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wowgetoffyourcellphone's gameplay design

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I know you all guy have been waiting with holden breaths. I will synthesize some of Darcreavers ideas, along with comments and suggestions from others, and merge them with some concepts from my mod to propose a new gameplay for 0 a.d. I hope you guy like this. I commend you for reading all the way through.

General Concept

In general, most think there are structural problems with the game's design. I will not comprehensively rehash them here as there are a dozen threads on this topic. I will simply propose the vision and you guys and accept or reject it.

So, in keeping with my mod, Delenda Est, I propose a "weak countryside, strong core" concept, but incoporporating some of what has been said over the past couple weeks. What I propose to do is also keep elements of the citizen-soldier concept, while also creating a hard battalions paradigm that also works with single units. The concept also takes into account many of Darc's criticisms and suggestions from others.

 

Map Control

Control of the map is crucial because of a few factors.

  • Most important buildings, like houses and barracks, can only be built in the player's territory, so grabbing more land by building new settlements is important to population growth. These buildings are capped per settlement, so building more settlements and grabbing more land is important for building new buildings.
  • Most resources are usually far away from the starting position of the player and are concentrated in impressive, lucrative depots.
  • The countryside contains beneficial items like herd animals, which act like food relics, and mercenary camps, from which you can train 0-pop, fast-training mercenary soldiers.
  • Grabbing territory or controlling the map deprives your enemy of the benefits of these things as well.

 

Countryside Concept: Weak Countryside, Strong Core

Players can now build Storehouses and Farmsteads in neutral territory. Most necessary resources are also placed in the neutral "no man's land" between starting territories of players, so now it's crucial to gather resources away from easy defenses. This is the "weak countryside."

Territories now represent city-boundaries instead of national borders. Important buildings like barracks and fortresses and houses and markets must be built in the strong defensible core territory, while resourcing operations, like mining and farming, are done out in the dangerous countryside. This represents the reality of ancient times: the concept of national borders was not well-defined and many times nations and empires were separated by wild frontiers rather than by solid lines on a map.

 

Settlement Phases, Territories, and Provinces

Each Civic Center building casts a territory (Civic Centers, Wonders, and Fortresses are the only buildings to cast a significant territory range). This is a province, and each subsequently built civic center dynamically creates its own province, whose territory does not merge with an adjacent Civic Center's territory. So, each Civic Center's province is its own territory, size dictated by the Settlement Phase the province has attained, via the number of buildings built within it.

  1. Village Phase
    • Small territory.
    • Economic-focused. Hunt, gather berries, scout the map for herdable animals, treasures, mercenary camps, and neutral settlements. Set the foundation for your home settlement's progress. 
    • Food is the most important resource, while Wood becomes increasingly important as the player builds more buildings. Player is probably scouting heavily for farmlands, quarries, and mine shafts.
    • Train Citizens from the Civic Center and Slaves from Storehouse and Farmstead.
      • Citizens can upgrade to soldiers for a short time with the Town Bell for defense. More detail below in the 'Units' section.
    • Palisade walls and wooden defense towers are available for defense.
  2. Town Phase
    • Requires 10 buildings built within its province
    • Territory grows by 25%.
    • Unlocks barracks, blacksmith, market, shipyard, cult statue. Train your first citizen-soldiers and light warship.
    • Stone and Iron now become a needed resource, for military buildings and blacksmith teching respectively.
    • Player is probably heavily into farming on farmlands now and has captured a number of herdable animals that can be garrisoned in a corral for a free trickle of food.
    • Stone walls become available and wooden defense towers can be upgraded individually to stone.
    • Player may attempt to capture 1 or more neutral settlements on the map to gain a territorial advantage over the enemy.
  3. City Phase
    • Requires 25 buildings built within its province
    • Territory grows another 25%.
    • Unlocks Fortress for heroes, champions, and siege weapons.
    • Trade routes should be set up by now.
    • New civic centers unlocked: Found new settlements now instead of only capturing neutral settlements.
    • Mercenaries become part of the mix as mercenary camps are captured and the coin resource is acquired to hire them.
  4. Capital Phase
    • Requires 1 Wonder, which costs 1000 wood, 1000 stone, and 1000 glory.
    • Territory grows a final 50%.
    • Unlocks all remaining special techs, uber techs, and siege techs
    • Units train faster, buildings build faster, citizens and slaves gather faster inside the Capital province.
    • Only one province can be in Capital Phase at once. If the Civic Center is destroyed or captured or the Wonder destroyed or captured, another settlement may be upgraded to Capital by building a Wonder in its province.

 

An example of how it would work:

  • Build 10 buildings within a village phase province and the province territory dynamically grows to reflect the new Town phase, complete with a graphic and sound effect to tell the player this has happened. The Civic Center looks bigger and more ornate, owing to the province's new size and importance. Stone walls can be built in the province now, and the wooden defense towers can be upgraded to stone defense towers. A market can be built in the province now, as well as a blacksmith. Since the barracks is now unlocked, you can train your first dedicated soldiers. Build 15 more buildings and BOING, the province grows again to the City Phase and Fortresses can be built in the province as well as special buildings. Finally, build a Wonder and DOOONG that province becomes the Capital phase, the province gains more territory, additional special techs and abilities can be researched, and things just work faster and better.

Just an example of how it can work. Point is, not every province upgrades together as one. Each one can have a different phase of development.

 

Resources

As Darc suggests, I propose additional resources used for different things. I maintain that it does not matter how many resources the game has, within reason of course, only that the resources are unique, are used for logical purposes, and entities, which are units buildings and techs, only cost 2 different resources besides time and population, which are quasi-resources.

Food: Every unit costs food with a few exceptions.

  • Berries. Keep the berry bushes, but make them more visible somehow, I propose with new decals beneath them to make them stand out. Only need a batch of them at the starting points on the map. Yes, when founding a new colony, food comes from anywhere it can. Snowy maps = no berries or maybe 1 or 2 bushes; desert maps = 5 bushes; temperate, tropic, or mediterranean maps = 2 x 5 bushes.
  • Farmlands are introduced and are usually situated just outside the starting territories of the players and then at nice flat or rolling areas of the map with few trees or rocks. Fields and Farmsteads can be built in neutral territory, so build your fields on the farmlands for a farming boost of 50% or more. Farming near Civic Centers and Temples is penalized. 
  • Hunting can be achieved with the free Scout Cavalry unit provided at the beginning of the match or by Citizens. Hunting is only a minor source of food. Fishing is the same as currently.
  • There are Herdable Animals that are easily captured, like in Age of Empires, and can be garrisoned inside Corrals to gain a trickle of food (for sheep, cattle, and goats) or to gain a training bonus (camels, horses, elephants, etc.). These are 0 A.D.'s version of the "relics" seen in Age of Empires or Age of Mythology.

Wood: Most economic and civic buildings and citizen-soldiers cost some amount of wood. There are straggler trees and then there are groves. Stragglers have a gather limit of 5 gatherers, and will not prevent the construction of buildings. A building can be build over a straggler and the straggler will be removed from the map. Groves represent sections of forest, so are larger and contain more wood resource, representing many multiples of trees. They have a gather limit of 20 and cannot be built upon. Pathfinding obstruction is removed from all trees.

  • Groves, by representing forests, give a combat bonus to "barbarian" civs like the Iberians and Celts, while also giving a movement rate penalty to siege weapons. So, now we can have combat inside forests and maybe give some kind of ambush feature. Off the top of my head, I can see tasking a battalion of Celtic soldiers directly to a grove and then being given some kind of bonus by doing so. Like, ctrl-right-click the Celtic soldiers to the grove and get a custom cursor telling you they're going into guerilla or ambush mode when they get there, kind of like "garrisoning" the battalion into the grove. A lot easier to do something like that with a large grove object than with a bunch of individual trees. 

Stone: All military and defensive buildings cost stone. Slingers cost a small amount of stone. Stone is acquired from stone Outcrops and stone Quarries. Outcrops are the stone mines already in the game. 1 or 2 of them can be found near the starting base of each player. But aside hills or in the sides of mountains or cliffs are Quarries. These are large objects that look like open pit granite or marble mines. They have a "slot" on which a Storehouse can be built. Building a Storehouse on the slot claims the Quarry for the player. Gatherers can now gather from it and they don't have to shuttle back and forth to the slotted Storehouse.

Iron: Mined from Mine Shafts and used to train sword units and research technologies, especially at the Blacksmith. Like a Quarry, a Mine Shaft has a "slot" on which to build a Storehouse and claim the Mine Shaft for the player. Gatherers can then be garrisoned into the mine entrance to gather the Iron. They will shuttle iron resource into and out of the mine entrance to and from the Storehouse. If the player's Storehouse is destroyed by the enemy, the gatherers inside the mine die. 

Coin: Call this silver, call this gold, call this coin, call this Precious Metal, I don't care. I'll call it Coin for this presentation. This is primarily gained from Trade, either with yourself or with your allies, and sometimes can be had via Treasure or Loot. Used to train Champions and Heroes and recruit Mercenaries. Coin is also the basis for the Barter system at the Market. By capping the bartering system to a Con-based system, you must now choose to use the Coin to barter or to buy things like Heroes, Champions, special techs, etc. A Coin-based barter system helps prevent resource floating because you can't now use a plentiful resource like Wood to flood the market and get easy iron or easy stone.

Glory: Directly from Delenda Est, this is attained by building Cult Statues and by killing enemy units and buildings. Cult Statues are praised by units to gain the Glory resource that is used to train heroes, research special technologies and battalion upgrades, and Wonders. Glory is the only resource Soldiers and Heroes can help you gather, by killing enemy units. Individual hero units can also gather Glory by praising Cult Statues alongside gatherers.

 

Buildings

Buildings are largely the same as they are now, with some major and minor changes. The Civic Center, Mercenary Camp, Outpost, Wonder, and Dock are the only capturable buildings. Econ, Defensive, and Military buildings must be destroyed. Not all buildings are listed here, just some of them with some notes.

Civic Center

  • Used to train Citizens and create provinces. Besides Wonders and Fortresses, Civic Centers are the only buildings that cast a significant territory. Provincial territories created by Civic Centers do not merge or overlap, but may border one another.
  • Phase techs removed as researchable techs with costs. Instead, they exist in the Civic Center UI to tell the player the prerequisite for phasing up. The tech itself is auto-researched once the required number of buildings is built. 
  • Settlement phases can vary per Civic Center/Province. This dictates what the player can build in each province and how large each province's territory is.
  • Capturing a Civic Center immediately transfers control of that's province's ungarrisoned houses, temples, and markets to the capturing player.

Dock and Shipyard

  • Civs with more than 1 warship class receive a warship-centered Shipyard, which is separate from the economic-focused Dock.
  • Docks are capturable, Shipyards destroyable.

Corral

  • Sheep/Goat training either removed or revamped.
  • Primary purpose is to house Herdable Animals, which act like "relics" from Age of Empires and Age of Mythology. Techs revamped to this new focus.

 

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Houses

  • In Village and Town phase houses can be built.
  • City phase unlocks the tenement building or city block building, which is a large "house" structure that gives 2.5x the pop cap bonus as a standard house.

Market

  • Can configure to gain a "tax" trickle of coin, and perhaps all other resources besides glory.
  • Set up trade routes between markets or market and civic center, haven't decided, to gain the coin resource. Trade with allies is more lucrative, but trade with other provinces of your empire is possible. Max 5 traders per market, 1 market per province.
  • Bartering is a coin-based system. Sell food, wood, stone, and iron for coin, or buy those resources with coin.

 

screenshot1028.png

Cult Statue

  • Each Cult Statue is more expensive than the last.
  • Building these gives you the Glory resource. Each one gives a slow trickle.
  • Task citizens or slaves or other individual units to the cult statue to praise it and get more Glory.
  • Fighting and killing enemy units and buildings gains the player more Glory.

 

mercenary_camps.png

Mercenary Camps

  • Between 1 and 2 of these per player on every map.
  • Hire mercenary battalions, who train fast and cost 0 pop, but are limited to 3 battalions for the first merc camp, and +1 for each new one captured. They're also rather expansive, costing coin and some other resource.

 

Capturing Buildings

Capturing is an important feature of the game. Capturing an enemy civic center gains that province for the player and can be devastating to the enemy. Capturing is modified a bit to be a decisive element to the strategy of the game. Soldiers will default to capturing these buildings instead of destroying them, though, with the exception of Mercenary Camps, it is possible to toggle on kill-attack and destroy these buildings instead.

Capturable Buildings:

  • Civic Center
    • Capturing a Civic Center also captures all the ungarrisoned houses, markets, and temples in that province. This is a decisive action.
  • Neutral Settlements
    • These are neutral or Gaia civic centers found on the map. The initially cast no territory until captured.
  • Mercenary Camps
    • Capture these to train mercenary battalions.
  • Wonder
    • Capturing an enemy player's wonder removes the Capital phase designation and bonuses from the enemy player's province.
  • Dock
  • Outpost

 

Units

Okay, here you have my proposal for units. A way to maintain some citizen-soldier features while implementing a real battalion combat system with cool upgrades. Integrates a lot of what has been talked about on various threads. Gatherers and other support units are individual units, while fighters are battalions.

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Slaves. These are like Dwarves in Age of Mythology. They do nothing but gather resources and cost 1 pop. Low health, capturable, they can be "Upgraded" to Forced Labor mode, where they gather resources at a much faster rate, but start to lose health in the process. These are your strictly economic units. Trained from Storehouses and Farmsteads. In Delenda Est, I distinguish male and female slaves, which adds a nice twist, but this isn't completely necessary for the concept to work.

 

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Citizens cost 2 pop, trained from the Civic Center. Have a "Slave Masters" aura that replaces the female citizen aura. It boosts the production rates of the Slaves. Citizens are gatherers too, but not nearly as good at gathering resources as the Slaves are. Their main benefit besides managing the Slaves is that they build buildings. They are capturable.

  • Now, I propose there be a change to the Town Bell. So that, with the Town Bell, the Slaves run and hide, while Citizens don a militia kit and fight against invaders. For Greco-civs this kit is that of a light-armored hoplite for example. This still makes raids effective, as while they do this they aren't gathering, of course. If the Town Bell isn't rung, then the Citizens only fight back with knives and pitchforks -- would be cool if they fight back with whatever econ tool they were using -- hoes and pitchforks if they were farming, axe if they were wood cutting, mallets and hammers if they were building, etc. Obviously low attack strength, armor low, very weak, easy to kill when not mustered. When Town Bell rings they don armor and true spears after a "Muster Time" which can be reduced with techs. Attack and armor doubled when mustered. But while in this state they are a formidable defensive force, you do not want to keep them in this state for longer than necessary, because you want them to go empower slaves to gather resources, build or repair buildings, etc., basically you want them to go back to civilian life asap. The Town Bell is given to Storehouses and Farmsteads now too, with smaller radius, so that if a resourcing operation is being raided, you can ring the bell for that Storehouse, for example, and the Slaves hide in the Storehouse while the Citizens don their kit after mustering and attempt to defend the site.

Citizen-Soldiers are train from the Barracks. They have the Slave Masters aura too, a nod to their citizen status, but they do not gather. They are mustered to fight and are always ready for battle. They can, however, build some select military and defensive buildings, like Fortresses, Defense Towers, and Catapults. These guys are battalion troops. They are trained in battalions, live build fight and die in battalions. They accrue experience and rank up, just like the current Citizen-soldiers do, but on a per-battalion basis. They tend to only cost Food and Wood, your "trash" units, but some like swordsmen can cost small amounts of iron or slingers a small amount of stone instead of wood. Each battalion costs 10 pop.

 

1yF0SkS.png

Mercenaries cost 0 pop and recruit quickly, but have a low train limit, something like 2 battalions per captured Mercenary Camp, which are scattered about the map, usually 2 per player. Mercenaries do not contribute to Loot (they keep it themselves), but are trained at the Advanced rank (some elite mercs are trained at the Elite Rank, but are costlier). They are not Slave Masters, since they aren't citizens, but can build military buildings like Citizen-Soldiers. They usually cost Coin and some other resource, depending on their soldier class (e.g., swordsman, spearman, slinger, etc.).

 

MPfVdYm.png

Champions. Next up are your professional soldiers. Just like currently, they do nothing but fight and are usually trained from the Fortress or some other strong or special building. Like Citizen-Soldiers, they live fight and die in battalions. They aren't Slave Masters, so have zero economic benefit, but they boost the effectiveness of Citizen-Soldier battalions who fight nearby. Champion battalions guys can be bolstered with battalion upgrades, like Noisemakers and Officers, that give benefits. A Noise Maker, such as a flutist or trumpeter, unlocks the inspiration aura that boosts nearby citizen-soldiers, while the Officer boosts that particular Champion battalion. Champions have a battalion limit determined by gameplay testing, but generally 4 or 5 max, if a typical army ends up being 15-20 battalions of Citizen-Soldiers. Champions are supposed to be the best of the best, your shock troops, while the Citizen-Soldiers are the "rank 'n file" line troops. Champions cost Food and Coin and 15 pop.

Heroes can come with guard battalions --usually champions or modified champions -- or as single units, depending on the hero and his historical and gameplay role. For instance, Chanakya, the advisor and teacher, would come as a single unit while Leonidas would train with a battalion of heavy-duty Spartiate Hippeis hoplite champions. Of course, in Atlas for scenarios it's possible to have the individual hero available. Heroes have special abilities and auras. About 10 standard auras and abilities should be decided through testings and debate, and then doled out to the heroes based on history, IMHO, with maybe some minor variations, and of course with custom names. Right now the auras are very scattered and unbalanced. Tighten that up. They cost Coin and Glory. Single heroes cost 3 pop. Heroes with champion guards cost 15 pop.

Healers cost Food and Glory, while Traders cost Food and Wood. Healers can heal one soldier or unit at a time or can be attached to battalions, giving all soldiers in the battalion a slow healing effect. Traders are less numerous than currently, capped at 5 for every Market built, which are themselves capped at 1 for every settlement/Civic Center. They trade in the Coin resource, which can be used to purchase other resources at the Market if necessary. By capping the bartering system to a Coin-based system, you must now choose to use the Coin to barter or to buy things like Heroes, Champions, special techs, etc. A coin-based barter system helps prevent resource floating because you can't now use a plentiful resource like Wood to flood the market and get easy iron or easy stone.

Scout Cavalry cost only Food and 1 pop. All civs get them. They're weak, but they can hunt and scout very well. Every civ gets at least 1 at the start of the match. Train limit is 2, retrainable from the Civic Center if killed.

Movable and packable Siege Weapons are trained from the Fortress, but the Catapult siege weapon is buildable by soldiers in the field, on anyone's territory, including neutral and enemy territory, after researching Ballistics at the Fortress. Bolt Shooter weapons are packable and moveable, and can be stationed/garrisoned atop walls, towers, fortresses, and aboard ships. Siege weapons tend to cost Wood and Iron and around 5 pop.

Warships generally cost Food and Wood. Upgrade individual heavy warships with catapults for a cost. Garrison archer battalions or Bolt Shooters aboard for greater firepower. Ram other ships for a devastating attack. Boarding left for 0 A.D. Part 2, unless someone magically comes along and wants to code units fighting atop decks and walls. I feel like garrisoning and ramming is enough naval combat complexity for Part 1.

 

Battalions and Combat

7ueZPKL.png

 

Battalions

Citizen-Soldiers, Mercenaries, Champions, and some Heroes are no longer individuals, they are part of a group or battalion. Guys, I will give you the rundown of how it would work.

Training

Soldiers are trained in battalions and live and die in battalions. A battalion of melee infantry would have 24 soldiers for example. They are trained 1 battalion at a time. Shift-train queue up 5 battalions in a row and give a "batch" discount not unlike the batch discount game already has. The soldiers exit the building together as a battalion and head off to the rally point.

Cost

A battalion of citizen-soldiers (Spear Infantry, 24 soldier) would cost roughly 600mc1IVBW.png 500c74X0Gq.png 10Fo3YSzo.png, so 1 large house or 2 small houses have pop for 1 battalion. In a 300 pop match player might have 20 battalions to manage instead of 200 separate units. Reducing the micro-management is okay, because additional management and features are added elsewhere. Continue reading.

Extra Units and Upgrades

A battalion will have 1 or more extra eye candy soldier to help distinguish each battalion.

  • Default: Bannerman. He comes automatically with each battalion and costs nothing extra. He does not fight and does not die until the last soldier in the battalion dies, then the Bannerman dies. Enemy soldiers ignore him like he is just a ghost actor. This is the Aquilifer for the Romans for example.
  • Champion and Elite Upgrade: Noise Maker. Upgrade battalion with a noise maker dude that increases the effectiveness of nearby citizen-soldier battalions. For example for the Celts this would be the man who blows the Carnyx (intimidation). For the Romans this is the man who plays the Cornūs . Athenians, Spartans, Thebans get a flutist who plays the Aulos.
  • Champion and Elite Upgrade: Officer. Upgrade battalion with an officer unit who fights. He is tenacious, with double or triple the health of other soldiers in his battalion. He is the Centurio for the Roman civs, the Polemarch for the Spartans, etc. His presence in the battalion makes that battalion all-around better at everything until he is killed.
  • Heroes: Some heroes can have a bodyguard so that they are their own battalion (like Octavian Augustus comes within a battalion of Praetorian Cavalry, Leonidas comes within a battalion of Hippeis Spartans, Xerxes come in a battalion of Apple Bearers, etc.), while some heroes train as individuals, depending on each hero. A hero in a battalion is treated by the enemy just like any other soldier in the battalion. The Hero takes his/her place right in front of the bannerman on the right corner of the battalion (the place of the "officer").
  • Reinforce: If near a barracks a low strength battalion could be reinforced with new free soldiers (they appear behind bannerman and assume their place in line). Can be done with an aura or can implement a new mechanic where a battalion is tasked to a Barracks or Fortress for reinforcement to happen.
  • Promote: Each battalion accrues Experience, or XP, when fighting. When battle is over, the player can promote the whole battalion at once if that battalion has accrued enough XP. Or we can get rid of XP entirely, and just use the new Glory resource. A battalion can be promoted from basic to advanced or from advanced to elite at any time, provided the player has enough Glory resource banked up. 

Selection and Movement

Selecting any soldier in the battalion select whole battalion. Soldiers in battalion will squeeze together to fit the battalion through narrow pathways. When sent over long distance, battalion form into column to snake around obstacles and through narrow paths.

User Interface

Every battalion that is created gets automatically a ctrl-group icon on left of screen. Ctrl-groups can be made by the player for multiple battalions if player wishes. These get a different icon, along the left of screen.

Vision and Range Finding

Vision range calculation, aka "Line of Sight", can be performed on a per battalion basis, as can range finding, at least for ranged units. This could significantly help reduce CPU overhead? 

 

jnx1wDv.png

 

Formations

How do they work?

  • Soldiers fight in formation and generally hold the shape of the formation within parameters. The more men in the formation the closer they hold the formation. As men die, the formation cohesion lessens.
  • Number of formation buttons are reduced (fewer formations than currently in the game; this is okay, you will see)
  • Formations give bonuses and penalties
  • Can be altered with a small number of Formation Modifiers
  • Most civ will only have 3 Formations for their Battalions and then 3 Modifiers
  • There is "frontal" or "directionality", based per battalion not per soldier for simplicity.
    • Frontal armor at 100%, Left and Right armor at 50%, Rear armor at 25% of the given stat
      • Could make this a little more in-depth, by making the hack and pierce armor values different based on directionality of incoming strikes.

Formations and uses

Column

  • Civilizations: All
  • Unit Classes: All
  • Auto/Manual: Automatic, when distance between waypoints is long, is applied automatically to the battalion
  • Modifiable: Yes
  • Bonus: 1.25x Speed
  • Penalty: .75x All Armor, so more vulnerable to ambush-like attacks

Battle Line

  • Civilizations: All
  • Unit Classes: Infantry and Cavalry
  • Auto/Manual: Automatic, this is the DEFAULT battalion formation for these classes of units
  • Modifiable: Yes
  • Bonus: +2 Frontal Hack and Pierce Armor, +1 Frontal Crush Armor
  • Penalty: .9x Speed

Wedge

  • Civilizations: All
  • Unit Classes: Melee Cavalry
  • Auto/Manual: Automatic, this is when Melee Cavalry are task to CHARGE
  • Modifiable: Yes
  • Bonus: +1.25x Charge Bonus in addition to regular charge bonus if charge is initiate at "sweet spot" distance, not too far not too close to target
  • Penalty: -2 Pierce Armor, makes the cavalry more vulnerable to missile, which they usually are not

Testudo

  • Civilizations: Rome (Republicans and Principates)
  • Unit Classes: Melee Infantry
  • Auto/Manual: Manual
  • Modifiable: No
  • Bonus: +3 Hack Armor, +4 Pierce Armor, +5 Crush Armor
  • Penalty: .25x Speed, Soldiers within it can only respond to direct melee attacks made against them personally

Sparabara Wall

  • Civilizations: Persians (Achaemenids)
  • Unit Classes: Archer Infantry
  • Auto/Manual: Manual
  • Modifiable: No
  • Bonus: +5 Frontal Pierce Armor
  • Penalty: Is a stationary formation, will not move when in this formation
  • Abstract: The famous Persian archery shield wall; Great for archery duels

Formations Modifier

When a formation above is chosen, the Formation Modifiers available for that Formation become available (unavailable modifiers are greyed out)

Close Order

  • Civilizations: All
  • Formations: Column, Battle Line, Wedge
  • Unit Classes: All
  • Auto/Manual: Auto, this is the DEFAULT modifier for formations
  • Effect: Units are spaced close together, but their shields do not touch or overlap

Open Order

  • Civilizations: All
  • Formations: Battle Line, Wedge
  • Unit Classes: All
  • Auto/Manual: Manual
  • Effect: Soldier are spaced farther apart, with additional space between files and rows
  • Benefit: Helps reduce effects of incoming splash and trample damage
  • Penalty: -1 Hack Armor (but any Crush and Pierce bonuses remain; subject to testing)

Locked Shields

  • Civilizations: Athen Spart Mace Sele Ptol Cart Theb Epir
  • Formations: Battle Line
  • Unit Classes: Spear Infantry and Pike Infantry
  • Auto/Manual: Manual
  • Effect: Units are spaced close enough their their shields overlap, creating a shield wall
  • Bonus: +3 Frontal Armor Bonus in addition to regular frontal bonus for Battle Line; Units in 2nd rank can attack through the front for spears, units in 2nd and 3rd rank can attack through front for pikes.
  • Penalty: .75x All Armor from Flanks, .25x All Armor from Rear, .8x Speed
  • Abstract: This is the Hellenic and Hellenistic "phalanx" for hoplite-style spear infantry. It is the "syntagma" for pike-style spear infantry. Later, in Part 2, this is the Shield Wall for the Germanic culture (Sueb, Alamm, Goth, Frank)

Army Behavior

When 2 or more battalions are selected, Army Behaviors kick in.

  • When sent over long distance, they form a column together and snake to their destination.
  • When the player tasks multiple battalions to an area they will automatically arrange in a classic "battle formation" (melee infantry in middle, cavalry on wings, archer in back) when they arrive, or...
  • We could add Army Formations if we wanted to which show up in place of battalion formations in the UI when multiple battalions are selected. Acies Triplex, Refused Flank, etc.
  • Either way, when move command to somewhere, they end up organized, not a mess.

 

 


 

 

Anyway guys, this is my proposal. Athena bless you, if you read the whole thing. Let me know where the hole lie.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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One possible hole: Imagine a small 4 player map with hardly any neutral territory, and everybody being enemies. So, nobody will trade. How do you get silver? There could be some treasures on the map, but whoever misses the early rush for those, will not be able to train campions 2 phases later. Could that be fixed with having some treasure in the starting territory / some starting silver?

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  • The advantage is the glory resource can be gathered by priest and champions.
  • In my idea of territory( my interpretation of DE) , the limits means where the laws can protect the villager or citizen, the army can protect countryside. But countryside means resources. Can be nice have some military and civic structures to protect them. Outpost can be upgraded, create some building as minifort that can be connected by palisades. Palisades must be avaible outside territory.
  • The mines( initial) must be at last outside of border but near  to territory.

 

  • The farming specially about female slave can be improved, because some times bring much micro. The life of slaves can be determinated by type of task. Mining is a brutal task, so their lives must be less when they are gathering minerals.
  • reinforcements can be nice as the same system that have Aoe 3. You ask for them to your city and you set where they appears. may be glory determines the level of troops.

With heroes they must be in but probably is the last unit that you can get. The heroes bodyguard( squires / loyal man etc). guys like Mark Anthony or David ( Israel) were this kind of guys for their masters, champions of the elite soldiers.

Hero =Hero.

Champion= are basically the guys that are veteran and elite amongst elite. Serves as agent can bribe, can have aura and skills( active).

Unique  Veteran unit = the units that are considered champion.

That's is all for now.

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I like your proposals. But why not let precious metal be mined as well, from quarries and outcrops, like stone? I really like the idea for building slots for quarries. But why should the gatherers die when the storehouse is destroyed? Shouldn't they just ungarisson from the mine? "But aside hills or in the sides of mountains or cliffs are Quarries" Yes!

1 other important question. Why is it possible to recruit horses without something like stables? Maintaining any number of horses is a tremendous amount of work, especially in a military context. Horsemen learning to ride properly, and training for cavalery combat can also take years. I always assumed stables or an analogue structure to enable the recruitment of cavalry units seemed obvious. And it would add another building to the building roster of every civ (more eye-candy/building diversity) 

In the same vane, I'd like to bring up the idea of a specialized economic building for each civ again. Just for the sake of having the semblance of an economy (None of our civs produce any finished products. What are they trading?). It could provide a small precious metal trickle and secondary economy-related technologies can be researched there. Perhaps they could even be a prerequisite for building a market. A specialized economic building can represent the ancient workshops or cash crop plantations that were such a vital life-line to every civ featured in the game.

Edited by Sundiata
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13 hours ago, GunChleoc said:

One possible hole: Imagine a small 4 player map with hardly any neutral territory, and everybody being enemies. So, nobody will trade. How do you get silver? There could be some treasures on the map, but whoever misses the early rush for those, will not be able to train campions 2 phases later. Could that be fixed with having some treasure in the starting territory / some starting silver?

Can trade with yourself too. Can also sell resource for silver at Market. Maybe implement a true tax system its income being Silver.

 

 

 

 

 

Splitting barracks into stables, archery range, and barracks is a possibility.  Just thought the building panel getting crowded.

 

About slaves losing health, that can be taken out no problem. 

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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I've always thought of DE as "0 A.D. on Steroids" with features waiting to be implemented on Vanilla. It's only now that I realized it's becoming its own game.

I love that Cav Limit part. It's my favorite part.

I'm willing to argue for the barracks, arch range, and stables. How about making the Special Buildings an Upgrade-able Entity from those Normal Buildings... just like the Sentry Towers? The only difference is that they can't be built. Only upgraded.

It kinda looks cool having a Normal Archery Range get upgraded to a Champion Archery Range.

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9 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Can trade with yourself too. Can also sell resource for silver at Market. Maybe implement a true tax system its income being Silver.

Selling resources at market or having taxes would be an option :)

Trading with yourself not so much - having 2 markets right next to each other would be a bit weird. There are maps where there is no space to build a second civ center.

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10 hours ago, GunChleoc said:

Selling resources at market or having taxes would be an option :)

Trading with yourself not so much - having 2 markets right next to each other would be a bit weird. There are maps where there is no space to build a second civ center.

I sympathize, but honestly there need to be better quality control for maps. Also, because there's a limit of 1 market per civic center, you can 't place them right next to each other. Designers need to design their maps with all features in mind. Many do not. Again, I sympathize because features are always in flux. Is an alpha of course. :)

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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BTW -- this thread wasn't my proposal for mod, it was my proposal for the vanilla game. It would require a fork of the code and a team to do a mod, and I barely have time and interest to maintain Delenda Est.

 

Okay, some addenda based on comment from commenters who say commenty things:

  • Slaves don't slowly lose health anymore, or maybe if they do, the health drain only occurs when gathering and is rather slow.
  • I think "Silver" in my presentation should be called Coin instead, since it represents trade and taxes, essentially coinage. 
  • To make population easier to manage, I think each civ should get a secondary house-style building at City Phase. Bigger, more population bonus. For the Romans, it's the insula. Maybe for the Celts it's an artisan's village, looks like a collection of houses. Basically, you start to build whole neighborhoods at once instead of individual little houses. Straggler trees being removable can help with the size of things. So, in DE, the Roman insula is 25 pop. Building a few of these, even if more expensive and larger footprint is more efficient than building 10-pop houses.
Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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I do agree to many points of wowgetoffyourcellphone - afterall we share lots of viewpoints and the direction we're trying to progress towards is basically the same. The difference is that wow sort of maximizes the current 0 ad layout - similar to age 2 -  while I propose to apply an approach more similar to AoM or wc3 or cnc or bfme type games, with faction groups that are more unique.

I won't mess with every point proposed, I think the "coin" approach is a good idea for trading, although I'd favor a different implementation - markets generate coins regardless of trading units, they simply are added in fixed time frames, and selling goods on the market allows to gain additional coins. Buying stuff requires to spend coins. That way coins are not linked to regular economy directly by affecting popcap.

the "glory" resource is certainly interesting, pretty similar to favor in AoM - research special technologies as a reward for fighting.

I'd still favor the "strong core - weak countryside" with "settlement" - weak civil centers though, available from Phase I (instead of phase II) to emphasize the "multiple village/city" approach with capturing mechanics in place so outer villages switch their ownership on raids more frequently. Same with gathering sites - more eco spreading and map control, but at the same time with more options for early defense.

The main issue that I see is that once military is on the field one player looses if he is raided. Since players are forced outside their country it's hard to defend and claim new settlement spots. An alternative wiould be to provide neutral, capturable cities early on.

I would however make regular military not available at phase I, only citizens. regular Military at phase II and champions at phase III. Apart from that Wonders should be reworked in general. Too expensive and no use (even though they would generate glory here). Wonder defense win condition is pretty lame anyways (which is why most ppl play conquest game mode in AoE).

I'll go through the document and put some thoughts in it aswell. Maybe a middle ground could be found to make 0 ad great (again).

Edited by DarcReaver
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1 hour ago, DarcReaver said:

I do agree to many points of wowgetoffyourcellphone - afterall we share lots of viewpoints and the direction we're trying to progress towards is basically the same. The difference is that wow sort of maximizes the current 0 ad layout - similar to age 2 -  while I propose to apply an approach more similar to AoM or wc3 or cnc or bfme type games, with faction groups that are more unique.

 

I haven't touched on the faction differences yet, but one can look at Delenda Est to see what I have done there and then extrapolate further. I'd make Persians and Mauryans more Zerg-like, masses of low-quality troops with a few battalions of high quality shock troops. of course, a lot more changes and additions to make civs unique. This document was just a general overview and provides the base.

 

1 hour ago, DarcReaver said:

I won't mess with every point proposed, I think the "coin" approach is a good idea for trading, although I'd favor a different implementation - markets generate coins regardless of trading units, they simply are added in fixed time frames, and selling goods on the market allows to gain additional coins. Buying stuff requires to spend coins. That way coins are not linked to regular economy directly by affecting popcap.

 

That's basically what I'd propose too, just add loot, treasures, etc. and the trading too, as ways to attain Coin. Not far off here. Perhaps the Market can be configured between producing/trickling Food, Wood, Iron, Stone, and Coin.  We're aligned on making the market bartering Coin-based. 

 

1 hour ago, DarcReaver said:

The main issue that I see is that once military is on the field one player looses if he is raided. Since players are forced outside their country it's hard to defend and claim new settlement spots. An alternative wiould be to provide neutral, capturable cities early on.

 

I'm okay would some capturable neutral settlements being on the map. Perhaps maybe 1 neutral settlement per player, but also still enough room to build more new civic centers/provinces later in the match. 

 

1 hour ago, DarcReaver said:

I'd still favor the "strong core - weak countryside" with "settlement" - weak civil centers though, available from Phase I (instead of phase II) to emphasize the "multiple village/city" approach with capturing mechanics in place so outer villages switch their ownership on raids more frequently. Same with gathering sites - more eco spreading and map control, but at the same time with more options for early defense.

 

In this proposal, there are 4 phases, so having Civic Centers available in phase 2 seems pretty early already. Phase 1 should be for setting up the home town. If there are capturable neutral settlements already on the map, then there's already a way to expand. If storehouses and farmsteads are buildable in neutral territory from the start, there's already the possibility for eco spreading.

 

1 hour ago, DarcReaver said:

I would however make regular military not available at phase I, only citizens. regular Military at phase II and champions at phase III. Apart from that Wonders should be reworked in general. Too expensive and no use (even though they would generate glory here). Wonder defense win condition is pretty lame anyways (which is why most ppl play conquest game mode in AoE).

 

I'm cool with Phase 1 being economic. The only soldiers are the citizens when they are called to arms/mustered with the town bell. 

In this proposal, Wonders are a prereq for going to phase IV, which has the uber techs, siege techs, etc. Also, in this proposal, phases are on a per settlement basis, so you can have a settlement at city phase, while you may have another at town phase, and yet 2 others still in village phase. Point is, not all settlements are the same and have the same structure availability until they are phased up independently.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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Okay, glad to hear that.

One thing about wonders and "uber techs" - remember one thing:

If you balance "extreme lategame" techs by making them very hard to obtain, it's unlikely that they are used or reached in a competitive game. Most of the time those techs are only used for "noob stomping" and create issues in large teamgames (where resource gain is much higher and players can tech up more easily).

If you don't get what I mean, take a look at CoH or war 3 for example. Some lategame units on axis side (super tanks, buyable veterancy, mass air in warcraft III etc.) only kick in very late, and thus make axis much stronger in large team games, up to a point where it's almost unwinable from allies at some point. This concept is called "asymmetric balancing" and is a pretty weak one. Means: it works in 1v1 because most upgrades are not available at all times, only under certain circumstances, thus they're "luxuries" and not a central aspect of balancing. In team games this is different however.

It would be more of use to make them situational, and the upgrade (wonder) itself cheaper. I can't get that specific because I don't have something in mind right now. I'm also not against "super techs" at all, I just want to put up a warning that "high cost delay" for techs is a weak design element and creates problems while being of limited use in "regular" games (because not affordable).

Also while thinking of that: Titan tech/unlock in AoM : Titans - uses that pretty lame concept aswell. Get up to Tier V, build a titan Gate and then it's either win (titan can be summoned) or loss (enemy raids your base and you cant get it).

C&C 3 Kanes wrath also does this crap with MARV, Super Bot thingy for nod and that Spider mecha hexapod scrin unit, which makes the game much less enjoyable compared to regular AoM/CnC 3 although the game mechanics of the add-ons themselves are better apart from those super units. (like easier access to myth units in titans and better eco management in CnC 3 + the sub factions). C&C Generals did it pretty nicely - lots of new content, overall many aspects polished in controls, and the core gameplay is similar without adding unnecessary stuff. Wc3 did that aswell with Frozen Throne - new units/damage types to counter the meta present in reign of chaos, lots of new content and finetuning of gameplay aspects, which makes Frozen Throne superior without being too different.

Edited by DarcReaver

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"Uber techs" I just meant extra techs above and beyond phase III, really. Not game breaking stuff, "nice to have" techs. I'd also push siege techs to phase IV. The siege weapons become available in phase III, upgradeable in phase IV; probably the same for heroes and champions: unlocked in phase III, upgradeable in phase IV.

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9 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

BTW -- this thread wasn't my proposal for mod, it was my proposal for the vanilla game. It would require a fork of the code and a team to do a mod, and I barely have time and interest to maintain Delenda Est.

If you want I can help you. In implementing the gameplay design mentioned here in Delenda Mod, or a seperate gameplay mod. The changes after testing could be adopted directly in the next alpha, as a whole. Instead of a small patch at a time. But need confirmation from developers to allow including it with the next release. Or a download link in the Multiplayer lobby, for more visibilty.

 

Some slight variation if you want to consider-

1) More role of XP- 25% more xp gain in own territory. Xp gain with each hit instead of kill. Double or triple xp gain from attacking enemy support units.

2) Barracks being a requirement for arming citizens into militia.

3) Instead of limiting number of traders. Changing their efficiency. For allowing more variations in build orders.

4) The 3rd upgrade of citizen soldiers through Xp- 'Elite'. be closer in stats to champion units. To promote players to take care of their units and make them survive.

 

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3 minutes ago, drsingh said:

Xp gain with each hit instead of kill

Already implemented in the game.

3 minutes ago, drsingh said:

Barracks being a requirement for arming citizens into militia

Hmm, maybe, maybe not. Depends if there's some kind of overpowered militia rush in phase I.

3 minutes ago, drsingh said:

Instead of limiting number of traders. Changing their efficiency. For allowing more variations in build orders

Can just make them get more expensive the more you make too. 

 

If you want I can help you. In implementing the gameplay design mentioned here in Delenda Mod, or a seperate gameplay mod. The changes after testing could be adopted directly in the next alpha, as a whole. Instead of a small patch at a time. But need confirmation from developers to allow including it with the next release. Or a download link in the Multiplayer lobby, for more visibilty.

 

A lot of the stuff can be implemented without any C++ or big JS changes. But some crucial parts do need some programming.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone

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27 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Hmm, maybe, maybe not. Depends if there's some kind of overpowered militia rush in phase I.

This was to make players having option to build barracks to allow defense in phase 1. or being greedy with faster and boomy age up but vulnerable to enemy rush. Also since military is being trained from barracks, it would make sense citizens get arms and armor from the same building. Also rightfully make the citizens out in open be vulnerable. This would require barracks shifted in phase 1 with atleast 2 soldiers being trained. This is not that important requirement if you feel it changes your design too much.

27 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:
31 minutes ago, drsingh said:

Instead of limiting number of traders. Changing their efficiency. For allowing more variations in build orders

Can just make them get more expensive the more you make too. 

This will be similar to the limit. Only there would be a soft limit. Why I'm against it is because-

The traders going between markets or CC. Are always more defensible than miners outside the territory. Also traders are infinite source. So they should be less efficient in gathering, to balance.

If you only add hard or soft limits without addressing the above issue. Their would only be one build order- Build max number of traders as soon as possible. and focus on outlying mines later only if necessary.

While adjusting efficiency only without any limits. Gives player option to transition to traders early or late depending on whether he is going for a long term plan or early play. And allows enough infinite source of economy to make a smooth late game experience after natural resources run out. While maintaining the superiority and importance to secure natural resources in early and mid game.

 

Edit-

28 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

A lot of the stuff can be implemented without any C++ or big JS changes. But some crucial parts do need some programming.

I can only help with xml or json stuff currently. Some of the major JS and C++ changes could maybe wait till it gets incorporated in the main game. And a workaround can be used to showcase or test the feature, where possible. But ofcourse any effort made would be useless if the mod doesnt get more visibilty. and gets played by most people in lobby, to test and refine.

Edited by drsingh
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I like this proposal a lot. I think battalions make a lot of sense and I really like the emphasis on formations. Working formations are absolutely essential to a "finished" game IMHO.

A few thoughts:

  • Military buildings: I say have ground troops from barracks (ranged and melee) and cavalry from stables. No need for an archery range, IMO. If one feels ranged units need something else, what about adding the proposals like "ranged units are unlocked from the barracks after "fletching" or "missile building" techs are researched from the blacksmith." 
  • Military unit training: since citizen soldier battalions do not gather resources, is it possible that they could be "tasked" to train and gain experience without fighting? They could lose some stamina (if implemented) or HP in the process so that it isn't as if they level up for free.
  • Capital Phase: is this automatic too? Seems like since it costs significant resources, it should be the one phase upgrade that the player must click.
  • Trading: What about trading with the economic docks? So markets, CC, and docks for land based traders.

Lastly, a concept that I think is sorely missing, but probably too hard to implement well, is logistics. Supplying armies in the field with food, water, and coin. All the primary sources I've read from the Hellenistic era constantly talk about the need to supply troops and how this would make or break a campaign. You think of Xerxes sending his advance troops to make supply depots along the coast of Greece, the Athenians gathering lumber and supplies in Italy for their expedition to Sicily, and the importance of Alexander taking Darius' royal tent, his family, and baggage train at Issus. 

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Wow, "weak countryside, strong core"this is the kind of mechanics I always wanted to see in age of empire or in any RTS actually. Nice to see im not the only one.

In think it would be more coherent if all building that can be build in the neutral zone would cast at least a small territory. There would be a line for the national border, and another for the city-limits(that could appear only when you want to construct a building that as to be built within a city limits)

So that way, you’ll have to build an Outpost or Dock that cast territory before you build a Storehouses and Farmsteads. Maybe you could also build wooden walls and wooden defences to protect those small outposts.
it would go into the direction of
Quote

"settlement" - weak civil centers though, available from Phase I (instead of phase II) to emphasize the "multiple village/city

 
=
Outpost settlement - weak settlement for gathering ressources, conquer new shores or to take strategic point on the map
 
City settlement - Strong settlement to expand dramatically territory, enable trading, build more buildings, armies and better defences 
 
SMALL DESIGN THOUGHT - I definitely think that civic center should look more like a camp at first and grows up as a real city center as the city changes phase. It would be the same for new City settlements. Something like that image (i like the idea around the well)6192.jpg.e1163328feee8ab1a19756dbd9fe2b50.jpg
Edited by Bazar
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Not bad ideas guys.

1. I think real logistics might be going too far, unless we metagame it a bit like Rise of Nations did. Or, there is attrition while in enemy territory, that can be alleviated by building Supply Depots that cost Food, which have an aura that prevents attrition. I don't officially propose this, just throwing the idea out there.

2. I like the idea that the village phase civic center looks really primitive. It should look primitive, since this is the very first founding of the city.

3. I am like your idea @Bazar about 2 different settlement or civic center types. This mirrors a lot what @DarcReaver has been saying and I was resisting, but you kind of put it in a way that made it click with me. Maybe it's possible for the player found different kinds of settlements, like trading posts and farming villages. They're essentially just like a city settlement, but can't advance beyond town phase and is prevented from building things like barracks and stone walls within their provinces, while a city settlement is a full settlement with all buildings available and phase advancement up to and including Capital Phase. What do other people think of this development? Is it too limiting? I could see unlocking these "econ settlements" in phase 1 or phase 2, then unlocking "city settlements" in phase 2 or 3. And capturing these different provinces inherently gives different outcomes or benefits, while losing them strikes different blows to your civilization. It hurts to lose them, but each in their own way, just like it's a boost to capture them, each in their own way.

-----------------------------------

I'll sum up my proposal for units here, really quick.

  1. Slave - pure econ, very slowly dies when gathering, maybe heals when idle with a tech; perhaps has male and female versions with slightly different roles; see Delenda Est civ Principate Romans.
  2. Citizen - who can muster into militia when called via a town bell at Civic Center and at dropsites; has aura that boosts slave gathering, aka "Slave Masters"; who is the primary builder unit.
  3. Citizen-Solders - these are your cheap barracks military units that you use to mass for attacks or defense, who also boost slave gathering rates because they are citizens with the "Slave Masters" aura; who can build military buildings, but do not gather; who are trained as battalions.
  4. Champions - trained in battalions from fortress or special buildings; your professional soldiers; can upgrade each battalion individually with cool units to boost their battalion effectiveness or boost nearby citizen soldier battalions; limited training in some way, either hard limit or some sort of soft limit.
  5. Heroes - some, usually fighters like Leonidas or Scipio Africanus, are trained in battalions, while others, like Chanakya or Cleopatra, are trained as singles; number of auras is reduced and/or rebalanced.
Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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Your fighting scheme in Delenda Est is more intuitive, you do counter and counters that counters (without take downs when you know you are in disadvantage) 

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I like the direction of this thread… Don't forget the stables :P (I really think it's an important structure). Archery range is indeed not necessary. If you fear the building menu becoming too crowded, maybe think about a pop up build menu, instead of it being present by default when you click a unit, there could be a small button that brings up (an expanded) build menu. The button could just picture a saw and hammer, or something like that. Now you have all the space in the world ;) 

Having a low level (specialized) Civic Center for expansionist or economic purposes, and a high level, more advanced CC for city building sounds awesome. 

I really like battalions, but I 'd like it even more if it was a tech you needed to research. This way the early phase fighters look like a rag tag bunch of warriors, which is very historically accurate. Early rushes would look like a barbarian horde coming to sack your settlement. Later armies would be highly organized and disciplined (battalions). This adds to realism and immersiveness, which is really important. It also offers the best of two worlds: Chaos vs. Order. Primitive vs. Advanced.     

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