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Nescio

0 A.D. svn gameplay mod

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Today I started creating a gameplay mod for the current (svn) development version of 0 A.D. “Empires Ascendant”. Although there are already multiple gameplay mods, and the aim of improving gameplay for the next alpha is not unique, this one has a different approach: each change has its own patch on https://code.wildfiregames.com/, to make it easier for the team to discuss, play-test, review, and implement them.

Tagging everyone listed in the `balancing.json` credits file: @Acumen, @Alex, @Allen ROBOT, @alpha123, @arissa_nightblade, @bb_, @borg-, @Deiz, @elexis, @fatherbushido, @Grugnas, @Hannibal_Barca, @historic_bruno, @Matei, @mimo, @Nescio, @niektb, @Pureon, @quantumstate, @sanderd17, @temple, @ValihrAnt, @Wijitmaker, @wraitii.

Gameplay balance changes included so far:

Spoiler
  • D896: Disabled training cavalry at civil centres.
  • D1762: Give fortress a territory root.
  • D1863: Reduce Blemmye and Nuba camp building time.
  • D2022: Enable archery tradition for kush.
  • D2300: Single walking speed for all citizen infantry.
  • D2477: Garrison units on short wall segments.
  • D2493: Make siege engines uncapturable.
  • D2494: Tweak artillery attacks.
  • D2495: Disable artillery towers and bolt towers.
  • D2496: Tweak citizen cavalry and elephant footprints.
  • D2497: Keep stone for structures.
  • D2498: Cavalry can no longer gather (meat).
  • D2502: Adjust wall footprints.
  • D2504: Remove territory influence from arch, monument, pillar.
  • D2505: Tweak wall vision.
  • D2506: Allow building fields in neutral territory.
  • D2507: Allow building palisades in any territory.
  • D2508: Prevent ships and siege engines from attacking fields.
  • D2509: Remove territory influence from economic structures.
  • D2510: Change phase requirements.
  • D2511: Give worker elephants an aura instead.
  • D2530: Change pers_cavalry_archer_* actor.
  • D2532: Train champion cavalry at stable.
  • D2533: Train war dogs at barracks.
  • D2534: Allow building Blemmye camp and Nuba village in neutral territory.
  • D2535: Remove pop cap civ bonuses.
  • D2536: Make Blemmye and Nuba mercenaries generic.
  • D2547: Allow training barracks champions at any barracks.

(More to follow.)

Please refrain from discussing individual changes in this forum thread; go to corresponding phabricator page instead (links in spoiler above).

To try out individual changes, just include the corresponding patch in your repository (e.g. `arc patch D888`; and `svn revert -R *` to remove them again).

For all changes combined, browse, clone, or download the repository from https://github.com/0abc/0abc-svn

If you know of other small, up-to-date patches (only gameplay balancing, not art, maps, mechanics, etc.), feel free to propose them for inclusion in this mod. Other feedback is also welcome.

Edited by Nescio
more patches
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A small selection of things I'd like to see implemented as well, independently from this mod:

game setup:

  • make random maps the default
  • custom starting resources values
  • world population cap setting (D2426)

mechanics:

  • allow mounted archers to shoot while moving
  • allow resources to (re)grow; e.g. living animals fatten, dead animals decay (D1718)
  • allow attacks to consume resources; e.g. 1 stone per catapult shot (D2113)
  • allow negative resource trickles; e.g. upkeep (D1323)
  • allow restricting which resources can be tributed or obtained from trade (D1846)
  • allow option for a proper money-economy instead of bartering
  • allow garrisoned units to have different garrison sizes (D2056)

renames:

  • hawk → buzzard (D2254)
  • blacksmith → forge
  • scout/defense/stone tower → large tower
  • wooden/sentry tower → small tower
  • workshop arsenal
Edited by Nescio
other requests

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I'll list my concerns with some of the changes.

Quote
  • D896: Disabled training cavalry at civil centres.
  • D2498: Cavalry can no longer gather (meat).

This pretty much kills rushing. Being able to train infantry from the CC while cavalry can only be trained from stables or barracks means that you'll be far too behind in numbers to ever do anything and that's without counting in cav being unable to hunt now. All cavalry rushes rely on the initial cavalry paying for the next ones through hunting, so not only will players be unable to afford a cavalry rush, they'll need a military building on top of everything. 

So in my opinion D2498 is terrible, but D896 can still be fine if the ability to train infantry from the CC is removed too like in @borg-'s mod.

Quote

D2300: Single walking speed for all citizen infantry.

I understand it's meant to even out unit overall gathering efficiency, but the side effects aren't even nearly worth it imo. Unit move speed is balanced according to their attack range for ranged units and armor for melee units. So archers are slower than slingers, who are slower than skirmishers (Same for cavalry) and pikemen are slower than spearmen, who are slower than swordsmen. So now we have the problem of archers being just as quick as skirmishers, but having 3 times more range and if you've ever dealt with camel archers you'll know that's a big design flaw. Even now it's a pain to chase down slingers or archers with skirmishers if they're controlled by someone with good micro. So now I can rush someone with just archers and whatever they do they'll fall behind. If they try to chase me with their skirmishers/slingers I will never be caught and can micro down their units. If they go for cavalry they'll need to invest loads of food until they have enough cav to scare me back to my base and while they're massing those cavalry they need to somehow survive. If my enemy goes for towers he will need a minimum of 2 and even then there's no guarantee I won't be able to hit his woodline due to how similar archer attack range is with tower range. In the case of a well towered woodline I still outrange the CC with my archers so I can easily harass food. Basically it is a camel archer rush but with infantry archers instead of cavalry archers.

Similar thing with infantry. The only thing which kept pikemen from being completely OP was their turtle move speed. Now they're basically a bullet sponge capable of outrunning Usain Bolt if they took off their chestpiece.

The other changes seem fine. I'll just have to really see the effects of fortress territory root to say what I think of it.

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Thank you for the feedback!

53 minutes ago, ValihrAnt said:

like in @borg-'s mod.

@borg-'s mod is incompatible with the current development version and it's unclear if and when it will be. Besides, it also includes some art and mechanics changes. This means it will be very difficult to review and commit his changes.

This mod's objective is the same (improve gameplay), but the approach is radically differnet (it's basically a collection of available patches). Because each change has its own patch, it should be relatively easy for team members to review them individually. I don't expect everything to be committed, but some changes ought to be uncontroversial and others could be worth trying out even if they won't be accepted.

Anyway, it's a work in progress and I intend to add more changes in the future. And if borg or someone else starts writing patches, then those could be included here as well.

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By and large I like a lot of these changes done.  They're minor, but a lot of them are quality of life things that definitely seem like they should have been implemented.  I was wondering though if there would be a way to have people working at an economic task could have a different movement rate when they are armed.  I feel like that would be the ideal option; coding it might be admittedly difficult though.

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I could ask @Itmsand @wraitiii. I need something similar yet a bit different to replicate the starcraft beahvior. In Starcraft not only do units accelerate and decelerate they also have no obstruction when gathering. But they do have one normally and use unit pushing to circumvent that. https://code.wildfiregames.com/D1490

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