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Disappointed with Ant Upgrades..

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I'm new to the game, I'm a completionist type-a idiot so, my focus thus far has just been on complete domination of 1.1.  I've completed up through Hard difficulty (standard) and up through Medium difficulty (challenge).  Thus far, I am quite disappointed that upgrading ants is really counter intuitive.  In the scenario it costs you nothing to dig, so the only benefit I can even see is space saving (from a tile perspective) which is meaningless since digging is free.  By my own play testing more level 1 ants is always more important than the cost of level 2 or 3 ants.  By skimming the forum I see that some of the ant types like Mortar ants have a level 3 bonus that (supposedly) makes it worth it. 

I don't really have a proposal, I just wanted to express my disappointment that (in my limited experience) so far this is a zerg style swarm game.  The free digging even encourages the large fight chambers so you can get all of your ants swarmed around.  I suppose it's realistic, that is how ants fight in reality.

All that said, I freeking LOVE ants, and I am very supportive of your endeavor here.  I am quite upset that I didn't discover you in the funding stage.  Life is just so busy, I can't keep up anymore.  So keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing the game progress and evolve.  Thank you for making this game.

Yah, I feel like upgrades need some more incentive. 

In particular, the warriors in 2.1 and 2.2 are a joke, as their HP isn't enough compared to the equivalent worker spam, and spitters are always going to be better at DPS. 

Warriors in particular could really use some more strength.  Damage is useless, even with lvl 3 attack speed, so they could really use far more HP upon improvement to make them highly desirable. 

A potential balance between numbers and upgrades:  Upgrades allow for special abilities at lvl 3, and for greater health pools that are over double that of the previous upgrade.  However, spamming numbers will provide more net DPS since that stat does not increase per upgrade at the same rate of any single ant (10 HP 5 DMG upgraded -> 23 HP 8 damage; 10 HP 5 DMG add one -> 20 HP 10 damage).  The more of these differences you make in a large army, the more significant it will be.  Different ant species could reverse this, gaining the most HP from spam, and the most damage from upgrades. 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 05:07:41 AM by Rayalot72 »
And on the sixth day, God created ant in his own image, and gave them dominion over the earth and all of its creatures.  Amen.

I have not found a reason to ever upgrade black ants, or workers, except to spend obscene amounts of extra food. 

In 1.1 you need the numbers, and 19 upgraded L3 ants fail hard compared to 57 L1 ants.  Keep in mind these ants are your damage source, too.  It might be better to upgrade the ants if you do your fighting at bottlenecks, but I don't... I set up ambush chambers.  (beat insane challenge!)

In 1.2 more bodies means more hits on the slavers, also its less crippling if you lose 10 out of 60 L1 warriors, instead of 10 out of 20 L3 warriors.

in 2.1 and 2.2 why would you waste food on melee ants instead of shooter ants..?  Maybe later you could replace your worker meat shield with some warriors, but upgrade them?  meh.

So I agree completely. I would like an incentive to upgrade my ants.

« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 01:02:44 PM by Ensiege »

I find the upgrade system acceptable. It's better to upgrade ants once you get like 60+ and they start blocking each other. Even less if you have only melee units. Of course, mortars with their aoe at level 3 makes them worth rushing for much earlier.

My general strategy on is to make a large level 1 army and then keep upgrading ants when food almost exceeds my 410 storage cap. There's no need to keep a food reserve above that, usually.

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With some irony, until now the thinking is that you couldn't really progress without upgrading the ants. That you guys have found the opposite says interesting things about the current balance.

In fact I have only really beaten 1.1 upgrading black ants to level 3, about 15-20 of them depending on the difficulty level.

Upgrades should be free and automatically complete after a certain time if the prerequisites are met - for example 5 minutes for level 2 and another 10 minutes for level 3 (or 2/5, whatever ffits the game flow).

A highly equipped group of super soldiers just isn't what this game is about. I'd rather see manual upgrading change the TYPE of ants so we can upgrade workers to soldiers (or shooters) if we want.

And PLEASE give soldiers all of the worker abilities.
FORMICA ANTS DO NOT HAVE SOLDIERS. They only have bigger and smaller workers.
This would completely and forever solve the issue with those silly colony compositions that consist to 90% of soldiers and suffer an economy collapse when more than 5 workers die (which is EXACTLY the reason why real Formica ants do not have soldiers - even Pheidole, who have the species with the highest soldier-to-worker ratio in the ant world NEVER go more than 40% soldiers, usually they have 10-30% soldiers depending on the species).

And no, buffing the small workers will NOT make balance any better, it will just make it worse. Small workers have clearly defined roles in an ant colony, and those are brood tending and maintenance jobs (and scouting for food) NOT fighting (unless they are really old and would die soon anyway). When soldiers get worker abilities the small workers will be in a PERFECT spot and do exactly these jobs.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 11:12:55 AM by Serafine »

With some irony, until now the thinking is that you couldn't really progress without upgrading the ants. That you guys have found the opposite says interesting things about the current balance.

In fact I have only really beaten 1.1 upgrading black ants to level 3, about 15-20 of them depending on the difficulty level.

Well in other RTS games, upgrading existing units is a separate purchase, sometimes using a secondary resource.  In this game, upgrades are individual, using the exact same resource amounts. 

I finally managed to beat 1.1 insane challenge with 24 L3 ants.  It is far more difficult then using 57 L1 ants, which is a breeze. 

Seriously, if you cut the upgrade cost to even just half?  Then I could see it working... it would be stupid not to upgrade them.  100 food buys you two L1 ants, or one L3 ant. (I mean, it really shouldn't be a more viable option to not upgrade your units)

You know what gets more brood work done faster then a L3 worker?  Three L1 workers for the same price.  If you cut the upgrade cost in half, then maybe the additional movement speed and job completion speed with start to outweigh only 2 L1 counterparts, instead of 3 of them.

Seriously, if you cut the upgrade cost to even just half?  Then I could see it working... it would be stupid not to upgrade them.  100 food buys you two L1 ants, or one L3 ant. (I mean, it really shouldn't be a more viable option to not upgrade your units)
Honestly they will never be able to really balance upgrades vs no upgrades, one will always be the general go-to option and the other (in the best case) a situational option that does better in very specific rare cirumstances.
I've done tabletop and rolegaming rule design stuff for decades and balancing generalistic upgrades is a NIGHTMARE. If they are specialized upgrades that enable a unit to do specific things it usually can't (jumping, digging, ranged attacks, a burst damage attack) or make it effective vs specific opponents that's kinda doable, but incremental unspecific broad stat upgrades are an absolute pain to balance - this even applies to units that are too similar (Formica rufa workers and soldiers are a borderline case of that and should be made more distinctive, for example by giving the rufa soldiers are burst damage spray attack - currently the soldier is nothing more than an upgraded worker and gameplay-wise made obsolete by the cheaper workers).

Most games try to avoid this issue like the plague by making units as different as possible, so they cannot even properly compete with each other, unfortunately that won't always be possible in EotU because most ants are relatively similar after all (although if for example Messor workers were a prerequisite to Messor soldiers because their tiles can be directly upgraded into soldier tiles it wouldn't really matter if their workers were quite similar to Formica workers because they are part of a different upgrade tree that leads to a different end point (and thus different gameplay) in mid/late game).

I'd recommend to completely sail around this issue by making upgrades free and automatic (with timers) which will also make it easier to properly balance the units - that's because you don't have to balance two (veeery similar) units (the L1 and the L3 version of EVERY ant type in the game) which is a nightmare but only the unit in general (the L1 is the major balancing factor during the early stages of a level and the L3 for anything beyond midgame).
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 05:25:24 PM by Serafine »

Upgrades should be free and automatically complete after a certain time if the prerequisites are met - for example 5 minutes for level 2 and another 10 minutes for level 3 (or 2/5, whatever ffits the game flow).

I think that would just prompt the player to wait. In many of the levels, you can get away with this (1.1 and 2.1, in particular). An adjustment to upgrade cost would be better than making it automatic and free. You could even combine lower upgrade costs (1/2 the original food amount) and lower the amount of food needed for upgraded ants to mature.

Anything other than a passive time-based upgrade mechanic.

A highly equipped group of super soldiers just isn't what this game is about. I'd rather see manual upgrading change the TYPE of ants so we can upgrade workers to soldiers (or shooters) if we want.

Given how soldiers and workers perform very similar tasks, that could be pretty neat. This would get rid of the hassle of trying to make non-upgraded and upgraded builds both viable.

The only issue that I can see with this is that every colony will eventually turn into a pure soldier colony. That is an issue (imo) with the current version of the game and something that I would like to see change. Perhaps "upgrades" offer slight bonuses and penalties. A Formica fusca worker being upgraded to a soldier might mean more health and damage, but also reduced speed. A Formica rufa worker turning into a spitter would mean that they gain the ability to shoot, but they might become a bit more fragile.

And PLEASE give soldiers all of the worker abilities.
FORMICA ANTS DO NOT HAVE SOLDIERS. They only have bigger and smaller workers.
This would completely and forever solve the issue with those silly colony compositions that consist to 90% of soldiers and suffer an economy collapse when more than 5 workers die (which is EXACTLY the reason why real Formica ants do not have soldiers - even Pheidole, who have the species with the highest soldier-to-worker ratio in the ant world NEVER go more than 40% soldiers, usually they have 10-30% soldiers depending on the species).

If SlugDisco goes with your idea above, then out of necessity, soldiers would need to perform worker tasks. However, I think distinction between caste roles would benefit this game immensely. Workers are made for handling the nurseries, collecting food, and scouting. Soldiers are meant for protecting the nest and eliminating enemies in the name of Queen and Hill. You should have an incentive to build both workers and soldiers to make your colony flourish.

Formica rufa soldiers could do with a bit of balancing. Given how strong they are, make their "soldiers" cost 30-35 food. Still more expensive than the workers, but they aren't as pricey as the soldiers of the fusca colonies (as it should be). Every species should have their own unique traits (which SlugDisco is providing, and I love it). The fusca have their tough-as-nails soldiers and the rufa have their shooters along with frontline support. The fusca colonies are very singular minded: rush the enemy with heavy soldiers. The rufa ants need synergy to work: soldiers to hold the frontline and shooters to provide the dps.

Workers come in for both colonies in that they are cheap but frail. They should also be speedy so that they can scout and collect resources faster. An increase to their foraging speed and the ability to not be slowed by carrying food can help them be more viable than just have soldiers do their jobs for them. Soldiers could be able to perform the same tasks, just less efficiently.

And no, buffing the small workers will NOT make balance any better, it will just make it worse. Small workers have clearly defined roles in an ant colony, and those are brood tending and maintenance jobs (and scouting for food) NOT fighting (unless they are really old and would die soon anyway). When soldiers get worker abilities the small workers will be in a PERFECT spot and do exactly these jobs.

Exactly. Make them better at their designated jobs. I don't see how making soldiers better at those jobs will make those workers even more viable. Unless I'm misunderstanding you, it sounds like you want all jobs to be handled by all ants. That would make workers entirely useless unless they get some bonuses for doing their jobs.

I think the way the upgrades are desgined right now is not too bad. It's true: If an upgrade has the same price as an additional soldier it seems to be better to create more soldiers than to upgrade the existing ones. But in big fights there are two things to be taken into account: Replacing an ant costs 5 food, no matter the upgrade level. So getting a tier 3 ant for 5 food is much better than getting a tier 1 ant for the same price. Furthermore in big fights the worker ants at home are pretty busy dropping eggs in all the nurseries. So big numbers of soldiers that are easy to kill cause more effort "at home" than a few stronger ones.

At least this fits to the way I play. I do store a lot of food and let the ants attack in waves.

I like the thought brought up by Serafine that this game should not be about elite soldiers but about many many many ants. Thats why I do not see the need to make the upgrades a lot more exciting (with new skills for example).
But I do agree that at least a little adjustment of the cost may be wise in order to make upgrades just a little bit more attractive. Let's say an upgrade may cost 45 instead of 50 whilst a new nursery costs 50 as well. This little incentive would make upgrades worth their cost but still make big armies (that will replace themselves after being killed very quickly) attractive.

I think that would just prompt the player to wait. In many of the levels, you can get away with this (1.1 and 2.1, in particular). An adjustment to upgrade cost would be better than making it automatic and free. You could even combine lower upgrade costs (1/2 the original food amount) and lower the amount of food needed for upgraded ants to mature.
Actually 1.1 is the ONLY level where you can take as long as you want. All the other levels are on a timer and speed matters (in 1.2 this only becomes apparent on hard because the level is so incredibly easy).


Given how soldiers and workers perform very similar tasks, that could be pretty neat. This would get rid of the hassle of trying to make non-upgraded and upgraded builds both viable.

The only issue that I can see with this is that every colony will eventually turn into a pure soldier colony. That is an issue (imo) with the current version of the game and something that I would like to see change. Perhaps "upgrades" offer slight bonuses and penalties. A Formica fusca worker being upgraded to a soldier might mean more health and damage, but also reduced speed. A Formica rufa worker turning into a spitter would mean that they gain the ability to shoot, but they might become a bit more fragile.
That is effectively the situation we have right now. Colonies will ALWAYS consist mostly of soldiers because they're just more efficient at fighting, this is what that leads to those pure soldier colonies we constantly see. Also rufa shooters are in fact relatively fragile.

If SlugDisco goes with your idea above, then out of necessity, soldiers would need to perform worker tasks. However, I think distinction between caste roles would benefit this game immensely. Workers are made for handling the nurseries, collecting food, and scouting. Soldiers are meant for protecting the nest and eliminating enemies in the name of Queen and Hill. You should have an incentive to build both workers and soldiers to make your colony flourish.
There will be a BETTER distinction between the "castes" (remember FORMICA ANTS DO NOT HAVE A SOLDIER CASTE) than there is right now.

Currently soldiers are the main fighting unit but they cannot even do the job they are dedicated to because they are incapable of digging out the mobs they are supposed to kill. That's where they need workers (because only workers can dig) and these workers will engage in combat (they should not do that) and instantly die (because they're wimpy workers not made for combat).

With both workers and soldiers having the same abilities there would be an absolutely crystal clear role for the worker, that of colony maintenance:
- Playing eggs (because you don't want to spend tons of food on a soldier when the worker can do the same job at less than half the cost)
- Digging nest chambers (but NOT dig out dangerous creatures that instantly kill them)
- Upgrading tiles and other infrastructure stuff (because you don't want your expensive soldiers to do that)
- Gathering food from secured areas (because you can get twice as many food bits transported with workers but you don't want them to fight because they die like flies)
- They are the specific option when numbers are better than strenght (like in early game)

The soldiers clear role would be:
- FIGHT
- Dig out mobs and kill them
- Defend the nest
- Secure food sources and transport food through dangerous terrain/guard the food trails (if there are soldiers that transport food within a trail and they discover an enemy they will immediately drop the food and attack while workers will only attack if the enemy hits them)


To really achieve this however workers and soldiers need to be even more distinctive than they are right now (because right now the soldier is just a worker with better stats).
This could be achieved by making workers faster than soldiers (like give them a general 25% speed bonus on the surface and a 50% speed bonus on any sort of built colony tile, this would also encourage players to build speed tiles) and by giving soldiers a burst damage spray attack that makes their initial damage vastly superior to that of the workers, enabling them to act as a true assault unit (they can quickly eliminate weaker opponents making them really effective against small pockets of enemy workers).

Formica rufa soldiers could do with a bit of balancing. Given how strong they are, make their "soldiers" cost 30-35 food.
The soldiers (both fusca and rufa) need to be UNIQUE, they need to be more than just workers with better stats.

And the rufa shooter needs a balancing pass, the only reason fuscas are using soldiers is because they don't have shooters. If the fuscas had the brokenly overpowered rufa shooters they wouldn't build a single soldier either.

Workers come in for both colonies in that they are cheap but frail. They should also be speedy so that they can scout and collect resources faster. An increase to their foraging speed and the ability to not be slowed by carrying food can help them be more viable than just have soldiers do their jobs for them. Soldiers could be able to perform the same tasks, just less efficiently.
EXACTLY. Same goes for egg-placing. Soldiers should be able to do it (to prevent those silly colony collapses and also for added realism) but less efficient (well, they're less efficient right from the start because they're more than twice as expensive to build but that doesn't mean you can't make workers even better at those utility jobs).

Make them better at their designated jobs. I don't see how making soldiers better at those jobs will make those workers even more viable. Unless I'm misunderstanding you, it sounds like you want all jobs to be handled by all ants. That would make workers entirely useless unless they get some bonuses for doing their jobs.
No it wouldn't. Workers are more efficient at these jobs per se even if they do them exactly as good as soldiers because they do the exact same thing for LESS COST. But I'm totally in for making them even better at those utility jobs.

The ONLY reason players build soldiers (including shooters) at all is because they are better at fighting, and the only reason why colonies have so many soldiers is because there is a glaring lack of maintenance jobs in the colony workers are supposed to do (feeding the brood, taking out the gabrage, spreading food to other ants).
The economic aspect of the game is currently VERY undereveloped - if the ants would actually have to feed the larvae 2-3 times before those can pupate you'd see a MASSIVE explosion in worker numbers per colony (even if soldiers could do those jobs excactly as good as workers).
That's also why I already said the game needs more economics and more hive jobs. Someting like this:

https://i.imgur.com/iEh3EJI.jpg
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 07:40:07 PM by Serafine »

...But in big fights there are two things to be taken into account: Replacing an ant costs 5 food, no matter the upgrade level. So getting a tier 3 ant for 5 food is much better than getting a tier 1 ant for the same price. Furthermore in big fights the worker ants at home are pretty busy dropping eggs in all the nurseries. So big numbers of soldiers that are easy to kill cause more effort "at home" than a few stronger ones.

Missions are too short to really benefit from the lower food attrition.  That is something that would really only show benefit in the very long term, which these missions don't have. 

If your colony of upgraded ants were to fight my larger colony of not upgraded ants, if we fought in a bottleneck, the food attrition would favor you generously and I would be handily defeated.  If we fought in the open, you might kill off more of my soldiers then I would of yours, costing me more food, but my stronger army would easily eliminate yours and you would be driven back, and I would have map control.

Now, if upgrades were to only cost half of the amount of food they currently do, I would only outnumber you 2 to 1, instead of 3 to 1.  That might tip the fight into your favor, and if not, I wouldn't have enough survivors to drive you back... so the food attrition would come into play here to give you a greater edge.   

As for your second point, the struggle at home isn't really a struggle.  Add a dozen workers to your nest group and you're fine.  On top of that, workers illustrate my point even better.  At home, three L1 workers outperform one L3 worker at the same cost.  Why upgrade workers?  Ever?  Just build more.  Even in 2.1 (not on insane where you need 100 worker meat shield) when you rush the lower beach with your workers, the speed bonus of a L3 worker is not fast enough to outpace 3 L1 workers.  Now, again, if upgrade costs were half what they are now, then a L3 worker might be able to outperform 2 L1 workers...  And if not, the added health and damage might still make them a viable purchase.

But for the black ants, we're really only talking about 1.1 and 1.2... (formicarium doesn't count... the 50% damage reduction makes them viable tanks) Numbers are better.  A player instinctively wants to upgrade their units, but you have to learn the hard way that you are only handicapping yourself by doing so. 

There are ALREADY special conditions in place in order to be able to upgrade units.  That is, you need connecting tiles of the same type, surrounded by walls, with speed tiles filling in the gaps... That in mind should be enough to lower the cost from 100% (x2) base unit cost.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 01:04:44 PM by Ensiege »

Actually 1.1 is the ONLY level where you can take as long as you want. All the other levels are on a timer and speed matters (in 1.2 this only becomes apparent on hard because the level is so incredibly easy).

Even if they were, there will be other game modes, free-play and skirmish coming to mind where one could potentially sit back. The devs stated that they don't want this game to resort to turtling, and a mechanic where you get better stuff just by waiting promotes that. Why risk your ants now when they can be much better in about a minute? Aside from hasty defenses, there wouldn't be a point to it.

Making a player work for the upgrades would provide incentive for the ants to always be foraging for food.

If SlugDisco goes with your idea above, then out of necessity, soldiers would need to perform worker tasks. However, I think distinction between caste roles would benefit this game immensely. Workers are made for handling the nurseries, collecting food, and scouting. Soldiers are meant for protecting the nest and eliminating enemies in the name of Queen and Hill. You should have an incentive to build both workers and soldiers to make your colony flourish.

There will be a BETTER distinction between the "castes" (remember FORMICA ANTS DO NOT HAVE A SOLDIER CASTE) than there is right now.

Currently soldiers are the main fighting unit but they cannot even do the job they are dedicated to because they are incapable of digging out the mobs they are supposed to kill. That's where they need workers (because only workers can dig) and these workers will engage in combat (they should not do that) and instantly die (because they're wimpy workers not made for combat).

With both workers and soldiers having the same abilities there would be an absolutely crystal clear role for the worker, that of colony maintenance:
- Playing eggs (because you don't want to spend tons of food on a soldier when the worker can do the same job at less than half the cost)
- Digging nest chambers (but NOT dig out dangerous creatures that instantly kill them)
- Upgrading tiles and other infrastructure stuff (because you don't want your expensive soldiers to do that)
- Gathering food from secured areas (because you can get twice as many food bits transported with workers but you don't want them to fight because they die like flies)
- They are the specific option when numbers are better than strenght (like in early game)

The soldiers clear role would be:
- FIGHT
- Dig out mobs and kill them
- Defend the nest
- Secure food sources and transport food through dangerous terrain/guard the food trails (if there are soldiers that transport food within a trail and they discover an enemy they will immediately drop the food and attack while workers will only attack if the enemy hits them)


To really achieve this however workers and soldiers need to be even more distinctive than they are right now (because right now the soldier is just a worker with better stats).
This could be achieved by making workers faster than soldiers (like give them a general 25% speed bonus on the surface and a 50% speed bonus on any sort of built colony tile, this would also encourage players to build speed tiles) and by giving soldiers a burst damage spray attack that makes their initial damage vastly superior to that of the workers, enabling them to act as a true assault unit (they can quickly eliminate weaker opponents making them really effective against small pockets of enemy workers).

Formica rufa soldiers could do with a bit of balancing. Given how strong they are, make their "soldiers" cost 30-35 food.
The soldiers (both fusca and rufa) need to be UNIQUE, they need to be more than just workers with better stats.

And the rufa shooter needs a balancing pass, the only reason fuscas are using soldiers is because they don't have shooters. If the fuscas had the brokenly overpowered rufa shooters they wouldn't build a single soldier either.

Workers come in for both colonies in that they are cheap but frail. They should also be speedy so that they can scout and collect resources faster. An increase to their foraging speed and the ability to not be slowed by carrying food can help them be more viable than just have soldiers do their jobs for them. Soldiers could be able to perform the same tasks, just less efficiently.
EXACTLY. Same goes for egg-placing. Soldiers should be able to do it (to prevent those silly colony collapses and also for added realism) but less efficient (well, they're less efficient right from the start because they're more than twice as expensive to build but that doesn't mean you can't make workers even better at those utility jobs).

Make them better at their designated jobs. I don't see how making soldiers better at those jobs will make those workers even more viable. Unless I'm misunderstanding you, it sounds like you want all jobs to be handled by all ants. That would make workers entirely useless unless they get some bonuses for doing their jobs.
No it wouldn't. Workers are more efficient at these jobs per se even if they do them exactly as good as soldiers because they do the exact same thing for LESS COST. But I'm totally in for making them even better at those utility jobs.

The ONLY reason players build soldiers (including shooters) at all is because they are better at fighting, and the only reason why colonies have so many soldiers is because there is a glaring lack of maintenance jobs in the colony workers are supposed to do (feeding the brood, taking out the gabrage, spreading food to other ants).
The economic aspect of the game is currently VERY undereveloped - if the ants would actually have to feed the larvae 2-3 times before those can pupate you'd see a MASSIVE explosion in worker numbers per colony (even if soldiers could do those jobs excactly as good as workers).
That's also why I already said the game needs more economics and more hive jobs. Someting like this:

Yeah, we're pretty much agreeing here. Workers should not just be weaker soldiers. I must've got confused with your previous wording and/or did not make my point clear enough. My bad.

And I am not advocating for rufa soldiers to be as durable as fusca soldiers (which is a necessary unit if SlugDisco decides to differentiate workers and soldiers). I was saying that since the rufa shooters are so frail, they need frontline support. Having some soldiers dedicated for this role (just holding the enemy back) is pretty much a necessity.

And since we are both suggesting stronger role differentiation, the rufa soldiers will be different because they won't perform the same roles as workers, which is what we are both wanting, but a wood ant colony cannot perform as effectively as a fusca colony with just soldiers. They need the synergy, which is what will make them unique.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 02:46:26 AM by ImperatorAntgustus »

Quote
Even if they were, there will be other game modes, free-play and skirmish coming to mind where one could potentially sit back. The devs stated that they don't want this game to resort to turtling, and a mechanic where you get better stuff just by waiting promotes that. Why risk your ants now when they can be much better in about a minute? Aside from hasty defenses, there wouldn't be a point to it.

Making a player work for the upgrades would provide incentive for the ants to always be foraging for food.
I don't see how this game could in any way encourage turtling. There are no defensive structures and you HAVE to go out to actually get food (and get your colony growing).
Yes, there are aphid farms but they are not even remotely enough to keep a colony running during a large fight. Map control is the absolute king in this game.
Plus all the levels we had so far are running on a timer as well (except 1.1 which is special in more than one way).

Quote
Yeah, we're pretty much agreeing here. Workers should not just be weaker soldiers. I must've got confused with your previous wording and/or did not make my point clear enough. My bad.
Probably my bad as well. Getting a point across in a post sometimes is really hard.

Quote
And I am not advocating for rufa soldiers to be as durable as fusca soldiers (which is a necessary unit if SlugDisco decides to differentiate workers and soldiers). I was saying that since the rufa shooters are so frail, they need frontline support. Having some soldiers dedicated for this role (just holding the enemy back) is pretty much a necessity.

And since we are both suggesting stronger role differentiation, the rufa soldiers will be different because they won't perform the same roles as workers, which is what we are both wanting, but a wood ant colony cannot perform as effectively as a fusca colony with just soldiers. They need the synergy, which is what will make them unique.
Actually rufa soldiers are more durable than fusca soldiers but deal less damage (that's why the "rufa" soldiers in 2.1 actually have fusca stats).

The problem that rufa soldiers have is that they are essentially just workers with better stats and as such are as obsolete as upgraded workers (=completely obsolete) - cheap workers are sufficient as a meat shield and the rufa shooters just outclass EVERYTHING in combat.

The workers of both rufa and fusca need to be better at utility jobs and the soldiers need to be better at fighting (and either the shooters need a nerf or the soldiers need a huge upgrade because the difference in DPS is just completely ridiculous) - then you could also give worker abilities to soldiers/shooters without making workers obsolete, but they'd still be a failsafe to fall back on if for some reason all your workers die (because suffering an economy collapse while still having 50+ ants is just silly).
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 11:48:15 AM by Serafine »

Once you suffered an economy collapse right on the second last wave of the map, that's when you appreciate the value of having workers :)

Outside of 1.1, I always build at least some workers due to the need for fast egg placing.

The wood ant melee soldiers are unused due to having so many instant-kill enemies on 2.1, making them objectively worse off than just using workers to tank instead. Workers are really cheap at 20 food to build and 2 food to replace.