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ChronA last won the day on February 14

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  1. I'd like to applaud @real_tabasco_sauce for the moderation of this opinion, and endorse it as my own view. Ultimately the non-random systems seems like it will have better implications for gameplay. However its balance implications are so convoluted and far reaching that trying to implement it all at once into a larger incremental-rebalance mod is just going to scramble all the other balance goals. However, this idea of having an adjustable number or proportion of arrows, per actor, be non-random sounds very promising to me. I think it should be discussed further. I imagine the implementation would be tunable on a per-unit-class basis through unit templates. That might be your solution to the balance problems. You could walk the proportion up for each building, just until it starts to cause problems, and then wait until a compensatory adjustment can be found before going further, without ever breaking the overall balance (if it were done very cleverly). This would eventually let you transition entirely to non-random if you wanted, or find a happy middle where the gameplay objectives of non-random are achieved, but some random aiming is still present with its own beneficial effects on balance and presentation.
  2. Here's an idea for buffing sentry and guard towers that I tried in one of my own modding experiments and found incredibly fun: give them an aura that slightly increases the movement speed of friendly units. This is meant to represent the policing and infrastructure functions that a small local garrison under arms can perform. They keep the roads clear, break up fights, and give directions, enhancing the efficiency of the local economy. The effect of this was to incentivize building out a network of sentry towers across your territory, and especially around work sites to speed up production. These naturally also became a defensive asset against raiders, especially if you strategically upgraded some to guard towers, but (at least in my experiments) the density of towers needed for efficient production was less than the density needed to fully protect against raids. But I still felt it shifted the approach to static defense away from the spoke and hub paradigm, where a CC or Fortress anchors the defenses and economy of a big chunk of territory. If you want a further layer of intrigue, one could also give static defense a farming and metal mining debuff aura, representing the graft of the sentries. (This should also apply to CCs or Fortresses.) It could even slow research and unit production. Then you have an interesting push and pull where you should intentionally leave some gaps in the tower network. Now, I would be remiss not to disclose that this was in the context of an experiment where I lowered the max pop to around 100 IIRC, along with other changes. I'm not sure the performance implications for a full sized game...
  3. The fact that non random arrows broke the balance in the first place just shows that the rush-defense balance was over tuned and under-differentiated to begin with. AoE2 tower rush wars prove that OP static defenses can still work in a fun and dynamic early game. You just have to leave room for the meta evolve new rush variants that don't get completely shut down by it. Maybe provide some sort of early heavy-armor infantry, or maybe even reduce building attack range so raiders can work around the edges. Or you could meticulous rebalance the damage numbers along a new knife edge to preserve the current dynamic. It will be a lot of work, but you do seem determined to see it through. Note: that was why I was opposed previously to non-random arrows. It seemed like something that might burn you out for a feature no one else apparently wanted. But now @wowgetoffyourcellphone is asking for it for their mod, so I'm in.
  4. I think chariots are just a weird weapons system to model in the simulation systems of 0AD, because unlike almost everything else in the game they are both extremely multi-role and (or arguably because) by the era the game takes place in their entire advantage seems to have been 100% psychological rather than kinetic. (With the possible exception of Britons vs Britons.) Do you need a heavy cavalry weapon that will smash through enemy formations with pure momentum? Chariots will do that. But horse riders will do it better, while also being more survivable and costing less. Do you need a mobile archery platform that will rain arrows on your enemies while keeping you out of reach of foes? Chariots will do that. But horse archers will do it better, while also being more survivable and costing less. What does a chariot do better than cavalry? Only that is shows you were both rich and crazy enough to show up to war in a chariot. That means you are probably an emperor or his immediate family: with an entire army, plus a lot of elite body guards personally tasked with backing him up. So whoever he decides to charge at and then makes the colossal mistake of standing their ground automatically earns the wrath of that entire apparatus. It's like the president of the USA taking Air Force One into a dog fight. The 747 is not a good choice if he intends to achieve a kinetic victory, but if the other guy is smart he will immediately surrender regardless. Am I wrong?
  5. @real_tabasco_sauce Forgive me for butting in, but as a third party I do feel @chrstgtr has made their case in this dispute better than you have. Both parties seem to agree that the rush vs turtle balance hinges upon static defense doing a very limited amount of damage. It's basically supposed to act as a timer for how long you can derp around in enemy territory, rather than being a decisive source of attrition against enemies who happen to stray too close to an emplacement. The building AI change has disrupted this balance by concentrating the damage emplacements deal, which was previously spread out, such that now it can cause real, lasting attrition. You want to adjust down the damage stats of static defense to restore the balance, which is fair. Except, won't that in itself defeat the original purpose of the building AI change entirely? Static defense still won't have the ability to generate real, lasting attrition, because that is what the whole thing is balanced around. The net effect on the tactical dynamics of static defense will end up being completely negligible, and all that you will have accomplished is to waste your own time and energy on a largely cosmetic adjustment to the simulation. That's the argument I think @chrstgtr is trying to make, and to me it seems well reasoned. Now, maybe you have some bigger plan in mind for this. Maybe this will enable smaller, multi-tasked raids to be more viable, if now large incursions will be subject to the same concentrated fire that currently dissuades small ones. But you have not made that argument recently. Instead you are leaning on the premise that concentrating static defense damage is an intrinsic good, but the mere fact that you guys are having this discussion pokes a pretty big hole in that idea.
  6. Balance-wise there might be an argument that the one-sided victory for the modded pikeman is bad, but speaking from a perspective of historical authenticity and the impression given by the in-game art, I think the modded outcome is an improvement. The rank 3 pikeman is depicted as a heavy-infantryman kitted in full body armor. He should be virtually impervious to all light projectiles of the period, which would include the rider's javelins. Otherwise why wear all that heavy and expensive gear? And the opponent he is facing, even at the elite rank is still just a light cavalryman. His role is supposed to be to scout, to raid, and to lure the pikeman out of position so that allied heavy infantry of heavy cavalry could mop him up. In this time period he wouldn't be expected to inflict massed casualties against heavy infantry. Even in a rout, his job was really just to pick off a few unlucky individuals to keep the enemy in a state of fear and prevent their re-cohering. If they were lucky they might trigger a crowd disaster or chase the enemy into a river, where they would drown, but that was the exception. There was a period in history where ranged light cavalry could inflict mass casualties against heavy infantry like you're expecting. It was in the era of pike and shot, when cavalry started carrying pistols and carbines. This was one of the development that ended the era of armored melee infantry.
  7. If you guys really want to go down this road, at some point it is going to be less work to institute a formalized reputation system for ranked players instead of attempting this futile anti-cheat arms race. As has been demonstrated, there is no complete consensus for what is or isn't fair play. The distinction between simulation, UI, and hardware is fuzzy. And even if you have two people with the exact same code and devices you will still have to deal with antisocial behavior that most people would understand as cheating: smurfing and unsportsmanlike conduct. If you ask to play a no-rush-20 and your opponent rushes you, isn't that cheating? If you are playing a team game and one of your team mates deletes a shared wall and defects to the other team 40 minutes in, isn't that cheating? I think the best way to handle this is to make tools that encourage players to build personalized trust graphs for matchmaking. Let them mark people who they have good relationships with, and those who they do not trust, and then preferentially match with players within their cluster of extended positive connects. It could even go beyond matchmaking to auto-muting anyone in lobby chat who is is not on sufficiently positive terms with your trusted group, and all of it adjustable according to individual preferences.
  8. Clearing fortified buildings of defenders is specifically one of the situations where elite, specialist units disproportionately excel. When police need to storm a building they don't send in whoever happened to show up for work that day. They send in the SWAT team. They are the ones with the special knowledge and team cohesion you need. In ancient times the gear was different but the dynamic was still pretty similar I think. So in terms of game design it might be an iffy choice to give champions a capture bonus, but it does seem very authentic to history, at least conceptually. Maybe an extra caveat to that is ancient armies aren't structured like RTS armies, so how reasonable all this seems depends on how you imagine units in the game are abstracting features of ancient warfare. In ancient times looting was a major part of military logistics and economics. So while storming actions would have been entrusted to specialists, it is also true that almost every company of war fighters would have had some of these specialists mixed in with the normal troops. The troops themselves would have made sure of that, even if it meant hiring extra fighters out of their own pockets. In that sense it is probably true that an "army of champions" should not be substantially better at capturing than a normal army of citizen soldiers.
  9. You have been told how this works. If you as a representative of "new players" ask for a feature, then the community has a moral imperative to try to accommodate it, provided it is a sincere request and there is a solution that would actually help. Yes, that means the community gets to question your previous gaming experience, and yes even your general intelligence. This is not a personal attack, it is them trying to understand what is causing the issue so they can determine what sort of correction is needed, or if one is even possible. If you can't stand the heat why are you hanging out in the kitchen?
  10. @krt0143, for what it's worth. The reason people got prickly with you (and may continue to do so) is that the process of developing balance changes here often follows a certain pattern: It starts with someone, often a relatively new player, asking for help with a certain feature and subsequently suggesting balance changes to push the game design in a certain direction. The community will then debate back and forth whether the critique has any merit. However, usually the mere fact that an issue was raised at all is enough evidence to agree that there is a genuine problem, which requires trying to implement at least a half fix. While you may have no intention of making any demands, the mere fact that you exist on this forum, proclaiming that "this game does not cater to my desired experience, and there are others like me," sets a process in motion. Whether you intend it or not an institutional inference mechanism will start making demands on your behalf. The community wants to cater to your unmet preferences, even if that will cause big problems for other stakeholders, because an open source project is supposed be the ultimate expression of democratic egalitarianism. Basically the only way to stop this process is for people to come out and try to poke holes in your POV.... saying you don't actually know what you want. It sucks that we can't discuss these things dispassionately, but such is the nature of a project with a shaky creative vision. Every perspective morphs into a sort of unintentional power play, and one must tread with care in the games of thrones. I'm glad to hear you have been able to develop the kind of experience you want through modding. That is one of the true advantages of this project. I hope you will find opportunities to share your work and the preferences that inspired it. Just be aware that game design and balance is a charged topic here. There is history, and petty group politics, and egos tied up in those discussions. Exercise discretion if you don't want to be sucked in.
  11. Don't lead newbies on with false promises, alre. It won't end well for anyone. The truth is in every open source project I've ever seen, quality control matters a lot more than enthusiasm for deciding who gets to contribute. This guy may be able to open up some XML and JSON to tinker with the contents, but in his 30 years of gaming he's learned next to nothing about game theory or competitive RTS design. He could submit hundreds of commits for consideration and not a single one will ever be accepted. He has an entirely different vision for the game, and with his current knowledge he has no ability to reconcile it with the consensus position or even see that there is a conflict. We have seen where this road leads before. Hurt feelings, alienation, and compounding community toxicity. Let's not have another Yekaterina. @krt0143 My emphatic advice to you is to focus on your modding, and heavily recalibrate down your expectations for the project beyond your own immediate control. People here will be very happy to help you achieve your vision for your mod. This community can be very generous with their time in the form of discussions and advice, right up until you start trying to overwrite their own visions by force of argument. Then expect a beatdown. No. The smart way to do things is to let your work make the arguments for you. Just reconcile yourself ahead of time that this community might not embrace your changes as wholeheartedly as you think they should. You have a wonderful appreciation of a certain game experience that this project doesn't cater to. But I think you are right that it could... maybe.... However the way to do that is not to try to overwrite the current consensus. Rather you must try to build your own community and then shift the consensus organically. Check out the Delenda Est mod and the way it's nudged the development of 0AD in certain directions. It can be done. And also stop boasting about how you've been playing RTS since Dune II. So have most of the people you are talking to. Everyone here is a connoisseur of the genre. It does not give your arguments any additional weight. (If you want to impress me, let's talk about how the design focus of the RTS market has shifted from sandbox to PvP over the years and how 0AD is missing a trick by not harkening back to AoE 1's sandbox focus, before AoE 2 established the series as a PvP staple.)
  12. But you also complain that games devolves into a speed clicking competition? You see the contradiction there right? From a game design perspective the whole point of resources is that they limit the number of simultaneous actions any agent can execute, whether that agent be a unit, a human player, or an AI. I'd wager the reason the computer is steamrolling you every time with its superior APM is that for a full 40-50 minutes at the start of every game you are doing absolutely nothing to prevent its intake of resources. Then its shocked_pikachu_face.jpg that the AI with its fully built out industrial war economy, calibrated to give it some hope of holding its own in war of attrition against actual ladder players, smashes your scenario-editor model army and sim-city town in 30 seconds. I actually do sympathize, because I mostly play the same way too. It's more fun. But the game is designed first and foremost to be fair and competitive in PvP, and that is a much harder challenge than making a fun PvE sandbox. I agree that 0AD doesn't have its balance right yet, but most of these guys have been working on that problem for years with little progress. All the easy solutions have been tried and found wanting. I honestly think many of the games that get it right, like AoE2 and Starcraft, are actually products of incredible luck, not skill! They happened to stumble onto an improbable pseudo-balance that resonated with a certain audience, which then built a community around forgiving or mitigating the lingering issues. 0AD has not hit that tipping point yet and it may never do so. Most RTSs don't.
  13. I think unit icons are kept in art\textures\ui\session\portraits\units
  14. Sometimes people make mistakes. We don't know what is going on in their offline lives. Sometimes people dealing with intense stressors IRL take out their frustrations and aggressions against innocent bystanders online. I'm not saying that is what's happening here (either with respect to Yeka's behavior or Norse's) but we should be open to the possibility. In such cases, I think the best remedy is to not escalate the situation. Step away for a bit. Touch some grass and reflect. Hopefully deal with the underlying causes of your actions too. Then if you want to rejoin the community, first apologize for past incidents, then explain the external circumstances that led you to chose conflict, and lay out how you plan to avoid falling into the same trap in the future. If the community accepts your apology that is great, if not then stop wasting your time with people who don't want your company. There are billions of people out there with no history of grudges with you. It's never too late to make a fresh start. Also keep in mind that backsliding is always possible. After reconciling with the community try to find a support network, both inside and IRL, who will encourage you to stick to your resolutions and call you out swiftly if you start to regress. Most people will forgive you for mistakes the first time they happen, but not if they become a recurring cycle. For reconciliation the community also needs to take a proactive stance in order to make it successful. We need to encourage both sides. We also need to remove systemic barriers to healthy re-engagement. In particular, having too strong a culture of enforcing personal privacy or tracking reputations can stop people from sharing the problems they are facing and asking for the help they need. We should consider whether that could be an issue here.
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