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Idea: City Guard Command Posts & Semaphore Towers

ZbacoZbaco Posts: 150Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
(Ok, let's get this part over with first: REEEEEEEEE NO CITY GUARD CHANGES, ACHAEA IS PVP NOT PVG REEEEEEEEEEE)

Now that that is out of the way, here's my idea.

Lately I've been taking more of an interest in city guard mechanics, learning how they work, how to best employ them (thanks Mhaldor) and what their strengths and weaknesses are (thanks Mhaldor).

As most of you probably know, in order to hire or move a guard, one has to be in the room they want the guard moved to. This can be somewhat of an annoyance when trying to reposition guards to support a raid defence, or even for routine changes and repositioning. Obviously, though, it'd be too overpowered to just be able to sit in one spot and command guards all over the city...that is, without a bit of help.

I give you: the CITY GUARD COMMAND POST and SEMAPHORE (signal) TOWERS.

Guard Command Post
 - Improvement that allows guards to be moved and stationed remotely.
 - Only one Command Post per City.
 - Requires at least one Semaphore Tower in order to operate - useless otherwise.
 - When constructed, creates a room that can be entered from the room that it is constructed in.
 - Limited number of people able to move guards at once (2? 3?)
 - Person(s) stationing guards must remain still for the normal period of time, cannot move, etc.
 - Must be placed within 15 rooms of the city Keystone.
 
Semaphore Tower
 - Used in conjunction with a Command Post. At least one is required to be of any use.
 - Sends semaphore signals to guards, allowing them to be commanded from a distance.
 - Can be constructed ANYWHERE in the city.
 - Has a (X) room "command range" from placement. All guards within that range may be restationed to another room within the coverage area.
 - Up to five Semaphore Towers may be constructed in a City. Each tower constructed increases the command range of ALL towers by +1 room. A full complement of 5 towers allows guards to be moved anywhere in the City limits.
 
Other thoughts:
 - Semaphores are tall and not exactly quiet, so it's quite noticeable when they are sending messages (A clacking and rattle of gears sounds from a nearby semaphore tower, The clacking noises fade to silence as a nearby semaphore tower stills.)
 - Small penalties/bonuses to guard "travel" times depending on number of towers built?
 - How to refer to rooms - room name? internal ID number?

I think this would add a bit more strategy to raids, and give defenders additional options when responding to a raid. Would appreciate any comments/suggestions.

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Comments

  • KietKiet Posts: 2,718Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited April 5
    wtf do we need to buff guards for. I don't mean this in a 'guards are bad' way but what gameplay purpose does this serve? Do you want people to just not ever be able to raid unless with a group of dragons?

    what 'strategy' is added by just moving guards from complete safety onto the enemy?
    ShirszaeRyzanBrenex
  • PuxiPuxi Posts: 456Member ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    What problem are you trying to solve for here? In what situations will this mechanic make the game more fun? My initial thought is/was, "Fuck. No.", but change my opinion :)
    ShirszaeKietBrenex
  • SkyeSkye The Duchess BellaterePosts: 2,686Member, Seafaring Liason @@ - Legendary Achaean
    When proposing an idea like this one, one must consider certain factors such as what options raiders have to intervene with such methods of guard movement. If you're not able to substantiate a fair counter measure, then the idea becomes a poor one.


    Ryzan
  • ZbacoZbaco Posts: 150Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I suppose I'd like to see the current system improved on a bit, if that helps. Right now (in my experience) it seems like it could be fleshed out a bit more and give the defenders some additional options. Of course it would need to be tweaked to not tip the scales too far in the defender's favor, but there is definitely room for that.

    As for the 'problem' I am trying to solve...it may be just my lack of experience with guards, but I don't see an effective way of using guards to assist in a defense, given the time it takes to move them from one place to another. Hell, I see Ajoc getting bitched at for moving guards around during raids, and have no idea how he manages to pull it off even semi-effectively - they just seem way too slow, and the person summoning them is way too vulnerable to make any sort of a difference. This seems like it might make guards a bit more user-friendly.
  • AccipiterAccipiter Posts: 326Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Your problem is going to be that using guards is considered lame and no one who raids will agree in making them easier to use, because they don't want them to be used at all.
  • ZbacoZbaco Posts: 150Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Eh, perhaps it might be time to rethink that. Why have them if if we "can't" use them?
  • TorinnTorinn Posts: 825Member ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Because right now they are capable of killing many attackers by themselves if the attackers aren't dragons
    Deucalion says, "Torinn is quite nice."
  • CooperCooper IowaPosts: 4,374Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    You can use them. Your base problem - that you can't effectively move guards in raids - is a personal one, and not a game wide problem.

    Cyrene has the worst guard layout of any city, by a massive margin. They have made the same guard mistakes for over 200 years, that have been exploited pretty much every single raid against them.

    This isn't the place to teach you on how to be more effective with guards (and isn't something I'm going to do anyway because it should be an IC learned thing), but please believe me when I say Cyrene needs to utilize guards differently than they do now!

    Adrik
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaPosts: 4,755Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited April 6
    I'm fine with defenders using guards, it is what they're designed for, but right now guards definitely help tip the balance towards defenders. Add in smart usage of font and it can get super painful real quick.

    Wanting to "flesh" out a system that already lies heavily in your favour is a bit tricky at best. All the things you're suggesting are additions to help you, but nothing that is a detriment or gives anything to the fighting team, so yeah, everyone's going to be pretty skeptical of changing anything without a very solid reason to (aka, an actual problem with the system) and a very solid counterplay. 
    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

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  • ReysonReyson Posts: 461Member ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    If stationary guards were removed, in favour of a directible group of guards that could be summoned on a timer, or with a way to interfere summoning, so that a commander can only use them actively instead of a passive, static (and yet also movable) defence laid out all over the city, I'd be fine with it being something you can do at a distance. As it is, defence already favours distance engagements too much (i.e. using telepathy from a guard stack, or displacing from a guard stack, waiting for the font to tick up, etc. etc.), and adding even more reason for groups not to actually engage is a pretty bad idea. 
  • ZbacoZbaco Posts: 150Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Cyrene has the worst guard layout of any city, by a massive margin. They have made the same guard mistakes for over 200 years, that have been exploited pretty much every single raid against them.
    Well, we are working on this part at least ;)
  • CaledCaled Posts: 67Member ✭✭ - Stalwart
    Disclaimer: I think this point is valid anywhere in IRE. I have no specific opinion for achaea.

    The only reason I could see for adding structures to city defence (of any flavour) is to give the attackers something else to attack. 

    I've no idea if Achaean raids need more tangible targets or not, but definitely listen to Cooper  (who has been something of a guard layout authority in several IRE games).
  • AdrikAdrik Posts: 24Member
    Just as an FYI:

    Cyrene does have the worst guard system in the entire game. Your entire system was based around.. I think Aerek and Draqoom's Shield Mastery task where they devised a system where you can Call for Help from anywhere in the city and get constables.

    Needless to say, there are a lot of stacks of only 3-4 constables, with very few having 5. (Or Worse, it's 3-4 constables + stationaries).

    Targossas' was pretty awful a year-or-so ago which lead to an almost entire guard wipe before it was reworked and done over so it is at least marginally harder to just guard bash.

    At the same time, it's ridiculously friggin easy to guard bash whenever you have 12+ dragons and next-to-no-one defending so... It doesn't reallllllly matter.
  • ZbacoZbaco Posts: 150Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Adrik said:
    Just as an FYI:

    Cyrene does have the worst guard system in the entire game. Your entire system was based around.. I think Aerek and Draqoom's Shield Mastery task where they devised a system where you can Call for Help from anywhere in the city and get constables.

    Needless to say, there are a lot of stacks of only 3-4 constables, with very few having 5. (Or Worse, it's 3-4 constables + stationaries).

    Targossas' was pretty awful a year-or-so ago which lead to an almost entire guard wipe before it was reworked and done over so it is at least marginally harder to just guard bash.

    At the same time, it's ridiculously friggin easy to guard bash whenever you have 12+ dragons and next-to-no-one defending so... It doesn't reallllllly matter.
    This I know, and we are working on it. I hope we can get to the point where our guardforce is at least slightly less of a pushover than it is now.
  • AdrikAdrik Posts: 24Member
    You have a good start by having one of your city entrances only accessible via the ground (meaning you don't require archers there) and having a 2nd entrance that isn't tethered to the clouds exit.
  • FarrahFarrah Posts: 1,836Member, Secret Squirrel @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If you feel you're vulnerable when stationing guards, you have to turtle more. Rushing your entire defense team on a totem, vibes, and harmonics, with a constable arriving in 30 seconds is not easy and highly favors the defense. It's not meant to be 100% risk-free or impossible to beat though. Sanction mechanics require defenders to die so being able to defend from afar with just guards would be bad.
    Reyson
  • KeorinKeorin Posts: 515Member ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Adrik said:
    Just as an FYI:

    Cyrene does have the worst guard system in the entire game. Your entire system was based around.. I think Aerek and Draqoom's Shield Mastery task where they devised a system where you can Call for Help from anywhere in the city and get constables.
    To my knowledge, Cyrene has its current guard layout because in the two real life years or whatever it was where we weren't raided, the ability to call for help on individuals was a much bigger concern then guard bashing. So it was a decent layout for some time, which is now complete garbage since the needs have changed.
    ZbacoTrilliana
  • MathonwyMathonwy Posts: 813Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    best guard layouts were Crossroads/Fish St style 99-stack imo
    Saeva said:
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    Xenomorph said:
    heh. Mathowned.
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  • TalamondTalamond Atop his throne of booksPosts: 173Member ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited April 9
    I would like to see guards that are more interesting, more diverse, and nerfed into the ground in some way with respect to enhancing pvp success. Instead of being the go-to for supposed "cowards", their use would just be assumed as part of proper raid defense, because (again) the idea that players have to deliberately hamstring themselves to play "properly" is really silly. This allows for neat ideas like Zbaco's, and ideally creates a new kind of game proficiency based on RTS-ish mechanics (maybe, just spitballing here, I dunno).

    No specific thoughts on implementation at the moment, but just thought I'd throw that out there.
    AjocZbacoEhene
  • ZbacoZbaco Posts: 150Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    ^^ This (RTS mechanics) exactly. I can accept that a well-led or just OP-as-fuck artied dragon raiding group will not have a major problem with guards. What I would really like to see is a better and more streamlined method of controlling and directing guards. That is one of the points I was trying to address with my original ideas.
  • KietKiet Posts: 2,718Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The current system is as streamlined as yours, though. Yours just makes it impossible to hurt the commander.
  • ZbacoZbaco Posts: 150Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I did mention above that this idea needs to be fleshed out a bit more to make it balanced. Perhaps the commander can only sit in there for so long before being kicked out and receiving a cooldown before he can go back in. Perhaps the raiders can do a bit of recon beforehand and send a few people in to disrupt the command post just before the main party goes in (tactics, anyone?) I'm sure there are other ways to balance it, too.
  • FarrahFarrah Posts: 1,836Member, Secret Squirrel @@ - Legendary Achaean
    RTS would only work if the raiders had denizen soldiers that come with them and duke it out with the guards. Otherwise any bonus guards provide to the defense will always create an imbalance and thus always be frowned upon in fair fights and definitely not something you should be able to do from safety.

    The issue is people probably don't want raids to be an RTS denizen battle rather than pk!
  • KietKiet Posts: 2,718Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    RTS gameplay doesn't work over text anyway unless we use some kind of ascii map so idk what the point of that is.
    Blujixapug
  • ZbacoZbaco Posts: 150Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited April 10
    Re: RTS gameplay - We do have mudlet mapper, I'm sure some enterprising coder out there could whip something up that'd let me station guards by clicking on my map ;-)

    @Farrah, I understand that, and I don't want the game to turn into "push button, guards show up, raiders die" either, because yes, that does indeed sound boring (as much as I'd wish we could do that to Mhaldor sometimes.) However, I still think some improvements can be made to the current system, and a new balance struck between "push button, raiders die" and "OMG GUARDZ SUXORZ AND U SUXORZ IF U USE THEM".
  • TalamondTalamond Atop his throne of booksPosts: 173Member ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    RTS is already sort of part of Achaea via the current guard mechanics. The map is in your head (and the client), and your character is the cursor. Certainly not StarCraft III: Kerrigan Broke Your Display This Time, but that's not what's being imagined here.

    Random, incoherent thoughts:

    How about guards differentiated better by function? Instead of variations on delivering damage, what about guards who don't damage, but instead solely hinder, wall, becalm, beckon, report, serve as teleport points (Security aides can teleport to the location of the last guard that called out an enemy sighting or something), etc. Maybe delete Orb of Confinement and give that power to a guard type. Basically, something more interesting and satisfying to use, that relies heavily on smart positioning and moving them about, rather than "we need more damage numbers because our damage numbers are not as good as their damage numbers".

    That said, it still needs to allow a city some kind of viable response against superior numbers, without it being something that can be abused by stacking with current defenders. I wish I could give a more fleshed out idea, but I can at least say with confidence that there are ways to create asymmetrical situations that are still balanced overall. Something that scales well with varying raid group and defense group sizes.

    And honestly, if you really wanted to push this in a different (but possibly neat) direction, go even further and turn raids into a siege type event. Let the outside skirmishes be the realm of pure pvp and group organization, and give the raids a different flavor apart from "skirmish, but inside a city". This definitely changes the whole flavor of raiding and may not be everyone's cup of tea, but again: we already have skirmishes, crusades, etc. City raids could use a different approach without ruining a major appeal of the game, I think.

    Random: Also, make city occupation a thing someday. I want to take over Hashan for a year and force them to listen to bad sermons at Crossroads or else they don't get dessert that day.
    Torinn
  • NazihkNazihk Posts: 930Member @ - Epic Achaean
    Fuck that.

    City war in a PvP game should involve the PvP system. The day city conflicts stop being resolved with players personally killing people is the day that city conflicts die.
    Shirszae
  • TalamondTalamond Atop his throne of booksPosts: 173Member ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Saw that Nazihk posted and already knew what it said. This confirms to me that we're on to something good here.

    I'm still not yet sure about specific mechanics, but after some thought, I've narrowed a lot of this down to scalability as the main design goal. Guards need to be something that can be leveraged effectively against an overwhelming raid group, but also lose a lot of their raw damage potential when paired with citizenry. I definitely still like ideas like being able to use them as makeshift walls, because I think that a cool feature of being the defender should be that you shape the conflict. It's your home after all, and you should have the terrain advantage.
  • ReysonReyson Posts: 461Member ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    You do, though? Enemies hit totems every time they enter a room and have don't stacking on them just to stand around. How are those not massive terrain advantages?
  • TalamondTalamond Atop his throne of booksPosts: 173Member ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    That's a fantastic example. Totems are definitely a good terrain shaper, and I like the concept behind them. In that respect, I see guards as a potential way to enhance that by making it something you can easily rearrange in real-time.

    Regardless, a lot of these are just idle thoughts. The core issue is, and has always been, that a mechanic you sometimes have to ignore for the sake of "fairness" is not a good mechanic.
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