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[gameplay] standardize wonder healing
Needs ReviewPublic

Authored by Nescio on Mar 22 2020, 12:58 PM.

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Summary

Currently seven wonders have a healing aura and heal garrisoned units at 8 health per second, whereas the other six wonders heal them at only 1 health per second. There is no good explanation for this (all wonders are based on religious sites) and the factor eight difference is highly unbalanced.
This patch gives all wonders:

  • a garrison heal value of 5 health per second (for comparison, temples have 3);
  • a garrison capacity of 50 (for comparison, normal temples have 20, kush_temple_amun.xml and rome_temple_mars.xml 30);
  • a “Soldier” garrison class (instead of Cavalry and Infantry), so war elephants can also be healed inside (worker elephants were already possible).
Test Plan

Check for mistakes and omissions, playtest a few games, agree this is an improvement.

Event Timeline

Nescio created this revision.Mar 22 2020, 12:58 PM
Owners added a subscriber: Restricted Owners Package.Mar 22 2020, 12:58 PM

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/1879/display/redirect

Isn't the idea of a wonder that it heals extremely quick (as the former tooltips describe)? Thus a rate of 8 would seem more appropriate?

4 health per second is 4× as higher as garrisoning units in barracks after researching heal_barracks.json and 8× as high as idle organic units regenerating after researching health_regen_units.json, so I would say it's quite quick. The higher the number, the easier the wonder is to defend (kill some nearby enemies, garrison your wounded soldiers before they're killed, wait some seconds to heal them, send them back to the fight, repeat).
I chose 4 as a compromise between the six wonders that heal at 1 and the seven that heal at 8; actually 5 would be closer to the average. That said, I don't have strong feelings on the exact value chosen, so alternative opinions are welcome.
What matters to me is that wonders are equivalent; having one civ's significantly better than another is not really “fair”, especially in wonder victory games.

elexis added a subscriber: elexis.Mar 27 2020, 3:35 PM

Method:
I am a bit worried about the procedure of how the resulting patch is determined.

Currently seven wonders have a healing aura and heal garrisoned units at 8 health per second, whereas the other six wonders heal them at only 1 health per second.

This statement is reproducible by reading the code.

Test Plan: Agree this is an improvement.

This is not a process that can be applied to the patch to least subjectively determine its correctness.

There is no good explanation for this

There is.
From the description, it seems you didn't find a reason and concluded that there is no reason.
But I remember there being a reason as to why wonders have more and others less healing.
I can find it in the irclogs, perhaps it could also be found in the commits or trac.
So the reason why the reason behind the numbers hasn't been found is because it's too hard to search through the media perhaps, and the irclogs should become more searchable.
But actually the reasoning is also represented in the name of the file deleted in this patch (actually the patch removes only the references, not the file. I see there is still the apparently unused hellenic_epic_temple.xml).
The wonders that are temples have the epic healing aura and there were people putting thought into it (regardless of whether that was a perfect thought).
I find only one wonder that has the wrong BuffHeal according to the reasoning behind the difference. (Hieron tou Apollōnos Pythiou according to https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/25268-specific-name-review-structures/page/3/&tab=comments#comment-378978 ?)
If there actually has been an intentional reason as to why the numbers are the way they are found, and this patch removes this reason, then it should be shown why the reason was not valid.
If the idea is that "standardizing" is a good thing in itself, then this may conflict with one of the core game design principles (https://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/0AD_The_Vision#HeartandSoulof0A.D.) that each civilization plays uniquely. If everything becomes standardized, the civs become less and less unique.
So it seems right to remove inconsistencies if there has been no intent or no valid intent behind having the inconsistencies while actually fostering inconsistencies that are sound historically, gameplay-design and balancing wise.

Balancing:

and the factor eight difference is highly unbalanced.

Maybe, but just averaging the numbers may not account for the other imbalances that the wonders do or should have.

This patch gives all wonders the same value of 4 health per second (for comparison, temples heal units at 3 health per second).

Perhaps the number is meant to make the wonder more useful than only to gain more population.
If the numbers are equal, then it can incentivize the player to just build a new temple in place instead of moving all the way to the wonder after a long fight.
Another consequences of accumulating power at the wonder is to give the defender at his very center of the city (wonder) a boost, shaping more of an final/end-battle at that place.

The wonders that are temples have the epic healing aura and there were people putting thought into it (regardless of whether that was a perfect thought).

Actually all wonders are temple complexes, including those that currently lack that aura:

  • Stonehenge (gaul) is a pre-Celtic religious site (from the Third Millennium)
  • Cancho Roano (iber) is a Tartessian religious site
  • The Great Stupa (maur) is a major Indian religious building
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (pers) an actor is clearly inspired by Mesopotamian ziggurats (the small room on top is the shrine that housed the statue of the deity)
  • The Temple of the Pythian Apollo (sele) is based on a large sanctuary near the Syrian Tetrapolis (Antioch, Laodiceia, Apameia, Seleucia in Pieria), the core of the Seleucid Empire

So it seems right to remove inconsistencies if there has been no intent or no valid intent behind having the inconsistencies while actually fostering inconsistencies that are sound historically, gameplay-design and balancing wise.

That I fully agree with. (Hence this patch.)

Perhaps the number is meant to make the wonder more useful than only to gain more population.
If the numbers are equal, then it can incentivize the player to just build a new temple in place instead of moving all the way to the wonder after a long fight.
Another consequences of accumulating power at the wonder is to give the defender at his very center of the city (wonder) a boost, shaping more of an final/end-battle at that place.

As I wrote earlier:

The higher the number, the easier the wonder is to defend (kill some nearby enemies, garrison your wounded soldiers before they're killed, wait some seconds to heal them, send them back to the fight, repeat).
[...] That said, I don't have strong feelings on the exact value chosen

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 11593.Mar 28 2020, 10:12 AM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
Nescio edited the test plan for this revision. (Show Details)
  • garrison heal to 5 (temples have 3)
  • garrison capacity from 30 to 50 (temples have 20)
  • garrison classes to Support or Soldier, which means you can also garrison war elephants inside (worker elephants were already possible)

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/1938/display/redirect

Nescio added inline comments.Mar 28 2020, 10:18 AM
binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/templates/template_structure_wonder.xml
14

Maybe this should be removed.