Racial Balance Discussion

We’ve moved over to the paradox forums. Please come visit us there to discuss:
You can still read the collective wisdom - and lolz - of the community here, but posting is no longer possible.

Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions Racial Balance Discussion

This topic contains 991 replies, has 40 voices, and was last updated by  Pazerniusz 6 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 992 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #215976

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hi Guys,

    This is a huge topic but I think it could be beneficial since the overall game balance has been changed quite dramatically in EL. I would like in this thread to ask for your assistance in mapping out – more or less systematically – the way each race is balance respective of the others.

    I think this discussion must encapsulate the following elements: The balance of racial and racial-class units, the impact of racial governance upgrades, the strategic abilities (i.e. movement, climate, production bonuses and price) of the different races, and the current meta-game – including the available magic, items, MCUs and empire quests.

    Of course doing this for even a single race will take many many hours, and since I neither have the time nor really the will to do this from scratch, I would like to invite you all to contribute your insights and thoughts. I would appreciate as much as possible the use of the actual game data and mechanics in the discussion. I would also like to ask that we keep the discussion polite and amicable as much as possible.

    Now, I would like to start with Orcs. My personal opinion is that Orcs are relatively less versatile and somewhat weaker than the average, yet this is completely tentative – I rarely play Orcs, and I am certain some specific class synergies are very powerful. So the first question for me is are Orcs balanced? Are they versatile? Where do they offer good choices and where bad?

    #215994

    Buczer
    Member

    Humans is versitile race, with good mix of decent racial units, good mobility on critical units, good economy and exelent synegies. Many reliable strategies can be applied to them. Their cities spread and grow like a mold. Their weakness comes from lack of racial flyer, wich makes them somewhat less mobile on difficult terrain types, but it can be fixed with some classes (thats why i opt for human rogue – they are most fun). Also mariner trait is useless for any non-walking or swimming human unit. While they dont posses racial resistancess, they have easy access to spirit immunity. Since vanilla, when they were universally shallow, monotone, boring to play and (IMO) underpowered race, they became really fun. No buffs are currently needed. Now, its finally clear why they rule the Commonwealth 🙂

    Goblins in other way are extremelly fun to play, but they require specific strategies. Their units are cheap, but fragile. They also grow fast, but fast grow is a must for them. For goblins strategy and ruse is everything. To kill oponent they must use maximum of their special traits – both on units and on terrain where they settle. For them, debuffing enemies, buffing allies and attacking on their own terms (f.e. on blighted terrain) is the metter of survival. I personally like playing goblin WL, but other classes are fun to play too. Winning with them brings the most satisfaction, becouse IMO they are difficult to play, especially Goblin Rogue can be easily hard countered by some oponents.

    #215997

    NINJEW
    Member

    Every Elf Unit is very good and Elves have basically no weaknesses besides somewhat lackluster melee class units. Longbows are one of the best units in the game, Elf Swordsman is pretty much on par with the Human Longswordsman (so, not too much to write home about, but decent enough), Union Guard have a Dual Channel attack which is always good (with shock no less!), Storm Sisters are one of the best damage dealing supports (probably lesser only to Draconian Elders and White Witches, though that’s only because instead of a damage buff she gets a Stun), Unicorn Riders are one of the best cavalry in the game due to Phase, and Gryphon Riders are basically slightly weaker Knights that can fly.

    I think probably the worst class for Elves is Rogue, since the only units you get bonuses on, Succubus and Bard, are also the non-sneaky Rogue units. But you can still just play like a normal-ass production class and go for upfront fights and still do ok, because Elves are just that good at upfront fights.

    #216019

    Zaskow
    Member

    Now, I would like to start with Orcs. My personal opinion is that Orcs are relatively less versatile and somewhat weaker than the average, yet this is completely tentative – I rarely play Orcs, and I am certain some specific class synergies are very powerful. So the first question for me is are Orcs balanced? Are they versatile? Where do they offer good choices and where bad?

    Orcs is the one of the top-tier race in game definitely. They have high survivability in auto and heal after wins. They’re popular in MP. Only this could show a lot. Skilled player won’t choose a garbage.
    They offer the best choices in melee fighting, obviously. Most powerful racial T3 in game, best swordsman, best melee/range irregular and best cavalry belong to orcs.
    I don’t think that orcs are balanced, especially in pricing.
    Why we should pay 70 gold for the worst archer in game?
    Why we should pay only 50 gold for the best swordsman in game?
    60 gold for archer and 60 gold for swordsman seems more reasonable and logical.

    Also mariner trait is useless for any non-walking or swimming human unit

    I think this problem must be discussed further.

    Every Elf Unit is very good and Elves have basically no weaknesses

    Omg, again…
    If elves are so powerful, why they are so rarely played by top MP-players? Even in tournament we can see elves rarely, their wins are rarely too.

    I think probably the worst class for Elves is Rogue

    Theocrat too.

    #216028

    NINJEW
    Member

    I don’t know what the reason would be for the MP community here, but in the community I come from, Elves are underused mostly because they’re “too good.” That is, everyone is more interested in playing with races that won’t result in as easy of a win, mostly because that makes for more fun games. Sorcerer is similarly underused by us for similar reasons.

    Orcs, meanwhile, are thought of as one of the weakest races, for a couple of reasons: 1. they have low res, and 2. they’re pretty much only good at punching things. Since EL, elemental damage has become a far more common part of the game, so the fact that Orcs get hit the hardest by it, with little tools to mitigate that, tends to put them in a lot of very unfavorable matchups. Meanwhile, the greatest Orc strength, punching things really hard, is typically something that every player has already planned on dealing with, since physical melee damage is so commonplace. Everyone already has a gameplan for “what to do if he sends a bunch of tough melee units at me,” because that’ll very likely happen anyways regardless of racial choice, but unlike other races, Orcs don’t have any other curveballs to throw besides “hit things harder than normal.” It’s also pretty hard countered by several units that are already going to be a part of a given class’ strategy: Phantasms and Banshees will render Orcs pretty impotent, and Golems and Crusaders will force Orcs to go for Shock Troopers or bust (RG boosted Black Knights work out as well, but that comes out a little late)

    Typically, Orcs get thought of as a very good race to pick up during the game: if you can absorb a decent Orc city early, you can get some pretty good front liners out of it while not being completely dependent on Orcs.

    #216034

    Zaskow
    Member

    I don’t know what the reason would be for the MP community here, but in the community I come from, Elves are underused mostly because they’re “too good.” That is, everyone is more interested in playing with races that won’t result in as easy of a win, mostly because that makes for more fun games.

    LOLWUT
    Man, seriously, you need to ask top MP players why they don’t play elves. I asked. Most of them will say, that elves: 1) die very often in auto; 2) most class elven units are pretty mediocre (Warlord, AD are only exceptions); 3) their poison weakness leads to terrible results in auto at tombs and other places with undead or poison units; 3) population nerf hurts macrodevelopment very much.

    #216049

    ExNihil
    Member

    Popularity in MP does not necessarily serve as good evidence for neither balance nor strength. Orcs have some powerful synergies and these work well in MP, but that is only a limited case. I will have to give a more thorough answer, and I’m using a phone so this will have to wait. The same goes for HE, but here I must agree with Zaskow, I’ll also explain later. Please bear in mind that in MP IMBA is actually key – there are always a few optimal strategies and these usually exploit weaknesses in the game balance to achieve an advantage.

    #216067

    You do realise Zaskow that orcs are supposed to have a crap archer and a very good swordsman.

    That’s what Orcs are about…

    You kinda already answered your own question.

    Definitely would never want a 60/60 split like you propose.

    Flavour >pure numbers balance if it ever comes down to a choice.

    #216072

    Zaskow
    Member

    You do realise Zaskow that orcs are supposed to have a crap archer and a very good swordsman.

    Yes and this must be correctly reflected through prices.

    Flavour >pure numbers balance if it ever comes down to a choice.

    You know better units cost more in strategies …
    Also this type of price balancing is already introduced in game. If you disagree look at Sun guard and Union Guard. T1 pikes with better abilities cost more.
    Or elven longbowman. Why then he doesn’t cost 70 gold as other archers?

    #216073

    Bob5
    Member

    Old fashioned multiplayer on a small or medium land-map with 2 players with auto against AI is not encapsulating on all balance. Elves gain a lot later on with some of the best racial governance upgrades of them all. PBEM has manual in clearing, so balance is very different there. PBEM can also host larger games.

    #216095

    ExNihil
    Member

    Old fashioned multiplayer on a small or medium land-map with 2 players with auto against AI is not encapsulating on all balance. Elves gain a lot later on with some of the best racial governance upgrades of them all. PBEM has manual in clearing, so balance is very different there. PBEM can also host larger games.

    Indeed, I agree with most of what you said. But, there is still a balance issue here IMO. I think HE are not very good in general for most classes and particularly in any MP situation, and are in this regard unbalanced. I also don’t think they are very balanced for PBEM – although PBEM games can be much longer, they are not necessarily so. This depends on the players and their playstyle, and games can be quicker than it takes for the great racial governance of Elves to kick in. Yet even in SP, unless I was planning to use mostly racial units – and esp. archers – I would probably avoid HE.

    The main problem of HE as far as I can see is that this race has very few class units, perhaps the least of all races (I need to check this to make sure,) and often not very good ones at that. With the exception of AD, with which they synergize exceptionally well – also in an unbalanced way, one might say – and the WL, to which they brings excellent cavalry and two exceptional racial-class units, HE are not very good. I’ll do a quick review of each class and HE:

    Arch-Druid:

    Elves bring in the best archer units in game with upgrades to ranged attack (all channels) and many perks that upgrade racial archer units, thus effecting hunters. These, in turn, use long bow instead of short bow, giving them the best damage output of all hunters. The Shaman gets Total Awareness, which in this instance is an excellent perk – Shamans are relatively hardy t3 support that can be used effective in melee, if combined with other units and esp. when countering t2 and t3 units with relatively low defense (entangling touch), and thus the buff to attacks of opportunity and the immunity to flanking is a significant buff. This is supplemented by an excellent racial support unit, offering a powerful counter to dread machines and, when leveled to gold, also Sorcerer, and two very good cavalry units (t2/3). This clearly favors HE for ADs, and esp. to those who employ a massed hunters/archers strategy.

    Warlord:

    Whereby the AD benefits esp. from the HE archer units, the WL benefits from both the archers and cavalry. With the ability to spam racial units at a great rate, HE archer stacks are easier to manufacture. The result can be very devastating in early warfare. The HE affinity to archery also affects the Mounted Archer, which receives shoot long-bow, and is thus a front runner for best racial variety of this unit (competition being Humans with an extra damage channel). The cavalry though is where HE really shines here – as both Unicorn Riders and Gryphon riders receive Martial Arts Training and thoroughbred Mounts, and Manticore Riders receive Inflict Stun and shock damage (-5 physical damage +3 shock damage.) As a result HE is among the top WL races (in this instance there are several strong options.)

    Theocrat:

    Here HE are a very bad choice indeed. The only Theocrat unit that receives a racial benefit from HE is evangelist, which receives Total Awareness. This time though this perk is rather bad. Although the perk itself is powerful it simply doesn’t help this unit much: Unlike the Shaman, Evangelists are used as second line units – they can take a punch if they have to from t2 units, but their crappy 9def means they die easily. They are primarily support units that heal, convert and buff with touch of faith other units. IMO this is a major IMBA – out of five class-units the only one that gets a buff, gets an ill-fitting buff at that. I would like this to change, first for the buff to be replaced (I know it’s thematic, but it could be a bit more varied) and for at least one other Theo unit to receive something special. Perhaps if total awareness was on the exalted – even as the only class unit for HE – it would be significant enough to make HE an option here, but for the time being it really isn’t.

    Rogue:

    For Rogue the situation is a bit better but also not very good: Scoundrels receive forest concealment, which is nice but really not very impressive, and Succubus, guess what? Yes! they get Total Awareness, which is here a very good perk, but one that is in serious competition with multiple races that receive extra damage channels (Draconian, Frostling, Goblins and Tigrans) or the Dwarven Projectile Resistance (less good, but good enough). As far as racial units are concerned, in turn, the HE doesn’t receive any significant benefits from Rogue at all – Initiates with cruel backstab are nobody’s dream, and HE infantry is simply mediocre. As far as racial governance is concerned Rogue can probably benefit more from the economic side of HE, which grants extra RP, Mana and CP on the three highest tiers, and which thus assist with Shadow Stalker spamming – but this is really not the strong suit of Rogue (unit production.) Furthermore, these will really be applicable in very long games – esp. in SP.

    Dreadnought:

    For Dreads, HE is almost as bad as it is for Theo until RG 4 is unlocked: Engineers receive nothing – and this is the primarily racial-class unit of Dread, and Musketeers receive Forest Concealment. Indeed this is the only racial variety of Musketeers and it costs an extra 5 gold (which is also a problem, as it can be the difference of an additional turn in its production), but whereby Forest Concealment of Scoundrel works well, here it does nothing – nobody in his right mind will use Muskeeters as hidden sentries (unless this is the kind of SP game in which there are hundreds of units to through around the place) and marching Dread armies are not a sneaky thing in themselves: They combine machines, heroes and Engineers galore alongside other racial units.

    Yet, the RG HE upgrades that affect archer units also affect Musketeers, which give these +2 physical +6 shock on RG4 and remove the LoS penalty on RG5, making these t2 units that hit harder than most t3s and even some t4s depending on the circumstance. Saying that though, RG4/5 are rarely seen outside of SP – even on PBEM – and they do require many HE cities and many turn to pass. Thus for most types of games, even on SP, HE Dread is a very awkward choice.

    Necromancer:

    Of the two racial-class units of Necromancer only the Reanimator receives a buff, in the form of the classic Total Awareness perk. This is even worse here than it is on the Evangelist, as the Reanimator is a rear support unit with ranged attack. The only real point of light here is the Economic Racial Governance of HE: RG3, 4 and 5 work very well for Necromancer, giving extra RP, Mana and CP respectively. These are of course only relevant on long and very long games, and are thus less significant for MP/PBEM (that I play at least), and I’d assume also to most SP games that are not very long. I am uncertain about RG1 and RG2 – these give, respectively, extra +50 happiness on shooting ground and extra +100 pop on public baths. I would assume that these bonuses are modified in some way for the Necromancer, and if they are (giving extra pop growth and the like) than that would be an excellent synergy. If they are not this is something that needs to be addressed ASAP, as that is completely useless to Necromancer, which really hurts HE as a choice (if someone knows or is willing to test it great! if not I will test it in the next few weeks when I have some spare time.) One final point of interest – one of the main downsides to HE is the lack of any sustain ability whatsoever (this is an exception that I argued against to no avail when Golden Realms were introduced, and I think it hurts HE even more in EL), but because of the Ghoul label, which levels the playing field, HE benefits – making its racial units creep as well as that of others, which makes these *in themselves* a very good choice.

    Sorcerer:

    Sorcerer is a weird one for HE: this is the class with the least reliance on racial units in game, and when it does relay on these it is primarily support units. Here the Elven support unit is almost completely useless – it doesn’t bring anything substantial to the table that Sorcerer doesn’t have inherent access to: Shock Damage, Stunning Touch, Inflict Stun (on gold medal), and Dispel Magic (on bronze medal). The only matchups in which it is useful is vs. Dread and to a much lesser degree in this instance, against another Sorcerer (this works, but is redundant, one will do better with Forge Priests, White Witches, Mystics and Human Priests.) Yet, at the same time that Storm Sisters are redundant, HE Apprentices are not, receiving… Total Awareness, which here is a very good perk but somewhat situational – it can be very helpful in some circumstances when apprentices phase in, and it can be completely useless when they are using ranged attacks backing-up summons. I would personally rank this is the 3rd best variety of apprentices after the Draconian (fire bomb) and Frostling (Inflict Chilling + Rime Fire.)

    Saying that, IMO the excellent Apprentice is insufficient to offset the redundant Storm Sister here: The biggest weakness of Sorcerer is healing and sustain, two fields in which HE are the worst in the game. For all races except HE, Sorcerer uses the racial support unit and the apprentice in synergy, and esp. benefits from supports that are able to buff its sustain ability (Human, Halfling, Dwarf) and/or those that give serious battlefield advantages (Draconian, Frostling, Human, Goblin, Orc.) A powerful apprentice is insufficient to compensate for the lack of sustain/healing and the combat synergy offered by other racial support units.

    Finally there are the RG upgrades of HE. From RG3 until RG5 the Sorcerer enjoys the full benefit of these, and I think its safe to say these have been tailored for Sorcerer (they benefit other classes OFC, but not like this). When the game is long enough, RG3 will make a powerful Sorcerer into a research juggernaut and help mediocre ones capitalize on their research advantage. The mana bonus of RG4 is substantial with the nerfed mana economy of Sorcerer, although it is more significant for AD and Necromancers, but the CP bonus of RG 5 is really a major perk – probably the best RG5 the Sorcerer can get.

    Thus HE Sorcerer can be a powerful synergy, depending on the game type and length. It is very bad for MP unless really long games are played (FFA on large map with UG and 6 or less participants for example) including most PBEM games, but can be very good for SP (longish ones at least.)

    I will conclude this long post with a few points, some of which are summaries of things previously written here and in other posts in this thread:

    1. The HE racial malus to blight is very bad indeed, the only comparable malus is the fire weakness of Frostlings, but Frostlings compensate with very clever inter-unit mechanics (racial Absorb Pain on t2 pikeman, exceptional t2/3 support units, inflict chill on irregular etc.) This makes HE units very bad in creeping on auto-combat, no matter how good their units are in comparison to others.

    2. The lack of sustain is a serious malus, it might have looked ok for Vanilla, in which HE were considered very powerful, but because other races have been introduced and the older ones have been substantially buffed, HE are now crippled.

    3. Archer units don’t creep so well due to the AI, which rushes them forward and doesn’t utilize their advantages.

    4. The +3 RP racial bonus is negligible and is mostly cosmetic IMO. The +1 resistance is very good. The -10pop growth is bad but not as bad as @zaskow makes it: The current meta favors settlement rather than pop growth.

    I will make another post with what I think could be done here. Please contribute your own thoughts!

    #216102

    NINJEW
    Member

    You forgot the part where Elves have tons of armored units and their racials benefit from the Dreadnought upgrades, not to mention Modern Warefare giving their mighty Longbows an additional boost.

    Elf Dreadnoughts are no Human or Dwarf, but they’re certainly third place after that. Having special shit on your Engineers isn’t really all that useful unless you’re doing some kind of silly gimmick. Dreadnought tends to either rely heavily on racial units or not at all, in the latter case only Humans have any advantage in particular (production bonus). In the Former, Elves have very good, armored racials.

    What races would you consider better than Elves for Dreadnought?

    #216105

    NINJEW
    Member

    Also the blight weakness translates to like, +1 damage in 90% of situations, which is negated by their racial +1 res.

    Status effects are another story, which makes the weakness not insignificant, but lets not pretend it’s actually crippling in any way.

    #216107

    Draxynnic
    Member

    I’d say halflings compete, but elf dreadnought is certainly a good option.

    Here, it’s not about the class units, but what you can do with the racial units. Having access to flying cavalry is awesome for the dreadnought – it gives access to a degree of mobility and ability to ignore terrain that dreadnoughts don’t have, and being flying means you get access to Side Arms. This is why I fought so hard against gryphon riders getting armoured – it would make them too good for dreadnoughts.

    Dreadnought unicorn riders are also pretty good. Halflings don’t get phasing on their tier 2 cavalry, but they get Prototype Party Robots instead of golems, which may put them ahead or behind depending on the player’s preference.

    You do realise Zaskow that orcs are supposed to have a crap archer and a very good swordsman.

    This is part of the tradition of the game. Some races are supposed to be better at providing a certain unit, some worse. This goes back to AoW1, where orc swordsmen and dark elf archer was objectively better than the reverse…

    There are cases where one unit is simply more efficient (including cost) than its competitors from another race, while another unit is less efficient. Orc greatswords and razorbows are a prime example of this but not the only one. This gives a reward for having a racially diverse empire and going to the effort of forming mixed armies of troops from multiple cities.

    #216115

    Yeah Drax I know! 😀

    #216117

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    About Orcs:

    For me, Orcs are a strong contender for best race. It’s obvious that their so-called “weak” Archer is actually an asset in autocombat, due to their versatility and survivability, Orcs being about hand-to-hand-action anyway. Black Knight is a top Cav unit (Polearm!), War Cry guarantees punch, if you need it, and Victory Rush is pretty frigging awesome.

    Generally spoken, I think that all races have something going for them. I admit being a sucker for the 2 new races, probably because of their synergies and the fact that their T3 are not Cav/Inf but Support/Irreg, opening up interesting possibilities, although I don’t think, they are better than the others – they are just a little more extreme, is all.

    #216136

    Bob5
    Member

    I think Elf Theo is a decent choice. They’re not the best Theo (I think Tigran, Halfling, Orc, and Dwarf are slightly better), but they’re by no means bad. Elves give storm sisters and initiates that have a lot of shock damage to deal with dreadnoughts that Theocrats tend to have trouble with. Especially with RG3, no ranged penalty storm sisters they’re very dangerous to shock-weak dread machines. Beacon of Faith also somewhat compensates for the Elf crappy population growth.

    Elf Necro is indeed fairly bad. It works, but it’s not terrific, mainly because you still receive blight damage (apart from leader that can get blight protection hero upgrade). The crappy population growth doesn’t combine well for Necro’s either, although the population growth penalty at least doesn’t apply to Undead Plague and population growth from battles. On the plus side, Elves give them shock damage (especially if you go Shadowborn) to cover dreadnoughts that Necro’s also have a lot of trouble with.

    #216141

    Zaskow
    Member

    You forgot the part where Elves have tons of armored units and their racials benefit from the Dreadnought upgrades, not to mention Modern Warefare giving their mighty Longbows an additional boost.

    All human, dwarves are armored too. And they are much better choice for dread.

    Also the blight weakness translates to like, +1 damage in 90% of situations, which is negated by their racial +1 res.

    What if elves are attacked by unit with stronger attack, than just +1 poison?
    All elven supports have 40% blight weakness for no reasons. Yes, Total awareness isn’t enough reason as ExNihil stated above, because it’s just useless for most supports.

    Necromancer:

    Elven ghouls are also vulnerable to blight.

    3. Archer units don’t creep so well due to the AI, which rushes them forward and doesn’t utilize their advantages.

    Same goes to MP. Human-players deal with shooters in same way. In this case I’d say, that darter is better than longbowman, because he can hide behind numerous obstacles and doesn’t suffer from this.

    4. The +3 RP racial bonus is negligible and is mostly cosmetic IMO.

    Agreed.

    The -10pop growth is bad but not as bad as @zaskow makes it: The current meta favors settlement rather than pop growth.

    -10% pop is very bad, because inflicts gaining of RG upgrades. They go for elves noticeably later than for other races.

    #216143

    Bob5
    Member

    All human, dwarves are armored too. And they are much better choice for dread.

    True, I’d argue that Orc Dread is also really good, but still. 2 or 3 out of 8 other races being better than you still puts you in place 3 or 4 out of 9, I don’t think that’s a bad position at all. I think Tigrans, Draconians, and Halflings make much worse Dreadnoughts.

    #216163

    ExNihil
    Member

    You forgot the part where Elves have tons of armored units and their racials benefit from the Dreadnought upgrades, not to mention Modern Warfare giving their mighty Longbows an additional boost.

    Elf Dreadnoughts are no Human or Dwarf, but they’re certainly third place after that. Having special shit on your Engineers isn’t really all that useful unless you’re doing some kind of silly gimmick. Dreadnought tends to either rely heavily on racial units or not at all, in the latter case only Humans have any advantage in particular (production bonus). In the Former, Elves have very good, armored racials.

    I’d say halflings compete, but elf dreadnought is certainly a good option.

    Here, it’s not about the class units, but what you can do with the racial units. Having access to flying cavalry is awesome for the dreadnought – it gives access to a degree of mobility and ability to ignore terrain that dreadnoughts don’t have, and being flying means you get access to Side Arms. This is why I fought so hard against gryphon riders getting armored – it would make them too good for dreadnoughts.

    Dreadnought unicorn riders are also pretty good. Halflings don’t get phasing on their tier 2 cavalry, but they get Prototype Party Robots instead of golems, which may put them ahead or behind depending on the player’s preference.

    What races would you consider better than Elves for Dreadnought?

    Indeed, I should have mentioned this combo directly, but I didn’t do it because I don’t consider Elven Dreads particularly good when going for the massed cavalry strategy. Let me explain.

    Regard Elven units being substantially armored and thus benefits Dreads this is true *to an extant* – although both the Swordman and Union Guard are armored these units really don’t matter much to Dreads and this benefit is nice but not really significant. The real difference here is the t2 cavalry, which is armored and very spammable – that is indeed a powerful unit in itself, but other t2 cavalry units give it a good run for its money, namely Orc, Human and also Halfling (I’ll explain this one later on). Each of these races offers a stronger combo with Dread than HE: Orcs make excellent engineers and their Spearman receives Sabotage through Structural Insight, while having as many armored units as HE. Humans are more significantly armored – including the t3 – and are overall a better cavalry race due to RG upgrades and evolve, while having support units with sustain and battle buffs.

    Now regarding Halflings: They receive lucky, which is a very powerful boost, and they synergize beautifully with Dread through Prototype Party Robots, which allows them to creep the map while boosting the sustain of their non-machine units, and in combat turns the relatively weak Pony Riders and Eagle Riders into robust units. Add to this significantly better morale, translating to significantly better growth and production as well as a synergy with Imperial Authority that translated into great critical hits (for all racial and racial-class units), and Halflings appear as a stronger choice even without armored units. This makes the HE 2nd out of the two races that have access to flying t3 cavalry, and IMO 4th out of all the races previously mentioned when employing cavalry strategies. Please consider also that unlike Theo, which has the ability to buff flying units through both magic and talents, thus making the presence of a leader less significant, Dreads do require leaders present for perks (Dread army leader perks) or other units that can sustain and help. The only thing that Elves bring to the table that Humans and Orcs don’t bring is the ability to counter flying harassers, but for this one, again, Halflings are a better choice overall with lucky (which with enough morale compensates for the non-existing buffs).

    As for the archers receiving +1 damage and extra range, this is nice but it doesn’t unlock soon enough to be significant for a class that doesn’t spam archers as easily as it does Musketeers, and HE archers – here – don’t really give a significant benefit (it is better to use Muskets for a slightly higher price, and other Dread-races pay only 10 points more than the price of HE archers and receive almost as much kick for their buck).

    In my book thus, HE really don’t make a good choice for Dreads – even when these go for the massed cavalry strategy. When they don’t, as most Dreads I have played with don’t, HE are simply a bad choice.

    True, I’d argue that Orc Dread is also really good, but still. 2 or 3 out of 8 other races being better than you still puts you in place 3 or 4 out of 9, I don’t think that’s a bad position at all. I think Tigrans, Draconians, and Halflings make much worse Dreadnoughts.

    I disagree, HE are only 4 out of 9 when considering cavalry (bottom of the cavalry races), when considering massed machine strategies (all of them) and Musket spamms in games that won’t go into RG4/5 realms (as almost all won’t) they simply appear at the bottom of the ladder – equal to Goblins (arguably worse) and only better than Frostling (situationally). Let me review the races:

    Humans: Get Throw Net on Engineer, have more armored units including t3 cavalry, stronger cavalry, stronger sustain, stronger production, much stronger settlement (crucial in the current game-meta), stronger pop growth. Excellent RG synergies, esp. economical but also military (cavalry buffs). HE have only better RG4/5 Military.

    Dwarves: Get Projectile Resistance on Engineer, have the most armored units in game (including support and t3), stronger pop growth, stronger sustain and defense, exceptional UG abilities. Better RG economically and RG5 that competes with that of HE.

    Orcs: Get Razor Projectiles on Engineer. Great t1 irregular. More armored units including very strong and fast walking t3. Have stronger sustain. Have stronger pop growth. Have better RG upgrades all over except RG4 military (RG5 military is better for Orc than HE IMO).

    Draconians: Get Inflict Immolation on Engineer, have stronger sustain, don’t have armored units, weaker cavalry, flying t3 Infantry that costs the same but without the pistol buff, instead having Projectile Resistance and Overwhelm and significantly better medal upgrades. Also, the Draconian inherent fire resistance works very well with Dreads, which have the unique army leader perk of upgrading fire resistance, and esp. with the Flyers which on gold + perks become completely fire immune. Better RG synergies all over except RG4/5 military, although these are still very good for Draconian-Dread.

    Goblins: Get Inflict Noxious Vulnerability on Engineer (mediocre situational perk here.) Don’t have any armored units, but are inherently cheaper – which means they can be spammed with great ease with Mana Fuel Cells from very early on. Get high Blight resistance, which makes them creep better as well as better sustain. Have inherent UG bonuses that compensate for machine slowness and makes their racial-class units fast in the UG in comparison to other races (except Dwarves OFC). t3 is cavalry and receives pistols, plus x2 demolisher, making this an excellent anti-Dread, Dread unit. Here, as @zaskow asserted, the Swarm Darter appears like a better choice than HE archers – it inherently ignores the big problem of Dreads, which is LoS, while having excellent dual channel damage that synergizes with Engineers and other racial units. Better RG synergies except 4/5 military, RG5 Goblin is good (not as good) but RG4 is redundant.

    Halflings: No armored units. Has lucky, has good cavalry, has stronger sustain, has unique racial synergy with Party Robots, has stronger pop-growth and happiness. Have comparable RG upgrades, higher tier economic side is better, military side is weaker, RG3 Halfling is better.

    Tigrans: Don’t have armored units but have an irregular t3 that receives sabotage and can fly in battle, and is thus tactically superior to the HE Gryphon Rider. Engineers receive Sprint, which makes them into seriously disruptive units, and the inherent 40% Spirit Resistance and Athletics of this race really complements Dreads beautifully in many situations – against Theos, Necros and in creeping, as well as making it stronger strategically in terms of mobility (except the flying t3 OFC.) RG upgrades are better economically (the settler price reduction is insanely good here) but the military side is weaker than that of HE except RG3, which is significantly better.

    Frostling: Has no racial synergies with Dread except Frost-Tank – which is a horrible unit in comparison to Flame-Tank and is thus a negative. Has inherent fire-weakness that is comparable to the blight weakness of HE. RG upgrades are less good than that of HE for Dreads.

    #216164

    ExNihil
    Member

    You forgot the part where Elves have tons of armored units and their racials benefit from the Dreadnought upgrades, not to mention Modern Warfare giving their mighty Longbows an additional boost.

    Elf Dreadnoughts are no Human or Dwarf, but they’re certainly third place after that. Having special shit on your Engineers isn’t really all that useful unless you’re doing some kind of silly gimmick. Dreadnought tends to either rely heavily on racial units or not at all, in the latter case only Humans have any advantage in particular (production bonus). In the Former, Elves have very good, armored racials.

    I’d say halflings compete, but elf dreadnought is certainly a good option.

    Here, it’s not about the class units, but what you can do with the racial units. Having access to flying cavalry is awesome for the dreadnought – it gives access to a degree of mobility and ability to ignore terrain that dreadnoughts don’t have, and being flying means you get access to Side Arms. This is why I fought so hard against gryphon riders getting armored – it would make them too good for dreadnoughts.

    Dreadnought unicorn riders are also pretty good. Halflings don’t get phasing on their tier 2 cavalry, but they get Prototype Party Robots instead of golems, which may put them ahead or behind depending on the player’s preference.

    What races would you consider better than Elves for Dreadnought?

    Indeed, I should have mentioned this combo directly, but I didn’t do it because I don’t consider Elven Dreads particularly good when going for the massed cavalry strategy. Let me explain.

    Regard Elven units being substantially armored and thus benefits Dreads this is true *to an extant* – although both the Swordman and Union Guard are armored these units really don’t matter much to Dreads and this benefit is nice but not really significant. The real difference here is the t2 cavalry, which is armored and very spammable – that is indeed a powerful unit in itself, but other t2 cavalry units give it a good run for its money, namely Orc, Human and also Halfling (I’ll explain this one later on). Each of these races offers a stronger combo with Dread than HE: Orcs make excellent engineers and their Spearman receives Sabotage through Structural Insight, while having as many armored units as HE. Humans are more significantly armored – including the t3 – and are overall a better cavalry race due to RG upgrades and evolve, while having support units with sustain and battle buffs.

    Now regarding Halflings: They receive lucky, which is a very powerful boost, and they synergize beautifully with Dread through Prototype Party Robots, which allows them to creep the map while boosting the sustain of their non-machine units, and in combat turns the relatively weak Pony Riders and Eagle Riders into robust units. Add to this significantly better morale, translating to significantly better growth and production as well as a synergy with Imperial Authority that translated into great critical hits (for all racial and racial-class units), and Halflings appear as a stronger choice even without armored units. This makes the HE 2nd out of the two races that have access to flying t3 cavalry, and IMO 4th out of all the races previously mentioned when employing cavalry strategies. Please consider also that unlike Theo, which has the ability to buff flying units through both magic and talents, thus making the presence of a leader less significant, Dreads do require leaders present for perks (Dread army leader perks) or other units that can sustain and help. The only thing that Elves bring to the table that Humans and Orcs don’t bring is the ability to counter flying harassers, but for this one, again, Halflings are a better choice overall with lucky (which with enough morale compensates for the non-existing buffs).

    As for the archers receiving +1 damage and extra range, this is nice but it doesn’t unlock soon enough to be significant for a class that doesn’t spam archers as easily as it does Musketeers, and HE archers – here – don’t really give a significant benefit (it is better to use Muskets for a slightly higher price, and other Dread-races pay only 10 points more than the price of HE archers and receive almost as much kick for their buck).

    In my book thus, HE really don’t make a good choice for Dreads – even when these go for the massed cavalry strategy. When they don’t, as most Dreads I have played with don’t, HE are simply a bad choice.

    True, I’d argue that Orc Dread is also really good, but still. 2 or 3 out of 8 other races being better than you still puts you in place 3 or 4 out of 9, I don’t think that’s a bad position at all. I think Tigrans, Draconians, and Halflings make much worse Dreadnoughts.

    I disagree, HE are only 4 out of 9 when considering cavalry (bottom of the cavalry races), when considering massed machine strategies (all of them) and Musket spamms in games that won’t go into RG4/5 realms (as almost all won’t) they simply appear at the bottom of the ladder – equal to Goblins (arguably worse) and only better than Frostling (situationally). Let me review the races:

    Humans: Get Throw Net on Engineer, have more armored units including t3 cavalry, stronger cavalry, stronger sustain, stronger production, much stronger settlement (crucial in the current game-meta), stronger pop growth. Excellent RG synergies, esp. economical but also military (cavalry buffs). HE have only better RG4/5 Military.

    Dwarves: Get Projectile Resistance on Engineer, have the most armored units in game (including support and t3), stronger pop growth, stronger sustain and defense, exceptional UG abilities. Better RG economically and RG5 that competes with that of HE.

    Orcs: Get Razor Projectiles on Engineer. Great t1 irregular. More armored units including very strong and fast walking t3. Have stronger sustain. Have stronger pop growth. Have better RG upgrades all over except RG4 military (RG5 military is better for Orc than HE IMO).

    Draconians: Get Inflict Immolation on Engineer, have stronger sustain, don’t have armored units, weaker cavalry, flying t3 Infantry that costs the same but without the pistol buff, instead having Projectile Resistance and Overwhelm and significantly better medal upgrades. Also, the Draconian inherent fire resistance works very well with Dreads, which have the unique army leader perk of upgrading fire resistance, and esp. with the Flyers which on gold + perks become completely fire immune. Better RG synergies all over except RG4/5 military, although these are still very good for Draconian-Dread.

    Goblins: Get Inflict Noxious Vulnerability on Engineer (mediocre situational perk here.) Don’t have any armored units, but are inherently cheaper – which means they can be spammed with great ease with Mana Fuel Cells from very early on. Get high Blight resistance, which makes them creep better as well as better sustain. Have inherent UG bonuses that compensate for machine slowness and makes their racial-class units fast in the UG in comparison to other races (except Dwarves OFC). t3 is cavalry and receives pistols, plus x2 demolisher, making this an excellent anti-Dread, Dread unit. Here, as @zaskow asserted, the Swarm Darter appears like a better choice than HE archers – it inherently ignores the big problem of Dreads, which is LoS, while having excellent dual channel damage that synergizes with Engineers and other racial units. Better RG synergies except 4/5 military, RG5 Goblin is good (not as good) but RG4 is redundant.

    Halflings: No armored units. Has lucky, has good cavalry, has stronger sustain, has unique racial synergy with Party Robots, has stronger pop-growth and happiness. Have comparable RG upgrades, higher tier economic side is better, military side is weaker, RG3 Halfling is better.

    Tigrans: Don’t have armored units but have an irregular t3 that receives sabotage and can fly in battle, and is thus tactically superior to the HE Gryphon Rider. Engineers receive Sprint, which makes them into seriously disruptive units, and the inherent 40% Spirit Resistance and Athletics of this race really complements Dreads beautifully in many situations – against Theos, Necros and in creeping, as well as making it stronger strategically in terms of mobility (except the flying t3 OFC.) RG upgrades are better economically (the settler price reduction is insanely good here) but the military side is weaker than that of HE except RG3, which is significantly better.

    Frostling: Has no racial synergies with Dread except Frost-Tank – which is a horrible unit in comparison to Flame-Tank and is thus a negative. Has inherent fire-weakness that is comparable to the blight weakness of HE. RG upgrades are less good than that of HE for Dreads. This is thus the only race that *absolutely* makes worse Dreads than HE.

    #216166

    Zaskow
    Member

    What do you think guys about Halflings racial units? I found them interesting, but small issues present here and there. Let’s take a look.
    Adventurer – one of the best irregular-archers. They are much better than Razorbows even. Price and stats are ok.
    Nightwatch – pretty mediocre inf. Def and res are pretty low and this becomes much worse with 20% phys. weakness. Physical weakness is very painful for melee units, actually. Also Night vision and Urban Concealment are underwhelming abilities and don’t help the Hightwatch to be better. I think, this unit is overpriced and must cost 45 gold (closest opponent and pretty similar unit – Goblin Marauder – costs 45 gold without discount) or he could save old price, but Backstab will gain much earlier (from rookie or trooper at least).
    Jester – archer with powerful attack, but very, very squishy. I noticed many times how they were crushed by one salvo from other archers. Also autocombat is death with guaranty for them. I don’t know how this could be fixed? Maybe, lowering price a bit to 70 gold as other archers? Or maybe give them very lucky (it is good fitted with background of this unit – you need to be lucky to use explosions properly)?
    Farmer – mediocre pike. Could stay as is.
    Pony rider – “boring” cavalry, but has fair price.
    Brew brother – support with “healing”, can heal undead too as bonus. He is very squishy, because must move much closer to be effective, than other supports. Maybe, I’d drop his price a bit – -5 gold or mana.
    Eagle rider – weakest racial melee T3. I will compare him with Gryphon Rider, because they both are flying, melee unit with same price.
    Eagle rider in comparing with Gryphon Rider loses: -2 dmg, -1 def, -1 res, -5 hp, 20% phys. weakness.
    But Eagle rider gets: +6 MP, Wing beat (AoE attack without answer), Very Lucky (with RG and relatively late) and backstab (on gold).
    Actually, I think Eagle rider is much weaker than Gryphon Rider in direct combat. Lower stats and 20% phys. weakness cripple them very much. I don’t underestimate the influence of Luck mechanics, but increasing of morale needs a lot of efforts and can be negated very easily.

    Frostling: Has no racial synergies with Dread except Frost-Tank – which is a horrible unit in comparison to Flame-Tank and is thus a negative

    Strongly disagree. Frostlings make great synergy for their tanks (inflict Chilling) and frost protection is much less common than Fire protection.

    #216168

    ExNihil
    Member

    I think Elf Theo is a decent choice. They’re not the best Theo (I think Tigran, Halfling, Orc, and Dwarf are slightly better), but they’re by no means bad. Elves give storm sisters and initiates that have a lot of shock damage to deal with dreadnoughts that Theocrats tend to have trouble with. Especially with RG3, no ranged penalty storm sisters they’re very dangerous to shock-weak dread machines. Beacon of Faith also somewhat compensates for the Elf crappy population growth.

    I have to disagree with this one. The *only* thing going for Theo HE is a very specific strategy- when having the medal bonuses of Sacred Support, Temple and the Racial t3 building, Theo can produce Supports on Silver medal (and for some races on Gold with RG upgrades), which makes the creation of Storm Sister gold-medal stacks relatively easy. These have Inflict Stun, which makes them powerful units. But they don’t get to phase – like Sorcerer Supports, and are thus limited. Except for this, all other races have better RG upgrades, better racial-class units, many of them have better supports (for Theo) and many other strategic advantages. The result is a very limited Theo which is actually weaker than all others racial combos in terms of what it brings to the table.

    #216169

    Bob5
    Member

    Frostling: Has no racial synergies with Dread except Frost-Tank – which is a horrible unit in comparison to Flame-Tank and is thus a negative. Has inherent fire-weakness that is comparable to the blight weakness of HE. RG upgrades are less good than that of HE for Dreads. This is thus the only race that *absolutely* makes worse Dreads than HE.

    Ever tried comboing Frost Tanks with Frost Queens and Royal Guards? Frost Queen stays alive because of Royal Guard, goes in between enemy ranks to break guard with Ice Nova. If Frost Queen is veteran or better it can also inflict chilling. Then spray the entire area with a Frost Tank or two to hit incredibly heavy damage thanks to the enemy 40-60% frost weakness (thanks to Dome of Frost). It reliably hits in the 40s-50s of AoE damage, two frost tanks combined with one or two Frost queens and a Royal Guard clear Mythical incredibly well. Fire weakness is their main downfall, but all frostlings have that, regardless of class. At least Dread can mitigate it with Forge Aprons in the leader stack. Frost tank also gets chilling at base and freezing on gold, which is better than nothing at base and immolation at gold for the flame tank.

    #216171

    Buczer
    Member

    All human (…) are armored too. And they are much better choice for dread.

    Priest has no armour. But its true, human dread is good, difficult to say better than dwarven one or not.

    #216175

    Zaskow
    Member

    Yes, my mistake, but this doesn’t cancel awesomeness of humans for Dread.

    #216179

    ExNihil
    Member

    Strongly disagree. Frostlings make great synergy for their tanks (inflict Chilling) and frost protection is much less common than Fire protection.

    Ever tried comboing Frost Tanks with Frost Queens and Royal Guards? Frost Queen stays alive because of Royal Guard, goes in between enemy ranks to break guard with Ice Nova. If Frost Queen is veteran or better it can also inflict chilling. Then spray the entire area with a Frost Tank or two to hit incredibly heavy damage thanks to the enemy 40-60% frost weakness (thanks to Dome of Frost). It reliably hits in the 40s-50s of AoE damage, two frost tanks combined with one or two Frost queens and a Royal Guard clear Mythical incredibly well. Fire weakness is their main downfall, but all frostlings have that, regardless of class. At least Dread can mitigate it with Forge Aprons in the leader stack. Frost tank also gets chilling at base and freezing on gold, which is better than nothing at base and immolation at gold for the flame tank.

    I stand corrected, this though simply makes HE the worse choice for Dread period.

    #216182

    Zaskow
    Member

    I stand corrected, this though simply makes HE the worse choice for Dread period.

    In my diversity thread I’ve suggested new abilities for Elven Dreads too. Unsuccessfully…

    #216184

    ExNihil
    Member

    Well, I think it would be beneficial to discuss how Elves could be balanced, so perhaps you could bring here whatever you think are the best suggestions and we’ll consider them.

    #216185

    Zaskow
    Member

    “Forest children” – This unit heals an extra 6 Health if it begins its owner’s turn on Dense vegetation.
    OR
    Buff RP from 3 to 5 at least.
    Reduce 40% blight weakness from all elven supports to 20%.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 992 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.