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ChronA last won the day on December 10 2022

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  1. Now reverse everything you wrote and you will have a perfect summary of the Western perspective. In a post green-revolution, post industrial, decarbonizing, and dematerializing economy, Russia's geography dooms it to poverty and geopolitical irrelevance. They have no resources of real value in the new global economy (i.e. people, IP, and warm-water ocean access). The West sees an opportunity to cleanly exsanguinate a formal rival in its final throes, before it breaks anything actually important with its death spasms. And the kicker is, so far they are managing it without even resorting to direct hostilities. If you look back 18 months ago, NATO skepticism was rampant within the alliance. We Americans were tired of unilaterally ponying up our treasure and blood to be an ungrateful, frivolous Europe's primary security guarantor. Western Europe was tired of bending the knee to America's morally bankrupt leadership. The allies on the Eastern flank were eying the spat nervously. But now Americans and Europeans have both shown they are willing to sacrifice greatly for the alliance, and the threats the bloc was formed to combat very visibly still exist. All is forgiven and forgotten, apart from a few loud, fringe radicals. NATO is looking very strong right now. In terms of economy, industrial capacity, and military surplus--every important metric except nukes--America + Europe + Pacific allies, with all our ducks in a row, outweighs Russia by an order of magnitude. Even Russia + China looks shaky against that combo. And in terms of competing world orders, the Western one is suddenly looking pretty attractive. We have abundant peace, security, and civil liberties, with pretty okay side dishes of prosperity and self-determination. NATO is growing because the citizens of some of the world's healthiest democracies are demanding they try to join. It's lovely to talk of hypothetically superior alternative world orders--anti-capitalist, demilitarized kumbaya--but to many the propositions on offer only conjure nightmares of Eastern Europe being vampirized and looted to death, propping up a moribund Russian state and oligarchs; while China does an 18th century style colonialism and ethnic cleansing on Japan, Korea, and the South China Sea neighborhood. That's what my side's propaganda is telling me anyway, and so far I find it marginally more convincing than the contrary position. I am genuinely curious what you guys are getting from yours that is leading you to the opposite conclusions.
  2. "Sabotaged a peace deal" vs "saved Ukraine from capitulating to a belligerent invader"... What's the difference? Make no mistake, the West has been expecting a confrontation like this against Russia for a LONG time. (I live in DC, and people talk. It's not news here.) IMO the real end goal at this point is very much the dissolution of Putin's government and Russian empire, by any means short of nuclear war. So you are right that we do not want peace. There are multiple good reasons for that policy, aimed at preventing much suffering in the long run. Russia being a leaky keg of plutonium-nitro-glycerin, teetering on the edge of an economic/demographic cliff, and bordering several unstable parts of the world, is one reason. Another's the fact that subduing China's rival imperial ambitions will be much easier without Russia waiting behind the curtain to play king maker. That's the secret. In a multipolar world with WMDs and a prisoner's alliance global economy, we are all under constant existential threat, which automatically legitimizes any extremity. Ukraine has been in check since February and desperately trying to avoid mate the only way it can, by becoming a Western puppet. Russia looks 2 moves ahead and sees itself checkmated unless it absorbs Ukraine (and the rest of the Eastern Europe). The US, China, and EU all see their own ruins in 3-5 moves. But the fact that everyone's hands are equally dirty does not change the rules of the game. Russia has invaded Ukraine twice in the last decade. The second time was an entirely naked land grab with genocidal undertones, that launched with the primary strategic aim of decapitating the legal government in Kiev. There is nothing to negotiate until Russia returns to within its own borders, and then we should accept their unconditional surrender (like in 1945). That's the rules, because we've seen where rewarding that kind of bellicosity in the European Peninsula and Asian Pacific takes us to: World Wars. If Ukraine can't finish off Russia on its own it might be too late already to stop WWIII, but the people in change in the west are betting they can still head off IV, V, and VI. And 3 World Wars is much better than 6. Geopolitics sucks. The only winning move was not to play, but it's a little late for that now.
  3. From experience: a 1 to1 HP to DPS tradeoff is not going to work out how you want. The most important decider for how much damage a melee unit can do vs a range unit is not actually its DPS, but how much time it spends in attack range, which is determined by speed and effective HP. Consider that -10% HP on a unit that spends 80% of a battle walking to the enemy and 20% attacking is not a 10% reduction to damage dealt. It's -50%, as the unit is now only gets to spend 10% of its nominal lifetime on target. If you really want to test this, first you should try just doubling Melee infantry DPS. See how much that changes up the dynamics. If it is too much, then you can scale it back or look at some compensatory nerfs, but I think you will be shocked just how little difference it makes. Edit: and if the goal is to have gameplay that actually reflects ancient warfare--with 70+% of the fighting strength composed of heavy (melee) infantry--I think you will need to go much, much further with the melee inf buffs. I'd imagine somewhere in the neighborhood 2X DPS and 4X HP would do it.
  4. Create new variant XML files for each new animation in ...\art\variants\biped and ...\art\variants\quadraped for infantry and cavalry respectively. The actual animation sequences should be copied from existing sword swinging and sling throwing variants. That will save you from needing to make any new animations with Blender. You might need to create a few extra variants for each action to accommodate units with differ sized shields. Add the proper new <variant> tags for each new action to ALL the actor XML file... FOR EVERY SINGLE UNIT IN THE GAME!!! Add code to the Component files (...\simulation\components) for UnitAI.js, Attack.js, (plus all the other combat components that interact with them) to allow units to know when and how to use their new attacks, and what to do when hit by them. Add new attributes to the unit-template XML files to set the speed and damage for the new attacks according to the syntax you set up in the Component files. I'm probably forgetting something, but that's what I remember from last time I looked at doing something similar. Needless to say it is a tremendous amount of work, and unless you are actually a god-tier coder you should recruit help if you are dedicated to seeing this idea realized. Don't try to do it all on your own. It will take ages, and there is a good chance the next update could wreck all of your work before you even release it. Work smart by communicating with the main devs, sharing the burden with collaborators, using version control software for everything, and pacing yourself. This will protect your work and mental health in the long run. Other than Hyrule Conquest and maybe that one Pony mod, I don't think anyone else has ever attempted a renovation of this scale in the last 10 years. But it can be done if you are smart, persuasive, and committed to seeing your vision through. Good luck and best wishes!
  5. Exactly, the West (past, present, academic, and lay) absolutely has its own closet overflowing with skeletons where misrepresenting historical evidence is concerned. But that can't mean everybody gets a free pass to keep doing the same. It means we all need to be more critical about how we source and interpret our history. I admit I used this opportunity to rib AIEND for their country's instrumentalist attitude to these matters, and that disrespect deserves some calling out. However, I can't apologize for trying to point out a cognitive bias in others when it contributes to erroneous reasoning. Where the situation reversed, I would appreciate someone else pointing out a potential cause of my mistakes even if it temporarily hurt my ego. I think that is the only realistic way to deal with these things, and anyone who can't take the heat of having their biases examined should be ready to occasionally take a break from the kitchen.
  6. Chinese textbooks are the one infallible authority on any question of historical truth. /s Snark aside, there is a kernel of truth here that any absolute statement about the gear and tactics of an ancient military unit that operated over hundreds of years is likely to have counter examples. In early times these were people acting as military emissaries of a distinct ethnic group , and later an evolving military company shaped by the traditions of those forbearers as well as the organizational and operational requirements of their own circumstances. They were not inanimate weapons systems, like a particular model of rifle or tank. They could and would change their gear and tactics to keep up with changing times and situations. That said, in a game like this there needs to be some some sort of typical representation for a special unit like this that is functionally distinct from other units. We can quibble about their precise representation, but I think the choice to draw them as elite medium-to-light-ish melee infantry is representative of their most celebrated exploits. (As attested in the accounts above.)
  7. Gameplay wise, what differentiates corrals from farms? I've never given them much thought personally, but presumably the player gets something like 2-10 times more resource generation per unit time, and a hugely reduced territory footprint, and in exchange for much more micromanagement. The first thing to ask is whether corral management represents a distinctly fun skill challenge. Is it engaging? Does it reward the player's attention in a different way from farming? Secondly does it create a distinct set of strategic considerations? Like could provide players with reduced territory footprint with a comeback mechanic? A way to get food from land that is unavailable for farming (because of terrain, or auras, or threat of attack)? Maybe it makes cavalry more cost effective by allowing them to participate in food generation? If the answer to both these questions is no, the feature should be cut. Otherwise any buffs should ideally be concentrated on intensifying these differentiators.
  8. Is there a link on the wiki? I've looked a bit for that sort of info for 0 AD (because I would like to have larger projectile models so I can tell who is shooting who) and I've not found anything.
  9. I think this misses the point of the complaint. The ability to rescale things DOES already exist in the 3D modeling software, and that is great for those who already know how to use these programs and want all that extra flexibility. But for anyone who doesn't know how to use Blender it is a huge impediment to their ability to mod the game. There are a bunch of potential applications where the ability to easily grow or shrink game models without changing any animations would be helpful: like larger projectiles so that its actually possible to see them in flight. Or ships and units that actually match the dimensions of their collision footprints. Or an AoE style tiny trees mod. These become huge projects if every model must be rescaled and exported from source, but would be almost trivial if there was just a number in an xml that could be adjusted in on the fly with a text editor.
  10. You're headed the right direction. The biggest problem with the source image is that the facture pattern gives away the scale (very small). Sharp edges like that melt or even sublimate away really quickly. So stable, geological-scale ice that has been around for a while rarely presents such abrupt, jagged reflection edges. I think you might experiment with applying a bit of blur to give the surface a more smoothed-away look. I'd also suggest trying to add a few little traces of snow drifts. Like, when it is very cold for a long time, snow particles blown by the wind get snagged in little cracks in a standing ice sheet, and then more snow gets hung up on those particles forming little dune-like drifts that follow the course of the original crack. Don't overdo it, but a few spots here and there might help sell the scale of the ice sheet more. Those are my suggestions, but no guarantees they are any good. I'm not an artist of any sort. Just a yearly admirer of winter landscapes.
  11. That is a fair counterpoint. There might be some room to debate whether those skirmishes (if they are decisive) are actually so small that LOLN breaks down, or if they are just protracted exchanges still involving hundreds of projectiles but now spread out over a few minutes instead of 30-60 seconds. But I admit I lack the experience base to evaluate that question. Also I do agree with the concern that slower projectiles could throw of the balance in a major way, as it opens up a new avenue for systematic counter-play that could change the balance of tactics in unpredictable ways. (Dancing!) Also, with fewer, chunkier projectiles there could be problems with overkill weirdness. Like if previously it takes 10 arrows to kill a unit and 50% of the last arrow is overkill, that means 5% of the unit's DPS is wasted. Where as if it only takes 2 arrows with 50% overkill on the last shot now you are losing 25% of your theoretical DPS. Because of issues like this I would actually agree that any changes to attack rates should be lumped in with a general rebalancing of ranged vs melee troops. No sense doing the same work twice. (It helps that a melee buff is sorely needed if 0 AD is to have any pretenses of being historical.)
  12. Unlikely it would cause any noticeable difference with respect to <Accuracy>. The Law of Large Numbers applies because, even with a reduced rate-of-fire, you are still flinging hundreds of projectiles over the course of a typical battle (most of which hit something). That is more than a large enough sample size to push the tendency very close to the theoretical expectation. In intuitive terms, yes misses would be a bigger lost opportunity, but the projectiles that do hit balance it out by having a proportionately larger punch that almost exactly makes up for the damage that is lost. Plus, I don't think the threshold of "game breaking chaos" is nearly as sensitive as this objection makes it out to be. There are a bunch of really unpredictable factors in 0 AD's combat already: e.g. not being able to tell how many units are in an enemy formation due to the obscene model overlap, or the way that promotions can randomly change a few lucky units' stats on the fly. Despite this, I don't hear anyone complaining that the combat gameplay is unskillful.
  13. Every aspect of combat in 0 AD (and most other games like it) is tremendously abstracted. If you hypothetically wanted to simulate the process of attacking buildings in more detail I'd vote to go all out: with actual fire propagation spreading to other nearby buildings, attackers adding more torches to make it burn faster but not actually doing damage, and defenders "repairing" the building by throwing water on.
  14. This is the kind of thing I'd like to be able to help with, however I've currently got other obligations that require my full attention. It would be really irresponsible for me to get back into 0 AD right now. Instead, let me just try to assuage you to consider giving it a shot yourself. Modifying unit stats in 0 AD is trivially easy. The hardest part is probably just setting up a new mod, but even that is pretty straight forward.
  15. While I remain an advocate of big structural changes for 0 AD, at this juncture I think restraint would be wise for this mod. With the brand new alpha no one knows yet what the current crop of balance problems will be (even if we have some guesses). Rushing into a set of features that don't reflect the current balance zeitgeist, or worse create entirely new problems on top of the endogenous deficiencies, would risk discrediting the project. Plus there might be governance problems in these early days that would be easier to sort out before real balance politics begins. Better to wait a month or so to see how things shake out with alpha 26. Maybe start collecting proposals, drafting design documents, and organizing in the mean time.
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