Currently Online

Latest Posts

Topic: Efficiency of Scouting

hessenfarmer
Avatar
Joined: 2014-12-11, 23:16
Posts: 1609
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Bavaria
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 09:27

The solution proposed by Nordfriese / GunChleoc would be acceptable to me. However this would add another complexity in game control.
I think part of the success of Settlers was that gameplay was relatively easy to learn and to do. So we need to be careful not to make the game too complex.
This might be mitigated by the training wheels concept though.


Top Quote
kaputtnik
Avatar
Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1961
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Germany
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 12:36

hessenfarmer wrote:

The solution proposed by Nordfriese / GunChleoc would be acceptable to me. However this would add another complexity in game control.
I think part of the success of Settlers was that gameplay was relatively easy to learn and to do. So we need to be careful not to make the game too complex.
This might be mitigated by the training wheels concept though.

Yes, i think having both (scout as usual + send scout at flag) is too complicated.

The idea behind the proposal was to give the scout some more importance because he was not used much. I don't think that making the procedure much more complicated to let him scout solves this issue in a nice manner.

There might be other solutions to give a scout more importance. E.g. make scouting cheaper by not consuming rations, which are already needed for mines and training soldiers, but with another ware. e.g. give him logs, or planks to use as a wander stick. Later in a game a player has probably many logs but he needs much rations for his mines and trainingsites. Or simply let him consume water instead of ration.


Top Quote
Nordfriese
Avatar
Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
Posts: 1089
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: 0x55555d3a34c0
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 13:05

Well. I believe the main reason why many players don't use scouts much is not that they cost rations – one or two rations are not that high a price in a working economy – but that the effort of building a new scout's house, waiting for the construction supplies to be delivered, watching the scout two or three times, and then dismantling the scout's house again as it is no longer needed once you conquer the enemy militarysite of interest, is too much effort for the moderate gain in 99% of cases. And this problem can only be improved by giving players a way to uncouple the scout from his hut. In my opinion this is not too complicated when explained properly in a training wheel. In the end, the only additional complexity for the player would be one extra button next to the Send Geologist button. The possibility to send a scout to a flag would also not appear more complex than the possibility to send a geologist – in fact these two features appear quite similar (a worker comes to the specified flag and runs around looking for something) and therefore each of them is easy to learn when the other one has been learnt.


Top Quote
kaputtnik
Avatar
Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1961
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Germany
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 14:15

Nordfriese wrote:

Well. I believe the main reason why many players don't use scouts much is not that they cost rations – one or two rations are not that high a price in a working economy –

hm, i don't think so.

but that the effort of building a new scout's house, waiting for the construction supplies to be delivered, watching the scout two or three times, and then dismantling the scout's house again as it is no longer needed once you conquer the enemy militarysite of interest, is too much effort for the moderate gain in 99% of cases.

Well, i don't think that a scout should only be used for military purposes. A scout can also be used to find mountains, forests or a sea/coastline so a player can decide to which direction he may want to expand his territory. Currently no one uses a scout for such kind of purposes.

And this problem can only be improved by giving players a way to uncouple the scout from his hut. In my opinion this is not too complicated when explained properly in a training wheel. In the end, the only additional complexity for the player would be one extra button next to the Send Geologist button. The possibility to send a scout to a flag would also not appear more complex than the possibility to send a geologist – in fact these two features appear quite similar (a worker comes to the specified flag and runs around looking for something) and therefore each of them is easy to learn when the other one has been learnt.

A geologist doesn't need a hut, whereas the scout needs it. The button in a flags action window has to reflect this. So if a player didn't build a scouts hut yet, the button of the flag action window has to be disabled.
And the problem that a scout may has to walk from a far away spot to reach the flag will be ever there. The attraction just to hit the send-scout-button without knowledge from which scouts house the scout will be demanded, let a player probably wait a long time for the scout, leaving the player clueless. Yes, this can all be handled within a training wheel, but is it worth the work for the scouts?

What about having a watch-button for a scouts hut which shows the watch window following the scout?


Top Quote
Nordfriese
Avatar
Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
Posts: 1089
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: 0x55555d3a34c0
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 14:27

kaputtnik wrote:

Well, i don't think that a scout should only be used for military purposes. A scout can also be used to find mountains, forests or a sea/coastline so a player can decide to which direction he may want to expand his territory. Currently no one uses a scout for such kind of purposes.

Again there's the same issue that I keep mentioning: After a while, the scout will have explored all the territory around his hut. And then he is not needed anymore. So regardless of where you build it, it has to be dismantled again after a relatively short time, which at least to me is a major annoyance that deserves fixing.

And this problem can only be improved by giving players a way to uncouple the scout from his hut. In my opinion this is not too complicated when explained properly in a training wheel. In the end, the only additional complexity for the player would be one extra button next to the Send Geologist button. The possibility to send a scout to a flag would also not appear more complex than the possibility to send a geologist – in fact these two features appear quite similar (a worker comes to the specified flag and runs around looking for something) and therefore each of them is easy to learn when the other one has been learnt.

A geologist doesn't need a hut, whereas the scout needs it. The button in a flags action window has to reflect this. So if a player didn't build a scouts hut yet, the button of the flag action window has to be disabled.

+1 should be easy to do

And the problem that a scout may has to walk from a far away spot to reach the flag will be ever there. The attraction just to hit the send-scout-button without knowledge from which scouts house the scout will be demanded, let a player probably wait a long time for the scout, leaving the player clueless.

We could solve this by automatically opening the assigned scout's watch window when the button is clicked

Yes, this can all be handled within a training wheel, but is it worth the work for the scouts?

In my opinion it is, and I will implement the feature when there's no fundamental disagreement

What about having a watch-button for a scouts hut which shows the watch window following the scout?

+1 can be implemented easily at the same time


Top Quote
hessenfarmer
Avatar
Joined: 2014-12-11, 23:16
Posts: 1609
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Bavaria
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 16:43

Nordfriese wrote:

Yes, this can all be handled within a training wheel, but is it worth the work for the scouts?

In my opinion it is, and I will implement the feature when there's no fundamental disagreement

Ok, so what is your definition of fundamental then?


Top Quote
Nordfriese
Avatar
Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
Posts: 1089
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: 0x55555d3a34c0
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 17:15

hessenfarmer wrote:

Nordfriese wrote:

Yes, this can all be handled within a training wheel, but is it worth the work for the scouts?

In my opinion it is, and I will implement the feature when there's no fundamental disagreement

Ok, so what is your definition of fundamental then?

A non-trivial argument against this feature that can not be solved with this proposal.

  • This new feature is an addition to the current behaviour. If you do not use the new button, you get exactly the old behaviour. Therefore, anyone who does not like the proposed change can simply keep playing as they used to without having to do anything differently at all.

  • The feature adds more complexity, true. But from the user's point of view this complexity consists of only one new button. A descriptive tooltip, and later a helpful training wheel, will mitigate this complexity enough that it is not an all-important reason against this change.

  • The scout may have to walk a long distance from the house to the selected flag. That's the price to pay for having more control over where he goes. If this is deemed too inconvenient, see two points above.

  • A working implementation is usually better than a purely theoretical discussion about implementation details. So in my opinion it is best if I just implement this, and then we can try it out and discuss that and see if there is really a good reason against merging it (and if there is, if and how the implementation can be changed to fix those problems that really occur).


Top Quote
teppo
Joined: 2012-01-30, 09:42
Posts: 418
Ranking
Tribe Member
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 17:55

Nordfriese wrote:

Well. I believe the main reason why many players don't use scouts much is not that they cost rations – one or two rations are not that high a price in a working economy – but that the effort of building a new scout's house, waiting for the construction supplies to be delivered, watching the scout two or three times, and then dismantling the scout's house again as it is no longer needed once you conquer the enemy militarysite of interest...

Not really.. At least for me the real reason is that I sometimes build&forget the scout, and he continues consuming smoked hamburgers through the entire game without bringing any benefits to the economy (after he has initially revealed some terrain past the border line).

Adding optional flags will not change that, if the scout defaults to scouting around well-enough known homeland.

, is too much effort for the moderate gain in 99% of cases.

How many people did you interview? Supposedly >100, to reach this kind of number face-wink.png

I think that better ways to improve the scout would be:

If scout is far from borderline and player does nothing, the scout puts his own virtual flags somewhere. OR: Scout with nothing to do, does nothing OR: Scout does not consume foodstuff.

The first two require some thought to do -- putting sensible (not random) virtual flags could require lots of coding (assuming that we want the code to be efficient). Also, detecting the nothing-to-do scenario is difficult: Sometimes, I do know that enemy will arrive and use scout for advance warning. Therefore, terrain that is known but not visible is often uninteresting but sometimes not.

The "no foodstuff" is easy enough to do. If the price of scouting consists of building & dismantling only, that would be fine, in my opinion.


Top Quote
Nordfriese
Avatar
Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
Posts: 1089
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: 0x55555d3a34c0
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 18:01

teppo wrote:

Nordfriese wrote:

Well. I believe the main reason why many players don't use scouts much is not that they cost rations – one or two rations are not that high a price in a working economy – but that the effort of building a new scout's house, waiting for the construction supplies to be delivered, watching the scout two or three times, and then dismantling the scout's house again as it is no longer needed once you conquer the enemy militarysite of interest...

Not really.. At least for me the real reason is that I sometimes build&forget the scout, and he continues consuming smoked hamburgers through the entire game without bringing any benefits to the economy (after he has initially revealed some terrain past the border line).

Adding optional flags will not change that, if the scout defaults to scouting around well-enough known homeland.

It will fix it if the Send Scout button also draw scouts from stopped scout houses. Sorry that I did not say so explicitly, but without this detail it really would be a poor approach to the issue.

, is too much effort for the moderate gain in 99% of cases.

How many people did you interview? Supposedly >100, to reach this kind of number face-wink.png

I said cases (as in: game situations where using a scout can potentially be useful), not people.


Top Quote
kaputtnik
Avatar
Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1961
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Germany
Posted at: 2020-11-06, 18:03

I think there should be no need for arguments against this feature, but for implementing it.

As far i can see there is only one pro argument offered by you:

So regardless of where you build it, it has to be dismantled again after a relatively short time, which at least to me is a major annoyance that deserves fixing.

And this is not really an argument, imho, because one has to do this exactly with military buildings. Is this also annoying? Should that be fixed also?

IMHO a good democratic solution is to gather all pros and cons and then decide.


Top Quote