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Just now, Grugnas said:

The document is indeed interesting, but obviously nit carried on and outdated.

Obviously, need an update. But the base is there to fix/give properly direction. Etc.

This was created around 2003.

 

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https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/0AD_The_Vision#Snares

It is very easy for a game to fall prey to many of the common mistakes that prove disastrous to the games in the RTS genre. We need to keep our guard up and avoid these pitfalls:

  • Fastest click wins - In many RTS games, it isn't the player with the most intelligence or the best strategy that wins, it's the player who A] knows the proper order of actions and B] carries them out the fastest. People that practice a general procedure that is usually rewarding and know keyboard shortcuts should be slightly advantaged, and they will still be required; but, the if the opponent recognises their 'cookie cutter' gameplay, they should easily be able to outwit them by identifying and countering the unoriginal/over-used tactics with an effective counteractive strategy.
  • Single path to victory - It seems to be a trend that games cater to a specific strategy that is frequently used to attain a victory. That could be rushing, turtling, booming, etc. We recognise these are valid ways to win a game, but we will attempt to not favour one over another. Players should be able to successfully use (and adapt/change) any strategy to achieve a victory.
  • Sneaky Tricks - Many games overlook some aspects of gameplay that are unintentionally (by the game designers) used to a player's advantage. Through many hours of gameplay testing, we need to identify and eliminate these tricks.
  • Frustration of Artificial Intelligence - It is important to minimise frustration when playing the game. I have lost count of the times I've screamed at the computer, “WHY DID DO !” Whether its AI pathfinding or suicidal units, we need to minimise player frustration by rigorous AI testing.
  • Confusing UI - It is very important to avoid handicapping gameplay by making the user interface so complicated that people are not capable of doing what they want to do, and stop playing the game because they can't figure out how to control it. We to need promote an interface that can be easily picked up by our target audience. It is critical to pay special attention to other games in our genre from which we will be drawing players.
  • Repetition - If you find yourself doing the same action over and over without thought, then we need to either eliminate or automate such an action. Linear repetitious procedures are meaningless and boring.
  • Overly Ambitious - I think it is very important for us to always remember that this is the first project we have ever done. Much of the knowledge we have gained is based on trial and error. We will probably continue to forge forward in this fashion. We need to understand our limits and avoid getting fixed on them. We should aim high, but not so high that our goals are unattainable.

This is a great paragraph I can fully agree with. Other than that, I've not encountered anything really interesting after quickly skimming most of that design document.

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39 minutes ago, Nescio said:

This is a great paragraph I can fully agree with. Other than that, I've not encountered anything really interesting after quickly skimming most of that design document.

Which is the opposite of what's currently ingame, yes.

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4 hours ago, Nescio said:

Apparently there exists some kind of design document; could it be published prominently at a clear location on these forums? This could help people understand what you works towards to, not just now, but also in months and years to come.

Not sure where you got that from, but ATM there is no such thing as an official design document

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I have already put me in total disposition to do the balance of the game, respecting the gamedesign of game, that is to say, with or without counters system.
I'm sure i would do a great job. Probably the most experienced player of 0 a.d, with the most games, besides being the best player.
Not only that, I am now 28 years old, and I have played rts games since my 8 years, most of the time competitively, a practical example is to be in the semi finals of an age of empires championship in this moment. I must be the one who understands the most here in the balancing part.
The real problem I see is that with each small change, you should by voting and asking the opinion of many people, who most of the time do not even play the game, at least not multplayer. It makes no sense to me. The team should be small, with a maximum of 3 guys taking care of it.

Edited by borg-
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5 minutes ago, borg- said:

I have already put me in total disposition to do the balance of the game, respecting the gamedesign of game, that is to say, with or without counters system.
I'm sure i would do a great job. Probably the most experienced player of 0 a.d, with the most games, besides being the best player.
Not only that, I am now 28 years old, and I have played rts games since my 8 years, most of the time competitively, a practical example is to be in the semi finals of an age of empires championship at that moment. I must be the one who understands the most here in the balancing part.
The real problem I see is that with each small change, you should by voting and asking the opinion of many people, who most of the time do not even play the game, at least not multplayer. It makes no sense to me. The team should be small, with a maximum of 3 guys taking care of it.

The problem is : what do you want to balance in this state? The 6 units that are all available without teching and the 2-3 types of soldiers that are spammed lategame? There is nothing to balance because the game isn't finished and a lot of core gameplay features are either placeholders, missing or not thought out well enough to be ingame. Balancing is the last step after all design decisions are set. With the  progress speed you may re-apply as head balancer in ~ 10 years from now, I think it's realistic that you can expect a finished beta by then.

Edited by DarcReaver
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Well, the AI is definitely frustrating at present, since the AI pretty much just rushes to a blob of units without much strategy, but that can be improved in time, especially with formations.

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3 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

What is the problem with counter system?(I'm not speaking  of old version - the hard counters)

 

Working counter system would do something, but not help in the current state imo. I think the whole damage system needs to be redone, and more damage types need to be applied to make it better. Also, penetration system might be helpful.

If you have units that are virtually unharmed by some thing (like having heavy cavalry that takes no damage from slingers, or low damage from sword weapons etc.) would help to make armies more diverse and make people think about spam.

1 minute ago, Zeta1127 said:

Well, the AI is definitely frustrating at present, since the AI pretty much just rushes to a blob of units without much strategy, but that can be improved in time, especially with formations.

AI is just a general problem but I think that would be fixable by giving it modifiers to economy booming (like maximum of workers per diffictulty level - like easy: 30, medium: 40, hard: 50 etc.

Edited by DarcReaver
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1 minute ago, Zeta1127 said:

Well, the AI is definitely frustrating at present, since the AI pretty much just rushes to a blob of units without much strategy, but that can be improved in time, especially with formations.

I agree, but in Justus mod , you can counter it easy.

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5 minutes ago, DarcReaver said:

Working counter system would do something, but not help in the current state imo. I think the whole damage system needs to be redone, and more damage types need to be applied to make it better. Also, penetration system might be helpful.

If you have units that are virtually unharmed by some thing (like having heavy cavalry that takes no damage from slingers, or low damage from sword weapons etc.) would help to make armies more diverse and make people think about spam.

AI is just a general problem but I think that would be fixable by giving it modifiers to economy booming (like maximum of workers per diffictulty level - like easy: 30, medium: 40, hard: 50 etc.

Yes I found same answer comparing 0A.D with AoE 1 , I noticed even a counter unit takes time to kill they counterpart. So this makes the advantage to maneuver (micro)

In total war this very similar.

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It's important because what keeps a game "alive" is its multiplayer and loyal players who play every day, even with a horrible balance. I think it's fair to give them at least a playable balance, regardless of whether they're ready or not.

Edited by borg-
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55 minutes ago, DarcReaver said:

Read these topics before bothering me again, kthx.

Then i'll just develop for the 2 first points that are, i believe the main points that really are influenced by gameplay design.

1 hour ago, Nescio said:

Fastest click wins - In many RTS games, it isn't the player with the most intelligence or the best strategy that wins, it's the player who A] knows the proper order of actions and B] carries them out the fastest. People that practice a general procedure that is usually rewarding and know keyboard shortcuts should be slightly advantaged, and they will still be required; but, the if the opponent recognises their 'cookie cutter' gameplay, they should easily be able to outwit them by identifying and countering the unoriginal/over-used tactics with an effective counteractive strategy

and

1 hour ago, Nescio said:

Single path to victory - It seems to be a trend that games cater to a specific strategy that is frequently used to attain a victory. That could be rushing, turtling, booming, etc. We recognise these are valid ways to win a game, but we will attempt to not favour one over another. Players should be able to successfully use (and adapt/change) any strategy to achieve a victory.

.

I believe that proper balancing solve the 2nd point, where all these strategies(that are examples for "conquest" type of games) can be balanced, i can also add another example which is ressource monopolizing strategy. I've seen effective uses of all these strategies, and if one can be better than another it's due to balancing (and if it is really needed i can show how simply balancing can fix that).

 

For the 1st point, it's a bit more complicated but i'll show how 0ad managed to fulfill this point quite successfully.

I saw some people say "do best build order that does best strategy and win". But to me this is false for 0AD and i'll explain why :

Currently, there is no best build order and it is impossible to find a build order that you can apply to each game and expect it to be good. Why ? There is 2 to 3 reasons that work together. The first one is training time of unit along with batch training and citizen soldiers. The 2nd is ressource disposition at start of a game. Your starting ressources influence a lot how you will create units and that will create imbalances really early in the game. The reason behind this is that, to compare with Age of Empires games, 0 A.D's economic units weigh less overall but are in more numbers, train faster, and due to batch training, unlike AoE, you can train as much units as your ressources can afford, instead of 1 villager by 1. So if you have more ressources, you'll be able to grow your population quicker. And it is so true that simply the distance between the woodline you're taking and the CC can make a difference, so  just imagine what additional berries or hunt can do. Why is it important ? Because having these advantages is good, but not knowing how to use them will lead to nothing. If you don't adapt with which units you will do or which technologies you will research, you will end up with useless unspent ressource that add up in your bank which is not good. Not to mention that the strategies you will decide to do will be influenced by these facts. What conclusion should we take of this ? It is that it is impossible to apply "brainless build order" and that it is useless to be fast clicking if you don't know the proper thing to do.

3rd reason is about guessing what your opponent will do. If you know that your opponent will rush but you wont rush yourself, you'll for example prefer making citizen soldier which result in more "imbalances" early game.

So that mean that fastest click clearly is far than being enough in order to win a game. I'll also finish this argument by saying, as an example that currently online, nobody is ever pretending to know a "best build order" (nobody is even speaking about that, never), and that in most recent games between some of the best player in 0ad (borg and me), the strategies and build order we used were always different.

 

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Gameplay needs to be improved first as balancing and counters can be fixed later. 

I’m not expert player but I played many RTS and would like to play MP if IMO it’s a realistic game. It doesn’t matter if your skill level or experience is tremendous to warrant the developers to tailor the gameplay to your liking. The gameplay needs to be tailored to a strategic way. It doesn’t make sense that the gameplay needs to be tailored to MP. Majority of MP players are not pro. They like the game and they want to play with their friends, same level players(as they progress) and they have their own tastes. I take it easy on new players so that they can last longer and they can feel the game. I don’t mind if I lose as long as my co players enjoy it. 

Most pros complain about balancing which to me doesn’t make sense. If there is a need to be fixed then air it. There are mods that are showing progress on balancing. For now if you think the gameplay is this and that then exploit and play as what the game offers. I’ve seen some pros who got frustrated with skirm cavs rushes but now they adapt to it. 

DarcRaver has so many good opinions and some maybe not like delaying the military structure building to P3. 

AoE has university but RoN has very good Library and knowledge gameplay that makes the game more strategic. The more gameplay or strategy needed to play and win the less likely to occur a spam unit style of gameplay. 

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With regards to SP the AI is really not hard to contain. I rather have them more bonuses as the game nearing to expending all the resources (wood, stone and metal gone).

I remember playing A21 against multiple AI and they keep on attacking me relentlessly with combinations of champs, citizen soldiers and sieges it is because they trade efficiently. As the difficulty level becomes higher they should be given more trade/barter bonuses because it’s their only source of income. 

Edited by Servo

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The main thing that I see here, is that people that are legitimised for changing the design are the developers, cause an ethic ethos of "to say something, you have to get your hands dirty", and I don't see this as a negative thing. Although archiving a good design is not easy, with the currents features, a lot could be changed, but some designs are asking for news features... and only coders can do it. So a lot of discussion I think are gravitating around that, and it's understandable in volunteer project. IMHO a dedicated designer would come only legitimised by working in the engine, not with a game design from "outside". I would feel like people would tell me what to do, and this is not good as the main drive here of one person is motivation. I don't know if somebody have been hurt by my comments of need of change or proposals, but always I try to be constructive.
 

7 hours ago, elexis said:

There were missing engine features (for instance replay and good multiplayer support) and many bugs (most things falling apart when looking at it wrong) that prevented the game from being what the existing game mechanics intended it to be. This is what motivated me to work on the code. The vast majority of that is fixed and implemented now. Was playing with the thought to implement a narrated historic SP campaign, but actually why would I want to do that if the primary feedback we get after 8 months of development is a complaint about one wrong number in the balancing? So technically, I'm done here.

People tends to talk always about what's wrong and not about what it's well done. I have said before, and I would say another time: maybe we can't agree on the main game design, but the free open-source engine that you're developing have no price. Replay and multiplayer support would help with or without balanced civs. That can change easy with people with low skills, but is not like adding this features. Yes, sure, it's more attractive and hyping adding formations than a gamesetup unification, but it's not wasted work. I have follow this game since the first alpha, and never thought that I would play with against an AI or entering easily in a lobby. A lot of time have passed, sure..


 

Edited by av93
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38 minutes ago, Feldfeld said:

Then i'll just develop for the 2 first points that are, i believe the main points that really are influenced by gameplay design.

and

.

I believe that proper balancing solve the 2nd point, where all these strategies(that are examples for "conquest" type of games) can be balanced, i can also add another example which is ressource monopolizing strategy. I've seen effective uses of all these strategies, and if one can be better than another it's due to balancing (and if it is really needed i can show how simply balancing can fix that).

 

For the 1st point, it's a bit more complicated but i'll show how 0ad managed to fulfill this point quite successfully.

I saw some people say "do best build order that does best strategy and win". But to me this is false for 0AD and i'll explain why :

Currently, there is no best build order and it is impossible to find a build order that you can apply to each game and expect it to be good. Why ? There is 2 to 3 reasons that work together. The first one is training time of unit along with batch training and citizen soldiers. The 2nd is ressource disposition at start of a game. Your starting ressources influence a lot how you will create units and that will create imbalances really early in the game. The reason behind this is that, to compare with Age of Empires games, 0 A.D's economic units weigh less overall but are in more numbers, train faster, and due to batch training, unlike AoE, you can train as much units as your ressources can afford, instead of 1 villager by 1. So if you have more ressources, you'll be able to grow your population quicker. And it is so true that simply the distance between the woodline you're taking and the CC can make a difference, so  just imagine what additional berries or hunt can do. Why is it important ? Because having these advantages is good, but not knowing how to use them will lead to nothing. If you don't adapt with which units you will do or which technologies you will research, you will end up with useless unspent ressource that add up in your bank which is not good. Not to mention that the strategies you will decide to do will be influenced by these facts. What conclusion should we take of this ? It is that it is impossible to apply "brainless build order" and that it is useless to be fast clicking if you don't know the proper thing to do.

3rd reason is about guessing what your opponent will do. If you know that your opponent will rush but you wont rush yourself, you'll for example prefer making citizen soldier which result in more "imbalances" early game.

So that mean that fastest click clearly is far than being enough in order to win a game. I'll also finish this argument by saying, as an example that currently online, nobody is ever pretending to know a "best build order" (nobody is even speaking about that, never), and that in most recent games between some of the best player in 0ad (borg and me), the strategies and build order we used were always different.

 

There is no "best buildorder" because there is no teching in general. You spam women, cavalry, soldiers, archers etc all from your TC adn then go to phase III and spam like 2 types of super units. Also there are only a couple of technologies available and they're either completely useless (especially priests) and no brainers (daamge upgrades etc.).

It's like playing a dumbed down Age of Empires with even more booming and no own flavor. And it's definately not going to improve with balancing these aspects. It's like putting new rims on a 20 year old car. The game needs a direction, and then features added according to these design directions. And after that is finished you can balance. And modders can modify aspects or even make total remakes from it.

 

Edited by DarcReaver

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2 minutes ago, DarcReaver said:

There is no "best buildorder" because there is no teching in general. You spam women, cavalry, soldiers, archers etc all from your TC adn then go to phase III and spam like 2 types of super units. Also there are only a couple of technologies available and they're either completely useless (especially priests) and no brainers (daamge upgrades etc.).

It's like playing a dumbed down Age of Empires with even more booming and no own flavor. And it's definately not going to improve with balancing these aspects. It's like putting new rims on a 20 year old car.

 

No. If you do so you will lose. Either you get a disadvantage before p3 due to a rush, that may end the game sooner, either later because as you didn't think about your build order (that must be improvised right in the game) you got behind at economy and are at a disadvantage.

If you have 50k res in bank, yes tech are no brainer. Otherwise you have to choose between them (which one to do first always has an importance).

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1 hour ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

What is the problem with counter system?(I'm not speaking  of old version - the hard counters)

The real question is, what's the problem with a not-counter system?

Quote

Fastest click wins - In many RTS games, it isn't the player with the most intelligence or the best strategy that wins, it's the player who A] knows the proper order of actions and B] carries them out the fastest. People that practice a general procedure that is usually rewarding and know keyboard shortcuts should be slightly advantaged, and they will still be required; but, the if the opponent recognises their 'cookie cutter' gameplay, they should easily be able to outwit them by identifying and countering the unoriginal/over-used tactics with an effective counteractive strategy

I feel somehow offended as experienced player.

the A) point feels like   "just because i can use multiplication which is fast thus stupid, i feel smarter by sum all its factors instead."

With experienced i mean that i repute me smart enough to spend time playing the game and invent/emulate strategies in order to assimilate their strong and weak points and manipulate them depending on the situation. As long as the base start is the same (let's say i have to train X women to sustain economy for an Y strategy), perfection comes with practice, thus I can abuse of the imbalanced features or try to find an alternative to op stuff if i am fast enough.

I challenge you to do engineering stuff without a machine doing "repetitive daily" math for you.

Although tactic meaning, countering is mostly made by balance.

Quote

Single path to victory - It seems to be a trend that games cater to a specific strategy that is frequently used to attain a victory. That could be rushing, turtling, booming, etc. We recognise these are valid ways to win a game, but we will attempt to not favour one over another. Players should be able to successfully use (and adapt/change) any strategy to achieve a victory.

That's what personally I am trying to achieve with Monkey Wrench Mod.

There isn't any advantaged strategy as long as there is another one able to erase another strategy advantage.

1) Formations fix in my opinion should have the max priority because those are an already implemented feature and could even be improved.

A formation lock system would finally set a junction point between battalion addicted and micro-management fanatics.

2) a simple balance would make online players happier. ( is this a bad thing? i see many people saying that's not important. Can you then justify all the recent complain on the forum please? Words won't calm down them and me neither )

I want you to know that some people stopped to play this game because of the balance. Yes, people leave because of balance. Are you really sure that balance is not important even at this stage? that sounds kinda hypocrite from SP players and uncaring from "the guy in charge" who i guess want people to actually use his code and numbers, producing the exact opposite result.

Making mods in order to balance the game ( monkey wrench included) is stupid as long as their main target are online players and most of people online or doesn't care at all or won't invest their time to download something they will use 1 or 2 times per month.

3) indeed gameplay can be improved, but please bear in mind that there is already a lot of not optimized stuff already. Thus a temporary balance and some civ revision would already improve the game. Indeed there is really the need of a lighthouse as reference to consider variants and additions to the already existing content, there is a lot of redundance into playing different civs and this goes fare beyond the balance. That's a matter of decision power,  proper motivation and, actually, real interest on the gameplay subject.

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14 minutes ago, Feldfeld said:

No. If you do so you will lose. Either you get a disadvantage before p3 due to a rush, that may end the game sooner, either later because as you didn't think about your build order (that must be improvised right in the game) you got behind at economy and are at a disadvantage.

If you have 50k res in bank, yes tech are no brainer. Otherwise you have to choose between them (which one to do first always has an importance).

As usual a "balancer" who doesn't understand the problem.

Let me quote the issue in my FIRST sentence again:

"There is no "best buildorder" because there is no teching"
So? What does your post with "if you do that you will loose because *blablabla*"

How do I loose? With what? By building units? By not building units? By booming? By rushing?

I said you have the OPTION to spam women AND/OR citizen soldiers AND/OR the basic military units from your Commandcenter. I didn't say "OMG BUILD 3 WOMEN THEN 8 CAV ARCHERS AND THEN BOOM OP BEST BUILDORDER".

To quote myself

23 minutes ago, DarcReaver said:

It's like playing a dumbed down Age of Empires with even more booming and no own flavor. And it's definately not going to improve with balancing these aspects. It's like putting new rims on a 20 year old car.

So maybe you should start to read something about "variety of choices" "strategical depth" and "gameflow" before lecturing me about how you beat up everyone else with your proness, okay?

 

@Grugnas sort of agree with your points. One thing I'd like to add is that people leave because of "balance" - indeed. But most people will leave earlier because of poor gameplay mechanics. I'm currently asking friends I play other RTS games with to play 0 AD games with me and then come back with a small survey about feedback.

People already have have Age 2 HD and all its variations with tenthousands of players and AoE IV + Definitive Edition coming soon. There no longer is a need for an AoE clone because the "real thing" will >>>>>>>>> 0 AD both in terms of game mechanics aswell as graphics. Leaving 0 AD with nothing behind.

Edited by DarcReaver
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