Heal and Sustain Balance Discussion

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Heal and Sustain Balance Discussion

This topic contains 280 replies, has 33 voices, and was last updated by  madmac 7 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #118870

    ExNihil
    Member

    Ok Fellas,

    There is a contested issue that I think needs some addressing – namely, the question of healing. Some races / classes have access to heal or heal-like abilities, i.e. Theocrat’s healing on supports, Archdruid and Theocrat Heal on hero/leader, Human Priest’s Iron Heart, Dwarven Forge Priest’s Guardian Flame, and the Draconian Fast Healing trait – which while not giving a combat heal, does give a strategic map benefit. The problem is that these abilities give a huge advantage in creeping the strategic map, which really sets them apart from other races/classes. IMO there need to be options for every class and race that can compensate for this. I don’t think every race should have the same abilities or that it should be homogeneous, but I do think that there need to be some new and interesting options.

    I will just mention here one interesting idea – @morty suggested that the Goblin Big-Beetle will receive a Life Steal as a combat perk, because it devours its enemies (I pointed to the mythical scarab), I think that some class units (e.g. Shadowstalker) could benefit from this perk as well.

    I would like to ask you to propose solutions based on the existing game mechanics (if possible), and discuss this issue – you can of course contest it if you feel I’m mistaken, but lets make a communal discussion.

    #118874

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Life Steal in general is the most crappy idea ever, outside of using it for Vampires (and a fun unit like Dire Penguins). Because the idea as such is deeply flawed.
    Simply reduce the Healing effect – or reduce the combat Damage of all Healing supports. Or allow a second Fast Healing ability for Heroes or … or… or, but do NOT make it a swapping of HPs like it was two girls swapping … ok, you get the picture.

    It’s a deeply flawed idea that lengthens combat, discourages the “wasting” of “opposing life force” and is cheap like a used … well, I made my point here.

    #118879

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hmm.. Why do you think life Steal is Flawed?

    #118880

    Gloweye
    Member

    I don’t thing Life Steal is usefull here – it will only benefit single units. On the Shadow Stalker it might fit (and bring it closer to the Sm Shade. hurray!). But overall, i’m quite dissappointed that it doesn’t steal % life – 2-4 is much to weak in this game that’s got minimum damages.

    I like the idea of the healing being an advantage of said classes, but I think there should be some possibilities. Maybe spend a turn without movement at all for +8 HP regen? The advantages would switch from the current preventing of unit loss to being able to explore faster.

    #118886

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Well what about “Attack Steal”? A unit attacks another and steals their damage. Or defense. Or abilities. Or Mana, gold, Tech, research – WHATEVER? “Life” isn’t a commodity that can be measured in increments and traded between units, because otherwise the concept of distinct units is lost:
    Sharing Life? (Like Martyr, only flowing the other way round: Hero has 70 Life, unit has 10. Hero gives unit 20 Life). Life Bond? (Damage is divided on the bonded units). Dividing Life? (A spell that divides the Life of my units equally on everyone).

    And so on. DEEPLY flawed concept. Not to mention the problems with the lore. Life Steal would obviously deeply evil – but how could something like that transfer life unblemished? It would have to be corrupted into something foul – like with the undead Vampires.

    Life Steal (as in Life TRANSFER via attack damage) is basically the worst idea ever in fantasy gaming.

    #118891

    Gloweye
    Member

    Well, like it or not, its quite deeply embedded in fantasy. I think what Life Steal really needs is a buff. The only way its usefull now is in A) long battles and heroes with life steal+first strike+tireless, and B) long battles and units like Elite Succubi/Wraith Kings flanking with it all the time, with the Succubi having the disadvantage of taking more damage than the other two. otherwise the whole effect is actually quite small.

    So buff Life Steal to just 20% of the (Physical) damage dealt, make it influence the course of a battle the way Tireless or Mind Control does.

    #118903

    ExNihil
    Member

    @Jolly Joker,

    Some interesting suggestions that I think can be very interesting abilities / skills / spells in themselves. I don’t agree though that Life Steal is a deeply flawed concept – as @gloweye says it is a staple of fantasy RPG games and of course of fantasy/horror at large. I think though that it should be limited to specific units, spells buffs, special techs, and perhaps hero army buffs – not be a race wide ability or class wide one, but an option to solve something of this problem. Saying that, I don’t think Life Steal is a major solution – it might fit for some units/heroes or maybe as a castable spell buff but we shouldn’t focus on it.

    @gloweye,

    I think you are correct – Life Steal as it is now is a rather weak trait that doesn’t translate into substantial healing. What I like about it is that it forces the unit to engage in order to receive healing. It should though be limited in order to ensure that there is a chance for the unit to be substantially hurt while fighting. The best example would be an engagement between a t4 unit, say a Mancticore Rider, and a t1 unit – if it’s 20% of physical damage dealt the result is that the Manticore Rider is virtually invulnerable in engaging t1 units. This is game-breaking I think. I don’t know how this can be mitigated without limiting it to specific units and a certain limited level of heal.

    #118912

    Gloweye
    Member

    he best example would be an engagement between a t4 unit, say a Mancticore Rider, and a t1 unit – if it’s 20% of physical damage dealt the result is that the Manticore Rider is virtually invulnerable in engaging t1 units. This is game-breaking I think. I don’t know how this can be mitigated without limiting it to specific units and a certain limited level of heal.

    Thats just about the point. I loved using immortal life steal heroes in whatever earlier games.

    However, regarding every non-hero unit, you will deplete your action points and no retaliations = no life steal.

    Therefore, the bolded part should regard the units with life steal AND tireless. Ergo, just heroes. And by the time you’ve got your hero T1-immune, your opponent should have T3’s out, and T4’s soon. you’re not gonna outheal the damage T3/T4’s are gonna do.

    #118914

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    @Jolly Joker,
    I don’t agree though that Life Steal is a deeply flawed concept – as @gloweye says it is a staple of fantasy RPG games and of course of fantasy/horror at large.

    Err, yes, it’s featured in fantasy games, making them silly, and, no, it’s not featured in fantasy/horror at large, because it makes no sense whatsoever.

    #118919

    ExNihil
    Member
    #118925

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Umm, WHAT? Are you kidding?

    #118943

    Err, yes, it’s featured in fantasy games, making them silly, and, no, it’s not featured in fantasy/horror at large, because it makes no sense whatsoever.

    umn, vampires, medieval revenants/Draugr, and this bit from a little thing called the Odyssey (Book 11, lns. 90-100).

    “[90] “Then there came up the spirit of the Theban Teiresias, bearing his golden staff in his hand, and he knew me and spoke to me: ‘Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, what now, hapless man? Why hast thou left the light of the sun and come hither to behold the dead and a region where is no joy? [95] Nay, give place from the pit and draw back thy sharp sword, that I may drink of the blood and tell thee sooth.’ “So he spoke, and I gave place and thrust my silver-studded sword into its sheath, and when he had drunk the dark blood, then the blameless seer spoke to me and said: [100]

    blood, given to the Greek gods (and other divinities in sacrifices) is a traditional sign of the life force, and here the shade has to consume it to perform his worldly function of prophesy.

    #118953

    Marcus
    Member

    Maybe Triumph should approach it from the different direction. We know Draconians have lesser regeneration feat and it helps them to compensate for the lack of healing spells on support.

    I have 2 ideas that was on my mind for quite some time:
    1. Lesser regeneration (fast healing) feat on support units. Something like bard skill but for healing: if you have a goblin blight doctor in your stack it will give “fast healing” to everyone in this stack. I mean they ARE the doctors (you can also tie the heal bonus to a different terrain as well. For instance blight doctor’s “fast healing” will have a double effect on liked terrain (swamps, blighted hexes) and won’t work on hated terrain like volcanic.
    The same could be used for shamans and tropical/barrens terrain.
    It fits lore-wise (IMHO obviously) and will encourage people to use terrain spells more active too.
    2. Just give “fast healing” to races deprived of healing means (orcs, goblins, elves) on liked terrain only.
    Just think about the synergy with terrain spells (almost no one uses spells like “domain of sun”) if it can be tied to healing we will have some interesting options to play with.

    And seriously, shouldn’t elves feel better in the forests anyway? Or goblins in the swamps/blighted terrain (maybe even underground)?

    #118954

    Smaug3
    Member

    I’m reading the Odyssey for school. Let me tell you, the ghosts who feed off blood in order to be called is downright scary. Might make for a cool unit if necromancer ever comes out: needs to sacrifice a unit to bring it.

    #118957

    Marcus
    Member

    I’ll start new thread about it.

    #118966

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    People – are you kidding or what? I admit this is making me aggressive, but aren’t you realizing that VAMPIRES and comparable creatures are NOT Life-Stealing, because they – ha-ha – are not “living” in the first place?
    Vampires are called UNDEAD for a reason!

    Life-Stealing, though, is something else, completely: It transfers “life” – whatever that is supposed to be – to another LIVING creature: in game terms, they swap HPs.

    I’m completely ok with the Vampire thing. I’m not ok with living creatures stealing Life – that is just silly and cheesy. Just think about the ramifications of this – I mean, as it is, things are stolen for lesser reasons, and people die for lesser reasons, but if LIFE-STEALING was possible …

    Anyway. Regular living beings stealing life – NO WAY. NON-LIVING critters “feeding off” the living to sustain their way of existence: FINE.

    #118969

    Gloweye
    Member

    Why not? is just a magical transfer of life essence – the ulitmate victory, because the battle actually makes you stronger instead of weaker(becajuse of injuries and the like…)

    just think about the ramifications of this – I mean, as it is, things are stolen for lesser reasons, and people die for lesser reasons, but if LIFE-STEALING was possible

    And? You’re the guy who hates real life parallels. I see this things full ramifications,(Heck, its already in the game…) and I like it.

    #118977

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Why not? is just a magical transfer of life essence – the ulitmate victory, because the battle actually makes you stronger instead of weaker(becajuse of injuries and the like…)

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Jolly Joker wrote:</div>
    just think about the ramifications of this – I mean, as it is, things are stolen for lesser reasons, and people die for lesser reasons, but if LIFE-STEALING was possible

    And? You’re the guy who hates real life parallels. I see this things full ramifications,(Heck, its already in the game…) and I like it.

    “A magical transfer of life essence”? Don’t you see that this is complete nonsense?
    Try to define “life essence” and try to describe the “magical transfer”. You can do it with magical terms (I do NOT want you to make a scientific explanation): just describe what the attacker does and what happens with the stacked, and define the concepts, as you will do it, when you define and describe, say, undead or elemental magic. Try to compare the process with Necromancy, and see where it gets you.

    #118991

    Gloweye
    Member

    “A magical transfer of life essence”? Don’t you see that this is complete nonsense?

    No shit, its magic….in a computer game…

    So you want a possible explanation? hereee we go!

    Enchanted Weapons
    The weapon in question hits the enemy, and touches his blood. since blood has always been a metaphor for a creature’s life force(See: many fantasy world, old RL civilizations), this allows the weapon to tap into that creatures life force and drain (some) of it. This is then transferred to the wielder of the weapon. In some cases, this requires touching the wielders blood to, therefore having a small sharp point on the hilt of the blade. Regardless of this, this added life force allows the blade’s wielder to heal faster, and/or invigorates him.

    Good enough?

    #118995

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Nope. This makes it either a spell that enchants a weapon or the magic property of a specific weapon. In the latter case it was something unique. In the first case, you’d cast it on every weapon.

    But that’s accepting this crappy “life force” as something tangible, not as something metaphorical. So what happens with all this tangible “life force” in a battle or fight? It’s all going to waste, that’s what!
    Wouldn’t everyone be busy trying a way to make use of it? And isn’t Necromancy and being undead a completely sill form of existence, when the LIVING can replenish their life force? And what the hell happens when a being isn’t damaged but still taps on another life force?

    It just makes not the least bit of sense. It makes sense for strange, un-living monsters like Vampires, Wraiths and so either feed on blood, or, better, to tap into your SPIRIT (or soul), robbing you some part or even all of it, DESTROYING IT in the process and use the magical essence in that spirit/soul or part of it – that is set free via the destruction – to replenish their ungodly existence. But using this kind of thing as a living being – say, via some unique enchanted weapon, a very common occurrence in the trade -, it will OF COURSE alter said living being, making this kind of thing actually unusable as a general ability of a normal living being or as a spell that can be cast on any normal being, without transforming said being into something entirely different.

    #119061

    GGDevil
    Member

    I think you shouldn’t argue whether the term “life-steal” makes sense or not it doesn’t solve the problem.

    I like Marcus idea because it would solve the problem, shouldn’t be so complicated to implement as there already is the mechanic with happiness.I think life-steal on the goblin beetle would make sense though as explanation for this why a beetle has life steal I suppose that he bites and eats parts of his victim and regains some health but I think this shouldn’t be on default like this maybe on silver medal.

    Btw. here is the other thread about the support units which Marcus created:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/support-units-passive-heal-on-different-terrain-types/

    #119063

    Wintersend
    Member

    There are already some living units in the game with life steal, while they can’t be built vampire spider queens have the life steal ability, and I’m pretty sure some other units do as well. So you can’t really argue that within the confines of the game that it is only possible for undead to have any form of life draining.

    #119066

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Well, it can be done with Living units, but then they obviously must be MAGICAL MONSTERS (that is, their attack must affect Spirit defense).

    #119076

    Gloweye
    Member

    Well, it can be done with Living units, but then they obviously must be MAGICAL MONSTERS (that is, their attack must affect Spirit defense).

    So Gold Dragon Breath could count, but fire not? or something like exalted? Current Vampire Spiders are out, since they use blight. Dire Penguins to, as they got frost. Wraiths are undead, so they have an alternate licence?

    Really, I am starting to wonder if you are just trying/trolling to get as many people to respond to you as possible? Do you have any idea how little sense you make?

    #119082

    Ravenholme
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Jolly Joker wrote:</div>
    Well, it can be done with Living units, but then they obviously must be MAGICAL MONSTERS (that is, their attack must affect Spirit defense).

    So Gold Dragon Breath could count, but fire not? or something like exalted? Current Vampire Spiders are out, since they use blight. Dire Penguins to, as they got frost. Wraiths are undead, so they have an alternate licence?

    Really, I am starting to wonder if you are just trying/trolling to get as many people to respond to you as possible? Do you have any idea how little sense you make?

    He lost the battle as soon as he started to argue about the logic of a fantasy universe. I mean, really?

    #119090

    He lost the battle as soon as he started to argue about the logic of a fantasy universe. I mean, really?

    well, no: logic has a very strong place in a fantasy universe (that is why Gandalf can’t fly without eagle support, and the Nazgul only have a decent idea where the Ring is).

    He just happens to be wrong: blood has a sort of mystical energy about it in this and many other fantasy universes, and some creatures/items can draw on it. In sm, the butcher did draw on others life force, but went insane because of it (or because of the special blood bonding ritual).

    In AOW III, certain undead and other magical creatures (like the vampire spider queen) can naturally draw on it, while others have to make/find magical weapons to do so.

    Like any other enchantment, it is conditional: you can only add life force to a hurt unit because each has a total, represented by hp. It doesn’t work on machines, the undead, or incorporeal units because they don’t have blood/life force to give.

    1. Lesser regeneration (fast healing) feat on support units. Something like bard skill but for healing: if you have a goblin blight doctor in your stack it will give “fast healing” to everyone in this stack. I mean they ARE the doctors (you can also tie the heal bonus to a different terrain as well. For instance blight doctor’s “fast healing” will have a double effect on liked terrain (swamps, blighted hexes) and won’t work on hated terrain like volcanic.
    The same could be used for shamans and tropical/barrens terrain.
    It fits lore-wise (IMHO obviously) and will encourage people to use terrain spells more active too.
    2. Just give “fast healing” to races deprived of healing means (orcs, goblins, elves) on liked terrain only.
    Just think about the synergy with terrain spells (almost no one uses spells like “domain of sun”) if it can be tied to healing we will have some interesting options to play with.

    Triumph has already looked into this direction.

    As to the Big Beetle, I don’t think lifestealing works. You could attach swallow whole, like the glutton has, at a high medal, if a boost was needed.

    #119091

    Ericridge
    Member

    Life stealing is meh to me unless the unit in question is physically tough enough to make 1-5 hp ticks actually matter. Such as wraiths.

    #119100

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Maybe Life Steal has to be split into two different pools, then?

    A Greater Life Steal, for the creatures with innate life stealing properties (Vampire Spiders, Wraiths, and any other additions such as Vampires or adding it on a Medal to things such as Big Beetles or other units) – this would be the “20% of damage caused is returned as health” idea batted around

    And a Magical Life Steal to go on weapons and spells that grant the ability (and on any future building that grants life steal to units or whatever) which only grants “10% of damage caused in health”, which would make it less effective than Greater on lower tier units which deal less damage, but would escalate in usefulness depending on strength of unit (but not to the degree the Innate or Greater Life Steal does)

    @Chrysophylax – Yes, but I wasn’t referring to the internally consistent logic of the fantasy universe in question. JJ appeared to be attributing real life logic to the functioning of a fantasy universe which has magic, which is a self-defeating battle.

    #119107

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    @Chrysophylax – Yes, but I wasn’t referring to the internally consistent logic of the fantasy universe in question. JJ appeared to be attributing real life logic to the functioning of a fantasy universe which has magic, which is a self-defeating battle.

    It has nothing to do with RL logic, but with LOGIC,
    You see, take Vmpires. If you make it LAW, that a bitten victim will become a vampire no matter what, then you face the problem that sooner or later (and due to the Chess and rice corn thing it’s sooner) there will be no victims left (Salem’s Lot deals with that, in a way).
    NOTE: Magic is NOT an excuse for “makes no sense”, and magic cannot explain everything – you can’t say, hey, it’s magic, everything is possible, senseor not.

    Vampire stuff in games is generally called LIFE DRAIN. It works with certain prerequisites: For one thing Vampires MUST drink blood to survive. They do not heal anything – they are, basically, Monsters, that live off of blood they need to contin ue their UNLIFE (they do not LIVE AT ALL!).

    However, LIFE STEAL, makes a lot more assumptions that have n othing to do with the fact that we are in a fantasy universe: Life is Life, no matter the universe, and it’s not different from hours. So we need a basic, fundamental theory about what this life is – which can include magic elements, of course -, but one thing it CANNOT: let it work MUNDANE. Because there is no such thing.
    So the rule is, if you want something fantasy, it MUST work magically.
    Which in turn means, a unit that lifesteals MUST be a magic creature.
    Secondly, it must be an EVIL creature, because Stealing Life must inherently be evil (I think that’s self-explanatory).
    Third, it must have a price – logically, life wants to live; if it wasn’t evil and if it hadn’t a price everyone would go for it, and everyone would get it. Even if it WAS evil – WHO CARES? STEAL LIFE is equal to LIVE FOREVER, except if you really die.

    Bottom line is, the ability is just too POWERFUL to introduce on a general basis (as is resurgence or resurrect). Which means you must keep them for evil stuff that gets warped and whatnot. I mean, isn’t it a law anyway, that evil gets all the cool stuff and is allowed everything? There’s good reason for that.

    #119108

    Wintersend
    Member

    I would like to point out, that vampire spider queens are not listed as magic creatures in-game, they are not dedicated to evil, and they regenerate naturally.

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