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Scout Experience Promotions

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by ElliotS, Nov 21, 2017.

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Do you consistently pick the XP promotions and think it's a good idea?

Poll closed Nov 28, 2017.
  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
    93.8%
  1. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I love how the recon units were reworked, but there's still one sticking point: The experience promotions.

    Does anyone actually pick them? I will OCCASIONALLY pick them on scouts I build later just to try it out, but I've found using a promotion in hopes of getting more promotions isn't a good choice when promotion cost increases logarithmically.

    Not only that, the promotions are more or less backwards. The fast scouts with trailblazer are better at pillaging, while the survivalism scouts are better at sitting in enemy territory.

    My suggestion is to make both promotions built-in. I don't think you can use them too early regardless, and scouts should still level slower than regular units you can actually attack with. (I would make a scout defending give only +3 XP to avoid survivalism scouts getting too fat, but that's the only scenario I would worry about.)
     
  2. vuko

    vuko Chieftain

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    Is it just me or those the AI always choose the +25% defend on his pathfinders/scouts. I never saw a Trailbraizer promotion.
     
    IcyAngel likes this.
  3. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    You know we think this from the beginning. Maybe it's time to try it again?
    I would also like that scouts could gain XP without purchasing a specific promotion. My original suggestion was to have a free promotion which gives experience by doing something scouty, like being in enemy territory, or watching enemy units. But I'm ok with this promotion being acquired in a level 3 promotion, as long as it's not an exclusive promotion.

    To avoid further coding, I think the best we can do now is adding the existing experience promotions to level 3 survivalism/trailblazer. I think Gazebo made the promotions backwards on purpose, so AI is not punished for not knowing how to use such specialized unit.
     
  4. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    its not just you
     
    vuko likes this.
  5. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I think this is intentional. On difficulties where the AI begins with 2 promotions, if their pathfinders had 2 layers of trailblazer they would reveal the entire map extremely quickly and deny ruins to players

    Would it be better for the AI in terms of winning to take trailblazer? Perhaps, but it would be worse for the player experience
     
  6. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I think it's also important because I kill any scout I can early. Ask @Owlbebach! :D I think Survivalism is better than trailblazer in most cases.

    My problem is that having it as part of the level 3s means that only your highly promoted scouts will gain experience, rendering the mechanic pointless. I want the leveling to get survivalism 3. I don't care that much afterwards.

    If they needed to be part of existing promotions I'd put them on level 2 promotions, which you can reach with armories or barracks and some luck in taking enough hits. Having them part of level 1 promotions just means that the obvious choice would be to pick 1 of each line and continue as you want. (I often go trailblazer 1 into survivalism right now, because I think that's the best way to play your starting scouts. Adding experience promotions to the level 2 promotions would encourage some thought.

    Also I don't understand what you mean by having the promotions backwards on purpose. That makes no sense. It just means that the promotions are effectively useless. If the promotions are switched (to XP for pillaging on trailblazer) they will work automatically if you use your scouts correctly, so if the AI can't use them right then the problem is that the AIs need a bit more teaching on scout-use.
     
    Owlbebach likes this.
  7. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I would be fine with that, too. In level 3, only your starting pathfinders, those that could earn XP by revealing maps, would be able to gain extra XP by other means until modern age, when all units starts with 3 levels. It's better than current layout, but not so rewarding as being in level 2, of course.

    I'm not saying I like it. But I think G tends to make such contradictory synergies so AI can stay competitive without adding too much CPU load.

    I also make most my pathfinders Trailblazer I -> Survivalist I & II, when there's rough terrain, Survivalist I, II & III otherwise. I've noticed that AI don't use all pathfinders movement points going forward. Leaving one movement point for retreating in case is a way to prevent being trapped. Not my style. All my trailblazer scouts end up dead, or trapped behind closed borders and disbanded.
     
  8. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Hey @Gazebo can we get your opinion here? I think we've got a pretty solid consensus that the current setup is bad.
     
  9. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I agree the current system isn't very good. I would add the XP promotions as part of trailblazer II and survivalism II. Putting them on the first layer makes it easy to grab both, I often go trailblazer I into survivalism
     
  10. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    The CPU load line is bananas. The current setup exists simply as an experimental change. The AI isn’t great with them, as the goals aren’t easy for the AI to understand, but it does okay.

    We can flip them if desired. I’d prefer to keep them independent to avoid promotion bloat.
     
  11. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    What if Trailblazer II gets XP for staying in enemy territory (or whatever) along its desert bonus, while Survivalism gets no XP bonus? As it is now, survivalism is much more valued. Having the experience bonus only in trailblazing branch will make that branch more interesting for long term. And it will avoid promotion bloat.
     
  12. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I don't like this.

    I don't think they make sense as seperate abilities. Spending XP to get XP is normally a terrible choice, and it still would be if it was switched. I would either nerf and make both base abilities or add them as part of the level 2 abilities.
     
  13. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

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    What if we simply cut these abilities? I think the scout line is perfectly fine without them.
     
  14. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Only for a few scouts at most. The problem is how hard it is to level scouts up once you run out of tiles to explore. You can't attack with them, and without perks they're very meh.
     
  15. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    How many scouts do you want?
     
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  16. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Emperor

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    Then we could just add those promotion (or a variant of them) to later scouting units : explorators, zepelins, paratroupers and X-Com.
     
    vyyt and tu_79 like this.
  17. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Perhaps this is cleaner. Though zepelins travel too slow for being good pillagers, and paratroupers fight decently on their own.
     
  18. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    It depends each game. More than 2 many games for sure. I can think of some interesting strats that could be done with more scouts.
     
  19. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    If you get to survivalism III its easy to keep gaining experience throughout the game, and if at peace you can send through the ocean for XP, I've never seen a need for an additional XP source at all. I'd support removing the existing ones just so that the AI doesn't pick them
     
  20. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Sure scouts earn XP okay with survivalism 3, but how are you getting scouts to level 3 without exploration? Maybe later you can send one or two though ocean or have military academies, but there are plenty of cases where I want cool recon units and I can't use them effectively. I think we're blocking off a cool addition to warfare when the solution is right in front of us.
     

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