Exalted Martyrs 1.5

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Home Forums Update v1.5 – Open Beta Balance Exalted Martyrs 1.5

This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  llfoso 7 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #168256

    quo
    Member

    I’ve had a chance to try out Exalted Martyrs now, with the buffs to Martyr units. I appreciate the time and effort that went into changing this ability and the attention to game balance the devs have been providing.

    That said, unfortunately I still really don’t like this ability, only now for a different reason. Reason: while it is indeed more powerful, to get to the powerful part you have to grind levels in a most unnatural way. The rewards are pretty good, once you get them. But getting them is pretty much the opposite of fun, at least to me.

    Basically it quickly becomes clear that to level up a Martyr you have to not use it any way a “Martyr” unit should be used. You have to treat it like a hobbled Archer for the duration of 3 medals and make sure you never, ever use Absorb Pain, because its too easy for that to kill the unit and provides poor XP for the risk. Meanwhile the Martyr’s ranged attack only gives a few XP per use, does very poor damage, and its not long range enough to keep them out of combat, so… this leads to me bringing Martyrs to a Bandit Camp, and just throwing rock after rock over the wall for seven minutes just to try to get XP. It’s rather boring and actually reminds me of grinding levels in an MMO, except in this case the first time an enemy winks at you you lose all your progress.

    I don’t have suggestions for a fix and again appreciate the attempt at an upgrade. It definitely IS more powerful once you get your Exalted. But the path to get there kind of makes me want to not play Theocrats anymore. It’s just like in an MMO where you need to hit a certain level to be good but the path there is excruciating. Maybe if Martyrs had more XP giving abilities it wouldn’t be so frustrating, but I am definitely tired of hurling rocks.:)

    #168269

    I like to just build a ton of them and put them through a trial by fire. Natural selection of autocalc can decide which ones deserve to live. You might be surprised how effective it is swarming fights with hordes of low tier units. This doesn’t work well against dungeons where you can only take one stack though, or siege battles, but it can help to get an early leg up in clearing.

    Don’t think of exalted martyrs as a ticket to free exalted, think of it as a way to upgrade all the low tier spam that helped you play aggressively and get ahead quickly. You probably aren’t going to be getting all your martyrs to be exalted.

    That being said, maybe the ability could still use another buff. As people have mentioned martyrs by their very nature are not a combat unit, but a cheap support designed to keep your important units alive.

    Perhaps if the exalted martyrs tech also gave them in combat regen? Or simply some more hp? Or increased the speed at which they leveled like the scoundrel upgrade does? Just something to make the tech worth using that wouldn’t make martyrs themselves too powerful for cost on their own. Probably the exp thing.

    #168287

    llfoso
    Member

    I’ve been having the opposite experience…my martyrs have a really high survival rate now (having 40 hp helps a lot) and I’m using elf martyrs, not the Orc ones with 45hp.

    Maybe they could get some xp every time they take damage through absorb pain, but it’s not a huge problem. And the reward is massive- if it were easy to get exalted with absorb pain Theo would be very badly broken.

    #168293

    madmac
    Member

    Perhaps if the exalted martyrs tech also gave them in combat regen? Or simply some more hp? Or increased the speed at which they leveled like the scoundrel upgrade does? Just something to make the tech worth using that wouldn’t make martyrs themselves too powerful for cost on their own. Probably the exp thing.

    Just FYI, we hard to nerf Exalted Martyrs a couple of times, and tighten up some XP farming exploits, because people were able to fairly reliably farm a full stack of Exalted before turn 20.

    So uh, buffs are unlikely. Just saying. 🙂

    In any case, Martyrs are actually good units now, and various changes to Theocrat makes it entirely viable to rush them out at the start where they are most effective. 40 HP with a 35% reduction means a single rookie Martyr can soak about 54 HP worth of damage before dying, more with healing, and even if they do die they’re one of the cheapest units in the game and easy to replace.

    Also they’re ranged units with devout, so spamming Mark of the Heretic ends up boosting their damage output considerably and makes them pretty decent at clearing.

    #168300

    alf978
    Member

    Just FYI, we hard to nerf Exalted Martyrs a couple of times, and tighten up some XP farming exploits, because people were able to fairly reliably farm a full stack of Exalted before turn 20.

    Darn that’s scary, I’m glad that did get nerfed…
    Just curious, was this purely through autocombat? Is there a particular way to “optimize” using martyrs in auto? (other than zerging it) I take it it’s a moot point now, but I’m just wondering?

    #168309

    Prodigal Sun
    Member

    Yup, as madmac says, we made stacks of Exalted appear around 20 turn mark. Any buff to Martyrs or Exalted Martyr skill now may go over board very quickly.

    You can still do fairly reliable leveling if you are not under immidiate pressure.

    Darn that’s scary, I’m glad that did get nerfed…<br>
    Just curious, was this purely through autocombat? Is there a particular way to “optimize” using martyrs in auto? (other than zerging it) I take it it’s a moot point now, but I’m just wondering?

    Yes this was through auto combat. Orc Martyrs are beasts with Absorb Pain and Halfling lever up quicker than the others, so they were the best.

    Generally go for weak sites, attack with a stack of Martyrs and an other stack consisting of any T1 unit you can afford to lose; scout, irregular, animal etc. Initiating the fight with the lone unit usually is better, and this is the same for leveling Scoundrels.

    #168312

    llfoso
    Member

    Ignore this.

    #168443

    quo
    Member

    Well I agree the ability is powerful and doesn’t need a “buff,” seeing as you can get the Exalted out early by farming it. What I don’t like is how it basically makes you grind levels XP-mill style to take advantage of it, because the Martyr unit itself is really bad at earning its own XP. The main way to get XP with a Martyr is to throw rocks at things. But throwing rocks does such poor damage the only reason to do this is specifically to level the unit.

    Compare this to, say, Human Cavalry. Those need to be coddled a bit too to level them up to Knights. But at least they can still be used for their primary purpose (charging at stuff). The Cavalry isn’t sitting back throwing a rock for 4 damage.

    Also, regarding Absorb Pain itself, altho it does lower the absorbed damage by 35%, in practice what this actually means is the Martyr has a bigger chance of being focus-fired. This is precisely what you don’t want to happen. The main way to prevent it is to keep the Martyr far enough away that attackers won’t simply run past the benefactor of Absorb, and attack the Martyr. But then the Martyr is too far away to get XP. This is why I resorted to creating elaborate XP farms specifically to level up Martyrs. In several instances I watched as the AI simply ran past a wall of Crusaders, taking up to 2 or 3 Attacks of Opportunity as it ran by, to walk up and slap a Martyr in the face.

    Anyway, altho I doubt we’re going to get it, I think Absorb Pain alone should not be capable of killing a unit. When the unit hits 1HP, the link should just break.

    #168464

    Jomungur
    Member

    I’ve had a chance to try out Exalted Martyrs now, with the buffs to Martyr units. I appreciate the time and effort that went into changing this ability and the attention to game balance the devs have been providing.

    That said, unfortunately I still really don’t like this ability, only now for a different reason. Reason: while it is indeed more powerful, to get to the powerful part you have to grind levels in a most unnatural way. The rewards are pretty good, once you get them. But getting them is pretty much the opposite of fun, at least to me.

    Basically it quickly becomes clear that to level up a Martyr you have to not use it any way a “Martyr” unit should be used. You have to treat it like a hobbled Archer for the duration of 3 medals and make sure you never, ever use Absorb Pain, because its too easy for that to kill the unit and provides poor XP for the risk. Meanwhile the Martyr’s ranged attack only gives a few XP per use, does very poor damage, and its not long range enough to keep them out of combat, so… this leads to me bringing Martyrs to a Bandit Camp, and just throwing rock after rock over the wall for seven minutes just to try to get XP. It’s rather boring and actually reminds me of grinding levels in an MMO, except in this case the first time an enemy winks at you you lose all your progress.

    I don’t have suggestions for a fix and again appreciate the attempt at an upgrade. It definitely IS more powerful once you get your Exalted. But the path to get there kind of makes me want to not play Theocrats anymore. It’s just like in an MMO where you need to hit a certain level to be good but the path there is excruciating. Maybe if Martyrs had more XP giving abilities it wouldn’t be so frustrating, but I am definitely tired of hurling rocks.:)

    IMO you are playing the martyrs the wrong way. They are cheap units that are supposed to absorb pain and take the risk of dying. What they do is help the survivability of your more valuable units, and they do this well. Some of them will get to gold, but you’re not supposed to try to get everyone to gold.

    Exalted martyrs works retroactively. Why don’t you just forget about micromanaging the martyrs, use them normally, and if you happen to get some to gold or close to gold medal, then research exalted martyrs and get free, uber exalted?

    If you only play theocrat to get exalted from martyrs, that is your choice but that is not how most people play it. Many games I don’t bother researching exalted martyrs at all. I use martyrs a ton but not because I want them to turn exalted. I also like using evangelists, crusaders, even researching exalted myself and building them en masse.

    #168487

    quo
    Member

    Many games I don’t bother researching exalted martyrs at all.

    Yes, historically I haven’t either. So many people didn’t that they changed it in 1.5.

    Now the skill is better from a power standpoint, but from a gameplay one it’s a cludge. Martyrs are not a unit that levels up organically in the same way most other evolving units do. They simply don’t do enough damage, and the XP they get for using Absorb Pain is abysmal. The main way to level them up is to set up a farm near a wall with some healing units nearby and throw rocks for five minutes. The reward you get for doing this are very good. But the gameplay makes me nostalgic for airport layovers. ;p

    #168735

    Ravenholme
    Member

    IMO you are playing the martyrs the wrong way. They are cheap units that are supposed to absorb pain and take the risk of dying. What they do is help the survivability of your more valuable units, and they do this well. Some of them will get to gold, but you’re not supposed to try to get everyone to gold.

    Exalted martyrs works retroactively. Why don’t you just forget about micromanaging the martyrs, use them normally, and if you happen to get some to gold or close to gold medal, then research exalted martyrs and get free, uber exalted?

    If you only play theocrat to get exalted from martyrs, that is your choice but that is not how most people play it. Many games I don’t bother researching exalted martyrs at all. I use martyrs a ton but not because I want them to turn exalted. I also like using evangelists, crusaders, even researching exalted myself and building them en masse.

    This about sums up my experience – if you’re deliberately trying to grind Martyrs into Exalted, of course it is going to be a slog. Just play naturally, the idea now is that when you get an Exalted Martyr, it doesn’t feel like an obscure punishment (which it felt like before, because generally an Exalted wasn’t actually an upgrade for the role you had the Martyr in) for a Martyr surviving the gauntlet to Elite.

    #168748

    llfoso
    Member

    Maybe they should be getting more XP from absorb pain. Like getting XP every time they take damage through it.

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