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Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

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Everything posted by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded

  1. I would point out that despite pikemen carrying a long pike, that weighed, if we are to believe wikipedia, 14 pounds, they compensated by wearing much less obtrusive equipment. Their shields were smaller and their armour tended to be lighter. An example of their flexibility on the field could be seen in the Battle of Guagamela in which the pike formation was able to move out of the path of Darius' scythe chariots, ensuring that the brunt of the Persian shock force died to the harassment of missile troops. Pikemen should move more or less at the same speed as other infantry, not significantly slower. They should be able to resist melee attacks fairly well yet be somewhat vulnerable to missiles. The key strength, I will reiterate, is that they should be able to make use of their range; currently the range of the pikeman is roughly half of its real-world counterpart. Thus their strength should be when massed, being able to beat virtually everything in a straight-up fight.
  2. I am simply saying that turning it from visible to invisible, if possible, would probably be the easiest solution. I am no programmer and cannot comment on the difficulty of implementing specific things, but to my understanding, typically simple solutions are simple to implement. Actually representing miners as slaves is not very far from the truth. Many slaves who were given that status due to heinous crimes were sentenced to work such areas where life expectancy was quite low. Many impoverished people became slaves as a result of debt, so the idea of a beggar becoming a slave is not entirely out of the question since although they would not necessarily expect a great life, most of their daily needs would be met.
  3. As far as I seem RTS games are major abstractions, unlike city builders or grand strategy games, both of which oftentimes try to represent some of the nuances of their subject matter. The RTS game is far different with its approach, tending more towards simplicity. Examples include units and buildings taking seconds to complete. Thus, a complex system is not necessary to represent its subject matter. That is why a simple, intuitive option can be introduced that does the job even if it does not consider my hoplite Lysimachus' views on the advantages of olive production. As I more or less laid out before, slaves would be good economic units, yet they would be fragile and capable of being captured (I thought for a while about the idea of them being able to potentially run away, but as I saw, a mechanic like could be frustrating.) I would stress that slaves would in many cases be an efficient economic unit, but not necessarily that much better than other units. Freemen would be much like a typical unit yet only be able to advance to the second rank. Citizens would be able to advance to the third rank. There are exceptions to these rules: helots would behave differently, and technologies could possibly make the dynamics change. For instance Rome to my knowledge had some of the best social mobility for slaves, and a technology to represent that could be introduced. Anyways, just to reiterate the primary point of this topic, I merely think that when you look at a unit in game, it should not be called a 'citizen' if it was not historically such. The simplest option of removing that description. Worker does an adequate job of establishing their role outside of soldiering.
  4. The problem is that as already mentioned, slaves are at least mentioned in a technology anyways. Furthermore, 0 AD, like many RTSs requires players to commit virtual genocide to win, hardly an honourable course of action. I think that it is important to recognise that slavery in the ancient times could vary a good deal in how they were treated. There were clearly some people such as Cato the Elder who emphasised pragmatism when it came to the use of slaves over much more merciful practices. That all said, there were oftentimes chances for social advancement for slaves, and there could certainly be other cases of non-slavery in history in which people groups were treated significantly worse. Take for instance, the Leopold II in the Congo. The point being, just because there is the word 'slave' does not necessarily imply one of the greatest evils.
  5. I would say that it might be easier to balance than you might think with the current paradigm. Women are essentially the current dedicated labourers of the game (Which in some cultural cases is a bit odd as well, but I digress). Slaves were primarily used for mining purposes, much to the expense of the slave's quality of life. Making slaves good at quarrying and mining while competent but not exceptional at other tasks would be the best sort of approach. The disclaimer might not be a bad idea, but I think that maybe just giving a blanket statement to the effect of 'there are practices represented in game that we do not condone' might be simpler. 0 AD oftentimes is a game in which winning requires virtual genocide, just about as problematic as slavery to me.
  6. It may not be that important, but either the game should work to properly establish the social class of the units it represents or not do so at all. At the moment, I think that just removing the citizen class from units might be the simplest and and easiest option. If we want to actually represent social class in a simple but intuitive way, I did write up a potential framework that could be used, but that is obviously beyond the scope of this topic.
  7. At the moment any all non-champion, woman, or mercenary unit is called a citizen soldier, even when that is not the case. Merely assuming that non-slaves were citizens is an oversimplified approach to demographics of most ancient societies. In Athens, for instance, a good proportion of the population consisted of metics, who still paid taxes and served in the military but had few civil rights. An even more egregious example is Sparta, in which ironically all represented citizen-soldiers were not citizens. Thus, I propose that a different term be used to better reflect the social structure of these societies. Worker-Soldier or Soldier-Worker might be one valid approach, but I would be open to alternatives.
  8. Cool. That sounds good enough. Also, you were wondering about the kardakes. Essentially the role they were given was not really historically informed, making them be removed.
  9. If directional armour were in place, I would definitely agree with that, but it isn't at the moment. Considering the fact that the shield can only cover a limited amount of the body, that alone should not be factored in the equation. It doesn't matter how big your shield is if it is pointed in the wrong direction, and hoplites would clearly have the advantage. That all said, I think that Persian spearmen should be a cost effective ranged meatshield, just not necessarily much better than other on a one-to-one comparison level. On a different note I would say that I am definitely in the camp in favour of mercenary hoplites being available for Persian recruitment.
  10. I could see that argument for the basic level but scaling off as they level up (and generally do not use more armour). Hoplites wore armour that basically protected all of their vitals and probably would have had no major problem with arrows. Javelins? Maybe not. Again, if the Persians wanted to use meatshields, they hired Greeks for that purpose.
  11. The point is that compared to other heavy infantry of say the Greeks or Romans, Persian infantry did not hold up very well. There is a good reason that every major engagement against hoplites in the Persian Wars resulted in the Persians being defeated aside from Thermopylae, and we know how that went. The victory against the Lydians was in part due to Cyrus deploying camels that neutralised much of the Lydian own cavalry. This isn't to say that Persians had necessarily bad; Greeks just happened to be major outliers in how they fought. The most obvious reason behind making them a wee bit inferior is that by the end of those wars, the Persians adapted their military in one major way: they heavily recruited Greek mercenaries, something that honestly should be reflected in their tech tree.
  12. Numbers like that sound kind of insubstantial. Do you know how that marginal of a difference would translate into the game? I don't mean to sound skeptical, but incremental changes like that seem kind of pointless. My take would have been costing ten fewer resources at the cost of a 5% hitpoint reduction (Obviously the cheaper cost is a pretty massive economic boon, and I'm not sure if that specific stat nerf would be enough to compensate.).
  13. I think that for the Persians, if it is there, it should be easier to take advantage of but not necessarily as meaningful. For the most part their infantry should be cheaper but weaker, making them the anvil with cavalry acting as the hammer. I don't have much to say for the Maurya.
  14. You are making a false dichotomy there. Civilisations without access to cavalry could still theoretically be powerful, but the game railroads currently. To address your other points. So there seem to be a few misconceptions with this idea of cavalry hunting. If you read most Greek and Latin classics, the animal of choice for a hunt is typically a dog, not a horse, and most hunting seems to have been done on foot. If you don’t believe me, doing a brief search for ancient Greek and Roman art represents hunting on foot primarily, not horseback. I can’t necessarily speak for non-Greco-Roman hunting, but I would not be surprised if it was similar. Also the point about Sparta being in a different area doesn’t exactly work. Yes, their colonies had different institutions, but broadly speaking the social changes that led to the exclusive use of hoplites came after the Messenian Wars, after their colonial ventures. Cavalry use implies a disparity of wealth, which the Spartan constitution worked to prevent that. One of the strongest proponents for a strong Spartan cavalry force Agesilaus II was able to raise an effectual troop, but with his death it more or less disbanded. Examples of powers such as Macedonia that were able to field competent cavalry were primarily able to do so due to a powerful aristocracy. Sparta required egalitarian laws amongst its citizenry to unite them against the disenfranchised helots; since the game represents helots, we can assume that the constitution also is in part implied, meaning that heavy use of cavalry in that context would still be ahistorical. In summation, forcing civilisations to have cavalry in the early game because hunting is a critical part of the economy makes little to no sense when looking at how hunting was done. I would definitely welcome this sort of change.
  15. Well, doing a cursory look at the army compositions of some of the more major battles between the successor kingdoms, I only found one for each kind of cavalry being actually used (Battle of Raphia for camel archers and Battle of Magnesia for Dahae horse archers). These should not be the bread and butter of Ptolemaic or Seleucid army compositions. As another minor point, Romans having good cavalry is extremely odd. One of the key reasons behind Hannibal's success against them was the noticeably inferior cavalry the Romans used. In fact the defeat at Zama can at large (but not only) be attributed to the loss of support of Numidian cavalry as a troop type. Cheap cavalry is itself strange. All these points considered, mercenary status of camel archers or any other units aside, it seems that there are major systemic flaws regarding cavalry that make this topic reach the quagmire is at. The primary objection people kept on coming back to was that if camel archers were mercenaries, they would cripple the early Ptolemaic economy. Cavalry as a whole being a cornerstone of the early game economy is absurd unless we are talking about steppe peoples. A minor supplement maybe, but even that is peculiar. That all said, the problems as I see them are probably not problems to most others, and I don't expect them to change. I do appreciate the fact that Yekaterina has done some work to see how this idea might work in action, but unless cavalry as a whole change, I cannot see a world in which camel archers are given a mercenary status.
  16. So I don't really care about attempting to argue for that specific point given the strong reaction people have had to the camel archer. I was merely attempting to apply a consistent metric when it comes to what is a mercenary and what isn't. Is your reaction positive or negative? With the fact that the Dahae archer to my knowledge is not a centrepiece of the Seleucid economy in the game, I could see it being either. Just curious.
  17. Let's not rule that out. The game is in alpha, and when you compare how drastically games have changed during that phase, I think that 0 A.D. could take a cue from them, even if it might offend some people in the multiplayer community. Examples of how this could translate could be for non-citizen units or lower class members of society that are represented as citizen soldiers. A classic example could be Sparta, in which helot skirmishers and perioikoi cavalry, would only be able to get to advanced rank. Suddenly you are diversifying and improving the apparent diversity, but I digress. Fair points. I did however suggest a viable citizen soldier cavalry substitute that could have made the point of having the camel archer be a mercenary be less controversial (As an aside, the Dahae cavalry archer should probably be a mercenary also.). Also, you throw around "eliminated civ differentiation" quite a lot when in fact this would have theoretically actually expanded it by crippling the hunt economy. Is that a good thing? Maybe not. I think that there are still some things that were proposed from this thread that are still worth considering: Increase camel hitpoints at the cost of speed. Make the Ptolemies have a discount to building farms. I think that both of these are things that people had few general objections, and they would potentially improve diversity. The latter might require some fine tuning to ensure that it doesn't end up doing too much to make the Ptolemies overpowered.
  18. We also know that Ptolemies 1. Had horses which were more conventional and thus easier to field. 2. Had bows but rarely used them on mounts since that was a highly specialised skill. 3. And had appendixes. Camels by and large were irregular in warfare use and were primarily used by desert people such as the Nabateans where the advantages of the camel's water capacity made it the mount of choice. If we take Pyrric's general point, camel cavalry was hardly a famous type of troop that the Ptolemies used. At the end of the day all the arguments for and against these sorts of solutions are basically just armchair professor hypotheses without actual experience from players attempting to see its limitations. The classic gameplay vs historical accuracy point is fair to mention when it comes to civilisations starting to feel the same. I would point out that a good deal of proposals from myself and others to differentiate factions have met resistance from the gameplay perspective (i.e. it would be unbalanced and changes to compensate for it are too much work.). The simple fact that complete unit classes are forbidden yet the roles of each class are universal is a position that is practically doomed to fail when it comes to prioritising balance in favour of diversity. Look at Alpha 23: the overpowered civilisations tended to be ones that had slingers. Alpha 24: archers. Ironically the seemingly same-ish approach of Age of Empires II achieved much more diversity between civilisations by allowing spectrum of availability with classes. I would say that the same would be possible with 0 A.D. and promotions. All of this said, everyone seems fairly entrenched in their opinions regarding the possibility of camel archers being mercenaries, and the consensus seems broadly negative for any change with the most receptive being cautiously optimistic about it: not what I would call one worth attempting to sway. Regardless of that, I do appreciate that people were willing to engage with the topic and point out some valid objections to this proposal.
  19. I decided to do a bit of investigating again; I am not well read on the topic, but as far as I gathered from Encyclopaedia Britannica, admittedly a mere tertiary source but a generally reliable one, that claim doesn't hold much water. The point is, even if there were a few land disputes, when we talk about citizen soldier (which is itself a bit problematic since only a minority of many populations were citizens), the definition I would at least go with is people from the core territory. A Libyan soldier meets that qualification if we want to go with the Ptolemies still having a ranged cavalry unit that could also act as a citizen soldier. The camel archer not so much. Your point of the hero that gives a discount to mercenaries is something that should be kept in mind, however, when it comes to Ptolemaic balance if we further elevate the importance of mercenaries for them.
  20. Sadly as far as I'm aware that approach is ahistorical. During the battle of Raphia it seems that there were some Libyan horsemen deployed during the Battle of Raphia; Libya, or Cyrenaica was part of Ptolemaic territory and thus would be a much better option for citizen cavalry (they probably used javelins).
  21. Great work. I think that you could just have a placeholder hellenistic settler cavalry unit using Macedonian assets. I would go for it being melee myself, but that's just my thought. Something like that is the intention to her. In fairness my shtick is just having camel mercenaries be mercenaries. I think that seeing what a faction without citizen soldier cavalry would be an intriguing concept that is worth seeing in action, but I don't mind compromising.
  22. I would definitely like to see this tested to see what others think after some matches. Then I think we can properly establish whether this admittedly unorthodox setup could work or not. Do you think that you could make a mod for these changes to see what happens? The concerns that people have voiced might be quite valid, but I would note that I and others did mention a few options to compensate for the Ptolemaic early game. Maybe it will be crippling nerf, but simply defending the status quo because it has made for a cornerstone of the meta is not a valid point. It's the dependence on cavalry in the early game economy that makes strange things like Sparta beginning with cavalry rather than say... a Spartan a thing. If this could work, it might allow for us to experiment with other more unique starting conditions that could diversify the civilisation roster.
  23. If you're talking about the classic 1st century legionnaire, there actually is; just check the atlas editor.
  24. The thing is that Greek mercenaries were a common thing. Greeks hired them, as did Persians. Obviously you could add other notable mercenary leaders that were not Greek; I only mention Greeks because Hellenic studies is kind of my thing. That said, heroes do not require factions to exist. Xenophon is an example of this.
  25. Pyrrhus would also be a great addition by far. Honestly I'm not sure how much this sort of a option would be enjoyed as a staple to the game, but I could definitely see it introduced either as a mod or an alternate game mode.
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