Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

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Molean
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Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Molean » April 22nd, 2010, 8:04 am

With certain campaigns (and perhaps a option with regular games too) you have a population count. Every time you recruit this count goes down. When you win a map, the population count goes back up for every unit left alive. When you start out a map with units already deployed, you lose a population point for each one.

Events in a campaign/map can cause this number to go up or down according to chooses you make etc. Like, enemy just captured one of your towns with alot of people in it, you loose 10 population. You completed the map too slow, villagers died in the mean time, population reduction. You completed the map fast, and manage to save some other villagers, bonus population.

Seems like it would offer some potential for storyline integration to game-play. For regular games, it would offer a means to limit the games length.

Perhaps for regular games, goblins and WC could count as half population.

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Captain_Wrathbow
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Captain_Wrathbow » April 22nd, 2010, 11:07 pm

Doesn't sound very KISS...
All I can see is that it would unnecessarily overcomplicate things and not really have any good benefits... :?

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Hulavuta
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Hulavuta » April 22nd, 2010, 11:54 pm

Yeah, it would overcomplicate things and I think it would also change the focus of the game.
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sLaughter
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by sLaughter » April 23rd, 2010, 12:10 am

This sounds like a campaign-ized version of the supply/food system in some RTS's, as in you could have 20 units max, but the max increases by 10 each time you build a house or capture a village.

However, Wesnoth's upkeep system already basically performs this function by making sure you can only practically have as many units as you can pay for. I also find the upkeep system more elegant because it's not a hard cap, but you can over or under reach your "pop cap" based on the situation.

So what I really mean is, adding a population resource isn't actually going to affect gameplay much and, when it does, it affects gameplay adversely.

Molean
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Molean » April 23rd, 2010, 9:43 pm

sLaughter wrote:This sounds like a campaign-ized version of the supply/food system in some RTS's, as in you could have 20 units max, but the max increases by 10 each time you build a house or capture a village.
That is a completely different idea, nothing at all like I am suggesting. What your talking about is a maximum number of units that can appear on the map at one time, units dying freeing up this count.

What I am talking is essentially, the maximum number of units you can afford having die on you, which is the opposite of what your talking about. A number that depending on the campaign designer, would likely far exceed the number of units you would every deploy on your first map. Also, the number of villages you capture does not matter normally for this idea.

Whether it would positively or negatively effect the game aside a moment, the concept is very simple. Very "KISS".

Let me give you an example of a use for this idea in campaign form:
Under the burning sun, a campaign that this would work great with, one of the latter maps have you in a temporary civil war. You talk about how you don't want to kill your own guys, but in actuality, you sorta do, since when you kill the opposing leader you get all these rebelling units for your own, which results in a significant gold drain. With the population system on that map, every dead rebel elf could reduce your total population limit meaning your less able to purchase new units.

The gold system actually encourages you to be cavalier with the lives of your weaker units sometimes because of their long term gold drain, but what if you only had so many guys in the first place?

What if you wanted to make a campaign where the amount of gold was plentiful but the amount of people you can have fighting for you is not? I mean a campaign might talk about how every life is important and about how limited your people are, but you don't really feel that, not when gold = new people.
Hulavuta wrote: Yeah, it would overcomplicate things and I think it would also change the focus of the game.
It would be optional, and while might be used for regular games to make them shorter, is mainly meant optional for campaigns.

How would it over complicate the game? What focus would be changed, and in what way would that change be bad?
Captain_Wrathbow wrote:All I can see is that it would unnecessarily overcomplicate things and not really have any good benefits.
All I can see is people being excessively vague. Please name one way this would negatively impact the game if you see so many.

As I said, this idea would mostly be a option meant for campaigns, to make the story more integral with the game-play.

But for regular games, this would help limit their length. With the gold system, even games can take a really long time. There will always be towns to replenish your gold supply and make more units. But with this option, even the most even of games will end soon enough, how soon would depend on what population number it was set at.

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Hulavuta
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Hulavuta » April 23rd, 2010, 9:56 pm

Let me initially state that the amount of units you get in a scenario and the amount of units in a real army have a vast difference. You would need over 9000 gold to even get close to that number. The point is, that the number of units you reach is never realistically the amount of units that would be in a city, or with you, during the story.

When I mean that it will change the focus, I mean it will kind of add a "cap" on things. People will need to manage which units they buy, to make sure they get enough without going over the cap, and it will limit the units that can be in a battle, and so on. The Gold limit and Upkeep values are already a good cap for this, as you can easily get around it, but with a population cap, you are stuck with only being able to have a set amount of people scenario. People will have to think about the population cap, which is another thing they'll have to worry about.
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Sangel
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Sangel » April 23rd, 2010, 10:32 pm

This would be a pretty dramatic change in terms of scenario managing, so I don't see it happening in mainline. Too much rebalancing, for not a whole lot of benefit.

That said, for a user campaign based around "saving your people", this could be a fantastic gameplay device. Watching the "survivor count" dwindle over the course of the game as people die from various causes would add drama to a campaign. I imagine the count would look something like X (Y), where X is your "remaining recruits", and Y is your "total survivors" (remaining recruits + units on the battlefield + recall list). You could also have a "civilian count" to indicate those still surviving but unable to be recruited for military purposes.

I've always thought that Wesnoth should be able to display WML-defined "Counters" permanently superimposed over one corner of the map, for the tracking of various scenario-relevant information. This would be another use for such a counter.
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Molean
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Molean » April 23rd, 2010, 11:32 pm

A addendum to the original idea:
Units in your recall list would count against your population limit unless gifted by the map and do not reduce your population count when recalled, if you dismiss them, you free up population. (it would be interesting if when recruiting, the same name and traits would show up again eventually, like it was the same individual, but not necessary)

Another benefit to the idea is that it would give you a way to measure your skill in completing a campaign against someone elses.

I would also point out that a units level is immaterial to the number of population it represents.
Hulavuta wrote:The point is, that the number of units you reach is never realistically the amount of units that would be in a city, or with you, during the story.
It doesn't need to, this idea would cause the story to be a bit more pertinent to the game. It doesn't need to become hyper real, that is a unrealistic goal anyway. Also, only a portion of the population would likely be soldiers, so that could be why the number of recruitables pop does not scale with how many people you have altogether. Anyway the numbers can be inflated by factors of 10 accordingly. Like perhaps every unit can represent 10 pop instead of 1, or a 100 pop instead of 1, or a thousand, or...
Hulavuta wrote:People will need to manage which units they buy, to make sure they get enough without going over the cap, and it will limit the units that can be in a battle, and so on.
You seem to have misunderstood the idea somehow, I thought I made it clear that you were misunderstanding the idea before. It seems like you did not really read my initial idea or previous post.

With this idea, if you make sure you don't lose too many units though battle or story triggers, you shouldn't need to worry about the population at all, you would likely be able to recruit as many units onto the map as you can afford. Actually, this idea would encourage you to recruit alot of units, so as to better assure that you don't get too many killed.

Plus you couldn't accidentally use more troops then you have.

Lets say the population was 100 for the first map of a campaign.

You recruit only 15 because it is a small map and not many units are required, plus not many towns to support them, your a skilled player so only 1 unit is killed.

The next map your population is 85 + 14 recall units. If you wished, you could dismiss all your recall units, and have 99 new units to put out on the map.

So essentially each map you can have up to a 100 units on the map, minus any you get killed. But also there would be campaign story triggers that would modify the number. So that the only additional concern you have is making sure you don't get units killed, and possibly that you choose wisely on story map decisions, or that you complete the map fast, if that is what the story calls for, or what ever the campaign designer has decided.

How complicated is it to understand that you don't want to get too many units killed, and to pay attention to the story? If that is too hard for you to process, this is not the game for you in the first place because the rest is much more complex then something that simple.
Sangel wrote:This would be a pretty dramatic change in terms of scenario managing, so I don't see it happening in mainline. Too much rebalancing, for not a whole lot of benefit.
It would be a option for new campaigns, I am not asking anyone to change existing campaigns, (though they may if they wish)
Sangel wrote:That said, for a user campaign based around "saving your people", this could be a fantastic gameplay device. Watching the "survivor count" dwindle over the course of the game as people die from various causes would add drama to a campaign. I imagine the count would look something like X (Y), where X is your "remaining recruits", and Y is your "total survivors" (remaining recruits + units on the battlefield + recall list).
Exactly!(I think) I think you put it better then me too, its a good idea to have them as separate values like that to better keep track of where each population point is.
Sangel wrote:You could also have a "civilian count" to indicate those still surviving but unable to be recruited for military purposes.
Excellent idea! Such would normally only be atmospheric and a way to measure how well you have done against other peoples playing, but could be used by campaign designers to decide what ending you get, or what story path options you have, or what ever else a campaign designer might come up with.

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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Caphriel » April 24th, 2010, 3:00 am

Molean wrote:But for regular games, this would help limit their length. With the gold system, even games can take a really long time. There will always be towns to replenish your gold supply and make more units. But with this option, even the most even of games will end soon enough, how soon would depend on what population number it was set at.
This would be terrible for multiplayer. Not all factions can be expected to recruit the same numbers of units, and balancing different population caps would be problematic. Furthermore, what is a "reasonable" population cap? 50? 100? 500? I've seen players win games with 5 deaths to each kill. Saying "Sorry, but you ran out of possible recruits" would alter the game substantially. Besides faction balance issues, I don't see an artificial maximum recruit limit as useful or desirable in terms of its effect on gameplay. It would actually encourage stalemates by increasing the risk of attacking. Trading cheaper units for more expensive units would no longer be as meaningful.

As far as campaigns go, this can probably already be done in WML, so why don't you make a campaign that utilizes it to demonstrate its value?

Molean
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Molean » April 24th, 2010, 3:20 am

I don't believe I agree with all of what you said regarding its impact on multi-player games, but if the code was already made for campaigns, then one might as well test it out for multi-player games too, then we would know for sure.

As far as your suggestion of learning to code, writing code for this idea and making a whole campaign based on it, that is a extreme and unreasonable expectation. Anyway, it is out of the question at the moment, I do not have the time or computer for it right now.

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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Caphriel » April 24th, 2010, 2:23 pm

Learning WML is not that difficult. It's a markup language, not a programming language. You really think it's "extreme and unreasonable" to ask for a proof-of-concept? You want other people to do it, but you're not willing to do any work on it yourself? :hmm:

As for multiplayer, feel free to refute me with specific arguments, when I say such things as "The northerners often recruit up to twice as many units as their opponents" or "HODOR tactics lead the Knalgans to many more casualties than standard tactics, but are still a viable way to play." Or even more general statements like "A maximum number of recruits would make trading units for enemy villages a losing strategy in the long run." Furthermore, you haven't demonstrated that this is necessary of this for multiplayer. You offer that it would limit their length, without any support for the premise that "multiplayer games last too long," which is a matter of taste anyway.

You're right, however, that if someone implemented this, it would probably be not terribly difficult to port to MP, and people could try it. I imagine for MP, it'd be as simple as on each recruit, checking to see if the number of recruits has exceeded some limit, and if so, disable recruiting. It might be useful to display the number of recruits remaining somewhere, but for testing purposes, players could use the statistics page and subtract from the limit.

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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Unnheulu » April 24th, 2010, 4:44 pm

Doing it in WML would stop allowing you to undo after recruiting...

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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Captain_Wrathbow » April 24th, 2010, 5:11 pm

Unnheulu wrote:Doing it in WML would stop allowing you to undo after recruiting...
You can undo recruits? I didn't know it did that now....

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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Molean » April 24th, 2010, 6:01 pm

You can't undo recruiting, you can undo recalling, and if it somehow caused the undo recalling to break, then I am sure there is someone able to figure out how to make it not break.

If its so easy to do, what I am suggesting, then all the more reason to do it. Just because I don't have time/pc to do all that, isn't a reason to not use this idea. Plus, leave that kind of talk to the developers please. I mean, if you aren't planning to do any work yourself, or are in any kind of position to officially say yah or nay on ideas, then you are in no position to be making anything that resembles a ultimatum.
Last edited by Molean on April 24th, 2010, 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hulavuta
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Re: Population count, idea for campaigns (perhaps reg games too?

Post by Hulavuta » April 24th, 2010, 6:07 pm

With this idea, if you make sure you don't lose too many units though battle or story triggers, you shouldn't need to worry about the population at all, you would likely be able to recruit as many units onto the map as you can afford. Actually, this idea would encourage you to recruit alot of units, so as to better assure that you don't get too many killed.
If you don't need to worry about it at all, why even have it? And if it makes it only as many as you can afford, isn't that already a good measure of what you can recruit? Like I said earlier, and Sangel said later, the factions need different amounts of units. if the population cap is for example, 5 (just an example) and you can only recruit 5, then an Orc recruiting 5 units would not be a match for say, a Drake recruiting 5. It's also pretty un-KISS, gold is the accurate measure for amount of units able to be recruited, and the upkeep ties in with gold.

And if I'm not mistaken, all it is is a cap on the amount of units you can recruit. And if you recruit more units, doesn't that increase the chances of your units getting killed? If you haven't recruited anyone, they can't kill them.

Finally, the name of it is also called "recruit" for a reason. Perhaps they are not all population units? Maybe they're mercenaries? I think if you tried to free a town, people wouldn't demand payment to fight for their lives. I think the amount of loyal units that pop up during story events are the entire population.

Plus, if it's easy to do, then you should do it. Just because it's easy doesn't mean that we should do it, because it's your idea. If you really want this idea to go through, you can show it by investing your own effort into it. Seeing is believing. If you can show us how good it works in the actual game, it'll be easier to convince us than if you just told us about it like you are doing now.
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