Re: Ultimate Goals in Olympia

Rich Skrenta (
20 Jan 1995 18:15:45 -0500

So far, the changes I have for G2 which address the power problem are:

o Make defending easier than attacking.
Example: Peasants, workers and sailors will not
participate in attacks, only for defense.

o Elimination of winner-gets-stronger in combat.
Fighters on the opposing side never get added to the
victor's inventory. 1/3-2/3 of booty is always lost in
battle. Lack of NP transfer means you have no chance
of getting nobles out of an attack.

o A slight change to the combat algorithm lets the loser get his
licks in before he goes down. This makes combat more expensive
for the bully, as he can't attack and come away unscathed.

o Beastmastery fixed.
Beasts require workers for maintenance, and aren't
as plentiful (one has to catch them like horses).

o A reduction in castle income.
Castles still are lucrative, just not as much.

Some others I'm considering:

o Making attacks take more time, say 3 days, perhaps even when
the target is not found.

o Improving the flee mechanics, so you actually have a chance to
get away (although increasing the attack time as above helps a
bit here).

o Bring back "hyperspace" movement, so one can't be attacked after
the first day of travel out of a province. This is really just
making ATTACK and the display routines work like GIVE, STACK, etc.

These are all tuning level fixes. They will slow the ramp-up of power in
the game, and together with a limit on the number of nobles allowed in a
faction, may be sufficient to make the game stable in the long term.

Some have suggested changes which I mentally classify in the "Club Olympia
over the head" category. These include "wimpy" and variants, where we draw
a sharp line between combat units and non-combat units, and spotting rules.
These are all swell ideas, but are big changes, and the level of debate they
spark suggests that they really need playtesting to see just how they behave
in practice. I'm reluctant to embrace these radical changes unless tuning
level fixes can't do the job.