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Anaxandridas ho Skandiates

Avoiding endless lines from barracks

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One of the things I hated most about 'cossacks' and similar games which I otherwise liked, were endless 'lines' of streaming soldiers from barracks across the map. Not very realistic or conducive to tactical warfare. I see the same tendency here in 0ad.

I suggest three things regarding formations:

 

1stly, giving a serious serious bonus for formations that will stop this once and for all. (consider even heftier bonus for a "front" of formations!)

2ndly also giving an aesthetic bonus to the player (awesome galloping hooves, marching boots and rattling armour for inf).

3rdly, when the formations move, they should be able to walk "through" singlestanding trees, because the whole aesthetic of formations is ruined as soon as it is not an open field, the way it is now. Simply make single-standing trees "invisible ghosts' to marching formations.

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Formations are broken at the moment. There is no support for bonuses in the main game although some mods have it.

Formation in the current state cause lag. They won't be fixable until a few Pathfinder patches are in. So I'm afraid you'll have to wait.

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Indeed it's problematic. A "real" solution would be to introduce squad based combat with higher buildtimes. Formations with constantly switching amounts of single entities soldiers leads to even more chaotic battles.

But it's good this topic keeps reappearing every now and then to remind people that this area has been lacking since quite some time.

Edited by DarcReaver
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Where is the process right now? What are the main challenges?

One solution could be as I said, make decorative trees/stones/smaller objects "invisible to units"', then make woods/ore deposits into "zones". It never made sense to "mine" individual trees anyway, and in rts games they were ALWAYS in the way of buildings etc. - some later fixed it. but why not make units go through them and bushes etc., tactical aspects must prevail right?

You could fix formations by having a building be a "formation generator"? Make 16 units enter a building, which spits out one unit, a closed formation with 16xhitpoints + bonuses

Just an idea. Why don't you check out how they did it in "Cossacks II"?

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15 minutes ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

Where is the process right now? What are the main challenges?

One solution could be as I said, make decorative trees/stones/smaller objects "invisible to units"', then make woods/ore deposits into "zones". It never made sense to "mine" individual trees anyway, and in rts games they were ALWAYS in the way of buildings etc. - some later fixed it. but why not make units go through them and bushes etc., tactical aspects must prevail right?

You could fix formations by having a building be a "formation generator"? Make 16 units enter a building, which spits out one unit, a closed formation with 16xhitpoints + bonuses

Just an idea. Why don't you check out how they did it in "Cossacks II"?

The main issue is that there are no people working on the gameplay concepts. There are a few artists and some guys doing UI stuff (and work on path finding, along with other engine-related stuff). That's why those discussions are pretty pointless. I also made several big topics about gameplay related stuff, ranging from resources to teching and unit counter systems.

There are dozens of issues that have not been adressed/thought through yet, and the "manspam train" is just a tip of the ice berg.

Having the "manspam trains" is a direct result of the (really old) design decision that 0 AD military units are "single training, expendable spam units" simialar to games like AoE II. There is no way to circumvent this - AoE is not the only one who does the manspam train, games like C&C (especially the old games) and even old Starcraft also use it. It's been like this "forever" and has not been questioned at all because 0 AD used to be a mod for AoE II.

To remove unnecessary micro (which is one of the old design document principles) it would be just logical to make units train in battalions, they keep their formations automatically and that's about it. Special units can still be single units (i.e. Heroes, or War Elephants or whatever). Battalion size can vary in size (depending on the type of unit) and units within the battalion could be adjusted to a certain formation. I.e. hoplits walk in tight formations while Slingers run in loose bandages. 

Cossacks has been named numerous times. The thing that I question about the whole "single unit AND battalion system" is why there is a need to have both. Having single units doesn't help the game. Not sure why everyone thinks that the old 1999 AoE II system that worked around weakass computer systems is the holy grail in 2019.

btw: 

hf reading ;)

 

Edited by DarcReaver
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"Formation unit" even seems superior to the cossacks model gameplaywise - when unit becomes too small it does not "break" leaving you lots of single units standing cluelessly about, rather it leaves a single "corpse" in 2d on the ground which disappears after a while, and a unit changes into a new animation with 1 less unit in a "transition animation" where one unit comes to replenish the front from behind.

When the formation unit has lost too many men, it will attempt to reach the "base" at high speed, where it can be replenished with X resources. Can still take hits whilst retreating though.

The result is, player can focus on battle, formations take care of themselves and 1 central structure (fortress? military settlement?) must be accessed to take care of all formation-related operations (create new divisions, replenish). Replenished formation-units return automatically to the "battlefield" when autoreturn would be toggled.

Technologies could be key to how many hits a formation-unit could take before routing. Players with superior tech has formations fighting harder, or moving faster home (orderly retreat).

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5 minutes ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

"Formation unit" even seems superior to the cossacks model gameplaywise - when unit becomes too small it does not "break" leaving you lots of single units standing cluelessly about, rather it leaves a single "corpse" in 2d on the ground which disappears after a while, and a unit changes into a new animation with 1 less unit in a "transition animation" where one unit comes to replenish the front from behind.

When the formation unit has lost too many men, it will attempt to reach the "base" at high speed, where it can be replenished with X resources. Can still take hits whilst retreating though.

The result is, player can focus on battle, formations take care of themselves and 1 central structure (fortress? military settlement?) must be accessed to take care of all formation-related operations (create new divisions, replenish). Replenished formation-units return automatically to the "battlefield" when autoreturn would be toggled.

Technologies could be key to how many hits a formation-unit could take before routing. Players with superior tech has formations fighting harder, or moving faster home (orderly retreat).

Instead of broken formations you could either introduce a "rout" feature that does the following:

- routing squads/battalions cannot be controlled by the player
- will no longer attack enemy units (unless it's surrounded and cannot run away)
- will automatically try to reach a nearby player town center and can be reinforced back to old strength again for resources

Similar with economy. It would be way easier if population, food costs, women/citizen soldiers and the resources would work more automatically.

Example:

Remove "house population" and replace with "food consumption"

- instead of eating berries, animals and other stuff to build units the food is stored, and the amount of storage depends on city level, amount of granaries etc.
- build various different types of food productions (farms, granaries, sheds etc.), additionally there can be neutral cities or manors that can be captured and then give a tribute of food to the play who currently owns it
- each battalion/military unit requires food, regular citizens are split to builders/architects to allow building and repairing structures
- other cities can be captured/raided to gain food (and other resources) to the raiding player

- lumber/gold/stone/metal are used to train soldiers and the amount of gatherers per resource spot is limited so players have to expand to multiple mining/forests to get more resources, making map control more important. Villages and Cities can be build on the map to give control over the areas (i.e. good farming lands, or a big forest) etc.

These are just some quick shots. Since noone really works on this it's unlikely you'll get a significant improvement on the game. Tbh I'd rather go with AoE II or AoE Definitive edition, they offer nice graphic enhancements while also having superior game mechanics.

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3 hours ago, stanislas69 said:

Formations are broken at the moment. There is no support for bonuses in the main game although some mods have it.

What about Iphikrates? He gives bonuses to formations.

I agree formations are broken. I train units in batches and use control groups, so no I have no real 'manspam train' and at least a bit of order on the battlefield. ;) 

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I saw your large document and will read it: But think of the power of this game, what it will become! Look at the Hagia Sophia model wonder - and the Hellenic structures. I mean, come on!

Let us find one who can make improvements to gameplay! Let us make no more than FIVE SUGGESTIONS, battalions being one of them.

Let us work within the framework of what we already have ok? There can be battalions (what I called formation-units) AND individuals at the same time. You just garrson them inside, and they get "swapped" for a batallion. I agree with your insights completely. You seem like a high-iq-individual who has a million superior ideas but so many that they are impossible to implement.

Let us just suggest FIVE well thought through suggestions to the leadership-team to maximize playing experience with as FEW incisions/fixes as possible.

Edit add: Having an architect who can repair buildings, trainable at academy, seems super easy to do right? Let the unit be called "Academy graduate" and he can be all kinds of things, scholar, architect, philosopher, you name it. Realistic and gives the academy true purpose! Ability to heal buildings, construct better siegecraft and fortifications, more wonders - name it! Could be 2nd request, and think how exciting it would be to create each technology and its benefit and icon and stuff here together. It could become THE civilization game.

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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50 minutes ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

I saw your large document and will read it: But think of the power of this game, what it will become! Look at the Hagia Sophia model wonder - and the Hellenic structures. I mean, come on!

Let us find one who can make improvements to gameplay! Let us make no more than FIVE SUGGESTIONS, battalions being one of them.

Let us work within the framework of what we already have ok? There can be battalions (what I called formation-units) AND individuals at the same time. You just garrson them inside, and they get "swapped" for a batallion. I agree with your insights completely. You seem like a high-iq-individual who has a million superior ideas but so many that they are impossible to implement.

Let us just suggest FIVE well thought through suggestions to the leadership-team to maximize playing experience with as FEW incisions/fixes as possible.

Edit add: Having an architect who can repair buildings, trainable at academy, seems super easy to do right? Let the unit be called "Academy graduate" and he can be all kinds of things, scholar, architect, philosopher, you name it. Realistic and gives the academy true purpose! Ability to heal buildings, construct better siegecraft and fortifications, more wonders - name it! Could be 2nd request, and think how exciting it would be to create each technology and its benefit and icon and stuff here together. It could become THE civilization game.

Thx for the compliment. I also like to keep stuff simple.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuut...

5 suggestions are not enough because the game mechanics in no way are finished and polished enough. So for 5 suggestions to work you have to elaborate each one in detail. Which is a hell of a lot of work. And like I said, nobody on the 0 AD train who can "code"  is interested in game design or has an idea how game mechanics work/how they affect the game. That's why there's no point, unless you're willing to spend a lot of time to actually create a coherent game design first and then fitting game mechanics for players to enjoy, accompanied with pretty graphics.

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Did you have ideas rejected too often or why the defeatism? Come on Sir, surely all's not lost?

We must find someone who will help, it can't be that we are just fixing graphics.

Another idea: Markets should be the place for economic tech upgrades, BUT SO SHOULD TEMPLES. Temples functioned as banks in antiquity, and all money techs to be added to the game (relating to coins and finance) ought to be placed in the Temple.

Advanced mathematics should be at academy, and unlock increasingly powerful finance/banking techs at temple.

These should be key to why games can continue even when resources run scarce in the map (re-circulation of money and wealth management, each a tech button requiring previous research at academy)

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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2 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

Did you have ideas rejected too often or why the defeatism? Come on Sir, surely all's not lost?

Nah, it's just way too time consuming to create fixes or a game design concept that gets discussed over a few pages on the forum and then put to sleep without any consequences at all.
Look at the thread I posted, more than 6.500 words to initiate a start for a new game design concept, and with hints on which areas could be switched or improved, along with a lot of discussions and input from various people. That was 1,5 years ago. And since then nothing has changed at all. At least neither heard or seen improvements at all.  It's not really defeatism, it's more like pragmatism. I've created gameplay concepts for existing games/mods in the past, and those alone already consumed hundreds, maybe thousands of hours in tinkering, writing, scripting and debugging.

And that was with games that already had "rules" and a working gameplay in the first place. Creating a complete, original gameplay concept for this game from scratch is a mammoth task, since there is almost nothing to rely on. Copying from AoE and calling it a day won't do much nowadays, with AoE II and AoM HD and their Definitive Editions + AoE IV in the makings.

Tbh, the only reason to play 0 ad is for Wowgetoffyourcellphone's delenda est mod, which improves 0 ad to the maximum it can be at the current state.

Edited by DarcReaver
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"Maybe we should try harder to get things done, together?" ( —Alexander the Great, 334 BC)

Anyway I am going to circumvent gameplay issues until multiplayer can be "fixed" by helping out as much as I can here, and create custom historical campaigns that have real history and no manspam-train.

An easy interim fix to the manspam-train btw could be increasing wall strength dramatically; that way players would have to come with larger armies and siege equipment. Siege engine range would have to be balanced, though.

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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9 hours ago, stanislas69 said:

Formations are broken at the moment. There is no support for bonuses in the main game although some mods have it.

Formation in the current state cause lag. They won't be fixable until a few Pathfinder patches are in. So I'm afraid you'll have to wait.

imho formations could be temporarly hidden from the UI as they predominantly cause lag, bugs and balance issues.

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22 minutes ago, Grugnas said:

imho formations could be temporarly hidden from the UI as they predominantly cause lag, bugs and balance issues.

Yeah but Disabling them cause angryness confusion and sometimes even insults. Here it's more a use at your own risk kinda of way :)

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On the other topics well I'd like to see more activity on formations and stuff. But I'm too stupid to figure these things so I'm focusing on least interesting stuff for the game. 

Programming wise there is four big things on my list this year.

#3488 Which allows to use visible garrisoning and to restrict certain units at certain place for instance Garrisoning a catapult on a wall would put a little catapult on top.

Percentage of chance I might do it 15% It requires UI changes and I suck at it, because it also affects gameplay and stuff

D557 #657 To place rally points or markers to show unit destination a bit like StarCraft. This is a cool feature I think. Was in a good state but still broken because of patrolling and other stuff 

Percentage of chance I might do it 15%

Percentage done 60% (Needs a rebase and a few other stuff)

Ambient sounds. This I really think will improve the game. Currently you can't play windsounds for mountains in a specific area and that sucks. Walking sounds would be nice but they need to be less annoying. Currently they are awful if you enable them.

Percentage of chance I might do it 25%

Percentage done 0%

Building sockets. Allowing you to place building on top of each other (For instance mines) could also be settlements or special areas.

Percentage of chance I might do it 25%

Percentage done 0%

And then there is all the rest, all my other patches art review getting every art of this forum in the game and trust me there is a lot of wasted stuff there such as Micket models but they need animations and good ones. Also all the mods Aristeia Terra Magna Milleniumad Trinketos's 'mod Ponies Ascendant and finally my own mod I need to make to improve my stagnant skills.

Btw need to go so much things to do right now .

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9 hours ago, stanislas69 said:

 

Ambient sounds. This I really think will improve the game. Currently you can't play windsounds for mountains in a specific area and that sucks. Walking sounds would be nice but they need to be less annoying. Currently they are awful if you enable them.

Percentage of chance I might do it 25%

Percentage done 0%

I can help with walking sounds, will get to it immediately after we fix what we are already working on right now!

What about the wishlist and hellenizing the ptolemies?

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1 hour ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

I can help with walking sounds, will get to it immediately after we fix what we are already working on right now!

What about the wishlist and hellenizing the ptolemies?

That's in there too. Just have to many things on my hands and too little time.

We don't need more walking sounds, we already have quite a bunch. What we need is a smart soundengine that doesn't play 200 walking sounds at the same time, but only  a little subset.

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8 hours ago, stanislas69 said:

Yeah but Disabling them cause angryness confusion and sometimes even insults. Here it's more a use at your own risk kinda of way :)

Usually it's best to do what's best for the game, not what's best for the people. Players will hate anyways... from my experience most people will forget quite quickly and adapt to the new situation. If the community breaks with the removal of a mostly useless feature there's something wrong anyways.

I still remember the outcries when we removed the IS3 tank from the Soviet faction.... Hilarious. The thing was so broken and unrealistic (there wasn't even an IS 3 in battle in WW2) and there were actually people defending that it's a perfectly balanced tank.

Edited by DarcReaver
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4 hours ago, DarcReaver said:

Usually it's best to do what's best for the game, not what's best for the people. Players will hate anyways... from my experience most people will forget quite quickly and adapt to the new situation. If the community breaks with the removal of a mostly useless feature there's something wrong anyways.

Formations being broken doesn't mean that they're not being used, or going to be fixed eventually. I never use them in combat, but I wouldn't give them up for the world either. The grandiose military victory parade at the end of each SP match is the cherry on the cake for me...

Spoiler

43282824_TheKingdomofKushkushites0adscreenshotbigarmy.thumb.jpg.3c0341ed361cf0d556124164c151fc62.jpg

412708066_Kush0ADformationsscreenshot.thumb.jpg.86dda0a21586f7a33d21b5b2bd81e45a.jpg

 

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15 hours ago, DarcReaver said:

Copying from AoE and calling it a day won't do much nowadays, with AoE II and AoM HD and their Definitive Editions + AoE IV in the makings. 

Tbh, the only reason to play 0 ad is for Wowgetoffyourcellphone's delenda est mod, which improves 0 ad to the maximum it can be at the current state.

Well, except that 0 A.D. is a FOSS game, while AoE is not. I don't think the role of an open source project is to compete for market share with commercial games. The fact that the game is FOSS is what makes all the difference, and in that respect there's no better alternative at the moment as far as I know.

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4 hours ago, coworotel said:

Well, except that 0 A.D. is a FOSS game, while AoE is not. I don't think the role of an open source project is to compete for market share with commercial games. The fact that the game is FOSS is what makes all the difference, and in that respect there's no better alternative at the moment as far as I know.

Being an open source/f2p concept doesn't really excuse the lack of functionality. 

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Having noone (who is willing) to do stuff is a valid excuse though. Which unfortunately seems to be the reality. See the stats on that fork thread. Alternatively just observe the patches on phab.

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31 minutes ago, DarcReaver said:

Being an open source/f2p concept doesn't really excuse the lack of functionality

It can excuse the lack of manpower to implement the functionality.

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1 hour ago, (-_-) said:

Having noone (who is willing) to do stuff is a valid excuse though. Which unfortunately seems to be the reality. See the stats on that fork thread. Alternatively just observe the patches on phab.

[insert a comment about manipulating numbers to make them say what you want]

I don't think it's a problem of willing but of being able. Like Darc Reaver is willing to improve the game but not able to make the Pathfinder like a AAA game.

 

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