[Following] Triumph, Necromancer is truly and utterly broken!

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions [Following] Triumph, Necromancer is truly and utterly broken!

This topic contains 162 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  DreadReapr 5 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #239711

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Please look at the recent topics. Inflict Ghoul Curse and Greater Reanimate Dead need to be addressed in a new patch – they break the game.

    Please let’s discuss this.

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by  Narvek.
    #239712

    Bob5
    Member

    Greater Reanimate shouldn’t affect enemy corpses, that’d already fix a lot of it I think, now it’s too easy to get Deathbringers, Bone Dragons, and Titans just by reanimating indies.

    #239713

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    That’s only part of the problem. The stronger defenders you play the faster you level heroes up, and the faster you level heroes up the sooner you get to the Goodies.

    Shouldn’t be the case – or better, if that may be of use to ONE Class is should be of use to ALL.

    So the problem is, that too good abilities are available for HEROES. These too good abilities have to be moved to researchm and Whispers of the Fallen has to be changed as well, depending on what is changed otherwise.

    #239721

    SpiritSeeker
    Member

    I agree that it is too strong. For me, all conversion abilities are too strong, by the way, and the game would benefit with a limit on conversion, or requiring more research or other investments to not let it get completely out of control.
    I posted a suggestion here:
    http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/suggestion-conversion-limit/

    #239729

    chiefdruid2
    Member

    I love how every time someone gets their butt beat by something they rush to the forum and whine about broken or overpower etc. etc. There’s nothing wrong with either. If you can’t build up your hero fast enough to overcome it then it’s “your” fault not the games or the design. These trats are the “power” of the Necromancer. Now, you basically want to nerf him for your own good. That’s just silly. L2P and play well. Just because you can move a piece around the board and build something doesn’t make you a genius or good game player. If you want a “chess” game then go buy and play chess. Everything is equal in that game just like you like it. lol

    #239731

    SpiritSeeker
    Member

    I love how every time someone gets their butt beat by something they rush to the forum and whine about broken or overpower etc.

    This probably happens a lot, yes, and I partly agree. But I am speaking from the other perspective. In all my PBEM games I have played the conversion strategy rather effectively, and I almost feel that I can only be beaten by someone who plays that particular strategy better than I do, or someone who just has had more luck with his conversion ability rolls, or has had more appropriate monster camps in the neighbourhood. Games can be rather anticlimactic if you have this super strong army and you meet the puny other players and you know there will be no challenge ;-). But still, I keep playing that way because doing anything else feels like falling behind, and I do play to win.
    So basically I am saying I’d like some incentive to try some other strategies, and reopen that large part of the game that seems useless to me at this point.

    Anyway, probably this whole issue is non-existent for regular MP games…

    #239732

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    chiefdruid, that’s bullcrap. It’s very simple, really: the game consists of a couple of parts, which are tactical combat, researching technologies, building an economy. Everything together makes the game. If one element becomes too powerful, it hurts the game. ALL general balance considerations are more or less trying to keep that balance between game parts in check. For, example, settler spam is making the “building an economy” part quite powerful.

    With Necro, it’s fairly obvious that it’s the tactical combat part which becomes too powerful (which is also the reason why this problem is less obvious in MP, because you have no control over autocombat). If you can bypass the research and building-up part by simply having combats, then the whole game is getting unhinged. There can be no doubt, that having 4 stacks of T3s and T4s by turn 15 is killing the game – you don’t need any research or production anymore.

    Now, we have once-per combat conversion abilities with certain immunities for converting units. That converting units are themselves immune against conversion is a means to avoid a snowball effect. The simple fact is, however, that there are a couple of big holes in this (and that’s even before you ask yourself, like SpiritSeeker does, whether conversion in general is too powerful – personally I don’t think it is, because MOST conversions can be ended in battle: if the converter is killed or with Break Control, plus the effect is limited to 1 per unit and combat).

    1) Greater Reanimate Dead allows to reanimate Death Bringers
    2) Inflict Ghoul Curse allows to “convert” multiple units per battle

    Those together allows a massive snowball effect – and additionally you can do it playing EVERY class by simply hiring a Necromancer (you can do it as a Warlord or Dreadnaught or whatever as well, provided you get a Necro hero.

    To make matters short, this what I suggest to “fix” the Necromancer problem for good:

    [SUGGESTIONS:]

    1) Remove Greater Reanimate Dead from the list of abilities a hero can get by spending ability points; see 3)
    2) Make Control Undead a Level 3 ability for 3 points; make Lesser Reanimate Dead a Level 7 ability for 6 points; make Inflict Ghoul Curse a Level 11 ability for 12 points;
    3) Make Healers of the Dead a T5 research for 700 points and add the following: Necromancer heroes gain Greater Reanimate Dead;
    4) Reduce the amount of reasearch Whispers of the fallen gives to 2 per dead unit tier;
    5) Add a new Necromancer technology (T3 or T4 Empire tech), that gives Cadavers +X HP and makes them lose the trait that they lose 8 HPs each turn (if it was T3 tech it might also halve the loss to 4 or something).

    #239736

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I’d like to add something to explain my suggestion.

    Another gripe I have had with Necromancer is the following: I think, everyone agrees, that when you play a Class, hiring Heroes of a different class in support should make a difference (for example, if you play Warlord, hiring a Theocrat and a Sorcerer should play different than hiring a second Warlord and a Dreadnought), but it shouldn’t be a DEFINING difference overshadowing Class tech. For example, if you play Warlord and hire an Arch Druid, you will get limited Healing abilities and end up with a couple of befriended animals – but you won’t be able to SUMMON animals.

    However – with Necro that “line” between playing a Class and hiring heroes of a certain class is clearly overstepped. No matter what Class you play, hire a Necro hero and you CAN (you don’t have to, but you can) play a second completely independent game (starting with raising Cadavers; it also pays to Ghoul a unit or 2 at a well, because a Necro hero can use their massive heal; alternatively you can try and control the odd undead unit; currently you can also reanimate them from a point on, and eventually you will start to Ghoul Curse an empire).

    So that’s another aim of the suggested changes: a) avoid snowballing conversion effect; b) make Necro a bit less of a force of their own.

    That said, what I suggested above is a minimum move. It would
    a) delay snowball Ghoul Cursing for Necro Class as a whole, while it would become more difficult to start a Ghoul Curse spree with a “guest hero”; it would also
    b) give Necro play a different way to go – by deploying a cheap, but weak Cadaver army that could go earlier than a Ghoul army. With a tech worth around 350 that would make Cadavers more or less regular units for a MANA upkeep (that might be raised from 2 to, say, 4 in exchange for the benefits of it which would still be a low upkeep considering summons) you would give Necro a more rabble-oriented military strategy, which would in turn strengthen the Bone Collectors which would indirectly profit, offering Necro a different road to explore, which I’d very much appreciate.

    Otherwise, I’d like to repeat, that this isn’t about losing a game. It’s about having no chance to counter a class/hero based strategy. There is nothing better to build military strength than converting units, and when there is potentially no limit to conversion, tech research and economy/empire building becomes simply unimportant – you can just as well put them on hold.

    #239742

    kwibus
    Member

    I tend to agree with this.

    Most of the time you see powerleveling heroes that can charm/convert/ghoulify. Since that’s the easiest way too quickly get a powerful army.

    Allthough I’m a bit lost how warlords are doing atm since producing units seems to hardly matter.

    #239749

    1) Remove Greater Reanimate Dead from the list of abilities a hero can get by spending ability points; see 3)
    2) Make Control Undead a Level 3 ability for 3 points; make Lesser Reanimate Dead a Level 7 ability for 6 points; make Inflict Ghoul Curse a Level 11 ability for 12 points;
    3) Make Healers of the Dead a T5 research for 700 points and add the following: Necromancer heroes gain Greater Reanimate Dead;
    4) Reduce the amount of reasearch Whispers of the fallen gives to 2 per dead unit tier;
    5) Add a new Necromancer technology (T3 or T4 Empire tech), that gives Cadavers +X HP and makes them lose the trait that they lose 8 HPs each turn (if it was T3 tech it might also halve the loss to 4 or something).

    I *think* these are all moddable (not sure about number 1) in which case this should be easily testable. If the changes are indeed beneficial then maybe TS could see their way to officially implementing them?

    #239760

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    That would be cool.

    I wonder whether Offering of Bones giving Bone Collectors something permanent is moddable, too?

    #239763

    Bob5
    Member

    Double post, ignore this one

    #239764

    Bob5
    Member

    I wonder whether Offering of Bones giving Bone Collectors something permanent is moddable, too?

    Is fairly easy to mod, you can pick how long the effect lasts (number of combat turns, end of combat, number of strategic turns, or permanent). Whether or not it’s a good idea idk, Dark Ritual makes it very easy to gather loads of cadavers fast. Or maybe you could make the permanent buff non-stacking.

    #239765

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Well, yes, but you still need a batle to trigger Offering.

    The question would be whether the AI is programmed to use Offering of Bones AT ALL, which I have no idea.

    In any case – things don’t mnake the most sense the way they are now. Bone Collectors can make use of dead units all by themselves. Offering of Bones should have to offer something more like that – whatever it was.
    Hmm – might be part of the Cadaver XP the Bone Collector gets …

    #239790

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Suggestion for an even simpler solution of the Ghoul Curse/Reanimate problem:

    1) Eliminate Inflict Ghoul Curse as a hero ability; if something else is necessary, replace it with “Inflict Cadaver Curse” (doing exactly what you think it does: if yes, the unit is IMMEDIATELY raised as a Cadaver when it dies; if no, the dead body cannot be raised as a Cadaver anymore (but still used by a Bone Collector) ;
    2) Make Greater Reanimate Dead work on Living units and Ghouls ONLY (that is, not on undead units that are not Ghouls, not on Titans, not on Wraith Kings, not on Death Bringers…). HOWEVER: if it’s an ENEMY creature there is a check involved (12 or 13); if the check fails, the unit is raised as a Cadaver instead!

    Still, techs for Cadavers were nice; also Whispers and Stiffen Limbs are still too good.

    #239804

    Hiliadan
    Member

    As we have moved out of the balance forum, I’ll post here…

    A few comments on the idea proposed:
    1) Remove Greater Reanimate Dead from the list of abilities a hero can get by spending ability points; see 3)
    ==> yes definitely

    2) Make Control Undead a Level 3 ability for 3 points; make Lesser Reanimate Dead a Level 7 ability for 6 points; make Inflict Ghoul Curse a Level 11 ability for 12 points;
    ==> why make Control Undead easier? Totally disagree. It should cost 5 (instead of 4 currently) and stay at the same level.
    Ok for Lesser Reanimate Undead, but level 7 is maybe too much?
    Ghoul Curse should also be removed from the hero list of abilites, as Greater Reanimate Undead (and it should also be in the “Healers of the Dead” tech, which may need another name). Otherwise, you can still get a Necro hero while playing Theocrat or any other class and raising an army of the dead alone.

    3) Make Healers of the Dead a T5 research for 700 points and add the following: Necromancer heroes gain Greater Reanimate Dead;
    ==> yes definitely but not sure about the research cost. And should also give Inflict Ghoul Curse (see 2)).

    4) Reduce the amount of reasearch Whispers of the fallen gives to 2 per dead unit tier;
    ==> is it really necessary?

    5) Add a new Necromancer technology (T3 or T4 Empire tech), that gives Cadavers +X HP and makes them lose the trait that they lose 8 HPs each turn (if it was T3 tech it might also halve the loss to 4 or something).
    ==> we need feedback from live-MP players here. Would it be useful?
    Also, the economic bonus discussed in the balance mod topic would probably be enough to compensate for the move of the skills to the tech tree (and not the hero “inherent” abilities).

    #239805

    Zaskow
    Member

    we need feedback from live-MP players here. Would it be useful?

    Not really, saving of Cadavers doesn’t worth forces and time. In most times they used as free cannon fodder only in battles.

    #239824

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    @ Hiliadan
    I’m a bit more lenient towards Control undead, because there aren’t many undead to control, actually. If you think about it – the controllable units are to be found in Tombs , Libraries (Reanimator), Necro Circles (Reanimator), Wells (Carrion Bird) and in battles that try to overtake Archon dwellings. That makes it very situational – and very dangerous to use. However, I wouldn’t be against making Control Undead part of the same logic that is used for Befriend Animal.

    For Cadavers, obviously, there are a lot of reasons to have one or two techs for them; a general reason would be that Necro Class would have “better” Cadavers than Necro HEROES (Raise Corpse is a pretty useful thing when you hire a Necro as any other Class). A tech that would stop deterioration would make them very cheap, but useful units that COULD be massed. A strengthening tech could give them something or allow them to be combined or offer their Bones with a permanent effect . As I said, the AI uses Raise Corpse already, so the question isn’t whether NOW it’s worth saving them – the main thing is, THEY EXIST (in MP, other than regular early Conversions, Controls or Ghouls), so the question is what can be done to make them worth keeping (they are of course worth keeping, because they are additional meat to throw into any battle, it’s just that their deterioration limits the amount of Cadavers worth keeping because they use up your between-turn healing – or die).

    #239854

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I’d also like to point out that Cadavers don’t need much Tech to really become worth the effort – let me remind you that they get Resurgence on Gold Medal.

    #239913

    Hiliadan
    Member

    I’m not saying that techs for cadavers are not interesting or nice, they surely are.
    But would that really make the live-MP community happy? Would they use them? I’m not so sure. If not, it’s not part of a balance.

    Zaskow proposed an economic boost. That seems too strong to me but why not. It should be tested with the changes to Ghoul Curse and Greater Reanimate Undead mentioned above.
    A “Necro fix” standalone mod would be great.

    #239921

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    The problem with Necro in MP is that Necro advantages are combat-based – so players leave things to the AI which means, the question is what the AI uses and what not. And the AI doesn’t convert a lot, if anything.
    However, the AI DOES raise cadavers – that’s even some kind of tactical priority. Go into autocombat with a Necro force and you’ll end up with one or more Cadavers.

    So that means, for MP, boosting Cadavers will be a boost for Necro, because the combat AI makes use of Cadavers. If you can get rid of their disadvantages, Cadavers will bolster your troops and give you “numbers”, albeit rabble.

    For an economic boost… the RMG might set up maps with a few city RUINS.

    #239952

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Yes, I understand what you mean about the AI using the ability in autocombat. But that’s not a good argument. If live MP players do not use cadavers because they are junk, having cadavers after autocombat will not make them happy.

    6 out of 7 players polled here http://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=bf_poll&pollnumber=3 believe the Necro is not balanced and 3 out of 4 of the 4 players who are in the winner bracket of the PBEM tournament think the same (namely Lightform, gabthegab and me, I don’t know about cbower).
    Zaskow (or anyone), if you could make a mod specific for that issue, that would be great. We would consider making it mandatory for the PBEM tournament currently ongoing.

    #239956

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Don’t know whether we talk past each other here, but not using useful units you get for free wouldn’t be a question of using, but a question of utility.

    #239958

    heikomat2000
    Member

    Hi, sorry to spoil your nice balance discussion here, but is it really necessary to remove game mechanics which are quite fun – at least in single player – because they may cause some inbalance in certain setups in multiplayer games?
    From the single player perspective the necromancer is definitely not broken because the ai is not able to pull off all the things you describe. And yes, a human player can do it. – If the player gets lucky, or abuses the game by reloading. Otherwise conversion methods are not guaranteed to work.
    So, I think there is no problem in single player: If you do not like it, don’t do it.
    If you guys think some changes are needed for multiplayer setup, go for a mod then. But do not make it a game patch.

    Cheers,

    Heiko

    #239962

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    1) Get Necro to level 7.
    2) Pick Greater Reanimate Dead
    3) Explore Tomb
    4) Kill Death Bringer
    5) Greater Reanimate Death Bringer
    6) Start Ghoul Cursing units

    The last patch was supposed to make it impossible to get control over Death Bringers early (as early as in the first dozen turns) with Control Undead in order to avoid flooding the map with Ghoul Cursed units, something that kills the whole purpose of the game (and producing Death Bringers), especially since you didn’t even need to play Necromancer Class, but could pull that off with a Necro Guest Hero and even with a Theocrat.
    Now you cannot Control Death Bringers anymore – but Greater Reanimate them from enemy troops, resulting in the same thing.

    That’s not playing the game, it’s abusing a fun mechanic that you are supposed to work and play a certain class for and not presented to you on a silver platter because of a hole in some ability workings. You could just as well play with a cheat code that gives you additional units each turn.

    #239970

    is it really necessary to remove game mechanics which are quite fun – at least in single player – because they may cause some inbalance in certain setups in multiplayer games?

    The eternal question!

    #239974

    heikomat2000
    Member

    Yes, the eternal question for the eternal lords 😉.

    @Jolly Joker:
    Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand how to do it and that it can be a huge advantage in the early game. But “truly and utterly broken”? From my perspective it is only a problem in pbem games. And still not guaranteed to work:
    1. Need a necromancer at game Start.
    2. Need a tomb with deathbringer at the right Moment.
    3. Need to actually win that fight animate the deathbringer and ensure it survives until the end of the fight.
    4. Ghoul curse is not guaranteed to work.
    And it needs to be done in the early game, otherwise it is not a problem.
    From single player view: the ai does not play that way, and the player needs not to do it.
    And by the way: If you come up with some interesting alternatives for necromancer skills, this might be fine, but it should be more than removing or postponing skills.

    #239979

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Look, the whole problem would be none, if it couldn’t be done in the early game.
    To research Death Bringers and build them you need to put 1500+ research into it. This number will in reality be higher, since you will research not just your class units. CP would be important as well, so it will take some time to produce common Death Bringers. Depending how much of a premium you put on them – I doubt that you’ll get Death Bringers prior to turn 30 in any “normal” game.

    As opposed to that – when do you reach level 7 with your starting hero? Even playing a straight game without putting extra care into leveling your hero up asap, but simply fighting economically, you shouldn’t need more than a dozen turns on Strong Defenders and average sites – let’s say 15 (there are people who can do this a lot faster, mind you).
    So that means, you can start to go after Death Bringers in half the time, you do not need to research them, when you put a premium on getting to them, you do not have to build the building you need to recruit them, you will have a lot more sites left to explore than 15 turns later, and by turn 30 you’ll practically have won the map.

    Now, that’s when you play Necro Class. When you do NOT play Necro Class, but get a Necro offered in the first 3 turns, playing a different class, surprise, surprise, you can do it EXACTLY the same way, and it’s not more difficult – on the contrary. Necromancer are pretty good heroes, and raising Cadavers is an asset for every Class. Once you reach level 7, same procedure.

    That is in addition to getting Control Undead on level 5, allowing to try and Control Reanimators in Libraries and Necromatic Circles, and also in Tombs or other undead like Archons and Carrion Birds. And it is in addition to Necro Heroes eventually getting Ghoul Curse themselves on level 9 – still in addition to Control Undead and Greater Reanimate. A level 9 Necro going into a Tomb may, no matter what Class you ACTUALLY play
    1) Greater Reanimate a Death Bringer
    2) Control a Reanimator
    3) Ghoul Curse a Hell Hound
    4) Lesser Reanimate a fallen friendly, say, Reanimator
    5) Raise a Cadaver – for example, if Ghoul Curse on the Hell Hound failed.

    Later on he may pick Necromantic Aura in addition which will Inflict the Ghoul Curse on any attacker as well.

    Don’t you think that this is just a tad ridiculous when you compare this with what other heroes will be able to do?

    Also – if you read ALL the pertinent threads – and there are some of them – you would know that I suggest to introduce one or two techs to boost Cadavers, because the AI actually does raise them, and playing with them would be very specific “Necro” play as well, even without early ghouling antics.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by  Jolly Joker.
    #239989

    heikomat2000
    Member

    Agreed, a level 9 necro hero can do this. Better: he can try to do it. The only thing which has a 100% chance is greater Animate dead. And then the necromancer is broken if he manages to animate something like a deathbringer or a tier 4 unit in the early game. Yes, this may be gamebreaking. But it is nothing that is guaranteed. When we talk about a broken balance, we should at least differentiate between things that always work and things that only have a chance.
    Still in Single player all of this boils down to a personal playstyle, because even as a necromancer you can play differently. So it is probably a balancing issue in pbem games, because you need to play tactical combats.
    A late game necromancer gets lots of goodies to control an raise undead. If your oppenents are not undead though, you have some (pretty good) debuffs, the ghoul curse (the Enemy unit needs to actually die for this) and raise cadaver. Also you need to spend skill points on those debuffs, while the undead specific abilities are not exactly cheap.
    I guess the whole balancing issue can be boiled down to the greateranimatedead spell and wether it should work on foreign undead umits.
    Regarding cadavers: I had a nice idea, which probably will never be implemented. On gold level a cadaver will regain its original, though ghouled, body. This Males it interesting to harvest those cadavers. Unfortunately this means that each cadaver needs a reference to the unit type it was raised from. So I do not think ist is possible to mod and probably also difficult to implement.
    So much for the Diskussion for now, I am going to play now.
    Cheers.

    #239992

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I’m sorry, but this is no discussion but nonsense. Simple question: if these things do not happen to you – early Death Bringer/ghouled army -, or if you are aware of these things, but don’t use them, or if these things have so many disadvantages that they are actually not worth bothering, because all those units will make you broke, why would you be against doing something so that can’t happen?
    Makes no sense.

    Which means, I don’t actually see any point you make. “It boils down to personal playing style.” What? Balance depends on personal playing style? Without a semblance of balance, how would you even know the win or loss you just had means anything?
    I mean, if you beat the combined alliance of a maximum of Emperor AIs with Necro, and ONLY with Necro – is it because you are an ace playing Necro and suck as the rest or is it because Necro is unbalanced and stronger than the rest. Is it personal playing style or a balance problem?

    Now, all that said – you didn’t answer to the actual facts. FACT is, if there IS a Death Bringer in a Tomb and yourNecro is level 7 you CAN Greater Reanimate it FOR SURE, which means, you get a unit that costs 800 Research plus a lot of gold to build at a much earlier point and for a much cheaper price and a snowball effect starts, because not only the Death Bringer can bring you more units with an even higher research value like Manticores – the earlier you get them, the more sites are there to explore and therefore the bigger the snowball effect is.

    Lastly, a possibility to acquire a potentially unlimited amount of units for free without any controling factor simply kills the game because it reduces it. If you imagine a very complex Labyrinth that costs time and effort to solve, then any obvious shortcut will ruin it.
    Same thing here.

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