” nations weren’t exactly crying themselves to sleep about US dominance when the Cold War ended. Either way, though, they should react. Friendly AIs might hasten to form an alliance to make sure they’re on the winning side, while if the player is weaker they might prefer to remain aloof to avoid being dragged into the player’s wars. Unfriendly AIs should band together in an alliance to oppose the dominant player, when a less dominant player might be ignored or attacked individually. Neutral AIs, if not wooed by the player, might be pushed into the hostile camp by fears of what the dominant player might do with their dominance.

    Btw, inspired by Starflecks link I watched yesterday some Extra Credits. And he actually mentions something quite similar here (“the short term goal to survive conflicts with the long term goal to win”).

    I think this conflict is an inherent part of 4Xs, actually. At any given time, you have to make a decision between how many resources you spend bunkering down and how many you spend pursuing the four Xs. Even in situations where you have well-defined attack paths and you know that the enemy isn’t going to be able to slip something past your advancing forces, going on the offensive risks losing your forces in an ambush and not having enough to resist the resulting counterattack.

    To an extent, if you’re making meaningful steps towards victory without accepting any risks to do so, you’re probably in the mopup phase.

    I think the core question we should be thinking of is:

    What makes 4 x fun and, conversely, what makes it unfun?

    Pretty much agree on everything here. There are a couple I don’t entirely agree on, but I don’t entirely disagree on either.

    One thing I’d note in particular:

    Endless Legend imho had some great ideas (province, trade, assymetric factions) but the core gameplay was dull as dishwater imho (rubbish combat and only 3 units per race didn’t help things) and the immersion was lacking (aside from faction intro videos, there was nothing to draw me in really. Quests were a good idea, not well executed imho, and the graphics annoyed me. Game just felt bland all round:().

    The 3 units per faction was one of the big things that turned me off even trying it. To be fair, the impression I got was that there was customisation you could do with those units. However, my first thought when browsing through the official information was “well, in most fantasy 4Xs you choose your faction based on the handful of units that really define that faction, so maybe what they’re doing here is showcasing those units and they’re just the standout units in a larger lineup”.

    And then I did a little more research and no, that was all there was.

    2) Variation based on settings (race and class)
    Especially Tigrans and Frostlings are good examples: Through abilities like Bleeding Wounds, Inflict Chilling, Pledge of Protection or Dome of Frost it’s almost necessary to mix these creatures instead of spaming just the T3 unit. Thus they feel really different.
    I think the other races are a bit too similar: Barracks always unlocks archers and infantry, the War Hall provides pikemen and cavalry. Here is still room for more variety.

    Yeah, the fact that you have meaningful synergies between the units of those races so that they do actually work together rather than just wanting as many as you can get of whatever unit is most suitable to your situation is a big plus there. I think other races do have their synergies too, but frostlings in particular are a cut above with that.

    #242702

    Taykor
    Member

    The 3 units per faction was one of the big things that turned me off even trying it. To be fair, the impression I got was that there was customisation you could do with those units. However, my first thought when browsing through the official information was “well, in most fantasy 4Xs you choose your faction based on the handful of units that really define that faction, so maybe what they’re doing here is showcasing those units and they’re just the standout units in a larger lineup”.

    And then I did a little more research and no, that was all there was.

    Well, I have to say this. This could be not and is not a problem. I’m ok with the number of core units (even when for one race I don’t know how to use one unit from the race set and use only 2 others). By using equipment you can make custom designs of units and specialize them more than enough. Plus you can choose one (and later two) minor faction units and customize them too. Plus buying mercenaries. Clunky and uncontrollable combat is a problem, yes, but not the number of units.
    Also, units are quite different between races.
    I’d say to the contrary that AoW has more units than is really needed. And I’m actually quite amazed at the number of unit mods that are created for AoW. Mostly pointless, in my opinion.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  Taykor.
    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  Taykor.
    #242709

    Draxynnic
    Member

    It really depends on the degree of customisation. If you can use it so that you can customise units into genuinely different roles, that would make the difference. After all, most military units until about a century ago were basically “man”, “man on horse”, and “siege weapon and crew”, with equipment providing the additional distinctions between them.

    As I said, it was “one of the big things”, not the only thing. If that was the only thing, I probably would have tried it out. As is… it’s on my radar, and if I hear the other problems have been fixed I might give it a go, but I’m not eager to jump in right away… and my liking for combined arms and a variety of units is part of that.

    #242712

    Taykor
    Member

    It really depends on the degree of customisation. If you can use it so that you can customise units into genuinely different roles, that would make the difference.

    You definitely can. There are amulets that give movement points, for example, and the difference will be very noticeable. But you can instead give more attack, for example. You can change attack value, attack stat (regulates hits, misses and crits), defence, initiative in a rather wide range. Plus weapons can give attack bonuses against different unit types (like flying, infantry, cavalry and so on) or abilities (like splash damage or various debuffs – speed or attack? – for mages).
    I’m not saying the game is perfect and you must like it, though. =) Only that it’s possible to make a good game without half hundred units per race. 😉

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  Taykor.
    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  Taykor.
    #242722

    The Mentat
    Member

    in my experience having the luxury to spend gold constructing buildings just because I can is a rare event. It’s much more efficient to give cities a role (often determined in part by the sites around it) and only construct the buildings it needs to optimally fulfil that role.

    I admit there is already some natural specialization. But the difference is not huge: Econimic cities are economic just because they produce merchandise. Unit producing cities have in addition to the basic structures only some production and military facilities.

    What I have in mind is that cities are more individual and unique. So if a player captures a town it’s not just another city but noticeably different from other settlements; something that develops from the structures in its domain and the way the city is built.

    A bit more specific: In AoW III a bigger city means a higher income. A metropolis provides 40 gold whereas a village only produces 10. What if the growth of an academic oriented city wouldn’t increase the gold income but the gain in knowledge. IE a metropolises doesn’t provide more gold but improves the research. Of course this could be further supported by buildings: Some give just extra knowledge (laboratory), others can boost it by a percentage – or increase the benefit of Seek Knowledge.

    But I agree that this doesn’t necessarily have to involve measures like mutually exclusive buildings…

    By using equipment you can make custom designs of units and specialize them more than enough.

    While it is true that there is a huge amount of possible customizations, this is again one of the cases where I tend to use always the same builts after a while.
    But still… I think the game is worth to try it.

    I’d say to the contrary that AoW has more units than is really needed. And I’m actually quite amazed at the number of unit mods that are created for AoW. Mostly pointless, in my opinion.

    I tend to the same view. I wouldn’t have a problem if every class allows to build, say four class units – with significant adjustments for each race – and every race would again add only four own unique units. Thus Orcs may not have an archer but this makes units from dwellings and MCUs in return more valuable.

    #242727

    Elemental: Fallen Enchantress did something with regards to city differentiation that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Once a city grew in size for the first time you had to choose the role of the city: food and gold, magic and research, or military production and a defensive bonus.

    All city types could still do everything the others could (albeit poorly,) but their base incomes were adjusted and the more specialized and advanced city improvements were restricted to certain town types.

    Every time one of the cities grew in size again, it got a “level-up” screen giving a choice between three more mutually exclusive options that fit in with the type of town that it was.

    I found this to be an interesting system because it forced specialization on your cities, unlike when I play civilization and all of my cities end up building most of the available buildings by the end of the game. In Age of Wonders, on the other hand, I feel like resource and time management already forces city specialization on me, especially when considering treasure sites in the domain, so I don’t think that kind of system would be necessary for this game. Additional city specialization might improve the game, but it isn’t as big an issue with Age of Wonders as with many other 4X games in my opinion.

    #242745

    Draxynnic
    Member

    You definitely can. There are amulets that give movement points, for example, and the difference will be very noticeable. But you can instead give more attack, for example. You can change attack value, attack stat (regulates hits, misses and crits), defence, initiative in a rather wide range. Plus weapons can give attack bonuses against different unit types (like flying, infantry, cavalry and so on) or abilities (like splash damage or various debuffs – speed or attack? – for mages).

    That… pretty much sounds like the degree of customisation I thought there was. In AoW3 terms, you can start with infantry and choose between giving them shield or overwhelm, or make them into pikemen, and then make a few tweaks to their stats, but you can’t give them a ranged weapon and turn them into an archer or irregular.

    Which, to me, says that three units isn’t really enough. I mentioned that most human armies could be broken down to ‘infantry, cavalry, artillery’, but they didn’t actually get so degenerate that a historical army could be represented by the Endless Legend model until the invention of the bayonet merged the roles of melee and ranged infantry. Even in Roman times, known for their standardisation, the legionnaires (heavy infantry that could double as skirmishers) were supported by archers and cavalry – which may be auxiliaries, but the Romans did have their own! Throw in artillery, and that’s four units without minor faction auxiliaries. And that’s just considering the basic historical units, without considering any fantastical ones you might want to throw in like arcane or divine magic users, unusual mounts, and so on.

    If AoW3 took the EL model, then you could take the human faction and merge Civic Guard and Archers into a single archer unit that can be given either equipment set, and do the same with Longswordmen and Halberdiers, and with Cavalry and Knights. However, that would leave them without artillery or any magical units. Now, the human equivalents of Endless Legend have an archer unit, an infantry unit, and golems… but Endless Legend has its own unique world in which it makes sense for the human-equivalents to be that hyperspecialised (they’d been living underground for ages and thus their military was focused on that). For a more conventional world, even with customisation, you’d want the humans to have at least five units – archer, infantry, cavalry, magic, artillery – with the possibility of artillery being shared among most races like it is in AoW3.

    Without that customisation, I think what’s in AoW3 is about the bare minimum for humans. It works, and it allows them to fulfil all the roles that you’d expect fantasy medieval European humans to have in the military. Classes tweak that, and mean that theoretically there are lots of units per race, but even with the increased variation by race, I’m still inclined to think of them as class units rather than race units per se. Which race you choose to build a particular class unit with is basically equivalent to the EL-style customisation: it may tweak the stats or make it more effective against a given target, but it does not make it a new unit with a different role. In fact, the existence of class units that allows AoW3 to get away with relatively short racial lists – you don’t need to have a wizard-type unit, for instance, you just have Apprentices and the reasonable prerequisite that only sorcerer lords can train them.

    To me, five units, even with customisation, is too small. You just can’t do combined arms with infantry, archers, cavalry, artillery, divine spellcasters, arcane spellcasters, and possibly other special units with five units… and even if you could, in the EL context where you have three from your primary faction and two each from your minor factions, you’d need to choose carefully in order to have even five roles filled out. EL, by my understanding, also requires a certain amount of research to get the better units of your primary faction and getting minor factions requires some investment, so in practise you actually have just one unit (with customisation) early on. That said, the focus of EL is clearly different to AoW3, and the fact that we have some people saying AoW3 is about right, some people saying that there are too many units, and some people obviously thinking there are too few indicates that different people are looking for different things!

    At the bottom line, though, if you have a faction that is your conventional human kingdom (rather than, say, the Vaulters) then I think a player has a reasonable expectation to be able to field a reasonable cross-section of historical units (archers, infantry, cavalry, artillery) as well as at least a little magic even for boring humans.

    For other races, there’s a bit more room to manoeuvre. In Master of Magic, for instance, only a few races had access to a full or near-full range of the common units – others had more restrictive lists in exchange for special units and/or racial abilities, and some had very restrictive lists in comparison. However, I think there is a distinction to be made between cutting a unit because a race doesn’t have it and cutting a unit simply because it’s not that race’s speciality. Consider the example of orc archers, for instance. There are very few settings where orcs are known for their archery, and in settings where the orcs are part of a multiracial coalition (the Horde, say), ranged support will generally come from a race that is more suited to it… however, when the orcs are on their own they’ll always have some sort of archers because even they realise that poor ranged support is better than none. In the AoW context, it’s been well understood since the first game that you used (dark) elf archers and orc swordsmen given the opportunity, not the other way around – however, the orc archers and dark elf swordsmen are still worthwhile to have in the lineup because sometimes the one race is all you have, and a unit that fills the role less effectively than the equivalent of a different race is still better than having nothing to fill that role at all. (This is also, incidentally, part of the reason why I wasn’t particularly fussed about razorbows being weak back when others were complaining about it – because I’d always regarded it as a stopgap, not something that was really intended to compete against elven, goblin, or even human archers.)

    But the difference is not huge: Economic cities are economic just because they produce merchandise.

    This might be because having income-producing buildings risks becoming a calculation: you’re basically investing gold now in order to give you more gold down the track. Racial governance allows you to have buildings that generate gold, but there you’ve usually given up a bonus to your units.

    Regarding the example of the academic city… I’m not sure. The larger city, even if it has an academic feel, is still likely to be producing more economic activity and thus more income than a smaller city with the same economic focus.

    One contributing factor is that in AoW3, gold is pretty much always the resource you want more of. Even if a city is specialised towards producing another resource, it’s generally better to just have it produce merchandise than mana or research (there are exceptions, but they’re rare). So even a research or mana-oriented city… is likely to be primarily valuable for its gold.

    What might help here is essentially having an equivalent of the ‘hurry’ option for producing mana or research – essentially the leader funding the research rather than simply letting it happen. This could mean that there are times when it is genuinely more efficient to have one city concentrate on producing gold to fund another, rather than just building the appropriate buildings in both.

    Another option could be to have buildings that increase an income statistic by a percentage rather than a flat amount. A building that increases research at a city by 10%, for instance, might be useful at a city with lots of research sites, but probably not at one with lots of gold mines instead.

    #242748

    Jean Meslier
    Member

    I give AoW3 a top rating in terms of gameplay and artwork. It is an immensely satisfying shakeup to Shadow Magic, which was itself a very nice game. As other posters have mentioned, unsolved problems like the endgame slog remain. Nonetheless, I’ll probably keep playing 4X until I die, regardless of whether these problems are solved or not.

    The article is correct, however, that Alpha Centauri reached a pinnacle of storytelling and immersiveness that more recent games have failed to match. AoW3 has a beautiful campaign, but it is not replayable. In AC, the random map WAS the campaign; consequently, this fantastic vista unfolded before you every time you played. And it was endlessly enjoyable. The article explains well how the building and technology flavor texts enhanced the experience. AC also had a carefully crafted backstory and text interludes triggered by certain events. The interludes, flavor text, and backstory all wove together to create the sense of a real world-sized AC that I was just a part of.

    The AoW universe has the depth to create a similar experience, and I would love to see it.

    #242756

    The Mentat
    Member

    @mauvebutterfly: Thank you for the reference to Fallen Enchantress. I watched already some Let’s Plays today and the town levels are definitely an interesting mechanic!

    But the difference is not huge: Economic cities are economic just because they produce merchandise.

    This might be because having income-producing buildings risks becoming a calculation: you’re basically investing gold now in order to give you more gold down the track. Racial governance allows you to have buildings that generate gold, but there you’ve usually given up a bonus to your units.

    And there the separate building lines come into play – because strengthening the economy means also that you have to give something up: A more research or production focused city.

    One contributing factor is that in AoW3, gold is pretty much always the resource you want more of. Even if a city is specialised towards producing another resource, it’s generally better to just have it produce merchandise than mana or research (there are exceptions, but they’re rare). So even a research or mana-oriented city… is likely to be primarily valuable for its gold.

    Eventually my attempts to create city specializations are just a result of the fact that I dislike this priority of gold and producing merchandise. More balance between these ressources would allow the player to think about his priorities. And even to adapt to different situations. I can imagine that it could even be realized fairly easy:

    Another option could be to have buildings that increase an income statistic by a percentage rather than a flat amount. A building that increases research at a city by 10%, for instance, might be useful at a city with lots of research sites, but probably not at one with lots of gold mines instead.

    This would definitely help. And even more buildings that improve the bonus from Seeking Knowledge, Building Houses and Producing Mana.

    What might help here is essentially having an equivalent of the ‘hurry’ option for producing mana or research – essentially the leader funding the research rather than simply letting it happen. This could mean that there are times when it is genuinely more efficient to have one city concentrate on producing gold to fund another, rather than just building the appropriate buildings in both.

    Can you explain this a bit more? You mean “hurry research” is more efficient in cities with many buidlings that support research?

    The interludes, flavor text, and backstory all wove together to create the sense of a real world-sized AC that I was just a part of.

    The AoW universe has the depth to create a similar experience, and I would love to see it.

    I guess hat would require an additional mode besides campaign and regular random maps. The design of the map is still random but to have enough background for a story it needs also a lot of triggered events.

    #242764

    wrt city specialisation, and utility thereof, I think production is almost always going to be more useful no matter what. Even if you set the city to produce candles (which I have done in the past) you still want some production buildings to make producing the research buildings quicker.

    Anyway, going back to 4x games at large, one feature I’d like to see introduced/used more in the genre is the idea of varied resources (as mentioned earlier, in the context of providing a reason for you to go to point x on the map) but also resources that are needed to power abilities as well as buy units/buildings.

    This is in AoW3 to a degree, in that mana is used for spells but also to buy some units, but I think more could be made of it. I also think more could be made of population as a resource, because currently it isn’t actually used for anything, unless you are a WL spamming call militia (incidentally, a huge population requirement could be an interesting soft cap to the production of higher tier units for those who feel they need limiting).

    #242779

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Can you explain this a bit more? You mean “hurry research” is more efficient in cities with many buidlings that support research?

    Currently, you basically have two options for speeding up research in a city: building a research building (which will permanently buff research by a fixed amount) or setting the city to research (which buffs research by 50% for a turn).

    What I’m suggesting would be along the lines of being able to pay gold in order to have a city research even faster – say, at +100%.

    The exact figures might vary, but it might be a step towards encouraging things like having one city research and another producing gold to pay for the research.

    #242808

    MartyD81
    Member

    This is in AoW3 to a degree, in that mana is used for spells but also to buy some units, but I think more could be made of it. I also think more could be made of population as a resource, because currently it isn’t actually used for anything, unless you are a WL spamming call militia (incidentally, a huge population requirement could be an interesting soft cap to the production of higher tier units for those who feel they need limiting).

    You can already set a pop. limit for any unit in the editor. I have set a 2000 pop.(btw.: settlers and builders are set to 5000 and 2500 pop. respectively) limit for the highest tier units, and the AI does not seem to churn them out as often as it used to before the change. Sometimes, I do not really need to produce those units at all because I have found that all tiers are equally useful even in end-game. I like the feeling of beating enemies’ four-tiers with my tier I+II champions!

    #242813

    Population as a resource would be a great idea to integrate into the next game. I’d imagine T1 and T2 units would need next to nothing to produce in terms of population (so it doesn’t hinder early game unit production) but T3 and especially T4 should have a high population tag attached to them.

    Sometimes, I do not really need to produce those units at all because I have found that all tiers are equally useful even in end-game. I like the feeling of beating enemies’ four-tiers with my tier I+II champions!

    T1 and T2 units (usually the supports and archers) have some use late game as defenders. T3 and T4 units are much better when deciding what to produce en mass if you’re playing to win.

    Just looking at the situation from the perspective of unit production, a T3 can be produced late game in 2-3 turns (and rushed if needed). A T1 needs a full turn by itself. The T3 is usually stronger than the T1s combined.

    In addition to that though, a T3 is more likely to accumulate XP/medals instead of dying, gives you greater combat power per hex on the tactical and strategic map, usually have better mobility, etc. T4s are harder to produce but the same logic applies to them in terms of usefulness.

    Even if you compare a T3 to a T2 champion (which is as strong or stronger than a T3), I still rather have a fresh T3 in most situations because the bronze/grey/silver/gold medals give better bonuses than the champion medal.

    #242817

    Gloweye
    Member

    Population as a resource would be a great idea to integrate into the next game.

    It’s in the mod tools, so we can do it right now.

    #242818

    The Mentat
    Member

    I also think more could be made of population as a resource, because currently it isn’t actually used for anything, unless you are a WL spamming call militia

    For AoW III it may be reasonable to transform population to a regular resource (with eventually some positive implicite effects like limited T4). But then it also loses something of its typical characteristic:

    In most 4X-games there are at least 4 basic ressources. There are usually gold, production, a research-related resource and food/population. Food has a totally different role from the others though: It is not so much a value in itself but it accelerates the income of other ressources. If you don’t invest in food your settlements will stay small for a long time and thus – compared to other cities –they can later neither produce much gold nor research nor any other resource. In the short-term it’s however useful: No food production means more capacity for other things.

    High food production on the other hand is a risk: It makes it necessary to cut down military and economic expansion. But it rewards you later with strong and efficient cities.
    In AoW this is less significant because cities have already a high natural population growth (and because Building Houses is in almost every case worse than – from an economic view – immediate merchandise production).

    Population as a resource would be a great idea to integrate into the next game. I’d imagine T1 and T2 units would need next to nothing to produce in terms of population (so it doesn’t hinder early game unit production) but T3 and especially T4 should have a high population tag attached to them.

    I think this is okay as it keeps population important in the later stages of the game. T3 units from MCUs could be excluded as a particular feature.

    Anyway, going back to 4x games at large, one feature I’d like to see introduced/used more in the genre is the idea of varied resources (as mentioned earlier, in the context of providing a reason for you to go to point x on the map) but also resources that are needed to power abilities as well as buy units/buildings.

    Yeah, I can imagine that a small amount of rare ressources would improve the game. Something that is not necessary for the start but that marks key locations which are essential for specific strategies.

    #242885

    Draxynnic
    Member

    In most 4X-games there are at least 4 basic ressources. There are usually gold, production, a research-related resource and food/population. Food has a totally different role from the others though: It is not so much a value in itself but it accelerates the income of other ressources. If you don’t invest in food your settlements will stay small for a long time and thus – compared to other cities –they can later neither produce much gold nor research nor any other resource. In the short-term it’s however useful: No food production means more capacity for other things.

    As an observation, some also use food as a limit – the total population and army size you can maintain is limited by food. So you can have food and population in the same game fulfilling different functions.

    Yeah, I can imagine that a small amount of rare resources would improve the game. Something that is not necessary for the start but that marks key locations which are essential for specific strategies.

    I kinda feel that this was intended to be the role of dwellings and higher-end mystic sites. Want T4s that aren’t your class T4? You need a dwelling. Want Feathered Serpents or yeti? You need a city with the appropriate site nearby. And your racial and class units… sure, you can build them anywhere, but they’ll be better if you build them somewhere with the right mystic structure.

    That said, I get the impression that the idea is to have a resource that is available in specific locations, but if you have it you can use it elsewhere in the empire to build more advanced units (at a rate limited by your collection of the resource). Which could be an interesting mechanic, and possibly more realistic than a blanket ‘high tier units cost a lot of population’ mechanic.

    #242888

    Gloweye
    Member

    In most 4X-games there are at least 4 basic ressources. There are usually gold, production, a research-related resource and food/population. Food has a totally different role from the others though: It is not so much a value in itself but it accelerates the income of other ressources. If you don’t invest in food your settlements will stay small for a long time and thus – compared to other cities –they can later neither produce much gold nor research nor any other resource. In the short-term it’s however useful: No food production means more capacity for other things.

    Note that Happiness also fills a part of this role – accelerating the other ones and being a very strong boost.

    I think that, since they went with the regiment-based unit squads, having population costs would be a good plan. However, I DO think they should cut away a zero from the population numbers to make it all align a bit better – you could then ask like 8 population for your average Tier 1 unit, and you’d actually notice the effects of constant unit production on growth speed as you are taking away some 25% of your growth if you build a unit a turn. Would of course cumulate in Juggernauts needing massive crew (60 population! 2 turns of growth!) or Kharags being hungery (100 less goblins…ah well. They grow fast anyway..)

    #242892

    I also think some resources that unlock special abilities or units would be cool. So you can win without them, but the clusters of these on the map provide a very strong incentive to control that part of the map.

    Resources on a map would naturally lead to city specialisation imho, but there is a risk of resource bloat, and there are advantages to the AoW system, where logistics are abstracted (which is why Ghouls need gold).

    For the next AoW3 game, Shadow Demons returning as a race based off using population as biomass could be interesting. So gold is used to hire other city troops/pay their upkeep, buy their population (as shown in the first Nomad campaign of Shadow Magic, where various slaves are being led to a shadow gate) but biomass/mana is used to create units. It could be a pretty cool twist on things.

Viewing 30 posts - 61 through 90 (of 101 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.