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Everything posted by DarcReaver

  1. Hello there, to make a quick introduction to you: I'm Darc Reaver, leading gameplay developer on Company of Heroes: Eastern Front, and part of the development team "Archaic Entertainment". I've played RTS throughout the last 15 years, and played a fair share of, I'd say... 20000 games or more. I've played many different titles, starting with games like Settlers, Age of Empires, Warcraft 3, Company of Heroes, Battle for Middle Earth franchise and of course Command and Conquer. I've yet to know about 0 AD, and recently got my hands on it. I've played some games already (roughly 20-something or so), and overall I find the game very appealing. However, as a new player, I've noticed some things that sort of need quite some getting used to, and I've been asking myself if those things are intended. There's a tl;dr section at the bottom of this post, as it's pretty long. Point 1: Ressource progression As far as I've noticed so far, playing mainly greek and mace factions, the progression of ressources is a bit iffy. Lumber seems to be the main resource throughout age 1 and 2, as every unit needs huge amounts of lumber, aswell as all buildings apart from Temples and Forts needing lumber, too. On top of that most technologies also require huge amounts of lumber. In 0 AD you pretty much only need lumber and food for everything throughout age 1 and 2. And then suddenly you need 1000 metal and 1000 stone to progress to Age 3. Which feels a bit weird, as you need to stockpile resources that you don't need anyways in age 2. It would be better to make the progression to t3 more of a tradeoff between getting more military and teching up to more powerful units. Also, Age 2 might use different amounts of resources to progress. Like 600 Food 300 Stone. This isn't necessarily bad, however, in my opinion, the resource distribution among technologies, buildings and units should vary more. Let me give you a quick example: - in CoH, you use manpower to train units, fuel to tech up and train vehicles, and ammunition for abilities and weapon upgrades. - in Age you use Gold and Food for most units, or Gold and lumber, or Lumber and food to train military units. In 0 AD I don't see this resource distribution being used that much. Instead, most units require the same amount of resources. Pretty much you need to apply a certain "task" to each resource, like I stated above. From what I've seen the basic layout looks like this: - food is needed for some eco, upgrades and soldiers - wood is needed for pretty much everything - metal is needed for some techs and advanced units, but only in small amounts. - stone is needed for fortresses, towers and aging up As someone can see, the resource usage is spread out a lot, and I think it might be worth it to readjust the system. To give an example - Food is most important early on, required for almost anything. Training villies, military units (melee), teching up - lumber is needed for constructing basic structures, and requirement for ranged units like archers, siege weapons, upgrades that have to do with arrows/missiles - metal is needed for military upgrades, all kinds of swordmen units, teching advanced techs that improve your citizen economy etc. - stone is needed for defensive structures and teching advanced buildings/progressing in Age, (partly combined with lumber) I know that this principle doesn't look that much different, but minor adjustments like these will affect the resourcing massively. Also, it streamlines the learning curve. Players think then "Ok, I need metal for melee military, food for building units. Lumber and stone are needed for everything that has to do with my city" Imo, metal should be given a bigger role in military unit production. The reason is easy: it gives more room for city progression, teching and also more variety in your starting game. Metal could be harder to mine, and take more time. This way, it also becomes more important to stockpile metals early on for age 2 and age 3 military units and upgrades. If you make normal Age 1 infantry cost food + metal instead of food + lumber, it's overall more interesting in early build orders. If you're committing to a rush, you could be scouted, as you only need metal if you want to make military early on. This creates more importance for scouting your enemy. I know that some age 1 units require food and metal already (like hastati), but they still also need wood. As the game progresses (I'm referring to age 2 mostly), metal should become more and more important. Techs should require more and more metal, and stronger military units should require a combo of lumber + metal, or food + metal. This makes fighting for metal depots on the map more important. Not every unit should require metal, but quite a few. Same with techs. Right now you need almost no metal apart from teching to age 3. Example: basic hoplites cost 50g 20m instead of 50g50l. Peltasts cost 20f 60w (so you need to harvest more different resources, but you save food for aging up). Cavalry could cost 60f 40m instead of food and lumber. quick edit: Another option could be that barracks are required to build advanced military (cavalry and peltasts) in your town center. There could be an upgrade to make units trained from the town center to match barracks build speed available once you've built it. Point 2: fighting system Right now, the game fighting is quite nice, although Archers seem to the weapon of choice to build, as they have huge range, and deal a lot of damage. Cavalry seems to be lacking, so the counters are weak. Imo, this isn't too much of an issue, tho. What I think is a bigger problem is that pretty much all units can harvest resources. While it's cool to have citizen soldiers who can do both (very unique idea), this has 2 consequences: First, the person who's playing aggressively early on risks A LOT. If you're rushing your enemy, you're giving away 2 resources. One resource is resource collection time. Your units are running to the enemy and not harvesting resources. Your opponent gets an economic lead this way, because his units are collecting resources. And even if you reach your enemy, it's hard to fight him, as he'll also have citizen soldiers to defend his city. So, you as a rusher, are sacrificing economy and your enemy has more resources and has most likely as many soldiers as you have. Overall, rushing seems to be very inefficient this way. A solution to this would be that wounded units collect slower compared to full health units. Penalty of maybe 50% less efficent once they have lost hitpoints. But, to counter this, units would be able to regenerate health slowly. If you garrison them in the Town Center they heal faster - pretty much you reduce the dependancy on healing upgrades, and also, this rewards unit preservation. You could even go ahead and give certain civs bonuses to healing to mark them as defensive-boom oriented civs. Also, I think that Archers shouldn't be able to harvest resources (or only at a VERY slow rate compared to other units). Archers seem to be very strong in this game, and there should be a drawback to this (apart from costs). If someone spams archers, he's "punished" by having a weaker economy compared to someone who's playing with other infantry units. Also, military units trained in the Town Center should take significantly longer to train compared to barracks so getting military buildings earlier is more important. Also, this helps with being able to rush. This also makes sense in the counter system: Archers > Infantry > Cavalry > Archers - both archers and their counter cannot harvest resources. If cavalry counters archers, and archers can harvest while cavalry cannot, this makes archers way more population efficient as they're both economy unit, harassing unit and main military unit. The 2nd consequence of this is that you get huge ressource spikes - every soldier multiplies as military unit and as a villager. So, lategame you'll have huge amounts of workers, who can also defend themselves easily, making eco raids with units like cavalry hard, especailly since quite a few citizen workers are spearmen. Like said before, not necessarily a bad thing, but this makes Archers even stronger. Because they are the only units that can outrange your military workers and harass economies without taking damage in return. Add fortresses and towers and you get a pretty static fighting front - build a Fortress, rush archers forward, kill some eco, then build another fort and so on. Since siege is required to tear down buildings, this makes advances hard. Point 3: Buildings Easier access to siege, or making regular infantry better at fighting buildings (maybe through upgrades) would seem to be the way to go from my point of view. Even if there is infantry that tears down buildings quite well, it's still hard to advance without siege. Maybe, some infantry units could also have access to upgrades that help with building damage. Dwarves in BFME got an upgrade named "siege hammers" which made them deal lots of damage to buildings, but removing their ability to fight regular units. Maybe something related to flares or fire could do the trick for units in 0 AD. Also, building costs and times should be adjusted. Constructing buildings faster, and being able to tear them down faster leads to a more fluid gameplay, with more back and forth. Making buildings cost more stone compared to lumber makes economic choices and upgrades more important. tl;dr: Harassment should be made more viable, and resource distribution should be balanced out to give a more streamlined game. I suggest taking the time to read through the full post though. So far, thanks for reading, and I'm hoping for some answers. Greetings DarcReaver
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