Author Topic: Equipment Overhaul  (Read 4226 times)

Demivar

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Re: Equipment Overhaul
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2017, 02:35:32 PM »
It's based on whichever time period we want it to be based on. I'm more of the type that we should make it loosely based on a time period, but include things we find interesting or contribute to the game.

The goal isn't to make it require micromanagement, it's to make it have depth. Right now, the battle system is barely a puddle. There's not really much to it, and it's kind of boring.

And chaning the troop classification would, realistically, only impact people's egos. I never said I'd change the values of existing weaponry, except maybe the Javelin if we make it multi-use.
Better boring than unfair. And no, troop classifications affect morale, so the impact would certainly be tangible.

The depth that might be added would simply add to the confusion. The ability to customise troops more? Sure. But effectiveness should be effectiveness.

If I stick my army in a field, enter a battle and go to bed, I can get picked apart and ruined even more because their shield troops fought my archers, my Heavies got maced and my cavalry fought spears.
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silvershot

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Re: Equipment Overhaul
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2017, 02:58:51 PM »
If I stick my army in a field, enter a battle and go to bed, I can get picked apart and ruined even more because their shield troops fought my archers, my Heavies got maced and my cavalry fought spears.


So, not much different than it is for most of the world right now?

I think it's best treated as more of a catchup mechanic. Some weapons are just going to be better than the other weapons -- period. It was even in the description of the weapons. The most powerful realms are going to be able to use the best loadouts, probably with some spearmen since any sort of cavalry not killed by archers is going to be a pain. (I'm fine with that aspect) If a morning star with no bonus does more damage than a mace with a bonus, and you can produce a lot of them, it's no longer really rock-paper-scissors for you. You do more damage to anyone than a mace would do to anyone. It's now rock-paper-scissors-gun.

However, if you're wearing plate, maybe the difference is only 10% instead of 30% (just pulling numbers out of my rear).


Quote
Better boring than unfair. And no, troop classifications affect morale, so the impact would certainly be tangible.
Which just sets the odds even more in the favor of the already powerful realms, anyway, IMO. You just field as many experienced heavies/armored archers as you can and deal a ridiculous amount of damage to the inexperienced leather with some scale and some mail armies you're fighting.


Cipheron

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Re: Equipment Overhaul
« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2017, 05:12:30 PM »
So, I'd like to start working on this as I'll be tinkering with how soldiers handle their equipment in the coming days anyways. This is what I'm thinking things could look like in their next phase:
<snip>

From a game design perspective I'd highly recommend against having a big list of item types just because it would be nice to have a plethora of item types.

Look at theory on the concept of choice. Half a dozen choices is manageable, but when it goes even a little beyond that people's ability to make good decision breaks down, even experts. e.g. hypothetical medical scenarios are blown by real doctors if you only add another simple variable or two. They have real-world numbers on this. Just adding one variable - an either/or choice on one decision branch - caused real doctors to go from almost all making the right choice to almost all making the wrong choice in the real study.

Also, I can cite some psychology research that shows when you have Choice A and Choice B, adding a third useless choice that nobody would ever take massively influences which of choice A or choice B people  take (and it was found with college-educated people here not only general public: without the presence of the fake "C" choice, almost all people pick option "A", but when "C" is presented as a choice, almost all people pick "B"). People are just not very good at dealing with scenarios that have more than a handful of "A vs B" choices. Just the presence of "A vs B vs C" causes distorted thinking even if C is a silly choice you immediately ignore.

Just adding a few more weapon types for "flavor" is in fact going to massively screw the balance with how people make decisions on what to build. It's going to require huge "how to" guides to be written and unless you know the "how-to" guide and blindly follow it's min-maxing advice then you'll be left in the dust. That's the problem with padding out choices with "flavor" choices, which are given some nominal nod to different functions or values. Most such "flavor" will be suboptimal, and therefore they will mostly be choices which are always beaten by better choices. The mere presence of so many choices that should be avoided at all costs will in fact just confuse the hell out of everyone.

And this is not likely to be something you can do a bit of mathe-magic to fix up cheaply. AAA games spend millions of dollars on playtesting to get the balance right. It's like cosmetic upgrades here - you might in fact be better off merely making e.g. different types of sword which are purely cosmetic, e.g. "arabian" cultures make scimitars instead of swords, but they're functionally identical. e.g. you don't say "sword or scimitars: you pick" you have the "sword" choice replaced entirely with the scimitars in the arabian-culture settlements.

~~~

Having said that I have some suggestions. Basically it's preferable to have "allowed combinations" rather than to allow everything, then give penalties for making the "wrong combinations". That's not "freedom of choice" it just ends up appearing willfully unhelpful and obtuse.

e.g. for bows, say that only "short bows" and possibly a new "recurve bow*" type can be used on horseback. Mounted crossbow or longbow getting huge penalties is just more useless information for the player to learn. It's simpler to just exclude combinations that don't make any sense then balance the ones that do make sense. Making things "generic" because it allows "choice" then penalizing "wrong choices" is just wrongheaded from a design usability standpoint. If the combination doesn't make much real-world sense, just exclude it at the start, rather than piling on hidden penalties.

As for crossbows, they need to have a clear role-delineation compared to longbows. e.g. when is it now better to have 100 crossbows vs having 100 longbows? I don't think it is, ever. Before even thinking about adding more types of bows, make the current ones all have a purpose. e.g. make crossbows cost more materials, but get a bonus in city battles (e.g. a crossbow user can pick out targets in cover, and fire out of cover more easily), require less training, and get an armor-piercing bonus, relative to the longbow. Longbows would be better off against light troops, open terrain, and against other archers, including crossbowmen, but they require a larger investment in manpower for training. Then, if time and population is your limit, you'd go for crossbows, but if resources were your limit, you'd go for longbows. And if you wanted mobility, you'd go for mounted shortbows. Plus, once you have each of these types then you'd need to see what's best based on who you are fighting. Big barbarian invasion? Send longbows. Attacking "Constantinople?" probably want crossbows there. A mobile hit-and-run unit? Bring mounted shortbows so they don't slow you down.

* the recurve bow would probably fit into the game as an Achery School item, be more expensive in material, harder to train, but the advantage is that it can be use mounted.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 06:14:56 PM by Cipheron »