Summoning Mechanics

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Summoning Mechanics

This topic contains 37 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  ExNihil 6 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #220305

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hi guys,

    Since I like playing Sorcerer and AD quite a bit, I find some aspects of summoning to be problematic.

    True, Summoning offers an advantage by being casted ‘on the go’, allowing the summoner to produce its new unit on the strategic map directly as long as a hero/leader is present. But this advantage is mitigated and balanced by two factors: Summoning works only in a single channel, and 1 unit at a time, which for the most part means you are able to produce a single unit at a time this way – until you got a shitload of CP/mana and are summoning relatively low CP cost units or have Age of Magic running in the very late game as Sorcerer. At the same time, Summoning appears on the strategic map even through fog of war and without any nearby units – thus working as a sort of radar event showing where an opposing leader/hero is.

    My first request is to limit the appearnace of summoning to opposing players somehow – I dig the fact summoning shows up even with fog of war, but not the fact thats its not restricted by distance from units. I would like to ask that this is limited to a certain hex range from an opponents nearest city/hero/leader or even unit. I would further like to suggest that some cosmic events would completely hide summoning on the strategic map, thus giving a small situational edge to summoners. Finally – I dunno how stack invisibility works with this, but I suspect it has no impact. If this is indeed the case, I’d like to suggest that when summoning to an invisible stack the summoning will either be itself invisible or dramatically more difficult to detect.

    The second this I find problematic is the substantial lack of upgrades to Summoned units. This is more serious than the first one, and it really hearts some of the fun playing these classes. Basically there is only a single MCU upgrade that affects summoned units specifically – Arcane Catalyst, giving them +1 rank and supercharged, and Library of the Dark Arts also affects summoned Monster Units, which is more significant for AD (most t2 and t3 summons) but also works on Fantastic Creatures (except Gryphons, which I hope will be moved out from there) and Node Serpent, giving them Fear Strike. Additionally all the alignment city spells can affect Summons as well, but no Heart Structures bonus is available at all.

    Given the fact that in order to receive the few upgrades that do exist already the summoner needs to summon the unit directly to the domain of the city in which the respective MCU is built and/or an alignment city spell is active, I think there is already a very powerful balancing mechanism in effect here. After all, summoning into a domain is for the most part a rather powerful negation of the main advantage of summoning, which is summoning on the go, disengaged from city production and logistical lines of communication.

    I would like to request/suggest a few things here – hoping that some or all will be included:

    1. Some summoned units have extra labels for which MCU upgrad, examples being Phantasm Warrior with the Infantry Label, Wisps with the Fey label, many AD summons with the animal label (cf. serpents, even high tier ones, and gryphons), OFC many summons with the monster label, and Horned God with the Giant label. (a) I would like to ask that PW be affected by upgrades that affect the Infantry label when summoned to the domain, or at least some of them. (b) I think in general Dwellings should be affected by at least some MCU upgrades, but even without that, I would like to ask that at least Animals also receive some MCU upgrades.

    2. I would like Heart Structure bonuses to also affect summoned units, either through their direct bonus, or by giving a secondary effect to summoned units.

    3. The t2/3 class buildings for summoners are pretty much worthless. AD does unlock Shaman on t2, but the bonuses these give are pretty ridiculous and no-one really benefits from using these. I would like to suggest that these buildings act as a unit upgrading local – if you build, for example, a Wizard Academy, and summon a unit to the domain, it will receive an MCU like upgrade.

    Now, final bit- basically by opening up more MCU options, class building summon upgrades and perhaps also heart upgrades, a summoner player will have a choice – either summon on the go, and forgo the upgrade, or summon to a domain and receive the upgrade, foregoing the advantage of summoning on the strategic map. This is already balanced, and I don’t see any down side to this (perhaps others will OFC) – it will enhance the fun of playing these classes (as well as Necro I daresay and anyone else who dual channels Elementals / specialization summons), enrich the content and open up new interesting strategic possibilities.

    Please pitch in with ideas, critiques (not that I need asking 🙂 ) and perhaps some support as well!

    #220327

    Ericridge
    Member

    Summoning units being summoned inside the domain of heart probably should get the heart buff at very least.

    I’m just not sure if slaughter pits etc should apply to summons because the upgrades represent improved equipment, better training etc.

    And summons is units that got called onto the spot with all the knowledge needed to function their job automatically. However I do see a way.. all the summoned units that wish to gain killing momentum from dungeon etc, should at least spend a turn training in that domain before it gains the trait.

    #220362

    ExNihil
    Member

    It is about unit labels, no summon is irregular iirc for example, so no mernenary camp bonus anyhow.

    Options are: summon label, magical origin label, monster label, fey label, giant label, infantry label.

    #220392

    Dr_K
    Member

    Library of the Dark Arts also affects summoned Monster Units, which is more significant for AD (most t2 and t3 summons)

    What? Since when is ‘one’ summon (Cockatrice) equivalent to ‘most’?

    Much more significant for sorcerer. Nearly useless for AD.

    Options are: summon label, magical origin label, monster label, fey label, giant label, infantry label.

    In addition to machine, support, pikeman, armored and non-MCU classifications, Undead, elemental, dragons.

    I don’t believe that the MCU on summons is inherently balanced. The T4 specialization summons don’t really need those kind of buffs, and the only units affected that aren’t sea creatures would be Phantasm Warriors, Lost Souls, Cherubs, and Spy Drones. Phantasm warriors could be affected and probably not upset the balance, but I don’t think that scouts with Fear Strike/Killing Momentum & +2 melee or +10 HP at recruit are necessarily balanced.

    #220397

    Gloweye
    Member

    I must say I like the idea of giving some more MCU advantages to summons – after all, it’s an awesome mechanic and they’re somewhat left out.

    Hearts affecting them sounds OK to me. Further, I’d say have all MCU affect summons as well as produced units, and see how it goes – that will leave most animals out, but maybe the Druid 3rd class building can give them something – Awakened, maybe? Would warrant a cost increase though..

    #220402

    ExNihil
    Member

    What? Since when is ‘one’ summon (Cockatrice) equivalent to ‘most’?

    Much more significant for sorcerer. Nearly useless for AD.

    Got a point there, was sure a few more of ’em were monsters. Perhaps they actually should beonsters to benefit from this, examples being spider queens, huge fucking snakes, dire creatures and so forth.

    In addition to machine, support, pikeman, armored and non-MCU classifications, Undead, elemental, dragons.

    I don’t believe that the MCU on summons is inherently balanced. The T4 specialization summons don’t really needț those kind of buffs, and the only units affected that aren’t sea creatures would be Phantasm Warriors, Lost Souls, Cherubs, and Spy Drones. Phantasm warriors could be affected and probably not upset the balance, but I don’t think that scouts with Fear Strike/Killing Momentum & +2 melee or +10 HP at recruit are necessarily balanced.

    You misunderstood, I was enumerating the existing labels on summoned units that could potentially be used to grant MCU upgrades. I also didn’t propose that all summons would receive all upgrades. For example, it is easy to grant only Phantasm Warrior the library if dark arts bonus by including infantry in the summon in domain bonus. It is easy to grant only wisps a bonus by including fey in some MCU, and cherubs through devout and so forth. In fact summons always have multiple labels.that allow for these kind of tweaks and adjustments.

    Other labels of interest: floating, flying, incorporeal, machine, undead, which could be used to tweak this further.

    #220403

    ExNihil
    Member

    Further, I’d say have all MCU affect summons as well as produced units, and see how it goes – that will leave most animals out, but maybe the Druid 3rd class building can give them something – Awakened, maybe? Would warrant a cost increase though..

    I’d like to see this as an animal equivalent of embalmer’s guild maybe, or perhaps indeed as an MCU alternative. Another option is have these buildings grant a garrison bonus to summons, by which I also mean Sorcerer and Necro buildings optionally.

    #220405

    Dr_K
    Member

    Got a point there, was sure a few more of ’em were monsters. Perhaps they actually should beonsters to benefit from this, examples being spider queens, huge fucking snakes, dire creatures and so forth.

    They used to be, but got changed to animals around GR release.

    For example, it is easy to grant only Phantasm Warrior the library if dark arts bonus by including infantry in the summon in domain bonus.

    No it isn’t. That is exactly the problem I mentioned. Cherubs and Lost Souls are infantry too and would get the bonus if what you suggest was implemented.

    #220410

    ExNihil
    Member

    Very easy to resolve: Sorcerer units got Summon AND Magical Origin. Cherub isn’t neither if iirc and Necro units got Undead and Incorporeal instead iirc. Simply limit this to magical origin / summon + infantry.

    Furthermore: Infantry on Cherub and Lost Soul is completely redundant AND inappropriate, simple solution- remove it.

    Point is- its actually not difficult to work around with multiple labels.

    #220411

    Gloweye
    Member

    Point is- its actually not difficult to work around with multiple labels.

    But it’s very confusing, and not as neat.

    Removing the Infantry label on those two could of course work.

    Currently, Sorc T3 class building grants a medal. IMO, this is a very good starting point.

    #220416

    ExNihil
    Member

    IMO the t2 Sorcerer building is close to useless – as Sorcerer you almost never need to horde mana because you can almost never actually afford to, and when you can afford to you are generating so much mana that there is no point in hording it really. You need to first build this rather worthless building for 50g/100mana, which is a hefty sum for Sorcerer, and than build the t3 building for another 50g/200mana to get a medal on a unit that you need to summon to the domain. This isn’t even close to cutting it IMO. What I’d like to see is the medal being moved to the t2 building and something new introduced on the t3 building.

    #220417

    ExNihil
    Member

    The AD buildings in comparison are much better – t2 granting +100 pop growth, and the t3 granting +100 mana storage and +20 mana, both for 50g/100m (is this correct?!)

    #220419

    Wallthing
    Member

    This isn’t very summoning-related but I’ve personally always thought it would be sorcerer-y to have a building that let a sorcerer cast spells at in-battle costs while at his throne or maybe highly upgraded city. Not sure this is a sane idea with Age of Magic floating around, though. (I rarely like abilities that halve costs in games – they always throw up balance problems somewhere down the line.)

    I’m not sure I agree with removing the Infantry label from Lost Souls – that’s how they are used half the time & it would remove their life stealing.

    MCUs are disappointing when playing a summoner, that I agree with.

    #220442

    Let’s keep the tags as they are for the moment. Lost souls need their life stealing. Hearts working for summons is fine and dandy, but I think more than that is not needed for the mcu.

    As for the ultimate class buildings, that is an area where there could be improvement. The sorc has theirs, the rogue has its elemental medal (unlocked for summons would be a nice change), and the AD could use a small morale and or defense resistance buff (like 100 morale and 1 def/resistance) only for summons with the top tree.

    #220455

    ExNihil
    Member

    Is vampiric hunger limited to infantry somehow? As far as I can say it works on the undead label directly.

    #220456

    ExNihil
    Member

    It’s not a problem really, you change the description of the tech to summoned Monster and Infantry units receive xxx…. Does Lost Soul receive Summon? I don’t think so, or arcane binding would work against it.

    #220460

    Gloweye
    Member

    Is vampiric hunger limited to infantry somehow? As far as I can say it works on the undead label directly.

    Dual requirement, actually.

    http://age-of-wonders-3.wikia.com/wiki/Template:Vampiric_Hunger

    We keep that Wiki for a reason. Part of that reason is so that you don’t have to fire up the game when you want to check something…

    Does Lost Soul receive Summon? I don’t think so, or arcane binding would work against it.

    Every summon spell on the Strategic Map removed all Dedicated to …abilities(Exceptions are the Angels), and give Summoned. All tactical Combat map summons give Combat Summon instead. Hence, Arcane Binding should work against them AFAIK. I even think it trumps the Undead mind control restrictions, though I’m not 100% on that. If it doesn’t work, it’s because of the Undead label, not the summoned one.

    #220473

    Dr_K
    Member

    It’s not a problem really, you change the description of the tech to summoned Monster and Infantry units receive xxx…. Does Lost Soul receive Summon? I don’t think so, or arcane binding would work against it.

    Yes it is. You might as well just apply it to “Monsters and Phantasm Warriors that are summoned…”

    Saying it applies to infantry and then removing infantry from Lost Souls and Cherubs is a flat out nerf to both units for a flavor buff to a unit which has been continually nerfed. More a loss for the Lost Souls than the Cherubs.

    And that still doesn’t solve the problem either since it will apply to the Fallen Angel as well, which does not really need this type of buff.

    The best option to give more flavor to summoning with MCU would be to create a new one or change an old one to only apply to summoned units which is more prevalent than the Arcane Catalyst/Library of the Dark Arts.

    #220476

    ExNihil
    Member

    @gloweye, I was using a phone and the wiki is difficult for me using it, so was running from memory. Then immediately edited the post, but you quoted it nonetheless.

    A. How the hell do Cherubs benefit from infantry? I can’t see any reason, perhaps I’m missing something.

    B. This isn’t a flavor buff, this is the inclusion of MCU upgrades for Sorcerer. Summoned Monster units anyhow receive the library of the dark arts bonus to begin with.

    C. It’s still possible to resolve with lost souls, simply make them into “pikeman” unit instead, this will in no way actually affect any other aspect of the game at all as far as I can say.

    D. Another simple option is to create a “scout” label and simply give it to lost souls, including this in the vampiric hunger tech. This will anyhow be a useful addition I’d say as it will allows some specific ways to address or exclude scouting units.

    E. Also possible to use the magical origin + infantry label to bypass this, although this is less elegant, something like “monster and infantry of magical origin units summoned in the domain of a city with library of dark arts receive fear strike” could be an apt description, and it could be easily tweaked.

    Now, what are you actually arguing against? The impossibility of change? If the devs wish to make this work there are any number of ways in which they can resolve this with varying degrees of ease using the existing system or by introducing small changes. Is there actually a reason why Phantasm Warrior, which is actually an INFANTRY unit of sorts, shouldn’t receive *some* infantry upgrades from MCUs? I still haven’t read any such a reason by any of you. Unless you actually have something to say on this point, why get so attached to something I wrote as the secondary clause of a secondary clause? I’ll leave you with that thought.

    #220479

    ExNihil
    Member

    The best option to give more flavor to summoning with MCU would be to create a new one or change an old one to only apply to summoned units which is more prevalent than the Arcane Catalyst/Library of the Dark Arts.

    Sure thing, this is the main point. I’m interested in what options are there.

    #220498

    Dr_K
    Member

    A. How the hell do Cherubs benefit from infantry? I can’t see any reason, perhaps I’m missing something.

    Order of the Templar Knights and Great Purge directly affect it. Partisan specialization also applies to it.

    B. This isn’t a flavor buff, this is the inclusion of MCU upgrades for Sorcerer. Summoned Monster units anyhow receive the library of the dark arts bonus to begin with.

    It is a flavor buff. You are suggesting it because you want it, not because it is necessary. It gives the sorcerer the option to buff their Phantasm Warriors if they so choose. Therefore, a flavor buff.

    Sorcerer already has access to all possible upgrades. Having most of your class units primarily as summons does not prevent you from using them. Also, all class units that the sorcerer uses currently get very good upgrades, even though the main two are rarer.

    C. It’s still possible to resolve with lost souls, simply make them into “pikeman” unit instead, this will in no way actually affect any other aspect of the game at all as far as I can say.

    That really just makes the situation worse and excessively buffs Lost Souls. Pikeman implies First Strike, Polearm, and Pike Square. I don’t think there are any examples where implied attributes have been removed since incorporeal infantry still have Wall Climbing.

    E. Also possible to use the magical origin + infantry label to bypass this, although this is less elegant, something like “monster and infantry of magical origin units summoned in the domain of a city with library of dark arts receive fear strike” could be an apt description, and it could be easily tweaked.

    I already mentioned the problem with that. Fallen Angel is a magical origin infantry unit. I don’t think it needs any MCUs like Library of the Dark Arts or Slaughter Pit

    Is there actually a reason why Phantasm Warrior, which is actually an INFANTRY unit of sorts, shouldn’t receive *some* infantry upgrades from MCUs? I still haven’t read any such a reason by any of you.

    Yes, Ericridge gave it already and a suggested work around, which I do not like, but nonetheless you have a reason.

    Now, what are you actually arguing against? The impossibility of change? If the devs wish to make this work there are any number of ways in which they can resolve this with varying degrees of ease using the existing system or by introducing small changes.

    Originally, the direct application of MCUs to summons as in your example, but we’ve had to digress due to your misunderstandings about a couple of units and the way that the classification system works right now.

    Of course the devs can fix it if they wish, but these types of changes are not ones that I particularly like. Reclassifying a handful of units and having to change all of the spells and upgrades to work around that for a little bit of flavor to a single unit just sounds like an awful tradeoff. Maybe they have a quick fix for something like this, but I’ve seen nothing in favor of that and thus assume it is unlikely. Maybe it is just worthwhile to add it to the list and have the MCU apply to a specific unit and not a classification.

    In any case, I think it would probably be better to avoid trying to shoehorn units into the old MCUs and work with different changes.

    Adding choices of mutually exclusive upgrades would be nice and help with the “fun” aspect. For example: Lost Libraries could just be left forgotten and made into a Wildlife Refuge (already taken I know) or the Academy of Magic as it currently is. The Crystal Tree would probably be a good one for something to do with magical origins/summons as an alternative to the Enchanted Armory.

    #220504

    Fenraellis
    Member

    2. I would like Heart Structure bonuses to also affect summoned units, either through their direct bonus, or by giving a secondary effect to summoned units.

    A fitting solution, and one that has been proposed before, due to Hearts being inherently magical. It would be nice if something happened, though. Well, that and a tweak to Wild Magic passive bonuses.

    3. The t2/3 class buildings for summoners are pretty much worthless. AD does unlock Shaman on t2, but the bonuses these give are pretty ridiculous and no-one really benefits from using these. I would like to suggest that these buildings act as a unit upgrading local – if you build, for example, a Wizard Academy, and summon a unit to the domain, it will receive an MCU like upgrade.

    Shaman is actually unlocked with the T1 building, although I have proposed before about possibly unlocking it with the T2 building.

    Well, others discussed it, but I somewhat agree, as due to not unlocking further units, the bonuses are rather lackluster, aside from Archdruid T3 building.

    That really just makes the situation worse and excessively buffs Lost Souls. Pikeman implies First Strike, Polearm, and Pike Square. I don’t think there are any examples where implied attributes have been removed since incorporeal infantry still have Wall Climbing.

    …and Overwhelm vulnerability, I suppose, since one of the trigger is the “Pikeman” tag.

    #220538

    ExNihil
    Member

    Goddamn this phone and micorosoft!

    Wrote a long post on the phone and it didn’t post. Will try again shorter.

    Does fallen angel need the magical origin label? If not it could be removed and the summon label will be enough.

    Pikeman doesn’t bring all the skills with it, it “implies” them but they need to be added separately. Overwhelm would indeed work against lost souls than, but that’s all.

    All in all a scout label is probably a necessary addition because the current system is too constrictive.

    Cherubs have inherent devout, so Order of the Knights Templar is not necessary. Great Purge and Partisan are more difficult OFC, but again a scout label would solve the first with ease, and the second with some difficulty – requiring the specific addition of cherubs and lost souls there, if it is decided that in fact these units should receive this specialization (not so sure they are actually intended to work with it conceptually).

    If PW is what is discussed than the best solution is still the magical origin + infantry tags, given that magical origin can be removed with no issues from fallen angel.

    In any case, I think it would probably be better to avoid trying to shoehorn units into the old MCUs and work with different changes.

    Adding choices of mutually exclusive upgrades would be nice and help with the “fun” aspect. For example: Lost Libraries could just be left forgotten and made into a Wildlife Refuge (already taken I know) or the Academy of Magic as it currently is. The Crystal Tree would probably be a good one for something to do with magical origins/summons as an alternative to the Enchanted Armory.

    Sure thing, I agree, it would though still require some elaboration and rebalance of the present labels on some units to be able to control more precisely which units receive which upgrades. Although I would like to avoid this, it seems that a mapping of the labels on summonable units needs to take place to see what’s what. Mind giving me a hand?

    #220552

    Gloweye
    Member

    Pikeman doesn’t bring all the skills with it, it “implies” them but they need to be added separately.

    Wrong.

    Anyway, I think other things maybe could be done – I like the idea of more MCU’s working on summons, and I don’t think it needs a rework like that. Maybe even pull out that old Idea I had that would enable a unit to “train” in a certain city, losing other Mystical City Upgrades it might have and gain that city’s – which might work on summoned troops as well.

    #220596

    ExNihil
    Member

    How do you know I’m wrong? All pike units receive the perks through separate labels, and Black Knight receives polearm for example without pikeman.

    As for Fallen Angel- currently the magical origin label doesn’t have any effect here at all since Arcane Binding works on the Summon Label as well.

    This resolves the PW issue IMO satisfactorily.

    Now I am for MCU/Class building upgrades/heart upgrades for all or most summoned units in the game, perhaps but not necessarily excluding t4 alignment summons but including t4 and t3 class summons as well elementals.

    #220600

    Dr_K
    Member

    Cherubs have inherent devout, so Order of the Knights Templar is not necessary.

    Yes, but they do get +20 spirit protection from that. It’s an easy work around to just add it inherently, but then again a straight buff to the unit.

    As for Fallen Angel- currently the magical origin label doesn’t have any effect here at all since Arcane Binding works on the Summon Label as well.

    It actually allows players with access to Arcane Binding to acquire all 3 angels from different exploration sites, unless they’ve been removed from guard spawns. Of the 3, Fallen Angel is the only one that I am completely sure spawns as a guard.

    How do you know I’m wrong? All pike units receive the perks through separate labels, and Black Knight receives polearm for example without pikeman.

    We know you are wrong because the in-game data from unit abilities screens contradicts you. Every ability gives its origin when you hover over it in-game. It has behaved like this since the game was released.

    Pikemen do not receive those labels separately, and units with Polearm are not a counter-example. Go hover over Polearm, Pike Square, and First Strike on a pikeman classified unit. Pikeman implies Pike Square, First Strike, and Polearm, but neither Polearm nor First Strike implies Pikeman. We can assume Pike Square behaves similarly, but can’t verify since I don’t think any units have Pike Square by itself.

    Although I would like to avoid this, it seems that a mapping of the labels on summonable units needs to take place to see what’s what. Mind giving me a hand?

    I have a spreadsheet with most of the classifications listed that I could probably pretty-up and update for EL and post it later today. There is some of this on the table of wonders, but it is definitely incorrect/not comprehensive since it hasn’t been updated since GR/1.4 release.

    #220613

    ExNihil
    Member

    I have a spreadsheet with most of the classifications listed that I could probably pretty-up and update for EL and post it later today. There is some of this on the table of wonders, but it is definitely incorrect/not comprehensive since it hasn’t been updated since GR/1.4 release.

    That would be good!

    #220650

    SiaFu
    Member

    I had started adapting the info from Tables of Wonders for units using a template I’d made ages ago for AoW1.
    I stopped when AoW3UnitDB went live so I’ve mostly just entered basic info for Necro units (HP, resistances and such).

    I’ve attached the spreadsheet ZIPped. Feel free to fill it in and post again.

    Attachments:
    1. AoW3-Units-v18.zip
    #220686

    Dr_K
    Member

    That would be good!

    Here it is. Not color coded or very detailed, but it should list all possible strategic summons with their “classifications.” I think I updated everything correctly, but there may be omissions or mistakes.

    #220693

    Taykor
    Member

    It actually allows players with access to Arcane Binding to acquire all 3 angels from different exploration sites, unless they’ve been removed from guard spawns. Of the 3, Fallen Angel is the only one that I am completely sure spawns as a guard.

    No, it doesn’t. Arcane Binding KILLS controlled units at the end of battle. You can’t use it to acquire units at all.
    Chtonic Guardian is a very frequent guard, btw. But I think I actually haven’t seen Archangel anywhere.

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