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[gameplay] prevent ships and siege engines from attacking fields
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Authored by Nescio on Dec 23 2019, 2:34 PM.

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Summary

This patch restricts the attacks of ships and siege engines so they will no longer target fields. Fields are practically invulnerable to pierce damage and do not block movement, thus it makes much more sense to attack the units on them or the structures around them instead. AI behaviour is dumb, so this patch could help.
(For comparison, dogs can't attack structures, ships, and siege engines.)

Test Plan

Apply the patch, play-test a couple of games, agree this is an improvement.

Event Timeline

Nescio created this revision.Dec 23 2019, 2:34 PM

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/vs2015-differential/876/display/redirect

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/1392/display/redirect

elexis added a subscriber: elexis.Dec 23 2019, 3:14 PM

I agree that siege engines should attack fields at last, but Im not sure it's a good idea to make it mpossible to destroy fields.

One can argue that the ram physically cannot break a field, but a catapult could, maybe. If the realism argument was taken, then it would also be impossible to attack it with infantry or cavalry (and for most buildings too I guess).
I guess salt was used to destroy fields and people pillaging the fields.

Disregarding the realism part, from a [gameplay] point of view I'd rather leave it possible to destroy the enemies fields:
For example rams can destroy fields rather quickly in comparison to a fort or civic center, so it can cause a lot of harm to an opponent if an enemy can just protect his civic center from 1 ram but cant leave the perimeter of the CC to destroy the ram protected by some units attacking fields that weren't placed in the perimeter of the CC.

AI behaviour is dumb, so this patch could help.

I don't know if it's the right approach to change the game in order to make a dumb AI play better.

I suppose with PreferredClasses one could prioritize some buildings already.

But I can only speak from experience that it's not such a good idea to for instance have siege engines / elephants prioritize defensive structures.

In Danubius gaia rams exclusively attack military structures, so placing one outpost in the forest means that rams will gather there and a "housewall" around a defensive structure makes an impenetrable line of defense to the unordered UnitAI rams.

So for Jebel Barkal 50% of the elephants focus on defensive structures and the other 50% focus on regular buildings, which was much more successful in cleaning playerbases. 40% defensive 60% regular would probably be better since there are many more regular structures - except for lategame where there are many walls at first leaving the other half of the elephants useless.

So I suppose one can't really express the intelligence in a template change.

Fields are practically invulnerable to pierce damage and do not block movement, thus it makes much more sense to attack the units on them or the structures around them instead

If the argument is that pierce damage doesnt deal damage to buildings with 90-99% pierce armor, then units dealing pierce damage (not only ships) should have PreferredClasses Unit.
If there are no units around, why not let the ship attack fields? If it makes no sense for the ship to attack a field, why does it make sense for the ship to attack any other structure?

binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/templates/template_unit_ship_fire.xml
13

Fireships can't attack buildings on land (except shoreline buildings)