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Poll: Should Desert count as Open or Rough Terrain for Promotion purposes?

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Mar 7, 2021.

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Should Desert be Open or Rough Terrain for Promotion Purposes?

Poll closed Mar 28, 2021.
  1. Open

    77.2%
  2. Rough

    22.8%
  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Desert is a bit of a weird terrain bonus wise. It is officially rough terrain when you consider promotions. On the one hand, it slows movement like Rough Terrain. On the other, its innate defense bonus is more like open terrain.

    I'd like to open up the discussion on whether desert should be reclassified as open terrain. My arguments are as follows:

    1) Combat Variability: Right now there are several promotions that rely on open terrain, the most important are the Skirmisher Doctrine (which affects all skirmisher units heavily), and formation (which impacts the defense potential of many melee units).

    Communitas_79a especially can have a lot of deserts...and flood plains that lead to desert. I find that this can greatly limit the viability of these combat types, aka they can become too niche on many maps do to the prevalence of desert.

    My main argument would be the change to allow these promotions to be more useful overall.


    2) Visual: I will admit a strong bias here. Part of my rationale is...quite frankly....sometimes I really have trouble seeing desert. Now long stretches of desert, no problem. But sometimes a single desert patch I think is a plain...especially if there is like an improvement on it. Or the desert right off flood plain I think is still flood plain.

    So my eyes want to tell me that desert is open terrain, and so the current mechanic goes against my user expectation.


    3) New User Transition: It may be hard to remember for those of us who have played VP forever and forgotten the vanilla game, but desert is actually open terrain in the base, and was changed for the mod. So its one more thing a new user has to learn. Changing it back is one less thing to learn.


    Now this would be a big change, so I definitely want feedback on this before we seriously consider it. So I'll start with a poll to see if there is a strong calling for this, or if I'm the lone voice in the dark.

    Moderator Action: Moved to General Balance. - Recursive
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2021
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  2. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian King

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    I voted rough. To me open terrain is any terrain that costs only one movement point, i.e. tundra, grassland, plains and flood plans (and oasis). To me the main point of skirmisher doctrine is to make things a bit harder to "abuse" skirmisher by moving into a terrain (for example a flat desert or flat forest), shoot and then retreat, leaving the infantry unit unable to counter-attack the next turn (because it would use up both movement points moving into the desert/forest tile).

    Changing flat desert into open terrain would tilt the game more towards the human players who are better at abusing skirmishers, so I'm against that.
     
    Skidizzle likes this.
  3. Recursive

    Recursive Covets Lands That You Currently Own Moderator

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    I vote open. Hills, Forests and Jungles have logical defense bonuses. Flat desert does not (relative to flat plains/grassland), and it makes no sense to me why there should be bonuses for attacking/defending in it that also apply to hills and forests, but not to plains/grassland.

    Furthermore, Skirmishers are already penalized because it costs them extra movement to move through desert. If the problem is just Skirmishers, then the better solution IMO is to adjust the Skirmisher line.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  4. Zarggg

    Zarggg Chieftain

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    I could see it going either way, but personally I think rough terrain fits it better, since it would be more difficult to move through than plains or grassland.
     
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  5. SLGray

    SLGray King

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    It is both. Desert can be open, but the environment is rough.
     
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  6. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    Marsh is also open (at least in vanilla), so desert should definitely be.
     
  7. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Which is why preferably it would have open terrain combat bonuses with rough terrain movement reduction. Can those two be combined on the same tile? I forgot about marsh, and I think it should follow the same premise, like the above poster mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  8. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    If rough terrain just means terrain with movement reduction, wouldn't that make siege (with Field promotions) less effective on a ship on the Great Barrier Reef? Meanwhile, is oasis currently open terrain?
     
  9. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    There are definitely other factors to consider, but I'm just strictly talking about desert, which I think ideally should be considered as open terrain for combat, but with a movement penalty. Oases should be open terrain with no movement penalty, IMO, in order to represent the better conditions compared to barren desert. If the most possible movement for any tile is 3, for both marsh and forested/jungle hill, I think desert hill should be categorized into that group for consistency; trudging through a bogged down swamp, or trekking over scorching sandy dunes are both equally arduous, representing the extremes of each side, so I'd say it's fair.
    • Oasis - 1 movement / open terrain
    • Desert (flat) - 2 movement / open terrain
    • Desert (hill) - 3 movement / open terrain
    I imagine most people won't agree with 3 movement on desert hill, though, and that's okay so long as desert in general gets switched to open terrain.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  10. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    For me, the only rough terrains should be hills, mountain, forest, jungle, and the natural wonders (not sure about the GBR).
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  11. Recursive

    Recursive Covets Lands That You Currently Own Moderator

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    I would consider desert/hills rough terrain.
     
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  12. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    To me, it's more related to line-of-sight : if a ranged unit on flat terrain cannot shoot through it (without the "Indirect Fire" promotion of course), it's rough.
    Hence, marsh/oasis and flat/featureless desert/plains/grasslands/toundra/snow are open, while any terrain with hill, forest/jungle or mountain is rough.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  13. abulafia77

    abulafia77 Chieftain

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    I vote open - as per Hinins post, "open" terrain has line of sight and place for maneuver. You can see and maneuver on icy plains as well as flat deserts (at least for game purposes).
     
  14. Ranslee

    Ranslee Chieftain

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    We need to define what rough terrain means exactly and follow up on that to have consistency and no weird special cases. The confusion comes from the terms we use - rough and open. They are... not exactly mutually exclusive, but both vanilla and cbp use them as such, and for promotion balance purposes we assume they are. This leaves us with two scenarios:

    1. Rough terrain is defined by movement cost. This means that tiles with base movement cost of >1 is rough terrain, tiles with base movement cost of 1 are open terrain. This means that plains, floodplains, grasslands and tundra (all without hills/features) are open and everything else is rough. We do get a confusion where 'visually open' terrain like marshes, snow and desert are not 'gameplay open' terrain. Changing 'open terrain' into 'easy terrain' would clear up the confusion.

    2. Rough terrain is defined by elevation. This means that tiles with mountains, hills, forests and jungles are rough, everything else is open, including marshes, snow and desert. Changing 'open terrain' into 'hills/forests' would clear up the confusion.

    Either will work decently. I would pick the option 1 just because it's much more consistent.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  15. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian King

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    Recursive, if it's possible to give skirmishers the combat malus in certain types of "open" terrain, such as flat deserts, then I'd have no problem with designating flat deserts as open terrain for other purposes (such as the applicability of the formation promotion).
     
  16. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    i like the extra, rough-like movement cost, but agree with OP that a rough terrain combat bonus seems odd (i never knew this was case, taking OP's word for it).. i'd prefer no rough/open combat bonus at all in these tiles (desert hills are separate case), rather than just flipping it from rough to open terrain bonus..

    generally feel the same about snow and marsh; these are wastelands, not bonus-conferring tiles imo... anyway didn't vote as the choices don't capture my preference here
     
  17. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    That's just killing Arabia and Morocco.
     
  18. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian King

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    What do you mean by that, Azum?
     
  19. Ranslee

    Ranslee Chieftain

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    Their UUs are ranged cavalry and they have a desert bias.

    I really think we should pick a clear definition of what rough terrain means exactly before balancing things around it.
     
  20. Recursive

    Recursive Covets Lands That You Currently Own Moderator

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    This is how I view things...

    "Rough"/"Defensive" terrain - terrain that provides a defensive bonus when standing in it, i.e. it has cover
    VS.
    "Open"/"Exposed" terrain - terrain with no defensive bonuses/cover

    "Difficult" terrain - terrain with > 1 movement cost
    VS.
    "Normal" terrain - terrain with 1 movement cost

    The two distinctions are separate.
     
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