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wraitii

Capturing buildings (round 2)

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wraitii    785

See the earlier topic about this subject here. Mythos discussed introducing "loyalty" for buildings, but since the topic was mainly centered around that, I think a clean start would be better.

So, capturing buildings is as far as I know the last big gameplay stuff to introduce (edit: I'm forgetting formation revamp), and I don't believe the mechanic is completely agreed upon.

I think the main settled point is that infantry and infantry only would be able to capture. Cavalry would defend those units, and siege are for destroying.

Now, some points are still up to discuss from a gameplay point of view:

-Should walls/gates be capturable? I don't think they should, given units cannot go on top of them. I think the idea is that infantry/cav can't usually attack walls, but can attack gates, while siege units could destroy those, obviously.

  • This would make walls a very convenient stuff to protect your buildings from capture and invasion, and would make walls an important gameplay aspect. Balance must be considered: they should be breach-able "fairly" easily by siege units.

-Should buildings completely switch allegiance? Ie could you train enemy units from captured buildings? In the current template implementation, this would be the easiest thing to do, along with not allowing captured building to recruit anything. The other system would have captured buildings train your units, but there are only few cases of building type overlapping.

  • I think this could be allowed between similar civs (when capturing an Athenian gymnasion as Sparta, you could recruit stuffs from the Spartan gymnasion), but not otherwise. This might seem like an unfair advantage however, though it would certainly be interesting from a gameplay point of view.

-How should the capture mechanism be handled? Basically, there are three methods: units could have a "capture Range", and buildings in range would slowly be captured if no enemy unit is also in range. Or they could have a "capture" action, à la empire Earth (or healing), where they would stand next to the building and capture it. Third way (which I favor) would be to "garrison" your units in enemy buildings, where they would fight enemy garrisoned units and slowly capture the building (with attrition).

  • First way is probably sub-optimal. Second way is efficient, and allows the enemy to easily attack the capturing units, but has the problem of feeling a little hacky/easy. Third way would allow fighting by garrisoning more units, and is probably more realistic/interesting, but has the obvious drawback of showing nothing: you'd see a progress bar, perhaps another indicator of an ongoing capture, but not much beyond that (unless the system was drastically changed, with "interiors" for buildings and units would capture stuffs room by room, but that's waaaaaay beyond the scope of the game).

-Should all buildings be capturable? Should there be a HP threshold for capture (to simulate having torn the doors down, or something like that)

-How fast should it be compared to destroying? Remember that a captured building could then be disbanded immediately. Territory attrition also means captured buildings would very likely be destroyed in the 2/3 minute range, but if the building is a fortress/CC.

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myconid    45

Have you ever played a game called Seven Kingdoms? It's always been one of my fav strategy games, and it was made free/open source a couple of years ago.

Anyway, a very interesting game meachanic is the spy units, which you can dress in the enemy's colours and send them into their base. You can give them commands (even though they look like enemy units) or you can just leave them be and they'll stay undercover and behave like normal enemy units. Their main functions are:

  • They can change to any player colours on command, as long as there's nobody around.
  • They can do assassinations. If you put them in a fort, you can use them to assassinate a general or king.
  • They can capture buildings. If they are promoted to generals and placed in a fort, they can capture that fort and any soldiers garrisoned in it. If they are alone in any building (no workers in a factory, no soldiers in a fort, etc), they can capture that building. They can also bribe a general to defect, which also captures the building and soldiers.
  • If placed in a village, they can lower the loyalty of the civilians, which can lead to lower tax revenue and even riots.
  • They can do sabotage. If placed in a mine or factory, they can lower production or even stop it completely.
  • They can tell you the status of a building and steal government secrets. How many soldiers are garrisoned in it, what resources are stored in it, tell you a kingdom's amount of resources, about alliances between kingdoms, population data, find out the locations of enemy spies in your kingdom...
  • If placed in your own buildings, they do counter-espionage. That is, they find and arrest enemy spies.

(Their success is based on their spying skill level, which typically increases with the amount of time they remain idle "sleepers").

If you have several spies working together, you can tear a kingdom apart and they'll never know what hit them.

That game didn't have a way of capturing a building by force directly, afaik. As soon as a building was attacked, all the soldiers came out so the fighting happened outside. You could then send in a spy to do the capturing, if you wanted it.

Also, if you placed spies in a friendly/allied kingdom and they were discovered, you took a reputation hit or in the worst case ruined your friendly status with that kingdom.

Not sure if any of this can work in 0ad, but I really like the idea of spies peeking behind enemy lines, stealing resources, bribing generals to capture buildings/soldiers, sabotaging unit production and so on.

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myconid    45

The problem I see is that I have heard of very little espionage in the ancient times. I do like the third idea for capturing.

From Wikipedia:

Events involving espionage are well documented throughout history. The ancient writings of Chinese and Indian military strategists such as Sun-Tzu and Chanakya contain information on deception and subversion. Chanakya's student Chandragupta Maurya, founder of theMaurya Empire in India, made use of assassinations, spies and secret agents, which are described in Chanakya's Arthasastra. The ancient Egyptians had a thoroughly developed system for the acquisition of intelligence, and the Hebrews used spies as well, as in the story ofRahab. Spies were also prevalent in the Greek and Roman empires.[1] During the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongols relied heavily on espionage in their conquests in Asia and Europe. Feudal Japan often used ninja to gather intelligence. More recently, spies played a significant part in ElizabethanEngland (see Francis Walsingham). Many modern espionage methods were well established even then.[2]Aztecs used Pochtecas, people in charge of commerce, as spies and diplomats, and had diplomatic immunity.

It also links to this essay: http://www.historyne...ncient-rome.htm

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quantumstate    82

As a reference, Command and Conquer: Generals contained building capture by infantry. The mechanism was that infantry would kneel and plant flags next to a building which would start flashing at an increasing rate (to show progress) until it was captured. I think that the capture timer reset even if you stopped the capturing process for 1 second. Once the buildings was captured you could train units of that nation. This made capturing the command centre very valuable since you got access to all of the buildings of that nation, so could play as both civs. Should we do this for 0 A.D.?

It was common to capture buildings and instantly sell them to gain money and prevent them being recaptured. I think it would be worth removing the delete feature for buildings (maybe have a deconstruct action which requires builders) unless we want the capture feature to turn into a raze feature (capture and delete).

Regarding gates, what do people think about making gates (and maybe walls) orientatable? So they would be capturable from one side (and wall towers would be garrisonable from one side only).This would be more realistic and add some interesting gameplay but would make the gui more complicated when choosing the gate upgrade.

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Spahbod    54

I agree more with the way C&C Generals worked. Capturing buildings was not the default choice and you had to click on a button and then order your infantry to capture. When it was done, you could train the units of the other faction. I think we should implement such a system and do not remove the ability of the infantry to attack buildings. Walls are different and this gives another reason to fortify your base with walls. It would be very annoying to be forced to capture a building when you don't have a siege weapon (remember than 3 of the factions only have battering rams and Mauryans are going to have similar "elephant" units.) especially if that building is a house that is preventing you from reaching the enemy cc.

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Mythos_Ruler    498

I prefer the simplest things here (from a gameplay pov, not necessarily implementation). Instead of auto-attacking buildings (when enemy units aren't around), your units would gather around the building and play their "capturing" animations (as if attacking) and slowly drain the loyalty until it is theirs. As far as training the enemy troops from their own captured building, I'd prefer that to not happen right away. Maybe some kind of extra cost (like a technology or something). I think the easiest thing though would be that if you capture a barracks, then you train your own barracks units.

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Mythos_Ruler    498

Some more thoughts on this subject I came up with while at work the other night:

The original idea was to have soldiers only capture buildings, not attack them. To attack and destroy them you'd need siege. But other folks still want the ability for soldiers to attack and destroy a building without the need for siege. I have come to sympathize with this line of thought. So, what if capturing buildings was just a soldier's default behavior and then you could change this behavior somehow if you wished, similar to a stance? I think there are two ways to do this, in the player's unit UI and in the enemy target's UI.

  1. In the player's unit UI, there could be a toggle button that toggles between Destroy and Capture, Capture being the default. Select your units and choose their behavior. This is still micro-heavy, however, and the UI for the player's units is already rather full, so I prefer the 2nd option. Also, you'd run into instances where you could have half your soldiers trying to destroy a building and the other half trying to capture it. Option #2, below, solves quite a few of these issues:
  2. Select the target (a building in this case), and since enemy entities have blank panels in their selection UIs, a toggle button between capture and destroy can easily fit. Kind of like "tagging" an enemy object for capturing or destruction. A quick, easy example would be if you scouted the enemy base, you could select their barracks, then choose one or the other, capture or destroy. Then, when your soldiers are in their base, their behavior is affected by how the building has been tagged. They would destroy the barracks if it was tagged for destruction, then move on to the next target and try to capture it (since 'capture' is toggled by default).

The concept of 'Loyalty' would still be the currency used in capturing, instead of Health.

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Enrique    1,296

  1. In the player's unit UI, there could be a toggle button that toggles between Destroy and Capture, Capture being the default. Select your units and choose their behavior. This is still micro-heavy, however, and the UI for the player's units is already rather full, so I prefer the 2nd option. Also, you'd run into instances where you could have half your soldiers trying to destroy a building and the other half trying to capture it. Option #2, below, solves quite a few of these issues:
  2. Select the target (a building in this case), and since enemy entities have blank panels in their selection UIs, a toggle button between capture and destroy can easily fit. Kind of like "tagging" an enemy object for capturing or destruction. A quick, easy example would be if you scouted the enemy base, you could select their barracks, then choose one or the other, capture or destroy. Then, when your soldiers are in their base, their behavior is affected by how the building has been tagged. They would destroy the barracks if it was tagged for destruction, then move on to the next target and try to capture it (since 'capture' is toggled by default).

The concept of 'Loyalty' would still be the currency used in capturing, instead of Health.

I like the capturing buildings thing :)

I think first Idea is better:

You would be able to toggle between destruct/capture holding ctrl-key like garrisoning :) One/two click maximum, easy.

With the second idea:

- You have to "deselect" your army, select the building, "tag as captured", select your army again, click to capture.

-If you change your mind about destroying/capturing something you have to "untag" every building you tagged before.

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Mythos_Ruler    498

I like the capturing buildings thing :)

...

With the second idea:

- You have to "deselect" your army, select the building, "tag as captured", select your army again, click to capture.

-If you change your mind about destroying/capturing something you have to "untag" every building you tagged before.

Not necessarily. What you can do is tag the building you want to capture and tag the buildings you want to destroy, then the units do the rest. This feels like less micromanagement to me than changing the behavior of potentially 100+ offensive units. You can just change the tag on a dozen or so enemy structures or enemies and let your soldiers do the rest. Less micro.

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We can also have a shift + click that overides whatever orders given before. E.g. if I want to destroy a particular building, but capture all the rest, and I have my units selected and don't wanna go around changing tags, 'Shift-click' to destroy.

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Sighvatr    102

Can do an auto-capture of adjacent enemy structures by building a Town Centre nearby. 2 ideas to throw out that can function-

1) Building a Town Centre directly closer to enemy buildings then the enemy Town Centre, may auto-capture buildings.

2) If an Enemy Fortification or Town Centre is destroyed, and the other enemy buildings are slowly declining in health, then it is possible to auto-capture the other enemy structures by building your own Town Centre or Fortification to capture them.

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feneur    1,430

Can do an auto-capture of adjacent enemy structures by building a Town Centre nearby. 2 ideas to throw out that can function-

1) Building a Town Centre directly closer to enemy buildings then the enemy Town Centre, may auto-capture buildings.

2) If an Enemy Fortification or Town Centre is destroyed, and the other enemy buildings are slowly declining in health, then it is possible to auto-capture the other enemy structures by building your own Town Centre or Fortification to capture them.

That's already planned :) The health decay is just a placeholder until capturing is implemented :) Buildings which aren't in territory that is connected to the enemy's city center but are influenced by your territory will start to lose loyalty until they either are down to 0 and all yours or the enemy changes the situation again :) I don't recall what we said about buildings which are completely disconnected to any players City Center though. Maybe just have those decay in health.

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Mythos_Ruler    498

I don't recall what we said about buildings which are completely disconnected to any players City Center though. Maybe just have those decay in health.

I just figured it would go Gaia, then anyone can come by and claim it. Or something like that. Dunno. I think that's just something that would be decided through play testing what's best.

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I think the buildings should have a "loyalty level" that increases or decreases depending on how many military units are nearby and which player owns them, then, when all the loyalty is gone, the building was "occupied" and starts a slow timer to capture the building. When the building is totally captured, then you can start using the building for your own purposes, but the it shouldn't train foreign troops.

About the walls, i personally think it makes no sense for rams to destroy walls. Rams were meant to destroy gates (only) and should be able to be built by all infantry even in the field of battle.

Another note: Rams are currently devastating against gates, shouldn't there be some diminishing returns for when there are too many rams battering a single gate?

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Mythos_Ruler    498

I think the buildings should have a "loyalty level" that increases or decreases depending on how many military units are nearby and which player owns them, then, when all the loyalty is gone, the building was "occupied" and starts a slow timer to capture the building. When the building is totally captured, then you can start using the building for your own purposes, but the it shouldn't train foreign troops.

That's generally how I see it happening, except the player's units have to actually do something to capture it.
About the walls, i personally think it makes no sense for rams to destroy walls. Rams were meant to destroy gates (only) and should be able to be built by all infantry even in the field of battle.
I actually wished siege engines were built in the field by soldiers.

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serveurix    53

Maybe it could depend on the civilisation ?

I mean, I would rather imagine barbarian civs (such as celtic civs) destroying everything rather than occupy building. And Romans for example capturing buildings and train mercenaries rather than destroying. But this is just my stereotypical point of view, you history experts should be able to tell what would be the most realistic. :)

If I'm right on making it depend on the civilisation, I don't know howerver what would be the best way to implement it. Giving the capture ability only to some civs ? Making the capture attitude random and give a different probability for each civ ? Or simply making the choice of capture more interesting in some civs than in other ? (I think the last is the best choice, as you can grab ressources from destroyed buildings. Maybe for some civs it could be more interesting to destroy and rebuild, and for some other civs more interesting to capture, depending on the ressources grabbed, the cost of the building, the time taken to build/capture, etc.).

PS: I like the idea of "loyalty level".

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Maybe it could depend on the civilisation ?

I mean, I would rather imagine barbarian civs (such as celtic civs) destroying everything rather than occupy building. And Romans for example capturing buildings and train mercenaries rather than destroying. But this is just my stereotypical point of view, you history experts should be able to tell what would be the most realistic. :)

If I'm right on making it depend on the civilisation, I don't know howerver what would be the best way to implement it. Giving the capture ability only to some civs ? Making the capture attitude random and give a different probability for each civ ? Or simply making the choice of capture more interesting in some civs than in other ? (I think the last is the best choice, as you can grab ressources from destroyed buildings. Maybe for some civs it could be more interesting to destroy and rebuild, and for some other civs more interesting to capture, depending on the ressources grabbed, the cost of the building, the time taken to build/capture, etc.).

PS: I like the idea of "loyalty level".

Yeah, recycling buildings is a good idea, but bare-handed soldiers had no means to destroy fortifications. Simple structures, like houses, though, could be destroyed, but I think that's not relevant enough and loyalty is still the way to go. I have to disagree that the barbarians are meant to seek and destroy everything in their path. actually, the romans used to destroy more than the barbarians, or have you heard of romans occupying a celtic village?

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feneur    1,430

Maybe it could depend on the civilisation ?

I mean, I would rather imagine barbarian civs (such as celtic civs) destroying everything rather than occupy building. And Romans for example capturing buildings and train mercenaries rather than destroying. But this is just my stereotypical point of view, you history experts should be able to tell what would be the most realistic. :)

If I'm right on making it depend on the civilisation, I don't know howerver what would be the best way to implement it. Giving the capture ability only to some civs ? Making the capture attitude random and give a different probability for each civ ? Or simply making the choice of capture more interesting in some civs than in other ? (I think the last is the best choice, as you can grab ressources from destroyed buildings. Maybe for some civs it could be more interesting to destroy and rebuild, and for some other civs more interesting to capture, depending on the ressources grabbed, the cost of the building, the time taken to build/capture, etc.).

PS: I like the idea of "loyalty level".

From a historical or ideological or whatever point of view different ways to do things for the different civs might be desirable, but from a game development point of view it's better, or at least easier, to do things as similar as possible :) To me giving all civilizations the ability to capture buildings seems like the best choice, that way you as the player can choose whether to capture or destroy (you are after all playing as the god-like ruler who can affect all aspects of how your civilization acts, so why shouldn't you be able to control whether to capture or destroy ;) ).

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Sighvatr    102

Maybe it could depend on the civilisation ?

I mean, I would rather imagine barbarian civs (such as celtic civs) destroying everything rather than occupy building. And Romans for example capturing buildings and train mercenaries rather than destroying. But this is just my stereotypical point of view, you history experts should be able to tell what would be the most realistic.

I hate the word "barbarian" to describe any culture or civilization. It was an offensive word to label anybody or anyone who are not similar to the ideal civilized Roman. Celts were very civilized people, even though they may had looked primal in some of their behaviors and clothing. Also, I don't really think that makes sense to make something capture-able given to only certain civilizations. Not all Germanic and Celtic tribes destroyed things, and not all Romans kept buildings either. For example, the Romans burned an entire Carthaginian city to the ground. A lot of structures back then were actually recycled for materials rather.

Edited by Sighvatr

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gab    7

capture shouldn't be too quick : in cossack the adversary was able to rush and capture quickly your whole city : not the funniest thing ever <_<

i like the idea of being able to produce enemie units(but for a greater price...)

the flag system could be clear and easy to understand :

your troops are kneeling in front of the building, raising their emblem, his loyalty decrease...

you need to fight and use your troops : the building's loyalty is full again

what's happend if you capture a building in the middle of a city ? isolated/peripheric buildings should be easier to take

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idanwin    172

And the trained units should not be able to construct buildings of their civ! That would just make things messy.

A loyalty reduction rate depending on the surrounding units/buildings was planned I believe.

The loyalty should not go back up at once, it should go up, but not suddenly.

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Lion.Kanzen    1,940

I was thinking how works capturing a building in real life. I think loyalty wuold be avaible when a buildings is abandoned, that can happens when territory where is place that building don't have a cc. When is flashing. And now civic centre canbe taken after receive a great amount of damage.

Not all unit can be able to take buildings. Even not all military.

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Cn.369    1

Hi,
I've recently started playing 0AD, I am really enjoying it. But I'd like to know how can I destroy a building instead of capturing it using infantry. 

This is making a problem. Enemy units get inside buildings, so it's almost impossible to capture it, also I don't know how can I tell them to just destroy it, and my units end up dying in the place without any gains.

My only solution has been, advancing and making siege weapons. Other than that, I don't have any way to win the game. 

Thank you for your time :)

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