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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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    Skiing, sledding, eating, playing violin, piano, and trumpet; playing board games; reading history; making clay figures; painting; and drawing

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  1. Rethinking the Meta with Sparta: A Historical Approach

    While you have good evidence and the argument is sound, I would personally see it a different ways. First, Sparta was not unique in being formerly a collection of smaller villages that banded together. That is typically the way that ancient urbanisation occurred in Greece and Etruria. Considering its centralised government, it was just about as unified as cities like Syracuse or Athens. While Sparta did not offer the most aggressive policy in the during the Persian Wars, its habits changed following the Peloponnesian Wars. Much of the time it kept itself busy enforcing oligarchic ideologies on city-states and even heading campaigns against Persia. Definitely this changed following the Battle of Leuctra, but they even had their shot at rising to power through the work of Cleomenes III... which was promptly crushed. Regardless, my hope is for an open-ended design of how players can adapt their play-styles. Definitely there is a focus to Sparta; it is an infantry-centric civilisation, but my hope is that despite that fact, it would remain a potent force that does not always necessitate a passive strategy.
  2. Rethinking the Meta with Sparta: A Historical Approach

    Very true. There are some ideas I had in mind for how the economy and defences could more uniquely function for Sparta, but I have not had the time to put that on paper.
  3. Rethinking the Meta with Sparta: A Historical Approach

    Good questions. As for walls, there is a simple reason that Sparta lacks walls in 0 A.D. They didn't have walls. Granted, later on the city had city walls, but much of what 0 A.D. strives to do is depict civilisations at their prime, and during Sparta's prime, they had none; rather, men were their walls. As for other effects of the reforms, I haven't developed my vision of Sparta much beyond what you see there, but I could see room for other aspects. In the case of @#$% ( not born in wedlock) sons being legitimised (which was a consideration), that could have profound effects on Sparta's economy. During this time of Sparta, the city was experiencing many problems, for although all Spartans had equal rights, gradually some wealthier families acquired land, depriving others. At the cost of potentially weakening your Spartans, there could be technology that makes Sparta a better booming civilisation.
  4. There has been a lot of discussion of how the meta of 0 A.D is haphazard, with typically only one strategy dominating the game. These points have merits, but while buffing and nerfing a single type of unit may seem like the best/easiest option, it seems better to look at the units in the context of which faction they are in since there should be a large difference between the functionality of a Roman Triarius to that of a Mauryan counterpart. Thus, I would like to use a single civilisation, Sparta, as a general template for this approach. The focus will basically be on the units, but the changes should affect other parts of the game. As another note, I will be using generic names to make the article more user-friendly. Please understand that my intention is not to make completely formed document but instead a base by which others can provide feedback; my hope is that some of this would see presence in the base game, but regardless, this approach should lead to a better purposed approach to both design and balance. There are limitations to this since 0 A.D. does not depict development chronologically, but my hope is that this method is a reasonable balance between the dynamics of history and gameplay. Village Phase Units: Spartan Hoplite In considering how to make Sparta, having the most prominent unit type withheld until the late game seems an absurd choice. Rather, this unit should play a central role throughout the game for Sparta. Training: Although the player would start with one Spartan, training more would require the construction of the mess hall, a building that trains heroes and provides the basis of upgrades to the Spartan units. After this structure has been completed, Spartan hoplites would be able to be trained at the Civic Centre. Spartan hoplites have long training times, which can be quickened with later technologies, but in general, this unit would be difficult to mass. Besides boasting a large defense, one of the biggest advantages would be a decently ranged aura to buff friendly mêlée infantry units' attack and defense. By researching the technology "Tyrtaean Hymns," the slow Spartan movement could be increased to allow them to better match the speeds of faster units. On the other hand, "Squires" would allow this aura to affect helots, making them significantly better at fighting. Later upgrades could make Spartans cause a fear aura, make their train time much faster, or simply buff their stats. Simply speaking, the player could have a great deal a freedom in customizing their Spartans to the needs of their game. Spartan Women: Women in the current meta are weak and vulnerable units. The same should not be said for Spartan Female units. With a faster movement speed and higher hp pool, these units should be able to better hold out against raiding until help arrives. Aside from building defensive buildings, they should offer an inspirational aura that makes helot units perform much better when fighting in their territory. Nonetheless, this makes them only support units albeit valuable ones. The only disadvantage they, like the Spartan hoplite, would suffer from is a long training time. Women would be trained at the Civic Centre only. Helots: Making up the next part of the Spartan roster, Helots should play a central but unique role that reflects their class. Helots would be strictly armed workers, wearing only the lightest equipment. Like the aforementioned units, they would only be trained at the Civic Centre but at a faster rate. When fighting alone in friendly territory, they would be mediocre at best, but outside, they would be only cannon-fodder unless Spartans with the right upgrades were nearby. In the later phases, a technology could be researched to free specific ones for a certain cost, making the freed helots significantly better in combat and lacking the penalties in neutral and enemy territory. They would benefit, as already mentioned, from the presence of specific units. Skiritae: Yes this unit would be available at the village phase and would be the only unit trainable at the barracks during this phase. It would retain all the features it currently possesses. Its main value would be as a harrassing unit at this point, but it could also be used to deal with raiding units your opponent would field. It would benefit from Spartan auras, making sending a Spartan hoplite in conjunction with a raid an excellent choice for heavier damage. In later parts of the game, this unit could see action in raids but as other units become more efficient with this function and Skiritae benefit from fighting near Spartans, their role would become one of bolstering flanks of formations. Town Phase: Periokoi: Like the Spartan hoplite, this would be a frontline unit, but despite its lacking powerful auras and the large stats of Spartan hoplites, they would be a force to be reckoned with, almost on par with standard Athenian hoplites, and potentially better if a Spartan hoplite is with them. Their gather rates would be decent, not as good as helots but better than Skiritae, but the main advantage would be the ease by which they could be massed. These would be trained at the barracks. Boetian Allied Cavalry: These units would be expensive but potentially powerful even in small numbers. Unlike the Skiritae, which are both shock and frontline troops, Allied Cavalry would only be shock troops. This would require researching Boetian Alliance, however. These cavalry would be spear cavalry and trained at the barracks for the standard cost plus some metal. Altogether, I would see this as more of a force to field if an enemy uses a mainly ranged unit composition or as a means of harassing some workers. City Phase: Spartan Pikemen: In the final phase there would be the option to reform the Spartan military, modernizing it. The results would be that Spartan hoplites would be transformed into the following unit, making their training time significantly faster while still retaining powerful stats. The aura they formerly had would be gone though, and they would be expensive to maintain in production for very long. If timed correctly though, a Spartan player could beeline to this technology, hoping to quickly overwhelm their opponents. This could be just one of a few options for how Spartan hoplites could evolve. If the player wished to maintain quality over quantity, they could research a technology that favors the aristocrats. Yet another path could be a way of getting some of both things, allowing @#$% sons to be legitimized. Since each of these could favor specific unit compositions, it would allow the player to operate with that framework in mind, having build orders that could play to the different strengths. Olynthian Skirmisher Cavalry: As technologies could gradually make Boetian cavalry more purposes towards supporting Spartan phalanxes, this unit could arise as a potential trash unit as resources dwindle and raiding becomes a matter of resource efficiency. These units would be cheap due to them being levies of allies have an average training time. While they would be pretty squishy, their speed and affordability would be their selling point as resources grow scarce.
  5. New tech for temples - Dedicate it to the gods

    I think that Horus should be replaced with Isis. The Isis Cult was a far reaching religion that embodies Ptolemaic culture; elements of Isis are incorporated into Hellenistic religion, much like the case of Serapis.
  6. Counters must come back

    I'll admit that the current system is a bit messy. That's to be expected since the larger plans of implementing in depth combat, charging, and other integral parts of the game have not come to fruition. Strictly speaking, counters do not have be in the game, and even with counter systems, there is not always as fluid and desirable gameplay as we would like. Also, there are variations between civilisations. A hoplite should seem extremely different from Persian Sparabda (forgive me if I misspelled it.) The former should be slow and heavily armoured, very difficult to kill with ranged weapons or any other weapon from the front and have a long training time to represent the rigorous regimen any soldier needing to take up this position would require. The latter would be quick to train since they were probably levies and only a disposable meatshield to allow more efficient troops like cavalry to eliminate the enemy. Thus, it would be easier to look at units individually from one faction to the next and through that figure out how each unit should be used.
  7. AI Diplomacy

    This isn't so much a huge suggestion or anything monumental, but simply speaking, it's been a while since I've played 0 A.D. (I used to play multiplayer on a regular basis and was pretty decent; nothing more), but I decided, with the new alpha out, to give 0 A.D. a couple more goes to see how development has been, and given the fact that I've not followed the meta or developed a proper build, I decided to stick with single-player. Simply speaking, I was pleasantly surprised by the diplomatic options available to me. While before it was simply a matter of turtling enough to kill off the AI's army while exploiting home-turf advantages, the diplomatic options made the formerly static interactions much more intriguing. Beyond my expectations for the AI, I began to have an emotional connexion with those which I played with/against. With those whom I had formed a stalwart alliance, I felt glad when I saw them actively participating in my border conflicts after requesting their assistance, and those who had refused my offers of friendship or even went as far as to declare war against me became actual rivals. All to say, awesome job! Given the fact that this has been a wonderful addition for me, I was wondering if you could clarify some of the mechanisms dictating their interactions. Specifically why they like/don't like players. What are the future plans in this direction?
  8. Heroes information sheets

    Altogether I found your article well informed yet still concise, which is a helpful thing for history articles for games. Two particular points I would make are that first, there are some grammatical errors that could be easily fixed with a quick reread of the article; second, the final sentence does not exactly characterise what happened with Pericles' death. If I were to offer an alternative, here is my take on it: With the death of Pericles, came the death Athenian Hegemony over Greece. Instead of pursuing his shrewd strategy of controlling the seas while depending her walls, Athens, at the urgings of demagogues, set out on a disastrous campaign into Sicily that led to her eventual defeat by Sparta. As a last simple pointer, if tense could be kept consistent, it would make the article flow better.
  9. Ptolemaic Egypt's Buildings suggention.

    Is the basis that some civilisations have Greek architecture to be one to make the game's aesthetic intentionally historically inaccurate? The Seleucids have a unique look despite the obvious hellenistic influence, and the other Hellenic cultures could have much more diverse styles. For that matter, I'm a bit discontent with how uniform the Spartan and Athenian styles are. Yes, they have different Civic Centres, but that doesn't seem to be enough to me. Spartans should have a more simplistic, practical set, simply extrapolating from Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus in which he states that Spartans could only use particularly unwieldy tools to construct their houses. That would be the same as saying that there is a samishness due to them all speaking roughly the same language. On the contrary, there were distinct dialects with unique phonologies. I would personally love to see differentiations in these matters since that would give each part of the world a unique sound.
  10. Ptolemaic Egypt's Buildings suggention.

    I would have to agree with Ayol's points. As the building set currently is, the structures look devoid of Hellenistic influence. It would be like if the Seleucid building set was identical to the Persian one.
  11. Women Should Only be Trained in Houses

    I personally dislike having women trained at houses. It's too easy to spam them given their low train time and cost. The fact is that a successful raid should permanently cripple your opponent; they can get back into the game by booming, but a building they will build regardless of whether they expect to have their eco raided is a bad choice regardless.
  12. Multiplayer Balancing - Slinger Deathball & Suggestions

    Axes would be a peculiar choice for the era for troops en masse. There are cases for particular cultures; the Persians did employ axe-men, but before considering how counters could function, it remains important to have a proper historical basis for how they would function. It then becomes a matter complementing history with gameplay to best marry the two. Marcus Aurelius was a capable emperor, but the Roman Republic depicted in the game had no emperors, making Aurelius anachronistic. Similarly, with Israel, depicting the kingdom during the time of David is also inappropriate since the timeframe of the game is from 500 B.C. to 1 B.C. The Hasmoneans would be a plausible choice for that, but currently the team has no plans to include any more civilisations into the game given the number of assets necessary for that. If anything was to be added at all, the simplest would be to add in more Hellenic ones such as Syracuse, Thebes, Epirus, or even Pergamum (Epirus isn't strictly totally Greek, but the unit roster would be pretty awesome.). Most people find there to be too many Greek nations depicted already despite the possibilities of creating distinctions for them so I doubt that they could be put into the official game. There is the possibility of mods though....
  13. ==[ENHANCEMENT]== Hellenic Unit Textures

    The point I was making was about the way the Athenians wrote it, which was distinct. The undercase alphas in this inscription come from a different direction. Looking at other ones from Athens, this does not seem to be the only case.
  14. ==[ENHANCEMENT]== Hellenic Unit Textures

    Good work on the Athenian shields. One point of criticism I would make is based on the fact that at least according to several sources on ancient Greek scripts, your alphas seem to be backwards. On notes for the slingers, you might want to have the muscles less defined from a texture standpoint since hypertrophy would not have been so much of an issue for people operating in that role.
  15. wowgetoffyourcellphone's gameplay design

    Limiting the number of units one can produce of a specific type is a bad choice. Units should have particular roles that make them able to be defeated by specific tactics or unit compositions. For instance, horse archers could be good at hit-and-run, but when fighting the more cost-effective foot missile soldiers, though they may win in some brief engagements, the cost would strain an opponents eco. Also, foot archers could have good range and decent damage, yet due to line of sight restrictions, they could not fight to their full potential without other units doing recon.