Empire Version 3 Reactions!

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

  1. vivafringe

    vivafringe Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This bug happens if a monster camp attacks from fog, and you fight it off. It doesn't kill the base, instead it gives that message. You can go kill it later for free if you want.
     
  2. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Okay, maybe up to 12 or something.

    Ya, I agree that you can do too much currently with just 1 unit.

    BTW, do we all agree that we should get rid of monsters attacking from outside the fog?
     
  3. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Eh, if winning with exactly 1 unit is impossible, that's a problem. If winning with 1 unit is just as easy as winning with 3 units, that's a different problem. What's the design intent for the marginal value of each extra unit?


    Disagree strongly. I hope you mean get rid of monsters attacking from inside the fog, in which case I still disagree but less strongly. I would bias monster attacks so they're less likely to come from the fog, but forbidding monsters from attacking out of the fog is exploitable.

    EDIT: What was the problem with self-trashing, anyway?
     
  4. vivafringe

    vivafringe Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Self-trashing - I didn't like EVERY spell self-trashing. It was too hard to build a deck. Tactics was a joke card because it was very unlikely you would ever have 2-3 important actions in a 4 card hand. I'm definitely okay with uber spells like Trash or Fireball trashing. That said, probably okay to have Trash only trash *1* card and not self-trash, IDK. Fireball could not trash and give you a strife, or something.

    Two options I can think of for dealing with camps that you can't see:

    - Warn players of nearby camps that are hidden in fog, so a player can explore them and kill them before they get too big. My XCOM joke was a real suggestion, heh.
    - Spawned camps are shown in fog, but you can't attack them until you explore there.
     
  5. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yeah, it's a good question. I suppose that units should somehow be much more expensive in some way. Not sure which way that is yet though. Certainly the way materials work right now is not correct.

    The second problem you mentioned should be solvable by balancing the cards.
     
  6. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Sorry, what was this suggestion?

    That's interesting.
     
  7. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    OK, overall impression: This is going to be a very cool game. It's challenging and fun, and the mechanics dovetail beautifully with the theme. Societies becoming more difficult to manage the more successful they and their institutions become, unwise depletion of the environment, seemingly necessary internal decisions breeding external threat... Very cool.

    The combat is interesting and seems multifaceted. Are there specific influences for this way of handling combat (prescribed movement with tactical actions provided via deck management), or is it pretty much a new thing?

    As someone who has never played a deck-building game, and who played his first & last 4X game (Civilization!) in 1994 or so, it took me a while to get my mind around just what Empire is. Really, the resemblance to Civ is purely cosmetic, so that's kind of a red herring. And "deck-building"--hm, what this game is about really seems to be deck-pruning: an ideal deck would seem to be one that is as small as is practical, and with as many of each of a strategically chosen subset of cards as possible. With such a deck, you can manage variability so that you can count on the card you need appearing within the window of time when you need it. I'm not sure if that's how all deck-building games work, but somehow I doubt it!

    Responses to ongoing discussion, and new observations:

    * I think that the exploration mechanic kind of needs the existential threat of monster nests growing and expanding in the fog of unexplored territory. In addition to being thematically important and flavorful, it gives urgency to exploring and makes materials more valuable. But I think that players need to be warned of at least the general area of hidden nests (e.g., a pop-up message "Refugee villagers arrive in Lamnon. They warn of a nest of monsters far to the east."). This sort of thing has the not insubstantial benefit of giving exploration a specific goal in addition to the more general one of finding new territories to expand into. However, it wouldn't work as well if exploration becomes part of the upgrade system.


    * It takes a new player a good while to understand how combat works, particularly how movement and attacks will work out. It would be nice for learners if tapping on a unit (player's or monsters') during the Action phase showed what would happen on the next turn assuming no action card were played: the unit's final position and attack zones.

    * Someone said that the ideal deck is 90% Grit. I won't claim to be expert enough at combat to say for sure, but that seems pretty untrue. You often need Action cards to do anything at all, especially if your fighting force is lean. Having just one unit is not really viable, in my opinion. It's too easy to be screwed by the random number generator. At least three times in my last game, my lone warrior started 2 or even three ranks above or below the enemy. In these cases, I didn't have enough general movement cards in my deck to even get to engage the monsters directly (the warrior card allows only forward and backward movement). That sort of thing feels kind of lame.

    * It might be cool if defense of the based were moved out of the Guard Tower upgrade and into the tactics of combat via cards that affected defense of the camp/offense vs enemy base.

    * Right now, it is very obscure to me what food does and why I need it. According to the chart in another thread, food is involved in city upgrades, as well as for cards and for settlers. Why is there no empire-wide indicator of food stores as there is for materials? Why are material costs so well spelled out and food so opaque?

    * I feel like keeping a standing army ought to be something that gets balanced with other resources, especially once combat units become available for purchase at any time. What if the player had to spend food appropriate to the number of units in the army each turn to maintain it?

    * "Unlocking" cavalry and archers isn't quite the right term, because it suggests that you once unlocked, you will be able to train them from that point on; however, that is not the case. The upgrade text for Training Grounds and Towers would be more accurate if it said something like "There must be at least one Training Ground in the empire in order for you to recruit new Cavalry."

    I would probably say "change ranks up or down"--but all of the movement cards should have an icon that shows what they do visually, with arrows showing the movement granted.

    * "Waste" seems like a weird way to describe what is happening to food supplies when the player has multiple cities. Would it make sense to simply say that more food is consumed by the population when there are multiple cities?

    * It took me a while to realize that I could settle anywhere (almost) and didn't have to choose one of the ghosted cities. The ghosts might be too effective a UI element.

    * Can someone speak to the strategy of city placement? It seems like the most important thing is travel time to monster nests. Are there other elements (besides the relatively simple one of resource availability) that I should be aware of?

    * It would be nice if the deck UI allowed complete rotation (that is, swiping it toward the right when I'm at the beginning would show the end of the deck). Usually, the first card I want to trash is Strife, which is the last card in the deck, meaning that I have to swipe all the way to the end to trash it.

    * "Purge" might be a more thematically appropriate word than "trash" for deleting cards.
     
  8. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Super-post! Awesome! Thanks Senator!

    I was thinking about something like this too. Maybe units should have a Material upkeep instead of a single cost - or both. I would like more feedback on this idea.

    I guess the closest thing someone brought up was the iOS game Rune Raiders, but even that is somewhat different.

    I like that idea.

    You never touch food. It goes right into your city. It's what fills up the little bar. When the bar reaches 100, zammo! You get an upgrade.
     
  9. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    I have never seen that little bar! I just hunted for it now and couldn't find it. A good location for it would be on the map screen, in place of the red banner/flag that flies over the city.

    Anybody else have a hard time making this connection between food and upgrades?
     
  10. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    In general, yes, action heavy is better than booster heavy. However, as long as you have 3 Grit in hand, your units are all invincible. So a deck with 1 Improvisation, 1 Move Any and the rest Grit will never lose a unit. I don't think anyone has actually implemented the Grit deck due to the difficulty of obtaining Grit in v1 and the difficulty of deck control in v2.
     
  11. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    The new rule just so you guys know is, the game gives you whichever of the two - Grit / Valor - that you have fewer of. However, we may change that to "alternating" later since it's kinda lame if you can't tweak your composition of them. Although I dunno, it might not really matter.
     
  12. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    It matters. I had been trashing Valor as a high priority. If that takes away my Grit, it suddenly becomes a lower priority even though Valor = Strife.
     
  13. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Bucky, so you're saying that Valor cards aren't as good as Grit cards? If so, do you have any suggestion for how to remedy that? I'd be OK with getting rid of one of the two, by the way.
     
  14. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Attacks mostly deal 2 or 3 damage. Units have 3 or less health. While 1 Valor is useful for taking out Warriors, the second Valor might as well be Strife unless I'm frontally attacking Warrior with non-Warrior, which I don't if I can help it. A third Valor in the same hand never does anything.

    Meanwhile, 1 Grit occasionally saves a unit - it's roughly as good as the first Valor. A second Grit, however, lets my units tank non-Archers without consequence and mostly survive Archer shots. A third Grit means I take no damage.

    So I want my deck to be at most 1/4 Valor, usually less. But it's fine to be more than 1/4 Grit.
     
    Nachtfischer likes this.
  15. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Hmm, that's true. That makes me just want to remove Valor altogether actually, or perhaps just make it really rare.
     
  16. EnDevero

    EnDevero Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Valor seems to be better suited for a game in which more damage is always better, but in this game there's only ever so much damage you really need to do.
     
  17. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    Yeah, my point was really that even if you don't lose any units, you can still lose the battle, especially if you're reduced to a small force and are screwed by the initial setup. (Also if you make poor combat choices or poor deckbuilding choices, of course!)

    I agree that Valor is generally not very useful. It seems like it might be more interesting to build your deck by managing Grit vs Defense rather than Grit vs Valor: in other words, your units' personal defense vs the defense of your base. If you choose to build a Grit deck, you won't lose units but will need to do very well on base races. If you choose to build a Defense deck, you may lose units, but you'll hopefully have a strong enough back wall that you can win the base destruction race.

    I'm finding that Resurrection is a very good card to (try to) build a beginner's deck around: I still have trouble working out in advance what will happen with combat (please see my UI suggestion for that in the monster post above), and so I sometimes lose units due to simple stupidity--esp. vs archers. With a few Resurrections in my deck, I can usually gain my units back before the end of the round. It's not a good long-term strategy (at least not w/o some double or triple action cards), I don't think, but it can help a beginner stay alive, especially one who isn't handling his upgrades well either. That said, the game is probably too kind in that, even if I lose 2/3 of my guys, as long as I resurrect them before the end of the round I won't take on any Strife cards. It probably makes sense to award Strife at the end of the battle even if the killed units were resurrected.
     
    keithburgun likes this.
  18. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I wouldn't want there to be Defense cards, as those would ONLY be useful during base races and therefore most of the time be equal to strife.
     
  19. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    That's true, but the idea was motivated by the fact that Grit is of much less use in a base race than it is in strictly clash-based combat. And the smaller your army, the greater the chance that you will be engaging in base races.

    But, sure, there may well be better ways to incorporate base defense into combat.
     
  20. vivafringe

    vivafringe Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It feels like the monsters need to be buffed somehow for me to care about Valor. Like, if after X turns, they got a passive +1 grit bonus, or something.
     
    EnDevero likes this.

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