Suggestion: Conversion limit

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Suggestion: Conversion limit

This topic contains 115 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Ethorin 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #239718

    SpiritSeeker
    Member

    I feel the conversion mechanics in the game are fun, to some extent. On the other hand, however, it can turn into a game within the game, to optimise everything for converting units (at least in PBEM). I cannot see how any non-conversion-strategy (like, building regular units or even summoning units) could possibly even remotely compete with a conversion strategy. Also, since converting powerful units can be utterly game changing, especially when you succeed early in the game, it feels not appropriate when all you had to do for it is roll a dice. Sure, you need to be tactically proficient perhaps to minimise the risk of losing your own units while trying to convert something, but that is manageable with some stunning/netting/webbing units. Furthermore, converting unit is logistically much more efficient than building a unit and walking it all the way to your army.

    My suggestion is to impose an extra limit to converting units. For instance by using something like ‘pet-slots’ or ‘slave-slots’ or something. Each hero would have a limited number of converted units it can sustain, depending on the number of pet-slots it has. Pet-slots could increase with hero level, or perhaps research or buildings, and you may need multiple slots for higher tier units. I mean, it takes some attention to keep those guys subdued/convinced/in check! So, if you convert another unit, you may have to disband another.
    You could actually also opt to tie the converted unit to your hero’s conversion ability. So, each ability can only keep one unit converted at all times.

    One might even consider making ‘converted’ a unit property, which can be dispelled (perhaps by a dedicated spell, like ‘remembrance’ or ‘mental reset’) in ANY battle, perhaps consequently making the now released unit neutral/berserk.

    I think a change such as this can benefit the game and make it more varied, so cities will no longer be reduced to income puppets.

    People who play more casually won’t be hindered so much by such changes, but optimisers (like myself and GabTheGab) will need to broaden their perspective.

    Just my 2 cents!

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  SpiritSeeker.
    #239734

    Gloweye
    Member

    I disagree intensely with such a limit.

    But I mainly SP, since that’s the fun way for me – and drawn to it’s limits by more competitive people, I can see it being an issue. However, I think the amount of people affected by the issue isn’t really significant compared to those who suffer in the SP department, since there are much more of them, even if they play less on average.

    #239735

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I also disagree with a limit. I thought about a requirement to keep “converted” units in a stack with the (general type of) converting unit (i.e., if a unit was Charmed by a Bard, then it would have to be in a stack with a(ny) Bard to not switching to neutral, but not only would that be too difficult to manage, you could also argue that if a unit stays only for the powers of a personal conversion the unit shouldn’t cost a lot of upkeep (it’s not in it for the money).
    Also, this would make no sense for undead units.

    There would also be an option to make another check after a battle in which there was a conversion of any sort. Ghouled units might have to undergo a check whether they actually ARE ghouled – or whether they lose cohesion and become Cadavers instead; this would obviously reduce the amount of Ghouled units. Other converted units might undergo a check for becoming a believer – or becoming unhappy (like dedicated units that are unhappy with the orientation of their owners). So if a Bard Charmed a Swordman successfully, after the successful battle, the surviving Swordman would have to undergo a check; if failed, he would become unhappy with an 800 moral penalty, being prone to desert; if successful, he would become a normal part of the army – a successful conversion.

    However, this would also make new game mechanics necessary.

    #239770

    gabthegab
    Member

    Necro on map with very strong def and in pbem game is too strong, this is clearly unbalance game…
    One way for balance game on map with very strong def is :
    +only one Inflict Ghoul Curse by fight and work only on none spirit immune unit.
    +Greater Reanimate Dead doesn’t work on T4.

    #239772

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Death Bringer is T3.

    #239773

    Zaskow
    Member

    Reading the topic…

    The most realistic things (in terms of mods) are:

    1)

    +only one Inflict Ghoul Curse by fight

    Remake Inflict Ghoul Curse into touch ability or one time attack (Defensive strike alike) once per battle.

    work only on none spirit immune unit.

    What does it mean? Inflict Ghoul curse doesn’t work on unit with 100% spirit immunity already. Plus, it’s possible to manually restrict on what units ghoul curse could work or no.

    2.

    +Greater Reanimate Dead doesn’t work on T4.

    Around 5 minutes of work…

    Death Bringer is T3.

    It’s possible to set Greater Reanimate Dead not working exactly on Death Bringers.

    So if a Bard Charmed a Swordman successfully, after the successful battle, the surviving Swordman would have to undergo a check; if failed, he would become unhappy with an 800 moral penalty, being prone to desert; if successful, he would become a normal part of the army – a successful conversion.

    I’m afraid this is impossible. However, it’s possible to set some serious debuff on converted units.

    #239777

    gabthegab
    Member

    Zaskow, i want say it s better if Ghoul Curse don’t work on unit who are immune to mind control like the Manticore the T4 of the Warlord 🙂 sorry for my bad English.

    #239788

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I somehow disagree with all that because it tap-dances around what is actually the question.
    When it comes to Necro, the Class has an 800 research unit that can be produced. For Necro, the Death Bringer is at the end of the production-unit food chain (Reaper is Summons). The unit itself isn’t that good – except, they have the awesome Inflict Ghoul Curse which means, they are the Ghoul Collectors.
    While I could envision other neat stuff than collecting Ghouls, if you just see the unit, the research and production work necessary to get it and think about the state the map is in at the point you will make use of them … it’s more or less a unit that will make up for losses in the big battles: if you are in a big war, Death Bringers will make sure, as long as you win the battles you will get “reinforcements”.
    So far – so good.

    Then there are the Necromancer HEROES.
    The first question you have to ask is, whether Necromancer heroes should even be able to get Inflict Ghoul Curse, that is, the Death Bringer ability, and if so, should there maybe a research necessary.
    When I’m really honest, I think, Inflict Ghoul Curse for Heroes is detrimental for the game, because no matter cost and level, a halfway decent player will be able eventually to get it BEFORE Death Bringers are researched and produced, and with at least two Necro heroes you will Ghoul Curse the hell out of Legendary and Mythical sites, getting Ghouled Naga Mothers, Manticores, Phalanxes, Warbreeds, Sphinxes and so on (not to mention the Apprentices and Supports and Evangelists), and the simple truth is that two stacks of T3/4 ghouled units at that early stage are enough to rock the boat.
    Also, if you start taking towns with those heroes, you will Ghoul Curse as well.

    So Inflict Ghoul Curse is not good on heroes.
    Would it be better as a touch ability? That would make them Theocrats. Short range touch ability once per battle? That would also mean, it should have a Convert check, that is, better than 8.

    In the end, I would like it better, if you had something like “Inflict Cadaver Curse”: the upon killing the inflicted unit would be raised as a Cadaver (which would mean, the Cadaver could be used in the same battle – in the end it would lift the one-cadaver-per-battle rule).
    Since I would like one or two Cadaver-based techs, allowing on an advanced level the merging of Cadavers with either Bone Collectors or themselves to get weakish HP monsters (a 100 HP Cadaver with normal Cadaver damage) this would be something different and certainly more interesting than just collecting bunches of units.

    Then there are the Reanimate skills – which make real sense, if you think about it. Greater Reanimate Dead IS already a collector ability, since you can REanimate fallen enemies. It’s a unique Conversion ability that doesn’t convert the living, but instead the dead – once per battle.
    The snag here is – it works 100%; plus, Death Bringers are so powerful, that they must be immune; which is a good thing anyway, if you think about it: if you do HAVE Death Bringers in your army that STAY dead when they are dead, it means, a Necro cannot simply hit everything with them, and if one is killed, reanimate them; he must be more careful, which is good.
    Lesser Reanimate, on the other hand, is a really great, but not OP ability. T1 and T2 only, no enemies, if I’m not wrong, once per combat. Very useful.

    THE BOTTOM LINE IS (for a really gutsy solution):

    1) Eliminate Inflict Ghoul Curse as a hero ability; if something else is necessary, replace it with “Inflict Cadaver Curse”;
    2) Make Greater Reanimate Dead work on Living units and Ghouls ONLY (that is, not on undead units that are not Ghouls, not on Titans, not on Wraith Kings, not on Death Bringers…). HOWEVER: if it’s an ENEMY creature there is a check involved (12 or 13); if the check fails, the unit is raised as a Cadaver instead!
    [3) Add one or two Cadaver oriented technologies to allow more “work” with Cadavers]

    With this solution, I’d imagine Lesser Reanimate a Level 5 ability and Greater Reanimate a Level 9. Level 9 Necro will be able to start collecting units just as Theocrat heroes, but not for granted. You may try and raise a Manticore, but fail and raise a Corpse instead, like you may fail converting a unit, but you can use the ability also to bring back a fallen friendly ghoul (for example, a Manticore Ghoul, that a Death Bringer Ghouled).

    This would certainly solve the issues; I do think, it would make Necro play more interesting.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  Jolly Joker.
    #239806

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Convert-like abilities are certainly strong but they should balance themselves due to the upkeep of the army. Currently, how do you manage to pay for your converted army? I assume through site clearing and selling items, right?
    I did that in a game vs cbower and even managed to get Wearlthy Empire for many turns (http://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=resultinfo&gamenumber=103).

    I think Convert, Charm, Seduce, Dominate are ok because it’s once per battle and as JJ pointed out, you can “dispel” them through Break Control and killing the controller.

    The economy issue needs to be balanced though: reduce by 25% the value of items when you sell them and reduce by 50% the value in gold of the treasures you get at sites (e.g. the gold equivalent of +500 research, etc.).
    I don’t think it would be enough though.
    Then maybe converted unit could have a morale malus (or even a morale malus for all their group, a bit like “Chaplain” but in reverse)?

    #239809

    One might even consider making ‘converted’ a unit property, which can be dispelled (perhaps by a dedicated spell, like ‘remembrance’ or ‘mental reset’) in ANY battle, perhaps consequently making the now released unit neutral/berserk.

    I like this idea a lot better than an artificial, micro-intensive “limit.”

    Or… going further what if that attribute would vanish if these converted units start the turn outside the stack of the unit that converted them? Or, more practically, outside the stack of any unit with a convert ability?

    So seduced units get the “seduced” attribute that gets re-applied at the start of each turn as long as they are in a stack with a unit that can seduce. If there’s no such unit in the stack, the unit becomes independent and hostile.

    Ghoul Cursed units could, instead, all get the same decaying hitpoint attribute that Cadavers have.

    All this would make it a lot harder to gather up a huge army of converted/ghouled units, without imposing artificial limits. You could still gather up all kinds of neutral/enemy units, but you’d have to work a lot harder to keep them.

    A Theocrat or Rogue player could still keep a lot of converted units around by building enough Evangelists or Succubuses and putting one in each stack, but these stacks could be countered by a human (kill the converting units!)

    A lone hero, be it a necromancer or a theocrat, would no longer be able to gather stack after stack of converted/ghouled neutrals. (The ghouls would die, the living would rebel.)

    Plus, this way it would “feel” more like these guys are being mind-controlled to me. Yes, they switched sides. But you can never trust a traitor, even if he joined you.

    #239818

    If there were any limit it should be dynamic – so a cap per leader level or something like that. I do agree conversion is somewhat too strong.

    A generic trait “Turncoat” for all seduced/converted/charmed units seems best to me.
    This trait simply gives -200 morale and/or -1 resistance (to make the unit more susceptible to all conversion traits) or something a bit subtle like that.

    edit: typo

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  Pothead Pixie.
    #239820

    Another nudge in the right direction could be to simply reduce the strength of all convert-like traits by -1. I think I like this… It’s subtle but will definately have it’s effect. Would work for PBEM, not sure about SP/multi though.

    #239823

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I somehow disagree with all this.

    We have to make a difference between units doing the conversion tricks and heroes.
    With the units, it’s completely ok that they do what they do, because they are balanced for that – you need the technology, you need to build them, and the earlier they come the more unreliable they are. Bards, for example, come early, but haven’t got that much going for them – why would you build them without Charm?

    However, look at Heroes:
    Arch Druids get Befriend Animal
    Necromancers get Greater Reanimate Dead and Inflict Ghoul Curse (by far the most potent abilities)
    Rogues get Charm
    Theocrats get Convert

    What I absolutely don’t like is the fact that every Class can hire such a hero. You play Sorcerer and a Theocrat is for hire on turn 1. Et voila, not only can you summon Wisps and Phantasms, your Theo will eventually (and sooner than later) start converting units, giving you what is essentially an Evangelist (that can do a lot more than that).

    For AD, Rogue and Theo, imo, it makes sense to tie the availability of the convert abilities to technologies, and be it the tech for the units that get them (Shamans, Evangelists, Bards) – for Nwcro, though, while that would work for Ghoul Curse (you get it when you researched Death Bringer), that would still leave Greater Reanimate, but that’s also discussed and there are a couple of possible solutions.

    #239825

    Necromancers also get Control Undead, and Aura of Undeath or whatever it’s called. So even if Greater Reanimate were changed not to work on hostiles, they would have plenty of ways to take control of enemy undead.

    (And it’s not like Greater Reanimate wouldn’t be good even if it only worked on friendlies. Bring back your champion-tier dead tier 3-4 units? Hell yes.)

    I think a big problem with converting-style abilities, in general, is how quickly you can get them going, and how it feels like there’s no point in building units or researching technologies because of that. “Ooh, I just learned how to build a Crusader. With this, I can… well, actually, last turn I converted a Chthonic Guardian, a Troll and two Knights. So who cares about a crusader.”

    I think the jolly joker has a point that it’s mainly the hero abilities that cause this problem. They’re the ones who get them early on, and just need to gain levels to start snowballing. If I think back to my last Theocrat game, I won entirely on converted units, but I only build 2 Evangelists who saw like 3 battles because by that time I’d already marched my army of converted Chthonic Guardians and Fire Giants and whatnot to the enemy gates. And that was on a large map against a bunch of AI opponents. (5, I think.)

    Actually, on reflection, I’m not sure that heroes should get these kinds of abilities at all. Units like Evangelists or Succubuses would be far more exciting and important to build if they were your only way of accessing these abilities.

    On the other hand, I don’t know how I’d win some of the final campaign scenarios without charming/converting a few stacks of powerful neutrals with my heroes… though that probably just means the campaign isn’t very well balanced.

    #239827

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Yes, the main problem is, that heroes get the stuff on ability points WAY earlier.

    So the problems with most conversion abilities could be avoided, if they became available not with a certain level, but with the tech of the units that have the abilities. This would make it impossible, for example, for a Warlord to hire a Theocrat and a Rogue and Charm/convert units, and it would also mean, that your Class heroes could pick the conversion abilities only when they also can build the units with those abilities.

    Necro is a very special case, though, that needs special solutions.

    #239832

    I’m going to be devil’s advocate for a minute and say that surely a simple solution presents itself in the simple banning of all heroes?

    The obvious answer is that *may* be quite unfun for people.

    #239833

    gabthegab
    Member

    Jolly Loker your solution is very interresting :

    1) Eliminate Inflict Ghoul Curse as a hero ability; if something else is necessary, replace it with “Inflict Cadaver Curse”;
    2) Make Greater Reanimate Dead work on Living units and Ghouls ONLY (that is, not on undead units that are not Ghouls, not on Titans, not on Wraith Kings, not on Death Bringers…). HOWEVER: if it’s an ENEMY creature there is a check involved (12 or 13); if the check fails, the unit is raised as a Cadaver instead!
    [3) Add one or two Cadaver oriented technologies to allow more “work” with Cadavers]

    But i see one problem with solution 2):
    if Make Greater Reanimate Dead work on Living units and Ghouls ONLY an ENEMY creature there is a check involved (12 or 13); if the check fails, the unit is raised as a Cadaver instead!
    This is too powerful on dragon and manticore for exemple,it must be limit for exemple to unit with no mind control immunity never become a ghouls ;).

    #239834

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Well, we have immune against mind control units that cannot be converted or charmed or seduced, we have immune to Ghoul Curse units like Dragons and Arch ANgels that cannot be Ghould Cursed. Since you cannot ghoul Dragons, logically you shouldn’t be able to reanimate Dragons and Arch Angels because that would make them Ghouls (but I can’t say for sure whether it’s possible or not).
    For the rest, well, you could still link GRD to a technology and/or move it to a higher hero level and increase the costs.

    @ BBB
    Why would banning the whole feature “heroes” be a better solution than just banning the offending abilities for them?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  Jolly Joker.
    #239836

    Why would banning the whole feature “heroes” be a better solution than just banning the offending abilities for them?

    I odn’t know that it would be “better” but it neatly sidesteps what you state to be the core problem, which as I understand it is that, in pbem, a leader, e.g. Warlord, can recruit a Necro, Theo or Rogue hero, and develop an effective military outside of class constraints.

    If I understand your writing correctly, a Necromancer/Theocrat leader on his own would have an advantage, but not an overwhelming one. Or would a Necro leader on his own still present problems?

    In any case, Zaskow is corect in saying that modding these abilities shouldn’t be too hard.

    Gab makes a good suggestion with inflict cadaver.

    The suggestion trend seems to be towards replacing the raising innately powerful ghoul armies with rasing cadavers and improving synergies therein.

    In principle, I see no objection to that. Done right it could be fun indeed, and fit in with the hordes of rubbish units with a small core of strong elites theme.

    #239837

    gabthegab
    Member

    In 2) JJ you speak of greater reanimate not ghoul curse, bone dragon have mind control immunity and are immune to ghoul curse but with greater reanimate it work … so if you propose to make greater reanimate work on living units we have many strong units with problem to solve ….

    #239838

    I’m going to be devil’s advocate for a minute and say that surely a simple solution presents itself in the simple banning of all heroes?

    The obvious answer is that *may* be quite unfun for people.

    I know you’re not being serious, but I’ll still say this is a false equivalence.

    I’d say it’s abotu the difference between strategy and tactics. Your strategic choice should be influenced by your class and race and specialisation choices. It’s fine if heroes influence your tactical choices.

    Heroes give you stuff like: if you have a Theocrat, you’ll be able to put resurgence on your units. If you have a Sorcerer, you can throw around Thunderstorm. If you have a Warlord, you can get a ton of unit buffs. All fun, and all tactics.

    Strategic choices are stuff like: if you have a Necromancer, you can raise the enemy dead and make them work for you, if you have a Dreadnought you can produce tons of powerful long-ranged artillery and win sieges easily, if you have a Sorcerer you’ll be able to cast many, many overland map and summoning spells.

    The issue is that the Convert style abilities let you change your strategy simply by recruiting a hero of your class. Play a warlord but don’t build any units because you’re converting them with your heroes? That doesn’t make sense.

    If you get a Dreadnought Hero, you can summon the occasional siege-engine in tactical battles. But you cannot create an army of them. So having a dreadnought hero gives a neat twist on your usual style of play, but ultimately you’ll still be relying on your class/race stuff 95% of the time. As long as this happens, I think heroes in this game hit a real sweet spot. It’s lots of fun to get different kinds, but not game-breaking.

    If you get a Necromancer Hero, you *can* raise an army of undead ghouls. If you get a Theocrat Hero, you *can* convert unit after unit, getting access to high-tier creatures way before anyone else.

    These heroes are playstyle changing, in ways that dreadnought, warlord, sorcerer or (mostly) Archdruid heroes are not. And that’s a bad thing.

    If I understand your writing correctly, a Necromancer/Theocrat leader on his own would have an advantage, but not an overwhelming one. Or would a Necro leader on his own still present problems?

    Even for leaders, these abilities are bad in that you get them so early the balance is skewed. The first time I was able to ghoul 2 King Reed Serpents with my leader the very turn I got the ability, and an Eldritch Horror 2 turns later, it was fun, but I pretty soon realised it took all the challenge out of the game. Same for theocrat: getting a Fire Giant a few turn into the game is too much.

    So I like Jolly Joker’s suggestion of making these abilities class-research based.

    A Theocrat Hero would *still* give you resurgence all around, *still* give you access to Theocrat spells in combat, and so on, and so forth. He just wouldn’t let you bypass the need to build an army in the early game.

    #239840

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Greater Reanimate makes Ghouls out of the reanimated units, if I’m not completely wrong. So since Dragons can’t become Ghouls, GRD shouldn’t work on them. Bone Dragons are no Ghouls either – if GRD would work on Living and Ghouls only, they wouldn’t eb affected.
    That would leave a couple, but everything that is Convertible should also be Reanimatable – there would be the chance to Raise a Cadaver instead, trying to reanimate a Manticore (just as a conversion might fail).
    Otherwise you can still have a new ability “Immune to Reanimation”.
    However, I think that a combination of tying the ability to a certain tech and raising the cost will be sufficient. After all, these things are not supposed to be totally impossible – they just shouldn’t happen at too early a stage, so tying “critical” abilities to tech is making sure of that (provided Whispers of the Fallen is kept in check).

    EDIT: Yes, Iguana-on-a-stick puts it the way I see it as well.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  Jolly Joker.
    #239844

    The issue is that the Convert style abilities let you change your strategy simply by recruiting a hero of your class. Play a warlord but don’t build any units because you’re converting them with your heroes? That doesn’t make sense.

    So I understood it correctly. No heroes would sidestep that :P. And you are correct in that I was only half serious.

    If you get a Dreadnought Hero, you can summon the occasional siege-engine in tactical battles. But you cannot create an army of them. So having a dreadnought hero gives a neat twist on your usual style of play, but ultimately you’ll still be relying on your class/race stuff 95% of the time. As long as this happens, I think heroes in this game hit a real sweet spot. It’s lots of fun to get different kinds, but not game-breaking.

    More radical, but what if conversion was not permanent? I.e. the unit was converted for the duration of the battle, but reverts to being independent afterwards. You could exploit this in pbem by converting, then fighting again next turn to kill/convert the newly free units, ad nauseum though (but you’d never have an army of them) in which case if they died afterwards (is that possible via modding).

    With ghoul curse, give them (accelerated) decaying, to the extent that you would need 2 Animators per ghouled units to stop them dwindling away, or (if possible) make all ghouled units require mana as upkeep.

    That would put the brakes on massed conversions and massed ghoul armies.

    Necro would need something else to balance it though.

    Even for leaders, these abilities are bad in that you get them so early the balance is skewed

    Currently, there are no new abilities iirc post level 20 for Heroes. Could simply putting these problematic abilities to lvl 16+ solve the issue?

    That said, I know some people can powergame their way to high lvl heroes very early, but tbh that’s something that comes with pbem and I don’t see how you get around that.

    #239849

    Gloweye
    Member

    More radical, but what if conversion was not permanent? I.e. the unit was converted for the duration of the battle, but reverts to being independent afterwards. You could exploit this in pbem by converting, then fighting again next turn to kill/convert the newly free units, ad nauseum though (but you’d never have an army of them) in which case if they died afterwards

    Sounds like a very bad idea to me.

    #239865

    gabthegab
    Member

    JJ, yes this is what i want say with your solution 2) who is very good, GRD can work on living unit who are not immune to mine control . For in fact have the same thing as convert but use in battle only on dead goul unit or dead living unit who have not mind control immunity, the dead unit come back in goul with 50% of hit point or if success resist come back as a cadaver.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  gabthegab.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  gabthegab.
    #240047

    +1. Very good suggestion indeed!

    #240919

    Crivvens
    Member

    Crossposting from the Necro thread:

    It sounds like the problem isn’t the exact arrangement of the Necromancer’s conversion abilities, it’s that conversion abilities in general are kind of busted. As Jolly Joker said, they let you bypass two of the games pillars, or to put it another way, are a fourth game pillar that not everyone has access to. They can also snowball faster than the other pillars, since gaining a converted unit that can itself convert results in even more conversion (a big part of the deathbringer problem). Finally, they’re very micro-dependent, meaning that the AI in random fights can make or break you. So let’s address conversion as a whole:

    1) Snowball effect. “Simple” fix: A converted unit cannot use its conversion effects for X turns. Apply an “Uncertain Loyalty” debuff that prevents them applying conversion effects until you’ve both decided you’re OK with each other.

    2) Bypassing game pillars: The “Uncertain Loyalty” debuff from above should also increase their maintenance costs, until it wears off. You still have to pay for them, conversion just lets you do it on an installment plan. Economy no longer bypassed.

    3) Letting everyone play a bit in the conversion game would reduce the impact of those that specialise in it. We have alignment and racial happiness, why not put them to use? If any class rocks on up to an independent stack where (alignment + racial happiness) compatibility is above a minimum, the qualifying units (possibly not the whole stack) offer to join you, for a fee. The better the alignment/racial happiness compatibility the cheaper it is.

    4) Micro-dependent: With the max potential benefits reduced by the above, the Necromancer and Theocrat would be due for some minor buffs, bringing their baseline minimum effectiveness up and (due to the above) their maximum exploitable effectiveness down. They’d still be at a bit of a disadvantage/advantage in RT/PbE, but it would reduced enough that more targeted suggestions would have bigger impacts.

    #240980

    Speed
    Member

    Few ideas…

    1.Restrict some “unique and powerful” abilities from heroes to leaders only, so for example only theocrat leaders can convert

    2.Move converting abilities to higher level like 11-15

    3.Nerf resistance checks for conversion abilities

    4.Nerf Inflict Despair because its 100% for any conversion(for example divide it into 2 status effects, one stacking same as original without spirit debuff and another not stacking spirit debuff of like 20-60%)

    5.Give something like Rapid Decay to ALL GHOULS that are not embalmed.

    #240988

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I think I had an eye-opener yesterday. I manualed a battle that was (should have been) easy, but with a Hero and a unit being able to Charm I tried my luck – and lost two units for my efforts (not the charmers).

    On the other hand I’ve been time-and-again manualing Libraries with Evangelists and lost a unit to conversion, only to get it back by killing the converter.

    You may debate whether the attack strength of Charm, Seduce and Convert is right (you might reduce seduce and convert by 1) (and Befriend Animal and Control Undead which isn’t really good, actually), but look at the main pillars:
    a) there is an attack strength;
    b) there is a once-per-combat limit.

    GRU has a once-per limit, plus it’s Heroes only, plus it’s undead only – but it works always; GRU would be a great ability if it had an attack strength like Convert for enemies, but as it is, the ability simply must be moved.

    Inflict Ghoul curse, though, on a hero with Level 9, is totally out of all bounds; no combat limit, and an attack strength of 11. It’s not even the hero who needs Inflict Despair; at the time you get it, you have a couple of Reanimators who will do that for you, and Banshees who may wail some.

    I’ve been making a mod trying to address all this, leaving special Necro fascination in place, but it’s difficult, since some things are hard-coded, and if there is no existing pattern model for an ability the way you’d need it, then you can’t mod it the way you want.

    One thing is clear, though: making Ghoul Curse like a standard conversion ability (for heroes, not for DBs) would somewhat spoil the fun.

    My solution at this stage was to change the ability into a defense shield. This means, whenever an enemy unit touches or melee-attacks or retaliate or opportunity hits a hero with the ability it has to undergo the ghoul curse check (conversion having effect only after battle). The thing is, though, that if the check is unsuccessful, the enemy gets Righteous Zeal, giving it +3 fire and +3 shock for the rest of combat (an alternative would be Touched by Faith which would give a moral and Resistance Boost).
    However – Righteous Zeal makes things dangerous. Imagine the situation: You attack a site with a King Shock Serpent. Of course, Ghouling the Shock Serpent, a T4, would be great, however, to do so, the Serpent must hit your hero (or: you must let the Serpent hit your hero); that means, you cannot ghoul curse it with a flanking attack. So you must either attack it from the front ot let your hero be attacked – both very unsavory options, especially with the additional damage the beast will do, if ghoul curse fails.

    Which means, you must also groom your Necromancer hero to be a really tough guy.

    The second problem is, that there are numerous ways to decrease Resistance for Necro (and Morale and Speed and whatever); Inflict Curse, Inflict Enfeebling Fever, Energy Drain, Inflict Despair.

    Still, if you see the effect Iron Grip has on a town and what you will gain through all kinds of Festivals – PLUS, you have two units with conversion abilities and your heroes can get one as well – it’s not wrong, Necro can get their own ways of collecting units, it’s just a matter of time and numbers.

    I mean, you don’t want Necro AI being a pushover, and you also don’t want a big difference between MP and PBEM – but we all want Classes to play different. 🙂

    #241694

    Diseenith
    Member

    I was going to say something on this myself and make a thread, but noticed this one before I did.

    I play exclusively single player and honestly feel like conversion is the most annoying mechanic in this game. It feels difficult to deal with defensively, and broken as heck offensively. It also feels incredibly RNG given its power. Lastly, although the AI doesn’t utilize it as much, it feels weird being able to just take 2-3 conversion units and simply make a free army from independents.

    Personally, I think conversion should not be usable on an enemy above the tier of the unit using it (so succubi can’t convert tier IV, but eldritch horrors can dominate). In addition it could be 100% chance to convert unless immune, but 100% chance to dispel + unit is not kept after combat unless it is 2 tiers lower than the converter (Or just not at all). This would make conversion units really powerful, but easily countered by support units and not able to snowball out of control. For reanimate I personally feel its fine as necromancers innately need to supplement their army on the go but ghoul curse feels incredibly overpowering.

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