SORCERER Balance Discussion

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

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  • #115226

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hi Guys,

    Time for thread #2 in the Classes threads. The post I am going to make here is based on the discussion that were held in the now defunct Re-balance of Existing Element in Next Patch thread.

    While there is new content in the post for some of you this will be repetitive and it might also look like i’m raising points that have already been discussed at length. Because that thread was so big and contentious I feel that a more focused discussion of each class will be beneficial, and I hope it will also make things easier for anyone (including you Dev Team folks!) who is interested in reading and participating.

    Race Threads:

    ORC Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/orc-balance-discussion/

    GOBLIN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/goblin-balance-discussion/

    HUMAN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/human-balance-discussion/

    HIGH-ELF Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/high-elf-balance-discussion/

    DRACONIAN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/draconian-balance-discussion/

    DWARF Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dwarf-balance-discussion/

    Class Threads:

    ROGUE Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rogue-balance-discussion/

    SORCERER Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/sorcerer-balance-discussion/

    THEOCRAT Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/theocrat-balance-discussion/

    DREADNOUGHT Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dreadnought-balance-discussion/

    ARCHDRUID Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/archdruid-balance-discussion/

    WARLORD Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/warlord-balance-discussion/

    Topical Threads:

    Random Map Generator, Underground and Map Elements Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rmg-ug-and-map-elements-balance-discussion/

    Blight, Spirit, Machines and Theocrat: Some Community Questions: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/blight-spirit-machines-and-theo-some-community-questions/

    Dwellings, Taverns and Bandits!: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dwellings-taverns-and-bandits/

    AI and Auto-Combat Balance Discussion (SP and MP): http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/auto-combat-balance-discussion/

    Support Units Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/support-units-balance-discussion/

    Leader/Heroes Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/leaderheroes-balance-discussion/

    Heal and Sustain Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/the-heal-or-sustain-issue/

    Assorted Topics Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/asorted-topics-balance-discussion/

    Misc. Threads:
    Ballista!: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/ballista/ (<– This is a unit suggestion rather than a balance discussion)

    And of course the original monster:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rebalance-of-existing-elements-in-next-patch/

    #115229

    ExNihil
    Member

    The Sorcerer’s Concept

    “After the ascension of the ancient Wizard Kings at the end of the Second Age, a new breed of magicians, called Sorcerers, claimed power. Seeking to unravel the mysteries of cosmos, they’ve learned to directly tap into the mana currents and wield magic in its purest form.”

    Class Specific Technologies:

    Unit Summoning and Production: Summon Wisp (60RP) -> Produce Apprentice (60RP) -> Summon Phantasm Warrior (140RP) -> Summon Fantastic Creature (200RP) -> Summon Node Serpent (400RP) -> Summon Eldritch Horror (1600RP)

    Unit Upgrade Techs: Invoke Extraordinary Mount (120RP / Spell), School of Teleportation (140RP / Passive Upgrade), School of Enchantment (800RP / Passive Upgrade)

    Empire Upgrades: Arcane Study (80RP / Passive Upgrade), Magical Structures (220RP / Passive Upgrade), Age of Magic (2500RP / Spell)

    City Upgrades: Glyps of Warding (80RP / Spell), Dome of Protection (180RP / Spell), Summoner’s Aura (350RP / Spell), and Enchanted Walls (400RP)

    Combat Spells: Star Blades (50RP), Magic Fist (70RP), Harmonizing Energy (140RP), Sphere of Protection (140RP), Arcane Binding (200RP), Chain Lightning (220RP), Cosmic Spray (400RP), Static Sphere (400RP), Double Gravity (700RP), Mass Stasis (800RP), Static Electricity (1600RP), Chaos Rift (3000RP)

    Strategic and Offensive Enchantments: Dread Omen (140RP), Lightning Storm (220RP), Spell of Return (800RP)

    Core Strategy:

    The key to a successful Sorcerer is utilizing his many advantages in synergy: (a) his ability to build his main armies while already on the move, by summoning near his leader/heroes; (b) his capacity to produce in dual-channels simultaneously – summoning units using the mana and building units in cities using gold and some mana; (c) his edges in research and mana production; (d) powerful unit upgrades that make support units into deadly stunning machines; (e) his mobility advantage from the fact all of the summoned units are either floating or flying and the heroes/leader can receive a flying mount as well allows the Sorcerer to out-maneuver and out-run his opponents while achieving scouting supremacy; (f) his concealment and detection edge that arises from the proliferation of True Sight among some of his units alongside his own superior concealment abilities as army leader as well as traits of some units.

    Current Issues:

    The Sorcerer is an exceptionally strong class due to the above mentioned advantages. While as a whole the Sorcerer works very well and is considered by many to be the easiest class to play (mastery always takes time,) some of the Sorcerer’s capabilities are IMBA and OP in a way that makes it the strongest class in the game by a significant margin.

    1. The empire upgrade Magical Structures (220RP) gives a +5 mana bonus on all treasure and resources structures with the exception of gold mines and farms. This means that all dungeons (strong, epic, legendary and mythical), production buildings (magma forge, flow-quarry), spring of life, vault of knowledge, mana nodes and crystal tree give a +5 mana bonus. This has a huge effect on the Sorcerer’s economy when the strategic map is properly exploited using forts, and of course through cities: Every automatically placed city has at least one mana node within its potential domain, so that is an automatic +5 mana and usually at least 1 more structure that gives a bonus, often 2 or 3 more and of course occasionally many more. Thus a single city, when well developed, can easily net an extra 15 mana and it is not uncommon of having metropolises that give an additional 25-30 mana from this tech. Due to this tech it is very common when playing the Sorcerer to have above +200 mana per turn in late mid-game. In comparison, the empire upgrade that gives the Arch-Druid extra mana – Wildlife Refuge (80RP) which reduces the gold and mana costs of animal and monster units by 25%, appears very pale.

    In fact due to Magical Structures the Sorcerer has a huge resource abundance in most map configurations, and even in maps with almost no mana nodes the Sorcerer can receive large amounts of mana due to other structures. Of course the justification for this technology is to prevent situations in which the Sorcerer is completely mana deprived due to the workings of the RMG or the presets selected, yet ATM the bonus is so large that in most situations the Sorcerer has so much mana that he can out-produce any other class in the game without worrying about casting and maintenance costs. None of the gold using classes or the Arch-Druid come close to match the sorcerer in access to their most important strategic resource.

    2. The Empire upgrade Arcane Knowledge (80RP) gives a +5 research per city research building, thus giving about 10RP per city. In city maps the Sorcerer can easily receive an additional 30-50RP by turn 15 and can thus tech very fast. That is in itself not a problem, as it is part of the concept of the Sorcerer who is a Scholar of magic. Yet this empire upgrade combines with the Sorcerer’s peculiar unit research branch to create a situation in which the he/she can out-tech any other class dramatically. Let us look at the unit research branches of all classes and the respective costs of these techs:

    Rogue: 60RP (Crows) –> 60RP (Scoundrel) –> 120RP (Bard) –> 200RP (Assassin) –> 400RP (Succubus) –> 800RP (Shadow Stalker). Total RP cost: 1640 (no t4 unit!)

    Sorcerer: 60RP (Wisp) –> 60RP (Apprentice) –> 140RP (Phantasm Warrior) -> 200RP (Fantastic Creature) –> 400RP Node Serpent –> 1600RP (Eldritch Horror). Total RP cost: 2460.

    Theocrat: 60RP (Cherub) –> 60RP (Martyr) –> 120RP (Crusader) –> 220RP (Evangelist) –> 750RP (Exalted) –> 1400RP (Shrine of Smiting). Total RP cost: 2610.

    Warlord: 60RP (Raise Militia) –> 60RP (Berserker) –> 120RP (Monster Hunter) –> 200RP (Mounted Archer) –> 400RP (Phalanx) –> 800RP (Warbreed) –> 1200RP (Manticore-Rider). Total RP cost: 2840.

    Arch-Druid: 60RP (Wild Animal) –> 60RP (Hunter) –> 120RP (Eldritch Animal) –> 350RP (Shaman) –> 750RP (Gargantuan Animal) –> 1600RP (Horned God). Total RP cost: 2940.

    Dreadnaught: 80RP (Drone) –> 60RP (Engineer) –> 140RP (Musketeer) –> 400RP (Flame-Tank) –> 400RP (Cannon) –> 750RP (Golem) –> 1500RP (Juggernaut). Total RP cost: 3330.

    As you can see the lowest RP cost is that of the Rogue – who has no t4 unit. The second lowest is that of the Sorcerer and the third lowest is that of the Theocrat. The Sorcerer and Rogue in fact have an identical number of unit production techs and an almost similar cost with the exception of the terminal techs – Produce Shadow Stalker Thus, due to Arcane Knowledge and this exceptionally short unit-research tree the Sorcerer is able to out-tech all other classes and rush t4 units very quickly.

    3. There are several problems with the Sorcerer’s Summoning spells/units:

    A. Although Phantasm Warrior is a good unit, the fact that it costs the same to cast Summon Phantasm Warrior and Summon Fantastic Creature makes it almost completely disappear – it is simply less attractive to spend 80cp on a good unit that is vulnerable to elemental damage and has 28mp then to spend the same cp on a spell that has 33% of summoning a great t3 unit (the Watcher) or a solid t2 units (Wyverns) / exceptional scout (Gryphon).

    B. The Watcher is a very powerful t3 unit, IMO it is too powerful for an 80CP spell or the probability of getting it is too high. On the other hand the Sorcerer has only one t3 summon spell – Summon Node Serpent, and Summon Fantastic Creature serves as the second t3 spell. While the wildcard element is great, the costs of this spell are very low relative to the potential reward and the unit itself is too powerful.

    C. The Node Serpent is another Sorcerer unit that disappears because of Summon Fantastic Creature. Here though the disparity is even more acute as the summoning cost of node serpent is substantially higher – 120CP, but the unit is substantially worse: Node Serpent is a very mediocre unit with limited utility. It needs to be substantially buffed to become attractive.

    Because of all of the above there is a need to readjust the CP costs of the Summoning spells and the summoning units as well.

    3. The Sorcerer has only a single unit that is produced in cities – the Apprentice. It is an excellent unit with a lot of utility and when it is combined with the two unit upgrades – School of Enchantment and School of Teleportation – it becomes the strongest t2 unit in the game. The problem is that ATM there is only a single special racial apprentice: the Draconian Apprentice. This unit is extremely OP and needs to be nerfed direly – a full discussion of this point has been undertaken in the DRACONIAN Balancing Discussion thread (see link at first post in this thread) and it will not be treated here. What is important is that ATM the Draconian/Sorcerer combination is currently the only one that gives a clear advantage to this class in terms of units. In order to diversify the game more racial variations of the apprentice need to be introduced.

    Rebalance Suggestions:

    In order to bring the Sorcerer into balance while safeguarding its concept and play-style those elements that are excessive must be balanced in a way that will nonetheless keep their essential functions in play.

    4. The problem with Magical Structures isn’t the fact that it gives the Sorcerer mana, it is that it gives the Sorcerer too much mana. The Sorcerer begins to raise in the early-mid game, after both Arcane Study and Magical Structures are unlocked. This is approximately the same point at which Dreadnought unlocks Mana Fuel Cells (60RP), Steam Powered (70RP) and Great Blacksmith (120RP) giving it a production and gold edge and Warlord unlocks Autority of the Sword (60RP), War Effort (140RP) and Training Regimen (80RP) which give it his. The Problems isn’t that the Sorcerer begins to raise at this point, but rather that he does it in a much sharper curve then the other classes: Steam Powered gives a +5 gold bonus on Gold mines alone and War Effort +10 gold on cities, Magical Structure gives it on all resource structures except great farm and gold mines and all treasure structures, which are several times over more extensive then gold mines and certainly then cities. The only viable solution is to limit the mana income either by (a) reducing the bonus from +5 mana per treasure site to +4, which is a 20% decrease, or by (b) restricting the treasure sites that give the bonus by removing the production and food buildings (spring of life, magma forge and flow-quarry) which will be approximately the same in most maps.

    2, 3A and 3B. In order to balance the teching speed of the Sorcerer it is insufficient to simply adjust the research costs of the existing techs because to do so in a substantial way that will close the disparity between it and the other classes will unbalance the Sorcerer in the opposite direction. If we try to increase the RP costs to come close to those of other classes we will need to add a minimum of 400RP to put in as the third most research intense class at 2860RP with Warlord being at 2840RP. Because the research costs of every tech tier are more or less standardized we cannot significantly change the costs of the techs before we reach Summon Node Serpent. Yet this unit is not sufficiently good to justify a 700RP research price, let alone 800RP – which is what we will need. This is also related to another problem, and it is that the Node Serpent is by and large a bad t3 unit that is simply stuck there between Summon Fantastic Creature and Summon Eldritch Horror. The Simplest solution IMO is to exchange the Node Serpent with the Watcher and put the Node Serpent as the Wildcard unit in Summon Fantastic Creature. In difference to the Node Serpent the Watcher is a very good t3 unit that can definitely justify a 700-800RP price tag, and the Node Serpent would still be a pleasant enough possibility to make Summon Fantastic Creature a good and fun spell. Another alternative, but one which I personally find less attractive and elegant, is to keep Summon Node Serpent but to then place the Watcher as a separate summon tech after it. This will necessitate replacing Watcher with a different wildcard t3 unit – for which I propose the Nightshade Fairy with the other currently free units being the troll, ogre, yeti or one of the new creatures from the Naga dwellings. These two options will look like this:

    Option 1: 60RP (Wisp) –> 60RP (Apprentice) –>140 (Phantasm Warrior) -> 250RP (Fantastic Creature) –>750RP Watcher –> 1600RP (Eldritch Horror). Total RP cost: 2860.

    Option 2: 60RP (Wisp) –> 60RP (Apprentice) –>140 (Phantasm Warrior) -> 200RP (Fantastic Creature) –> 300RP Node Serpent –> 500RP Watcher –> 1600RP (Eldritch Horror). Total RP cost: 2960.

    3A. The only way to make Phantasm Warrior more attractive is to differentiate the CP cost of Summon Phantasm Warrior from that of Summon Fantastic Creature. Thus I propose to move Summon Phantasm Warrior from 80cp to 70cp, which will work well for the Sorcerer who gets +5cp as a class trait and thus at 35cp he can summon a Phantasm Warrior in two turns. In turn I propose to move Summon Fantastic Creature from 80cp to 90cp, which will be a substantial difference in turns of casting time / reward. With these changes in mind and respective to my suggestions from the previous clause, I propose these options:
    Amended CP Costs:

    Option 1: Wisp (40cp) -> Phantasm Warrior (70cp) -> Fantastic Creature (90cp) -> Summon Watcher (130cp) -> Eldritch Horror (250cp)

    Option 2: Wisp (40cp) -> Phantasm Warrior (70cp) -> Fantastic Creature (90cp) -> Node Serpent (110-120cp) -> Summon Watcher (140-150cp) -> Summon Eldritch Horror (250cp).

    3C. The node serpent needs quite a bit of buffing to be an attractive summon. Let’s look at its traits:

    Node Serpent: 120cp, 16m/turn main. 60hp, 28mp, 12def, 11res. Melee Strike 6physical/11shock. Traits: Phase, Inflict Shocking, Floating, Magical Origin, 100% Shock Protection.

    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 shock damage, +1 defense, +6hp
    Expert: +1 physical damage, +1 resistance, +6hp
    Elite: +1 shock damage, +1 defense, +12hp, Inflict Stun

    Let’s compare this unit to Phantasm Warrior:

    Phantasm Warrior: 80cp, 8m/turn main. 40hp, 28mp, 9def, 8res. Traits: True Sight, Inflict Shocking, Wall Climbing, Shield, Incorporeal, Pass Wall, Floating, Magical Origin, 60% Physical Protection, 40% Shock Protection, Infantry.

    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +4hp
    Veteran: +1 shock damage, +1 defense, +4hp, +20% Shock Protection
    Expert: +1 physical damage, +1 resistance, +4hp
    Elite: +1 shock damage, +1 defense, +8hp, +20% Shock Protection, Tireless

    What is clear is that in many ways the Phantasm Warrior is simply a better unit: Both are Melee units but the Phantasm Warrior has 60% Physical Resistance, meaning it has an effective hp against physical damage of 64 at baseline level. It also has shield which means that against non-flanking attacks it has 11def. True it has less shock protection when not on gold medal and no phase, but it has true sight which means its better on the strategic map. Inflict Stun is very powerful, but also Tireless. Thus if I had to decide between these two units based on their summoning costs and maintenance costs I’d probably go with the t2 units, after all for the price of 2 Serpents I can summon 3 Phantasm Warriors and maintain 4.

    I think the greatest problem of this unit is its relatively problematic defense on melee and horrible performance versus support units that are not elves. It also requires some additional traits and also a medal ability at veteran. The HP basis is also low. There was a proposal by @bob5 to replace the physical damage with frost and fire, this will require readjustment but is definitely an interesting option. There was also some discussion of adding ranged, but nothing came out of it. I would like to hear what people here suggest.

    4. There is no-doubt that there needs to be a couple of alternatives to the Draconian Apprentice (see the discussion in the DRACONIAN Balance Discussion thread). I think a Goblin Apprentice that has a +3 blight damage on its ranged attack would be very cool and will substantially help the Goblin which currently has too little going for it. I would also like to hear suggestions if you guys have them.

    #115258

    AbednegoJC
    Member

    I basically agree with all Exnihil said.

    Just these:

    I agree to switch serpent node instead of watcher and move serpent node to fantastic creature – than serpent doenst need any buff, because he fits perfectly to fantastic creature class (maybe he could be even slightly nerfed).

    And I see no problem in magical structures itself… problem comes when he compare it to archdruid, but this way my opinion is, theat AD needs buff, not sorc nerf.

    We have to consider, that sorcerer is powerful wizard, who should be limited by his arcane skills, so only casting points, not mana (well, not desperately). In this circumstances magical structures seems ok for me.

    For archdruid I would like to see something like second wildlife refuge, which give another discount 20% (but only mana) and for more rp.
    – thats just example.

    #115261

    Ricminator
    Member

    Let me first start by saying that there is truth in your words when writing this down. When focussing on getting your summons I can see that you get an early t3(watcher), but I have a question:

    Do you research (many) combat spells when following this strategy? I have a feeling that that is not the case.

    When I play sorcerer I do research combat spells aside from my summons. And then “Summon fantastic creature” arives just in time.

    So I’m a bit curious.

    #115267

    ExNihil
    Member

    Let me first start by saying that there is truth in your words when writing this down. When focussing on getting your summons I can see that you get an early t3(watcher), but I have a question:

    Do you research (many) combat spells when following this strategy? I have a feeling that that is not the case.

    When I play sorcerer I do research combat spells aside from my summons. And then “Summon fantastic creature” arives just in time.

    So I’m a bit curious.

    Well, I usually don’t do combat spells until I got summoning down – only if I start with no nuke at all do I take some. I do dispel magic and disjunction.

    And I see no problem in magical structures itself… problem comes when he compare it to archdruid, but this way my opinion is, theat AD needs buff, not sorc nerf.

    Well, I bad to differ. My suggestion will still leave the Sorcerer with a lot of mana, but it will not be so extremely abundant. I do agree the AD needs a buff though and I will treat it in the AD thread.

    #115270

    Brutal_Felix
    Member

    I like option 2 more.

    Also I was never aware the Druid and Sorc summon trees were so far apart, that gap needs closed most certainly.

    #115279

    Ricminator
    Member

    @exnihil

    thank you, that helps understanding it. It also means that we even have an extra problem(probably).

    If you remember my diversification in summoner-mixed-spellcaster playstyle, then the spellcaster, who is at the other end of the line, has the same “abusive” way of playing.

    After all, once he has the wisp and the apprentice( a three-way-damage-channel is too hard to resist) he can stop researching his class units and put all his effort in the three remaining groups of research. He can rely on a dwelling t4 to fill his gap of t4’s. Sometimes my playstyle comes close to that, with one difference I always go for the Eldritch Horror and thus I invest my researchpoints in all 4 groups.
    (Ít is more difficult to make it work, since you abandon an extra army for more powerful fewer race-unit-armies.)

    So regarding your second post(the fast teching) it will be an interesting discussion, when summoners and spellcasters outtech everyone and mixed ones don’t.

    Your first post I agree on tuning down the mana income a bit, if it is neccessairy( Wait a bit on the new patch/expansion, there is some change with the shrines/temples). I always swim in mana. Only really early game there is a period for me, when I’m really short of it. But this upgrade is not going to change that, for it comes out later.

    Regarding the summons:

    Part of it’s problem ties with the tech problem, so my opinion on these is dependent on the possible solution to point 2.

    Point 4 the apprentice:

    More different apprentices is never a bad thing or tune the draconian one back in line with the others.

    #115281

    ExNihil
    Member

    Well, I’d be happy for some concrete proposals for apprentices. As for the Draconian Apprentice – there is a long discussion of this and how to bring it back into balance in the Draconian thread:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/draconian-balance-discussion/

    #115353

    Griffith
    Member

    Phantasm Warrior has 60% Physical Resistance, meaning it has an effective hp against physical damage of 64 at baseline level.

    Actually the phantasm warrior has effectively 100 hitpoints against physical damage. 100 damage – 60% = 40 damage. So theyre pretty sturdy units, if you manage to avoid elemental damage with them. Probably worth the 80cp.

    I agree Node Serpent isn’t very attractive atm, and should get boost. But I think the devs said theyre going to get one on next patch.

    4. The problem with Magical Structures isn’t the fact that it gives the Sorcerer mana, it is that it gives the Sorcerer too much mana. The Sorcerer begins to raise in the early-mid game, after both Arcane Study and Magical Structures are unlocked.

    I’m not so sure the magical structures is the main issue. Other side of the mana issue is that Sorcerer player usually build shrines and temples pretty much from the get-go, to get those needed support units. And subsequently they gain mana income at the same time. How about reducing the mana income from shrines and temples for sorcerer, and give the mana income for class structures instead? (makes certain thematic sense to me)

    Magical structures is a good upgrade, but it isnt for free either. I suppose I wouldnt be too disappointed if farms and magma forges didnt give the bonus though.

    And I see no problem in magical structures itself… problem comes when he compare it to archdruid, but this way my opinion is, theat AD needs buff, not sorc nerf.

    I kinda agree with Abed here, I wouldnt like to see sorc nerfed heavily. But other classes might need some boosting or working on. Like dread has interesting anti casting abilities vs sorc: dampening field and spelljammer, but both of those are kinda useless with their current mechanisms. (or not sure about spelljammer, but havent managed to abuse it properly yet)

    #115361

    ExNihil
    Member

    Actually the phantasm warrior has effectively 100 hitpoints against physical damage. 100 damage – 60% = 40 damage.

    A unit has 40hp and has 60% physical resistance. It means that it sustains only 40% of dmg it received. When 40hp is 100% and you add to it another 60% you receive 64 which is the effective hp it has vs. physical attacks – calculating the dmg not occurring as additional hp. Had it 100hp vs. physical attacks it would mean it had 250% its actual hp as effective hp vs. physical attacks, whereby it has 160% of its actual hp as effective hp.

    Other side of the mana issue is that Sorcerer player usually build shrines and temples pretty much from the get-go, to get those needed support units. And subsequently they gain mana income at the same time. How about reducing the mana income from shrines and temples for sorcerer, and give the mana income for class structures instead?

    I have checked this empirically many time, and knowing you I’m sure you’ll be able to do it quickly. The Shrine and Temple translate to a good increase in mana production, but you only need to compare the AD and Sorcerer’s mana economies to see what I mean – the Sorcerer has a lot more mana then the AD, who is always circumscribed by his mana economy. I do think the AD needs a little boost, but the point in which the AD is balanced is still substantially lower then the current bonus Sorcerer receives.

    As for your suggestion – this is just complicating the game further, and it will definitely nerf the sorcerer in early game, which is the only point in the game where he actually doesn’t need a nerf :).

    #115522

    Griffith
    Member

    A unit has 40hp and has 60% physical resistance. It means that it sustains only 40% of dmg it received. When 40hp is 100% and you add to it another 60% you receive 64 which is the effective hp it has vs. physical attacks – calculating the dmg not occurring as additional hp. Had it 100hp vs. physical attacks it would mean it had 250% its actual hp as effective hp vs. physical attacks, whereby it has 160% of its actual hp as effective hp.

    It does have 250% effective hp vs. physical attacks. You said it yourself: “It means that it sustains only 40% of dmg it received”. 100% / 40% = 2.5.

    The way to calculate the effective physical hitpoints (x) is this:
    x * (1-0.6) = 40 ->
    x * 0.4 = 40 ->
    x = 40 / 0.4 ->
    x = 100

    Learn the maths 🙂

    #115529

    ExNihil
    Member

    Dude, you just shows how to find the value x if it was 100. but x is 40 to which u need to add 60%, this is 64.

    #115538

    HereticSage
    Member

    Sigh. A 40 hp unit that received 64 damage that was reduced by 60% would be at 14.4 hp.

    Also, you’re both calculating effective hp against physical damage while neglecting defense in those calculations.

    #115540

    ExNihil
    Member

    OMG. What are you trying to say? LOL, why would a 40hp unit receive 64 damage reduced by 60%?

    And i’m not calculating effective hp while neglecting defense, I simply understand how the combat mechanics work *sigh*.

    P.S. This is a SORCERER Balance Discussion thread- please try to discuss the topics at hand rather then trying to show how Phantasm Warrior has more effective hp then I write or how my math is wrong.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  President.
    #115542

    HereticSage
    Member

    I’m trying to end the argument in order to return the discussion to sorc. You’re the one who said the unit has 64 effective hp.

    And let me break it down as simply as possible. Any incoming physical damage is reduced by 60%. This means:

    40-64*.4=14.4
    and
    40-100*4=0

    .4 is derived from 40%, if you reduce a number by 60%, 40% remains, therefore, multiplying a number by .4 gives you the value you need to correctly subtract from hp.

    #115546

    Griffith
    Member

    I simply understand how the combat mechanics work *sigh*.

    Clearly you dont, hehe.

    By your logic unit with 100% physical resistance would have +100% hitpoints against physical attacks. But actually they would be completely immune to physical damage, obviously.

    #115549

    ExNihil
    Member

    lol, i stand correcteđ.

    #115552

    Jomungur
    Member

    I think I saw that the devs do not want to switch node serpent and water in the summon fantastic creature. If that is the case, they should increase the cost of summon fantastic creature to something like 110. The problem with that spell is, as you point out, it has no downside- there’s a 33% to get a game-breaking unit in the early game and even if you don’t, you still get a flyer which isn’t bad. I do wish they’d decrease the watcher chance to 25% from 33%.

    I’ve always thought node serpent should have sprint, making it a unique unit with phase + sprint: no one could run away from that.

    Phantom warriors are quite good, but in current metagame with so many supports they are less useful.

    I agree on drac apprentice, although the real problem is firebomb is too powerful. It shouldn’t ignore both LOS and range penalties.

    Magical structures and arcane study could be fixed by increasing the research cost somewhat.

    #115558

    ExNihil
    Member

    I think I saw that the devs do not want to switch node serpent and water in the summon fantastic creature.

    Where? In the beta-forums? That would be a great shame as that is by far the most elegant solution and it will guratee that the watcher appears at a juncture in which it does not break the game – as you eloquantly pointed out.

    If that is the case, they should increase the cost of summon fantastic creature to something like 110.

    I disagree, that will unbalance the Sorc. to the other direction. Summon Fantastic creature is primarily a venue for obtaining t2 units. The problem with this spell is the high probability of receiving a t3 unit for its price, but if you increase the price by 30cp, which are at least one extra turn let alone mana, you will create a very large slow-down in the Sorcerer’s potential military buildup. The better avenue would be to reduce to the probability of receiving a watcher to 20% while keeping the spell within the range of 45cp x 2 turns. I also think the Phantasm Warrior to 70cp is a very good change, hence the 90cp seems to me to be the out-most limit to this increase.

    I’ve always thought node serpent should have sprint, making it a unique unit with phase + sprint: no one could run away from that.

    That would be a welcome first step. Yet the node-serpent’s stats and abilities are really not good enough for a 120cp summon. Compare this to what the AD gets for the same casting price – Summon Gargantuan Animal, which has a 40% chance of landing a t4 unit. In most ways a Phantasm Warrior is simply a better option then a node serpent, albeit the phase.

    Magical structures and arcane study could be fixed by increasing the research cost somewhat.

    This was raised in the previous gigantic balancing thread. I will repeat what I wrote in my original post here as it was in fact part of my answer there:

    The Sorcerer begins to raise in the early-mid game, after both Arcane Study and Magical Structures are unlocked. This is approximately the same point at which Dreadnought unlocks Mana Fuel Cells (60RP), Steam Powered (70RP) and Great Blacksmith (120RP) giving it a production and gold edge and Warlord unlocks Autority of the Sword (60RP), War Effort (140RP) and Training Regimen (80RP) which give it his. The Problems isn’t that the Sorcerer begins to raise at this point, but rather that he does it in a much sharper curve then the other classes: Steam Powered gives a +5 gold bonus on Gold mines alone and War Effort +10 gold on cities, Magical Structure gives it on all resource structures except great farm and gold mines and all treasure structures, which are several times over more extensive then gold mines and certainly then cities.

    Furthermore, to move these techs in any way that will substantially slow down the Sorcerer will simply do that – it will slow him down, but in the end the result will be the same, only more unbalanecd as the Sorcerer will be relativily weak respective to the other classes for a prolonged period. I will qoute myself again:

    As for arcane knowledge – the problem isn’t that sorcerer can tech quicker, it is that he can both build a huge economy and then get an exceptionally effective tier 2 spell that gives either a good t2 unit or an amazing t3 at extremely low costs (80CP) and then has a very short research for a t3 unit (400RP) that he can just run through and rush directly to its t4 unit. Thus the Sorcerer is able to tech summoning very quickly while having the resources to build armies at the same time – 80cp is not a lot, with 45cp a turn you receive a unit every 2nd turn with there being a 33% of getting a t3 unit, and if you increase it to 65CP you receive 3 units in 4 turns. That is why I suggested amending the unit research branch as a solution to this problem – both amending the CP costs, RP costs and units.

    Therefore if the CP costs are changed that will already solve something of this problem. If the mana economy is nerfed by 20% or so, it will further mitigate it. And if finally the unit research branch will be amended then the Sorcerer will be competitive but not OP.

    #115571

    Draxynnic
    Member

    From my recent experiences, I’m inclined to say that Magical Structures probably is a little too powerful at the moment – I’ve had a couple of games as sorcerer where researching that put me from being mana starved (or at least having to be reasonably conservative in my mana usage) to having so much mana that it stopped being a resource at all and simply became a measure of how many casting points or production points something would take. ‘Course, it’s been a long time since I built a Grand Palace to increase my casting point value, but when your per turn mana is a hundred or so more than your leaders casting point value… it’s simply not in any sense a realistic constraint to your power.

    Increasing the research cost isn’t going to help this, I don’t think – it’s simply putting back the point at which mana goes from a sometimes quite tight constraint as a sorcerer to something you have in sufficiency (in “any sufficiently rapid replenishment is indistinguishable from infinite” terms). Realistically, I think it’s going to take reducing how much mana you get from it.

    Philosophically, I think that treasure sites such as the spring of life and magma forge do have magic associated with them that a skilled sorcerer can access even if less magically oriented leaders can’t, so I’m inclined to leave it affecting all sites. However, I think a reduction in the benefit is worth looking at – in fact, cutting it back to +3 might not be too much, although I’d advocate trying it out at +4 before resorting to that.

    #115572

    ExNihil
    Member

    I agree

    #115723

    Gloweye
    Member

    I agree on greater Apprentice Diversity. Blight on Gobling will be just as strong as Firebomb on Draconian I think – 4 damage channel vs AoE stun? that goblin will have 12 damage minimum when at 3 action points. thats more than a lot creatures have as max when firing up city walls, and than the apprentice can learn to phase in.

    Humans could get spirit channel added to apprentice for likewise results. Elf apprentice already gets +1 base damage on the shock channel, but maybe give him inflict shocking? it might not feel that impactfull, but it is.

    #116191

    ExNihil
    Member

    I don’t think Goblin Apprentice with +3 blight damage will be OP. You are correct that this will mean 12 damage minimum (3 attacks x 4 damage) to any enemy that doesn’t have immunity to one of these elements, but a normal apprentice does 9 damage minimum (3×3) and thus the increase is between 3-12 damage total for an enemy without blight weakness, which is the vast majority of enemies in game. Elves will ofc take +20% more damage from blight, so that is between 1-2 more points of damage here – 5-14. Another interesting option is to give the Goblin apprentice something like what I proposed for the blight doctor – an anti-machine ability.

    I’m not sure Spirit is completely appropriate here, although I wouldn’t mind at all – it would be quite effective really against most units and will make Human apprentice a good competation for Human Priest, which is corrently vastly better due to lower price and Daze on gold medal.

    I think inflict shocking on Elf apprentice is a good suggestion, it is an effective ability and goes well with the Sorcerer’s repertoire.

    I would also like to ask that people post some suggestions for how to make the Node serpent better. I have previously suggested to make its phase a cool-down based ability rather then a one time use, but this might be a bit complicated.

    IMO the problem with the node-serpent is that it is a melee based unit but that in almost every regard the Phantasm Warrior is simply a much better melee unit. It needs to have something that makes it attractive and powerful, or alternatively be switched into the Summon Fantastic Creature rubric where it will be a good wildcard with its current stats.

    #116389

    Gloweye
    Member

    I prefer Switching node serpent with Watcher from Fantastic creature. It will remain a nice suprise, a T3 where you could have gotten a T2. That might make it see use. I’ve only summoned it as a sorcerer because of a collection habit. While Summon Watcher…that baby would see use.

    IMO this would also reduce the need for big changes to Node Serpent. Maybe upp its Phys dam a bit so its better vs shock immunes (6 Phys, 11 Shock) currently, that’s less Phys than a basic swordsman, and only 3 more damage than a Wisp in the same situation. on a T3.Make it 8 Phys, 10 Shock for more reliable damage.

    Also, I believe everyone noticed it moves slightly like the feathered serpent does?

    #116769

    Kozzie
    Member

    @magical structures

    i would vote for restricting the structures that give bonus mana.

    @ about research

    i must say i would prefer the watcher to be a separate tech for the sorceror – as it is simply too good to remain where it is present – with keeping the node serpent in its place – so option 2 from your post

    also if node serpent would be moved to a lower tier summon – it could by again be viewed as just a bit too strong (in that case it should be nerfed a bit)

    @ 3a – agreed – lower cost of phantasms (i barely see those in games!) and increase fantastic reature costs

    so again option # 2

    @ node serpent vs phantasm

    add 2 fire dmg to node serpent and lower shock by 1 – add 15% phys protection

    this traits with the added bonus of having phase means that the serpent could be used as a deep strike flanking unit – 3 damage channels will make the flankinf very worthwhile while 15% phys prot will add some survivality – im not sure if thos would not be too much to add. but its a start for a new approach i hope.

    @ apprentices

    i like the goblin ideas here – more diversity is needed but i would like to see the fire bomb to dissappear from the drac apprentice arsenal – or at least have a range penalty…

    #116825

    ExNihil
    Member

    add 2 fire dmg to node serpent and lower shock by 1 – add 15% phys protection

    this traits with the added bonus of having phase means that the serpent could be used as a deep strike flanking unit – 3 damage channels will make the flankinf very worthwhile while 15% phys prot will add some survivality – im not sure if thos would not be too much to add. but its a start for a new approach i hope.

    Interesting ideas! I would then suggest reducing shock damage by 2 and physical damage by 2 and giving the Node Serpent 4 frost damage alongside 20% physical resistance.

    i would like to see the fire bomb to dissappear from the drac apprentice arsenal – or at least have a range penalty…

    See the discussion of this in the DRACONIAN Balance Discussion – some solutions are proposed.

    #117117

    Xaneorath
    Member

    Let me begin with my arguentation, why I believe it would rather worsen the situation to give the watchers an own summoning spell, since I referenced it in the vote thread.

      Watchers

    With my further argumentation I take reference to ExNihils Option b.) where the serpent is not part of the “summon fantastic creature”, but the Watcher has his own summoning research:

    Right now it is said, that you could get a watcher for 80cp and in the alternative Variant it would cost 130-140cp.
    Thats not entirely true though, if you consider the percentage chance to get one. With 33% right now, it would mean, that you would have to spend 240cp/mana in average to get one. (Of course you can get lucky and get more or less in a short period of turns.. but thats the funny side about chance and percentage values.. isn’t it? Anyways, let’s stick to the view, that in the end, with many casts, we get close to the average case, 33% would imply.)
    That would mean, that with this proposal, we would actualy reduce the casting cost of them to almost half.
    It will buy time until a sorcerer player gets them though. Since I don’t play anything else than Rogue normaly, I cannot imagine how much time it would buy myself. But when I asked a sorcerer player I know, he said, that he usualy gets “100rp in 15 turns”. Given that argument is true, Option b.) would mean, the other players get about 7 more turns than usual until the watcher hordes from Sorcerer players are incoming.
    Yet, as I said, the cost would be about halved, making a strategy which is already so strong, that you rarely see anything else than mass watchers even stronger.
    Even if we say the maintenance cost for watchers would be increased, it wouldn’t really make THAT much of an impact with the current mana overflow of sorcerers.

      Mana flow

    Which I (and as I said, it is just a guess, as I am Rogue-Player, who didn’t play Sorcerers much and by that can’t really imagine the flow of sorcerer gaming) believe to be an aspect of the original idea of the sorcerer. Casting is limited by cp, so why the big overflow of mana? To sustain a LOT of maintenance on spells and units. That being said, I see the sorcerer as class which lives from having a wide array of different smaller summons in large armies, and the wildcard T3 is a unit to propose that thought.
    Considering that argumentation, the “weaker” serpent makes a lot of sense. It should add to the key spell “summon fantastic creatures”, not make it obsolete.
    Remember the next updates, where global continuous spells might get revived as playable, due to the new disjunction mechanics, I’m sure the amount of mana a sorcerer has might be viewed a lot different then.

      Comparison to Druid

    The same argumentation as before I’d give for the T4 unit of druid in “greater Animal”. If its a 40% chance, remember to raise the estimate needed cp/mana accordingly and don’t just calculate with the flat cp/mana.
    It does make sense to me that, if the sorcerer is a “creature mass summoner”, the druid would be a “creature colossus summoner”, who is a bit weaker on the mana-side, but gets the exceptional summoned units faster.

      Disciples

    One thing I do agree to is, that the draconian apprentices are too strong. Not because of the firebomb in itself, but due to the double upgrade by blink and stun. It’s almost impossible to avoid and stuns in an area…
    Maybe it would help to just reduce the area in which the stun effect may happen to the unit in the middle of the AoE.
    Also I second the notion to add an special effect to the novice for each race they are from. It fits to the idea of an adept of the arcane, and the one and only recruitable unit of the class.

      Mana Serpent

    Another good idea I second is that idea with the sprint for the serpent.
    Remember my earlier argument about it being there to “extend” the functionality of the sorcerers summoned army? Well, it does in a way, by the maneouverability of blink + melee. Yes, the disciples can blink too. No, they aren’t thought of as melee units. But that’s just the point: with the way they are now, they are interceptor units to target vulnerable units beyond enemies defence lines. (And probably die doing so)
    Adding sprint might make them stronger, maybe even TOO strong, as it might enable them to dual attack after blink.

      Roundup

    My idea to reduce the effectivness of Watcher hordes while staying true to the idea of the class would be to either reduce the % of the Watchers in the “summon fantastic creatures”-spell, or to add new units alltogether to improve the summoning array of the sorcerer (and make their armies even more diversified).
    Maybe thats just what triumph actualy plans on the long term. 🙂

    #117121

    Jomungur
    Member

    Watchers

    With my further argumentation I take reference to ExNihils Option b.) where the serpent is not part of the “summon fantastic creature”, but the Watcher has his own summoning research:

    Right now it is said, that you could get a watcher for 80cp and in the alternative Variant it would cost 130-140cp.
    Thats not entirely true though, if you consider the percentage chance to get one. With 33% right now, it would mean, that you would have to spend 240cp/mana in average to get one. (Of course you can get lucky and get more or less in a short period of turns.. but thats the funny side about chance and percentage values.. isn’t it? Anyways, let’s stick to the view, that in the end, with many casts, we get close to the average case, 33% would imply.)
    That would mean, that with this proposal, we would actualy reduce the casting cost of them to almost half.
    It will buy time until a sorcerer player gets them though. Since I don’t play anything else than Rogue normaly, I cannot imagine how much time it would buy myself. But when I asked a sorcerer player I know, he said, that he usualy gets “100rp in 15 turns”. Given that argument is true, Option b.) would mean, the other players get about 7 more turns than usual until the watcher hordes from Sorcerer players are incoming.
    Yet, as I said, the cost would be about halved, making a strategy which is already so strong, that you rarely see anything else than mass watchers even stronger.
    Even if we say the maintenance cost for watchers would be increased, it wouldn’t really make THAT much of an impact with the current mana overflow of sorcerers.

    A few points on this:

    1. It’s not really 240cp to get a watcher. It’s 240cp to average 1 watcher AND 2 wyverns. That is a really good deal; in fact, a better deal in most situations than 3 phantom warriors or 1.5 node serpents. Also, wyverns aren’t exactly useless. They fly, so they have nice mobility and scouting.

    Consider wyvern stats: flying 44hp 11 def 10 res 6/6 split on attack. Mind control immunity and a special attack.

    Then node serpent: floating 60hp 12 def 11 res 11/6 split on attack. Phase and inflict shocking.

    I won’t list the watcher stats because there’s no question watchers are superior to node serpents in almost every way.

    Given that wyverns are faster and more useful on the strategic map, I don’t see why you wouldn’t cast summon fantastic creature over summon node serpent all the time, even if both are available.

    2. “100rp in 15 turns” sounds really low. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but you start with 20rp a turn usually. Any sorcerer worth his salt will get to 30+ research per turn pretty early.

    #117165

    Xaneorath
    Member

    1. It’s not really 240cp to get a watcher. It’s 240cp to average 1 watcher AND 2 wyverns. That is a really good deal; in fact, a better deal in most situations than 3 phantom warriors or 1.5 node serpents. Also, wyverns aren’t exactly useless. They fly, so they have nice mobility and scouting.

    Oh, right, in Average it would be 240cp for a watcher, and two other tier2s.
    But still the “expected amount to get a watcher” is 240cp.
    The proposal still about halves the expected amount of mana you need to pay for one of those and takes out the diversity which is created by the other two creatures you may summon, so in the end I still believe that change would only strengthen the mass Watcher tactics you see a lot anyways.

    2. “100rp in 15 turns” sounds really low. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but you start with 20rp a turn usually. Any sorcerer worth his salt will get to 30+ research per turn pretty early.

    True, I shouldn’t just post estimates of others whitout thinking. ^^
    Guess I mightve understood him wrong there myself.
    Anyways, the core point would still be: “how many turns in estimate will it delay the very likely focus on mass Watchers, which will be achieved easier.”
    And is it worth making “summon fantastic creatues” obsolete 1600rp earlier, since we would have one preferable spell at that point, instead of one possible enhancing spell? (considering the mana snake not as strength choice, but designed as tactical addition)

    #117290

    ExNihil
    Member

    @xaneorath,

    The point of this suggestion is not to nerf the Sorcerer but to make the curve of his increase in power gentler. This is achieved by throttling the tech rushing to Eldritch Horror with increased RP costs. It is true that one can Nerf the 33% Watcher summon chance, but this will just IMBA the Sorcerer in the other direction: The Sorcerer has only two t3 units. For every class except the Sorcerer there are at least two t3 units that come one after the other, the first of which is the weaker and cheaper one. Here there is a weird situation – the Sorcerer has a very bad t3 unit as an independent summon, and its stronger t3 unit appears as a wildcard unit in a much cheaper spell. If the chance of summoning a watcher is reduced it will dramatically hurt the power of the Sorcerer – as there is simply no way in which the Serpent will be buffed to the degree that will compensate for this.

    I do not see a reason to reduce to capacity of the Sorcerer to produce Watchers. What you understand as a common problem cause by the Watcher being amassed is not a problem at all IMO – the Archdruid can summon t3 units at 120CP with a 40% chance of lending a t4 unit, this is not game breaking at all. The problem is the extreme abundance of mana when this is combined with the low CP cost of Summon Fantastic Creature and the possibility to fast tech t4 units.

    My proposals throttle the tech rush, reduce the available mana, increase the research times and adjust the CP costs. I personally prefer option 1, and you should note even in option 2 I suggest introducing a new wildcard unit into Fantastic Creature.

    Also, being the “Sorcerer Player I know” in your post, I must say you misunderstood me. You asked me how much RP I can get in the first 20 turns, I told you I usually get about 100RP turn 15. I will now qualify this: I get 100RP by turn 15 pursuing a very specific fast-teching strategy and only on maps with an average number of cities. More importantly – this is a process by which I reach 100RP in turn 15, but do not have it throughout that period. I would say in this circumstance it would be 20-30RP first 5 turns, 50-60RP by turn 10 and about 100RP by turn 15 – and I am investing myself in doing this. You should consider that this is not representative of what most Sorcerer players do.

    Finally, there might be place to adjust some of the CP costs I suggested for Summon Watcher, but I wouldn’t go above 150CP as the upper limit – the Sorcerer is powerful, it should be balanced, not crippled.

    Thanks for you input!

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