[Balance] Fertile Soil

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hooster1
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[Balance] Fertile Soil

Post by hooster1 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:55 pm

Low priority item.

Shouldn't fertile soil also help improve grapes when they happen to fall in the hills, or game and furs if they fall in a forest hex good for a Hunter's lodge?

I know a lot of these are not fully implemented yet, but some fall in multiple zones and logically should enhance production of the types of resources able to be taken from there.

Having resources fall in zones they are not suited for...silver or copper ore in a field....doesn't make a lot of sense. Now gold, possibly as it can be washed from it's origin to hills or flat areas, but other ores, not typically. (Dad was a mining engineer.) It might also make sense to increase the chances of a settlement or city to be on a hex with a good resource. People usually like to live near where they work.

Anyway, the items don't NEED to be in this game that way.

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Ludovic
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Re: [Balance] Fertile Soil

Post by Ludovic » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:57 am

This was actually by design. From what I could research when I implemented this, wine grapes grow best if planted on a slope (hence hills), but I somehow thought the soil should also be sandy/silty and not too wet/clay. But I can see after researching some more that fertility of the soil is actually important for wine grapes. So I'll add Fertile Soil as a positive modifier to Vineyard production.

Interesting points about the metal resource specials. My native Denmark sadly has no natural resources apart from a bit of clay, peat, limestone, etc. (the Danish vikings were great metalworkers, but had to import ore), so my knowledge of mining is somewhat limited. I'll shift the percentages around a bit to make it much less likely to have metal resources on flat terrain.

Yes, settlements and resources could be tied together better. But I'll postpone that for a period of focus on economy/production/settlement mechanics. The plan for settlements is to introduce "districts", which will help merge fortresses/wizard towers/settlements and facilitate the organic growth of a town around/near a fortress, having an industrial district outside the wizard tower, etc. I'll make a mental note to include interaction with resources/specials as part of this.

hooster1
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Re: [Balance] Fertile Soil

Post by hooster1 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:08 pm

Good thoughts on the fertile soil. What may be fertile soil in flat land may be great for farming crops. What may be fertile soils on hills might be different, but the fertile icon on the hills makes it good for growing grapes.

I would think that the hex modifiers should be in a zone that actually helps production for that type of hex.

But then again, the modifier might make poor land and average spot to get a resource.

Have you thought of any special modifiers for the really unusual tiles like the magma? I do see you have marble in the game, which is heat modified limestone. Obsidian is found at volcanic sites, but of little commercial use.

Flint might be a good deposit for arid hills or mountains and perhaps be required to make a better class of archer?

Oil might be a possible resource for swamps. Perhaps a requisite for a warlord weapon like Greek Fire or burning arrows.

I don't know if the game has technological ages, like the bronze or iron age, but I could see the metal deposits being much more valuable for a Warlord than a wizard. Access to a certain ore would allow the creation of one unit type with iron armor if the warlord had access to iron. If he also had access to coal, and perhaps studied steel forging, he could instead make a unit with steel armor.

The metal resources might not be of great need for the wizard, but it would be a defensive move to take them to prevent the warlord from being able to create his advanced units that slice through the wizard's orcs so easily.

Warlords might need to research a technology, as well as have the resources to produce a unit. Learning points instead of mana. Learning that can be improved with buildings in town, schools,universities, tinkerer's labs, workshops, War Academy, Engineering college.

I don't know if you are going to have gun powder for a weapon or researchable item for the warlord, but that requires deposits of sulfur (magma or volcanic areas) and salt peter or potassium nitrate. For the game, you would probably want to stick with a natural source for this, bat guano from caves, rather then the industrial methods of creating it. Caves are often found in hill areas, limestone caves are ideal nesting sites for bats. Charcoal would need to be produced from wood, so access to a wood source and building a charcoal kiln in a town or city.

You probably would want to have the gun powder factory as a special building. It might be fun for the wizard to try and find them and sabotage them. After all, accidents do happen, right?

Just like the Wizard is looking for mana sites, the warlord will be looking for resource sites. Perhaps another reward for dungeons, ancient cities and pyramids could be a learning bonus. Useless for the wizard, but a great prize for the warlord.

Haha, this game does have the potential to really be wonderful, but still fairly simple to learn and play. If done right, terrain and resource control become the keys to winning, not spamming the enemies with units until exhausted. One of the keys to keeping it simple is having building keys that show what is needed for unit X, and tool tips with the hint on how to make it.

Example: For Gunpowder, you have Green Sulfur, Red Potassium Nitrate and Red Charcoal.

Mousing over the Sulfur, the tool tip says, "Found in sulfur deposits in Magma or Volcanic areas"
Mousing over the Potassium Nitrate, the tool tip says, "Found in Bat Caves in hill areas" (Okay, insert your favorite Batman joke here)
Mousing over the Charcoal, the tool tip says, "Made in a Charcoal Kiln, requires a wood resource" (We hope the player knows wood comes from trees)

When you have turned all the requirements green, you might have a production screen at the end of your turn pop up, allowing you to choose and pay for the amount of production you want to queue.
The rough formula for gun powder is 7 Nitrates, 1 sulfur, 2 charcoal. Rather than get into the formulas, assume 1 turn of producing each of the base products is the amount needed to produce 1 turn or barrel of gunpowder.

When you have a barrel of gun powder available, you can train or upgrade a unit of soldiers into Musketeers.

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Ludovic
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Re: [Balance] Fertile Soil

Post by Ludovic » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:13 am

Awesome feedback and ideas, I'll give it the detailed reply it deserves later today when I've worked my way a bit down the task backlog.

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Re: [Balance] Fertile Soil

Post by Ludovic » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:25 pm

Really good input on technology, resources and warlords. Interesting idea on the resource zone effects - I agree that the very localized nature is quite odd for some resources, but for others I'd very much like them to be hex-specific. I think I would rather have the specials that make sense to be in zones be repeated across multiple hexes. The current icons are placeholders and dominate visually a bit too much, which is why I have tried to hold a bit back on having too many of them on the map at once. It's also why specials like herds of valuable animals, horses, etc. are not in the game. I think it would make very little sense to have them in one hex only, but I also don't want to spam the map with icons.

Another related aspect is that I'd like to have some way to represent stuff like bog iron (which is a good source of metal without access to "real" deposits), lumber from forests (even without a logging camp they should provide a ready source for nearby settlements), amber collected from beaches, etc. These should be available as part of territorial control, this could be at the province level and/or based on control from settlements/fortresses. (another instance where the merging of these will make mechanics more fluid).

Currently technology is very coarsely represented for the various cultures, and merged with general civic development, in the following tiered system: Savage, Primitive, Barbarian, Semi-Cultured, Cultured, Highly Cultured. There is no progression going on and city buildings are the only way to unlock new units.

When Warlords are introduced I'd like the player to have the option of progressing in multiple ways, depending on the type of Warlord chosen (the first Warlords will probably be Horde, Autocrat/Emperor and Feudal archetypes, with different "tech" trees). Technological progress would be one possible path, but another could be focused on uniting tribes/clans, taming great beasts/monsters, upgrading units with abilities, benefits from subjugation/tributaries, etc. There will not be the massive variety of different choices and archetypes that Wizards have - to avoid a repeat of the situation where all the different Wizards are being incrementally fleshed out and implemented. So they will also be added one at a time, most likely with Autocrat/Emperor first, as it is the simplest.

I am really happy to see your ideas for tying technology, units and resources together. A big reason for not enabling Warlords yet is that I did not want them to just be Wizards without spells, or even worse, spells masquerading as "Warlord Abilities" or such. I think your suggestion of resource control as a core Warlord mechanic and mechanism for enabling progression is really great. This also creates a good way to make alliances and subjugation a viable alternative to constant warfare. If access to iron can secured through forging an alliance with the annoyingly well-fortified dwarven mountain strongholds and access to sulphur by beating the swampdwelling goblins into submission, your proud armies can focus on other tasks and fewer garrisons are needed to keep rebellion in check.

As for gunpowder, I have purposefully postponed it. Not because I think it doesn't belong in the game, but because it would add even more stuff to the list of things to implement. Gunpowder means pistols, arquebuses, cannons, mortars - perhaps even various arcane variants. It adds some additional complexity to sieges. If all goes according to plan it will be something added in a major patch or even as part of a gunpowder/steampunk/"post-medieval fantasy" focused expansion.

But I really like the ideas for technological progression and resource control you propose, so perhaps some gunpowder elements can be included as the final stages of progression, without introducing new mechanics. Some of the existing damage mechanics should be able to represent it decently until full detail can be given as outlined.

As for magma - yes it should have a greater impact. The next step will probably be a simple cost increase for building sites in magma terrain, but offset by a bonus to resource yields. I'll try to add it incrementally as the other system/mechanic work progresses.

hooster1
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Re: [Balance] Fertile Soil

Post by hooster1 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:38 pm

Now that is an awesome response. Well worth waiting for.

I whole heartedly agree, it would be so sad if warlords are wizards without spells. There has to be a fun, but different way of advancing them to achieve more powerful units.

One of the thoughts I had was that technology is an upgrade, but finite increase. The idea with gun powder is when you run out, you have to go back to a settlement or tower that has access to your supply train. Supply trains, and being 'in supply' can be cut off. American Civil War, raiders almost killed the South's railroads with just a few men. Doolittle's raid against Japan made them pull back lots of troops and ships to protect their supply lines. Troops without supplies, dies. When they run out of gunpowder, they fix bayonets and charge - with the same specs as spearmen, not musketeers.

I think this really brings up the zone of control and supply. There probably needs to be a color overlay that can be toggled on that shows the areas connected to your main city. When a raider or opposing army comes through, the hexes they use turn white - neither side controls it. If the enemy takes over a village, outpost or other structure - the connection back to their main city turns their color and they have control. Oh, the cut off areas that are now separated? They either turn white as well, or contract back a hex a turn they remain cut off from your city.

Yes, gunpowder done well could certainly be an expansion. There is so much to to, better to get the core game going well than to try and do everything poorly.

Let me think on earlier technology and resource combinations and see if I can dig up other research type items that would fit will with the Warlord types we are discussing. Off the top of my head, I am thinking Elephants, Ships, Siege engines, Balloons, Spear throwers, Greek Fire, Flaming Arrows, Telescopes, Horse breeding, Wagons, Bridges, Plows, Mills,

Knowledge points could be earned from schools through colleges - buildable items for the warlord. A quest to save a scholar from an independent town, or have a thief sneak over a liberate him. If successful, the Warlord earns a knowledge increase. The warlord could have quite a different set of quests than a Wizard.

Trade might be it's own ability, or advanced trade, giving diplomacy a reason for being. When you research it, you get the opportunity to set up recurring trade and even trade routes with caravans. Assign two wagons to travel across flatonia to pick up iron ore from the Dwarves you befriended. Attach a dwarf town - bye bye trade. Research bigger wagons, more trade per successfully completed round trip. Research trade guilds and get better prices. Oh, and those wagons traveling down the roads - they make juicy targets for raiders. Be able to assign protection like a mixed army. If you really become good friends, they may send a troop of heavy dwarves to join your army, or send over some falcon eggs so you can raise some winged scouts.

That make researching building roads, draining or channeling swamps, and building bridges have even more meaning. Faster travel means a quicker turn around. Those dwarves really like the dark ale you are brewing.

I think we have gone well beyond balance into future ideas, but I'm quite alright with that. I've always been frustrated with games that have such wonderful potential, but the developers don't listen to good ideas. Yes, I know they already have a plan, approval and a budget that they have to stick to. Still, it is a pleasure having you listen and at least having the potential of influencing the game.

hooster1
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Re: [Balance] Fertile Soil

Post by hooster1 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:40 pm

I have done a little research into early weapons and a lot comes down to leadership and tactics rather than advances in weaponry that would require specific resources like I was envisioning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_weapons

But, that does not mean that other advances in technology cannot give advances that improve the war fighting capabilities of the Warlord.

Elephants - would require a special resource and be able to make one, or a fraction of one elephant troop a turn. Very heavy Cavalry, but vulnerable in mountains and swamps.

Ships - requires wood, metal and cloth - speeds up ocean travel and enables overseas trade routes and faster troop transport. Further research can build bigger ships, some research can safely research better sails (requires special, tall, straight trees for masts).

Siege engines - Requires wood, metal, rope and engineers. Very slow, but powerful against fortresses - the way to finally crack that dwarf fortress guarding the pass through the mountains. Different categories of siege engines are possible, from troop killers to wall crushers. All must be reloaded by a fortress in supply.

Balloons - requires cloth, stationary the reveal x hexes out. If let free, they will float a random direction for x turns before running out of fuel and crashing. Only attackable by flying units.

Spear throwers - wood and flint - extends the range and damage of spear units for x attacks. After that, the unit must be resupplied.

Greek Fire - requires Naphtha (new resource) sulfur, charcoal (yes, I'm making it up, we don't know what really was in it.) does damage over time to a unit it hits. Must be reloaded after battle at a location in supply.

Flaming Arrows, Cloth, oil or naphtha - Does extra damage and has a chance of breaking other troops. Needs to be restocked after X battles.

Telescopes - Hero item, Brass and Lenses from workshop - extends spotting range of the unit 1 hex.

Horse breeding - could be unit, trade or hero item, increasing movement 1 hex per turn

Wagons - allows trading over land. Wagons would be upgradable to haul more trade items, improvements include researching iron shod wheels, spoked wheels, larger wagons, Horse Breeding, Gravel Roads, Paved roads.

Bridges - requires stone, stone mason - allows passage over a river at normal travel speed for the road type. Will be washed out by floods, hurricanes

Plows - research item, increases the food supply from farms significantly.

Grain Mills - increases the yield of food from say 5 farms each - perhaps 20%
Lumber Mills - increases the yield of lumber from 5 lumber camps, - perhaps 20% as well.
Weaving Mills - increases the yeild of cloth from Wool and flax - reduces the cost of new units and maintenance as their uniforms and supplies are cheaper.

Healing - increases population faster (well, actually decreases death, but the same effect), Baths, Aid stations, clinics, healer's huts, hospitals could all be upgrades to the technology. Cities with healing facilities replace units faster, but you have to be in the city, not in the area of influence.

Conscription - able bodied men are required to spend a summer as militia. Increases resistance if a city is sieged and reduces the time to build new units as the men already have some basic soldiering skills.

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