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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » Ensemble: no-cap solution for Favor & miracles
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Topic Subject:Ensemble: no-cap solution for Favor & miracles
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thewesson
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 06:25 PM EDT (US)         

If you don't like people accumulating masses of favor and then releasing it all, I can understand that.

So that's why you're proposing a cap on favor beyond which it no longer accumulates.

But this is artificial and limits gameplay.

You can discourage excess favor accumulation without a cap.

Just have favor accumulate at a rate of:
base_rate * 50/(50+favor)
generally:
base_rate * N/(N+favor)

With N=50, at a favor of 50, it accumulates 1/2 as fast; at favor 100, it accumulates 1/3 as fast; at favor 200, it accumulates 1/5 as fast. Getting from 100 to 200 takes longer than accumulating 300 favor 100 at a time!

N/(N+X) is in general a very nice solution for declining effects (diminishing returns) & preventing aberrant extremes (without a cap). (Attack/defense worked this way in D2 BTW - one of the few elegant parts of that game.)

Anyhow, with this solution, people will be *discouraged* from accumulating gobs of favor but will still be *allowed* to accumulate gobs of favor if they are willing to live with an increasingly poor accumulation rate for quite a while.

If you like, favor_rate could be base_rate * M/(M+favor_used) * N/(N+current_favor); M > N; thus, your ability to accumulate favor would also diminish as you used favor and the game could never be ruled by the gods. But it would still be better (for your accumulation rate) to spend favor than to stockpile it.

With that formula, you can use god powers more than once or twice; just the intervals at which you could use god powers would grow larger and larger. This would take care of excess miracles very naturally without capping big miracles at one per age or whatever.

If M were 100 someone who had already done 2 'big' miracles (100 favor each) would be getting favor at a rate of only 1/3 the rate of someone who had done no miracles.

No one can specialize in miracles, then, because the ability to produce them 'wears out' gradually. Thus, miracles can't dominate gameplay.

Certain unrepeatable events (like advancing an age (or discovering a god technology?)) could dump a fixed quantity of favor into your stockpile of course.

Anyhow, IMO the game should have as few arbitrary caps and limits as possible while still encouraging an interesting style of gameplay.

The fickle gods gradually tiring of your pleas after granting you favors seems like a very Mythological style of deity!

Please be assured that I take no credit for this mathematical idea; I only hope that you can use the concept to produce a better game.

You don't have to explain the math to the player either; just explain that the gods become accustomed to your prayers and weary of your pleas and over time you have to pray more for the same effect/try harder to please them.

Matt

AuthorReplies:
XCrash_Fish
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 06:39 PM EDT (US)     1 / 39       
after a long time trying to understand it in those short lines, i think isee what youre saying, but what youre saying could mean that eventually.... you cant get any favor... and besides, what youre saying encourages turtling. Nice thoughts though!

Though I than He - may longer live
He longer must - than I -
For I have but the power to kill,
Without--the power to die--
The only reoccurence in every AoM games you lose, is you.
OneRing
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 06:49 PM EDT (US)     2 / 39       
Not a bad idea.

I am not sure how much it would unbalance the different ways of gaining favor.

For instance: The Greeks want to increase their production of favor so they train a couple more villagers. No big deal.

The Norse on the other hand want to increase their favor so they have to go raid an enemy village.

The Greeks can create more villagers easily, but the Norse might not be able to just go out and raid a village. By the end of the game the Norse would have to basiclly take out the entire enemy city just to gain 100 favor. An amount that at the begenning of the game could have been achieved easily in a small raid.

They need the favor to field the army of MU's to make the raid in the first place. It might work for the Greeks and the Egyptians, but I don't think it would work for the Norse.

Also god powers don't cost favor. They are free, one shot things.


...One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them...
thewesson
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 06:50 PM EDT (US)     3 / 39       

Under this scheme, eventually you will be accumulating favor verry slowwly (but never at a zero rate.)

You couldn't just sit behind your walls and fend off attacks with miracles, because after your first couple of miracles, the next one will be quite a while in coming, and won't come soon enough to fend off the next attack.

Anyhow, the general idea is that the availability of the cool god stuff kind of tapers off (as you use it), but never actually declines to zero.

Plus it makes stockpiling favor kind of counter productive. The bigger the stockpile, the slower you get more favor.

Matt

Gagylpus
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 06:57 PM EDT (US)     4 / 39       
Hey, my names Matt too!
GPs (what you're calling miracles, but they're GPs) do not cost favor, and you can get only 4, so you have to use them wisely. MUs cost favor, but take up more pop, thus before long you would be full. So favor cap is the best way to go.

Gagylpus
I don't have a signature. Signatures are for mortals. Or very insecure immortals like those freaking Greek gods.
Alexandergreat3
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 07:04 PM EDT (US)     5 / 39       
Great idea, Matt!

I this formula has been used for multiple-builder inefficiency in AoK and AoC, where if you put more villagers into constructing a building, the rate would be increased but only gradually, such that twice the number of workers = around 1.3 speed increase; not 2 times.

Now, I wonder whether ES had tried this or not with AOM favor/GP system. If they have but went with the Cap. formula, there must be some good reasons why. Perhaps the beta will give us lots of answer.

SoR_Anarchy
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 07:09 PM EDT (US)     6 / 39       
Just putting a cap on it makes alot more sense imo. Why make this difficult?

God Bless America.

I am the state.

thewesson
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 07:12 PM EDT (US)     7 / 39       
Cross-post!

> God powers don't cost favor and are just one per age.

Oh, OK. But in this plan, god powers could cost favor, NOT be 1 per age-advancement (though that might confer a favor bonus of some sort), and still *not* dominate the game.

They sound like fun toys. I want to play with them more than once per age, if I choose to.

> The norse have to raid to get favor, so that's unbalanced, they'd have to kill a whole city to get 100 favor at some point later in the game.

<scratches head> If the Norse find it harder to get favor than the Egyptians or the Greeks, that's going to be a problem no matter what scheme you have for controlling favor accumulation.

In fact, if we make getting *more* favor harder the more favor you have gotten, this will *automatically* help balance the game. Say the Greeks are unbalanced and find getting favor easier, they can just create more praying villagers. Then say they use a bunch of favor and make a lot of beasts and whatnot. Then, assuming the Norse survive, the Greeks find that all their use of favor has meant that they'd have to put 50 villagers on praying to make another beast in 5 minutes, whereas the Norse just have to kill 3 villagers to get the same amount of favor. (They being not so good at getting favor, they haven't accumulated as much and spent as much, both factors which would impede further favor gaining.)

It's a scheme where those who *have*, get *less*, and those who *don't have*, get more. Whoever's behind in the favor use will be faster in getting favor at the moment.

Matt

c r e e z y
Mortal
(id: Hairy Scary Man)
posted 28 March 2002 07:25 PM EDT (US)     8 / 39       
too confusin for me

OneRing
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 07:35 PM EDT (US)     9 / 39       
The MU's in the game cost favor, and most aren't avalible unitl later in the game. If the favor is coming in slowly by the time you reach the last age then MU's would be almost impossible to produce on any kind of scale.

...One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them...
muser
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 07:38 PM EDT (US)     10 / 39       
Nice idea about removing favor cap!
I don't like artificial caps either, so I'm all for that idea, since it doesn't say that you absolutely can't get more than 200 favor. It just says that it'll be really hard, so naturally people will spend favor rather than hoard it.

I do not think that you should get less favor as you use more of it, cuz then towards the end of the game, you are essentially taking myth units out of the game, which certainly will be a major and fun component of the game.

A possible solution to Norse lack of control in gaining favor: create diminishing returns for every favor building or villager you produce beyond a certain point. This keeps any one race from getting too large of a lead on another race in favor. It would be economically inefficient.

It becomes another decision to be made for the greek and egyptians; you can decide between either assigning another villager to favor for diminishing returns, or to getting more food, wood, or gold at a regular rate. It becomes an issue of how much you really could use that favor, and if Ensemble does a good job of balancing its usefullness, it should be a hard call and fun decision to make.

OneRing
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 07:48 PM EDT (US)     11 / 39       
The biggest problem with this would be balance. ES has already spent so much time making sure the ways of gaining favor are balanced, it would be wasted because of all of the new issues this brings up. If ES wants to do it great, but the Norse would probally need another way of gaining favor. Maybe if you put a cap to how much it slows down.

Also this might make players wait for others to use their favor first. The first people to use their favor at at a disadvantage to the others because their speed of gaining has been diminished.


...One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them...
RVD_Germ
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 07:49 PM EDT (US)     12 / 39       
Just have faith in the guys at ES. They know what they are doing. I personally like it the way they have it now. If there is a problem with the way it is currently set up then they will change it.

Directions for ES employees
First, get a pencil and paper. Next, write "ES_Germ" on the paper. Now, hang the paper on your office wall.

That way, 6 years from now, when a bright young programmer walks by your office and says "Hey, thats my nickname!", you will know it was me.

thewesson
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 08:01 PM EDT (US)     13 / 39       
AlexanderTG3 ...

Yeah, I wonder why the cap and not diminishing-returns too.

Interesting comparison to villie build rate. Something like that could be also used to tame the Greeks so they don't go nuts assigning villies to pray.

Why not the cap?

I think a cap just means that your design has failed in some small way and so you have to put a cap on to keep something from getting ridiculous.

If I have a large army elsewhere and I suddenly need to produce units at home - but I can't because I'm at the pop cap - that means that my gameplay is being limited and defined by something from outside the game universe. Then I have to delete some units. That really doesn't make me feel like I'm playing a game of managing an empire - it makes me feel like I'm playing a game of managing the game's problems. "Too many units" isn't my problem of interest.

I can understand the unit cap - to keep peoples computers from bogging down - but there might be a way to discourage huge armies without a cap. Like charging maintenance for units for example. Sure, you could just make more peasants to feed 'em all, but you'll run out of space to farm and have to spread out towards the enemy ...

That's an example where removing the artificial cap might make you make some interesting decisions.

Paying maintenance on your army and buildings would discourage turtling, too ... <grin>

Matt

TheShadowDawn
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 08:03 PM EDT (US)     14 / 39       
I must say that's a great idea thewesson. It reminds very much of Battle Realms...your villagers got produced at a constant rate, but their production time worked much according to the sstem you laid out there...I found it a very well balanced system...

I'd imagine ES aren't inclined to change their tried and tested systems, but I think that would work really well.


TheShdwDwn
If you're like me, then it's possible you're a clone generated from my stolen DNA. I suggest you turn yourself in for destruction immediately.
Frost_Giant
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 08:06 PM EDT (US)     15 / 39       
I spent 15 minutues trying to figure out what you were saying I think a cap on favor is the way to go. What would you do with all that extra favor unless you could sell favor but you can't sell favor unless your Zues. otherwise it'd be all gone Back on track...you need a cap cause MU's fill up your pop. faster and soon you'd run out of settlements to capture. Have I made my point or are you all lost? Oh, they're God Powers not miracles

Proud templar of the FPH clan
Now, you must all agree with me, or I'm going to kill you. Got it?-TSD

The Road goes ever on and on. Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet.And whither then? I cannot say.

[This message has been edited by Frost_Giant (edited 03-28-2002 @ 08:07 PM).]

Imperialarc
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 08:07 PM EDT (US)     16 / 39       
Good idea but I think its a bit late to change the already tested system.
Anyways, I think it will be fun either way...although your idea will have to change other things in the process.
thewesson
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 08:27 PM EDT (US)     17 / 39       

ES seems pretty conservative - but maybe that's one reason they make such solid games, because they tend not to really break new ground, they just do a really thorough job in the older system.

Same is true for Blizzard to some extent.

Yeah, I liked the Battle Realms system (I have the demo) because it gives a small leg up (faster peasant production)to someone who gets behind or is in trouble, so they don't get rolled over as fast. Also, it gives you a fast start without making anything too fast later.

Running out of favor 'eventually': Well, it wouldn't be so good to weaken your ability to make myth units 'eventually', since they sound like such a big part of the game, so I have to agree that's a problem. However, the way the math works, your rate of favor gaining gradually tails off w/o reaching zero. So if you've expended 800 favor so far, and then you use 100 more favor, your rate of favor gaining has gone from 1/9 base to 1/10 base. No big deal; it's still 9/10 as good as it was before using that big favor.

I agree the norse might have a problem finding 9 times as many units to kill. But this may also be offset by the fact that late-game battles will result in more kills ...

Another angle on the late-game low-favor problem might be the ability to hand favor back to the gods, in return for increasing your favor-gaining rate back to what it was.

Just thinking anyhow; I have to agree rebalancing at this late point might not be the wisest thing.

But I wouldn't see any problem with a simple diminishing-returns on favor stockpiling, rather than a cap.

Matt


BrazilianRaider
Mortal
posted 28 March 2002 09:41 PM EDT (US)     18 / 39       
Its ok the way it is now...
I'm sure when the game comes out we'll get used to it really fast. Hey, maybe they'll let you choose the favor cap before starting a game...
c r e e z y
Mortal
(id: Hairy Scary Man)
posted 28 March 2002 09:42 PM EDT (US)     19 / 39       
what is this thread about? sum it up for me

Psychic Ostrich
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 05:27 AM EDT (US)     20 / 39       
Pretty much:

INSTEAD OF FAVOR CAP:The more favor you have, the slower you collect it.

I dont know why thewesson couldent just say that in the first place...


SNIPPETS OF A CAFE CHAT:
Hey hi, damn, where is my... ...fridge, y'now, its been playing... ...with his nailclippers! I didnt know what to... ...weed, cos' i'm not a gardner, unlike Old... ...cushion, now it was... ...a bit soggy, with all his diarrhoea... ...experience with the theoretical side of... ...cats, oh they are doing... ...dancing with his best friend! now I would like to... ...grasp by the hilt you see? Anyway better be... ...going to lose his socks, silly... ...frog. Cya'...
TheShadowDawn
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 05:53 AM EDT (US)     21 / 39       
Because he was explaining how to balance it.

TheShdwDwn
If you're like me, then it's possible you're a clone generated from my stolen DNA. I suggest you turn yourself in for destruction immediately.
Psychic Ostrich
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 07:53 AM EDT (US)     22 / 39       
Ah, good point.

But i think he could have said it simple like that at first, then go into details.


SNIPPETS OF A CAFE CHAT:
Hey hi, damn, where is my... ...fridge, y'now, its been playing... ...with his nailclippers! I didnt know what to... ...weed, cos' i'm not a gardner, unlike Old... ...cushion, now it was... ...a bit soggy, with all his diarrhoea... ...experience with the theoretical side of... ...cats, oh they are doing... ...dancing with his best friend! now I would like to... ...grasp by the hilt you see? Anyway better be... ...going to lose his socks, silly... ...frog. Cya'...
Real
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 08:45 AM EDT (US)     23 / 39       
Ah, now I got it.

Well, but this is a cap too because if you have a special amount of favor you gather it that slow that you don't gather anything anymore.

Sorry if this was said before, didn't read the thread.


Where's paradise?...............AoM is....In war there're only loosers!
Paradise is in your heart - ..gonna come! Love is the soul's blood!
open your heart and you'll be in paradise!..There's no uncertainty, there's only hope!
What's the difference between a raven?...What's yellow and hangs in a tree?
Nothing...its legs are both equal, all about the right one!...=> A blue couch!
Real may say he leaves...but be sure, he'll come back!
muser
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 12:19 PM EDT (US)     24 / 39       
actually, there is no point where you actually have zero favor income, it just gets close to becoming zero. The point is, instead of saying that you absolutely can't have more than 200 favor, its just gonna get reaallly slow as you go.

In actuality, I don't think that balancing this idea would take that much work, because it is essentially the same cap just a more elegant solution. They could even make it so that this formula doesn't take effect until after 200, at which point there would be a sharp decrease in favor return. The point is, I don't think they should force the player to have no more than 200, they should just 'highly suggest' it.

If they don't want to use this formula period, then they could just say, ok, after 200, you start getting favor at this new but much slower rate. Then there would be absolutely no new balance issues, but it wouldn't FORCE the player into acting a certain way, just strongly suggest it.

I think that there should be at least some alteration to the current cap system, cuz I don't like it that Ensemble is forcing this decision on the player, when they could be using this as another opportunity to provide an interesting decision for the player.

It's even one of those small but picky details that game reviewers might look negatively on: "artificial rather than natural limitations force players to act a certain way."

thewesson
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 01:09 PM EDT (US)     25 / 39       
>INSTEAD OF FAVOR CAP:The more favor you have, the slower you collect it.

>I dont know why thewesson couldent just say that in the first place...

Heh. Yes. I know. Well, I work in an academic environment and I guess it rubs off!

Also the other part would be:

INSTEAD OF 1 GOD POWER PER AGE: The more god powers you've used, the harder it is to do more god powers.

Quite right.

I get a little entranced with the formulae I suppose.

Also the math is quite explicit and allows you to run some numbers to see what kind of results you get.

But yeah for communication, just putting forth the basic concept is best!

Thanks all for the interesting discussion!

Matt


muser
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 03:14 PM EDT (US)     26 / 39       
kinda off the topic, but if you don't use a god power in one age, do you get to use it in the next?
c r e e z y
Mortal
(id: Hairy Scary Man)
posted 29 March 2002 06:17 PM EDT (US)     27 / 39       
favor cap and GP cap...dumb ideas i think

and u can use GP whenever once u get it


TheShadowDawn
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 08:12 PM EDT (US)     28 / 39       

Quote:

if you don't use a god power in one age, do you get to use it in the next?

Yes. If you don't use a god power, it just stays there. You can save all four til the end of the game.


TheShdwDwn
If you're like me, then it's possible you're a clone generated from my stolen DNA. I suggest you turn yourself in for destruction immediately.
SandyMan
Immortal
(id: ES_Sandyman)
posted 29 March 2002 09:57 PM EDT (US)     29 / 39       
But it's nowhere near as easy as just saying when you're at 100 favor, your god is as happy with you as he can be. Having a cap of 100 also leads to interesting results in the game's strategy of which we strongly approve.

For instance, you are forced to use favor throughout the game, not just save it all up until the last age and then send forth a gigantic army of myth units. This means that you see a few myth units in every age which we like a lot better.

It also means that favor feels very different from the other resources.

Cloudchaser_Eagle
Mortal
posted 29 March 2002 10:01 PM EDT (US)     30 / 39       
Amen, Sandy.

That'd be interesting, though, if, say, Odin was as happy with me as he can be, given how fickle he can be. Maybe he'd finally invite me to his company picnic, though.

But I do support the cap on favor-- it does add a new dimension of realism to a game that has some fantastic occurrences; no deity has an infinite store of fondness for ya, no matter how many virgins you sacrifice.


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