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 Post subject: Secret Ally Distribution
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 11:24 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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Some topics written by Brashen in the Tournament thread have gotten me thinking. Being that that thread is already horribly unwieldy and hard to keep up with, I thought it would be better to start another thread here :).

So here's the problem: There are times when the random Secret Ally distribution very much favors one side. It doesn't happen too often, but it does happen, and when it happens to you it is noooo fun :o.

Ok, so here is a possible solution: How about having different game types that randomize Secret Allies in a specific way? That way you know both opponents have a relatively equal setup in the beginning, and you may be able to make guesses on where the opponent's allies are, but you can't be sure. That changes the strategy a little, and adds a lot of comfort in the fact that you know you will have even footing with your opponent. The Dice won't prove your downfall, just the raw skill of the enemy.

Here are a couple examples:

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Core combat - Each opponent has a group of secret allies that are relatively focused to one area of the map.
Advantages: You know for certain you're in for a good game of tactical skill. To overwhelm the opponent at his core will take a great deal of good planning and resource management.
Disadvantages: The enemy knows exactly where your secret allies will be centered around. They could enter neutral countries away from your core without fear.

Modification: DMZ - This one would have the enemies split down the center of the map, making sure there is a buffer zone in between them. This could lead to some very interesting game dynamics, totally different than a current World War. There could be some Huge land and naval battles involved as the players vie for the central neutral territories.

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The scattering - Each player has their allies scattered such that there is a high probability that their allies won't touch each other.
Advantages - Normally this setup would cause you to consider surrendering a game outright against a good opponent. In this case you know your enemy is scattered as well. This would lead to having a lot of individual battles going on in the map as you try to consolidate your forces.
Disadvantages - Again, the enemy could easily guess where your allies are (or maybe more appropriately - are not). Again taking a little strategy out of the game as some players figure out the system.

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Small foundation with satellites - Each player is guarunteed to have at least two allies together. The other secret allies would be scattered about randomly, away from your foundation and each other.
Advantages - Sneak attacks are back in! You can have secret allies right next to the enemy center just waiting for the right opportunity to strike. All the fun of the original World War without giving unfair advantage to one side.
Disadvantages - Once again, people learning the system, but less apparent in this case. This is a descent all around approach.


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I'm interested in hearing what people think about these ideas as gameplay improvements. Pick them apart and lets make them better!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:15 am 
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Hm... sounds like a very good idea...

I'll put this into my further game design plans...

However, with planets like Bizzarria such variety of distributions will not be possible, but in general it's a very good idea...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:45 pm 
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Tough Nut
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I like it. In each mode, in general, there could still be chance involved, and you can't know for certain where every secret ally would be (unless the algorithim allows one player to box in another player in the core combat type .. )

Anyhow, it sounds interesting.

Boomer


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:49 pm 
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As a variation of Maelstrom's idea I can suggest a possibility of choosing the amount and type of Secret Allies.

For example, a player send a challenge to his opponent where said: 2 small and 1 medium countries. And the opponent makes up his mind - to accept or not.

P.S. Maelstrom, have you seen my reply to your post about the camera position? (http://massiveassault.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=346)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:14 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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artmax wrote:
For example, a player send a challenge to his opponent where said: 2 small and 1 medium countries. And the opponent makes up his mind - to accept or not.


That would definately be cool. That would make the smaller maps have more possibilities, and would add a lot of new gameplay types. It would be even better if there were an open challenge system, where you could set up a game type you like, and anyone could accept the challenge. As we get more game setup options, such as the game timer, this is going to be more necessary. For example, you might like to play hour long games with one secret ally on each side, but you might have to send several challenges in the current system to find someone to accept.

***Off topic***
artmax wrote:
P.S. Maelstrom, have you seen my reply to your post about the camera position?


Yes I did, and I am very pleased about that. I plan to include an intro maker in my next MA scenario editor revision using that nice little trick.

Incedentaly, my scenario editor almost landed me a job at a game programming company :). Close but not cigar this time. I'll stick with programming engineering software UIs for a little longer ;)

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Founder of The New World Order, and moderator for the Andromeda Clan War.

NWO website:
http://www.freewebs.com/massiveassault-nwo/index.htm

Clan War website:
http://www.massiveassault.com/clans/nwo/ClanWar


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