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    I know you all guy have been waiting with holden breaths. I will synthesize some of Darcreavers ideas, along with comments and suggestions from others, and merge them with some concepts from my mod to propose a new gameplay for 0 a.d. I hope you guy like this. I commend you for reading all the way through. General Concept In general, most think there are structural problems with the game's design. I will not comprehensively rehash them here as there are a dozen threads on this topic. I will simply propose the vision and you guys and accept or reject it. So, in keeping with my mod, Delenda Est, I propose a "weak countryside, strong core" concept, but incoporporating some of what has been said over the past couple weeks. What I propose to do is also keep elements of the citizen-soldier concept, while also creating a hard battalions paradigm that also works with single units. The concept also takes into account many of Darc's criticisms and suggestions from others. Map Control Control of the map is crucial because of a few factors. Most important buildings, like houses and barracks, can only be built in the player's territory, so grabbing more land by building new settlements is important to population growth. These buildings are capped per settlement, so building more settlements and grabbing more land is important for building new buildings. Most resources are usually far away from the starting position of the player and are concentrated in impressive, lucrative depots. The countryside contains beneficial items like herd animals, which act like food relics, and mercenary camps, from which you can train 0-pop, fast-training mercenary soldiers. Grabbing territory or controlling the map deprives your enemy of the benefits of these things as well. Countryside Concept: Weak Countryside, Strong Core Players can now build Storehouses and Farmsteads in neutral territory. Most necessary resources are also placed in the neutral "no man's land" between starting territories of players, so now it's crucial to gather resources away from easy defenses. This is the "weak countryside." Territories now represent city-boundaries instead of national borders. Important buildings like barracks and fortresses and houses and markets must be built in the strong defensible core territory, while resourcing operations, like mining and farming, are done out in the dangerous countryside. This represents the reality of ancient times: the concept of national borders was not well-defined and many times nations and empires were separated by wild frontiers rather than by solid lines on a map. Settlement Phases, Territories, and Provinces Each Civic Center building casts a territory (Civic Centers, Wonders, and Fortresses are the only buildings to cast a significant territory range). This is a province, and each subsequently built civic center dynamically creates its own province, whose territory does not merge with an adjacent Civic Center's territory. So, each Civic Center's province is its own territory, size dictated by the Settlement Phase the province has attained, via the number of buildings built within it. Village Phase Small territory. Economic-focused. Hunt, gather berries, scout the map for herdable animals, treasures, mercenary camps, and neutral settlements. Set the foundation for your home settlement's progress. Food is the most important resource, while Wood becomes increasingly important as the player builds more buildings. Player is probably scouting heavily for farmlands, quarries, and mine shafts. Train Citizens from the Civic Center and Slaves from Storehouse and Farmstead. Citizens can upgrade to soldiers for a short time with the Town Bell for defense. More detail below in the 'Units' section. Palisade walls and wooden defense towers are available for defense. Town Phase Requires 10 buildings built within its province Territory grows by 25%. Unlocks barracks, blacksmith, market, shipyard, cult statue. Train your first citizen-soldiers and light warship. Stone and Iron now become a needed resource, for military buildings and blacksmith teching respectively. Player is probably heavily into farming on farmlands now and has captured a number of herdable animals that can be garrisoned in a corral for a free trickle of food. Stone walls become available and wooden defense towers can be upgraded individually to stone. Player may attempt to capture 1 or more neutral settlements on the map to gain a territorial advantage over the enemy. City Phase Requires 25 buildings built within its province Territory grows another 25%. Unlocks Fortress for heroes, champions, and siege weapons. Trade routes should be set up by now. New civic centers unlocked: Found new settlements now instead of only capturing neutral settlements. Mercenaries become part of the mix as mercenary camps are captured and the coin resource is acquired to hire them. Capital Phase Requires 1 Wonder, which costs 1000 wood, 1000 stone, and 1000 glory. Territory grows a final 50%. Unlocks all remaining special techs, uber techs, and siege techs Units train faster, buildings build faster, citizens and slaves gather faster inside the Capital province. Only one province can be in Capital Phase at once. If the Civic Center is destroyed or captured or the Wonder destroyed or captured, another settlement may be upgraded to Capital by building a Wonder in its province. An example of how it would work: Build 10 buildings within a village phase province and the province territory dynamically grows to reflect the new Town phase, complete with a graphic and sound effect to tell the player this has happened. The Civic Center looks bigger and more ornate, owing to the province's new size and importance. Stone walls can be built in the province now, and the wooden defense towers can be upgraded to stone defense towers. A market can be built in the province now, as well as a blacksmith. Since the barracks is now unlocked, you can train your first dedicated soldiers. Build 15 more buildings and BOING, the province grows again to the City Phase and Fortresses can be built in the province as well as special buildings. Finally, build a Wonder and DOOONG that province becomes the Capital phase, the province gains more territory, additional special techs and abilities can be researched, and things just work faster and better. Just an example of how it can work. Point is, not every province upgrades together as one. Each one can have a different phase of development. Resources As Darc suggests, I propose additional resources used for different things. I maintain that it does not matter how many resources the game has, within reason of course, only that the resources are unique, are used for logical purposes, and entities, which are units buildings and techs, only cost 2 different resources besides time and population, which are quasi-resources. Food: Every unit costs food with a few exceptions. Berries. Keep the berry bushes, but make them more visible somehow, I propose with new decals beneath them to make them stand out. Only need a batch of them at the starting points on the map. Yes, when founding a new colony, food comes from anywhere it can. Snowy maps = no berries or maybe 1 or 2 bushes; desert maps = 5 bushes; temperate, tropic, or mediterranean maps = 2 x 5 bushes. Farmlands are introduced and are usually situated just outside the starting territories of the players and then at nice flat or rolling areas of the map with few trees or rocks. Fields and Farmsteads can be built in neutral territory, so build your fields on the farmlands for a farming boost of 50% or more. Farming near Civic Centers and Temples is penalized. Hunting can be achieved with the free Scout Cavalry unit provided at the beginning of the match or by Citizens. Hunting is only a minor source of food. Fishing is the same as currently. There are Herdable Animals that are easily captured, like in Age of Empires, and can be garrisoned inside Corrals to gain a trickle of food (for sheep, cattle, and goats) or to gain a training bonus (camels, horses, elephants, etc.). These are 0 A.D.'s version of the "relics" seen in Age of Empires or Age of Mythology. Wood: Most economic and civic buildings and citizen-soldiers cost some amount of wood. There are straggler trees and then there are groves. Stragglers have a gather limit of 5 gatherers, and will not prevent the construction of buildings. A building can be build over a straggler and the straggler will be removed from the map. Groves represent sections of forest, so are larger and contain more wood resource, representing many multiples of trees. They have a gather limit of 20 and cannot be built upon. Pathfinding obstruction is removed from all trees. Groves, by representing forests, give a combat bonus to "barbarian" civs like the Iberians and Celts, while also giving a movement rate penalty to siege weapons. So, now we can have combat inside forests and maybe give some kind of ambush feature. Off the top of my head, I can see tasking a battalion of Celtic soldiers directly to a grove and then being given some kind of bonus by doing so. Like, ctrl-right-click the Celtic soldiers to the grove and get a custom cursor telling you they're going into guerilla or ambush mode when they get there, kind of like "garrisoning" the battalion into the grove. A lot easier to do something like that with a large grove object than with a bunch of individual trees. Stone: All military and defensive buildings cost stone. Slingers cost a small amount of stone. Stone is acquired from stone Outcrops and stone Quarries. Outcrops are the stone mines already in the game. 1 or 2 of them can be found near the starting base of each player. But aside hills or in the sides of mountains or cliffs are Quarries. These are large objects that look like open pit granite or marble mines. They have a "slot" on which a Storehouse can be built. Building a Storehouse on the slot claims the Quarry for the player. Gatherers can now gather from it and they don't have to shuttle back and forth to the slotted Storehouse. Iron: Mined from Mine Shafts and used to train sword units and research technologies, especially at the Blacksmith. Like a Quarry, a Mine Shaft has a "slot" on which to build a Storehouse and claim the Mine Shaft for the player. Gatherers can then be garrisoned into the mine entrance to gather the Iron. They will shuttle iron resource into and out of the mine entrance to and from the Storehouse. If the player's Storehouse is destroyed by the enemy, the gatherers inside the mine die. Precious Metal: Call this silver, call this gold, call this coin, call this Precious Metal, I don't care. I'll call it Coin for this presentation. This is primarily gained from Trade, either with yourself or with your allies, and sometimes can be had via Treasure or Loot. Used to train Champions and Heroes and recruit Mercenaries. Coin is also the basis for the Barter system at the Market. By capping the bartering system to a Con-based system, you must now choose to use the Coin to barter or to buy things like Heroes, Champions, special techs, etc. A Coin-based barter system helps prevent resource floating because you can't now use a plentiful resource like Wood to flood the market and get easy iron or easy stone. Glory: Directly from Delenda Est, this is attained by building Cult Statues and by killing enemy units and buildings. Cult Statues are praised by units to gain the Glory resource that is used to train heroes, research special technologies and battalion upgrades, and Wonders. Glory is the only resource Soldiers and Heroes can help you gather, by killing enemy units. Individual hero units can also gather Glory by praising Cult Statues alongside gatherers. Buildings Buildings are largely the same as they are now, with some major and minor changes. The Civic Center, Mercenary Camp, Outpost, Wonder, and Dock are the only capturable buildings. Econ, Defensive, and Military buildings must be destroyed. Not all buildings are listed here, just some of them with some notes. Civic Center Used to train Citizens and create provinces. Besides Wonders and Fortresses, Civic Centers are the only buildings that cast a significant territory. Provincial territories created by Civic Centers do not merge or overlap, but may border one another. Phase techs removed as researchable techs with costs. Instead, they exist in the Civic Center UI to tell the player the prerequisite for phasing up. The tech itself is auto-researched once the required number of buildings is built. Settlement phases can vary per Civic Center/Province. This dictates what the player can build in each province and how large each province's territory is. Capturing a Civic Center immediately transfers control of that's province's ungarrisoned houses, temples, and markets to the capturing player. Dock and Shipyard Civs with more than 1 warship class receive a warship-centered Shipyard, which is separate from the economic-focused Dock. Docks are capturable, Shipyards destroyable. Corral Sheep/Goat training either removed or revamped. Primary purpose is to house Herdable Animals, which act like "relics" from Age of Empires and Age of Mythology. Techs revamped to this new focus. Houses In Village and Town phase houses can be built. City phase unlocks the tenement building or city block building, which is a large "house" structure that gives 2.5x the pop cap bonus as a standard house. Market Can configure to gain a "tax" trickle of coin, and perhaps all other resources besides glory. Set up trade routes between markets or market and civic center, haven't decided, to gain the coin resource. Trade with allies is more lucrative, but trade with other provinces of your empire is possible. Max 5 traders per market, 1 market per province. Bartering is a coin-based system. Sell food, wood, stone, and iron for coin, or buy those resources with coin. Cult Statue Each Cult Statue is more expensive than the last. Building these gives you the Glory resource. Each one gives a slow trickle. Task citizens or slaves or other individual units to the cult statue to praise it and get more Glory. Fighting and killing enemy units and buildings gains the player more Glory. Mercenary Camps Between 1 and 2 of these per player on every map. Hire mercenary battalions, who train fast and cost 0 pop, but are limited to 3 battalions for the first merc camp, and +1 for each new one captured. They're also rather expansive, costing coin and some other resource. Capturing Buildings Capturing is an important feature of the game. Capturing an enemy civic center gains that province for the player and can be devastating to the enemy. Capturing is modified a bit to be a decisive element to the strategy of the game. Soldiers will default to capturing these buildings instead of destroying them, though, with the exception of Mercenary Camps, it is possible to toggle on kill-attack and destroy these buildings instead. Capturable Buildings: Civic Center Capturing a Civic Center also captures all the ungarrisoned houses, markets, and temples in that province. This is a decisive action. Neutral Settlements These are neutral or Gaia civic centers found on the map. The initially cast no territory until captured. Mercenary Camps Capture these to train mercenary battalions. Wonder Capturing an enemy player's wonder removes the Capital phase designation and bonuses from the enemy player's province. Dock Outpost Units Okay, here you have my proposal for units. A way to maintain some citizen-soldier features while implementing a real battalion combat system with cool upgrades. Integrates a lot of what has been talked about on various threads. Gatherers and other support units are individual units, while fighters are battalions. Slaves. These are like Dwarves in Age of Mythology. They do nothing but gather resources and cost 1 pop. Low health, capturable, they very slowly lose health while they gather, but gain their health back if they are idle. These are your strictly economic units. Trained from Storehouses and Farmsteads. In Delenda Est, I distinguish male and female slaves, but this isn't completely necessary for the concept to work. Citizens cost 2 pop, trained from the Civic Center. Have a "Slave Masters" aura that replaces the female citizen aura. It boosts the production rates of the Slaves. Citizens are gatherers too, but not nearly as good at gathering resources as the Slaves are. Their other main benefit besides managing the Slaves is that they build buildings. They are capturable. Now, I propose there be a change to the Town Bell. So that, with the Town Bell, the Slaves run and hid, while Citizens don a militia kit and fight against invaders. For Greco-civs this kit is that of a light-armored hoplite for example. This still makes raids effective, as while they do this they aren't gathering, of course. If the Town Bell isn't rung, then the Citizens only fight back with knives and pitchforks -- would be cool if they fight back with whatever econ tool they were using -- hoes and pitchforks if they were farming, axe if they were wood cutting, mallets and hammers if they were building, etc. Obviously low attack strength, armor low, very weak, easy to kill when not mustered. When Town Bell rings they don armor and true spears after a "Muster Time" which can be reduced with techs. Attack and armor doubled when mustered. But while in this state they are a formidable defensive force, you do not want to keep them in this state for longer than necessary, because you want them to go empower slaves to gather resources, build or repair buildings, etc., basically you want them to go back to civilian life asap. The Town Bell is given to Storehouses and Farmsteads now too, with smaller radius, so that if a resourcing operation is being raided, you can ring the bell for that Storehouse, for example, and the Slaves hide in the Storehouse while the Citizens don their kit after mustering and attempt to defend the site. Citizen-Soldiers are train from the Barracks. They have the Slave Masters aura too, a nod to their citizen status, but they do not gather. They are mustered to fight and are always ready for battle. They can, however, build some select military and defensive buildings, like Fortresses, Defense Towers, and Catapults. These guys are battalion troops. They are trained in battalions, live build fight and die in battalions. They accrue experience and rank up, just like the current Citizen-soldiers do, but on a per-battalion basis. They tend to only cost Food and Wood, your "trash" units, but some like swordsmen can cost small amounts of iron or slingers a small amount of stone instead of wood. Each battalion costs 10 pop. Mercenaries cost 0 pop and recruit quickly, but have a low train limit, something like 2 battalions per captured Mercenary Camp, which are scattered about the map, usually 2 per player. Mercenaries do not contribute to Loot (they keep it themselves), but are trained at the Advanced rank (some elite mercs are trained at the Elite Rank, but are costlier). They are not Slave Masters, since they aren't citizens, but can build military buildings like Citizen-Soldiers. They usually cost Silver and some other resource, depending on their soldier class (e.g., swordsman, spearman, slinger, etc.). Champions. Next up are your professional soldiers. Just like currently, they do nothing but fight and are usually trained from the Fortress or some other strong or special building. Like Citizen-Soldiers, they live fight and die in battalions. They aren't Slave Masters, so have zero economic benefit, but they boost the effectiveness of Citizen-Soldier battalions who fight nearby. Champion battalions guys can be bolstered with battalion upgrades, like Noisemakers and Officers, that give benefits. A Noise Maker, such as a flutist or trumpeter, unlocks the inspiration aura that boosts nearby citizen-soldiers, while the Officer boosts that particular Champion battalion. Champions have a battalion limit determined by gameplay testing, but generally 4 or 5 max, if a typical army ends up being 15-20 battalions of Citizen-Soldiers. Champions are supposed to be the best of the best, your shock troops, while the Citizen-Soldiers are the "rank 'n file" line troops. Champions cost Food and Silver and 15 pop. Heroes can come with guard battalions --usually champions or modified champions -- or as single units, depending on the hero and his historical and gameplay role. For instance, Chanakya, the advisor and teacher, would come as a single unit while Leonidas would train with a battalion of heavy-duty Spartiate Hippeis hoplite champions. Of course, in Atlas for scenarios it's possible to have the individual hero available. Heroes have special abilities and auras. About 10 standard auras and abilities should be decided through testings and debate, and then doled out to the heroes based on history, IMHO, with maybe some minor variations, and of course with custom names. Right now the auras are very scattered and unbalanced. Tighten that up. They cost Silver and Glory. Single heroes cost 3 pop. Heroes with champion guards cost 15 pop. Healers cost Food and Glory, while Traders cost Food and Wood. Healers can heal one soldier or unit at a time or can be attached to battalions, giving all soldiers in the battalion a slow healing effect. Traders are less numerous than currently, capped at 5 for every Market built, which are themselves capped at 1 for every settlement/Civic Center. They trade in the Silver resource, which can be used to purchase other resources at the Market if necessary. By capping the bartering system to a Silver-based system, you must now choose to use the Silver to barter or to buy things like Heroes, Champions, special techs, etc. A silver-based barter system helps prevent resource floating because you can't now use a plentiful resource like Wood to flood the market and get easy iron or easy stone. Scout Cavalry cost only Food and 1 pop. All civs get them. They're weak, but they can hunt and scout very well. Every civ gets at least 1 at the start of the match. Train limit is 2, retrainable from either the Civic Center if killed. Movable and packable Siege Weapons are trained from the Fortress, but the Catapult siege weapon is buildable by soldiers in the field, on anyone's territory, including neutral and enemy territory, after researching Ballistics at the Fortress. Bolt Shooter weapons are packable and moveable, and can be stationed/garrisoned atop walls, towers, fortresses, and aboard ships. Siege weapons tend to cost Wood and Iron and around 5 pop. Warships generally cost Food and Wood. Upgrade individual heavy warships with catapults for a cost. Garrison archer battalions or Bolt Shooters aboard for greater firepower. Ram other ships for a devastating attack. Boarding left for 0 A.D. Part 2, unless someone magically comes along and wants to code units fighting atop decks and walls. I feel like garrisoning and ramming is enough naval combat complexity for Part 1. Battalions and Combat Battalions Citizen-Soldiers, Mercenaries, Champions, and some Heroes are no longer individuals, they are part of a group or battalion. Guys, I will give you the rundown of how it would work. Training Soldiers are trained in battalions and live and die in battalions. A battalion of melee infantry would have 24 soldiers for example. They are trained 1 battalion at a time. Shift-train queue up 5 battalions in a row and give a "batch" discount not unlike the batch discount game already has. The soldiers exit the building together as a battalion and head off to the rally point. Cost A battalion of citizen-soldiers (Spear Infantry, 24 soldier) would cost roughly 600 500 10, so 1 large house or 2 small houses have pop for 1 battalion. In a 300 pop match player might have 20 battalions to manage instead of 200 separate units. Reducing the micro-management is okay, because additional management and features are added elsewhere. Continue reading. Extra Units and Upgrades A battalion will have 1 or more extra eye candy soldier to help distinguish each battalion. Default: Bannerman. He comes automatically with each battalion and costs nothing extra. He does not fight and does not die until the last soldier in the battalion dies, then the Bannerman dies. Enemy soldiers ignore him like he is just a ghost actor. This is the Aquilifer for the Romans for example. Champion and Elite Upgrade: Noise Maker. Upgrade battalion with a noise maker dude that increases the effectiveness of nearby citizen-soldier battalions. For example for the Celts this would be the man who blows the Carnyx (intimidation). For the Romans this is the man who plays the Cornūs . Athenians, Spartans, Thebans get a flutist who plays the Aulos. Champion and Elite Upgrade: Officer. Upgrade battalion with an officer unit who fights. He is tenacious, with double or triple the health of other soldiers in his battalion. He is the Centurio for the Roman civs, the Polemarch for the Spartans, etc. Heroes: Some heroes can have a bodyguard so that they are their own battalion (like Octavian Augustus comes within a battalion of Praetorian Cavalry, Leonidas comes within a battalion of Hippeis Spartans, Xerxes come in a battalion of Apple Bearers, etc.), while some heroes train as individuals, depending on each hero. A hero in a battalion is treated by the enemy just like any other soldier in the battalion. The Hero takes his/her place right in front of the bannerman on the right corner of the battalion (the place of the "officer"). Reinforce: If near a barracks a low strength battalion could be reinforced with new free soldiers (they appear behind bannerman and assume their place in line). Can be done with an aura. Promote: Each battalion accrue Experience. When battle is over, the player can promote the whole battalion at once if that battalion has accrued enough Experience. Selection and Movement Selecting any soldier in the battalion select whole battalion. Soldiers in battalion will squeeze together to fit the battalion through narrow pathways. When sent over long distance, battalion form into column to snake around obstacles and through narrow paths. User Interface Every battalion that is created gets automatically a ctrl-group icon on left of screen. Ctrl-groups can be made by the player for multiple battalions if player wishes. These get a different icon, along the left of screen. Formations How do they work? Soldiers fight in formation and generally hold the shape of the formation within parameters. The more men in the formation the closer they hold the formation. As men die, the formation cohesion lessens. Number of formation buttons are reduced (fewer formations than currently in the game; this is okay, you will see) Formations give bonuses and penalties Can be altered with a small number of Formation Modifiers Most civ will only have 3 Formations for their Battalions and then 3 Modifiers There is "frontal" or "directionality", based per battalion not per soldier. Frontal armor at 100%, Left and Right armor at 50%, Rear armor at 25% of the given stat Formations and uses Column Civilizations: All Unit Classes: All Auto/Manual: Automatic, when distance between waypoints is long, is applied automatically to the battalion Modifiable: Yes Bonus: 1.25x Speed Penalty: .5x All Armor, so more vulnerable to ambush-like attacks Battle Line Civilizations: All Unit Classes: Infantry and Cavalry Auto/Manual: Automatic, this is the DEFAULT battalion formation for these classes of units Modifiable: Yes Bonus: +2% Frontal Hack and Pierce Armor, +1% Frontal Crush Armor Penalty: .9x Speed Wedge Civilizations: All Unit Classes: Melee Cavalry Auto/Manual: Automatic, this is when Melee Cavalry are task to CHARGE Modifiable: Yes Bonus: +1.25x Charge Bonus in addition to regular charge bonus if charge is initiate at "sweet spot" distance, not too far not too close to target Penalty: -2 Pierce Armor, makes the cavalry more vulnerable to missile, which they usually are not Testudo Civilizations: Rome (Republicans and Principates) Unit Classes: Melee Infantry Auto/Manual: Manual Modifiable: No Bonus: +3 Hack Armor, +4 Pierce Armor, +5 Crush Armor Penalty: .25x Speed, Soldiers within it can only respond to direct melee attacks Sparabara Wall Civilizations: Persians (Achaemenids) Unit Classes: Archer Infantry Auto/Manual: Manual Modifiable: No Bonus: +5 Frontal Pierce Armor Penalty: Is a stationary formation, will not move when in this formation Abstract: The famous Persian archery shield wall; Great for archery duels Formations Modifier When a formation above is chosen, the Formation Modifiers available for that Formation become available (unavailable modifiers are greyed out) Close Order Civilizations: All Formations: Column, Battle Line, Wedge Unit Classes: All Auto/Manual: Auto, this is the DEFAULT modifier for formations Effect: Units are spaced close together, but their shields do not touch or overlap Open Order Civilizations: All Formations: Battle Line, Wedge Unit Classes: All Auto/Manual: Manual Effect: Soldier are spaced farther apart, with additional space between files and rows Benefit: Reduces effects of incoming splash and trample damage Penalty: -1 Hack Armor (but any Crush and Pierce bonuses remain) Locked Shields Civilizations: Athen Spart Mace Sele Ptol Cart Theb Epir Formations: Battle Line Unit Classes: Spear Infantry and Pike Infantry Auto/Manual: Manual Effect: Units are spaced close enough their their shields overlap, creating a shield wall Bonus: +5 Frontal Armor Bonus in addition to regular frontal bonus for Battle Line (for a total of +7); Units in 2nd rank can attack through the front for spears, units in 2nd and 3rd rank can attack through front for pikes. Penalty: .75x All Armor from Flanks, .25x All Armor from Rear, .8x Speed Abstract: This is the Hellenic and Hellenistic "phalanx" for hoplite-style spear infantry. It is the "syntagma" for pike-style spear infantry. Later, in Part 2, this is the Shield Wall for the Germanic culture (Sueb, Alamm, Goth, Frank) Army Behavior When 2 or more battalions are selected, Army Behaviors kick in. When sent over long distance, they form a column together and snake to their destination. When the player tasks multiple battalions to an area they will automatically arrange in a classic "battle formation" (melee infantry in middle, cavalry on wings, archer in back) when they arrive, or... We could add Army Formations if we wanted to that show up in place of battalion formations in UI when multiple battalions selected. Either way, when move command to somewhere, they end up organized, not a mess. Anyway guys, this is my proposal. Athena bless you, if you read the whole thing. Let me know where the hole lie.
  2. 10 likes
    The Kingdom of Kush, an Illustrated update I present some more visual references of some details including pyramids, jewelry, pottery and other more random things. Random things Firstly, yet another Kushite temple to Amun from Tabo, on Argo Island in the Nile, measuring 75.6 metres (248 ft) long and 31 metres (102 ft) wide. On the right is a statue of King Natakamani, found in Tabo. This copper-alloy statue of an unidentified Kushite king was discovered at Tabo on Argo Island within the court of the Great Temple in a pit. Note the thumb-bring, indicating the importance of archery, even for royals. Kushite offering tables, used for the pouring of libation. Often found at temple sites. Note the Meroitic script lining the edges. On the left and right, we see Kushite altars. In the middle, we see an elaborate temple relief/sculpture depicting Amun in the form of a Ram, flanked by 2 lions representing Apedemak. Remnants of a colonnade of a large temple at Naqa, depicting the god Bes. An actual picture of the now lost fresco from the shrine to victory in the royal city in Meroe, depicting a Roman soldier, alongside Egyptian and Nubian captives. This is the same shrine where the bronze head of Emperor Augustus was found. Some more Pyramids The lesser known pyramids at Gebel Barkal, close to Napata. Meroitic pyramids in a relatively intact state (late 19th to early 20th century). Pyramid field at Meroe Pyramid fields of El Kurru and Nuri. Kushite Pottery Kushites were excellent potters, and their pottery was desired and exported on a large scale to Egypt and other surrounding area's since predynastic times, well in to Roman times. Here's a selection of Meroitic pottery: Kushite Jewelry Kushites were also excellent jewelers, and were world renowned for their gold. Most of the graves and pyramids had been looted in antiquity, but not all of them. The pyramid of Kandake Amanishakheto (reigned c. 10BC - 1AD), plundered by Giueseppe Ferlini, proved to be one of the most extensive Kushite treasures ever found. Here I present some of her jewelry, alongside other beautiful examples of Kushite metallurgy. Amanishakheto herself, on the left, and one of her crowns (center) and bracelets (right) More of Amanishakheto's bracelets. Kushite earings Kushite pendants. On the left is a Ram's head with an uraeus, representing Amun. Second from left a lion/ram sphinx, third from left is a ram's head on top of a crystal and on the right a lion's head placed on top of a circle of golden baboons. On the left are signet rings, worn by people of authority, used as stamp of authenticity on documents. On the right is another bracelet. On the left and right are shield-rings. Center-left is a heavy bronze anklet. Center-right is a pendant with "magic" potion inside a hollowed out crystal, topped with a golden image of Hathor.
  3. 9 likes
    Might I suggest reading through your questions a bit more before posting them? That should result in better questions that could even result in actual answers. Right now most of these just seem like a random bunch of words from which one could maybe derive some question if one spends more time than you did while asking it. Also caring about questions by people on a platform where the average attention span makes a Higgs boson's lifetime seem long is nice, but if you are only investing about as much time into relaying such questions you aren't going to get anything that resembles an answer. (Slightly unrelated, but you might also want to keep that pointless thread bumping and necro posting down. Actually adhering to the first part of your signature might do wonders.) That said 3D RTS engines tend to look similar, especially if the art style is similar. Also the Age of Empires series is one of the bigger influences, so some similarity should be expected. But then comparing a few screenshots from a few historical 3D RTS games (more specifically buildings) will show quite some similarities. One of the reasons for that is having game entities look familiar to players new to that specific game, but not to the genre itself (compare barracks layouts which do tend to be U shaped). But anyone spending some time thinking about the whole issue should be able to deduce that those similarites are caused by the type of game being made, quite similar to FPS games really.
  4. 9 likes
    The First Punic War Campaign Project Guide I: Presentation of the Project This project aims to create a campaign for the main game which lack of it. This campaign will be, it's in the title, "The First Punic War". I've started a map named "Siege of Agrigentum", which is about a siege of the first Punic war, in August 2016. I've had no time to pursue making the map but now I have more time. And I decided to put this a step further last week by creating a team to start this great project. Team members: @Hannibal_Barca, @shieldwolf23, @Skhorn, @stanislas69 and me. II: Objectives First of all, the overall goal of the campaign is to be the most historically accurate possible, yet being playable and enjoyable. So, you will have noticed that there are 3 main goals that give pride of place to the playing experience being the least inaccurate possible. However, talking about historical accuracy, it should not ( and it has not to) affect the playability by for example, making a scenario where the player is put in a freaking impossible situation. This means that we will have to make evenly balanced scenarios, against historical accuracy because the vast majorities of sieges and battles were unbalanced. This goes the same for natural resources which aren't equally spread in reality. Having specified these 3 major goals, we can now go into the heart of the matter. III: References We're going to use as references: Wikipedia for the summaries and of course ancient contemporary (even better, witness) sources such as Polybius's "General History" which makes alone quite a bunch of very detailed describing pages. IV: Modifications or Additions to Vanilla Art At first, we will use civilization present in the game because all civilizations present here are all cousins to some that are present in the vanilla. We're going to use Athenians either Spartans to represent the different Greek cities that took part to this war. And for the Mamertines (literally "Sons of Mars") were a group of mercenaries from an Italo-Celtic tribe in Campania (they were hired by Agathocles, Tyrant of Syracuse during the third Sicilian war, and some have stayed because they liked the climate and the place, these ones have conquered Messana and ruled it for 20 years using it as a fortified pirate basement for coastal and in-land raids) can be represented by Gauls because this is the civilization they are the closest to. But we will need some new unique buildings to be made. so we will need some people to do this. V: Mapping Each member of the project is going to choose a event (siege or battle) and make a map on it. He will present regularly his work to be criticized by the other members of the team in order to be the closest possible to the best. by the way mapping in a collaborative way, meaning here everyone working on the same map, would obviously not be practical for multiple reasons. VI: The Use of Triggers We're of course going to use quite a lot of triggers all the way through this campaign. I had the idea of creating (because I don't think it exists) a trigger to reduce the amount of HP, the attack damage and the speed of the units of the player who would play a besieged city unless he manages to create a trade line with his ally outdoors. VII: Introductions of scenarios We will try to make cut-scenes by using the cinematic camera. Otherwise, we can make introductions in the AoE II style, meaning pretty drawings with a text scrolling and a voice-over recording of someone reading it. It could be an English native speaker or me in the absence of one because I can reach the perfect accent (believe me or not, I'm not overestimating my language ability, no self-celebration) with the help of the phonetic dictionary and I have a quite deep voice like you hear in many voice-over recording. VIII: The Perspective We're going to make the campaign with the Roman perspective because a player does not want to lose at the end of a campaign. What I've just said involve that we should make alternative scenarios to make the player win with Carthage which is obviously not what we came for. So, during the campaign the player is going to stick to Romans or their allies for the scenario in which they aren't present (because all the battles were not Carthage versus Rome). In the campaign the player will have to stick to Romans or their allies but we will unlock the other belligerents in each map played alone. There will be a version of each map for the campaign and for the random playing of any map (the sole difference being the playability of everyone on the map by players). IX: Possible List of the Scenarios 264 B.C.: Battle of Messana (Romans vs Syracusans then Romans vs Carthaginians) 263 B.C.: Siege of Syracuse (Romans vs Syracusans) 262-261 B.C.: Siege of Agrigentum (Romans vs Carthaginians) 260 B.C.: Battle of the Lipari Islands (Romans vs Carthaginians) (maybe) 260 B.C.: Battle of Mylae (Romans vs Carthaginians) (maybe) 259 B.C.: Siege of Aleria (Greeks vs Carthaginians) (maybe as an extra) 258 B.C.: Battle of Sulci Tyrrhenica (Romans vs Carthaginians)(maybe) 257 B.C.: Battle of Tyndaris (Romans vs Carthaginians) (maybe) 256 B.C.: Battle of Cape Ecnomus (Romans vs Carthaginians) 256 B.C.: Battle of Clypea (Romans vs Carthaginians) 256 B.C.: Battle of Adys (Romans vs Carthaginians) 256 B.C.: Siege of Tunis (Romans vs Carthaginians) 255 B.C.: Battle of Tunis (Romans vs Carthaginians) 254 B.C.: Siege and Battle of Panormus (Romans vs Carthaginians) 251 B.C.: Siege and Battle of Panormus (again) (Romans vs Carthaginians) 251 B.C.: Reconquest of Agrigentum (Romans vs Carthaginians) 249 B.C.: Battle of Draepanum (Romans vs Carthaginians) (maybe) 249 B.C.: Conquest of Eryx (Romans vs Greeks) 242 B.C.: Siege of Draepanum (Romans vs Carthaginians) March 10 241 B.C.: Battle of the Aegates (or Egadi Islands) (Romans vs Carthaginians) This has not been decided yet so it's just for example. For now, maximum 7 maps in the campaign and maybe some extras later. X Conclusion There's a lot of work and we'll need more volunteers for things out of our skills (like coders for new triggers and artists for new buildings and pictures). P.S.: Want to join the team? Then contact me by PM
  5. 9 likes
    I feel like CCs should only be able to make a basic spearman or swordsman, and everything else should be in the barracks, with the barracks possibly producing a level-2 version of the basic unit by default (or treat the CC version as a level 0 weaker unit or something).
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    As promised the concept. 6.100 words of pure gameplay related stuff. Note: As this thread digs REALLY deep in the gameplay development, please read the document carefully and try to comprehend what I've written. I don't want read one liner comments like "idea X on page Y doesn't fit my personal view". You have to look at the concept as a whole instead of nitpicking small details. The layout isn't set in stone, it's meant as an approach to get a red line into the game. And thus it's important to get connections between different game aspects. Edit: the current text layout still isn't 100% like I want it to be but oh well... I'll leave it "as-is". If there is a strange looking paragraph simply ignore it Have fun reading! Part I: Gameplay Analysis “From sticks and stones to an Empire: How to employ a civilization concept for a modern time RTS” Game: 0 AD example faction: Athenians Author: DarcReaver Date: March 5th 2017 Introduction This document aims to summarize the current game mechanics, compare them to the original gameplay/game design concept, identify differences and problems with the current layout and create a solution concept. As some of the proposed concepts and ideas require quite a bit of restructuring or addition of code this is to be taken as a serious roadmap that can be followed for all civilizations in the future. If there are technical difficulties are not solvable by volunteers I’d honestly suggest to start another kickstarter campaign to hire a couple of professional coders who are then assigned the tasks that the internal team cannot solve. I know that this has been done in the past and failed, but I think the failure at least partly has to do with the fact that there is no “greater aim” for the game in its current state. There is no direction the game, so there is no amount of code able to finish it, thus the money would have gone to waste anyways (note that this is my personal opinion). But before doing kickstarters, or hiring coders, artists or whatever there has to be clear in which direction the game is heading, which leads us to this document. I believe there has to be a separate discussion on the kickstarter campaign some other time. Don’t get the wrong idea, I know that the proposed concepts below require extensive work and testing. However, please keep in mind that I’ve taken the original gameplay document as reference and adjusted my concepts towards implementation of the intended features. It’s just that my personal believe is that 0 AD in its very heart is not intended to be a “mass up an army and throw them into battle” style RTS. And to be honest – why would someone need another macro oriented game? We already have Age of Empires II HD, Stronghold, RUSE, Starcraft II and a couple of other games which already please that kind of player audience. And trying to mess with those games will most likely lead to a defeat since they’re made by professionals with years of experience in the game creation and have/had huge budgets available to polish their products. The result of this should be clear: 0 ad has to follow its own path instead of trying to copy and combine aspects from other games. So, let’s move on and summarize the current status of the game: General observations: City Borders When starting a game, the player base is surrounded by City borders. Inside the borders, construction of buildings is allowed. The border range can be increased by techs, certain buildings and progression in the city phases. Resource system & starting economy Basic soldiers, cavalry and women can harvest resources. The earlygame revolves around building basic infantry or women and assigning them to resource spots. The training speed is fast, resulting in high counts of collecting villagers in the earlygame (more than 30 or 40 units with 8 minutes). Resources are used to create more buildings and soldiers and research economic and military technologies. Houses and other buildings have comparably long construction times. Various economic upgrades can improve different aspects of gathering processes and are fast to research. Gameflow Most essential military units are available in the first Phase, allowing very early rushes with a variety of units. Building times are very high for buildings and very low for units. Resource costs are mostly the same for all types of military units. The available buildings allow defensive gameplay (farms, citizen soldiers, houses can garrison). The capturing mechanic helps raiding by being able to take over enemy buildings. As the game progresses there are more units unlocked to use. Every building is required to tech up. Siege is available very late, until then the mixture of capturing buildings and raiding economy is the way to go. Synopsis, current faction content: Buildings: Phase I: Agora – main building - House – provides population - Sitobolon – farm tech building and drop off point for food - storehouse – economic tech building and drop off point for minerals, lumber - Agros – unlimited food production - Epaulos – tech building for herdables/huntables/cavalry - Watchtower – scout building - Limen – harbor building - Strategeion – main military building Phase II: - Blacksmith – military tech building - Naos – advanced tech building - Emporios – market - Pyrgion – Defense tower - Theilos – defensive walls - Stoa Hellenica – specialist barracks building Phase III: - Epitheikisma – Fortress - Wonder – wonder building - Gymnasion – advanced military building - Theatron – economic civic tech building - Prytaneion – economic military special building This is the complete building number that is available to a player when choosing the Athenian civilization, 19 buildings. To unlock Higher City phases a number of buildings of the previous phase are required. Units: Phase I: - Hoplites (spearmen) - Peltastes Thrax (skirmisher) - Prodromos (ranged spear cavalry) - Psilos (slingers) Phase II: - Rhomphaiaphoros (heavy melee) - Thyreophoros (heavy skirmisher) - Iatros (healer) - Hippei (melee cavalry) Phase III: - Oxybeles (scorpion) - Lithobolos (catapult) - Epilektos (phalanx city guard unit) - Toxotes Skythikos (ranged archer) - Toxotes Kretikos (ranged archer) - Epibatos (naval infantry) - Heroes (Themistokles, Perikles, Iphikrates) Right now, the player starts off with basic infantry (hoplites), basic cavalry (Prodromos) and a basic ranged attacker (Psilos) without any necessary teching. Building a barracks adds a basic skirmisher (Peltastes) to the mix. Phase two adds healers, a special infantry and a special skirmisher (Rhomphaia/Threophoros), available through a second barracks and cavalry (Hippeis) Phase three unlocks siege (Oxybeles/Lithobolos), a City Guard Phalanx (Epilektos), ranged units (Toxotes Kretikos and Skythikos) aswell as naval infantry (Epibatos) and heroes. Summary of current game mechanic issues (note: “tier” means tech level) City Borders While in theory an interesting concept, the implementation at this stage is limiting the game more than being a useful feature. - Expansion is hard to do (Agoras require Phase II and lots of resources/time to be built) - No good options to expand the city borders apart from spamming houses or barracks - on certain maps it’s impossible to place drop off points for lumber and metal near the first major forest, leading to a low efficiency lumbering early on Result of this feature: Cavalry rushes and booming (don’t expand and spam economic units) are the choices to pick when playing the game. As it’s hard to work towards resources in the center of the map it’s easier to stick to the own borders and produce food with farming and harvest nearby lumber while building more and more economic units. Cavalry is very mobile and useful for harassment. Regular units don’t do the job well because it’s not possible to chase villagers Buildings: - no interconnection of building types: This means that there is no possibility to limit the amount of unit types available to the player. Every unit is trainable quickly, that way there is no interesting unit transition like archers into cavalry into infantry. Of course it’s possible to first field archers then cavalry and then infantry, but this doesn’t require planning or build orders. Just build a barracks and you’re done with your military. - forced construction of building phase buildings does not allow flexibility, players always have to build everything to get access to higher tier: This is an issue for the game duration. There is no possibility to follow a fast tech into a high tier to finish off opponents with superior units, or to deliver a teching advantage. As an example in AoE there are civs which are fit to quickly advance through the ages (like Byzantines, Mongols or Saracens) to field superior units like knights. Combined with the lack of additional military content in phase II the city phase feels dragged out. It takes ages to get through this phase without gaining a significant difference or advantage from phase I. - Building cost- and tech-requirements are unbalanced i.e. a fortress only offers two siege weapons while requiring lots of teching to reach and lots or resources to build. This results in unbalanced strategic options for building progression. Players have to build overpriced or underpriced buildings to get benefits that do not match the initial price. The progression should be: the more important the building the higher the cost should be. Units - Too many units are available at the start Overall the game offers a wide number of different units, but the unit arrangement is strange. In a strategy game the unit strength is usually increased over time, either via upgrades for existing units (called scaling) or by giving access to stronger units. A player starts off with his weakest units and as the game progresses he unlocks more and more powerful units, ultimately with some type of specialist unit that offers a very large advantage in one area. Most units with specific strengths have specific weaknesses which create a so called “rock paper scissor” counter system. The more specialized the unit is the harder the weakness is applied to enable countering it. This is essential for a wellrounded counter system. - Unit upgrades gives too large gaps between unteched and teched units It seems as if the bonuses provided from teching are very large, while unupgraded units are extremely weak, upgraded units almost take no damage compared to them. This is bad, as it requires players to instantly upgrade their units to stand a chance against an opponent, limiting the choice to “mass” weak units instead of choosing to tech up to get a smaller force of more advanced, stronger units. - Heroes come late and require lots of resources for limited effects This is a separate issue and my personal opinion on this matter is that heroes have too little effect on the game. According to the design guide the game takes inspiration from Warcraft III in which heroes have a very large role from the very start of the game. Getting early heroes, leveling them up and fighting the enemy is very important and can decide a match early. The hero system in 0 ad doesn’t nearly as much influence the overall game, which makes me question the reason why heroes are in the game in the first place. - Formations are fiddly and micro intensive The Formations are interesting, as they provide tactical options for fighting, like forming a phalanx to attack melee warriors. It’s a logical thing that there is a necessary minimum of soldiers to form a formation. The problem with the formations right now is that it’s not possible to select units in a formation and ignore units that are not included in the formation. Since units in 0ad are pretty small in a battle there is a constant reforming of formations since new trained units rejoin the formations on double click selection if you reassign the formation. - Unit training times are too quickly, massing troops early game is absolutely possible. Rushing with units from the town center is possible. This dumbs down the game. There is no strategical choice between building a military building path to unlock certain units and an early economic boom defensive playstyle. Instead it’s possible to train relatively potent units from the very start and the “man-spam train” is on track. While creating variety in the early training order this dulls down the tradeoffs that have to be made in the earlygame by players. In a good RTS there is a variety of choices to make. Either train melee units early, train ranged units or try a mobility approach for harassment like cavalry units. Each path means that the other military units are delayed by X amount of time and there is a tradeoff between having more pressure on the enemy or have increased economic power. Since cavalry can also collect food, there is zero disadvantage in training cavalry compared to training economic units. In 0ad there is no delay for fielding other types of units (except for the time to collect the required resources and building time), so army compositions are very flexible. This renders tactical advantages from training certain units useless as they can immediately be countered. I got the feeling this is why there is so much cavalry rushing going on. A mobile early cavalry army allows to put pressure on an enemy, and can only be countered by other cavalry as regular units are too slow to catch up. The mobility of ranged units is high; most skirmisher cavalry and cavalry archers available to the civs at the start. Ranged cavalry can outrun their counters and pick off single units. In RTS players who can choose their battles are in an advantageous position.
  7. 8 likes
    I like the building dependency concept, especially requiring more than one type of parent, like corral + farmstead = market. Just have to make sure the tree makes sense, but the concept is good. Allow me to introduce the technology dependency web. In this case, for the blacksmith: In the above example, since the player has build 2 blacksmiths, he can have up to 2 techs researching at one time.
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    Part II: Solution Concept taking Atheneans as example civilization: Excerpt from design doc: “Developers do not seem to be content to further the traditional RTS in the same vein as Age of Empires, Command and Conquer, Red Alert, and Warcraft II. Though some are fleeing, we are going to stake a claim in the RTS genre. There is still much innovation to be made. This for us means: A. Less tedious/mindless micro-management B. More strategic thinking C. Greater stress on planning, formations, and tactics D. Choices, Choices, and more Choice ” Right now, none of this is actually present in the game. 0 AD combines all negative features of the game combined with a broken gatherer concept to make the whole game more “unique”. This is a problem and really unfortunate. We have lots and lots of unnecessary micromanagement, almost no strategic depth, no real planning. Only thing already implemented is the use of formations and tactics like flanking of a Phalanx. My aim is to create gameplay patterns that match the points above: - removal or repetitive and unnecessary micro management - employment of battle tactics in conjunction with formations, trampling, surprise attacks, flanking and directional combat. These battle tactics make up for the fact that there are less total units on the field. There is more tactical micro in place than strategical micro - The fighting duration between units is increased. This reduces the need to permanently replace units lost with the “manspam train” - set the waypoint to the battlefield. Newly produced soldiers move towards the battlefield every couple of seconds and after a while this looks like a train moving along the map. - Enforcing a teching pattern that allows a greater diversity in army compositions, and to make certain “cookie-cutter” unit combos harder to reach. - Creating variety in combat. The outcome shouldn’t always be the same. This is accomplished by varying weapon damage and directional combat and creating small amounts of luck based chances. - Making units more durable allows constructive army micro. I.e. more options to heal wounded units. Unit preservation becomes more important and easier. This punishes mindless suicide raids and rewards taking care of units. General earlygame changes: 1. Remove all units from the Town center except for women and citizens. All units are trained in batches of different sizes (the exact number is up to discussion, I’d say we start with 2 women and 2 citizens per training interval. Training time and resource costs are increased accordingly). Gathering rates are changed, this is covered in a separate point. House pop cap is increased; fewer houses to provide more population. Reason: less repetitive micro required by lowering the amount of clicks to get the eco going. Increased gathering rates allow less gatherers to get the necessary resources. This is also important since military will not be able to gather, too (see below). Less houses for progress means less spam to build them. House walls are less attractive and palisades become the choice of defensive building at the start of the game. This all frees up time for the player to think ahead of how he’s going to setup the game while maintaining a relatively complex economic system. I’d strongly suggest of battalions with multiple units in a single entity. This allows less individual micromanagement (-> “clicking speed”) and allows a better implementation of formations. Additionally, battalions create a better atmosphere of managing armies and an empire, not a bunch of ravaging soldiers and a couple of farmer’s daughters Depending on the eco setup the gathering processes can be tweaked to match the size of women “battalions” and Citizens. I.e. maximum gatherers are 4/8/12 for small/ medium/ large resource spots. 3. Slow down everything. Women speed, soldier speed, cavalry speed. It’s pretty obvious that the game runs like a turbo random map game in Age of Empires on double speed. Way too hectic for a game with such a detailed economy and military system. Instead, the focus should go more into automatization of processes to allow more strategical planning. This also makes “fast clicking” less of a requirement to manage the game well. This will improve the game pace massively. 4. Citizens – they do no longer start with their weapons, instead they only work as male collectors. They collect food, wood, metal and stone faster than women, and they can hunt with spears or bows. They have the option to be “called to arms” to receive their weapons but lose their ability to collect resources (in case of Atheneans: Citizens turn into Hoplites). The upgrade is permanent. Alternative: Citizens “call to arms” is a timed ability. When activated Citizens run towards the Civic Center (or Blacksmith) and receive their weapons. When leaving the city boundaries or after a certain time they drop their weapons and become gatherers again. Reason: having an army that can collect resources is problematic. As soon as a player decides to attack, the player loses resources from not gathering resources. To limit the negative effects of this the Citizen speed must be high so travelling to the enemy doesn’t take too long. This makes units look ridiculous when they sprint across the map. The amount of units collecting resources makes it necessary to slow down individual gathering rates, so unit massing is important to gain economic bonuses. The “call to arms” concept allows players to react to early attacks by calling their citizens to defend the city. Raiding economy easier with regular units, as the gatherers cannot fight back efficiently. There is a tradeoff between military force and economic force. This conceptual change still contains the spirit of “Citizen Soldiers” that the game favors as a core element, but in a less problematic way. Military units should not double as resource gatherers. 5. Women can only collect food, and the efficiency aura is removed from them. Gathering from herdables, fields and berries is significantly more efficient. They cannot hunt efficiently because they are not able to use a bow or spear for a ranged attack. They can still collect from them if a Citizen first kills the animal first. A mix of Citizens and Women early on is more important as both units synergize well. Mindless massing of women is made less attractive, since the amount of herdables or berries is limited early on. On the contrary it’s an option to gain an advantage from taking free food on the map with high efficiency by having women collect wild berries and i.e. protect them from raids with male, called to arms citizens. This also allows players to expand early on and increases the necessity to keep scouting the map for assault targets. Being sneaky by collecting hidden resources rewards players with saved resources on early fields. 6. Neutral gaia herdables on the map: herdables can be captured (copy from AoE II, I know. But it’s good!) and then fatten over time. They can be moved around and be gathered from citizens and Women. 7. Starting units are reworked: Atheneans/civs in general no longer start with a mixure of units. The starting units are limited to two Women and two Citizen. The citizen either serves as a scout or can help with hunting to improve food gathering. Since Atheneans are a defensive civ a fast ranged cavalry scout and Psilos are unfit as starting units. Atheneans should be slooooow. Resource layout: Any good RTS needs a clear role for each type of resource that is available. Example: Company of Heroes features 3 resources – manpower, fuel, munitions. Manpower is used for training new units, teching all kinds of upgrades and reinforcing squads. Fuel is used to bring vehicles on the field and tech global upgrades, for example enable the usage of grenades for Riflemen. Munitions are used for squad specific upgrades like giving an MG gunner to a tank or adding sight scopes, or to give a Panzerschreck to a squad. Munitions also are used for usage of active abilities – artillery strikes, Air raids, smoke barrages, tossing grenades and so on. Something similar is in place for Warcraft III, too: Units require gold. Items and combat enhancing features require gold aswell. Teching, buildings and specialized units require lumber as a second resource. A pattern like this should be enforced for 0 AD. Players need to know that if they want to do X they need resource Y. My proposal would be following: - Food is used for training gatherers, melee infantry and cavalry. Military techs and combat enhancing techs require food. - Wood/lumber is used for construction of non-military buildings and required for economic upgrades. Training ranged units requires wood. Wood is also needed to progress city phases. - Stone is used to create military buildings. Walls, Towers, barracks, Fortresses. The creation of Siege weapons requires stone aswell. Stone is needed to progress in the next city phases. - Concept proposal : Metal is split up into two resources. One is called Silver, the other Iron. Silver is used to tech economic upgrades and army upgrades. Iron is used for training soldiers. Advantage would be that there are more options to customize the gathering process into “unit massing” or “teching progress”. Silver is a teching resource, while Iron is a production resource. Elite units like Chariots, Elephants or mercenaries can require Silver as training resource to mix things up for additional gameplay depth. - Alternatively, Metal is a combined military production and teching resource. It’s used for training every military unit that is fielded. Military techs and combat enhancing techs require metal. Economic techs require metal, too. Upgrading city phases requires metal (or silver). Building layout for Atheneans: Phase I: Buildings built by women: houses, farms. Buildings build by Citizens: Apotheke, Strategeion, Sitobolon, Epaulos, Blacksmith, Naos, Pyrgion, Limen Proposed building dependencies in a picture: Conceptual changes: Apotheke: can be built anywhere, drop off point for lumber, stone and metal Sitobolon: unlocks the option to build fields, contains economic upgrades for harvesting and gathering berries Epaulos: this building contains upgrades for hunting and gathering from animals. This building provides upgrades for the overall performance of cavalry units. It no longer trains sheep or goats (the training herdables will be used in a different way in a different civ concept, will be covered in the future). Blacksmith: contains military upgrades, and unlocks ranged units. Limen: a basic shipyard that contains fishing boats and transport ships. Transport ships can be garrisoned by soldiers and then used to capture enemy ships. Strategeion: by default, it only enables to train Hoplites Athenae. Further contains Peltastes Thrax and Prodromos (require City phase) Naos: contains healers and heroes. Yes, you read correctly, I’d suggest heroes and healers are put in an earlier stage of the game to increase their influence on the gameprogress. Of course, considering that they join the game earlier they will work in a different manner and have different stats. Hero units will be featured in a separate position below. Pyrgion and Palisades: defensive buildings for a defensive styled civilization, cheap, fast to build, but easy to destroy Phase II (600 Wood / 400 Stone/200 metal, requires 3 buildings to be constructed): (all constructed by Citizens) Emporios: Market building, contains upgrades that allow trading, increase economic efficiency (that means: upgrades in here allow resources to last longer, especially metal) Gymnasion: Advanced military building, trains Pikemen and contains upgrades that increase infantry effiency (more hitpoints, better attack, better speed etc.). Also trains Hippeis and thus provides a gameplay focus on infantry units and to make them more versatile. Additionally, cavalry helps out the immobile Phalanx formations by protecting the flanks and applying pressure to the enemy. The disadvantage is that this building does not contain hard counter units, and thus it’s necessary to provide the correct army composition to make use of the units from the Gymnasion. Hellenic Stoa: Advanced military building, contains Rhomphaiaphosos, Thyreophosos and Toxotes Skythikos/Kretikos. This building serves by providing a mixture of dedicated hard counter units that hit hard but are specialized. Also contains upgrades for said units. Agora: main civil building that expands the command area and creates further colonies. Trains gatherers and allows to advance through city phases (mostly like it is at the moment). Theikos: improvement of wooden Palisades. Those walls cost stone and have better stats (obviously). Can be built anywhere by default. Defense Tower: building that shoots arrows (obviously) Phase III (700 Wood/ 1000 Stone / 500 Metal, require 2 buildings to be constructed): (all constructed by citizens) Epistoklisma: Fortress used as ultimate defensive building, contains upgrades for military units in general (i.e. training speed). Furthermore allows construction of various siege weapons. Theatron: economic boost building. This building increases all gatherer speed and efficiency in the civic center radius (similar to the Wheel technology in Age of Empires) Prytaneion: Government building, contains techs that affect cavalry units and provide bonuses to general infrastructure: faster construction of buildings, population efficiency, unit costs, ships and so on. It basically boosts the economy indirectly. Example for Athenians: Reformations of Iphikrates that upgrade regular Hoplites to Naval soldiers and replaces Toxotes Skytikos with Toxotes Kretikos. Wonder: serves double as a victory condition and boosts all military unit’s performance significantly (the wonder is a proud sign of how advanced a civilization is, and thus the population will greatly try to keep it that way) Limen Megalos (military shipyard): Upgrade for the regular Limen, alternatively an own building that enables construction of large ships.
  9. 7 likes
    I just lost hours of my work on another project, so I guess a big warning is in order. Transifex has a new "feature" that if you correct some strings offline and then upload, Transifex will silently ignore your changes. At least with translator permissions, I haven't checked yet if this also happened with reviewer permissions. Already reviewed strings are now completely impossible to correct offline - at least the upload window will inform our about that one. I already contacted Transifex about the issue.
  10. 7 likes
    Position: Application as Gameplay Developer. Do you understand that Wildfire Games is a non-commercial project, work for 0 A.D. is volunteer, and work is done for free? - Yes Do you agree to distribute all your work for Wildfire Games under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license? - Yes Are you sure you are not wanting to work on something programming related? - Yes Name: DarcReaver - Hendrik. Email: I don't publicly post my e-mail, but in case it's needed I'll send it over via pm, np Location: Kassel, Germany. Availability: around 10-15 hours/week. Age: 28 Occupation: currently employed as leading Estate Engineer for a town community. Planning and coordinating the construction of elevators, power supply systems, heating and ventilation systems among other stuff Skills and Experience: I've been playing various RTS games in the past and been heavily employed in game design department of various modding communities, most notably Company of Heroes franchise, C&C generals, Battle for Middle Earth series and Warcraft III. My experience in modding lies somewhere around 10 years, and I've been playing RTS games since around 15 years. I know many different types of strategy games and played quite a few of them on a competitive base, meaning tournaments, ladder matches etc. I worked with different types of editors that allow modification of existing game engines, most notably corsix mod studio and Warcraft editor. Also I'm doing .xml editing for some simulator games, modifying properties, sounds, physics etc. to create authentic driving experiences. Motivation: I know that there is no officially available position as a "gameplay developer" on 0ad, so I'm doing this application as some sort of iniative. However, I do think that there should be more discussion and progress towards creating interesting, unique and outstanding gameplay patterns that will make 0 ad stand out from other RTS games on the market apart from "it looks nice" and "it has a lot of content". Creating a game flow for the game is very important and from my experience in the game making area this is what has to come before betatesting. The current design, while having interesting aspects, lacks original patterns aswell as missing long term motivation for keeping a player base. After the conversations in the gameplay testing forum I decided that I'm officially applying to help out. (link to topic below) Don't be scared of my harsh tone, I am usually nice and helpful towards others, but depending on the situation sometimes more drastic words are needed to underline and emphasize a certain position in a discussion. Being nice doesn't always do its job. Personality: My personality tends to switch between the "terror that flaps at night" and "Launchpad McQuack" combined with enthuiasm, depending on my mood and the matter I'm dealing with. Short Essay: I searched for an alternative RTS game that combines an ancient Age of Empires 1 setting with polished graphics and modern gameplay patterns, that's how I noticed 0ad. Staff: Noone in person, but I had a series of conversations with community members like wowgetoffyourcellphone, niektb and Karamel. Favorite Game: All time favorite is company of heroes. Apart from that I'm into the Dead Space universe and the new Tomb Raider series. Also The witcher is pretty nice. Work Examples: http://www.easternfront.org/, http://www.moddb.com/mods/coheastern-front, http://www.moddb.com/mods/menace-from-outland/
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leekfrith_torcs Thought you all might be interested in some recent archaeological findings in the time period of 0 A.D.
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    I agree on this, it's an interesting concept. I'm trying to work in a system that works in a similar way but better for the game flow. I can't tell specific details, but I think it's a satisfying compromise between concept and playability. Edit: 4.800 words. I'll prepare a couple of pictures, polish it a bit more after I got some sleep and present it tomorrow on the forum. After that I'm expecting to be granted a WFG Badge
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    Disclaimer: This was done on one night, based heavily on one person’s comment, from one small voice (me) who is a peasant exercising his right on free speech. Quote in the "Resource System & Map control Elements" Following on @Wesley's comment, I went and tried to trace back the original intention of the Citizen Soldier up to the state they are currently in (not with research, but with assumptions, so go ahead and fault me for that). Now if 0 A.D.’s thesis in the Starting Game is “Make each Faction immediately recognizable”, then I believe they are successful in that. If I chose “Random” before we start, then I can immediately tell what Faction I’m controlling just by looking at the Civic Center and the units I have without looking at the Emblem at the center top part of the UI. This is where 0 A.D. improves over AoE2. Now, the Citizen Soldiers have inherited that aspect. Although they’re being mocked as “Soldiers who can gather”, they’re actually “Villagers who can fight” (Yes I’ll be relying on "'living' is not the same as 'not dying'" logic). If you’re complaining that you’d rather gather with these guys, then you shouldn't since they were intended to do that. It's players like me who are the ones using them in an un-orthodox manner (sending them to war). The reason why we have Champion Spams back then is that it is the original intention of the game: Gather with Citizen Soldiers, then send the Champions to war. But then, some things happened over the years: Horsemen have become a lot faster (they were nearly as fast as walking soldiers back then). Champion (Pure Military) Units have increased their train time. Citizen Soldiers received some rebalancing of stats. What all this all means is that the Citizen Soldiers have taken center stage both in the Economy and Military side of things. And, you know what? This further led me to recognize what @DarcReaver has been actively harping over the forums recently: Citizen Soldiers broke the game. 1. You can’t Distinguish between Economic and Military Units New players shouldn’t be going “Oh, my soldiers can gather and build. That’s cool!”. They should’ve been going “Oh, my villagers can defend themselves. That’s cool!” They don’t see Citizen Soldiers as Economic Units with Fighting as an add-on, they identify them as Military Units with Gather/Build as the add-on. The reason why we see @drsingh complaining about the Civic Center being able to train Military Units is that he doesn’t see the Citizen Soldiers as Economic Units. And judging from the game’s current state his complaint has become valid. 2. Lack of Military Unit Diversity And here's another problem, guys. If you’re wondering why we don’t have enough diversity in Champions or any Pure Military Units for that matter, then the reason is that most of the units went into the Citizen Soldier category. This must be the reason why I feel that Phase 2 is the emptiest phase in the game. You’re not presented with more military, you're presented with more gatherers. Here’s another thing. The elephant is a Soldier-type unit for whatever reason. But looking at a certain unit progression. I believe the original intention was this: Phase 1 – Citizen Soldiers + Women Phase 2 – Soldiers Phase 3 – Champions + Heroes That’s one way I can make sense for why there is a soldier-type unit. Now with all that in mind, I think we should not remove the gathering ability of the Citizen Soldiers since that was the original intention. Rather, something must be done with the military strength they obtained over the years. I think they should be nerfed. Rush Cavs (as much as I personally like to have that strategy available) should not be possible. Cavs should either lose their gathering capabilities, or they are not available in the Civic Center. A little harassment here and there can still be a staple in the early game, but rushes might not be good for a game that has city-building also in mind. Make Town Phase more relevant by putting the Town Phase Units from Citizen Soldiers to Soldier category. Yes, I know this post has come to a set of suggestions, but I believe this was the original gameflow of 0 A.D. Only that much of the playerbase has dictated to where it is now. Now, go. Tear down my arguments. I was just here to ramble.
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    This has been the case for a while, and I've internally already suggested changing it, but I'm making a formal complain here : the way we gather wood from trees is really annoying. This is a collusion of various factors, so I'm just going to lay them all down: Trees tend to be all over the place and forests not large enough, which is annoying to place good dropsites. Trees can be worked on by up to 8 workers, which is imo far too much (should be like 3). Forests are either too sparse (units get inside and start bumping into each other) or not enough. Trees imo don't have enough wood individually. Returning with 10 wood is annoying because of all the above factors, this would be better if wood was gathered in batches of 20/30 by default. But iirc we don't have different carrying capacity for different resources. So we should: change our RMs to generate better forests and fewer stragglers across the board reduce the max number of workers per tree from 8 to 3/4 make sure Rms place wood in sane way (hard to do though) bump wood on all trees a little bit, even if that means having fewer per forests (not incompatible with the above) if possible, increase carrying capacity for wood only (might not be necessary if all of the above implemented). Edit: to clarify what I want: I'm asking for general input in view of actually making a patch on this.
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    Enjoy. D152 Thanks Sandarac for implementing the code, Enrique for the model and Pureon for the icon!
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    The number of serious 3D game engines written in anything but C or C++ is not very large. Both of these languages can be quite close to the hardware, which is sometimes needed to make things performant (yes, we aren't there yet, but that is just lots of work). With Java you'd either be trying to work around the garbage collector by keeping memory buffers yourself, or having to deal with those GC pauses. Python still has that global interpreter lock (which is just as bad as it sounds), and we do already have another scripting language with quite some code written in it, and it works well enough that nobody really considers porting it to something else that will just have different drawbacks a worthwhile effort. Mostly C++ is one of the very few choices for a game engine that makes sense (mostly due to being close to the hardware if needed, and being able to use libraries). Java might be a fine choice for business applications where you can just throw bigger servers at it and tune the GC until it works good enough, but for a 3D game (engine) it might not be the best choice. For Python vs JS the former might be nicer from a language standpoint, but that doesn't change the issue of existing code that works, also we do benefit from JS engine optimization efforts.
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    There is a middle ground, it just takes some fine tuning to realize. Gathering cavalry is not the issue here, its the snowball effect of cavalry gathering the resources necessary to make yet more cavalry in such a way that doesn't hamper economic growth. Another easy fix would be making cavalry take up two pop slots and giving them a slight combat buff and price hike to compensate. Else make them cost a resource that skews village phase gathering. There are several ways to go about fixing the problems presented that dont involve dismantling playstyles. A good question to ask is how extreme can we make our changes before we alienate our current player base? I don't bring this up over something as remedial as pushing raiding cavalry a phase forward, but you seem to have a distaste for citizen soldiers on a whole, which is one of the standout gameplay features of 0 AD.
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    I think it would be nice to have some missions where the main objective is not to build a city and win a battle like standard map. Say, for example: a trigger choice-map similar to: a mission where you don't have to build anything, you have some champions/hero and you have to reach some objectives (kill a single unit, capture a specific building, rescue a monk, reach a fortress, ...); survive for X minutes (not necessarily a tower defence map). This would add some variations on the playability.
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    Part III: Military: After I received the additional information that the current in place pathfinding mostly revolves around single units and still uses workaround solutions I’m creating as some kind of foreword: The suggestions about battalions are not set as a requirement for the game, instead it would be possible to simply create multiple units with one click. Instead of creating one entity per training cycle the game simply creates like 3, 4, 5, 10, 15 entities at once that can be grouped by the player and immediately use a desired formation as a temporary solution. With increased training times for units in general, this will also make the random “one slinger army against 2 peltastes” engagements less of an issue. It simply looks odd. No civilization would engage another civ with a single soldier. There’s a meme about Age of Empires on the net. While being quite sarcastic this sums up certain aspects that feel weird for a “historical” game about large kingdoms and societies: : Anyways, back on track: General concept: Units have normalized speed, the better armoured a unit is the slower it moves. Edit: after some notices from Tiber7 this is not always the case, so take this point as "situational" at best. However, the armour level applies to the endurance system. Units have an additional stat, “endurance”, which affects speed and combat performance, similar to the endurance system employed by Total War games. Endurance allows units to run or charge until they’re exhausted. Exhausted troops fight less efficient and will require to rest to regain back their endurance. The factor how fast a unit can be exhausted is based on two things: 1) the armament, i.e. lightly armoured Peltasts can run longer distances than Pikemen or Hoplites and 2) the experience level a unit has. Veteran troops can march and fight much more efficient than rookie soldiers that have been freshly trained. This makes preserving soldiers with experience rewarding for the player and allows tactical decisions to engage unprepared enemies while risking that own troops might get exhausted while approaching them instead of a slow moving army that allows the enemy to prepare for battle. Additional stat that is also based on endurance: mounted units have the ability to trample other units with a charge. Units that are able to charge are chariots, light and heavy cavalry and elephants. Those units are intended to cause chaos in enemy formations. Being able to trample allows them to counter units that are isolated or not properly protected. The intention is to make battles more interesting and allow plays by smart usage of cavalry charges to turn the tide of battle. Units are made more durable. As a workaround I’d go ahead and simply increase the hitpoints significantly, or add a random integer that varies attack damage. I.e. damage for archers ranging between 10-20, and damage of spears 25-40 (Or something similar, these are just examples). Units have different stats for “frontal” defense and “rear” defense. Soldiers engaging other soldiers frontally have a chance to “deflect” or “block” attacks off. The more experienced a soldier is thee better he can block off attacks. Soldiers with shields have a greater frontal defense against missiles like stones, arrows and spears. A picture illustrating the matter: units have an armour penetration value, which allows them to ignore enemy unit’s armour to deal full damage. As an example: melee spears have a lower base damage but have a comparably high chance to pierce through armour, making them the choice of action to deal with heavy melee units. Archer arrows have a lower chance to damage heavily armoured targets. Missiles like stones from slingers have a low chance to penetrate armour but deal high damage per missile. As I’m not 100% aware of how the current damage system works there might only be minor tweaks necessary to employ the necessary stats to make this system work. Varying accuracy for ranged weapons – archers, slingers, peltasts and siege weapons have accuracy values that decrease over the range they’re shooting. Accuracy increases with veterancy levels. From my observations this is already implemented. certain units gain combat bonuses when in or nearby forests, for example against arrows. Or they become invisible to the enemy to allow surprise attacks. This also creates more tactical depth to fights. units get a dynamic line of sight that is influenced by buildings and other obstacles in their way. This way scouting becomes more important to identify threats aswell as increasing the tactical value of surprise attacks “out of nowhere” military unit costs are normalized. There needs to be a consistent system to provide a usage of different resources to balance out different types of units and gathering strategies. How exactly the values are setup and which military unit takes which resource is up to a later stage. I’d strongly suggest that food and metal should play the larger role. Military population costs are based on their size. A regular soldier costs one population point, while a Chariot or cavalry unit requires 2 pop. Elephants and siege would cost 3 pop. Just to state some numbers. In general: the more powerful a unit is the more popcap it uses. This makes accomplishing large forces of elite units harder, and promotes using different types of troops together. Reasoning: read the design document “Fastest click wins - In many RTS games, it isn't the player with the most intelligence or the best strategy that wins, it's the player who A] knows the proper order of actions and B] carries them out the fastest. People that practice a general procedure that is usually rewarding and know keyboard shortcuts should be slightly advantaged, and they will still be required; but, the if the opponent recognises their 'cookie cutter' gameplay, they should easily be able to outwit them by identifying and countering the unoriginal/over-used tactics with an effective counteractive strategy. Single path to victory - It seems to be a trend that games cater to a specific strategy that is frequently used to attain a victory. That could be rushing, turtling, booming, etc. We recognise these are valid ways to win a game, but we will attempt to not favour one over another. Players should be able to successfully use (and adapt/change) any strategy to achieve a victory. Sneaky Tricks - Many games overlook some aspects of gameplay that are unintentionally (by the game designers) used to a player's advantage. Through many hours of gameplay testing, we need to identify and eliminate these tricks. Repetition - If you find yourself doing the same action over and over without thought, then we need to either eliminate or automate such an action. Linear repetitious procedures are meaningless and boring. “ scout towers can be constructed by military units and create a city border, which allows forward bases and forward gathering. Military layout for Atheneans Strategeion: Trained units - Hoplites Athenae, slow but well armoured soldiers with a bonus damage to cavalry units. Low initial damage and attackspeed, but profit from various upgrades that are present in other buildings. - Psilos, fast, lightly armoured, ranged slingers with high missile damage, but low accuracy and armour penetration. Mostly useful to counter other lightly armoured units, but comparably cheap and fast to train. Range 30m - Peltastes Thrax (require Blacksmith), ranged spearthrowers. Medium speed, slow rate of fire (once every 3 or so seconds), high damage, armour piercing spears with a range of ~20 meters. Rookie troops have a chance to miss their spears. - Prodromoi (requires Epaulos): light spear cavalry, changed to melee instead of throwing spears. The spear throw instead becomes an ability. Due to having spears, their armour penetration is high, making them a good counter to other cavalry units. Due to them being lightly armoured it’s important to use their mobility to avoid unnecessary damage. The thrown spear allows to deal with approaching enemies by weakening their hitpoints beforehand. Limen: Trained units - Fishing boats and transport ships which serve as troop carriers and allow capturing ships. - Medium combat ship that is unlocked in Phase II (TBD) Gymnasion: Trained units - Epilektos, well armoured, slow Pikemen with high armour armour penetration, especially against cavalry. Can form several special formations which allow to deal their damage. - Hippei, fast moving medium cavalry with powerful charge, have high attack damage with swords. Their hitpoints are lower than other cavalry units, thus they’re required to use flanking to cause the most damage without taking too much damage. Hellenic Stoa: Trained units - Threophoros: medium speed, better armoured than Peltastes Thrax, high damage spears with high armour piercing value and decent defense against melee attacks. - Toxotes Skythikos: Archer with good rate of fire and range, can fire flaming arrows to lower enemie’s endurance. Cheap to build and maintain, but low hitpoints, making them vulnerable to cavalry, Range 40m - Rhomphaiaphoros: medium speed, well armoured with high damaging sword attack, have great endurance. Epistoklisma: trained units - Oxybeles, slow moving, long range ballista that shoots bolts in enemy unit formations. It’s a supportive weapon that lowers enemy unit’s endurance/formation bonuses as they create chaos where they hit, range 60m - Lithobolos, long range siege weapon that deals high damage to buildings but has to be deployed/undeployed to be used and moved around. Can also fire flaming missiles to either ignite enemy cities or unit formations. By default rather inaccurate, it profits from technologies which increase its accuracy. Siege engineers etc., range 100m Limen Megalos: trained units - TBD, as I don’t know enough about sea fighting yet and the sea fighting does not seem finished in general yet. Most likely ships like Triremes and siege ships to terrorize the sea. Athen had a scary fleet afterall. Heroes: The hero system is changed: Only one hero is available at a time. Each hero provides unique bonuses to the Athenean army. When a hero dies another one can be trained. Heroes get special abilities that allow them to influence the course of the battle. - Themistokles, focus on navy efficiency and bonuses to soldiers defending territory. - Perikles, grants economic bonuses like faster building, faster army training speed and cheaper buildings. - Iphikrates, grants general combat bonuses to formations of soldiers. In case the "Silver-Iron" Split would be done Heroes could cost Silver as a unique resource. Alternatively they purely cost metal. The gameplay vision/desired results in a nutshell: The aim of the proposed gameplay concept is to create a transition of a small civilization that skirmishes its way to an empire. Economy management is shifted from individual micro of lots and lots of gatherers into a system that allows a limited amount of economy units do all the necessary tasks. Bollecting the correct resources for the planned strategy (rushing/booming/teching) and the buildorder become more important. Managing armies and gatherers creates a feeling that the player controls a part of an empire instead of a bunch of villagers and soldiers that battle for a random region. Training various types armies, upgrading them and sending them into micro intensive, tactical battles create excitement for the involved players and random based variances in the battle system allow variety in outcomes of who wins and who does not. The usage of ambushes, flanks and pinpoint harassment allows comebacks for players who fell behind. There no longer is a need to apply a huge economy and then mass units from dozens of military buildings to simply overrun the enemy. The game follows an organized structure that allows predicting enemie’s plans by scouting carefully and intercepting them by smart usage of information.
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    Yes, I do disagree with calling it something it isn't. I have no problem with community members doing something related to the game and talking or announcing it here though.
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    I discover this the another day.
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    BTW -- this thread wasn't my proposal for mod, it was my proposal for the vanilla game. It would require a fork of the code and a team to do a mod, and I barely have time and interest to maintain Delenda Est. Okay, some addenda based on comment from commenters who say commenty things: Slaves don't slowly lose health anymore, or maybe if they do, the health drain only occurs when gathering and is rather slow. I think "Silver" in my presentation should be called Coin instead, since it represents trade and taxes, essentially coinage. To make population easier to manage, I think each civ should get a secondary house-style building at City Phase. Bigger, more population bonus. For the Romans, it's the insula. Maybe for the Celts it's an artisan's village, looks like a collection of houses. Basically, you start to build whole neighborhoods at once instead of individual little houses. Straggler trees being removable can help with the size of things. So, in DE, the Roman insula is 25 pop. Building a few of these, even if more expensive and larger footprint is more efficient than building 10-pop houses.
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    art work of my Citizen: Greek version. my vision from the concept.
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    AH, we read the same link I've found it remarkably interesting, particularly how many ideas they tried and ended giving up, particularly since a few of them we've had too. I really like how they intended to do capturing by having buildings become disabled when below 20%, and then whoever repaired them would gain control. I feel like that's far less intrusive, more realistic, and just better than our current system overall…
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    Farm expiration has never been fun for me and is actually is one of my biggest gripes with AoK. AoK:TC was a little better with its farm queues, but even that resulted in repeated top-offs. AoE3 avoided the issue by using infinite farms like we currently have. I feel that if a field was paid for with wood and build time, then having it sit unused is an extremely obvious and adequate penalty. I don't see the need to introduce a variable rate which has the singular purpose to punish the player for leaving a farm unattended. Resource gathering in AoE3 does not have units shuffling back and forth like AoK. Our game didn't either at first. I remember us asking Philip to add it in. In hindsight, I don't think resource shuffling is a great idea; it complicates gameplay and hurts performance. However, it is so charming that I would still miss it if it were removed. For me, farm expiration adds a significant annoyance without any of the charm. I actually don't really like the female aura either because I have to space out the female citizens so that all the other gathering units are covered by the aura. This requires repeated micro-management during placement of gatherers for both new resource locations and for repositioning units that have roamed (wood cutters, etc.) It's rather a pain, so I mostly don't fool with it, but the best players will be required to bother with mundane details like that. Corrals properly paired with cavalry can collect ridiculous amounts of food quickly. I did it once - it requires a lot of planning; I imagine a more experienced player could really get the timing of the training and the positioning of the cavalry right. It was so much effort that it was not fun for me at all. I think the issue would be much more apparent if we used the computer player to optimize that strategy. Just some personal opinions. Other people have different experiences.
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    I have been playing 0AD as single player for a few years. The change such that troops now try to capture buildings by default rather than destroy them, is annoying me. It was interesting at first, but it needs some tweaks. When the attacking force contains some military that cannot capture, such as elephants, you end up with some troops trying to capture a building while others are destroying it. Either you end up with the capture failing because it gets destroyed, or capturing a badly damaged building. The opposite of the Patrol order would be useful sometimes, especially for elephants and generals that have strong building-related effects and can take a lot of damage. That is "Go and capture / destroy the buildings but ignore the people". Sometimes I do not want the enemy buildings. I would rather the site was destroyed quickly. So I would like to be able to set a group of military units to "Never capture". Troops capture whatever is nearest. Is is annoying watching troops standing around trying to capture and hold a bunch of houses while a nearby tower is whittling them down. Just as there is a Violent stance for concentrating on attackers, being able to choose between "Capture nearest" and "Capture nearby strategic sites (towers, barracks, city centres) first" would be good. At the moment I am finding I have to micromanage the behaviour of my armies when they go to attack enemy towns, from building to building, which I did not have to do before capturing was implemented. (PS Excellent game though. I waste so much time playing it!)
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    I will be presenting my paper on the next semester. It aims to generate and integrate a mod in the game that is based on the major indigenous groups that inhabited the Philippine islands before the Spanish Conquest of the archipelago. A secondary objective would be, to raise the global awareness and interest in the Pre-colonial history of our country, just like with the indigenous tribes of the Americas before the conquest and colonization of the Europeans. I will be working on the contents this summer and in the months to come. I need to have at least 50 respondents of different any nationality and ethnicity (other than Filipino) which will play the mod and provide some response through the use of online surveys. Posting this here will hopefully provide me with the respondents that I need. Though, I still worry if I will be able to get at least 50 respondents before I present my thesis. I will be posting here to give some updates on the development of my paper. I will be greatly thankful to those will take time to participate. Please do submit a reply here if you are willing to undertake in my thesis.
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    Looking great indeed! I'll just avoid the English recording since it will be difficult to translate. For consistency with the existing game I'll suggest to only have the on-screen text, can be easily translated and also changed if needed.
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    Nice to see this! I'll repeat something I said in an internal discussion related to possible campaigns. You neither need to necessarily have the player defeat the enemy to "win" (or rather end) a scenario in a campaign, nor are we limited to telling the story from only one side. Switching sides might be a lot more relevant for a possible Second Punic War campaign though.
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    Dacia is for sequel. For Empires Ascendant I think Kushites, Scythians, and Thracians are best bets.
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    resourceTooltips.diff Give strings
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    I'm looking forward to reading that document! The lack of a coherent gameplay design is the main issue that prevents us from going to the beta stage and eventually releasing a 1.0 version in my opinion. We need someone with dedication for this task! I've been working on game design for several weeks but then got stuck with a problem I haven't been able to resolve yet. There has to be a plan who could implement missing features in a reasonable timeframe, otherwise it's not going to work. As soon as your design includes some very though technical requirements, this becomes an issue. In my case, I felt that fighting mechanics in this game are quite dull at the moment and I wanted to include some formation fighting mechanics (see: http://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/FormationsWip). When looking at the technical aspects, I realised that all our pathfinding code is currently designed around single unit pathfinding. The formation system we have is basically a hack that works more or less OK in most cases, but it would require a major overhaul to meet the quality requirements for such a formation fighting system. Because the fighting system has such a strong impact on other aspects of gameplay, I stopped working on the design and started looking into pathfinding. How would you handle such issues? It's always a possibility to work around such technical problems with the design (drop formations, reduce population cap). You actually see that a lot in commercial games. One part of me thinks that perfectionism is misplaced here (if large companies with big budgets do it, why shouldn't we?). On the other hand, I'd like to strive for more than just another generic RTS that copies the same mechanics we have seen in commercial titles for years or even decades now. Maybe both is possible with a very clever design...
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    I'm already working on a gameplay analysis and improvement concept actually. 2.500 words so far.
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    Forgot to update here about the flag cart, it's being worked on. Just in case somebody was thinking to jump to the task to avoid duplicate work. WIP ( *Note: It's PBR shading, not GLSL)
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    The Kingdom of Kush: A Random Update I will soon be posting two rather lengthy updates, one will be about Kushite people (how they depicted themselves, and how others depicted them), as well as their military. The other will be about yet another eligible candidate for the wonder, namely the massive Kushite cult site known as Musawwarat es-Sufra. A large, multi temple complex, surrounded by many large walled courtyards, featuring fruit gardens, store rooms, worksites and even possible palaces. Built in the middle of nowhere, 35 miles from the Nile, this archaeological curiosity has no parallel in the entire Nile Valley. But before I do that, I will wet the appetite with some random finds, that might be interesting to some: My last post on pyramids, I promise... A detailed map showing the pyramids of the Northern Necropolis at Meroe. Each pyramid is numbered, and these are the numbers used to refer to them in academia. "Proposed finished appearance of a Meroitic pyramid with the use of different colours and decoration according to evidence found on remaining structures" A detailed temple reconstruction from Naqa The actual ruins of Temple 200 A Kushite altar in context "The Painted dais and small altar in a side room of the Amun Temple, [Naqa]" This piece particularly underscores the familiarity of the Kushites with the Hellenistic world. Found inside pyramid 24 at Meroe, an Athenian vessel inscribed by the potter Sotades, in the form of an Amazon rider. The neck of the vessel depicts Greeks and Thracians in a fighting scene. It dates to the late 5th century BCE, and is currently in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Curiously, some other ceramics sometimes attributed to Sotades found in Greece actually depict black Africans, but more on that in the following posts. Two examples of snake-shaped Kushite rings "Once part of an elaborately decorated horse harness, [these are] of a group of plaques showing a bounding lion in raised relief. All were originally gilded. Meroe pyramid 16 II" Lastly, I wanted to share this picture of the Amun temple in Naqa to highlight a specific detail: The lower part of the exterior brick wall as well as parts of the stone doorway are clearly still partially covered in the typical hard white lime-plaster, that would have probably entirely covered most important buildings (brick or stone).
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    Most classic maps indeed have more starting resources than resources in "hunting distance". The new maps by _kali in alpha 20 and 21 have much more animals in hunting distance. Hunting them can be invested into a cavalry rush. Some maps like volcanic lands don't have any food on the map and the gameplay is about 4-5min slower due to that. Not sure if there is a right or wrong in there, having diverse maps means less repetition and more thinking / player adaptation.
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    When capturing was introduced by sanderd17, units had no animations at all and were looking like they were idling. The pitchforks was a placeholder used in a later release and then our artists came back
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    The ones in my screenshots uses object color, an option in the actor editor which allows you to assign a color to the alpha channels. The game uses player_color as a standard, so that you can easily distinguish the ownership of units in the game. In-game player colors are highly saturated to make it very noticing to the players. You can create a mod for personal use that utilizes the object_color option, just like what I do. I assign multiple object color variants just like what I did in the screenshot below Notice that the clothing colors are different? They use object_color variants, while I left the shields as how it was, using player_color so that I can still distinguish which units do I own in the field. I hope this helps.
  41. 4 likes
    Do you think it would be possible to implement your suggested changes in a proof of concept mod/branch in relatively short time of around 3-6 months? The scope would have to be limited as much as possible without leaving out anything that is crucial for the gameplay as a whole. For example, it could only focus on one civ, placeholders could be used instead of new artwork and workarounds or hacks for difficult features are OK. What tasks would have to be done exactly and how much help would you need from the team? We are still discussing your application in the team and I can't give you an official answer yet, but such a proof of concept implementation seems to be well supported. The tasks required for it (further work on the concept, setting priorities, defining tasks) are the next step anyway, so it should be ok to get started with it.
  42. 4 likes
    I suppose I can show some of the things I've haphazardly worked on over the last six months. These were the last models I made, a few weeks ago. Two units for the Ekoset: After I finish making the models for a faction in my other mod I might set aside a week or two to finish up the models for the Ekoset here.
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    I like simple solutions sometimes. 1 market per cc, 5 trader per market. Slow traders down by 50% and adjust the gain a bit higher. I think traders should be less numerous but higher gain that make them high value targets. Exact values subject to change. Trading with self is okay imho since cities in an empire traded between themselves. But the profit for self trade can be lowered. Give a max distance between markets and CCs (markets cant too far from a cc) so the markets are tethered to the center of each city.
  44. 4 likes
    Another few options to choose from: 1) Add a minimum distance between markets (80-160m) and set a limit of traders/market(5). This will make sure that max 2 or so markets will be made per base and if that player wants to trade using more than 10 traders, he/she must expand(thus partially solving problem reported by @Grugnas). Also reduce trade income with ports by 50% to prevent abuse of those. 2) Add a total limit of X traders/player with upgrades to expand this limit. 3) Limit of 1 market/civic center and limit of about 10 traders. Trade Income should also be reduced by maybe 30-50%(since there are quite a few factions with trade team bonuses). I feel the 1st choice would be the best, since a set limit for a certain unit isn't that inviting.
  45. 4 likes
    Personally, I haven't seen you playing multiplayer matches, could this be because you are using a different nickname than on forums or something else? In my opinion, before suggesting a total revision of the whole game you should be intimately familiar with current gameplay in order to see what to improve. (No offence intended by this remark)
  46. 4 likes
    A perfect square would be accurate but it may muddy recognition, since the standard civic center is a plaza with a rectangular building. A large square building with a courtyard and small windows could easily be interpreted as a fortress at first glance. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try it both ways.
  47. 4 likes
    Here you go, mind that I didnt format the document with bold texts etc because I intended to post it on the forum. Still readable imo. Gameplay Analysis 0ad athenians.pdf
  48. 4 likes
    I have suggsetions regarding Mauryan faction. The heroes- 1) Chandragupta Maurya - The founder. Was guided and advised by Chanakya since his childhood. Chankya was the one who plotted, and prepared young chandragupta to overthrow the then mighty Nanda empire(alexander's army revloted out of fear of them). because Nanda's had insulted Chankya. Chandragupta went on to unify india for the first time, and created the Maurya dynasty. He defeated alexandor's successor and recovered part of india conquered by alexander. But later through marriage established peace and trade with hellenic factions. Thus-> He needs to be a balanced hero. Giving both combat and economic benefits. Chankya cant be a separate hero, since they have a deep association. Training Chandragupta can enable Chankya from temple. Chankya could be like super priest which also has an aura to improve gathering. While Chandragupta can have a minor attack bonus- +2( to chariot archers)? Ashoka is the most reknown emperor from indian history. He has two facets. In his early life he was bad-tempered and of a wicked nature. Killed 99 of his brothers to ascend to throne. Was known for elaborate torture chambers- Ashoka Hell. And he further expanded the empire in 8 years. He embraced Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War, which he himself had waged out of a desire for conquest. He felt remorse, and changed to non-violent buddhist ideologies. Contributed to society- spread of buddhism, edict of ashoka, asokastambh(pillar), ashoka chakra, sanchi stupa, taxila and nalanda university. In his edicts, Ashoka mentions some of the people living in Hellenic countries as converts to Buddhism[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/dhammika/wheel386.html#rock14]. also he sent dutas(means messenger. but were buddhist monks) which spread budhism across the world(buddhism and martial arts to china) and india. 2) Chanda{चंड} Ashoka(Ashoka the Fierce)- Battle focussed hero. +5 combat. Alternatively- if people dont want to use this version of ashoka then- Samudragupta(335-380 AD). Known as Napoleon of india because of his conquests. never lost a battle. But is from Gupta dynasty. 3) Devanampriya Ashoka (Ashoka the Great)- Economy oriented hero. Ashokastambha are available to be built. give speed bonus to merchants and gathering/speed bonus to citizens. All temple researches and priest costs are halved.(useful once priests are able to convert in future). Alternately- if other civ's dont get this convert option. then a special unit "düta" can be enabled in temple through this hero which allows converting enemy units. And gives access to special temple researches boosting unit conversion, unit health regeneration, and unit los and morale. Inverse of how it is right now. Chandragupta should be riding a chariot, and ashoka mounted on an elephant (both archers). In the earlier periods the kings used to mount chariots(religious importance), but later this changed to Elephants as slowly chariots phased out. Mauryan Chariot archers are manned by 3 people. 1 charioteer, 1 noble warrior, another 1 employed warrior. So chariot archer needs to be expensive, high dps unit, more pop count, slow training, more range than foot archers(height advantage?), trample damage vs foot soldiers but less mobile than cav archer and vulnerable to mele cav. Elephant archer current stats are a joke. Elephant archer should have dual attack. Mele and ranged(able to switch them). an improved version of a war elephant, having good mele splash damage and high hp with mele(hack) resistance, but also a ranged attack(longer than chariot). they have 3 warriors with bows(in mounted tower) and one mahout. Elephants archers need to be very expensive and cost a of of pop(it takes a lot to feed and keep an elephant, along with the 4 mounted units), maybe a unit limit. it can have a negative aura for enemy mounted units (horses get scared of elephants). Can be countered by pikeman and spear man. The High range dps shouldnt be a balance issue because of high resource and pop cost. Chariot archer and Elephant archer play same role, and historically chariots got slowly phased out as elephants began to be used. So i propose - Chariot archer be unlocked by Chandragupta. Elephant archer be unlocked by ashoka. so that both are not present on batlefield together. This should only be based on first hero trained in a game, so that one cant get both by deleting a hero and training another one. This provides intresting choice ragarding unique unit- one is countered by mele cav, while one is countered by anti-cav. [http://historum.com/asian-history/40710-military-equipment-organization-army-mauryan-india.html] regarding the siege units- "By the Mauryan period the Indians possessed most of the ancient world’s siege and artillery equipment, including catapults, ballistas, battering rams, and other siege engines. A distinguishing characteristic of Indian siege and artillery practice was a heavy reliance on incendiary devices, such as fire arrows, pitch pots, and fireballs. There was even a manual instructing how to equip birds and monkeys with the ability to carry fire inside buildings and onto rooftops. This was not surprising in a country whose military fortifications and buildings were made mostly of wood. Fire was such a constant threat to Indian towns that thousands of water containers and buckets were required to be kept full and placed outside dwellings at all times to extinguish fires." Elephants should have mediocre siege. but they are not supposed to be the main siege unit against a fortified base. Indians under mauryan empire had access to all types of units.(all siege and also heavy cav-greek mercenary). because of good relations with different empires of that time. Also if the above mentioned chariots / elephant archers seem op then, building them can be restricted by having them train in batches- " Indian armies of this period had within them a basic unit called the patti, a mixed platoon comprising one elephant carrying three archers or spearman and a mahout, three horse cavalrymen armed with javelins, round buckler, and spear, and five infantry soldiers armed with shield and broadsword or bow. This twelve-man unit when assembled in three units formed a senamukha, or “company.” " The elephant archer(or chariot archer) should only be trainable in (expensive)batches along with 3 javelin cavalry, 5 champion maiden sword soldiers(switchable to archers) - 12pop (11 in case of chariot batches, also relatively cheaper). The champion swordsmen, archers or cavalry should still be trainable individually. [https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2015/11/10/the-mauryan-empire-military/]
  49. 4 likes
    Well, the important part in reply to your comment was that if something as big as adding a new civilization is done it should not be done during the Beta phase but before it. I guess it would be one thing to add a well-developed faction from a mod in one of the first Beta releases, but certainly not to add a completely new faction during the Beta phase, and even if it's already developed in mod form I don't think it would be a good idea to add something during the Beta phase at all.
  50. 4 likes
    Quick meta-input: It's largely true that we haven't changed gameplay significantly since forever. The main cause of this is that not a great deal of people on the team actually play the game, and the few that do seem largely content with the breakneck speed and the current mechanics. There is a metagame, and it's a relatively simple one since it's rather poorly balanced on the whole. Furthermore, many devs feel that changing something now is useless since we're still in Alpha. Now this is something on which I could complain at length, but it's there. Personally, I believe we're a little too hung up on Age of Empires - and my personal preference would be for a complete switch to a production/consumption system over the "one shot" AoE like system of gathering resources. Each unit would consume some resources, each unit would produce some, and houses would give you manpower instead of raising the pop cap (which would then be soft-capped). On the whole it'd make eco more interesting. I also generally agree that the game goes way too fast in the early stages and that units are inherently too cheap, but that is definitely a matter of personal preference - and many would argue that AoE 2 goes way too slow. We've also had weird effects at play, such as the big unit speed and very large vision ranges, making our maps feel extremely small. Relatedly, our counters are crap - that's because we have far too few units per civilisations, and made some braindead decisions such as the pierce/hack attack we chose. But to go back to my first point: even perfect mods won't be played much, since the team doesn't play much, and that means that imperfect mods (such as my trade changes) have basically 0 chance of convincing anybody.