Altered era/ruleset

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eurydike
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by eurydike » October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am

I discovered this add-on yesterday and have not gotten around to playing a game with it yet. It has not even been possible, because the wesnoth.org DNS has expired and there has not been many people on the multiplayer servers. I found this add-on interesting and wanted to create a forum reply to the thread, and try and comment on first impressions and other things.
1. how do you prefer to play?
on which maps or random map generators?
what size of map do you prefer and with how many human and AI opponents?
2. what you liked most and why?
3. what confused you or seems unclear?
4. what annoyed or frustrated you?
5. what seems missing or would be nice to have?
1. I have to skip this one due to just having discovered the add-on.
2. I liked the custom abilities and weapon specials most. The miniature icons next to the units are also interesting.
3. I think the rule "desperate stand" seemed most unclear.
4. So far I can't say anything has been annoying or frustrating
5. I like the custom abilities & weaponspecials, would probably like new ones too.

First of all it seems like an awesome piece of work, I looked over all the modified factions and their abilities. I hope it's okay that I'm commenting on this, despite not having played a proper game. Concerning the broader abstractions involved I like the style of simulation where units have qualities that correspond to their appearance and abilities which are realistic and logical in terms of the perceived mechanics of the simulated world. For an example 'triggered' weapon special makes intuitive sense as even if the user is slowed, a gunpowder based device would still function normally. This correspondence between the abstract rules and the imaginary world improves the overall feeling. Second abstraction that I find pleasant is the type of increase in gameplay complexity provided by the weaponspecials such as "shield" or abilities such as "fortify", and in general I like games where there are abstract rules. Not all types of increases in complexity necessarily increase the amount of fun one can have while playing, nor they necessarily result in differences that feel meaningful rather than packaging the same concepts in new wrappings. So I think there are novel concepts in this add-on which sort of work on these levels. I think in some way abilities such as "fortify" are perhaps even of a higher quality than what you typically have in the mainline mechanics.

Considering the type of complexity increases, the abilities such as reckless, fortify, shield etc. they can create new strategic niches for units and in a sense create new roles for units in wesnoth. So increasing the complexity in the right way, allows for increasing diversity, without getting just "more of the same". With creative ideas like the ones in this add-on, it would be possible to expand the gameplay content overall.

Simultaneously it is that with a large set of complicated rules it creates a learning curve for players, which might make it hard to get started. But then if the concept is good, it should be worthwhile to learn. Also if the complexity is such that it makes intuitive sense, it's much easier to grasp how everything works, when you can be somewhat guided by the overall feel of things. What should and what oughta work in some situation etc.The "desperate stand" rule appears to be a bit arbitrary and perhaps with respect to the broader themes mentioned earlier, a bit unintuitive. Ad-hoc recruiting definitely changes gameplay mechanics, but it also makes intuitive sense, from this perspective of simulation, that recruiting could be possible from villages. Rebirth seems to be a rule that is unrealistic, which is still okay. From these slightly critical points I'd like to make a suggestion, which is, that you could use the scenario options function to allow players to toggle some of the rules on/off. I think the primary candidates for this would be the three mentioned, desperate stand, rebirth and ad-hoc recruiting. Some scenarios might not be very suitable for ad-hoc recruiting. Regardless I think these are interesting rules.

No healing on levelup. I find this to be a very realistic and gameplay changing rule. It doesn't make sense that a unit that gets wounded and goes through heavy engagement with opposing units suddenly goes through a transformation and becomes hundred percent healthy again. You could see that it's a more realistic course of events that units slowly accumulate experience and then gain new skills. Retreating wounded units is a concept that already takes place in wesnoth almost everywhere, and protecting experienced units also takes place. This sort of forces players to take care of units that are very close to leveling up. On the other hand, since the healing from advancing a unit is so useful, a lot of the game tends to be around getting units close to leveling up and then recovering hitpoints for free. Removing this feature in a sense does also make these subgames slightly less impactful, as a losing battle won't be turned by a couple of units getting levelups. On the other hand it does also make experienced units better than they are otherwise, the fact that a unit can approach leveling up makes it better.

So in summary I like this add-on as a concept and many of the features seem very interesting. I'd want to see some of those abilities taken to mainline factions. I hope this comment was not too disrespectful. It makes me sad the forum thread has not attracted interest from many users, there are so many interesting concepts in this add-on. Great work!

lea
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by lea » October 23rd, 2018, 6:51 pm

eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
IIt has not even been possible, because the wesnoth.org DNS has expired and there has not been many people on the multiplayer servers.
do you play only on multiplayer servers?
in hot-seat and single player (vs AI opponents) modes add-on should work offline - that's how I test it
eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
So increasing the complexity in the right way, allows for increasing diversity, without getting just "more of the same".
diversity was the goal while complexity is strictly a side effect...
eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
Simultaneously it is that with a large set of complicated rules it creates a learning curve for players, which might make it hard to get started.
I consider making a learning campaign that introduces custom rules a few at a time (not anytime soon if ever). do you have any other ideas about how to mitigate the learning curve?
eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
The "desperate stand" rule appears to be a bit arbitrary and perhaps with respect to the broader themes mentioned earlier, a bit unintuitive.
there is a common situation when opponent is no longer a challenge because it runs out of army and finances but technically not defeated yet. in this situation it takes plenty of (boring) time to finish opponent's leader. "desperate stand" rule was added to make such opponents challenging and maybe even give them a chance to recover. so this rule is indeed arbitrary. any ideas how to make it more intuitive?
eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
you could use the scenario options function to allow players to toggle some of the rules on/off.
do you mean https://wiki.wesnoth.org/OptionWML ? many rules can be turned off by commenting respective lines in _main.cfg file since it was the only way I knew at the time to achieve it
eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
Rebirth seems to be a rule that is unrealistic
"realism" is not a goal for this add-on, only a side effect of different goals. this rule was added to mitigate the impact of losing high-level units (for financially well off players) and reduce players' desire to keep them out of danger
eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
Some scenarios might not be very suitable for ad-hoc recruiting.
this addon is meant for random maps, not scenarios. and goal of ad-hoc recruiting is to make leaders less tied to castles
eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
No healing on levelup. I find this to be a very realistic and gameplay changing rule.
this rule was added to change balance according to my subjective taste and undo what seems to be a tradition taken from role-playing games
eurydike wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:58 am
I hope this comment was not too disrespectful.
IMO rather "official" in style but I wonder why do you expect it to be perceived as disrespectful? also wonder whether you are professional critic :)
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The_Gnat
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by The_Gnat » October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am

@Desperate Stand -> Hmm... That is a good question. Desperate stand definitely has value but it is not an ideal rule and one that I (long ago since I first played the add-on) thought was a bit out of place. I can see the point you have made but I wonder if the problem is that teams last along time when they have no chance left or if the problem is that they cone to a point when they have no chance?

If the question is the former them perhaps a better rule could be created which, instead of benefiting no-hope players, killed them off quickly.
That is just an idea. Alternatively if the problem is instead the second then perhaps every player could have a base income which they can never fall below. The problems with that are of course that it encourages mismanagement of wealth but realistically any rule which helps weak players encourages bad play in some form or other. This had the advantage that it avoids players loosing hope while not giving an unfair advantage to the desperate stand.
"diversity was the goal while complexity is strictly a side effect..."
Haha very well put. I personally still love this add-on because of the diversity it brings. Sadly I have not had much time to play it recently but the diversity has always been the best part!

However, that said I also think that the don't heal on advance rule is really good. It makes things a lot more strategic. 8)

lea
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by lea » October 26th, 2018, 2:52 pm

The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am
If the question is the former them perhaps a better rule could be created which, instead of benefiting no-hope players, killed them off quickly.
probably... any specific ideas for such a rule?
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am
Alternatively if the problem is instead the second then perhaps every player could have a base income which they can never fall below.
tested already. I stumbled upon this problem while playing on small map against single AI opponent that had extra base income of +10 gold set up through BsW's standard game creation screen - it was very pronounced in these circumstances. the source of this problem is in difference between economical power of different sides (that develops during the game because one side is played better and/or has better starting conditions because of map's layout), not in income being scarce in absolute terms. also AI players already get extra income from "invasion support" custom rule.
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am
The problems with that are of course that it encourages mismanagement of wealth but realistically any rule which helps weak players encourages bad play in some form or other.
why do you think so? if so then "full heal on advancement" rule from mainline encourages mismanagement of experience points...

amount of gold bonus from "desperate stand" and conditions for getting it were tuned so that good management will always bring more wealth than deliberate attempts to trigger "desperate stand". if not then could you please describe specific counter-example?

additional goal of "desperate stand" rule is to reduce quantity of AI sides that are defeated by other AI sides before having a chance to engage the human player
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by The_Gnat » October 26th, 2018, 9:48 pm

lea wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 2:52 pm
probably... any specific ideas for such a rule?
Hmm... As you pointed out the main problem is that any such rule would not solve the problem of AI getting killed before engaging the players (but for the AI I guess any rule such as this could be ignored).

The first idea is just to say that if your unit dies you don't get the income back from him. But that is neither significant nor really a good idea.

Alternatively you could just enforce an automatic forfeit condition if players have effectively 'lost' the battle already? But again that might be arbitrary and too harsh.
lea wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 2:52 pm
the source of this problem is in difference between economical power of different sides
Yes very true. I haven't played with desperate stand much but have you noticed it encouraging buying all your units quicker so the other players do not receive the bonus? I recognize its value and have yet to come up with a satisfactory alternative so in no way am insulting what you have done. :)
lea wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 2:52 pm
why do you think so? if so then "full heal on advancement" rule from mainline encourages mismanagement of experience points...
Well actually I would say full heal instead encourages a mismanagement of hit points. I prefer your rule because it adds strategy. You can't just throw your wounded hero into the fighting knowing he will advance and then be all fine. :D

But I don't think it is quite that comparable because a rule such as desperate stand only has an effect on one side of the players (the losing side). In contrast full heal is merely a rule which effects everyone and everyone strategizes around. So arguably people can say that it does not encourage mis-management but instead an alternate strategy. Desperate stand could be viewed in a similar way (it is a known facet that all players must strategize around) but my main problem is that it is so arbitrary that it is almost not a strategic point but merely a side effect.

Hopefully you don't find that rude, I certainly understand the significance of the rule, especially for AI not being idiots and uninteresting, and fully agree that the problems it tries to attempt are hard to rectify otherwise. :doh:

What are your thoughts? :D

lea
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by lea » October 27th, 2018, 9:25 am

The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 9:48 pm
The first idea is just to say that if your unit dies you don't get the income back from him.
could you please elaborate? if you mean that dead units effectively still require upkeep then it would make war of attrition far too effective...
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Alternatively you could just enforce an automatic forfeit condition if players have effectively 'lost' the battle already?
I've seen this rather well implemented in a game that is unusually suitable for it. the game in question is "Massive Assault" and it is good for such rule because it is extremely deterministic (there is no randomness in game mechanics except initial placement before the start of the game). but BfW contains plenty of randomness, to the point that in theory there is always a chance for any unit to win against any number of any other units if other units will constantly miss. so I think this kind of rule is not suitable for BfW
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 9:48 pm
have you noticed it encouraging buying all your units quicker so the other players do not receive the bonus?
why do you think that buying your units reduces other players' prospects of triggering "desperate stand"? formula for this rule accounts only for receiving player's condition and map size
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 9:48 pm
But I don't think it is quite that comparable because a rule such as desperate stand only has an effect on one side of the players (the losing side).
only as long as it is "losing enough" ;)
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 9:48 pm
but my main problem is that it is so arbitrary that it is almost not a strategic point but merely a side effect.
it was not intended to be a part of strategy except for desperate cases and even in such cases winning player is still going to win unless he/she mismanages his/her economy or rush his/her offense too much in an attempt to finish off the losing player faster or some third player intervenes
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 9:48 pm
Hopefully you don't find that rude
I wonder why people in this forum thread tend to expect their comments to be perceived as rude? )
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by The_Gnat » October 28th, 2018, 2:20 am

lea wrote:
October 27th, 2018, 9:25 am
if you mean that dead units effectively still require upkeep then it would make war of attrition far too effective...
Yes that is what I was thinking but your point is very true... We don't want to promote certain strategies but instead kill off the no-hope players.

Perhaps the only way to do that without adding arbitrary rules is to come up with logical criteria for what no-hope actually is. Because there are only two options that I can imagine to implement this:
-Come up with a less arbitrary no hope criteria and implement it either to benefit or kill those players
-Or come up with a rule which lasts the entire game and has a broader effect which results in eliminating loosing players (but likely has side effects which promote certain strategies)
lea wrote:
October 27th, 2018, 9:25 am
there is always a chance for any unit to win against any number of any other units if other units will constantly miss. so I think this kind of rule is not suitable for Bfw
Well in that case I guess there is no place for a rule which determines whether you have no chance.
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am
Is the problem that teams last along time when they have no chance left?
I'm that case this is not actually the question any longer?
lea wrote:
October 27th, 2018, 9:25 am
why do you think that buying your units reduces other players' prospects of triggering "desperate stand"?
I was under the impression that desperate stand triggered if you and your situation compared to the map size and the enemies situation met some criteria? (I haven't used it for a while so I may have forgotten)
lea wrote:
October 27th, 2018, 9:25 am
not intended to be a part of strategy except for desperate cases and even in such cases winning player is still going to win


Hmm, when you say it like that I wonder what the point even is ;)


Also I don't believe we think we are being rude other wise we would not say what we do but I at least am attempting to ensure others also know that I am not being rude. Some people take suggestions badly haha.

lea
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by lea » October 29th, 2018, 3:13 pm

The_Gnat wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 2:20 am
-Come up with a less arbitrary no hope criteria and implement it either to benefit or kill those players
which begs the question: what particular criteria? ;)
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am
Well in that case I guess there is no place for a rule which determines whether you have no chance.
I think so - that's why I went for "desperate stand" instead. another reason is that in BfW I tend to prefer longer games - very unlike you AFAIK
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am
I was under the impression that desperate stand triggered if you and your situation compared to the map size and the enemies situation met some criteria?
map size - yes (bigger maps yield greater "desperate stand" bonuses but less often), situation of other players - not at all
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am
Hmm, when you say it like that I wonder what the point even is ;)
the point was that IMO there is no incentive to try to trigger "desperate stand" for own side on purpose
The_Gnat wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 1:40 am
Some people take suggestions badly
some people do indeed. I hope that I am not one of them )
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by The_Gnat » November 6th, 2018, 7:55 am

lea wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 3:13 pm
which begs the question: what particular criteria? ;)
^_^ that is a good question...
lea wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 3:13 pm
I think so - that's why I went for "desperate stand" instead. another reason is that in BfW I tend to prefer longer games - very unlike you AFAIK
Good point. So with that in mind I would say the criteria should try to do something similar to desperate stand currently does but perhaps some what more logical or understandable.
lea wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 3:13 pm
map size - yes (bigger maps yield greater "desperate stand" bonuses but less often), situation of other players - not at all
Okay, good to know. :) I don't know if we necessarily need to rule out the other players situation as part of the criteria but I do think that (relative) simplicity is important.
lea wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 3:13 pm
the point was that IMO there is no incentive to try to trigger "desperate stand" for own side on purpose
Yes I understood that point, but I was actually questioning what the point of desperate stand was. Not having played with it I wonder how effective it is? Does it significantly improve the AI not wiping each other out? Does it seem to make a big difference for the players who have no-hope?

The reason I ask is because I see two sides to one coin. On one side there is 'no incentive' to trigger desperate stand and on the other side there is little hope and little significance to the rule. That was my impression but if it is not that way then I would be interested in how and what circumstances make it so. With that knowledge I believe it would be easier to come up with new criteria.

So far what I have for the criteria is: :)

- logical
- relatively simple
- helps AI not just die
- significant enough to matter
- not so significant is worth triggering

The first idea that pops into my head is just that desperate stand could be changed to only effect AI. If it is not possible to be significant without being OP then that may be the best way (being able to be ignored by the players but still having a background effect to save dumb AI :D ). I look forward to hearing what you think about it, because you certainly have more understanding and appreciation of this rules significance.

lea
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by lea » November 8th, 2018, 9:02 am

The_Gnat wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 7:55 am
I do think that (relative) simplicity is important.
agree. "desperate stand" formula got extra complications to prevent triggering the bonus when it would make it too advantageous and easy to do it on purpose (first turns of the game and soon after previous triggering)
The_Gnat wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 7:55 am
I was actually questioning what the point of desperate stand was. Not having played with it I wonder how effective it is? Does it significantly improve the AI not wiping each other out?
on big maps - yes, on small ones I never tried to play with many players as it would be far too crowded
The_Gnat wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 7:55 am
Does it seem to make a big difference for the players who have no-hope?
for even matches - I think so, for cases when winning player is a lot stronger than losing one - not really (which is intentional - this rule is not designed to steal the victory on regular basis)

without "desperate stand" it is common for winning side to push the losing side to a situation when just a few level 1 units are enough to finish off its leader. with "desperate stand" attacking player got to mount much greater offensive, like 3 level 2 units plus 3 level 3 units. this also creates some incentive to get leader to participate in such offensive
(talking about 100x100 maps here, for small maps difference is a lot less dramatic)
The_Gnat wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 7:55 am
On one side there is 'no incentive' to trigger desperate stand and on the other side there is little hope and little significance to the rule. That was my impression but if it is not that way then I would be interested in how and what circumstances make it so.
to clarify: IMO there is no incentive to trigger it unless the side is actually in desperate conditions (if you see such incentive then please try to describe a situation in which you see it, or maybe attach a save file to show it). when you have only a few units and little gold left and there are 6-10 enemy units moving in to attack your leader then there is certainly an incentive to trigger it but at that point it would be triggered anyway, even without incentive. "little hope" is exactly what I was aiming for, "a lot of hope" would provide a major incentive (and possibility) to trigger it on purpose when the situation is far from desperate
The_Gnat wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 7:55 am
- logical
- relatively simple
- helps AI not just die
- significant enough to matter
- not so significant is worth triggering
IMO "desperate stand" as it currently is has issues only with "logic" and "simplicity". regarding logic it seems fairly logical to me that some people loyal to the side will mobilize themselves at their own expense (rather than waiting to be hired at leader's expense) to defend the state/leader they are loyal to. I considered creating a bunch of units automatically instead of just adding gold but it would be much more labor-intensive to code.
regarding simplicity I see no way to make it more simple short of inventing a fundamentally different rule - and I have no ideas for that so far...
The_Gnat wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 7:55 am
The first idea that pops into my head is just that desperate stand could be changed to only effect AI.
I want to save dumb human players as well :P also sometimes some players are significantly disadvantaged by random map generator - this rule seems to even that out a bit
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by The_Gnat » November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm

lea wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 9:02 am
on big maps - yes, on small ones I never tried to play with many players as it would be far too crowded
That is good. How many units on average does desperate stand give (in gold)?
lea wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 9:02 am
for even matches - I think so, for cases when winning player is a lot stronger than losing one - not really (which is intentional - this rule is not designed to steal the victory on regular basis)
Hmm... That is interesting. IMO a 'desperate stand' rule is unnecessary for even matches. :hmm: Of course I recognize the need to avoid 'steel victory'.
lea wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 9:02 am
without "desperate stand" it is common for winning side to push the losing side to a situation when just a few level 1 units are enough to finish off its leader. with "desperate stand" attacking player got to mount much greater offensive, like 3 level 2 units plus 3 level 3 units. this also creates some incentive to get leader to participate in such offensive
(talking about 100x100 maps here, for small maps difference is a lot less dramatic)
:) I think this clarifies my last statement. 'Desperate stand' is valuable for even matches because it makes the finale more interesting and strategic.
lea wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 9:02 am
to clarify: IMO there is no incentive to trigger it unless the side is actually in desperate conditions (if you see such incentive then please try to describe a situation in which you see it, or maybe attach a save file to show it)
No I personally don't see any incentive but was just trying to get a good idea of exactly how valuable and significant 'desperate stand' is, that is why I made the previous statement.
lea wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 9:02 am
when you have only a few units and little gold left and there are 6-10 enemy units moving in to attack your leader then there is certainly an incentive to trigger it but at that point it would be triggered anyway, even without incentive. "little hope" is exactly what I was aiming for, "a lot of hope" would provide a major incentive (and possibility) to trigger it on purpose when the situation is far from desperate
Okay so with that in mind I think I will add one more to the criteria for desperate stand:

- logical
- relatively simple
- helps AI not just die
- significant enough to matter
- not so significant is worth triggering
- makes finale more strategic
lea wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 9:02 am
regarding simplicity I see no way to make it more simple short of inventing a fundamentally different rule - and I have no ideas for that so far...
True, but perhaps there could be some criteria and effect that are similar but slightly more simplistic.
lea wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 9:02 am
I want to save dumb human players as well :P also sometimes some players are significantly disadvantaged by random map generator - this rule seems to even that out a bit
Good point. :)


Okay I have another idea (which may or may not be good). What if desperate stand can be used whenever the player wants by a right-click menu. That solves the simplicity aspect because the player knows exactly when it will happen. Of course to encourage that it is only used when it is actually desperate stand it would need to be more and more advantageous as the game progresses longer. This could either be related to the number of turns left or similar. Secondly in order to ensure only desperate players use it, it would have to be worse and worse depending on how many units you currently have. This could be achieved by giving units proportional to how many units you currently have and how much gold you have.

For example the desperate stand rule could be something like this:

'You may use 'desperate stand' at any time, once per game. After you use desperate stand your loyal units will reinforce your castle so that you have a total of X units on the map. Your gold will then be reduced to 0 (or remain constant if it is already below 0).'

Or if we want to relate it to turns we could say 'X units per turn'. A third possibility is that we could say 'Your gold will be reduced to 0 and all your non-loyal units will flee from the battlefield'.

What do you think? It then would just need a simple algorithm to activate for the AI.

Overall it makes sense (logical). It is easy to understand (only one sentence is pretty simple ;) ). It would help the AI and dumb players. It is significant and can be more or less so depending on how many units we give. It is possible to trigger without being no-hope but that can be fixed by removing your non-loyal units from the map. It does make the finale more strategic because your units rally around you in the final battle to defend your caste.

But the issues with it are: It can be accidentally triggered by dumb people which would significantly disadvantage them if they do so. :lol: It can be forgotten about by dumb people (that could be solved by a dialogue that recommends you trigger the desperate stand, it could make this recommendation whenever it would normally activate it for the AI). It could be overpowered (but that can be solved by balancing it with the current desperate stand). Can you think of any other negatives?

lea
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by lea » November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am

The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
How many units on average does desperate stand give (in gold)?
sum of map's height and width, this is mentioned in in-game help ("Info on Misc Rules" entry in right-click menu). so it is 40 gold (2-3 units) for small 20x20 map and 200 gold (8-10 units) for huge 100x100 map
The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
'Desperate stand' is valuable for even matches because it makes the finale more interesting and strategic.
yes, that was a primary reason/inspiration for adding it
The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
What if desperate stand can be used whenever the player wants by a right-click menu. That solves the simplicity aspect because the player knows exactly when it will happen.
I would say whenever the player has low enough "desperation rating" (gold in bank plus 25 gold per unit plus cooldown index which thaws over time and resets after game start or when deserate stand is triggered). btw, dialogue of "desperate stand" right-click menu item may be a good place to show current value of desperation index to the player
The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
Of course to encourage that it is only used when it is actually desperate stand it would need to be more and more advantageous as the game progresses longer. This could either be related to the number of turns left or similar
why do you think that it should become more advantageous over time?
The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
'You may use 'desperate stand' at any time, once per game. After you use desperate stand your loyal units will reinforce your castle so that you have a total of X units on the map. Your gold will then be reduced to 0 (or remain constant if it is already below 0).'
why only once per game? currently it can be triggered repeatedly (subject to cooldown built into "desperation index") which adds some strategic considerations for attacking player (if finishing losing player off takes too long then another desperate stand bonus can be triggered)
The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
'Your gold will be reduced to 0 and all your non-loyal units will flee from the battlefield'.
what units do you consider to be "loyal" here? also I hesitate to spawn units because it will require a lot of coding (choosing locations and choosing specific units for each race)
The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
What do you think? It then would just need a simple algorithm to activate for the AI.
I do not want to get into editing AI just yet so I would prefer to add manual activation as an option rather than replacement for current setup
The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
But the issues with it are: It can be accidentally triggered by dumb people which would significantly disadvantage them if they do so. :lol:
this can be prevented by deactivating respective right-click menu option when "desperation index" is too high (player has a lot of units and/or a lot of gold). also I am thinking about adding experience cost to it (no extra loyalty for leaders that "cowardly" avoid combat)
The_Gnat wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 8:32 pm
Can you think of any other negatives?
it requires a lot of coding :) (as mentioned above)
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by The_Gnat » November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm

lea wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am
sum of map's height and width, this is mentioned in in-game help ("Info on Misc Rules" entry in right-click menu). so it is 40 gold (2-3 units) for small 20x20 map and 200 gold (8-10 units) for huge 100x100 map

lea wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am
I would say whenever the player has low enough "desperation rating" (gold in bank plus 25 gold per unit plus cooldown index which thaws over time and resets after game start or when deserate stand is triggered). btw, dialogue of "desperate stand" right-click menu item may be a good place to show current value of desperation index to the player
As I see it we have two options:

- Only allow the player to use desperate stand when they are really desperate
- Or allow the player to use it whenever they want but only give them a good bonus when they are desperate

I personally prefer the second option. The desperate stand button would always be available to the player and when you click would bring up an message which tells them what they would get and asks if they want to proceed.

The main reason I prefer the second is because then we don't need the complex criteria for when you are allowed to activate desperate stand.

In my mind the complicated criteria was always the biggest problem and that is why I recommended the right-click menu option. That would allow the player to decided when they are desperate and therefore make this rule both understandable and simpler. If we add a right-click menu but it only can be used at certain times then we have given the player a greater understanding of what is going on but not actually changed the way the rule works at all.
lea wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am
why do you think that it should become more advantageous over time?
Yes, you are right. Situation, not time, should determine the bonus.
lea wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am
why only once per game? currently it can be triggered repeatedly (subject to cooldown built into "desperation index") which adds some strategic considerations for attacking player (if finishing losing player off takes too long then another desperate stand bonus can be triggered)
That is a good point, but in my mind when you really become desperate you call up all your loyal units not just some of them. Also it would have to only be once if we go with the second option and allow the player to activate it whenever (otherwise they will use it every turn haha).
lea wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am
what units do you consider to be "loyal" here?
My idea of removing non-loyal units is actually not a good idea. Basically I was imagining when you call up desperate stand you gain like 10 soldiers who are all loyal and all the rest of your units disappear off the map and you use all your gold up completely. This would then discourage people who are doing well calling up desperate stand.

But alternatively a better idea is probably just to give you X loyal units such that your total number of units equals 10 (or some number) this similarly would not be beneficial for well-off players who would only gain like 1 unit. That would remove needless killing of units and the strange gameplay it would create while having the same effect.

(note: number of units such as 10 should be moderated by the level of the units you have. For example if you have 3 level 3 soldiers and you call up desperate stand you shouldn't gain as many units as if you only have 3 level 1 soldiers)
lea wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am
also I hesitate to spawn units because it will require a lot of coding (choosing locations and choosing specific units for each race)
Actually that shouldn't be too hard to do (and I am happy to help write the code if you would like). Choosing locations is easy.

Code: Select all

# untested code
# store your leader
[store_unit]
    [filter]
        side=$this_side
        canrecruit=yes
    [/filter]
     variable=$my_leader
[/store_unit]

# get the list of units that this team can recruit
{VARIABLE random_units team$this_side.recruit}

# randomly choose one
{VARIABLE_OP my_unit rand $random_units}

# generate loyal units next to the leader
{LOYAL_UNIT $this_side $my_unit $my_leader.x $my_leader.y}
lea wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am
I do not want to get into editing AI just yet so I would prefer to add manual activation as an option rather than replacement for current setup
What I meant is that we can keep track of the AI's progress and, using a new turn event, when he reaches a certain level of deprivation then trigger the desperate stand automatically for him. Similar to what you are currently doing. The reason I said this is because of course the AI can't hit the right click menu button ;)
lea wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 11:33 am
this can be prevented by deactivating respective right-click menu option when "desperation index" is too high (player has a lot of units and/or a lot of gold). also I am thinking about adding experience cost to it (no extra loyalty for leaders that "cowardly" avoid combat)
As outlined before I would prefer if the menu was not deactivated because the criteria by which it is deactivated reintroduce the complexity. We will have to tell the player when it will be reactivated and I think we all agree that currently the system by which it is activated is not particularly simple or intuitive. I think a better way to avoid this problem is just to bring up a message when they click the desperate stand menu that tells them what they are getting and what they are loosing and says "Do you want to proceed?". That way they won't do it accidentally when they aren't really desperate. :)

Also I don't quite understand what you mean by a experience cost?

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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by lea » November 10th, 2018, 9:05 pm

The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
The main reason I prefer the second is because then we don't need the complex criteria for when you are allowed to activate desperate stand.
but we still need it to calculate the result of its activation. also for any situation when the player is considered "well off" the result should be either a questionable bundle of losses and gains or non-existent (I prefer latter)
The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
in my mind when you really become desperate you call up all your loyal units not just some of them.
all units available at the moment. usually plenty of time passes between repeated desperate stands (that's what cooldown is for) so new units should become available over time
The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
Also it would have to only be once if we go with the second option and allow the player to activate it whenever (otherwise they will use it every turn haha).
only if it will be both allowed (cooldown interferes again) and seem advantageous to them
The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
But alternatively a better idea is probably just to give you X loyal units such that your total number of units equals 10 (or some number) this similarly would not be beneficial for well-off players who would only gain like 1 unit. That would remove needless killing of units and the strange gameplay it would create while having the same effect.
that's how it works now, except desperate players get gold to hire units as they see fit to counter the attacker at hand (for example player can hire plenty of units with blunt primary attacks to counter a crowd of skeletons) instead of randomly chosen units. also placement of units granted is more predictable for all players (all limitations or regular hiring process apply)
finally if unit cost is not taken into account then randomly spawned units will be more advantageous for races with more expensive level 1 units
The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
number of units such as 10 should be moderated by the level of the units you have.
I considered that but it seems unnecessary. in my games players with multiple surviving level 2 and level 3 units never got desperate stand triggered for them. so current formula for "desperation index" just counts all player's units and multiplies it by 25 (maximum hiring cost for level 1 unit in this era, unless hired in village/windmill)
The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
Actually that shouldn't be too hard to do (and I am happy to help write the code if you would like).
feels like a bribe :oops: ^_^ I forgot that there is a generic way to get a list of units available for hire to a given side
The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
this can be prevented by deactivating respective right-click menu option when "desperation index" is too high (player has a lot of units and/or a lot of gold). also I am thinking about adding experience cost to it (no extra loyalty for leaders that "cowardly" avoid combat)
The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
As outlined before I would prefer if the menu was not deactivated because the criteria by which it is deactivated reintroduce the complexity. ... ...
I guess I was not clear. by writing "disable right-click menu option" I meant that if "desperation index" is too high then let the player know it in a message when he/she tries to activate this option, did not mean to actually disable it in right-click menu. looks like we are on the same page on this one
The_Gnat wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 9:31 pm
Also I don't quite understand what you mean by a experience cost?
reduce leader's current experience points when desperate stand is activated manually and do not allow to activate it manually if leader does not have enough experience. I hope that it will encourage players to use leaders in combat more often and retreat more often when outnumbered. also should discourage/prevent players from activating desperate stand option manually when they are well off
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Re: Altered era/ruleset

Post by The_Gnat » November 11th, 2018, 9:46 pm

lea wrote:
November 10th, 2018, 9:05 pm
but we still need it to calculate the result of its activation.
True but I think we should aim to make simple and easy to understand.
also for any situation when the player is considered "well off" the result should be either a questionable bundle of losses and gains or non-existent
I definitely agree.
all units available at the moment. usually plenty of time passes between repeated desperate stands (that's what cooldown is for) so new units should become available over time
that's how it works now, except desperate players get gold to hire units as they see fit to counter the attacker at hand (for example player can hire plenty of units with blunt primary attacks to counter a crowd of skeletons) instead of randomly chosen units. also placement of units granted is more predictable for all players (all limitations or regular hiring process apply)
finally if unit cost is not taken into account then randomly spawned units will be more advantageous for races with more expensive level 1 units
You make a valid point, though it would be cool to have units show up. ;) Okay so we will use gold for now instead of units.
I considered that but it seems unnecessary. in my games players with multiple surviving level 2 and level 3 units never got desperate stand triggered for them. so current formula for "desperation index" just counts all player's units and multiplies it by 25 (maximum hiring cost for level 1 unit in this era, unless hired in village/windmill)
Okay that makes sense.
I guess I was not clear. by writing "disable right-click menu option" I meant that if "desperation index" is too high then let the player know it in a message when he/she tries to activate this option, did not mean to actually disable it in right-click menu. looks like we are on the same page on this one
Okay, let's just not make the desperate index too complicated. Ideally instead of having a 'cooldown' bar it could just be based upon criteria that no longer will work if you have activated the desperate stand recently. For example if desperate stand can only be triggered when you have less than 5 units and less than X gold, then after you trigger desperate stand it will no longer be able to be triggered again.
reduce leader's current experience points when desperate stand is activated manually and do not allow to activate it manually if leader does not have enough experience. I hope that it will encourage players to use leaders in combat more often and retreat more often when outnumbered. also should discourage/prevent players from activating desperate stand option manually when they are well off
I think that is a good idea because it is a way of controlling desperate stand without too much complication.

The only problem I foresee is that if the leader advances then you can't use desperate stand :P

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