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  • The settlers Closed Beta - My stake on it - good user experience, fun to play, but lacking being in terms of depth and missing some key features IMHO

    2 Likes/1 Replies/107 Views
    El_Michdel
    Original poster 1 posts

    EDIT: sorry i couldn't put this thread in Closed Beta discussion, privileges seems a bit broken even after following dedicated instructions (logout/login and clicking on the link to grant privileges)

    First I would like to thanks the team for all the great work!! 👏 😊 
     
     
    There are a lot of good stuff: AD (music, design) are good; UX and game optimization are good too (I played on my company laptop which has NO graphic card and the game was not even lagging - 16Go ram and OK CPU helps I guess)
     
     
    I do tend to agree to a lot of remarks that have been made in other comments, especially @AmperekPrzestan one (search and read for this post if you are interested (cannot post url as this would be flagged as spam): Closed Beta Feedback -improvements and suggestions that are possible to implement before release).
    Paraphrasing @AmperekPrzestan : building an "easy to learn, hard to master" game is a good goal, but planning instead of micro-managing is the key here.
     
    Here is my stake on this (obviously a very personal opinion, so no offence should be taken! )
     

    • Globally, I think one cannot make an economy management game that plays in an hour. It's just clicks per minute at this point. Maps should be huge, and expansion to a specific area should be a gamble. A game should not take less than an hour on small maps and up to lot more in large ones.

     

    • MODDING
      • First of all, I really, really hope modding will be facilitated in order for old grumpy fans like me to make more "Settlers I, II, III" feeling to the game ❤ 🙂 

     

    • ECONOMY
      • Overall: it's easy to grab and well made. It needs some adjustements as I found it too easy to overproduce every single stuff the map has to offer and just be wandering in your territory clicking to launch units production and sending them to the general enemy camp direction. 
      • Production
        • overall: There are no graphs, its hard to know if you are overproducing something or not. You just wait and end up seing "woo, I have 150 fishes in my warehouse, what about that?"
        • Piority levels: resources types should be allocated to buildings with a priority level. Simpler and funnier than micro managing the Pause-Run button. For example, managing bread for every single house is a hassle. Just setting bread priority to homes on a scale would be simpler.
        • Lots of buildings just need one resource IN and makes one OUT. It's too simple and greatly diminishes the need to think where your place buildings (if you need several resources in, then placing it right has more importance as you will be moving less stuff in the end)

     

    • FOOD
      • Overall: In some ways the economy is too simplified and food production is way too optional. The only incentive to build food economy is when you have capped all your mines and want to boost even more your soldiers output. But by then, the game is won already in 1V1 with the current AI difficulty.
      • Food production should take space, like in real world.
      • Food consumption should be agnostic of the food type! A building should consume any type of food. Who cares and what's the point? I am almost certain that the original idea was to artificially "force" players to build every single building the game has to offer. But this comes with a huge drawback: we cannot make maps without sea (fish), or small islands maps with very few space for farms and so on. Simple answer is: 
        • farms should produce a lot and have a higher throughput on flat terrain. They should take a lot of space for fields that we could choose where to place around the farm.
        • meat should use either wheat or space (hills and collins would be prefered by users in order to let flat terrain to farms, like in real world) and have butcher like it used to
      • grapes/wine: why not keeping the wine production? or the brewery? I think it was great, it could be used to motivate your troops or calm down people if you cannot feed them.

     

    • MINES
      • Infinite mines: it breaks the economy and the need to always be looking for new deposits. I guess mines will not always be infinite in the 1.0 game release.
      • Gems: what is the purpose? Gems only purpose is to buy some units which IMHO should not be in the game in the first place. Make a complex economy system, don't add random stuff in it. It does not add useful content or depth, it just add mental load as you need to do more clicks per minute. 
      • Where is the money maker? It should use coal and raw gold to make coins (mintage was already a big deal and power assertion in ancient ages).

     

    • TRANSPORT
      • Overall: Prioritization / optimization of resource transportation should be possible and be a big deal 
      • Donkeys seemed a bit useless in the beta, which is too bad. They should greatly improve the economy. This will be fixed hopefully.
      • Transport outside of roads should be really slow
      • Buildings should be able to accept only resources from some buildings around them (not resources from the other side of the map). Like in any real economy (who will take a log and transport if from Washington to NewOrleans to cut it into planks?).

     

    • POPULATION
      • Growing population with time is a good idea. I would personnaly like if population grew towns by itslef around your production centers. You could help it grow faster by allocating them more food (like in actual beta) or materials to build their homes. They would automatically relocate if you decide to build something on an existing house. Therefore, at some point, overpopulation could be a problem and unrest could arise if you can't feed them.
      • Displaying unemployed settlers on the map looks sketchy.
      • Population should go to their homes at night, in order to make a more "organic" feeling of the towns (homes would be built near production centers to minify the time spent on home/work trajects)

     

    • MILITARY
      • Overall: an economy management game should not bother too much with military units. This is my biggest disappointement.
      • Strongholds: My personal opinion is that first settlers was a lot about holding key points of your settlements with towers and castles as well as targeting vital points of your opponents economy. And this is a lot like war was made in middleages, except for raids. Here, it seems to me that you just have to: 1. expand 2. frontally attack until enemy breaks as there is only one way to reach their base. I think we should have strongholds like in the old times, and add the opportunity to build up an army that could raid enemy territory while avoiding big castles "defence zone". But not micro-managing each unit (and it looks fuzzy on the screen too)

     

    • UNITS
      • COMPLEXITY
        • I am personnally really not a fan, and that's a euphemism, of this "spells", "healers" and somewhat "magical" stuff that make the game feel weird (build a kinda realistic economy in a non-realistic world seems odd to me)
          • For me, we could heal units in two ways :
            • in hospital in our own territory. 
            • Or in enemy territory by supplying troups with wagon of food that would require a lot of logistic and people. But it should take time. Not a dumb spell you have to manually cast. --> what management games fan likes to have to manually micromanage spells? I think not many.
        • There should be less units types. Orders should be generic like "attack here" and try to retreat if you loose more than half your troops. Or, alternatively, war should be more manageable. 

     

    • MAINTENANCE
      • Suggestion: Troops could have a cost (paid in gold, wine, food, or all three). Cost should be higher when not garrisoned and even higher when outside of territory (if not raiding enemy food).
      • I don't like having to select all units. There should be an "army" or "regiment" and you could had more troops in it. Battles should be auto-managed and you would loose control over it. Taking the risk of getting all your troops killed if they are overwhelmed and therefore cannot retreat. A little bit like in paradox games (EU IV, CK3, Stellaris and so on). In order to focus on the main objective here which is economy (or if the main objective here is making a strategy / combat oriented game, then there is a loooong way to go before making a bankable one).


    • LEVELLING UP
      • Indoor: In first settlers, troops gained experience by exercising when garrisoned, especially in the castle. This made sense and it felt so good to have higly trained troops. They should also be able to level up with combat.
      • Outdoor : Troops should sleep in camps with tents and could barricade themselfes

     

    • GARRISON
      • Right now towers are broken. They are OP against AI but you can just ignore them and go destroy your enemy's economy rearguard.
      • I would love huts, towers and castles back! This was great and simple solution.
      • Zone control: The notion of zone control was great. Taking a castle should give you control of an area. We should decide to destroy buildings or not (and it should take time and spread unrest in local population that could fight back, even if poorly)

     

    • RESEARCH:
      • Like in lots of games, settlers makes a technology tree. OK, why not (I am more a fan of "organic" research that would make your civilisation automatically discover new stuff with time AND practice. e.g. if you build boats, you will discover boat improvements). But, why are all units automatically equipped with the new gear? New armors should have to be made and equipped on soldiers, and it should cost resources! Armors BTW should be made with either leather (made from butcher and tanner) or iron depending on the type. Moreover, @AmperekPrzestan suggestions on research output are really good on that matter.

     

    • MAP
      • TOPOGRAPHY: There are no hills, mountains and so on, which use to play a huge role in both road construction (transport bottlenecks in valleys between mountain for example) and farm placement. According to artist images, it is planned as there are huge mountains in every single image.
      • spherical worlds: Please bring them back as an option for autogenerated random maps ❤

     

    • SIZE & RESOURCES
      • Map is to small with no possibility to have a real strategic (or tactical) thinking that can influence the whole way you play :
        • You just go quick and lock resource deposits. Because the only map I was able to play is a skirmish one, maybe this will be different on other ones. 
      • One of the great things in the first settlers was to always have to add new woodcutters, sawmills and stonecutters to be able to expand quickly and efficiently. Here, the map is small so it does not make any difference. Just build two woodcutter and one sawmill and you are good to go for the whole game... and late game you can even make extra bucks by selling your planks on the port!


    • CIVILIZATIONS
      • It would be nice to be able to build your own civilization by picking traits (-2 points for quicker at building, +2points for mines costs more resources to build, and so on)

     

    • OTHER SMALL STUFF
      • Yes, engineers pathfinding is broken. Engineers count does not exist yet... It's no big deal at this point of the game dev.
      • Custom orders should exist. Like: flee when you see an enemy, or stand your ground, or attack and pursue,...



    I tried to make my point as clearly as possible, sorry if some ideas are not as cristal clear as they are in my mind. 😁

    Cheers mates! 🤠



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