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ChronA last won the day on November 22 2020

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  1. I second this with every fiber of my being. The ephemeral unit non-collision really detracts from my enjoyment of the game. In fact, I would call it a deal breaker personally; I am really not interested in engaging with any of the single or multiplayer content in the game unless this is remedied. (Luckily modding exists.) The only thing I would disagree about is that the situation was any more acceptable before alpha 25. Maybe units weren't sliding through each other quite so fluidly before, but they were still doing a lot of their fighting in infinitely dense knots where range and surface area did not matter; where you could not tell where one unit ended and the next began. It has always struck me as one of the most egregious failures of polish on this project. I would even suggest a different interpretation: more than a gamplay choice, this is a simulation performance and optimization failure. In theory this game supports 200-300 population per player in team games. (With the amount of performance degradation on display, I'd question that assertion, but whatever.) However 95% of units spend 95% of the game sitting inside each other and acting in lockstep within these horrid little singularities. Whey then is the game wasting so many resources simulating so many individual units when it could be treating them in aggregate? Why not increase the separation of units, increase their pop cost by 5-10 X make their attack proportionate to HP, and call each one a battalion? I bet the game would run loads better and most players would not notice any real difference. (Here's my preferred setting in simulation\data\pathfinder.xml to ameliorate this issue. I'm sure the performance cost is horrendous, but...) <MaxSameTurnMoves>20</MaxSameTurnMoves> <Pushing> <Radius>1</Radius> <StaticExtension>2</StaticExtension> <MovingExtension>20</MovingExtension> <!-- This could be lower if there was a separate slider to scale the pushing force --> <MinimalForce>0.05</MinimalForce> </Pushing> <PassabilityClasses> <default> <Obstructions>pathfinding</Obstructions> <MaxWaterDepth>2</MaxWaterDepth> <MaxTerrainSlope>1.0</MaxTerrainSlope> <Clearance>1.5</Clearance> </default> <large> <Obstructions>pathfinding</Obstructions> <MaxWaterDepth>2</MaxWaterDepth> <MaxTerrainSlope>1.0</MaxTerrainSlope> <Clearance>3.0</Clearance> </large>
  2. Agreed that the banking during the turns looks wrong right now, but otherwise this is incredibly cool. I hope it can make it into a future alpha. Naval gameplay seems like its more of a placeholder right now, so maybe concerns about gameplay implications won't be too much impediment. How do other games handle pathing for units with wide turning radii? Only one that comes to mind for me right now is Zero-K. There I believe rotational and forward movement are disconnected. So if a tank, rover, or ship hits an obstruction it will stop moving along the component normal to the obstruction, while retaining its tangential velocity, and continuing to smoothly turn the whole time. It looks kind of stupid in action but I guess it plays well for them.
  3. Hm... Slings are certainly formidable weapons, but to suggest that they could propel shot of a similar mass to a .45 at comparable velocity to modern firearms does not parse. Even .22 LR with an energy of under 200 J can easily shred all but very high quality reproduction plate armor. If slings could approach those kinds of energies, they would have been MUCH more effective than crossbows or high poundage war bows against mid to late medieval armor. Yet I have never heard of any medieval army fielding slingers as a core part of their infantry complement. I'd want to see some pretty extraordinary evidence before I'll buy that ancient slingers could reproducibly break 75 m/s. Don't take that as me contesting the idea that slings should be effective against elephants though! Even if it was just 50 m/s, slingers with lead shot would still open up wounds that would drive an elephant crazy, and if hit with enough I'm sure would eventually make them bleed to death.
  4. It does. There are a couple of different approaches (off the top of my head) that could be used to change that behavior, not all of which have been discussed yet: Add a preferred target preference against ranged unit to ranged units (or perhaps only to some subset--like archers--so that they become specialized as a ranged superiority unit). Changing the overall damage rate (or directional armor bonuses) of the game such that flanking maneuvers produce a positive increase in damage dealt. Right now if one tries to move ranged units to the enemy flank in order to target the ranged back lines, it appears that the additional damage the suffered + forgone during the maneuver will usually overwhelm the benefit from increased targeting efficiency. Revise the target acquisition algorithm, perhaps to have units first target the lowest HP target already within their attack range. Some sort of attack ground or volley functionality. etc
  5. The elephants as siege weapons trope is definitely ahistorical. However the game engine right now doesn't really simulate the things they were actually used for: breaking enemy morale and stampeding through otherwise immovable infantry blocks.
  6. Some good idea here... just thought I'd point out as an answer to the original question: Targeting the nearest enemy maximizes damage for ranged units because there is less chance of them missing closer targets due to projectile spread and travel time. It is also protective, because for a ranged units focusing on the closes6t units makes it more likely that they will kill melee opponents that are in a position to do damage before they can do too much of it. And for melee, attacking the nearest unit reduces the chance that they will become stuck getting ravaged by the enemy while trying to reach a target that is out of range or behind an obstruction.
  7. The simulation treats the mount and the rider as one unit. (On visual side, the rider is actually just a prop that the mount is "wearing," like an infantryman might wear a helmet.) For the future, I think changing riders and mounts into separate simulation entities could be really interesting, and a way to differentiate 0 AD from other historical RTS franchises that shall go unnamed. (You could have horse archers that can move while focusing fire on a target for example, or horsemen that dismount to fight anti-cavalry.) However, this would require a lot of new simulation code, and probably some new animations. It would take a long time, and would probably require a fork in the project as I don't believe the competitive scene has a stomach for such major gameplay changes.
  8. I don't think anyone doubts that axes or maces were used in ancient combat. The problem is figuring how to systematize them for gameplay in a way that is not superficial AND also relatively faithful to history. Maces were/are more effective than bladed weapons for straight-forwardly defeating body armor. Axes have some utility for hooking shields, weapons, and body parts that swords lack. However there are special techniques for very effectively dealing with armor and shields while using a sword: grappling, pommel strikes, etc. It is all a matter of training. And once you are trained I don't think there was a big difference in the overall effectiveness of these weapons. If there were, don't you think the Romans (for example) would have regularized their adoption? E.g. in each contubernium requiring 3 men be equipped with axes to defeat enemy shields and 2 with maces to dispatch armored opponents. These kinds of mixed arms arrangements with exactly that kind of logic were not uncommon in the late medieval period and renaissance.
  9. (A little fire wakes the dead around here.) Developmental focus is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it is necessary to prevent feature bloat turning a project into vaporware. However, especially with an open source project, you also need to be able to attract talented developers to contribute. With 0 AD something about that balance feels off kilter to me. A gentle reminder: it is actually possible to publish FOSS games that are both feature-rich and polished. I'd point to Zero-K and The Dark Mod. I'd characterize the former as even more insular against public contributors than 0 AD, and the latter as more welcoming (they have actual up-to-date tutorials for how to build original fan missions, and if you have a cool idea often the community will actively collaborate to build it). So there are multiple equilibria. (Or maybe there are other factors entirely to why these projects have matured so much faster than 0 AD.) Anyway back to @MoLAoS's topic... If your ambition is just to create a gameplay mod that other modders can use as an addon for building their own fantasy/sci-fi projects, I'm not sure how much traction you can expect to get. There is a chicken an egg problem. Your mod would be an additional dependency that any down-stream modders would have to keep track of. Can they trust that you will keep everything up to date and compatible with the ongoing updates to vanilla 0 AD in a timely manner? Can they trust your updates not to break their projects? (Hyrule is having trouble even keeping up with the alpha 25 update.) Conversely, how long are you prepared to maintain assets that no one else seems to be using? That's why I assumed you wanted to hitch your horse to the 0 AD wagon proper, and not just ride along side as another mod in the database. Incorporating these feature into the official release would engender a lot more confidence for any aspiring sci-fi/fantasy modders that they have a solid foundation to build from. As it is, what you are outlining sounds great. I particularly like the idea of more customizable health and stamina fields (and of course multiple weapons), they would be very helpful even in a low-fantasy setting... However, I wouldn't be making any plans to incorporate your addon into any projects I (hypothetically) had on the back burner. There is just too much uncertainty. Sorry to be the wet blanket here. I don't like being a negative Nancy, but I don't think hiding problems from people is a good idea either. If 0 AD and Pyogenesis were more feature-mature, I think I would be more enthusiastic, but for now you are building on quicksand IMHO. I think you might even be better off trying to fantasy-up a Spring engine derivative (like starting with Zero-K). The game systems and assets would require more work to bring into line with fantasy tropes, but the technical side would be more stable and I think you could possibly get some community support for trying something new. With 0 AD... well... it doesn't even do ordinary sword-and-board combat that well right now if we're being honest with ourselves. Maybe we should fix that before trying to introduce support for deep and complicated magic systems.
  10. My personal impression is that the 0 AD development community is extremely apathetic, verging on hostile, to the kind of thing you are proposing. They are not developing a general-purpose game engine, even though that seems to have been the intention at one point. Rather the project is very narrowly focused on supporting its own vision of itself as an extremely conservative historical-ancient-warfare RTS. That's not to say they would try to stop you developing these features, but don't expect any assistance. And be prepared for a cool reception when trying to get your changes into the official code base.
  11. A thought: perhaps priests could be given a harvest-rate boosting aura like female citizens used to have. That would give them a lot more utility distinct from their marginal combat role, which at that point might just be a nice bonus. It would also reinstate an economy optimization minigame I assume some people enjoyed, but without the complication of the aura source also being an obligate harvester.
  12. I agree that it appears to be in a much better place within it's established paradigm. Players are finally acknowledging the necessity of having melee as a meat shield for their ranged DPS. I think it can be pushed further though. Real diversity would be having some compositions (other than Spartans) where the heavy melee can be sustained damage dealers, where horse cavalry can be sustained damage dealers.
  13. 0 AD's Pro-Snowball Features: Lack of strong AOE damage sources that would require tight control to counter Strong ranged units that remain effective with minimal control (Effectively) Frictionless-less pathing, allowing arbitrarily dense unit packing (negating the effect of range differences) Citizen soldiers that remove the need to choose between eco and military growth Veterancy promotions Capturable buildings Loot 0 AD's Anti-Snowball Features: Abundant resources that permit a player to survive falling behind on expansions Very strong static defenses Very durable buildings that can garrison and protect large numbers of units of arbitrary type Limited anti-building counters Soft-counter based balancing Lack of major unit and faction differences You will notice a lot of those anti-snowball features line up with many of the top complaints about 0 AD's design... One idea that might fortify the anti-snowball side a bit more, without sacrificing established features or historical authenticity, is to give cavalry an attack-and/or-defense-debuffing aura against ranged infantry. This would provide something adjacent to catapult AOE as a hard counter for dense ranged infantry, and shift the balance a bit more in favor of melee.
  14. The promotion system is part of the problem here. In the real world there is a lot more difference in the tactical capabilities between a raw conscript swordsman, a veteran swordsman, and a fully armored, professional swordsman, than there is between a swordsman, an axeman, and a maceman. Without embracing fantasy tropes, It is difficult to conceptualize an axeman type unit that would not just be a reskin of a swordsman.
  15. Charging. If you are ever going to have it as a deliberate feature, now is the time since we have recent experience with its inadvertent implementation via the formation bug. If not now then it's time to definitively nix it from the planned features list. Then those of us who were interested in it can stop holding our breath and either get to work creating our own private forks of find other games to play. Support for multi-weapon units. Same sort of story. I want my pilum throwing, sword swinging hastati. A more fleshed out concept for the core land battle counter-cycles. It seems to me that in terms of tactical application, there are really only 3 meaningful military unit types in 0 AD: melee, ranged, and ram/elephant. Yes there are melee cavalry that ought to support some unique tactics, but they are so efficiently countered by spearmen (or mass infantry in general) that there is not a lot for them to do besides raiding. I would suggest removing the spear attack bonus against cavalry, and instead give cavalry an attack penalty against spears. Also give cav some type of debuffing aura against non spear infantry. I think that would solidify them as an interesting 4th wheel: strong vs ranged and rams but weak to elephants and (spear) melee, without resorting to unhistorical fantasy tropes like Age of Empires' catapults/scorpions, and mind-control monks. The angst about the changes from alpha 23 to 24 shows that there are a lot of people who want prioritize support for 0 A.D. competitive scene going forward. You can't do that while key feature's of the gameplay are in a perpetual threat of flux. The game still feels to me like it is missing some intended pieces. But if those pieces can't be filled in soon, then you ought to start listening to the growing majority who want to knock it off with the fear of commitment and announce an actual beta.
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