Theocrat endgame

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This topic contains 1,253 replies, has 52 voices, and was last updated by  Ericridge 7 years ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 91 through 120 (of 1,254 total)
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  • #203778

    Epaminondas
    Member

    If that wasn’t you belabouring the point then I would hate to see the day when you do infact belabour the point.

    I could have responded to his last response to my response, and we could’ve gone on ad infinitum – that would have been a “derail.”

    Instead, I think the point was made, and I moved on.

    #203786

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    Reading through all these posts, I wonder if people have it back to front.

    Is it neccessary, or desirable, for every class to be equally balanced throughout the game?

    I mean, Sorcerors and Druids have an advantage in early game due to summons, Theos due to power stacking that other classes lack.

    The Summoners tail off once multiple cities get upgraded and start to churn out units, but my essential question is this:

    Even if (and it’s not an admission) the Theocrat end game suffers against the Dreadnought, is that actually a problem?

    I mean, *everything* is going to suffer against massed Juggernauts.

    I agree with what you say to an extent. It’s true that every class has it’s own time frames in the game where it is more powerful than others. Though it’s the degree to which that power is greater that is of more concern.

    Like the summoning classes you mention were indeed very powerful early game. Probably too powerful. So the ability to get easy mana from scouts was reduced (guarding chests) and the upkeep costs of the summons were increased.

    It’s more the degree of imbalance. If the theocrat has no reasonable chance against a good dread player because all of the theos skills are pretty much useless against the dread that seems a bit extreme to me. It shouldn’t be balanced to the point that they are both equal because the theocrat has a better early game. However it shouldn’t be rock paper scissors either.

    #203792

    I think Necromancers are in the same boat. Infact they might have it worse.

    I mean, end game, Reapers are not going to do you any good against machines, whereas Shrines at least get fire damage.

    #203793

    quo
    Member

    Is it neccessary, or desirable, for every class to be equally balanced throughout the game?

    No.

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t specific circumstances where the situation is too stacked though. Or where (in the case of Theo v Theo) the situation is just a dull stalemate due to too many mutual immunities.

    Come to think of it, Devout Slayer would make a lot of sense on a couple of Theocrat units to help break up the mutual cancellation.

    #203798

    @recondite angel: How do you get scoundrels to not die vs. Cannon and juggernauts? You can’t cast smoke screen immediately when attacking, so like three cannon and engineers can kill almost infinite scoundrels in a city defense situation.

    In the open field, cannon are actually pretty mobile and long range, so they are dead then as well. Even with smoke screen, a crit can one shot them with ease.

    As for juggernauts, then smoke screen might be OK for drac scoundrels, but you throw seeker and/or overload and poof. You can also put knights as the blockers instead of golems.

    I’m seeing this as a purely econ warfare situation for the rogue: incite revolt and utilize stealth from age of deception to take weak cities and avoid the central armies until they disband from lack of upkeep.

    The problem for the necro is that the dread is faster with big machines (especially with free movement) than the big heavy counter (bone collectors), and that flame tanks or just forge priests/ fireball murderlize the banshee.

    Reapers are too expensive to mass, are also vulnerable to flame tanks and forge priests, and need supports.

    AD have recently acquired a few new tools to make it tolerable, yeah. Lightning works, rust strike works, both work well with entangle strike, and gods can win 1 on one vs juggernauts. But who has ever seen just one juggernaut?

    Not that this is a complaint, the juggernaut actually needed buffs after demolisher and double demolisher got thrown around. Really late game is bad news for ADs and good news for sorcs, dreads, warlords and necros (but not for dread fighting).

    #203799

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    I think Necromancers are in the same boat. Infact they might have it worse.

    I mean, end game, Reapers are not going to do you any good against machines, whereas Shrines at least get fire damage.

    The reaper is actually unusual. It can’t hurt the machines very well but only the flame tank is effective against the reaper. It would be very difficult to quickly kill a reaper for cannons, golems, juggernauts, musketeers alone. This would allow the reaper to get in and kill your non machine units. It’s not a bad matchup.

    Now of course the dread could build nothing but flame tanks but that’s already required the dread to alter his strategy to counter the necros. Something they don’t have to do with theos at all. Flame tanks aren’t as strong as juggernauts and require being near the front line. They are more susceptible to swarming and don’t have the HP to stand up to this kind of attack for long.

    #203820

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    How do you get scoundrels to not die vs. Cannon and juggernauts? You can’t cast smoke screen immediately when attacking, so like three cannon and engineers can kill almost infinite scoundrels in a city defense situation.

    I’m not sure how being unable to cast smoke screen the first round when attacking makes smoke screen useless vs machines. In your scenario where you are attacking a city with some scoundrels defending by loads of juggernauts and cannons the defenders will of course win. I never suggested otherwise. Including city defense in the mix seems to be an unfair advantage however. That’s a whole different subject.

    What I did suggest is that any strategy that involving swarming and killing the machines is improved drastically by smoke screen. That’s a tool the rogues have in helping combat massed machines. I’m surprised that you don’t think it is effective. Shadow stalkers actually do very well against machines. Especially when supported by smoke screen. Gold medal shadow stalkers get freezing cold. Dark pact ones are even better! Combine this with quick dash and those machines are usually either frozen or dead if you are fighting in comparable numbers.

    In the open field, cannon are actually pretty mobile and long range, so they are dead then as well. Even with smoke screen, a crit can one shot them with ease.

    As for juggernauts, then smoke screen might be OK for drac scoundrels, but you throw seeker and/or overload and poof. You can also put knights as the blockers instead of golems.

    Adding seeker and overload and all this is fine but that all has opportunity costs as well. You can’t cast it on everyone in a single round. Against flame tanks scoundrels do very well since they are on cooldown the first round. Sprint + explorer + sabotage makes them suicidal but pretty effective at destruction. Since cannons and tanks are 16 upkeep you need to compare them to 4 scoundrels. They’ll take em out pretty well in an open field. They’ll likely die doing it.

    Now I wouldn’t suggest using armies of scoundrels alone nor late game for this kind of tactic. However mid game it remains extremely effective. Succubi and Shadow Stalkers are better at dealing with juggernauts due to fire / physical resistance. Again backed up by smoke screen they are pretty darn effective.

    The problem for the necro is that the dread is faster with big machines (especially with free movement) than the big heavy counter (bone collectors), and that flame tanks or just forge priests/ fireball murderlize the banshee.

    The necro is definitely at a disadvantage here yes. They have to rely on their superior numbers of ghouls to bridge the gap but yeah they aren’t exactly dread killers.

    AD have recently acquired a few new tools to make it tolerable, yeah. Lightning works, rust strike works, both work well with entangle strike, and gods can win 1 on one vs juggernauts. But who has ever seen just one juggernaut?

    Personally I don’t find that AD that weak against dreads. They have many options for disabling the machines and are very fast. Siege isn’t ideal but again it’s very hard to siege a dread machine city for pretty much everyone. They have reasonable access to shock damage and disabling abilities. They have great mobility and some good counter spells.

    Theos don’t have access to shock. They don’t have access to disabling abilities. Their elemental damage channels are largely resisted by machines. They don’t have spells that work on machines. It’s a pretty grim set of options for them really.

    #203894

    Zaskow
    Member

    Scoundrels-that-get-splattered-by-dozens ?

    Theocrat hasn’t even that.

    Hunters ?

    Rust strike.

    Banshees ?

    Bone collectors.

    Theocrat hasn’t anything similar.

    Rogue and necromancer for example have less tools to deal with machines than the theocrat.

    Bone collector with x2 Demolisher works with machines fine.
    Scoundrel can kill Golem in one salvo.
    What does Theocrat have vs. machines?

    #203915

    Hatmage
    Member

    Looking back over this thread and others, I think there may be a reasonable case for incorporating fire damage and resistance into more theocrat units – Fire is already something they use via holy champion, shrines of smiting and several racial support units, so if we stuck some fire damage on exalted in return for reduced spirit damage (they do have flaming-ish swords), and/or on evangelists (making them inquisitors? Perhaps we could just add actual inquisitors), or if half the bonus damage from holy war was fire aligned, and/or if order of templar knights also granted 20% fire protection, we would increase theocrat utility, and make theo/theo matches more interesting, without really breaching theme.

    So, do people want fiery justice, inquisition type theocrats?

    #203916

    Epaminondas
    Member

    Looking back over this thread and others, I think there may be a reasonable case for incorporating fire damage and resistance into more theocrat units – Fire is already something they use via holy champion, shrines of smiting and several racial support units, so if we stuck some fire damage on exalted in return for reduced spirit damage (they do have flaming-ish swords), and/or on evangelists (making them inquisitors? Perhaps we could just add actual inquisitors), or if half the bonus damage from holy war was fire aligned, and/or if order of templar knights also granted 20% fire protection, we would increase theocrat utility, and make theo/theo matches more interesting, without really breaching theme.

    So, do people want fiery justice, inquisition type theocrats?

    I’ve suggested this many times: I’ve never suggested Fire resistance, but Fire damage is something I feel is both thematic and necessary game-play-wise.

    #203920

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    Looking back over this thread and others, I think there may be a reasonable case for incorporating fire damage and resistance into more theocrat units – Fire is already something they use via holy champion, shrines of smiting and several racial support units, so if we stuck some fire damage on exalted in return for reduced spirit damage (they do have flaming-ish swords), and/or on evangelists (making them inquisitors? Perhaps we could just add actual inquisitors), or if half the bonus damage from holy war was fire aligned, and/or if order of templar knights also granted 20% fire protection, we would increase theocrat utility, and make theo/theo matches more interesting, without really breaching theme.

    So, do people want fiery justice, inquisition type theocrats?

    Not sure about the inquisition… 😉

    But yes I do like the idea of exalted getting some fire damage in exchange for some spirit. Also holy war granting some fire damage is a nice idea too.

    I still think the idea of having a spell in the theocrat’s arsenal that wasn’t spirit based is a good idea and would go along way to helping out against machines and dull theo-theo matchups. All their offensive spells are spirit based though if I recall correctly.

    So a tweak to holy war or power of the word or great purge would go a long way to fixing this issue but wouldn’t do much in terms of balance really as they aren’t exactly early or cheap spells.

    #203941

    esvath
    Member

    I also agree on adding fire damage to Theocrat units.

    Maybe the fire damage should be added directly to units (+1 fire damage to Exalteds?) thus allowing for racial difference (Frostling Exalteds deal +1 cold damage instead?), OR make a new skill for Theocrat leaders/heroes that gives +1 fire damage to units on their stack (Arch Druids and Sorcerers get new skills at higher level now…).

    Maybe the addition of +1 fire damage will be enough to also address Theocrat vs Theocrat? Otherwise, how about giving Devout extra effect: +3 damage against other Devout? That will make Theocrat vs Theocrat better.

    #203977

    CSav10
    Member

    +1 to adding fire damage to a few units, so that strong will and spirit res doesn’t render them useless. A spell wouldn’t go amiss either.

    #204045

    Zaskow
    Member

    Adding fire channel is a good solution, but doesn’t help Theo vs. machines much if you add just 1-2 fire damage for each theo units.

    #204049

    You could make heretic work as fire damage for machines (burning heretics and all that). As a cover for what holy champion doesn’t.

    #204069

    Zaskow
    Member

    Shock better, Theo has shock damage through Divine Vengeance.

    #204083

    quo
    Member

    I would personally prefer Shock damage to Fire. As mentioned, Shock damage already appears on the Shrine unit as part of the ultimate AoE ability. Way back in the day, when you could still mass Shrines, this was a Theocrat go-to strategy for dealing with Dreads. I always assumed the Shock damage was there specifically to balance the two classes.

    More importantly, Fire damage would double down on Theocrat’s existing advantage vs Undead. What we really want them to be able to hurt is other Theocrats in a war with each other, and with Dreadnoughts. Shock damage takes care of that nicely.

    I still think at least one Theocrat unit needs Devout Slayer. I think it needs to be Exalted. This is neither a buff nor a debuff per se, since it only really has meaning in a Theo v Theo matchup, and affects both players equally. The ability to slay acolytes of an opposing religion sounds very much within the realm of Theocrats.

    #204085

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    Would mark of the heretic doing fire damage vs machines actually change the matchup any though? Physical works fairly well against machines. It’s just spirit that doesn’t. I guess 3 fire is better than 3 physical because most machines have less resistance than defense. It’s an interesting idea though… just not sure it’ll change much in this particular matchup.

    The ironic thing is if exalted started with stunning touch they’d be quite good at disabling machines. It wasn’t terribly thematic but it did fill this critical role. Losing that skill really altered the balance even further towards the dreadnought. Now that we are talking about giving them shock damage back we have come full circle in a way.

    The exalted were the anti-machine unit. They weren’t great at it but they were better than nothing. They need that aspect back in some form or another. Seeing as how many of the complaints about the exalted are that they don’t have a big niche… this would give them that niche.

    There have been quite a few good suggestions in this thread regarding exalted. I like the idea that exalted can grant devout to other units but that wouldn’t really help much with machines.

    One random idea that occurs to me: What if exalted had a skill to convert its spirit damage to another channel (shock or fire). Some sort of divine weapon that can change its nature once per battle. It wouldn’t really help much against the undead because spirit already works well against them but it would help against machines and other spirit immune targets. You could balance it by saying it would require a turn to use (like a buff) so it’s not exactly free. Just a thought.

    I still think at least one Theocrat unit needs Devout Slayer. I think it needs to be Exalted. This is neither a buff nor a debuff per se, since it only really has meaning in a Theo v Theo matchup, and affects both players equally.

    This sounds like a decent idea to me.

    #204093

    Zaskow
    Member

    I still think at least one Theocrat unit needs Devout Slayer.

    I prefer to copy Rogue hero’s ability for Theo heroes – Dirty Half Dozen.

    The ironic thing is if exalted started with stunning touch they’d be quite good at disabling machines.

    Not very reliable, honestly.
    Stunning touch was last chance weapon and doesn’t guaranteed decent results (from my experience, of course). Almost all touch abilities have low strength and in most cases it’s just a turn wasting. However, for supports paralyze touch is good thing, especially when deciding if unit will die or no.

    #204096

    quo
    Member

    The ironic thing is if exalted started with stunning touch they’d be quite good at disabling machines. It wasn’t terribly thematic but it did fill this critical role.

    On this we completely agree. Exalted were never one of my favorite units, but Stunning Touch was one of the few Theocrat abilities that checked against something other than Spirit. The change from Stunning Touch to Inflict Dazzle really hurt this unit and the class overall.

    Does Blind work on Machines? Because Inflict Blind would be an improvement (not Blinding Aura). Blind checks against Physical, seems thematic, and shuts down the main issue Theocrats have (huge AoE attacks coming from Machines which the Theocrat struggles to stop). It would 10 times better than Dazzle. Dazzle is actually one of the worst possible choices for a unit that needs to help against machines, since aside from the Spirit channel thing, most Machines don’t strike back anyway.

    #204100

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    Does Blind work on Machines? Because Inflict Blind would be an improvement (not Blinding Aura). Blind checks against Physical, seems thematic, and shuts down the main issue Theocrats have (huge AoE attacks coming from Machines which the Theocrat struggles to stop). It would 10 times better than Dazzle. Dazzle is actually one of the worst possible choices for a unit that needs to help against machines, since aside from the Spirit channel thing, most Machines don’t strike back anyway.

    Yes this was suggested in the other exalted thread too. I always liked the idea of inflict blind for exalted (assuming it would indeed work on machines). Blinding aura is kind of pointless, as you say. I had kind of given up on the idea since others didn’t seem to like it much but I still think it would be an excellent fix.

    #204104

    Zaskow
    Member

    Blind checks against Physical, seems thematic, and shuts down the main issue Theocrats have (huge AoE attacks coming from Machines which the Theocrat struggles to stop).

    It works. It would be useful against cannons and juggers firstly. Flame tank and golem can attack even being blinded. Also most machines have a lot of def. Chance to blind jugger AFAIK around 15%.
    However, blinding strike is very useful thing against many types of targets, because flanking against them becomes much easier. Read here more info.
    I rejected this idea in my old thread, because I was not sure, that all blind in game works as Rogue’s Blind.

    #204106

    Inflict blind was my idea, so I still like it rather than dazzle. Honestly it self balances, because it is not as useful vs bio troops to have a dazzle and daze check, and it prevents divine wrath.

    The flashbang strength one, whatever the check is for the spell.

    #204132

    Hatmage
    Member

    Inflict blind might be decent on exalted.

    Fire damage is thematic in a way shock damage isn’t – fire has connotations of purity and even healing, possibly because it makes the sickening edible, and it was believed in some mediæval countries that a death by burning could help save a soul from hell. Lightning on the other hand, is pretty pagan, being associated with zeus and Thor.
    Replacing physical damage with fire doesn’t help against dreadnoughts much, as they have flame tanks, who would only grow stronger if you did so. Replacing spirit with fire does help, as some damage is always better than no damage, and actually makes theocrats slightly weaker against most undead, but stronger against tigrans. If we replace 50% of the spirit damage done by holy war and exalted, that also undoes the effective nerfing of human exalted, who trade physical damage for spirit.

    Regarding devout slayer on some theocrat units – I think crusaders are the obvious thematic choice, given what crusades are, but it doesn’t fit their purely defensive role that well.

    #204141

    quo
    Member

    Fire damage is thematic in a way shock damage isn’t

    Well Shrines of Smiting deal Shock damage as part of their Divine Vengeance ability. I don’t think either Fire or Shock is particularly more thematic than the other.

    If nothing else, the spells Wrath of God and Smite could definitely deal some Shock damage. The animation for those powers involves a bolt shooting down from the sky.

    Smite is in a particularly weird place by the way. It’s a roll against Spirit for double damage. But a Theocrat can’t debuff Spirit until the very end of the game. The main unit that can is… the Necromancer. So for some reason, a Necromancer is the best choice to get a unit ready for being smited by heaven. Same thing with Convert. Being harrassed by a Necromancer is apparently the first step to finding religion. 😉

    #204194

    Zaskow
    Member

    If nothing else, the spells Wrath of God and Smite could definitely deal some Shock damage. The animation for those powers involves a bolt shooting down from the sky.

    New problem appears. In we add new channel this will decrease spell damage in sum.

    #204199

    LordTyrael
    Member

    Well Shrines of Smiting deal Shock damage as part of their Divine Vengeance ability. I don’t think either Fire or Shock is particularly more thematic than the other.

    And Shrine also get Static shield, i think Shock is justifiable.

    #204200

    LordTyrael
    Member

    You could make heretic work as fire damage for machines (burning heretics and all that). As a cover for what holy champion doesn’t.

    Is it really a buff? Flame tanks are 60% fire protected, Dread heroes get Forge aprons. Correct me if i am wrong but isn’t the physical damage important, i mean the armor penetration. Juggernauts have 20ish defense endgame.

    #204226

    Zaskow
    Member

    Ok, just played Theo vs. Theo match. Problem of utilizing spirit damage is true.
    Tried to use Mark heretic massively and you know what? It DOESN’T matter really, because +3 physical is too low.
    I had interesting battle. 2 my cherubs against 2 enemy cherubs. Enemy casted Mark of Heretic on my army. My army won.
    In reality +3 damage transform into +1 damage at best.

    I suggest to change Heretics mechanics from +3 physical to +1 fire, +1 shock, +1 physical. Multichannel could makes this spell more powerful.

    #204244

    LordTyrael
    Member

    That is not an accurate accounting. Exalted benefit all the same from rg upgrades as do other units so it isn’t just normal exalted vs. Gold golems, but ones with frostbite (frostling) or equal medal advantage (human). Given all this (and heretic), the true combat effectiveness ratio is more 2 or 1.5 to one (assuming dwarf drac orc or halfling exalted).

    That means your garrisons have to be three golems to keep a full stack of exalted (especially the mixed absorb pain and regular) at bay. That is 24 upkeep vs. 96. However, if you did that for every city in a ten city empire, that is 240 vs. 96 (since a stack of exalted can sit in water or mountains and harass a whole empire). When you include lost happiness bonii and the occasional loss of a weak city, that is a very efficient trade off.

    Ok, i’ve done a few tests and it’s worse, a lot worse than i thought.

    6 Human Exalte veteran rg upgrade vs 3 gold golems rg upgrade. Golems had mark of the heretic no spells used on either side, 6 exalted dead not a single golem destroyed, human exalted were doing 1-3 damage per hit.

    6 Frostling Exalted frostbite weapons rg upgrade vs 3 gold golems rg upgrade. Mark of the heretic. I could not destroy a single golem.

    I tested 6 orc exalted, War cry mark of the heretic, 1 golem destroyed but this stack had no absorb.

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