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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:09 AM
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WraithLord WraithLord is offline
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Trophy Template for reducing late game MM hell

Hi,

Last year I went through quite a few end game phases. Even now, I'm involved in a very MM intensive game - Asia Twist - in which the last turns take me more than 7 hours (I actually measured the time). Granted, I am quite pedant when processing turns and like to have every fine grained detail just so but still I estimate that end game turns are MM hell to every player who got there. Personally I find the end games painful, I can't avoid that, If I know that I can min-max I will do so and that results in extreme MM.

So, I'm looking to compile a list of mods and/or house rules geared towards the reduction of MM in end game.
I'm bringing this to discussion and once a general consensus is reached I personally have no intention of ever creating or joining a game that doesn't follow MM reduction guidelines.

EDIT: compile with current responses.
EDIT: Please note that the items are stated b/c of how they influence MM. It doesn't mean all games should adhere to them but rather that they are guidelines for creating games with lesser endgame MM. Consensus means that it is agreed that these items effect MM. Not that everyone wants to remove them from now on.
The mandatory items are one that I believe have such a drastic influence on MM and relatively harmless side effects that they can safely be removed from new games (that aim at less MM).

Guideline for reducing endgame MM that are generally acceptable:
1. No gem gens.
Note: Efforts are being made at modding for compensating gem gen reliant nations.

2. Determine an upper limit on map sizes, # of players and reasonable victory conditions. Consensus
10-12 players, 10-15 provinces per player, 40% capital VPs victory condition.
Note. MM is in direct relation to how many provinces one controls at end game. Worst case scenario (MM wise) is 2 powers each controlling 30-40% of the map making war.
# of players and victory conditions have similar effect.

3. No Diplomacy. i.e. RAND.
Diplomacy is not directly related to MM but cutting that part of the game results in faster turn processing. Plus, it allows for different patterns of gaining victory (no alliances, NAP turtling, dog piling etc) which could be refreshing on it's own right.


The list below are controversial ideas, they may work for reducing MM but can have side effects on game balance or feel.

1. Ban MM intensive nations. Like blood dom spreaders. LA R'lyeh.
Note that some nations increase MM for neighbors (LA R'lyeh)

2. Ban MM intensive spells. Like astral corruption and Forge.
Note, I consider AN, utterdark and BoT to be actually MM reducers b/c they end games faster.
AC causes everyone to go crazy with body guards and returning (and managing the astrals on mages) so contributes to heavy MM.
Forge caster essentially needs to forge and distribute 60 items per turn. In some cases a portion of the items needs to be sent to allies or investors. IMO, it's better if its removed from the table.

3. CBM increase gem cost of spells and items.
Note: I'd say increasing cost of tarts is a must. Not MM related - just boring same same end game every-time.

4. Low gem income (like LA settings).
Reason: more gems = more forge/rituals = more MM
In end game this gets to insane levels. You forge 50-60 items per turn. You summon lot's of tarts and other SCs. You equip and change equipment as needed. You cast and protect from artillery and assassination spells. Enormous amount of work.

5. Ban blood.

6. Ban dwarven hammers

Last edited by WraithLord; September 3rd, 2009 at 04:58 AM..
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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:51 AM

chrispedersen chrispedersen is offline
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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

Wraith,

My Balance mod has following components

NoGen - removes Generators.
Boosters - makes boosters more expensive (things like skull of fire, thistle mace)
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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:53 AM

Sombre Sombre is offline
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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

I totally agree with point 1. because I don't think gem gens add anything good to the game and they can indeed promote and reward really tedious play style.

I also think point 3. is entirely sensible - I would never join a game on a map over 200 provinces. Even 200 provinces for me is a bit too big. With that size in the midgame I'd be hoping I wasn't doing well, so I wouldn't end up fighting in the 200 prov endgame. I realise I'm a bit drastic on this front, just personal preference.

Not sure about 2. because it seems further reaching than just reducing micro. Have you considered the other effects this would have?

The optional ones,..

1. If someone wants to play this nation, maybe they have a micro free way of doing it, or they can manage the micro - you don't have to worry about it too much do you? I guess LA Rlyeh itself causes other people micro due to the insanity, but then there are counters to that.

2. Yeah, seems reasonable in a mm reduction game. There are a few globals that absolutely dominate and also involve a lot of micro - I'm surprised at how often forge flies under peoples banhammer radar, given how nuts it is.

3. You mean, no research above level 5 or something? This seems a bit drastic. Especially if you're losing micro nightmare spells already.

4. Yep, RAND is good times.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

- So a no gens mod is mandatory.
- Less magic income makes for a different game. Where mundane armies are viable for much longer. In which spells are more rare (like GRR Martin universe). So more advantage besides less MM.

- 200 province limit sounds reasonable.

RE. optional ones

1. In RAND game a MM intensive nation may be assigned to you anyway. Better they be identified by name so they could be banned from games.

So, what are the MM intensive nations?
LA Ermor, LA R'lyeh, EA/LA Mictlan.
more?

2. MM Global list:
Forge, AC
more?

3. I meant like level 7/8.

4. yes. RAND can evolve into RMRAND
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Old September 1st, 2009, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

Mandatory list:

1. Agreed
2. Agreed
3. Maybe 12 nations is probably the upper limit to keep things sane on a normal map? What makes it ugly is if one nation doesn't manage to run away with the game: a battle between two powerhouses can go on forever.

Optional:

1. Do you mean to reduce micro for other nations, so they don't have to set up a bunch of temples/preachers? Or is it the blood hunting/slave buses micro? One thing you might want to do is eliminate all blood mage summons. Otherwise they are almost as bad as gem generators. Maybe make 10 unique Vampire Counts or something, and 6 unique Vamp Lords, and something similar for Mictlan's summons?

2. The killer globals can be good for ending games faster, in some cases.
Forge: painful for the caster, since he needs to micro a lot of forgers
AN: Good for ending the game faster (if you can keep it up)
AC: Painful for everyone, having to deploy bodyguards and/or script returning. But 10 earth attacks a month has the same effect.
Utterdark/BoT: Good for ending the game earlier.

3. How about making all mid/upper level summons, (even trolls and golems) unique?

4. RAND is great (I've only had a bit of RAND experience, as a sub, but I liked it), but no diplomacy (including no trading) might suffice. It's a bit easier to set up and the admin can play.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 05:58 AM

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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

I am 100% sure I will not join a game with expensive boosters, because boosters are the only saving grace of many nations, otherwise worthless. Also, everything that diversifies your nation is fun. Less opportunities to diversify, less fun.

As for no gem generators, I have mixed feelings about this idea. It may tone down MA Pythium and Rlyeh, which is a good thing. It will also kill Oceania, Bandar Log etc. Good luck winning with your mighty ichtycentaurs and markatas.
Etc, etc. You wont be able to make clams and counter recruitable SCs with Golems, for example. One nation will have Niefel Jarls / Gadols / you name it, other nation will be reduced to one or two Golems and, well, combat evocations; good luck again.
And I wont even touch the blood magic issue.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

Well, 1 in 4 Yakshas can lay down some pretty nasty Gifts from Heaven, always a nice counter to Nief.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

I have played dozens of Dom 2 MP games,won a few and went to end game hell there quite often.
Now, i just started playing Dom 3 several months ago and its pretty obvious to me,that this is even worse now,due to increased income/supplies/sheer size of the maps.

Imo the biggest problem however is,that the research system stayed the same while everything else has been geared towards larger battles.
That way the end game is reached much faster and Early game/mid game ,the most fun parts ,are of less importance/length.

Solution:
By making research difficult and on the biggest maps very difficult u can at least cut down the end game part by increasing early game/mid game parts.

no gem gens and less gem income obv lead to less micro,which is also good.U could also set the money multiple lower so that everyone will have less armies/mages= less micro.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 07:58 AM

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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

1. No Gem Gens - A definite. I do have reservations about how much it hits certain nations a lot harder than other, and the loss of the Earth booster is an issue. But I believe the downsides are far outweighed by the positives, and the downsides can also be addressed with modding.

Clam dependent nations, like Bandar Log / Kailasa for example could have the cost of their Astral heavy national summons reduced to compensate for the lost clam income. And the non-unique Earth booster could possibly be shifted to the Pebbleskin Suit (being trial-run in a game at the moment I think).


2. Low gem income settings - Not so sure about this. I know I spend a lot of time fine-tuning scripts and battle positions for any large armies I have, and any lack of gems just means the armies get bigger and the scripting/positioning will take longer due to the delayed transition to Thug/SC.

But if the aim is to increase the longevity of regular armies, then a gem income nerf certainly has that affect. But not convinced of it's MM limiting affect at all. I know for me it would probably result in an increase in MM on the army front. Although a lack of gems would indeed result in less MM on the forging/ritual front.


3. Upper map size limit - It would be a shame I think to see an end to all nations (from one era) games, which a 200 province limit would probably result in. Since I do find games that feature all nations (from one era) to be amongst my favourites. But there's no doubt more map provinces does eventually result in more MM towards the end. Maybe if the limit was 250 provinces, then that would allow an all-nations game based on a 10-12 provinces per nation ratio (less than 10 starts hitting blitz territory), while still being within a reasonable limit for the endgame MM to not reach insane levels.


Optionals

1. Ban MM intensive nations - I really don't agree with any nation ban what-so-ever for MP games, not even the regularly seen choices of Ashdod, LA Ermor/R'yleh. So I certainly wouldn't like to see a ban on MM intensive nations. Maybe this issue should be re-examined once the full effect of the other MM reducing options have had some actual MP feedback to work off.

Since the blood nations for example can certainly be MM intensive, but maybe that is only as a result of the blood work being heaped on top of all the usual MM work from gem gens, mass forgings / rituals, huge province counts etc. Once some of these are taken out of the picture, then maybe the MM from a blood economy won't seem that much of an MM problem. And I think this applies either to playing one, or facing the blood sacing effects of one.

So lets take things a bit slower if possible, and wait to see the effects a few changes makes to MM levels, rather than trying to make a huge load of changes in one go. As maybe banning MM nations will be an unnecessary step too far.

And an attempt to limit endgame MM by various nation (or spell) bans may accidentally kill off a lot of options, tactics, strategies etc. in this game, which would take away a lot of the games unique flavour. And could result in making the game more stream-lined and more repetitive, so probably less fun overall


2. Ban MM intensive globals - Not a fan of spell bans either, again for a lot of the reasons mentioned directly above.


3. Research Caps - I'd prefer a difficult or very difficult research setting to a capped one personally. Although there may be a need to address certain rush nation issues then. Especially if the map/province per nation size is getting reduced. Difficult research on a small map just says 'rush nations rule' to me. Maybe some of the popular Level 3/4 anti-rush spells could be reduced to level 1/2 for games with a difficult or very difficult research setting.


4. RAND - RAND games just rule for me at the moment. So nice to not have to deal with diplomatic issues every turn, and you get to live or die mostly due to your own abilities. Plus players are forced out of their "I must always take powerful/favourite nation each game. Then choose someone to rush, while NAP-ing all my other borders" comfort zone I often see happening in non RAND games.

Although at least for me, RAND games do result in a lot more thinking time being required, as instead of just asking your neighbour "Hey, are you going to attack me, or can we get an NAP?" you have to constantly re-assess every turn which nations may be attacking you that turn. So if thinking time is considered a part of MM, then RAND games don't always result in reduced MM.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Template for reducing late game MM hell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calahan View Post
3. Upper map size limit - It would be a shame I think to see an end to all nations (from one era) games, which a 200 province limit would probably result in. Since I do find games that feature all nations (from one era) to be amongst my favourites. But there's no doubt more map provinces does eventually result in more MM towards the end. Maybe if the limit was 250 provinces, then that would allow an all-nations game based on a 10-12 provinces per nation ratio (less than 10 starts hitting blitz territory), while still being within a reasonable limit for the endgame MM to not reach insane levels.
Just FYI, there are 67 vanilla nations currently, between all 3 eras. So at 10 provinces per, that's a 670 (!) province map, assuming all nations are playing...
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