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Philip the Swaggerless

Civic Center Aura?

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This idea came to me while spectating a game.  We all know placing your farms next to your CC is the best way to go currently because the workers can drop off the food without having to walk far and they are also protected by the CC; arrows shoot enemies in range and workers can go inside it.  Though I am no history expert I assume that an ancient civic center wouldn't be surrounded by farms, but rather would be part of an urban center.  To represent the efficiencies of urbanization, how about giving the CC an Aura where nearby buildings work more efficiently?  Some ideas:

  1. Tech researches complete faster
  2. Units get produced faster
  3. Discount for technology costs
  4. Trade profit bonus for traders going to the markets near the CC
  5. Resource exchange rate bonus in the market
  6. Discount for unit-cost

I don't know either way if historically this bonus makes as much sense for military buildings as civilian buildings.

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In Delenda Est, there is the "Civic Spaces" aura which prevents farms from being built within X meters of a Civic Center. Just an example of something that addresses your concern. 

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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The other bonuses are interesting. The only visual problem with that is that's going to have overwhelmingly large text in its description.

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3 minutes ago, sphyrth said:

The other bonuses are interesting. The only visual problem with that is that's going to have overwhelmingly large text in its description.

And a lot if little icons hovering over everything. Lol But yeah, some thought needs to be put into the farm problem.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone

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My mod has similar implementation on auras. Although I spread different auras into different buildings, with many of your mentioned effects are assigned to houses, and also some negative effects to build house beside dropsite and military buildings. The result of this is quite closer to your vision, with ideal city have Civic Center surrounded by houses and civilian buildings, with economy buildings like farms and military buildings spread on territory borders. 

Another planned modification in my mod that might be of interest is that Civic Center should change name and functions on phase upgrade as in village center to town and city center later. After upgrading to Town Phase forward you should not be able to use Civic Centers as dropsite anymore, as at this point you should already have all dropsite buildings to use instead.

The caveat of this is that one aura assigned to a building can only have a set of effects that affect a set of entities. Every aura is also listed in building description, with its range displayed and every affected entity have floating icon if aura source is selected. As @wowgetoffyourcellphone and @sphyrth have said, if you put various auras to a building, this will cause a clutter of aura range visualizations, floating icons, and building description. In my mod I tried to make all aura mod visual as subtle as possible by thinning range lines and smaller icons, but overall they are still look cluttered.

Edited by azayrahmad
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1 hour ago, Philip the Swaggerless said:

@azayrahmadI just tried your mod out.  Very cool!  It took me awhile to get my eco going, but that's probably to be expected since it was my first time.

So the trick is to build more houses in advance as close to Civic Center as possible as investment, and build market first thing after town upgrade. It is intended for village phase to take a little longer though, because I planned to make more things to do in village phase. Let me know if you have new ideas.

Oh and if you haven't, check out Hyrule Conquest mod, as it pushed 0 A.D. engine to its limit with very advanced territory mechanics.

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In my 0abc mod I used to have several centre local auras, but simplified it to just one 75 m range aura, which gives Workers +20% build rate (to encourage structures), but –20% gather speed (to discourage farming).

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Hmm.... Seems to me that mod-makers are generally unified: Fields surrounding Civic Centers don't make sense!

Of course, I'm talking about the mod-making community. I want to know what the hardcore players have to say about this. @ValihrAnt especially.

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3 hours ago, sphyrth said:

Hmm.... Seems to me that mod-makers are generally unified: Fields surrounding Civic Centers don't make sense!

Of course, I'm talking about the mod-making community. I want to know what the hardcore players have to say about this. @ValihrAnt especially.

Lol yes. In general making Civic Center as a dropsite doesn't make sense logically, especially in the game where player has enough starting resources to build a separate dropsite closer to said resources. I mean, civic center is an administrative building, we recruit worker here, not dropping raw meat. I believe this is only a leftover from AoEII where 0 A.D got a lot of inspirations from.

Although yes I also would like to know pro player opinions about this.  

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41 minutes ago, azayrahmad said:

Lol yes. In general making Civic Center as a dropsite doesn't make sense logically, especially in the game where player has enough starting resources to build a separate dropsite closer to said resources. I mean, civic center is an administrative building, we recruit worker here, not dropping raw meat. I believe this is only a leftover from AoEII where 0 A.D got a lot of inspirations from.

Although yes I also would like to know pro player opinions about this.  

I had the same notion once, and implemented in my mod. I found that by taking the dropsite functionality away from the CC, it caused confusion and frustration for me as a player. I am sure I'd get used to it eventually, but it felt like it would be a pretty big curve to overcome. I could experiment with it again and see if I'd change my mind.

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6 hours ago, sphyrth said:

Fields surrounding Civic Centers don't make sense!

It makes perfect sense from a gameplay perspective—minimum walking distance and maximum protection—it's just not really historically accurate to farm in the middle of a city centre.

2 hours ago, azayrahmad said:

Lol yes. In general making Civic Center as a dropsite doesn't make sense logically, especially in the game where player has enough starting resources to build a separate dropsite closer to said resources. I mean, civic center is an administrative building, we recruit worker here, not dropping raw meat. I believe this is only a leftover from AoEII where 0 A.D got a lot of inspirations from.

A necessary evil, unfortunately. Imagine you don't pay attention during a raid, lose your units as a consequence, and are down to just a centre (I've seen it happen to AI players more than once). Now to rebuild, the centre needs at least to be able to do the following:

  • provide sufficient population capacity for training basic units
  • be able to train a unit that can gather resources required for basic units
  • serve as a dropsite for resources required for basic units
  • be able to train a unit that can gather resources required for basic structures
  • serve as a dropsite for resources required for basic structures
  • be able to train a unit that can build basic structures

You can remove other things from the centre, e.g. arrows or metal dropsite (I actually did in my 0abc mod, but I still have to figure out how to make the AI build their forges near metal mines to save walking time).

Also, units that can build and gather everything is indeed an AoE convention which could be easily dropped; there is nothing wrong with specialized units (I have fond memories of Knights and Merchants).

Edited by Nescio
ce
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4 minutes ago, Nescio said:

(I have fond memories of Knights and Merchants).

 #MeToo

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7 hours ago, sphyrth said:

Hmm.... Seems to me that mod-makers are generally unified: Fields surrounding Civic Centers don't make sense!

Of course, I'm talking about the mod-making community. I want to know what the hardcore players have to say about this. @ValihrAnt especially.

Well, if you take away the possibility for fields to be near Civic Center there should be an appropriate rebalance of the game, because the protection offered by the CC (both garrisoning and arrow firing) is a big deal to defend against rushes. Without this, if you don't have an equal or superior army in the location of the rush, you're as good as dead.

Also, if you just have garrisoning but not arrow firing, an enemy raid can stay in the economy and idle it until it gets chased, you also have to consider this for rebalancing.

Also fields surrounding Civic Centers is kinda intuitive for players coming from AoE2 i suppose.

Edited by Feldfeld
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19 minutes ago, Feldfeld said:

Well, if you take away the possibility for fields to be near Civic Center there should be an appropriate rebalance of the game, because the protection offered by the CC (both garrisoning and arrow firing) is a big deal to defend against rushes. Without this, if you don't have an equal or superior army in the location of the rush, you're as good as dead.

Also, if you just have garrisoning but not arrow firing, an enemy raid can stay in the economy and idle it until it gets chased, you also have to consider this for rebalancing.

I wouldn't mind giving the players 4 free (Sentry) towers at the start, like in AOM. You can then upgrade them individually to Defense Towers in Town Phase as is now.  (Delenda Est does this already with 4 free wooden towers that can be upgraded to stone later).

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Wow, a lot of good discussions here. Thanks @Philip the Swaggerless for starting this topic!

6 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I had the same notion once, and implemented in my mod. I found that by taking the dropsite functionality away from the CC, it caused confusion and frustration for me as a player. I am sure I'd get used to it eventually, but it felt like it would be a pretty big curve to overcome. I could experiment with it again and see if I'd change my mind.

Exactly my concern, @wowgetoffyourcellphone. I grew up with AoEII and StarCraft, so it's hard for me to imagine the possibility of CC to not handle resource dropping as well, especially at early game. But then again, Strongholds games do exactly that, although it does force you to site your granary at the beginning of the game. Even going so far back to Red Alert where you can only mine ore after building ore refinery. 

5 hours ago, Nescio said:

It makes perfect sense from a gameplay perspective—minimum walking distance and maximum protection—it's just not really historically accurate to farm in the middle of a city centre.

As one of 0 A.D. principles is balance between history and gameplay, the notion to change this for historical accuracy should be considered.

5 hours ago, Nescio said:

A necessary evil, unfortunately. Imagine you don't pay attention during a raid, lose your units as a consequence, and are down to just a centre (I've seen it happen to AI players more than once). Now to rebuild, the centre needs at least to be able to do the following:

  • provide sufficient population capacity for training basic units
  • be able to train a unit that can gather resources required for basic units
  • serve as a dropsite for resources required for basic units
  • be able to train a unit that can gather resources required for basic structures
  • serve as a dropsite for resources required for basic structures
  • be able to train a unit that can build basic structures

 

4 hours ago, Feldfeld said:

Well, if you take away the possibility for fields to be near Civic Center there should be an appropriate rebalance of the game, because the protection offered by the CC (both garrisoning and arrow firing) is a big deal to defend against rushes. Without this, if you don't have an equal or superior army in the location of the rush, you're as good as dead.

Also, if you just have garrisoning but not arrow firing, an enemy raid can stay in the economy and idle it until it gets chased, you also have to consider this for rebalancing.

 

4 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I wouldn't mind giving the players 4 free (Sentry) towers at the start, like in AOM. You can then upgrade them individually to Defense Towers in Town Phase as is now.  (Delenda Est does this already with 4 free wooden towers that can be upgraded to stone later).

So I think this is achievable via tweaking. Perhaps with changing dropsite to only fire arrows if garrisoned, or by giving free sentries. I think in current state of the game, resources are always close to CC anyway, so dropsites near it should be within CC arrow's range.

5 hours ago, Nescio said:

You can remove other things from the centre, e.g. arrows or metal dropsite (I actually did in my 0abc mod, but I still have to figure out how to make the AI build their forges near metal mines to save walking time).

Your 0abc mod is one of my inspiration by the way. At first I was confused but when I finally made sense of it, it is actually a great idea. Also, isn't AI already automatically search for any building with metal dropsite attribute to build near metal source? Although you should probably check queuePlanBuilding to ensure forges has no minimum range to resources.

Edited by azayrahmad
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The thread is revealing the issues at hand. The question isn't about affecting Gameplay, but destroying it. @wowgetoffyourcellphone's answer to @Feldfeld's question is the embodiment of @Nescio's concern for the "necessary [gameplay] evil".

The question "Does it Destroy Gameplay?" can be expressed by the players' opinions. Take for example their popular mods (Champion's Mod, and borg-'s Mod). These two are examples of "The Hardcore Players' Mod". Last time I checked they don't employ the "Mod-makers Mod". Why?

We tend to say, They'll get used to it. Without even asking Will they want it? That will be the crux of the matter.
If they want it, then they'll only see it as something that affects the gameplay.
If they don't, then they see it as something that destroys gameplay.

The best-case scenario I'm looking for is that there will be some hardcore players who will promote the idea of Fields away from the Civic Center by employing a mod that does that.

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23 hours ago, sphyrth said:

The question "Does it Destroy Gameplay?" can be expressed by the players' opinions. Take for example their popular mods (Champion's Mod, and borg-'s Mod). These two are examples of "The Hardcore Players' Mod". Last time I checked they don't employ the "Mod-makers Mod". Why?

I think both hardcore players and mod makers, as you say, have very different goals set in minds.

Hardcore players have spent considerable time mastering current state of the game, therefore the mod they wish to make is one of subtle fixes and mechanics. Extreme changes means their effort learning the game could potentially be invalidated. Even bugs are embraced if it could be taken advantages of.

However modders as a whole seek to exploit 0 A.D engine in any way possible to reach its full potential. Sometimes it means crazy weird changes with utter disregard of market needs. So in a way we're all biased toward certain goals.

So I think we have to be open to new ideas and try them all, while the game is still unfinished and the risk of extreme changes is not as big as if we try it later on Beta stage. Although I predict whatever changes are applied to 0 A.D, some people will claim that it destroy gameplay, simply because they are not used to it. Look at every discussion whenever an online/esport game releases new update. But after a while the protests died down as players, hardcore and casual alike, get used to it and perhaps enjoy it even more.

TL;DR: Modders wonder if they could, hardcore players wonder if they would, we need to work together to figure out if it should.

Edited by azayrahmad
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