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Civ differentiation : playstyles


maroder
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9 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

I think we should brainstorm, it is a creative and group exercise to open the mind.

 

Iberians = Defensive and skimishers, good cavalry.

 

Rep. Romans = Good defenses and superior infantry as well as siege engines.

 

Carthage Commercial Strong Walls defenses and Mercenaries.

 

Egypt = Economic granary of the Mediterranean the southern kingdom complement of the Seleucids.

Seleucids = Large variety of powerful troops rapidly expanding across the map.

Macedon, simple compact Strong and flexible infantry army with fast and effective cavalry. Lots of Greek science.

Gauls, rapids, good use of metal and Rush fast good looting and burning cities. Good rush.

 

Britons = would be like the Gauls but with more success defending and counterattacking., Good complement for defensive civs.

 

Maurya = good cavalry and mighty archers and elephants.Good for Rush and Defend. (booming spam)

Persians = Economy, good cavalry and infantry fast and easy to produce, civ for booming.

Athens = civilization of water and technology, well balanced.

Spartans = slave economy, nation of warriors and constant training, good quality with few troops.

 

Kushites = Millennial wealth, mercenaries, trade archers and very diverse troops. ( booming)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would say this is pretty similar to both what @Dizaka had brought up for ideas and agrees with how civs behave in-game.

 

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3 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

The only way I could see this happening would be to give the sparta the option to train hoplites 1 at a time for 30 seconds each from the cc to prevent them from booming women while making hoplites for free, this way the 0 cost of hoplites would also be an opportunity cost of the CS and women that could not be trained in the meantime. This feature is one that would be either not strong enough and no one would ever use or too strong and it would be OP.

Keep in mind that building the Syssiton itself is an expense; supposing that there was no batch training possible and Spartans had something like a sixty second training time, I would hardly call that a completely broken mechanic.  This could be coupled with their champions having reduced stats that improve with each subsequent phase.  Making them spawn from the Civic Centre would make the Syssiton a redundancy, an unideal outcome.

My point is that Spartans should be able to viably have Spartans at the beginning of the game in a way that is not a massive opportunity cost.  Keep in mind that we are talking merely hypothetically, and calling such a mechanic either weak or overpowered is a false dichotomy without further experimentation.

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I think civs are already very different, competitive players see that and pay attention to adjust their strategies accordingly. The problem is that such differences are not very enjoyable, and it's pointless to try to introduce other differences yet, if they are not going to make the game enjoyably different.

For instance, ptole houses and drop sites are considerably cheaper, which make ptole boom quite faster, but that doesn't streak quite as much in players experience as free houses, like they were in A23. When that bonus was dropped, there was much complaint, and it appears we still haven't learnt what makes people happy in terms of civ differentiation.

But that is a eco bonus, it doesn't affect military composition and strategies. I want now propose a small analysis of how varied are military units in the game now, viable tactics, and how this can affect different civs.

----

Each civ starts with a particular cav type available to phase 1, for this reason, cav rushes play quite differently among different civs: spear cav rushes don't feel like jav cav rushes, which don't feel like camel rushes, they are quite balanced tactics that feel different from each other. This is a successful differentiation. Unfortunately, sword cav doesn't quite fit in here because they are simply OP, but we can include dogs in the comparison: they add a nice variation mainly because of their low vision.

When coming to infantry, I think differentiation is much less enjoyable: archers are very different from skirmishers, but they are also very worse. I still think it was an error to take away from them the walking speed they had in A24, because archers could actually be employed in a way that is quite enjoyably different from shorter range units, if it just was viable.

Same problem holds for pikes and spears: pikes are just better, because they are so damm persistent. Their speed that is so low does make them feel different, but the toy is broken because their role as undying pests is too effective in a game like 0 AD (and is also anti-historical, so that's another reason why I'd like to see an attempt to change them). About swords, they are simply not a valid substitute for spears and pikes, and one may decide to mix them in the melee for some extra hack, but apart changing your army stats a little, they don't change tactics in any enjoyable way.

Now to champions: they are just units stronger than CS. Their usage consists in ammassing enough of them so that you have an army stronger than any other and thus you are unstoppable. Champions are effective tie breakers, but don't result in any particular tactic different from any other in the game. Even iber fire cav is just comparable to rome champ sword cav gameplay-wise: you make a big enough bunch of them, and then you go to rain havoc wherever you please. Will champs in P2 be a substantial buff to any civ that gets them? Definitively, especially in the current meta. Will that be a fun, enjoyable differentiation? I don't see how.

The game must try to propose new and different game mechanics in order to have in itself the variation the many civs need. It's nice to read about civs good in ambushed or smaller fights, but how exactly? the game as it is now doesn't allow it. This is not a problem about civilizations, is a problem about game mechanics.

The game allows, for instance, ammassing horse archers rather than fighting for map control, and I played some nice games around this strategy choice in A24. With a sufficient number of well balanced tactics like these two, the game can provide well differentiated civs that never play the same.

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12 hours ago, faction02 said:

if I look at that example, your description let me think that all Brit-Mace matchup would be about an early game in which Brit aggress Mace.

yeah my bad, I have not put enough thought into the examples. The best already implemented example of such an "unique" playstyle i'm thinking of are the scythinans from DE.

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1 hour ago, alre said:

I think civs are already very different, competitive players see that and pay attention to adjust their strategies accordingly. The problem is that such differences are not very enjoyable, and it's pointless to try to introduce other differences yet, if they are not going to make the game enjoyably different.

For instance, ptole houses and drop sites are considerably cheaper, which make ptole boom quite faster, but that doesn't streak quite as much in players experience as free houses, like they were in A23. When that bonus was dropped, there was much complaint, and it appears we still haven't learnt what makes people happy in terms of civ differentiation.

But that is a eco bonus, it doesn't affect military composition and strategies. I want now propose a small analysis of how varied are military units in the game now, viable tactics, and how this can affect different civs.

----

Each civ starts with a particular cav type available to phase 1, for this reason, cav rushes play quite differently among different civs: spear cav rushes don't feel like jav cav rushes, which don't feel like camel rushes, they are quite balanced tactics that feel different from each other. This is a successful differentiation. Unfortunately, sword cav doesn't quite fit in here because they are simply OP, but we can include dogs in the comparison: they add a nice variation mainly because of their low vision.

When coming to infantry, I think differentiation is much less enjoyable: archers are very different from skirmishers, but they are also very worse. I still think it was an error to take away from them the walking speed they had in A24, because archers could actually be employed in a way that is quite enjoyably different from shorter range units, if it just was viable.

Same problem holds for pikes and spears: pikes are just better, because they are so damm persistent. Their speed that is so low does make them feel different, but the toy is broken because their role as undying pests is too effective in a game like 0 AD (and is also anti-historical, so that's another reason why I'd like to see an attempt to change them). About swords, they are simply not a valid substitute for spears and pikes, and one may decide to mix them in the melee for some extra hack, but apart changing your army stats a little, they don't change tactics in any enjoyable way.

Now to champions: they are just units stronger than CS. Their usage consists in ammassing enough of them so that you have an army stronger than any other and thus you are unstoppable. Champions are effective tie breakers, but don't result in any particular tactic different from any other in the game. Even iber fire cav is just comparable to rome champ sword cav gameplay-wise: you make a big enough bunch of them, and then you go to rain havoc wherever you please. Will champs in P2 be a substantial buff to any civ that gets them? Definitively, especially in the current meta. Will that be a fun, enjoyable differentiation? I don't see how.

The game must try to propose new and different game mechanics in order to have in itself the variation the many civs need. It's nice to read about civs good in ambushed or smaller fights, but how exactly? the game as it is now doesn't allow it. This is not a problem about civilizations, is a problem about game mechanics.

The game allows, for instance, ammassing horse archers rather than fighting for map control, and I played some nice games around this strategy choice in A24. With a sufficient number of well balanced tactics like these two, the game can provide well differentiated civs that never play the same.

 

I think that's probably the point raised by this thread: how to give civs more "flavour" beyond the basic rock, paper, scissor dynamic?

As you describe in the example, it doesn't really matter which civilization you choose, you can simply ammass champions to make your army stronger and invade your opponent. I think that's what lies beneath the feeling of uniformity among the civilizations. They're carefully balanced together, but in the attempt to make them even they're more or less replaceable from one or another.

Now, I'm a completely casual player and I enjoy the game as it is already, so I have no complaints. But I find the discussion very interesting and one of the things that can potentially increase the longevity of the game!

Maybe the options that can be explored shouldn't be only exclusive to warfare, but could encompass other game dynamics.

- Scythians are definitely a good example on how to bring a unique flavour of gameplay to the civilization.

- But I also personally like the idea of a "trading civilization", that can be built specifically on trade and less from conventional forms of income. Protecting the caravans would then become a particular meta playing in this civ and add a new layer of difficulty

- Another civ (Chinese maybe?) could instead get bonuses from farming extensively, but this would require also a lot of territory control on the map

- A civilization strong on mercenaries can have a stronger army than the counterparts, but needs A LOT of resources, so you have to make sure to sustain a florid economy to use this potential to the fullest

- On the contrary, a rush civilization may have cheaper and weaker units, but this gives the advantage of the big numbers. Maybe the can have the advantage of a cheaper/quicker expansion to other territories, so they can rely on map control in the middle/late game.

- Other civs may rely on population bonuses for big numbers and others on social/culture bonuses with moral boost if they fight in their own territory (or some unique aura units like, idk, a priest or a standard bearer?)

 

I'm just basking from previous ideas here, but I find some of them quite interesting to shuffle the game and make it less linear, depending on which civ you chose. Some civilizations have already their uniqueness with some special buildings/units and maybe is more a matter of making those small differences even more obvious, so is less about micro differences between single units, but more in broader, macro terms on how each specific gameplay will unfold.

In that sense, I've found AOE 4 interesting from the sneak peek I've seen, with the choice of specific buildings to pass to the next age. It gives exactly that feeling of a deliberate strategic choice. Another game that comes to mind is C&C Generals, with the choice between generals in the beginning, and their respective "doctrines". The roast of basic units and counter-units was always present, but each general gave a different "extra" that made the game extremely variegate even by playing the same civilization. So yeah, maybe civilizations in 0ad could simply have that role instead. 

 

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3 hours ago, alre said:

Same problem holds for pikes and spears: pikes are just better, because they are so damm persistent. Their speed that is so low does make them feel different, but the toy is broken because their role as undying pests is too effective in a game like 0 AD (and is also anti-historical, so that's another reason why I'd like to see an attempt to change them). About swords, they are simply not a valid substitute for spears and pikes, and one may decide to mix them in the melee for some extra hack, but apart changing your army stats a little, they don't change tactics in any enjoyable way.

I think pikemen are not problematic, the powerful ranged units that support them are. In the scenario editor I saw that if a force of 10 swordsman attack 5 pikemen and 5 skirmishers, the skirmisher survive all and 1 or 2 pikemen survive. If we take a weaker ranged units such as the archer, the swordsman defeat the pike+range combo by a small margin.

The fact that 1 on 1 the spearman can't defeat the javelineer convincingly is something to keep in mind concerning this topic.

On 29/09/2021 at 11:08 PM, maroder said:

Much of the discussion about differentiating the civilisations in the game is right now focused on small changes to enable different strategies for the different civilisations. But I want to open a discussion here if those changes are not a bit too "small".

I do not agree with the fact that these changes are too small. I will list some thoughts on uniqueness.

Group 1: Uniqueness from the start.

Ptolemies: There is no reason to call them ordinary.

Mauryas: Starting with an worker elephant does significantly impact how you can play the game. Also they have unique options with swordsmen and elephants.

 Iberians: Starts with walls, giving them a totally unique feeling on top of all other uniqueness they gain.

Britons: The are the less unique than the 3 factions above here. They start with a dog, which can be used to bring the deer towards your CC in the start of the game. These deer allow you to get more cavalry, which can rush excellently with the help of the dog. The war dog can be a very convenient unit for rushing. Having with slingers allows you to put that 300 starting stone directly to work, which means you can produce ranged infantry very conveniently at the start. Also the hero Caratacus makes the Briton units the fastest in the game.

Group 2: Uniqueness in p2.

It is not difficult to reach p2 and reaching p2 becomes all ready feasible at 40 population.

Carthaginians: Strategies where you advance to p2 with 40 or 50 population and go for merc cavalry are very much feasible. Also they get the colonization technology, which is worth after you have build an (extra) CC. Once you reach p3, you get access to powerful heroes and you can instantly train champion infantry from the temple (does not require a technology like most champions do)

Seleucids: They get their military colonies for 160w, 160s,160m. what you get for this investment is a great deal, 2 population space (equivalent to 2 houses=300wood+100sec build time), a resource drop of point (valued at 100 wood and 40 seconds build time, I will ignore for this comparison that you can also drop food on it), a defensive structure(a tower cost 100w, 100s and 150 sec build time)  and you can use it to produce mercenaries(mercenary camps of kush/carthage cost each 200 resources and 150 sec build time). So the value totals at 500 wood, 100s, 200 extra resources for the value of merc camp and 540 seconds of build time. I am ignoring in this value, that it is a resource drop of point for food, can train women, allows for territory expansion and can heal garrisoned units. All in all the value of this building is much larger than its costs. Furthermore the faction boost instant hero and infantry champion production at p3, as you do not need to build an extra building or wait for a technology for the champions. On top of that, it also has good unit variety.

Kushites: Once you reach p2, you can build mercenary camps which makes it feel unique. The Noba clubman is one of the few tools that can efficiently deal with fortification in p2. Also it gets a pyramid for faster gather rate. Once you reach p3, you can instantly produce champions from the temple. It heroes are fine and they have a big temple for rank 3 heroes. They also can mass elephants easier. Overall, this faction is still feels under-powered because the archers are under-powered. The kushites have 14 different types of soldiers (elephant included) and 2 siege weapons. So the Kushite problem is not a problem with its design, but with balance between ranged units. It could be more unique if it would be allowed to train pikemen in p1 or its pyramids would get available earlier: see https://code.wildfiregames.com/D4280

Group 3: Factions lacking things that make them feel unique.

I don't mean to say that these are bad or don't have unique properties. However the unique things that they have mostly don't make much of an impact until p3.

Gauls, Romans, Macedonians, Athenians, Spartans, Persians.

 

Now that I have concluded that 6 out of 13 factions lack the unique feeling, what can and needs to be done about it? First of all, there aren't completely bland. Secondly it might be nice to have a group of more standardized factions and those who are more unique. Just a few suggestion: Make Naked fanatics more usable, make the temple of Vesta more special (like larger aura), No idea for Macedon, Give Athenians a Theatre bonus and allow the council hall to train champ hoplites in p2, Persians could use their levy upgrades and spear cavalry in p1. Having 7 factions out of 13 being unique is not bad.

 

15 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Be able to train Spartans at phase 1.  Simply speaking Sparta without Spartans is stupid.  My proposal in a thread regarding ways to diversify champions included making making Spartan hoplites free as well, only offset by a lengthly recruitment time, two population, and a hard cap of one Syssiton in the Village Phase and +1 for each subsequent one.  Technologies would be able to change the characteristics of its citizenry over time, making each Phase give an option to represent the political elements affecting Spartans.

I am not opposed to p1 champions. I feel that it would be well balanced as people would prefer in p1 to make units that can gather resources over melee infantry units. Even if it allowed for gimmick strategies, Sparta was know for a militaristic culture and aggressive wars to enslave fellow Greek populations.

Furthermore, I have decided to end every post with this quote

Cato Maior: Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam, LetswaveaBook: Furthermore I think ranged damage must be reduced.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, alre said:

When coming to infantry, I think differentiation is much less enjoyable: archers are very different from skirmishers, but they are also very worse. I still think it was an error to take away from them the walking speed they had in A24, because archers could actually be employed in a way that is quite enjoyably different from shorter range units, if it just was viable

The main thing making archers underpowered in a25 is their inability to target ranged units like skirmishers because the skirms are behind some melee units. This effectively means their range advantage is nearly useless. Since they do so much less damage, they would be unable to kill melee inf as fast as skirms can, so skirms are a better unit.

If you add attack-ground into the equation, it could be possible to begin killing enemy skirms before they can even attack your melee units. This adds variability and balancing to gameplay without even changing unit stats.

@alre the main reason champions are massed (champion cavalry) is because there is no way to beat them with CS units, even spearmen.

I would be in support of adding back champion training to forts with no unlock upgrade, and adding 500 food 500 wood and 500 metal to the barracks or stable training upgrades. If this were the case, you would usually see a few champions added to mostly CS or merc armies, and would see massed champions only after a long game.

Also I recommend should go to the "all civs are my favorite" page and share their thoughts on @wowgetoffyourcellphone's ideas for civ differentiation there. I am particularly interested in the new kinds of military upgrades that would raise the cost and gather rate of the unit they affect (buy rank 2 for spearmen), these upgrades could be offered in different amounts to different units per civilization.

 

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Some ideas I had for gameplay diversification. If more experienced players see something that could be better, please point it out so it can be corrected. If players like this, it could be the base for a mod for testing the new playstyles.

Spoiler

Athenians

Focus on arts and learning, naval combat

A powerful navy, with ships able to move and maneuver quickly. They can research technologies quickly, and have good seige catapults.

Britons

Focus on revolts, raiding, and guerilla warfare

Capable of building bases outside of their territory, which would allow them to launch raids from unexpected places. These bases don't have visible territory lines. Options for the bases: a new building, a fortress allowing other buildings to be constructed in its territory, barracks

These bases can train cheap, weak units, as well as some more powerful and expensive ones. The weak units could be used for raiding and gathering, while the more powerful ones could be collected for larger attacks. These bases could allow for a comeback if the main territory is conquered, although it would be challenging. The powerful troops would allow the Britons to win if they survive for long enough, but collecting enough and gathering them together from the different bases could be a challenge. Any one base could be destroyed by a moderately strong army, so if they're located they won't do much good.

Buildings are cheap, and units are quite mobile. This would allow weaker groups to move out of the way of an army before it arrives if a scout discovers them.

Carthagenians

Focus on naval trade, naval combat

A number of good trading bonuses, particularly for naval trading, and a powerful navy. Their traditional economy is weaker, so they rely on trading. This requires them to protect their traders well. Trading with themselves is less profitable than for other civs, but trading with other players is more profitable. This would require them to sent traders out of their territory, and protect them. Their land forces are unexceptional, and they rely on mercenaries. This means that their military strength is directly dependent on their trading. To avoid reliance on mining, their mining efficiency is reduced.

Gauls

Focus on Druidic rule

Druids have an aura giving increased work, fighting strength, and vision range. Gallic troops have increased strength fighting in their own territory.

Iberians

Focus on defence

Stronger walls and defence towers, forts are cheaper. More expensive units, which would slow expansion and encourage fortifying in one place.

Kushites

Focus on farming, pyramids

Very good farming bonuses, but the size of fields is increased, requiring them to build farms over a large area to take advantage of the bonuses. This would require them to build farms beyond their fortifications, making them vulnerable to raiding. To compensate, the hp of the fields is increased. Pyramid build limits are removed.

Macedonians

The possibility to focus on either conquest or siege.

The conquest bonus could be one-time tech that trains a large group of soldiers at a discounted price. Preferably, dependent on having Alexander the Great. The siege bonuses would also be dependent on a hero. One idea would be a hero with an aura that adds an upkeep cost to enemy soldiers. That way, the hero could be stationed outside enemy fortifications with his army, costing the enemy resources, and simulating a blockade and starvation.

Mauryas

Focus on archers, elephants

They have cheaper elephants. Elephant attacks are modified (game-wide, not just for them) to become more of an anti-infantry unit, rather than siege. All Mauryan elephants except worker elephants start as basic war elephants and can be upgraded or garrisoned to carry archers, spearmen, etc. These upgrades or garrisons are only available to the Mauryas. Archers are cheaper, but not necessarily more effective

Persians

Focus on cavalry, many cheap soldiers

They have a wide variety of cavalry which can be trained quickly. Soldiers are cheaper, but have less health. To accommodate the larger number of soldiers, they get an apartment building. Farming is weaker, but can be improved by ice houses.

Ptolemies

Focus on economy, cheap but weak cities

They have a powerful economy, with the same size fields as Kushites, but less effective than the Kushite farms. Other resource gathering is also improved. Most of their buildings are cheap, but weak. 

Romans

An undifferentiated civ, similar to now, good at everything, but not exceptional in any way.

Seleucids

Focus on a wide variety of troops

They have almost all classes of troops available, whether as citizen soldiers or mercenaries. Spear, javelin, archer, pike, sword, elephant, etc. If historically correct, they could also get a maceman and slinger.

Spartans

Focus on strong units, infantry focused

Individual units are much stronger and more dangerous than units from other civs. To compensate for this, they have much less unit variety. Their spartiates are available in phase two, and they get a champion javeliner. Cavalry is very weak, mostly useful for scouting.

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2 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

If you add attack-ground into the equation, it could be possible to begin killing enemy skirms before they can even attack your melee units. This adds variability and balancing to gameplay without even changing unit stats.

That might help to balance the ranged units against each other, but it does not help so much to balance ranged units against melee units. Secondly, also the skirmisher/slingers could  use the attack ground option to target the archers, even though not as effective as archers could.

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58 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

ut it does not help so much to balance ranged units against melee units

By this you mean that skirmishers can beat either pikes or spears 1 to 1?

I agree this is a problem that won't be addressed by attack-ground. Would you prefer just reducing the damage of skirmishers? (I guess we could also reduce skirm cav damage too since they beat spearcav in 1 to 1 also)

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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12 minutes ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

By this you mean that skirmishers can beat either pikes or spears 1 to 1?

I agree this is a problem that won't be addressed by attack-ground. Would you prefer just reducing the damage of skirmishers? (I guess we could also reduce skirm cav damage too since they beat spearcav in 1 to 1 also)

yes.

6 hours ago, PyrrhicVictoryGuy said:

@LetswaveaBook lets get real here the pikemen are the real support units for the ranged chads.

yes, but not only that. pikes take so long to kill that they manage to be an effective annoyance even without ranged support (or without supporting the ranged guys, you may say). pikes just can't go wasted, they are so good. They also only need micro for when they get lost around hitting farms or such.

About all ideas that came up for making civs more unique (some of which I find quite likeable), and about the original subject of the thread, I have a couple more things to say:

- always remember that a bonus that gives an objective advantage to a particular player in any specific map, phase of the game, or team arrangement, should be avoided. the strategies available to all civs should be always balanced, at lest in principle. I, as @faction02, reject the idea of civs stronger than others is early game, or wither in late game, and I also don't like how imbalanced is naval warfare currently, it doesn't need more asymmetry, but more balance.

- as I already said, and I hope @LetswaveaBook made a good enough argument for that, civs are already actually very different. people keeps asking for more difference because they can't see or can't appreciate what's already there. That's not their fault: for how 0AD is made, differences between civs are quite hard to navigate and understand. Some strategies being feasible with some civs is sometimes only the result of a series of quirks of the game that are very hard to spot, and I still wouldn't know about those strategies if I didn't see someone use them. Actually this is quite true about all RTS games, but is even more true for a game that is in its alpha phase, like 0AD. I'm not saying that civs can't be any more varied than they are now: they could have completely different sets of buildings and techs, like in starcraft, they could have different sets of resources even, different phasing mechanics, like in AOE4, and whatnot, but the level of asymmetry the game already has is not bad at all. I would rather see different playstyles enabled by new game mechanics, than fixate on how to change some civ economy so that it feels different from the others, without any real consequence apart from some eco convenience (not that such features are bad, ptole free houses for instance were very nice, but it can't be said they conveyed any particular playstyle).

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4 hours ago, Nullus said:

Some ideas I had for gameplay diversification. If more experienced players see something that could be better, please point it out so it can be corrected. If players like this, it could be the base for a mod for testing the new playstyles.

  Reveal hidden contents

Athenians

Focus on arts and learning, naval combat

A powerful navy, with ships able to move and maneuver quickly. They can research technologies quickly, and have good seige catapults.

Britons

Focus on revolts, raiding, and guerilla warfare

Capable of building bases outside of their territory, which would allow them to launch raids from unexpected places. These bases don't have visible territory lines. Options for the bases: a new building, a fortress allowing other buildings to be constructed in its territory, barracks

These bases can train cheap, weak units, as well as some more powerful and expensive ones. The weak units could be used for raiding and gathering, while the more powerful ones could be collected for larger attacks. These bases could allow for a comeback if the main territory is conquered, although it would be challenging. The powerful troops would allow the Britons to win if they survive for long enough, but collecting enough and gathering them together from the different bases could be a challenge. Any one base could be destroyed by a moderately strong army, so if they're located they won't do much good.

Buildings are cheap, and units are quite mobile. This would allow weaker groups to move out of the way of an army before it arrives if a scout discovers them.

Carthagenians

Focus on naval trade, naval combat

A number of good trading bonuses, particularly for naval trading, and a powerful navy. Their traditional economy is weaker, so they rely on trading. This requires them to protect their traders well. Trading with themselves is less profitable than for other civs, but trading with other players is more profitable. This would require them to sent traders out of their territory, and protect them. Their land forces are unexceptional, and they rely on mercenaries. This means that their military strength is directly dependent on their trading. To avoid reliance on mining, their mining efficiency is reduced.

Gauls

Focus on Druidic rule

Druids have an aura giving increased work, fighting strength, and vision range. Gallic troops have increased strength fighting in their own territory.

Iberians

Focus on defence

Stronger walls and defence towers, forts are cheaper. More expensive units, which would slow expansion and encourage fortifying in one place.

Kushites

Focus on farming, pyramids

Very good farming bonuses, but the size of fields is increased, requiring them to build farms over a large area to take advantage of the bonuses. This would require them to build farms beyond their fortifications, making them vulnerable to raiding. To compensate, the hp of the fields is increased. Pyramid build limits are removed.

Macedonians

The possibility to focus on either conquest or siege.

The conquest bonus could be one-time tech that trains a large group of soldiers at a discounted price. Preferably, dependent on having Alexander the Great. The siege bonuses would also be dependent on a hero. One idea would be a hero with an aura that adds an upkeep cost to enemy soldiers. That way, the hero could be stationed outside enemy fortifications with his army, costing the enemy resources, and simulating a blockade and starvation.

Mauryas

Focus on archers, elephants

They have cheaper elephants. Elephant attacks are modified (game-wide, not just for them) to become more of an anti-infantry unit, rather than siege. All Mauryan elephants except worker elephants start as basic war elephants and can be upgraded or garrisoned to carry archers, spearmen, etc. These upgrades or garrisons are only available to the Mauryas. Archers are cheaper, but not necessarily more effective

Persians

Focus on cavalry, many cheap soldiers

They have a wide variety of cavalry which can be trained quickly. Soldiers are cheaper, but have less health. To accommodate the larger number of soldiers, they get an apartment building. Farming is weaker, but can be improved by ice houses.

Ptolemies

Focus on economy, cheap but weak cities

They have a powerful economy, with the same size fields as Kushites, but less effective than the Kushite farms. Other resource gathering is also improved. Most of their buildings are cheap, but weak. 

Romans

An undifferentiated civ, similar to now, good at everything, but not exceptional in any way.

Seleucids

Focus on a wide variety of troops

They have almost all classes of troops available, whether as citizen soldiers or mercenaries. Spear, javelin, archer, pike, sword, elephant, etc. If historically correct, they could also get a maceman and slinger.

Spartans

Focus on strong units, infantry focused

Individual units are much stronger and more dangerous than units from other civs. To compensate for this, they have much less unit variety. Their spartiates are available in phase two, and they get a champion javeliner. Cavalry is very weak, mostly useful for scouting.

Depending on the cards, there is no balance between civilizations and even no chance of winning the right civilization on the right map. We can give attributes to civilizations but not an unbeatable side.

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9 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

By this you mean that skirmishers can beat either pikes or spears 1 to 1?

I agree this is a problem that won't be addressed by attack-ground. Would you prefer just reducing the damage of skirmishers? (I guess we could also reduce skirm cav damage too since they beat spearcav in 1 to 1 also)

I meant that indeed and it is problematic. Also for Javelin cavalry this is problematic. Not only for CS, but also for champions, which perform surprisingly well against melee cavalry. From 48 meter, the slinger does not do OP damage, but if the enemy gets closer it can have DPS comparable to the skirmisher.

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10 hours ago, alre said:

I, as @faction02, reject the idea of civs stronger than others is early game, or wither in late game,

I get the point but how do you view the current situation between e.g. the romans who have access to multiple siege weapons and a civ that only has rams (and no eles) lets say the Gauls. Is it not already implied that the romans are more favorable in late game?

The counterargument I can think of would be: No romans are not stronger in late game, because their different siege options cost a lot of resources and Gauls can just produce more cheap units. And this is more the direction I was thinking of with the different playstyles.

10 hours ago, alre said:

a bonus that gives an objective advantage to a particular player in any specific map, phase of the game, or team arrangement, should be avoided

same here. I would say Mauryas have an advantage on the low wood maps through their worker ele. So should we get rid of it? Should we only have maps that have the same resource composition? I think advantages are fine to a certain degree, as long as they don't automatically decide who wins.

10 hours ago, alre said:

as I already said, and I hope @LetswaveaBook made a good enough argument for that, civs are already actually very different. people keeps asking for more difference because they can't see or can't appreciate what's already there. That's not their fault: for how 0AD is made, differences between civs are quite hard to navigate and understand.

I mean good for you if you see it that way, but it very much depends to what other games you compare it to. Basically you say the problem is not the game, but the expectation of the players, which is a valid point I guess. Since there is no up-to-date design document that describes how the game will develop in the future or how each faction should play, each player brings his own ideas and wants them implemented. Which brings me back to my original post -> It would be really good if we would create a design document, so that everybody is on the same page.

10 hours ago, alre said:

they could have completely different sets of buildings and techs, like in starcraft, they could have different sets of resources even, different phasing mechanics, like in AOE4, and whatnot ......... I would rather see different playstyles enabled by new game mechanics

agreed :D

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13 minutes ago, maroder said:

I get the point but how do you view the current situation between e.g. the romans who have access to multiple siege weapons and a civ that only has rams (and no eles) lets say the Gauls. Is it not already implied that the romans are more favorable in late game?

The counterargument I can think of would be: No romans are not stronger in late game, because their different siege options cost a lot of resources and Gauls can just produce more cheap units. And this is more the direction I was thinking of with the different playstyles.

Catapults/bolts are specific units that do allow for some civilization to have some strategies that other do not have. As mentioned by Dizaka in one of his post, catapults/bolts can be countered by mobility (which can be played by any civilization but unfortunately not on every map). If while the enemy attacks your base with catapults you can at least engage in a base trade with your rams/elephants damaging faster the enemy base than what the enemy can do with catapults, then having civilization(s) with (better) catapults might be ok. The issue arise if the Roman can also turtle too easily.

In that example, I would see Roman civilization specificity not countered by other civilization specificity but by a particular way to play the game available to every civilization.

 

If you give a strong economic bonus in early game to a particular civilization (as it was the case in a23), citizen soldiers implies that this civilization is likely to play any strategy better than the other and it would dominate all the others with mass infantry in late game. I would rather see different economic bonus for each civilization kind of balancing each other out such that there is no big difference in late game.

To come back to my previous example, an additional starting citizen soldiers for romans would be a form of differentiated economic bonus which would compensate them from not having the faster wood cutting bonus that you would give to Gauls. The different type of economic bonus would give incentives to play differently each civilization, but they wouldn't imply that you should play a civilization in the way it was design. 

1 hour ago, maroder said:

same here. I would say Mauryas have an advantage on the low wood maps through their worker ele. So should we get rid of it? Should we only have maps that have the same resource composition? I think advantages are fine to a certain degree, as long as they don't automatically decide who wins.

 I think the game should be balanced only on mainland, for other maps just put a warning sign that game might be unbalanced. It would be the responsibility of the players to ban some civilizations, play mirror civilization etc... if they really want to play balanced game on these maps. balancing civilization on all maps would simply kill any attempts for differentiation.

1 hour ago, maroder said:

Since there is no up-to-date design document that describes how the game will develop in the future or how each faction should play, each player brings his own ideas and wants them implemented. Which brings me back to my original post -> It would be really good if we would create a design document, so that everybody is on the same page.

I strongly agree there, there are many ways to balance the game and every suggestions made might be the best for a particular vision of how the game should be played. Some people might want to cook a pizza, others might want to cook a pie, if we don't agree on what we are cooking, it is not possible to know if we need sugar...

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2 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Arsonist units for celts.

I find it good that some civilizations are poor in siege units. Rome is ROME. Is a highly developed civilization with excellent siege capacity. Wall, military camp, long-range siege.

To counter them the Gauls can send cavalry raids in ennemy base, attempt to kill the sieges with sword cav.

Rome is good design differentiation. Gauls lacks something, but it good too. Gauls has the unit which decreases the enemy attack it is nice and the buildings are faster to build. Good food production in the fields.

We can have little idea very easy.  Delete all tech for boost monk (druid) on temple and remplace by an unique tech which teaches druids to morally boost their allies. When druide heal ally they boost 20% dammage for 5 seconds of the unit. Very usefull on infantery fight. So we can imagine druide with mounted druid (but produce in temple or in stable if temple is already built ?)

image.png.eee03e0a2a31ce1c08b70436ad9e9db9.png

If the idea about the druids refused. We can create new unit produced from house. A pillager unit with flashlight and a small dagger, very fragile and bonus plunder multiplied by 3. This unit can burn building, but they are very weak in fight ! Fast moving like a skirmish unit. 40 wood 40 food and the unit pick up ressource at 0.4 Ratio -> it will be well written that this is a poor collection unit.

 

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1 hour ago, faction02 said:

I would rather see different economic bonus for each civilization kind of balancing each other out such that there is no big difference in late game.

We can give factions each an economic bonus such that it cancels out, or we can give none of them an economic bonus. I don't see why the difficult option would be worth the effort.

 

 

6 minutes ago, Dakara said:

We can have little idea very easy.  Delete all tech for boost monk (druid) on temple and remplace by an unique tech which teaches druids to morally boost their allies. When druide heal ally they boost 20% dammage for 5 seconds of the unit.

That feels weird to me. I would prefer to make the trumpeter champion useful. Maybe the trumpeter is all ready useful, but it does not see a lot of play.

 

8 minutes ago, Dakara said:

A pillager unit with flashlight and a small dagger, very fragile and bonus plunder multiplied by 3. This unit can burn building, but they are very weak in fight ! Fast moving like a skirmish unit.

I like this idea, but I doubt if it works in practise. If they are weak, they can be hunted down by cavalry and most often, players place their buildings such that there is not much to be captured. However adding extra units in the game is not bad as nobody forces players to make them.

1 hour ago, faction02 said:

 I think the game should be balanced only on mainland, for other maps just put a warning sign that game might be unbalanced.

I think the game should be balanced on maps such as mainland. Other maps might not be balanced. If people like to create other maps, they need to keep balance in mind. So that might sound the same, but it is a different way of thinking about it.

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4 hours ago, faction02 said:

If you give a strong economic bonus in early game to a particular civilization (as it was the case in a23), citizen soldiers implies that this civilization is likely to play any strategy better than the other and it would dominate all the others with mass infantry in late game. I would rather see different economic bonus for each civilization kind of balancing each other out such that there is no big difference in late game.

@ValihrAnt is leading a thread for coming up with civilization economic bonuses. For example, one idea for kushite eco bonus is farms and corrals are 50% cheaper.

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On 02/10/2021 at 1:35 PM, LetswaveaBook said:

We can give factions each an economic bonus such that it cancels out, or we can give none of them an economic bonus. I don't see why the difficult option would be worth the effort.

If we take ptolemies food trickle, pyramid available in p1 or starting initial soldiers, they would all be different form of economic bonuses (if we can call them bonuses?) allowing to differentiate gameplay and strategies. The food trickle is inherent to the civilization and can't be lost. pyramids need to be built, the player would have to decide how to implement his economic bonus by deciding the position of his pyramid: food, wood... That bonus would be also at risk since the pyramid might be lost. A starting additional soldiers would also bring an economic boost, the player could decide whether he wants to apply it to any resources. The bonus resulting from that starting soldiers could be lost or even converted into an aggressive advantage.

Differentiation of economic bonuses should allow for different strategies and allow for some uniqueness.

 

If you want a particular civilization to have economic bonuses with respect to other civilization, we should also consider removing map unbalances in starting resources as part of the civilization design plan. I am not arguing that it is not possible, just that citizen soldiers will make balancing the different civilization with economic bonus only to a few civilization very difficult.

Edited by faction02
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 30/09/2021 at 11:04 PM, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

elieve that I already outlined my opinion much earlier regarding a very obvious Spartan gimmick:

Be able to train Spartans at phase 1.  Simply speaking Sparta without Spartans is stupid.  

I like the idea of having Spartans in p1 and I think it is not problematic for balance. However what I consider a undesirable consequence, is that the Spartans then would only have a single type of champion and it is available in p1

Any ideas for additional champion units for Sparta or will it just be their current Spartiates?

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14 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

Any ideas for additional champion units for Sparta or will it just be their current Spartiates?

Skiritai. They're your fast flankers and ranged-infantry killers (give them extra pierce armor, with less hack armor), while the Spartiates are your tanks who kill melee things (uber hack armor).

 

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