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Topic: Different workstyle for Geologists?

Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
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One Elder of Players
Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2010-04-23, 08:48

I don't know how you all feel about geologist - for me they are bit of nuisance. You need several to scan an area in a profound way, and you always need to wait on them. They're slwo in coming and not too fast in exploring.

How about a geologist's hut, built on the mountains (those spots, where you can otherwise only build mines), or a "small", red space, with 2 or three geologist living there, and doing their job in much the same way, like scouts do - only on a more limited radius and with a switch to "find mining resources" or "find water"?

They could live on supplied rations, since you will need rations anyway, if you plan to build mines.

This system could be used to replace the old geologists or it could be an additional alternative.

Good or bad idea?


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, 15:18
Posts: 1439
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2010-04-23, 09:28

I prefer the geologist as they are now, though I agree that they could work a little more efficient: the complete randomness makes them take forever to scan an area.


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ixprefect
Joined: 2009-02-27, 14:28
Posts: 367
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Posted at: 2010-04-23, 11:14

How is building something in the mountains going to be faster than what geologists do currently? Think about what you're saying here...

In order to create the building, you need a builder to come, you need materials to come, you need the builder to build the building, and you finally need the geologist to come and enter the building.

How on earth can that be faster than just requiring the geologist to come?


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timowi
Joined: 2009-11-01, 23:08
Posts: 146
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Location: Germany
Posted at: 2010-04-23, 11:19

I like the current implementation too. There was an idea about "land usage plans" somewhere. That would be nice for geologists.


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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2010-04-23, 16:52

ixprefect wrote: How is building something in the mountains going to be faster than what geologists do currently? Think about what you're saying here...

The idea was that they stay in their hut and explore a mountainrange by and by (not once!, but repeatetly like the scouts))starting from their home maybe. I would be complete nonsense, if the exploration range was not larger than what geologist do at the moment. Also - this way, they could keep their little resource indicators updated and visible, for the time when your mines are exhausted and need to be rebuilt elsewhare. I hope the idea now appears not quite as stupid any more face-smile.png

It was just an idea, and as nobody seems to like it anyway, it's dead obviously. No big deal.

@ timovi: Yes. Erik had plans about marking an area for mining resource exploration, and let the rest happen automatically (i.e. let them work until all spots are tested). That was part of a broader concept that included other things like clearing an area from stones or trees.

Edited: 2010-04-23, 16:56

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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egg
Joined: 2009-06-22, 16:45
Posts: 37
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2010-04-26, 15:04

I like Astuur's idea, especially when coupled with the switch (seek water, seek iron, etc. The current system is a nuisance, partly because by the time I check to see what the geologists have discovered, the flags have faded away...


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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
Posts: 1439
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One Elder of Players
Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2010-04-26, 15:25

I build mines directly after the geologist are done with their work. I do not necessarily connect them to roads yet, but so I know precisely what was in the mountains and I can make sure to saturate it with mines.


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Silversnow
Joined: 2010-08-01, 19:11
Posts: 3
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Just found this site
Location: Sweden
Posted at: 2010-08-05, 00:27

Geologists are a nuisance indeed. Couldn't agree more. About the only thing I currently like about them is their adorable animations.

From where I stand, the geologist hut idea might actually be an improvement, (depending on how it's implemented). However, it seems to me that there may be a number of more straightforward changes to try out first.


My list of things I would personally want to see changed with geologists:

  1. Drop the memory game! (I hate the game of Memory.) Currently, all geological finds stay visible only for a limited time and then fade away. Why? If it's to avoid cluttering up the map, then how about allowing the player to toggle between showing and hiding them, similar to how the view of potential building sites can already be toggled with the space bar?

    And, yes, if resources are reduced due to mining activity after the initial geological survey was made, then do automatically keep the geological indicators updated. (Why not?) The way I feel, the letdown of mining activity compared to that of lumberjacks or hunters or quarries is the complete lack of visual cues about what is going on. (Only after the fact, you suddenly get a message about the mine having been already depleted.) But those doing the mining would reasonably be aware of this development all along as work continues, right? (OK, technically, there is a difference between geologists and miners, but game-wise I would be entirely happy with geologists establishing the indicators, while having the updating of these rationalized as reports from miners - or, um, "well-workers".)

  2. Stop cluttering up the messages list with geological finds! They have no business there. Each geological find on its own is rather uninteresting anyway. It's only when taken together that you can assess whether you have a suitable spot for a mine (ideally at the center of a hexagon with the right kind of resource two steps in each of the six directions). And you can only see that on the map, not in the messages list.

  3. Drop the time limit of geologist work sessions. Let them work until everything within range of the flag has been surveyed. (I am assuming there is a fixed range for geologists. Is there?) Then do write a message about that. (If a player wants to abort prematurely, he can always destroy the flag.)

  4. Water vs. mountain resources. Drop it! That is, change or drop the mechanism for differentiating between search for these two! It's a pain. (At least to a newbie, like me, I would say it's far from clear exactly what is a mountain site what is not. What about sites on the borderline?) Main suggestion: just drop it. Let the geologist investigate every spot within range of his flag. (Regarding balancing, see below.) Otherwise make two separate buttons available for each type of search.

  5. Delayed geologist missions would be very nice. That is, if no geologist is currently available at a base (HQ or warehouse) then - rather than automatically just grabbing a hammer and creating a new one (needlessly wasting time and resources of a tool-smithy or metal workshop) - show the player a dialog were he can choose between hammer-grabbing and delaying the mission until a geologist has returned to base. (Change 3 would somewhat reduce the need for this, but I still think it would be nice.)

    This may seem nitpicky, but I now found myself - just for the sake of saving resources as much as possible - to be constantly watching over those little geologist buggers to catch them as soon they ran off from work and return them to more exploration immediately. But often I would fail, and I really hate micro-managing in this game anyway.


Again, I am assuming geologists are working within a fixed range from the flag they were ordered to, and are not allowed to stray any further. If that's not the case, my strong preference would be to have it changed so that they do. If nothing else, it would make it a lot easier (if 3 is implemented) to tell when a geologist is nearing completion of his work. (This may be less needed if 5 is also implemented, but I still feel it would make it clearer to the player what the geologists are actually doing.)

Balance-wise, I have no clue as to whether geologists are currently considered too weak or too strong or just right. Among the above changes, I suspect some might weaken them (like 4?), while others (like 3) would strengthen them. But to the extent that the above changes make them too strong (or too weak), I'd imagine it could be balanced by changing their ranges and perhaps work speed.


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caillean
Joined: 2010-08-04, 11:28
Posts: 7
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Pry about Widelands
Location: Germany
Posted at: 2010-08-05, 12:29

Hi all, I like this idea, would be a real improvement imho. Question: Are there ever more geologists 'created' than the 4 you start with? I never noticed having more than that. So if they'd have a fixed workspace, I guess there will be more needed as you expand your territory.

Water vs. mountain resources. Drop it! That is, change or drop the mechanism for differentiating between search for these two! It's a pain. (At least to a newbie, like me, I would say it's far from clear exactly what is a mountain site what is not. What about sites on the borderline?) Main suggestion: just drop it. Let the geologist investigate every spot within range of his flag. (Regarding balancing, see below.) Otherwise make two separate buttons available for each type of search.

Agreed!


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Silversnow
Joined: 2010-08-01, 19:11
Posts: 3
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Just found this site
Location: Sweden
Posted at: 2010-08-06, 18:08

caillean, if you just keep sending out more geologists (keep clicking on the geologist button) you should eventually get more of them (assuming you had hammers in stock). You can send several to the same flag, and, in fact, that's what I now often do, to speed up their work and make them cover the ground a bit better.

By the way, this automatic worker creation is a obviously great feature of the game, and certainly what you want in the case of soldiers and lumberjacks and farmers and fishers and all the other guys working and living in their own huts or houses. It's just that the geologists (now) are a special case. Their very special way of doing their work (relatively brief - and, most importantly, incomplete - work sessions, after which they return to base) make me a bit hesitant to just click for more of them. Like I said in my 5, I feel it's a waste of tools. (You could, of course, argue that builders are a similar case to geologists, but it's much more obvious when their work is completed, plus there is a natural limit to how many builders you will simultaneously want or request anyway.)

Regarding the number of geologists needed: With Astuur's hut idea, I assume we could indeed expect it to increase when your empire expands - even if, as Astuur explains, the range of individual geologists would then be increased compared to now. (I think that last point is an important part of his proposal.) However, the way it is now - and also if only ideas from my list are implemented (including number 3) - I think the need is more likely to decrease over time, after you have already found the spots for your iron mine and coal mine etc. Which is another reason I currently don't want too many of them.


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