Empire 1.3 changes (previously was "1.2")

Discussion in 'EMPIRE (by Crazy Monkey Studios)' started by keithburgun, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Latest changes for EMPIRE version 1.2 (Nov 23 Edition). Revamped many things. Would love your thoughts!

    General Changes
    - Cities now reach, by default, the Farms shape (make sure it’s still a non-random start: 6 Grassland, 3 mountain, 3 Forest, 1 Gem Mountain)
    - Farms now take cities from reaching the old Farms shape to the following:[​IMG]
    - Forests now give +0 Material, +5 Food
    - The “Build Mine” option should be reformed so that it’s now “Build Structure” and can be done on any worked tile in a city
    - On any tile, you can build a Town (Tile produces 3 Material until it dies) or a Walls (+1 Command, +1 Redraw when fighting in this city’s limits)
    - Building a Structure, much like Exploring, ends your turn.
    - All Emperors start the game with 2 Warriors
    - Map made significantly smaller (it’s 30x30 now? If so make it like 20x20)
    - You gain 1 Strife every time a city levels up
    - You gain 1 Strife for losing a battle
    - Archer Retreat -- > “move an archer behind a cavalry or warrior”.
    - Archers Shift ---> “Shift” “Move one unit up or down a tile. All your units of that type will move the same direction.”
    - Savage blows is no longer unique
    - Winning a battle no longer gives you *spell* cards, just action cards
    - Don’t ask me what I want to name my city

    Unit Changes
    - Warriors have 4 HP
    - Cavalry have 6 HP
    - Archers have 3 HP
    - Units no longer heal between battles

    Building Changes

    Training Grounds - Produces 1 Warrior
    Shaman Hut - Costs 1 Gem. Take a Spell Card Now.
    Build Settler - Costs 50 Materials. Builds 1 Settler.

    Watch Towers - Costs 1 Gem. Produces 1 Archer
    Farms - Access tiles further out.
    Build Settler - Costs 50 Materials. Builds 1 Settler.

    Keep - Costs 2 Gems. Destroy 2 Strife Cards.
    Academy - Builds 1 Cavalry.
    Build Settler - Costs 50 Materials. Builds 1 Settler.

    Post T3
    Feast - Gain 3 VP
    Exodus - Gain 1 Settler and abandon the city.

    You can still abandon the city at any time by going to the City panel, but if you do it this way you gain a strife instead of a settler.

    - Monster Hives no longer launch attacks
    - The world now always has exactly 6 Monster Hives at all times. When one Hive is destroyed, another spawns in an area where there’s the most desolation, immediately.
    - Monster Hives no longer create desolation.
    - Monster Hives instead spawn Armies. Armies march along the world in random directions. They move slowly, once every 2-3 turns(6-8 turns on Mountain/Gem tiles). If they get within 8 tiles of a player’s city, they will walk towards it. When they reach the player’s city, the player is attacked.
    - Monster Armies turn Mines or Forests within city limits into desolation.
    - Two sizes of monster armies, Small and Large. Small contains 4-6 units. Large contains 8-11 units.
    - Monster Armies may be targeted for attack with your army
    - Gain a flat 3 VP for killing a Monster Army in an offensive battle, 1 VP for doing so in defense.
    - Monster Hives always have 8-11 units, including one Super Soldier. (Monster Hives are now all T3)
    - Every 4 turns, one Monster Hive spawns an Army. The army spawned is Small by default, but the 5th, 8th, 10th and every spawn after is Large.
    - Killing a monster hive yields 10 VP, heals surrounding area, and kills any monsters who came out of that lair.

    Metagame Changes
    - Target VP is always 100. Once you reach 100 VP, monster spawns increase 2x.
    - you gain EXP for wins and lose it for losses. You have a LEVEL, that starts at 1 and can go up forever (no cap). It cannot go below 1.
    - When you win, you gain 1 EXP + (EXTRA VP / 10) (Maximum should be (XP to Next Level * 2))
    - EXTRA VP is victory points you gained beyond the Target VP
    - When you lose, you lose 0 EXP if you’re below level 5, and lose 2 + ((Target VP - VP) * .5) EXP if you’re above level 5.
    - When your total XP reaches a certain threshold, your level increases by 1. You can also de-level in the same way.
    - XP to Next Level = 2 + (Current Level * Current Level)
    - Wipe leaderboards for this version
    - Different XP level for each Emperor
    - For every XP level you reach, you start the game with 1 more Strife in your deck (to a maximum of 10 Strife)
    - For every XP level you reach, increase monster army spawn rate and Large Monster spawn rate gradually.

    Emperors Changes
    - Reduce starting Strife for all characters by 2.
    - All emperors now have max 1 Redraw and 2 Command, by default.
    +1 Action Card to choose from after a battle.
    Warriors have +2 Health
    Keeps destroy 3 Strife Cards.
    Units regain +1 Health after every battle
    Killing a unit gives him a redraw
    Unique card: Meteor
  2. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    I still think this is a terrible change, but I've made my arguments at length elsewhere.

    This sounds like it will be way too easy to avoid taking on strife, especially with such slow monster armies who are numerous but effectively directionless.

    Based on this, I would consider Grit and Valor to essentially be Strife, and just dump them at the first opportunity. (Perversely, this means that the Purge card will be relatively easy to use from the start of the game!) There's an inflection point in the game where your Grit and Valor cease to matter at all: you've taken on too many other cards (useful and/or strife), so that you can't even begin to count on them appearing in your hand--even if you burn through redraws hoping to grab Grit or Valor, chances are you won't get what you were hoping for. Instead of being more or less useless throughout the game (as they are now), Training Grounds would now become useless at the point where there's less than a 50% chance that your hand will have a modifier card in it, and 80% of the time regardless of what your hand contains (because most of the time enemy armies won't be within 3 tiles of a city).

    Otherwise, the changes generally sound OK to me.

    By the way, if the option for city renaming is rejected, it would be perfectly OK if the game just didn't assume you wanted to name your city. Force me to tap on the randomly chosen name (or an "edit name" button next to it) to see the keyboard and start the renaming process.
    keithburgun likes this.
  3. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    I like all the monster changes (including watch tower) and "misc" changes.

    I agree though, that Valor and Grit would take too much of a hit. I don't really have a problem with how they work right now. They fill your deck early on, fit in perfectly mid-game and dwindle away later. If you really want that change I would at least propose a higher range for the training grounds. I guess the reasoning is that you generally earn less Strife so both these card times act like Strife when attacking "far from home"? That might actually be a valid point.

    I'm not sure about the material bar. Seems you want to completely get rid of a Material stock and have ONLY the bar now? That's definitely better/more reasonable than having both. What about the Academy? No material cost anymore then?
    Army building definitely changes fundamentally... It's hard to predict the consequences 100%. Beta would be good I guess.

    EDIT: Oh and mines costing a settler means they effectively cost 200 now? Seems too high. In general earning 200 is rather hard. Especially while exploring. Wait... Does explore still cost? So we do have mat stock AND bar? I'm still confused concerning that change and its place in the whole system...
  4. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Agree with Senator, this is a bad idea.

    I know you mean these three to be a package deal, but I feel like the ability to avoid Strife by being aggressive breaks the game.

    What. Did mines get rebalanced while I wasn't looking, or are mountains useless again?

    Hypothetical, probably broken tactic: declare an attack on any monster army that comes within 2 of the city; leave armies alone otherwise. The player never gains Strife (assuming remotely competent generalship), enters each battle with homefield advantage, is never in actual danger due to slow armies and in general gets to farm VPs with low risk.
  5. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    I agree, making mines (assume this includes both standard and gem mines) cost 200 and having to trade them off against building a city or buying a unit will make the game limp along.
  6. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Great feedback so far guys. Will post a revised list soon, but keep it coming.
  7. whitehaven

    whitehaven New Member

    New player here. I have to say that I like all the proposed changes!

    One request though: can we get landscape mode (at some point)?
  8. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I wouldn't hold your breath for landscape mode sadly, but I'll ask about it. It's just not that high a priority... none of us on the team really care about it and you're the first person to request it out of hundreds of reviews and other messages.
  9. mgeiger9

    mgeiger9 New Member

    If units work this way for all emperors, you'll take away one of the things that makes the war chief unique, given that cavalry are less expensive and warriors more so for that emperor. That's a fairly minor point--most of the differences between emperors are tied to the restrictions on command/redraws and unique cards--but I thought it was worth pointing out.

    Would the war chief still have warriors with 4 hit points, or would all warriors go back to having 3?
  10. XehutL

    XehutL New Member

    It would be nice feature to have default option to keep 1 Tactic/Spell card at the end of every turn (if you wish so).

    Also, it seems that there is a little how one can affect the actual fights, as most cards seem to be less effective once the armies are in melee and/or they are not on hand at the moment one needs them. It would be nice to either have more cards to affect close sombat OR to have some option how to "predistribute" the army at the start of combat (like close, normal or wide stance... if not option like is Tactics from Heroes of Might & Magic or King's Bounty)..
    keithburgun likes this.
  11. Fantom

    Fantom New Member

    I like the proposed changes too!
    May I suggest some adjustments...
    - please let be auto-zoom during fight an option. I like having it always be deactivated...
    - let player see all future dealt cards in order (they will be randomly dealt at the beginning of the fight but you may have a more tactical game if you know on which order they will come...) and create a new magic card that allow to re-randomly-shuffle the deck...
    - war chef needs less than 200 materials to create a new unit (because in 1.1 cavalry are less expansive)
    - I agree that 200 is too much to get a mine!
    - grit and valor need a bigger range of efficiency
    - cavalry costs 1 warrior ? I don't feel them better than warriors (because they only do 1 damage in front of them and none up and down) and will then never buy any... I think you should make them stronger or forget this change...
    - 200 materials for an upgrade seems too high... Especially for mines! (And what about the actual 30 materials for gems' mines?)
    keithburgun likes this.
  12. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    -Updated original post instead, dur-
    Strattis likes this.
  13. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    1 redraw is crippling when some cards give multiple redraws.
    Similarly, 1 command is crippling because it implies no spellcasting!
    Academies cause exponential VP growth? That's the sort of change that might lead to someone scoring a million VPs.
    Where do cards come from now?
    100 materials to launch an attack seems very expensive, to the point where I think the player will be crippled.
    Warriors having 1 HP is also crazy. It's supposed to be a totally useless joke unit now?
  14. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb New Member

    I like some of these changes but have a few concerns.
    I assume the goal here is to prevent high scoring games while also increasing the use of over view map...

    The problem with reducing the incoming cards, likewise allowing players to control getting cards, will allow players great control over their decks. This coupled with spawned armies having a max enemy count of 11, would allow even higher scores IMO. This would also greatly lengthen the time of each game... this change would also make the warrior general a liability as he HAS to take a card each turn...Strife cards not tied to deaths, will also reduce incoming strife dramatically contributing to longer games and higher scores.

    Exploring will also be tabled for the much more important uses of minerls. Attacking... This isn't too much of a problem as i see it as now there can't be a surprise attack on your cities... I like the idea very much of roving armies and stationary hives, however again, at 11 max, they'll be too easy to take. Currently it gets really hard to take 20 armies, but def not impossible and late game is where I've achieved half my points.

    Just some initial thoughts. I will think more on it.
  15. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Sorry, had an error in there about cards. Edited it. Winning a battle gives you ACTION cards only. Getting a Shaman's Hut gives you spell cards too.

    ALso maybe you can take a free spell card from killing a monster lair.

    1 Command isn't crippling because Spell Cards cost 1 command (ALL cards cost 1 command now).

    Maybe will increase Redraws to 2.

    Yeah, although think about it - how many cities, in number, do you build in a game?

    Could reduce the cost for launching attacks to 50.

    Oh another new rule: you can't abandon a city until it's T3.
  16. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    Wow, so many changes. This almost seems like a new game. I guess you would definitely need to wipe the leaderboards given the new balance (or better keep all the old ones and put a "[1.0]" and "[1.1]" respectively in front of their names).

    I actually just finished a game with the Wizard, deliberately using not a single Cavalry in the whole game (2 Warriors, 2 Archers instead). I reached more points than ever before. I'm not too sure Cavalry is so universally better. But it might just have been a superior deck. Now, the "Warriors have 1 HP" change obviously completely destroys that anyways. You'll want to get rid of these weakling Warriors soon!

    That somehow anti-enforces nomadic behavior, doesn't it? But I guess the Strife has to come in from somewhere, because you'd get a lot less just from losing whole battles.

    I think I like that. Makes building more Shaman's Huts more valid, while at the same time you now need these Cavalry buildings to have a non-useless army. That's an interesting decision.

    I think that's alright. He can burn through many cards with the right deck to get exactly the card he needs every turn. It might make taking Improvisation a no-brainer, though, as it ideally gives you a "bonus action" on top of filling your 8 redraws.

    I think they're cool. They're streamlined (glad you seem to have dropped the Grit/Valor range thing) and make for interesting choices. The only thing I'm not quite getting yet is the +20% VP. What's the reasoning here? That seems to mean, that if I already have a huge amount of points, it'll easily get much higher. On the other hand a low amount doesn't grow that fast.

    While I love the concept of wandering monsters and hunting for hives, this at first sight seems pretty harsh. You might really have fought a great battle against a large army and get just 0/2 VP? Maybe it's necessary, I'm not sure. It just seems unrewarding for probably great play.

    I agree with the first two probably. 2 Redraw should be fine and attacking should be less expensive.
    Concerning the "joke unit" thing: Warriors are now supposed to be the weak unit. Not a joke, but weak and to be replaced by the (now really universally) better Cavalry. They're like "militia" in many other strategy games. It's a new concept that you can't compare to the one before really. By the way, do monster Warriors also have 1 HP?

    It really depends. Now that city building, in-city fighting and losing battles gains Strife, it'll probably come down to a similar amount, because getting rid of Strife is also a lot harder (Purge is dramatically nerfed, Keep costs a gem). That's something to be tested I guess, longer games would definitely not be a positive.
  17. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yes, but we have so many other things enforcing it that I think it's ok.

    Basically, this starts becoming good late game - at the very time when you're also really needing to burn Strife cards. So it's a "push your luck" thing.

    Yeah I guess we could give you 2 VPs for defensive, 5 for offensive, I guess... but I really want to motivate the player to go and attack monster cities, too.

    Monster warriors would probably still have the same HP as they do now.
  18. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    Academy: Yeah, I guess I can see that. I'm a little worried that VP spans will increase, but that's probably because I still have the 300-500 point situations in mind, which are maybe less likely to even occur with 1.2. I guess the goal is to make players generally score lower (to make 100 VP more of a stretch?).

    I think even 1/3 VP for battling monster armies might be okay. I just wouldn't make it a matter of "oh, for this intense battle I get... nothing" (well, you get a card, but nothing towards to actual goal). Destroying hives will still be a major VP factor.

    I thought so, concerning monster Warriors. They'd be too much like "windshield kills". It's all about the player replacing his Warriors now (i.e. to decide if and when to choose a Cavalry over a Spell).
  19. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Weak unit is one thing (i.e. the previously 1/3 warriors with a poor attack pattern). Having my starting army completely unable to kill a single monster warrior no matter how they're positioned is another.

    Potentially game ruining.

    Better - You can't abandon a city until it's T3 or all surrounding food sources are depleted.

    The last game I actually finished had over 20 cities.
  20. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    100 Points being a stretch is ALWAYS the goal for any single player game I make! It's the sweet spot between "small enough so that humans can conceive of it" and "large enough where there's enough resolution to have non-repetitive scores".

    Why can't 1 HP warriors kill anything? They still DEAL 2 damage (3 with valor, which you have commonly early game).

    Actually we might not need the abandon rule if we make it that you gain 1 (or possibly 2) strife when you abandon.

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