Beta 1.0 Reactions

Discussion in 'EMPIRE (by Crazy Monkey Studios)' started by Senator, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    Possibly just quoting the full context above explains it? If you reach a situation where you're keeping around one or two old cities that aren't producing materials anymore, and you don't have enough materials to build a new one (even if you do have a settler), then there is nothing you can do except wait for an upgrade or hope to enter a combat and get Magical Bounty to raise funds. That can mean many, many turns of hitting "Next Day"--or more likely, just quitting and starting again. To avoid the lameness of this, a fast-forward mechanism should kick in that would auto advance the game at a rapid pace until you get an upgrade, enter combat, or some other event of interest happens.

    I think that the pace of the game would probably be too slow if you had to wait for each march to a lair to complete. Also, there is a certain risk to sending out a bunch of strikes at once: if you lose a bunch of units in one battle and have to face a different nest in the same turn, you won't have a chance to build up. (Or even across turns, you may not have the materials you need to build up your units.) Maybe training a unit should cost a turn--that would increase the consequences of not planning your combat schedule well.

    A couple people have mentioned the difficulty from the deck getting bigger. That's pretty tough to verify in this version due to the city upgrade bug, but in the last version it wasn't that much of an issue, and without being forced to take valor and grit (both of which are more useful in the latest version anyway), I'm just not convinced that the game gets that much harder due to deck bloat--not if you're playing to manage it, anyway (using keeps, policing, choosing cards according to a strategy rather than willy-nilly). The fact that combat is a bit harder in this version might mean that deck management is automatically harder, due to there being more strife from lost units. But I think the jury is still out on this increasing difficulty thing, at least for me.

    I like the idea of monster lairs spreading blight and destroying the (potential) economy. To address EnDevero's point, maybe VP from combats should be based on the disparity between your army and the enemy's. That way, the imbalance in points early vs late would be that throughout the game you try to do more with fewer units, and only up your army if you need to. Early on, you might try to do this in an extreme way--like with one unit--to maximize score. (There would need to be a mechanism to disband units, though, since the game currently assumes that a larger army is always better.) This would also mean that policing would in effect trade scoring potential for a cleaner deck.
     
  2. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I think it should maybe cost SEVERAL turns. I think also founding a new city should cost a number of turns, maybe as high as 8.

    Yeah that's interesting. Like, we could call them GLORY points. So maybe unit deficit = glory gained? So like if it's 3vs6, and you win, you get 3 VP?
     
  3. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    Yes, that's the sort of thing I was thinking of--#units in enemy's army minus # units in player's army = points scored (possibly halving the difference or whatever, of course, if needed to balance). I feel like this way glory points fits a bit better thematically too--we're trying to make a name for our empire even though we know that the project is doomed in the long term. You don't do that by fighting lots of piddly little battles. You do it by taking on the 100,000-strong Persian army with 300 Spartans. So it would be perfectly possible to score 0 points in some battles if you weren't stretching yourself. This would provide incentive to let nests grow bigger before attack, assuming they continue to get upgrades in future versions.

    [By the way, I was wrong when I suggested that you can't currently disband army units. You can, it's just not obvious. You have to tap on a unit in your army screen to see an option to disband that unit.]

    Going back to the destroying city upgrades to scavenge materials thing--the idea was that you would have some way of scrounging up materials that didn't involve just hitting Next Day over and over again while you waited for the two types of events that could help you (a city upgrade or a battle in which you happened to be able to use Magical Bounty). Instead, you could choose to tear down one of your city upgrades (Tier 3 first, then Tier 2, then Tier 1) to get back some number of materials and maybe a Strife card to boot.

    While EnDevero's points are well taken and will lead to stronger gameplay, I still think the main thing the game needs is just one more (mechanism? strategic consideration?) so that most of my turns aren't spent just pressing the Next Day button.

    EDIT: Speaking of thematics, maybe making the unit of time years or months instead of days would give a better sense of the epic-ness we associated with empires?
     
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  4. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yeah, at least "week" seems more appropriate than "day".
     
  5. EnDevero

    EnDevero Well-Known Member

    I like the gist of that idea, but the way the game currently works, isn't having smaller armies already a plus? Easier to manage and less possibility for strife. Maybe the player shouldn't be punished with strife after units die. It's the main reason small armies are preferable to large ones. You don't want to sacrifice soldiers ever. Maybe Strife cards should be gained some other way.
     
  6. donderper

    donderper Well-Known Member

    Adding additional waiting to the game seems like the wrong way to go. Things like having to wait X number of turns for a new army unit when a monster attack will arrive in X-1 can feel very frustrating. Besides losing that sense of dynamic response you get from a touch screen game.

    On another note, why not make the explore upgrade a bit more useful and expand in the direction of existing monster cities rather than a completely random 20 map tiles.
     
  7. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Well it shouldnt be random 20 tiles, that was someone else's decision, which I am personally against. I think it should just be a "ring" of tiles, but maybe you can choose the direction instead, like NORTH/EAST/SOUTH/WEST.

    Well... yeah, you don't want to sacrifice soldiers, but then again, doing so is the way you gain VPs... so I dunno, that seems kind of right to me. Having a bigger army is already a double-edged sword I think.
     
  8. EnDevero

    EnDevero Well-Known Member

    What I meant was that, unless the rebalanced units have changed this, having a smaller army is just always better in combat. If you're decent, you can pretty much assure that you'll lose less units, if any, as long as you have a small army. Like, say you've got 3 of your units going up against 5 monsters. those 3 can probably take care of it without losing anyone. That's 5 VP, no strife (is that how VP works now?). If it had been 5 vs 5, you'd have less control over your units, and the odds of one of them dying go way up. Even if you win and get that 5 VP, you probably lost units and gained strife cards. So big armies take resources to produce, are hard to control, and give you strife with no real benefit. They just tend to be a liability more than anything. This seems to be caused partly by the fact that you have limited control over units and, the more units you have, the more cumbersome this becomes. That and the fact that losing units is super negative because you have to spend resources if you want to get them back (to maintain the large army) plus you have new strife cards in your deck. The only benefit a big army gives you is more possibilities on the battlefield. You have more soldiers to CHOOSE from, but you'll almost never USE all of them, instead leaving some to die. As it stands though, leaving soldiers to die never produces enough good results to ever outweigh the cons.

    The rebalanced units may have changed this though; I'm not sure.

    Edit: I didn't mention the perk of policing, which is a plus to having a big army. Not sure if it outweighs the potential strife you'll be gaining maintaining the large army. Could someone else comment on that?
     
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  9. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Can other people verify this? I mean, if you're facing an army of 9 monsters, I kinda find it hard to believe that it's better to have 3 units than 4 or 5. Is it? If the answer is yes, then we have to fix it so that the answer is no, or "not necessarily".
     
  10. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Here's how the three play out so far.
    Rush: Feast, Academy
    Tech: Keep, Policing
    Play Defensively: Outposts, Small Army


    This is a bad idea because it's a massive buff to non-producing combat Outposts.

    Yes, because at the rate monsters can spawn, the limit would make combat Outposts the only way to keep on top of them all.


    I think the golden rule is you want at least enough turns to move each unit once before engaging. So barring move-multiple cards, that means 4 units is safest.
     
  11. EnDevero

    EnDevero Well-Known Member

    Should there be more cards that give you more control? More move-multiples and such?
     
  12. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yeah, we already started increasing that. The next patch will also have more "+Discards" (basically allows you to redraw cards) and more "+Actions" allowing you to play more than one card at a time. We might also try letting the player save his actions from turn to turn.
     
  13. EnDevero

    EnDevero Well-Known Member

    Ooo, "+Actions" could do a lot.
     
  14. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    No, 5 monsters would be just one VP right now--that's a pretty small enemy army. Like Bucky, I've generally found that 4 is the best, most agile army. The real limiting factor is the number of turns between the armies, so more +Actions is probably the best way to deal with this. (Though maybe it might be wise to consider some way to prevent more +Actions from making early battles too easy.)

    EDIT: I think Bucky basically said the same thing.
     
  15. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    Tried v1.0#2, but the city upgrade bug is not fixed :(

    What is the rationale behind the new treatment of mining?
     
  16. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    I suggest making a small change: when the player cancels an attack on a monster nest, the nest has a small chance of immediately declaring a counter-attack.
    Reasoning: I can keep a monster nest 'stunned' by keeping it constantly under attack and cancelling the attacks before they arrive. The whole world may be a desolate monster infestation except for my one remaining city tile, but I'm safe... and building up to my next feast two food at a time. This is about as un-fun as dominant strategies get.
     
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  17. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Can you explain this city upgrade bug in detail? None of us on the team are able to reproduce it.

    Firstly, the game was giving out too many materials to begin with. Now, you have an option of taking a big step backward in materials to get a later game step forward. Basically, it's teching.
     
  18. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    City upgrade bug: Give your first city all three upgrades, then found a second city and upgrade it once. Fight a battle, and the upgrade will be gone when the battle is over. I'm not sure how many of the details here matter, the bug is probably just "cities after the first will have their first upgrade removed at some point before you can upgrade them a second time."

    Rationale for the new treatment of mining: Sure, I understand how it works, but I was wondering what kind of work it's meant to do design-wise. (I'm not familiar with the usage of terms like "teching" and so on that I presume come from 4x games, so I just have to ignore explanations that depend on those, sorry--there's too much fuzziness in the way people use those kinds of concepts.) A UI note: Since this is an investment (x up-front for some yield y periodically in the future), the game should suggest how many turns the mine with return the maximum amount.
     
  19. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    The City Upgrade bug even affects my first city. And I think it also triggers when I upgrade without expanding (i.e. explore or build a settler). Plus the fights. So I basically never get any lasting city upgrades.
     
  20. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    Nacht, are you always starting with a Shaman's Hut, by chance? Because I think that I've probably always been doing Training Grounds in my first city and Shaman's Hut in my second. Our two experiences would be explained by a single cause if the Hut were the real trigger.
     
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