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mod - don't capture by default


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When capturing was introduced I didn't particularly like it. As it came up recently, as in make sieges not capture-able I tried to recall why this was so.

One aspect is the capture-delete meta. This could be fixed by buildings needing being demolished as they need be built and could award some of the resources back as compensation.

The other was when capturing got introduced I felt the unit behaviour quite a bit annoying. So I changed the code that capturing needs to be explicitly ordered for it to happen. Turns out it feels better but not by as much as I expected. Probably having to adjust to the new behaviour when capturing got introduced made it feel worse than it actually was.

So that others may try how it would feel I packaged the changes into a minimalistic mod for A23. You have to add a definition for hotkey.session.capture to your local.cfg (~/.config/0ad/config/local.cfg on Linux) if you still want to be able to capture targets after loading the mod.

 

capture-0.23.0.pyromod

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great work! This mod definitely improves the gameplay for using slingers or the iberians flaming cav skirms. Thanks for starting a mod to fix the issues with capturing. Like you probably saw, there's still 2 issues.

1. Troops still attack the buildings in range and do not change targets when enemy units appear. This is a large issue whenever we want troops to stay around catapults but we've moved near an area with houses. (Defensive stance causes the troops to have slow reactions to enemy cavalry, so we have to put in aggressive to minimize siege loss)

2. When we ungarrison troops they still automatically try to capture the siege. If its an intense multi-fronted battle, we should be able to just add a rally point and ungarrison (2 clicks vs 3 currently: ungarrison, drag highlight troops because we might have 2 cavalry groups, attack).

Like you stated, the first issues seems to be more about a change to the behaviors of the troops. Even though I'm a game programming nub, I might have to take a look at the engine code to see if I can improve it.

Potential issue I was unable to test: would range units e.g. archers preferentially target enemy units over siege?

Other thing, if this mod was saved as a zip file it'd be easier for non-programmers to figure out.

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@FeiLongbay, thanks for the feedback.

pyromod is a zip file, so you can use unzip to extract it. See also https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/Modding_Guide#Howtoinstallmods

I agree that flaming cav sees the biggest improvement.

 

8 hours ago, FeiLongbay said:

1. Troops still attack the buildings in range and do not change targets when enemy units appear. This is a large issue whenever we want troops to stay around catapults but we've moved near an area with houses. (Defensive stance causes the troops to have slow reactions to enemy cavalry, so we have to put in aggressive to minimize siege loss)

This is out of scope of this mods initial idea, but I think it's worth looking into. The main issue might be a quite noticeable performance penalty though. Will have to test it out.

 

8 hours ago, FeiLongbay said:

2. When we ungarrison troops they still automatically try to capture the siege. If its an intense multi-fronted battle, we should be able to just add a rally point and ungarrison (2 clicks vs 3 currently: ungarrison, drag highlight troops because we might have 2 cavalry groups, attack).

Do you mean if you ungarrison a siege? I'll do that with enemy troops around. For buildings you can set a rally point (move, attack-move, attack-move-unit, capture ...). So I haven't noticed this issue yet, will see were it comes from.

 

9 hours ago, FeiLongbay said:

Potential issue I was unable to test: would range units e.g. archers preferentially target enemy units over siege

They do but they won't switch if they are already attacking a siege which is likely the correct behaviour.

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4 hours ago, Stan` said:

@wraitii you might want to look at this mod

Well, a proper implementation probably should decouple capture and attack. The mod only hacks the default behaviour of attack to not be capture. But I'd certainly appreciate if developers who think this is a possible improvement in unit behaviour could state so. Then it be worthwhile to do it properly. Will package the patches with the next version of the mod.

 

For the other issue mentioned in the initial post I have locally added an extra patch, which still needs some testing. Simply didn't had the time yet.

    Break the capture-delete meta

    Capturing should be meant for own use afterwards.

    Currently capturing is cheap alternative to kill/destroy an enemy
    entity. This only works as delete as a game mechanic is instantaneous
    without cost or leaving debris behind. Long-term one might want to
    change delete to be more like building. However this requires a lot of
    thought and new artwork.

    For structures it would work to require it to be connected to an owned
    territory root to prevent capture-delete in relevant cases but might
    prevent freeing space if the CC got destroyed or captured to make room
    for building a new one. However this approach doesn't extend to captured
    units.

    This patch therefore implements a 3 minute ban on deleting after an
    entity changes ownership.

 

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3 hours ago, hyperion said:

Do you mean if you ungarrison a siege? I'll do that with enemy troops around. For buildings you can set a rally point (move, attack-move, attack-move-unit, capture ...). So I haven't noticed this issue yet, will see were it comes from.

I have not been able to set a rally point that is different than just the move rally point. E.g. in the base game if I right click rally point on an enemy building then ungarrison, my spear cav runs over and tries to capture. If I hold ctrl and right click on a building, the rally point does not even register and my cav ungarrisons at the front of the building. I thought I might have to change the autorallypoint from ctrl to a random key "k", but I still had the same issues.

(In my example, I assume that setting a rally point on an enemy building is the same as setting it on an enemy bolt/catapult because I don't know a map that starts with siege.)

 

In the your mod of game, both of those things happen exactly the same.

 

I have looked at the default.cfg at https://github.com/0ad/0ad/blob/master/binaries/data/config/default.cfg and also scrolled through the hotkey editor on Autociv and have not found ways to change rally types. I am wondering what you mean by setting different types of rally points.

 

3 hours ago, hyperion said:

  Break the capture-delete meta

I see the capture delete meta as analogous to an ancient scenario where troops came into the city and they started to raze the buildings. If the city didnt send troops and waterboys to save the building it would be destroyed. Making the capture any more expensive would make warfare before stage III irrelevant because garrisoning in the cc, sentry towers, barracks, houses is much more cost effective than the attacker sending troops all the way across the map.

 

The only issue I have with capture delete is that it makes sense to stack houses in front of sentry towers to prevent capture but that doesn't really align with the ancient torching scenario. 

 

3 hours ago, hyperion said:

For structures it would work to require it to be connected to an owned
    territory root to prevent capture-delete in relevant cases but might
    prevent freeing space if the CC got destroyed or captured to make room
    for building a new one. However this approach doesn't extend to captured
    units.

Usually people have lots of farms around the cc so I have never seen territory captured that prevented the cc from being rebuilt after it was destroyed (except a case where a rotary mill was captured but that was seen as a bug). If the cc is captured, you shouldn't get another cc nearby.

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7 hours ago, Stan` said:

Pyromod is normally associated to the game. So if you dpuble click it should install automatically (Association will be fixed on Mac in the next version)

 

I'm a mac user so thats why I thought it might difficult for non-programmers. Fixes are coming, excellent!

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Sorry I put this in another message, but just want to comment on the best thing about this mod. If I win a battle with infantry vs infantry, my infantry will actually go over and kill the enemy sieges. No more do they uselessly wave their arms around the sieges as the sieges retreat making capture impossible. No more do I have to carefully select each siege with ctrl+shift to order all of their destruction. Late game battles FEEL AMAZING.

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1 hour ago, FeiLongbay said:

I have not been able to set a rally point that is different than just the move rally point. E.g. in the base game if I right click rally point on an enemy building then ungarrison, my spear cav runs over and tries to capture. If I hold ctrl and right click on a building, the rally point does not even register and my cav ungarrisons at the front of the building. I thought I might have to change the autorallypoint from ctrl to a random key "k", but I still had the same issues.

(In my example, I assume that setting a rally point on an enemy building is the same as setting it on an enemy bolt/catapult because I don't know a map that starts with siege.)

I can reproduce the capture instead of attack after unload, obviously unload to attack buildings I only do with sieges if at all so I didn't run into this myself. If the rally point is a building the behaviour is unexpectedly strange. Guess could be considered buggy.

 

1 hour ago, FeiLongbay said:

I see the capture delete meta as analogous to an ancient scenario where troops came into the city and they started to raze the buildings. If the city didnt send troops and waterboys to save the building it would be destroyed. Making the capture any more expensive would make warfare before stage III irrelevant because garrisoning in the cc, sentry towers, barracks, houses is much more cost effective than the attacker sending troops all the way across the map.

"set-on-fire" could indeed be added as another entity/unit action. The structure then would receive fire damage over time. This would be easy in A24 as there fire damage over time is already implemented. However, I see this a complementary to the ban on outright delete a structure recently captured.

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7 hours ago, nifa said:

i think most convenient would be if the units just do whatever is faster, capture or destroy..

This perfectly demonstrates the issue. If it's desirable to be able to quickly take out any buildings with basically any unit, as is the case with capture-delete, the correct thing to do would be to make structures simply a lot more brittle. Capture-delete just destroys the immersion for me.

Btw, ranged units not running to the front and getting in the way of sieges can be considered one of the favourable behaviour changes of this mod. Sure this is a matter of taste and priority, I don't expect everyone to agree.

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