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New Beta Version - October 23rd (10-23)

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Gazebo, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. usadefcon1

    usadefcon1 Chieftain

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    Actual warfare (up until very recently, say the last 20-30 years) has a huge amount of luck involved. Especially when it comes to defeating death.
     
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  2. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

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    Well the game isn't designed only for high difficulties.
    I'm playing civs I don't usually play. Which is literally anything except Shoshone.

    Here's my Iroquois game. I took the difficulty down two notches, which may have been overcompensating. I had fun though! :)

    Spoiler Skana'gá: :
    20191108015627_1.jpg

    I really missed being able to build encampments. Longhouses are awesome though. Land units being able to just zip through forest and jungle areas is hilarious too. Great fun during wars!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  3. azum4roll

    azum4roll Prince

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    Do you still have to build roads into forests/jungles to make the featureless -> forest/jungle movement fast, as Iroquois?
     
  4. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

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    No. At least not that I noticed. You do need a undisrupted line to get a city connection though, that's what my road through the jungle is for.
     
  5. HeathcliffWarriors

    HeathcliffWarriors Prince

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    Are they a capitulated or voluntary vassal? Capitulated vassals are meant to reset all negative diplo modifiers when they surrender, so a broken military promise modifier for a capitulated vassal should be impossible.

    Unless the penalty is from breaking the promise with somebody else?

    Both the refusing to move troops penalty and the threatening military deployment penalty bug for vassals should be gone in the next version, however.
     
  6. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    In my current game Egypt capitulated, yet I still had negative modifiers (I had transparent diplomacy). Not sure which ones though, just that I remember they denounced me soon after.
     
  7. Guynemer

    Guynemer Prince

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    Would there be any interesting in giving skirmisher units a bonus to pillaging?
     
  8. HeathcliffWarriors

    HeathcliffWarriors Prince

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    It will not affect modifiers that are ongoing, for instance capturing their original capital - but it should clear all temporary penalties (e.g. warmongering), as well as permanent penalties triggered by a one-time flag (like backstabbing them).

    It will not prevent penalties from returning afterwards if you continue to do negative things.

    Note: Having zero warmonger score does not totally eliminate warmongering penalties: there is a separate "warmonger threat" check which assesses the amount of players you've killed etc.

    Edit: Several modifiers were not actually clearing, this has been fixed for the upcoming version.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  9. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    My proposal only requires 4 things to post-chariot skirmishers:
    dropping the move penalty
    increasing moves by 1
    decreasing RCS by 2-5
    increasing CS by 2-4
    Seems light enough to me.

    My personal experience with skirmishers is that I mainly use them as railway guns because their utility plummets in rough terrain. I'm rarely getting stretches of completely un-featured land, especially before Renaissance, so I would just rather save my horses for more mounted melee.

    Also, I think we were closer to a good balance before these changes. I really think unit composition was closer to a good mix before these movement changes. We’ve tried moving the skirmisher line one way by restricting their movement; I don’t think moving the opposite way, to being more free in their movement, should be considered a radical shift. Viewing this penalty as ‘baseline’ isn’t helpful or accurate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  10. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

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    You are proposing more than one change at a time though. Why not either: a) increase movement by 1 or b) remove the movement penalty?

    The issue previously was that they were so mobile they were effectively unhittable. Now they've getting bogged down all the time. Let's go with something in between.

    Edit: if we can agree on that, at least we'll have somewhere to work from. We've established G is busy right now, so I don't think pushing the issue is going to be helpful.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  11. General_Drax

    General_Drax Chieftain

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  12. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Because it’s not really 1 change at a time. We’ve tried removing the penalty before, that’s exactly how skirmishers worked before. I’m saying it’s not 2 changes, it’s just rolling back a change and changing 1 other thing instead.
    And I am suggesting we lean into that. with no rough penalty, skirmishers used to be able to move 1 time in rough, shoot, and move back. They were unhittable. Weirdly, this made them even better in rough terrain than in open terrain, because their 4 moves meant they were either in range to retaliation at the start or the end of the turn.

    The rough penalty addressed this, but made it so skirmishers, usually lighter armed and equipped than your shock cavalry, couldn’t move as fast. Sometimes They are only as fast as your foot soldiers. The only movement advantage they have over the melee cavalry now is that melee attacks into rough terrain drain 2-3 moves while firing into rough terrain still only costs 1. This movement disadvantage compared to melee horses makes them much harder to use and less fun, but also is just antithetical to how I would conceive a skirmisher unit to behave.

    Skirmishers should be hard to hit. They should be maneuverable and zippy, but have low actual damage potential, if they were to reflect their real-world equivalent. If they had 5 moves they would be nigh unhittable by unmounted melee, without proper unit support or strong tactics backing the skirmishers against a coast/mountain. In return, you lower skirmisher damage potential so they are plinking melee for 10-15 damage, enough that melee can heal through/shrug off the skirmishers if that’s all they are facing.
    i can make the changes myself if G gives me the green light. If people like it then maybe we need to look at fine-tuning it and altering Mongolia’s trait the following patch. If people don’t then I can revert next patch.

    if these betas are for trying out new ideas, and we’ve confirmed that most people don’t like the way skirmishers behave right now, then I think this is worth a shot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  13. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

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    I know it's not a big change from the previous version, but relative to the experience of playing on the current version it is. I find it much much easier to give good feedback relative to the previous version than relative to two versions back. A lot of other things are also changing in this patch - which makes giving accurate feedback harder as well. If we were rolling back to something that worked as-is then it would be fine, but we're not.
    That's OK once you learn how fight them, but not everyone has that level of tactics (or wants to think that deeply about combat). Skirmishers should be counterable without high-level play, like other units. You might not consider 'proper unit support' to be advanced, but I never found that kind of thing to be intuitive - there are a lot of different situations in war and I'm still learning them.

    Similarly, part of the issue with the previous version was that the player could use skirmishers in a way that was difficult for the AI to counter. Lowering the RCS limits the damage they can do to enemy lines, but if you lower it too much and they become no fun if you're not using them 'right'. Raising the CS is good for versatility, but raise it too much and horsemen loose out.

    Not being able to hit back at all is still annoying to play against. I'm OK with that happening with the Huns - or the Mongols, or Egypt, or Persia, or the Iroquois, or the Inca, or the Songhai. That's their UU or UA at play, and it makes fighting each of them feel different.

    What I don't want is my spearmen/swordsmen having to deal with it every time Rome declares war and I'm already defending against their Legion, or when Denmark sends their Berserkers at me. Or when France or Sweden or the Aztecs attack for that matter. Their strengths lie in other areas, and the kind of challenges that fighting them presents should reflect that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  14. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    I'd just like to bring up the change I proposed before; it never seemed to gain much traction, but I think there's still merit in it or something similar to it.

    My idea was actually a change to the anti-mounted line, rather than to the Skirmisher line itself. My reasoning at the time was that I don't feel they're all that great at their job; their bonus almost never enters into my calculations when deciding whether or not to attack with anything past Horsemen. If you have the Iron for a Swordsman, there is currently almost no reason to look at Spears or Pikes, especially now that Swords got Cover (which I think was a good change).

    With that and the (IMO needed) change to Skirmishers, I think there's something to be said for allowing the anti-mounted line to impair mounted units strategically, rather than with a straight-up more damage bonus. My thought had always been something revolving around Zone of Control. Some examples:

    • Having Spearmen enforce extra movement cost against mounted units.
    • Having Skirmishers take damage when attacking a spearman or a city with a garrisoned spearman (less than melee would, but still some)
    • Rather than Spearman, have *cities* have a harsher ZoC against the Skirmisher line.
    I think something along those lines could have the potential to indirectly nerf the Skirmisher line without making them as irrelevant as they are now, AND force more interesting strategic decisions with regards to unit composition.
     
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  15. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    So you would prefer if we just rolled back skirmishers for at least 1 patch so we could re-establish a sort of "home plate"?

    I mean, I guess we could. I would bet that, to most players, they could make a judgement about if they like something or not without a keen sense of the previous version's iteration
    Wow, my spellcheck was doing me no favors there... Fixed it so it actually says what I meant

    I would see it as something that actually reduces the need to high-level strategy. Skirmishers would be able to move-hit-retreat in open terrain exactly the same way they could move-hit-retreat in rough terrain. In older versions you just had to pick a ridge or treeline and camp behind it with your army, then you could send skirmishers to take pot-shots through the treeline. It's the exact same thing, except 1) skirmishers could do it with less regard for terrain, and 2) their RCS would be nerfed.

    So overall, less dependent on terrain, more consistent, but less potent overall.

    At any rate, arguing about it without trying it will just have us talking in circles.
    You're advocating that harrying an enemy combatant should only be available to select civs. I don't agree. The potency of skirmisher harrassment as a strategy wouldn't negate the existence of other strategies or other civs' competencies. Once again though, we'll just argue in circles if we don't give it a try.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  16. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Prince

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    I agree that Spearmen and Pikemen could stand a small buff :). I have mixed feelings on Skirmishers taking damage on attacking. I guess just getting hit regardless of how mobile you are feels like it devalues mobility promotions and unique abilities. ZOC would be interesting though! Maybe forts or citadels could act as zone-of-controllers (until pillaged) for example? Forts don't seem super useful to me at the moment. Just an idea.
    No, I'm proposing that skirmishers either have 5 movement or a penalty in rough terrain. That's the in-between of this patch and the previous one (both of which had their issues) and would make skirmishers useful again but not unhittable. CS and RCS can be balanced from there.
    Yes, easier to attack with - which solves the current problem. But difficult to defend against properly, which was the original problem. Lowering the RCS helps (although it may make them less fun in simple 'I want to hit this thing with this thing' situations). And increasing the CS does make them more versatile defensively, so I'm not against that kind of change (as long as they don't outshine melee cavalry in that role).
    Except that we've already seen how skirmishers with 5 range and no movement penalty move. I'm happy for harrying to work for non-UA/UU skirmishers on flat terrain (5 movement), or in the jungle (4 movement, no penalty), but not both.

    I can deal with with harrying in the mid and late game, and in early-game from various civs in different flavours. We don't need harrying for every civ in every terrain at every stage of the game though, and skirmishers always being able to harry makes the uniques of that era less unique.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  17. usadefcon1

    usadefcon1 Chieftain

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    Why do ranged Cav get penalized with a terrain penalty but melee Cav don't?

    The way ranged Cav move now feels more appropriate for heavy Cav imho.
     
  18. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    That's a lot. One of those would be a light touch.
    G
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  19. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Emperor

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    The one extra movement point from parthian tactics is the best promotion your ranged mounted units can get. You are able to cross 2 tiles a normal melee unit can move, attack and again move that 2 tiles back into safety.
    No percental damage increaser improves the utility of skirmishers better than this promotion. To activly kill an enemy skirmisher without horses, you would need to push with a lot of ranged units and expose them at the same time to enemy melee or ranged units. Beeing in such situation would be horrifying. That brings me to the next point. The AI simply cant do this. They cant move, rethink after seeing your units and then do something else. Any buff to movement is only in favor to the human.

    I think either solving the issue for the UU (however this is done) or completly removing the penalty would be a solution, cause I think from the view of combat strength, they are fine now.
     
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  20. ridjack

    ridjack King

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    I vastly prefer the ZoC ideas myself; I just threw the bit about damage in there as another example of the general type of idea I had in mind.

    EDIT: I also have a sneaking suspicion it would be nigh-on impossible to teach the AI to use.
     
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