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What if combat wasn't RNG dependent?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by TheMeInTeam, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    True. I realize it would make attacking cities a little more challanging. It just seems as no one is speaking to correct this little inaccuracy in the system. There is nothing to simulate all of the defenses that a walled or castled city should have. Hence, they seem worthless. If Castles came with a dumping boiling on attackers. Nothing to simulate a moat. Some mods do this. I've seen battering rams and seige towers in mods too.
    I picture Legolas of LoTR, firing dozens of arrows and picking off incomming melee.
    First Strike seems to be the option to simulate this, but I feel it is poorly done.
     
  2. Jouzou

    Jouzou Warlord

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    Not bad. I guess I wasn't able to think outside the box. I was somehow locked in the base game mentality that each battle has to have at least one survivor.
     
  3. midget_roxx

    midget_roxx Chieftain

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    Dammit TMIT this is not something easily answered :p

    Well for sure the combat would be vastly different to the point where it goes towards RTS style of strats, with certain timings, calculations and risks playing out best for the player. This style would be far worse for the AI because the AI cannot handle randomness and with RNG you can scew the randomness in the favour of the AI, however without it it's all down to strats and execution in a random generated environment where no strat is ideal every time. I would see the AI more predictable which would only leave a worse play experience for the player
     
  4. lindsay40k

    lindsay40k Emperor

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    Has the playtesting covered many UUs? Off the top of my head, Praetorians, Vultures and Dog Soldiers have interesting combat scores against their contemporaries that might raise eyebrows when autokills are thrown into the mix.

    I can definitely see the appeal in MAD being a possibility, with the likelihood being highest in equally matched fights. But it being a guaranteed thing, with the tiniest advantage immediately ensuring one side's survival?
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I do get tired of this argument, used over and over. Games are at their core rules and numbers. You can spreadsheet plan all day but if your opponent does one unexpected thing, you have to spreadsheet plan another day.

    Trashy idiot-designed poorly implemented events are turned off to begin with and stay so yes :).

    I don't know, I'm only doing the xml stuff, my friend is doing the DLL. We only just started this so that isn't a priority just yet. However, because defensive bonuses are known and you can see their promotions, you should at MINIMUM be able to figure out "will I win or lose if that attacks" in your head even without such a UI. The UI would still be nice though.

    You're basically telling me you can abuse the AI because it's bad at war. I'm not asking about a better AI mod here. Even in the base game you can perma-lock the AI off resources (it won't attack even a trivial force next to a resource) :/. Every time you win a "guaranteed" battle in enemy territory it will throw your great general well under 50% health. If you want to "farm" off that one unit, you're going to spend a lot of turns paying a lot of out-of-borders maintenance and healing (slower in enemy territory) instead of attacking to do it...and no matter how strong that unit gets, you're still some collateral and a few mounted from total stack wipe. I'm not seeing the issue here.

    If you want to kill your trade routes with the target, pay more than a city's worth of :gold:/turn in maintenance (you need multiple units to protect your GG) on top of lost trade routes, hurt relations, and increase AI war targeting priority on you (its backstab war plan check) all for granting XP to one unit, I don't see how that breaks the game at all. It's a silly example, there's no way around it.

    Whether you let them take the city then retake it is a function of expected hammer loss from either, along with some consideration for war success and the importance of said city (also hills completely negate CR I for example). If you have the units to follow-up/kill 5 axes at .5 hp though it might be worth taking that trade instead, especially if you can use pop you'd have otherwise lost to simply whip a 6th unit.

    Prats are devastating when they outnumber you and completely hosed when materially outnumbered. They will beat a non-aggressive axe straight up, yes, but they will do so with so little strength that even something like an archer or even a warrior can kill them easily. 1-2 catapults and a stack of prats can get completely wiped by regular combat I axes. They also can't attack equal number or even fewer axes in a city with much success/momentum, since axes will always kill them if they have fortify, 20%, or anything else to give them that last little boost over the prats. What do the prats do then? Run around in enemy territory trying to pillage while the axes guy builds more units and swarms them to death for far less total :hammers: invested? That doesn't sound like a winning move to me.

    Don't forget that vultures lose to axes in pitched battles, while dogs are soft to both archers and chariots. However, each of these uniques brings a special ability to the table in deterministic battles; vultures are more likely to get a winning draw against non-axe defenders while dog soldiers complete hose all opposing melee in the era without fail.

    I'm a bit saddened at the continued irrational stigma against prats relative to other top-tier UU. Really, prats and vultures come to mind, but not FIRST STRIKE IMMUNE war chariots under these rules? War chariots are complete hell unless there are spears, although I suppose that was always true (they are better than prats in the unmodded game also).
     
  6. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    read only page 1 and will read pages 2-4 later so dunno if I will add anything of value :).

    If your friend has really some balls to go into modding, I would prefer if we got rid of waging wars on strategic layer at all and go back to master of magic doing things...

    aka move on the map with stacks, when 2 stacks meet, bring up some tactical map :).

    Then we can talk about how to solve combat without rng :).
     
  7. Sonereal

    Sonereal ♫We got the guillotine♫ Supporter

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    The only people I think that are even attempting a multi-map-anything is a part of the C2C team.
    ***

    In any case, can't wait to see the mod up somewhere and then taken by other modding teams and turned into a modular component.
     
  8. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    after a little bit of thought I wanted to point out that rng system here works as some form of anti-snowball mechanism.

    if you get the ball rolling with some super strong unit you will never lose it.

    couple of unlucky rolls in highest levels can mean AI gets rifles when you want to fight longbows, stalling attack and prolonging game.

    I think it would make snowball stronger and move the decision point of games even further towards T0.

    I know a lot of competitive players dislike rubberbanding, but sometimes it's needed to make games more interesting for watching.
     
  9. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    another thing that came to mind is that the rng somehow narrows the advantages of attacker.

    in the new system attacking would have 0 disadvantage because you guaranteed to win.
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    This assumption is painfully, laughably false. The snowball effect in units is comically poor compared to that of basic economic snowballing which everyone uses.

    Early game RNG isn't "rubberbanding", it's using non-player decisions to set an even EARLIER decision point...sometimes. "unlucky" rolls giving the AI extra time at rifling? That's at near joke levels. Losing 10 chariots to 3 or even 2 archers? That happens. Why should someone who defends a city with less than 1/4 of the :hammers: investment be able to get "lucky" and hold it? If one side invests in making them pay for that eco-cheesing then the side trying to get by with weak defenses should pay for it.

    This doesn't make sense.

    Throwing forces into territory where they are now guaranteed to take heavy damage in every fight, heal slower, and have longer reinforce lines isn't a disadvantage...how?
     
  11. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    1 quick thought :)
    Super medics would be a big advantage in this scenario, agreed?
    ...and i've never seen AIs creating one, how will we fix that? ~~
     
  12. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    Pointing out that something else have bigger snowball effect doesn't mean the effect of snowball disappear. At least we agree that there is snowball effect, telling otherwise would be silly.

    it is in a sense since it allows someone in disadvantage to catch up against his will.

    I am not native speakers so it can be I didn't use the right words about what I had in mind.

    Attacker in battle isn't necessary the same as attacker from strategic view of point.
    You create scenario where attacker has every advantage and defender less then before.
     
  13. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    Do you still keep doing damage in rounds? For an example, let's say you've got two unpromoted archers attacking an unpromoted elephant. The first one will take out 3/8 of the elephant's strength, right? (err, the first strike doesn't do anything unless you win, right?).

    The elephant now has 62 HP and attacks at a strength of .62*8=4.96; is the elephant still able to kill the next archer?

    If I've done my math right, the unmodded game would have the elephant (probably) lose because the elephant would need five rounds to win and the archer would need three (and the first round can't hurt him).

    If you're still using HP, I imagine that the archer would still win in your system. However, you might consider having the superior unit kill the inferior (weak as it is) since the elephant is still stronger.

    Having the weaker unit win is part of why siege is so powerful. I imagine that your mod would also encourage the player to build tons of weaker units instead of upgrading troops.

    Edit: Oops, I switched back and forth from swordsman to axeman. I'll use an elephant instead to make it clearer that two units are nearly always good enough to take on unit, within reasonable power differences.
     
  14. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    when we're at it... what is the most common answer how to use Great Generals and why?

    hmm if I remember right it was something along the line "if you lose it due to rng you lost a lot of something for nothing" and people use GG as settled promotion givers and supermedics...

    would be silly to say that there is no snowball that is negated by RNG.

    or maybe what about the AW Deity games with their unkillable GG's and people manipulating getting unkillable defensive machines?
     
  15. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    just got back from vacation and only quickly skimmed things. My question is how defensive bonuses and the like factor into the equation at all?

    V - "while we're at it"
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I think you are vastly underestimating the damage the attacker is taking when it wins right now. If you're not prepared offensive wars are going to stall FAST.

    No. It's a straight ratio thing. A 1 str unit will hit a 10 str unit for 10 hp (1 str on a 10 str unit) damage and die. A 3 str unit would bring him down to 7 strength. You would need 3 archers to kill an elephant in the open, but only 2 axes.

    No, you need to balance it. If you lose units you lose :hammers: you often don't have to lose and take war weariness. IF you can heal and have time to do it, that's not a desirable outcome.

    Yes, but do you want to perpetually build (enemy stack count x2) and come out with damaged victors? That's not a winning formula...especially because the stronger unit generally didn't cost 2x the :hammers: and if you DON'T come up with enough to swarm a stack of superior units you're going to lose a lot of stuff for nothing.

    There are no unkillable units in this mod. Units do too much damage to each other. You could have CG III guerilla II drill IV woodsman III formation shock cover pinch and you'd still lose the unit after a few fights unless you got time to heal.

    They modify strength outright. A sword will always beat an archer on flatlands. An archer in a hill city behind walls will always kill the sword, although it will take a lot of damage since it won't be much stronger (the sword attacking in the flats would take a fair amount of damage too).
     
  17. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    Ah, that's not ratio (ratio is division, this is subtraction), and is what I was advocating earlier. Sorry for the confusion.

    Were you planning on posting the mod at some point? I think that I would enjoy it.
     
  18. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    I would suspect this mod would make the game slightly more tactical and slightly less strategic. Although, in MP it's heavily tactical anyway
     
  19. Mylene

    Mylene Deity

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    By that logic you could always kill 1 Cav with 2 Maces on open field ;)
    Or 1 Tank with 3 Knights..seriously?
    Our Cav could have a bad day and lose half of it's strength vs. 1 Mace sometimes, but always?
    It's much more realistic that it's barely wounded against weak units, no thanks ;)
     
  20. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    1 Tank: 180 :hammers:. 3 Knights: 270 :hammers:. If you don't throw units to suicide death, your tanks will not die to wonky garbage. The era advantage is clear here; knights aren't going to do jack in practice, nor should they.

    1 Cavalry: 120 :hammers:. 2 Maces: 140 :hammers:. Seems the cavalry are shafted, until you realize that you NEED double the units, in that spot, or the cavalry kill *all* of the maces and take 0 losses. That's a rather huge advantage. However, it does cut into your ability to abuse a tech lead so simply, yes. That doesn't mean the game is necessarily worse.

    Hmm, so you're right. I initially proposed a ratio thing, but we didn't do it. Nevertheless, I think a lot of you need to see how it works in practice...once we've ironed out a bit more. I'm not sure if he'll release it but I imagine he will.
     

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