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[atlantisdev] the new weapon enchantments

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  • Azthar Spleenmonger
    I ve been pondering the points raised over the enchantment of DBOW and MBOW and they are all valid points. Trade factions should have a clear advantage here,
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 2, 2000
      I've been pondering the points raised over the enchantment of DBOW and MBOW
      and they are all valid points. Trade factions should have a clear advantage
      here, and the spells should reflect that. However, I feel factions that do
      not have access to Forest should not be left without access to these items,
      At the same time the spells should not negate the advantage of true YEW
      and IRWD production.

      Clearly it would seem being able to turn LBOW to DBOW as easily as
      enchanting MSWO would make the effort of training LUMB5/WEAP5 leaders to
      find YEW and produce DBOW less desirable than enchantment even with the
      forest resources of a region like the ESZ.

      MSWO do not compare to DBOW in potency nor does MITH compare in rarity to
      YEW or IRWD.

      The standard A4 world will yield roughly 3 times as much mithril as yew or
      ironwood.

      Also consider the length of time it takes to reach MINI3 and WEAP3/ARMO3 or
      LUMB5 and WEAP5.

      As it is, magic is the eaiser route to MSWO and MARM, but given the
      comparative ease of finding mithril to yew and the available production
      volumes, it is reasonable to think that eventually most any pure trade
      faction with ample land will be able to compete with a magic faction in
      mithril arms production. This is not as likely to be the case with DBOW
      if normal LBOW can easily be enchanted.

      On the other side of this, any mage that is enchanting is not gating,
      summoning, or whatever. The trade faction can still be producing other
      goods in the same hexes with no extra faction point cost. Given the right
      land, by devoting a mere 1/3 of his total faction points a pure trade
      faction can eventually match or beat the DBOW output of a pure magic
      faction with 7 Enchant Bow 5 mages, even at 5 per level. Plus the trade
      faction and can still continue to produce a variety of other extremely
      valuable products which ONLY trade factions can produce, like Balloons and
      Armored Galleons.

      (Ever get the feeling I should have been a lawyer? ;)

      After looking over the pros and cons my main sticking point is the
      difference in requirements for a trade faction to produce MSWO vs. DBOW and
      I feel this should be reflected in the spell.

      This difference for MBOW is trivial and is nonexistant for MWAG.

      Setting the prerequisite for enchanting DBOW to ARTI2 doesn't quite put
      them on par, but ARTI3 seems a bit steep. A fix that to me seems to fit,
      even if slightly awkward is ARTI2 and FORC3. This yields the same amount of
      study time as WEAP5 and it could easily be argued that the enchantment used
      is an application of Force magics. ARTI1, FORC3 might even be acceptable,
      it at least would place initial disadvantage on the magic faction with
      lack of a tower.

      Along the same line of thought, enchanting MBOW could have a prereq of
      ARTI1 and FORC2. But I don't see that as being nearly as critical. The
      reason for WEAP4 was to make it require a leader, and mages are leaders.

      Even with raised requirements, at a rate of 5 per turn, per level,
      enchanting DBOW may a bit too attractive. Another alterrnative solution is
      ARTI2 and a enchantment rate of 3 per level, per turn. I have no qualms
      with that solution at all, and it is "smoother" than the previous
      suggestion.

      Just my 2 rolling STON.

      -Az

      (Remember, F=MA.)
    • Vitaly Prikladovsky
      Hi, Azthar, Sunday, April 02, 2000, Azthar Spleenmonger wrote: Azthar, you really should be a lawyer. I had to read the message twice to understand what
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 2, 2000
        Hi, Azthar,

        Sunday, April 02, 2000, Azthar Spleenmonger wrote:

        <skip>

        Azthar, you really should be a lawyer. I had to read the message
        twice to understand what your meaning ;) But I still didn't see
        clearly you are for or against the spells removal.

        I still have a very strong desire to remove the spells out of the
        game. Having these spells spoils the game, I am sure of it.

        You mentioned that there are regions in the world that do not have
        forest regions and thus do not have YEW and IRWD. Well, factions have
        to explore, trade, fight to get to the forest. Our would is not so big
        that you can't a forest region in a reasonable vicinity.

        In my first message I didn't mentioned all the reasons why these
        spells should not exist.

        We want the game to be interesting. Interesting means challenging,
        hard to play (if you get everything easy enough you get bored soon
        enough).

        One of the key elements of the game is WAR. And to begin a war you
        usually must have a much stronger reason than a mere passion for
        spleen collecting ;) These reasons usually 'lebensraum', resources,
        tax base etc. Now, 'lebensraum' and tax base we can disregard because
        you have to spend several turns more and you will arrive in a land
        were nobody lives and have all the resources and taxes you want.

        The only truly valuable resources are YEW, IRWD, MITH. These serve as
        incentives for war but not only war. Also exploration, trade and more
        important co-operation between factions, creation of alliances and
        much more. The scarcity of these resources are the one of the things
        that makes the world of Atlantis go. You remove this factor and you
        will see how dull the world will become at a later stage when every
        dumb mage will be able to equip a strong army in a few turns.

        BTW. All these spell requirements are nonsense. It is only a temporary
        barrier. It is the same thing you meant when we discussed those
        swimming boots.

        Once again. These spells do harm the game. They remove much of the
        need for cooperation and do not make it logical to support a strong
        economy.

        About economy. Why to build up a trading empire? It is very hard to
        maintain and you can have the same result - a strong army - not as a
        result or strong economy but as a result of a ranting bunch of magi.
        No balloons and armored galleons will ever match just several hundred
        of XBOW5 leaders wielding DBOW.

        Also some more historical stuff. In all times before the more or less
        firearms came into use, the main military power were hand-to-hand
        troops. All crossbow-men, archers, slingers, ballistae, even cannons
        (at an earlier stage) were _only_ auxiliary units.

        DBOW is too powerful a weapon and its mass production will make all
        other troops auxiliary (maybe except CLOA-wearers). A mere cannon
        fodder.


        All the above is applicable, in a lesser degree, to MBOW and MWAG
        (when it comes to economy).


        You can't be a little pregnant nor have a little stable game. Please
        remove these spells.

        Hm... there were no comments from neither Mike nor Larry. Maybe we are
        just fighting in vain and there really is no such spells in the game?
        :)


        --
        Best regards,
        Vitaly
      • Larry Stanbery
        ... Bleh. First, who ya fighting? I don t understand. I thought this list was for discussion of ideas for Atlantis-type games, not just Realms (though Realms
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 2, 2000
          > You can't be a little pregnant nor have a little stable game. Please
          > remove these spells.
          >
          > Hm... there were no comments from neither Mike nor Larry. Maybe we are
          > just fighting in vain and there really is no such spells in the game?
          > :)

          Bleh.

          First, who ya fighting? I don't understand. I thought this list was for
          discussion of ideas for Atlantis-type games, not just Realms (though Realms is
          the reason for the creation of this list). The ideas should be discussed,
          rated, etc., and maybe someone will decide to incorporate it into a game they
          run.

          Second, I thought we covered this ground a while back. Mike posted that the
          new items were the last thing he'd add to the game without running a poll. He
          reserved the right to add new rewards -- artifacts, gizmos and such -- and to
          add new critters to the world. By what appeared to be popular demand, he
          added roads. I don't remember him polling for votes on those supposed
          spells...

          Third, if they _were_ in, I assume Mike would make an announcement, like he
          did for roads, or you'd see it show up in your turn reports.

          As for myself, I can understand Az's perspective -- several different takes on
          it. Myself, I think they may cause more problems than they "solve".

          Larry
        • Azthar Spleenmonger
          ... As true as it may be, I find the thought of it loathesome. It is a very conformist profession. I refuse to wear a tie, I d rather wear a noose. There was
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 2, 2000
            > Azthar, you really should be a lawyer.

            As true as it may be, I find the thought of it loathesome. It is a very
            conformist profession. I refuse to wear a tie, I'd rather wear a noose.

            There was some Roman orator whose name escapes me at the moment that said
            something to the effect of "The toga will always be considered acceptable
            business attire."

            I conduct formal business in a toga. :)

            > I had to read the message
            > twice to understand what your meaning ;) But I still didn't see
            > clearly you are for or against the spells removal.

            There is a reason for that. ;)

            I am more against it than I am for it, but I wanted to play the devil's
            advocate. I wanted to provide a counterpoint and see if there is any debate
            on the issue.

            After providing the information I did and giving you the chance to
            criticise it, I think the important issue is clear now.

            >
            > I still have a very strong desire to remove the spells out of the
            > game. Having these spells spoils the game, I am sure of it.

            At one level it I just bothers me, the thought of turning WOOD to DBOW
            in any fashion. However, I had to be sure that that wasn't just jealous,
            monopolisitic capitalism showing through.

            >
            > You mentioned that there are regions in the world that do not have
            > forest regions and thus do not have YEW and IRWD. Well, factions have
            > to explore, trade, fight to get to the forest. Our would is not so big
            > that you can't a forest region in a reasonable vicinity.

            There is a band of 1/3 of the surface world that has *no* forests. That's
            pretty big.

            >
            > In my first message I didn't mentioned all the reasons why these
            > spells should not exist.
            >
            > We want the game to be interesting. Interesting means challenging,
            > hard to play (if you get everything easy enough you get bored soon
            > enough).

            Agreed.

            >
            > One of the key elements of the game is WAR. And to begin a war you
            > usually must have a much stronger reason than a mere passion for
            > spleen collecting ;)

            Shh! You'll blow my cover! ;)

            > These reasons usually 'lebensraum', resources,
            > tax base etc. Now, 'lebensraum' and tax base we can disregard because
            > you have to spend several turns more and you will arrive in a land
            > were nobody lives and have all the resources and taxes you want.
            >
            > The only truly valuable resources are YEW, IRWD, MITH. These serve as
            > incentives for war but not only war.

            Point well taken.

            > Also exploration, trade and more
            > important co-operation between factions, creation of alliances and
            > much more. The scarcity of these resources are the one of the things
            > that makes the world of Atlantis go. You remove this factor and you
            > will see how dull the world will become at a later stage when every
            > dumb mage will be able to equip a strong army in a few turns.

            Question. Where does this "dumb mage" get all the longbows?

            >
            > BTW. All these spell requirements are nonsense. It is only a temporary
            > barrier. It is the same thing you meant when we discussed those
            > swimming boots.

            I won't argue with this. You are most certainly correct and this is what
            lead me to look at it on a faction point level.

            >
            > Once again. These spells do harm the game. They remove much of the
            > need for cooperation and do not make it logical to support a strong
            > economy.

            I agree that they are disruptive, but I am not sure you are correct
            regarding the issues of cooperation and economy.

            >
            > About economy. Why to build up a trading empire? It is very hard to
            > maintain and you can have the same result - a strong army - not as a
            > result or strong economy but as a result of a ranting bunch of magi.
            > No balloons and armored galleons will ever match just several hundred
            > of XBOW5 leaders wielding DBOW.

            Again, where does the mage get the trained leaders, and how does he feed
            them?

            >
            > Also some more historical stuff. In all times before the more or less
            > firearms came into use, the main military power were hand-to-hand
            > troops. All crossbow-men, archers, slingers, ballistae, even cannons
            > (at an earlier stage) were _only_ auxiliary units.
            >
            > DBOW is too powerful a weapon and its mass production will make all
            > other troops auxiliary (maybe except CLOA-wearers). A mere cannon
            > fodder.

            Here is the killer.

            This is an extremely valid point and likely the only necessary arguement
            against enchanting DBOW. It would very likely overshadow the major
            summoning spells making even balrogs just expensive cannon fodder, and that
            would be *bad* for magic factions.

            >
            > All the above is applicable, in a lesser degree, to MBOW and MWAG
            > (when it comes to economy).
            >
            >
            > You can't be a little pregnant nor have a little stable game. Please
            > remove these spells.
            >
            > Hm... there were no comments from neither Mike nor Larry. Maybe we are
            > just fighting in vain and there really is no such spells in the game?
            > :)

            As Larry pointed out, there is no fight, just some healthy debate. :)

            Cheers!

            -Az
          • Vitaly Prikladovsky
            Hi, Larry, Monday, April 03, 2000, Larry Stanbery wrote: LS First, who ya fighting? I don t understand. I thought this list LS was for discussion of ideas
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 3, 2000
              Hi, Larry,

              Monday, April 03, 2000, Larry Stanbery wrote:

              LS> First, who ya fighting? I don't understand. I thought this list
              LS> was for discussion of ideas for Atlantis-type games, not just
              LS> Realms (though Realms is the reason for the creation of this
              LS> list). The ideas should be discussed, rated, etc., and maybe
              LS> someone will decide to incorporate it into a game they run.

              Do not forget that English is not my native language so my choosing of
              words can be peculiar sometimes. By 'fighting' I meant 'breaking
              spears' as we say here. Arguing in vain, that is.

              LS> Second, I thought we covered this ground a while back. Mike posted
              LS> that the new items were the last thing he'd add to the game
              LS> without running a poll. He reserved the right to add new rewards
              LS> -- artifacts, gizmos and such -- and to add new critters to the
              LS> world. By what appeared to be popular demand, he added roads. I
              LS> don't remember him polling for votes on those supposed spells...

              That's why I haven't raised this issue in realmslist. I was not sure.
              If such idea came to someone's mind than it is better to discuss it.
              This place seems appropriate.

              Well, I may be wrong but the first additions were made silently (special
              items). Only after that it was announced the the additions will be
              discussed prior to their introduction.

              LS> Third, if they _were_ in, I assume Mike would make an
              LS> announcement, like he did for roads, or you'd see it show up in
              LS> your turn reports.

              I've heard then Mike's (expresses by you I think) opinion that some of
              the changes will be should be kept secret to add some intrigue to the
              game. Like magic and magic items.

              Well, this is enough to presume that spells are there. You know I
              wrote to the list after I spoke to another player. He actually wanted
              to enchant DBOW ... at least I am not alone in my suspicions.

              Now, when the matter has been cleared I still think that the
              discussion was definitely not useless. Some interesting points were
              raised that we have to keep in mind when devising new additions.



              --
              Best regards,
              Vitaly
            • Vitaly Prikladovsky
              Hi, Azthar, Monday, April 03, 2000, Azthar Spleenmonger wrote: There is no such spells but lets continue our healthy debate :) AS I conduct formal business
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 3, 2000
                Hi, Azthar,

                Monday, April 03, 2000, Azthar Spleenmonger wrote:

                There is no such spells but lets continue our "healthy debate" :)

                AS> I conduct formal business in a toga. :)

                Is a bath-house or some other medical facility you are working in? :)

                AS> After providing the information I did and giving you the chance to
                AS> criticise it, I think the important issue is clear now.

                You know, this really blows you cover :)

                AS> There is a band of 1/3 of the surface world that has *no* forests.
                AS> That's pretty big.

                But if have a goal of YEW production an expedition slightly to the
                north or to the south will provide you with forest. Polar region do
                not have swamps (no FLOA).

                >> usually must have a much stronger reason than a mere passion for
                >> spleen collecting ;)
                AS> Shh! You'll blow my cover! ;)

                Is it still there? :)

                AS> Question. Where does this "dumb mage" get all the longbows?

                I never said that there no need of trade activity. There is but in
                this case a quite small one. For, let's say, 3 factions you may need 1
                Trade point to mass produce DBOW and MITH stuff. There is also a need
                for WING and other things but it is another matter.

                AS> I agree that they are disruptive, but I am not sure you are correct
                AS> regarding the issues of cooperation and economy.

                The spells can give birth to 'Assyrian' type of alliances. An alliance
                of old factions with weak economy but with strong army killing
                everyone it can reach just because the adversary did not have enough
                time to train its mages. I only want to say that the need for
                maintaining large alliances would be much less not totally
                non-existent.

                >> No balloons and armored galleons will ever match just several hundred
                >> of XBOW5 leaders wielding DBOW.
                AS> Again, where does the mage get the trained leaders, and how does
                AS> he feed them?

                Was I speaking of pure magic factions? :) On the other hand I might
                exaggerate the economy and cooperation issues but not much.

                AS> This is an extremely valid point and likely the only necessary
                AS> arguement against enchanting DBOW. It would very likely overshadow
                AS> the major summoning spells making even balrogs just expensive
                AS> cannon fodder, and that would be *bad* for magic factions.

                Agree.


                --
                Best regards,
                Vitaly
              • Azthar Spleenmonger
                ... You could call it a temple, or maybe even a monastery. I call it The House of Azthar. :) ... Ok, now I m a bit worried and confused. Which one? hehehe
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 3, 2000
                  > AS> I conduct formal business in a toga. :)
                  >
                  > Is a bath-house or some other medical facility you are working in? :)

                  You could call it a temple, or maybe even a monastery. I call it "The
                  House of Azthar." :)

                  > AS> After providing the information I did and giving you the chance to
                  > AS> criticise it, I think the important issue is clear now.
                  >
                  > You know, this really blows you cover :)

                  Ok, now I'm a bit worried and confused. Which one? hehehe

                  Not that I worry about running around naked. Where I come from, shame of
                  what you were given by right of your genes is a forgivable sin. To impose
                  that shame in others is sacrilege of the most vile form. ;)

                  The fact is there are no truly economic reasons for me to go to Sinan. Just
                  as there is no economic reason for me to build 2 towers in Erisort.

                  But I can, so I will. One for my email address and one for the spleen web
                  site. ;)

                  > AS> There is a band of 1/3 of the surface world that has *no* forests.
                  > AS> That's pretty big.
                  >
                  > But if have a goal of YEW production an expedition slightly to the
                  > north or to the south will provide you with forest. Polar region do
                  > not have swamps (no FLOA).

                  True, but you can't kill people with FLOA. But it is also true that not
                  everyone can get worked up to start a war over non-vital organs. I will
                  give the Bastek credit for that much. :) The discrepancies in regional
                  resource distribution provide real incentives to mount expeditionary
                  campaigns. Ultimately this is why I intend to include very rare and
                  precious resources in Empire. The design challenge for me is to make them
                  truly valuable, but not overly powerful in isolated large quantity.

                  This is where I jump threads and move to chewing silver.

                  The Afrikaans that popped up in the multilingual thread on the realmslist
                  got me thinking. South Africa has over 90% of the world's known gold
                  deposits, gem grade diamonds, uranium, platinum group metals and nearly
                  every other mineral resource that is defined as a "strategic mineral."
                  About the only strategic "mineral" they do not have a dominant share of is
                  oil. Yeah, yeah oil isn't a mineral, but it's essentially mined.

                  So why doesn't South Africa have the largest army in the world? One answer.
                  Farmland.

                  This is how the "superpowers" all can support such large land armies.
                  Grain.

                  You can't eat diamonds. Nor silver. The South African army is arguably the
                  best trained army in the world and is certainly one of the best equipped
                  for its size and intended roles. But it is by no means the largest.

                  While you can buy and stockpile oil and weapons essentially indefinitely,
                  you cannot do this with grain. Grain will spoil and things like climate and
                  granaries will alter that rate.

                  The food producers of the world truly hold the keys to power. In Empire,
                  cash will be used for maintenance primarily for housing troops at home, and
                  the amount which can be used will be limited by the population and economy
                  of the hex, as well as the season and any other factors that affect
                  overall food production. You *won't* be able to feed a 1000 man army in the
                  desert without food. Period. If you want to field a large concentrated
                  army, you *will* need food, especially come winter.

                  Leaders will need silver above their food requirements. Usually one silver
                  equivalent, per leader, with specialized leaders like mages, priests, and
                  tacticians, etc., requiring more, but not explorers. Explorers will require
                  no maintenaince of any kind.

                  It goes with out saying that I will also drastically alter the food
                  production rules. Stockpiling grain and preserving meat and fish will be
                  imperative to maintaining a large army. Grain harvests will vary seasonaly
                  so if you are going to move an army in winter, you better have
                  food reserves. But overall there will be more food available to be
                  harvested.

                  Don't want to worry about feeding your units? Be a farmer. :) You'll have
                  enough to keep you busy trying to optimize production and getting the local
                  preist to bless your fields and hauling your product to market or the
                  imperial granaries before it spoils!

                  To make all this "feel" better (to me anyway), in particular the hex scale
                  and the weight of food, I am going to make turns represent 2 weeks instead
                  of one month. One minim of grain or preserved rations will feed one man
                  for one turn, this makes it nice and simple and if you figure 1 minum =
                  roughly 7 kilos or 15 pounds, it is almost realistic. By also increasing
                  move rates, the hexes become closer to 50 miles across rather than 200,
                  which to me makes the whole GUARD mechanism almost reasonable, but I am
                  going to alter that slightly as well with rules for establishing control of
                  the land and maintaining the loyalty of the hex's peasentry, which I think
                  will add alot to the game. This alone will be reason not to pillage a hex
                  that you control as then you will lose control of it.

                  When you march into land that is under somone's "control" even if they are
                  not in the hex, you will know immediately because the peasents will
                  share the faction attitude of their liege. You may not know who controls
                  (just like a unit) it but you will know that it is controlled.

                  Controlling a hex allows more efficient taxing and guarding, or maybe
                  better stated, lack of control makes taxing and guarding a hex require more
                  forces. Taxing uncontrolled land yeilds only $25 per man and to
                  GUARD an uncontrolled hex takes as many men as it would take to
                  pillage it. Controlling a hex will also increase the number of troops that
                  can be "fed" with coinage, as the peasents will be more willing to part
                  with their food to their protectors. Pillaging will yield the tax value of
                  the hex and food equal to the total current food value of the hex.

                  Control will be permitted over an area by building sacred buildings or
                  fortifications, the area that may be controlled will vary with the size of
                  the structure. It is assumed the fortification or church provides a
                  sanctuary for a portion of the peasentry in times of war and this is
                  ultimately why they so willingly give you their taxes. That and their
                  allegience is insurance against you pillaging their fields. It's not the
                  members of the Dominion that are mindless oppressed slaves, it's the
                  peasents of the ESZ and their life is not a pretty one. heh

                  The control range of these structures can be increased by establishing a
                  palace. Imperial citadels and the high temple of a religion will have the
                  greatest control range. Its very possible that more than one faction will
                  have the ability to control a given hex, when control ranges over lap,
                  control goes to the last faction to guard the hex, although this is not as
                  relevant if both factions belong to the same empire. But if someone was to
                  go into rebellion, or on a contested border, things could get interesting
                  to say the least.

                  I have a couple ideas on how to code this and am hoping to use the same
                  basic routine in other areas of the game as well, like luxury resource
                  distribution and demand and localized weather variance. That was one thing
                  I liked about Overlord was the weather detail. I am thinking about tracking
                  ground conditions, precipitation, and wind speed, as well as season.
                  Obviously ground conditions will not affect flyers, yet wind speed would
                  not affect land travel except in the most extreme conditions. Precipitation
                  will affect flyers and next turn's ground conditions. This variance will
                  somewhat offset the increased movement rate and will greatly increase the
                  unknown factor when travelling rapidly across land you do not occupy.

                  Weather forcast information will only show if units with appropriate skill
                  are present, for instance, explorers, farmers, weather mages, units with
                  air elementals or air talismans, etc. Along a similar line of thought units
                  with earth lore, etc, would be warned of an impending earthquake or other
                  freak geologic event, and would automatically spot any mineral resources
                  in the hex with out any needed skill.

                  Ground condition forcasts will always be available in all occupied hexes.

                  Note, these are only forecasts, the actual conditions will be determined in
                  the initial turn processing.

                  I am also going to put a weight on coinage and introduce different metals
                  for coinage. Bronze = $1, silver = $10, electrum = $50, gold = $100.
                  Precious metals will be able to also be mined as ore and minted into
                  coinage, or turned into luxury items. (Not only can't you eat silver, it's
                  heavy!)

                  200 coins will weigh 1 minum. The minum is an ancient unit of weight and
                  I'm adding it in for flavor and is just the name I have applied to the
                  standard Atlantis weight unit. A man can carry 5 minums, or 1000 coins.
                  Coins and other "weightless" items will only be "invisible" if a unit has
                  less than 200 per man and it will be assumed that up to 199 of these items
                  will always remain unseen on any man. The most valuable (gems, potions,
                  etc.) being given priority. The exception is the REVEAL UNIT flag. The
                  other "weightless" items will be effectively weightless, and only tallied
                  for puposes of concealment. Ontop of that a unit will conceal an extra 200
                  weightless items per level of STEA. Even if they are revealing faction.
                  Which hopefully will open a whole arena for organized smuggling, be it
                  diamonds, mummified dragon spleens, exotic tangerine land shrimp, or
                  contraband holy items. Given that the only thing that would really prevent
                  a faction from sailing up and establishing an embassy in one of your
                  ports is spare faction points, this becomes real a possibility.

                  It will only require 1 silver to provide a typical leader's cash
                  maintenance fee and this will also be the fee for feeding any man with
                  cash if there is enough food to be had the hex. A rough estimate to that
                  feeding capacity under *optimal* conditions is the hex's population,
                  typically about half that, so fairly significant forces can still be fed
                  in most hexes via silver. A recently pillaged hex will support *zero* men
                  through expense of cash.

                  As a gold coin will be 10 times the value of silver, a single man can still
                  carry a significant amout of cash, if you have gold coin.

                  To simplify things a little, each unit will have the total value of its
                  coinage displayed in its report something like:

                  * Utilitarian Userers (3888), The Madison Avenue Imperial Spleen Bank and
                  International Moneychangers Association (777), revealing faction,
                  avoiding, holding, ambassador [0], 10 sea elves [SELF], CASH: $70,500,
                  100 gold coins [GCOI], 5000 silver coins [SCOI], 10,500 bronze coins
                  [BCOI]. Skills: basket weaving [BWEA] 1 (30); Your money is our business.

                  The ambassador flag [0] would denote the unit has ambassador staus as
                  result of being in a friendly Embassy, and costs zero command points. This
                  would be replaced with the appropriate flag if the unit required command
                  point for some other reason. For instance a typical mage would show,
                  magic [10]. A single tactician would show, war [1]. A unit of 5 preists
                  would show, religion [5], etc.

                  Currency will be allowed to be given by metal type, or just as a total cash
                  value, for example:

                  give 1234 25 gold_coin
                  give 1234 10000 cash

                  In the instance of GIVE CASH, the least valuable coins would be
                  transferred first, as well as for any buy orders, study costs, or any
                  other fees.

                  I stepped back from the siege module temporarily, as I can see I need to
                  think all this out a bit more and make sure I put it all together smoothly.
                  The thing I am looking at in regards to the siege module is variable
                  construction materials. I really don't want to have to make a different
                  object type for each type of material. So. Each structure will have a set
                  of materials that it can be built from. Once construction starts the object
                  will remember the base material and all further work must be done with that
                  type material. This way I need only make one "wall" object, for example,
                  and they can still be made from wood, ironwood, stone, or rootstone, all
                  with one definition. If the unit had more than one resource, the
                  material used would be set by a parameter, i.e.

                  BUILD WALL NW IRWD

                  would start construction of an ironwood rampart wall along the northwest
                  hexside.

                  In the same operation I'm putting in provisions for multiple required
                  materials. For instance, Golems will require certain alchemicaly refined
                  "essences" as well as their base material. Monuments will require certain
                  holy items, enchanted items, luxury items, or rare artifacts, as well as
                  building materials and raw luxury materials.

                  My intention is to give Empire alot of the richness of a roleplaying world,
                  while still providing means for truly epic conquest and struggle.

                  Players who are so inclined hopefully could spend their whole game within
                  a large empire busily going about their business tinkering and discussing
                  the weather oblivious to a major war going on in the borderlands, aside
                  from maybe an increase in the tithes and increased demand for grain at the
                  markets.

                  Other players might spend a couple years just mapping out a continent,
                  discovering and naming landmarks. That's another thing I'm going to add is
                  unique terrain features, like volcanoes, tarpits, salt flats, meteor
                  craters, ancient ruined cities, etc. Along with that is the ability of
                  Explorers to name the hexes that contain these features, as well as the
                  new towns and regions that they discover. Once an Explorer sets a name, it
                  could then only be changed by a war or religion faction moving in and
                  gaining control of the land.

                  (oh *don't* enter a tarpit or volcano "structure" unless you really know
                  what you are doing or have elementals with you. hehehe)

                  I'm also thinking about giving higher level Explorers (perhaps EXPL3) a
                  month long order RECON, which is essentially the samething as Bird Lore 1.

                  Income and coinage... Any income gained in uncontrolled land or in
                  controlled land that is not "developed," meaning there is no population
                  center or completed structures will be collected in bronze coins. Income
                  collected in controlled and developed land will be collected in silver, as
                  is any income claimed through an Ambassador. Income collected from
                  controlled cites or claimed from Embassies will be in electrum. The only
                  way to acquire gold coin is directly from another unit, or to mint it
                  yourself. Unless you have access to pure gold ore, minting gold coin will
                  involve smithing electrum into it's parts of gold and silver, which
                  requires rather advanced metal smelting ability.

                  So, I'm also looking at "advanced skills" which can only be learned with a
                  certain prerequisite, or if taught. Just for example, I intend to use
                  "Smithing" as the basic metal working skill. A leader with Smithing 3 could
                  then learn "Metallurgy," this would allow him to do things like smelt
                  electrum into gold as well as to work mithril, or perhaps even make steel.
                  (which is what mithril *really* is, just ore that naturally forms a steel
                  alloy). He could then teach normal men Metallurgy, but they could only
                  advance in level with a teacher.

                  I'm still debating this idea. It would encouage specialization, give more
                  of a technology progression to the game aside from just magic, and at the
                  same time this technology is easily shared by giving trained leaders, or
                  teaching.

                  It is entirely possible that the end result will either be enitrely
                  unplayable or that it will be too involved. Ha. One look at D&D says to the
                  casual observer "too involved and unplayable" and look at where the gaming
                  industry is now. :)

                  If I may digress momentarily. When I worked at Compuserve they made a
                  big deal about how they wanted to utilize their employees in ways that
                  fueled their passions and that they encouraged us to provide them with
                  innovative ideas to do just that. Well... I explained with fairly clear
                  evidence how games were the future of *real* profit in the internet
                  software industry. It all went over the heads of the people I was
                  instructed to share these ideas with. They said "we have games".... umm...
                  ok. Tic tac toe... yup big money maker there... So much for company
                  propaganda.

                  In retrospect, I should have let my beard grow and put on the toga for that
                  meeting. It couldn't have made the end result any worse for them. I can't
                  help but think that if they had the vision to at least *form* an internet
                  games division, Compuserve might still be in business. Oh well. That's
                  their problem. I'm far happier now than I was then. I've found my spleen!
                  Ok, back to Atlantis.

                  Aside from balance and dynamic, I think the secret to making Empire
                  playable is 2 things, the interface and more importantly the documentation.
                  I think I can safely vouch that the documentation will be informative and
                  entertaining. A friend of mine wants to create a web based player interface
                  for A4, and if he has luck, I will recruit him to make a front end for
                  Empire. At this point he is still learning the game, so I am encouraging
                  him to immerse himself in the game and take notes before he starts coding.

                  But why bother putting out all this effort for something I intend to offer
                  for free? Like I said about the towers, because I can. Also because it
                  literally takes me more "effort" to do things like sleep, or remember to
                  eat, than it does for me to sit and write or code for 20 hours straight.

                  When you can cross the Abyss and find Paradise almost at will, you really
                  don't want to come back to the land of living dead. The only reason I do
                  come back is because I like to share. It's not a journey for everyone. But
                  it's why I'm here, and everytime I turn away from it, I'd be far better off
                  being hit by a truck.

                  Oh, I suppose you may guess that the unique artifacts and terrain features
                  can only mean 2 things. hehehe The Sacred and Most Holy Bronzed Spleen and
                  the ancient lost Sepulchre of the Sacred Spleen. hehehehe I know I said no
                  spleens, but they'll be deeply hidden.

                  Would any mortal dare unite the two? What would happen? There's only one
                  way to find out.

                  In closing here, my biggest problem is that although standard Atlantis is
                  supposed to be open ended, most games end in collective apathy.

                  Empire will have a few built in epic ending scenarios, but only if the
                  players can exhaust the greater portion of the world's hidden detail.

                  "I will build Atlantis:Empire! The game to last 1000 turns!"

                  Hail Spleen.

                  -Az
                • Aerron Winsor
                  ... Go ahead and build three, we will need one when we get there :) ... Thanks, our policies may have worked too well, we wound up with no-one to fight :( ...
                  Message 8 of 11 , Apr 3, 2000
                    At 02:40 PM 4/3/00 -0800, Azthar Spleenmonger wrote:
                    >> AS> I conduct formal business in a toga. :)


                    >
                    >The fact is there are no truly economic reasons for me to go to Sinan. Just
                    >as there is no economic reason for me to build 2 towers in Erisort.
                    >
                    >But I can, so I will. One for my email address and one for the spleen web
                    >site. ;)
                    Go ahead and build three, we will need one when we get there :)

                    >
                    >
                    >True, but you can't kill people with FLOA. But it is also true that not
                    >everyone can get worked up to start a war over non-vital organs. I will
                    >give the Bastek credit for that much. :) The discrepancies in regional
                    Thanks, our policies may have worked too well, we wound up with no-one to
                    fight :(

                    >resource distribution provide real incentives to mount expeditionary
                    >campaigns. Ultimately this is why I intend to include very rare and
                    >precious resources in Empire. The design challenge for me is to make them
                    >truly valuable, but not overly powerful in isolated large quantity.
                    Sounds interesting, what kind of resources?

                    >
                    >This is where I jump threads and move to chewing silver.
                    >
                    That always did bother me, esp in atl-2 you could fish, but not eat the fish.


                    >The food producers of the world truly hold the keys to power. In Empire,
                    >cash will be used for maintenance primarily for housing troops at home, and
                    >the amount which can be used will be limited by the population and economy
                    >of the hex, as well as the season and any other factors that affect
                    >overall food production. You *won't* be able to feed a 1000 man army in the
                    >desert without food. Period. If you want to field a large concentrated
                    >army, you *will* need food, especially come winter.
                    Huzzah! I want to play!!!

                    >
                    >Leaders will need silver above their food requirements. Usually one silver
                    >equivalent, per leader, with specialized leaders like mages, priests, and
                    >tacticians, etc., requiring more, but not explorers. Explorers will require
                    >no maintenaince of any kind.
                    >
                    very nice.




                    >which to me makes the whole GUARD mechanism almost reasonable, but I am
                    >going to alter that slightly as well with rules for establishing control of
                    >the land and maintaining the loyalty of the hex's peasentry, which I think
                    >will add alot to the game. This alone will be reason not to pillage a hex
                    >that you control as then you will lose control of it.
                    Also a good idea, how about making taxing a month long action as well?

                    >
                    >When you march into land that is under somone's "control" even if they are
                    >not in the hex, you will know immediately because the peasents will
                    >share the faction attitude of their liege. You may not know who controls
                    >(just like a unit) it but you will know that it is controlled.
                    Nice.

                    >The control range of these structures can be increased by establishing a
                    >palace. Imperial citadels and the high temple of a religion will have the
                    >greatest control range. Its very possible that more than one faction will
                    >have the ability to control a given hex, when control ranges over lap,
                    >control goes to the last faction to guard the hex, although this is not as
                    >relevant if both factions belong to the same empire. But if someone was to
                    >go into rebellion, or on a contested border, things could get interesting
                    >to say the least.
                    OOoooo, I like!



                    >
                    >BUILD WALL NW IRWD
                    >
                    >would start construction of an ironwood rampart wall along the northwest
                    >hexside.
                    How about a guard direction command, each unit can guard only one hexside.

                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >"I will build Atlantis:Empire! The game to last 1000 turns!"
                    >
                    >Hail Spleen.
                    >
                    Hail Spleen!
                    Hail Spleen!
                    Hail Spleen!
                    Hail Spleen!
                    Hail.....

                    Er...um...Well we still have to come kill you, but we can have a heck of a
                    wake!
                  • Azthar Spleenmonger
                    ... For starts diamonds, rubies, and other precious gems, certain rare herbs and animal products like black lotus and couatl feathers. All will have various
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 4, 2000
                      > >resource distribution provide real incentives to mount expeditionary
                      > >campaigns. Ultimately this is why I intend to include very rare and
                      > >precious resources in Empire. The design challenge for me is to make them
                      > >truly valuable, but not overly powerful in isolated large quantity.
                      > Sounds interesting, what kind of resources?

                      For starts diamonds, rubies, and other precious gems, certain rare herbs
                      and animal products like black lotus and couatl feathers. All will have
                      various applications in prodcution of the most valuable luxury items
                      as well as being used for the advanced rituals and projects like generating
                      empire/religion wide omens, sealing and unsealing gates, or creating relics
                      and monuments.

                      > >This is where I jump threads and move to chewing silver.
                      > >
                      > That always did bother me, esp in atl-2 you could fish, but not eat the fish.

                      yupyup Now what bugs me is one salmon feeds as many men a pig.

                      > >The food producers of the world truly hold the keys to power. In Empire,
                      > >cash will be used for maintenance primarily for housing troops at home, and
                      > >the amount which can be used will be limited by the population and economy
                      > >of the hex, as well as the season and any other factors that affect
                      > >overall food production. You *won't* be able to feed a 1000 man army in the
                      > >desert without food. Period. If you want to field a large concentrated
                      > >army, you *will* need food, especially come winter.
                      > Huzzah! I want to play!!!

                      :) So do I but, I'm not sure I will let myself.

                      > >which to me makes the whole GUARD mechanism almost reasonable, but I am
                      > >going to alter that slightly as well with rules for establishing control of
                      > >the land and maintaining the loyalty of the hex's peasentry, which I think
                      > >will add alot to the game. This alone will be reason not to pillage a hex
                      > >that you control as then you will lose control of it.
                      > Also a good idea, how about making taxing a month long action as well?

                      That's a thought, right now taxing and moving is about the only way to
                      really move forces, but with the emphasis on food reserves, that may be
                      less critical for the game dynamic. Pillaging certainly should be a month
                      long order and it's effects in Empire will be a bit more extreme given the
                      impact on food output and the effects will also last a bit longer.

                      > How about a guard direction command, each unit can guard only one hexside.

                      That's an interesting idea too, or perhaps simply use the idea that came
                      up for GARRISON as a month long command and do away with guarding
                      as a flag.. That way the unit would be considered to be patrolling the
                      entire hex. This way a unit would either be securing the hex, or collecting
                      taxes, but not both.

                      I'll toss that in the brew and see what comes out.

                      Cheers!

                      -Az

                      PS I moved the sabre-rattling to the realmslist, it was my fault for
                      bringing that stuff up here anyway.
                    • Larry Stanbery
                      ... Hm. I ve been using GCC (I think the cygwin flavor, or maybe it s the mingw32 flavor -- can t remember) and it compiles fine. Both errors you mention
                      Message 10 of 11 , Apr 13, 2000
                        > I'm using sources from atlantis_plus.zip (682,554 April,04).
                        > I've recently tried to compile it with VC++ 6.0 and it reported me:
                        >
                        > E:\C++\Atlantis\Engine\aregion.cpp(988) : warning C4101: 'fReport'
                        > : unreferenced local variable
                        > E:\C++\Atlantis\Engine\template.cpp(374) : warning C4101: 'p' :
                        > unreferenced local variable
                        >
                        > It could be OK, but who knows...

                        Hm. I've been using GCC (I think the "cygwin" flavor, or maybe it's the
                        "mingw32" flavor -- can't remember) and it compiles fine.

                        Both errors you mention are bogus -- it's actually _creating_ the variable at
                        that point, not referencing it. They should be perfectly legal variable
                        declarations... <shrug> Call up Bill and tell him he's a bonehead. =)

                        Larry
                      • Kevin
                        Hi All! I m using sources from atlantis_plus.zip (682,554 April,04). I ve recently tried to compile it with VC++ 6.0 and it reported me:
                        Message 11 of 11 , Apr 13, 2000
                          Hi All!

                          I'm using sources from atlantis_plus.zip (682,554 April,04).
                          I've recently tried to compile it with VC++ 6.0 and it reported me:

                          E:\C++\Atlantis\Engine\aregion.cpp(988) : warning C4101: 'fReport' : unreferenced local variable
                          E:\C++\Atlantis\Engine\template.cpp(374) : warning C4101: 'p' : unreferenced local variable

                          It could be OK, but who knows...
                          --
                          Best regards,
                          Kevin mailto:kevin@...
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