This discussion has come up a few times in messages, and I wonder - how many people actually get enjoyment out of building vs those of us who like the battle portion of the game?
I, personally, don't like the hypocrisies that these "builders" show, but eh, to each their own. I enjoyed the game a lot more in the beginning when everyone was forced into battles and none of this sissy carebear islanding/building went on, but I can see the merits of the current system over the previous one. So I restate - how many of you fall into the latter category of "builder", and how many comrades-in-arms do I have in this game?
Post by Lynx Shaman on Dec 26, 2006 2:57:20 GMT -5
I consider myself to be a builder. I choose the builder path because it gives long term goals, while the battler path lends itself more to quick successions of victories and defeats.
Although I enjoy the idea of causing massive destruction, I'd prefer to level everyone's land equally with a DDD, rather than picking fights with those that seem weak enough and leveling individual lands.
The Tower of Escher is a builder's Faction (perhaps the one most strongly dedicated to the builder's path), but I consider Diabolical Machines to be a form of building in itself, which is separate but not necessarily opposed to the massive Monument building efforts planned for the future.
Post by vilhazarog on Dec 28, 2006 22:10:09 GMT -5
Well I mainly find the combat portion of the game not that interesting, there's not a lot of strategy, it's very random, and if you win you don't get much out of it other than the thrill of winning a coin toss. I've been hanging around waiting to see what's next though... with Roamers, I see the potential that Rast could actually allow us to create troops, drones or other stuff that might be really cool.
Also the other thing I don't like about combat is that there are still holes in the rules that allow abusive play, like two players with launchers ganging up on someone or getting attacked over and over and unable to build anything and just have to wait it out until they get tired of it and go do something else. Sometimes you can scrap everything and move of combat range if you're lucky.
However if there weren't any iewen's being a builder isn't very interesting, because you have no reason to defend what you've built, no risk. Part of your building is building a defense such that no one would risk attacking you because they'd get demolished. Also you can't do both... once you've built yourself up you quickly find that you can't attack anyone because you have too many buildings. A combat guy can run around with mostly just cannons and warehouses and not worry about being attacked by the big guys... and maybe catch one with his guard down, get some good tithes, and not worry about retaliation because the builder would have to scrap to attack...
So the game sort of encourages two kinds of play... building to a DDD/Scrambler, or running around attacking the builders... I might try the second way if/when? Rast includes more options for combat.
I'm totally into lasting improvement, which means building, unless you have 10+ bounties visible, or you're an evil bastard who can stomach stealing the tech levels that are worth stealing (12-14) from innocent bystanders. Yes, I have empathy and a conscience even on the internet. Islanding is good, because it means your bounty isn't going to be worth so much. Monuments and machines are bad, because they make your land a target. I'm a hull upgrade fiend, like SUD. Nobody can steal hull upgrades off you.
Post by Lynx Shaman on Jan 7, 2007 17:46:40 GMT -5
I doubt he will. Afterall, it's the easiest long term goal to lose. With the ability to steal TL, monuments, and machines, the regular degradation of the Most Vassals score, there are really no lasting long term goals. Due to acid rain and landmines, Hulls are exceedingly difficult to maintain without a Purifier and a lot of luck, and becomes a constant battle to stay in the same place without degrading. If it was added that your enemies could steal your upgrades, too, all builders would by default need to leave the game. This would be because then builders would be nothing but cattle that alternated between doing the work for the Battlers so that they could have all the advantages without effort and being a tile of molten glass from being obliterated by the same Battlers.
If everyone was a Battler, there'd be precious little to the game. It would be a simple and constant exchange of prisoners. The lucky Battlers would become powerful and unstoppable, growing fat off the tithes, while everyone else was dropped into permanent vassalage, meagerly trying to keep a single Warehouse or Cannon. That would definitely increase the number of idlers, as not many people are going to find much enjoyment spending the entire game having their asses repeatedly kicked by the same people, thereby having nothing to do themselves. Building allows for an attempt to wrestle something lasting from the constant chaos. It allows you to have a goal beyond ruining someone else's day (even if that something is to ruin just about everyone's day after several months of striving).
No, I agree that there needs to be long-term goals and improvements to the game, and I think that Diabolical Machines and Hull Upgrades are great for that. But, also, I think there is precious little for the "battler" to do in this game, except prowl and attack. I suggested an improvement system for combat, but nobody seemed to like that - so come up with something.
Builders and Battlers are integral to the lasting health of BM, and some of those selfsame builders that are so adamant about their play style and prosperity are exactly the individuals who are viciously opposing any sort of battling. You need to live and let live, everyone. Someone attacking 18 people isn't trying to "force his play style on you", he is simply playing the game.
Post by Lynx Shaman on Jan 8, 2007 12:45:46 GMT -5
The Builder's objection isn't to the occasional raid upon them by a Battler. The problem comes when someone levels your land, bribes you as long as possible, then levels your land again as soon as the Vassalage wears off. Attacks don't force the play style, it's perma-vassalage that does so. As long as Builders have a chance to build and work towards their long term goals, they're generally pretty happy. When they're kept in a constant state of destruction, they never get the chance, and therefore are less likely to be happy. Depending on their material and land modifier, this can be a pretty devastating state to be in (-2 land mining URO, for instance, is pretty hard to rebuild).
And builders have a 100% vassalage shot, for cheaper than it costs to go to war - Annexation. Hold down the fort with a Fridge for a couple days, and you can vassalize anyone you want with no detrimental effects. I'd say that is pretty powerful.
If perma-vassalage is your only complaint here, then I don't think any of you have a valid one.
Post by Lynx Shaman on Jan 8, 2007 18:39:13 GMT -5
Closing borders doesn't prevent warfare. They may not be able to bribe you, but the Battler can still blast you again as soon as Vassalage runs out.
Annexation only works for one government. Specifically, the government that is incapable of attacking or even defending themselves with full force. Sure, with enough Food, they could manage to get a full vassalage for the cost of a few glass. However, any given Battler is able to drop their chances of doing so to a coin toss. All they need to do is drop their Firepower to 1 and leave it at normal munitions long enough for an attack. Assuming said individual is a Builder, then the chances of the Battler (who is likely to have a far smaller number of buildings) are that much improved. Democrats are easy pickings for most, but are able to build a building that can help give them some small consolation. The existence of their annex ability does not make the builder's path an overpowered one.
Closing your borders does you no good whatsoever. Imagine there are only two people in the game. You and me. We start out equal, and start building. You attack and defeat me in combat. I'm your vassal. Now what do I do? I've lost more buildings than you, so my production is less than yours. Plus you are tithing me, so that's a minus to my production and a plus to yours. So now the gap is widening, and the minute the vassalage is up you attack again. You destroy everything I built while vassaled plus more. You can see how this is discouraging, yes? Not only have you beaten me the first time, you now have the power to prevent me from ever getting the upper hand. You've won, but I cannot restart the game. Shutting my borders doesn't stop the onslaught.
Perma-annex is not quite as bad. You don't lose any buildings, so no production problems other than the tithes. You shut your borders and wait it out. You're still producing food, and with a good PM chances are decent it won't always get tithed. You can switch to anarchy for fewer tithes, and even build a downtown and assassinate their diplomat. I'd much rather be in this situation.
Anyway, your only hope of escaping the first situation is that the player decides to be nice and lets up, or get distracted doing something else. Or you manage to scrape enough together to move away, and they don't follow. This is what usually happens. Or you convince someone to beat on the other player for you (which also generates screams of foul play by the other player now.)
Its even worse if you have two or more players beating on you, either intentionally or because you're now an easy mark.
I don't know how to fix this, maybe give the option of the IWI throwing up a technocrat shield when vassallized that lasts for a few turns after losing vassal status, giving you a chance to build a defense? Not sure. Maybe only if you've been vassalized more than twice in one week? -C
Or build a Telescope, and trade for a few EUR. As an avid battler, I don't attack weaker people sitting on EUR very often, as they have a much higher hit% than me.
I'd also suggest setting Firepower to something more than 3/4. On my rampage the other day, I encountered only one person with firepower set to more than 4. It's one thing to lose a battle shortly after being vassalized and trying to recover - it is something different to lose with 53 buildings and 12 cannons, EUR, Academy, and Telescope - which, more often than not, is who I attack, because nobody sets their Firepower high enough to matter at that point.