PBEM balance mod

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This topic contains 343 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  Rodmar18 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #242977

    Hiliadan
    Member

    As we’re starting to get people so annoyed by the current Necro, convert and XP farming issues that they ban Necro from their game (SeeR tournament), or play only with Warlord, Sorcereer and Dread (this game: http://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=bfmgames&listid=309) or quit because of someone reaching lvl 15 in turn 10 (Jolly Joker in the SeeR tournament), I think it’s getting urgent to fix the issues PBEM currently faces.

    Zaskow, would you be ready to prepare a mod for PBEM balance please?

    Here are the changes I suggest, based on:
    – your current mod: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/balance-mod-prototype/
    – the proposed fixes for Necro’s conversion: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/necromancers-ways-of-acquiring-too-strong-in-pbem-at-least/page/3/#post-242523
    – the discussion on conversion-like abilities (non-Necro): http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/suggestion-conversion-limit/
    – the discussion on XP farming: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/game-suggestion-to-stop-experience-farming/
    – the balance discussion based on the (PBEM) tournament results: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/balance-based-on-hard-data-from-the-pbem-tournament/

    Also, reminder:
    – table of proposed changes that I compile: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1flsHncpzAmJa_2xMHZ6Tlp-mf69ej2mYrSGNc4V3_QA/edit?usp=sharing [that link will later contain the most updated content of the mod, please check it to follow the changes of the mod]
    – results of the ongoing PBEM tournament (choices of class / race and victories by class / race): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1z28mJy6bHfYKgHgwu8RbwpuldHqaF-CRj6pp0xJ7Kx8/pubhtml?gid=768678073&single=true

    General changes
    – Nymphs and Nightshade Fairies deleted from reward set on Spring of Life. Blight Tusk Boar and Bleak Warg added to reward set instead.
    – Max XP interactions for each tier were changed to 6/8/10/12 for tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 accordingly (was 10/10/12/14). [different from main balance mod]
    – Heroes and leaders do not get XP any more for touch abilities (Healing, Touch of Faith, Awaken, etc.) [different from main balance mod]

    Archdruid
    – Call Beast Horde – minimum and maximum amount of beasts was changed to 4-5 (was 2-3), time to life – to 4 rounds (was 7), new animals added to the animal set. Chances to summon unit of certain tier are: T1 – 43%, T2 – 30%, T3 – 20%, T4 – 7%.
    – Poison Domain is Tier 3 now and costs 300 research. Maintain cost – 15 mana, Mana cost – 80. Poison damage – 10.

    Dreadnought
    – Flash bang – Launches a mana-infused flash bang that bursts apart into a mixture of light, scraps, and flames. Deals 4 fire and 4 physical damage to target enemy unit and attempt to Blind (with strength 7) all units in 1 hex radius (was Single target) for 2 turns. If Blind was unsuccessful, affected units lose 25% of their movement points. Blinded units have a maximum attack range of 1 hex.
    – Engineers gain +8 HP.
    – Engineers can build Roads.
    – Maintenance ability heals 5 HP per Machine unit in stack now (was 3).
    – Ram of Flame/Frost Tank inflicts 20 dmg now (was 16).
    – Reload of Cannon now needs 3 action pts.
    – Structural Insight now moved to Rogue Class.
    – Hero’s ability Tree Crusher costs 4 pts now (was 10).

    Necromancer
    – Stiffen Limbs now works only 3 turns (was To End of Combat) and costs 50 RP (was 60).
    – Dead cities give more RG XP pts (40% now, was 35%).
    – Dead cities now gain +5% to all types of income for every level of Necromancy skill.
    – Inflict Despair – lowering strength to 9, Spirit Weakness inflicted by this ability will be lowered from 20% to 10%.
    – GRU7 * “Lesser Reanimate Undead” is a prerequisite of Greater Reanimate Undead (GRU). GRU is available at level 11 (was level 7), for 8 points (was 7 points). GRU works only on allied units and only on T1 and T2.
    When a Necromancer player researches all its T1, T2, T3, and T4 strategic techs, GRU is upgraded to the current version (target T1 to T4 units and restore 100% health) [different from main balance mod]
    – IGC11 * This change is not yet ready and needs to be further discussed here: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/necromancers-ways-of-acquiring-too-strong-in-pbem-at-least/page/3/
    Current version: “Add a new “Lesser Inflict Ghoul Curse” skill with attack strength 9 and able to ghoul only one unit per battle available at level 9 for 7 points, and make it a prerequisite to choose “Inflict Ghoul Curse” moved to level 13 for 8 points (is it possible to remove the Lesser Inflict Ghoul Curse if you choose the main one?). “Inflict Ghoul Curse” needs the tech “Produce Death Bringer” to be researched in order to be active.”

    Rogue
    – Panic Attack and Mass Battlefield Panic – increased strength to 10 (was 9).
    – Urban Cover now works on Infantry and Support too (except Succubus).
    – Frostling Scoundrels now have Arctic concealment and Projectile Resistance on Bronze (as other scoundrels have).
    – Structural Insight now moved to Rogue Class.

    Sorcerer
    – School of Enchantment cannot appear in skill book before turn 10.
    – Mass Stasis – spell strength changed from 13 to 11. On failure affected units lose 25% of move pts, not 50%.
    – Mend Magical Being now has cooldown 2 turns and lost trait ‘Once per battle’ for Apprentice [different from the balance mod: it’s only for Apprentice, not for heroes]
    – Fix for hidden +5 research bonus from laboratories and observatories if you learn Magical Structures before Arcane Study.
    – Summon Fantastic Creature costs 100 CP (was 110).

    Theocrat
    – Denounce City skill becomes cheaper – tier 3 spell (was tier 4), research cost 300 (was 400), mana cost 40 (was 60) and maintenance 15 mana/turn (was 20).

    Warlord
    – Training Regiment discount works on Warbreeds now
    – Pounce ability (Tigran Manticore exclusively) – starts with 1 turn cooldown, targets can retaliate.
    – Draconian Monster Hunters now has 14 fire range damage (was 11). Price increased +5 gold.

    Orcs
    – Orc Archer cost is 60 gold (was 70).

    Draconians
    – Draconian Raptor now has melee attack 10 physical + 3 fire (was 6 physical + 6 fire).

    Frostlings
    – Last Rite Of Winter doesn’t sacrifice Ice Queen now and cost 50 gold to cast.

    Halflings
    – Halfling Nightwatch costs 45 gold now (was 50).
    – Halflings have 15% physical weakness (was 20%).
    – Jesters cost 70 gold (was 75).

    High Elves
    – Class supports have only racial 20% blight weakness (was 40%).

    Humans
    – RG 1 Economic – settlers gain 15% discount (was 25%).

    Tigrans
    – RG 1 Economic – settlers gain 15% discount (was 25%).

    Other Changes
    – Fix for wrong description of Polearm bonus damage (IRL it’s +4, on display was +5).

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  Hiliadan.
    #242983

    Zaskow
    Member

    Zaskow, would you be ready to prepare a mod for PBEM balance please?

    Sure, in 4-5 days probably.

    When a Necromancer player researches all its T1, T2, T3, and T4 strategic techs, GRU is upgraded to the current version (target T1 to T4 units and restore 100% health) [different from main balance mod]

    I’m not sure that after researching I can delete or upgrade lesser version. Most realistic variant – appearing of new upgraded version separately.

    #243073

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Ok, if you cannot solve the issue for GRU, just keep it as it is in your current mod. And for IGC, just do as you proposed in the Necro conversion thread. We can continue to work on a solution later.

    We’ve got a PBEM game of 5 players possibly interested in trying the mod, so if you can get it ready by this week, it would be great!

    + one additional General changes to add:
    – base XP gain when you kill a hero is now 8 (was 25) and the XP bonus based on the hero’s level are now: 17 points for level 2-5 (was 5) and then unchanged (5 points for each additional interval of 5 levels)
    (to limit XP gains from killing lvl 1 hero after refusing that he joins you at game starts; thanks Jolly Joker for the idea)

    #243082

    Can I ask what people are doing to xp farm so thoroughly? Killing your first hero to milk the xp from that, and then using abilities that you dispel and then use again…

    There seems to be some serious min/maxing going on here, and if that is the case, no amount of modding imho is going to help against that mindset.

    You might just be better off finding new players, or playing live mp where those kind of exploits are much harder to pull off.

    That said, the changes themselves actually seem alright!

    #243083

    Hiliadan
    Member

    If I survive long enough in the tournament to face gab or Lightform, I’ll take a video to show you, or I can take a video of myself actually (I’m just worst than them). 😛
    Mods can fix it but without XP counters for heroes, it’s just a bit uglier fix.

    #243105

    Lykus
    Member

    Dreadnought
    – Engineers gain +8 HP.
    – Engineers can build Roads.
    – Maintenance ability heals 5 HP per Machine unit in stack now (was 3).

    Wouldn’t it be better to remove maintenance and then maybe move emergency repair to a lower medal. I never got maintenance. 3 HP per round are far to low. But 5 HP are pretty high almost as high as natural healing for non-machines and it is stackable. It would also be possible to introduce a new tech which grants emergency repair or machine repair to engiees. We could even call it structural insight.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  Lykus.
    #243112

    Zaskow
    Member

    Wouldn’t it be better to remove maintenance and then maybe move emergency repair to a lower medal.

    To which lower medal? Engies have problems with leveling (don’t test much with HP buff though).
    Actually, I’m in doubts about engineers. In my opinion they must be some kind of ‘support’ for dread. I even planned to make them t2 and seriously buff their combat performance. New flashbang was about this. Something alike Sorc Apprentices.

    But 5 HP are pretty high almost as high as natural healing for non-machines and it is stackable.

    To make it stackable you must have additional slots for unit which is pretty weak in direct combat. Most supports (especially racial) is pretty decent in combats.

    It would also be possible to introduce a new tech which grants emergency repair or machine repair to engiees. We could even call it structural insight.

    Structural insight is Rogue tech now. 🙂 However, idea is nice.

    #243117

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Yes, I tend to agree with you Lykus. I think Engineers are a bit OP now but I’m not sure how to improve it though. I suggest we move the discussion about Dread here (as it was started there and other proposals are discussed there): http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/balance-based-on-hard-data-from-the-pbem-tournament/

    Zaskow, do you confirm the mod should be ready by the end of the week? 🙂

    #243118

    Hiliadan
    Member

    + one additional General changes to add:
    – base XP gain when you kill a hero is now 8 (was 25) and the XP bonus based on the hero’s level are now: 17 points for level 2-5 (was 5) and then unchanged (5 points for each additional interval of 5 levels)

    It seems the formula is:
    [XP for level L] = [base] + A * round(L / B)
    So let’s say we aim for low XP for level 1 heroes, 25 XP as soon as possible and we don’t want more than 50 XP for level 30 heroes (as now). It looks like it’s hard to achieve with such a formula.
    Maybe [base] = 5; A = 2; B = 1. So you get +2 XP / level. A level 10 heroes give 25 XP when killed, a level 30 heroes give 65.

    #243154

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Zaskow, do you confirm the mod should be ready by the end of the week? 🙂

    There are 5 players waiting to know if they use the mod or not.

    #243157

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    @ BBB

    Can I ask what people are doing to xp farm so thoroughly? Killing your first hero to milk the xp from that, and then using abilities that you dispel and then use again…

    There seems to be some serious min/maxing going on here, and if that is the case, no amount of modding imho is going to help against that mindset.

    You might just be better off finding new players, or playing live mp where those kind of exploits are much harder to pull off.

    That said, the changes themselves actually seem alright!

    As you maybe know I’m working on a mod. I did upload one, finally, but I had an idea yesterday and worked a bit on a new one.

    Since the guys who ARE good (and have the patience) in maxing things out don’t seem to be too interested in solving the issue by testing things, I’d like to take a go from another angle that would seem to be a bit more important – the question of whether things are still fun and ok for more casually-minded players (which nonetheless know what they are doing).

    So I’d like to ask to to test the latest mod I made (I didn’t upload it yet). It looks pretty promising and interesting (and I also worked in a slight surprise 🙂 ). Are you interested?

    + one additional General changes to add:
    – base XP gain when you kill a hero is now 8 (was 25) and the XP bonus based on the hero’s level are now: 17 points for level 2-5 (was 5) and then unchanged (5 points for each additional interval of 5 levels)

    It seems the formula is:
    [XP for level L] = [base] + A * round(L / B)
    So let’s say we aim for low XP for level 1 heroes, 25 XP as soon as possible and we don’t want more than 50 XP for level 30 heroes (as now). It looks like it’s hard to achieve with such a formula.
    Maybe [base] = 5; A = 2; B = 1. So you get +2 XP / level. A level 10 heroes give 25 XP when killed, a level 30 heroes give 65.

    I can’t follow you anymore. If XP farming is reduced (or even ended) – IF -, what do you think how many really high level heroes will meet in any kind of MP game?
    So if – IF – you REALLY play an L map (PBEM doesn’t support XL) with settings that STILL allow you to level heroes up into the 20s – what on Earth would be wrong to hand out a level in XP for the unit/hero who killed such a guy?
    Potentially, since it would be AUTOCOMBAT, you had no control anyway – the unit getting the kill bonus may actually even die as well.

    #243160

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Maybe it’s not wrong but what I’m trying to do is to fix things that are broken, not change the game.
    So my aim is to reduce the XP you get when you kill the heroes that want to join you and that you kill instead, not to change the XP you get when you kill a lvl 20 or higher heroes. That’s all.
    But yeah, if we don’t have a choice, why not give more XP for higher level heroes, if it allows to give less XP for lvl 1 heroes.

    #243168

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I made a second mod. You can download it Here.

    That one is really promising, so I would like you to test it. Don’t frown when you see the XP values you need – I had a crazy idea last night and worked a bit on it. Everything is fine and the game will play quite normal (for units).

    By incresing the scope of everything there is more room for adjustments, and Hero touch abilities will gain less XP (in relation) than with the other mod (while contacts will gain slightly more).

    I also had an upkeep idea that I like and added – take a good look at the T3 and T4 upkeep when you test the mod. 🙂

    If you test it, don’t play Necros (yet) (and no other mods).

    #243177

    Zaskow
    Member

    There are 5 players waiting to know if they use the mod or not.

    I work quickly as possible. I’ll try to release on Friday evening (European time).
    IGC change should be ready as planned, as for GRU change I couldn’t guarantee…

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  Zaskow.
    #243198

    So I’d like to ask to to test the latest mod I made (I didn’t upload it yet). It looks pretty promising and interesting (and I also worked in a slight surprise ). Are you interested?

    You have my Steam (but I’ve forgotten yours).:(

    #243201

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    You can simply downlaod the mod Here.

    #243208

    Zaskow
    Member

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=661597466

    Good luck with testing!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  Zaskow.
    #243213

    kwibus
    Member

    I’m going to run it in a hosted game via the battefield.

    This will be a special game though. Only Sorcs,Warlords and Dreadnoughts allowed so it won’t really cover the big issues, but it will be run with your mod.

    #243229

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Thanks a lot for putting that together very quickly Zaskow! 🙂

    Now we can start improving it for v1.1 release!
    So I see you didn’t implement this yet?
    [XP for level L] = [base] + A * round(L / B)
    So let’s say we aim for low XP for level 1 heroes, 25 XP as soon as possible and we don’t want more than 50 XP for level 30 heroes (as now). It looks like it’s hard to achieve with such a formula.
    Maybe [base] = 5; A = 2; B = 1.

    I’m going to discuss GRU and IGC on the thread about Necro conversion.
    Then I have other changes in mind but they are common to the base balance mod so I’m going to post there (later because too late today).

    #243253

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Guys, I’m pretty convinced you are doing this the wrong way, because you are too impatient.

    First, what has become of the principle of modular programming? A massive mod like this one should consist of a package of different mods, not one big one.
    Then, what about preferences? The main factor in all PBEM games is hero leveling, because Heroes are the strongest units. Basically, balance depends on the curve of strength developing, and developing heroes notably slower will completely change balance.

    And here the mod already fails, because it doesn’t address things in a satisfactory way.
    Nor does it solve the Necro issue.

    What you need is a priority list, with each part having to be tested separately.
    a) XP gain
    b) Necro Class
    c) Conversion
    d) miscellaneous units/techs/spells

    Probably d) will have to be splitted into
    d1) Disabling abilities
    d)2 other

    because I do for example think that T1 phasing spiders are way too good in comparison to others and should have less HPs (for example 28 instead of 33).

    There is no need to be impatient, though. PBEMs take a long time, and while we all want to just play, we should keep in mind, that if we do things right, the mod or part of it, may become part of an official patch (I think specifically about Necro).

    #243254

    Zaskow
    Member

    First, what has become of the principle of modular programming? A massive mod like this one should consist of a package of different mods, not one big one.

    One big mod will be ALWAYS more stable than a package of several.

    #243255

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Stability isn’t a factor here. Bugs, oversights and changes are, though, and for every single change you’ll make, you’ll have to change the whole mod – which will consist of a large amount of changes once it’s finished.

    Also, it’s pretty obvious, that the Necro stuff might be a thing for SP players as well – without them wanting to change anything else.

    I mean, this isn’t directed to you – you are more or less doing in this regard what people are telling you, but imo, it’s a bit misguided.

    #243256

    Zaskow
    Member

    Stability isn’t a factor here. Bugs, oversights and changes are, though, and for every single change you’ll make, you’ll have to change the whole mod – which will consist of a large amount of changes once it’s finished.

    Actually, even 1 big mod isn’t whole thing. Mod consists of several prk-files and, personally, I can’t see how a couple of mods could be more handy, than 1 big one. In case of several mods I must load each mod separately, wait (on my old pc editor loads around 3-5 mins), look for additional compatibility. In case of my balance mod which changes a lot of rpk-files method of separate mod packages leads to additional difficulties and disorder.

    that if we do things right, the mod or part of it, may become part of an official patch (I think specifically about Necro).

    As for me I don’t want that this PBEM-mod will become part of official patch, because it destroys live MP.

    Unofficial mod is best way.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  Zaskow.
    #243258

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Zas, again, it’s not against you.

    It’s against the idea of patching something together FAST, when things depend on another.

    #243267

    Hiliadan
    Member

    First, what has become of the principle of modular programming?

    Yes I was and am still in favour of it. But, I think this is the base mod. Then we can have extensions and test mod with additional changes.
    + I see how difficult it is to get people to test things and provide feedback. So I believe one and only one central mod is the best solution for this community.

    It’s against the idea of patching something together FAST, when things depend on another.

    I don’t see how this is fast. We’ve been discussing these issues for months now (for instance, check the Necromancer conversion ability first post: 14 January, and the XP farming discussion is older than that) and what I’m planning is to have a stable and good mod for the next PBEM tournament in a few months. We need to start testing now.

    #243737

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Currently several games use the PBEM balance mod:
    – There can be only one (4 players, not yet launched) http://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=bfmgames&listid=319
    – rrrrookie bowl II (4 players) http://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=actgames&actid=318
    – No mind control (5 players) http://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=actgames&actid=309

    #243739

    Zaskow
    Member

    Well, feedback from this will take forever…

    #244226

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Zaskow, we’re going to start a 4 vs 4 with the mod and if possible, I’d like to test the v1.1 of the mod. Could you please already implement the changes in dark green listed in the table https://docs.google.com/document/d/1flsHncpzAmJa_2xMHZ6Tlp-mf69ej2mYrSGNc4V3_QA/edit?usp=sharing (listed as v1.1 changes)?
    Please do not upload it to Steam yet. I’m trying to get other changes validated this week so they would need to be included too in v1.1 (but if you start by implementing the already validated changes, it would save time).

    We plan to start the 4 vs 4 in about 10 days.

    Most of the new games hosted in the Battlefield now use the mod. I saw one feedback so far: the boost on the Halfling was appreciated! 😀

    #244227

    Zaskow
    Member

    Could you please already implement the changes in dark green listed in the table

    Ok, begin to work. Almost all changes are easy to implement. Only new size of map could cause some minor problems (need additional testing of generation).

    Please do not upload it to Steam yet.

    I could upload it elsewhere.

    #244247

    cbower
    Member

    @zaskow @hiliadan I would like to help, as it seems like a fair amount of work here. However I do think it is best to keep the changes in one mod and I am not sure there is a good way to collaborate with the tools given. Perhaps if you were going to not be making changes for a couple of days, you could assign some work to me pass me the acp file and then I could pass it back. Or maybe I could do some testing. I am in a few games, xp does seem a bit slower. Melee classes handle the changes the best, though I don’t see this as a bad thing. I am going to be on vacation from may 10-17th, but if there is a way that I can help please let me know. I’ll give my email to Hiliadan.

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