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Poll

What should I do to balance archery?

Increase quiver sizes (number of arrows)
12 (33.3%)
Decrease quiver sizes
0 (0%)
Improve speed of bows
8 (22.2%)
Lower speed of bows
2 (5.6%)
Improve bow damage
10 (27.8%)
Decrease bow damage
0 (0%)
Weaken some other insanely powerful weapon (post below)
0 (0%)
Create stronger PC and weaker NPC bows/arrows
3 (8.3%)
Do nothing
1 (2.8%)

Total Members Voted: 1

Author Topic: What to Do with Archery  (Read 25960 times)

Merentha

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2007, 03:59:49 PM »
Please don't make it so that I have to play M&B full-time, for 50 years (and if I screw up I actually, physically, die), just to get decently good at killing stuff. ;)
Agreed, its a game.  I don't mind that archery growth is so rapid (though it could use some toning down) for that reason.

Offline ex_ottoyuhr

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2007, 10:15:25 PM »
OK, to start with, it looks like a pretty decisive verdict on the poll. I'll be strengthening horse archery shortly -- thanks for everyone's input.

Merentha,

Good idea -- I'll have to add a "bow progression" to match the weapon/armor ones. ... However, I'm not 100% sure that I like the "Fire Emblem 4 + Star Ocean" weapon progression. I think it has its merits, as the mod is intended to be a little fanciful or abstract (I hope no one seriously thinks that the female troops we see here are 100% realistic :)), but on the other hand, that 'fancifulness' does not connect at all well with the mod's larger "setting," and now rather than later is the time to deal with it -- and besides, these weapons may be a little too good at the fancifulness side.

So, regarding the RPG-style weapons, do you (and others on the board) think I should keep or remove them? (Of course, you don't know my end objectives here, but I'll interpret your responses in light of them -- and it'll be really useful to see what people are thinking in these regards.)

jhmanter,

Notwithstanding what I just said, I'm not interested in realism here past a certain point. Regarding weakening horse archery, I'll (obviously) go with what Armagan settles on with the subject -- but bear in mind that although archery in general is very much a learned skill, it can be learned. :) I'm sure that someone who grew up learning to shoot on horseback would be a better shot than a modern attempting the same thing for the first time at or near adulthood. After all, if the Mongols and the Japanese could have whole armies' worth of horse archers, I'm sure it wasn't impossible... (Standard disclaimers about army sizes, however, apply. :))

However, reading down a little, I agree that arrows should be revised in the way you describe -- if they aren't already. I think that as it is, if only we could give coherent orders to a few thousand archers while at significantly long engagement ranges, English-style archery would be the natural way to do it -- but that's quite an if. Bear in mind that M&B combat is occuring over ranges much smaller than real ones, I suppose...

Tuckles,

Quote
I mean, it wouldn't be fun if you wasted all your arrows with only one of them hitting an enemy in the arm dealing 0~1 damage.

Please provide me with a copy of your installer for M&B .808. I'm afraid jhmanter got to mine... :)

(I must not have the patience to get past that stage -- or rather, to level up off some other weapon until I can advance horse archery past that stage. I need to spend more time playing M&B, I guess...)

I'll certainly take the archery advice, though.

Fisheye,

Don't worry. :)

Tuckles

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 03:20:10 AM »
@ex_otto

I think I'm shallow. I didn't get that joke... (or was it a joke?)

jhmanter

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2007, 07:57:52 AM »
Well, I guess you guys are right. It feels even more rewarding to stick my blade into archers gut it they are a real threat.

Cirdan

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2007, 10:55:05 AM »
Regarding weapons, i'd definately like to see the better blade types being called something other than "extravagant" and "silver"...and unless you want to have magic in your setting (even just as something in the background, not necessarily the classic RPG "magic owns all" approach), which i take you most definately and emphatically do not want, then yes, no more fantasy-ish weapons. The best fighting weapons are rarely decorated at all (i.e. nothing beyond sometimes having a sculpted pommel or a pommel jewel) because, frankly, you wouldn't want to pay for all that fine engraved gold and jewels only to have a chunk of this incredibly expensive crossguard chopped off in the heat of battle (gold is, after all, soft).

Regarding archery, if anything bows should be more powerful in real life because, as you've mentioned, we don't get to see our enemies when they're several kilometres out and then start shooting at them when they're still hundreds of metres away. I doubt it's possible on the game's normal map sizes to engage more than one hundred metres away and probably not even that, whereas the English lonbowmen would have started shooting at about two hundred and fifty metres and the Mongols at three hundred.

Tuckles

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2007, 07:23:28 AM »
@Cirdan

I think the silver/ extravagant are based off Fire Emblem's Weapons (Silver and Brave).

But yeah, I would like to see other weapons. And also, other weaker weapons would benefit from a change in damage, speed or reach.

but all this discussion is for the Balance/Bugs Issues thread.

<On Topic>
So, otto, have you decided what to do with bows?

Offline ex_ottoyuhr

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2007, 05:46:14 PM »
Tuckles,

The joke about archery was the observation that I've never gotten much better performance out of bows than what jhmanter was suggesting... :)

Cirdan, and Tuckles, on weapons...

I feel pulled in a lot of different directions at once, here. Tuckles is right in thinking that the silver weapons originated in Fire Emblem (although 'extravagant' was borrowed from Star Ocean) -- and in suggesting that this should go to bugs/balance issues or suggestions, although that's not too terribly important. :)

So, to return to the point about feeling several directions of pull, I don't know whether I want the game to have a Fire Emblem-y 'stylized' or 'low-fantasy' feel, or something more realistic; there are large questions of integration with the larger setting that come up either way. There are also engine issues -- M&B just can't support the number of troops, the size of cities, and so on that would be necessary for a realistic game; if a powerful army consists of three hundred troops, and a populous city has about forty buildings, isn't it straining out gnats and swallowing camels to insist on credible types of soldiers and weapons? :)

However, what do you two have in mind for weapons and weapon types? Please tell me you don't mean the addition of axes and crossbows; but apart from that, particularly with my insultingly inadequate art budget :), I don't quite know what you could suggest...

(Did I have the animation and art support, though, I'd be taking a different path on armaments. For one thing, I do envision Honseli using something similar to the Chinese... dao, was it? The light straightsword equally famous for being impossible to forge and to wield... Unfortunately, my Internet connection just took a partial vacation, so I can't get to Wikipedia to double-check...)

As far as bows, I'm planning on taking this thread's advice -- more ammunition, better damage and fire rates, and a weapon progression for them as for everything else, assuming I keep weapon progressions anywhere...

Tuckles

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2007, 07:58:43 AM »
@ex_ottoyuhr

What's wrong with crossbows and axes?

Also, expect little help from wikipedia when it comes to ancient oriental weaponry
well, probably the common ones would be found.

Also, I'll PM you with what I come up with.

And... Ron Losey's cool new CRM thing seems really interesting, it would also probably work with what I'm imagining. (Which is still at its infancy) You don't have to agree with it though, it's your mod.

Offline Hellequin

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2007, 05:44:56 PM »
Bah, otto, if it bothers you to have a big army be 300 strong, fix it.  Just switch off the idea of having a single party (in game terms) be a single army.  Make up a unit about 200-300 men strong, preferably distinct per culture, and treat it as you would that unit; an army with many of them has many of them all visible on the map.  Then all you need to do is to work on your code for making them move properly, which might take some workarounds but should be doable any number of ways. 

(Example: five invisible static parties define an origin, +X, -X, +Y, -Y; that plus (store_distance_to_party_from_party) plus Manitas' SQRT script gives you cartesian coordinates; other invisible superfast 'waypoint' parties get AI behaviours to move toward one grid-pin until it satisfies coordinate conditions X, then to move toward another until it satisfies conditions Y, and then hold when it's where you want it.  The real parties move toward the waypoint parties; perhaps there are 'command units' which move programatically like this, the others are set to patrol-near the command parties with a small radius.  You could do true armies of thousands if you felt like it, dude.)

Offline ex_ottoyuhr

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2007, 10:28:14 AM »
(For one thing, see my new "posting rate" sticky. I apoologize for the extremely slow response...)

Tuckles,

I didn't think that crossbows or axes really fit the setting especially well...

Hellequin,

The other half of the army-size problem is that the player has to personally fight every party he really wants to see stopped. Those sizes of army could take weeks to finish wading through... Basically, I'm prepared to accept the army size issue as a characteristic, a limitation, of M&B, but I still recognize that it's there.

Offline Hellequin

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2007, 10:49:16 AM »
The kill-off rate is moddable, too.  Check out module_simple_triggers.py, the second trigger:
Quote
       (call_script, "script_party_count_fit_regulars", "p_collective_ally"),
       (store_div, ":defender_strength", reg0, 20),
       (val_add, ":defender_strength", 1),

       (call_script, "script_party_count_fit_regulars", "p_collective_enemy"),
       (store_div, ":attacker_strength", reg0, 20),
       (val_add, ":attacker_strength", 1),


       (inflict_casualties_to_party_group, ":root_attacker_party", ":defender_strength", "p_temp_casualties"),
       (party_collect_attachments_to_party, ":root_attacker_party", "p_collective_enemy"),
       (call_script, "script_party_calculate_regular_strength", "p_collective_enemy"),
       (assign, ":new_attacker_strength", reg0),

       (try_begin),
         (gt, ":new_attacker_strength", 0),
         (inflict_casualties_to_party_group, ":root_defender_party", ":attacker_strength", "p_temp_casualties"),
       (try_end),
       (party_collect_attachments_to_party, ":root_defender_party", "p_collective_ally"),
       (call_script, "script_party_calculate_regular_strength", "p_collective_ally"),
       (assign, ":new_defender_strength", reg0),

In blue you see the bits which calculate how many enemies to kill off.  In red you see where the scaling for those comes in.  Change div,20 into div,10 and the rate at which NPC parties kill one another should roughly double; change it to 2 and it'll increase tenfold over current levels.  The script (inflict_casualties_to_party_group) is also accessible for tinkering if you prefer to do it that way.

At worst it'll be strongly quantized in time - it's not clear from the code how often ti_simulate_battle is triggered.  But even then, in something on that scale, it would be OK - like having rounds of battle in a tabletop game's battle system (such as Pendragon or 7th Sea).

It's all doable, dude.

Cirdan

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2007, 11:01:22 AM »
Another way to make it easier for the PC to take out a 3000-man army is to implement a map-level routing system; you could set it up so that when you spawn parties around your pt_army_command_group or whatever, their IDs are saved to slots on the command group, and when the command group is destroyed you recover all party IDs from its slots and set them to disperse. You could also set a slot to hold a Boolean indicating wether or not an NPC party is routed, and configure triggers that will make all routed parties behave accordingly. Routed parties could be made to automatically surrender if engaged, for instance. You could also use slots to implement a time-based regroup system. Or maybe you don't want killing the command group to rout the entire army; you could set it up so that when x% of the army's subdivisions are out of action, it routs, possibly even having some units types be more important than others, although this would be more complicated to implement. Party slots are incredibly powerful.

Offline ex_ottoyuhr

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2007, 06:11:11 PM »
Hellequin, Cirdan, thanks for your advice and the detail of your descriptions. I hadn't appreciated how moddable the general combat system is in .80x; I'll have to give versimilitude questions some serious thought...

(Giving the player the ability to function effectively in this would be trivial, too -- just switch off the limit-party-size flag and give leadership some other game role...)

Wood

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2007, 06:52:40 PM »
Leadership already reduces troop wages, perhaps this could be expanded upon. Or you could possibly do something similar to "Swadian Civil War" and increase the number of troops a point in leadership gives from 5 to 50 or something.

Or maybe you could add the ability to order your other war parties and patrols around. Such as ordering them to follow or patrol around you. Then in battle, it might be possible for the war parties to come in as reinforcements during the battle.

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: What to Do with Archery
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2007, 12:37:46 AM »
@ex_ottoyuhr

What's wrong with crossbows and axes?

Also, expect little help from wikipedia when it comes to ancient oriental weaponry
well, probably the common ones would be found.

Also, I'll PM you with what I come up with.

And... Ron Losey's cool new CRM thing seems really interesting, it would also probably work with what I'm imagining. (Which is still at its infancy) You don't have to agree with it though, it's your mod.

We are currently discussing conversion to the RCM ... it will happen eventually.  However, the fantasy-ish progression of certain weapons are going to require some major rescale work, so this may not be quick, and it may take a lot of testing and re-balance.  (As many know, the RCM is game and setting specific - every item in every mod has to be converted by hand, and after the first-round fiasco on "Holy War", I now do them all myself.  Fantasy-ish weapons greatly complicate the process.)  That plus my life may soon get a lot more hectic.  Everybody stand by on that one.  Something will certainly be posted if and when we need testers and/or advice.