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Differentiating civilizations by economic structures


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In 0 A.D. all civilizations have exactly the same basic structures: a house for population, a farmstead for food, a storehouse for other resources, etc. This is basically inherited from Age of Empires, which had a granary (for fruit and grain) and a storage pit (for fish, meat, wood, gold, and stone). Age of Empires II had three structures, a mill (for all food), lumber camp (for wood), and mining camp (for gold and stone). Age of Mythology broke with this convention of all civilizations having the same buildings:

  • The Greeks have a granary for food and a storehouse for wood and gold.
  • The Egyptions have a granary for food, a lumber camp for wood, and a mining camp for gold.
  • The Norse have a movable ox-cart for all resources.
  • The Atlanteans have citizens that double as builders, gatherers, and dropsites and for economic technologies they have an economic guild.
  • The Chinese have a storage pit for food, wood, and gold.

This worked great and gave each civilization a different feeling.

In principle 0 A.D. could differentiate civilizations by giving them different structures too. With four resources there are already 15 possible combinations for dropsites:

  • a single structure:
    • food+wood+stone+metal
  • two structures:
    • food, wood+stone+metal
    • food+stone+metal, wood
    • food+wood+metal, stone
    • food+wood+stone, metal
    • food+wood, stone+metal
    • food+stone, wood+metal
    • food+metal, wood+stone
  • three structures:
    • food+wood, stone, metal
    • food+stone, wood, metal
    • food+metal, wood, stone
    • food, wood+stone, metal
    • food, wood+metal, stone
    • food, wood, stone+metal
  • a structure for each resource:
    • food, wood, stone, metal

Other combinations are possible too (e.g. food+wood, food+stone, food+metal). And combined with the house, corral, and market one can get many more possibilities.

Of course, not every single faction must have completely unique structures, it's perfectly fine for multiple civilizations to share similar structures. However, the point is there is no compelling reason why all civilization should continue to always keep exactly the same basic structures.

Currently there is a great desire to see 0 A.D.'s civilizations further differentiated from each other. However, the current proposals can fundamentally be summarized as “the same basics + something unique”, which means they'll remain quite similar to each other (as is the case in Age of Empires). By varying the basics instead one could easily achieve a more different feeling for each civilization.

What do you think?

 

(As for implementation, someone should improve the AI to use the (already existing) DropsiteFood, DropsiteWood, DropsiteStone, and DropsiteMetal classes instead of Farmstead and Storehouse.)

 

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18 minutes ago, Nescio said:

(As for implementation, someone should improve the AI to use the (already existing) DropsiteFood, DropsiteWood, DropsiteStone, and DropsiteMetal classes instead of Farmstead and Storehouse.)

That would also give more flexibility to modifications that don't want to blindly follow the public standard and allow e.g. removing stone and metal from the civic centre, dock, and worker elephant.

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I don't think that the gameplay should change that much. The game is already great, so changing the mechanics can be anti-productive - as we've seen in A24.

Better improve other aspects of the game, for example performance or the User Interface (for example its not possible to save and load multiplayer matches? that's rather bad)

At the other hand, I've gotten some revolutionary ideas to differentiate the civs which really should be implemented:

- All civs except the macedonians lose their siege workshops and train their siege weapons from the fortresses

- all civs except the mauryans lose their elephant stables and train elephants in the fortresses

- all civs except persians lose their stables and train that cavalry in barracks

- mercenaries can collect resources just as other citizen soldiers. and their costs change: from wood and metal to exact what citizen soldiers cost, with the exception that 25 food is replaced by metal. That would turn mercenaries from small anti-siege taskforces to units which can actually used as regular army part! Plus, There would be an additional possibility to diversify the civs: Ptolemies could train mercenary skirmishers in phase one and the slingers in phase 2.

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1 minute ago, Player of 0AD said:

At the other hand, I've gotten some revolutionary ideas to differentiate the civs which really should be implemented:

- All civs except the macedonians lose their siege workshops and train their siege weapons from the fortresses

- all civs except the mauryans lose their elephant stables and train elephants in the fortresses

- all civs except persians lose their stables and train that cavalry in barracks

- mercenaries can collect resources just as other citizen soldiers. and their costs change: from wood and metal to exact what citizen soldiers cost, with the exception that 25 food is replaced by metal. That would turn mercenaries from small anti-siege taskforces to units which can actually used as regular army part! Plus, There would be an additional possibility to diversify the civs: Ptolemies could train mercenary skirmishers in phase one and the slingers in phase 2.

Not sure how that is revolutionary, because what you discribed is basically A23.

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7 minutes ago, Freagarach said:

Maybe, just maybe, we could use the cultures? Have the cultures use different kind of structures. E.g. the Greek cultures use X and Y, the Celts use Z.

  As I wrote, it's fine for some factions to share structures. As for cultures, if you mean something along the lines of this forum thread, I don't think that's a good idea: culture is fluid and overlap should be possible, e.g. Iberians having some things in common with Gauls and some with Carthaginians; or Seleucids with Macedonians and with Persians. (I also favour extending the “wooden structures” civilization bonus to the Mauryas, but that's a different discussion.)

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2 minutes ago, Nescio said:

  As I wrote, it's fine for some factions to share structures. As for cultures, if you mean something along the lines of this forum thread, I don't think that's a good idea: culture is fluid and overlap should be possible, e.g. Iberians having some things in common with Gauls and some with Carthaginians; or Seleucids with Macedonians and with Persians. (I also favour extending the “wooden structures” civilization bonus to the Mauryas, but that's a different discussion.)

Very good point on the fluidity of cultures.

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The concern I see with this is that Age of Mythology dealt with 15 civilisations, divided into clear variations of roughly the same civilisation.  0 A.D. lacks that advantage, and this feature would complicate the learning curve depending on how it was implemented.  How would you see making each choice intuitive?  I assume that you've put a bit of thought into how this could work.

One way that differentiation could also be done would be to have other mechanics such as a nuanced way that the structure might behave with territory.  Alternatively I could also see some civilisations having cavalry have the ability to build a hunting lodge as a resource dropsite.

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49 minutes ago, Player of 0AD said:

The game is already great, so changing the mechanics can be anti-productive - as we've seen in A24.

I think we need to answer in the spirit of wierd jokes. The point is that if there are constantly rigorous changes, we might never reach a sweet spot.

I think we should take just minor steps at a time and just tweak the stats a little bit to move 0ad in the right direction. However I would support the idea of dropping meat in corrals(and making them a little cheaper than farmsteads) so they finally can get a competitive purpose.

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3 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

The point is that if there are constantly rigorous changes, we might never reach a sweet spot.

I find it interesting that on the one hand it is always very much stressed that the game is still an alpha, which means that there will be sudden changes and cool new features will be added, but many player share this mentality that changes should be cosmetic at best. 

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47 minutes ago, maroder said:

I find it interesting that on the one hand it is always very much stressed that the game is still an alpha, which means that there will be sudden changes and cool new features will be added, but many player share this mentality that changes should be cosmetic at best. 

giphy-downsized.gif

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The Egyptians did travel far into the desert and set up mining camps, so to reflect this perhaps we can have a storehouse for food, a storehouse for wood and a separate storehouse for metal and stone. This may apply to the Ptolemies and Kushites but can also be implemented for other civs. 

I think A24 is not as bad as many people say. I really appreciate being able to train siege from workshops and elephants from stables, as it allows me to spam siege weapons and elephants. However, it would be convenient to train cavalry from barracks. Training hero, siege and champions all from the fortress really bottlenecks the speed of production. Furthermore, women being able to build barracks and forts is very reasonable; they are not stupid. 

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1 hour ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

giphy-downsized.gif

I have the feeling because of the questions they ask me on the page that I administer and the forum. what people consider our project as something close something finished just because it can be played 

 

Yes, because the industry standard has dropped a lot, triple AAA releases games completely full of bugs and errors. Not that 0 A.D doesn't have any of that, but people compare some disasters to some partially complete games with what we have + we are an indie project, which means that they are even more lenient with us.

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6 hours ago, Player of 0AD said:

All civs except the macedonians lose their siege workshops and train their siege weapons from the fortresses

- all civs except the mauryans lose their elephant stables and train elephants in the fortresses

- all civs except persians lose their stables and train that cavalry in barracks

The lack of units in the fortresses bothers me too.

 

But without a doubt we must add new ones and not go back to the Alpha 23 because it is a setback in a lot of aspects, Although a24 also brought small setbacks to some civilizations.

 

But in the absence of deficiencies we can move things and create new things for strengths.

 

I think that the type of units that can be created in the fortress are for the defense of a city or a position (a perimeter).

Then they would be units that serve to defend fortresses and maximize defenses.

 

Basically anti siege units. And trash units ( to bulk faster the army) some auxiliary units.

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I agree that we can change dropsites for individual civilizations, but I have to admit it doesn't sound so exciting, instead it could be confusing for players switching civ often. I propose we combine changes in dropsites to other big economy changes, so that the difference is more enjoyable, and we should make similar civs have similar ecos, so that the differences are easier to remember.

Some possible economic changes are: 

- slaves

- buildings that are free but take more time to build, like a23 ptole

- dedicated builders

- economic buildings like a23 brit mill

- fish traps

- ship dropsite

- variations in the use of the corral or the market

- currency

- economic role of temples or priests

I think these choices should be taken when reworking individual civs, so that they have sense to that culture, and combines with the other gameplay aspects of that civ so that it's fun and also reasonably balanced. 

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12 hours ago, Freagarach said:

Very good point on the fluidity of cultures.

My original idea with 'Cultures' is that each 'Culture' came with a set of features or bonuses, and that a civ could be a "member" of more than one culture. So, Seleucids could be of the "Greek" culture (Theatron structure and "Hellenization" aura, plus a set of armor techs in the Forge and spearman bonuses) and the "Persian" or "Eastern" culture (a trading bonus and cavalry bonuses). It would show that cultures can and do meld. Carthage would have a "North African" culture (North African War Elephants) and a "Semitic" culture (Mercenary and Naval bonuses), each culture bestowing a set of techs, auras, buildings, or bonuses. A civ with only one culture would then be allowed 1 or more unique bonuses to that civ.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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