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1 minute ago, Yekaterina said:

Slingers are not anti-anything in particular. They are just cheap male units who are to be spammed and used for boom instead of serious combat. 

I'd give them a good attack and a poor hp, Good archer defense (pierce) but fatal crush and hack armor.

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Minimum range might be a good thing to have on ranged units anyway. Perhaps slingers only have minimum range of 1 m, archers 2 m, and skirmishers none since throwing spears is the least complicated mechanical energy transfer.

My favorite idea for archery tradition is +10 range +15% pierce damage, but increase minimum range to 5 m and decrease pierce and or hack armor. End result being they beat archers that dont have archery tradition but become very vulnerable to cav or melee inf.

I think my biggest point of uncertainty is what the default behavior for ranged units will be once an enemy unit is within minimum range; will the ranged unit try to run until is at long enough range, or will it just shoot at something else? I think the latter option is better as it will not result in units running away from the battle endlessly.

Having longer range units have bigger minimum ranges is something that could wind up supporting micromanagement and battle tactics for players with both melee and ranged units, and make the choices of units a little more important. I think that when melee units get close in, then it should be a worse situation for archers than for skirms, and this minimum range system could help with that.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, alre said:

But, isn't it an unnecessary complication to have random spread of arrows too? no one uses loose formation, even if archers are extremely popular, and ranged units in general always were.

If I remember correctly, archers in AoE shoot at the exact target.

The random spread of arrows can still give you a nice "average" impact against the enemy.

Friendly Fire is a complication because of the way it would work in (currently) 0 A.D. It's actually fine as a concept if 0 A.D.'s units behaved differently.

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30 minutes ago, Yekaterina said:

What is Padawan Designer?

OK. Slingers are cheap troops who do a lot of damage to units, but are poorly armoured and very inaccurate. The only exception is Roman Legions who also know how to use a sling. 

Thanks for the inspiration. I got some ideas:

Very cheap cost: 10 wood, 10 stone, 40 food.

Low accuracy: spread > 4.0

High damage: 5.5 < pierce <  14 (must be less than skirmishers though)

Walks at the same speed as any other ranged units.

I know that people are looking to diversify civilizations and units for a more interesting playstyle in a25, but this is not conducive to good gameplay.

If anyone remembers the iber bonus from a23, they will know that is was quite powerful, reducing skirms from 50 f 50w to 40 f 40 w. Most civs that had skirms would almost exclusively use them for eco building during the first 13 minutes. and only train melee units until the last 20-50 population before a limit of 200. This bonus was especially powerful in combination with ptol because the merc skirms went from 25 f 50 w and 25 m ---> 20 f 40 w 20 m meaning that you could train men from a barracks and women from a cc just with 1 horse on chickens and 5-10 women on berries, this was because ptol could use the starting metal for immediate eco boost and would only need wood for skirm training.

The point is that some units being cheaper by large margins makes those civs have very fast booms. Ptol already use only a bit of wood in a24, so such a low cost would make ptol (slings in p1) able to make eco insanely faster than the other civs. women would only be 10 total resources cheaper than slingers, and we already have women as a fast boom option for early game. It would basically be like women eco unit that can fight. Also accuracy is less important if you have greater numbers.

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2 minutes ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

The point is that some units being cheaper by large margins makes those civs have very fast booms. Ptol already use only a bit of wood in a24, so such a low cost would make ptol (slings in p1) able to make eco insanely faster than the other civs. women would only be 10 total resources cheaper than slingers, and we already have women as a fast boom option for early game. It would basically be like women eco unit that can fight. Also accuracy is less important if you have greater numbers.

Breakfastburrito has a point here. Slingers need to be a proper fighting unit. 

I will boost their pierce armour to make them anti-archer and somewhat anti-skirmisher unit. 

 

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16 minutes ago, Yekaterina said:

Breakfastburrito has a point here. Slingers need to be a proper fighting unit. 

I will boost their pierce armour to make them anti-archer and somewhat anti-skirmisher unit. 

 

Not bad. Now, nerf their hack armor to nothing so that they're massacred by melee cav or fast infantry.

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I wanted to say that both archers and slingers had side weapons and could fight close quarter, but if they weren't to, slingers needed more room than archers, not the opposite.

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23 minutes ago, alre said:

I wanted to say that both archers and slingers had side weapons and could fight close quarter, but if they weren't to, slingers needed more room than archers, not the opposite.

Ok this is probably true, but I don't see how it should affect gameplay. We have religious healing in the game as a fun mechanic which is mostly just hysteria in real life. The main point of minimum range is not historical accuracy but to encourage taking big fights with melee units and cavalry rather than circling around local defenses in an endless 4v4 as we see so many times in a24.

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41 minutes ago, Yekaterina said:

Now archers vs spears 

20 archers vs 10 spears 

 

This looks good! 

It is kinda like a rout, where the enemy flees disorderly with some still fighting and some running. This is what I would expect to happen if archers were to encounter melee specialized units on the battlefield.

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46 minutes ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

This looks good! 

It is kinda like a rout, where the enemy flees disorderly with some still fighting and some running. This is what I would expect to happen if archers were to encounter melee specialized units on the battlefield.

Glad you like it. Now I need to work on Pikemen and counters for skirmishers and slingers. 

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I don't think this would really affect gameplay, but it does look nice. I wouldn't make archers more limited in the near distance than slingers though, there is really no justification.

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4 minutes ago, alre said:

I wouldn't make archers more limited in the near distance than slingers though, there is really no justification.

Of course. The archer's minimum range is 3 meters and the slinger is also 3. 

5 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Melee cavalry.

Working on it now

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I am not sure if skirmishers should have a minimum range, because they are supposed to be a high damage closer range unit that works in combination with your own melee units. My hope is to get some judgement on these features (minimum ranges, archery tradition tradeoffs) from the balancing team members, it is not necessary to have the numbers ironed out; the core ideas of gameplay function are what matter. The values can always be tweaked for balance before the game is released.

@chrstgtr what do you think?

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I ran some tests to learn something about the effect of the spread statistic. I measured the performance of 6 units.

The first one is a camel archer at short range.

The second one is a archer at short range.

The third one is a archer at short range firing at multiple opponents.

The fourth one is a camel archer at long range.

The fifth one is a archer at long range.

The sixth one is a archer at long range firing at multiple opponents.

The camel archer is the control group with static stats. For the archers I tweaked the spread statistic. I made the following table where the numbers in it represent the experience which is correlated to the damage dealt and shots landed. In the brackets, I mentioned the % of damage it dealt compared to the long range variant (so the 38% in the bottom right corner means that archer at long range vs multiple targets did 38% as much damage as the archer at short range vs multiple targets). For the camel this value is always around 0.6 as the spread of camels was left constant.

 

 

 

spread

 

 

 

 

0.1

2.5

3

3.5

4

4.5

Camel short

126

133

140

155

133

144

archer short

125

108

102

96

67

66

archer short, multiple targets

125

125

125

125

100

100

Camel long

78

80

84

94

80

84

archer long

123(98.4%)
 

49(45.4%)

42(42.2%)

38(38.6%)

24(35.8%)

20(30.3%)

archer long, multiple targets

123(98.4%)

75(60%)

62(49.6%)

57(45.6%)

43(43%)
 

38(38%)

 

The first observation is that camels(2.0 spread) at short range are fairly close to near 0.1 spread archers. In reality they are archers with 2.0 spread and +5% damage, so the shift in spread of 2.0 to 0.1 is equivalent to about 4% damage for the short range.

The second observation is that archers at long range seem to drop of more compared to the short version if the spread increases.

The third observation is that if the spread increases, the relative advantage of the archer with multiple targets also increased compared to the archer shooting on only 1.

 

I hope that some players will be able to make some other insightful observations, but I will leave it at that. Now I will explain what I think should be good for the game. I think at long range, ranged units should be mainly a nuisance and bad at targeting individual units. So for the option of 4.5 spread, this means that it drops in 30% in terms of effective DPS on short range. To counter such, the Archer could be given 20% more pierce damage. This would mean that if archers now deal 100*1.2 damage in the same period as the camel (similar to the archer with 0.1 spread ) deals 144. So at short range it is a 15% nerf (provided that the archers are shooting at multiple targets.). On long range it would seem like a nerf of 47% (compared to the long camel shooting at multiple targets, this statistic is not in the table).

If we chose a spread of 2.5 and no additional attack increase, we would get a short range nerf of  about 5% provided the archer shoots at multiple opponents. For the long range the nerf will be 6.5% (compared to the camel shooting at multiple targets, this statistic is not in the table)

 

To be honest. I messed up my test results by having the short archer firing at multiple opponents was advanced rank and had better accuracy than the others. I will need to update the table, but I will do so tomorrow.

 

 

             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             

88121138_speadtestforspread4_0.63801cc4ff25c1802139df3e418b4344

Edited by LetswaveaBook
Don't do late evening analyses, OR you need to re-edit
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@Yekaterina I'd suggest disabling unit promotions for these sorts of trials. The stat boosts that promoted units get tend to exaggerate small differences in unit effectiveness into the appearance of a decisive advantage (one that might be easily reversed by a canny player in a real game). They also amplify the effects of RNG (i.e. random number generation based variations in gameplay outcome) making it harder to find consistent outcomes to your tests.

On minimum range: the emergent routing and kiting behaviors it causes are definitely cool, but they are ruinous to any sort of coherent battle plan that players may try to enact involving melee units. This is probably extremely realistic by the way, but in a game not designed around it, it will also be extreme frustrating. In 0 AD AE, static defense seems to be extremely decisive. I can just imagine the rage a player would feel when they lose a quarter of their army because fleeing archers spontaneously lured them into range of a fortress. It might even make melee units functionally unusable.

EDIT: on the other hand, by embracing this sort of thing as a core feature, you might also be able to create some really cool counter cycles based off tactics instead of just unit type. For instance, densely massed ranged-infantry hard counter cavalry by sheer volume of fire -- both in the game as it currently exists and in real life. But suppose you have melee heavy infantry that are slightly too slow to actually catch and slaughter those ranged infantry, but are nearly immune to their attacks because they have so much armor. You could use those heavy infantry to charge down and disperse the ranged infantry, then use your cavalry to get in amongst them and wipe them out.

Edited by ChronA
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4 hours ago, ChronA said:

For instance, densely massed ranged-infantry hard counter cavalry by sheer volume of fire -- both in the game as it currently exists and in real life.

I can give the ranged infantry some bonus against cavalry. 

 

4 hours ago, ChronA said:

But suppose you have melee heavy infantry that are slightly too slow to actually catch and slaughter those ranged infantry, but are nearly immune to their attacks because they have so much armor.

I think pikemen can do the job. I will boost their armour further to make them more immune to pierce. However, this seems like the job of a champion infantry. 

Currently the pikemen have an attack range of 6 meters (due to their Sarissa) and this is greater than minimum range of archers, so the archer being hit will not try to escape. 

Spearmen have a range of 4 meters. The archer being attacked will not flee but the neighbouring archers may do. 

Swordsmen have a range of 2.5m. Any archer being attacked will flee but this will also break formation and the preparation time will make the archers vulnerable, considering the swordsmen can stab once every half second. (normally they stab once per second at a damage per second of 9.8 hack. I made it so that they stab once every half second and each stab deals 4.9 damage)

4 hours ago, ChronA said:

then use your cavalry to get in amongst them and wipe them out.

Currently sword cav is more effective than spear cav at this because archers are more vulnerable to hack than pierce. Spear cav is more capable at countering other cavalry. 

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