lfnetwork.com mark read register faq members calendar
View Poll Results: Population caps. Friend or foe?
Friend. I like them 20 50.00%
Foe. My worst nightmare! 20 50.00%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll


Thread: Population cap. Friend or foe?
Thread Tools Display Modes
Post a new thread. Add a reply to this thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Old 07-16-2006, 07:54 AM   #1
DarthMaulUK
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Population cap. Friend or foe?

As you all well know, many, if not all, RTS games have moved towards having population caps in games, to really - it seems from my view - prevent people from creating huge armies thus making victory to the person who has the biggest army.

However, online, the story is completely different, if like me, you have had an ally drop from the game making victory all but impossible. It can be achieved but only if your opponent is extremely new to the game.

Should Empire at War remove the cap completely? Should RTS games in general focus more on strategy so the need to create large armies isn't always best? Or, is the balance fine now? Population caps serve a purpose in RTS games and need to remain?

DMUK
  you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-16-2006, 09:28 AM   #2
Darth Anarch
Junior Member
 
Darth Anarch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 366
I'm happy with the idea of population caps. Sure, it's not an ideal way of doing things, but it sure beats the inevitable "tank rush" so familiar to anyone who ever played for example Red Alert. Without the pop cap all you have to do is turtle until you have a huge army, then attack-move them in the direction of the enemy base and go make yourself a cup of tea while your opponent is swarmed.

I almost never play any games online, so having someone drop out of the game and leave me alone is not something I have to worry about. Sure, I can see it being a problem as of course it would mean virtually an automatic victory for the other side.

It would be great if there was a way to implement tactical considerations that would render the concept of pop cap obsolete, but I don't think there is one. A lot of games boast of their superior tactical playability, but in truth there are no games out there that cannot be won by having a huge army of the most powerful unit in the game, regardless of tactical skill. So until someone comes up with an inspired idea, the pop cap is in my opinion the best way of ensuring at least a fair fight.


"We think in language; therefore, the quality of our thoughts can only be as good as the quality of our language."

-- George Carlin
Darth Anarch is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-16-2006, 09:38 AM   #3
Jeff
Rating: Awesome
 
Jeff's Avatar
 
Status: Administrator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Posts: 8,433
Current Game: SWTOR
Imperialist Meatbags Guild Officer The Walking Carpets Guild Officer Notable contributor LFN Staff Member 
I would like to see more strategy involved in RTS games today. I think in games like EaW the pop cap is necessary because if you do not have it, whoever can build the largest army will win easily, and that's not how the game is meant to be played. There is supposed to be some strategy involved in beating your opponent.


Follow me on Twitter
Follow StarWarsMMO.net on Twitter | Like us on Facebook
Jeff is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-16-2006, 10:30 AM   #4
Marsman2020
Rookie
 
Marsman2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 21
They could just remove the Pop Cap when one player is knocked out?


War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory.
Georges Clemenceau
Marsman2020 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-16-2006, 11:08 AM   #5
Darth Andrew
Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Indiana, U.S.A
Posts: 943
Though a pop cap can help to make strategy, it's horrible to have one on a large map. Since I'm not the greatest player, I have a lot of trouble playing the AI 1 vs. 1 in Endor Xpress, simply because the cap prevents you from protecting as much of the map as possible, so my forces are spread extremely thin. So of course the computer multitasks, overwhelming me. I hope that in EaW, the pop cap is raised a little bit.
Darth Andrew is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-16-2006, 11:20 AM   #6
popcorn2008
Little Green Friend
 
popcorn2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
Posts: 1,239
I think that population caps as they are now, arent very realistic. For current RTS games pop. caps are just that a set cap that wont ever raise past a certain point. Unless you capture something (for example a planet).

Population caps should be more involving in strategy. For example they are really a recommendation. You can go over but then maintenace is lowered for everything as a whole, and in the long run it isnt a good idea. On the galactic view, a pop cap should be about planets, space stations controlled (as it is right now). BUT on a tactical view the population cap should deal with tactical factors, that are always changing.

Idk, I have ideas but they are vague and not thought out (as you can probaby tell ). It would be a GREAT idea for Petro to implement a Random Reinforcement Point that changes its value from say 2-5 on different times you invade a planet. That way it isnt always the same and it is harder to base a land invasion on what you alreay know the pop. caps are. But yeah im going off topic .

Right now, population caps need work. They are friendly for now, but if I continue to see them in RTS games for the next years with no innovation then I will get sick of it. lol.


> Lucas Forums Moderator
> Petroglyph Forums Moderator
> Unofficial Petroglyph Fan Forums Global Moderator
popcorn2008 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-16-2006, 11:26 AM   #7
Snafu7
Purvayer of Truthiness
 
Snafu7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 1,210
Quote:
Originally Posted by popcorn2008
I think that population caps as they are now, arent very realistic. For current RTS games pop. caps are just that a set cap that wont ever raise past a certain point. Unless you capture something (for example a planet).

Population caps should be more involving in strategy. For example they are really a recommendation. You can go over but then maintenace is lowered for everything as a whole, and in the long run it isnt a good idea. On the galactic view, a pop cap should be about planets, space stations controlled (as it is right now). BUT on a tactical view the population cap should deal with tactical factors, that are always changing.
What he said.
-----------------
One other thing that I would like to see is an option that gave you the ability to change the pop cap for skirmish battles.
Snafu7 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-16-2006, 04:48 PM   #8
jedi3112
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 500
I don't know how many of you played any of the Cossacks and American Conquest games. IMO they are brilliant, however there are some issues with C2. I will explain them later on but first it's time for a general explanation about the games.

ALL of the games are set in the gunpowder era. There are some melee units (mostly pikemen and cavalry) the Algerians C1, the Indian tribes AC as well as the Egyptians in C2 also had an archer unit. ALL other units had ranged gunpowder weapons. Now here's what the games did.

ALL the gunpowder units required ammo. In C1 and AC it means that every time they shot you lost a very small amount of coal (gunpowder) and iron (the bullet). I'm not sure about the archers, but I don't think they required ammo. This means you had to have peasants in the coal and iron mines (wich could hold up to 95 peasants) to provide gunpowder for your shooting units. 1 In addition every single unit (maybe not ships and artillery) also required food, so you had to have peasants working in the fields or some fishing boats going out fishing or even both (off course depending on the situation). I also believe that horses required extra food (a lot). In C2 the units only require coal to shoot, but they also required food to eat. In C2 there were no mines but villages instead, those villages gave you a steady income and didn't require food to be supplied to them (or at least I think) in addition the villages had their own very small militia and any infantry regiment in the village would get back to full size, for free. Villages in C2 had to be conquered whereas mines in C1 and AC could be build only on an deposit (none of the resources ever exhausted). Firing is actually very cheap with a cost of 2-10 res/shot/unit however with a normal infantry regiment of 120 soldiers a volley is still costly and you should always make sure you have enough to reload. This is somewhat strange in C2 Battle for Europe mode since you could capture villages during the battle, but they couldn't deliver the res anywhere (at least for the attacker).

In addition to this resource system each unit also required a slot free in your population. But you could easily expand your allowed population by building more houses/town centers/barracks. Artillery required their own slots and those could be raised by building more artillery depots (this was introduced in 1 of the expansions for C1 so in the original they only had the general pop number). I'm not sure if there actually ever was a hard pop cap or if you could just keep raising it, I for 1 never reached it, so it must have been very high.

Now on to what's brilliant about the games. The cost of each building depended on how many you have on the field. Buildings under construction are counted as well, buildings the enemy has aren't counted. Buildings from different nations count as different buildings. So if you're playing England and you have 6 arty depots and you captured a French arty depot after that, the price for the next English arty depot is still the price of the English 7th arty depot. In addition, the French arty depot only raises the amount of French cannons you can have, the amount of English cannons you can have is still the same (same goes for population). However if you captured an English arty depot the next arty depot will cost as much as the English 8th arty depot and the amount of English cannons you may have is also raised. You can also still capture things even if you don't have space for them and you will also be allowed to keep them. Now by these rules, buildings get more expensive when you have more of them. Ships and artillery also get more expensive if you have more of them, but infantry and peasants don't (not sure about cavalry). Mines are excluded from getting more expensive as well, and maybe some other resource buildings and walls too. Side from that, they probably used a formula for the price of stuff, but I'm not sure what it would have been.

The result of all these rules is that the stronger player has a very tough time expanding his army, because of the insane resource costs for their houses. You will still want to keep your mines close together so that you don't need many cannon towers, while the weak player has little of everything and as such everything is still quite cheap. No over turtling etc.

How would I do this in EAW, well I would let the price of the units vary, but the buildings can all have the same price as you can build very little on a planet anyway. I may decide to let some units go up in price rapidly and others more slowly. Say that the price of the next ISD is 125% (maybe even more) while the price of the next X-Wing squad is 110%. That also makes it much cheaper to replace a small fleet as compared to a large fleet. This mean that the 5th ISD will cost 2,44140625 times the normal price (and the formula for the price of an ISD will be [real price]=[start price]*1.25^[ISDs you have]

EAW result:
1 Varied and balanced fleets and ground troops, no more building the biggest baddest ships.

2 Small raids while still building up your forces. Really good for the Rebels (as well as making the Rebels feel like the Rebels). It may actually be well worth it to build a few (cheap to replace) Y-Wings only to do a quick strike against an (irreplaceable) ISD and hope some of them get out alive. For the Empire to do a raid, they still have to get a more expensive Acclamator in and risk losing it.

3 as explained by 2, the faction will feel more like they should feel.

4 The strong won't be getting stronger fast, but if you're fleet has just been wiped out, you quickly get a few ships back. You may even be able to get 2 high end ships for the price they would have to pay for a middle class or even a low end ship.

Oh and I voted foe in favour of what I just explained.
jedi3112 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-16-2006, 04:48 PM   #9
Apocalypse|TFL
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 130
Pop cap is necessary for a couple of reasons, most common is to limit performance issues of those with lower end machines.

If you want the perfect solution to the pop cap, Take the pop cap system from BFME 1 and mix it with the system used in HW2;

Battle for Middle Earth - Pop caps were small because the lag issues were horrendous BUT, say you had a pop cap of 80 and you was in a 4 player team game, your ally dropped leaving you to face twice the numbers. Well, the pop cap would double for you, effectively giving you your allies pop cap on top of yours, this gives you a far better chance if you want to continue the game.

Homeworld 2 - there was a pop cap in place but you had the option to increase it if you knew the people playing your game had machines that could handle it. If you had it at standard then you were limited to pop caps for each type of unit. So you could build battlecruisers but only a max of 3 at any given time or 14 interceptor squads or 21 frigates... you get the idea.

Mix those two and you will have a far superior pop cap system also allowing for more fleet variation (online skirmish anyway)


Apocalypse|TFL is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-17-2006, 12:03 AM   #10
Darth Windu
TSLRP Beta Tester
 
Darth Windu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Coruscant
Posts: 1,973
In terms of pop cap, here's some idea's.

1. For online games, make a Team Popcap. That way if one player drops out, the others can still play fairly.

2. I like popcaps, but maybe have a way to exceed them. For example if you attack Coruscant, it will (or at least should) be very heavily defended. How about you have the ability to bring down say popcap(x)1.5 (or 2) units, but if you retreat you can only bring back the units that fall within the cap?

Okay what I mean is instead of landing 20 units, you can land 30, but if you retreat even getting all of your units back to the reinforcement points, only 20 can be saved.


Dark Lord of the Purists

Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
Darth Windu is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-18-2006, 12:29 PM   #11
ImpElite
Junior Member
 
ImpElite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse|TFL
Pop cap is necessary for a couple of reasons, most common is to limit performance issues of those with lower end machines.

If you want the perfect solution to the pop cap, Take the pop cap system from BFME 1 and mix it with the system used in HW2;

Battle for Middle Earth - Pop caps were small because the lag issues were horrendous BUT, say you had a pop cap of 80 and you was in a 4 player team game, your ally dropped leaving you to face twice the numbers. Well, the pop cap would double for you, effectively giving you your allies pop cap on top of yours, this gives you a far better chance if you want to continue the game.

Homeworld 2 - there was a pop cap in place but you had the option to increase it if you knew the people playing your game had machines that could handle it. If you had it at standard then you were limited to pop caps for each type of unit. So you could build battlecruisers but only a max of 3 at any given time or 14 interceptor squads or 21 frigates... you get the idea.

Mix those two and you will have a far superior pop cap system also allowing for more fleet variation (online skirmish anyway)
I agree with what he said about online skirmish, but about single-player....... I'll have to think about that, I play online a lot so I'm not THAT concerned about single-player lol
ImpElite is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-19-2006, 04:28 AM   #12
shadowsfm
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 477
it be cool if teams could share pop caps so that 1 drops, the guy remaining wont need to worry aboutthe enemy out numbering him.
shadowsfm is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-19-2006, 02:49 PM   #13
Delta_Folee
Rookie
 
Delta_Folee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mustafar
Posts: 34
The popcaps do make you form strategies, but sometimes they get annoying.



"Just get us inside without killing the squad."
(\__/)
(='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into
(")_(") your signature to help him on his way to world domination!

CLICK HERE IF YOU LIKE KOTOR
Delta_Folee is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-19-2006, 03:00 PM   #14
Elukka
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 74
I would like to have an option for removing the popcap in campaigns if there were maintenance costs.
Elukka is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-19-2006, 07:51 PM   #15
Commander Obi-Wan
Gold Standard
 
Commander Obi-Wan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,363
Current Game: BioShock 2
Forum Veteran 
I prefer a population cap. So, you can have a strategy other than all-out attack.


Commander Obi-Wan is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-21-2006, 12:21 PM   #16
jedi3112
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 500
I think the pop cap if there is any should be optional. Pop caps get in the way of strategy, especially the redicilous low ones. Just take a look at Age of Empires. You could have only 50 units present. Age of Empires 3 was also hilarious. The few hundred soldiers don't come anywhere near the thousands of soldiers present at Napoleonic battlefields. And if you played the Empire Earth 2 demo you know things can get even worse. That game has a normal pop cap for the units, but it also limits the amount of each building you can build in each territory. That's just hilarious. /apart from that, a good fleet has variation and numbers, not just 1 of each ship or 5 of 1 ship.

Now like I said before I DO think there should be some way of limiting the amount of units present, however I think it must always be a soft limit, however there should never be a limit that you can't pass no matter what. Therefore I think the cost increase of units would be much better. It also provides you with a good reason to build a balanced fleet. Even so, the more I think about it the more I'm beginning to like the idea. The same goes for the increase value of each unittype. I can really imagine a no increase for the basic stuff such as fighters, a larger increase for specialised ships (resulting in a small increase for specialist fighters like the A-Wing, and maybe a very small increase for X-Wings as well, just to make you consider the Z-95, but that can also be arranged by normal pricing) and a normal increase for basic capital ships (all compared to other ships of the same class). The same ratios could apply for ground forces.

In addition the models should not be too detailed. The attraction of an RTS isn't in it's details, it's in it's battles, and the bigger the battles the better.
jedi3112 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-21-2006, 08:10 PM   #17
lukeiamyourdad
Using Teletraan I
 
lukeiamyourdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Posts: 8,274
LFN Staff Member 
I believe that for single player, a different option was possible. Civ and Total War proved it. In both games, you could build an infinitely large army...as long as you had the ressources to build and maintain them. If you built everything you wanted, over long term, your army crumbled since replenishing lost divisions was impossible due to lack of money. Huge army without planning meant train wreck of an economy which in turn meant train wreckt of a military too.

In multiplayer, could a similar concept be applied? I don't know, I fear that we're stuck with the old system for quite a while until some genius finds the ultimate "invisible" pop cap.


http://www.marioramos.ca/ -A friend of mine and an aspiring filmmaker.
lukeiamyourdad is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-22-2006, 11:43 AM   #18
ImpElite
Junior Member
 
ImpElite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451
Smile

I prefer a Population cap for the following reasons.
1. There would be much more lag if there wasn't a pop cap.

2. It adds more strategy to the game unlike the first one with the larger army wins.

Those are my reasons as to why I like a Pop cap vs no pop cap.
ImpElite is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-25-2006, 01:33 PM   #19
jedi3112
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 500
I am currently trying to work around the pop cap. I can say that it works for the corvette, my home made modified corvette (same model as corvette, since I stink at modelling, may try to improve once I start experimenting with textures), and the gunship. However for some strange reason it does NOT work for any of the fighter. their value says 0, but they still count as 1 unit towards the pop cap. The default for fighters also already was 0. I however do have an hypothetical solution for the problem, and that is to create a carrier ship that counts as 0. That carrier ship will then spawn exactly 1 squad of fighter it actually is. I doubt I can make the carrier destroy itself right after that, but I can give it 1 for hullvalue and 0 for shieldvalue.

I must admid though that so far none of my creations were buildable in skirmish (however they work fine in GC), and I have absolutely no clue why. Would be silly that you can have 50+ capital ships but only 25 fightersquads.

BTW Is this forum awfully slow these days or is it just me?
jedi3112 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-26-2006, 07:20 AM   #20
Fetid Corpse
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15
No pop cap would work if there were some drawbacks to having a massive army. ( as others have pointed out). Combine the pop caps mechanics of Total War and Cossacks, and you have the perfect population cap. (in my opinion)
Fetid Corpse is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-26-2006, 08:11 AM   #21
jedi3112
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 500
Yes, but I doubt the EAW engine allows for the cost increase I mentioned earlier. But you're right, there are better ways compared to a pop cap. I may have a way around the EAW system though, but that would involve some heavy programming, and I seriously doubt it would work.

EDIT There I've done it, removed the pop count for everything except the fighters, for previously said reason. I also tried to increase the pop count for the A-Wing, just to see what happens and nothing happened, still counts as 1. So my guess is that there's another number that I can't seem to find that detirmines the pop count for fighters on the map. Anyway, I'm not going to post the files yet, unless asked. This is because the file layout is currenty messy, wich in turn is because I'm splitting up all the files into a shiptype file and a seperate hardpoint file for each ship. Apart from that I'm also splitting up the weapons file into seperate files for each weapon.

So with most of the ships in their group files and the rest in seperated files, half the hardpoints seperated and the other half in the Hardpoints file and the proton torpedoes seperated in my protorp file with every other weapon stil in the projectiles file, you probably can imagine how messy it looks. However feel free to ask and I'll mail you the shipfiles.

Last edited by jedi3112; 07-26-2006 at 12:47 PM.
jedi3112 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-26-2006, 09:46 PM   #22
Rust_Lord
Rookie
 
Rust_Lord's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 171
The origin of this thread was the hassle pop caps create particularly in multi-play when someone drops. Apocalypse, who I seem to agree with on most things, beat me to the punch....have a team pop cap, divided equally if you like. If a player goes then the other can continue on. Hell, why not revert control of any existing units to the continuing player.

Pop caps, for battles, while completely unrealistic are necessary for issues of lag if anything else. They also maintain the illusion of some fairness....nevermind the cost and abilities of the units available.

Galactic pop cap issues are another story. Unless a maintenance cost that others have mentioned is introduced (which is akin to my fave SW strategy game, Rebellion) there is no reason you cant build a limitless military providing you have the cash. I can atest to the sentiments of LIAYD and Fetid in relation to Rome:Total War. On my first campaign attempt, despite total world domination save for the other roman families, I imploded because my military was too large. In fact it was more like two freight trains colliding with an aircraft landing on top! I was actually impressed that it happened because it was realistic. But EaW cannot hope to match games of such grand strategy like Total War, they are too different so I dont think it should try. Stick to its strengths. EaW will always be a game where the biggest army wins. Since there are units to counter everything (which is a debate in itself) this game doesnt simply come down to buying as many of the biggest, baddest and most expensive units to ensure victory. Many do, but this doesnt.

I am not in favour of an increasing cost for additional units. Its not realistic at all. Its not about the cost of the unit, which shouldnt change, its about the ability of the race to afford the extra unit. It does force you to balance your force but balance should be determined by the will of the player not dictated by the game and cost. The necessity to balance should come from knowledge and experience that a player leaves themselves vulnerable if they create an imbalanced force. If they want for eg to buy nothing but cap ships and leave themselves vulnerable to bombers, go right ahead.

What about increasing pop cap everytime you upgrade a space station: the larger the station the larger the force it can service/support. This can be applied to both skirmish and Galactic. The real question is what is the maximum pop cap you would like to have, and what would be the highest that could be supported by PCs without making it unplayable? What if you kept the current pop cap of 20/25 with a 5 point increase for each tech upgrade?
Rust_Lord is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-27-2006, 12:13 AM   #23
ImpElite
Junior Member
 
ImpElite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rust_Lord
The origin of this thread was the hassle pop caps create particularly in multi-play when someone drops. Apocalypse, who I seem to agree with on most things, beat me to the punch....have a team pop cap, divided equally if you like. If a player goes then the other can continue on. Hell, why not revert control of any existing units to the continuing player.

Pop caps, for battles, while completely unrealistic are necessary for issues of lag if anything else. They also maintain the illusion of some fairness....nevermind the cost and abilities of the units available.

Galactic pop cap issues are another story. Unless a maintenance cost that others have mentioned is introduced (which is akin to my fave SW strategy game, Rebellion) there is no reason you cant build a limitless military providing you have the cash. I can atest to the sentiments of LIAYD and Fetid in relation to Rome:Total War. On my first campaign attempt, despite total world domination save for the other roman families, I imploded because my military was too large. In fact it was more like two freight trains colliding with an aircraft landing on top! I was actually impressed that it happened because it was realistic. But EaW cannot hope to match games of such grand strategy like Total War, they are too different so I dont think it should try. Stick to its strengths. EaW will always be a game where the biggest army wins. Since there are units to counter everything (which is a debate in itself) this game doesnt simply come down to buying as many of the biggest, baddest and most expensive units to ensure victory. Many do, but this doesnt.

I am not in favour of an increasing cost for additional units. Its not realistic at all. Its not about the cost of the unit, which shouldnt change, its about the ability of the race to afford the extra unit. It does force you to balance your force but balance should be determined by the will of the player not dictated by the game and cost. The necessity to balance should come from knowledge and experience that a player leaves themselves vulnerable if they create an imbalanced force. If they want for eg to buy nothing but cap ships and leave themselves vulnerable to bombers, go right ahead.

Hehe

What about increasing pop cap everytime you upgrade a space station: the larger the station the larger the force it can service/support. This can be applied to both skirmish and Galactic. The real question is what is the maximum pop cap you would like to have, and what would be the highest that could be supported by PCs without making it unplayable? What if you kept the current pop cap of 20/25 with a 5 point increase for each tech upgrade?
Oooooh! that might work! Good thinking! (I'm talking about the last paragraph)

Last edited by ImpElite; 07-27-2006 at 02:13 PM.
ImpElite is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-27-2006, 02:03 PM   #24
jedi3112
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rust_Lord
Galactic pop cap issues are another story. Unless a maintenance cost that others have mentioned is introduced (which is akin to my fave SW strategy game, Rebellion) there is no reason you cant build a limitless military providing you have the cash.

I am not in favour of an increasing cost for additional units. Its not realistic at all. Its not about the cost of the unit, which shouldnt change, its about the ability of the race to afford the extra unit. It does force you to balance your force but balance should be determined by the will of the player not dictated by the game and cost. The necessity to balance should come from knowledge and experience that a player leaves themselves vulnerable if they create an imbalanced force. If they want for eg to buy nothing but cap ships and leave themselves vulnerable to bombers, go right ahead.

What about increasing pop cap everytime you upgrade a space station: the larger the station the larger the force it can service/support. This can be applied to both skirmish and Galactic. The real question is what is the maximum pop cap you would like to have, and what would be the highest that could be supported by PCs without making it unplayable? What if you kept the current pop cap of 20/25 with a 5 point increase for each tech upgrade?
Maintenance could work, but not in the current EAW system. It didn't even work right in Rome. You had to have a basic income for each unit, but there was no way to keep increasing your income. For example you couldn't keep upgrading your mines. You could conquer a city, but you couldn't create one yourself. So there was no way to actually get enough resources for an infinite army. Apart from that, the more cities you had, the more troops you could use. this just meant that the strong would keep getting stronger even faster than the weak. IMO the stronger you are, the more carefull you should be, just to give the weak a chance (not realistic but balanced).

The cost increase system provides for that. In addition to that, it also makes the other versions of the same unit more attractive. There is no reason to purchase a Victory SD once you have can build Imperial SD. It does the exact same thing but not as good as an ISD. So in the end you now have 2 types of units, a fighter killer and an battleship/carrier. Possibly somebody would use bombers every now and then, but not too often.

Upgrading the space station wouldn't work, as you can only have 5 levels of station. There is a way around this, and that's to use a seperate tech that can be upgraded an infinite amount of times for an increasing cost, but still providing the same amount of new pop slots, wich would also come down to another version of the cost increase per unit. In that case it would be better to tie the cost increase system to the units themself as that wuld make lesser units more usefull because of their lower increase. The tech and unit increase both work, but it's merely a matter of taste to decide what to use.
jedi3112 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-27-2006, 09:15 PM   #25
lukeiamyourdad
Using Teletraan I
 
lukeiamyourdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Posts: 8,274
LFN Staff Member 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi3112
Maintenance could work, but not in the current EAW system. It didn't even work right in Rome. You had to have a basic income for each unit, but there was no way to keep increasing your income. For example you couldn't keep upgrading your mines. You could conquer a city, but you couldn't create one yourself. So there was no way to actually get enough resources for an infinite army. Apart from that, the more cities you had, the more troops you could use. this just meant that the strong would keep getting stronger even faster than the weak. IMO the stronger you are, the more carefull you should be, just to give the weak a chance (not realistic but balanced).
Thus why you needed to move forward and conquer new territories which is the basis of a Total War game. It was simply so you couldn't turtle up a big amount of cities in a small territory (which according to Civ is a pretty bad idea, but we're talking about Rome).
Of course there is no real way to get an infinite army. I was merely talking about the game mechanics allowing that to happen.
In Total War, you indeed have to be much more careful the bigger you get. With larger territory and riches, rival nations all want your head. You don,t have many friends. Protecting your very large border becomes a huge chore as troops do not "hyperspace" to the next city. Micro-managing also becomes much more tedious.
The weaker has a chance. I don't want the puny 2 cities faction to somehow repel forever the largest military in the world. That's not balance, that's just murdering realism.


http://www.marioramos.ca/ -A friend of mine and an aspiring filmmaker.
lukeiamyourdad is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-27-2006, 11:34 PM   #26
Rust_Lord
Rookie
 
Rust_Lord's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeiamyourdad
Thus why you needed to move forward and conquer new territories which is the basis of a Total War game.
Thats the wall i hit. I ran out of places to conquer to gain income. My forces were out of position to sustain an invasion of the other houses, since as you said they dont have hyperspace and it takes ALONG time to reposition armies. Sure i could have attacked the remaining cities but the counterattack would have been devastating. I saw then that you really had to plan your conquest from a long way out. That is real strategy. Yes i know you couldnt actually have an infinite army since you dont have infinite territory to fund it or population to man it...

Upgrading the space station 5 times is more than enough. How big a pop cap do you want Jedi? You could increase the cap by 20 at each upgrade if you really wanted but its not practical. I think your just downing the idea because i wasnt so supportive of your idea. Your idea could be implemented but like I said, its not realistic. Put it into our terms, is the 10th stealth bomber any more expensive than the first? No. The cost of the Empires 25,000th ISD is the same as its first, maybe even less given benefits of mass production or improved production processes in reality.

Your idea of purchasing/upgrading population cap would work and is basically the same thing as the space station idea but its not slaved to the station. Like I said it depends on how large a pop cap you want. You could have the option at tech 5 to increase your pop cap beyond your limit, or a combination of both. I dont know what it is about needing to upgrade pop cap an infinite number of times though; you are never going to use this.

With the space station upgrade system a variation on the existing maximum pop cap of 20/25 could be to limit the cap by the level of your station upgrade. Eg Start at pop cap of 5 for Emp/ 5 for Rebs for and receive 5 extra cap at each tech after 2...so tech 3 pop cap of 10/15, with the Rebs receiving the extra 5 cap at this level. Alternatively the Rebs could receive the extra 5 at lvl 2 and the Imps receive nothing. This is probably more fair as the Imps get access to their first ship that spawns fighters at level 2. At level 4 the cap is 15/20, at level 5=20/25. This would ensure no one gets ahead too far. Its actually limiting the pop cap, which is not want most people want but it could make for a more balanced game and places even more emphasis on upgrading. It would hinder people from spawning an armada of nothing but corvettes at lower levels for eg. You would be forced to use the lower end ships for a bit longer, and with PG reducing the tech for VSDs and AF's you would have access to some heavier firepower just as your cap gets bigger....Just another suggestion.

You could also use your idea of setting the pop cap before the game as an option, say, on a simple slide scale? You could reduce the cap to say, 10, if you really wanted to have a small scale game.
Rust_Lord is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-28-2006, 08:23 AM   #27
jedi3112
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 500
Well, it's actually quite simple, I want my pop cap to be infinite. At the same time I want some limiting factors wich you theoretically can overcome, be it at a huge cost. Meaning that there is a limit at any given point in the game, but that that limit can be increased an infinite amount of times (with an increasing cost). In the end it would be impractical to get that extra unit. Rome doesn't allow for it despite introducing a good system for that game, just not worked out all the way through. However Rome was full with flaws, claiming to be realistic, while horses could jump over a 6 meter pike, bad AI etc.

Then again, I think there should be some rewards for an early strike. For GC, I've been thinking about the possibility of making your victory come in levels, where you gain money by how impressive your victory was (or in some cases your defeat). For example a huge rebel fleet attacks your small Imperial fleet. You win against all odds, the Emperor is pleased and gives you money. Supposed the rebel fleet was completely crushed, the Emperor gives even more money tha he would if some ships got away. Each ship destroyed gives you a small amount of extra money as well, depending on it's type. This last part could be implemented in skirmish as well.
jedi3112 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-30-2006, 02:45 AM   #28
lukeiamyourdad
Using Teletraan I
 
lukeiamyourdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Posts: 8,274
LFN Staff Member 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi3112
Rome doesn't allow for it despite introducing a good system for that game, just not worked out all the way through. However Rome was full with flaws, claiming to be realistic, while horses could jump over a 6 meter pike, bad AI etc.
It does. Just because it isn't as obvious the system allowed it.

And what game is fully realistic? You'd have to be a fool to claim something like that. Even the developers realize that they can't have 100% realism. Thus the saying:"Gameplay>Realism". It just claims to be the most realistic to date. Which in my opinion, is true.

Truth is, I'm not sure there is any game with an actual infinite limite that can be accessive through non-cheating ways. American Conquest did have a pop cap (after you've build a lot of houses, you actually hit it. House cost kept rising but the pop cap did not. I'm 100% sure of this. Don't know about Cossacks though).


http://www.marioramos.ca/ -A friend of mine and an aspiring filmmaker.
lukeiamyourdad is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 07-30-2006, 08:11 AM   #29
jedi3112
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 500
I'm not really sure about Cossacks, but I got over 2000 places during an 8 player game. I haven't actually filled all the slots up though, but building another barracks/town hall etc. did raise it. So at least if there was a pop cap it is well beyond that. I actually never even used over 1 000 soldiers though. Now C2 is supposed to have a pop cap of 64 000 (possibly split up among players). I must admit that I never got that far, but I do get over 1 000 units quite often.

And that horse thing wasn't the only thing wrong with Rome, but also the unlocking of factions is something that I don't like, it doesn't fit in with a PC game, or even an RTS in general. And Rome was pretty unbalanced (Germans couldn't even get a decent wall), and in historical battles I couldn't figure out how to play the other guy. I also had problems with breaking down the palace in cities I conquered, not that I had to do that too much, but sometimes it was the final level of palace and I had to replace it with one of my own, but couldn't upgrade it nor could I downgrade it in order to upgrade it with my own. Same thing with farms, and neither could I set a rating of what was sold and what was meant for growth. And these are just examples.
jedi3112 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 08-04-2006, 01:39 AM   #30
The Source
Rest In Peace
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,304
Contest winner - Modding 
When it comes to the single player, I think the population cap can be raised slightly. Not to the point where your RAM is bogged down, but to a level that will allow you to develop a nice strong army. Sometimes I do get a powerful army, but I allways wish I had a few more men to fight with.



R.I.P. to 'The Source' and 'MacCorp'
2004-2008
The Source is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 08-04-2006, 02:12 AM   #31
lukeiamyourdad
Using Teletraan I
 
lukeiamyourdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Posts: 8,274
LFN Staff Member 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi3112
And that horse thing wasn't the only thing wrong with Rome, but also the unlocking of factions is something that I don't like, it doesn't fit in with a PC game, or even an RTS in general.
Yeah, that was pretty annoying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi3112
And Rome was pretty unbalanced (Germans couldn't even get a decent wall),
Well, you were complaining about realism hehe. They're just trying to make it realistic from that perspective.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi3112
and in historical battles I couldn't figure out how to play the other guy.
Because you couldn't :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi3112
I also had problems with breaking down the palace in cities I conquered, not that I had to do that too much, but sometimes it was the final level of palace and I had to replace it with one of my own, but couldn't upgrade it nor could I downgrade it in order to upgrade it with my own.
Sounds like a bug. I could do it without problem. I didn't even need to break down the palace, the upgrade option jut appeared.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi3112
Same thing with farms, and neither could I set a rating of what was sold and what was meant for growth. And these are just examples.
Then you missed the point of Rome: Total War. Its emphasis was on war, not economical management. They purposely dumbed down the economy. The on-field action, as far as combat is involved, is the most realistic up-to-date.


http://www.marioramos.ca/ -A friend of mine and an aspiring filmmaker.
lukeiamyourdad is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 08-07-2006, 08:47 PM   #32
edmendduke55555
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15
As for the Pop Cap, I was thinking of sumthing more Hearts of Iron 2 style. It bascically invovles Transport Capacity and Supplies. Supplies are created by Industrial Capacity being alotted to them and Transport Capacity is 1.5X of IC. (More like Maintainence Capacity) This could work in that a portion of a planet's income can be converted into supplies automatically and added into a sotckpile. When the army is too large and over the MC of the player, maybe effects such as sluggish/slowed repairs (i know they insta-repair after battle) or weaker firepower due to the inability to maintain the battleship. The maintanace capacity could be a direct relationship between the total income you recieved.
edmendduke55555 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 08-08-2006, 07:20 AM   #33
Ali1392
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 205
on a game like supreme commander
http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/s...der/index.html
theres no need for pop caps but on eaw there is because
a)the map is so small and has obstical
b)it does not and never will have any stratigy just tatics
and finnaly c)althought it does need to be movible even now with the really low pop caps peopel lag
Ali1392 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Post a new thread. Add a reply to this thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Go Back   LucasForums > Network > Empire At War > EaW General Discussion > Galactic Discussion > Population cap. Friend or foe?

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:09 PM.

LFNetwork, LLC ©2002-2011 - All rights reserved.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.