Elementals: A flavor for everyone

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Elementals: A flavor for everyone

This topic contains 17 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Fenraellis 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #129206

    eSmokefish
    Member

    Let’s start with a buncha statblocks, because thats my -favorite thing- to do!

    Shared Traits: Elemental, Magical Origin, Night Vision, Floating
    +6HP @ Trooper/Veteran/Expert, +12HP @ Elite, +1 Def @ Veteran/Elite, +1 Res @ Expert, +10HP @ Every Champion Rank

    Earth Elemental
    75HP, 28MP, 13 Def, 11 Res, 20 Phys Melee, Inflict Crippling Wounds, Defender, Regrowth, 40% Physical Protection, 100% Fire/Frost Protection, 60% Shock/Blight Weakness
    +1 Physical Melee Damage every Non-Champion Rank, +Petrifying Touch @ Veteran, +Tireless @ Elite

    Air Elemental
    60HP, 36MP, 12 Def, 11 Res, 6 Phys/14 Shock Melee, Phase, Projectile Resistance, Inflict Shocking, Inflict Stun, 40% Physical Protection, 100% Shock/Blight Protection, 60% Fire/Frost Weakness
    +1 Shock Melee Damage every Non-Champion Rank, +Static Shield @ Elite

    Fire Elemental
    60HP, 32MP, 12 Def, 11 Res, 6 Phys/18 Fire Melee, Sprint, Inflict Immolation, Inflict Scorching Heat, Fire Aura, Explosive Death, 100% Fire/Blight Protection, 100% Frost Weakness
    +1 Fire Melee Damage every Non-Champion Rank, Charge & Killing Momentum @ Elite

    Frost Elemental
    70HP, 32MP, 14 Def, 11 Res, 5 Phys/12 Frost Melee, Inflict Frosbite, Defender, Frost Aura, Inflict Freezing Cold, 100% Frost Protection, 40% Physical/Fire Weakness
    +1 Frost Melee Damage every Non-Champion Rank, +20% Fire/Physical Protection @ Elite

    Blight Elemental
    75HP, 32MP, 13 Def, 11 Res, 6 Phys/14 Blight Melee, Weakening, Weakening Breath, Inflict Severely Poisoned, Inflict Brain Rot, Inflict Exhausting Fatigue, Inflict Enfeebling Fever, Inflict Noxious Vulnerability, Disgusting Stench, 100% Blight Protection, 40% Fire Weakness, 60% Spirit Weakness
    +1 Blight Melee Damage every Non-Champion Rank

    Spirit Elemental
    70HP, 32MP, 13 Def, 11 Res, 6 Phys/14 Spirit Melee, 11 Spirit Ranged(Spirit Ray), Bestow Iron Heart, Inflict Daze, Inflict Spirit Breaking, 80% Fire/Frost/Shock Protection, 100% Spirit Protection, 100% Blight Weakness
    +1 Spirit Ranged Damage every Non-Champion Rank, +1 Spirit Melee Damage @ Trooper/Expert, Projectile Reflection @ Elite

    -/statblock-

    So with that out of the way, I’d like to hear what other people think of the elementals, and just about anything related to them. Be it discussion about balance or voicing general thoughts about them.

    To begin with, I’m a singleplayer kind of guy; I’ve never really gotten into multiplayer and have little desire to actively get involved with it. Perhaps once or twice on a rainy day, but that would be it. Just a bit of a disclaimer there.

    I really like summoning up Elementals, even if they aren’t super useful all the time, I just plain like them for their flavor. Of which there are many. They also make for a good mana sink on my favorite Warlord leader. Wild Magic Adept lets me play around with Elementals a lot too, despite the limited specialization picks. What lesser elemental that gets summoned seems to be partially affected by the terrain/climate of the hex you summon them on, in my experience. Anyone know anything about that? Oh and also, I’d love to have lesser elementals added to the various Adept specializations. Perhaps Creation & Destruction could get Spirit & Blight elemental, respectively, summons added to them? That’d be nice.

    If I were to talk specificly about any one of the elementals, and the raw stats they have, I have some thoughts on each one.
    -Earth Elemental: I like this one, it got a very well-defined ‘role’ so to speak. It is a tank, it is meant to soak up damage, and does it well with the stats and abilities it possesses. Everything about it is focused on getting in the way of the enemy and toughing it out. I am however a little confused as to its Resistance values, primarily I find the Shock Weakness perplexing, the Fire/Frost values exceedingly high, and Blight weakness as acceptable(as I consider Blight the element of entropy/corrosion, not just poison). It gains new tricks at both Veteran and Elite, which I definitely like.

    -Air Elemental: I like this one too, it is very powerful in offensive stats, with Inflict Shocking making it all the more deadlier if it applies. It isn’t as sturdy as the Earth elemental, but still got a fair amount of toughness to go around. I find the Blight immunity a bit odd, and I feel largely indifferent to the fire/frost weakness. Having no trait-gain at Veteran feels odd to me, but I feel that way about all units.

    -Fire Elemental: The one I tend to use the most, as my most used Leader is rocking Fire Master, and it is an incredibly volatile offensive powerhouse in my experience, despite Fire resistance being far from rare. Nowhere near as tough as Earth or Air, and lack any interesting offensive trait synergies like Air have, but I feel like you can rarely go wrong with Fire Elementals. While the Frost weakness is severe, it is rarely an issue and I think it fits perfectly fine ven if it was an issue. Only issue I really have is that it gets no trait at Veteran. Perhaps Charge could be moved there? Overwhelm perhaps?

    -Frost Elemental: I rarely use this one, and I feel like it is confused about it’s own purpose. It have very low damage values, powerful disabling traits(Inflict Freezing Cold, Frost Aura), high health+def and Defender, but at the same time physical weakness. I can only assume the Fire Weakness is so ‘low’ because of how common fire damage is. And again, no trait-gain at Veteran, and dull Elite gains. Perhaps one could move Frost Aura to Elite, add something at Veteran, remove the fire/phys resist gains, add some fire weakness at base, but otherwise buff the base damage a little?

    -Blight Elemental: I haven’t gotten much of a chance to use this one yet, but oh boy does it look interesting! An elemental with a breath attack, and more Inflict traits than you can shake a stick at! Except, it got no trait-gains on Veteran OR Elite. It is entirely front-loaded in terms of traits, having all toys from the get go. Perhaps there could be consideration for some change there? I also think the resistance/weaknesses are just about right, not too extreme one way or another and they seem to fit well enough in my book.

    -Spirit Elemental: I really, -really-, like this one just because of the base stats. And like the previous Golden Realms elemental it is different from the others in having a ranged attack. In fact, it is more focused on ranged combat than it is on melee! A stark difference from the norm! It also have a much greater emphasis on support than being a straight up combatant, an aspect I am very fond of. Again I am not very fond of no trait-gain at Veteran rank, and to me Projectile Reflection at Elite feels a little misplaced. I am also not sure what to think about the Resistance values, those are pretty extreme! The Blight weakness is quite fitting though, to me at least, but that might be due to my perception of blight = entropy, while the Spirit Elemental is more aligned with nurturing/’creation’ in a sense. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing some cuts in Frost/Shock/Fire resistances, and the addition of some more support-oriented traits somewhere. Minor Bard Skill, perhaps?

    Well, that ought to be enough for a starting post at least. Again, I’d just like some general discussion about matters related to Elementals, if anyone would be up for that. Balance or general thoughts, doesn’t matter to me!

    #129246

    Gloweye
    Member

    Perhaps Creation & Destruction could get Spirit & Blight elemental, respectively, summons added to them? That’d be nice.

    While I must say I’ve thought the same for a long time, I understand why it isn’t done.

    This is simply because those two elementals are GR-exclusive. To include them would require adding some compensation to the other sphere’s, as it would be a major buff, but THAT would unbalance the sphere’s for all non-GR players. The specific spells do exist in game, and it appears they’d have the same method of acquisition as spells like Summon Phoenix/Mass Curse and co – Sage empire quest/ wizards tower ruins and its like, though I’ve never seen them myself.

    Earth Elemental is impressive in combat, and can easily hold his ground against practically any T4 who is restricted to the physical channel, with the gold medal making it practically invulnerable to anything T3 and below, perhaps exceptions for heavy Shock based units, like storm sisters, in multitude.

    Fire and Air fill a bit of the same place – a really heavy hitter. Their large elemental damage make them deal huge amounts of damage, but does make them almost useless against anything that might resist their respective element.

    I must say I have not yet had the pleasure of raising a frost one, but I do think it has the severest weakness of all in Physical.

    Blight is enormous. The breath almost completly disables most lower tier units – I’ve seen cases where enemies (given, a engineer…) became literally unable to inflict any damage due to status ailments. Its biggest drawback is that units that are already weakened are immune to its breath attack.

    Spirit Elemental is awesome, with Iron Heart from the get-go even at lesser version, my elf rogue loves these for the healing alone. On top of that, if you keep them from the melee, they deal high amounts of damage at range, and the inflicts of spirit breaking (-2 resist) and daze(no attacks), are awesome, also in the role of helping your other units.

    My thoughts on the elementals.

    #129248

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Interesting topic, because if I had to name the things that have been impressing me most with GR, then Lesser Elementals und Summoning them are definitely worth naming. It’s a lot of fun to burn Mana with Summoning Lesser Elementals – a bit sad, actually, because it makes Wild Magic pick a must-have, except, of course, for the AD
    It’s also just as well that a stack can contain one of each – but of course that’s not necessary, even though a mixed elemental force is pretty good stuff.

    So as opposed to other games I know in which Elementals tend to be bland more often than not, They did things really well in this one.

    #129254

    Epaminondas
    Member

    I like Spirit Elementals, since I play Theocrats/Creation Mastery a lot, and they are the only Elementals that synergizes with all the skills and spells that the class/specialization(s) bring to the table.

    Edit: And I agree with the poster who said that the devs did a fine job with the variety of Elementals.

    #129290

    freese2112
    Member

    Epa – don’t you find that the Spirit elemental is “good” at what you already have a ton of – healing & ranged elemental damage? Just wondering if I’m missing something, because the Spirit elementals are a god-send if you’re playing Rogue or Warlord with fewer healing options. I would have thought that as a Theo you’d be more into the Earth/Fire as the Theo’s don’t really have “Tanks” like many of the other classes.

    And I love the Summon Lesser Elemental spell. It allows for “ghetto” dual channel (just because of the high casting costs), and I really love units that evolve. It just seems like the elementals really reward “smart” gameplay, because if you can keep them away from their weaknesses, they can typically punch outside of their weight class. That being said, if your opponent can take advantage of the weakness, they can really go down fast.

    #129344

    Decker87
    Member

    Theo crusaders are actually pretty good tanks with their “Defender” trait. They’ll have around 20 defense when guarding.

    #129350

    Gloweye
    Member

    Theo crusaders are actually pretty good tanks with their “Defender” trait. They’ll have around 20 defense when guarding.

    17 without any medal. thats epic for a T2. Oh, and Tireless if they are orcs, which is borderline OP combination for a T2.

    However, they still don’t really hold against the higher tier units that you’d prefer an Earth Elemental for – since you’ll be wanting to deal damage back at them. Also, Overwhelm gets more common at higher Tiers, and your shielded infantry doesn’t like that.

    #129354

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Epa – don’t you find that the Spirit elemental is “good” at what you already have a ton of – healing & ranged elemental damage? Just wondering if I’m missing something, because the Spirit elementals are a god-send if you’re playing Rogue or Warlord with fewer healing options. I would have thought that as a Theo you’d be more into the Earth/Fire as the Theo’s don’t really have “Tanks” like many of the other classes.

    I’ve always been the type of player who prefers to accentuate a faction’s strengths rather than trying to buff its weaknesses. I also play TBS games in a bit of RP mode, and a lot of Elementals do not fit the Theocrat theme or aesthetic – for instance, I immediately dismiss Blight Elementals whenever I get them.

    As for the “tank” issue, I find Crusaders – especially if they have Enchanted Armor – can last throughout the game, at least in SP context. They have the inherent Defender trait, and I creep fast so I can have quite a few at Champion levels by the time I am doing serious war-mongering.

    #129356

    I’m quite fond of the frost elemental: it is an excellent unit for taking out hordes of lesser things, and its weakness to big attacks can be easily removed with stone skin, bless, or iron heart.

    physical weakness is supposed to represent the fact that ice will tend to shatter easily. It is probably the second best one for the warlord, since they can entirely remove the physical malus for the elite unit.

    It is also very fun with an Archdruid/horse archer army, as the frostbite makes arrows more deadly.

    I think the best one overall is the Spirit Elemental: the iron heart makes it useful even when fighting machines or spirit immune units, and spirit breaking/daze is so very useful when you fight those without immunity.

    But its biggest strength is strategic: its passive heal allows it to level up faster than the other elementals, and it gives you the advantages of having a priest in your stack without having to slow down.

    blight elementals probably come in second for Archdruids and goblins of various stripes: mass weaken is obviously neat.

    #129365

    Hunter
    Member

    I just love the Spirit Elemental. Especially since it is the undead stacks that give me the hardest time normally (Very strong defenders, Many Independents), and if I am not Human or Theocrat, I need something to do the damage to them.

    The range of elementals is awesome. When I summon “lesser” using Wild Magic, I am always hanging out for a Spirit.

    #129384

    jakjak
    Member

    I love all of them very good variety though I have to say frost elementals die twice as much as the others

    #129386

    Kaiosama TLJ
    Member

    Frost Elementals are good. Sure, they aren’t “tanks” but they aren’t that squishy either.

    In my opinion they are really good with Warlords, I think two of the most shining features of it are the fact that they can “remove” 3 Armor from the enemy with Frostbite and can also Freeze them. Its even better in the recent patch since they replaced Freezing Touch with Inflict Frozen.

    #129388

    eSmokefish
    Member

    While I must say I’ve thought the same for a long time, I understand why it isn’t done. his is simply because those two elementals are GR-exclusive. /Snip

    In hindsight, I do believe I fumbled on seeing the big picture on this matter. You are of course absolutely correct as to why this is unlikely to ever happen officially. As if there wasn’t enough reasons to yearn for modding support.

    Fire and Air fill a bit of the same place – a really heavy hitter. Their large elemental damage make them deal huge amounts of damage, but does make them almost useless against anything that might resist their respective element.

    It’s a lot of fun to burn Mana with Summoning Lesser Elementals /Snep
    So as opposed to other games I know in which Elementals tend to be bland more often than not, They did things really well in this one. /Snup

    Hear hear! I agree wholeheartedly about the potential fun factor Summon Lesser Elemental brings to the table, it is that sort of stuff that I really like. Most likely partially because of my single-player preference.

    I can also agree with Triumph having done a good job with their Elementals, giving them all different flavors even when they have somewhat similiar roles. IE Fire being a more straight-up aggressive offensive choice, with Air offering some potential synergy and more tactical toys while also being offensively focused.

    And I love the Summon Lesser Elemental spell. It allows for “ghetto” dual channel, and I really love units that evolve.

    Indeed! Summon Lesser Elemental gives a lot of bang for your specialization buck and helps in spending excess mana, even if they are very slow to summon for the most part.

    As for the Lesser ones evolving, I am honestly a bit torn on that topic. As things are currently, it is definitely a nice treat that they can evolve. Though personally I would prefer non-evolving but overall cheaper Lesser Elementals on an Adept level, with the current grown-up Elementals making for nice treats on the Master level. But that is a matter that modding can solve one day, and is just fine as is.

    Also on the matter of evolving… Is it just me, or do summoned Lesser Elementals, upon evolving, change from Mana upkeep to Gold upkeep? I think I recall this having happened to me a while ago, not sure if thats been fixed since.

    I’m quite fond of the frost elemental
    physical weakness is supposed to represent the fact that ice will tend to shatter easily /Snop

    Indeed, I find it entirely justified that a being of ice have some issues dealing with high impact trauma. The thing that confused me the most however was how it appeared to, apart from the physical weakness, be heavily slanted towards being a anti-physical damage soaker with some crippling disables in Inflict Freezing Cold and Frost Aura.

    I can totally understand not wanting to give it 100% Fire Weakness, to reverse-mirror it’s more fiery relative, considering how common just Fire damage is, but I think of all the Elementals it is the Frosty one that could use some touch-ups. As I said in my opening post, I find the Fire/Physical resistance gains at Elite terribly dull, and gaining nothing of note at Veteran is another pet grievance of mine. And of course, that it’s melee damage isn’t anywhere near that of its relatives; even the range-focused Spirit elemental have a higher raw damage output, and Air have almost as good if not better capability to disable enemies.

    I would appreciate others viewpoints on Mr Chill, am I the only one who find his statblock lackluster?

    ——

    It doesn’t surprise me to hear a lot of love for the Spirit Elemental! After all, what is not to love about a conjurable healer-in-a-can that also ain’t half-bad at smiting your enemies from afar? I still think it could use some alterations as far as Medal benefits are concerned, but even without such it is in an incredibly good place currently.

    Earth is rock solid(heh). Fire and Air have very defined roles that they excel at. So even if I might sound like a broken record here, I believe Frost is the weakest link here, with a very minor side of Blight due to having no interesting medal gains whatsoever.

    If it ever came up to give the Elementals, not just the lattermost two I mentioned above, what quality of life improvements would any of you like to see?

    Edit:

    Frost Elementals are good. Sure, they aren’t “tanks” but they aren’t that squishy either.
    I think two of the most shining features of it are the fact that they can “remove” 3 Armor from the enemy with Frostbite and can also Freeze them.

    I’d say everything about their stats except for the Physical Weakness is aimed towards being tanks, which is why I said their statblock feels confused and all over the place. I appreciate positive input in regards to Frosty, though! Perhaps I should try and play around with it some more.

    And aye, Frost Aura and their two Inflictions are very powerful debuffs/disables, far more potent than what the other ‘tank’, Rocky, brings to the table. I am not entirely sure if they weigh up for the physical weakness though.

    Just to make it abundantly clear: I am not vouching for removing the physical weakness of Frost Elemental, but I do believe Chills here could use some bumps in other areas. 6 Phys/14 Frost for melee would at least put it on par with everyone else to start with, and some more interesting medal gains could definitely go a long way too. As for what that could be specificly, I ain’t entirely sure.

    #129393

    Kaiosama TLJ
    Member

    Also on the matter of evolving… Is it just me, or do summoned Lesser Elementals, upon evolving, change from Mana upkeep to Gold upkeep? I think I recall this having happened to me a while ago, not sure if thats been fixed since.

    Yes and no. It’s a bit hard to explain but from what I get the Mana Upkeep is tied with the spell itself and not the tier of the creature you summoned. So if you summoned a low level creature you will have only low Mana upkeep at first, but when it evolves it will be two upkeeps, Mana from the summoning spell and Gold from the tier of the creature.

    It’s not just Lesser Elementals, this also happens with Archdruids and Baby Serpents/Spiders.

    #129394

    eSmokefish
    Member

    when it evolves it will be two upkeeps, Mana from the summoning spell and Gold from the tier of the creature.
    It’s not just Lesser Elementals, this also happens with Archdruids and Baby Serpents/Spiders.

    That is even worse than I thought! Here’s hoping the devs get around to fixing this one way or another, sooner rather than later!

    #129397

    Fenraellis
    Member

    Well, by the nature of the unit, it remains tied to the summoning spell… but it is becoming a stronger unit. Double dipping on mana upkeep is generally going to be more punishing than adding a gold upkeep to it.

    Also, it actually is rewarding players who manage to evolve a unit, as they will cost significantly less mana than a higher tier summon. This is most evident for Arch Druids and their Baby summons turning into the same units they can summon for four times the upkeep with Gargantuan Summon.

    Most Starkly, a Baby Serpent evolving to a King will have 32 Gold Upkeep and 6 Mana Upkeep(24/5 with Wildlife Refuge, of course). Compared to a Gargantuan Summon version which will either be T3->T4 and thus 32/24 Gold/Mana(24/18 with WR), or a flat 24 Mana(18 with WR) if you straight summon a T4. In comparison, a Horned God is simply 36 Mana(if I remember right). I know I would rather have a 24 Gold/5 Mana upkeep tier 4 unit, than a 24/18 Gold/Mana, or 36 Mana(circumstances might favor the Horned God, of course). Although 18 mana alone is easily worth a T4 unit.

    Even the difference between a 12/5 Gold/Mana(with WR) evolved Spider Queen compared to a straight 18 Mana Gargantuan summoned Spider Queen is a visible difference(and outright cheaper). The same for the T3 Serpents.

    That’s not even touching on the fact that a Savage Rage buffed Serpent is easily comparable, if not stronger in many cases, to the other ‘true’ T4 units.

    So get out there and Evolve those summoned units!

    #129398

    Narvek
    Keymaster

    eSmokefish wrote:
    Also on the matter of evolving… Is it just me, or do summoned Lesser Elementals, upon evolving, change from Mana upkeep to Gold upkeep? I think I recall this having happened to me a while ago, not sure if thats been fixed since.

    It is fixed internally, will make its way to you in the next patch.
    It was actually only a display problem: it said it cost gold, but it always did cost the correct amount of mana.

    #129444

    Fenraellis
    Member

    Hmm, really? So it modified the display on the unit panel and the income(and upkeep) display? Because I know that when I’ve disbanded(or canceled the summon on the panel, I tried both methods) an Evolved Serpent as a confirmation test(and tested again after reload), both my gold and mana income values increased.

    I admit that I didn’t test ending my turn, while making sure no new units were produced and towns didn’t grow/change income otherwise, so I didn’t confirm that I actually received the specific amount of income I was purported to receive.

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