Support Units Balance Discussion

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Support Units Balance Discussion

This topic contains 37 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  chrysophylax páuperem 7 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #115724

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hey folks,

    I’m posting on this topic because it seems to come up in every balancing thread pretty much. Let me qoute something @snezak wrote in the THEOCRAT Balance Discussion which touches upon the so called Support-Meta:

    ATM the supports are used more as combat units rather as a unit made to actually support and enforce actual combat units, in the regard that they deal quite a good damage besides the ability to give buffs, and utility they can obtain from various classes, frankly most people given the choice of build a T2 cavalry or a T2 support, would at most scenarios build the support. I believe the purpose the of the support units simply… went astray? To put it simply, lets take an MMORPG class-role system, usually you have the holy trinity: Tank-Damage Dealer-Healer, in the case of AoW3 the supports actually play the role of both healer and damage dealer, and in some cases (with upgrades/spells) even the the role of tank.

    There is no doubt that Support units are one of the most useful units in the game at the moment, and IMO as @snezak says they are defintly serving as damage dealers to a great extant. Although apparently the production of racial support units will be moved to the Temple in the coming patch (is this verified or just a rumor?), I do believe this will not substantially change this situation at all but will only slow it down slightly. Although in the early to early mid-game racial Cavalry units are useful they lose this usefulness by late mid-game when t3 units become increasingly dominant. In comparison the racial support units keep their usefulness throughout the game, first through their support abilities and second through their ranged attack, which is based on elemental damage rolled against the resistance modifier rather then physical, thus guaranteeing higher effectiveness over-all relative to strict physical damage (unless we are talking about blight damage here, see the relevant thread). As such t2 support units are simply a better investment of resources.

    If the plan is to reduce the use of support units the only viable solution in my opinion is to drastically nerf their ranged capabilities and at the same time increase their over-all support abilities. This is of course relative to the support unit- Forge Priests and Human Priests have a heal like ability which is very useful, other racial units don’t possess this ability. The Goblin’s Blight Doctor Weakening Touch for instance is a rather shoddy ability that requires that the Blight Doctor be within melee ranged of its target. Thus some supports need more buffing to their abilities than others.

    What do you guys think?

    Race Threads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Class Threads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Topical Threads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And of course the original monster:

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

    #115732

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Yes, it’s official: Tombles said in the exp-thread:

    5) Yes, in our internal build support units come from the temple, shrines are a bit cheaper and the laboratory gives support units a medal.

    They currently dominate only due to their natural availability via the mana-giver Shrine, since not only is the Temple an additional building that is currently build later than earlier, since there are more important ones, you will have less of them available in conquered, bought or joining towns.

    Should they after the patch still play such a predominant role, you may simple increase the mana portion (and decrease gold portion, say, 60/30: while Mana is somewhat controlling things here, more mana costs would naturally limit building them.

    #115736

    Sunicle
    Member

    There are games where support units just stand in the back row and you skip their turn if you’re fighting units aren’t hurt. I do like the fact the support units in AoW have offensive capabilities, it increases the tactical choices.

    If believe the primary reason to build the support units is still support, even when those purely supportive abilities can only be used once per battle, like often is the case. For offense you’re still better off building purely military units.
    So I think this balance between offense and support in support units is fine.

    It looks like the support units will come a little bit later in play now, looking at what the developers are working on, but also that the purely supportive functions are becoming stronger.
    When the developers are looking at balance, they’re not just looking at whether one racial support unit is equal to a support unit of another race, they’re looking at the strength of a race as a whole. Deliberately some support units are turning out better than other support units, depending on whether the developers thought that race needed a boost or not. Look out for something extra for at least the human priest!

    #115774

    Ricminator
    Member

    Well I like the way supports are now. Mind you I do like the move from shrine to temple but I would NOT nerve them further. I think of them as supportive of the meleefighters by damaging their targets from range. So they have an easier time finishing them.

    Especially since there are less high tiered archer units. If you think of the triangle : archer-melee-cavalry, then an melee unit should loose against an archer. And that is not the case here in AOW3. An archer versus orc shocktrooper is a lost game for the archer. Not because he is an archer, but because he is t1 where shocktrooper is t3.

    So for the triangle balance you need the supports to take that role.

    #115776

    Althea
    Member

    I agree with Sunicle and Ricminator.

    There is no need to nerf them further, actually some race support unit is slightly better than other race, but said race usually have better non support units.

    But all support units actually fill their role as support. They need to have offensive capabilities, because they are like archer with elemental damage for each race. I’m most familiar with draconian race, i still use draconian elder even in late game not because of their ranged attack, actually just like Sunicle said, they often just give buff and then stand still in a safe place, especially in siege battle, however in early game, i really need their elemental damage to deal with specific situation, i.e undead spawn from boneyard.

    And the fact that we need temple to produce support unit is already enough as a nerf.

    #115780

    Jomungur
    Member

    Let’s see what happens with the pushback to temple first. It will be harder for secondary cities on the RMG to build supports, because unlike now, where in those cities you often have to build a barracks + war hall to make cavalry vs. only shrines to make priests. Post-patch, it will be a tougher choice as the barracks line also leads to tier 3 units.

    The other issue which hasn’t been mentioned is that supports by themselves fade in their usefulness as the game progresses. They are slow and they are bad at sieging cities. By themselves, they lose handily to an equal number of cavalry. However, certain class skills make supports some of the most cost efficient units.

    Sorcerers can make their supports viable late game by giving them phase (which makes them great city attackers) and inflict stun (which is useful even vs. tier 4s). Druids can make their supports as fast as cavalry, making the question of cavalry vs. supports moot for them. Theocrats, of course, give their supports the healing ability which makes them useful throughout the game. One of the reason you see so many supports is because these classes are some of the most popular online right now (but which is the cause and which is the effect?) and they synergize with support units.

    Cavalry are improved by thoroughbred mounts and side arms, which is why for warlords and dreads you will see people use cavalry more. Still, inflict stun is more useful than either of these skills, and thoroughbred mounts usually comes quite late.

    #115790

    terrahero
    Member

    I agree with the idea that Support units have kind of gone overboard in the offensive department.
    I’d suggest Support units need to get their damage toned down a bit. If you want ranged damage you want Archer-type units.

    Quickly glancing at Human Archer and Human Priest, the priest has the same damage as the archer. More resistance, more health. A support skill, and it gets two bonus skills from ranking up. 60% spirit protection, True Sight. And its defense isnt hinged on Armored, which can be countered by certain spells.
    Also being a tier2 it scales much better from ranking up statwise aswell.

    And how much more expensive would that vastly superior “Support” unit be? A mere 20mana more. And considering you build a mana-producing building to access the Priest it practically covers its own extra cost.
    So im not convinced moving Support to Temples alone will be a significant enough change. But we’ll see how testing turns out.

    #115810

    shifted
    Member

    And Sorcerers can still get to Apprentices just as quickly, and are still the reason supports are so popular? I hope these aren’t all of the incoming changes that are relevant to the issue.

    Nobody leans on supports like Sorc, but by nerfing supports for everyone you ironically leave Sorc the most untouched. They still have Apprentices, they usually prioritize those buildings anyways, and now any other class that wants non-op supports will take a hit. I think this is indirectly making the situation worse, unless like I said there are more changes.

    Edit: Terraho, you’re comparing T2 to T1 which isn’t something you can do with this game. If you compare them to other T2, then saying they’re about equal with a T1 archer sounds about right for support imo.

    Priest also costs twice the upkeep of an Archer just to point it out. Initial cost is a drop in the hat compared to the total cost of owning the unit for the entire game.

    #115825

    Jomungur
    Member

    Nobody leans on supports like Sorc, but by nerfing supports for everyone you ironically leave Sorc the most untouched. They still have Apprentices, they usually prioritize those buildings anyways, and now any other class that wants non-op supports will take a hit. I think this is indirectly making the situation worse, unless like I said there are more changes.

    Well, apprentices are more expensive than priests and hard to get out as quickly. I think it will be ok from that perspective. In secondary cities you’ll have to build the sorcerer conflux, which doesn’t give you the mana benefits of the shrine, which a lot of people will feel isn’t worth it in MP anyway.

    I think the way this change will help indirectly sorcerers is different- by having fewer supports in the early game, you make wisps and phantom warriors more powerful because there’s less access to elemental attack types in the early game. Still, I think it’s worth it as the way it is right now is too support friendly.

    #115853

    Althea
    Member

    Let’s see what happens with the pushback to temple first. It will be harder for secondary cities on the RMG to build supports, because unlike now, where in those cities you often have to build a barracks + war hall to make cavalry vs. only shrines to make priests. Post-patch, it will be a tougher choice as the barracks line also leads to tier 3 units.
    The other issue which hasn’t been mentioned is that supports by themselves fade in their usefulness as the game progresses. They are slow and they are bad at sieging cities. By themselves, they lose handily to an equal number of cavalry. However, certain class skills make supports some of the most cost efficient units.

    Sorcerers can make their supports viable late game by giving them phase (which makes them great city attackers) and inflict stun (which is useful even vs. tier 4s). Druids can make their supports as fast as cavalry, making the question of cavalry vs. supports moot for them. Theocrats, of course, give their supports the healing ability which makes them useful throughout the game. One of the reason you see so many supports is because these classes are some of the most popular online right now (but which is the cause and which is the effect?) and they synergize with support units.

    Cavalry are improved by thoroughbred mounts and side arms, which is why for warlords and dreads you will see people use cavalry more. Still, inflict stun is more useful than either of these skills, and thoroughbred mounts usually comes quite late.

    +1

    This pretty much explain the whole situation.

    It’s natural for magic focused class to use support unit more than non magic focused class. Magic focused class: sorcerer, archdruid, theocrat. Theocrat is more of a hybrid actually, but it lean more on magic so i consider theocrat magic focused class.

    Support unit is supposed to be the unit version of the mage hero.

    I think just like he said, let’s wait and try the new expansion first.

    #115955

    Garresh
    Member

    Seconding Joms opinion here. The expansion will mix up the meta quite a bit. Lets not go hasty now.

    #116113

    ExNihil
    Member

    Everyone of the classes that currently uses Supports extensively- Sorc. AD and Theo, has its own class specific Support unit (t2 for sorc, t3 for the others). IMO if the intention is to balance the game in a way that will make the usage of diverse racial units attractive the shift to temple will not be sufficient. It will indeed slow down the construction of supports in secondary settlements, as long as these are absorbed below the city phase, which usually already has a temple built or at least a shrine. Yet the chief production site is usually the capital city, especially in the early phases of a game but also later to a degree. The main reason racial supports a so common, and I mean here especially Dwarves, Draconian, Elven and Human supports, is that they give a very good deal for the price you pay- both relative to racial t3 units and also relative to other racial units.

    I disagree Support units lose their effectiveness as the game progresses, on the contrary, unlike cavalry units which become increasingly obsolete as t3 units are fielded (not for Warlord or Dread though, that is, unless t3 units are cavalry which they usually are when one plans a strategy in advance), Support units continue to have a vital support function throughout the game. Draconian Elder has the unique ability of Dragon Ancestry, which gives any Draconian unit (racial and class) +5 fire damage on all attacks (including spells), 40% fire protection AND +200 Morale and at the same time has fire bolt ranged attack which can still do damage to most none-machine t3 and t4 units in game. Dwarven Forge Priest has the stats of a good t3 unit except hp at base, a similar fire attack and a heal like ability that also gives +40% fire protection and +2 melee damage to any non-machine/un-dead unit. The Human Priest has an even better heal ability that gives +1 resistance and +1 defense and it get Inflict Daze on gold medal which makes it a very powerful combat unit against anything that doesn’t have very high spirit resistance (machines and Theocrat units) including t3 and t4 units. Finally the Elven Storm Sisters have +1 on their shock based ranged attack and receive Inflict Stun on gold medal, which makes them almost equal to the Sorcerer’s support units (but without phase).

    Because the main function of support units is supposedly to support armies rather then become primary combat forces and given the above traits, I think a nerf to the base attack of these units is necessary. All of them have a base attack of 8 for both melee and range, with Storm Sisters getting a +1 on ranged. I suggest reducing both of these channels by 2 points.

    #116358

    ExNihil
    Member

    No comment?

    #116390

    Bob5
    Member

    I think it’s difficult to predict what the patch will do. Shift to temple alone might not be enough to cancel out priest popularity. But patch also includes AI changes. I don’t know if they’re only strategic AI changes (like AI’s becoming more aggressive instead of hiding in their own cities with 5 juggernauts and 5 golems defending each) or also include tactical AI changes, but if the tactical AI also gets improved it could very well improve T2 cavalry units by a lot (since them dying in autocombat all the time hampers down on their viability in multiplayer), and cavalry units generally counter support units quite well. I just can’t predict with any kind of detail what the patch will do and what more will be needed since I don’t know much about it.

    The halflings may also push the priests a bit away with their luck only being counterbalanced on the physical side by physical weakness, while they’re just lucky against elemental attacks. And Halfling priests are also unique in having a physical ranged attack that only works on short range rather than medium range.

    #116427

    Sadist1
    Member

    Let’s be honest. When we’re talking about support usage, it’s really just forge priests and draconian elders.

    1. Elders have Ancestry which is a broken ability that some people like to abuse for hero spells. They also have fire immunity which is great, considering the current meta of playing dwarf/drac/dreadnaught

    2. Forge priests are just as good (ie stupidly good), since they have a heal (albeit small) and are ridiculously tanky for a support. Since dwarves get +1 res, they take less damage from all the other supports.

    3. Orc priests – they are…OK, but only because they have a throw curse ability that you can use until the whole enemy army is cursed. They are squishy, have no heal and have a bad damage channel (blight, so they’re really bad against dwarves and dreadnaughts)

    4. Priests – are pretty bad, especially considering theo/dread popularity. Actually no, they’re just awful. No one carries a slow priest in their main stack just for a 15 HP heal. If there is any dread or theo in the game, priests will never be made.

    5. Storm sisters – despite doing extra damage to machines, they are just as bad as priests. They’re extremely squishy and slow, and the only class that might do OK with them is sorcerer, because of phase. If you somehow have one that survives to a gold medal – maybe you should stop playing against AI 🙂

    6. Goblin witch doctors. Irrelevant since no one plays goblins. Haven’t seen these guys since…3 months ago. They have all the negatives of the orc priest, but even less HP so they’ll usually die to 1 musket shot or 1 cav charge.

    If they move support units to the temple AND nerf them at the same time, they won’t even be used. The only units needing a nerf here are the first 2. Forge priests need to have less armor and elders need to have Ancestry fixed. That’s pretty much it.

    Occam’s Razor.

    #116432

    Ericridge
    Member

    I’ve only played bit of the support units but the main reason why they is very useful is because they bring elemental damage to classes that isn’t a sorceror.

    Human Priests is pretty greeat due to their 15 hp heal that confers strong will which gives who get healed an immunity to mind control shenanigans, which is great when you going to war against theocrats or rogues. And anything with dominate ability XD Until it gets dispelled. And that isn’t mentioning the +1/1 for def/res and if you stack it with bless that’s a total of +3/3 xD And you have the unit defend.. 😛

    And if your human priest reaches elite? Its ranged attack gain Daze which is incredibly awesome. Daze an angry orc shocktrooper with tireless? Now it can’t retaliate anymore allowing you to kill it for free :3 The daze ability has turned many bad battles into close wins.

    Orc Priests is meh sure but it got throw curse which can weaken that early tier 3 unit significantly allowing you to better chop it to death. In fact, the throw curse is why I build a few, it can save you in a pinch.

    Elder Storm sisters.. they got dat shock damage and thats about it i think? And stunning touch. Not much opinion of them atm. High elves is perfect.

    Goblin witch doctors.. their main purpose is to spam blight weakness spell so your goblin units can kill stuff better. Derp! It does this job pretty well as long as enemy don’t bring so much that they have trouble against.

    Forge Priests, don’t have much of an opinion of them because I have yet to find myself needing them.

    Same for Draconian Elders.

    And then for support units that have heal spells? That goes for Forge priests, elders, and human priests gain an standby healing for their armies I think? If that’s what I’ve been see in my games is correct, and this goes for the Archon Caster too!

    And Every support unit have True Sight, this help you patrol and hunt for invisible units who will cap ur undefended cities unseen otherwise.

    And finally, Players will continue to access support units because franky, let’s be honest, support units is basically only racial unit that can do elemental damage instead of physical damage until triumph studios decide to give every race a Minor Mage racial unit and compelling abilities to go with them enough to make people consider on what do they need right now a support unit or a mage in their armies.

    Sorcerors can keep their faerie fire for their apprentices. Its just that all racials need a mage otherwise they will continue to go to support units for their mage needs.

    #116442

    ExNihil
    Member

    Let’s be honest. When we’re talking about support usage, it’s really just forge priests and draconian elders.

    I appreciate the honesty but you are simply wrong.

    1. Elders have Ancestry which is a broken ability that some people like to abuse for hero spells. They also have fire immunity which is great, considering the current meta of playing dwarf/drac/dreadnaught

    2. Forge priests are just as good (ie stupidly good), since they have a heal (albeit small) and are ridiculously tanky for a support. Since dwarves get +1 res, they take less damage from all the other supports.

    True.

    3. Orc priests – they are…OK, but only because they have a throw curse ability that you can use until the whole enemy army is cursed. They are squishy, have no heal and have a bad damage channel (blight, so they’re really bad against dwarves and dreadnaughts)

    Their damage channel is problematic – effective against Sorcerer and elves but worthless against a lot of units and all machines. Curse is a very useful ability though and it can turn battles around. It also works very well with all classes that use convert like abilities. Of course, units with high blight resistance are very resistant to its effects as well.

    4. Priests – are pretty bad, especially considering theo/dread popularity. Actually no, they’re just awful. No one carries a slow priest in their main stack just for a 15 HP heal. If there is any dread or theo in the game, priests will never be made.

    Very wrong. There are immunity isuues but they are the second best support unit in itself after forge priests. Best support heal ability that gives +1def and +1res to any non dead/machine unit and daze on gold which is better then stun.

    5. Storm sisters – despite doing extra damage to machines, they are just as bad as priests. They’re extremely squishy and slow, and the only class that might do OK with them is sorcerer, because of phase. If you somehow have one that survives to a gold medal – maybe you should stop playing against AI

    Again wrong. They are actually not good with Sorcerer cause he can get stun on supports anyhow and it doesn’t stack. But they are good with all other classes, especially those that level supports easily – Druid and Theo. On gold medal they are almost as deadly stun wise as Sorcerer’s units – only without the phase, and will actually hard-counter the Sorcerer’s support units because of 80% Shock Immunity that makes stunning one of them almost impossible.

    6. Goblin witch doctors. Irrelevant since no one plays goblins. Haven’t seen these guys since…3 months ago. They have all the negatives of the orc priest, but even less HP so they’ll usually die to 1 musket shot or 1 cav charge.

    True. They are also the shittiest support trait wise, having Inflict Weakening which works on short range – phh.

    #116466

    Draxynnic
    Member

    The usefulness of supports to a certain extent depends on playstyle. I have a tendency, for instance, to rely on fast-moving stacks that beat less mobile armies by being able to get to where they need to be quickly – since supports (apart from archdruid supports) are slow and rarely have terrain-ignoring effects like flying and floating, this can mean that for me they become obsolete for offensive operations fairly early on… potentially before t2 cavalry does.

    On the philosophy of it… supports really are a ‘minor mage’-type unit. Doing nonphysical damage from range, for many of them, is part of how they support – they offer an option for dealing with things that have high physical resistance. Nerf that, and physical resistance is going to become much more powerful. Of course, some races have nonphysical damage sources that aren’t coming from supports – elven initiates, draconian hatchlings and flamers, goblin untouchables and swarm darters – but these are either hybrid physical and nonphysical, single shot (and thus have less potential to hit a single target) or both.

    As was pointed out above, the racial supports that are currently in live only do about as much damage as three-shot archers. Some are less effective in base attack stats then their race’s archer due to special qualities of the latter (elves especially), while in some cases they’re their race’s only option for a “conventional” threeshot ranged attacker. So, apart from the difference between physical and nonphysical attacks, what supports get for their extra 20 mana up-front and double upkeep (don’t sweep that under the table, even over a fairly short lifespan that adds up quickly) is a little bit more durability, a different damage channel, their special support ability or abilities, and True Seeing.

    I don’t think that’s an unreasonable trade. At the moment, as has been observed, the benefit of a nonphysical attack has been exaggerated somewhat by the popularity of sorcerers and their wisps and phantasms with physical protection. Considering they’re a tier up and thus cost an extra 4 gold per turn, though, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to have similar base ranged capabilities as archers.

    #116524

    Bouh
    Member

    I think priests effectiveness is overestimated. Of course they are good because of the heal for some of them and the magical damage which scale well againt higher tier units, but if you take the best cavalry, they definitely don’t outclass them.

    Unicorn riders are borderline OP with phase, armor piercing and top tier stats. They are frigin fast and take cities like no other unit can.
    Black night is almost a tier3. Top tier cavalry with hast.
    Raptor riders have the fast heal, which is often better than what priests will heal each turns, and carry decent cavalry power.
    Warg riders cost barely more than archers and are very potent cavalry if not against cavalry themselves.
    Boar riders are almost tier3 infantry.
    And the human cavalry lie in the middle of all them, being a basic cavalry, he is still a tough warrior and overall only beaten by unicorn riders and black knights.

    On openfield, cavalry is unmatched as tier2, it’s only lacking in siege. Delaying priests will make the race for a T2 army much more favorable to cavalry.

    #116544

    Bob5
    Member

    On openfield, cavalry is unmatched as tier2, it’s only lacking in siege. Delaying priests will make the race for a T2 army much more favorable to cavalry.

    Very very true Bouh, I’ve experienced that myself as well, especially when using the Warlord class. However they don’t only lack in siege, they also lack in autocombat, because of the annoying AI habit of suicidally running the cavalry out in front of the rest of the army. A better tactical AI could potentially already tip the balance. Cavalry can be used to amazing effect if you take advantage of Charge and their high mobility to flank. I’ve hit in the 40s with Warg Riders on crits as a Warlord (that’s medals + Charge + Overwhelm + Flanking + Bloodbath + Hero Slaying + crit), and then after that comes a second weaker hit as Charge and Flanking only affect the first hit, often killing the hero from full health.

    #116552

    they also lack in autocombat, because of the annoying AI habit of suicidally running the cavalry out in front of the rest of the army

    Go for stacks full of cavalry.

    #116574

    Bouh
    Member

    Like BBB said. With enough cavalry, I don’t see more dead than with only foot troups.

    As for the siege lesser effectiveness, in defense at least it can be negated completely by retreating in the city, and when flying T3 enter the battlefield, you’d better have cavalry than support in defense, or even better the pikemen the war hall allows you to build. In offense, priests can indeed hit units on walls, but it’s not that effective anyway and considering their weakness and their mobility I don’t think they are much more actualy effective.

    Priests are a good backbone for a strategy, but I think they are overrated and with the delaying cavalry will definitely be an excellent alternative strategy.

    #116582

    Morty
    Member

    Goblin Plague Doctors are certainly better than they used to be – their ability was touch-range and could be resisted. Nowadays it’s quite potent, but tactically inconvenient because it puts your squishy support unit too close to the enemy.

    #116583

    Telenil
    Member

    Support at Temple makes sense to me. I’ve often built a shrine in “blank” cities, not because I specifically wanted mana or support units, but because it was the quickest and cheapest way to get T2 units. If you have to invest in two seperate buildings to get support, then you are investing in the “magic” branch and the firepower of the support units make more sense.

    #116592

    Sadist1
    Member

    ExNihil, I appreciate your assessment, but taking into account gold medal bonuses for most classes is not that relevant, since that unit will very likely not survive until engagement of main armies and IF they do, the benefit of daze or stun is somewhat diminished due to dispel availability and general support squishiness.

    Unless you focus your entire strategy to keep a priest or a storm sister alive for 30 consecutive turns and avoid clearing anything above a tier 2 structure, it is going to be impossible for anyone but druid or theo.

    As for those 2 specific classes, from what I’ve seen, dwarves are still far more popular for a theocrat, and Arch Druid I don’t have much experience with. I’ve seen Marcus utilize priests well in his tournament match, but he was also playing a warlord.

    This lets me know my earlier assessment of storm sisters was indeed correct – they are simply not being built. Priests I’m willing to re-evaluate a little bit, but let’s just say that +1/+1 is not as good as say playing dwarves, all of whom get it for free. Or spamming bless which is +2/+2.
    Even with that in mind, priests are still average at best, so my assessment was mostly on target.

    Supports strength falls off immensely in anything larger than a 1 stack vs 1 stack engagement. Same is true if you are even slightly outnumbered.

    As far as the changes we know – moving them to the temple makes it much worse for warlord, who will now have even more mana surplus but no dual channel production. Now they will need to spend 2-3 extra turns to get out units with a heal too.
    Dread isn’t likely to make many supports anyway. Shouldn’t affect AD/Theo/Sorc too much. As far as Rogues go – idk, maybe Garresh or Bouh can chime in on this, if they make supports at all.

    #116603

    Jomungur
    Member

    Like BBB said. With enough cavalry, I don’t see more dead than with only foot troups.
    As for the siege lesser effectiveness, in defense at least it can be negated completely by retreating in the city, and when flying T3 enter the battlefield, you’d better have cavalry than support in defense, or even better the pikemen the war hall allows you to build. In offense, priests can indeed hit units on walls, but it’s not that effective anyway and considering their weakness and their mobility I don’t think they are much more actualy effective.

    Priests are a good backbone for a strategy, but I think they are overrated and with the delaying cavalry will definitely be an excellent alternative strategy.

    Well, the issue is also what I pointed out regarding sorcerer, druid and theo. They synergize with supports such that *their* supports outclass cavalry. Druid supports become as fast as cavalry and have a range attack. Sorcerer supports can have inflict stun and phase. Theo supports can have heal. So for these classes it is often better to invest in supports vs. cavalry because their usefulness will last quite long into the game. I’m fine with this, but just arguing against you when you say cavalry are superior to supports. Depends on the class. Obviously for warlords and dreads it’s better to use cavalry.

    #116606

    Depends on the class. Obviously for warlords and dreads it’s better to use cavalry.

    maybe throughbred mounts needs to be moved down a tier, so it shows up earlier in the game ? Not too early of course, since the upgrade is essentially three hp upgrades for every hero.

    #116610

    Garresh
    Member

    @morty, the blight doctor is still pretty weak but, that blight vulnerability is insanely valuable. In that sense, goblins have the only support that actually supports. It cannot be a backbone to an army, but against an early t3 you suicide him in and then unload with swarm darters to nearly instakill a t3. Of course this strat still isn’t enough vs t3 rush with Theo due to the huge infrastructure requirements, but when t3 at inn gets delayed these units will become more valuable.

    @sadist

    Rogues have a net benefit from this change. We don’t use supports much but we’re perpetually mana starved so if everyone takes 3 turns to build up more infrastructure we get a mana boon out of the deal. That said, I don’t use supports much as rogue. If I play dwarf I can mass forge priests without a care because they’re OP. But realistically, its not unusual for us to go temple anyways just because the mana issues for us are so bad. So yeah, this entire change has at worst no effect on us, and at best we come out ahead economically. Goblin rogues will suffer a bit though in early game because we want to be getting out an early doctor or two because we can run them up, debuff, and quick dash them back for a safer application then focus that unit down. Plus in midgame if we are forced to fight we want to have a blight doctor on hand to do an assassin combo to instakill high value targets.

    So rogues who play goblins suffer very slightly. Rogues who play dwarves might suffer a bit. All other rogues benefit because the net change delays something we find annoying at no cost to us. Also I seem to recall tombles saying laboratories give medals to support now? If that’s the case bardspam will be receiving a buff.

    Edit: Also we fall into the same category as dread and warlord, in that we favor cavalry over racial supports, with the exception of dwarven rogues. With our good scouting and infiltration squad, early cavalry stacks can act as a nice strike team before we get out assassins.

    #116621

    ExNihil
    Member

    Like BBB said. With enough cavalry, I don’t see more dead than with only foot troups.

    As for the siege lesser effectiveness, in defense at least it can be negated completely by retreating in the city, and when flying T3 enter the battlefield, you’d better have cavalry than support in defense, or even better the pikemen the war hall allows you to build. In offense, priests can indeed hit units on walls, but it’s not that effective anyway and considering their weakness and their mobility I don’t think they are much more actualy effective.

    Priests are a good backbone for a strategy, but I think they are overrated and with the delaying cavalry will definitely be an excellent alternative strategy.

    1. The delay will not be substantial, it will only last 3 turns in a city of 60 production.

    2. I have no idea what you are basing you opinion that pikemen and cavalry are better for defense. In wall defense the single greatest strength of the defender is the wall itself and the ranged bonus/protection it gives. If there is no wall then funneling the enemy to choke points is the best defense. If a player is unable to hold the wall and must fall back he is lost or as the classical word for it is “routed”. If a player has substantial melee forces within the city he will usually position himself in a way that allows him to charge out of the city gates or outside these gates and within the space of ranged support (archers/support units).

    3. On an individual level Cavalry units are stronger, but that is not the issue – en-mess support unit are better counters to almost all t3 units, and by possessing ranged attack are able to easily support any friendly t3 unit (which are the best counters vis-a-vis other t3 units) from afar.

    4. It will be a very bad play to put your support units as the front line of an army. Using what is usually termed “meat shield”, or t1 swordsman and pike units or friendly cavalry, Support units can very effectively eliminate cavalry units and pikemen.

    5. There are some classes which have less battlefield use for supports. Yet these classes all require the support abilities these units possess. Most important is ofc heal, but all support abilities except that of the Goblin Blight Doctor cab substantially boost an army.

    6. Warlord and Dreadnought are the two classes that possess good upgrades for cavalry units and have a good reason to build them, the other classes have no real reason to do so as they possess better class units or units that fit their play-style and strategy better.

    7. Until the Auto-Combat algorithm is improved Cavalry units die like flies and are thus extremely vulnerable.

    8. By being restricted to melee attacks Cavalry units become increasingly less effective against a range of t4 units that possess fearsome.

    9. Support units have better resistance stats and higher elemental resistance then other racial units which enhances their survivability as the game progresses.

    Unless you focus your entire strategy to keep a priest or a storm sister alive for 30 consecutive turns and avoid clearing anything above a tier 2 structure, it is going to be impossible for anyone but druid or theo.

    Storm sisters are harder to maintain but it’s very doable – I recall one nasty fight in I had a nice stunning sorcerer army and a couple of horrors and then Gabthegab showed up with 2 stacks of gold leveled storm sisters and made trans-dimensional kebabs of my horrors and stun supports.

    Priests on the other hand have the best survivability of any support unit in creeping and they dramatically boost stack leveling by giving +10hp regen a turn. I suggest you give it a try. It is not hard to get a stack of gold medal priests, that is, not harder then getting other stacks of gold medal stuff.

    This lets me know my earlier assessment of storm sisters was indeed correct – they are simply not being built. Priests I’m willing to re-evaluate a little bit, but let’s just say that +1/+1 is not as good as say playing dwarves, all of whom get it for free. Or spamming bless which is +2/+2.

    This depends on the player and class and is more situational, I wouldn’t make this deduction though – you should try Lti and Gabthegab, two top players with nasty elves.

    dispel availability and general support squishiness.

    Well, daze and stun prevent dispel if they daze and stun your supports. And this is critical reason why supports are so important – Dispel magic and Steal enchantment.

    Finally – I am not saying Cavalry isn’t good and pikeman are useless. My point is this: If the idea behind the move of supports to temples is to destabilize the current “support-meta” and also make class specific t3 support units more important, then IMO it is necessary to also nerf the ranged power of support units because ATM these units give a much more attractive package in most circumstances then other t2 units and enjoy a longer period of usefulness. It is of course relative to the player and class selected.

    #116648

    Morty
    Member

    @morty, the blight doctor is still pretty weak but, that blight vulnerability is insanely valuable. In that sense, goblins have the only support that actually supports. It cannot be a backbone to an army, but against an early t3 you suicide him in and then unload with swarm darters to nearly instakill a t3. Of course this strat still isn’t enough vs t3 rush with Theo due to the huge infrastructure requirements, but when t3 at inn gets delayed these units will become more valuable.

    Yeah, like I said – potent, but awkward to use. You can use it to focus fire your early units for devastating results, and set up powerful surgical strikes with Assassins later on as a rogue, but your Plague Doctors might well die. I wonder how they’d work if the range of their plague touch was increased. It could make it too powerful compared to the orcs’ Curse, so maybe not.

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