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  1. borg- and valihrant would only be allowed to play with each other... feldfeld can only play against chrstgtr... What if you are underated and the player who are +/-100 points refuse to play against you. In many cases, it seems that would simply prevent some players from playing rated games at all.
  2. This could work too, Valihrant suggestion: " Should female citizen gather rates be increased ?" might be a good solution too. I would be curious to know why in previous alpha, it was decided that reducing women wood gathering relative to CS and giving an aura bonus to women to incentive their production would be a good approach too (if anyone remember...?). The gap between women and CS wood gathering rate has been reduced For point 1, I agree with the excess complexity argument. I would guess that more unit types are suited for environment with relatively low amount of units or slow game speed. Having too many unit types to manage separately in a 200 population game is very likely to become not enjoyable if each of them require different micro. For 0ad, if anything, I would guess that the early/mid game might be better suited. You raise interesting questions, I think I would prefer seeing a few of them used for civilization differentiation rather than to solve some problems with the game mechanic that can be addressed differently. Dogs or worker elephants bring more to the game than what could do a woodcutter.
  3. Yes, I agree that the complexity of the micro (rather than the quantity) might be an issue, I didn't think about that part.
  4. More units diversity will indeed make the game more complex and adjusting the art work to make all units easy to differentiate for all civilizations might be indeed a challenge. I am not saying that this is the best way to achieve it, but breaking the "turtling=booming" link in midgame seems important. Currently I would summarize midgame strategy as choosing between either being aggressive, either being passive. What I would find desirable is to have the choice between more than two styles of play. For example to be able to play aggressive, defensive or to be booming. Aggressive should beat booming, defensive should beat aggressive (in the sense that the defensive player has a better eco after the aggression) and booming should beat defensive If you try to balance a system with only two options (active vs passive), you will create a gameplay where either midgame is irrelevant because none of the strategies is better than the other, either players rely on micro to make one of the two strategy better than the other. In a system with three options, you can have a rock-paper-scissor system, and strategy become more relevant than micro to determine what happens in midgame.
  5. I kind of agree with that idea, but it would fit more a post about military units. To be compatible with citizen soldiers and global technology, I think the idea would be to have specialized units available in early game. A drill master would be fast to produce and interesting if you only use one barrack for example, but researching conscription technology would be better in the late game when you have many barracks. The idea might be the same as the one you had in mind with training rank2 or rank3 at higher cost, they should be interesting if you want to train a small number of them but in late game, if you want a larger number, normal units + military upgrades would provide a better return on the resources spent. Not sure about the exact cost that specialized economic units should have, I thought making them comparable to a swordman would make it easier to think about. The small metal cost would prevent early spam and potentially delay the normal economic upgrade. But I didn't spend to much time thinking about it since in any case, the exact number chosen depends on other potential balance changes. I had in mind that observing the economic specialization of your enemy might give you information about the strategy that your enemy might play. Not sure that's very relevant right now but I am taking a long term perspective here. For example, you might not invest in woodcutters if you plan to go for a mercenary/champions based strategy in P2. If they weren't specialized, you might mass them on wood before moving them to metal later on. Also, if you can harass the economic units out of their main function, you are countering the economic advantage that can be gained through their use. If you see the enemy running around your wood lines, you would have an incentive to keep your woodcutters there rather than giving them another safer task, encouraging risk taking therefore. Giving them 0 resources gathering in non-specialty resources sounds like going too far. For example, if a mine runs out, the miners should not have no utility. Setting their non-specialty gathering rate in line with other unit sounds fair from that perspective. I haven't thought too much about that part, it might depends on the name given to these units. Ideally, they should be substitute to the production of soldiers so civic center might make sense. From a logical perspective storehouse/farmstead might however make sense since their are "upgraded" units. If you call them slave, you might think about other buildings. I wanted to use them as a way to make the early/mid game more interesting but not change too much the late game. In early game the metal miner should be better but in the late game, he should be as good as the citizen soldiers equivalent (so same gathering rate as men, not women here). If the metal miner is better, you should start producing them as soon as you mine. Making the citizen-soldier fully upgraded better might work but it would raise the question about whether you want to get metal miner in early/mid-game unnecessarily complicated.
  6. I am not sure what you mean by that it would introduce a "lot more micro". From what I have in mind, you could simply set the rally point of the production building to the woodline and click on woodcutters to have specialized units on wood rather than women. From that point of view, there is no difference in micro with the current game. More micro would come however as a side effect since scouting and rushing might be more rewarding. Behind the concept of specialized economic unit, I was searching for a way to allow for more diversified early game that could still allow to play late game (without touching the concept of citizen soldiers). To be suited for the early game, ideally, that change should have only small effects that could be however meaningful. From a gameplay perspective, applying a tech at the unit level sounds like a good "trick" to allow for more diversified gameplay in the early game. Because it affects only one unit at the time and it is only temporary (the difference between specialized economic units and women disappear when economic upgrades are researched), the differences between the two types of units is designed to slowly disappear. The specificity that I dislike about techs for the goal that I had in mind is that they are "global", that specificity make them quite unlikely to be able to be have only small effects, i.e. allow to play the late game too. In the simple example that you mention, the logical follow up seems to be go for an all-in to end the game since you will have a worst eco forever. The fertility festival seems another example of a tech that can allow to differentiate between booming and building an army. However, to be balanced and because it is a global tech, it has to be designed in such a way such that it impacts mostly the late game. If the economic advantage given was visible too early, the player researching the tech would definitively has the advantage later in the game. Global techs do seem to be good tool to differentiate the early game.
  7. Just throwing an idea... Gameplay issue: Early/Mid-game aggression not favored by the concept of citizen-soldiers. Citizen-soldiers being about as good at collecting resources as women, the difference between booming and building army is significative only during the period in which fields are settled and the wood produced is allocated to fields construction rather than soldiers production. As a consequence, once a player has settled his food production, there is no real trade-off between booming and building an army since both strategy are about the same. Among the main suggestions that have been suggested: - Offer different set of strategies favored by tech: defensive, economic, aggressive - Adjust gathering stat/loot to change incentives - Differentiate more workers from soldiers Idea: Combine some of the ideas suggested and add specialized economic units (on top of the existing set of units) : "farmer, woodcutter or miner". A specialized economic unit is a unit with: low military capacity (similar to a women); high cost (similar to a swordman in terms of resources cost and training time); high productivity in his speciality (similar to a women with p3 upgrades in his specialty domain, similar to a woman with no upgrade in other domain); high loot (similar to a swordman) ; do not benefit from economic upgrades. The aim of the specialized worker units would be to give to a player the opportunity to actually choose between booming or building an army in early/mid game, without affecting the overall economic balance with other units in late game. With respect to a women boom, the specialized economic unit boom is more risky since: - they cost more to produce and replace; - the opportunity cost of denying them access to their workplace is higher; - they will be tracked more carefully by the enemy since loosing a soldier to kill a specialized unit is not a bad tradeoff; They should be useful to take mid game economic advantage (if not punished) or develop more specific strategies by developing one sector of the economy extensively. They might also favor CS all-in on players using mixed of economic specialized units and CS in mid-game and therefore reward more scouting at the same time. Related discussions: - booming = turtling - Strategies choice - Balancing Gatherers - Interaction and early gameplay
  8. The best would be to start with the exact same map generation
  9. Thanks for the fun challenge, it gives a nice opportunity for anyone to evaluate how well he is doing or try to copy some other people build. I usually don't think too much about the build order, I just try to spend all resources that I have and maximize workers efficiency. Trying various "normal" build order, I would always get to something between 7:40 and 7:50 but I would also usually float quite a lot of resources since it is also the timing around which I normally phase up. Taking a paper and a pen to write down the key steps of Vali's build then trying to implement it at slow speed is a nice exercise for anyone who want to improve his early game (or don't remember how to play). In a poor attempt to copy Vali's build at 0.75x speed with many mistakes (completely forgetting the berries upgrade among others ), I got to 7:35. I think putting 2 extra women or taking the upgrade is close to be equivalent in general, if you don't have extra berries. Taking the upgrade is however a dominant strategy in a normal game because you might have berries that you haven't scouted yet. Since you need to decide from the start if you want the upgrade, you should take the upgrade before scouting just in case you have some extra. In this challenge, since we know from the start that you will never have extra berries to take, it makes sense to consider build orders without the upgrade to get a faster first houses and barrack and focus on training units faster. About the food upgrade, 40 seconds is quite a long time for techs to be researched relative to the length of the challenge. If you start researching the food upgrade around minute 4-5, it won't make much of a difference relative to someone not taking that upgrade but getting extra fields. Vali research it quite late but get 7 fields, I tried early food upgrade with 6 fields or later food upgrade with 7 fields, both seems to give about the same result. The 7 fields/later tech is however better for a normal game. For the wood upgrad, Vali researches it before he makes the second house, so it kicks in very early. The main issue there is when the research is completed, Vali needs to develop his farm/build houses&barrack, i.e. add workers to the less efficient sector of his economy instead of adding them to his wood economy where they would be the most productive. Vali has only between 14 to 20 woodcutters in most of the challenge so it doesn't take too many extra woodcutters to compensate for the missing +25%. Relative to a non-tech build, on top of being better for middle-late game, I would guess Vali's build would also be much better, even around minute 7, if you have extra food: - The berries tech would be beneficial if you have extra berries; - You would be able to delay building farms to get more woodcutters in early game, therefore benefiting more from the wood tech advantage.
  10. I like the idea, but maybe it could be used to affect more the gameplay. For example, if there is a minimum distance between pyramids (similar to the one of tower), then the Kushites would be forced to spread pyramids (it could be interpreted as spreading cultural influence? ). This would make phasing up slightly more risky and makes early aggression on Kushites a more relevant strategy.
  11. Not sure if my explanation was very clear. I made two examples. For the first, it goes through all the chicken without hunting at all. For the second cavalry, it started to hunt only with the last chicken, the first one was ignored again. The issue seems to be for intermediate rally point, the hunting target is ignored.
  12. In previous alpha, I used to set rally points for cavalry units exiting stables for efficient hunting as shown below. The cavalry would go behind the deer and chase it in direction of the cc/farmstead, collect the food before moving to the next deer. A big advantage of this is that the order would be given to all cavalry units produced by the building as long as I didn't change the rally point, leaving me time to focus on other actions on the meantime. I could add scouting through rally point after the hunting and many other actions without any issues. In this alpha, if I try to do this, the cavalry units will simply move through all rally points, ignoring the deers. If apply the same principle for other tasks, like for example setting rally points on each berries then a tree next to my cc, all women produced, as long as the rally points remain, will collect berries before moving to wood when the berries are over. The only case where it doesn't work seem to be for hunting. I tried to apply it on chicken next to the cc, so there wouldn't be issue with vision. All chicken get ignored until the cavalry reach the last rally point. If the last rally point is a chicken, then the cavalry start hunting, but if it is not a chicken then the cavalry unit won't hunt. So it doesn't seem to be about the chicken exact location when the cavalry reach the rally point. I would guess that hunting can't be set as an intermediate rally point anymore. Is that correct? Any reason for this change ?
  13. I would guess you used to play Macedonians a lot too but mercenary skirm cav cost 25 metal back in a23.
  14. Outside of balancing the strength of mercenaries, I don't get how their prices are determined to start with. Mercenaries benefit from a discount on their cost that do not seem to be justified: - for slingers or swordmen, the wood cost is substituted for mineral at a 1-to-1 rate, all infantry CS costs 100 resources whereas their mercenary equivalent costs only 60. The argument that "mercenaries cost metal which is harder to get" doesn't seem to be a good argument from that perspective. For almost the same price, you can get 2 CS slingers (100 food, 40 wood, 60mineral) or 1 women + 1 CS + 1 mercenary infantry (100 food, 50 wood, 60 mineral); - on the non-economic role of mercenaries, any additional cavalry units trained in phase2 has no economic role in practice since coral are already setup and hunt is usually gone. So no clue why mercenary cavalry (80 metal) should be that cheap relative to their citizen (100food+50wood/40wood&10metal) equivalent. Mercenary cavalry are stronger, faster to train, and the embassy is even cheaper than the stable. In late game, many of the CS infantry trained won't ever collect resources neither, so this specificity would stop being relevant for infantry too; - with current metal setup on the map, the argument that "metal is scarce" doesn't seem to be very strong argument neither. I won't talk about low wood maps, where you can consider instant resign against a mercenary civilization with the advantage that a 100% metal cost gives; - if we compare the current early rush mercenary build to the fanatic one, fanatics need about twice the training time (20seconds) of mercenary cavalry (11 seconds), and they cost 80 food and 60 wood extra with respect to a mercenary cavalry. One fanatic costs 80food+60wood+80metal whereas 1 mercenary sword cav+1 CS skirmisher cav would cost 100 food+50 wood+80 metal (and the fanatic can't even build stuffs!!); - A cavalry swordman costs 100food, 40wood & 10 metal whereas the stronger mercenary equivalent costs only 80 metal. Anytime you can get 70 metal for less than 100food+40wood at the market, you have a substantial advantage. The first player to get a market can get his first 5 mercenary sword cavalries by simply selling 500 food for 400 metal... these 500 foods would only cover the food part of the cost of the 5 citizen sword cavalry.
  15. I played a game against 7 AI Macedonians, after capturing 5-6 theatrons, the game was suddenly kind of over. My territory influence became so strong that I automatically captured the remaining half of the map without doing anything. Every buildings with no units (including more theatrons, cc and forts) were captured just through the gain in territory influence. Where it becomes really weird is that: - the bonus apply to all buildings, so even a tower has enough territory influence to capture many buildings around it (to give an idea, the aura range of a tower is only about 3/4 of the territory influence it provided with 7 theatrons). - it cancelled enemy territory: even for the enemy cc that weren't lost, they weren't able to provide any territory root since all map was part of my own territory. The AI were confused because there were no spot available to build anything on the map. +20% in itself is pretty small, but when the theatrons bonuses are cumulated ( *1.2 or +20% for each additionnal theatron?) they seem to snowball into something huge. 1 theatrons useless, many theatrons OP?
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