October 21, 2014, 06:30:17 PM

Author Topic: What are the challenges of Gnomoria?What are the challenges of Gnomoria?  (Read 9061 times)

IdioticUlt1mara

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Just a Youtube Let's Player
    • View Profile
    • Youtube Let's Plays
I think wall destroying mobs would be "fun" and only arrive at a certain time-frame and/or Kingdom Value.

But I agree with girlinhat. Someone shouldnt really be coming onto the forums saying "here look I have built a wall around the edge of the map meaning nothing can get in this game is too easy"

If people do that they should just play the game on easy-mode. If ppl want a challenge then set out ur own challenges "like never have a military", "never build underground" etc etc
Your Friendly Youtuber IdioticUlt1mara

Solace

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Except this is not really feedback at all.  It's sort of like saying "This game is too slow, it's too easy to pause the game and then it takes forever to change seasons!"  Yes, you can make yourself perfectly defended by walling off the edge tiles, and that will likely be an exploit that won't ever change.  But it's just that, an exploit.  It's available to people who want to experience the game different from the way it's intended, and that's just the issue - when you talk about using exploits then you're not talking about the same game as everyone else.

Maybe it'd be better if I made this comparison: "Halo is too easy.  Once you get into the cheat menu then all the enemies are really weak!"

The game developer clearly wishes for the current enemies to be defeated by these simple means, otherwise it would have been addressed in either word or change. He'll likely be added more creatures which cannot be defeated by these simple means. Simple goblins though, should definitely be defeated by walls. It is not exploiting in the sense you are implying, but it definitely does take the fun out of the game for a lot of people, including myself. It's not like goblins can get past 1 or 2 guards and a few traps anyway.

Quote
I think wall destroying mobs would be "fun" and only arrive at a certain time-frame and/or Kingdom Value.

But I agree with girlinhat. Someone shouldnt really be coming onto the forums saying "here look I have built a wall around the edge of the map meaning nothing can get in this game is too easy"

If people do that they should just play the game on easy-mode. If ppl want a challenge then set out ur own challenges "like never have a military", "never build underground" etc etc

He isn't wrong though. Unless this is your first time ever playing a dwarf-like, you probably won't even lose a gnome until the 2nd year, and probably won't ever lose a kingdom; even without walling yourself in. If a game developer creates mechanics that allows for you to keep yourself entirely safe, those who wish to be absolutely efficient will use it. The challenge for the developer is to create a game where those that want to meta-game can do so without it becoming a complete steamroll. I'm sure it will get to that point, but for now, his critique is completely correct and justified, and simply dismissing it without thought is slightly ignominious.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 08:37:44 PM by Solace »

Girlinhat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
    • View Profile
But... the "wall the map's edge" is a meta game defense.

DF has had a similar issue, still does really.  You cannot build walls on the map's edge, this is to prevent spawn-blocking.  However you could build statues, which counted as furniture and not construction, and would block movement.  So it was possible to statue-off the map and prevent entry.  Now, it's done with bridges instead.  You build drawbridges raising into the edge, and once pulled you have your map sealed.

The entire consensus at the Bay12 forums is along the lines of "Yeah, that's neat, but you're just abusing tricks."

It's worse in Gnomoria, because there's no build or digging restrictions.  Which is awesome, don't change that, I love the full-terraforming potential here.  But it also means it's easier to meta-game it.  If you wall off the edge, then goblins don't spawn, or the only spawn on tiles that they cannot move on, such as walls with no floor atop them.  Gnomads do the same thing, but you can easily construct an entrance for them when they arrive.

In the end, it's compromise.  You get the free-form building potential of map edges, but you also get meta-game defenses where you abuse the game by facet of it being a game.  If you remove that exploit, then you also lose the freedom of terraforming easily.

However, Solace seems to have taken a unique stance on this.  The opinion of "every possible action is an intended action" isn't one that really holds up to scrutiny.  Yes, it's possible to wall the edges.  Does this mean that's how the game is meant to be played?  Does this mean that every serious player should always use exploits?  It's also possible to open your world file using a text editor and change the data.  Since it's not locked, does that mean RoboB0b intended for us to modify our saves and cheat in free steel?  It's possible, so it must be encouraged, right?

Just because something can be done, doesn't mean that's the way it should be done.  Exploits will always exist, and if you're trying to say that having goblins floating in mid-air is intended behavior... well, then I think there's no argument I can make to you anymore.

Blindsight

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
    • View Profile
I'm sure it will get to that point, but for now, his critique is completely correct and justified, and simply dismissing it without thought is slightly ignominious.

The problem is that he is not critiquing a game. He is critiquing the lowest level game mechanics in a barely (although improving) playable build. The majority of the game design is not in the game yet, and we are all aware that the enemy aspect of the game needs a lot of tweaking as it was just thrown in. Critiques on it not being a good are pretty darn moot.

When we get to a Beta and Rob puts the real game design balancing elements into the game we will see a lot more of what he envisions. At that point we can evaluate it. Any real evaluation of it prior to that and we are critiquing a stick lean-to that was put up for a night of shelter while we work on building a real house. Yes, we know our current shelter is made of sticks and that's not great. Thanks for that.

gronyeuh

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Quote
In tower defense games, mobs sometimes react to being walled in by demonstrating destructive abilities that they don't otherwise.

Exploding goblins? Digging goblins?

I like theses ideas. Combined to the fact that goblins could find themselves drink and food, and you can imagine a siege in many months! So goblins will come real problem even if we only wall off(no more merchant or gnomads).

Solace

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
But... the "wall the map's edge" is a meta game defense.

DF has had a similar issue, still does really.  You cannot build walls on the map's edge, this is to prevent spawn-blocking.  However you could build statues, which counted as furniture and not construction, and would block movement.  So it was possible to statue-off the map and prevent entry.  Now, it's done with bridges instead.  You build drawbridges raising into the edge, and once pulled you have your map sealed.

The entire consensus at the Bay12 forums is along the lines of "Yeah, that's neat, but you're just abusing tricks."

It's worse in Gnomoria, because there's no build or digging restrictions.  Which is awesome, don't change that, I love the full-terraforming potential here.  But it also means it's easier to meta-game it.  If you wall off the edge, then goblins don't spawn, or the only spawn on tiles that they cannot move on, such as walls with no floor atop them.  Gnomads do the same thing, but you can easily construct an entrance for them when they arrive.

In the end, it's compromise.  You get the free-form building potential of map edges, but you also get meta-game defenses where you abuse the game by facet of it being a game.  If you remove that exploit, then you also lose the freedom of terraforming easily.

However, Solace seems to have taken a unique stance on this.  The opinion of "every possible action is an intended action" isn't one that really holds up to scrutiny.  Yes, it's possible to wall the edges.  Does this mean that's how the game is meant to be played?  Does this mean that every serious player should always use exploits?  It's also possible to open your world file using a text editor and change the data.  Since it's not locked, does that mean RoboB0b intended for us to modify our saves and cheat in free steel?  It's possible, so it must be encouraged, right?

Just because something can be done, doesn't mean that's the way it should be done.  Exploits will always exist, and if you're trying to say that having goblins floating in mid-air is intended behavior... well, then I think there's no argument I can make to you anymore.

If you're trying to change my opinion, you won't. I think you don't understand the concept of opinion, and your constant straw-manning is kind of an interesting approach. As in, it's one gigantic block of straw-man in an attempt to belittle an opinion.  Mechanics are mechanics, and as long as it isn't something even remotely difficult or hard to imagine, it isn't an exploit. Should having a wall around your base be considered an exploit as well, even though it gets the same thing accomplished with less effort?

Paracelsus

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Too old to frag online, too young to die.
    • View Profile
I can see the attraction of self-inflicted restrictions to provide a challenge, but having the game provide the really difficult challenges is more fun (for me at least).

I do think the difficult challenges should be controlled by the player though. So that players that don't want the challenges can avoid them. For example by not digging too deep, or possibly not dabbling in the highest level dark magic.

I hope it is a feature that is introduced into the game some time in the future.

Evo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
I think OP is missing the point of a sandbox. You're the (indirect) creator, you have some challenges and rules set upon you, but what you do is really up to you. The whole 'making challenges for yourself' is what makes the game interesting.

Either way, it is alpha, and the game is being developed by a single individual. I'm fairly sure he has a lot more planned if you lack creativity. Just kidding ;)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 01:59:34 PM by Evo »

bvierra

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 330
  • No matter where I am, you can find me there.
    • View Profile
    • Gnomoria Wiki
What are the challenges of Gnomoria?

1. Goblins
2. Golems
3. Food
4. Drink

What else?


I made a layout that prevents any spawned goblin from moving, a layout of torches that prevent any golem from spawning. Enough apple trees, farmable area, pastured cattle for more drinks and food than I can ever get gnomes to consume. (Here the challenge was downsize the industry just for the strict necessary, so to not have thousands of cows producing milk and meat and things like that)

Not really concerned about Kingdom Worth either.


Does digging deeper is the end game? What does it offer, or is intended to offer in terms of challenges?
Back in Dwarf Fortress, you could reach Hell and there were tons of interesting random organic encounters that could screw things up and bring challenges.


Getting to the point where those 4 challenges were defeated/manageable was fun. I enjoyed a lot building strategically to defend my goblins, or increase their efficiency in movement, stockpiles, industry, but It seems I reached a point where it feels like "Ive won" the game.

Not only did I "won" this current game.
It feels like Ive developed the blueprint to win all games. It feels wrong.

Things like, locking yourself in inside huge walls. Even though its my ruling prerrogative to make a castle and a wall to prevent invaders, it feels like I defeat the fear/danger.


Maybe if there were ranged attackers, flying attackers, giant worms, ethereal enemies, sieging enemies, that destroyed walls.

It seems like I reached the limits of the complexity of the replayability.


Good for you! You managed to make yourself invincible for the game in it's current form. So now you can wait till more things are put in, or replay it and don't wall off the entire map. You basically figured out how to play the game in normal mode but turn it into peaceful.


Part of the game is fighting, so when you remove that part I am sure it gets pretty boring pretty quick. As a player decide that you will build a smaller fortress that takes up say 1/8th of the map and you still have to venture out to get to wood and stuff which means fighting.

Wiki | Bugzilla | Chat
Feature Requests | Bugs
The views expressed are my own and do not reflect the views of Robotronic Games unless specifically specified as such

City Builder

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 213
    • View Profile
    • MineCraft Schematics
If you're going to wall off the entire map (thus basically playing on peaceful) you may as well turn the game to peaceful and then try to make your 'hood' as efficient as it can possibly be, which is a whole other way of playing the game, maybe you'd enjoy it, but by the sounds of it, you'd likely not.  Still, maybe worth a try.

RoboB0b

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 877
    • View Profile
    • Gnomoria
I feel like this post could get really long, so I'll try to keep it short initially and I can expand on it later if you guys want.

At the core, Gnomoria is not a game designed to be overcome.  There is no final boss, puzzle or level.  It's more about the journey than the destination.  I focus more on providing options and letting you challenge yourself.  I tend to prioritize around that and push fixes/features back.  For example, your farms work underground, you can use the mining selection to discover caverns or dig stairs down to discover ore.  I'll fix that stuff but it doesn't take priority over more serious problems.  On the other side, if you set the kingdom center out far enough the world gets generated with large flat squares, making farming easier.  I don't plan on "fixing" that at all.

With that said, challenges are definitely important.  I tend to consider a challenge as the big difference between a game and a toy.  I do have more challenges planned.  I made a post a couple weeks back titled "Where is Gnomoria heading?" and listed combat challenges as one of the 3 main areas of the game.  I also don't really want to force it on you.  I could have gone the route of most survival modes and made the enemy difficulty scale up over time.  Instead, it's based on worth and depth to give you more options, since those are things you have control over.  I will prefer to tie things to gameplay where I can, but sometimes I'll just make it explicit, like peaceful mode.

Gnomoria is not hard if you don't want it to be.  To me, saying that it's easy when you wall yourself off is like saying a platformer is easy because you can't die if you don't move.  To be fair though, a more accurate analogy would be the issues with smithing and enchanting in Skyrim.  I honestly think that the problem here is a lack of formal structure.  I think if there were difficulty modes or an easier way to compare accomplishments (score, levels, time, etc), this wouldn't really be an issue.  I'm more of a personal growth kind of guy.  A lot of people prefer to compete and compare what they've accomplished with others, and there is nothing wrong with that.  I added a peaceful mode for those who just want to build and take it slow and I've been considering adding a "hostile" mode for those who prefer to have more and tougher combat related challenges thrown at them.  If enough people wanted it, I could even add a "true" survival mode that just gets harder over time and you have to race to keep up.  But, like I said, for me the normal mode is less restrictive and relies on self discipline to a certain degree.

If there is never a way for a goblin to destroy walls, then there will at least be other enemies that a wall won't stop.  In general though, I imagine there will never be a counter to everything that you can think up.  So, it's like the bad joke, "My arm hurts when I move it like this, so I went to a doctor. He told me to not move it like that."  For the time being, if walling yourself off isn't fun then don't do it.

On a side note, I initially had other plans kind of related to this.  Fitting in more with the sandbox style, the plan was to generate a history of your kingdom that would reflect self imposed challenges.  The idea was to embrace the kind of challenges people put on themselves, like only playing above ground or never having a military or whatever.  It's pretty much on hold indefinitely because it would be a lot of work and doesn't gain a whole lot, since you can "unofficially" already do that kind of thing.  I just never replaced it with another way to compare accomplishments.  Most likely, instead, you'll see something like "hostile" mode or more world gen options that are inherently harder than others, like settling in a desert.

Girlinhat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
    • View Profile
On the other side, if you set the kingdom center out far enough the world gets generated with large flat squares, making farming easier.  I don't plan on "fixing" that at all.
If I didn't already own the game, I would buy it in principle alone.  You've got a perfectly and extremely optional quirk-turned-feature that hurts no one and you have to actively seek it out to use it.  You're leaving it in and for that I respect you, Sir.

The rest?  Well, beautifully put.  You've acknowledged that this is a game of self-imposed challenges and that's an important distinction to make.  But that's also something to expand upon more.  Being able to tweak your world options further would allow a lot more variety of challenges.  Enemy spawn patterns and things like "you can't grow strawberries in the desert" would add more challenges that people could undertake, or combine with other facets and make even more challenging.  More importantly though, it lets you pick and choose the challenges.  If I want to go on a desert, but not face as many goblins, then I can tailor the game to my specific challenge criteria.

Although I would suggest making bits of it official, if possible, probably by way of "accomplishment" type things.  For instance, the player could undertake the challenge of "I won't arm my gnomes in anything better than copper" and the game itself could keep track of this.  So when you look on your empire screen, there'd be a small checkbox for the things that you're complying with.  This gives the player a bit of feedback for their self-imposed challenge, and it lets them post screenshots that actually prove "I really did this, here's proof" and opens the door for comparing forts and boasting who's done the more impossible thing.  If my empire screen has the checkboxes for "no active military" along with "desert start" and "all metal is imported" then you can up the ante and play a similar game, but add "no yaks" to your list.

This allows for competition, which is always fun, and some players need a bit of reinforcement/feedback for their time.  Self-imposed challenges are nice, but seeing the tickmark on the screen is actually important to a lot of people.

RoboB0b

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 877
    • View Profile
    • Gnomoria
Although I would suggest making bits of it official, if possible, probably by way of "accomplishment" type things.  For instance, the player could undertake the challenge of "I won't arm my gnomes in anything better than copper" and the game itself could keep track of this.  So when you look on your empire screen, there'd be a small checkbox for the things that you're complying with.  This gives the player a bit of feedback for their self-imposed challenge, and it lets them post screenshots that actually prove "I really did this, here's proof" and opens the door for comparing forts and boasting who's done the more impossible thing.  If my empire screen has the checkboxes for "no active military" along with "desert start" and "all metal is imported" then you can up the ante and play a similar game, but add "no yaks" to your list.

This allows for competition, which is always fun, and some players need a bit of reinforcement/feedback for their time.  Self-imposed challenges are nice, but seeing the tickmark on the screen is actually important to a lot of people.

I definitely agree.  I wanted the generated history to be more open and was something you could get to spit out different results by playing it differently.  Having a list of explicit "accomplishments" would definitely make it a lot easier and probably cover most of the same goals I had -- being able to compare with friends and also ignoring those restrictions if you wanted to.

Girlinhat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
    • View Profile
For history, I'd take a note from Mount and Blade: Warband.  When you make a character, it gives you some options.  It starts with "You're the child of... nobleman, merchant, steppes hunter, farmer?" and "You grew up as... lady's page, hunter, blacksmith's apprentice, lady-in-waiting?" and other questions.  If you're the child of a nobleman, then you start out with a few skill points in diplomacy and charisma, while a hunter's daughter starts with some skill in horse-riding and archery.  Similarly, a growing blacksmith's apprentice will start with skill in trade and inventory management, while a lady-in-waiting gets more diplomacy and stuff.

So Gnomoria history could compose of several questions.  "The oldest records tell of settlers in the.... forests, deserts, mountains?" and "The civilization made its fortune on... weapon crafting, plentiful ores, fine carpentry?"  So then, if your people started in the forests you'd get more gnomes with better horticulture, and if they thrive on plentiful ores then the merchants would arrive with more and more variety of metals.  Other questions could lead your people to becoming pacifists but trap experts, or ruthless traders who attract goblin trade caravans, or poor builders who don't understand how to build dirt or metal walls.

In that way, your kingdom history can tailor a bit to your play style, and can also impose challenges on you.  Might be fun to start with "your people enjoyed seclusion in the mountains and have no stomach for war" but you decide to make a Spartan Training Camp, considerably more difficult to achieve now that your people are lazy greek layabouts!

Paracelsus

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Too old to frag online, too young to die.
    • View Profile
....  I also don't really want to force it on you.  I could have gone the route of most survival modes and made the enemy difficulty scale up over time.  Instead, it's based on worth and depth to give you more options, since those are things you have control over.  I will prefer to tie things to gameplay where I can, but sometimes I'll just make it explicit, like peaceful mode....

This sounds perfect - challenges that are in the control of the player. Really looking forward to where that might lead.