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First impressions, ideas, a few bugs


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What if you want them to chop wood at a certain place (to build a building there, clear a path, etc.)? That happens to me a lot, and it's not always the "closest" spot. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but it might be too much automation. We need to draw the line somewhere, and I'm not entirely sure where that line is.

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I think we could just allow X units per tree, X units per stone mine, X units per Metal mine, etc. They'll move on to the closest of the same object if the one they are tasked to is full. Or it can be a pathfinding thing where if units start bumping into each other too much they look for the nearest alternative source.

As far as formations go, I agree completely with SMST. For instance, it would benefit your hero to be placed into a formation, because then he can't be singled out for focus fire--the entire formation is targeted instead of one unit

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In the trac/wiki, it says that when soldiers are their opponent's territory, they will rapidly lose hit points until a timer runs out. My idea is that to make it so that to restore hit points, you could send in a supply wagon and it would restore several units hit points until it runs out of supplies and must return to the civic centre or market for more. Perhaps they could also boost morale for a short period of time too.

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That only occurs if the game host chooses "closed borders" -- basically "no-rush." Supply carts would defeat the purpose. Cool idea though, keep em coming

I have never heard of that. Will You fill me in? The reason I was suggesting it is that then you could more easily do a kind of war of attrition tactic on your opponent, a very common thing during the ancient times. (Fabius was known for this, but so was the Persian general Mardonias.)

I also think that it would be neat if the archers had a slightly slower firing rate and less effective accuracy, but a very long range and pretty devastating attacks. If you do archery, you realize that it doesn't just take about one and a half seconds to fire an arrow. It actually take more like three or four. The bow can also really surprise you with it's range.

I think that it would also be pretty neat if the leaders would holler random things like "Get back in your positions." or "Charge!" etc... in their native language of course. It would also be neat to see the leader actually brandish his weapon as he would do this.

Are the Persian heroes done?

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What if you want them to chop wood at a certain place (to build a building there, clear a path, etc.)? That happens to me a lot, and it's not always the "closest" spot. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but it might be too much automation. We need to draw the line somewhere, and I'm not entirely sure where that line is.

we could leave right click actions just like they are now (as every rts)

and add a modifier key (like ctrl + right click) to make the units scatter throughout the clicked area

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I must say I highly second the suggestion that was made of having wolves move and act in "packs". This is the kind of thing that separate very good games from great games.

Of course, it should not be on top of your priority list :)

Also seconding the supply-cart for attrition games. This was in Rise Of Nations and made for some very interesting tactics where the cart had to be guarded, and made raiding much more interesting.

Of course, I also second putting this as an optional setting, because it's not so "conventional".

As far as the "clic some units, act/attack on group/formation" thing, I think it's a very good idea, that solves a lot of micromanagement and makes for a much more convenient play.

Particularly, if you decide to allow "attack on a whole formation", it would be a pretty neat idea to have units automatically attack the unit they are strong against ( well, actually it would be even better if they had a chance to attack the unit they're strongest against depending on their experience. Basic would attack rather random units, advanced would be more clever, and expert would never fail to target the unit they are strongest against. But that could take some pretty time-consuming AI computing ).

I'd keep a setting that would allow to attack a single unit, though. Like an alt+right click would only attack one unit, because it sometimes makes sense to attack a single target ( such as a supply cart, siege engine or particularly strong unit ).

As for solving the problem WhiteTreePaladin brought up, I think it should only be activated as a feature if the player selects something like three or more units. If a single unit is selected, it should target the exact target.

Edited by wraitii
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Queuing is shift + right-click, I think.

Possible idea: use right-click-and-drag, kind of like bandboxing, to select a group of targets rather than individuals, and your units will each choose one target from that group (randomly? nearest? something else?). Don't know how hard it'd be to make it work intuitively with all combinations of sources and targets, though.

Whatever the UI, the tricky cases are when a unit can't reach every target - melee units attacking enemies behind the first rank, units gathering trees that are too deep inside a forest, etc. It's hard for a unit to work out which targets it really can reach (it just has to pick a target and try pathfinding, and if it fails then pick another and try again, which is slow), and I'm not sure what's a good way to implement it so they'll do something sensible. The current design is that it's the user's responsibility to click precisely on targets that are going to be reachable, which makes the coding easier.

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Particularly, if you decide to allow "attack on a whole formation", it would be a pretty neat idea to have units automatically attack the unit they are strong against ( well, actually it would be even better if they had a chance to attack the unit they're strongest against depending on their experience. Basic would attack rather random units, advanced would be more clever, and expert would never fail to target the unit they are strongest against. But that could take some pretty time-consuming AI computing ).

I'd keep a setting that would allow to attack a single unit, though. Like an alt+right click would only attack one unit, because it sometimes makes sense to attack a single target ( such as a supply cart, siege engine or particularly strong unit ).

i'd like to leave the attack micromenagement (wich unit to be attacked) to the player itself because that's one of the difference between skilled or unskilled players.

an useful addition could be:

once selected only one kind of unit, add the possibility to attack only one kind of enemy's units (ie in Aok halberdiers vs. elephants). so if i use alt + right click, for example, my units attack the nearest enemy one of the kind i previously chose (so tat we can avoid controlling each unit singularly)

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Particularly, if you decide to allow "attack on a whole formation", it would be a pretty neat idea to have units automatically attack the unit they are strong against ( well, actually it would be even better if they had a chance to attack the unit they're strongest against depending on their experience. Basic would attack rather random units, advanced would be more clever, and expert would never fail to target the unit they are strongest against. But that could take some pretty time-consuming AI computing ).

I'd keep a setting that would allow to attack a single unit, though. Like an alt+right click would only attack one unit, because it sometimes makes sense to attack a single target ( such as a supply cart, siege engine or particularly strong unit ).

That figures. Maybe though, you could have an on and off function. I do think that the soldiers in the phalanx formation should naturally just attack that way and have no other option. One thing I do recommend is having formations like the testudo, wedge and phalanx become less as effective when they are on hilly terrain due to the fact that the formations could kind of collapse. As for another idea. I mentioned before having animals have a primitive social kind of organization, (like wolves being in packs, lions in prides, maybe even having wildebeests migrating in herds.) but I think that it would be really cool if the animals hunted, grazed, and reproduced. My thought is just having it like a life-cycle. For instance, a pack of wolves are prey on the deer (It would be really neat to have them interact realistically when they hunt by surrounding and ambushing the prey.) and begin to stuff themselves and do a lot of reproduction until the deer are next to extinction, then the wolves almost die out because of starvation, but the plants are now thriving, being so, the deer begin grow in population...... You could make it where trees reproduce, but are burnt in forest fires, trampled, and struck by lightning. That way, nature would always change, but would not grow take over. You could also have some animals like coyotes raid your stock perhaps.

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Hi, I've read about this game yesterday and seeing some screenshots , I decided to give it a try.

Well my first impression was - is it really pre(!) alfa ? I'd rather thought it's an early beta release.

Anyway the game looks very nice and promising. The concept is similar to AoE (3) indeed with some things from EE/other. Although the project is very impressive, I see it lacks any visible uniquness, except objects size proportions, which are almost realistic :).

Since it's very difficult to introduce innovative features in today's RTS games, there is no need to search for new features that were never before in any game. However it's not so hard to make some kind of unique mix of features IMO. I think, that this game has huge potential and could easily become one of the best RTS games ever made.

I've got some ideas, many of them probably discussed, how to improve it.

In general there are features from game series like: Anno, Caesar, Empire Earth, Settlers, Stronghold, Warcraft.

- add more buildings (economic like warehouses, smeltings; military like arsenals; administration residences; bridges, maybe roads too), and make at least houses with some look-like variation.

- add more resources (like drinking water - Yes!; clothing materials like cotton, wool, leather).

- allow civil building to be additionally "garrisoned" for better output or other enhancements.

- introduce some policy sliders which would allow some specialization (like offensive/defensive, faster/stronger, traditional/innovative, etc.).

- allow units (especially military) gain experience which make them more effective (could be combat modifier).

There will be probably no ages I suppose, so if this game don't get some serious enhancements it will be quite boring after several hours of playing IMO.

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Hi, I've read about this game yesterday and seeing some screenshots , I decided to give it a try.

Well my first impression was - is it really pre(!) alfa ? I'd rather thought it's an early beta release.

Anyway the game looks very nice and promising. The concept is similar to AoE (3) indeed with some things from EE/other. Although the project is very impressive, I see it lacks any visible uniquness, except objects size proportions, which are almost realistic :P.

Since it's very difficult to introduce innovative features in today's RTS games, there is no need to search for new features that were never before in any game. However it's not so hard to make some kind of unique mix of features IMO. I think, that this game has huge potential and could easily become one of the best RTS games ever made.

Thanks for the kind words. A lot of the things that will make 0 A.D. unique are higher level features that just aren't implemented yet. Settlements and territories with corresponding build limits is one thing. Auto-leveling military units is another. You will train Basic level units and they will level-up to Advanced, then to Elite based on the experience (XP) they gain. Each level brings higher attack and armor. Ships and walls will be garrisonable, bringing new features and strategies. :) Lastly, we'll have historical heroes that affect gameplay in unique ways.

- add more buildings (economic like warehouses, smeltings; military like arsenals; administration residences; bridges, maybe roads too), and make at least houses with some look-like variation.

- add more resources (like drinking water - Yes!; clothing materials like cotton, wool, leather).

- allow civil building to be additionally "garrisoned" for better output or other enhancements.

- introduce some policy sliders which would allow some specialization (like offensive/defensive, faster/stronger, traditional/innovative, etc.).

- allow units (especially military) gain experience which make them more effective (could be combat modifier).

There will be probably no ages I suppose, so if this game don't get some serious enhancements it will be quite boring after several hours of playing IMO.

As you noted the game is still only in Alpha stage. It will only get better from here on out. The game will have "ages" though, but we call them "Phases" as in the phase of city expansion. Village -> Town -> City Phase.

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Surely I remember it's an alfa release and as I wrote before very good working alfa.

My intention was just to share my point of view, which I believe could be somehow helpful :)

I like this "phases" concept (sorry, but had no time to read forum yet), it will definitely give much fun of development.

BTW, It would be nice if there was possibility to store resources oustide buildings, just on the ground, but this would give some "decrease" penalty (like stealing, material usability period especially for food and wood). Oh, and another feature - what about possibility of stealing enemy technologies. This would allow to research techs form another civilization, although would be quite expensive and difficult option (stealing same civilization's technology would cause your own cost reduction).

Here is my greatest wish - POWs. Well I've never really seen such thing in RTS, games maybe except one. IRL there was almost no "fight to the end" battles. If one side saw there is no chance to win, they decided to surrender and go to captivity or try to escape if they could.

This would also create many possibilities like captives exchange or trade, force them to work, use for blackmail, etc. The propensity to surrender would depend on policy/technologies/difficulty level/losses/other.

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I like the idea of POWs. I think Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far uses POWs. It would be neat if you could capture your enemy's soldiers, and then you could keep them in a compound and try to convert them, by using priests like in AOE except longer. Once they are converted, they are yours to use.

Then, when the enemy tries to rescue them, he can't rescue the ones who are already "converted" to your nation because they are completely yours, but he can regain control of his own units like gaia units in AOE or animals - if he gets close enough, they become his again.

Maybe it could be implemented by counting the number of friendly units vs enemy units in a specific unit's LOS, and then use something like pathfinding to see if there is a way out. If there is no way out, and there are no friendly units, and many enemies, the unit becomes "capturable" by the enemy, who can control him, but must keep him in their LOS to ensure that he doesn't run away again.

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nce they are converted, they are yours to use.

Then, when the enemy tries to rescue them, he can't rescue the ones who are already "converted" to your nation because they are completely yours,

That sounds a bit like what the "borg" do in Star Trek. I think that just forcing them to gather resources would suffice. You could have it so that if you don't guard them though, they will try to flee to their home faction.

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Regarding the "water" idea... You could make it only possible to build a city near a water spot. Or barracks, things that build units. I think it would add a nice realistic touch.

Well, that would make it limiting. I think that it would be better if you had to dig wells, do irrigation for crops, etc,... then you would have people bring the water from the stream, river, brook or a well to the town centre. The more units you have, the more water you need.

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Yes, this would be too limiting and IRL not always necessary. However the fact is that water is still needed for any kind of existence, so wells, irrigations are fine and should be necessary for entire economy, not only agriculture.

You could make it only possible to build a city near a water spot.

Of course I don't like absurds like one man building well in the middle of desert, without any water or anything with him and if You mean something like that, I am with.

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I agree. Now that I think about it, even if a POW decided to switch sides, he would never serve in the army against his former nation, and at best would become some sort of civilian, which is essentially the same as a slave anyway, in terms of what civilians do in 0ad. So it's probably not worth the hassle to make a difference.

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you could use the empire earth concept of in-game slavery: every time you kill an enemy unit(only organic ones, so this wouldnt work with ships or siege), there would be a 10-15% chance that a free "slave" unit would appear at your civic center for you to use.

i also realize that slavery was pretty much a universal practice at the time in history that 0ad represents, but, for the game, slavery should be a bonus unique to a few civilizations, the ones that most famously used slaves. alternatively, every civ could get slaves but some civs also have a secondary bonus that would allow them to transform slaves into unique units that they cant get otherwise. the only one that comes to mind is the mameluke.

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