Balancing the costs of hero upgrades

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balancing the costs of hero upgrades

This topic contains 58 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Jean_de_Metz 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #250695

    Hiliadan
    Member

    What are the hero upgrades you always take and those you never take because you think they are too expensive or useless?

    I’m listing all the upgrades based on the balance mod’s costs and my opinion after the “-“:

    Theo:
    Aura of Resistance Leadership 4 – always take it
    Divine Channeling(I) Passive 5 – often (to get more CP for Slayer’s Doubt)
    Bestow Iron Heart Active 4 – always
    Divine Protection Spell 5 – never
    Cure Disease Active 2 – rarely
    Undead Slayer Passive 2 – rarely
    Healing Aura Leadership 3 – often if Theo hero at the beginning of the game, otherwise never
    Instant Wrath Spell 5 – often if I go for support Theo (vs leadership Theo)
    Slayer’s Doubt Spell 5 – always
    Smite Spell 5 – start spell?
    Chaplain Leadership 3 – always
    Divine Channeling(II) Passive 5 – rarely
    Sacred Arms Leadership 4 – always
    Touch of Faith Active 2 – always
    Turn Undead Active 2 – rarely
    Strong Will Passive 4 – often
    Mighty Meek Spell 5 – never
    Break Control Active 2 – always
    Divine Channeling(III) Passive 7 – never
    Monster Slayer Passive 2 – never
    Purifying Burst Spell 5 – never
    Healing Active 4 – always
    Convert Active 7 – always
    Absorb Pain Active 3 – never
    Blessing of Health Spell 5 – rarely
    Divine Channeling(IV) Passive 7 – never
    Holy Champions Leadership 5 – often
    Rebirth Spell 5 – never
    Divine Channeling(V) Passive 7 – never
    Power of the Word Spell 5 – rarely
    Vow of Poverty Leadership 6 – sometimes
    Divine Channeling(VI) Passive 9 – never
    Divine Justicars Leadership 10 – always
    Holy War Spell 5 – never
    Divine Channeling(VII) Passive 9 – never

    Arch Druid
    Natural Immunity Leadership 4 – often
    Spirit of the Land Leadership 4 – often
    Druidry(I) Passive 5 – often
    Free Movement Passive 2 – often
    Nature’s Resistance Leadership 3 – always
    Revive Instinct Spell 5 – never
    Root Spears Spell 5 – start spell?
    Rust Strike Spell 5 – never
    Savage Rage Spell 5 – never
    20%Shock Protection Passive 1 – rarely
    Warm at Night Leadership 4 – often
    20%Blight Protection Passive 1 – rarely
    Awaken Spirit Active 2 – often
    Night Vision Passive 1 – very rarely
    Druidry(II) Passive 5 – rarely
    Nourishing Meal Active 4 – always
    Befriend Animal Active 4 – always
    Inflict Bleeding Wounds Passive 3 – never
    Natural Healer Leadership 4 – sometimes
    True Sight Passive 3 – often
    Vision Range Upgrade Passive 1 – often
    Call Ancestral Spirits Spell 5 – sometimes
    Druidry(III) Passive 7 – rarely
    Hornet Swarm Spell 5 – rarely
    20%Spirit Protection Passive 1 – rarely
    Swimming Passive 3 – often
    Twisting Roots Spell 5 – never
    Druidry(IV) Passive 7 – rarely
    Entangling Touch Active 3 – always
    Revitalize Spell 5 – never
    Vengeful Vines Spell 5 – never
    Druidry(V) Passive 7 – never
    Sustainable Warfare Leadership 8 – rarely
    Call Beast Horde Spell 5 – rarely
    Call Lightning Active 7 – always
    Druidry(VI) Passive 9 – never
    One with the Trees Leadership 6 – rarely
    Regrowth Passive 10 – always
    Druidry(VII) Passive 9 – never

    I’ll do the other classes later as it takes some time to fill…

    #250707

    I think the spells should be rebalanced the cost, all spell costing 5 Hero points are weird, because some spells are pretty good (like for ex in druid Call Ancestral Spirits) and others are situational at best (Vengeful Vines), is there a way to give diferent cost for each spell?

    Just out of the druid list for example:
    Revive Instinct Spell 5 – never (2)
    Root Spears Spell 5 – start spell?
    Rust Strike Spell 5 – never (2)
    Savage Rage Spell 5 – never (2)
    Call Ancestral Spirits Spell 5 – sometimes (5)
    Hornet Swarm Spell 5 – rarely (4)
    Twisting Roots Spell 5 – never (3)
    Revitalize Spell 5 – never (3)
    Vengeful Vines Spell 5 – never (3)
    Call Beast Horde Spell 5 – rarely (5)

    My list it is pretty similar to yours. But I would not mind to grabing some spells if they did not have such high cost.

    The numbers inside the () is my suggestion of cost, but I did not put tooo much thought to it, so probably you could have better numbers. Also all classes could have this cost changed. Like Sorcerer is a class that I usually make my heroes into Spellcasters, because they have amazing late game spells, so maybe even a increase in cost there could be possible.

    #250708

    Ok, since I love you guys mod, and I love this game I will go ahead and post my suggestions of cost for all spell as hero upgrades for all classes, so we could start discussing from there:

    Druid:
    Revive Instinct 2
    Root Spears 3
    Rust Strike 2
    Savage Rage 2
    Hornet Swarm 4
    Call Ancestral Spirits 5
    Twisting Roots 3
    Revitalize 3
    Vengeful Vines 3
    Call Beast Horde 5

    Sorcerer:
    Star Blades 2
    Magic Fist 3
    Sphere of Protection 3
    Harmonizing Energy 3
    Arcane Binding 3
    Chain Lightning 5
    Cosmic Spray 4
    Static Sphere 3
    Mass Stasis 5
    Double Gravity 3
    Static Eletricity 5
    Chaos Rift 7

    Theocrat:
    Slayer’s Doubt 4
    Smite 3
    Divine Protection 2
    Instant Wrath 3
    Might Meek 2
    Purifying Burst 3
    Rebirth 3
    Blessing of Health 5
    Power of the Word 4
    Holy War 4

    Dreadnought:
    Flash Bang 3
    Repair Fortification 2
    Overload 2
    Force Field 3
    Reassemble 3
    Weapon Kit 2
    Summon Siege Machine 5
    Choking Fumes 4
    Dampering Field 4
    Destabilized Mana Core 5

    Rogue:
    Quick Dash 4
    Rain of Poison Blades 3
    Blind 3
    Panic Attack 3
    Cunning Scape 3
    Moving Target 2
    Sadism 5
    Shadow Form 4
    Smoke Screen 5
    Mass Battlefield Panic 5

    Warlord:
    Last Stand 2
    Lion’s Courage 2
    Shout of Intimidation 3
    Berserk 4
    Phoenix Warrior 3
    Steadfast Ward 3
    Killing Spree 3
    Bloodbath 5
    Relentless Army 5

    Necromancer:
    Death Ray 3
    Stiffen Limbs 4
    Desecration 3
    Corpus Furia 3
    Dark Gift 5
    Syphon Life 3
    Raise Dead 5
    Mark of Death 2
    Scourge Undead 5
    Undying Army 4

    As I said before most of these numbers I did not put a ton of thoght and are mostly what I think it is more usefull/worth in my mind, and for single player perspective.

    #250709

    Zaskow
    Member

    Good list, thanks! I think we could use it as basis.

    #250721

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I have to say that I yet again disagree with the general way to balance this. With your leader out of the equation, you have to keep in mind that it makes a difference, depending on the actual class you play, how good or needed a spell is. It also makes a difference what opponents you are playing against, and lastly it’s important how much a spell costs.

    For example, Hornet Swarm is completely useless against Necromancer, undead in general and Dreadnought, plus, it costs 25 Mana to cast, so before you can pick it at all you need to invest into Druidry. On the other hand it’s quite obvious that there are a couple of situations where the spell is a winner.

    Contrary to that, Savage Rage looks as if you wouldn’t have much use for it – but if you play Soceror, you’ll have a lot of monsters and the spell costs only 7 mana, so your AD can Enrage 2 monsters without having to spend any points for Druidry. The same is true for Necro with Bone Collector and Reaper which are both monsters as well. I mean, you get Charge, First Strike, Overwheln, AP, and +5 Physical plus wall crushing as a bonus.
    Of course, with other Classes the spell’s not cool.

    Which means, spells DEPEND a lot.

    Additionally, you have to pick them with care, no matter what they cost, because there is always the mana need, and there are turns in which you have more than one battle.

    Which means, the bottom line is this: If you DO pick a spell, it’s certainly worth 5 points, because otherwise you wouldn’t pick it in the first place.

    #250725

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Which means, spells DEPEND a lot.

    Yeah, BUT, I NEVER choose some spells. So no, it does not depend that much.

    Which means, the bottom line is this: If you DO pick a spell, it’s certainly worth 5 points, because otherwise you wouldn’t pick it in the first place.

    Yes exactly: many spells are never picked because they are not worth 5 points, that’s why we need to think about reducing their cost.
    Conversely, I always choose some (e.g. Slayer’s Doubt) and their cost might be increased.

    Also, this discussion is not just about spells, but about all abilities.

    #250726

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Which means, spells DEPEND a lot.

    Yeah, BUT, I NEVER choose some spells. So no, it does not depend that much.

    You failed to mention that this is only about what YOU do – sorry, if I interrupted your monologue here, won’t happen again.

    #250727

    Hiliadan
    Member

    No I did mention it, but unlike you, I asked the opinion of other players to check how they do, that’s how the balance mod works, by gathering as many opinions as possible. Based on what most players do, we’ll see what abilities require cost increase or decrease.

    Thanks Azktor for your list! We have a big amount of work in front of us but I’m sure we’ll manage to get the feedback of several players and propose a good change. 🙂 If you have time, it would be interesting to get your feedback on abilities as well as spells.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #250731

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    No I did mention it, but unlike you, I asked the opinion of other players to check how they do, that’s how the balance mod works,

    You aren’t respecting those opinions, though, because if you did, “I NEVER do X” (Capitals) wouldn’t be a point.
    But no problem. Just carry on. Forget I said something.

    #250738

    I have to say that I yet again disagree with the general way to balance this. With your leader out of the equation, you have to keep in mind that it makes a difference, depending on the actual class you play, how good or needed a spell is. It also makes a difference what opponents you are playing against, and lastly it’s important how much a spell costs.

    For example, Hornet Swarm is completely useless against Necromancer, undead in general and Dreadnought, plus, it costs 25 Mana to cast, so before you can pick it at all you need to invest into Druidry. On the other hand it’s quite obvious that there are a couple of situations where the spell is a winner.

    Contrary to that, Savage Rage looks as if you wouldn’t have much use for it – but if you play Soceror, you’ll have a lot of monsters and the spell costs only 7 mana, so your AD can Enrage 2 monsters without having to spend any points for Druidry. The same is true for Necro with Bone Collector and Reaper which are both monsters as well. I mean, you get Charge, First Strike, Overwheln, AP, and +5 Physical plus wall crushing as a bonus.
    Of course, with other Classes the spell’s not cool.

    Which means, spells DEPEND a lot.

    Additionally, you have to pick them with care, no matter what they cost, because there is always the mana need, and there are turns in which you have more than one battle.

    Which means, the bottom line is this: If you DO pick a spell, it’s certainly worth 5 points, because otherwise you wouldn’t pick it in the first place.

    I 100% agree with you, and to be honest it is funny how you mentioned about Savage Rage, because it was one that I got kind stuck for a moment and even considering 3 or 4 for it, because it has some uses, specially for some leaders, but even then I still think 5 is slightly costly, I don’t mind changing it to 3 or 4 (on my list) partly based on what you said and parly based on my own doubts about the perfect price for this spell. Also I would like to see your’s list would be fun to compare 😀

    When I made my list I tried to follow some guideliness: Usually early spells/less impactfull spell (mostly buffs) had less cost, as you can see all early spells are either 2, 3 or 4. Also I gave high value to spells that have a lot of potential impact on the battlefield (like mass buffs/debuffs/AoE’s), but as I say, this is mostly because of how i like to use my heroes, if they have good mass buffs/debuffs/aoes I try to grab it.

    Thanks Azktor for your list! We have a big amount of work in front of us but I’m sure we’ll manage to get the feedback of several players and propose a good change. If you have time, it would be interesting to get your feedback on abilities as well as spells.

    Sure I can do it tomorrow no problem ^^

    #250743

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I tend to think that the costs as hero upgrades are ok, because the balancing is part of something else. It’s the combat spells of the classes, they become available at levels in relation to the research tree, but their USEFULNESS for the class for heroes in the service of another class are two different things and not necessarily balanced.

    If I don’t need a spell I don’t spend upgrade points on them because they cost mana to cast. Which means, even if Savage Rage costs only 1 point, if I have no monsters/animals even that 1 point is too much. Conversely, if I have a couple – say an Elite Node Serpent – casting Savage Rage on it makes it better than a T4, so 1 point would be a bargain deal.

    #250748

    I tend to think that the costs as hero upgrades are ok, because the balancing is part of something else. It’s the combat spells of the classes, they become available at levels in relation to the research tree, but their USEFULNESS for the class for heroes in the service of another class are two different things and not necessarily balanced.

    If I don’t need a spell I don’t spend upgrade points on them because they cost mana to cast. Which means, even if Savage Rage costs only 1 point, if I have no monsters/animals even that 1 point is too much. Conversely, if I have a couple – say an Elite Node Serpent – casting Savage Rage on it makes it better than a T4, so 1 point would be a bargain deal.

    I got your point, and for Savage Rage in particular this is really interesting, same would go for Choking Fumes when you are playing as a necro Leader and you got a Dreadnought Hero, because this spell becomes amazing in this circustance.

    But you really think, let’s say Start Blade and Divine Protection are worth 5 Hero points to buy it? Because in my 1,1k hours of game I never bought any of those spells, if my hero don’t have as a starting spell I never buy it. If they have the spell already I will use it sometimes on the early battles, but most of the times I prefer to spend the hero casting points on Magic Fist/Harmonizing Energy/Slayer Doubt’s/Smite for example. If they had they cost reduced I would be more inclined to spend some points for the versatility it brings to my hero.

    #250751

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I think, the real balancer is mana cost.
    For example, Chain Lightning is a pretty cool spell with some serious advantages – but to be able to cast it at all, you need to get Sorcery I for 5 points, and if you want to cast it twice PER TURN (not per combat), you will have to spend another 10 points on another 20 Mana, so basically, Chain Lightning costs TEN points, and 10 more for sustained casting.

    Magic Fist, on the other hand costs only 10 Mana, so if you don’t start with it, buying it for 5 allows you to cast it twice per combat without spending further points.

    Chaos Rift is cool – but costs 70 Mana, which means you have to spend 25 upgrade points just to get the necessary mana to cast it.

    Which means, the real balancer here is MANA COST (for spells in general and for hero upgrades).

    For your examples – Star Blades is cool insofar that it costs only 5 Mana, opens the 3 “solid” elemental damage channels (Inflict shocking being interesting when you play Elves), which is useful when having problems with certain unit types. For example, Rogue and/or Goblins lose a lot against Undead. Star Blades on Assassins or any Goblin (or against Elementals with awkward immunities) help some.

    Dispel, on the other hand, is very cheap, and some cool Touch abilities and “Inflicts” are not that expensive either.

    ———————————————————————————

    Thinking about this – BUFFS (Divine Protection, Star Blades, Savage Rage, Last Stand and so on – all spells you cast on your own units) are really useful, in tough battles against the AI, provided the AI doesn’t attack you and waits, because in that case you have time to “buff” your own units.
    With Buffs still costing mana to cast, it may make sense to

    Suggestion: make all Buffs cheaper, say, 3 points only. You still need a lot of money to cast buffs like mad – this might help seeing them picked more often.

    #250753

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Star Blade is actually one of the best Sorcerer’s spells as, like JJ said, it opens 3 channels so it helps to deal with units you have difficulties with, and it also brings huge damage on flanking. And let’s not talk about Lesser Mighty Meek attacking a hero with Star Blade, they would do crazy damage! 😀

    Twisting Roots on the other end seems useless to me most of the time in PBEM because you can’t control when the AI is going to cast it and destroys your army’s prospects. In SP, it’s probably better but still quite situational, especially if you have it on a hero and not a leader. By the way, we can create different costs of spells for heroes and leaders, that might be useful to do that.

    #250755

    The Mentat
    Member

    Personally I choose Twisting Roots really often (in SP). It allowed me several times to win battles where I had no chance without this spell.

    EDIT: Just mixed up the names of the spells… I was actually referring to Vengeful Vines. I don’t skill Twisting Roots as often (could however be useful when playing with Dreadnought as main class.)

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  The Mentat.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  The Mentat.
    #250759

    Gilafron
    Member

    Well, I find Twisting Roots exceptional at clearing out thinks like dungeons, especially with one manticore rider. The rider comes, kill it, then fight the slowed down ground units.

    But, I do see where it could devastate your own army if the AI is stupid in its use. That would be scary.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  Gilafron.
    #250858

    HellBrick
    Moderator

    Regarding the spell upgrades: high-level ones are completely screwed up now because of the CP requirements mentioned by Jolly Joker. Consider a simple comparison: Divine justicars costs 10 UP, while Undying army (which gives approximately the same effect) costs 5 UP itself + 24 UP for the CP upgrades = 29 UP. And for all the cost you still have all disadvantages of it being a spell: mana cost and severe CP restriction that doesn’t allow using it more than once per day. So the first thing I’d like to see is CP upgrade cost being reduced drastically, down to 2-3 UP. And from that point the spells can actually be balanced by UP and required hero level.

    Regarding the rest of the upgrades. The problem is no matter how you juggle the costs, useless stuff is not going to suddenly become useful. Heroes typically have some sorts of primary builds constructed of the truly unique class features. For example, for Necro the obvious choice is to go for the upgrades that make ghouling easier, and even if, let’s say, Shadow step is going to cost 1 UP, it’s still going to be ignored, at least until all important stuff is unlocked. Other classes are in the same situation: for Sorcerer you typically want to get Master illusionist, Inflict stun, Floating and Mend magical being, Theocrat will always go for Divine justicars, Vow of poverty, Convert and Healing, etc. A bunch of second-rate abilities is never going to be able to compete with that, even if they are very cheap and therefore you can have tons of them. So unless some alternative builds that are going to enforce difficult choices upon the player are introduced (I’m having big expectations for the high-level spells here, they can actually make a difference), the cost balancing isn’t going to change things very much.

    Having said that, there’s a bunch of weird things regarding the costs of current abilities that can be fixed just for consistency’s sake. Here are some suggestions on this matter:

    Necromancer

    Protection from light: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP), on par with the rest of +40% elemental protection upgrades.

    Control undead: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP). I think it should be on par with Befriend animal.

    Inflict enfeebling fever: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP). It’s much worse than Inflict curse, yet the upgrade costs are the same.

    Shadow step: 2 UP (instead of 4 UP). It’s rarely useful, but the current cost is too high (on par with, let’s say, Energy drain, which is awesome).

    Necromantic aura: 6 UP (instead of 8 UP). It’s a very risky thing to use and it’s going to be even less appealing once all T4s get Mind control immunity.

    Theocrat

    Holy champions: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP). Should be on par with Bane of the good.

    Vow of poverty: 8 UP (instead of 6 UP). Same as Sustainable wrafare.

    Divine justicars: 13 UP (instead of 10 UP). Its strategic impact is in the same league as the one of Master illusionist, the cost should probably reflect that.

    Rogue

    Dirty half dozen: 2 UP (instead of 4 UP). That’s basically a severely nerfed version of Bane of the good, it should cost way less.

    Infiltration squad: 3 UP (instead of 4 UP). It’s way less useful than typical stack stat boosts.

    Stronger than steel: 2 UP (instead of 4 UP). Just like Dirty half dozen, it’s a very specific and weak boost, it’s not worth the cost.

    Stealth commander: 5 UP (instead of 4 UP). It’s actually very useful, at least as useful as Urban stealth commander that costs 5 UP.

    Invisibility: 1-2 UP (instead of 4 UP). If the enemy sees your stack, this will only prevent your hero’s abilities from being seen, which is nice, but not 4 UP nice.

    Shadow step: 2 UP (instead of 5 UP), same as the Necromancer. Okay, maybe 3 UP if you want to maintain the fact that Necromancer has it cheaper.

    Scouting: 8 UP (instead of 10 UP). The ability is nice, but not as nice as Divine justicars-like stuff.

    Sorcerer

    Inflict spirit breaking: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP). Similar to Necro’s Inflict enfeebling fever.

    Projectile reflection: 2-3 UP (instead of 5 UP). A fun but relatively useless ability: the reflected damage almost never makes a difference, plus you can’t properly control it, plus it doesn’t trigger very often since it only affects your hero and not the whole stack.

    Warlord

    Armor piercing: 1 UP (instead of 2 UP). Very specific and weak boost.

    Blood honor: I actually think it should be boosted, +100 happiness doesn’t sound like a very big compensation for a dead unit.

    Field medic: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP), same as Natural healer.

    Fleet command: 2 UP (instead of 3 UP), it’s mostly useless.

    Drednought

    Imperial authority: 3 UP (instead of 4 UP), same as Chaplain.

    Guardian flame: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP), it’s not much better than Nourishing meal or Bestow iron heart.

    Pest control squad: 3 UP (instead of 5 UP), worse than Holy champions

    #250860

    Zaskow
    Member

    Consider a simple comparison: Divine justicars costs 10 UP, while Undying army (which gives approximately the same effect) costs 5 UP itself + 24 UP for the CP upgrades = 29 UP. And for all the cost you still have all disadvantages of it being a spell: mana cost and severe CP restriction that doesn’t allow using it more than once per day. So the first thing I’d like to see is CP upgrade cost being reduced drastically, down to 2-3 UP. And from that point the spells can actually be balanced by UP and required hero level.

    Your comparison isn’t very correct, because you can cast Undying army in combats and it works for ALL your units on battlefield (even 3-4 stacks) while Divine Justicars is effective only for 1 stack. Also Undying Army resurrects you units directly in combats, when Divine Justicars works only post-battle.

    Protection from light: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP), on par with the rest of +40% elemental protection upgrades.

    Necro already has pretty easy access to Spirit Protection abilities, I don’t think that we must do this even easier.

    Control undead: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP). I think it should be on par with Befriend animal.

    Cost depends from abundance of convert targets. Are Animal more common than Undeads?

    Infiltration squad: 3 UP (instead of 4 UP). It’s way less useful than typical stack stat boosts.

    I had idea once to give Improved Wall Climbing instead normal for this upgrade.

    Stronger than steel: 2 UP (instead of 4 UP). Just like Dirty half dozen, it’s a very specific and weak boost, it’s not worth the cost.

    This buff isn’t weak and specific. Armored units are very common in game, whole races and classes have only Armored units (Elves, Humans, Orcs, Dwarves, Warlord, Dread). Free +2 dmg is always nice.

    Rogue

    You forgot Total Awareness. This ability just can’t cost 10 pts.

    #250869

    Hiliadan
    Member

    So the first thing I’d like to see is CP upgrade cost being reduced drastically, down to 2-3 UP. And from that point the spells can actually be balanced by UP and required hero level.

    Are you talking about the upgrade point costs of CP upgrades? If yes, I agree, they should be lowered. Probably 3 points for the first two, then 4 points for the rest and maybe 5 points for the last ones.

    The problem is no matter how you juggle the costs, useless stuff is not going to suddenly become useful

    I disagree, 90% of the time, cost change can change the arbitration. If Master Illusionist cost 25 points, would you still choose it? I don’t think so. We can further increase the costs of very good things and decrease the cost of less useful things, and I’m sure new builds will appear by themselves.

    I think a few things need to have different costs for different races to keep the strengths of classes different:
    – Field Medic should be more expensive than Healing Aura because Warlords are not healers
    – Chaplain costs less than Imperial Authority to compensate for the “nerf” that Theo received when Healing was moved to a higher level requirement by Triumph. We can probably reverse that though
    – Guardian Flame should be more expensive because Dreads are not healers

    For the rest, I have other disagreements with you but I’ll try to provide a full list of abilities with my frequency of choice (never, rarely, sometimes, often, always) before commenting further: Invisibility, Shadow Step, Scouting.
    For just one, Necromantic Aura, you need to take into account that it’s quite easy to get 100% Spirit resistance and not so hard to further get 100% Blight and 100% Frost resistance, especially for Necro, so it’s actually not that risky to use Necromantic Aura. The ability is clearly under-valued by most players (including me).

    @zaskow: Total Awareness is also very good. It’s probably less useful in live MP as you don’t manual AI fights, that’s maybe why you think it’s not worth 10 points?

    #250871

    Gloweye
    Member

    – Chaplain costs less than Imperial Authority to compensate for the “nerf” that Theo received when Healing was moved to a higher level requirement by Triumph. We can probably reverse that though

    This is also because it’s supposed to be more of a strength to Theocrats.

    And Total Awareness is epic. Rogues can get Life Steal Weapons and Tireless boots, and their picked Total Awareness and First Strike…

    #250872

    Hiliadan
    Member

    And Total Awareness is epic. Rogues can get Life Steal Weapons and Tireless boots, and their picked Total Awareness and First Strike…

    Exactly my thoughts too.

    #250907

    Zaskow
    Member

    And Total Awareness is epic. Rogues can get Life Steal Weapons and Tireless boots, and their picked Total Awareness and First Strike…

    You forgot ‘If’…

    #250922

    HellBrick
    Moderator

    @zaskow

    Your comparison isn’t very correct, because you can cast Undying army in combats and it works for ALL your units on battlefield (even 3-4 stacks) while Divine Justicars is effective only for 1 stack. Also Undying Army resurrects you units directly in combats, when Divine Justicars works only post-battle.

    Yeah, that’s why I said *approximately* the same effect =) In practice they are close enough though, since most of the sites where you’d need the full-army immortality are one-stack only anyway.

    Cost depends from abundance of convert targets. Are Animal more common than Undeads?

    I haven’t tried counting them, but subjectively there’s more low-level undeads than low-level animals and more high-level animals than high-level undeads.

    I had idea once to give Improved Wall Climbing instead normal for this upgrade.

    That would be nice, but how often can wall climbing really be used in PBEM? As far as I can see, most of the games are decided strategically and not by city sieges.

    This buff isn’t weak and specific. Armored units are very common in game, whole races and classes have only Armored units (Elves, Humans, Orcs, Dwarves, Warlord, Dread). Free +2 dmg is always nice.

    According to the wiki, the only armored units of Warlord are Phalanx and Monster hunter =) But you do have a point, I forgot about Elves and Orcs. Still I’d say it’s worse than +1 damage against *everything* (and possibly on a new damage channel) that Rogue/Sorcerer/Theocrat can provide, and those leadership skills cost 4 UP. So… 3 UP for Stronger than steel?

    You forgot Total Awareness. This ability just can’t cost 10 pts.

    Good point, it’s not as good as Regrowth, it’s more of a Tireless-rate kind of thing. So maybe 6-7 UP?

    @hiliadan

    Are you talking about the upgrade point costs of CP upgrades?

    Yep, those ones.

    I disagree, 90% of the time, cost change can change the arbitration. If Master Illusionist cost 25 points, would you still choose it? I don’t think so.

    I’d still pick Master illusionist, because it would still be better than 25 UP worth of Sorcerer’s crappy abilities combined.

    We can further increase the costs of very good things and decrease the cost of less useful things, and I’m sure new builds will appear by themselves.

    New builds don’t appear from slapping together a bunch of unrelated useless abilities, they evolve around powerful features like invisible floating stack or ghouling debuffed units or practically indestructible self-healing stack that can clear anything. If you want to see new hero builds, you’re gonna need to introduce new features that can compete with existing builds. The only thing massive cost increase may achieve is breaking what we already have. And even after it’s broken, no one’s still gonna pick +20% fire protection for the leader because it’s still gonna be crap =)

    Let’s consider Sorcerer, for example. A possible alternative build may depend on boosting stack’s shock damage to a point where it becomes a force to be reckoned with. Add a leadership ability that gives units a variation of Inflict shocking (+20% weakness, but stackable with the weakness inflicted by Phantasm warrior/Node serpent), combine it with reasonably priced Static electricity/CP upgrades for the heroes, boost (or add an additional level to) Charged army and make it affect ranged attacks as well as melee – and then you’ll have something appealing enough to consider not going for the Master illusionist. You can even weave in Projectile reflection by making it weaker but affecting the whole stack in order to drag the enemy into the melee fight. +20% fire protection will still suck, but at least there will be an alternative to the main build 😉

    #250940

    Griffith
    Member

    I’m not sure if varying spell upgrade costs is a good idea, cause almost any spell can be powerful in the right situation. Seems to me, it’s the way they’re designed.

    Maybe it could be justifiable to drop upgrade costs of some spells, if they seem clearly underpowered, and cant be upgraded by modding. Cant really think of any good examples straight away. That Azktor’s lists doesn’t make much sense to me at least. Some very powerful spells are listed at 2 UP (like revive instinct, overload, mighty meek, last stand, lions courage etc..).

    It is as Jolly Joker said, the spells are alrdy pretty well balanced based on their casting cost. But when thinking about the upgrades in general, dunno if the new spells need to cost 5 UP each. Might as well be 4 UP each, if you think 5 UP is too big price compared to other hero upgrades.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  Griffith.
    #250942

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    The thing with spells and CP cost is this:

    With high-cost spells you need to buy CPs first, otherwise you can’t make use of the spells – but since you get only 5 CPs with each level upgrade, especially in the beginning (provided you play a mod that doesn’t allow to grade a hero up to level 10 within the first dozen turns) you have BETTER things to do.

    Now, CPs are important, though, so you cannot simply make them cheap – if you could, things would become rather simple, since you could spam damage spells like mad. Or cast Slayer’s Doubt on everyone.

    Making spells cheap, on the other hand, will mean, that you can spam the cheap spells even better.

    Which means, the one thing you MAY try, is adjusting the CP giving skills (which is possible, for all I know, without changing the research skills for the leader), in a way that allows a more subtle approach, for example:
    Druidry I: Gives 5 CP for 2 upgrade points.
    Druidry II: Gives 7 CP for 3 upgrade points
    Druidry III: Gives 7 CP for 3 upgrade points
    Druidry IV: Gives 6 CP for 3 upgrade points
    Druidry V: Gives 8 CP for 4 upgrade points
    Druidry VI: Gives 8 CP for 4 upgrade points
    Druidry VII: Gives 10 CP for 5 upgrade points
    Druidry VIII: Gives 9 CP for 5 upgrade points
    Druidry IX: Gives 10 CP for 6 upgrade points

    This gives the same amount of CP for the same amount of upgrade points – but you can go at things slower: 5 CP for 2 UG points ARE a good investment – because it will allow to cast a 10-point spell twice.
    So this means, you can just spend a couple UG points here and a couple there, and eventually you have enough and can can fathom buying a high-mana-cost spell.

    Just as an example, HOW to adjust, not meant as the definitive suggestion.

    #250974

    LordCameron
    Member

    Which means, the one thing you MAY try, is adjusting the CP giving skills (which is possible, for all I know, without changing the research skills for the leader), in a way that allows a more subtle approach, for example:
    Druidry I: Gives 5 CP for 2 upgrade points.
    Druidry II: Gives 7 CP for 3 upgrade points
    Druidry III: Gives 7 CP for 3 upgrade points
    Druidry IV: Gives 6 CP for 3 upgrade points
    Druidry V: Gives 8 CP for 4 upgrade points
    Druidry VI: Gives 8 CP for 4 upgrade points
    Druidry VII: Gives 10 CP for 5 upgrade points
    Druidry VIII: Gives 9 CP for 5 upgrade points
    Druidry IX: Gives 10 CP for 6 upgrade points

    Definitely possible. It would also be balance by early game mana limitations. It has the ‘drawback’ of making every hero a spell caster though, because it makes it a no brainer. That said, can I use this in a mod? I’ll credit you.

    #250976

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Sure can. Go ahead. 🙂

    #250977

    LordCameron
    Member

    Sure can. Go ahead. 🙂

    awesome

    #251022

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Here are my lists for one other class (+ I integrated other people’s opinion to have a kind of synthesis):

    Necro
    20% Spirit Protection: rarely
    Dispel Magic: often
    20% Blight Protection: never (with Arch Lich, you get 100% Protection anyway)
    Cause Fear: often
    Corpus Furia: never (corpses are resources!)
    Cave Crawling: often
    Death Ray: starting spell
    Desecration: never
    Necromancy (I): almost always (for more Stiffen Limbs)
    Inflict Despair: always (to increase chances of all spirit attacks)
    Protection from light: often; Hellbrick: “4 UP (instead of 5 UP), on par with the rest of +40% elemental protection upgrades”; Zaskow: “Necro already has pretty easy access to Spirit Protection abilities, I don’t think that we must do this even easier.”
    Stiffen Limbs: always
    Lesser Reanimate Undead: always
    Life Steal: often
    Throw Curse: always
    Necromancy(II): sometimes
    Devour Corpse: sometimes
    Control undead: often; Hellbrick: “4 UP (instead of 5 UP), I think it should be on par with Befriend animal”
    Necromancy(III): rarely
    Dark Gift: never
    Syphon Life: rarely
    Bane of the Good: sometimes
    Exploit Despair: rarely (deals too much damage, killing enemy’s units too fast, preventing Ghouling Strike; but actually that shows that this ability is OP)
    Pass Wall: rarely but that’s specific to PBEM: you don’t want your hero to go through the wall and get killed while controlled by the AI in an auto-fight
    Necromancy(IV): rarely (if I want to get Undying Army)
    Inflict Enfeebling Fever: never because I save points for other abilities and Necro already has too many debuff abilities. Hellbrick: 4 UP (instead of 5 UP). It’s much worse than Inflict curse, yet the upgrade costs are the same.
    Energy Drain: always
    Raise Dead: rarely (good but in PBEM you can’t control if and when the AI uses it in big auto battles)
    Greater Reanimate Undead: often
    Shadow Step: rarely. Hellbrick: “2 UP (instead of 4 UP). It’s rarely useful, but the current cost is too high (on par with, let’s say, Energy drain, which is awesome)”
    Necromancy (V): never
    Inflict Curse: rarely (because I use points for other debuff abilities)
    Ghouling Strike: always
    Mark of Death: never
    Invoke Death: sometimes
    Necromancy (VI): never
    Necromantic aura: never but I don’t think its cost should be reduced as it’s actually easy to abuse with Spirit, Frost and/or Blight immunity. Hellbrick: “6 UP (instead of 8 UP). It’s a very risky thing to use and it’s going to be even less appealing once all T4s get Mind control immunity.”
    Undying: always
    Scourge of Undead: never
    Necromancy (VII): never
    Undying Army: never
    ==

    Hellbrick, you recommended to decrease several costs to make them on par with others. I would rather increase all the costs, to slow down hero progress further, without modifying XP requirements. So for instance, all +40% Protection leadership abilities for 5 points. What do you all think about that? Would the +40% still be worth it? I think so because at 4 points, they are almost no brainer (when you face an opponent with this damage type).

    Regarding CP boosting hero upgrades, what do you think about this proposal?

    Probably 3 points for the first two, then 4 points for the rest and maybe 5 points for the last ones.

    The proposal from JJ is also interesting. But I think the total cost to get to 50 CP or more should still be reduced because it’s too high now and if you want to cast top spells, you need to dedicate all your UP to it…

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #251025

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    The proposal from JJ is also interesting. But I think the total cost to get to 50 CP or more should still be reduced because it’s too high now and if you want to cast top spells, you need to dedicate all your UP to it…

    7 levels worth of UP is hardly “all”.
    I have an interesting idea, solving the “problem” , but I will have to research first whether this is possible to mod. I’ll give an update.

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