The danger of listening to the same few "exploiters" here on the forum

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions The danger of listening to the same few "exploiters" here on the forum

This topic contains 66 replies, has 42 voices, and was last updated by  Fenraellis 8 years ago.

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  • #86452

    I agree and disagree with jpinard, and the following posters.

    Agree that the loudest people here are getting the attention, which is bviousky sub optimal.

    Disagree that this is mp instigated. The t3 and t4 delays and nerfs have come from the people who played many many turns on medium maps, where the game clearly states x turns recommended for x map, and then started complaining about the resources getting out of whack.

    It is now a challenge to build up meaningful amounts of t3 units in multiplayer, and since release I have managed to bring out just one t4 unit, in a 5 player game with just myself and 1 opponent left.

    A side effect of this balance change is that, in mp at least, t1 and t2 units are useful for a.longer time, especially support units.

    However, it does mean that currently Assassins are a bit too good. Before the t3 delay, you could have t3 units to country Assassins, who are really tier 2.5 (same way Stalkers are tier 3.5) but now they reign supreme!

    Also, Exalted Healing? OP in every sense, needed to be gotten rid off, ditto a longer cool down on Heal. It was far too easy to bring in 2 priests and your theocrat leader and just heal spam.

    #86455

    vyolin
    Member

    Most of the problems would not even be as pronounced and thus not in need of fixing if the AI did play more actively at least on random maps; currently it only reacts, and poorly at that.
    They attack you with their starting army and a bunch of heroes, lose them, and then city spam and turtle their way to T3+4 with nothing inbetween. Add to that massive experience discrepancies even when not purposefully exploiting the system, Disjunction making global enchantments not worthwhile once scouted and you are left with only a fraction of the game.
    This is not a power/competitive gamer issue at hand – it is a problem of having to create challenges for yourself by intentionally limiting yourself because the AI by itself does not pose a threat.
    Which turns the game from strategy to empire building power fantasy – and those power fantasies grow stale really fast.
    And on a last note: I do not have to exploit a loophole or see it exploited to want it be fixed. Things like Disjunction after scouting only once and the massively skewed experience system create imbalances all on their own which negatively affect gameplay even when refraining from exploiting them.

    TL;DR: Only a few mechanics do actually present a problem – Disjunction, experience coming to mind, it is rather the AI that is too passive to let you experience the game to its full extent and favours playstyles not compatible with the underlying mechanics.

    #86458

    Reference the mana caps, I am away from my game rig atm, but the effect, for better or worse, is that it seems to make mana matter.

    To be fair though, I play slightly more mp than I do sp, so my p.o.v. Comes from that, but other than as a Warlord, I never had an excess of mana.

    My only fear is that summoning Classes will be more railroaded into getting casting specialist 1,2 etc.

    I’m thinking specifically of Druids and Sorcerors here.

    I would have preferred more things to do on nodes (e.g. Altars)

    and a greater variation in node income depending on your chosen spheres (so Mastery gets you +10 mana, Adept +5, and that you can’t mix opposite spheres, e.g air and earth, but you get a small amount of mana, e.g. Just 5 from opposite spheres)

    and that nodes gradually run out as the game goes on, trickling down to +2 mana per node towards the end game.

    However, I know the above solutions are either too radical or time consuming to implement, so if the mana cap works how I think it works, then that might be enough.

    #86465

    I’ve just finished the Elven campaign on normal difficulty, before the latest beta patch, and thought it was fine. Maybe it just suited my Playstyle – it was mildly challenging but I never had to resort to save scumming (except when losing the odd hero in an auto-battle), exploits or the like and I won every scenario first time whilst really enjoying it.

    I didn’t feel like I rushed, but my style is usually to push out, explore and take cities as I go, leaving things fairly undefended for the first few turns and then keeping an eye out for sneak attacks or rogue independents and mopping them up with a floating ‘defence stack’. My armies are all one hero per stack and by the end not one of them was a level 20, though most were over 15.

    I read the forums a lot and don’t get the same impression as the OP that the main complainers (for want of a better word) are MP focused. They seem to be the hardcore players, true, but I just get the feeling they are are simply where those of us who keep playing the game will be in a few weeks or months time, but they have simply got there quicker. I also don’t think they are necessarily exploiting the failings of the game or the AI to win, but rather HAVING to follow a particular strategy because of the way that things like the tier 4 units work and the beta patch is mainly there to try and address this.

    Hopefully Triumph are well aware of the dangers of only listening to a vocal minority – let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and actually play this beta patch for a reasonable while (something I’m not sure others posting in this thread have actually done yet) before passing judgement.

    #86479

    Taykor
    Member

    I actually don’t like rushes and like turtling very much.
    But I can’t but agree with b0rsuk and melkathi. You shouldn’t win a game if you don’t do enough to win it. And if your enemy has 3 times more towns than you – it should be highly possible that he wins unless you do something about it as soon as possible.

    #86480

    Sathra
    Member

    @azazelicko: Yeah, I’m mostly holding opinion on the Mana changes. I don’t usually play the summoner classes, so a bit hazy on how much mana they really need. It does limit my terraforming a little, but that’s pretty much aesthetic rather than gameplay.

    I like everything else though, and currently watching to see how the AI works with it.

    #86489

    Strider
    Member

    This post is being written in regard to the positive responses I received here:
    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/those-campaign-level-caps/
    I’m seeing a lot of changes that are hurting balance for a great many people (maybe the vast majority) who do not exploit the current systems. There are a few people here on the forum, that post a lot as they obviously put a lot of time into the game and their playstyle is “kick the AI in the groin in the first few turns and cripple them for the rest of the game”. They put all their eggs in one basket – massive scouting, find the not yet beefed AI, and then take him out. The rest of the game is a breeze since the AI is either incapacitated in a campaign game, or critically nerfed from losing their leader for 3 turns in an Random Map Scenario. Furthermore they tweak “min/max” their heroes so they have singular roles and combine them to make an ultra powerful stacks in the campaign, on top of that memorize maps to make the play easier.
    You’ve also got the people who exploit the leveling system with their Hero’s. They “stun” and then needle a paltry enemy for 100 turns to make their Hero level up super fast. Because of all of this, Triumph is not given the time to adequately fix the issues, and in some cases are tilting development to address the exploiters playstyle while hurting the majority of us who don’t play this way and who don’t want to play that way. Instead of what we have in the latest beta patch, the best way to deal with this particular example is to cap the # of levels a Hero make get in battle – not in the entire campaign. Otherwise, if we wanted to play a Hero-centric version of the game – we won’t be able to – they are too weak and vulnerable to use in battle vs. other units. I’m sure this is not what the developers intended, otherwise we wouldn’t have the battlefield leadership bonus’s.

    Some changes are also have a negative effect on gameplay which I’m seeing in the campaign. For those of us that like to play the game as designed… build your core cities, expand out from the center, later engage a strong enemy… we’ve now lost that. On the normal difficulty level in the Elven Campaign the only way to win now, is to go the “exploiter” route: Min/max your Hero, stack all your hero’s together, throw all your eggs into a basket to cut the AI’s legs off in the first 10 turns, save scum to get the results you want – especially for “Charm”…

    In essence. This is bad for everyone else that does not want to play an exploitative game. It limits our options – it limits the way we can play. A 4x game with only a single path to victory is not good.
    The campaigns (which are fantastic – everyone should play them!) were originally written and balanced based on the game’s core release. With each patch, the campaign has gotten increasingly difficult (if nearly impossible in latter scenarios) if you don’t want play as an insanely aggressive, exploitative player who has memorized everything. A few examples:
    (…)
    * There are some people complaining here about Hero’s being overpowered. Mine have been level 20 for 4 campaign missions and I can barely keep them alive. So the idea to make Hero’s less powerful is going to hurt every player who uses Hero’s in a utilitarian role. There are people who’ve complained there’s nothing to give Hero’s after level 15 which is pure insanity. There is so much left over at level 20 that we desperately need a level 25 cap. But once again, the few that min/max and have the loudest, most repetitive voice on the forums are pushing the entire discussion – waylaying the core group of players by playing a game of Excel instead of Age of Wonders.

    Remember, those are “your” assumptions. You do not truly know how other people play this game. You are creating an “ideal enemy” for you to bash and to prove your point. Your “ideal enemy” is someone who resorts to “cheap tactics”, “exploiting” and “savescumming” to beat the “powerful AIs”, and they are to blame for all the “detrimental changes” in the game. You are also making a lot of subjective claims as if they were objective. While it might just be the way you express your opinion, it could sound offensive.

    I also firmly believe that the more options we have when we start a game, that this will fix most of the issues people have. For those that like to rush the AI in the first 10 turns, then an option to start a game where the AI has a gold/mana bonus (and soldier stack) early that tapers off as the game progresses would be a great option (next post):

    If I may nitpick this a bit, actually, a change like that makes no sense for a Rusher. If the AI has the strongest advantage in the beginning and it wears off the longer the game goes, the logical strategy for winning would be “turtling ” , not “rushing”.

    #86492

    Bouh
    Member

    This thread looks to me like the easy level of difficulty have been unnoticed.

    IMO the best fix is to rename “easy” to “normal”, “normal” to “experimented”, etc.

    #86502

    Weltenreiter
    Member

    So, I’m largely a Campaign Carebear in AoWs. I will not be anywhere close to 99th percentile competitive multiplayer bleeding edge here. And that’s ok.
    Scars from flame wars in other games where I *am* however, pretty much render me into a caricature of Walter from Big Lebowski whenever someone trots out the ever tedious, ever bancrupt “powergamers versus casuals” line of argumentation. Incase you’re wondering why I’d align with the powergamer “side” of this ideological divide despite otherwise posting content that clearly puts me in the “casual” and “suck” category (like advice how to savescum more efficiently :P).

    Anyway, the context has escalated from my pet topic of Campaign level caps to the game at large. So I’ll not bore you with my play experiences in the fringe game mode “Campaign”, lets look at some other players of the main game as example.
    I invite you to check out posts 4 and 5 in this thread:
    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/what-turn-do-you-win-by/

    People like Jobobn and minusthedrifter seem like competent AoW players to me. What do they apparently do? They advance at a brisk pace, do not get overly distracted by derping around, and keep in mind that there are enemies around. Basically, this:

    They apparently for the most part do not see T4, do not use T4, and do not encounter the much maligned AI-carpet-of-T4-Doom phenomenon. Because they bag the game before that is an issue. Does this make them exploiters and min-maxers who groin-punch the AI in the first 5 turns? (Or just people who play the game?)

    Who then has problems and much-maligned AI-carpet-of-T4-Doom phenomenon? Slackers who derp around for 70-100 turns, I propose. Would these, pretty much by definition, then be the very opposite of exploiters and min-maxers? (Or just people who play the game?)

    We just had two major patches that (apart from addressing systemic problems like mana glut) primarily revolved around slowing the game way down so that the derp-around-for-70-turns demographic gets less roflstomped by hordes of AI T4 and has a more pleasant game experience (while the exploiters and min-maxer are not affected all that much by this aspect of the patches).
    And you, speaking against the e+mm and thus presumably for the daf70t demographic, have the *gall* to complain that it is the exploiters and min-maxers who somehow conspire to align the game along their nefarious agenda?

    Look. This game is visibly a labor of love. Triumph are not going to let some imaginary loudmouths with an agenda compromise their vision here. They will do what they think is best for the game. (But they might listen to good advice and suggestions)

    The “exploiters and min maxers” ultimately have the good of the game at heart too by the way. (Their style may just allow them to stress test the game more to dig up issues than yours)

    I acknowledge that you have the good of the game at heart as well. I suggest stepping back, looking at changes made so far, and realizing that not only are they not intended to screw you over, they actually aim to accomodate more playstyles better (including maybe yours) instead of shutting playstyles out.

    Now how about a group hug and a little trust that we are all in this together, and not plotting malicious Shadowborn?

    #86507

    barontp
    Member

    1. Rushing is a strategic choice, which is viable if you have a decent starting force but bad economy. I guess most of the campaign missions were actually designed with this in mind, as opposed to OP saying that the game was designed to be turtle-heavy.

    2. Game was too fast paced on release, it’s getting a patch that’ll make the flow slower, at the same time OP complains that this patch benefits “rushers”. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    3. Scouting is a vital part of any strategy game with “fog of war”. It shouldn’t even be a choice of “to scout or not to scout”. If you don’t scout you put yourself at a disadvantage, that’s the way it is.

    4. Exploits, in my opinion, should be fixed, so it’s good that people report them. If you don’t abuse the exploits, I don’t see how fixing them will affect you at all.

    5. There’s plenty of threads from experienced players about buffing something. It’s not all about “making the game unplayable for casuals”, like OP seems to think. I believe, “hardcore” players are actually the people, who would want more different strategies to be viable.

    6. “Stack of six heroes” isn’t a very good strategy, I doubt many “hardcore” players even consider it. Stacking heroes eliminates army-wide buffs, thus making your overall military power significantly weaker.

    edit: I don’t play multiplayer, don’t care for starcraft-style fine tuned balance, don’t use exploits, dislike rushing (it’s a personal preference).

    #86509

    vyolin
    Member

    I would have preferred more things to do on nodes (e.g. Altars)

    and a greater variation in node income depending on your chosen spheres (so Mastery gets you +10 mana, Adept +5, and that you can’t mix opposite spheres, e.g air and earth, but you get a small amount of mana, e.g. Just 5 from opposite spheres)

    and that nodes gradually run out as the game goes on, trickling down to +2 mana per node towards the end game.

    However, I know the above solutions are either too radical or time consuming to implement, so if the man

    I like that a lot, I actually wrote something akin to that a few moments ago.
    Quoting myself from another thread:
    Cut node income to +0 base, +5 for adept, another +5 for master.
    Then add +5 to every node in the domain of a city with a shrine, with another +5 for temple and +5 for great temple with all those buildings providing no mana on their own.
    That way mana based classes would be forced to spend some more of their gold while production based ones would not accrue as much mana without actually focusing on it.
    Plus searching out mana nodes aligning with your sphere choice would become more important than it is now, for better or worse.
    Could even be extended to grand palaces granting casting points according to spheres: +2 for adept sphere nodes, +5 for master sphere nodes.

    Apart from that agreeing wholeheartedly with the last two posts in here.

    #86513

    Steven Aus
    Member

    Yes, AOW3 is one of the games that is most obviously a labour of love for the devs (another game in this category has turn-based dungeon crawling/kingdom management/random events/boss fights/multiple party dungeons, with old-school flavour: Heroes of a Broken Land at http://wingedpixel.com/).

    With almost any game, especially the more complex ones, some sort of navigating the territory is required, and if any changes prove to break the game in a release-threatening kind of way, you can bet that they will solve it quickly by using all assets at their disposal. Plus I feel that the AOW3 devs have already generated a lot of goodwill already, which will help people be patient and understanding when there are issues that need to be dealt with. AOW3 is their baby, remember, so naturally they are going to take care of it. 🙂

    #86517

    Sunicle
    Member

    I agree with the folks here. A slower paced “fantasy adventure” is the game I like to play. Rushing and murdering the AI quick is totally valid but it shouldn’t be to only game in town.
    Which is exactly what a majority of these changes have done. Slowed the game down considerably. You and the AI are no longer able to roll out dozens of t4 units by turn 30 nor are you drowning in a sea of gold or mana. In fact, those who cried the loudest for pacing adjustments were not power gamers, but turtlers who had games exceeding 100+ turns and were now swamped with doom stacks and oceans of resources. If anything you guys should largely be thankful for the pacing changes they’ve made as it’s turn the game into a much slower, much more fun game. Rushing is still possible, but it won’t be done with doom stacks of t4s anymore.

    Yes, I think this is true. When the game came out people were soon noticing they were better off heading straight for their opponent instead of slowly developing, as the AI was building up stacks of doom in the meantime.

    Triumph has been trying to address widely felt disbalances. Their remedies you may like or not like in some cases, but this thread looks to be categorising players and to try to blame a certain group of players for these disbalances in the game. This will make discussion only more difficult.
    What if I express the opinion that leaders and heroes are leveling up too quickly? Is someone going to answer that I’m a power gamer who’s maxing out his heroes too quickly and that Triumph shouldn’t listen to my kind of people?
    The game still has issues, let’s discuss these issues and talk game mechanics.

    #86520

    Steven Aus
    Member

    Yes, mechanics are the issue here. One advantage that games that have a single and multiplayer component (but are not quite as ultra competitive as esports etc.) allows the MP focused people to find the crucial flaws that also impact the SP experience. For example, the way units and heroes level affects the entire game, both SP and MP, and you don’t have to try to exploit it to get very uneven outcomes or encouragement, for example to shoot at long range, through obstacles more often, and also to favour ranged items that have more shots. Prototype Rifles may kill the enemy more quickly, and can be used at full strength at the end of their hero’s movement range. However the fact is, one shot ranged weapons just don’t get as much XP for the heroes and units that use them as heroes and units that instead use three shot weapons, and this is in normal usage.

    #86522

    Azunai
    Member

    I’m fairly sure that i’m one of the “insanely aggressive, exploitative player who has memorized everything” the OP mentioned, so i guess it’s just fair to explain my point of view.

    i’ve bought the game the day it was released and started playing the campaign. in fact, i haven’t played anything but the campaign yet (except for a single random map just to see how it works and if it’s worth playing random maps after finshing the campaigns).
    traditionally, i’ve been mostly a “peaceful builder” player in most strategy games where that’s an option and a “boomer” in combat focused games. i.e. get economy up and running, build up an army of high level units, then crush opponent with tanks/knights/dragons/battlecrusiers

    what i love about AOW3 campaign is that it encourages the player to play more aggressively. the opposing factions in most maps are in a superior position so it is imperative to make full use of what little assets you have and improve the situation. you start with a few units, some moderately powerful heroes and some small settlements and your success in the campaign is heavily tied to how much you can achieve with the things you have. if you do well on the tactical battlefields, you can achieve quite a lot with the lowly T1/T2 units and low level heroes you have at your disposal.

    if you play the game how i think it was meant to be played, you don’t sit down and turtle – you take your chances and use the stuff you have/can produce quickly.
    there have been lots of complaints on the board how useless T1/2 units are vs. T4 and how the combat system is pointless once T4 start dominating the battlefield etc. if you play the game the way it was meant to be played, you won’t even encounter that problem. you use the stuff you have until you can replace it with better stuff later on the map. if it’s a large map or your offense gets stalled, you may even reach the point where the ultimate T4 units become available. it’s a natural progression and it feels so right that i have no doubt that this must be the way the devs envisioned their game.

    OP claimed at least once (maybe also on other occasions) that rushing is essentially cheating and that this is not how the game was designed to be played.

    i disagree with that assertion. that’s exactly how the game was designed to be played, in my opinion. the whole unit balance and economic system break in the “endgame” when all cities are metropolises and you can build exclusively T3/T4 units. obviously, the devs put a lot of effort into creating an interesting combat system and designed lots of low tier units with interesting mechanics and interactions.

    why would they have done this if the idea was for the player to turtle and build up and basically skip 2/3 of the units and only use the few high powered endgame units? that doesn’t make any sense.

    with the recent patches, they basically tried to shift the game in a direction so it becomes more enjoyable for players who like to play it slow. don’t pretend that the changes are aimed at ruining the game for the “turtle” players – it’s the opposite, really.

    well, that’s my point of view. i don’t claim that i speak for a silent majority. frankly, i have no idea how everyone plays that game. it’s possible that i’m in the minority here, but it’s also possible that the “turtle” players really are the vocal minority. don’t think it really matters for the discussion, though.

    #86531

    Epaminondas
    Member

    1. Rushing is a strategic choice, which is viable if you have a decent starting force but bad economy. I guess most of the campaign missions were actually designed with this in mind, as opposed to OP saying that the game was designed to be turtle-heavy.

    2. Game was too fast paced on release, it’s getting a patch that’ll make the flow slower, at the same time OP complains that this patch benefits “rushers”. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    3. Scouting is a vital part of any strategy game with “fog of war”. It shouldn’t even be a choice of “to scout or not to scout”. If you don’t scout you put yourself at a disadvantage, that’s the way it is.

    4. Exploits, in my opinion, should be fixed, so it’s good that people report them. If you don’t abuse the exploits, I don’t see how fixing them will affect you at all.

    5. There’s plenty of threads from experienced players about buffing something. It’s not all about “making the game unplayable for casuals”, like OP seems to think. I believe, “hardcore” players are actually the people, who would want more different strategies to be viable.

    6. “Stack of six heroes” isn’t a very good strategy, I doubt many “hardcore” players even consider it. Stacking heroes eliminates army-wide buffs, thus making your overall military power significantly weaker.

    edit: I don’t play multiplayer, don’t care for starcraft-style fine tuned balance, don’t use exploits, dislike rushing (it’s a personal preference).

    Agree with pretty much all of the above.

    #86534

    Epaminondas
    Member

    I disagree with just about everything said against the “exploiters” here. Not going through each item line by line – not worth my time. “Minusthedrifter” makes enough good points.

    Yes, this is the most incoherent, “paint-it-with-the-broadest-brush,” as well as ignorant and overwrought screed I’ve ever seen on this forum. For one, the OP lumps all these changes as “exploiter”-driven, but he lists quite different types of changes that are driven by entirely different player-bases. For other, and relatedly, the decision to slow down the pace of the game was neither exploiter nor MP “rusher”-driven; in fact, it was driven by the newer SP players among which the OP purportedly belongs. Finally, the hero level was always at 20 as far as I know since the release.

    In short, the OP has nothing to offer of value.

    #86535

    Hulahn
    Member

    The fears that I expressed early on in this post, I admit, have been largely based on the sheer number of changes that the dev team is making in such a short period of time. It is possible, however, that after 39 months of working on the game, they are just so in-tuned with it, that they are able to make a vast majority of those changes, and do them well, in that very short period of time. I do not have access to the beta patch, so I will have to wait and see, remaining hopeful.

    I have always known that, whatever the outcome, Triumph has their original vision that they set out for with this, and they’re not likely to stray too far from that (as Weltenreiter mentioned), regardless of the reactions to their game. That being said, I do like what they originally released, and am hopeful that, in time, I may learn to take more initiative in my games against the AI, rather than just sitting still for so long in an attempt to bulk up my cities, and get as many resources as possible. After all, that is how many other strategy games are won, but perhaps that does not align with the vision that Triumph had for their product. If so, then so be it. I will learn. I will adjust. I will get better.

    And then, I will re-visit the campaign, which I abandoned for RGMs in an effort to improve my gameplay, as I found that the learning curve for AoW3 (my being a newcomer to all things AoW), all the while being faced with daunting challenges, was too much for myself at the onset. But then, that is not Triumph’s problem, or a problem at all. So long as things are fair between players, and with the AI (read: all playing from the same set of rules); and things are balanced (read: no game-breaking bugs or issues); and with the right flow (read: nothing that the dev team did not intend to be a part of their original vision, or that serves to spoil or tarnish the experience that they set out to deliver), then I will improve and prevail; or perhaps move on, deciding that this experience is not for me.

    In the end, I am glad for the fun that I’ve had, thus far, and hope that it continues – but that is, of course, a matter of subjectivity.

    #86536

    oim
    Member

    on what turn is attacking the enemy no longer considered an exploit?

    #86537

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Addendum:

    I guess my constant lumping together of “beta tester” sounds a lot like this guy’s silly lumping together of ‘leet “exploiters”? 😉

    #86552

    melkathi
    Member

    Addendum:

    I guess my constant lumping together of “beta tester” sounds a lot like this guy’s silly lumping together of ‘leet “exploiters”? ;)

    You’d think that, but somehow it doesn’t 🙂
    Probably because with beta-testers we all have an idea who you are talking about (and it isn’t me 🙂 ).
    Also, the forum wouldn’t be the same without it. Your “beta tester” comments have become a feature. I hear Triumph are considering adding it as sidebar to the homepage – editorial style 😉

    #86565

    Even though I disagree (see my comments) with the OP, I am not sure he deserves quite the backlash he’s getting here.

    What I got from it was that the devs shouldn’t pay too much attention to any particular group, merely because that group “whines” the loudest.

    That bit I am sure we can all agree with.

    The details of which group pushed for which change and whatnot the OP didn’t get quite right, but let’s not get hung up on that.

    @ Epaminondas, yes your beta tester comments are very much like that, only, IMHO, worse for being wrong usually, and obviously a result of you being angry you didn’t get to beta test.

    But a quick 😉 here as this issue has been done to death and this isn’t the time or place to spar.

    #86572

    Rabiator
    Member

    I think …

    a) the AI is too dumb (splitting up his armies too much instead of having designated scouters and designated fighters) AND
    b) the campaing/scenario maps are badly designed because they have far too high of an economy AND
    c) the quests to “take over” neutral cities are far too easy/the defenses of neutral cities are far too weak.

    Countering this with “increased hero power” is wrong.

    The game needs a far longer “low economy phase” to reduce the “T4 problem” and to make players take risks while their kingdom is still weak … instead of rolling over enemy/neutral stacks/cities with full armies. Sure enough there are those players who only like to play the MAX POWER GAME, but that is only a tiny part of the game and empire building should become filled with more critical decisions instead of just spamming cities everywhere.

    “More economy” is one of the reasons why Starcraft 2 sucks, because (compared to Broodwar) you have two or three times as many units and only a korean kid who trains for that since he is 12 will be able to control it.

    LESS (economy) IS MORE (control, threat to you = excitement) … and it reduces the cheating the AI has to do to be competitive. With a lower economy you CAN’T simply spam “Spy Drone” “Ravens” “Cherub” from the get go to scout the map until turn 30. I really hope map designers will learn this quickly!

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  President.
    #86586

    Renegade35
    Member

    The economic portion of the latest patch is actually very well conceived. Even from a purely singleplayer-focused and/or “casual” perspective, there can be nothing wrong about slowing the game down a bit, managing mana-excess, city- or t4 spam. It also specifically caters to the “builder” type of player, who likes to tech up, explore the map, play around before attemting to tackle any mission/map objectives.

    So – want to be a slowpoke instead of omfgbbqbumrushing the AI, beelining to objectives and generally trying to win as hard as you can? Now is your chance, without the fear of getting sledgehammered out of nowhere by endless legions while still exploring that one secret cave you missed at the edge of the map.

    Again, this is all perfectly fine. There is a clear design vision discernible among those changes mentioned above, which is always a good thing. Its not until the miniscule fiddling with unit stats where it gets ugly – and entirely superflous. Personally, all this recent tuning just screams “must… conquer… teh… overpowerdz!!1” to me – and all that because someone, somewhere got roflstomped in a multiplayer match by some clever, maybe even slightly “exploitive” combination of units/abilites/whatever.

    It is overdue the designers get into their heads that Age of Wonders simply is not, and never was that type of game, where everything is perfectly fine-tuned under every possible condition. Thats what War/Starcraft is for, League of Legends, you name it. AoW lives for its fantasy adventure experience, the diverse colour palette of units – or to put it in other words: “powerful, unique and cool stuff”.

    The original game had lots of that, of course including many super-powered combinations of magic or troops that simply, in lack of a better term, “pwned hard”. I distinctively remember the Ghost in that regard, a regular undead faction unit completely immune to physical damage, which could level entire, AI-controlled cities by itself if there was no counter present. Or the good old Air Galley. Get in, destroy the enemy flak defence (ballistae, archers) – then enable auto combat and watch it decimate everything with total impunity.

    Imbalanced? Yes. Exploitable? Sure. Fun as hell? Absolutely! And in multiplayer? So what if that very special one of your buddies would try to “cheese it again” with Galleys or Ghosts – you could just walk over to him, smack him in the back of his head, kindly reminding the olde crook to “play nice” in the process. Problem solved. Nowadays… well, not that easy to do anymore, so much is true.

    An ideal solution to all this would of course be two seperate balance databases, one for single, the other for multiplayer matches. But until that gets implemented, there´s a single, simple rule to follow for all those complaining about “this and that being op under these and those special conditions”: Don´t do it.

    Also, don´t play with anonymous, powergaming cheesebags. You would be surprised just how many headaches can be entirely avoided by this humble measure alone.

    #86602

    Amarok
    Member

    Look at all you exploiters coming out of the woodwork to defend your merciless abuse of the AI and your multiplayer opponents! (jokes folks, don’t shoot me!)

    I think the overall point of the thread was to suggest to the devs that they not balance this game like it was a competitive esport (see: Starcraft, Dota, LoL, etc).

    If they think whatever changes they are making are good for the game, then go for it. But if the changes are being implemented to please the competitive crowd, then please don’t. I love competitive games like LoL and Starcraft, but 4x games aren’t the place for it.

    PS: You can be competitive in 4x games, but 4x games aren’t inherently competitive (percentage chance anything ends true balanced competitiveness).

    #86603

    An exploit means using something that was not intentioned like using a bug for unfair advantage. Now, I am all for squishing exploits. If something is an exploit, I firmly believe it will be/ should be fixed. And if I find one, I will be the first to report it.

    I also do not believe that an aggressive play style, “min/maxing theorycrafter power gaming”, good scouting, or any such things like that is an “exploit” but tactics. It would be like saying someone “cheated” on running a marathon because he ate good meals instead of beer and Cheetos. Makes no sense. Nor is the marathon runner “power gaming” if he knows by heart all his body’s specs and 100s of training techniques.

    That said, I think I get what the OP is trying to say before it devolved into a something reminiscent of the old “casual vs hardcore” forum debates on MMO forums is that he desires more ways to win other than going Genghis Khan on the AIs. He wants more of a sandbox. He probably should of said that other than thowing around the words “expoiters”, “hardcores”, etc. We must be careful of our language and avoid generalizations.

    Come to think of it. AoW3 has no MP ladders, guilds, or single player rankings. Not sure how someone can be “hardcore”. There is nothing to be hardcore about.

    #86606

    Amarok
    Member

    “Come to think of it. AoW3 has no MP ladders, guilds, or single player rankings. Not sure how someone can be “hardcore”. There is nothing to be hardcore about.”

    I’ve seen some hardcore players abounding. I mean, look at this thread to find a prime example (no offense person in thread, you’re just a competitive kind of guy!):

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/mirror-balanced-map-for-competitive-mp-play/

    The suggested map basically guts most of the game in an attempt to create a competitive map… I’m all for players playing how they want to, but this isn’t meant to be Starcraft in fantasy land.

    #86619

    bam65
    Member

    Wow, a whole thread wanting a certain playstyle to be supported in AoW3. I was bashed by a few people for even making one post along these same lines.

    I like a slower, longer game myself and prefer taking my time to explore and expand but somehow we’re not allowed to want or support that sort of playstyle. That’s funny because I don’t have a problem with people wanting to rush and exploit as long as I can play the way I want. I don’t think that’s so much to ask.

    #86627

    sammykaine
    Member

    Regardless of the situation on Random Maps, the Campaigns are meant to be time sensitive missions. The stories, with which Triumph went above and beyond the call of duty as far am I’m concerned, are about a desperate race against time to prevent the collapse of one, or even two continent spanning empires. Exploring ancient ruins or dungeons along the way is part of that of course, as Sundren or Edward search for artefacts or allies to help them on their quest. But hanging around in blighted Nirvenkiln researching Dreadnaughts so you can beat that Obsidian Dragon sat on some supplies is like Frodo and Sam taking a month off to farm potatoes.

    In the words of the great man himself, “Fly, you fools!”

    #86630

    CrazyElf
    Member

    Wow, a whole thread wanting a certain playstyle to be supported in AoW3. I was bashed by a few people for even making one post along these same lines.

    I like a slower, longer game myself and prefer taking my time to explore and expand but somehow we’re not allowed to want or support that sort of playstyle. That’s funny because I don’t have a problem with people wanting to rush and exploit as long as I can play the way I want. I don’t think that’s so much to ask.

    What’s really needed is some sort of pacing option where you can set research rates and unit production rates – not just what you start off with.

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