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wraitii

[Gameplay discussion] Phasing out phases

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When you say it is literally the worst way to do it, you're talking about minor gradation of bad. The current way is just a hark back to Age of Empires. It is not hat bad. It fulfills a gameplay role of the bottleneck and demarcating progression when the bottleneck is overcome or the goal is reached. it is very meta in that way.

I think what the phases are missing are visual progression and gameplay differentiation and perhaps some choices when you Phase Up, like in Age of Mythology.

Just quick idea off the top of my brain:

Town Phase, choose either:

A. Agrarianism

B. Mercantilism

City Phase, choose either:

A. City-State

B. Hegemony

Empire Phase, choose either:

A. Imperialism

B. Alliance Building

Each with different effects. And by the gods, make the choice visually appealing too, like in Age of Mythology. Put some effort into thing like that. The presentation is important.

About technologies in general. I don't think the pairs in my mod are ideal. But they are more interesting that the vanilla game's supremely generic and uninspiring and weird tech tree ("Fertilizer"? eh hem). My ideal tech tree would be the tech web as discussed many months ago. You have pairs in that you can choose 2 different directions off each tech but you can always go back and get those tech you missed.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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Mercantilism nah, other name.

Hegemony... May be Republic or Hellenization

Building Alliance, may be Clientelar State.

I suggest that mechanic , but I'm glad you support the same as you own way.

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Mercantilism nah, other name.

Hegemony... May be Republic or Hellenization

Building Alliance, may be Clientelar State.

I suggest that mechanic , but I'm glad you support the same as you own way.

Yeah, better names came be thought of. But the idea is still there. They can be base on the culture too. Add more culture to the game that way.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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I think having options as in age of mythology is very appealing and adds unique strategical value to the game. It does not need to be complicated it just needs to be visible and clear to the player what they get from it. Fundamentally I think this is the manifestation of players want for more technology's, particularly either/or ones as in alpha 16 (though those ones had little strategic value, but if they were grouped together?)

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I think having options as in age of mythology is very appealing and adds unique strategical value to the game. It does not need to be complicated it just needs to be visible and clear to the player what they get from it. Fundamentally I think this is the manifestation of players want for more technology's, particularly either/or ones as in alpha 16 (though those ones had little strategic value, but if they were grouped together?)

I agree, tech pairs are a good idea. There could be a series of "law" upgrades from which the player has to choose one out of a pair or triad. I mention them being "law" upgrades because conceptually, I think it would make the most sense if those upgrade options were related to elements like laws which a nation has to choose to go one way or the other, while technology is generally accrued. Although one can focus on one area of technology at the expense of others, that is already represented by spending resources for one technology rather than another. IMO it makes little sense that having obtained knowledge about some sort of tool would forbid you to learn about another sort of tool later on.

One example of such an "law" upgrade choice could be related to the labor system, with the player being able to choose "Free Workers" or "Slavery".

It could also be good to allow such law upgrade choices to be changed later on, by investing in the other upgrade (paying full cost for it and losing the one you had acquired previously).

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I don't remember this tech web discussion, probably missed it while I was gone. Do you have a link? It sounds interesting.

I'm not going to argue against the fact that our techs are uninspired, though. That's just a fact.

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and perhaps some choices when you Phase Up

I like that suggestion. Choice = strategy

Your choices at the phase could bend you either toward a strength in military (perhaps sub divided in aggresion or defense) or economic (perhaps subdivided to favor certain resource types)

It would also make it more interesting if the phases weren't globally applied to your entire civ on the map, but instead utilized territories and were localized to each town center.

My view of phases are that they are gates players go through to unlock more capability: new structures, new technologies, new units. They also help measure the pace of the game. I belive AOK notified all players when they reached different ages. If you weren't in the castle age when your opponent reached it before you, it served as a good kick in the pants to say... you better age up, and fast!

Just some random thoughts ;)

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Each phase decision in AoM have consequences , you must especialice your units into siege or have other kind of units.

And you reach other technologies , technologies for cavalry or technologies for spearman etc.

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I like that suggestion. Choice = strategy

Your choices at the phase could bend you either toward a strength in military (perhaps sub divided in aggresion or defense) or economic (perhaps subdivided to favor certain resource types)

It would also make it more interesting if the phases weren't globally applied to your entire civ on the map, but instead utilized territories and were localized to each town center.

My view of phases are that they are gates players go through to unlock more capability: new structures, new technologies, new units. They also help measure the pace of the game. I belive AOK notified all players when they reached different ages. If you weren't in the castle age when your opponent reached it before you, it served as a good kick in the pants to say... you better age up, and fast!

Just some random thoughts ;)

Yes I like this. More notifications. I like see in AOK or AOM that it tell you enemy has reached an age before you. Like you say, it was kick in the pants and added a little bit of momentary drama to the game.

And choices like you say can be

Military: Offensive or Defensive

Economic: Gathering or Trading/Bartering

Team-Based: Yourself or your allies

In my example I use 4 phase because with more phase you get more big choices, plus can differ the phases better.

The standard meta would be like this:

Phase I - Agrarian phase, hunting/gathering, setting up your economy and putting things in place for the rest of the match. Only infantry available, no cavalry. The only defenses are palisades. Very vulnerable at this phase.

Phase II - Diversification. Diversified economy and military. Military: Cavalry become available. Blacksmith unlocked. Shipyard unlocked, Wooden Defense Towers unlocked, etc. Economy: Market unlocked and good number of new Farmstead and Storehouse techs.

Phase III - Settlement is now very organized and strong. Heavy hitters become available: Stone Walls (every respected city should have walls, nay?), Stone Towers upgrade, Fortress, Heroes, Champions. These are all expensive, so hopefully you have robust economy. Building more Civic Centers becomes available now. Your population is growing so you need colonies (because number of houses are limited by Civic Centers!). Wonder unlock as well. Build Wonder to unlock next phase.

Phase IV - The very strong meta technologies are become available. This can be the phase to help break stalemate. This can be the phase where you throw everything you got at he enmy. All hero and siege techs unlocked. Massive battles for territory control.

So, choices can adjust this meta game up or down based on your strategy or the assumed strategy of your opponents. Maybe even at the start of match you get a choice screen right at the beginning for Village Phase. So, Village Phase choice could be between Hunting and Ranching boost (unlocks cavalry a phase early if you capture and corral a horse?) or Gathering boost (maybe unlock all Phase II gather techs ahead of time?). And then when you go to Town Phase there can be a choice between Defense (unlock Stone Walls and Stone Towers upgrade a phase ahead of time) or Expansion (unlock Civic Centers ahead of time). When you go to City Phase you can have another meta choice (Ally boost and trading vs. selfishness, lol, dunno). When you go to Empire Phase you can get another meta choic.

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It is vital that the upgrades are polar/very different. At present it is hard to tell how an upgrade has really helped and whether it is worth getting. What you choose needs to have an impact on or reflect your game strategy.

e.g (stage 3)

Option 1- choice to join some empire - 20% cost reduction to everything.

Option 2- some kind of extra training thing - 50% stronger ranged units.

Option 1 should be chosen if you have a strong economy and can thus pump out lots of troops.

Option 2 should be chosen if you either have a strong ranged army or are planing on defending.

Overall I think this is a great idea but it needs to have an impact on gameplay otherwise it is pointless.

Also why not change the name of some of the upgrades to fit the civilisation?

Edited by Giotto

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If I may put forward my two pence:

I agree with the fact the phasing doesn't "feel" right. But I'm not sure that getting rid of phasing altogether is the right move, it just needs adjusting to fit the concept of the game. I also agree with the basic idea of these:

You'd start with a small town council, upgradable in a town center then a town hall or something. Each time, you unlock better techs and abilities. [...] But those upgrades are quite costly. Same with the blacksmith. Barracks. Temple? Whatever we can think of, really.

It would make more sense if the phase functionality were instead attached to upgrading the city center building itself (i.e. Village Hall -> City Hall -> Palace).

It would also make it more interesting if the phases weren't globally applied to your entire civ on the map, but instead utilized territories and were localized to each town center.

On a slightly off-topic note, one thing that's bugged me for a while is the current appearances of the civil centres. My problem is that they look (particularly the Roman one) like city-phase structures. The first (or second if you're playing Nomad and build a dock first) structure you build upon deciding to settle in a completely new area is a large, stone clad building with fancy statues? Really? IMHO it would be better to have the civic centre starting off as a tent and a couple of flags stuck in the ground, and then developing as the game goes on to a more solid, permanent looking structure.

On a slightly less off-topic note, in RoN, you placed a "Small City". Building enough buildings around said "Small City", it became a "Medium City" automatically. And again, more buildings and it became a "Large City" and eventually a "Metropolis". Each stage had a visual change for that city, and increases in health, defence and the radius width in which the player could place buildings and have them count towards that City's building count.

Anyhow, getting back to the point - I think that "phases" need to reflect the status of your presence on the map, rather than be actually research-able. What I might suggest is that instead of keeping them as technologies that you have to research, they become automatic upon certain limits. Let me elaborate:

My basic proposal is to have something similar to RoN, and to what Wraitii suggests. A player places a Civic Centre ("CC" for short), and it is built into its initial "Village" form. Place enough buildings around it, and the ability to upgrade that CC to its next state ("Town") is unlocked. This new state has better defence, higher garrison limits, greater influence on territory borders and a larger radius in which buildings can be placed to count as belonging to that CC. Same again to upgrade to a third, "City", state. Each CC upgrades separately to all the rest on the map.

So where does phasing come in? Well, when a player places their first CC, the player is automatically transitioned from the "Nomad Phase" to the "Village Phase". When any one of a player's CCs on the map is upgraded to its "Town" state, then the player is automatically transitioned to the "Town Phase". And ditto, when any one of a player's CCs upgrades to its "City" state, the player is advanced to the "City Phase". Essentially, the player's 'current' phase is that of the most advanced CC the player controls at that point. And yes, this means that if a player loses their only "City"-state CC, they revert back to the Town Phase (or Village, if they have no Towns), which makes sense as they no longer have a "City" on the map. (CCs don't revert if they lose buildings.)

So phases become conceptual and representational, rather than something manually researched, whilst remaining something that can be easily checked for in requirements of techs, buildings and units. (Essentially as a quick to check to see if a player has the necessary infrastructure to support more complex structures etc).

We could even go slightly further and make it so only barracks near a City-level CC can train City-phase level units, Town-phase-level structures can only be built around town- or city-level CCs, etc. Checking what phase a player is in would be used for statistics, tech requirements, and to permit towers, walls and fortresses to be built away from CCs. (I like building towers on cliff edges. If I can only build stone (town-phase) towers near town-/city-level CCs, then my defensive options are curtailed somewhat.)

By having CC-upgrades manually triggered by the player (rather than automatic upon a given number of buildings like in RoN), then (a.) CCs could be cheaper, with the CC upgrades being expensive, and (b.) there could be a pair-choice that could provide bonuses to nearby units/buildings in/of that settlement (ie. wgoyc's mercantilism vs agrarianism = bonus to nearby markets/traders vs bonus to nearby farms) thus permitting settlements to specialise.

Anyway, long post, sorry. Thanks for reading.

Oh, and I don't necessarily agree on being able to upgrade every building. Wooden palisade outpost -> wooden defence tower -> stone defence tower, maybe. Barracks Lv 1 -> Barracks Lv 2... I'm not convinced.

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I agree with the fact that our tech tree is too much linear, and that we must open more choices for the player, and I miss a bit the pairs we had before A17. But as they had some drawbacks (the options of each players were constrained by its first choices), we should improve the way they worked.

I had started a patch some time ago where I added some requirements in the pair template, such that the first chosen tech would have only its own requirements, while the second one would have its own requirements plus the extra requirements from the pair (such that it can require another phase, or additionnal techs, or ...). That would give a lot of possibilities for diversified tech trees. I could try to finalize it.

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On a slightly off-topic note, one thing that's bugged me for a while is the current appearances of the civil centres. My problem is that they look (particularly the Roman one) like city-phase structures. The first (or second if you're playing Nomad and build a dock first) structure you build upon deciding to settle in a completely new area is a large, stone clad building with fancy statues? Really? IMHO it would be better to have the civic centre starting off as a tent and a couple of flags stuck in the ground, and then developing as the game goes on to a more solid, permanent looking structure.

agree with that

Edited by Lion.Kanzen

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It would also make it more interesting if the phases weren't globally applied to your entire civ on the map, but instead utilized territories and were localized to each town center.

I like this idea. It makes each upgraded settlement more valuable.

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All of this, especially Wijitmacker's comment about applying changes only to that city, make me believe that the game should encourage actual cities instead of using large territory effects to block off huge portions of the map. The concept of strict frontier borders was alien to ancient civilization anyway. Territory line should then instead demarcate city limits, a firmer concept in the ancient age. See Delenda Est for a attempt to do this. What can happen then is that the phase upgrades only affect buildings in that civic's center's territory (city limit). These concept are making me a little excited if you guys agree with this direction.

EDIT:

See here, the player 1 has two Civic Center. Their city limits do not merge because each town/city's phase only affect structure in their city limit:

DCcqSnb.png

I yhink in general the MinDistance between Civic Centers would be enough that city limits would not touch, except maybe until last phase or other research (or Hellenization effect or other effect expand territory range).

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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I really like the concept of individual city phases but I also think there is a need for general upgrades. The general upgrades would be available as they are at the civic centre and would unlock technology's such as stone towers etc. The city phases would upgrade to use these new technology's. A level 1 city would have wooded towers, a level 2 city would have stone ones.

Edited by Giotto

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Now you guys are rollin'

Keep this line of thought going and I think you'll bring some more innovation and life back to the RTS genre :rockon:

Aside from being a good game design, it also would help distinguish it from be an AoE clone

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Now you guys are rollin'

Keep this line of thought going and I think you'll bring some more innovation and life back to the RTS genre :rockon:

Aside from being a good game design, it also would help distinguish it from be an AoE clone

With imagination I see something like this. Say player want to place defense tower. As player waves the defense tower around the map to decide placement, if it cross into a city with Stone Towers upgrade the ghost image shows th stone tower version. If wave over into, say, a settlement still at village phase then the defense tower ghost switches to wooden version.

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The tech web concept is definitely interesting, but I fear it may be slightly too complicated for our interface unless we get a lot more screen space. Something to think about.

There are a few problems with making phase upgrade city-centre-centered, namely I can think of:

-The local vs global upgrade problem: it would be a little weird if buildings upgrade locally but, say, blacksmith upgrades are global.

-The use of territories: would they have any?

-Scale: it might be a little odd if you can build a huge stone Tower and 100 meters next to it only a wooden tower because it's somewhat arbitrarily attached to another city.

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The tech web concept is definitely interesting, but I fear it may be slightly too complicated for our interface unless we get a lot more screen space. Something to think about.

There are a few problems with making phase upgrade city-centre-centered, namely I can think of:

-The local vs global upgrade problem: it would be a little weird if buildings upgrade locally but, say, blacksmith upgrades are global.

-The use of territories: would they have any?

-Scale: it might be a little odd if you can build a huge stone Tower and 100 meters next to it only a wooden tower because it's somewhat arbitrarily attached to another city.

Just some thoughts on these points:

1. I don't think local vs global is too big of an issue. It would fit nicer if upgrades were applied after being researched, but it is too much work to upgrade individual units. (Battalions would support this though.)

2. I think the territories would be per civil center. More powerful/advanced cities would have more influence. There perhaps could be a late game tech to unify/annex all connected cities into a single territory. This would annex all the connected civil centers into single territories. The most advanced civil center in the connected territory would be used to determine buildings available to use or techs available to research in the connected territory. (A player may have multiple unconnected territories.)

3. That happens in real life. Step a few feet over and you change from one city's jurisdiction to another. Taxes, laws, etc. are all changed within just a few feet.

Edited by WhiteTreePaladin
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Ok , why don't limited  the number of buildings by each phase to few, to medium, to unlimited or in case of some by high possible 

other is some building can be one per CC need assigned to one ( the nearest) example the market, the blacksmith, temple maybe not,  and I like penalize farms if is in a civic area.

we can think in limited the storage ( stockpile) based in the number capacity of farmstead/CC/dock/storehouse?

 

-------

This game( another clash of clans clone... But with named as  AOE Under Siege)

275qApb.jpg

Other way can be go for Blizzard way to be less AoE 

empire earth 1/2 have interesting 

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