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[gameplay] tweak ship costs and tweak merchant ships
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Authored by Nescio on Aug 15 2020, 8:46 PM.

Details

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Balancing
Trac Tickets
#3428
Summary

This patch changes the following:

  • Fishing boat construction time from 20 to 15 (biremes have 20, triremes 25, quinqueremes 30).
  • Tweaked merchant ships:
    • cost from 0 wood + 100 metal to 200 wood + 100 metal (land traders cost 100 food + 80 metal);
    • 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);
    • +50% health, from 400 to 600 (land traders have 100);
    • same armour as other ships (except fishing boats).
  • 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 240 wood + 120 metal;
    • quinquereme from 350 wood + 350 stone + 200 metal to 500 wood + 250 metal;
    • juggernaut from 400 wood + 350 stone + 300 metal to 800 wood + 400 metal.
  • Ship loot is standardized to 10% of costs, similar to other units.
  • Removed <xp> from fishing boat and merchant ship, since they can't attack.

Because merchantmen have a third more trade gain, a third more movement speed, and a lot more health and armour, and trade routes become far more profitable the longer the distance, as consequence garrisoning land traders in merchant ships might become an interesting option in some special cases (#3428).

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.Sat, Sep 5, 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.Sat, Sep 5, 7:03 PM

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

Palaxin added a comment.EditedThu, Sep 10, 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.EditedThu, Sep 10, 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.