Empire Version 3 Reactions!

Discussion in 'EMPIRE (by Crazy Monkey Studios)' started by keithburgun, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    So the new version went up today. Here are the rough patch notes.

    - After killing a monster lair, only 50% of the tiles get healed.
    - Units should only be able to attack once PER DIRECTION per turn. So archers can't kill like a whole line.
    - +1 Action to All Retreat (or make it free action)
    - Move Any should only allow orthogonal movement (no diagonals)
    - Settlers should be free to build
    - Founding a city should cost 40 Materials
    - You now get 1 VP per each monster kill
    - Inspire heals for 3, and can over-heal to +3 of normal HP
    - Bounty should give 30 materials
    - Might need to increase the cost of exploration to 3 per tile.
    - Grit/Valor should alternate, not be random. First one can be random. "But the most powerful possible deck is over 90% Grit."
    - Archer building says "defense". Should say "base health" maybe.
    - military buildings shouldn't give a free unit.
    - Archers: reword "When an adjacent friendly unit is hit in melee, that enemy takes 1 damage." It should be "when archers attack diagonally, +2 damage."
    - Get rid of self-trashing.

    UNIT changes:
    - soldier: 3 HP, 2 damage,
    - archer: 1 HP, 3 damage (same)
    - Cavalry: 2 HP, 1 damage, all directions. When exactly 1 tile away diagonally during the attack phase, charges up and deals +1 damage.
  2. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I played one game, lasted about 100 turns and got 23 VP.

    I think that it's getting better, but still has a way to go. My biggest concerns:

    - After you lose your first battle, the game REALLY begins. It's kinda like you're beating up on everyone until you lose your army, then it's catch-up time and you feel like some small rebel force trying to stay alive. I like that, but this needs to happen more gradually.

    - I think when a city upgrades, you should be able to buy as many units as you can afford.

    - Materials are still not quite tuned. First like 20-30 turns, you kinda have to fight to spend them all. Not completely certain what the solution to this is.

    - Maybe exploration is a city upgrade instead of a basic action, and buying units is a basic action instead of a city upgrade! That way, exploration can be less annoying and fakedecisiony, and it can cost a good amount. Maybe units cost a few turns to make or something though, or they set back your Food meter or something.
    Nachtfischer likes this.
  3. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    I like some of your ideas there. Especially the change of tension being more gradually. I already mentioned how it's pretty much going from "everything fine, I'm great" to "holy shit, I'm basically already dead" in a matter of a few turns.
    I'm not sure about the complete exploration/buying units switch (though it might work out!), but at least you should have a way to get units faster. This would also counter the rather annoying "death spiral" thing multiple players already mentioned. And maybe also alleviate the above mentioned concern to an extent.

    I'll try to get in a game or two later today or tomorrow. One thing about the changelog:
    That's a reword? Sounds like something completely different actually.

    Oh, and:
    That'll make viva sad! :(
  4. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    No, it's the same. Archers deal 1 damage except when attacking diagonally/ranged, in which case they deal 3. This is how they always operated. Now it's just spelled out.
  5. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    Oh, okay. Then the old wording didn't make sense at all. Upon reading it now I thought it was some special rule I didn't even notice, like archers were able to protect an "adjacent friendly unit" or something. :p
  6. promethean_beta

    promethean_beta New Member

    Not to be a pest (well, kinda)- but do you have a sense of roughly when you'll have an android build? Is that a particularly difficult thing to do?
  7. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Pardon my noobishness, but what are the consequences for losing a battle? Just losing units, gaining strife and losing the ability to easily trash strife? Or does the attacking city get sacked?

    EDIT: Initial reaction to version 3 was "Wth, he's iterating faster than I can finish my games."

    Speaking of which, I think the game would benefit from having the sim portion sped up. Upgrades require half the food, marching happens at double speed, monsters build up twice as fast etc. This is also a nerf to combat outposts, since they'd still take the same amount of time to move.
  8. donderper

    donderper Well-Known Member

    Thematically the whole switching around exploring to be a special task and creating soldiers standard sounds quite cool. Reminds me of the Romans being unaware of vast areas in Europe and suddenly being set upon by huge numbers of Teutons.

    Wanted to mention, often enough I'll be tapping away at the screen when the upgrade city menu appears out of nowhere, which occasionally results in hitting skip turn for resources by accident.

    The extra 1 cost for exploring seems to limit exploring to every second turn early on but this really ups the incentive to get another city sooner.
  9. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    D: I'm told by the programmer just now that he's going to focus on getting the iOS version out first, and then work on the Android one. Apologies for screwing the Android users over and over. I am an android person myself, so I feel your pain.

    Anyway if you like digital games you really should get an iOS device anyway IMO! Will let you know if this changes.

    Losing units (max of 3 I think), gaining strife for each lost unit. If you were on the offensive, your city is not sacked, if you were defensive, it is. Monsters work a bit differently, in that their "city" sacks itself if they attack you and fail.

    Didn't you basically like solve the last two versions? I'd think you'd be happy to have something new! But don't worry, it will be a week or so at least until the next version.

    Hmm, yeah, I generally agree with that. We want the game to be as short as it can possibly be, of course. Will think it over.
  10. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    It looks like I did not in fact solve version 2 - it eventually (~50 battles in) gets to the point where monster nests spawn faster than the maximum possible trash rate plus card generation rate. It's clear that deck bloat will eventually cause me to not be able to act in combat and thus lose fights.
  11. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    Playing version 4 (which I think you all are referring to as version 3--?--the email labeled it version 4.)

    A couple of notes on issues with cards:
    1. Shift All Archers Left or Right actually shifts archers up or down (north or south). Or I'm fairly certain it does--playing the card led to my archer dying on the next turn, so I wasn't able to try it again. :(
    2. Meteor doesn't hit monsters on diagonally adjacent to the target monster, though the language on the card suggests that it should hit all squares "surrounding" the target.
    One thing that the UI desperately needs is for the number of turns to a city upgrade to be visible at all times, maybe in the chit on the upper left. It's a real drag to have to go into the city view all the time to gauge whether or not to explore or conserve resources for settlers or troops.

    The combat grid should always remain zoomed out. The distance of each side to the other side's camp is critical to combat, and you're left guessing if you can't see both camps at all times.

    The more restricted materials in this build lead to lots of turns where I do nothing (i.e., I wait to accumulate), at least in the early game. (I still haven't finished a game, so maybe this problem goes away as things evolve.) In the very first moves, waiting is just necessary, with no choice to be made about it. A bit later, there is at least something of a choice. Either way, it feels kind of lame to pick up the game and immediately jump in doing nothing.

    I agree with others about the random quantity of monsters in monster nests. It seems like there should either be a steady, predictable ramp-up in the number of monsters you'll encounter, or the number of monsters in a nest should simply be shown (or hinted at) on the map screen. That way, I know what I'm up against and can try to plan accordingly--in the long run, it isn't that fun to step in a cow pie. (By the way, when do monsters come to attack me? Do I just need to leave a nest unmolested for long enough? Does the number of monsters rise too, the longer a nest sits?)

    EDIT: It would also be nice if the UI showed me whether I have cards to trash from the map screen, so I don't have to open up the deck to check on that.
  12. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    I've noticed some monster dens spawning with upgrades already in place. Watch for them - they look like city upgrades made out of tentacles.

    Also, I second having your starting city spawn 1 food away from the first upgrade, with enough materials in the bank for one of whatever the most expensive action is.
  13. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yeah, it's to THEIR left or right. Do you know a better way to word it? Would "up" be better?

    Agreed. When we change how exploration works, a lot of other stuff will change, and affect this. Probably will end up increasing the pace of the game a lot.

    Yes and yes.

    Great idea.
  14. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    "The attack from the monster nest has been cancelled due to a lack of units."

    What's up with that? How does the nest lose units without me defeating it?
  15. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    Okay, I got into a weird situation with no city left, but 38 materials (2 short of a new city) and a remaining settler. So I can hit "next day" forever now and the game won't end. Take it as a good sign that materials are not totally unimportant anymore... but you should have the game check for such a situation and just have it end.

    Apart from that, the game seems a lot easier in this version (I was at 70 points when I made that stupid 38 materials miscalculation error). I think the main reasons are: Spells not self-trashing (which I like), monster nests regularly cancelling attacks (which is weird, see above post) and probably some combat bugs (I witnessed a monster archer not attacking diagonally several times).
  16. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    I haven't played the new build yet. But I'd like to point out that the Trash spell not self-trashing negates the fundamental balance assumption that defeating monsters requires resources, especially if I also have permanent access to offensive spells.
    keithburgun likes this.
  17. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Good call. Yeah, that was an oversight, that one needs to self trash. For now maybe just temper your use of it a bit :D

    That message happens when YOU have no units. So you must have fought a battle and lost, and then another queued battle was canceled since you had no units left.

    Ya that happened to me too. I think it's a bug.

    Yeah with the spells not self trashing, you need far fewer units to get stuff done. It's getting closer to some kind of balance.
  18. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Had a thought about the MONSTER units:

    What if it was like this:

    Monster Soldiers deal 1 damage, 4 directions, 3 HP
    Monster Cavalry deal 1 damage, 8 directions, 2 HP
    Monster Archers deal 1 damage, 2 distance diagonal range (or right in front, melee), 1 HP

    But, there were twice as many of them on average.
  19. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    Uh, then something was wrong in my game, because it happened all the time. I think I had 2 or 3 units actually and still the monsters kept cancelling fights, sometimes two or three in a row. I couldn't figure out why.

    To be clear: That message came up when monsters where planning an attack on one of MY cities. So THEY decided to attack and when the countdown was done, it just told me, the attack was cancelled... it was not a problem of me having queued attacks and then losing units.

    You mean, like up to 18? At first throught, that sounds incredibly crowded to me.
  20. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    In that case, Copy also needs to self-trash... once it's actually working, that is.

    Baffled by this. Unless "fewer units" means 1, I think it's less balanced.

    I'd rather have individually scary monsters at a 3-1 numerical advantage than a solid wall of monsters at a 6-1 advantage, the former is actually winnable without meteor spam while the latter devolves to wiping out most of their army but losing the base race anyway.
    keithburgun likes this.

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