Keeping low-level units relevant

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Keeping low-level units relevant

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This topic contains 103 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  Asmodeus 4 years ago.

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  • #156248

    stellarrat
    Member

    “Enchantment cost though is per unit; its much cheaper to enchant a couple of high level units than a half dozen low level ones. I think this could easily have the opposite effect you intend.”

    Well, that’s one place balance would need to be applied. If I remember right some of the high level units in SM couldn’t be enchanted at all. But, who’s to say that enchanting low level units should be “cheaper” manawise than high level units? It’s all a matter of doing some playtesting and experimenting.

    #156252

    Kaiosama TLJ
    Member

    Low Tier units are better in this game because they got rid of that annoying dice-rolls mechanic that made my archers being herp derp and miss almost every shot. And while Lucky mechanics are close to that at least I like Lucky because it can be countered by morale penalties.

    Only problem is you can’t mass them as much as you want because you can only produce 1 unit per turn in the late-game regardless of how many production you have. Dunno if spilling over Production to the next queue will break the game, but I think it’s a good idea to make T1-2 more relevant in the end game, and also because it will make the Production bonus from Humans more relevant.

    #156263

    quo
    Member

    I think if you have enough production to overproduce a unit, it should be of slightly superior quality. One way to do this is for the unit to gain +1 Move for each 25% degree you overproduced by (so being able to produce at a 2:1 ratio would grant the unit 4 extra Move, 3:1 woould provide 8 extra Move, etc).

    Move is one of those things that in late game really becomes the biggest irritation for low level units. They just cant even get to some fights. So a little boost that helped them keep up would help. And of course they would make good scouting parties.

    #156268

    Stormwind
    Member

    You could enchant any unit in shadow magic, its level didnt matter.

    Changing spell upkeep on a per unit basis is not something I would get behind. Its too kludgy.

    Anyway, devs have said this sort of enchantment is not going to happen. Its way too late in the game to balance changes like this.

    #156273

    Brandon_354
    Member

    I can see only benefits from the suggested production spillover and it would certainly make t1 more useful. Right now it doesn’t make sense if we think of 1 turn as being a day then even if i have 240 production (10 per hour) and something cost 50 my workers quit after 5 hours and decided screw the leader we already did ONE thing and will refuse to make 1 more on the same day for a total of 100, but if i order them to make a single 240 (2.4 times as much work as making the 2 cheap units) production thing they will toil all night and day happily.

    If this isn’t a pain to code then there really shouldn’t be any opposition to spillover, id even apply it to research possibly.

    #156282

    Sifer2
    Member

    I find low tier unit still useful.

    Musketeers and Engineer remain relevant, Spy Drones are amazing, Goblin Untouchables…

    The secret is late game you can spam them in larger number and support them easily.

    The problem really is that unless it’s a very small map then in late game you can just as easily spam tier 3 units. Most of the issue seems to stem from two things:

    1. Only 6 spots in a stack. So after about 18 units you start to hit diminishing returns here where low tier units is preventing you from bringing better stuff into a fight.

    2. Only 1 can be produced by a city at a time. Extra production is wasted. I can’t use my endgame high production to produce 4 Archers in one turn. If I could they might be more relevant. Though would still run into problem 1.

    The devs seem to be trying to fix it by adding more an more buffs for low tier units from various sources. Which is sort of at this point almost mimicking how you could upgrade lower tier units in Heroes of Might & Magic series just not directly. It could if they are not careful even break things in the other direction since the cost to produce tier 1’s doesn’t go up.

    #156285

    Stormwind
    Member

    I think trying the production spillover would be interesting to see its effect. My guess is it would lead to more late game variety.

    #156289

    Sifer2
    Member

    I think trying the production spillover would be interesting to see its effect. My guess is it would lead to more late game variety.

    Would be a big buff to Humans due to production bonus, and Goblins due to cheaper spam friendly units for sure. I sometimes wonder why it’s not like that already. Especially since the 6 unit cap would still make it hard to overwhelm with raw numbers anyway. Just watch the movie “300” to see why lol.

    #156298

    zlefin
    Member

    I agree there should be carry over production, more generally simply because it’s a very basic feature, which has been in games of this genre for decades, not having it simply feels wrong.

    #156304

    caxap
    Member

    Mass production is a bad idea – the map’ll be flooded by 100-200 lowtier units.
    If u have enough production to build Tier III in 1-2 turns, then spam tier III – it’s okay! If game at big map comes to moment, when it’s more effective, to spam high tiers, than low tiers – you should spam high tiers.

    I think this game just not made to be “turtle” game – it’s more about attacking and sneak captures from flanks.

    #156309

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Production spillover would be a huge shot in the knee of every semblance of balance, because in this game “NUMBERS” are as an important factor as strength, as is production time. There are a couple of reasons for this, but
    1) Battlefield and total # of action points combined with flanking
    2) strategic level, map control.

    You cannot do much with 1 really powerful stack, because 1 really powerful stack can control only a small part of the map. Also, T3 and T4 are expensive in terms of development, production and upkeep.

    So the way to go is to bolster T3s and T4s with T1s and T2s, adding action points and action stacks.

    This also happens to fit with “city production” – at any given time you will have bigger and smaller towns, towns with exceptionally high production due to a couple of enhancers and towns with low production.
    You cannot produce T3s (and T4s) with all your towns – you won’t have enough gold and not enough units, which means, you MUST produce cheaper units as well, and building the right stack and army combination, nurturing the T1s especially, pays, because they profit more from +10 HPs for Champion and they gain experience pretty fast.

    With production overspill, the T1s, especially the Archers become extremely good.

    Also, with production overspill, there is no need anymore for racial T3s, is there? Playing Warlord, I would just swamp the map in Monster Hunters (for towns with my Class building) and Cavalry and I would guard my towns exclusively with Archers.

    The way it IS now, T1 units ARE relevant – they will become even more relevant with racial governance, and this MIGHT already be TOO relevant, because:

    The game makes sense only when investments into higher-tier technology (no matter whether it’s techs or spells or units) produce “better”, because otherwise you can save yourself the trouble: why BUILD the racial T3, for example (and pay the costs), when your T2 Cav evolves into them anyway – or isn’t that much worse and even better, considering the price. With production overspill regular Cav becomes a lot more interesting as it already is.
    So, naturally, T1 MUST MUST MUST be inferior to higher-tier units, otherwise you don’t need the latter.
    And the point that a battle is limited in numbers doesn’t count here, because you win a lot of time, foregoing T3s and higher and cranking out low level stuff.

    The game is absolutely right, the weay it is now. If low-level units become even more relevant – and mass production would so that -, then high-level units will become irrelevant, and nobody wants that.

    #156310

    Stormwind
    Member

    Good points.

    #156319

    zlefin
    Member

    That the game would require some rebalancing does not change in the slightest that production (and research) overspill should be in the game.

    They are simply features that should be in games of this genre, and it’s sloppy work to not have it. If you want to argue against overspill, you have to argue from the perspective of game design, not adjustable balance numbers.

    #156328

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    That’s just a claim without ANY evidence, especiall since in AoW there was NEVER overspill production.

    Every balancing process with completely equivalent “units” faces the problem that either some are better than others OR that it doesn’t matter what you do.

    In this game we have the problem that you have to make pretty high investments in order to get to the higher-level stuff, and if there was TOTAL equality, you didn’t need to make those investments in the first place, which means that you MUST be better off investing into Hight-tier stuff and then producing it than with producing only low-level stuff.
    Production LIMITS facilitate that. If you have a production of, say, 100, using only 40 or 50 of that capacity each day is somewhat wasteful – better to go for a T2 in the same time or a T3 in 2 days, since you make use of your production facility: 2 Ts or 1 T3 will be a better result of 2 production days than 2 T1.
    However, with production overspill, you can double your T1 production in that situation – and now going for T1 is a lot more flexible: you simply produce two units in one day – and tomorrow is another day to check what to produce.

    Without production overspill, though, it may well happen the other way round: with a town that has a production of 70 or so, you would be loathe to produce a T2, using up two days; better to go for a T1, using only 1 day, not losing something, but being more flexible.

    So from the perspective of game balance, production overspill would be something of an equalizer, making things a lot more mechanical.
    Without overspill, though, production capacity is kind of a joker factor that may shift the balance MOMENTARILY to producing stuff you wouldn’t from a perspective of sheer power, but still produce due to special situation.

    In short – it’s a perfect screen to allow asymmetric balancing: ONLY BECAUSE there is NO production overspill it is possible to make the low tiers relatively stronger in direct upkeep comparison (especially factoing medals in), because producing them will waste production capacity later. If you wouldn’t, the T1s would have to be a lot weaker. A LOT!

    #156332

    caxap
    Member

    Jolly Joker is right

    Overspill will kill High tiers, because it’ll be much better to produce 6-8 experienced lowtiers than 1 novice hightier – You have no need to build exepnsive high-tier buildings + lowtiers could just swarm and kill hightier without big problems.

    But wihout overspill it becomes uneffective to produce lowtiers in some moment of game, because city production power becomes much more effective to build T3-T4 in 2-3 turns.

    I think current building balance in game is very nice – early you use lowtiers, than switches to racial/class T3 with T1-2 support and then add some TIV to this mix.

    Endgame (if map is big enough) u just build strongest possible units and attack your opponent (like in ANY other game)

    #156337

    zlefin
    Member

    It’s not a claim without any evidence, it’s a claim based on the history of the genre, which is quite ample. It’s just plain stupid that productive capacity, and research, magically disappear. And it forces very odd gameplay choices.

    Now you do raise some good points;
    It does serve as one way to push people to use higher tier units; but should it really be the case that you need to push people to use them? If they’re not truly better then why are they there? That the game innately discourages teching over spamming seems like an underlying balance issue that should be addressed; rather than relying on overspill limits as a crutch to prevent that.

    Also, re: poster above Jolly Joker is not right, I specifically said other balance points would need to be altered if overspill was put in. so any argument about overspill CANNOT reference the current balance settings in the game, which you did in your post. It must be based on game design principles, which Joker at least did in his post.

    #156339

    Teehon
    Member

    Only problem is you can’t mass them as much as you want because you can only produce 1 unit per turn in the late-game regardless of how many production you have. Dunno if spilling over Production to the next queue will break the game, but I think it’s a good idea to make T1-2 more relevant in the end game, and also because it will make the Production bonus from Humans more relevant.

    No it will not. If you want to see an example, look at the Evolution Mod for Shadow Magic. There it was implemented and it did NOT break the game.

    Production spillover would be a huge shot in the knee of every semblance of balance, because in this game “NUMBERS” are as an important factor as strength, as is production time. There are a couple of reasons for this, but
    1) Battlefield and total # of action points combined with flanking
    2) strategic level, map control.

    Actually it’s not true. Again, check out AoW2SM Evolution Mod, it has a 80% Spillover production and some t1 units cost only 20-30 Gold, so a high level town could produce up to 3 or 4 units PER TURN. And you know what? Somehow it didn’t change that much, even though a lot of people shouted that t1 units would become OP and no one would build high level units anymore. Did NOT happen. And Evolution community are ALL MP competitive players, so balance is a big thing for them.

    So no, the argument “it would destroy the balance” is false, and I talk from the experience, as a player who played about 20 MP games WITH production spillover enabled.

    If you’re interested, here is what I am talking about:

    http://aow2.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=1078
    http://aow2.clan.su/MPEvolution/changelog/MP_Evolution_change_log_eng.html

    #156346

    That the game innately discourages teching over spamming seems like an underlying balance issue that should be addressed;

    There are quite a few people who think the game incentives teching up, not numbers, as in the exact opposite of what you are saying, ergo their proposed solutions would favour some form of spillover.

    WRT spillover, good points on both sides, and you are both right.

    It can work (it has done) and it makes a certain sense. It would increase the numbers around, but the power of T3 and 4, even right now, is that they concentrate strength in an easy to use package (by which I mean it is much easier to move a stack of Manticore Riders than it is to move the 3 stacks of tier 1 units which handily defeat them, even now)

    Also, spillover would presumably apply to all units, so if a unit costs 150 production, and you had 120, well right now that is 2 turns to produce, and 90 production wasted. With spillover, you would carry that forward so that high production item would also come out faster, in this fictional example on your 3rd turn you’d produce your 2nd unit, instead of on your 4th turn as per current system.

    In other words, there’d be more units overall.

    @ Teehon, your example fails to hold water because it is ShadowMagic, where the best strat was high tier units with enchantments. Low level units were next to useless, so having 10 instead of 6 just meant extra experience for the other guy. In AoW3, having those extra 4 units on the field would make a huge difference because of no enchantments, and no miss.

    And yes, I played evolution, alot. I noticed the extra production maybe once, thought it was cool, then ignored it as it made no difference, in that game.

    However, it’s largely a moot (although interesting) argument because spillover production is not coming to a patch near you any time soon (in any form, and several forms have been debated).

    What is coming is some cool racial governance, at least one other racial feature that hasn’t been revealed and quite a few changes to units all round.

    Imho, it’d be a better use of your energies to discuss how you see racial governance making a difference.

    #156347

    Telenil
    Member

    No it will not. If you want to see an example, look at the Evolution Mod for Shadow Magic. There it was implemented and it did NOT break the game.

    I’m pretty sure that mod didn’t have flanking or the 3 attacks limits. Tier 1 are a LOT stronger in AoW3 than they were in the rest of the series. I lost melee-oriented, max level heroes with items to less than a dozen T1-t2 attacking from all sides. Can you imagine that happening in Shadow Magic?

    Plus, the number of turns you need to produce the T3 racial would become a lot more costly. If you spend 5 turns and 500 gold to get war hall + hall of chivalry, that’s easily 12 more swordsmen you could have produced instead. This already exists to an extent in the current game, as it should be, but production spillover would make it worse.

    #156355

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I have to say I would HATE to see racial governance fiddle exclusively and massively with T1s. I generally think that a racial governance Infantry boost will be a good thing, but if everything goes into low-tier, low-tiers will reign. (IMO, I’d say that T2s are currently ruling, but that’s ok, since there is a lot of variation and a place for everything.)

    Giving things to low tiers making them better and giving things to high tiers making them cheaper might be a good balance here.

    #156369

    I have to say I would HATE to see racial governance fiddle exclusively and massively with T1s. I generally think that a racial governance Infantry boost will be a good thing, but if everything goes into low-tier, low-tiers will reign. (IMO, I’d say that T2s are currently ruling, but that’s ok, since there is a lot of variation and a place for everything.)

    Giving things to low tiers making them better and giving things to high tiers making them cheaper might be a good balance here.

    Did I, or anyone else, say racial governance was exclusive?

    IIRC, I said that lower tier units got a boost.

    #156370

    Hunter
    Member

    I prefer to increase the upkeep of higher Tier units

    #156372

    Gloweye
    Member

    I have to say I would HATE to see racial governance fiddle exclusively and massively with T1s. I generally think that a racial governance Infantry boost will be a good thing, but if everything goes into low-tier, low-tiers will reign. (IMO, I’d say that T2s are currently ruling, but that’s ok, since there is a lot of variation and a place for everything.)

    Look at it this way. Would it make sense to put a T3 unit upgrade at upgrade #1? IMHO it doesn’t, and that’s supported by the dev journals, like having +2 dam for crossbowman at rank 1 and +2 fire damage for irregulars/infantry/cavalry(I thought?) at #5 for dracs.

    #156379

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Maybe it’s a misunderstanding. “Lower Tier units getting a boost” means, that higher tiers DON’T, because if everything gets a boost, well.
    Of course, logically, the lower upgrades would work for lower tiers and the higher ones for higher tiers – with the higher upgrades difficult to get due to the fact that sometimes it’s not so easy to keep the race pure, so-to-speak – which would basically mean, that technically and on paper, everything was in the balance, but PRACTICALLY more often than not it would amount to getting, say, upgrade 1,2,3 for your main race plus a 1,2 on another plus one each on yet 2 more, amounting to generally stronger T1s.

    I’d be okay with that, obviously.
    I wouldn’t be ok with T1s profiting from ALL upgrades, though. Well, I suppose, I wouldn’t: I want to play with all units, not just with T1s and T2s, right?

    #156484

    vyolin
    Member

    I want to play with all units, not just with T1s and T2s, right?

    I want that, too. But I want to have all units be valid choices throughout the game, not be forced to use the single highest tier currently available to me.
    More variety means more choices means more game.

    #156503

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    They ARE valid choices, because if you only produce your highest tier units you won’t have ENOUGH units.
    Additionally, in a developing scenario it’s not unheard of that things become obsolete. I mean, isn’t it enough that the system makes sure your OLD units will not become obsolete?

    #156504

    Alright, I’ll try to summarize the changes without disclosing anything particular. So in the public game, a few tier 1 units (high elf hunters, scouts, and dwarf ax men, etc) retain late game utility, and some more tier 2 ones do (most supports, crusaders, unicorn riders, Assassins). Especially with champion, the mystical upgrades, and decent healing, you can nurse them into excellent units.

    The net effect of the various revealed and un-revealed changes is that more tier 1 and tier 2 units remain viable even unto the latest of games. There are also boosts to the higher tier or all race units, but the net effect is lower tier oriented.

    Some units are still made obsolete, or severely relegated, because you do want armies to change over the course of the game.

    You should also remember that, at least for race governance, it is choice oriented. Some upgrades will make lower tier units better, but you might have to pass up something juicy in order to get it.

    #156542

    Gloweye
    Member

    You should also remember that, at least for race governance, it is choice oriented. Some upgrades will make lower tier units better, but you might have to pass up something juicy in order to get it.

    Basically, every upgrade forces you to pass up something juicy. Or at least, most.

    #156546

    Teehon
    Member

    Teehon, your example fails to hold water because it is ShadowMagic, where the best strat was high tier units with enchantments. Low level units were next to useless, so having 10 instead of 6 just meant extra experience for the other guy. In AoW3, having those extra 4 units on the field would make a huge difference because of no enchantments, and no miss.

    Hmmm. Nope. Just nope.
    In Shadow Magic there were such things as Mighty Meek (available to all spheres in Evolution), and having your t4 archon Titan miss three times on a halfling Swordman (which costed 20 Gold) is just… painful.
    Actually, in MP games, there were VERY few t4s. Mostly t3 with t2.
    In a tactical tournament most popular units were Archon Avengers, Dwarf Engineers, Elven Archers and Goblin Trolls. No miss mostly works AGAINST t1 in AoW3, since the damage of t1 is laughable against higher tiers and higher tiers kill t1 reliably with NO chance to survive (except for Lucky units). In SM it wasn’t so.
    And yes, I know what I am talking about. I played around 100 MP games only as a member of AoW2Rus community in a period 2008-2012.

    I’m pretty sure that mod didn’t have flanking or the 3 attacks limits. Tier 1 are a LOT stronger in AoW3 than they were in the rest of the series. I lost melee-oriented, max level heroes with items to less than a dozen T1-t2 attacking from all sides. Can you imagine that happening in Shadow Magic?

    Are you familiar with AoW2 at all? Let’s say there always was 3 attacks limit AND there was no such thing as Tireless. And high tiers still often missed lower tier units and didn’t manage to kill them in one turn (unlike now, when it always happens)
    And in SM I once lost full HP gold medal frostling mamonth to a silver medal halfling peasant, 1 vs 1. So yes, I can imagine that and much more 🙂

    To everyone:

    Guys, you somehow disregard the topic and continue the polemic about some things which don’t actually matter that much.
    All I want is the possibility to make the units I like useful. I do not want t1 to become the only viable option. Quite the contrary – I want ALL units to be viable options and want to have an option, as a player, to base my strategy on all the units my race and class have (and not on the few effective ones). After all, it makes a lot of other units just placeholders, while in the action you see the same units over and over again. (And it’s a shame, since the game has so many!)

    #156553

    Actually, in MP games, there were VERY few t4s. Mostly t3 with t2.
    In a tactical tournament most popular units were Archon Avengers, Dwarf Engineers, Elven Archers and Goblin Trolls. No miss mostly works AGAINST t1 in AoW3, since the damage of t1 is laughable against higher tiers and higher tiers kill t1 reliably with NO chance to survive (except for Lucky units). In SM it wasn’t so.
    And yes, I know what I am talking about. I played around 100 MP games only as a member of AoW2Rus community in a period 2008-2012.

    People can have different experiences, you know, depending on the game version and map size being played. Your community may have had different preferences or whatever than the one other people (such as BBB) played in.

    And you are painting with too broad a brush for aow iii: high elf hunters, untouchables, hatchlings, and the pikemen can be very effective per cost vs. higher tier units. Especially with the proper mystical upgrades.

    Finally, mp isn’t the only (or even the definitive) concern: playing against the AI in shadow magic quickly became an “only high tier units all the time” affair.

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