[FOLLOWED] THEOCRAT Balance Discussion

We’ve moved over to the paradox forums. Please come visit us there to discuss:
You can still read the collective wisdom - and lolz - of the community here, but posting is no longer possible.

Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions [FOLLOWED] THEOCRAT Balance Discussion

This topic contains 668 replies, has 45 voices, and was last updated by  chrysophylax páuperem 7 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 669 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #115629

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hi Guys,
    Time for thread #3 in the Classes threads. The post I am going to make here is based on the discussion that were held in the now defunct Re-balance of Existing Element in Next Patch thread.

    While there is new content in the post for some of you this will be repetitive and it might also look like i’m raising points that have already been discussed at length. Because that thread was so big and contentious I feel that a more focused discussion of each class will be beneficial, and I hope it will also make things easier for anyone (including you Dev Team folks!) who is interested in reading and participating.

    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/

    #115632

    ExNihil
    Member

    The Theocrat’s Concept:

    “Because theocrats tend not to wield many offensive powers, it is tempting to believe that territories ruled by theocrats are easy to conquer. History has proven this to be foolishness. Theocrats lead the masses by the heart. They heal, persuade, minister and convert. Their zealots are fiercely loyal, convinced to the core that any action they perform will earn them a greater reward in the afterlife.”

    Class Specific Technologies:

    Unit Summoning and Production: Summon Cherub (60RP) –> Produce Martyr (60RP) –> Produce Crusader (120RP) –> Produce Evangelist (220RP) –> Produce Exalted (750RP) –> Produce Shrine of Smiting (1400RP)

    Unit Upgrade Techs: Order of the Templar Knights (80RP, Passive Upgrade), Order of Healing (120RP, Passive Upgrade), Order of Sacred Support (220, Passive Upgrade), Exalted Martyrs (400RP, Passive Upgrade), Prayer of the Hurt (220RP, Spell)

    Empire Upgrades: Sanctified Sites (250RP)

    City Upgrades: Beacon of Faith (130RP), Paid Absolution (140RP)

    Combat Spells: Slayer’s Doubt (60RP), Smite (90RP), Divine Protection (140RP), Instant Wrath (140RP), Mighty Meek (180RP), Purifying Burst (200RP), Wrath of God (400RP), Blessing of Health (400RP), Rebirth (400RP), Power of the Word (700RP), Holy War (1200RP)

    Strategic and Offensive Enchantments: Mark of the Heretic (80RP), Denounce City (400RP),
    The Great Purge (1400RP), Armageddon (2500RP), Hallowed Domain (750RP)

    Core Strategy:

    The Theocrat is strong in early game and 1v1 situations because it has a strong scout, access to heal on support units and leader, and a powerful combat spell (smite). The abundance of healing translates into a capacity to creep better than other classes and thus develop quicker and gaining significant experience. And it also translates into powerful rushing armies, composed of a large number of support units. Yet in mid-game the Theocrat’s game slows down and becomes weaker – the lack of a substantial economic boost and reliable t3 class units as well as the limitations imposed on spirit damage posit Theo as the weakest class in mid-game and forces the player to relay on racial t3 units and trebuchets to a great extent. If the player manages to survive to the late game stages and produce Shrines of Smiting in large quantities while gaining the trait “Divine Justicars” on his leader this might be reversed, depending on the opponents being encountered.
    Current Issues:

    1. The economy of the Theocrat is weak – even in comparison with that of the Rogue. All of the Theocrat’s Empire and City Upgrades are spells, and the city upgrades are city specific rather than world enchantments and thus must be casted multiple times. Let us look at them more closely:

    Beacon of Faith, 50CP 10m/turn: Target city receives +50pop growth.

    Paid Absolution, 80CP 20m/turn: Target city generates +10 gold/turn and garrisoned units get +200 morale.

    Sanctified Sites, 100CP 20m/turn: Treasure sites in cities’ domains generate an additional +30 morale.

    At 10m/turn Beacon of Faith gives a very bad deal indeed – +50pop growth is a ridiculously low return that will at best shave a single turn from city growth, and in most circumstances has nothing but cosmetic effect. At 20m/turn Paid absolution is another bad bargain – the player can convert mana to gold at the rate of 1:2 and get the extra perk of unit happiness, which while nice, will only be effective if and when the city is under attack. Sanctified Sites, for a global spell, has an ok maintenance cost. The problem is the CP cost which is just prohibitive, and then the return for this spell is not particularly impressive either.

    What is also quite obvious is that in comparison to the other production based classes the Theocrat has no production buff of any kind. Dreadnought and Warlord get unit price discount, while Dread also gets a direct production buff in its buildings and through Mana Fuel-Cells. The Rogue has Iron grip which indirectly buffs all city parameters by influencing happiness. The Theocrat though has Sanctified Sites which is very pale indeed compared to Iron Grip (yes one is a world enchantment and the other a city specific spell, but still). This makes keeping pace with the other classes’ unit production a serious and expansive problem for the Theocrat.

    2. The Theocrat’s t3 units are quite weak, resulting in that the Theocrat has no mid-game really based on its own units. I have been told that some of the Theocrat’s units are getting some serious buffs. Since though I have no idea what units will be buffed and in what way and know for a fact that at least one problem I see is not being addressed, I will try to be systematic here.

    Let’s begin with the Evangelist:

    Cost: 150g/30m, upkeep 16g. 60hp, 28mp, 9def, 11res. Melee Strike 10 physical.
    Abilities: Convert, Turn Undead, Touch of Faith, Walking, Mind Control Immunity, Support, True Sight, Devout.

    Trooper: +1 spirit melee, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 spirit melee, +1 defense, +6hp
    Expert: +1 spirit melee, +1 resistance, +6hp
    Elite: +1 spirit melee, +1 defense, +12hp, Inflict Spirit Breaking

    Racial Variety: Draconian Evangelist received ranged Fire Bolts 8 with a cost increase of +10g/+10m

    The Evangelist is a weird unit. It is the cheapest t3 research wise at 220RP. It’s strongest trait is Convert, which unlike the Bard’s Charm works in 3 hexes distance and being a support unit it has True Sight and more importantly it can receive heal and an extra level of experience through the Theo’s Order of Healing and Order of Sacred Support. The Turn Undead trait is situational and helps especially in clearing epic level dungeons (not t3 units level anyhow), but it works well with this unit’s concept, so I’m not one to oppose it. Touch of Faith is a nice combat buff, giving +3 resistance to a friendly unit, and I understand it will be changed to cool down from one-time use, which will certainly give some more utility to the evangelist.

    Thus far for the good things to be said about this unit, let’s look at the bad: It costs 10 production units more than a racial t3 but has very low defense for a t3 unit, being equal to t2 racial supports, and a relatively low resistance (12 is a t3 average). It has no inherent resistances of any kind – including spirit resistance (Crusader has 100%). It doesn’t receive, like virtually all other non-machine t3 units, an extra ability on veteran. And most importantly- its attack is solely melee based only. This is a support unit that by most of its traits is designed to stay behind the front line, yet it has no ranged attack at all. This means that in order to use this unit in combat it must engage the enemy directly, which with these stats is rather suicidal. In fact aside from the Convert and Touch of Faith in almost every level racial support units will be a better choice because they all have ranged attacks and are not restricted to physical damage only. True, there is a single Evangelist unit that has ranged attack – the Draconian Evangelist, but IMO that is an exception that proves the rule, as this unit is dramatically better because of its ranged. Furthermore, IMO no racial variation should have such a stark advantage in comparison to the other variants – think of the High-Elf, it upgrades existing ranged into longbows and the biggest upgrade is from light-crossbow, and that currently costs 30 production units (20 mana / 10 gold).

    Let’s turn to the Exalted now:

    Cost: 160g/30m, upkeep 16g. 50hp, 30mp, 11def, 12res. Melee Strike 13 physical/4 Spirit.
    Abilities: Resurgence, Strong Will, Infantry, Wall Climbing, Devout, Flying, 100% Spirit Protection

    Trooper: +1 physical melee, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 physical melee, +6hp, +1 defense, Inflict Daze
    Expert: +1 physical melee, +6hp, +1 resistance
    Elite: +1 physical melee, +12hp, +1 Defense, Stunning Touch

    Prima facie the Exalted is a good unit: At 20 productions unit more than a racial t3 it has resurgence, which means that it comes back to life after the battle if the player wins, and it receives Inflict Daze on Veteran, which is a deadly ability indeed. The fact that its flying really helps the Theocrat, who is rather restricted to slow walking units, and its dual channel melee attack does 17 damage total, which is the same as Orc Shock Trooper. Yet, because of its weak combination of stats this unit never really packs the punch it should, and its survivability is rather low. If the player manages to win the fight then this unit comes back to life, but with these stats it’s a big if – they were given no doubt to balance the very powerful perk of resurgence, but IMO went so far in the other direction.

    Let’s see why: To begin with it has only 50hp, which is the same as baseline Assassins and 5 less than racial units. This is followed by 11 def / 12 res, which are equal to the stats of the Shaman. The problem is though that the Exalted is a melee based t3 unit with no ranged attack, thus 11 defense is pretty low. Ability wise, we can see that at baseline it has no combat enhancing traits (except Devout) and that the only ability that buffs its attacks is Inflict Daze, which while very powerful still doesn’t endow it with the punching power of about half of the racial t3 units. Then there is the Bizzare case of Strong Will and 100% Spirit Protection, which are overlapping with the spirit protection being redundant. The final ability – Stunning Touch, while definitely useful is not, IMO, a gold medal level ability for a t3 unit.

    3. The t4 unit of the Theocrat – the Shrine of Smiting is a surprising choice, which I personally find interesting. It is a Machine unit with a primarily ranged attack, and its great strength is in that it receives a +2 fire and +2 spirit damage on its ranged attack for every devout unit in the stack, thus up to +10/+10 on its ranged. The big problem though is that the Theocrat doesn’t have the repair machine ability on the leader/heroes or any of its units and is thus unable to repair the Shrine except in cities. Although this is slightly compensated for by the high-level theocrat ability Divine Justicars which gives all units in the army including machines resurgence, it is an inherent weakness and IMO a rather bizarre mishap on the side of the Devs.

    4. About half of the Theocrat’s units have a dual channel attack that uses Spirit as one of the damage channels (Cherub, Exalted, Shrine of Smiting) and almost all (except stunning touch) of the abilities on the various units as well as the Theocrat’s offensive combat spells roll against the Spirit modifier. This creates a very big problem for several reasons: 1. all machine units have 100% spirit immunity and thus cannot be effected by spirit damage and spells/abilities that use its roll, thus making the Theocrat inherently crippled respective to the Dreadnought from mid-game onward. 2. Although Strong Will is a very powerful unit trait, it is very common to receive items from Bandit Camps and the like that give it to a hero unit and it is also a trait that some class leaders/heroes can take, thus making Heroes also 100% immune to spirit damage. 3. Most of the Theocrat’s units have themselves 100% Spirit Resistance, except the Cherub which has 60% and the Evangelist which has none. This creates a ridiculous situation in Theocrat vs. Theocrat combat, which is also conceptually bizarre – if the two Theocrats are servants of the same deity and are actually communing with divine powers, why are they fighting? And if they follow different deities how come they can’t hurt each other using their spirit abilities?

    Rebalance Suggestions:

    1. I think that Paid Absolution should give more return for the mana for it to be seriously effective. My suggestion is to change the +200 garrison morale to a +150 city morale bonus while keeping the +10 gold – this will indirectly affect the city’s overall income, pop growth and production modifiers while giving a straight gold income. I also think that the Theocrat should be the class with the happiest population in potential – after all, religion is the opium of the masses according to Marx. I therefore suggest that Beacon of Faith will be changed from +50 pop for the price of 10m/turn to +200 morale and +100 pop growth for the price of 20m/turn. The combination of these two spells, for the hefty sum of 40m/turn, would seriously boost the economy of the target city and thus fortify the Theocrat’s economy. Finally, I suggest Sanctified Sites will be upgraded to +50 happiness for every treasure site within a city’s domain.

    2. I suggest the following changes for the evangelist:

    Cost: 150g/30m, upkeep 16g. 60hp, 28mp, 10def , 12res . Melee Strike 10 physical, Spirit Ray 10.
    Abilities: Convert, Turn Undead, Touch of Faith, Walking, Mind Control Immunity, Support, True Sight, Devout, 60% Spirit Immunity .

    Trooper: +1 spirit melee, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 spirit ranged , +1 defense, +6hp, Stunning Touch
    Expert: +1 spirit melee, +1 resistance, +6hp
    Elite: +1 spirit
    ranged , +1 defense, +12hp, Inflict Spirit Breaking

    The increase in def/res stats will put this unit in the t3 playing field while keeping the defense on the low side of things. The introduction of a ranged attack is IMO necessary for this unit and will help the Theocrat significantly. Spirit Protection is also mandatory – although I’m personally opposed to immunity (see clause 4). Changes to medals follow the introduction of a ranged attack, except Stunning Touch, which I want removed from exalted (see below) and introduced here – this is a much better fit IMO as it is also a good defensive trait fitting well with a support. These changes will make the Evangelist into a good t3 unit that is superior to racial support units in every way pretty much – even forge priests who get 12def/12res.

    As for Exalted I suggest the following:

    Cost: 160g/30m, upkeep 16g. 55hp, 30mp, 12def, 11res. Melee Strike 13 physical/4 Spirit.
    Abilities: Resurgence, Strong Will, Infantry, Wall Climbing, Devout, Flying, Armor Piercing

    Trooper: +1 physical melee, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 physical melee, +6hp, +1 defense, Inflict Daze
    Expert: +1 physical melee, +6hp, +1 resistance
    Elite: +1 physical melee, +12hp, +1 Defense, Martial Arts

    The 5hp increase will put the exalted at the same level as a t2 racial cavalry rather than a t2 assassin, it would still be lower than all other t3 units except the Nightshade Fairy (this is an angry angel!) but a bit higher nonetheless. The increase of +1 to defense and the -1 to resistance is simply balancing this unit as a melee based t3, these are identical to those of the phalanx for example. I removed the 100% Spirit Protection as its redundant with strong will and added Armor Piercing, which will give Exalted a small edge against most other melee based racial and class t3 units. The biggest change is in removing the Stunning Touch, which I moved to the Evangelist on veteran, and instead Martial Arts, which will make gold medal Exalted into seriously powerful melee t3.

    3. I have written his several times before, so if you already read it please excuse me :). Anyhow, IMO unlike the Dreadnoughts Machines, which are steam-punk like contraptions full of hydraulics, moving parts and all sorts of sophisticated 19th like engineering, or the city based Machines, which are late medieval / renaissance like siege engines made of woods, the Shrine of Smiting is literally “God in the Machine”. It is a divinely animated construct, based around the remains of a holy man or saint. It is an apparatus for channeling divine fury, nothing more and nothing less. As such, I see absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t regenerate. I therefore suggest that the Shrine of Smiting will be able to regenerate, either by removing the “machine” trait and replacing it with a different one for this class, or by creating a special case for this unit. I further think that the Theocrat should receive a higher level healing spell that can actually fix machinery – including the shrine of smiting. Something like reassemble to a degree, but perhaps without the resurrection element.

    4. I have brought this issue up numerous times and in numerous threads and have lately posted a specific thread to address the spirit immunity of machines – see here: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/blight-spirit-machines-and-theo-some-community-questions/). Saying that, there is a particularly problematic situation between Theocrat units, and the best and simplest solution IMO is to reduce the Spirit Immunity of all Theocrat units with the exception of the Shrine of Smiting. I would like to see differential resistances that increase with the tier, except perhaps cherub which can retain 60%. Thus I would like to see crusader at a base of 40%, Evangelist at 60% and Exalted at 80%. This will require readjusting the Exalted’s traits to include Mind Control Immunity instead of Strong Will but that would be it pretty much. An alternative would be to introduce some ability, perhaps on the Evangelist, that reduces an enemy unit’s spirit resistance by 60% or so from afar (a touched based ability is a bad solution for a support unit!). This solution was eloquently proposed by @chrysophylax páuperem in the second page of the above mentioned thread and I invite you all to read it.

    #115676

    Snezak
    Member

    The description of the problems with Theo is spot on, the city enchantment spells I absolutely agree with, I was also thinking that religion should appease the populace and make them ‘blind’ to it’s (religion’s) ways.

    To some things I would disagree however, allow me to explain. The shrine of smiting dilemma, I personally don’t see as such a big weakness as you might describe it, you see, I believe that in ‘balance’ there should be strengths as well as weaknesses, as such the shrine of smiting has the weakness of it being a “machine”, although there might be a holy saint lying down in it, he is still contained inside a material apparatus made of stone, and however miracles might happen, I do think that material things should be fixed by man, and not to hope it will restore it’s parts by faith alone.

    About the Evangelist, I personally view him a some of an ultimate support unit rather than combat one, and for a support he doesn’t really do all that much, his friendly buffs consists of touch of faith, and healing (with research), I think that’s very weak for a support that suppose to not only convert the opponent, but also encourage his own allies.
    I will go alittle off-topic with this one, but I think it is relevant to the Evangelist case. 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.
    Now back to the Evangelist question, I really don’t want it to become yet another ‘damage dealer’, what I would like it to become is alot stronger support, perhaps giving it an ability to boost his fellow devout units? In any case, I believe it should be made a stronger support unit, and not a stronger combat unit.

    Another problem you haven’t mentioned is the Martyr. Currently he suffers the same problem as scoundrel, it’s too squishy, too short lived to be usefull. One might argue that having transfer pain is what makes the Martyr a usefull unit, and on paper it does sound good, but, frankly Martyr is just a waste of space, it’s nice to add 32hp to a strong unit that can do alot of damage, but I would rather just have a unit that can actually do more action and just have more purpose than just die and prolong another unit’s life for a little longer. A big issue with the Martyr is that creeping with him is even more problematic than with a scoundrel, as he is most certainly to die with his special ability which he most likely uses during the auto battles with AI. Thus, unless the Theocrat leader has insurgence, the usefulness of Martyr in creeping is highly questionable. Personally, I would rather have a T1 infantry rather than Martyr, the cost is the same, but the infantry can last more against attacks, and can be an actual threat.

    As for Exalted, I very much love the suggestion! I too did not understand the usefulness of stunning touch on gold medal, it’s pitifully weak compared to the majority of perks on gold medals… in fact I think it’s actually the weakest, almost makes me think that during the development the inflict daze and stunning touch were just accidentally switched up.

    Another issue, I believe worth noting is the Mark of the Heretic. I see 2 issues with it: First one (perhaps a minor issue), is how it’s used, it’s strategic spell that must be cast on the stack of units the theocrat is about to battle, the problem is how some battles might happen suddenly, ambushes are a good tactic, but player behavior is a whole another issue, in MP a player might just not wait for the theocrat player to cast the spells, especially if multiple stacks are involved. In NQ group the rule of 15s holds place, but I sometimes just didn’t make it in time to cast the mark on the opponent in time. And even if one manages to cast the spell in time, it’s 10cp per cast, which in turn severely hurts the use of magic in the actual combat.
    Second issue I see, is the progressive usefulness of the spell, during the early game it’s undoubtedly useful as the +3 damage can be very effective (however one must have a sufficient amount of devout units for it, which in early game might be quite problematic to have). But, during the middle stages of the game it’s effect are diminished, and during late-game might be left unnoticed at all. The problem is that the spell doesn’t progress as the game goes on, as such the devout trait will be useful only to determine the damage of the shrine of smiting. And to some extent the devout property might even be hurtful if the opponent possesses the holy champion/unholy champion traits. I think Mark of the Heretic should become stronger as the game progresses, perhaps not in damage, but in a more defensive and utility aspects, for example: devout units would get +1 defense and +1 resistance against heretic units, or a chance to cause some sort of a debuff on attack upon a heretic unit.

    Phew, that’s about all I wanted to add.

    With regards.
    -Snezak

    #115682

    Dr_K
    Member

    3. The t4 unit of the Theocrat – the Shrine of Smiting is a surprising choice, which I personally find interesting. It is a Machine unit with a primarily ranged attack, and its great strength is in that it receives a +2 fire and +2 spirit damage on its ranged attack for every devout unit in the stack, thus up to +10/+10 on its ranged. The big problem though is that the Theocrat doesn’t have the repair machine ability on the leader/heroes or any of its units and is thus unable to repair the Shrine except in cities. Although this is slightly compensated for by the high-level theocrat ability Divine Justicars which gives all units in the army including machines resurgence, it is an inherent weakness and IMO a rather bizarre mishap on the side of the Devs.

    Just a quick correction. The stacking on the Shrine of Smiting attack is +2 spirit/fire for every devout unit on the battlefield. Thus, the only cap on the bonus going into battle is probably +70 spirit/fire. One SoS with 6 full stacks of devout units attacking the central hex.

    I think that it does need some sort of regeneration mechanic though. The idea that I had for it also kind of worked with the whole devout units give it bonuses. It can still be a machine, but one that regenerates when in a stack of Devout units. Possibly +1 health per turn per Devout unit in the stack, so a max of +5 per turn.

    This would fix the fact that the unit does not regenerate when moving with an army, but makes them less effective on their own. Although, by the point that you get SoS usually they are only going to be involved in stacks with devout units.

    #115690

    Draxynnic
    Member

    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.

    Trinity… meh. Most games that don’t have an artificially stupid AI that responds far too much to taunts coupled with a healer gameplay that resembles a realtime game of whack-a-mole with red bars avoid pure trinity roles.

    Supports play the role they do because they’re magical or other support, not because they’re the healer side of a holy trinity or were ever meant to be. Supporting fire is a form of support, although the defining feature of support is having some other ability that may or may not be more important than simply attacking.

    The problem with evangelists as they currently stand in live is that they’re basically a two-shot wonder. Once they’ve touched a friend and attempted to convert a foe, you generally might as well withdraw them from the front lines altogether. Arguably, in fact, the ranged attacks of most supports is to avoid exactly this issue – the question of what they do once they’ve thrown their once-per-battle abilit(y/ies).

    I think that it does need some sort of regeneration mechanic though. The idea that I had for it also kind of worked with the whole devout units give it bonuses. It can still be a machine, but one that regenerates when in a stack of Devout units. Possibly +1 health per turn per Devout unit in the stack, so a max of +5 per turn.

    That’s an interesting idea. Still slower than regular healing IIRC, but it gives the idea that the prayer of the faithful can slowly restore a damaged relic.

    #115718

    ExNihil
    Member

    To some things I would disagree however, allow me to explain. The shrine of smiting dilemma, I personally don’t see as such a big weakness as you might describe it, you see, I believe that in ‘balance’ there should be strengths as well as weaknesses, as such the shrine of smiting has the weakness of it being a “machine”, although there might be a holy saint lying down in it, he is still contained inside a material apparatus made of stone, and however miracles might happen, I do think that material things should be fixed by man, and not to hope it will restore it’s parts by faith alone.

    Well, I disagree with your disagreement :). I think a class should have the tools to deal with its units. Dreadnought has this ability, it should either be extended to the Theocrat or the Shrine should regenerate. I think a possible solution would be to give the Evangelist a special ability like “Aura of Healing” but that effects machines as well, maybe something like “Channeler of Creation.” I though would simply prefer making the Shrine a unit capable of regeneration.

    About the Evangelist, I personally view him a some of an ultimate support unit rather than combat one, and for a support he doesn’t really do all that much, his friendly buffs consists of touch of faith, and healing (with research), I think that’s very weak for a support that suppose to not only convert the opponent, but also encourage his own allies.
    I will go alittle off-topic with this one, but I think it is relevant to the Evangelist case. 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.
    Now back to the Evangelist question, I really don’t want it to become yet another ‘damage dealer’, what I would like it to become is alot stronger support, perhaps giving it an ability to boost his fellow devout units? In any case, I believe it should be made a stronger support unit, and not a stronger combat unit.

    Well, I agree with you in general- Support units are more damage dealers then supports in most circumstances and are a better option than cavalry. This is first and foremost because unlike cavalry, Support units keep their relevance throughout the game by possessing support abilities and ranged attacks that use the resistance channel rather then defense, which is all-round lower then the defense channel. I believe this situation will continue to be much like at it is at present even with the move of support units to temple, simply because their utility is much better. What should probably happen is a nerf to the ranged attacks of all t2 support units, except the apprentice, and a boost to their support abilities. Saying that, the Evangelist is an expansive t3 unit and not a t2 unit. I agree it should primarily be a support unit, but a ranged attack on a support unit looks to me to be necessary and especially on a t3 unit, although there is no problem in nerfing the melee attack to compensate for this. Another idea that I think is important is the switch from a one time use Convert to a cooldown based Convert, which will really make this unit outstanding.

    Another problem you haven’t mentioned is the Martyr. Currently he suffers the same problem as scoundrel, it’s too squishy, too short lived to be usefull. One might argue that having transfer pain is what makes the Martyr a usefull unit, and on paper it does sound good, but, frankly Martyr is just a waste of space, it’s nice to add 32hp to a strong unit that can do alot of damage, but I would rather just have a unit that can actually do more action and just have more purpose than just die and prolong another unit’s life for a little longer. A big issue with the Martyr is that creeping with him is even more problematic than with a scoundrel, as he is most certainly to die with his special ability which he most likely uses during the auto battles with AI. Thus, unless the Theocrat leader has insurgence, the usefulness of Martyr in creeping is highly questionable. Personally, I would rather have a T1 infantry rather than Martyr, the cost is the same, but the infantry can last more against attacks, and can be an actual threat.

    You are absolutly right. The Martyr is a unit with very low survivability and although Absorb Pain is a great ability it is highly circumscribed by the 32hp of this unit. The fact that it is almost impossible to level Martyrs using auto-combat makes the Exalted Martyrs tech just an expansive place holder in the Theo’s tech tree and this is also a problem. If you or anyone else would like to suggest how to balance this unit out and increase its survivability I’d be happy to discuss it.

    Another issue, I believe worth noting is the Mark of the Heretic. I see 2 issues with it: First one (perhaps a minor issue), is how it’s used, it’s strategic spell that must be cast on the stack of units the theocrat is about to battle, the problem is how some battles might happen suddenly, ambushes are a good tactic, but player behavior is a whole another issue, in MP a player might just not wait for the theocrat player to cast the spells, especially if multiple stacks are involved. In NQ group the rule of 15s holds place, but I sometimes just didn’t make it in time to cast the mark on the opponent in time. And even if one manages to cast the spell in time, it’s 10cp per cast, which in turn severely hurts the use of magic in the actual combat.

    Mark of the Heretic is indeed a very big element of the Theo’s mechanic which I ignored in my post. I think it costs 20cp actually, and yes your diagnosis is correct. I like this spell and its current workings, I think a +3 bonus is very good. What I would like to see is an ability on the Leader/Theo Heroes as well as the Evangelist called “Mark Heretic” or something such like. This ability will work in extreme range and will put on a target unit the Heretic label within combat with no CP costs. It should be a cool-down based ability and it will thus help solve this problem.

    The problem with evangelists as they currently stand in live is that they’re basically a two-shot wonder. Once they’ve touched a friend and attempted to convert a foe, you generally might as well withdraw them from the front lines altogether. Arguably, in fact, the ranged attacks of most supports is to avoid exactly this issue – the question of what they do once they’ve thrown their once-per-battle abilit(y/ies).

    Absolutely. I think the Evangelist really needs a ranged attack. This is also the only way in which the Draconian Evangelist will be balanced relative to the other racial varieties.

    #115719

    ExNihil
    Member

    I think that it does need some sort of regeneration mechanic though. The idea that I had for it also kind of worked with the whole devout units give it bonuses. It can still be a machine, but one that regenerates when in a stack of Devout units. Possibly +1 health per turn per Devout unit in the stack, so a max of +5 per turn.

    This is indeed a very interesting idea! Faith based healing :). I like it, although I would go for +2 or even +3 points per devout unit – this is a t4 unit with a lot of hp, and I think this will balance well – with 3 (or 2) devout units you get normal regeneration speed, with 5 you will receive +10 or +15, which is as much as you’d receive with a healer in a stack of regular units.

    #115726

    Bob5
    Member

    I agree with most of these things, although I think Martial Arts would make Exalted overpowered. It radically reduces damage you take, and make them more bulky than Draconian Flyers. I think they need to die fairly easily because they have resurgence, otherwise they’d be too OP. I think Exalted are kind of right where they are now, although I’d perhaps give them Charge as well.

    Evangelists indeed completely suck. Far too overpriced and bring too little offensive power of their own. Draconian Evangelists are better, you’re even calling it a very radical increase, but even for Draconians the evangelists aren’t worth it. They’re simply too expensive compared to Elders, Drac. Evangelist 160 gold 40 mana, Elder 70 gold 20 mana, so more than twice as expensive for a bit more HP, Convert (which can easily be dispelled), and Touch of Faith, while Elders get Fire immunity, Inflict Immolation, Dragon Ancestry, and more ranged damage thanks to medal upgrades.

    I also agree about Shrines, they’re almost impossible to use effectively. Bring them with Devout units, they suffer from not healing. Stack them together with the leader with stack resurgence, they don’t get much damage boost. I don’t know how to use them, and when enemies use them I’m not scared at all for them as they’re just not that powerful.

    I think Sanctified Sites improved quite a bit now that it is +30 happiness rather than +20. Iron Grip is so costly in CP to cast on most cities, Sanctified Sites is much cheaper even though the boost is quite small. Most cities at least get like +60 or so happiness boost, which carries about a third or so of the cities to a next happiness level. It mainly shines in comparison with Iron Grip on large empires though.

    The main thing I don’t like about Theocrats is how the devout system works. It only starts to get any good when you get Holy War active, before that Devout only helps in combination with Mark of the Heretic or Denounce City. You can’t even Denounce your own cities for some reason so if you get attacked by 4 stacks you have to mark each of those stacks individually. And it is only a damage boost on infantry and cavalry units, and only after you research to make them devout. I don’t think it even adds damage to support unit attacks apart from their melee attacks. Holy War is amazing in combination with large infantry and cavalry armies if you have Armageddon running, but that’s so late game that you won’t reach it in most games, and Holy War doesn’t work for support unit ranged attacks (apart perhaps from Human Priest, not sure on that one). I prefer Bloodbath for Warlords. All units get a flat +5 damage, no matter what it is. Trebs, Cavalry, archers, everything.

    #115758

    AbednegoJC
    Member

    Hmm.. I like evangelist unit with his unusual way (meele support) and I think its interesting stuff to do some tougher meele support units. Lets keep this concept and make it work.
    But I think that this kind of support should be equipped with various abilities, to he can choose what to use, not be forced just to one. Also some of them should work on decent distance.

    I would prefer this:
    Cost: 150g/30m, upkeep 16g. 60hp, 28mp, 10def , 12res . Melee Strike 10 physical
    Abilities: Convert, Turn Undead, Touch of Faith, Walking, Mind Control Immunity, Support, True Sight, Devout, 60% Spirit Immunity .

    Trooper: +1 spirit melee, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 spirit ranged , +1 defense, +6hp, Stunning Touch
    Expert: +1 spirit melee, +1 resistance, +6hp, ability “broke spirit” (inflict spirit break with 100% chance on extreme range)
    Elite: +1 spirit ranged , +1 defense, +12hp, inflict spirit breaking

    + racial:
    Orc: curse (cooldown 2)
    Dracon: fire bolts
    Goblin: inflict severely poisoned, + ability inflict noxious vulnerability (on extreme range, same like curse), cooldown 1
    Human: dispell, convert undead
    High elf: cure disease, convert undead
    Dwarf: immolating touch (cooldown 2)

    This way you could always use some abilities, on ranged or better distance too, so he could play his support role and dont only useless roaming around after cast touch of faith.

    #115760

    Bob5
    Member

    I think Extreme range is too much, broken spirit is a very powerful debuff to get, more powerful than Curses for instance. Either reduce the 100% chance to simply check at say, 12 spirit resistance, or reduce the range to short.

    #115938

    Snezak
    Member

    I agree with most of these things, although I think Martial Arts would make Exalted overpowered. It radically reduces damage you take, and make them more bulky than Draconian Flyers. I think they need to die fairly easily because they have resurgence, otherwise they’d be too OP. I think Exalted are kind of right where they are now, although I’d perhaps give them Charge as well.

    It does kinda sound too strong for a unit that can revive, I was thinking that tireless would suit more the exalted than martial arts, as they are celestial fanatical beings it would suit them lore-wise, and also would compliment them well with the resurgence as they will deal alot of damage before dying.

    Hmm.. I like evangelist unit with his unusual way (meele support) and I think its interesting stuff to do some tougher meele support units. Lets keep this concept and make it work.<br>
    But I think that this kind of support should be equipped with various abilities, to he can choose what to use, not be forced just to one. Also some of them should work on decent distance.

    I would prefer this:<br>
    Cost: 150g/30m, upkeep 16g. 60hp, 28mp, 10def , 12res . Melee Strike 10 physical<br>
    Abilities: Convert, Turn Undead, Touch of Faith, Walking, Mind Control Immunity, Support, True Sight, Devout, 60% Spirit Immunity .

    Trooper: +1 spirit melee, +6hp<br>
    Veteran: +1 spirit ranged , +1 defense, +6hp, Stunning Touch<br>
    Expert: +1 spirit melee, +1 resistance, +6hp, ability “broke spirit” (inflict spirit break with 100% chance on extreme range)<br>
    Elite: +1 spirit ranged , +1 defense, +12hp, inflict spirit breaking

    + racial:<br>
    Orc: curse (cooldown 2)<br>
    Dracon: fire bolts<br>
    Goblin: inflict severely poisoned, + ability inflict noxious vulnerability (on extreme range, same like curse), cooldown 1<br>
    Human: dispell, convert undead<br>
    High elf: cure disease, convert undead<br>
    Dwarf: immolating touch (cooldown 2)

    This way you could always use some abilities, on ranged or better distance too, so he could play his support role and dont only useless roaming around after cast touch of faith.

    Interesting idea, I actually would like to see more class units having different abilities depending on their race. Although I think Evangelist abilities should differentiate from the racial supports abilities.

    As for Martyrs, well I think what they could use more is perhaps some more resistance, and 15% physical protection, they are there to take the punishment for other units, hence I believe they should be able to tolerate pain.

    #116029

    Dr_K
    Member

    As for Martyrs, well I think what they could use more is perhaps some more resistance, and 15% physical protection, they are there to take the punishment for other units, hence I believe they should be able to tolerate pain.

    I really don’t think that the martyr needs that much of a buff, maybe some more hp, but nothing like physical protection. The martyr’s role is not as a front line unit (contrary to what the AI thinks). They aren’t like a dummy to beat instead of the fighting unit but are literally taking damage when another unit should be.

    The main problem with the unit is that the AI does not know how to use them tactically. ExNihil pointed this out (sort of)

    A big issue with the Martyr is that creeping with him is even more problematic than with a scoundrel, as he is most certainly to die with his special ability which he most likely uses during the auto battles with AI.

    But the problem is that this is likely not the case. I have never seen the AI use Absorb Pain. I believe that this is one of the abilities that is too complex for the AI to use effectively. It’s arguably more complex than abilities like Sprint and Phase, which are never used.

    The way the AI uses martyrs is the same way it uses the racial irregulars. Both charge in and primarily use their ranged attack. This puts them directly in harms way instead of sitting back absorbing damage like it should be.

    #116206

    ExNihil
    Member

    I really don’t think that the martyr needs that much of a buff, maybe some more hp, but nothing like physical protection. The martyr’s role is not as a front line unit (contrary to what the AI thinks). They aren’t like a dummy to beat instead of the fighting unit but are literally taking damage when another unit should be.

    The main problem with the unit is that the AI does not know how to use them tactically. ExNihil pointed this out (sort of)

    I agree that in SP and auto-combat the main problem seems to be how dumb the AI is and that it doesn’t use its abilities. Saying that, the Martyr is a very weak unit that cannot creep at all and has zero survivability. Like the Scoundrel and Engineer this needs to be addressed, in this instance because of the Exalted Martyr’s tech which simply doesn’t work. I think @snezak‘s suggestion actually makes a lot of sense conceptually, but the problem with this is that it will not dramatically increase the survivability of this unit. Let’s look at its specs:

    Cost: 40g/10m. 32hp, 28mp, 8def, 9res. Throw Stones 11×1, Melee Strike 8×3. Abilities: Absorb Pain, Walking, Irregular, Devout.

    Trooper: +1 physical melee, +2hp
    Veteran: +1 physical ranged, +1 defense, +2hp, Break Control
    Expert: +1 physical melee, +1 resistance, +2hp
    Elite: +1 physical ranged, +4 hp, Regeneration

    Stat wise the Martyr is basically a Dwarf prospector with a sickle and no-shirt. The ability Absorb Pain, which it has on baseline, and Break Control, which it received on bronze medal, mark it as a kind of support unit basically, meant to stay behind the lines and be a sort of an HP tank while removing mind-effecting debuffs such as Berserk from friendly units. The gold medal ability both prepares the way for resurgence, in the exalted, and makes this unit a better creeper as it receives full health after one turn.

    Now, lets start with regeneration – it is a great trait, but one which is quite redundant here. This is a unit with low hp, even at gold medal it has only 42 hp, and Theocrat armies are usually full of healers, which makes regeneration times very fast anyhow. It is more of a place-holder really that signifies the possibility of resurgence if ascended to exalted. All nice and well, but considering the fact the chance of seeing a gold medal martyr, quite irrelevant.

    Break-Control in turn is a very nice ability, but almost all of the Theocrat’s units are mind-control immune in some way (Strong Will, 100% Spirit Immunity or Mind Control Immunity), leaving only the Martyr itself (no spirit resistance), the Cherub (60% spirit resistance, hence low probability of mind control) and Cherub at risk, alongside racial units, most of which receive +20% Spirit immunity. To this we should add the fact that Theocrat armies are usually full of support units, a lot of which have dispel magic as a trait when leveled – and Theo supports can start on silver medal. Thus we have another trait, which while nice is not very useful to this unit.

    Now Absorb Pain is undoubtedly a great trait, but the fact is that the Theocrat leader and heroes also receive it as an optional trait, and they have substantially more HP to contribute. This doesn’t invalidate the Martyr, but it is a one trick pony that can’t creep for shit and can’t level, and is thus very quickly made irrelevant. This is a shame as I’d like to see the Martyr being used more – I like its concept and I think it could substantially contribute to the Theocrat, who is currently extremely dependent on support units.

    The simplest solution would be to add +6hp, bringing its base to 38. This will make this unit creep better and also help with the Absorb Pain. I would then suggest to remove the Break Control and Regeneration and do one of two things:

    1. remove both Break Control and Regeneration from the Martyr and give the Martyr the evolve trait from the beginning (removing the tech Exalted Martyrs from the tech tree). The chance of leveling a martyr will be as small as it is now but the reward would be sufficient to give it a go, much like how the Arch-Druid is growing snakes really. Its important to consider that by the time the Exalted Martyr’s tech is unlocked atm Exalted can be directly produced. Thus making the leveling of Martyrs a highly unattractive strategy. Alternatively the Martyr could evolve into an Evangelist instead – which sort of makes sense, but Exalted is even better OFC.

    2. give the Martyr a +6hp at baseline, bringing it to 38, which will make it better at creeping while buffing the Absorb Pain ability indirectly, on top of which Regeneration will be switch with Break Control, which will make this unit shine in the early game and make the possibility of leveling a substantial number of Martyrs before unlocking the Exalted Martyr’s tech a viable strategy.

    I think Martial Arts would make Exalted overpowered.

    I disagree – this is a Gold Medal perk, and consider that basically all of the Warlord’s units get it through tech. It will be powerful no doubt, but even with this trait the Exalted would still lose in a straight out fight to a gold medal First-Born.

    It does kinda sound too strong for a unit that can revive, I was thinking that tireless would suit more the exalted than martial arts, as they are celestial fanatical beings it would suit them lore-wise, and also would compliment them well with the resurgence as they will deal alot of damage before dying.

    Tireless is actually almost as powerful, and already exists on the Orc Crusader. Saying that, it is a viable option.

    Hmm.. I like evangelist unit with his unusual way (meele support) and I think its interesting stuff to do some tougher meele support units. Lets keep this concept and make it work.

    Its a t3 unit and an expansive one. I think the problem is the existing supports being, as @snezak wrote, damage dealers. I would like to see the Evangelist becoming a more prominent field unit that mixes Support with ranged attacks. I would though nerf its melee attack in compensation. I have made a thread specifically to discuss t2 support units and the problem with the current meta:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/support-units-balance-discussion/

    + racial:
    Orc: curse (cooldown 2)
    Dracon: fire bolts
    Goblin: inflict severely poisoned, + ability inflict noxious vulnerability (on extreme range, same like curse), cooldown 1
    Human: dispell, convert undead
    High elf: cure disease, convert undead
    Dwarf: immolating touch (cooldown 2)

    I think this is an excellent suggestion to introduce some diversity to the Evangelist. I’m sorta dubious regarding the convert undead ability – care to explain?

    #116342

    ExNihil
    Member

    I made a post in the Blight, Spirit, Machines and Theocrat thread a part of which concerns a proposal on how to deal with Spirit Immunity:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/blight-spirit-machines-and-theo-some-community-questions/page/4/#post-116338

    ollowing the idea proposed by @chrysophylax páuperem and a comment made by @snezak in the THEOCRAT Balance Discussion thread, I think the best solution for the Spirit Immunity problem from the side of the Theocrat would be the introduction of a new ability on the Evangelist with a 3 turn cool-down and long to extreme range. This ability – “Mark” or “Condemn” or something along these lines (I’m open to suggestions 🙂 ) – will be rolled against the resistance modifier at 13-14 without extra elemental modifiers and therefore will affect all target types regardless of Spirit Resistance, including machines and enemy Theocrat units. If a target unit fails to resist it will be inflicted with 40% Spirit weakness and receive the heretic label; like Mark of the Heretic but on a single unit every time. If a unit successfully resists it will incur a one round -12mp malus. Once this effect takes place it cannot be dispelled, like Iron-Heart, and will remain active until the end of battle – possibly the death of the Evangelist might break it, like convert.

    This ability will obviate three problems: a. the relative impotence of Theocrat units in combating Dreadnought machines; b. the ridiculous situation of two Theocrats fighting each other, with a large percentage of the units being handicapped; c. the problem of having no alternative to Mark of the Heretic, which there isn’t always sufficient time to cast before combat or a lack of CP.

    If you guys have any comments, criticisms, suggestions etc… I’m all eyes ;).

    #116394

    Gloweye
    Member

    I could live with that Condemn ability. I believe the best way to face machines is A) in the field and B) at melee range, but well, you cant always have what you want.

    More Touch attacks on evangelist sounds cool, but im not to mad with the proposed ones. How about a general “Disorienting Touch” giving both Daze and Broken Spirit? these are the spirit debuffs, and inflicting them on touch range makes for a risky, but potentially very rewarding stratagy. Sure, racials could have more, I was thinking across the lines of stunning touch for Elf, maybe indeed immolating touch for dwarf(Though I’ve always found that a bit useless IMO..you dont even disable.).

    #120045

    limaceman
    Member

    I like the idea to increase martyrs HP, and would like to go further along that path.
    Absorb pain efficiency is only dependent on martyr’s HP, as the martyr takes the damage the unit should have suffered -> independent of his own Def and Res. Given that thought, both increasing martyrs HP and decreasing their Def and Res by 1 could be a buff to their usefulness.
    For instance : 40HP, 7 Def, 8 Res -> The martyr’s HP pool is increased, and at the same time he is not so resilient to direct attacks (even less to special effects).

    Now if the evolve tech also gives some extra HP to martyrs AND exalted (+5?, +10?), martyrs could become much more likely to ascend to exalted, and exalted could become more efficient at the same time.

    Lastly, don’t forget (I don’t know if that is the case) to grant martyrs XP for each blow they take using absorb pain (1XP for T1, 2XP for T2, …).

    #120048

    limaceman
    Member

    And I really don’t like the way resurgence works. It is either totally OP, or totally useless, depending on the outcome of the battle.
    I know this is unlikely to happen, but I think it would be neat to change its effects : Resurrects the unit at the start of the owner’s combat turn, with 35% (or another value) HP, and 10MP (able to move 2 tiles or attack once). Only works once/battle and then takes 3 turns on strategic map to be available again.

    This would still be very strong, but would be counterable, and could open a great arrays of strategies. The 3 turns timer would be here to prevent suicide guerrilla, then retreat, then doing it again next turn.

    #120057

    b0rsuk
    Member

    Martyr:
    they are better if you have support units with heal. This way, your frontline troops get more than those 32 HP, because you can indirectly heal them by healing martyrs. But it does require research and micromanagement, something auto combat can’t do.

    I agree about support units being primarily used for direct combat. It’s odd. As for Evangelist, it’s interesting to have one support unit without a ranged attack.
    How about giving Evangelist Spirit Breaking at recruit level ? It would be useful for weakening targets for other units to kill.

    Heretic spells – it typically doesn’t help your allies at all.
    Denounce City – completely redundant with Mark of the Heretic, and typically more expensive and less flexible outside of some very contrived situations.

    Too Much Healing. You can’t heal units past max HP (Halfling supports can), and at some point extra healing doesn’t help.

    Exalted – I’d rather have them have a special kind of Resurgence, which makes them respawn in a nearest friendly city with a Temple. Worse for creeping, perhaps, but better for battles you are losing. They are currently too much “all or nothing”. With flying, they would take little time to fly to front lines, but you might want to invest in healing so they don’t return at half HP. When you lose a battle, resurgence is as useful as nipples on a breastplate.

    #122141

    ExNihil
    Member

    Patch 1.4 beta has introduced some changes to the Theocrat that need to be discussed:

    Buff: Beacon Of Faith now has 40 casting cost (was 50) gives +100 population (was 50)
    Nerf: Cherubs now have 26hp (was 30)
    Buff: Crusaders now have defender ability (Guard bonus doubled from 20% to 40%)
    Buff: Divine Protection now costs 7 mana (was 8)
    Buff: All Evangelists now have a base damage of 6 Physical, 8 Spirit (was 10 physical).
    Buff: Exalted Martyrs now gives the quick learner ability to Martyrs so they level 50% faster.
    Buff: Researching Exalted Martyrs will now cause all gold medal Martyrs to instantly evolve.
    Nerf: Mighty Meek now treats Leaders and Heroes as if they’re tier 4 rather than tier 5 and 6.
    Buff: Mighty Meek now costs 7 mana (was 8) gives +3 bonus per tier (was +2).
    Nerf: Order Of Healing now tier 3, 200 research (was tier 2, 120 research)
    Buff: Slayer’s doubt now has a strength 16 (was 9) and applies a -800 morale as well as the move point penalty.

    Now, @arcaneseraph has already wrote this in the patch 1.4 beta announcement thread:

    On the subject of the theocrat. Why is exalted martyrs so late in the research tree and still depends on produce exalted? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Before I produce exalted directly, a valid strategy may be to use martyrs in my army in an attempt to get them to evolve. But I have to do with without the benefit of fast learning and without the ability to evolve them until AFTER I can already produce exalted directly. Alternately once you can produce exalted, who is going to continue producing martyrs with fast learning in the hopes of getting exalted? Considering the druids units all evolve with no research at all, likewise for human cavalry and hatchlings… the scoundrels evolution is directly comparable. It is a low level research and isn’t tied to the production of shadow stalkers. Exalted martyrs should be the same. It should be the same tier/cost as corrupted killers and should lost its dependence on produce exalted.

    Paid absolution. It’s a spell that tries to exist in two worlds but fails in both. As a city upgrade it is terrible. 20 mana for 10 gold? No thanks. As a front line defensive spell it’s not much use either. 200 unit happiness? Pretty weak compared to most of the other useful defensive strategy spells. It should pick a role. Either a defensive spell or a city enhancement. If it really is meant to do both it should have a boost to city happiness or something as well (or upkeep cost less… maybe just 10).

    Sanctified Sites. While it isn’t a terrible spell… it is rarely enough to do anything for most cities as it doesn’t apply to many sites. Personally I would have it provide bonuses to more types of sites. Mana nodes too, for example.

    I agree with the above, and let me elaborate. I think Martyrs are still in the same problematic situation they were before (read this thread from the beginning) and still require a serious buff. The Martyr -> Exalted evolution is ridiculous – these units don’t survive and no one will really have a reason to continue and produce Martyr’s until the stage in the game in which Exalted, let alone Exalted Martyr’s, is unlocked. The evolve trait here really must become an intrinsic quality of the Martyr – it should be able to evolve from the very beginning of the game and not be dependent on tech. This alone will make this into a real perk and it would still require some degree of rebalance for the Martyr to allow it to creep.

    * With the introduction of the Cavalry -> Knight evolution and the Wild Magic sphere’s Lesser Elemental -> t3 Elemental evolution, the Theocrat will be indirectly buffed like all other production based classes. I worry though that Humans will become monolithically dominant because of the inherent advantage this evolution will present to Theocrats, who can evolve units unlike any other. The same holds for Wild Magic which will now become a *must* for every self-respecting Theocrat player (at least in MP). This is a problematic situation as it actually reduces the game’s complexity and diversity by making the optimal choices clear.

    * The Theocrat’s economy is perhaps the weakest of all classes, and I am sorry to say this really remains so after this patch. Paid Absolution is indeed a sad joke that converts Mana – Gold at a horrible rate. The other spells don’t really give enough morale/population bonuses to be worthwhile and more importantly – to give a decisive edge. I think this really needs to change.

    * There is still a big problem in the Theocrat/Theocrat and Theocrat/Dreadnought matchups due to Spirit immunities that needs to be resolved somehow. I think the solutions proposed in this thread before are very viable and would like a discussion of these to take place.

    * Finally, The Shrine of Smiting is still a lame-duck with the no regeneration label and no in class solution. Now the only viable solution aside from a dread hero or converted engineer on gold medal is to tag along a builder, which in late-game stacks is really ridiculous. I want to reiterate my position that this is a special divine unit that needs to be able to regenerate somehow, good solutions have been proposed in this thread before and I would like seeing these implemented.

    #122148

    Bouh
    Member

    There is still a big problem in the Theocrat/Theocrat and Theocrat/Dreadnought matchups due to Spirit immunities that needs to be resolved somehow. I think the solutions proposed in this thread before are very viable and would like a discussion of these to take place.

    Why would this be a problem ? Why should you be able to mindlessly do the same things in all matchups ?

    As for the shrine, I think you missed the point.

    #122151

    limaceman
    Member

    My opinion on the theocrat with patch 1.4 beta :

    @exnihil : you forgot the absorb pain skill which has been buffed by neglecting 35% of the damage absorbed. Martyrs are much more functional now. They still lack some HP though, 35 would imo be better to match other irregulars, but as other irregulars also lack a few HP, 38 would be good imo.

    Exalted martyrs is bad, because martyrs won’t reach gold anymore at that point in the game. If there was a solution to give T1 irreg +1 rank (through barracks for instance), and if exalted martyrs gave +5HP to martyrs and exalted on top of its current bonuses, it could expand the use of martyrs to later stages. Also, make it independent from the exalted tech, else it appears to late into the game.

    Theocrat economy is weak because sanctified sites and paid absolution are weak. Other than that, the theocrat has a good potential for happiness, with his 2nd class building giving +100 happiness to the city.

    Sanctified sites can give the edge required to meet the next happiness requirement, but I agree on the bonus being too weak atm. +50 happiness instead of +30 as proposed would make it better, but it could as well become an empire upgrade, if RP cost is increased.

    Paid absolution is indeed weak. Giving the morale bonus to both the city and armies in its domain would improve it a lot. Giving the “absolved” morale bonus to armies for 3-4 turns after they left the domain would make it even better.

    Hallowed domain gives a +60% spirit protection to units inside the theocrat domain, on top of -3 Res to enemies. That protection is irrelevant as it is only useful against other theocrats, or human priests. This could be replaced by a general 20% protection to everything, including physical, in order to make it a very good defensive buff.

    Wrath of God an Holy war could deal a mix of spirit and fire damage to improve the theocrat situation when facing machines. After all, faith creates an “inner fire”…

    #122153

    You do realise that the power of the Shrine is that is supports the other units, right?

    It can get to do the highest damage of any unit in the game, depending on what you escort it with, and no other unit has this scaleability.


    See this screenshot.

    4 stacks of devout units, and you get 56 damage across 2 channels, hitting for 112 damage per round, and it floats, and it has an area of effect self defence ability.

    That damage will one shot a Dragon in close proximity. And you want to give it easy healing.

    100 hp, 14 defence, 12 resistance.

    In my book potentially the best t4 unit there is, depending on how you use it, in other words, think a bit and bring devout unit.

    Recall as well that this could work just as easily with massed Martyrs – you shield the Shrine, and let it do it’s damage.

    I don’t think it needs any healing whatsoever, certainly not innate or easily accessible.

    Did it occur to you that perhaps some things don’t get easy healing for a reason? Machines are generally tough units, their healing is supposed to be problematic as part of their balancing.

    Wild magic adept for lesser Elementals can be a bit of a noob trap. You need casting points 6 to get them every other turn, and if you are Theocrat you’ll be wanting that for Cherubs, and everything else in your arsenal, like multiple Marks of the Heretic – now a must have spell before every battle.

    Theocrat economy is indeed lacklustre, but you get better creeping for that…

    In other words, I think we should let the dust settle before we start claiming imbas because, for me at least, the Theocrat is now definitely a front line class, equal more or less to Sorcerer, Druid and Dread, and better than Warlord and Rogue atm.

    #122154

    As for the shrine, I think you missed the point.

    You know it’s a cold day in someplace warm when Bouh and I agree with each other!

    #122156

    Draxynnic
    Member

    As an observation:

    Theocrat is probably one of the more mana-heavy of the ‘production’ classes because it also throws a lot of spells, but this is still relative. Considering how much more valuable gold is to most classes than mana, I don’t think 20 mana to 10 gold is a bad trade. If your use of gold and mana is such where it IS a bad trade, then you can simply choose not to use it. When it IS a good trade, though, it’s a nice option to have.

    If you’re at the point where your mana storage is full and your mana income is higher than your casting points, then in all seriousness, any conversion of mana to something in shorter supply such as gold is potentially a valuable trade.

    #122158

    The Shrine of Smiting is still a lame-duck with the no regeneration label and no in class solution. Now the only viable solution aside from a dread hero or converted engineer on gold medal is to tag along a builder, which in late-game stacks is really ridiculous. I want to reiterate my position that this is a special divine unit that needs to be able to regenerate somehow, good solutions have been proposed in this thread before and I would like seeing these implemented.

    The solution to the Shrine’s lack of healing is the Martyr, which is now viable given its additional EHP while absorbing pain. A draconian, dwarf, human, or high elf martyr, with their 32 HP, effectively add 49 hit points to any unit they buff with absorb pain, thanks to the 35% damage reduction that skill adds. Orc martyrs are even better, since their 37 HP gives an EHP of 57 to any unit they buff. Goblin martyrs, of course, are still the worst, but even their measly 27 health turns into 42 when absorbing pain for another unit. This makes the role of the martyr quite effective, while keeping the unit itself vulnerable to attack as it should be.

    I’ve already played a couple games with 1.4 theocrats, and they are overall in a fantastic position. BBB above covered your specific points well enough, and though I agree that their city buffs aren’t that great, I don’t think they need to be, since your main economy should be coming from aggressive clearing and conquering, not from turtling and teching up. Theos are unparalleled at creeping, and your main stack should attack every possible gold mine and mana node it sees, using the income you gain through clearing to build up your economy. Once your leader his level 2 and has healing, there should be nothing stopping you from fighting at least once a turn, if not more, and a good theo will maximize this advantage by buying as many friendly cities as you can find, and building up your throne city to build support units and t2/t3s ASAP.

    #122177

    vota dc
    Member

    What about giving the devout upgrade to builder? It would encourage to bring them in the same stack of the shrine.

    #122191

    Draxynnic
    Member

    The general idea of repair machine on builder is for the strategic use – you’re not actually supposed to bring them into combat, but to treat them as a mobile repair station you send damaged machines to.

    Mind you, there is still the option to bring them into combat for in-combat repairs, but I don’t think the plan is to give them any additional traits (such as devout) to encourage it.

    #122197

    Jomungur
    Member

    Theocrat has always been one of the more disjointed classes in terms of skill synergies. I think the patch helps a lot (although I’m biased) even though it weakens the healing priest strategy.

    – I agree with ExNihil that there are certain theocrat skills, particularly city enchants (like hallowed domain and the ones named above), that simply aren’t worth researching or using. They need to be improved not because theocrat needs better economy, but because they’re essentially wasted skills in the skillbook.

    – Mark of the heretic is quite strong now that it applies to range attacks. Consequently, order of templar knights and order of sacred support are more useful. Although a priest based strategy is delayed now, if you get order of sacred support and order of healing you have healing priests with a +3 range attack.

    – Crusaders, with the defender upgrade, are pretty strong, especially en masse. They are solid city siegers because, even though slow, they have wall-climbing and will have a 40% def/res boost as they advance. Orc crusaders are the best, obviously.

    – Prayer for the hurt cost was reduced a bit. Along with the theocrat hero early access to heal and healing aura, they should be able to creep the best, especially with orcs.

    – I believe evangelist, with touch of faith now on cooldown, can sit back and give +3 res and morale boost to all of their allied troops before advancing in a fight. This is pretty strong. If you can get order of healing as well, evangelists’ heal allows them to do this with near impunity as the opponent will not waste damage spells while the evangelists buff their troops. Theocrat hero also benefits from touch of faith and can do this.

    #122286

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    - I agree with ExNihil that there are certain theocrat skills, particularly city enchants (like hallowed domain and the ones named above), that simply aren’t worth researching or using. They need to be improved not because theocrat needs better economy, but because they’re essentially wasted skills in the skillbook.

    I agree with this and Jomungur’s post in general. There are a lot of spells / skills that are so niche as to be useless (though the patch helped some). They need to be improved, not because the class needs a boost, but because it’s silly to leave them as is.

    Exalted martyrs has been covered by many as in need of a change so I won’t go into that.

    Wild magic adept for lesser Elementals can be a bit of a noob trap. You need casting points 6 to get them every other turn, and if you are Theocrat you’ll be wanting that for Cherubs, and everything else in your arsenal, like multiple Marks of the Heretic – now a must have spell before every battle.

    I’m not sure I understand the lesser elementals requiring casting points 6. Are you saying they cost 160 to summon (20 + 6 levels of CP boost to get 80)? Or are you saying you need 60CP as they cost 120? The latter is what I thought. So I’ll assume for my post they do indeed cost 120 to cast as that’s what I believe I saw in your LP 🙂

    Anyway, if they are a noob trap then sign me up for that trap! The reason? I honestly don’t see anything else I’m supposed to be doing with my CP as a theocrat.

    Cherubs are great, sure, but unless I want like 30 of them it doesn’t take that long to summon and maintain a group of 5 or 6 for scouting.

    Mark of the Heretic is a great spell too but frankly you don’t really need it very much. It’s completely unnecessary for 95% of creeping. It doesn’t work on “ruin” sites. You occasionally need it for the harder creeps like trading post. Other than that you basically use it to fight big battles against other players. So while it is a great spell you don’t use it much so it’s not a big CP drain.

    Theocrat strategic upgrade spells are next to useless so no CP drain there. In battle theocrat spells are good but we’re talking about out-of-battle CP usage here so that’s beside the point.

    So what’s left to use CP for? Nothing. Except summons. Hence why I’ll sign up for that noob trap of summoning lesser elementals (or their bigger brethren). Have you had a team of elementals with a divine justicar lead theocrat? Since divine justicars doesn’t work on shrines anymore and exalted don’t benefit from it, powerful summons seem a natural fit to me.

    If you’re at the point where your mana storage is full and your mana income is higher than your casting points, then in all seriousness, any conversion of mana to something in shorter supply such as gold is potentially a valuable trade.

    While I agree with you in theory, in practice casting a spell to convert 20 mana to 10 gold a turn is almost always a terrible trade-off, even when you at your mana capacity. Why? It’s all about opportunity cost. First off, it is more than 20 mana to 10 gold as you have to include the initial outset of mana. Also you have to give up your CP casting paid absolution when you could’ve been using it for mark of the heretic or, my personal preference, summons. I extra level 3 summon will save you more than 10 gold a turn in comparative upkeep vs building a level 3 unit, for example.

    Finally (sorry for the long post): Martyrs. Oh how I’d like to love them. I just don’t see it. I realize absorb pain has been made better. Which helps. Not really enough though. Again it’s about opportunity cost. Let’s say for simple argument one martyr can absorb 50HP. To use this ability, the martyr must basically stay out of battle. If the martyr charges forward he’ll just be killed. So he has to stay back. Which basically makes him a dud unit in terms of damage. So yes I can give one of my units an extra 50HP by sacrificing a slot in my stack that could be given to another unit. This means my stack will be smaller, be able to inflict less damage, and my fighting units more outnumbered. If you actually need the extra 50HP, the martyr will die. I’d much rather have an extra crusader or support healer along (which will likely provide way more than 50HP in healing anyway).

    Now you say but you can heal the martyr in battle making healing more effective? True. But now you’ve sacrificed 2 units in your stack to doing almost nothing. The healer needs to stick with the martyr after all. So the opportunity cost is just getting worse and worse. The best martyrs might be the halflings (due to nourishing meal + blessing of health giving them more HP). Still even then I would suspect using a different unit would be better.

    The fix to martyrs? Fix exalted martyrs. You are using a relatively weaker unit but doing so for the possible advantage of getting an exalted at some point. A much better opportunity cost.

    #122390

    Draxynnic
    Member

    While I agree with you in theory, in practice casting a spell to convert 20 mana to 10 gold a turn is almost always a terrible trade-off, even when you at your mana capacity. Why? It’s all about opportunity cost. First off, it is more than 20 mana to 10 gold as you have to include the initial outset of mana. Also you have to give up your CP casting paid absolution when you could’ve been using it for mark of the heretic or, my personal preference, summons. I extra level 3 summon will save you more than 10 gold a turn in comparative upkeep vs building a level 3 unit, for example.

    In terms of opportunity cost:

    Paid absolution costs 80cp. For 80cp you could summon two cherubs – that’s only worth 8gold/turn, and while a cherub is better than nothing, you can’t really replace combat units with cherubs and expect to do well. Lesser Elementals take 120cp to summon a tier 2, so for the cost of two Lesser Elementals (which saves you 16 gold/turn in unit upkeep) you could have three paid absolutions. Tier 3 elementals cost around the equivalent of two paid absolutions, so they provide a better return on effective gold versus casting points, and hellhounds come pretty close to parity. Zephyr birds, meanwhile, are essentially an alternative scout. Getting summons from specialisations can also be expensive research-wise, particularly if you’re going for the tier 3 elemental: you may have to go through a bunch of other specialisation skills you may or may not want, possibly including mastery skills that can be particularly expensive to research. Paid Absolution, on the other hand, is a relatively cheap 140 research and then you can go.

    Of course, when you summon, you’re also saving the gold for the initial purchase of a unit. On the other hand, though, all of the summons above except cherubs require particular specialisations, which is also an opportunity cost. You’re taking the approach of getting summons through specialisations, so for you, you may be right – you’re better off using your summons because you’ve already paid that opportunity cost. A theocrat who hasn’t taken those specialisations and doesn’t have a Mark of the Heretic target this turn, however, is basically left with cherubs – and I’m inclined to think that once you’ve got enough cherubs out for scouting duties, an extra 10 gold/turn may well be more valuable than adding two cherubs to a combat army.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 669 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.