Draconian Hatchling evolve ability

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Draconian Hatchling evolve ability

This topic contains 33 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Draxynnic 6 years ago.

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  • #245659

    Stormwind
    Member

    I cant remember ever evolving one of these guys. Not enough incentive to really work at it. By the time they get a few medals they are usually too weak to travel with my army so I stick them on a town wall somewhere.

    I do enjoy evolving the spiders as a druid though. THATS an evolution!

    #245662

    Draxynnic
    Member

    As I’ve said before…

    Unlike, say, the baby spiders and serpents, racial irregulars aren’t balanced on the basis that you’ll evolve them. Neither hatchlings nor initiates have paid anything for the Evolve quality – they’re both fairly good irregulars in their own right (a nonphysical damage channel generally being better than a physical damage channel).

    In this case, it’s a nod to the lore rather than pointing the player towards an evolve strategy. Initiates that perform well expect to be promoted, even if they player would continue to still have an irregular unit (granted, though, Storm Sisters are more of a clear upgrade). Hatchlings which eat well will grow into awkward adolescent draconians who haven’t figured out their new bodies yet.

    The possibility of hatchlings evolving into Flyers was put in so that there was at least the chance of getting a big win out of a hatchling evolve. Personally, I think that’s enough. Irregulars generally don’t gain a lot of experience unless you go to an effort to farm experience for them, so if you’re worried about getting a downgrade, then… just don’t farm experience for them? Hatchlings are still pretty good as irregulars go, so letting them stay as hatchlings isn’t a bad tactical decision.

    If you really want, mod it in so they can keep Fire Spit. That would be a significant versatility upgrade to the tier 1 melee troops, situationally useful for Flyers (although you’ve lucked out if you get a Flyer unit anyway), and even the ranged units can get some use out of it (flamers can use it when precision is needed, and for Elders, if they move into a red hex, Fire Spit will give them a little more damage than a single shot with Fire Bolts).

    Still, I don’t think it’s a big deal – hatchlings aren’t intended to be a unit to be coddled to get them to evolve.

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  Draxynnic.
    #245827

    driveby
    Member

    The Spirit Elemental takes around 4x the time to complete its ranged attack animation as do most ranged units. This isn’t a big deal, but it also a point of valid criticism.

    so if you’re worried about getting a downgrade, then… just don’t farm experience for them?

    This strikes as the silliest underpinning in counterpoint. You’re simultaneously acknowledging that rank 0 t1 rewards are inferior to a gold medal hatchling (if such a thing could exist) while suggesting that the solution to evolve is to avoid it. Typically when a game feature that is intended to give a favorable result gives an unfavorable result it’s regarded as broken.

    Whether or not hatchlings are *meant* to evolve is moot. It’s there. It’s a feature, Hatchlings have evolve. Any included feature is subject to evaluation based on its merits.

    Fire spit retention is a possibility among a variety of suggestions to make evolve reasonably satisfying. I don’t see it as requisite to any prospective change. Were it up to me I’d suggest the following possible result table:

    Crusher Rank 1/4 w/ Fire Spit +2 Ranged
    Charger Rank 1/4 w/ Fire Spit +2 Ranged
    Elder Rank 1/4 (sans Fire Spit)
    Flyer Rank 0/4 (sans …)
    ( flamer result removed )

    The downgrades are eliminated. The tier 1 results are at least somewhat interesting. Hatchling-Evolve would remain relatively quaint and mostly, not a big deal, but at least it wouldn’t be flawed.

    (I also think Initiate -> Storm Sister should come out w/ a medal)

    #245835

    Draxynnic
    Member

    This strikes as the silliest underpinning in counterpoint. You’re simultaneously acknowledging that rank 0 t1 rewards are inferior to a gold medal hatchling (if such a thing could exist) while suggesting that the solution to evolve is to avoid it. Typically when a game feature that is intended to give a favorable result gives an unfavorable result it’s regarded as broken.

    You’re putting words into my mouth here.

    Most of the time, it is an upgrade, particularly since the newly evolved unit can continue gaining experience (yes, champion ranks exist, but I’d take a gold Flamer, Charger, or even Crusher over a champion Hatchling). Flamers and Chargers are the same tier as Hatchlings on paper, but are generally more useful and can generally gain experience more easily than the Hatchlings they grew from. Elders and Flyers are obviously upgrades in tier, particularly since Elders are regarded as one of the best supports in the game. Crushers may be a bit meh compared to the alternatives and to the silver medal Hatchling unit you traded for it, but it’s supposed to be a bit of a gamble, and all draconians grow from hatchlings.

    I do recognise that there are times where you would have just preferred to keep the hatchlings rather than the unit it evolves to (although I’d contend that if you get Flyers you’ve hit the jackpot regardless), and for those cases I present the advice to avoid feeding experience to your hatchlings. AoW3 is a strategy game, and one of the interesting aspects of good strategy games is that sometimes what would normally be a favourable outcome (in this case, levelling a unit) may not be favourable for your specific circumstances. Don’t forget, also, that setting things up so that your hatchlings are gaining experience more slowly usually means that some other unit will be gaining experience instead, so it’s just a matter of redistributing the benefits.

    That said, I repeat that for Hatchlings, and to a lesser extent Initiates, evolve isn’t intended to be what makes them good. Both are pretty good irregulars in their own right. This is in contrast to some units where their evolve characteristics is explicitly part of their balancing and an intended part of the strategy for using them – human Cavalry is a good example for this (we had a lot of discussion on what we could give them to make them interesting and competitive with respect to the cavalry of other races, and evolving to Knights was the end result). Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever evolved an Initiate or Hatchling – I came close a couple of times, but they generally get replaced by stronger units and retired to garrison duty before it happens. Units with single-shot ranged attacks and melee attacks that are usually insufficient to take on anything apart from tier 1 archers tend to gain experience slowly (keep in mind that Scoundrels and Martyrs get experience boosts to give them a better shot at evolving). Between the fact that the evolution happens rarely unless you really push for it, and that the units don’t really have any deficiencies that they need evolve to make up for, I’m inclined to think of them as something cute that can happen occasionally but that you’re not supposed to plan for rather than it being a balance problem if the evolution isn’t always beneficial.

    Also keep in mind that the AoW2 draconian hatchling tables were worse. They could only evolve into Chargers and Flamers, and both were sidegrades at best. The original poster reminiscing about evolving hatchlings was probably confused with dragon hatchlings, which evolved into adult dragons… well worthwhile if you can pull it off.

    All that said, I did notice the other day that someone has made a mod so that evolved former hatchlings keep Fire Spit, so if that’s what you want, grab that mod and go nuts!

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