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I am part of the balancing team. Rams can no longer attack organic units. Some "new" units like maceman and axeman can make a good dmg vs siege units.

Hi everyone! I know this is a "hot topic" and is been already thoroughly discussed.. sorry if I'm jumping in as totally casual player of the game, mad respect and admiration to all the devs that

Right. If it's a simple change in terminology then I'm okay with doing it if it's more intuitive. The change from Armor to "Resistance" made things less intuitive IMHO. But I think changing Hack, Pier

I have only played a few games on 0AD, so by no means I am an autority and neither do I have anything to say how the game should work out.

However if I am correct, this game has strategies like a sneaky ram push. Like how is that supposed to be sensible?

I saw an user saying that the pierce damage is a problem and thrust damage could be included to circumvent the problem is just giving the spearmen a bonus damage. The same thing also goes for other types of siege equipment as spears have trouble killing them as well.

 

Edit: something I wanted to add: Ramms are faster than elephants. Not only they are sturdy but they are also fairly fast if I am correct. On top of that is that the ramms can move while being chased down therefore their speed makes it troublesome to kill them.

Edited by LetswaveaBook
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On 20/01/2021 at 9:28 PM, alre said:

For some reason I can't log in on svn (it says I'm being rate-limited), but I'm following a discussion there and I need a clarification: there is a difference in the game between spearmen and pikemen? I thought they were synonyms. If it's not the case, which civ has wich?

Pikemen are a subclass of spearmen.

All civs have spearmen, Macedons only champions though.

Civs with pikemen: Ptol, Seleu, Kush, Macedons.

Citizen Pikemen deal half a point hack damage per second, so they are terrible against rams. (In A24 they have 100% hack bonus)

Citizen spearmen deal 3 hack damage per second, which is not too bad against rams.

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Yet, it doesn't make any real sense. After so  much talk, I hope it's clear: it's a distortion of the game to have swordsmen dealing much more damage to rams and siege machines in general, than spearmen or pikemen. 

About the difference between spearmen and pikemen: since in the game only ranged units are really effective in inflicting damage, I'm convinced that civilizations that use pikemen have a notable advantage against those who can only use spearmen instead, because they both deal terribly low damage, but pikemen are more resistant and so they make better fodder units, wich is their only good use. Ptolemais notorious pike-camel combo is the perfect example of this.

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How is it a distortion that swordsmen deal more damage to siege than pikemen and spearmen? Spearmen and pikemen deal 3X more damage to cavalry, while swordsmen don't. The different damage and armour types make the units more diverse. Also, swordsmen require metal , while spearmen and pikemen don't. Every unit has its own use, diversity is the key. 
As for your 2nd point, spearmen deal a lot more damage and are faster than pikemen. Perhaps use a mix of swordsmen and spearmen to fight the pikemen? Use lancer cavalry (even skirmish cavalry would work against  camels) to micro and fight the camels? Send rams over to his base because this army comp(pike + camel) cannot defend against siege?
Nothing (units) is really unbalanced, that I can think of. Archers used to underpowered and slingers op in a23, but a24 has created great balance among the ranged units and pretty much every unit for that matter.

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10 hours ago, facts said:

How is it a distortion that swordsmen deal more damage to siege than pikemen and spearmen?

Do I really have to repeat this? I opened this thread to make this exact point, it's nothing about resources and balance, it's about game experience and realism.

10 hours ago, facts said:

As for your 2nd point, spearmen deal a lot more damage and are faster than pikemen. Perhaps use a mix of swordsmen and spearmen to fight the pikemen? Use lancer cavalry (even skirmish cavalry would work against  camels) to micro and fight the camels? Send rams over to his base because this army comp(pike + camel) cannot defend against siege?
Nothing (units) is really unbalanced, that I can think of. Archers used to underpowered and slingers op in a23, but a24 has created great balance among the ranged units and pretty much every unit for that matter.

Camels have weaknesses, I agree, I never said they are unbalanced, I just said they are part of a notorious combo... everybody knows that.

Anyway, noone deploys swordmen to counter pikes. Apart from anti-siege missions, melee units are generally regarded just as target dummys, and that's where pikemen excel.

Edited by alre
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Do I really have to repeat this? I opened this thread to make this exact point

After going through the absurdity of your posts, I think my brain automatically filtered out the ____.

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it's about game experience and realism.

 From a game experience point of view, I don't see how any of it hinders fun for the sake of gameplay in anyway. Have you even played the new alpha? Alpha 24 is officially out too, play it.
Is your perfect scenario of 0ad a game where all units are replaced with one singular unit and all civs are essentially a reskin of one another? Check out AOE 2 for that.
And coming to realism, first of all, realism is indeed a big part of this project, easily the most historically accurate ancient rts out there, but at no point can realism be a bigger priority than gameplay. Gameplay first, while doing the best to keep it realistic. Also, honestly, I don't see what you fail to understand. A swordsman can outperform a spearman in a 1v1 in real life too (owing to the mobility and the versatility). However, in real life sword wielding required much more skill and were more expensive. Siege received nerfs , mass catapults doesn't even work now , which used to be the ideal-noob-turtling-Roman strategy. Also, capturing has become a better functioning mechanic, a great alternative to siege.

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Camels have weaknesses, I agree, I never said they are unbalanced, I just said they are part of a notorious combo... everybody knows that.

And wdym by "notorious" combo. What's the rocket science involved in pairing up two village phase units with great synergy.
If it isn't  unbalanced, what's wrong with the combo? .

"Camels have a weakness???" Wuhaaat! Guess what, every unit has a weakness. And this might blow you away, but according to recent leaks and rumors, every unit has a strength too ( ikr, I couldn't believe by ears). Rams will become unnecessarily underpowered if spearmen ( an ideal trash unit) got too effective at taking it down.
  

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Anyway, noone deploys swordmen to counter pikes. Apart from anti-siege missions, melee units are generally regarded just as target dummys, and that's where pikemen excel.

It's understandable why you're probably ~800. Unit counters is quite basic and quite intuitive if you click on "learn to play the game"---> "structure tree", then just hover over units. Don't worry, I used to be quite bad too but instead of blaming the system, I tried to understand the system better. Welp, I am still not too good, but I have basic game sense. Rest assured, the game is in great hands and the balancing team did such a great job ( even art and other teams) and fixed unit dancing, the cheapest and least honorable of all techniques I am not even hyped for AOE 4 anymore.
As for your last point, I can clearly say you haven't played enough 0AD to start threads about such topics. Not that you're totally wrong about infantry being mostly fodder, but really, launch 0AD more often than once a lifetime .Spec pro games.
tl;dr: a24 nerfs siege quite a bit. having spearmen being able to effectively take down siege would make rams a waste of metal.

Edited by facts
edit : editing
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On 20/02/2021 at 1:13 AM, LetswaveaBook said:

I have only played a few games on 0AD, so by no means I am an autority and neither do I have anything to say how the game should work out.

However if I am correct, this game has strategies like a sneaky ram push. Like how is that supposed to be sensible?

I saw an user saying that the pierce damage is a problem and thrust damage could be included to circumvent the problem is just giving the spearmen a bonus damage. The same thing also goes for other types of siege equipment as spears have trouble killing them as well.

 

Edit: something I wanted to add: Ramms are faster than elephants. Not only they are sturdy but they are also fairly fast if I am correct. On top of that is that the ramms can move while being chased down therefore their speed makes it troublesome to kill them.

Rams are not faster than elephants in either version of the game unless elephants are getting blocked by enemy units. For game simplicity only swords, catapults, some heros and elephants (also axemen in a24) significantly damage rams. Try engaging enemy troops with your main troops and then sending in swords/heros/elephants.

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On 20/2/2021 at 6:01 PM, facts said:

From a game experience point of view, I don't see how any of it hinders fun for the sake of gameplay in anyway. Have you even played the new alpha? Alpha 24 is officially out too, play it.
Is your perfect scenario of 0ad a game where all units are replaced with one singular unit and all civs are essentially a reskin of one another? Check out AOE 2 for that.
And coming to realism, first of all, realism is indeed a big part of this project, easily the most historically accurate ancient rts out there, but at no point can realism be a bigger priority than gameplay. Gameplay first, while doing the best to keep it realistic. Also, honestly, I don't see what you fail to understand. A swordsman can outperform a spearman in a 1v1 in real life too (owing to the mobility and the versatility). However, in real life sword wielding required much more skill and were more expensive

I think it would be fair to first of all point out that there is a good deal more variety in Age of Empires 2 compared to 0 AD at the moment when it comes to civilisations; they might have extremely similar fundamental mechanics, but the variation in tech trees and depth of strategy is significantly better developed there.  Then again that is a full-fledged game while 0 AD is in alpha.

As to your second point, it holds little water.  Spear served as the weapon of choice on the battlefield for a good reason.  Its reach is massive compared to most arming swords; the advantage of a sword is that it is a reliable side-arm, something that can be drawn after the primary weapon has been discarded or rendered inoperable.  Even legionnaires, who are perhaps some of the most famous dedicated swordsmen in history, used them as the followup to their javelin volleys.  

The primary point that you have failed to dismantle is the fact that spearmen being worse at dismantling rams makes little to no sense.  Also, I would respectfully ask you to consider being more polite with your tone.  Needlessly belittling people does nothing to advance arguments and makes one sound immature.  My apologies if that came off as insulting.

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20 hours ago, FeiLongbay said:

Rams are not faster than elephants in either version of the game unless elephants are getting blocked by enemy units. For game simplicity only swords, catapults, some heros and elephants (also axemen in a24) significantly damage rams. Try engaging enemy troops with your main troops and then sending in swords/heros/elephants.

I can't see how would that serve simplicity, to be honest. It's a fairly arbitrary choice for a subset of all units. Another possibility, that I'm advocating, would be all melee units, and to me that seems simpler.

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21 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

I think it would be fair to first of all point out that there is a good deal more variety in Age of Empires 2 compared to 0 AD at the moment when it comes to civilisations; they might have extremely similar fundamental mechanics, but the variation in tech trees and depth of strategy is significantly better developed there.  Then again that is a full-fledged game while 0 AD is in alpha.

Variation in tech trees? They either block out some paths or they don't. There's no actual thought given to it. They essentially used an rng to decide what gets what. Except for britons being similar to gauls, there isn't much similarity to civs, all play differently. AOE is a great strategy game. No doubt about that. However, civs aren't unique, not as much as 0AD. And I only pointed out the non-uniqueness of civs in aoe, nothing else.
 

21 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

As to your second point, it holds little water.  Spear served as the weapon of choice on the battlefield for a good reason.  Its reach is massive compared to most arming swords; the advantage of a sword is that it is a reliable side-arm, something that can be drawn after the primary weapon has been discarded or rendered inoperable.  Even legionnaires, who are perhaps some of the most famous dedicated swordsmen in history, used them as the followup to their javelin volleys.  

You aren't countering my statement, you're just stating another fact.
Also, if the pilums were used as one time throws, it doesn't make it a primary. Considering the sword is used for pretty much the entire battle. Heck, I didn't even say that the spear was used more than the sword , quite the opposite tbf. 

22 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The primary point that you have failed to dismantle is the fact that spearmen being worse at dismantling rams makes little to no sense.

I said " gameplay > realism " . Spearmen aren't totally ineffective, just lesser effective . Spearmen being too effective would render siege useless. And then we can all make a thread called " ArE wE oKaY wItH hOw SpEaRmEn WoRk?".
There are just so many things in the game that aren't realistic. Why don't we all make threads for those too? 
 

22 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Also, I would respectfully ask you to consider being more polite with your tone.  Needlessly belittling people does nothing to advance arguments and makes one sound immature.  My apologies if that came off as insulting.

My first post was quite polite, he acted unnecessarily hostile.
And the balancing team is comprised of borg, ValihrAnt, etc. Basically the top 1% (in terms of skill) of the community. They can mistakes too, obviously. But considering a24 took 1.5 years to come out, that is very unlikely. Rigorous testing, loophole fishing, you name it the units have undergone all. Like I said, gameplay over realism. Fine tuning units is barely an objective.  
This thread is meant to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Many things in 0AD are unrealistic, but we don't have threads for that. Reason? It's a strategy game, not a grow your empire and kill the bad guys simulator. Even chess, possibly the most know strategy game doesn't make real life sense. Why can a pawn only move forward? Why does the knight move like that ?, etc. etc. 

cheers ,
facts
 

 

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1 hour ago, facts said:

But considering a24 took 1.5 years to come out, that is very unlikely.

(I have to say that balancing is mostly changed only in the last month before Feature Freeze or so.)

[Edit]: 2.5 years

Edited by Freagarach
Release time.
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9 minutes ago, Freagarach said:

(I have to say that balancing is mostly changed only in the last month before Feature Freeze or so.)

[Edit]: 2.5 years

A quick look at this post showed there were 92 gameplay-tweaking commits in 2020 and 79 in 2021.

But yeah, two-and-a-half years of development doesn't mean two-and-a-half years of extensive testing. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone!

I know this is a "hot topic" and is been already thoroughly discussed.. sorry if I'm jumping in as totally casual player of the game, mad respect and admiration to all the devs that made the new update possible! the game keeps being amazing!

If I'm allowed only a little observation on rams, yeah, is the only unit that feels a bit "weird" in the game, but I couldn't pinpoint exactly why.  But I came to the conclusion that is probably because they make any defence feel completely irrelevant, as it takes only a couple of hits to bring down a tower, no matter how upgraded and how many people are inside. This, coupled with the lack of visual feedbacks, makes the buildings feel like made of butter and the rams like unstoppable tanks, giving a unrealistic feeling to the siege mechanic.

Yes, rams are extremely vulnerable to certain attacks, but if left alone they still can destroy two fortress in a row and some towers without a flinch, so I feel there's a bit of unrealistic unbalance here. Maybe to bring back better balance, could be an idea to add an "extra" tech for towers in later phase? I don't know, unlocking "fire arrows" (if they're historically accurate) or something that can justify a stronger defence that better reflects a fully garrisoned and upgraded tower? 

Towers should be anyway easily destroyed by the ram, but at least the ram would suffer more damage from the arrows and I think this would reflect in a more realistic gameplay, where a strong defence can effectively slow down an advance (and not being useless as currently is)

This could also takes away the necessity for a overly strong sword infantry or other rams to beat a ram and would smooth down the striking differences and unbalances.

And maybe a weaker ram could force the introduction of a catapult in combination and spice up game variety during sieges (?).

I know there are probably already plenty of good reasons why it's the way it is, especially when it comes to competitive matches and I know there have been already plenty of other suggestions, like making rams capturable and so on.. take this only as a general feedback from a general player with a big pinch of salt! :)

I hope this could be a constructive point of view and in any case I already fully enjoy the game as it is! :) Thanks to all of you guys!

Edited by Radiotraining
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