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increased realism mod (and random unrealistic changes)


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cicero.png.6bc15ee8ff0bd2471e3270ff42e2c25a.png

Introduction:

The purpose this mod is to clearly define the role of buildings, which then leads to a (slightly) more realistic city layout. It is a follow up to this proposal: https://wildfiregames.com/forum/topic/37294-storehouse-and-farms-rework  please look there for additional reasons why I think these changes are good.

So please take a look at the following building and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this look like a place that you can pack full of soldiers and defend like a fortress?
  • Does it look like a good place to store your food, stone or metal?

screenshot0033.thumb.png.d7b2f7ca540643d3c678ae163336c300.png

 

Well, at least to me it doesn't. And this is imo one of the reasons for the gameplay balance problems.

Therefore, introducing a mod, that clearly redefines the role of the basic buildings.

Features:

The civic center is no longer an all-purpose storehouse nor an easy to defend mini fortress. Its ability to shoot arrows has been removed and replaced by an aura, that increases the attack and armor of soldiers close to it. That is done because it is the center of your civilization, which should give the soldiers a boost of morale and it also prevents you from getting overrun in the first 5 minutes of the game.

The storehouse is now the main place to store wood/metal/stone and its cost are reduced to 50 wood.

Wood can still be stored in the CC to allow wood income in situations where all storehouses are destroyed.

The farmstead is now the main place to store food and its cost are reduced to 50 wood.

What do I hope are the benefits?

  • A city layout that looks more realistic (e.g https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Forum) and less like someone decided to turn the center of their city into one giant farming area.
  • Easier to understand game logic. Defensive structures are for defense, economic structures are for economy.
  • Better ability to rush in early game

 

Because I don't want to make two mods, there are also other changes (maybe more unrealistic) based on the following complaints I have read on the forums:

Changes:

Towers:

  • Towers do no longer have an minimum distance between them, because that restricts player freedom (and I don't like it :D)
  • To balance that out , their ungarrisoned arrow count is reduced to 0, because it was imo not realistic that they had a default arrow count (indicating a person inside) but they did not contribute to the pop limit. To have any effect of the towers, you now either need to keep men around or let them stay inside, which should prevent an extreme overuse.
  • The tech is removed, that adds one standard arrow to towers
  • The tech is removed, that gives 40% more arrows per garrisoned soldier
  • The stone tower can now garrison only 3 soldiers (same as the sentry tower) but it is still harder to capture and more resistant.

Palisade related:

  • Palisades have very weak crush damage, which means that rams and catapults are way more effective against them
  • Women now have a torch as weapon, which allows them to burn palisades. (A few hits are enough, the palisade will continue to burn until its gone)

Here is a test of how effective different unit types are at destroying palisades:

 

Nice new fire effects:

Here is the mod (v 0.0.3):

https://github.com/neon-marder/increased-realism

 

 

increased-realism.pyromod

increased-realism.zip

Edited by maroder
updated mod files
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I like it. Reminds me of my game play rework I still at times cope with.

Are the resources lost if the storehouse gets destroyed? I tried a fully distributed approach in the HybridAI - which is a general term for something currently pretty infamous: distribution. Though it might be interesting to get it to work on the blockchain. Let's see.

I went to excess with my changes. Every item was a real physical item. Having to be stored. Processed. (I coded heaps of recipes for that purpose, like how to create dough and bake a cake or bread from it.)

This last effort turned havoc on my progress as it resulted in a mega patch due to too many new gameplay features being reworked which resulted in a maintenance nightmare when 0AD introduced random white space changes (and stopped HannibalAI support which deprived me of a running comparison which was quite fun and kept me going as it was something where I could check my algorithms real time until my HybridAI changes to the engine were complete).

The smart groups allowed any entity to take control of the group, even replacing each other in case of death. I have put this to use in my drone projects, too. And currently I work on a related arts project with visual magical hp, lotr Mithrandir effects.

All people gained experience in what they did. Could become general. With a long white beard. xD Could get abducted and getting hit by a single arrow resulted in being wounded. More realistic. Less speed. Less hectic. More peaceful focus on economy, diplomacy, beauty of the worlds, endeavours.

Could truck trees away from a neighboring kingdom to block a high mountain pass. Adding strategic depth.

The citizens randomly decided to take a look at a nearby lake or to broom the stairs or dance at the market. The structures [static] should be accessible to units [mobile] I think.

Support lines should require protection.

Though to avoid micro, all units deal with it automatically. You can overrule it by directions or micro at any time. Though it's fun to see your generals try crazy maneuvers without success.


Your changes iron out some inconsistencies (default arrows) and artificial restrictions (structure spacing). It's a good step forward. I wish to see more. I am not up to date.

Have a nice time all. Hope you are doing well

Yours old odd friend from far away
 

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I made a quick test of your mod, thanks for taking time to think about the issue. :)  A few remarks:

 - there is still the upgrade to increase the default number of arrows, so abusing tower concentration could be an issue.

 - I tried to think about early placement of fields, I have to admit that they would be tricky to defend effectively. I placed them around the initial farmstead that I used for berries in order to save early wood. I might have set them between my first woodline (ideally on the side of the map border so there is one less side to watch out for enemy) and the civic center since it has the advantage of providing a nice vision. Mines are still right next to the civic center, so I might also be tempted to have farms around mines. Soldiers would be very close to the fields and remain productive this way, an alternative approach might be to start farming with soldiers. 

- I noticed that the restrictions on the distance between fortress was still there but that there was no restriction on distance with respect to the civic center. I would guess that removing the defensive property of the civic center would increase the incentive to add military structure very close. With the aura that you have added, the civic center might be even easier to protect since it would also work in late game.

Spoiler

testmod.thumb.jpg.c2c006383adbbc688c4ce664c828fc48.jpg

I have tried to illustrate what my city might look like after 15-20 minutes as an illustration of what the changes might imply (though I probably built too many forts to be a very good example). 

About the issue with respect to defensive structure, I have tried to illustrate what I meant with my defensive city example above.

Sieging a city is costly: if an attacker has to destroy all buildings preventing him from moving forward with sieges, there is an opportunity cost in terms of economy he cannot produce with the citizen soldiers protecting the sieges. If sieges are not protected they would be sniped for free. I added a "palisades net" here, since it is cheaper than a regular palisades wall but quite effective at slowing down sieges. I could also add a few palisades pillar and more layers there to increase the density of cheap stuffs to be destroyed before the enemy can reach my valuable buildings. I let you imagine how annoying it is to destroy something like this and how much worse it can become if the city is protected with archers/slingers, and you don't have any with your civilization.

 

About the choices you made for your mod: 

 - Removing the distance limit between towers: You could concentrate too many towers in one spot, with a wall in front and the upgrade for an additional arrow they would probably be abused. You could build squares of 9 turrets with a wall around to act as a mini-fort which doesn't need to garrison soldiers inside. There is also some maps with narrow passages where stacking towers on top of one another would be too strong probably. The current solution is not perfect but probably better the suggested alternative of completely removing the distance limit.

 - Removing the storehouse capacity of the civic center: What if your storehouse get captured by the enemy and you have no wood available to build a new one?  There would be an incentive to fight to the death to protect a storehouse, probably outside of the aura of the civic center. The potential usage of the civic center as a storehouse and the struggler trees prevent from having this undesirable effect. For food, it might make sense but in general, I think I would prefer an incentive system. A system of fertile land like the one from Delenta Est could makes sense. We could also imagine alternative system that might not require to modify all maps like for example a small malus for farming if the farm is too close to a building which is not a farmstead (because it creates the shadow or poor land quality... ;) ). You could then choose a safe build with farms next to the civic center or choose the one providing a better economy with farms in the most productive area.

 Ungarrisoned arrow count is reduced to 0: I don't see an obvious issue to apply this for tower but I don't know what was the original motivation to introduce it in the first place.

The civic center ability to shoot arrows has been removed and replaced by an aura, that increases the attack and armor of soldiers close to it: I think this might be problematic since it could create an incentive in late game to fight right next to a civic center (the initial cc or a forward one). The second potential issue I can think off relates to differences in range from different units. As you mentioned, the civic center defensive capacity is very important in early game and if you have weaker units you might not be able to survive the first few minutes of game. I would put a red flag toward removing it completely since it could change dramatically the early game balance. Some civilization can use their starting stones to get very early slingers, maurya elephants worker make early hunting highly effective and offer plenty of potential for deadly rushes. Other civilization won't be able to compete with this type of advantages (especially in team games for which the distance between players is quite small).

 

 

Finally, just a bit of food for thoughts since a forum is the right place to farm ideas. :) 

I really like Changeset 24971 – Wildfire Games, which introduces smoke at the armory when it is researching upgrades. The changes is great since it has a strategic interest for competitive player, and it is probably a tiny step in the direction your are aiming at. I usually put my forges in front line to protect more valuable buildings (they slow down the enemy, have no value once upgrades are done....). The animation change might give me the incentive to hide it from the enemy sight since if he sees smoke during an assault, the building could be targeted. 

Teleportation through buildings probably doesn't give any incentive to leave space for movement between buildings (if I remember correctly, in previous alpha units would always exit on the same side, so teleportation could go only in one direction). If that wasn't possible, I would probaly leave much more space between buildings which could help having city which have a more realistic look. I don't know if something like this would be desirable but at least I know it is feasible and might help to reach your aim. 

As mentioned in the other post, working through incentives would be better but in some cases it might be difficult to do... For example, it would be nice to prevent palisades spam somehow, something close to a minimum distance rules could make sense there too (though I imagine it would create issues when it is not in a straight line). I don't think that stacking palisades is desirable in any way so maybe there, why not working with some hard limit.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

That is an elaborate looking city :D  Thanks for taking the time to try the mod and make suggestions. I will think about them and then reply in more detail and maybe with a new version of the mod.

Edited by maroder
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  • maroder changed the title to increased realism mod (and random unrealistic changes)

@faction02 thanks again for the comments.

On 07/04/2021 at 12:24 AM, faction02 said:

there is still the upgrade to increase the default number of arrows, so abusing tower concentration could be an issue.

-> fixed

On 07/04/2021 at 12:24 AM, faction02 said:

About the issue with respect to defensive structure, I have tried to illustrate what I meant with my defensive city example above.

True. I didn't put to much effort in thinking about the palisade issue in the first version of the mod. But I added now the ability for women to torch the palisades (which gives them also a new interesting role in the game, and stronger siege vs palisades)

On 07/04/2021 at 12:24 AM, faction02 said:

What if your storehouse get captured by the enemy and you have no wood available to build a new one? 

-> fixed

On 07/04/2021 at 12:24 AM, faction02 said:

You could concentrate too many towers in one spot, with a wall in front and the upgrade for an additional arrow they would probably be abused

Also very true. I really want to make it work and I hope I can find a way to balance no distance limitations with the strength of towers, but it is hard indeed :D I therefore made additional changes to the concept, maybe it will work, otherwise I will have to revert to the standard with building limitations.

On 07/04/2021 at 12:24 AM, faction02 said:

I would put a red flag toward removing it completely since it could change dramatically the early game balance

Yes that was my fear too. The problem is, as long as there is some protection through the CC, the fields will obviously be placed there, even if it is not a dropsite. I therefore want to encourage the player to actually choose a area that is more protected and build defensive structures in the early game (Or just boom and risk it).

 

General thoughts: I would also much rather have a system of incentives for the city layout and the fields, but that would be way more complicated changes and they are, as you mentioned, already done in DE and the city building mod. My goal was to see if we can reach something more realistic, just by tweaking some values and removing some obvious unrealistic features (CC as storehouse/ fortress).  Because of that, I don't want to keep some of the defensive capabilities of the CC, as that would undermine the concept. To have more defense, you need to actually build defensive structures. But these defenses should not lead to stalemates or boring endgames, which is hard to balance. I hope that the new changes kind of reach this balance, but that needs to be tested vs a real player and not vs the AI :D 

 

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14 minutes ago, maroder said:

Version 0.03: Added nice but very hacky fire effects to the palisades

Very nice... I think you could reduce the damage variants to only 3/4 variants. Now I've got an idea of spreading fires through palisades...

I've also thought on removing defense and dropsite capability of civic centers. However I realized that civic centers in 0 AD is based on AoE games, which is meant to be the first and eventually the last building you'll ever have in the game, and thus needs all basic economic and defense capabilities for a city to survive.

My suggestion is to do it like Stronghold games, by giving free first granary and stockpile. In 0 AD case, free first farmstead/storehouse and small tower. You could make separate templates for them (like template_structure_defensive_tower_free.xml), set the cost to 0, and limit this to 1 per civic center. I haven't use AutoBuildable component, but I imagine this would be able to be used in such scenario.

Good luck with your mod!

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3 minutes ago, azayrahmad said:

Very nice... I think you could reduce the damage variants to only 3/4 variants. Now I've got an idea of spreading fires through palisades...

Yeah, that's why I called it hacky :DI tried to that, but for some reason the animation stops after a second (unlike the iberian fireship, from where i got the idea) and I was not able to fix that. Therefore the many variants, to have a continuous burning effect. The best thing would be if the statusEffectReciever could handle that and just attach a prop to the actor, but in my case it works like this.

 

6 minutes ago, azayrahmad said:

My suggestion is to do it like Stronghold games, by giving free first granary and stockpile. In 0 AD case, free first farmstead/storehouse and small tower.

That would be my optimal solution, but I have not yet looked into that. Thanks for the suggestion :D

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