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Topic: Introducing a new building for the creation of untrained soldiers

Forums » Player Forums » Game Suggestions » Introducing a new building for the creation of untrained soldiers



Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 12:08
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2012-02-18, 11:15

This thread is meant to collect ideas and opinions on the topic of a integrating a new type of building into Widelands, working title "casern", that produces new soldiers.
Following this concept would bring some changes, which I will try to outline later here, and signifies a different approach towards soldiers, as it puts them closer to the professional craftsmen, and away from the carriers.

Some basic lines of thought derived from this bugreport, but it turned out that some of the ideas are in fact even older and were independently described here.

The purpose of this thread is also to introduce the concept to a broader public.
Once the details, the pros and cons are made clear, this question will be subject to a community poll.

Please stick to the general topic, and post alternative concepts elsewhere. Please correct me, when there is something wrong or missing.
Happy discussing!

Edited: 2012-02-18, 12:06

Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 12:08
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2012-02-18, 11:57

The way it is now:

Soldiers are formed from the unlimited number of carriers that exist in the HQ and warehouses.
New soldiers are created at the warehouses/HQ and a new carriere is born to bring the number back to 100 per warehouse.
To transform a carrier to a rookie soldier, two conditions must be met:

  1. You must have a basic weapon and armour part (depending on the tribe)
  2. Some building must tell the system that it needs more soldiers.

Military buildings that are not fully manned (up to their adjustable capacity) create such a demand.
If you have erected any training facility for your soldiers and they exit those after training, it will also create a constant demand for new soldiers.

What we would like to improve:

  1. It is not very clear for beginners in Widelands sonetimes, where the soldiers actually come from, or why there not any more being created in certain situations.
  2. It is possible to hoard the basic weapons/armourparts in any number. They can than be transformed into soldiers immediately as soon as a demand arises. Unfortunately, the only indicator that a player has to estimate his opponents strength, the Miltary tab in statistics, does not reflect this hoarding and only counts the existing soldiers.
  3. A different issue, that does not come into consideration here, is that the strength of rookie soldiers (or any other level) has some subtle differences beween the tribes that are also not shown in the statistics.
  4. In a situation where you have built up training facilities for your soldiers and an industry to supply advanced weapons and armour, you can hardly control how much of your industry's capacity goes into the creation of new soldiers, and how much is used for the training of existing ones.

Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 12:08
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2012-02-18, 12:07

The new "casern" suggestion

We could create an additional tpye of house for all tribes. (working title "casern")
Carriers would be sent in there, receive what is needed to make them a rookie soldier, and undergo some very basic training, before they are released as soldiers.
This new building should be stoppable in the same way as any other productioon site is.
It should also be adjustable in its output capacity (probably) by the adjusting the input ware's quantity, or the slots for the trainees.
There should be no further supply necessary such as food or drink, but the training should take some time.

expected advantages

  1. The origin of new soldiers becomes transparent and is immediately visible in the game.
  2. The "instant soldier" problem (transforming basic weapons and armour to soldiers) is no more possible, since each one must be trained for a certain time.
  3. We do not anticipate a solution for the problem of slightly differing skills for the same soldier level but different tribe from this. However, if ever we should find that "cheap low level soldiers" turns out to be too much advantage for one tribe, we may throttle is easily here, by the time they must spend in their casern. They would still be "cheap", but not quite as "readily available".
  4. There would be full player control over how much resources he wants to go into lots of rookie soldiers, vs. training the ones he has to champion level.

known disadvantages

  1. Apart from the work required for coders and graphician, I cannot see any atm.
Edited: 2012-02-18, 12:33

Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 12:08
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2012-02-18, 12:34

Details to discuss

A few questions come to my mind immediately.

1. Will caserns be buildable, or will there only be one supplied for every realm, like the headquarters?
A casern would be the only starting point in every soldiers life. If only one was allowed per realm, the way for new soldiers from the casern to the border may be very long on large maps. If a player can build any number of them, he might finally overcome the effect against the instant soldier problem.
However, to really work, the number of caserns would have to be very high. So maybe this is not a real issue.
If you cannot build a casern, conquering his casern will be the final defeat for any enemy. He will no longer be able to produce new soldiers.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but we should be aware that this opens up a previously impossible strategy in the game.

2. Should we link the number of caserns allowed to some other fact?

We could grant a new casern based on territory size, number of warehouses, wares quantity, number of military buildings and so on. Another interesting idea may be to link the allowed number of caserns to the Training level of the trainers themselves. You could ask for a master trainer to run such a place, and only give the initial one with the starting condition. New master trainers would then have to be trained in the casern by the existing one.

3. How does the requirement for an extra building work with maps or scenarios, that challenge the player with limited space?

There will be more, this is by no means comprehensive. I will add new question as they come up.

Edited: 2012-02-18, 18:06

Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Nasenbaer
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Joined: 2009-02-21, 20:17
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Posted at: 2012-02-18, 13:55

Hi face-smile.png,

Here comes my personal and of course subjective view on this idea face-wink.png

I have to admit, that I somehow understand your point, after reading through the argumentation. Anyways, when I think of a "casern" building, I directly see a picture of Warcraft, Star Craft or Command an Conquer, which brings me to the point of "this would strengthen the military aspect of Widelands", as you gain even more control about soldier creation.

Further I am against the feature, because this would take one of the more or less unique features of Widelands and transform it to a "standard strategy game" feature - as I said it would be similiar to Warcraft, Star craft, c & c, knights and merchants, age of empires, etc.

The argumentation, that some new players get confused is correct, but from my point of view only because they think Widelands is yet another strategy game with caserns face-wink.png ... there is a reason, why Widelands is Widelands and not another game and there is a reason why we have a basic tutorial, as well as tutorials for the tribes.

As is saied: I somehow understand your point, but at the moment I am absolutley not convinced. Of course it is a good thing to make Widelands as intuitive as possible for new players as well as for existing players, but that should not be done by loosing the uniqueness of Widelands. (Changing unique features of Widelands seems to be modern at the moment as we can see from the current poll face-wink.png ... but well that's another topic face-smile.png )

Concerning the statistics: I always read them as guideline, not as absolute value - even if it was able to show the "real strength", it would not be a lot more helpful for decissions on whether to attack or not attack an enemy. Simple example: an enemy can be strong, but perhaps has all the strong soldiers on a second frontier to another player...

Cheers Peter


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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 12:08
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Posted at: 2012-02-18, 17:48

OOPs ... too fast for me, Peter.
I had to move afk while I was still trying to outline some more stuff here.
But it does not really matter, for your dislike is more a principle one and not about details.

Well, what can I say?
The truth is, that I have never played any of the games you mentioned here, or even watched others play them. Indeeed, I am not such a keen player.
You know, that I have often said, that I myself don't want to move away from the "economy game" towards an "economy based military game".
But we sure are in a plight here. The way widelands works, even when you try to play it peacefully, the final decision is "destroy", or "become destroyed".
The AI doesn't know any other strategy, and human players tend to do the same (except when playing "wood gnome").
And even there, a larger territory will give more trees. We simply cannot escape the logic that limited map based resources dictate.
But I am going off topic a bit.
I can see that giving up a unique feature must hurt someone who has done so much for a game from the early stages on. But "uniqueness" only becomes precious IMO, when combined with an advantage or alternative option. In the case we are talking about, I don't see the advantage.
Warefare even needlessly becomes more bloody than ncessary, since you cannot easily protect your young soldiers from getting killed. I sometimes play WL with a "win, but minimize losses" objective in mind. face-smile.png

Your other criticism is, that the control of "mass rookie production" vs. "champion training" is already strengthening the military aspect too much?
It is true that this opens up new strategies, and so yes, it does strengthen the military side somewhat, I guess. Too much already? I really don't know.
On the other hand, as I said, it may also lead to a less ruthless warfare up to defining new winning conditions like "Best ration of buildings conquered / soldiers sacrificed".
And that, though gained by strenghtening warfare, somehow seems a good thing to me. face-smile.png
I hoped the suggestion might help newcomers and make the game more interesting even for experienced players.
But it also must not alienate the makers with "their game".


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Nasenbaer
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Joined: 2009-02-21, 20:17
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Posted at: 2012-02-18, 18:49

Astuur wrote: But it also must not alienate the makers with "their game".

I am only one out of many makers face-smile.png - and I am sure I am not the only one, who counts you to the developers/makers as well face-smile.png.

And just, so you do not missunaderstand me: I don't want to block this feature and if the majority likes it, I won't stand in the way. However I wanted to point out my point of view - and like you can't see the advantage of the current system, I see more disadvantages, than advantages in the system you propose.


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PkK
Joined: 2012-01-06, 14:19
Posts: 143
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Posted at: 2012-02-18, 20:27

Well, currently creating craftsmen and soldiers works the same (a carrier just grabs the necessary tools and becomes a specialized worker), with this proposal, it would be different, unless we also create a school building or something. I do not agree with the claim "Following this concept would bring some changes, which I will try to outline later here, and signifies a different approach towards soldiers, as it puts them closer to the professional craftsmen, and away from the carriers.".

Philipp


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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 12:08
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2012-02-18, 21:18

Hello Philipp, You are right, as far as the initial job assignment goes.
Not being able to start a job right away after being equipped with the necessary tools, is indeed a new element.
So what you say is true for many craftsmen.
But there are also the ones that must gain experience first,
like Master-Miner (or Chief-Miner /Master-Miner), Master-Brewer, Master-Blacksmith.
There is however no school, but they are trained on the job.
So it's both, alike and different.
Compare: brewer (in a micro-brewery, brews beer) -> master-brewer (in a brewery, brews strong beer); Strong beer only available after training.
Recrute (in a casern, trains) -> -rookie soldier (in a military building, all soldier services); Soldier services only available after training
The similarity of soldiers to carriers in the old system, I see in the fact, that their creation is "unknown" (not visible).

Training the soldiers in a battle arena or a trainingscamp is also close to promotion at the job, only we don't have titles for the different soldier levels.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Tino
Joined: 2009-02-20, 19:05
Posts: 209
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Location: Somewhere in Germany...
Posted at: 2012-02-18, 21:45

I agree with Nasenbaer that a producing soldiers in a casern feels like "name-your-favorite-rts-game".

Now i am going off-topic by bringing forward a different approach: I've always wondered, why untrained soldiers are not "generated" by the trainingscamp. Of course every player would need a adequate number of soldiers at the beginning to be able to expand so far to get a working economy. New soldiers are only later in game available, when the player has built a traingscamp. So the trainingscamp job would not only to give untrained soldiers better weapons/shields to upgrade them, but also to do the initial training and equipping of carriers to become soldiers.

In my opinion this would merge the current way with you idea of a casern like building. Also this would make clear for new players where soldiers are "produced" and they would not come "out of nowhere" any longer.


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