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Tasklist for closing out A25


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4 minutes ago, alre said:

giving crash damage to slingers, but also a malus towards buildings, is like giving someone a bike, but also take the wheels out of it.

in real life don't expect to knock down a building with slings.

 

5 minutes ago, alre said:

also, damage types that don't have any real strategic implication (like poison) could be removed entirely, as they only complicate the game needlessly

It's fun, it makes you back off your attacks many times.

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12 hours ago, alre said:

also, damage types that don't have any real strategic implication (like poison) could be removed entirely, as they only complicate the game needlessly.

 

This sounds great. One of my biggest complaints about 0AD development is that, at times (but primarily in the past), it feels like there are large changes made just for the sake of adding something "new" instead of trying to perfect the good features that already exist. In effect, these changes cause the game to always be a state of flux/development, result in unintended side effects that actually make the game worse, and lead to the confusion that you describe. 

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One thing to note is that it's useful to actually test out the features, even if relatively unremarkable ways. The barracks XP trickle and poison / fire are mostly intended like that to me, theu're not game-changers, but they help us notice if we break these features.

19 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

One of my biggest complaints about 0AD development is that, at times (but primarily in the past), it feels like there are large changes made just for the sake of adding something "new" instead of trying to perfect the good features that already exist.

I think this mostly stems from the fact that many people don't want the game to end up as a perfected version of what we have now. If one is dissatisfied with the current gameplay on some fundamental level, one will try to change it instead of just doing incremental improvements.

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5 hours ago, wraitii said:

One thing to note is that it's useful to actually test out the features, even if relatively unremarkable ways. The barracks XP trickle and poison / fire are mostly intended like that to me, theu're not game-changers, but they help us notice if we break these features.

I think this mostly stems from the fact that many people don't want the game to end up as a perfected version of what we have now. If one is dissatisfied with the current gameplay on some fundamental level, one will try to change it instead of just doing incremental improvements.

My point is there have been changes that don't actually improve things. A good example is how when a24 was released everyone was super happy that slingers were no longer OP. But one month later everyone replaced their a23 complaints about slingers with a24 complaints about archers. Likewise, before a24 people complained about how units moved at different speeds, so in a24 units moved same speed. Now that change is being reversed. Similarly at varying points people wanted spies, were excited to have spies implemented, and then never used spies. A couple alphas ago people thought there was too much champ spam, then there was too much CS spam, and now we are again trying to encourage champs. A couple alphas ago everyone complained about defensive structures, then defensive structures were nerfed, then buffed again, and now nerfed again. Mercs have gone through a ton of changes but are now used less than ever before. 

This is all to say that development, at times, has been shattershot. Changes have been implemented to make something different and perfect in the very first attempt. And, when perfect was missed the target of perfect was adjusted to something new. 

Instead, I think development should be more incremental. Is it frustrating at times? Of course. But it is less volatile and less likely to lead to large swings that create unanticipated problems. I think development should take the tact that was exercised with roman siege camps for a25. When we realized the current setup was undesirable a smaller change of allowing rams to be trained was implemented. It is a small change but one that most people will agree is an improvement. 

Do I want to see entirely new features like charging/trampling? Of course. But it is also going to be super hard to implement those changes when we keep changing what already exists. We need a solid foundation. 

With a project this large and with this many components it is impossible to make several large changes that are perfect. Trying to do so may result in an alpha that is an improvement. But it can also result in an alpha that is a step backwards. I simply think that a basic goal should be to improve every alpha and to be sure that that we aren't taking steps backwards. 

 

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3 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

On the contrary, I feel like a game changing feature hasn't been implemented in ages. Game changing=battalions, merc camps, charging/trampling, greater hero integration/abilities. There was a big debate about simply adding scouts, and that went nowhere

I don't know how you can believe this. There have been a ton of really large changes. Mercs have gone from a being a unit that was essentially just a CS that also cost metal to a unit that now cannot do eco and can be trained at advanced rank. Many heros have been given auras when they previously did not have any aura. Other heros' auras have been dramatically changed. It used to be that Persia had a special building to train cav from. Now all civs have this building and players can no longertain cav from barracks. Ptol now must spend resources to build houses, storehouses, farmhouses, and corrals unlike before. Brits/Gauls used to have a unique population bonus for each building but now do not. Mace used to be unique because it could build siege quickly from the siege workshop but now every civ can do this. Some civs used to used to not have rams while now every civ has rams.

A ton a has changed. Some features have been added. Some have actually been eliminated.

If anything, I think you would agree with me because some game changing features have actually been eliminated. 

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8 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

This is all to say that development, at times, has been shattershot. Changes have been implemented to make something different and perfect in the very first attempt. And, when perfect was missed the target of perfect was adjusted to something new. 

Instead, I think development should be more incremental. Is it frustrating at times? Of course. But it is less volatile and less likely to lead to large swings that create unanticipated problems.

I think this game has players, but few balance testers. What really needs to happen for A25 is that some people do a balance overhaul, post it for convenience on mod.io and see if it is well received. Currently there are only a few mods that change balance and for the 'consumer players' they are a little hassle to get going. From as far as I know, there is no major justification for strength of the archer buff from A23 to A24(It came in 3-fold with speed, damage and accuracy). I think if there was more testing, then archers would not have been that powerful on A24. For A25 we have https://trac.wildfiregames.com/changeset/25624 but no one has tested if it benefits balance. I think we need more testing for balance changes. Otherwise it will always be a shattershot.

12 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

On the contrary, I feel like a game changing feature hasn't been implemented in ages.

Rotation times to stop perfect hit and run and dancing. Also unit pushing for A25 could have real potential. However these features are nice for competitive players even though they have limited visual appearance.

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Changing the game, which happens with every SVN commit is different from a "game changing feature." Tweaking merc costs and rotation times or even enabling a new building are hardly what I would call "game changing" features. Taken in that context, the last several alphas have been incremental. Each alpha has had its OP unit class, so A24's archer over buff isn't much different in that regard. What made it more impactful is that it was 2 yrs between alphas and everyone was used to A23's meta. A24 was 2 years in the making, or 3 normal alpha cycles worth of possible changes. Considering that, A24 was quite incremental. 

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1 hour ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Changing the game, which happens with every SVN commit is different from a "game changing feature." Tweaking merc costs and rotation times or even enabling a new building are hardly what I would call "game changing" features. Taken in that context, the last several alphas have been incremental. Each alpha has had its OP unit class, so A24's archer over buff isn't much different in that regard. What made it more impactful is that it was 2 yrs between alphas and everyone was used to A23's meta. A24 was 2 years in the making, or 3 normal alpha cycles worth of possible changes. Considering that, A24 was quite incremental. 

Let's be honest here:

  • Mercs went from being essentially CS units by a different name to being a distinct and new unit. If that isn't "game changing" then I don't know what is. 
  • A new civ was introduced 2 alphas ago (Kush). If that isn't "game changing" then I don't know what is.
  • The defining feature of ptol (free eco buildings/houses) was eliminated. If that that isn't "game changing" then I don't know what is. 
  • The defining feature of brits/gauls (pop bonus with each building) was eliminated. If that isn't "game changing then I don't know what is.
  • The unique building feature (and attacking ability) of Mace was democratized to all civs. If that isn't "game changing" then i don't know what is.
  • You mentioned hero abilities. Maurya was given hero abilities a few alphas ago. If that isn't "game changing" (or "greater hero integration/abilities") then I don't know what is. 

The list goes on, and it includes items that you defined as "game changing."

All of this also does not include smaller "changing the game" items, which you disregard, that entirely change the meta and game defining characteristics. These changes are similar to if Call of Duty was changed from a 1st person shooting game to a 1st person sword fighting. I do not know how you can call something that entirely changes game as incremental. 

Edited by chrstgtr
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We just aren't going to agree here. I don't think editing some templates to remove a pop bonus or tweaking unit costs are what should be considered new game-changing features. You do. So, we are at an impasse. Kushites were almost 3 years ago. New civs used to be added every 6 months. If you were here back then, we'd still be stuck at 4 civs so you can perfect the 2012 meta. Maybe adding territory lines was a mistake that ruined the 2009 meta and cheesed someone off so much they complained about it nonstop on the forums. Difference is, those people used to be ignored.

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Again, be honest.

You were given several examples that were examples of changes that you said would be game changing. And, ignores those responses. 

You then responded by saying that I said things, which I did not say. 

You then switched between years and alphas to try to make a dishonest point that was inconsistent with what you previously said.

You clearly do not care anyone else thinks or what other people enjoy. Maybe if you did your proposals/mods would be much better received/more often played. It is a shame because you do have some good ideas. Thankfully, the devs of EA are the not same and are putting out what I (and others) believe is going to be a very good alpha. 

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1 hour ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

We just aren't going to agree here. I don't think editing some templates to remove a pop bonus or tweaking unit costs are what should be considered new game-changing feature

EA Sports do  this with FIFA.

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11 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

Again, be honest.

You were given several examples that were examples of changes that you said would be game changing. And, ignores those responses. 

You then responded by saying that I said things, which I did not say. 

You then switched between years and alphas to try to make a dishonest point that was inconsistent with what you previously said.

My responses were clear. Your examples are not examples of new game changing features.

 

11 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

You clearly do not care anyone else thinks or what other people enjoy

I do not care what you think or enjoy. 

 

12 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

Maybe if you did your proposals/mods would be much better received/more often played. It is a shame because you do have some good ideas.

The dev team increasingly cares about what you think and enjoy, so take heart. About my mod, it's not made for you or other multiplayer "experts," lol. Thousands of people have played it and enjoyed it. But because you don't see it played on the lobby you think it's not played or well-received. lol

 

18 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

Thankfully, the devs of EA are the not same and are putting out what I (and others) believe is going to be a very good alpha. 

A25 will certainly be better than A24. I'll look for you on the field.

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I'm done with the conversation. And, I am not trying to be petty. But we should not confuse what is downloaded and what is played. 0AD has been downloaded something like 10 million times. But you would never know that by looking at the lobby. So we can either conclude that a lot of those downloads were people who installed and then never really played, which seems possible. Or that only like .000001% of people who download ever use one of the game's central features. The former is obviously far more likely. As a result, the MP lobby and these forums are basically the only real places we can look to gauge how features are received. Surely there are more than a couple hundred users, but we have no reason to believe that are any different than those in the MP lobby or forums. And even if they are different we have no way of knowing what these silent users think. 

 

47 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Thousands of people have played it and enjoyed it. But because you don't see it played on the lobby you think it's not played or well-received. lol

 

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@wowgetoffyourcellphone and @chrstgtr please be kind to eachother. You both have good points.

There were no real game-changing features from a Single Player view, but there were from a Multiplayer point of view.

1 hour ago, chrstgtr said:

but we have no reason to believe that are any different than those in the MP lobby or forums

Actually we have. Plenty.

1 hour ago, chrstgtr said:

we have no way of knowing what these silent users think

Sadly, this is true. Only a very limited minority of SP people speaks out and is heard.

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58 minutes ago, Freagarach said:

Actually we have. Plenty.

2 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

I'm interested. How do we know? Your commentary on the two quoted sections seem to conflict. 

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Well, there is a difference between having reasons to believe people receive features different in the SP scene than in the MP scene and actually knowing in-depth what SP people want/(dis)like. Also, I there was specified that the majority of SP goes actual unheard, and those we really don't know about. But from the ones we do hear of, we can get these "reasons to believe".

A forum search could lead one to very interesting topics that would really enhance the SP gameplay, but were reacted to with less enthousiasm by "the MP community", mostly as being too complicated. That is a sign that there _is_ a difference. The prime example could be this very discussion between @chrstgtr and @wowgetoffyourcellphone.

Please do note that I am not picking sides here, I want to have a game enjoyable for both the SP and the MP community.

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50 minutes ago, Freagarach said:

Well, there is a difference between having reasons to believe people receive features different in the SP scene than in the MP scene and actually knowing in-depth what SP people want/(dis)like. Also, I there was specified that the majority of SP goes actual unheard, and those we really don't know about. But from the ones we do hear of, we can get these "reasons to believe".

A forum search could lead one to very interesting topics that would really enhance the SP gameplay, but were reacted to with less enthousiasm by "the MP community", mostly as being too complicated. That is a sign that there _is_ a difference. The prime example could be this very discussion between @chrstgtr and @wowgetoffyourcellphone.

Please do note that I am not picking sides here, I want to have a game enjoyable for both the SP and the MP community.

I get what you're saying, but I think you misunderstood me. What I meant was that we can assume we know what the silent SPs think by looking at the vocal SPs on the forum (we know what MPs think from both the MP lobby and the forum). Thus, we can look to the MP lobby and the forums to understand how players receive new features/releases/etc. like you say. 

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6 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Maybe adding territory lines was a mistake that ruined the 2009 meta and cheesed someone off so much they complained about it nonstop on the forums. Difference is, those people used to be ignored.

Let's not romanticise the past too much: you've removed Citizen Soldiers from DE.

On 12/6/2021 at 1:29 AM, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Game changing=battalions, merc camps, charging/trampling, greater hero integration/abilities.

I'm a bit surprised you didn't add realistic ship movement to the list, then we'd have had the perfect trifecta of features people want but nobody know how to implement :P

9 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Taken in that context, the last several alphas have been incremental.

Depending on what you care about, alphas have been incremental since Alpha 10 (techs/phases), 14 (infinite farms, exp armor), Alpha 15 (auras), 17 (actual FoW) or 19 (capturing) - that's 2015. I would actually say A24 had the best new feature since A17 in building snapping, and map flares could be called the most significant change since A17 and I wouldn't complain much. Honestly the game has played overall the same since phases were introduced. Well. I guess I did see you complain since then.

And sure, we used to introduce a lot of civs, but none of them introduced new gameplay. They mostly just introduced new OP/UP units. Having fewer civs would be less cool, but not necessarily less fun.

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Now for my part, yes, I've definitely been focusing on improving the current gameplay over introducing new changes. It's easier, because I have people that give feedback. It's easier, because I don't have to code actual new features. And most importantly, it's easier because I don't have to get consensus to make the move.
But it's not a bad thing to improve what we have now, and it's a little annoying reading people just **** on the MP players as if they don't have a legitimate right to enjoy the game as well.
On the flip-side, MP players must understand that not everyone plays on the lobby, and that no, the current state of 0 A.D. is not necessarily the end-state of 0 A.D. The SP section of the game is just dire of content, and thus interest to an extent. And yes, it's quite possible that a better game exists with features that change the actual play mechanics. The future will tell. You might even not enjoy it. Who knows.

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Now, this has all been rather off-topic and somewhat uncivil, so I'll ask that people discuss this elsewhere (perhaps the 'suggestions for A27-30' thread) or I'll just move the posts myself.

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20 minutes ago, wraitii said:

surprised you didn't add realistic ship movement to the list, then we'd have had the perfect trifecta of features people want but nobody know how to implement

it required time. Naval battles I guess in beta phase.

 

Except for the mercenary camps, everything else is far away.

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