Re-des sectors when not old-owned ???

Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

I was presented an idea that I want discussed regarding
the balance of game play. Novice players whine and
experienced players fear attacks when offline when
a player captures a sector and makes it a harbor 30
seconds before the update or when a player 'shells a
sector to deity' and then uses an engineer to create a
harbor. These effective tactics are exploiting human
availability and reaction time. There is no war strategy
in use here.

Two changes to the code could put strategy back into
the art of invasion. The first is preventing a player from
re-designating a sector when not old-owned. This
change would have to be coupled with not allowing
'shelling to deity' to happen. A less strict change would
require positive mob to re-des a sector. These are
not perfect changes but they would be effective in
slowing the use of this type of invasion tactic.

Tom
(Ski)
12 answers Last reply
More about sectors owned
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    "Tom Johnson" <1234thjohnson1104REMOVE1234@verizon.net> wrote in message
    news:d55bij$miu$1@home.itg.ti.com...
    >
    > I was presented an idea that I want discussed regarding
    > the balance of game play. Novice players whine and
    > experienced players fear attacks when offline when
    > a player captures a sector and makes it a harbor 30
    > seconds before the update or when a player 'shells a
    > sector to deity' and then uses an engineer to create a
    > harbor. These effective tactics are exploiting human
    > availability and reaction time. There is no war strategy
    > in use here.
    >
    > Two changes to the code could put strategy back into
    > the art of invasion. The first is preventing a player from
    > re-designating a sector when not old-owned. This
    > change would have to be coupled with not allowing
    > 'shelling to deity' to happen. A less strict change would
    > require positive mob to re-des a sector. These are
    > not perfect changes but they would be effective in
    > slowing the use of this type of invasion tactic.
    >
    > Tom
    > (Ski)
    >
    >

    What would having to have positive mob to re-des a sector do to early
    exploration? Upon breaking sanctuary, you wouldn't be able to re-des any of
    your new sectors...

    Just a nit pick :-)

    Tim
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    The real problem is having the game simulate real life.
    Real life has someone living near/in that harbor. Who sounds an
    alarm. Wakes up the coast guard/ home guard (great english tv show)
    and they respond.

    Hence automated defenses improvement would help BUT
    then empire does a magic moment in time(update) and we jump
    WAY WAY forward.

    I think a couple of ideas that were bounced around would work but
    really affect how we play. (turns ARE fun)

    Old idea one: micro updates/continuous production. Me thinks a good
    mathematician could help on this BUT the coders and players I think
    didn't like this idea. (I think it is cool, like warcraft)

    Old idea two: sectors get random updates where the deity sets a logical
    s-curve for probility of when a sector will get an update. If it comes
    quickly, it is smaller etu, later larger. All sectors update
    individually and only
    when they get the lucky draw to update.
    This idea caused some consternation however discussing needed supplies
    for tech
    etc.. but in reality, you just have to buffer your supplies for tech
    or you run dry (like in the real world) Or just have t's use a LONGER
    s-curve so fewer updates, and cm have the shortest s-curve (more
    frequent)
    updates.

    BOTH these ideas, strip the instaneous time element out of harbor
    attacks
    (my second favorite, I prefer fort attacks)

    In the first, you know that it will take x/2 + .02x amount of time to
    start unloading those units in the new 2% harbor, where x is the time
    to 100% build.

    In the second, you know that you are pretty sure that the average time
    between
    updates will pass before you get "lucky" and get an update of that
    sector
    you have redes to your harbor.

    BOTH cause addictted fanatics to be logged on 20 hours per day checking
    things
    or form (N)ot (A)nother (T)eam (O)pponent.

    Two cents
    Ding
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    > What would having to have positive mob to re-des a sector do to early
    > exploration? Upon breaking sanctuary, you wouldn't be able to re-des any of
    > your new sectors...
    >
    > Just a nit pick :-)
    >
    > Tim
    >
    >

    Perhaps not oldowned by deity, and even so, when you explore into empty
    wilderness sectors, (just did this in changeling) the new sectors are
    not old owned by anyone. If a deity puts civs into a sector and then it
    cannot become old owned right away...wait an update , convert, redes.

    DE
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    "Timo" <timothyso@sio.midco.net> wrote in message
    news:1115088747.919434.294060@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
    > The real problem is having the game simulate real life.
    > Real life has someone living near/in that harbor. Who sounds an
    > alarm. Wakes up the coast guard/ home guard (great english tv show)
    > and they respond.
    >
    > Hence automated defenses improvement would help BUT
    > then empire does a magic moment in time(update) and we jump
    > WAY WAY forward.

    Even now novice and mid-level players do not set up decent
    auto-defenses. The game has many useful auto-defenses
    now. Making that more complex does not solve this problem.
    It does make expert players impossible to attack and hence
    the game becomes a stalemate.

    > I think a couple of ideas that were bounced around would work but
    > really affect how we play. (turns ARE fun)
    >
    > Old idea one: micro updates/continuous production. Me thinks a good
    > mathematician could help on this BUT the coders and players I think
    > didn't like this idea. (I think it is cool, like warcraft)

    I have played in multiple micro-update test games over the last few
    years. They were all painful and NOT fun. These really forced you
    to be on 24/7.

    > Old idea two: sectors get random updates where the deity sets a logical
    > s-curve for probility of when a sector will get an update. If it comes
    > quickly, it is smaller etu, later larger. All sectors update
    > individually and only
    > when they get the lucky draw to update.
    > This idea caused some consternation however discussing needed supplies
    > for tech
    > etc.. but in reality, you just have to buffer your supplies for tech
    > or you run dry (like in the real world) Or just have t's use a LONGER
    > s-curve so fewer updates, and cm have the shortest s-curve (more
    > frequent)
    > updates.

    Interesting mathematical idea. It would take a ton of coding and
    I do not even want to think about the documentation and
    training to get players to understand. The Empire learning
    curve is very steep already.

    > BOTH these ideas, strip the instaneous time element out of harbor
    > attacks
    > (my second favorite, I prefer fort attacks)
    >
    > In the first, you know that it will take x/2 + .02x amount of time to
    > start unloading those units in the new 2% harbor, where x is the time
    > to 100% build.
    >
    > In the second, you know that you are pretty sure that the average time
    > between
    > updates will pass before you get "lucky" and get an update of that
    > sector
    > you have redes to your harbor.
    >
    > BOTH cause addictted fanatics to be logged on 20 hours per day checking
    > things
    > or form (N)ot (A)nother (T)eam (O)pponent.

    This is not the desired result.

    > Two cents
    > Ding
    >

    Tom
    (Ski)
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    Tom Johnson <1234thjohnson1104REMOVE1234@verizon.net> wrote:

    > Two changes to the code could put strategy back into
    > the art of invasion. The first is preventing a player from
    > re-designating a sector when not old-owned. This
    > change would have to be coupled with not allowing
    > 'shelling to deity' to happen. A less strict change would
    > require positive mob to re-des a sector. These are
    > not perfect changes but they would be effective in
    > slowing the use of this type of invasion tactic.

    All this is fancy. But a few years ago the game went into direction
    of defence overinvestment - led by Ken Stevens. You couldn't shell
    a sector to deity back then and when retaliating forts were always
    firing at maximum (or even +1) distance.

    Even now, with the problem existing as you described, the games often
    end with a sizzle, when major countries simply refuse to battle
    each other. That's a bigger issue IMHO.

    > Tom
    > (Ski)


    --
    Roman M. Parparov - NASA EOSDIS project node at TAU technical manager.
    Email: romm@empire.tau.ac.il http://www.nasa.proj.ac.il/
    Phone/Fax: +972-(0)3-6405205 (work), +972-(0)50-734-18-34 (home)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on
    weather forecasters.
    -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    "Roman M. Parparov" <romm@empire.tau.ac.il> wrote in message
    news:d59u0f$ltn$1@news.iucc.ac.il...
    > Tom Johnson <1234thjohnson1104REMOVE1234@verizon.net> wrote:
    >
    > > Two changes to the code could put strategy back into
    > > the art of invasion. The first is preventing a player from
    > > re-designating a sector when not old-owned. This
    > > change would have to be coupled with not allowing
    > > 'shelling to deity' to happen. A less strict change would
    > > require positive mob to re-des a sector. These are
    > > not perfect changes but they would be effective in
    > > slowing the use of this type of invasion tactic.
    >
    > All this is fancy. But a few years ago the game went into direction
    > of defence overinvestment - led by Ken Stevens. You couldn't shell
    > a sector to deity back then and when retaliating forts were always
    > firing at maximum (or even +1) distance.
    >
    > Even now, with the problem existing as you described, the games often
    > end with a sizzle, when major countries simply refuse to battle
    > each other. That's a bigger issue IMHO.
    >
    > > Tom
    > > (Ski)
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Roman M. Parparov - NASA EOSDIS project node at TAU technical manager.
    > Email: romm@empire.tau.ac.il http://www.nasa.proj.ac.il/
    > Phone/Fax: +972-(0)3-6405205 (work), +972-(0)50-734-18-34 (home)
    > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    > The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on
    > weather forecasters.
    > -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

    Roman,

    I do not disagree that we must be careful of game balance.
    However, does it add to the game play when quirks of
    the game are used to great tactical advantage? In general, I
    think defense is plenty strong (if it is used effectively). But many
    experienced players and many many inexperienced players
    have stopped playing because of this 'game-play' weakness.
    People will not continue to play a game that requires 24/7
    alertness. We are not college kids with endless time. Most
    of us are professionals with jobs and families. We need a
    game that is fun to play within the limits of our lives.

    Tom
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    > People will not continue to play a game that requires 24/7
    > alertness. We are not college kids with endless time. Most
    > of us are professionals with jobs and families. We need a
    > game that is fun to play within the limits of our lives.


    THIS IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR EMPIRE.
    All the other issues are minor in comparison.

    In fact, one of the main reasons the big powers don't fight it out is
    because of the need to be online all the time. If you are not online
    all the time, but your opponent is, well you are stuffed (assuming
    reaonably equal ability). So when you get near the top of the leader
    board, it is not fear of losing to a stronger player that would stop me
    taking on one of the other big boys, but I would hate to lose to
    another player because he spends more time on line.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    > THIS IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR EMPIRE.
    > All the other issues are minor in comparison.

    I remeber, long time ago as a kid i was plaing some startegy board game.
    In this game turn consists of three phases: artillery phase, movement
    phase and fight phase.

    Maybe splitting uptade into pieces in similar manner could help? Let
    there be two kind of updates: one for units, and one for sectors,
    alternating, phase shifted by 1/2 of update period.

    Then - capturing beachhead and converting it into harbour 30 seconds
    before _sectors_ update would make you wait next, >10 hrs for _units_ to
    gain mobility for attack.

    Just idea.

    Second idea:

    If we have automatic defenses (in form of the 'mission' command), then
    maybe having automatic attack could be useful?
    To benefit players from top of the power chart, automatic attack could
    depend on technology. ie there copuld be some 'captain' unit which could
    hold list of attack orders, and there could be another 'general' unit,
    which would be available at higher tech, could command greater army at
    greter distance and could hold bigger list of orders.

    Orders could look like 'attackandhold' or 'assaultandhold', or
    'pursuitandboard', or 'protect' etc etc, with mobquotas and loses limits
    as parameters... etc etc

    Orders could also have form of conditional expressions, forming some
    basic-like language. This should be very simple, to not turn strategic
    game into coding competition.

    This could be ofcourse implemented in client, but client<->server
    communication isn't too reliable, espessialy when we have to deal with
    async events.
    Having this in server could avoid having client constanly connected and
    could be more game-integrated.

    Idea is so exciting that i think i'll go and play some with server code :)

    maciek


    Wahbit wrote:
    >>People will not continue to play a game that requires 24/7
    >>alertness. We are not college kids with endless time. Most
    >>of us are professionals with jobs and families. We need a
    >>game that is fun to play within the limits of our lives.
    >
    >
    >
    > THIS IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR EMPIRE.
    > All the other issues are minor in comparison.
    >
    > In fact, one of the main reasons the big powers don't fight it out is
    > because of the need to be online all the time. If you are not online
    > all the time, but your opponent is, well you are stuffed (assuming
    > reaonably equal ability). So when you get near the top of the leader
    > board, it is not fear of losing to a stronger player that would stop me
    > taking on one of the other big boys, but I would hate to lose to
    > another player because he spends more time on line.
    >
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    Maciek Gajewski wrote:
    >
    > Idea is so exciting that i think i'll go and play some with server
    code :)


    Is that what you call him? Don't get any on your keyboard.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    On Mon, 2 May 2005 09:56:35 -0400, "Tom Johnson"
    <1234thjohnson1104REMOVE1234@verizon.net> wrote:

    >
    >. Novice players whine and
    >experienced players fear attacks when offline when
    >a player captures a sector and makes it a harbor 30
    >seconds before the update

    Using a variable update window fixes this. When I co-ruled
    we used a lot of update scripts. After Steve put in the update window
    I concluded it wasn't worth running pre update scripts. Precise timing
    is key and you no longer have it.

    Problem solved - no code change required.

    > or when a player 'shells a
    >sector to deity' and then uses an engineer to create a
    >harbor. These effective tactics are exploiting human
    >availability and reaction time. There is no war strategy
    >in use here.

    Every game has the option of choosing which units to allow.
    Don't want this to happen? Take out Engineers.

    Problem solved - no code change required.
    >
    >Two changes to the code could put strategy back into
    >the art of invasion. The first is preventing a player from
    >re-designating a sector when not old-owned. This
    >change would have to be coupled with not allowing
    >'shelling to deity' to happen. A less strict change would
    >require positive mob to re-des a sector. These are
    >not perfect changes but they would be effective in
    >slowing the use of this type of invasion tactic.

    I don't see any problems that need a code fix.

    >Tom
    >(Ski)
    >

    Ken
    aka
    1/2 of Escher
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    <dummy@nowhere.net> wrote in message
    news:ofhp81t75doftnarp3na4ts4cscfgd0juu@4ax.com...
    > On Mon, 2 May 2005 09:56:35 -0400, "Tom Johnson"
    > <1234thjohnson1104REMOVE1234@verizon.net> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >. Novice players whine and
    > >experienced players fear attacks when offline when
    > >a player captures a sector and makes it a harbor 30
    > >seconds before the update
    >
    > Using a variable update window fixes this. When I co-ruled
    > we used a lot of update scripts. After Steve put in the update window
    > I concluded it wasn't worth running pre update scripts. Precise timing
    > is key and you no longer have it.
    >
    > Problem solved - no code change required.
    >
    > > or when a player 'shells a
    > >sector to deity' and then uses an engineer to create a
    > >harbor. These effective tactics are exploiting human
    > >availability and reaction time. There is no war strategy
    > >in use here.
    >
    > Every game has the option of choosing which units to allow.
    > Don't want this to happen? Take out Engineers.
    >
    > Problem solved - no code change required.
    > >
    > >Two changes to the code could put strategy back into
    > >the art of invasion. The first is preventing a player from
    > >re-designating a sector when not old-owned. This
    > >change would have to be coupled with not allowing
    > >'shelling to deity' to happen. A less strict change would
    > >require positive mob to re-des a sector. These are
    > >not perfect changes but they would be effective in
    > >slowing the use of this type of invasion tactic.
    >
    > I don't see any problems that need a code fix.
    >
    > >Tom
    > >(Ski)
    > >
    >
    > Ken
    > aka
    > 1/2 of Escher

    You missed the point. I agree that those are ways of
    changing the game scenario and they definately affect
    the tactics used by the experienced players. At
    the risk of sounding like AK, this is an issue of tactics
    versus strategy.

    Many games now have rolling updates to balance
    the time availability of a global player base.
    This is a good thing. However, many of us can not
    make 3am updates while juggling a family and a
    career. I do not think any of the active players are
    college kids anymore.

    Since we cannot make all of the updates, we know
    that there are other players that can and will use pre-
    and post-update attack tactics to cripple or overrun
    a well defended country. In fact, this is the only
    means to "lawn mower" enough sectors to be viable
    into the endgame (unless you find a fodder with an
    undefended, convenient harbor).

    I understand this is a game balance issue and it
    must be handled with care. However, too many
    players are dropping out of active play due to the
    demands of the game. You, Ken, are a fine example
    of an active, expert player who dropped out due
    to the demands of real life. In the 8+ years I
    have been playing, I have watched 2 generations
    of players come and go - this is too short for the
    steep learning curve to play this game.

    Tom
    (Ski)
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.empire (More info?)

    On Fri, 20 May 2005 09:52:19 -0400, "Tom Johnson"
    <1234thjohnson1104REMOVE1234@verizon.net> wrote:

    >
    ><dummy@nowhere.net> wrote in message
    >news:ofhp81t75doftnarp3na4ts4cscfgd0juu@4ax.com...
    >> On Mon, 2 May 2005 09:56:35 -0400, "Tom Johnson"
    >> <1234thjohnson1104REMOVE1234@verizon.net> wrote:
    >>
    >> >
    >> >. Novice players whine and
    >> >experienced players fear attacks when offline when
    >> >a player captures a sector and makes it a harbor 30
    >> >seconds before the update
    >>
    >> Using a variable update window fixes this. When I co-ruled
    >> we used a lot of update scripts. After Steve put in the update window
    >> I concluded it wasn't worth running pre update scripts. Precise timing
    >> is key and you no longer have it.
    >>
    >> Problem solved - no code change required.
    >>
    >> > or when a player 'shells a
    >> >sector to deity' and then uses an engineer to create a
    >> >harbor. These effective tactics are exploiting human
    >> >availability and reaction time. There is no war strategy
    >> >in use here.
    >>
    >> Every game has the option of choosing which units to allow.
    >> Don't want this to happen? Take out Engineers.
    >>
    >> Problem solved - no code change required.
    >> >
    >> >Two changes to the code could put strategy back into
    >> >the art of invasion. The first is preventing a player from
    >> >re-designating a sector when not old-owned. This
    >> >change would have to be coupled with not allowing
    >> >'shelling to deity' to happen. A less strict change would
    >> >require positive mob to re-des a sector. These are
    >> >not perfect changes but they would be effective in
    >> >slowing the use of this type of invasion tactic.
    >>
    >> I don't see any problems that need a code fix.
    >>
    >> >Tom
    >> >(Ski)
    >> >
    >>
    >> Ken
    >> aka
    >> 1/2 of Escher
    >
    >You missed the point. I agree that those are ways of
    >changing the game scenario and they definately affect
    >the tactics used by the experienced players. At
    >the risk of sounding like AK, this is an issue of tactics
    >versus strategy.

    Tom,

    I didn't miss your point - I addressed it. Please reread the post I
    responded to. Your original complaint was aimed at pre-update scripts.
    I pointed out that variable update windows made pre-update scripts
    pretty useless.

    >
    >Many games now have rolling updates to balance
    >the time availability of a global player base.
    >This is a good thing. However, many of us can not
    >make 3am updates while juggling a family and a
    >career. I do not think any of the active players are
    >college kids anymore.

    Now we have a new issue brought up. Players are unavailable to run
    their country during updates. This is a very different situation from
    a player being at the keyboard but physically unable to respond to a
    lightning fast scripted attack. I don't see a "one size fits all"
    solution to this. Some ideas are co-ruling with players in different
    time zones. Another is having Arrakis kneecap the stupid deities who
    are running rolling updates. "Sharing the pain" is not the way to make
    Empire a more popular game.


    >Since we cannot make all of the updates, we know
    >that there are other players that can and will use pre-
    >and post-update attack tactics to cripple or overrun
    >a well defended country. In fact, this is the only
    >means to "lawn mower" enough sectors to be viable
    >into the endgame (unless you find a fodder with an
    >undefended, convenient harbor).

    I'm not sure what this means.

    >I understand this is a game balance issue and it
    >must be handled with care. However, too many
    >players are dropping out of active play due to the
    >demands of the game. You, Ken, are a fine example
    >of an active, expert player who dropped out due
    >to the demands of real life. In the 8+ years I
    >have been playing, I have watched 2 generations
    >of players come and go - this is too short for the
    >steep learning curve to play this game.

    Jim and I didn't retire. They won't let you play Empire in the state
    pen. :) Seriously though, I too have seen Empire evolve. When I first
    played it in 1982, the game was a marathon session with everyone in
    the computer room. Trash can diving for discarded maps was popular and
    sleep was non existent. The time demands of the game have been the #1
    issue with the game from day 1. More on this later when I have more
    time available. I have to go fulfill family responsibilities.

    >Tom
    >(Ski)

    Ken
    aka
    1/2 of Escher
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