Morale and Mind Control

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Morale and Mind Control

This topic contains 42 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Fenraellis 6 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #218634

    cbower
    Member

    Am I the only one who thinks happy units should be harder to mind control and unhappy units should be easier to mind control. Couldn’t it work like each rank up or down be like a 5% weakness or protection. I know morale is already important, but it just seems odd to me that the super happy guy paid well living in the land he loves willing to die for the empire is just as likely to to be turn sides as the guy who hasn’t been paid, lost battles, and fighting in the terrain he hates.

    #218635

    NINJEW
    Member

    not a bad idea, though i think there’s probably a lot of balance issues with it.

    for example: curse would double down on mind control synergy, since not only would it reduce res but also reduce morale, hitting the convert chance on 2 fronts

    “sense-wise” i think it’s come up a few times that the mind control abilities are all magical in nature, which is why it’s just a simple check against res

    #218638

    Hatmage
    Member

    I think it would make a certain degree of sense if abilities that cause panic and despair were less likely to hit high morale units, but I’m not as sure about mind control. Even just the “high morale” trait specifically giving a situational +1 or +2 resistance against fear and perhaps control effects could be good, though I suspect that involves too much new coding to be seen before mod tools come out.

    #218643

    cbower
    Member

    I can see the balance argument. Hatmage your probably right that panic and despair are the most fitted to morale. I guess for me morale just feels too mechanical right now. I love it’s strategic and tactical value, it just doesn’t feel like the fullest representation of an armies willingness to fight that could be possible in the game. Sometimes I think theme choices can be worth it even if they have a negative impact on gameplay. For example I like that the undead have immunities all sorts of things that undead things should. No life steal, revive instinct and so on. You should not be able to steal life from something that is already dead. Game play wise though when your playing a necro a whole section of your class skills become absolutely worthless, not poor, but worthless. It’s not fun to have to cycle through a bunch of trash in your book. But when you put it together as a whole, I think the pros out weigh the cons. To some degree I think it is better that the world make sense, then the spell book be streamlined. I am not sure what the specific solution for morale is, but I think expanding upon that concept would help with immersion.

    #218700

    Host
    Member

    I strongly agree with the idea that Morale should impact the ability of mind control abilities to function, and also to impact mind-altering abilities like fear or berzerk. For balance reasons this may be left as something fairly subtle, such as a +1/-1 res (or the equivalent percentage, ie 5% less/more likely) against mind-altering abilities for each noted level of morale (so, a max of +3(+15%) and -3(-15%) at +600/-600 morale).

    #218720

    Motasa
    Member

    +1 Great idea. Another reason to keep an eye out on your unit’s morality.

    #218724

    ExNihil
    Member

    Mind control abilities roll against spirit resistance. This very mechanic was already implemented with inflict / explot despair and ghoul curse. I don’t think the mechanics need further elaboration, but it is possible to change existing debuff spells / abilities to be more along these lines. Examples:

    Slayer’s Doubt
    Dread Siege
    Denounce City

    and a few others.

    If morale itself becomes an option, disgusting stench would – for example – be one of the most powerful unit traits in game for some classes.

    #218749

    zealot83
    Member

    I think there would be to many problems to change it and then there would be balance issues,but I have to say the morale mind control I like as is.

    #218780

    apopov
    Member

    Don’t think that level of happiness should be relevant in such cases.

    One could argue that Happy people are more carefree and easier to fool , while unhappy people tend to be bitter, distrustful and resentful of strangers and/or other ideologies and more prone to aggressive behavior.

    If one reads descriptions of Nymph charming, or Bards, seems like they would have a much easier time plying their charms to a cheerful and more relaxed audience than if they had to do that with unhappy and bitter soldiers.

    Conversion by priests/theocratic can also be theoretically harder if the target is in a bad mood.

    Unhappiness isn’t indicative of a greater wish to switch sides.

    In this game it wouldn’t make sense especially when you consider that a lot of spells effects impact morale penalties.

    So how do you see this.

    “you guys… the enemy wizard has personally cursed us, and then his freak abominations poisoned us with some noxious bile so we are now covered in diseased boils – am I the only one that was convinced by all this that we should totally switch sides to fight for him? What do you mean ‘no’? Look – thanks to this guy we had to trudge out of our nice forests into this blighted swamps – just look around… if we switch sides to serve him we get to STAY here.”

    #218796

    cbower
    Member

    @apopov I never really considered that perspective, interesting point.

    #218856

    Gloweye
    Member

    I’ve got an alternative scenario for you…

    So your happiness is pretty low. That jerk*** of a boss didn’t pay your due wages, the empire you’re part of is losing the war, and now you have to march through these god-forsaken woods where there could be elves, brigands or worse hiding behind every tree.

    Suddenly, you come upon a lake in the forest, where a Nymph is bathing. Everything about her tells you that you can abandon your oppressed life, be free from the jerk who doesn’t even pay you, and just live with this beautiful girl, who promises to bow to your every wish….

    Yeah, good luck resisting that seduce.

    There’s always multiple sides. However, it’s not really possible to project what we call personality (Which determines how any of us would respond under such circumstances) onto those rank-and-file units. While I’d support the low-morale-convert-easier idea, I don’t think the game is worse of for not considering it – also, would it really be needed to add another layer of complexity? many people don’t know how resist checks work already.

    #218857

    NINJEW
    Member

    the question is less “would you rather get seduced by a nymph” and more “why does the nymph’s smelly goblin friend make you want her more?”

    #218858

    NINJEW
    Member

    you know what’s hot? a bathing nymph. you know what makes it even hotter though? a disgusting filth covered goblin who you’ll be stuck with forever if you join the nymph

    #218924

    Host
    Member

    Unhappiness isn’t indicative of a greater wish to switch sides

    Which is why your units desert on maximum unhappiness; because they -don’t- want to leave the person they work for. You have truely understood the unhapiness mechanics entirely.

    you know what’s hot? a bathing nymph. you know what makes it even hotter though? a disgusting filth covered goblin who you’ll be stuck with forever if you join the nymph.

    You know what’s tempting? Staying with a nymph and deserting your idiot lord that sends you off to probably die. You know what’s more tempting? Staying with a nymph and deserting your idiot lord that sends you off to suffer fighting filthy goblins in filthy lands, and probably die.

    The idea that the seduced unit would then always be around the goblin after switching sides is a false assumption. If the unit actually was forced to stick around the goblin by their new master, then the disgusting stench debuff would still be giving them a -morale hit with their new master. If their master sent them off to fight in nice lands with nice (bardskills) company against foes that don’t make them cripplingly ill or terrified or cursed, they’re less likely to change sides. Their greater loyalty to the lord that doesn’t put them in situations where they suffer greatly, pays them, keeps their family and people safe, and seems to know what they’re doing (not losing cities and battles), would also make them less likely to give into fear or panic. Any argument of ‘unhappy units would be less likely to desert/run in fear/disobey orders’ is running on flawed interpretations of the situations provided.

    Balance wise, while hitting morale into the negatives would give a slightly greater mind-effect chance (depending on how far you can make the morale negative), because good morale would also be changed to make it harder to influence the mind (+1/2/3 res), and in most situations, a player’s units will have positive morale, the morale hit on things like succubi’s throw-curse would only serve to reduce the advantage that this change would also give the units.

    I.E. currently throw curse has a -2 res hit; if you changed it so that morale affected seduce chances, the happy unit would get +2 res against seduce for being happy, and the throw-curse’s -morale would mean that they lose that +2 res-from-morale on top of the -2 res at base, putting them back to current effectiveness. Basically, a player keeping their units happy won’t see too great an impact from this, and players neglecting happiness will see a little, but not overwhelming impact.

    #218930

    Hatmage
    Member

    Desertion means hating your circumstances and often your leader, but doen’t necessarily mean liking the enemy you signed up to fight – Conversion et. al are about who you want to fight for, desertion is about not wanting to fight. Ninjew & apopov are right to point out that the mechanics would literally make disgusting stench and curses into recruitment tools.
    Again, while morale effecting fear effects – which arguably include desertion – makes sense, making people miserable should, if anything, galvanise them against your cause, and the optimal moment to seduce somebody should not be when they are on fire. I assume. I haven’t been able to gather volunteers for an empirical study.

    #218936

    Hasbulat
    Member

    I mean, the happyness helps already now against the mind control.
    Mind Control as itself is compaired with other abilities and damage and each mind control ability has a own power and own type andd number of damage, wich is shown in the unit/hero describtion with a figure after them, for example “seduce 11 (damage type)”.
    As for the normal damage, the resistance AND the happieness helps to avoid them.

    Is it not enough?

    I like to play halflings and I am very satisfied, how often my happy units avoid the damage, and also the mind control.

    #218944

    Ultimatum
    Member

    halflings are too op and need to be nerfed back to the stone age /exterminated

    (kidding!)

    #218954

    Hasbulat
    Member

    Only the poor devepoler works with nerf, the better one empoves the weaker one! 😉

    #218959

    vyolin
    Member

    Basically, a player keeping their units happy won’t see too great an impact from this, and players neglecting happiness will see a little, but not overwhelming impact.

    If so, why bother?

    Honestly, most of the proposals of late to bring more depth to some aspect or other are levelled at the wrong game. Age of Wonders is not a game of great complexity in terms of anything other than when it comes to tactical combat itself. And adding more complexity to that one part of the game where the nuances required for complexity to thrive and be meaningful are greatly offset by randomness, will avail us nothing.

    So if anything, more variety, since added complexity will mostly exist on paper only.

    #219091

    Fenraellis
    Member

    Eh, at most, I would only have this influence the +/- 400/600 tiers of Happiness/Unhappiness, with a +/- 5/10% additive chance of Mind Control effects for living units(Morale causing Control Undead to work better just doesn’t cut it). Leaving the middle -375~+375 Morale range alone.

    So this would affect:
    — Seduce
    — Charm
    — Convert
    — Befriend Animal
    I’m not completely sold on Dominate, I must admit, as that one is the most blatantly raw brute force magical Mind Control. That, and it has a higher success rate, and cool down, anyway.
    Possibly it would also affect:
    — Taunt
    — Panic(single target and mass versions)
    — Fearsome/Fear Strike/Cause Fear

    Huh, I would almost add Spirit Breaking and Despair onto that, since they affect a unit’s Morale, but at that point wouldn’t it just mean “All Spirit effects, except Turn/Control Undead, Daze and Ghoul Curse(and possibly Dominate)”? Excluding increasing damage as well, of course, as that’s what Despair and Exploit Despair(and Armageddon) are for.

    #219424

    Host
    Member

    Conversion et. al are about who you want to fight for, desertion is about not wanting to fight.

    The second half of this sentence is incomplete. Desertion is about not wanting to fight for your current lord. This does not specifically mean that the person will want to fight for any other lord, but it also does not mean that they would also detest all other lords.

    The Bard’s lore is essentially ‘some pretty lass came and lied to me that I’d have glory and riches working for her lord, and I believed her’; it is insanity to say that how much the unit wants to fight for their current lord would have no impact on the unit’s decision. Those who would be abandoning a great lord, who already seem to have riches and glory assured would be less likely to accept; those who are abandoning a terrible lord would be more likely to accept.

    I mean, the happyness helps already now against the mind control.

    Lucky is only innate to halflings, all other races only occasionally get it through various, normally temporary means. Outside of Lucky, morale has no influence on the success or failure of conversion, fear, or berserk based abilities, where logically it should have some impact.

    If so, why bother?

    Independent units start with base 0 morale. This change would make indy defenders marginally more recruit-able for stacks that can both convert and lower morale. Recruiting is a very viable strategy in manual combat, because a smart player will nuke the res of a single valuable target and then convert it, with no help from morale needed – but this isn’t viable when playing with autocombat against the indies, because the autocombat AI doesn’t appreciate that the purpose for the attack might be to capture a valuable unit rather than kill all the defenders. However, the autocombat AI will still try to use conversion abilities sometimes, and will also use abilities that lower morale when it has them. This means that making morale matter to conversion would buff the ability for the Autocombat AI to at least get -something- out of the fight.

    …The fact that this would primarily buff the viability of a conversion-based strategy for Goblin (-morale) Rogues(early conversion access) – my favourite strategy, race, and class combination, for thematic reasons – is entirely coincidental, of course…

    Eh, at most, I would only have this influence the +/- 400/600 tiers of Happiness/Unhappiness, with a +/- 5/10% additive chance of Mind Control effects for living units(Morale causing Control Undead to work better just doesn’t cut it). Leaving the middle -375~+375 Morale range alone.

    A lesser degree of impact is fine too, as long as it’s something.

    #219524

    NINJEW
    Member

    You know what’s tempting? Staying with a nymph and deserting your idiot lord that sends you off to probably die. You know what’s more tempting? Staying with a nymph and deserting your idiot lord that sends you off to suffer fighting filthy goblins in filthy lands, and probably die.

    i just don’t see how a smelly goblin standing next to you makes you more likely to pop a boner

    seems like it’d have the opposite effect, honestly

    #219525

    NINJEW
    Member

    i’m not master of seduction but i’m pretty sure the general idea includes “don’t stick him next to a filth covered creepy beady eyed mostly naked midget”

    #219529

    Hatmage
    Member

    Don’t forget that it helps if you set him on fire, poison him, panic him, curse him and break his spirit. And that to properly set the atmosphere you want to fill the room with choking industrial smog.

    #219532

    NINJEW
    Member

    ah yes your setting me on fire has convinced me that perhaps the allfather really does have my best interests at heart. of course i would join your cause, purge the enemies of the faith

    #219556

    Fenraellis
    Member

    The flames burn so gooo~d.

    #219878

    Host
    Member

    i just don’t see how a smelly goblin standing next to you makes you more likely to pop a boner

    seems like it’d have the opposite effect, honestly

    Ah, yes, the horny-14-year-old’s only understanding of the meaning of the term ‘seduce’. That is certainly one thing that seduction can be, but it clearly isnt’t the only one. Unless you can explain to me how sexual attraction is required for the use of Seduce by the succubus in it’s lore entry? I suppose you also believe that all animals are really into the female human form, since they’re seducable as well?

    A more broad understanding of the term reveals that you can seduce someone with things extending far beyond sexual attractiveness and their lust. Compassion, for instance. When no-one shows you any worth, and doesn’t seem to give a shit that you’re going through hell… getting seduced by someone who does show you affection is all too easy. (‘oh, how much it pains me to see you forced into this bitter and pointless conflict against my master – if only we didn’t have to fight, if only you were not being ordered so crulely to kill me… you deserve kindness. Please, let us stop causing you this needless suffering; allow me to treat your terrible ailments and show you the decency any X(huamn, elf, etc)being deserves…’)

    ah yes your setting me on fire has convinced me that perhaps the allfather really does have my best interests at heart. of course i would join your cause, purge the enemies of the faith.

    ‘Your master does nothing for you while you burn in their name. Why do you offer aligence to something so uncaring? Even as your lord sends you to war against us, I and my god weep for you, child. Please, embrace the light of our mercy and suffer no more.’

    #220004

    NINJEW
    Member

    Ah, yes, the horny-14-year-old’s only understanding of the meaning of the term ‘seduce’. That is certainly one thing that seduction can be, but it clearly isnt’t the only one. Unless you can explain to me how sexual attraction is required for the use of Seduce by the succubus in it’s lore entry? I suppose you also believe that all animals are really into the female human form, since they’re seducable as well?

    are you kidding me dude

    i think you’re missing the point, which is that under such mechanics the best way to recruit people to your side would be to be a total dickwad to them. i.e. set them on fire, cover them in stench, choke them in smog, poison them, and other such things. generally speaking, being a massive dickwad to people isn’t a good way of rallying them to your cause.

    #220059

    vyolin
    Member

    being a massive dickwad to people isn’t a good way of rallying them to your cause.

    You have to break them first, you know.

    Honestly, though, I do not see this adding nearly enough to bother with it for devs and players both.
    Either it has a noticeable impact, then we can talk about its specifics, or it has not, in which case we can just drop it.

    #220082

    Host
    Member

    are you kidding me dude

    i think you’re missing the point, which is that under such mechanics the best way to recruit people to your side would be to be a total dickwad to them.

    I guess domestic abuse doesn’t exist in real life, since you can’t be a dickwad to someone and still have them join you. Also, crushing someone’s spirit doesn’t make them more mailable, and fantasy settings never engage in a ‘torture makes you evil’ storyline. Today I Learned

    Though in the end, the conversation about convincing the target using mundane means is just a diversion from a much more base and more relevant point. I think we can both agree that, be it Seduce, Charm, Dominate, Control Undead, Charm Animal, or Bind Summon, it’s pretty clear that the relevant portion of the ability is running on magic overriding the unit’s will, rather than the mundane application of some form of coercion.

    To evidence that the abilities work on magic, not mundane means… well, any Goblin or Draconian hero can pick up Seduce or Charm on an item. And, as already mentioned, these abilities work on beasts; I’m pretty sure Dread Monkeys don’t have an inherent desire to recreate 2girls1cup with any nymph they see. If that doesn’t speak for itself, the lore description of the various units make it fairly clear that magic is doing most of the work. ‘Charm’, ‘Seduce’ and ‘Dominate’ may as well be named ‘Conversion Magic’, ‘Conversion Magic 2: Electric Boogaloo’, and ‘Conversion Magic: The Gathering of even more Conversion Magic’.

    Given the whole checking-against-spirit-resistance thing – not to mention the name of the ability Strong Will – there’s a clear connotation between conversion magic and the religious idea of ‘holding your will firm against temptation’. Allowing yourself to desire something more than you desire to work for your lord’s purpose gives the magic an opening. Doesn’t matter if that desire is the temporary one of ‘OH GOD I’M ON FIRE SOMEONE DOUSE ME PLEASE I’LL DO ANYTHING’; the magic will leverage your momentary weakness and crack your will right open. The fact that it was the succubus’ own hand that cursed you – that your master-to-be is the one who made you suffer – has no bearing on the temptation of not having to suffer anymore. ‘Not being entirely certain that the other guy has your best interest at heart’ isn’t a defence against magic like that.

    Suffering, despairing, having doubts about your leader and your side’s ability to win the war – all the things that give a unit lowered morale are, by definition, things that can either be used to tempt a unit, or which would hamper a unit’s ability to muster up the willpower to resist. Conversely, having all your needs and wants met, and having a great love of your leader and empire, makes ignoring temptation and gathering your will easier.

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