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  1. My suggestion wasn't aimed at balancing sword cav mercenary nor prevent massing of mercenary but rather an incentive to use more variety in the type of mercenary used. If the more mercenary gallic cavalry you make, the more expensive they become, and you apply the same to Iberian mercenary cavalry separately. Building your army of swordmen cavalry would be cheaper if you mix both types rather than use only one of them. Once you have build both embassy, you would also have the incentive to produce the infantry from each embassy since the first few infantry mercenary trained are strong for their cost. The ideal result would be an incentive to have a mix of both citizen and mercenaries but also some incentives to use infantry mercenary which feels less interesting in the current stage of the game. It sounds more natural to apply changes in training cost to mercenaries than to champions, it would reflect the idea that the more you try to use mercenary, the stepper their price become. Kind if a supply-demand on a labour market logic.
  2. This sounds like a game feature which would limit the number of elephants trained in a game rather than the number of elephants used at the same time on a map, no? Just throwing an idea here, but would it make sense that the cost of mercenary increases with the number of mercenary trained but it would return slowly to its initial cost as time goes (if that's possible?)? Mercenary could be designed to be quite strong for their initial cost, but as their cost raise when more are trained, they would tend to get expensive for their strength. One should then wait for their cost to slowly reduce before training more mercenaries of that type. The interest of that feature is that it should encourage using all types of mercenaries/building all types of embassy rather than just cavalry which seems an issue currently.
  3. If we take ptolemies food trickle, pyramid available in p1 or starting initial soldiers, they would all be different form of economic bonuses (if we can call them bonuses?) allowing to differentiate gameplay and strategies. The food trickle is inherent to the civilization and can't be lost. pyramids need to be built, the player would have to decide how to implement his economic bonus by deciding the position of his pyramid: food, wood... That bonus would be also at risk since the pyramid might be lost. A starting additional soldiers would also bring an economic boost, the player could decide whether he wants to apply it to any resources. The bonus resulting from that starting soldiers could be lost or even converted into an aggressive advantage. Differentiation of economic bonuses should allow for different strategies and allow for some uniqueness. If you want a particular civilization to have economic bonuses with respect to other civilization, we should also consider removing map unbalances in starting resources as part of the civilization design plan. I am not arguing that it is not possible, just that citizen soldiers will make balancing the different civilization with economic bonus only to a few civilization very difficult.
  4. Catapults/bolts are specific units that do allow for some civilization to have some strategies that other do not have. As mentioned by Dizaka in one of his post, catapults/bolts can be countered by mobility (which can be played by any civilization but unfortunately not on every map). If while the enemy attacks your base with catapults you can at least engage in a base trade with your rams/elephants damaging faster the enemy base than what the enemy can do with catapults, then having civilization(s) with (better) catapults might be ok. The issue arise if the Roman can also turtle too easily. In that example, I would see Roman civilization specificity not countered by other civilization specificity but by a particular way to play the game available to every civilization. If you give a strong economic bonus in early game to a particular civilization (as it was the case in a23), citizen soldiers implies that this civilization is likely to play any strategy better than the other and it would dominate all the others with mass infantry in late game. I would rather see different economic bonus for each civilization kind of balancing each other out such that there is no big difference in late game. To come back to my previous example, an additional starting citizen soldiers for romans would be a form of differentiated economic bonus which would compensate them from not having the faster wood cutting bonus that you would give to Gauls. The different type of economic bonus would give incentives to play differently each civilization, but they wouldn't imply that you should play a civilization in the way it was design. I think the game should be balanced only on mainland, for other maps just put a warning sign that game might be unbalanced. It would be the responsibility of the players to ban some civilizations, play mirror civilization etc... if they really want to play balanced game on these maps. balancing civilization on all maps would simply kill any attempts for differentiation. I strongly agree there, there are many ways to balance the game and every suggestions made might be the best for a particular vision of how the game should be played. Some people might want to cook a pizza, others might want to cook a pie, if we don't agree on what we are cooking, it is not possible to know if we need sugar...
  5. While I would agree that 0ad would benefit from some balancing strategy, "playstyle" sounds like something hard to be anywhere close to balanced. If I look at that example, your description let me think that all Brit-Mace matchup would be about an early game in which Brit aggress Mace. In most case Brits should take a decisive advantage and if that wouldn't happen, Brit should simply resign before late game because they missed their shot and Macedonian superior siege and late game would allow them to take the advantage. I think my view is close to breakfastburrito, I would offer to each civilization similar option but allow players to decide how they want to play it. It is important that every civilization do not become too predictable. A system with at least a "threat strategy" (rushing) and a "punishing strategy" (booming/lategame play) would make more sense (Mid games strategy feels currently missing...). The gameplay could later be further differentiated by introducing potentially several threats, various definitions of what is early game/late game for each civilization etc... Rushing/booming/harassing should be decent strategies for every civilization, but it would be nice if each civilization is able to do it differently. Defining a rush specific to a civilization would consist in combining civilization bonus+starting units+ starting building+available units/technology to allow for that rush to be specific. For example: Romans have faster training of soldiers, giving them a barrack that cost only stones, the availability of swordmen p1 which allow to use starting resources for faster soldiers production and maybe one additional starting units could allow that civilization to go for early infantry rush. A Roman player would decide whether he wants to go for that infantry rush, if we wants to add a few spear cavalries to implement a more complex version, or if he prefers booming and plays something specific to Romans in late game. The enemy would have to decide whether he prepares to defend the Roman infantry rush, goes for a rush specific to his civilization or boom to play a later game strategy specific to his civilization but about equally valid as a lategame strategy.
  6. Nice, worth looking what others think about it. Not sure if I explained well my intuition. My issue with ships is that the arrows are spread over all ships in range instead of having them used to kill one units after the other as it is the case for other units type. The first arrow goes to the first ships, the second arrow to another ships etc...( vs all arrows goes to one ship until it dies as it would be the case for another unit type). If I can put my 10 ships in the same spot, I can make sure the enemy ships will spread the arrows on the 10 of them and if I have more ships, I also have more units to split the arrows while I would at the same time fire more arrows on the enemy. When my ships do not overlap, ships in the back will usually be out of range. They will therefore not be targeted nor fire at the enemy ships. If I do a quick drawing of ships range with each color standing for a different player: - ship B only targets the enemy ship F; - ship C will spread one third of his arrows on each ship D, E and F; - ships D and E will fire only at ship C; - ship F will fire at ship C and ship B, both receiving half of the dps; If ships do not move, ships C will be the first one to die since it receive all arrows from D and E and half of the arrows from ship F. Ship F will be the second one to die since it receives all arrows from ship B and one third of the arrow from ship C. Both player loose one ship. With overlapping ships: - B and C send one third of their arrows on each enemy ship; - D, E and F send half of their arrows on each enemy ship; In this case, I would expect the blue player to loose 0 ship while the red player loose everything. Since repairing is free, the blue player may never loose a ship if he is active in repairing them and there is no possibility to ever come back. The initial number advantage can be cumulated over time.
  7. I haven't tested much the feature yet, but it seems problematic for ships. Since ships do not target a particular units but spread their arrows on all the targets, overlapping units is quite problematic. If we think about 9 ships perfectly overlapping each other fighting 10 identical ships perfectly overlapping each other, the 9 ships would all die while the 10 ships would all be damaged but survive. Of course, in practice, ships do not overlap perfectly but this is just to illustrate the issue. I was wondering whether the pathfinding problematic should be split into 2 parts: ground pathfinding and naval pathfinding? The two problems are quite different I would guess since on water, there is usually fewer units and less obstacles. On games like Starcraft2, flying units overlap each other while ground units do not so I was wondering if something like this could make sense for 0ad and potentially help to get an easy/temporary fix at least.
  8. Thanks, many interesting posts that I missed but are closed to the suggestions that I wanted to make. Improving naval warfare: Currently with ships overlapping each others, there is no possibility to target damaged ships or even to flank enemy ships to maximize your own damages while minimizing enemy damages. Snowballing on naval maps is currently pretty strong since once a player has more ships, there is very little actions that the opponent could do to reverse a number advantage. Having a larger variety of upgrades available for ships and adjusting ships movements to allow for some micro could help to make naval maps more fun and reduce snowballing on naval maps. Improving formations: While there is a lot to do to improve formations, a part that I particularly dislike is that units run to get into formation. If anything, units should be slow to get into formations (but formations would provide other advantages). Currently, if a player clicks on square formations, melee and range infantry will run toward each other, making it impossible to use cavalry to effectively flank range infantry since one click will counter it. Players often goes for mass cavalry or no cavalry at all. If flanking was effective, then players might have more incentives to use a mix of infantry/cavalry for their army. Introducing mainland variety: Many ideas have been made to improve maps with many being already coded (mercenary camps, tree groves, fertile lands...). These changes could have important implications for the overall gameplay, the choices of strategies, the overall balance or even game performances. Having them implemented at the map level could allow for more experimentation without any damages to the development of other aspects of the game. These experimental maps could be useful to test the features themselves (for example the lag generated by tree groves), help to understand how map designs affect current balance and contribute to understand how new features could contribute to the improvement of the existing map pools. If anything, the new maps would therefore only contribute to improve the interest for the game. Seasonal rating: I think resetting ratings with the release of each new alpha might help to stimulate the interest of players to have rated games. It would be easier to become, at least temporarily, the best 0ad player for anyone and player who were slower to learn the game could have a fresh start. For each season, the ratings at the end of the season could be saved on the website for posterity.
  9. Not sure that a tech for sieges could work well for palisades spam. Even if they one shot a palisades, they are slow to move and it would still takes a lot of time to destroy the palisades if they are in large number. I would prefer having units able to do that task to prevent palisades layers/spam.
  10. As a basic principle, I think it would be good if basic defenses used in P1 looses efficiency as the game progresses. In a23, increase in units HP when phasing up helped to fulfill this purpose. All units were buffed with the change in phases but towers weren't, so they be less effective at killing units. I agree. For palisades, the application of this principle I mentioned was, and still is missing. Palisades are often misused currently since they shouldn't be useful to block sieges but mostly be useful in early game. The idea of a tech available in p2/p3 to allow fast destruction of palisades seems good. A tech that could allow units to destroy extremely fast palisades in late game would work well, especially against palisades spam. So if someone used palisades in early game, he has to replace them by walls to have defenses in late game. Walls are barely used currently. Some players build palisades around them to solve that problem. In a24 (slower training time of units, no hp increase when phasing up), there is a very weak timing in multiplayers (smaller distance to the enemy) when you transition from P1 to P2. You spent a lot of resources and lose some training time from your cc to phase up so a player P1 is often stronger than a player that just reached P2. I have tried a few all-in with 4 to 6 barracks while P1 when the enemy reached P2, they seem currently quite strong. You start fighting with a population lead and usually, the enemy is unable to replace units dying fast enough even if he receives extra resources because he will lack production buildings. If on top of that you remove towers usage when they are upgraded, this weakness is even reinforced. I might limit cc's additional arrows to 10 maximum instead of 20 but keep a garrison capacity of 20. This would not change much the cc's role in early game but it would reduce its defensive usage in late game.
  11. Thanks for organizing everything. How can I help?
  12. The 300/300/300/300 starting resources used to be quite useful to differentiate gameplay: - It allowed Britons to go for an early slingers rush. It was also enjoyed by beginners since they could get their first 10 soldiers faster for a safe start; - Ptolemies could go for faster boom thanks to stones available for the barrack which needed 200 stones and mercenary costing metal. During the a22 -"No cav" period, that was often used as a substitute for rush, you could send your woodcutters away for a relatively long time without slowing much your economy since Ptolemies could keep growing without much wood; - I heard about a time when going for swordmen attack in early game using the roman bonus of faster soldiers training time, the starting stones for faster barrack and the starting metal to finance part of the swordmen was a strategy; - In a23, the starting stones allowed Persia to get the stable costing 300 stones at game start. With some hunts available it was possible to reach pop 100 with 20 cavalry to harass without being slowing down with respect to a player booming without cavalry; - In a23, with some extra berries, Seleucids could have boom comparable to faster civilization since with 300 woods and their starting 300 stones, they could get 2 barracks; As a player, I like each of these specificities of the different civilization, and I would prefer to see more of them rather than less of them, even if they might be difficult to balance. That being said, I guess there must have been some discussions about starting resources in the past since I remember a mod adjusting starting resources for each civilization. I would guess because many of these strategies were seen as too strong. That makes sense since other civilizations do not have comparable strategies, and depending on how the question is interpreted, one might want to remove these strategies but he could also add some for the other civilizations and try to work on balancing them. I guess a number of people who enjoy 0ad for the uniqueness of each civilization would also enjoy this part to survive.
  13. I remember reading this arguments here too and I am no expert in history nor elephants but this morning I came across that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxlmmtragFU I noticed that they choose to put archers on bigger elephants and "melee" elephants are smaller one for Seleucids. 0ad does the opposite for Maurya. Don't know if something there could make sense to insert some changes... On the topic of "elephant racism", I was wondering about the balance of the two types of elephants. Indian elephants feels pretty good compared to the other one especially because both takes 3 population space but one type has better stats. The Indian elephant is therefore more efficient in term of population space and quite good from this perspective. It is easier to move around 4 Indian elephants than 5 African elephants in the middle of buildings. But I am not entirely convinced that increasing the population space taken by the Indian elephants would be perfect... maybe 3.6666?
  14. I tried to search for the original motivations behind the introduction of this, but it is probably too old to be easily found. I was guessing that it was introduced as a indirect way to force players to gather stones even if it is not realistic to think that you might need these resources to make these upgrades. I did like this feature of a23, although I wouldn't say that it shouldn't be touched. I also liked that a player might not be able to afford all upgrades in the game and he would be forced to choose which one are important depending on the situation. But this might be a personal preference...
  15. This makes sense but then come the question associated with slingers. It makes the question more complicated since Athens or Ptolemies often run out of stones if the game last too long. Maybe going in the direction suggested by chrstgtr, it could be possible to use civilization differentiation and some specific buildings to make some adjustments. D3680 in the list if I copied it correctly this time... I do like the question of the role of the fortress too but I don't have any interesting idea on this specific topic.
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