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Topic: More economic?

WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 08:46

Nordfriese wrote:

There is no fundamental feedback loop in Widelands except the extremely simple construction materials industry.

How can that be "extremely simple"?

With frisians the list of buildings for that industry could look like this:



Woodcutters
Foresters
Quarries
Clay pits
wells
brick kilns
deep coal mines
drinking halls
honey bread bakeries
breweries
smokeries
fishers
farms
bee-keepers
deep iron mines
smelting works
blacksmiths
reed farms
military buildings
warehouses, for better infrastructure
reindeer farms, very helpful for a big economy
eventually a ship industry for better transport / resource reach
eventually a barracks industry for more soldiers which can gain territory faster

So why is this not a complex "feedback loop"?

Edited: 2020-05-07, 09:05

“It's a threat to our planet to believe that someone else will save it.” - Robert Swan

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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 09:39

Initially building such an economy is complex, but once it's established it's almost impossible to consume building materials faster than you can produce them. (unless you play with ten clicks per second at 0.25× speed.) You only really need a bunch of woodcutters and foresters, quarries, wells, reed farms, some clay pits, brick kilns, and charcoal kilns – and you can produce all building materials. Later it's helpful to have one or two mines of each type, a tavern or two, a smokery and a fisher or hunter to sustain them, a furnace and blacksmith, and perhaps a reindeer farm and a farm or two. This is quite enough even for large maps because the outputs are not needed in large quantities. And perhaps a weaving mill and shipyard – and that's it. Complex to set up, but once you have it, it is trivial because it does not need to grow at nearly the same rate as your territory.


Since my add-on suggestion seems to have some popularity I have already started to make a branch so we can have this in b22. Allowing add-ons to interact with the game is surprisingly easy, the only difficulty is providing all the Lua functions to allow the add-ons to actually change stuff. And of course a networking interface…


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ilguido
Joined: 2009-03-04, 17:19
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 10:14

Nordfriese wrote:

Initially building such an economy is complex, but once it's established it's almost impossible to consume building materials faster than you can produce them. (unless you play with ten clicks per second at 0.25× speed.) You only really need a bunch of woodcutters and foresters, quarries, wells, reed farms, some clay pits, brick kilns, and charcoal kilns – and you can produce all building materials. Later it's helpful to have one or two mines of each type, a tavern or two, a smokery and a fisher or hunter to sustain them, a furnace and blacksmith, and perhaps a reindeer farm and a farm or two. This is quite enough even for large maps because the outputs are not needed in large quantities. And perhaps a weaving mill and shipyard – and that's it. Complex to set up, but once you have it, it is trivial because it does not need to grow at nearly the same rate as your territory.

Yeah, that is the main question. Granted that I played only the Campaign/A.I. battles, I noticed that even with the Barbarians, once you have set up the economy, you are productive enough to sustain for long a quick territorial expansion with advanced buildings. In my opinion that should not be the case.

In this game you have basically two economic parameters: resource availability and buildings' productivity (measured on the ability to transform basic resources). The productivity is very similar for each tribe and the resource availability is right now a non-factor. In my opinion productivity should be tweaked so that more advanced society should have noticeable better productivity (Atlanteans > Empire > Barbarians). To balance that, one could use resource availability and there are two ways to do that: the first one is limiting the expansion capability of a faction, because expansion in this game means exactly more resources, so, for example, the Atlanteans should never have a basic military building with a radius of 6, because that means they can expand their territory/resource availability as quickly as the others and then use their superior productivity to win. That is a design mistake. The second mechanism to balance the differences in productivity is resource consumption: more productivity could also mean faster resource consumption, so that a superior productivity could be counterbalanced by a more difficult resource management, i.e. you cannot just click, click, click, because there is a risk of resource starving.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 12:25

so you would change radically the economy setup just to make the tribes unbalanced? i strongly disagree


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ilguido
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 15:51

king_of_nowhere wrote:

so you would change radically the economy setup just to make the tribes unbalanced? i strongly disagree

This is my answer (from page 4):

hessenfarmer wrote:

[...] It is already the case that e.g for crater you simply can't choose anything else then atlanteans. Som the aim is to make another choice at least thinkable.[...]

I do not want to make the tribes unbalanced for the simple reason that would mean leaving them as they are, while I'd like to change them.

There are two ways to solve the problem: make them copycats with just aesthetic differences, or make them distinguished with different strong and weak points. I thought that the second point was what was discussed by some forum members, that complained about lack of differentiation and lack of alternative strategies. To make my point easy to understand for every gamer, I'd use Street Fighter II. Street Fighter II analogies always work. Street Fighter II, like everyone knows, is one of the most balanced game ever created, that does not mean that you can play Ryu and go close and personal with Zangief, because the game is "balanced". The game is balanced because if you play Ryu and succeed at staying away from Zangief, you win, while if you play Zangief and succeed at staying close to Ryu, you win. So both can win, however using different strategies. In Karate Champ (1984) the balance derived from the fact that every karateka had the same moveset, albeit different colours.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 16:51

ilguido wrote:

This is my answer (from page 4):

hessenfarmer wrote:

[...] It is already the case that e.g for crater you simply can't choose anything else then atlanteans. Som the aim is to make another choice at least thinkable.[...]

I do not want to make the tribes unbalanced for the simple reason that would mean leaving them as they are, while I'd like to change them.

so, you admit that a tribe being stronger in small maps is a problem, and your propose to fix this by making it even stronger?

furthermore, worldsavior has shown he can win any map with any tribe, meaning that hessenfarmer made a big overstatement and balance is closer than I myself would credit.

There are two ways to solve the problem: make them copycats with just aesthetic differences, or make them distinguished with different strong and weak points. I thought that the second point was what was discussed by some forum members, that complained about lack of differentiation and lack of alternative strategies. To make my point easy to understand for every gamer, I'd use Street Fighter II. Street Fighter II analogies always work.

no they don't, because street fighter has completely different mechanics. street fighter doesn't have different maps.

let's take your example at face value: so you have your late game tribe against an early game tribe and you have to keep the distance. how would you attempt to "keep the distance" on crater? perhaps if you could dismantle your headquarter and build over the mountains you would gain 10 minutes of time before the opponent makes contact.

or perhaps you play an early game tribe and need to close up on the nile? if you are fast, you can make a boat and make a port in the closer free spot to an opponent, after one hour. from there, after another hour you'll have made contact. except your economy will be completely broken from being spliti in two anyway.

or maybe you are playing fjords, which is a medium sized map. it should give you the chance to reach the opponent at your own pace. except that if you want to gain enough building space to actually reach the opponent, you have to push forward. you make contact in about one hour, if both you and your opponent are good.

Finally, if you think the differences between tribes are purely cosmetical, you are hugely mistaken. empire is the best pick on archipelago sea, but it would be foolish on dolomites. amazons have an advantage on three valleys. the economies are very different, and they have different needs. it's just that those differences are slight enough that they don't decide the game.

or maybe you


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ilguido
Joined: 2009-03-04, 17:19
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 18:47

The good thing arguing with you is that I do not need to write much, just copy and paste.

king_of_nowhere wrote:

ilguido wrote:

This is my answer (from page 4):

hessenfarmer wrote:

[...] It is already the case that e.g for crater you simply can't choose anything else then atlanteans. Som the aim is to make another choice at least thinkable.[...]

I do not want to make the tribes unbalanced for the simple reason that would mean leaving them as they are, while I'd like to change them.

so, you admit that a tribe being stronger in small maps is a problem, and your propose to fix this by making it even stronger?

.

ilguido wrote: [...] So the relationships should be like this: (game start) Barbarians > Empire > Atlanteans [...]

.

ilguido wrote: [...] I think that Atlanteans are a bit too unbalanced and out of focus. They are supposedly the advanced, slow-burner faction, but they are actually the stronger starter among Barbarians, Empire and Atlantis. [...]

.

ilguido wrote: [...]the Atlanteans should never have a basic military building with a radius of 6, because that means they can expand their territory/resource availability as quickly as the others and then use their superior productivity to win[...]


king_of_nowhere wrote:

let's take your example at face value: so you have your late game tribe against an early game tribe and you have to keep the distance. how would you attempt to "keep the distance" on crater? perhaps if you could dismantle your headquarter and build over the mountains you would gain 10 minutes of time before the opponent makes contact.

.

ilguido wrote: [...] the Atlanteans should try to build up their economy and weather the initial phase so to take advantage of their superior technology later in the game, [...]


king_of_nowhere wrote:

or perhaps you play an early game tribe and need to close up on the nile? if you are fast, you can make a boat and make a port in the closer free spot to an opponent, after one hour. from there, after another hour you'll have made contact. except your economy will be completely broken from being spliti in two anyway.

.

ilguido wrote: [...] if the Barbarians can get a very large empire early on and then wear out the inevitable Atlanteans come back, they should find themselves in a good position in a late game [...]


king_of_nowhere wrote:

Finally, if you think the differences between tribes are purely cosmetical, you are hugely mistaken. empire is the best pick on archipelago sea, but it would be foolish on dolomites. amazons have an advantage on three valleys. the economies are very different, and they have different needs. it's just that those differences are slight enough that they don't decide the game.

That is exactly because the tribes are unbalanced which is point zero of the discussion.

Back on topic:

kaputtnik wrote:

I find myself, at least on big maps, once the basic economy has established, one is just searching for new mineral deposits and keep an eye on mines and manage them. Beside managing battles, managing mines is the the only thing one can do. Personally i find this some kind of boring -> Loose or win is just a matter of finding resources

What do others think about this?

.

ilguido wrote:

In this game you have basically two economic parameters: resource availability and buildings' productivity (measured on the ability to transform basic resources). The productivity is very similar for each tribe and the resource availability is right now a non-factor.


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 22:54

@ilguido:
perhaps you got me wrong, as I have to admit that maybe my argument about atlanteans on crater was a bit to drastic. But much of this problem is realted to that specific map. Due to a lot of recent discussions about the balance of the tribe arose from playing this map it got a little overrepresented imho. As well as the pure results of the last topurnament got a bit overrepresented, but this is another topic.
This topic here fot m ixed with these discussions which made it not easier. But so far I believe the discussion to be fruitful cause at least some agreeable ideas seem to be born.
However to sort the 2 related but different topics out clearly. One topic is tribe balance in the game.

this is not easy for the following reasons:
- all 4 tribes (yes we have 4 now) have different characters and we should maintain them to not have copycats with different graphics as you correctly stated.
- we have no fixed size of our gameworld and even the size doesn't tell anything about the separation of the players. So balance needs to be established for early contact as well as for late contact.

So in my eyes your proposal to make an early, medium and late game tribe would lead to a situation of having unbalance on each map. So on early contact maps everybody would choose barbarians in your proposal in late contact they'll choose atalnteans. As medium is hard to define empire would be chosen only rarely. This would be the case due to that in an early contact map there is no late game and in late contact there is no early game. So in this solution there would be a best suited tribe for each map or each starting position. This is contrary to what I believe we should aim to achieve. Each tribe should have comparable (but not equal) chances on each map. Although some starting positions might favor a tribe more then others. So Atlanteans need to be nerfed a little in early game but not to much. The degree is difficult though. Anyhow I think we should discuss this in the balancing thread recently opened.

Next topic (and the original of this thread) is that for some players widelands is to much centered about defeating other players by using the military, and they want more focus on economy. For this goal the peaceful mode was invented. However it turned out that in this mode a big part of the economy is useless as the game was always designed around creating a strong military. So as peaceful games are only races for the biggest territory to fulfil the goal best, we are looking into alternative methods to makle the game interesting in this mode. At least this is my understanding.

However I am a bit sceptic: You take away the core of game, to which it and its inspiration game were designed, and add something else, you get a different game, or you get a mixture of games that won't fit together well.
But lets see how this turns out.

Edited: 2020-05-07, 22:55

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JanO
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Posted at: 2020-05-07, 23:53

Can we nerf or buff tribes with some extra wares in the starting conditions based on map characteristics dynamically? We would need to generate a meaningful value for 'early contact' vs 'late contact', either by a (complicated?) algorithm or by giving it to each map manually. Based on this number, barbarians and frisians (or whoever) get a little extra building materials in the starting conditions (or not).

Just an idea, because all this early and late contact balancing discussion runs in circles for... how many years now?


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-05-08, 00:00

JanO wrote:

Can we nerf or buff tribes with some extra wares in the starting conditions based on map characteristics dynamically? We would need to generate a meaningful value for 'early contact' vs 'late contact', either by a (complicated?) algorithm or by giving it to each map manually. Based on this number, barbarians and frisians (or whoever) get a little extra building materials in the starting conditions (or not).

Just an idea, because all this early and late contact balancing discussion runs in circles for... how many years now?

The idea itself sounds appealing however there is one downside we would impose the task to define this to any map maker uploading maps. And this might decrease the contribution in this area where widespread contribution is far the biggest so far.

About the discussion: yes it is running for longtime therefore the differences are not that big anymore although still significant.


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