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Balance Feedback

Discussion in 'Rise from Erebus Modmod' started by Valkrionn, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. jonnnes

    jonnnes Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
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    Location:
    leipzig, germany
    where do i get it? i looked around here but i seem to be too stupid. btw nice crystal structure. yours?

    Edit: i found it, sorry for stupid question ...

    Edit II: yeah but it doesn't help with the buldings you need to improve health in the cities, does ist?
     
  2. Torugu

    Torugu Prince

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    Dec 14, 2009
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    382
    It does, you can build more buildings in the time you'd normally use to build Workers/Warriors.

    I'm not saying that it solves all your problems, but helps a lot.
     
  3. Koravis

    Koravis Chieftain

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    Still a problem in 1.31(and hotfix) :p Cualli cannot remove nor build on the swamps that get created around their cities.
     
  4. Red Boxer

    Red Boxer Prince

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    Oct 13, 2003
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    Location:
    Philadelphia.PA
    The Muris Goblin event is ridiculously brutal right now. I keep getting it before I can push out my first unit. I've lost 6 games due to that event, most of them occurring before I could build more than two units.
     
  5. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
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    1,706
    i'd say it's bad luck, in all my tests, i've never had it before turn 50 or so. i'll add a tech prereq though
     
  6. Red Boxer

    Red Boxer Prince

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    Just hit it on turn 6 and before that lost one to a frakking cyclops army that a Balsy scout popped.

    I relish in the early battles with barbarians, they're fun, however losing this many games is just strange. Maybe they just love PM Esirce.
     
  7. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Crestview FL
    Please make a thread about it here so I don't forget it. :goodjob:
     
  8. Ilyes

    Ilyes Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
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    43
    Savage Dungeon on turn 117 [marathon speed] spawned 3 Stoneskin Ogres... seriously, this -is- absurd.
    As is is now, lairs seems to me like a "trap" for the player (and maybe even the AI; in the same game as above, I had no less than 5 enemy civs already defeated): either one lets them be (so they constantly spawn monsters) or one investigates (so that weak units get thrashed by spiders and giants, and strong units get poisoned, enervated, plaugued and the like). Spawned monsters are just too many, and given Civ4's combat (which I loathe), sooner or later you -will- get your first city conquered no matter how strong your defence is; on the other hand, producing units and sending them to eradicate lairs is usually a losing strategy, because they are well defended, are not always destroyed upon exploration, and even with scouts negative results are both too frequent and worse than the good ones (not to mention that some results, like the above ogres, are definitely game-breaking). Starting a game "near" (abstarct definition; see the centaurs) a dungeon, barrow or the like is usually an exercise in seeing your improvements pillages, cities razed and units built, promoted and then dying.

    Suggestions:
    Add some tech requirement for the spawngroups (quite aggravating seeing barbarian archers and axemen when you're still learning how to fish);

    Categorize exploration result based on the exploring unit's strenght/level/tier (perhaps even a special promotion) OR turn, taking into account game speed;

    Prevent units to explore lairs that are within another civ's cultural borders, or make those lair unable to spawn monsters, or make it an act of war (quite sound if you think about it -you can't pillage my improvements, why should you be able to destroy my dungeons?; also, exploring lairs "hoping" to get powerful monsters spawned that then proceed to destroy enemy civs CAN be a sneaky, cunning sort of realpolitik manouver, and should be recognized as such -could even be a feature of Council of Esus); as it is now, I bould graveyards andmy allies pillage my dead, which get quite upset and attack me for it O_o;

    I conclude saying that spawngroups are a great idea, they add personality and fear to those pesky barbarians. :lol:
     
  9. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
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    I'm not sure if feedback from a new (RfE) player is welcome around here?

    I just tried RfE for the first time, I hadn't played anything FFHish since before FFH2 was final, so it's been a while.

    Anyway, my balance feedback is ... I can't find a polite way to say this: RfE is horribly balanced. The early game is WAY too punishing. I'm still holding on in my first serious game (my first game I abandoned due to bad positioning and my second one I was defeated by barbarians VERY early on), but the AI players are dropping like flies.
    And I completely understand why - you went overboard with the difficulty of the barbarian units.
    The first AI player fell really early, like I did in my second game, but three others dropped in quick succession when the game unleashed the previously bound units (the giant-like creatures). The world outside city borders is full of spiders, highwaymen, hill giants, skeleton archers (these are especially deadly ... and very numerous, unfortunately), pikemen, several types of animals (again, the wildcats are impossible to defeat early on) and so on.
    The AI players cannot expand, because their efforts to do so are thwarted by all the far too dangeous roaming barbarians.
    A human player - even one not used to be playing this mod, like I - has a chance to adapt, but the AI is unable to cope, or at least that's my experience.

    Tone down the early game difficulty. Considerably.

    Note: I used default settings when starting the game and am merely playing on Warlord difficulty.

    Edit: Well, I guess it doesn't matter that much now. The game crashed to the desktop and loading any savegame from the last 100 turns crashes the game. I guess you guys still have a lot of more important homework than balancing to do...
    _____
    rezaf
     
  10. Torugu

    Torugu Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
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    First of all: I'm not a team member but I can assure you that the team appreciates constructive feedback from any player, new or old.

    Aside from that Valk has realized that the Lairs are upgrading to early and he's thinking about a way to fix it you can read more about it here. You may also want to participate in the brainstorming there. (This shameless add has absolutely nothing to do with me being to lazy to read two threads on the same topic. :scared: )
     
  11. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    There are two real issues that you're hitting on; Lairs upgrade too early, and thus lair spawns come too early, and Lair exploration results are poorly balanced.

    The first will be fixed (Torugu linked to the thread where I discussed a solution), and the second has not been approached yet; It will be a part of the next patch.

    Again, this is due to the way lairs currently upgrade. Since it is by turn, as with all upgrade improvements, it is extremely difficult to make sure they upgrade appropriately.

    We have a new method which will ensure the upgrade occurs at the appropriate time. ;)

    And on crashes: Very few people have reported any crash issues. If savegames crash on load as you say, it is most likely an issue on your end that we cannot fix; A MAF of one sort or another.
     
  12. Ilyes

    Ilyes Chieftain

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    The lair exploration thing could be improved making the Adventurer promotion available to any unit.
     
  13. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Not really. That more or less removes any risk from exploration, which is most definitely not a good thing IMO.

    This is the way it will work in the next patch, and the real reason there are three tiers of lair:

    • All lair types will have a unique result class, with only basic results shared by all.
    • Exploration results grow in power as they upgrade.
    • High-tier lairs will downgrade to the lower tier when explored.
      • This had to be removed due to an issue with guardians; Need to prevent them from spawning when the improvement is created via pillaging. Was too last minute to get in. :crazyeye:
    • Here's an example of the exploration result classes associated with a lair:
      • Barrow - SmallGood, SmallBad, Barrow
      • Gloomy Barrow - Good, SmallGood, Bad, SmallBad, Barrow, GloomyBarrow
      • Howling Barrow - BigGood, Good, SmallGood, BigBad, SmallBad, Barrow, GloomyBarrow, HowlingBarrow
    Early game results will definitely be weaker than they are now. :goodjob:
     
  14. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

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    I'm not sure what a MAF is, but I can say that I had just installed CivIV and it's addons, that the RfE install was a fresh one and that the Dune mod ran without any complaint.

    Also, no offense, but I'm a programmer myself, and I find "the error is surely on your side" to be a bold claim, especially since you just admitted your lair upgrading algorithm is faulty in the current release, and even when not actively looking for them I stumbled across small errors on your part such as missing strings (and yes, I already installed the hotfix for the hotfix that supposedly fixes all the strings for the new events).
    _____
    rezaf
     
  15. Ilyes

    Ilyes Chieftain

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    Sounds good :D

    On a side note, the animal spawns seems pretty ok. It's the first time ever I'm able to capture some animals before they get wiped out.
     
  16. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
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    MAF = Memory Allocation Failure.

    If you're experiencing a repeatable crash, that's most likely a bug. Best thing to do is upload a saved game from right before the crash, to give the team a chance to try to track down the bug.

    EDIT: if you're going to upload a saved game because of a repeatable crash, you should do that in the bug thread, not here, since it's not a balance issue.
     
  17. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    A MAF is a "Memory Allocation Failure", something Civ4 runs into when there are substantial art assets. There has been a huge amount of digging into the subject by many talented modders, and the cause has not been found... Implying it is locked in the .exe, which we do not have access to.

    Again, allow me to reiterate: MAFs are not due to anything we have done with the codebase. They are an effect related to the sheer size of the mod. The effect can be minimized by packing the art and using lower-quality textures where possible, but modifying the fpaks in that manner will have to wait for a full release version, as the vast majority of art (half the size of the mod folder!) is already on all of your machines.

    If the game crashes repeatedly on a set turn, it's most often a bug, and generally is our fault, indirectly or otherwise. A game crashing simply loading the game, however, is a symptom of the PC running out of memory usable by the game. The best I can tell you for now is to read this thread.

    As for me admitting the "lair upgrading algorithm" is faulty... Not so much. It works perfectly well, for what it's intended for: Traditional upgrading improvements. Cottages and the like. The issues with using it for lairs isn't that it doesn't work, but that it is near impossible to balance adequately. It is very difficult to use a simple turn timer for something that needs to advance with the players; By transitioning to a tech-based upgrade, we will be able to ensure the lairs upgrade at appropriate times for all games, regardless of whether tech advancement is stalling or shooting forward, difficult level, or gamespeed. It's not a programming error at all, but a conceptual one.

    Now, if you want a programming error, look at what the hotfix fixed; I had some logic issues in the isSpawnGroupValid function, so several tags (such as an AC prereq) returned true when they should have been false. I am far from a perfect programmer. I'm just not the cause of your specific issue, unless you count "making the mod larger and including more art assets" as responsible. ;)

    Glad to hear that animals are good. Started out way too strong, we've had several iterations since then. :goodjob:
     
  18. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

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    Valkrionn, I just re-read my previous post and realized it possibly sounded a bit hostile, that was not my intention, so if you took offense, I apologize.

    Thanks for explaining the MAF issue, now that you pointed out what it stands for it seems painfully obvious, but I just never used the abreviation.

    I'm running Civ4 on my secondary computer, which still runs on Vista with 4GB of ram, so maybe that's causing the issue.
    However, it still puzzles me why the savegames where invalidated, but appearently, it also seems to puzzle you modders as well, so ... appearently I'm unable to play RfE on this computer then, is that what you're trying to say? Can't say hearing that makes me happy. :(

    As for being a good programmer or not ... I guess the main issue isn't that you're a bad programmer but that the stuff you're working with is very complex. And on top, you don't have access to some of it.

    Are you modding teams on friendly terms? The dune mod I mentioned before seems to have managed to avoid the memory allocation issue completely, despite also using completely custom art assets, screens and stuff.
    Then again, FfH alone probably has more custom art stuff than Dune Wars, let alone RfE.
    _____
    rezaf
     
  19. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Oh, it didn't offend me at all. Very little does. :lol: I just wanted to make the MAF issue clear.

    A partial solution would be to play smaller maps; A smaller map has fewer civs/units/other art related goodies, and so has a smaller impact on the computer. That is the main reason I have repeatedly refused to implement larger-than-huge maps.

    And the Dune Mod, unfortunately, has far less art. They have ~135mb of art. We have ~781mb.

    BTW: Dune is pretty much the only non-RifE Civ4 I still play. I love the mod... And we have plans to steal the homeworld screen for our own purposes, as well. :goodjob:
     
  20. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

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    I've played RfE on my other computer for a good bit.
    So, like it or not, some more feedback. :p

    On stability: There's definately something going on in RfE that breaks savegames, and it's unrelated to the MAF phenomenon. I had another savegame corruption in this game, thankfully I noticed it quickly and only had to fall back like three turns.
    The reason I noticed it earlier is that RfE crashes Civ4 a LOT more frequently on this rig, despite it being more a more powerful computer. These crashes are always MAFs, though, with the proper error window saying just that. It's a bit annoying, but I'm sure you're right and it's something only Firaxis could do something about (which they won't).
    Fair enough, as long as no corruptions occur, it's playable and the crashes are still not frequent enough to be terribly annoying.

    On balance: I think it's already established that the barbs are too strong in the early game, so I see no need to outline that again, but another thing I noticed is that there seems to be some odd "decisions" at work as to where barbs spawn.
    In this game I was on the largest continent with all other civs except one.
    It was a long chain of landmasses separated by either water (with small landbridges connecting) or mountain ranges.
    Then there were three large islands, one of which the remaining AI started at.
    That one was quickly slaughtered by barbarians, but on the main continent, there was only moderate barb activity.
    Later on I discovered why, the island continents were FLOODED with barbarians. I landed my main army on the smallest (room for three cities) and (no kidding) had to expose of more than 20 Jarls and a dozen Highwaymen, along with other units.
    Barbs continued to spawn aggressively, even when I had built cities and there were only five unclaimed plots left - regularly stacks of Assassins and the catrider dudes appeared every three to four turns. On an isolated part of the main continent, I had some Hunters camped desperately waiting for something to spawn, but the entire area (room for six cities) remained desolate.
    It was actually kind of cool to have these "mordors" where you had to bring a LOT of units if you wanted to land there, but is this intentional, that there's spawn areas that roll out masses of units whereas other parts of the map are entirely unaffected?
    _____
    rezaf
     

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