Resourse rich or resourse poor.

A mix of deep gameplay and rich historical flavor, Aggressors: Ancient Rome lets you relive history as the ruler of one of the mighty civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean. Choose one of twenty available factions and conquer the world.
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dejvid2
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Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by dejvid2 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:27 am

Do people prefer to play Aggressors with plenty of resources or do they prefer the challenge of very few resources.
Related to that do people prefer the resources to be well distributed or do they prefer that some states are able to corner the market in some resources so making trade essential.

I ask because I am designing a scenario but the opinions of those who mainly play using random worlds would be very interesting to me. I'm especially keen to hear what people who play on higher difficulties think as even on hard I get wiped out too quickly to get an impression.

NKlein1553
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by NKlein1553 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:49 pm

Resource poor would be my choice. Scarcity definitely makes for more interesting game play. Probably best to have at least two or three countries with fairly significant distributions of a scarce resource type, though, rather than just one country "cornering the market," as you put it. From a balance perspective, I think you will find that without at least a somewhat even distribution of scarce resources, your scenario is going to quickly succumb to the "snowball" effect. That is, the country with access to the scarce resource will quickly grow much stronger than all other countries combined. The diplomacy AI in Aggressors: Ancient Rome is pretty good compared to most other 4X games, but it is still no where near as good as even a very poor human player. I suspect that without careful balancing of resources, the AI diplomacy isn't going to be able to realize the need to gang up on the resource rich player until it is too late. Furthermore, since the AI in Aggressors: Ancient Rome isn't "cheating" by having access to information not already discovered on the map, the AI won't even know to try and gang up on the reaource rich player. I do think making resources scarce is a good idea and will make for more interesting decision making, but it might be hard to put into practice from a game balance perspective. Especially if one player has a monopoly. An oligarchical structure would be my recommendation to start with, at least.

One other thing you might want to pay sepcial consideration to is food scarcity. So far in my play throughs of Aggressors: Ancient Rome, I haven't really ever seen food scarcity become an issue for any player. I've been thinking about game play ideas to mitigate the relative ease of food production, but need to take a little more time to gather my ideas before putting them down on electronic paper, so to speak.

Anyway, thanks for asking for feedback. Looking forward to seeing what you create.

pavelk
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by pavelk » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:23 pm

Hello, I would just clarify few facts about current AI:
NKlein1553 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:49 pm
the AI diplomacy isn't going to be able to realize the need to gang up on the resource rich player until it is too late.
AI is able to detect the lack of its own resources and asks for trade once it gets to such a situation.
NKlein1553 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:49 pm
the AI won't even know to try and gang up on the reaource rich player.
Once AI gets into lack of resources, it looks for resources (mines, quarries) where to get these or trade them.

gwgardner
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by gwgardner » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:40 pm

Resource poor or at least normal ismy preference - requires the player to manage in all possible ways, from trade to production to research to building. In my current game for instance, I poor in stones and coal, and it is forcing me to consider something I never did before - not to build too many cities - since I've been unable to trade for the needed resources.

dejvid2
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by dejvid2 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:10 pm

What prompted me to start this thread was playtesting my Peloponnese scenario where not only was I lacking in food but so were the AI players who were offering me huge bribes to get me to give up the little food I had. I'll be careful to follow the suggestion that if I concentrate resources in specific areas that I make sure there are a least two.

Thanks for both of your replies - both of you suggesting to me that keeping a scenario resource poor can offer a welcome challenge as long as it isn't overdone.

NKlein1553
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by NKlein1553 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:43 pm

Having an oligarchic structure also has the benefit of historical accuracy. The various ancient empires and cultures around the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age onward specialized in the production of various goods and resources. The integration of markets through trade and the associated conflicts that arose through sustained contact was likely the primary driver of "civilization's" advancement (I.e. technological development and spread as well as a proliferation of cultural artifact production for the wealthy classes' consumption). The collapse of the integrated trade networks at the end of the 12th Century BCE is what led to the end of the Bronze Age. And then the re-establishment of the networks is what prompted the start of Iron Age development.

NKlein1553
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by NKlein1553 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:02 pm

It's also a very rewarding feeling to be in a situation like gwgardner describes, but then figure out how to deal with the situation. For example, if you are dependent on another nation for a resource and then that nation either starts taking advantage of the situation to gouge you (something I think the AI could probably do more of, in my opinion) or is attacked by another nation, or some other such similar to situation. When something like this happens, you, as the player, need to make real tough decisions about what to do to protect your national interest. Do I go to war? Can I find another trading partner? Can I protect the new trade lines? Do I stop expansion or production? Etc. Making these kinds of choices is what I consider fun.

Aggressors: Ancient Rome is easily one of the best games ever at simulating these tough choices. And this is down, mostly, to how well Pavel designed the game's resource systems to be interdependent. It makes for very "deep" game play. I find this kind of "deep" game play to be a lot more satisfying than some of the more "complex" games out there like Civilization VI, Galactic Civilizations III, or even Stellaris. These games all have a lot more systems in place for the player to master than Aggressors: Ancient Rome so they can ostensibly be considered more "complex," but (1) the AI can't use or understand the systems very well (hardly at all in the example of Civ VI) and (2) the systems are not always very well integrated with each other. I think Pavel's design choices to simplify Aggressors: Ancient Rome in exchange for a stronger AI and a "deeper" gameplay experience was very innovative. I just hope more players realize this and aren't put off by the relative lack of game play systems and the less than AAA graphics.

pavelk
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by pavelk » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:29 am

Hi NKlein1553,
thank you for this post. Great about it is not only the fact that you really like the game and such a thing is always nice to read/know but also because you see the philosophy behind my design choices.
I personally think that world is simple in its nature. Action-reaction, motivation, estimation, costs. That is pretty much it.
It is not the world what is complex but the pyramid of stuff built on top of that. And I was trying to design Aggressors similarly. There are number of pretty simple mechanics and they (hopefully) all should make sense even after few minutes of playing. But on top of these mechanics are built another ones coming from its "bases" and building another layer on top of that (like rules or desertion based on happiness, loyalty and general morale - general morale and happiness is also built on another mechanics). The resource system itself was indeed one of the most difficult parts. Not only because I wanted it to be 100% flexible (nothing is hardcoded, basically anything can be changed by modders) but also because the "relation" between resources is also something what can be changed easily.

AI is a never ending story. I am happy that it is challenging and smart enough but we constantly try to improve it in any way we find issues with.
NKlein1553 wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:02 pm
I just hope more players realize this and aren't put off by the relative lack of game play systems and the less than AAA graphics.
We also still hope for that:)

dejvid2
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by dejvid2 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:22 am

The best Civilization was the first. It was well designed with two clear conflicting routes to victory. Later versions weren't so much complex as bloated. Aggressors is likely to avoid that trap because the intended sequels will be adapting the system to different areas rather than piling on more of the same.

(As to graphics my computer can't handle the full graphics of the current game so I have no complaint that Kubat haven't had the resources for anything more sophisticated.)

gwgardner
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Re: Resourse rich or resourse poor.

Post by gwgardner » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:43 pm

Well put, Nklein1553. My current AAR is a nice illustration of what your refer to as the interdependency of resources, etc. While I'm not winning the AAR, it is quite interesting to me to as a labratory of sorts, for seeing how tweaking one game element affects others, both in setup and in play.

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