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Phase Eco Techs (cost and collection rates)


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Currently, each eco tech improves production by 20% in p1, 20% in p2, and 20% in p3 (wood, stone, metal) or 15% in p1, 15% in p2, and 15% in p3 (farming) whereas previous alphas eco techs improved production by 15% in p1, 15% in p2, and 50% in p3 (wood, stone, metal) or by 15% in p1, 15% in p2, 25% in p3 (farming). The old alpha made late phase eco techs a huge boon to the eco and encouraged phasing/punished players who never did not phase 3. 

Currently, the cost of each eco linearly increases (e.g. 200w and 100m in p1, 400w and 200m in p2, and 600w and 300m in p3) whereas in previous alphas the cost of each eco tech varied (e.g. 200w and 50m in p1, 250w and 50m in p2, and 1000w, 150s, and 150m in p3. In the old alpha this made p3 eco techs cost prohibitive in some instances if you did not have a large supply of a resource (i.e. you might not want to spend your metal on a metal upgrade if you only have 1 mine or you might want to spend 1000w on a wood upgrade in a savanna map where wood is limited). In this alpha, late phase eco techs may not be worthwhile because the benefit is much smaller relative to the cost.

As a result of these considerations, it makes sense for many players not to get late phase techs bonuses, which results in players needing more units on eco in late game. This means that attacking players have less attacking units because they have more units doing eco. 

As a result, it makes it harder to kill players this alpha because a p1 player's eco might not be that different from a p3 players eco and the p3 players won't have as many attacking units compared to previous alphas. Consequently, games are more likely to get in a stalemate stage.

I propose we change eco techs to something more aligned with the previous alpha. Reverting to the previous alpha's setup, which provided a huge boon to p3 eco techs makes sense to me. Alternatively, something like a eco techs with the same cost and a 15%, 20%, and 25% collection rate improvement could make sense. If a constant collection rate improvement is seen as necessary, then the cost of the techs should at least decrease so as to provide some benefit to phasing earlier and make it more likely that the techs will be used. 

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The linear increase shown looks like the better approach.  After a technology has been researched that increases the gather rate of a resource, the resource becomes less valuable due to ease of production.  The other alpha had it go from a 50 resource increase to a baffling 850 resource increase in phase three.  

Potentially there might be the argument of having there be diminishing returns on the subsequent technologies.  These are economy upgrades and shouldn't aim to work as massive power spikes like military ones can often do.  

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What is the chance that a phase 2 player will win from a phase 3 in alpha23? For that reason we remove the exorbitant 50% bonus. We want a player to be able to choose to stay in phase2 with some strategy and still be able to beat someone in phase 3.

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One idea is that late game should have finishers or units that are way more cost-efficient than earlier phase units. Champs should fulfill that role in which a few champs should still be overpowered by citizen-soldier spam until a certain critical mass.

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1 hour ago, chrstgtr said:

Alternatively, something like a eco techs with the same cost and a 15%, 20%, and 25% collection rate improvement could make sense.

I like this idea, except cost should not be constant imo but also not high enough to not be cost-effective.

Edited by badosu
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55 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

After a technology has been researched that increases the gather rate of a resource, the resource becomes less valuable due to ease of production. 

This simply isn't true. Resources are only valuable in so far as you can spend the resource on units, buildings, or techs. The cost of those units, buildings, and techs do not change no matter how much of a resource you have. 

 

55 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

The other alpha had it go from a 50 resource increase to a baffling 850 resource increase in phase three.  

Perhaps this isn't the correct cost/rate increase. But the increase in cost was also accompanied by a huge increase in gather rates. The current alpha does not have any such corresponding jump in productivity for p3. In fact, later techs are actually worse from a cost/benefit standpoint--p1 tech increases baseline productivity by 20% for 300 in res, which means 1 res equal a .667% collection rate increase, whereas p3 increases baseline productivity by 72.8% (1.2*1.2*1.2) for 1800 in res (300 for p1 tech+600+p2 tech+900 for p3 tech), which means 1 res equals a .04044% increase. That means the p1 tech is about 16.5x better from a cost benefit perspective. This just doesn't seem right. 

55 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Potentially there might be the argument of having there be diminishing returns on the subsequent technologies.  These are economy upgrades and shouldn't aim to work as massive power spikes like military ones can often do.  

This makes no sense. Economies and militaries are necessarily intertwined. Economic technology becomes military technology and vice versa. How would militaries get stronger weapons if they lacked the blacksmithing ability to make stronger mining tools? Even if you set that aside, a stronger economy will make a stronger military because one of the great constraints of warfare is the production of weaponry. 

 

And regardless of whatever is "historically" or "economically" accurate, the current iteration makes for far less dynamic gameplay as the benefit of phasing is almost entirely eliminated and many team games end up running way too long, partly as a result of attackers having fewer attacking units. 

Edited by chrstgtr
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13 minutes ago, borg- said:

What is the chance that a phase 2 player will win from a phase 3 in alpha23? For that reason we remove the exorbitant 50% bonus. We want a player to be able to choose to stay in phase2 with some strategy and still be able to beat someone in phase 3.

Going to p3 forces you to sacrifice units. Last alpha you could go to p3 with 100 units at like min 9. That player doesn't have a great chance against someone who stayed in p2 longer and consequently has 150 units. Also, just because you got to p3 earlier doesn't mean you can actually get the p3 techs quicker than someone who stayed in p2 longer because you sacrifice eco/units to phase earlier. Because of this, the problem of a p2 player not being able to catch a p3 player is really only relevant in the team game context but there you will have teammates who are p3 and can boost you into p3 with the techs, so it really shouldn't be a problem there either. 

Going to p3 is a strategy. It is a choice just as staying in p2 is a choice. You cannot say one is a more valid choice than another. 

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That means the p1 tech is about 16.5x better from a cost benefit perspective. This just doesn't seem right. 

Later upgrades being worse from a cost benefit perspective makes sense, just the metal cost for these upgrades seems a bit too hefty to me currently.

Quote

What is the chance that a phase 2 player will win from a phase 3 in alpha23? For that reason we remove the exorbitant 50% bonus. We want a player to be able to choose to stay in phase2 with some strategy and still be able to beat someone in phase 3.

Maybe not win, but phase 2 was still able to punish p3 players very well, especially if they opted to get the last woodcutting upgrade right away. Thats 1500 resources to click P3 + buildings and then another 1300 resources for the last woodcutting upgrade. That gives the P2 player a huge resource advantage which can be used to create a strong population advantage. Unfortunately, with blacksmith upgrades being unrealistic until late P3 (still the case) and no siege to close out the game it wasn't really done too often as you can't effectively close out a game, just try to secure a lead.

Additionally, I don't think an all in P2 player should be able to beat a P3 player unless he can use the early advantage to secure a lead and snowball it.

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13 minutes ago, ValihrAnt said:

Later upgrades being worse from a cost benefit perspective makes sense, just the metal cost for these upgrades seems a bit too hefty to me currently.

I agree metal is the problem on the cost side. 

But I also think p3 techs should provide more benefit than they currently do. Going p3 provides very little eco benefit right now and it causes a drag on games because there the lack of economic benefit means that more soldiers are stuck doing eco and not attacking. 

Last alpha there was a lower cost/benefit to p3 techs from a pure resource perspective but it wasn't as dramatic as it is now and p3 techs also provided a larger benefit in the form of freeing up units to fight.

I think  schedule like 20% for 200w and 100m in p1, 25% for 400w and 150m in p2, 30% and 600w and 250m in p3 could work. This would be turn out to be somewhere between the old regime and the current schedule in terms of both productivity and cost/benefit. It also addresses the hefty metal cost in the current schedule. Basically it is a refined version of the old model that should get rid of its arguably abusive aspects. 

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Keep in mind modifications stack (like compound interest); if technologies have the same relative gain, the absolute gain increases exponentially:

with 0 technologies: 1.2^0 = 1
with 1 technology:   1.2^1 = 1.2    i.e. +0.2
with 2 technologies: 1.2^2 = 1.44   i.e. +0.24
with 3 technologies: 1.2^3 = 1.728  i.e. +0.288

Moreover, those are the rates per worker; players tend to have few gatherers at game start and more units and a better economy in late game, therefore the total effect is greater, which is why later technologies are more expensive.

Technology costs can be changed, of course (I also think forge technologies are a bit expensive).

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No player is going to stay p2 to win.  Every player needs p3 for siege.  There is no civ with p2 siege or ability to take down palisades consistently at p2.

Currently, there is no reason to stay p2.

 

Previously, the only reason to stay p2 vs phase 3 was if you were rushed with enemy building into your base.  If the enemy was britons/gauls/maurys/iberians/kushites (non-ranged siege civs) it was actually more prudent to do tower upgrades and defend than go p3 and defend.

Edited by Dizaka
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Posted (edited)

 

On 12/03/2021 at 5:52 AM, Nescio said:

Moreover, those are the rates per worker; players tend to have few gatherers at game start and more units and a better economy in late game, therefore the total effect is greater, which is why later technologies are more expensive.

I don't think this should be a concern. By the time that you would research p3 techs you won't have a lot of units doing eco because you are fighting. 

Having more units on eco means that there are fewer units fighting. Less attacking units means its harder to actually kill players. This leads to stalemates, which has been a general complaint about a24. Also having a greater portion of units on eco is just generally less fun since you basically set the units onto eco and then forget about them. Moreover, it makes it more difficult to do sneak attacks on bases since there will always be a larger portion of units at the base doing eco and the attacking force is smaller (before you could prepare for these sneak attacks by voluntarily keeping more units back).
 

Edited by chrstgtr
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Posted (edited)

It seems like most players are generally in favor of reworking the eco techs and/or disagree with the justification for change from a23-->a24 (to give players that stay in p2 a better chance to beat p3 players). How does the below reworking look?

A few observations:

  1. The overall speed of resource collection would be higher than in a24 still slightly lower than in a23. This should free up more units late game to actually fight instead of doing simcity eco in the background. 
    • 1.728 (a24) vs 1.95 (proposal) vs. 1.98375
  2. The increase from p2 to p3 wouldn't be as dramatic as it was in a23. This should prevent the "first to p3 with techs wins" problem that some thought a23 had.
    • .288 (a24) vs. .45 (proposal) vs. .66125 (a23)
  3. The rate change and % increase per resource does not drop off as greatly between p2 and p3 as it does in a24. This should make researching p3 more worthwhile
  4. The cost of metal will be less burdensome since it only increases by 50 each phase instead of 100 like it does now
    • 300 (a24) vs. 200 (proposal) vs. (150) a23

In total, this makes researching p3 techs more beneficial and viable than they currently are but doesn't create the "first to p3 with techs wins" problem that some people thought a23 had. Basically, it strikes a middle ground between a23 and a24 and attempts to address everyone's concerns. 

Separately, Vali and I talked about changing the p1 metal costs to food since metal basically isn't useful in p1, so the upgrades come "for free" without requiring any trade-off. Meanwhile food is obviously important in p1. This would also help address the extreme metal scarcity issue since it would save all p1 metal costs. I think that makes sense, but I didn't want to complicate the proposal too much. 

1366522710_ScreenShot2021-03-17at12_17_15PM.thumb.png.c576cf14cff7511a27dccea6ba8bfe29.png

 

Let me know what you think

Edited by chrstgtr
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What I would recommend is start with reverting D3404 / rP24719. That would mean a return to the total gain of A23 (1.25^3 = 1.953125) while preserving the technology behaviour of A24 and allowing players to free up population earlier.

Further adjustments (e.g. cost changes) can be done later.

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49 minutes ago, Nescio said:

What I would recommend is start with reverting D3404 / rP24719. That would mean a return to the total gain of A23 (1.25^3 = 1.953125) while preserving the technology behaviour of A24 and allowing players to free up population earlier.

Further adjustments (e.g. cost changes) can be done later.

Below is the 25/25/25 schedule analysis with my proposed costs. I totally agree with @borg-'s comment in the D3404 thread, which predicted half of the eco tech problem I see in a24 (the other half of the problem are the costs). 

Please note a 25/25/25 schedule favors rushes in early p1, late p1, or late p2 and disadvantages quick p3 pushes. This means that a player with a moderately successful rush could see that lead evaporate when they make a p3 push (in this situation the defender would have basically the same eco and pop and just wouldn't have siege when the rusher/attacker makes their p3 push). Meanwhile, a 20/25/30 schedule makes each push stronger than last and doesn't have the same issue where a early p1 or early p2 rush lead could disappear. 

I don't think a diminishing schedule (e.g. 30/25/20) makes sense for the reasons stated above. 

1855286904_ScreenShot2021-03-17at1_53_41PM.thumb.png.09720904523b67a53ae27821d98b8c6b.png

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From a purely economic perspective, I think our eco techs remain good enough that you want them basically as soon as they are available - it's almost always better to research them than to train a resource-equivalent # of gatherers (even P3 techs are 600/300 -> about 12-15 gatherers, so if you have 80+ workers you're good, though metal conversion is arguable). Now I could be wrong here -> I'm not sure what the typical # of gatherer is at each phase.

That is further tempered by the fact that those gatherers can also defend, and thus in the context of a tight game with a lot of skirmishing, you'd probably prefer the latter, possibly forever.

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What I'm reading by @chrstgtr is actually that unit costs are too high across the board / gather rates too low (but I'd rather change the first in that case).

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As an anecdotal concern, I would question whether players should start with 300S/300M - it's disproportionately high in the early game.

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1 minute ago, wraitii said:

From a purely economic perspective, I think our eco techs remain good enough that you want them basically as soon as they are available - it's almost always better to research them than to train a resource-equivalent # of gatherers (even P3 techs are 600/300 -> about 12-15 gatherers, so if you have 80+ workers you're good, though metal conversion is arguable). Now I could be wrong here -> I'm not sure what the typical # of gatherer is at each phase.

That is further tempered by the fact that those gatherers can also defend, and thus in the context of a tight game with a lot of skirmishing, you'd probably prefer the latter, possibly forever.

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What I'm reading by @chrstgtr is actually that unit costs are too high across the board / gather rates too low (but I'd rather change the first in that case).

No, unit cost/eco is fine early game when in the build-up phase. 

Unit cost/eco is a problem late game when fighting. Thus the need to increase eco late game. 


This would revert to a similar schedule that we had before while addressing the complaints that some people had before.

 

Besides, adjusting unit costs is a huge change that would affect every aspect of the game (techs, buildings, and units) and would be subject to error. We could very easily again create a situation where players are floating way too resources during build-up (this is primarily a problem of the longer train times in a24, which we agree should be reverted) and not have enough resources late to supply the army (this will become a bigger problem once train times are reverted). It is much easier to just adjust only where the problem exists (late game). 

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20 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

No, unit cost/eco is fine early game when in the build-up phase. 
Unit cost/eco is a problem late game when fighting. Thus the need to increase eco late game. 
Besides, adjusting unit costs is a huge change that would affect every aspect of the game (techs, buildings, and units) and would be subject to error.

All fair points. The thing is that I'm reading that P1 techs are rather easy to grab - and I'd agree. IMO, we could cut them from the game entirely and increase base gathering rates proportionally, and P2/P3 techs could both be increased proportionally.
From what I've seen of FeldFeld play, for example, the fruit tech needs to be researched ASAP, which makes basically no sense, it should just be removed.

Edit: that being said, if it seems generally agreed that city phase needs higher resource collection, I'd say you're right and we should just increase the gathering rate there.

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My main concern with ever increasing gather rates is that it increases the importance of shuttling disproportionately - and it's already a very important factor in 0 A.D. Ideally, I'd reduce gather rates & costs accordingly, which would make shuttling times matter less to gathering efficiency.

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40 minutes ago, wraitii said:

All fair points. The thing is that I'm reading that P1 techs are rather easy to grab - and I'd agree. IMO, we could cut them from the game entirely and increase base gathering rates proportionally, and P2/P3 techs could both be increased proportionally.
From what I've seen of FeldFeld play, for example, the fruit tech needs to be researched ASAP, which makes basically no sense, it should just be removed.

Edit: that being said, if it seems generally agreed that city phase needs higher resource collection, I'd say you're right and we should just increase the gathering rate there.

----

My main concern with ever increasing gather rates is that it increases the importance of shuttling disproportionately - and it's already a very important factor in 0 A.D. Ideally, I'd reduce gather rates & costs accordingly, which would make shuttling times matter less to gathering efficiency.

I disagree with ever taking away player choice. If there is a problem with a tech because everyone always does the tech at the exact same time then obviously something should change. But I would prefer that change take the form of a cost change because that preserves player choice and introduces an additional trade-off decision into the game. 

However, the techs you point out are not researched by everyone at the same time. Many people don't research berries because they do an early rush and can't afford to spend the wood. Similarly, people delay p1 wood/farming techs in order to rush, build, make add'l units, or build a tower. These are all strategic decisions and not everyone has the same strategy. For example, borg and stockfish often doesn't research berries because they make early cav. 

Edit: for shuttling (I assume you mean carry time from res to storehouse), we can adjust the basket tech to change how many res a unit can carry at once. This is actually my favorite a24 tech revision as it makes the p2 and p3 basket tech worthwhile, so I would not recommend changing that. And, again, here is an element of choice: a player can build more storehouses (a cheap, short-term fix) or can research the basket tech (a more expensive, long-term play)

Edited by chrstgtr
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12 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

However, the techs you point out are not researched by everyone at the same time. Many people don't research berries because they do an early rush and can't afford to spend the wood. Similarly, people delay p1 wood/farming techs in order to rush, build, make add'l units, or build a tower. These are all strategic decisions and not everyone has the same strategy. For example, borg and stockfish often doesn't research berries because they make early cav.

Ok, that's good to hear - I can't claim to have very good knowledge of the metagame. As a sidenote, I think you (players) should be more explicit of these kind of things, as it's valuable information on how to balance the game that we simply don't always have.

12 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

Edit: for shuttling (I assume you mean carry time from res to storehouse), we can adjust the basket tech to change how many res a unit can carry at once. This is actually my favorite a24 tech revision as it makes the p2 and p3 basket tech worthwhile, so I would not recommend changing that. And, again, here is an element of choice: a player can build more storehouses (a cheap, short-term fix) or can research the basket tech (a more expensive, long-term play)

(Yes that's what I mean). We can increase the carry capacity, but that leads to potentially more micro, as you have a higher time delay between drop-offs, so you might need to micro more to actually have the resources available.
I'm not suggesting removing that element from the game entirely - though it has been done in many RTS games - merely that in 0 A.D. the impact is big, because our gather rates are very fast and our units comparatively somewhat slow. This is particularly true when hunting with cavalry, but all units are affected - we have 'shuttling' times comparable with Age 2 (sorta), but our resource gathering rate is 2-3x higher.
IMO, reducing the impact of shuttling time on resource gather rates would be good because it'd be more predictable, and would also help newer players/reduce un-necessary micro. Adding new dropsites/etc. would remain worthwhile on its own though. That being said, it's not a huge thing.

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I feel like I'm the only person IG who researches fertility festival within 2-3 mins of game start for team games.  I do not believe anyone does it, lol.

Edited by Dizaka
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On 18/3/2021 at 5:47 AM, wraitii said:

All fair points. The thing is that I'm reading that P1 techs are rather easy to grab - and I'd agree. IMO, we could cut them from the game entirely and increase base gathering rates proportionally, and P2/P3 techs could both be increased proportionally.
From what I've seen of FeldFeld play, for example, the fruit tech needs to be researched ASAP, which makes basically no sense, it should just be removed.

On the other hand, these techs could be nerfed by introducing a higher cost.  That way there is still the potential for a decision.  

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On 18/03/2021 at 5:27 AM, chrstgtr said:

I disagree with ever taking away player choice. If there is a problem with a tech because everyone always does the tech at the exact same time then obviously something should change. But I would prefer that change take the form of a cost change because that preserves player choice and introduces an additional trade-off decision into the game. 

However, the techs you point out are not researched by everyone at the same time. Many people don't research berries because they do an early rush and can't afford to spend the wood. Similarly, people delay p1 wood/farming techs in order to rush, build, make add'l units, or build a tower. These are all strategic decisions and not everyone has the same strategy. For example, borg and stockfish often doesn't research berries because they make early cav. 

Edit: for shuttling (I assume you mean carry time from res to storehouse), we can adjust the basket tech to change how many res a unit can carry at once. This is actually my favorite a24 tech revision as it makes the p2 and p3 basket tech worthwhile, so I would not recommend changing that. And, again, here is an element of choice: a player can build more storehouses (a cheap, short-term fix) or can research the basket tech (a more expensive, long-term play)

research berries is not profitable.

 

In most of maps it only appear in the civic center at the beginning and it runs out very quickly.

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