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Master of Magic - Implode's Multiplayer Edition • View topic - Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Place to report bugs in MoM IME and suggest ideas for enhancements (please read rules before posting)

Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby ragnar-gd » Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:32 pm

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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby Virm » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:39 am

That's a lot of game mechanics to be throwing in, and some of it still wouldn't make any sense from a player standpoint.

Especially in regards to the auto-destruction/-debanding of units, there's likely to be a warning box that appears when you try to end your turn that tells you that you don't have enough rations/gold/mana to last out the turn, which will then ask if you really want to end the turn anyway (much like the original did with rations/food). I can see it being reasonable to ask for a selector between auto-disband and auto-selling buildings to make money ends meet (and then it still performs the other if your prefered method alone wasn't enough), or even an option to simply not allow you to end your turn till you break even, but the announced intended system for doing the accounting at the end of each turn isn't really and extension or expantion of the old system as it is a (more-or-less) direct correction of a broken one (meaning there were conditions under which it simply wouldn't bother to balance the books anymore and would ignore the imbalance).

While I agree that an auto-alchemy system for converting a set amount/percentage of gold <--> mana each turn or even going so far as to make the computers do the work of figuring out how much of what needs to be converted to the other to make the money balance would be nice, that seems to me that implementing a system to do that would be a considderable undertaking, and would really serve very little purpose most of the time.

In regards to auto-disbanding or -dispelling when rations or mana won't pan out, there's no answer I can think of for either of these (save possibly the aforementioned alchemy system for the mana) which would allow the computers to automatically adjust amount availabe either by direct conversion (as there really is no direct conversion available for rations) or algorithmically (as that would suggest that the computer is supposed to decide that it can alleviate the mana crisis by diverting all of your magic power base from research into mana production, or something similar). And this returns us to the existing options in MoM to the problems of "Fix it yourself and try ending the turn again" or "Go ahead with the shortages anyway and we'll see which units/spells actually last out the turn" (which is really what's happening when you decide not to supply everything with enough of whatever it needs, some stuff makes it ok, other stuff doesn't).

In regards to your numerous comments regarding it being simple/trivial to code these new/different options in, while I know that I have thought (and possibly said) much the same about thoughts of mine regarding this rewrite, I also know that I haven't the slightest idea how the engine is constructed. There's a very real possibility that any change that anyone on these forums (myself included) may think is trivial, could in fact be an enormous undertaking that would require the entire code base of the project to be canned and rewritten. For this reason I do my best to avoid making assumptions on the ease/difficulty of any potential changes (though, again, I sometimes fail), and of course all final judgements are left in the hands of Implode.

I'm really not saying that your ideas are bad ideas, they just seem rather far afield from the original field of the game to me.
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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby ragnar-gd » Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:56 pm

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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby Iluvalar » Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:02 pm

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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby Virm » Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:34 am

Ragnar-gd:

Yeah, that mostly makes sense, except that any excess rations are already being automatically converted into gold at the end of each turn and there is no ration stockpile, so you can take that as <food> always <= 0, but maybe assume that the ration --> gold conversion happens before this pseudocode.

Going back to your comparing against real life for a moment:
If we considder that the only real powers in the world are yourself and the other wizards, and every wizard is trying to be on top, who are you expecting to be able to buy rations from?
Your enemies aren't likely to help you from yourself, and the neutral cities are normally stretched thin supplying their own garrison.

So, again, while it's not a bad idea, why should we suddenly be able to purchase rations when we're short-supplied?

(The above is purely conversational and not meant to be arguementative. The below is my only actual arguement with the idea as it is presently...)

If we skip all of the above and assume that we will be able to purchase extra rations, it should cost us considderably more than a single gold per ration. At that exchange rate, I'd be able to have every person in every city set as a worker in a 20 city empire (I'm assuming here that if we can buy rations, the restriction on cities requiring them to produce enough food for their own citizens would be lifted, just for the sake of this example), and still supply multiple full stacks worth of normal troops for only a few hundred gold (which could be easily produced by just 3-4 of the aforementioned cities working on trade goods).
Something else to considder is that each turn represents a month of time passing, and 1 gold doesn't seem like enough to buy a month's rations for a unit of troops. I would think that costs for that would be closer to 5-10 gold per month for that unit's rations. Which suddenly would make that immaginary empire go from a ration cost of about 300ish gold to a ration cost of at least 1500 gold, which sounds much more reasonable to supply an entire empire with rations from outside sources.
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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby Dyslexic Q-Thief » Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:06 am

Another issue with the game fixing any resource problems is balance. When all is said and done, I see the final multiplayer of MoM IME as having resource disruption as a legitimate and worthwhile strategy. If a wizards have no food surplus at all and a Call the Void nukes an important city and causes a famine, tough luck, some of his troops will and should die, An expert player should have to balance, knowing his opponent's strengths and abilities, having an unused surplus in some resources as a buffer versus using the resources to fight. If all you need is a big pile of gold to buffer, that strategy leaves.
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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby ragnar-gd » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:16 pm

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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby ragnar-gd » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:40 pm

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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby Iluvalar » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:38 am

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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby Virm » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:27 am

I think at this point we're mostly agreed that it's not a bad idea in principle. However, in light of Dyslexic Q-Thief's comments, to really be worthwhile and make resource disruption a truly viable tactic any automated conversion amongst resources should be done at the end of the players turn, rather than immediately preceeding the tallying of upkeep, and of course any trading would be done at a tremendous loss. (I'm thinking conversions of 8 gold / ration, 3 gold / mana, 3 mana / gold. Because if you're going to let others do your accounting and converting for you, you're going to take a hit to efficiency from it.)

On the other hand, it could be worth it to some players to also have an additional option to also make up any difference right before upkeep, just as previously suggested. I would, however, suggest that this would be an option that is additional to the post-turn conversions. And because any shoring up done so close to the upkeep of a player's turn would inherently be trading done on VERY short notice, auto-trading done at this time would likely be at double cost to any post-turn trading. (Jumping to real life comparison thought: If I need gold to pay this coming month's wages on my irritated soldiers, I'm going to have to sell my left leg for it. If I need that same money just so I can pay LAST month's wages on those same irritated soldiers, I'll be selling off both legs and an arm for the money and feel like I'm getting a deal on it.)

Again, have an option (option A) to auto-trade at end of turn, thus getting me barely to the 'break even' point to scrape by, assuming nothing happens. Then an additional option (option B) which can only be turned on if option A is already selected, that will also frantically try to find supplies for the troops in the event that my main farming district is destroyed overnight.

If I only use option A, then when I lose that farming center, lots of my troops die off because I couldn't actually feed them all. If I use option B, the troops get fed, but I paid through the nose for it and will probably need to lay off some of them just to avoid price gouging.

That last line actually adds another thought. Suppose that the base trade rates vary over time, or even just as random events much like conjunctions. That would certainly make it something of a shot in the dark sometimes as to whether one can actually afford the trading costs or not.
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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby McTaff » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:01 am

Very well thought out, and logical.

Seconded.
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Re: Autodumping Units/Buildings - no good idea, and here is why

Postby ragnar-gd » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:25 pm

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