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Gameplay issue: Booming = Turtling


Should female citizen gather rates be increased?  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Should female citizen gather rates be increased?

    • No. They are fine as they are.
      9
    • They should have equal gather rates to citizen soldiers.
      4
    • They should have greater gather rates than citizen soldiers.
      6


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@alre

If we put rams in p2 (maybe just for some civs, perhaps a well needed buff for mace) then we would definitely need to give all civs some swords unless the ram counters change. In AoE any unit in a significant quantity can destroy early rams before they can take any type of key building, but the threat is still there. In 0ad it can be frustrating to be caught in a situation where even 100 skirms can not kill a single ram before it takes out a barracks or cc. Perhaps instead of making p2 rams super weak in attack (not that they should do as much dmg as p3 rams) they can be made more susceptible to a greater variety of units. Perhaps the general level of balance would be that 30 skirmishers can kill one p2 ram before it takes out a barracks by itself.

 

If we add both these p2 rams and p2 champs to the game, they should not both be accessible to the same civs (Garrison naked fanatics in p2 rams? XD)

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Good assessment of the problem as always.    But I don't think this proposal will work. The reason why players boom the way they do is because small rushes aren't effective enough or quick e

I'll say it quite simply.  All melee units should counter rams.  Making spears, swords, pikes, and other types of weapons have dramatically different stats in terms of their efficiency of taking down

One of the bigger gameplay issues that 0 A.D. has, in my opinion, is that booming = turtling. It means that every game is a complete boomfest to the lategame with little to no aggression after the occ

I'll say it quite simply.  All melee units should counter rams.  Making spears, swords, pikes, and other types of weapons have dramatically different stats in terms of their efficiency of taking down rams is frankly rubbish.  

There should not be an elaborate meta built around who can dismantle the most simplistic siege weaponry.

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22 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

I'll say it quite simply.  All melee units should counter rams.  Making spears, swords, pikes, and other types of weapons have dramatically different stats in terms of their efficiency of taking down rams is frankly rubbish.  

There should not be an elaborate meta built around who can dismantle the most simplistic siege weaponry.

a lot of melee unit kill ram at A24.

we can make a version of weak ram for A24 (only for kill a embryon player after good rush or his tower)

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I don't think rams are the solution you want to this problem. They are slow, expensive, and provide no additional utility to a player's economy or map control. That means rushing them out will put you very far behind, and likely turn your attack into an all-in. That's not good.

If you want to solve this, you either need to toss out the citizen-soldier concept (as has so often been proposed); or you need to take a cue from Blizzard's RTS design book instead of Ensemble's, and allow at least some of your basic units to have favorable matchups against static defenses. And frankly, even if you take option one, I not sure you won't end up needing option 2 anyway.
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About the poll question, you are missing the most important option: nerfing the gather rate of soldiers. The last thing you want to do when you are trying to encourage rushes is to speed up economic activities... Naked booming is a thing you know! It could easily become the dominant strategy if you fix the free-turtling problem.

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8 minutes ago, ChronA said:

you need to take a cue from Blizzard's RTS design book

All RTS took note of new ones from Blizzard...

 

It would be another clone like Ancient Wars Sparta.

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9 hours ago, ValihrAnt said:

Upon having thought about this more, I think the better way to solve this problem is to offer more military options in P2. Things like the now gone Athenian P2 champs or the Spartan Skiritai, or the now very weak Gaul Naked fanatics. In combination with more accessible military upgrades it should combine to make aggression in P2 more viable and reward good scouting, but obviously would require a lot of effort and change to get there.

This. 
 

But there should also be some incentive to rush in P1. Everyone making all women at the start isn’t good. 

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14 hours ago, alre said:

what's the biggest change from a23 in this regard? is it training times? I think training women has become too convenient, and loosing some of them, even in early game, is not much of a trouble.

Two main things. 
 

First, longer training times mean that rushes come much later. This means the defensive player is more likely to have a barrack to produce from, which makes it easier to defend against rushes.

I think this should be fixed by reverting training times to previous levels. 
 

And second, increased turn times makes it harder to do hit and flee attacks.
 

This is particularly troubling for cav rushes. I think this should be fixed by lowering turn times, especially for non-hero units. The whole reason why turn times changed was to reduce dancing except almost no danced before with regular units, so the increased turn times are unnecessary. 

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I think p2 rams could be a legitimate mechanic to help enable the possibility of overcoming a tower rush or resource denial, that usually does not get addressed until p3. Important balancing considerations should be to make it nearly impossible to kill a main cc using p2 rams, and very challenging to push deeper into enemy territory where a greater variety of units, even ranged ones could take them out fairly easily.

1 hour ago, ChronA said:

I don't think rams are the solution you want to this problem. They are slow, expensive, and provide no additional utility to a player's economy or map control. That means rushing them out will put you very far behind, and likely turn your attack into an all-in. That's not good.

P2 rams could be a ~200 wood ~100 metal option for certain civs (mace would be a good option), that has roughly the following reference metric: ~20 skirmishers can kill one before it kills a barracks. I don't know if you have ever played a 4v4 in 0ad, but frequently map control in the small space between 2 opposing edge players is extremely important. It can provide a low idle time deterrent from attack, it can stop or deter building rushes, it means that if u are about to be attacked you can most often continue gathering wood. A ram with enough capability to threaten these buildings could be of great strategic value depending on the value of the target (for example: tower denying metal), a player needs to decide if it is worth it to kill this tower in p2 or to race on to p3. The player wielding p2 rams also needs to consider how important that tower is to the enemy (is it pre-garrisoned?) (are there palisades around it?) (did your enemy move troops just to defend it?).

P2 champs could be fun options for p2 attacks, but I feel that if p2 rams are put in, then no civ should be able to access p2 rams and these p2 champs at the same time.

I totally understand being opposed to p2 rams, but saying that ram units in p2 would have no utility to a player's map control or economy does sound right to me.

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9 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

and be another clone of AOE?

Personally I would prefer 0AD to bravely forge its own distinct path. There is a lot the Age-of games do poorly with both history and gameplay that I hope this project can improve on. But Ensemble's games are still great games, and I want to be able to say the same for 0AD, even if it means just aping its most obvious point of inspiration. Better to make a great game by copying another great game (where applicable) than to make a mediocre game by refusing to.

10 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

All RTS took note of new ones from Blizzard...

In point of fact, if I remember my RTS history rightly, Blizzard did not invent the mature RTS formula, nor did they do most of the legwork in perfecting it, but they are a highly visible point of reference when discussing it. I believe that is an important distinction. It's not that everyone is copy Blizzard because they are popular; Blizzard and everyone else are all copying a common zeitgeist because they recognize its wisdom. Anyway that is largely tangential, because I am not saying you should copy every aspect of SC2's design or anything like that! I am specifically talking only about the rush-boom-turtle counter cycle. Context sir! Context! ;)

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A gaming story which some might find interesting, though perhaps not directly relevant: ^_^

About a decade I got involved in the alpha and beta of an indie RTS called Achron. The game was based around a time travel mechanic similar to 5d chess. We quickly discovered it had a similar problem to what you guys have. It turned out there was no opportunity cost to rushing, because if an attack didn't work out perfectly you could go back in time, cancel the attack, and order the soldiers back to guard your base. We had Rushing=Turtling, and there was no way of disentangling them without removing the game's defining mechanic. It made for weird games with 30+ minutes of posturing but very little combat or tech progression.
In consultation with the devs, we decided it could be fix it by reducing the cost of resource gatherers (to buff booming), removing defensive chokes around bases (to nerf the turtling), and playing on much larger maps (to nerf the rushing). The game release and for about a month it seemed good. Then the meta shifted with the influx of new skilled players. The new meta was naked booming. It turned out that some of the late game air units scaled super well, because with the time manipulation it was impossible to pin them down in a bad fight and score kills. Therefore whoever got to them first could just fly into the enemy's base and win.
So we tired addressing the problem with map changes but to no avail. The inflection region where a map went from completely boom favored to completely rush favored was too small for our map makers to ever identify. The problem was only solved much later when the devs finally patched the gatherer cost higher again AND the remaining player base adopted a gentlemen's agreement that effectively banned playing mass air strategies.

The moral I took away is that you should make sure you understand the source and nature of a problem before trying to fix it. We thought the problem was that time manipulation made it possible to simultaneously attack and defend without any tradeoffs. The real problem was that time manipulation can make war so precise and deadly that there is no point in fighting unless you are prepared with an unbeatable killing blow. The game only became fun again once we stopped worrying about the rush-boom balance and stated focusing on systematically removing unbeatable killing blows.

So I ask what is 0 AD's real problem? Is it really the combat-ready gatherers blurring the lines between Boom and Turtle? Is it a diversity-vacuum afflicting unit-role interactions and utility? Perhaps it's even clinging to closely to the example of a venerated ancestor, without considering how outdated circumstances, luck, and survivorship bias figured into its successes. I really don't have any sure answers to that one.

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it is difficult to suggest new mechanics with a base, Resemble Studios have a base.

 

The difficult thing is to "invent hot water or fire "

 

Many things are already in other games.

 

Ideally, remove the Citizen soldiers from P1.

 

Also add new units to rush.

 

Increase the time to deploy defenses. 

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while I can generally support this call for a wider vision, I don't think we need it now. We want back some things that were ok in a23, so it's clear that there's no need for a change of paradigm.

A simple way to encourage hit and run, especially for javeliners, could be to skip turning time after a throw.

We can also take all turning times away if we decide to let go on projectiles randomness. In that case, dancing would stop being an issue altogether.

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I must say I find it odd how most civs have no siege option in Phase 2, when you do get some turtling options (towers, etc.) That being said, I suppose it's still mostly eco growth at that point in theory and so making the fights about eco makes some sense.

I agree with the notion that fights in 0 A.D. tend to disadvantage the attacker more than in say Age, since the attacker loses more eco. Increased loot might work to counter that.

I think turn times are a bit of a decoy problem. I think if there were no archers in P1, you wouldn't notice it nearly as much. That being said, not against bumping them.

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Still, I agree that late-game gets static easily, because defences are hard to break down. Personally, I think part of the problem is that garrisoning counters capturing much too strongly, making defensive buildings OP. I don't think we've addressed that yet.

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As for game start, perhaps an option would be to make Citizen Soldiers take longer to train at the CC than at the barracks?

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2 minutes ago, wraitii said:

As for game start, perhaps an option would be to make Citizen Soldiers take longer to train at the CC than at the barracks?

Even block it or limit them until the barrack is built.

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Just now, fales said:

After reading Gameplay issue: Booming = Turtling, I think that the increased loot could help also with this issue. Moreover, it seems to me that it would be nice to somehow punish the defenders economy for even a partially successful raid. The reason for this is that the attacker needs to take his citizen soldiers and march them to the opponent (loosing resources gather by them), while the defender only needs to take the citizen soldiers of the resources during the fight itself (while also having defensive structures). Sure the attacker is rewarded by destroying your economy but it is very risky and the motivation to do so could be better.

Hence, the loot gained by destruction of houses could have two parts. First part is the one which is already present, which would remain unchanged. The second part would not only give resources to the attacker but also take them from the defender. Let say that houses would represent half of the wealth of your civilization and you have 10 houses, then if your opponent destroys one of your houses, 1/2 * 1/10 = 1/20 of your resources would be transferred to the attacker.

Please consider my post from Houses, make the mini fortresses into guarded treasures which could help motivate (and reward) players to make more and earlier raids which would not have to be as successful as right now to be beneficial.

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9 hours ago, wraitii said:

I think turn times are a bit of a decoy problem. I think if there were no archers in P1, you wouldn't notice it nearly as much. That being said, not against bumping them.

Turn times are a problem even when the defender doesn't have archers. Rushers are unable to do hit and run attacks now because it takes too long to turn around rushing units and defenders only have to hit h to kill rushing units. If the problem was only archers then players would still effectively rush non-archer civs but that isn't happening. 

 

As I have said elsewhere, though, you are correct that archers make the problem particularly acute. 

Edited by chrstgtr
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Hello,

i'm for P2 siege possibility but if you don't agree why not boost the crush dammage of melee unit? for easy kill tower and some economic building ? (all building with low crush armor) ?

 

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4 minutes ago, Dakara said:

Hello,

i'm for P2 siege possibility but if you don't agree why not boost the crush dammage of melee unit? for easy kill tower and some economic building ? (all building with low crush armor) ?

 

I like that solution.

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9 hours ago, wraitii said:

I must say I find it odd how most civs have no siege option in Phase 2, when you do get some turtling options (towers, etc.) That being said, I suppose it's still mostly eco growth at that point in theory and so making the fights about eco makes some sense.

I would have to agree.  If there is no ability to produce dedicated siege units, there should be some way in which some units are better able to destroy or better capture buildings possibly through a technology.

10 hours ago, wraitii said:

As for game start, perhaps an option would be to make Citizen Soldiers take longer to train at the CC than at the barracks?

I would see this being a good choice although it might have the unintended side-effect of making players want to build even more barracks, which is the current meta and is probably undesirable.  That kind of builds into another topic considering the extremely economic role of barracks, which is one of the key reasons why turtling=booming.

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3 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

extremely economic role of barracks, which is one of the key reasons why turtling=booming.

I disagree about the source of turtling in a24. During the "boom or rush" part of the game: beginning to ~15 minutes, the primary reason not to attack would be the extended range and increased effective damage of towers and ccs, and the absolute lack of means to get more bang for your buck (p2 champs, p2 siege could be the source of this). All of this is considering the game to be balanced.

Turtling is worst after 20 minutes in a24. At this stage, everyone is out of metal, no one can successfully flank or maneuver, and the map is totally built up with fortresses, towers, temples and walls.

After all, barracks was just as much if not more economic in a 23, because of training times being closer to women (the other eco unit; which is only from the cc usually).  In a23 rushes and booming tradeoffs were nicely balanced.

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53 minutes ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

20 minutes in a24. At this stage, everyone is out of metal, no one can successfully flank or maneuver, and the map is totally built up with fortresses, towers, temples and walls.

Oh but the 0 a.d. art project looks good at that point. If you expect to play a game instead of an art project ... 

 

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1 hour ago, Yekaterina said:

Dudes check out Thorfinn the Shallow minded mod. It has P2 siege and early champion for most civs. It encourages early push. 

We need pros like you guys to test the mod and see if it solves the turtle problem

@ValihrAnt @BreakfastBurrito_007 @happyconcepts

We should do a really big mods, which we all agree with.

 

"Balance Mod community"

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