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Acanthis

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Everything posted by Acanthis

  1. In another thread there was some talk (IIRC) about having naval and land (or 'global') bonuses for each civ. I think this is a good idea. I'm most familiar with Athenian and Persian history from university studies. I'd suggest: Athens Naval Bonus Delian League. It really depends on which one you are talking about since there were two alliances separated by some time, the first aimed at the Persians and the second at the Spartans. The obligations of the Athenian allies were different and changed over time. In the first alliance (literally The Athenians and Their Allies, Delian League is later name) allies would either contribute triremes or money. How much of each was assessed on the individual ally's capacity. Towards the end of the first alliance, most (all? can't quite recall) paid in money. If you wanted to base the bonus on the first alliance, I'd propose that their bonus increases the fighting stats of naval ships in the alliance to reflect Athenian maritime dominance. Train time is already reflected in technology availability so I'd rather see their effectiveness as a fighting force increased. The second alliance was different. It was based on harbor duties levied on goods passing through the Piraeus. This model did not bring in quite the revenue that the first did and that led to some rather "creative" means by which the admirals would fund their missions. Perhaps the bonus if modeled on this alliance, the bonus could be something like a slow trickle of metal (like Ptolemies food bonus) and a naval trade bonus to reflect the protection of sea trade by the Athenian fleet. So you could either choose economic or military bonuses depending on which alliance you are referring to. Of course you could also combine some of the proposed economic and military bonuses to blend the time frame. Land Bonus Athenian military strategy during the time of both alliances mentioned above really shied away from land engagements unless absolutely necessary. Two notable failures at siege warfare are their attempts on a small Corinthian colony of Potidaea (the first attempt was a failure, then they unwittingly brought the same plague which was about to decimate Athens proper) and later at Syracuse (total, utter catastrophe). That said, they had a strong "hoplite tradition" (already in game) and cavalry (eventually they had at least 10 horse transports) which shocked the Spartans from time to time. Therefore I think a land or globally useful bonus for the Athenians might be better construed as an economic bonus, perhaps reduced non-blacksmith technology costs (so it could stack with Gauls?). This would reflect the increased demand for trade in goods from throughout the Black Sea and Mediterranean. Persia Naval Bonus The Persians had no fleet of their own. They were quite adept at drawing on the strengths of conquered peoples. In their long running wars against and with Greek city states (funny how all that turned out), the fleets they raised from the Phoenicians and Egyptians were rarely effective. In time the local governors and various kings themselves decided it was best to supply money. The Spartan navy was subsidized by Persian gold and silver (effectively serving the same role as the Second Delian League). Therefore, I'd suggest their bonus be a reduction in the metal cost of naval units. Land Bonus Trading bonuses would only be nice if trade were more useful in the game. Again, like in naval matters, if you were an ally (not a subject) of the Persian Empire, the Persians were rather open handed in terms of funding wars (at least vis a vis the Peloponnesian Wars). Although it would not be very different than the proposed Naval Bonus, you could have a bonus that reduces the cost of metal for citizen soldiers and citizen cavalry. Edit, obviously I haven't played in a while and CS soldiers/cav don't cost metal. D'oh.
  2. I agree that the main problem is a smurf doing so to troll a game by pretending to be worse than they are. I'm one of those players who just plays for fun- I keep my rating at 1491 because of the significance of the year. And I don't feel like I'm reliably playing 1500+, so high 1400's seems fair. I don't like 1v1 rated as the incentive to choose an OP civ and spam one or two units is too high. Not my play style, generally speaking. I almost always advocate for the host to let unknown players in if they were there first and if there is a second unknown player (or a known run of the mill type like myself) to balance them out. I've been off for a couple of weeks, but before I had to take a break, I noticed that smurfing was becoming a lot more common. Observer chat was often revolving around who is really who speculations. How anyone knows I'm not sure, perhaps social media outside the game. At any rate, it really starts to hurt people who advocate to let others "unknown" play (especially those who join before "known" players, first come first serve principle) when smurfs ruin games. People aren't given a chance as much as they should be. To be quite honest, it wouldn't be as big of an issue if 0ad didn't crash so frequently. Whether it is DDOS or some other reason, it happens quite often that you will spend half an hour or more going through multiple false starts before finishing a game. The most frustrating ones have to be those that crash at 9 minutes or so, just when things start to heat up in a decent 4v4. If more games were seen through to completion people wouldn't be so frustrated. If you have to start multiple times and when you finally "get lucky" and it turns out someone has been lying about their skill level and wrecks the balance, well, that simply sucks.
  3. 1) Defensive buildings could use a boost. Fortresses in particular. Should be able to train something. At the moment most civs only have access to Will to Fight tech. 2) If only lag with larger maps could be handled better, it would be nice if maps had more terrain variation and there were bonuses associated with terrain. The lay of the land and its condition even were such big factors in ancient warfare (and still today) that for the geography to have next to zero impact on the course of a game simulating this time frame just seems... well, flat. I think this ties with larger maps because smaller ones with wild variation in terrain would just be weird. As far as I'm concerned, this alpha has the best playability in years. I wouldn't want massive changes to balance in the next alpha. There are clear concerns but minor tweaks plus new features would be nice. Just my two cents.
  4. In 425 BCE the Athenians isolated a large number of Spartans on Sphacteria. The Spartans offered rewards (including freedom to Helots) to take smallcraft or even swim to the island with food. The battle was incredibly peculiar for what it revealed about Spartan notions about citizenship, class, and in turn what it meant for the Athenian position after having captured over 400 Spartans.
  5. Indeed, they were, what I mean though is how you could dictate the way in which the formation would advance on the battlefield. This was particularly useful with the way the engine was set up to allow for cavalry charges and using collisions to a large degree. Not exactly 1:1, but there could be a way to use a combination of keys to change the behavior of the formation in battle. It would be similar to an attack move order. Probably easier to depict with simulated screenshots than in words. Again that's really just in case, from a coding perspective, that a group of units has to default back to "no formation" if you give them direct orders to attack something in particular. As I said in my OP in this thread that's the danger of people who don't know coding making suggestions. It really is a lot easier for us to say how we would like things to happen when we don't understand whether it is possible or not.
  6. The disadvantage to Iphicrates' formation based bonus versus an aura based bonus, like +25% attack, is hard to overstate. You can't micro the units at all. Take any of the civs with a hero that gives an aura bonus and you can micromanage the units inside the aura to prevent overkill, focus attention where you want it- whatever you want- the bonus still applies. Do that with Athens and poof, suddenly no bonus for any of your troops. The easy, temporary fix, would be to give Iphicates an aura. As a side note, Themistocles' and Pericles' bonuses are either only useful for naval maps or barely at all in any scenario. The only hero with a decent bonus for most scenarios is gimped due to the formation based bonus. It is the only hero in the the entire game with such limitations. This comes back to whether formations work or not. If formations are meant, as suggested here, to only position units before battle, then they aren't what I would consider to be a formation but rather something like "marching orders." Soldiers weren't arranged into formations simply as a way of organizing them on the way to battle. Formations for battle should have a function once the battle commences. Dropping the formation entirely because you want the units to engage in a specific task doesn't make much sense to me. Elements of armies would be arranged in formations to achieve specific outcomes in battle. The phalanx and syntagma formations were critical to everything from how the individuals would be equipped to the expectations of how they would fight as a unit (including where the battle would take place). These were systems with functions. Again, this is one reason why people just don't use formations- they don't work intuitively and often will create situations where your troops in formation struggle to even move into position to fight effectively while getting pummeled by enemy attack the entire time. It often only takes a few seconds of units struggling with the formation pathfinding to be destroyed by an enemy who is paying attention. If it has to be the case that giving specific commands to a group of units that are set into a formation renders the formation setting null, then there needs to be an alternative way in which to order the formation into battle such that they can achieve a goal while maintaining the formation. An older RTS game, Battle for Middle Earth 2, had an interesting way to order formations into battle that might be worth looking at.
  7. By work I mean, basic pathfinding and keeping the formation. It is intensely frustrating to play as Athens, for example, and try to use Iphicrates' bonus because- even if you select a formation, say box, as the default- the game will constantly remove units within the control group from the formation and even cancel it for the entire group. You can be in the middle of a fight, not giving any commands, and the entire army goes out of formation and you instantly lose the bonus. Attempting to reform the formation causes losses and no damage is dealt during the mean time. Sometimes I can get the formation to "stick" but it takes a lot of micromanagement just to keep them that way. This shouldn't be the case at all. Otherwise, units get stuck constantly when in formation and turn into sitting ducks while units not in formation wipe them out. Formations offer almost zero advantages, unless you want to use them for cavalry in order to force them into their run speed to escape a situation (which requires a bit of micro and, lets be honest, isn't the function of a formation feature at all and should rather be more of a "charge" or "increase speed at the expense of stamina" feature). If formations would "work" by allowing the units in the formation to move smoothly and not get hung up constantly, then you could look at buffs and debuffs like maroder mentioned. At the moment, adding any bonuses to one formation type or another would just be an exercise in frustration given how buggy the current feature is. Once formations simply work, then adding those bonuses and play testing with mods would be one way to iterate which ideas were good on paper and which ones are terrible.
  8. If formations were working there would be a lot of room for differentiation based on how the units are moved around the battlefield. On a separate note, more support units like trumpets, drums, flag/standard bearers, supply wagons, etc would be another way to further change how civs are played. An elephant in the room is that people want to play sometimes vastly different games. For some, they want the game to be over and done with within 20 minutes, some even less. Others might enjoy longer games. Some want a deathmatch with boundless resources. Perhaps a further refinement of the game types available would be one way to branch off the different ideas. I wouldn't want to split the community too much, but like with all games there are different "groups" who play a certain way that don't quite understand how other people can have fun doing something else (like not taking advantage of every last disparity between units and civs). Personally, as someone who has studied ancient civilizations in an academic setting and into my adult life, I'd like to see more attention paid to things like formations, defenses, economics, logistics. From this perspective, terrain and strategy should account for more than it currently does. Ideally there would even be seasonal changes within the game which affect the pace of the match (in the eastern Mediterranean the summer was the fighting season and the winter was farming, in part due to temperature/precip patterns but also due to changes in wind and seaworthiness of the vessels at the time). That said, I don't need free open source Total War clone: the current game is still a lot of fun, I simply find that there are a lot of elements of this game and its genre that haven't been pushed forward much lately. It is too easy of course for someone without coding ability to say what would be nice or not, so I leave this here not to say this game isn't playable, but rather as a general wish to see some refinement on the above.
  9. My two cents as a long time, off and on player: Formations are the one thing I want to see really working above anything else. Formations and unit cohesion were such a big part of ancient warfare that the game really loses a lot of immersion for me in that we see wild mobs of units engaging one another as the default. I would very much like to see formations as the default setting for groups of units. It seems to me that each formation type needs to have bonuses and tradeoffs for units within it. Directional damage would be super. I would very much like to see battlefield tactics become more important, forced even, upon players. Terrain bonuses play a big part of this too. The game is still fun and playable without these features, but I feel that really in the long run the game would be better served if there were more attention paid to how players field their units before, during, and even after battle.
  10. I think that, perhaps, some people are so upset because they fear a25 will be years away. Yes, a24 is quite different from a23. Like, a lot. Almost a different game. Personally I'm happy things changed a lot.
  11. I enjoy it as well. A very nice refresh. The new art is amazing. Still plenty of time yet to play with new strategies and find out what seems to work best. I just wish my iMac would play it better, but when you buy a Mac you know it isn't for gaming. Still looks good.
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