Palisade scan bug

Unknown_Andrew

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Jan 2, 2013
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#1
I've brought this up a couple of times over the years, but is there any good reason the palisade wall bug can't be fixed? I remember scripter64 made a post a few years back basically stating that the game developers didn't intend it (as opposed to the tower bug which actually was intended, just for other reasons besides tower repair) and it really takes away some of the importance of scouting and keeping your scout alive/active at all times. It's a small fix that can make a big difference in high level games.

Hate to single him out, but I watched Viper abuse this bug for years on stream but when people would use the tower bug against him he would get all upset. Never made much sense to me.
 
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GermanyKing_Marv

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May 27, 2016
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#2
You know you can scan with every building?

And what tower bug you mean? You mean hop ? Is no bug ... units can always ungarrison in diagonal.
 

Netherlandsnimanoe

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Jan 15, 2014
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#4
On-topic: How would you fix it? If you could only make buildings if it's in your Fog of War it would change the game quite a bit and I'm not sure for the better.
If only walls would be effected by this it would make walling your base quite tedious as well and I think people would find ways around this, for example by scanning with houses
 

Unknownscripter64

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May 22, 2011
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#5
Oh, it isn't a bug, as the scanning is working exactly as ES intended, in order to help players know where they can place building foundations. However, the use of it for monitoring scouted terrain was likely unintended. Quote of my previous post:

It might be possible with enough time and research to disable palisade scanning. However, the question is would losing the ability to verify placement by scanning be a good thing for the game overall.

I can imagine situations at the casual level, in particular, where a player might take 5 villagers, drop their resources at a camp (now 5 idles), and then send them to build a castle on a hill in the fog. With a bit of lag, they won't be able to see the foundation appear immediately, so they might just assume it's ok and go to replant some farms at home. After being distracted defending their town for a minute, they go to check the hill and see no castle, with their builders either still idling at home or lost to a bombard tower forest on the hill for no reason, depending on how the fix is implemented.

This would likely be very disorienting for both new and experienced players, who won't be able to trust the placement system and would need to wait, watching the hill to ensure that the castle foundation actually appears as expected. With the current system, if you click to place a foundation and hear your villager's builder voice message, even if you don't see the foundation, you know it's 99% sure to be placed.

On a separate note, since the black area cannot be used to scan, players must explore the terrain in order to take advantage of it, which increases the incentive to thoroughly scout. Scouting the area outside town becomes a more useful skill, not just to find resources, chokepoints, and elevations, but to enable the use of the player's "time/attention resource" to scan for targets.

This scanning is fairly micro-intensive, as well, and it's very easy to miss the red flash when quickly scanning large areas of terrain. In other words, the cost to scan is both scouting time and player attention diverted from other tasks, with no guarantee of finding anything, so scanning isn't free and players must thoughtfully consider when it might be strategically useful to take advantage of their earlier scouting commitment. By removing this ability, one more point of micro skill differentiation and decision making is lost.

Finally, since this code is currently working exactly as ES intended and there is no clear code bug, it's out of scope by default as a gameplay change. If this is to change, there would need to be near complete agreement that the system designed by ES is broken. Sorry for the trouble!
 

United StatesT-West

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#6
On-topic: How would you fix it? If you could only make buildings if it's in your Fog of War it would change the game quite a bit and I'm not sure for the better.
If only walls would be effected by this it would make walling your base quite tedious as well and I think people would find ways around this, for example by scanning with houses
In an ideal world where everything is possible, I could imagine a system like this (and it would be a rather extensive change):
Buildings turn red in fog of war only if you actually have scouted something blocking the building placement (e.g. a cliff). When you do place a foundation in the fog, if you gain line of sight of the foundation and it is already obstructed by something you haven't scouted (e.g. an enemy has constructed a building there), then your foundation simply is removed. This removal is what happens already if you and another player both place foundations at the same location. If the other player starts to build their building first, your foundation is removed.

Here, unscouted units would not disrupt the placement of a foundation. The foundation would simply be placed underneath the spot where they are standing. You can already place foundations underneath your own units and gaia units, and construction can start once those units move out of the way. Perhaps also allowing foundations to be placed underneath enemy units within your line of sight should be allowed, with the intention that the construction begins once those units are killed or move off the foundation. You still won't be able to start construction until those units are gone, just place the foundation.

But this change would also require changing the way building foundations work, since right now you gain line of sight over the foundations and can view enemy units that walk across them. Obviously you would not want line of sight from these foundations either, and you would need a system that does not actually remove the foundation unless you scout something blocking it.

Perhaps a system like this could be implemented in the future in something like OpenAge, but I doubt a change is possible right now.
 

FranceTriRem

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Dec 13, 2015
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#7
Basically what TWest said, a system where fondations can be placed under moving units and don't give los until starting building is probably the best way to make building scanning impossible while keeping everything else mostly the same.
 

Unknown_Andrew

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Jan 2, 2013
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#9
Source: Dude trust me.
You're right, I totally made it up. Because that serves what purpose exactly?

Was just using Viper as an example. Plenty of others (virtually everyone) has used the palisade scan trick. Just mentioned Viper because I found it a bit hypocritical to be bemoaning the use of one "bug" while abusing another one. Felt like picking and choosing a bit to me.
 

Unknown_Andrew

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Jan 2, 2013
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#10
Oh, it isn't a bug, as the scanning is working exactly as ES intended, in order to help players know where they can place building foundations. However, the use of it for monitoring scouted terrain was likely unintended. Quote of my previous post:
Thanks for clearing that up. So both the tower "bug" and the palisade scan "bug" are not bugs in the sense that ES intended them, just didn't forsee how they would be abused in competitive gameplay? Honest question, just trying to make sure I have it right.
 

Unknownscripter64

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May 22, 2011
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#11
Yes, in the same way that I doubt ES intended flank formation alternation to be used for dodging projectiles and "tricking" ballistics, etc. Each case of unintended behavior must be considered separately.
 

Unknown_Andrew

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#12
Yes, in the same way that I doubt ES intended flank formation alternation to be used for dodging projectiles and "tricking" ballistics, etc. Each case of unintended behavior must be considered separately.
Fair point. But my counterpoint would be using flank formation effectively to dodge ballistics while managing your economy/other army units on the map is a lot harder than doing a palisade/building scan on explored territory or repairing a tower from two tiles away.
 

Unknownscripter64

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May 22, 2011
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#13
I think it can be helpful to remember the reasons for all of these issues when looking into how and whether or not to fix them. There are many more unintended behaviors, but I'll list the details for these 3 issues:

1. Ranged repair issue

Reason ES included this: they specifically set a 2 tile range for repair, so players would have a smooth gameplay experience when trying to repair ships along the shoreline and siege weapons without forcing adjacent positioning in awkward combat situations.

Exploit: players realized this affected the repair of non-moving objects, as well, such as buildings and towers, in particular.

After considering the fact that ES blocked builders from ranged construction of non-moving objects like buildings and towers, and also the 90%+ poll result here, this was fixed in v1.5 to block ranged building repair in the same way as construction. This fix also ensures that ranged repair remains useful for the reason ES intended.

2. Flank formation issue
Reason ES included this: to allow players to walk their formation into enemy units in order to surround and attack them.

Exploit: players realized this can be used to quickly shift units away from the formation center in order to avoid mangonel shots and, by rapid alternation, to trick the leading of projectiles by units with ballistics.

Along with ranged repair, this has a direct impact on the gameplay of other players instead of only the local player. Although fast players like Liereyy and Viper can gain an advantage by doing this expertly, I think changing or disabling this capability would only serve to reduce skill differentiation, as it isn't as difficult to do when actively monitoring a battle (complexity increases when distracted and attention is diverted). Changing this would also defeat the original purpose of the formation provided by ES for use by casual players.

3. Building placement scan issue

Reason ES included this: to ensure that players have a predictable, reliable, and intuitive gameplay experience when placing buildings in the fog.

Exploit: players learned that they can detect enemy objects in scouted terrain by hovering the building placement cursor.

Unlike the other issues, this issue does not change or affect the game simulation. Although some players can gain an advantage from doing this, it's not trivial for the many reasons mentioned in the quote earlier. For example, the time and attention diverted by scanning could have been used to flank split xbows away from a mangonel shot elsewhere.

Any change or fix should ensure that the original reason for the feature (predictable, reliable, and intuitive building placement in the fog) is not compromised, as this is useful for players of all skill levels and disabling it would likely impact new and learning players the most.

As with flank splits, I don't think this should be changed.
 

Unknown_Andrew

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#14
I respect your opinion scripter, and thanks for breaking those down as clearly as you did. I just think the amount of skill required in scanning a building over explored territory versus using flank formation to avoid ballistics is night and day. And the scouting information you get from building scanning can literally decide a game. It's just too much of a payoff for something that requires very little effort/skill.
 
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Unknownscripter64

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May 22, 2011
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#15
It's definitely a complex issue and I can see why you and others feel it needs to be changed. I think what makes scanning less concerning to me is that, in almost any given map situation, if both sides have scouted effectively, both sides can scan each other as time/attention permits, where an attacker can look for units camping a critical hill in the fog, while a defender can monitor their perimeter for incoming attacks.

Effective scouting is the key, though, as without that, scanning is useless in the black area. Scanning is essentially an unintended side benefit for players that invest to take their time and attention away from other tasks to scout the map thoroughly like Viper.

Although I can't see a way to fix this without compromising the relative ease of building placement in the fog, maybe the devs of openage or 2DE will figure something out in the future, as TWest suggested. I'm sorry for the trouble, Andrew.
 
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UnknownDouble_N

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Mar 5, 2017
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#16
I respect your opinion scripter, and thanks for breaking those down as clearly as you did. I just think the amount of skill required in scanning a building over explored territory versus using flank formation to avoid ballistics is night and day. And the scouting information you get from building scanning can literally decide a game. It's just too much of a payoff for something that requires very little effort/skill.
The skill lies in having the game sense to know where to palisade scan in the first place and having the multitasking capability to actually do the scan. I strongly believe their is more players trying to micro their xbows like larry, than there is players who use palisade scans to their advantage.
 

NorwaySinken

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#17
The skill lies in having the game sense to know where to palisade scan in the first place and having the multitasking capability to actually do the scan. I strongly believe their is more players trying to micro their xbows like larry, than there is players who use palisade scans to their advantage.
Yeah, Viper might do it semi-regularly, but when he does it he's very often right, and it's more of a "confirm my intuition" thing than something that's done all the time. If you kept scanning everything all the time, you'd waste so much time for little gain. It's a skill that needs to be honed aswell. But I do think TWest's solution would be good
 

Unknown_Andrew

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#19
The skill lies in having the game sense to know where to palisade scan in the first place and having the multitasking capability to actually do the scan. I strongly believe their is more players trying to micro their xbows like larry, than there is players who use palisade scans to their advantage.
Ehhh

That's a stretch
 
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#21
I am personally very much in favour of removing the scanning ability. I think the problem is not so much the scanning of enemy moving units, which requires a lot of apm, than the scanning of critical static places, such as enemy gold/stone mines or potential tower spot behind your wood: the latter costs almost no apm and can give you a critical information about what your enemy is going for.

The solution described by T-West looks nice to me. I don’t think it would be disorienting for players: this solution actually exactly corresponds to what is implemented in Warcraft III (another RTS with similar building mechanics) and it is quite intuitive.
 
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#23
Scanning with foundations is something I can live with but unfinished buildings having line of sight should go away ASAP.

In BF which is played on explores most people will place palacid walls around your gold and stone will know exactly what you are planning. They can see how many miners you have on each.

That’s just ridiculous.
 

FinlandTempires

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#24
Scanning with foundations is something I can live with but unfinished buildings having line of sight should go away ASAP.

In BF which is played on explores most people will place palacid walls around your gold and stone will know exactly what you are planning. They can see how many miners you have on each.

That’s just ridiculous.
play unexplored
 

UnknownFunito

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#25
Scan monitoring already scouted places reduces the luck factor, but i think it could be more fun removing it (since there are more chances that surprise factor might work = more strategies that might work). In fact most thing that allow more strategies that might work increase the luck factor, but adds more strategy value (it isn't an strategy game after all?) Maps with only one strategy that work are less luck based (balanced islands for example) but thats why nowadays it is pointless playing them
 
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