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Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

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Thorfinn the Shallow Minded last won the day on August 20 2021

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  1. What is balance and what is not can be a fine line. It feels at the moment that the weight is far too conservative, but I could easily see it swinging the other way. For what it's worth, yes there was a scathing criticism for issues, but I think that in part, that has to be expected with any change. Ideally speaking those should not be taken personally, but that's asking the impossible. Again this is why I think that when making changes that could both add colour to each faction, transparency is key, especially if there will be sweeping overhauls. Likewise, since the work would focus on just one faction at a time, there could be a large amount of balance testing focussed on just it alone.
  2. This is precisely why I proposed working with a new schema, the kill your darlings concept applied to 0 AD. First, while the current alpha is an excellent template to work off of, it does not have to be followed to a T since the first civilisation that would be reworked could be balanced against itself. Things would complicate themselves with each successive rework, but the important thing is that there would be a coherent idea of how each civilisation would perform beyond just looking back at previous versions. At the same time since there would be the option to play the factions prior to the rework, players could still enjoy the variety of them without a grossly imbalanced game. This would allow for much more radical departures from the current formulae. Instead of champions always being available at the 3rd phase simply because, there could be some, like say the Spartans, who could train Spartans at the very outset. There could be new ways of collecting resources like Athenians collecting metal from olive fields.
  3. Personally the house walling concept is something I dislike; they take away the idea of using other structures for defence like... walls. I think that a soft way of punishing that sort of tactic would be to allow a town phase technology that allows infantry to set buildings on fire. If they are too close together, the fire would spread, but I digress. Walling with buildings is nothing new to RTS games. What we want to think about is ways of providing more nuance. Another thing blacksmith adjacency could do is award experience to units trained from nearby barracks. Honestly there are so many cool, thematic synergies that have remained unexplored that could add some much needed spice to the economic/base building side of the game.
  4. This is precisely why I would propose a systematic approach to updating civilisations one by one. There would be time to forge a clear identity to how they would work, yet at the same time since it would just be that civilisation, players would be able to see how matchups with it and other factions would function. Choices would be deliberate, not either dogmatically following the whims of the meta or taking in every shiny idea.. That said, I see the balancing advisors to be have a valid place here, noting where things are broken and noting where fixes could be made. At the moment the economies for civilisations run fairly similar to each other, which I find unfortunate, especially since a large amount of a players concentration has to be dedicated to it. It also can be fun to build aesthetically nice cities in game, but there are no rewards to consider with building placement. What if there was one faction that had reduced training time to barracks placed next to blacksmiths? The Romans could also have their Temple of Vesta offer increased gathering speed to nearby women. Maybe so, but the point is still valid. There is no clear documentation of where the team wishes to take the civilisations from a design perspective (There are documents on each civilisations design, but those seem to have been left by the wayside.), and this would perhaps fix that apparent issue.
  5. First I would like to offer the disclaimer that an emphasis on balance is not a bad thing. It helps to maintain a thriving community, and the community is integral to an open source topic. That said, many design decisions that have changed the game on an integral level were done so with balance in mind, not an end vision. Again, this is not bad either, but ultimately it means that many of 0 AD's design choices are near sighted and balanced =/= good design. Ultimately a problem I see with the game from this standpoint is that the factions are fairly bland. Yes, there are restrictions to what units are available, but at the end of the day a Persian spearman has the same statline most other factions. Many great proposals have been done to flesh them out better. I would particularly mention wowgetoffyourcellphone's and my own, but I'm sure that there are plenty of others. Despite often a great amount of thought being put into them and at least some of the community having positive opinions on the alterations, to my knowledge little if anything gets done. This is ultimately motivated by the fact that these would throw the balance in flux. While this is exasperating to people who would like change, the points behind these conservatives are valid. The multiplayer community might suffer. That said, I think that there is a reasonable compromise that 0 AD can and should take to help diversify factions and gameplay for the longterm without ruining the competitive scene. One by one factions could experience overhauls with key things in mind: How would their economy function differently from other ones? Are there any ways to reward strategic building placement? Are there any glaring inaccuracies in the design? What are current strategies used in the competitive scene, and how could these be expanded upon? These new iterations of the factions would initially be an option until all factions have experienced an overhaul, allowing for players to freely choose between the current, more balanced faction designs and the more experimental ones. Then, the team could in theory even turn around and continue the cycle of overhauls.
  6. Definitely that would be fair. True, but her ability was in recruiting foreign leaders to side with her. Her retreating at the Battle of Actium was baffling at least in my opinion. Neither of these really are the makings of a 'hero,' but I am sure that there are some qualities to her I've missed. I would support this even though he was not ruling during the Golden Age, but that would definitely be contingent on Sparta having access to pikemen. While Iphicrates is hardly bad, he is again outside the scope of Athenian hegemony. Aristides would be a redundancy to me. Pericles fills the role of statesmen pretty well as is. Thucydides was a phenomenal historian; his quality as a general is difficult to assess as he is only known for being late to the Battle of Amphipolis. Another alternative I would offer would be for Cimon to be represented.
  7. At the very least their removal and replacement should be strongly considered. 0 AD attempts to represent factions at their zenith. Cleopatra was reigning when the Ptolemies were in decline; she might be iconic, but that does not change the fact. Agis III reigned when Sparta was at most a minor regional power. The Spartan golden age could be considered immediately following the Peloponnesian War, but during the Persian Wars and up to the Battle of Leuctra would be a more general point. Agis IV died heroically, but so did many other kings. As a final note, having more hitpoints is just boring. Agesilaus II would be an objectively better king to select in my completely unbiased opinion. Iphicrates suffers from the same problem. The Golden Age of Athens could be regarded as from the Persian Wars up to the end of the Peloponnesian War. He is simply after that. I would argue for someone like Miltiades who could have a similar function.
  8. Small typo there. Allow me to show how it could be rewritten: "I think Sparta without Spartans is weird, and it is also unique to have only one champion unit and let it be available early." Jokes aside, I don't see non-citizens as a champion being a good candidate despite the mechanics you proposed being interesting. Those individuals seemed to be rather rare. Xenophon probably only was able to get such an education for his children due to his personal friendship with Agesilaus. To me the skiritae unit virtually occupies the second champion slot despite being a citizen soldier. There are definite problems with its current state (why is it so slow?) that I think would make it not just a beefy legionnaire. Removing champions in fact might be a good way of improving diversity. Rome for instance, had horrendous cavalry compared to that of Carthage, leading to much of Hannibal's success, yet in game their consular bodyguards are considered first rate. I would strongly advise removing it to better establish Rome as a predominantly infantry and siege based civilisation. Why does the bodyguard exist? Because the commandments of game design dictated that all civilisations should only have two available champions at the time.
  9. Keep in mind that building the Syssiton itself is an expense; supposing that there was no batch training possible and Spartans had something like a sixty second training time, I would hardly call that a completely broken mechanic. This could be coupled with their champions having reduced stats that improve with each subsequent phase. Making them spawn from the Civic Centre would make the Syssiton a redundancy, an unideal outcome. My point is that Spartans should be able to viably have Spartans at the beginning of the game in a way that is not a massive opportunity cost. Keep in mind that we are talking merely hypothetically, and calling such a mechanic either weak or overpowered is a false dichotomy without further experimentation.
  10. I believe that I already outlined my opinion much earlier regarding a very obvious Spartan gimmick: Be able to train Spartans at phase 1. Simply speaking Sparta without Spartans is stupid. My proposal in a thread regarding ways to diversify champions included making making Spartan hoplites free as well, only offset by a lengthly recruitment time, two population, and a hard cap of one Syssiton in the Village Phase and +1 for each subsequent one. Technologies would be able to change the characteristics of its citizenry over time, making each Phase give an option to represent the political elements affecting Spartans.
  11. Crush, Hack, and Pierce attack types do not have to conform to reality. Simply speaking there are plenty of abstractions as is. Swordsmen for instance dealing hack damage in the case of the legionnaire makes little sense as the gladius functioned primarily as a stabbing weapon. Likewise spearheads could oftentimes be used for cutting, as represented by medieval treatises on the matter. The terms hack, pierce, and crush are merely lovingly face-lifted from Age of Mythology. Yes, the terms generalise and are unoriginal, but they kind of work (outside of the fact that spearmen and pikemen suddenly become worse at demolishing buildings and destroying rams).
  12. Again though, the conversation is always about equally numbered spears against cavalry. If we have 15 spearmen against 10 advanced sword cavalry, how does the fight play out assuming no micro? (I genuinely don't know since I do not have the game installed due to lack of available space) If I am not mistaken, mercenary cavalry cost a bit less, but I think the comparison is still fair. More importantly, how do you think it should play out?
  13. Sword cavalry cost more than spearmen. Provided that spearmen handily beat cavalry when resources are balanced out, that is the relevant point.
  14. Could somebody clarify the spearman versus sword cavalry matchup? How does rank 1 versus 1 play out? Obviously in most cases sword cavalry cost 150 resources, meaning that engaging against spearmen with a narrow win is already inefficient, yet at the same time spearmen are extremely slow, meaning that cavalry rarely have to take these unfavourable engagements. It is that problem that I believe makes sword cavalry difficult; their counter to them has no easy way of getting close enough to force fights. The question that we maybe should ask ourselves is if spearmen are not an adequate counter, what is?
  15. Precisely. I don't necessarily want a naval superpower Sparta, but I would like there to be some niche options available to the faction in which a sudden new flood of naval units could pave the way for a landing, where they could really shine.
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