Exalted too strong and unfitting?

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Exalted too strong and unfitting?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  gladis 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #272964

    Fluks
    Member

    Hei all I think Exalteds should be be nerfed. This discussion has mostly PBEM in mind, because evolving is not really an issue in Live MP.
    But let’s just compare martyrs to scoundrels from rogue (which I think are at a good spot at the moment.):
    Scoundrels
    -Corrupted killers (200 RP)
    – level the scoundrels
    – level lesser stalkers (T2)
    – Research Shadow Stalker (1420 RP away from scoundrels)

    Martyrs
    – Exalted Martyrs (200 RP)
    – level the martyrs
    – level exalted martyrs

    I don’t know if I’m the only one that thinks something is missing here. Why in the world don’t you have to research Exalteds (940 RP away from martyrs) even that would be faster than what rogue gets (just compare RP and exalted Martyr is T1 so it needs less XP to level up).
    Now I expect the argument that stalkers are much stronger than exalted, but I think they are about the same strength in PBEM heres why:
    – Daze (at veteran)
    – Flying (stalker “only” gets floating)
    – Resurgence super useful for clearing sites
    – Absorb pain (if evolved from martyrs), together with Resurgence absolutely a killer combo.
    On top of that Theo has plenty of healing, something that Rogue struggles with and Exalted count as infantry so it profits from the MCU that gives fear strike.
    All of that makes exalted pretty even if not even stronger for clearing sites than stalkers (which are pretty strong!).
    So OK I think it’s too easy to get Exalted, but there is another thing that bugs me about the exalteds. And that is that Theo has Crusaders and Evangelists -units that are pretty good, a tad slow, but incredible sturdy and they fit Theocrat thematically really well. But since exalteds are so strong it leads to Theocrat becoming like the class to go to for hit and run/rush tactics because there is really little that can challenge exalteds as early as they can come and with cherubs Theo also has splendid scouts to keep the map control. So Theo can dance around the enemy clearing stuff, hit where he is vulnerable and run if in trouble. Maybe I’m just too stubborn in my fantasy tropes but that feels like something Druid or Rogue should be doing, yet Theo is arguably better at it. For me at least the slow and sturdy Theocrat would feel much more fitting.
    So I would argue that Exalteds should get a nerf (maybe less MP and for the martyrs to evolve the exalted tech should be necessary?) or would that make Theo too weak?
    I’m not a overly strong player (especially not in PBEM) and don’t play Theo very often so maybe I’m getting it all wrong, but then please tell me where.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by  Fluks.
    #272966

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    One thing is that Scoundrels get QUICK LEARNER via corrupted killers which means that they evolve faster.
    The evolve comparison is between Exalted and LESSER Shadow Stalkers, because Shadow Stalkers evolve is something like a bonus.

    What you can do or not depends on what mods/no mods you play. When you play NO mods, but vanilla game it’s a question of who can abuse the game better, not whose class is better. So on which “rules” is your experience based?

    #272967

    Fluks
    Member

    One thing is that Scoundrels get QUICK LEARNER via corrupted killers which means that they evolve faster.

    Yes and then they are T2 and evolve slower. I don’t think overall it is much of a difference.

    The evolve comparison is between Exalted and LESSER Shadow Stalkers, because Shadow Stalkers evolve is something like a bonus.

    If I made a comparison between lesser shadow stalkers and Exalted it would be even worse for rogue, lesser shadow stalkers are nowhere near the power level of exalted.

    What you can do or not depends on what mods/no mods you play. […] So on which “rules” is your experience based?

    PBEM

    This discussion has mostly PBEM in mind, because evolving is not really an issue in Live MP. […]

    #272994

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    No, I mean, PBEM is clear, but what do you have under the hood? It looks like you played Rogue and were smashed by a Theocrat who overwhelmed you with stacks of Exalted.
    Did you play vanilla game? Or the PBEM mod of the Battlefield or something else?

    In PBEM it is mandatory to maximize the experience gain you get out of each and every battle. If you play vanilla (and depending on the settings), this is really a lot of experience, and if someone knows what they are doing and follows a certain strategy it is abolutely possible to fast-evolve units.
    In your case it seems the opponent not only evolved the Martyrs, but also got the evolved Exalted to at least Inflict Daze Medal (which also means more than the T2 value 55 HPs they come with.
    Now, initially, your situation is equal – except, that once you have corrupted killers, you get +50% XP for your Scoundrels, which means, if you would follow the same strategy AND play on equal level of skills your Scoundrels would evolve faster, which means, you had stalkers earlier than he Exalted and/or more medals on them or more stalkers.
    Also, it’s clear that if you play against a Theo, the Succubus is not a good option, except a few seducing a couple of useful neutrals, but not against the Theo and especially not against Exalted, which means, you can and should produce Assassins (whose Strike is pretty harsh).

    Lastly, while Theocrat’s Cherubs give SOME map control, Rogue’s Crows are better in that regard, and a Rogue shouldn’t be surprise-attacked. True, a stack of Exalted is mobile and offers a serious threat that can’t be countered with hastily drafted rabble, but to me it looks more like a case of “I wouldn’t have thought it possible he would come at me so early so I was ill-prepared”.

    So, again, the question is, did you play any mods, and which settings did you use? In PBEM withoud mods a good player can rip you to pieces within 20 turns (depending on map size and player number, of course), and you wouldn’t believe what is actually possible, when people know what they are doing. There are those players who don’t waste any time: find opponent and go for the throat. If you are not prepared for that and have not a rough idea what opponent can do how fast you are in a very bad place.

    #273077

    Fluks
    Member

    Yes the PBEM-mod from the battlefield.
    Also thank you for your answers, but could I ask you to please contribute to the discussion instead of wild speculations on me having been crushed by a Theocrat?
    If you must know where my impressions come from:
    I played in a 4v4 with marcuspers (Theo) as opponent.
    I play together with gladis (Theo) in a 3vs3.
    I watched some of Hiliadans PBEM videos where he plays as Theo and also Marcuspers exalted martyr strategy video. There has been a balance change proposal regarding martyrs in the PBEM mod and this made me think about this topic.
    I have no doubt that Marcus, Gladis and Hiliadan would kill me anytime with basically any class/race in PBEM. But this thread isn’t called “General advice for a PBEM noob” so please keep platitudes like “In PBEM it’s mandatory to maximize the experience” for an according thread. Thanks.
    The only reason I compare Theo to Rogue here is that I think the Martyrs -> Exalted is very similar to the scoundrels -> stalkers evolution. I happen to think exalted -> martyrs is too strong and was asking for the input of others, because I very well might be wrong. But if no one else is replying then this thread is dead anyway. Sorry for taking your time in that case.

    #273090

    Zaskow
    Member

    Long ago Exalted Martyrs tech needed researching of Exalted skill first. After whining of players you get current version.
    As for me I’d prefer to alternative fix for this problem. Like making a possibility for martyrs to evolve into Evangelists with bigger chances than evolving into Exalted. Instead Hiliadan pushed really ugly technically and gameplay decision with Awakened Martyrs.
    In 1.25 this decision will be changed.

    #273101

    Hiliadan
    Member

    exalted Martyr is T1 so it needs less XP to level up

    It’s “Awakened Martyrs”, not “Exalted Martyrs”. 😛 And they’re going to be removed in v1.25:
    Th10b
    Martyr have a specific tier parameter: they reach Expert at 70 XP instead of 35 XP and reach Elite at 140 XP instead of 70 XP. Regeneration is available at Expert (was Elite).

    (not yet confirmed but should be tomorrow)

    Exalted count as infantry so it profits from the MCU that gives fear strike.

    Yeah but that doesn’t apply to Evolved Exalted.

    But since exalteds are so strong it leads to Theocrat becoming like the class to go to for hit and run/rush tactics because there is really little that can challenge exalteds as early as they can come and with cherubs Theo also has splendid scouts to keep the map control. So Theo can dance around the enemy clearing stuff, hit where he is vulnerable and run if in trouble. Maybe I’m just too stubborn in my fantasy tropes but that feels like something Druid or Rogue should be doing, yet Theo is arguably better at it.

    For me Rogue and especially AD are much better at playing hit & run. But I agree that a very good player can exploit the facts that the requirements to Evolve Martyrs into Exalted are quite low.

    12.b/ Produce Exalted is necessary to allow Martyrs to evolve into Exalted Martyrs (like Lesser Shadow Stalkers evolving into Shadow Stalkers only when Produce Shadow Stalkers is researched). That would be a big nerf but it would make sense.

    That’s a proposal I put forward a long time ago to the core group, but it didn’t make it to the extended groups so far, that might change.

    I think with the 140 XP requirement for Martyrs, without a Column of Champions, we’re in a good spot in terms of timing. You will get several Exalted only after turn 20, and by then, your opponent can have built a strength to counter them.
    Another issue you point is not directly linked to Exalted but to their mobility as Flying units… I think that links with the debate about Flying units: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/balancing-flying-and-floating-units/

    Another option would be to make a proper intermediary step to replace the Awakened Martyr. Issue is we don’t have a proper model.

    One thing is that Scoundrels get QUICK LEARNER via corrupted killers which means that they evolve faster.

    We’re discussing scraping that though (but it doesn’t have enough support so far).

    #273102

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I checked again, and Martyrs do not get experience when they absorb (melee) damage for another unit.

    That doesn’t make the evolve as such not op – it’s like that of any other unit, and Scoundrels evolve faster.

    Spiders and Serpents also evolve to T3s – what I think is, that Martyrs have too many Hit Points. I mean, sure, they are SUPPOSED to absorb damage, but they also should run a risk at dying. Absorb Pain is basically a damage reduction, so the damage suffered depends on the damage the protected unit suffers.

    Martyrs have solid HPs – you might try the effect of a HP reduction. It should be more of a problem to keep them alive – considering the reward, at least.

    I did that for Spiders, and there it seems to work.

    #273106

    Fluks
    Member

    Th10b
    Martyr have a specific tier parameter: they reach Expert at 70 XP instead of 35 XP and reach Elite at 140 XP instead of 70 XP. Regeneration is available at Expert (was Elite).

    Yes but the XP needed to reach Exalted is still the same, so I don’t think this will slow down exalteds very much.

    For me Rogue and especially AD are much better at playing hit and run. But I agree that a very good player can exploit the facts that the requirements to Evolve Martyrs into Exalted are quite low.

    Rogue can only do so if he goes for Assassins + explorer, but to make that work is a surprisingly big investment as you need to do it fast otherwise the usability window for assassins starts closing pretty soon as they are rather squishy and assassins are not cheap and aren’t very effective in clearing. Also since you basically have to research all the explorer empire upgrades it slows you down on the stalker tech. Once Shadow stalkers come into play Rogue is getting in a really good spot for hit and run stuff, clearly better than Theo. But Theocrats exalted strategy is quicker and cherubs are pretty much on par with crows (4 MP less, but same vision and sometimes survive the inevitable clashes with lost souls). Druid can have trouble scouting because he can’t decide “I’m going to summon a gryphon now” and hunters/shamans don’t have a good vision. So what makes you think that rogue and Druid are much stronger in hit and run? Maybe late game but until then I would actually think Theo with exalteds is at least as strong.

    12.b/ Produce Exalted is necessary to allow Martyrs to evolve into Exalted Martyrs (like Lesser Shadow Stalkers evolving into Shadow Stalkers only when Produce Shadow Stalkers is researched). That would be a big nerf but it would make sense.

    That’s a proposal I put forward a long time ago to the core group, but it didn’t make it to the extended groups so far, that might change.
    Another option would be to make a proper intermediary step to replace the Awakened Martyr. Issue is we don’t have a proper model.

    I mean you already inserted Awakened martyr can’t you make it T2 so it becomes a “proper” intermediate step? An require the Exalted Tech. Exalteds would still be earlier then stalkers because the research cost is much less for exalted then for stalkers. But the difference wouldn’t be as big anymore.

    I think with the 140 XP requirement for Martyrs, without a Column of Champions, we’re in a good spot in terms of timing. You will get several Exalted only after turn 20, and by then, your opponent can have built a strength to counter them.

    Problem is your timing is significantly before rogue and Druids don’t have a safe source of early snakes/spiders, it’s not unlikely to have your first 3 summons being a boar a wolf and a tiger. I have yet to see a Druid show up with a stack of T3 Serpents at turn 20. It’s more 2 maybe 3 T3 serpents. Theo can have a whole stack by that time. [/quote]

    Another issue you point is not directly linked to Exalted but to their mobility as Flying units… I think that links with the debate about Flying units: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/balancing-flying-and-floating-units/

    Thats true, maybe that should be left out of the discussion here the thread you link to is better for that.

    One thing is that Scoundrels get QUICK LEARNER via corrupted killers which means that they evolve faster.

    We’re discussing scraping that though (but it doesn’t have enough support so far).

    The only thing quick learner does is speeding up the evolution to lesser shadow stalkers. And those are not a problem. As far as I know stacks of lesser shadow stalkers are not a problem in current PBEM it’s only when they evolve they become a real nuisance, but that needs the Shadow Stalker tech which, rightfully, is quite expensive.

    Like making a possibility for martyrs to evolve into Evangelists with bigger chances than evolving into Exalted[…]

    This would be another good option I would suggest changing it slightly to evolving into crusaders once the crusader tech is researched, evolve 50/50 into crusaders/evangelists once evangelists are researched and 33/33/33 into crusaders/evangelists/exalted when exalted is researched. They can keep the absorb pain.

    […]What I think is, that Martyrs have too many Hit Points. I mean, sure, they are SUPPOSED to absorb damage, but they also should run a risk at dying.[…].

    As I mentioned earlier Theo for me always was a “sturdy” class I think Martyrs are squishy enough as is, also I don’t necessarily think they level too easy, I just think the reward is too high and too easy to achieve because you barely need to invest any research into it. I would prefer the other options.

    #273152

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I think, I disagree with the whole idea about balancing meaning to make things more tedious, because doubling the necessary XP means exactly that.
    Giving a unit an extra long way to medals is not a satisfactory solution, imo, and I wouldn’t like to play with it. In the end, it would still have to be an option to go for, albeit a tedious one.

    I remember that Scoundrels used to evolve to Assassins, and when it got an issue a new unit appeared. This might be possible here as well, but it would be a lot of work

    Otherwise I still think, it might simply be too easy to keep Martyrs alive. I mean, if you can evolve too many (a) Martyrs too soon (b), than that means necessarily that you can afford to have too many and still take on everything without ever skipping a beat, which means, they are too strong.

    Compare that for example with Engineers, which you dearly need as a Dread to repair damage your machines suffer from.

    Also, you don’t want to make these rushes COMPLETELY impossible.

    So the consequence is that Martyrs should do less for the combat strength of a stack (as with Engineers):
    a) reduce their ranged attack range to SHORT; Engineers have their very own attack, and I guess Martyrs might have some short range spirit slam attack, like Flash Bang, just with shorter range – keep in mind that you can increase that damage by +3, by using Mark of the Heretic on stacks. Damage might be something like 2 Physical + 10 Spirit, Goblins getting +2 Blight or so.

    b) they are too beefy / the damage reduction is too good. The damage reduction in connection with the “re-channeling” of the damage allows fun stuff, especially for melee-eager players/units (Orcs, for example) and determines in connection with the HPs of the Martyrs the ability to soak it up. So I’d try the effect of reducing HPs of Martyrs – after all, the more HPs they have, the less remarkable are their deeds (and the less deserved is their ascendence to Exalted status.

    Engineers have just 32 HPs compared to the 40 of Martyrs, and you are STILL supposed to keep them alive and advance them to Elite, so a reduction by 5 HPs should be considered.

    Since I’ve modded my game to my liking anyway, I’ll probably give that a go, eventually.

    #273756

    gladis
    Member

    I finally contribute to this discussion. As I told some players ~ 1 week ago, I had an ADDITIONAL idea that would work with any ideas already listed in this thread:
    One Thing that would slow down the pace of levelling up (evolved) Exalteds and make them easier to counter: Simply give them Lesser Flying until “Produce Exalted” is researched.
    The idea of -5 HP is nice, too and is quite logical.

    And of Course the possibility to evolve Martyrers in Crusaders (and Evangelists) as well would lead to Major blow in the Martyrs Evolving strategy. Not totally sure whether this is needed though. Thanks to Fluks for calling me a strong (Theo) player, but on the other Hand, I NEVER tried a Scroundel-Stalker-Evolving-Strategy and have no experience about it´s pace.

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