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How I see building capturing happening:

All entities (buildings, females, livestock) that can be captured have a trait called Loyalty. This is similar to Stamina or Health in that it comes in a set amount that can be drained due to an action. For simplicity sake the amount of Loyalty can default to the same amount of Health the entity has. So, if a building has 1000 Health, it defaults to 1000 Loyalty unless overridden in the entity template.

Okay, so, now this building has 1000 Loyalty. To capture it, you select a bunch of bipedal soldiers and right-click the building as if attacking it. The soldiers will rush up to the building, again as if attacking it, but instead of playing their melee or attack animations they will use a capturing animation. To see examples of these animations, place some Gallic super infantry in Atlas and run the simulation. So, all of these units will drain the Loyalty of the target building until it drains to 0 (zero), by which time the building switches sides to the capturing player. For simplicity's sake, we can use the capturing units' combined attack strengths to drain the building's Loyalty and take into account its armour values. basically, everything happens as if they are attacking the building, but draining Loyalty instead of Health and playing Capture animations instead of Attack.

The newly captured building keeps its original appearance, but switches colors. If it is a unit-training building, like a Barracks, then the new owner can only train its own units from this new Barracks. I can foresee a technology pair that forces you to choose between much quicker capturing or being able to train enemy soldiers from a captured Barracks. But by default you can only train your own.

Special Buildings (theatron, tacara, etc.) can only be destroyed. The only capturable buildings are the default buildings minus fortifications. Perhaps only the Civic Centre switches its visual actor to match the owning player.

Everyone is invited to give their opinions.

EDIT: I post this because Erik asked my opinion on the subject. Might as well talk about it.

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Nice! (y) I have one some questions though:

Will there be any ways for a building to resist capturing beside killing the invaders? Like a "priest" unit garrisons inside or within an aura of loyalty?

Will the loyalty stat replenish on it own over time? Or a unit must "repair" it?

Wouldn't the capture mechanism conflict with the dynamic territory we're having right now? Let's say you're capturing an enemy's Civ Center, once converted to your side, the Civ Center will generate around it a very large border that will possibly cover all enemy base and thus converts the whole base to your side! In the end you only have to capture Civ Center to defeat your enemy :o. The same can be applies to other, capturable buildings.

Edited by hhyloc
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I would like to see capturable fortifications. Otherwise you either get units knocking down fortifications with their swords again or you get overpowered fortifications.

What would happen to the loyalty just after you captured a building? Getting 100% loyalty immediately seems like too much of a jump, if two players are fighting over a building I would expect them to be able to recapture it quite easily. 0% loyalty doesn't work with the territory based loyalty decrease since it would immediately switch back to the enemy if you captured a building in their base. Maybe a small value (10-25%) would work best?

About the regeneration of loyalty, I think that there should be a territory increase and that units should have an aura which also helps increase it. The unit auras would allow some amount of control over loyalty increase. I would say that the rate of territory increase should be a % of total loyalty per unit time and the unit auras should be a fixed rate per unit time. This allows buildings with a lot of loyalty to be back to full in a reasonable amount of time while not allowing a small group of units to overpower the capturing effects for large loyalty buildings.

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Okay, so, now this building has 1000 Loyalty. To capture it, you select a bunch of bipedal soldiers and right-click the building as if attacking it.

What if your selection includes both bipedal and siege units?

Perhaps loyalty could be linked to current hitpoints, so normal attacks (by siege units) effectively drain it too. Say the building starts with 500 hitpoints, and 1000 max loyalty. When a soldier tries to capture the building, they increase its "disloyalty points" (which decay to 0 over time if uncaptured). When disloyalty points + (max hitpoints - current hitpoints) > max loyalty, then the building is captured. I.e. you could capture the building by doing 1000 disloyalty-points of capturing; or by doing 499 hitpoints of damage plus 501 disloyalty-points of capturing. It's much easier to capture a heavily-damaged building (which makes sense since the inhabitants are frightened), and so your siege weapons can contribute to your capturing instead of being useless when you're trying to take over an enemy city, though there's a tradeoff between capture time and repair-back-to-full-health-after-capturing time. Once you've captured a building it wouldn't lose its disloyalty points, but you can quickly repair it so the enemy can't trivially recapture it, and then wait for the disloyalty to decay back to 0.

If it is a unit-training building, like a Barracks, then the new owner can only train its own units from this new Barracks.

That sounds like the most complicated thing to implement for this feature (though almost certainly possible).

What happens if you capture a unit-training building for which your own civ doesn't have an equivalent (like a Celt player capturing a hele_gymnasion)?

I don't like deriving any semantics from template names, so maybe we'd need to explicitly annotate the templates with something like


<Capturable>
<CivEquivalents>
<cart>cart_barracks</cart>
<celt>celt_barracks</celt>
...
</CivEquivalents>
</Capturable>

and TrainingQueue can check if the current owner's civ differs from the building's native civ, in which case it should load the corresponding CivEquivalents template and use that training queue data instead of its own (and same for research and construction), and if the current owner's civ is not listed in CivEquivalents then the captured building can't train anything at all.

Special Buildings (theatron, tacara, etc.) can only be destroyed. The only capturable buildings are the default buildings minus fortifications.

Oh, okay. But we still ought to handle the case where it's captured by a civ that doesn't have an equivalent of that "default" building, since we or modders might want to add weird new civs with no barracks (maybe they only hire mercenaries, or hatch all their units from a spawning pit).

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Alright, they can capture those buildings but all it does is deprive the enemy of its use. Its only use to the capturing player is to add to their territory. I don't think under any circumstances can the player train his enemy's champion units. Line needs drawn somewhere.

What if your selection includes both bipedal and siege units?

For simplicity's sake, I'd say units would have consistent behavior: Siege units would drain Health while bipedal units drain Loyalty. If he doesn't want to drain the Health, then the player needs to control his army better. :)

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How I see building capturing happening:

All entities (buildings, females, livestock) that can be captured have a trait called Loyalty. This is similar to Stamina or Health in that it comes in a set amount that can be drained due to an action. For simplicity sake the amount of Loyalty can default to the same amount of Health the entity has. So, if a building has 1000 Health, it defaults to 1000 Loyalty unless overridden in the entity template.

Okay, so, now this building has 1000 Loyalty. To capture it, you select a bunch of bipedal soldiers and right-click the building as if attacking it. The soldiers will rush up to the building, again as if attacking it, but instead of playing their melee or attack animations they will use a capturing animation. To see examples of these animations, place some Gallic super infantry in Atlas and run the simulation. So, all of these units will drain the Loyalty of the target building until it drains to 0 (zero), by which time the building switches sides to the capturing player. For simplicity's sake, we can use the capturing units' combined attack strengths to drain the building's Loyalty and take into account its armour values. basically, everything happens as if they are attacking the building, but draining Loyalty instead of Health and playing Capture animations instead of Attack.

The newly captured building keeps its original appearance, but switches colors. If it is a unit-training building, like a Barracks, then the new owner can only train its own units from this new Barracks. I can foresee a technology pair that forces you to choose between much quicker capturing or being able to train enemy soldiers from a captured Barracks. But by default you can only train your own.

Special Buildings (theatron, tacara, etc.) can only be destroyed. The only capturable buildings are the default buildings minus fortifications. Perhaps only the Civic Centre switches its visual actor to match the owning player.

Everyone is invited to give their opinions.

EDIT: I post this because Erik asked my opinion on the subject. Might as well talk about it.

Well all I can say its very confusing ????????????. If I want can I destroy enemy building's apart from Special Buildings (theatron, tacara, etc.) ? Or I can only capture them . Destroying buildings is fun please please don't remove that PLEASE . PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP PLEASE . Please create options that with bipedal units you can both capture or destroy . like a button destroy building or capture . I like destroying buildings . Capturing is good but destruction is the best . Dont make capture the only option with bipedal units . Give an option capture or destroy please .

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Well all I can say its very confusing ????????????. If I want can I destroy enemy building's apart from Special Buildings (theatron, tacara, etc.) ? Or I can only capture them . Destroying buildings is fun please please don't remove that PLEASE . PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP PLEASE . Please create options that with bipedal units you can both capture or destroy . like a button destroy building or capture . I like destroying buildings . Capturing is good but destruction is the best . Dont make capture the only option with bipedal units . Give an option capture or destroy please .

Chill out, brosephus. You can still destroy buildings with siege engines and some units (I'm thinking the Iberian flaming Javelin units). HULK SMASH is still possible.

EDIT: Capturing buildings has always been in the game design, iirc.

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Chill out, brosephus. You can still destroy buildings with siege engines and some units (I'm thinking the Iberian flaming Javelin units). HULK SMASH is still possible.

EDIT: Capturing buildings has always been in the game design, iirc.

Yes that's great new that some of the bipedal units will still be able to destroy buildings . So now that gives me two options capture or destroy . Two strategy's . That is wonderful .

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All entities (buildings, females, livestock) that can be captured have a trait called Loyalty. This is similar to Stamina or Health in that it comes in a set amount that can be drained due to an action. For simplicity sake the amount of Loyalty can default to the same amount of Health the entity has. So, if a building has 1000 Health, it defaults to 1000 Loyalty unless overridden in the entity template.

I like this, can the Loyalty concept be reused for "capturing" animals and females? Also I think it should be displayed prominently in the UI, adjacent to Health.

Okay, so, now this building has 1000 Loyalty. To capture it, you select a bunch of bipedal soldiers and right-click the building as if attacking it.

What happens when 2 or more players are trying to capture the same building (regardless of diplomacy)? Does it get captured faster and by whom?

Perhaps loyalty could be linked to current hitpoints, so normal attacks (by siege units) effectively drain it too. Say the building starts with 500 hitpoints, and 1000 max loyalty. When a soldier tries to capture the building, they increase its "disloyalty points" (which decay to 0 over time if uncaptured). When disloyalty points + (max hitpoints - current hitpoints) > max loyalty, then the building is captured

Yes! Health and Loyalty should be closely coupled. We could even have a modifier that specifies weighting of Loyalty to Health in that equation, so certain civs and units have an advantage for sieging vs. capturing.

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I would suggest Westood's RTS capture model.

Have a GUI command to "capture" on units that are given that capability. A 3 click process: select your unit you want to capture, select the capture button from the UI, then select the building you want to capture. This starts the processes of "capturing". During which the building starts flashing/pulsing (you can do whatever you want - this is what Command and Conquer games did. You could have an audio sound with it, you could have the pulse speed up the closer it got to completion of the capture... etc.) notifying both players that a building is trying to be captured/stolen. The duration of the capture is a function of the health points (and possibly the number of units preforming a 'capture action' - though, I seem to recall only one being able to preform the command at a time). So, weaker buildings are much more vulnerable it is to being captured. Capturing can only be possible if there are no units garrisoned inside, and no enemy units that have this structure/entity in their LOS. So, if you want to take a building, kill all the units in the vicinity.

A decision needs to be made if you capture a Roman barracks as a Persian, are you able to train roman soldiers? I would suggest no... Or as Michael mentioned, do something with a tech choice.

If you as a player hear that someone is trying to steal your building, you need to get a unit to that building ASAP - to eliminate the capturer.

Similar logic can be used for female citizens, loose domestic animals, special structures in a "capture the flag" objective game, and probably others.

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I think we want a process with as few clicks as possible. If all bipedal units can do to an enemy building is capture it, then why require a special button? Just right-click the building to initiate the default action.

What happens when 2 or more players are trying to capture the same building (regardless of diplomacy)? Does it get captured faster and by whom?
Yes, it gets captured faster because Loyalty is drained just like Health would. I'd say whoever initiates the capture first gains the building when it reaches 0 Loyalty. Either that, or the building can go GAIA and whoever garrisons a unit inside first gains the building. There are multiple ways to do it.
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That's what I prefer, because it's simpler. I think he wanted to make capturing the same for units and buildings. I generally prefer consistency also. However, I think being in the general area of animals and right clicking on buildings, are easy and intuitive enough that it's worth making them different to avoid having to press a button. :)

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Sounds like a pretty cool feature. I like the idea that health and loyalty are closely linked. Also I agree that a recently captured building should be easier to capture back. Thus a recently captured building should have a small amount of loyalty points associated with its new owner than when it was first built by its old owner. As time progresses the building can "heal" its loyalty points depending on the actions of the surrounding players. I still think there should be a capture button. I would like to be able to have the choice for units to either damage or capture a building. Also, in the case of animals how would you determine if you captured the animal or killed the animal without having a capture button?

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Sounds like a pretty cool feature. I like the idea that health and loyalty are closely linked. Also I agree that a recently captured building should be easier to capture back. Thus a recently captured building should have a small amount of loyalty points associated with its new owner than when it was first built by its old owner. As time progresses the building can "heal" its loyalty points depending on the actions of the surrounding players. I still think there should be a capture button. I would like to be able to have the choice for units to either damage or capture a building. Also, in the case of animals how would you determine if you captured the animal or killed the animal without having a capture button?

You still can choose, just don't right-click on it when you have non-siege capable units selected if you want to destroy it. :)

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You still can choose, just don't right-click on it when you have non-siege capable units selected if you want to destroy it. :)

If I walk my army into an enemy base, after destroying the enemy's units, will my infantry/cavalry just stand there waiting for my capture commands? Or will their instinctive reaction be to destroy the enemy buildings?

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If I walk my army into an enemy base, after destroying the enemy's units, will my infantry/cavalry just stand there waiting for my capture commands? Or will their instinctive reaction be to destroy the enemy buildings?

I think there would be a low-level AI hierarchy for the units, like what we have now. What we have now is that units tend to attack things in this order: enemy soldiers, enemy support units, enemy buildings. So, I think units should attempt to capture buildings automatically, if there are no enemy units within vision range. Capturing would be their default behavior, after all, not something "special," so perhaps would not need direct input from the player unless the player wants them to ignore enemy units and capture this one last barracks or whatever.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I believe it would be nice if fortification (not towers) were more neutral thing (it is just a pile of stones anyway). What i would expect is that when you capture the inside of the fortified area you also control the fortification. i am pretty sure you would want to test for the inside of a fortified area but some kind of aura dictating the loyalty of walls could be involved.

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i like the ideas concerning capturing displayed above a lot.

it wasn't realistic at all that bipedal units could destroy buidlings so fast.

i agree though, that some bipedal units should have the ability to decrease the health of buidlings (with an animation like AOE III) and eventually (but this DOES need time) destroy it. but in the end you will have to deploy siege-units to crush the enemies buildings effectively.

moreover i like the idea that you can "capture" female citizens with the "capture-mode" of the infantry. but in this case i think you should have the also the possibility to simply kill them, IMHO. a general adjustment which should be possible to control over the attitude buttons of the units. (e.g. "attack nearby units", "passive", "defensive" and moreover "destroy enemy buildings ..." and "capture enemy buildings" ... maybe something like that.

whereas the capturing-possibility adds a cool new strategic dimension:

let's say it's the case that the enemy is rolling over your base and you want to abandon it and flee to your allies. than you might want to destroy your buildings yourself in order to prevent it from capturing. sounds very realistic and adds so much fun in my eyes!

great ideas! keep it up coming!

regards

Edited by JuliusColtranePille
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I was thinking about this and i agree with Michael in some ways...

Loyalty stat, ok. Units drain loyalty and siege units drain health, ok. But still sounds very "volatile" to me. I mean, people can still accidentally destroy a building while trying to conquer it or vice-versa.

I don't know how it's gonna work within the game, but the destroying process must be slow. Building construction costs should be expensive, so to force people to repair and conquer new buildings instead of building a ton of new ones. Forts, Civ Centres and towers should have a minimum distance between them, also, to prevent people from transforming the RTS into a Tower Defense game.

Every building should have a very (very) slow auto-repair, workers should have a slow repair for buildings being attacked and fair repair for out-of-combat buildings, so that the enemy won't feel like his work of demolishing is pointless, but destroying is a strategic last and ultimate tool to better handle your enemy.

For Loyalty, the quantity of military units next to the building is what should work. I.E.: I'm the defender, with 10 units next to a fort. The attacker has 20 units next to my fort. The attacker slowly wins the loyalty of the fort. The attacker has 20 units, i have 10 units plus a fort, if i'm not winning with a fort beside me, then the attacker is really winning and should have the fort.

BUT, still, to have the fortress, after all the loyalty bar gone down, the attacker still needs to wait some time while it assimilates, but during this time, the fort will attack nobody (this is to prevent flash rushes to win a building too fast when there's reinforcement on the way). The time for assimilating is a default for each kind of building, but the distance to the nearest players' Civ Center could be a percentage bonus to the assimilating speed to help those players too suffocated by territorial limits.

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