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Oimat

Technologies discussion

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Why wouldn't I use that one? Gathering faster is more important (IMO) if you watch your gatherers and don't let them move across huge distances. (Or I am no one ;) )

Because wheelbarrow is a boost for every resource. Harvesters will almost have to move some distance to drop sites.

Don't get me wrong guys I think pairing up techs can be very interesting. It's just that some techs aren't meant to be paired whereas other pairs can add a huge amount of diversity to the game. Adding expensive techs which also give a substantial boost (ie making it a huge investment with in return, huge dividends) can add so much to the strategic aspect of the game.

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Because wheelbarrow is a boost for every resource. Harvesters will almost have to move some distance to drop sites.

Stone and metal mines get a storehouse next to it, fields/corrals get a farmstead/CC next to it, wood does get a storehouse/CC/dock next to it, but is the only resource where you really have some distance to the actual resource and you are boosting the gather rate for this one.

(Just to explain some opinion that wasn't voiced in here at all)

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I did some empirical tests with the AI. Wheelbarrow vs axes is very much dependent on wether you're going to micro your dropsites heavily or not. You need to keep walking distances short for wheelbarrow to be effectively better than axes overall (and particularly on wood). If you don't really micro (9s shuttle iirc) wheelbarrow is better than axes for all resources (including wood). Which isn't really a lot. But at the same time, building more dropsites to keep walking distances down dilutes the effect since you lose the resources you won.

Overall this isn't the most interesting pair since their effect is really small and hard to differentiate, but I'd wager wheelbarrows is very slightly better for most players on the long run.

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Stone and metal mines get a storehouse next to it, fields/corrals get a farmstead/CC next to it, wood does get a storehouse/CC/dock next to it, but is the only resource where you really have some distance to the actual resource and you are boosting the gather rate for this one.

(Just to explain some opinion that wasn't voiced in here at all)

I don't want to play devil's advocate so I'm not.

My point as a whole, and one I'd like to stick to since that's what really important, is that pairing techs isn't good for economic or blacksmith upgrades. It actually detracts from the game instead of adding depth to it. I think pairing techs has huge potential though, as I said in my earlier posts, you can pair up techs that trade stats (health vs training time is but a simple example) and I'm sure that that would add more diversity to the game. Techs that trade stats mean that one tech isn't inherently better than the other, so you can diversify civs quite easily while remaining in good norms of design balance.

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Here is the currently tech tree I'm working on. Note that the military tree isn't over yet, and the followings :

- if techs are touching each other verticaly, they are paired

- you need to have done all the techs that gets a line from the left to the tech you want to search to be able to (example : you need the hunting tech to be able o do the sheeps one)

I will soon testing this tech tree on a git and will be provided to anyone who wants to test it after I tried it and balanced it. No comments are expected about the tech tree. It's just to show you my point of view.

The tree has be done with yEd (not open source freeware), so if you want to make yours...

Now, to answer the ones that posted here. I think iNcog got my point of view about techs, and I think we agree about pretty much everything (except that the wood tech is way better....).

I think also pairing techs are a good idea. Not always using it, but sometimes it will bring a decisive choice on the startegy you will do. Currently it's not well-used, but if the tree tech is well-designed, it will for sure bring a lot of depth into the game.

But always, it will be for some techs, not a lot of them, since they will be root techs that provides a different set of strategies. So you will choose the one you want in function of your way of playing, so choice will be different from a player to another.

Finaly, I don't want having techs that reduces something in your game, as +attack/-armor vs -attack/+armor. A tech should be always benefical, with no compensation.

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Edited by Oimat
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I'm confused, are you sure we agree?


Now, to answer the ones that posted here. I think iNcog got my point of view about techs, and I think we agree about pretty much everything (except that the wood tech is way better....).

I think also pairing techs are a good idea. Not always using it, but sometimes it will bring a decisive choice on the startegy you will do. Currently it's not well-used, but if the tree tech is well-designed, it will for sure bring a lot of depth into the game.

Generally speaking, pairing techs limits the amount of strategies you have at your disposal. Imagine for a second that every storehouse tech were available for me to research, albeit every tech was 50% more expensive (completely arbitrary number). Given how strong storehouse techs are, I would get a substantial boost if I took the risk of trying to get them all relatively early. I would get an economic edge early. However, since such techs would be expensive, it would be a significant investment to get them early on. Getting expensive yet strong storehouse techs early would allow me to play a defensive play-style focused on booming quickly. I would have to make do with little units and carefully using defender's advantage in my favor. My opponent would do everything in his power to pressure me with his military units. If he's good at micro, his pressure will do lots of damage since I invested so many resources into getting expensive economic upgrades which cut into my unit production. My opponent might also respond by taking map control (with military colonies especially). So by unlocking all the storehouse techs, you open up this new play-style that allows people to invest into their economy while playing defensive. As of right now you can't do anything like that in 0 AD. You can only do a half-assed version of this since you're only allowed to get half the economic upgrades.

The same thing can be said about blacksmith upgrades. If I could choose to invest a lot of resources into getting lots of blacksmith upgrades (instead of just half of them), I could think of a mid-game "strategy" that revolves around investing LOTS of resources into getting blacksmith upgrades. I'll be at a disadvantage during the time it takes for the upgrades to research. I might also be at a disadvantage when they're actually done since my opponent might have invested his resources into economic upgrades. So you get an interesting dynamic where a player with a weaker economy yet a stronger set of units will face against a player with a stronger economy yet lesser units. How does that play out? Are there some civs that might do this better than others? Are there civs I shouldn't do this against? Are my units so good that I can win a straight up fight, yet not strong enough to take out his CC? Should I try to push or should I try to expand, using my new strong units to take and keep map control. As of right now, you can't do anything like this, since you can only get half of the blacksmith upgrades total.

But always, it will be for some techs, not a lot of them, since they will be root techs that provides a different set of strategies. So you will choose the one you want in function of your way of playing, so choice will be different from a player to another.

Finaly, I don't want having techs that reduces something in your game, as +attack/-armor vs -attack/+armor. A tech should be always benefical, with no compensation.

Forcing players to choose between stone gathering and metal gathering doesn't add anything strategically. Making a "choice" isn't really a choice when one choice is clearly better than the other. Pairing techs just means that one tech is better than the other, so one tech "shouldn't" be researched at all. As mythos said, why would you get the stone upgrade to do a slinger rush if it's going to penalize you later in the game? Just get metal and forget anything you had about using a relatively unique unit to pressure your opponent with. Pairing techs forces players to go down the strongest tech route; that doesn't lead to diversity.

Techs that trade one stat for another actually make for some unique units. I wouldn't mind getting cav that was just a bit faster and just a bit weaker if it meant that I could get raid a bit more effectively, or position my cav better in a fight. I wouldn't mind more training time on my heavy infantry to get them to have more HP. That sort of thing just makes units more unique. These are the kinds of tech that can be paired. For example, I could choose between either stronger infantry or faster cavalry, but I couldn't get both. So when I'm in the game, the civ will play out just slightly differently depending on which of the two techs I chose. I might want to be more in my opponent's face with stronger infantry but I'd rather try to raid and harass him with faster cav. I can't get both however. That's not a problem since if I get faster cav, well at least my infantry trains a bit faster. If I get stronger infantry, well at least my cav is also stronger as well.

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I invite you to read my opening message, because you are repeating exactly what I said ;)

About pairing techs, I'm just saying that it's not a fatality to have a beter tech than another one. I'll make sure that the paried techs are both interesting so there won't be a beter one.

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When you talk about tech "trade offs" like greater hitpoints, but longer train time, we call that concept in the game design "self-balancing." In-fact, the concept has been rolling around the project since nearly the beginning. There are a bunch of stats that go well together under this concept.

The easiest examples:

Health <-> Train Time

Cost <-> Attack

Armor <-> Speed

It was always my idea to have about half of the game's techs reside in such "self-balancing" pairs, while the other half could be standalone techs.

Another note: Techs that unlock a feature or ability are way more interesting than techs that merely alter stats. A few abilities that could be "unlocked" off the top of my head:

  • A new formation.
  • Pair: Priests can convert enemy soldiers <-> Priests gain an aura that boosts the attack of nearby soldiers.
  • Batch training. Unlock batch training of units in Town Phase. Unlock batch training of siege weapons and ships in the City Phase.
  • The ability to train Champions at the barracks (already implemented).
  • Train women from houses (already implemented).
  • Shared allied vision in Town Phase.
  • Ramming for warships.
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As long as it's unique I'm not complaining. My vendetta is merely against the pairing of eco and blacksmith techs (both of which I think need a good boost). More market upgrades could also be interesting. That sort of thing.

The tech to train villagers from houses should be nerfed or made more expensive by the way. It's easily the easiest way to get your economy to explode, you can essentially trade 1k food for 20 vills in 17s, those 20 vills can be put to work on a resource you lack. I'd perhaps nerf the training time of vills from houses.

Some possible unique stuff would be to unlock group abilities btw. I'm not sure if it's possible to code. Basically something like, if you have a group of archers and you unlock "volley", then you can use a group of archers to fire a volley, which does area damage in a given area. Something like that? Cavalry could get charge for example. Hoplites and Spearmen could get their phalanx formation from an upgrade. Things like that. I totally dig stuff like that. However, don't think that trading one stat for another is a boring thing. You can get really unique units that way.

In Aoe3 Germany has an Uhlan instead of a Hussar, these are both melee cav units. So it's something like 30 attack / 320 HP for a Hussar and 37 attack / 250 HP for the Uhlan (not sure on stats but whatever). Well, the Uhlan is a really unique cav unit. It's amazing because it does so much damage, it's great for raiding and it's even better when it's fighting weak units that will get quickly chopped down. however Uhlans are much more fragile and they can take less punishment from anti-cav. So you really have to be careful with them. However, neither the Uhlan nor the Hussar was considered inherently better in Aoe3. Perfect example of how even doing simple things like trading stats can give real flavor to a civ.

You could also upgrade spear cav to get a small range on their melee attack I guess. Spear infantry same thing.

Well, there are LOTS of possibilities.

Edited by iNcog

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[...]

Another note: Techs that unlock a feature or ability are way more interesting than techs that merely alter stats. A few abilities that could be "unlocked" off the top of my head:

[...]

Sure, these are extremely cool. I remembered in a AoK mod (Age of Chivalry to be precise) that there were so called 'Political Decisions'. With for example Saxony you could choose between the Teutonic Order and the Lithuanians (or something like that) (Yes, a pair tech). In the first case all standard barrack units were disabled. In exchange you were able to train extremely powerful Teutonic Knights (both an infantry and a cav version). Powerful but veeerrryyy slow.

For the second option also most barrack units were disabled but instead you received cheap, but weak skirmishers and light infantry. A pair, a trade-off in strategy and unlocking units with one and the same tech... Wonderful.

[...]

Some possible unique stuff would be to unlock group abilities btw. I'm not sure if it's possible to code. Basically something like, if you have a group of archers and you unlock "volley", then you can use a group of archers to fire a volley, which does area damage in a given area. Something like that? Cavalry could get charge for example. Hoplites and Spearmen could get their phalanx formation from an upgrade. Things like that. I totally dig stuff like that. However, don't think that trading one stat for another is a boring thing. You can get really unique units that way.

[...]

That should be do-able to a certain extend when formation fighting is fully working.

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The only thing I don't like in techs is when there is a gain and a loss in the same tech. e.g. Train 10% faster lose 10hp.

Generally I think they would be better either putting them into a paired tech or removing the negative stat aspect and increasing the cost.

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The only thing I don't like in techs is when there is a gain and a loss in the same tech. e.g. Train 10% faster lose 10hp.

Generally I think they would be better either putting them into a paired tech or removing the negative stat aspect and increasing the cost.

Nah, those are interesting techs that make units more unique. I'd like to see a lot more of them, in pairs hopefully.

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If they are in pairs then presumably one is the inverse of the other, in which case it would be better to strictly gain one stat and the trade of is that you lock yourself out of the other tech.

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I see what you're saying, however units become more unique (and the techs as well) if there's a trade between stats as well instead of just a single a single stat boost. Actually I'd argue that if you're pairing up techs that give just a single stat boost, you might as well open players to both of them (see almost every other post from me in this thread) and make them both strong and expensive. That adds depth to strategies. If you do only a single boost then players will focus on the boost that does better overall, this is what we currently have with the blacksmith upgrades, which I feel shouldn't be paired. I would rather have my spear-men get better hack armor than pierce armor for instance, since I'm not someone who makes spear-men so they soak archer/skirm fire. I make spear-men to take out cav and do well in melee fights.

I would find it much more interesting to have a Hoplite that has more HP and is slower than a normal Hoplite for example. They would be better at their role of being tough melee units however with that would come a shortcoming, their lack of speed. So you get a slightly more powerful, yet slightly less mobile force. Remember that you can do what you want with stats, I'm not talking about 50% HP vs 50% speed. Something more subtle like +10% would be enough to give units a more unique feel without breaking game design. You can play on the following stats:

Attack

HP

Speed

Rate of Fire

Range

Hack Armor

Pierce Armor

Abilities

Formations

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I'm not arguing that all should be paired. I agree that there should be some expensive techs, but again I suspect it will be a while before there are enough techs to support both expensive strategic and cheap tactical techs. (I assume that's the goal with techs ).

I would disagree that opening all techs up would increase depth. If there were a pair of techs (not ones that locked the other out) one that increases speed by X and decreases Y HP and the other increases HP by X and decreases speed by Y then,

Instead of having a hoplite that had X%hp and -Y%speed, I imagine most people would get both and end up with an increase in hp and speed. It's not making as much of a trade off, and opening it up to weaknesses. If it's such that the stats cancel out, then they should lock the other one out so then its not possible to buy both, waste a bunch of resources and gain nothing.

So you run into one of several problems.

  • People buy both techs and there is no statistical downside.
  • People buy both and the techs cancel each other out - player is basically punished via loss of recourses for what appears to be the good action of researching
  • People only buy one and it acts the same as pair -if there is one superior tech in a pair it will retain its superiority when it's not a pair. If it is too expensive to buy both then people buy the superior one, same as before. i.e. its a problem in balancing not the pairing.
Edited by hollth

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Techs that trade unit stats are the techs I feel should be paired. i.e. you get it and it locks you away from the other.

Any tech that only gives a straight up bonus or boost should not be paired in my opinion.

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I like the Stone vs. Metal pairing because it's a soft choice between Defenses and Units. Defenses use stone, while strong units use Metal. So what you are actually doing with this tech pair is making a soft strategic choice between the two.

What if there were a 3rd option that let you choose a lesser of both. Instead of 25% more of 1 mining, you get like 10-15% for both. The reduced value will be 'safer' but one might find a more focused tech chooser with more defense/army rather than semi-viablity with both. At the end of it, you'll want at least 1 or two of the more specialized techs though to not get left behind.

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What if there were a 3rd option that let you choose a lesser of both. Instead of 25% more of 1 mining, you get like 10-15% for both. The reduced value will be 'safer' but one might find a more focused tech chooser with more defense/army rather than semi-viablity with both. At the end of it, you'll want at least 1 or two of the more specialized techs though to not get left behind.

Just don't pair 'em at all and you're set! :D

Yeah I post a lot in this topic but this is a really important discussion in my opinion.

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Pairing is actually a nice idea, but i think it's too painful atm. like pairing cav conscription with infantry conscription? Bad idea, it should be as follows:

Infantry: Health - Recruitmentspeed

Cavalry:Health - Recruitmentspeed

Harvesters: Gatherspeed - Carry more

Melee: Armor - Damage

Ranged: Range - Damage

so on so forth, then we could have things like policies, which would be game changers. (like they did in aoc hegemony)

Fortress health +1000 infantry health -15 : infantry health +15 Fortress health -1000.

etc.

thoughts?

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The upgrade cost of the blacksmith are to high. Please lower the upgrade cost. I think 50% - 75% of current cost is enough.

Why: I played with a fried against 1 AI. Within one hour playtime (normal speed) we are only able to upgrade two things in the blacksmith. I don't know how it is possible to have enough resources (starting resources: low; enemy AI: easy) within an within a reasonable time.

Edited by raymond

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This exactly the reason for that they are extreme, so you can't get all technologies very fast, so you need to choose which you do research and wich you don't. It is a part of the tactical gameplay.

The upgrades shouls be so costly, but in 1 hour you can have all technologies done. Just have all your workers gathering and be trading.

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Indeed, it is not the question of who is the first to research them all but what is best to research to benefit my strategy since you can't simply research them all quickly (as in AoK). That needs time and resources to do so (but maybe you choose to train more units instead of making them stronger => you can train quite a lot units for the same cost as researching the upgrade. That's part of the decision-taking aspect (very cool I think!). You need to choose because you can't have everything (or in this case without much effort)

Edited by niektb
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The unpairing of techs in A17 is a great thing, in my opinion. Also, you get more of them. Big fan of this change!

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