Balancing specialisations

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Balancing specialisations

This topic contains 31 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  driveby 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #245225

    Hiliadan
    Member

    A poll was run on the Battlefield to ask the 5 specs people used the most in their matches:
    http://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=bf_poll&pollnumber=8

    The results distinguish 3 groups:
    Specs used by more than a 3rd of people:
    * Expander (45%)
    * Explorer (45%)
    * Grey Guard Adept (35%)
    * Grey Guard Master (35%)

    I believe Expander and Grey Guards are ok, especially for Grey Guard which may be stronger than other specs but that is justified by the difficulty to stay neutral.
    Explorer might be OP and might need nerf but I don’t think so. I believe the solution is rather to improve other specs.

    Weak specs used by 2 people or less:
    * Destruction Master (2 persons)
    * Earth Adept (2 persons)
    * Earth Master (1 person)
    * Air Master (1 person)
    * Water Master (1 person)
    * Partisan (0 person)
    * Wild Magic Master (0 person)
    * Shadowborn Master (0 person)

    – and the rest: Intermediary specs used by more than 3 people and up to 30% of people

    Zaskow proposed some changes for Air Master:

    I proposed some changes for Partisan, Earth Adept and Earth Master:

    Folk Hero is already good.

    Guerilla Tactics: may be interesting in live MP for dirty tactics against humans. In PBEM, you can only use it against Independents, and not with your hero, cavalry, etc. Maybe add a victory rush effect to it: if you retreat, you heal 8 HP. And / or make it available to all units, not just to irregular and infantry. And / or give a +100 morale bonus when you retreat with one unit which has Guerrila?

    Hide Out: reduce costs to 40 and upkeep to 10/turn.

    War Anthem: reduce cost to 20? If fails, reduce Morale by 200 for 1 turn?

    Partisan Army: currently it’s so crappy for a tier IV spell. Ok it can be nice sometimes but it’s very situational. Also, it comes waaay too late I think.
    Maybe make it T3 as well as War Anthem, and reduce its Research Cost.
    Make it give +4 movement points and divide upkeep by 2; or +1 ranged damage; or +1 melee damage. Or give also Artic, Plain and Barren concealment.

    For Earth: who actually needs that specialization? I usually play Goblin or Dwarf and Theo or Dread, and I don’t see the use of it. It has correct abilities but it does not really complement anything or reduce any weaknesses.

    Suggestions for Earth:

    Earth Node Mana Bonus: ok

    Stoning: ok

    Stone Skin: ok

    Domain of Earth: in theory it can be good. But in practice, races that play underground are Dwarves, Goblins, Tigrans and potentially Orcs. Dwarvees are already pretty happy UG. Goblin may be too if they’re near wetland, which are common enough. Orcs will be unhappy but I don’t think many people play them UG. For Tigrans I don’t know.
    I don’t find the buff of Domain of Earth so useful, except if you have a lot of cities, which never happen in my games (due to the settings). So for me, it’s one useless spell.
    Maybe decrease its research cost to 160, its upkeep to 15 and its casting cost to 40? Then you would need to do something similar for Domain of the Sun (fire adept) and similar spells if any.
    Or conversely, make it give +1 def to units in the domain and increase its cost. Or slow down enemy unit (-8 movement points?) in domain?

    Regenerate Walls: ok but not sure if it’s really good in PBEM. Not sure about that one but I don’t feel it’s a very useful spell for PBEM.

    Master Earth:

    Transform Mana Node: ok

    Slow: ok in theory but look more closely:
    – research cost: 350 vs 60 for Slayer’s Doubt and Stiffen Limbs
    – casting cost: 10 vs 8 for Slayer’s Doubt and 7 for Stiffen Limbs
    – effect: -50% movement points, no attack of retaliation or opportunity, vs -18 MP (usually more than 50%!) and -800 morale for Slayer’s Doubt and -12 MP, -2 def, -2 melee for Stiffen Limbs
    Its effect is more or less equal to the other 2 but it costs much much more in research and cost more to cast. Casting cost could be reduced to 9 or 8. Research cost should be reduced but then maybe it would not fit in Master?

    City Quake: casting cost may be too high?

    Summon Earth Elemental: ok

    Earthquake: ok

    Zaskow provided some feedback:

    Partisan – interesting spec, but hasn’t any use. Ai doesn’t know how to use its abilities properly, existing bonuses for live players are pretty low.

    Hiliadan wrote:

    Folk Hero is already good.

    Mediocre at best. Compare with other specs starting bonuses.

    Folk Hero – low starting bonus. Adding some small bonus – like +100 morale in towns (people are happy that Folk Hero leads them).

    Hiliadan wrote:

    Guerilla Tactics: may be interesting in live MP for dirty tactics against humans. In PBEM, you can only use it against Independents, and not with your hero, cavalry, etc. Maybe add a victory rush effect to it: if you retreat, you heal 8 HP. And / or make it available to all units, not just to irregular and infantry. And / or give a +100 morale bonus when you retreat with one unit which has Guerrila?

    Guerilla Tactics – strange ability works only with Irregular and Infantry. Make them workable with all types of units or at least supports, archers.
    Honestly, this up needs complete redone, because it’s pointless on auto.

    Hiliadan wrote:

    Hide Out: reduce costs to 40 and upkeep to 10/turn.

    Hide Out – the most useful spell in spec.
    However, I have ideas to make them workable on enemy cities or even make it top-tier spell which make all your units (or only some types) invisible in enemy domain only.

    Hiliadan wrote:

    War Anthem: reduce cost to 20? If fails, reduce Morale by 200 for 1 turn?

    War Anthem – spell is just overpriced. 15-20 CP OR/AND increasing strength (greatly) will fix it.

    Hiliadan wrote:

    Partisan Army: currently it’s so crappy for a tier IV spell. Ok it can be nice sometimes but it’s very situational. Also, it comes waaay too late I think.
    Maybe make it T3 as well as War Anthem, and reduce its Research Cost.
    Make it give +4 movement points and divide upkeep by 2; or +1 ranged damage; or +1 melee damage. Or give also Artic, Plain and Barren concealment.

    Partisan army – potentially good up. I’d like to give some movement abilities for units (forestry and mountaineering at least) or/and give Vision Range up which makes from any player’s unit decent scout.
    Or full redone. Some types of your units have decreased maintenance when not in your domain. Partisan is about autonomy and work on back of enemy lines, right?

    Hiliadan wrote:

    Domain of Earth: in theory it can be good. But in practice, races that play underground are Dwarves, Goblins, Tigrans and potentially Orcs. Dwarvees are already pretty happy UG. Goblin may be too if they’re near wetland, which are common enough. Orcs will be unhappy but I don’t think many people play them UG. For Tigrans I don’t know.
    I don’t find the buff of Domain of Earth so useful, except if you have a lot of cities, which never happen in my games (due to the settings). So for me, it’s one useless spell.
    Maybe decrease its research cost to 160, its upkeep to 15 and its casting cost to 40? Then you would need to do something similar for Domain of the Sun (fire adept) and similar spells if any.
    Or conversely, make it give +1 def to units in the domain and increase its cost. Or slow down enemy unit (-8 movement points?) in domain?

    I don’t know yet how exactly fix all these Domain of… spells – simply drop the price or add different effects.

    Hiliadan wrote:

    Regenerate Walls: ok but not sure if it’s really good in PBEM. Not sure about that one but I don’t feel it’s a very useful spell for PBEM.

    Same for live MP. I’ll drop the price for beginning.

    Hiliadan wrote:

    Slow: ok in theory but look more closely:
    – research cost: 350 vs 60 for Slayer’s Doubt and Stiffen Limbs
    – casting cost: 10 vs 8 for Slayer’s Doubt and 7 for Stiffen Limbs
    – effect: -50% movement points, no attack of retaliation or opportunity, vs -18 MP (usually more than 50%!) and -800 morale for Slayer’s Doubt and -12 MP, -2 def, -2 melee for Stiffen Limbs
    Its effect is more or less equal to the other 2 but it costs much much more in research and cost more to cast. Casting cost could be reduced to 9 or 8. Research cost should be reduced but then maybe it would not fit in Master?

    That’s why I moved this spell to Adept.

    Hiliadan wrote:

    City Quake: casting cost may be too high?

    All these attacking global spell haven’t a big use, because they’re too expensive, especially for summoner class.

    + Zaskow had proposed the following changes to spec:

    Specialization changes
    Expander
    – Rugged Pioneers gives Free movement to Laborers instead Mountaineering.
    Water
    – Your cities like water now with Water Adept.
    – Rot remake. Inflicts 20 physical dmg to machines and undead and has chance to Deteriorate (strength 10-12). Inflicts 15-20 poison dmg to living units and weakens for 5 turns.
    – Summon Baby Kraken was removed. Introduce new spell: Summon creature of Water. Summons Lost Mariner or Lesser Frost Elemental (with probability 70% and 30% accordingly) to target location.
    – Vengeful Frost inflicts Exposed on unit after use. Doesn’t work on Incorporeal.
    Creation
    – Introducing new Creation Master spell: Summon Spirit Elemental.
    Summons an Spirit Elemental to target location.
    – Introducing new Creation Master spell: Greater Bless.
    Blesses target units. The effect jumps a maximum of 4 times to other friendly units 3 or less Hexes away from the previous target.
    Fire
    – Fireball inflicts Immolation now.
    – Fire Halo gives Fire Aura, but only 60% fire protection now and cost 8 CP (was 7).
    – Introducing new Fire Master spell: Greater Fire Halo.
    Confers the halo of the Fire God on target units. They gain +2 fire melee damage and 100% fire protection. The effect jumps a maximum of 3 times to other friendly units 3 or less Hexes away from the previous target.
    Earth
    – Stoning can inflict Crippling Wounds now.
    – Slow moved to Earth Adept, research cost changed to 300 RP and became Tier 3 spell. Duration changed to 3 rounds (was to End of Combat).
    – Introducing new Earth Master spell: Greater Stone Skin.
    Protects a body from physical harm by sheilding it with an armor of stone. Target units gain +5 def, +3 res, and -16 movement points. The effect jumps a maximum of 3 times to other enemy units 3 or less Hexes away from the previous target.
    – Introducing new Fire Earth spell: Greater Slow.
    Target unit is Slowed for 1 combat round. The effect jumps a maximum of 3 times to other enemy units 3 or less Hexes away from the previous target.
    Destruction
    – Killer Instinct inflicts crits more likely now (+100%). Spell costs 7 CP (was 6).
    – Wreck moved to Adept research cost changed to 300 RP and became Tier 3 spell.
    – Introducing new Destruction Master spell: Summon Blight Elemental.
    Summons an Blight Elemental to target location.
    – Introducing new Destruction Master spell: Greater Killer Instinct.
    Target unit will do 50% more damage on critical hits inflicts crits more likely now (+100% probability) and gains Draconian, Dwarf, Frostling, Halfling, High Elf, Human, Goblin, Orc, and Tigran slayer. The effect jumps a maximum of 4 times to other friendly units 3 or less Hexes away from the previous target.
    Grey Guard
    – Effect from Cardinal Culling isn’t stackable now.
    – Flourishing Balance gives +50 dead population for Necromancer players (was 25).
    Keeper of Peace
    – Mediator gives constant +75 Empire Happiness.
    – Bearer of Light gives constant +75 Empire Happiness.

    I think we need to analyze each of the “weak” spec and propose improvements to make them attractive and competitive.

    #245229

    gabthegab
    Member

    Many thing here, you must make very careful if you change this you can easily brake the balance of the game, you must just make little change, many change here are very hard for necro and frostling for exemple.

    #245250

    Lykus
    Member

    – Your cities like water now with Water Adept.

    Sounds very powerful. Wouldn’t this be similar to the human bonus which was removed because it was to powerful? Maybe introduce a domain spell which does this and gives all units a small bonus (fast embark (for quik amphibious operations)/ Mariner or a simple movement bonus/ small boost to water structures)

    Domain of Earth: in theory it can be good. But in practice, races that play underground are Dwarves, Goblins, Tigrans and potentially Orcs. Dwarvees are already pretty happy UG. Goblin may be too if they’re near wetland, which are common enough. Orcs will be unhappy but I don’t think many people play them UG. For Tigrans I don’t know.
    I don’t find the buff of Domain of Earth so useful, except if you have a lot of cities, which never happen in my games (due to the settings). So for me, it’s one useless spell.
    Maybe decrease its research cost to 160, its upkeep to 15 and its casting cost to 40? Then you would need to do something similar for Domain of the Sun (fire adept) and similar spells if any.
    Or conversely, make it give +1 def to units in the domain and increase its cost. Or slow down enemy unit (-8 movement points?) in domain?

    I don’t know yet how exactly fix all these Domain of… spells – simply drop the price or add different effects.

    I think drop the price and add some more effects

    Earth: your ideas sounds good
    Fire: +1 fire damage
    Air: +1 range damage
    Creation: fast healing
    Destruction: no idea

    #245304

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I thought about Guerilla Tactics again and I think it’s a bad idea to make it give HP back or moral to units who retreat because you could then just start a fight and retreat immediately just to heal your units or get free morale. Even if you can do it only once per turn, it’s not fair. So rather, I’d just extend its current effect to all units.

    Pa01
    Guerilla Tactics apply to all units (was only Infantry and Irregular)

    Pa02
    Hide Out costs 40 CP to cast and has an upkeep of 15 mana/turn. Disjunction cost is 55 CP (was 60 CP and 20 mana/turn ; disjunction cost was 80 CP)

    Pa03
    War Anthem costs 20 CP to cast (was 30 CP). If it fails, the unit suffer -100 morale instead.

    Pa04
    Partisan Army is a T3 tech for 240 RP (was T4 and 400 RP). Partisan gives Volunteer.

    For the Domain spells, we have 2 options: reduce the cost OR improve the effect. I think it is mutually exclusive, giving both would be too strong.
    Currently, the Domain spells are T3, 180 RP, 60 CP, 20 mana upkeep and gives +200 morale to the units in domain and up to 381-416 happiness bonus to the city (if all the hexes in domain are liked). By comparison, Iron Grip gives +300 happiness to the city (no morale bonus), is T2, 140 RP, 40 CP and 20 mana upkeep.

    Ea01
    Domain of Earth costs 160 RP and 40 CP (was 180 RP, 60CP).
    Ea02
    Domain of Earth gives +1 defense to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.
    Ai01
    Domain of Winter costs 160 RP, 40 CP and 15 mana/turn (was 180 RP, 60CP, 20 mana/turn).
    Ai02
    Domain of Winter gives +1 ranged damage to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.
    Fi01
    Domain of the Sun costs 160 RP, 50 CP and 20 mana/turn (was 180 RP, 70CP, 30 mana/turn).
    Fi02
    Domain of the Sun gives +1 fire damage to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.
    Cr01
    Domain of Life costs 160 RP, 40 CP and 15 mana/turn (was 180 RP, 60CP, 20 mana/turn).
    Cr02
    Domain of Life gives Fast Healing (stackable) to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.
    De01
    Domain of Corruption costs 160 RP, 40 CP and 15 mana/turn (was 180 RP, 60CP, 20 mana/turn).
    De02
    Domain of Corruption gives +1 Blight damage to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.

    Continuing on Earth Adept and Master:
    Ea03
    Slow costs 9 CP and 300 RP (was 10 CP and 350 RP).
    Ea04
    City Quake costs 90 CP (was 100 CP).

    I’ll add them to the table and check the opinion of Zaskow (in his earlier posts) later.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #245530

    For Pa1, Pa2, Pa3. Against Pa4. Partisan is a decent ability, problem is that that there is 1 useless one (Guerilla Tactics) and the other two are situationa/expensive (War Anthem and Hideout).

    The problem with Earth Adept is that having extra physical damage is not appealing when you could have another damage type from another specialization. The utility of the sphere is also very low (stone skin, underground domain, and regenerate walls…). IMO more has to be done than just buffing the “Domain” spell to make it usable, especially if other specs are also receiving buffs.

    Earth Master is fine. It’s just not attractive when the adept is not good. City quake is strong (-300 happiness in 1 use and destroys upgrade) so against for Ea04.

    #245564

    Hiliadan
    Member

    – Weak specs used by 2 people or less:
    * Destruction Master (2 persons)
    * Earth Adept (2 persons)
    * Earth Master (1 person)

    * Air Master (1 person 2 persons)
    * Water Master (1 person)
    * Partisan (0 person 2 persons)
    * Wild Magic Master (0 person)
    * Shadowborn Master (0 person 1 person)

    I updated above with additional answers to the poll (you can see that they all stayed with 2 persons or less using them!) and stroke the ones I already dealt with above. Brainstorming for the remaining ones:

    Destruction Master
    Destruction Adept is very good in my opinion thanks to Hasty Plunder and Scorched Earth. So the Adept is good and the only issue may be with the Master.

    Blight Empire, like other elemental Master’s Empire spells, is very specific. Goblins and Undead do not dislike or hate Blight, so you basically can use this spell if you’re Necro or Goblin.
    In line with the changes I proposed for the “Domain of” spells, I propose the following change:
    De03
    Blight Empire costs 310 RP, 60 CP and 30 mana/turn (was 350 RP, 80CP, 40 mana/turn).

    Equivalent changes proposed for the other Empire spells:

    Wa03
    Artic Empire costs 310 RP, 60 CP and 30 mana/turn (was 350 RP, 80CP, 40 mana/turn).

    Cr03
    Temperate Empire costs 310 RP, 60 CP and 30 mana/turn (was 350 RP, 80CP, 40 mana/turn).

    Fi03
    Tropical Empire costs 310 RP, 60 CP and 30 mana/turn (was 350 RP, 80CP, 40 mana/turn).

    To continue on Destruction Master:
    Wreck is good, situational but good.
    Storm Magic is very strong, though costly.
    Disintigrate is also very strong.

    Destruction Master is a relatively late game spec but I think balance-wise it’s quite good and do not need much changes.

    Air Master
    Haste seems good to me.
    Wind Ward is probably too situational. Ideas to boost it?
    Air Elemental is very good.
    Issue with Air Master may be it has very high tier techs that are not sufficiently strong, even though they are good. Maybe remove entirely some techs and replace them with stronger things? (and move the removed spells to Secret Spells)

    Water Master
    Drench the Land is a bit shitty for a Master spell: it’s more or less a Terraforming improved… Useful for Goblins and if you want to slow down your opponent, that is to say, not very useful. Should probably be removed and replaced by something else?
    Healing Showers is good.
    Great Hail is also good.
    And Frost Elemental is ok.

    Elemental Mastery are ok but when I think: will I choose them? I mainly think “no” because I have better options which give quicker returns. With longer games, they may become better though, for instance for their Elementals.

    Wild Magic Master
    Wild Affinity: I find it pretty bad because Hearths are rare and can be razed but gab and DreadReapr finds it ok.
    Spontaneous Mutation: no opinion
    Warp Domain: very costly for such an effect in my opinion
    Unstable Transformation: ok
    Pandemonium: weak for an ultimate spell (tier VII), it’s only weakness so you still need units to do damages.
    Wild Magic Master is probably too random to be chosen for competition. It may be more interesting if the rewards were higher, to compensate the risks.

    Shadowborn Master
    Shadowborn Army is pretty good.
    Mab’s Boon seem good but actually I find quite bad because in the games I played I had very little migration possibilities. It may be much better on larger maps.
    Entwined by Shadows quite strong but requires Dedicated to Evil units so needs Embrace Darkness on the cities producing units.
    Rite of Malediction: never tried, not sure.
    Fallen Angel: good.
    I don’t find big weaknesses in this spec and I actually use it sometimes. Not sure why people don’t play it? Probably because in past tournament settings, games were too short and Master spec were useless.

    #245567

    Zaskow
    Member

    When I worked on my live MP balance mod I planned a lot of changes for elemental specs (air, fire, water, earth, creation, destruction). Very radical, TBH.
    Some of them:
    – possibility to summon lesser elementals for every spec adept;
    – possibility to summon normal elementals for every spec master;
    – implement additional effects for all nuke spells;
    – some powerful spells (examples – wreck, haste, slow etc) move from master to adept, instead master gains advanced variants of these spells (advanced means working on more than one targets);
    – buffs here and there if needed;
    – complete rework of Domain of… and Empire types of spells, making them powerful and useful in every scenario, but not only if you have good terrain.
    These changes would make them similar, more unified and as result simpler for balancing.

    #247614

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Hide Out – the most useful spell in spec.
    However, I have ideas to make them workable on enemy cities or even make it top-tier spell which make all your units (or only some types) invisible in enemy domain only.

    @zaskow: this idea is interesting. Do you have more details? CP? Upkeep? Tier?
    If the proposals I added in the summary table are accepted, Partisan’s highest tier tech would be tier 3… So an additional high-tier spell would be interesting.

    – possibility to summon lesser elementals for every spec adept;

    Seems a bad idea to me because they can Evolve and evolving is too strong in PBEM, so it would make these spec too strong and make a problem we have (strength of evolve strategies) even worse.

    I liked the idea of Lykus to give units Fast Embark in the player’s domain. What about making Empire of … techs better by giving abilities such as that?
    So:
    Wa02:
    Artic Empire gives Fast Embark and Mariner to units in your domain.

    Fi04
    Tropical Empire gives Inflict Immolation to units in your domain.

    Any ideas for Blight Empire and Temperate Empire?

    My ideas are not clear enough for Air Master, Water Master, Wild Magic and Shadowborn Master, so it would be really great if more people could share their ideas on them.

    #247617

    Zaskow
    Member

    @Zaskow: this idea is interesting. Do you have more details? CP? Upkeep? Tier?
    If the proposals I added in the summary table are accepted, Partisan’s highest tier tech would be tier 3… So an additional high-tier spell would be interesting.

    I propose only concept. Didn’t think much about it.

    Seems a bad idea to me because they can Evolve and evolving is too strong in PBEM, so it would make these spec too strong and make a problem we have (strength of evolve strategies) even worse.

    T2 Elementals without Evolve will solve this problem.

    I liked the idea of Lykus to give units Fast Embark in the player’s domain. What about making Empire of … techs better by giving abilities such as that?
    So:
    Wa02:
    Artic Empire gives Fast Embark and Mariner to units in your domain.

    Too weak, imao. In my opinion most players prefers to move on surface, because it’s faster way (roads).

    Any ideas for Blight Empire and Temperate Empire?

    Additional effects: for Blight empires enemies get Cursed status effect when in your domain, for Temperate – Blessed for your units (spell would need renaming probably). Honestly, I find these ideas a bit boring, but for beginning it’s normal I suppose.

    #247689

    It may be OP but for air master, a spell that allows you to cast battlefield wide haste, i.e. affecting all your units. Make it expensive and it could be the kind of thing you save for a major major battle.

    Earth master gets the complementary “mud” spell to the above, covering the entire battlefield in mud, reducing mp by 8 for all ground units.

    Wild magic – polymorph. Transform an enemy unit into something of a lower tier, random. Might even transform them into a sheep (if someone is willing to make a sheep model etc)!

    #247691

    Hiliadan
    Member

    It may be OP but for air master, a spell that allows you to cast battlefield wide haste, i.e. affecting all your units. Make it expensive and it could be the kind of thing you save for a major major battle.

    Actually Zaskow proposed a Greater Haste spell jumping to up to 3 units at 2 hexes (like Chain Lightning) if I remember correctly. I think it’s a bit too strong and I’m not very convinced by the “Greater XX” idea. But that may work if the research cost and casting cost is right.
    So we could start from the proposal of Zaskow and build from it… Zaskow, what was the RP and CP cost? I removed your mod so I cannot check directly.

    The mud spell would be nice and would actually be quite different from a Greater slow. I think we should keep the number of techs unchanged though, so what should it replace?

    The Polymorph idea is also nice, however, as for several other Wild Magic spells, the AI may use it quite badly in auto… And should it check resistance? Otherwise, you just transform crazy T3 or T4 into sheep (or better units but still)!
    And making it so random may not make it much more competitive, though it’s fun.

    #247693

    The mud spell would be nice and would actually be quite different from a Greater slow. I think we should keep the number of techs unchanged though, so what should it replace?

    No idea. I was just brainstorming. No details whatsoever!

    Anyway, your fundamental problem is that a useful adept is better than a useful mastery, because you’ll probably use it better.

    You’d need to come up with some pretty awesome mastery stuff to make them truly worthwhile, like you said:

    when I think: will I choose them? I mainly think “no” because I have better options which give quicker returns. With longer games, they may become better though, for instance for their Elementals.

    For Mastery, how about strategic versions of adept spells.

    For example, air adept = haste, combat spell, single unit.

    air mastery = haste, strategic spell, stack (basically death march but with tweaked values…lower defence if considered OP)

    Water = great hail, combat spell (good as is) and also strategic spell, similar to the Druid’s sun spell (name?) but over a wider area. If it knocks even 5 hp of every unit in a 5 hex area, that could make the difference if you cast it before a big fight.

    Earth = rejig the existing spell that affects production/destroys a building? in order to make it attack units on the city…

    #247694

    The Polymorph idea is also nice, however, as for several other Wild Magic spells, the AI may use it quite badly in auto… And should it check resistance? Otherwise, you just transform crazy T3 or T4 into sheep (or better units but still)!

    Well my thinking was to re-tool the existing wild magic spell that let’s you transform a unit of yours into another random unit of the same tier or higher.

    Basically, reverse that for targetted enemies.

    Keeping it random fits with the “wild magic” theme.

    Ofcourse, I think the affected unit should die at the end of combat, so if you really want to make it more of a gamble/risk, you could change nothing but the targeter, so the enemy unit actually gets buffed but is guaranteed to die at the end of combat…iirc resurgence doesn’t work on transformed units.

    #247697

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Maybe Polymorph could transform the unit into a lower tier and then kill it in 3 turns. That way, you’re sure that it will be useful and you may get a nice surprise during the transformation. I think it should definitely get a spell check though, otherwise it would be quite OP to transform a Manticore into a T1 Civic Guard. 😀

    Good ideas for having strategic spells for the mastery similar to the adept combat spells. I’ll try to come up with something more detailed this week end.
    I like your ideas for Air, Water and Earth.

    #247701

    Zaskow
    Member

    It may be OP but for air master, a spell that allows you to cast battlefield wide haste, i.e. affecting all your units. Make it expensive and it could be the kind of thing you save for a major major battle.

    No battlefield-wide haste, sorry. It’s ridiculous OP in live MP and PBEM both. Maybe, making it 1 round only could work, but it would be more effective as most expensive mass nuke spell (Earthquake, Hellfire etc).

    Earth master gets the complementary “mud” spell to the above, covering the entire battlefield in mud, reducing mp by 8 for all ground units.

    Spell would be the same with AD Twisted Roots.

    Wild magic – polymorph. Transform an enemy unit into something of a lower tier, random. Might even transform them into a sheep (if someone is willing to make a sheep model etc)!

    Personally, I don’t think that Wild Magic is weak, it must be buffed a little, new spells are not necessary.
    However, idea is interesting, maybe it will be better to enhance Unstable Transformation for this.

    I think it’s a bit too strong and I’m not very convinced by the “Greater XX” idea

    Propose better. 🙂

    Zaskow, what was the RP and CP cost? I removed your mod so I cannot check directly.

    Pretty same costs as combat chain spells.

    If it knocks even 5 hp of every unit in a 5 hex area, that could make the difference if you cast it before a big fight.

    Most players tries to save CP before big fights. This spell would be expensive with little output (-5 HP, seriously???).

    My opinion about Wild Magic at all:

    Wild Magic Mana Bonus
    – Heart structures provide +10 Mana
    – This Empire Upgrade always starts out researched

    Pretty mediocre bonus. Hearts are too rare, can be destroyed and only mana as bonus?

    Warp Equipment
    – Warps the integrity of equipment at target location. Equipped units and Machine Machine units within a 2 hex radius suffer a random debuff to the unit’s attack, defense or both until end of combat.

    For 20 CP its debuffs are too weak, imao.

    Swap Locations
    – Target unit trades places with a random unit of the same tier owned by another player on the other side of the battle.

    Very interesting and cheap spell, when it could target heroes it was pretty OP. Could be left as is.

    Summon Lesser Elemental
    – Summons a random lesser elemental to target location.

    Honestly, this spell was nerfed too much. Not price, but tier. In my last games I tried spell reset 3-4 times, but never met this spell in the beginning (when it’s most useful). Later it becomes obsolete (especially for live MP games).

    Degenerate
    – Infects the target with a magical disease that weakens the creature at a fundamental level. The unit gains 60% weakness to all damage types, Physical, Fire, Frost, Shock, Blight, and Spirit for 3 Turns.

    Normal spell, I suppose.

    Wild Affinity
    – Heart structures provide an additional +10 Casting points.
    – This Empire Upgrade always starts out researched

    This tech is main reason, why players choose WM master (hello, Abednego!).

    Spontaneous Mutation
    – Gives 2, mostly positive, mutations to every friendly unit until the end of combat. All mutations can be removed with Cure Disease.

    Personally, I don’t find this spell very effective and useful for its price and CP.
    Completely useless for Necro and Dread.

    Warp Domain
    – All roads and bridges in target city’s domain are removed, and all terrain is changed to Blighted, Tropical, Volcanic, or Arctic terrain.

    Completely useless spell, imao, never used it.

    Unstable Transformation
    – Target unit is saturated with powerful magic and transforms into a new random unit of equal or great power. The new unit is inherently unstable and will die at the end of combat.

    This spell is too random (as whole spec, lol) for its price. Could be useful at some circumstances, however. 1100 RP and 25 CP – sorry, no.

    Pandemonium
    All units get displaced, up to 4 hexes away from their original position. All hostile units get 100% weakness to a single random damage type. Incurs a happiness penalty if cast during a city battle.

    Useless random crap in most cases, considering that your units were moved too. About hostile weaknesses I don’t find this very good, coz only 1 weakness is too low.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  Zaskow.
    #247748

    xlnt
    Member

    Hi all,

    i’ll list the 3 ideas that jumped to me as too much:

    – Your cities like water now with Water Adept.
    – Fireball inflicts Immolation now.
    – Mediator gives constant +75 Empire Happiness.

    – Water giving happiness seems strong – might be ok, but this needs testing and consideration
    – Fireball has good synergy with skin of oil and is a strong dmg. spell. Why boost it?
    – Mediator is good, cheap and i see no point in making it stronger

    i like most of the other ideas and the rest i’m not against

    sorry for the poor output – i’ll try to be more active when i have the time
    cheers and thanks for the good work you do (;

    #247749

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Good xlnt because none of these are in the list of proposed changes! 😛 (I mean the ones I put in the summary table: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1flsHncpzAmJa_2xMHZ6Tlp-mf69ej2mYrSGNc4V3_QA/edit#heading=h.3zsuz8tz7bt8)

    #247964

    IMO earth adept is the weakest specialization. When looked at individually, the skills are either situational (domain of earth, regenerate wall) or average in strength (stoning, stone skin). Combined, the skills do not synergize nor cover any weaknesses. My suggestion is to buff stone skin to the point where it becomes a good reason to pick the spec.

    Current stone skin stats: +5 defense, +3 resistance, and -16 movement until the end of combat. Costs 8 mana/cp and can only be cast on friendly units.

    Suggested new stats: +6 defense, +4 resistance, and -16 movement for 3 rounds. Costs 8 mana/cp and can be cast on any unit.

    The key change is that it can be cast on any unit, meaning it can act as a tool to slow enemy units (makes clearing sites easier).

    #248438

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Hellbrick proposed a very good idea I think: “allow Transform node to target all nodes instead of only “blank” ones. Not sure if it’s technically possible, but if it is, I’d say the mana/research boost unlocked by this would be a serious incentive to pick a master specialisation.”

    #248439

    Zaskow
    Member

    Not sure if it’s technically possible

    Should be possible.

    #248441

    Gloweye
    Member

    It’s possible – there’s even a mod that does it already.

    It’s an alternate solution to the mod I made, which provides a spell to convert any mana node to the basic type.

    #248638

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I just realized that I confused Air and Water. Artic Empire is an Air tech, not a water tech, so the water related stuff are out of place. I proposed changes but if anyone come up with something else, that’ll be great.

    We lack proposals to boost Water (Adept and Master), we’ll need stuff.

    For Water Master, I added the proposal from BBB and improved it. I was thinking Drench the Land could also be replaced with a strategic spell which really use water and for instance gives Swimming to all your units and Incorporeal to all your units on Water. That could be a high-level spell. It could also give Fast Embark and Mariner if we go for a lesser version. What do you think?

    For Wild Magic, Zaskow, you wrote that Warp Equipment’s debuffs were too weak for 20 CP. So let’s reduce its cost to 15 CP?
    Spontaneous Mutation: decrease of CP too?
    Warp Domain: decrease of CP?
    Pandemonium: increase of CP but gives 2 100% weaknesses?

    We also need more ideas for Shadowborn Master.

    Current stone skin stats: +5 defense, +3 resistance, and -16 movement until the end of combat. Costs 8 mana/cp and can only be cast on friendly units.

    Suggested new stats: +6 defense, +4 resistance, and -16 movement for 3 rounds. Costs 8 mana/cp and can be cast on any unit.

    I’m not convinced the AI would use that wisely so I’d rather not extend the target to enemy units.

    New proposals:
    GC34
    Transform Mana Node can target any Mana Node (was can target only basic – i.e. non elemental – Mana Node)

    Pa02a
    Hide Out gives Invisibility to all your units in enemy’s domain (was All friendly units in enchanted city’s domain are invisible). It costs 700 RP, tier V, 150 CP, has an upkeep of 40 mana/turn and its disjunction cost is 170 CP (was 60 CP and 20 mana/turn, 120 RP, tier II; disjunction cost was 80 CP).

    Ai05
    Artic Empire gives Inflict Chilling and Inflict Frostbite to units in your domain.

    Ai06
    Air Mastery gets Wind Path instead of Wind Ward. Wind Path is a Strategic Spell which gives target stack +36 MP on the strategic map for one strategic turn. It costs 700 RP, tier V and 60 CP. Wind Path causes units getting extra movement to become Exhausted for 3 turns (including the turn when it is cast). Wind Path causes units getting extra movement to become Tired until the end of the (strategic) turn.
    Exhausted units cannot receive extra movement from Wind Path or Death March any more. Tired units get -50% movement in tactical combat.

    Ai07
    Air Master gets Dark Storm instead of Wind Ward. Dark Storm is a strategic spell which gives -2 vision range to all enemy units. It costs 2500 RP and 600 CP, is tier VII, its disjunction cost is 500 CP.

    Ai07a
    Air Master gets Heavy Winds instead of Wind Ward. Heavy Winds is a strategic spell which gives -2 vision range to all Flying enemy units and prevent them from Flying in tactical combat. It costs 800 RP and 150 CP, is tier V, its disjunction cost is 170 CP.

    Wa01
    Water Master gets Hail Storm instead of Drench the Land. Hail Storm is a strategic spell and causes 5 physical damage and 5 frost damage to all units and gives Weaken for 1 strategic turn to all Machines or Undead up to 2 hexes away from its center. It costs 350 RP, is tier IV, costs 90 CP.

    Cr02a
    Domain of Life gives Fast Healing (stackable) and +20% Spirit protection to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.

    Cr02b
    Domain of Life gives +5 HP to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.

    Cr04
    Temperate Empire gives +1 defense and +1 resistance to allied units in your domain.

    De04
    Blight Empire gives Inflict Curse to allied units in your domain.

    Wi01
    Unstable Transformation transforms target enemy unit into a unit of equal or lower tier and that unit dies after 3 rounds (was Target unit is saturated with powerful magic and transforms into a new random unit of equal or great power. The new unit is inherently unstable and will die at the end of combat).

    Sh01
    Mab’s Boon is tier II, cost 150 RP and gives Your newly migrated cities get +10 Production, +10 Gold and +50 Population (Undead Population for Necromancers) income for 5 Turns.

    #248639

    Gloweye
    Member

    We lack proposals to boost Water (Adept and Master), we’ll need stuff.

    For Water Master, I added the proposal from BBB and improved it. I was thinking Drench the Land could also be replaced with a strategic spell which really use water and for instance gives Swimming to all your units and Incorporeal to all your units on Water. That could be a high-level spell. It could also give Fast Embark and Mariner if we go for a lesser version. What do you think?

    How about a Water Domain spell, giving like water and mariner in domain, and a Master empire upgrade changing it in order to give fast embark to produced units ? To have fast embark available globally is an incredible mobility boost on water matches.

    We also need more ideas for Shadowborn Master.

    You’d think there’s was plenty potential to go around with Fallen Angel, Rite of Malediction, and Entwined with Shadows. Then again, the later two probably take a bit to long to set up in a match. Perhaps add a way to add the Embraced by Shadows prop post-construction ? Like, say, an empire upgrade that gives your leader the “Prophet of Darkness” trait, which then gives Embraced by Shadows on all units in his stack every turn ?

    Cr04
    Temperate Empire gives +1 defense and +1 resistance to allied units in your domain.

    De04
    Blight Empire gives Inflict Curse to allied units in your domain.

    Am I the only one that thinks both of these to be incredibly powerful ? I mean….why nerf conversion when you can just have a free mass curse in defensive combat that you can’t disjunct in combat(and is one of the more expensive ones on the strategic map) ?

    I like the Fast Healing one for creation tho (Cr02a). It feels really fitting if you ask me.

    #248653

    Zaskow
    Member

    It could also give Fast Embark and Mariner if we go for a lesser version. What do you think?

    My thoughts depend from how often PBEM-guys go in water. Because in live MP most players rarely uses embarking – this is too slow and risky. Mariner is also useless ability in game.

    For Wild Magic, Zaskow, you wrote that Warp Equipment’s debuffs were too weak for 20 CP. So let’s reduce its cost to 15 CP?
    Spontaneous Mutation: decrease of CP too?

    Not price cut. More meaningful debuffs, probably.

    Warp Domain: decrease of CP?

    I can’t see how price cut can make this spell more attractive to use. It’s just too useless.

    Pandemonium: increase of CP but gives 2 100% weaknesses?

    2-3 weaknesses without changing the price. Maybe 60-80%, not 100.

    Air Mastery gets Wind Path instead of Wind Ward.

    Why just doesn’t make Wind Ward working only on enemies?

    Air Master gets Dark Storm instead of Wind Ward. Dark Storm is a strategic spell which gives -2 vision range to all enemy units. It costs 2500 RP and 600 CP, is tier VII, its disjunction cost is 500 CP.

    You have excess ‘0’ in CP price of spell. For 600 CP nobody will use it.

    Air Master gets Heavy Winds instead of Wind Ward. Heavy Winds is a strategic spell which gives -2 vision range to all Flying enemy units and prevent them from Flying in tactical combat. It costs 800 RP and 150 CP, is tier V, its disjunction cost is 170 CP.

    Massed flying armies aren’t very common. Double Gravity is rarely seen in combats.

    Water Master gets Hail Storm instead of Drench the Land. Hail Storm is a strategic spell and causes 5 physical damage and 5 frost damage to all units and gives Weaken for 1 strategic turn to all Machines or Undead up to 2 hexes away from its center. It costs 350 RP, is tier IV, costs 90 CP.

    Moar damage and debuffs.

    Domain of Life gives Fast Healing (stackable) and +20% Spirit protection to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.

    If Domain of Life would give Regeneration to your units (or Fast Healing*2-3 at least) I’ll think about use of these spell… 20% spirit protection? For what?

    Domain of Life gives +5 HP to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.

    +10-15 HP is more reasonable.

    Cr04
    Temperate Empire gives +1 defense and +1 resistance to allied units in your domain.

    De04
    Blight Empire gives Inflict Curse to allied units in your domain.

    Blight Empire sounds more attractive.

    Unstable Transformation transforms target enemy unit into a unit of equal or lower tier and that unit dies after 3 rounds (was Target unit is saturated with powerful magic and transforms into a new random unit of equal or great power. The new unit is inherently unstable and will die at the end of combat).

    This kind of spell is OP without strength checks.

    #248654

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Yeah, I forgot the strength check for Unstable Transformation. I should add that 12 Spirit strength?

    Water Domain spell, giving like water and mariner in domain, and a Master empire upgrade changing it in order to give fast embark to produced units

    Would the Water Domain give Like Water to cities too? If yes, that’s potentially strong. Otherwise, it’s very bad.
    For the Empire upgrade, why not but in itself, that would be a pretty bad tech.
    What would you replace to add these?

    Perhaps add a way to add the Embraced by Shadows prop post-construction ? Like, say, an empire upgrade that gives your leader the “Prophet of Darkness” trait, which then gives Embraced by Shadows on all units in his stack every turn ?

    That may be a way to go but I think the idea of requiring units to be produced at the city with the enchantment is good and should not be tinkered with.

    I agree with you that the things I proposed for Temperate Empire and Blight Empire are probably too strong. I also thought that when I proposed the changes… Temperate Empire might be ok but the Inflict Curse is quite good. I’d like more feedback on that.

    @zaskow:
    Players in live MP may not travel through water much because 1/ you use Land settings (we use Continent), 2/ it’s too difficult to travel through water. Well, the changes brought by techs giving Fast Embark and Mariner to units would solve 2/. So you take the problem in the wrong way: it’s not “is water travel common now and if yes, we should add spells that facilitate water travel?”, it’s “would there be new strategic options opened if water travel was facilitated?”, and the answer to that second question is yes.

    Warp Equipment is tier I and costs 20 CP and 80 RP, you cannot have it gives too big debuffs, it’s a tier I! That’s why I think a prize decrease to 15 CP would be more appropriate.

    Pandemonium costs 30 CP to cast. You cannot have a spell give 2 x 100% channel weakness to ALL hostile units on the battlefield and cost 30 CP. Imagine a fight with 18 enemy units, with many 3-channels units on your side (say Apprentice, or Orc’s Priests). It’s too cheap to open such an easy way to do massive damage to enemy units.

    Wind Ward only for enemy is a possibility but for me that doesn’t make it less situational and it doesn’t make Air Master more useful.
    Dark Storm would give -2 vision range to ALL enemy units on ALL the map, that’s very very strong. You want such a spell to cost 60 CP to cast an stay forever until it’s disjuncted? For me, it’s quite similar to an ultimate spell and that’s why it has such a high cost. But yeah maybe it should be tier VI and costs half less.

    Heavy Wind does not need massed flying armies to be effective. Most scouts are Flyers (who never used a flying racial T3 to scout?) because they have +2 vision range, if they lose that +2, you make your enemy blind. So that alone makes the spell useful. Then enemy stacks with just 1-2 flyers are also disadvantaged because their precious flyer cannot go behind your line and flank you any more.

    Ok so Zaskow, I put you like this, please correct if I’m wrong:
    Pa02a – ? for?
    Ai07 – for (but 60 CP)
    Wa01 – against (more damage and more debuffs)
    Cr02a – against (2x or 3x Fast Healing, no +20%)
    Cr02b – for (but +10/+15)
    De04 – for

    #248656

    Gloweye
    Member

    Would the Water Domain give Like Water to cities too? If yes, that’s potentially strong.

    Would be my guess.

    It does mean doubling down on the water adventages tho. So it’s strength is going to scale even stronger with water maps.

    For the Empire upgrade, why not but in itself, that would be a pretty bad tech.
    What would you replace to add these?

    I though about just adding it in there, bonus tech. That’s why a weak one would be sufficient. I’d encourage you even more to seek water supremacy, and the potential mobility advantage of fast embark is huge on water-rich maps – far easier to retreat/give chase, keep your scouts alive, or hunt enemy scouts.

    #248658

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Ok then it could for instance replace Freeze Water, which I don’t think I ever saw used. 😀

    #248660

    Zaskow
    Member

    Warp Equipment is tier I and costs 20 CP and 80 RP, you cannot have it gives too big debuffs, it’s a tier I! That’s why I think a prize decrease to 15 CP would be more appropriate.

    Tier 1 spell can and should be powerful and effective even at end of game.

    Pandemonium costs 30 CP to cast. You cannot have a spell give 2 x 100% channel weakness to ALL hostile units on the battlefield and cost 30 CP. Imagine a fight with 18 enemy units, with many 3-channels units on your side (say Apprentice, or Orc’s Priests). It’s too cheap to open such an easy way to do massive damage to enemy units.

    You definitely should compare Pandemonium with similar class global spell for 30 CP.
    Dark Gift, Raise Dead, Bloodbath, Mass Stasis, Holy War, Sadism, Smoke Screen etc. All these spells are much more powerful than current Pandemonium and I’m not sure that my buffs make it OP.

    Wind Ward only for enemy is a possibility but for me that doesn’t make it less situational and it doesn’t make Air Master more useful.

    This is because you, PBEM-guys, can’t play against live player in battle. Even current Wind Ward is good at sieges.

    #248673

    Gc34 is a nice boost to master specs, +1. If possible, make it not able to target any “anti-” mana nodes (e.g. creation cannot convert destruction nodes).

    #248814

    Hiliadan
    Member

    New idea by mauvebutterfly to replace Hide Out: give Invisibility to 1 stack for 1 turn. Opinions?

    I’ll compile the new ideas by Zaskow and Gloweye later. If you have more, I’d like to hear them!

    EDIT: new idea by mauve for Air Master: give Flying to 1 stack for 1 turn. I love it!
    I also need to edit Wi01
    Unstable Transformation transforms target enemy unit into a unit of equal or lower tier and that unit dies after 3 rounds (was Target unit is saturated with powerful magic and transforms into a new random unit of equal or great power. The new unit is inherently unstable and will die at the end of combat).

    to include a strength check.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by  Hiliadan.
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