Killer Instinct

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Killer Instinct

This topic contains 50 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Sedghammer 6 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 21 posts - 31 through 51 (of 51 total)
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  • #174496

    Gorgoh
    Member

    I don’t know about all of you, but after posting those crit numbers last night my enthusiasm for heavily focusing on crit chance has dropped significantly. No matter how much happiness you drop on a unit, RNGesus is always going to have a say in how the spell “feels” in combat.

    Having had a rethink, at this point I’d say it’s a mistake to generate future impressions about the spell based on randomness, no matter how much you try to get some of that randomness out of there.

    Additionally, I hear you guys when it comes to the value of Killer Instinct in ranged combat. I don’t think having it be an “archery buff” was the original intention of the spell – otherwise it should probably just be renamed to something more appropriate like Pinpoint Accuracy, Withering Fire or Deadly Aim – but that’s become one of the current uses and it’s a good objective to preserve that if possible, while potentially expanding elements of the spell at the same time.

    At the present time my two biggest goals for Killer Instinct would be:

    1. Improved early-game utility

    2. Greater emphasis on melee use

    And it turns out that could be rather easy to do. Perhaps it’s as simple as mashing these things together, like so:

    Killer Instinct (7 mana)

    Target friendly unit does 50% more critical damage and gains Total Awareness and First Strike. Additionally, the unit has Draconian, Dwarf, Halfling, High Elf, Goblin, Human, Orc, Tigran and Frostling Slayer until end of combat.

    Same as above, but also favoring critical hit chance over critical hit damage:

    Killer Instinct (7 mana)

    Target friendly unit does 25% more critical damage and gains +150 Happiness, Total Awareness and First Strike. Additionally, the unit has Draconian, Dwarf, Halfling, High Elf, Goblin, Human, Orc, Tigran and Frostling Slayer until end of combat.

    Personally I’d be pretty happy with either of those.

    (Edit: I’ve changed the +happiness gain in that second version a few times now. The final value is clearly up for debate.)

    #174500

    Gorgoh
    Member

    Of all the classes, I think a Rogue would be most likely to exhibit a “killer instinct”, and I like what those versions of the spell do for Backstab.

    Similarly, I can see a Warlord taking Destruction Adept in multiplayer or pbem, because (for example) he hopes to burn and pillage the lands of an opposing Dreadnought, taking away his economy and production. I think having this spell would fit in nicely with the other tier I Warlord spells, Last Stand and Lion’s Courage.

    All 3 would have their uses for melee, based on circumstances. Some quick examples:

    If you just want raw +damage: Lion’s Courage
    Defensive meat shield: Last Stand
    Aggressive flanking attacks: Killer Instinct

    Naturally anytime you have no fear of something like a Dispel, you can also layer enchantments on the same unit…

    In the early game, the added abilities Total Awareness and First Strike mean that you can still use Killer Instinct in any battle – you don’t have to wait until you’re up against racial units, or until your happiness has climbed high enough to possibly roll a crit.

    Meanwhile, you can still combo things like Touch of Faith and Bless with Killer Instinct, and the spell scales into the late game with improving crit chances from growing racial happiness. Furthermore the potential for high crit damage is always there.

    #174510

    Fenraellis
    Member

    It’s about KILLING, though, not surviving better while trying to do so. Also, if it boosted Morale, it would be a minimum of +200, I’m sure, since +150 doesn’t do anything by itself.

    How about giving a flat increase in critical chance, as well as the current effects?

    Of course, I’ll blithely ignore the fact that Grey Guard + Destruction + T5 Tigrans could be able to potentially have 75%(already possible) + Killer Instinct bonus Critical Chance, while handily dealing 180% damage per hit.

    Really though, I would say that at most a small addition might be appropriate. No need to rework the spell to a very different functionality.

    #174514

    Gorgoh
    Member

    It’s about KILLING, though, not surviving better while trying to do so.

    I think the current approach is definitely focused on killing, even if it’s not always immediately apparent and there’s no obvious +damage numbers showing in the description.

    One reason is that for melee units, this version of Killer Instinct occupies an interesting middle ground between the typical binary extremes of attack or guard. You can make extremely aggressive flanking moves that you might otherwise pass on, if all you had was a better chance to crit, or a straight +damage modifier.

    When there’s a lot of enemy units running around, crit chance and +damage just encourage attacking a unit directly from the front, in order to protect your own backside. This version of the spell encourages you to always hit them where it hurts – in the flank – and in my mind that’s a great representation of having a “killer instinct”. Enchanted with the spell, your unit now sees opportunities that other friendly units don’t.

    Furthermore, with Total Awareness and First Strike, opposing melee units are going to have to take additional damage from your unit before they can cause any actual damage themselves. If they’re low on hit points, they’ll be afraid to even attack.

    So in practice, it becomes a great thing to cast on units like Warbreeds (who could care less if they get a few minor scratches) and I think it will often have the feel of a unit rampaging around.

    Things like using “offensive Guard” to pin ranged units in place also becomes less of a necessity – with Killer Instinct you can just start swinging away. This is because your ability to respond to subsequent attacks is so dramatically superior to a unit attacking without it.

    Also, if it boosted Morale, it would be a minimum of +200, I’m sure, since +150 doesn’t do anything by itself.

    A few things on that:

    First, apparently I stealthily changed that number while you were writing, to +100 (heh, sorry). The actual final number I’m pretty flexible about.

    Secondly, as far as using +150 goes, that could end up being a perfectly valid contender. The reason is that even though the thresholds for a crit go up and down by multiples of 200, actual unit happiness can change in much smaller increments. For example: +150 for winning 3 battles in a row, and +25 for recruiting a hero recently.

    So it’s just a way to hedge a little bit, emphasizing actual unit happiness more, as well as encouraging things like Touch of Faith, Imperial Authority and Bard Skills – keeping the door open for relative player “skill” in the process.

    But it’s not a necessity. There’s value in keeping it simple and straightforward as well, and a round +200 to promote an advance to the next crit level seems entirely feasible also – especially if the actual crit damage is reduced at the same time.

    My guess is that most players would prefer to see crits come up more often, as opposed to having crits be so damaging that the defender just disappears.

    #174529

    Gorgoh
    Member

    The basic premise is that the Warlord’s entire schtick is having the best troops, so comparing his buffs (which are there to compensate for having no offensive magic) to a buff that anyone can get is a bit unfair.

    Also, some spells are meant to be combined with others…

    Maybe instead of just quality, think of it in terms of quantity.

    Instead of having 5 excellent (individual) unit enchantments, you’ll now have 6. 🙂

    And your mix-and-match opportunities will go up significantly…

    #174624

    Althea
    Member

    I prefer critical chance boost.

    Personally i’d rather it only increase critical damage just by 20%. But it increase crit chance by flat fixed percent (25% maybe?). Or no increase to critical damage but higher increase to crit chance.

    The rest of the effect can stay the same.

    #174682

    Gorgoh
    Member

    However in late game, it works quite nice if you play extreme ranged combat, can also works for melee but crit means that it depend on chance, in melee combat if your chance does not come, you generally have no other time to try another chance (because your opponent is right in front of you either they kill you first or you kill them first), in ranged combat, if you miss your chance, usually there is plenty of room to try for another chance, assuming you back away from your opponent and play safe at ranged combat.

    I think if you can limit enemy movements, like with spells such as twisting roots, mass stasis/gravity spells, or choking fumes and play at ranged combat, killer instinct combined with bless is quite decent.

    I still remember my 2 horned gods defeated 6 juggernauts in siege (i’m the attacker) because of bless and killer instinct combined with twisting roots.

    In other words you want more crits while you play safe at ranged combat? Where’s the “killer instinct” in that?

    Better to just rename the spell at that point, if you only want to use it as a ranged buff with constant crits.

    #174734

    Althea
    Member

    Well, it’s just a matter of imagination imo.

    For instance, you can explain it like “the instinct allow you to better aim at enemy critical point, thus increasing one’s chance to critical”.

    Anyway, +20% chance to crit is not much imo, i think the main balance concern for increasing crit chance is the tigran synergy which allow them to have high crit chance (as described above by fen), which i and other non testers still don’t know.

    #174796

    Astraflame
    Member

    Not all spells are good for everyone, killer instincts is “meh” for a WL or a druid, classes without or lesser morale boosters, it’s strong for theos and rogues.

    Bless is more versatile and always useful, killer instincts can far surpass bless given the right conditions , that’s what i meant with subtle powerful, it seems destruction in general is a specialized mastery and i like it that way, IMO adding +morale would make this spell too good under certain conditions

    #174800

    Grog of Bolg
    Member

    I would be fine giving killer instinct an increase to critical hit chance. Say 10-15% but I don’t think major changes are needed beyond that.

    I have more of a problem with destruction mastery than adept. Usually I love to play games as a destroyer. AOW3 has the most un-interesting destruction gameplay of any game I have played. The patch helps with the buff to storm magic, but still not enough to make me want to go back to Mastery.

    Give a small buff to killer instinct fine, but I would also like to get rid of wreck and give destruction a t3 support unit. The Cultist of Destruction: Have a support unit which has a ranged attack of entropic miasma – which ignores all resistance and defense (which in a way would replace wreck and be more versatile). And give them the ability to grant killer instinct on other units.

    Something like this would have me be a destruction master again.

    #174804

    Astraflame
    Member

    Increasing crit chance while the crit damage bonus remains the same is not a good move, raised crit chance should only come with lowered crit damage.

    #174820

    Grog of Bolg
    Member

    Increasing crit chance while the crit damage bonus remains the same is not a good move, raised crit chance should only come with lowered crit damage.

    50% of 0 is still 0.

    #174824

    Astraflame
    Member

    And point is? =)

    #174830

    jb
    Member

    I personally don’t like the idea of adding Total Awareness or First Strike.

    I could see adding Tireless though. More fitting for the theme of the spell.

    #174894

    Gorgoh
    Member

    I personally don’t like the idea of adding Total Awareness or First Strike. I could see adding Tireless though. More fitting for the theme of the spell.

    I think Tireless is in the ballpark thematically, but I still think Total Awareness and First Strike are more in tune with “killer instinct”.

    Admittedly I don’t know the actual history of the phrase with 100% certainty right now, but I suspect it had something to to with the classic case of a predator in the wild: a lion waiting in the bushes to pounce on a gazelle.

    It’s that merciless, unsympathetic, catch-you-when-you-least-expect-it drive to take someone down swiftly and without any remorse. For me “killer instinct” also brings to mind elements of speed, awareness and reaction time.

    The human equivalent would be an assassin. When or how the target dies doesn’t always matter, but one thing’s for sure – they’ll never see it coming.

    So my goal was to encourage flanking as much as possible. That’s the closest thing the game seems to have for being blindsided and getting attacked unexpectedly, from a direction you didn’t anticipate – beyond something simple like just doing +damage.

    Hence, I still think this version of the spell works great with Backstab. For me, that’s exactly what “killer instinct” is all about. Get behind the target and gut them mercilessly.

    And since it’s a Quick Dash, Sprinting, Moving Target, fast-reaction-time rogue assassin, that hero should also be able to deal with all of the “movie extras” who come running in to see what the recent commotion was about. One-by-one they continue slaying enemies with Total Awareness and First Strike – dispatching each one with the same expertise, speed and skill as their first victim.

    Then when a bigger force comes, the Rogue makes a Cunning Escape.

    The killing won’t be as clean and efficient with brutes like Warbreeds – they’ll make a bigger mess – but when seen as a rampage, that works just fine for me as well when it comes to having a “killer instinct”.

    #174896

    ninninnin
    Member

    i never knew it worked on ranged units. how does it interact with multiple damage channels. does it turn fairies into navy seals?
    honestly im kind of bothered that it favors ranged. and i dont like feeling stupid

    id like it to stay as a low level offensive buff anyone can pick up. what if it were turned into an aoe buff, like the opposite of warp equipment. or a ‘chain’ buff.
    those are some things we dont have. of course it would come with an appropriate mana cost increase.

    another idea i had rolling around in my head was heal on kill, which is sort of melee oriented as itll help units that are all but garunteed to take damage to stay alive.

    #175080

    Fenraellis
    Member

    i never knew it worked on ranged units. how does it interact with multiple damage channels. does it turn fairies into navy seals?

    +3 to the primary damage channel only. The same applies to other Slayer bonuses, and Mark of the Heretic. Seeker still provides a bonus to all channels, though.

    #175110

    Gorgoh
    Member

    Well, here’s a rather bold proposition if the devs are willing to entertain such an unusual request…

    I’m probably just dreaming, but with all of the changes from build to build in the open beta (and we’re now on what, the 4th or 5th?), it might be kind of fun to get the “easily implemented”, straightforward version of Killer Instinct below tossed into the next build, so people could mess around with it for a week (yanking it after a couple of builds or something).

    My next game would be evil Goblin Rogue for sure, with Destruction Mastery, and no shortage of Blight. 🙂

    Killer Instinct (7 mana)

    Target friendly unit does 50% more critical damage and gains Total Awareness and First Strike. Additionally, the unit has Draconian, Dwarf, Halfling, High Elf, Goblin, Human, Orc, Tigran and Frostling Slayer until end of combat.

    Seeing as how we’re already testing all kinds of stuff, some more insight into how this combination plays out would be pretty cool…

    But I’ll take total silence as a “No”. 😀

    #177433

    Gorgoh
    Member

    If you’re playing the 1.5 Open Beta, now is a great time to play a with a backstabbing Rogue hero or leader!

    Rogue heroes can now learn Total Awareness at level 11, for 10 points.

    Projectile Resistance now protects units against flanking attacks as well as nonflanking ones.

    Why should a Rogue have to play Destruction Adept to get access to Total Awareness?

    I couldn’t agree more, and when taking some helpful abilities to complement Total Awareness on a Rogue, the whole thing looks like a ton of fun.

    Whether Killer Instinct gets Total Awareness at some point or not is unclear. Even if it’s something desired, the inability to update text until after the release of 1.5 and the Eternal Lords expansion means that it will have to wait for now.

    Currently the valuation for Total Awareness is quite high. The current hero upgrade cost of 10 might prove to be the best number, but someday down the road I could also see it settling into the 6 to 8 range.

    More than changing the upgrade cost however, at some point it might be interesting to make Total Awareness available sooner than level 11.

    By the time the hero hits 11, it’s not uncommon for tier 4s to be coming out in force (though this does heavily depend on relative game settings). It’s possible that the sweet spot for having a lot of fun with Total Awareness is somewhere in the 40% to 80% completion range of the game, fighting against tier 2s and 3s with an increasing number of arriving 4s.

    Because even with Total Awareness, I’m not sure I want to turn my back on a bunch of Global Assault Manticores, just to Backstab one of their buddies… 😀

    But we shall see. For now it’s great just to see more fun additions being made to the list of possible hero upgrades.

    Here’s the rest of the ones that were added to the 1.5 Open Beta just last night, in a special “Midnight Easter Update”:

    Archdruid hero upgrade Inflict Bleeding Wounds is now unlocked at level 3 (was level 9)

    Archdruid heroes can now learn Call Lightning at level 11, for 7 points.

    Archdruid heroes can now learn Regrowth at level 11, for 10 points.

    Warlord heroes can now learn War Cry at level 3 for 2 points

    If you want to pass on hiring that Rogue hero because you want to try an Arch Druid instead, I can’t say that I blame you. 🙂

    #177476

    Fenraellis
    Member

    Don’t forget that said Rogue Hero also has First Strike.

    There was a short time during which one of the Elven Racial Governance upgrades gave something like +1 Melee strength, +1 Def and Total Awareness to Gryphon Riders. Tireless, First Strike, Total Awareness as default abilities on solid melee unit is frightening. I remember Gloweye giving an anecdote of soloing a giant Dwelling with 3~4 Giants and 2 Ogres with a single Elite Gryphon Rider(it may have had Shadowborn Life Stealing upgrade, I’m not sure…).

    Either way, all that Rogue Hero needs is Tireless boots, and possibly a Life Stealing/Drain weapon, and he would likely lay waste to the majority of melee opponents. Can’t be Flanked/Charged from any direction with First Strike and Total Awareness, unless the enemy themselves has First Strike(in the case of Charge). Which admittedly, those Global Assault Manticore Riders would, but still.

    #180605

    Sedghammer
    Member

    I personally like picking both destruction adept and creation adept specifically for the synergy between Killer Instinct and Bless. Halfling Theo with these two spells is incredible.

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