Another City Spam thread

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Another City Spam thread

This topic contains 34 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Azazir 6 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 35 total)
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  • #226325

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hi there,

    I’m spinning this off from a post I made here:
    http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/best-random-map-settings-for-1v1-competitive-match/

    —–

    We have already discussed many different solutions to the current city spam meta situation. Personally I don’t think it is a problem in itself, rather it should be a bit diminshed as it is clearly a bit IMBA and two races – Tigrans and Humans, and a huge advantage here with an OP RG1 that gives a 25% settler discount. Also, Heptatopia and Monoculture kickoff respectivly at 7 and 8 cities, which create a powerplay situation at which top-tier players mass-settle to pick there empire-quests in the first 15 or so turns of the games, which usually spell doom and gloom for the other player(s). This, in turn, is an imbalance that should be addressed directly rather than through any modification to city mechanics itself.

    Now, I think that if forts are no longer very easy to raze it will solve half the problem, one of the key advantages of cities is that they can’t simply be taken over and razed, it takes a while to absorb them, plunder or raze them.

    Of course cities can also be developed and they increase income, and the cost of a builder is not hugely more then that of building a fort par-se, so city spam it is in the current meta.

    I would much prefer seeing forts improved in someways then seeing cities diminished, simply because the city mechanics are already rather rudimentary as they are right now and to tweak them any further is to risk breaking them altogether in my opinion. Fort mechanics on the other hand are really rather shoddy.

    It literally took me 30 hours to discover how forts work when I started playing this game – OFC i didn’t play any of the tutorials and simply started in MP directly, but still, its not very intuitive and the current system is really not very effective. So if we could come up with some sort of improvement to existing fort mechanics that is easy to implement and doable without major work, this might actually improve the existing meta and resolve the city spam situation.

    The only suggestion I have regarding a modification for city mechanics that I would like to see implemented is to make trade good scale with settlement size, I have already wrote on this in the cluttering mass expansion thread but basically instead of giving off a straight +50% to gold income it will give a +x% based on the size of the settlement. Thus (numbers are only examples to be tweaked by devs and beta testers):

    Outpost: +20% gold income when trading goods
    Village: +30%
    Town: +40%
    City: +50%
    Metro: +60%

    And I would like to see a similar system implemented for mana and research.

    As for forts, I think these should give a defensive bonus to the stationed units: currently its too easy to simply build walls and drop a settler there, but the garrisoned units should have some extra advantage. Perhaps their maintenance costs could be reduced as long as they are garrisoned in a fort? A temporary volunteer when within the forts domain or actually within the fort itself – although I dunno how possible the latter is.

    If it took 2 or even 3 turns to raze a fort it would substantially improve the existing system in my opinion. I think capturing them shouldn’t take more then a turn, you shouldn’t need to absorb them or anything such like, but the situation in which you can simply burn them to the ground with a wisp is ridiculous and works against building them.

    I also think they should have a set degree of income increase – say wooden wall forts give 10% increase and stone walls 20% increase on income, so a gold mine and wooden walls will give +1 gold and stone walls will give +2 gold.

    Finally, perhaps a racial label could be added to the forts – I don’t mean to the point of absorbing them, unless it takes only a single turn to migrate them, in which case thats ok (you get the animation with the fire and smoke thats nice), but to the point you can then tweak the racial package of some races, for example orcs to have some modification on their forts, for example – more domain on their forts, or extra gold income for gold mines for dwarven forts etc. this could be done by modders primarily but be left by the devs for us.

    #226336

    Isn’t there an existing thread discussing this very thing?

    #226338

    A temporary volunteer when within the forts domain or actually within the fort itself – although I dunno how possible the latter is.

    is an interesting idea. But then why not apply to all walls?

    If it took 2 or even 3 turns to raze a fort it would substantially improve the existing system in my opinion

    imho this should be added to the expander spec, so they have the toughest forts around.

    That spec doesn;t seem to get much playtime.

    #226340

    NINJEW
    Member

    i don’t understand how shifting the meta from cityspam to fortspam is a big improvement

    #226346

    ExNihil
    Member

    why shifting the meta?

    Forts are currently too risky – they cost too much to build for too little return on the investment, you need to hold them, they can be taken, razed, they don’t increase your income, don’t really offer choke points unless there is a very rare geographical feature you can exploit and so forth. If you can now place them and be sure they stick around you will at least use them, you will still settle, but you will at least diversify a bit more.

    Also, I wouldn’t build a fort for anything less then 30 resources income at the moment, its just not worth it, you can’t build troops in them, develop them further, and they don’t generate enough income, while being more vulnerability then a point of strength. This needs to be changed in my opinion.

    This is not shifting the meta, its diversification.

    #226348

    ExNihil
    Member

    imho this should be added to the expander spec, so they have the toughest forts around.

    I use expander all the time, its one of the best specs to use with settler spam 🙂

    #226349

    ExNihil
    Member

    is an interesting idea. But then why not apply to all walls?

    Again… settler spam, reinforcing it again.

    #226363

    NINJEW
    Member

    We have already discussed many different solutions to the current city spam meta situation. Personally I don’t think it is a problem in itself

    why?

    is it a fun or interesting strategy to use? to play against? is it a superior meta to play in than what existed before the tournament (that’s about when cityspam arose as a meta, right?)?

    #226372

    ExNihil
    Member

    that’s about when cityspam arose as a meta, right?

    It was the RG upgrades that were introduced with EL, the 100 gold settler, and Tigrans, as well as the Empire Quests of Golden Realms and all their different tweaking (the history of which I am not completely clear on) which eventually got to the point you get two quests for the price of settling 8 cities of the same race in a row that created an imbalanced city-spam strategy. The tournament is just the catalyst that made this well known in the forums because it brought it to the attention of people who are not part of the normal MP competitive community, which anyhow dabbles in this sort of IMBA strategies.

    Why is this strategy not a problem? This strategy is a problem only because of the said changes that were introduced with EL and really galvanized into this strategy with players like AbedNegoJC and Azazir.

    So what can be done about it?

    1. kill RG1 Human and Tigran economic, this is really necessary, these are the two most OP and IMBA RG upgrades in the game at the moment and they are destabilizing MP games completely. They also completely set the trend in the tournament.

    2. modify the empire quests to the point you cannot receive two rewards at once – make population size matter more then the number of cities, for example, for monoculture!

    3. make the price of dwarven settlers identical to the price of the settlers of other races to make them more competitive, since they are currently a bit behind and that is also a bit of a problem (this unit should not count as a racial unit IMO!).

    I would then prefer seeing changes to forts being done rather than changes being done to cities, as I stated in the OP – simply because cities and settlement are simplified in AoW3 and settlement is something I enjoy and is a core element of the game and I do not believe MP can sustain much tweaking to the settlement mechanics without these being broken beyond salvage.

    In other words – the problem is not settlement, the problem is not settlers, the problem is some changes that were introduced in EL, and I propose to make some modifications to forts on the one hand, on the other to make changes to RG governance and some other elements to rebalance these to diversify the meta.

    #226384

    Dagoth Ur
    Member

    You could also implement an empire-wide happiness penalty if you settle another city within x-number of turns. Let’s say settling within 10 turn means -100 empire happiness for 15 turns or something.

    #226405

    1. kill RG1 Human and Tigran economic, this is really necessary, these are the two most OP and IMBA RG upgrades in the game at the moment and they are destabilizing MP games completely. They also completely set the trend in the tournament.

    Please! At least make them RG 2 so it can be a late game strategy or something instead of the go to choice. (Only really arguable to take military RG1 on Human/Tigran on small map w/ no underground)

    2. modify the empire quests to the point you cannot receive two rewards at once – make population size matter more then the number of cities, for example, for monoculture!

    I think this one is perhaps most important. I’m not sure if they should kill your ability to get more than one, but at least make it follow it’s own text: cities not settlements.

    3. make the price of dwarven settlers identical to the price of the settlers of other races to make them more competitive, since they are currently a bit behind and that is also a bit of a problem (this unit should not count as a racial unit IMO!).

    Probably fair, although if settling is less attractive this might matter less.

    You could also implement an empire-wide happiness penalty if you settle another city within x-number of turns. Let’s say settling within 10 turn means -100 empire happiness for 15 turns or something.

    I’m not a huge fan of the more arbitrary turn rules like this. For example: Settler has a 2 turn cooldown, or the happiness penalty you describe here. I think more elegant solution is to make settlers build out of Seige Workshop. This way you have to invest in the settler, and invest in the settlement itself to build another settler.

    #226409

    ExNihil
    Member

    I think this one is perhaps most important. I’m not sure if they should kill your ability to get more than one, but at least make it follow it’s own text: cities not settlements.

    To be fair cities will make monoculture utterly redundant, nobody needs t3 units when you got cities, this is t4 era even in MP. towns is the realm for this.

    Please! At least make them RG 2 so it can be a late game strategy or something instead of the go to choice. (Only really arguable to take military RG1 on Human/Tigran on small map w/ no underground)

    RG2 effectively kills this. I have no objection to turning these into RG2 options for Tigrans and Humans, although it is a UP RG2 I must say or borderline so for non-SP XL Map players who are not going to city pop endlessly, by this point settlement is finished in MP. I therefore suggest that it is replaced altogether.

    You could also implement an empire-wide happiness penalty if you settle another city within x-number of turns. Let’s say settling within 10 turn means -100 empire happiness for 15 turns or something.

    This is a bit too harsh, I am against a hard a limit cap.

    #226437

    Lykus
    Member

    Quik question is it possible to incerase bulding costs (hammers) of certain unit without increasing ressource costs?

    #226444

    Garresh
    Member

    Cities really don’t take that long to raze, if you’re specced for it. I’m not of the opinion increasing fort raze duration is a good idea as a solution. Though from a simple stance of quality of life it may still be worth bumping raze time to 1 turn at least.

    #226451

    Ericridge
    Member

    I object to Human’s RG 1 from being moved to RG2. I prefer deleting Human’s RG1 economy for something else. Discounted settler is incredibly boring. And it isn’t worthy of being RG2.

    Do the same for Tigrans.

    I’m serious. If RG1 has to go, then delete it and put something else in its place like what happened to the dwarves. It will be truly terrible for my gameplay experience if it was moved to RG2.

    #226460

    I’m serious. If RG1 has to go, then delete it and put something else in its place like what happened to the dwarves. It will be truly terrible for my gameplay experience if it was moved to RG2.

    That’s fine, I was just merely pointing out that it’s an OP RG1, but it’s fine as an RG2 balance-wise. (Maybe even too weak/boring) I’m all for straight replacements.

    To be fair cities will make monoculture utterly redundant, nobody needs t3 units when you got cities, this is t4 era even in MP. towns is the realm for this.

    True, my point is simply that just making it so you can only get one is a somewhat arbitrary rule. I’d prefer if they simply changed/removed it completely so that you don’t get double rewarded for settler spam, or if they did have to keep it for some reason, at least make it a lot more difficult than simply having 1/2 real towns and 6 outposts that are basically slightly more functional forts.

    I would love to see fair balance between tall and wide strategies. I would like rushes, turtles, and everything in between have their own trade-offs and not just have one strategy prevail.

    #226591

    RedChameleon
    Member

    I think combining of what’s been said on another thread about best settings for 1vs1 games, it seems that the solution for both – more dynamic games with more flexible strategies and to the city spam in particular could be in making medium maps a bit smaller… So, that as BBB said: “Small maps are a bit too small and medium are too big”, then placing medium size maps in between of small and current medium would be just right.

    It might and hopefully will make rushing still a bit risky, but also will make the city spam riskier as well….

    #226775

    Hatmage
    Member

    Suggesting variants on Tigran/Human RG1:
    Human: Builders halls and/or temples give +3-5 research: this works well with human production without adding even more production to the human economic tree, and the temples half is thematically nice – we have priests, guilds and knights, monastic schools would fit with all those.
    Tigran: Guard halls can be built without requiring warhalls and give +5 mana (or possibly gold? maybe some pop growth to mimic the previous fast expansion idea?) – this helps sun guards a bit, helps tigran sorcerers a bit (which is good, given their internal redundancy issues) and also bolsters warlords just slightly. The idea is that the places where sun guards are trained are sacred and temple-esque.

    #226777

    ExNihil
    Member

    I like the builder’s hall research idea for humans – its good

    Guard hall for tigrans I dislike, its not a good economic one IMO and it doesn’t work well with all classes.

    You could simply go for Tigran Builder hall discount? say 33%-50% discount on Builder’s hall, would be a nice discount. Or alternatively give them +5-7 production on Builder’s Hall, which will scale with morale bonuses nicely.

    #226780

    Hatmage
    Member

    Orcish arena happiness doesn’t work well with all classes either, but I did try with the tigrans – though in retrospect a happiness buff like orcs get might be perfectly serviceable. Production seems a bit out of character given tigran technology to me – many of their troops fight with knives and underwear, even the draconians make sure every soldier without fire magic gets a real weapon and a skirt, hatchlings excepted.

    #226784

    ExNihil
    Member

    Sure, if you give tigrans a +40 morale bonus for Builder’s hall it would be a good replacement for the settler discount.

    Orc morale boost works well since a large number of units are infantry and enjoy a bonus from it, and all you need is a barracks for it.

    #226785

    Zaskow
    Member

    Sure, if you give tigrans a +40 morale bonus for Builder’s hall it would be a good replacement for the settler discount.

    Sorry, but +40 morale bonus is crappy replacement for the settler discount. +100 at least, maybe…

    #226787

    ExNihil
    Member

    +100 morale for RG1? Zaskow you are one crazy guy, 100 morale is insane, on Builder’s Hall? This will be even more OP then the settler discount. Do you know how OP +100 morale from heptatopia is currently? jezuz……

    +40 morale is plenty good when it stacks with other modifiers, its an RG1 after all, maybe it can be a +50 but thats pretty much as good as it can be for something like builder’s hall.

    Think about it – Builder’s hall is a building you build in every city practically, and to get 100 morale you have to build public baths usually, yes….

    Also, it should be AS good as the current settler discount – the settler discount is TOO GOOD, it is clearly OP and IMBA!!!!

    #226790

    Zaskow
    Member

    Do you know how OP +100 morale from heptatopia is currently? jezuz……

    Do you know that heptatopia bonus works on units and towns, but bonus from buildings works only in towns?

    +40 morale is plenty good when it stacks with other modifiers, its an RG1 after all, maybe it can be a +50 but thats pretty much as good as it can be for something like builder’s hall.

    No, it’s pretty mediocre as new dwarven eco RG1.

    Also, it should be AS good as the current settler discount – the settler discount is TOO GOOD, it is clearly OP and IMBA!!!!

    No, it’s just other RG1 upgrades are too bad.

    #226803

    ExNihil
    Member

    Do you know that heptatopia bonus works on units and towns, but bonus from buildings works only in towns?

    And?

    +100 to towns is huge dear, its enough to push you into cheerful even with large empire penalty. Thats the single biggest bonus you can get when you have 7+ cities going there.

    If you get +100 on a builders hall you get a huge income bonus indirectly, thats OP, esp. for an RG1. No way.

    No, it’s pretty mediocre as new dwarven eco RG1.

    Hmmm, stone walls? What?

    No, it’s just other RG1 upgrades are too bad.

    And here I thought we are talking about city spam and killing tigran/human RG1 which are IMBA in this regard.

    #226811

    Zaskow
    Member

    If you get +100 on a builders hall you get a huge income bonus indirectly, thats OP, esp. for an RG1. No way.

    Lolwut? +100 bonus doesn’t make your city cheerful.

    And here I thought we are talking about city spam and killing tigran/human RG1 which are IMBA in this regard.

    I don’t see that every city spammer plays Humans or Tigrans.

    #226830

    ExNihil
    Member

    dude, OFC +100 itself doesn’t makes your city cheerful, I thought you are capable of understanding yourself what this sentence meant yourself- +100 happiness is enough to take you over into the cheerful realm even with the large empire penalty applied, or without it it makes hitting 600 morale that much easier, and it really does.

    As for your second point. Yes they they do. Point in hand- Abednego and Azazir, both your heroes specialize exactly in these two races for this very reason.

    #226834

    NINJEW
    Member

    +100 happiness for an RG1 is huge. dwarves get +75 and orcs get +50 and 5 gold on RG2.

    #226839

    Zaskow
    Member

    dude, OFC +100 itself doesn’t makes your city cheerful, I thought you are capable of understanding yourself what this sentence meant yourself- +100 happiness is enough to take you over into the cheerful realm even with the large empire penalty applied, or without it it makes hitting 600 morale that much easier, and it really does.

    Really? Halfling racial bonus +50 isn’t very visible. Cheerful cities are difficult achievement for classes without city buff spells.

    +100 happiness for an RG1 is huge. Dwarves get +75 and orcs get +50 and 5 gold on RG2.

    And? I can’t say that Dwarven RG1 eco and Orcish RG2 eco are very good too. Dwarven eco RG1 upgrade is variant only because military upgrade mediocre too. Same for orcs.

    #226844

    NINJEW
    Member

    And? I can’t say that Dwarven RG1 eco and Orcish RG2 eco are very good too. Dwarven eco RG1 upgrade is variant only because military upgrade mediocre too. Same for orcs.

    lol ok zaskow

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