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[gameplay] allow building palisades in neutral territory
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Authored by Nescio on Dec 23 2019, 2:20 PM.

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Lionkanzen
borg-
Group Reviewers
Restricted Owners Package(Owns No Changed Paths)
Summary

Palisades are cheap and weak. This patch allows building them also in neutral territory, instead of only in your own, offering a posibility to use them offensively (e.g. around metal mines).
See also D2506, D2534, and D2803.

[EDIT] It also tweaks the capture points a bit. Palisades are neither garrisonable nor directly capturable by soldiers, therefore the current values are not very meaningful. The changed values mean palisades lose one point per second when outside your territory, and recover one point per second when again in your territory, thus the current amount of capture time equals the time (seconds) left it will take to lose control of the palisade.
Previously it took 1200 / (5.0 - 0.5) = 267 s, i.e. about four and a half minutes, which is rounded up to 300 / (2.0 - 1.0) = 300 s, i.e. five minutes.

Test Plan

Agree this is an improvement.

Event Timeline

Nescio created this revision.Dec 23 2019, 2:20 PM

Successful build - Chance fights ever on the side of the prudent.

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/vs2015-differential/875/display/redirect

Successful build - Chance fights ever on the side of the prudent.

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/1391/display/redirect

Lionkanzen accepted this revision.Sun, Jun 7, 11:12 AM

Works fine, it could be nice test in multiplayer. But is great for turtling game style.

This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Sun, Jun 7, 11:12 AM
Stan added a subscriber: Stan.Sun, Jun 7, 11:16 AM

It also makes walling rush your enemies possible, I dunno if this is such a good idea

This seems like a large meta change if palisades insta-block movement when the foundation is committed. If they started blocking movement at say, 20% construction, then I'd be fine with the idea.

Not sure also about enemy territory. Neutral seems fair-game.

borg- accepted this revision.Sun, Jun 7, 4:20 PM

I am totally agree with the patch. I think that being built in enemy territory can also encourage new strategies and add dynamics to 0a.d.

elexis added a subscriber: elexis.Sun, Jun 7, 6:31 PM

Palisades are weak and practically never used.

I can't say that's true.
They are especially cheap and multiple layers of palisades can buy sufficient time to train the necessary units to counter the enemy.
They are also very quick to be built since rP17312.
After 30min of gameplay time one can turtle up so much because of the cheap cost (and wood cost only) that it makes the entire gameplay sort of boring. In a balanced 4v4 with capable players, if the enemy doesnt turtle equally, he wont be able to progress unless he has an undestroyable mass of siege and soldier units.
So palisades may be weak in comparison to other structures, but they are have a high reward ratio if used correctly (leaving no holes, reinforcing most relevant entry points, multiple layers). (After 30min with all the wood upgrades one can most often gather wood very quickly)
There are many players who will never build walls because they are habituated to that and find it lame to build them (since it can degenerate gameplay into boredom etc.). If players would always play to their greatest benefit, then players would build them if the game hasn't been won yet at the point where palisades become low hanging fruits.

Something else to consider:

  • Building walls in neutral territory will convert them to gaia.
  • Building walls in enemy territory will convert them to the enemy which can delete them then again.

It reminds me a bit of D1164 in that it makes territory less of a central gameplay element.

Prior to this revision of the patch, only Romans could build wooden walls in neutral (ally?) territory and it still after this version is advertized as a civ specific feature:

rome.json:			"History": "Sometimes it was a temporary camp built facing the route by which the army is to march, other times a defensive or offensive (for sieges) structure. Within the Praetorian gate, which should either front the east or the enemy, the tents of the first centuries or cohorts are pitched, and the dracos (ensigns of cohorts) and other ensigns planted. The Decumane gate is directly opposite to the Praetorian in the rear of the camp, and through this the soldiers are conducted to the place appointed for punishment or execution. It has a turf wall, and it's surrounded by a canal filled with water whenever possible for extra defense. Many towns started up as bigger military camps to evolve to more complicated cities.",
rome.json:			"History": "Turf walls built by legionaries during sieges.",
rome.json:		"structures/rome_wallset_siege"
    <Tooltip>A wooden and turf palisade buildable in enemy and neutral territories.</Tooltip>

Athens have a civ bonus for building stone walls in enemy territory:

civs/athen.json: "Description":"Stone walls can be built in neutral territory. Construction time for walls is reduced by 50%."

Then there is also the question if it's furthering historic realism aspect of the game. I know romans built walls in enemy territory to catch Vercingetorix, for the other civs I don't know.
The other question is whether making a civ bonus / civ speciality available to every civ and standardizing values is inherently a good idea (since originally the idea was that each civ plays vastly differently).

offering a posibility to use them offensively (e.g. around enemy metal mines).

Is that desirable?

Nescio added a comment.Sun, Jun 7, 9:16 PM

This seems like a large meta change if palisades insta-block movement when the foundation is committed.

Foundations do not block movement when placed:


but do after building the structure has started (i.e. health > 1). The presence of a foundation prevents placing another foundation, but since all units that can build can also attack, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Nescio added a comment.Sun, Jun 7, 9:35 PM

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure the idea is perfect, but I do believe it's worth trying, and if it turns out to seriously distort gameplay, it can always be reverted.

Then there is also the question if it's furthering historic realism aspect of the game.

Actually it is: we know from ancient authors it was quite common for armies to erect palisades around their camps in enemy territory.

Athens have a civ bonus for building stone walls in enemy territory:

Actually it's a technology (hellenes/special_long_walls.json), and it doesn't reduce build time. The civ.json files contain a lot of outdated and incorrect information, though (see also D2720).

Prior to this revision of the patch, only Romans could build wooden walls in neutral (ally?) territory and it still after this version is advertized as a civ specific feature:

Romans still have siege walls as a civ-specific structure, that doesn't change, the differences with palisades are those are available in city phase, have more health, and are garrisonable, making them much easier to defend and more annoying to destroy.

neutral (ally?) territory

No, ally means territory of an ally, neutral means no man's land (i.e. gaia, unclaimed areas).

advertized

To advertise is one of those words that's always spelled with -ise in all varieties of English (for others, see here).

Something else to consider:

  • Building walls in neutral territory will convert them to gaia.
  • Building walls in enemy territory will convert them to the enemy which can delete them then again.

True. In fact one loses control of palisades outside your territory already after four minutes (1200 / 5 = 240 s). It helps preventing building palisades be too effective.

I'm no balancer, obviously, but my two cents. Wouldn't building in neutral territory would be changing enough? If one loses its palisades in four minutes already, won't that be very annoying? Since you can't garrison a palisade to prevent this.

I can already feel all the trolling with palisades being buildable in allied territory. Good luck booming when I wall in your Civic center, barracks and resources.
Regardless, I'm unsure about this change and would really want playtesting to be done if this is moved forward with.

PhyZic added a subscriber: PhyZic.Mon, Jun 8, 5:37 PM
chrstgtr added a subscriber: chrstgtr.EditedMon, Jun 8, 5:38 PM

This is a very bad proposal.

Palisades are already used a lot by good players because they are extremely cheap and take more time to kill than to build.

Pathfinder also isn't good enough right now, so palisades create wonky and unintended unit movement.

Allowing this in open areas could lead to a ton of bottleneck strategies.

This would make a race to wall enemy wood in p1, which would make it gg since palisades cannot be easily destroyed until p3 siege (and even then it isn't fast).

Palisades should be weaken--not buffed.

PhyZic added a comment.EditedMon, Jun 8, 5:42 PM

Palisades are weak and practically never used.

Excuse moi? In some MP games some players spam the cr*p out of them. There are already complains on forum about palisades being too cheap and going up too quickly. They are used and are quite strong.

PhyZic added a comment.Mon, Jun 8, 5:48 PM

This is a very bad proposal.
Palisades are already used a lot by good players because they are extremely cheap and take more time to kill than to build.
Pathfinder also isn't good enough right now, so palisades create wonky and unintended unit movement.

Good point. Often my Cav stucks on a single short palisade section in mid of nowhere and refuses to run around until I use manual triangle movement to move around 1 meter broad palisade.

Palisades should be weaken--not buffed.

agree

borg- added a comment.EditedMon, Jun 8, 7:11 PM

This would make a race to wall enemy wood in p1, which would make it gg since palisades cannot be easily destroyed until p3 siege (and even then it isn't fast).

The time and resource you put to surround the enemy wood, is much more than for the enemy to defend.

In allied territory would be interesting, but the valihrant put a good point.

We can start with a smaller change, only to neutral territory (easier to test). You could surround stones and metal on the map, this would bring a lot of dynamic to the game.

I see some good points. Outpost and tech vision would be more useful. A fast expansion would be more interesting than it is now, for you to keep controll of resources and maybe we'd have constant fights early in the game, by resource control.

borg- requested changes to this revision.Mon, Jun 8, 7:16 PM
This revision now requires changes to proceed.Mon, Jun 8, 7:16 PM
Nescio added a comment.Mon, Jun 8, 9:04 PM

This is a very bad proposal.

It's a proposal, i.e. a plan or suggestion put forward for consideration by others (e.g. you). Not all proposals are good ideas, and those that might be good ideas do not necessarily have to be implemented, they can be accepted, changed, or abandoned. The more people participate in a discussion and voice their views on it, the more likely it is to get a balanced result.

Palisades should be weaken--not buffed.

See also D2803.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12228.Mon, Jun 8, 9:08 PM
Nescio retitled this revision from [gameplay] allow building palisades in any territory to [gameplay] allow building palisades in neutral territory.
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • own and neutral, not enemy or ally
Owners added a subscriber: Restricted Owners Package.Mon, Jun 8, 9:08 PM
Vulcan added a comment.Mon, Jun 8, 9:14 PM

Successful build - Chance fights ever on the side of the prudent.

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/2380/display/redirect

elexis added a comment.Mon, Jun 8, 9:48 PM

surround stones and metal on the map

It's a feature?

PhyZic removed a subscriber: PhyZic.Tue, Jun 9, 12:55 AM

Personally I don't think palissades should be nerfed. They feel not worth it at the beginning of the game where say, you would want them to surround your farms in order to avoid cavalry raids there. They are too expensive and slow to build for that task. In the late game it sounds like they are spammed to disturb pathfinding a lot, indeed it sounds like something annoying, perhaps it would be nice if, when you destroy a palissade wall, a lot of the surrounding palissades go down too, which would help a lot for pathfinding, this would solve the issue i think.
I don't like the idea of them being buildable in neutral territory for laming potential (it could affect trade in some cases too) but i kinda like the possibility of building them in ally territory (same for stone walls) it would make it easier to complete teamwall. I mean sure you can lame your ally but it is not the only way (you can go and gaia them) and it is not an issue i think, if they ruin your game then don't play with them again. It would only be one of many ways of intentionally ruining game, and that almost never happens anyway.

but do after building the structure has started (i.e. health > 1).

Yes, what I meant is that "If palisades where to block movement once the structure has 20% or more, I would have 0 problems with enabling them anywhere, because it would become basically impossible to insta-wall unless you had overwhelming dominance anyways".


I think enabling them for neutral territory could be a valid experiment. The rest seems too dangerous to me. I quite agree with @Feldfeld 's post above.

My preferred solution for palisades and walls would be to make them palisades easy & fast to lay down, have them block movement only when sufficiently constructed (say, 50% health?), and then make them upgradable to proper walls. That way, players could protect against early cav raids, but the palisades would also be re-usable later on against stronger enemies with sufficient foresight (since building real walls would take time). Further, they would not be so gamble with the delayed pathfinding blocking.

Of course, we don't have that feature, but it sounds easy enough to add.

My preferred solution for palisades and walls would be to make them palisades easy & fast to lay down,

Yes, I fully agree with that. I also support postponing city walls to the city phase, and introducing low stone walls for the town phase.

have them block movement only when sufficiently constructed (say, 50% health?)

Given that it takes only a few seconds to construct a palisade piece, I'm not sure it's worth it. Moreover, a unit standing on a foundation blocks construction. If construction only blocks movement at x%, it means that after construction starts, units can move on the foundation, and prevent construction going beyond x%, leaving it unfinished.

and then make them upgradable to proper walls.

This I consider a bad idea. It would discourage building proper walls directly, since it would be far more time-efficient to simply erect quick-to-build palisades and then upgrade them en masse to the much stronger proper walls in the city phase when resources matter less. Upgrading is much less realistic than erecting a palisade first to protect your workers erecting proper city walls behind it. Besides, upgrading could only work if palisades and walls had the same footprints, which is currently not the case, thus new actors are required, though that's doable (see this forum thread). Furthermore, due to how wallsets work, upgrading only part of your palisade to proper walls means that if a piece connecting the two is destroyed, it can't be rebuilt, thus leaving a gap in your defences.

Anyway, all that is beyond the scope of this patch.

Given that it takes only a few seconds to construct a palisade piece, I'm not sure it's worth it. Moreover, a unit standing on a foundation blocks construction. If construction only blocks movement at x%, it means that after construction starts, units can move on the foundation, and prevent construction going beyond x%, leaving it unfinished.

There is a large difference in time between "instant" and "a few seconds". If it took even 2 seconds for foundations to commit in AoE2, quick-walling would become basically impossible.

That being said, I agree that this all out of scope.

If people agree, "own neutral" seems fine to try out to me.

Another question: should territory decay be disabled for palisades? This means you won't lose control when they're outside your territory. Palisades don't have territory influence, can't be captured directly by soldiers, and are ungarrisonable.

Another question: should territory decay be disabled for palisades? This means you won't lose control when they're outside your territory. Palisades don't have territory influence, can't be captured directly by soldiers, and are ungarrisonable.

It could be an idea to make palisades not have an ower, meaning they must be deleted by destroying them for any player. But maybe that's stupid :p .

Otherwise I would say no, it's rather convenient.

In case we go for palissades in neutral territory I'd say territory decay should be disabled, but in case enemy gains territory where palisade is built, then it should still be captured due to territory influence, and quite fast in my opinion.

borg- added a comment.EditedTue, Jun 9, 2:08 PM

Just neutral territory seems safer for now.

If it is only in neutral area, then I think you should lose control to gaia, and possibly recover when the territory is yours.

Nescio added a comment.Tue, Jun 9, 7:06 PM

Just neutral territory seems safer for now.
If it is only in neutral area, then I think you should lose control to gaia, and possibly recover when the territory is yours.

Yes, that's what this patch does.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12239.Tue, Jun 9, 9:06 PM
  • tooltip
Vulcan added a comment.Tue, Jun 9, 9:11 PM

Successful build - Chance fights ever on the side of the prudent.

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/2388/display/redirect

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12244.Wed, Jun 10, 12:15 PM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • tweak capture points, so each point is 1 second

Successful build - Chance fights ever on the side of the prudent.

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/2393/display/redirect

borg- accepted this revision.Fri, Jun 12, 4:49 AM

I agree with the changes and it seems safe just on neutral territory.

This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Fri, Jun 12, 4:49 AM
badosu added a subscriber: badosu.EditedSat, Jun 13, 5:09 PM

Actually it is: we know from ancient authors it was quite common for armies to erect palisades around their camps in enemy territory.

Yes, I like that this enables an 'Alesia'-like strategy on 0ad.

As others have pointed out I dislike the laming and turtleness potential from it. I think 0ad currently is very prone to efficient turtling in bottlenecks and this change could accentuate that. That said, it definitely makes sense for bottlenecks to be easily defendable, from both a gameplay and historic sense.

I also dislike the potential to have 'quick-walling', defending a vulnerable patch during a rush by quickly microing units to build wall foundations surrounding them. One previous comment suggested only making the wall constrain pathfinding after 20% construction, I think it mitigates the issue.

All that said, I would like to see something like this in the game, but with a few adjustments to address the aforementioned issues.

In that regard I think changing from loyalty decay to health decay when outside territory influence would be much better both in terms of gameplay and realism since you only really care about destroying walls that the opponent made in most situations, walls also decay naturally when not maintained.

And turtling outside territory (e.g. cata spam protected by palisades) now requires constant maintenance, which makes sense in terms of both gameplay and realism.

In that regard I think changing from loyalty decay to health decay when outside territory influence would be much better both in terms of gameplay and realism since you only really care about destroying walls that the opponent made in most situations, walls also decay naturally when not maintained.

That's an excellent suggestion! What do others think?
I'm not sure it's possible to make health decay territory dependent (a bit like attrition in Rise of Nations), though I guess it might be not too difficult to implement. (@Freagarach?)

A quick and dirty method for health decay is easy. The hard part is probably implementing it the correct and most extensible way ^^ (I've been playing around with upkeep and when unable to pay that (Gaia doesn't pay): health decay.)

Lionkanzen accepted this revision.Sat, Jun 20, 3:52 PM