Necromancer's ways of acquiring units too strong (in PBEM at least)?

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Necromancer's ways of acquiring units too strong (in PBEM at least)?

This topic contains 108 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Zaskow 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #239491

    Hiliadan
    Member

    There is already a topic about Ghoul Curse: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/inflict-goul-curse-game-breaking-in-pbem/

    But Greater Reanimate Undead is very strong too. It allows to very easily acquire undead T4 such as Titans. Killing them and reanimating them is much easier than Ghoul cursing a Manticore with success.

    A possible easy partial fix would be to re-increase the cost of Greater Reanimate Undead (it has been made cheaper in v1.703 but it’s too cheap now I think).
    Gabthegab suggested a more radical fix: to prevent reanimation of T4, or at least those that have mind control immunity. I don’t think it’s a good idea.

    What about increasing costs like that:
    – Control Undead: 4 -> 5
    – Lesser Reanimate Undead: 4 -> 5
    – Greater Reanimate Undead: 6 -> 8
    – Inflict Ghoul Curse: 7 -> 8

    And maybe make some abilities cheaper in exchange (I never used them but maybe it’s my mistake):
    – Exploit Despair
    – Inflict Enfeebling Fever
    – Energy Drain

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #239631

    Lightform
    Member

    I think the balance changes might need to be considered by people who play UD a lot.
    I would seriously doubt that what you are suggesting will make much difference at all in PBEM. I play tested UD in PBEM settings last night ( I don’t play them ), and I was able to get two heroes to level 10 and clear a mythic sight at turn 7. That was without using ghoul curse at all. This is absurd… how are the other classes to compete ?

    #239633

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I’ve been saying from the start that Necro is too good – prove is the fact that a Necromancer HERO that you hire with EVERY class becomes an army on their own.

    I have been suggesting from the start that GHOUL CURSE should have been a technology (say, 800 research: Death Bringers and Necromancer heroes get the Ghoul Curse ability; also the tech might give Necros just the OPTION to pick the skill for 7 points or so). This would have been a much better technology to research than stuff that works only when you lose. It would clearly limit playing Necro to picking Necro Class, which is the main idea – it sucks, when you play against, say, a Rogue, and you are suddenly faced with a Ghouled Warlord army ghoul-cursed from some dungeons, led by a Necro.

    I also think that there is an overkill between
    a) raising Cadavers
    b) Lesser Reanimation
    c) Greater Reanimation

    Raising Cadavers is pretty cool. I would just like a technology that would stabilize Cadavers (say, for example, 500 Research: Cadavers do not lose HPs anymore each turn; all Cadavers gain +10 HPs and +3 physical or something like that)

    These two in combination would solve a lot of problems. Imo, Raise Cadaver could become an immediately available ability for something like 3 points (instead of being part of each Necro from the start). Control Undead should become level 3 again, for 3 points as well – in the beginning it’s a pretty dangerous thing to try, and the only thing that’s really worth it are Reanimators in Libraries and Necro Circles – with the Archon stuff you need to be evil, otherwise they are less than optimal, and there are no ghoul-independets.

    Which leaves Reanimation.

    Logically spoken, imo, you Raise a Cadaver from the dead that were LIVING, and you reanimate THE UNDEAD; Ghoul Curse can make an undead out of a living being, ergo you should be able to reanimate a ghoul-cursed living being after its death already in battle, and you can raise ANY undead/ghoul fallen in battle.

    I would simply ship Lesser Reanimate back to level 5 and Greater Reanimate to level 9. With Ghoul Curse completely dropped to technology, this would still allow Necro heroes working for other classes to field their own army (Dark Well, Cadavers), but there was no Ghoul-Cursing, which is only fair, since I cannot learn Summon Animal/Magical Beings spells with Druid/Sorcerer heroes either, although it would be pretty cool, obviously.

    Under these rules getting T4s for Necros would be pretty darn difficult. Getting Manticores and the like (from Dungeon) would need a Tech to research – not possible, then, for guest heroes, and possible for Necro only after considerable research.
    That would leave the undead T4s: Bone Dragon, Archon Titan and Grim Reaper. Those you could get via Greater Reanimate Dead – however, I wouldn’t see this is a problem, Convert and Seduce/Charm are pretty effective as well.

    If, for some reason, a player is able to bring their Necro hero to level 9 on turn 6 or something and then Greater Reanimate a fallen Archon Titan, then there is something wrong with the way Heroes can gain XP, not with the way a level 9 hero can “convert” a certain kind of T4.

    #239634

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    What does “UD” mean? Undead?

    #239637

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Let me add something here.

    Cadavers cost only 2 Mana of upkeep, which is a very cheap way go acquire some cannon fodder early on, but the thing here is, that Cadavers keep the XP of their erstwhile embodiment and can get medals – in other words, that the Cadaver mechanics are rewarding as well.

    I already suggested a Cadaver-focused technology, but I wouldn’t have a problem with having more than one; there could also be an upkeep increase coming with it.

    Cadavers might
    a) lose their -8 HP each turn (increasing upkeep to, say, 5 Mana;
    b) may gain “stats”
    c) may gain abilities (like “Inflict Rot” or something like that;
    d) may gain “merging” abilities, to become T2/3/4 Cadavers

    In short, I think that Necro might profit from getting away of being Ghoul-Curse unit collectors (that one could in fact be something exclusive for Death Bringers, with or without technology), more to Cadaver handlers.

    Be that as it may, Necro needs something to make playing CLASS more pronouncedly different from playing guest hero for another class.

    #239710

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Been playing a game against a Necro, Very Strong defenders, and by turn 15 he had 4 stacks of T3s and T4s, inclusing 2 Death Bringers. This has nothing to do with playing the game, it’s just utterly broken.

    This can only be the result of Greater Reanimate Dead, animating fallen Death Bringers.

    In my opinion this problem can only be solved by transferring the Ghould Curse ability
    and the Reanimate enemy units ability to Necromancer Class TECHNOLOGY and take it away from HERO abilities.

    There should be a fast solution and a patch because this makes things extremely uninteresting. As it is, you have to ban Necro from PBEM play right now.

    #239714

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I think your solution is pretty good. Put Ghoul Curse and Greater Reanimate Undead working for ennemy units in the technology tree of necro. Then there is no issue any more for other classes and it is considerably slowed down for Necro class itself, as you cannot just level up your leader and get it.

    I don’t think changes to cadavers are necessary (and they are not linked to this topic so a new topic should be opened for this, maybe).

    #239745

    xlnt
    Member

    Necro is so OP – it’s not even funny. Turn 1: 2x Tier3 units is bonkers and actually easy. Stiffen Limbs is crazy OP. And ghoul curse has nothing to do with all this ): or greater reanimate..

    Also – stop playing on strong defenders, play on normal (which will also provide smoother games vs AD too).

    I vote for banning necro too, btw (:

    #239748

    Zaskow
    Member

    I have been suggesting from the start that GHOUL CURSE should have been a technology (say, 800 research: Death Bringers and Necromancer heroes get the Ghoul Curse ability; also the tech might give Necros just the OPTION to pick the skill for 7 points or so)

    Sorry, but Deathbringer without Ghouling is pretty mediocre unit (in live MP especially) and don’t worth the money.

    #239751

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Including Necro heroes.

    I agree that Stiffen Limbs is crazy – should work for, say 2 or 3 turns only.

    @ Hiliadan
    You have to keep in mind that the MP crowd is complaining about Necro economy being too slow on one hand and not competitive when it comes to happiness bonusses (especially with the celebration bonusses).
    Short of completely changing the whole Necro Class economy (for example, changing the gold/mana relation for their buildings and units to more Mana and Whispers of the Fallen giving Mana instead of research) which is something that would need a lot of work by Triumph plus a lot of testing and so on, just handing the MP crowd something the AI CAN handle in combat might not only solve their problem (relieving them from unit production necessities by filling their ranks with Cadavers instead of Ghouls, something the AI is capable of), but also add a different style of play for Necro, Cadavers becoming more than just cheap momentary meat sacks with limited life expectancy.

    #239752

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I have been suggesting from the start that GHOUL CURSE should have been a technology (say, 800 research: Death Bringers and Necromancer heroes get the Ghoul Curse ability; also the tech might give Necros just the OPTION to pick the skill for 7 points or so)

    Sorry, but Deathbringer without Ghouling is pretty mediocre unit (in live MP especially) and don’t worth the money.

    I know, and after thinking about it, I think I found a better solution that you find in the suggestions in the general forum under the Necro broken thread. It’s enough to take Greater Reanimate out of the Hero abilities and add it as a tech (Healers of the Dead), making Healers more expensive, and also making Inflict Ghoul Curse for heroes come later and become more expensive.

    #239920

    Lightform
    Member

    Hey JJ
    I like your suggestions, but it may take a bit of playing around with to get a comfortable balance.

    I suggested on the balance mod thread to make all of the raising skills earn 0 exp on use to prevent exp farming from them. I think this would help the crazy necro hero leveling in PBEM.

    Also, if you propose to restrict the reanimate and ghoul curse skills to techs, then necro heroe’s may need some alternatives for non necro class necro heroes. So I don’t know how that would work ?

    #239922

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    In my opinion they are strong enough even without those.

    #240044

    Apart from becoming a tech or increasing the abilities’ cost, what really should be done is to reduce its effectiveness – which is the actual complaint here – so I think there should be a % chance that Lesser & Greater Reanimate Undead fail.

    Succes – works as usual
    Partial succes – raises cadaver instead
    Fail – no resurrection

    #240054

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I don’t think that makes sense:

    Necro has
    Raise Corpse which can raise a Cadaver
    Lesser Reanimate which MAY raise your own T1/2 or a Cadaver or have no effect
    Greater Reanimate which may raise ANY killed unit on the BF or raise it as a Cadaver or have no effect.

    First of all this would make Lesser reanimate useless – you could spend the points better elsewhere. Also, you’d end up with GRD some times being worse than Raise Corpse.

    With this way I’d make Raise Corpse an ability the Necro has to buy, immediately available, cost 5 points. There would also an ability Reanimate Dead, once per battle, that could Reanimate ANY friendly fallen creature and also try to Reanimate an enemy creature, with a check of for example 12, if success, then reanimation, if failure then Raise Cadaver.

    #240059

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I don’t think Lesser Reanimate Undead is an issue, except that it’s too cheap.

    I sum up here the suggestions I’ve seen so far and give them ID to facilitate discussion (let me know if I forgot some that are related to the way Necro acquire units):

    – Control Undead:
    CU1 * Increase cost: 4 -> 5
    – Lesser Reanimate Undead:
    LRU1 * Increase cost: 4 -> 5 (or 6?)
    LRU2 * Increase the level required to choose it: 3 -> 7
    – Greater Reanimate Undead:
    GRU1 * Increase cost: 6 -> 8 (or 15?)
    GRU2 * Remove the skill from the list of skills a hero can choose. Add a new tech (or associate it to Healers of the Dead or Harbingers of Death) that makes the skill appear in the list of skills the hero can choose (he still need to pay for it)
    GRU3 * Make it a skill with an defense check (12?) when you apply it to enemy units, and make mind-control immune and ghoul-curse immune units also immune against enemy unit reanimation
    GRU4 * Limit the target of the skill to ally units
    GRU5 * Reduce the HP of the reanimated unit: 100% -> 75%
    – Inflict Ghoul Curse:
    GRU6 * Increase cost: 7 -> 8 (or 12?)
    GRU7 * Increase the level required to choose it: 9 -> 11
    GRU8 * Remove the skill from the list of skills a hero can choose. Add a new tech (or associate it to Harbingers of Death) that makes the skill appear in the list of skills the hero can choose (he still need to pay for it)
    GRU9 * Only one unit can be ghouled curse per combat (per unit with Ghoul curse) like Convert
    – Inflict despair
    ID1 * Cannot increase the weakness to sacred above 80%
    ID2 * Lower strength: 10 -> 9, Spirit Weakness inflicted by this ability lowered: 20% -> 10%

    – Compensation for the nerf:
    C1 * Increase economy (+5 gold / turn per governance level, see Zaskow’s balance mod)
    * T3 or T4 Empire tech for cadavers (for Necromancer class)
    C2A ** Less HP decay
    C2B ** Boost to cadavers’ stats (+10 HP, +3 physical damage, …)
    C3 * A tech that gives happiness bonus to a target city

    #240066

    Zaskow
    Member

    Greetings, dear PBEM-players. Let me be your developer. 😀

    Hiliadan have done good job making this list, it helps me a lot, what do you want from mod.

    Some comments.

    – Control Undead:
    CU1 * Increase cost: 4 -> 5

    No problem.

    LRU1 * Increase cost: 4 -> 5 (or 6?)
    LRU2 * Increase the level required to choose it: 3 -> 7

    No problem, but I don’t think that this skill a big issue.

    GRU1 * Increase cost: 6 -> 8 (or 15?)

    Possible.

    GRU2 * Remove the skill from the list of skills a hero can choose. Add a new tech (or associate it to Healers of the Dead or Harbingers of Death) that makes the skill appear in the list of skills the hero can choose (he still need to pay for it)

    Hmm, need a lot of work, I’m not sure that possible.

    GRU3 * Make it a skill with an defense check (12?) when you apply it to enemy units, and make mind-control immune and ghoul-curse immune units also immune against enemy unit reanimation

    Not possible, I suppose.

    GRU4 * Limit the target of the skill to ally units
    GRU5 * Reduce the HP of the reanimated unit: 100% -> 75%

    Already done in my mod.

    – Inflict Ghoul Curse:
    GRU6 * Increase cost: 7 -> 8 (or 12?)
    GRU7 * Increase the level required to choose it: 9 -> 11

    Possible.

    GRU8 * Remove the skill from the list of skills a hero can choose. Add a new tech (or associate it to Harbingers of Death) that makes the skill appear in the list of skills the hero can choose (he still need to pay for it)

    See above.

    GRU9 * Only one unit can be ghouled curse per combat (per unit with Ghoul curse) like Convert

    Possible.

    – Inflict despair
    ID1 * Cannot increase the weakness to sacred above 80%

    Can you elaborate? Spirit weakness must not go to 100%?

    ID2 * Lower strength: 10 -> 9, Spirit Weakness inflicted by this ability lowered: 20% -> 10%

    Done.

    C1 * Increase economy (+5 gold / turn per governance level, see Zaskow’s balance mod)

    For the record, my eco buff appears to be very weak. I’ll remake it.

    C2A ** Less HP decay
    C2B ** Boost to cadavers’ stats (+10 HP, +3 physical damage, …)

    Possible.

    C3 * A tech that gives happiness bonus to a target city

    What? Happiness bonuses can’t be applied to dead cities.

    #240067

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    C3 * A tech that gives happiness bonus to a target city

    What? Happiness bonuses can’t be applied to dead cities.

    If that’s not possible, it can be a strategic spell OR an Empire Technology that increases the 15% Necro town bonus to – well, what? 30%? 35%?

    #240068

    Zaskow
    Member

    If that’s not possible, it can be a strategic spell OR an Empire Technology that increases the 15% Necro town bonus to – well, what? 30%? 35%?

    Imperial up is easiest way.

    #240073

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Here is another possibility for a change of Inflict Ghoul Curse:

    Make the chance independent from variables (that could be influenced, for example via despair) and give it a permanent percentage, for example 20%.
    You could just drop the check from 8 to 5 or so, reducing the effectiveness, but that would still allow to manipulate the check – the low probability would be extra incentive to try and get a better chance, so a simple 20% chance would go a long way to keep the whole thing in check, making it more like an occasional thing.

    There is an additional thing to keep in mind here: this reduction would obviously be quite effective to diminish the effect your lone ghouling Necro hero had, but at the same time it would pay dividends to have more Death Bringers (the more you have, the more units you can try to Ghoul Curse). You’d still better made sure no Death Bringer can be Greater Reanimated from neutrals (a Necro with two early Death Bringers would still Ghoul way too many troops).

    Also, it makes a lot of sense to change Greater Reanimate Dead into an ability that needs a check (12 or so) when you want to Reanimate an enemy unit. There are Bards, Evangelists and Succubae around and it should not be a CERTAIN thing for a hero class to get them working for you.

    #240081

    Zaskow
    Member

    Make the chance independent from variables (that could be influenced, for example via despair) and give it a permanent percentage, for example 20%.

    Not possible, only dependent from res.

    Also, it makes a lot of sense to change Greater Reanimate Dead into an ability that needs a check (12 or so) when you want to Reanimate an enemy unit. There are Bards, Evangelists and Succubae around and it should not be a CERTAIN thing for a hero class to get them working for you.

    That’s why I’ve limited possibility to rise enemy troops to zero. 😀

    #240084

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Greetings, dear PBEM-players. Let me be your developer.

    That would be great!!

    I agree Lesser Reanimate Undead is not an issue but increasing its cost just makes it harder to get it AND other interesting skills. Reducing its cost in patch 1.703 was a mistake / not justified I think.
    As I wrote, I favour only the modifications in bold, so I don’t think it should be moved to higher levels. A small increase in cost in more than enough.

    Regarding moving the abilities to the tech tree, I think that would be the best fix to the issue we face so that is worth the effort. Let us know if what I suggested in the Balance mod discussion can work (giving a token ability like “Necromancer awakening” or something which would be a prerequisite for Inflict Ghoul Curse and Greater Reanimate Undead).

    For Inflict despair, yes I mean that spirit weakness must not go to 100%? (so stay one notch below, at 80%)

    And for the happiness bonus, I listed JJ’s idea but the idea is indeed to give prod, gold, mana and research bonus.
    Imperial bonus might be a bit too strong if it applies to all towns but I guess it can be tailored not to be too OP.

    What is not possible with this suggestion “GRU3 * Make it a skill with an defense check (12?) when you apply it to enemy units, and make mind-control immune and ghoul-curse immune units also immune against enemy unit reanimation”?
    The defence check? Or the unability to use it on mind-control immune and ghoul-curse immune units?

    #240087

    Zaskow
    Member

    Reducing its cost in patch 1.703 was a mistake / not justified I think.

    This was done as compensation for Undead Heal nerf.

    Let us know if what I suggested in the Balance mod discussion can work (giving a token ability like “Necromancer awakening” or something which would be a prerequisite for Inflict Ghoul Curse and Greater Reanimate Undead).

    Just checked – it’s possible. Personally I don’t want to create new ‘useless’ ability. Could you think about any good existing ability as prerequisite?

    For Inflict despair, yes I mean that spirit weakness must not go to 100%? (so stay one notch below, at 80%)

    Not possible. I can’t limit the number of stacked units of status effect.

    Imperial bonus might be a bit too strong if it applies to all towns but I guess it can be tailored not to be too OP.

    My new “working” idea is attaching eco bonus to ups for cast points – Necromancy I, II…

    What is not possible with this suggestion “GRU3 * Make it a skill with an defense check (12?)

    Hmm…
    If I understand correctly, targeter with strength coefficient can’t be applied to corpses.

    when you apply it to enemy units, and make mind-control immune and ghoul-curse immune units also immune against enemy unit reanimation”?
    The defence check? Or the unability to use it on mind-control immune and ghoul-curse immune units?

    I can make mind-control immunity units immune to resurrection, but it need a LOT of work. I must to add a new requisition to ALL units with MCI manually…

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  Zaskow.
    #240090

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Change Inflict Ghoul Curse to Def instead of Res and reduce the check to, well, 6.

    #240091

    Zaskow
    Member

    Change Inflict Ghoul Curse to Def instead of Res and reduce the check to, well, 6.

    This will almost kill ability in SP and live-MP.

    #240100

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Only for heroes.

    #240105

    do you mean making the hero version of ghoul curse different, and l;eaving the Death Bringers alone?

    #240113

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    @ BBB

    I don’t want a rushed-out Mod Solution for all these problems, I would like a final developer effort, and that’s why I tried to pinpoint the problems and present as many suggestions as possible, so there is a wide range of things that can be considered.

    What is missing, is

    a) a checkbox in the game set-up that allows the picking of the hero development speed (as with research costs or defender strength) – I sketched that in another thread. Normal hero development (like now), slow ( points necessary to level get a 1.5 multiplier), slowest (points get a 2.0 multiplier). This would mean you could have a slower hero development with strong and very strong defenders, and strong PBEM players could make things more difficult (it would mitigate XP farming, but people who don’t do that, wouldn’t need to be affected).
    b) A weakening of Inflict Ghoul Curse, while an option, would weaken Death Bringers as well, which would make them probably obsolete. So it is absolutely necessary to make sure Death Bringers come into play only via research and production (for a player) AND Necromancer heroes don’t gain the ability at all or at least not before they produce Death Bringers. Ifhaving two different Ghoul Curse abilities for would be a viable solution, then so be it.
    c) The same, only to a weaker extent, is true for conversion ability of heroes.

    I have been trying to find a way to limit the Conversion abilities, and a good way would be to limit the pool of eligible creatures. The only ready thing I could come up with was changing Charm into Charm Monster (so that Charm would work exclusively on Monsters). Befriend Animal is good. Control Undead is good. Seduce and Convert COULD be reduced to members of the same race. This would obviously make those things haoppen less often (and the abilities could be priced fairly and be offered earlier).

    Which leaves Lesser and Greater Reanimate Dead. Healers of the Dead is a monstrouly good technology, when Reanimators get Lesser Reanimate. With Supports getting Heal Undead as well, reanimation with only a percentage of HPs isn’t that much of a problem – reanimated units should lose a medal as well (or a Champion rang), that is, experience.

    Greater Reanimate Dead, then, would simply reanimate a FRIENDLY unit without penalties (full health, no XP loss), period. The thing is, that you don’t need to hijack enemy units en gros – that should be the job of the Death Bringers (only).

    #240116

    Hiliadan
    Member

    You’re mixing different topics here Jolly Joker. I think we should stay focused on Necromancer’s way of acquiring units, which is already a tough topic.
    Other discussions could be (and have been) opened for conversion (I don’t think it is an issue) and hero levelling.

    I don’t think Inflict Ghoul Curse should be changed actually.
    It is very strong but the issue is more than it is too easily accessed that its strength in itself.
    You should remember that the idea is not to destroy the fun of single players but just to fix an issue in PBEM. If you cannot access Inflict Ghoul Curse before many turns of research and if only the Necro class can get it, then it’s ok, isn’t it?

    #240118

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I disagree with that assessment for a couple of reasons.

    Focussing on Necro Class play, you’ll havr two Necromancers early, that will level up. In my opinion, if you have two heroes with Inflict Ghoul Curse in SP/PBEM, Death Bringers aren’t a necessity anymore – in fact, from experience I know that you will even dismiss units, because you don’t need them (and in that case they cost only).
    This is significantly different in Autocombat, simply because the AI keeps heroes out of melee combat most of the time, and correctly so.

    Which means, Inflict Ghoul Curse on Heroes is basically an SP/PBEM ability only (which is of course different for Death Bringers).
    On the other hand we all agree that getting Inflict Ghoul Curse too early, be it on heroes or by acquiring Death Bringers, is a too big influence, not only on Necro Class game, but for every Class getting to hire one early. If the aim is to generally delay Inflict Ghoul Curse until produced Death Bringers are available, the ability becomes a liability. With Death Bringers available, it will be iether too expensive to pick or STILL make Death Bringers not that pressing. And there will STILL be people who can level heroes faster and get it earlier, so the only decision that makes sense is to simply not allow Inflict Ghoul Curse for Heroes AT ALL. Mp play doesn’t lose anything at all, and SP/PBEM only loses a shortcut that can’t really be balanced, not even with different XP ladders for heroes.

    The Heroes can get Necromantic Aura, which makes a lot more sense to have than Inflict Ghoul Curse.

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