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Thread: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

  1. #21

    Default Re: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

    I basically agree with everything you've put forward in the last post. I think now it comes down to the details: composition of the invasion force, landing location, landing turn. I think we have agreed that it should occur turn 5-35 based in how far the landing site is from the southern edge of the map. The invasion force should be strong enough to have 99% chance of auto_resolve victory without needing to auto_win, but not so strong that AA can stomp all nearby factions as soon as they land. This leaves the possible landing sites as the last issue to be resolved. The way I'm understanding it, we want the landing site to fit a few parameters: 1) to not kill or maim another AI faction by taking the capital or core regions, 2) to have plenty of nearby 'neutral' (rebel or non-core AI controlled regions) so that AA can expand naturally without immediately killing or maiming another AI faction, and 3) to be near enough to the player faction to provide a challenge.

    These simple conditions eliminate a lot of the coastal regions as possible landing sites. The two Ered Luin regions are both critical to that faction and would put AA and EL in a war for survival straight away. Similarly, the Lindon regions have very few surrounding 'neutral' regions for expansion and would maim the Lindon faction (even the existing Lindon invasion script, where AA doesn't do anything but sit in Mithlond, maims the Lindon faction). Any landing sites in or around Belfalas are also not ideal for two reasons: same issue with war for survival with DA and it would mess up the balance between Gondor and Mordor at Osgiliath if Gondor has to divert forces to handle an emergent faction in their backyard. Landing downriver along the Harnen also runs the risk of maiming Harad and in my opinion, landing anywhere along the Harnen should be avoided unless the player is Harad, Khand, Gondor, or DA, otherwise you just have too many evil factions fighting each other south of the Anduin (as tends to happen currently with AA based in Umbar).

    This leaves ideal landing sites as roughly the coast lands and rivers stretching from Harlindon to Andrast. Eryn Vorn and the region between there and the Shire are optimal sites: sure, you take a region from Enedwaith but it's not a core region, it's surrounded by rebel regions in all directions, and it provides a challenge for Lindon (trading Enedwaith for AA as a threat to Lindon), Bree, Enedwaith, and Dunland. Other optimal sites are along the Greyflood even potentially at Tharbad (unless we decide it disrupts Dunland's northward mobility too much), again making use of all the 'neutral' territories in Cardolan. Other good sites are along the coast south to Andrast especially at the mouth of the Isen. These sites provide a challenge to Enedwaith immediately but also possibly Isengard, Gondor, and Rohan. And of course, if the player is one of the aforementioned southern factions, good landing sites are at Umbar, Mirlond, and along the Harnen.

    Less optimal landing sites are inside Gondor. Western Gondor is an awkward spot for AA to land but it could work. I think any landing sites up the Anduin towards Osgiliath are just going to mess with the balance between Gondor and Mordor and prevent Khand and/or Harad from having any northward mobility. Landing further north along the Brandywine risks eliminating the Bree faction outright although it would otherwise be a good landing site. Going too far upriver on the Isen risks eliminating the Isengard faction although again, it would otherwise be a good landing site.

    I've made a little heat map of good and bad landing sites based on the above metrics. Green = ideal, yellow = questionable but possible, orange = not recommended, red = no go (without changing the initial parameters). Obviously, the map doesn't take into account who/where the player is.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  2. #22
    Sir Matthias's Avatar Civis
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    Oct 2018
    Wishing I was in Northern Virginia while in Beijing

    Default Re: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

    That seems about right.

  3. #23
    El Monstero29's Avatar Miles
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    Sep 2013
    St. Louis, USA

    Default Re: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

    I think I am in full agreement about the landing sites! The heat map was a damn nice touch. I would actually like to add one more site to the list. The bay of Forochel. We could make the extreme Northern part of Eriador a possible landing site too. This would be an especially hard start for AA as those settlements are almost entirely garbage, but we could help them compensate for this. But this way it could affect factions like EL, Angmar, and Gundabad.

    I think the two Tharbads would be an epic spot for AA to land, but yes, it may affect Dunland too much. We'll have to test that. I agree that this area is the best overall place for AA to land so maybe this should be where we start our testing?

    Personally, I think Bree is usually screwed anyway, unless the player is in control of course. So, I think having AA able to land on their front door is fine. But then I strongly dislike that faction anyways

    Perhaps a Western Gondorian invasion should be a player only event. If the player is Gondor or DA. I've always found Gondor to be one of the easier campaigns. This would spice it up. And if we do it the way I said by having AA take 2 Gondorian and one DA province then it won't cripple either of them, but will give AA a nice foothold.

  4. #24

    Default Re: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

    I considered adding in Forochel but figured it would be too detached from the communal head canon and that I would be laughed out of the forum for even suggesting it. But if I were to paint it on the heatmap, it would be solid green. It's a perfect landing site from the perspective of the aforementioned parameters. It wouldn't be hard to do separate landing event messages depending on location with the one for Forochel being that "they were blown off course" or something along those lines.

    Agree about Tharbad. I still have this feeling that landing anywhere in Gondor is going to be awkward for all three factions. But I admit the scenarios would be interesting.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  5. #25

    Default Re: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by El Monstero29 View Post
    I think I should explain where I got this idea from, I probably should have done that in the first place. In Crusader Kings 2 there is a dlc called Sunset Invasion, this dlc adds an optional scripted invasion to the game that makes a giant Aztec army invade Europe from the West. This army is guaranteed to win it's first attack as they are given ridiculously powerful event troops. After this invasion happens, the Aztecs are then a very real threat to all the surrounding factions. It can alter the way a campaign plays completely. There is no second wave of invasion troops if the first is destroyed. Once the Aztec scum are gone they stay gone.

    I should also mention that this dlc is universally panned as the worst of the lot for that game, and I don't use it myself. But the idea behind it is absolutely perfect for the AA, in my opinion.

    So, the way I imagine this script working is to give AA a guaranteed foothold somewhere in Middle Earth. From which, they can expand and alter the campaign however they may. With the goal being that other factions don't just immediately implode, but rather they are put to a new test that they would normally never face. I want the AI controlled AA to be able to start a campaign almost anywhere and then see how that changes a campaign overall. It will throw a monkey wrench into a normal campaign and alter the outcome to, what I think, would be almost unrecognizable to what we have now in 2.2 DAC.

    I feel that small incurring raids like you describe would just feel like an extension of the Corsair Invasion script. If we made the script with small raids that slowly build overtime then we would also need to script in a way for the player to make the raids stop. If they spawn indefinitely from an off map location like the far south then that would feel far more artificial to me than a single large invasion. I

    That said, something I would be in favor of would be reworking the corsair invasion script so that it could work based on the location AA end up establishing themselves in. They would be able to send small raids from whatever their new capitol is and the player could stop the raids by capturing that capitol just like that script works now. BUT, I feel this script would need to come after we get the primary invasion script working. This would do what you said, make the coast vulnerable even after the initial invasion, but I just think that would be a better way to go about it.

    I'd say what you're describing is a massively beefed up version of the Corsair Invasion script that already exists. I could see some merits in using the Corsair Script to accomplish what I want. But something I don't like about this is that it would give AA territories scattered all over the map. The AI is not good at dealing with a situation like that. The campaign AI functions best when its realm is all connected together. I fear that scattering AA all over the map would end up being more annoying than anything. They'd just hold random cities here and there but they would be very unlikely to be able to expand from those conquests. Their expansion would be entirely dependent on the script armies. I don't think that would lead to very fun gameplay, honestly.

    It is possible to make AA not attack Northward into DA, but that would require us to change their AI preset to "passive" which would only compound the problem of them not doing anything.

    Indeed we are talking about two very different things. I missunderstood the thread as to collect ideas regarding the AA instead of working out your idea.
    I have to admit, I'm still in favour of giving the AA a Norsca-like mechanic, but as this is not the topic here, I will shut up about it

    Nonetheless, I'm curious how this will develop. Best of luck!

    @Callistonian: In the latest Dev Diary, Galu actually promoted Forochel as a possible AA target. So no reason laugh at you
    Last edited by Lord Auerode; January 18, 2019 at 01:48 PM.

  6. #26

    Default Re: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

    There still should be a possibility of them going North and attacking Ered Luin and Lindon Elves. Otherwise good always wins the war in the north without human intervention.

  7. #27

    Default Re: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward Denethor II View Post
    There still should be a possibility of them going North and attacking Ered Luin and Lindon Elves. Otherwise good always wins the war in the north without human intervention.
    Perhaps Forlindon would be an appropriate target? The loss of that region might hurt but perhaps not cripple Lindon, and it is between Ered Luin and Lindon.

    I think, generally, southern Enedwaith, Cardolan, and Forochel make sense from a gameplay perspective. It seems there's a lot of ideas of how to structure this. I like the idea of multiple invasions. Would an invasion work like the current Mithlond invasion where an army appears already besieging the city, or would an invasion force instead just appear in a region and pick it's target (maybe the AI has trouble with this)? Also, basing targets on faction rankings might reduce some the variability since rankings are pretty consistent from campaign to campaign.

  8. #28

    Default Re: An idea to make Ar Adunaim play a larger role in the campaign when controlled by the AI

    I really like the idea of just having them "land by the ships" (actually the ships and armies would just spawn) and having the AI decide what to do next. Aside from the problem that the AI might just do nothing or walk to the other side of the map for no reason or something crazy like this (which we could simply test), the other problem is that we wouldn't be able to artificially boost culture in the settlement they decide to take without testing every region they could potentially take which becomes a heavy script.

    I'm also opposed to using faction rankings as any sort of condition for this script. Turn 5-35, the faction rankings are still going to be virtually the same as whatever they were on turn 1.

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