Learning in Erfworld

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lipkin » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:55 am

The subject of empty buildings filled with functional tools over in the Reed Richards is Useless thread lead me to an interesting thought.

The leadership stat is the Erfworld representation of actual leadership skill, right? And Parson is starting to show that the leadership stat and the actual ability to lead a battle are not necessarily linked. Along that same line, the saws in the lumber mill are still functional, right? One wouldn't need the fabrication special to saw a log in half, right? Lack of the archery special doesn't keep you from making a ranged attack, it just means you suck. But knowledge is divorced from mechanic. Is there anything stopping a unit from learning new skills? Could someone pick up and use those tools? Could a non-archery unit, properly instructed, learn the mechanics of using a bow? What if a new type of book was created. Instruction manuals?

If units were capable of learning simple skills, it could be hugely exploitable. It's possible no one has ever put the time in to actually learn anything, because they didn't experience immediate success. Thoughts?
User avatar
Lipkin
Print 2 Draw 3 Supporter!
Print 2 Draw 3 Supporter!
 
Posts: 1053
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:36 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby wih » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:08 am

I've always taken it that the Leadership stat is just called that. It has only correlation to what you are describing as tactical/strategy ability, in that a unit with higher leadership will be higher level and probably have more experience to lend to tactical/strategic thinking. Leadership is quite different to the ability to think either tactically or strategically, it's the ability to inspire people to do what you suggest, or otherwise follow you, nothing to do with making others more effective (which is what the Leadership stat does) - in fact, incompetent leadership can make people less effective.

It's possible the scale differs greatly between what you can achieve per worker to what you get from production. More likely, it's possible that the mechanics of production are not compatible with manual construction; that if, for instance, every turn you magically have trees being cut down and turned into planks in your storehouses to provide you materials, that having people go out and get wood, take it to the lumbermill, turn wood into planks, and then take that somewhere to construct it wouldn't mesh well; you have people turn up to the forest and half way through the day all your trees disappear and turn into planks of wood. Or the cart you're building suddenly disappears because the materials are consumed elsewhere.

That said, I'd be interested to find out about manually learning skills with weapons improved combat ability. To be honest tho I doubt it has any affect on the roll of the dice in Erfworld when it comes to conventional combat. Maybe with unskilled archery tho.
wih
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:07 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lilwik » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:10 am

Lipkin wrote:The leadership stat is the Erfworld representation of actual leadership skill, right? And Parson is starting to show that the leadership stat and the actual ability to lead a battle are not necessarily linked.
I think that Parson's leadership stat really does correctly reflect the ability that it is supposed to measure, and I expect that they are directly connected, though it's all just my speculation. Of course Parson is brilliant at strategy and strategy is what wins wars, so that's all that Parson really needs, but I don't think that the leadership stat of a unit has anything to do with that. The leadership stat doesn't give people orders, it doesn't position stacks of units for maximum effectiveness, and it doesn't decide when to advance and when to retreat. The leadership stat simply provides a blanket bonus to everyone under the warlord's command, and to me that means that what the leadership stat represents is the warlord's ability to inspire his troops with things like confidence and determination. In other words, Leadership is a charisma stat, and it's one of Parson's weaknesses as a warlord.

I think that stats are probably Natural Mathamancy, and from everything we've seen of Mathamancy I would say it is probably a tool for making measurements about probabilities and potential outcomes, not a tool for controlling things. I think that all the stat numbers associated with a unit are just measurements of the various real qualities of that unit. If so, then the numbers don't control anything, they just predict likely outcomes. There's no Erfworld machine that takes the stat numbers and calculates outcomes by rolling dice or by any other mechanism. We've seen enough fighting in Erfworld to know that battles are fought in real time with real weapons; it's more like a LARP than a table-top game, except it's a LARP where you give everyone real weapons, have them really fight and the winner is whoever doesn't really die.

Lipkin wrote:Lack of the archery special doesn't keep you from making a ranged attack, it just means you suck. But knowledge is divorced from mechanic. Is there anything stopping a unit from learning new skills?
Based on my above speculation, I have to say that nothing at all prevents units from acquiring new skills, except that they probably have orders which keep them too busy to practice. But if a unit did have the time to pick up a skill the hard way then I expect that the Natural Mathamancy of that unit's stats would change to reflect the new skill, because the whole purpose of Mathamancy is to accurately report those sorts of things.

Lipkin wrote:If units were capable of learning simple skills, it could be hugely exploitable. It's possible no one has ever put the time in to actually learn anything, because they didn't experience immediate success.
I think you're right that no one ever puts the time in to actually learn anything, except training to improve their existing skills, and the reason is exactly because they don't experience immediate success. Manually training a stabber to give him the archery special would take many turns and prevent the stabber from doing other things, essentially wasting your stabber. If you just want an archer then you can just pop one. You might even be able to spend shmuckers to instantly promote your stabber to an archer. I think that because it is so slow it is probably not exploitable, just because it is inferior to the more traditional Erfworld ways of doing things.
Lilwik
 
Posts: 1325
Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lipkin » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:08 pm

Oh, it's totally exploitable. Make assembly lines. Teach each unit to do one small thing, and suddenly you've drastically increased production of siege, or other items of import.
User avatar
Lipkin
Print 2 Draw 3 Supporter!
Print 2 Draw 3 Supporter!
 
Posts: 1053
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:36 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lilwik » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:35 pm

Lipkin wrote:Teach each unit to do one small thing, and suddenly you've drastically increased production of siege, or other items of import.
That sounds like exactly the sort of thing that Erfworlders aren't likely to think of, but it might also not be exploitable. Take for example building siege towers which were talked about briefly in Book 0, Episode 6. When you pop a siege tower you also get digger units to man the tower; they pop together and they are used together, just like Wrigley was popped with a spear. You can't build units on an assembly line, and popped units come with their own tools, so it seems like all you could end up doing would be tying up many units building siege towers that have no diggers and spears without stabbers. I agree that having spare weapons and tools would surely be a good thing, but I'm not sure it would be worth the cost of the assembly line.
Lilwik
 
Posts: 1325
Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lipkin » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:48 pm

Make new tools, and teach units how to swing them. You now have diggers to go with your new siege. Mix these new "diggers" with units that actually have the digger special so that the new guys have someone experienced to lean on.

If units are capable of learning, that is.
User avatar
Lipkin
Print 2 Draw 3 Supporter!
Print 2 Draw 3 Supporter!
 
Posts: 1053
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:36 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby MadZuri » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:31 am

Units are capable of learning, but it would take a hundred turns of effort to gain the experience that one battle would give you. I'd be interested in giving diggers foam swords and having mock battles, see if that trains them any quicker. Erfworld is all about the combat. Why work against the mechanic when you can use it?
MadZuri
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:39 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Prodigial_Knight » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:51 pm

Lipkin wrote:Oh, it's totally exploitable. Make assembly lines. Teach each unit to do one small thing, and suddenly you've drastically increased production of siege, or other items of import.


It would be a interesting exploit if there was a type of unit let's say "Peasant" which is insanely cheap (in poping and upkeep) and insanely weak in a fight so that no commander has ever felt the need to pop them.

They would be what you would train to be your diggers.

Still the goal is for your industrial siege engines + trained diggers to be superior to regular Titans approved siege engines + diggers either in cost or speed of building.

If you can build 10 siege engines per turn Ford style but you can only produce enough peasants per turn to man 3 of them that's a problem obviously.

What I'm most concerned is training times, it took hundreds of turns for a warlord to level up her combat via training, and that was combat what she was poped to do training a stabber into an archer could take exponentially more.
Prodigial_Knight
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:14 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lamech » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:42 am

I'm betting units have something similar to the classes casters have. And they can train up into knights and such.

We DO know that learning/training can turn you into a higher class of caster, or a knight (which also have classes). There are also types (my word) like basic and advanced for infantry. And this is in addition to the xp it gives you. That said this is a process that takes 100s of turns.

That said, depending on how upkeep works it might not make any sense. Train your stabbers you use a bows, to fabricate, and whatnot and suddenly you are paying upkeep for the a bunch of abilities with no synergy. Or maybe learning abilities doesn't raise upkeep. Train your archers in combat in all terrain types and you just get flat out better archers.
Lamech
 
Posts: 1450
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:23 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby MadZuri » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:33 pm

This thread got me thinking about some strategy games in general. In many games, you can unlock new unit types by performing research. Want some stabbers to dig dirtamancy traps? After spending the effort and time to fabricate tools and train units, you may unlock the unit type "trapper" or "trencher" and could just pop them from that point on. Wild speculation, but that is what this thread is all about, right?
MadZuri
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:39 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lamech » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:11 pm

There has been no indications of a "tech tree". That's not to say research isn't possible, simply that it is like our worlds research. You learn stuff somehow. "If you make stabbers dig with shovels for several hundred turns they have a tendency to become tunnel units or diggers". Maybe you can refine it. Or you catalog all the monsters in your area. The problem is there are very few thinkers, very little flow or preservation of information, and they are using "classical" mindsets.

I suppose its possible that some specialty buildings, magic or special ability might let you get a wider variety of units. (The arkentools seem to.) Who knows, maybe there is some not normally possible combination. Again though that is like Earth research, not computer game tech trees.
Lamech
 
Posts: 1450
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:23 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Prodigial_Knight » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:33 pm

Lamech wrote:There has been no indications of a "tech tree". That's not to say research isn't possible, simply that it is like our worlds research. You learn stuff somehow. "If you make stabbers dig with shovels for several hundred turns they have a tendency to become tunnel units or diggers". Maybe you can refine it. Or you catalog all the monsters in your area. The problem is there are very few thinkers, very little flow or preservation of information, and they are using "classical" mindsets.

I suppose its possible that some specialty buildings, magic or special ability might let you get a wider variety of units. (The arkentools seem to.) Who knows, maybe there is some not normally possible combination. Again though that is like Earth research, not computer game tech trees.


You can invent spells (Charlie + 2 other casters invented the "Summon Perfect Warlord" spell) .
There is a type of boat which needs Turnamancy magic to be built.
The spell on which that boat relies had to be invented.
I would argue that researching new units is possible.
Prodigial_Knight
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:14 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lamech » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:09 pm

Casters pop with a lot of spells pre-installed. Wanda for example came with the Haboken known with no need for invention. Now new spells can be invented. You could certainly create a new unit that way. TV dollamancer has done exactly that! But even with casters I see no indication of anyway to collect something like "research" or advance on a tech tree. In Erfworld discoveries seem to be made the same way we do here. The thinkamancers try to learn more with their playground. By experiments. Not by advancing and unlocking some pre-defined stuff.

That's just casters. Cities seem to be somewhat modular. Maybe that influences the pop list. Maybe not. Maybe it influences the random traits that units pop with. However we've never seen any indication that you can "unlock" new buildings or units. It think it would be more like "Hey if we but a forge next to the barracks, we get cooler infantry". More to the point we already have a idea of what decides the unit list: The capital site. That just clashes too much in my mind.

That said, now that I think about it, FAQ popped a flying warlord once. It wasn't intentional. TV seems to nearly always do that. Why? Does TV have a flying warlord unit? Or is that just what all their warlords get? And if their warlords just naturally have it is that because of the capital or something else? If GK takes over a TV city will it pop flying warlords? Maybe Erfworld has Some sort of evolution. Of course then the question is: How do we breed them for the best traits?
Lamech
 
Posts: 1450
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:23 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby sdub » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:21 pm

We've clearly seen that units can learn new information. What remains to be seen is if units can learn new physical skills without using the "training" mechanic. Could a twoll teach a gobwin to make a peek-neek basket?
sdub
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:14 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Shai_hulud » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:20 pm

I don't think the claim that learning takes hundreds of turns is supported by the text. The only two information sources on training times was Word of Titans saying that leveling is exponential, and the extreme amount of time needed by Artemis to level from 7 to 8. No information has been given about unlocking new skills or gaining new classes, and if that requires leveling to do.
Shai_hulud
Pins Supporter!
Pins Supporter!
 
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:57 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lilwik » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:40 am

Shai_hulud wrote:I don't think the claim that learning takes hundreds of turns is supported by the text.
It's not directly supported, but the text does make it clear that Erfworlders are quite human in the ways that they think and behave. I would be shocked if apparently smart Erfworlders are incapable of learning simple tasks that are outside their specialty, but for the same reason it would make sense that they would learn in just the same way that a Stupidworlder would, and hundreds of turns is not a long time to get good at something if you start as a total novice.
Last edited by Lilwik on Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Lilwik
 
Posts: 1325
Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Shai_hulud » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:49 am

That makes sense I guess.
Shai_hulud
Pins Supporter!
Pins Supporter!
 
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:57 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Lamech » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:43 pm

Shai_hulud wrote:I don't think the claim that learning takes hundreds of turns is supported by the text. The only two information sources on training times was Word of Titans saying that leveling is exponential, and the extreme amount of time needed by Artemis to level from 7 to 8. No information has been given about unlocking new skills or gaining new classes, and if that requires leveling to do.

We've seen a couple examples of gaining "classes". Knights were described with "class" in the Artemis interludes. Also training up units into knights. "Knight" not "high level". Furthermore Hobgobwin knights were popped directly when GK was replenishing its forces, despite presumably being level one. Finally casters can increase their class and gain new ones. We have been specifically told this doesn't require levels. The knights took hundreds of turns. In the bonus material for TGMtTA, we get some of the caster ages. Tens of Thousands of turns. Only a handful of class increases. (To be fair the TGMtTA aren't going to some Caster College, at most they are exchanging ideas about thinkamancy informally.)

That says to me that:
1) Gaining new "skills"/"classes"/whatever takes a decent amount of time. Hundreds or Thousands of turns.
2) It does not require levels. "Knight" was discussed separately from level, and it seems you can get level 1 knights.

This is all from memory, please don't make me dig up references.
Lamech
 
Posts: 1450
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:23 am

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby Shai_hulud » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:33 pm

The only two examples of what you're saying I'm aware of are in the summer updates, and Artemis' story. Quotes below.
First Intermission 37:
Two Stabbers in silver and white Faq livery saluted him as he entered. A Royal guard of only two. Not even Knights yet.

LIAB Text 50, Artemis' Tale Part 1:
Yes, you leveled," said Ansom, knitting his brow. "It caught my attention."

"I did," said Artemis, allowing herself a grin that was more satisfaction than seduction, "from six to seven, by training alone. I've trained up Knights, as well."


In both these examples it isn't expressly stated that units can learn new classes. Worse, the Artemis one actually looks like she is talking about leveling when it's put back into it's original context, despite people claiming otherwise. And the Hobgowbin example is of no use, because those were produced/promoted with moneymancy, and Knight is one of their explicit upgrade options along with Warlord and Heavy (this last fact is only in the print edition though.)

Note that I'm not saying you can't train people in other classes, or how long it takes. I've pretty much agreed with everything Lilwick says. I just wanted to source those statements and provide the original context. Because boredom.
Shai_hulud
Pins Supporter!
Pins Supporter!
 
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:57 pm

Re: Learning in Erfworld

Postby drachefly » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:04 am

Archons are knight-class flying units. All of them, regardless of level.
User avatar
drachefly
Print 2 Draw 3 Supporter!
Print 2 Draw 3 Supporter!
 
Posts: 1644
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:36 pm

Next

Return to Everything Else Erfworld

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests