Discussion for new proposal: new medic as a civilian unit instead of combat unit with medic promotion

nekokon

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Currently dedicate medic is very hard to use due to them taking up room just like normal unit but can only heal units 6 hexes around itself, thus is only good for healing after fight (as they can only heal 2 units when 2 sides clash or when making city blockage).
Turning them into stackable civilian with either siege tower (Assyria's UU) or great general AI would reduce doom carpet micromanagement hell.
They would have the same cost as worker preferably, and with 3 movements to be able to keep up with most units but mounted/armored.

To balance the fact that they would basically give extra healing permanently without any tactical decision, they can either be:
- Limited amount based on maximum supply cap (1 every 5 cap ?) with only medic I (to keep the free healing reasonable)
- Or only heal one specific unit they're on top of at the start or end or by using their action by a good amount (give good tactical decision but would be harder to code for AI)

Along with this change combat unit will no longer be able to get medic promotion.

Optional (hard to implement but if there's someone who could sponsor this idea it would be great): adding extra mechanic to the medic unit above to simulate "supply unit", by allowing them to heal a good amount to all units around with their action, but the amount of healing action is limited (thus the need to build and send new supply unit to the frontline). Would make invading army stronger (since they don't have to run out and heal as much, so might be good to buff up city defense a bit) but very vulnerable when their new supply unit is caught on the way.

Making a new discussion thread out here so we can talk about what ppl think, and I will make the proposal thread later. This is to make sure we can still see the discussion even if the proposal thread is vetoed/moved due to some unrelated reason.

Currently the proposal would be:
- New civilian medic unit with medic 1 and GG's AI, AND remove medic promotion from combat units (must go together to make sense). Same cost as worker, 3 movements.
- OR: new civilian medic unit with active action (similar to spread religion action) which heal only the unit stacking on top for 20hp, AND remove medic promotion from combat units (must go together to make sense). Same cost as worker, 3 movements.

Also I would really appreciate if any dev interested in sponsoring this to have a word before I submit a new proposal thread. Without knowing if it's technically possible I would have to make 2 different proposals on the same topic due to the congress rule (only 1 change per proposal), or potentially having to wait 2 months for no reason if I submitted the better (imo personally) proposal just to get vetoed due to technical difficulty.

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Update current discussion:

Right now based on majority opinions having medic as a new unit might not be the best option, so the discussion is now switched to "how to take care of the issue with medic unit having subpar performance because they had to sacrifice important promotions for medic promotion ?"
Current solution including giving medic promotion for free for units of certain line (skirmisher ? siege unit ?), or for unit who accomplished certain task/action (heal up a certain amount) so that they can still get important promotions to do their main jobs.
 
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Rekk

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I find the second proposal which simulates a supply line is very interesting. It would need to scale over the eras (like caravan/trade ship).

It also, unfortunately, will require a bunch of AI work.
 

Dimmy

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At first I was liking the idea of a medic unit. But after more thoughts and playing my current game imagining what use of medic units I will do I came to these conclusions:
1) The feel that we might need a medic unit hides a different problem: It has become too hard to conquer cities and to fight front lines. I started to play with Hinin's tweaks for war and damn how good it is to be back to more pulp action!
2) A medic unit makes no sense realistically. Units already "heal themselves" which is actually reinforcements rather than healing the soldiers, from a realistic POV.
3) Maybe we could just change the healing promotion to be avail earlier and/or to be new promotion tree along with shock and drill? Like support?
 

Stalker0

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the second idea is interesting but considering the AI production power, if they used it correctly they could have a Congo line of medics providing unlimited healing. Likely way too good.

I personally don’t see the problem, mesic is not a hard promotion to get, grab an archer level it up a bit, ready to rock
 

nekokon

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Realistically medic unit would represent supply/logistic more than actual healing (as hp does reflects combat strength) so you're not wrong.
Theorically we also have great admiral AI which includes expending themselves to heal surrounding units so I hope there won't be much AI work, but still need a dev to confirm.

While some ppl play with reduced city defense mods, there're still concern about AI being vassalized easily due to player able to blitz city quickly thus I still want to suggest the change to medic unit instead. Gameplay-wise it would give a more stable/less micromanaging experience when sieging city or chewing through horde of enemy units while still keeping the blitz strat in check.

As long as medic being a promotion, units taking it will always be missing out on other needed promotions to do their jobs to their best capability. Also micromanaging unit in and out is a real pain.

the second idea is interesting but considering the AI production power, if they used it correctly they could have a Congo line of medics providing unlimited healing. Likely way too good.

I personally don’t see the problem, mesic is not a hard promotion to get, grab an archer level it up a bit, ready to rock

The number of medic/supply unit is capped so they can't spam a conga line to the frontline, not to mention if the enemy can go around it's a big loss to war weariness. They're civilian.
 

Fluffball

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While i like the idea of a supply mechanic and maybe a medic unit i am leaning towards @Dimmy thoughts that the 'need' to add them only hides the issue that the August changes may have been a bit too much with melee units losing a lot of power and potentially being too squishy to ranged attacks in particular.
It could be hard to teach the AI to use/protect such a unit effectively also considering that even while much more improved the AI still can leave great generals exposed occasionally.
 

Stalker0

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An interesting side effect of this is it adds a lot more attrition to the human side of warring. Hunman players works have to continuously refresh their medics to maintain healing rates, rather than maintaining an immortal army that never dies. That could be interesting.

I personally feel option 2 should be a mod mod, i think it’s too fundamental a change to put in the mod wholesale, as it changes a lot. But inthink their is a segment of players that would really like the concept (I certainly would give it a try).

Option 1 is more acceptable to me, as it’s the same functionality just provided by a different unit.
 

nekokon

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Logistic/supply unit can definitely be a mod mod as technically it only adds a new (limited amount) civilian unit with specific action and doesn't directly affect balance, thus can be plug in/out easily. Having someone actually picking up the idea is another story though.

The basic option is more of a QoL change to reduce micromanagement without touching balance (like reducing city defense). Personally I prefer to have city defense as is to discourage blitz and leave room for more warfare options like siege or medic units. Reducing options is never a good choice even if it's easier/simpler to implement.

Also just to double check, nobody like the idea of medic only heal the one unit stacking on it ? I thought it would be interesting and create more tactical decisions than just leaving the medic on top for small healing boost. How about a different effect like heal 5hp to surrounding unit even if they take other action that turn (open up option for other units to act) or movement boost if they start the turn within range or anything else that affects decision making/change of gameplay ?
 

Stalker0

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The basic option is more of a QoL change to reduce micromanagement without touching balance (like reducing city defense).
With respect, this is 100% NOT a QoL change, this is pure balance. You are adding an entirely new unit that you have to pay for (instead of giving one of your existing archers medic). I didn't see anyone to get medic 2, so that apparantely is being removed in this proposal. I'm not saying that's bad, but make no mistake, this will have real and true gameplay impacts, and has to be treated as such.
 

Zanteogo

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Honestly a better solution, and a much simple one, is just remove the defense malus the healing promo gives.
This will allow any regular unit to become a medic, without totally nerfing the unit.

It also seems like something the AI would be way better at dealing with.
 

Recursive

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Also I would really appreciate if any dev interested in sponsoring this to have a word before I submit a new proposal thread. Without knowing if it's technically possible I would have to make 2 different proposals on the same topic due to the congress rule (only 1 change per proposal), or potentially having to wait 2 months for no reason if I submitted the better (imo personally) proposal just to get vetoed due to technical difficulty.
The issue with your previous thread was that you presented several different options and didn't specify (or weren't sure?) which one was your proposal. It wasn't fully developed.

Multiple changes can be part of one proposal, but you can't have multiple proposals in one thread - otherwise people won't know which one they're debating/voting on :)

It's perfectly okay to create a discussion thread like this if you're not sure of what you want to propose, though.

It is a good idea to check in to see if your idea is technically feasible before proposing it, yeah. Teaching the AI to use a medic like a Great General would likely require a lot of work - you'd have to consult @ilteroi on that one.
 

Fluffball

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Honestly a better solution, and a much simple one, is just remove the defense malus the healing promo gives.
This will allow any regular unit to become a medic, without totally nerfing the unit.

It also seems like something the AI would be way better at dealing with.

This seems like a simple idea. I tend to have healing on my ranged units who sit behind the melee units as medic actually makes the unit weaker on defense, which is the last thing you want for your front line melee units. I would certainly be more likely to pick medic on melee units with that change and i see it as meaning less unit shuffling as well as it being an easy option for the AI to use.
 

Stalker0

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This seems like a simple idea. I tend to have healing on my ranged units who sit behind the melee units as medic actually makes the unit weaker on defense, which is the last thing you want for your front line melee units. I would certainly be more likely to pick medic on melee units with that change and i see it as meaning less unit shuffling as well as it being an easy option for the AI to use.
Without the defense malus, it might be "too good" though. For a defensive melee unit, being able to regenerate extra health is worth a fair amount of CS, regardless of its effects on other units.

I still don't really see the issue, people are talking that the fact you don't put medics on a melee unit is a really bad thing. I mean there are lots of promotions I prefer on one type over the other...ranged units are good medics, they don't lose a lot from the promotion (the defense is not as important, and ranged promotions are less impactful than melee ones), and the benefit to healing is very strong. Why does that need to change?
 

pineappledan

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Not a fan of this idea.

Ignoring the balance changes, this is a ton of work for art assets and AI.
3) Maybe we could just change the healing promotion to be avail earlier and/or to be new promotion tree along with shock and drill? Like support?
This is a much more conservative change, and I think it's both simpler and cleaner.

I like the idea that you could "embed" specialist units into a formation via a separate promotion line:
  • Medic I/II - Heals an additional 5/10 HP (no longer affects adjacent units)
  • Combat Engineer (replaces amphibious) - Can move and attack over rivers without penalty
  • Chaplain - Fights well damaged
  • Quartermaster - Does not cost maintenance or supply
 

ChefBRD

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Not a fan of this idea.

Ignoring the balance changes, this is a ton of work for art assets and AI.

This is a much more conservative change, and I think it's both simpler and cleaner.

I like the idea that you could "embed" specialist units into a formation via a separate promotion line:
  • Medic I/II - Heals an additional 5/10 HP (no longer affects adjacent units)
  • Combat Engineer (replaces amphibious) - Can move and attack over rivers without penalty
  • Chaplain - Fights well damaged
  • Quartermaster - Does not cost maintenance or supply
This is an interesting idea, and one I'd probably vote for and want to try out. But I'm not sure I would actually end up using this tree all that often if they can't provide benefits to their neighbors. Essentially you'd be specializing these units as damage sponges in sieges. Practically I'm also not sure how well the combat engineer fits with the others. It's like the brigade system that is (was?) In the hoi games except some units get all of them and others get none.

Is there any way to code in a way to specialize great generals? Like a pop-up on creation that lets you pick a type that confers one of those benefits mentioned. Logistics/ Tactics/ Medicine (Reinforcements)/ Supply. Could even have a rough / flat terrain option These names are terrible but you say what I mean. Khan gets 2 or more.

I feel like that might be the best of all worlds. Still a civilian and stackable. But also just a modification of existing elements.
 

nekokon

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I've already stated problems with medic being a combat unit, you would always miss out some other promotions for them to do their main jobs, and they can't boost healing to a lot of relevant units fighting on the frontline at the same time thus require a lot of micromanagement to shuffler units in and out.

Personally I almost never get any promotion not directly needed for the job or required to get important promotions for the job, and not so conservatives enough to the point I would ever max out more than 1 line for my units (I think it's pretty cheesy when you can get some ridiculous over leveled units with every possible promotions and the AI can't), so divert any promotion just for QoL isn't a good decision.

With respect, this is 100% NOT a QoL change, this is pure balance. You are adding an entirely new unit that you have to pay for (instead of giving one of your existing archers medic). I didn't see anyone to get medic 2, so that apparantely is being removed in this proposal. I'm not saying that's bad, but make no mistake, this will have real and true gameplay impacts, and has to be treated as such.
There is impact but bonus and malus covered themselves so I'm considering them not affecting balance much. You pay for another unit, but you can have more relevant units in range of operational instead of having a subpar unit who forgo promotions for their job to get medic promotion, and without all the unit shuffling micromanagement, so the end result would be similar. Just think of paying for the new unit as paying for another medic to sit next to another 2 units on the frontline (so from 3 units with healing boost to 6 units) so the effect is similar to having 1 new medic who can heal about 5 units in a group.

Medic 2 can be included but might have to check for balance first. With the new medic unit you can effectively double the number of targets receiving healing boost so medic 2 might be a bit too strong.
 
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Zanteogo

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Without the defense malus, it might be "too good" though. For a defensive melee unit, being able to regenerate extra health is worth a fair amount of CS, regardless of its effects on other units.

I still don't really see the issue, people are talking that the fact you don't put medics on a melee unit is a really bad thing. I mean there are lots of promotions I prefer on one type over the other...ranged units are good medics, they don't lose a lot from the promotion (the defense is not as important, and ranged promotions are less impactful than melee ones), and the benefit to healing is very strong. Why does that need to change?

I don't see it that way. If you put healing on a melee you are passing up other promos that will make them much weaker as it is. I don't remember why the defense malus was added to the promo, but I went from using it sometimes, or hardly ever using it after it was added.

Ranged units, aren't very good. With or without healing. I know other disagree on this, but they usually make up a tiny amount of my total military with the majority being melee and ranged mounted with some siege mixed in.

As for benefit to changing, I am for the most part ok with keep healing as is, but if we are looking to make a medic unit, I would rather just adjust the healing promo. Much more simple than attempting to make a whole new unit and attempting to get the AI to actually use it correctly.
 

nekokon

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If noone is interested in medic as a new unit then probably adjusting medic promotion would solve part of the issue.
Current issue being dedicate medic has to sacrifice promotions to to their jobs, so if there's a way to give medic to an unit as a free promotion (but only limited amount so you can't spam it on everything) would also work, but I haven't seen any similar mechanic within the game. At least with medic as a new unit there're already existing mechanic that can be reuse.
 

pineappledan

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If noone is interested in medic as a new unit then probably adjusting medic promotion would solve part of the issue.
Current issue being dedicate medic has to sacrifice promotions to to their jobs, so if there's a way to give medic to an unit as a free promotion (but only limited amount so you can't spam it on everything) would also work, but I haven't seen any similar mechanic within the game. At least with medic as a new unit there're already existing mechanic that can be reuse.
You not wanting to invest XP into support promotions on any of your units is a personal choice. For my part, I have no issue with it, and it's not something that needs to change.

If you want to add medic promotions to a dedicated line, like making all skirmishers have medic for free, maybe that would be more fun for you?
 

nekokon

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If it's currently in game and not being used effectively I would say there's a good incentive to change, and not just leave it for personal preference.
As you can see there're already a few opinions about not making any change because they can simply not use the feature and opt for balance based on not having to use that feature, and it's bad game design (having obsolete features that's too bad or situational that ppl would just ignore it or balance around/without it)

I don't know about giving medic to mobile units, as it would contradict with their MO - to be constantly on the move. Medic requires being on the same spot next to the unit that needs healing boost. If archer can get medic for free it would have good effect (because of their usual positioning) but they're already in a good spot I don't want to see them get used more. Another choice would be siege unit since they're one of the main target for healing boost and can benefit/make use of being medic, however it's not very thematic.
 
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