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With a heavy heart I have to say I’m quite disappointed with the gameplay video. To the point that I doubt I even will play KoH2 to be honest.

 

I’ll try to explain why I think the game is not what I expected.

While there are a lot of nice visuals and other neat things and I appreciate all the people involved in this quality effort, but I will comment only on the bad stuff which turns me off.

 

1) Economy

 

It was said many times how in KoH2 there are a lot of resources, province advantages, economy tricks and so on. 65 types of produced goods. All that. Now what I actually saw:

Settlements are fixed, province resources are just fixed. The moment you look at a province initially it is APPARENT what can and cannot happen and what to do with it. There are no options if one option is right and all the others are wrong.

It appears that all the economy gameplay revolves around which province with which “resource/goods” you have. So there is no GAMEPLAY for me to try different things and MOREOVER to counter play any other player. No matter what happens around me on the map, I just have to maximize my given province products. Everyone makes “steel” and “barrels” and I will make “steel” and “barrels” if I have resources in a province. Zero thinking really.

There is no balancing or work force / production. If I have villages they will make food, if I have other settlements – no food. There is no balance I can shift or areas I can dynamically adjust apart from going abroad and getting another province. But wait you might say, we said there are multiplier buildings in the capital to boost production. Yeah? So what? You have provinces which IN GENERAL have about the same amount of settlements of a same type. So if it is 3 of a type – I build multiplier building, if there is 1 I don’t. I get it, done, no gameplay anymore. More importantly – no more DYNAMIC gameplay. I look at a province – I decide right away what is the appropriate way to build it up for the rest of the game, done. Settlements are not going to shift, workforce won’t shift, resources are not going to change.

 

2) Trade is pathetic.

Settlements auto generating “sacks” of trade goods and a drop down menu to select which exchange rate of sacks to gold I can have right now by selecting a kingdom to trade with.

This is beyond boring. You could remove it from the game and replace the “sacks” income with a straight gold income and no one would notice. Why do you even bother to have trade like that? It is a level of mobile game mechanics.

Yes you have also import/export of produced goods somewhere, but we know it is boolean “yes/no” per kingdom kind of thing, so I doubt a lot of people are excited about that kind of mechanics too.

 

3) War

War is totally lame. This is the biggest problem.

I don’t even want to mention that auto resolve preview with bunch of animated soldiers fighting air with a huge gap between armies looks laughable. Fine, work in progress I guess.

But seriously, this is how you see military component to the game? It is exactly how it was 20 years ago with the original KoH. An AI army of 4470 strength moves towards and 2 player armies of 6090 and 3800 strength combined just to get in a battle, lose a bit of time and men and run away. And the player has to chase that across the map for another battle with roughly the same result.

What gameplay do you see in that? If a player can click on an enemy army or not?

Auto resolve battles have no options, no tactics, no orders before or during a battle except a retreat? Really?

There is about zero military gameplay I terms of army composition and a player can’t even tell what it happening, it is just bunch of soldier on one side messing air and a bunch of other solders across a field doing the same. And then one of them runs and you chase it across the map yet again. Mobile games have more interesting and in depth combat than that.

And you will say, but wait, we have RTS battles you can lead all the units manually! And I say it is irrelevant. In a single player you won’t play it manually after first couple of times because your kingdom is too big and the battles are too repetitive to manually chase same rebels 3 times across a province. And in a multiplayer it will not be available at all.

You make units with Squad Size, Attack, Defense, Chance to Shock, Resilience, Stamina and Siege Strength attributes. Yet they are all upkeep of 1 food. What is the point of squad size if it takes 1 food to upkeep a full squad of 40/40 and a damaged squad of 1/40. What is the point of Attack and Defense attributes if your swords will count the same as more peasants at the end of the day. How do you expect a player to even KNOW not to mention PLAN for “Chance to Shock” and “Resilience” to play out in an auto resolving battle of a blob vs a blob?

You yet again make a game which promises depth and variety and has none. With your system you don’t build an army to counter an enemy army, you just build a blob. You don’t have a strategic warfare you just click one army on another and you can see the strength numbers to tell right away which one will run or win. Just as I said in previous topic, all you do by attacking a castle or a settlement with an army is locking yourself in place to be hit with a stronger army. It is useless. All your mechanics right now mean that you, yet again, only need 2 marshal blob together to travel in a straight line and crush everything in its path. Any other military game play is pointless. Armies even march around with a same speed.

All the promises about variety of units and resources and upgrades for military in fact will be the same as original. You blob with what you have, it does not matter. The units you build are way way way more dependent on what you can build and upgrade and really matter piratically nothing at the military gameplay. Yes over time you will have more and more elite units, but it is kinda irrelevant with combat like that.

 

My Conclusion

 

I wanted a game of a medieval kingdoms where I could spend a lot of time, struggling with my small kingdom in a middle of huge world. I wanted to balance on an edge of hunger and poverty, and I wanted exciting dramatic battles I would prepare and plan for a long time. Well you know medieval stuff.

KoH2 as you show today is not that game. KoH2 is nicely animated game about nothing. It is an ocean wide and an inch deep. When I look at any aspect of the gameplay you have shown it is too shallow, too plain and too boring. But you have a lot of them happening at the same time animated nicely on the screen. The core gameplay is not there and I think this is precisely why you are adding more and more mechanics and small numbers, notifications, effects, and events to fill that void of the core gameplay with something.

It is sad to me to see this result but more importantly it is sad to understand that you don’t see it that way and you are building some different game for someone else to enjoy.

I don’t mean to get in an argument with you or make you feel bad about it. But I think it is important for me personally to relay me feelings and impressions because it might be valuable for you at the end.

 

Thank you for your work.

 

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Here are some of my suggestions. Add unit training time. This removes ability to instantaneously fill marshal with OP units and reinforce nearby battles. Units have more value because they ar

I'm not.  Armies constantly called for reinforcements, and sending an untrained army from a nearby fort/city is something that happened all the time. If the AI got stomped by the human calling re

So after my emotional appeal, I’d rather go to a more constructive feedback. This are the things I would advise to implement or consider.   1) Autoresolve combat   I cannot st

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Comments to William Blakes Comments.

1) Economy - Yes they modelled their economy similar to what has been done in KOH 1, if you liked KOH 1 then I dont see how you are so upset about the economy shown here. Unless you have never played KOH 1? Or you hate KOH 1? Then why are you following the development of KOH 2? lol ( just a side note)

2) Trade- Perhaps it is done like that because there will be other bonuses that come into the picture if you trade with Friends and Allies, gold isnt the only worth wild resource that is acured from trade. Perhaps one can trade with someone whom gives them less Gold for their trade good but by trading with that ally, they gain more relationship with that ally? Yes this is also speculation, but the trade you have witnessed doesnt have to be all doom and gloom. Also This was the same in KOH 1... 

3) War- Here I think I agree with you, the battles seemed a bit stale. and lacking of some more in depth content, like you mention battle tactics or such not. 

"And in a multiplayer it will not be available at all." I wouldn't be too sure of that. Yee of little imagination. 

"all you do by attacking a castle or a settlement with an army is locking yourself in place to be hit with a stronger army. It is useless. "  This is true even in real life... So I dont really see your point there.

"Armies even march around with a same speed." I really doubt they wont have marshal bonus for movement speed. So I am guessing, but I think your just wrong here. 

"The units you build are way way way more dependent on what you can build and upgrade and really matter piratically nothing at the military gameplay. Yes over time you will have more and more elite units, but it is kinda irrelevant with combat like that."  This comment I think best summarizes your whole point, and I very much agree, and I hope the devs take some time to think a bit about it and spice up the gameplay around it.

So that the building of army units under marshals isnt soo narrow and straight. A possible idea  may be something like big unit bonuses depending on how your marshal is skilled that make building certain units pointless and others not. Kinda pushing u to build army compositions differently?

4) Conclusion- Ya maybe the game isnt designed for you? Not every game fits everyone cest la vie. You seem really big into deep game depth and many features, maybe Europa Universalis or Hearts of Iron is your cup of tea then? 

I will post my thoughts comments and ideas from the gameplay shortly, with the time stamps for others to see as well. Interesting points William as usual. 

 

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Interesting Comments -  At (36min43s) We notice the garrisoned units can only be 5 instead of 6 as was the case in KOH 1. 

At anytime, we see a crown and two hands on the bottom left of the screen. What is that?

At (37min48s) we see something called Kinship at the bottom right in the politics tab. What is that? Some sort of additional boost to relations if you have a dynasty member in another kingdom? 

At (39min4s) we see that battle engagements start with a timer, that I assume will resolve to auto resolve the battle if the player doesn't get to them in time. This is a nice feature to stream line gameplay compared to the clunky KOH 1 popups for every single battle engagement. 

At (40min2s) we see the zone of control or something for the town center. 

At (40min21s) we see that plundering is more like a battle, where you take causalities as opposed to KOH 1 where it was just an action your marshal did to a village.  

At (40min42s) we see that one can see an enemy army approaching in the fog of war even before it crosses the province boarder. 

Lastly the peace deal at (41min31s) actually didn't transfer any gold? LOL must have been a bug or something?

Ideas for Improvement - 

At (38min30s) we see the political map, and how its colored coded with 6 different colors (presumably). Of course with time this will become second nature to read for most players, but to help with that learning time, maybe color code the Font for the types of relations under the political tab to match the color on the map. Here is what I mean, Allies, Enemies, Vassals, Friends, Threats, Kinship

I noticed that a quick player (39min4s) would save some precious seconds of time by rushing to battle engagements and clicking auto resolve early to trigger the battles early. This will become micro intensive in competitive atmospheres and really might lead to the conclusion that the better players are the ones which can get to and click the battle triggers the fastest. So I suggest to have some sort of setting which can be toggled to make all battles auto resolve instantly. Maybe this is already in the game?

Fogot to add this.... Soo adding it now.. Small and Large rivers would likely be a nice feature to have in the game too. With the size giving different negatives to armies, or maybe even large rivers can only be crossed with bridges, or very long periods encouraging bridge use. 

FOG OF WAR

I really really hope you devs read this and consider it. So Fog of War. In the gameplay seems to be done the exact same way as it was in KOH 1 , except for that early warning of seeing an enemy general close to the border that I mentioned above at (40min42s).

So what I purpose is a sort of Fog of War vision system which extends out from your towns and settlements and of course armies (this is what you can see aka line of sight). And that your line of sight is blocked by trees and mountains in addition. I think roughly speaking most of the province should feel like its in your line of sight, but some parts of it should feel kinda unknown especially parts of the province which have line of sight blockers like trees and mountains infront of your Towns or settlements. 

Of course provinces which have a ton of territory (and few settlements) , may need a scaling of line of sight for the units and towns and settlements, so that those provinces dont feel like they are covered in fog of war. 

Here is a picture of kinda what I mean. So where the red lines are is where your line of sight  from your settlements and town cannot reach because of either distance or line of sight blockers like the forest. 

What is really cool and fun about this, is you could then in theory hide an army very close to an enemy town if there was a forest for example the center Green square and you could even hide an army technically inside an enemies territory!!!!  See the Green square to the left of the image. Gives the game a bit more depth into how someone might want to engage on an enemies province. Especially in multiplayer !!!!!

Fog of War.png

Edited by Ivory Knight
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51 minutes ago, Ivory Knight said:

What is really cool and fun about this, is you could then in theory hide an army very close to an enemy town

Why would you want to do that? Serious question.

If your army is strong and enemy is weak - just push in why wait and hide?

If your army is weak and enemy is strong hiding is pointless, the enemy will push in to your city. If you hide and let them pass to go behind for their province they will just return and kill you. Because all you can potently do is to siege a city which takes a lot of time so they can come back, or you can pillage a settlement which is less time but zero value and they will turn back and come to kill you anyway.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, William Blake said:

Why would you want to do that? Serious question.

If your army is strong and enemy is weak - just push in why wait and hide?

If your army is weak and enemy is strong hiding is pointless, the enemy will push in to your city. If you hide and let them pass to go behind for their province they will just return and kill you. Because all you can potently do is to siege a city which takes a lot of time so they can come back, or you can pillage a settlement which is less time but zero value and they will turn back and come to kill you anyway.

 

 

Its more about the time to respond which can be larger then the siege time, (at least this was the case in KOH 1 when your empire gets big and being able to move onto other objectives and not getting setback by a quick capture. Basically a surprise attack on a larger Kingdom that doesn't expect it, or using the line of sight blockers to quicker sneak up to a castle or town and capture it before the enemy can shuttle their army to defend. It also makes for fun multiplayer hidden army shenanigan's. 

Of course if ur army is already in position to defend, then it makes almost no difference having line of sight. 

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Dear William, I read your point of view and came to the same conclusion than Ivory Knight.

 

Really, I appreciate your thoughts because you always go deep into matters and show the devs, and show us, key elements we didn't see, and though I do not always agree, I estimate what you share with great value.

I have to admit on the very beginning of the demonstration, I was like a bit deceived, because it was not like car's explosions and all. But the video caught my interest, and I was quite calm and quite curious at the same time. I didn't notice every single thing, I paid attention mostly to UI details, readability, and a bit less to the rest. I looked at many things with the will of knowing more of what was on screen. Like a little child asking questions to his teacher.

I myself made in my mind comparisons with the first game, thinking of the way it evolved. Like Ivory Knight, I wonder how what you saw seems worse than Knights of Honor I.

The game is on Alpha version, and needs both balance and bugs' correction. But for what we've seen, I see it as an improved version of the first game, as it goes beyond what it did in 2004.

Of course, there are far more possibilities with modern techniques, but the game we saw is in development for about... I would say four years, five max. And whatever its current state, I find it very interesting, more than the first one. Maybe I'm wrong. But when I compare to let's say Paradox games, the evolution from an opus to another is not that important. Here, we're talking about a company that owns less means than Paradox. Again, we need to wait until the end and see if the game confirms its promises. Let's not put the horse before the cart.

I can't react to everything you've write. It's dense, and Ivory Knight answered to most arguments. I've noted my own thoughts of the dev stream and it will be part of another topic, because it's related to things Brad and Alex talked before the video footage, and it's rather different.

So... I'm wondering how fun you would qualify the first Knights of Honor, and how the second game is deceptful. Everyone knows it's not Victoria III or Europa Universalis V. It's a different game, with less details, nonetheless it seems to have complexity, playability, fun, and a lot more. To my mind !

I will read once more your ideas and study them tomorrow, but if I misunderstood something, or if you need to react before I eventually add more of my thoughts here, please, go on. I may need to see your thoughts from a different angle, if your critics are right.

Thanks for presenting them.

Edited by Calliope
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"There’s nothing in the world more difficult than candor, and nothing easier than flattery." 

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

If you expect a slight remaster of original KoH in 2021/2022 to be a good deal, you are very easy to please. For me personally that would be a failure because I want to see much better and much more successful game. Original KoH was a fresh interesting take, but it was not a hit. Making the same 20 years later with slightly more polish would likely to have same result.

Do you see KoH2 to be top streamed game on twitch? No. Can you imagine people taking hours and hours making youtube videos about KoH2 opening tactics? No. Why? Because there is no variety of actions and there is no action/reaction in the game. There is no awe, there is no strong emotions. You won't see an amazing play you never thought possible and moves which explode with new possibilities. 

You tell me "this is a game about medieval kingdoms" and I imagine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtbbIB776ks

When I look at KoH2 autoresolve battles 2 blobs of peasants on some poor AI. This does not connect.

You tell me "this is a game about economy" and I see "here you go, Bosnia, 3 provinces, fixed resources, fixed settlements, you can build an upgrade in 15 minutes". This does not connect. I can hardly imagine anyone replaying this over and over again because "oh my god, so many possibilities, I might have played better". Not gonna happen.

You tell me "this is a game about grand scale diplomacy" and I see "oh here, a pop up, someone wants a peace pact with you, yes|no". There is nothing to play, there is nothing to replay, there is nothing to master.

You tell me "this is game about huge medieval Europe and around with global trade" and I see "drop down, select which is the max gold from 10 same choices, trade done".

You tell me "multiplayer is essential part of the game we build most mechanics with multiplayer in mind" and I see... well I see 3 people waiting for 30 minutes for another 2 to start a match because no one is playing it in a month.

You tell me "well it is a casual game" and I see gazillion of sliders, numbers, indicators, some notification feed on the bottom showing messages non stop, event pop ups interrupting whatever a player was doing... it does not connect, honestly.

 

There is notable history to many games and many franchises, it does not matter. Firefly just made Stronghold Warlords and it is pathetic game and it flopped. Because just following a list of features which could work 20 years ago do not make a good successful game today. What we see today in the KoH2 gameplay video is a heap of very contradictory appeals crammed together to appeal to no one. I can't see how this can be a competitive multiplayer game, I can't see how this can be a deep economy/trade game, I can't see how this can be a casual experience game EVEN on the level of Civilization games. And it makes me very upset because for my own personal reasons I want this particular developer to have a solid hit, a game new people would love for what it is, not for some memories of 20 years old past.

 

Lets face it. This site is running for over a year now. 17 dev streams or whatever the number is. The potential audience is global. How many people we have? Around 5 writing on forums regularly and 300-ish watching a stream once a month or two? Is this appeal you expect? Is this excitement you wish to build up? If you want to tell a friend about KoH2 what you are going to say? "you click on a marshal and then on an enemy and then you select "all in" they start fighting animation on the small strip at the bottom and then you take you second marshal and click on the same battle so the fighting strip on the bottom will have more of your guys fighting air"?

People come to this forums imagining all kind of amazing things, like debating if a cavalry should be able to dismount and fight on foot in a middle of the broken walls, and you show them autoresolve battle with an option to retreat. You make units with variable number of men per unit, but 60 peasants are still 1 food upkeep as 40 men swordsman unit, as we all know if you carry a sword you eat 50% more for sure. 65 types of produces goods. Sixty five! Why? What for? How you can possibly role play England or France or Germany or Italy with 3-4 provinces at best and have sixty five types of goods in the game. What for? For a game where a trade is a selection of exchange of sacks icons for gold from a drop down?

I look at this and I forget all the good things - the art, the ui, the music, the setting, the map details. Because I see a shadow of a game which attracts no one and is played by no one, yet possibly has a bunch of good reviews and some nice screenshots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@William Blake

Sadly, I think I could agree with you about some of the things that you are saying.

But I can't agree just from one five minute video and a dev diary to make conclusion that the game sucks at economics and trade. I don't think we have enough info yet about the most of the stuff going on.

Even about battles themselves, I don't remember anyone talked anything yet.

The auto resolve mechanic that you talk about. Well the whole purpose of that is to quickly complete the battle without you do anything right?

Imagine the following situation. You are in the middle of a war with more than one enemy. You have 3 marshals, 2 of them are fighting, you are trying to navigate the 3rd to join a battle. In the meantime you are multitasking with a lot of other things like buildings,diplomats, spies, and on top of that the enemy is besieging your castles. So let's say that makes 4 battles at the same time. 

In situations like this I would click constantly from one battle to another,  I would try to reinforce or retreat, maybe... But on top of that, if I had some options for strategy during the battle, how I would be able to concentrate on all 4 battles at the same time , in real time?

The only possible thing that I think of is to pause the game every 10 seconds to check the battle, to think about strategy, dispatch orders, unpause, pause, repeat, repeat. Do you consider that fun? For me sounds like what you said in the first comment about the rts battle, you will do it twice and then you will hit the all in button. 

When you say

4 hours ago, William Blake said:

game about medieval kingdoms" and I imagine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtbbIB776ks

I imagine some futuristic version of mount and blade with realistic VR fighting and real dialogs during the cut scenes. I don't think you can get that in a grand strategy game.

 

Now about the things that I agree. 

Let's see the example with the battle resolving. If I am looking with the perspective of an old Koh player, seeing these fighting dudes feels like a huge improvement. 

On the other hand, as you said poking the air doesn't feel super exciting. Maybe if there isn't a gap and you can see the units fight in that window would look way better. Maybe that's not that hard to do, to çhange the position of the fighting units to have the impression that they are fighting in front of you in that window. 

Another thing, if I am coming from eu4 I would expect having some statistics in front of me that would show me my strength and the strength of the enemy. 

Also during the game I would ask myself what I should do to improve the stats of my armies. Should I research technology, should I invest books to educate my king.

If I come from Mount and blade. I will recruit some peasants (yay) and after a few battles will start thinking. Hey why these peasants are still peasants. What do I have to do to upgrade them. And it feels like a waste to disband men only because they are peasants. There should be option to upgrade units, right?

There is one thing that I saw in the video and felt old-school (not in the good way) 

So , again let's say I've never play KOH. 

I am playing with Serbia and all of a sudden My trading partner and friend sends me a message

"Hey, I don,t have time and I don't give you anything,but can you attack France because I don't like them?

That doesn't sound weird at all, right?

I would imagine to see something like 

"Hey I am Naples your best friend. I am planning to attack France. Would you join me and fight with me. In return I will offer you gold and royal mariage"

But in both cases, Serbia to attack France seems geographically irrelevant.

 

There are some other things that I agree with you, but it's getting late and the post already too long.

 

Beside that, I think the game is getting quite well overall.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BC Knight
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Posted (edited)

So after my emotional appeal, I’d rather go to a more constructive feedback.

This are the things I would advise to implement or consider.

 

1) Autoresolve combat

 

I cannot stress this hard enough, but auto resolve battles cannot suck. Most of the battles in a singleplayer are going to be autoresolve (very very few people can claim they played all battles manually in their original KoH experience) and all of the multiplayer battles have to be autoresolve due to the time constrains. Autoresolve combat has to be appealing and interesting, not mundane, lame and repetitive.

 

Lets make a first iteration with minor changes. You are set on 8 slot army variable men size per unit. Marshals has 8 slots, garrisons have 5 slots:

1.png.e36f51446d92b3cabacea7ada630ce63.png

2.png.92a455ad8de038101522aa7651770d32.png

Ok good, lets keep it like this.

 

Now, changes we will make:

 

Slots become directional and represent flanks and center of army on a field dividing an army in 3 sides - Left Flank, Center, Right Flank. By placing a unit in a slot you are changing it position on a field.

 

Division of armies for 5 and 8 slots is shown below:

3.png.0b810ec33d35e9482eb91bc79976bf50.png

 

 

During an autoresolve combat, units of one army first have to fights against units on the corresponding side. Flanks fight with flanks, center fights with center. If there are no more units on the opposing side left then you get a morale bonus and attack closest side next to you just like you would in a RTS battle with line vs line and one flank failing or center pushing through. This will displayed somethings like this:

 

4.thumb.png.1b7b965224b217f1508d984501a34436.png

 

Not only this is practically direct representation of how RTS positioning would be, but also has a lot of value in term of positioning of units across each other to counter different types, splits the big army blob into 3 groups which are facing subset of enemy army. It makes positioning relevant and very intuitive with practically same UI real estate you have now. You can suddenly make a strong flank, a weak flank, you can have good choice of units in front of you or bad choice of units and a player can actually affect this a lot by very easy movement of units between slots.

 

 

Second change, an auto battle happening in the position described above is happening in fixed amount of time say 60 seconds. This amount of time is split in 3 equal phases. I, II, III. During a phase a player can make observe and make a decision about next phase battle order. Battle order is applied for the full battle phase and changes only in a next phase. If player does not change battle order before the next phase starts previous battle order continues.

 

Battle orders are:

  • Attack - high losses for max damage
  • Defend - minimal losses for minimal damage
  • Retreat – retreat from battle if enemy has defend, huge loses if enemy has attack.

 

In a battle phase both armies will have some battle order selected with the combinations giving you the following modifiers:

 

  • Attack vs Attack – highest losses on both sides
  • Attack vs Defense – high losses vs moderate losses
  • Defense vs Defense – low losses on both sides
  • Attack vs Retreat – low losses vs huge losses, you could not retreat, battle continues
  • Defense vs Retreat – no losses vs one side escapes from the battle

 

The battle screen all together will look something like this:

5.thumb.png.432442c066ce8e62eb0a84008d8d4cef.png

 

 

Why this is amazingly deeper gameplay:

 

You can take same armies and play differently based on who plays what at what phase.

 

I have weak army, you have strong army. You play "attack, attack, attack". I can play "def, def, def" for maximum losses on your side. So you can try to play "def, def, def" to just push me to retreat with minimal looses to yourself. If I play "retreat" in the first phase, it would work for you and I will flee the battle at the first phase. But I can also play "def, def, def" and buy a lot of time with minimal losses and you might not have enough damage to kill my army. You might have units on a flank which are hard counter to my units and only DURING the battle I can see that and I have to REACT on the next battle phase or a lot of your spears on a flank vs my a lot of cavalry make this very hard. We both have time during a phase to see and predict how it is going and make a play selecting order for the next phase, yet the battle is fixed in time in total duration and has very little drag on overall game.

 

With system like this you have MINIMAL changes with a huge impact. You can replay same battle several times with a different result, you can make a mistake in a battle order just like in RTS battle and lose an advantage in army you had. There is PLAY you have to make and a situation you have to react.

 

This makes unit matter because they are set to a specific side to face specific few units, this makes counter units important to each other. This is simple to make and show and understand for a player, left, right center sides. It is easy to manage. It removes blob of total army strength doing something in autoresolve you don’t even know how to show. This gives you exact understanding of why your army failed, which units were weak, on what side and so on. By the time you came to a battle it is too late to change armies, but you can still affect outcome by proper battle orders and reacting to enemy units positions and battle orders.

 

Vesselin, my dear friend! You can make a paper prototype of this in half a day and play that kind of battle vs someone and see how many options you suddenly have compared to you current autoresolve. Please do that. If you want more depth you can have battle orders separated per flank, so one side can push and the others defend, or expensive units retreat while meat shield defends, or even separate battle order per unit per phase, and it will get even deeper and more engaging yet still being time limited, very basic, not time sensitive so people in multiplayer have time to think a bit for the next battle phase order and so on. Not that hard to implement for a huge value gain.

 

 

2) Army management

Remove food upkeep from unit level. Calculate food upkeep ONLY as a combined actual solders per marshal. 8 units with 1/50 soldiers cannot consume the same food as 8x 50/50.

 

On marshal army level make a toggle:

 

  • Slow march – 50% food consumption, 25% of speed movement
  • Regular march – 100% food consumption, 100% speed movement
  • Quick march – 200% food consumption, 150% speed movement

 

This should allow you a great deal of option to move fast spending more food or spend less but moving slow. This is very simple mechanics, but it has tremendous possibilities on a strategic level. Small armies can afford extra food cost but they are quick. Large armies cannot afford such huge food costs but they can overwhelm anyone once they get there. If you have a lot of food production and you are close to your own lands you can trade food for speed and so on. Same speed of all armies all the time are bane of KoH these endless chases needs to go. Speeds need to be variable in cost. Army food is a perfect trade-off for that.

 

 

At the start of the game, there should be basic DIFFERENT units available to a player beyond peasants. The core of the military gameplay should be counter units with other units, not just a blob of single unit which are worst at everything. Every start of the KoH game was “maxed out armies of peasants” blobs and I see the same in the KoH2. This should not happen, this is stupid and lame boring start every time. You are medieval KINGDOM, you made it to middle ages, have cities and organization and government, but you can’t make anyone armed and organized in a different? Ancient Egypt had unit types thousands years before that, and you can’t make anyone but a crowd of peasants? Come on. You don’t start a game of WWII with naked people with sticks waiting for a rifle to be invented. Same here, basic short weapon combat, long weapon, ranged and cavalry unit should be available at the start so I can compose my army from different parts. Weak yes, but different roles per unit type. Peasants should be like last resort pure meat shield type of unit. Don’t make most of the opening battle and most VALUABLE new player experience about hording peasants, this is not a prehistoric age.

 

 

On a different note. It should be more valuable to upgrade existing units to better weaponry and type than to buy a new unit with a new tech. Existing units should be valuable due to experience with new gear and weapon should be just addition to trained men, not replacement of existing units with new units which are better because you now have an upgrade on some building.

 

 

3) Trade

Reconsider all trade mechanics with “sacks” exchanging for gold. Especially with drop down menu select. This add zero value to a player, it is lame and boring mechanics. Lets say I’m Sweden year 1097, I have these sacks auto generated in my settlements and somehow I can select Algeria for trade and magic exchange to gold happens. How? Maersk is running container ships or something? It is long way, half of Europe is at war, pirates, enemies all kinds of things happening, but all a player need to do is select Algeria from a drop down and gold comes in automatically… Come on. You can do better.

 

Use this sacks resource for something else, upkeep on buildings I don’t know anything. This “trade” is not a trade it is fake placeholder mechanics at best.

 

We don’t understand much about 65 produced goods you have and how to import them. But I’m sure with 65 types you can make enough good trading mechanics to avoid generic “sacks” to be equal “some gold” if I care to select from a drop down.

 

 

4) Internal Economy

You might want to have a second look at settlements. It appears that fixed settlements are too restricting for player development options at a given territory. There should be more freedom to direct economy in different ways rather than just maxing out starting fixed conditions.

 

I would urge to avoid line of thinking that “anything I want I can conquer” which was mentioned over and over again. This is not how it works and this is not how you should expect a player to behave. You don’t scroll across a map looking for resource you need and then moving your marshal to capture the province. Barrels or no barrels you kingdom can only afford a conquest which is close, can be defended and is against kingdoms you can mess with. Which are HUGE limiting factors. If you plan the economy in a way that there are dozens of unique resources like mentioned barrels which you absolutely have to get but they are rare it is a bad design and a bad gameplay. Even if you are France and you have conquered Germany you are still like a dozen or less provinces combined, if you have to have 50+ provinces to get access to rare resource which are required to play it is a bridge too far.

 

 

5) Diplomacy

You probably want to have a look at global awareness and global diplomacy. It is very odd that kingdoms across the map suddenly want to do peace or pacts which each other. It is very odd that you even know about things happening all around on political scale and have that notification messages at the bottom constantly telling you who is not in what relation with whom. It feels wrong, Algeria should not care about Estonia, they are too remote, Naples should not come to Portugal to have a pact against Poland. These are medieval time everything should be much more local and much more pragmatic. Globalization like that feels odd and out of character.

 

 

PS

Thank you for understanding of my unreasonable passion for you to succeed.

PSPS

Spelling and grammar are messed up everywhere, but I don't have time to fix it and proof read again, sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by William Blake
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16 minutes ago, William Blake said:

So after my emotional appeal, I’d rather go to a more constructive feedback.

This are the things I would advise to implement or consider.

 

1) Autoresolve combat

 

I cannot stress this hard enough, but auto resolve battles cannot suck. Most of the battles in a singleplayer are going to be autoresolve (very very few people can claim they played all battles manually in their original KoH experience) and all of the multiplayer battles have to be autoresolve due to the time constrains. Autoresolve combat has to be appealing and interesting, not mundane, lame and repetitive.

 

Lets make a first iteration with minor changes. You are set on 8 slot army variable men size per unit. Marshals has 8 slots, garrisons have 5 slots:

1.png.e36f51446d92b3cabacea7ada630ce63.png

2.png.92a455ad8de038101522aa7651770d32.png

Ok good, lets keep it like this.

 

Now, changes we will make:

 

Slots become directional and represent flanks and center of army on a field dividing an army in 3 sides - Left Flank, Center, Right Flank. By placing a unit in a slot you are changing it position on a field.

 

Division of armies for 5 and 8 slots is shown below:

3.png.0b810ec33d35e9482eb91bc79976bf50.png

 

 

During an autoresolve combat, units of one army first have to fights against units on the corresponding side. Flanks fight with flanks, center fights with center. If there are no more units on the opposing side left then you get a morale bonus and attack closest side next to you just like you would in a RTS battle with line vs line and one flank failing or center pushing through. This will displayed somethings like this:

 

4.thumb.png.1b7b965224b217f1508d984501a34436.png

 

Not only this is practically direct representation of how RTS positioning would be, but also has a lot of value in term of positioning of units across each other to counter different types, splits the big army blob into 3 groups which are facing subset of enemy army. It makes positioning relevant and very intuitive with practically same UI real estate you have now. You can suddenly make a strong flank, a weak flank, you can have good choice of units in front of you or bad choice of units and a player can actually affect this a lot by very easy movement of units between slots.

 

 

Second change, an auto battle happening in the position described above is happening in fixed amount of time say 60 seconds. This amount of time is split in 3 equal phases. I, II, III. During a phase a player can make observe and make a decision about next phase battle order. Battle order is applied for the full battle phase and changes only in a next phase. If player does not change battle order before the next phase starts previous battle order continues.

 

Battle orders are:

  • Attack - high losses for max damage
  • Defend - minimal losses for minimal damage
  • Retreat – retreat from battle if enemy has defend, huge loses if enemy has attack.

 

In a battle phase both armies will have some battle order selected with the combinations giving you the following modifiers:

 

  • Attack vs Attack – highest losses on both sides
  • Attack vs Defense – high losses vs moderate losses
  • Defense vs Defense – low losses on both sides
  • Attack vs Retreat – low losses huge losses battle continues
  • Defense vs Retreat – no losses one side exits the battle

 

The battle screen all together will look something like this:

5.thumb.png.432442c066ce8e62eb0a84008d8d4cef.png

 

 

Why this is amazingly deeper gameplay:

 

You can take same armies and play differently based on who plays what at what phase.

 

I have weak army, you have strong army. You play "attack, attack, attack". I can play "def, def, def" for maximum losses on your side. So you can try to play "def, def, def" to just push me to retreat with minimal looses to yourself. If I play "retreat" in the first phase, it would work for you and I will flee the battle at the first phase. But I can also play "def, def, def" and buy a lot of time with minimal losses and you might not have enough damage to kill my army. You might have units on a flank which are hard counter to my units and only DURING the battle I can see that and I have to REACT on the next battle phase or a lot of your spears on a flank vs my a lot of cavalry make this very hard. We both have time during a phase to see and predict how it is going and make a play selecting order for the next phase, yet the battle is fixed in time in total duration and has very little drag on overall game.

 

With system like this you have MINIMAL changes with a huge impact. You can replay same battle several times with a different result, you can make a mistake in a battle order just like in RTS battle and lose an advantage in army you had. There is PLAY you have to make and a situation you have to react.

 

This makes unit matter because they are set to a specific side to face specific few units, this makes counter units important to each other. This is simple to make and show and understand for a player, left, right center sides. It is easy to manage. It removes blob of total army strength doing something in autoresolve you don’t even know how to show. This gives you exact understanding of why your army failed, which units were weak, on what side and so on. By the time you came to a battle it is too late to change armies, but you can still affect outcome by proper battle orders and reacting to enemy units positions and battle orders.

 

Vesselin, my dear friend! You can make a paper prototype of this in half a day and play that kind of battle vs someone and see how many options you suddenly have compared to you current autoresolve. Please do that. If you want more depth you can have battle orders separated per flank, so one side can push and the others defend, or expensive units retreat while meat shield defends, or even separate battle order per unit per phase, and it will get even deeper and more engaging yet still being time limited, very basic, not time sensitive so people in multiplayer have time to think a bit for the next battle phase order and so on. Not that hard to implement for a huge value gain.

 

 

2) Army management

Remove food upkeep from unit level. Calculate food upkeep ONLY as a combined actual solders per marshal. 8 units with 1/50 soldiers cannot consume the same food as 8x 50/50.

 

On marshal army level make a toggle:

 

  • Slow march – 50% food consumption, 25% of speed movement
  • Regular march – 100% food consumption, 100% speed movement
  • Quick march – 200% food consumption, 150% speed movement

 

This should allow you a great deal of option to move fast spending more food or spend less but moving slow. This is very simple mechanics, but it has tremendous possibilities on a strategic level. Small armies can afford extra food cost but they are quick. Large armies cannot afford such huge food costs but they can overwhelm anyone once they get there. If you have a lot of food production and you are close to your own lands you can trade food for speed and so on. Same speed of all armies all the time are bane of KoH these endless chases needs to go. Speeds need to be variable in cost. Army food is a perfect trade-off for that.

 

 

At the start of the game, there should be basic DIFFERENT units available to a player beyond peasants. The core of the military gameplay should be counter units with other units, not just a blob of single unit which are worst at everything. Every start of the KoH game was “maxed out armies of peasants” blobs and I see the same in the KoH2. This should not happen, this is stupid and lame boring start every time. You are medieval KINGDOM, you made it to middle ages, have cities and organization and government, but you can’t make anyone armed and organized in a different? Ancient Egypt had unit types thousands years before that, and you can’t make anyone but a crowd of peasants? Come on. You don’t start a game of WWII with naked people with sticks waiting for a rifle to be invented. Same here, basic short weapon combat, long weapon, ranged and cavalry unit should be available at the start so I can compose my army from different parts. Weak yes, but different roles per unit type. Peasants should be like last resort pure meat shield type of unit. Don’t make most of the opening battle and most VALUABLE new player experience about hording peasants, this is not a prehistoric age.

 

 

On a different note. It should be more valuable to upgrade existing units to better weaponry and type than to buy a new unit with a new tech. Existing units should be valuable due to experience with new gear and weapon should be just addition to trained men, not replacement of existing units with new units which are better because you now have an upgrade on some building.

 

 

3) Trade

Reconsider all trade mechanics with “sacks” exchanging for gold. Especially with drop down menu select. This add zero value to a player, it is lame and boring mechanics. Lets say I’m Sweden year 1097, I have these sacks auto generated in my settlements and somehow I can select Algeria for trade and magic exchange to gold happens. How? Maersk is running container ships or something? It is long way, half of Europe is at war, pirates, enemies all kinds of things happening, but all a player need to do is select Algeria from a drop down and gold comes in automatically… Come on. You can do better.

 

Use this sacks resource for something else, upkeep on buildings I don’t know anything. This “trade” is not a trade it is fake placeholder mechanics at best.

 

We don’t understand much about 65 produced goods you have and how to import them. But I’m sure with 65 types you can make enough good trading mechanics to avoid generic “sacks” to be equal “some gold” if I care to select from a drop down.

 

 

4) Internal Economy

You might want to have a second look at settlements. It appears that fixed settlements are too restricting for player development options at a given territory. There should be more freedom to direct economy in different ways rather than just maxing out starting fixed conditions.

 

I would urge to avoid line of thinking that “anything I want I can conquer” which was mentioned over and over again. This is not how it works and this is not how you should expect a player to behave. You don’t scroll across a map looking for resource you need and then moving your marshal to capture the province. Barrels or no barrels you kingdom can only afford a conquest which is close, can be defended and is against kingdoms you can mess with. Which are HUGE limiting factors. If you plan the economy in a way that there are dozens of unique resources like mentioned barrels which you absolutely have to get but they are rare it is a bad design and a bad gameplay. Even if you are France and you have conquered Germany you are still like a dozen or less provinces combined, if you have to have 50+ provinces to get access to rare resource which are required to play it is a bridge too far.

 

 

5) Diplomacy

You probably want to have a look at global awareness and global diplomacy. It is very odd that kingdoms across the map suddenly want to do peace or pacts which each other. It is very odd that you even know about things happening all around on political scale and have that notification messages at the bottom constantly telling you who is not in what relation with whom. It feels wrong, Algeria should not care about Estonia, they are too remote, Naples should not come to Portugal to have a pact against Poland. These are medieval time everything should be much more local and much more pragmatic. Globalization like that feels odd and out of character.

 

 

PS

Thank you for understanding of my unreasonable passion for your to succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I dont know if dividing up the garrison into flanks makes much sense? But I do think your ideal for flanks and attack phases may be a nice thing to implement. Might take a decent amount of balancing before they can get it working in a good way.

I dont know how I feel about different army speeds being dependent on food production. I see the problem your trying to solve, but I am worried about the large micro management which will be added by players constantly jumping back and forth for speed boost toggle. But then again since you will only ever have maybe 6 armies max, maybe it isnt too taxing for micro management. 

"Remove food upkeep from unit level. Calculate food upkeep ONLY as a combined actual solders per marshal. 8 units with 1/50 soldiers cannot consume the same food as 8x 50/50."  Are you sure you dont have a copy of KOH 2???? Because I do not know how you deduced this from the game play footage??? Yes the units types had associated food upkeeps, we see that in the footage. But how do you know they didnt scale that consumption with how filled that unit is.  AKA 50/50 spear man consumed 1 food  and 1/50 spear man consumed 0.02food? How do you know thats not what they did? Time Stamp?

"It appears that fixed settlements are too restricting for player development options at a given territory. There should be more freedom to direct economy in different ways rather than just maxing out starting fixed conditions."

I actually have thought of going in the other direction. Instead of giving more building depth to settlements, maybe just take all of that out of the picture, and just have the settlements improve themselves automatically over time (reducing the micromanagement there). These are after all kinda the base production that keeps the kingdom afloat. Also it would give an interest to raiding and attacking countries which maybe havent been at war or raided for a long time as their base settlements would be all juicy and be producing lots of loot. (And of course the loot should outweigh the over time gain of capturing the town and living off the province with all settlements intact) I do agree with you that international trade needs to be interesting and I think they can grow the depth there more. So I think I would be more interested in the management of the Towns and of the empire at large, I think micro management at the settlement level might be a bit too much.

5) Diplomacy

Here I just disagree with you fully.. Firstly I dont know where you get this idea that Serbia in the gameplay footage was approached by kingdoms it had no ties with. So in the footage they make a trade deal with Naples.... And later Naples asks Serbia to join a war against France..... Trade partners asking for help? Nothing strange to me about that... Especially when FRANCE!! attacks you I dont know about you but I am calling everyone and anyone to help me in that war. 

And about the messages at the bottom of the screen, I actually find it useful to know things about far off countries in order to keep tabs on maybe a Giant growing too large off in the distance. Especially useful in a multiplayer games. I am sure they will have a sorting mechanism for the chat so you can prioritize the distance relations ect.... Or just keep it on everything. If not then this is a suggestion of course. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Ivory Knight said:

Because I do not know how you deduced this from the game play footage??? Yes the units types had associated food upkeeps, we see that in the footage. But how do you know they didnt scale that consumption with how filled that unit is.  AKA 50/50 spear man consumed 1 food  and 1/50 spear man consumed 0.02food? How do you know thats not what they did? Time Stamp?

If this is a screen of unit to be build

7.png.894a338dd105560fc6c0d7f720974907.png

 

and this is the screen of a unit in an army

 

6.png.0b6a74b618038a00183c427cc72b4419.png

 

It tells me that upkeep is per unit. There are no fraction of food anywhere on the UI, so food is integer value. 

If squad size is 60 for a full squad, food upkeep is per unit and unit can be damaged with less than 60 men up to 1/60, but there are no fractions of food and food is on unit level not on army level, it means to me that food upkeep is fixed regardless of current men in a squad. I can also elaborate that most likely any infantry unit is 1 food and any cavalry is 2 food or maybe 3 food. But there are no other logical options left if the food is integer and is on a unit level not on an army level.

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Just now, William Blake said:

If this is a screen of unit to be build

7.png.894a338dd105560fc6c0d7f720974907.png

 

and this is the screen of a unit in an army

 

6.png.0b6a74b618038a00183c427cc72b4419.png

 

It tells me that upkeep is per unit. There are no fraction of food anywhere on the UI, so food is integer value. 

If squad size is 60 for a full squad, food upkeep is per unit and unit can be damaged with less than 60 men up to 1/60, but there are no fractions of food and food is on unit level not on army level, it means to me that food upkeep is fixed regardless of current men in a squad. I can also elaborate that most likely any infantry unit is 1 food and any cavalry is 2 food or maybe 3 food. But there are no other logical options left if the food is integer and is on a unit level not on an army level.

Idunno that unit is fully healed so that still could be the fractional amount. But I am inclined then to believe you are correct, but it is still speculation. 

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No, it is much more than a speculation ) For people like Vesso (who used to do bit masking to store some internal model flags a bit more efficiently) if something looks like an integer - it will be an integer and never decimal or god forbid a double. 

I can bet food has no fractions. In fact I can almost imagine a heated discussion they had with arguments to make food to be unsigned 8-bit and it won't even go over 255)) But they felt generous and it is unsigned 16.

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3 hours ago, William Blake said:

1) Autoresolve combat

 

The ideas are cool, but did you read my comments about that?

How you would be able to handle battles like this in real time if you have 3-4 battles at the same time while you are being invaded and besieged and non-stop getting messages on the left side of the screen and popups. The mechanics that you propose would work if you pause the game and entirely focus your attention on the battle.

Cheers!

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43 minutes ago, BC Knight said:

How you would be able to handle battles like this in real time if you have 3-4 battles at the same time while you are being invaded and besieged and non-stop getting messages on the left side of the screen and popups.

Well in my mind there is a big difference between a siege and a battle. In my mind sieges should not really be battles, but rather be a stage one - blockade running for a long time, and stage two - an actual battle which is swift. First can wait for a long time in a siege stage before you actually have to have a player input to resolve the actual battle.

Overall for single player yes, it would be the same if a player selects to go into RTS battle - you have to stop the game until you get out of RTS battle. 

The reason you see that as a problem is because the original KoH had battles going for a long time while the game runs forward. It was done to leave time for other armies to join an open battle. I personally find this to be a very exploitable mechanics and I don't even want to think about that in a multiplayer context. For me a battle should be short and deceive. I really don't see how another army can march half of a province and join on ongoing battle, nor do I see any value in that, so making battles long running in my mind is a negative thing anyway. A battle is half a day in real life. Your armies move at pace of a snail on foot with gear and provisions, we are talking about 10 km at best for half a day on a road. Why would we want to make long in-battle periods and have same issues we had with original KoH "double marshal maxed slots" meta? I'd rather not.

As to a potential multiplayer context (time does not stop or change pace for all players). Yes it could be a problem if you have been engaged in multiple battles right at the same time. Yet I still can probably see a player managing to jump between ~3 active battles and have enough time to give orders for next battle phase in each. If you want to deal with that problem you might want to increase the duration of a battle making phases longer (Id rather have that as a setting so you can adjusted before a game).

However, no matter what you do, if you aim to have a solution where a player has an input in a battle my approach is significantly more tolerant - player might skip a battle phase and the last order still stands, not ideal but it works.  By some great coordination multiple people might attack another player right at the same time to overwhelm him, but due to the different travel times to targets it would be hard to sync, a defending player might see that coming and strike some of the armies first in order to prevent a deadlock. You might also for sure be overwhelmed and some of the battles probably will run at a default battle order, say "def, def, def", but I would say it would be a feature rather than a bug, you can't expect such a coordinated effort from many people at once to be manageable by a single player singlehandedly. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by William Blake
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I"ve read over your comments. They are very detailed.

My issue is that I think you are asking for too much reality in a game.

For example:

10 minutes ago, William Blake said:

I really don't see how another army can march half of a province and join on ongoing battle

You're right.  I also don't really have a problem with that.  Because it's fun and reality would require far too much micromanaging.

Yes, auto-resolve would be more tactically interesting with flanks, etc.  And we're back to micromanaging.

I look at KoH2 as something that scratches my itch for a Medieval 3: Total War, since it looks like we'll never get one.  A nice balance that isn't so so so in depth that it robs the fun out of the game.

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I don't have a problem with any in game mechanics which adds more value to the game at expense of reality. But original mechanics of armies joining ongoing battle had proven (to me at least) a problem.

Because of ability of other marshals to jump into a battle you had:

  • A possibility of AI to jump into a battle you lead 1 on 1 or was on autoresolve from places you (player) didn't expect. (outside you vision). Such that a new player had to do something about it.
  • A possibility to create a marshal in the nearest city, after battle has started, with zero experience, but give the marshal local units and suddenly reinforce the ongoing battle out of blue
  • Yet because you could max out marshals and marshal slots at 2 per side a player could do that 2 marshal max units and make sure that enemy cannot overwhelm
  • This lead to "double marshal meta" which was human player having always 2 armies next to each and jumping to any battle with a second marshal to have max unit and morale
  • This was 90% of the time so effective against poor AI that you could catch enemy that calculated roughly 50-50 but a player would add second marshal and dominate
  • This lead to double marshal junk units blobs able to win against most single AI armies due to size, instead of actual skill or army composition
  • This lead to inability for AI to calculate and build armies to stop a roaming 2 marshal player 
  • This suddenly lead to all the sieges to be very easy because double marshal player would already have all setup for maxed up units/morale and only 1 marshal needed to have a siege units and skill but overall double/maxed manpower
  • In fact since a player would always have 2 marshal battles it threw marshal skill balance out of the windows because a player could focus 2 marshals on 2 different skillset and gain both advantages without downsides no matter if it is an open battle or a siege

 

It also took a lot of good things away:

  • There was no way to deal with part of enemy army if there was a second AI marshal nearby, including AI ally or a city which could spawn a marshal
  • Such that a player could not possibly hit and run or split and hit weaker armies and win before AI would reinforce with second marshal
  • Locking your single/weak army into any battle became a problem because you could not control AI jumping into the battle with a of reinforcement or just because a battle would take too long and you could not move out if another enemy started approaching
  • Since the loss of a marshal was very bad a player could not allow such mistakes and had to blob as much as possible making war very boring and limited options

And it was all in a singleplayer context. Now imagine all this multiplied by human players coordinating. Any time you engage with a weak army would pretty much be a bait with much bigger army waiting to join. But once you max out marshal/units it won't be a problem. so everyone will move with double marshal meta only and make zero unsafe moves. Armies will become "any junk I can fill the max slots with" and all this will repeat. 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, William Blake said:

I don't have a problem with any in game mechanics which adds more value to the game at expense of reality. But original mechanics of armies joining ongoing battle had proven (to me at least) a problem.

Because of ability of other marshals to jump into a battle you had:

  • A possibility of AI to jump into a battle you lead 1 on 1 or was on autoresolve from places you (player) didn't expect. (outside you vision). Such that a new player had to do something about it.
  • A possibility to create a marshal in the nearest city, after battle has started, with zero experience, but give the marshal local units and suddenly reinforce the ongoing battle out of blue
  • Yet because you could max out marshals and marshal slots at 2 per side a player could do that 2 marshal max units and make sure that enemy cannot overwhelm
  • This lead to "double marshal meta" which was human player having always 2 armies next to each and jumping to any battle with a second marshal to have max unit and morale
  • This was 90% of the time so effective against poor AI that you could catch enemy that calculated roughly 50-50 but a player would add second marshal and dominate
  • This lead to double marshal junk units blobs able to win against most single AI armies due to size, instead of actual skill or army composition
  • This lead to inability for AI to calculate and build armies to stop a roaming 2 marshal player 
  • This suddenly lead to all the sieges to be very easy because double marshal player would already have all setup for maxed up units/morale and only 1 marshal needed to have a siege units and skill but overall double/maxed manpower
  • In fact since a player would always have 2 marshal battles it threw marshal skill balance out of the windows because a player could focus 2 marshals on 2 different skillset and gain both advantages without downsides no matter if it is an open battle or a siege

 

It also took a lot of good things away:

  • There was no way to deal with part of enemy army if there was a second AI marshal nearby, including AI ally or a city which could spawn a marshal
  • Such that a player could not possibly hit and run or split and hit weaker armies and win before AI would reinforce with second marshal
  • Locking your single/weak army into any battle became a problem because you could not control AI jumping into the battle with a of reinforcement or just because a battle would take too long and you could not move out if another enemy started approaching
  • Since the loss of a marshal was very bad a player could not allow such mistakes and had to blob as much as possible making war very boring and limited options

And it was all in a singleplayer context. Now imagine all this multiplied by human players coordinating. Any time you engage with a weak army would pretty much be a bait with much bigger army waiting to join. But once you max out marshal/units it won't be a problem. so everyone will move with double marshal meta only and make zero unsafe moves. Armies will become "any junk I can fill the max slots with" and all this will repeat. 

 

 

If time is the problem, with the cheezing, just make it so recruiting a general will take a minute or something, before he gets spawned in. Done problem solved. no more ability for someone to just spawn an army close by when a unfavorable engagement occurs. 

 

Also I you seem to indicate both that you dont want long battles because you hate the idea of reinforcement,  but then offer having long battles as a solution to the intense micro management that will likely follow with the attack phase system you wish to introduce. Unfortunately you cant have it both ways. 

But as a solution to help improve your battle phase system, I suggest having it so you can have a kind of Auto Setup.. So you tell your general in everybattle automatically pick def, att, def, retreat, for the battle phases. That way you can go an do something else if u have overwhelming numbers and dont want to micro manage but still want to control how your army behaves in the battle phases to some degree. Or maybe even have the battle phases pop up on the right side of the screen like the buildings do, and show the actions u can take and the timer attached to the battle phase. That way you can manage multiple battles at once easily. 

Here I attach a picture of kinda what I mean. 

Attack Phase Builder Que.png

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Ivory Knight said:

Done problem solved. no more ability for someone to just spawn an army close by when a unfavorable engagement occurs. 

It is not about marshal spawn itself. If you have a clear maximum army which is 2 marshals everyone will max it out, because there is no reason not to.

Why 2 marshals? Why a 3rd marshal can't join? Why not five per side? This race can go forever, but you have to have a reasonable limit. If a limit needs to be 1 marshal 1 army per side it would not that different from a limit of 2 per side, but it solves other problems. So I'm willing to throw out battle reinforcement feature which was clearly abused anyway.

 

14 minutes ago, Ivory Knight said:

Also I you seem to indicate both that you dont want long battles because you hate the idea of reinforcement,  but then offer having long battles as a solution to the intense micro management that will likely follow with the attack phase system you wish to introduce. Unfortunately you cant have it both ways. 

In my design depending on duration of battle phases a battle can be shorter than current autoresolve shown on the video. So in fact I can have more control, more involvement and shorter battles at the same time, I'm not sure what you meant by "can't have it both ways".

Selecting a choice of 3 buttons 3 times per battle is not what I would call a "micromanagement" ) But sure, an default preset order setup can be a good addition, sure. It is just I envisioned more of a action/reaction loop during a battle and it would be hard for me to rely on a preset, but as as default tool, sure, by all means.

Edited by William Blake
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2 hours ago, William Blake said:

So I'm willing to throw out battle reinforcement feature which was clearly abused anyway.

I'm not.  Armies constantly called for reinforcements, and sending an untrained army from a nearby fort/city is something that happened all the time.

If the AI got stomped by the human calling reinforcements, that's a problem with the AI, not the concept.

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21 minutes ago, Lighthope said:

I'm not.  Armies constantly called for reinforcements, and sending an untrained army from a nearby fort/city is something that happened all the time.

If you have 8 units per marshal you need UI space for 8 vs 8 units max to have 1 on 1. If you have reinforcements with 2nd marshal per side you need UI space for 16 vs 16 units. How about 3 per side? Why can you have 2 in a fight and the 3rd have to wait, let the 3rd one in? Now you need 24 vs 24 for 3 vs 3. In fact if you take into account that you have a garrison of 5 units + a single marshal you need 13 vs 8 units on a screen. If 2 marshals can attack a single marshal plus garrison you need 13 vs 16 unit slots on a screen. But if you can reinforce with 2 vs 2 marshals plus a garrison 5 in a city you need 16 vs 21 unit on slots on a screen. 

I don't think this complexity adds anything to the game. I think that a battle should be much more meaningful with fewer units of different type and quality countering each other and a set of right orders from players to direct these armies. Reinforcing hordes or cannon fodder with even more untrained urgently summoned cannon fodder does appeal to me in a war game.

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2 hours ago, William Blake said:

How about 3 per side? Why can you have 2 in a fight and the 3rd have to wait,

Because there has to be a limit.  And they chose 2.  Could easily have been three.  I think M2TW does three.  But they chose 2.

2 hours ago, William Blake said:

I think that a battle should be much more meaningful with fewer units

So 3 units?

There is a magic number that makes it interesting but not overly complex.

But I think your pendulum swings too far.  If it isn't realistic, don't do it at all?

There has to be some compromise, and I think they found a good middle ground between too much and too little.  I'm comfortable so far.  We'll see how it plays out in the beta.  If they let us into the beta.

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1 hour ago, Lighthope said:

There is a magic number that makes it interesting but not overly complex.

The magic number right now is 8 because UI as shown already has 8 slots for units in multiple places and they reduced armies to 8 slots variable unit size very recently to argue to change that again. Garrisons already have 5 slots so magic number is 8 slots + 5 slots max. The compromise is to make something useful to see if a system is better or worse for least cost of redoing stuff. So magic number right now is 8.

Double marshals... ok fine, you can have 2 marshals 8 + 8 only to attack a city to balance 1 defending marshal 8 slots + 5 slots garrisons, how about that? So 16 slots per side max, can we have that compromise or now you want 24 slots per side? 

However it was not the point, the point was that mechanics that allow long battle on a global map to be reinforced from a far away by another full marshal army was bad for single player war and will be lame for multiplayer too. If you have a limit of 2 marshals max unit which is easy to do but there is nothing to counter that, you will always walk around with 2 marshals, there is no reason not to. 

 

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Here are some of my suggestions.

Add unit training time.
This removes ability to instantaneously fill marshal with OP units and reinforce nearby battles.
Units have more value because they are not easy to replace...
If you wish quickly fill your army, then buy overpriced mercenaries or ineffective peasants as last resort.

Units should have upkeep in gold.
Just like food in original KoH. When marshall leave town there should be impact on royal treasury. Waging war should be expensive.
If you lose all gold you lose ability to recruit new units and you lose war. You can't go to war with empty treasury.
Build your economy first.

Upkeep is good as it is now. No need to go all the way and micromanage every man in squad... Paying 40 food/gold for 40 men in squad will just brake economy and inflate all prices. For example: Tax collector will cost 10000 Gold and give 100 gold in town...
I'm for keeping reinforcement option.
Add in town extra garrison slot that will represent Castle in province.
Give ability to call reinforcement from Castle to Marshalls fighting in province or town.
Losing castle means losing unit in that garrison.

When our marshal enter battle and and give us option to fight, retreat or lead, I would add extra options or strategies:
Fight (till last man standing), Retreat at heavy casualties, retreat at medium casualties or some other mode so I d'ont have to
constantly watch over fights to retret if I'm losing...
All (open field) battles should be direct and aggressive, if you want defensive battle then build fort and wait for enemy to attack you.
I don't see point in those micromanaging slots. I mean, how will that work? Will enemy set up their side first and then you will set it in your advantage?
Will enemy then change their side to counter your setup?
Best to leave quick battles to AI and units type algorithm. I mean, Ai should counter Chivalry with spearman's if you have them in army...

Edited by Menssie
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