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Topic: Balancing around the tempo tournament

kaputtnik
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 20:31

As i am playing empire, i liked the difference between the production chain of wares used by buildings and used to produce irony wares. This is beer for producing irony wares and wine to produce marble. This is a clear distinction between those production chains. So in my opinion it would be counter intuitive to use beer for marble mines and wine for iron mines. But i tend to be conservative on such changes. Anyway everyone should consider my thoughts face-smile.png


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simplypeachy
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 20:39

I'm not convinced of the logic of introducing balancing changes based on a specific playthrough of the game that doesn't represent how the game is usually played. Even more strongly, changing the game purely to satisfy a military perspective seems to clash with the game's tenet of "build up, not burn down". One could argue that the ideas here actually amount to unbalancing, since they are born from differences in the very early game - and in fact games played without a full economy.

To address goal 1: why? The tribes cannot create many heroes without a full economy, so this seems like a goal without a purpose.

To address goal 2: again, why? if tribe X can produce a hero faster than tribe Y, but its heroes are weaker, then perhaps there is already balance. If tribe X can produce a hero faster than tribe Y, but it takes more resources to do so, then perhaps there is already balance.

The Empire requiring wine for gold and marble mines is part-based in lore - they produce finer materials and their miners can demand a more refined drink before they deign to work. One cannot ignore marble and just strip mine stone piles if there are few stone piles to begin with. I'm confused at the statement that they have too many wood/planks to begin with, but also pushing the player to mine marble - which requires wood to build the mines and accompanying economy!

Moving cloth from the Atlantean farm into the blackroot does affect the game. More farms are needed than blackroot, so now the tribe needs less cloth. There is also argument on cloth changes to reduce deadlocking and then also an argument that the changes will increase deadlocking; or perhaps it would be better to leave it as-is?

Rather than knee-jerk reactions to an unusual game play style, surely what is needed is a set of milestones - that a player would naturally aim for in a normal game - that tribes should be able to approximately reach, taking into account starting wares, on a specific map, which leads to more fact-based balancing decisions.

Significant changes should only be made on the firmest of foundations, and this feels like a foundation that is not only artificial, but skewed far from the norm. Before changing the tribes one must consider a holistic approach and this is a very narrow approach indeed.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 20:51

kaputtnik wrote:

As i am playing empire, i liked the difference between the production chain of wares used by buildings and used to produce irony wares. This is beer for producing irony wares and wine to produce marble. This is a clear distinction between those production chains. So in my opinion it would be counter intuitive to use beer for marble mines and wine for iron mines. But i tend to be conservative on such changes. Anyway everyone should consider my thoughts face-smile.png

interesting. so, what I always considered an annoying mechanic and a design oversight is actually a personal favourite for you. And something similar went for nordfriese and experience.

I see that it will be difficult to get a consensus, and everyone will have to give up something. Still, I would not want for a tribe to lose character, and I would rather appease someone who is a fan of the tribe rather than someone who has only passing familiarity with it.

However, the problem is that empire is still too fast in making that hero, and it can do so while skipping a large portion of the economy. my suggestion aimed at fixing those two problems. Nor can it be fied by giving them even less starting marble, that's already very limited.

Do you have any alternate suggestion? would you prefer my earlier suggestion to move some marble cost from wineyards to mills and bakeries (therefore still keeping the distinction with "building material economy")? Or would you prefer to introduce experience for the imperial weaponsmith? or what else?


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the-x
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 20:59

king_of_nowhere wrote:

kaputtnik wrote:

As i am playing empire, i liked the difference between the production chain of wares used by buildings and used to produce irony wares. This is beer for producing irony wares and wine to produce marble. This is a clear distinction between those production chains. So in my opinion it would be counter intuitive to use beer for marble mines and wine for iron mines. But i tend to be conservative on such changes. Anyway everyone should consider my thoughts face-smile.png

Do you have any alternate suggestion? would you prefer my earlier suggestion to move some marble cost from wineyards to mills and bakeries (therefore still keeping the distinction with "building material economy")? Or would you prefer to introduce experience for the imperial weaponsmith? or what else?

Well, I think the starting conditions are quite nice and we shouldnt change that much about it. Maybe the marble thing okay. So that they get a little more marble at the start and in the same time make the higher speers more expensive. When we balance we should think some time about it ... Changing everything to make one hero in time will weaken balance even more and making the gap between the pros and the nonpros even bigger, so less games are played cause pros know what they need to finish their hero exactly and other players only see the wares and will try to make the best things about it.


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ektor
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 21:08

Already a lot of interesting things have been said during the tournament in the thread.

Personally, what I retain is to keep the particularities of each tribe, while smoothing out the time required to make this famous first hero.

I fully agree that the game needs to be completely overhauled so that it is indeed necessary to develop a complete economic system before we can get a hero!

Because without that, the basic idea of the game, in my humble opinion, loses all meaning.

Edited: 2020-04-26, 21:10

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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 21:20

simplypeachy wrote:

I'm not convinced of the logic of introducing balancing changes based on a specific playthrough of the game that doesn't represent how the game is usually played. Even more strongly, changing the game purely to satisfy a military perspective seems to clash with the game's tenet of "build up, not burn down".

I'm trying to force people to build up by not giving them the means to burn down from the beginning. I'm really trying to steer the game farther from a military perspective.

but really, you cannot separate much the two. because all the economy does is to produce soldiers. then again, a focus on the economy would be to build up the economy before you can make soldiers. and a military focus is to skip on the economy and start producing soldiers immediately with your starting wares.

One could argue that the ideas here actually amount to unbalancing, since they are born from differences in the very early game - and in fact games played without a full economy.

To address goal 1: why? The tribes cannot create many heroes without a full economy, so this seems like a goal without a purpose.

one single hero made fast enough can win in a small map. You can see a strong example of this in the king of nowhere vs worldsavior match in the 2017 tournament, where worldsavior skipped part of the economy to get an almost-hero in less than 30 minutes, and gained a huge advantage from it.

In general, a single hero made fast enough can and will win on a small map.

alternatively, you can try the rush the-x style, where you quickly use your starting material for a few cheap promotions before making an aggregation of military buildings and trying to rush the enemy fast. again, skipping the economy part.

To address goal 2: again, why? if tribe X can produce a hero faster than tribe Y, but its heroes are weaker, then perhaps there is already balance.

nope, there isn't. if tribe X has an hero first, it can kill tribe Y before they can get their own. Or perhaps this difference is not so great, so tribe Y can make a hero, force a confrontation with tribe Y hero, kill it, and keep pushing.

I actually tried to get that scenario in many matches against worldsavior, by skipping some of the promotions to get a weaker hero faster, most notably on archipelago sea in the 2016 tournament (where I won) and on fjords in the 2019 tournament (where I lost). Timing and early luck are the major deciding factors here.

If tribe X can produce a hero faster than tribe Y, but it takes more resources to do so, then perhaps there is already balance.

where are those extra resources coming from? again, this is no balance. this is a situation where the first would win.

Moving cloth from the Atlantean farm into the blackroot does affect the game. More farms are needed than blackroot, so now the tribe needs less cloth. There is also argument on cloth changes to reduce deadlocking and then also an argument that the changes will increase deadlocking; or perhaps it would be better to leave it as-is?

not really. on a small map, you need 4 farms and 2 blackroot. you would save 2 cloth, that would be removed from starting wares anyway. on a larger map, you need almost as many blackroots as you need farms. the difference is very small.

and how would changing cloth cost increase deadlocking? right now, the problem is that cloth is produced from spider silk, that requires corn, that is made in farms, that require cloth. if cloth was shifted to blackroot, one would find himself deadlocked.... how, exactly?

Rather than knee-jerk reactions to an unusual game play style, surely what is needed is a set of milestones - that a player would naturally aim for in a normal game - that tribes should be able to approximately reach, taking into account starting wares, on a specific map, which leads to more fact-based balancing decisions.

Significant changes should only be made on the firmest of foundations, and this feels like a foundation that is not only artificial, but skewed far from the norm. Before changing the tribes one must consider a holistic approach and this is a very narrow approach indeed.

for years there have been calls to steer the focus away from the military and toward more development. I can cite in particular the-x and nordfriese, and me, and a few more, though we all disagree on what the best course is. there has been consideration and evaluation.

the changes I propose here stem not from a single tournament that presents a situation unlikely in actual playing practice; I support them by referencing games taken from all the past tournaments and from high-level playing practice.

So, instead of accusing me of knee-jerking, you shoudl try to get some actual supporting data for your side. which basically seem to boil down to "status quo is gold"

and what do you mean by "milestones" anyway? I assure you, there is no milestone more important than the first hero.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 21:27

the-x wrote:

Changing everything to make one hero in time will weaken balance even more and making the gap between the pros and the nonpros even bigger, so less games are played cause pros know what they need to finish their hero exactly and other players only see the wares and will try to make the best things about it.

what?

all the opposite.

Right now, the pros know that they can skip a farm to make the hero faster. they will get there first.

With my proposal, no one can skip anything. the pros still know things better, of course, but they can't just take a shortcut because there will be no shortcuts.

Frankly, I didn't think i'd have to fight so many people over this simple fact, that forcing players to make all buildings in order to be able to make a hero pushes the focus towards economy. it doesn't seem like something that would need to be disputed.


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kaputtnik
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 21:30

king_of_nowhere wrote:

kaputtnik wrote:

As i am playing empire, i liked the difference between the production chain of wares used by buildings and used to produce irony wares. This is beer for producing irony wares and wine to produce marble. This is a clear distinction between those production chains. So in my opinion it would be counter intuitive to use beer for marble mines and wine for iron mines. But i tend to be conservative on such changes. Anyway everyone should consider my thoughts face-smile.png

interesting. so, what I always considered an annoying mechanic and a design oversight is actually a personal favourite for you.

No it's not a favourite. It's more like some things may be absolutly logical, but they felt wrong Considerations about balancing must be logical, but they have to be feel natural also. If there is only a look at logic, the game may be get unnatural. Sorry i can't describe it better...

However, the problem is that empire is still too fast in making that hero, and it can do so while skipping a large portion of the economy.

I see it similar like simplypeachy, whereas i wouldn't write it that drastically. The last tournament was just an edgecase. This can't be used to balance the tribes. Maybe for playing on small maps, but in general skipping a large portion of the economy does not work on medium or big maps.

Do you have any alternate suggestion? would you prefer my earlier suggestion to move some marble cost from wineyards to mills and bakeries (therefore still keeping the distinction with "building material economy")? Or would you prefer to introduce experience for the imperial weaponsmith? or what else?

Making heroes should be expensive as possible i think. What most players do now is to work on creating fully trained heroes and let them fight against each other. Probably the one who made the most heroes wins the game. In my opinion this is not the way this game should work. If heroes are very expensive, the chance to fight with medium trained soldiers growth. Then there will be a difference if one soldier has one evade/attack/health/... point more than the other. On the opposite winning a fight with fully trained soldiers is luck.

So in my opinion the question shouldn't be 'how to balance the tribes to get fully trained soldiers' but ' how to balance to get more medium trained soldiers'. Creating a hero should be the exception. But i don't know how to archive this face-grin.png


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the-x
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 21:41

ektor wrote:

I fully agree that the game needs to be completely overhauled so that it is indeed necessary to develop a complete economic system before we can get a hero!

Because without that, the basic idea of the game, in my humble opinion, loses all meaning.

Thats almost the same like my opinion. The basic Idea of the game has been always that its a stragegy game rather than a roleplay game.

If we tap all focus on this one hero, not only new players cant compete at all with us, i rather like a fun and long game where at the end experience wins than a short hero move through.

also is smalles strategic options even more cause if you only have the resources for your hero, you dont have any options than to build this hero.

Already a lot of interesting things have been said during the tournament in the thread.

Personally, what I retain is to keep the particularities of each tribe, while smoothing out the time required to make this famous first hero.

Maybe we can balance the experience for the smith for each tribe and by this we can easily get the same time for every tribe

king_of_nowhere wrote:

the-x wrote:

Changing everything to make one hero in time will weaken balance even more and making the gap between the pros and the nonpros even bigger, so less games are played cause pros know what they need to finish their hero exactly and other players only see the wares and will try to make the best things about it.

all the opposite.

Its a strategy game

Right now, the pros know that they can skip a farm to make the hero faster. they will get there first.

the farm has been an excellent indicator for our ability to flexibility since it takes some time before you get corn, it allows you to create many different strategies

Frankly, I didn't think i'd have to fight so many people over this simple fact, that forcing players to make all buildings in order to be able to make a hero pushes the focus towards economy. it doesn't seem like something that would need to be disputed.

it is only con arguments. We all agree we need balance and i think most people think that the strategic part should be strenghtend, like building up economy, different choices to make for each player


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simplypeachy
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 21:42

king_of_nowhere wrote:

I'm trying to force people to build up by not giving them the means to burn down from the beginning. I'm really trying to steer the game farther from a military perspective.

That's an insightful way to describe the changes that I had not thought of.

but really, you cannot separate much the two. because all the economy does is to produce soldiers. then again, a focus on the economy would be to build up the economy before you can make soldiers. and a military focus is to skip on the economy and start producing soldiers immediately with your starting wares.

This is true, particularly with the autocrat win condition and to a somewhat-lesser extent than most of the others. I guess to move away from the military goal we would need to put effort into other means that an economy serves.

One could argue that the ideas here actually amount to unbalancing, since they are born from differences in the very early game - and in fact games played without a full economy.

To address goal 1: why? The tribes cannot create many heroes without a full economy, so this seems like a goal without a purpose.

one single hero made fast enough can win in a small map. You can see a strong example of this in the king of nowhere vs worldsavior match in the 2017 tournament, where worldsavior skipped part of the economy to get an almost-hero in less than 30 minutes, and gained a huge advantage from it. <snip>

I hadn't realised that your proposals were also based from other games; the title of the thread suggested to me that it was based on this one tournament. I guess that since I do not play a lot of multiplayer, and usually prefer larger maps, I am exposed to this problem less often. I am still not convinced that significant changes are worthy to solve the "early hero" problem.

To address goal 2: again, why? if tribe X can produce a hero faster than tribe Y, but its heroes are weaker, then perhaps there is already balance.

nope, there isn't. if tribe X has an hero first, it can kill tribe Y before they can get their own. Or perhaps this difference is not so great, so tribe Y can make a hero, force a confrontation with tribe Y hero, kill it, and keep pushing.

I actually tried to get that scenario in many matches against worldsavior, by skipping some of the promotions to get a weaker hero faster, most notably on archipelago sea in the 2016 tournament (where I won) and on fjords in the 2019 tournament (where I lost). Timing and early luck are the major deciding factors here.

If tribe X can produce a hero faster than tribe Y, but it takes more resources to do so, then perhaps there is already balance.

where are those extra resources coming from? again, this is no balance. this is a situation where the first would win.

Only on small maps, only by players skilled in gaining very early heroes. Again, the proposed changes seem to be the result of a narrow problem.

and how would changing cloth cost increase deadlocking? right now, the problem is that cloth is produced from spider silk, that requires corn, that is made in farms, that require cloth. if cloth was shifted to blackroot, one would find himself deadlocked.... how, exactly?

Ah, I mis-spoke when I mentioned cloth, there. I meant to reply to the suggestion: "reduce spider silk, so one has to make a spider farm", then the follow-on statement that "reducing the starting allotment of cloth and silk increases the risk of deadlocking..." in your post "discussing Atlanteans".

Rather than knee-jerk reactions to an unusual game play style, surely what is needed is a set of milestones - that a player would naturally aim for in a normal game - that tribes should be able to approximately reach, taking into account starting wares, on a specific map, which leads to more fact-based balancing decisions. <snip> the changes I propose here stem not from a single tournament that presents a situation unlikely in actual playing practice; I support them by referencing games taken from all the past tournaments and from high-level playing practice.

So, instead of accusing me of knee-jerking, you shoudl try to get some actual supporting data for your side. which basically seem to boil down to "status quo is gold"

I shan't comment further on this area since my input has been misconstrued as a personal attack, which it was not.

and what do you mean by "milestones" anyway? I assure you, there is no milestone more important than the first hero.

I guess that you and I play very differently if you can make this type general assertion and (in good faith I'm making an assumption) you apply it to most games that are played.


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