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Can something be done about dungeon spawns?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Rutee, May 2, 2009.

  1. Rutee

    Rutee Warlord

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    I'm actually fine with the "A powerful enemy rises to defend the lair" event about 95% of the time. The other 5% is when some jackass AI pops a T3 or T4 unit with some levels next to my borders before the 50th turn, which is especially irritating in multiplayer when turns take longer. I recognize that this is technically a 'useful' offensive weapon, but it also seems a mighty cheap one. Can something be done to at least somewhat tie the "Powerful enemy" spawn to the actual time in-game?
     
  2. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Its honestly so annoying that you either need a house rule against it or to tick the "No Lairs" option. If you can trust the people you're MPing with then house rule for no exploring epic lairs before turn 80 works well.
     
  3. Rutee

    Rutee Warlord

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    Yeah... it's really annoying because I honestly do love lairs whenever this isn't involved. This just ruined last night's game though.

    Would it perhaps be possible to put guards up on lairs without a DoW? Because.. that strikes me as perfectly fitting if people know what exploring can do. Sorta reminds me of Etrian Odyssey, except Guards don't let people explore lairs for the state's benefit, not the adventurer's.
     
  4. Skyre Noktis

    Skyre Noktis Warlord

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    Wouldn't a better mechanism be to spawn less powerful enemies in the early game but also give worse bonuses? This would solve the problem with massively overpowered units appearing on turn 50 while also giving you an incentive to save some dungeons for later.
     
  5. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Sounds good. Triple Barbarian Mistforms have shut down 4 different games of mine.
     
  6. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    it is actually coded into the IA to do that, it pops all of the ones near the other civs, so it can get the bonuses but the bad lair results get sicked on the enemy
     
  7. Rutee

    Rutee Warlord

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    Now see, that's still good strategy, and if it could not end the game for a particular player, I'd be pretty okay with it. It's the T3/T4 units while you still only have 2 or 3 warriors that bothers the hell out of me.
     
  8. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    So if someone uses a strategy to defeat another player, and that player is you, you are not ok with it. Well, the fact is that this is a legitimate strategy like any other. And that I don't see why you would dislike it. That is simply the nature of the game.
     
  9. Rutee

    Rutee Warlord

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    No, I said it ended the game, not that it knocked me out of it. It was my buddy playing Bannor that bit the bullet. The game was still over.

    As to why this is problematic in any case, think about it for a minute. Look at the risk factor. You risk /one scout/ for the potential of unleashing an unstoppable force that is guaranteed to wipe out the enmy capitol. I said it was good strategy to pop lairs next to your enemy, I didn't say it was good design for the positives to so outweigh the negatives.

    You say its' the nature of the game; It's the nature of the game to be unstoppably destroyed without any actual counter or input from you? Seriously, defend to me the notion of uncounterable civilization destruction in under 50 turns, at the maximum cost of a scout. I'm listening.
     
  10. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    One thing I tend to notice, in discussions about games about all genres, is that any mechanic whose supporters use this line to defend it is automatically bad. The way I figure it, no arguments of actual substance get brought up in place of that line because there just aren't any.
     
  11. fish_sticks

    fish_sticks Chieftain

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    Why not just make a requirement to be able to explore the lairs? That fixed issues with the Lunan world spells so it couldn't be used the first turn.

    This could be done by making it require something like Hunting or Philosophy to explore. You could even make a strength requirement of >6 or so because those are not available for the first 100 turns or so at best.
     
  12. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    QFT. Like people who insist that bugs from an older version of a game, which add nothing to gameplay, should be kept because "that's the way it is." Although there's one other major factor that contributes to the problem - a lot of players simply don't see any reason for variation in a game; they're happy if one gun/character/unit/whatever is way overpowered and nothing else can ever beat it except itself.

    In this situation I likewise support changing lair-exploration requirements; I don't feel tying it to a tech or type of unit is particularly great though, since a lot of times you want to explore the lair just to prevent barb spawn, and this downplays a few special mechanics like adventurers. So I'd endorse the solution of allowing exploration but just having weaker results overall for the first chunk of turns (dependent on gamespeed).
     
  13. Domingo

    Domingo El Desaparecido

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    Or maybe that only units of a certain level can get the "powerful enemy" spawns from lairs. That way your level 1 scout won't get it on turn 3, but they can still provide a challenge. I think it would be great if some of the "powerful enemies" dropped items as well.
     
  14. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    the AI needs all the help it can get...
     
  15. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 King

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    Limit the really good and really bad results to past turn 100 (at least) with variations added for game speed. That would seem to be the best solution.
     
  16. Marnok

    Marnok Marnok

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    It is easily possible to scale results if you want to mod it. Arrange the monsters spawnable by tier in seperate sub-lists; build the main selection list by combining the sublists. Only combine certain lists at certain times.

    Already there is a "grace" check, if the game is withing the grace period only weaker units will spawn. It may be you want to adjust this grace calculation in CustomFunctions.py, or change the results lists in exploreLairBigBad in the same.

    What might be good is an option to "guard lair entrance" to stop rivals exploring them if they have not declared war.
     
  17. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    I realy dislike it when people find that something does not scale with their vision of balance and instantly call it a bug.

    We had this same discusion over and over in the Travian forum about weather a player should be allowed to ruin another player. No matter how you put it this is not a bug and nether are uber spawns. They exist for a reason, and that reason is to discourage early scouting of lairs near your teritory. And to encourage early scouting lairs near your oponents.
    Try playing a huge map, erebus, 12+ civs (yes, AI included too) and you will see that there are ways to protect your self from this as well as any mechanic.

    Let's face it, lairs are not that comon. They apear, but not nerely as comon as you make them out to be. If you have lairs in your land or near it, settle a city close to it and don't open borders.
    I usualy save lairs for my heroes rather than scout poping them unless I find a player that is STUPID enough not to take precursions.

    If you see a lair near your teritory you can:
    1. Setle a city near it and close borders or
    2. Put some archers or a horde of troops in the nearby city (the cheap solution)

    If you don't do that, or any other precoursinaly mesure, you deserve to bite the preverbial bullet. You sound just like a friend of mine who complained that on small maps in regular civ chariots are broken becouse you could rush someone with them in the early game. Dangerus things are not broken, they are ment to be a danger. If you fail to plan for them, you plan to fail. End of story.

    I will admit one thing, if you play small maps or 1 vs 1, than it realy is pointles as a mechanic becouse it's just a magic bullet. But if you don't mind me asking, why would someone in the right mind play like that?
     
  18. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    I don't know why Earthling brought up the bug thing. Yeah, some things are clearly bugs, and yeah, a lot of obvious bugs tend to get that same "it's part of the game" treatment. That doesn't really have anything to do with the discussion about boss spawns, though.

    They were intentionally put in, alright, but just because that's the case doesn't mean that they should be there. Game designers aren't infallible. They sometimes make mistakes which they need to correct, and the debate is over whether boss spawns are one of these. (I don't have a strong opinion on it myself because they don't really ruin high level SP games and I don't play multiplayer.) But regardless, the "it's part of the game" defense is a denial of that fact and you need to leave that on the shelf, because making that argument flushes your credibility right down the toilet even if you make it alongside more substantial points (like you did in your second post.)

    I mean, come on. FfH is a total conversion mod, for christ's sake. Proof positive that its designers know that a game (Civ4) can be imperfect, and that some of its intentional design decisions need to go. Pointing out that something is the status quo and expecting that to suffice as an argument for it being a legit strategy gets you nowhere.
     
  19. Rutee

    Rutee Warlord

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    That thought occured to me. A special spell that puts exactly 1 :culture: for your country in that square, castable only on lairs. Nobody else can enter it for quite a few tiers; If someone wants in, they can fight you for it, which is a little more reasonable. Still a luck-based mission where /if/ they can whomp, they /may/ be able to unleash some eldritch abomination.. but it at least puts the onus on them to DoW you, not on you to DoW them. Since it's only 1 :culture:, if anyone gets actual presence it'll flip to them immediately.


    The power of metaphor is lost on you, isn't it?

    1. That'll go over well. You suggest to me to counter a 25 hammer unit, easily producable within 5 turns if you're focusing on pop growth, with a 220 hammer unit. That is quite possibly the worst strategic suggestion I've seen.
    2. Where in the name of God's Green Earth is anyone supposed to get more then 4 or 5 warriors by turn 30? I guess I can see popping Archery out of a goody hut by that point, but where would the Range and Archers themselves come from? 4-5 warriors should stand a decent chance of taking down a priest, at least (Hopefully without losing any to conversion..), but having those warriors out that soon probably means you had to leave something else out.

    First off, for someone who acts so leet, you don't seem to understand the differences between these situations. Rushing chariots is the same as effectively any other rush strategy; If it's countered, the Rush-er is left in a weaker long term position.

    First off, there is no real counter to throwing out a scout in the early, early game, and them popping a T4 Priest or 3 Mistforms, or other equivalent high end summons on another player.

    Second off, there is no real risk either. Again, you risk a scout on eliminating a civ. You have given (Poor) ways to combat this menace. You have not yet explained the benefits of leaving T4 spawns out so early in the game. Please do so; Even you yourself point out that this can be considered a magic bullet.

    For the record, I really only have a problem with the Powerful Enemy spawns from Dungeons, to the best of my knowledge. I've never seen Lairs, as in, the Barrows/Stone-head-thing that spawns Lizards give out T4 enemies.
     
  20. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    One at a time please"

    I think it is lost on you becouse you newer played travian. It is realy my fault on using it. In travian, the entire game is created around completely crushing the other player. So seing it as a bug would be like seeing an internal combustion engine as the bug in a car.
    The same thing I think works for CIV or FFH/FF. The object of the game is to win, and win as spectaculary as possible. If that meens you have to finde holes in someones defenses, than it is called strategy and not bug obuse.

    Well, if you are playing a small map, I can see the problem, but on a large map by the time someone gets to your land, you will have defenses. If you wanted to find someone specific on a huge map with no idea where to look for him and with only that 1 starting scout, you will need more than 30 turns to do so unless you have silly luck in spawning next to him.


    And rushing scouts, scouting half of the map to find an enemy city that actualy has a dungeon nearby, and than hoping that the said dungeon actualy spawns high level units is not a valid strategy?

    See above, there is no counter, but it is not easy to do unless you have insane luck with conditions so that everything fits into place like a milion peace puzle.

    The benifit is to promote agresive playing, fast expansion and most importmantly, not eliminating the barbs. If you can keep them out of your lands but on (and close to) those dungeons it adds a completely new layer of strategy.
    There is also substantial risk invaulved for the user. In order to acheave the imposible (a 30 turn takedown using this tehnique on a large or huge map) the player needs to lieraly churn out scouts and send them scouring the map hoping he can get a lucky break and find a city with a dungeon near it. If not, the entire trouble is wasted.

    Again, my bad. I used the term lair instead of dungeon in a few places.


    Or, it is a feature that is misunderstood. Have you ever considered that something that is "obvious a bug" might not be so "obvious a bug" when you find a way to play allong with it.


    I newer left it on the shelf. I simply elaborated my earlyer post.
    Yesterday I did not have the time to post a wall of text so I came back today to finish the job.

    I am pointing out that it is a valid stategy. Removing it would be removing an aspect of the game.
     

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