[Following] HIGH-ELF Balance Discussion

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions [Following] HIGH-ELF Balance Discussion

This topic contains 38 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Quaranyr 7 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #113207

    ExNihil
    Member

    OK Guys,

    Due to repeated public demand I am separating my Races and Classes thread into separate topics. I hope you will all participate :). My original idea was to discuss Races and Classes together in a way that could highlight the balance relations between them. I will try to inter-connect the different threads in a way that will do that, but I’m afraid there is no really good way to do it in a forum.

    Race Threads:

    ORC Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/orc-balance-discussion/

    GOBLIN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/goblin-balance-discussion/

    HUMAN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/human-balance-discussion/

    HIGH-ELF Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/high-elf-balance-discussion/

    DRACONIAN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/draconian-balance-discussion/

    DWARF Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dwarf-balance-discussion/

    Class Threads:

    ROGUE Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rogue-balance-discussion/

    SORCERER Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/sorcerer-balance-discussion/

    THEOCRAT Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/theocrat-balance-discussion/

    DREADNOUGHT Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dreadnought-balance-discussion/

    ARCHDRUID Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/archdruid-balance-discussion/

    WARLORD Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/warlord-balance-discussion/

    Topical Threads:

    Random Map Generator, Underground and Map Elements Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rmg-ug-and-map-elements-balance-discussion/

    Blight, Spirit, Machines and Theocrat: Some Community Questions: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/blight-spirit-machines-and-theo-some-community-questions/

    Dwellings, Taverns and Bandits!: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dwellings-taverns-and-bandits/

    AI and Auto-Combat Balance Discussion (SP and MP): http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/auto-combat-balance-discussion/

    Support Units Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/support-units-balance-discussion/

    Leader/Heroes Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/leaderheroes-balance-discussion/

    Heal and Sustain Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/the-heal-or-sustain-issue/

    Assorted Topics Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/asorted-topics-balance-discussion/

    Misc. Threads:
    Ballista!: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/ballista/ (<– This is a unit suggestion rather than a balance discussion)

    And of course the original monster:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rebalance-of-existing-elements-in-next-patch/

    #113208

    ExNihil
    Member

    HIGH-ELVES

    Elves are currently the best balanced race IMO. They have powerful bonuses and very good racial and racial-class unit that combine with all the classes well – offering some strong strategies. Their traits: +1 resistance, +1 ranged physical, +1 ranged shock, -20% blight resistance, +3 research points on city, forestry. Likes: Dense Vegetation, Dislikes: Tropical, Subterranean, Hates: Volcanic and Blight. The issues here are rather more minor.

    Current Issues:

    1. Several elven units are currently mis-priced: Elven Longbowman, which are by far superior to both Human Archers (70g) and Dwarf Crossbowman (72g) cost only 75g. As I discussed in the Human Section the Unicorn Rider gives an extreme return for the investment, as in 90g it costs the same as the inferior human cavalry and 9g less than the Dwarf Boar Rider (+2 def and +2 hp but without phase and armor piercing). Elven Mounted-Archer and Hunter cost 10g more than then other Mounted-Archers and Hunters and receive a longbow instead of a short bow; Elven Bards on the other hand cost 20g and 10mana for the same trait.

    2. The +3 research bonus on city is both excessive, as High-Elves receive enough perks and superfluous: Because a. research costs are calculated in whole and even numbers, b. there is no research spillover (you finish one tech and whatever extra research points you had are lost) and c. all research bonuses in game are given in multiples of 5 (dungeons, vaults of knowledge, city buildings, arcane and animistic knowledge), it becomes highly situational. Only with the effects of very high morale in conjunction with multiple cities will this usually translate to any kind of acceleration in research. The only situation in which this might give the player a small edge is in games using very low resources in which the base research cost is 8. Saying that, this will be such a marginally small edge that by the time the player conquers enough cities to actually make this bonus accumulate to have a tangible effect it will already be mostly irrelevant (tier 1 tech cost 60 research points minimum on normal speed).

    3. Like Humans, Elves have in disliked terrain Subterranean. In my opinion this shouldn’t be the case because when UG is enabled it is 1/2 of the map, which therefore makes this a highly disproportionate negative – effecting the morality of both troops and settlements in the UG.

    Re-balance Suggestions:

    1. I suggest adjusting the prices thus: Elven Longbow Man 80 gold, Unicorn Rider 90 gold and 10 mana (it’s a magical mount after all) and Bard 90 gold and 10 mana (10 gold more then baseline.)

    2. IMO it is necessary to remove this bonus as it is excessive. If this is not done then it should be buffed by +2 points to make it actually effective because buffs and maluses shouldn’t just be ornaments. An alternative is to remove the +1 ranged shock damage and instead have elves receive a +5 research per city.

    3. I think the best solution is to replace the dislike: Subterranean with dislike: Barrans. This makes sense because it is the opposite of dense vegetation pretty much and it will not have such a disproportional effect.

    #113409

    Leon Feargus
    Member

    1) I agree with the cost increase you suggested for the longbowman and unicorn rider (I thought it already had an additional mana cost actually) The bard’s excessive extra cost was due to switching from light crossbow to longbow so I think that one was justified.

    2) I seriously can’t comment on this as I did not delve so deep into the numbers.

    3) The suggestion to make elves dislike barrens makes perfect sense. The way I think it works right now makes it an impossible solution though, because terrain cannot be disliked, only climates can. I am not sure if this is true or if it can be altered. I do believe that, having a partial underground loving history (in the form of dark elves) they should not dislike the subterranean. Then again, humans should not be the only ones disliking subterrenean.

    #113424

    ExNihil
    Member

    1) I agree with the cost increase you suggested for the longbowman and unicorn rider (I thought it already had an additional mana cost actually) The bard’s excessive extra cost was due to switching from light crossbow to longbow so I think that one was justified.

    Hunters and Mounted Archers are also switched form short-bow to long-bow. The price differential here is unexplained – I invite you to compare in the tome of knowledge.

    3) The suggestion to make elves dislike barrens makes perfect sense. The way I think it works right now makes it an impossible solution though, because terrain cannot be disliked, only climates can. I am not sure if this is true or if it can be altered. I do believe that, having a partial underground loving history (in the form of dark elves) they should not dislike the subterranean. Then again, humans should not be the only ones disliking subterrenean.

    I do not know whether it is possible or impossible but I assume since it is possible to like terrain type it is possible to dislike it as well within the existing mechanics. If not such an amendment to the engine will be very easy to implement I am sure.

    #113487

    Bob5
    Member

    2. The +3 research bonus on city is both excessive, as High-Elves receive enough perks and superfluous: Because a. research costs are calculated in whole and even numbers, b. there is no research spillover (you finish one tech and whatever extra research points you had are lost) and c. all research bonuses in game are given in multiples of 5 (dungeons, vaults of knowledge, city buildings, arcane and animistic knowledge), it becomes highly situational. Only with the effects of very high morale in conjunction with multiple cities will this usually translate to any kind of acceleration in research. The only situation in which this might give the player a small edge is in games using very low resources in which the base research cost is 8. Saying that, this will be such a marginally small edge that by the time the player conquers enough cities to actually make this bonus accumulate to have a tangible effect it will already be mostly irrelevant (tier 1 tech cost 60 research points minimum on normal speed).

    I don’t really get what you mean with excessive in this case, as your arguments seem to indicate the bonus is minor rather than excessive.

    Btw, cost increase from normal bow to longbow is less because normal bows are usually better than light crossbows so the improvement of the unit is larger for Bards than for the Hunter and Mounted Archer.

    #113491

    ExNihil
    Member

    @bob5,

    By excessive I meant that adding this buff alongside the others was too much. The fact that it is so minor just makes it useless.

    You are correct, but we are talking here on +20 gold and +10 mana above the baseline cost of a t2 unit for a very small change, this is too much and should be decreased.

    #113546

    Gloweye
    Member

    Actually, as elf rogue, i usually choose elf bards quite soon, and they will me massed even more if your proposals get through. why? Because they will only cost 10 gold/20 mana more than a longbowman. Well, pity for the gold, but the mana plain isn’t worth building longbowmen. The Bards are just so much better…

    I also agree on the fact of disliking subterranean. Hating Volcanic/blighted seems enough for them lorewise, but i think this is more game balance.

    About the knowlegde, Shouldn’t that scale with city size? one for every level? would make more sense IMHO.

    #113628

    ExNihil
    Member

    About the knowlegde, Shouldn’t that scale with city size? one for every level? would make more sense IMHO.

    Thats a good idea – I dont know how realistic it is with the current game mechanics but I would like to see it.

    Actually, as elf rogue, i usually choose elf bards quite soon, and they will me massed even more if your proposals get through. why? Because they will only cost 10 gold/20 mana more than a longbowman. Well, pity for the gold, but the mana plain isn’t worth building longbowmen. The Bards are just so much better…

    This is no argument – compare the price of High-Elf Hunter with that and Longbowman and you will see that there is no reason to build longbowman either. 30 production units is a massive difference that abouts to more then 40% of the price of Longbowman. This translated to +1 turn in production and increased costs, I wouldn’t think that is a problem.

    #113902

    I’d like to see what Garresh thinks about the High Elf Bard, since I think he uses bards a lot.

    #114329

    ExNihil
    Member

    Sure, as long as he doesn’t start a separate thread on the topic.

    #115731

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    ExNihil, I honestly appreciate you condensing all of the balance information into these super threads, it makes them much easier to process and I am reading all of them and taking notes. On the other hand, you are not king of the balance forums. If Garresh wants to start a topic on something, he should be able to.

    A few things:

    1) High Elf Bards are way mroe expensive because shoot long bow is a far superior ability to shoot light crossbow. It’s a much bigger upgrade than Short Bow -> Long Bow. They also need to cost more since they need to be considerably more expensive than longbowmen (who they are far superior too). If they were much cheaper, rogues could use them as normal line units, which given the fact they have charm and the +300 morale bonus would be pretty crazy.

    2) Buffing costs of unicorn riders and bowmen seems reasonable. I’ll add it to my list of suggestions! (I’m not the only person who has to OK this stuff, so I can’t confirm things without checking with colleagues)

    3) I’m getting conflicting info about the research thing, if it’s both excessive AND superfluous, that sounds like it’s balanced. Sometimes it’s a nice bonus, often it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t sound strong enough to require removing it. That is assuming you’re not asking us to buff it to make it a percentage bonus?

    #115737

    Gloweye
    Member

    @tombles

    About the research, what do you think of the city size modifier? after all, metropolisses should be getting more knowlegde due to Elves innate thirst for knowledge than an outpost should.

    And after reading ExNihil’s statement, I believe he either prefers to abandon it altogether, or either make it have better use, since the bonus is so small. without overflow, its just discarded 9 out of 10 times.

    #115747

    ExNihil
    Member

    ExNihil, I honestly appreciate you condensing all of the balance information into these super threads, it makes them much easier to process and I am reading all of them and taking notes.

    I’m really glad to hear, and to know you guys are reading this stuff and that it might actually have an impact.

    On the other hand, you are not king of the balance forums. If Garresh wants to start a topic on something, he should be able to.

    Thanks for the input. You’ll note I didn’t say he can’t start a topic, I was offended by him starting a spin-off topic without mentioning the original thread and by simply saying he dislikes my proposal without explaining it, which I felt was rude. With that being said, I have an independent steam based relationship with Garresh and we manage to communicate OK albeit an occasional nasty disagreement.

    3) I’m getting conflicting info about the research thing, if it’s both excessive AND superfluous, that sounds like it’s balanced. Sometimes it’s a nice bonus, often it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t sound strong enough to require removing it. That is assuming you’re not asking us to buff it to make it a percentage bonus?

    The use of the word excessive is confusing. I meant it is excessive in the sense the Elves don’t need an additional perk and putting this in is just an excessive bonus. It is superfluous as it has almost no effect. I would like to see it either removed or made into something substantial. Changing 3rp into 3% research bonus will also be superficial IMO – at 300RP/turn you’d have a +9rp bonus. For a buff a 10% research bonus would be an interesting change no doubt, and I didn’t think of it before.

    1) High Elf Bards are way mroe expensive because shoot long bow is a far superior ability to shoot light crossbow. It’s a much bigger upgrade than Short Bow -> Long Bow. They also need to cost more since they need to be considerably more expensive than longbowmen (who they are far superior too). If they were much cheaper, rogues could use them as normal line units, which given the fact they have charm and the +300 morale bonus would be pretty crazy.

    I understand that, but the price difference relative to other Bards (who have same core abilities aside from their ranged attack) is still excessive (right usage here) in my opinion. 30 production units is too much, I’d say 20 production units would be a better fit.

    #115755

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    We might be able to do 10% I guess. It would probably equate to about the same bonus unless you went nuts with vaults of knowledge and things like that.

    #116772

    Griffith
    Member

    What happened to the old system, where all races got better racial bonus on each city level? Seemed to work well enough in Shadow Magic, why wouldnt it work in AoW3?

    That system seemed to make more sense to me.. Why would an outpost have the same static racial bonus as metropolis?

    #116824

    ExNihil
    Member

    I think you should make a proper post of this in the main discussion forum and discuss this at length.

    #122848

    ExNihil
    Member

    Now that patch 1.42 is upon us, its time to ask whether HE need some sort of regen buff or not? All other races have some sort of regen buff:

    Dwarves and Humans: T2 Supports have a minor combat healing trait that gives +10hp regen per turn in total (per priest unit OFC).
    Orcs: A regen buff based conditional on victory, quite powerful indeed.
    Goblins: Wetland regen enhancement, situational but potentially greatly effective.
    Draconians: Fast Healing on all units – this is a core racial trait OFC.
    Halflings: Brew Brothers, which can actually boost hp above the set maximum (so I gather).

    I think they could do with a small and situational regen buff, and would love to hear some ideas.

    #122853

    Draxynnic
    Member

    There were some ideas floated around about giving high elves a substantially weaker equivalent to the goblin thing, something like +3 healing in forests.

    The reason the buffs went where they did, though, was that orcs, goblins, and humans were the races that were seen as needing buffing. Elves not so much – they seem to be doing okay without much in the way of bonus healing. Maybe this will change as the new balance settles down, but the general thoughts so far were that elves are doing fine without now, so they might not need it. Orcs and goblins, on the other hand, quite clearly did need something.

    #122856

    ExNihil
    Member

    Yes, Goblins, Orcs and Humans needed a lot of things and got a lot of things. They are all viable now, especially with the fix to the autocombat system, and I think are as good as the High-Elves in some situations. I therefore do think the Elves can do with a little regen buff and that this will actually improve the balance.

    #123193

    I therefore do think the Elves can do with a little regen buff and that this will actually improve the balance.

    I could see it as a small boost to forestry in general, so not just the elves (like +3). That way, halflings also mostly get it, and you have a reason to use non elf, non human hunters in some situations (so Orcs in forest would regenerate up to 15 a turn after a victory, Goblins would get 9 in forests, fifteen in wetlands).

    Anything more than that, or just High Elf focused, risks making them too powerful.

    #123223

    vota dc
    Member

    Lorewise High Elves have a healing unit: the unicorn! In this game both unicorn and unicorn riders can’t heal for balance matter, maybe for a severe nerf like -3 attack they could have a minor healing skill usable once for battle (just 10 hp, no other positive effect) but with positive effect in strategic map.

    #123341

    Garresh
    Member

    I dont think they need it. Elves in fantasy were always somewhat frail. Longer recovery times seems a fair tradeoff to +1 res and having the best (physical)archers and cavalry.

    #123812

    I dont think they need it. Elves in fantasy were always somewhat frail. Longer recovery times seems a fair tradeoff to +1 res and having the best (physical)archers and cavalry.

    That would be my thought as well, especially as Archdruids/Warlords already have good healing.

    #125807

    Quaranyr
    Member

    Hello everyone.
    I am not an experienced player like people here and just play from time to time with various races/classes and there is one thing that feels strange to me.
    Am I the only one who thinks that Elven swordsmen and pikemen are too bland? I mean Elves do have very good archers and cavalry and their infantry propably compensate for that but it’s still feels somewhat wrong for me. I mean, I always thought that “ordinary swordsmen”-like units are Human (maybe Orc/Goblin) thing. Was it like that in previous games (I didn’t play them)? Maybe they could have some minor ability? With a slight cost increase if needed?

    #125813

    vota dc
    Member

    In first game elves swordmen were skilled (+1 attack) but weak (-1 damage) while Dark Elves were crappy (-1 damage and same attack) even worse than goblin spearman (+1 hp and more resistance than them, but they didn’t have first strike). Wood elves never used pikemen, dark elves did in the second game.
    In the first version of aow 3 high elves swordsmen had 36 hp and initiate and longbowmen too!
    Swordsmen could have more chance to inflict bleeding because HE are naturally skilled swordsmen, union guard could remain bland or maybe having 5 gold discount.

    #125831

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Hrrrmn. From a balance perspective, I’m inclined to think it is indeed a case of ‘the strength of high elves is in their cavalry and ranged attacks’. Their infantry and pikemen are bland, but from the elven perspective, their job is probably simply to shield the archers while the archers get the job done.

    From a theme perspective, it does seem a bit strange that elves are a bit bland there – compare, for instance, the depiction of elven infantry at the start of Lord of the Rings. However, the relative weakness of elven swordsmen and Union Guard could probably be pointed at elves having relatively low numbers and reproduction rates compared to other races (something which I know isn’t represented in-game, but is worth considering from a lore perspective). It’s plausible that what’s really going on here is that while other races have more freedom to choose the best soldiers for their infantry and pikemen, elves are left with filling out those ranks with those who flunked out of longbow, cavalry, and magic training. This goes particularly when you consider that unlike some races where it’s the irregulars that are the unproven militia (Civic Guard, Spearmen, arguably hatchlings and prospectors), elven Initiates are part of a special caste aiming to become Storm Sisters.

    Thus, what we’re seeing might not be a case of the elven swordsmen and Union Guard being highly trained troops that are nothing special. What we may be seeing is that the high elves care enough about their conscript militias that they’re provided with weapons and armour of similar quality to professional soldiers of other races – and when so armed, they can hold their ground against those professional soldiers.

    (It’s also worth observing that high elf swordsmen do have something special to them – they’re shielded infantry that doesn’t have -5hp, physical vulnerability, or a 10% price hike.)

    #125834

    From a theme perspective, it does seem a bit strange that elves are a bit bland there – compare, for instance, the depiction of elven infantry at the start of Lord of the Rings

    well, you could also just assume that, being immortal, all the elven infantry assembled for that battle (who seemed to be all noldor and sindar in the movie) were just the champion swordsmen, who would fight much like that (with bleeding wounds and not dying).

    Elves would have a strategic advantage, as other races elite and champion soldiers would die out, and have to be replaced by novices.

    Of course, that would make rebuilding with elves much more difficult.

    For the in game application, you are usually founding a new settlement, and training new divisions of soldiers. Aside from the Elves’ natural bow making/magical affinity, they aren’t that different from humans, so the recruits will fight like ordinary newly trained people.

    #125897

    Quaranyr
    Member

    the relative weakness of elven swordsmen and Union Guard could probably be pointed at elves having relatively low numbers and reproduction rates compared to other races

    Well, I would expect the exact opposite from a low-numbered race. Like best training possible for every soldier to ensure minimal losses. But that just me.
    I’d consider them militia if not the fact that in my country “irregular” unit type translated as “militia” (which is weird by the way).

    they aren’t that different from humans, so the recruits will fight like ordinary newly trained people

    At least Human pikeman have Overwhelm.

    Anyway, I myself actually surprised that this thing bothers me that much. I mean it’s just 2 units of 1 race out of 7. Still it somehow annoy me every time I see them.

    #126031

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Well, I would expect the exact opposite from a low-numbered race. Like best training possible for every soldier to ensure minimal losses. But that just me.
    I’d consider them militia if not the fact that in my country “irregular” unit type translated as “militia” (which is weird by the way).

    More populous races have more opportunity to pick out the better candidates.

    Consider this: Imagine you have 50 humans, and want to raise 8 archers, 8 longswords, and 8 halberdiers. Here, you only need to draw from 50% of your pool to make quota, so you have a lot of leeway to choose the best 50%. You also have half of your population remaining to perform civilian tasks (farming and so on) so you’re more able to keep the military units you’ve just raised active for a greater portion of their time – so, for instance, you might have them training five days a week if they’re not fulfilling other duties.

    Now, imagine you have 30 elves. To raise the equivalent body of troops, you can only afford to reject 6 from your pool as unsuitable. Now, I’m not in the mood to do a proper statistical analysis, but suffice it to say that the difference between being able to take the top 50% versus having to take everything but the bottom 20% can make up for a significant gap in average ability. You’re also possibly going to end up with a manpower (elfpower?) shortage on the home front, so you might not be able to keep those troops in constant training. Being elves, you put a higher priority on the archers so you keep them on constant deployment, but the swordsmen and Union Guard may well be part-timers, exacerbating the less selective recruitment process by also needing to make do with a less intensive training program.

    However, because you do care more about the people you have, you give them equipment of similar quality to the humans, and because elves do have inherent advantages, these part-timers are able to take on human professionals despite all the aforementioned shortcomings in their recruitment and training.

    Essentially, to my mind, what it boils down to is this: Socially speaking, the swordsmen and Union Guard are effectively the elven equivalent of Civic Guard. So instead of comparing them to their direct human equivalents and going ‘meh’, we should be comparing them to Civic Guard and seeing how much better the elves are to the humans on a similar social rung.

    #127867

    Lorifel
    Member

    I think high elves should have soldiers with better training but less people in the ranks of their troops. E.g. where human swordsmen unit has 15 soldiers elven unit should have 7 soldiers (visually).
    That should explain the lower hitpoints and similar damage output in spite of high quality of elven training and equipment.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  President.
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