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[gameplay] ships: tweak costs, standardize loot, unify resistance
AcceptedPublic

Authored by Nescio on Aug 15 2020, 8:46 PM.

Details

Reviewers
borg-
Group Reviewers
Balancing
Trac Tickets
#3428
Summary

This patch changes the following:

  • Fishing boat construction time from 20 to 15 (merchant ships and biremes have 20, triremes 25, quinqueremes 30).
  • Quinquereme population from 3 to 5 (biremes have 2, triremes 3).
  • Warships get a 2:1 wood to metal cost:
    • bireme from 125 wood + 50 metal to 120 wood + 60 metal;
    • trireme from 150 wood + 150 metal to 200 wood + 100 metal (also for kush);
    • quinquereme from 350 wood + 350 stone + 200 metal to 600 wood + 300 metal;
    • juggernaut from 400 wood + 350 stone + 300 metal to 800 wood + 400 metal.
  • Ship loot is standardized to 20% of costs, similar to siege engines and structures.
  • Ship <xp> loot is standardized to 10% of their health, but removed from fishing boat and merchant ship, since they can't attack.
  • The fishing boat and merchant ship no longer have lower resistance (2 hack, 5 pierce, 2 crush) than other ships (5 hack, 10 pierce, 5 crush). Because this makes them c. 70% harder to destroy with arrows, their health is reduced by 40% to compensate (0.6 / 0.9^5 = 1.0161). The advantage is that a ship with X health is as hard to destroy as any other ship with X health, making things easier to understand for players. It does make them more vulnerable to fireships, though, however, that shouldn't be too much of a problem, given their limited usage.
Test Plan

Check for correctness and completeness, and agree with the proposed values.

Event Timeline

Nescio created this revision.Aug 15 2020, 8:46 PM
Owners added a subscriber: Restricted Owners Package.Aug 15 2020, 8:46 PM
Nescio requested review of this revision.Aug 15 2020, 8:53 PM

I was doing this path right now, lul.

I agree with almost everything, but two points.

  • Do not agree with the new cost of merchant ship, it is very expensive, and some players including @badosu were talking about removing the metal cost of the merchant units. It's really bad late game you need metal to build units that in theory are being trained to collect metal mostly.

I think 150 wood is a good number.

  • The cost of trireme increased while bireme remains the same. Trirrene have +75% health than birrene and a little faster, no more attributes, so I think the fairest value would like 220w/110m

I agree with almost everything

Great!

Do not agree with the new cost of merchant ship, it is very expensive

Yes, but the combination of more armour, health, and, crucially, a third more trade gain for merchant ships justify their higher costs.

The cost of trireme increased while bireme remains the same. Trirrene have +75% health than birrene and a little faster, no more attributes, so I think the fairest value would like 220w/110m

Actually triremes have not only a lot more health, but also a +10 attack range, a higher arrow count, and +50% garrison capacity, therefore I don't think they're too expensive. Moreover, while their wood cost increases, their metal cost is reduced, and wood should not be an issue in late game, unlike metal, isn't it?

  • base trade gain increased by a third, from 0.75 to 1 (land traders have 0.75);
  • movement speed is unchanged at ×1.35 (land traders have ×1);

For the same trade route distance, this effectively means:

  • without this patch, merchant ships will give you c. 35% more income than land traders;
  • with this patch, merchant ships will give you c. 80% more income than land traders.
borg- added a comment.Sep 5 2020, 4:25 PM

Yes, but the combination of more armour, health, and, crucially, a third more trade gain for merchant ships justify their higher costs.

I can agree with that, but I think we could take the metal cost out of traders. only 200 wood can be enough.

Nescio added a comment.Sep 5 2020, 7:03 PM

Land traders cost (80) metal too, and are much weaker and far less profitable (see previous post).

Palaxin added a comment.EditedSep 10 2020, 10:04 AM
In D2956#128928, @borg- wrote:

Do not agree with the new cost of merchant ship, it is very expensive, and some players including @badosu were talking about removing the metal cost of the merchant units. It's really bad late game you need metal to build units that in theory are being trained to collect metal mostly.

Land traders cost (80) metal too, and are much weaker and far less profitable (see previous post).

Trade should be a meaningful investment that should be carefully protected, so I don't see a problem with metal. However, the amount of metal could be discussed. My suggestion is:

  • Following the logic of the cost of the other ships, merchant ships could cost 180 wood, 90 metal. The total cost would be in between a bireme and a trireme and the wood:metal ratio would be improved significantly from currently 1.25:1 to 2:1.
  • Land traders should adopt the same logic and cost 120 food, 60 metal (2:1 ratio).

And, as mimo and I have tried to address in #3428 some years ago, garrisoning traders should be buffed (if this mechanic should actually be seen in game - right now it seems incredibly wasteful resource-wise and inefficient micro-wise).

currently 1.25:1

Currently merchant ships cost 100 metal and 0 wood. This patch proposes to keep the metal cost unchanged, adds a 200 wood cost, and increases health, resistance, and trade gain in compensation. That said, I don't feel strongly about particular values, and agree with you traders and merchant ships should have meaningful costs, since they basically generate free resources.

And, as mimo and I have tried to address in #3428 some years ago, garrisoning traders should be buffed (if this mechanic should actually be seen in game - right now it seems incredibly wasteful resource-wise and inefficient micro-wise).

Yes, I agree garrisoning traders in merchant ships is seldom worth it. However, #3428 proposes changing the mechanic, which I'm not sure is necessary, merely changing the current values could work too. But perhaps it should be abandoned altogether, constructing more merchant ships is better? It might be out of scope of this particular patch, though.

Palaxin added a comment.EditedSep 10 2020, 10:20 PM

currently 1.25:1

Currently merchant ships cost 100 metal and 0 wood.

Sorry, I confused the merchant ship cost with the land trader cost regarding the ratio.
You are right that elaborate trading balance doesn't belong to this patch but could be aimed for in another. I like the garrisoning idea because in reduces ship crowding and makes individual ships more meaningful/interesting as targets / for protection. It is one way to reduce the spammy feeling of 0 A.D. in general (though it is only a very small part).
In general I like the proposed changes very much.

You are right that elaborate trading balance doesn't belong to this patch but could be aimed for in another. I like the garrisoning idea because in reduces ship crowding and makes individual ships more meaningful/interesting as targets / for protection.

Personally I like the idea of traders boarding merchant ships too, however, unless <GarrisonGainMultiplier> is greater than 1 (currently it's 0.2), constructing more merchantmen is always more profitable than loading them with traders.

borg- requested changes to this revision.Dec 14 2020, 3:26 PM

The patch is good but I would like two changes, quinquereme should cost a little more, 300 metal and merchant ship should cost less.

This revision now requires changes to proceed.Dec 14 2020, 3:26 PM
borg- added a comment.Jan 19 2021, 5:42 PM

I would like to have this for a24, any changes @Nescio?

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 15537.Jan 19 2021, 8:10 PM
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • rebased
  • raised quinquereme cost per @borg-
  • made triremes a bit cheaper, since they're not twice as good as biremes
  • tweaked merchant ship cost, per @borg-, but kept their old trader gain multiplier
  • standardized experience loot to 10% of health (also for brit, gaul, maur)
  • standardized resource loot to 20% of costs

Build is green

builderr-debug-macos.txt
/Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/Toolchains/XcodeDefault.xctoolchain/usr/bin/ranlib: file: ../../../binaries/system/libsimulation2_dbg.a(precompiled.o) has no symbols
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.framewor

See https://jenkins.wildfiregames.com/job/macos-differential/2977/display/redirect for more details.

We have a 25% increase in health for merchant ships and a 140% increase in cost, does not seem fair.
100 of metal is also problematic because it is difficult for you to spend that high amount of metal when you need metal.
I agree that a wood value has been added.
So i'm suggesting a value of wood 120 and metal 60, same as bireme, it seems fair, adds wood and reduces metal.

We have a 25% increase in health for merchant ships and a 140% increase in cost, does not seem fair.

They also have their lower resistance removed so they're effectively 71% harder to destroy.
However, their costs shouldn't be compared to what they used to be, nor to warships, merchant ships should be compared to land traders: merchantships are 35% faster and thus generate a third more income over the same distance and their proposed cost is about a third higher (150 wood and 100 metal vs 100 food and 80 metal), so this seems fair. Moreover, they have 5× the health and +4 resistance, making them effectively 6.86 times as hard to destroy.

Merchant ships are indirectly inefficient:

  • Larger footprint, so bumping is more of an issue.
  • Easier to raid for a wall on sea is not possible.
  • Often cannot take the direct route when there is land in between.

Often cannot take the direct route when there is land in between.

And land traders cannot take a direct route when there is water in between.

Obviously true, but what case is more common? ;)
I'm not saying anything about any change, just stating some thoughts :)

  • Larger footprint, so bumping is more of an issue.

Clearance is 3, which is indeed large.

  • Easier to raid for a wall on sea is not possible.

On the other hand, land traders are 100 HP (about 6 cav-javelin hits / 3 champ cav), whereas Merchants have 600pierce-HP now (would have about 900-pierceHP with the patch), and a typical Trireme would take 6-9 hits to destroy it. Triremes are arguably harder to mass than land units.

Also, merchant ships benefit from the ship movement speed technology, with it they're nearly 50% faster than land traders.

Merchants have 600pierce-HP now (would have about 900-pierceHP with the patch)

If we're only looking at pierce damage, then it's 400/0.9^5=677 without this patch (i.e. 6× the land trader's 111) and 500/0.9^10=1434 (i.e. 13×). It would make maritime trade much easier.

Merchants have 600pierce-HP now (would have about 900-pierceHP with the patch)

If we're only looking at pierce damage, then it's 400/0.9^5=677 without this patch (i.e. 6× the land trader's 111) and 500/0.9^10=1434 (i.e. 13×). It would make maritime trade much easier.

Welcome to "off the top of my head" calculations that are completely wrong :P
I guess this makes them much more raiding-proof, which is perhaps fair given that indeed, one can't have walls or structures in the way.

They were not completely wrong, the numbers were off, but the idea was right.
The reasons I gave them the same resistance as warships is that it makes it easier to compare their health and because it means they have to be replaced less frequently if their trade routes go within range or enemy towers and fortresses; it also justifies their higher cost.

borg- added a comment.Jan 20 2021, 3:12 PM

Well, in this case I think it is very risky to keep this high cost.

Nescio updated this revision to Diff 15772.Jan 29 2021, 5:48 PM
Nescio retitled this revision from [gameplay] tweak ship costs and tweak merchant ships to [gameplay] ships: tweak costs, standardize loot, unify resistance.
Nescio edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
  • revert merchant ship cost changes, which were too controversial, per @borg-
  • lower fishing boat and merchant ship health to compensate for their higher resistance

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/3120/display/redirect for more details.

borg- added a comment.Jan 29 2021, 5:59 PM

I am in favor of adding wood value to merchant ships. I prefer only 150 wood over 100 metal for example, or a mixed value like 60 wood and 60 metal.

Yeah, but as I pointed out more than once, merchant ships move faster (hence more profitable) and are much more durable (6× harder to destroy with arrows) than land traders, therefore they should cost more than those (100 food and 80 metal), not less.
I intend to write a patch for merchant ships specifically after this one is committed.

borg- accepted this revision.Jan 29 2021, 6:25 PM

Well, anyway i am in favor of the changes.

This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Jan 29 2021, 6:25 PM
borg- added a comment.Fri, Feb 5, 1:13 PM

@wraitii we can have this for a24?

It would be nice to have this in A24. It won't drastically distort balance, it's mostly clean-up. Everything else already has loot proportional to costs:

borg- added a comment.Thu, Feb 18, 1:41 AM

I agree here with @Nescio.

A nice addition to the a24 and no code risk, just a simple balance.