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Asset list much improved in 1.1.0 and inevitable suggestions

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Level 8 Human Gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I just grabbed the 1.1.0 patch and I have to say that the addition of Station is much appreciated. For my part, though, I'd prefer to have the Station and Home columns swapped (so as to avoid needing to side scroll the dialog). Which actually brings me to my main niggle: the increased size of the dialog in general. It might be nice to try to pare it back down again in the name of reducing total user mouse actions.

The obvious first approach would be either to cut back on columns; or else use two (or more) lines in the dialog per unit (trading vertical scrolling with the mouse wheel for horizontal dragging/clicking -- BTW why aren't tilt-wheels better supported?). I haven't played anywhere near long enough to have a sense what specifically ought to be tier one data (i.e. should be a column) and what could be lower tier (i.e. requires one or more clicks or actions to get at). I realise that there are tradeoffs there, but I do have a couple of more general thoughts.

One way to help might be to leverage the existing Selected Unit infobox (bottom centre) and/or the Unit Detail tooltip (pop-up right side above command square). Various approaches suggest themselves:

* hovering over a line in the Asset List causes Unit Detail tooltip to pop-up
* selecting in the Asset List displays the Selected Unit infobox like now except that, for garrisoned units, the tooltip appears over the dialog :-); or
* selecting causes just the individual unit's Unit Detail infobox to appear regardless of garrison status.

Either way, it would also be nice to be able to easily get at unit attributes and unspent skill points. The former is probably fine as a tier two (i.e. click or hover to see) but the former would be jolly handy as a little icon (e.g. the one currently used on the unit picture) or the number available or something -- particularly if it could also indicate the situation where there are not only skill points, but enough to actually upgrade something with :-) Perhaps green for "could upgrade" and/or red for "not enough points"?

On a purely cosmetic note, it would be nice to have a little battlement icon or something for garrisoned units. And possibly colour coding of the factions, although, on the other hand, that might look a little odd.

Level 13 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 31, 2010 at 12:48 am

Thanks for your input. The asset list was one of my projects, and it's definitely something that could use a bit more love; if I find the time, I'd love to get some of this stuff in for a future update.

The stats and level up information is something I really did want to get in there, but ran out of time before release.

Anyway, I've added this to our issue tracker, so I remember to take a look at it when I get time.

Level 8 Human Gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on May 31, 2010 at 11:39 pm

No rush :-) Reading that all back again, I realise that it sounds a bit negative, but I actually really do like the changes to the Asset List in 1.1.0, and look forward to more down the road. [I'm also in software development, albeit in the embedded operating systems market, so I can appreciate the effort and the tradeoffs. (You should see the size of our backlog....) Fantastic game, BTW!]

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on June 1, 2010 at 12:53 am

No rush :-) Reading that all back again, I realise that it sounds a bit negative, but I actually really do like the changes to the Asset List in 1.1.0, and look forward to more down the road. [I'm also in software development, albeit in the embedded operating systems market, so I can appreciate the effort and the tradeoffs. (You should see the size of our backlog....) Fantastic game, BTW!]

Have to take a look at the assets bar then ^^ I never use it actually... I have my forces concentrated in certain regions and try to keep them near their home cities. From time to time I roam all cities to see if I forgot to reposition recovered troops. Only keeping track where my generals are issn't that easy. I really like the silver bases for non combat troops. Helps a lot!

For 1.1.0 I can say splendid patch! The illyrians gave me so much trouble that I had to make the decition to penetrate into illyrian lands which I wanted to avoid. But the illyrian threat is too big and the cities I have in that region don't really justify a big defensive army with phalangites so I have to expand! =]
They didn't seem to be that nasty before the patch. :) (still too many peltast troops for my taste). Only in really big attacks the ai can utilize them in a effective way having his hoplite troops fight my main army while his peltast flank me or shoot from the back.

Also the landings athen is doing are already nice(I mean they are invading frequently), but there should be more troops... or maybe stronger troops.
They only land with scout cavalry and peltasts maybe spearman on big raids not really giving me any trouble. I would like to see overall bigger sea invasions.
I am not too far into campaign now since I began a new game with the new patch so maybe this will change. But so far I had no trouble holding the invasions off with 1spearman and 1scoutcav i have in that regions for the big invasion i pulled another spear+scoutcav to deal with it. Didn't hinder my advances in any way nor did they burn anything. basically all their attacks were great fails so to say xD
Probably its my fault playing on normal? =] What do you guys recommend? is it "normal" to play on hard? xD But other than the naval invasions to this point the game is giving me a good challenge on normal so far.

Level 8 Human Gamer
Alignment: Good
Posted on June 1, 2010 at 1:47 am

Probably its my fault playing on normal? =] What do you guys recommend? is it "normal" to play on hard?

I think I remember seeing a post or changelog which mentioned that the pre-1.1.0 AI was essentially the same as the 1.1.0 "Expert" level. So, yes, if you were already used to that, then it's normal... for specific, selected meanings of "normal" =) =) =)

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on June 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Also the landings athen is doing are already nice(I mean they are invading frequently), but there should be more troops... or maybe stronger troops.
They only land with scout cavalry and peltasts maybe spearman on big raids not really giving me any trouble. I would like to see overall bigger sea invasions.


After a bit of time into the game (we really need a year counter or some way to determine how much time has passed, even counting from year/cycle 0) into the game, the Athenians landed 8-10ships worth of troops at the standard spot of Aegea. I had not taken Methone yet and was leaving Athens alone concentrating on Illyrians and the northern leagues (Strobi area and west of there).

It really caught me off guard with my two spearmen units and Pella militia and a phalangites out of Aegea responding. However, once I moved the troops from the various cities, they sieged Aegea with other land troops, which now had no troops in it.

Needless to say, I reloaded from a save, and replaced spearmen with phalangites and had some peltasts ready instead of just spearmen. Meant a smaller invading army, but those are the trade offs.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on June 2, 2010 at 12:39 am

After a bit of time into the game (we really need a year counter or some way to determine how much time has passed, even counting from year/cycle 0) into the game, the Athenians landed 8-10ships worth of troops at the standard spot of Aegea. I had not taken Methone yet and was leaving Athens alone concentrating on Illyrians and the northern leagues (Strobi area and west of there).

It really caught me off guard with my two spearmen units and Pella militia and a phalangites out of Aegea responding. However, once I moved the troops from the various cities, they sieged Aegea with other land troops, which now had no troops in it.

Needless to say, I reloaded from a save, and replaced spearmen with phalangites and had some peltasts ready instead of just spearmen. Meant a smaller invading army, but those are the trade offs.


A year counter or something like it to measure time would be nice yes... maybe unpaused payminutes? xD

For your athens invasion you said they invaded aegae then with land troops do you mean with the ones from the ship or with troops send over the land path from methone?
Also are you playing expert or normal? =]

As for reloading I have to say I found the game much more interesting with not reloading my games.
For example I invaded diabolis as well as the city right from that (diabolis invasion came from the city under it which i had captured beforehand) and a third invasion into south to penetrate further into thessaly.
The Illyrians managed to destroy my whole army at the fort that is protecting the city which I had taken but now they pushed my troops out and sieged the fort, on top of that while my army was marching towards diabolis the troops i have had left in the city weren't enough to prevent a rebellion so it turned Illyrian with me sieging diabolis at the very same moment. I hoped I could take it but counting from 2700 downwards my troops finally surrendered when it was down at 180 well on top of that my army in thessaly got beaten too because I didn't payed too much attention to that front so instead of gaining 3 cities which I intendet to take I took none and even lost my only illyrian city.

I wanted to reload but instead I sticked with it, formed new invasion armies and pushed again with the recovered plus some new troops. On this campaign I did not only retake my city but took all 3 cities ending the illyrian thread once and for all + pushing further into thessaly with ballistas sheep taking to more cities. :D

Yes I could have reloaded, waited with my attacks for catapults, sheep, more troops etc and then make my move and thus not loosing a single campaign, but it was so satisfying this way and I achieved everything I wanted before with a single well planned revenge :D
It is also more realistic. You win some, you loose some, then you come again and kick ass xD If you would just only gain then you would become too powerful too early =]

Also I think reloading is kinda addictive. Once I start reloading then soon I will reload because of mostly everything that goes horribly wrong. Best thing is to not play with reloads, plan alot, think alot and use pause alot :D
Especially since your troops and generals don't die forever like in total war i.e. but just need some time to recover in their home city =] Even loosing your whole army doesn't mean your done for.

Level 13 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on June 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm

We actually spent a lot of time making sure the game is still fun if you don't reload. With other games, a battle often builds up inertia, so if you start losing it gets harder and harder to recover. Since Hegemony is just one giant campaign, that would be a terrible thing for us, so we tried to avoid it. I'm glad it's working out for you.

As far as Athens not sending enough troops, just hold on, they do learn from their mistakes! And remember that you can always increase the difficulty in the gameplay settings.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on June 2, 2010 at 9:50 pm

We actually spent a lot of time making sure the game is still fun if you don't reload. With other games, a battle often builds up inertia, so if you start losing it gets harder and harder to recover. Since Hegemony is just one giant campaign, that would be a terrible thing for us, so we tried to avoid it. I'm glad it's working out for you.


Agreed.

I have only reloaded a few times here and there when I realized that I had made a huge tactical error with my advancing troops (with respect to home defense). Basically I didn't want to have to run my advanced troops to the rear (we're talking 4 territories to the east to get to Pella/Aegea) to route the enemy out of my territory. It was getting late and I didn't want to slow my campaign march toward the cities I was taking before I had to get to bed. :)

Half the time I can't play on weeknights since it is 2am before I take a look at the clock! As I've said before, only the Civilization series (and Galactic Civilization) series have engrossed me so much.

Civ3 and beyond (and maybe civ2/1) had a clock I could turn on so I could glance at it every so often in the game... is that something that could be added as an option to turn on? Maybe near the season indicator (and new year counter *hint hint* hehe)?

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on June 3, 2010 at 12:42 am

I really would like to see another update on the assets bar! It is already better but it could need some more improvement as you stated even yourself xD
Is this something you're considering for 1.2.0? That and units reacting to ranged attacks would be my wishes for the next patch! =]

Keep up the good work and thank you for a terrific game!

Level 13 Extraplanar Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Toronto
Posted on June 3, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Hopefully I'll have time to give the asset list some love in time for 1.2.0, but lately I've been too busy with other things to find any time for coding. I've got my fingers crossed that I get to actually touch a compiler soon.

Units reacting to ranged fire is a much bigger change than it sounds (some issues off the top of my head: we have to make sure they still do what the player tells them to do, ideally there should be a way to tell units whether they should be aggressive or defencive, and we would need to make sure the AI doesn't 'pull' your troops halfway across the map by using ranged fire and then retreating over and over again) so unfortunately I'm not sure we'll be able to sneak that in before the next game, but it is a feature we're actively looking in to.

Level 8 Human Student
Alignment: Chaotic
Posted on June 3, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I can see how that could be difficult. I have no idea how your unit AI works, but this kind of thought process is what is required:

IF under ranged attack = 1
AND engaged in melee = 0
AND distance from initial position < x
THEN unit sprints to engage ranged attacker

Is it possible to incorporate such a process into the individual unit AI (if indeed there is such a thing)?

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Posted on June 4, 2010 at 2:17 am

Y not just make a different marker on the minimap for when a unit is attacked by ranged units?

Now there is an x when a unit is in battle. y not make "o" as symbol for a unit under ranged attack i.e.
So that the player at least knows from a glance on the minimap if his units are standing useless around and getting sniped or if they are really engaged in combat?

Level 9 Human Dr. Meowgon Spengler
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on June 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Make units which are not currently engaged in any activity (fighting, moving, capturing) take drastically reduced damage from ranged fire. This gives the player more time to react to the ranged fire without putting units on autopilot.