Efficiency scores?

Four of us were playing Kohan: Ahriman’s Gift on the LAN the other night. One of my teammates got the high score. He had built something like 55 citiies.

I was second. I built four cities. (There were four human players playing co-op against four AI set to hard).

My buddy had three armies of high-value units running around fighting. Each of his army had six companies.

I had one company of five units – two elite bowmen, one cavalry, two combat engineers.

I captured fifteen cities; he captured a like number.

So here’s my point – should game developers have an option for an efficiecy score? Or should “the fustest with the mostest” always be the factor in determining how well a player does?

Wait…a Kohan topic not started by a Gaming-Age KAG whore such as myself or MrAngryFace? Ah, QT3, how I love thee.

It depends on what the score is measuring. Kohan does display the number of companies you build, the number you destroy and the number you lose. So you CAN see your efficiency if you look at the raw numbers - I always used to pay more attention to that than to overall score.

IMO, in most of these games the single most important stat is enemy units killed, - if you compare that number to number of units you build and the number you lose you can get a good idea of your efficiency.

On the other hand, overall score does take into account the size of your economy which is often a crude but accurate indicator of your overall combat power.

Kohan is a bit unusual in that combat is not very attritional - position, healing of wounded companies, formation, etc, all play a big role. So in Kohan it is possible to do a lot with a little. Thus efficiency is a pretty good measure of player skill.

In RoN on the other hand, overall player skill depends partly on military efficiency and partly on economic power. So the scoring should be evaluated a bit differently. I generally find that RoN’s total scores are a good indicator of how good a game you had.

Dan

Efficiency is meaningless, it’s the end result that matters.

Taking engines for example… let’s look at the F20C 4 cylinder engine in the Honda S2000. It produces a remarkable 120 horsepower per liter, for a total of 240hp.

The LS6 in the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a 5.7L small block V8 that produces 405hp. That’s only 72hp/L (which is amazingly high for a production pushrod, but besides the point.)

Which car is faster? The Z06. Is the S2000 lighter? By 100lbs, maybe. How much lighter is the F20C? About 70lbs, including the difference in weight between transmissions.

Efficiency is quite meaningless. I’d rather produce 6 times the units and win by a narrow 1.5:1 margin than be on the losing side of that.

However, in a resource constrained environment – which is often the case in an RTS system with an economy – making the most of your recources should count for something. In fact, if you want to take the car racing analogy further, Indy Cars and NASCAR vehicles have specific limits, and it becomes a matter of tweaking what you can have, not simply piling on larger motors. And of course, in the end, it’s how good the driver is, not the vehicle.

I think this is where many RTS games fall down (and RPG games, to some extent). You should gain something from doing more with less, and doing it better.

I don’t think efficiency is all that important, myself. In most RTS games my efficiency levels will be low, because I am a cack-handed carpal tunnel syndrome suffering macro-manager. However my economy in these games is usually good, and my mind is fast, so I end up winning more games than I lose through sheer numbers as anything else. It would not be uncommon for me in my ladder days of AoK to win against equally skilled opponents, while losing more units than I killed.

I thought this would be a suggestion to add “Koontzes” to our user profiles in addition to Posts.

Um…you haven’t watched much IndyCar or NASCAR racing lately have you? The guy with the best equipment is almost always at the front, even if the driver isn’t the best on the track.

I think what you’re trying to say, Loyd, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s that you want some kind of consideration for coming in second. Well…in the online games world, second may as well be last. Nobody wants to finish second. I mean, what should you gain for doing more with less? A higher score? Who cares if you’re still the loser?

–Dave

Enemy Territory has a number of awards given out at the end of each round. Over ten of 'em, for things like highest accuracy, best engineer. A wide variety of stuff.

That stuff’s cool and it’s nice to know if you helped your team and everything, but if you lose the match, it still sucks. :)

–Dave

Were the cities captured of equal value?

Probably five or six were fully tricked out, walled cities. All were over five structures in development.

The only stats I ever look at in RTS games are resources gathered. I like to know if I’m keeping up with the other players, AI or human. Typically, if I win I gathered as many or more resources than my opponents. If I lose, it normally means I didn’t gather enough. I use the stats to grade my early game strategy, more or less.

It doesn’t matter. He won. Yes, you’re in a resource-constrained environment, but if he was skilled enough to dominate the resources at hand and outproduce you and win with that production, then all your efficiency is for naught.

Your analogy to race cars is flawed. In RTS games everyone might start with the same resources, but then it’s up to them to win by whatever means necessary - and that almost always includes madly expanding. Unlike race car drivers, you’re not limited to what is given/allowed you.

Anyway, you can look at your friend as being efficient. He claimed the most amount of map in the least time. He produced the most units in the least time.

If you want a game that rewards combat efficiency, try Myth.

This brings up a point about which I wasn’t clear. I took more cities and killed more enemy units than he did. But his score ended up way higher. What he did was build a bunch of ciities relatively close together (as much as Kohan allows), but he didn’t do as well militarily. Part of it was because he was managing three armies. There were times when I would march up with my five-company army, right past one of his armies and take a city from under his nose becaues he was off doing something with another army.

Like I said, that’s part of the overhead of managing such a large empire. As bad as he is at managing that overhead, however, in the end his inefficient but vast empire overpowered your smaller, more efficient army.

It’s like the Allies vs. the Germans in World War 2.