Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Any other ideas that does not fit to the specific categories.
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Endru1241
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Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by Endru1241 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:46 pm

I came back to the game some three weeks ago and actually started new account for AoS (in game only). After some time playing single player maps (scenarios, battles, campaigns) I have some thoughts.
I now no longer wonder why there are topics like AI cheat, add more gem sources.
This weak, stupid AI becomes quite a challenge without upgrades.
There are few problems:
1. Hidden upgrade tree - new player has to spent some hard earned gems on something and often some great upgrades are hidden behind something not related and useless (who would think you'll get cavalier after peasant). But it's not a rule, so there is not even a clear path to take.
It should not be left to saving/loading account, especially with increasing number of upgrades.
2. Related upgrades are split too far apart, so new player often lacks required upgrades. E.g. you have dojo, but no japanese units or you have legion training, but lack roman garrison. There was idea on forum about themed tree, maybe it could solve those two points.
3. No knowledge of units, they strengths and weaknesses (help has really outdated info).
In-game unit details are really great, but you can only access it by upgrades section (only part of them) and in map.
It shouldn't be left for player to get into map editor to check all units.
Help page should be categorised (many overlapping categories), so if new player is looking for anti-infantry unit it lists them (unit categorisation should also be corrected).
4. Insufficient knowledge of map time consumption and difficulty level (campaigns difficulty level can be misleading). Number of turns for 3 stars and map size can be even more misleading (huge number of prebuilt units is great, but it's needed to finish map and makes doing it much longer).
5. Wrong game progression. Lack of AI progression.
As you play the game and get upgrade after upgrade game becomes easier and easier and counting increasing knowledge of the game it often becomes too easy. So AI gets something to compensate. But making simple linear regression we could see, that on start it's sometimes too hard.
AI gets all upgrades and can upgrade units - it's fair comparing to normal player. But it's just wrong on so many maps.
AI should have more levels and it should fit to the map.
Now on all maps there is AI-Hard, but for easy/beginner campaigns/scenarios/battles there should be other types.
There are many ideas on forum about AI. Most importantly AI should have clear progression.
E.g.: AI beginner level - no upgrades at all, just basic units (for beginner maps), AI easy (the same shop upgrades as player, no upgrading units), AI medium - the same as player, using upgrades, AI hard softened, no upgrading units (current easy, really no idea about name), AI hard (as it is).
Additionally a way to set AI and restricting units for map should have option to be separate for AI or affecting AI or normal (this setting could just use restriction according to AI level - moderate AI would get the same as player, but hard would have access to everything).
With that we could have clearly divided maps with info about difficulty level fixing point 4.
6. Low gem pool.
I actually did some counting. There is 912 gems worth upgrades total (890 in public version).
There are 254 maps giving gems (all campaigns, scenarios, historical battles and history of hungary). New player gets 20 (+20 for installing AoW and AoF). There are other ways to get gems, but not everyone gets polls and ads, so not counting. As new player has not much knowledge about the game, so I am not counting multiplayer either.
In short, there are 1056 gems total to get. Theoretically. In practice even less - impossible (after adding some upgrades) maps to get 3 stars, insufficient strategical/tactical skills of player, rage hate quit against map (sudden death of must survive unit, triggered enemies, surprising upgrade of AI units can be frustrating), insufficient time and/or patience (some maps are really long to do).
Let's say average player would get 80% of them - it's not even enough to buy all upgrades and more are coming. So forget about other uses of gems.
7. Inconsistent gem rewarding.
There are maps so short, than done in a matter of minutes and maps requiring long hours. Some needs to be done 2nd and sometimes few more to get done. Some even doesn't allow single mistake (e.g. a misstep for unit)to get 3 stars. Yet there is always the same award.
There were really good ideas for rebalancing gem awards e.g. in accordance to map length and difficulty. Rebalancing it could fix point 6, but more importantly player should feel it was worth it.

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by Stratego (dev) » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:58 pm

very good!

gems count, please dont count it manually ever again :) , i have a queery for this!

in AOS looks like:
896 gems upgrade cost
1120 gems from maps (+20 default + 50 for google play rating and the other sources of gems but that depends on users"s work on those)
so sum lets calculate 1120+70=1190gems without other options.

AI progression, good thinking, but i am not sure how to manage:
- do it map by map? setting easier AI?
- or do it automaticall? like if player has some XP points (completed smany maps and opened many upgrades) than harder AI, if less than the hard AI becomes little stupider.
- also considering a "pro" games how to enhance AI? make AI cheat somehow? :)
or how you imagined?

thanks!

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by Endru1241 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:25 pm

It was not manually counted - copied shopconfig to the calc and added costs for in-code shop items.
But I counted number of maps:
Gorgon-Delight 4
Revolution 14
Carnage 6
Challenge 5
Almost Got it 8
War of Factions 5
Grim Company 3
Gheir to the Throne 11
Viking Age 8
Two Kingdoms 5
Paths of Rome 11
Aquarias 5
Brothers War 7
Fire War 4
Kingdom Come 11
Maximus 4
Rebel King 4
Suhari Kingdom 7
Owagchuk 5
Mercenaries 9
Ambition 23
Nyadhos Strategy 12
Age of Nyadhos 9
Hornburgs Dominion 9
Prison Planet 14
Savage Land 20

Historical Battles 14
Scenarios 10
History of Hungary 7
What do I miss?
From what I see others won't give gems.

As for AI progression, I think it should be tied to the map or maybe map category (some campaign makers could make unit restriction for AI - e.g. egiptian AI - produces only fitting units, all easy campaigns could have easy AI, few starting - beginner).
Unfortunately I have no idea how to automatize it fairly - to do it good we have to assign them manually.

As for better AI - it could have unique techs on the start - additional percentage of health, damage, mend, heal (if it's possible to exempt them from stealing).
Even higher levels maybe +armor and range.
There was also idea about additional money couriers generated every x turns.
Impossible AI could have cost of units lowered to counter player worker spam (is it possible by tech?) by half (rounded up) or progressing through the game - starts with normal costs, but after e.g 15, 28, and 40 gets unit cost lowered (80%, 65%, 50%).

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by Stratego (dev) » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:33 pm

campaign list you posted: you mean your numbers are different?

maps difficuly, trainability restrictions: yes would be awesome but i had hard time even to ask mapdesigners to set a proper star value istead of totally wrong too low or too high values - if you check i think about 20-30% of the maps are properly seet as star rewuirement (i am just guessing)
so would be awesome but idk who would do it manually tru all this many maps.


As for better AI - uique techs/and so on:
when would they get activated?
a) if a mapeditor sets HARDER AI / EXTRA HARD AI or ULTRA AI or MEGA ULTRA AI,
b) or u mean it somehow automatically?

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by Endru1241 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:21 pm

About gem number - yes I counted 254 maps, where gems are awarded.

About campaign difficulty, AI level - Yeah, I mean to let it be set. It's good for skirmish too.

For setting campaign AI level we could just do it by category, so all easy get easy AI and medium gets medium AI etc., for scenarios - all at medium.
Historical battles and some campaigns would need to be looked individually, but it's the same with their restrictions - most have none. So let it be for now.
History of Hungary (which needs some change by the way) could get beginner AI (player gets restriction anyway).
That's at least the start - there's always a possibility for better fitting ones later if there could be different AI setting.

And I would avoid automatic setting like hellfire - no one could help anyone with some map knowledge, because could have different difficulty setting.

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by patroid » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:38 pm

Hi,
What about some different AI styles?
Defensive AI (fcusses on builders and catapults and spams fortifications and stuff but is only slowly taking the map.
Rush AI (spams cheap units rushes tcs and just overruns)
...
(this topic is kinda the same viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7254&sid=214bc435f5 ... 17861969c2 )

or some other kind of customizable AI/KI for campaigns where u can tell the AI to gather army till turn X and then Rush or similar stuff(also with trigger and similkar options)

and for Skirmish and multiplayer maps that there is an ai that trysm to lean from playes and simulates styles or something.

i remember we had some event maps and stuff like christmas maps and similar. are those things still going? we could do some community engagement
and reward gems for being active or do some campain maps that rewards upgrades/units.

Patroid

But that aside i personally remember that i just was exited for the game and played it i wasnt focussed on upgrades.
tho i never really played alot of campaigns. in fact i never in fact actually earned a big amount of gems i always cheated them with game killer and similar stuff (wich is now fixed) so im not the one to ask how it feels for new players. but therefore we have to ask what those upgrades are for.
Do we want players to spend money and promoted the app to get gems? do we want them to keep playing a long time and keep them addicted to the game via gems? If not we could make everything unlocked from the beginning. i think its good that it takes long for everything to be upgrade i think we should increase the number of ways to get gems and reorganize the upgrades and keep the rest as it is.

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by Endru1241 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:15 pm

The best would be individual .json for every AI (or a little modified bulidlist.json for few behaviours and jsons for AI definition, where buildlist could be set - just few options added to buildlist, like "onlyBuildIfPlayerAllowed")

And that topic is not similar at all - I don't propose different AI for different AI players. But that is something to be considered (if AI definition by json and assigning to map would be made, why not assign them to each AI player individually).

Self-learning AI? Too much resources needed. And by which way? Genetic algorithms, neural network? Either way too much coding for possibility to have not that much effect.

Getting rid of upgrade cost altogether is not sensible solution - this is clear achievement and progress, which makes people appreciate the game and stick to it (if there is still something to achieve). Most importantly - it's quite fun.
Getting gems just lacks sensible path.

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by patroid » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:10 pm

Hi,
(regarding similar topic) no i ment that the AI discussion that started here is ONE of the solutions for the overall topic of this post but should be discussed in detail in the other topic that got brought up caus otherwise we would have those ideas in both topics and would write them twice.
So i guess we should move the discussion about AI to the topic i linked and continue here with the other points you adressed.

Could you create a topix thats about restructuring the Upgrades tree and a practical way of doing so? current is a table with 4 collums. In future we could do something like those modern upgrade trees sorted by unit type and its use?

Moving on we should think of ways to get gems that are faster? or what is your solution idea of that point of discussion?
Is it solved with better and more entertaining faster campaigns or do you want more?
Fast even maps? limited time offers? stronger multiplayer gambling gamesm (aka Bet games and similar)?
Leaderboard system for multiplayer with RANK and SEASONS and seasonrewards? aka Gems for winning a high percentage of multiplayer games?
Little Riddles or something like that as gamerelated *FAST* gem source every now and then? contests? regular ingame organized tournaments?
Monthly design contests where people IN the app upload pixelstuff and get rewarded? More engaging stuff for the mapmarket (wich kinda died out in activity if im not wrong?)?.
Just random thoughts but whats your idea?
Patroid

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Endru1241
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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by Endru1241 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:01 pm

About topics - viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4445&sid=611c03f548 ... 4b6e3d85f2 - this one would be more fitting if discussing about details.
Most of those thing you say need management. Besides almost every other game in the market has those. I myself never felt any good towards all those "pure online games methods".

There was few good ideas in the forum for some additional sources - but gem lack is only a little part of what I'm discussing.
The most important thing is to not let people get discouraged.

My solution for lack of gems is to give more gems for longer and for harder single player maps. How could it be achieved? Along with dealing with insufficient information of map one thing could be started - giving every map difficulty rating - like discussed about (and implemented by the way) in case of whole campaigns viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5298&p=57867&hilit= ... 5f2#p57867.

I don't have particular idea of restructuring upgrades - maybe changing one item with another to better fit (like moving factories to first row). Or just revealing tree is step forward.
Well I can imagine what upgrades could look like, but I know it would be time consuming and impossible to split to smaller work, like pretty much every other thing I wrote of.
That would be making upgrades work by tier(age) using requirements. And listed by category (unit category in case of units or upgrade techs and listing tech on other page). I would see it like this.
You click upgrades and combobox or list opens listing categories: meele foot, archers, mounted, building, fortification, roman, japanese etc.
Opening category shows upgrades for tier 1 existing in this category, so basic units not included with no upgrades game and some upgrades are somehow highlighted as must have (e.g. factories, light cavalry). In tier 1 should not exist any upgrade with requirements.
Tier 2 unlocks as you get all must haves from 1.
In higher tiers we have some upgrades locked as required item is not bought (should show which one and be easily accessible by click).
So the tier of upgrade is influenced by requirements tier.
Why requirements - e.g. trebuchet needs castle, so why not make it, so you won't buy trebuchet not having castle.
Tiers would help the game with clear distinction of how advanced some upgrades are. Of course tiers would have to be filled with other things (without reqs, stand-alone).
I quoted it, because I know it's only loose though. Not likely to be used.

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by Puss_in_Boots » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:40 am

We should get historical AI types that only produce national units of set time period. Would help alot since we cant remove buildables from AI by trigger. Like in the map of 300 for example.


Also I like the idea to increase distribution of gems based on difficulty and length. Mostly because I contributed those ideas years ago.
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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by DoomsdayDragonfire » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:20 pm

I think that would solve many issues we have atm, + would be a lot of work and a big change indeed, i almost can see "Age of Strategy 2" comming from such revamp xD

Also i would like to add a single thing to that, is to add those cheats on the boosted AI as augments that affects the "specOps" parameter of the units, so the AI can mass affect the units under its control (using U_ALL/M_ALL) with "close-to-broken" effects without needing to json many unit variations... Letting it be trully challenging (maybe increasing co-op matches to beat them) And also allow some of these to player use them as "extra fun mode". Perhaps as boosts in the same style of the gem based spells on the upgrades tab.

Eg: add "AumentSpecOps":
"Has_see_stealth" // allowing ALL units under its control to see stealth units. (By adding "stealth_can_see_stealth" to everyone)
"Has_all_techs" // start with every single tech already.
"Has_non_buildables" // AI can build (back) units that player don't have acess.
"Has_factory_cap_plus" // the ammount of factories per town is doubled.
"Has_instant_build" // allowing it to build any of the structures on a single turn.

And some augments related to unit stats:

"Has_dodge_5" // add 5% on all dodges to all units.
"Has_dodge_plus" // boosts dodges of all units.
"Has_dmg_plus" // doubles the base dmg of all units.
"Has_hp_plus" // doubles health points of all units.
"Has_armor_1n1" // adds 1/1 armors to all units.
"Has_armor_plus" // doubles armor of all units.
"Has_prod_cost_minor" // halves production cost of units on the factories.
"Has_tech_cost_minor" // halves the cost needed to research something.
"Has_spellcast_plus" // double spellcast range of abilities.
"Has_no_timeout" // removes timeout of the spells of their units.
"Has_minor_cooldown" // cooldown of the abilities of its units are halved.
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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by godOfKings » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:05 am

There r too many ideas here and most are confusing or time consuming to implement, how about we start with the shortest and easiest idea first

Make an ai_beginner difficulty setting where ai has access to only default units and no upgrades,
There is no place for false kings here, only those who proves themselves to b the true kings of legend, or serves under me

For I watch over this world looking for those worthy to become kings, and on the way get rid of the fakes and rule over the fools

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Re: Newbie hardships - problem for game activity

Post by godOfKings » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:10 am

The next immediate easy solution we can implement,

All medium difficulty campaigns, +1 gem for each star, so 2,3,5 in total,
Hard difficulty, +2 gems
So 3,4,6 in total

After that someone may take the responsibility to actually fix each map one by one, but the above ones should b the easiest solutions
There is no place for false kings here, only those who proves themselves to b the true kings of legend, or serves under me

For I watch over this world looking for those worthy to become kings, and on the way get rid of the fakes and rule over the fools

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