Update 1.701+ Patch Notes – Updated 6/10/2015

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Home Forums Update v1.5 – Open Beta Update 1.701+ Patch Notes – Updated 6/10/2015

This topic contains 551 replies, has 40 voices, and was last updated by  Garresh 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #233866

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    @ quo

    I don’t see the connection to Exalted Martyrs.

    I was a fan of the initial Scoundrel -> Assassin thing because it made sense. Scoundrels were weakish one-shooter, that were good flankers (Sprint) and got better with Irregular Training and Cruel Backstab – but if I remember right, that theoretically sound concept wouldn’t work in Auto, since Scoundrels would prove to frail on one hand and too slow to evolve on another, losing abilities gained when evolving into Assassins

    Letting Bards evolve to Succubi would be fitting: both are supports, both have a convert ability, Succubi being the much better Converter, a fast flyer and much more fit to take a failure

    The downside is, that the Bard probably performs as badly as a Scoundrel in Auto, so that it might be all for nothing.

    Considering that Convert is short-range as well I seem to find my peace with Charm being short-range now.
    Would that I had more time to mod.

    #233867

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    Agreed. But Exalted with Asborb Pain are reaaaaalllly powerful and a huge reward for suffering through leveling a Martyr up. Absorb Pain is an okay ability on a unit with low HP and MP. Absorb Pain on a unit with Resurgence, Flying, Holy immunity and MCI is A++++.

    Pro-tip, build the Martyrs in a city with Mercenary camp (from the Trading Post) the bonus damage and defense will be passed to the Exalted when it evolves 🙂 You can do the same trick with Scoundrel -> Shadow Stalker 😀

    I don’t see the connection to Exalted Martyrs.

    His criticism I think is more that “Evolve is bad because it forces you to XP farm with units, which is boring and unfun”. That’s more to do with the mechanics of XP farming than your idea about Bards evolving into Succubi.

    #233868

    quo
    Member

    I was a fan of the initial Scoundrel -> Assassin thing because it made sense. Scoundrels were weakish one-shooter, that were good flankers (Sprint) and got better with Irregular Training and Cruel Backstab – but if I remember right, that theoretically sound concept wouldn’t work in Auto, since Scoundrels would prove to frail on one hand and too slow to evolve on another, losing abilities gained when evolving into Assassins

    Scoundrels work better as Evolving units because they get XP for being used in a way that basically makes Tactical sense. Bards are not in a similar position IMO.

    They have Charm, which 1:combat, and (for most of them) a weak crossbow attack. The Halfling Bard is praised because its attack earns extra XP, not because it is actually tactically useful. The Bard’s other benefit is a party wide-buff to Happiness that is rangeless and encourages you to stay away from attackers.

    A Bard costs 90 production, the same as a Human Priest, Drake Elder, Elf Storm Sister, Orc Priest, or Frostling Witch. But I would much rather have any of those units than a Bard, in virtually any circumstance. The Orc Priest, which costs the same, recently was buffed because it wasn’t competitive with these units. The Bard does have slightly more HP than those units, but those units tend to contribute more in the overall.

    What a lot of Supports have but the Bard doesn’t is a good debuff that justifies them wading into combat in an active support role. Human Priests have Daze on Gold for example. Storm Sisters have stun. Orcs have Throw Curse which isn’t as good but has Extreme range. Apprentices don’t have anything to start with get a powerful stun via abilities. Frostling Witches have Chilling. Goblins have Weaken.

    I’m not saying Bard Skills is bad, but its not active, and only active abilities earn XP in this combat system. Charming something and running to hide so the Charm sticks is not going to earn a Bard XP even tho that is the Tactically sound way to play.

    #233872

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    @ Tombles

    You will alwyas “farm” XP with all units (in a reasonable way) to get medals – evolve is just starting the cycle anew.

    @ quo

    That has nothing to do with evolve.
    We agree insofar that I virtually said the same (and Zaskow as well): a unit needs something more than a yes-or-no ability and hiding the rest of the battle to be valid, and in the case of the bard the additional problem is, that it’s in many ways reminiscent of a Scoundrel.

    That’s why I wanted to give a different (magic) attack, although a weaker than the usual support (or make it faster) and add a useful ability. Inflict Severely Poisoed and Slip Away would be a nasty combo with Charm (Rallying Cry is of course too strong), Inflict Dazzling…

    See it this way: Spiders and Webbing – Spiders are really endangered, trying to web, but when they make it long enough they evolve to T3 spider with a much better Webbing – which is what Charm and Seduce is, so it wouldn’t be without precedence.

    #233875

    For the record, I think most people like how the evolve mechanics force you to nurture T1/T2 units. It’s actually an enjoyable experience allocating XP in a participation system, rather than having spread XP out; this allocation adds a layer of depth in itself. The current system with its fixes work well.

    #233879

    Zaskow
    Member

    Bards now have 41 hp (was 46), recieve Inspiring Aura on Gold Medal (was High Morale)

    Well, Inspiring Aura seems more useful, however, I’m not sure…

    Charm is now Short Range (was touch)
    Victory Rush now heals 10hp after battle (was 12)
    Theocrat now gets Healing at level 7, for 4 points
    Arch Druid now gets Healing at level 9, for 4 points

    Good changes.

    #233880

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    I guess I owe ExNihil an apology, compromise did work 🙂

    #233882

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    So when do you want it to go live? 🙂

    (Don’t say yesterday. 🙂 ) I mean, you said you needed the thing to finish, so I expect you have good reason to try and wrap things up … End of the week?

    #233883

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    I don’t want to give an exact data, but late this week, yes.

    #233884

    OK, updated:

    Latest Changes – 5/10/2015

    • Fixed halfling settler having hte wrong production cost
    • Bards now have 41 hp (was 46), recieve Inspiring Aura on Gold Medal (was High Morale)
    • Charm is now Short Range (was touch)
    • Victory Rush now heals 10hp after battle (was 12)
    • Theocrat now gets Healing at level 7, for 4 points
    • Arch Druid now gets Healing at level 9, for 4 points

    This is pretty much it, unless there is something that is literally broken, this is the last update to the beta.

    Perfect! This will not make bards super good or anything, but now I can see having one or two around, and they become REALLY good in defense situation paired with some good archers and/or ranged supports (the hard part is getting to gold medal, but even just the short range charm already make them better city defenders). Not sure how much it will change for MP, probably nothing, but for Single player perpective these change are awesome.

    Also the Hero/orcs changes also spot on! I like how now late game druid/theo are like hyper healers.

    #233887

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I don’t want to give an exact data, but late this week, yes.

    Cool.
    What happens with all the PBEM games that have Heroes with abilities they are not supposed to have? 🙂

    #233890

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    They’ll keep them? I’m not sure, I never checked xD

    AFAIK the biggest issue you’ll have is that Theocrats/ADs will be able to get the Healing upgrade again, since the new upgrade has a different ID to the old one, so the system won’t realize they’ve already bought it.

    #233894

    quo
    Member

    For the record, I think most people like how the evolve mechanics force you to nurture T1/T2 units. It’s actually an enjoyable experience allocating XP in a participation system, rather than having spread XP out; this allocation adds a layer of depth in itself. The current system with its fixes work well.

    I like it on some units. Just not units where “nurturing the unit” means deliberately playing it weird way just to earn it XP. On those units it reminds of certain MMOs I’ve played where to level up you need to do some silly but XP rewarding task, like jumping all the time, or grinding a mortar, or, well… using a weak attack like Throw Rocks over and over. Bards fall cleanly in that category for me. Martyrs are even worse, since Absorb Pain puts them at a big risk of dying. So before I modded the Evolve out of Martyrs, I didn’t use their Absorb ability, it put them at risk of taking damage, and you never wanted that. The XP earned by using AP wasn’t worth the risk. Once they evolved into Exalted and could Absorb safely it was worth it.

    Now I just have them all get Resurgence with Exalted Martyrs and Theocrat games don’t involve the “boring half hour of throwing rocks at things” element anymore. I guess the other solution would have been to give them some ability they can use that earns them XP naturally that didn’t involve spamming a weak attack from the weakest unit in my army over and over just to get them to evolve.

    #233897

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Huh?
    Absorb Pain is prett good: it reduces damage dealt to the martyred-for unit by 35%, which is a huge reduction, and you can heal the Martyr instead of the unit martyred for. Martyrs have good health – if you avoid being hit directly, there is no problem, and while Stoning may be an ineffective attack, it’s ranged, it may flank and turn a unit and it does RANGED damge which is important.
    There is nothing unnatural with it.

    #233903

    quo
    Member

    Huh?
    Absorb Pain is prett good: it reduces damage dealt to the martyred-for unit by 35%, which is a huge reduction, and you can heal the Martyr instead of the unit martyred for. Martyrs have good health – if you avoid being hit directly, there is no problem, and while Stoning may be an ineffective attack, it’s ranged, it may flank and turn a unit and it does RANGED damge which is important.
    There is nothing unnatural with it.

    Absorb Pain is excellent on an Exalted.

    On a Martyr it’s pretty good without losing the opportunity cost of Evolving to the far superior Exalted. It’s at best “okay” when, because the Martyr needs XP, it needs to move in close to enemy units instead of hanging back, which results in great risk of them just them attacking and killing the Martyr.

    That is the unnatural part. In terms of pure tactical common sense you should AP and then tuck the Martyr away where it can healed. But the demand for XP means it needs to be used more like a weak Archer.

    Spending a lot of time working on a Martyr only to have it die on me frustrated me greatly. For this reason, prior to making the edits I did, I never ever used Absorb Pain on a Martyr. It made no sense to do so, because Martyrs were the worst unit to have die, and all AP did was concentrate damage on them, “reduced” or not, and they don’t have the HP to withstand that. It made more sense in terms of long term impact to let a Crusader or Evangelist die than a Martyr.

    #233907

    Outis
    Member

    The beta changes are great. Very interesting to follow this heated discussion and see the the latest balance changes to healing and bards come to fruition. It really gives a purpose to a seldom used unit.

    I just ask that the rapids be addressed. Maybe a terrain slider during setup like other terrain features or something?

    http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/will-we-get-a-fix-for-rapids/

    #233914

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    I have no way of doing that, I think it can be modded though… I’ll ask the RMG guy tomorrow how to do it!

    #233917

    Spending a lot of time working on a Martyr only to have it die on me frustrated me greatly. For this reason, prior to making the edits I did, I never ever used Absorb Pain on a Martyr. It made no sense to do so, because Martyrs were the worst unit to have die, and all AP did was concentrate damage on them, “reduced” or not, and they don’t have the HP to withstand that. It made more sense in terms of long term impact to let a Crusader or Evangelist die than a Martyr.

    That is why people use the halfling/orc/dwarf martyrs….Halflings get triple shot/luck, orcs have higher hp and victory rush, and dwarves are dwarves. Those races also have good crusaders (Orc with tireless and the rush, dwarf defensive strike, and the surprisingly effective luck and defender halfling one).

    martayrs are cheap, so a lost one or two makes little difference, whereas crusaders and evangelists are not cheap and gain a lot in value as they level. Denounce is a really neat way to heretic stuff in sites and crusaders really come into their own at high level (the high morale and defender boosted stats).

    With solid martyr production, you should get a full stack of evolved exalted 25-30 on normal settings auto all the time (much earlier pbem or sp).

    The alternative is a few stacks of exalted martyr boosted crusaders with Trebuchet support.

    #233919

    quo
    Member

    martayrs are cheap, so a lost one or two makes little difference, whereas crusaders and evangelists are not cheap and gain a lot in value as they level.

    I know I’m taking a lot of room here with my arguments, but I figured this would come up. Short answer: no, Martyrs are not more expendable than Crusaders or Evangelists.

    You can’t produce Exalted with Absorb Pain in cities. If I suggested it, everyone would say no. Why not? Answer: too powerful.

    If a Crusader or Evangelist dies, you buy a new Crusader or Evangelist. The price is the price of a new unit. If a Martyr dies, you lose all of your progress toward a unit you can never build. There is no price you can put on this. A Gold medal Crusader or Evangelist is useful but nearly in the same class as a Resurgent Infantry with Absorb Pain. The “Martyr” may have been built with the idea that it is expendable because it costs fewer hammers, but in every practical term it is more expensive, because of the XP you need to feed it.

    (FWIW the Exalted you can actually build are not that impressive. It’s the Absorb Pain ability that makes them incredible.)

    You might have a few throwaway Martyrs. I sometimes do. But losing a Martyr I’ve spent time on is a tragedy. Game changing. It is the most important unit to protect, and logistically should be babied as much as possible to ensure its survival. Absorb Pain stands in direct opposition of this goal. It awards abysmal XP and puts the baby at risk. Other units you hope to evolve don’t revolve around the concept of self injury. They are fighter units that gain XP at least somewhat organically. Not so with the Martyr. The only way it gains XP and lives to tell about it is by using it in exactly the opposite way of what is tactically useful.

    #233923

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    It seems you are talking about manual combat (because in auto you can’t really “use” the unit in any way), and while I’m no expert on Theocrat play, the only thing you have to do with a Martyr to gain XP is using its ranged attack when it’s safe, and – of course – make sure your Martyrs get their fair share of XP for killing something.
    With the exception of the usual suspects (Pounce, Phase, Sprint, ShadowStep plus fast Fliers) where you have to be quite careful and make sure to keep out of range, it’s not that difficult to fire the odd shot and kill the odd unit, which is enough.

    I agree, by the way, that keeping your Martyrs alive, once they have started to collect XP, is a very important thing – but of course the value of the other units increases as well with the medals they are collecting.

    #233928

    quo
    Member

    It seems you are talking about manual combat (because in auto you can’t really “use” the unit in any way), and while I’m no expert on Theocrat play, the only thing you have to do with a Martyr to gain XP is using its ranged attack when it’s safe, and – of course – make sure your Martyrs get their fair share of XP for killing something.

    There is literally not a single situation in dozens of Theo games I can think of where using a Martyr to kill something was a decision I made because it was tactically effective. It was always, always done because I had engineered a contrived set up where the other units on the field pulled their punches deliberately so the Martyr could get the kill and thus earn XP. Martyrs do not earn XP for acting like Martyrs. Acting like a Martyr has very low payouts and should avoided in every way possible, except in a few throwaway situations, or the odd decisive battle.

    #233929

    It seems you are talking about manual combat (because in auto you can’t really “use” the unit in any way), and while I’m no expert on Theocrat play, the only thing you have to do with a Martyr to gain XP is using its ranged attack when it’s safe, and – of course – make sure your Martyrs get their fair share of XP for killing something.

    There is literally not a single situation in dozens of Theo games I can think of where using a Martyr to kill something was a decision I made because it was tactically effective. It was always, always done because I had engineered a contrived set up where the other units on the field pulled their punches deliberately so the Martyr could get the kill and thus earn XP. Martyrs do not earn XP for acting like Martyrs. Acting like a Martyr has very low payouts and should avoided in every way possible, except in a few throwaway situations, or the odd decisive battle.

    To an extent yes you have to play the situation such that the martyr gains the killing blow. It’s only tactical to do so, just like how most players will try to grant heroes the killing blow sometimes by attacking with a weaker ranged attack first.

    It’s adds a layer of depth and control to the game where you are rewarded for minimizing damage and allocating XP to the units/heroes that benefit most from it.

    #233938

    quo
    Member

    To an extent yes you have to play the situation such that the martyr gains the killing blow. It’s only tactical to do so, just like how most players will try to grant heroes the killing blow sometimes by attacking with a weaker ranged attack first.

    The difference is that killing things is to a large extent what heroes are designed to do. It’s also what Human Calvary and some other units are designed to do, and why I didn’t bother modding them too. They gain XP more or less for doing things they should be doing anyway.

    Martyrs are a unit designed to sacrifice themselves to save other units. They get a one time award of 2 XP for activating AP (3 or 4 with Exalted Martyrs IIRC). Logistically, it would make sense to use AP and then retreat to where enemies can’t reach them.

    But there is no reward in that. This unit needs to attack to level up, and leveling them up unlocks a huge reward. Unfortunately, the unit has terrible damage and can only generate 1 or 2 xp per throw or so. So what every battle turned into for me was trying to engineer a set of circumstances where the 5 useful units could subdue enemies enough for a Martyr to Throw Rocks until it gained some XP. Really thrilling stuff, let me tell you. And even then sometimes I’d miscalculate and something would revive or roll a crit and kill the Martyr. They always beeline Martyrs because they are the weakest link on the battle field. I’ve save scummed more than I can count, and spent somewhere in the neighborhood of two to three of my hours life at least just Throwing Rocks to level this unit up. It’s a segment of playing SP Theocrat I always dreaded, sort of like when you are playing an MMO and you know are reaching that one set of levels where you have to farm for fish scales for 3 hours to get to the quest that is actually fun.

    #233946

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Yeah, I understand what you mean, the XPs gained for the hits absorbed should probably be shared or something (or be awarded to the Martyr), but on the other hand that would gain XP way too fast.
    Throw Stones will gain XP as fast as a Scoundrel – I don’t find this “scavenging” wrong – it might be a tad more micromanagement than would be healthy, but Throw Stones is not that bad an attack and sometimes you just have to use it anyway.

    #233947

    If a Crusader or Evangelist dies, you buy a new Crusader or Evangelist. The price is the price of a new unit. If a Martyr dies, you lose all of your progress toward a unit you can never build. There is no price you can put on this.

    Taken literally, that would mean that they were of infinite (or at least undefined) value, so i’ll take that as a bit of exaggeration.

    Jomungur once said he was happy for exalted to die because they died in place of more important units. This is true for a few reasons.

    1). it could be your leader or a hero. Keeping the leader alive is crucial for all kinds of reasons.

    2). exalted martayrs aren’t the only martayr strategy. You can do paired with crusaders, or human cavalry for a knight evolve strategy, and probably a few others. So when a martayr dies rather than a proto knight, it is more useful.

    3). new martayrs tend to die faster than old ones, so you shouldn’t lose that much. Why is that? Well, if you know how the ai thinks, it is obvious. The AI is “bloodthirsty”, which means that it focuses on maximizing damage done as opposed to other goals. So a martyr with lower defense and resistance becomes a higher priority target.

    With that in mind, in manual combat, you can easily focus the ai into attacking the martyrs or martyr supported units you want them to. Flanking is especially important, because that bonus can often convince the ai to avoid a frontal attack on a low tier unit for a flanking attack on a higher tier one.

    For auto, it is a matter of site selection and stack composition.

    #233952

    quo
    Member

    Taken literally, that would mean that they were of infinite (or at least undefined) value, so i’ll take that as a bit of exaggeration.

    They are of much greater value than Crusaders or Evangelists, who you can easily replace.

    In a SP game of about 70 turns, on average I manage to earn around 3 Exalted Martyrs. Maybe 4 if I’m super lucky, but the XP from gray sites starts to run dry before then usually. I could maybe squeeze out a few more if I had the patience to endure even more Throwing Rocks.

    What I know for sure is that from about turn 10 to turn 40 a significant portion of my playtime involved manipulating tactical combat so that Martyrs could get XP and evolve. I have never had that experience with another unit in this game. They are valuable to me in terms of RL investment, boredom, and frustration. A Crusader I can replace. A Martyr I likely worked on and it represents time I spent in the game not quite enjoying myself but grinding through it. You could basically measure the number of evolved Martyrs I end up with in terms equal to my endurance capacity to bore myself earning them.

    #233965

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    To an extent yes you have to play the situation such that the martyr gains the killing blow. It’s only tactical to do so, just like how most players will try to grant heroes the killing blow sometimes by attacking with a weaker ranged attack first.

    Fun fact: Due to a bug in how the XP system was coded, it’s sometimes more efficient to get your hero to take potshots at the unit and have your T1 unit finish it off!

    When I was doing the XP stuff last week, I discovered that when you attack/touch a unit, the XP you gain isn’t based on the tier of the target, but the tier of the attacker. So, if a hero attacks a T1 unit, he gets 3xp, when he should only get 1xp. Similarly, a T1 unit gets 1xp for landing an attack on a T4, when he should get 4xp. The killing blow though, is always valued at the tier of the killed unit times 5.

    So, if your hero hits a T1 unit 3 times with his bow, he gets 9xp. If he hits once and kills the T1 unit, he only gets 8xp (3xp for the hit and 5xp for the kill). Your T1 gets 3xp for 3 hits on the the T1 unit, but 6xp for a single blow that kills it.

    I tried fixing it, but it messed everything up. Heroes started leveling super slowly (in a test game I got my starting heroes to level 2 around turn 6/7) while T1s started leveling really fast. So I had to undo the changes and put it back to being broken, because that’s what the game is balanced around 🙂

    #233966

    quo
    Member

    When I was doing the XP stuff last week, I discovered that when you attack/touch a unit, the XP you gain isn’t based on the tier of the target, but the tier of the attacker. So, if a hero attacks a T1 unit, he gets 3xp, when he should only get 1xp. Similarly, a T1 unit gets 1xp for landing an attack on a T4, when he should get 4xp. The killing blow though, is always valued at the tier of the killed unit times 5.

    I just assumed this was deliberate. 🙂

    BTW I might regret telling you this, but did you know about the Turn 1 hero killing loophole? It works like this:
    – When a hero asks to join on Turn 1, say “I need another type of hero”
    – Attack the hero and land the killing blow with your leader (optionally with a unit you want to level quickly, but usually the leader)
    – Hero dies, you get in the neighborhood of 40 XP (when you count XP you got for attacking)
    – You also get their weapon
    – New hero shows up on next turn, so you just hire that guy

    Particularly an effective move when you’re playing a Warlord or Dread, because you have a good chance to get a x3 attacking weapon plus a ton of XP, which is normally hard for those leaders.

    There is the slight downside of it hurting race relations. But usually worth it anyway.

    Just letting you know, not suggesting you fix. It’s one of those idiosyncracies. But since we’re talking about stuff that PBEM players might be exploiting this one seems like something I should at least mention. 🙂

    #233970

    Tombles
    Keymaster

    Too late to do anything about it now! I probably would have if I’d known you get 40xp for doing it >_>

    #233975

    In a SP game of about 70 turns, on average I manage to earn around 3 Exalted Martyrs. Maybe 4 if I’m super lucky, but the XP from gray sites starts to run dry before then usually. I could maybe squeeze out a few more if I had the patience to endure even more Throwing Rocks.

    You should have six or seven or eight by turn twenty at the latest. What settings are you using? What race and specialization do you pick?

    Too late to do anything about it now! I probably would have if I’d known you get 40xp for doing it >_>

    meh. you get negative race relations and lose out on a turn of leveling, so I think it is pretty ok as an option.

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