[Vacation valid until Aug. 2014] Ziggurat

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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:22 pm

Tweaked the description of Option E. I like it.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:48 pm

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Stamped. Good luck in the main foundry. I will pop in from time to time (as I like this map) but the others will take care of you.

koontz
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby mcshanester29 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:09 am

jonofperu wrote:Tweaked the description of Option E. I like it.


I agree I am liking Option E as well!! Keep up the good work mate!!
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:26 am

E is nice, but code it to one per player. This way in fog games, you do not know where your opponent is and finding him could be fun.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:26 am

I see your point Koontz.
The fog factor is a good argument for coding fewer territs per starting position. BUT I'm very reluctant to reduce the number and give people a side all to themselves for several reasons.
1) It slows the map down. If you have only one starting territ and you have to fight through a literal mountain of neutrals before you see your opponent it's going to drag.
2) Winning depends more on dice. I've seen feedback on some other map projects with lots of neutrals and something I want to avoid is rolling against too many neutrals before encountering your opponent. There would still be some strategy involved - how to fort auto-deploys and how to use bombardment - but whoever got better dice against the neutrals would come out ahead before encountering their opponent.
3) I like the strategy implications for first turn advantage if your opponent can bombard you after you hit a neutral first.
4) I can't think of a way to code starting spots for 1-3 territ starts that works out evenly for different numbers of players. What if some players have to fight each other and others end up on their own? Or what if teams end up on their own side. It would happen with fewer starting spots rather than Option E.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:45 am

jonofperu wrote:1) It slows the map down. If you have only one starting territ and you have to fight through a literal mountain of neutrals before you see your opponent it's going to drag.

Then reduce the neutrals. This is the balancing act needed and until beta, you will never know if you have it right or not. Fighting through all these neutrals is going to be a bad game anyway as it will all come down to dice luck in the end. Think of the map like Antarctica, base around the edges with an auto deploy on them. Fight your way to the middle to get to the bases and win. This is the same gameplay but instead of decays, you have auto deploys. This allows you higher neutrals but not so high as you have them. But this is the next discussion that is needed to be done.
jonofperu wrote:2) Winning depends more on dice. I've seen feedback on some other map projects with lots of neutrals and something I want to avoid is rolling against too many neutrals before encountering your opponent. There would still be some strategy involved - how to fort auto-deploys and how to use bombardment - but whoever got better dice against the neutrals would come out ahead before encountering their opponent.

Reduce neutrals to the bare minimum. You want a surprise element involved here. If you take the next single neutral, is their a stack of armies behind it. This is also why I am against your bombards being for a complete side. If you can see a side, fog games become useless. Much better to have the bombards for the top two layers only on your side. The advantage here is this, even if your opponent starts on your side, you may not see him till he goes for the top.
jonofperu wrote:3) I like the strategy implications for first turn advantage if your opponent can bombard you after you hit a neutral first.

Right now with the bombards being for the whole side, I am not leaving my bases till I see you. All anyone will do is wait till you move out, kill a few neutrals, then I bombard you to hell. First or second turn, everyone will wait. This will lead to stalemates, dice luck wins, no one moving till they have huge armies. This map will in the end become known for farming IMO as it is now.
jonofperu wrote:4) I can't think of a way to code starting spots for 1-3 territ starts that works out evenly for different numbers of players. What if some players have to fight each other and others end up on their own? Or what if teams end up on their own side. It would happen with fewer starting spots rather than Option E.

This is easy. You have 8 corner spots. Attach a corner spot to another SP. These two become one starting position. This will give you 8 to play with. Just make sure that all positions are not adjacent to each other. So SP1 can sit next to SP2 and SP5, but SP2 cannot touch SP5. This way, even if 2 players start next to each other and a third starts far away, the first two also have an out.

I hope all that is clear. :D
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby jonofperu on Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:36 am

Thanks for the stamp.
Good points.
WARNING: massive post ahead! (especially if you read the quotes :o )

show: quote

I really wish there were an Alfa testing stage to see how this plays, but I had to see… so I played it! :)
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show: Large image

It was pretty fun… played kind of like I expected, but I was surprised at some things too.
The corners are hugely important and can be bombarded from two of each person’s camps.
Granted I only played it once… and against myself… but I was surprised how much it swung back and forth – in spite of some pretty big bad dice streaks on each side.
This was red vs blue starting positions from Option E. Used yellow for neutrals whenever the number changed from what’s printed. Blue went first, but red took the lead early. Then blue eventually came back as you see in the picture.

This made me think it’s better to limit max starting spots to 1 (4 territs). I still think 8 per player would be cool, but it would probably be too Hive-like for many people and 4 provides interesting strategy choices.

Also the +3 auto-deploy on camps is huge. I think camp auto-deploy + bombardment helps keep the struggle alive back and forth. Having more than 4 starting spots might give too many troops.

I’m definitely listening to the discussion. The neutrals felt about right though.

show: quote

Functionality trumps realism, but I struggle with making bombards reach only the higher levels. I was thinking maybe they should only reach B & C.

By the way, fog would still have some effect on this game…
1. You wouldn’t know what camp your enemy is coming from – in other words you know he's got a camp on your side and can see you if you attack out, but you don't know if he's close to you or 4 camps away.
2. You wouldn’t know how many troops he had on which camp

Maybe another option is to limit bombards to spots within 3 spaces of the camp or something like that. It would only help get a foothold I suppose.

show: quote

Are you assuming fog, although bombardments make the whole side visible? If you mean just the camps aren't seen, but it has that big an effect, then maybe fog isn’t lost on this map after all. ;)

Bombardment balances first start if someone attacks out, but I'm not convinced people will just sit and wait. I wouldn't. Because the worst your opponent can do with bombard is reduce you to a neutral 1 which you can take back again. It just slows you down.
AND the camps don’t attack at the same points, except at the corners, so you have to decide between a fairly safe attack that’s protected from the other player’s camp, or the corner attack where you can bomb from your other camp to soften it up
The reason the neutrals are so high is each territ provides an auto-deploy.

show: quote

I'll have to play around with what it looks like.

Some observations:
In 1v1 I get the feeling the game will be decided before anyone gets to the summit – at least as long as both players focus on breaking their opponent. Whoever is able to spread out enough in strength will gain an insurmountable lead. (As in any map?)
I think the auto-deploys discourage sitting back and building stacks. Every territ you take is a bonus, so conquests pay for themselves pretty quick and you can’t afford to let your opponent expand unchallenged.
On other maps with neutrals (like Route 66, City Mogul), if your opponent expands too much against neutrals they really weaken themselves and you can sweep them up. Here, you can bomb them, but if they chose a protected position you have to fight through neutrals to actually attack. And any spots they hold become reinforcements.
Maybe I need to play around with lower neutrals as you suggest - at least between first contact points.
Or make it easier to get to the summit by making neutrals the same on all levels, but still increase auto-deploy?
Neutrals felt balanced at the start and players encountered each other right away, but it felt like it slowed down too much beyond level B.

All-in-all I like the bombard feature from camps.
The ironic thing is… I only now noticed that I never bombed DOWN the ziggurat! …which was the point of this map in the first place! LOL
Everything was focused on coordinating bombardments and driving UP the zig for the auto-deploys.
Not sure what to think about this yet.

We REALLY need an alpha testing option. Can’t they set up a separate server outside the main game system and let people play unfinished maps?
Playing this just once gave me a much better idea of how it works.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/02/21] V6 P3

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:48 am

jonofperu wrote:WARNING: massive post ahead! (especially if you read the quotes :o )

That is not a big post. Seen bigger before. :P
jonofperu. I think a lot of what we are both trying to convey to each other is getting lost in our posts as they are getting large. What I suggest is this, go down the route that cairnswk normally takes. Split each of the game play areas up and talk about each separately. This will benefit you and all of the others looking in the thread. You can even change the title of the thread to add what you want to discuss at that time. If you agree to this, how about we talk about starting positions first?
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Ziggurat [2013/03/09] V7 P5 **Starting Positions**

Postby jonofperu on Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:00 pm

Good idea koontz.

Do I organize areas in the first post under spoilers and then discuss them one at a time in the thread?
I've decided to try a reduction in neutrals to have all worth 3 up to the summit.
So here's an update with that idea.

Click image to enlarge.
image

In this update:
1. Reduced neutrals to 3, summit to 10. Left level B corners at 5.
2. Limited bombardment from camps to Levels B and C.
3. Cleaned up the legend text a little.

STARTING POSITIONS

We've discussed this and it's tied into other topics, but here are the options that look most promising to me so far (using the letters from the previous post):

OPTION D
8 starting positions consisting of 2 territs per player with one on a corner and no two positions bordering each other in more than one spot. (thanks Koontz)
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OPTION E
4 starting positions with one territ per side. Even on every side for 1-4 players. 5-8 players are randomly assigned starting positions. The number of different players/starting positions with 5-8 should provide sufficient balance.
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(Also shown in the update above.)
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Re: Ziggurat [2013/03/09] V7 P5 **Starting Positions**

Postby iancanton on Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:24 pm

i prefer option E.
jonofperu wrote:OPTION E
4 starting positions with one territ per side. Even on every side for 1-4 players. 5-8 players are randomly assigned starting positions. The number of different players/starting positions with 5-8 should provide sufficient balance.

i find the corners a bit problematic. have u considered giving the north and south sides 9 regions instead of 7, so that everyone can have direct (but not equal) access to the pyramid?

ian. :)
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Re: Ziggurat [2013/03/09] V7 P5 **Starting Positions**

Postby koontz1973 on Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:21 pm

iancanton wrote:i prefer option E.
jonofperu wrote:OPTION E
4 starting positions with one territ per side. Even on every side for 1-4 players. 5-8 players are randomly assigned starting positions. The number of different players/starting positions with 5-8 should provide sufficient balance.

i find the corners a bit problematic. have u considered giving the north and south sides 9 regions instead of 7, so that everyone can have direct (but not equal) access to the pyramid?

ian. :)


An extra layer to the pyramid would help. Then 9 along the bottom means no one starts with a corner.
Will defer to my colleague over the SP. Go with E and the extra layer.
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Re: Ziggurat [2013/03/09] V7 P5 **Starting Positions**

Postby mcshanester29 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:29 am

koontz1973 wrote:
iancanton wrote:i prefer option E.
jonofperu wrote:OPTION E
4 starting positions with one territ per side. Even on every side for 1-4 players. 5-8 players are randomly assigned starting positions. The number of different players/starting positions with 5-8 should provide sufficient balance.

i find the corners a bit problematic. have u considered giving the north and south sides 9 regions instead of 7, so that everyone can have direct (but not equal) access to the pyramid?

ian. :)


An extra layer to the pyramid would help. Then 9 along the bottom means no one starts with a corner.
Will defer to my colleague over the SP. Go with E and the extra layer.


This sounds like a really good option imo
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby jonofperu on Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:12 am

I see your point, iancanton. Thanks for the feedback.
In version 3 I had another layer to the ziggurat:
show: Map v3

Your idea would be to have camps attack A24, A22, A20, A18 along the bottom of the above example.

I have two problems with the idea:
1. I think the ziggurat is as big as it can get at this point for gameplay. I want the upper levels and summit to come into play, for this reason I reduced all the neutrals. But adding a level would put the summit that much farther out of reach. (I imagine koontz is going to say reduce the neutrals to 2, but I like the balance at the moment.)
2. I like the way the corners play. Every player gets one corner (with 1-4) and bombardments create an interesting dynamic where you can bombard a corner from one side and then attack it from the territ next to it. With 5-8 players you'll probably have an odd number of corners assigned, but it's compensated for by the bombardments.

I'll have to play the map some more.
I'm totally open to the suggestions, but I'm liking the current layout for gameplay.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:13 am

The deployment part of the legend is not needed as it is normal. This can be removed. Auto deploys, camps +3 is OK as you need the troops to get out of camp, but raise all the others as well. You need to go forward and defend. So if a camp is getting +3 every turn, B+2, C+3, D+3 as well. What is an upper territory? Might be better to say "All territories higher up can bombard down the Ziggurat in a line. Swap human sacrifice and religious influence around in the legend. Then remove the lines between them in the legend. So all of the bombards and attacks are one part of the legend with the examples. So your legend should look like this.
Auto deploys
_______________
Religions influence
_______________
Human sacrifice
_______________
Attack
bombards
examples

jonofperu wrote:1. I think the ziggurat is as big as it can get at this point for gameplay.

Can never get to big. ;)
jonofperu wrote:ut adding a level would put the summit that much farther out of reach. (I imagine koontz is going to say reduce the neutrals to 2, but I like the balance at the moment.)

Moving the summit further away is not really a problem. As for reducing the neutrals, might be an idea even if you stick to what you have now. C,D & E are fine. Reduce the bottom to a 2 in the corners and a 1. Give players a chance to get out and stay out for those all important neutrals.
jonofperu wrote:2. I like the way the corners play. Every player gets one corner (with 1-4) and bombardments create an interesting dynamic where you can bombard a corner from one side and then attack it from the territ next to it. With 5-8 players you'll probably have an odd number of corners assigned, but it's compensated for by the bombardments.

Corners should play nice, but it is the uneven distribution. Hence the SP chat.

So in option E everyone gets a side in 2-4 player games. Larger games means random drops.
Are you going to code a max for SPs. So in a 1v1 game, will players get one SP or 2 SPs?

jonofperu wrote:I'll have to play the map some more.

Please do not play the map with friends and then stick to what you think works. Remember, a few games played like that will in no way prove or disprove any theories. This is the reason beta takes so long.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby koontz1973 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:14 pm

jono, update coming soon I hope. About a week left until the one month deadline.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby BGtheBrain on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:24 am

I dont know what % of people like the huge maps, but I know it discourages some players if a map is too large. I thnk the current size is great.

I like maps with objectives, would there be any way to tie an objective to this map as well? Perhaps E01 like the St Pats Map has the pot o gold?
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby jonofperu on Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:55 pm

Thanks for the reminder, Koontz. I've been working on an update, but I'm having some trouble with Photoshop. I may have to flatten some layers since I have thousands now and I think the file is too large. If I try to move the legend or some other group for example, it hangs up processing for a couple minutes before it completes the move...
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:29 pm

Never flatten layers if you have to. Send isaiah40 or thenobodies80 a quick PM with your problem. They both use PS and might be able to help you.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby isaiah40 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:28 pm

jonofperu wrote:Thanks for the reminder, Koontz. I've been working on an update, but I'm having some trouble with Photoshop. I may have to flatten some layers since I have thousands now and I think the file is too large. If I try to move the legend or some other group for example, it hangs up processing for a couple minutes before it completes the move...

Yea I've had this happen a few times. Just work through it, be patient and DON'T try to do anything else while it's attempting to move everything. Leave all the layers as they are because you might have to go back and edit those flattened layers later.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby jonofperu on Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:25 pm

Well I'm thinking of flattening some groups in a working file and keeping them in a backup so I can access those layers and import them if I need to. Not exactly sure how easily that's done though. But I'm definitely not going to eliminate layers by flattening unless I can find a way to preserve them. Thing is, if there were a way to easily import/export groups of layers I could reduce the filesize significantly and make the thing usable again.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby isaiah40 on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:41 pm

jonofperu wrote:Well I'm thinking of flattening some groups in a working file and keeping them in a backup so I can access those layers and import them if I need to. Not exactly sure how easily that's done though. But I'm definitely not going to eliminate layers by flattening unless I can find a way to preserve them. Thing is, if there were a way to easily import/export groups of layers I could reduce the filesize significantly and make the thing usable again.

If you want to flatten or merge layers, but have a backup, all you have to do is create a new file with the same size, select the layers you want to backup, and then drag them over onto the new canvas (it's a good idea to have both canvases visible) and viola, you have the layers backed up after you save the new file of course. You can then flatten or merge the layers in your working file. Though if you do this be prepared to do extra work in the long run. One thing you can do is to make sure you don't have any other programs running, that will help when working with PS.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby jonofperu on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:36 pm

Could this map please be placed on vacation for 15-30 days. I'm in an event and there's no way I'm going to get it figured out for an update before that.
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Re: Ziggurat (high ground) [2013/03/09] V7 P5

Postby koontz1973 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:05 pm

[Moved]

At the request of the mapmaker, this map has been placed on vacation for a period of 6 months. After the 6 months the map will be considered Abandoned. If the mapmaker wants to continue with the map, then one of the Cartographer Assistants will be able to help put the thread back into the Foundry system, after an update has been made. ;-)

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Re: Ziggurat [18/Sep/2013] v9 (p6)

Postby jonofperu on Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:03 am

UPDATE!
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In this update:
Applied shadows
Added blood to the altar
Updated the legend per Koontz's suggestions.
- Eliminated standard deploy explanation
- Changed bombardment description
- Eliminated dividers between the last 3 sections

To do:
The biggest thing left IMO is to draw the camps. I'm kinda stumped here. Can anyone draw a fire pit? Not sure what ancient Inka-Aztec tents would look like other than a "pavilion" roof on poles, but something like that would be a nice addition. Only I'm reluctant to draw something else that would have to be three-dimensional. The next step is to draw the stone pathways to each camp. That I can handle. :-)
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Re: Ziggurat [18/Sep/2013] v9 (p6)

Postby koontz1973 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:23 pm

Good to see you back in action. Will give you another going over when I have dealt with a couple of other maps.
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