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The Term Citizen-Soldier is Problematic


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On 08/07/2021 at 5:18 PM, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

I am simply saying that turning it from visible to invisible, if possible, would probably be the easiest solution.

Visible and invisible classes are the same internally. So nothing would "break".

Why make it visible? So you can refer to it in descriptions. E.g this building can be garrisoned by Citizen. So it is visible because it is in use in UI texts and needs to remain visible. Sure it can be renamed but must be a name that isn't used already. As such Worker is not an option.

Let's say you find an appropriate name for this class. Dependent text and code must be fixed (bearable). This still leaves the use of the term citizen-soldier in code and templates (variable/function/file names). If you even fix the latter even more dependent stuff needs fixing, possibly breaking quite some mods out there.

Even if you fix any references in the source tree, the term will remain in the heads of people after being used for decades. There are also all sort references to the term all over the place (wiki, forum, youtube, twitter ....) where most can't be changed any longer.

So I get your point and a better name might have been chosen once upon the time but I doubt you will find a dev willing to do all that work now and take the blame for the fallout.

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On 08/07/2021 at 5:18 PM, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Many slaves who were given that status due to heinous crimes were sentenced to work such areas where life expectancy was quite low.

Most slaves were the children of slaves and not some criminals. Thou sending criminals into mines sounds plausible.

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I think the problem arises from the fact that social systems were complex and differed between the factions as well. In the game we have for the citizen class:

-helots

-high ranking citizens such as the triarius or equites

-low class citizens such as the velites

-people who are not part of the core of the empire such as Nabetean camel riders and Parthian cavalry.

Probably there are more examples. However it shows that if we aim for true historic faithfulness, we have to introduce several new classes.

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The subject of this post caught my eye.  A little 0 A.D. background for you.

The concept of the citizen soldier was born out of a frustration with AOE series games.  They had a villager unit and they had military units.  The villagers would knife people and die easily but would construct and gather.  Military units would only kill. 

It seemed to make sense to use at the time (20 years ago) that many of the ancients typically didn't support a standing army, they would fight during fighting season and then return home and gather/build during the off season.  A hybrid of both roles.  So, the idea of a citizen soldier was born.  Champions and mercenaries were supposed to be excluded from economic capabilities.

We understood it is just a game.  Not all the nuances of history can be captured and communicated properly in a game. 

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2 hours ago, Wijitmaker said:

It seemed to make sense to use at the time (20 years ago) that many of the ancients typically didn't support a standing army, they would fight during fighting season and then return home and gather/build during the off season.  A hybrid of both roles.  So, the idea of a citizen soldier was born.  Champions and mercenaries were supposed to be excluded from economic capabilities.

It was a great idea back then when I first hear about 0 A.D. It is still a great idea today. After a lot of RTS I played over the years, I still love the idea that the main fighting force is both economic and military unit. It's not perfect, but it could be improved.

I believe what we're discussing here is a way to fleshed out the implementation more to make it more in line with the historical facts without abandoning the main concepts. Hopefully we can find a way to tread a line between history and gameplay and satisfy both.

 

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On 18/7/2021 at 2:45 PM, LetswaveaBook said:

I think the problem arises from the fact that social systems were complex and differed between the factions as well. In the game we have for the citizen class:

-helots

-high ranking citizens such as the triarius or equites

-low class citizens such as the velites

-people who are not part of the core of the empire such as Nabetean camel riders and Parthian cavalry.

Probably there are more examples. However it shows that if we aim for true historic faithfulness, we have to introduce several new classes.

True.  I think that the first action should be to differentiate between citizen and non-citizen.  Then, I think that things such as technologies could do a good job of capturing some social dynamics within civilisations.  

For Rome it could be maybe a technology pairing of siding with the optimates or the populares.  The former side could improve champions, cavalry, principes, etc,...  The latter could improve the recruitment costs of infantry.

For Athens it could be a technology related to juries and could give their ships extra movement and their basic rank (citizen) units a minor buff.

On 11/7/2021 at 4:37 PM, hyperion said:

So I get your point and a better name might have been chosen once upon the time but I doubt you will find a dev willing to do all that work now and take the blame for the fallout.

I will admit that a mere name change is probably a hassle, but I doubt that it would cause mass outrage.  Given that maybe an overhaul would be better.

6 hours ago, Wijitmaker said:

It seemed to make sense to use at the time (20 years ago) that many of the ancients typically didn't support a standing army, they would fight during fighting season and then return home and gather/build during the off season.  A hybrid of both roles.  So, the idea of a citizen soldier was born.

Thanks for weighing in.  My point is that there could be a bit of a spectrum here that could both better reflect some of the social classes and helping to allow for a system that could even improve the gameplay by introducing more depth with each civilisation.

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As you know, I always try other games to bring ideas to the game and integrate them.

 

Imperator of Room have many ripe of "UP" or classes or population.

 

A pop belongs to one of the five available social classes, or pop types. The social class of a pop is one of its most important properties and determines what a pop produces, its political weight, what happiness modifiers it is affected by, and more.

-------- IMPERATOR ROME--------

Pop Nobles - generate  research points and Global state  trade routes.

Citizens Citizens – generate Research research points, Global state trade trade routes and Manpower.png manpower

Freemen Freemen – generate manpower and tax income

Tribesmen Tribesmen – generate  manpower and  tax income

Slaves Slaves – generate  tax income and Goods from  additional trade goods.

----

I like the idea of having several classes with bonus, in Imperator it is simulation  isn't an RTS.

 

These have bonuses, some are used to be recruited in levies.

 

Others in heavy duty and others in commerce 

 

We could even increase knowledge, that is, increase research rate with the nobility or heroes.

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3 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

As you know, I always try other games to bring ideas to the game and integrate them.

 

Imperator of Room have many ripe of "UP" or classes or population.

 

A pop belongs to one of the five available social classes, or pop types. The social class of a pop is one of its most important properties and determines what a pop produces, its political weight, what happiness modifiers it is affected by, and more.

-------- IMPERATOR ROME--------

Pop Nobles - generate  research points and Global state  trade routes.

Citizens Citizens – generate Research research points, Global state trade trade routes and Manpower.png manpower

Freemen Freemen – generate manpower and tax income

Tribesmen Tribesmen – generate  manpower and  tax income

Slaves Slaves – generate  tax income and Goods from  additional trade goods.

----

I like the idea of having several classes with bonus, in Imperator it is simulation  isn't an RTS.

 

These have bonuses, some are used to be recruited in levies.

 

Others in heavy duty and others in commerce 

 

We could even increase knowledge, that is, increase research rate with the nobility or heroes.

DEI Rome 2

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On 22/07/2021 at 1:26 PM, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:
On 11/07/2021 at 11:37 PM, hyperion said:

So I get your point and a better name might have been chosen once upon the time but I doubt you will find a dev willing to do all that work now and take the blame for the fallout.

I will admit that a mere name change is probably a hassle, but I doubt that it would cause mass outrage.  Given that maybe an overhaul would be better.

I'm not talking about some people complaining on the forums. That hyrule still is on a23 should ring an alarm bell. One of the major reasons I never considered modding is the attitude towards such changes. There is even a recent thread to rename gaia. After a well grounded answer as to why gaia is actually a good choice there comes a storm of alternative suggestions.

As for Citizen, I admit is wasn't a perfect choice, just a reasonably good one. So once you have a complete concept about how to integrate social classes into gameplay witch is in line with the theme of the game (primary warfare with a bit of eco) and it conflicts with that term, then the fallout becomes worth it.

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1 hour ago, hyperion said:

I'm not talking about some people complaining on the forums. That hyrule still is on a23 should ring an alarm bell. One of the major reasons I never considered modding is the attitude towards such changes. There is even a recent thread to rename gaia. After a well grounded answer as to why gaia is actually a good choice there comes a storm of alternative suggestions.

For the record I've spent the past four months helping them migrate. They had modified and tweaked nearly every single component and didn't really remember where and what they changed. They've got about as many templates as we do which didn't help. I wrote a script to fix it but there were too many edge cases.

Since the migration took too long and started to affect the Patreon of the project they had to release an A23B version to keep the people happy.

If we had released more often this would habe been manageable but in this case backporting two years of development was a huge undertaking.

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6 hours ago, Stan` said:

For the record I've spent the past four months helping them migrate. They had modified and tweaked nearly every single component and didn't really remember where and what they changed. They've got about as many templates as we do which didn't help. I wrote a script to fix it but there were too many edge cases.

Since the migration took too long and started to affect the Patreon of the project they had to release an A23B version to keep the people happy.

If we had released more often this would habe been manageable but in this case backporting two years of development was a huge undertaking.

There are mechanics that can be brought from their game and leave them as passive, that is, in off mode. That they are not activated.

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9 hours ago, hyperion said:

As for Citizen, I admit is wasn't a perfect choice, just a reasonably good one. So once you have a complete concept about how to integrate social classes into gameplay witch is in line with the theme of the game (primary warfare with a bit of eco) and it conflicts with that term, then the fallout becomes worth it.

I would personally like to contend that I have developed a fairly good system.  The only major source of dissent is the potentially insensitive treatment it might imply with slaves, but generally I haven't heard much backlash against it, and there has been plenty of time for critics to voice their objections (in fairness I posted that on the balance forum).  A few people seem to have liked it in fact.  That said, it is only a broad suggestion; I would not bother working any more into hassling with the specifics unless there was a fairly good assurance that it would be incorporated into the game.  If you have any suggestions or a different idea, I would be glad to hear some feedback.

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1 hour ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

in fairness I posted that on the balance forum

Then I didn't and won't read it. For me open source is open discussion. And what wasn't discussed in the open I treat as was never discussed. Sorry.

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13 hours ago, hyperion said:

Then I didn't and won't read it.

Allow me to summarise then.  There could be four broad classes: nobles, citizens, freemen, and slaves.  For our purposes champions and mercenaries are not considered in the framework.

Nobles: for where this is pertinent, nobles would often be the cavalry units that would be composed of echelons of society.  They would be trained at advanced rank and could have minor combat bonuses to their stats, possibly at the cost of taking up two population.

Citizens: generally the same function and designation as current citizen soldiers.  Examples would be hastati, Macedonian pikemen, and some lower class cavalry.

Freemen: roughly the same as citizen soldiers.  They would only promote to the advanced rank at most.  Examples could include perioikoi, metics, and socii.

Slaves: purely economic units that would have a bonus to mining and quarrying.  Capture of them would be possible.

Note that there would be exceptions to these rules.  Skiritai would be one as well as helots in all probability.  These would merely serve as a template that would adapt based on the societal norms of each faction.

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5 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Allow me to summarise then

So basically it's just decoration and not a game mechanic. So the only benefit is potentially better immersion.

Do all current and possible future civs fit that scheme?

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6 hours ago, hyperion said:

So basically it's just decoration and not a game mechanic. So the only benefit is potentially better immersion.

Do all current and possible future civs fit that scheme?

I think it is providing reasons for and justifying deeper game mechanics. Adjusting unit price or which building could train based on social classes. Tech pairs that favor certain classes, which could be arbitrary but given meanings with social classes.

6 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

they could have economic bonuses. Similar to the aforementioned game ( Imperator - Rome)

Also this, so for example gathering choice can be more varied than female vs CS vs horses. Different social classes could be given different gathering rate based on social classes.

I think it opens up many game mechanic potentials.

Also I believe many people play 0 A.D. for its historical lessons and role-playing purpose. For them these decorations could be as important as gameplay, they are not much different than decorating units with more historically accurate armors.

I think all civilizations have social classes, it should be applicable to all civs. Perhaps @Thorfinn the Shallow Minded could provide historical evidences for other, non-Greco Roman civs?

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17 hours ago, hyperion said:

So basically it's just decoration and not a game mechanic. So the only benefit is potentially better immersion.

Do all current and possible future civs fit that scheme?

I don't see the problem with it being a so-called decoration; it affects the game as I think social classes should given the abstractions RTSs allow.  Adding unnecessary complexity is generally a bad idea for any game design, especially so in RTS games where there is only so much time a player can commit to doing various actions.  It integrates well in my opinion with the current paradigm.  That all said, the Celts would probably follow a slightly different schema.

9 hours ago, azayrahmad said:

Perhaps @Thorfinn the Shallow Minded could provide historical evidences for other, non-Greco Roman civs?

I am not much of an expert outside that area (for that matter I lack the academic qualifications to call myself even an 'expert' with Hellenic matters).  For what little I do know about Celtic social structure, I could see a few key differences.  First, there doesn't seem to be much of a large distinction between citizen and non-citizen to them, so citizen and freeman would probably be unnecessary designations given the slightly better social mobility they allowed.  They did however clearly have a noble class, but probably the largest distinction that should be made was the important place druids had in the culture.  By comparison, Greco-Romano priesthoods lacked the professionalism we might expect, and the office of Pontifex Maximus was more of a political than religious position (Julius Caesar even held it even though his Epicurean leanings would have probably clashed with the more traditional ideas behind the actions of gods with men.).  Making druids appropriately capable of providing things such as gathering and combat buffs would reflect this.  Slavery as well was a practice that could be represented.

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On 05/07/2021 at 8:15 AM, hyperion said:

I don't remember having seen the term in-game, correct me if I'm wrong. Citizen as class is also used for woman.

As such the purpose of this change is to rename assets and create more mayhem than a24 did? ;)

It states the term citizen soldiers in the economic tutorial.

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3 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

I don't see the problem with it being a so-called decoration

It indeed isn't meant in a negative way. Can be called lore if that sounds better. It also means to create a mod is fairely easy technically, mostly just effort.

 

Still there are quite a few question that come to mind which need be answered first:

  • applicability across civs
  • whether it doesn't distort truth as much or even more than citizen soldier (over simplification might be worse than omission)
  • whether additional constraints on unit design have negative effects on "balancing"
  • whether the possible added (even if only perceived) complexity is an issue (mostly for new players) or offsets the gain due to lore.

I can't help much answering those questions, besides Rome I have only shallow knowledge of that time. As for the non history aspects I somewhat sceptical that you can break even, thou that's just a hunch based on personal priorities.

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Slaves can get a bonus gathering stone.

Nobles could get tax (trickle) bonus.

The others are basically Freeman, citizen and tribal members.

 

That's the idea in Imperator of Rome.

 

I know that it is another type of game, basically they have the factions that we have. Even more.

 

https://imperator.paradoxwikis.com/Population

but it is historically correct.

 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, hyperion said:

Still there are quite a few question that come to mind which need be answered first:

  • applicability across civs
  • whether it doesn't distort truth as much or even more than citizen soldier (over simplification might be worse than omission)
  • whether additional constraints on unit design have negative effects on "balancing"
  • whether the possible added (even if only perceived) complexity is an issue (mostly for new players) or offsets the gain due to lore.

I would say for the most part that it would carry over to most cultures, but the tribal confederations of the Gauls and Iberians might require a slight bit of tweaking.  Again, this is a general template.

As far as it distorting the truth, it allows for a simplistic yet at least viable representation of social classes.  If we compare that to the current game...  Everyone is a citizen.  That frankly is not how ancient world worked.  Citizenship was a privilege that usually required both parents to be citizens.  With an RTS simplicity is necessary.  Is it over simplified? It does so no more than many other games of the genre.

It would make some aspects of balancing the game a bit more rigid.  Helots would be poor military units by and large, but I would point out that changes could be done to the roster to adjust.  Supposing that a hypothetical mercenary camel archer was represented inaccurately as a citizen.  It could be replaced by viable citizen alternative that reflects the social status of the unit and is more accurate.  Honestly I think that these sorts of constraints would still generally work to diversify the somewhat homogenous rosters factions have.  I would point out that distinctions between freemen and citizens at least as I mentioned above would probably not impact the game too dramatically.  Changes like making them possibly worse at fighting in non-friendly territory to better reflect their general roles might affect this more though.  

This would make civilisations more asymmetrical and definitely complicate the game.  I think that provided that there would be a decent tutorial to fluidly teach these things, that would not be an issue, yet I could be wrong.

On 28/7/2021 at 7:29 PM, azayrahmad said:

Also this, so for example gathering choice can be more varied than female vs CS vs horses. Different social classes could be given different gathering rate based on social classes.

I think that there could be potential for this, but it would have to be balanced with considering how much more complexity it might introduce that would not be immediately apparent.  0 A.D. already has a fairly convoluted economic system in which units that move faster for fighting purposes also end up gathering more quickly.  Complexity should not be introduced for complexity's sake.

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22 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

As far as it distorting the truth, it allows for a simplistic yet at least viable representation of social classes.  If we compare that to the current game...  Everyone is a citizen.  That frankly is not how ancient world worked.  Citizenship was a privilege that usually required both parents to be citizens.  With an RTS simplicity is necessary.  Is it over simplified? It does so no more than many other games of the genre.

Simplification of history is often used in politics, as such I have some aversion to such practice. Not putting you into that same boat, just saying. The current situation is so far off that it's sort of fine. I mean citizen has another meaning in modern society so we can easily hide behind that meaning.

There are actually places where historic accuracy is unproblematic, such as models and names, which are handled rather well in 0ad. But there are parts lacking which I think are more appropriate than trying to project some historic concepts into gameplay. For instance civ info having a few sentences at most an neither structures or units having any background texts. Campaigns, once we see more of them are another place where history can play a major role.

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I think doing anything more than a citizen/slave dichotomy would be pushing it for an RTS. Delenda Est has citizens (or peasants, depending on the civ; many cultures didn't have a "citizen" concept at all), which can gather, but are good at building, and then has slaves, which can only gather (and can be captured). Slaves are unlocked when you build a Market in P2. 

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On 31/7/2021 at 4:56 PM, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I think doing anything more than a citizen/slave dichotomy would be pushing it for an RTS.

For Delenda Est I would say that is a fair argument; 0 AD I think can afford more granularity.  As is the only overall change I am proposing is limiting promotions, which I would say is fairly minor.  The point to be understood is why would a perioikoi hoplite fight as hard as an Athenian hoplite who is a citizen?  Would they be capable of as much socio-economic mobility?  In my opinion no, and this would do a decent job modelling that.

On 31/7/2021 at 11:39 AM, hyperion said:

Simplification of history is often used in politics, as such I have some aversion to such practice. Not putting you into that same boat, just saying. The current situation is so far off that it's sort of fine. I mean citizen has another meaning in modern society so we can easily hide behind that meaning.

Well can I assure you that I have never run for a political office and I would assume that most of my scholarly sources did not do the same; thus the system I proposed is not part of a political campaign.  You warn against simplification but give no substantial objection to the proposed system, and if we look at the current game, it implicitly tells a variety of misconceptions about the societies through its labelling of almost everything 'citizen,' which I would say does not have a very different meaning today compared to then.

I'm not saying that the proposal I gave that would affect gameplay is the best thing since butter and bread; in fact it's because most people here seem to care more about preserving the meta than experimentation that I said that simply removing the label citizen from descriptors would be an easier solution that deserves serious consideration.  

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