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Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

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Thorfinn the Shallow Minded last won the day on November 12 2015

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About Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

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  1. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Can we agree on this?

    The thing that you are ignoring is that aside from some basic safety, there is little advantage to be had from killing wildlife since their deaths in no way directly contribute to the victory conditions. If there was some reward such as food, it would become more plausible to have it done that way. As such, having the units automatically attack wildlife is a liability. If there is a low hp unit, they will end up dying due to the player simply marching it too close to a predator. There are cases in which predators do yield food such as crocodiles in Age of Empires. Even with this potential benefit though, there are definite risks to fighting against violent animals in the game. Thus, there is more than only one argument against the current unit behaviour.
  2. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Can we agree on this?

    I would agree with wow. The objective rarely has to do with actively killing wildlife in 0 A.D, and making soldiers pursue this automatically seems peculiar. The wildlife wound them, potentially weakening the troops for the next engagement. The issue is that there is no actual purpose to killing them other than the point that they might need to be killed later. What reward does the player get? A good analogy is from mangonel behaviour in Age of Kings. Prior to the conquerors expansion, they would actively target enemies regardless of the presence of friendly units. This could prove disastrous. For reference, here is a highly informative video depicting the destructive power of mangonels.
  3. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Lack of Eastern

    Bear in mind that many times there have been new factions added even when the benchmark has been set. At first it was just six. It expanded a lot from there obviously. Rest assured; there is the possibility of having new civilisations like Thebes, Syracuse, Pergamon, and the Achaean League because the more Hellenic civilisations, the better. :)
  4. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Pacing in 0 A.D.

    I chose pacing because phasing is only a mechanic that affects the pacing of the game. What is being aimed for is regardless of whether phases exist, there should be a major effort to ensure that the early, mid, and late game are distinct and are able to keep the game reliably interesting. Concerning sidearms, I would say that they are viable in particular cases. Let's consider the Roman legionnaire. First of all, if they had a javelin side-arm, it would be logical for it to be a special attack that can only be done every thirty seconds or so. After all, they only did one or two volleys during a given battle. Next of all, in comparison to Velites, they should be slower, more expensive to produce, and have lower line-of-sight. The possibility of legionnaires being able to use pila should probably only be available in the mid-game as well. Will mechanics like this make balance difficult and more complex? Yes, but with a dedicated team and community, progress can be made for a competitive multiplayer game. One example of a game that really pushed the bounds when it came to a solid multiplayer experience was Empires Apart from a design perspective alone (There are definite issues with the game in other ways, yet that is a different matter). Of their six civilisations, there were extremely unique aspects to all of them. From the multiplayer games I saw, these came together is a fun game to play from that standpoint alone.
  5. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Pacing in 0 A.D.

    Precisely. Obviously the spearman is only the tip of the iceberg here; my hope is to shed light on the idea that all unit types can be tailored to general, but the way that they vary from one faction to the next allows enough diversity to make a variety of strategies possible for every civilisation.
  6. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Pacing in 0 A.D.

    I would say that phases are an unnecessary aspect of the game. The primary point I wished to make is that if phases exist, there should be a definite difference between the feel of one to the next. Furthermore, the primary thing that I wished (and still wish) to have is a proper feeling of unique early, middle, and late game. The spearman actually is an intriguing element of the game since the roles could differ quite strongly from one civilisation to the next. For instance, the hoplite was heavily armed and fought in close order. The Persians deployed their infantry with significantly lighter armour (until they started arming soldiers like hoplites). In general, the tactics Persians tried to use seemed focussed around the notion of anvil and hammer tactics, with the cavalry playing the decisive role while the infantry mainly just supported. This can be seen in the Battle of Guagemela, where Darius was deliberate about the chariots being the trump card by even preparing the ground ahead of time. The point is that these infantry were extremely different in how they were used. I decided to do a bit of research, and checking on the Athenian hoplite compared to the Persian spearman, there was absolutely no difference in their stats. The fundamental idea that they both could be effectively deployed against cavalry in head-to-head situations is valid, but there should be distinctions, which I find the striking visual differences do imply.
  7. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Pacing in 0 A.D.

    All part of my evil masterplan to confound you [insert evil emoji]. In seriousness, though, I wanted to avoid an unnecessary amount of text crunched together and still like the aesthetics of indentation in paragraphs; I also am fond of the eclectic French tastes concerning that matter. In regards to sanitation, the point is to make it seem like there is something great occurring with the next phase; it should feel rewarding. While many games seem to naïvely adhere to the Whig Theory of history (things continue to get more sophisticated and better), the important thing is that phases should not just be another technology you press. If this was a city-building game in which sanitation was an in game mechanic, I would by all means stand by that position.
  8. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Pacing in 0 A.D.

    While pacing is most of the time associated with movies or books, most games have a similar format, but the structure can vary from one to the next. In many this can be due to artificial barriers. Are these barriers necessarily bad? Not really, but the important thing for most games that take longer than five minutes is to have a distinct feel to what could be called the early, mid, and late-game. The most familiar example to many would be Age of Kings, which had ages serving that purpose. Assuming that all of you are acquainted with some of the strategies of the game, I will simply point out that it offered diverse options from doing a dark age rush, turtling, and then going fast castle often to do a knight rush or just boom; alternatively one could aim for a faster feudal age, and then do a feudal age rush, which most of the time consist of archers or scout cavalry and then going to castle age at a later point, usually hoping that the map control could pay off. There were many variations to these, but the point I want to make is the fact that there were fairly diverse options for every civilisation. Unfortunately, I do not see the current iteration of the game having these options. To clarify, I understand that the game is in alpha and such things cannot be expected to existed in any full-fledged state. Still, I find it disconcerting that no one has been able to better define viable strategies for each civilisation. A pressing issue is the fact that in its current state, 0 A.D, with unique aesthetics, implies that each civilisation will have extremely unique gameplay mechanics on par with games like Starcraft, but when looking on paper, the spearman of one civilisation, although drastically differing in armament and historical context, is practically identical. This ultimately makes 0 A.D. seem like false advertising; its visuals are almost as different from one culture to the next as in Age of Mythology, yet the gameplay does not follow this. I am not going to say what each civilisation should be like right here and now. I don’t know enough about many cultures outside of Persia, Hellas, Italy, and the Hellenistic states. What I do want to argue is that there should be an intentional way allowing civilisations doing things such as rushing, booming, and turtling to some capacity and also in a way that plays to its historical strengths and weaknesses. Obviously there could be exceptions; Sparta seems impossible to viably turtle with. What this can broadly mean though is a better attempt at designing things such as the tech tree and phases to fit to encouraging interesting options for all civilisations and then with a stable foundation like that, refining the ideas behind each one. One other note to be made is that there should be a feeling of reward to advancing a phase. These currently feel like some of the most lack-luster aspects of the game. First, I would advise making them be named things that are more thematic. Village, town, and city seem matter-of-fact. I would recommend basing it around legal reforms such as “Code of Laws” and so on and so forth; there could be other ways of doing this, but the main point is that there should be some theme behind them, not just what seems like a placeholder name. Also, there should be some fanfare or sound when someone advances to a new phase to signify that something great has taken place. If at all possible, there could even be variations in the music tracks give them slightly thicker musical textures when possible in the subsequent phases. Lastly although changing the models each phase might be difficult, there could be as simple of changing the textures to look dirtier and staler in the village phase to more vibrant colours in the later phases.
  9. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Watch out with user Canario1312

    This seems to be the correct forum for this topic to me.
  10. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Hypaspists and armaments

    My bad with the terminology. It seems that I was mistakenly looking at a section referring to caetrati which also eludes to hypaspists. The point that I wish to make is a small distinction. Hypaspists according to my findings were heavily armed compared to peltasts, but less so than other phalangites. Essentially the point is that they seem to have served an intermediary role in the battlefield that would be cumbersome for others. Why prefer this to simply labelling them as the Macedonian variation of the hoplite, which seems to be the other camp for academics? First, it seems that, as I have hopefully shown, there is a moderately good amount of support for this. Why ardently take one side when the other position also has a good basis? Obviously it would be academically compromising to assert entirely that hypaspists were clearly armed in one way when the primary sources do not give an explicit description of their equipment. The main reason is to provide a consistent gameplay depiction of these units, which as I see would be designed to be used in a historically informed manner based on the tactics by which Alexander used them. I wish that I could say that I found more sources, but I haven't bothered looking for more. As much as I would like to show some pictures of hypaspists, the photos from that time are a bit low quality, but here are some extremely accurate versions of hypaspists from the critically acclaimed game Age of Empires Online.
  11. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Hypaspists and armaments

    It is true that the sources may be old, but the simple fact is that everyone had and has biases. Regarding his views being controversial, his advocacy for armoured warfare was in many ways substantiated by the success of blitzkrieg in the 2nd World War. Many of his writings formed the bases of officer training curricula and are in many ways still used for modern military theory. Furthermore, although he may have believed in unusual views, perceptions of a person should not be the sole thing to shape an understanding of a historian's credibility. If you would like to see some more sources, some of which I found that also take a similar position from more modern historiography are articles such as "Alexander's Hypaspists Again" by J. R. Ellis. Likewise, in an article published in 2004 entitled "Philopoemen's Special Forces: Peltasts and a New Kind of Greek Light-Armed Warfare (Livy 35.27)" by Mary Frances Williams, she takes a similar stance, arguing that hypaspists were lightly armed. Another source that has a similar stance is "The Macedonian Sarissa, Spear, and Related Armor" by Minor M. Markel. While there are other views on the other side for this matter, it is no surprise that in academic discourse there is no broad consensus. Obviously this not in any way an exhaustive list of examples, but I think that it demonstrates that the argument of Fuller, Wilcken, and other historians is still quite plausible.
  12. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Hypaspists and armaments

    That is a logical argument, but what you are ignoring is the point that they were consistently deployed for mobile operations in every notable battle. Heavy armour would ultimately weigh them down in these cases. In the Battle of Granicus, their purpose was to support Alexander's cavalry charge on the left flank. On the cavalry's right were a group of hypaspists for the charge. He also placed another block on the other flank, demonstrating their mobility. In the Battle of Issus, the hypaspists were deployed closely to mountainous terrain, where heavy infantry would find it difficult to effectively operate. In the battle of Guagamela, hypaspists were next to the the cavalry and light infantry again. In the Battle of Hypasdes, they supported the flank of the phalanx. Heavily armed hoplites were essentially outdated by the introduction of the sarissa, and the notion of wearing as much as possible does not seem to be a viable stance given their usage in all of these decisive battles. Likewise, of the sources Fuller quotes, all of which are major historians of Alexander, none of them argue for a situational kit. I will admit that there could be some flexibility in what they wore, but the evidence seems to strongly work for them being lightly armed infantry.
  13. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Hypaspists and armaments

    That would be an impractical thing to have logistically speaking. If there were multiple types of armour issued, the difficulty maintaining the force would be much greater in supplying them with the correct things. Also, manoeuvres would be harder to execute with practised efficiency if they kept on changing armour and weapons. While soldiers did in some cases abandon heavier equipment for mobile operations, the implications for these soldiers seems distinct from the typical phalanx, and thus a standardised set of armour and weapons for all of these situations seems to be a far more likely scenario. Anyways, even if they did alternate between different things, 0 A.D. has to make some generalisations where it would otherwise be unnecessarily complex; the generalisation in this case seems to be for making the hypaspists have lighter armour.
  14. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    Hypaspists and armaments

    I would contend that the current depiction of hypaspists in the game is an unlikely case though not necessarily inaccurate. The precise nature of what they wore is ambiguous, making many historians simply guess on the matter. The following from J. F. C. Fuller's The Generalship of Alexander the Great does a good job of summarising the academic views. "Sir William Tarn is of opinion that 'they were heavy infantry, as heavily armed as the phalanx,' and that their difference from the hoplites 'was one of history, recruitment, and standing, not of armament.' Wilcken considers that they were light--armed infantry, 'whose battle-role was to hasten forward at quick march or the double and make connection between the cavalry and the phalanx.' And Grote suggests that 'they were hoplites, keeping regular array and intended for close combat, but more lightly armed, and more fit for diversities of circumstance and position than the phalanx... They occupied a sort of intermediate place between heavy infantry and of the phalanx properly so called, and the peltasts and light troops generally.' Because Arrian records that Alexander made use of them to follow up cavalry, storm walled places, execute rapid night marches and other mobile operations, it would seem probably that they were more lightly armed and equipped than hoplites." Sorry for the long quote, but I wanted to have a full context for the argument which I personally find quite valid. Thus, I would recommend that the units have an appearance more akin to the skiritae and Athenian marines. They could be a bit slower, but the role probably should be the same from a gameplay standpoint.
  15. Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

    New Civ - Israelites?

    Actually, the Hasmonean Period is exactly within the timeframe, and during this time the Jews actually had a good deal of interaction with other countries. The Maccabees lasted for roughly 100 years realise. Obviously, the extent of their impact was primarily regional, and the unit roster would leave a lot to ask for, but I would find their incorporation into the game to be a fascinating option much like the Kushites have proved to be.