However I think there is a "non-magic" way of ownership for automated structures which could turn out as pretty good. AI-Guards. When you build an structure like, maybe, an tower from which you can shot enemies from far. The tower is completly neutral. Whoever gets on the tower can use it. However you (others can do that, too, if they are near enough) can grab the tower and choose in an menu to hire archers for the tower (costs gold). Those will now automatically attack enemies. To get in control of the tower your enemy now needs to kill your AI-Archers and hire some own archers for it.
This idea can be used for other structures, too. The guards of an elevator could automatically drive the elevator to waiting friendly Clonks. The guards of an bridge-tower could automaticly lower it to let friends in.
One could even expand this concept to production structures. An "guard" of an weaponsmith could automatically smith weapons if the neccessary materials are delivered. Or an "guard" of an sawmill could automatically cut down trees.
* Buildings are always neutral when build. Anyone can use them and they have no (ownership related) automation.
* You can spend gold on hiring clonk controlled by an AI. How the AI acts like is different from building to building. (Examples: AI on top of tower shoots arrows at enemies, AI assigned to watchpost patrols, AI assigned to blacksmith builds swords [or any other assigned product] when the material for that is delivered)
* You hire the clonks directly at the building.
** You can only hire clonks for that building if no clonk of the enemy is hired for it.
* (Ownership related) Automation is done by the AI's. (For example the AI of an elevator could drive the elevator to waiting friendly clonks)
** Attackers can stop the automation by killing the AI's.
Also personally I want to keep the usage of "AI" low. From a design point of view it always feels like a "here a miracle occurs" kind of move. Even though you might think you would know exactly how it should behave, it's often the case that you have actually just overlooked an important corner-case that will end up defining the whole game because everybody starts abusing it (see also: My opposition to Clonkonaut's intelligent lorries ;) ).
Hm, just found another fun way of looking at it: Castles are effectively the equivalent of big boss monsters in a Clonk game. The flag forces players (or scenario designers) to design a "weak spot" into these monsters.
I don't really support the AI clonk idea. I ALSO would like to keep the AI to a minimum when it comes to clonks.
I say that if you give a clonk a sword, gun, or bow, they shoot or swing at anything near (if left idle) and chase for a limited time
(but doesn't blindly walk into pits). The AI should be similar to whats in the tutorials, wimpy, clumsy, conquerable. but they don't just sit around and do nothing. I think this would make the player feel like he's superior to simple AI, and can outmatch(with a little skill) a uncontrolled clonk.
but if anything i think the clonk should at least know how to use a shield and block the enemy. giving the player time to react before it dies.
2- I'm a little skeptical about the ownership part, but ill have to see how it all pans out.(personally i don't see why everything cant be neutral, especially in melees. never had a problem with it(is sealing off parts of the castle from the enemy not good enough anymore? it just seems like a complicated mess right now) BUT like i said ill have to see how it all pans out)
Personally i think castles should be a large "thing" that people fight over. If someone hasn't killed every unit inside then the castle isn't "truly" conquered. Whether you have ownership or not, the rogue units inside can still perform a counter attack.
Basically, in all that time your enemy has a huge fighting advantage, even though he actually "lost" the castle.
-but YOU have a fighting advantage as well, you are IN the castle with all the other clonks. If ownership is something fought over then
i see no problem with having the castle take a while to "truly" own it.
-IF the previous owner had fortified it with a few units then BAM! their preparation has paid off because they have the # advantage.
-Castles are made(at least when i make them) to be breached. Meaning that once 1 spot is taken over, i can seal the spot from the other parts of the castle. Breaching a castle(thanks to the grapple gun and other things) is much more probable now, so they will find a way in anyways (Not a bad thing, i love it)...
Having the advantage never means that their victory is written in stone, it means the others will have to work harder, or think faster to overcome that obstacle.
I don't like fighting being too simple. having one clonk seems to do just that. The clonk dies, you wait for respawn(or whatever the case is) and by the time you return to the castle, its taken over. As complicated as things seem to get, that seems to be what it comes down to.
My two cents
> Is sealing off parts of the castle from the enemy not good enough anymore?
With neutral buildings, it's impossible to seal anything off without denying you access as well. I started thinking about this idea when people started preemptively sealing off parts of their own castle in CoFuT in order to make it impossible for enemies to lock themselves in later. At this point, in-castle doors were actually more valuable to the attacker than the defender, which is just ridiculous.
> thanks to the grapple gun and other things
Yes, that will probably become a problem. It's possible to shoot at Clonks coming at the sides of your castle, but once a Clonk is on top of your castle, there's little you can do. But well, that's what testing is for.
AI defenders in the form of AI clonks will be problematic to implement - we already learnt from past clonk titles that this kind of AI can be easily outwitted. Hazard AI for example only worked because a waypoint-network had to be defined beforehand, plus the landscape was not changeable plus there were very limited possibilities in the game world (walk and shoot).
If they are easily outwitted then i see no problem with allowing it. It seems that it would simply buy the clonk more time(so the player doesnt switch through his people and realise that one is missing(and then stress about which one died(a problem i had in previous games lol))). Instead of just sitting there waiting to die, they actually do something.
>(so the player doesnt switch through his people and realise that one is missing(and then stress about which one died(a problem i had in previous games lol)))
That should be taken care of with the new crew interface (to-come™)
>In settlement melees it's fairly common that the player has better things to do than fight you off.
What better since? I thought fighting you off efficiently would win him the game.
I would like to win the game.
That would also bring the gameplay element in, that sneaking through the areas the other clonk cant see wont alarm his player in the HUD.
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