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Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 15, 2010 at 9:59 am

I'm really enjoying this game so far, and I've been playing a fair bit, but there are a few things I'd like to see changed/added. I don't know how much you guys are planning to patch this game, or if you even care about what I'd like to see changed. That's up to you, of course, but in case you do care, here's an unsolicited wishlist. :D

1) I'd really, really, really like to see some basic ai added to the player units, maybe as toggles. I'd especially like it if my melee units would engage any ranged units that attack them. Sometimes I charge into 5 or so brigades of peltasts, and having to do something else, elsewhere on the map, I forget about them untill I get a message saying that they've been routed by the remaining peltast unit that wasn't hit by the charge. It'd also be nice if my ranged units could be told to automatically retreat, if attacked by melee units. A toggle for automatic hunting of routed units would be nice, as well.

2) I like the assets list, but I don't like that it only takes up half the screen, so that I can't tell at a glance where any particular unit is. Also, it would be nice if it said which region a unit is currently in (if it's not in a city), instead of just "abroad".

3) I'd like to see the time it takes a unit to reform extended a little bit. As it is, a garrisoned unit that attacks a sieging unit and is beaten, will reform and be ready to attack again almost immediately, since the sieging unit will rarely have the chance to capture or eliminate it, before it slips back into the city.

4) I think the ai uses peltasts a bit too much. I'm still mainly in the north, in my game, so maybe that'll change once I reach Athens and Sparta. But sometimes the ai attacks with 8 peltast divisions, which is pretty much a joke.

5) I'd like a toggle in the options to make the map jump instantly to a unit/city, instead of zooming all the way out, then all the way in.

6) I'd like to see a speed setting. Things happen very fast sometimes, and being able to run at half speed would help a bit, I think.

I think that's it. Some of those are pretty minor, but some might make the game even better. Maybe someone else has some more suggestions.

Level 9 Human Sorcerer
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: Wales
Posted on May 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

I agree about the basic ai. It doesn't have to be particularly complicated, but just have your units attack any enemy units within a certain distance (but not chase after them if they move away again) - combined with the clumsiness of the controls when organising large armies (I'd prefer it if groups were only formed when I wanted, rather than everytime I give an order to multiple units at once - trying to order individual units from a group around is a pain). But those are the only real issues I've encountered so far - everything else is pretty minor, and don't detract too much from the game for me.

Level 14 Human Shadow
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Earth Orbit, Preparing to Attack
Posted on May 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

#5: Double-click on the event, or double tap your hotkey to get instant movement.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 15, 2010 at 11:47 am

I wish the game gets a little more strategy than Warcraft 2. So far, the AI is performing thousand of stupid attacks. If pause is settle at every enemy sighted or attack, it does not last more than 5 seconds before any autopause.
I am afraid I am disappointed.

Level 14 Human Shadow
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Earth Orbit, Preparing to Attack
Posted on May 15, 2010 at 11:54 am

Generally deploying units outside of a city keeps the enemy at bay through a common attack route. I find 1-2 peltasts sitting behind a spearman line usually stopped most attacks without difficulty in the very early game. Once you get cavalry, you can place them at strategic cities to help with larger forces or attacks through other invasion routes.

When placing the units, placing them in non-camp mode within the food supply radius of the city is best. Generally keep only the spearman and maybe one peltast outside by default, bringing the other peltasts out only when an enemy is sighted.

I've never used autopause, though I did use regular pause to find the action and deal with it sometimes. You can also quickly zoom out to the strategy map to see where enemy units are moving. Note that you usually get finer control with zoom levels using the keyboard instead of the mousewheel.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 16, 2010 at 1:57 am

#5: Double-click on the event, or double tap your hotkey to get instant movement.

Thanks. I've been using a method where I started scrolling after clicking on the event. That'll make the screen jump there instantly, too. Your way is better, though. :)

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 16, 2010 at 9:32 am

Generally deploying units outside of a city keeps the enemy at bay through a common attack route. I find 1-2 peltasts sitting behind a spearman line usually stopped most attacks without difficulty in the very early game. Once you get cavalry, you can place them at strategic cities to help with larger forces or attacks through other invasion routes.

When placing the units, placing them in non-camp mode within the food supply radius of the city is best. Generally keep only the spearman and maybe one peltast outside by default, bringing the other peltasts out only when an enemy is sighted.


I'm a little confused about the advantages of garrisoning troops within cities. If your city is walled, garrisoned troops add to the defensive value (but only up to a certain cap, yes?), and also enable the catapults (?).

Is there any reason to garrison *non-walled* cities? I don't get the sense that they contribute anything to the defense value. If the city is besieged by enemies, I have to evacuate the units and engage outside the city anyway. --?

Do troops within cities use less food?

What I've taken to doing in general is -- one spearman unit (maybe 2 if important city, to max out the garrison value) in walled cities. In the area immediately outside (within the food circumference), I station one peltast, possibly more or + scout cavalry. I've been putting them in "camp" mode to conserve food, esp. in the winter and in border cities that have less food arriving via trade. (Really like this 'encamp' option!)

Suggestions?

Level 14 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I'm a little confused about the advantages of garrisoning troops within cities. If your city is walled, garrisoned troops add to the defensive value (but only up to a certain cap, yes?), and also enable the catapults (?).
Exactly. And not only do they enable catapults, but catapults fire faster with bigger garrisons. However, this is only true if you have enough food to feed your garrison, so beware!

Is there any reason to garrison *non-walled* cities? I don't get the sense that they contribute anything to the defense value. If the city is besieged by enemies, I have to evacuate the units and engage outside the city anyway.
There's not much reason to garrison an unwalled city, except for faster response times. Generally you only tear down the walls on cities if you don't expect to have to spend much effort defending them, and you're worried they might revel.

Do troops within cities use less food?
Yep. They consume the same amount they would if they were camping or near a logistics shrine.

What I've taken to doing in general is -- one spearman unit (maybe 2 if important city, to max out the garrison value) in walled cities. In the area immediately outside (within the food circumference), I station one peltast, possibly more or + scout cavalry. I've been putting them in "camp" mode to conserve food, esp. in the winter and in border cities that have less food arriving via trade. (Really like this 'encamp' option!)
That's a pretty good plan. If you have extra food, you can splurge and not camp your brigades.

I usually just keep my brigades in the cities and dispatch them when I see a red dot on my minimap.

Level 14 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 1:47 am

I just implemented #2 on your list, both the double-wide dialogue and showing which region a brigade is in.

We're hoping to do a beta release of 1.0.1 tomorrow; watch the news page.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 3:23 am

I just implemented #2 on your list, both the double-wide dialogue and showing which region a brigade is in.

We're hoping to do a beta release of 1.0.1 tomorrow; watch the news page.


That's great! I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Level 9 Human Music
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: Ireland, Waterford
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 6:37 am

I would prefer this even more if the enemy would stop attacking every 5 seconds.... the population limit is too small too.

Is there any way to at least mod this game myself to allow these changes??

Level 9 Human Sorcerer
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: Wales
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

I would prefer this even more if the enemy would stop attacking every 5 seconds.... the population limit is too small too.

Is there any way to at least mod this game myself to allow these changes??



Yes. I'm not sure exactly how to change population levels, but look through the Resources\Data\globals.xnt file and see what you can find. Its definitely possible to change things like food, time, income etc - I'd assume population is in there somewhere too.

EDIT: Looking through globals.xnt, I can't see anything about population (though it may be in another file). Morale, food, gold, parts of the AI, faction hostility, time, etc can all be changed in it though. I wonder if setting hostility to 0 for a faction would make them not attack you? The game does have some kind of internal scripting language (judging by the if/else commands in the console), so if that could be figured out, some kind of diplomacy mod might well be a possibility.

Level 9 Human Lurker
Alignment: True neutral
Location: The Netherlands
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm

The Resources\Data\campaign.xml file contains data likes this:

<playerfaction>Macedonia</playerfaction>
<city id='1' name='Pella'>
<scripttag>Pella</scripttag>
<faction>Macedonia</faction>
<captorfaction>Independent</captorfaction>
<walls>0</walls>
<wallsdefensemult>2</wallsdefensemult>
<maxpop>15</maxpop>
<totnatpop>8</totnatpop>
<supplies>0</supplies>
</city>

However when i change those parameters, save and reload the game the population doesn't change.

Level 14 Human Shadow
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Earth Orbit, Preparing to Attack
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm

As I recall, that will only affect a new game, not an existing game. The save game file essentially contains a "current status" version of the campaign XML file, and it uses that instead.

Level 9 Human Lurker
Alignment: True neutral
Location: The Netherlands
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Hmmm, I tried starting a new game after adding a '1' before the 6 to the start city in the campaign.xml file but nothing changed.

<city id="83">
<scripttag>Aegeae</scripttag>
<faction>Macedonia</faction>
<walls>1</walls>
<maxpop>16</maxpop>
<hitpoints>29.8355</hitpoints>
<supplies>200</supplies>


What am i missing?

Level 9 Human Sorcerer
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: Wales
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Ah, nice find. I may have a crack at making a difficulty patch at some point then, to make the game easier. I might try one to make it harder too, though I wouldn't use it.

So far, difficulty-wise, I know how to edit income, population, morale, unit attributes, other nation's hostility, and some of the AI constants (such as how threatening your units are). If anyone has any other ideas for other things that can be changed to affect the difficulty, I'd welcome any suggestions. After that, the only real challenge is finding the time to make the thing.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm

There are actually 2 campaign files in release\resources: campaign.fi and campaign.xml The 'fi' file is a binary xml format that the game will load by default if it is present.

To mod the campaign.xml file you can either delete the 'fi' file and force the game to load the xml version (which is slow) or find a fast infoset converter online and compile the 'xml' version into a 'fi'.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Quick question, am I missing it or is there some way to determine the food available to a group? Or even a individual unit in a group? As far as I can tell the only way to do that is split a unit away from the group in order to view how much food it has left. If that is true, I'd add that to the Wishlist, some method of identifying the amount of food available to a control group.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Quick question, am I missing it or is there some way to determine the food available to a group? Or even a individual unit in a group? As far as I can tell the only way to do that is split a unit away from the group in order to view how much food it has left. If that is true, I'd add that to the Wishlist, some method of identifying the amount of food available to a control group.

I'll second this. Adding the food (current/maximum) to the tool-tip for when you mouse over a unit would work since inside a group and outside a group this performs the same (at least to my eyes).

Level 9 Human Music
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: Ireland, Waterford
Posted on May 17, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for that Rob.

I have a question for you.
In the campaign file it contains the following:

</faction>
<playerfaction>Macedonia</playerfaction>


If I was to set that to Greeks or something.
Would that make me control them instead???

Also.
Editing the Global file, will that impact the game?

I found several things I like,
Such as miners can carry 2 gold...which means I could change that to anything?
So they would end up carrying 8 or...16 each??
Right??


My last question:

See this line:

<aiconst goaltype="raid">

<!-- distance indicates how far away objects will affect the decision of the ai and the weight indicates their relative importance -->
<constfriendlybrigadedist>10.0</constfriendlybrigadedist>
<constfriendlyweight>0.0</constfriendlyweight>


Will changing the RAID settings.
Will I be able to make enemies less hostile??

Thanks!

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