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Hi Everyone,

After discussion from @BreakfastBurrito_007 and others in the suggestions for a27 topic, I made a mod to test out some of these potential additions to the game. Plenty seemed interested.

the details are visible in my fork of the community mod: https://gitlab.com/real_tabasco_sauce/0-a-d-community-mod-unit-specific-upgrades/-/tree/unit_upgrades

version 4 (fire archers still not working, other units fixed and some balance changes made):

unit_upgrades.zip

 

To install in A26: download, unzip and move to your 0ad mods folder :)

Here is the breakdown of the unit specific upgrades found in the mod:

Spoiler

 

Level 1

Cost

Level 2

Cost

Pike

+4 range

100f, 100w, 100m

 +1 pierce damage, +1.5x cavalry counter

200f, 200w, 200m

sword

+10% movement speed

100f, 100w, 100m

 + 20 hp

200f, 200w, 200m

spear

+ 1 pierce damage

100f, 100w, 100m

  +10% speed, + 50% acceleration

200f, 200w, 200m

axeman/clubmen

+1 hack armor

100f, 100w, 100m

 +30% speed, 50% acceleration -1 pierce armor

200f, 200w, 200m

skirmisher

Increased projectile velocity, accuracy

100f, 100w, 100m

 +5 m range

200f, 200w, 200m

slinger

+30% pierce damage +25% crush damage +20% attack repeat time

100f, 100w, 100m

 + 5 range, increased prepare time.

200f, 200w, 200m

archer

+ 1 pierce damage

100f, 100w, 100m

 Add small fire damage

200f, 200w, 200m

crossbow

Increased accuracy

100f, 100w, 100m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

skirmisher cavalry

Increased accuracy, decreased prepare time

100f, 100w, 100m

 

 

archer cavalry

Increased vision range

100f, 100w, 100m

 Increased projectile velocity, increased accuracy.

200f, 200w, 200m

sword cavalry

+ 20% hp

100f, 100w, 100m

 + 1 pierce armor

200f, 200w, 200m

spear cavalry

+10% speed + 50% accel

100f, 100w, 100m

 Near Instant prep time, + 1 pierce damage.

200f, 200w, 200m

axe cavalry

Increased damage increase repeat time

100f, 100w, 100m

 +2 m/s speed, +10 m/s acceleration

200f, 200w, 200m

Some things to take note of when checking out the mod:

  • They come from the production buildings, not forge.
  • Not all civs receive every possible upgrade. Civs get 4 to 8 of these.
  • They do not effect mercenaries or heroes.
  • They do effect champions.
  • I only used the clenched_fist.png icon, so I will need icons in the future.

I will make a patch and it will go here:

>> https://code.wildfiregames.com/D4788 <<

 

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
add the patch
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Repeat and prepare time values should be either the same or at least near eachother imo. If you give something 65% attack and 50% inreased repeat time they can be abused through their prepare time attack. Manually, or through pathfinding itself when for example a faster (movement) melee unit chases a slow unit.

Prepare time is the initial attack and resets when moving. Thought i'd mention it since i saw slinger having prepare time and repeat time as seperate upgrade for example or axe man only increased repeat time.

Anyway, having big upgrades with drawbacks is a thing i'd like too see ingame too.

Edited by Grapjas
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fire damage is OP guys.

anyway, bigger variety in gameplay is welcome, when tested. unit specific upgrades are one of many possible ways to achieve that.

I have another:

Warbands: skirmishers get +2 conquer per second

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11 minutes ago, alre said:

fire damage is OP guys.

pierce damage: good against soldiers.

hack damage: good against soldiers and siege

crush damage: good against buildings and moderately effective against siege.

fire damage: good vs everything as there are no entities with armor against fire

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7 hours ago, Grapjas said:

Repeat and prepare time values should be either the same or at least near eachother imo. If you give something 65% attack and 50% inreased repeat time they can be abused through their prepare time attack. Manually, or through pathfinding itself when for example a faster (movement) melee unit chases a slow unit.

so you mean one could start a new attack after moving to attack sooner?

Ok i just tried this with crossbows and indeed walking between attack order cancels the repeat timer. However, even in an ideal setting: 1 unit vs 1 unit in standground, the time to kill is almost the same.

given the above, I don't imagine this being problematic for melee units, but its worth taking note of. If it seems like a problem, I can also modify the prepare time.

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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On 17/09/2022 at 9:17 AM, real_tabasco_sauce said:

I will make a patch and it will go here:

>> https://code.wildfiregames.com/D4788 <<

in the patch, you can easily see which civ's get which upgrades, so you don't have to get the mod to see. Once I get some more suggestioons for cavalry skirmisher 2, archer2, and crossbow2, I will update the patch and the mod.

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Honestly, all of this feels really complicated to me. It is a lot of changes to new balancing system (a26) that isn’t fully understood yet because it hasn’t been fully played in. I would also be concerned that this would introduce so many new variables that it would be difficult to discern the impact of any specific variable. In short, discussion feels like too much, too soon. 

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2 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

Honestly, all of this feels really complicated to me. It is a lot of changes to new balancing system (a26) that isn’t fully understood yet because it hasn’t been fully played in. I would also be concerned that this would introduce so many new variables that it would be difficult to discern the impact of any specific variable. In short, discussion feels like too much, too soon. 

Yes, we for sure need to be familiar with the meta(s) from a26 before this is committed. I really just put this out so we could consider the "system" that has been built here.

Does the idea in general sound good to you? I think taking a little value out of the blacksmith arms race would be nice.

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57 minutes ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

Does the idea in general sound good to you? I think taking a little value out of the blacksmith arms race would be nice.

I would want something simple and flexible. What you proposed seems a bit complicated. I would rather all your effort to be put into adding individual units (i.e., make axe cav truly unique and not just a watered down version of sword cav; or maybe making a new fire archer unit that is weak against units but strong against buildings). Some tradeoff techs may be desirable, but I, personally, prefer those to be limited in nature (i.e., how you get to chose which type of sele champs to make). Some of what you propose could be fit into my personal ideal in another form but remembering 10 individual techs sounds really tough to learn. 

I don't like things that aren't easily understood. For example, I would not want to change projectile velocity because it is so difficult to understand how that impacts the game. 

All in all, I think you have some good ideas here, but I am not sure about the current form. 

Edited by chrstgtr
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It would be nice to have the unit specific upgrades listed vertically in the spare space underneath the unit icons in the barracks or stable. But since there are no unique icons and the upgrades are just strung in a line, it seems more complicated than the system is. Also, some of the ones that adjust damage and increase repeat time might not be clear enough that the damage increases overall. 

Making axe cav into a cool unit is a very sore spot for @real_tabasco_sauce XD.

Ideally a player would think about what they want their units to do, quickly hover over the 1 or 2 upgrades available and make a decision if it works for them. The goal is for the upgrades to be more situational than inherent to a strategy of the civ. When we came up with the upgrades we tried to base them off of things that the particular units that underperform in expected roles, for example:  one of the spearmen specific upgrades help them get hits on cavalry. Another example: decreasing prepare time and increasing acceleration for spearcav helps them catch ranged cavalry that are running away from them.

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59 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

axe cav truly unique and not just a watered down version of sword

Haha, yes I did this but some ppl really didn't like it :(.

Have you downloaded the mod to take a look at the layout? I thought it looks ok even now, but I think many of the complications can be addressed with:

1. better tooltips, for example, explaining that higher projectile velocity increases the odds of a hit on a moving target.

2. simple icons with I or II in the top right corner for level 1 and 2.

3. a rearranged UI, with the upgrades directly beneath their respective units.

What made me start this project was the current cavalry HP and speed upgrades. In general, I disklike them. There is a period in the early game where investing in these can help beat the opponent's cav, and this is fun, but in the late game, these wind up serving as a general buff for all cavalry since they are so cheap.

I thought a group of unit specific upgrades would increase the army composition possibilities and strategies available to players, while also serving as a handy balancing tool. For example, if one unit is too strong, simply tie a trade-off to that unit that increases its risk of being countered. (ex archer cav op -> level 1 upgrade decreases speed)

 

59 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

Some of what you propose could be fit into my personal ideal in another form but remembering 10 individual techs sounds really tough to learn. 

It would certainly be a lot of new content, and anything new takes time to get used to. I think it shouldn't be too hard because there are only 4 to 8 per civ, and 2 possible for each unit. Once you have played a civ once or twice, those upgrades should be memorable. What will be interesting is if you can remember what upgrades your enemy's civ has access to.

On that note, I have tried to give civs upgrades that fit their playstyle. For example pers has 4 cavalry ones and 2 infantry techs. see below image:

image.thumb.png.2142d18c7963579df127e1f2cb862769.png

if you don't want to download the mod, you can also look at the patch to see which civs have what upgrades.

https://code.wildfiregames.com/D4788

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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3 hours ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

Haha, yes I did this but some ppl really didn't like it :(.

Yeah, I think that experience will show how receptive everyone will be to all these other changes...

I haven't looked at the UX. From what you posted, it looks fine. I will probably be ok with anything after a little while, though. 

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Most of the time these things (patches, experimental forum mods) get tested by a handful of people, i don't really think it translates how the entire playerbase feels about it. But even if you get to reach more people it's hard to get feedback because most people are just silent in that regard and are either just enjoying it or moving on.

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On 19/09/2022 at 3:33 AM, Grapjas said:

i don't really think it translates how the entire playerbase feels about it.

Talk about an impossible task XD.

On 19/09/2022 at 3:33 AM, Grapjas said:

But even if you get to reach more people it's hard to get feedback because most people are just silent in that regard and are either just enjoying it or moving on.

I think what we can conclude is that people are happy to have more content in general. To me, a more diverse tech tree seemed like a certain way to offer content in the form of gameplay options and playstyles.

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Remember that if there is fire damage, then there must be fire defense or fire armor in some buildings and units.

yes, i removed the fire damage upgrade. Any idea for a replacement?

I can do an update later to add/adjust upgrades (hopefully in the community mod).

@Lion.Kanzen, how did you make those AI icons? I was thinking I could use that tool to make some basic icons. I could then just mask them into the typical technology background.

Where can I find that grey shadowy background?

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1 hour ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

yes, i removed the fire damage upgrade. Any idea for a replacement?

I can do an update later to add/adjust upgrades (hopefully in the community mod).

@Lion.Kanzen, how did you make those AI icons? I was thinking I could use that tool to make some basic icons. I could then just mask them into the typical technology background.

Where can I find that grey shadowy background?

which ones exactly?

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Posted (edited)

icon ideas:
level 1 have 'I' in the top right, level two have 'II' in the top right.

archer1 — a bicep
archer2 —
cavalry_archer1 — an eye, or maybe
cavalry_archer2 — also a bicep, with something related to horses
cavalry_axeman1 — a big axe
cavalry_axeman2 — perhaps the running cavalry symbol from cavalry_movement_speed.json
cavalry_skirmisher1 — a saddle perhaps, idk
cavalry_spearman1 — two different looking horses (kinda like)
cavalry_spearman2 — cavalry holding big spear forward
cavalry_swordsman1 — perhaps the icon from cavalry_health.json
cavalry_swordsman2 — something similar to nissean war horses, drawn chamfron
club_axe1 — a big sheild
club_axe1 — sprinting warrior, or cloth armor
crossbow1 — crossbow bolts with fletching
pike1 — picture of sarissa
pike2 — shaft with large counterweight on the end.
skirmisher1 — spear shaft with a grip
skirmisher2 — atlatl or amentum
slinger1 — a big rock sitting in a sling
slinger2 — longer sling
spear1 —
spear2 — sprinting spearman, or two legs in running position
sword1 — same running legs, or perhaps a march.
sword2 — a set of greaves with sword in hand.

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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Step number 1 series find an image that you like and that resembles what you want to experience.

I use stable diffusion from dream studio.

A few years ago I made this avatar with my own art.

quintus_fabius_maximus_by_lion_kanzen_daovzrm-fullview.jpg.c6e2f757c8c856674b27640dc5a591ba.jpg

For with the help of the ai it can be improved.

IMG_20221002_174449_055.jpg.094d0930306291004d973fa13db82957.jpg

not quite in my case, it is not perfect historically.

Screenshot_20220915-215824.png

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On 18/09/2022 at 6:59 AM, alre said:

fire damage is OP guys.

anyway, bigger variety in gameplay is welcome, when tested. unit specific upgrades are one of many possible ways to achieve that.

I have another:

Warbands: skirmishers get +2 conquer per second

@alre any ideas for cavalry skirmisher? I could do something like the above, but I was thinking you might have other ideas.

Also for archer 2 and crossbow 2.

I now have a branch in the community mod for this system of upgrades: 

https://gitlab.com/real_tabasco_sauce/0-a-d-community-mod-unit-specific-upgrades

Would adding this to the community mod interest anyone? I am thinking that after some play-testing using the mod, we would have a good idea of how favorable these upgrades are for gameplay, and then I would know if I need to make 26 icons or not.

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