Simple changes that might deepen strategy

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Elvish Pillager
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Simple changes that might deepen strategy

Post by Elvish Pillager » Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:07 pm

(if anyone doesn't hate the fruit system, or to a lesser extent ground-attacking explorers, debate that in another thread. This thread is for ideas.)

Strategic depth, as I am sure you all agree, is valuable in an RTS game like glob2. However, I have found that two game rules in particular act to flatten the strategy immensely, rather than deepen it.

- Fruits, if anyone starts to use them, force all players immediately into the fruit war, almost to the neglect of other, deeper, aspects of the game. The war is decided by a simple fruit count, almost the ultimate in flat strategy.
- Ground-attacking explorers win the game extremely quickly for the first player to get them. Thus, if any player has a level 2 school, all players have to focus as much workforce as possible to get a level 3 school first, again, to the neglect of all other strategy up to that point.
- Furthermore, all explorer combat is decided by a simple head count: explorers' splash damage means that an explorer will always net the same amount of damage to enemy explorers, no matter whether grouped against a lone explorer or alone against a group. (the exception is if they visit hospitals; however, hospitals are one of the easiest buildings for ground-attacking explorers to destroy.)

How to fix strategy-flattening game elements that force themselves to be necessary? Easy - make them optional extras. Make a level 3 school good to have, rather than making it win the game. Certainly don't let a level 3 school allow you to quickly destroy all enemy level 2 schools. Also, make fruits let you convert a few units on the side, not all the units you can feed.

My ideas are astonishingly simple to code:
- allow Defense Towers to attack Explorers, at any level of tower or explorer. This deepens the ground-attacking-explorer strategy by giving a player another way to fight against explorers than to madly rush to create a huge armada of explorers. This also deepens air strategy in general, by making it harder to simply walk explorers into the enemy base to gain valuable information.
- allow ground-attacking explorers only to attack ground directly under them. Thus, only one building can be damaged at a time, and an explorer cannoy simply hover over a building and also destroy units that come to work at that building or repair it. It is totally impractical to do large-scale repairs in glob2, so it should not be possible to do widespread damage.
- instead of delivering 10 fruit at one grab, as is the current state of affairs, bring 2. Thus, there will be a reasonable limit on how many units can be converted per piece of fruit, and you won't simply be able to fill all your inns to the limit with fruits from one tiny patch, but it will still be feasible to convert some units. Also, it will give the opponent a larger window of opportunity to beat on you with his fruitless (no pun intended) warriors.

Thoughts?
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Post by [anonymized] » Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:25 pm

I like them all - but I think the thing about explorers attacking only below deserves a second thought. Perhaps workers level 4 can create a special barracks (perhaps the last barracks upgrade supports explorers too?) or something like that where explorers could be thought splash damage (but this building requires a lot of resources, and the time to educate might be long too)

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Donkyhotay
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Post by Donkyhotay » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:49 pm

Another idea would be to prohibit explorers from attacking buildings. If they can only hit units then they would be VERY useful to have around and could devastate the opposing army but you couldn't use them to keep the enemy from teching up themselves. Ultimately you would need an army of warriors to come in to actually remove the tech tree and kill the enemy.

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Post by Einarin » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:44 am

I like Donkyhotay's idea of explorer ground attack only hitting units, but I was going to suggest that it take a level two or higher tower to hit air units, because letting level one towers stop hit level three explorers seems rather unbalanced to me.

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Post by Donkyhotay » Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:41 pm

Einarin wrote:I like Donkyhotay's idea of explorer ground attack only hitting units, but I was going to suggest that it take a level two or higher tower to hit air units, because letting level one towers stop hit level three explorers seems rather unbalanced to me.
So explorers only hit air units until level 3 at which point they can hit all units but not buildings. Level 1 towers only hit ground and level 2+ hit air and ground. I think that sounds like a good plan for balancing out the explorers. It shouldn't be too hard to implement. Merely add "don't attack buildings" or remove "attack buildings" from the explorer attack functions. I think the hardest part would be re-writing the the splash damage so it doesn't accidently hurt buildings when attacking a unit near a building. Course that might be fixed by just making certain building armor is always higher then explorer damage. Sadly I've been so busy I don't have time to work on it. I haven't even had a chance to finish work on the customizable hotkey option which has been my latest project here.

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Post by [anonymized] » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:53 pm

That solution sounds good to me :)

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Post by Donkyhotay » Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:24 am

One problem with this only allowing explorers to hit units is the game essentially ends at the same time it just takes longer. Workers get wiped out, no new resources come in, no protection when warriors take out buildings. Another solution would be to create a new building (call it an aviary for now) only buildable at endgame which explorers use to level up level 2. Explorers then only get a certain number of shots (say 20 or so) before reverting back to level 1 requiring them to fly back to the aviary to level up again. This would slow up the mass explorer wipe allowing them to be used for a strategic hits but not as the mainstay of an army.

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Post by Elvish Pillager » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:45 pm

Even though destroying workers is game winning in itself, buildings are *much* more vulnerable. Repairing a building is almost too difficult to ever be worth it.

I would be inclined to go with level 2+ towers attack air, level 1 towers attack only ground, advanced towers gaining more range, and explorers only attacking units, though retaining their splash damage.
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Post by Donkyhotay » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:15 pm

I was suggesting keeping explorer splash damage but rewriting it so it doesn't affect buildings.

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Post by Elvish Pillager » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:52 pm

yes, exactly.
To feed good generals, you need good food. To grow good food, you need good pastures. To capture good pastures, you need good generals.

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Warriors Attack Air

Post by NoSpin » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:52 pm

Maybe if we let warriors attack air units at level two or three might be a good idea?

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Post by Donkyhotay » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:22 am

Bad idea, it would make the explorers ground attack pointless. Warriors have more hit points and would win in a direct fight. It would become pointless to build fighting explorers and it would turn the game into a warrior slugfest. The problem right now is whoever gets explorers first wins because they fly in. Wipe out the tech-tree and the other guy can't recover. If warriors can attack explorers even at level 3 then it's just a matter of building up as many warriors as fast as you can and unleasing them on the enemy. You would be happy to see explorers coming at you because your warriors will wipe them out and it means less warriors you will need to fight against. I've said it other places and I'll say it again here. The true solution to the explorer problem (short of adding new units) is to give explorers only a certain number of shots. Once they have been used up then the explorer automatically reverts back to level 1 and needs to train again (recharge) to level 2. If done it would be best to have a completely new building (call it an aviary for now) that is only buildable at level3 and trains explorers from level1 to level2.

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Post by Elvish Pillager » Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:00 pm

"The" true solution? :roll:
To feed good generals, you need good food. To grow good food, you need good pastures. To capture good pastures, you need good generals.

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Post by NoSpin » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:04 pm

Just because warriors can attack air doesnt mean they have to have an advantage against the air units. We could give them a weak air attack. Say they only do a few points of damage.

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Donkyhotay wrote:Bad idea, it would make the explorers ground attack pointless. Warriors have more hit points and would win in a direct fight. It would become pointless to build fighting explorers and it would turn the game into a warrior slugfest. The problem right now is whoever gets explorers first wins because they fly in. Wipe out the tech-tree and the other guy can't recover. If warriors can attack explorers even at level 3 then it's just a matter of building up as many warriors as fast as you can and unleasing them on the enemy. You would be happy to see explorers coming at you because your warriors will wipe them out and it means less warriors you will need to fight against. I've said it other places and I'll say it again here. The true solution to the explorer problem (short of adding new units) is to give explorers only a certain number of shots. Once they have been used up then the explorer automatically reverts back to level 1 and needs to train again (recharge) to level 2. If done it would be best to have a completely new building (call it an aviary for now) that is only buildable at level3 and trains explorers from level1 to level2.

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Post by Einarin » Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:25 am

There is a question of balancing in combat. I haven't tried this so I can't say as to whether it works (I am currently in the process of overhauling my distro, and don't have a working install, currently waiting for libsdl to finish so i can satisfy dependencies) but you could set an explorer with ground attack over an army of enemy warriors, and these WARRIORS would be unable to defend themselves. Warriors can hit other warriors and explorers can hit other explorers, but level 4 explorers can hit level 4 warriors and the warriors can't hit back. That gives the explorers a definite advantage. Perhaps you could allow level 4 warriors to collect bullets from something, and hurl them at explorers to allow for some sort of damage dealing capability.-

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