Balancing Racial Governance

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balancing Racial Governance

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  El_Lobo1986 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #259044

    Hiliadan
    Member

    In February 2017, a poll was launched to help steer the PBEM & SP balance mod. Its results are described in an article on the Battlefield community website for AoW3. Balancing Racial Governance (“make all choices interesting and races more equal”) came up as the third priority of the community. We’ve recently dealt with priority #1 (+ special attention for Dreadnought) and priority #2 (Dwelling units and non-Dwelling units), so now it’s time to deal with RG.

    Racial Governance… a big and very important topic!
    It has a very significant impact on the strength of some races and of some race/class combos, especially the first two RG upgrades, which are the only ones short games see (RG3 can also have an impact on the end of such games).

    What should guide balance for RG?
    The way I would approach the issue (maybe others will have different/better ideas) is to check that all these criteria are met:
    1/ choose a level of strength we want to achieve for each RG level (RG1 to RG5) and then make sure each race’s RG upgrades achieve this level.
    2/ check the synergies between different RG levels (RG1 with RG2 and RG3 for instance) and with specs to make sure nothing OP or UP is created.
    3/ check the synergies of the RG upgrades with all classes and make sure strong combinations (e.g. Draconian Sorcerer who has a very strong Apprentice) do not get booster further and try to get better synergies with weak combinations.

    Economic vs military
    This is not entirely necessary for balance but I think we also really need to ensure economic and military RG are of equal interest and provides two viable options in most games, even if, in a few limited cases, the interest of one of the two can be tied to some specific game conditions. So for instance it means that we should avoid RG that give bonus you will never benefit from in 90% of games (e.g. bonus to Harbours).

    Opening up strategic options
    In my opinion, RG should be a tool to allow real strategic choices. For the community expansion, two different (and broad) strategies were considered and were used to guide the design of RG upgrades: one is to “embrace magic and the Shadow Realm” and the other is to “tame magic and develop outside the Shadow Realm”.
    I think it would be good to have similar couple of strategies for each race, and try to provide options to pursue one or the other for each RG level. For instance Goblins could be “swarm and develop on wetland and UG” and the other “focus on a few elite units and get outside our usual environment”.

    #259045

    Hiliadan
    Member

    So what “power targets”? – And application of these criteria to the Goblin RG
    Note: I’m talking about Small to Large maps with underground, normal economic settings except Weak starting army, Village start.

    What power surge do we want delivered at each RG level? One factor to take into account first is when is it achievable to get the RG upgrade? How many cities, how many units and what types of units are we supposed to have at that stage? Here are some preliminary estimates (less and less precise as we get longer in the game):
    RG1 (20 XP): turn 6-7; 1-3 cities; about 10 units; T1 units.
    RG2 (150 XP): turn 20-30; 3-5 cities; 20-30 units; T2 units.
    RG3 (500 XP): turn 40-60; 5-10 cities; 30-80 units; T3 and a few T4 units.
    RG4 (1000 XP): turn 50-75; 8-15 cities; 40-120 units; T4
    RG5 (1500 XP): turn 60-100; 10-20 cities; 50-200 units; mostly T3 and T4

    I will use the following definitions:
    Early game: turn 0-20
    Mid game: turn 21-40
    Late game: turn 41-60
    Very late game: turn 61-80
    End game: post turn 81

    Conversion factors need to be used to compare gold, mana, RP, etc. Here are some guiding values and principles:
    – gold is used as the common metrics as much as possible
    – 1 mana = 2 gold; in later stages, the exchange rate can be lower as mana loses its value (excess mana)
    – 1 RP = 3 gold
    – happiness and production needs to be considered in terms of thresholds. For instance: a town base prod is 30. Let’s say it has only a Buider’s Hall (typical situation) and a Magma Forge, it has a base 30+20+10=60 production. Let’s say it’s Very Happy: 60*1.33=80. If it’s Draconian and it gets the +10 prod/Magma Forge RG, that would bring its base production to 30+20+10+10=70, and actual production to 70*1.33= 93, which would allow it to one-turn Elders and 2-turns War Hall, among other things, which can be assessed in gold-value by considering Producing Merchandises is used during the turns gained.

    So as a consequence of these figures, I would assess the power surge desired for each RG as follow.
    To save space, I’m adding the assessment of the Goblin RG compared to these criteria directly in the text, in italics. The Goblin RG is actually pretty good and well balanced, which the application of the criteria shows (the criteria were built based on the Goblin, Human and Tigran RG).

    RG1:
    ECONOMY
    Early game: equivalent to +15 gold/turn over the whole empire
    Mid game and later: limited effect – the boost should not scale up too easily at later stages because it’s very easy to get RG1 with new races
    Outposts and Villages get +5 pop per Wetland hex. If we take a conversion factor of 10 pop = 1 gold (Beacon of Faith gives +100 pop and Paid Absolution gives +10 gold, for the same upkeep), and consider that each city has 5 Wetland hex in average, that you have 1 to 3 (see above), and that you have +33% from Very Happy (hypothesis), plus Goblins have +20% pop growth, then it’s 5*2*5*1.33*1.2/10 = 7.98 gold/turn so below the objective of +15 but can increase when you get more Outposts. Also, the bonus DOES fade in later stages.

    MILITARY
    Early game: 1 T1 unit receive a excellent boost (making it equivalent to a T2) or 2 units receive very good boost equivalent to 2 medals – the boost can be a useful ability, doesn’t have to be only a raw power boost
    Mid game and later: keep the boosted units useful
    “Goblin Untouchable gets Projectile Resistance and Sprint”. That does the job only in half: Projectile Resistance and Sprint does not make them T2 and I personally NEVER takes this upgrade because Untouchable stays useless with it. I’m not going to propose solutions at this stage, let’s just stay in “assessment mode”.

    RG2:
    ECONOMY
    Mid game: equivalent to +40 gold/turn over the whole empire
    Late game: equivalent to +100 gold/turn over the whole empire
    Later stages: should not go over equivalent to +200 gold/turn over the whole empire, for the same reason as RG1
    “Great Farms generate +20 gold”. You can expect to get in average 2 Great Farms in your 2-5 cities, and probably more so you get at least +40 gold/turn, and actually more with the happiness bonus. However, there is some great variability in Great Farm distribution so sometimes you won’t get as much, and sometimes you’ll get more. However, the bonus probably scales up too much in late game and after. So Goblin RG2 eco is probably too good.

    MILITARY
    Mid game: one unit type (Irregular, Infantry, Archer, Cavalry, Pikeman), i.e. in general 2 units, is boosted with the equivalent of 2 medals (e.g. HP AND +2 damage, or +1 def/+1 res, or 1 ability, etc.), or 2 units outside a unit type are similarly boosted
    Late game and later: keep the boosted units useful
    “Irregulars get +5 Health and Goblin Swarm Darter gets +10 Health”. That mixes the two proposal and gives the health equivalent of 2 medals to Irregulars (Untouchable + class Irregular) and the health equivalent of 4 medals to Darters. However, no boost outside HP and that makes this RG a bit lacking (I always take the eco one).

    RG3:
    ECONOMY
    Late game: equivalent to +100 gold/turn over the whole empire
    Later stages: equivalent to +200 gold/turn or more over the whole empire
    “Your Goblins no longer dislike or hate Tropical or Volcanic terrain”. With 5-10 cities and maybe one third getting 20% less income because of Tropical or Volcanic, if we assume a total income per city equivalent to 100 gold, it means about 7.5*0.33*0.2*100=49.5 gold/turn. So it falls short of the +100 gold/turn but then it depends how much cities are affected by the bad climate. It can scale up pretty well in later stages, and it also allow good planning to take advantage of it. Also, it benefits units as well as cities, though it is difficult to quantify in economic terms. So probably OK, especially since there is a lot of lava UG.

    MILITARY
    Late game and later stages: boosts significantly (equivalent to 3 medals) the racial T3 unit to make it outcompete other racial T3 or significantly boosts 2-3 T1 and T2 units to make them upgrade by one tier (cannot target units already boosted or RG1 and RG2)
    “Goblin Big Beetle gets Disgusting Stench and +5 Health”. It does give 1 new ability (= the non-health, non defense/resistance/damage boost of 2 medals) and the health equivalent of 1 medal to the T3. But the defense/resistance/damage boost equivalent for 3 medals are lacking. I usually take the economic RG. Applying the criteria would yield Disgusting Stench, +18 HP, +1 def, +1 res, +3 melee damage. Might be a little too strong? Maybe should be 2.5 medals?

    RG4:
    ECONOMY
    Very late game: equivalent to +200 gold/turn over the whole empire
    End game: equivalent to +300 gold/turn over the whole empire
    “Class specific buildings in Goblin cities are 20 Gold cheaper and generate +10 Production”. This is hard to assess. If we take 1 gold = 1 prod, and we consider you build build only 1 T3 and maybe 1 T2 in another city (and let’s suppose 3 buildings after RG), then the income is a meagre (3+2)*10*1.5=75 gold/turn + 3*20=60 gold that we can scatter over 20 turns, so we’re far from the 200 gold/turn. In some cases, the production bonus might be useful, but I think it’s quite rare.

    MILITARY
    Very late game and later stages: offer a new T3 unit opening up new strategies and stronger than a racial T3 or opens up entirely new strategies for the T3 unit or a type of units (i.e. rare abilities like Invigorate, additional movement). The new strategies should be equivalent to a change of the result of previously “closely matched” 18 vs 18 battles to give clear wins to the boosted units for instance (but does not have to be abilities that impact battles, can be abilities linked to movement).
    “Beetle Command now enables construction of Tame Trolls”. Meets the criteria.

    RG5:
    ECONOMY
    End game: equivalent to +300 gold/turn over the whole empire
    “Cities gain +1 Production Text for every Wetlands hex in their Domain”. this basically allows to 1-turn most things but it’s actually quite lame because it will be useless in most cities. Far from +300 gold/turn I think.

    MILITARY
    End game: boosts that make resisting against Deity boosted units almost impossible. Equivalent to ALL units gaining +1 defense and +2 melee and ranged damage.
    Infantry, Pikeman and Irregular units gain +2 Blight Melee Damage and Weakened Inflict Weakened. Mostly meets the criteria.

    So what do you think about the situations I described for each RG (turn, number of cities, troops, etc.) and the power surge at each level I proposed as targets?
    We should probably more or less agree on this before assessing each RG and proposing improvements.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #259048

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    RG is a big issue for me, and I’m of the opinion that the military/economic choice doesn’t make much sense. They should be both COMPARABLE.

    The idea of going at this is having 3 military vs military choices and 2 economy vs. economy choices:
    RG 1: Mil 1 vs Mil 2
    Rg 2 Eco 1 vs Eco 2
    Rg 3 Mil 1 vs Mil 2
    RG 4 Eco 1 vs Eco 2
    Rg 5 Mil 1 vs Mil 2

    This way you WILL get 3 military and 2 economic bonusses.

    So Mil 1 might be: Goblin Marauders get +4 Speed, +1 damage and Projectile Resistance and Mil 2 might be Goblins Untouchables gain Sprint and +5 HP and Swarm Daters get +5 HP.
    Or something like that.

    I think you get the drift.

    #259071

    Draxynnic
    Member

    The general intent of the choices is that one choice supports a particular strategy, while the other is something that’s likely to at least give you something regardless of your overall strategy. In most cases, this is through the military choices boosting specific units while the economic choice is the ‘general’ choice, but in some cases (particularly the deity tiers, where the economic choices often require significant infrastructure investment) this gets turned around.

    Having the choices be military vs military or economic vs economic might make them more directly comparable, but I think it also has the potential to greatly increase the circumstances where neither choice is useful to the player.

    #259075

    Ofcourse you could vary this race by race…

    #259108

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Ok, this seems to be not going forward, so I sketch an RG the way I imagine them. Example:
    DRACONIAN RG. (Keep in mind, it’s a sketch; it’s not meant to be well balanced.)

    RG1:
    Option A: Drac Crushers gain Regrowth and Drac Flamers get +5 Hp;
    Option B: Drac Chargers gain Inflict Guard Breaker and Drac Flamers gain +1 Res and +1 Fire Damage.

    RG2:
    Option A: Magma Forges give +10 Prod and all Lava Hexes give +1 Prod;
    Option B: Peak of the FF is 100 Gold cheaper and gives +20 Research.

    RG3:
    Option A: Drac Flyers gain Martial Arts and +6 speed;
    Option B: Drac Supports are 20% cheaper and Drac Raptors gain Projectile Resistance and Devastating Charge.

    RG4:
    Option A: Drac Leader and heroes gain +15 Casting points; heroes of other races gain +8 CP
    Option B: Great Temples provide + 25 Gold, +15 Research and +200 Happiness.

    RG5:
    Option A: Drac Inf, Pike and Irreg gain +4 Fire;
    Option B: Drac Cav, Support and Archer gain +2 Fire, Inflict Immolation, and Inflict Scorching Heat.

    #259198

    gladis
    Member

    @ Hiliadan: I think I got your ideas of comparing the RGs race by race.
    At least the Economic ones. But it would be easier if we don´t take the morale bonuses into account. Except for the bonuses the RG directly might change (like Goblin RG3).
    Ofc we have to make many estimations, but otherwise a fair RG for each race is not possible I think.

    The Military calculations are not so clear to me though (like RG3).
    RG4, on the other Hand, is even harder to rate. For me it is a weak boost because you have to build the Tame Trolls in the 1st place and they are not buffed by any other RG. Other Races buff T3 which you already have. And in case of Humans, you can train them from the start of the game. But that Goblin RG4 is an exception ofc, so we don´t need to focus on that now.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  gladis.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  gladis.
    #259208

    Zaskow
    Member

    When I thought about vanilla RG upgrades I’ve found them pretty boring and weak in some cases. However, some RGs are good and fitting with racial background and gameplay.
    In this post I will talk about military ups mostly, because I thought about them mostly. In first 2 posts Hiliadan explained how RGs must be balanced pretty precisely, but I want to make some notes.

    How many cities, how many units and what types of units are we supposed to have at that stage? Here are some preliminary estimates (less and less precise as we get longer in the game):
    RG1 (20 XP): turn 6-7; 1-3 cities; about 10 units; T1 units.
    RG2 (100 XP): turn 20-30; 3-5 cities; 20-30 units; T2 units.
    RG3 (500 XP): turn 40-60; 5-10 cities; 30-80 units; T3 and a few T4 units.
    RG4 (1000 XP): turn 50-75; 8-15 cities; 40-120 units; T4
    RG5 (1500 XP): turn 60-100; 10-20 cities; 50-200 units; mostly T3 and T4

    I have experience in live MP mostly, but I think game pace in PBEM is a bit faster. Why? It’s simple. In pbem with manual control you can limit your loses in combats almost to 0, clear most preferable places and gain gold and resources much faster. In ideal live mp matches you can get first T3s and even T4s much sooner than described in quote (it’s actual for summoner classes mostly).

    In my opinion military RGs must be constructed on such template.
    RG1 – minor buffs to a few units grouped by requisite (archer, infantry etc) or ability or 1 noticeable buff for 1 unit (T1s, mostly).
    Good existing examples: elves.
    Nice, but minor buff for already good units with longbow. However, I’d like to put all units with longbow under effect of this RG.
    RG2 – noticeable buffs for 1 T2 unit (cavalry, maybe supports) or noticeable buffs for a bunch of units (T1s, some weak T2s).
    Good existing examples: halflings, humans. It’s funny, but some races have RG3 ups, which come a bit late, but could suit perfectly in RG2 – frostlings, orcs, tigrans.
    RG3 – noticeable buffs for racial T3 unit/ big buffs for T2s probably. Same problems with some races – they have good RG4, which is good for RG3 – orcs, draconians.
    Good existing examples: halflings, elves (this is rare case, when buff is provided for T2 and turns them into very effective unit which is actual almost to the end of game), tigrans.
    RG4 – minor/noticeable buffs for all units of race or noticeable-big buffs only for some lines (same requisite).
    Good existing examples: dwarves, frostlings (good concept, but pretty weak implementing), goblins (good example of interesting and unique upgrade), halflings, humans, tigrans.
    RG5 – decent buffs for all units of race. Some races suffer from poor and boring implementation of RG5.
    Good existing examples: dwarves, goblins, elves, orcs, tigrans.

    #259217

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I have experience in live MP mostly, but I think game pace in PBEM is a bit faster. Why? It’s simple. In pbem with manual control you can limit your loses in combats almost to 0, clear most preferable places and gain gold and resources much faster. In ideal live mp matches you can get first T3s and even T4s much sooner than described in quote (it’s actual for summoner classes mostly).

    Actually from what I read from live MP matches, the pace is faster in live MP. I’m not sure why.
    What you write also show live MP is faster: you say yourself T3 and T4 are acquired earlier. But actually I did not write the moment when you first acquire T3 and T4, but the main composition of your army at different stages of the game. Even if you get your first T4 at turn 30, I don’t think you will get a majority of T4 before end game.

    I think the targets you described for each military RG broadly match what I wrote in the 2nd post.

    Would be good to have at least one more opinion on the targets, before assessing all the RG to compare them to the targets.

    I’m going to launch a poll on the Battlefield to get a secondary source of assessment, to compare with the assessment we’ll get here. I plan to ask for each RG what players usually choose, with the following possible answers:
    – Always military RG because it’s much stronger
    – Usually military RG but in some rare cases, economic RG
    – 50/50 between the two RG, which are of similar strength
    – Usually economic RG but in some rare cases, military RG
    – Always economic RG because it’s much stronger
    – Don’t know

    #271778

    gladis
    Member

    This thread is nearly dead, we finally need a smart concept every player willing to contribute supports. Personally I´m only into Economic. And one difficulty for me so far was: how to assess the cost reduction for Special Buildings (Store Housed, Shrines, Walls etc). If we want to do something about balancing RG, we need Teams to either investigate Economic or Military. Both is way to much for each player I think!

    @ Hiliadan: You even didn´t post the results of your poll, but I doubt it has a vital impact aynway.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  gladis.
    #292235

    gladis
    Member

    —Update on RG Economic—
    You may know my City Race Calculator which I will update to a tool to calculate all ressources in the game (right now it was only City radius and all Happiness relative stuff)
    Here is a link to the (chaotic) file which I will keep updating this week:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/36z22uu6ng0ysp3/City%20Calculator.xlsm?dl=0

    The Empire Page is very confusing right now and will be cleared.

    The Race pages are nearly finished and contain the RG Economics which will get investigated with the tool by building a „Fake Empire“ for each race with a special amount of cities and their infrastructure (number of cities and infrastructure per game stage need to be discussed here [city size, amount of sites, Buildings, Empire and Race Happiness per specific game stage).

    Referring the racial City pages I´m only working on Draconians so far. If I finished this, I can mostly copy it to the other races and just do small adaptions (inherent racial benefits [such like Human´s +5 Production], liked/hated terrain and the race specific RGs of course).
    These City pages are „dummys“ which will get copied for each city I want create. Therefore I set check boxes (Buildings, Sites, Strategic City Spells etc.). So for each new city, I only need to mark the boxes to set up an Infrastructure. Then the benefits of the RGs can be calculated and shown in Graphs.

    I know most boxes are not important or even unnecessary for investigating RGs, but I want to use this file in games as well, so I want to have it nearly 100%.

    /gladis

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  gladis.
    #292456

    gladis
    Member

    What do you think, should Necromancer get the same strenght of RG Economic like Living Classes?
    I´m asking because I noticed some that are currently quite weaker than their “living counterparts”
    Examples:

    Frostling Deity:
    Living: Grand Palace provide +15 Gold, +15 Mana, +15 Knowledge and +15 Production.
    Necro: Palace of the Perished +10 Gold, +10 Mana, +10 Knowledge and +10 Production.

    Goblin Deity:
    Living: Goblin cities gain +1 Production for every Wetlands hex in their Domain.
    Necro: Goblin cities with a Palace of the Perished gain +1 Production for every Wetlands hex in their Domain.

    Halfling Protector:
    Living: Public Baths generate +75 Population.
    Necro: Cathedral of Bones gives +50 Undead Population.

    Halfling Champion:
    Living (PBEM Balance Mod, too strong for me): Lucky Cloverfields generate an additional +10 Gold, +10 Mana and +100 Happiness.
    Haste Berries generate an additional +10 Production.
    Sunflowers generate additional +5 Mana, +5 Gold, +5 Production and +5 Knowledge.
    Pumpkins generate additional +10 Gold and +10 Mana.
    Necro: Undead cities: Tombs generate +10 Gold, +10 Mana and +50 Undead Population.

    High Elves Patron:
    Living: Shooting Grounds generate +50 Population.
    Necro: Shooting Grounds generates +30 Dead Population.

    Tigran Prophet:
    Living: Temples provide +200 Happiness and +1 Medal rank to all units.
    Necro: Temples provide +100 Dead Population and +1 Medal rank to all units.

    Some other RGs provide the same amount of Living/Dead Population. And others give the same amount of Dead Population as Happiness (what is probably equal, 1 Population = 1 Happiness [Store House/Public Baths]).
    So it´s really confusing and maybe Necro should get the same quality everytime.

    /gladis

    PS Please don´t discuss the RGs listed, just give opinion about making Necro RGs Economic weaker in general.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  gladis.
    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  gladis.
    #292966

    El_Lobo1986
    Member

    If it’s different for some balancing issues then it’s okay but if there is no reason for the difference then I would prefer to adjust it.

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