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New player, some thoughts/questions

Discussion in 'Rise from Erebus Modmod' started by Yutani, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    I'm new to RifE as well and with a few games under my belt I have to point out that the AI is really weak. Just my last game as the Khazad I was comfortably and slowly expanding so I could keep my vaults up and by the time I had four cities up my scouts had pretty much covered the world only to find that every AI was still stuck with their initial city. This was played on Emperor. The AI slowly began expanding and teching but I was so far ahead that it felt stupid to even play and I eventually gave that game up when they didn't have even such basic techs as Cartography etc. while I had finished Taxation.

    Additionally, I feel that getting a free higher tier unit at the start of the game from a dungeon can be somewhat of a gamebreaker. I got lucky and got two Dwarven Defenders out of two nearby barrows/forts and since they came with 10 exp out of the box they pretty much dominated. One went off to kill Orthus and while exploring a lair mutated so that he healed 70% each turn which is just broken. On that note, there should be a limit to how much +healing one can get from a mutation. I'm sure I could count my stars for that particular mutation but that one defender with 150 xp, full drill full combat could take down backwards AI nations on his own and didn't even break a sweat doing it. I also got a free assassin from a lair while exploring and this was also when the AI was still toting warriors/archers tops.

    I love the additions and the complexity of the mod but the AI is in a serious need of a fix and a few things could use some good old balancing.
     
  2. Fluesterwitz

    Fluesterwitz Chieftain

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    If I have a bar like: Cityname (1) - :science: 78% :gold: 13% :religion: 9%,
    I will expect a sage to appear next turn. Now if I did, with random seed enabled, reload 100 times I would expect roughly 80 times a sage and ten times a merchant or priest each. If I understand your explanation correctly, this is was actually happens. On the other side, if I have, over the course of a game or twelve, comparable odds I would still expect a roughly like distribution and if not then I am somehow screwed by the RNG, as apparently happened in Sarisin's case.

    If I want a sage and have as in the example above, the reasonable expectation to get one, then the events of not getting what I wanted / expected leave a more marked memory then those cases when my expectations were met. This suppoedly leads to the effect that I always feel screwed by the RNG, independently of actual verifiable results. :confused:

    Anyway, there is no need for bloodshed, even metaphorically. Please? :(
     
  3. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    The AI is being worked on actively. Teaching it to tech well first. :lol:

    Lairs are being rebalanced, and mutation has already been rebalanced. ;)

    Ah, so you're saying that basically the odds shown make it stick out more (and feel unfair) if you don't get the more likely GP? There's not really anything we can do about that.

    You are entirely correct about bad results being more memorable than good ones; You don't stop to question it when you win a battle at 10% odds, but when you lose a battle at 90% odds it's unfair... Even though the odds for both happening are exactly the same; 10%. Just human nature. Unfortunately, though, we can't do anything about it.
     
  4. Sarisin

    Sarisin Deity

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    You are right in saying I did not keep detailed percentage stats for the 127 GPs.

    I had a piece of paper with three columns. One column was for the GPs I got at the highest %, the second column was for those at the lowest, and the third for the rest.

    The reason I performed this 'experiment' was to just track in writing something that I have been seeing since FF - they were the first ones I saw, I think, who gave GP percentages. Clearly there were cases where I had a Priest at 97% only to get a Bard at 3%. Likewise, there would have been some where the lower Percentage was higher and a few middle percentage were thrown in. However, I will repeat that I generally try to strategically assign only those GPPs to certain cities to produce that particular GP in the city.

    To respond to one of your other points, what is wrong with this? It is no different than assigning one city to focus on military, another on research, whatever. This city is specialized to produce Priests in the hopes of pursuing an Altar victory. I call this planning and strategy, not "unbalancing the game."

    So here is a hypothetical for you: if the results of my test turned out to be valid (large sample size, with the % of each GP listed), what would you say? I just want to determine if it is the test itself that you have a problem with and not my MAIN point that by giving a player GPs randomly you detract from a strategy element of the game.

    I honestly cannot see how you can disagree with that point. Otherwise, GPs would be assigned purely in a random fashion and the usage of points would be a waste of time. Then, you get to the overall issue of how much randomness should there be in a strategy game.

    The key to this whole discussion is that when you play a game often (because you like it), you see patterns emerging that are out of your control. Then, as a player, you bring it up with the developer for his comment on the perceived pattern. You clearly do not see the same pattern that I do statistical sampling et al be damned. I am somewhat surprised that the RiFE players who play the game a lot are not seeing this pattern too, though.

    In the final analysis, you don't see a problem the way the game is now and will not make changes. As a player my choices are to (a) play the game as is or (b) find another game. I would clearly choose (a) as it is the best game I've ever played...even though GP generation is messed up. ;)
     
  5. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Did FF add it? I honestly don't remember playing WITHOUT that percentage shown.

    Or do you mean the bar on the main screen, rather than in the city? If so, that's from BUG, but yes, was added to FfH by FF.

    In my mind, it is extremely different.

    Why? Because of the opportunity cost involved. In the current system, in order to guarantee a specialist of one kind or another, you must heavily specialize. In doing so, you miss out on many buildings and specialists that provide GP of other kinds, and overall produce GP slower.

    If you are allowed to choose GP, that cost goes out the window. The only way it does not is if you are allowed to 'deactivate' gp points of specific types, and I'm not adding that.

    So while I agree that specializing is good strategy (I do it too), being able to choose gps is not specializing, and is unbalancing.

    If your results were valid, then I would acknowledge that something is wrong and try to fix it. I have no qualms admitting I am wrong. I just am not wrong in this instance. :lol:

    However, I do disagree with that point. As I said above, in having it be a weighted random, rather than you choosing which it is, you GAIN strategy. You now have to weight building choices more, have to pick specialists more carefully. To me, that increases strategy, as it adds more options on what to do.

    Having it be completely random, however, removes that strategy just as surely as allowing you to choose. Both options are poor ones, IMO.

    Removing any randomness adds strategy for GPs alone, but it removes strategy from the game as a whole (Where to build Buildings, what leader to play, what specialists to assign...).

    Making it entirely random removes all of that strategy, so it is actually a worse option than making it non-random... but not by a whole lot.
     
  6. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    Good to hear it's being worked on. I'm now playing Deity and still first in score while the AI still doesn't know how to expand properly. They tech pretty ok though.

    I'd also like to point out that the Lanun AI doesn't seem to know how to make pirate coves (2 games, no coves for them). Those should be their priority 1. It also settles off the coast when there's still nearby coast available so you might wanna look into that as well.

    Also I'm liking the forts but I feel that they're lacking since they don't have a zone of control and the barbarians just walz past the forts. They do nice damage, no doubt about it, but I feel that they should have a zone of control if such a mechanic is possible or have you already considered this and found it too powerful?
     
  7. Tsathoggua

    Tsathoggua Warlord

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    Every strategy game in the Universe, except maybe Chess, has a random element added to it. Even the grandfather of Civ -- Risk -- ultimately comes down to dice rolls.

    In the context of PC games, you compensate for an inevitably flawed AI by introducing a measure of randomness to every action in the game. I'm still thankful Civ IV actually displays combat odds, because none of the other games in the series ever did.

    Frankly, I don't see why it's that big a deal. Unless you're beelining an Altar victory there's really no reason at all to so desperately micromanage GP production that a bad roll on 10% odds is a monkey wrench in your entire strategy. You're really blowing this out of proportion -- if you don't want Great Healers, settle your GP-producing cities suitably, and build health buildings.
     
  8. Tsathoggua

    Tsathoggua Warlord

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    Far more combat happens in one game than GP births. So much more that, on statistical grounds, I really don't think you can safely compare the two event types. Especially since all random number generators are biased in some way, the distribution describing the probability of getting some value could be very different when dealing with a small number of rolls (as with GP births) than with a large number of rolls (combat or even event chance rolls).

    Many mathematical distributions that are heavily biased become purely random in the case of enough trials. So, if you modified the game so that as many GPs were born as combat rounds occurred, then you might expect both types of events to have the same degree of randomness. But since that isn't the case, it isn't necessarily reasonable to expect GP production to behave according to the common understanding of randomness, which is, at the end of it, a very basic and very incomplete part of the picture.
     
  9. Freesmog

    Freesmog Skeptic1938222569

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    How long do you plan on developing RifE based off the current FfH2/Civ4 mod? You've probably answered this somewhere, but I'm very curious to see you working on Kael's next game (or your own).

    Regarding random GP, I think the current system is fine. I don't know what all the fuss is about, especially with more important issues like AI that are higher priority.
     
  10. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    Now that we're talking I'd like to voice my other concerns. First off health and the implications it has. I personally don't have a problem struggling with smaller cities and making ends meet but the solutions to the seemingly arbitrarily enforced mechanic leads to a few twists that take away from the game.

    Firstly, the healers. I kind of like the idea of having healers as specialists but the fact that they're very bad in terms of converting food to health makes them very undesirable. Add to the fact that they pollute the GP pool with a great person that is both very powerful and at the same time very undesirable. It's like there's a good idea behind them but the implementation is bad.

    A healer who can heal 60% every turn and is easily accessible to anyone whether they wanted one or not is just too much. I do love my units being able to act every turn but 60% just like the 70% mutation is just too much and has to go. Not to mention the disappointment of getting a healer specialist when you just wanted to build your academy or shrine your religion.

    Solution:

    Don't remove the healer specialist entirely but instead make him a wee bit more powerful all the while changing him a bit. Have him generate 4 :health: and 1 or 2 :science: and contribute 1 prophet :gp: and 1 sage :gp:, removing the great healer specialist completely because the game already has healing mechanics built in and you don't need another one - especially as powerful as this. This way the gpp pool won't be tainted as bad and with the added power to the healer specialist you wouldn't feel as bad using them and certainly wouldn't have to feel sorry for the AI for generating three of those guys in a row

    Also, consider easing the health issues because going green at size 4 pretty much regardless of your location is a turn-off. Have the Herbalist and Well buildings shave 0.25 of :yuck: off per citizen (another 0,25 for the Herbalist from Reagents) and the Aqueduct again a 0,25 :yuck: and possibly yet another 0.5 :yuck: from the Temple of the Leaves. Top this off by having a world wonder (or Tomb of Sucellus) that sets the default :yuck: per citizen to 1 instead of 2. Alternatively, you could have level 1 or 2 spells provide health or there could be a technology that halves the :yuck: per citizen.

    I don't think anyone can find the massive unhealthiness a fun addition.

    This, because the AI really doesn't handle all the sickness as well as a human player can and being sick 90% of the game regardless of how well you tend to your empire isn't fun. Sickness may be thematic to certain civilizations and playstyles but it should not be an universal issue.
     
  11. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Personally I like the new 2 unhealth per pop system.
    I am sick of sprawling cities with :( being my only limit.

    This said, I would remove the Great Healer altogether and if at all possible have the specialist simply contribute blank GP points. (points that just raise the number without pushing toward any specialist). Either that or making the Great Healer massively more powerful.


    Also, IMHO the healer specialist should give off 6 :health: not 4. 4 made sense with 1 unhealth per pop as it meant +3 :health:, 6 would be the same.
     
  12. odalrick

    odalrick Emperor

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    I do. Health was a non-issue before and health resources were worthless (beyond the tile bonuses).

    The problem is that one :food: is worth much less than one :), and :health: is worth less than that. Consequently for health to be any kind of issue, each population needs to generate more than one :yuck:.

    Try playing game where you just ignore all :yuck:; no :health:buildings, no healers, no "avoid unhealthy growth". It won't be that different from a normal game; even with 2:yuck: per citizen.

    Now, the AI doesn't understand just how unimportant :health: is, and is crippled by it. That is being looked after, I think; as well as some more balancing of health stuff.
     
  13. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

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    I'm fine with 2 per citizen if there are valid methods of dealing with it. I mean, I can have all the smokehouse resources, a hunters lodge with both deers, a fish and a grain resource and still I'd have a struggle to grow past 15. If there are methods of dealing with unhealthiness and the AI also knows how to deal with it, then by all means have it at 2. But please make sure the game remains playable.

    As for the Great Healers - I like them even less than I like Great Artists in regular Civ4 because as stated the person that produces is somewhat forced on you as subpar as it is and the end result acts as both a stupidly powerful healer or alternatively a means of growing your city - a means that should be available in other ways. The great healer needs to go.
     
  14. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    He just needs an overhaul.
    I once proposed to have them start with healing 3 and a spell that is autocast and works like regeneration.


    And another thing. Unless you are playing FOL or something similar you should NOT be able to get your cities over 12-15.
    At those levels of population I am quite sure it is 100% intended for every extra point to be a struggle.
     
  15. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    well, it is really easy to expand more than 15pop.
    -get food ressources,
    -the city is in a port (+2-4 more :health:)
    -get one+ life mana
    -settle near forest
    -do not settle near flood plains !!
    (I easily have 2 18pop cities in my civilization and I don't have infirmary (nor any other building from that tech) and I never used any healer, thus I couldn't even settle a GH... and I razed all forests + the cities are not yet unhealthy... thus they can still grow a bit.)
    -settle a GH : +6:health: and thus pay for 3 more working citizens
    -use creation spell (+4 or +6 :health:) you know.. the spell that was totally unuselful before... and now... yumm :D
    (creationI, mindI, earthI, spiritII makes for an excellent city-builder mage)
     
  16. Andvare

    Andvare King

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    Flood plains are actually a good thing, unless there's too many of them.
    Each tile gives an extra :food: but only cost 1/3 of a :food: (IIRC, as :health: = :food:).
    The limit is if you have health issues at size 1, then it's a wee bit too many (like Egypt in the 18-civ Earth scenario).

    Edit:
    Calavente, that would be the type of mage I almost always end up with in pretty much all of my cities, except those were I try to encourage a non-sage GP. It's also a decent defensive force, as mindII is pretty good defensive spell.
     
  17. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    RifE will always be developed for Civ4. We aren't porting it to Civ5, as it is not our setting and feels wrong to redevelop FfH without Kael. We'll be working on our own setting for Civ5, simultaneously with RifE.

    I think it highly unlikely that we'll be working on Kael's game... But that's mostly because I do not think it will be civ-like.

    As for my own game? Heh. I'm going to school for Computer Science, with a focus on game design. My goal is to get a job making games, and eventually make it to lead design. The one game I really have in mind right now could be best described as Magitech + CoD + Soul Calibur. How that makes sense in any way, I'll leave for you to puzzle out. :lol:

    Oh god. Health again. :lol:

    The reasoning for the change was two-pronged.

    1. Unhealth was completely unimportant. Health resources were basically pointless, choice in settlement locations didn't matter much, etc.
    2. Cities were getting large too fast. We did not really want to limit the maximum size of a city (Already done by happiness), or we'd have gone with 3:food:/pop, as in Orbis. We simply wanted to slow that growth rate; 2:sick: per pop does that nicely.

    Healers have already been upgraded. Basically, we failed to take into account how the increased unhealth made them worthless at their current stats. Our bad. :p

    The healer was put in early, honestly, and will really come into it's own when a new mechanic is added. Why would we put something in early? Simple. Agnostic civs needed a healer. Some of them had little or no access to units that could cast 'Cure Disease' and similar spells; Honestly, the healing spell is more or less a side effect, not the main point.

    The Healer has already been changed to 4:health: and 1:science: in 1.31. That change has been in since pretty much right after 1.30 was released.

    The Great Healer is 6:health: and 3:science:.

    We will not be removing the Great Healer, however. As I said, it has a use, and was the main purpose of the specialist. I could, however, see removing the combat effect of the unit and having you able to either A)Settle it, or B)Create the Apothecary, able to purchase potions to heal units. With B), I'd also allow access to city spells that cure units in the city, add a regen promo, etc. This way you have most of the functionality, but can't use it in the field.

    I still like the field unit, however, as it's something other specialists do not have.

    Not happening. Settle near rivers, take into account your surroundings, go for health resources. It is not hard to manage unhealth, you simply have to actually consider it while playing... Which is something you never had to do before.

    In 1.31 there have been a few changes; Increased starting health bonuses by difficulty level, +2:health: in the capital, and so on.

    I think many would disagree with you, seeing as we have had quite a few responses saying they liked it... Once they got used to it. It is a large change, that has to be adapted to. That's all. Some of the people who pushed back against it hardest when it was first released now like it the most.

    Of course it needs balancing, but that was part of the point of getting 1.30 out to people; We can't balance things perfectly with a small group, we need large numbers of people to report on it.

    Not removing the healer, as I said, though both specialists got a boost and some science.

    AI will be taught how to handle the unhealth once it stops fluctuating; Won't be particularly difficult, just needs to know that each pop gives 2 :yuck:, not 1.

    There will be valid methods. Hell, there ARE valid methods already. You just have to be careful with city placement, and build health buildings.
     
  18. Tsathoggua

    Tsathoggua Warlord

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    Can one mage cast all four of those simultaneously?
     
  19. Meldon

    Meldon Warlord

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    I think so. I've had Earth/Spirit mages casting both spells at the same time in my cities often enough, but I usually capture some stags to cast Growth
     
  20. Swinkscalibur

    Swinkscalibur Prince

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    the spells create a temp. building in the city why simply requires the casting unit to remain in the city. The next turn another building can be created. I don't believe the buildings are mutually exclusive.
     

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