Dwelling start as an option:

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Dwelling start as an option:

This topic contains 27 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Thariorn 7 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #128406

    Now this was discussed a bunch on the closed beta forum, so I figured I’d broach it on the main one as well: do people think it would be worthwhile to have an option to start with a dwelling instead of a racial city?

    The way BBB figured you could balance it was to create a “cash value” of all the starting units on the various settings, and set that to always be equal.

    In other words, if your starting army was worth 600 gold, you could have a normal start with everything set to that, or get a random dragon and 300 worth of units (or 200, if a Golden).

    You would also match the size of starting city (outpost to metropolis) with the number of currently constructed buildings (without starting with the T-4 buildings, of course).

    I think the high mana/gold cost of upgrade buildings, the lack of certain class based synergies (for some things, that is), and the fact that dwellings, once razed, are gone forever, would balance it out.

    Thoughts?

    #128407

    Epaminondas
    Member

    No, it deviates too much from the start race paradigm.

    #128409

    Thariorn
    Member

    …the start race paradigm.

    Mind to elaborate 😕

    #128416

    Marcus
    Member

    I don’t see any reason for that. How would it benefit the game (You can always capture/buy out/get it as quest reward dwelling)? Aside from that what about class units? Or buildings? It kind of kills the idea.

    #128418

    Epaminondas
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Epaminondas wrote:</div>
    …the start race paradigm.

    Mind to elaborate :?

    Marcus has outlined some issues already.

    #128428

    Gloweye
    Member

    Well, those are disadvantages you choose for. I personally would like the option, though I might not be one to play it a lot.

    #128442

    GhengisFarb
    Member

    Now this was discussed a bunch on the closed beta forum, so I figured I’d broach it on the main one as well: do people think it would be worthwhile to have an option to start with a dwelling instead of a racial city?

    I think it’d be nice to have it as an option, I’ve actually toyed with the idea of doing a multiplayer game with a premade map and each player gets to choose a dwelling to start with but haven’t quite worked it out yet.

    #128454

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Making it an option that can be turned off would be the key. If you want a regular game, turn it off. If you want to try something different, it’s an option.

    #128455

    I don’t see any reason for that. How would it benefit the game (You can always capture/buy out/get it as quest reward dwelling)? Aside from that what about class units? Or buildings? It kind of kills the idea.

    The benefit would be that it allows asymmetric game-play: although you can get dwellings in normal random map games, by that point, your empire is developed to the extent that the dwelling is only a subsidiary part of your game.

    It might be fun to fight against an AI that had some dragons from day 1, or to have dragons from day 1, but struggle to get a nearby city get racial/class units for your starting army.

    You’d also be fairly vulnerable, as your capital would be permanently destructible. It would also allow two normal players vs. 1 dwelling player as a kind of “juggernaut” style, and would allow a lot more flavor into rmg rivalries and such (dragons vs. giants, or Nagas vs. Undead, etc).

    As for class units, you’d have to rely on finding other independent cities and capturing them, unless you turned them off, but let other players have normal cities, or whatever.

    You would obviously, in those situations, only have Arch-druids or Sorcerers with the Dwellings (since they could already access most of their lineup as summons).

    Of course, in a normal map with independent cities, any class could do very well from a Dwelling start. If warlords starting with flying or floating units, they’d actually do better, since their usually scouting lack would be ameliorated.

    You could also make it so dwelling start people had some class units, based on the amount of money left over after dwelling troops (splitting available resources 60/40 in favor of dwelling troops, or whatever fraction is appropriate).

    #128483

    Bob5
    Member

    I think it’d be too reliant on luck to get a good dwelling for a decent start. Undeads take a long time without any unit production possibilities to develop even to T2, and even developing to an army of both archers and infantry already takes a bit of time. Giants also take a while to actually pump out units because they don’t have any low-tier units, while Naga get going really fast. After 3 buildings you’re already at T3, and you can even pump out decent T1 without a single building. And Matriarchs are really good to get by turn 10-15 or so with their Charming and Cursing for easy recruitment.

    #128499

    Thariorn
    Member

    I think it’d be too reliant on luck to get a good dwelling for a decent start.

    The system chrysophylax páuperem describes would work like the Campaign briefings in Age of Wonders I did.

    You’d have x gold/points to choose your dwelling, investment into already built buildings and stuff like that and the rest would be randomly spent for units to start with

    #128514

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Making it an option that can be turned off would be the key. If you want a regular game, turn it off. If you want to try something different, it’s an option.

    Generally, I am all for options, as they do not change the game for those who want to play the “regular” way. Nonetheless, even options have opportunity costs – especially for putatively small studios like Triumph. That is, implementing a dwelling start will invariably take resources away from other things. So there are two operative questions: 1) How labor-intensive will it be to implement this feature; and 2) how much benefit does it bring to the entire community? And, in this context, frankly what you guys ask seems to complicated (i.e. too much investment of studio resources) for little gain.

    #128533

    grumpysmurf
    Member

    Well I would not vote for a complete dwelling, but buying a starting army sounds good – as one can choose units he likes to play with. E.g. some might prefer cavalry, bows or pikes.

    Or you can choose to start out with a smallish army and use the money saved for a better infra structural start.

    #128534

    @ Epaminondas and others not in favour, perhaps I should put some context behind the suggestion.

    I.
    I had the idea when testing out the Naga and feeling how tantasingly close they are to a fully fledged race, and then thinking how awesome it would be to have them as a race, in that they have t2 pike and Infantry unit, a t3 support unit, and a t4 as well, but they are emphatically useless at sieges and vulnerably to ranged, but they all have regrowth.

    If they were a lizardmen race, how cool would that be?

    From that, the idea became a thought exercise in how interesting would it be to start your game as the emissary of one of these races, struggling to survive the pervasiveness of the Humanoids. What if you represented the last coalition of Dragons, finally fed up enough with being hunted for trophies to band together and fight.

    Gameplay wise, the idea was to invert the race/class dynamic, so instead of an Elven Warlord perhaps hoping for a dwelling, you’d now be the dwelling, and hoping for a Humanoid settlement as they have opposable thumbs etc, and make decent cannon fodder.

    Note, the idea is NOT to turn Dragons into a race i.e. Dragon Dreadnought = Wyvern musketeers etc.

    No, it deviates too much from the start race paradigm.

    In actual fact, the idea isn’t all that radical, and you can pretty much simulate this by creating a random map, noting the locations of everything, reproducing said map in the editor, and making players start as a dwelling.

    Balance wise, in a way it auto balances itself, because you’d start with one dwelling, and you’d have just the one dwelling, but most of these don’t have decent t1 troops, none of them have any way to boost your economy and you would absolutely still need a Humanoid race to produce your class units. So, obviously Druids and Sorcerers would have an advantage as they can play with less racial cities anyway, but flavourwise that seems fine to me.

    In essence, you’d be trading in reliability and all round competence that you get from a Humanoid race, and in return looking to leverage having access to terrifying T3 and T4 units.

    II.

    Another way of balancing it, with wider applications, such that it is really a separate idea and can be implemented on it’s own, was to allow players to choose their start forces, with a gold/mana cost.

    The value of your starting units and start gold is about 700 gold and 100 mana iirc, so the idea was to give the player the same amount of resources, and let them choose if they wanted more units at the start, fewer units and more resources(in theory start with just the leader but a tonne of gold to really push for a fast tech?), or maybe extra t3 units but weaker initial economy?

    That was partially a suggestion for the now solved situation where picking Goblin netted you considerably worse starting units than picking Dwarf (solved because Goblins much more reliably get Beetles at start).

    III.

    The 3rd strand of the idea was to combine the previous 2 and allow your Leader to be a non Humanoid, or a member of a race different to your starting one(i.e. Orc leading Goblins) for a gold cost, so, for 400 gold and 100 mana cost (which would freeze out picking any T3 units or Supports, as they need mana) you could start as a Dragon.

    Obviously non Humanoids lose all benefits from equipment, and their tech tree would have to be adjusted for it to make sense.

    1) How labor-intensive will it be to implement this feature; and 2) how much benefit does it bring to the entire community? And, in this context, frankly what you guys ask seems to complicated (i.e. too much investment of studio resources) for little gain.

    1 (labour)- depending which part we’re talking about.

    a) Dwelling start and no other changes would be straight forward I think, as you can already do this in the editor. No new assets, just increasing access to start assets.

    b) Allowing you to pick your start troops etc would be more complicated for sure. There’d need to be a new screen at game start up to allocate your resources.

    c) Non-Humanoid avatars would be the most complicated, as you’d need to balance out their tech tree, introduce actual new art assets etc.

    2 (benefit) depending which part we’re talking about.

    a) Dwelling start- your mileage will vary wildly. Some people will like that they can reliably get T4 units and that their race is radically different in just about every way, some will hate this idea, for exactly the same reasons, and that picking a class will be of lesser importance than it is now.

    b) Allocate resources – useful to pretty much everyone I’d imagine,. as it allows you to tailor your start game, thus making it a bit less rmg dependent, and allows you, at cost, to mitigate or amplify certain characteristics. For example, as a Warlord, I might choose a literal horde of cheap units, so I can explore in all directions at the start and clear by virtue of having more numbers, but at the cost of needing that clearing due to upkeep…

    c) non Humanoid avatar : your mileage will vary. Like dwelling starts, some will love the idea of running around as a dragon leading a bunch of Orcs, others will see it as a stupid gimmick.

    In conclusion, I see it as a way to allow players to:

    1. access more of the variety that is in the game. There are many prevalent threads and thoughts that the game lacks variety, (which is not true, but which persist,) and a great deal of that is that your access to the units is fairly gated, as you have 7 races, 6 classes, and not 15 races like there were before…and that the races follow the same template* Start the game with just the Naga dwelling and I guarantee it won’t be the same, or even similar really, as starting it as a “regular” race or an Archon dwelling (how awesome would that last one be? You’d be obliged to stay really evil, or sell your people out and go good…your alignemnt would matter a great deal here.)

    2. have a greater degree of control over their starting situations.

    3. have better roleplaying choices and experiences. Why shouldn’t you be able to play as a Watcher Sorcerer bending all to his will?

    * I note in the latest Necromancer thread that one of the ideas is to completely change one of the building chains, which is something that has been suggested in the context of making the races more assymetric.

    #128537

    Generally, I am all for options, as they do not change the game for those who want to play the “regular” way. Nonetheless, even options have opportunity costs – especially for putatively small studios like Triumph.

    It seems that we beta people and you have flipped camps on this one! I’m not saying it would be easy, just that I think it would be fun, and wanted to see if others thought so as well.

    You’d have x gold/points to choose your dwelling, investment into already built buildings and stuff like that and the rest would be randomly spent for units to start with

    I was actually thinking of this more as dependent on two things: one would be an option on the advanced settings, like “seals on map” or whatever where you could select “Dwelling Start”, and then the various dwellings would be potentially used as starting points for yourself, other players, AI, or whatever you selected.

    Under start race, there would be a “dwelling” option set to “none” on the default (so you get a normal city of the size in the other menu) that you could select the one you wanted. Settler start would obviously preclude this, just as it precludes anyone having any racial cities. Changes in the city size would determine the number of buildings you have pre built in your dwelling (without the T-4 building, of course, except for maybe metropolis).

    Your actual troops would be determined the same way everyone else’s are: by the “starting army” strength. The only difference would be that you would get some dwelling troops and some starting race troops.

    The system already does this, if you take the “Rise of the Ancients” specially made map, changing those values determines the number of dwelling and racial troops that you start with.

    #128540

    I should mention that this would be an idea for an xp pack/dlc quite a bit down the line, i.e. something to explore when the Necromancer is fully implemented.

    #128566

    Marcus
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Marcus wrote:</div>
    I don’t see any reason for that. How would it benefit the game (You can always capture/buy out/get it as quest reward dwelling)? Aside from that what about class units? Or buildings? It kind of kills the idea.

    The benefit would be that it allows asymmetric game-play: although you can get dwellings in normal random map games, by that point, your empire is developed to the extent that the dwelling is only a subsidiary part of your game.

    It might be fun to fight against an AI that had some dragons from day 1, or to have dragons from day 1, but struggle to get a nearby city get racial/class units for your starting army.

    You’d also be fairly vulnerable, as your capital would be permanently destructible. It would also allow two normal players vs. 1 dwelling player as a kind of “juggernaut” style, and would allow a lot more flavor into rmg rivalries and such (dragons vs. giants, or Nagas vs. Undead, etc).

    As for class units, you’d have to rely on finding other independent cities and capturing them, unless you turned them off, but let other players have normal cities, or whatever.

    You would obviously, in those situations, only have Arch-druids or Sorcerers with the Dwellings (since they could already access most of their lineup as summons).

    Of course, in a normal map with independent cities, any class could do very well from a Dwelling start. If warlords starting with flying or floating units, they’d actually do better, since their usually scouting lack would be ameliorated.

    You could also make it so dwelling start people had some class units, based on the amount of money left over after dwelling troops (splitting available resources 60/40 in favor of dwelling troops, or whatever fraction is appropriate).

    When I think about the amount of job and time it will require to implement (seems a lot) and the minimum actual difference to gameplay it will add it seem pointless.

    And basically it has much easier solution. You can always use map editor to create any settings you would like, giving as much challenge to your future game as you can (if that is what this aimed for: adding more challenge to game).

    Edit: This was already pointed out by @epaminondas and I, personally, agree with his opinion on that.

    Again if that is what majority of people would want to add I have absolutely no problem with it (more options, sure, why not), but I seriously doubt that is what currently one of community’s top “to do” list.

    #128575

    You can always use map editor to create any settings you would like, giving as much challenge to your future game as you can (if that is what this aimed for: adding more challenge to game).

    not challenge per se, but diversity. And of course you can, but it takes a lot of time/expertise to create a good map, and then the thrill of discovery is gone (since you know where everything is).

    #128576

    Ericridge
    Member

    BBB what have you done to me!

    I now imagine my Juggernaughts and golems with dragon wings attached to them and flying!

    And wyvern musketeers, lawl. That seriously, would be awesome. Walls in the way? Fly over it and blast the archers away from behind!

    Especially, fire/gold dragons have great synergy with destabilized manacore.

    As for starting one of the dwelling in the game, should you get a leader hero plus a random hero at start or nope? Cuz a leader hero will feel way out of place unless they made heroes to match with dwelling’s race? Plus they will be needed if you want to cast spells/ research. >.> Unless triumph make it unnecessary for dwellings.

    #128613

    Marcus
    Member

    not challenge per se, but diversity. And of course you can, but it takes a lot of time/expertise to create a good map, and then the thrill of discovery is gone (since you know where everything is).

    Right, let Triumph guys work (:

    I would love them to concentrate on something more interesting (IMHO obviously) like:
    – Creating/Adding new content (classes, races, dwellings, spells, abilities, units);
    – Hiring a good writer to work on lore (honestly, there is so much that should be done about it);
    – Making MP players to suffer less and communicate easier (Lobby, I want to see MP lobby! And teamspeak options in MP chat);
    – Creating events for the community.

    But that just me (:

    #128624

    Gloweye
    Member

    - Hiring a good writer to work on lore (honestly, there is so much that should be done about it);

    Did you notive GR lore entries average at half the length the old entries do?

    Also, the race entries haven’t changed in 2 installments.

    @triumph, If you’d be thinking something like “Ïf you can do better…” Than I’d be happy to try. Give me a subject/unit/race/class and you’ll see what I can do. The only payment I’d want is an honorable mention in the credits and beta access for the necro DLC 😀

    #128674

    JIntegrity
    Member

    The main reason I’d be interested in this is that is it seems that Faeries are never a playable option in PC games (and way too expensive for me to afford in Magic the Gathering…). When I played the first campaign map and saw the Fae dwelling, it was saddening. Once again the Fae had been relegated to being an extra.

    It sounds like the Naga are almost a playable race already, so I wonder if we might ever see some of the dwelling races converted to playable. While people might compain about reducing dwelling diversity, it might alleviate some of the balance problems associated with dwellings if there were fewer options. Alternately, we could always replace the old dwelling races with new ones. We’ve got a ton of AoW races that haven’t been explored.

    #128676

    Gloweye
    Member

    The main reason I’d be interested in this is that is it seems that Faeries are never a playable option in PC games (and way too expensive for me to afford in Magic the Gathering…). When I played the first campaign map and saw the Fae dwelling, it was saddening. Once again the Fae had been relegated to being an extra.

    They’re still very effective as short ranged artillery, especially under a Rogue hero.

    But I agree that it’s sad they always get the side-race role.

    Humans should be a side race. They’re much to boring to be a main race.

    #128716

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Did you notive GR lore entries average at half the length the old entries do?

    Also, the race entries haven’t changed in 2 installments.

    @triumph, If you’d be thinking something like “Ïf you can do better…” Than I’d be happy to try. Give me a subject/unit/race/class and you’ll see what I can do. The only payment I’d want is an honorable mention in the credits and beta access for the necro DLC 😀

    I wouldn’t say they’re bad. They’re shorter and less informative about the unit itself, but on the other hand, they give a richer experience of the world as a whole.

    That said, helping to fill out the lore would be something I’d be interested in myself. 😛

    #128721

    Narvek
    Keymaster

    I sometimes like to play like this as well.
    Adventurer start, then modify it a bit so that there are no cities and only dwellings.
    Of course, it’s random which dwelling you’ll get close to you, but often you’ll quickly see a cartographer’s tent to lead you to one.
    It’s pretty cool I think.

    #128731

    🙂 You just made my day Narvek.

    #128756

    NuMetal
    Member

    Generally, I am all for options, as they do not change the game for those who want to play the “regular” way. Nonetheless, even options have opportunity costs – especially for putatively small studios like Triumph. That is, implementing a dwelling start will invariably take resources away from other things. So there are two operative questions: 1) How labor-intensive will it be to implement this feature; and 2) how much benefit does it bring to the entire community?

    Pure wisdom right there! 🙂

    I really really hope this wouldn’t be too complicated to add, because I’d love that option.
    But if it’d take too much effort there are many other things (Necromancer, Frostlings…) that are much more important to me, so I’d say don’t take the ressources away from those things.

    The main reason I’d be interested in this is that is it seems that Faeries are never a playable option in PC games (and way too expensive for me to afford in Magic the Gathering…)

    I’ll build you a faerly (see what I did there? :P) strong Faery deck for 30 Euro or less. They have very many efficient low budget options to make a fun and strong deck. 🙂

    #128767

    Thariorn
    Member

    I’ll build you a faerly (see what I did there? ) strong Faery deck for 30 Euro or less. They have very many efficient low budget options to make a fun and strong deck.

    Sorry for off-topic

    I think the Fae units in Lorwynn are pretty cost effective and a nice blend of Blue and Black utility.

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