Age of Tribes

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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

Frostion
@crazy_german
The new version is ready to play. The Cold War is now 4 and not 5 rounds. It should not be so long that it drags out and gets boring. But I will take one small step at a time.
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
I think the issue is that the cold war game starts with a long peace. After a half round of just moving units/building up my friend and I both wanted to stop playing. If it occurs suddenly in the middle of a war, it might be really interesting, but I have not been able to play a game from another starting point that made to the Cold War age.

Renaissance game in progress. This is just me but I'm playing every tribe. Looks like an easy win for the East, I'll post it once West surrenders.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
In reply to this post by Frostion
A renaissance game - AoT_RenaissanceStart.tsvg

West surrenders. At the end of the game most nations still hold there core territory, except that Slavic has complete control of Germany. The single sail-ship is much better than starting with 5. Overall I think this is really pro-east (or maybe just pro-slavic?)

Map issues
-Baltic can kill most of the Germanic army turn 01
-Hellenic can capture a Roman fort turn 01
-Barring unlucky dice, Hellenic can take a Roman castle turn 02
-Due to the above three, west is fighting uphill from the very beginning. Barring fast territory gains from Celtic or Brittonic, West will lose
-The East has no reason not to just crush the German/Roman starting armies
-Hattic will lose africa quickly, and begins the game with awkward outdated land units
-Hattic is forced to produce its ships far away from the front line

Unit issues
-Sail ship bombard is really powerful
-Due to the inevitable naval arms races, nations end up with basically unlimited transport capacity
-Cannon/Mortar too similar
-Only reason to develop forts is to destroy existing forts as a defensive move or get a free unit
-Cavalry is pretty cheap for its extra movement, but only Slavic is a position to spam cavalry (possible cause of pro-east bias)
-I feel like the gap between sail-ships and ironclads ought to be bigger
-The units start to get really similar. For example, a chariot with 3 attack 2 defense is very different than a spearman with 2/3 (the attack-defense gaps are huge). However, the carabiner at 6/5 and rifleman at 6/7 are very similar units (gap between attack-defense is much smaller)
-Unit developments start having smaller and smaller impacts. For example, going from spearmen to swordsmen would grant +50% attack and +33% defense. Going from rifle to infantry only grants +17%/+14%, and the extra cost makes a serious difference

The last two resulted in me feeling like I couldn't impact my game much. It was usually really obvious what to build, usually footmen. Most nations cannot take advantage of cavalry's mobility. Or they start with plenty of siege/support units, or just need defense so badly that nothing else is worth buying. On another note balloons are great, largely because they are the only unit that is different. Even air units feel really similar to the others, since everything's stats are just so close together.

PS - is there a particular reason you want tanks to have that low defense and provide support? I have another game in progress (still 0.9.3) which is playing out really well (and should last until the plague arrives)
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

Frostion
@crazy_german
As always, brilliant feedback
I can see that:
- You (west) gave up when East had 320 production and West 184.
- That Brittonic, Celtic, Romanic and Hattic did not climb much up the cavalry tree.
- That all tribes have been holding back on factory development.
- That Hattic got to Submarine! (A shame you didn’t get to try them out. I could really need feedback on them.)

• One of three things I got planned for v0.9.5 is an optional (not default) economic victory at around 300 PUs. Would this be good?
• Number two thing is adding starting submarines to all nations in Cold War start map. The AI does not build subs, so I guess it will give the Cold War start a little spice.
• Number three is to increase all motorized units’ transport cost from 3 to 4.
ATM Infantry fills is 1, cavalry and artillery 2 and motorized 3. But making motorized fill 4 would prevent tanks on sailships and “force” a player to advance to ironclad if he wants to transport tanks and motorized vehicles (+ make use of amphibious attack/shipbombard). I really don’t like the idea of players transporting trucks, tanks and whatnot on old sailships.


-Baltic can kill most of the Germanic army turn 01
-Hellenic can capture a Roman fort turn 01
-Barring unlucky dice, Hellenic can take a Roman castle turn 02
-Due to the above three, west is fighting uphill from the very beginning. Barring fast territory gains from Celtic or Brittonic, West will lose
-The East has no reason not to just crush the German/Roman starting armies

I would really appreciate input on where and what to add when it comes to a new balanced start. I hope any balance issues can be solved by just adding a few more units to the start layouts. I would think that what happens in round 1 could be crucial to the rest of the game and that players should not be allowed to determine the game’s outcome already in round 1. Any suggestion when it comes to adding a few units? You could send me a save game with the added units maybe? (Both renaissance and cold war)

Hattic will lose Africa quickly, and begins the game with awkward outdated land units.
Hattic losing Africa could be an unavoidable thing on the map or the start units could be revised to help Hattic have a 50/50 chance to hold on to Africa. In any case, the loss or gain of Africa income could/would shift the income balance a for both sides I guess, and therefore this must be thought into the overall game balance.

About the Hattic outdated units, this is intentional. No offence to any real life descendants of the Hattic tribe, but in the renaissance map I have tried to add a little “primitive” feel to their start. In the real life renaissance era the middle European people were a bit more advanced than the near eastern / African, but in my map I hope they can be on equal terms after the game has started. I hope they just look a bit primitive when the map starts, and that they are compensated by having a few more units. If you give me a save game with added starting units, please keep any added Hattic units primitive

Sail ship bombard is really powerful
Well, I hope humans are then encouraged to use ships and amphibious attacks. I would like the AI to just be compensated with extra flat rate PUs to compensate for its lag of thinking about building and using ships.

Only reason to develop forts is to destroy existing forts as a defensive move or get a free unit
I really don’t know what to alter to make factory progress worthwhile. Any suggestions? Should they be “outdated and removed” by trigger, just like the other units? I actually don’t like that idea.
But I do know that if a player has too primitive factories when/if the enemy gets bombers and rockets (to strategic bombard/destroy buildings) then the 5 HP factories at least have a chance to survive and get repaired, while the low HP factories are sure goners. So this is an incentive. Though the player might first know this when he has lost his factories.

The units start to get really similar / Unit developments start having smaller and smaller impacts
I think this is an inbuilt flaw in my whole game design. Units do %-wise get more better in the early game than midt/end game. But, as long as the battle calculator tells that there is an advantage in using newer and updated units, even though just a tiny bit better cost benefit wise, then I guess it is ok.

is there a particular reason you want tanks to have that low defense and provide support?
I guess you are talking about the transition from the cannon unit to the old tank? The cannon is 5A/5D and Early tank is 8A/4D. The tank overall has two more in dice value, but is actually more poor in defense than the cannon. The idea is that they are WW1 era tanks, and I would guess that a fixed defensive higher caliber cannon was still far superior when defending than a stationary WW1 tank. But when it came to assaulting the enemy, it would be far more nice to roll out your tank then pushing an old type cannon down the road, through the forest or the muddy plains.
When it comes to providing support, this was just a part of the system I made up when designing the map basics. The Infantry was to be the defensive choice, the cavalry the two move choice, the artillery the support role and so on. All artillery supports 3 infantry to encourage a 3-to-1 ration, and they should not be so cheap that they could be used alone.

Cavalry is pretty cheap for its extra movement + Half of your savegame's Tribes did not advance in cavalry.
I don’t see a problem in this. If player feel they can benefit from cavalry, let them buy cavalry. If players want to skip cavalry but still want trucks, helicopters and war robots, the advancements will become very cheap when the player gets more and more free Tech resources to shop with. A player can focus on other branches until a certain age and power-develop the cavalry branch later in game.

Anyway, I hope any further testing could answer:
• Would the 3 proposed v0.9.5 changes be good?  
• The start balance … the game should not be determined in round 1. Additions to starting unit layout?
• Subs … are they Über or a waste of money.
• Factories … how can they be altered?
• And finally (I can see that your map is pretty empty of units compared to when playing against the AI) … do players need a higher bonus income? Do tribes feel too poor to make use of their many unit types that could give tactical opportunities? I guess poor players would, as you say, just go for defensive infantry.
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
So I am in progress on another game, and I think some feedback from it was blurring my thoughts.

Frostion wrote
@crazy_german
As always, brilliant feedback
I can see that:
- You (west) gave up when East had 320 production and West 184
- That Brittonic, Celtic, Romanic and Hattic did not climb much up the cavalry tree.
- That all tribes have been holding back on factory development.
- That Hattic got to Submarine! (A shame you didn’t get to try them out. I could really need feedback on them.)
The reason I played so long without giving up was I wanted to try out the newer techs. In most games, players will surrender before a victory condition is met so I wouldn't put too much thought into that. On cavalry, my point was kind of that cavalry are really really good, however not every nation can take advantage of them. Hattic, Brittonic, Celtic are primarily naval powers and so don't benefit all that much from extra movement and thus don't invest in cavalry.
Frostion wrote
• One of three things I got planned for v0.9.5 is an optional (not default) economic victory at around 300 PUs. Would this be good?
• Number two thing is adding starting submarines to all nations in Cold War start map. The AI does not build subs, so I guess it will give the Cold War start a little spice.
• Number three is to increase all motorized units’ transport cost from 3 to 4.
ATM Infantry fills is 1, cavalry and artillery 2 and motorized 3. But making motorized fill 4 would prevent tanks on sailships and “force” a player to advance to ironclad if he wants to transport tanks and motorized vehicles (+ make use of amphibious attack/shipbombard). I really don’t like the idea of players transporting trucks, tanks and whatnot on old sailships.
I don't think victory conditions matter all that much, unless playing against AI. Giving each nation a single sub would be a fine change. I wonder if maybe instead of increasing motorized unit costs, you could just drop Sail-ships to 2 capacity. The extra movement point already makes these units a much better choice for transporting. Then drop the ironclad to 3 capacity.

Frostion wrote
-Baltic can kill most of the Germanic army turn 01
-Hellenic can capture a Roman fort turn 01
-Barring unlucky dice, Hellenic can take a Roman castle turn 02
-Due to the above three, west is fighting uphill from the very beginning. Barring fast territory gains from Celtic or Brittonic, West will lose
-The East has no reason not to just crush the German/Roman starting armies

I would really appreciate input on where and what to add when it comes to a new balanced start. I hope any balance issues can be solved by just adding a few more units to the start layouts. I would think that what happens in round 1 could be crucial to the rest of the game and that players should not be allowed to determine the game’s outcome already in round 1. Any suggestion when it comes to adding a few units? You could send me a save game with the added units maybe? (Both renaissance and cold war)
I'll look into making a new unit set up. It shouldn't be too hard.
Frostion wrote
Hattic will lose Africa quickly, and begins the game with awkward outdated land units.
Hattic losing Africa could be an unavoidable thing on the map or the start units could be revised to help Hattic have a 50/50 chance to hold on to Africa. In any case, the loss or gain of Africa income could/would shift the income balance a for both sides I guess, and therefore this must be thought into the overall game balance.
You could move Hattic's turn earlier to help them in Africa. Otherwise, its kind of a lost cause. Its too far away to reinforce with troops from Turkey, and you have to build enough fleet to challenge Celtic. Giving some Hellenic possessions to Hattic so it has a base farther West to use if Africa falls would be a good change.
Frostion wrote
About the Hattic outdated units, this is intentional. No offence to any real life descendants of the Hattic tribe, but in the renaissance map I have tried to add a little “primitive” feel to their start. In the real life renaissance era the middle European people were a bit more advanced than the near eastern / African, but in my map I hope they can be on equal terms after the game has started. I hope they just look a bit primitive when the map starts, and that they are compensated by having a few more units. If you give me a save game with added starting units, please keep any added Hattic units primitive
The issue is more that they have too many support-giving units and few that recieve it. Also, many cavalry but no need for mobile units.
Frostion wrote
Sail ship bombard is really powerful
Well, I hope humans are then encouraged to use ships and amphibious attacks. I would like the AI to just be compensated with extra flat rate PUs to compensate for its lag of thinking about building and using ships.
I think its too powerful. See the British-Baltic naval build up. After a while both nations can launch devastating amhpibious attacks against their opponent due to overflow of bombard.
Frostion wrote
Only reason to develop forts is to destroy existing forts as a defensive move or get a free unit
I really don’t know what to alter to make factory progress worthwhile. Any suggestions? Should they be “outdated and removed” by trigger, just like the other units? I actually don’t like that idea.
But I do know that if a player has too primitive factories when/if the enemy gets bombers and rockets (to strategic bombard/destroy buildings) then the 5 HP factories at least have a chance to survive and get repaired, while the low HP factories are sure goners. So this is an incentive. Though the player might first know this when he has lost his factories.
I don't have a concrete idea to help forts (outdating them would be devastating to AI) but I will brainstorm.
Frostion wrote
The units start to get really similar / Unit developments start having smaller and smaller impacts
I think this is an inbuilt flaw in my whole game design. Units do %-wise get more better in the early game than midt/end game. But, as long as the battle calculator tells that there is an advantage in using newer and updated units, even though just a tiny bit better cost benefit wise, then I guess it is ok.
I'm wondering if perhaps changing the upgrades a little bit would help. For example, having some cavalry upgrades provide +2 attack instead of +1atk +1def (or something along these lines)
Frostion wrote
is there a particular reason you want tanks to have that low defense and provide support?
I guess you are talking about the transition from the cannon unit to the old tank? The cannon is 5A/5D and Early tank is 8A/4D. The tank overall has two more in dice value, but is actually more poor in defense than the cannon. The idea is that they are WW1 era tanks, and I would guess that a fixed defensive higher caliber cannon was still far superior when defending than a stationary WW1 tank. But when it came to assaulting the enemy, it would be far more nice to roll out your tank then pushing an old type cannon down the road, through the forest or the muddy plains.
When it comes to providing support, this was just a part of the system I made up when designing the map basics. The Infantry was to be the defensive choice, the cavalry the two move choice, the artillery the support role and so on. All artillery supports 3 infantry to encourage a 3-to-1 ration, and they should not be so cheap that they could be used alone.
I was thinking that perhaps tanks could lose support ability and get more attack/defense to compensate. I believe tanks were most effective when used alone.
Frostion wrote
Cavalry is pretty cheap for its extra movement + Half of your savegame's Tribes did not advance in cavalry.
I don’t see a problem in this. If player feel they can benefit from cavalry, let them buy cavalry. If players want to skip cavalry but still want trucks, helicopters and war robots, the advancements will become very cheap when the player gets more and more free Tech resources to shop with. A player can focus on other branches until a certain age and power-develop the cavalry branch later in game.
A naval power has no need for cavalry, half of the powers went pure navy or heavy navy. I think that cavalry is too powerful, however few nations are in a position to abuse it (mostly just Slavic). Think of it this way, if tanks were too cheap in a ww2 map, Germany might become extremely powerful (because it is in a position to benefit from tanks the most). The UK needs navy, Russia needs defense, so they aren't making a mistake by not building tanks. Slavic benefits more from underpriced cavalry than any other nation.
Frostion wrote
Anyway, I hope any further testing could answer:
• Would the 3 proposed v0.9.5 changes be good?  
• The start balance … the game should not be determined in round 1. Additions to starting unit layout?
• Subs … are they Über or a waste of money.
• Factories … how can they be altered?
• And finally (I can see that your map is pretty empty of units compared to when playing against the AI) … do players need a higher bonus income? Do tribes feel too poor to make use of their many unit types that could give tactical opportunities? I guess poor players would, as you say, just go for defensive infantry.
I wonder if you could make units cheaper rather than increasing income. For example, maybe only increase the cost every other upgrade? Subs look closer to uber than useless but I haven't tested them yet.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
In reply to this post by Frostion
Another game I finished this weekend - AoT_FeedbackLongGame.tsvg

Long game, ended with Western victory.

You mentioned you wanted feedback on the plague. I enjoyed the feature, it added lots of chaos but isn't too difficult to handle. However, it does create the potential problem of disparity between players who know when and where the plague arrives and those who do not (including the AI). Are there any specific things you are looking to change? I liked the feature and don't see any massive problems as it is

Overall this game felt really balanced, the tribes that made mistakes were punished. I do think the tech cost of some develop-weapons should be changed. Specifically, I would make chariots and catapults both cost 12, and some of the later technologies' cost changed in the same way.
 
Here is my reasoning for the above. Every tribe needs 1 unit-type to be their army's backbone, usually infantry (or possibly cavalry). It makes much more sense to spam upgrades on this tech line than upgrading the supporting units. For example, you will build at MOST 1 siege weapon per 3 infantry units. So the upgrade to better infantry will provide at least 3x the attack/defense boost as upgrading siege. The siege upgrades not only have a much smaller impact than the infantry upgrades, they even cost more. So either the cost of infantry-upgrades should go up, siege go down, or the higher level siege weapons improved. In a similar way, you will always have at MOST 1 archer for every 1 infantry, and archer upgrades cost more, so always upgrade infantry before archers.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

Frostion
Version 0.9.5 is ready for testing.
• All 8 tribes now have 1 more submarines from start in the Cold War start version.
• Sail-Ships now have 2 and not 3 transport capacity.
• An optional 350 PU economic victory condition added.
• Players can now only attack with 1 Nuke or 1 Ballistic-Missile at a time.
• Added maxRunCount 10 to all Nature steps, 34 to all Plague steps and 55 to all Barbarian steps.
(This removes nature when it is extinct, plague when it is over and Barbarians become immobile from start of the modern age and forward.)
• Removed all Combat Movement during the cold war.
• Factory development now more attractive. Fort gives two free forts, Castle gives 3 free Castles, Fortress gives four free Fortresses and Command Bunkers give 5 free placements.

@crazy_german
Wow. You really played the game to the end there. Long play! I can see you also used the not-advancing base strategy. v0.9.5 has new rules. What do you think about them? They should also help the AI not kill itself by removing essential bases.

Regarding the plague:
I am not looking to change anything about the plague ATM. I am glad you think it works. I know that a player who knows when and how it hits can just prepare for the plague to arrive, and the AI never has a clue, but I don’t see a big issue. Players can easily handle plagues (and the player who has played Age of Tribes long enough to know the plagues statistics, that player dicerves an advantage. Hehe) And the AI should be so tough or get so many flat rate PUs that it feels like a challenge to beat it. If a game vs. AI has lasted up to round 27, then I guess the human is losing, and the plagues is a welcome addition to the game.

“Every tribe needs 1 unit-type to be their army's backbone, usually infantry (or possibly cavalry). It makes much more sense to spam upgrades on this tech line than upgrading the supporting units … you will build at MOST 1 siege weapon per 3 infantry units. So the upgrade to better infantry will provide at least 3x”

I can see that. But I have tried to make a tech price system where the newer unit developments cost more and more, also players get more and more tech to buy with. If a player only goes 1 or 2 tech tree branches, then he will have to not develop for sometimes many rounds. As I see the system right now, it is an ok strategy to skip 1 or 2 tech tree branches to try to get ahead of the other players in some other branches, but only buying from 1 or 2 is not worth it. The player misses out on good support opportunities. No matter how the player plays and buys, then the tech income is so high at some point that he can just buy a lot of outdated advancements and not use them, just to get access to the higher end units.
Next time I play the map I will try to keep this Infantry/Artillery ratio and value in mind though. Maybe look at it with a fresh mindset.

PS: I added an “v0.9.5 XML only” download option.
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
This post was updated on .
I like those changes, with the possible exception of the base change. That is a big change and likely removes most need to every purchase base buildings other than camps. I don't have a concrete suggestion to improve them though. I though having them provide +1 dice to X number of units (so units would roll 2 dice and potentially hit twice) would be better than just +1 power, however it sadly defaults to the weakest unit.

Perhaps if we get a chance to play, we can see what tech strategy works. I'm confident that getting swordsman and halberman as quickly as possible is a great move with the current tech prices.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
So I hope you like long games...Aot_AIChallenge.tsvg

I play West, the East is played by the AI who gets a 45 PU bonus income. Here is the save at the start of the Renaissance. This was played on 9.4 since I started it before you posted the 9.5

Perhaps you could change the triggers that grant a free sail-ship to make it an unplaced unit, rather than going directly into the sea zone? Also, if you changed the unit-removal triggers to take place at the start of a tribes turn, rather than all at the beginning. The current way can suddenly expose an army to attack (especially for the AI). I think you could probably make bowman have 4 defense and crossbowman 5 defense to better balance them with swords/halbermen.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

Frostion
crazy_german wrote
I like those changes, with the possible exception of the base change. That is a big change and likely removes most need to every purchase base buildings other than camps.
I think there is some truth to that. I have now reduced the number a bit.

crazy_german wrote
 if you changed the unit-removal triggers to take place at the start of a tribes turn, rather than all at the beginning. The current way can suddenly expose an army to attack
Also a good idea. I have now tried to do that. I hope there are no flaws in the trigger codes. (I had to make and add a lot of code to realize this change)
Real life duties prevent me from testing these changes in a long game from start to finish. I just dont have the time ATM. So if anyone is willing to test, then they are welcome to. I will try to test the map myself later this week.

So here comes v0.9.6. It is ready for download.
• Free base number when developing bases are now reduces by 1 overall. Fort now gives one free fort. Castle gives 2 free catles, fortress gives 3 free fortresses and Command-Bunker give 4 free Command-Bunkers.
• The removal of outdated units now occur at the beginning of each Tribal turn. All units are no longer removed at the beginning of the round.
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
I can't figure out why more players haven't come along to playtest, this game is really fun and has enormous variety. I think the balance is already quite good as well, though some of those cold-war units are looking a little broken.

I'll try to get you some feedback, I want to finish this 0.9.4 game first. It looks like it might reach around 60 turns, and I think it will provide some good feedback about the technologies in industrial/modern eras.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
Finished a long game - AoT_AIChallengeComplete.tsvg

This was a blast to play. I almost lost, the AI held 6 capitals for a long portion of the game. However, I did bring it back. I think that a big part of my being able to make a comeback was dependent on make much better use of technology. The AI of course buys in a random fashion, however it is also very balanced in its approach (it always buys a tech if it can, so it buys cheaper techs before more expensive ones)

Overall this played really well. Up until the Renaissance everything went well, the only thing I would change is some of the tech costs (but I've already mentioned that). However, some of the modern era units are not well balanced. The transition is quite muddled, and certain techs (air) are far better than others. Tech rushing bombers/ nukes is a very appealing strategy, these weapons are extremely powerful. Base buildings need more HP or bombers need to do less damage. Otherwise I think this part of the game would become an arms race in air power, with tanks,trucks and navy being neglected.

PS - cannon/mortar need a change. Otherwise it is a total waste to invest in developing both
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

Frostion
This post was updated on .
crazy_german wrote
can't figure out why more players haven't come along to playtest
Yes, everybody please test!   I would appreciate ANY feedback, even if it is just a one-time first impression of the current state of the map. I really appreciate crazy_german’s input, but it would be nice to have some second opinions.

Aot_AIChallenge.tsvg and AoT_AIChallengeComplete.tsvg
Wow! You could hold your ground, and actually survive against AIs with +45 PUs? Lol, I can see that the map was pretty soon flooded with AI units, and that the AI broke through and started to eat mainland Europe from about round 15 and forward. Impressive how you could return from a situation where the Slavic had wandered ravaging through Europe and taken “Paris” (around round 35), to a situation where you captured all eight capitals (round 53).  Seemed like you used an encirclement strategy? It seems that you ruled the seas the entire game. The AI felt no need to remove your navy. The AI lost by having a poor and failing strategically. Interesting that the game ended with the AI having nearly 6000 TUV where you had 4250 TUV.

crazy_german wrote
cannon/mortar need a change. Otherwise it is a total waste to invest in developing both
Yes, I agree. I have decided to change the mortar unit from 6A/4D cost 25 to 7A/3D cost 26. The cannon will still remain 5A/5D cost 24. With these stats and prices, the AI seems to buys 50% cannon and 50% mortar as long as it has access to both. It seems ok from my human perspective also.
• Mortar stats changed from 6Att./4def. to 7Att./3def. Cost raised from 25 to 26 PUs. (v0.9.7)

Regardig a little unit price adjustment.
I have been trying to work on the end-game / futuristic /post turn 85 unit prices. I would like the units to have prices that feel reasonable to humans, but also makes the AI buy a sensible, diverse and fun to battle army, hopefully making use of the entire set of units.

(AI issues: AI does not buy Subs, Missile-Shields (building) and Energy-Shields (building). To determine if the prices are reasonable for these units, we humans will have to assess. Any thoughts on these prices are particularly welcome.
Also, the AI does not know the value of Rockets from Rocket-Launchers. AI just sees the Rocket-Launcher unit and shops according to the main unit and its stats. So I would be happy if the price was set to a level that made the AI just buy very few of these units.
Also, humans would at some point throw nukes around, and the AI does not know this, and neither does it know that War-Robot infantry and air Attack-Drones are actually immune to nukes. So I want these units to be so attractive for the AI to buy that they become the most used infantry type and the most used air unit type.)

The way I have now tried to assess the unit prices has been to look at the Hard AI’s shopping. I started an all AI game where all tribes had everything/all tech developed to full, meaning that all AI players had the unit set that would exist from round 86 and forward. And then I let the AI play for 15 rounds. I looked at the shopping stats and changed a few prices: (in v0.9.7)
• War-Robot cost reduced from 21 to 19 PUs. (At endgame now the most AI purchased infantry unit.)
• Attack-Helicopter reduced from 41 to 36 PUs (Now purchased by AI as much as Jet-Fighter.)
• Bomber cost raised from 50 to 51 PUs
• Stealth-Bomber cost raised from 53 to 54 PUs (Bombers and Stealt-Bombers are bought in a very low number by the AI, but this is ok. AI sees them as expensive, but humans would use them as strategic bomber to destroy bases, so if a human wants it, he will get it.)

crazy_german wrote
Up until the Renaissance everything went well
I am glad that the early ages seem to have ok prices now, and I also think that the very-end game units have reasonable prices. The mid game unit balance is probably very difficult to both judge and balance. In the early and very-end game, the players are naturally on pretty equal footing, but in the mid period, the players might have different units available, and just a single unit advancement will always change any player’s basis for the “best and logical unit choice”. I am not saying that it is impossible to improve and adjust the unit prices to fit their effectiveness, but it might be difficult and there may be some restrictions and impossibilities when wanting to balance the mid game units.

Another thing is, I think this map gives human players a bigger and bigger advantage the further the tech tree opens up and the further into the game players get. There are many units that have abilities and advantages that can only be utilize by humans (Trucks, Air-Transports, Subs, Rocket-Launchers, Nukes, SBRs and if I remember correctly the AI can’t see negative support, like the support the Stealth-Bomber gives). For this reason, in the next release version, the renaissance map will have not +15 PU AI bonus as default setting, but +20. The Cold War map will have +25 as default setting. What do you think about that?

As you say, the AI generally buys the cheapest tech. But it does actually not always do this. Fortunately it seems to sometimes buy one of the other advancements before the cheapest. One can see that by saving an all-AI-game, loading it as all-human and looking at their purchase windows.

crazy_german wrote
Tech rushing bombers/ nukes is a very appealing strategy, these weapons are extremely powerful.
I will have to look a bit into the bombing strength and base HP thing. But, I will keep in mind that bases are relative cheap, plus that Anti-Air units seem to be quite good purchases. The AI buys many of them. Also, the Bomber and Stealth-Bomber is now a bit more expensive.
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
I can give a more detailed response a little bit later, but my first thought is that I would give up on having the AI play the late game extremely well until it learns to consider some of the advanced features. There are just way too many features it cannot consider. Player v player testing is the ideal for getting these unit values right. For example, it is really clear to me that bombers are far too strong, the AI doesn't abuse this but players will.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
In reply to this post by Frostion
On Mortars
Did you consider making the mortar a rocket-launcher type unit? Doing so would enable bombing much earlier in the game. I think this could help fix the base building problem. If bombing was present earlier than bases would get destroyed more often. If newer bases had much more HP or were cheaper to repair, there would be more incentive to upgrade them.
On those Price changes
I don't see a problem with those changes but I don't think the AI is the right way to go about figuring out unit prices
On the New AI Bonuses
Both are perfectly fine changes. I don't think the AI is going to do well in Cold war under any circumstance though. Nukes are too important, and its lack of logic regarding them is just too large of a handicap.
On Anti-Air Guns
If the AI buys many then Redrum should look into that, because I see no reason to. They don't deter bombing very much, since the expected value of a bombing run is still positive if a factory is guarded by an AA or a Barrage Balloon (not missile shields though)
Right now the AA guns do not work as described by the tooltip file. Is the description in the tooltip file how you want them to work? Right now an AA fires 1 dice on a 2 at aircraft, and an additional 1 dice on a 2 in regular combat. This gives it 4 total power, compare to other units of the same tech level and it isn't very good. Anti-Air and especially barrage balloons need a buff. On a side note, missile shields are great and deter bombers quite well. Also, AA being cheaper than infantry is really weird. It isn't a balance problem necessarily but it strikes me as very odd.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

Frostion
@crazy_german
Right now the AA guns do not work as described by the tooltip file




        <attatchment name="unitAttatchment" attatchTo="Anti-Air" javaClass="games.strategy.triplea.attatchments.UnitAttachment" type="unitType">
            <option name="attack" value="2"/>
            <option name="defense" value="2"/>
            <option name="movement" value="1"/>
            <option name="offensiveAttackAA" value="2"/>
            <option name="attackAA" value="2"/>
            <option name="offensiveAttackAAmaxDieSides" value="12"/>
            <option name="attackAAmaxDieSides" value="12"/>
            <option name="maxAAattacks" value="1"/>
            <option name="maxRoundsAA" value="-1"/>
            <option name="isAAforCombatOnly" value="true"/>
            <option name="isAAforBombingThisUnitOnly" value="true"/>
            <option name="isAAforFlyOverOnly" value="false"/>
            <option name="transportCost" value="1"/>
            <option name="typeAA" value="anti-air gun"/>
            <option name="targetsAA" value="Attack-Helicopter:Warplane:Fighter:Bomber:Air-Transport:Jet-Fighter:Stealth-Bomber:Attack-Drone"/>
        </attatchment>

I want the AA to work like this:
Fight on the ground with 2A/2D, plus also shoot at all types of air units every round, but max. 1 target/shot per AA unit, and always with a with strength of 2.

Is it because the tooltip should state “Every battle round, one aircraft has a 2/12 risk getting hit” and not “Every battle round, every aircraft has a 2/12 risk getting hit”?


Did you consider making the mortar a rocket-launcher type unit?
Well I did not intend that from the start. But now, Yes. It would take a lot of work though. But maybe I will do that.

I don't think the AI is going to do well in Cold war under any circumstance though. Nukes are too important
I have thought about making players pay for missile nukes also, not only for the nuke plane. Making the silo the required unit for placement. Right now the silo just spawns a nuke missile, so they are practically free after development (which also does not cost any PUs). If 8 players throw around free nuke missiles for just 5 rounds, they would make 40 radiation zones, and the entire map would generate -40 PUs compared to before the nukes. Maybe players would not use nukes every round if the nukes actually cost something, and maybe only used the nuke missiles in possession if the enemy had a territory with at least 10 units huddled nicely together. (Nuke hits up to 10 units with 50% kill chance.)


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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
Frostion wrote
Is it because the tooltip should state “Every battle round, one aircraft has a 2/12 risk getting hit” and not “Every battle round, every aircraft has a 2/12 risk getting hit”?
Right now one aircraft has a chance to get hit, so either the tooltip ought to be changed, or the unit attachment be changed. Perhaps up to 3 units can be unit would be a good feature (increase the cost a little bit too). I'm not a fan of a single AA gun firing infinite times. By the way, right now the missile shield reads "Every battle round, 5 aircraft has a 5/12 risk of getting hit". This unit always rolls 5 dice (even if facing only 1 aircraft). Is this what you want?
Frostion wrote
Well I did not intend that from the start. But now, Yes. It would take a lot of work though. But maybe I will do that.
It would require some new art of course, but other than that I don't think it will be too much work. You can use the same triggers as rocket removal. As an aside, regardless of whether you change the unit or not, I don't think unlocking barrage balloons should remove mortar from the purchase window.
Frostion wrote
I have thought about making players pay for missile nukes also, not only for the nuke plane. Making the silo the required unit for placement.
Having no opportunity cost to using the missiles is an issue. All of your suggestions seem reasonable, I would like to play against a human on the cold war to get a good feel for it. Sadly I haven't got a good chance to do so yet. I would be in favor of developing nuclear weapons becoming more expensive in terms of technology.
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

Frostion
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Frostion
OK, here is v0.9.8.

The big change is the Mortar unit. It is now like the Rocket-Launcher as it creates bombardment ammo every turn. I played a few games and think that this really spices up the game, and also it introduces the base damage/destruction aspect much sooner. Last time I played the map, I felt that this feature was fun. Not only because one could shoot at bases from a neighboring territory (actually this situation seldom occurs), but I had much fun when bombarding enemy units from a distance and also shooting at enemy ships out at sea (even though the AI mostly moved the ships out of range … but not always ). The Mortar is actually kind of weak, but very fun to play with, and the AI still builds about 50-60% cannon and 50-40% mortar.

The nuke also has some changes that I think is for the best. They still play a powerful role at end game, but the kill effect is reduced from 50% kill on 10 units to 50% kill on 5 units.

I also looked at the air and anti-air a bit. I once raised the cost of air units about +10 PU on all units, now I have lowered them about -1 to -5 PUs again. I also tried to make sense of some prices with the help from the battle calculator. Barrage-Balloon cost has increased from 16 to 18. Now Infantry is again a better buy than Barrage-Balloons if used as cannon fodder or defense vs. attack by other ground units. Nevertheless, Barrage-Balloons do still lower enemy aircraft’s (or any mixed attack force with planes) chance of success more than pure Infantry does. Also, Anti-Air is confirmed as a better air defense buy than Barrage-Balloons. All this is according to the battle calculator.

I would recommend a Renaissance start if one would like to test the new Mortar, and a Cold War start to test the Nukes.
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

Frostion
In reply to this post by crazy_german
crazy_german wrote
I don't think unlocking barrage balloons should remove mortar from the purchase window
The new mortar is now removed, not when one unlocks Barrage-Balloons, but when one unlocks Anti-Air. So players now get to keep the mortars a bit longer. Yay!
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Re: Age of Tribes – Open Beta

crazy_german
In reply to this post by Frostion
I am very excited to try those new mortars out. I think weak is good, its purpose is a tactical weapon. Hopefully I get a chance to play again soon.

In regards to nukes, that change is probably good for balance. These also should be more of a tactical weapon than a game dominating force. I think an issue with late game technologies is the prices/ where units are on the tech tree. For example, fleet carriers match up really poorly against nukes, if just one opponent has ballistic missiles it makes carriers not very useful. Rocket launchers might have a similar problem (which makes mortars all the more fun)

PS - perhaps the Battle-Mech could also receive a radiation immunity?
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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