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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » Early Economic Bonuses The Bane Of RTS Games
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Topic Subject:Early Economic Bonuses The Bane Of RTS Games
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Shurafa
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 02:17 PM EDT (US)         
shang,Mongols,Chinese,RA

What do these civs have in common? At least one and potentially two things.

1. An early economic bonus not available to other civs.
2. They dominated competitive rm play in their respective games.

Any time is see an economic bonus of 300% I am wary of abuse. My clanmate used an early Farm build on me in a 1v1 game last night and It was much stronger then I had anticipated (he hit classic in just under 5 mins).

I have not played the build yet myself (although I plan to) I do see its potential and wanted to get some feedback on it.


NYC_Shurafa NYC 4 Life!!!
AuthorReplies:
TheSmurfster
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 03:21 PM EDT (US)     1 / 63       
That is only partially true.

Early economic bonuses are only the "bane of RTS'" as you say, if, and only if, some but not all civilizations receive them. AoE and AoK ended up having a few civs with early econ bonuses, and others with later econ or military bonuses. What ended up happening is that while the military bonuses were nice, they could nowhere come close to the economic ones.

Why were the Chinese so popular? Because of their extra vils and cheaper techs. What about the Vikings? Cheaper docks and ships did the trick. Mongols? Their hunting bonus was an incredible speed boost.

Basically, all of this ended up leaving civs like the Turks in the dust.

ES has learned from its mistakes. Bigdog has commented on their new philisophy for AoM, which IMO is very accurate, that states: if every civ is a "screw," then the game is well balanced. Let's take a look at the civs of AoM: EVERY culture has something going for them economically, and every god within a culture has something as well:

GREEKS: START WITH EXTRA VILLAGER

Zeus: Starts with favor and gains favor faster

Poseidon: Lure GP, cavalry and stable cost less (partially military but partially economic as well), and market use costs less.

Hades: Vaults of Erebus provides steady gold (OK, admittedly that's weak compared to others, but Hades also gets free units and sentinels, which allow him to compete with faster civs).

NORSE: OX CARTS AND DWARVES

Thor: Dwarves cost less gold, are trained faster, and have better food/wood gathering rates. Dwarven Armory is cheaper, and armory techs are cheaper. Pig sticker makes hunting faster (especially for large animals like elephants). Dwarven mine provides a bit of free, easy gold for dwarves in early game, or a free extra gold pile in late game.

Odin: Faster hunting + Great Hunt. Enough said here!

Loki: His speed comes from cheaper/faster ox carts, faster Longhouses, and cheaper MUs.


EGYPTIANS: EARLY FARMING AND PHAROAH

Ra: Pharoah empowers faster, priests empower. Cheaper monuments, and rain for better farming.

Isis: All techs, including age advancement, are cheaper. Prosperity helps with gold mining, and flood of the nile, gives extra food income.

Set: Animals! Priests convert them, pharoahs summon them, and you get 5 free ones at the Temple every time you age up. Not to mention starting with a hyena (although that will be used for scouting instead of eating).

Overall, every civ has something going for it to ensure that it will not be left in the dust, like previous civs have. Ra's early farming bonus can be powerful, but it is not unbalancing. You put Ra into a category with the Mongols and Chinese, which is a flawed argument at best. The Mongols and CHinese were in a class of their own, since no other civs had economic bonuses to compete with them. In AoM, _every_ culture, and god, has economic bonuses of some sort.

Remember: If every civ is a "screw" then the game is balanced. You just have to learn how to "exploit" each one. Honestly, I would not be surprised if, in the first month of release, there will be dozens of posts here, some proclaiming that Odin's hunting bonus is unbalanced, some complaining that Isis is a screw with her cheaper age-up and techs, while others denouncing Poseidon's lure as ruining the game.


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Maximus_
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 03:27 PM EDT (US)     2 / 63       
well said

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Shurafa
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 03:41 PM EDT (US)     3 / 63       
Obviously each civ has bonuses, most even have some sort of eco bonus (in aom). However none of them are a 300% bonus!

Lets take odins hunting bonus for example (its a mere 10% in the latest build I believe) yet it is still powerful imho (as it can potentially shave ~30 seconds off your classic time) Isis techs are 10% cheaper as well (seems strong yet again but balanced) Also please take notice that the ones with the best eco bonuses tend to be the most popular. (isis odin being two of the most popular)

I am not saying RAs bonus is gonna ruin the game, however a 300% early econimic bonus (with potentially no drawback) is something to look at imho. It sounds like some kind of crazy magic (that MTG not david copperfield magic) combo card.

Like I said I am at work (cant you tell) and I have not tested it yet. However I will and I encourage others to do so as well. If anything we may find a nice little alternate build order which is always loads of fun ;b


NYC_Shurafa NYC 4 Life!!!
Jus
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 03:42 PM EDT (US)     4 / 63       
Hmm an early farm build would be nice in an animal scarce map.

Shurafa>> If by 300% bonus you mean rain it's understandable as it is a GP. Don't you think it'd be quite dumb if the GP gave you only 50% boost for a short period of time? Once the GP expires, farming is still one of the slowest form of food even when combined with empowerment.

[This message has been edited by Jus (edited 10-16-2002 @ 04:07 PM).]

Alexandergreat3
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 03:56 PM EDT (US)     5 / 63       
No matter how well balanced they civ bonuses look "on paper", there will always be one outcome: the civ with the "most efficient" econ will be the dominant civ. And that means there will be a "huns" civ in AoM.

Quote:

You put Ra into a category with the Mongols and Chinese, which is a flawed argument at best. The Mongols and CHinese were in a class of their own, since no other civs had economic bonuses to compete with them. In AoM, _every_ culture, and god, has economic bonuses of some sort.

Actually, there were civs in AoK that had other big econ bonuses going for them, but they still lost to the Chinese. Vikings have instant wheelbarrow/handcart researched when advanced to the next age - huge bonus! Goths boar hunting bonus - 1 vil can kill a boar! Japanese had all drop sites cost 1/2 price! Franks get free farm upgrades!

But what happened at the end? The Chinese had the most "efficient" econ, so they became the best civ, despite the fact that the other civs also had their own econ bonuses.

Shurafa
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 04:11 PM EDT (US)     6 / 63       
My point exactly alex.

NYC_Shurafa NYC 4 Life!!!
SandyMan
Immortal
(id: ES_Sandyman)
posted 16 October 2002 04:55 PM EDT (US)     7 / 63       
Sure one civ will end up being the very best in AoM.

At least on a particular map. Using a particular style of play. If the randomized resources prove to be the right style for him. If a clever use of an enemy god power won't screw him up.

Even if we still end up with a single "best" civ, it's not that big a deal if the other civs are only marginally inferior.

As a matter of fact there is a solid alternative to assuming that the various civs will be ranked from "best" to "worst" -- and that is that the civs may have a non-transitive relationship. I.e. Ra defeats Thor who defeats Zeus who defeats Ra (just an example -- not reality).

But the fundamental point of this thread, which is that early econ bonuses are good, is absolutely true. Which is why the testers & designers of AoM took such pains to give all the gods early econ bonuses, and to ensure that drawbacks slowed down the best ones.

Example: Ra's 300% farming. It's great if you have the gold and villager time to spend on all those farms early in the game. BUt you'd better know what you're doing. And if you're on a map with lots of animals, say, or good fishing, maybe you better rethink it and do the Rain thing later on, like in the 3rd age when you need 1000 food to rise to the next age. And you have a ton of farmers already.

CC_Straight_Og
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 04:58 PM EDT (US)     8 / 63       
Rain has a major drawback. You need to pay for the farms. So, while you spend your resources on farms so you can cast rain, your enemies are using free resources to buy armies.

Not sure about the latest build, but rain also effected enemies(although not as much), and it stops other GPs from being cast. This are also potential drawbacks.

TheSmurfster
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 05:06 PM EDT (US)     9 / 63       

Quote:

No matter how well balanced they civ bonuses look "on paper", there will always be one outcome: the civ with the "most efficient" econ will be the dominant civ. And that means there will be a "huns" civ in AoM.

Not necessarily. There are a couple of things you fail to address.

The most important thing that you are forgetting is how random maps in AoM play out, and how the resources are fully randomized. The mongols were a power only because you were GUARANTEED to get 2 boars and a patch of deer in every arabia game. There are no such guarantees in AoM; resources are very random, even on the same map, which forces players to adapt.

So, if there are a ton of deer but a tiny amount of gold, it would be unwise for a Ra player to forgo all that free food, no matter how good rain is. So there cannot be an Odin player who depends on his hunting bonus to pull him through - because sometimes, there may only be one patch of deer, and it may be guarded by a pack of 4 wolves or 2 bears. Likewise, the map will not always be kind to a Ra player who depends on early farming.

Don't forget that your initial, protected gold pile is for Classical Age units - and if you burn it up too soon on farms, you may not have enough strength to defend your expansion gold piles. This especially holds true for the Egyptians, because of the naturally defensive nature of their town and slow building times.

Also, farms are cost a lot of gold and are by far the slowest way to gather food in Archaic age. Only until Mythic Age (!), with all upgrades researched, does it surpass the speed of hunting. Therefore, a smaller percentage bonus for hunting is just as dramatic than a larger one for farming, since
a) deer are free, and farms cost a LOT of gold
b) hunting is naturally much faster than farming, making a boost percentage mean more overall

Another thing to keep in mind is that ESO has an auto-patching system, and ES is fully devoted and unrestrained in supporting AoM. If there is a "huns" civ in AoM, it will be patched easily. I'm not so naive as to say that all the civs are 100% balanced, but I would say that this is as close as it gets for an RTS game upon release.

Also, I'm not judging ANYTHING on paper, I've played the game, just like many others have. I have to say that AoM is the most balanced RTS, by far.

EDIT: Wow I posted and then saw Sandyman's post, very similar to it.


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[This message has been edited by TheSmurfster (edited 10-16-2002 @ 05:24 PM).]

Belrick
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 05:13 PM EDT (US)     10 / 63       
If i remember correctly the difference between AOK chinese being l337 and them being cr*p in the 'C' patch was 50 food.

Like u say the turks are crap early. Not true for example they were the best civ i found to defend the mayan/aztec eagle warrior rush.

Great, you can waste em with a flush? Can u do the same tactic on a huge map with hard AI gaia slaughtering your villies?

I wonder how much of it was phycological? Or losing to a superior opponent can easily be blamed on civ of choice?

TheSmurfster
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 05:31 PM EDT (US)     11 / 63       

Quoted from Belrick:

I wonder how much of it was phycological? Or losing to a superior opponent can easily be blamed on civ of choice?

That brings up a good point. I believe that some of it is psychological. I once played a random 1v1 with someone who I considered a better player than myself on Continental, myself drawing Byzantines and him drawing Mongols. I expected that the result was a foregone conclusion, when in fact I ended up winning the game after a long, hard-fought battle. A lot of that was because I was just playing for fun, with no pressure. Also, the map was Continental, not Arabia, so the resources and layout were different. In AoM, even if there becomes one wide-open map, like Savannah or Watering Hole, that becomes the standard, even within that same map there should be enough variation to mess up someone who is depending on a certain build.

So yes, Ra's early farming strategy is useful, but not all-powerful, and not something you want to use in every single game. At best, you need to have a fallback strategy in case the resources do not look to be in your favor.

Also, farms are much weaker in AoM, Shurafa. Did you consider raiding them? If you managed to get even a few it would put a serious hurt on him.

I think that the civs in AoM will be so closely balanced that it will take months of play to find out which one is the best, and even then it would be so marginal that it would barely make a difference (as in, even more marginally superior than the huns were/are in AoC).


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Alexandergreat3
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 06:11 PM EDT (US)     12 / 63       
Right now, AoM is at the "experimental phase", where players are still getting used to the bonus/techs/work rates, etc., so we don't know which civ is the "best" civ right now. It might be RA, or LOKI, or ISIS, or whatever. We just don't know... yet.

But once the game is out, it won't take very long before one civ emerges out from the group to be the civ with the best econ - the dominant civ at the competitive level.

The reason that I mentioned "competitive level" is because at the less competitive or casual playing levels, the players are unable to turn these slight advantage into a dominant, linear strategy.

However, at the expert level and elite level of players seen at large tournaments such as WCG/MS tourney, a small difference in bonus can be tilted into a huge advantage, which in turn narrowed all the possible "strategies" into one linear and refined recipe .

TheSmurfster
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 06:16 PM EDT (US)     13 / 63       
OK Alex, but you still did not adress the randomized maps.

As I said, the Mongols were only good because you were guaranteed to get boars and deer every game. In AoM, even playing the same map over and over will lend itself to different strategies each time. By the way, I am talking about competative play. AoM is not linear - that's the difference.

Also, yes one civ may emerge as being the "best," but it may take a lot longer for this to happen than you think.'

Bottom Line: You can't have a "linear recipe" because the map will not always favor it. Like I said, you at least have to have a fallback strategy in case there are no deer, a cliff is in a bad place for you, or there is too much wood and not enough gold. You need to adapt and improvise within the first minute of the game - that's the difference between previous RTS' and AoM.


Bouncer Says:

"Have A Nice Day!"

[This message has been edited by TheSmurfster (edited 10-16-2002 @ 06:22 PM).]

TheShadowDawn
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 06:20 PM EDT (US)     14 / 63       

Quote:

Rain has a major drawback. You need to pay for the farms. So, while you spend your resources on farms so you can cast rain, your enemies are using free resources to buy armies.

True, however rain gives a massive improvement, 300%. Compare that to Isis' first age GP. It only improves gathering speed by 80%, and for a lesser duration.

It affects enemies, but to a lesser extent. And what if your enemy doesn't have farms?

Alexandergreat3
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 06:40 PM EDT (US)     15 / 63       
TheSmurfster, I agree with you on the randomized start - I think it will be probably the key thing that would, ideally, change the game plans to be less of a cook book, and be more of a slot machine... but hopefully not to the point where winning will be depended on good fortune.

I didn't play AoE, but I read that it did have randomized resource to the point where it would cause a clear advantage/disadvantage. (I heard that one of the final games for the AoE tournament played by The Sheriff was one example.)

Time will tell, and I think it would take a much shorter time than it did for AoK - not longer. Players have more experience from AoK, and the learning curve would be very small, especially for good players.

[This message has been edited by Alexandergreat3 (edited 10-16-2002 @ 06:44 PM).]

GoldenShadow
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 07:12 PM EDT (US)     16 / 63       
I like when Isis player use their prosperity GP, it has an even bigger drawback. It pinpoints on the minimap exactly where your gold camps are to the enemy players.
Shurafa
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 07:12 PM EDT (US)     17 / 63       
Wow I get home and find several good responses. Here we get a tiny glimpse of what it is like for a game developer making decisions on balancing a game.

In reference to the RA GP I was thinking something along the lines that it may be so good that the randomness of maps will not matter as it will always be better then hunting. For example if the rain GP gave you +100000% food it would clearly be better then hunting (the question is what % makes hunting better then farming). It is something that is difficult to test as the game changes every time you play (especially the amount of food) To Further complicate things it only lasts for a certain duration and this too must be taken into account.

However it seems as though you always have gold. This is a dynamic that is extremely important to understand as builds that focus on gold are potentially more CONSISTENT. It is for this reason I have been playing with Thor a lot in the beta as I always have gold and it gives me time to find an optimal food source which minimizes the amount of wasted VS. This consistency is key, as randomness can be a scary thing. I played several games of AOE that were decided by an early “sweet spot” pit. We will see how this plays out…

As far as AOM strategic theory is concerned, I would consider this the prenatal stage of strategic development as the game is not even out yet. However RTS developers as well as gamers have basically broken down the games dynamic to a science. Balance is now measured on a razors edge. As a corollary the strategic evolution of RTS games has accelerated as well. I think a dominant race (or dynamic as sandy suggested) will develop within a month or two maybe even less. The only thing we know for certain is that it will be some sort of rush, and I will be leading the charge ;b We will see…

In War3 I play random as the civs are so closely balanced that I fell confident against an equally matched opponent with any one of them. If this were viable with AOM (I am 99% sure this is not the case) I would do the same as I feel it keeps the game fresh.

We will see…


NYC_Shurafa NYC 4 Life!!!
sword_master_1
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 07:27 PM EDT (US)     18 / 63       
Fact: Rain + 300% (to base) boost to farms
Fact: Also gives enemies and ally's + 200% (to base)
Fact: Farms cost 70 gold
Fact: Farms gather substansially slower than other food before upgrades

Therefore, If you farm early before your enemies they are getting faster food for free while your spending alot of gold to get perhaps a little bit more food for a cost.


If you wait till you have to start farming, they will be farming too turning it to 100% increase.

So the only way to actually get 300% bonus is to force the enemy to stop farming (force ring town bell, locust swarm)

Baron Bobo
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 07:40 PM EDT (US)     19 / 63       
See here's some stuff to think on. Let's say on a map where Ra gets a lot of animals and his opponent gets little, so they have to go farm. That could very well be a less effective Rain. So while the hunting maybe fast, cheap hunting, the rain farming would be faster, more expensive food gathering. See that's where true strategy comes in mind. Do I want to be able to advance quick with rain but spend a lot of wood I might otherwise spend on slingers and wadjets, or will I go for a slower advance with hunting that would cost me little to none.

Creator of the dumb pot debate!!!
Whatever floats your boat or deodorizes your armpit I say.
zam zap
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 07:51 PM EDT (US)     20 / 63       
Yes i agree, but in the end well eventually find out which bonus is more useful and what civ. (Ex: the Huns no house bonus)
Shurafa
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 08:00 PM EDT (US)     21 / 63       
Sword_ the whole point is you start farming with RA BEFORE the enemy has any farms. Then there is no drawback (Shurafa<---all sudden gets the urge to reminisce about his old magic days but I digress) and you get a 300% bonus free. During this time you have not only paid the gold for the farms (which last forever) but you still have the opportunity to hunt your food as well! Maybe even leaving the farms fallow temporarily after the rain effect has worn off to get the faster food from hunting, maybe not. Keep in mind this is all speculative.

All I ask is that you give it a try see what you think and post the results here. IE a detailed build order and your thoughts on its effectiveness.


NYC_Shurafa NYC 4 Life!!!
Belrick
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 08:01 PM EDT (US)     22 / 63       
Absolutely hated it Houses were always me second line of defense.

oops, OT.

TheSmurfster
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 08:08 PM EDT (US)     23 / 63       

Quoted from Shurafa:

In War3 I play random as the civs are so closely balanced that I fell confident against an equally matched opponent with any one of them. If this were viable with AOM (I am 99% sure this is not the case)

Why is that? Even if there comes a minor imbalance, ES will patch it right away, since they are now owned by Microsoft and ESO has an auto-patcher ready for the first day if the need arise. Personally, I think this is the best balanced RTS since patched Starcraft.

Quoted from Baron Bobo:

See here's some stuff to think on. Let's say on a map where Ra gets a lot of animals and his opponent gets little, so they have to go farm. That could very well be a less effective Rain. So while the hunting maybe fast, cheap hunting, the rain farming would be faster, more expensive food gathering. See that's where true strategy comes in mind. Do I want to be able to advance quick with rain but spend a lot of wood I might otherwise spend on slingers and wadjets, or will I go for a slower advance with hunting that would cost me little to none.

1) There will never be a case where the Ra player gets lots of animals and his opponent gets little. If one player gets a ton of animals, so will his opponent. But one game may give all players tons of wood/gold, and very little food, while other times the map will provide an abundance of animals but very little wood/gold.

2) Egyptians do not spend wood on farms. They use gold.

Quoted from GoldenShadow:

I like when Isis player use their prosperity GP, it has an even bigger drawback. It pinpoints on the minimap exactly where your gold camps are to the enemy players.

That's why I like to target it on my Town Center. By the time I use it, my location would have been scouted or deduced by a good player anyway, and this way, he still may not know where my gold mines are.


Bouncer Says:

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[This message has been edited by TheSmurfster (edited 10-16-2002 @ 08:12 PM).]

Alexandergreat3
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 08:17 PM EDT (US)     24 / 63       
Let's say that in a 1v1 between an ODIN and RA. The game starts and generates a map full of animals, but very little gold.

Going with the hunting is the obvious choice. Odin has a major bonus on hunting, and RA is so dependent on Gold and got little.

When Odin wins, would the victory be considered as winning by "strategy" or winning by luck? I'd say it's luck, not strategy. When a map is full of animals, deciding to go with the hunting as a Odin isn't much a strategy. It's so obvious.

[This message has been edited by Alexandergreat3 (edited 10-16-2002 @ 08:21 PM).]

nine11c4
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 08:20 PM EDT (US)     25 / 63       
Just wanted to throw something out there for you guys to comment on, as I have never played any version of the game yet. If you are playing Ra and decide to not use the GP Rain early, wouldn't it be a good idea to use Hathor's Locust GP and use rain directly after. This way his farms are destroyed and only you are benefiting from the rain? But this all depends on how many farms locusts affect and possibly how quickly his farms can be rebuilt.....just a thought.
TheSmurfster
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 08:56 PM EDT (US)     26 / 63       

Quote:

Let's say that in a 1v1 between an ODIN and RA. The game starts and generates a map full of animals, but very little gold.
Going with the hunting is the obvious choice. Odin has a major bonus on hunting, and RA is so dependent on Gold and got little.

When Odin wins, would the victory be considered as winning by "strategy" or winning by luck? I'd say it's luck, not strategy. When a map is full of animals, deciding to go with the hunting as a Odin isn't much a strategy. It's so obvious.

_When_ Odin wins? You act as if the result is not a foregone conclusion! _If_ Odin wins is more accurate.

All AoM units cost gold, so Odin is also quite dependant on it as well. In fact, Ra is actually less dependant on gold in this map, since he can bypass farming for quite some time. In this case, Ra would simply hunt and empower his hunting site. Sure, Odin gets a hunting advantage, but Ra can also use his priest and Pharoah to help _his_ hunting as well. I'd be hard pressed to think of a map type in which one civ is _totally_ screwed.

Also, I would not base the win on the amount of hunting there is. I have defeated several very good players using military strategy, and was quite surprised in the end-game when I saw that their economy was a lot stronger than mine! AoM is not a purely economic game - you can steamroll an opponent with clever tactics even if you have the weaker economy. This was not true in AoC, where the stronger economy always won. You're thinking in AoC terms, which is natural, but also realize that the economy is significantly less important in AoM.


Bouncer Says:

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Alexandergreat3
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 10:56 PM EDT (US)     27 / 63       
Earlier you said, "If one player gets a ton of animals, so will his opponent. But one game may give all players tons of wood/gold, and very little food, while other times the map will provide an abundance of animals but very little wood/gold."

And if that's how varied each map in AoM might be, then it would add a lot of the luck factor, and less on strategy. (How much thinking would it really require a player to figure out that when there is tons of animals and you are Odin, you should focus on the hunting?)

Quote:

I'd be hard pressed to think of a map type in which one civ is _totally_ screwed.

I would be hard pressed to think that if two experts play ODIN vs. RA on a map with lots of animals, the Ra would have any chance of surviving.

Quote:

I have defeated several very good players using military strategy, and was quite surprised in the end-game when I saw that their economy was a lot stronger than mine!

It seems that the players you mentioned only boomed without making proper military units to defend. Good players don't make a huge econ without going military. They get the fastest econ possible to the 2nd age and attack, so the enemy cannot even expand his econ, let alone a strong one.

Shurafa
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 10:56 PM EDT (US)     28 / 63       
Just tried a 2v2 with one of my NYC clan mates Ra Ra vs. random comp. Resulted in a 7:37 (I think this can go down to around 6:50 or so if I tinker with the build) fast Heroic 24 vils and a great economy. I do not think this is fast enough to stop an early rush in 2v2 (particularly a double (even with shifting sands). In a 3v3 however where ceasefire comes into play this is a deadly strat as there is no effective way to counter other then to fast heroic yourself. We will see how this holds up in competitive play.

This reaffirms my belief that large team games 3v3+ are going to be click fests to see who can get a countering GP off (for example using a rain GP to prevent the other team from casting a ceasefire and going for a fast heroic). Whoever can click faster will have the advantage (this also comes into play when you have successive ceasefires for example)

However I was also been able to get a 4:37 (I think I can shave about 20 seconds off this if I cut a vil and don’t forward build) fast classic (16 vils) with 7 farms built (that means they are paid for and will last forever) also I sent 3 forward vils to build 3 barracks the second I hit classic. This build seems viable even if only to get free farms. (all you need is any type of food and gold pile which is 100% guaranteed) It seems extremely consistent.

Has anyone else tried the build, any good eggy players out there?


NYC_Shurafa NYC 4 Life!!!
TheSmurfster
Mortal
posted 16 October 2002 11:59 PM EDT (US)     29 / 63       

Quoted from Alexandergreat3:

And if that's how varied each map in AoM might be, then it would add a lot of the luck factor, and less on strategy. (How much thinking would it really require a player to figure out that when there is tons of animals and you are Odin, you should focus on the hunting?)

That's not the point. The point is, say you are Odin and think "hmm, this hunting bonus is great, I'm gonna use it to use a faster-than-normal (i.e. 4 min or sub-4 min) Classical rush." Well, that could work, but if hunting is minimal that game, then that might not be a great idea. Likewise, if you are Ra and see that there is an abundance of huntables but the gold is minimal and far out, it would be wise not to farm early, but rather, to hunt and to preserve your starting gold mine to defend yourself.

I'm sorry; I guess I worded it differently than I should have. What I was trying to get at was that the randomization helps to eliminate build orders. It's not to the extent that any civ would be overpowering, because each civ has something to fall back on, and also, each civ has generally useful bonuses that would help them compete no matter what the map situation is. So, in your case of Odin vs. Ra, the Ra player would be forced to defend initially. Odin would have a speed advantage, but Ra still has his pharoah/priest, and his easily massed Classical troops and free towers.

Quoted from Alexandergreat3:

I would be hard pressed to think that if two experts play ODIN vs. RA on a map with lots of animals, the Ra would have any chance of surviving.

Again, why is that? Can't Ra's priest empower the granary, making his hunters faster too? Sure, Odin would naturally have an advantage, but that doesn't mean it's an overpowering one. Also, you are still thinking in AoC terms. In a game of AoC, I would agree that an Odin-like civ would have an overbearing advantage here, but AoM is not all about the economy.

Quoted from Alexandergreat3:

It seems that the players you mentioned only boomed without making proper military units to defend. Good players don't make a huge econ without going military. They get the fastest econ possible to the 2nd age and attack, so the enemy cannot even expand his econ, let alone a strong one.

It SEEMS that the players I mentioned were hands down were easily among _the_ best alpha/beta testers there were, period. Don't patronize or educate me on what "good players" do - I'm not a rookie. While there may not be any AoM experts yet besides for the ES playtest team, the players who I played with were definitely RTS experts. They weren't just some random newbies who only boomed or whatnot - of course the games I played with them were long, hard-fought battles, but my point was that I won through military, not economy, which is possible to do in AoM.

I have had good games with _RCF_Blur, Gx_Slim, DaRq_Vorfidus (all the DaRqs, for that matter), Korean2003, Mulfar, Nirvana_CN, and many other good players I can mention if you asked me too. Sometimes I lost, sometimes I won. I hate to mention names because I see no reason why I should, since unless it's for posting a war story, it's basically just another "ego post," which I despise. In this case however you give me no choice.

Not to mention that ES has themselves several times stated that in AoM it is possible to beat your opponent with a brilliant maneuver (think: GPs, MUs, the power of military vs. buildings), "steamrolling" them, or surprising them with a large army even though they have the better economy. This doesn't mean that they neglected an army, on the contrary, it is possible to beat an opponent who has a strong advantage over you. DaRq_Vorfidus, for example, has made great comebacks against me when I was clearly winning against him (better economy, dominating military). So in that case, he beat me not because I neglected a military, but because he used clever tactics against me and had maddening micro and defensive skills to stay alive and strike back. I can't remember exactly when or exactly which ES guy said this, but if you ask around I'm sure someone will point you to the thread.


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[This message has been edited by TheSmurfster (edited 10-17-2002 @ 00:15 AM).]

Alexandergreat3
Mortal
posted 17 October 2002 01:24 AM EDT (US)     30 / 63       
The Odin-vs-Ra scenario was to make a point that if the map is randomized to the point that would drastically change the build order from one game to the next, then it would definitely result in a total screw in an expert game, for even a slight edge can be turned into a huge advantage.

Quote:

Again, why is that? Can't Ra's priest empower the granary, making his hunters faster too?

The priest can empower, but will that be enough to fair against Odin’s bonus? And if the answer is “yes”, that Ra can fair against Odin even in Odin’s “home court”, then Ra would be too good, for if the situation was reversed – no animals for hunting; just chickens, berry, and gold – how would Odin, who relies on hunting, fair against Ra and his priests empowering the mills, TC, and the whopping rain GP bonus?


Quote:

I have had good games with _RCF_Blur, Gx_Slim, DaRq_Vorfidus (all the DaRqs, for that matter), Korean2003, Mulfar, Nirvana_CN, and many other good players I can mention if you asked me too. Sometimes I lost, sometimes I won. I hate to mention names because I see no reason why I should

It's nice that you mentioned those players. I don't question that the above players are among the very best in AoK. However, I do question how an expert player can dominate his opponent, as you said, economically and militarily long enough, yet he allowed the other player who has a worse econ to create a weaker army but gained the advantage??

It doesn't make any sense. Please explain.

Quote:

DaRq_Vorfidus, for example, has made great comebacks against me when I was clearly winning against him (better economy, dominating military). So in that case, he beat me not because I neglected a military, but because he used clever tactics against me and had maddening micro and defensive skills to stay alive and strike back.

When you said you clearly winning economically and militarily, could you please be more specific on how? Did you have more vils? (About how many more?)

And how were you dominating militarily? Were you surrounding his towns with your army the entire time, messing up his econ?

You said he came back because of “clever tactics”. Could you please explain specifically what you meant by “clever tactics,” because I really don't understand how he has been losing to you both economically and militarily the entire time, and then simply because of his “clever tactics” and will to survive, he made an amazing comeback against you?

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