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[gameplay] tweak pyramids and wonder costs and auras
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Authored by Nescio on Mar 28 2020, 10:01 AM.

Details

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

All wonder actors look as if they're made out of stone. In game they cost 1000 of each resource. This patch removes the food cost and increases the stone cost by 50%, reducing the resource total to 3500. Wonders are very much larger than fortresses, therefore it makes sense they cost more stone (still a lot less than the 5000 present in a stone quarry), and food is a resource for units (and technologies); like other structures, it indirectly costs food, because builders cost food to train, and can't work farms when building the structures or quarrying stone.

[EDIT]: Further changes:

  • The epic temple heal aura is removed from the wonder, making it easier to attack.
  • Wonders are excluded from build time and health technologies and civilization bonuses, because that gives an advantage in Wonder victory games.
  • Monumental Architecture technology is altered:
    • previously it increased health by a quarter and halved build time of wonders, centres, temples, and pyramids, which means they're built or repaired (health/time) 2.5× as fast as the equivalent structures of other civs, which seems highly unbalanced;
    • instead, it now increases the build time, capture points, and health of Civic structures by 20%;
    • cost is changed from 1000 total to 600 stone, to compensate for it being less powerful;
    • available at the civic centre in the town phase (instead of at large pyramid in city phase), to make it easier accessable and useful earlier in game.
  • Changed the parent of the Kushite Small and Large Pyramids from `*_special to *_civic;
    • pyramids are no longer garrisonable;
    • slightly tweaked pyramid territory radius;
    • removed some unnecessary lines.
  • The Small Pyramid, which was the only other structure that costs food, has its cost changed to 300 stone, 100 metal.
  • The Large Pyramid:
    • its cost is reduced to 450 stone, 150 metal;
    • the economic and territory auras are removed from the large pyramid, to differentiate it from small pyramids and theatres;
    • the military aura radius is increased from 60 to 70, which means it covers an area about twice as large (49/25) as the iber monument, which is cheaper and weaker;
    • the military aura also gives soldiers +1 armour level, which means they're 11% harder (1/0.9) to kill.
Test Plan

Check for mistakes. Agree all changes are improvements.

Event Timeline

There are a very large number of changes, so older changes are hidden. Show Older Changes
Owners added a subscriber: Restricted Owners Package.Mar 28 2020, 10:01 AM

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/1937/display/redirect

borg- added a subscriber: borg-.Wed, Jun 3, 2:39 PM

I agree with the changes in the pyramid.
About the wonder I agree in parts. Yes I think the cost of food should be removed, but I think a lot of 2000 stone resources. For civilizations using stone launchers or slingers, it may be unviable.
What about 1500w/1000s/1000m? Seems to me to be a fairer value in cost/benefit.

Nescio added a comment.Wed, Jun 3, 8:35 PM

For civilizations using stone launchers or slingers, it may be unviable.

D2497
As stated in the summary, I doubled the stone cost to keep the resource cost total unchanged, and because wonders dwarf fortresses, which cost 1000 stone. If you think it's better, I could instead just remove the food cost, keeping the other resources unchanged, thus making the wonder cheaper. I don't really care, what matters to me is food is for units, stone for structures.
D2660 is another wonder patch.

borg- added a comment.EditedThu, Jun 4, 7:25 PM

For civilizations using stone launchers or slingers, it may be unviable.

D2497
As stated in the summary, I doubled the stone cost to keep the resource cost total unchanged, and because wonders dwarf fortresses, which cost 1000 stone. If you think it's better, I could instead just remove the food cost, keeping the other resources unchanged, thus making the wonder cheaper. I don't really care, what matters to me is food is for units, stone for structures.
D2660 is another wonder patch.

So what about 1500 wood 1500 stone and 1000 metal? I really think 2000 a lot for a one resource.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12131.Thu, Jun 4, 9:25 PM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • 1500 stone
Vulcan added a comment.Thu, Jun 4, 9:33 PM

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/2313/display/redirect

borg- accepted this revision.Thu, Jun 4, 9:49 PM

Ok, i agree with 1500 stone.

This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Thu, Jun 4, 9:49 PM
wraitii added a subscriber: wraitii.Mon, Jun 8, 5:01 PM

This seems fair for the moment. AOE had wonders costing food I believe?

Nescio added a comment.Mon, Jun 8, 8:24 PM

AOE had wonders costing food I believe?

What another game does shouldn't matter too much for 0 A.D.

I also agree with this change.

badosu added a subscriber: badosu.EditedSat, Jun 13, 4:39 PM

About the pyramid cost change, I'd like to see it reduced a bit, currently kushites are deemed the most underpowered civilization by the majority of players.

A small change, from 300f 300s to 250w 250s, would encourage players to build this structure more often and offer more differentiation for this civ.

It's also hard to use pyramids cost-efficiently, only when the mapgen is very generous and there are many different types of resources in a certain location, currently it is mostly used to improve gathering rates of food, metal and stone near the cc.

That's why I think this is a safe buff.

A small change, from 300f 300s to 250w 250s, would encourage players to build this structure more often and offer more differentiation for this civ.

How about keeping the stone at 300, but reducing the wood cost to 200 or 150?

How about keeping the stone at 300, but reducing the wood cost to 200 or 150?

I'd appreciate that, even if wood cost is 150, as I mentioned before it's hard to overpower this structure due to its limited usefulness.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12288.Sat, Jun 13, 4:52 PM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • halved small pyramid wood cost, as requested by @badosu
  • removed economic aura from large pyramid, didn't seem right

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/2421/display/redirect

removed economic aura from large pyramid, didn't seem right

Then you might want to compare this building with the iber unique building which also gives a military aura. Large pyramid feels too expensive for this task

If the small pyramid has an economic aura, but the large pyramid economic, military, and territory auras, why would anyone want to build a small pyramid then? Giving different structures different auras also improves differentiation.
Anyway, I can undo that change, if you think that's better, or halve the metal cost as compensation.

If the small pyramid has an economic aura, but the large pyramid economic, military, and territory auras, why would anyone want to build a small pyramid then?

Because it's cheaper and/or the player doesn't expect to be attacked in that spot.

Anyway, I can undo that change, if you think that's better, or halve the metal cost as compensation.

I don't know much what to do with it, guess we could use @borg- and @ValihrAnt opinions.

> Anyway, I can undo that change, if you think that's better, or halve the metal cost as compensation.

Arguably, still in regard to the small pyramid, one could even propose for metal cost instead of wood, since pyramid workers were highly skilled professionals. 300s 100m does not look bad to me, but current changes are already a good improvement.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12290.Sat, Jun 13, 7:59 PM
Nescio retitled this revision from [gameplay] wonders cost stone instead of food to [gameplay] replace wonder food cost with stone, tweak pyramid costs.
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • small pyramid changed to 300 stone, 150 metal (and 200 s)
  • large pyramid changed to 400 stone, 200 metal (and 300 s)
  • removed a few unnecessary lines from the templates

Then you might want to compare this building with the iber unique building which also gives a military aura. Large pyramid feels too expensive for this task

Another way to compensate is that the large pyramid's aura would also reduce soldier training time by e.g. 10%. (That would also make it more different from the Iberian monument.)

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/2423/display/redirect

Nescio added inline comments.Sat, Jun 13, 8:03 PM
binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/templates/structures/kush_pyramid_large.xml
5

Already used by kush_pyramid_small.xml.

30

Unused.

54–55

Inherited from template_structure.xml.

binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/templates/structures/kush_pyramid_small.xml
28

Unused.

46–50

Inherited from template_structure.xml.

Nescio requested review of this revision.Sat, Jun 13, 8:04 PM

Another way to compensate is that the large pyramid's aura would also reduce soldier training time by e.g. 10%. (That would also make it more different from the Iberian monument.)

Sounds like a good idea. I'm hesitating between 10% or 15%, other opinions welcomed.

badosu added a comment.EditedSun, Jun 14, 3:14 PM

Sounds like a good idea. I'm hesitating between 10% or 15%, other opinions welcomed.

I like the differentiation of pyramids, and building kushites around them. I could even propose a higher rate, but 15% is fine by me.

I don't object to 10% though I don't think it makes it as worth, considering you often need barracks in front positions.

I am looking forward to see large pyramids used in gameplay for strong forward positions. Great work!

In D2686#118403, @borg- wrote:

Ok, i agree with 1500 stone.

I agree.

Another way to compensate is that the large pyramid's aura would also reduce soldier training time by e.g. 10%. (That would also make it more different from the Iberian monument.)

Sounds like a good idea. I'm hesitating between 10% or 15%, other opinions welcomed.

I like the differentiation of pyramids, and building kushites around them. I could even propose a higher rate, but 15% is fine by me.

It turns out that although inserting e.g.

		{ "value": "Cost/BuildTime", "multiply": 0.85 }

works in a global aura (e.g. athen_player_teambonus.json), interestingly it doesn't work when the aura is local. Making a soldier training time global would make pyramids too powerful, so we'll have to think of something else. How about a local aura that makes structures harder to capture? Maybe that could replace the (global) kush_pyramids_territory.json ("Civic Centers +10% territory influence radius.") aura, which is weaker but similar to the much more expensive theatre's?

Furthermore, I just noticed the effect of the monumental_architecture.json technology ("+25% HP and -50% build time for Civic Centers, Temples, Pyramids and Wonders.",) is huge and should be addressed here too.

Also, any objections to removing the epic_temple_heal.json aura from the wonder? I fear that aura makes wonders too hard to attack. They already heal garrisoned units quicker than temples, increase population cap, grant resource trickle, and have a territory root. Besides, given the large footprint of wonders, the circular aura doesn't always look too good:

How about a local aura that makes structures harder to capture?

It would make sense yes, but I feel it's not really a proper replacement. A temple-like heal aura + additional range would be better imo.

It would make sense yes, but I feel it's not really a proper replacement. A temple-like heal aura + additional range would be better imo.

Or a local aura that gives units or structures an additional armour level, making them harder to destroy?
Or a local aura that reduces the armour of enemy units by one level, making them easier to kill?
Or apply the military aura attack increase to both units and structures?
I'm just throwing ideas out of the top of my head, looking for something that's both fair and useful.
Anyway, the aura tweaks are in addition to the pyramid cost reductions.

Furthermore, I just noticed the effect of the monumental_architecture.json technology ("+25% HP and -50% build time for Civic Centers, Temples, Pyramids and Wonders.",) is huge and should be addressed here too.

I was thinking about something along the lines of:

	"affects": ["Civic"],
	"modifications": [
		{ "value": "Capturable/RegenRate", "multiply": 2 },
		{ "value": "Cost/BuildTime", "multiply": 1.1 },
		{ "value": "Health/Max", "multiply": 1.2 },
		{ "value": "TerritoryDecay/DecayRate", "multiply": 0.5 },
		{ "value": "TerritoryInfluence/Weight", "multiply": 1.2 }
	],

Thoughts?

Also, any objections to removing the epic_temple_heal.json aura from the wonder?

Or a local aura that gives units or structures an additional armour level, making them harder to destroy?
Or a local aura that reduces the armour of enemy units by one level, making them easier to kill?

I like these ideas, any of them would be fine IMO. This is not a cheap building, and although seemingly OP given its static nature is only useful for strong positions.

It also makes sense the awe of a monumental pyramid would boost morale of your own units or demoralize the enemy.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12356.Wed, Jun 17, 7:40 PM
Nescio retitled this revision from [gameplay] replace wonder food cost with stone, tweak pyramid costs to [gameplay] tweak pyramids and wonder costs and auras.
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
Nescio edited the test plan for this revision. (Show Details)
  • removed epic temple heal aura from wonder
  • removed territory aura from large pyramid
  • large pyramid aura range increased from 60 to 70; this means it covers an area about twice as large (49/25) as the iber monument, which is cheaper and weaker
  • large pyramid aura also gives soldiers +1 armour level, which means they're 11% harder to kill
  • changed monumental architecture, making it less unbalanced yet hopefully more useful
  • changed pyramids parent from special to civic
  • removed garrisonable from pyramids
  • lowered small pyramid territory

Well, that's a shame for the train time aura. I really liked that idea. Now for the military aura change, I guess it's fine, I would consider perhaps reverting large pyramid cost to 400 400 because that could make defensive positions quite strong. Not sure.
I think there is a mistake in the templates, the small pyramid food cost was changed instead of stone. I would consider making the small pyramid cheaper, like 200 stone 100 metal, but I guess that goes in dangerous territory.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12370.Thu, Jun 18, 9:46 AM
  • correct small pyramid cost mistake spotted by @Feldfeld
borg- added a comment.EditedThu, Jun 18, 5:24 PM

I agree with patch, but just a suggestion.

Kush is a defensive civ, and pyramid is a defensive building, so more sense give a health + armour aura than attack + armour?

Hack attack for ranged units and pierce for melee seems wrong. Not sure about It, maybe i wrong.

Kush is a defensive civ, and pyramid is a defensive building, so more sense give a health + armour aura than attack + armour?

1 armour level is equivalent to +11% health. Because we don't want units to drop dead when outside the radius, auras should use armour, not health. Moreover, I don't think qualifiers such as “defensive” should dictate decisions. Besides, having your units extra attack damage is an effective way to make it easier to defend your base against enemies.

Hack attack for ranged units and pierce for melee seems wrong. Not sure about It, maybe i wrong.

Entities are unaffected by modifications of stats they don't have. See also other aura and technology files. Some melee units inflict pierce damage (e.g. spearmen) and ranged units could in principle inflict hack damage; we don't know what changes will be made in the future, therefore it's best to be complete, to save unnecessary work later.

borg- added a comment.Fri, Jun 19, 4:04 PM

Kush is a defensive civ, and pyramid is a defensive building, so more sense give a health + armour aura than attack + armour?

1 armour level is equivalent to +11% health. Because we don't want units to drop dead when outside the radius, auras should use armour, not health. Moreover, I don't think qualifiers such as “defensive” should dictate decisions. Besides, having your units extra attack damage is an effective way to make it easier to defend your base against enemies.

Hack attack for ranged units and pierce for melee seems wrong. Not sure about It, maybe i wrong.

Entities are unaffected by modifications of stats they don't have. See also other aura and technology files. Some melee units inflict pierce damage (e.g. spearmen) and ranged units could in principle inflict hack damage; we don't know what changes will be made in the future, therefore it's best to be complete, to save unnecessary work later.

Okay, no problem, it looks good.

Now for the military aura change, I guess it's fine, I would consider perhaps reverting large pyramid cost to 400 400 because that could make defensive positions quite strong. Not sure.
[...] I would consider making the small pyramid cheaper, like 200 stone 100 metal, but I guess that goes in dangerous territory.

Nothing is set in stone. I like it the small and large pyramids have the same metal to stone ratio, though. If you think it's better, how about changing them to 300 stone + 100 metal (small) and 450 stone + 150 metal (large)?

And another thing: pyramid health. Currently they have 3000 and 4000, respectively, which becomes 3600 and 4800 with the monumental architecture technology (previously 3750 and 5000). Now it certainly makes sense pyramids have more health than ordinary structures. However, the current values are quite close to the wonder (5000), which visually dwarfs them. Doubling wonder health (to 10000) would be more realistic, though presumably not a good idea, since that would seriously distort wonder victory games. Instead, what do people think of slight reduction in pyramid health, e.g. to 2400 and 3600?

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12479.Sun, Jun 28, 11:23 AM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • Wonders are excluded from build time and health technologies and civilization bonuses.
  • Small Pyramid cost to 300 stone + 100 metal.
  • Large Pyramid cost to 450 stone + 150 metal.
wraitii added inline comments.Sun, Jun 28, 11:39 AM
binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/data/technologies/kushites/monumental_architecture.json
16

This feels underwhelming for me given the cost. Also no capture resistance bonus?

Nescio added inline comments.Sun, Jun 28, 11:51 AM
binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/data/technologies/kushites/monumental_architecture.json
16

The cost is unchanged, but could be lowered.
The change to Civic means houses benefit now, previously that was not the case.
Instead of increasing capture points, it halves territory decay.

wraitii added inline comments.Sun, Jun 28, 11:57 AM
binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/data/technologies/kushites/monumental_architecture.json
16

I don't really feel like this would prevent player conquest much, since houses are easy to destroy anyways and it doesn't change capture points.

I would vote to make this tech stronger, it's supposed to be a late-game strong tech - The earlier bonus was perhaps OP (and inconsistent), but this seems like nobody would ever use it to me.

Nescio added inline comments.Sun, Jun 28, 12:13 PM
binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/data/technologies/kushites/monumental_architecture.json
16

Halving territory decay means that when a strcuture is no longer connected to a territory root, you have twice as much time before you've lost control of it. I think that's far more useful than an increase in capture points.
That said, I wouldn't mind inserting an additional increase in <Capturable/CapturePoints>, <Capturable/RegenRate>, or <Capturable/GarrisonRegenRate>. And perhaps make the technology cheaper.
The technology is still quite useful in late game, because civic centres benefit too, and they still form the core of your base.

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Nescio updated this revision to Diff 12505.Tue, Jun 30, 1:20 PM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)

tweaked monumental architecture (@wraitii):

  • cost changed to 600 stone
  • available at town phase
  • researchable at civic centre (cf. persian architecture)
  • +20% capture points instead of −50% territory decay

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/2553/display/redirect

Nescio added inline comments.Tue, Jun 30, 1:27 PM
binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/data/technologies/persians/persian_architecture.json
1–16

Perhaps merge persians/persian_architecture.json with kushites/monumental_architecture.json?
Cf. archery_tradition.json, successors/special_war_horses.json.

Feldfeld accepted this revision.Tue, Jun 30, 1:48 PM

Good changes. I still kind of wish small pyramid to be just a little bit cheaper but new values are an improvement.
The monumental architecture technology, either before or after the patch will probably not be used much, but it's good that it got cheaper.

This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Tue, Jun 30, 1:48 PM