Suggested Changes to the Rogue Class

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 Suggested Changes to the Rogue Class

This topic contains 83 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  CHIEF DRUID 7 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 84 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #194205

    I’ve recently been playing more and more with the rogue class. They had previously never really appealed to me and I could never work out why. I didn’t have a problem with a “rogue empire” like many do. Finally, someone nailed it for me when they pointed out that it seems to be stitched together of random elements. So I’ll elaborate on that from my own point of view.

    I think what really brings it home are the Shadow Stalkers and Succubi. They’re great units in and of themselves and many people love them, but that’s really a separate issue from whether or not they belong in a rogue class, and I can’t see how someone could seriously argue that they do. It really feels like they just couldn’t think of anything really appropriate for rogues to have that fulfil the function of these units. It might have been passable in vanilla Age of Wonders III, but with the arrival of Eternal Lords and the necromancer class they feel more out of place than ever. Units such as these clearly belong in either the necromancer class or as a general summon.

    With a bit of imagination it’s easy to think of alternative units. Okay so the Shadow Stalker is the rogue’s hard hitter. Well how about instead of some vague demon we have some kind of debt collector thug. A brute that would fit perfectly within the rogue class. You give him all manner of cool abilities. Like maybe their owner gets a certain amount of gold for each unit that they kill in a battle.

    The point is not really my idea for replacement units, because I’m sure if Triumph needed ideas the fanbase has a million of them. The point is that Shadow Stalkers and Succubi just don’t belong in the rogue class, in my humble opinion. They detract massively from a themed class that with a little more imagination could be one of the most fun to play.

    #194210

    unmog
    Member

    It still bugs me that rogues dont have a tier4 unit actually, thats one reason why I dont like them anyway~

    You make a good point though, demons and such seem more Necroy

    #194215

    thabob79
    Member

    Shadow stalker are the définition of being one with the shadow, I see them as the embodiment of a rogue credo. I see them as shadow elementals.
    However effecient they are, I dont like succubus in the rogue roster. I rarely use them because of that. They are redundant with bard, and i dont think they fit well. And being support, like the bard, they are left out with empire upgrades.
    I’m also a little sad that scoundrels gain nothing from dark pact.
    Well at least bane fire from dark pact help them to avoid melee after their one seduce attempt per combat is done and throw curse on CD.

    #194253

    Hatmage
    Member

    I’ve said previously that if the shadow stalker was made into some sort of vengeful spirit of a lynched thief, called up to protect his brothers in the trade, it could keep a lot of its’ mechanics while being massively more flavoursome.

    Though with the evolution of scoundrels into lesser shadow stalkers that ship may have sailed.

    Having scoundrels evolve into some sort of mounted bandits with flaming weapons or somesuch (to fill a comprable niche to lesser stalkers) might be a nice touch and let the burly wringwraiths be changed.

    Thoughts?

    #194262

    Meeky
    Member

    Honestly, I think Rogues in AoW3 need to be taken as something a little more than just thieves. They’re dealing in some dark powers; that’s something that needs to be accepted. Personally, I had trouble getting used to it at first, but now I think it’s a great way to show A) how a Rogue can compete with the other classes and B) differentiate the Rogue from other iterations of the class in other games.

    Also, there’s the whole “one with the shadows” point someone else made, and I’m sure there are plenty of other points that can be made as well.

    EDIT: Also remember that Triumph has gone out of their way to show that every class has potential for good and evil. Warlords are, y’know, conquerors; Dreadnoughts sweep over nature and the land with metal armies of subjugation; Sorcerers try to control powers beyond our ken; Druids enforce this sort of “survival of the fittest” view of nature; Rogues are essentially cunning dictators that deal in subterfuge and bad magic; Theocrats are strongly hinted at commanding planar beings like the Rogue does; and Necromancers are Necromancers. None of these classes, none, are pure goodie-two-shoes to be taken at face value.

    #194269

    Gyor
    Member

    The Martial and political aspects from Rogue skills, but the Rogue’s magic is closer to that of a Warlock, its all shadow magic and dark pacts, so I have no problem with Shadow Stalkers and Succubi, the Rogue makes deals with Dark Gods in order to infuse his scoundrels and prostitutes with dark power tranforming them into Shadow Stalkers and Succubi via a Planar Gate, then later the Rogue makes a bigger deal, the Dark Pact to make his Succubi, Bards, Assassins, Lesser Shadow Stalkers, and Shadow Stalkers more powerful.

    #194276

    Gloweye
    Member

    You make a good point though, demons and such seem more Necroy

    Wouldn’t know how. THere’s currently nothing resembling any form of demons I’ve ever seen in the necromancer lineup – unless undead are also a kind of demons. Just because the Undead race used to have a Demon unit in AoW1 doesn’t meant they’re now part of the Necromancer class.

    Personally, I find all these units to fit the Rogue class perfectly.

    #194285

    NINJEW
    Member

    Shadow Stalkers and Succubi are what you get when you give the mafia intense magical power. Modifying the bodies of their thugs into monsters is a reflection of how the Rogues are hyped up on drugs magic and how they’re applying that crazy fireball shit to their seedy underground operations.

    #194289

    llfoso
    Member

    I think the shadow stalker is what I would imagine for a top tier rogue unit (that or some sort of ninja). It’s cool.

    #194292

    Garresh
    Member

    See I disagree with almost everyone here. Throughout the history of gaming the rogue archetype has always been a trickster, sometimes using an eclectic toolset held together by one core idea: trickery. Rogues in AoW do use some dark magics, but its but its not entirely out of character. Succubi and Shadow stalkers are both trickster units. One is the embodiment is shadow. The other is the embodiment of social and sexual manipulation. Taken as such, they fit pretty much perfectly.

    As for why these units are such, every class in tier 3 starts to look into magically enhanced variants of their core concept. Things like warbreeds, exalted, and death bringers. Succubi and Shadow Stalkers are basically “hey we found a dark power in this crypt here what should we do with it?” “alright so who wants to volunteer to gain crazy powers in exchange for some possible unforseen effects?” The rogue took a gamble on some magic he doesn’t fully understand and it worked out. Sounds pretty roguish to me. 😉

    And for the last time rogues don’t have a T4 because they don’t need one.

    #194307

    Well it seems like the consensus is against me, and fair enough, there were some great points that I hadn’t considered. Theme is very important to maintaining suspension of disbelief to me. If I feel that something is out of place it takes me out of the game. Your answers helped.

    Incidentally, I never witnessed any of the past tier four rogue debates. Why is it that they alone don’t have a tier four unit? Just curious. I don’t have an opinion on it one way or the other, but it does seem unusual that it’s a fragile class that lacks one.

    #194328

    Garresh
    Member

    Balance, honestly. Each class slowly transitions to more extremely embrace their playstyle by endgame. Endgame sorcs are stunning and nuking every which way even though their production falls off. Endgame Dreads are producing everywhere and just blowing everything up. Endgame warlords somehow just have armies that dwarf every other class. Etc. For rogues, their endgame is they become essentially untouchable and almost stop fighting outright. With the best ultimate Age of Deception and the ability to evade better than any other class in addition to a large amount of battlefield disruption for non-t4 units with mass battlefield panic attack, on top of ninjitsu conserved shadow stalkers. Seriously 1 shadow stalker with 4-5 quick dashes can level a moderately sized garrison without any problems. And fittingly with the eclectic rogue toolkit, almost every mastery specialization changes our playstyle heavily.

    Sorry if that was kind of a ramble but I don’t think I’ve lost a game after turn 70 in mp since Shadow Stalkers got concealment. I’ve faced multiple lategame warlords or dreadnoughts in mp, with one extreme case going to turn 140 or so. A lategame rogue has so many ways to undermine their enemies without engaging them directly that they simply don’t need a t4. To have one would be unbalancing because it allows them to fight a fair fight and win. There was a time when rogue endgame strats were limited to Hellfire Succubi or “find a dragon city”, but that time is long since passed. With concealed T3 floaters who scale well magically and the happiness changes, we can burn an empire without needing to engage their main force.

    #194334

    CyperPhiber
    Member

    i love most postings from garresh but i got a question? your victories are never on maps with seals or beacons right?

    i ask because im curious if under these circumstances the rogue class functions aswell as under survive n kill mode.

    #194343

    stellarrat
    Member

    I think I agree with the OP. I feel any type of non-corporal or undead unit is inappropriate for the Rogue. The Shadow Stalkers and Succubi just seem out of place. They should be replaced by two flesh and blood units with lots of special abilities. Maybe Ninja and Spy or something like that.

    #194346

    Garresh, how has arcane arrows changed things? After all, that means that two high elf horse archers (or hunters/longbowmen/musketeers) pose a serious threat vs. Stalkers now.

    #194350

    llfoso
    Member

    What Garresh says about classes diverging as they progress is dead on. I sometimes forget which class I’m using in the early game :/ (except necro- the dead cities make them unique all the way through).

    Although, Garresh, you said you disagree with almost everyone here and then agreed with almost everyone here 😉

    #194374

    Meeky
    Member

    Seriously 1 shadow stalker with 4-5 quick dashes can level a moderately sized garrison without any problems.

    This is extremely true and is one of the reasons I’m wary when I face Rogues in general as a Dreadnought.

    Shadow Stalkers may be T3, but their functionality is just… huge. I haven’t played too much MP (though I want to), but I feel like killing the Rogue player sooner rather than later is really, really important if at all possible because those Shadow Stalkers can ruin your day FAST. Maybe if I was playing a Draconian or High Elf I might have a proper defense against them (thank you elemental damage), but if I have a normal Goblin Dreadnought garrison and I see a Shadow Stalker on the battlefield… I age a few years. That’s for one Shadow Stalker. I’m pretty sure most seek-and-destroy Shadow Stalker forces include multiple Shadow Stalkers.

    Rogues be scary. Fun to play, fun to face, but scary.

    #194385

    Zergle
    Member

    I agree with the people who made the point that Rogues use black magic, and more or less (if they had a religion) worship darkness and shadowy stuff. Necromancers control death. Demons are not “dead” per se. And Shadow Stalkers are not ever really mentioned as ever being “once living”. They are entities in their own right, summoned by Rogues.
    And the Succubus is a perfect rogue unit. They embody temptation, and deception. That is what a Rogue does. The Rogues in AoW3 remind me of, the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. They are sort of a Cult with many similar powers to Necromancers, but like in Skyrim, they are a different society. A living one, at that.

    So, I see Rogues as part of some sort of cult that worships some obscure god of assassination, or death. But they don’t seek control over death the way Necros do. Since Necromancers only want power for themselves and care very little for their Ghoul societies. Rogues are still in a “brotherhood” of sorts, they still value life to an extent. Just not the lives of their enemies, or who they are contracted to kill.

    If you look at them like that, their units fit better. Shadow Stalkers are like embodiments of their god, or summoned from some other dimension.
    And Succubi are the same thing, except they embody deception. They basically represent the two big Rogue themes. Shadow stalkers being a force of killing, and sneaking around. While the Succubi trick people into getting what is wanted.

    But they are not “Undead”, they are demons from an entirely different realm that a Necro would have no control over. Or at least, not as much control.

    #194408

    unmog
    Member

    I agree with the people who made the point that Rogues use black magic, and more or less (if they had a religion) worship darkness and shadowy stuff. Necromancers control death. Demons are not “dead” per se. And Shadow Stalkers are not ever really mentioned as ever being “once living”. They are entities in their own right, summoned by Rogues.<br>
    And the Succubus is a perfect rogue unit. They embody temptation, and deception. That is what a Rogue does. The Rogues in AoW3 remind me of, the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. They are sort of a Cult with many similar powers to Necromancers, but like in Skyrim, they are a different society. A living one, at that.

    So, I see Rogues as part of some sort of cult that worships some obscure god of assassination, or death. But they don’t seek control over death the way Necros do. Since Necromancers only want power for themselves and care very little for their Ghoul societies. Rogues are still in a “brotherhood” of sorts, they still value life to an extent. Just not the lives of their enemies, or who they are contracted to kill.

    If you look at them like that, their units fit better. Shadow Stalkers are like embodiments of their god, or summoned from some other dimension.<br>
    And Succubi are the same thing, except they embody deception. They basically represent the two big Rogue themes. Shadow stalkers being a force of killing, and sneaking around. While the Succubi trick people into getting what is wanted.

    But they are not “Undead”, they are demons from an entirely different realm that a Necro would have no control over. Or at least, not as much control.

    Wow… just wow. First I have to ask, where in the lore does it make any mention of the rogue worshiping a god or anything to do with any religion at all?

    Second, I believe a necromancer with several ties to very dark magic would in fact be able to summon and control demons and other dark shadowy forces, more so than a normal rogue [who isnt even honestly a true spell caster imo]

    Third, rogues are not assassins… I mean anyone can kill someone but theyre a rogue class, not an assassin class. True they can employ assassins, which makes sense cuz rogues and assassins would probably work together, but in general when I think rogue I think Thief… skyrim/elderscrolls had a “thieves guild” too after all and none of them did stuff like that. The assassins in the dark brotherhood however “do” worship a dark god of death and such.

    Regardless of that, I dont hear anyone here saying the rogues succubus is overpowered, only their stalkers… and I never suggested the T4 unit had to be some rogue version of a tank or destroyer. Just that it should “have” one like everyone else, to be fair. It could be a trickster unit, but, just cuz they have “one” decent unit [which still falls short to several other T3 units other classes and races have btw] doesnt make it okay to skimp them on T4s.

    And I think succubi need a buff~

    #194433

    Umnn, what? Succubi in the various racial subgroups are one of the best units ever. Ever. They star out as flying curse units. That means they are a hyper mobile crowd control unit (when curse fails), which is spectacular for a number of reasons. Even if curse lands, well, that just makes seduce better.

    Rather like shaman, the dwarf and elf are best at it. Total awareness on the elf lets it survive a failed seduce, and dwarf beards let them survive more damage (also funny time).

    Dracs do fire, and frosts frost (with chilling) so you can get some milage with that. After a lifetime of shenanigans (and before that with bound soul), you get lifesteling. That makes the unit a melee harasser in its own right. Combine with either the keeper (meditate and two defense and spirit) or Grey guard (crit and extra shield of dispassion. Combine with unflankable total awareness high elf succubi for what is practically (and with a warlord can be) a flying deathbringer. With curse.

    And if all that wasn’t enough, dark pact gets you a ranged attack (neat unlock with the library structure). Frostlings also eventually get frost aura.

    Basically the only thing that is more flexible (pun) is a high elf arcane arrow archer.

    #194456

    Garresh
    Member

    Succubi do NOT need a buff. And if I had to go with the Skyrim parallel they’re more like the Nightingales than the Dark Brotherhood. But the point you can draw from this is the Nightingales, the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood are *all* part of the rogue archetype. The point of the classes in this game is they intentionally embrace many different facets of an archetype. Rogues have dirty thieves, bards, assassins, supernatural trickster beings, and beings of pure shadow. They’re all consistently within the rogue archetype.

    Anyways, I confess I’m not doing MP as much lately as I used to, so I haven’t had a chance to toy with Unity victories so much. No idea where rogues sit there. In seal victories rogues are bad at securing a seal victory, but good at preventing other people from getting one. Basically seals just add another thing an enemy needs to split their forces on. Rogues don’t play for seal victories. They use seals as leverage for a conventional victory. Heh.

    Uhm…arcane archers have the potential to mess up stalkers, but I haven’t faced it directly yet. All I can say here is my experience with stalkers is that you’re never supposed to mass them anyways. If you’re facing a force like that you’ll need to employ hit and run to make it work, or drop a pandemonium or smokescreen. Definitely tricky, but I don’t think it necessarily changes the play style overly much.

    #194465

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Succubi do NOT need a buff. And if I had to go with the Skyrim parallel they’re more like the Nightingales than the Dark Brotherhood. But the point you can draw from this is the Nightingales, the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood are *all* part of the rogue archetype. The point of the classes in this game is they intentionally embrace many different facets of an archetype. Rogues have dirty thieves, bards, assassins, supernatural trickster beings, and beings of pure shadow. They’re all consistently within the rogue archetype.

    Anyways, I confess I’m not doing MP as much lately as I used to, so I haven’t had a chance to toy with Unity victories so much. No idea where rogues sit there. In seal victories rogues are bad at securing a seal victory, but good at preventing other people from getting one. Basically seals just add another thing an enemy needs to split their forces on. Rogues don’t play for seal victories. They use seals as leverage for a conventional victory. Heh.

    Uhm…arcane archers have the potential to mess up stalkers, but I haven’t faced it directly yet. All I can say here is my experience with stalkers is that you’re never supposed to mass them anyways. If you’re facing a force like that you’ll need to employ hit and run to make it work, or drop a pandemonium or smokescreen. Definitely tricky, but I don’t think it necessarily changes the play style overly much.

    I’ve won a few SP Unity Victories as a Rogue, actually my first one, and I found that the bonus to relations I got through Courtesan Ambassadors was the clincher in me getting there at all, even if the final few turns did devolve into a desperate holding action as the 4 remaining AI players ganged up on me. Shadow Stalker spam was essential to that victory, though.

    #194469

    NINJEW
    Member

    Does anyone complain about how the Warlord gets Manticore Riders and how having magical beasts doesn’t fit thematically with their lines of soldiers deal, and is really more the Arch Druid’s territory

    #194474

    unmog
    Member

    Does anyone complain about how the Warlord gets Manticore Riders and how having magical beasts doesn’t fit thematically with their lines of soldiers deal, and is really more the Arch Druid’s territory

    Thats a fair point, honestly. But, its still a soldier riding a manticore~

    #194486

    Meeky
    Member

    Does anyone complain about how the Warlord gets Manticore Riders and how having magical beasts doesn’t fit thematically with their lines of soldiers deal, and is really more the Arch Druid’s territory

    Rogue seems to get singled out for this sort of treatment. I think I MIGHT have heard someone tell me once that the Sorcerer getting Eldritch Horrors “didn’t make sense,” but that might be my imagination. I have friends that hate the C’thulu mythos, so that could be it.

    That said, it has to do with what we expect Rogue to mean from other games. In most fantasy games, a Rogue is someone that is a trickster / thief / survivalist that survives largely with raw cunning. Sure, a few depictions use magic, but for the most part a Rogue is just a lucky, resourceful character. People see a Rogue in this game and see that it has shadowy thingies and succubi serving it and say “wat” in a flat, disbelieving tone.

    I can get why that happens. When I first started the game, I was actually upset by that. I wanted my Rogue to not really use Shadow Stalkers or Succubi. Now, though, I think it gives the Rogue a bit more character and emphasizes their less-than-pretty sides. It helps cement the potential for the “shadowy dictator” feel they seem to have.

    I think a few people have also given good commentary on why Rogues might be using the powers they do. There’s a lot of interesting theories. Personally, whether it be a lucky discovery or some dark religion or just a different type of magic, I think it works for the Rogue. It feels like a new spin on an old trope, almost – or perhaps something you might find if you wanted to see an Evil or Chaotic Rogue ruler employing clerics of shadow deities in a D&D setting.

    #194488

    That said, it has to do with what we expect Rogue to mean from other games. In most fantasy games, a Rogue is someone that is a trickster / thief / survivalist that survives largely with raw cunning. Sure, a few depictions use magic, but for the most part a Rogue is just a lucky, resourceful character. People see a Rogue in this game and see that it has shadowy thingies and succubi serving it and say “wat” in a flat, disbelieving tone.

    I think this is basically it. It certainly was for me. I’m a huge fan of the Thief series, for example. Garrett’s world is basically that of the generic rogue with steampunk elements. I guess some of us are just boring and like what we are familiar with haha.

    But like I said you guys have talked me round. I can accept the Shadow Stalker better by seeing it as the embodiment of the class. The stuff about the Succubi being seductive etc does make it make more sense to me. I think I’ll enjoy the rogue more in the future.

    #194490

    Meeky
    Member

    I think this is basically it. It certainly was for me. I’m a huge fan of the Thief series, for example. Garrett’s world is basically that of the generic rogue with steampunk elements. I guess some of us are just boring and like what we are familiar with haha.

    I totally get that. I actually loved playing Thief for the short time that I did, and I plan to revisit it eventually. But I’m going to be playing Styx: Master of Shadows first. I think that has more of that dark, shadowy feel that belongs to Age of Wonder’s version of the Rogue…

    And, truth be told, I still sometimes wish the Rogue didn’t have these elements, as fitting as they are. One of my favorite character archetypes in fantasy is the trickster rogue if only because that’s a character that usually doesn’t use much magic or wield swords of McAwesome, or if they do it’s relatively minor stuff. I mean, sure: Bilbo, Frodo, and Samwise had a few neat artifacts, but it was mostly their wits and stealth that won them the day. Han Solo is a great character that keeps up with a Jedi, a super-strong alien and others while having virtually no power except good luck and being a magnificent bastard. Etc. Basically, magic takes away a bit of the charm of the traditional Rogue to me.

    Sorry for rambling there. Basically, I had to accept that, at least for me, this version of the Rogue is different, or takes it all to a different level. Oddly, I love having Rogue heroes in my army more than I like actually having Rogues build empires, mostly because the in-game unit descriptions for Shadow Stalkers and Succubi suggest that the Rogue actually turned their followers into those things. It saddens me.

    …But Rogues are still probably my second or third favorite class to play. Dreadnoughts, Rogues and Sorcerers, baby. Good stuff.

    #194492

    MrDias
    Member

    The only thing I’d like for Rogue(and Teo) after playing a game of Necromancer is that there were some way to get value from their scouting summons other than scouting itself. Other than that, Rogues are now the second funniest class to play.

    #194496

    In my personal headcanon druids are all kobobolds and leprechauns stacked on each other in suits. Every single unit.
    Therefore I demand the removal of the cockatrice from the summoning pool as neither kobolds nor leprechauns have any kind of petrification!

    #194497

    Meeky
    Member

    In my personal headcanon druids are all kobobolds and leprechauns stacked on each other in suits. Every single unit.
    Therefore I demand the removal of the cockatrice from the summoning pool as neither kobolds nor leprechauns have any kind of petrification!

    I don’t know; I’d be pretty petrified if I saw a bunch of kobolds stacked on top of each other wearing a funny suit and threatening me. I’d be trying hard not to laugh, because if I did they might stab me in the face.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 84 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.