Retaining experience upon death

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Roux Le Corps
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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by Roux Le Corps » 08 Jul 2010, 04:25

mrvn, has reminded me, has anyone here played emperor battle for dune? house atredies could put veteran units back into their barracks (factory etc) and train all units of the same kind following as the next rank up.
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Lamesword
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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by Lamesword » 17 Aug 2011, 03:27

When I started reading this thread, I initially opposed the idea of recycling experience of units that die, but now I support it--in some form at least. Here's how I see it: One unrealistic aspect of the game is that units often do dumb things that get themselves killed, like "retreating" into the enemy units that are shooting at them. While this is not necessarily unrealistic for inexperienced units (they are panicked and confused, the enemy shots made them spill hot coffee all over themselves, etc.), no veteran would do this. This contributes to the frustration factor, when you don't merely lose a unit--that happens--but you lose a unit when you feel you shouldn't have because the AI made it do something unrealistically dumb. So, here is my suggestion:

1. If a unit is at veteran status or higher, and is set to retreat at medium damage, then 75% of its experience is recycled when it dies (or, alternatively, it has a 75% chance of all its experience being recycled).

2. Make retreat at medium damage the default. I think this is a good idea in general, but especially here where losing a valuable unit's experience (when you thought it was set to retreat at medium damage but it wasn't) would contribute to frustration.

The idea is that a highly experienced unit who is told "above all, don't get yourself killed" (which is what retreat at medium damage is, roughly) should, fairly reliably, be able to disengage from a battle--even if the AI isn't good enough for the game to reflect this directly. For those who want something more literally faithful to what's happening on the screen: if you think of units as remotely piloted, then recycling experience makes sense from the get go since it is the unit, not the pilot, that is lost; if you think of the units as having pilots on board, the veteran pilots know when to bail :lecture: and have better mastery of SERE (http://www.google.com/search?q=sere+training); you can't see them running back to base because they are good at hiding themselves during the escape :ninja:.

One could perhaps increase the percentage of experience recycled (or instead the probability of the experience being fully recycled) for more experienced units, on the basis that they would be more likely to avoid getting killed in a desperate situation. So, in the table that shows the benefits that units get from experience, there would be a new column for "percentage of experience retained from lost units" or "likelihood of experience being retained if unit lost".

I'd be happy to help code this, if so desired.

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theArmourer
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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by theArmourer » 24 Aug 2011, 18:17

Lamesword wrote:Here's how I see it: One unrealistic aspect of the game is that units often do dumb things that get themselves killed, like "retreating" into the enemy units that are shooting at them.
Perhaps it would be better to improve pathfinding.

Here's my $0.02

I am against this. Yes I get annoyed when my experienced units die. But they don't usually die much. When they do, it is because of pathfinding which takes them through enemy lines of fire on retreat. But I don't mind it that much, I just knock out the tower. :D I get a lot of close calls unless I set my units to retreat on medium damage. Why? Because my weak and experienced units run ahead of the other units in their formation. Loosing experienced units is a part of the game, if you care, you clear a retreat path. If you don't care, then why do you need experienced units? I'd rather see other things (re)implemented, like the formation speed limiting. Or perhaps a variety of formations to select from. I think these would help gameplay a lot more than preserving units experience.

25% is not anywhere near enough penalty. Commanders rack up exp. so fast it will barely be a blip on their screen, and once you get them, no one else's experience matters.

Sorry about any offensive grammar :oops:
~theArmourer

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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by lav_coyote25 » 24 Aug 2011, 20:19

Lamesword wrote:
I'd be happy to help code this, if so desired.

have at it... see if you can do it. thanks.

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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by Shadow Wolf TJC » 05 Sep 2011, 06:36

Personally, I'm against this idea as well, not just in this game, but in rts games in general. Isn't the fear of losing experienced units in battle supposed to encourage players to actually care about the well-being of their own units and try to make sure that they don't die? If experience was retained upon death, then what's the point of saving them (other than to save resources in producing the next batch of "replacements")?
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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by Zarel » 05 Sep 2011, 14:51

Shadow Wolf TJC wrote:Personally, I'm against this idea as well, not just in this game, but in rts games in general. Isn't the fear of losing experienced units in battle supposed to encourage players to actually care about the well-being of their own units and try to make sure that they don't die? If experience was retained upon death, then what's the point of saving them (other than to save resources in producing the next batch of "replacements")?
I have, for the most part, abandoned this idea because most people seemed to be against it, but I wanted to respond to this post.

I'd argue that the answer to your first question is "no". Why should we encourage players to care about the well-being of their own units? That leads to turtle-fests and boring gameplay. I believe the price of the unit and maybe a small experience penalty is plenty of discouragement, and any more is a bad thing, not a good thing.

Take a look at StarCraft, for instance. It's one of the most strategic games, and it doesn't have an experience mechanic at all. Watch a replay of matches at a high level; see how often units are sacrificed. This is precisely the sort of thing that leads to deep strategy.

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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by stiv » 05 Sep 2011, 16:18

Why should we encourage players to care about the well-being of their own units?
Because there is a cost associated with both building and training a unit. If a unit is recycled, you get to keep that investment. If the unit is lost, it is gone. Warzone recognizes this. Starcraft does not. Play whichever one you like.
Watch a replay of matches at a high level; see how often units are sacrificed. This is precisely the sort of thing that leads to deep strategy.
Or Chinese-style human wave attacks. (and yes, I am using the word 'human' loosely). Since Starcraft does not recognize experience, this behavior makes sense there.

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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by cybersphinx » 05 Sep 2011, 16:30

Zarel wrote:That leads to turtle-fests and boring gameplay.
Isn't it more the availability of walls, bunkers etc. that leads to turtling?
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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by Per » 05 Sep 2011, 16:32

The recycling experience stuff is too much hidden mechanics to me. It is hard to see and know what is going to happen, to which units the experience will flow after the recycle, how much you have stored up, etc.. This is not an argument against recycling experience as such, just the way it is currently implemented.

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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by Iluvalar » 05 Sep 2011, 17:28

I desagree with that idea. I have enough second or even third level experience units in a 30 minutes game. Even if it's spread along many stats, just one level is enough to give serious advantage. Repair is good enough so we can afford to avoid situation where our units will flee in the bad direction (ambush, charge-in,...). You can't have both you make a siege or an ambush not both.

However I can spot some mechanisms in tech tree that prevent level ups :
1- Constant price progression. Units are always more and more costful. Cheap units from higher tech would get more experience and would have the potential to become heroes faster.
2- Inevitability of armor upgrades. Whatever if it's for the thermal armor, a new body, a new propulsion, a new weapons or just because there is hole in you upgrade line that make you have no more choice in upgrades. Everybody is upgrading his armor more or less equally. There is no situation in the game where the player can start the game with in mind the idea to spend more in armor to have his unit survive more then the opponent ones.
3- Inevitability of weapon upgrades. Same as above but for weapon damage. Did you ever try to skip the power upgrade to develop more your weapon instead ?

That create games where you have X dmg and X HP for X cost. Whatever your design and research choices, you'll follow the same curve (more or less). Of course that make both units survive the same way and it's hardly possible to kill 4x more then your cost.
Last edited by Iluvalar on 05 Sep 2011, 17:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by 2point7182818 » 05 Sep 2011, 17:28

stiv wrote:Or Chinese-style human wave attacks. (and yes, I am using the word 'human' loosely). Since Starcraft does not recognize experience, this behavior makes sense there.
Allowing people to throw away their units and keep experience scored from kills would only further encourage suicide attacks

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Re: Retaining experience upon death

Post by NoQ » 07 Sep 2011, 13:47

I haven't heard of many effective suicide attacks recently.

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