Dwarves

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This topic contains 138 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by  CrazyElf 6 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 91 through 120 (of 139 total)
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  • #210361

    Epaminondas
    Member

    I don’t think the advocates of either would consider those “dramatic.”

    Of course, they wouldn’t consider them dramatic – or else they would not advocate those changes (unless they actually hate Dwarves or have some other ulterior motive than merely good-faith balance concerns).

    And given their sturdiness, I don’t think kiting would actually be an issue here.

    I am not primarily concerned about tactical movement reduction, but strategic movement reduction in the manner suggested by Zaskow and others. I’d be less opposed to tactical movement reduction per se; in fact, I’d probably implement it in my mod.

    Units costing 15% extra sounds like a big change, but it works out at not very much more at all. I mean, given how well you can clear, and how much gold you can accrue, I find that the extra upfront cost is almost a non factor.

    In the sentence you excerpted, I did not say anything about a cost decrease. In fact, I don’t think it would be too effective unless oversteep, simply because (as one poster has already pointed) out, you need to get at the upkeep and not purchase cost to truly nerf a class or race in AoW 3.

    Instead, my main concern is the proposal to increase upkeep.

    I think the thing is, most people agree that Dwarves have the edge, the debate (much like Dread v Theo) is whether that edge is insurmountable, detrimental to the game, and therefore something to concern ourselves with.

    But there is no such consensus; in fact, the overwhelming consensus is that High Elves are actually the strongest race. You are conflating the opinion of those on this thread (which is primarily made up of those with an anti- or for- agenda) and the general player-base. While still not scientific, the poll you put up canvasses more opinions, and probably more accurately represent the considered view of the playerbase, since it’s more of a random sampling than those with a riding interest on this issue.

    Anyway, I think this is largely an intellectual exercise, I doubt things are going to get changed here. It’s not “broken” enough.

    I hope you are right, but – for both good and ill – the devs have been rather responsive to threads on this particular subforum. So I am apprehensive.

    #210362

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Actually, Dwarves have always been considered very effective. Remember that the “unviable” underground was actually a short lived experiment before Triumph basically reverted it to the way it was before.

    Forge Priests were very early on identified as very strong, and First Born received a few nerfs.

    Yeah, I know about those two units; but that’s a long time ago (as Korean proverb has it, you are talking about an era when tigers used to smoke cigarette!:)). I am talking about post-GR balance in general and balance immediately prior to EL in particular.

    #210363

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    You won’t be able to solve the differences between AI and Humans players in tactical combat.

    Example: Tigrans. Extremely powerful because of their higher mobility. A slow force – and Dwarves ARE comparatively slow – can be outmaneouvered and beaten piecemeal, simply by making use of their superior BF speed. For the AI to do that it would need a special Tigran battle algorithm.

    The simple truth is, that the CURRENT, ACTUAL battle algorithm is favoring Dwarves – it favors everyone trading speed for durability.

    This wouldn’t change – IN AUTOCOMBAT – if you’d reduce Dwarven speed, because the AI cannot use higher speed effectively. Th only thing it uses higher speed or things like Phase to is HURTING you, by ganging up and killing a unit. Higher speed isn’t used, though, to effectively outmaneouver opponent.

    I also don’t think, there is anything wrong with it. Playing mainly Dwarves is just going the EASY way – even in MP. Other races need more creativity in order to “cover” for the AI quirks.

    I also think you might solve the problem like they solve it in sports. Allow players ONE manual fight per turn – or two, as a handicap or in general, for example. Sure, time – but so what? Or allow the One-Stack-Only fights to be manual…

    #210367

    Epaminondas
    Member

    You won’t be able to solve the differences between AI and Humans players in tactical combat.

    Yes, this is why I think proposals to “improve the AI” is often tantamount to saying “let’s not do anything.”

    #210368

    Epaminondas
    Member

    I also think you might solve the problem like they solve it in sports. Allow players ONE manual fight per turn – or two, as a handicap or in general, for example. Sure, time – but so what? Or allow the One-Stack-Only fights to be manual…

    I think this is just an impractical proposal. I play MP with older (I am in my 40s) crowd, namely college friends, who like longer games like me. Nonetheless, we gave up after we tried to manual the “important” fights v. AI, because it took too much time. So imagine what would happen if we had allowed 1 or 2 manual per turn as you propose? It would simply unbearable.

    #210370

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    You have to make compromises for the things you love.

    #210371

    Epaminondas
    Member

    You have to make compromises for the things you love.

    Yes, but if MP games between close friends who actually live next to one another and meet at least on a weekly basis can’t accommodate your proposal, you think general MP games between strangers can? You might as well ask all men to love each other as brothers for the sake of world peace! 😉

    #210373

    Zaskow
    Member

    Tigrans. Extremely powerful because of their higher mobility.

    This their power was perfectly compensated by -1 res.

    A slow force – and Dwarves ARE comparatively slow – can be outmaneouvered and beaten piecemeal, simply by making use of their superior BF speed.

    Mechanics of Aow3 tactical combat shows that low speed doesn’t mean big disadvantage. As a lot of auto-battles showed dwarves easily gather unbeatable “phalanx” which effectively reject any high mobility prevalence especially if it has enough shooters.

    This wouldn’t change – IN AUTOCOMBAT – if you’d reduce Dwarven speed, because the AI cannot use higher speed effectively. Th only thing it uses higher speed or things like Phase to is HURTING you, by ganging up and killing a unit. Higher speed isn’t used, though, to effectively outmaneouver opponent.

    The point of this thread is to give some not very big disadvantage for having such big prevalence in auto. Not cancel this prevalence at all.

    #210380

    webusver
    Member

    I would be happy if devs make AI build roads between its cities. If AI don’t build road builders then let AI have all their cities be connected with roads automatically. As it is done in Fallen Enchantress.

    Let AI produce artifacts for its heroes. More artifacts.

    Let AI-only heroes be ressurectable.

    Please remove possibility to trade mana for gold even with enemies. This way I can get alot of gold even if my real gold income is small.

    #210386

    terrahero
    Member

    @ terrahero, thing is, the qualities that make Dwarves a safer bet in mp have the same effect in SP.

    You have a better chance of surviving AC for the times you don’t want to manual things, so it translates into a race that is easier to play.

    Now the effects are highlighted in mp because another Human player = more pressure, but the effects are still there in singeplayer.

    Pick any class, and odds are that you, as a singleplayer, are going to have an easier time using Dwarves. They are more forgiving physically.

    Now I thought I carefully phrased the opening post as a discussion of their advantages, and possible tweaks, as opposed to simple “nerf everything” so I don’t feel your post is either accurate or justified.

    Safe is abstract. They are more expensive units, so they should be “safer” because losing a unit is more costly to replace as well. Outside of starting units that seems pretty much in line with their intented design.

    I fundamentally reject the argument that being lazy while creeping early on is something we need to balance races around. A manual anything would still do better than an AC dwarf, if that wasn’t the case you might have a point.
    You can manual combat for optimal performance, or kinda throw the dice and see how it rolls. AC is simply a fickle beast, hardly something you want to balance the game around and certainly not when AC has always been just the “lazy man’s” solution, usually with overwhelming odds. Manual combat has, and still is, the big selling point of AoW.

    I believe my post was very accurate when i commented on the “nerf everything” because that is literally what you suggested. You made no distinction on any unit, you suggested a flat nerf to all dwarf units either in the form of reduced health recovery or increased cost. You started this thread to discuss a race wide nerf to Dwarves, did you not? So how was my post not accurate?
    You are free to suggest what you want of course, i simply find the suggested global nerfs uncalled for and entirely for the wrong reasons.

    Except that this actually massively favours the Human player. The AI, when it clears, clears using auto combat algorithms.

    As an interesting experiment, and one that makes the SP experience more balanced (but less fun imho) try setting all AI fights to auto, so you have to auto against the AI.

    It’s (much) fairer on the AI, and makes them tougher overall when facing a Human.

    It’s also slightly more boring, but my essential point is this: you can’t balance the singleplayer around a mode that the AI cannot use.

    For sure, you could balance a multiplayer game like that, because then the differential is in how Humans use things, but the AI can’t think, it just follows instructions.

    However, apart from an odd few on either side, I don;t think anyone is seriously claiming that SP should be balanced by ignoring MP, or vice versa.

    Interestingly enough, the game is still quite fun without fighting tactical combat. It just gets more abstracted, and emphasis those Dwarven qualities talked about earlier.

    The Age of Wonders series always had the Tactical combat as it’s selling point. Auto-Combat was never the main focus of the combat system, but rather a quick way to get through a pretty clear fight, or if you just couldn’t be bothered for once.
    It would be dishonost to shift the games balance away from the main combat style, a combat that challenges the player more than hitting “Auto Resolve” and watch the dice roll.

    And hey, the AI’s limitations already get compensated for with bonusses under the hood. Or to flip your argument around on you. Focusing the balance on AC is going to leave the game far to easy for those who manual combat.

    Just as what happend with the myriad of Scoundrel buffs all because they performed poorly for AI. This left them incredibly powerful for anyone that did use them in Tactical, and led to bigger problems with early high-tier units. Dito on units like Human Cavalry that have Evolve skills.

    And how relevant is this even? The AI still receives developer attention, correct? So now you buff/nerf based on current AI behavior, and then the AI get’s patched and it handles the same situation differently?
    Or to give an example. The AI handles cavalry like a loose cannon and happily yolo’s your cavarly ahead of the rest of the army and gets them killed. Lets say we balance around AC and because of this we buff cavalry because they die to easily. Let’s say we give them more HP/def/res.

    Then the AI gets schooled on how NOT to suicide their cavalry and to properly use them for flanks or atleast with back-up from the rest of the army. Now that Cavalry is to good, and it would have to be rebalanced yet again to meet the new AI behavior patern. Seems like a lot of potentially wasted time.

    #210390

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Tigrans. Extremely powerful because of their higher mobility.

    This their power was perfectly compensated by -1 res.

    A slow force – and Dwarves ARE comparatively slow – can be outmaneouvered and beaten piecemeal, simply by making use of their superior BF speed.

    Mechanics of Aow3 tactical combat shows that low speed doesn’t mean big disadvantage. As a lot of auto-battles showed dwarves easily gather unbeatable “phalanx” which effectively reject any high mobility prevalence especially if it has enough shooters.

    This wouldn’t change – IN AUTOCOMBAT – if you’d reduce Dwarven speed, because the AI cannot use higher speed effectively. Th only thing it uses higher speed or things like Phase to is HURTING you, by ganging up and killing a unit. Higher speed isn’t used, though, to effectively outmaneouver opponent.

    The point of this thread is to give some not very big disadvantage for having such big prevalence in auto. Not cancel this prevalence at all.

    I suppose you misunderstand something. In MANUAL combat, Tigrans are extremely powerful, if you know what you are doing, and can make use of their speed superiority. You will beat seemingly strong but slow units, by outmaneouvering the AI leading slow Human or Dwarven forces. In Auto it will be the other way round since the AI can’t handle the ACTIVE asset of higher speed, but has no problem with the PASSIVE asset of higher defense/resistance.

    So a speed reduction wouldn’t hurt Dwarves in auto.

    Again. BE CREATIVE, for frag’s sake. You know how the AI works.

    You have to make compromises for the things you love.

    Yes, but if MP games between close friends who actually live next to one another and meet at least on a weekly basis can’t accommodate your proposal, you think general MP games between strangers can? You might as well ask all men to love each other as brothers for the sake of world peace! 😉

    It’s only a question of who you play with. Fun isn’t a matter of the amount of games you can finish in a week or a month, but only of the quality.

    #210407

    freese2112
    Member

    No. Prevalence of dwarves in auto is clearly visible.

    And auto-calc is mainly an MP issue, and the majority of the player-base plays SP?

    Even though dwarves are definitely the best auto-clearers, I think they are slightly too strong in other ways too- almost all of their racial units are among the best of their type, and their class units are also often clearly the best-in-class because they often get some extra ability or perk in addition to the huge list of bonuses for being Dwarf (+1 def/res, blight protection, mountaineering). Yes they cost more, but only a little bit up front and it’s money well spent.

    I was really interested in the bolded part, and wanted to get others opinion.

    T1 Irregular: Strong – Orc, Goblin, Tigran Avg – Elf, Draconian, Frostling, Dwarf Weak – Human
    T1 Archer: Strong – Elf, Goblin, Tigran Average – Dwarf, Human, Frostling, Draconian Weak – Orc
    T1 Infantry: Strong – Dwarf, Orc, Frostling Avg: Human, Draconian Weak – Goblin, Elf
    T1 Pike: Strong- Draconian, Human, Elf, Tigran Avg: Dwarf, Orc Weak – Goblin, Halfling
    T2 Support: Strong – Goblin, Human, Dwarf, Elf, Frostling, Tigran Average – Orc, Halfling
    T2 Cav: Strong – Elf, Orc Avg – Dwarf, Frostling, Goblin Weak – Draconian, Tigran, Halfling
    T3: Strong – Human, Elf, Orc, Dwarf Avg – Frostling, Tigran, Draconian Weak – Halfling

    Just in general – you can make a case that the Dwarf don’t have any racial units that are “best in game”. That being said – they’re all useable and their general “sturdiness” and lack of any real weakness makes them more than the sum of the individual parts.

    Even with the class units – I’d be hard pressed to find a Dwarf class unit that is clearly ahead of a different race. Example – all of the Tigran Shaman, High Elf Horse Archer, or Draconian Evangalist are seen as well ahead of the other options. I wouldn’t say that Dwarf Crusader are better than Orc, or Dwarf Assassins are better than Human.

    The thing that I’ll say is that the additional cost of units probably doesn’t play as big of role in the evaluation of the unit. Unless the additional cost puts you at a different number of turns to produce (which is pretty rare IMO), the difference between units far exceeds the cost. I’m not explain that well, but the additional 10 GP (or 10% of total hammers) for a Orc Crusader over a High Elf isn’t significant in relation to their combat effectiveness. Same thing with the 160GP/40M for a Draconian Evangalist compared to 150GP/30M for a Frostling. Similarly – a High Elf evangalist only cost 5GP (or about 3% of total production) more than the “standard”, and Total Awareness is worth MUCH, MUCH more than that. It just seems like the “bonuses” on the Racial units aren’t really reflected in the costs of those units.

    #210414

    madmac
    Member

    I was really interested in the bolded part, and wanted to get others opinion.

    T1 Irregular: Strong – Orc, Goblin, Tigran Avg – Elf, Draconian, Frostling, Dwarf Weak – Human
    T1 Archer: Strong – Elf, Goblin, Tigran Average – Dwarf, Human, Frostling, Draconian Weak – Orc
    T1 Infantry: Strong – Dwarf, Orc, Frostling Avg: Human, Draconian Weak – Goblin, Elf
    T1 Pike: Strong- Draconian, Human, Elf, Tigran Avg: Dwarf, Orc Weak – Goblin, Halfling
    T2 Support: Strong – Goblin, Human, Dwarf, Elf, Frostling, Tigran Average – Orc, Halfling
    T2 Cav: Strong – Elf, Orc Avg – Dwarf, Frostling, Goblin Weak – Draconian, Tigran, Halfling
    T3: Strong – Human, Elf, Orc, Dwarf Avg – Frostling, Tigran, Draconian Weak – Halfling

    I’d say you’re being overly generous if anything.

    The Miner and the Crossbow (Econ 1 aside) are among the worst of their type, Dwarf Pikes and Cav are mid tier, only in the Support and Infantry slots do Dwarf racial units really stand out, and even then they aren’t clear favorites for “best” status.

    Class units likewise, most Dwarf Class units are good enough but not truly outstanding.

    Which is fine, being blandly above average but not truly exceptional is the Dwarf way. They have a higher stat baseline on their units in exchange for not getting crazy abilities.

    More on topic, I think Dwarves are generally fine, and the only real issue here is the combination of Tournament Settings making UG a sure bet and Econ 1 being such a game-breaking advantage that it may need to be replaced entirely with something else, as much as I love the flavor of it.

    #210423

    Epaminondas
    Member

    More on topic, I think Dwarves are generally fine, and the only real issue here is the combination of Tournament Settings making UG a sure bet and Econ 1 being such a game-breaking advantage that it may need to be replaced entirely with something else, as much as I love the flavor of it.

    Bingo.

    #210424

    but strategic movement reduction in the manner suggested by Zaskow and others.

    *Just* Zaskow I think.

    Anyway, it wasn’t very clear specifically what you were contesting, and such generalities invite counter generalities, and then people objecting to being generalised, and it all gets rather tiresome.

    I would be happy if devs make AI build roads between its cities. If AI don’t build road builders then let AI have all their cities be connected with roads automatically. As it is done in Fallen Enchantress.

    Let AI produce artifacts for its heroes. More artifacts.

    Let AI-only heroes be ressurectable.

    Please remove possibility to trade mana for gold even with enemies. This way I can get alot of gold even if my real gold income is small.

    WTF does this have to do with anything in this thread?

    I fundamentally reject the argument that being lazy while creeping early on is something we need to balance races around.

    Interesting because I didn’t make that argument. And your desire to balance everything round manual is a very bad idea, as already mentioned.

    My turn to be dramatic:

    I fundamentally reject that the game must be balanced around manual combat, principally because the AI doesn’t use manual combat when it fights strategically (it only uses it when the Human player decides to use it), and in mp most fights (statistically, i.e. creeping and fights against non players) are going to be auto’d and the same in SP (as even then most ppl will auto the non crucial fights).

    It would be dishonost to shift the games balance away from the main combat style, a combat that challenges the player more than hitting “Auto Resolve” and watch the dice roll.

    It wouldn’t be shifting it, we’ve already established that it’s actually balanced more to that anyway. Dwarves are better at the auto combat, ergo Dwarves do better overall.

    I think you’re confusing what I mean by balanced. I’m using it to mean fairest here, *not* to mean that efforts should be made to focus the game experience on this.

    The game is at it’s most fun in tactical combat against an opponent roughly equal to you (in terms of ability and troops). And, guess what, that experience comes best from multiplayer (the rest of the mp experience lets it down though).

    But as the AI doesn’t get that option, balancing must necessarily take this into account.

    And, your objections are actually pretty moot, because changes have already been made specifically because of this.

    I already pointed out the newer racial healing (victory rush, wetlands foraging) but to that you should add fast healing for Scoundrels. Why do you think they got it? Because they were just no good at auto fights.

    Again, I’m not sure any of this is needed, just musing.

    My own quote, from the first post.

    Also, from same post:

    So, just throwing this out there as food for thought

    And from another post

    I think the thing is, most people agree that Dwarves have the edge, the debate (much like Dread v Theo) is whether that edge is insurmountable, detrimental to the game, and therefore something to concern ourselves with.

    For both cases, I don’t think it is that big a deal.

    But it is interesting to gain other people’s perspectives.

    So, I’m quite happy with Dwarves as they are, and if my opponent in a game was Dwarves I would not be worried enough about it to change my plans.

    I’d be far more concerned if I was playing Necromancer and found he was a Theocrat (would have to hide my Lost Souls and cede the skies to his Chrerubs) or Sorceror!

    Now if that constitutes a demand for blanket nerfs then we aren’t even using the same vocabulary.

    More on topic, I think Dwarves are generally fine, and the only real issue here is the combination of Tournament Settings making UG a sure bet and Econ 1 being such a game-breaking advantage that it may need to be replaced entirely with something else, as much as I love the flavor of it.

    I have to ask if you have played a game with those settings?

    I don’t mean to sound flippant, but medium map+ 2 players = considerable space between players so each player has a decent enough chance to clear well enough.

    Infact medium maps were chosen specifically so that any early game advantage had time to be countered, and ‘rushing’ required more thought.

    Throw in few cities, but standard sites, and what you have is plenty of clearing for everyone, with fewer avenues to spend your gold, so less capacity to translate clearing advantage into boots on the ground, relative to more standard settings.

    You also have a bit more time before hostilities commence.

    That said, my perception seems markedly different from others in the tournament, and indeed in the mp community.

    I wonder sometimes if there’s a psychological effect, i.e. if a player is Dwarves then he is safer so he plays more confidently which translates into better play, which he then attributes to Dwarf power, and not his more confident moves.

    I think Epa used a good phrase, primus inter pares.

    Anyway, I’m wary of spawning another multipage monster, I think I’ve gotten enough varied opinions from people to be satisfied.

    #210428

    madmac
    Member

    I have to ask if you have played a game with those settings?

    I don’t mean to sound flippant, but medium map+ 2 players = considerable space between players so each player has a decent enough chance to clear well enough.

    Infact medium maps were chosen specifically so that any early game advantage had time to be countered, and ‘rushing’ required more thought.

    Throw in few cities, but standard sites, and what you have is plenty of clearing for everyone, with fewer avenues to spend your gold, so less capacity to translate clearing advantage into boots on the ground, relative to more standard settings.

    You also have a bit more time before hostilities commence.

    I actually have! Played some practice games for people in your tournament, even. 🙂

    (I’m running a small off-site tournament myself so I’ve been paying close attention to your settings for things I want to steal or not, actually.)

    I’m not overly fond of the settings but I see what you’re going for. What I mean by “a sure thing” in this case is that someone going Dwarves can always choose to start UG and give themselves a starting advantage and also a pretty safe position to play from, which isn’t usually the case in more casual games, I don’t think.

    There’s also the factor that the new UG is, well, new and I don’t think many people are fully adjusted to it, myself included. I just think Dwarves pop that much more with always UG an option, basically, especially with Econ 1 being a thing.

    I played a long UG only PBEM match not that long ago, also. Goblin Necro vs Dwarf Sorc, I won, but the multitude of natural chokepoints can really prolong matches. Makes me wish narrow passages were just a little less common really.

    #210434

    NINJEW
    Member

    As a frequent poster yourself, I am sure you’ve seen how much dissastisfaction there is with Zaskow, because of the perception he has caused – and may cause further if unopposed – many questionable changes from a purely MP-centric perspective

    There is very much to be very dissatisfied with when it comes to Zaskow, but that’s not because he argues for things from an MP perspective. Rather, in my opinion, it is because Zaskow is not very smart, and makes very bad arguments. A person can make horrible arguments, but still be coming from a perfectly fine perspective.

    In my personal opinion, MP concerns should mostly reign supreme where they are relevant (when it comes to the balance of T4s, for instance, MP concerns are usually very irrelevant). The one place where I don’t think this is the case is autocombat: while the topic is relevant to a discussion, I don’t think that balance changes should be made because of autocombat (though autocombat could be a supporting reason).

    T1 Irregular: Strong – Orc, Goblin, Tigran Avg – Elf, Draconian, Frostling, Dwarf Weak – Human
    T1 Archer: Strong – Elf, Goblin, Tigran Average – Dwarf, Human, Frostling, Draconian Weak – Orc
    T1 Infantry: Strong – Dwarf, Orc, Frostling Avg: Human, Draconian Weak – Goblin, Elf
    T1 Pike: Strong- Draconian, Human, Elf, Tigran Avg: Dwarf, Orc Weak – Goblin, Halfling
    T2 Support: Strong – Goblin, Human, Dwarf, Elf, Frostling, Tigran Average – Orc, Halfling
    T2 Cav: Strong – Elf, Orc Avg – Dwarf, Frostling, Goblin Weak – Draconian, Tigran, Halfling
    T3: Strong – Human, Elf, Orc, Dwarf Avg – Frostling, Tigran, Draconian Weak – Halfling

    Somewhat off topic, but some of this is ridiculous. Civic Guard are one of, if not the, best racial irregulars in the game. Butchers are crazy good and easily the best racial pike in the game, the only pike that comes anywhere close is the Royal Guard (which you omitted, by the way). Draconian Raptors are very good as well, their split channels lets them often do large amounts of damage. Draconian Flamers are also extremely good, and certainly deserve to be ranked on par with Shredders.

    Also, you forgot to include Human Cavalry.

    #210437

    Epaminondas
    Member

    There is very much to be very dissatisfied with when it comes to Zaskow, but that’s not because he argues for things from an MP perspective. Rather, in my opinion, it is because Zaskow is not very smart, and makes very bad arguments. A person can make horrible arguments, but still be coming from a perfectly fine perspective.

    Ouch. I am not going to touch that, except to note that many folks (for instance, Ericridge) have explicitly said that they don’t like Zaskow-driven changes, because they are purely MP-driven.

    In my personal opinion, MP concerns should mostly reign supreme where they are relevant (when it comes to the balance of T4s, for instance, MP concerns are usually very irrelevant). The one place where I don’t think this is the case is autocombat: while the topic is relevant to a discussion, I don’t think that balance changes should be made because of autocombat (though autocombat could be a supporting reason).

    If so, we don’t disagree all that much, semantics aside (I said MP concerns should have a “priority,” and you say they should “reign supreme” – okay, your language is stronger or more categorical…). Once again, my objection is not to the fact that MP should have priority in balancing considerations, but the extremist claim that SP concerns should never be taken into account, which is in fact a position I believe Zaskow (multiple times in fact) and Abed, among others, have argued.

    #210439

    Epaminondas
    Member

    If so, we don’t disagree all that much, semantics aside (I said MP concerns should have a “priority,” and you say they should “reign supreme” – okay, your language is stronger or more categorical…). Once again, my objection is not to the fact that MP should have priority in balancing considerations, but the extremist claim that SP concerns should never be taken into account, which is in fact a position I believe Zaskow (multiple times in fact) and Abed, among others, have argued.

    Also, I would add that there is a very strong tone of contempt emanating from the MP players toward SP players that is absent in the opposite direction. Once again, Zaskow (to some extent even in this thread) and Abed are the most egregious exemplars. But the general undertone is that MP players are superior, more expert players, and that they contribute more to the well-being of the game (see Zaskow’s absurd claims on this thread in this direction, and above all Abed’s recent thread that imploded). Such a flagrantly contemptuous posture toward your interlocutors cannot really make things better.

    #210440

    NINJEW
    Member

    I’ve never seen anyone besides Zaskow (and I guess Abed? I haven’t seen him around as much) say that SP concerns shouldn’t considered. This has less to do with Zaskow being very MP driven (many people who participate in balance discussions are, because that’s where balance matters the most), and more to do with Zaskow being dumb enough to try to argue that someone’s words don’t matter because they don’t play 1v1 no cities sorc only final destination rushdown knifefights. Where he’s coming from isn’t wrong, but what is wrong is that he tries to argue that his perspective is superior in the first place: it is, technically, but that still doesn’t discount someone else’s arguments, and is a very poor argument to bring up.

    Basically, what I’m saying is that while it’s true that MP concerns are the most important, going “your argument is dumb because you only play single player. Try a multiplayer match and then talk to me” is really, really dumb, because discounting someone’s argument based on their perspective is dumb, not because SP is actually more important than MP.

    #210444

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Just want to re-post this nugget from Abed to back up what I am trying to say regarding MP player arrogance – and frankly ignorance. I am picking on Abed, but Zaskow has said almost identical things multiple times; it’s just that this particular one I recall more easily due to its more convenient location:

    But, how many hours have those single players actually?

    I have about 1300 hours on multiplayer… how many ocassionally single players is need to take that time together?

    MP community is more important in most games, because it spread name of game and also they play muchmore, they test stuff and they are deeper in game.

    There are very few of good single players who improve game and play it a lot.

    Now let’s un-pack each of these claims – which once again, have been echoed multiple times by Zaskow and other MP players:

    1. The claim that MP players play a lot more:

    Abed thinks 1300 hours is a number that is basically unapproachable by SP players and stands on it as proof of his game experience. Apparently he thinks TBS games like AoW 3 for SP players have a shelf life that is similar to one campaign single player RPG games. But on the contrary: I’ve got almost 2000 hours on one of two installed computers alone. My best friend has close to 3000, and he is actually a partner in a major corporate law firm and has wife and kids; so you can imagine how enthusiastic some SP players can be. I’ve also seen multiple other SP players who have claimed to clock just as many hours as Abed – and some considerably more. Heck, you can check their game time on Steam.

    In fact, I’d argue that SP players play more, precisely because MP players need others to play.

    Sure, there is a difference between quantity and quality; I often multi-task when I play SP, and you can’t if you play MP. And indubitably you do likely encounter a richer variety of game tactics when playing MP.

    Still, the overall picture of the typical SP player that some MP players propagate – the picture of amateurs who play the game a few hours then move on – is grossly inaccurate and reveals that at least some element of the MP community does not even understand the SP community.

    2. The claim that MP players being “more important” in that they a) promote the game more, b) play more, and c) test more.

    I’ve already addressed the play-time aspect. As for the claim that MP players promote the game more, the only possible rationale I can see is the argument that MP players by nature require other players, so they tend to tell their friends/acquaintances about the game more. This is most likely true – at least on a per individual player basis. Still, look at the sheer gap in numbers of SP v. MP players. The sheer number gap is so great, SP players would have to almost never promote the game, and conversely, MP players would have to be the gamer version of Saint Paul for the proselytizing argument to hold. And I know for a fact that’s not true, because I tell all my friends about games I enjoy; and they in turn tell me about games they like, even if the game concerned is not an MP game that they need me to play for self-interested reasons.

    Finally, the “test more” argument basically is dependent on the “play more” argument – which I have already addressed – so I don’t need to dwell upon it at length. But one can simply point to many instances where SP players have discovered bugs and imbalance; heck, even I’ve contributed to several that the devs took note (most recently the Tigran quest issue that no one had an even inkling about). In fact, I’d actually argue that SP players discover more gameplay issues, simply because, again, there is a lot more of us. Further, MP game is by nature a narrower experience, and hence MP players will likely experience or “test” the game less.

    3. The insulting claim that there are very few good SP players, whereas there many good MP players:

    Well, according to BBB and others, the majority of the beta testers are in fact SP players. And given that even I concede many of them are fantastic players with oodles of the knowledge of the game, I think I can rest my case.

    #210447

    Hatmage
    Member

    As the issue of AI has been brought up, I’d like to suggest again a “Formations and Orders” screen for each stack, accessable from the strategic map, wheirn players would be able to dictate the starting formation of their troops and select from a number of preset AI behaviours (fire and keep distance, fire at close range [as in move to eliminate range penalties, then fire], always charge [would make units with a charge attack try and expend enough movement to gain their charge bonus before every attack, unless engaged], engage and defend, just run up and hit things, cast <spell> et cetera)

    Also selectable would be targeting preferences for attacks (monsters, cavalry, pikemen, shielded/unshielded, archers, any other unit type you might want to preferentially target in auto) and buffs (anyone, self only, any wounded, avoid wasting healing, any ranged etc.), as well as the circumstances when movement abilities should be used (only when engaged, early and often, only to engage ranged troops, only to retreat, possibly other things).

    This would, of course, be a lot of work, but I for one would buy an expansion that added only that to the game.

    #210448

    Epaminondas
    Member

    I’ve never seen anyone besides Zaskow (and I guess Abed? I haven’t seen him around as much) say that SP concerns shouldn’t considered. This has less to do with Zaskow being very MP driven (many people who participate in balance discussions are, because that’s where balance matters the most), and more to do with Zaskow being dumb enough to try to argue that someone’s words don’t matter because they don’t play 1v1 no cities sorc only final destination rushdown knifefights. Where he’s coming from isn’t wrong, but what is wrong is that he tries to argue that his perspective is superior in the first place: it is, technically, but that still doesn’t discount someone else’s arguments, and is a very poor argument to bring up.

    Basically, what I’m saying is that while it’s true that MP concerns are the most important, going “your argument is dumb because you only play single player. Try a multiplayer match and then talk to me” is really, really dumb, because discounting someone’s argument based on their perspective is dumb, not because SP is actually more important than MP.

    Abed indeed posts less than Zaskow, but his posts are far more insulting and extremist.

    As for your characterization of Zaskow, you might want to ease up a bit, since you might attract mod attention. I think you are generally a well-informed, productive poster, but your tendency toward extreme or ad hominem language might get you in trouble here at some point. And while sometimes that’s unavoidable (during the heat of argument when you are agitated), no need to invite scrutiny in “normal” circumstances.

    #210456

    NINJEW
    Member

    I’m just saying that the idea that SP players are ever attacked is mostly contained to a couple people, the only one of which that I’ve personally seen being Zaskow. So as an MP driven poster, I’m not so sure that accusations like this:

    But the general undertone is that MP players are superior, more expert players, and that they contribute more to the well-being of the game (see Zaskow’s absurd claims on this thread in this direction, and above all Abed’s recent thread that imploded). Such a flagrantly contemptuous posture toward your interlocutors cannot really make things better.

    or this:

    The funny thing is AoW:SM was played and maintained for over a decade after its release and the vast majority of players were still playing SP.

    A lot of people claim SP players don’t care about balance, aren’t very good, etc, etc. I think it’s just an easy way to dismiss that group of people. “You’ll be happy no matter what. Now let’s get back to what is important to us.”

    are entirely warranted, since from what I can tell that’s largely just Zaskow (and also Abed, apparently). Most peoples’ opinions on the MP vs SP thing when it comes to balance seems to be “MP is generally more important,” which you yourself agreed with.

    And don’t get me wrong about Zaskow: I don’t like the man, but I’m glad he’s here on this forum. His threads on things such as Racial Diversity are very valuable. Not because of anything he has to say in them (indeed, I very often hate half the things he proposes), but such threads do an excellent job of bringing up topics that deserve discussion, and often result in discussion. And usually, Zaskow is the only person who will bother to bring them up. I think the current racial diversity in the game is very valuable and makes the game far more fun, and this is a trait which, from my understanding, can largely be attributed to Zaskow.

    #210462

    I think the current racial diversity in the game is very valuable and makes the game far more fun, and this is a trait which, from my understanding, can largely be attributed to Zaskow.

    e.g.?

    If you mean things like racial governance and specifics like varying costs of siege shops, those were things TS were considering quite a while ago.

    I think Zaskow’s influence is highly exaggerated, for better or worse.

    I also think you and Epaminondas have done a wonderful job of derailing what this thread was about!

    Still, said derailment is not necessarily bad, just misplaced I think.

    I don’t think there is really much left to discuss re: Dwarves, so if raging against those evil MPers makes you feel better Epa, go ahead, I’m not goign to get into this argument again.

    #210470

    Epaminondas
    Member

    If you mean things like racial governance and specifics like varying costs of siege shops, those were things TS were considering quite a while ago.

    I think Zaskow’s influence is highly exaggerated, for better or worse.

    I don’t know if I agree. Threads like this seems to have had much influence, and dev responses in them confirm it:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/class-units-diversity/

    But I don’t think Zaskow’s influence on the forum has been all bad; I agree with Ninjew that we need someone like him (just like you need a persistent large map advocate like me, however you detest me). In particular, changes along the lines proposed in the aforementioned thread has been largely beneficial.

    Also, as Ninjew stressed, Zaskow’s influence cannot be measured purely on the basis of which of his specific proposals actually get implemented. His influence is more along the lines of idenitifying a general issue and tirelessly keeping that issue alive – which sometimes end up getting dev attention (if not in the form of solution that Zaskow wanted).

    #210482

    NINJEW
    Member

    e.g.?

    If you mean things like racial governance and specifics like varying costs of siege shops, those were things TS were considering quite a while ago.

    I think Zaskow’s influence is highly exaggerated, for better or worse.

    Actually, when I first joined this forum, one of the very first things I did was get in an argument with Zaskow over Elves, and Tombles had this to say at the time:

    It’s too late for this patch, I’m afraid, but Zaskow has made repeated threads with suggesting for more racial diversity in class units. In fact, a good 90% of the class unit variants we’ve put in this patch as well as half the ones from the patch before came from his thread. If you have suggestions for elf stuff, you can work with him to make a new thread (or make your own obviously)! I can’t promise we’ll use them, but more idea always help.

    #210485

    CrazyElf
    Member

    Personally I think dwarves are ok as is. Perhaps a 20% price increase is in order, but that should be “good enough”.

    – They don’t have a particularly great irregular.
    – Pikes are just average
    – Sword I guess is pretty good, but it’s not truly awesome (and besides, it should be their strength – brwaling
    – Crossbow is not awesome (certianly the Elven longbow is much better, although it’s an apples to oranges comparison)
    – Support I guess you could argue has better survivability, but not exceptional abilities
    – Cavalry is slower than competition
    – A case could be made that the Firstborn are pretty good, but they do have weaknesses too and they’ve been nerfed quite a bit (I would argue too much)

    What I don’t see is how they consistently stand up and above the rest, save perhaps at sword melee – maybe a 20% increase in cost rather than 10%, but that is “it”. They don’t have any weaknesses, but they pay for that by not having “flashy” strengths.

    Remember
    – they are generally slower
    – you will have 11 troops for 10 dwarves (plus class units of course)
    – their racial ability defensive strike is arguably less powerful than say, Orcs (they often get tireless)

    I suggested to the closed beta testers that we do a bunch of things to reduce starting randomness in RMG maps (more stable starting armies, everyone/no-one starts with their scout researched, things like that) and almost everyone hated the idea.

    Maybe this should be a game option to check/uncheck?

    Actually, if there is something I would like to see from Dwarves, it’d be them transformed in a “Protoss” like race with:

    – Strong melee, hp, and resistance, but higher cost (say 100%)
    – Likewise, double the upkeep
    – Half as many starting units (for balance).

    It’d be something unique. I think to be honest, one criticism I have of this game is that the units of the races are more alike than I would like.

    #210494

    Fenraellis
    Member

    – they are generally slower

    Actually, compared to other races, only their T2 Cavalry and T3 Special units are slower than average. 28 Movement is the standard for the Irregular/Archer/Infantry/Pikeman/Support for all other races as well, with a few specific exceptions on certain units.

    Also, as some others have mentioned, having innate Mountaineering(6 cost rather than 14 for Mountains) can actually be massively significant sometimes.

    Reducing Movement Rating below 28 is not going to happen. End of story. Trust me(or don’t).

    Hardcoded? Sadly…

    Not so much hard-coded, so much as there is a very good reason why no unit has less than 28 base movement. A few others in this thread have explained it already, actually, but it’s at least partially related to the previous games.

    I mean, if a race can move faster in tactical and still work more or less*, then a race moving slower to the same degree should also, logically, work.

    Well, with the idea of 7-cost, then your 28 speed units would still maintain 4 movement as now. Yes, any units at 32/36/40 would lose 1 tile from current speed, but they could still easily engage ranged units.

    That being said, I know that it’s a fairly significant change, considering Dwarves are already considering the ‘slow’ race even now. Making their faster(Boar Rider and various class units) would likely be… concerning.

    —–

    That’s why I still propose even a simple upkeep increase, although I think I’ll revise it from the original +1/+2/+3/+4 proposal(functionally +25%/25%/18.75%/12.5%), as a +1 per tier level upkeep factor.
    0/1/2/4 as a 0/12.5/12.5/12.5% increase would certainly be more appropriate, and proportional to standard upkeep costs, even if T1 units wouldn’t have any increase in this version of it.

    —–

    Well, according to BBB and others, the majority of the beta testers are in fact SP players. And given that even I concede many of them are fantastic players with oodles of the knowledge of the game(…)

    I know I’ve been one of those that have said as much, and I can definitely corroborate it.

    In fact, despite my own desires, I think I only managed to get three or four live MP games played during the entire Beta. It was all PBEM(and a little Hotseat) for the remainder of the MP side of my own experiences.

    #210519

    NuMetal
    Member

    And given their sturdiness, I don’t think kiting would actually be an issue here.

    Just remember the Giants with their reduced MP because of the Stone Skin spell. It would definitely make a difference as in you can clear anything Dwarf without taking damage (or just a little damage if he has ranged troops).

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