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[gameplay] introduce centre tech progression
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Authored by Nescio on Jul 2 2020, 4:18 PM.

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Summary

This patch weakens civic centres (including colonies and crannogs) at game start:

  • (ungarrisoned) default arrow count from 3 to 0
  • (ungarrisoned) default <Capturable/RegenRate> from 5 to 0.5

and introduces three cheap technologies, one for each phase, that each give:

  • +1 default arrow count;
  • +5 capture points regeneration rate (i.e. countering the attack strength of one enemy champion);

This makes capturing centres easier, especially in the village phase, though a bit harder when all three technologies are researched.
The idea is this patch can work both with or without D2845 or D3668.

This forum thread is somewhat relevant.

Test Plan

Check for mistakes and omissions. Playtest a few games. Agree with the concept and the proposed values.

Event Timeline

Nescio created this revision.Jul 2 2020, 4:18 PM
Owners added a subscriber: Restricted Owners Package.Jul 2 2020, 4:18 PM
Vulcan added a comment.Jul 2 2020, 4:23 PM

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

Link to build: https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/docker-differential/2566/display/redirect

Does it affect the regeneration rate of all buildings ?

Nescio added a comment.Jul 2 2020, 6:23 PM

Does it affect the regeneration rate of all buildings ?

No, not all structures, only centres, colonies, and crannogs are affected by these technologies:
"affects": ["CivilCentre"],

Does it affect the regeneration rate of all buildings ?

No, not all structures, only centres, colonies, and crannogs are affected by these technologies:
"affects": ["CivilCentre"],

It should if it is intended as a solution for the scaling problem in D2845 (as the regenRate increase given by phasing affects all buildings). If it does and these technologies are balanced it could introduce more strategy for the capture mechanic

Nescio added a comment.Jul 2 2020, 7:06 PM

It should if it is intended as a solution for the scaling problem in D2845 (as the regenRate increase given by phasing affects all buildings). If it does and these technologies are balanced it could introduce more strategy for the capture mechanic

No, this patch changes different stats and is independent from D2845:

  • "Capturable/RegenRate" (here) is the permanent (ungarrisoned) recovery rate of a structure.
  • "Capturable/GarrisonRegenRate" (there) is the recovery rate per garrisoned unit.

Basically D2845, D2847, and this (D2854) are three independent patches that are only indirectly related. All three could be tried out, reviewed, and committed separately from each other. Each I consider an improment on its own, but they also work nicely together.

Angen added a subscriber: Angen.Jul 10 2020, 3:50 PM
Nescio removed a reviewer: Restricted Owners Package.Aug 15 2020, 9:07 PM
borg- added a subscriber: borg-.EditedJan 6 2021, 10:59 PM

If balanced they add more strategies.

I would change some values:

  • Decrease the cc vision range so that rush will be harder to defend without tech.
  • Change cost tech to only food, like 150f/300f/450f. Resources are always a difficult choice at the beginning of the game, especially wood. With current values I don't think players will choose techs, even if necessary.
  • ResearchTime 20/30/40 or 15/30/60? First phase must be faster so as not to lose the economy.
  • +2 arrow, +3 regen +5 vision range? A cc full of citizen soldiers is not converted by champion units. Adding +10 make it worse.
Nescio added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 1:22 PM

Thank you for the feedback!

Decrease the cc vision range so that rush will be harder to defend without tech.

Centres currently have a vision range of 90 (infantry has 80, cavalry 92, elephants 100). In my opinion entities ought to have a vision range at least as large as their maximum attack range. However, that's no longer the case for centres, because the former is still calculated from the footprint centre, whereas the latter is now calculated from the circle around their obstruction:


When taking elevation bonuses into account the situation becomes even worse. If anything, centres should have a higher vision range by default.
Perhaps the vision range increases ought to be removed from these technologies?

Change cost tech to only food, like 150f/300f/450f. Resources are always a difficult choice at the beginning of the game, especially wood. With current values I don't think players will choose techs, even if necessary.

How about keeping the food as is, but replacing the wood with metal?

ResearchTime 20/30/40 or 15/30/60? First phase must be faster so as not to lose the economy.

Currently all village phase technologies have a research time of 40 s, though (the only exception is advancing to town phase, at 30 s).

+2 arrow, +3 regen +5 vision range?

Per technology? Adding one default arrow is already quite powerful, two might make it too effective.

A cc full of citizen soldiers is not converted by champion units.

That's largely because the town and city phases make it significantly easier to defend your structures; in the village phase, each garrisoned unit counters one champion, in the city phase four. See D2845 for that.

Adding +10 make it worse.

To be clear, <RegenRate> and <GarrisonRegenRate> are two different things, the latter is what makes it so hard to capture garrisoned structures (these technologies don't affect that), the former is how quickly empty structures recover their capture points (which is what these technologies do). For comparison:

with this patch, the civic centre <RegenRate> is:
0.5 at game start
5.5 with one guard technology
10.5 with two guard technologies
15.5 with three guard technologies
without this patch, it's always 10.
borg- added a comment.EditedJan 7 2021, 1:50 PM

Perhaps the vision range increases ought to be removed from these technologies?

Without the standard reduction, yes, it should be removed from the patch.
We need a other atribute to keep this techs interesting.

How about keeping the food as is, but replacing the wood with metal?

If keep 150f/300f/450f and a small amount of metal like 50/100/150 I can agree.

Currently all village phase technologies have a research time of 40 s, though (the only exception is advancing to town phase, at 30 s).

Well, archery tradition is now at the center, so I can agree with these values.

Per technology? Adding one default arrow is already quite powerful, two might make it too effective.

Ok.

To be clear, <RegenRate> and <GarrisonRegenRate> are two different things, the latter is what makes it so hard to capture garrisoned structures (these technologies don't affect that), the former is how quickly empty structures recover their capture points (which is what these technologies do). For comparison:

with this patch, the civic centre <RegenRate> is:
0.5 at game start
5.5 with one guard technology
10.5 with two guard technologies
15.5 with three guard technologies
without this patch, it's always 10.

You are right, my bad, sorry. Can i agree with those values.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 15042.Jan 7 2021, 2:29 PM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • rebased
  • remove vision range increases
  • alter costs to values proposed by @borg-
Vulcan added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 2:34 PM

Build is green

builderr-debug-macos.txt
ld: warning: text-based stub file /System/Library/Frameworks//CoreAudio.framework/CoreAudio.tbd and library file /System/Library/Frameworks//CoreAudio.framework/CoreAudio are out of sync. Falling back to library file for linking.
ld: warning: text-based stub file /System/Library/Frameworks//AudioToolbox.framework/AudioToolbox.tbd and library file /System/Library/Frameworks//AudioToolbox.framework/AudioToolbox are out of sync. Falling back to library file for linking.
ld: warning: text-based stub file /System/Library/Frameworks//ForceFeedback.framework/ForceFeedback.tbd and library file /System/Library/Frameworks//ForceFeedback.framework/ForceFeedback are out of sync. Falling back to library file for linking.
ld: warning: text-based stub file /System/Library/Frameworks//CoreVideo.framework/CoreVideo.tbd and library file /System/Library/Frameworks//CoreVideo.framework/CoreVideo are out of sync. Falling back to library file for linking.
ld: warning: text-based stu

See https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/macos-differential/2710/display/redirect for more details.

borg- added a comment.EditedJan 7 2021, 2:59 PM

Better now, but still not interesting enough to research (I would not research), we need some more attribute.

Maybe increase attack range can be very interesting.

Nescio added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 4:27 PM

You wouldn't? I would, maybe not immediately, but when under attack, the extra arrows can really make a difference.
A consequence of this patch is that centres are less dangerous at game start, making early raids a bit more effective.

borg- added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 4:37 PM

You wouldn't? I would, maybe not immediately, but when under attack, the extra arrows can really make a difference.
A consequence of this patch is that centres are less dangerous at game start, making early raids a bit more effective.

Patch makes the early attack more effective but you are still able to shoot many arrows if garrisoned. increasing the range can give you advantages in defending against harassment against buildings or your farms. Yes, I would not research, not for multiplayer games, but with a range attack yes, I would research against rush cvilizations.

Nescio added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 4:48 PM

Due to the new way attack ranges are calculated, centres (and fortresses) can already shoot much farther than in A23. I'm not sure a technology increasing it by even more is a good idea.

borg- added a comment.EditedJan 7 2021, 4:58 PM

We can decrease the number of garrisoned arrows of cc, as it is not a defense buildingn. Can also reduce the range to 70 for centers, towers and fortresses, since it was proposed in another patch, 70 for archers, what do you think?

Nescio added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 7:27 PM

We can decrease the number of garrisoned arrows of cc,

Do you mean the <DefaultArrowCount> (which this patch changes from 3 to 0), the <GarrisonArrowMultiplier> (arrows per garrisoned soldier), or the <MaxArrowCount>?

as it is not a defense buildingn.

Actually civic centres are currently defensive structures.

Can also reduce the range to 70 for centers, towers and fortresses, since it was proposed in another patch, 70 for archers, what do you think?

Sure, if and when archers have their range reduced to 70, then the same could be done for structures. However, that shouldn't be done here in this patch. Moreover, a change from 72 to 70 is not really that signicant. Compared to A23, centres in A24 have effectively between +20 and +30 maximum range, due to the different way attack range is calculated, which was necessary to prevent archers from destroying structures with the same range.

Nescio added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 7:35 PM

Anyway, back to this patch: the first question to be asked is whether it's a good idea to weaken civic centres at game start (which is what this patch does).
I agree the proposed technologies are not the most important to research, training more javelineers or building towers is more effective in early game; however, they're not entirely useless either, and there are situation conceivable where researching them would be a smart choice; maybe not in every match, but that doesn't matter (cf. attack_soldiers_will.json or pop_wonder.json).

Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)Jan 7 2021, 7:38 PM
Nescio removed a subscriber: Restricted Owners Package.
borg- added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 8:34 PM

Do you mean the <DefaultArrowCount> (which this patch changes from 3 to 0), the <GarrisonArrowMultiplier> (arrows per garrisoned soldier), or the <MaxArrowCount>?

MaxArrowCount.

Actually civic centres are currently defensive structures.

Yes, but not as a fortress or towers for example.

Can also reduce the range to 70 for centers, towers and fortresses, since it was proposed in another patch, 70 for archers, what do you think?

Sure, if and when archers have their range reduced to 70, then the same could be done for structures. However, that shouldn't be done here in this patch. Moreover, a change from 72 to 70 is not really that signicant. Compared to A23, centres in A24 have effectively between +20 and +30 maximum range, due to the different way attack range is calculated, which was necessary to prevent archers from destroying structures with the same range.

+20 or +30? So we have a serious problem here.

Nescio added a comment.Jan 7 2021, 8:45 PM

+20 or +30? So we have a serious problem here.

It's a necessary to compensate for their footprints; the exact number depends on the obstruction size, e.g. the rome centre is 37×37, which works out to +26.2, and gaul centre is 25×25, which works out to +17.7.
Actually A23 had the problem (structure attack ranges were too low). But yeah, as a consequence, raiding is harder in A24.

We discussed this & other things (capture regex rate cf D2845 & CC cost & D3601) with feldfeld yesterday over IRC.

I don't think we should merge this as 50 different diffs, for once, but rather as a unified, cohesive gameplay rebalance making CCs less of a defensive structure, which needs some more thinking IMO.

Palaxin added a subscriber: Palaxin.EditedMar 12 2021, 12:26 PM

just my 2 cents:
CC's always felt quite weak to me given their importance for holding territory (that may have changed now with territory root for fortresses).
Maybe it's also because AoM was one of my most played games where for some civs a fully upgraded fortified town center could easily have 2x the HP of a fortress. There was even a "Citadel" god power which basically made one of your town centers an uber fortress.
I think the game should provide opportunities to turtle the same way it gives the option to rush (it feels like many games go the direction of rewarding quick aggression). Therefore I like the approach to have strong defensive CC's in the case you heavily invest into them with several technologies.
Given they are buildings (and thus provide a height advantage), they can have considerable more range than archers IMO. I agree with @borg- that the proposed values are not an attractive option for research. I would like impactful technologies which cost something like 500/1000/1500 resources total (phase I/II/III) and affect both defensive (HP, capture points, capture regen) and offensive (arrow count, range) capabilities. To make them worth a phase III fully upgraded CC should be at least 2-3 times as strong as a phase I CC (taking offensive and defensive bonuses into account).

Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)Mar 12 2021, 12:59 PM

Thank you for weighing in! And yes, I was also quite fond of Age of Mythology.

affect both defensive (HP, capture points, capture regen) and offensive (arrow count, range) capabilities.

Actually the proposed technologies do increase both arrow count and base capture points regeneration.
Moreover, your defensive vs offensive is a false dichotomy: structures can't move, their combat function is purely defensive. Doubling a structure's attack damage is fundamentally equivalent to doubling its health and capture points; both mean they can kill twice as many attackers before they're destroyed.
But yeah, the proposed technologies are not that effective; they give a small advantage which might make a difference locally, but won't determine the outcome of an entire match. This is intentional; right now people are already complaining on the forums that defending is too easy; having far more powerful technologies (such as hellenistic_metropolis.json) is probably not a good idea.

And yes, I was also quite fond of Age of Mythology.

Great!

Moreover, your defensive vs offensive is a false dichotomy: structures can't move, their combat function is purely defensive. Doubling a structure's attack damage is fundamentally equivalent to doubling its health and capture points; both mean they can kill twice as many attackers before they're destroyed.

It's not exactly offensive in the sense of destroying an enemy base, but you can place defensive buildings also offensively at your border close to the enemy, e.g. to attack gatherers or keep him from gathering/building/taking land. And I would weigh the health/capture points of a building a bit stronger than its attack damage because (especially on large maps) it gives you more time to send rescuing troops that would otherwise be too late.

But yeah, the proposed technologies are not that effective; they give a small advantage which might make a difference locally, but won't determine the outcome of an entire match. This is intentional; right now people are already complaining on the forums that defending is too easy; having far more powerful technologies (such as hellenistic_metropolis.json) is probably not a good idea.

My intention is the same as yours: Make CCs weaker at the beginning and potentially stronger late game if you invest into them. So rushing is actually made easier and your defensive capabilities in late game come with an economic penalty. I was merely talking about relative strength of phase III upgraded CCs and phase I unupgraded CCs.

And I would weigh the health/capture points of a building a bit stronger than its attack damage because (especially on large maps) it gives you more time to send rescuing troops that would otherwise be too late.

(On the other hand one could argue that an increase in attack damage means you can save more of your own troops standing around your CC.)

It's not exactly offensive in the sense of destroying an enemy base, but you can place defensive buildings also offensively at your border close to the enemy,

Towers, yes, civic centres, not really (and that's what this patch is about).

And I would weigh the health/capture points of a building a bit stronger than its attack damage because (especially on large maps) it gives you more time to send rescuing troops that would otherwise be too late.

It depends; in some situations health is indeed more desirable, though in others (e.g. towers on hot borders) I'd favour attack damage.
Anyway, I'm not opposed to technologies increasing civic centre health, however, I think that should be considered separately from these technologies, i.e. something for another patch.

I was merely talking about relative strength of phase III upgraded CCs and phase I unupgraded CCs.

Yes; this patch mostly affects ungarrisoned civic centres; for fully garrisoned centres these technologies hardly make a difference.

(On the other hand one could argue that an increase in attack damage means you can save more of your own troops standing around your CC.)

It depends; in some situations health is indeed more desirable, though in others (e.g. towers on hot borders) I'd favour attack damage.

Ok, you convinced me here :)
On a second thought I don't mind the strength of CCs that much since fortresses received territory root. The tendency of weaker CCs is fine for me when coupled with a tendency for stronger fortresses.

Edwarf added a subscriber: Edwarf.Mar 22 2021, 5:51 PM

I'm a bit worried about this patch.

The civic Center is the only "safe" area phase 1.
It is not currently really hard to rush, especialy with spear cavalry, knowing that woodline (where your fighting units are) is far away.

If you remove default arrow, rushing will be way too strong and the game might become unplayable :

  • if you make 3 spear cavalry at start and your opponent goes for 6 women, you can out run his starting unit and maybe manage to kill them, then only way for him to keep some women alive is to garrison finally you can mass unit under his CC without any trouble,denying all eco, game is over.
  • Even later in the game if your wood near your CC is gone, you have to move your unit toward an other woodline further which means only women on field arround CC, some cavalry can deny all your food income, you can send your woodcutters (which is point less because you don't have the mobility), you waste time, you got out boom, game is over.
  • If you decide to make the technology to reduce slightly early rushes, you will loose 150 food and have your CC idle for 30 sec. which is huge Phase 1. (Growth is exponential) And 1 arrow is quite nothing against cavalry. So you loose time, ressources and you are still easily rushable. game is over.

-> I feel like rushes will become mandatory with this patch.

At least if CC's default arrows are removed add 1 arrow every 5 women garisoned. this will force a reaction of the defencive player and still defend your base.

Other point about capuring CC, i don't really understand, but keep in mind that the Civic Center is the heart of your base especialy phase 1, if you loose it, it's over.

Yes, the idea is to make civic centres less dangerous by default and raiding somewhat easier.
Not every patch has to be committed, of course.

borg- added a comment.EditedMar 29 2021, 2:00 PM

The rush/harras is very difficult in a24, but on the other hand with pacth it can be very easy. Balanced should work better, instead of 0 default arrow, I would choose 1 and keep <Capturable / RegenRate> 5, so we would have a total of 4 default arrows with the 3 technologies, greater than the current number. Instead of Capturable / RegenRate, we could have another more interesting bonus, like shorter training time for soldiers in the CC, increase cc range attack, etc...