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The Ionian Campaign: Feedback and Suggestions Thread

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Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: In my own little world.
Posted on November 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm

General Thoughts:
I finished the Ionian Campaign just a few minutes ago and I have to say I thought it was really fun, although very one-sided. I completed it in 4 hours and 35 minutes and completed all but 3 objectives: take Pylos, destroy 50 Athenian triremes, and take 3 Euboean cities. The new auto-beaching thing makes naval invasions a lot easier because now I can just pause and click each unit onto land without maneuvering my triremes. This is good since most of the campaign is about moving your troops around by ship to cause rebellions. However, the only challenging objectives I had were taking Sestos and Abydos. All the other cities were under-garrisoned and posed no threat. There was also very little action in retaliation from Athens until I took Sestos, Abydos, and Byzantium. On the other hand, the objectives and their rewards flowed nicely with one another. Dealing with Iasos and its rebellious Satrap really did lower Persian hostility. Helping the refugees did as well, and having 3 cities rebel at once to your cause is gratifying to see. Especially since I only start with 1 city. This campaign is like a bridge between the Philip Campaign and the Archidamian Campaign in that you start with one city and grow your "empire", but there aren't any tutorials and the growth is more rapid.

Feedback:
The objectives were just too darn easy IMO. Take a city's defenses down by 100 and it rebels to you is too quick. I know it's probably historically accurate, but at this point HA=too easy. The resistance put up by the Athenians was almost nil which doesn't make sense because losing those cities should incite a large counterattack. I would suggest doubling or tripling the amounts for certain cities (Byzantium and Athens for sure). A longer campaign would be more satisfying. Completing all the objectives would have taken another half hour (except destroying 50 triremes, the AI barely had any). So it's still a very short campaign and I'm sure you guys will add more to it as time goes on. What I liked was implementing diplomacy into the objectives. The truce with the Persians was nice especially after I took care of Iasos and that guy in there (I can't remember his name off-hand) I know it's the first time tested, too so I'm trying not to be super critical :P It was a fun campaign.

Bugs:
The repeating alert noise caused by triremes still happens. It stopped when I took the troops off so perhaps they're related. I don't mind the homeless messages all that much so I didn't DL update #9. I also noticed the path-maker made my triremes go through a very narrow pass when two inches away was open sea. Perhaps it would be possible to give preference to more open areas over tight squeezes.

There's probably more that I forgot about while writing, but overall it was a very fun and worthwhile campaign :)

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on November 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Thanks for the feedback, we're just getting into play testing it ourselves now that all the objectives are in so I do expect some changes to the balance and difficulty.

One problem right now is that the AI is used to hiding behind its walls if you're too big to crush easily but don't pose an immediate threat to taking their city - obviously this doesn't work well with an objective to do just a little damage to the city so we're looking at making the AI more proactive in these cases.

The other issue is that the AI normally builds up its defences when you're approaching it but being mostly a naval campaign you can be within minutes of striking but still be on the other side of the map. For this we plan to do some more work to both pre-plant more AI units as well as make the AI better aware of long distance amphibious assaults.

The repeating alert noise caused by triremes still happens. It stopped when I took the troops off so perhaps they're related.

The bug I fixed a few versions ago was caused by enemy triremes accidentally signally 'under attack' warnings when they were in rough water. I can't seem to duplicate any similar issues with triremes right now. If you know how to repeat the problem let me know and I'll see if I can get it fixed.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: In my own little world.
Posted on November 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Good to hear about the testing!

The way I found the bug was loading troops onto triremes inside a city then exiting the city with a beach order. Last time I noticed it, it happened at Chalcedon.

Level 9 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: New Jersey
Posted on November 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I agree with Biowulf's take - the campaign is fun (and good practice with the triremes for a landlubber like me) but pretty easy. I'm also getting the trireme sound bug. I get it just about every time I load up units into ships in a city then tell them to go somewhere. It ends once the unit disembark.

I think the liberator objective reward might make it a little too easy at the end - I was in a position to buy off everyone around the Peloponnese pennisula - most of them became allies while a few I just formed a truce with. If that's intentional/historical that's fine, but I basically just took my Ionian army to Athens after that and won.