Balance based on hard data from the PBEM tournament

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Balance based on hard data from the PBEM tournament

This topic contains 160 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Hiliadan 6 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #242647

    Hiliadan
    Member

    The current duel tournament underway on the Battlefield website provides hard data from 36 matches on the classes and races most used and most successful. You can find the data in 3 tables here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1z28mJy6bHfYKgHgwu8RbwpuldHqaF-CRj6pp0xJ7Kx8/pubhtml?gid=768678073&single=true
    – first table list the choices of class / race
    – second table list the victories
    – third table is the win ratio (division of the figures in the second table by those in the first table)

    A color code has been applied to facilitate reading: red is a few and green is a lot, yellow is intermediary.

    I think we have some preliminary big issues to fix:
    1 – only 2 Dread (and both Dwarves but that may not be significant), though both won. I assume it’s mainly linked to the size of the map (small) I guess it also means there is an issue with Dread. On the wider site, which does not register only small map games, Dread also lags behind (7% of choices). How can we boost it? Zaskow already boosted it but maybe it needs more.
    2 – Only 4 Halflings and all of them were Warlord. How to boost Halfling?
    3 – Over-representation of Archdruid Elves. I guess that’s because of Hunters and Shamans?
    4 – Only 4 Goblins but given their 75% win ratio, that may be because people under-estimate them. I’m a Goblin players and I think they’re pretty OK.

    I think we should start from the current Zaskow’s balance mod changes and build from there.

    #242651

    Zaskow
    Member

    1 – only 2 Dread (and both Dwarves but that may not be significant), though both won. I assume it’s mainly linked to the size of the map (small) I guess it also means there is an issue with Dread. On the wider site, which does not register only small map games, Dread also lags behind (7% of choices). How can we boost it? Zaskow already boosted it but maybe it needs more.

    Actually choice of dwarves is obvious. Dread has a very nice discount for armored units.
    Before Golden Realms Dread was popular. It was before nerf of musketeers. Implementing reload mechanics and nerfing damage of musket hurt them very much.
    Repair. Maintenance ability for such combat useless units as engineers is not sufficient. Engis need full repair to be useful. Also they need some useful abilities on tactical or strategical plane. These abilities MUST be present from beginning (not on medals), because leveling up of engi is almost impossible.
    Mobility. Armies of dread are pretty slow. It makes a game as Dread pretty boring. I don’t even mind Dread weakness to fast flying diversionists.

    2 – Only 4 Halflings and all of them were Warlord. How to boost Halfling?

    Warlord-halfling is predictable choice. Combo “Very Lucky Eagles with Martial Arts” works fine in PBEM too.
    Ways to boost halflings:
    1. Decreasing of physical weakness AND nerfing of luck probability. Yes, this makes Halflings less special, but also makes game for them less random.
    2. Complex buffs to boost morale of halfling units through abilities, medals etc. Increase amount of units with ‘Very lucky’ ability.
    3. Rebalance of terrain preferences for halflings. Now halflings hate too many terrains.

    3 – Over-representation of Archdruid Elves. I guess that’s because of Hunters and Shamans?

    Hunters, not Shaman. Elvish Shaman isn’t specific in combat.

    4 – Only 4 Goblins but given their 75% win ratio, that may be because people under-estimate them. I’m a Goblin players and I think they’re pretty OK.

    Too many blight protections in game, I suppose.

    #242653

    Also they need some useful abilities on tactical or strategical plane.

    I had an idea about this. How about Engineers building roads? That makes them immediately useful.

    These abilities MUST be present from beginning (not on medals), because leveling up of engi is almost impossible.

    How about adding abilities from buildings? So, Dreads can get a chain of buildings that make Engineers/Musketeers/whatever better, and it is upto the player to invest in those, so there is a tradeoff (creating buildings means not creating units etc.)

    Mobility. Armies of dread are pretty slow. It makes a game as Dread pretty boring. I don’t even mind Dread weakness to fast flying diversionists.

    Indeed Dreads do feel quite slow. However, this is, iirc, deliberate in order to balance them out a bit. I’d be extremely wary of changing this.

    Ways to boost halflings:
    1. Decreasing of physical weakness AND nerfing of luck probability. Yes, this makes Halflings less special, but also makes game for them less random.
    2. Complex buffs to boost morale of halfling units through abilities, medals etc. Increase amount of units with ‘Very lucky’ ability.
    3. Rebalance of terrain preferences for halflings. Now halflings hate too many terrains.

    Disagree. Leave lucky as it is, because that is under players control, and has counter play (ruin their morale before you fight).

    The issue, for me, with Haflings is that they are physical damage dependent, but not very good at it (unlike Orcs or Dwarves), and lack elemental damage (except on a flimsy, quite expensive Jester).

    In the first game they has a big advantage in very early Pony Riders, because they could produce them with a 1 hex city whereas everyone else needed a 2 hex city to produce their (better) Cavalry. Also, cities never grew (edit, imho this was actually a cool thing, because it means higher tier unit production centres were really quite limited. On a medium map, there might be 2 or 3 4 hex cities, so only 2-3 places where tier 4 units could be produced. Afaik, this can’t be modded into AoW3, but what *can* be modded is the requirement for an MCU, which imho would make strategic map city placement much more interesting. In singleplayer, I personally think Emperors climb the tech tree just a bit too fast, and I *think* that, requiring flowrock quarries before building Juggernauts, would make lower tier units more obviously useful, and make higher tier units much more special!), so they had an advantage early game that never really went away. They also had Satyrs for charming enemies, a priest that did magical damage, Rogues as t3 concealment units, Centaurs for good ranged damage and an awesome T4 unit that was damned hard to hit.

    Also, movement in AoW1 was slower overall (24 or 26 mp was the baseline, not 28) and battlefields were larger, so that extra mobility (32 mp) on an early game unit really made itself felt.

    They also had parry, which reduced the initial melee strike of enemy units by -2, when the max was 10.

    All of that has disappeared.

    Haflings are, imho, a really challenging race to make fun and powerful.

    I’d make them have Pony Riders (unarmoured, lower stats) available early, and then a t2 Sheriff unit (with smokey haze and fire pistol, or a version of it so Hafling Dreads get something good).

    Then I’d probably give them something similar to mighty meek, as a racial trait (probably reduced to +1 def, +1 attack) so their lower tier units are always a viable threat.

    And/Or really emphasising their mercantile nature, with a range of city improvements that boost their income, or even have their Builders be able to builds Trading posts (razeable) for example.

    Too many blight protections in game, I suppose.

    Not just that, having played quite a few games recently, I’m led to believe that the incidence of independent, roaming Undead is a bit too high. You have Necromantic circles (they seem as common as Brigand camps) and Boneyards, and those are all blight resistant.

    And there are always a few lost souls wandering about.

    Imho, the incidence of these structures needs to be reduced, because right now it seems to me that races with a built in Undead defence have a huge advantage.

    #242656

    Zaskow
    Member

    I had an idea about this. How about Engineers building roads? That makes them immediately useful.

    Already implemented in my mod.

    Disagree. Leave lucky as it is, because that is under players control, and has counter play (ruin their morale before you fight).

    Nah, luck is completely random. In one case enemy misses 3 times vs. your unit, in second makes killing blow from 1 strike. Also only a few classes has access to effective morale debuffs.

    Then I’d probably give them something similar to mighty meek, as a racial trait (probably reduced to +1 def, +1 attack) so their lower tier units are always a viable threat.

    This is interesting idea.

    And/Or really emphasising their mercantile nature, with a range of city improvements that boost their income, or even have their Builders be able to builds Trading posts (razeable) for example.

    They could get bigger bonus from merchandise action in cities…

    #242667

    Hiliadan
    Member

    These abilities MUST be present from beginning (not on medals), because leveling up of engi is almost impossible.

    How about adding abilities from buildings? So, Dreads can get a chain of buildings that make Engineers/Musketeers/whatever better, and it is upto the player to invest in those, so there is a tradeoff (creating buildings means not creating units etc.)

    That’s a good idea. But I think the main issue of Dread in the current PBEM settings is that it does not convert and it’s a class based on production, which takes too much time. In my game against AlX (Archdruid), I played Dread and I was only starting to get Cannons when the game ended.
    So linking bonuses to buildings won’t help much, because you don’t have time to build them! But it’s more an issue of the tournament settings (maps too small) and of the conversion meta than the Dread itself.
    Also, I’ve never built any Musketeer, which is a shame because it’s an early game unit which could help wait until the Cannons & co. But I don’t see the point of building it when you can rush to racial T3 or even cavalry.

    Dread’s scout is not so good either. But boosting it would not be a very good idea I think. We should not boost Dread early game too much, because its end game is pretty strong.

    Maybe putting Golem as the 3rd unit and Musketeer as the 4th (while boosting them)? That way, you can have machines earlier and building Engineer makes more sense?
    Or just boosting Musketeer: reducing their cost (75 gold, 15 mana) or +5 HP or more damage on the Musket?
    + definitely more diversity of Musketeers, but that should not be our priority balance wise, we can do that later.

    Also, maybe we could tweak the research costs a bit to allow a faster transition to mid-game for Dread: -20 Research cost for Musketeer and -20 for Golem and +40 or Cannons. That would Dread on par with Theocrat for the research cost of the first three units.

    Regarding Halflings, they are not that bad, otherwise, people would not select them at all. They are selected for Warlords because Warlords boost cavalry, among other things.
    So the question maybe should not be: how to boost Halfling but rather how to boost Halflings in other classes than Warlord?
    Theo boosts mainly supports (Brew Brother)
    Archdruid boosts archers (Jester) and supports (Brew Brother)
    Rogue boosts irregulars (Adventurers)
    Sorcerer boosts supports (Brew Brother)

    Zaskow already made the following modifications:
    – Halfling Nightwatch costs 45 gold now (was 50).
    – Halflings have 15% physical weakness (was 20%).
    – Jesters cost 70 gold (was 75).

    Giving them a lesser Mighty Meek might be too powerful but it could be tried on the Halfling Adventurer but then we would need to compensate by removing Monster and Animal slayers (or moving them to medals) and / or increasing its cost.

    Giving them +75% on “Produce merchandise” is interesting.

    Making the Pony a T1 and the Farmer or the Nightwatch a T2 is interesting too.
    So no armor, -1 def, -2 res, -20 costs? For the Pony. Buildable with Barracks.

    #242675

    Giving them a lesser Mighty Meek might be too powerful but it could be tried on the Halfling Adventurer but then we would need to compensate by removing Monster and Animal slayers (or moving them to medals) and / or increasing its cost.

    I forgot to mention this would affect their t1 units only.

    Basically, it would make a force of Nightwatch actually useful when Knights come knocking.

    #242677

    Giving them +75% on “Produce merchandise” is interesting.

    It is a good idea. The reason I suggested enhanced Builder units was to:

    a – make them different
    b – encourage player interaction. A flat passive bonus is less fun, imho, than something resulting from active play.

    Making the Pony a T1 and the Farmer or the Nightwatch a T2 is interesting too.
    So no armor, -1 def, -2 res, -20 costs? For the Pony. Buildable with Barracks.

    No adjustments to Farmers or Nightwatch, except possibly putting the Nightwatch into the Warhall as they are “organised” units.

    I was thinking:

    militia unit – Adventurer (no change)

    barracks – Pony Rider, Farmer, Jester (big change). The idea is that Haflings spend all their time on farms, so farm related units are their first line of defence. Also, makes sense for a smaller, weaker race to use spears (like Goblins).

    Warhall – Sheriff (new unit, with poison resistance, smoky haze, and a ranged attack), Nightwatch (slight boost, perhaps a maintenance boost). Both of these are “organised” by Hafling standards, and thematically fit as they are law enforcers.

    #242684

    Zaskow
    Member

    That’s a good idea. But I think the main issue of Dread in the current PBEM settings is that it does not convert and it’s a class based on production, which takes too much time. In my game against AlX (Archdruid), I played Dread and I was only starting to get Cannons when the game ended.

    But Convert is impossible for Dread.

    Also, I’ve never built any Musketeer, which is a shame because it’s an early game unit which could help wait until the Cannons & co.

    Musketeer was nerfed too much in GR. Reload mechanics and -4 range dmg.

    Dread’s scout is not so good either. But boosting it would not be a very good idea I think. We should not boost Dread early game too much, because its end game is pretty strong.

    Dread scout is acceptable.

    Or just boosting Musketeer: reducing their cost (75 gold, 15 mana) or +5 HP or more damage on the Musket?

    Definitely more dmg. Or make reload takes not all action pts.

    Theo boosts mainly supports (Brew Brother)
    Archdruid boosts archers (Jester) and supports (Brew Brother)

    Brew brother is pretty horrible support itself. Physical short range attack and low HP kill this unit.

    Archdruid boosts archers (Jester)

    While attack capabilities of Jesters are good, they’re too squishy. Enemy archers kill them in 3 salvo literally.

    – Halfling Nightwatch costs 45 gold now (was 50).
    – Halflings have 15% physical weakness (was 20%).
    – Jesters cost 70 gold (was 75).

    Honestly, this is partial and temporal decision in my mod. Jester needs 60-65 price probably, Nightwatch needs some visible buff from beginning.

    #242685

    I also think the Brew Brother needs something. I don’t think that something should be a straight boost, rather I think it should get more buff abilities, or even nourishing meal on a cooldown.

    It’s a bit of a double handicap to have short range and physical attack, but longer range, or elemental attack, just wouldn’t feel right.

    Imho, changes should be in keeping with the theme of a Brew brother/chef, so either nourishing meal on cooldown, or nourishing meal and fiery brew (although we’re stepping into Dwarf lore territory here lol).

    I think any changes to Haflings have to be very careful not to make them overly similar to other races, and I’d favour more special abilities, like throw chicken, which isn’t necessarily amazingly useful, but isn’t useless, and is funny and somehow appropriate. I definitely think they should not be Bruisers or Tanks.

    #242689

    NINJEW
    Member

    muskets don’t need more hp. they’re already actually surprisingly beefy for an archer unit.

    maybe an increase to their stagger chance would help?

    #242690

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Hiliadan wrote:

    Giving them a lesser Mighty Meek might be too powerful but it could be tried on the Halfling Adventurer but then we would need to compensate by removing Monster and Animal slayers (or moving them to medals) and / or increasing its cost.

    I forgot to mention this would affect their t1 units only.

    Even on all their T1, it’s a bit too much. Giving it to one unit, and to their worse unit, the Adventurer, makes more sense to me.

    militia unit – Adventurer (no change)

    barracks – Pony Rider, Farmer, Jester (big change). The idea is that Haflings spend all their time on farms, so farm related units are their first line of defence. Also, makes sense for a smaller, weaker race to use spears (like Goblins).

    Warhall – Sheriff (new unit, with poison resistance, smoky haze, and a ranged attack), Nightwatch (slight boost, perhaps a maintenance boost). Both of these are “organised” by Hafling standards, and thematically fit as they are law enforcers.

    I think adding a unit without removing one is a bad idea.
    So if you add Sheriff, you should remove someone else, probably the Nightwatch.

    Also, we want to boost Halfling but moving 2 of their units to Barracks is just too much of a boost, isn’t it?
    + about the Pony Rider, I’m not sure that’s really a good idea actually, because it will boost Halfling Warlord even more but will not be very useful for other classes (except Dread maybe who has a nice tech for cavalry).

    Regarding Smoky Haze, I forgot how it worked in AoW2, can you remind us?

    Regarding Brew Brothers, you’re right Zaskow: low range physical attack + low HP kill them. I think boosting them would solve much of Halfling issue + boosting the Halfling class units.
    By design (low HP, low range attack), Brew Brothers are supposed to play really as support and stay on the back of the battle. What about giving them a second touch ability to use to boost units while they stay on the back? Something linked to their Brewing lore: “Pint of beer” or “Lucky Beverage”. It could:
    – boost one unit and give it lucky (so very lucky if it already had lucky) and a further +100 morale, +1 ranged and melee damage but -1 def (the unit is drunk) and -20% spirit resistance
    – OR be an area of effect (of 1 hex) boost around the Brew Brother and +200 morale but -20% spirit resistance

    Then if we look at their class units:
    Theocrat:
    – Martyr: already nice with a slingshot
    – Crusaders: gain backstab at Elite – probably the worst Crusaders
    – Evangelist: Minor Bard Skills, already good compared to other Evangelist
    – Exalted: nothing special. Give him Forest and Urban concealment? And increase mana cost.

    Dreadnought:
    – Engineer: nothing special.
    – Musketeer: nothing special (as all the race except Elf). Make its Musket firework-like: 17 physical damage and 8 fire damage, can dazzle units around and panic animals around. Cost 90 gold (instead of 80) and 20 mana
    – Golem: Part Robot Golem with Fireworks at Elite and Nourishing Meal from the start

    Archdruid:
    – Hunter: Monster Slayer… Maybe could receive Urban Concealment or Sprint (on medal?).
    – Shaman: Minor Bard Skill as all the supports. Could get a special version of Nourishing Meal on gold instead of Healing. That version would have a 2 turns cooldown. That way, less healing but more morale bonus.

    Sorcerer:
    – Apprentice: Minor Bard Skill, ok but not crazy original and not as good as other Apprentice

    Rogue:
    – Scoundrel: Slingshot (but cost 10 more): good but maybe too expensive?
    – Bard Slingshot = crap? But Bards are much more useful for Halfling than for other races so maybe no need to boost it.
    – Assassins: get a second copy of lucky on gold instead of Inflict Crippling Wounds. What about moving Pass Wall to Veteran? Halflings are supposed to be small and agile!
    – Succubus: nothing special. Give them Forest and Urban Concealment and increase cost?

    Necro:
    I think it’s a topic in itself because Halfling are based on happiness and Necro is not.

    Zaskow, what were your suggestions for racial governance for Halfling?

    #242693

    Zaskow
    Member

    Even on all their T1, it’s a bit too much. Giving it to one unit, and to their worse unit, the Adventurer, makes more sense to me.

    Adventurer isn’t worst Halfling unit, surprisingly. It works fine even on auto. Also it is far better as archer than jester.

    Regarding Smoky Haze, I forgot how it worked in AoW2, can you remind us?

    http://aow2.heavengames.com/gameinfo/unitabilities/general.shtml#Smoky%20Haze

    Something linked to their Brewing lore: “Pint of beer” or “Lucky Beverage”

    Yep, I thought about something similar – combo from ‘Lucky’ and High morale.

    – Crusaders: gain backstab at Elite – probably the worst Crusaders

    Urban Concealment and Backstab from beginning? Or High morale from beginning with second copy on veteran?

    – Evangelist: Minor Bard Skills, already good compared to other Evangelist

    Some of them has range attack. Ranged Evangelists are best.

    – Exalted: nothing special. Give him Forest and Urban concealment? And increase mana cost.

    Maybe, Backstab or High morale?

    – Engineer: nothing special.
    – Musketeer: nothing special (as all the race except Elf). Make its Musket firework-like: 17 physical damage and 8 fire damage, can dazzle units around and panic animals around. Cost 90 gold (instead of 80) and 20 mana

    Parting 1 into 2 damage channels is bad idea. This unit will be worse than analogs in damage capabilities.
    Also I think dazzling is more fitting for engineers.

    – Hunter: Monster Slayer… Maybe could receive Urban Concealment or Sprint (on medal?).

    Sprint would be nice.

    – Shaman: Minor Bard Skill as all the supports. Could get a special version of Nourishing Meal on gold instead of Healing. That version would have a 2 turns cooldown. That way, less healing but more morale bonus.

    Golden abilities have too low influence on gameplay.

    – Apprentice: Minor Bard Skill, ok but not crazy original and not as good as other Apprentice

    Well, here it’s difficult to come up with anything.

    – Scoundrel: Slingshot (but cost 10 more): good but maybe too expensive?

    Maybe, you’re right.

    – Bard Slingshot = crap? But Bards are much more useful for Halfling than for other races so maybe no need to boost it.

    Nourishing Meal? Rogue gains so needed healing.

    – Assassins: get a second copy of lucky on gold instead of Inflict Crippling Wounds. What about moving Pass Wall to Veteran? Halflings are supposed to be small and agile!

    Could be. Unit “Rogue” from AoW2 has Poison Darts, BTW.

    – Succubus: nothing special. Give them Forest and Urban Concealment and increase cost?

    I thought about new ability – Inflict Misfortune. Same effect as from defense building – stackable morale debuff.

    Zaskow, what were your suggestions for racial governance for Halfling?

    Halflings have one of the best RG. Maybe upgrade some of them.
    Economic
    Patron Military – Irregulars and Infantry get +100 Morale
    Patron Economic – Outposts and Villages get additional +75 population
    Protector Military is fine. Maybe, add Hunters to the list.
    Protector Economic – Public Baths generate +100 Population and +10 Gold
    Champion Military is fine. Maybe add some small buff for all Halfling flying units?
    Champion Economic is very bad, because Lucky Cloverfields isn’t very common object on map. Maybe make some hated Halfling terrains not likeable? Or make morale penalties when Halflings on hated terrain less in 2 times?
    Prophet upgrades are fine both.
    Deity Military is almost fine. I’d like to add all Halfling units to the list. Or add ultimate buff for Halfling – Solace on some unit lines.
    Deity Economics – Happiness Events happen threefold as often (was twice)?

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by  Zaskow.
    #242720

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I’m going to make a GoogleDoc to list the proposed changes because that’s a lot already.

    Even on all their T1, it’s a bit too much. Giving it to one unit, and to their worse unit, the Adventurer, makes more sense to me.

    Adventurer isn’t worst Halfling unit, surprisingly. It works fine even on auto. Also it is far better as archer than jester.

    So you would suggest to have the Lesser Mighty Meek on Adventurer AND Jester AND Nightwtch as BBB suggests?

    Something linked to their Brewing lore: “Pint of beer” or “Lucky Beverage”

    Yep, I thought about something similar – combo from ‘Lucky’ and High morale.

    Ok but could you be more specific about the effects? 😛 What about the effects I proposed?

    – Crusaders: gain backstab at Elite – probably the worst Crusaders

    Urban Concealment and Backstab from beginning? Or High morale from beginning with second copy on veteran?

    I don’t know. I don’t like the idea of giving too much High morale everywhere. Giving it through support should be enough, shouldn’t it?
    + Backstab for Crusaders feels weird. Why not Urban Concealment but for Crusaders. Could be used defensively for instance.

    – Musketeer: nothing special (as all the race except Elf). Make its Musket firework-like: 17 physical damage and 8 fire damage, can dazzle units around and panic animals around. Cost 90 gold (instead of 80) and 20 mana

    Parting 1 into 2 damage channels is bad idea. This unit will be worse than analogs in damage capabilities.

    Also I think dazzling is more fitting for engineers.

    Mmh, surely more fitting for Engineer but what do you give to Musketeer?
    Then give them more fire damage? Or fire + electric damage. Or maybe add a capacity kind of similar to Orc’s War Cry called “Lucky Cocktail” or something like that, which gives +3 fire damage, +3 electric damage and inflict dazzling for one round but has a 10% chance of stunning the Musketeer.

    – Shaman: Minor Bard Skill as all the supports. Could get a special version of Nourishing Meal on gold instead of Healing. That version would have a 2 turns cooldown. That way, less healing but more morale bonus.

    Golden abilities have too low influence on gameplay.

    Well, that’s not a reason to replace Healing by Nourishing Meal. It makes Halfling Shaman more special and it also makes them slightly better.

    – Bard Slingshot = crap? But Bards are much more useful for Halfling than for other races so maybe no need to boost it.

    Nourishing Meal? Rogue gains so needed healing.

    Rogue needs healing but we should not give it! It’s not Theo or AD. + they got healing through Brew Brothers.

    – Assassins: get a second copy of lucky on gold instead of Inflict Crippling Wounds. What about moving Pass Wall to Veteran? Halflings are supposed to be small and agile!

    Could be. Unit “Rogue” from AoW2 has Poison Darts, BTW.

    Yeah, I thought about it too and I liked that unit a lot. But we don’t want to copy AoW2, do we? It could be nice though! Maybe make it short range with several Inflict (the ones from the Blight Doctor with medals).

    – Succubus: nothing special. Give them Forest and Urban Concealment and increase cost?

    I thought about new ability – Inflict Misfortune. Same effect as from defense building – stackable morale debuff.

    Good idea!

    + I thought: what about giving Halfling a bonus from Hospital? Like +5HP or permanent boost to morale to all their unit produced or to some units produced. That would go in the direction mentioned by BBB: increase the strategic choices for the player + it would make hospital more useful (I never build them).

    Regarding the RG:
    Patron Military – Irregulars and Infantry get +100 Morale
    Why not, or seriously boost Nighwatch
    Patron Economic – Outposts and Villages get additional +75 population
    It feels too much like Goblin. Reducing the price of Store House is better because it paves the way to go to Hospital, etc. and boost Morale. Maybe make it -45 gold (Orc get -50 on War Halls but War Halls acks do not boost pop!)..
    Protector Military is fine. Maybe, add Hunters to the list.
    Yes, add Hunter.
    Protector Economic – Public Baths generate +100 Population and +10 Gold
    Maybe +5 gold instead. Orc gets +5 gold for Arena for instance.
    Champion Military is fine. Maybe add some small buff for all Halfling flying units?
    The 4 Halfing Warlord shows this RG is already enough. I don’t think it needs more buff for Succubus, maybe for Exalted?
    Champion Economic is very bad, because Lucky Cloverfields isn’t very common object on map. Maybe make some hated Halfling terrains not likeable? Or make morale penalties when Halflings on hated terrain less in 2 times?
    Mmh… Maybe Subterranean are not disliked any more? There are some Lucky Cloverfields underground so that could open up nice things for the Halflings.
    Prophet upgrades are fine both.
    Deity Military is almost fine. I’d like to add all Halfling units to the list. Or add ultimate buff for Halfling – Solace on some unit lines.
    I don’t know, I never play that far.
    Deity Economics – Happiness Events happen threefold as often (was twice)?
    Twice should enough because by that time, all your cities will be very happy!

    #242723

    The Mentat
    Member

    – Exalted: nothing special. Give him Forest and Urban concealment? And increase mana cost.

    Maybe, Backstab or High morale?

    I’m quite sure that Backstab is too much. It’s so easy to flank with Exalted.

    – Bard Slingshot = crap? But Bards are much more useful for Halfling than for other races so maybe no need to boost it.

    Nourishing Meal? Rogue gains so needed healing.

    Rogue needs healing but we should not give it! It’s not Theo or AD. + they got healing through Brew Brothers.

    I’m not an expert for Rogue but I think concealment could be useful. Then it’s easier to combine them with Assassines and Stalkers that have concealment anyway.

    #242724

    Zaskow
    Member

    So you would suggest to have the Lesser Mighty Meek on Adventurer AND Jester AND Nightwtch as BBB suggests?

    I suggest to leave Adventurer alone. Good unit without flaws. I worry more about Jester, they’re too squishy.

    Ok but could you be more specific about the effects? 😛 What about the effects I proposed?

    Lucky and +200 Morale would be enough. Maybe limit it only for Halflings.

    + Backstab for Crusaders feels weird. Why not Urban Concealment but for Crusaders. Could be used defensively for instance.

    Because Urban Concealment changes nothing. Halfling Crusader will be mediocre as before in combat.

    I don’t know. I don’t like the idea of giving too much High morale everywhere. Giving it through support should be enough, shouldn’t it?

    Units have enough morale debuffs. Also Halflings hate too much types of terrain.

    what do you give to Musketeer?

    Dazzled projectiles maybe? If engi got nothing dazzled of course. Difficult to say…

    Well, that’s not a reason to replace Healing by Nourishing Meal. It makes Halfling Shaman more special and it also makes them slightly better.

    Healing is more powerful than Nourishing Meal in terms of healing. 🙂

    Rogue needs healing but we should not give it! It’s not Theo or AD. + they got healing through Brew Brothers.

    Bard is more combat effective as support than Brew Brother.

    But we don’t want to copy AoW2

    This is not copying. This is adherence to traditions. 🙂 Adventurer is almost full copy of Halfling Archer from AoW2, BTW.

    + I thought: what about giving Halfling a bonus from Hospital? Like +5HP or permanent boost to morale to all their unit produced or to some units produced. That would go in the direction mentioned by BBB: increase the strategic choices for the player + it would make hospital more useful (I never build them).

    This doesn’t seem fair for other races. We need to think about similar effects for all races.

    Maybe +5 gold instead. Orc gets +5 gold for Arena for instance.

    Arena is cheaper than Public Baths. Honestly, I almost never build baths, +100 morale is too low bonus for me. 🙁

    Mmh… Maybe Subterranean are not disliked any more? There are some Lucky Cloverfields underground so that could open up nice things for the Halflings.

    Cloverfields are rare everywhere. I think about Goblin Champion where they don’t hate 2 types of terrain. I think it would be very useful for Halflings.

    I’m quite sure that Backstab is too much. It’s so easy to flank with Exalted.

    Exalted is not very tough unit. Especially, Halfling variant.

    I’m not an expert for Rogue but I think concealment could be useful. Then it’s easier to combine them with Assassines and Stalkers that have concealment anyway.

    Nobody will take Bards with concealment stacks, because Bards are slower than assassins and stalker (28 MP vs. 32 MP).

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by  Zaskow.
    #242726

    NINJEW
    Member

    wait since when are bards with slingshots crap

    halfling bards are the second best bard, behind elf bards, for precisely this reason.

    #242730

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Didn’t have time to finish it but I put together a table to list all the proposed changes and the opinion on them: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1flsHncpzAmJa_2xMHZ6Tlp-mf69ej2mYrSGNc4V3_QA/edit?usp=sharing

    You can now use the ID there to discuss proposals.

    #242732

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    On Halflings:

    Adventurer is awesome.
    Jester sucks, though: damage is good, but is indeed to squishy and too expensive. Start thinking: what would you build when both were equally expensive. Answer: both.

    Which means, Jester is way too expensive (not because of gold, mostly but because of production time).

    I think, BBB makes good points, but the problem with his suggestion is – there has to be 1 type of unit available within the 6 T1 and T2 level units. The joker here is of course the Irregular. Pony Rider and Sheriff works only, when the Pony Rider is an Irregular. In that case either the adventurer or jester would be the archer and the other would get the boot for Sheriff.

    However, with the adventurer being a better Archer than the jester – how about exchanging Jester and Night Guard for Farmer and Pony Rider in Barracks? In this case I would make Jester a cheap T2 Archer (must be better than a Draconian Flamer, obviously), costing, like 80, giving him Armor, more HPs and a slightly beefier attack (is no Longbowman, has only 1 shot, CAN be armored). Pony Rider MIGHT be a T1 Cav.

    #242733

    Zaskow
    Member

    Well, here is list what I plan to do for racial Halfling units in my mod at least:

    Adventurer – leave as is.
    Jester – I’m sure that this unit must be buffed. I plan to give them Solace (immunity to morale debuffs) or big buff to morale, because they’re jesters – happy and joking people which can’t be depressed too easy.
    Nightwatch – backstab on recruit and high morale on elite probably.
    Farmer – weakest pikeman in game (obviously, look at name). 45 gold would be good price for them.
    Brew Brother – weakest support in game. Minor bard skills moves on recruit, +5-8 HP, High Morale on elite.
    -OR-
    Solace on recruit.
    Pony Rider – leave as is.
    Eagle Rider – leave as is.

    #242744

    there has to be 1 type of unit available within the 6 T1 and T2 level units.

    Why?

    This framework worked well for relatively straightforward races, but even then we’ve seen significant variation, e.g.

    Goblins have Butchers, a tier 2 Pike, and get an extra unit via racial upgrades.
    Frostling Pike is arguably tier 2.
    Farmers have a ranged attack.
    Icescapers can freeze enemy units

    etc. etc.

    Also, the class you play will affect how many racial units you get access to, Druids getting the least and Warlords the most iirc.

    So, given the variation within the existing framework, why not expand the framework? Adding in one extra unit is not going to break the game, an if it rounds off the Haflings and makes them more interesting, then why not? I mean, what’s the big deal with an extra unit, when extra abilities have been added to pretty much every single race since the original release (evolving Human Cavalry, Victory rush and Banefire, Wetlands foraging etc.)

    Alternatively, if people are so wedded to using the existing framework, there is considerable leeway in the building chains. You could make Hafling barracks and warhalls noticeably cheaper, or boost their merchandise.

    Many ,any ways to add variety, fun, and power, without breaking things, and imho the changes proposed in the last 2 posts won’t really help.

    #242746

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I don’t think, you are right here, BBB.

    Imo, the races need a solid framework, that currently looks this way:
    Everyone gets a T2 Support via Shrine and Temple
    Everyone gets an Irregular without prerequisites.
    Barracks give 2 units, an Archer and an Infantry, both T1; exception: Tigrans, who get a pike;
    War Hall gives two units, a Cavalry and a Pike, Cavalry being T2 and Pike T1; exception: Frostlings and Goblins get Pike T2, Tigrans get the Infantry, also T2.

    Everyone gets one T3 for a separate dwelling; exception: Goblins may gain access to a second T3 via RG; everyone else may gain access to a T3 via Mystical City upgrade.

    General rule: everyone gets 1 each of Archer, Cavalry, Infantry, Irregular, Pike and Support via Shrine/Temple, Barracks and War Hall, giving mostly T1 with a T2 Support and a T2 Cavalry.

    And that makes a lot of sense, because it covers the skeletal backbone in a bland enough way so classes make all the difference, but meanwhile in a way specific enough for races to have certain characteristics.

    The framework still offers enough room for variation, especially for a race like the Halflings. It wouldn’t be wrong to exchange the Pony Rider with the Jester, reducing PR’s HPs to 44, taking away the armor and making it T1 (and cheaper, obviously). Keep in mind that Eagle Riders are Cavalry as well. With the adventurer being the better Archer than the Jester in at least some ways, you can still build some ranged power immediately and cheap, with a T1 Cav giving speed.
    The Jester in turn can become armored (they can be slow, since they have one shot only), gain 10 HPs and gain T2 status (giving them FOUR HPs in addition for each level gain). You can also switch physical and fire (to 5/10) and add half the fire part (5) as splash damage (in addition to the dazzled effect). Animals will get panicked.
    This alone would make for a dramatic change. Switching Farmer and Nightwatch is fine as well – that doesn’t gain strength, but color.
    It would be interesting to see how strong the baby Cavalry rush would be. You can build a fast force immediately, which has its advantages.

    In any case it would be silly to give Halflings a THIRD cavalry – what would that supposed to be good for?

    #242747

    Sounds like the only disagreement here is over Sheriffs.

    I’d be very interested in seeing how the “baby cavalry rush” works.

    I was thinking about Sheriffs because they were in the previous game, and haven’t been co-opted by classes (unlike Rogues), and are more Hafling like than Centaurs or Satyrs (from AoW1).

    And, as law enforcement officers, they seemed like they’d fit in well with the Nightwatch, who are also law enforcement.

    Slightly tangential, but given how fireworks are obviously part of their culture, how come seemingly no Hafling has thought fit to scale up the rockets and put them on a ram? Basically, a Fireworks Launcher, as an alternative/addition to the Trebuchet. I’m inclined to think that a Hafling Dreadnought would have had the idea.

    Longer range rocket fire, would be a great way to dazzle the enemy from afar, wouldn’t it?

    If/when I mod them, I’ll try the unit swap around first, see how that works out.

    #242749

    Fluks
    Member

    I really like most of the changes proposed here. And thanks Zaskow for the modding already done!
    Anyway there are some remarks I want to make too 🙂
    – Leave lucky, please don’t nerf it. It makes Halflings feel unique and I also like that it forces people to adopt their strategy within battles due to the randomness of luck. I really think this should stay.
    – The idea of switching pony rider and farmer with night watch and Jester is neat! Night watch could get the “poison darts” ability, basically that would make them a shield bearing city version of the AOW rogue unit. As a nice side effect it would give the Halflings a new damage channel.
    – early pass wall for Halfling assassins? Yes please! thematically fitting and cool!
    -On the Dreadnought being too slow, honestly I think its more that most other classes are too fast. The fast classes Imho should be Rogue and Druid. Druid is fine, rogue without explorer is mediocre at best, but ok. WL and Sorc however are too mobile. Both should get a mp reduction on most units imho, sorc still wouldn’t be slow due to all the floating and WL still has death march if he needs to go fast. Both would still be faster than the dread, but the difference wouldn’t be as crushing.

    All of those changes are somewhat independent of PBEM. In PBEM I think the easiest way would probably be to reduce all “convert” abilities attack strength by 1 as a start, at least to me it seems they are much too strong in PBEM.

    #242750

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Jester – I’m sure that this unit must be buffed. I plan to give them Solace (immunity to morale debuffs) or big buff to morale, because they’re jesters – happy and joking people which can’t be depressed too easy.

    Noted Ha03 in the table (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1flsHncpzAmJa_2xMHZ6Tlp-mf69ej2mYrSGNc4V3_QA/edit?usp=sharing). Make sense lore wise but not convinced.
    I prefer the gold cost reduction. To me, they are quite similar to Goblin Swarm Darter, which cost 63 gold. You already put them at 70 gold and you reduced physical weakness to 15%. I think that’s enough for now.

    Nightwatch – backstab on recruit and high morale on elite probably.
    Farmer – weakest pikeman in game (obviously, look at name). 45 gold would be good price for them.

    Noted Ha01a. Don’t agree. Backstab on a T1 without any tech is too good. And please justify with comparison for the 45 gold.

    Brew Brother – weakest support in game. Minor bard skills moves on recruit, +5-8 HP, High Morale on elite.
    -OR-
    Solace on recruit.

    Noted Ha09a. I think it’s a lazy solution.
    Ha09 is better! Just need to fine tune it.

    I agree with JJ regarding the necessity to keep the number of units stable. We can add Sheriff but then we need to remove someone.
    Moving Pony to Barracks seem interesting but what does it achieve? Halfling Warlord is already good, it will make it better. What does it bring to other classes?

    Guys, I think we need to focus on proposals that got more feedback and agreement and that look the most promising:
    Ha06
    Ha08
    Ha09
    Ha11a?
    Ha12
    Ha14
    Ha15
    Ha15a?
    Ha16a
    Ha22

    Could you give your opinion / improve these please? (some are pretty straightforward, others like the new ability for Brew Brothers need more discussions)

    #242752

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    @ BBB
    Sheriff would be possible instead of Pony Rider, no problem.

    That would leave a couple of options which unit to drop. It doesn’t make sense to drop the Pony Rider, since in this case you could just give the Pony Rider a Pistol.

    That in turn means, the Pony Rider would have to become an Irregular; in this case it wouold make sense to drop Charge and instead give it a sling – which would make it a mounted adventurer or a T1 Mounted Archer, speed 32.

    #242760

    Zaskow
    Member

    As for me, adding new units is wrong way in balancing. Why we can’t make existing units better and must create new ones?

    To me, they are quite similar to Goblin Swarm Darter, which cost 63 gold. You already put them at 70 gold and you reduced physical weakness to 15%. I think that’s enough for now.

    Differences between them are huge. Yes, darters are squishy, but this is compensated by enormous damage and built-in seeker. Darter will kill Jester with 80-90% probability.

    And please justify with comparison for the 45 gold.

    Look at Orc Impaler or Harberdier, for example. Throw Chicken is pretty mediocre ability and once per battle.

    The Jester in turn can become armored

    You may notice, but almost all Halfling troops are militia, not regular (except Nightwatch, maybe). That’s why most of them has no armor. Armored Jesters sound ridiculous.

    Ha09 is better! Just need to fine tune it.

    I think 2 abilities for support is a bit much. All supports have only 1 active ability.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by  Zaskow.
    #242762

    As for me, adding new units is wrong way in balancing. Why we can’t make existing units better and must create new ones?

    Where did I say we must create new units? Or that we can’t improve the existing ones?

    All supports have only 1 active ability.

    All supports also have medium range elemental damage. 1 other support can transform, and another one can be linked to the racial Pike (Frostlings) and can also synergise with the militia unit (Icescapers).

    Anyway you dice it, the Brew Brother just isn’t a good fighter, or really a good support. You could argue that the Forge Priest supports better (guardian flame cures 10 hp and gives 40% fire resistance and +2 fire damage, which even on an axeman means they can actually do some damage to things like Wraiths. Versus +15 hp and 100 morale) and fights better and gives Dwarves a flame damage channel.

    Imho, nourishing meal isn’t enough to make up for that (you could argue that Haflings as a whole have one strength, which is lucky, but isn’t enough to compensate for their weaknesses, which are vulberability to terrain and morale debuffs, physical weakness, lack of elemental damage, and not doing much damage generally).

    Giving it an elemental damage channel doesn’t make sense.
    Neither does making it hit harder or throw further.

    That leaves giving some synergy with lower units(see next paragraph), or new abilities.

    What if nourishing meal resets throw chicken ability? That gives it an immediate use. Put nourishing meal on cooldown, and now the Hafling player gets more tactical choices. You might have to stop it stacking (it does stack, right?) otherwise you could roll a Hafling unit with 5 Brothers for some ridiculous hp increase.

    Thus you make the Brew Brother and the Farmer more useful.

    #242763

    You could also give Inflict crippling wounds to Brew Brothers.

    Alternatively, if you really want to make the Brothers even more useful than I already outline (with reloading chickens) you could make Nourishing meal reset (fully or partially) the mp of the unit receiving the meal.

    Thus you have the choice of using it early in battle, to get the ‘extra’ hp, or waiting until a unit has been committed (and being Haflings, potentially already being dead) before restoring the hp and the mp.

    #242769

    llfoso
    Member

    Remove the range falloff on throw cleavers. That’s all it really needs.
    Maybe make nourishing meal cancel moral penalties too.

    #242771

    Hiliadan
    Member

    To me, they are quite similar to Goblin Swarm Darter, which cost 63 gold. You already put them at 70 gold and you reduced physical weakness to 15%. I think that’s enough for now.

    Differences between them are huge. Yes, darters are squishy, but this is compensated by enormous damage and built-in seeker. Darter will kill Jester with 80-90% probability.

    True Darter will kill Jester most of the times, but that’s not a very good argument. Comparing units in 1 vs 1 does not make sense because units play a role in a stack and are not alone.
    Maybe we could improve Jester by giving them:
    – 10 strength for their AoE attack (was 9)
    – Firefworks does 10 physical damage (was 9) and 5 fire damage
    – can target an hex (like Fire Bomb) and not a valid target. That way you can dazzle units with 1 extra hex range
    (noted Ha03b)
    At the same time, look at the Human Archer. It costs 70 and it’s not much better than the Jester. So is a additional boost necessary?

    And please justify with comparison for the 45 gold.

    Look at Orc Impaler or Harberdier, for example. Throw Chicken is pretty mediocre ability and once per battle.

    Alright, seems fair. I support 45 gold. (noted Ha28)

    Ha09 is better! Just need to fine tune it.

    I think 2 abilities for support is a bit much. All supports have only 1 active ability.

    Yes, Racial supports have only 1 active ability. But they have medium range attack, not short range.
    Human Priest is probably the closest to the Brew Brother. It’s true that it costs the same and has not 2ndary ability and has more or less the same stats (just +1 HP; and 60% spirit protection).
    Still I think the short range attack must be compensated. Maybe we should not make Ha09 too strong and maybe we should increase slightly the cost of Brew Brother. But I think it’s more relevant to give him a 2nd active ability, it will give him more things to do in combat before going to the frontline and being killed (especially in auto-combat I guess).
    So probably the best is:
    – boost one unit and give it lucky (so very lucky if it already had lucky) and a further +100 morale, +1 ranged and melee damage but -1 def (the unit is drunk) and -20% spirit resistance
    OR
    – boost one unit and give it Lucky and +200 Morale (possibly limited to Halfling only)

    Put nourishing meal on cooldown

    No! Only Theo should have healing on cooldown (by the way, I think Triumph made mistake when leaving Healing AND Nourishing Meal / Iron Heart on heroes, and healing on cooldown on heroes, at least AD heroes).
    And I prefer a solution with a new active ability rather than resetting the throw chicken (though the idea is nice).

    What if nourishing meal resets throw chicken ability?

    You could also give Inflict crippling wounds to Brew Brothers.

    Added as Ha09b.

    you could make Nourishing meal reset (fully or partially) the mp of the unit receiving the meal.

    Added as Ha09c. I don’t like it. It’s probably too strong and not in the Halfling thematic.

    Remove the range falloff on throw cleavers.

    What do you mean? Make it medium range?

    Maybe make nourishing meal cancel moral penalties too.

    Solace or even morale debufs like Curse?

    BBB and Jolly Joker, I see that you completely ignored my call to finalize some proposals. 😀 We could continue arguing for 10 pages with no result in the end. Our (at least my) aim is to get a balance mod. So I think it would be great if everyone could give his opinion on some key proposals and then we validate them or reject them, and then we move to the next questions.

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