The Cursed 0.14

The Cursed 0.14

Azaremoth's epic game about bones, undead, demons and magic set in a futuristic environment.

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azaremoth
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The Cursed 0.14

Post by azaremoth » 29 Oct 2009, 23:20

Here is a bug-fixed release of The Cursed. It should run without major problemes with the recent spring version. Moreover there was a lot of stuff done for the GUI by CarRepairer. LUPS should not crash anymore on computers that don't support it. Check it out!

Image

Changes 0.131 => 0.14
- optimization of melee and collision spheres
- enhancements to the GUI (chiligui)
- fixes to the GUI
- fixed LUPS
- tier2 is much cheaper now
- gunships (sledgehammer) can now be build with the lvl1 airpad
- other balancing

Download here:
http://www.springfiles.com/show_file.php?id=2140
Last edited by azaremoth on 11 Nov 2009, 19:31, edited 1 time in total.
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AF
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by AF » 10 Nov 2009, 15:56

first post!

cursed ftw ^_^
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azaremoth
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by azaremoth » 17 Nov 2009, 19:46

I'll continue the discussion in the right thread here.
wilbefast wrote:I'm not sure the gunships belong in tier 1 - they're very powerful units: a couple of them can fly in behind a person's defences and cripple their economy in seconds. I won a game against zwzsg using them almost to the exclusion of everything else, and gave maackey high blood pressure by flying my last surviving unit (guess what) around the map picking off undefended structures and units. That was one gunship!

maackey reckons the problem is a lack of land anti-air on tier 1 - his mages didn't work so well against my gunship, and since he couldn't get interceptors he was in a bit of a pickle. Defender's are totally devasting against air but gunships are manoeuvrable enough to avoid them pretty easily.
Perhaps they're a natural counter for artillery but I still think they belong in tier 2, especially since upgrading the Dark Assembler now only gets you one new unit, which is a bit anti-climatic...

Just my 2 cents :P

Here's a link to the 2 replays - just watched them for the first time: I had no idea just how slowly zwzsg started (I seriously didn't deserve to win that game).
http://willhostforfood.com/?Action=down ... leid=94888

Really love the Cursed, my favourite mod these days - such beautiful units :mrgreen:
Thanks for the replays. The gunship seams to be overpowered for tier1 - that is for sure. Air was quite useless before I moved the gunship from tier2 to tier1. I guess I'll add another unit to fill that gap and move the gunship back where it came from. :-) While I calmed down the skeletal mages they became quite uneffective against air units but the witch can easily shoot at flying units.
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maackey
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by maackey » 17 Nov 2009, 23:53

azaremoth wrote:but the witch can easily shoot at flying units.
hehehe. They cost too much and take waaaay too long to build and don't do enough damage to planes to be viable aa.

I had at *least* 2 witches in that game where i couldn't kill wilby's lone gunships and they didn't do anything before they died. I probably should have built more defense towers, as they rape gunships, but I am very used to ca's mobile units being king of the battlefield, so when my base got levelled, I couldn't defend against them killing my meager attempts at rebuilding.

Anyway, those little details aside, it is pretty fun and I really admire the quality of your art. The units are quite unique and interesting, not to mention they look awesome :3
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by JohannesH » 18 Nov 2009, 03:14

Defense towers dont really rape gunships, not with the little testing I did in singleplayer. 3 gunships kill 1 defender without casualties, so theyre capable of taking down 3 lone defenders without backing for repair (but yes they still do decent damage). And when mobile aa cant really touch them, they outrange the mages and even if they teleport to under them to get in range, gunships seem to win mages of same cost in a straight fight anyway. (Take this with a grain of salt, as its just singleplayer testing...)

I like the idea of powerful air units, and the gunship is a nice unit type with the fast salvo of units and then reload, but atm they just seem too ridiculously powerful... Rather than move them to higher tech, just buff mobile t1 aa or nerf the gunships. Cool way of nerfing them imo would be to increase the reloadtime between salvos, this would allow them to make nice hit'n'run microing attacks, and its a nice mechanic if they can take down lone defense towers when reaching critical mass but not when theres anything besides that 1 tower. And give mages more range vs air targets?
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azaremoth
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by azaremoth » 18 Nov 2009, 18:35

JohannesH wrote:Defense towers dont really rape gunships, not with the little testing I did in singleplayer. 3 gunships kill 1 defender without casualties, so theyre capable of taking down 3 lone defenders without backing for repair (but yes they still do decent damage). And when mobile aa cant really touch them, they outrange the mages and even if they teleport to under them to get in range, gunships seem to win mages of same cost in a straight fight anyway. (Take this with a grain of salt, as its just singleplayer testing...)
Actually you should compare units cost vs. cost. A defender costs 30,8 % less than the gunship. Taking into account that the defender is immobile, it should be cheaper comparing strengh vs. strength. Try attacking 2-3 defenders with some gunships and the defenders will eat them like chocolate. :wink:
maackey wrote:I had at *least* 2 witches in that game where i couldn't kill wilby's lone gunships and they didn't do anything before they died.
Yeah - the witches are too slow to get into the right position and they do too little damage. The skeletal mages need to be proper aa units again. As JohannesH suggests, I┬┤ll add a special aa weapon with more range for the mages.
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by JohannesH » 18 Nov 2009, 18:50

But the gunship owner doesnt have to try attacking several towers. Unless the whole map is dotted with them but that costs way more than some gunships anyway. The balance between them should be ok atm, but as a sole defense against gunships they would fail totally.
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by Google_Frog » 19 Nov 2009, 00:08

If AA range is a problem gunships could be slowed down. It's a better alternative to keeping track of 2 range rings.
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by JohannesH » 19 Nov 2009, 02:58

Fast gunships are much more fun to play with than slow ones. If the hit n run micro is taken away its much much blander unit than now. Mages can teleport to them anyway, but do ridiculously little damage especially as they seem to miss with their shots as often as not.

Could also consider making gunners shoot air.
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by wilbefast » 19 Nov 2009, 09:25

I was microing the hell out of that gunship and I mostly avoid the skeleton mages if I had the choice - I essentially did strafing runs (moved past) past various things, I reckon if I'd tried to "take on" the skeletons I'd have been destroyed pretty quickly.

Speaking of skeleton mages: I noticed that when "shake screen" is turned on, mage shots shake the screen whereas other projectiles (like the Belial's) don't. Strange...

If gunners used the lightning weapon then they're automatically nerfed against air apparently :?


edit: I think the important thing would be to make interceptors more effective against land unit, that way they can be your anti-artillery/air-harassment unit as well as being, well, interceptors. I really like the gunships as they are now, I think they're a good unit, I just think they're too powerful for tier 1.
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azaremoth
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by azaremoth » 19 Nov 2009, 18:54

I`ll give skeletal mages a second weapon vs. air that has the same range but is guided or the first weapon will be guided - I'll do some tests there. Making gunners shoot air would make them too powerful imho.

In the first few releases the interceptors were able to attack ground targets and they were the only units ingame. They are much too fast for a balanced air vs. ground.

The gunship will be tier2 again in the next release without too many (if any) changes to the stats. I am working on a new unit to fill the tier1 air vs. ground gap though. :wink:

How about other aspects of the game - any impressions/experiences with tier2 units and the balance in later game?
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by wilbefast » 19 Nov 2009, 21:05

Blades will actually attack land targets, although they are somewhat hesitant about doing so. Likewise I've noticed that the witches sometimes need a bit of coaxing before they'll use their meteor-shower move :?

Have to give you a rain-check on higher tier units (going to play with my brothers in Australia this weekend) - my initial thought would be that the Rictus has rather a lot of health (5.5k > 3.8k (mancubus)) for something that fast (3 > 1.7), that deadly (250/s > 60/s) and that fragile looking: again these are the kind of agile "shock" units that can be devastating if directly controlled (because, again, they can do drive-bys). That's just a feeling though, I want to give them another shot...

A 1 vs 1 on a small map is probably the best indication of balance for any RTS, but generally the higher tiers only come into use if one player has the upper hand and is toying with the other, in which case it's a more unnatural testing environment. It's really hard to test Dragons for example - they rarely come into play unless you've already won.
What you want is for both players to be perfectly matched so that there's a stalemate and then an arms-race. The perfect match will also have a third phase where both players, neither having reached the higher technology first, will return to the cheaper, lower tech units: this is a rare but important part of the game since it's the only time when all units are available at once to be mixed and matched in an attempt to best the opponent's strategy.

I've played *way* too many RTSs :P

Final thoughts:
- long unit sounds tend to replay and overlap over themselves (Mancubus quartet). Probably something that the engine devs should see to though (don't replay a unit acknowledgement if it's already playing).
- the witches' slow-ray *slowness* works on air units, which is a death sentence if it hits but looks rather... strange. Especially when you've got Blades swooping/crashing in slow motion.
- normal skeletons' cost is listed as 1.0k which I'm pretty sure is wrong :wink:

Keep up the good work!


William
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JohannesH
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by JohannesH » 19 Nov 2009, 22:03

Just dont make it so that t2 units totally overpower t1 for cost...
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by zwzsg » 19 Nov 2009, 23:15

And don't make it like Total Annihilation either where T2 is a n00b-trap (so expensive and weak they're not worth building).
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by azaremoth » 20 Nov 2009, 20:18

wilbefast wrote:Blades will actually attack land targets, although they are somewhat hesitant about doing so. Likewise I've noticed that the witches sometimes need a bit of coaxing before they'll use their meteor-shower move :?
Blades actually shouldn't be able to attack ground targets at all. I'll check that.
wilbefast wrote:my initial thought would be that the Rictus has rather a lot of health (5.5k > 3.8k (mancubus)) for something that fast (3 > 1.7), that deadly (250/s > 60/s) and that fragile looking: again these are the kind of agile "shock" units that can be devastating if directly controlled (because, again, they can do drive-bys).
Sounds reasonable. The Rictus seams to have too much hps.
wilbefast wrote:Final thoughts:
- long unit sounds tend to replay and overlap over themselves (Mancubus quartet). Probably something that the engine devs should see to though (don't replay a unit acknowledgement if it's already playing).
It woud be a shame to shorten the mancubus sound. A "fix" on the engine-side would make me happy :wink:
wilbefast wrote:- normal skeletons' cost is listed as 1.0k which I'm pretty sure is wrong :wink:
That shouldn't be that way. There is something wrong with the luaUI or I forgot something in the unitdefs.


zwzsg and JohannesH, when tier2 is balanced somewhen in the future the units should be worth their prize and don't make tier1 units useless. That's the goal. Constructive suggestions are always welcome. :-)
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by wilbefast » 21 Nov 2009, 09:17

JohannesH wrote:Just dont make it so that t2 units totally overpower t1 for cost...
zwzsg wrote:And don't make it like Total Annihilation either where T2 is a n00b-trap (so expensive and weak they're not worth building).
That's why they call it balance - c'est vraiment pas ├®vident :P

In theory you want every unit to be "worth" exactly what it costs to build (in time/energy/metal) but the whole point is for different units to be "worth" different amounts in different situations - knowing which units to use when is an important part of any RTS.

There's an interesting post on the Wolfire blog about this... let's see... there you go: Game Theory Applied to Game Design
azaremth wrote:It woud be a shame to shorten the mancubus sound. A "fix" on the engine-side would make me happy :wink:
Yeah, I do like the Mancubus sound - was it in the last version?

Time to play some games :mrgreen:

For testing purposes of course :wink:
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by azaremoth » 22 Nov 2009, 17:32

wilbefast wrote:There's an interesting post on the Wolfire blog about this... let's see... there you go: Game Theory Applied to Game Design
Hehe - I have tried to implement the basic paper/scissor/rock mechanics. While this is easy to achieve with three units, it becomes more complicated with every additional unit. The pay-off-matrix is always number-of-units^2 big. I have tired to divide the units roughtly into some groups: light, heavy and flyer. I tried to balance the groups against each other and the units within the groups. But it is still far from perfect :wink:

Here is the new tier 1 gunship. It is slower, does less damage, does not strafe, doesn't land and is cheaper, but is very usefull against ground units.
Image
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by wilbefast » 22 Nov 2009, 19:11

:mrgreen: Noice!

Reminds me of the Lost Souls in Doom:

Image

At the moment the attack/rush/land vs defence/tech/air progression goes something like this:
  • Skeleton + Gunner rush <- Defenders <- Bone beasts <- Sledgehammers <- ...
At which point the Sledgehammers wipe out the land player's standing army or at least force it to retreat to his Defenders, because if he's put his money into skeletons he probably doesn't have an assembler, so won't be able to counter with blades in time.
I think with these Redeemers versus a better anti-air attack for the mages (they seriously need one: it took a score of them about 30 seconds to kill my seer) tier 1 will be pretty well rounded off:
  • Skeleton + Gunner rush <- Defenders <- Bone beasts <- Redeemers <- Mages <- Tier 2
Here's another replay: me losing to a guy who only really built skeletons - my fault for trying to tech-up too fast and not putting enough resources into my standing army.
Played around with the rictus a bit though, they can definitely wade through Defender fire, although they are tier 2 so maybe that's as it should be - I'd worry about tier 1 first, then wait for some good games where tier 2 is put to full use.
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by JohannesH » 22 Nov 2009, 20:17

Wilbefast, you say in that blog you linked that you hate competitive games... How does this go together with trying to balance one? :D
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Re: The Cursed 0.14

Post by wilbefast » 23 Nov 2009, 08:53

Couple of thing I noticed ages ago but forgot to say:
- Morph can be queued but Burrow can't, so you can't order a unit to "move to X and then burrow".
- Morphing or burrowing a unit removes it from its control group.
- If you're stuck with only level 2 obelisks and your economy is damaged, rebooting it means building a pyramid -> necromancer -> level 1 obelisk -> level 1 resource structures.
If level 2 obelisks can't build level 1 power plants and metal extractors, I think it would be good if they could directly build level 1 obelisks which can.
JohannesH wrote:Wilbefast, you say in that blog you linked that you hate competitive games... How does this go together with trying to balance one? :D
I meant "competitive" as in Starcraft, with its professional players and "clicks-per-minute".
Course, saying "I hate Starcraft" on the internet is a recipe for getting flamed into next century, besides which it's not the game itself that I dislike (I actually quite *like* Starcraft), it's the online play: it all becomes about the meta-game, about climbing the leaderboard, and in the end the actual *game* is reduced to a sort of experience grind. People get really angry about it, really obsessed with their stats, and come on I mean: it's a game!

I eventually yielded to this guy, who made a very good point - whether you're building a game to be an E-sport or just entertainment, balance is important (in John Graham's example wolf <- rabbit <- rat <- wolf):
MeanderingMind wrote:The inherent problem is that what makes many games "fun" and others "competitive" are often the same thing, and what destroys one destroys the other.
Take John's Wolves vs Rabbits scenario. Competition is hurt because the variety of strategy is limited to stacking wolves (if you want to be competitive). Fun is hurt because while you and some friends you know might have fun playing around with Rabbits the instant a friend or some random online person starts using Wolves the whole thing is soured. But in the Rabbits vs Wolves vs Rats scenario, both fun and competition are fostered.
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