fruits too powerfull??

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Should the conversion system be changed?

no! use maps without fruits if you don't like them
3
25%
no! i love the system as is
1
8%
yes! stop the conversion if it dried out one population to x% already
0
No votes
yes! count free places in inns like fruits (see message)
1
8%
yes! but do it in a way one can still play without conversions
6
50%
i don't care
1
8%
 
Total votes: 12

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Giszmo
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fruits too powerfull??

Post by Giszmo » Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:26 pm

there's a discussion comeing up again and again that should somehow be decided in a wider scope. Are fruits too powerfull? if yes, what should be done against that? if no, why do people think it is too powerfull?

a way would be to count free places in inns like fruits. so 3 free places count like 1 fruit, 6 like 2, 9 like 3, 12 like 4. in that way not all globs would get pulled out of teams that are not at the fruits already but they would have to build signifficantly more inns. the justification: patriotic globs, space loving ones, ...

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Post by Nuage » Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:41 am

We can "play" with distances too. Here is the idea:
- if you have 1 more fruit then you can only convert an unit which is as far as the ennemy. That mean that you can only conver units which are as close of your inn than his.
- if you have 2 more fruits (or better) then you can convert an unit at any distance.
- as it's now, if the ennemy can't food hit units, you can get it, at any distance.

The choice of taking fruits or not would be more tricky:
- If you notice that you'r getting some units stolen, then you will have more time to make another strategy.
- And you'll put the inns more strategicaly. (This would be usefull to put forward Inns).
- This is now a good reason to get two fruits instead of one.
- Taking two fruits has now a value because your warriors are so much weaker when you eat two fruits or more!

Real gameplay implication are quite hard to guess.

Nuage

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Post by AppleBoy » Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:35 am

what I would like is to have it where a unit will only convert if they are below 10% health or there is no more room in any of the inns. Any other solution seems to totally cripple your opponent. Maybe we could try out some of these ideas in cvs?

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Donkyhotay
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distance is good

Post by Donkyhotay » Sat Mar 04, 2006 4:41 am

I like the distance idea, the fruits are mandatory to make the game more interesting, otherwise it's little more then buildarmyfastandattack which is dull. If fruits were removed then more units would become mandatory for good gameplay such as some type of ranged glob or maybe an artillery glob. Admittedly fruits need to be tweaked, I agree that distance should play a large part. Even if an enemy inn has alot of different fruit and you have 0 or 1 fruit if the glob is right next to it it should stay home. However in combat the enemy inn will be closer and more tantalizing then an inn all the way back home. This would fit real life more and require people to make certain they have supply lines set up. Another idea would be to have some sort of "supply glob" that can carry fruit into battle for warriors.

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Post by QQ ghost » Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:46 am

I think AppleBoy has a spot-on idea, but make it 15% instead of 10% health to convert.

Donkyhotay has a great idea as well, with the supply glob. Give the supply glob the defense of the warrior and the attack of a worker.

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Post by Tfry » Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:24 pm

I don't know, whether this topic has come to any definite conclusion, yet. If not, I'd like to throw in some thoughts (as someone who's just discovered this wonderful game):

Three main ideas, which I think are important:
1) Distance should play a role. Globs should have some aversion against walking long distances to find an inn. Also, it should be much harder to convert them over long distance, than from a neighboring town, or while on a raid far away from home.

2) Globs should be somewhat reluctant to convert by default.

3) There should be additional factors influencing conversion. Fruits would remain a very important one, but having several factors could make a battle for conversion much more interesting.

Suggested rules:
1) Globs will always prefer the nearest inn with a free place. However, some factors will make up for some distance. E.g. each fruit available at the inn might make it worth while to travel 10 squares farther. Internally, then, fruits would reduce the perceived distance of an inn.

2) There would be a home-bias. Globs will feel at least somewhat loyal to their color. This could work on the same scale: Own inns would appear slightly less far away than enemy inns.
2b) This home bias could be made configurable per game. Setting it to a very large value will effectively disable the conversion system, as then enemy inns will always seem farer away than friendly inns. Setting it to a very low value will make conversions more likely.
2c) For explorers the distance/home-bias ratio would be considerably higher, else they'd get converted all the time. For workers the ratio might be much lower. Since they are civilists, they are much less subjected to propaganda, and much more likely to join another globulation when far away from home.
2d) Untrained units would probably have a higher home-bias. These are cultural brutes, not likely to care for the benefits of a foreign globulation, much. This aspect might be important to keep a balance: The further advanced your town, the more you have to worry about keeping your globs happy. Also, early quick raids would not be possible without this.

3) Several ideas what else could play a role:
3a) Larger inns might be slightly more preferable, and hence appear closer (probably this would have much less impact than fruits, however, only 2 or 3 squares per level, I guess)
3b) Prestige might play a role as well. If an inn belongs to a town with more prestige, it will be much more likely to have a good conversation while eating. Hence it will make up for a little extra distance (also only mildly so).
3c) Special buildings might serve to temporarily increase the home-bias: There could be a cinema with patriotic movies. Globs would want to go there every so often, and this would increase their home bias. The downside is that they'll be wasting valuable time, even if there is no imminent danger of getting converted. Probably these buildings would also require a few workers to operate (important also, so that you can shut them down).
3d) It might be possible to manufacture additional goodies. Maybe algeas, wheat, and papyrus could be manufactured into candy (the papyrus is for the wrapping), acting much like fruit. A level two candy-store might produce two types of candy. Producing candy would require much work, however. This would add / intensify the economy simulation aspects of the game. Of course, candy would be tradeable in a market, as well.
...

[General note: I tried to translate all "benefits" into "perceived distance". The exact definition should not matter, however. The key is, that there is a one-dimensional score for each inn, composed of many different factors, with fruits and distance being just two of them.]

So, in essence, I think the conversion system should in fact be given a much *higher* importance, overall. However, it would also allow much more means to defend against having your units converted (the most important being to stay close to home), and offer more variety and complexity in the battle for conversion (not just collecting the n-th fruit).

Well, maybe some of these thoughts were of interest.

Regards
Thomas

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Post by Tfry » Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:39 pm

Ad 2d):
Alternatively (or additionally?), smaller towns may correspond to a higher home-bias: When you know each other glob personally, you're much more likely to stay, than if you feel like a minor part of an anonymous mass. This would serve to make it very hard to completely convert a town, while the larger you population, the more vulnerable you become. Somewhat similar to the concept in civilization, where larger cities will start to rebel unless you appease them with lots of nice buildings.

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Post by Donkyhotay » Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:35 am

Wow this thread is old, I had forgotten all about it. While there haven't been any major changes to the way fruits work there have been many other changes that affect strategy (markets, explorers, "inn-vision", towers) which will indirectly affect the effectiveness of fruit. It's been awhile since I've played but before we blindly start making changes I think we should test it a bit to make certain they are still overpowering. If fruit are still overpowered then the best option would be to make distance a factor in changing the sides. I would like this as it would then force invaders to set up a supply line. With the new market enhancement the "supply glob" is not needed just to build some inns with a market nearby. This would also allow for the "offensive inn" strategy.
do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.

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Post by Tfry » Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:21 pm

Note that this isn't just about whether or not fruits are too powerful. To me, the key is, that I think the whole conversion idea may be a very good starting point to deepening the entire strategy, and to increase long-term playing fun.

While I did point out distance a lot in my post, this may not even be the most important aspect (although I do think it would simply be more "natural", and also my intuition would tell me having a one dimensional score would be a good choice of design). Some key advantages are:
1) Starting point to add more economic aspects, i.e. an aspect of manufacturing goods
2) Advance the conversion system to actually become a new key aspect besides "train your units, then attack"
3) Make the prestige factor much more meaningful
4) Add an important counter-balancing factor to education and number of units (see 2d). Just growing fast and keeping your units fed would no longer be good enough. You'd have to worry more and more about keeping your units happy, your town sustained and balanced. Note that many simulation games contain a similar aspect: The larger you civilization/city/colony is, the more advanced your units are, the more demanding you citizens become. This makes sure there continue to be unique challenges late in the game.

Though I believe the suggestions I made would easily translate into an actual algorithm (I could provide pseudo-code, if that would help), I'm quite aware that this is not some to change mindlessly and just like that. Balancing out all the different constants required would be no small task, I suppose, and sorting out the bad ideas from the good is never quite as trivial as it sounds, either. But in my opinion this is definitely something to seriously keep in mind for the mid or long term. Again, I really think, this may well be *the* most important starting point to deepening strategy and long term fun considerably (but also note that by configuring a single parameter ("basic per game home bias") you can always weaken or disable the conversion system entirely).

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