Randomness of starting skill

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Randomness of starting skill

This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Ericridge 4 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #131953

    steveraptor
    Member

    Hello,
    This discussion has started to develop in my previous thread.
    so instead of keep posting on the wrong topic i re-created a thread for this issue.

    The discussion is on the randomness of the research skills u get when starting a new game.
    As of now, in alot of cases some research skills that are almost mandatory to a specific class just doesn’t show up in the early game, and therefore hamper and slow down the progress and puts you in a disadvantage compared to other players who might get lucky and got the research they wanted.

    By all means, i do not ask to drop the RNG of the research skill, that is part of what makes every new game interesting.
    I do ask that if possible, we get a tool to pick like 3- research skills we want to start with in our research book, with certain limits to balance this act.

    #131955

    steveraptor
    Member

    For some background here is the link to the thread of mine that this issue came up with and already has some discussion running:
    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/disappointed-with-halflings/

    #131960

    Decker87
    Member

    To start things off, there’s been a few key ideas:

    * Add another research page
    * Allow the player to choose all starter research
    * Allow the player to choose limited starter research
    * Introduce a mechanism to “reshuffle” and get a new random page, possibly at the expense of a turn or some resources

    In general, the feeling I got was people like the randomness, but dislike when it screws your entire game.

    #131972

    steveraptor
    Member

    I swear The draft hates me.
    Just finished a halfling WL game vs 2 King AI, finished the game by turn 74.
    Researched as many spells as i could, the bloody thing didn’t even shown up…
    though relentless army , a tier 6 spell was right there from turn 50…

    #132012

    llfoso
    Member

    I’d like the option to star the game with a bunch of research points instead of two random techs also. A player that starts with the t1 scout researched has a three turn scouting lead on the player that doesn’t.

    #132041

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    There is an option to turn off starting skills, that way all players need to research their skill tree from scratch which should hopefully even things out assuming the scout spell is included in the starting research lineup.

    #132042

    I never have been a friend of the complete randomness of research and never will be. I liked it the way it has been back in AoW1 (random starting skills on T1, and T1 research possibility of all spheres you got. when researched half of it then get access to the T2 spells of that specific tier)!
    Makes sense to me, but I know many people do like the randomness and I slowly came to accept that. Still I would like to see some conditional randomness: If I research a fire spell it will be randomly replaced with at least one new fire spell in the research book. Thus, you at least have the option to research in a certain direction increasing the chance to get what you want!

    From the ideas above I like this idea the most

    option to star the game with a bunch of research points

    but I think those two would work just as well to mitigate the “game crush experience”

    * Add another research page

    * Allow the player to choose limited starter research

    #132080

    Seamus, the devs have said the game’s research system already works almost exactly as you want it to. If you research something that isn’t in a locked tech line (casting points, logistics, class units) the game tries to replace it with a similar kind of tech in your book. The way the game does this is by making a group of a few skills that could possibly replace it, which is limited by similar tech type, and further limit entry into that group by not letting a higher tier skill in unless you’ve researched a certain amount of the previous tier. Then it rolls a die and picks one of those skills at random and pops it in the book.

    The thing is, there are so few skills in the game, and some are so undesireable especially at certain stages of play, that even this level of control on the RNG isn’t enough to stop players from feeling cheated by uncontrollable fate. Because some skills are so important at certain stages and there are no real alternative options for them, if you don’t get them at the right window of opportunity it is a huge middle finger to the player.

    MoM (which aow is heavily based on) mitigated this issue in a couple ways: one was to let the player pick starting spells based on their character creation (investing more in a type of magic let you pick more spells and higher tier spells of that school) and the other way it lessened this issue was to have more skills in each pool with some redundancy so that there were multiple viable options for each stage of play. Each school was unique but they all had spells meant to be useful at each stage of the game, like early game combat spells and summons to late game world changing super spells. It even opened up significant depth of strategy in character creation as well. AoW also suffers a bit more from this as roughly half (or more) or your tech choices are going to be class techs which the player almost always needs to put a high priority on or they will fall behind in the overall tech race.

    Decoupling “essential” class techs from standard research might help, actually. If, say, class units were researched automatically (taking a small percentage of your overall research production perhaps?) it would allow the player to make real choices about what tech they wanted to open next without worrying about falling behind in the tech race. This would have a side effect of ensuring the overall tech level of the game was more predictable and thus much easier to balance, since players would not be able to go all-in and fast tech up to their favorite class unit so they could spam it ignoring all other research options. Much of people’s complaints about certain class units is based on when they hit the playing field, such as the recent nerf to flame tanks moving them farther up the dread unit line. They were swapped with golems, and now people are complaining that golems are too strong only because of how fast they can enter play.

    Having the player be able to pick a few skills to start with would certainly alleviate the early game RNG middle finger as well. The game already picks some free techs for you when you start, it is just completely down to luck whether those are useful for the player at all or not. This leaves the player feeling cheated if they started with useless techs. Some randomness in a strategy helps to keep things fresh, but take too much control away from the player and you end up with a coin flip simulator.

    #132084

    l. The game already picks some free techs for you when you start, it is just completely down to luck whether those are useful for the player at all or not.

    I wonder if something as simple as letting you pick one of those free techs would be enough.

    #132087

    steveraptor
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>TheInternetJanitor wrote:</div>
    l. The game already picks some free techs for you when you start, it is just completely down to luck whether those are useful for the player at all or not.

    I wonder if something as simple as letting you pick one of those free techs would be enough.

    Since one of those free techs are balanced into the game already by the devs.
    I think that letting us manually pick one or two of them right at the start will go a long way to avoid being screwed up by luck at the start of the game and will be easy to implement.
    From what i have seen those free techs includes the mandatory starting research of the classes

    on a side note,
    Personally, i really loved the skill system in HoMM V, the way u can pick the skills u want and then unlock specific skills that are only available when certain skills are picked, this way u could tailor every play through and strategy in number of ways.

    #132106

    Decker87
    Member

    I will +1 the idea to pick just one tech. It would still maintain the element of random luck, without being completely screwed.

    #132160

    the devs have said the game’s research system already works almost exactly as you want it to. If you research something that isn’t in a locked tech line (casting points, logistics, class units) the game tries to replace it with a similar kind of tech in your book.

    I did not know that. Thanks for the info, TheInternetJanitor! But as you explained yourself it still does not feel that way most of the time and the game only “tries” to replace it with something similar. I do not think it succeds with that all the time. 😉

    #132451

    Ericridge
    Member

    I once didn’t get the steam technology for farms and gold mines until like turn 100 or something like that….

    I didn’t know how much I relied on that technology until it happened. I broke until I got that empire upgrade.

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