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A diffrent type of rts.


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#1 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3982

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:11 AM

So, I have been thinking of working on an rts lately, and thought up something i thought would be a nifty type of rts. The overal concept is the same, amass army, destroy opponents. But the way you amass armies would be radically diffrent.

What i was thinking is that instead of buying units, you breed them. Basically you build homes for units, based on who lives at that home, and if they are focusing on breeding rather than working, attributes what type of child you'd get. So basically, if you put two strong units together, you are likely to get an equally stronger unit, or chances are you get a unit slightly stronger/weaker. Basically this gives generally a more personal attachment to your units.

I was also considering giving units an equipable inventory, further personalizing each unit. For example, i could stock pile a small pool of armor at a blacksmith, to be used before sending my units off to battle. However this level of detail might be overkill?

I'd suspect these types of games would last much longer than regular rts games, sure a player could try to amass numerous weak units, but supporting the food for that population without workers to compensate could end with most of the army dieing pretty quickly.

I think this game could be fun, particularly if i use fantasy creatures, rather than humans, but i'm really not sure, opinions on the idea, has it been done already?
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#2 ActiveUnique   Members   -  Reputation: 854

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:58 AM


So basically, if you put two strong units together, you are likely to get an equally stronger unit, or chances are you get a unit slightly stronger/weaker. Basically this gives generally a more personal attachment to your units.

 

I don't understand the part about personal attachment here. It doesn't seem like it'd work the way you've described it. Is this literal combining or animal husbandry?

 


I was also considering giving units an equippable inventory, further personalizing each unit. For example, i could stock pile a small pool of armor at a blacksmith, to be used before sending my units off to battle. However this level of detail might be overkill?

 

You'll need at least one thing like this, otherwise what you have is Populace instead of "The Guild."


I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.


#3 gezegond   Members   -  Reputation: 373

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:03 AM

I think it's a geart idea and it could certainly work. However, I believe the pacing and scope of your RTS should be radically downsized for people to be able to manage it.

 

For instance, in Age of Empires 2, you just keep clicking on units to "buy" them. You can get yourself big armies in no time. If you wanted to take into consideration how each unit would be "bred" and how it should be "equipped" it would take a much longer time.

 

To be able to manage them you would have to make sure the player won't end up with too many units he can't manage. If done correctly it could be something like a multiplayer rpg game with small "parties" rather than "armies"

 

Otherwise you would have to automate the process. That way this concept would add some strategic depth but I don't see any "personal attachments" with armies bred automatically.



#4 mdamman   Members   -  Reputation: 201

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:56 AM

This type of system sounds to me like it would work more in a strategy rpg rather than an rts.  If you are micromanaging the creation of individual units so heavily, you'll want to get more out of them than one typically gets with an rts unit. 

 

Some other questions:  Is there a growth period for newly born units, or are they popped out in fighting condition?  How vulnerable are units to being killed?  How big of scale are the armys and battles?

 

I'm not saying it's not do-able, but I expect the actual rts battle mechanics would need to be different than the norm.  You would need something that's more Warcraft 3 and less Empire Earth.



#5 ferrous   Members   -  Reputation: 2146

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:40 PM

Just be careful about the races you choose, even fantasy races.  I could see it being interpreted very badly if mishandled.

 

You might almost want to move to having the culture training war animals or war monsters.  So the people in the RTS are doing the breeding of their animals under the players commands. 



#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5059

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:05 PM

Hmm.  I like breeding games, and I like RTSes.  But, the more individual the units are, the more reluctant I would be to send them off to get killed.  If you have enough peace to do selective breeding, why are you at war?

 

Also, if workers can be converted to fighters, an obvious strategy would be to all at once turn everyone into fighters and try to overwhelm your opponent who is still building up.


Edited by sunandshadow, 18 December 2013 - 04:05 PM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#7 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3982

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:56 PM

Thanks for the feedback so far. =-)
 

So basically, if you put two strong units together, you are likely to get an equally stronger unit, or chances are you get a unit slightly stronger/weaker. Basically this gives generally a more personal attachment to your units.

 
I don't understand the part about personal attachment here. It doesn't seem like it'd work the way you've described it. Is this literal combining or animal husbandry?

i think personal attachment was the wrong word to use, it's more like you've put more investment into creating the unit, than in a normal rts game. it'd still be relatively easy to create units, it's just you can select breeding partners to attempt to focus on certain aspects(rather that be fighting, woodworking, farming, etc.)


 

I think it's a geart idea and it could certainly work. However, I believe the pacing and scope of your RTS should be radically downsized for people to be able to manage it.
 
For instance, in Age of Empires 2, you just keep clicking on units to "buy" them. You can get yourself big armies in no time. If you wanted to take into consideration how each unit would be "bred" and how it should be "equipped" it would take a much longer time.

I do agree that i'd be focusing alot on micro management, while still expecting similar levels of macro managment seen in traditional rts's. 

 

To be able to manage them you would have to make sure the player won't end up with too many units he can't manage. If done correctly it could be something like a multiplayer rpg game with small "parties" rather than "armies"
 
Otherwise you would have to automate the process. That way this concept would add some strategic depth but I don't see any "personal attachments" with armies bred automatically.

i do agree it's likely to see a different scope of how combat would occur, rather than massing armies, it'd likely be small/medium sized offensive units, perhaps by enforcing players to activly select to breed units would ensure players only create the amount of units that they feel they can handle, at the same time, that mechanic would likely be frustrating to players.

depending on how i do equipment, it could very well be worth it to have a small well-equipped army, vs a large under-equipped army.
 

This type of system sounds to me like it would work more in a strategy rpg rather than an rts.  If you are micromanaging the creation of individual units so heavily, you'll want to get more out of them than one typically gets with an rts unit.

I do agree it's be more like a strategic rpg, rather than a regular rts. I think getting more out of a unit is where the equipment/breeding components come in. you can craft equipment for that unit to make them strong/more capable, or use them to attempt to better breed stronger base units.

 

Some other questions:  Is there a growth period for newly born units, or are they popped out in fighting condition?  How vulnerable are units to being killed?  How big of scale are the armys and battles?

i'm not going to bother tacking growth/aging as another mechanic, so they will pop out ready to go. as for vulnerability/army size, that's still up in the air until i can get a working demo, and i can start playtesting the concept.

 

Just be careful about the races you choose, even fantasy races.  I could see it being interpreted very badly if mishandled.

in what way do you mean? i was thinking by adding different mythical creatures, it could be interesting in selecting breeding partners to attempt to create unique, or special units, or amass an army of a certain race.
 
 

Hmm.  I like breeding games, and I like RTSes.  But, the more individual the units are, the more reluctant I would be to send them off to get killed.  If you have enough peace to do selective breeding, why are you at war?
 
Also, if workers can be converted to fighters, an obvious strategy would be to all at once turn everyone into fighters and try to overwhelm your opponent who is still building up.

it's not that workers can be converted to fighters, every creature would have some base stats in all trades, so you'd likely have to amass alot of equipment to give to your weaker units if you wanted to go that route.

as it stands, i'm not really sure i want to even attempt this, and might just decide to try my hand at creating a regular rts.

Edited by slicer4ever, 18 December 2013 - 04:56 PM.

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#8 ferrous   Members   -  Reputation: 2146

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:54 PM

 

Just be careful about the races you choose, even fantasy races.  I could see it being interpreted very badly if mishandled.

in what way do you mean? i was thinking by adding different mythical creatures, it could be interesting in selecting breeding partners to attempt to create unique, or special units, or amass an army of a certain race.
 

 

I agree, but you have to be careful, what if you tie color to your physical traits?  Black orcs are stronger and darker skinned but stupider than the typical ork.  Yeah, that's not open to be misinterpreted in anyway.  Or even just having, female elves are always weaker physically than their male counterparts.  You may find people taking umbrage with your choices.

 

That said, if you're moving away from humanoid creatures, you sidestep a lot of that.  Mixing and breeding Chimerae and Wyverns and Hippogriffs, not going to be a big issue.



#9 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3982

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

Just be careful about the races you choose, even fantasy races.  I could see it being interpreted very badly if mishandled.

in what way do you mean? i was thinking by adding different mythical creatures, it could be interesting in selecting breeding partners to attempt to create unique, or special units, or amass an army of a certain race.

That said, if you're moving away from humanoid creatures, you sidestep a lot of that.  Mixing and breeding Chimerae and Wyverns and Hippogriffs, not going to be a big issue.

this is pretty much what i was thinking of doing, i probably woudn't bother discerning gender(perhaps a certain race might be all female or all male(so they can't breed with each other)), but that'd probably be the furthest extent.
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#10 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2764

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 03:26 AM

You could have traditionally large armies with more breeding population (i.e. more objectives and more houses on a larger map) and a level of indirect control.

For example, you could ask for gifted wizards with the effect of making all suitable parents (off-duty wizards or just intelligent characters) automatically breed with each other.

After you get enough wizards, you can ask your promiscuous swingers to pair up differently and give you strong and quick warriors for a while, and so on.
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#11 gezegond   Members   -  Reputation: 373

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:39 AM

One small suggestion: Allow the player to name the units. It can contribute to the feeling of attachment. It's a different story if "Jim" dies rather than "that unit that I made an hour ago" dies.



#12 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3982

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:57 PM

You could have traditionally large armies with more breeding population (i.e. more objectives and more houses on a larger map) and a level of indirect control.

For example, you could ask for gifted wizards with the effect of making all suitable parents (off-duty wizards or just intelligent characters) automatically breed with each other.

After you get enough wizards, you can ask your promiscuous swingers to pair up differently and give you strong and quick warriors for a while, and so on.


This might be a decent compromise to this system, being able to select what you want breed, the game can select the best probable parents to meet what the player wants. it defiantly could alleviate the level of micro-managing required, potentially making the game more approachable to people.
 

One small suggestion: Allow the player to name the units. It can contribute to the feeling of attachment. It's a different story if "Jim" dies rather than "that unit that I made an hour ago" dies.


doable, but would be pretty low on the list to implement.

Thanks for the feedback so far everyone, with the idea's flowing, i'm feeling more likely i'll try this, i think the mechanics well need some work, but hearing some ideas has made me feel better about how I might approach this.

Edited by slicer4ever, 19 December 2013 - 07:03 PM.

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#13 Smakpopy   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:49 PM

Unless you purposefully pick out identifiable traits and try to tie them into the real world as a poorly disguised inside joke, I don't see anything wrong with making black orcs tougher yet possibly not as smart as goblins or whatever. In lord of the rings the black skinned/painted orcs with the white hand mark on them were stronger. bred that way out of the earth as a twisted form of elf.

 

There is no way to avoid having characteristics that set races apart and personalize them in a fantasy world. Players will want to look at a race, read a short description and have a feel for what its all about. So having intelligent devious yet weak goblins or gnomes breed with a big nasty troll to create a half breed that's not quite as large as a troll, but is more cunning and agile could make it a desired pairing.

 

If you go into detail as much as the "sims" game goes to personalize every character in the game, and then breed them together it would be way too much micromanagement for a rts.

 

What you could do is develop a combination, take the trolls and goblins base hereditary stock, and then experiment with percentages of lineage from each type to end up with a desired set of characteristics or stats in combat. Then once discovered you could apply those base races as resources that you must combine in the correct parts or fractions thereof. And as long as you have the right mix of the base breed you can create a stock or barracks of the hybrid. After that they could just breed with eachother.

 

I think this type of game could be fun, as it may end up like spore but instead of one race you have various genetic branches you can explore.

 

I think what others may have posted worries about is a deep seated ethnic slant to the game corresponding with real world peoples and cultures.

 

I don't think its an issue as its a game, and you would have to go out of your way to pattern in such slights.

 

If you are familiar with the wheel of time series, the trollocs in those books are humanoids with various beastial mixes to them. Horns, feathers, claws, hooves and all in a humanish looking form. That may give some inspiration.



#14 VengeanceDemon   Members   -  Reputation: 157

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:08 PM

So, I have been thinking of working on an rts lately, and thought up something i thought would be a nifty type of rts. The overal concept is the same, amass army, destroy opponents. But the way you amass armies would be radically diffrent.

What i was thinking is that instead of buying units, you breed them. Basically you build homes for units, based on who lives at that home, and if they are focusing on breeding rather than working, attributes what type of child you'd get. So basically, if you put two strong units together, you are likely to get an equally stronger unit, or chances are you get a unit slightly stronger/weaker. Basically this gives generally a more personal attachment to your units.

I was also considering giving units an equipable inventory, further personalizing each unit. For example, i could stock pile a small pool of armor at a blacksmith, to be used before sending my units off to battle. However this level of detail might be overkill?

I'd suspect these types of games would last much longer than regular rts games, sure a player could try to amass numerous weak units, but supporting the food for that population without workers to compensate could end with most of the army dieing pretty quickly.

I think this game could be fun, particularly if i use fantasy creatures, rather than humans, but i'm really not sure, opinions on the idea, has it been done already?

 

Sounds like we're making the same game.  I have the exact same system in mind.

 

Instead of just one character, the player is in control of a castle full of characters, all of which level up, can be equiped, and follow somewhat limited career paths.  These characters face permadeath, which creates a solid Risk/Reward curve.  Having equiped gear buried with characters helps the economy

 

A genetic component helps offset the loss of permadeath by ensuring stronger offspring each generation.  There is no endgame, your troops will die, the fun is in the metagame.

 

Seperate gene pools for the general troops and ruling elite, as well as for pets such as dragons and milipede mounts.

 

Then give random satuses to troops for fun such as Hero, Legend, Champion, Chosen One.

 

There is potential for too much micromanagement, but there is also potential for lots of player specialization.

Personally, I think this model would scale well into a full fledged MMO. 


Edited by VengeanceDemon, 19 December 2013 - 09:18 PM.


#15 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2126

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:27 PM

This may be a relevant game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_Creatures



#16 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1581

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:48 PM

To lighten the micro management load create natural hierarchies. Add charisma and intelligence to your units tab off variables, intelligence enabling a unit to move from soldier to a commander and charisma to inspire troops to follow. You can either add a rank structure which the player issues or make it experience based or ideally both.

 

For example you send a rabble of units to take down a monster, a good chunk of the group dies however a few survive. These warriors earn rank for winning the kill and now when ever you issue an order to these new higher rank units they will grab a few soldiers and bring them along and issue specific skill orders (caster skills) to those units (so you don't have to micro them). The higher the rank the more units, teams or groups of units they will use to achieve the action requested of them. Now your surviving commanders are sent to kill a monster and each bring teams along with them. That same monster is killed easier, not because of more troops, but because of a truly better military.

 

This system could be carried across to none military as well. Think of a wood cutter becoming a lumber camp. A smith becoming a forge. Etc. This doesn't happen because you simple clicked it into existence. This happened because your populace has a wood cutter that is intelligent and charismatic enough to lead other wood cutters. This system could explore taught skills as well, but I digress. 



#17 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3982

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:01 PM

...snip...

 
Sounds like we're making the same game.  I have the exact same system in mind.
 
Instead of just one character, the player is in control of a castle full of characters, all of which level up, can be equiped, and follow somewhat limited career paths.  These characters face permadeath, which creates a solid Risk/Reward curve.  Having equiped gear buried with characters helps the economy
 
A genetic component helps offset the loss of permadeath by ensuring stronger offspring each generation.  There is no endgame, your troops will die, the fun is in the metagame.
 
Seperate gene pools for the general troops and ruling elite, as well as for pets such as dragons and milipede mounts.
 
Then give random satuses to troops for fun such as Hero, Legend, Champion, Chosen One.
 
There is potential for too much micromanagement, but there is also potential for lots of player specialization.
Personally, I think this model would scale well into a full fledged MMO.


i like the idea mate, i think we are just looking at implementing it in different genre's, i'm only looking for the breeding component to be a match by match basis, and it sounds like yours is more of a long term rpg? still, i like the sound of your game=-)

If you are familiar with the wheel of time series, the trollocs in those books are humanoids with various beastial mixes to them. Horns, feathers, claws, hooves and all in a humanish looking form. That may give some inspiration.


I'll see if i can check these books out sometime. I think i've actually heard someone reference the wheel of time series some time in the past, as it sounds familiar.

This may be a relevant game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_Creatures


thanks for the link dragon, i'll see if i can't find a copy to try it out.

To lighten the micro management load create natural hierarchies. Add charisma and intelligence to your units tab off variables, intelligence enabling a unit to move from soldier to a commander and charisma to inspire troops to follow. You can either add a rank structure which the player issues or make it experience based or ideally both.
 
For example you send a rabble of units to take down a monster, a good chunk of the group dies however a few survive. These warriors earn rank for winning the kill and now when ever you issue an order to these new higher rank units they will grab a few soldiers and bring them along and issue specific skill orders (caster skills) to those units (so you don't have to micro them). The higher the rank the more units, teams or groups of units they will use to achieve the action requested of them. Now your surviving commanders are sent to kill a monster and each bring teams along with them. That same monster is killed easier, not because of more troops, but because of a truly better military.
 
This system could be carried across to none military as well. Think of a wood cutter becoming a lumber camp. A smith becoming a forge. Etc. This doesn't happen because you simple clicked it into existence. This happened because your populace has a wood cutter that is intelligent and charismatic enough to lead other wood cutters. This system could explore taught skills as well, but I digress.


I like the concept, but i think overall it'd be outside of the scope of both what i want to do, and what i can do. it'd require alot of good ai code to make such group decisions intelligently, for example, what if someone get's added to the group that the player didn't want to go? the player could probably intervene, and pull that unit back, but they might not even realize it's left until he goes to find it. I'm also unsure if i want to bother with giving units experience. I mean, it can defiantly tie a player to a unit if they build them up through a game, but....hmm...maybe.


I have the entire next week off, so i'm going to try to get a working prototype up.
Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#18 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5059

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:23 PM

I was thinking about it and, I'd REALLY like to play a single-player strategy campaign where I breed units in between RTS battles.  But I'm not sure how the breeding could fit into a multiplayer version (it's like the problem with balancing pokemon duels when players haven't completed the single player game, including maxing the level on their dueling team).  As for putting the breeding right into the RTS battle, I can't see how breeding, which is a though-requiring activity, would fit into a session where one is playing as fast as possible.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#19 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2126

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 09:48 PM

I was thinking about it and, I'd REALLY like to play a single-player strategy campaign where I breed units in between RTS battles.  But I'm not sure how the breeding could fit into a multiplayer version (it's like the problem with balancing pokemon duels when players haven't completed the single player game, including maxing the level on their dueling team).  As for putting the breeding right into the RTS battle, I can't see how breeding, which is a though-requiring activity, would fit into a session where one is playing as fast as possible.

 

The in between and level issue could work. You just would have to have a rating system that evaluates how strong a team is, or at the very least display what levels people are so you don't get overwhelmed unwittingly or just demolish the competition.

 

As for breeding in the game, it would depend on how your UI works and a knowledge of the breeding system/what breeds you have available.



#20 Smakpopy   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:22 AM

I was thinking about it and, I'd REALLY like to play a single-player strategy campaign where I breed units in between RTS battles.  But I'm not sure how the breeding could fit into a multiplayer version (it's like the problem with balancing pokemon duels when players haven't completed the single player game, including maxing the level on their dueling team).  As for putting the breeding right into the RTS battle, I can't see how breeding, which is a though-requiring activity, would fit into a session where one is playing as fast as possible.

 

You could have a set number of breeding combos to toggle on throughout a multiplayer game. Sort of like magic the gathering and the sideboard cards, when you come up against something the units you have cant beat, you can start generating some mixed race from your sideboard.

 

That way you would not have to come up with a combo on the fly.

 

Would rts really be better for this than a turn based game?

 

A game I have been playing lately is xcom, and I could see how coming up with your own mixed up units to play in a squad like turn based game could be fun.

 

Or it could be played out like savage newearth, its a sort of rts but also a first person shooter.

 

I think a game like savage is always going to be better than mouser games like starcraft, warcraft, or command and conquer. Because units left alone or even those in combat that you aren't micromanaging are going to make a lot of mistakes.

 

Cool thing about savage is that each team has a player controlling it like its a rts, but every combatant for each side is directly controlled by separate players.

 

http://www.newerth.com/






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