Discussion: military progression and the importance of promotions

ma_kuh

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I think there's two aspects of building-based promotions that should be remembered:

First, as a warmonger you also get this benefit. It's still a promotion you don't need to take.

Second, as a warmonger you probably want to build these military buildings for their own merits. Everyone else wants a minimal number of these buildings. Even if they do have access to boosted units, they have a more limited production pipeline to make them. This might only matter if attrition becomes more a part of the meta, but maybe that should be the case?

We could also change Authority to shoulder some of the weight of making warmonger units gain more of these benefits. Things like yields on unit-production, direct boosts to barracks line buildings for warmonger-only interests (unit production boosts, maybe?), or preventing gold-purchased units from benefitting from building-promotions and giving Authority a policy that counter-acts that.
 

Stalker0

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Ultimately, I feel something like this should start as a modmod. Its such a dramatic change from what we currently have, and it has many impacts that are hard to guage. There is no clear answer on whether its truly "better" or not, its really just a matter of preference.

that to me is a good place for a modmod, if some of the community wants that feature, go for it. But I don't see a need to try and push such a radical concept into the main mod.
 

azum4roll

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With my suggestion you need a level 7 unit to have Range + Indirect Fire (unless Field Gun+) or March + Blitz, instead of level 5. Alternatively you can go for something like Amphibious + Woodsman + Mobility for maximum movement bonus at level 7.
 

nekokon

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Ultimately, I feel something like this should start as a modmod. Its such a dramatic change from what we currently have, and it has many impacts that are hard to guage. There is no clear answer on whether its truly "better" or not, its really just a matter of preference.

that to me is a good place for a modmod, if some of the community wants that feature, go for it. But I don't see a need to try and push such a radical concept into the main mod.
I've already stated that due to the lack of veteran dev interested in warfare I'm trying to form a solid idea using only existing codes that hopefully doesn't require extensive modding experience to make/debug. This discussion is mainly to gain more insight on how ppl see/like to see military progression in game (through solely war achievement or also through tech/policy) and all possible implementations (promotion as progression or as specialization, with or without being gated by various means...). Just because I'm more interested in one method doesn't mean I don't want to hear the others, the goal isn't to fit a specific idea into a design, but to find a design that can solve the current issues (gamey xp grind)

So far I can see 2 main designs, one is to keep military progression mainly through war achievement (promotions) thus focusing solving the gindy issue with meaningful promotions and better branching/availability into uber upgrades; and the other is to spread the progression on both promotions and tech/policy trying to solve the gindy issue by making uber upgrades available through gated means thus no reason to grind anymore. Would love to see more detailed possible implementations for either design or another one.
 

CppMaster

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due to the lack of veteran dev interested in warfare
That's just not true. If devs are not interested in warfare then how come they did such a great progress in AI when it comes to tactics? They are passionate about this. They could disagree with these ideas, but don't diminish them for that.
 

nekokon

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This is offtopic but I don't mean to diminish them or their works, and based it on Recursive's response in one of the proposal thread that they're not interested in any major changes and want to focus on AI balance.
Thus it's my personal conclusion that any kind of changes like this would have to be backed up by another modders who would take care of all the technical stuffs before submitting it to the congress (like how pineappledan did most of his mod mod before submitting to congress to intergrade into VP).
Either I would have to learn how to mod it (learning very slowly) or someone else would have to pick it up (I would be really grateful), that's why I'm trying to pick out the easiest implementation.
Of course I apologize if the wording feels offensive or dismissing, I'm just going with the most straight forward scenario.
 

nekokon

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Probably just for himself, but he's the main and most active dev. I don't know if banking on other quiet devs to pick this up is a good idea, given this promotion system has been here for a long time and we only got minor changes to the tree or individual promotions (biggest I've seen is the changes to naval promotion but that's like 2 3 years ago or something). It doesn't feel like there's enough interest in changing promotion as a whole, unlike policy or buildings which would get a lot of talks and discussion and changes even for small adjustments (and sometimes getting a whole new set/policy/building)
 

CppMaster

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It'd need a proposal, so it has a chance for development. But you'd need to design it in details, so the devs know exactly what to do.
 

Recursive

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Did he speak for all devs or just himself? @Recursive ?
What I said was the addition of expansive new mechanics is unlikely at this point in the mod, and it would be worthwhile to make the AI smarter. For further clarity, I meant things like vassalage or corporations.
 

nekokon

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What I said was the addition of expansive new mechanics is unlikely at this point in the mod, and it would be worthwhile to make the AI smarter. For further clarity, I meant things like vassalage or corporations.
Thanks for clarify. Do you have a specific requirement for a change to be considered expansive (new codes, or specific AI changes, or assets, or balance,...) ?
I'm asking this because I saw proposal with good gameplay feature (like the SOI one) got reduced back to only solving the current issue due to being simpler to fix. That's why I assumed any changes aside from small adjustment would need an interested sponsor to take care of.
 

nekokon

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Ok so I guess that's all the opinions regarding this topic ?

I'm gonna try to summery what I should have in the first prototype mod mod then:
- Goal: remove late game extremely strong high level units with uber stacked promotions (which is the cause of gamey xp grinding behavior as well as AI getting bonus xp just to counteract that) while keeping the same power scale of warmonger against non-aggressive civs
- Solution (1): Make some uber upgrades promotion mutual exclusive. Directly solve the problem, no need for extensive discussion. Adjust AI bonus accordingly. - Need new codes likely, I can't really do this or even know if it's possible.
- Solution (2): Uber upgrades will be granted by mutual exclusive building to make sure they can't be stacked. To not give them for free out of the gate for non-aggressive AIs (aka keeping the power scale of warmonger), building will be gated by militaristic policy. Tech can also unlock some of those building (to not completely lock them out for peaceful civs) but they will come later than policy. - I can probably do this, just need some placeholder assets, but need detailed discussion what should not be stackable and when we can have it.

Gonna keep promotion trees mostly the same except taking out the uber upgrades. Trying to focus on one thing at a time.
 

Tekamthi

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Solution (1): Make some uber upgrades promotion mutual exclusive. Directly solve the problem, no need for extensive discussion. Adjust AI bonus accordingly. - Need new codes likely, I can't really do this or even know if it's possible.
i don't think this needs new code tbh -- maybe to make it work internally in the dll it would but there is lua function that I believe (speculate, i've never used it, but it appears similar to others that work this way) allows for promotion access to be restricted based on custom criteria. I recently referenced this in more detail in another thread.

edit: on 2nd thought AI would not be equipped to make the best choice, maybe... AI might thus need some new code though the mutually-exclusive promo itself can probably be accomplished (just need to confirm the gameevents.unitcanhavepromotion() function works as expected)
 
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ma_kuh

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- Goal: remove late game extremely strong high level units with uber stacked promotions (which is the cause of gamey xp grinding behavior as well as AI getting bonus xp just to counteract that) while keeping the same power scale of warmonger against non-aggressive civs
You can also solve this with a level cap, if your main problem is with stacking multiple uber promotions.
An approach that might be easier to code would be reconfiguring the leaf trees to lead to a single uber promo. I didn't suggest a full workup yet because I haven't thought through all of the lines, but a truncated example:
  • Shock I
    • Shock II
      • Shock III
        • Overrun
    • Charge I
      • Charge II
        • Blitz
  • Drill I
    • Drill II
      • Drill III
        • City Assault
    • Medic I
      • Medic II
        • March
 
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nekokon

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i don't think this needs new code tbh -- maybe to make it work internally in the dll it would but there is lua function that I believe (speculate, i've never used it, but it appears similar to others that work this way) allows for promotion access to be restricted based on custom criteria. I recently referenced this in more detail in another thread.

edit: on 2nd thought AI would not be equipped to make the best choice, maybe... AI might thus need some new code though the mutually-exclusive promo itself can probably be accomplished (just need to confirm the gameevents.unitcanhavepromotion() function works as expected)
Would be interesting if it can be done with just this. I'll try digging into it.
Also I'm also not sure what would be wrong with the AIs. Are they coded to target specific uber promotions and won't be able to function properly if one of them is blocked or something ? I wouldn't want to touch any of the AI logic (their bonuses should be simple enough)

You can also solve this with a level cap, if your main problem is with stacking multiple uber promotions.
Softer approaches that might be easier to code are also reconfiguring the leaf trees to lead to certain uber promos as well. I didn't suggest a full workup yet because I haven't thought through all of the lines, but a truncated example:
  • Shock I
    • Shock II
      • Shock III
        • Overrun
    • Charge I
      • Charge II
        • Blitz
  • Drill I
    • Drill II
      • Drill III
        • City Assault
    • Medic I
      • Medic II
        • March
Artificial level cap wouldn't feel right, since I only want to restrict the high power combat related promotions and not supportive promotions.
 

Rekk

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Developing mutually exclusive promotions has been a development interest of mine for a while. Don't know when I'll get around to it, but it would at keep a high level unit from getting all of the most powerful promotions right after each other
 

Tekamthi

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Would be interesting if it can be done with just this. I'll try digging into it.
Also I'm also not sure what would be wrong with the AIs. Are they coded to target specific uber promotions and won't be able to function properly if one of them is blocked or something ? I wouldn't want to touch any of the AI logic (their bonuses should be simple enough)


Artificial level cap wouldn't feel right, since I only want to restrict the high power combat related promotions and not supportive promotions.
i have been thinking of testing this in a mod of the trailblazer line, as alluded to in that other thread -- will let you know if i ever get to it, you might be able to use mine as template. Or I'll use yours if you get to it first :p

I think the issue with AI would be promo specific: for two promos that independently apply their benefit broadly, ie +10% CS, it wouldn't really matter. If the intent were to restrict promos to logistics OR range, for example, this would probably be fine, though the AI would not necessarily be thinking which one it really wants, given the current paradigm its been designed for, so it would just get stuck with whichever one it identifies as preferable to take first. Again I don't see this as a big deal, but its a subtle change to what it is built to consider vs what is actually taking place.

It might be more important in case of more niche promos, that apply more circumstantially. I can't think off the top what these might be, but just as example, if you were to glance in on other thread i linked, you'd probably infer why this comes to mind -- the terrain promos i proposed there would be somewhat situationally valuable, depending on the terrain in the civ's region... AI would not consider this kind of choice at all i think. Probably not a big deal there either, cuz its only on recon and AI barely uses recon as it is. If you were considering something similar to entire melee line it might be more important, but i digress, doesn't seem to be the case necessarily in the changes discussed here, at least from what i've scanned through.
 

Recursive

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Thanks for clarify. Do you have a specific requirement for a change to be considered expansive (new codes, or specific AI changes, or assets, or balance,...) ?
I'm asking this because I saw proposal with good gameplay feature (like the SOI one) got reduced back to only solving the current issue due to being simpler to fix. That's why I assumed any changes aside from small adjustment would need an interested sponsor to take care of.
Major changes to game balance which require extensive new code.
 
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