This forum is lost for balance

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 This forum is lost for balance

Tagged: ,

This topic contains 96 replies, has 37 voices, and was last updated by  Bouh 7 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 61 through 90 (of 97 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #158553

    Fenraellis
    Member

    …That, was pretty disappointing, BBB. Not going to lie. Hah.

    #158587

    Gloweye
    Member

    Yeah, I’d hoped for a video…that was kind of the original commitment…

    #158603

    Yeah, I’d hoped for a video…that was kind of the original commitment…

    Was it? I just remember saying I’d eat one, and that was when I thought such a thing actually existed.

    …That, was pretty disappointing, BBB. Not going to lie. Hah.

    You can always make your own!

    #158645

    Klydon
    Member

    I know this is a older thread, but thought it might perhaps to impart some wisdom on balance from someone who has been around for a long time and has played a lot of games over the years.

    First, balance is a constantly moving elusive goal. In a game like this with variable maps (both in size and in terrain) and with different difficulty settings, you can’t expect to get a balance achieved that fits all the different settings. On top of that, what may be balanced between a group of expert players will not be balance between a group of intermediate groups and it will be different for a group of novice players as well.

    To try to chase a “balance” in such an environment is a exercise in futility. Now, should the developers totally ignore balance? No and they haven’t. Balance is also in the eye of the beholder. One person’s “balance” will likey be disagreed with by another person and that is normal. Often it is hard to be objective to “nerf” a certain persons favorite class/race when it may be needed or to admit that something else may need some adjustment to help them because they are weak.

    I won’t even go into the attempt to try to achieve balance in PvP AND single player at the same time.

    I think the devs have done a terrific job with getting it right for the most part without wrecking the game. Too much tinkering with the balance can absolutely wreck a game as well, so be careful on what you wish for in this regard. Race/class combos may not have been created equal, but none are consistent winners and all have their “bane” opponents.

    The way it should work in a ever evolving world of tactics and strategic thinking is that if a race/class combo has the perception of being powerful, then the community will figure out the best counter race/class combo that is specifically a issue for the popular one and hope they run into players that like to play the perceived “powerful race/class” because it gives them some advantage. Others may develop another race/class strategy that works well against the second one and can hold its own against the first and so on.

    At some point, it would be nice to be able to mod units and perhaps that is in the future. Those who have axes to grind over “balance” can then release their own versions of what they think is balanced and let the community decide if they are correct or not.

    #158724

    Yelok
    Member

    You have a point.

    Devs made a mistake when trying to fix mp and sp with the same rules. Mp must have its own rules while sp must have its own rules.

    #158781

    Fenraellis
    Member

    someone who has been around for a long time and has played a lot of games over the years.

    You are hardly alone in this. Especially in a forum for a TBS game. Just sayin’.

    Anyway, some good insights, even if they have been made here before by others as well. Welcome nonetheless, although I think I’ve seen you post before at some point…

    #158815

    Gloweye
    Member

    Devs made a mistake when trying to fix mp and sp with the same rules. Mp must have its own rules while sp must have its own rules.

    This is a bad idea, since it means that your favorite SP strats might just simply NOT WORK in MP. Whatever happens, the game rules can’t change between MP/SP.

    #158835

    Bouh
    Member

    Yelok wrote:

    Devs made a mistake when trying to fix mp and sp with the same rules. Mp must have its own rules while sp must have its own rules.

    This is a bad idea, since it means that your favorite SP strats might just simply NOT WORK in MP. Whatever happens, the game rules can’t change between MP/SP.

    This kind of balance has been done in some games. As far as I know they had no real MP community though.

    It’s indeed a bad idea though. AI completely bottleneck balance in SP. Each and every single balance problem in SP can be solved with AI tweaks, hence “balance” in itself is irrelevant to SP” experience. Balance though is very important in MP, but the problem is when MP players try to hint about balance : usualy (like 90% of the time) MP players are too focused on singular strategies, or at best on a singular metagame, to give relevant balance hints. They can (and they do) attest about problematic balance situations, but the more the devs will try to fix singular problems, the more problems they will bring into the game.

    Because balance is no a collection of singular matchups, it’s an ecosystem. I’ve not heard of any ecosystem specialist ever talking about balance, so here we are, with people not having any clue trash talking eachother about the game, and devs being influenced one way or another.

    #158852

    I’ve not heard of any ecosystem specialist ever talking about balance, so here we are, with people not having any clue trash talking eachother about the game, and devs being influenced one way or another.

    You do recall that you are one of those voices, right?:P

    #158869

    Klydon
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Klydon wrote:</div>
    someone who has been around for a long time and has played a lot of games over the years.

    You are hardly alone in this. Especially in a forum for a TBS game. Just sayin’.

    Anyway, some good insights, even if they have been made here before by others as well. Welcome nonetheless, although I think I’ve seen you post before at some point…

    I would say I am a casual poster here, although I do check the forum here a fair amount. While I realize there are plenty of other veteran gamers here, from what I have seen on the conversation with balance, it would indicate that some are not really thinking through trying to balance something that can’t be balanced simply because there are so many moving pieces in terms of map size, terrain, etc.

    I should also add I have been on mod teams for some other games (Civ III being the big one) and have had to deal first hand with “development” of trying to achieve play balance. I have also been a play tester in the distant past. I have seen excess meddling by the designers of a game really hurt its popularity long term because they keep changing on a whim to achieve what their perception of “balance” is. Even with a locked sized map, “tournament” terrain, etc they still feel the need to constantly meddle making adjustments and it ticked off a lot in the player base over the years so the game has dwindled in popularity.

    At any rate, I like this game a lot and have played it a lot more than I have most games. I find the devs have done a tremendous job on this game so far and hope the expansion is good for it as well.

    #158871

    Bouh
    Member

    Bouh wrote:

    I’ve not heard of any ecosystem specialist ever talking about balance, so here we are, with people not having any clue trash talking eachother about the game, and devs being influenced one way or another.

    You do recall that you are one of those voices, right?:P

    I do. I never considered myself better than anyone else. 🙂

    #159086

    Yelok
    Member

    @gloweye

    Honestly, do you use the same mp strat vs emperor?

    Now I will tell you, when I play mp, I often play aggressive or very aggressive and it works well, but what happens when I do that vs emperor? Simple, I win games really fast and easy, and it feels like cheating, because early game AI is really weak. Am I wrong?

    Ok ok, let´s turtle then, when I turtle at mp, then I´m taking a risk but I can win because the enemy got the same resources as me. But, when you turtle at emperor, you will face doomstacks and the game becomes pretty harder, because AI doubles its resources, I must change my strat a little but I can win.

    Yeah, you can practice tactical map strats mostly vs AI, but overall strats are not that easy vs emperor.

    For that reason, I think, the game needs different rulesets for sp and mp.

    I have been tester in several games before, and based on my experience, some led testers or producers allow you to test ideas like that with a small team in a controlled “sandbox”.

    I don´t know which are AoW3 testing standards but I assume, AoW testers did that.

    #159087

    Brandon_354
    Member

    @gloweye

    Honestly, do you use the same mp strat vs emperor?

    Now I will tell you, when I play mp, I often play aggressive or very aggressive and it works well, but what happens when I do that vs emperor? Simple, I win games really fast and easy, and it feels like cheating, because early game AI is really weak. Am I wrong?

    Ok ok, let´s turtle then, when I turtle at mp, then I´m taking a risk but I can win because the enemy got the same resources as me. But, when you turtle at emperor, you will face doomstacks and the game becomes pretty harder, because AI doubles its resources, I must change my strat a little but I can win.

    Yeah, you can practice tactical map strats mostly vs AI, but overall strats are not that easy vs emperor.

    For that reason, I think, the game needs different rulesets for sp and mp.

    I have been tester in several games before, and based on my experience, some led testers or producers allow you to test ideas like that with a small team in a controlled “sandbox”.

    I don´t know which are AoW3 testing standards but I assume, AoW testers did that.

    If the devs had the time to competely rewrite the AI and rules just for a controlled “sandbox” consisting of a few testers that may not even make it into the game and would cause a good deal of backlash they must have a good deal of time and money. Not to mention you deal the death blow to a genre already crippled in the MP aspect. If i had to relearn the game’s completely different rules for MP after already taking time to learn and master SP and finding out which classes and strategies I love just to have them change on top of already knowing that AI strats will not work on humans i would not even bother with it. In fact you would cripple even the chances of me having a LAN game with some friends.

    #159089

    Yelok
    Member

    No Brandon, you are expecting a huge change, and rulesets are not made of huge changes.

    Talking about AoW3, testers could write a list with sp and mp exclusive “rules”, when I talk about rules, I talk about minor and subtle changes, then, they send the list to the dev team, then, the dev team examines the list and they see what can they do and what cant they do, then, devs talk with testers about the result of the revision, then, they make the changes of the rulesets, and often, the changes are really fast to do (1 work day or less with 1 dev involved), then, the testers check the stuff and after that, the feedback cycle comes up.

    #159090

    Yeah, you can practice tactical map strats mostly vs AI, but overall strats are not that easy vs emperor.

    For that reason, I think, the game needs different rulesets for sp and mp.

    The problem is that there isn’t really any such thing as an sp only or mp only change, or the ability to have different rules. In the ordinary mp game, there is auto vs. independents. In pbem, there is auto vs. other players (and the auto ai is the same as the normal ai). If something is broken in tactical combat in mp, it is most likely broken for sp as well.

    mp players just tend to find out about it first, because of the competitive pressures, and because you have a human opponent reacting.

    Now, it is true that the strategic aspect properly has some differences: the AI will probably never learn to use stealth like a player, or to change its stack make up in order to counter a players strategy.

    But these differences are relatively minor: movement, production, economics, and all the big level things work the same for the ai as for a person.

    #159091

    Brandon_354
    Member

    No Brandon, you are expecting a huge change, and rulesets are not made of huge changes.

    Talking about AoW3, testers could write a list with sp and mp exclusive “rules”, when I talk about rules, I talk about minor and subtle changes, then, they send the list to the dev team, then, the dev team examines the list and they see what can they do and what cant they do, then, devs talk with testers about the result of the revision, then, they make the changes of the rulesets, and often, the changes are really fast to do (1 work day or less with 1 dev involved), then, the testers check the stuff and after that, the feedback cycle comes up.

    It wouldn’t be a trivial change. If you change the rules you have to change the way the AI handles things so that it knows the new rules and makes use of them and you have to do it for sp and mp so that if someone wants bots in their mp games also.

    That aside, MP balance = SP balance. The things that prevent this are A. the community of MP isn’t big enough to completely determine what is and isnt an issue and B. coding the AI. after all SP actually is MP just the other players are bots.

    #159092

    People posting about needing different rules for single and multiplayer, you do realize both are the exact same game, right? The only change is putting an AI in a player slot instead of a human, and the entire goal of making an AI player is to have something that emulates a human player. A really well made AI should be hard to distinguish from a human player, that is the entire point.

    As Glow and Bough and others mentioned….any problem people have unique to single player can be fixed with AI changes, since it is the only thing different from multiplayer. This includes things like how it treats stealth units or the ability to disenchant your city buffs (before golden realms it was awful and could do it across the map with no vision) as well as things like actual AI strategy game playing ability.

    The dev post about the upcoming beta patch for the expansion patch did mention stuff about AI diplomatic profiles, which sounds promising. If it means what I think it means, it sounds like aggression settings or personalities for AI players so that they don’t all play the same. That would certainly breath new life into people’s comp stomp fests.

    #159093

    Yelok
    Member

    @chrys

    Perhaps its because I often see the things as a modder, but they can do it well (rulesets).

    Now, it is true that the strategic aspect properly has some differences: the AI will probably never learn to use stealth like a player, or to change its stack make up in order to counter a players strategy.

    That part really influences the AI difficulty and absolutely, it is a forceful factor when we talk about SP. Example:

    Me (dread) vs AI (AD), I´m besieging one of its cities with one stack of golems and 3 juggers, AI its protecting the city with several hunters, shamans and some T3/T4 animals, next 6 turns, I reinforce my attack with other golem stack, but AI is producing hunters, shamans and it is summoning gargantuan, (it´s an elven city) and it has god researched, then, I win the city without any unit lost. A human player could produce storm sisters and gods, or it will spam sunburst on my units. The result: An overwhelming victory.

    @Brandon

    Wrong, as I told you, minor and subtle changes won´t have a huge impact, then AI will be the same, perhaps some changes could require an AI modification, but it will be really minor.

    A: You cannot follow that idea if you are a dev.
    B: MP>>>>>>SP, don´t compare AI with a human, Fenraellis could explain this point to you better than me.

    @Janitor

    What do you preffer?

    A fast ruleset for mp/sp, or a 200 IQ AI that implies a ton of hard work.

    #159097

    Brandon_354
    Member

    Brandon

    Wrong, as I told you, minor and subtle changes won´t have a huge impact, then AI will be the same, perhaps some changes could require an AI modification, but it will be really minor.

    A: You cannot follow that idea if you are a dev.<br>
    B: MP>>>>>>SP, don´t compare AI with a human, Fenraellis could explain this point to you better than me.

    Wrong, changes will require coding especially rule changes like you have said (, perhaps you meant stat and spell changes, and ofc an there is a difference between AI and humans but none the less MP balance naturally = SP balance with AI tweaks, certainly better than making new rules which also would need AI tweaks.

    #159129

    Gloweye
    Member

    I’ve not heard of any ecosystem specialist ever talking about balance,

    I have :D. They don’t shut up about it. Not that they know how it works, though.

    Now I will tell you, when I play mp, I often play aggressive or very aggressive and it works well, but what happens when I do that vs emperor? Simple, I win games really fast and easy, and it feels like cheating, because early game AI is really weak. Am I wrong?

    That means the AI needs work, not that you have to change the ruleset. TBH, the AI IS getting improvements in this respect.

    #159136

    terrahero
    Member

    People posting about needing different rules for single and multiplayer, you do realize both are the exact same game, right? The only change is putting an AI in a player slot instead of a human, and the entire goal of making an AI player is to have something that emulates a human player.

    And how is that not a different experience? AI or human is an entire different kettle of fish, AI can never emulate a real human players because a human player does not follow preset rules and parameters.

    So yes there is a big difference between singleplayer and multiplayer. But not only that, certain rules are popularized by multiplayers. Certain classes/units got some (pretty big) buffs because of their poor performance in auto-resolve battles.
    But it’s perfectly possible to manual combat in a multiplayer game, but the multiplayer community simply agreed upon the rule not to manual agaisnt AI.

    And balance changes are not only being made based on vastly different kinds of opponents (AI vs human) but also whatever rules are made up by the players themselves.

    So these are very different situations. If balance is to be pushed for multiplayer than make them apply for multiplayer with multiplayer scenario’s and multiplayer community rules in mind, without having this affect singleplayer.

    #159137

    Gloweye
    Member

    If balance is to be pushed for multiplayer

    what makes you think this?

    The above referenced changes were made because the problems were highlighted in MP, not because they weren’t there in SP.

    #159140

    Surely then the best thing to do would be to take what works for people in multiplayer and train the ai to use those things?

    #159144

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    An example are the Scoundrels.

    I thought they were fine in the first iteration – but of course only when manually led, since the AI couldn’t handle them in a way that made them not only effective but also survive.

    I have to say that I DO find auto-combat problematic in a game like this. Generally spoken, AoW is a hybrid; the “empire building” is fast-paced, that is, that part is very well suited for MP play, since it doesn’t take a lot of time; additionally, you can set the RMG for few settlements and no settling, making that part of the work fairly simple throughout a game.
    However, a large part of the game – and it’s fun – comes from managing single units, gain XP with them, evolve them, develop Heroes, and so on.
    Autocombat – FOR ME – doesn’t work, because it’s a different kind of game insofar that you simple must know what you will get away with and what not; for example, what it takes to explore a STRONG or EPIC site and not lose anything.
    If you play manually, you also rely on finding the right tactics which you can then repeat, but the question, “what do I get away with” is a lot more interesting, since it’s work in progress (JUST survival may not be enough, you may also want to minimize damage for your troops in order to attack more targets that round).

    Which means, from my perspective, MP play that uses autocombat is completely useless for balancing, since the result only says something about the relative strength within the limits of the established AI routines. A change within the routines may completely change the balance.

    #159146

    Jaduggar
    Member

    …alright, step #8 made me laugh pretty hard XD

    #159162

    Astraflame
    Member

    That means the AI needs work, not that you have to change the ruleset. TBH, the AI IS getting improvements in this respect.

    Glad to hear it, in addition to the general AI work the specific Emperor AI could start with more units than in currently does and pre built basic military structures, i want the hardest AI setting to be hard from the very start, rushing it easily shouldn’t be an option. Currently on a small/medium map the player needs to hold back on purpose if any challenge from the AI is to be expected, otherwise even the Emperor AI is a cakewalk.

    Work has been done to weaken the AI emperor late game T4 spam, settler spam(Needed) so it should learn how to defend it’s cities from the beginning, learn how to scout and be punish the player for not having enough defences, if it can’t be done through mimicking competent multiplayer folks behavior it should have a stronger military from the beginning and be a serious threat.

    Last it focuses to much on building every single structure in every damn city, teach it how to prioritize and specialize, at least the basics of mystical cities, i want that Emperor sucker to pump units and send them against me.
    Imo the Lord Level should be what the current emperor is minus end game spam, work from there.

    #159166

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Because balance is no a collection of singular matchups, it’s an ecosystem. I’ve not heard of any ecosystem specialist ever talking about balance, so here we are, with people not having any clue trash talking eachother about the game, and devs being influenced one way or another.

    Maybe I should start REALLY looking into the balancing then – I am an ecosystem specialist (also known as an Ecologist) 😛

    But the one thing I will say is that no ecosystem is every truly in balance – at best, they’re in a state of semi-stable instability, which sounds paradoxical, but isn’t. I can’t really explain that without going into concepts like ecosystem resilience and stuff though.

    Edit:

    Although, thinking about the balance of AoW3 in terms from my profession made me realise how much the progression of class power throughout a typical match (e.g. a Warlord’s weak Early-Mid and powerful Late game), if plotted on a graph, would look very much like cyclical predator-prey dynamics (substituting “relative power” for population). Just an amusing thought.

    Although there are several caveats to that, but just how the graph would look is what sort of amused me. (One of the caveats is, of course, how highly subjective the idea of class power throughout a match is – and that, no doubt, any such graph will be rendered irrelevant in a month and a half)

    #159174

    @ravenholme

    I presume the daisy world model is an example of a semi-stable unstable ecosystem?

    #159176

    Ravenholme
    Member

    @ravenholme

    I presume the daisy world model is an example of a semi-stable unstable ecosystem?

    Sort of. Daisy World’s early stages (where the Black Daisies warm the planet, making it suitable for the White Daisies, who then cope better with the star’s progression along the main sequence) are actually an example of facilitation (Where a species or community of species modify their environment such that is now suitable for another species or community of species). Which is also something to bear in mind, most habitats that aren’t mature woodland are actually (without human intervention) transitory phases on a scale of progression that leads towards some kind of “apex” ecosystem, which is then usually knocked back to a pioneer ecosystem state by natural disasters such as forest fires.

    #159177

    Dr_K
    Member

    An example are the Scoundrels.

    I thought they were fine in the first iteration – but of course only when manually led, since the AI couldn’t handle them in a way that made them not only effective but also survive.

    I really, really want someone to explain this. Precisely how did the Scoundrel get buffed unnecessarily?

    I thought I knew what happened from looking at tons of records, but apparently it is not what quite a number of people think happened with them.

Viewing 30 posts - 61 through 90 (of 97 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.