Polls

Default Game Speed

Log in to vote!

Currently Online

Latest Posts

Topic: Suggestion to change collector win condition

king_of_nowhere
Avatar
Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
Posts: 1457
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Posted at: 2015-03-22, 01:35

I definitely don't like how the collectors win condition works right now. Who has more military gear in warehouses after 4 hours win. In theory it is supposed to reward those who can fight the enemy without committing all their force, but in practice it is highly arbitrary. If one player ignores the collector and just tries to kill his opponent, and he destroy the last warehouse at 3:59:59, he will win. If he destroys it 2 seconds later, he will lose. Doesn't make much sense. Furthermore, it is not rewarding getting an economical surplus. Currently the best strategy is to play normally for around 3 hours, then stop the training sites. I doubt it was meant to be played that way. Even another problem, the 4 hours fixed time. On a small map, there's like a 90% the game will end sooner than that, so all players may as well play normally. On a big map, that's not enough to reach the enemy headquarter, so one may as well skip building training structures.

Therefore I propose the following changes to be implemented on it:

1) Make the score progressive. You get points every 10 minutes, and those points are summed up until the end. That fixes the arbitrariety. If one is killed at 3:59:59, he still got all the points he accumulated until then, so he will still win the game even if he has been destroyed by someone who did not accumulate anything. It rewards keeping as much military gear unused as you can, all the time, not just at the end.

2) Count all wares in stock, not just in warehouse. One can store weapons at training sites, as long as he does not use them he's still fulfilling the collectors objective. I don't like the idea that one loses points beause he forgot to decrease the number of stored gold ingots in a weapon smith. Especially with the progressive score, that would encourage extreme - and boring - levels of micromanaging.

3) Either make the time limit dependent on the map size, for example 2(square root of map area)minutes, which would give 4 hours for a 120120 map, or let humans set it.

I think all those changes should be pretty easy to implement and should make the collectors win condition more in line with its namesake.


Top Quote
teppo
Joined: 2012-01-30, 09:42
Posts: 369
Ranking
Tribe Member
Posted at: 2015-03-22, 09:40

These are all good points. especially 1 and 3. I have been thinking of 3) myself, too.

What about even more radical ways:

4) Pressing an attack button would give that player's soldiers a temporary military handicap?


Top Quote
einstein13
Avatar
Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
Posts: 1100
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Poland
Posted at: 2015-03-22, 17:32

The 4) will be hard to implement (I guess so) and not needed from my sight.

I can change mind after tournament game face-smile.png


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/
backup website files: http://kartezjusz.ddns.net/upload/widelands/

Top Quote
king_of_nowhere
Avatar
Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
Posts: 1457
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Posted at: 2015-03-22, 21:24

I don't really like the 4. I would not want to discourage attacks; the idea of collectors as I see it should be "I'm fighting with an arm behind my back", so fight should not be affected by the rules of it.


Top Quote
SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
Posts: 1439
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2015-03-23, 09:09

First, it seems to me that you did never experience a balanced collectors game - if both players are approximately equally strong, that is when the game becomes exciting. If one player is much stronger than the other, the game will just be a landslide victory by one player overrunning the other - boring. If both are approximately equally strong you can never stop the trainingsites - because you will going to loose.

I do not like 1) - it means that the player that is ahead once will get further and further ahead over time - it gives little chance of other players to catch up. I also do not agree that the scenario you describe is bad at all - it is very exciting to play a game that is not lost or won till the very end and that can still turn around in a very short time (like, seconds).

2) sounds reasonable. It needs some coding to expose total wares to Lua I think.

3) I like the time limit configuration option too. I think suggesting a time on map size, but let it be adjustable is the best. It needs some coding to parametrize win conditions though.


Top Quote
einstein13
Avatar
Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
Posts: 1100
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Poland
Posted at: 2015-03-23, 11:12

SirVer wrote:

First, it seems to me that you did never experience a balanced collectors game

For sure face-smile.png We never experienced collectors game. Computer player can't play that way. People usually like to play autocrat, and use smaller maps. On that maps you usually have "autocrat" with any winning condition.

I do not like 1) - it means that the player that is ahead once will get further and further ahead over time - it gives little chance of other players to catch up.

If you have military, you can conquere the opponent. Then you have to change the economy settings to win. It is challenging. Especially for almost equal players. One of them can still win, after being defeat.

it is very exciting to play a game that is not lost or won till the very end and that can still turn around in a very short time (like, seconds).

From my side it is not a very good thing. I don't like upredictable things. I am very annoyed that my soldiers (equal chances) are loosing against the enemy. Also I am very happy when my soldiers are winning. That is very tiring and I don't like that. I like more predictable things. Of course it will bring lots of emotions, but it is not I want from the game. I'd rather have brain-challenging than possibility things.

About options:

There is number of different options including fog of war, time limits and other useful/ unuseful stuff. I'm pretty sure that creating another window for "details of winning condition" should be easy to implement. Also such a window can make of winning conditions list shorter a bit: ("Teritiorial Time", "Teritorial Lord"), ("Endless game", "Endless game (no fog)") can be displayed as one winning condition with different detailed options.


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/
backup website files: http://kartezjusz.ddns.net/upload/widelands/

Top Quote
king_of_nowhere
Avatar
Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
Posts: 1457
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Posted at: 2015-03-23, 19:22

it is very exciting to play a game that is not lost or won till the very end and that can still turn around in a very short time (like, seconds).

I like a game that rewards consistently good play over luck. A game that can go either way because of a skilled defence from the losing side is good. A game that can go either way because of a totally arbitrary event like the number of seconds passed from the beginning of the game to the time the last warehouse is burned is bad.

And the fact that only the result after 4 hours matters feels to me like those friendly football games when, near the end, some people say "who scores the last goal win", regardless of what was the result until then. To me it is a huge turn-down. It feels like everything done before was pointless. We may as well skip playing and throw a dice instead.

It is ultimately a matter of personal tastes what one prefers in games, but I have the impression that widelands is aimed at being a game requiring solid skill and planning.

If both are approximately equally strong you can never stop the trainingsites - because you will going to loose.

Wrong. Defending is a bit easier, so a defender can hold the line with a little less power than his opponent. Furthermore, even if your opponent can break your front, he won't gain any benefit until he destroys your warehouses. Even more, when the times nears the end, the opponent will never be able to destroy your warehouses, and the good stored inside, before the end, so you may as well stop making soldiers at all. So if you play against an equal opponent, you should try to have a little bit less power than him, enabling you to still defend, but to collect some wares. Then your opponent would also decrease a bit his power, so he will be a bit behind you and he will collect more wares. and then you will lag further behind to collect more. And then he will maybe try to use all his wares to surprise and rush you. So the strategy is fluid. It is good to either have a little less power than your opponent, or a lot more.

At least in theory. I don't think anyone ever played a balanced collectors game.

Also, the best way to score points in collectors is not to save military gear. It is to make more gold mines than needed and save gold. A gold ingot is worth 3 points while being relatively inexpensive, which encourages players to just play normally, but with more gold production.

All things considered, I think collectors does not reward the kind of gameplay it is supposed to.

Edited: 2015-03-23, 19:23

Top Quote
SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
Posts: 1439
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2015-03-24, 06:34

king_of_nowhere wrote:

I like a game that rewards consistently good play over luck. A game that can go either way because of a skilled defence from the losing side is good. A game that can go either way because of a totally arbitrary event like the number of seconds passed from the beginning of the game to the time the last warehouse is burned is bad.

I dislike luck in games too, but a climax is not luck. If you played consistently better than the other player for the full time, you will still win. If you played approximately the same it is always down to the wire - also with points counting - and can always attributed to luck - i.e. which gold mines produced the final ingot of gold.

I refute the notion that it has anything to do with luck if you manage to kill the last warehouse before or after the 4 hours - it is just very tight planing necessary. There is also nothing arbitrary about that IMHO, 4 hours are known from the beginning and both players can plan around this constraint. Or, to turn this argument around: if you only look at the points you might be ahead at hour 2, and I might be ahead at hour 4 - why should I win then? You might be ahead again at hour 5. Answer: those are the constraint rules.

It is ultimately a matter of personal tastes what one prefers in games, but I have the impression that widelands is aimed at being a game requiring solid skill and planning.

It is, that is how I always drove the design. I find it a bit unfair that you cannot see it this way at all and put everything down to luck. If that was true, you would not consistently win.

If both are approximately equally strong you can never stop the trainingsites - because you will going to loose.

Wrong. Defending is a bit easier, so a defender can hold the line with a little less power than his opponent. Furthermore, even if your opponent can break your front, he won't gain any benefit until he destroys your warehouses. Even more, when the times nears the end, the opponent will never be able to destroy your warehouses, and the good stored inside, before the end, so you may as well stop making soldiers at all. So if you play against an equal opponent, you should try to have a little bit less power than him, enabling you to still defend, but to collect some wares. Then your opponent would also decrease a bit his power, so he will be a bit behind you and he will collect more wares. and then you will lag further behind to collect more. And then he will maybe try to use all his wares to surprise and rush you. So the strategy is fluid. It is good to either have a little less power than your opponent, or a lot more.

That sounds exactly like it is supposed to work.

At least in theory. I don't think anyone ever played a balanced collectors game.

Not true, I played a few and really enjoyed the experience. I think collectors is the way Widelands should be played - I hate the 'kill your enemy' win conditions. That is absolutely not what Widelands is in my mind - it is about building up, not burning down.

Also, the best way to score points in collectors is not to save military gear. It is to make more gold mines than needed and save gold. A gold ingot is worth 3 points while being relatively inexpensive, which encourages players to just play normally, but with more gold production.

Gold is necessary, but if one player also produces military gear and trains less, she will win the game anyways.

All things considered, I think collectors does not reward the kind of gameplay it is supposed to.

I understand that this is your opinion, but I do not see the data for this yet. We can of course always change the win condition, but I put forth arguments why things are as they are and I'd appreciate at least ten or so games before any drastic change to the win condition.


Top Quote
GunChleoc
Avatar
Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
Posts: 3073
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: RenderedRect
Posted at: 2015-03-24, 09:36

I think 2) and 3) are good ideas.


Busy indexing nil values

Top Quote
king_of_nowhere
Avatar
Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
Posts: 1457
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Posted at: 2015-03-24, 20:12

Ah, well, then let us agree to disagree. And since you like collectors much more than me (and you are more likely to play it in the future than me) then your opinion should be wheighted more than mine in making the decision. Just a couple of minor points:

I find it a bit unfair that you cannot see it this way at all and put everything down to luck.

I never said that "everything" was about luck. I said that the current rules of collectors allowed luck to play a greater role than it would have with my suggestion. luck is still marginal. In fact, that kind of luck I was referring to only applied to the case of two roughly balanced players that were applying opposite tactics.

I hate the 'kill your enemy' win conditions. That is absolutely not what Widelands is in my mind - it is about building up, not burning down.

I also enjoy building up much more than I enjoy burning down. However, I need a purpose for my building, and I need a test that I built well. And that test is that the civilization I made is capable of raising an army capable of burning down my enemy. I enjoy the building up part much more than I enjoy the burning down, but the burning down is what gives meaning to the building up.

Also I like a game where your strategy interacts with your opponent's strategy, where you must try to stop him while he tries to stop you. So I would not like to just build up something and then get a score for it, simcity-style (that's not referred to collectors, since collectors still allows your opponent to beat the crap out of you). I like the extra effort of building something while my opponent is trying to kill me. And widelands does that pretty nicely.

Edited: 2015-03-24, 20:13

Top Quote