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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
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2012-02-19, 09:28

Agreed, Tino, that this would solve the intransparency in the soldiers' creation.
I definitely do not mind what a new building is called in the end, or even whether the new job of creating soldiers is done in a new (vs. an existing) building.
So, - having a trainingcamp create new soldiers is another approach. (... and not at all off topic, btw face-smile.png )
My initial idea was to use the HQ for that purpose, but that creates new issues.

What IMO speaks against your idea of soldier's creation in trainingscamps (Trainingscamps or Arenas?), is that it would postpone the job for too long.
A trainingscamp is usually the last building type I erect, and it needs an already fully working economy.
In many games on small maps, I have not even gotten to the point where I could run a trainingscamp, before war was upon me.
As you said, the initial amount of soldiers (starting condition) would have to be raised most likely.
That however, would allow an even faster initial growth race. We would be seeing even more games that are won or lost with only the soldiers from the starting condition. Those are dull games IMO.

Another point: How would we decide which rookie soldiers continue the training in the camp, and which ones leave after their creation?

Edited: 2012-02-19, 09:32

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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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 17:18
Posts: 1300
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2012-02-20, 12:45

And here I go:

I shared Peter's opinion and now share Astuur's. I now feel that a barracks would indeed underline the economic aspect of the game. The main reason is that the production of soldiers would then underlie the same constraint as goods - you need wares and time to make them. If you need them quicker, you need another barracks (more production). That is, warfare would be even more a comparison of economic skill. It would also solve the problem of hiding ones true strength as it happens now regularly by piling weapons which will turn in lvl0 soldiers instantly when requested. I also cannot share the feeling that this is an entirely new mechanic: the second carriers are also 'trained' inside a building - very similar to what the soldiers would do. Lastly - but as you all know I hate this argument - it also makes sense from a real word perspective: an apprentice gets its tools and learns from a master inside a production building - in our case we do not have masters in the buildings, but they learn on the job and by experience. This is a dangerous approach for soldiers and not terribly realistic.

I also cannot share the feeling that we would move into your-any-rts-game with this - Widelands is inherently unique and only comparable to settlers 2. In fact, this would set us more apart from S2 because our current system copies settlers. Widelands will not become similar to Age of Empires or Starcraft (imho) because the fundamental principle of these games is army positioning and control while our fundamental system is building a sustaining economy - as I argued above even more so with this change.

I disagree with Tino that we should use the trainingscamp. The main reason is that training soldiers is expensive - the trainingbuildings cost gold and marble (for empire) and come last or late in the economic build process. However lvl0 soldiers will also be needed for expanding - the barracks would be an early to middle building and quite cheap. I am more interested in the time constraints than the cost/room constraint for this building. I'd like also to introduce a twist between the tribes here in some kind of way: e.g. that the barracks of one tribe could be enhance to a trainingsbuilding or that a barracks of the atlanteans needs to be build close to water or so (these ideas are not very ripe currently).

I appreciate this discussion - as always we will treat carefully before changing an aspect of the game. The more opinions we get, the more we can later choose from.


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simplypeachy
Joined: 2009-04-23, 14:42
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Posted at: 2012-03-17, 03:00

I think that discussing new ideas that challenge our views of Widelands is one thing that makes open source games so great - everyone gets input! The game cannot hold its appeal without looking at the fundamental ways that it operates and asking "Is this the best way?"

The problem of a player not knowing the mechanics and requirements of making new soldiers should not be solved by creating another building - it is a matter for education through the tutorials or the documentation.

The other problem you mention is a player's ability to stockpile the required wares so they can produce large amounts of soldiers, quickly. This is not a problem in my opinion: the lowest-level soldiers are no match for trained soldiers, however large their numbers. They will be like Xerxes' army fighting the 300 Spartans, only with the Spartans having reinforcements! If a player wishes to waste their resources on stockpiling the basic soldier wares then they can - I shall concentrate on building a better economy, and with it a stronger military face-smile.png

On the subject of controlling whether resources go to new soldiers, or upgrading existing ones, I am not sure. I do find sometimes that when I am low on resources I must manually reduce the resources used by, or disable, training sites to get soldiers. Arguably if you do not have the resources to run a training site (at full, or any capacity) then it is up to you to reduce the drain it has on your economy.

It's clear you've put a lot of thought into the new structure, the advantages it offers, and how it would work. Please don't be disheartened by the response to it - Widelands really needs people who put so much effort into such ideas!


I need less fish :-(
_aD on IRC

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 12:08
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Posted at: 2012-03-17, 12:21

simplypeachy wrote: I think that discussing new ideas that challenge our views of Widelands is one thing that makes open source games so great - everyone gets input! The game cannot hold its appeal without looking at the fundamental ways that it operates and asking "Is this the best way?"

Exactly! And you sometimes come to the point, where complex matters make you want to try new ways and see whether the game benefits or not.
Still, as everything requires quite an effort from those who implement it, we need an in-depth discussion and every opinion, especially from those with experience, is very welcome. The way I see it, this is not about pushing a suggestion (it's not really mine anyhow face-smile.png ) but about finding enough reason to try it out.
In that sense, thanks for you input! face-smile.png

What you are saying, simplypeachy, is not really: "Look, this is a bad idea, because", but more "not really needed", right?
So, given a suggestion that "solves" three minor problems at once (even though you think they could be resolved otherwise or need not be resolved at all), why should we not invest a bit and see if if works better?
But I want to comment your point in detail:

simplypeachy wrote:
The problem of a player not knowing the mechanics and requirements of making new soldiers should not be solved by creating another building - it is a matter for education through the tutorials or the documentation.

Generally speaking, everbody should agree with you here: The cure for ignorance is teaching and learning, not simplifying a thing that is fine for the learned; and in fact the in-game help system that is currently worked on is an effort in this direction.

simplypeachy wrote:
The other problem you mention is a player's ability to stockpile the required wares so they can produce large amounts of soldiers, quickly. This is not a problem in my opinion.

We could of course, instead of trying to prevent this, officially declare the "instant soldiers" to be a valid tactic.
I have taken for granted, that it is an undesirable variant.
The part that I personally do not like about this tactic is that it comes as a surprise to the defender.
I see Widelands' basic challenge more in a strategical weighing of economical decisions, not in tactical considerations.
This is because you do not have many ad-hoc options to react to the latter.
Informing all other opponents about your stock of basic weapons, on the other hand, opens up a new set of problems and simply "feels wrong" face-smile.png

simplypeachy wrote:
This is not a problem in my opinion: the lowest-level soldiers are no match for trained soldiers, however large their numbers.

Again, you are very right with your last point. I have tested a lot of endgames with huge economies in endless-resource-state scenarios for all tribes (with various conf modifications). The result is often the same:
Hundreds upon hundreds of low-level soldiers getting killed by the same highly trained garrison in a few castles or citadels, without those even taking losses.
So the obvious tactic to drain hitpoints from the defending garrison by assaulting them with ever increasing frequency and higher numbers of untrained soldiers, doesn't really seem to work well. It currently works for a human aggressor in some cases, but not for the current AI.
Without going too far into the details, I think it's fair to expect some more balancing here (Healing rate, soldiers' retreat-level when wounded, and the question whether wounded soldiers should be allowed to retreat unchallenged.)
It would be an advantage IMO to have the freedom to experiment with these settings without the extra worries of how it influences the instant soldier phenomenon.

simplypeachy wrote:
On the subject of controlling whether resources go to new soldiers, or upgrading existing ones, I am not sure. I do find sometimes that when I am low on resources I must manually reduce the resources used by, or disable, training sites to get soldiers. Arguably if you do not have the resources to run a training site (at full, or any capacity) then it is up to you to reduce the drain it has on your economy.

I was thinking about the opposite problem, which I find harder to solve face-smile.png :
What can I do to dedicate more steel to training my soldiers and get fewer young ones?
Currently we have no other way than periodically stopping the evade training facilities (the main cause for demand), and then re-open them when we see that we get fully trained soldiers missing the evade training. Or you could try to match the rate of trainingscamp graduates with that of your Battlearena (for Barbarians) by building multiple Trainingscamps. But you'd need a very advanced economy to do so. Having a casern that you could throttle or stop, would be helpful.

It's clear you've put a lot of thought into the new structure, the advantages it offers, and how it would work. Please don't be disheartened by the response to it - Widelands really needs people who put so much effort into such ideas!

Thank you,- always trying to make sense face-smile.png ... and I'm not disappointed at all, but happy to discuss things.
This game should please many. Suggestions are not a matter for personal vanity.


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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Horatio
Joined: 2011-11-07, 22:27
Posts: 36
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2012-03-19, 06:53

Currently soldiers are created like any other guys which makes it actually easy to understand for beginners. Why mess with the simple, unified system and make the game more complicated than it needs to be? I fail to see the problem of instantaneous soldier creation. What is the point of an extra delay in the casern? That players can only slowly build up a weak lvl0 army?

About the statistics thing, i.e. people bluffing on small maps ... so what? On a small map you are probably far too busy to even take a glance at stats anyway. Seems to be a tiny problem that you wanna amend by something incredibly complex that would totally change gameplay.

I do agree though that your casern would reduce the amount of micromanagement involved in soldier training (concerning the ratio of weak to strong soldiers). Especially for the Empire which uses helmets for lvl0s as well as in the trainingcamp this is a tricky issue (on larger maps). Then again you still gotta micromanage your caserns, stopping them when you have enough lvl0s.

Sorry to be so blunt but this is the only potential merit of the casern which I see.


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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 17:18
Posts: 1300
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2012-03-19, 12:34

Horatio, I see the two main points: an easy way to stop soldier production in one place (the stop button in the building) and the bluffing. It is actually a big issue on small maps on with the barbarians: they can stockpile axes and overrun you or they can go for quick training instead. You must conteract both strategies differently but you have no way of knowing what will happen because the stats do not show you properly. This is an actual problem I have in my games.


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MACGYVER
Joined: 2011-07-15, 12:31
Posts: 16
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2012-03-19, 14:23

i think a casern would be a good idea. although we would loose the lord of the rings 2 feeling when the little boys get the weapons in helms klamm and have no time to get trained to defend the tribe against well trained agressors. but this case nearly never happens, because ivi0 soldiers are generated regularly. imo it is just more realistic to have an army out of hardly trained soldiers than to have an army out of kids. further more control of what you tribe is doing makes it easier to play and decide. the problem with the amount of caserns could be weakened by the trainer. a normal soldier as trainer -> "long" time to train a new solder, a fully upgraded trainer -> "very short" training time, or maybe even more than one trainer for one casern. imo the military statistic is no good graph to exactly see how the strength of your enemy is. i. e. an army out of soldiers only trained in evade comes up very powerful but is no match at all for a well trained army which even can be much smaller. i also see the difference to settlers as a good thing, because many things in wl are complexer as it used to be in settlers and therefore more interesting, at least i as an enthusiast settlers 2 player was very happy about this when i found wl.


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wl-zocker
Joined: 2011-12-30, 19:37
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Posted at: 2012-03-19, 18:12

I don't think a casern is necessary.

I never count on the statistics; when I think I have enough soldiers, I attack. Keeping hundreds of weapons that are not used is imo an aspect that your enemy has to deal with. I don't imagine that it is easy to do so: You need a good economy to create those weapons without fighting neither expanding. The question is: What did the enemy do while you stocked your weapons? Didn't he care for his military strength?

Furthermore, lvl0 soldiers are very weak. If you have a trained army, they should be no problem. An example: I had conquered a guardhall, but I had only two fully trained soldiers left (I couldn't build a road). Then the enemy attacked and attacked in waves of about 30 soldiers, all untrained. My soldiers defeated them one by one (three or four in a row, then the other soldier came out and the first one healed himself in the guardhall). I was surprised how easy they did that. It shows how weak untrained soldiers are (compared to trained ones). Of course, if my soldiers couldn't have rejuvenated, the battle would have ended differently. If you only defend, you can win against an army of untrained soldiers. If you attack, it's the attacker's incapability if he fails.

I don't know what the problem SirVer discribed is like in a multiplayer game because I have never played one. Against the AI, I have never had any problem: I have never been overrun by any Barbarians nor does the AI stock weapons.

The production of soldiers (carrier + basic weapon) should be explained better in a tutorial. Then I don't think that an additional building is needed.


"Only few people know how much one has to know in order to know how little one knows." - Werner Heisenberg

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DaggeTeo
Joined: 2011-06-29, 18:09
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Posted at: 2012-04-22, 22:53

I think that the idea of a casern is interesting and would be a good way to gain control over how many untrained units one has.

However, I would consider having this control in the economy target quantity menu instead, like with the donkeys (so the donkeys don't have to be all alone). You would set a target for the number of lv0 you wish to have, but not I don't think that it should be done for soldiers above lv0.

  • You would not need a new building
  • You gain control of the creation of lv0 soldiers
  • The upside of this method as I see it is that it wouldn't be a big change from how it works today.
  • You can still horde weapons and instantly create a large weak army if you wish. This is something that I don't consider to be a problem. Repeating what others have said, large weak vs smaller better trained => weaker army loss anyways.
  • One problem I see is that at the present time you can't set the target economy quantity to 0 which means you wouldn't be able to stop soldier creation completely. But if I have understood it this is to be fixed so then it wouldn't be an issue.

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Venatrix
Joined: 2010-10-05, 22:31
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Posted at: 2012-04-23, 01:01

DaggeTeo wrote:

One problem I see is that at the present time you can't set the target economy quantity to 0 which means you wouldn't be able to stop soldier creation completely. But if I have understood it this is to be fixed so then it wouldn't be an issue.

Hmm… The reason why this option was removed again after being introduced, was exactly that wares weren’t created when the target quantity was set to 0 and the need was there. Obviously the players expected, that a ware is created when needed, even if it was set to 0, not that the production should be stopped, as you seem to want it. You can have a look in the corresponding bug report.


Two is the oddest prime.

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